My Poke-Pinions 019-020: The Rattata Line


Name: Rattata’s first English name was Rattatak, a mixture of ‘rat’ and ‘attack’ Somewhere down the line, the k was dropped, leaving Rattata. Even though I, like many kids, was confused on both how to properly pronounce and spell Rattata, I will admit that the name has grown on me through the years. It’s a bit clumsy to say, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun. Plus, it’s possible the shortened name was based on the sound ‘rat-a-tat’ kinda like a Tommy gun, and that’s just cool.

I think Rattatak also sounds kinda cool, but it’s a bit more clumsy to say than Rattata.

Its Japanese name is Koratta, which either means ‘child Ratta,’ since Raticate’s original name is Ratta, or ‘child rat.’ I like Koratta because it’s easier to say and spell, but I can’t deny that I’m slightly more partial to Rattata.

Fun Fact: In German, it’s called Rattfratz, which is one of the most amazing things ever. Not just because the name itself is awesome, but also because it literally translates to “Rat rascal” and that is too adorable.

Design: I really like Rattata’s design. Purple’s my favorite color, so it’s already winning points there (Plus, it’s always nice to have a Normal type that’s not brown, beige or white…) but it’s also an extremely good balance of cute and fierce. I’d love to have one as a pet.

In terms of sprites, it’s pretty normal until we get to Crystal, which has an adorable little butt shake.

Emerald’s animation is also really cute.

HG/SS is just a bit erratic for me.

Alolan Version:

Hey, we finally get to talk about one of these, eh? And it’s……ugly as hell. I like the dark gray/nearly black coloring with the darker tan, but goddamn that stupid whisker design to make it look like it has a mustache. Eugh.


This shiny makes me want to vomit.

Because it’s the same color as vomit.

Who the hell approved this? Yellow shinies tend to be bad enough, but this shade is just gross. At least the color fluctuates to a gray-ish yellow in other gens, but even though that’s not as nauseating at this yellow, it’s still really ugly.

On the flip side, shiny Alolan Rattata is really nice.

I love the maroon on tan. We don’t get enough maroon shinies.

Cry/Voice: Rattata’s voice is just okay. It’s rather bland, to be honest. Sometimes, they’ll be pretty fierce with the voice, which is kinda cool, but overall it’s just another ‘human obviously saying a word’ voices.

Its game cry is annoying. It sounds like you took damage in an old Commodore 64 game.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Rattata’s a rather simple Pokemon. It’s incredibly common, obviously (it’ll probably be the first or second Pokemon you capture in-game) it loves to chew on things and bite, it’s very energetic, it eats a lot, and it’s essentially paranoid. One thing of note is that its teeth never stop growing and requires plenty of things to gnaw on it order to keep them from growing too much. Reminds me of that one episode of Angry Beavers where they let their teeth grow out and eventually they took over the whole dam, and they were worried their teeth would grow into their brains.

The Alolan entries state that, since it only loves fresh foods….apparently, which is weird because the regular entries state it pretty much eats anything it finds, some people use them to find fresh fruits when grocery shopping. Yes, that’s what I want to see on my grocery shopping trip – someone traversing the produce section with a rat.

Also, it gathers food for the boss of its nest, a Raticate.

In regards to its design origins, just guess what it’s based on. Specifically, since it has such big ears, they suspect it might be based on a dumbo rat. I didn’t know that was a thing, but spot-on naming, scientists.

The Alolan version’s origins are much more complex. It’s based on the Hawaiian rat, known for being more vicious than the mainland rats, which may explain the Dark typing. Rats were constantly attacking and eating the sugar cane fields in Hawaii, so they imported small Asian mongooses to keep them at bay, which is mirrored in the Alolan Rattata’s relationship with Yungoos.

However, that move blew up in their faces. The mongooses were ineffective at keeping the rats at bay since mongooses are diurnal while the rats were nocturnal. They never crossed paths and thus couldn’t deter them. The mongooses themselves became an invasive species and started annihilating the local bird population. The mongooses were imported in 1883 and they’re still a major problem to this day. Good job.


Name: Raticate is either a mixture of ‘rat’ and ‘eradicate’ which I always thought it was, or ‘masticate’ which means ‘to chew.’ I’m going with the ‘eradicate’ version because it sounds and fits better. I really like Raticate’s name. It’s badass, flows nicely and works well with its pre-evo.

Its Japanese name is Ratta, which is derived from, well, ‘rat.’ I find the Japanese name to be horribly boring. It’s only slightly off-shot from ‘rat’ and just gives off a bland feel.

Fun Fact: In German, it’s called Rattikarl, which is a mix of ‘ratte’ and ‘radikal’….as in ‘radical.’ Germany, I kinda love you right now.

Design: Raticate’s design is pretty…..okay. It lost the purple, which saddens me, and gained a very boring tan color. It’s made to look more fierce than Rattata, and it succeeds, but it’s also more ugly as a result. It also bothers me that Raticate doesn’t seem to be able to really close its mouth. Must be hard on the jaw.

In terms of sprites, it’s a pretty bland collection. R/S/E looks fairly ugly mostly because of how it’s posed.

Other than that, there’s nothing really of note.

Alolan Version:

Somehow they managed to top themselves on ugly with…..whatever this is. It looks like Raticate has severe anaphylaxis. Again, who approved of this design?

The color scheme is still pretty nice, but I can’t get over that face.


This shiny’s pretty bland too. It’s just a darker colored Raticate. I do like it, but I feel like they could’ve done so much more….Eh, I guess I won’t complain too much if the alternative is vomit.

The Alolan shiny is a little more purple-ish than shiny Alolan Rattata, and I dig it.

Cry/Voice: I hate to sound like a broken record, but Raticate’s anime voice is also kinda bland. It’s just Rattata’s voice only slightly more vicious.

Its game cry is alright and sounds less jarring than Rattata’s but it’s just okay.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Most of Raticate’s Dex entries talk about three things – it has massive biting power and needs to chew a lot, its whiskers help maintain its balance, and it has webbed feet that allow for strong swimming. Its biting and chewing power are so great that it can topple concrete buildings.

Alolan Raticate’s Dex entries don’t really explore more than Alolan Rattata, but it does include a tidbit about Raticate being so good at indicating freshness that restaurants will have Raticate around to prove their quality to customers, which is really only a slight off-shoot of the grocery store thing mentioned in Alolan Rattata’s entry.

Its design is based off of a mixture of a muskrat, a guinea pig (for the ears) and possibly a coypu (for the webbed feet.)

The Alolan version is based on the Polynesian rat. There isn’t really much to say there as it just looks like a normal rat.

Next up, the Spearow line!

Previously – The Pidgey Line

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Aardman’s Clay: The Pirates! Band of Misfits/In an Adventure with Scientists

Plot: The Pirate Captain is a bit of a bumbling chap. While he adores life on the seas with his crew and all of the adventures they have, he’s not the best at his job. He yearns to be Pirate of the Year, but he’s considered a joke among the other pirates in the community. While trying to attack more ships to gain a better reputation, he comes upon the research ship of Charles Darwin, who is incredibly interested in the captain’s beloved ‘parrot’ Polly. Turns out, she’s actually an extremely rare dodo bird – last of its kind.

Charles wants the bird to be world-renowned in the world of science (and be successful enough to get a girlfriend) and the Pirate Captain believes presenting the bird will make him a lot of money and give him recognition. He won’t give Polly over since she’s one of the family, but when the world sees you as a loser, you’re sometimes willing to sacrifice family for a taste of fame and respect.

Breakdown: This is the first time Aardman has really failed to engage me as well as it usually does.

That’s not to say The Pirates! is a bad movie in the slightest, it’s just rather predictable and a little blah for Aardman. After about the first 15 minutes, I knew almost exactly where the movie would go beat by beat. The only thing that caught me a little off-guard was the climax, but only because I didn’t think people would be so stupid as have a competition to see who can find the rarest animal to cook and eat – and that the royal figures of the world were the ones holding it.

Cleverness abounds with the jokes. Aardman is never really a disappointment there. I especially enjoyed every shot with Mr. Bobo, Darwin’s mute monkey assistant who speaks in flashcards. And I did enjoy the relationship between The Pirate Captain and his first mate, Number 2 (Hardly anyone has an actual name)

I just can’t see myself wanting to watch this again anytime soon. It never clicked me on that level of pure enjoyment. It was especially a chore to watch them go undercover to present Polly to the scientist award committee and Captain try to pretend everything’s fine at the Pirate of the Year awards. We just got done with a movie with similar themes, and I don’t much care for it in the first place.

I also had to roll my eyes because, of course, the one prominent female pirate is a flirty sexpot that everyone wants to get with. She’s not a big part of the movie, but it still irked me.

(And, yes, I’m aware of the Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate.)

In regards to the art and animation, I love the way they melded regular stop-motion with CG. It flowed extremely well, and some of the shots on the sea were quite beautiful. The character models are better than usual because they don’t fall into the ‘I’m always showing all of my giant teeth at all times’ habit they were wrapped up in for a long time. The style as a whole is different, if only slightly, and it’s a bit of a nice breath of fresh air.

The music is slightly out of place sometimes. The score is usually fairly good, but then they insert modern songs and it feels off. They’re not pop songs, but they still don’t fit that well, in my opinion.

All in all, this is a fun movie and I think everyone should give it at least one watch, but it’s not Aardman’s A game.

Recommended Audience: There is mild violence, these are pirates afterall, some dark themes like implied torture and execution. No nudity or sex, but a couple of very mild swears. 10+

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SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 43: Friend or Foe? Fight Onee-Sama?


Plot: The girls find Kisshu and Zakuro talking privately in a church. He seemingly convinces Zakuro to join him and further explains that, with or without Zakuro, the girls will fall to Deep Blue soon enough.

He teleports both him and Zakuro away from the church, leaving the girls frustrated and confused. However, they’re quickly called away by Shirogane and Akasaka who tell them of the true location of the Mew Aqua they couldn’t find earlier – it’s being carried by a swan that is in the protected area near the dock.

The birds suddenly start gathering near Mint and seemingly explain to her why they brought the Mew Aqua to this location. Just as they’re about to bring it out to the girls, Pai and Taruto arrive, gunning to get it first.

The girls all transform to battle, but Mint stays frozen in her tracks, believing the fight to be fruitless since Zakuro betrayed them. Despite her position and pleas, the birds insist upon her taking the Mew Aqua and joining the fight to protect it. She screams out in sadness and frustration, causing the Mew Aqua to rise up into the swan and seemingly vanish.

Pai and Taruto, unable to find the Mew Aqua among so many birds, take their leave.

Mint breaks down in sorrow, explaining how deeply Zakuro’s betrayal affected her. She lost so much hope and resolve that, in spite of hearing the birds’ pleas for help, she refused them.

Ichigo tries to encourage Mint to keep the faith in Zakuro, but Mint accepts reality. People change afterall. No matter what Zakuro does, they have to become stronger.

The next day, Mint continues to feel sullen about what happened with the Mew Aqua. She excuses herself from the café for a while, and Ichigo decides to talk with Shirogane about what Zakuro said to him a few days ago.

Shirogane explains that Zakuro told him they weren’t real warriors, but that they need to become as such in order to protect the world. This confirmed Ichigo’s suspicions that Zakuro wasn’t really betraying them – she was teaching them a lesson about being self-sufficient and reliable.

Akasaka detects energy readings matching Zakuro’s and Mint’s at the bird preservation area, indicating that the two have transformed and are about to fight each other. The other Mews rush to their location to stop them.

Meanwhile, Mint confronts Zakuro. Chastising Mint for losing her resolve simply because she wasn’t with her at the battle before, Zakuro asks Mint what she’d do if Zakuro really did betray her and join the enemy. Mint proclaims that she’d fight her – and that’s exactly what she does.

Mint and Zakuro fight with their all, tearful though Mint may be. Ichigo stops the battle before Mint is able to fire an arrow at Zakuro. Suddenly, a twister appears, sucking up the birds in the area. Pai has created the tornado to scoop up the birds, kill them all and leave the Mew Aqua behind.

Mint rushes towards the twister. With faith in the birds to heed her call and communicate their feelings, the Mew Aqua reacts and they’re able to spot it. Mint shoots an arrow towards the Mew Aqua. Using the Mew Aqua Rod, Ichigo collects the Mew Aqua and uses the rod’s power to stop the twister, clear the weather and save the birds.

The aliens retreat, and the girls rejoice.

Zakuro apologizes to the girls for going too far with trying to teach them a lesson. She explains that she goes to the church to visit someone precious to her. Right up to the end, neither of them had faith in the other, and seeing the girls have little faith in her about the rumor of her moving to the US made her upset, so she concocted this plan. However, she acknowledges that she went overboard.

She specifically apologizes to Mint and praises her for how much stronger and mature she’s gotten. She tearfully embraces Zakuro as Ichigo looks to the sky watching the swans fly away.


– I’ll save my remarks as to Zakuro’s ‘betrayal’ for later.

– So I guess this confirms that Mint really can talk to birds. Neat. Chalk one up for the non-Ichigo side.

– Ichigo: “Afterall, she is trying to provoke us, to make us realize we have to be more reliable.” Ranting saved for later, but yeah, reliability sure is important. Like how you’d expect someone to be reliable in situations where, and this is just hypothetical, a big glob of acid was flying at your face, nearly killing you. Sure would be nice to have someone reliable there.

And it sure is a show of reliability to have a person jump in front of a glob of acid for you, saving you from certain death. Boy howdy, if only we had some examples of those exact thing, eh?

– Hey, they’re talking about Lettuce’s crush on Shirogane again. Aaaaaaannndddd it’s gone.

– Ichigo: “Zakuro-san did that on purpose so we could become more independent.” Rant later…..


– Flashback Zakuro: “Let me just say one thing – we are little girls. Even though, as Mew Mews, we have always been fighting, we are not ‘real warriors.’ However, in the future, when the alien attacks become more severe, each of us must be a strong warrior with faith in ourselves in order to protect the earth.”


Okay, okay, okay. Okay. I need to take a step back and reel myself in before I go off the rails. Let’s go over everything that has happened in these past couple episodes.

There was a small rumor going around that Zakuro might move to the US for a movie deal. Pudding acted like a dumbass instantly believing this was happening, that it was the end of the Mews and, for some reason, seemed happy about it. Lettuce and Ichigo were simply inquiring about it. Mint just panicked and requested, if she were leaving, to please take her with her.

Zakuro lost her temper, insinuated that she might leave for the US, but also that she hadn’t decided yet. She was also fed up with how they acted in response to the rumor.

During a battle over Mew Aqua, Zakuro refused to transform, fight, or even move a quarter of an inch. Mint was forced to protect her from enemy fire, nearly getting herself maimed or burned to death on a big glob of acid in the process. Zakuro neither transforms to help her, goes to her aid or shows an iota of caring that she ended up getting hurt.

Zakuro later quits, claiming she’s moving to the US, and later the girls find her conspiring with Kisshu, seemingly joining the enemy.

Mint flips, can’t take the betrayal and also ends up failing in her duties as a Mew because of it.

This all leads up to a battle between the two where Zakuro practically begs Mint to shoot her.

All of this is because of either:

1) Zakuro wanted the girls to become ‘real warriors.’

2) Zakuro was pissed/disappointed that the girls were believing some rumor over just instantly assuming her decision was the opposite.

3) Zakuro wanted the girls, particularly Mint, to become more independent.

4) Zakuro wanted the girls to be more reliable.

5) Zakuro wanted the girls to have more faith in themselves and each other.

Okay. Okay. There seems to be a bunch of possible reasons behind why Zakuro did this, so let’s address every angle.

1) In times of battle, when have the girls proven to be anything else but ‘real warriors’? They’ve risked their lives, their relationships, their happiness all for the good fight. They’ve fought long and hard through all sorts of asperities, and even if they did complain sometimes, they have every right to do so every now and then.

It’s an insult to them to insinuate that they’re not ‘real warriors.’ Not to mention, Ms. Hypocrite, a “REAL WARRIOR” wouldn’t set up her friends, nearly get them disfigured, severely injured or killed all to teach them some arbitrary lesson like this.

2) Even though, yes, they should’ve defaulted to believing she wasn’t going to leave either way, it’s understandable for them to be worried when stuff like this happens. After all, Zakuro has missed Mew stuff on numerous occasions because of her career. Why is it so farfetched to believe that she might be moving to the US? Or even just considering it? It’s not like it would’ve been permanent, either. It’s a movie deal. She’d be gone for a year or so at most.

If you want to snap at them for jumping to conclusions and chastise them for having so little faith in you, go right ahead, but doing what you did is just horrible.

3) Here’s where I’ll balk a little bit, because Mint’s reliance on Zakuro can be a bit much, BUT, once upon a time, she was considering quitting and not even putting Zakuro into her debate. She was making the decision of her own accord. (Interestingly, that episode was also a lesson about having faith in herself and her friends that, together, they can save the world.)

I find it to be a bit OOC that Mint would be so shaken by Zakuro’s supposed betrayal that she’d freeze up like that. She was the second Mew to be discovered. She’s fought plenty of times without Zakuro. Even if it’s a terrible thing to think someone you loved betrayed you, that shouldn’t shake her resolve so much that she’d let down her friends and ignore the cries of animals in peril.

Zakuro didn’t even blame it on the emotional turmoil – she appeared to blame Mint’s lack of resolve just on Zakuro not being there.


It’s not completely outside of the realm of possibility, but, personally, I find it to be OOC.

How is purposely causing conflict amongst the team a lesson in independence anyway? Causing strife and undue emotional stress in your team is also not something a “REAL WARRIOR” would do.

Where did this lesson on independence even come from? Pudding’s comments about it being the end of the Mews if Zakuro leaves? You can’t take anything Pudding says at face value, and she’s always overreacting and saying weird things.

4) I don’t even think I have to go into more detail for this as I already pretty much explained why this is ridiculous in my earlier joke, but when have the girls ever shown to not be reliable? Technically, these were Ichigo’s words, so maybe this wasn’t part of Zakuro’s lesson, but still. The girls are always there for each other, whether on the battlefield or in everyday problems. Through everything from small crises to romance troubles to emotional breakdowns to world-ending threats, they’ve been reliable through and through.

Again, it’s a bit insulting to believe they’re not as such just because they jumped to conclusions over gossip.

They’re teenage girls, of course they put stock in gossip sometimes. Clear the air, scold them and move on.

5) If there were ever a stupider method of conveying this lesson. Act like you’re having a hissy fit and leaving, act like you’re joining the enemy, make the Mews feel like betrayed pieces of shit – that sure will make them have faith in themselves and each other.

Or hell, maybe it will. I mean, if they had complete faith in Zakuro from the outset, she wouldn’t have done this incredibly stupid lesson in the first place. That’ll teach you for thinking Zakuro’s not a psychopath.

Again, I’m sorry if it seems like I’m overreacting, but I still can’t get over the possible face-melting/death Mint nearly suffered just so Zakuro-sensei could teach her unwitting students lessons that they didn’t even need to learn.

Even if they did need to learn these lessons, there are much better ways to go about it – even on an extreme level.

And let me note that I actually really love this episode. I may find Zakuro’s part to be mind-blowingly stupid and downright insulting, but I love that Mint got a new power. I love that Mint proved herself to be able to fight Zakuro for the sake of the world, despite her own feelings. I love that Mint took on a twister by herself and had an awesome moment to shine.

I’m only slightly disappointed that her exposure to Mew Aqua didn’t result in Mint getting any cool new features like giant wings or a cool new attack or something, and I’m a bit miffed that Ichigo gets the ultimate limelight again, but I still loved it. Mint may not be my favorite character most of the time, but she gets some pretty cool moments of glory.

This is such a nice shot.

– Zakuro: “As Ichigo said, I overdid it.” She said at Mint’s funeral.

I’ll give Zakuro props for actually admitting she went too far, but I feel like she was saying that about it reaching a point of forcing Mint to fight her, not the stuff with nearly getting her killed. If she realized it back then, she would’ve had a reaction to it.


In the end, like I said, I really do love this episode barring the stuff with Zakuro. It’s Mint’s true time to shine, and I loved how it went down. Yes, I’m a tiny bit irritated that she didn’t get the full spotlight, but I’ll definitely take this over getting nothing to do any day of the week.

And while this was an important episode, like the episode that preceded it, the art and animation are all over the place. Sometimes it looks like they did a great job, but many other times it’s really shaky. When Lettuce tells Ichigo and Mint ‘congratulations’ at the end…she’s not looking at them. She’s looking beyond them. And there are so many instances of screwed up faces and even times when it seems like the art quality changes in the same shot.

Next episode, the city’s being overrun by forestry, and Ichigo has a serious talk with Aoyama.

….Previous Episode

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Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 11: Sakura, Tomoyo, and a Mansion Sub/Dub Comparison

Card(s) of the Day: Shield – A card that protects precious items, plus the controller of the card I’d guess, with a super strong shield. Oddly enough, Shield’s weakness seems to be Sword, which, given the intention of most shields, seems to be kinda weird.

Plot: Tomoyo has invited Sakura over to help with a problem when Tomoyo’s mom, Sonomi, shows up and starts reminiscing about Sakura’s mom with them. After that, Tomoyo shows Sakura the problem – Tomoyo’s mom’s jewelry box is sealed shut by some sort of force that she believes to be a Clow card. There are items that are very precious to Tomoyo and her mom in there, so Sakura vows to capture the Clow card and free the items inside.


Title Change: Sakura, Tomoyo and a Mansion is changed to The Special Box.

Wait, Sakura and Tomoyo are in gym, she’s asking if Sakura can go to her house tomorrow and says it’s a Sunday (In the original)…that must mean that’s a Saturday…She’s at school on a Saturday? Huh? I know Japanese schools typically go through summer, but on the weekends too? The dub has Madison ask if she can come to her house tomorrow, a Saturday.

The original doesn’t mention anything about bringing Kero or Tomoyo baking him his favorite cake.

Sakura’s dot eyes are again edited out.

In the original, as Sakura and Tomoyo are watching videos of Sakura’s captures on Tomoyo’s private home entertainment center, Tomoyo gushes over how cute she looks during her captures. In the dub, she’s gushing over how nice the costumes she made for Sakura look.

A shot of Sakura’s goofy face with a sweat drop is edited out.

Sakura tells Tomoyo that she’s always making her costumes and she feels kinda bad about it. Then Tomoyo says she shouldn’t feel that way because she gets to film Sakura wearing the costumes that she makes for her and twirls around happily. In the dub, the twirling and swooning over Sakura wearing the clothes that she makes for her is edited out.

Tomoyo’s mom initially says that she heard that Sakura was coming over so she rushed home from the office. (Is she going to be obsessed with Sakura too? Because I dunno how I feel about that.)

More dot eyes as Sakura thinks about Kero as he’s hiding is edited out.

The maid who brings in the tea responds to Mrs. Taylor so oddly in the dub. In both versions they say ‘yes’ to Tomoyo’s mom’s request, but the dub line is said like the maid’s either a robot or in a trance. Did she forget she was acting or is Mrs. Taylor a hypnotist?

Tomoyo’s mom originally asks Sakura if she likes cake, not strawberries. Also, Sakura’s mother didn’t love strawberries, she loved cake. This is easily translatable, Nelvana. Are you anti-cake? Did Portal leave lasting emotional scars?

Sakura points out that she’s heard her father say the same thing about Nadeshiko. Then Tomoyo’s mom imagines Sakura’s dad intruding on her thoughts of Nadeshiko. Sakura says her father told her that Nadeshiko loved cake and that she never seemed to get fat no matter how much she ate of it. This all removed.

Oh boy, another long scene removal. We cut to Toya at home washing the car. Yukito walks up to him commending him on a good job. He also mentions that it makes sense that he’s so good at this since he used to work at a gas station.

Fujitaka then walks up and talks to Yukito and invites him over to eat outside since it’s so nice out.

Yukito asks where Sakura is, and Toya tells him that she’s at Tomoyo’s house. Yukito gets slightly worried because he knows that means she’s with Tomoyo’s mom, Sonomi, and worries she might say or do something because of Sonomi’s ill feelings towards Fujitaka. Fujitaka then walks up and says Sonomi would never do anything to hurt Sakura and Toya smiles. *whew* All of this is removed…..Because of Yukito? I guess… Sakura’s not even in this scene, and you still feel the need to muscle him out? Geez.

Sonomi reminisces on how cute Nadeshiko was in a semi-long montage. Most of it is shots of Nadeshiko and her saying Sonomi’s name, then we get to the final shot where she remembers Nadeshiko telling her that she was going to marry Fujitaka. The fantasy suddenly ends as Fujitaka’s face again barges in on her thoughts and the bubble bursts to her angry face.

In the dub, only one shot of the memory is kept, and Sonomi refers to her as beautiful and kind instead of cute. Also, since it suddenly cuts from her good memory to her angry, the scene fails to make any sense.

I guess I can give Nelvana a pass for this at least. Sonomi asks Sakura if she can call her Sakura-chan and she says yes. Since there’s no real English equivalent of that, we just move on to the next conversation in the dub.

Sonomi tells Sakura that she didn’t get her athletic skill from her mother, but the dub also adds that she must’ve gotten her skills from her father, which is something I don’t really think Sonomi would do. I mean, I don’t think she hates Fujitaka as much as she lets on, but I don’t think she’d outright compliment him, even if he’s not there.

I don’t know why, but the more I hear it, the more I hate the name Natasha for Nadeshiko. It just sounds wrong.

Also, Natasha’s VA doesn’t sound right either. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t think it fits well for some reason.

Fujitaka, in the flashback, says he thought an angel had fallen from heaven when Nadeshiko fell on him…..Pfft, you got moves there, Mr. Kinomoto. Next you can ask her if it’s hot in there or if that’s just her. In the dub, he just says it was lucky for her that he was walking under the tree as she fell.

Also, Sakura’s dad sounds so weird in this flashback in the dub. Did they drink spiked water in the studio that day or what?

After the flashback is over, predictably, Sonomi goes into a rage over remembering how Nadeshiko and Fujitaka first met and rants about how he called her an angel before composing herself. Everything after the end of the flashback and to when Sonomi composes herself is edited out.

Sakura originally asks Sonomi if she knows how Fujitaka was in his younger days. He always talks about Nadeshiko but never says anything about himself. Since he has no living relatives that she knows of and her mother’s family tree is also fairly bare, she thought she’d ask Sonomi for information.

In the dub, she basically says it was a good thing her mother was a klutz or else she never would’ve met her dad. Because of this, Sakura tilting her head down almost in embarrassment seems out of place. Also, Sakura mentions that ‘expect the unexpected’ thing that I guess they’re trying to make into a catchphrase or something.

Since the previous scene was changed for no reason, the next scene had to be changed too. In the original, Sonomi says Fujitaka is a disgusting person from the eyes of someone who truly loved Nadeshiko. He’s smart, athletic, he cooks etc. and his biggest flaw is that he has no flaws. Then she tells Sakura to never tell her father that she said that and Sakura agrees.

In the dub, Mrs. Taylor basically explains that Sakura’s right in that it was probably a good thing that she was clumsy, she misses Natasha very much and she believes Sakura will grow up to be a wonderful woman like Natasha.

We cut to Sakura’s dad, Yukito and Toya doing yard work when Fujitaka sneezes. Yukito asks if he’s getting a cold and he says no, but that maybe someone’s talking about him. The whole ‘sneezing means someone’s talking about you behind your back’ idiom isn’t a thing in America, so this scene was removed.

A shot of Sakura, Tomoyo and Sonomi laughing at a story Sonomi’s telling is also removed since it wouldn’t have meshed very well without the scene with Sakura’s dad.

Sonomi, sad about needing to leave Sakura for work, childishly fawns over Sakura and promises to have dinner with her later. Removed.

Why does Sonomi seem to have no interest whatsoever in spending time with Toya? He’s Nadeshiko’s child too. I know she probably favors Sakura more since she’s a cute little girl who reminds her physically of Nadeshiko, but that seems….rude?

Kero cheering over his cake is too adorable.

In the original, as we see the box for the first time, we cut from the scene in Tomoyo’s bedroom to the shot of the box with a Kero-shaped transition. This just changed to a jump cut in the dub.

Tomoyo tells Sakura that there’s something in the box very precious to both her and her mother. She wants Sakura to try to capture the card so that she can get the item out. In the dub, she says she asked her mom if she could keep the box in her room so that she could try to open it, but if she can’t she’ll have to take it to a locksmith, which won’t do much good because of the Clow card.

After they agree to take care of the Clow card, Tomoyo takes out her camera and says it’s time to start filming, which makes Sakura falls over comically. We get another Kero transition to the shot of Kero. In the dub, the scene with Tomoyo starting her video is edited out and we get no Kero transition.

Kero actually refutes Sakura’s theory that Shield went to Tomoyo because it was her friend since Shield has a good personality and wouldn’t do anything twisted like that. In the dub, he agrees that that was what Shield was doing because it’s so smart.

Another Kero transition is removed. I don’t know why these transitions are here, but I don’t know why they’re cut either…

Tomoyo tells Sonomi that there was a spring stuck inside of the lock and that’s why it wouldn’t open and the key kept flying out. In the dub, she just says she fixed it with Sakura.

OH MY GOD, THEY LEFT IN SOMETHING BOTH JAPANESE AND EDUCATIONAL! The item in the box was a bouquet that Nadeshiko used during her wedding. It was a bouquet of sakura – cherry blossoms. Nadeshiko always said that if she had a baby girl, she would name her Sakura.

This is translated correctly which shocked me….Well, they still mess it up a bit. Remember the last episode and how they changed the flower thing from being a nadeshiko flower to just saying it was Natasha’s favorite flower? Well, those weren’t cherry blossoms and that’s what they’re saying Natasha’s favorite flowers are now. Continuity!

Hey, Nelvana, just a heads up, music that sounds dramatic with heavy bass drum sounds is not endearing or cute. Thanks for ruining that scene.

In the original, the other item that was in the box, the one that was special to Tomoyo, was a small bag that held a pink bunny eraser. In a flashback, we see that it was the first thing that Sakura ever gave her when they first became friends, so she treasures it. In the dub, she says it’s a present for Sakura that was something of Sakura’s mom’s. Tomoyo’s mom plans to give it to her one day after she grows up. Seeing as how the chances of that eraser ever being brought up again are insanely low, I’d say we never find out what that gift is either.

Leave it to Kero-Chan!/Kero’s Corner: Kero, in the dub, calls Sakura’s slippers ‘bunny slippers’ before moving on to the next items in the segment. Originally the slippers were hamster slippers (you can tell because the ears are nowhere near the length of a bunny’s ear) plus he mentions the other slippers in the shot are cat slippers for Toya and monkey slippers for Fujitaka.

Next episode, Time’s debut! Sakura enjoys a new chance at taking a recorder test she seemingly did poorly at when the Time card starts rewinding the days. However, when the day keeps repeating over and over, she has to take it down.

…..Previous Episode

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Yu-Gi-Oh GX Episode 2: Flame Wingman Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: As everyone arrives to start their terms at Duel Academia, Judai and Shou learn about the various aspects of the school including meeting their new roommate, Hayato. However, Judai quickly gets challenged to a late-night duel with Jun Manjoume with their best cards on the line. Will Judai come out a hero or will he be dragged to duel hell?


Originally we hear the narrator telling us that Duel Academia is located in the Pacific ocean and students start their semesters in the fall. In the dub, the pilot of the helicopter is telling the new students about how nice the island is.

Daichi’s not such a jerk about answering Judai about the dorm placement in the original. He just says politely that the color of your uniform indicates what dorm you’re placed in. In the dub, he’s all indignant and responds to them questioning if he’s in Slifer Red with “Hmm, yellow sleeves, yellow buttons. I don’t think so.”

Daichi wonders why Judai’s in Slifer/Osiris Red anyway since he beat Chronos, but maybe his tactical exam scores didn’t outweigh his bad written exam scores. Judai also wonders about that same thing with a scowl and Daichi wishes him luck. Judai wishes the same. In the dub, Bastion’s dialogue about the uniform colors is “Don’t tell me you’re just now figuring that out.” Jaden then scowls and rebuts asking if he thinks he’s colorblind. Bastion goes back with the colorblind thing and Jaden laughs it off, which is odd. Why get mad with one insult but laugh at another?

Jaden: “This’ll make a sweet pad for out first week here!” GNARLY and GROOVY and dated slang joke!

Shou calls the ancient Seto a priest as he actually is. In the dub, he calls him a guardian.

Shou asks Judai if he can call him ‘Pharaoh’ but Judai says that seems odd. Then Shou asks if he can call him ‘aniki’/’big bro’ instead. Judai also doesn’t want to agree to that since he doesn’t believe in social standing among duelists, just rivals. (Shou does end up calling him that anyway) In the dub, Jaden tells Syrus that his theory about them being the reincarnations of the Pharaoh and Seto is lame, and Syrus sulks.

Originally, there was a picture of a koala bear imposed over Chumley’s/Hayato’s face when he’s first introduced. Judai and Shou freak out and call him a ‘death koala’ to which Hayato responds by yelling not to call him a koala and gives his actual name. In the dub, the picture of the koala bear is gone, and Jaden and Syrus merely yell at the sight of him instead of calling him a koala. Chumley doesn’t introduce himself until later.

Does 4Kids think kids don’t know what a koala is? Do they think it’s a Japan thing? This is perfectly translatable, I just don’t get it. But that’s nothing new.

Name Change: Hayato Maeda is changed to Chumley Huffington.

While the explanation of the color schemes at the school is kept mostly the same, there are some differences between the two versions. Hayato initially calls Osiris Red “The Red Zone” basically to state that anyone in Red is at the highest risk of failing in the school. This isn’t brought up in the dub in lieu of a pointless joke about Parents Day. Hayato doesn’t insinuate that some students in Obelisk Blue got in through connections like Chumley states. Hayato also doesn’t call the Osiris Red students “The Red Wonders” to make a joke about how it’s a ‘wonder’ they ever got in to begin with. Also, I really don’t think it’d fly with Kaiba if some kids were getting into Obelisk Blue based on connections alone.

I’m a little confused here. Those who start in Obelisk Blue are stated as being fresh out of middle school in the middle school exams with the highest grades. Those starting in Ra Yellow are the ones out of high school with the highest grades (Which I guess explains why Daichi’s in Yellow instead of Blue at the start if he’s so good.)

The positioning is a little weird, but I guess they’re saying it’s more impressive if younger students get higher grades than it is for older students? I suppose Osiris Red are those from either high school or middle school who got really low grades. But it seems unfair for high schoolers who get really high grades to be shafted to Ra Yellow. It’s really confusing.

Originally, Shou says he needs to quit being depressed and fight on to succeed in school. In the dub, Syrus lists off a bunch of hot things, because Jaden said red is awesome because it’s red hot, and ends by saying he’s a big bottle of salsa dip. As he sees Jaden running off he says “Oh wait, I’m not a dip!”

As Judai says he can smell a duel in the air, Shou wonders what he’s talking about. In the dub, Syrus says maybe he could smell the duel too if there weren’t so much pollen in the air.

…Wait…severe self-confidence issues, glasses, blue hair, complaining about health issues, overachieving big brother….Oh God, Syrus is Joe from Digimon!

Judai doesn’t mess up Jun’s name in the original, he just asks who he is. In the dub, Jaden calls Chazz ‘Chuzz.’

Jun’s friends mention that Jun’s a first year like them, but he got such high grades on the middle school exam that he got into Obelisk Blue.

In the flashback, they edit out Jaden talking to Crowler.

Judai tells Asuka, since she took the time to warn him about Jun and sent them away, that she must’ve fallen in love with him at first sight. In the dub, he gloats that he would’ve beaten Chazz in one turn. One turn, Jaden? Both versions are pretty egotistical, though the original’s just kinda lovable stupidity, but one turn? Come on.

Though they may be drinking from wine glasses, the drinks are supposedly juice in both versions since they’re all kids.

I do have to say, that school is insanely unfair. Yeah, they get bad grades, but compare Blue’s welcome dinner party to Red’s. I’d say they must’ve spent thousands of dollars on Blue’s dinner whereas Red gets bowls of rice and a few fish. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this kind of thing. Baka no Test has the exact same setup with a different advancement system. Are the crappy abodes supposed to encourage the kids to get into better dorms, or is it meant to break their spirits so they drop out? If it’s the latter, then why even allow them in anyway? At least YGOGX kinda has an excuse with Kaiba the elitist being the owner and everything…

In the original, the kids in Red believe their dorm master’s a cat. In the dub, they mistakenly say “headmaster.” Headmaster is the leader of the entire school. Dorm master is just the leader of a dorm.

Name Change: Daitokuji is changed to Lyman Banner or Professor Banner.

In his first appearance, Daitokuji adds ‘nya’ to the end of his sentences I guess because the students mistook him for a cat. This is omitted in the dub. He also mentions that he’s in charge of alchemy for the school (Wait what? Why would they need a class on alchemy in a Duel Academy? Is it like fusion or something? If so, why not just say fusion?) but this is replaced by asking the students something that gets interrupted by Jaden’s obnoxious eating sounds.

Shou calls Judai out for being rude with his loud eating while Daitokuji’s trying to speak. He says it’s “tasteless” to which Judai replies that it (the food) tastes pretty good to him. In the dub, Syrus says the Professor’s trying to ask them to say something about themselves to which Jaden replies “How about this? I’m starving!”…..I really have to ask why people think obnoxious main characters are charming. I mean, Judai’s not that bad, though he has his moments, but Jaden’s downright annoying almost all the time. Having the most annoying character in the group being the main character is incredibly common and I just wonder why.

As expected the instant I saw the teacup, the character on the teacup is painted away.



Jaden: “Wow I’m stuffed. Professor Banner sure can cook!” I seriously doubt your dorm master cooked the food for everyone. Slifer Red may bite, but I’m sure they still have meals provided for them.

In the original, Judai and Shou talk about how much food Judai ate. In the dub, they talk about how nice Banner is.

Well this is a gross and mean change. In the original, Hayato tells Shou he doesn’t want any tea, which is perceived as rude. Hayato backtracks and says it’s not because Shou’s a bad cook or anything, he’s just been so upset about their situation in Red that he hasn’t even been able to eat. In the dub, Chumley harshly snaps at Syrus and gives the excuse of him not wanting tea as “tea makes you wet the bed.”…..Ewwww. Pointless changes are bad enough, why change it to something gross?

Judai says this duel will let him see if the dueling elites of Duel Academia are really as good as they say. Jaden says this duel will decide which of them will be the next King of Games.

As the first turn of the duel ends, Jun thinks to himself that duels will always contain an element of luck as long as drawing cards is involved, but in the end it’s all about strategy. He then declares that their difference in school rank reflects a difference in intelligence which has already decided the duel. All of this is edited out.

The shot that they jump to after that scene has Judai responding that duels aren’t won by being stuck in your head and that his blazing heart will win the duel. In the dub, Jaden just acts like Chazz’s first move is somewhat lame and his move will be bigger.

4Kids adds a splitscreen of Chazz surprised at Jaden’s move when he uses Polymerization. You can tell it’s added in because instead of a clean split – the two screens are scrunched up. Jun does act with surprise at Judai’s move, but the scene is separate.



To add more to the brains vs. heart thing, (more Kaiba flashbacks) Jun says he knew he would summon the Flame Wingman from thoroughly analyzing his duel with Chronos. In the dub, he doesn’t mention this and just goes on with his move.

Today’s eyecatches are Judai and Jun.

Again, nitpicky, but Judai yells out “Flame Wingman!” as he gets taken. In the dub, Jaden just says “Ugh, my monster!” The former sounds like he’s somewhat losing a friend. The latter sounds like he spilled his drink.

A closeup of Jun talking was edited out. Basically, he says that Judai’s a typical Osiris Red for walking right into a trap. I do have to say…this is the exact same problem I had with Pegasus. Yes, you can predict someone’s moves all you want, but you can’t guarantee that you’ll get the cards that you need on the right turns…

Chazz: *in thought* “Go on Jaden. Play another monster. I haven’t forgotten about Flame Wingman’s super power.” SPECIAL ABILITY…or effect. Just because it’s a ‘hero’ card doesn’t mean you need to call their abilities ‘super powers’.

Hell Soldier’s Hell Attack is changed to something I can’t hear because of bad sound mixing….Wind Scorp Slash?

Judai and Jaden both say roughly the same thing about loving the fun of dueling, but Jaden acts like the best part of dueling is trash talking and action.

A shot of Shou and Asuka watching Judai draw is edited out.

Sparkman’s Spark Flash is changed to Static Shock Wave.

Asuka says that Shou’s ‘big brother’ has a lot of heart, but he’s very reckless to just ignore a monster’s effect like that. Shou then says he’s not his real brother, but somewhat of a spiritual brother….Shou, you’re a sweetie, but you’ve known Judai all of a day. I don’t get how you can be so attached to him already.

I guess they edited this out because Syrus doesn’t call Jaden “big bro” though, in all honesty, he could. “Bro” is a common slang phrase in English too, though in this instance it’s more of a Japanese respect thing instead of just a slang-ish nickname. I guess they didn’t want to be bothered by actually making some dialogue there, so they cut it out instead.

They add a shot of Chazz talking before Jaden makes his move.

You know what I said before about the dub being in love with the “scene shoving” transition? Well, they’re fans of a lot of transitions it seems. Transitions aren’t needed for changes between shots in the same scene…They’re meant to transition between scenes and, even then, they’re not really necessary.

Another scene with Shou and Asuka is edited out. Shou says as Judai turns the duel around “That’s my big bro for ya!” and Asuka says to herself that he’s really good.

Chythonian Soldier is mistakenly called “Infernal Warrior.” Maybe this was a name 4Kids was thinking up before they realized the card had an actual name and they forgot to change it.

Jun’s basically saying his win’s in the bag and he’ll get Judai’s best card thanks to the Ante Rule. The Ante Rule, by the way, is never named in the dub. They just agree to give each other their best cards upon their win.

Another brains and luck mention removed. Jun says duels are 99% intelligence 1% luck…..100% reason to remember the name!…Sorry. And Judai says he’ll be relying on that 1% for his next draw. Chazz gloats, and Jaden says a bunch of disjointed dialogue about having a bond with his monsters.

Asuka says the Ante Rule and using the duel arena this late at night are forbidden. Judai asks if there are really school regulations like that, and Asuka scolds him for not reading his school PDA for the rules and regulations. Jun then blushes and thinks in surprise that Asuka’s been watching him that whole time. Did you seriously not see her? It’s not like she was hiding, she was in plain view the whole time.

Alexis says roughly the same thing, but she doesn’t mention the Ante Rule being against school policy, and she blames Chazz for not telling Jaden about the after-hours rule, which makes him blush. Why does he have a responsibility to tell Jaden the rules of the school? I’m not defending Chazz or anything, but Jaden could’ve read the rules like a responsible student.

Judai refuses to leave where he’s standing out of stubbornness for wanting the duel to resume. Jaden just says that his duel being interrupted stinks.


Barring the explanations of some school stuff, this episode was fairly blah. Also, apparently duels don’t last nearly as long as they did in the original series, at least at this point, and there are many ‘random’ episodes. Those who got angry at the original series for being too involved in plot and having duels that ran too long may like this, but we’ll see how I fare in the future. I think I remember liking this format better. No duels thusfar have lasted more than half an episode. Both the duel with Chronos and Jun started halfway into the episode.

That will most certainly change, but hopefully it won’t be too dragged out.

Next up is our first duel with Asuka where Shou gets a ‘love letter’ from Asuka and goes off in the middle of the night to the Obelisk Blue Girl’s Dorm to meet her. Judai ends up dueling Asuka to save him from punishment.

….Previous Episode

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Yu-Gi-Oh Episode 11: Friendship Power! Barbarian #1 & #2 Sub/Dub Comparison


Plot: Mai has lost her passion for dueling after losing to Jonouchi, so she concocts a plan to have Ryuzaki beat Jonouchi for her. The catch? Yugi isn’t allowed to give him any advice. Being entirely on his own in the tournament for the first time, can Jonouchi beat Ryuzaki or will his dinosaurs make him extinct? …..Dammit, 4Kids, stop infiltrating my mind!


They edit out Anzu’s inner monologue in the dub, which makes it awkward when you suddenly see her before Mai introduces the condition of the duel.

The punch sound is edited out of the dub, and Tristan says he was shoved when it’s obvious he was punched in the face….Don’t worry. We’ll have even funnier punch/shove moments than this.

In the original, Mai tells Ryuzaki that he’ll get his reward after he wins. Jonouchi doesn’t know what she means by that, so he cheekily asks what the reward is, very subtly implying that he thinks it’s something romantic or naughty. In the dub, this is omitted, obviously. They also edit the part where Jonouchi implies he wouldn’t mind being Mai’s slave. Jonouchi’s kinda a perv….

One of the aspects of this season that bugged me was the status of the Flame Swordsman, which changes a couple of times over the course of the first season.

First off, Flame Swordsman is a fusion monster, not a regular monster. However, apparently a regular version of the card was made later on. Jonouchi flip flops back and forth between using a regular version and fusion version yet he regularly summons both instead of performing a fusion.

Secondly, it has no effect; it’s a plain monster, even in this version as shown by the color of the card.

Third, since when is fire strong against dinosaurs and why? Eventually, the card stays as a regular monster card, but, for this episode, 4Kids changes it to its purple fusion appearance when it’s regular yellow in the original. Since I believe the fusion version is the ‘right’ version, at least at this point in time, I’ll give 4Kids some props.

In the original, Jonouchi doesn’t announce that the card he’s placing in the trap field is a Time Wizard. Mai and Ryuzaki guess that it is, but what idiot would declare what FACE DOWN card he just played? Even if it can’t be sprung as a trap, that’s just stupid.

Overall, I liked this episode. It’s nice to see Jonouchi dueling on his own two feet, and Ryuzaki’s a pretty interesting opponent.

Next episode, Jonouchi’s duel with Ryuzaki concludes. Can he face down the fearsome Red-Eyes Black Dragon?

…..Previous Episode

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Pokemon Episode 55 Analysis – Pokemon Paparazzi

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 7

Character Debuts: Snap/Todd/Todd Snap – Since he sticks around for a few episodes and is the ‘star’ of the video game Pokemon Snap, I’ll say this is a debut more than a CotD.

Snap, and that’s what I’m calling him, I’ll explain in a minute, was never all that great of a character to me. He was a little annoying in his arrogance and giving jabs to Ash for no reason. The fact that he’s voiced by Jimmy Zoppi, Gary’s VA, does not help.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like his philosophy in taking pictures of Pokemon without disturbing them…..even though that’s pretty much what all wildlife photographers do because it’s mostly impossible to pose animals unless they’re pets. And, admittedly, he loses his attitude later on. In subsequent episodes, he’s actually fairly boring.

Also, being fair, according to the comparison, Toru, the Japanese version of Snap, is much less of a jerk. He still has an ego, but he doesn’t take potshots at Ash.

He’s also really unique in that he’s a rare CotD who has no Pokemon of his own.

Snap’s character design would later be used for a spin-off Pokemon game called Pokemon Snap, where you take pictures of Pokemon while basically riding in a rail car. Contrary to what you might think, though, this episode was not made as a tie-in. According to Dogasu, Snap’s character design was most likely simply lifted and adapted for the game since the original version of Pokemon Snap had nothing to do with Pokemon at all – it was just a regular photography game. Plus, the airing of this episode and the release of Pokemon Snap don’t match up well enough to really be promotion.

Nabbing up Snap’s character design probably saved them some money on creating an entirely new character for the game, too.

As for Snap’s name, that’s a point that drove me bonkers for years. I caught this episode way, way back in the day when I would get up at like 5:30 AM to watch it and the episodes were airing fresh out the oven. I forget what channel, but I’m 95% sure it wasn’t Kids WB! In that episode, he was called Snap.

I catch the episode some time later down the road, probably on Kids WB! this time, and he’s called Todd. I was incredibly confused by this. Every other instance when I caught the episode, he was called Todd. It drove me veritably insane because every time I’d ask one of my friends about it, they’d have no clue what I was talking about. He’s named Todd, silly.

It wouldn’t be until several more years down the road when I would look up info on this episode and finally figured out what the snap went on here.

The big conspiracy at the time, and kinda still now, is that Kellogg’s threatened legal action against 4Kids for the name since Snap is one of the trademark character names. They changed it to Todd in their TV airings as a result, but there’s no evidence to suggest this at all. Plus, it’s a flimsy argument to start with, though maybe not without merit fully. I remember Detective Conan had to change their English dub name to Case Closed supposedly because of either Conan from DC or Conan the Barbarian.

Still, it’s not like this is a trio of characters named Snap, Crackle and Pop.

But just to make an unrelated tin foil hat moment, there is a character originally named Pop in another 4Kids show, Magical Doremi, and her name got changed too.

This makes even less sense because the DVD and VHS releases go back to Snap, and every English version that played on TV outside of the US also calls him Snap. In fact, the copy I’m using for this analysis calls him Snap.

Not that any of this really matters, because shortly thereafter they just decided to officially name him Todd Snap. *shrug*

Thus ends my completely unnecessary overly long anecdote. Thank you.

For the record, Snap is an awesome name.

Reappear?: Yes. Snap stays on board the team…for some reason, until the end of episode 57. They are really strange about the characters that they bring back, but why Snap just tags along with these guys for three episodes is beyond me.

Pokemon: None

Plot: As Ash, Misty, Pikachu and Togepi enjoy some riceballs courtesy of Brock, Ash notices a glint in the bushes. He assumes it’s a sniper prepping to shoot them all, so he knocks everyone to the ground. When he shoots the bushes with Squirtle’s Water Gun, he reveals a kid with a camera, who seems more concerned about his camera than himself.

He introduces himself as Snap, the world famous Pokemon photographer with aspirations of being a Pokemon Photo Master. However, Ash and the others have never heard of him. When he brings them to his house, he shows them his photo of the ancient Pokemon Aerodactyl that won him a spot in the magazine, Pokemon Times.

Ash is shocked when he realizes that it’s a picture of the Aerodactyl who grabbed him a while back. He’s even in the picture, even though it’s simply a silhouette so you can’t see him well. When Snap zooms in on the picture, he sees that it is indeed Ash.

He apologizes for scaring the group and offers them some pancakes while he preps to get a shot of Pikachu. However, Pikachu is camera shy and becomes very nervous when he notices Snap trying to get a picture, even if he tells him just to pretend he’s not there. He’s spooked by the camera shutter and shocks Snap.

He tries again, but becomes frustrated because he desperately wants natural pictures of Pokemon, the way they were meant to be seen. His gallery of photographs amazes the trio, showing them how beautiful Pokemon are when they’re undisturbed and happy. Posing just seems fake and makes them scared and uncomfortable.

Since Pikachu’s too scared, the group offers the rest of their Pokemon to have their picture taken, but Snap politely declines saying he wants to only take Pikachu’s picture. He won’t disclose his reasons, however.

Ash begrudgingly tells him to do whatever he wants, but Pikachu won’t be so accommodating. Snap declares that he’ll certainly capture Pikachu perfectly.

Later, as he preps for an attempt to take a picture of Pikachu, he remembers an old couple who desperately asked him to ‘capture’ Pikachu for them. It was the old woman’s final wish to have Pikachu, specifically Ash’s, ‘captured’ before she died. Snap, believing they raised a Pikachu similar to that one and want a really good photo (as compared to their terrible ones) to remember it by, agrees.

In present time, Team Rocket decides to help Snap by digging a pitfall trap for the group. As predicted, they fall into it and Snap tries to help them out, confusing Team Rocket. Meowth checks the magazine and finds that he didn’t finish reading – Snap’s great at capturing Pokemon on film, not simply capturing them.

As Team Rocket realize their mistake, Ash and Pikachu agree to get their picture taken, but Snap realizes that the bottom of the pit is caving in. Suddenly, it breaks, sending Ash and Pikachu into a man-made river. Snap jumps down to give chase. He warns them of an impending waterfall and saves them in the nick of time by sacrificing his camera to use as a rope for Ash to grab onto.

Team Rocket arrives and nabs Pikachu up in a rubber bag. They start tossing bombs at the pair until Ash distracts them by pretending to take their picture, which causes them to ignore the lit bomb in their hands until it blows up in their faces.

With the distraction, Ash is able to climb all the way up to dry land again. He unleashes Bulbasaur and Razor Leafs the lot, freeing Pikachu. Bulbasaur Vine Whips the trio away, into the river and off a different waterfall.

Misty and Brock reunite with Ash and Snap, and they’re surprised to see that they’ve become friends. Snap takes a group photo of all of them to commemorate their newfound friendship before they continue on their journey.


– Ash: “These Riceballs are pretty good!”

They said the R word! :0

– Ash sees a glint in the bushes and his immediate thoughts are ‘It’s a sniper! Brock and the others are going to get shot to death! Must knock them all away and attack the threat!’ I know I joke about the guns in Pokemon….but does Ash have PTSD? I mean, with all the encounters with Team Rocket and their bombs and guns and other antagonists with their guns and bombs, it’d be fully understandable. I kinda feel bad for him.

While we’re on the topic, though, what the hell, 4Kids? Why would you keep in a semi-graphic, for you anyway, daydream sequence where Brock and the others are shot by a sniper?!

– Why did Ash punch Pikachu away? You can just grab the little dude, no need to be a jerk.

I like that Pikachu chews him out for it, though.

– Still using the Pokemon logo in the title, eh? Wait…

Wiki: “In the dub, this is the last episode to use the Pokémon logo as the title uses the franchise’s name.”

Aw. I mean, this went on a lot longer than I thought it did, but it feels like the end of an era now. RIP Pokemon logo in title.

– By the way, referring to Snap as a paparazzi only makes me dislike him more.

– I find it fitting that Ash uses Squirtle’s Water Gun to reveal a supposed sniper in the bushes, but now that I’m thinking about it, holy crap, Ash, that is a horrible idea. You think an actual sniper is in the bushes so you squirt some water on him? Are you daft? Now I’m just imagining some kid taking on a guy with a gun with a super soaker.

– Snap: “I wasn’t spying on you! My name’s Snap, and I love taking pictures!” You were hiding in the bushes taking pictures of them….That is the textbook definition of spying.

That’s like saying, “No, your honor, I wasn’t stalking. I just followed her home, sneaked into her house and watched her sleep for eight months!”

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 1

Snap: “You didn’t need to sic your Squirtle on me and flip out like that!” The instant Ash looked your way and knocked everyone to the ground, you should’ve made yourself known because he obviously saw you as a threat. That coupled with the spying equals this fault is yours.

Snap: “You should consider it an honor that I want to take a picture of your Pikachu.” His nose is literally in the air as he says this.

– Even as a kid, I thought the ‘master→masker’ joke was doofy. I get that it’s an untranslatable joke, but Ash, of all people, should never have trouble hearing the word ‘Master.’

– Snap: “You may not know my name, but certainly you’ve heard of the photographer who took the only picture in the world of the legendary Pokemon, Aerodactyl. (…) Argh! How is it possible that they’ve never heard of me?!” I’m probably arguing semantics, but Aerodactyl is obviously not Legendary. Maybe in an unofficial sense.

Also, the average person, especially kids, don’t typically know big names in photography.

– Zooming in on a picture doesn’t return the color and details to a photo of a figure in shadow. Also, if he did have a picture capable of showing color and detail, why did he not send that in to Pokemon Times? Any reputable news/photography source would probably throw that shadowy picture out, in all honesty. That could easily be a hoax.

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 2

And wouldn’t he be in the slightest bit curious as to who that clearly human shaped figure is being held by Aerodactyl? He doesn’t even seem to have analyzed it enough to tell that there’s a human in that figure. You’re kind of a crap photographer, when you think about it, Snap.

– I do appreciate them linking back to an older episode, though. Kudos.

– Awwww, the Eevee kiss picture. Awwww the Kangaskhan with her baby picture.

– Although, for some of those pics, they’re clearly looking at the camera so they had to be somewhat posed?

– Snap: “That’s why I never want to shoot a Pokemon when they’re posed and look sad and scared.” Maybe this is just cynical me peeking out, but if you never take a picture of a sad or scared Pokemon, you’re not really getting the true scope of their natural state of being, are you? You have a very good point in not wanting your subjects to look posed, especially wildlife, but if you only capture the happy-go-lucky, you only get part of the, incoming pun, picture.

And, no, I’m definitely not saying he should intentionally scare Pokemon or make them sad, but avoiding it kinda limits his scope as a photographer.

– Ash: “Well, Pikachu might not like being photographed, but Pikachu’s not my only Pokemon, ya know? I’ve got others in these Pokeballs. How about a shot of Pidgeotto?”

He not only remembered he had Pidgeotto, but it was the first Pokemon he suggested? I think I might cry.

– Misty: “I have Pokemon you can shoot, too!”

How is it possible this line never became a meme?

– Yes, Snap, Pikachu’s super uncomfortable and scared of your camera, so give a fired up declaration that you’ll do whatever it takes to get Pikachu’s picture right to his face. Good job, Mr. Natural.

– I will most certainly save my complaining about Team Rocket’s plan this episode for later. Since the main problem with it is the reason they came up with the plan in the first place, which won’t be revealed until the end of the episode, complaining about anything else they’re doing would be moot.

– I love how Team Rocket waits until they’re done eating to make a big to-do about ditching their costumes. There’s no one around to fool, guys. Unless you’re trying to fool the restaurant (or hotel?…Hotel restaurant?…..Either way, how can they afford that?) employees, in which case why do it while you’re still in the restaurant?

Jessie and James: *After they reveal themselves* “Surprise, surprise!”

Meowth: “Yeah, right!” Haha. At least they own up to it – Points for that.

– Why the hell would Snap burst out at Pikachu, knocking over cans to make a big noise in addition to him yelling, if he wants a natural picture of Pikachu?

– I absolutely adore Ash photobombing on Snap, though. He’s not only protecting Pikachu, he’s just having a blast teasing Snap.

– Ash: “Missed again, Snapper!” Is he making a nickname off of Snap or is he making a photo-based nickname….either way, I don’t like it.

– James: “~Paddy cake, paddy cake, it’s our trap. *hums*” I find that line really adorable, and I can’t help but think Eric Stuart probably ad-libbed that considering James’ mouth isn’t moving there.

– James didn’t play the woman in this episode, but he actually looks better shawl when he messes up the costumes than Jessie did. I just feel like they almost always work better when Jessie plays the guy and James is the girl. They have such good crossdressing game.

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 3

– Why did they stop James from saying they dug a trap to Snap if they believe they contracted him out to capture Pikachu?

– It’s cute that Pikachu’s hiding in Ash’s backpack, though simultaneously a little sad because he’s so scared.

– I should take the time point out that Pikachu HAS had its picture taken before, the most prominent example I can think of being in The Battling Eevee Brothers when they had their picture taken as a group at the end. It’s probably that Snap’s so intent on Pikachu and him alone, but I wanted to note that.

– Where is Togepi? I thought it was in Misty’s bag, hidden away like it is sometimes, but if it is, it got smushed when they fell into that pitfall trap.

– I know I said I wouldn’t really comment on Team Rocket’s plan yet, but why are they so mystified by what an ‘expert’ would do to capture Pikachu when they already have them trapped in a hole? Most of the work has been done.

– Snap: “Ahhh, that’s the Pikachu I want to capture!” Right after it’s fallen into a pitfall trap? Thus would be at least a little scared or upset?

– Now I can complain about Team Rocket’s plan! They tracked down Snap because Meowth read in the Pokemon Times that Snap was the best at capturing Pokemon….

Meowth: “The magazine says he’s…uh…Ah! ‘The best at capturing Pokemon…on FILM!’” This is too dumb for words. Meowth actively reads this magazine, apparently, but couldn’t be bothered to finish this sentence!?

How did he go the entire article, barring that one sentence, without him being a photographer ever coming up? Did the article start with, “This is Todd Snap, he’s great at capturing Pokemon….” and he just didn’t go on?

The article had to be mostly about Aerodactyl with a tagline being about the photographer who got the image because, being real, 1) The Aerodactyl thing is way more interesting than ‘ten-year-old knows how to operate camera and had good timing’ and 2) It’s a crappy picture anyway – why would it be singing his praises that much?

How did they even have a full conversation with Snap without his photos or camera or his dream to be the best Pokemon Photo Master coming up?

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 4

I get that Team Rocket has their moments of dumb, but the fact that they constructed this whole ruse for Snap and even bothered to dot their I’s by helping him out with a pitfall trap yet didn’t finish reading the sentence that informed them about Snap is too dumb even for them.

– Meowth: “Ah, now I get it! The article said he was good at capturing them on film! I thought he actually captures them! An amusing mistake!” No, it’s not, and even if it was, it’s now not amusing because you explained the joke.

– And, in the end, he takes the picture with them clearly posed. It’s a happy picture, but he’s still posed.

– Also, if Ash and Pikachu finally agreed to the photo…..why not get them out of the pit first?

– Uh…So Snap climbed down into the pit and into the hole in the pit before Misty and Brock, who were already in the pit, went down the hole?

– I praised Ash for remembering he has Pokemon besides Pikachu earlier, and then he forgets he has Bulbasaur, who can Vine Whip him out of the water and Squirtle, who can probably swim him to the edge.

– The message or lesson for Snap in this episode is muddy. First he goes on saying how much he wants to convey Pokemon naturally, not disturbing them or making them sad. I know why he wants the picture of Pikachu, but then he becomes deadset on getting Pikachu’s picture no matter what, even though Pikachu’s scared.

Then Ash says Snap doesn’t understand Pokemon’s feelings, which I get given the way he’s behaving and how he’s not telling Ash why he wants Pikachu’s picture, but how is that really a problem for him when he’s doing this out of sympathy for a person?

The way he’s going about it is problematic (Can’t he just tell them that some people want the photo but not give away the client’s identity? Or maybe even lie and say there’s a Pikachu photo contest or something?) but he’s doing it for an empathetic reason.

He cares more about his camera than his own safety, which kinda indicates that he cares more about pictures than his own life, but nothing else indicates this. Then his big moment of character growth is sacrificing his camera to save Ash?

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 5

Not only is that dumb, but….he’s a world famous photographer. He supposedly has enough money to own his own house and fancy camera equipment. I find it hard to believe that this professional photographer (even if he’s ten years old) doesn’t have a backup camera. Or the money to buy one, anyway.

All professional photographers have backups. Even hobbyists usually have a backup camera. Maybe not a fancy one, but a backup one anyway just in case. Him sacrificing his camera as a professional world famous photographer, no matter how you look at it, is lame.

If they had said this was some precious camera that his photographer parent gave to him before they passed away or something, it’d be different. Heck, it’d even give him more of a reason to help Team Rocket since they were playing the death card, but it’s not and they didn’t. It’s just a camera.

I have to laugh a little, though, because how much would Snap be hated if he just let Ash die because he didn’t want to get his camera wet?

– He must have a crazy high-quality tripod if the connector between the camera and tripod is strong enough to both take the weight of Ash and Pikachu and take the brunt of the rushing water.

– Oh great, Team Rocket makes their grand entrance. Well, considering their initial plan was built on stupid and their follow-up was a pitfall trap, what are they going to do now? Use a net? Uhp, yup. Just grab Pikachu with a net. Okay, now what are they gonna do? Stand there and taunt—

*James throws a bomb at Ash and Snap* Holy crap! He’s trying to blow up Ash! This isn’t the first time they’ve done it, but wow! They already have Pikachu, too! This is just vindictive murder of two children! Wow, Team Rocket. Just…Wow.

Also, I hate to go this dark, but if this was their backup plan, why not go to the pit earlier, grab Pikachu and then lob the bombs into the pit? They definitely wouldn’t survive that if they’re on a murder binge today. They didn’t really need Snap at all.

– Snap: “Why did you trick me!?”

Jessie: “You tricked us first, Shutterbug.” Uh, no. You tricked yourselves because you’re all imbeciles who can’t finish reading a sentence.

Considering how vain Team Rocket is and how stupid they’ve been today, yeah, I’ll believe they’d stop their evil plan, which is actually succeeding for a change, because Ash is going to take a picture of them (with the clearly not working soaking wet camera.)

Pokemon Ep 55 Screen 6

Though, now Ash just tried to murder Team Rocket by blowing them up. This isn’t Looney Tunes, guys.

Misty….Brock…Did you climb out of the pit and wander around until you found the opening to the river? One of you should’ve jumped down into the hole at least. Misty, sure would’ve been helpful to have some strong Water Pokemon to help Ash not drown and/or fall to his death over a waterfall…

– Misty: “I don’t get it, why are you guys acting like friends?” Did they not make up? It was really implied that they made up, otherwise Ash wouldn’t have done the picture.

Ash: “We are friends, Misty, because we have something in common. We both like Pokémon.” You knew he liked Pokemon way back at the house, and this ordeal had nothing to do with liking Pokemon.

– Wait…He’s taking a picture at the end….which means either that camera’s waterproof or he DID have a backup camera, which just makes his big ‘sacrifice’ all the more pointless.

– Oh well, at least Togepi’s back from Togepurgatory.


This episode is a lot of….okay. I don’t really hate Snap, I just dislike his bouts of egotism and ribbing Ash. His character ‘arc’ doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s presented one way (he cares more about pictures than Pokemon’s feelings) and ends up another (he cares more about human life than his camera?)

The concept of Pokemon photography is neat enough and something we haven’t yet explored. In addition, I enjoyed the callback to an older episode and actually connecting it here, even if it didn’t have much to do with anything.

Team Rocket’s plan, though, is built on dumb circumstances, even for them, and they really lucked out on Ash falling into that river for a shot at getting Pikachu in the end. I’m a little depressed that this mucked up non-plan actually almost worked.

I’m really…okay with Snap sticking around, even though, like I said, he doesn’t do anything. He just kinda hangs around and randomly leaves. I don’t understand the logic with not only making Snap a recurring character, but making him linearly recurring and a fellow companion. He stands out more than many CotDs but not enough for this.

Next episode, it’s the Pokemon Exam!

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Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Episode 14 – The Peaceful Lakeshore

Hell Girl Two Mirrors Ep 14 Screen4

Plot: Takuma, known as “The Devil’s Child,” and his family are being viciously harassed every day. Their yard is constantly littered in piles of garbage and threatening messages. They initially believe that it’s due to the neighborhood behind extremely strict and them missing one day of garbage collection, but they soon realize that it’s a vendetta that runs much deeper. Sadly, the only way to get this message across is through tragedy.

Breakdown: Hell Girl’s not exactly known for being an uplifting anime, but holy hell on Mercury, this episode is one of the most depressing ones I’ve ever seen.

Not only is the story terribly depressing, but the target this time around has to be almost laughably sociopathic and evil to achieve all of this.

This is one episode I actually remember from back when I first watched this season as it introduces us to a character who returns later in the season and basically becomes the season’s main character, Takuma. However, I didn’t remember just how screwed up his backstory is.

For the most part, Takuma lives a rather normal life. He’s the son of a famous movie producer and just got back from living ten years overseas in New York. However, shortly after he moves back to Japan, his family starts getting horribly accosted by someone who is dumping large piles of garbage on their yard with threatening notes.

Takuma’s family considers moving away since this situation is bad for his mother’s heart condition and they’re concerned over Takuma’s happiness and safety.

Soon after they tell their friend and neighbor, Kakinuma, who used to work for Takuma’s father, about their upcoming move, someone spreads around papers accusing Takuma of being “The Devil’s Child,” claiming he’s killing birds and cats around the neighborhood and causing mayhem.

Hell Girl Two Mirrors Ep 14 Screen1

Not but a day later, someone shoots an arrow into their living room, hitting Takuma’s mother in the neck, killing her. Takuma tries to pursue the assailant, but only finds a bunch of arrows and a crossbow. Someone from the neighborhood sees him with the crossbow and perpetuates the rumor that he’s “The Devil’s Child” by claiming Takuma shot and killed his mother.

The police investigated Takuma, but didn’t have any evidence to charge him.

At his mother’s funeral, he overhears Kakinuma’s ex accuse him of the murder, citing him murdering her baby as reason enough to suspect him. Takuma tries to tell his father, but he seemingly doesn’t believe him, telling him to leave it to the police and not have such feelings of hatred in his heart.

Takuma attempts to contact Hell Girl, but he changes his mind and gives the doll back, agreeing that he should just leave it to the police like his father said.

That same night, his father confronted Kakinuma with the accusations, but Kakinuma laughed it off like nonsense. Takuma’s father soon agreed, until, that is, he finds a surfboard prop in Kakinuma’s house. It was littered with holes, like someone had been using it for target practice with a crossbow.

Now, let me back up. Throughout this entire episode, there is no doubt whatsoever that Kakinuma is the culprit before we even see him printing the papers about Takuma (and the photos of the dead cats…) He looks like a psychopath, he spends his time sitting in the dark watching his old movies and he sucks at playing pretend friend.

But Ho. Ly. Shit. He’s a contender for the Most Overly Evil Dumbass award, only finding competition from the bitch from Bound Girl and the guy from The Tarnished Mound.

Hell Girl Two Mirrors Ep 14 Screen2

Kakinuma used to be a writer for Takuma’s Father, Mr. Kurebayashi, referred to as Kure. Ever since Kure made it big, Kakinuma has had trouble getting work. According to Kakinuma, writers like him are seen as parrots of their producers and have no real talent of their own, so no one will hire him. Kure claims he probably hasn’t actively pursued work and just expected jobs to fall in his lap due to the fact that he had worked under a famous producer before. I’m more inclined to believe Kure because Kakinuma’s reasoning makes no sense.

It makes even less sense as he continues. He claims he hated Kure for his success, so he got the bright idea to completely destroy Kure’s life, paint Takuma as a devil kid and write a screenplay about the events that would land him millions.

Thus, he started endlessly dumping trash and threatening notes on their yard, killed birds and cats with arrows and claimed Takuma was a demon child who did it, and the cous de gras, he shot an arrow at Kure’s wife. He supposedly only wanted to wound her, but it hit her square in the jugular vein, causing her to bleed out within seconds.

Logical. Progression. Of. Events.

Since Kure found him out, he decided to attack him with a broken bottle, horrifically wounding him.

Takuma realizes his father is being assaulted by Kakinuma in his house and rushes in. As his father lay bleeding on the floor, Kakinuma attempts to kill Takuma next.

Backing up again, back to the ex-girlfriend of Kakinuma, she had been wallowing in a deep depression for quite some time. She had gotten pregnant, and Kakinuma threw her down a flight of stairs to kill the unborn baby. He succeeded. The big plot twist of the episode is that she’s actually the client today.

As luck would have it, his ex pulls the string right before he attacks Takuma, but as terrible luck would have it, the police rush in at that very moment and Takuma is again accused of the crime and called “The Devil’s Child.”

Hell Girl Two Mirrors Ep 14 Screen3

Takuma’s story is meant to somewhat mirror Ai’s, and I totally get that. Poor Takuma didn’t do a damn thing to deserve any of this. He wasn’t even involved in any of it. He was the child of a man who had the ire of a sociopathic dumbass and his entire life was ruined because of it. It’s so dumb because, in the end, Kure just seems like a victim. No one will ever know Kakinuma’s real part in it, besides his ex, and Takuma is vilified, possibly being sent to prison for god knows how long.

Even if he isn’t sent to prison, good luck ever having a life with any semblance of happiness ever again. His mother is dead, murdered in front of him, his father is horrifically injured, and the moniker of ‘The Devil’s Child’ will surely follow him into adulthood.

A curious aspect of this episode was Kikuri’s role in it. Kikuri has interfered in jobs before, but she takes a particular interest in Takuma. Why? I don’t know. She goes to his house, draws crayon pictures of dead bodies, talks about him visiting Hell Link (he was visiting the site often to get vengeance on the person responsible for tormenting his family, but all he did was stare at the screen. He never inputted a name and even begged Hell Girl not to come.) and even gives him one of the ‘Devil’s Child’ papers when his family was trying to keep them from him. Nice. Still hate you, Kikuri.

It’s just such an unpleasant episode that I wasn’t even sated by Kakinuma finally going to hell both because they skip the hell torture today (though we do see him riddled with arrows in the boat) and the fact that he seems happy that he’s going to hell.

The fact that his motivations were so ungodly dumb was also a negative. Dumb motivations aren’t uncommon in Hell Girl, but Kakinuma was a gold star recipient here. Being jealous of the fame of someone you used to work with while you wallow in has-been land is rough, but not rough enough to torment a family, destroy a child’s life, murder a person, seriously injure another and laugh about it.

I don’t remember how Takuma’s story ends, but let’s hope it’s at least happier than what he was left with here.

Next Episode….

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SSBS – Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 4: Requirements for Lovers


Plot: Yusuke has been given a spirit beast egg as part of his trial to come back to life. If he’s good, the egg will hatch into a guide who will reunite Yusuke back to the world of the living. If he’s bad, the egg will hatch into a horrific monster that will consume his soul.

A spirit world investigator named Sayaka arrives to keep an eye on his case. She is particularly focused on Keiko since a big part of bringing people back to life is ensuring the person in question has people who actually want him back.

Keiko cares for Yusuke’s body, waiting for him to return, but when his body is suddenly put in, ironically, mortal danger, she has to find some way to save him or else he can never come back.

Breakdown: This is another really great episode, particularly for building Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship even more. I feel like it’s a bit on the cruel side to say that there’s no point in bringing Yusuke back if he doesn’t have people who want him back. What about people who are really great but have no friends or family because of circumstances beyond their control?

The fact that Yusuke sacrifices his chance to come back to life, seemingly anyway, to save Keiko’s life is really touching. His outburst after his mom apologizes to his body is quite heartbreaking. Plus, despite the fact that Keiko’s very much a passive character throughout about 99% of the show, this is one moment where she gets to shine. Running into a burning building to get Yusuke’s body shows insane levels of courage.

There were, however, a couple of things I disliked about this episode, and one of them is pretty much hatred.

Let’s cover the least infuriating first – the random arson on Yusuke’s house. We needed to put Yusuke’s body in massive peril so Keiko would have to save him. To achieve this, they put in a random arsonist/pyromaniac who, of course, has Yusuke’s house set as his next target. This guy comes out of nowhere, has no face, is never caught and is never brought up again.

Also, the Neighborhood Watch Committee’s message on this is strange. They warn people of staying safe in the heat, and then they tag on that there’s a suspected arsonist who has already set fires to two homes. It’s literally ‘Hey guys, it’s mighty hot, so remember to stay hydrated, keep your pets inside (OR well watered, dub?) and oh yeah, there’s an arsonist around that you can do nothing about who is putting your lives in mortal danger.’

There’s even weirder dialogue later where they say there’s been 12 fires just that day, despite the arsonist only being linked to two, so the fire department conveniently can’t get to Yusuke’s house in time.

The randomness and convenience of this guy isn’t even what fully gets me. It’s the deep suspicion that I truly believe this was a hasty rewrite. I haven’t read the manga yet, and I doubt this is in there, but I always felt like this was originally meant to be Atsuko’s fault.

Which leads me to the hatred part of this episode – Atsuko.

I know I briefly talked about how the funeral in episode one showed us that Atsuko really did love her son, no matter how shitty of a mother she was when he was alive, and this is compounded briefly in episode two when she’s so happy to see that Yusuke’s still alive, even though she was going to slap his corpse for DYING, but now….


In this episode, Atsuko is just not home. How long she hasn’t been home, I don’t know. She didn’t call Keiko to take care of Yusuke for her – she just left a cartoony note that, for all she knows, Keiko wouldn’t have found for days. It seems like Keiko hasn’t visited Yusuke in a while due to the fact that she’s shocked as to the state of the house.

How is he even being giving nutrition? There’s no IV, and he’s in a coma so he can’t eat or drink.

Not only is Atsuko not home, but she’s also clearly drinking and partying. The house is a pigsty, covered in loads of garbage, and even Yusuke is covered in trash and dust. Also, the house wouldn’t have caught fire nearly as easily if there wasn’t loads of trash everywhere.

What mother who just got blessed with her dead son coming back from the grave would treat their son like this? It’s repulsive.

Granted, yes, she felt bad about it, but she moreso felt bad about not being there when the fire happened, not that she was doing a shit job of taking care of her son in the first place.

My theory connecting back to the first negative note was that I believed this fire was originally intended to be caused by Atsuko’s negligence. I feel like Atsuko was meant to leave a lit cigarette around the massive piles of trash and it was meant to cause the fire instead of Rando McPyro.

Then it was changed at the last minute because they realized this would make Atsuko seem a little too irresponsible? To the point of being unlikable?

Again, this is all just a theory I came up with, but it makes perfect sense to me.

Next Episode, it’s Yusuke’s one chance to come back to life, and he needs a kiss to do it. If he misses his window, he’ll have to wait 50 years for a new one. Can Keiko give him to kiss of life in time?

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