Sailor Moon (DiC) Episode 11 (8 for the Dub) Usagi vs. Rei, Nightmare in Dreamland | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Usagi, Rei, Ami and Luna are spending the day at a local amusement park to investigate a string of mysterious disappearances that they believe is linked to Jadeite and Queen Beryl. However, Rei and Usagi’s constant bickering is holding back progress on the mission. When Ami gets trapped in a youma’s spell, Rei and Usagi need to….kinda sorta work together to save her and the other people who have gone missing.

—————————————

Title Change: The title of the episode is actually accurately translated, but they omit a part. It’s actually Usagi vs. Rei, Nightmare in Dreamland whereas the dub just has Nightmare in Dreamland.

A short bit of the opening scene where we see the gate to the shrine and see Usagi, Ami and Rei talking with Luna is edited out.

The book that Usagi likes is actually a Sailor V manga. In the dub, she says it’s a book called “Sailor V Goes to Hollywood.”

Ami wasn’t talking to Luna about Usagi and Rei fighting in the original. She was too enthralled in Rei’s encyclopedia.

The girls reacting to Luna’s outburst is edited out.

Originally, Luna tells the girls that they need to focus on finding the princess. Usagi then asks how they’re supposed to find the princess, and someone says something like there must be a big sign on them that labels them as the princess. Luna hesitates, and Rei says, if there’s not a big sign, then it’s impossible to find her…..Right, that makes sense. No one ever found anyone without a giant sign on their bodies labeling themselves as such. In the dub, Raye and Serena keep fighting because the moral of this story has something to do with getting along.

Ami suggests some investigative work to help them along with their Sailor duties and shows them a paper with a story on an amusement park called Dreamland where many people have disappeared. Luna thinks it’s a great idea, and they decide to go. In the dub, Amy suggests that they go to Dreamland as a sort of vacation because they’re going stir crazy with each other. The thing about the disappearances is brought up like an afterthought. Hey, we should go to this great new amusement park that happens to have a bunch of people go missing in it!

The newspaper with the story on the amusement is removed of most of its Japanese text in lieu of English scribbles. I guess that’s better?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They translate that but they don’t translate/remove the plaque with the giant Japanese text outside of the park? Weird.

The security guard, who is obviously Jadeite, doesn’t deny that people have gone missing in the original. He just says that they haven’t gone missing at the park and the disappearances have nothing to do with the park. In the dub, he basically says the missing people in their entirety are rumors set forth by their competition. Yeah, tell that to their families.

Some of these line reads. “I’m gonna REPORT…you.” That didn’t even match the mouth flaps. Nice job, DiC.

Usagi tells Rei that insults are no way to treat her senpai…Usagi’s older than Rei? Or is she talking about the Dream Princess? Anyway, no American equivalent so she just says Raye is wrong.

The castle thing is called the Candy House. In the dub, it’s called the Sweets Dream Factory.

In the original, as Usagi picks up the rabbit and shows Rei, Rei brings up the fact that Usagi’s name means ‘rabbit’. Since Serena doesn’t mean ‘rabbit’, the dub couldn’t do the same thing, so they just had Raye berate her for not being serious again.

The panda driving the train (It’s an amusement park thing) says he’s getting the stop signal. In the dub, he says he has to stop for two turtles crossing the tracks.

The dub kinda makes Serena look like a hypocrite when she makes fun of Darien for being on the train when she is as well. In the original, she also makes fun of him and even laughs at him for riding the toy train, but it’s for riding it by himself not for doing it at all. I guess riding the toy train with another person who is way too old for that makes it better, Usagi?

Ami thinks that they might find some clues in the Candy House. In the dub, she thinks she can’t believe Serena’s missing out on all the free sweets.

Originally Usagi was crying at the door because she was worried about Ami. In the dub, she whines since the door to the Sweets Factory is locked and she wanted a cookie…..

Because of this line change, Raye tells Serena to think of Amy, to which she replies that Raye’s being mean. She’s being mean for pointing out that you’re being a crybaby over a cookie when your friend could be in danger? Right.

Also, she immediately follows this up by asking Raye if she has any feelings……..What? She’s (in the dub anyway) the one worried about Amy. You’re the one being an inconsiderate ass worried more about your sweet tooth than your friend. In the original, Rei tells Usagi to stop crying over everything, to which Usagi replies by asking if she even cares about Ami and calls her cold-hearted.

What the hell is up with way they make Raye’s English VA say “Mars power!” in this episode? She draws out the word Mars so long like she missed a cue or something. “Maa….aaa…..a……aaaaaa….rrrrSSSSSSSS POWER!”

Rei’s original chanting for her removal sutra is gone again. In fact “Entire series edit” this because I’m pretty sure we’ll never hear it.

Rei also does the same chanting she does when she’s just performing her regular priestess duties. In the dub, Raye says she calls upon the power of Mars and fireballs or something.

I have to say, this is definitely the creepiest monster-of-the-week they’ve had so far. I mean, look at this thing.

And before that, her headless body floated above the ground and spun slowly in mid air. Eheghyghgfhsd.

The shocked stillframe of Rei and Usagi with pure silence is priceless and I’m so glad they kept that the same way in the dub. It’s like they’re mirroring the audience going ‘What the hell!?’

The demon this week is named Durimu (Dream), but in the dub she introduces herself as “your dream dolly”….which….may or may not be creepier.

Usagi mentions something about maidens as she’s trying to do her motto. Rei stops her to ask what she means by maidens, and Usagi brushes her off. In the dub, Raye asks Serena if she wants her to just blast the demon to which Serena declines.

As Durimu starts another dream, Luna tells Usagi to not fall for her tricks again. Usagi says that she won’t, but Rei says she’s not so sure about that. In the dub, Luna tells Serena that she has to learn to use her tiara faster. Serena says that at least she acted brave and didn’t let Raye take over, but Raye replies that she should’ve.

I love how Rei’s all “Hey, don’t cry because Ami might be in danger or worse, we need to focus on the mission!” but the instant she sees Tuxedo Mask she completely loses focus and gushes over him.

A short scene of Rei and Usagi looking very confused about what just happened is edited out. I don’t know why.

Any reason why Tuxedo Mask’s mouth isn’t moving when he’s talking to Rei/Raye and Usagi/Serena?

Wow, nice pointless panty shot on Rei as she jumps down onto Durimu, original version. The jump is kept in, but they carefully edit out the panty shot. Not getting a screenshot for that one.

This episode brings us a pseudo new attack move made by Sailor Moon and Mars. Sailor Moon uses her Moon Tiara Action while Mars uses her Fire Soul to turn the tiara into a kind of fire/molten tiara. It’s really cool.

Serena: “Moon dusted!” First of all, awful pun. Second of all, that was a joint effort with Mars so that doesn’t entirely work. In the dub, Usagi just says “We did it!”

So no one in the park is going to question why a giant well-known castle in the amusement park suddenly vanished? Okay.

Usagi yells at Rei for supposedly having a bigger ice cream than she has, but Rei argues that Usagi picked out the one that she wanted herself and it’s ridiculous that she thinks hers is bigger. Usagi then tells Rei to trade, but she refuses and chases her around until she spills her ice cream. In the dub, Serena yells at Raye for slurping her ice cream, Raye says she should talk, calls her a meatball head and Serena chases her until she drops her ice cream.

Next episode, it’s the love boat! And demons and stuff.

Previous Episode


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

My AniManga Clash-ish Thoughts on Angelic Layer

I haven’t watched Angelic Layer in quite a long time, but it still holds a place in my heart. It’s a rare shouJO gaming anime that had likable characters, a fun game to focus on and a decent story. It had its problems, but none of them were so severe that it badly damaged my perception of the series.

When I started reading the manga of Angelic Layer, I really thought I wouldn’t even wind up writing one of these posts because, frankly, there wasn’t much to talk about. The anime and manga, as far as I can remember anyway, were pretty well matched for several volumes. There wasn’t much in regards to changes to the story or characters, so what was there to say other than ‘Yeah, they’re pretty much the same.’?

But then I got to the ending.

And here I am.

Before I get to the ending, I would like to discuss some things regarding earlier parts of the anime and manga. As far as I remember, the anime had a more gradual buildup to Misaki eventually becoming the ‘Miracle Rookie.’ There was more in regards to her playing Angelic Layer with other people before she was flung into tournament play. In the manga, she has one match before she’s entered into the regional tournament.

Because of this, her ‘Miracle Rookie’ status irks me a bit more than it did in the anime. She is about as rookie as a rookie can be before she’s entering a major tournament – and she winds up winning that tournament. Then it’s immediately followed by the national tournament, which she doesn’t technically win, even though she does in the anime.

I say she doesn’t technically win the tournament in the manga because, even though she lost in the finals to Athena, the very last scene is the crowd cheering on her tournament win? (The announcer says ‘Here is the winner of our tournament!’ when she walks out.) She’s wearing a royal cape thing and crown at the end of the tournament – Hikaru (her Angel) even gets the same outfit. The epilogue has people calling her the Angelic Layer Champion, too. I don’t get it. Was Athena like a set champion to try and defeat once she won the main tournament? Like how there’s a league champion to defeat once you defeat the Elite Four? I dunno.

Either way, she somehow managed to make her way to the finals at least despite being almost completely new to the game when she started out in the tournament bracket as a whole.

She does practice a lot and studies frequently in between matches and tournaments, and it’s not like her record is flawless, she does lose a couple times, but so many of her matches are Hikaru struggling → Misaki struggling → Can’t give up! → Oh I figured out how to win against this highly-experienced veteran. → One-hit defeat. (And by that I mean the only hit that actually does damage. A lot of the time her hits will connect but do nothing.)

Many of her victories are one-hit wins, even though her Angel is built mostly for speed and is very light. There’s no reason why she should have such powerhouse hits that they either cause impressive ring-outs or deplete an Angel’s full health bar in one go. This is especially frustrating considering that Hikaru takes so much damage during these battles yet she always manages to keep hanging on, despite the fact that, again, she’s not built for defense – she’s built for speed.

Even when they make a huge multi-volume long deal out of Hikaru’s mystery weakness to build tension, it’s not that significant or interesting when revealed (Hikaru’s really light……We already knew that, and it’s been mentioned numerous times over the course of the series. She’s a small model built for speed. Of course her weight means she both can’t land moves as powerful as others, and she, by default, has a disadvantage against heavier models.) and it’s resolved rather quickly and easily.

Coincidentally, her weakness is revealed on a field that gives Hikaru the advantage. They were on a beach layer, so she had Hikaru grab her opponent and dive into the ocean. Since Hikaru is light, she could swim, I guess, even though it’s never established that Angels are buoyant, and her opponent, being heavy, just sank.

Being completely fair, I never got angry at this happening. I just kinda started rolling my eyes after a while and found myself not really immersed in the matches because I came to expect that Misaki would win, which, in itself, is a big problem because Misaki’s supposed to be the underdog. Her motivation is all about proving how small, seemingly weak-looking people can face their toughest challenges and come out on top. She does that, but she does it too easily. I greatly admire her passion for the game and her love of Angels, but she’s just too good too quickly to truly be relatable to anyone in the real world who would sympathize with her.

Moving onto the ending changes, we have two significant alterations to discuss – the first being Misaki’s relationship with her mother/ her mother as a whole, and the endgame romantic relationships.

Starting with Misaki and her mom, Shuko, the story still remains about 50% the same. In both the anime and manga, Misaki doesn’t even really remember her mom much. She left Misaki in the care of her grandparents when she was five years old. Turns out, her mother holds a high position in the company that developed Angelic Layer and is the Deus of Athena – the strongest Angel in the league and the Angel that Misaki saw in a commercial that got her interested in the game in the first place.

That’s where the similarities end. In the anime, the reason Shuko abandoned her daughter was because she had a neurological disease that confined her to a wheelchair. She decided to dedicate all of her spare time to researching a cure/treatment with Icchan, which incidentally lead to them developing Angelic Layer. She was so ashamed of her condition that she couldn’t bear to imagine what Misaki might think of her as she grew older, so she left her in the care of her grandparents. She had hoped that, one day, when she was better, she would reunite with her daughter. Until then, she’d cut off all communication with Misaki and keep tabs on her from the shadows.

After a bit of a dark tonal shift upon their reunion during the national tournament, Misaki and Shuko air out their feelings and work things out before their final match, which Misaki manages to win….even if it is pretty much one of the most asspull-ish wins I’ve ever seen in anime.

In the manga, the reason Shuko abandoned her daughter…….

….is almost insultingly dumb.

Something you should know about me before I go on – I have severe social anxiety disorder and general problems with anxiety. So believe me when I discuss the stupidity of Shuko’s manga backstory.

According to any info page on her character, Shuko has severe social anxiety disorder. However, it’s not actually social anxiety disorder. The manga never once uses the term. She can be out and about and live her life with little issue. She’s seen talking to Icchan and Ojirou numerous times, and, from how they talk about her, it seems she’s regularly socialized with them for years. She’s a famous Deus who participates in many tournaments, and numerous people seem to know her personally.

I’m not saying all of these factors means she absolutely doesn’t have some degree of social anxiety – you can live a fairly ‘normal’ life externally but be suffering significantly internally – but I am saying that, considering how she can cope with her anxiety enough to do all of these things, there’s no reason why she can’t cope with it enough to be with her child.

“So, why isn’t she?” you ask?

Shuko’s problem in particular is being around people she loves. The more she loves someone, the more anxious she gets, to the point where she has ‘panic attacks.’ She loved Misaki too much to be around her without freaking out all the time, so she just flatout abandoned her child at the age of five with, I guess, no intentions on ever returning.

That….is not….how anxiety works…..like even a little. Does the feeling of love make you flustered and nervous? Oh yeah, definitely. It makes everyone feel that way. In people with anxiety, it’s worse, of course, but 1) that’s usually just in regards to romantic love and new relationships and 2) if the anxiety really only comes when you’re in the presence of someone you love, the odds of the core issue being social anxiety disorder are very, very slim. That is either a symptom of some other disorder or it’s just not a thing.

One of the few things that helps alleviate anxiety is having loved ones around. They make you more comfortable, they help pick you up when you’re spiraling and they work with you to help you through the tough times. Why would a loved one make you so ridiculously anxious? Unless it’s a situation where you love them but they’re very abusive or something, but this isn’t the case here.

Lest we forget, she has a freakin’ child. She used to have a freakin’ husband. Which means she has dated, fallen in love, gotten married, had sex, gone through pregnancy, birthed a child and raised it for five years all without noping out of there because of her anxiety. They even briefly mention that her condition must’ve made life for her husband really difficult. Yet, for some reason, when Misaki turned five, she suddenly decided she couldn’t take it anymore.

You could argue that her husband dying (I think he died anyway) was the crux of her abandoning Misaki, but you’d think that one fewer loved one around would make it easier for her to deal with her love-based anxiety. Plus, her husband is never mentioned as a correlating issue here. He was only slightly mentioned at the beginning of the manga.

The most angering part of this whole plotline is that it’s all simply brushed away. After their match, Misaki chases after Shuko to reveal that she knew she was her mother since the match started. And, unlike in the anime where there’s a pretty dramatic exchange of words, their reunion in the manga is more or less comedic. Her anxiety is treated comically (Less ‘realistic panic attacks’ and more ‘cartoony turning red and chibi with little dot eyes.’) Misaki has absolutely no axe to grind with her mother, which is just ridiculous and practically makes a joke out of this whole situation – even more than it already was. In the absolute end, they simply suggest that Shuko try living with Misaki and Shoko (Shuko’s sister/Misaki’s aunt whom she’s been staying with after moving to Tokyo) and Shuko agrees.

In the epilogue, Shuko’s still very much flustered around Misaki, but they work through it by having Shoko basically tell Shuko to chill out and they live happily ever after…..Yup, that’s it. No reason whatsoever why Shuko couldn’t have been doing this from the very beginning. She’s literally just giving a single iota of effort to deal with it and it’s fine now.

Actually, let me be completely fair. Before the epilogue, Shoko mentions that playing Angelic Layer with Misaki more might help because Shuko is more comfortable while playing the game, but that’s it. Granted, there is a lot of value in having an activity that helps reduce the feelings of anxiety – art and games help me quite a bit – but that just feels so cheap and corny to act like Angelic Layer will cure her eventually and that its existence basically saved their relationship. And I mean that literally. Shoko tells Shuko that they should thank the person who made Angelic Layer when she brings up them playing more to get accustomed to each other.

Speaking of Shoko, does Shuko not love her sister enough to panic around her? She’s having a conversation with her normally, albeit with a blush on her face.

I never thought Angelic Layer would make me feel like I was too harsh on the mom from Aishiteruze Baby. At least in that situation it was a traumatic event and fear of becoming an abuser that caused her to leave. At least she tried to reach out to her daughter while she was gone. At least she attempted to better herself. At least she came back for Yuzuyu a year later. Shuko? She just bounced the instant things started getting difficult. She didn’t seek therapy, she didn’t ask for help from family, she didn’t send Misaki letters or try to communicate with her for over seven years, and she lived a fairly normal life after the fact, even becoming the top player of a game in the meantime.

She’s never held accountable for what she did. Misaki forgives her without a thought, Shoko welcomes her with open arms, and she gets to live a happy life with her child even after doing something so terrible to her for such a pitiful reason. Seven years of fully abandoning her daughter wiped away with nary a stain left behind.

Her story may not be perfect in the anime, but having a debilitating disease that leaves you in a wheelchair and being so distraught over your condition that you feel too ashamed to face your daughter anymore is much more understandable than ‘I can’t be your mom anymore, Misaki. Being around you makes me 😳.’ It’s still not enough to warrant never communicating with her for seven years, but it’s better.

They even work in the Angelic Layer aspect better in the anime by saying Shuko helped create it when she was trying to develop a treatment method (or means of helping her walk. I forget.) with Icchan. She naturally became a master at it because she was using it as a means of medical research. In the manga, she’s just an employee at the company that makes the game and, I guess, played it so much that she became a master at it. So much time spent pointlessly playing a game that could have been spent with your daughter and/or in therapy.

I know how much of a struggle it is for anyone with mental health problems to seek therapy, and it’s particularly a problem when you have social anxiety disorder (for obvious reasons. There’s a joke that’s like ‘There was a group therapy session for people with social anxiety, but no one showed up.’) but I’m convinced she doesn’t have social anxiety disorder. She has ‘flustered female anime character’ syndrome. There’s no reason whatsoever that Shuko hasn’t reunited with her daughter by now. There was barely a reason to abandon her in the first place, but there is definitely no reason why she’s left her daughter without so much as a note for over seven years.

In the anime, Shuko is held accountable for her actions, even if she is also forgiven by Misaki. In the manga, no one’s ever mad at her for what she did. Misaki never so much as makes a frown at her. Not only is that very frustrating, but it’s such a disappointing payoff for this whole running plot.

Onto more lighthearted fare, it’s time to talk about the romantic relationships.

In the anime, they tease Kotarou and Misaki getting together for a long while. If we’re gender-flipping the typical shounen formula, Kotarou would take the role of the token girl/love interest. He does know quite a bit about the game, but he doesn’t play it and mostly sits on the sidelines cheering on Misaki. Outside of the arena, he helps her by giving her advice and teaching her about fighting via his karate moves.

Tamayo is Kotarou’s childhood friend who is rather loud, physical and teasing. She loves hugging Misaki and play-flirting with her, and she loves tormenting Kotarou with wrestling moves. As the series goes on, it’s clear that Tamayo has a crush on Kotarou. However, he’s too enamored by Misaki to notice. Plus, by his own admission, he never saw Tamayo as a woman before. Once she makes her feelings clear, things between the two get pretty awkward, but he eventually warms up to the idea of dating her, which they, presumably, do at the end.

Not a romance for the ages or anything, but I did like this pairing. It was nice to skew away from the predictable route of having him end up with Misaki, even if their chemistry was good, and I thought this pseudo-love triangle worked very well. It feels a bit one-sided for my liking, I thought they would make a very good couple over time.

As for Misaki, she ended up with Ojirou, who is Icchan’s step-brother and a very highly-ranked Deus. He adores Angelic Layer and has a strong personal connection with the game, just like Misaki. He’s clearly enamored with her over the series, flirts with her numerous times, and, once they meet in the arena, it seems like the feeling is mutual. By the end of the series, it’s also implied that they start dating.

In the manga, neither of these pairings happen.

Instead, the pairing that you’d expect to happen, Misaki and Kotarou, wind up together (canonically, as it’s established in an epilogue that they start dating officially) and….for some reason, despite never sharing a single line of dialogue or having anything even remotely in common, Tamayo ends up dating Ojirou (again, canonically).

I have no qualms with Misaki and Kotarou ending up together. It’s predictable, sure, but their chemistry is fine and they set up the relationship well.

I am kinda bummed that Tamayo and Kotarou didn’t even get touched upon, but what can ya do?

As for Tamayo and Ojirou……just…HUH?! That pairing had no lead up whatsoever. I don’t even think they properly met. Where the hell did this come from? Their personalities could not be any more different, which wouldn’t be a big problem if we saw them interacting and understood how their dynamic worked, but nope. The epilogue just slaps us with ‘Lol ya, they’re dating now.’ I guess they did share in making Misaki flustered by guessing what her underwear looked like, but 1) that’s dumb as a basis for a relationship, and 2) They never did that together. Again, I don’t think they ever even met before. Ojirou clearly had a crush on Misaki in the manga as well. He never once acknowledges Tamayo.

What’s even more confusing is, somehow, they’ve been dating LONGER than Misaki and Kotarou. The epilogue takes place a year after the end of the national tournament, and Misaki explains in narration that Tamayo and Ojirou have been dating for a month while Misaki and Kotarou have been dating for a week.

Keep in mind, Misaki and Kotarou were practically unofficially dating when the tournaments were going on. How did this all happen? Misaki and Ojirou made much more sense, even if they didn’t have quite as much buildup as Misaki and Kotarou. It feels like a complete afterthought to put Tamayo and Ojirou together.

———————————-

At the end of the day, the anime beats the manga handily.

Reading the manga highlighted the problems with the series as a whole more than the anime did. There’s not really a lot to be gained from either watching or reading this outside of ‘believe in yourself’ and ‘being small/short doesn’t mean you can’t be strong.’ The Miracle Rookie stuff also gets very repetitive, as does everyone constantly focusing on and praising Misaki.

Gaming anime typically don’t have to have deep storylines or messages, but that’s usually because the fun action of the game makes up for that, and fun action in gaming is so difficult to capture in manga panels, especially when the art isn’t that impressive. There were numerous instances where I honestly couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. I still have no clue how Misaki won her second to last match of the nationals. She was struggling, she couldn’t figure out how to win, everyone was worried she’d lose and then, fwoop, she won somehow.

I still really like the concept of Angelic Layer, but, quite frankly, reading the manga just made me yearn to watch the anime again just so I could see the concept done better. Not only do action/sports/gaming anime already have a leg up because they can show action in a more engaging manner, but the anime simply did a better job telling this story. The anime felt like it had more freedom above all else. There was better pacing in regards to Misaki’s development as a Deus, and everything involving Misaki’s mom made much more sense and was far more emotionally impacting that what the manga came out with. The romantic stuff I can give or take, but in my opinion they even did much better in that regard.

If Angelic Layer’s plot interests you, I fully recommend the anime. I had a lot of fun with it back when I first watched it, and I think anyone with an interest in gaming anime will have fun with it too. I still wish we had gotten a spin-off or sequel or something, and I’m forever sad Angelic Layer as a game doesn’t exist….

I can also recommend the manga, but not as enthusiastically. If nothing else, it’s a relaxing little gaming title that never has the ol’ cliché of ‘The fate of the world rests on my ability to play a children’s game!’. It’s nothing deep or introspective, you won’t tear up or yell at your screen, but if the premise sounds at all interesting it will likely entertain you for a while.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Pokemon Episode 62 Analysis: Clefairy Tales

CotD(s): Oswald – He’s not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Reappear?: No. Also, he’s not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Pokemon: None.

……And he’s still not Seymour the Scientist ™.

Plot: As Jigglypuff happily wanders along singing its song (and putting passersby to sleep, of course) it’s suddenly bonked on the head by a teapot that seemingly fell from a crashing spaceship. It investigates further to find it is indeed a spaceship – filled with…Clefairy?

Meanwhile, Ash, Misty and Brock stop by a local city for some ice cream as their continue their journey to Viridian City. As they enjoy their treats, a Clefairy suddenly appears, but quickly runs off. Misty gives chase, intent on capturing it, and Ash and Brock chase after her to stop them from getting separated. Their unsupervised bags (and ice cream) are snatched by an unseen thief.

Some time later, the trio returns to their table to find their bags and ice cream are gone. They head to the police station to report the crime to Officer Jenny, but they’ll have to wait in line behind dozens of other people who have had random items stolen, much to the confusion of both the police and the victims.

A strange man named Oswald offers a theory – Aliens. While Misty thinks it’s ridiculous, Oswald is able to convince the group of the alien culprits by showing them a picture of an alien space craft. The chef states that he saw that ship on the outskirts of town three days ago, which is when the thefts started.

Alongside Oswald, who is somehow tracking the ‘aliens’ with some sort of device, Ash, Misty and Brock go searching for the ship in order to get their bags back. They, shockingly, seem to find it as a spaceship descends from the sky right in front of them. Two ‘aliens’ emerge, kidnap Pikachu and leave. Turns out, it was Team Rocket using a fake ship hung by a crane on a building above. Pikachu has been placed in a glass case to protect them from his electricity.

Back on the ground, Ash uses Pidgeotto to cut the cable and send the ship crashing down.

As the group and Team Rocket face off, they’re suddenly approached by the same Clefairy from earlier. Jigglypuff also shows up out of nowhere. Before anyone can make heads or tails of what’s going on, Clefairy makes off with the still-imprisoned Pikachu. Team Rocket tries to chase it, but they’re stopped by Clefairy’s Light Screen.

Ash and the others take chase next, but Clefairy escapes down an alleyway. When they arrive at the alley, they find that Clefairy has disappeared. Jigglypuff points out that the sewer is the only way Clefairy could have escaped. They all hop down in the manhole and wind up in a cave.

Much to their surprise, the Clefairy has built a new rocket and spaceship using the items that they’ve stolen around town. They spot the Clefairy who stole Pikachu bringing him into the ship, intending on using him as a power source for the ship.

A countdown to the launch commences. Brock runs off to inform Officer Jenny while Ash, Misty and Oswald infiltrate the ship to rescue Pikachu. When they find him, they’re met with a slue of Clefairy who vehemently guard Pikachu. Jigglypuff walks in and challenges the whole lot of them, shockingly Pounding and Double-Slapping them all into submission.

Jigglypuff enters the control room where the Clefairy who stole its microphone is sitting in wait. The two have yet another slap-down until they’re interrupted by Oswald. He plays with the control panel and accidentally breaks off the ‘joystick’ which turns out to be Jigglypuff’s missing microphone. Jigglypuff immediately snatches the microphone and starts singing over the PA system, causing everyone to fall asleep. As usual, Jigglypuff huffs, draws on their faces and leaves.

When the launch begins, Pikachu is prompted to use a powerful electric attack, powering up the ship enough to take off. The rocket shoots through the launch tunnel and pops up under the road in the city above. Using the street as a runway and a building as a ramp, the spaceship launches into the sky.

Pikachu’s electricity breaks him out of the pod, and Ash and Misty wake up just in time to grab their backpacks and escape. However, they’re much too high up to jump out of the ship. They have one chance – jump down onto a nearby skyscraper as they fly by it. With the help of Bulbasaur, they’re able to land on the skyscraper safely.

Ash and Misty watch the spaceship fly off over the horizon, bidding the Clefairy farewell as they head towards their destination……Little do they know that the Clefairy’s ship cannot make the journey and crash lands at a campsite several miles away. The Clefairy (and Oswald) emerge from the ship and once again begin stealing things to make repairs.

Later, Ash, Misty and Brock meet back up with Officer Jenny and the victims of the thefts. Everyone somehow recovered their stolen items and they express their gratitude to the three before they head off once more towards Viridian City and Ash’s eighth, and final, Gym Badge.

—————————————————-

– Before I even got to the title screen, I remembered why I didn’t like this episode. It is just a cornucopia of stupid and confusion.

– Also, it’s a friggin’ crime, a CRIME I say, that Seymour the Scientist ™ is not in this episode.

– I absolutely hate that the ice cream place they stop at is called ‘Soft Cream.’ That’s just eugh no.

– I know that I tend to not give Ash some slack in areas when he should because he is a kid, but even at ten years old he shouldn’t be double-fisting ice cream cones, getting it all over his face (even on his nose and under his eyes) and slurping it like a thirsty dog. Apparently Delia was too busy teaching her son proper underwear changing habits and never got around to teaching him manners.

– Why does the ice cream box say ‘Lucky’ on the side?

– This perspective is really, really weird. It makes Clefairy look only a few inches tall.

– Misty: “I can’t let this one get away!” Is my memory garbo or did Misty ever try to catch a Clefairy before? I don’t remember her trying it in Clefairy and the Moon Stone.

– Not a single one of them thought to grab their bags before leaving the table? All of their money, clothes, food, emergency supplies etc. are in those bags. Why are they even chasing her anyway? Do they want to fight her for Clefairy’s capture rights or are they worried she’ll never find her way back? She’s not a dog, guys.

– Now THIS perspective is weird. It makes it look like the table and chairs are teeny tiny.

– Ash: *crying* “I never got to taste the chocolate!” Yes, you did. You had chocolate ice cream on your face, you liar. Unless you somehow got chocolate ice cream on your face without tasting it, which is sad and impressive at the same time.

Also, while they definitely should report their bags being stolen, depending on how long they were gone, it’s perfectly reasonable to assume their ice cream cones were just cleaned up by the busboys.

– Chef: “I turned my back and my pot disappeared! My chicken too!” Okay…..So….Why are you still holding the ladle and whisk? What were you making that involved a whisk and a ladle at the same time, for that matter?…..Are you seriously going to the COPS for a stolen chicken and pot?

– Mother: “My baby’s favorite bottle was stolen!” *baby starts crying* Yes, and instead of going to the store to buy another, I decided to stand in this ridiculously long line for however long until I could report this crime to the cops, who will inevitably do nothing because it’s a frickin’ baby bottle.

– Baseball Player: “My lucky bat is gone, and now I’ll never hit another home run.” Again, the cops would do nothing about this.

– Man: “The buttons on my coat are gone!” Are you friggin’ kidding me?

– Woman: “Someone stole the candles off my birthday cake.” You people are insane.

– Kid: “What about my bike horn!?” They stole the horn but not the bike?

– Brock: “I mean, who’d want to steal somebody’s bike horn or the buttons from a coat or the candles off a birthday cake?”

Oswald: “Aliens!”

….

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to discount low-calorie no-sugar knock-off Seymour the Scientist™ – Oswald. And I’m not kidding – they have Oswald do Seymour’s over the top shtick and make him obsessed with Clefairy. The major differences are Seymour was awesome and entertaining and this guy is an annoying kook. Perfect opportunity to bring Seymour back, but nope. Bastards.

– Ash: “How do these guys find us?…..” *snort* Alright, that was pretty funny.

– How and why is there such a clear picture of the Clefairys’ space craft in that book? How long have these things been toting that ship around earth? Also, the chef saw this thing, seemingly on the ground, and didn’t do anything?

– I love how Officer Jenny is doing absolutely nothing about Oswald viciously shaking the chef and shouting at him for information on the space craft. Meanwhile, Ash, the ten-year-old boy, has to stop him. She’s certainly a crime fighter for the ages….

– This is a town where the citizens will rush to the police station (instead of doing what most normal people would do and call) for incredibly minor ‘crimes’ and will actually believe a nutjob who claims aliens stole the items. Then the cops will have a trio of children follow the nutjob, alone, and investigate the crashed space craft, also alone, while following a blinky doodad.……Ash, Misty, Brock….call your folks, have them send new stuff, and walk away.

– Speaking of which, what even is that stupid gadget? What is it actually detecting? Because as far as I see it just goes off randomly, even detecting Misty and Jigglypuff as ‘aliens.’

– Misty: “I don’t understand why we have to be part of this stupid spaceman search party.” Misty, the also ten-year-old, is the only one with sense here.

– Fun Fact: The ‘alien language’ Jessie and James are speaking when they kidnap Pikachu is ‘Nomekop’ or ‘Pokemon’ spelled backwards. No clue whose idea that was, but it’s pretty clever and works well because the word does sound odd yet still like a real language.

– I am willing to give a pass to them for being too in shock of the ‘aliens’ that they accidentally let them make off with Pikachu, but I will not give them one for being too blind to not see the cable attached to the ‘space ship’ and the giant crane on the building overhead. Granted, because they wanted to fool the audience too, this wasn’t visible to us until they were already leaving (the cable on top isn’t even visible in a wide shot – that one was flatout cheating.) but surely the characters should have noticed. At least Misty, the skeptic, should have.

– Ash: “Hey, that’s a crane.” Very good, Ash. Hindsight and post-Pika-napping is 20/20.

– Hey, Ash, Pikachu was in that ship you just made crash probably 50 feet into the pavement below….Oh, also, the frickin’ thing was in a GLASS case, which means he’s probably filleted ‘chu right now. Good job.

– Oswald: “You mean they’re not aliens?” Oswald, goddammit.

– Oswald may be an idiot, but Misty should at least apologize for breaking his dumb useless scanner.

– Oswald: “It took me weeks to assemble that scanner! What will I do if I can’t find the comic book I ordered it from!?” I at least appreciate that the show recognize what a doof Oswald is, and it’s funny that his scanner came from a comic book ad…..but….it took him weeks to assemble it? It’s a little gizmo the size of a cell phone. Why wouldn’t it be sold already assembled? And even if they were that cheap, how much assembly could that thing need? Did you need to solder all of the electronics and everything? What the heck?

– So this little Clefairy had the time and strength to put down Pikachu, remove the manhole cover, grab Pikachu, head down the sewer and (mostly) replace the manhole cover (with Pikachu still in its hands) all before Ash and co., who were like three seconds behind, caught up?

– Okay, it’s crazy for Jigglypuff to just jump down this manhole, especially when Brock said they can’t even see the bottom, but it’s the balloon Pokemon. It will probably be alright. However, it’d be ultra dumb if the humans, who are not small pink sentient balloon animals, jumped down this hole that almost certainly leads to either a quick death or horrible life-changing injuries. Good thing that would never happen, right?

Right guys?

…..Rig–

So, Ash and the others jump down after Jigglypuff.

Because they’re all just….so dumb.

So….

Unreasonably….

Dumb.

Again, even ten-year-olds should know that this is insanely dangerous. Not to mention the fact that this can be mimicked by their younger audience. Yeah, kids. If you see an open manhole, hop right in! You’ll find a spaceship and Clefairy and you certainly won’t wind up in a wheelchair, coma or dead because you fell however far onto solid concrete!

-What the hell is happening here?

Did they find a portal to purgatory?

– Okay, I’m not a sewer expert or anything, but 1) Pretty sure you wouldn’t end up falling through a series of pipes if you fell down a manhole. Again, you’d probably just crash into the concrete below and die. 2) Even if you did, I doubt you’d be able to survive the hit into the pipe as you fell, and they smack into the pipes hard several times. 3) Why would the sewer empty out into a random cave? 4) Why would the random cave they wind up in have no water at the end? There’s no water in any of this equation. It’s a real sewer line, we see the various pipes. Unless the Clefairy built this sewer system themselves, this is somehow a sewer system without water or, ya know, sewage.

– Misty: *seconds after landing in the cave* “Pikachu’s gone. Let’s go.” Nice, Misty. Also, why would you be brave enough to dive into an open, dark manhole but you don’t have the balls to weather being in a random cave to find Pikachu?

Ash: “Very funny.” Was she joking? That didn’t come across.

– *sigh* And now the cous de gras of stupidness…..the Clefairy’s new spaceship. I’m working under the assumption that everything down in this cave was built by the Clefairy and not the theory that, somehow, the Clefairy found and abandoned by working secret rocket launching facility made by humans because that somehow makes less sense to me.

So……all of this…the spaceship, the rocket, the extendable and movable staircase, the launchpad, the giant countdown thinger that descends from the ceiling, everything…….was built….using the most random garbage they could get their little pink fingers on. Baby bottle….pot….chicken….baseball bat…bike horn….birthday candles…..coat buttons….We’re also later shown a golf club, a tennis racket, a radio and a ball. How is ANY of this helping them build ALL OF THIS? I would understand if they were stealing stuff like arc welders, scrap metal, fuel etc. but ice cream? Whatever the hell is in Ash, Misty and Brock’s backpacks?…..Oh yeah, holy crap, Misty, you just got all your Pokemon stolen again. Your bag safety practices have not improved at all since the Farfetch’d episode, young lady.

This plot is probably the most nonsensical in the series so far, and it pretty much just expects to be brushed off with ‘They’re aliens, so they can make whatever with whatever.’

I am perfectly willing to accept that maybe the spaceship itself wasn’t made from junk. But it’s clearly repaired by it, and the rocket still had to have been built from the ground up by junk.

– Brock: “I’ll go tell Officer Jenny.” How? You got here via a sewage pipe that you can’t climb, and considering how long the ride took, I can bet you’re fairly far away. Is there an exit I’m not seeing?

– They have a gear system working with a soccer ball as one of the cogs, spinning on the missing pot….How is that staying there? Either something is piercing it, meaning it would be deflated, or it’s purely friction, which shouldn’t keep it there indefinitely, especially once the ship starts moving. I love how they show a few things here and there to ‘prove’ that they are indeed using the stolen garbage, but you can’t explain away the other 99.99% of the stuff around here. Like the glass power pod thing they’re storing Pikachu in. What is that made from? How did it get made?

– Oh god, the animation on Ash and the others when they run in after seeing Pikachu. This is definitely a budget episode.

– Where did all the Clefairy randomly pop in from? There’s only one entrance to the room and they kinda appeared in front of the pod.

– There is clearly power being fed into this ship somehow. Machines are running and the lights are on. Not to mention, they have tons of power if they can use that huge stadium-level countdown indicator outside. They have to have some substantial source of electricity. Why is Pikachu so vital?

– Before I rewatched this, I thought the Clefairy and Jigglypuff stuff was the worst part of the episode, but now I realize it’s actually the saving grace because their fight is hilarious. Don’t think we need to add fancy attack labels to what is essentially a bitchslap fight, but still entertaining.

– And then Jigglypuff’s curbstomping the other Clefairy because it wants its microphone back is just the icing on the cake.

– Oswald: “I wonder what this joystick does. *breaks it* Oops. I broke it.” Oswald, goddammit.

– I love that Jigglypuff immediately starts singing when it gets its microphone back.

– Ash: *hearing Jigglypuff’s song* “What’s that?”

– Misty: “It’s Jigglypuff’s song!”

Ash: “That’s a song I always get tired of.” And yet you never remember it.

– Jigglypuff sure has gotten lazy with its face scribbles. It used to actually doodle funny pictures. Now it’s just random black squiggles.

– It’s very cute that they used a little plastic hammer to boop Pikachu on the nose to make him attack.

– The Clefairy also built a tunnel system and tracks for the rocket to travel through, somehow broke up the road in secret and turned a massive section of the road into a panel that could be remotely turned into a ramp for the rocket to use. All with garbage.

– Also, all the stolen stuff just falls from the rocket as it’s leaving the hanger. I’m sure it was so vital….or maybe it was vital and the Clefairy are just shoddy mechanics.

– Chef: “Now I can cook my chicken!” You’re a professional chef who only owns one pot? Also, your stolen chicken didn’t fall out. Guess you have to buy a new one….or, if it did fall out off-screen….uh….you’re gonna cook that now?….Ew.

– All of the streets in this massive city are surprisingly void of literally any cars.

– Their runway leads straight for a massive building that, conveniently, has sloped sides.

Also, I know cartoon logic is in play here, but

….screw you.

– Why would they have it set up so that the rocket separates from the spaceship before it’s even cleared the buildings?

– I find it funny that, for a change, Team Rocket is actually blasting off in a rocket.

….It’s at least funny until that thing kills dozens of people because it not only doesn’t have a parachute, but it’s the middle of a densely populated city with no way to control it.

– They’re doing the questioning for me here in regards to Pikachu breaking itself free, but it actually kinda makes the situation worse.

Ash: “I wonder how it cracked open.”

Misty: “Pikachu’s electric attack must’ve been too much for it.”

Ash: “Like when a balloon pops because there’s too much air inside.”

Mmph.

I’m not expecting ten-year-olds with no education to know how this would happen….especially because it probably wouldn’t.

Glass can shatter because of electricity, but, considering the situation, it’s unlikely it would have happened in this circumstance. The speed and heat of a sudden BOLT of lightning, plus the shockwave of the thunder, can shatter glass. However, in the case of Pikachu, he was delivering an even stream of electricity for about a minute. This application of electricity should have heated and melted the glass, at most, not broken it.

Also, it should be noted that Pikachu’s supposed maximum amperage is 1000, while the average lightning bolt is around 30,000 amps.

Ash is right in that air pressure can break glass, but that’s not what they’re implying here. They’re making the claim that Pikachu was just too powerful for the glass to handle, which I sincerely doubt. Even if air pressure was a factor here, I doubt that pod is air tight (unless they wanted to murder Pikachu) like a balloon would be.

I’m no scientist, again, researching as I go, so if you think this is feasible then comment below. I’m actually very interested in this.

– So their bags were just….sitting there….in the same room Pikachu was being held?….Nothing missing from them? Surely, out of all the stuff the Clefairy stole, their backpacks had to have had things that they could have used in the ship.They found uses for a microphone and a soccer ball but nothing in the backpacks?

Why, it’s almost like the missing backpacks were just a flimsy plot device….and, really, that’s what they were because not only did the Clefairy not use anything in the backpacks, but how many times has Ash and co. just stumbled upon the problem of the week and just volunteered to help? The episode could have easily started with them walking down the street and wondering why there’s a huge crowd outside the police station and then they help the investigation.

– Bulbasaur landing on Ash was very cute.

– I commend the Clefairy for being able to make even a slightly working spaceship out of random crap, but it’s hard to be impressed when the thing keeps crashing and then they steal more crap to make another. How many times have they done this?

– It’s pretty dumb of those people to run from Oswald when he’s clearly wearing a cardboard box, a pot and a desk lamp. He’s also speaking clear English and has visible human hands and feet.

– Officer Jenny: “On behalf of everyone, I’d like to say ‘Thank you.’”

Ash: “Thanks!”

No, Ash, SHE wanted to say thanks, silly.

– Ash: “We’re glad you got everything back.” What the….what…..what the…..wha…..How is that even remotely possible?! Some stuff fell from the ship, sure, but if the ship was made entirely from random stolen crap then surely a good chunk of it has to be gone for good. You can’t tie up that bow, Pokemon. It’s impossible.

– I love how absolutely no one is concerned about Oswald.

——————————————

Well, that certainly was an episode.

It’s a massive overload of stupid, even for this show, but it never made me really angry or anything. Mostly, I just feel like my intelligence was insulted. Even for kids, this is some insane stretching they’re doing here. You could say it’s…..astronomical. 😀

…..Yeah, I’m sorry.

Also, it’s kinda weird that this group of Clefairy is a super-smart group of seemingly legit aliens when the last ones we saw just lived like normal Pokemon with the implications of being extraterrestrial.

Don’t even talk to me about Oswald. He’s not making my blood boil or anything, but he is one of more annoying CotDs we’ve had, and he took up Seymour the Scientist’s ™ role and that’s just blasphemy.

Even the art and animation were low grade today.

The one saving grace of this episode, like I mentioned, was the Jigglypuff vs. Clefairy stuff…and even that got a little old by the time the main Clefairy showed up.

This episode wasn’t terrible to sit through, but it definitely did not deserve to be the lead up to the final (Indigo) badge episode.

Speaking of which, holy crap, guys, next time we cover the final (Indigo) badge episode! It’s also the first and only time (that I know of anyway. Much later movies might do this more. I’m not as familiar.) where the movies have interjected with the main series.

That’s right! We’ve got Viridian City! We’ve got Earth Badge! We’ve got Gio-frickin’-vanni! We’ve got Gary in a Gym match! We’ve got MEWTWO, bitches!

And…..and………we have one of the most wasted badge episodes, let alone final badge episodes, to ever grace Pokemon because they spent too much time and energy tying into the movie that they didn’t bother making a good story for the main plot of the series. We’ve got a lot to go over, folks.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hell Girl: Three Vessels Episode 19 – Snow, Moon and Flowers Review

Plot: Kaori Nakiri is the sole heir to her prestigious family’s flower arranging school, even though she doesn’t have a desire for it. A woman named Yukina appears shortly after Kaori’s father’s funeral to reveal that she is the result of an affair Kaori’s father had and that she’s entitled to half of the estate. However, she wants more than that – she wants to be the heir to the flower arranging school. Considering Kaori’s complicated extended family and how stern they are with tradition, it’s not Kaori’s place to give the role to her, but Yukina will get what she wants no matter if it’s given to her willingly or not.

Breakdown: I’ll be honest, I went into this expecting to sleepwalk through it after watching the preview and, yeah, I sleptwalked through most of it…..Until the final third where things just got so ridiculously insane that it was like an alarm clock made of confusion went off by my ear.

The first two thirds is what you’d expect. Yukina’s a manipulative snake, I don’t care about flower arranging or the school, Yuzuki’s here, we’ll get to her later, Kaori has a thing with her childhood friend/devoted employee/love interest, Tsukio, and blah blah blah. Get to the helling already.

Well, we do.

And….uhh….huh.

Things get messy when Tsukio overhears Yukina plotting to poison and kill Kaori in order to inherit the land, the house and the whole spiel and sell it off to make bank. She never really cared about the school, dunno why she even brought it up.

When her cohort tries to poison Kaori’s drink, Tsukio takes it from her, chugs it, and tells the guy to tell Yukina that her plan has failed.

…..So, uhm….dude….what the hell? The drink didn’t need to be consumed. Just take the drink and tell her it’s poisoned. Have it tested, if need be. Why drink it?

Tsukio has three days, max, to live, and no one’s trying to bring him to a hospital or trying to get an antidote from Yukina or arresting Yukina or anything. Just, welp, nice knowin’ ya Tsu-boy!

As Tsukio lays dying, one of her family members or whoever that was reveals that Tsukio was actually her brother. Her father used to say something like Snow, Moon and Flowers, which indicated all of his children – Yukina for snow, Kaori for flowers and Tsukio for moon. Tsukio wanted nothing more than to be a vessel for the flowers, which, yes, does sound like innuendo given the circumstances, but the meaning behind these words is actually much creepier.

The guy reveals that the Nakiri school is merely the public flower arranging school that the family runs. There is actually a secret school meant purely for the main branch of the family called the Hyakki school (which I believe is a different pronunciation of the kanji in Nakiri, but I could be wrong. That’s what the opening implied.)

The man leads Kaori to the underground school…..and…..What the flippin’ flapjack is all of the this? Kaori is presented with a wall of skulls. The skulls belong to each of the former heads (haha) of the family. They believed that true beauty in flower arranging can only be achieved by arranging flowers in these skulls. According to them, flowers and death go together hand-in-hand. Her father claimed that you can tell the truth about someone who has died by seeing what flowers grow in the ground over their dead bodies.

…..Kay.

Having contacted Hell Girl on Yukina earlier, Kaori now knows what she must do – she must kill Yukina and crazily arrange a bunch of flowers and creepy plants in her father’s skull. Struck with, let’s call it, ‘inspiration’ she also realizes that Tsukio was dying for this express purpose. He knew about the Hyakki school and wanted her to use his skull to create a beautiful flower arrangement. As he lay dying in bed, she agrees to his final request.

So, yeah, uhm, what?

Where did all that even come from? I don’t know what else to say. I am flabbergasted. I guess I’m happy that it didn’t end up being fully boring, but sudden weird creepiness doesn’t automatically equal quality. Held my attention more, but it was more like it was being held hostage.

Since we’re getting closer to the end of the series, Yuzuki is finally playing a bigger role, if only slightly. Yuzuki befriends Kaori quite randomly, but she’s not really a part of her story. Instead, she gets more of a very minor B plot.

Yuzuki recognizes Ren, Hone Onna and Wanyuudou as workers at the funeral, which is shocking to them because they have the power of misconceptions. Basically, they can be out and about disguised at whoever or whatever, and, if someone sees them as two different personas, they won’t recognize them. They’ll just believe they’re entirely different people. Dunno why they can’t just change their appearances, but that does answer some questions I’ve had lately.

Since Yuzuki is no longer feeling the effects of these powers, it’s taken as an indication that she’s ‘awakening’ and Ai will need to tell her about her fate soon. Sure enough, at the end of the episode, Ai reveals to Yuzuki that she has an inescapable fate of taking over her job. One day, Yuzuki will be the next Hell Girl.

And that’s about it. I already knew that, and it was hardly a secret. I thought they already pretty much established that to us a long time ago, so it’s really only news for Yuzuki. At least things are moving along with her plot, but talk about a snail’s pace.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Invincible

Plot: Growing up with the strongest superhero on earth, Omni-man, as a father, Mark always looked forward to the day he’d develop superpowers and follow his dad into the skies to fight crime. However, at age 17, he had yet to develop a single power. It seemed like Mark was destined for a life as a normal person, like his human mother, until he finally started displaying superhuman abilities. Under his father’s brutal yet caring tutelage, Mark finally suits up and gains his footing as the superhero Invincible.

Breakdown: As a big fan of superheroes and cartoons, I couldn’t ignore the hype train surrounding Invincible – especially after the finale aired and blew up Twitter with shocked and amazed reactions (I managed to avoid spoilers, though.) So, I grabbed a ticket for the aforementioned hype train, went down the tracks for a bit and….

Oh.

My.

God.

Holy.

Shit.

Okay, backing up, the first half-hour of the episode is rather by-the-books coming of age superhero story – even hitting the old beats of ‘gets beat up by bully before powers, badasses the bully post-powers’ and ‘really stupid-looking makeshift first costume.’ However, even if it is a tale as old as time, it was a really well-done version of this old song and dance. Tropes and cliches are fine if you can spin them well enough and make them memorable in your own style.

I love how they set such a grounded tone, how well-written and realistic the dialogue was and how brutal Omni-Man proved he could be, even though it’s obvious he was doing it out of love and concern. When he hit Mark for real, I audibly gasped because damn I felt that. But I didn’t hate him for doing that because, well, yeah, he’s going to have to learn how to take hits like that and to always keep his guard up if he wants to be a superhero. It comes with the job. Better he learn that with his dad than out in the field where he could legitimately get hurt.

Mark’s a bit on the bland side so far, but he’s not annoying or unlikable, which is a great thing because he so very easily could have gone that way. I was rooting for him in the end, especially when he finally donned his proper suit.

I was enjoying it all well and good, but I still had the lingering thought in my head….’Hey, when do we get to all that brutal stuff everyone was talking about?’

Then I got to the last ten minutes.

Wow.

That was one of the most shocking things I’ve seen in ages. It was like Ga Rei Zero’s first episode ending on steroids…and hulking out…..while going Super Saiyan. I really don’t want to say anything more to avoid spoilers, but I’m not kidding when I say my jaw was dropped for nearly all of the last ten minutes or so.

I was going to give this a strong ‘Yes’ before that point, but that ending just completely shattered the idea of thinking about saying ‘No.’ You can’t not continue after seeing that display.

Verdict:

Continue Yes

I enjoyed this first outing immensely and I can’t wait to see the rest of the first season, especially if the finale is as shocking as everyone was saying it was. Probably not a suitable choice for people who don’t have a stomach for gore, and maybe not for people just not interested in the superhero genre (even though, honestly, I think even those people would find something to enjoy) but otherwise, this looks like a really incredible show.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 22: The Holy Dragon Descends

Plot: Aichi’s match with Gouki is heating up, and it’s closer than anyone ever expected. With the Regional hanging in the balance, Aichi can’t afford to make any mistakes. Gouki’s Granblue deck is giving Aichi more than a run for his money, but with Aichi’s newfound confidence guiding the way it could lead him to the win Q4 so desperately needs to move on to Nationals.

Breakdown: No.

Nooooooooooooo.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Why? Why are they doing this?

Why?

Why god?

Why……are they starting Heart of the Cards supernatural bullshit now?

Let me get this out of the way – this was a GREAT match, and definitely a step up from the start we saw in episode 21, don’t get me wrong. It was neck and neck, it was exciting and there wasn’t a lot of overly dramatic BS. I’m also perfectly fine with Aichi winning. Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch for Mr. Newbie over there to beat a champion so soon, but the match was just close enough for me to not scoff at it. Plus, the plot does need to advance, so squeaking them into Nationals is fine with me.

I will tell you two things I scoff at, though –

1) Aichi’s win was, as I mentioned, Heart of the Cards bullshit. And when I say “Heart of the Cards bullshit” I mean he hit all of the beats so well I’d swear he was auditioning to be a drummer.

First and foremost, he, not kidding, heard a card from his deck calling out to him.

Said deck also glowed.

Then we flashback to a scene I honestly don’t remember occurring where Aichi and Kamui were fiddling with his deck with some cards from a booster pack. Kamui told him to not put this Grade 3 dragon into his deck right away because it was too complicated for him right now, but then Aichi, again, heard the card calling out to him, said card also glowed, and he felt he had to put it into his deck.

Second, lo and behold, of course exactly when he needed the card he drew it immediately and knew how to use it FLAWLESSLY and doing so earned him the win.

And no, the glowy stuff wasn’t just in Aichi’s head. Kai clearly took notice of what was happening. There was even some glowy ball that flew by his head.

I pretty much knew something like this was coming, given the way the OP looks, but….I didn’t want it to come, ya know? I liked staying in the more grounded reality of it just being a regular ol’ card game. I could even swallow the super-realistic hologram stuff, but no, we’re definitely delving into supernatural stuff now…Maybe it will at least not be super-dramatic ‘ahh, win this card game to save the world’ crap, but only time will tell.

2) *Misaki gets her medal for the championship*

Misaki: “Thank you.”

No. No ‘thank you.’ You give that back right now. You don’t deserve it. You did less than nothing. You weren’t even around for most of the tournament, and when it was finally your turn you passed the buck to Aichi for no reason. I mean, granted, doing so probably won them the tournament………..which is EVEN WORSE.

Oh well. We have the Nationals to look forward to. Maybe she’ll do a fraction of something there. And Nagisa and Morikawa were a little more tolerable this episode because most of the focus was put on the match. Even though, if I can give my finger one more wag, they balked out of the marriage arrangement between Kamui and Nagisa. She seemingly accepted the deal, in that she’d lay off of Kamui if Aichi beat her brother, but she didn’t. She basically wordplayed her way out saying she wouldn’t force Kamui to be her husband, but she would definitely be his wife and they’d get married immediately. Although Goki suggests waiting until after the Nationals are over. Yay?

Someone look back and see if that was her exact wording when making this deal, because I think it’s more BS.

Overall, I did like this episode quite a bit, but that Heart of the Cards moment kinda sucker punched me. Great match, but that left a bad taste in my mouth.

Next time, the gang returns to Card Shop PSY to see Team Ultra-Rare, but a mysterious red-haired stranger appears.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 12: What is Ammon? | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Genshi is set off to find the Space-Time Monster, Ammon, in 15th century Transylvania where she is currently hanging out with ‘Dracula’ himself – Vlad the Impaler.

———————————

Title Change: What is Ammon? Is changed to Bindi.

The first shot of the original is the computer screen showing Ammon. In the dub, they insert two establishing shots of the bureau before showing that screen.

Name plate removed:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The dub adds wing flapping noises when showing Pterry and Getalong even though they’re just floating there without flapping their wings.

The dub also adds the same shot of them getting on Ridon and heading down to the basement as usual, but they go even further by adding Jillian chastising Professor Goodman for hitting on her before.

Between when Genshi inserts the card and when they depart, the dub adds in the professor telling the kids to wait a second through the computer, but they won’t wait.

The dub inserts another shot (presumably from later) where we see an overhead view of the town and the kids flying over it before we cut to Sora and Genshi talking.

Genshi initially thinks Dracula is a food, which is why he rushes down to see it. In the dub, Flint seems to know what Dracula is, so he, for some reason, rushes down to see him.

Instead of zooming OUT on the castle, the dub zooms IN. *shrug*

Sora starts telling Genshi they should look for Ammon somewhere else. In the dub, Sarah says they’ll be safe as long as Flint is with them.

So, you know how I was confused as to how they’d go about this episode? Because either 1) They’d be meeting the fictional character, Dracula, in history somehow or 2) They’d start palling around with Vlad the Frickin’ Impaler – the real-life mass murderer on whom Dracula was based?

…..It’s 2.

And HOO. BOY. Do we have much to discuss here.

First of all, Vlad over here is depressed because people keep calling him Dracula and are afraid of him. However, Vlad pretty much gave himself that name in real life. He signed his name as Dragulya or Drakulya after his father, Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Dragon) – a name he received after joining the Order of the Dragon, which was a chivalric order in Europe at the time. Draculea or Dracula was Romanian for ‘son of dracul.’ While ‘dracul’ originally meant ‘dragon’ its meaning changed to ‘the devil’ in the more modern vernacular. In turn, the son of the dragon became the son of the devil.

Second of all, Vlad is also specifically calling himself Vlad Tepes here as if it’s his actual name, which it’s not. It’s literally just Vlad III (of Wallachia). He was given the name Vlad Tepes because ‘tepes’ in Romanian translates to ‘impaler.’ This title was bestowed upon him, posthumously, mind you, because the dude loved him some impaling.

Third, in the dub, Vlad is saying Dracula is a family name, which it’s not, technically, (Vlad II’s descendants were all referred to as Draculesti) and means something different now – something warped from what they originally stood for.

Hm….Hmph. The ‘family’ name of Dracul, inherited from Vlad II was only ‘warped’ because of Vlad III’s cruelty and the slightly embellished stories in the newspapers, word of mouth and, of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whether or not Vlad II had a good reputation is up in the air. I feel like it’s a gray area situation.

From all I’ve read, he had his fair share of blood on his hands and made some questionable military decisions, but he seemed to have been a pretty fair and caring ruler overall and was nothing anywhere close to the cruel person Vlad III was. His worst crime is implicated as handing over his sons, Vlad III and Radu, to the Ottoman empire, but he was forced into that arrangement (they were kidnapped and being held hostage to try and keep Vlad II under their thumb) and Vlad II tried to ensure that his sons were kept safe and eventually returned to him. He appeared to have died believing that, somewhere down the line, his sons were murdered by the Ottoman empire.

Fourth, this whole setup is kinda screwed from the getout because Vlad III never owned any property or lived in Transylvania. It’s been recorded that Vlad III might have been born in Transylvania, but, even if he was, he never lived there. Even the place they call ‘Dracula’s castle’ – Bran Castle – is just a spooky castle in Transylvania that Vlad never once visited. His armies once passed through Bran the city when they were murdering Saxons and burning nearby suburbs to the ground in the area, but that’s about it.

It was rumored to be the closest existing castle bearing resemblance to the castle described in Dracula, but it’s really not even that. In the 1970s, the Romanian government just banked on the rumor that it was strongly connected to Dracula, so they drove up tourism by marketing it that way.

Moving on, Putera originally tells Tokio and Sora that Vlad was just a model for Dracula and that such a being is not real. In the dub, Pterry tells Sarah and Tony that, if Tony’s nice enough, Vlad might give him the grand tour of the castle – the one that involves showing him his coffin.

Also, somehow, Ammon can talk, which is very much unlike most other Space-Time monsters.

Speaking of which, Tokio asks how Ammon can talk, and Ammon doesn’t really have an answer for him. In the dub, since all Time Shifters can talk anyway, this is changed to Tony saying Flint won’t make a very good vampire unless they change the diet. Bindi then says to knock off the vampire talk around Vlad because he doesn’t care for it. While supernatural beings of a vampiric-like nature have existed for over a thousand years, ‘vampires’ shouldn’t be a thing in 15th century Transylvania since the word ‘vampire’ wouldn’t exist until the early 1700s.

Mite originally asks what powers TP Lady could be referring to. In the dub, he asks if it was worth missing bowling for a Time Shifter with no powers. Also, after TP Lady goes on about how Ammon could have eternal life or beauty, Mite points out that TP Lady always seems to want the Space-Time monsters with powers that specifically benefit her. In the dub, he asks if the next Time Shifter they’ll go after will have experience in hair dressing.

TP Lady originally jumps out of the ship to tell them that those are the basics in life that she needs. In the dub, she, for some reason, says ‘One more time! One. More. Time!’ before falling.

I am currently watching Vlad the Impaler happily bounce on a bed with a time traveling caveman……Again, I truly, deeply love anime.

However, let me a downer nerd for a second……a downerd, if you will – mattresses didn’t start having springs until 1865. Unless there’s something else springy in that mattress, there’s no reason they should be bouncing like that, especially so easily. I have no clue why I decided to look that up, but here we are.

They censor the wolf getting hit in the face with Kyoichiro’s cane by cutting to a flash of white when the strike happens.

They do the same thing again when the other two wolves get hit, but it’s so quick and really nothing is shown during the split-second shot.

Ammon: “The count is really a nice person. Everyone just misunderstands him.”

Uh.

……Huh.

Vlad once impaled a donkey because it started braying after Vlad impaled its masters…..Who were monks.

A group of Ottomans once refused to remove their turbans in his presence due to religious reasons, so he ordered their turbans be nailed to their heads in honor of their religious devotion.

There’s a story of him having a woman killed because she made a shirt for her husband that was too short.

Here’s a woodcut depicting him eating his dinner while surrounded by dead/dying people impaled on pikes with one of his men chopping up corpses in front of him as he dines.

I mean, granted, yeah, it’s been suggested that the stories about his cruelty were exaggerated to some extent, but, still, the guy didn’t have some sort of fake image as a monster smeared on him. He earned it. He left tens of thousands of bodies in his wake, usually leaving them alive while impaled on stakes and allowing them to die slowly for days wherever he left them. His most famous instance of cruelty and murder was leaving what was described as a ‘forest’ of impaled people on stakes – over 20,000 Ottoman POWs – as a means of intimidating an Ottoman army into retreating (and it worked.) His estimated final death toll is about 100,000.

He is hailed as a Romanian hero by some as he was an extremely effective military leader who held strong resistance against the Ottoman empire, protected Wallachia and had a very noble sense of law and order. But even people who hail him as a hero recognize that he was a cruel person who did horrific things. They simply justify it on the grounds that his cruelty was ‘necessary’ in such horrible times and his acts lead to some good. I actually found quite a few lengthy comments by people who were vehemently defending Vlad on those grounds. I’m not Romanian nor did I live in the 1400s or know the guy personally, but I just can’t see through that lens. Even if you can excuse or justify the acts themselves, if he actually did them in such a merciless manner and took pleasure in it, he’s simply a horrible person in my eyes.

No matter if you don’t accept the monstrous viewpoint of Vlad or even accept him as a hero, you have to agree that it’s SO weird that this show is choosing to paint him like this. The guy is depicted as such a gentle softspoken man that he’d probably be an understudy for The Count on Sesame Street.

They insert a shot of Sarah talking right before Merlock introduces himself.

Kyoichiro tells Sora that he hasn’t properly introduced himself to her yet. In the dub, he tells Sarah that he’s her servant.

In the original, Dyna and Mite say the missiles might not be flying right because Mite mentioned to the people who repaired their ship that they keep getting defeated so they probably skimped on the work. In the dub, Dyno says cuts to the defense budget caused the problem and Mite adds that if they had written to their congressman like he suggested this wouldn’t be happening.

Vlad originally tells the women to take the children and run while the men work to put out the fires. In the dub, he tells everyone to grab a bucket and head to the wells to put out the fire.

Also, yup, now Vlad the Impaler is a village-saving firefighter…..

They recycle a couple of shots from the chase after it restarts before Merlock hits the cliff.

They remove about half of the shots of the saw approaching Kyoichiro and Ammon. He was biding his time until the very last moment so he could get the best shot at defeating the robot and getting away. In the dub, he just suddenly attacks.

*lip smack*….Uhhh……why is the sawblade now flying around back and forth like it’s a boomerang that never falls? TP Lady’s not doing this.

Petra: *nearly got hit by the sawblade* “I hate when this happens!” I, too, hate when sawblades defy the laws of physics and basically become a flying sentient Beyblade from hell for absolutely no discernible reason.

Putera: “Vlad was attacked by many, but the townspeople loved him. Just as history should be.” This is half-right, to some degree. As I said, some Romanian people hailed him more as a hero, and they still do. If nothing else, he’s viewed as a good military leader who defended Wallachia no matter what.

However, I am totally still calling foul on this narrative like he was given a bad rep unjustifiably. I get that this kids’ show can’t depict or even discuss the horrible acts of Vlad the Impaler, but acting like he was this goshdarn swell guy who had the heart of a lion but everyone unfairly treated like a monster for absolutely no given reason is taking it way too far.

It’s a hop, skip and jump away from telling the tale of a down-on-his-luck artist who had the best of intentions but everyone just started being mean to him for no reason and his legacy was forever marred because of rumors. Genshi and the others really have to help innocent little Adolf.

I joke, but Shin Devilman pretty much did that.

And I definitely won’t agree with the statement “Just as history should be.” It’s not as history should be because you’re omitting, like…..ALL OF THE HISTORY. The dub parrots this last line exactly and it really irks me. At least Saban changes the first line to saying he was part of a noble family that cared for his country instead of making this defenseless victim narrative.

Dub Villager: “We listened to too many bad stories.” Again, what were these stories? Who was telling them? What were they even about?

Tony: “I guess the vampire was just an urban myth of the count’s era.” No. He was a mere part of the basis of the most famous vampire in history, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which wouldn’t be created for another 400 years. Not only was Vlad’s cruelty and impaling shtick inspiration for him, but there was also the popular rumor that Vlad liked to drink the blood of his enemies. It should be noted, however, that the strength of Vlad III’s connection to the fictional Dracula are said to be overstated. Stoker got the name Dracula from him and drew inspiration from the stories of cruelty surrounding him, but the majority of the character was pieced together from years of research on vampire legends as well as essays, books and articles on the subject.

They also found clippings indicating that Stoker was researching Mercy Brown at the time he was writing Dracula. Mercy Brown was the epicenter of the Mercy Brown Vampire Incident, which was part of a growing ‘vampire panic’ in New England at the time. Many people were dying of tuberculosis during that period, and being the superstitious and largely uneducated bunch people were back then, they started believing those who had died from it were becoming ‘vampires’ since the disease would also spread to their family members and seemingly suck the life force from them while the corpses of some of those who had died were sometimes left without much decomposition and with blood in their vital organs.

One such famous incident of this very occurrence was Mercy Brown, who had died of tuberculosis after her mother, Mary Eliza, and sister, Mary Olive, had died from it. When the three were exhumed for analysis, Mary Eliza and Mary Olive showed a normal rate of decomp, but Mercy didn’t. Mercy was accused of being a ‘vampire’ (though they probably didn’t directly use that term) who was sucking the life from her surviving brother, Edwin, who also had TB. They burned her heart and liver, put the ashes into a ‘tonic’ for Edwin to drink in order to cure him, desecrated Mercy’s body and reburied her, believing they saved poor Edwin….He died two months later.

Also, it was later revealed that Mercy’s body was kept in ‘freezer-like’ conditions in a crypt for the two months following her death, something that was not done with Mary Eliza and Mary Olive, which would explain why they were so decomposed and Mercy was not. This incident was seemingly one of the last of the vampire panic, though it should be noted that Mercy’s case took place in 1892 and the first recorded example of this type of thing happening was in 1793….Yup. Nearly 100 years exactly of people thinking ‘vampires’ were the culprits behind the TB outbreak in 19th century New England. Gotta be thankful for modern medicine, education and science at times like these. Granted, it’s not like it was a massively popular thing to do – according to New England Today, there were only seven documented cases of this happening – but still.

The Mercy Brown incident was never strongly associated with Stoker’s writings, but it’s very interesting nonetheless.

….Also, supposedly Stoker had a nightmare brought on by eating too much crab meat about a vampire king rising from the grave. Now I can’t stop imagining a crab vampire…..

Vampiric beings in general, as I stated earlier, had been around for much longer than Vlad’s time, and the myth has remained in a multitude of ways to this very day, so boiling it down to just being an urban legend of Vlad’s era and location and that blew up in correlation to the rumors surrounding him is just wrong.

And, really, if you think about the timeline of the show for even a second, you have to wonder….how did the fictional Dracula even become a thing off of Vlad? Was it purely the outlandish seeming rumors surrounding him for whatever reason? Does this mean they changed the timeline and now Dracula doesn’t exist because Vlad’s reputation was saved?

Toki-G brings up how odd it is that Ammon can speak again. Since this isn’t in the dub, Old Timer just talks about Merlock and Bindi traveling together now.

The final scene with Toki-G is basically kept the same, but they add in some recycled footage to extend it.

——————————————-

……What a weird-ass episode.

Normally, really weird episodes would be welcome because they’re just insane and fun, but this is weird in a confusing and bland way…..What do I even do with this?

It’s an episode acting as if Vlad the Impaler was an innocent nice dude who never did anything bad or wrong and was treated badly just cuz. It’s uncomfortably washing away literally everything even slightly bad that he ever did. I know they did the same thing for Christopher Columbus, but muffled history and years of washed schoolbooks were basically to blame for that depiction. What was behind this? Why even select someone like him to focus on in a kids’ show?

This episode also showcases a Space-Time Monster that never displays her powers, doesn’t transform and never fights. In the dub, she’s even more boring because there’s no mystery about why she can talk since all Time Shifters can talk in the dub. Not to mention the fact that she’s clingy and jealous, which are not personality traits that appeal to me at all. And now she’s going to be Kyoichiro’s companion. I hope she’s over the jealous bit now and will be more likable in the future.

Our big battle of the episode was against TP Lady’s robot cat, which has been defeated numerous times, and, in the end, they just ran away because they were terrified once Genshi was de-fossilized.

We didn’t even get a new good transformation for one of the Space-Time monsters on the allied side. Eldora was called in but only to act as a means of de-fossilizing Genshi by reflecting the beam back.

We did learn more about Kyoichiro, and he definitely proved to be more than just a goofball puppy-dogging after Sora. He’s a pretty cool guy with some legitimate skills………….Why no one pointed out that he looks like a vampire, much more than Vlad (and basically is one) I’ll never know.

The one actually notable thing about this episode besides the aforementioned Dracula/Caveman bouncing on the bed thing is the weird flying sawblade with a mind of its own. Where did it even go once the tree pinned Kyoichiro? Is it going to slaughter the villagers? Violate land clearing laws? Audition for the new Saw movie?

I didn’t dislike this episode, but I also didn’t like it. Outside of the weird and uncomfortable light they put Vlad in, there’s not much to like or dislike about this episode because there’s simply not much in it. There’s not a real story. I don’t even feel anything for Ammon having to leave Vlad because they never didn’t put any adequate focus on their relationship. From the very start, it was just Ammon getting pissy that Vlad was making friends with Genshi. And unlike most other instances of a Space-Time monster leaving their friend, Vlad never has one final moment of fondly remembering Ammon or even saying goodbye. He just makes friends with the villagers and gets his mind wiped.

I will admit that I had a lot of fun researching everything in connection to this story. I always enjoy stories of creatures and monsters and how they intertwine with history, and Vlad the Impaler has always been a pretty fascinating person to me, even if he was a mass murderer. However, the more I researched, the more irked I got at the changes they made. Oh yeah, Vlad the Impaler totally rescued a little pink snail creature and let it sleep in his bed….right after he supposedly captured, tortured and mutilated rats and small birds and stuck their bodies on tiny sticks.

Next time, we’re seemingly getting a Christmas special. Cool. Don’t think they’re meeting the real Saint Nicolas, but cool….Wait, does that mean this was meant to be a Halloween episode? Hm.


If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com