Hell Girl: Three Vessels | Episode 14: The Street Corner of Bitterness Review

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Plot: Yuzuki now possesses the ability to sense people who are going to contact Hell Correspondence soon. The next client is a girl named Hidemi who accidentally garnered a bad reputation after being photographed with a delinquent in the city. She plans on sending the person who spread the photo of her to hell for ruining her life.

Breakdown: (Note: I somehow overlooked posting this episode’s review in the proper order, but it was just brought to my attention today, so better late than never. Sorry about that. Enjoy! :))

…..*lip smack* This is what we’re starting the second half of the season off with, eh?

Okie dokie.

First of all, Yuzuki is basically now all but cemented as being a less interesting fusion of Tsugumi and Hajime. At least she’s actively trying to stop people from using the service now, but she’s bad at it. She’s also bad at seeming like she’s emotionally invested in anything. At the end of the episode, she’s overwhelmed with the amount of people she’s sensing will contact Hell Girl and is clutching her head trying to get the bell sounds to stop, but I don’t really believe her response. She’s acting way too unemotional about it. Even when she was begging Ai to bring Akie back she was just barely emoting.

Also, side note, apparently Yuzuki’s friends haven’t been bothered all that much by Akie disappearing. I understand that because even I forgot for a little while.

Second of all, this story is a massive mess from start to finish.

Hidemi was in the city for a test, she spent too much time at her friends’ house and ended up missing the last train home. She also broke her cell phone. Unlike most people who would visit various shops, or even stop people on this busy street in this highly populated city, and ask if she can use their phone to call her parents or even the friends she was visiting, she decides the best course of action would be to spend some money at the arcade trying to get a stuffed cat, then sit on the sidewalk and fall asleep…

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It’s implied that she was worried about getting caught by the cops because she was young and out late at night, but is anyone really going to press charges against this kid for missing the train? Also, if she’s worried the cops might hassle her, why did she choose, of all places, the middle of the sidewalk to sit down and even fall asleep?

She’s awoken by aforementioned delinquent, Kinya, and he offers to take her back to the convenience store in which he works where the only other person there is a guy who looks just as skeevy if not moreso as Kinya does.

She finally has the opportunity to call home, though….and chooses not to….because she sees this as an adventure or something. Let me make it clear that Hidemi is very much a shy and proper young woman. Nothing about her even suggests that she has hidden desires to be any sort of rebel or anything. She comes off as the kind of girl who would find not putting the chip clip back on the reduced salt kettle chip bag as an act of rebellion. I’m not saying she can’t just be really good at concealing this part of her, but I am saying that it is strange. Not to mention the fact that it’s a dickish thing to do to stay out in a strange city all night and neglect to call your parents. Even if you want to have some neat little convenience store adventure, they’re still probably worried sick and it’s rude to not at least tell them that you’ll be okay on your own until the trains start back up.

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She spends the night there, and Kinya walks her to the train station in the morning, which is where she gets her picture taken by someone off-screen. It’s in the morning, not at night, and it’s not like there’s any implication that she’s romantically with him or that she’s a prostitute or anything. She’s literally just walking next to him and talking.

The photo spreads and ‘ruins’ her life, which I don’t get. Do people really have nothing better to do than gossip about a photo that looks about as incriminating as a picture of her jaywalking? And that’s all they’re doing by the way – gossiping. No one’s treating her differently outside of whispering around her. Yet that’s somehow enough for her to wish whoever spread the picture to be sent to hell.

The only way it gets worse is through more stupidity.

Kinya was a punk, but he was legitimately nice to Hidemi because some old guy in an alleyway was nice to him and told him that being nice was good or whatever.

It seemed like Kinya might actually be turning into a decent guy, but then, after the commercial break, Kinya’s suddenly viciously beating the old guy in the alleyway because he believes he’s secretly super rich. His reason for thinking this? The old guy wears a big coat when it’s really hot out….so he’s…hiding…money in it something, I dunno. Why he suddenly starting thinking this I also don’t know.

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He gets arrested for the assault, but he also acts like he’s proud of it. He wants to be a big shot and getting arrested by the police will only increase his prestige. He even plans on bragging to the cops about everything else he’s done….This guy is a major league moron.

Yuzuki had convinced Hidemi to go with her to see Kinya in order to help clear her name and improve her reputation, but they both witness his spectacle as he gets arrested. She flips out because he’ll probably be featured in the papers (doubt it) and people will connect him back to the photo. Fair enough in that respect, I guess. She immediately contacts Hell Correspondence on Kinya.

Kinya….Oh geez…*sigh*….Kinya escapes police custody, obtains a gun and takes Yuzuki hostage. No I’m not kidding. No, I also have no idea how those events transpired.

The point is, Hidemi sees him do this. Kinya doesn’t even recognize her until Yuzuki mentions her name, so she pulls the string.

The hell torture is okay. Everyone’s giant-ish and intimidating Kinya. Ai is massive, like kaiju-sized. It’s playing off of the fact that he said he wanted to be a big shot, but now he’s little. Haha.

As he’s ferried away, he laments being nice to Hidemi, but, uh, dude, do you really think letting some lost girl take shelter in a convenience store you don’t even own, feeding her stale bread and then walking her to a train station is properly weighted against beating a poor old homeless dude in an alley, escaping the police, popping off some shots and taking a teenage girl hostage?

Yuzuki waits for Hidemi and, here’s where I get REALLY confused. A girl with completely different hair both in style and color, a much more revealing sense of fashion, tons of jewelry, makeup and a tattoo suddenly bursts in and…that’s Hidemi. She has the little stuffed cat she wanted earlier and the curse mark on her chest, so that’s proof it’s her.

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Why does she suddenly look like this, especially since there’s no implied time skip of any kind after the hell torture? How do you go from “Oh dear, my life is ruined because I was photographed talking to a punk.” to “I’m going to change my appearance so drastically that the gossiping people from before will basically feel justified in believing I was a girl of loose morals, and more rumors will spread about me and ruin my life some more! Ya know, the reason I was miserable enough to call Hell Girl to begin with! I love being smart!” not just in general but in minutes/hours? I almost wanted to believe it was days later, but Yuzuki’s wearing the exact same clothes between when she’s taken hostage by Kinya and when we see the new Hidemi. I don’t get it.

Time issues aside, again, maybe she was just really, really good at concealing a desire to be a more rebellious girl, but they didn’t do a good job of making this connection with the audience outside of one line which could easily just imply a desire for a little more independence not that she suddenly wants to completely change herself both inside and out. Kinya’s character turn was a little more understandable because we knew he was a punk at the start, even though he was on the receiving end of the violence there, but even then he was nearly as bad in his car crash of a personality shift.

Finally, Ai’s back to being Ai fully, which is good, even if I feel bad she has to return to this job at all. They brought back the classic scene of her preparing to take someone to hell, including…her grandma….Yup. Grandma’s back. Where did she go and why is she back? No idea. She’s just here again. Somehow. I like Grandma and everything, but I never once understood her character.

Ai’s trying to teach Yuzuki about the futility of trying to save Hell Girl clients, which is more poking at Tsugumi and Hajime. I know this is for the sake of training her to be a new Hell Girl, but I am so far from caring about that plot element. She better have some gem of a backstory otherwise I’ll just feel like her entire story was a wash.

Overall, this episode was confusing and blah and I really hope things actually pick up soon, especially when it comes to Yuzuki.


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Hell Girl: Three Vessels | Episode 16: The Trap of Temptation Review

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Plot: Naowa is seen as a creepy man by his colleagues because he spends a lot of his free time playing with a local little girl named Kayo. He has no ill intentions, he just legitimately loves kids. Still, he has a shadow hanging over his head and a familiar curse mark emblazoned on his chest. He has already used Hell Correspondence, but who did he send to hell and why?

Breakdown: This episode left me feeling so conflicted.

The start is fairly unique because we’re focusing on someone who has already pulled the string. That doesn’t happen very often.

Even though this particular story is also pretty unique, I found that the events were somehow quite predictable. A new woman named Yuki joins the factory in which Naowa works and she becomes focused on him very quickly. My mind immediately shifted to ‘She has some relation to the person Naowa sent to hell and wants revenge.’ And lo and behold that’s exactly what happened.

What I didn’t expect was that Nakajima, the man Naowa sent to hell, was just like Naowa with one big difference – he actually was a pedophile. He didn’t do anything directly to Kayo, but he did take a bunch of pictures of her, clearly trying to get upskirt shots, and even kept them in an album. He told Naowa that he wouldn’t do anything to Kayo, though such a claim is obviously not to be trusted, and he blackmailed Naowa by saying, if he told anyone about what he was doing, he’d tell everyone that Naowa is just like him. Considering everyone already thinks he’s creepy, that threat definitely has weight to it.

Worried for Kayo’s safety, Naowa sent Nakajima to hell.

We learn all of this because Naowa is telling Yuki that they shouldn’t be together in a romantic sense because he’s bound for hell and won’t be able to find any happiness in the end. He also shows proof that Nakajima was a pedo by showing her the album of pictures he found at Nakajima’s apartment, which gave me quite a bit of pause.

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Why….did he keep that? Why didn’t he burn it or something? Even if he took it for the sake of evidence, which is dumb because there’s no way to prove it was Nakajima’s, he didn’t intend on having Nakajima arrested, and, at this point, has already sent him to hell. If anyone found that album, he’d be buried in so much shit he’d drown in it. Anyone finding it is bad enough, but he’s willingly showing this album to Yuki. While I know why she believes it’s Nakajima’s in hindsight, she has no reason to believe Naowa that the album was Nakajima’s.

He had absolutely no reason to keep that unless it was for his own sick purposes.

Onto Yuki, she is the proper client today. She was high school sweethearts with Nakajima (called it) and knew about his “other interests” but loved him anyway. When he suddenly went missing, she decided to investigate his disappearance for herself since the police wouldn’t help. She got hired at the factory in which Nakajima and Naowa both worked, and, knowing Naowa was close with Nakajima, decided to get close to him for information. When Naowa told her what he did, she called Hell Girl and pulled the string.

And now it’s time for a….

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Okay, technically it was a premonition Yuzuki was having the whole time as she watched Naowa pull the string, but same difference. I guess Ai was trying to convince her that cycles of revenge are constant and inevitable, which is weird because I thought she had learned that wasn’t true at the end of the second season, but whatever. Yuzuki still wants to try to stop all that from happening, though, so Ai releases her from being frozen in place or whatever was happening there and allows her to chase after Naowa after witnessing him pull the string. The episode ends with Yuzuki trying to find Naowa.

I thought this would be a clever ending because it would be ambiguous on whether or not she succeeded in stopping it, but they ruin it by having Yuki’s candle appear at the end, confirming that Yuzuki didn’t stop it and Naowa was sent to hell anyway. So…..that twist was more pointless than a circle.

Obviously, we have to discuss the uncomfortable aspect of this entire episode. Now, I understand that there’s a stigma about single adults having pretty much any contact with children unless it’s their job or something, and this is especially true of single adult men. Some adults do genuinely like kids and want to spend time with them even if they’re not related to them or don’t have a job in childcare or anything. And that’s perfectly fine. Naowa has proven….besides the ‘keeping the album’ thing…..that he doesn’t have any harmful thoughts or intentions towards Kayo or any other child. Naowa is a perfectly fine main character that you can connect with…..Again, barring the album thing.

That being said, it’s also completely understandable why so many people find him to be creepy. Naowa keeps to himself a lot, doesn’t have really any interests, seems uninterested in dating, and spends an inordinate amount of time playing with Kayo. Every day after work he spends hours playing with her and no other kids. Her parents are never around (except once at the start of the episode I think her mom appears and apologizes to Naowa for something. Maybe him spending time with Kayo because she works a lot or something? She seems perfectly cool with him spending so much time with Kayo.) and she’s never with other children.

The way the Hell Team addresses this, albeit briefly, is strange. Hone Onna points out that it’s obviously weird for a grown man to be playing with little girls, and Wanyuudou responds “Even though, in the past, looking with such eyes was weirder.” What does that mean? Are his eyes strange or is he saying watching little girls was seen as weirder than playing with them back in his time? I don’t even know if there’s an argument to be had there. Then Yamawaro says “That’s called ‘eras’, right?”

I dunno. Maybe? Things do drastically change between eras, even when it comes to perceptions of social appropriateness. Even just a few decades can make behaviors that weren’t initially unacceptable in acceptable and vice versa.

Plus, it makes the situation and stigma even worse when you introduce a character who, on the surface, is basically identical to Naowa…..only he IS a pedo. I was starting to feel a tiny bit bad for side-eyeing Naowa so much when he legitimately cared for Kayo, but then justification for those feelings entered the mix when they basically confirmed that the not-innocent version of this type of person is very much valid and probably more common.

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And then there’s Yuki…….*sigh* I usually feel compassion for clients, but this time, no. Her boyfriend was a pedophile, she knew this and didn’t care. Join him in hell. Just go. You’re just as guilty as he is.

In the end, I still don’t know how I feel about this episode. I guess it’s simply middle-of-the-road. It doesn’t do anything outlandish or terrible enough to make me angry at it, which, considering the subject matter, you’d think it would, nor does it do anything particularly noteworthy or interesting to make it actually good – we don’t even get Nakajima’s hell torture. It’s just okay.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 7/Manga Chapter 21

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Plot: Evil sentient Tamagotchis!

Breakdown: So this story is really….strange, even for Season Zero. Today’s episode centers around digital keychain pets – more commonly known as Gigapets, Tamagotchi and Nanopets. They’re the latest craze in school. Everyone has them – even the Yu-Gi-Oh gang.

All this talk about the digital pets is truly nostalgic, and boy does it make me feel old. The rough pixel animations, the LCD screen, the 8-bit sounds. It’s just so….outdated. I can bet any kid watching this today would laugh at it. Granted, these pets are a little cooler than the ones we had in real life in that they, somehow, take on the characteristics and physical traits of their owners.

It’s actually even weirder than you might think. In the Yu-Gi-Oh world, they’ll soon develop a holographic system meant to create projections so real that you can feel air pressure and even smell them (And stand on them sometimes….) This technology is designed for use with a trading card game. And yet these little pixel-y games are popular in the same couple of years.

Originally, our very clear antagonist was a boy named Kujirada. Kujira means ‘whale’ and just guess why he’s named that. Yes, he’s fat. But he’s not just fat – he’s ridiculous in his design too. His face is about ten sizes too small for his head and he has ears that could easily cover his entire face.

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In the anime, they add in that he’s also rich and literally throws money at any problem that he usually creates.

The manga chapter is actually pretty uneventful, so a lot of the anime episode is loaded with subplot and an extension of the original plot. Honda is bummed because Miho missed first period, and he shows extra grumpiness about it by going on about how much of a waste of time the digital pets are. He’s not going to waste time cleaning up digital pet poop when he is dedicated to cleaning up the real world. I’m not gonna say he doesn’t have a point, but he’s being a real ass about it. Digital pets are no more a ‘waste of time’ than any other game. It’s called fun, Honda.

Miho shows up before second period starts, and she explains that she missed first period because she was so busy taking care of her digital pet last night that she slept late. She’s been trying really hard to raise a good pet because the company that makes them is having a pet competition. The owner of the best pet will win a trip to Australia.

Miho shows her manipulative bitch ways again by oh so subtly wishing that someone could take care of her pet for her so she could win the trip without having to…ya know…do the work herself. Just like in that episode where she manipulated Honda into standing in line for an unreasonable amount of time so she could get some fancy watch.

They act like she’s an airhead, but she knows exactly what’s she’s doing to poor, pathetic Honda – especially when she mentions that the trip is for two. And, for God’s sake, Honda. You may be boring in the 2000 show, and you may have a similar patheti-sad puppy love for Shizuka there too, but this is just upsetting.

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At this point, I really don’t know why Honda or Miho exist. I mentioned last time that I thought Honda having a past with Jonouchi was at least interesting, but the focus was still purely on Jonouchi and Yugi’s friendship above all else. You could’ve made it so Yugi used to be friends with Jonouchi at a young age, but then he fell in with a bad crowd when his parents started getting divorced and then he just turned into an asshole until he made up with Yugi.

Even in the 2000 anime, I find it hard to justify Honda’s presence. He doesn’t do anything on his own, and if his role is simply ‘Jonouchi’s good friend’ Yugi already takes that role in an exemplary fashion. Their friendship is legendary. Not saying Honda has no right to exist at all or that Jonouchi can’t have more than one friend, but he should’ve been a much more minor character if they weren’t going to bother trying to make him interesting.

Honda then has to be two-faced when Jonouchi calls him out for accepting the task by explaining that he suddenly realized the digital world and reality are the same….Uh huh.

He even takes the next day off at school so he can care for the digital pet. Also, Honda’s definitely not a pure puppy dog about this, because he clearly shouts that he’s thinking about having sex with Miho (Though feels he can’t as he and Miho aren’t married yet. He’s enjoying the thought of her in a swimsuit, though. Guess that will have to tide him over.)

At least Anzu kinda calls out Miho’s manipulation later, especially when she shows her hypocrisy in saying Kujirada is wrong for using pets other people have raised to win the contest….

Another addition to the anime version is a new character called Haiyama. He’s a very shy and lonely boy who reminds Yugi a lot of himself before he made friends with the others. Yugi’s worried about him since he’s very reserved and seems to be paying off Kujirada for something in private. He tries to make friends with him and tells him he can always talk with him whenever he wants. Yugi also gives Haiyama a spare digital pet he has in order for him to join in on the fun.

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I said that Kujirada was originally the obvious main antagonist of the manga chapter of which this episode’s story derived from because, in the anime version, while he is the antagonist for a while, it’s eventually revealed that the main enemy all along was Haiyama.

But before we get to Haiyama, let’s talk about Kujirada’s role in the manga. Originally, he was just a big brute who used his limited edition ‘hidden character’ pet (and you know it’s limited edition because it has a star on it) to bully the pets of Jonouchi and Yugi through the linking capability (They call it dating/mating, but it’s really just linking) Outside of the star, nothing else makes the pet special besides that it has a longer life span than other pets.

Apparently, all digital pets die after 20 days, which is reasonable considering, from what I’ve read, the average lifespan of a real-life digital pet was around 12 days with the maximum being 25 days. Apparently, the world record is 89 days, which kinda confuses me because these pets are designed to die by old age, so I have no clue how they managed to work around that to keep one alive for 89 days, but that’s cool anyway.

When Kujirada went home, he realized his pet had become sentient and evil. The pet demanded more food, but he wasn’t satisfied with the pittance that the game itself offered so he demanded to be fed other people’s pets.

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The next day at school, Kujirada fed his pet Jonouchi and Anzu’s pets. His pet was was about to eat Yugi’s pet, Yuu-2, but it suddenly evolved (thanks to the data exchange from Jonouchi’s pet from earlier) and just…kicked the evil sentient digital pet’s ass and….that’s it. The end.

You see what I meant by this chapter being strange? Yugi never turns into Yami, there’s no shadow game nor is there any explanation as to why and how this digital pet became sentient and evil, and after his pet is defeated, Kujirada just walks away literally going ‘Oh well, at least I can sleep now.’ The chapter ends with Yugi watching Yuu-2 eating because he knows he’ll vanish the next day due to the life span limit.

What is even this story?

In the anime, as I mentioned before, Kujirada is super rich now. They make it a point a few times to say he used to be a kind kid but then his family fell into money and he suddenly became a massive asshole. He smashes the window to some shop selling an incredibly rare golden digital pet device for 50,000 yen (Around 500 USD) and takes it from the display, then he rains a bunch of cash on the owner to cover the cost of the pet and the window….He could’ve just walked in and bought the thing, but this is Season Zero where 99% of people who aren’t the main characters are cartoonishly evil super villains.

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Also, there’s no reason this dude is so happy right now. Kujirada said that was enough money to cover the pet and the damage, meaning he’s breaking even right now. Plus, he has the headache of having to cover the window, clean up all the broken glass, looking bad in front of customers and having to get a repair service down to replace the window….

The pet is apparently not sentient or evil in this version, it’s just a monster because its owner is a dick. And it’s only eating pets because that will make it more impressive, which will make Kujirada a shoe-in to win the contest.

In the anime, before Kujirada’s pet, DevilMaster can try to eat Yuu-2, Honda shows up with Miho’s new and improved pet that he’s been slaving over called Ichigo. Since he’s been so attentive of the pet, it adopts Honda’s traits and becomes a cleaning fiend. Honda challenges DevilMaster with it and I don’t understand why he’s doing this.

He’s just spent two straight days tirelessly raising this thing for Miho, the girl he’s obsessed with and would do anything for. Why would he see pets being destroyed by Kujirada’s pet and then openly declare a challenge to him with Miho’s pet? Even if he didn’t have a thing for her, he’s still risking her pet on a gamble.

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And then…..

…..Honda actually wins.

He has trained Ichigo to be the ultimate beautification club member, and it eliminates all trash. DevilMaster’s evilness, I guess, makes it constitute as trash, so it was deleted. I actually don’t care about this change because, in all honesty, it’s not much better or worse than what the manga gave us.

Later, Kujirada supposedly kidnaps Miho and writes a ransom note to Honda telling him to meet him in a warehouse. When Honda arrives, however, he finds Kujirada unconscious with his back covered in whiplashes. Out from the shadows emerges Haiyama, who looks 1000% different than he did in the last scene he was in. His eyes are now crazy and about 500x bigger than they were before, his mouth is equally enlarged, and his hair went from black and blunt to purple and spiky. He actually reminds me of a weird version of Weevil.

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Haiyama reveals that Kujirada was his real-life pet this whole time. Like they feed digital pets to make them stronger, he ‘fed’ the weak-willed Kujirada loads of money to make him stronger. Haiyama’s abuse is what made Kujirada have such a change in character from the kind, timid boy he supposedly was before.

Also, apparently, before Haiyama got to him, Kujirada wasn’t overweight at all. I don’t know if they’re making some sort of symbolism here in regards to the fact he was ‘feeding’ Kujirada a lot of money, and he overdid it, which made him fat. (Also, it seems to have changed his hair color too?)

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Yugi arrives, having followed Haiyama because he was worried about him coming across Kujirada again. Haiyama throws the digital pet Yugi gave him on Kujirada’s back and calls Yugi a fool before whipping him aside. Honda tries to fight him, dodging his whip strikes, but his all-nighter starts getting to him so he just passes out.

Haiyama reveals the real reason he called Honda there – he wants Honda as his newest pet. Kujirada has proven a failure since he couldn’t even win at a digital pet game. Honda’s ‘feed’ will be…I guess….holding Miho captive and stripping her in front of him? What the hell?

Yugi transforms into Yami who challenges Haiyama to a shadow game.

Shadow Game

There’s nothing to compare here since the manga chapter didn’t have a shadow game, but the shadow game is, more or less, exactly the same as Yuu-2’s battle against Kujirada’s pet in the manga. Yuu-2 evolves because of the data exchange with Jounouchi’s pet from earlier and he wins. Here, it’s a little unfair, at least by logic in the writing, because Haiyama has clearly not been using that digital pet so Yuu-2 would obviously be, by default, stronger than Haiyama’s pet.

At the end of the match, Haiyama’s pet “eats” him, but it’s soon revealed that it was just an illusion and Haiyama is freaking out on the floor.

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The last scene of the episode shows Miho and Honda passed out on the floor and Miho says ‘Let’s go to Australia…Mama’….So yeah, Miho wasn’t even going to go to Australia with Honda in the end if she won – after all of that. Manipulative. Bitch.

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While this story as a whole is pretty strange, I will say this much – the anime is much better than the manga in this circumstance. The manga just feels so incomplete. Why was the digital pet sentient? Why was it evil? I guess it could’ve just been because Kujirada was evil, but that still doesn’t explain its sentience. How was the evil sentient pet defeated by a regular digital pet without any interference by the Millennium Puzzle? Why was there no shadow game? Why did Yami not appear? Why did Kujirada just give up after his pet was defeated? It’s a confusing mess.

The anime shifting focus to Honda and Miho while introducing a new antagonist in Haiyama was actually quite genius to help extend the episode. While I disagree with Honda bending over backwards for Miho and I hate Miho more with every new episode, their story did create an interesting new structure to expound upon what was there.

Haiyama was actually a pretty interesting antagonist. I was a little shocked to see that this little timid kid was managing to control such a huge brute like Kujirada, and his influence was so powerful he drastically changed Kujirada’s personality and basically turned him into a monster. I think the visible transformation of Haiyama into evil super villain Haiyama was a bit much though. The huge whip did not help. It would’ve been a bit more intimidating if he kept his regular design and mannerisms because there is certainly something very haunting about someone who seems innocent and reserved turning into a psychopath.

The shadow game was a little short and uninteresting, but hey….at least the anime had one. Although, maybe I should take points off anyway because the shadow game was really just the match Yugi had with Kujirada just with an added bit where he gets ‘eaten’ in the end.

I should also bring up that this episode certainly has a Digimon vibe to it. However, I’m not entirely certain I can say it had any influence on the story in the manga. Digimon as a brand started out in 1997. Yu-Gi-Oh’s manga run originally started in 1996, but the volume that contains this chapter was released in mid-1997. It’s a little too close for me to say it had any influence on this story, but it’s kinda interesting to think about.

Next time, we got some anime-exclusive stuff going down. Kaiba sends his Shitennou after Yugi for revenge.


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Shaman King | Episode 1: The Boy Who Dances with Ghosts Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Manta is a weird kid who loves nothing more than learning about the supernatural. However, he gets a big surprise when he stumbles upon a boy named Yoh at a nearby cemetery talking to real ghosts. No one believes him, and when he tries to prove it he ends up crossing paths with a nearby gang who promptly beat him up for trespassing on their turf. After talking with Yoh and learning that he is a Shaman, Yoh uses the power of the legendary samurai spirit Amidamaru to take care of the thugs.

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(I’ve had the first ten episodes of this show compared and sitting on my computer for years, and I only NOW realized I’ve never posted them here, so….err….enjoy! For future reference, Shaman King has now been added onto my rotation. I have no clue how I’ve overlooked it all this time. Also, sorry for any poor quality in the writing as a result of the age. I did go back and try to clean some things up but you can pretty much tell it’s an old post. ~Twix)

The titles are obviously changed for this series, but they never put them on screen in the dub so I won’t bother noting them when they come up. The titles aren’t even puns most of the time. In fact, this title is the only one that’s lame. Yoh, Morty! Get it? Yoh like ‘Yo’. It’s funny. The rest are perfectly normal…

I will, however, show each title screen since they’re edited away.

Text on the sign outside the school is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

All the signs and logos are removed from the external shot.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The book has Japanese on the cover, so this gets painted away and edited to “Ghost Stories.” Also, they changed the placement of the text because of the fact that Japanese is typically read from right to left instead of left to right.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Text on a sign on the gate is edited away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

All the text on the grave markers is painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Manta also looks up at the stars because Yoh says the stars look pretty tonight. In the dub, he hears weird ghost noises.

A very short part of the shot of Yoh getting up is edited out.

The theme song is completely changed for the dub. The song is actually pretty good, but the lyrics are fairly cliché and corny. The original song is good, too.

Also, the theme song is originally placed before any scenes are shown. In the dub, it’s placed right after Manta meets Yoh in the cemetery.

A sign outside of the school is painted away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The sign outside of the classroom door, surprisingly, is actually changed instead of removed. The sign actually said “Middle School Grade 1: Class C” In the dub, this is just painted away and replaced with 107.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

In the original, Manta’s rambling on and on about the ghosts which prompts one of his friends to ask if he’s okay. Manta asks in a surprised tone and expression why he asks and the friend responds that it’s because there’s no such thing as ghosts.

In the dub, the friend interrupts his rambling about the ghosts to ask him if he studied for the science test today to which he responds in a surprised tone and expression that he didn’t know that they had a test today. The friend just says that he’s kidding, but he’s worried that Manta’s losing his marbles. Why change that? That’s perfectly translatable, and what they made in its place seems completely random. Why stop his story to lie to him as a ribbing then turn around and continue the scene in the same way? That makes no sense.

His ‘friends’ don’t call him shorty and other nicknames in the original. He yells because he’s frustrated thaty no one believes him. In the dub, his initial yell is “MY NAME IS MORTIMER!” and then he follows it up by being mad about the ghost stuff.

Name Change: Manta is changed to Morty. So he’s the nice old man from the Swiffer commercials. Well, I guess he likes being called Mortimer, which, get it, Mortimer? Mort? Morte? Dead? He likes ghost stories. Haha. Also, oddly enough, looking at the Wiki, his last name in the dub seems to be Manta…..Start making sense 4Kids.

What kid is named Mortimer nowadays anyway?

Yoh is originally listening to music on his headphones, which is why he can’t hear Manta. In the dub, you can only hear the background music, which makes it seem like he’s just ignoring Manta.

Also, I’m almost certain the scene where Yoh’s trying to remember Manta is shortened in the dub.

The text on the board is changed to scribbles.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Text on the boxes behind Manta is edited off.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Instead of writing “Three hours later” like the original, 4Kids speeds up an animation of an analog clock imposed over the scene….Because kids who can’t read definitely know how to tell time with an analog clock, especially one with no visible numbers.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The original has the word ‘here’ over the arrow pointing to Manta’s hiding spot. In the dub, they leave the arrow, but erase the text.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Entire Series Edit: Just for the sake of saving me a LOT of time and screenshotting – if there’s a sign or gravestone/marker, just assume it originally had text on it. I’ll note important signs and whatnot, but there are too many to keep screenshotting.

Name change-ish?: Ryu is changed to Ryo for some reason. Also, Ryu’s usually called Ryu of the Wooden Sword. In the dub, he has no title.

Ahem, 4Kids, you know how we talked about missing the forest for the trees? Well, you kept a very Asian-style picture of a Japanese Samurai with a name like Amidamaru and decided to remove the small Japanese text that was on the side of the picture.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, you keep a name like Amidamaru but you change Manta to Mortimer?

Ryu originally says he’ll make nattou (Japanese dish made with fermented beans and rice) out of the tombstone. In the dub, he just yells.

Ryu originally thinks Manta is the kid who has been trespassing in the cemetery at night. The dub doesn’t insinuate this.

Manta originally tells his friends that he was beaten up by Ryu. In the dub, he says he fell down a hill I guess while trying to run from Ryu. So…wait, we can’t insinuate that he got beat up? Even if we never see it on screen?

The eyecatches are removed of course.

Manta doesn’t mention anything about wanting to become a doctor in the original. He just says he needs to tend to his studies and that he can’t mess around like Yoh does.

Yoh tells Manta that his grandfather told him that evil people can’t see spirits and that since Manta could see the ghosts, he must be a good person. In the dub, he tells Manta that the cemetery is a great place to hang out and that they’ll deal with The Dead Enders while they’re there.

Amidamaru originally tells Ryu and the others that he is giving them a chance to redeem themselves for breaking his gravestone. Then we get a shot of his glowing, broken gravestone. In the dub, Amidamaru just thanks Yoh for giving him the opportunity to work with him. Is it some great honor to be called upon by Yoh? Also the shot of the gravestone is edited out entirely.

Over-Soul Merge is changed to Unity.

Amidamaru/Yoh originally tells Ryu that he won’t kill him because he doesn’t want a loser like Ryu to be a spirit like them. In the dub, he basically says next time he’ll do worse to him.

Manta originally explains exactly what transpired in his head. Yoh, and other shaman, can unite with spirits and basically become their mirror. Anyway that they move, the body of the host moves the same way with the same power. In the dub, Morty’s like “Wooooooowwww”

The word “Glue” is removed from the container of glue.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

After Yoh thanks Manta for helping him repair the stone, Manta wonders if it really matters since it looks awful and is covered in cracks, but Yoh says to not worry over such petty things. In the dub, he says he’d do anything after what he saw and then asks Yoh if he’d teach him to fight that way too, but Yoh politely declines saying the ghosts need a rest.

———————————

I really enjoyed this episode. Hopefully this will be a series I’ll get attached to. As of this slightly revised writing, there’s a Shaman King reboot on the horizon, so hopefully that’s cool. I’ve wanted to check out the Shaman King manga too, so we’ll see where this journey takes us.


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Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon | Episode 14: The One Behind the Forest Fire Review

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Plot: Moroha, Setsuna and Towa are tasked by Jyubei to help a beautiful village girl named Tamano. When she was 13, she found herself constantly pursued by men who were in awe of her beauty. Everyone wanted to marry her, but she didn’t want to leave the village or her grandparents, so she denied every offer.

One night, she was whisked away by the fiery mountain god, Homura, who was also awed by her beauty, and takes her as his bride. They live together in an odd mansion atop a frigid snowy mountain. The mansion is unaffected by the tundra surrounding it. In fact, it seems like it’s perpetual spring there.

Tamano had no choice but to accept her new role. At first, it didn’t seem to bad because he was surprisingly sweet and caring, but she quickly realized how horrible he was. If a man so much as met her eyes, Homura would burn him alive on the spot. His jealousy was so intense that he eventually started blaming Tamano for seducing men even when she wasn’t doing anything of the sort. To keep her all to himself, he locked her up in a jail cell.

Tamano was able to pick the lock using her hair sticks, and she quickly made her escape down the mountain. However, the snow and cold were too much for her and she collapsed. Luckily, Riku was wandering by and managed to save her. Realizing Riku is now a threat in Homura’s eyes, the girls are tasked by him and Jyubei to hunt down Homura and kill him. His head is worth a mighty bounty, so Moroha gladly heads off to face the challenge with Towa and Setsuna joining her.

They reach the mansion and confront an enraged Homura who has just discovered Tamano is missing. He blasts Moroha away with a huge fire attack, though she’s kept safe by her robe of the fire rat. Towa and Setsuna face off against him next, but he halts the battle when he notices the rainbow pearls in their eyes. He’s shocked that they’re alive because he swore he killed them when they were young.

It turns out that Homura was the one who set the massive forest fire that separated Towa and Setsuna. He did so on the orders of a mysterious demon named Zero. She wanted to kill them, and Sesshomaru appeared to be compliant with the plan.

Hearing this, Towa explodes in rage. They both take on Homura together, with Moroha rejoining in the middle of the battle. Even together, the girls have great difficulty getting their attacks through to Homura whose flames are so intense and massive that they can’t seem to fend them off.

Suddenly, Tamano and Riku arrive on Takechiyo. Tamano wants to take responsibility for Homura and face off against him herself. Seeing Riku by her side and hearing her declarations that she will never, ever be with him again, Homura becomes even angrier and starts setting his entire mansion on fire. She and Riku egg him on so much that he burns himself up and eventually reduces himself to ash.

Tamano heads back to her village to once again live happily with her grandparents, but Moroha is without a bounty once more. As for Towa and Setsuna, Setsuna doesn’t remember the fire so she’s fine. Towa, on the other hand, has to let go of the past now that Homura’s gone.

Breakdown: This series makes me sad. So very sad. And frustrated. Especially when it does shit like this where it fools you into thinking things are getting better and then it just stops being good all of a sudden, farts and leaves.

Here’s a play by play of my experience watching this episode.

– After first few minutes of episode – Hmm, seems like we’re setting up a pretty good episode today. Nice new OP, too.

– Midway point – Yeaaaahhhh, lookin’ good! I like this one-off character’s story. It’s a bit cliché, but I like it. I’m excited!

– Five minutes from the end – Wow, it’s like an entirely different show! It’s well-paced. It’s exciting. Good action. Original and threatening villain. Some good comedic moments too. Didn’t leave Moroha out – they even adorably made her into a snowball. Mentioned her robe of the fire rat, though I’m still confused as to how she has that. An interesting splash of Sesshomaru and Towa and Setsuna’s backstory. We’re making progress in their story. Wow. I guess with a new OP comes a refreshing new level of quality. This is grea–

– After conclusion – Oh fuck you, Yashahime! Does your stupidity know no bounds? Why would you do that? You were doing so well! Why?! At least buy me a drink if you’re going to screw me over again.

Alright, before we get to the nitty-gritty of the mess that is the ending, let me talk about some small things first. Setsuna picked up Towa’s smartphone and freaked out about it, nearly cutting it up and threatening it because she didn’t understand what it was.

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Does. This. Series. Ever. Pay. Attention. To. Itself?

I already asked episodes ago why it was that Moroha and Setsuna didn’t seem to be the slightest bit intrigued or weirded out by modern day stuff, especially technology, but here Setsuna is acting like Inuyasha vs. The photo booth from the second movie…..Moroha used an iPod a few episodes ago and no one batted an eye, but a smartphone? DIE VILE DEMON!

And, again, they lived in the modern era for a few days, so considering Towa is, by her own admission, addicted to her smartphone, I sincerely doubt they never saw her use one (Towa brings this up and Moroha says she doesn’t remember………) They must’ve seen Sota, Mei or Moe use one too.

This scene could’ve been pretty funny if they hadn’t already established all of that stuff regarding modern day items near the beginning of the series.

Oh well, at least they explained that Towa doesn’t get any Internet or cell service in this era so she can’t use it anyway, but considering they haven’t established a way for her to generate electricity I have to wonder how it has a full battery after being in the Feudal era for several weeks.

There’s also this stupid comparison they made between Towa’s attachment to her smartphone and Homura’s attachment to Tamano, as well as Towa’s connection to the past or something. It’s silly and not worth thinking about.

We have a new OP and ED now. I like the new OP just fine, but I prefer the previous ED over the new one. Beautiful new visuals for it, though. Absolutely gorgeous.

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Onto the more important stuff, the story with Tamano and Homura is actually quite good. It feels like a story that’s been more or less done in this show before, not that it’s all that original anyway, but I was drawn into it. Was a bit squicked out that all of this was over a 13 year old, but I guess I have to remember what era this is taking place it. They never establish if she’s still 13 (they just said she started being hounded by men when she was 13) nor how long she was Homura’s captive.

Homura is a great enemy, for the most part. He has intense fire powers, he’s insane, cold-blooded and he has a pretty good design and color scheme.

I like how they tied him into the overarching plot as being the one who caused the forest fire that separated Towa and Setsuna. The fact that he burned down the entire forest in one fell swoop (how did Setsuna survive that?) was also awesome. Not sure why Sesshomaru was there nor why he consented to this. His actions might have something to do with the trials or whatever Setsuna was talking about, but I’m not sure…..

The battle between the girls and Homura was also awesome. It had actual tension, cool shots, Towa was completely PISSED for a change, Moroha wasn’t left out, in fact she saved the sisters, and it looked like the episode was going to be awesome.

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Everything was going great.

I had a smile on my face.

Hope in my heart.

What the hell happened?

That’s all I have to ask.

What the hell happened?

It’s like an entirely new team took over the episode for 95% of the runtime and then the idiots from the rest of the series came back for the last 5%.

Let me get this out of the way, Tamano standing up for herself to someone like Homura? Aces. Awesome. I am unironically saying ‘You go, girl!’

That being said….Homura, the guy who would burn men alive instantly for making eye contact with Tamano, ended up burning himself to ashes because he got dumped too hard. He never tried burning her or Riku or even really Takechiyo. He just had such a temper tantrum at being rejected that his wittle broken heart couldn’t take it and he self-immolated.

This fiery mountain GOD….Not demon – GOD – killed himself….on accident…..because he got so upset over a break-up that he couldn’t control his powers anymore.

Tamano, by the way, isn’t some supernatural being who has otherworldly beauty or charms. She’s not cursed with beauty or anything either. She’s just a pretty girl.

Riku plays this off like this is mirroring Sesshomaru being in love with a human (and even mentions Sesshomaru by name) and that he can’t understand such human feelings……but uh, yeah, it kinda falls flat considering Homura kidnapped Tamano because she was purty and killed anyone who looked at her before locking her up in a jail cell and Sesshomaru legitimately loves Rin (at least I assume. I’m pretty sure most of what he’s doing is for Rin’s sake) because she was kind and loved him despite him being a demon and encouraged her to live her own life away from him until she could make the decision for herself whether she wanted to stay with him or go off on her own. Guess Riku really doesn’t understand if he can’t see that they’re completely opposite circumstances….Ya know…besides the squicky age differences.

Even if their situation did mirror that of Sesshomaru and Rin, it’d still be really stupid to have Homura kill himself on accident with his own powers because he couldn’t stand being dumped.

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It’d be a little better if he accidentally killed Tamano (or they tricked him into thinking he did) in a fit of rage and he was so grief-stricken that he accidentally killed himself.

But even then it’d be disappointing because this is the guy who set the fire that separated Towa and Setsuna for around ten years. You’d think they’d let him stick around for a while or at least have Towa kill him. What a ridiculously stupid and lackluster ending for such a seemingly important character.

Top that all off with the still-not-funny-and-still-stupid running joke of Moroha not getting her bounty? Give me a break.

I lost all hope for the next episode during that ending. The next episode is one seemingly focusing entirely on the Inuyasha crew and spilling all the beans on the origins of the girls and where the old characters are now. Yup, after spending 14 episodes spastically running between 10MPH and 120MPH and still somehow managing to go nowhere, we’re about to have an episode where they just say ‘screw it’ and blow their plot load. I’ve been waiting for this since the very first episode, and I just don’t have any faith that it’ll be worth a crap. I also haven’t heard any word of mouth about it, which worries me deeply.

It’s just so frustrating. I can see the potential with this series, but they can’t resist screwing it up at every turn.

Next time, can Inuyasha and pals actually deliver something positive to this story? Or will I continue to get bonus points on my ‘frequent frowner’ card? It’s make it or break it time, Yashahime.


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Pokemon Episode 61 Analysis: The Misty Mermaid

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CotD(s): None

Character Returns: Misty’s Sisters/The Sensational Sisters/Daisy, Violet and Lily

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock have arrived on the edge of Viridian City, hopeful to soon acquire Ash’s eighth and final badge – the Earth Badge. However, Misty is troubled. Horsea is depressed, seemingly because it’s been unable to get out and swim in a wide open area. Misty tries to get it to swim in fountains and small bodies of water, but it’s not good enough.

Misty suggests taking a detour to Cerulean City to allow Horsea to get some exercise in the big pool in her Gym, and Brock and Ash think it’s a great idea. She calls ahead to her sisters to give them a heads up and they head out.

When they arrive, her sisters reveal that their shows aren’t doing so hot, but they have a plan. They’re going to put on a new underwater ballet called The Magical Mermaid. They also reveal that Misty is the headliner, much to her shock and annoyance because the show is the following day and she hasn’t agreed or prepared in any way. Her sisters successfully guilt-trip/trick her into doing it, however.

The next day, she skillfully plays her part as the titular mermaid, impressing the audience with her and the Water Pokemon’s underwater dancing. The show is going off spectacularly, but Team Rocket bursts in to ruin their fun. They tie up Lily and Violet, who were set to play the villains of the story, and take their places in the show but for real. They intend on stealing all of the Gym’s Water Pokemon during the performance.

Luckily, Misty won’t take that lying down, and eventually Ash and Brock also rush in to help her. Jessie’s Arbok is the only one able to fight underwater, but Misty and Ash have all of the Cerulean Water Pokemon, Misty’s own team and Ash’s Squirtle to combat him. Horsea is sidelined rather quickly because it simply doesn’t have the power to fight very well. Misty uses Seaking in its place, along with her own Starmie.

Even with everything in their favor, Arbok still seems to have their backs against the wall. Suddenly, Seel, a seldom-used Pokemon of the Gym, steps in to protect its friends. Teaming with Misty, it manages to get Arbok on the ropes with some Headbutts and an Aurora Beam.

Its efforts are paid off when Seel starts evolving into Dewgong! No longer the little ‘baby Seel’ everyone underestimated, Dewgong Ice Beams the trio into a block of ice.

Once they’ve evacuated the pool of all Pokemon and people (not Team Rocket) Ash commands Pikachu to Thundershock the water in order to finish off Team Rocket. A final thwack from Dewgong’s powerful tail sends all of them blasting off.

Even with Team Rocket’s intrusion (or maybe because of it?) the show was a huge success, and now Misty’s sisters can enjoy massive crowds in their shows once more. Despite Misty leaving again, they explain that they can just take turns playing the role of the mermaid.

Before she leaves, Misty’s sisters suggest borrowing some of Misty’s Pokemon in order to help out with the shows. Misty is upset at this request, but Brock justifies at least leaving Horsea since it obviously needs regular exercise in big bodies of water that it can’t get while traveling with Misty. She agrees with this logic and hands over Horsea, but is appalled to hear they also want her Starmie. She agrees to this request too, albeit more begrudgingly, and the group heads off before they try to siphon off Misty’s blood for profit or something.

Biding her sisters goodbye, Misty, Ash and Brock head back to Viridian City.

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– I love how they’re all “We’re not near the ocean” when they realize Horsea needs a big body of water to get some exercise…..they literally just pointed out that they came from Cinnabar ISLAND.

Also, considering you’re all supposed to be on the outskirts of Viridian City, it looks like you’re pretty close to the ocean from where I technically stand.

See, this is why you guys need a better map.

Actually, while we’re on the subjects of maps, note how far away Viridian City is from Cerulean City (It’s two squares away from Viridian heading northeast). They’d have to go through the Viridian Forest, to Pewter City and then walk about a quarter the length of the entire region east to get there. It’s quite the detour just to get a seahorse to a pool.

I was going to mention how this is kinda 4Kids fault, because, as Dogasu’s comparison states, the original just has them in some random town stopping off at a park as they’re on their way to Viridian City – they’re not right there at the city limits or anything…..but then I thought about it….The original actually makes this WORSE. They came from Cinnabar and were traveling to Viridian, who knows how far away they actually were from it, and still decided to traverse nearly halfway across the region on a whim. Wow.

– I get why Water Pokemon, especially ones without legs, need to exercise in water, but why is it just Horsea? Why not Goldeen?

– Misty: *on the phone with her sisters* “How are you? We’re coming to visit!” Maybe give them a second to respond to your question before blurting out your news, Misty.

– Wait, wait, wait….So….they’ve been planning this underwater ballet for weeks, seemingly always intending that Misty be the star, if that poster is any indication, yet they had to wait until the huge coincidence that is Misty suddenly visiting out of the blue, a day before the event no less, for them to actually secure her for their act.

What?

The only way I can see this really working is if Misty took several weeks to get back home, which actually isn’t that unrealistic considering the distance, but if that’s true, holy shit…..just…holy shit, they traveled for days, maybe weeks just to get a seahorse in some water when they literally just left the ocean an episode ago.

But if they really started pulling all of this together after she called, why are they pissed that she seemingly didn’t rush right over?

Also, why are none of her other sisters taking the role? They mention how their water shows aren’t raking in the crowds anymore, but that doesn’t imply that they as performers are stale. And, skipping ahead a bit, the girls do play roles in the ballet, so they’re not concerned about people disliking them. Couldn’t they have just hired another actress who can swim? Just seems like a big stretch for this whole setup.

– Lily and Violet cheer that they managed to trick Misty into agreeing….right in front of her…meaning, she could just choose to decline right now out of spite. Good on her for not doing that, she’s a woman of her word, but screw her sisters….barring Daisy because she at least looks ashamed of them.

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– Another near-death experience for unsupervised Togepi. Mother of the year, Misty.

– Horsea SWAM AWAY while Togepi was about to fall in the pool. Guess the seahorse doesn’t fall far from the Misty.

– I love Misty’s glare and pout at the start of rehearsal.

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– Pbbbbttsahsahshahhahahahahaha that awkward ‘I have to hug my sister because my mom is forcing me for a Christmas photo op’-esque hug Misty and Daisy are doing during rehearsal.

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– That is even more awkward in context considering they’re hugging because their characters fall in love. Tell me again why they didn’t at least hire someone to play the prince. Or, hey, and this isn’t for the sake of shipping, why not get Ash to do it?

(Awkward note: Violet wrote this entire play….with Misty in mind for being the star and Daisy being the prince…..meaning she purposefully designed a story in which two of her sisters fall in love……..Eeeeggghhhhh.)

– Rehearsal’s kinda pointless if you can run through the entire play in less than a minute. Also, this story kinda sucks, but I guess it was a fairy tale for kids written in either 15 minutes or several weeks ago.

– Brock: “I like that charming prince!”

Ash: “I like the Seel!” *chortle* I dunno why that got me.

– Ugh, this episode reeks of filler budget if you know what I mean. It’s weird. There are some great shots and expressions but just as many awful shots and animations.

– Jessie: “It looks like there will be a lot of Water Pokemon in that show.” Jessie….there’s a lot of Water Pokemon there all the time….it’s the Cerulean City Gym…Remember? The place where you tried to steal all of the many Water Pokemon they had?

– Daisy: “I am, like, so happy we tricked Misty into this!” Oh….here I thought you were actually ashamed of tricking her. Nevermind, they’re all bitches.

– It’s adorable that Brock’s feeding popcorn to Togepi….but babies shouldn’t have popcorn.

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– Some dude in the audience: “Yeah the effects are totally cool!” What effects? All you’ve seen so far is the pool being lifted up so everyone can see in the water.

– Misty looks really cool as the magical mermaid.

– Shellder! I usually don’t get to express how much I love that little bivalve.

– I like how they show little instances of hidden places where they’ve planned for Misty to get a breath. It’s a small detail, but it’s pretty cool. Adds to the realism.

– Lily: “Hm, maybe I should’ve played the magical mermaid. She has a much nicer costume!”

Violet: “That is, like, totally selfish. Besides, that costume would look better on me!” Are you just now realizing that the role you’ve all described as being beautiful and magnificent has a more appealing costume than one of the thugs trying to kidnap her? Also, this just opens the door back up for that question of why they insisted Misty be the mermaid at all.

– I’ll keep saying this until the day I die – James always looks amazing in women’s clothing. Look at him pulling off that swan lake-ish outfit like it was made for him. Work it, James!

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– Aw yawning Shellder!

– Jessie: “Nobody’s better at stealing Water Pokemon than we are!” Says the person who failed to steal any Water Pokemon the last time they targeted this exact Gym…..

– James: “And next time we steal men’s clothes!” 4Kids, don’t play this that way. Jessie is wearing men’s clothing right now. If he really didn’t want to wear the ballerina outfit, he’d just wear the prince outfit and Jessie would wear the ballerina outfit. But he chose the ballerina outfit because he looks fabulous in it. Let him be fabulous.

– Eh, I’ll just chalk up the talking underwater stuff to cartoon logic.

– I will ding them for being able to hear Meowth without any distortion whatsoever when he’s hovering above the water and they’re standing at the bottom of the pool.

– So Team Rocket basically nearly got away with a school of Goldeen? I mean, yeah that’s still terrible, but I doubt Giovanni would ever be impressed with a bunch of Goldeen.

– How is Arbok breathing underwater right now?

– This is Horsea’s final episode, and it’s proven more than ever to be useless. Actually, considering how useless it is in battle and the fact that it can’t function without constant access to big pools of water, it’s actually to Misty’s benefit that it stay behind in the Cerulean Gym.

– Misty: “I know. You haven’t been feeling well.” Horsea’s not sick. It just got depressed because it hasn’t been able to swim in a big body of water for maybe two days. Again, they literally just came from the ocean after spending days on an island.

– I love that Misty can easily command Seaking too. Reminds you of the fact that she is, in fact, the Cerulean City Gym Leader.

– Ash: “Good job, Misty!”

Misty: “Thank my sisters. They trained it.” Love Misty for giving her sisters props when she honestly doesn’t have to, especially considering they’ve been so shitty to her since she got there.

– Violet: “Only Water Pokemon can battle in water.” Factually incorrect on so many levels. Arbok’s battling just fine and it’s not a Water Pokemon. Also, Dratini/Dragonair excels underwater and it’s not part Water. Technically, as long as a Pokemon isn’t weak to water and can hold their breath, or has a rebreather, then it can probably battle underwater just fine. Weezing is a unique case because of course it would float to the surface, being loaded with light gas and everything.

– Violet: “Go Psyduck!” For real, Violet? For actual real? Granted, I’m not sure she knows what a dunderhead Psyduck is (or the fact that it, ironically, can’t swim) but Misty has to have told her sisters some things about it since Violet knows Misty has one and was even able to locate his Pokeball with ease. If Misty did talk to Violet about it, then I can’t imagine she didn’t share her anger at its ineptitude. That’s pretty much all she talks about when Psyduck is brought up.

Also, maybe I’m being a hypocrite, but despite liking Misty battling with the Gym’s Pokemon, I’m not sure how I feel about her sisters commanding her own personal team.

– Violet: “Misty’s Psyduck is, like, totally embarrassing.” I feel like you did that on purpose.

POKEMON EP 61 SCREEN7

– Ash: “Underwater Tackle!” Ash…..even if you just said “Tackle”….it’d still be….an underwater Tackle….Squirtle wouldn’t be confused and go “Oh, a regular Tackle. But we’re underwater. Guess Ash wants me to move this battle to dry land.”

– Why does Arbok start lunging after everyone with its fangs when Jessie called for a Poison Sting attack? Isn’t that a Bite? I would say maybe it’s using a venomous bite, but as we’ve gone over before, venom and poison are two different things. Plus Arbok’s Poison Sting has always been a bunch of shining needles shooting from its mouth.

– It’s also quite weird that three well-trained water Pokemon, two of which being Misty’s Starmie and Ash’s Squirtle are so scared to death of Arbok’s Poison Sting – an attack they’ve faced many times.

– Violet: “It’s over!” A three on one against Jessie’s Arbok…underwater, which is Misty’s home field….with the three in question being high-ish level Water Pokemon…..is considered easily won by Arbok because he has ‘cornered’ them (underwater, meaning they have many avenues of escape) and intends on using Poison Sting? Careful, you’ll dirty the water with all that bullshit.

– How is this Seel considered a ‘baby’ when it not only knows Aurora Beam, which requires level 35, but is also on the tipping point of evolution, which occurs at level 34?

– What the hell? Look at how tiny Seel is compared to Arbok during the whirlpool sequence. Arbok’s like a titan.

POKEMON EP 61 SCREEN8

– Lily: “I never knew Seel was, like, this strong.” …….Wait…..you never trained the thing? What, did you just happen to catch Seel at a high level by default?

Daisy: “We never let it, like, be itself.” Where did that come from?

– How does Misty know how strong Seel is when she’s been gone for so long? She even knows it knows Aurora Beam….Maybe SHE trained it before she left and her sisters didn’t notice or care.

– *Seel starts evolving*

Brock: “Look what’s happening to Seel!”

Violet: “What’s that?”

Lily:”What’s Seel doing?” Have you experienced Pokemon Trainers and GYM LEADERS never seen a Pokemon evolve before?

– I wonder if it’s weird for a Pokemon to be addressed differently after it evolves. You spend your whole life being called one name but then you evolve and suddenly people call you a completely different name. This is one of the reasons why it’s kinda stupid that Pokemon nicknames aren’t more common. It’d just so obviously be a thing most people would do. Imagine getting a puppy and calling it Puppy until it’s about a year old and then you start calling it Dog.

Why Use the Pokedex?: Ash declares that he knows this is a Dewgong before Dex’ing it.

– Am I the only one who thinks using Ice Beam underwater would freeze the water surrounding it too? It’s like a laser will heat up an entire container of water instead of just shooting through to its target.

– What the hell!? Team Rocket is frozen solid, and instead of calling the cops or something Ash and the others opt to drag all of the Water Pokemon out of the pool so Pikachu can shock the everloving crap out of them? You’re a cold-blooded sadist, Ash.

POKEMON EP 61 screen9

Although, I get that this whole spiel is just to give Pikachu the spotlight again….

– Alright, they’re shocked now and clearly defeated. Time to–

*Dewgong tail-slaps them all out of the Gym, blasting them off*

Is the legal system in Pokemon just royally screwed? Is that why no one ever seems to want these people arrested?

– Why are Misty’s sisters all taking a bow and waving? They did absolutely nothing this whole time.

– Violet: “And if you decide to leave, Lily and I can take turns playing the mermaid.”

So you acknowledge that Misty didn’t have to play the mermaid and either of you could have done the job just fine? You three continue to be a cluster of canker sores.

– Daisy: “If they decide to leave, we totally won’t have enough Pokemon.”

No, really, why? This is the Cerulean City Gym. Don’t they have tons of Water Pokemon there? This Magical Mermaid show doesn’t call for more Pokemon than their other shows. They’re largely aesthetic.

Also, they’re kinda screwed either way, aren’t they? Because people will be clamoring about the explosions and the ‘air show’ and the big Pokemon battle and the funny Psyduck and the Arbok and the evolution and all the other cool stuff that they won’t be able to pull off without Misty, Ash and even Team Rocket playing a part.

– Violet: “Bummer. Maybe we can borrow some of Misty’s Pokemon.” Yes, why go out and capture some new and interesting Pokemon when you can just mooch off of your sister?

Also, bitch move to ask that after she’s already done so much for you, considering you forced her into doing something she didn’t have to do in the first place all because you’re manipulative harpies.

– Lily: “You better give us your Starmie, too.” Fuck you! Not only is it really greedy to ask for more when she’s already agreed to give up one Pokemon after all of this, but the one that is essentially her strongest? Come on! Granted, it is a little redundant to have a Staryu and a Starmie, but still. I’d think it’d be more logical to give up Staryu. It made perfect sense to leave Horsea here, it was the weakest link in Misty’s team and needed to be in water, but taking Starmie as well is a bit much. Now Misty’s team is really barren.

– Misty: “Oh, how can I say no?” Like this.

Seriously, though? How can you say no? You’re acting like they’re sweet-talking you when they’re pretty much demanding your Starmie.

– Oh but she draws the line at Togepi. Every single one of them is dripping with favoritism.

– *pushes Psyduck their way* Misty: “But you can keep this if you want it!”

Lily and Violet: “We’re not THAT desperate!” First of all, Misty, keep “this”? Stop referring to Psyduck like he’s a thing. Second, stop shitting on poor Psyduck, all of you.

– Oh hey a mention of Misty’s destroyed bike. Looking back, that’s actually kinda depressing foreshadowing because I believe the next time Misty will contact her sisters will be when Misty is written out of the show – which is when her bike will also conveniently be fixed.

– Fitting that the Pikachu’s Jukebox for this episode is the song “Viridian City” where the lyrics are “We’re on the road to Viridian City.” Because they are….even though they were right next to it at the start of the episode and will have to travel god knows how long to get back there.

———————————-

As much as this episode is heavy with story and art/animation problems, I can’t deny that I fondly remember it and still enjoyed it on this rewatch. It was nice to return to Cerulean Gym, and Misty is an absolute delight in this episode. She’s badass and cool, elegant and fun, and even though her sisters are screwing her over she’s still being shockingly accommodating to their wishes – even to the point where she pretty much sacrificed half her team to them.

I also love the concept of the underwater ballet, even if the underwater battle was a bit of a missed opportunity. You can tell they really care about water physics, how sound would be affected or really anything else. Some things can be hand-waved by budgetary constraints, but others can’t. Bad time to be hit with a bad art and animation two-fer. Outside of them using their rebreathers, you’d only barely notice they were underwater. Also, a Poison Type snake nearly singlehandedly defeated three moderately high level Water Pokemon UNDERWATER is bafflingly bad writing. Arbok can hardly ever get the upperhand on land. There’s no reason whatsoever that Arbok didn’t drown that whole time, let alone that he would be dominating this match until Seel comes in.

Misty’s sisters did irritate me, as usual, but I was able to mostly tune them out. They honestly could have just politely asked Misty over the phone if she’d do it instead of springing it on her when she arrived and acting as if she should know she’s the star of their show. Misty is being incredibly kind this whole time. Surely she’d agree if they were nice about it and gave her a heads up. But nope. Instead they guilt-tripped and tricked her. Granted, that is totally a sister thing to do.

I really believe she should have been given Dewgong, though. They even pointed out how much it made sense by Daisy saying they never let it be itself. Misty helped bring out Seel’s strength, and it’d be a fine trade for Starmie. But nope. They just took and took and gave nothing back to her. Makes me glad she eventually takes the Gym back over down the line. She deserves it more than they do.

Next episode, I get a feeling of dread because I really don’t think I liked this one. Jigglypuff returns and has a beef with a Clefairy.


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SSBS | Bakugan Episode 4: Dan and Drago

Plot: After throwing Drago into the river, Dan confronts his classmate, Ryo, who is very knowledgeable about Bakugan, yet has never played it. Despite Ryo being very courteous and bashful, Dan becomes infuriated at him when one of his classmates states that Ryo’s so knowledgeable on Bakugan that he might even be able to beat Dan in a Brawl.

Nearly having his laptop broken by Dan’s outburst, Ryo is approached by Masquerade who recruits him, claiming he could be the best Brawler around with his knowledge, and his strategies should be respected. Without Drago by his side and facing a super-strategic first-timer with a Doom Card on his side, can Dan manage to win?

Breakdown: *Deep breath* Okay, Bakugan. I am a reasonable person. Maybe you’re just struggling to get through this first handful of episodes. I get that. So, let’s put the water under the bridge, the exact same place you threw Drago, and try to move on.

Ahem.

Today’s episode starts with a really sloppily edited and written scene with Dan’s friend guilt-tripping him and trying to get him to go find Drago. He stubbornly refuses and goes to lay on his bed without shutting off the computer or closing the video chat.

“Dan, come back!” He’s just laying on the bed about two feet away from the computer. He can still hear you and talk.

Meanwhile, Drago and underwater shenanigans.

The next day at school, Dan starts ragging on this kid named Ryo who, despite never having played Bakugan before, likes to analyze the data from battles and make up strategies for certain scenarios using his computer. So, pretty much Bakugan’s version of The Chief from Beyblade. Dan believes there’s no strategy to Bakugan – it’s all about who has the most power….This Bakugan prodigy, one of the best in the world….Has early Yu-Gi-Oh Joey syndrome. Or Morikawa from Cardfight!! Vanguard syndrome, take your pick.…..

I’m not kidding – Dan is MYSTIFIED that there’s actual strategy involved in this game.

They pronounce Ryo as ‘Rye-oh’….

One of their classmates says Ryo knows so much, he might even be able to beat Dan in a Brawl, and Dan becomes enraged. He mocks Ryo some more, despite Ryo being perfectly pleasant and nice this entire time, and challenges Ryo to a Bakugan Brawl. He tells him to put his money where his mouth is unless he’s afraid to show that his data isn’t worth spit, but Ryo didn’t say a damn thing, the other kid did. So he’d be putting his money where some other kid’s mouth is.

Dan gets so pissy that he rushes up to Ryo’s face to the point where Ryo stumbles backwards and drops his computer.

For a change, the other kids actually call Dan out for being a dickhead and defend poor timid Ryo and his possibly broken computer. Dan doesn’t own up to it, though, and just runs out of the room claiming it wasn’t his fault when it 100% was.

While Dan sulks later that night, Ryo is contacted through his Bakugan simulation software by Masquerade. Ryo states that he’s perfectly content simulating Bakugan, acting as if it’s a chess game, as opposed to playing the actual game. Masquerade claims Ryo wants to prove to the world that he has the skills and knowledge to be an amazing Brawler, and he can help him with that if he joins his mission.

The next day at school, Dan actually seems like he might be about to apologize, but Ryo suddenly challenges him to a Brawl, revealing that he has one of those Duel Disk-esque things from Masquerade. Dan accepts the challenge.

Dan: “This geek is going down!” So much for apologies, apparently.

Ryo sets down a Doom Card, and they both set down their first Gate cards.

Ryo sends out Fear Ripper. Dan puts down another Gate card and summons Pyrus Terrorclaw.

Ryo….draws a card from his shirt? I’m not sure that’s allowed, but whatever. He places another Gate card and summons a dark praying mantis thing. He then uses the ability card, Marionette to….grab…Terrorclaw and…..somehow that allows the praying mantis thing to beat him.

Wiki Response – Apparently, moving Terrorclaw to Darkus Mantris’ spot….lowered its power enough to beat him…or something?

Anyway, Terrorclaw is now in the….the Doom Dimensionpbbbttthahahahaha. That will never not be funny.

Ryo recalls his Mantris for some reason, and we’re off to round two.

Dan calls out Juggernoid while Ryo summons….the Mantris again. Why recall it if you were just going to call it back out half a second later?

Juggernoid attacks Mantris, but Ryo uses the ability card, Companion, which…sends both of them to the Doom Dimension?

Wiki Response – I guess that’s exactly it’s function: it kills both an opponent’s Bakugan and your own. *shrug*

Dan is offended that Ryo let his own Bakugan be a sacrifice to beat his, but Ryo says they’re all just tools and parts of his strategy.

Round three – Dan sends out Robotallion and uses the ability card, Robotallion Enforcement. That….beats him….I guess?

Wiki Response – Robotallion Enforcement powered up Robotallion by 50g, which gave him a 40g lead over Fear Ripper. However, they never show Robotallion attacking. They both get engulfed in flames, return to their ball forms and, I guess we’re left to assume that Dan just won that round because of that.

Round four – Ryo sends out Reaper, and Dan thinks this match is clinched because Reaper is standing on a Gate card that will give his Pyrus cards an extra 150g, meaning Reaper won’t be able to beat Robotallion. Boy it sure is nice when the show actually EXPLAINS what’s happening.

Dan sends out Robotallion and activates his Gate card, but Ryo counters with Dimension 4, which nullifies his Gate Card. Now without the g boost, Reaper is able to beat Robotallion, giving the match to Ryo.

Dan finally actually, legitimately lost…..and I feel numb. I thought I’d feel happier with Dan finally losing, knock him down a peg. But, remember, I am reading the Wiki page for this episode….He wins the rematch later on, so this whole thing just seems somewhat moot besides guilting Dan enough to go after Drago.

Also, despite the fact that time stopped at the start of the Brawl, the second they get back from the pocket dimension, it’s suddenly looking like there’s going to be a storm.

Ryo and the other kids walk away, leaving Dan on the ground beating himself up over losing his Bakugan. And if there were ever a more inappropriate time for the commercial break to bust in going ‘Stay tuned for more Bakugan: Battle Brawlers!’

Dan has a welcome moment of self-reflection as he laments on not learning anything over his battles and being the cause of his Bakugan being sent to the Doom Dimension.

There’s also this –

Wiki: “When Dan was thinking about his battle against Rikimaru, the flashback of the battle is entirely different. None of it occur [sic] where Siege deflected Drago’s attack on him by the gate card. Thus this is more of an alternate timeline scene since Drago broke free from using his ability and waited for the gate card to open.”

Okay…..Wiki, I think you’re being a little generous with the ‘alternate timeline’ explanation. I think a better one would be ‘The writers were too lazy to remember what happened there, so they bullshitted something.’

He, rightfully, beats himself up for being so self-absorbed, then rushes off to save Drago from the river.

Drago…sparkles or something, allowing Dan to finally find him.

Once the symbolic and literal clouds clear, Dan apologizes to Drago, and despite the fact that Drago also admitted he was unfair and apologized to Dan in private, he doesn’t share such a kind sentiment in response to Dan’s apology.

Drago: “You are not completely useless to me, so why should I not take advantage of you as much as I can?” Stop. Please. I’m tearing up.

Dan: “Do you really mean it?” Why are you acting like that was a sweet thing to say?

Oh my god, that embarrassingly animated shot of still-frame Dan and slide-animation Drago. Wow. That’s a special thing right there.

They start a rematch with Ryo. Fear Ripper is called out by Ryo first while Dan sends out a horned demon thing. They show that Dan’s learning by pointing out that he suspects a trap.

His suspicions are confirmed when we basically get the exact same song and dance as before with Mantris and Marionette. Ryo also opens his gate card, which grants Fear Ripper another 80g, making it a match of 400g vs. 320g.

Dan activates Fire Wall, which decreases Fear Ripper’s attack by 50g….Obviously….he failed math and the demon thing is sent to the Doom Dimension.

Dan: “Just trust me, Drago! Okay?”

Drago: “I trust you!” He threw you in a river and left you there for over a day and only retrieved you when he finally felt the sting of loss, knowing you were his best Bakugan and could give him the best chance to win in the future.

But okay.

Round two – Dan calls out Drago, and Ryo…calls out…Fear Ripper again. I didn’t even see him recall him that time. Whatever.

Ryo then uses the ability card, Slash Zero, which grants Fear Ripper 80g, making its attack 400g to Drago’s 340g. Dan protects Drago by using the gate card, Intercept, to stop Fear Ripper from attacking Drago.

Dan summons a Mantris of his own and also uses the ability card, Marionette, to take control of Ryo’s Fear Ripper and set it on Mantris’ gate card, which is Mind Ghost and even the Wiki doesn’t help me here as, apparently, doing that sent both Mantris and Fear Ripper to the Doom Dimension. Dan does explain what this does, as it’s basically Companion, I guess, but why the card activated on its own when Dan placed Fear Ripper on it is beyond me.

Logically, there’s no way Dan should’ve even known Ryo had that card, let alone had it out on the field. That wasn’t strategy – that wasn’t even heart of the cards bullshit – that was a guess and luck.

Dan: “Well, you see, Bakugan is really a strategic game. You have to read your opponent’s mind and anticipate his moves.” Literally, I suppose, because the only way you could’ve possibly have known Ryo had that card out was if you actually read his mind.

Also, shut up.

Ryo: “I don’t understand! He actually managed to double-cross me!” You’re not using that word right.

Round three – Ryo summons Reaper and quickly disposes of Dan’s Mantris.

Round four – Reaper and Drago face off. Dan is anticipating that Ryo will use Dimension 4 this time, which actually make sense.

Dan activates his gate card, which looks like another Fire Wall, so Ryo tries to counter with Dimension 4 again, but Dan reveals this is a character card, which isn’t affected by Dimension 4, meaning Drago gets the powerup.

Dan’s whatever card doubles Drago’s power to 680g as opposed to Reaper’s 370g. Even though it’s entirely pointless because the power gap between the two Bakugan is now massive, Dan powers up Drago even more with a Boosted Dragon card, making his attack level a ridiculous 880g. Yes, I’m going to prove I’m not all about power by needlessly powering up my already overpowered Bakugan.

The match goes to Dan.

Yay.

At least Ryo and Dan make up and look forward to a nice non-doomy match someday.

And by ‘someday’ I mean ‘never’ because Ryo never appears again. Shame. He’s much more interesting than Shuji anyway.

Dan takes a break from bragging about himself to his friends by bragging about Drago (and himself by proxy – even mentioning he went up a rank) Then Dan gets all cuddly and kissy (literally) with Drago’s ball. This series let me say that sentence.

The end.

————————–

This definitely was the most tolerable episode so far. Dan was a prick in the first half but got more likable in the second. He pulled some stuff out of his ass to win the rematch with Ryo, and, honestly, I think he was dumbed down for the first match. Dan has showed much more strategy than that, and the idea that he’s such a high-ranking Brawler without understanding that this game involves strategy is ludicrous.

Either that, or Bakugan is a broken game, which it very well may be because I’ve been watching for four episodes now and I still can barely make heads or tails of what’s going on without needing the Wiki. Explain card effects. Name the Bakugan and cards every time you show a new one. Don’t just expect the audience knows this shit.

But, of course, either way, he needed to be dumbed down and beaten without Drago around in order to have Dan realize the error of his ways and go after him.

Dan’s problem was never a lack of strategy, it was impulsiveness and recklessness. The fact that they tried to show his growth in strategic planning (And, ironically, caring for the Bakugan as living creatures) by letting two more of his Bakugan be sent to the Doom Dimension (as PART of this strategy) and magically predicting Ryo’s use of a card Dan had no prior knowledge of is just poor writing.

Ryo’s personality change was way too much for me. I’d understand if Masquerade has some sort of dark influence on people, but, as far I know, he doesn’t. He’s just really good at coercion and manipulation. Ryo went from really timid and kind to cocky asshole and back again within the course of two days. It was a bit hard to swallow, even with Dan being a jerk as the trigger.

I did like Ryo as a character, and I would’ve loved him to be a sort Chief-like character for this show, if only for the sake of explaining what the hell is going on, but alas, that’d be something I’d enjoy so of course he’s a one-off.

Next episode…..Runo….yay.


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Sub/Dub Comparison | Episode 9: Doodling Horurun

Plot: The next time shifter, Horurun, is spotted in 19th century France in the hands of a young Auguste Rodin, the famous artist.

——————————

Title Change: Doodling Horurun is changed to Artie.

Name Change: Horurun is changed to Artie.

While both versions start out in the land of time, Saban opted to put a further establishing shot of the land of time right before the establishing shot that the original used for some reason.

The delivery robots made a joke that pretty much couldn’t be translated. They said “Aino ni takuhaibin” which translates to “A delivery for Aino.” but one of the robots joked “Aino takuhaibin” which means “A delivery of love.”

They remove a long behind shot of TP Lady grinding all up on the portrait and instead reverse a short sequence of Dyna and Mite shrugging in confusion about her.

An establishing shot of the lab is switched out for a different establishing shot of the lab/Bureau of Time and Space. The one they replaced it with is at sundown.

Oh my god…..Horurun is such a dorky little cutie pie. I love it too much.

They skip over the sequence of the kids traveling through space/time to get to 19th century Paris. In the dub, they use old recycled footage to insert their own sequence for this because it’s really necessary for some reason.

Also, they slightly shift the shot of the kids exiting the portal from after the establishing shot of Paris to before it.

Even though it is awful, none of the original kids say the first monster drawing they see was based on a ‘bad’ drawing done by a kid like Pterry does.

Flint: “Whoa, a little self-control, Getalong!” Pot, kettle, black.

Horurun’s name plate is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Oh wow….oh woooww…it’s like they paid Brian Donovan to give as few shits as possible when he was supposed to be in a lot of pain after getting his shin kicked.

Dyna and Mite originally point out that, even if TP Lady had Horurun bring the painting of the masked man to life, it wouldn’t be real. She responds that she doesn’t care because of the mysterious matters of a young maiden’s heart. In the dub, they don’t discuss this.

While the discussion of TP Lady’s age is kept, they don’t have them be so brash as to talk about her needing wrinkle cream.

They insert a far shot of Auguste running away before we cut back to Genshi after he jumps on TP Lady and the others.

In the original, Sora realizes the guy on the roof was Soichiro and goes “Ah! He disappeared again!” when he falls off the roof. In the dub, Sarah must believe he was a weathervane or something because, when he falls, she says “Ah! This whole town’s falling apart!” They’re continuously make Sarah oblivious to this dude in the dub, and what’s worse is that, in the original, Sora obviously knows Soichiro was trying to guide her, so she goes the direction he pointed, but in the dub it makes her look like she thinks she’s following the directions of a rickety weathervane….

A short reaction shot of Auguste is cut.

Excuse me. Are you telling me Auguste spent a full week with Horurun, constantly trying to make a drawing for his mom, and only now does Horurun use his ‘turn anyone into an amazing artist’ power on him? The day of his mother’s birthday?

Urghh they seriously just let him walk up and stamp Horurun…..Come on, guys.

Name Change: Waruhorurun (Geez, the awkwardness of that name.) is changed to Artiecon.

Name plate removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The little boy trying to mess with the Time Cycle was originally trying to use it as a toilet. Saban obviously didn’t keep that little fact, changing it in dialogue to a rocking horse, but uh…..Saban….maybe be more careful with your frames. Why do I say that, you ask? This little boy clearly has no bottoms on. And I mean, he clearly has no bottoms on. Saban, you knew the original context of the scene. You had to have known he was trying to relieve himself….you had to have noticed….that, especially when the kid is flipped upside down and you can see it peeking out from under his shirt. Come on, Saban. Don’t make me whip out 4KidsPraising!Twix. Their frame by frame censors were next level and you even didn’t try. Shame.

They changed the sign for Sphin’s game show from “Sphin’s Riddle the World: Paris Edition” to “Riddle Griddle.”

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Forgive the partial screenshot. It pans and never shows the entire sign full out.

Why is the punishment for getting the riddles wrong now a big collection of monsters? I thought, if you get three riddles wrong, you end up mind-controlled by it.

Sphin’s first riddle is kept the same (The riddle is, Sphin was taking some color photos at the zoo, but they all came out black and white. Why?)

Sora and Sarah both stupidly blurt out the correct answer to Sphin’s riddle. (She said pandas, but I guessed zebras, which still would’ve been correct.)

A shot of Auguste appearing behind Waruhorurun is swapped from before the shot of him crying and opening his arms to afterward.

Waruhorurun doesn’t talk in the original. He has really bad dialogue in the dub.

Oh so Sphin doesn’t transform today…..What was his purpose being here, then?

I find it to be kinda depressing that, immediately after Auguste says he won’t forget Horurun, Putera mind wipes everyone…

————————–

All in all, I really enjoyed this episode. I figured I would because I love art, even if it’s silly doodles, so this story’s right up my alley. Horurun is so adorable, and I love its power.

The story itself is very sweet. Rodin just wants to make a nice gift for his mother.

Believe it not, I really like that they showed him as a terrible artist. He is about ten years old here, and that’s right when he picked up drawing. Rodin did struggle a lot in the art world before he solidified his masterful skills. He had poor eyesight that made it difficult for him to follow along in school, but he found some solace in drawing because he could get the paper up close to his face to see his progress.

Despite having such passion for art that he enrolled in an art school when he was 13, he was rejected by Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a very prestigious art school in France, three times and denied entry into art exhibitions quite frequently. In fact, he wouldn’t really be recognized as a prominent artist until he was 35 when he became so inspired by the works of Michelangelo and Donatello on a trip to Italy that his work really started taking off.

This is not only (exaggerated, but) accurate to his story, but it is a great message for aspiring young artists. It doesn’t matter if you start out poorly. With enough work, dedication and passion, you can become an amazing artist, too.

…..That being said….

The actual message of the episode is problematic.

Why? Because Rodin suddenly got insanely good art skills via Horurun’s power and…..there’s never any indication that it wore off or anything. The Horurun he drew was made while utilizing those abilities, and that same drawing was brought to life by Horurun as a sculpture for his mom. (Isn’t that risky? Shouldn’t they have taken that from him before they left for the present?) We never see him draw again after that, so we don’t know if it was temporary or not.

Toki-G/Old Timer said that he was inspired to become a great artist because he still held Horurun/Artie in his heart somewhere, which is fine for this world’s canon, but it’s also implied that Rodin could become a great artist because of the power bestowed to him by Horurun/Artie, so it kinda ruins the whole narrative I had going there. Yeah, kids, if you start out bad at art, don’t worry. A time traveling chicken might pop up and magically give you great artistic capability! Then you’ll become one of the most famous artists in the world through your unearned art powers!

Finally, in spite of wondering just what purpose Sphin even had being in this episode (It showed up only to get knocked out and couldn’t actually helped because Sora’s an idiot.) I did think the scene with that little riddle game show was the best out of the episode because it was so funny.

Next time, no new Time-Space Monsters, it seems. Instead, TP Lady has her sights set back on Love-Love!


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SSBS – Wedding Peach Episode 3: The Targeted Bride

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Plot: Momoko, Hinagiku and Yuri help out Momoko’s father on a photography job at the wedding of a very prominent old member of the school’s soccer team. The entire soccer team will be there to perform for him, and they all want an exclusive chance to see their dear Yanagiba perform.

Breakdown: ~Today on Teenage Girls Do Nothing but Gush Over Boys, Uhmm…well, that sentence combined with the plot synopsis pretty much summarizes it.~

Yes, this is another episode where half of it is dedicated to chasing after boys – or, more specifically, dear Yanagiba. It’s also another episode where I continue to be baffled as to why these three girls are friends.

In this episode, they not only continuously fight about who will get with dear Yanagiba, but Hinagiku and Yuri also go behind Momoko’s back to ask her dad if they can help him out with his photography at the wedding. And they do this right as Momoko’s in the middle of explaining that her dad has this gig and that she can use it as an opening to get in. Note that she wasn’t excluding Hinagiku and Yuri from this – she was just trying to point it out. Yet they still not only stopped listening to her so they could implement her plan without her, but they also abuse her connection without asking her.

In addition, they’re initially late to the wedding, so Momoko has to do a lot of the grunt work herself. The reason Hinagiku and Yuri were late was because they were getting all dressed up for Yanagiba. Meanwhile Momoko is still wearing her school uniform. To be fair, I’m not sure why she’s in her school uniform. Her dad had time to dress up, and I’m almost certain it’s on a weekend – surely there’s something she could have worn for this wedding.

They also interrupt Momoko’s dad’s work to take his cameras so they can creepily snap pictures of only Yanagiba during the soccer team performance.

At this point, it seems less like the girls as a whole are at odds with each other, even though they are, and more like Hinagiku and Yuri gang up against Momoko, which….is actually kinda worse. Because at least when they’re all at each other’s throats they’re also on even ground, but if Hinagiku and Yuri favor each other then that leaves Momoko at a steep disadvantage in this ‘friendship.’

Other than that, we have more Yousuke/Momoko stuff going on, starting with deja vu from episode two – that being Yousuke hitting Momoko in the head with a soccer ball, laying her out flat on the floor, and then he chastises her for spacing out in a dangerous area, which is dumb as balls, because she spacing out in a wedding hall. What was he doing kicking a soccer ball in a wedding hall in the first place? Yes, he’s there for a soccer performance for the wedding, which, I honestly find to be kinda silly. That guy’s wife has to be super understandable to let them do that. But why are they not doing this stuff outside?

Granted, the actual performance is just the boys bouncing soccer balls on their foreheads and knees, which somehow gathers a massive crowd of adults, but still. There’s no reason they should be doing this in the reception hall that is filled with breakable shit, food, and people in nice expensive clothing.

That aside, these moments with Yousuke and Momoko are getting sweeter as time moves on. Yousuke is still teasing her, but it’s in a cute manner, and Momoko is starting to see Yousuke in a better light, even if she does still get irritated by his teasing, moreso when he calls her Momopi above all else. He is legitimately concerned for her when she gets hit and he playfully teases her when she tries to take pictures. Later on, he specifically tries to get her out of the building when the bride goes nuts, and basically sacrifices himself so Momoko will have a chance to escape. Momoko also collapses in despair that Yousuke did such a thing. They’re getting pretty sweet together – I liked it.

The second half of the episode has Pluie trying to destroy this day of love by having Jama-P possess the bride and get her to attack everyone. She emits a sort of….I honestly don’t know what it is. Poison? Knockout gas? Either way, everyone in the reception hall gets knocked out because of it, except Momoko, who transforms into her wedding dress because I don’t know. I thought we established the Wedding Armor Peach mode was 100% more practical. Is she unable to use Armor Peach without transforming into the wedding dress first? If so…..Why? And…more why?

The possessed bride goes outside to find a bunch of newlyweds just hanging out on the lawn…for some reason, (Are weddings cheaper if you do them in bulk?) and she attacks them as well.

Oh and speaking of Momoko’s incredibly impractical wedding dress that she was stumbling over in the last episode – she somehow got on top of a cross (on the roof of the church) while wearing that thing.

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Hang on, I need to check my notes. I had something really profound to say in response to this.

Uhm…

Oh yeah, yeah.

No.

There’s no way in hell she got up there wearing that wedding dress. WHY is she even up there wearing that wedding dress? I understand it’s all dramatic, but that’s not a good enough reason.

Also, she jumped off of that cross and not only landed on her feet, but she didn’t break her heels. I don’t know why I’m so bothered by that because a lot of other magical girls wear heels and jump from high places with no problem. It’s just a thing that happens in these shows – it’s definitely not the most unrealistic thing in this genre….It really has to be the wedding dress motif. It’s making me notice this stuff.

So, at first I thought maybe Momoko would win her battle without changing into Armor Peach – she had brought back the bride’s memories of her love of her groom, which seemed to break the spell….but it didn’t, so Momoko changed into Armor Peach/Fighter Angel, whichever it is, I prefer Armor Peach, and won that way. I totally don’t feel like her being in the wedding dress was a complete waste of time. No sirree. She totally had to be in that wedding dress to remind the bride of her love. Necessary = yes.

Everything’s back to normal, everyone’s okay, the ending kinda-ish ruins the cute moments Momoko and Yousuke were having because no one remembers anything about the attack or the poison gas, so he thinks she’s crazy when she tries to thank him for saving her during the whole debacle. Which, I guess, means everyone just woke up on the floor with a bunch of stuff busted and never questioned it in the slightest, like…even a little. Momoko only took a few minutes to get back in the reception hall, and everyone was just sitting around laughing at the tables.

The end.

This episode was certainly the best one so far. The gushing and bickering over Yanagiba wasn’t quite as annoying as it has been, there were some very good moments between Yousuke and Momoko and even the story of the bride and groom was pretty sweet. I’m still annoyed at the dress thing, for some reason, but I guess that’s just something I’m going to have to learn to deal with.

Next time, Yuri becomes Angel Lily!


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Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon LIGHTNING ROUND CATCHUP! Episodes 10, 11, 12 and 13 Reviews

Episode 10 | The Gold and Silver Rainbow Pearls

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Plot: Set out on another bounty, the girls face the conjoined demon brothers, Ginka and Kinka. Their kind, Ka Demons, are born two at a time, with each sibling sharing a body. They can only separate when one or the other dies, so they hatch from their eggs fighting each other until one of them dies.

Seeing that Towa and Setsuna carry Rainbow Pearls in their eyes, the brothers decide to team up temporarily so they can possess the siblings and fight using the pearls’ powers. Setsuna is able to regain enough control over her body to use special demon slayer poison to drive them out, but they still make off with the Rainbow Pearls.

Towa and Setsuna head off in pursuit, leaving Moroha behind on accident.

Ginka and Kinka meet with Joka, their clan’s leader, to deliver the Rainbow Pearls to her. She proclaims that she’ll finally get her revenge on Sesshomaru now, but the hitch is that the brothers won’t be praised for their efforts – they’ll be absorbed into her body.

Ginka is taken first, and the brothers who had once been viciously at each other’s throats, to the point where they were leaving deep scars in each other’s bodies and were destroying the neighboring lands, suddenly reach out for each other. Kinka desperately wants to save Ginka and even teams up with Setsuna and Towa and agrees to give up the Rainbow Pearls to do so. Setsuna, who has regained some of her memories from watching the brothers in their familiar situation, receives a fiery but temporary upgrade to her naginata to allow her to cause more damage to Joka.

They make a valiant effort to take down Joka. Setsuna even deals the final blow with a fiery Scourge of Swallows.

However, it wasn’t enough to save Kinka and Ginka, who are finally separated but too wounded to survive. Ginka passes first, leaving Kinka to lament their tumultuous relationship. He believes siblings connected by blood are always destined to die together no matter what and that, even though they hated each other, they were each other’s reasons for living. Kinka finally passes, and the brothers disappear in a sparkling cloud of ash.

The pearls return to Setsuna and Towa’s eyes, and an angry Moroha finally catches up with them, devastated that Kinka and Ginka are nothing but ash with nothing to bring back to Jyubei.

Breakdown: Well, at least Towa didn’t get another power this time, and Setsuna got a pretty good time to shine, but why exactly wasn’t Towa allowed to participate at all in the final battle? Why did it have to exclusively be Setsuna and Kinka? I know Setsuna wanted to try and understand these siblings, but wouldn’t she be able to do that more easily if Towa was participating too?

Also, I love how they keep highlighting that siblinghood means so much to Towa…..and then they leave their cousin behind and don’t even notice let alone care.

They were getting ready to chase after the brothers on Takechiyo. Moroha asked them to wait a second so she could get her weapons. She’s gone for about four seconds, tops, and Setsuna and Towa just hop on Takechiyo and leave. They don’t even acknowledge that she was talking, they don’t acknowledge her chasing them and yelling for them to wait (and, remember, they’re dog demons. They have super hearing. There’s no excuse.) nor do they even point out that Moroha’s not with them when they arrive. But Towa’s still all about how important siblings are and their bonds and pbbbttt. Look, I do get that siblings are closer than cousins, and Moroha’s technically their half-cousin, but they all have so little in terms of blood relatives that you’d think they’d at least not act like Moroha’s not even there half the time.

It’s starting to resemble their attitudes towards their parents and I don’t like it. Remember, the opposite of love is not hate – it’s apathy.

The story between the brothers is alright on paper, but there are a few issues that need bringing up.

First, these two characters are recycled from The Final Act, and they both died in that series. Unless it’s a massive coincidence that these two look and are named identical to those characters, this just seems really lazy. This is also the second time in a row they’ve recycled an enemy from The Final Act. What exactly is going on? Creativity kinda dry in the design and writing department, guys?

Second, Joka has a massive vendetta against Sesshomaru. Why?

Did they just mention him for the sake of mentioning him? Is this one of those Naraku moments where just mentioning him means they expect brownie points for making it part of the overall plot? Come on.

And for those drawing a blank on The Final Act stuff, no, she wasn’t there. So, pbbbbt.

Third, it seems so convoluted for these two to suddenly start acting like they give a shit about each other after engaging in a fight to the death since birth. Their battle has given them deep scars and has left the surrounding areas in ruins. They themselves admit that they hate each other, but apparently not wanting someone else to absorb their brother and their fight being their reason to live is enough for this sudden shift in their eyes. I am aware that this circles back around to what I mentioned earlier about how hate is not the opposite of love, but, considering the circumstances, it’s hard to draw a positive emotional connection between these two.

Once Ginka is captured, they’re constantly calling out for each other and calling the other ‘brother’ they’re reaching for each other and holding each other. And we’re supposed to feel bad that they died in the end. Who knows how many people died in the wake of their battle, but they were siblings so this is sad I guess.

Good thing they weren’t cousins, because then no one would give a shit.

Fourth, it really seems like the Rainbow Pearls did absolutely nothing to power them up, like….even a little. Even with two in their possession, they were both felled by Joka incredibly. They didn’t seem different at all.

Setsuna has recovered bits and pieces of her memory….but she’s also a complete idiot. She sees little parts of the fire from when she and Towa were kids, and she kept asking who that girl was who was trying to save her……

Golly, what a mystery.

Let me make a wild guess, though. Let’s see. White hair. Red streak. Red eyes. Calling you “sister.” About the same age.

Seriously, how can she even ask this question? Even if she doesn’t recognize/respect Towa as a sister, she can’t deny that, biologically, she is. They must have the same scent, Moroha pointed out as much, and they both know they’re Sesshoumaru’s kids. Unless she thinks she has a triplet who also has white hair, this is ridiculous. Oh well, at least she got some cool attacks this episode, even if, I assume, it was purely a one-off considering she can’t get fire from Kinka anymore.

Episode 11 | Curse of the Man-Eating Pond

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Plot: Moroha witnesses a murky pond eat a bird, but Towa and Setsuna don’t believe her. After the sisters part ways with Moroha, they meet a pair of young siblings, Hikomaru and Chiyo, who have recently lost their parents to the pond.

Towa and Setsuna, with Moroha meeting them later, resolve to kill the Venom Snake demon supposedly living within the pond to avenge the parents of these siblings.

When they confront the demon, Moroha and Setsuna become weakened by the poisonous gas, but Towa, somehow, is immune from its effects. The Venom Snake is revealed to be joined with Drifting Pond – a demon that consumes ponds and becomes the water itself while also protecting its resident, in this case, Venom Snake.

Towa gets drenched in poisonous pond water by Drifting Pond, which makes her fall ill, but Setsuna is not affected by it. Myoga surmises that Towa and Setsuna have different types of immunity to poison. Setsuna is immune to venom/poison liquid but not gas and Towa is the opposite. Moroha has no such immunity to any poison, so she can’t help.

Realizing their affinities, Setsuna decides to tackle Drifting Pond while she leaves Venom Snake to Towa.

Setsuna learned earlier that, many years ago, a wandering sage planted medicinal herbs around the pond for the sake of purifying it, but the herbs were in a patch a good distance away from it. She uses her Cyclone Burst to attack the herb patch and direct them to Drifting Pond, purifying the demon and killing it.

Towa lands the killing blow to Venom Snake, and once the battle is over the pond is once again crystal clear and beautiful.

Breakdown: Worst animation of the series so far, hands down, which makes sense because this is pretty goshdarn fillery.

So, one more Towa power for good measure, but at least it came alongside a new Setsuna power. And Moroha gets screwed over again because of course she does. Towa and Setsuna don’t even go get her when they realize she actually did see the demon in the pond, which could be valuable information for their battle. Nope. Moroha got worried about THEM when they didn’t come home so she went looking for THEM. Then when she was actually engaged in the battle, she gets insta-poisoned, sidelined and attacked by Setsuna.

At the very least, Setsuna muttered to herself that Moroha better dodge her attack, but….Moroha was poisoned and kinda paralyzed……..And she….didn’t dodge it. I mean she didn’t die or anything, but she clearly got hit by it. Oh well, at least Moroha got to do other stuff this episode…..like choke on pancakes and be forced to clean Jyubei’s shop…..*huff*

Also, while it actually kinda weird to see Towa try to sleep on Setsuna, Setsuna’s roll dodge was awesome. Slick girl.

Episode 12 | Night of the New Moon and the Black-Haired Towa

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Plot: Konton sends out the poisonous apparition, Nikosen, to attack the half-demon princesses. Timing is on his side, because Towa falls under the spell of the new moon, which drains half-demons of their demon powers until sunrise. In addition to that, she’s unable to withstand Nikosen’s poison as she normally would be able to, so she becomes ill and needs to be protected by Moroha and Setsuna for the time being.

Moroha manages to separate Nikosen’s head from his body, but both can act independently from each other. Setsuna hunts down the head while Moroha finds a safe place for Towa to rest. Nikosen’s body finds them and regrows his head – the one Setsuna is chasing is nothing but an illusion, so she rushes to return. Kohaku and the others meet with Setsuna and begin an assault on the mountain that Nikosen has been inhabiting and destroying.

Meanwhile, Towa, now with longer, black hair and brown eyes, has reverted to a fully human state. Towa is concerned that the same thing is happening to Setsuna and tries to go off to save her, but Moroha knocks her out to stop her from getting herself hurt.

Moroha and Myoga hole up in a cave that is protected with a barrier made from sutras and Moroha’s spiritual power, but it soon starts weakening due to the firebomb assault that the demon slayers are unleashing on the mountain.

Nikosen is able to sense and find them again, and he coats them in a substance that hardens over their bodies, essentially turning them into statues. Sensing her sister is in danger, Setsuna rushes toward them and attacks Nikosen, freeing them from their stony prisons.

The sun rises, and Towa regains her demon powers, allowing her defeat Nikosen.

Breakdown: Oh so now we’re stealing episode titles from Inuyasha, too? Neat.

This show is so goddamn confusing sometimes. I thought it was a known fact of all half-demons, even ones like Naraku, that they experience temporary periods where they lose their demon powers. (Technically, Myoga said it was a once a month deal that was different for all half-demons and Inuyasha’s just happened on the new moon, but they’re saying the new moon is the norm for all now. Jinenji was noted to transform during the day, though, so pbbbttdunno.) Now it seems like this group of half/quarter-demons simply don’t know this happens at all.

Here’s how it’s explained away for each of them.

Towa: This has never happened to Towa before coming to the Feudal era. Myoga explains that the reason it’s happening to her now is because she was originally from the Feudal era.

He legit says that no half-demon can escape the laws of the new moon, except Naraku as he was able to choose when he’d lose his powers, but then says the reason she never experienced this in the modern era is because….what? She didn’t belong there?

I will never understand exactly what this Feudal era even is. They always say it’s a different world, but it’s not. It’s the same world just 500 years in the past. Hojo’s ancestor is there, so it has to just be the past. So….like…where did all the demons go in 500 years? Why is there no evidence of real demons even existing in Japan? Why is there nothing supernatural in the modern era? And why would a modern era new moon not effect Towa? Did something happen to the moon in 500 years?

Also, oddly, besides Towa having her white hair turn black, her hair also grows to shoulder length…………..for……..reasons?

The reason for the hair color change is because the whiteness was caused by her demon half. With the demon half gone, it turns into her natural hair color. Both Inuyasha and Towa’s mothers have black hair, so their hair turns black.

Hair length has nothing to do with it, though. How would that even make sense? Sesshomaru has gloriously long locks. And even if he had short hair, they’re not Saiyans. Their hair isn’t bound by some genetic rules. There’s absolutely no reason why Towa’s hair should be long because of her losing her demon powers.

And, what, when the sun rises again does her hair spontaneously cut itself or suck itself back into her scalp?

You want to know what’s even more baffling? Her hair turns black and long because she lost her demon side, right? So why does she still have that red streak in her hair? Surely that’s a product of her demon nature. Rin sure as hell didn’t give that to her.

Moroha: Now, you’d think, being quarter-demon, Moroha would have it worse, right?

Nope.

Myoga just says that maybe quarter-demons never lose their demon powers.

I would think a better explanation would be that the purifying/spiritual abilities that she inherited from Kagome might…I dunno, somehow make it so her demon powers could never be unbound from her?

No, that doesn’t make much sense either, but it’s a little better than just saying that, for some reason, quarter-demons don’t suffer from this massive weakness half-demons have. You’d think, if anything, they’d lose their powers more often.

Oh well, I guess we can chalk this up as Moroha finally getting a benefit the others don’t have…..

Or does she!?

Setsuna: Setsuna isn’t bound by the laws of the new moon. She doesn’t lose her demon powers once a month. It’s clear she’s never even seen this happen before.

Why?

Moroha theorizes that, in addition to her dreams, memories and ability to sleep, the Dream Butterfly also stole her weakness to the new moon.

…………

Come on, really? The Dream Butterfly made her immune to the new moon? HOW? JUST. HOW!? Did it alter her blood? What the hell is going on?

What are the limits of the Dream Butterfly’s damage?

“Gee, Setsuna, you used to like apples when you were a kid.”

“Oh no, guess the Dream Butterfly took her ability to enjoy apples.”

Oh and hey just for good measure, Nikosen is ANOTHER recycled dead enemy from the original series. I can give it some leeway because Nikosen was originally only in the manga, but he’s still another enemy that Inuyasha and the others have fought and killed before. Some creativity is all I ask.

In the end, Towa saves the day……easily….by herself. Nikosen is an apparition that all of the demon slayers, Setsuna and Moroha have been having a bitch of a time trying to defeat, yet the instant Towa gets her powers back she downs him with two shots.

*lip smack*

And, uh oh, Konton now knows of the half-demon weakness…..which is kinda not as impacting as it should be because I was under the impression most demon-savvy people knew that.

Overall, the concept is fine and it did get the girls a little closer together – definitely a positive development for their group cohesion – but I was left beyond confused about the mechanics of everything going on with the new moon that I didn’t even much care about what was going on with the enemy. The writing in this episode was stretchier than taffy.

Episode 13 | The Delicious Feudal Monks

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Plot: The monk-eating demon, and one of the Four Perils, Totetsu, roams the countryside looking for monks to consume. The more virtuous the monk, the better. His appetite leads him to Miroku, who is currently undergoing 1000 days of training in order to achieve enlightenment.

Hisui, Setsuna and Towa are sent to protect him, much to Hisui’s annoyance. He believes his father is nothing but a coward who ran away from his family to do pointless training.

Totetsu arrives, attempting to suck in his target with his wind-tunnel-like mouth. With Miroku and Hisui’s attempt to get Totetsu to consume demon slayer poison, they discover that his weakness is poison, so Setsuna asks Miroku to remove a seal he put on her years ago.

She then lunges at Totetsu, who bites her arm, but she reveals that she has poison flowing through her veins. As the others catch a look at her face, it’s revealed that she’s become more demon-like.

Totetsu despises the taste of the poison and decides to flee.

Miroku replaces the seal on Setsuna and she returns to normal.

Later, Setsuna reveals to Towa that Miroku told her years ago that she had inherited poison in her veins. When her demon side takes over, it’s hard to control it. She surmises that Towa probably has something inherited from their demon roots too that has yet to be revealed.

Meanwhile, Hisui visits his mother, Sango, who is happily tending to their home while Miroku is away.

Breakdown: MIROKU AND SANGO!

YAY!! WHOO!! ALRIGHT!

……Is what I wish I felt. But this whole episode was underwhelming as fuck.

First of all, it is very bittersweet to return to Miroku so soon after Kirby Morrow’s death. I’m not watching the dub, yet, and this episode isn’t even dubbed yet, but it stings to see Miroku again knowing that Kirby Morrow’s gone…

Second of all, Moroha’s just straight up not here. She appears twice because she’s guarding some other temple, but she only gets a handful of lines and isn’t seen anymore than that.

Third, while Miroku looks a TINY bit older, with lines on his face and his hair down, Sango looks absolutely no different than she did in the original series, down to her clothing.

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For the love of god, art department, 20 YEARS HAS GONE BY. You can’t say nearly 40 year old Sango looks identical to 18 year old Sango. And the fact that they hide her face until the very end of the episode….what is the point of that? Fanbaiting? For no reveal? Or is the reveal subtly hinting that she’s a vampire or has found the fountain of youth? She must’ve had a group bath in there with literally every other original character who was an adult in the previous series.

Fourth, Totetsu’s our final Peril, which is disappointing. He’s a fine filler episode enemy, but he’s seriously the last Peril? This goofy son of a bitch? Give me a break….

Fifth, the conflict between Hisui and Miroku was just dumb. Completely dumb. I was perfectly fine with the idea of Hisui and Miroku being at odds with each other, but not if the reasoning is ridiculous.

As we know, after Miroku’s wind tunnel vanished, he and Inuyasha (though he doesn’t mention Inuyasha) still went about with killing demons for cash. This was perfectly understandable. I mean, they’re good at it and Miroku did need cash for his growing family. However, after a run-in with some unnamed demon that I think defeated him or something, it’s never made clear, he realized that he needed to get much stronger. Thus, he started his 1000 days of training deep in the mountains, which supposedly leads those who partake in it to enlightenment and some form of divine power. He’s already gone through two years worth of training and needs roughly 200 more days to complete it.

Hisui is mad……because he views his father as a coward who ran away. Hisui believes this training is pointless and that Miroku’s just a coward who left his family to pick up the slack at home.

…..Keep in mind, Hisui’s the youngest of Miroku and Sango’s children, and he’s still probably 18, meaning he was likely 16 when Miroku left. Considering it seems like demon slayers start actively going on missions at around 11 (that’s the age Kohaku was when he went out) I can’t imagine Hisui was even still being cared for at home much when he left, meaning Sango was at home by herself….and….she seems to be just fine with this. She’s smiling, she’s making equipment for the demon slayers, she still has her daughters visiting her all the time – she’s fine.

I really don’t understand Hisui’s deal. Miroku felt he was too weak to fight demons, so he went to train. They even point out that, no matter if he gets some divine power after his 1000 days is up or not, he’s still training his ass off. No training is pointless. That’s one of the most obvious things ever. He’s getting more powerful with every day he puts in effort, which he’s clearly doing. Hisui is a damn demon slayer – he should know how valuable even the tiniest bit of training is.

Does he not know a single damn thing about his father? The demons he’s fought? The amount of times he’s nearly died to protect his friends and Sango? The fact that he went toe-to-toe with Naraku many times? He believes that Miroku is a coward just because he didn’t recklessly go back into demon slaying/exorcism after a tough fight even after realizing he’s not nearly as powerful as he once was and decided he needed rigorous training to even get close to his previous level of power? Hisui’s either ridiculously ill-informed, an idiot or both.

“But, Twix, Miroku’s probably hundreds of miles away from Sango and his children. He abandoned his family, and even if you can excuse him abandoning his kids since they’re adults, he still abandoned Sango!”

Thank you for pointing that out, Straw Man, but this is also just not true. Miroku lives so close to home that his daughter, Gyokuto, can walk from home to his temple in less time than it took Hisui and the others to fly there on Kirara from Kaede’s village. Sango can see Miroku whenever she wants and vice versa. Gyokuto also sends messages between the two whenever they can’t see each other. Miroku’s away, sure, but he’s still within arm’s reach.

You want to know how this two year old conflict resolves? Hisui just witnesses Miroku partaking in the battle and unsealing/resealing Setsuna and he’s all cool again.

Neat.

I can finally wipe the sweat from my brow.

What an emotional roller coaster.

Finally, I have no clue about anything that was revealed about Setsuna in this episode. I can’t make heads or tails of it. She inherited poison from Sesshomaru – specifically in just her arm, I guess. Makes sense. He had poisonous claws.

….I have no idea what the rest even is. What is the seal, really? Is it meant to seal her poison arm or her demon side? The seal is specifically in her poisoned arm. I guess she would need something to seal her demon side. Inuyasha had Tetsusaiga to seal his, but there are numerous other half-demons who don’t have anything special to keep their demon sides at bay.

If it is meant to seal her poison arm, why? Must really suck to inherit such a useful power only to have it be so strong that you need to seal it, or else you’ll trigger your demon side coming out…or something? Is that how it works?

If it’s meant to seal her demon side…..why did Miroku unseal it? Why did it need sealing in the first place? She didn’t have a seal before he met her and we know she was perfectly fine back then. Did the Dream Butterfly steal her ability to keep her demon half under wraps too? Her arm is still poison even if she’s just half-demon, right? Totetsu wanted to eat her. Just, like, cut your arm and let him taste some blood. Why does she need to become demon-y and let him bite her arm? Can she not utilize the poison claws ability? Can’t she scratch his tongue or something? Is it literally just a poison arm? What a pointless ability if it’s just poison in her arm that she can’t utilize unless something specifically drinks her blood or eats her flesh from that arm.

Inuyasha typically only became a demon under the worst circumstances – when Tetsusaiga wasn’t with him and he was near death. The first time he transforms, he’s nearly singing Christmas carols outside death’s door and was still trudging on. Here? Nothing nearly that bad has happened. Hisui got a taste of his own poison, but they have the antidote. No one’s even been injured outside of that. Is this really the battle they thought was worth unveiling her demon form?

And is that REALLY her FULL demon form? Because not only does she keep her personality in line basically perfectly, unlike Inuyasha who had an insane bloodlust, but all that changes is that she gets lines on her face and bigger claws/fangs. Her eyes don’t even change, which is the bare minimum with stuff like that.

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Inuyasha’s full demon reveal was kick-ass and terrifying. Setsuna’s is so boring I honestly don’t know why it’s here.

She doesn’t even kill Totetsu, which is the cherry on this disappointment cake. That goofy idiot drank her poison blood and still managed to get away. Inuyasha tore Goshinki apart with his bare hands when he became a demon the first time.

And after all of that…..We get no new information on anything at all involving the old Inuyasha crew. Nothing in the slightest. At least now I know Miroku and Sango are alive and well, but other than that we learned absolutely nothing about anyone else. Miroku could have at least mentioned Inuyasha. Like “Things were easier when Inuyasha was helping me fight the demons, but when he disappeared….” or implying something happened to Inuyasha and Kagome and he couldn’t save them so he trains to be powerful enough to help or something of the like. Anything. Nope.

This whole episode was pointless. It just dumped some things we wanted to see together and did nothing interesting with them. Like, golly, wonder who the last Peril is. Oh…..it’s uh…this doofus. Oh I wonder where Sango and Miroku are and what they’re doing now….Oh….nothing that interesting….Errr, well……Wonder what Setsuna’s demon form looks like and how it’ll be—oh….it’s just that….

They also act like there was no other way to defeat Totetsu besides poisoning him……How about attacking him from behind? His vacuum only works via his mouth. If you attack him from behind, it should be no real problem. He can’t even defend with his sword back there. It’s 4v1, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

Again, remember when Inuyasha first turned full-demon? Goshinki was a huge threat because he was super fast, super strong and he could read minds, meaning he knew their weaknesses and what they were going to do. He could predict and prepare for everything they were throwing his way. Inuyasha’s demon form was so consumed by blood lust that Goshinki couldn’t read his mind in that state, which is how he was defeated.

Totetsu not only doesn’t get killed, but it’s literally a matter of ‘Ew this tastes awful! I’m leaving!’ Not kidding. His last words as he runs away are proclaiming he’ll never eat half-demons again.

A final note about this episode was that it showed us the final Rainbow Pearl – the orange one…You wouldn’t even know the dude had it, as, other than leading Totetsu to Miroku, it did absolutely nothing for him. He didn’t even actually use it, I don’t think? They’re doing an awful job at making the Rainbow Pearls seem like anything worth coveting.

Oh and I guess Moroha not getting her bounty is just a running joke at this point now.

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And now I’m all caught up on Yashahime. We had some…….times.

I was going to say “We had some good times and some bad times” but……no….mostly just….times. There were some okay spots, but nothing impressive or memorable. In general, we had a lot of confusing times above all else, but this series is really turning out to be a mess.

Its pacing issues continue to be a huge problem (Wasn’t Towa trying to go to the foot of some mountain to find the Dream Butterfly? Did she just forget that? Because now she’s not even considering asking a Peril about the butterfly. She’s just like ‘We’re gonna slay you!’ And whenever they do actual, ya know, things, it’s usually too much too quickly.) Moroha continues to get ignored, things make less and less sense, and they keep doing everything in their power to not give us any information about Inuyasha and the others – even when they’re in the goddamn episode.

Does Hisui not even know that Miroku and Sango knew Sesshomaru, Rin, Inuyasha and Kagome? Do they not ever talk about their pasts? Is it not even slightly beneficial in some capacity to talk about them? We don’t even learn the actual circumstances of Setsuna and Miroku meeting or even when it happened. It must’ve happened before she became a demon slayer because Miroku’s surprised she’s with them. Why isn’t Miroku even curious about Towa? Or Moroha? Does he even know who Moroha is? He’d have to, right? Because he still knows Hachi and he was the one tasked with protecting her. You’d think Miroku would be the most invested in her since she’s the daughter of two beloved and possibly deceased friends.

I honestly don’t know where we go from here. I’m just kinda sad. Maybe my expectations are a bit too high, especially since, honestly, the original series was also plagued with a myriad of problems that still bother me a lot to this day, but this is just trying my patience and insulting my intelligence.

In addition to either copying many things Inuyasha did and doing it worse, they don’t even have the romance hook. That is the lowest hanging fruit you could have. Get some shippers on your train to keep people invested. They seem to be replacing that aspect with Towa and Setsuna’s sisterhood, which is perfectly fine conceptually, but the relationship has to be equally compelling, and it’s not.

At this point, their relationship amounts to Towa continuously trying to get close to Setsuna, emotionally and physically, and Setsuna continuing to shut her down. The physical aspect is a little cringey, to be honest. Towa hasn’t known Setsuna since they were little, and Setsuna doesn’t remember Towa at all yet she insists on trying to touch her, hug her and sleep on her all the time. Also, they just don’t have very good chemistry as siblings either. Ed and Al they are not. Admittedly. Setsuna is starting to show some caring for Towa, but I just don’t care much.

Remind me of all the migraines I had because of the perpetual “Inuyashhaaaaaaa!!” “Kagomeeeeeeeee!” yells all you want. Keep cutting my hands on the sharp edges of that annoying love triangle all you want too. Hey, just for fun, show me that shot of Kikyo pinning Inuyasha to the tree one more time. At least we were invested in all that. At least chemistry was involved.

Their cohesion as a three-person team is getting better, but only slightly, and their progress keeps getting hindered by the fact that Towa and Setsuna don’t seem to care as much about Moroha and they constantly leave her behind. I actually think Moroha and Setsuna have pretty good chemistry, but they don’t take advantage of it, and it keeps suffering because of the sidelining issue.

This last episode, Moroha was left doing absolutely nothing. She sat around waiting at a monk’s temple while Towa and Setsuna fought a Peril. Granted, it’s also getting VERY old that Setsuna and Towa keep getting assignments that coincide precisely with what Moroha’s currently doing, but if you’re going to do that shtick maybe actually let her partake in the events that are transpiring instead of just literally having her sit out.

With Inuyasha you can tell a good amount of effort was put in, even if it did have a ridiculous amount of hiccups. Yashahime? It’s hard for me to even say much effort is being invested – even in stuff as superfluous as updated characters designs. Kohaku looks awesome, Rin’s pretty, but barely any of the adult characters got an actual update after a 20 year time skip. Come on, guys. You can do better. Please do better.

Next time, we find the demon who started the fire that separated Towa and Setsuna. Will I care? Find out next time!


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