Digimon Savers/Digimon Data Squad Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison | I am Masaru! Cockatrimon Attacks!

Plot: DATS is an organization dedicated to the containment of Digimon to protect humankind. A hot-headed street brawler named Masaru gets in the way of DATS agent Yoshino Fujieda’s newest mission to capture an Agumon. After an honorable fight, Agumon proclaims that he will be Masaru’s loyal follower from now on. And as Agumon’s aniki, he protects him from capture. However, everything changes when Agumon is suspected of attacking a nearby burger stand.

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Backstory time! There is none for me. Yeah, if I was faltering in my Digimon watchings when Frontier came out, I definitely never managed to watch Data Squad. I’m almost certain it never aired on TV where I was either way. I’m also not certain if this is actual SDC material, but this is just a test run. If it’s not, then I’ll just switch to a Shounen Step-By-Step.

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Series Name Change: Digimon Savers is changed to Digimon Data Squad.

Title Change: I am Masaru! Cockatrimon Attacks! is changed to THERE ARE MONSTERS AMONG US! And yeah, if the Wiki is correct, it’s meant to be in all caps.

Title Card: It should be mentioned that each title card comes with its own animation. This week has GeoGreymon blowing fire at us.

Now featuring dub title cards! The dub now includes their own title cards as opposed to just putting that familiar orange text on the screen over the beginning scene. I doubt these cards will ever change outside of the text, so just to get a taste of what they look like;

Entire Show Edit: The theme song usually comes after a cold open in the original. In the dub, it’s at the very start. This might change, but it’s here.

Entire Show Edit: The background music is all different, though it’s noticeably not as in your face or constant as it has been in past Digimon incarnations. I actually like it quite a bit.

Theme Song Changes: Absolutely everything barring a few clips are changed between versions. The original’s theme song is alright, but not very catchy or memorable. The dub’s is horribly generic in regards to lyrics and completely forgettable in melody, which is a shame as it’s coming fresh off the heels of Digimon Frontier, which had a great theme.

They cut out a shot of some pipes after showing Agumon breathing. Also, yay Agumon! Boo voice change! Though, being fair, if the voice hadn’t changed, I’d just be wishing he was with Tai. I understand that not all Agumon are Tai’s Agumon, but…Agumon. 😦

Actually, being honest, and after letting this SDC sit for a while (Hi from Editor!Twix cleaning this up after writing this several years ago!) this kinda bugs me. Didn’t Agumon get enough focus in the first series? Why not give the MC a completely new Digimon?

Name Change: Captain Rentaro Satsuma is changed to Commander Richard Sampson. Also, in English, he’s voiced by the super smooth Jamieson K. Price.

The area Agumon is escaping from is Kouan area B01. In the dub, they omit Kouan and say it’s B07.

In the original, the authorities claim there’s a bomb nearby to get innocent bystanders to flee the area. In the dub, they say it’s a gas leak.

Hi, Colleen O’Shaughnessey! Nice to hear your Sora voice again after two series of being noticeably absent from the franchise.

Also, of course the girl in the group gets a pink uniform.

Name Change: Masaru Daimon is changed to Marcus Daimon.

A non-translatable change occurs. Masaru calls himself Masaru Daimon-sama, which is a very arrogant way of addressing yourself since you’re basically calling yourself ‘Lord (name)’ In the dub, Marcus just goes on about how he’ll be the greatest ultimate fighter and people all over will chant his name. It gives the same message, but the actual dialogue simply couldn’t be adapted properly.

Masaru tells Agumon to stop talking with his big ugly mug. Agumon defends himself and says he was born that way. Marcus says he’ll knock out Agumon just like he knocked out the unconscious people around them. Agumon asks if he bored them all to sleep.

Everyone’s impressed that a human was able to land a blow on a Digimon. In the dub, they’re worried (?) because Agumon landed a hit on Marcus.

Agumon says he saw right through his punch so he won’t get him this time. In the dub, Agumon says he was waiting for Marcus to say ‘1, 2, 3, GO!’ then says it himself when he attacks.

In the original, Agumon aims his next kick towards Masaru’s crotch. In the dub, this is removed and replaced with a really poorly made impact star.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Another bit that can’t really be translated properly. Agumon starts calling Masaru “Masaru-aniki” as a way of calling him a brother since he was the first being to ever treat him as an individual. In the dub, Agumon calls Marcus “Boss” which is a bit higher ranking than what the original is saying, and he gives him this moniker because no one’s ever matched him blow for blow before. That explanation makes that title seem odd. Why would you call your equal “boss”? They really could’ve just gone the way of “Big brother” “little brother” and it would’ve made a bit more sense in the context, but I guess since this particular moniker is commonly used with gangs and whatnot, they opted for a more mob-sounding “Boss.”

Attack Name Change: Nuts Shoot is changed to Seed Blast…..I’m just gonna leave that one alone forever.

They translate and paint the sign on the door to say ‘closed.’

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Studiopolis (The dubbing company in charge of Digimon Data Squad in Lieu of Saban this time.) is 4Kidsing at the moment….and I want everyone to know that ‘4Kidsing’ is apparently a legit word according to my Word Processor’s spell check. All of the items in the grocery basket have writing on them. In the dub, it’s all removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Yoshino was originally eating coffee jelly (ew). In the dub, it’s chocolate pudding.

Yoshino points out that she knows Masaru’s name because he was yelling it out earlier. In the dub, she cryptically says she knows everything about him.

Yoshino explains that she’s with DATS, which stands for Digital Accidental Tactics Squad. In the dub, she says she’s with the Digimon Data Squad. This is only a slight change because her organization name and the badge remain unchanged.

Masaru says he thought Agumon was a frog. Yoshino replies asking whoever heard of a talking frog. In the dub, Marcus suggests that maybe Agumon went back to the Digital World. Yoshino suggests that he’s hiding him.

Kudamon says he doesn’t detect any special powers within Marcus. In the dub, he says, from what he can analyze, Marcus can’t fight at a high enough level to combat Agumon.

Also, Kudamon is voiced by Sam Riegel. Certainly an interesting, but fitting, choice.

Masaru asks if the turtle is a Digimon too. In the dub, when the turtle presents him with a drink, he yells that he’s not thirsty and the turtle says ‘suit yourself.’

Masaru demands the Digimon food. Marcus demands that they get on with the interview so he can leave.

See, this is why little seemingly insignificant line changes do matter. Marcus just yelled with an attitude that he’s not thirsty then 15 seconds later he’s drinking the tea.

Kudamon mentions that Agumon has also injured people (which I assume is the 15 injured people from earlier that were mentioned to have been beaten up by Marcus. Because that’s sure a logical change.) This is not mentioned in the dub.

Masaru says Agumon admired the real world because it was filled with moving things that he had never seen before. In the dub, Marcus believes Agumon came to the real world likely because the Digital World had something terrible in it that he needed to escape from.

Yoshino originally deduces from the evidence of Agumon’s disappearance that he must’ve been the one to attack the burger joint. In the dub, she says they confirmed that it’s definitely Agumon who did it.

The Digimon was originally reported as being in harbor Area B-05. In the dub, Lalamon says it’s Area 205.

Masaru isn’t a complete idiot, so he realized right when he saw Agumon that he wasn’t the one who attacked the burger stand. In the dub, Marcus is a complete idiot and asks Agumon why he attacked the burger stand.

Agumon says he thought he’d find food in the garbage bin, but his head got stuck. In the dub, they give no reason why Agumon was wandering around with his head stuck in a garbage can. He just says he didn’t attack a burger stand, but a burger sounds good.

Lalamon says there are now two Digimon signals. In the dub, she says the lone signal is to the northeast.

Agumon and Masaru get ‘fired up’ because Cockatrimon is so strong. In the dub, Agumon asks for Marcus’ help.

Masaru yells out “How dare you hurt my follower!” Marcus yells “It’s fightin’ time!” Not the biggest of changes, but still.

Can’t say I’m crazy about the appearance of this series’ Digivices. They look like retro cell phones that don’t flip out in the right direction.

The fisherman guy says to use the Digisoul in Masaru’s fist to charge the Digivice. In the dub, he tells him to use the Digivice in combination with his DNA, which is triggered by his fist……That is all sorts of what? Does Studiopolis not realize that DNA is a real thing? And that your fist is basically made up of it? That’s like saying to use wood it has to be triggered by a stick. Am I missing something? Will this be explained later? Because that really doesn’t make much sense to me.

How did Masaru know to say ‘Digisoul, Charge!’ when he was using the Digivice? Likewise, how did Marcus know to say ‘DNA, charge!’? This DNA thing is going to bug me.

Agumon also has a Digisoul, but in the dub it’s also called DNA……which makes no sense again. Digimon are digital beings. They may be real, but I doubt they have DNA. Unless, in the case of Digimon, the D stands for Digital and the NA stands for…something to make it make sense.

Hm, so we’re starting out with CGI evolutions, eh? This one doesn’t look too shabby, but I don’t think they’ve improved on their CGI use at all since A01.

A lyrical song accompanying the evolution is omitted from the dub.

It’s supposed to be a big silly reveal that Masaru was the one who beat up those guys at the beginning. Since Marcus yelled out this proclamation at the start of the dubbed episode, it’s just a pointless scene.

The ending theme is, as usual, not included in the dub. It’s a nice little song, but nothing terribly special about it. Also, surprisingly, they….kinda kept the next episode preview. I say ‘kinda’ because they do include a next episode preview, which they usually never do in dubs, but it’s completely different from the original. Different clips, they have actual dialogue instead of narration from Masaru and the focus is entirely different.

In the original, the focus is on Yoshino deciding to live with Masaru and his mom and sister to keep an eye on him and Agumon. In the dub, it’s almost entirely about recruiting Marcus for the Digimon Data Squad. Also, it’s intentionally edited to make it seem like Agumon will be sent back to the Digital World.

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All in all, I’m not sure how I feel about this series yet. I like the concept of an elite squad who partner with Digimon to combat Digimon, and it’s a welcome change of pace from the norm, but I don’t like Masaru so far, and I don’t much care for Yoshino. Agumon was fine, Lalamon’s voice irked me more than anything, and the art and animation are worse than they have been in previous series.

I will say that this show actually fares pretty well in the comparison department. Despite being about four and a half pages of comparison material, there’s not a whole lot that was seriously changed. It’s mostly minor things here and there, outside of one baffling use of digital paint to rid everything of text. Digimon is a series that has never been too shy about Japanese words or text, yet they pointlessly got rid of every bit of text in that one scene even though you never focus on any of it. Is it because they were in a store and didn’t want to get hassled for possible brand recognition even though it’s all fake? Because they left in the knock-off McDonald’s sign. (The return of Inuyasha’s WacDonalds?!)

Next episode, Yoshino moves in with Masaru to keep an eye on him and Agumon. Meanwhile, DATS tries to recruit him to their team.


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Yami Shibai 9 Review

Plot: Season nine of the horror anthology Yami Shibai.

Breakdown: Someone forgot to post the full review of this series after Animating Halloween was over.

And I’m not naming names, but it begins with a Fiddle and ends with a popular candy bar name.

That’s right.

Fiddlesnickers.

Anyhoo, I learned a couple of days ago that Yami Shibai 10 is airing right now, which is cool.

Season nine has a theme for the first time in what feels like eons. This season has a zodiac animal theme to it, which I didn’t even catch onto until ten episodes down the line. I don’t know if I’m not bright or the creators didn’t make it obvious enough, but here we are. I think it’s pretty cool to have a horror based zodiac theme to the stories, and they have exactly the right number of episodes, so that works out quite well.

This was quite the interesting season, so let’s go down each episode real quick.

Episode 1: Rat Wedding – Entertaining and definitely creative, but not really scary.

Episode 2: The Man in the Rabbit Hutch – Very creepy episode with horrifying sound effects, but has an ending that is a little too predictable.

Episode 3: The 44th Sheep – If there was ever a chance that counting sheep could be made scary, this episode made as big of an effort as anyone could.

Episode 4: Lapdog – LOL

Episode 5: Paper Mache Tiger – An incredibly sad story that still manages to deal a good amount of tension and creepiness. I loved it.

Episode 6: Spirit Ox – One that was bordering on boring until the end where it becomes very sweet.

Episode 7: Mr. Rooster – Not scary at all, but really makes you think. The ending was confusing and cliché, though.

Episode 8: Rocking Horse – One of my favorite Yami Shibai stories to date. I just wish it were longer.

Episode 9: Snake Celebration – A very intriguing idea with some pretty strong creepy vibes at first ruined by a lame ending.

Episode 10: Boat Meat – Loved this episode for the most part, but it has an unreasonably confusing ending. It’s made a little less confusing if you know Japanese, but even then the ending is still very depressing.

Episode 11: Dragon Palace – It’s fine. Don’t have much to say about it. It’s fine.

Episode 12: Monkey Prayer – It’s fine.

Episode 13: The Year of the Cat – A clever story just not all that creepy.

Web (or Mobile?) Special (Episode 0): The Old Well – Surprisingly, for a limited release special episode, this was quite creepy. Maybe some of that is attributed to the vertical format, given the subject matter, but I enjoyed it.

Overall, Yami Shibai 9 was one of the strongest seasons we’ve had so far, which is good because the series was really starting to lull into very, very average territory. We had a few gems, some really interesting ideas and only a few episodes that were simply “fine.” I hope, with everything I have, that Yami Shibai 10 and possibly onward continue the upwards trend so we can have plenty of fun for many Halloweens to come.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero Episode 12: The Extremely Lucky Enemy – The Undefeated Legend/Manga Chapter 42

Plot: Jonouchi becomes a contestant on a game show in order to win one million yen to pay off his father’s gambling debts. He’s excited for the opportunity, but those behind the scenes are more intent on simply making good TV, no matter if they have to torment poor Jonouchi to do it.

Breakdown: This is another one of those episodes where the plot is only loosely adapted to the anime. Most notably, the antagonist this time around is entirely changed, they added A LOT of stuff to the story to pad it out, and the game show aspect is played down quite a bit.

Starting out with the manga chapter, Jonouchi is super excited because he got accepted to be a contestant on a game show where you can win one million yen or roughly 10,000 USD because it will allow him to pay off his father’s gambling debts. Jonouchi’s currently working a bunch of part-time jobs to help them scrape by, but winning this game show will help him immensely. He also hopes that, with the debt gone, he and his father can put the past behind them and finally act like a true father and son.

This is really heartwarming and sweet, and, later, every game he wins gives him a bright smile and a sparkle in his eye. He’s not being a greedy person here – he’s legitimately hoping this money will help him and his father and make them closer. He’s not even really damning his father for getting them into debt in the first place. He just wants to make things better….which is why the ending is such a bummer, but we’ll get to that down the line.

The producer behind the show has no intention of letting him win this money, however. He just heard Jonouchi’s ‘sob story’ and knew it’d increase ratings.

When Jonouchi gets on the show, cheered on by his friends, he works very hard to ensure that he’ll make it far enough to get the million yen, and he aces numerous games. There’s a commercial break before the final game for the million yen starts, and Yugi excuses himself to the restroom. Along the way, he overhears the unnamed producer speaking with an employee about how they’re rigging the roulette wheel to ensure Jonouchi doesn’t land on the million yen. He’s laughing about how they’ll rake in viewers who will desperately want to see this ‘pauper’ win the money for his father’s debts and then feel despair when he loses. But who cares as long as he makes bank.

Because, yeah, it totally makes sense for a producer to just yell out his evil plans in a space where it seems anyone is allowed to walk around and overhear them, possibly ousting their cheating and destroying their show, perhaps even sending them to prison.

Yugi won’t stand for these scumbags ruining his best friend’s dream.

In what is probably the clunkiest dialogue ever, and I’m pretty sure it can’t just be attributed to the translators, we get this moment when Jonouchi is about to spin the wheel.

Employee: “I’ll hit the red button! There may be a lot of buttons, but you can’t miss this one! Pressing this makes it impossible for the roulette wheel to land on ‘million yen’!”

BOY THIS SURE IS SOME CHEATING WE’RE DOING, SIR!

IT SURE IS, EMPLOYEE! JUST REMEMBER TO CHEAT BY HITTING THAT RED BUTTON! YA KNOW, THE ONE THAT’S RED!

SURE IS A GOOD THING I CAN’T MISS THIS CLEARLY RED BUTTON – THE ONE THAT WILL LET US CHEAT AND COMMIT THE CRIME WE’RE DOING!

YES, IT SURE IS! THAT’S THE RED BUTTON THAT WILL MAKE IT SO THE CONTESTANT CAN’T WIN! THAT THING THAT’S ILLEGAL! BY THE WAY, I HAVEN’T FILED TAXES IN 30 YEARS AND I RAN OVER A CHILD ON MY WAY TO THE STUDIO!

YOUR SECRET’S SAFE WITH ME, PRODUCER OF THIS SHOW!

Yami walks in and starts the Shadow Game, which we’ll get to after I catch you up on the anime’s side of things.

In the anime, the producer guy doesn’t exist, and he’s not rigging the show. Instead, we get some guy named Ryuichi Fuwa who is the seven-time reigning champion of the game show. He’s a cocky little twat who wins yet again.

With Yugi and the others, they discuss Ryuichi’s win streak. While Jonouchi gushes over the possibility of the grand prize reaching 100,000 yen, which is about 1000 USD, Miho also gushes about Ryuichi’s money, but Honda halts her, claiming it’s better to get money a little bit at a time. Someone who gets a lot of money at once will be driven from society and killed by a guillotine? Honda, have you been huffing cleaning products again?

I mean, granted, he does have a slight point. Stumbling into a lot of money, such as from inheritance or through the lottery, does tend to lead people into despair more often than not. But that’s, like, huge amounts of money. Not a measly 1000 USD….People with money in general tend to have it easy. Also, Ryuichi is getting his money bit by bit considering his prize goes up in increments in each episode. His last prize was 10000 yen, which is only 100 USD…

Jonouchi gets pissed off by Honda’s words because he claims he can pay off his father’s gambling debts with the money and possibly even run away….I think that’s going a bit far, but alright. Like in the manga, he’s been working since he was young to pay for his school and living expenses on his own since his dad’s such a deadbeat. Jonouchi also snaps again at Honda, claiming he truly lives bit by bit while Honda has the nerve to say such things while ‘leeching’ off of his parents. Ouch.

He definitely has a point, though. I know Honda’s just saying these things because Miho likes Ryuichi and Honda’s jealous, but he should still have enough awareness to know that saying things like that in front of Jonouchi would be offensive.

When class starts, they’re introduced to a new transfer student who just happens to be Ryuichi. He’s a complete asshole, let’s just get that out there. He speaks like a thug, says he doesn’t give out autographs without anyone asking in the first place, and tells all the girls in the class that he just instantly knows are drooling over him that they have no chance of being his girlfriend and that he doesn’t have any interest in having kids.

Miho, being a stereotypical ditzy moron, swoons over Ryuichi after he gets done saying the terrible stuff to the girls. I really, really, really need some evidence that Miho is in any way likable. I’m not even halfway through the series yet. This is getting ridiculous.

Honda also starts hating Ryuichi the instant Miho starts gushing over him because of course he does.

Ryuichi selects his desk by chucking his bag at an empty seat, because we’re really doing everything in our power to drive home the fact that this guy is obnoxious. His teacher tries to get him in line, but Ryuichi offers a game instead. A simple coin flip. Whoever wins gets to determine where he sits. The teacher loses, so Ryuichi goes off to the seat he selected while the teacher just sulks, because that’s totally what a teacher would do. He wouldn’t just, ya know, tell him ‘I’m the teacher. Go to your seat, before I send you to the principal.’ and then probably mutter under his breath ‘and then shove that coin up your ass.’

He’s sat down right next to Yugi, who, being the sweet little muffin he is, politely introduces himself to this human kidney stone.

After class, everyone, including Miho, is still clamoring over Ryuichi, and he’s still being a tractor trailer load of douche. He gets asked if he meets actors since he appears on TV, and he says he does but they’re all stupid and he has no interest in them….Dude, you’re on some two-bit game show. I sincerely doubt you meet actors on the reg. He also gets asked how much money he’s won so far, but he says he doesn’t know because he spends it immediately. You can still, ya know…do math. Unless you’re a dick AND an idiot….which…yeah, that tracks.

Someone bursts into the room yelling about a surprise test they’re going to have tomorrow, and everyone panics. Yugi just becomes depressed because he believes there’s no way he’ll pass at such short notice. Ryuichi, however, lends a helping hand by flipping to the pages in his textbook that he believes are the only things they have to study for the test, even though he should have no idea what the test is on, especially considering he’s a brand-new student.

Turns out, he was spot-on, which baffled Yugi. Despite knowing what section to study, however, Ryuichi turns in his test blank because he doesn’t want to waste his life on stupid tests…..Why are you even in school then?

He’s a ‘chosen one’ and normies wouldn’t understand…..I’m not joking about that last statement. He basically says that straight out.

Also, it should be noted that apparently the teacher with the vanity issues from a few episodes ago didn’t quit. She is right here. I was wondering if it was her for a second and then Ryuichi proved it by telling her her makeup was off, which caused her face to crack and break apart again (at least in her mind?) So….I guess penalty games really are permanent, but only to a certain extent?

After school, Miho proves to be even more annoying and cringey than ever before by trying to grab Ryuichi’s hand as he’s walking. The first things that come out of her mouth are “Hi. Miho is a virgo, AB blood type. How about you, Fuwa-kun?”

It seems like Miho is somehow making this little jackoff nervous for some reason so he invites them out for a meal, his treat. When they walk through the door, he’s congratulated as being the 10,000th customer, earning him a free meal for him and the others.

Also, after Miho gushes about it, Ryuichi gives this expression for some reason.

Honda’s been watching Jonouchi this entire time because he thinks he’s been stewing in anger and is mere moments away from punching Ryuichi out. As he eats the free unlimited meal Ryuichi gave him, he snickers that it looks like Jonouchi’s going to punch him out any second. I may hate this kid, and he may be a complete douche, but if he’s treating you to a meal and is seemingly being civil right now, it just makes you look like the dick to be gleefully hoping he gets his ass handed to him, especially as you’re stuffing your face. And considering the main reason Honda is so upset is because Miho is lusting after his money and not really because he’s an asshole, it just makes this situation look worse.

After the meal, they go to one of those lottery booths. Ryuichi presents Yugi with a challenge. If he gets the A prize, he wins. If he gets anything lower, Yugi has to do whatever he says. Yugi agrees, and apparently he didn’t believe in the heart of the lottery ball roller drum because he loses. Ryuichi steps up and, surprise, he finds the golden ball and wins a trip to Italy.

Jonouchi finally snaps, much to Honda’s delight. He confronts Ryuichi, though instead of punching him out he gets on his hands and knees and begs him to take him in as a pupil….because he wants to learn how to have good luck like him. Do I even need to point out how stupid that is?

I guess I don’t because Ryuichi does that for me.

Ryuichi leaves, though Jonouchi stalks him in order to increase his luck so he can get on that show and win big. A bunch of kids follow Ryuichi, wanting his autograph…..I don’t get his fame. He’s a returning champion on a local luck-based game show that, in all likelihood, probably would have accused him of cheating by now. The fact that a bunch of little kids want this dude’s autograph is just a bit much to swallow.

The kids nearly get hit by a car as they cross the street, leaving them on the ground in a heap crying out for Ryuichi to help them. He tauntingly holds out his hand but then moves it away quickly explaining he doesn’t want to be tainted by unlucky hands.

Jonouchi rushes over to console the kids and check for injuries, all the while stewing in anger over Ryuichi’s callous actions.

As Ryuichi continues to walk, he’s stopped by someone in a limo telling him that Kaiba has summoned him. Turns out, Ryuichi is Kaiba’s second Shitennou. He told Ryuichi to transfer to Domino High so he could face Yugi. Ryuichi, however, is neither impressed with Yugi nor entertained. He once again gives us an example of his otherworldly luck by guessing the combination to the lock for a gun case on Kaiba’s wall on the first try. He also loads five bullets into the revolver, puts the gun to his head and pulls the trigger, but nothing happens. Geeeezzz, dude. I kinda have to imagine how funny it would’ve been if it went off, though.

Ryuichi is incredibly bored. He desperately wants a life or death duel, which Kaiba will provide for him at the game show. (Spoiler alert – he doesn’t for some reason.)

In the meantime, Ryuichi takes advantage of Yugi doing whatever he says to play a sadistic game with him. They both take turns shooting pool balls at each other. I say ‘take turns’ but Yugi seemingly never actually gets a turn. He just….*snicker* *giggles*….he keeps taking balls to the face….*snort*

I don’t even know how this is physically happening. He’s not shooting the pool balls any harder than he would be in a regular game, yet they’re bouncing around like ping-pong balls.

Jonouchi and the others rush in, but Ryuichi is so lucky that Jonouchi and Honda can’t do anything against him and end up thwarting themselves instead.

Back home, Yugi is wincing at getting his wounds treated with antiseptic but uh….he didn’t get cut or scraped. He got clocked with pool balls. Honda finds a letter on the counter from the TV station requesting Yugi’s participation in the game show. Yugi’s confused, but Jonouchi begs Yugi to let him take his place. He desperately wants the chance to show Ryuichi up and pay off his dad’s debts.

Yugi agrees, and Jonouchi takes his place as Ryuichi’s opponent while the others cheer from the audience.

The first game played in the manga is a simple game of darts where he can instantly win 100,000 yen as long as he doesn’t hit the spot that says “loser.” He wins.

In the anime, the first and only game is a concentration matching game. Each player takes turns selecting two cards on a board in hopes of matching their numbers. If they match all of the cards, they win. If they find the joker card, all of their matches go to the opponent. As another hitch, whenever a match is found, the opponent gets an electric shock.

Jonouchi misses on his turn, so obviously Mr. Luck over there gets the rest of the matches in one go, tormenting poor Jonouchi and causing him to lose because apparently this entire game show hinges on one game that lasts about one minute. (The game at the start of the episode also implies this. He only played one game after being introduced (which lasted even less time – about thirty seconds) but he was still declared an eight-time champion immediately after. How long are these episodes?)

In the manga, there were other games. The second was a game in which Jonouchi had to walk through a pathway with a special helmet on. The helmet had a rod attached to it that needed to be threaded between two electrified pipes all the way to the goal. If he got to the end without electrocuting himself, he’d win 500,000 yen, which he does.

The final game was the roulette wheel I mentioned before, but I’ll revisit that in the Shadow Game portion.

Back in the anime, backstage, Jonouchi tries to recover (I think if a game show made someone this ill from repeated electric shocks, they’d be facing legal action, but whatever. Kaiba has his hands in this place, so I’m not surprised.) and Ryuichi bursts in mocking him about his backstory.

Ryuichi: “I suppose ya want me ta cry for ya. That kind of story is what I hate the most. How lazy! I’m disgusted!” Wha….what?! How LAZY? Dude, you couldn’t be bothered to fill in one answer on a test and expect luck to solve all of your problems, but you’re calling a guy who works his ass off to get by lazy? Fuck you.

Yugi tries to defend his friend, but Ryuichi, pissed that Yugi’s a disappointment too, kicks him in the back of the head and starting crushing Yugi’s skull with his foot. Ryuichi even says in inner monologue that he’ll take the skin off Yugi’s face to see the ‘other face’ he supposedly has, if he needs to. This guy’s such a psychopath.

Apparently he stopped eventually and didn’t go through with his skinning threat because he’s later seen walking away through the darkened studio and, as he wanted, Yami comes out to play.

Shadow Game

In the manga, the Shadow Game involves two cans of paint seated on top of a ladder above Yami, the producer and the employee. Two ropes hang from the top of the ladder. One is attached to the paint can and the other isn’t. Yami will tie one rope to his arm, and the employee will select the other. On the count of three, they’ll tug. Whomever knocks over the paint can loses.

Yami wins, and the employee knocks red paint everywhere. The producer doesn’t care about his game, so he scrambles to push the button anyway. However – GASP! THE PAINT IS RED! AND ALL OVER THE EQUIPMENT! BUT THE CHEATING BUTTON WAS RED. AND NOW THE OTHER BUTTONS ARE RED TOO! GOLLY GEE WHIZ WE’LL NEVER FIND THE CHEATING BUTTON THAT CHEATS NOW!

And he doesn’t.

So Yami starts his penalty game, Mind on Air, which basically makes the producer money crazy, like Ushio in the first chapter. (Shouldn’t the employee get the penalty game since he played the Shadow Game?)

Meanwhile, Jonouchi actually does manage to land the wheel on one million yen. The producer rushes out and jumps the cameras, telling everyone watching the show to give him money.

This end is very bittersweet, if not a total downer, because, despite winning the million yen, the show got canceled and went bankrupt because of the producer’s actions. Jonouchi never saw a dime of his winnings, which absolutely sucks. They play it off rather comically with just one panel explaining this.

Jonouchi is shown…..I don’t even know what he’s doing. He looks like he’s yawning, but he might be crying. He also looks like he’s either kicking something that’s not there or he’s just kicking his leg out for some reason. He also nonchalantly has his hand in his pocket. He’s yelling ‘DAMMIT!’ but I really thought he was goofily yawning in this panel when I first saw it, indicating he really didn’t care about losing the money.

What a weird way to react to all of his dreams being shattered. I felt so bad for Jonouchi when I first read this. He was so happy and hopeful, and he won fair and square, but he was screwed out of his money and we’re just meant to laugh in the end, I guess. It’s kinda messed up.

In the anime, Yami propositions Ryuichi with the same concentration matching game, only this time the shocks are a lot worse. Ryuichi agrees, fully confident in his luck, and the fact that he already won this game earlier makes him even more sure of himself.

He starts the game, and Yami keeps getting the match wrong while Ryuichi keeps getting his right. However, this time, even if Ryuichi gets the match correct, Yami gets his turn anyway for some reason. After a point, Yami keeps choosing the same two unmatching cards over and over, causing Ryuichi to become incredibly confused.

The power goes out due to the electric shocks tripping the breaker, but the backup system kicks on. Ryuichi makes his selection, which just happens to be one of the cards Yami kept unsuccessfully choosing before, so he chooses that selection and then….gets a Joker.

Apparently, the cards on the board change when the power goes out. Yami knew Ryuichi would be so cocky about his selection that he’d choose Yami’s spot, not realizing the cards flipped around. Yami smirks claiming Ryuichi isn’t the only lucky one.

Uh, yeah. But your luck doesn’t negate his insane supernatural levels of luck no matter how many heart of the card……matching boards you believe in. His luck would probably override Yami’s plan to have the power go out. How did Yami even know the board worked like that? In addition, his entire plan hinged on the Joker taking the spot of one of the two spots Yami kept choosing over and over, specifically the one that previously yielded the card that Ryuichi needed. Otherwise, Yami would lose no matter if he found a match or not because Ryuichi had more matches.

For that matter, how do the cards change when the power goes out? They seem to be physical plates that are simply rotated on a board not electronic displays that would reset when the system is rebooted. It would make sense for the board to be reset, as in all of the plates get returned back to their default face-down position, but I think the only way they’d swap or change at all would be if someone physically swapped the plates.

Anyway, despite the fact that the entire board reset (seriously, look at the board after the power comes back on. None of the cards are flipped over even though, before, Ryuichi was just one match away from victory) Ryuichi getting the Joker means all of his previous matches go to Yami, which means Yami wins and Ryuichi gets the strongest electric shock. I’d think his luck would prevent him from getting shocked, but whatever.

The following night, the group watches the game show’s latest episode, dreading Ryuichi getting his tenth win. However, he loses immediately by getting the lowest number on the roulette wheel and his chair even falls apart. Yugi notes that it seems like Ryuichi’s luck has finally run dry. Womp womp.

….Wait, did Yami honestly take his luck from him? It’s unclear whether that game was even really a Shadow Game, to be honest. Is this just a coincidence? Where did his luck even come from in the first place? There’s a difference between being lucky and being an anime version of Domino.

The end.

————————————–

While the anime definitely had more to it than the manga did, the manga has more emotional impact. Jonouchi’s backstory, his face as he goes through the games and wins all of the money, and finally the terrible realization that all of his dreams were crushed in the end, even if the manga doesn’t adequately reflect this, was a pretty good backbone for this story. Likewise, the producer was a good enough antagonist, even if he was way too obvious with his evil plans.

I really wish Jonouchi could have actually won, though. Maybe it wouldn’t fix all of his problems like he thought it would, but it would still be money he could use to live a little better. Though, maybe it would still end badly with his dad continuing to wrack up debt once the previous one was paid off.

He’s almost to the point of graduating. Maybe he could have just saved up the money for himself….

The Shadow Game there was fine, though kinda boring, but also wouldn’t have worked if the producer just knew which button was the right one from memory. The penalty game was also a bit disappointing because, as I pointed out, we basically saw this one before.

As for the anime, it’s just a shitton of padding. It’s a non-stop cavalcade of ‘Look at me! I’m Ryuichi and I’m a lucky piece of shit. Watch as I do a bunch of shitty things and basically get the most modest of comeuppance for it!’ and it is beyond obnoxious. Literally everything about this character is a pain in the ass, and we’re never told why he has this ridiculous level of luck. I was thinking they’d reveal he was cheating the whole time, but nope. He’s just a lucky duck.

The Shadow Game payoff was not worth it at all, either. I guess if you were ridiculously lucky your entirely life and it was suddenly ripped away from you, that would be terrible, but maybe imply that he’s ridiculously unlucky now or something. Just having his chair break isn’t enough for me to say ‘YEAH! Haha, that’s what you get!’

I also don’t think they handled the Jonouchi aspect well enough. They kinda just gloss over the points about his situation with his dad’s debt. I will give them a lot of props for the scene with Jonouchi yelling at Honda, but otherwise it’s either not really brought up or Ryuichi’s just mocking his story. Jonouchi doesn’t even lament on the loss of the money after he loses the game.

Miho jacked up her annoyance levels here, but at least she also dropped her crush on Ryuichi when she realized how much of an asshole he really was. I think she should have realized that in the first place instead of waiting until he’s wailing on Yugi with pool balls, but it’s better than nothing. I still think his status as a moderately successful game show contestant wouldn’t have trumped his terrible personality for any of them, though. Yugi’s Yugi, so of course he’ll be nice, and Honda didn’t like him for stupid reasons, but Anzu liked him just fine when, in any other world, she’d think he was an ass. Also, considering he said he doesn’t want a girlfriend and spends all of his winnings as soon as he gets it, why was Miho even pursuing him at all?

The Shadow Game here was boring as hell because it was purely luck-based, even moreso than usual. You can’t have Ryuichi’s main characteristic be that he’s insanely god-like in his luck and then have him lose because Yami’s somehow luckier. Ryuichi’s cockiness is what ultimately made him lose, but he was stupid to not realize the board had reset, and it only reset because he had the BAD LUCK to suffer from a power outage due to Yami’s electric shocks.

Winner: Manga

Next time, we head back a bit in the manga to finally go over chapter five with the creepy as hell psychic.


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Digimon Frontier | Sub/Dub Comparison Episode 3: Don’t Allow Bullying! Evolution of Chakmon of Ice!

Plot: The group finds themselves trapped by a gang of violent Candlemon. In order to help save his friends, Tomoki needs to find inner strength and Spirit Evolve into Chakmon.

——————————————-

Title Change: Don’t Allow Bullying! Evolution of Chakmon of Ice! is changed to Kumamon, Baby, Light My Fire! Which…doesn’t make sense because Chakmon’s ice-based. I know he fights fire in this episode, but it says ‘light my fire’ which means he’s the one making it.

Name Change: Chakmon is changed to Kumamon. Kuma is Japanese for bear, which makes sense because he’s a bear-like Digimon.

Izumi just points out that Junpei and Tomoki didn’t really want to leave. Zoe says she’s not going to be responsible for their safety.

Izumi doesn’t hope that her Spirit Evolution is cute, she just wonders if she’ll be able to do it too.

Tomoki only hopes that he’ll be able to Spirit Evolve. In the dub, he wonders if he’ll Spirit Evolve into the biggest, baddest, scariest Digimon ever.

The Candlemon originally believe the kids are there to take over their land. In the dub, they believe they’re going to steal their precious artifact.

Lots of candle puns that aren’t present in the original.

The Candlemon elder introduces himself as such in the original. In the dub, he says he and his tribe of Candlemon are tasked with protecting the ancient artifact.

Takuya originally asks what the giant candle with the symbols of the legendary warriors is. In the dub, he says it looks like a giant birthday party.

Eyecatch:

How did the kids wake up during the commercial break? They’re all asleep before it, then most of them are awake after it.

Junpei asks why they (or moreso Takuya) can’t just burn up the Candlemon. Tomoki says because they would be immune (being candles/fire Digimon) Takuya says he has a good point. In the dub, JP asks why they had to jump in the river, and Tommy says because Takuya said they had to or else they’d burn up.

Attack Name Change: Bomb Fire is changed to….Lava Loogie……Saban, I was going to praise you for having such a loyal adaptation so far in this episode but that change made you lose so many points. Shame. Shaaaaammmeee.

Not sure why Takuya has his goggles on underwater. I mean, I obviously do, duh, but he didn’t put them on until he had already dived underwater. They’d be filled with water, rendering them useless.

Tomoki says he wishes he could do more in order to help everyone get away. In the dub, he says he’s too slow and tells them to just go without him.

So, despite the fact that Tomoki pointed this out earlier, everyone, including Takuya, is surprised when Takuya’s attacks do nothing to the Candlemon and even makes them more powerful? Is this a continuity problem or are they just bad listeners?

Agunimon uses Burning Salamander while in the dub he ‘Summons the power of Pyro Tornado’, which is actually Salamander Break.

Why were Zoe and the others cheering at Agunimon’s appearance if it’s so obvious to them that fire attacks won’t work on Candlemon?

Junpei just says that, if Tomoki does get a spirit, it’s not going to just pop up randomly for him because he asks. In the dub, JP says that there’s no way a pipsqueak like Tommy would ever get a legendary spirit. See why I don’t like this guy?

Attack Name Change: Melt Wax is changed to Paraffin Paralyzer.

Izumi points out that a new spirit is emerging from the ice. Zoe exclaims ‘Mama mia!’ Ya know, I wouldn’t be so bothered by these random Italian phrases if she sounded like she ever visited Italy once in her entire life. But I guess she’s better about it than Chronos in Yu-Gi-Oh GX.

Attack Name Change: Frozen Wind is changed to Crystal Breeze.

I actually appreciate that they didn’t bring back Wizardmon’s original VA seeing as how they’re portraying one as a bad guy now….Though I should mention that his VA here is Joshua Seth who is not doing much to differentiate his voice from Tai’s.

Attack Name Change: Thunder Cloud is changed to Electro Squall.

So this is Tomoki’s big Spirit Evolution episode yet he didn’t do much during the battle, Agnimon got the final shot and he got to absorb the data. Wizardmon also just kicked Chakmon in the face and completely ignored him in lieu of Agnimon. That’s just a big shovelful of disappointment. Evolution episodes are supposed to be that character’s time to shine. He barely got to flicker in this episode.

Originally, Takuya says he’ll purify Wizardmon’s spirit. In the dub he says he never did believe in magic…..Yeah, kid, you’re in another world made of digital data and monsters and you’ve been given the ability to turn into one of said monsters as well while you and your friends wield the power of the elements. You can’t get much more magical than that.

Izumi doesn’t insinuate that Junpei was jealous that Tomoki got his spirit before him. She just says she wondered what spirit Junpei and Tomoki would get.

Next up, Izumi finds her spirit and becomes Fairymon/Kazemon.

…Previous Episode


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Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 5

We are in the throes of the Vietnam arc, and what an awesome yet depressing arc this is. When we last left our heroes, it seemed that Black Ghost was perpetuating conflict in Vietnam by giving an insanely technologically advanced tank, known as a Black Monster, to the Viet Cong, piloted by a mysterious man in black that we now learn is known as Cyborgman.

The horrible realities of war unfold all around us as the 00 Cyborgs, starting with 009, 007 and 004 combat the Cyborgman and his incredible tank. As they struggle with its power, the entire Viet Cong unit that had owned the tank gets blown away by an enemy air raid. They’re able to outwit the Cyborgman and destroy the Black Monster, but there’s a problem. It seems Cyborgman is more of a title, and he’s merely number eight in a line of many copies.

Not only that, but there are just as many Black Monsters around, each with unique designs and powers, and several of them have been ‘gifted’ to the Americans and the South Vietnamese to make the fighting even more intense.

A girl named Ran attempts to infiltrate a South Vietnamese camp dressed as a boy to find her brother. She’s about to be killed by them when 009, 4 and 7 save her, but are subsequently taken prisoner. They learn that both of her parents are dead and that her brother is her only family, but he disappeared some time ago. She had feared he was dead, but then she heard that he had joined the Viet Cong so she went off to look for him.

Turns out, one of the Cyborgmen, number eleven, was her brother. Black Ghost had kidnapped him and turned him into a cyborg. Her brother recognized Ran and turned against his allies, destroying several of them with their tanks. However, he felt he couldn’t go back with his sister. He was ashamed of what he had turned into and couldn’t face her anymore. In order to atone for what he did and destroy one more weapon of war, Ran’s brother bid his sister farewell and self-destructed the tank.

The trio then tried to bring Ran back to a peaceful village, but she revealed the harsh truth of the situation to them – there are no peaceful villages in the area anymore. Their entire country is wrought with war and killing. She has nowhere to go and no one to turn to.

As they try to flee, they’re pursued by robotic snakes that shoot lasers from their heads. They can slither around on the ground and in water and even burrow underground. The snakes are all really a part of the main body of another tank with another Cyborgman intent on killing them. Luckily, 003 and 006 manage to save them by digging a tunnel underneath their location before they were hit with the tank’s missiles. 002 is with them, fighting the tank and the robotic snakes in the air.

He’s giving the Cyborgman a run for his money, but with one massive surge of lasers from the main pod of the tank body, 002’s leg is shot off and he’s downed. Being a cyborg, such a wound is not immediately fatal, but Jet’s still in rough shape. His nutrition pipe and energy pipe have been severed. Proper circulation needs to be reestablished or else Jet may die.

They run into another legion of soldiers (They never specify which side they’re on, though they do mention Americans are their enemies, so that implies North Vietnamese/Viet Cong.) Ran tries to reason with them, but the second commander, Ga Diem, isn’t going to hear any of it. He believes they’re Americans with a unit that shot down one of their ally planes. He smacks Ran away and is about to kill them, but their elderly main commander arrives to spare them. He at least wants to hear them out, so he brings them to their base.

Everything above ground at their base is merely set dressing. These people actually live in a series of tunnels underground. The 00 Cyborgs relay their story about Black Ghost and the Cyborgmen, but Ga Diem shrugs it off as being ridiculous. The main commander, however, believes them, but he can’t assist them since he doesn’t know where the Cyborgmen’s base is.

It’s clear that Ga Diem does know, but he’s zipped up tight and acting ignorant. They leave the cyborgs alone for the night to rest, but Ga Diem puts heavy security on them. Jet is in really rough shape and is quickly deteriorating. They have to get him back to the sub so Dr. Gilmore can treat him, but they’re essentially trapped.

Oh and after this point Ran just kinda vanishes. We don’t even see her arriving at the village. I guess we’re to assume that she takes up shelter in their village, but her future still doesn’t look too bright.

In order to investigate and get Jet to some medical attention, they use 006’s fire abilities to tunnel out. GB transforms into a tiger to tail Ga Diem (but doesn’t realize that they hunt tigers in Vietnam) and Joe runs off with Jet to rush to the sub as quickly as possible.

GB manages to infiltrate the Cyborgmen hideout by posing as Ga Diem, Joe and Jet make it to the sub, but 004, 006 and 003 are cornered by the soldiers again and taken prisoner after the reveal that Ga Diem is a traitor.

Once Gilmore looks over Jet, he claims he can save him, but in order to do it properly he needs advanced equipment that only Black Ghost would have. Joe heads to find the Cyborgmen lair in order to search for adequate parts.

Meanwhile, GB is found out by the Cyborgman #1. 007 makes a valiant effort to fight him, even showing off his true ‘Chameleon’ skills by changing his colors to blend in with the machinery, but the Cyborgman has an ace up his sleeve – an electric field that shocks everything in the room. 007 gets downed, but the Cyborgman is unharmed thanks to his suit. He locks up 007 and puts a helmet on him that makes him unable to communicate through radio transmissions.

Back with 003, 006 and 004, the robotic snakes find them again at the village and strike. They burrow away from the robots by using 006’s fire, but they’re incredibly persistent. What’s worse is that they can’t burrow any further due to a pocket of poison gas and molten magma resting right below their location.

009 shows up and saves them from the snakes, but scouting bats tell them that the Cyborgman has 007. They rush to the Cyborgman’s location to save 007, viciously pursued by Cyborgmen, the Black Monsters and fighter planes the whole way. Eventually, it just turns into a ‘009’s the main character so let him defeat everything’ fest. Even 004 points out that 009’s a ‘glory hog.’ Narratively speaking, he does have a point. While 003 and 006 have been very useful on a support level, 004, 007 and 002 keep getting cucked while 009 is able to do most of the heavy lifting.

004 does some stuff, but it’s not that impressive. 007 tries to infiltrate enemy lines three times and ends up getting found out three times – one of those leading to his capture. 002 gets a bit of a cool mid-air fight, but gets his leg shot off and spends the rest of the volume in critical condition. Don’t even talk to me about 008 and 005 who basically aren’t in this volume at all. They stay back on the sub and have barely a few lines between them. Gilmore does more than they do. Are they just meant to guard the sub? Why are they not participating at all? Wouldn’t 008 be particularly useful in this situation, being a resistance fighter back home?

009, however, defeats many of the enemies and saves many people with his acceleration powers. He even gets one really awesome scene where he throws Ran up into the air and defeats a bunch of enemies while in acceleration mode and then catches her after he’s done.

It’s quite odd, too. It seemed for the longest time that Black Ghost thought the acceleration switch was the bees’ knees. They were putting it in every subsequent 00 Cyborg after 009, but once they started work on the Cyborgmen they just thought, what, that it’d be better to not put the acceleration switch in any of them or the Black Monsters and give them a massive tube on their faces as an obvious weak point?

When they arrive at the hideout, 007 is able to warn 009 and the others about the trap the Cyborgman has laid since he accidentally broke the helmet while punching 007 in the face. 009 rescues 007, but 004 tells 009 to step aside so he can take out the Cyborgman on his own. In a literal western-esque shootout, 004 does manage to take down the Cyborgman in one shot. Way to take back the badass reins, Albert.

With all the tech in the hideout, they’ve got everything they need to help 002. And thus our volume ends.

lighten up Ishinomori

Ah, I’m just kidding. I fight pain with humor.

—————————————–

Anyhoo, that was the Vietnam arc, and while it is quite depressing with, by far, the biggest body count of any Cyborg 009 story yet….it’s…kinda to be expected. It is the Vietnam war. Ishinomori was never really shy about his anti-war sentiments, and it really shines through here. Several moments throughout the volume are dedicated to highlighting the harsh realities of war both for the soldiers and the innocents who are caught in the crossfire.

That’s why I wish Ran hadn’t been completely removed from the story once they reached the camp. She had a decent story from an everyday villager perspective, but she’s just kinda forgotten about. She said herself that there was no safe place with the war going on, and even the camp proved to be a dangerous place with the robot snakes popping in, so we’re pretty much just left to assume Ran will live in fear and pain alone for however long until the war is over, and even that’s no guarantee. Which, when you think about it, is even more of a realistic slap in the face. Still, I wish she hadn’t just been abandoned like that.

Though we don’t get a lot of time with him, #11 (Ran’s brother)’s situation was equally sad. Immediately after losing his parents, he’s kidnapped by Black Ghost and turned into a cyborg who is forced to partake in the same war that took his parents’ lives while acknowledging that, even if he did escape, he’d never be able to live a normal life with his sister again. Then he turns on his comrades and kills himself all for his sister.

Then you have the soldiers casually discussing what BS it is that they have to fight in this war. One even mentions that he was a simple farmer before all this and that he detests having to kill and bloody his hands for politicians who can’t and wouldn’t take up arms themselves.

Also, make no mistake, the 00 Cyborgs didn’t end the Vietnam war or anything – they just destroyed everything that Black Ghost injected into it.

Back to the 00 Cyborgs, what a blow 002 took, eh? I remember gasping when that first happened in the anime, even though I knew he was a cyborg so he’d probably be okay. Still, he is human, and such an injury can definitely be devastating.

Also, it was cool to see 007 show off a new power, even if it didn’t help him not get captured. The nickname thing is being brought up a little more than I first thought it was. A volume or two ago, 007 kept referring to 004 as ‘The God of Death’ and it was just weird. He did it like a slip up. “God of Death—err, I mean 004.” Who does that? Usually, it’s the opposite, and done in a sarcastic manner. Like “Albert—err I mean ‘God of Death’”

Next Volume….

…..Previous Volume


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My Poke-Pinions | #48 and 49 – The Veno Line

Venonat

Name: Venonat is a pretty cute name. It’s fitting, snappy and, for lack of a better term, ‘buggy.’ It’s a combination of ‘venom’ and ‘gnat.’

In Japanese, it’s called Kongpang, which I don’t care for at all. It’s not a cute name, it’s kinda clunky, and it just sounds weird to me. This name is supposedly derived from the word ‘konchu’ meaning ‘insect’ which, well, fair enough, I guess. It is an insect.

Fun Fact: In France, it’s called Mimitoss, which is really cute (derived from ‘mimi,’ meaning ‘cute’, ‘mite,’ meaning ‘moth’ and ‘grosse,’ meaning ‘big.’) In German, it’s Bluzuk, which, while awkward, still sounds awesome. Bluzuk is derived from ‘blut,’ meaning ‘blood’ and ‘zutzlen,’ meaning ‘to suck.’ Very fitting and badass. Finally, in Mandarin, it’s Maoqui, which adorably means ‘fur ball,’ which I find to be adorable.

Design: Venonat has always been one of my favorite Bug Pokemon. I love its big red eyes, its furry purple body and its little hands and feet. It’s quite adorable.

Sprite-wise, R/B/G are cute, but Yellow is a bit too overly purple. There’s no part of it that isn’t purple. Technically, all of Gen I has this issue with Venonat, but Yellow’s is particularly bright purple.

Gen II is cute, with an adorable eye flashing animation in Crystal.

Gen III is still keeping up the cute, this time giving it a little dance in Emerald.

All of the Gens after this are still very cute with the only one I feel like mentioning in particular being HG/SS where it gets a tiny little cute kick animation.

Shiny:

Shiny Venonat is very simple yet cool. I really love the shade of blue that they used for its eyes and mouth. I do really like the shiny as a whole, I just wish they had maybe changed Venonat’s fur color to something other than purple, because now the whole color scheme clashes. For some reason, I feel like it’d be cool if they changed Venonat’s fur to be white and changed the eyes and mouth to that blue color. There aren’t many white shinies, and I think it’d look awesome that way.

Gen II’s first shot at this shiny made the fur more of a blue color than a purple, and I think it worked a lot better than just blue eyes. Sad to see that they didn’t keep that color scheme.

Dex Entries and Backstory: The most prominent detail of Venonat’s physiology is, of course, its large red compound eyes that can light up. Venonat’s eyes provide it with intensely powerful vision and radar, which it uses to catch prey at night. Venonat is nocturnal, though this doesn’t seem to be something that’s true in the anime since they’re always out during the day, and they like to sleep in the dark holes of trees.

Venonat’s stiff fur is coated in poison that releases in higher quantities the more it shakes, which I honestly never knew. I thought Venomoth was the only legitimately toxic one of the two. I guess Venonat isn’t any other Pokemon’s prey, then. That’s good.

In terms of design, Venonat seems to be based on the common flea and venomous caterpillars like the puss caterpillar, which becomes the flannel moth. The flea accounts for its mouth, body shape and hopping while the venomous caterpillars inspired the fluffy body, toxic hairs and transformation into a moth.

Venomoth

Name: Venomoth’s name is a combination of ‘venom’ and ‘moth.’ I like the name well enough. It’s very fitting, sounds fine and builds upon Venonat’s name well.

In Japanese, it’s called Morphon, which…..is a…good name. I like it. It’s cool and memorable. It suits the, uh….the metamorphosis of Venonat….into…..Venomo—IT’S MORPHON TIME!

Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.

Morphon is not just in reference to the word ‘metamorphosis,’ poking at the transformation Venonat undergoes upon evolution, but also the genus of butterfly called Morpho.

Fun Fact: In France, it’s known as Aeromite (derived from ‘aero’ for ‘air’ and ‘mite’ for ‘moth’), which I think sounds cooler.

Design: Venomoth looks…….fine. It’s a moth alright. It’s a little cute, but it’s really just a moth. There’s not much about it that stands out besides its almost comical googly eyes. Why did it lose Venonat’s big red compound eyes? I like the lavender color scheme, but there’s no contrast at all. The cutest official Venomoth image I’ve seen is the one from Pokemon Shuffle/Battle Trozei.

Put it this way, if not for Pokedex completion reasons, I’d never evolve a perfectly good Venonat into a Venomoth.

I really don’t have anything to say about any of the sprites. Some of the early Gen sprites were way too color saturated, Yellow in particular being super purple, and Gen II’s sprite was more pinkish with a more purple shiny, but that’s about it.

Shiny:

I love Shiny Venomoth’s color. It is a GORGEOUS shade of blue. Not much else to it, though.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Venomoth’s Dex entries are basically just regurgitations of Venonat’s. Venomoth also chases prey at night, stays in trees, has good vision and radar vision, and it is covered in poison which gets dispersed as it moves. The only real differences are that the poison is in the form of dust-like scales instead of being secreted onto fur and that the color indicates what the poison will do. However, even that is quite a bland note. If the powder is light, it will paralyze you. If it’s dark, it will poison you. The Pokedex in Pokemon Adventures also indicated that Venomoth have a short life span, but I’m not sure if that’s canon.

In terms of design, hold on to your hats folks – it was based on a moth. Specifically, it was based on swallowtail moths or Uraniidae, which also secrete poison onto their wings. It’s also speculated that the fangs may be in reference to vampire moths. The shiny version seems to be based on the blue morpho butterfly, which is very fitting considering its namesake.

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And that was the Veno line, folks. Really not all that much to discuss, sadly. I do love Venonat, and Venomoth is fine, but there’s just not a whole lot to them as Pokemon.

Next up, the Dig line!

Previous – the Paras Line


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Digimon Tamers | Sub/Dub Comparison Episode 4: A Tamer’s Test – Defeat Gorimon

Plot: Jianliang manages to devolve Terriermon after his evolution during his battle with Renamon and Ruki. However, he’s upset that Terriermon evolved against his wishes. When an old opponent of Jianliang and Terriermon, Gorimon, shows up with a score to settle, Jianliang will have to decide if making Terriermon evolve and fight is worth the risk.

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Title Card:

Title Change: A Tamer’s Test – Defeat Gorimon is changed to It Came from the Other Side.

Takato asks Jianliang if Terriermon has evolved in the past since he kinda implied it by believing Gargomon will devolve after standing on his head. In the dub. Takato asks if Rika would know how to do it.

Wait a damn second, now that I’m thinking about it, why can Digimon Tamers show Digimon cards on screen when Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh have to go to such lengths to edit anything even close to real merchandise out due to legal reasons? Those Digimon cards look insanely close to the ones in real life.

What the hell is Takato taking a bath in? Ecto Cooler?

Culumon originally comments on how much fun humans seem to have. In the dub, he says humans are very tamable since whole groups react to the sounds of bells, in reference to kids reacting to a school bell. In all honesty, though, he’s not wrong.

The card, Training Gibs, is changed to Training Grips. I guess because kids wouldn’t get the reference.

Hirokazu originally gives Takato the Training Gibs card because he already has a copy. In the dub, he acts like it’s a crappy card and gives it to Takato seemingly out of pity. Likewise, Takato originally wonders if the card is in any way related to evolution. In the dub, he laments over getting yet another useless card. Also, the specifics of what the card does, increases HP and attack power, is not conveyed in the dub.

Takato asks Jianliang if he believes the card is related to evolution, and Jianliang says he doesn’t know. In the dub, Takato says he thinks Kazu gives him cards like that in order to use it against him in games, and Henry says he gives him too much credit.

Dub wise, why is it a stupid time to ask questions like “What’s a digital field?” and “Why is it chasing us?” when they’re being chased by a digital field? Not like talking slows you down, and if you didn’t want him to ask what a digital field was why even mention what it is? Hell, in the time it took Henry and Terriermon to have that line exchange, they could’ve answered both of his questions. “It’s a field where Digimon move between the Digital World and the real world” and “I have no clue.”

……Just seemed rude is all…

Name Change: Gorimon is changed to Gorillamon. The Index screen is translated and changed to match this.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, Gorimon’s attack is ‘Power Attack’? Boy, they better put up their Blocking Defense and maybe activate Fast Speed.

They censor Gorimon stepping on Guilmon’s head…..Really? That’s censor worthy?

Terriermon yells out to Jianliang that he was the one who wanted him to fight in the first place. In the dub, he asks Henry if he wants him to sit back and let him peel Guilmon like a banana. The sudden realization/memory is lost in the dub, plus it’s really jarring how much it looks like Terriermon is yelling in the dub, yet he’s not raising his voice at all.

Minor detail, but they specify in the original that the Digimon game that Jianliang gets is an American game. They leave this out of the dub, probably because it might seem awkward to say such a thing in English even though they have no problem saying the show takes place in Japan.

Boy the way this game looks sure does date this show.

Like the Index screen, the game’s screen is painted to mirror Gorimon’s English name.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Jianliang calls Terriermon cute. In the dub, he says he’s small and smart just like him. Ego much, Henry?

In the original, the first thing Terriermon does when he’s hatched in the game is poop. In the dub, they edit this out and shift the frames to make it look like Terriermon’s dancing, and the dialogue from Jianliang is changed to reflect this. I have no clue why they changed this. Poop is far from a new thing in Digimon. Hell, there’s an actual Digimon made of poop! Who throws poop! And makes other people poop! And we’ve seen Digimon poop in the series plenty of times, like when Koromon did it in the first OVA/movie. I would say it’s because we see him pooping and hear a fart, but the previous example had that too. Not to mention that this poop is extremely pixelated and disappears from the screen in seconds after he does it. No clue why this needed to be removed.

They add a pushed screen transition before we see Henry and Terriermon fight Gorillamon, I suppose to alert the audience that they were shifting back to the flashback.

Henry takes a much bigger jump in logic than Jianliang does. In the original, Jianliang wonders how Gorimon seems to be leaving the game and entering the internet of its own volition. In the dub, Henry can’t shut off his computer and can’t close the game. He instantly jumps from ‘maybe my computer froze’ to ‘maybe Digimon have a world of their own beyond ours!’ Look, I know Henry’s right, but he had no reason to say such a thing. Who sees their computer bug out and be unable to shut it down through regular means, not including shutting off the power supply, and instantly believes it’s because the characters in the game have their own reality?

They add a split-screen transition after the shot within the computer and before we see Gorillamon again.

They add in Gorillamon yelling, throwing a beam at Terriermon, and Henry and Takato talking, Gorillamon using his beam attack, and Gorillamon slamming down a beam again towards Terriermon, but omit him slamming Guilmon into a beam and grabbing Terriermon by the ear to swing him in circles above his head.

Another pushed screen transition after Henry’s closeup.

They, again, remove Terriermon getting swung around by his ear.

In between shots of Terriermon being flung up and falling back down, they put in another shot from earlier of Gorillamon grabbing Guilmon.

They also remove the shot of Terriermon on the ground and splitscreen transition back to the flashback.

You could argue that it’s not necessary for the Tamers to say ‘card slash/digimodify’ and what the card they’re using is when in real Digimon battles besides for the sake of the audience, but it seems 100x more pointless seeing Lee/Henry do it on his computer in his room. Though, maybe that’s just a kid being excited about his game…..I know I’ve done that before when I was deep in my Digimon days. I actually made a Gen III Digivice out of cardboard and made a spot in the side to slash the cards so I could do that.

The Boost Chip card is changed to Power.

They add a flash when Terriermon headbutts Gorillamon.

Alvandale’s Arrow, the card, is changed to Targeting. So much creativity going on in this episode.

The card Stamina Seed is changed to simply Stamina.

Wait, a Stamina card made Terriermon evolve the first time?….How does that work?

Ya know, I can understand why Jianliang/Henry is reluctant to let Terriermon evolve. He’s kinda a psycho when he’s Gargomon – at least at this point. He’s laughing while shooting up Gorimon like he’s getting paid for it. And, like in Pokemon sometimes, what dictates what happens when a Digimon evolves? For the most part, unless an evolution is corrupted like with SkullGreymon, most Digimon are basically the same, personality-wise, when they evolve. Yet some change and others go nuts.

Upper left hand corner wipe transition after Gargomon goes crazy in the flashback.

They remove Gorimon kicking Terriermon in lieu of yet another recycled shot; this time of Terriermon flying through the air.

Between Guilmon setting Terriermon on the ground and Gorimon pointing his cannon at them is an inserted shot of Gorillamon running towards them.

After the commercial break, they replay the scene of Terriermon being caught by Guilmon and Gorillamon approaching, but this time they don’t add in the inserted shot and Gorillamon doesn’t say ‘Playtime’s over’.

Devil’s Chip is changed to Power….wait, again?

Fade transition for the flashback this time.

I never really thought about it before, but the manner in which the Tamers get their Digimon is another thing that this season has over the other seasons. In Adventure 01 and 02, the Digimon were just given to the Chosen Children because, well, they were chosen for such a thing. Yes, they developed close relationships with the Digimon over time, but in Tamers, they were given the Digimon because they already shared a strong bond.

With Takato, Guilmon was literally created as Takato’s dream Digimon. With Jianliang and Terriermon, he was a game character that Jianliang felt especially connected towards and one he felt guilty over for hurting him and turning him into a crazed fighting machine. He desperately wanted to protect Terriermon for real so he was given to him. With Renamon and Ruki, they both shared a strong desire to become the best and strongest pair of Tamer and Digimon in the world. While their goals and points of view may have changed, their desires coincided with one another and they developed a true bond because of it. While I won’t downplay most of the eventual relationships between the other Chosen Children and their Digimon, the ones in Tamers just feel deeper and stronger.

Takato: “You and Terriermon are a great combination!”

Henry: “Yeah, I guess we are. Thanks Takato.”

Terriermon: “What are you thanking him for? He didn’t do anything.”

He’s thanking him for the compliment, Terriermon….not that hard to understand.

Davis: “Did Gorillamon’s data really go to the other side? Do bananas really taste good with peanut butter? Find out on the next Digimon; Digital Monsters!” You find out the answer to neither of those questions next time, Davis, but of course it did and of course they do.

—————————————-

Overall, this episode was really good. We’re given a legitimate and realistic reason behind Jianliang’s apprehension to letting Terriermon evolve, though I still don’t get why he goes insane when he evolves. We also get the backstory behind Jianliang and Terriermon’s first meeting. The resolution wasn’t predictable in Jianliang realizing that evolution was necessary to take down tough opponents as, in the end, he didn’t make Terriermon evolve in order to beat Gorimon. He used his wit and ingenuity to take Gorimon down, even though a legit attack was needed to finish him off. Jianliang didn’t concede on his stance, but he also didn’t decide to sit back and do nothing while Guilmon and Terriermon were attacked, as that kinda defeats the purpose of partially doing this for the sake of protecting Terriermon. He’ll eventually get into the real battle scene, but it’s a work in progress for Jianliang.

Next time……Culumon centric episode…..hooray.

…..Previous Episode


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Sub/Dub Comparison | Episode 16 (15 for the Dub): Monarisu’s Smile

Plot: Genshi, Sora and Tokio head to 16th century Italy to retrieve the art-based Space-Time Monster, Monarisu, who is already in the clutches of TP Lady. She intends on using Monarisu to force Leonardo da Vinci into painting her portrait and replacing the Mona Lisa.

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Title Change: Monarisu’s Smile is changed to Plumella. Which means….

Name Change: Monarisu is changed to Plumella….Why? I have no clue. Monarisu is obviously a play on Mona Lisa, and plenty of kids know about the Mona Lisa. I don’t even understand what this new name means. I don’t think anyone else did either because her fandom page doesn’t explain it.

They add an establishing shot of the Land of Time before we see Old Timer.

This next change is odd, but also fixes something in the original. Tokio laments that he has the Space-Time Monsters as models, and Sora comments that they’re kinda cute. Suddenly, the monsters all jump at Tokio, and he says he’ll draw more seriously. I feel like there was a missing line in there somewhere because, if the monsters were offended by Tokio’s very, very slight jab to the point where they’d gang up on him and yell at him, certainly they’d do it immediately and not wait for Sora for finish her comment. Also, he was trying to draw seriously beforehand, which is why he was muttering about the Space-Time Monsters giggling and moving around.

In the dub, Saban replays the bit with Tokio talking from before in order to give him a line after Sarah talks. While his previous line stays about the same, they add Tony saying it’d be easier to draw a dancing octopus and that working under these conditions is insane, which makes the Time Shifters yell at him. His comment still isn’t really worth yelling at him, but it’s better than them just randomly jumping him.

There was originally no cutaway to Rei speaking before Yamato speaks to her.

Like usual, the departure sequence is extended to show the kids going to the basement and Goodman talking to them before they go. This time, he yells out to bring back some fresh pasta. They also add in an exchange where Goodman asks Ms. Grey out for coffee, which she refuses, and then Goodman happily proclaims that she’s crazy about him. Can someone please write him up for sexual harassment? She’s not interested in you, dude, and she keeps telling you to knock it off.

As they leave, Genshi just says his typical line as they go. In the dub, Flint says he hopes they had cheeseburgers back then.

When they start walking, Genshi asks if renaissance is food, to which Tokio says it’s not. In the dub, Flint asks where everyone is.

Sarah neglects to mention Michelangelo when mentioning famous renaissance artists when Sora mentioned him.

A sign is digitally painted from ‘EiRuLE’ to ‘Trattoria.’ To Saban’s credit, a trattoria is an actual thing in Italy – it’s basically an informal ristorante or a place to get take-out. However, I really don’t know why they changed it. I don’t know what an EiRuLE is, but that just means I really don’t know why it would warrant being removed. Unless Saban was concerned it was a real trademark or something.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

When we zoom in on the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the screen cuts to black whenever we jut towards TP Lady’s mark. In the dub, they removed these cuts.

Name Plate Removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Monarisu is super adorable. Just thought I’d let you all know that.

I actually have an issue with the original here. Original TP Lady tells Leonardo da Vinci to paint her instead of Mona Lisa because she wants to be known as the world’s most beautiful woman. First of all, the Mona Lisa or Giocondo is not a person, like she seems to be implying. It’s just the title of the painting. The (most likely) model for the Mona Lisa was Lisa Gherardini/del Giocondo, whose husband, Francesco di Zanobi del Giocondo, commissioned a painting from da Vinci meeting the specs of the Mona Lisa. Da Vinci wasn’t really making money at the time and needed a source of income, which is what many people assume was the reason why da Vinci, who typically refused to do portraits, decided to do this one.

Secondly, the woman depicted in the Mona Lisa isn’t really known for being the most beautiful person in the world. While many people praise the painting for its overall beauty, and beauty is subjective, most historians agree that she was painted very faithfully and that, even by that era’s standards of traditional beauty, the model wasn’t really that far up above average. As I’ll discuss later, she’s a romantic icon, but that’s for reasons beyond beauty.

Third, if they’re messing with history here, then even if da Vinci chose to paint her instead of the Mona Lisa, it still wouldn’t work to make her a famous beauty. Not because the replacement of the image would, by default, cause issues, even though that’s also a factor and one we’ll have to deal with soon enough, but because the Mona Lisa’s fame is attributed moreso to it being stolen in 1911. Before that, the painting was more or less overlooked in terms of importance or value. It being a da Vinci painting, of course it was valued, but it wasn’t really something of any high status until it was stolen. As this CNN article explained;

“If a different one of Leonardo’s works had been stolen, then that would have been the most famous work in the world – not the Mona Lisa,” said Noah Charney, professor of art history and author of “The Thefts of the Mona Lisa.”

“There was nothing that really distinguished it per se, other than it was a very good work by a very famous artist – that’s until it was stolen,” he added. “The theft is what really skyrocketed its appeal and made it a household name.”

In fact, ironically given that I just cited one of their articles and I’m, not kidding, getting this next bit of information from a Washington Post article, The Washington Post ran the wrong image when they reported the theft. Instead of the Mona Lisa, they instead ran an image of the Monna Vanna, which was a nude charcoal sketch that some believe was made by da Vinci to prepare for painting the Mona Lisa.

So even if TP Lady did get him to paint her, and that MIGHT make the painting famous to a degree, she’d have to hope that her painting also got stolen in order to skyrocket it to the levels of fame the real Mona Lisa has. But, again, we’ll have to address this more later.

Onto da Vinci’s reply, he tells TP Lady that, no matter how much she pays him or threatens him, he won’t paint her because he only paints things he likes.

As I discussed, the original Mona Lisa was a commission that he only agreed to do because he desperately needed the money. In fact, he stopped working on it a year after starting it because he was commissioned by the Florence government to paint the Battle of Anghiari and they paid a lot more. It was a job, not a passion project – at least at the outset. Granted, he was famous for not finishing paintings and working on them insanely slowly. It’s assumed that the Mona Lisa may have been his favorite painting that he continued working on in bits in pieces throughout his lifetime in order to get it just the way he wanted it, or maybe he just held onto it because he was never happy with it and wanted to get it to the point he believed it looked acceptable before selling it, but the initial prompt to paint it was a commission.

In the dub, da Vinci is a much more rude. He tells Petra that he’d rather paint a slop bucket in the king’s royal pig sty than a “beauty” like her.

When TP Lady falls over and hits her face, she says she can’t be painted with her face looking like that. In the dub, she says her pancake makeup fell flat.

In the original, Tokio and Sora says there’s no way even Genshi could move the Leaning Tower of Pisa to its correct position, but his willingness to give it his all to try is something to be admired. In the dub, at least Sarah says that Flint will definitely move it, but they’ll just have to help him move it back later.

Uh….how about no? Do you kids know how much work went into making the Leaning Tower of Pisa stable after so many years of it sinking and deteriorating? If you correct the slant, assuming it would survive that, trying to make it slant again and keeping it stable after that would probably be impossible.

……He’s….he’s still going to do it, isn’t he?

*10 seconds later*

Yup. Yup. He did it. Why, exactly, didn’t any of them stop him? They know how crazy strong Genshi is. Even if it was a long shot, he’s a very destructive kid. He’d definitely damage the thing beyond repair.

Saban has them cutting to Petra saying “What a show off!” as Flint is pushing the tower when that wasn’t there in the original.

Tokio originally comments about how Genshi isn’t different at all after having been turned into a painting. Tony says “Pictures that talk? Is this what inspired the invention of television?” which doesn’t really make any sense. He’s already seen these talking portraits so he shouldn’t be saying something like “Pictures that talk?” now. And of course they didn’t, Tony. I get that it’s a joke, but it’s not a good one.

Originally, Sora says “Excuse me…” and da Vinci asks who they are. In the dub, she asks “Are you alone?” And da Vinci responds “Never have I felt more alone, my child.”

Tokio asks who the man is. Sora explains that they learned about him in school – Leonardo da Vinci. In the dub, Tony says it’s weird to see a caveman explaining time travel to a renaissance man, and Sarah exclaims that they have the honor of helping out the great Leonardo da Vinci.

I can’t really comment too much on this next part because I don’t really know how da Vinci thought or felt on this matter, but, in the original, da Vinci says he can’t paint for money or fame any longer. He did paint for money, of course, but he wasn’t really all that famous in life. He did gain a reputation among artists as being incredibly skilled and was even considered an artistic prodigy as a child, but his works didn’t garner enough commercial attention to keep his head above water. Even as an inventor and writer, he struggled quite a bit to sell any of his works.

For some really weird reason, it seems that Plumella doesn’t actually talk. Like in the original, she just says her name over and over. I can’t make heads or tails of this. Every other English Time Shifter has been given the ability to actually talk. Why is Plumella the exception?

I’m not going to say this isn’t factual, again, considering I don’t know da Vinci’s concrete feelings on the subject, but I will ding the dub a bit for this. In both versions, the entire focus on da Vinci here is how much he loved painting and art, which he did, but the dub also says that he loved nothing more than painting, which, as far as I’ve read, isn’t true. He seemed to enjoy science and inventing a bit more than art.

Genshi says he now has the urge to paint, and Sora says they can paint together when they get back to the lab. In the dub, Flint says he remembers painting pictures of buffalo on their cave walls back home.

Da Vinci tells Monarisu that being honest is best, in regards to painting what she wants to paint. In the dub, he comments on the depiction of Sarah’s enigmatic smile – alluding to the actual Mona Lisa, which at this point hasn’t been painted yet. The Mona Lisa’s smile is considered enigmatic because it’s just barely there, is asymmetrical and seemingly changes depending on which angle from which you’re viewing the painting and, to some degree, how you’re reading her body language. Some say it’s a smirk, others say she’s happy because she’s pregnant, others say she’s sadly smiling, still others think it’s because she’s keeping a secret or lying, some people say she’s not even smiling at all. Her entire expression is hard to read when you really look at it.

Now, compare that with the portrait of Sarah….

Yeah, it’s, uh, not nearly as ambiguous or enigmatic. She’s clearly happy. She was laughing when Plumella painted her. I don’t know if Saban knows what enigmatic means. I think they just heard that’s a common comment on the real Mona Lisa so they thought they should reapply it for Sarah’s painting.

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Change: Warurisu is changed to Plumella-kon.

Also, wow, Warurisu is definitely one of the weirdest bad transformations so far. It legitimately looks monstrous.

Putera explains exactly what happened to Yamato – that Genshi had been turned into a painting. Yamato thinks that Horurun would be perfect since it is basically the opposite of Monarisu. In the dub, Pterry makes a pun saying that Flint’s been framed and it’s not a pretty picture. Based on this, somehow, Goodman knows exactly who to send.

TP Lady just says to get Horurun. In the dub, she tells Plumella-kon to ‘Petra Bash’ him.

In the original, they just give Horurun encouragement. In the dub, Sarah demands that Artie shape shift, Genshi says “Hurry up!” and the only one actually giving genuine encouragement is Rocky, who tells Artie to use his courage. Sarah in particular is being really rude. She’s about as bad as Tony has been with this same issue in the past.

Name Plate Removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Change: Super Horurun is changed to Artie Master.

Tokio just remarks that the giant globs of paint Warurisu is shooting are super sticky and they can’t break free of it. In the dub, Tony says “This stuff’s clammier than cold oatmeal!”

Tony: “Don’t wimp out!” Tony, Monarisu is mind-controlled right now. It’s not being a wimp because it can’t break free of that control.

They insert a shot of Flint yelling out to Plumella-kon between when we see her claws and when da Vinci holds up the painting.

Dyna and Mite go on about finally getting their turn to take down Genshi. TP Lady gets mad and points out that they were napping before she smacks them in the head. In the dub, Petra whines about not getting her painting. Dino and Mite say they’ll make her a better painting, a velvet one, and then Petra smacks them in the head saying they have no idea about real art.

In the original, TP Lady only says she’s going to destroy the Leaning Tower of Pisa now. In the dub, she says “One Pisa with everything on it, coming up!” I get it, haha, Pisa sounds like pizza, and I guess ‘everything on it’ means she’s going to shoot at it a bunch, ha haaaaa.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa returns to its leaning state by an explosion happening in the sky near it. I guess it’s as good an explanation as any.

In the original, da Vinci tells Monarisu that no matter where she is, as long as she paints with her true heart, she’ll be able to paint amazing things. In the dub, he tells Plumella that he had lost his faith and passion in painting and didn’t enjoy it anymore until his spark was reinvigorated by her painting. He tells her that her paintings reminded him of his talent and his better self. Why did da Vinci lose his passion for painting in the first place? Just because Petra forced him to paint a picture that he didn’t even paint? That thing that went on for all of ten minutes?

Genshi tells Monarisu that they can go home and paint a picture together. In the dub, because they’re in Italy, they have to talk about going home to get a pizza pie.

And now we’re at the ending…..which is…..boy, it’s an ending alright.

So they erase everyone’s memories like always and leave that era to go back to their time. Da Vinci doesn’t remember anything but still has the painting of Sora in his hands. Then we see the painting resting on the floor, leaned on the wall next to da Vinci as narration explains that the Mona Lisa, one of the greatest pieces of the renaissance, is still adored even in the 25th century even though no one knows who the mysterious model was, heavily implying that this painting of Sora is now considered the Mona Lisa.

*deep sigh*

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

Ohhhhh boy.

Where do I even begin?

First of all, isn’t it a HUGE Time Detective no-no to effectively erase a priceless piece of art from existence? The Mona Lisa, as we knew it, no longer exists. It’s now a picture of a pink-haired anime girl.

Also, Sora’s look is pretty damn distinctive. Wouldn’t people in the future bring it up to her that she looks EXACTLY like the woman in the Mona Lisa?

Second of all, saying that this picture of Sora is so good that it somehow managed to match the popularity and mystique and everything else that the actual Mona Lisa had is pretty damn insulting to the Mona Lisa and Leonardo da Vinci. No matter if it was a personal favorite piece of his or it was a painting he never felt was up to snuff, he put a lot of work and care into that painting, touching it up for years and years to try to bring it up to his standards of perfection. And even after all of that, he never even managed to finish it. He stopped working on it after over 14 years because his hand suffered from nerve damage that left it mostly paralyzed.

For those wondering, the unfinished aspect wasn’t in the lack of eyebrows and eyelashes. The reason the painting doesn’t have visible eyelashes and eyebrows is because those details had been lost after either fading or restoration/cleaning efforts over the years. It’s still considered unfinished purely because da Vinci never declared it finished.

Compare that to Monarisu who brushed a canvas with her tail for 14 seconds in order to paint this picture of Sora. I get that Monarisu loves painting, which is great, but that’s really, really, really insulting.

What’s even more insulting is that this change basically ignores everything that’s special about the Mona Lisa. I already explained how they don’t understand what the mystery about her smile is, but they also don’t seem to properly recognize that she was a highly romantic figure for many years and continues to be one, to some degree anyway.

Napoleon was obsessed with the painting to the point where he developed a crush on Lisa Gherardini’s descendant. Tons of men have brought flowers, poems and other gifts to the Louvre or sent love letters to the painting so often that they gave the painting its own mailbox. You’re telling me all of this still happened, but the attention was aimed towards a depiction of a preteen girl instead of the 24-year-old woman the painting was originally based on? And then we have to reapply the whole thing about the fame mostly being attributed to it being stolen. Did that still happen? I guess it must have if everything else is the same. Guess they were right. Literally any da Vinci painting could have been stolen and gotten famous from it.

How is this painting even being called the Mona Lisa anymore? The title Mona Lisa, which should actually be Monna Lisa, comes from the words Monna, which means “My Lady” (Ironically, the more well-known spelling for the painting, Mona, pretty much means the exact opposite as a it’s a vulgar term for a woman’s genitals. Woops.) and Lisa as in Lisa Gherardini/del Giocondo. Why would da Vinci randomly give this painting of this girl he’s never seen or met before the name ‘Lisa’? For that matter, why would he call a very young girl ‘My Lady’?

This is also completely ignoring that there are other aspects of the Mona Lisa besides just the model that intrigue people. The perspective, the landscape, the style, the various sometimes drastic changes that da Vinci made to the painting over the years and more are all things that art lovers find fascinating about this painting.

What of the other details of the painting of Sora?

There are none.

It’s just Sora smiling against a background of spotty blue and white. There’s nothing to catch the eye or pique your interest.

Finally, they turned da Vinci into an art thief. Considering the memory erasure, da Vinci just randomly found himself standing on top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with a painting of a random strange pink-haired girl that wasn’t done in his style even a little bit and just assumed it was his, claimed it as such, and earned endless praise and fame from it. I’m not saying da Vinci doesn’t deserve endless fame and praise, he did a hell of a lot in science, engineering, inventing and art, plus he never earned a dime from the Mona Lisa or saw real fame for it when he was alive, but at the end of the day you’re still saying da Vinci flippantly stole credit for art he didn’t make. How did historians in the future not realize that da Vinci didn’t paint that?

Historian: “Ah yes, the great works of Leonardo da Vinci. The Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man, and who could forget this fanart of an old canceled 90s anime character?”

The dub fixes this a tiny bit by saying Sarah’s portrait was used as a model for da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, but that’s not much better, because, without seeing the portrait he made, it just sounds like he was copying the painting Plumella made. Plus, the rest still makes no sense. I don’t even really think you can claim he was using that painting as a reference or model because, when he’s seen painting during this narration, the Sora/Sarah painting is on the floor to his side, almost behind him. It’d be in front of him, behind his canvas if he was using it as a reference.

The dub seems behind the original in the next scene. Yamato is turned into a painting by Monarisu. Sora calls in Horurun to help by reversing the effects (can’t Monarisu reverse her own power?), but he misunderstands and brings Genshi’s painting to life. In the dub, Sarah says how awful it is that Uncle Bernie has been turned into a painting and asks how long he’s been like that. Artie randomly brings a painting to life right before Tony tells Artie to help Dr. Goodman.

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And that’s that for this episode. I realize that I was edging along the line of thinking about this episode too much, but, again, if you’re going to make a series rooted in history, even if it’s a comedy, I feel like you kinda have a responsibility to think things through about as a much as a nerd on the internet with no life who compares anime dubs for a hobby would, especially since this is a history show for kids.

I don’t much care that they didn’t bring up that da Vinci was much more than only a painter or that they got little details inaccurately, but I do care about the blatant retconning of the Mona Lisa from existence in the manner of acting like the painting itself doesn’t matter. Even if it does herald back to that idea that the Mona Lisa could have been any da Vinci painting and it would have gotten famous under the same circumstances it went through – it’s still just a front profile shot of a little girl with absolutely nothing impressive about it. There’s saying that other da Vinci paintings are so impressive that they would have reached Mona Lisa level heights of popularity if they were stolen and then there’s saying literally ANY painting would have achieved that status if it was stolen and had da Vinci’s name on it.

They also treat the Leaning Tower of Pisa like it’s a crooked picture on a wall. That I’m more forgiving of because it’s just a joke, it’s not part of the plot, but still.

Also, what did the kids even accomplish today, timeline-wise? If they were trying to stop TP Lady from erasing the Mona Lisa from existence with her own painting, then, well, they didn’t do that entirely because the Mona Lisa still doesn’t exist. It was replaced with a painting of Sora.

The highlight of this episode is Monarisu being one of if not the most adorable Space-Time Monster we’ve seen so far. She is just a delight, and I love that she’s art-based. I’m a bit irked that her painting ability is so simple, though. She literally just brushes her tail on a canvas and instantly has a finished piece within seconds.

The fact that this episode puts a bit of focus on how great it is to have a passion for art was also nice. I feel like Horurun and Auguste Rodin had a stronger episode in that regard, even if that story did have a very sloppy final message. While we’re on the subject of the Horurun/Rodin episode, that one also had a better friendship. We barely got to see Monarisu and da Vinci bond at all, and what we did see of it was kinda lame. Da Vinci was really so impressed by Monarisu’s abilities in painting a pink-haired little girl that it set off a huge burst of inspiration within da Vinci and returned his love of art back to him, even if we never really understand why he lost it to begin with. They have a couple of legitimately sweet moments, but I felt that Rodin and Horurun’s relationship was better.

Overall, this episode was okay, leaning towards bad almost purely on what they did to history here. We got Super Horurun, who looks kinda cool, although he didn’t get to do much in this episode besides return Genshi back to normal. I’m not even sure what his super power is. It’s implied in the end that Horurun can reverse Monarisu’s powers without using a super transformation, so what exactly can Super Horurun do that normal Horurun can’t, besides just be bigger and stronger?

I loved Monarisu, I love having any excuse to learn more about art, and the problems I had with the episode, while definitely being significant, probably wouldn’t ruin the experience for anyone just very casually watching. I can’t imagine it would negatively affect any kid either. Not many kids would see the Mona Lisa and be disappointed that it doesn’t look a thing like Sora/Sarah. I think the one thing I will definitely put a red mark on there would be implying that da Vinci is an art thief. I’m not sure what’s worse – Implying that Rodin’s skill came from a Space-Time Monster’s powers or implying that one of da Vinci’s most beloved paintings wasn’t actually done by him and he just found it and claimed it for himself – or at the very least copied it.

Next time, we meet the Wright Brothers and the flying Space-Time Monster, Wing!

….Previous Episode


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Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 5: Destroy the Dark Tower | Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Iori feels he must leave kendo practice with his grandfather to help Jo and the others respond to an SOS sent out by Gomamon.

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Title Card: DA02EP5SCREEN1

Title Change: Destroy the Dark Tower is changed to Old Reliable….I don’t mind this at all because both titles are equally boring. Guys, seriously, both Iori/Cody and Jo/Joe are considered some of the most boring characters in Digimon – they don’t need boring titles helping them out.

As for the title card, that’s also a big ‘meh’. The colors are boring the shot’s not interesting….just meh.

They remove a closeup shot of one of the Gizamon getting whipped as well as a few more times from further away, showing Ken.

DA02EP5SCREEN2

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Gomamon points out that Gizamon can’t travel well on land while dub!Gomamon replaces this line by saying someone should use the whip on Ken instead.

Ken asks why Gomamon believes he has a right to tell him about Digimon. In the dub, he tells Gomamon to never talk to him without calling him ‘sir’ and to never talk to him period.

Gomamon getting whipped is removed.

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Why didn’t Ken have Dark Rings on the Gizamon before they even started working? If it does make them stronger and makes work easier…??

Wow, was Ken’s VA told by the director to sound as whiny as possible when he said “I want you to make me some hot chocolate.” I could hear a pout at the end. Also, obviously, this is a dub-only line.

I think Jo really shows how cool he is in these little moments. He’s so obsessed with good grades and school and yet he is perfectly fine skipping class and a big quiz because he thinks Gomamon is in danger. Jo may be boring sometimes, but he can also be really cool.

Iori’s grandpa asks if something’s bothering him or if there’s a girl he likes. Cody’s grandpa asks if he’s losing interest in martial arts or finds spending time with him boring.

Iori’s grandpa asks is he’d like Chu-Chu with a kissy face. Since ‘Chu’ is a word commonly used as a kissing onomatopoeia in Japan, he realizes that Iori is thinking he said something weird, so he points out that he was talking about Chu-Chu jelly with a blush on his face. In the dub, Cody’s grandpa just says prune juice will cure all of his problems with the kissy face, goofy expression and blush…..Uh….kay.

Now, as for what Chu-Chu jelly is, after some digging through endless Legend of Zelda results, I found that Chu-Chu jelly is apparently this universe’s version of an energy….snack/drink that is basically an energy drink/health drink in jelly/jello form in a drinkable packet.

The dub doesn’t include Iori telling his grandpa to tell his mother he’ll be late.

Iori’s grandpa says he’s starting to resemble his father, Hiroki. In the dub, he just says no problem is too big for prune juice.

Why exactly does Joe find it weird for the Digimon to be in the real word? Did he forget that like 1/3 of the first series took place in the real world with the Digimon? It was a pretty big thing…

Daisuke and Miyako don’t mention anything about Jo being a doctor in the original. They just greet him. Also, Kari adds a correction to Yolei and Davis saying that Joe’s not a doctor yet.

Originally, Jo says they’ll eat the snacks in the Digital World. In the dub, he says they’re for an emergency. Also, I find it a bit weird that Joe went and got snacks when Gomamon sent an SOS. I mean, it’s nice and everything, but a distress call usually means ‘Come right now, I’m totally screwed’ not ‘Take your time, it’s not a big deal, maybe get me a Snickers.’

While not a major change, Upamon tells Iori that he was just about to go into the Digital World by himself. In the dub, he annoyingly screeches ‘YOU MADE IT!’ over and over.

Originally, Iori tries to politely introduce himself to Jo. In the dub, Cody excuses Upamon to Joe stating that he’s hyperactive. I don’t really get why Upamon is such a ball of caffeine but Armadillomon is such a slow and laid back character.

Jo originally says he wonders where Gomamon is. In the dub, he says he’s always so prepared because he watches a lot of those survival shows.

Well, they sucked all the emotion out of this scene. Originally, Gomamon seems slightly surprised that Jo came, and Jo says that even if they’re far apart he still worries about Gomamon. In the dub, Joe asks him if he knows what day it is. Gomamon says Saturday and Joe says it’s Thursday, but Gomamon never understood the days of the week so he’s fine.

While the next line from Gomamon is the same, originally, Jo says that he received Gomamon’s SOS on his Digivice. In the dub, he says Gomamon’s going to wipe out his entire first aid kit. This seems weird because Joe is obviously holding up his Digivice as he says this.

Armadimon says that if he sent out an SOS, Iori wouldn’t come after him. Gatomon then asks what he’s pouting about. In the dub, Armadillomon says he always gets teary eyed in reunions and he might cry. Gatomon then tells him not to cry because his tears will turn to icicles.

While the next exchange is mostly the same, humor is added to the dub version of Joe saying Gomamon looks like he’s badly wounded. This shot is again made odd by the fact that you can clearly see Joe tearing up. I wouldn’t mind so much if he had any emotion in his voice like his Japanese VA does. It would just seem like he’s trying to make a joke as to cover up his emotions. He’s basically speaking normally and making a joke while he’s supposed to be crying over his terribly wounded Digimon.

Takeru says it will be difficult to get across the snowy tundra. In the dub, he says he now understands what Matt means when he says TK’s walking on thin ice…..What? Given the context, what does he mean by that, and how did looking at a lot of snow make you understand? Saban, if you’re going to try to make pun-ish jokes, at least have them make sense.

Attack Name Change: Armadimon’s Scratch Beat is changed to Claw Chop.

Attack Name Change: Hawkmon’s Feather Slash is changed to Beak Buzz Saw….which makes no sense because, as the original name implies, he’s using the feather on his head to cut through things, not his beak.

The Digimon say they’ll do anything to destroy the Dark Tower. In the dub, they complain about having to pull the sled.

The animation on the sled ride is just silly. Most of the time it just looks like a cardboard cut out sliding over the scene.

Very very very tiny change, but when Iori goes into the river, someone yells out ‘Iori!’ In the dub, no one yells Cody’s name. Makes it seem like no one but Gomamon either notices or cares that he went over into icy cold water.

Jo originally has cold medicine while Joe has herbal tea.

Armadimon originally apologizes to Iori for how he’s been acting like Iori doesn’t care about him as he didn’t realize that he left his kendo lesson to be there. In the dub, Armadillomon just says they should take a nap.

I honestly don’t know why this little side plot was removed. It’s not much, but it is a little bit of character and relationship development for Iori and Armadimon.

In the original, Jo says he ditched a quiz like Iori balked out on his lesson because he wanted to help out the Digimon. He made his decision to go just like they all choose to help out the Digital World. Despite being Chosen Children, they are ultimately the ones who decide to do what they do. In the dub, Joe says he always felt like he needed to be out there doing something too, but now he realizes that even staying behind can benefit them all in the end. He also peppers little jokes that really don’t work into his dialogue like saying he thought the feeling was nausea and how the big picture isn’t a wide-screen TV.

Jo expresses sympathy that he’s asking the wounded Gomamon to stall Shellmon while the others destroy the tower in the original. In the dub, he doesn’t. Also, original Gomamon doesn’t make jokes, he just distracts him by saying ‘Hey, look over here.’

Additionally, Jo internally hopes that Takeru, Hikari and the others hurry up and destroy the tower so Gomamon won’t have to fight anymore. In the dub, he just internally facepalms at Gomamon’s famous charm.

A wipe transition is added between the gang getting to the tower and Gomamon’s first distraction.

Another wipe is added after Fladramon’s first attack and before the second distraction.

Jo just yells Gomamon’s name. Joe tells him to try knock-knock jokes.

Why did Armadimon just now Armor Digivolve? Yeah, sit there and gawk while the terribly injured Gomamon tries to dodge a gigantic dinosaur in a shell.

Even though they say the same ‘I’ll protect you, Iori/Cody’ line, Digmon’s VA just completely ruins the emotion of the line. You can at least try to sound like you’re slightly in pain. Digmon’s obviously wincing.

This next edit’s a little weird in a couple of ways. First, they edit out Digmon getting pummeled while he’s protecting Iori. When they cut back to the first few frames of it, they quickly wipe transition to Fladramon’s next scene. In addition, instead of Flamedramon yelling ‘Fire Rocket’ he just says ‘Flamedramon, the Fire of Courage’ again. Yeah, Flamedramon, you said that already. We know what you are. You’re not a Pokemon.

They remove more of Digmon getting pummeled and replace it with the earlier shot of Digmon wincing.

Boy, they can’t catch a break in this episode. First Gizamon, then Frigimon, then Shellmon now Ebidramon.

Dub, that’s Pegasusmon’s Mane Wind not Star Shower….you can tell because it’s not stars….and is hair…from his mane…in the wind.

I find it a bit stupid on Ken’s part that he had two powerful Digimon handy to take out a wounded Child level Digimon that can’t evolve and one new Chosen Child when all he had was a bunch of Frigimon going against the others….one of whom has a Digimon with the power of fire….

Did they kill Ebidramon? Unlike Shellmon, they don’t show his ring being destroyed, and the last shot of him is engulfed in a huge explosion a la Harpoon Torpedo.

Originally, Jo says he’ll come immediately if Gomamon needs him. Joe says Gomamon will have plenty of time to work on his jokes when he’s in charge of this frozen wasteland.

Iori is intent of finishing what he starts. Cody’s focused on having good manners.

I love how they flat out explain how the new Digidestined are meant to be combinations of the old ones. They only do it for Iori/Cody here, but it’s apparent in them all. That’s probably another reason why Ken’s the best of the new group – he’s the only one that wasn’t made as a chimera between any of the old Digidestined.

Ken yells at Wormmon for not speaking when spoken to despite him telling him earlier not to speak. Dub!Ken asks Wormmon what plan B is. He says it’s to become friends with the Digidestined. Ken calls him a fool, and Wormmon says he can’t spell.

Hikari says she’s heard that Iori’s house has the best ohagi. Kari says she’d love to meet Cody’s grandpa.

Hikari says Daisuke can’t come because he and Chibimon (Demiveemon) would eat everything. Kari asks why he has to do everything she does. He says it’s because they’re partners, but Kari points out that Demiveemon is Davis’ partner.

Iori says his mother can make enough ohagi for everyone and then they start inviting themselves over while Daisuke laments that everyone’s muscling in on his time with Hikari. In the dub, Davis sulks that Demiveemon is his partner instead of Kari.

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Overall this episode was fine in the original, nothing particularly great or even good, but alright. Dub-wise….it was pretty bad. I do like Joe, even if he tends to get the worst jokes in the dub, and I’m pretty okay with Iori/Cody as he’s the second most interesting of the new kids, but since they seemed intent on removing every single lesson and emotion from the episode, we’re left with a hollow shell. Joe only has a small shot where he seems really concerned over Gomamon, which is when he skipped his quiz, and Iori’s subplot with Armadimon thinking he didn’t care about him was completely removed.

Plus, since the beating was removed, it didn’t seem like Digmon was really doing much to protect Cody. Yeah, he took one water blast to the back, but that was it in the dub. I kinda understand why it was removed, but it was no where near as bad as when Gabumon was getting beaten up. Plus, he has armor, a few swipes to the back can’t be hurting him that much.

Additionally, they changed the big conflict with Iori to begin with. Instead of him finishing what he starts and living up to his own responsibilities as an individual, there’s some confusing crap about being true to himself.

It’s just a big mess that didn’t need to happen at all outside of having Iori bond with one of his crest-sakes.

Next episode, a Mimi and Yolei-centric story.

…..Previous Episode


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Hell Girl: Three Vessels | Episode 23 – Twilight Hills Review

Hell Girl Three Vessels - Tomohide Bullying Fumio

Plot: While Yuzuki continues to refuse to be the next Hell Girl, another client shows up – Fumio. He is constantly bullied by Tomohide and his cronies for seemingly no reason outside of the fact that he has nice things and his family is higher class. There are always two sides to a story, however.

Breakdown: Lets enter the new year by getting things back into action with Hell Girl: Three Vessels!

It dawns on me that I have been reviewing this season of Hell Girl for over a year. Part of that has been my erratic posting schedule as of late, but part of that has just been a complete lack of motivation to just plow through the rest of it. It says something when I’m more motivated to finish “Let’s see how many ways we can torment poor Takuma” Two Mirrors than I am “Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn” Three Vessels.

Typically, this doesn’t have much to do with the story of the week. While this season hasn’t really been the strongest, it’s more or less been fine in the episodic story department.

The problem, yet, again, continues to just be Yuzuki – the protagonist who is so dull and forgettable that I keep forgetting her name and have to look it up half the time. We’re at episode 23.

Like I said the past two or three episodes, you’d think things would finally start heating up with her story at this point, but nope. She spends this entire episode ghosting Ai and her associates because she’s determined to not be the next Hell Girl. And that’s it. She just ignores them and barely says a word until the ending. She even completely ignores the case of the week.

At the end, Ai allows her to hear the ringing bells of the people around her again, indicating that many of them are either current Hell Girl clients, targets or have already pulled the string. Then she lashes out at Ai, refusing to be Hell Girl, saying she just wants to be a normal girl and go to school with her friends. She doesn’t even think Hell Correspondence has a point. Her lashing out prompts Ai to claim that she now feels hatred and, thus, hell in her heart as well.

Yes, congratulations, Yuzuki. You’ve been annoyed into hatred.

Ai Enma

At least it looks like the next episode will finally be centered on her and the main story, if you can even call it that, of this season, but I really just feel like anything they come up with won’t have been worth the frustration and boredom that comes with watching Yuzuki over this entire series.

As for the story of this episode, sorry to say, but it’s one of the weakest, most confusing and unsatisfying stories we’ve had so far. First of all, we’re back to the good ol’ reliable bullying setup, which is fine, really, but they act like Tomohide has this secret reason for hating Fumio or that Fumio did something to Tomohide or someone related to him to make him hate him to such a ridiculous degree, but they never actually give one.

Instead of focusing the majority of the episode on Fumio, much of the episode actually focuses on Tomohide. Fumio comes from a borderline rich family, though he himself isn’t a snob or anything – he’s actually rather meek and polite. Tomohide, on the other hand, is lower middle class. I wouldn’t say he’s technically poor, but he definitely doesn’t live in luxury. His mother is always working, and his father is “gone.” It’s implied that Tomohide sent his father to hell, given that he does have a curse mark, his father was clearly pointed out as having just up and left, and he grasps his shirt at the curse mark when talking to his little sister about their father, but they never give the specifics. Was his father abusive? Does his mother know what happened? We never find out.

When he’s not bullying Fumio, Tomohide’s a rather likable and hard working young man. He’s a baseball star at school with a dream of going to high school and playing baseball there to hopefully become a professional baseball player. However, he’s decided to give up his dream so he can immediately go into the workforce after middle school and help his family. In addition to his constantly working mother, who is never seen on screen, you have Tomohide’s little sister, Suzumi, who is extra cute because she has jammies that make her look like a cow. Not in a mean way – they’re literally cow pajamas.

Suzumi in cow pajamas

Suzumi’s, like, four, but she talks like she’s an older teen or adult, fussing about the water bill and chastising Tomohide for doing the dishes incorrectly. She’s already baking bread and is rather good at it. She wants to be a baker in the future but is willing to give up her dream so she can stay at home taking care of the house while their mom works and Tomohide goes to high school to become a baseball star. Tomohide won’t let her do that because he’s vehement about working so he can give up his dream.

The first half of the episode is some of the clunkiest dialogue and exposition I’ve ever seen in this series, which is kinda ironic because they exposit so much without actually saying much of worth. Like Fumio’s rich, has a watch that was a gift from his still-alive rich father, which is why he wears it to school when his teachers tell him it might not be a good idea, he really wants to make movies and has a sweet entertainment center in his room and got a brand new video camera, but we don’t know why he wants to make movies so badly. Tomohide’s father is gone for some reason, he sent him to hell for some reason, Tomohide is playing “No, I’ll give up MY dream” hot potato with his little sister, he loves baseball, but can’t play it in high school for no real reason.

Make no mistake – Tomohide really is giving up his dream for no reason. Everyone around him, including his sister, is telling him to go to high school and become a pitcher because he can easily go pro, and becoming a pro baseball player would make his family a lot of money. But he insists on working. When he’s at a local factory getting a tour for prospective employees, he starts muttering to himself “Work…work” like he’s being forced into work, but no one is doing that.

Don’t get me wrong. His decision is logical. Getting a steady factory job immediately to help out his family isn’t nearly as risky as trying to become a professional athlete, but I really can’t see why he absolutely has to skip high school entirely and not even give it a shot before entering the workforce. His family really doesn’t seem that badly off with just their mother’s income. I’m not sure why either he or Suzumi feels the need to give up their dreams to make money for the family (or in Suzumi’s case, take care of the house) when they’re not struggling that much financially from all I see. Their apartment is pretty spacious and clean, they have plenty of food, fresh water, nice clothes, the aforementioned awesome cow pajamas, a rather large bedroom, they’re both in great health, etc. If they are really struggling that badly, they didn’t convey that well enough for me to sympathize with Tomohide at all.

Tomohide claiming he absolutely needs to work.

Speaking of sympathizing with Tomohide, that’s quite the task considering he has the biggest hate boner for Fumio for seemingly no other reason besides he’s rich and Tomohide’s not. They were hinting that there was more to the story. Ai even asked Fumio, when he asked why he was the only one so unlucky as to be targeted like this, “Are you sure you haven’t scarred anyone?” Fumio looks up in shock, as if there is something terrible he’s done….but it never pays off. We never learn if Fumio really did do anything bad besides be rich.

Tomohide overhears that Fumio made it into a good high school on recommendation, so he gets pissed and bullies him. He sees that Fumio got a nice watch from his dad, so he gets pissed and bullies him. Fumio gets a new camera and goes off by himself to use it in the woods, so he gets pissed and bullies him. And when Fumio offers to give him the camera or the watch, Tomohide smacks them away and gets even angrier.

At one point, Tomohide, in a seeming change of heart, decides to return Fumio’s camera to him (guess he took it anyway) but decides against giving it back when he overhears Fumio say that high school is just a path to college. It’s a place where you figure out what you want to do in life, and he’s already figured out what he wants to be, so he’s not that concerned about high school.

Tomohide got so pissed at him saying this when he’s being ‘forced’ to not go to high school and immediately go to work that he grabs Fumio later and completely flips out this time. Before, the bullying was actually rather tame for this show. He took his money and pushed him around, but the main point of contention was his focus purely on bullying Fumio. They don’t bully anyone else, even if their classmates are afraid of the boys and choose to not help Fumio. Tomohide hates Fumio so much that he tells him repeatedly that it doesn’t matter if he goes to a school in another city or if he sends him to hell (he now knows that Fumio called Hell Girl) he’ll never escape, he’ll never let Fumio go and Fumio will never be happy.

All of this ire because he’s jealous that Fumio has rich parents.

You can have negative opinions on rich adults as much as you like, but rich kids can’t control who their parents are. All things considered, Fumio’s a pretty good and kind kid for a rich kid in any form of media. The worst things he does are use the nice things his parents buy for him and kinda imply that he doesn’t think all that much about high school, but that was only because he saw it as a means to figure out what you want to be as an adult, and he already has that figured out. It’s not like he went “Pfft, high school? A mere way to waste my time until I go to the most prestigious college money can buy me into. *snooty rich person laugh*” He obviously cares somewhat about high school because he was really excited when he learned he got into the one he wanted.

Even if he had said that, that’s not enough reason to hate him nearly as much as Tomohide does.

Tomohide attacking Fumio with a pipe.

But this brings us to the big moment – the string pull. After Tomohide snaps and attacks Fumio with a metal pole, Fumio whips out the straw doll, but hesitates. Tomohide, who knows exactly what Fumio’s doing because he’s also a Hell Girl client, notices it, and then…..

……He berates him into pulling the string until he does.

The last thing we hear from Tomohide on his ferry ride is “I’m sorry, Suzumi.”

What the hell is wrong with you, dude? You knew the doll was for you. You knew what it was. You knew the power was real….and yet, you just goad Fumio into pulling the string, basically committing suicide? When you know full well that you’ll be leaving your mother and your sister all alone, basically damning your sister to taking care of her four-year-old self until the day she has to give up her dreams to help support her mother because her brother decided to be a dumbass and get himself killed for absolutely no reason when one of the reasons he was choosing to go into the workforce immediately in the first place was so she didn’t have to give up her dream of being a baker?

Is there any brain cell in your skull that is functioning?

At the end of the day, as Fumio takes a tour around the high school he chose, he sees some other boy being bullied and realizes that Tomohide was right, he’ll probably never escape from being bullied. At least, I think that’s what they were trying to say. I mean, just because some other kid is being bullied doesn’t mean he has to.

Also, Tomohide’s friends watched him get Hell Girl’d and they tell their entire class what happened in a huge panic. They even turn on the class in paranoia and claim they’re all probably Hell Girl clients sending people to hell.

Overall, this episode is very, very sloppy. I kinda like the idea of having a bullying story where the script is flipped and we are meant to sympathize more with the bully than the victim, but they did such an awful job executing that idea. You don’t sympathize with Tomohide nearly enough, and the victim is too meek and marshmallow-esque that you can’t even dislike him a little. If you dislike him, it’s probably because he’s kinda whiny, but he has a bit of a right to be. There’s not enough details given for any of the important factors of the story, despite the clunky exposition-y dialogue, and the details they do give just aren’t good enough and/or feel stupid.

I don’t even want to talk about Yuzuki’s part again.

Onto the first of the final three – let’s see if Yuzuki’s story is really up to snuff.


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