Episode One-Derland – Majestic Prince

Plot: Team Rabbits is known as the ‘Fail Five’ in the Military Junior Pre-Academy or MJP where they pilot mechs and train to defend their space colonies from threats. One such colony needs some pilots to buy them time while they evacuate from a massive attack by enemy aliens. Despite their lack of teamwork and sporting the lowest scores in class, Team Rabbits is chosen as that someone.

Even though they have no experience in real mechs, they’re able to pull themselves together and succeed in their mission. When they discover there are civilians left behind with no ships to take them back to safety, their appointed leader, Izuru, takes it upon himself to take a step towards being a hero and goes forth to force the enemy to retreat so he can rescue the colonists.

Breakdown: I love mech anime. Something about giant robots and lasers and space wars is just always really cool to me.

That being said, it’s a bit hard to break out in the genre because a lot of things either seem like they want to be an Evangelion clone or a Gundam clone.

This definitely isn’t gunning for an Eva clone, but it might still be a less-serious Gundam clone. We’ll have to see.

I definitely appreciate the more teamwork-oriented focus this series has. It always seems like it’s one singular protagonist who does all the important stuff or they pretend like it’s a team when it’s really, again, just one person doing everything.

Izuru might be that considering he’s the leader and his one goal in life is, literally, to be a hero, but I’ll reserve judgment.

Each person on the team has their own concrete personalities, though some need a bit more fleshing out like Ataru and Kei. That’s completely understandable this early in the series, though.

Izuru is a very likable protagonist. I like MCs that are really brave and yearn to be heroes, but still obviously have a lot of reservations about what they’re doing. He’s also an artist, so that earns a +1 from me.

Asagi is the hot-head of the group. Kei is the serious one who holds basically a supervisory role in combat. Ataru is the sniper who has much more reservations than anyone, but is also a geek about weaponry and tech.

Then there’s…..*sigh*…Tamaki. I quickly learned to hate Tamaki. No idea why she’s even in this academy. She’s insanely boy-crazy and hardly ever doesn’t think about guys or finding her true love. She’s also clumsy and has such moe characteristics that she even has that breathy whiny baby voice I just wanna stab.

I just don’t know why she’s here. Why is a girl who acts like an infant in a damn military academy?

The mech designs were pretty unique and fun to watch. The fact that the mechs react to their emotional states and thoughts based on their DNA is somewhat unique, and I like that each mech has a specific purpose in combat and they’re not all just ‘robot with gun’ or ‘robot with sword.’

In regards to being a first episode, this one does alright. We establish the main cast pretty well, but the world-building definitely needs work. We can tell they have space colonies and they’re at war (?) but we have no idea who these aliens are or why they’re attacking. They just have weird green mechs and their own unique language. Also, they live on Jupiter, I guess?

The music was alright, but mostly forgettable so far. I have the same notes for the voice work, basically, but damn Tamaki’s voice, seriously. I guess I can’t fault her VA too much, because I can’t say the voice doesn’t fit the character, but it’s so annoying when combined.

The CGI work is really quite good, though the character designs leave something to be desired. They feel very much like a rushed rip-off of Gundam SEED’s style. Some of the details are also very odd, and some characters are simply ugly. I have to roll my eyes at the fact that we have two prominent women in command there and they both look like porn stars. The one who works in the pit has a jumpsuit on and I can’t believe for a second that her boobs aren’t always falling out on the job. They have to be.

I also have to mark off the direction because some of the editing and directorial choices are very unappealing, like sudden quick cuts and the really annoying habit of bobbing the camera and zooming in real quick.

Final Verdict:

Continue Yes

I’ve heard really good things about this, and even though I was a bit uncertain at first, I’ve been told that it gets much more interesting and intense after a handful of episodes. Let’s see where the journey takes us.


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Sub/Dub Comparison Episode 7: Ruling the Country with Tanegun

Plot: The group heads to 16th century Japan to find the gun-toting bubble-making Tanegun, who has befriended Oda Nobunaga.

————————–

Title Change: Ruling the Country with Tanegun is changed to Bubblegum

Also,

Name Change: Tanegun is changed to Bubblegum.

Tokio asks Sora if her complaining means she just might leave him there to clean up alone and she responds with “Maybe.” Then we get the closer shot of Genshi sweeping. In the dub, they cut the shot of Flint sweeping between when Tony would have asked the question and Sarah responded. Because that adds so much to this scene, apparently. Also, they changed the line to Tony asking how long they have to stay and Sarah saying “Until it’s done.” Also also, they keep the shot of Flint sweeping afterwards, so it just seems like a repeat shot. Good job.

Before we cut to the Bureau of Space-Time, we get a group shot of TP Lady, Dyna and Mite in their regular outfits. This is cut from the dub.

Tanegun’s name plate is removed.

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

I am really quite shocked that they left in not only Tanegun’s guns visually, but also all of the dialogue involving guns, including that Tanegun’s guns can become actual firearms and that they resemble matchlock guns – the first firearms to become widely used in Japan.

Saban inserted a shot before the shot of Flint holding up the card. It’s a clip of the group with Dr. Goodman scratching his head with a blush, and I’m not sure where they obtained that clip from.

They also insert a speaking shot of Dr. Goodman after the original’s shot of Genshi holding up the card. They do this to convey the information about Bubblegum being spotted at Azuchi Castle around Oda Nobunaga. This is unnecessary because the original conveyed this information just fine without it.

Finally, they add a front shot of the group on Ridon before Flint inserts the card.

After the time warp, they insert a shot of the kids arriving in 1582.

Putera originally said that this castle was where Oda Nobunaga made free trade possible in Japan. In the dub, Pterry says the village is filled with merchants and craftsman who make supplies for Oda Nobunaga.

Love-Love just says its name as it normally does, because that’s seemingly pretty much all it can say. In the dub, it points out all the bubbles.

I really have to wonder how 4Kids would’ve handled this thing. I mean, not only does it wield guns but it has a gun for a hat and its main shape is a musketball.

They reverse and replay Nobunaga putting his telescope up to his eye to watch Bubblegum immediately after he already did that. It’s a weird edit not just due to repetition but also because he goes from laughing to having a very serious face.

Right before the commercial in the dub they replay the shot of Nobunaga laughing, and, again, it’s very weird, especially because it seems like he’s laughing at Flint for falling out of the air.

Soooo…..Saban decided to gender-flip Nobunaga’s accompanying samurai, Ranmaru, from a male to a female because he looked feminine. Gotta say, at first glance, I thought he was a woman too, but Saban has no excuse for doing this. Ranmaru is a largely male name almost never used with women, and he’s not wearing a dress or anything – he just has a pony tail and wears an extremely light pink kimono.

Not only that, but it’s very likely this Ranmaru is based on a real person – Mori Ranmaru. He was a military commander and an extremely loyal attendant to Nobunaga, to the point where he committed seppuku after Nobunaga did the same during the Honno-ji Incident. He was well-known for his beauty and, as a result, he is frequently given a very feminine appearance when portrayed in media.

The two were incredibly close, and it’s been noted, though, as far as I researched, not entirely confirmed, that he and Nobunaga had a very intimate and sexual relationship, following the nanshoku traditions of the time.

Changing him to a woman just on the basis of him looking pretty just seems a bit disrespectful of this real person, is all.

Originally. Genshi asks if a retainer is tasty (because Nobunaga requested Genshi become a retainer.) He laughs and says they are. In the dub, Flint asks if they have pizza, and Nobunaga responds that they have the best pizza in the land…..which is highly improbable because pizza won’t have been invented for a couple hundred years at this point, and it won’t be commonplace in Japan for another hundred or more years after that.

Ranmaru tells Nobunaga that he believes Tanegun is pulling too many pranks. In the dub, she asks Nobunaga if he really feels he can trust the kids.

For speaking out against him, Nobunaga punishes Ranmaru by telling him to care for the horses from now on. In the dub, he just tells her to apologize to their guests.

This next change is confusing. Tokio originally asks Ranmaru why he stays with Nobunaga. In the dub, Tony asks why she stays with him since he took away her samurai title. Thing is, in the dub, he didn’t. It’s implied he kinda did in the original since he told Ranmaru to take care of the horses from now on, but in the dub he only told Ranmaru to apologize to the kids.

I just want to take the time to point out that Nobunaga’s dub voice is real bad. That is all.

They remove two shots where there’s a bunch of repeated overlays animated in a waterfall fashion as Nobunaga tries to pester Genshi to give him Ototan. I don’t mind this because the shot is very strange.

There’s a shot between the two ‘waterfall’ shots of the two catching their breath. This is displaced from that earlier shot to right after the further shot of the two catching their breath. They also put a repeat closeup/shadowed shot of Nobunaga after this and repeat as well as reverse the earlier shot of the two with their faces pressed against each other as Nobunaga walks Genshi backwards. Finally, they insert a repeat shot of them catching their breath again before continuing where the original left off.

Dyna originally says “Cat got your tongue?” as he captures Tanegun, but the sub notes claim this is supposed to be referencing a phrase “I would like to borrow even a cat’s paw,” which indicates someone is so busy they’d even accept the help of a cat………None of that makes the slightest bit of sense to me, and in the dub they just replace this with Petra jabbering about how Bubblegum is hers now. Better off, if you ask me.

Even though the dialogue is basically the same – TP Lady/Petra Fina explaining what the mark does – they switch the original animation of her, Dyna and Mite doing this goofy dance while explaining it to what I believe is the first episode’s animation of her explaining what the mark does. They also add in another shot of all three of them together as she asks them if she’s right about her ruling Japan. Again, I don’t mind this switch because it’s a little strange in the original.

Name Change: Warugun is changed to Bubblegum-con.

Warugun’s name plate is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Even though it’s technically not a far leap to have ‘Impossible!’ turn to ‘Uh oh!’ it’s really goofy, and considering this line is being said in unison by the entire squadron, it’s even more goofy.

I’m still impressed they’re keeping in all of this gun stuff, though. 4Kids would’ve had a stroke.

Originally, while first getting caught in the bubble, Nobunaga said “Insolent whelps!” In the dub, he doesn’t say anything, even though his lips are clearly moving.

Originally, when TP Lady is making this face;

she’s not making a sound. In the dub, she’s laughing, which makes the shot 100% less funny and 100% creepier.

Again, Tokio acts like the Space-Time Monster sent to help them is nothing but a nuisance. It’s not as bad as last episode, but still. Tony just tells Nobunaga not to worry and that they’ll get out this mess.

Is it going to be a constant thing that Genshi gets too hungry to fight so they need to recruit Space-Time Monsters to come help? I don’t mind seeing the other Space-Time Monsters come in for the assist, especially when they get to super transform, but the plot device of Genshi’s hunger is already getting old.

Sora says that Cocolon is giving her the chance to run off and find Genshi some food. In the dub, she doesn’t say anything so it kinda just looks like she’s running away.

While both versions have TP Lady/Petra Fina wondering which way she should dispose of the trio, TP Lady originally wonders how she should ‘cook’ them – like oyako donburi or a well-done steak donburi. In the dub, she doesn’t make any suggestions. I actually like the dub better because Tanegun/Warugun doesn’t have fire powers, it only has a gun, so this joke doesn’t make much sense.

Originally, Sora pointed out that there were sponge cakes being served. However, sponge cakes weren’t invented until 1615, and they weren’t even really sponge cakes – they were more like crispy cookies. A sponge cake as we know it wouldn’t be invented until the 18th century. Yes, I did fact check that. No, I don’t have a life.

God. Damn. The dubbed voice acting. On. Nobunaga. It’s reached comical levels now. Ranmaru brings him his sword and he’s like “Why?….You’re not a samurai any longer.” Then when Ranmaru says her lines, he goes, “I was wrong. You are indeed a samurai!” I know in text it looks fine, but trust me, it’s so badly delivered.

I can’t find who officially voiced Nobunaga, but as far as I can deduce it was most likely Richard Epcar, who has an extremely lengthy resume in the world of voice acting ranging back all the way from 1978 to today. He tends to do a lot of voices for extras and one-off characters, but I know him most as Jigen from Lupin the Third, Etemon/Myotismon in Digimon and Batou from Ghost in the Shell. It certainly does sound like him, but geez he must have really been phoning it in that day.

They remove two shots of Cocolon very slowly crawling up the building. The first removed shot is re-inserted after the first swipe of the cat robot ship thing’s claws. The second was re-inserted during the shot where Flint is spinning the ship around. They also repeat a shot of Cocolon climbing after Flint gets dizzy. I actually like this, surprisingly, because it was very tedious watching those three shots in succession. Only thing I’d change is removing the repeat shot because it’s unnecessary.

In a very funny moment, Warugun, while watching from a hole in the wall growls the theme song to Dragnet. I’m not kidding at all. I dunno if Saban was worried about copyright or what, but they don’t do the same in the dub.

Saban kinda ruins Cocolon’s attempted sacrifice. When Cocolon jumps for Genshi, he’s trying to take the shots for him. In the dub, he yells out to Rocky Hammerhead to come save him. Ototan saves them both in the original, too, but the dub makes it seem like Coconaut wasn’t making any sort of sacrifice and was, instead, just calling for Rocky.

Name Change: Super Cocolon is changed to Coconaut Master.

Name plate removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They add a flip transition to an exterior shot of the Land of Time before we get the scene with Toki-G/Old Timer. Like always, they add more shots of Old Timer moving stuff around to extend the scene for some reason. Again, I don’t mind this much because it’s quite jarring in the original.

What I do mind, however, is the dialogue change. In the original, he mentions how Genshi’s will to protect people has rubbed off on the Space-Time monsters, which is allowing them to transform. In the dub, he basically says “Oh no, looks like Flint and the others are in trouble. Lol, guess I’ll sit here and watch them die. I’m going to order some food and skip out on the clock convention.” Sadly, I’m only exaggerating a little. Also, a shot of the pig thing that he rides on is removed.

During the running scene, they flip the shot of Bubblegum-con shooting at the cat ship for some reason. Or…maybe he’s just shooting behind him and the cat ship is just there. The shot is a little confusing, and flipping it for no reason doesn’t help. But let’s fix that by having the same shot, now unflipped, inserted after the running scene but right before the next shot – the exterior of the castle. Because. Reasons.

The dub makes Bubblegum-con say “Petra fizzle” when his fuse goes out. I dunno why.

I love that their cat ship freaks out in water.

I also love that Warugun runs away from Genshi when it’s trying to give it air via mouth to mouth.

In the original, TP Lady, Dyna and Mite sing a song about TP Lady as they drift away in the bubble. In the dub, Petra just yells and rants. They also insert a shot of her repeatedly hitting Dyno and Mite in the head. This is another change I’m okay with since the song is just kinda weird.

Nobunaga asks Flint if he’ll stay as a retainer in his castle. In the dub, he gives him the title of samurai.

Small note, but Ranmaru immediately accepts Nobunaga’s offer to become a samurai again and gives his gratitude. In the dub, she teases that she’ll have to think it over but then says, since he asked so nicely, she’ll accept. Pretty sure you shouldn’t disrespect his offer like that by joking about it, Ranmaru.

They reversed the shots of the sunset. Still don’t know why, especially since this means they had to cut an extremely short shot of Nobunaga at the very end. I guess this is okay because the shot of him is so short I legitimately didn’t even notice it happened on the first watch. He just barely makes it about 2/3 of the way into frame before the shot fades to black.

This is literally the best shot I could get before they start the fade. Really bad editing in this episode.

They change the shot of the front of the Space-Time Bureau to one at sunset, which makes sense.

Genshi originally just introduced Tanegun to the group of Space- Time monsters. In the dub, he says Bubblegum was underwater for so long it might have affected his aim, so he should test out his shooting skills.

They never use the eyecatch for this episode in the dub, so I guess it’s just very inconsistent as to whether they use it or not.

————————————

The overall story of this episode was kinda lame, especially Ranmaru’s role. He seriously got demoted from samurai to horse brusher because he expressed concern? And it’s not even really explored much. He just gets demoted then comes back later to save Nobunaga and gets his title back.

The depiction of Nobunaga here is pretty goofy. He’s very much an immature man who takes pleasure in watching people float off in the bubbles Tanegun makes and has a really childish back and forth with Genshi. He’s not made out to be a jackass, but he’s very petty.

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that they specifically went back to 1582. Nobunaga and Ranmaru both died in 1582. So, in a bit of a depressing twist, it’s quite possible that they died immediately after the kids went back to the present.

In regards to comparison, the dub could’ve been a whole lot worse considering all the guns. The major notes are pointlessly changing Ranmaru’s gender (it’s not even like he and Nobunaga were depicted as being romantically involved or anything) and the awful voice acting on Nobunaga. Saban actually did some editing work that improved upon the original footage, so good on them for that at least.

The episode did have some really funny moments, admittedly, and Cocolon has a pretty cool Super form. He even has a little mustache. I also find Warugun to be my favorite corrupted transformation so far. He has an awesome design and a cute face.

Next time, we meet Sphin, a master of riddles and fate.


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Boku wa Imouto ni Koi Wo Suru Volume 8 (Manga) Review

Plot: Are Yori and Iku really related? Can they mash their groins together without people going ‘ew’?

Also, terrible things, but that’s to be expected.

Breakdown: When we last left Iku, she was about to be gang raped under orders of Tomoka.

The manga is just full of fun times.

Yori is distracted by Ogura, but the jig is up when he mentions Tomoka’s name. Yori manages to make it to his dorm room before anything can actually happen, and he beats up the three freshmen who were trying to rape Iku.

While the boys are getting their own vague punishments, Yori’s punishment for having a girl in his room again and assaulting the boys is expulsion – an outcome no one saw coming, and to which everyone has their own reactions.

Tomoka is in shock because she always intended on using the threat of expulsion as a trump card in keeping Yori to herself.

Yori is devastated because he knows he can’t return to their old house without ousting his and Iku’s relationship.

Iku is….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ecstatic.

Now, I was going to give her a pass on feeling this way because she herself admits that it’s selfish and insensitive to cheer that he got expelled……But…..

*SIGH*

….Then….she THANKS…..Tomoka……..for doing that to her since it resulted in Yori being expelled……

Fuck….this…..stupid…..dependent…….putrid sack of garbage.

They frame it like Iku thought this was Tomoka’s grand master plan all along (And she just didn’t think to tell Iku about it so she wouldn’t be forever traumatized by the near gang rape?) and that’s actually what she’s thanking Tomoka for, but fuck that, no.

No.

That is too stupid for words. Especially since Tomoka explicitly told her to not yell for Yori when it was happening, and such a plan, in a just world, would have resulted in all of them getting expelled – hell, some of the boys might have seen legal action. Iku may be so dumb I’ve believed several times that her brain was replaced with a toaster at some point in her life, but I refuse to believe she’s that dumb canonically. If she is, she wins the award for dumbest manga character of all time. She is frustrating on a whole new level, it’s amazing.

You know what happened after that?

Tomoka slapped her and said Iku’s so stupid that it’s annoying.

….And I cheered.

Legit, audible, cheers.

Do it again! Do it again!

I should not be cheering on an evil soulless bitch of a girl after she just orchestrated a gang rape on someone because she slapped the intended victim and called her stupid and annoying. I am simply in awe at the things this ridiculous story continues to make me do. I am floored.

Moving on….*more sighs* Iku is coddled by both Yano and Yori after the fact, and Tomoka decides to give one last jab to them by teasing that she intends on telling their mother that they’re in an incestuous relationship. Yori calls her on her bluff, but DUN DUN DUN, their mother is in the doorway and, of course, she heard what Tomoka said about the incest and asks about it.

In the next chapter, Yano makes a valiant effort to cover up what was said by confirming that he and Iku are dating. Iku shakily says she loves Yano in order to maintain the charade, but Yori is all too aware that his mother is now nearly entirely convinced that they’re in love with each other – she’s just holding onto the slight bit of denial that such a thing could be happening.

His mom is unable to reverse the decision to expel him, so Yori heads back home. That night, Iku says she wants to kiss Yori, but Yori, realizing their mother could be listening, yells at her to stop being so noisy and let him go to sleep. Good call, because their mother was indeed starting to listen at the door.

In a text message, he apologizes to her for snapping, explains why he did it and gets a kiss from her anyway.

The next chapter is kinda boring, but also stupid because this manga is talented like that.

Yori and Iku get their new summer uniforms so they’re getting all hot and bothered in their room because apparently their super suspicious mother finds it to be perfectly fine to both let them still inhabit the same bedroom and even dress in the same bedroom.

The two of them are trying to keep their relationship a secret from their mother and everyone else….and they suck at it.

First, they start to nearly make out in their unlocked bedroom and, of course, their mother bursts in and nearly catches them. Yano shows up to offer some ‘I’m Iku’s boyfriend’ cover up, but Iku is actually nervous to get on his damn bike in front of Yori just because Yano’s telling her to ride on the ‘girlfriend seat.’ Being fair, I think in motorcycle terms, that’s called the bitch seat. And I believe in this manga terms, that’s called the Tomoka seat.

Yori decides to ride with Yano and leave Iku behind. Way to act more suspicious, Yori.

At school, he staves off thirsty girls by saying he has a girlfriend. Then Iku can’t help herself but dive into Yori’s arms when she arrives at school. Of course, people instantly assume that she’s the aforementioned girlfriend (Mori, the daughter of Yori’s real dad – Oh oops, spoilers whatever – also brought up that Yano has mentioned Iku having a boyfriend) Yori denies this by saying they’re twin siblings, which surprises everyone.

This is merely the second time in eight volumes that people have mentioned Yori and Iku don’t look like twins. This is also the first time people seem to be surprised that they’re fraternal twins – not identical, which is silly because everyone knows it’s impossible to have opposite gender identical twins. Merely the fact that they’re opposite gender already makes them not identical.

They go even further by saying Iku and Yori look nothing alike, which also makes no sense. Fraternal twins look just as similar as any other sibling, and Iku and Yori look about as similar as any other pair of siblings. The manga has deeper physical differences (Eye color/hair color/eye shape) but in the anime they look extremely similar.

This being said, Mori points out that she looks more like Yori’s sibling than Iku does.

This does make sense because they share the same father and their character designs looks more similar, but is that implying that the father’s genes are the ones that matters most in terms of physical appearance? Iku and Yori are half-siblings made twins through heteropaternal superfecundation. They share the same mother and shared the same womb, but don’t have the same father.

Yori and Mori have the same father, but not the same mother. I’m definitely not a geneticist, and physical appearance can vary widely, but it’s like the manga is saying that, because Yori and Mori have the same father they, by default, look more related than Iku and Yori when, logically, they share just as many genes. They’re both half-siblings to Yori yet the manga is acting like Mori is the ‘proper’ twin sister.

Gene distribution between siblings does rely heavily on dominant and recessive genes, so perhaps Yori and Mori’s father has more dominant genes than Yori and Iku’s mother does, or the ones the father has create more obvious differences than their mother’s.

Again, I’m no expert on the topic, far from it – in fact I’m researching as I go – but it does seem weird that they’re making off like Iku and Yori aren’t related at all while Mori is hinted at being the ‘truer’ sibling when they, technically, have the same genetic relationship to him.

Moving on, Mori goes to her father, Yuugo, and talks about Yori being at their school. He decides to give a surprise phone call to Yori and Iku’s mother and talk…about Yori. Dun dun dunnnnn.

Next chapter, after some pointless PE stuff and Mori calling Iku ‘chubby’ and telling her to go on a diet, because no one can ever be likable in this manga ever, Yori and Iku’s family have dinner with Mori’s family. Yori and Iku’s mother, who shall henceforth be referred to as Saki, is obviously extremely uncomfortable, especially when they start talking about people they romantically liked back in college. Saki spills her drink, burning her hand and excuses herself to the bathroom where Yuugo promptly and creepily follows.

He makes uncomfortable advances and asks why she’s not wearing her wedding ring. Saki responds in a clearly very upset fashion that he knows it’s because she feels very guilty about their situation…..Wait, what?

She feels guilty about lying to her husband about Yori’s true parentage….so she doesn’t wear a wedding ring? I don’t get it. Is it that seeing the ring every day would remind her of her lies? I’d think looking at her son every day would remind her of her lies – especially since Yori looks so similar to younger Yuugo. Maybe it reminds her of the promise and bonds of marriage being tainted by her deception and disloyalty? Hm.

Yuugo gets even more forceful and tries to kiss Saki as she cries. Saki pushes him away and yells at him, but he gently wipes a tear from her eye and she runs into his arms.

….So…Yori gets his creepy rapey-ness from his dad and Iku gets her annoying crybaby ‘I’m attracted to abusive dickwads’-ness from her mom. I don’t know to respond to this.

Yori kinda sees them in their romantic moment, but they all return to the table like nothing happened.

The next chapter has Iku being unable to resist making out with Yori in a public library with tons of people around. You guys suck way too much at this. Do you want to get caught? At least now it seems more like Iku is legitimately in love with and physically attracted to Yori instead of just giving into his advances.

Yori has major suspicions about his mother and Yuugo’s relationship and is constantly haunted by Yano’s words from the previous volume stating that he and Iku might not actually be full siblings. Too excited at the possibility of having a full relationship with Iku, he runs to his parents’ bedroom during dinner to dig up some pictures to see if he can get some more evidence.

He finds his and Iku’s birth cards and discovers that Iku’s card is almost entirely blank while his is filled out properly. Yori starts suspecting that Iku might be adopted.

Continuing on from that scene, the last chapter starts with Yori finding college photos of his parents and Yuugo. As expected, teenage Yuugo looks almost identical to Yori. Despite not knowing what to make of Iku’s situation, he starts believing that Yuugo is his father, making Mori his sister.

The next day, Yori starts paying particular attention to Mori and even starts sitting next to her in class, making Iku jealous.

Ya know, if you take these scenes in another fashion, it’s almost like Yori is starting to become less attracted to Iku because he suspects they’re not siblings and is now attracted to Mori because he believes she’s his sister.

Would it really be a stretch? Think about it. The title is ‘I’m in Love with my Sister’ It doesn’t specify which sister. That would be a plot twist for the ages. ‘Yori’s not really a hopeless romantic – he just has a hard-on for incest.’

And remember what I said in my review of the OVA. A half-sister who didn’t grow up alongside him would be more believable and realistic in an incestuous relationship.

Yano confronts him about his behavior, knowing it’s upsetting Iku, and Yori basically tells him to fuck off because he doesn’t know what to make of any of this.

The volume ends with Yano whisking Iku away in a car and him about to do or say something to her.

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The first part of this volume is hot garbage. I’m still stewing over Iku’s behavior after the near gang rape. I have never felt more enraged at Iku. And it’s so dumb because I should be directing all of my anger towards Tomoka, but I can’t because somehow Iku’s obliviousness and sheer stupidity eclipses those feelings at the moment, and that’s one impressive feat.

I have to wonder, as terrible as this thought is, would Iku have reacted in the same manner had Yori been too late? Yori still beat up the rapists and got expelled, everything else exactly the same, but Iku actually did get gang raped? Would she still friggin’ thank Tomoka for doing that just to get Yori home, no matter if she believed it was a master plan of hers or not? These shouldn’t be actual thoughts I’m having. These shouldn’t be legitimate considerations for a character’s actions.

Also, how horrible is it that Tomoka gets off scot-free?

It was at least nice that they remembered Takuma existed before Yori left the school…..I kinda hope they return to him in the last two volumes because 1) I’m way more invested in him and Mayu than anything going on in the main story and 2) They kinda just amputated his whole storyline with her if they end him here.

As for everything else, I fail to care, but at least the story’s getting kinda interesting. At least it would be if not for the fact that I cheated and already know their true situation. I am at least interested in what went down between Saki and Yuugo, because I didn’t cheat that far at least. It’s almost like they had a similar (though non-incestuous) relationship that Yori and Iku have. Yori/Yuugo comes on way too strong, seems creepy and rapey and Iku/Saki is such a useless crybaby twat that she can’t help but fall into his arms.

It’s hard to care about this ‘plot twist’ for a lot of reasons, but first and foremost is that I don’t care at all about whether this relationship survives, which is the only reason why the ‘Oooh are we really related?’ thing is even important. Yori doesn’t care about his parentage as a point of an identity crisis or wondering about his true place in his family, he’s not even all that interested in Saki’s current relationship with Yuugo – it’s all about whether or not he has a societal green light to pork Iku.

I don’t even know what to make of the ending cliffhanger. I don’t know what Yano intends to do or say to Iku in the car. It could be something sweet and profound….It could be another attempted rape or some equally creepy behavior. I think there’s a quota they have to meet. It’s a sad day when the latter of those options is the most likely.

Next time….eh, things.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Chapters 6&8 (Placeholder) (Notes for Chapters 5 and 7)

Chapter Five’s plot was adapted in episode 13 so we won’t be going over it here. This post will be updated when we reach episode 13.

Chapter 6 – Burning Struggle to the Death

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Anzu is organizing a festival for school and is asking the class for suggestions on a stand they can put up.

Hanasaki makes another appearance briefly which is nice. He suggests making a manga table, which everyone mostly gets confused by, but no one makes fun of him.

A lot of suggestions are thrown out, and Yugi’s the last one to comment. He suggests a stand with carnival games and everyone gets really jazzed about the idea. He’s so happy about everyone liking his carnival game idea. It’s really sweet

Later, everyone works really hard to make some cool carnival games – a simple stack of bottles, a shooting gallery and a life-sized version of those pop-up pirate toys where you put swords into the barrel and try to make the pirate pop up.

Gorou and his gang of….cooking brutes knock all of their stuff out of the spot, even knocking Jonouchi and Yugi over and destroying some things, to take over the spot themselves. Their stand is a giant iron plate they plan to use for an okonomiyaki stand.

Yugi is taken over by Yami and meets Gorou later that night to challenge him to a very messed up shadow game.

Shadow Game

It’s a game of air hockey, basically, but the puck is a chunk of ice and the arena is the iron plate, now superheated. Inside the ice is a vial of gunpower. When the ice melts enough, it will hit the plate and explode, so the aim is to ensure the puck is not near you when that happens. Gorou accepts.

This is a rare moment of Yami actually struggling in a shadow game. In every game before this, he has been ridiculously confident in his abilities, almost to the point where you think he’s cheating sometimes. However, this time he’s actually sweating and conceding that Gorou’s strength gives him an advantage in this game. Yugi’s body can’t keep up very well. He needs to calm himself and find a way to use Gorou’s speed and strength against him.

He makes the clever play of smacking the puck at an angle to create a small crack in it. When Gorou realizes how much the ice has melted, he puts all of his strength into hitting the puck one more time. He fails to notice the crack until it’s too late and the puck breaks open in front of him, causing the vial to fall and explode.

This is seemingly another instance of someone actually dying in a shadow game because Gorou never reappears after he gets caught in the explosion. I gotta say….he was a jerk but he didn’t deserve to go out like that. All he did was push Yugi and Jonouchi down and steal a festival spot, possibly wrecking some of the things they built there (The art makes it hard to tell.)

Granted, him accepting this shadow game is basically him attempting murder, but still. People get away with much worse in this series and still retain their lives.

Chapter 7 in the manga is somewhat adapted in episode 10 of the anime, but the story had to be drastically altered since Honda and Miho are so different in the anime. This post will be updated when I reach episode 10.

Chapter 8 – The Venomous Man

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This chapter is both heartwarming and a little dumb. Jonouchi needs a new pair of sneakers and falls in love with an awesome pair he spots in a shoe shop in a bad part of town. The owner is a straight up crazy person who initially refuses to sell the sneakers to him because they’re rare. He won’t sell them to just anyone, so he posits a challenge. He’ll put a scorpion in the shoe. If Jonouchi is brave/stupid enough to put his foot into the shoe with the scorpion in it, he’ll sell him the shoes.

Jonouchi does so and is ‘rewarded’ for his ‘courage’ by the owner revealing that he never actually put the scorpion in the shoe. He faked it. But he’s impressed enough to sell them, at a half-off discount even. However, he warns Jonouchi of ‘hunters’ in the area who target people who have such nice shoes.

And right here is where you realize exactly where this is going, and it goes there. Jonouchi walks all of half a mile before he, Honda and Jonouchi are attacked by a group of thugs wielding a tire (Not a tire iron – a tire) and various tools. They beat the group up and steal Jonouchi’s shoes.

The thugs were obviously hired by the shop owner who seems to make a habit out of playing this trick so he can get a constant stream of money out of schmucks who want nice sneakers. I can’t imagine there are that many people who would do that, but I guess this is the world of original version YGO, where everyone’s a crazy asshole.

He screwed with the wrong reformed school bullies, however, because the group, even Yugi, decide to find the thugs and beat them down. They quickly reveal that they were working for the shop owner, and Yugi transforms into Yami to challenge the owner to a shadow game.

Shadow Game

The owner kinda triggers the game himself by issuing the same challenge he gave Jonouchi, only this time there’s an actual scorpion in the shoe. However, Yami changes it up by dropping a handful of coins into the shoe. They each have to reach into the shoe one at a time and get as many coins as they feel comfortable nabbing. Whoever gets the most coins without getting stung is the winner. The owner adds on a stipulation that each coin is worth 100,000 yen, which Yami will pay him if he wins.

The game starts and after a few grabs, the owner starts getting nervous about his chances of winning the game, so he decides to fudge the rules by stabbing the shoe, effectively killing the scorpion, and nabbing all of the coins left in the shoe.

Yami reveals, however, that he not only broke the rules and betrayed his pet, but the scorpion is still very much alive. It stings him, and Yami takes the shoes to return to Jonouchi. We learn that the shop owner didn’t die of the sting, which surprised me a little. Jonouchi is so touched by Yugi going to the shop to confront to the owner that he gladly takes the shoes that now have a stab mark in them and cherishes them, which is so sweet I can’t stand it.

Next time, we’ll be heading back to the anime with episode three, which covers chapters nine and ten.


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Pokemon Shorties! (9) Pikachu’s Island Adventure Review

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Rating: 7.5/10

Plot: Pikachu and the other Pokemon head to a fun island designated specifically as a Pokemon getaway. Before they arrive, they meet a group of Pokemon who have been bullied out of the island by Meowth and his gang of Pokemon thugs. Pikachu and the others train the island Pokemon to fight off Meowth and reclaim the island!

Breakdown: Dear god above…..this is ridiculously frustrating.

I’m not really talking about the short itself right now. We’ll talk about the short in a minute.

What I’m talking about is the narrator.

This is one of those shorts where the narrator is acting as a translator for the Pokemon, but this is the first time it’s been done so much in an English dubbed short…and I really hate it.

Maybe I’m more tolerant of the Japanese version doing this because I’m reading the subtitles anyway, but even then they really only tended to translate the important bits, and they usually changed up their voices quite a bit to act as the Pokemon. But oh no, not here.

Here, not only is the narrator translating each and every word the Pokemon are saying, even when it’s entirely unnecessary, but he also doesn’t change his voice at all, making it seem like I’m watching a crazy person talk to himself for 20 minutes. I swear to god, they’ll have whole conversations as a group and I’ll need to actively search for which Pokemon is talking when because the narrator doesn’t change his voice at all. You can tell he’s trying just ever so slightly to kinda change his voice a little bit, but it really doesn’t work in the slightest.

That’s not even the worst part. He’s also doing regular narration in between him voicing the Pokemon, and he does this both while the Pokemon are talking/making noises and when they’re not. There’s one scene where Hariyama is chasing a few of the other Pokemon and he says “Uh oh, this could be serious trouble!” and I’m like “Wait, they’re making noise. Who’s saying that? And if the narrator’s just saying that, why is he saying that? It’s a completely unnecessary statement.”

Then there’s another scene where the Pichu brothers (not THE Pichu brothers…somehow) get Wobbuffet tangled in the jungle gym and he says “Sorry Wobbuffet, looks like you’re stuck there.” He’s addressing Wobbuffet, and the Pichu were making noise (they stopped) but it seems more like it’s narration again.

Another scene right after Eevee, Wynaut and Squirtle defeat Exploud has them cheering while the narrator says “Nice move! That worked perfectly!” while kinda sounding like he’s doing his little high-pitched Eevee voice, and Eevee is in the center of the shot, but then he follows it up by saying “When everyone works together, anything is possible!” which doesn’t seem like something any of them could be saying right now, so I’m forced to believe it’s narration, but I honestly can’t be sure.

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There’s one where Combusken is running from Hariyama and the narrator goes “Come on! This Way! This Way!” Which clearly sounds like it’s meant to be dialogue, but Combusken isn’t making ANY noise, and the narrator was addressing Wobbuffet earlier, so it’s possible he’s directly talking to Hariyama????????????????????

Sometimes his audio is so loud you can only barely notice the Pokemon talking, and there are some instances where the audio on the Pokemon is too loud so it sounds like the narrator and the Pokemon are talking over each other.

Other times he’s just summing up what a Pokemon is saying instead of doing their voice, so it’s really hard to discern when someone is talking in dialogue or when he’s narrating. It’s very confusing and frustrating trying to watch this. He does have a line or two here and there that is a little funny, but overall the experience is tainted because of it.

It’s like, you know how your parents would read a story to you when you were little and do goofy voices for each character? Hardly anyone’s parents are actually good at doing these voices, but they at least try to drastically change their voice. I wish he had done something like that instead of him just making his voice the teensiest tiniest bit higher when he voices cuter/smaller Pokemon and not change it at all when he’s doing the voice of literally every other Pokemon.

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I have absolutely nothing against Rodger Parsons. He’s been the narrator since day one, barring a stretch in which he was replaced temporarily, and I love his sometimes cheesy style and notable voice. Plus, you can tell he always cares about the work he’s doing, even here, and I appreciate that, I really do. He is a cornerstone of Pokemon….But it was an awful idea to make him do this.

He’s an awesome narrator – Look at his filmography, he’s almost always ‘the narrator’ – but when it comes to his regular voice acting skills, he’s just not very good, especially when it comes to him voicing characters in Pokemon itself. It doesn’t have much to do with his acting skills, those are basically fine (Except when he voiced Flint that one time. He was really phoning it in there), he just doesn’t have much range at all, so it just sounds like the narrator voicing a character.

I checked up on the few episodes in which he has voiced an actual human character, and, yeah, he just sounds like the narrator with the slightest inflection in his voice. When he was doing the voice of the Mayor in Diamond and Pearl, he sounded exactly like the narrator. When he was voicing Pop-Pop in Battle Frontier, he sounded like the narrator only with a sore throat sometimes. And when he voiced Flint in Battle Frontier, he sounded like the narrator half-doing a Meowth impression for some reason.

That’s probably the reason why they don’t give him character roles very often even though all of the other voice actors get reused so many times I’m surprised the entire cast for both dubs doesn’t have a ‘recycle’ logo tattooed on their foreheads. It’s just too confusing with him being the narrator in every single episode.

And it didn’t need to be done, either. Most of the shorts are almost completely void of any dialogue. We just follow along based on what we’re seeing, which usually isn’t that difficult considering it’s a Pokemon short, meaning it’s aimed towards an even younger audience than usual anyway. You can have the narrator chime in to fill us in on important points we may not have gotten through visuals, but otherwise it’s fine to just have the narrator do the bookends.

Hypothetically, let’s say this story absolutely needed to have dialogue – why not just have some of your in-house voice actors, even just a couple of them, do voices? That way you not only get more fitting voices for each Pokemon but you also more easily tell the dialogue apart from both the various characters and the narrator.

It’s not like they’re not already there – Rodger Parsons isn’t the only voice actor partaking in this short. Five others are – since they need to do the regular voices for some of the Pokemon, and then there’s Meowth and Chatot. Why is there a Chatot here? I don’t know. The audio wasn’t already annoying enough?

Granted, yeah, they might have just been following what the original version did, I’m not sure, I don’t have the Japanese copy, but even then it’s not like 4Kids is, in any way, averse to just doing their own thing and flipping off the original version. Remember, in the first Pokemon short the Japanese version had a nice lady narrating, but then 4Kids was like ‘Lol let’s have Dexter narrate instead because reasons.’

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Speaking of audio assaults on my ears, I was trying to get information on the voice cast as quickly as possible while watching the short, so I jumped to the credits, which meant I had to listen to the end credits song…..so…Who let 4Kids write ANOTHER rap song? The Hoenn Pokerap is their third Pokerap, and, somehow, this one is probably their worst. It absolutely reeks of late 90s cheesy rap, but it was made in 2007. How is it possible that this Pokerap actually sounds cheesier and more dated than the first one?

There are so many instances where it’s clear they’re sloppily jamming Pokemon names into places where they don’t fit in the line because there are too many syllables. They’ll still be rapping a line while the music for that section has clearly stopped/changed because they simply didn’t accommodate for the syllables. The chorus, honestly, is pretty catchy, but otherwise it’s very clear they didn’t give much of a crap about this song. According to the Wiki, the full version even leaves out two Pokemon, Zigzagoon and Relicanth, but they included Mew, who is Gen I and Celebi, who is Gen II, seemingly because they were left out of their Gens Pokeraps.

In summary….They fixed a mistake that they had made on their previous two Pokeraps…by repeating the same mistake twice on their last Pokerap.

So uhm…..how awkward is it to segue from all that ranting I just did to explaining that I actually really liked this short?

I’m not kidding. If you manage to work your way through the confusing as hell dialogue situation, this is a really good short. Sure, the plot is pretty much taken from Pikachu’s Summer Vacation, to an extent (Pretty much the Pokemon-exclusive park and the bullies, but nothing else), but there are quite a few funny moments, the pacing is good, the characters are fun, the conflict is realistic and it was resolved in a satisfying manner that didn’t really pull any BS. It even got me to enjoy Corphish, which is impressive because that thing usually annoys the hell out of me.

The art and animation were spot-on, though the backgrounds still have that weird chalk/white lineart thing that the shorts have going on, but that’s just a stylistic aspect.

It’s not a ‘cute Pokemon being cute’ short, barring the very ending where we just get to enjoy watching the Pokemon have fun in the playground, and that was a fitting part of the story and very adorable.

I do have some logistic questions. They understand that Wynaut is a purely defensive Pokemon, yet they’re teaching them how to attack? Why is it that Pichu can suddenly use Electric moves without shocking themselves anymore? Why is the only transportation option to this island a completely unsafe set of boats on a pulley system suspended in mid-air that needs to be manually propelled? Where did these other Pokemon on Meowth’s side come from? Why are Pokemon as powerful as a Hariyama and an Exploud following Meowth’s orders?

Those questions aren’t really that important, though, and I still had a lot of fun watching the short….when the aforementioned dialogue issue wasn’t driving me up a wall. The first half is much worse than the second half in that regard, but I can’t ignore how frustrating it is. If you can track down the Japanese version and it’s easier to watch, bump this up another .5 points.

AniManga Clash! Tokyo Mew Mew Volume 5

Plot: Ichigo can no longer keep her Mew identity a secret from Aoyama. How will he take the news?

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– The Blue Knight is WAY more affectionate with Ichigo, especially upon first meeting, than he is in the anime. In fact, outside of a few touches and carrying Ichigo, BK never really does much with her in the anime. But in the manga, he hugs her, kisses her (on the cheek? Or chest? Hard to tell with the angle) he holds her romantically, almost hugging. It’s a lot, and like I said that’s all from their first meeting.

– Did Shirogane seriously revert to Alto form….to help Ichigo find her bell?

– There’s a near miss confrontation with Mew Ichigo and Aoyama that reminds me a lot of episode 13 where Aoyama is targeted by Kisshu and Ichigo runs the risk of Aoyama seeing her as a Mew and finding out her secret. Only the story in the manga is really dumb.

Ichigo returns to the aquarium and sees a fish flopping on the floor, which she immediately believes is a chimera animal, even though the entire aquarium burst…meaning there’d be a lot of fish flopping around. She makes a snap judgment to transform right there and she quickly spots Aoyama behind her, but he doesn’t realize it’s actually Ichigo. He just asks her if she’s seen her.

– Pudding has a pet monkey in the manga?! Why was that not adapted?!

– I guess they put a lot of filler in the anime because we jump from episode 13 to episode 40. Now Pudding and Taruto are under Tokyo Dome. Only instead of Pudding finding the tunnel through sheer happenstance after an earthquake as she was attending a show, she was kidnapped. I kinda prefer the anime’s take because it had Pudding being proactive.

I also like the anime more in that they put additional stakes into Pudding’s situation. In the anime, she and Taruto eventually get trapped underground. They’re losing oxygen, but Taruto isn’t affected because he’s an ‘alien.’ Pudding, however, nearly dies, and Taruto struggles a lot with watching her suffer and the idea of letting her die down there. He actually ends up saving the both of them with his plant-controlling powers.

In the manga, it’s much less interesting, at least in my opinion. The girls literally defeat all of the chimera animals in a two page spread and Pudding is never in any danger as severe as what the anime depicted. Taruto, despite having some nice moments with Pudding, doesn’t gain nearly the same connection as he does in the anime, and he doesn’t save her life outside of one time where he spared her from getting poisoned. She’s just trapped in a cage hanging out with Taruto, more or less. There is more added risk later as Taruto attacks again with a bigger Chimera Animal, but The Blue Knight and Ichigo dispatch it rather easily.

The high point here is Pudding also gets to try her hand at using the Mew Aqua Rod. The Mew Aqua called out to her and she used its powers to grow the plant life around the dome to save it from collapse.

It’s great that she got a chance to shine, but I’m not sure it was really worth what we lost.

– The manga includes a passing suspicion that Akasaka is the Blue Knight, which is…Okay I guess. Thing is, it’s dropped just as quickly. BK hurt his shoulder in the same spot Akasaka did. That coupled with his charming nature lead Ichigo to believe he was BK. But then he explains that he hurt himself trying a new trick and broke a plate, which could easily be a gigantic lie, but Ichigo believes it immediately.

– The manga kinda contradicts the anime a little. In the anime, they make it a point that Ichigo sucks at cooking, at least if the chocolate cooking episode was any indication. Even though she had her mom’s help, she made a delicious lunch for her and Aoyama in the manga. Not really sure why the anime decided to make her a bad cook – though I guess that is a bit of a shoujo protagonist trope, kinda.

– Ladies and gentlemen, the hero of our story just cut herself…..on a blade of grass…………….?????????

– Aoyama: “Why do they always attack (Ichigo)?”

Kisshu: “Because I have to. That’s the whole point, dummy.” Lol I can’t not love Kisshu sometimes.

– Aoyama finding out about Ichigo’s Mewness is much different in the manga. In the anime, it was Christmastime and Aoyama got injured in a big two-part battle over Mew Aqua in the town Christmas tree. In a daze, Aoyama seemingly recognized Ichigo in her Mew outfit and she later confessed everything to him while he was sleeping (or wasn’t sleeping?)

In the manga, he gets injured in a completely unrelated incident during a random Kisshu attack during one of their dates. Ichigo doesn’t want to see him get hurt anymore since he’s so adamant in protecting her, so she decides to oust herself in front of him by transforming.

During this incident, BK does badly wound Kisshu, but Kisshu additionally requests BK to kill him. He almost grants him his request, but Ichigo stops him.

Like the anime, Aoyama admits he’s known for quite some time, putting the pieces together himself because he’s not an idiot, but unlike in the anime where they pretty much just cuddle, he actually kisses her.

– In the manga, Ichigo fully transforms into a cat in front of Aoyama after she divulges her secret and she kisses him to turn back. Taruto learns of her transforming secret because of this.

– I guess the kissing is the trigger for transforming back at least.

-….As for transforming…..In the next scene after she leaves Aoyama, the next day I presume, she trips, falls and that somehow turns her into a cat. Taruto kidnaps her, planning to get revenge on her for what BK did to Kisshu, which is a pretty good plan, admittedly, because she can’t transform in cat form and she can’t transform back without a kiss (Still think that’s really dumb…) Alto, however, saves her by kissing her, allowing her to change back and transform into her Mew form. She fends off Taruto and finds out Alto is Shirogane after keeping hold of him for too long to try to check his injuries. His transformation has a time limit, so he couldn’t hold it.

This is a tiny bit similar but quite a lot better than what we get in the anime which is one of the silliest and most convoluted things they had done. Basically, Ichigo goes on a wacky transformation spree. She’d kept accidentally transforming under the most ridiculous circumstances and need to basically sexually assault any female animal she could find for the sake of transforming back.

In one instance, she tries to kiss a female dog only to be blocked by her huge angry boyfriend who has heard rumors about the ‘kissing maniac’ and wants to beat her up for targeting his girlfriend. Alto saves her and kisses her to transform her back, but, like the manga, she keeps hold of him beyond his limit and he transforms back in front of her, ousting his identity as Shirogane.

Additional props for the manga because it doesn’t insinuate that she can talk to birds or dogs, robbing the other girls of their only unique additional powers.

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I struggled a bit more than usual in determining which version was better.

The anime did the brief brush Aoyama had with Mew Ichigo quite a bit better. She didn’t transform for no reason in the anime and the overall plot was more interesting and had higher tension. The anime also did the Tokyo Dome plot better both in regards to tension, development between Taruto and Pudding and giving Taruto a neat moment. However, in an odd turn of events, the moment he got in the anime was stolen from Pudding’s big moment with the Mew Aqua in the manga, so that’s quite the bummer.

The manga does have its points of glory, though. I liked Ichigo revealing her secret to Aoyama better in the manga than in the anime, even if they don’t include the stuff about his backstory here. The way he ‘found out’ just made a lot more sense than the anime. I think both post-identity reveal scenes are equally good, even if the manga includes a kiss where the anime did not.

The reveal of Alto’s identity was also done better in the manga than the anime. Sorry, but the anime’s reveal was just built on a foundation of goofiness. A series of ridiculous pratfalls leads her to needing to makeout with a bunch of female animals and Alto saves her from an angry dog….Compare that to Taruto coming up with a good plan to strike Ichigo when she’s most vulnerable to get revenge for Kisshu and Alto nearly dies trying to save her from him and she saves him in return. It’s no real contest there. However, I will still ding the manga for seemingly making her transform at least once with no real trigger. She seemingly transformed because she tripped….

I also have to commend the manga for having increasingly better pacing, even though it’s still kinda bad, and I’m getting consistently disappointed that we’re not getting much time with the other Mews. There are only two more volumes left in the series and I feel like we just don’t know nearly enough about the other girls or see them do enough as we should.

All in all, I really feel I have to give this another tie. It’s just too close for me to make a decision.

Winner: TIE


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CSBS – Xiaolin Showdown Episode 4: Katnappe!

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Plot: The gang is trying out their new Shen Gong Wu – the Golden Tiger Claws, which can transport them to anywhere they want. Omi is robbed of his turn when a new Shen Gong Wu is revealed – the Changing Chopsticks, which allow the user to shrink down to a size as small as a grain of rice.

Meanwhile, Jack Spicer and Katnappe are at each other’s throats trying to prove which of them is better at retrieving Shen Gong Wu. Katnappe quickly dispatches Jack’s robots with her genetically altered super kittens, impressing Wuya, and heads off to get the Shen Gong Wu. She reaches the chopsticks right as Omi does and challenges her to a Xiaolin Showdown, but Katnappe doesn’t have a Shen Gong Wu with which to compete. Wuya forces Jack to give her his Fist of Tebigong, however. Omi sets the game as tag, believing he has a major advantage in such a game with the Golden Tiger Claws.

The showdown starts, and even though Katnappe has never been in a showdown nor really knows how they work, she easily uses the Fist of Tebigong to knock Omi over and grab the Tiger Claws. Opening a portal directly above him, she easily tags him and wins the showdown.

Back at their lair, Wuya denounces Jack as her evil favorite in lieu of Katnappe, but Katnappe decides that she doesn’t like the dynamic with Wuya and she can’t stand Jack, so she grabs the Golden Tiger Claws and leaves to do her own thing.

Meanwhile, back at the temple, Omi is upset over losing the Golden Tiger Claws (Because they’re cooler than the chopsticks he was trying to obtain.) Master Fung tells him that there are no lessons in victory, but a 1000 in defeat. To illustrate his point, he challenges the young warriors to take a small statute from him. If they win, no chores. If they lose, they have to scrub the floors by hand.

While the stakes are high, they accept this challenge. Fung easily holds them off, but Clay nearly lassos the statue. Right before he’s about to pull it away, Fung smashes the statue.

The warriors are obviously very confused, wondering how they could ever win if he smashes the statue. Fung explains that their goal was to win and his was merely to not lose, which is why he ‘won.’ Raimundo’s not amused and asks where the other 999 lessons are, and Fung tells him he might find them when they’re all scrubbing the floors.

After a backbreaking night of cleaning, Kimiko gets the news that Katnappe has been using the Golden Tiger Claws to commit robberies – easily getting and out of establishments through portals.

The next news alert says she’s at the Mall of the World (how that news came in but no police are on scene, I don’t know) but when they arrive, they swiftly get their butts handed to them. Clay doesn’t even put up a fight because he refuses to fight women.

Katnappe escapes via another portal, and the Xiaolin monks take chase, but they still have no plan for defeating her. Kimiko deduces that Katnappe is probably at Catatonia, the world’s scariest theme park that just so happens to be heavily centered on cats.

Repeating Master Fung’s advice about learning from defeat, they decide to send Clay after Katnappe. He may not be willing to fight girls, but he is willing to give her a big bear hug and make her immobile. Omi is able to easily grab the Golden Tiger Claws as a result, but the fight isn’t over.

Jack arrives, having tracked down Katnappe with his bloodhound robots. In order to stop Jack from getting the Golden Tiger Claws, Omi opens a portal and throws the Tiger Claws into it, causing the bloodhound robots to follow. He has set the portal to open at the center of the earth so even though the Xiaolin monks can’t use the Golden Tiger Claws, neither can the Heylin.

Omi again is reminded of the lesson Master Fung taught them earlier. They didn’t have to win – they just had to make sure they didn’t lose.

Breakdown: This episode was meh leaning towards the positive. There was decent highs, and none of the lows were too low (barring one aspect I’ll get to in a minute.) Katnappe makes for a good enemy, and the lesson this time around was pretty good.

However, I still have a couple of things to get off my chest.

First, Clay…..Jesus, Clay. We just came off of an episode where we addressed a lot of sexist attitudes. It didn’t really say or help much, but it was literally one episode ago. And now we have Clay refusing to fight just because Katnappe is a girl. He even says this.

Clay: “Do you have any male kinfolk I can fight?”

Come on, Clay….

And what lesson do they learn from his defeat because of his sexist attitudes?…Nothing. Just work around it by having him fiercely hug her against her will instead. Because, yeah, replace violence (That she’s willfully if not gleefully partaking in) with unwanted extended full-body physical contact. That’s much less problematic.

Need I remind him that Wuya, one of their main enemies, is a woman? What’s he going to do when she gets her corporeal form back? Sit out every battle?

Second, even though the characters are seemingly getting better at playful banter, the first scene with the monks being a perfect example, there are still too many moments where it just seems like they’re being jerks to each other for no reason. It’s a small gripe, especially if it’s going to go away over time, but I still get irritated at those moments where they’ll make a completely unwarranted snide comment towards a person who is supposed to be their friend.

Overall, though, a pretty enjoyable episode.

Next episode….

.Previous Episode

Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 6: The New World and Cocolon Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: The Space-Time Monster that controls weather, Cocolon, has been spotted in the Atlantic in 1492. He’s in the hands of Christopher Columbus, and TP Lady has her eyes set on taking over the expedition and ruling over America.

—————————

Title Change: The New World and Cocolon is changed to Coconaut, which I assume also means;

Name Change: Cocolon is changed to Coconaut. Also, I would swear that dub name implies ‘astronaut’ more than poking at the word ‘Nautical’ but maybe that’s just me. (Also, it took me way too long to realize this was also meant to be a play on the word ‘Coconut.’)

As the kids are walking through the park, Genshi continuously chants “Friends!” over and over. In the dub, Sarah asks him why he’s so happy and he responds that it’s a beautiful day, it’s lunchtime and since it’s Friday they don’t have to worry about homework until Sunday night.

Tokio specifically says he needs an 80 to pass the Space-Time Detective exam. In the dub, they don’t mention the exact score he needs, just that his score of 35 isn’t enough.

Sora points out that it’s Tokio’s dream to join the Time Bureau. In the dub, she says if he can’t do math properly, then, when he’s a Time Detective, he might add up the years wrong and bypass Hannibal and meet a cannibal.

….*lip smack*

There’s a lot wrong with what she just said.

First of all, add up what years? You just need to know what year something is in and then go there.

Second of all, Hannibal? As in….Hannibal Lecter? The fictional character? You can’t go back in time to meet a fictional character. Unless you’re Talen, I guess.

Third, I’m pretty sure if you intended on going back in time to find Hannibal and you found a cannibal….You’d have succeeded in your goal, because Hannibal IS a cannibal (that’s even one of his nicknames – Hannibal the Cannibal.)

Fourth, even mentioning cannibals should be a no-no, but also directly referencing Silence of the Lambs?….In Flint The Time Detective? What are you smoking, Saban? That’s hardly appropriate.

Genshi originally mistakes the word ‘normal’ for meaning something to eat. In the dub, he hears Tony say ‘Goose egg’ and asks for a goose egg to eat. The dub actually makes more sense because the original makes it sound like Genshi wants to eat children (Tokio said ‘normal kids like me’) It also makes it seem like Genshi’s never heard the term ‘Normal’ which I’d assume is impossible at this point.

I get that Tokio wants to be a Space-Time Detective on his own merits, but he already basically is one considering he always goes with Genshi on his missions.

Cocolon’s name plate is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They suddenly splice in Jillian appearing on screen again right before we cut to the shot of Flint…for some reason.

Professor Yamato just tries to remember what important event happened in 1492. In the dub, Dr. Goodman asks if it’s the year Elvis walked on the moon….This man has a doctorate….

Sora just recites part of the rhyme based on Christopher Columbus (In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…) In the dub, Sarah has to correct Goodman that it was Neil Armstrong who walked on the moon, and not in 1492. Then she remembers Christopher Columbus and mentions it, but the shot cuts off too quick so she has the end of her sentence cut off a little.

Also, yeah, this episode is about Christopher Columbus. Obviously, this was back in the day where people still hero worshiped the guy and just washed away everything bad he did while also making false or exaggerated claims about him – which still goes on pretty frequently today. It’s a little uncomfortable watching this now,

Sora says that Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492. Sarah says he discovered America. Both claims are still wrong (Not only were there indigenous people living there for many, many, many years before anyone else stepped foot on any of the Americas, so it’s impossible to say anyone ‘discovered’ them, but Leif Erikson arrived in North America nearly 500 years before Columbus did.) It should be noted that, even though they’re only saying ‘America’ in the dub, it’s clear they’re just referring to the United States – which he never set foot in at all.

Yamato doesn’t say anything after exclaiming that the kids are going off with Genshi again. In the dub, he asks them to bring him back a souvenir like a ‘Columbus World Tour’ t-shirt or a sailor’s hat. Again, this man has a doctorate.

Flint: *as he’s sinking underwater* “I got a sinking feeling!” *sigh*

They splice in a speaking shot of Flint right before they yell for the ship, but the editing is weird. He says “Well, why couldn’t she put us onboard?” but cuts off in the middle of ‘board.’ So, even though they purposely spliced in this shot to put in this unnecessary line, they didn’t put in enough of the shot to properly insert the line. Perfect work, Saban. Top Notch.

Columbus doesn’t ask who their king is in addition to their country of origin, like the dub does.

Have we gotten confirmation that they changed their country of origin to the United States? Because they’re flatout asked what country they come from, and while Genshi states it’s Tama City, Tokyo (He’s stopped before he can also say Japan), Flint says they’re from the USA.

Surprisingly, the rest of the scene goes the same either way. Columbus says he’s never heard of that country (Which makes sense, because Tokyo wasn’t known as Tokyo back then. In 1492, it would’ve been a small village called Edo.) and in the dub, since the USA doesn’t exist yet either, he also doesn’t know of their country. And in both versions they also explain that it’s a small area that probably isn’t well-known or on a map.

Why are they so shocked to see Christopher Columbus? They were transported to his exact coordinates on the ocean. Three ships picked them up. The guy looks like pretty much any depiction of Columbus. Yet when he says his name they’re all mind blown.

I like how the dub even points out how weird this is. Sarah says she’s starting to think this is Columbus, and Tony responds “Weird hat, three ships – of course it is.”

Going even further with that, they cut out the shocked reaction the kids all have to Columbus saying his name and add in a repeat shot of Sarah and Tony talking, just to have Sarah say he’s shorter than she pictured.

Columbus offers his hospitality and says they can stay on the Santa Maria but only if they work. Surprisingly, the dub has him being more of a jerk. He accuses them of being spies, but offers to let them stay anyway since he, for some reason, can’t throw them overboard.

Yeah, he’ll call for the slaughter of people, hunt down any natives who flee from him with a pack of dogs who would either bring them back or rip them apart (Sometimes eaten), maim and dismember people as punishment, enslave thousands of natives and force them to gather gold, sell children into sexual slavery, let his crew cut natives with their swords to test how sharp they are, drive natives into such terrible living conditions and terror that they were committing suicide in droves  – but he draws the line at throwing some strange kids overboard. Oh nosirree bob.

He’ll only let them stay if they submit their allegiance to the Queen Isabella and work on deck.

Due to a commercial break in the dub, they put in an extra shot of the ships so they could work in more off-screen dialogue. They also kinda break the fourth wall by someone telling someone else to stop talking in sailing cliches.

They repeat Tony sweeping in a circle.

Originally, they just give Sora more laundry. In the dub, they tell her what laundry needs to be done in cold water and which needs to be done in hot water. Saban, you are remembering what time period this is, right?

The display on Ridon isn’t flickering in the original as it is in the dub.

They insert a repeat shot of Pterry tapping the display with his beak while he’s explaining what’s wrong with it.

They remove TP Lady’s goofy smile before her fantasy.

The subs didn’t offer a translation on TP Lady’s little heart sign thing, but as far as I was able to gather, it says daitoriyo (Daitoryo), which, as you can guess, is just ‘President.’

Subbed:

Now, you’d think Saban would write ‘President’ or ‘President Petra Fina’ or something while painting over this, right?

…Nope… And I want you to guess what they wrote to replace it, because you will never, ever guess what it is. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I had to pause the video for several minutes just trying to figure out why they put what they put there.

Start guessing.

Give up?

….They wrote E=MC2

Dubbed:

…..If anyone can even begin to unravel the mystery that is what the hell that means in context to anything that is going on in this scene – or this episode even – please tell me, because my brain short-circuited trying to wrap my head around it.

They remove another shot of TP Lady’s goofy smiling.

They play the shots of Petra Fina and the masked man dancing in reverse so they gradually get further away from the camera instead of closer like it was in the original. I don’t know why.

Originally, the masked man wants to toast to TP Lady’s eyes. In the dub, he says he’s sick of holding the mask and asks her if she has any string. I thought this joke was kinda funny because I, too, was wondering why he’s holding the mask instead of wearing one that actually attaches to his face in any way.

Another shot of TP Lady’s goofy smile removed.

Originally, TP Lady’s little Space-Time Monster detector made a soft beeping noise when it was activated. In the dub, it makes a hinge-squeaking noise as the little parts on top moved back and forth. It’s just weird because it makes it seem like the device is clearly broken and Petra Fina is crazy.

The original doesn’t mention anything about their seasickness involving eating too many oysters as the dub does.

They insert an external shot of the ship right before the shot of the lantern. Just in case you forgot they were on a boat.

So, wait, Cocolon has been around since Columbus was a little boy?….Then…why did Rei send them to this exact time period to retrieve him? Wouldn’t it have made more sense and been less risky to send them to when Cocolon first appeared in the time stream rather than when Columbus was right about to do the most notable thing of his life? I don’t mean grab him before he saves Columbus, but maybe right after?

Speaking of which, why was Cocolon just randomly floating out in the middle of the ocean like that? How long was it there?

Surprisingly, this part of the episode does kinda reflect a part of Columbus’ past. He did become shipwrecked once before his expeditions to the Americas. In 1476, when Columbus was about 25, he was on a commercial ship that was attacked by the French. His ship was sunk and burned, and Columbus was forced to swim to the nearby Portuguese shore.

Also, hold the phone. They’re saying Columbus would’ve drowned when he was a kid without Cocolon. Yet, before the time stream was littered in Space-Time Monsters, Columbus still existed and his story was still the same.

Tony: “I have a feeling that this history business has a lot more comedy than we’ve been lead to believe.” Errr…..technically, he’s right, but in this circumstance, it’s more horror.

(Also, originally Tony’s line was about feeling lost when you don’t have something to guide you.)

Columbus originally says he can always continue on as long as he has Cocolon. He’s his treasure. In the dub, they make it out like he’s a bit more selfish. They make him say he doesn’t need courage, because as long as he has Coconaut, he’s a hero and he’s great. The original makes off like Cocolon’s his friend who gives him the confidence to do these things. The dub makes it seem like he’s using Coconaut as a tool to do great things so he can take all the credit.

They added a repeat shot of the ships after the commercial break for…reasons?

Mite originally chastises Dyna for saying his line first. He then proceeds to say he’s TP Lady’s number one helper. Dyna follows up by saying he’s the number two helper. In the dub, Mite yells at Dino for calling them thugs when they’re really henchmen.

Why did TP Lady stamp Cocolon’s hat? And why did that work? Is the hat actually a part of his body?

They remove the name plate saying “Bad Transformation: Waru Cocolon.”

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Change: Waru Cocolon is changed to Coconaut-Kon.

They put the eyecatch animation in after the group is captured. I can’t tell if there was a commercial break there, but that wasn’t where the eyecatch was originally, which was right as Dyna and Mite were about to take Cocolon from Columbus’ bed.

Kyoichiro specifically says to himself that he’s saving Sora. In the dub, he doesn’t mention Sarah.

Sora doesn’t yell up to Kyoichiro the way Sarah does to Merlock.

Name Change: Narugami Kyoichiro is changed to Merlock Holmes. Yeah, it’s very lazy and awkward. It’s supposed to be a joke because we find out later that he’s a fellow Time Detective, but he has a very clear vampire motif and blue skin, so you’d think they’d have made a name based on those factors, but nope. Just ‘hurr he’s a detective so let’s call him Sherlock Holmes’ only they were eating like cereal or something at the time so it came out ‘Merlock Holmes’ and they were like ‘eh’ and kept it.

The thing is that the wordplay on his name won’t even make sense until we learn that he’s a Time Detective, which we won’t until episode 12.

Sora originally points out that Kyoichiro disappeared, not realizing he wiped out off of the pillar due to a tidal wave. In the dub, since Sarah sees him fully and is even trying to talk to him, she witnesses Merlock wipe out and fall after throwing a dagger to her;

Sarah: “Whoa, what a nerd!” Excuse me!? The guy just saved your life, he could very well be dead due to the fall or drowning right now, and all you have to say is ‘Whoa, what a nerd’? Kindly fuck off, Sarah. Wow.

They splice in a reaction shot of Sarah right after the wave hits but right before Merlock falls.

This is kinda nitpicky, but it’s bothering me – how did Genshi smacking Oto-tan into the water make the raft shoot up and forward several hundred feet? They didn’t even bother making the strike create a massive wave or something – he just hits the water and they fly off.

Waru Cocolon can’t talk, just as his previous form can’t. In the dub, Coconaut-kon talks, which is strange because his previous form can’t communicate in anything but his name and yes or no signs.

Another piece of audio is clipped. When the second sailor says ‘Aye, glad you’re back, sir.’ the audio is cut off right in the middle of ‘sir’ so it sounds like ‘suh.’ This also isn’t a sloppily edited insert or anything – they just didn’t time it well or record the line to the proper length.

They splice in a shot of the sail tilting from earlier right before Flint slides around a second time. Ya know, in case you forgot the ship was rocking back and forth.

Has Putera been ‘fixing’ Ridon this whole time by just smacking her beak into the display?

Putera just asks Professor Yamato to send a Space-Time Monster quickly. In the dub, Pterry mentions that the food on the ship has been awful…and he says it before mentioning that their ship is sinking. I get that that’s the joke, but it also makes Pterry look like a bit of an idiot.

Yamato asks which of the Space-Time Monsters will volunteer for the mission. In the dub, he specifically sends Mosbee.

This is the first time a Space-Time Monster has been sent to help Genshi and the others with a mission. Apparently, when they’re sent after the others have already gone ahead in the time stream, the monsters go into their egg form and come out of the tail pipe of Ridon….Keep in mind, Ridon is shaped like a dinosaur…so they’re emulating it pooping out an egg. I know, I know, I’m immature, but it seems intentional so I have to note it.

They repeat a shot of Goodman talking after Mosbee goes through the time stream.

They repeat and reverse Pterry flying down and Flint talking after Mosbee frowns.

This is in both versions, but everyone is being pretty massive jerks to Mosbee for trying to help and even acting like they’re bummed they got him for backup in the first place. Yes, he messed up a little, but they’re just being assholes for no reason. All they said was ‘Help Genshi’ without context or direction, and it froze stuff, like it’s meant to do.

And, really, what Space-Time Monster did they want? Their options are kinda limited. It’s either Mosbee, the monster who can create ice, Jitterbug, who makes people dance uncontrollably, Eldora, who turns things to gold, or Talen, who has the power to transport people into storybooks.

So Flint flies overboard and Tony says “Whoa” in the most bored tone imaginable. Yeah, your friend is probably dead….Whoa. Tony must’ve been possessed by retro-Keanu Reeves for a second.

For the record, Tokio originally yelled out Genshi’s name in a very concerned tone and very loudly.

Name Change: Super Mosbee is changed to Mosbee Master.

The name plate for Super Mosbee is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Coconaut-Kon: “I’ll huff and puff and blow you away!”

Flint: “That is some bad breath!”

But…the wind isn’t his breath….???

They insert the same shot of Tony and Sarah after Columbus tells Flint to knock off Coconaut-Kon’s hat just to have Tony point out that it’s crazy to think that would work. See, Tony, this is really why you can’t be a time detective. The mark is on his hat….remove hat….remove mark.

Though, maybe he has a point because, despite the hat being removed from his head, it doesn’t change him back or pacify him. *shrug*

Why is Genshi beating the living hell out of Cocolon yelling for it to become nice again? Especially after he already got the hat off. Genshi is always about being nice to these monsters and using friendship to change them back, only fighting when he has to. Why is everyone being an asshole today?

Flint is technically a little better, but not by much. He’s yelling that he doesn’t want to hurt Coconaut, but he needs to stop the storm…so yeah, beat the hell out of him.

Okay, I have to ask, how potent is Putera’s memory erasing ability? Because, remember, Columbus met Cocolon when he was a young boy. In order for all of this to be erased…she’d have to basically erase his memories of everything up to that point, right?

Toki-G: “The important thing is a normal guy that did his best and did a fantastic job.”

Old Timer: “But Columbus is still recognized today for his courage and determination in the face of overwhelming odds.”

They insert some more shots of Old Timer to extend his scene.

Genshi’s mouth is moving way too fast for his snoring. The dub actually tries to match his breathing with the erratic animation and makes it sound like he’s hyperventilating in his sleep.

———————————

Well…this was a thing. A very confusing and uncomfortable thing. I don’t blame the show runners for this storyline, they’re basically just parroting what they probably learned in school too, and keep in mind this show was made in 1998-99 (2000-01 in the dub) so it’s no shocker there, but still, to say this episode didn’t age well is a massive understatement.

Not but 24 hours ago (at the time of this writing; over the Fourth of July weekend) several statues of Columbus were destroyed by protesters. And while I don’t agree with destroying property like that (I think it’s much better to push through official channels to have these statues and other monuments and flags removed and either put into museums or stored away) I just think it’s a strange feeling, especially in the current state of things, knowing the real story behind Columbus in contrast to what I just watched and what I learned of Columbus when I was a kid.

I’m not sure if they still tell the same story about Columbus in elementary and middle schools as I was told when I was a kid, I’d hope it’s at least clear of the popular misconceptions (I don’t expect lower grades to be taught about the darker stuff) but it is interesting and kinda scary how much people can change a narrative for their own purposes and basically make an entire generation think a certain thing about certain people – whether for the better or worse.

I know this is a silly 90s cartoon about a time traveling detective caveman, and technically this is the point in time where he hadn’t done anything bad yet, but still – it perpetuates false information and paints the guy like he’s, at worst, slightly whiny and cowardly but still redeemed as a brave and strong captain who wound up doing great things in the end.

Did the guy have fierce determination to prove he could achieve his goal? Yes. He pretty much literally had a psychotic amount of determination to do so, basically near damning himself and his crew to death several times just to push on and see if he could find the mainland of Asia (Which is why he took so many repeat expeditions even though he was convinced until his dying days that he still reached the islands of Asia.)

Did he do a ‘fantastic job’? No. And only partly because the main point of his mission was never achieved.

He had very notable skills at sea, and he was known as being a very good navigator (Particularly a master of ‘Dead reckoning’) and admiral, but his crew was constantly either near or in mutiny and reported terrible things back to the king and queen when they returned to shore.

In between expeditions, he was stripped of his power as governor and viceroy of the newly claimed lands and was jailed in Spain because of his tyrannical ruling and vicious behavior to both natives and Spanish settlers. (Not the best first impression to someone sent to be a justice administrator to see gallows with several Spanish settlers hanging from them.)

Granted, he was released six weeks later and was still sent out on one last expedition shortly after, but he did get arrested for his actions.

You can also say Columbus had a bit of romanticism in him in regards to finding new beautiful lands, seeing animals and plants that he had never known before and working out this western route to Asia, but that’s tarnished by all of the other terrible things he talked about in his journals. Here’s a good example courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine;

“In almost the same breath, he described the Arawaks’ gentleness and innocence and then went on to assure the king and queen of Spain, “They have no arms and are all naked and without any knowledge of war, and very cowardly, so that a thousand of them would not face three. And they are also fitted to be ruled and to be set to work, to cultivate the land and to do all else that may be necessary, and you may build towns and teach them to go clothed and adopt our customs.””

And that they were “so full of love and without greed, and suitable for every purpose, that I assure your Highnesses that I believe there is no better land in the world, and they are always smiling.”

And lest we forget his intense fixation on finding lots of gold.

Technically he was also told to take dominion over whatever islands he discovered in his expedition, and he did that, so….mission accomplished there….but he even technically bungled that because Queen Isabella hated slavery and Columbus decided that a nice souvenir to bring back to Spain from his second outing was several hundred slaves. And when told by the queen to not enslave people anymore (and to treat the natives well), he still did it anyway because he found it was convenient.

Did his actions open the door for European colonization in the Americas? Yes, but 1) that very likely would’ve happened either way. With how things were progressing, the Americas would have been ‘discovered’ by Europeans very quickly anyway – it had, afterall, already been ‘discovered’ perhaps even more than once before Columbus. And 2) Whether or not that’s a truly good thing depends heavily on what lens you’re looking through.

Yes, we wouldn’t have the world/countries we have today if it wasn’t for that, but there were a lot of horrible things done to get to this point, both intentionally done (Everything I’ve already mentioned and more) and unintentionally (all the diseases brought here.)

Who really knows? The world may have been a better place if the Americas were ‘discovered’ and settled in a different manner, in a slightly different time by different people. It may also have been worse. We can’t really know for sure.

Even if you choose the rosier glasses, you still need to recognize that the guy did terrible things and was far from a hero who deserves his own holiday.

(Speaking of that, I read up a lot about Columbus for this post, but I recognize that I’m not a historian, this is a largely debated topic and I’m also a bit of an idiot, so if I got some stuff wrong here and you want to correct me about it, feel free to drop a comment down below and I’ll edit this post accordingly.)

But getting back on track for the episode as a whole, Cocolon is an interesting Space-Time Monster, and it was cool (pun not intended, but take it anyway. You’re welcome) that we got to see our first super transformation in Super Mosbee. He looks pretty cool in that form, and I look forward to more super transformations and utilizing the collected Space-Time Monsters in the future.

Tokio’s microscopic subplot is completely unresolved, though. He’s frustrated because his poor grades will probably keep him from becoming a Space-Time Detective, and at the end of the episode TP Lady (In her teacher disguise) is giving him a rough time in class and he’s still failing.

I’m still really confused about how Cocolon has fit into time for so long, and why it doesn’t affect Columbus to have what is certain to be years of memory erased, unless it’s just specifically memories of Cocolon which got erased.

Also, I don’t really understand how the story has worked if Cocolon was there the whole time. If, in the past, before they left, Cocolon was with Columbus the whole time, that means that at some point Cocolon did help Columbus find his way to the (long-ass) western sea route from Europe to Asia. Hm…Would they have even survived such a long voyage if they found the right way?

Well, this is an anime about time travel, so I guess we’re due to give Oda Nobunaga a visit with the debut of Tanegun!


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My Poke-Pinions #027-28 The Sand Line

Sandshrew

Name: Sandshrew is a combination of—I’m gonna just assume you know what it’s a combination of. It’s not really difficult. As for whether I like it or not – I do. It’s a bit overly simple, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s still memorable and cute.

And hey, at least they didn’t simplify it to a hilarious level like just calling it ‘Sand’ or something, hahah! Isn’t that right Japa–(image of name plate in Wiki)

………*lip smack*…….Moving on.

Design: I’ve always thought Sandshrew had such a simple yet incredibly cute design. It’s a shade of yellow that’s not too loud, it has an adorable face, cute little paws and I love that brick-like design on the yellow parts.

In regards to the sprites, I can say with certainty that practically every Gen is varying levels of adorable. Even right out the gate in Red/Blue, Sandshrew is sitting there look so adorable. I just wanna cuddle it.

The back sprite for Gen I is kinda weird, but that’s all I really have to say in that department.

Crystal is where it gets really cute. Look at that little itching animation and tail wag. N’aw!

Gen III is adorable, but Emerald is a little silly because I don’t know why it’s just flailing its arms like that. It’s still adorable even with the animation, but it’s a little goofy.

It’s in Gen IV where things get strange. The animations are just erratic. DPP makes it look like it’s trying to be a rabbit,

and HGSS makes it looks it had too much coffee.

Gen V is really adorable with its subtle little head shake.

As usual, Gen VI is just okay.

Alolan Sandshrew

I love that there’s an Ice (and Steel) version of Sandshrew, and I adore the igloo theme they got going on here, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s, ultimately, pretty much just a recolor of original Sandshrew. It has a band on its face and its ears are designed to look more like igloo entrances, but it’s still just a recolored Sandshrew. Nothing wrong with the recolor, I really love it, but I can’t ignore that.

Shiny:

I’ve mentioned before that a lot of people tend to hate green shinies, but I actually really love Shiny Sandshrew. I think it’s a very vibrant and cute shade of green – and for some reason it makes me think it’s a gummi bear, which just makes it even cuter.

Shiny Alolan Sandshrew is pretty cool (no pun intended) too.

The yellow underbelly is replaced with a dark glacier blue, and it fits extremely well with the ice motif.

Cry/Voice: Sandshrew’s anime voice is actually quite….horrible. It’s a very unfitting and screechy voice. The good thing is Sandshrew doesn’t tend to make noise very often.

Sandshrew’s game cry is equally screechy though not as horrifying. It’s not that memorable, but it’s a tiny bit fitting I guess.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Most of Sandshrew’s Dex entries say the same thing – they dislike water and mostly enjoy burrowing in dry sandy areas such as deserts. If they are threatened, they protect themselves by curling into a ball. The plates on their backs are extremely strong and act as armor.

Some other entries note that dew will form on it overnight if it gets particularly cold, and one entry mentions that, should it get too wrinkled from moisture, it will seek out the heat of a volcano and dry off there.

The Dex entry for Alolan Sandshrew is actually a little ironic because, completely contrary to regular Sandshrew, Alolan Sandshrew supposedly cannot curl up into a ball because of their armor-like back plates that are hard as steel. Alolan Sandshrew were said to come about after Sandshrew fled a volcanic eruption and decided to live in the nearby snowy mountains. Given the physiology of regular Sandshrew, I’m not sure how it lived for so long that it adapted into this polar opposite form, but I guess it’s not completely unbelievable.

It’s also a tradition to play a curling-like game with them by sliding them across the ice and seeing how far they can go. They use this super-sliding nature to assist themselves in the wild by sliding full-force into their enemies.

In terms of design, Sandshrew was based heavily on armadillos. The inspiration for its supposedly poisonous claws may be derived from shrews, of which they also share their name (at least in English) and it may also be inspired by pangolins.

Alolan Sandshrew was obviously based heavily on igloos, and the Wiki also mentions it was inspired by a curling stone because of the aforementioned game people play with them. Why they decided to do that with a Pokemon who, in no way, reminds anyone of a curling stone, I have no clue.

Sandslash

Name: I like Sandslash’s name, and, again, I’m going to assume I don’t have to explain this one. It’s different enough from Sandshrew, it has a more intimidating vibe to it, to reflect its increase in power, and it’s really cool.

In Japanese, it was originally…..Sandpan?…..That’s a little better than just Sand, but not by much because…what the hell does the ‘pan’ part mean?

According to the Wiki, they’re just guessing that the ‘pan’ part is for ‘pangolin’ which….I suppose maybe, but that’s kinda weird the way it’s arranged. Wouldn’t Sandgolin or something make more sense in regards to composition? No lie, when I first saw ‘Sandpan’ I thought they were referencing bread, because the Japanese word for bread is ‘pan.’

Honestly, I think Sandpan is a pretty goofy name, Sandslash is much better.

Fun fact: In the beta for R/B, Sandslash was originally named Sandstorm, which I think was an equally cool alternative name. Also, in China, its name is Chyūnsāanwòhng, which literally translates to ‘King of going through mountains.’ Okay. China wins here.

Design: Sandslash is just the right combination of intimidating and adorable. It’s just so cute with its big eyes and little nose, but also you know it could cause you some major pain with its quills and claws. I love the hedgehog/porcupine motif it has going for it, and it makes total sense as an upgrade from Sandshrew. The yellow and brown combo is nice, and the contrast makes the quills stand out a lot more. I also like that the quills/spikes themselves are thick and bulky to make it seem bigger and tougher.

As for sprites, R/B looks a little weird, but maybe it’s the perspective.

The back sprite is equally odd because it looks like Sandslash’s face is in the wrong spot.

Yellow looks quite normal, barring the same back sprite, and Green’s looks like someone tries to stuff it into a backpack and smushed it.

Gen II is pretty cute. I love the animation for Crystal. It can either be that it’s slashing its claws to intimidate you or it’s making a gangster-like gesture. Yes, the former makes more sense, but the latter is a lot funnier.

In Gen III, I feel like it’s about to present its butt to me. The weird animation for Emerald doesn’t help at all.

FR/LG is almost boringly normal, though.

Gen IV is pretty cute. Its animation makes it look like it’s cheering.

Meanwhile, HG/SS just looks like it’s spasming out of control.

Gen V is pretty darn cool. Not only is it slashing its claws, but it also has a neat animation for all of its back spikes and its tail.

Gen VI is very okay and boring.

Alolan Sandslash

I absolutely love the glacier/icicle motif they have going on with Alolan Sandslash. That was an awesome direction to go with this alt version. There’s not a lot in terms of color contrast in Alolan Sandslash, but that’s alright because the shades of blue that they chose for it are perfect.

It’s subtle, but I also like the way they changed the style of the claws. There’s a very sharp downward angle that makes the claws almost seem icicle-like too.

Shiny:

Sandslash has one of the best shinies, in my opinion. It has an awesome blood-red color on the spikes and the shade of yellow used on the body made for a more tan look that was great in contrast to the red and really gave off more of a sand vibe.

Shiny Alolan Sandslash, however, is just lazy.

It’s a darker Alolan Sandslash. That’s all. They took Alolan Sandslash’s sprite, turned down the brightness and called it a day. It’s not bad as in ugly or anything, but it’s boring.

Cry/Voice: This is probably going to sound weird, but, in the anime, it always sounds like Sandslash says ‘Slash’ while sneezing whenever it’s attacking. It’s cute, but it’s also a little funny hearing it that way.

Normally, Sandslash sounds…okay. It’s cute, but it kinda loses intimidation points on how high pitched it sounds. It’s even higher than Sandshrew, which is odd. I don’t know why the voice is so nasally, either. Like whoever voices it pinches their nose while recording.

Sandslash’s game cry is alright. It’s low and more intimidating, but not too low for it to sound off-putting or unfitting. It’s a bit too static-y, though – like it was meant for an Electric type or something.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Not too much that is all that interesting to note for several Gens worth of Dex Entries. It can blind enemies with sand, it protects itself by curling into a ball and using its incredibly hard quills as armor, it can climb trees and use its powerful claws for slashing. If or when its quills break off, they grow back in a day. They can use their quills to make enemies flinch then strike with their claws.

We do learn in Gen VII that people will use shed Sandslash claws and quills to make tools to till their farms and fields, so that’s pretty neat. However, the Dex entries for this Gen are also worded oddly. Ultra Sun claims Sandslash’s claws and horns break off….I have never heard anyone refer to Sandslash’s quills as horns. Spikes, yeah, but not horns. That’s just not accurate.

Also, in Ultra Moon, they say they ‘Park themselves in trees and go right to sleep.’ That is correct, but it’s weird that they said ‘park themselves’ like they’re a car. (I am aware that people sometimes say ‘park it’ when telling someone to sit, but in this situation it just sounds weird. I’m being very nitpicky here, admittedly, though.)

In Gen VIII, the Dex mentions that Sandslash’s spikes will feel smoother and harder if it’s in drier climates, which makes sense, and when they’re in trees they will drop berries for Sandshrew waiting down below, which I thought was sweet.

In regards to design, it has obviously drawn inspiration from hedgehogs, echidnas, and porcupines, and pangolins have been mentioned already, which I can definitely see in the face. Like Sandshrew, it is also based on shrews and supposedly have poisonous claws as a result. I keep saying ‘supposedly’ because I can’t find anything that says Sandshrew or Sandslash has poisonous claws. Only their Wiki and Bulbapedia pages say that, but I can’t find anything in canon.

The only poison ability it has naturally is Poison Sting, and I always thought that was utilizing their spikes, not their claws. In Gen IV and onward, it can use Poison Jab, but only through a TM so that can’t possibly count.

Alolan Sandslash’s Dex entries explain the same origin as Alolan Sandshrew, but also include that its icy spikes are actually steel spikes covered in ice. These spikes don’t only cause deep wounds, but they can also quickly cause frostbite, which is pretty scary. As opposed to trees, it has adapted its claws to climb icebergs. Utilizing its claws to plow through the snow, it has become the fastest Pokemon to travel within snowy mountain regions.

There’s nothing mentioning the design inspiration for Alolan Sandslash, but it’s safe to assume icicles and glaciers were a big part of it. Not sure where the steel came into play, though, because steel has nothing to do with ice, igloos, glaciers etc. Even taking its origins into play, Sandslash didn’t originally have steel spikes, so I’m kinda confused on that front.

Next up, the entire Nido-line: Both male and female!


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