CSBS – American Dragon Jake Long Episode 5: Act 4: Scene 15 Review

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Plot: After wrestling it away from the Huntsman and Huntsgirl, Jake is tasked with protecting a scarab beetle that has the power to bring the dead back to life.

Meanwhile, he tries to get the attention of Rose, but finds that she’s preoccupied with an upcoming play about Antony and Cleopatra. In order to get closer to Rose, Jake decides to try out for the role of Antony.

Back with Huntsman and Huntsgirl, doubts begin to form in Huntsgirl’s mind about pursuing the beetle any further, believing the dragons probably already sent it back to Egypt. Huntsman refuses to give up the mission, stating it is their destiny to hunt down all dragons and kill them. Not only that, but the beetle is vital to their clan’s future.

He brings Huntsgirl down to the mysterious catacombs where he reveals the tombs of the past fallen Huntsclan members. He plans on using the beetle to bring them all back to life, creating a new army of Huntsclan warriors and wiping out dragons for good.

The next day, Jake lands himself the part of Antony, and he and Rose decide to practice their lines at his grandpa’s shop that night. She suggests practicing the kissing scene since it’s so vital to the play, but Jake, having never kissed a girl before, starts panicking and awkwardly babbling his way through the conversation. His state of panic leads him to accidentally releasing the beetle.

Jake tries to play it cool at school and gets another rehearsal date with Rose, this time at her house, even though she was reluctant to let Jake come over.

That night, Jake is amazed to discover that Rose lives in a massive castle-like mansion with her uncle. They’re about to rehearse the kiss when Rose suddenly freaks out. Her uncle has arrived home. She quickly hides Jake under the table before discretely throwing him out, citing that her uncle is very strict and doesn’t allow visitors. However, Jake lost the beetle again during the chaos after it had sneaked into his backpack.

Jake decides to bring Rose to Trixie’s house to rehearse. They prepare for the kiss scene again, but they both notice the scarab beetle fly out the window. Not wanting to alert the other of their secret identities, they make up a few excuses to quickly rush out and fight over the beetle. After the fight is over, the Huntsman arrives and takes the beetle for himself, revealing his plan to Jake.

Back at home, Fu Dog explains that the Huntsman is probably planning on using the beetle for a spell that brings dead people back to life. Under the light of the full moon, the Huntsman can indeed bring his ancestors back to life – and the moon just happens to be full tonight, the night of the play.

Later, with the help of Spud, Jake learns the location of the tomb of the Huntsclan. He, Grandpa and Fu head there to stop the resurrection, but they’re too late. Several Huntsclan members have been revived, but Fu Dog manages to grab the beetle to prevent any more from coming back.

Jake grabs the spell book and burns it, causing the revived Huntsclan members to die once more. The struggle continues between the Huntsman, Huntsgirl and the dragons, with Huntsgirl accidentally getting her leg injured in the process. Huntsman takes Huntsgirl and leaves, and Jake has just enough time to make it back to the play for Act 4 Scene 15, the big kiss, which is a good thing because without Jake and Rose, the play has been a disaster. Spud and Trixie have had to take the reigns, and it’s becoming an embarrassing display.

Jake makes it in time, but is shocked to see Spud taking over the role of Cleopatra. Rose couldn’t make it back in time, and Trixie was being so obnoxious that they yanked her. He’s forced to kiss Spud, much to his disgust.

The following day, Jake meets back up with Rose who apologizes for missing the play, citing that she got a sprained ankle at a family event. Jake is slightly suspicious as the injury seems very similar to the one Huntsgirl got, but brushes it off and finally asks Rose out on a real date.

She agrees, much to Jake’s delight.

Breakdown:

– Huntsman has a robot in his fireplace specifically designed to take off his glove to reveal his dragon birthmark? Talk about disposable income.

– What is with the trope of auditions having a string of complete idiots? I’ve been to plenty of auditions for school stuff before. They’re never entertaining. It’s just people reading the same lines over and over and being varying degrees of bad to okay.

– It’s kinda funny that Jake tries to be this smooth ladies man ‘mack-daddy’ but the instant Rose mentions practicing the kissing scene, he becomes a complete doof. Quite a realistic portrayal of a 14-year-old boy.

– I appreciate that Fu Dog is supportive about Jake being nervous about his first kiss.

– Jake: “Seriously, my church isn’t this big!” I never knew Jake was religious. That seems….a little…strange considering the various mythos that are real in this series. How does that work?

– Nice Darth Vader reference when Huntsman puts his helmet on.

– Of course the spell can only be done on the night of a full moon, of course the full moon’s that night and OF COURSE the full moon is on the night of the play.

– Why is Jake acting like, as long as he comes in before Act 4 Scene 15 (the kiss) that he’ll still be able to do it? Bringing in an entirely new actor in the middle, or moreso end, of the play for no reason is pretty stupid even for a junior high play. Not to mention, it’s a little insulting to the understudy to bail until you decide to show up then take the best scene in the play all for yourself.

– Why would they not have an understudy for Cleopatra? Why did the woman running this play not notice until Spud was out there doing both roles?

– I love how the cover of the Huntsman’s ancient spell book is literally just a picture of a skull and the word ‘Spells’

– Why would getting the beetle out of the moonlight not stop the Huntzombies but destroying the spell book does?

– They don’t actually have the balls to show the Jake/Spud kiss, but they do let you hear the audience gasping in response. I think they’ll probably skip the episode where the parents’ groups whine about the gayness.

– Macy Gray was in this episode!?! The hell?! She played the woman who was running the play and Trixie’s grandma. Two extremely small bit parts. Wow. Talk about a wasted cameo.

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This episode was fairly good but really, really cliché. Like, appallingly cliché. The school play kiss, the nearly missing the play, the nervousness because the school play kiss is a first kiss, the trying to keep a double life a secret while trying to do two really important things on both sides, the school play falling to pieces because the leads are missing etc. It’s all really old hat.

The aspect of bringing the Huntsclan back to life was interesting, but the payoff was really weak. The ones that did get brought back were no more powerful than any other brainless lackey, and they all had the same character design. They were also beaten in a predictable and easy manner. Not to mention that it was ridiculously easy to find the Huntsclan’s tomb. Spud found it through a few minutes of searching on the Internet…..SPUD found it.

I like that Jake and Rose’s relationship isn’t one of those annoying super-slow burns and that the development is realistic. It’s also nice that they’re allowing us to see Rose’s double life as Huntsgirl. It puts the audience in a unique position of connecting with her as well as Jake while knowing, and dreading, that their happy little romance will likely come crashing down once he finds out the truth.

Many similar shows would have the audience in the dark just as much as Jake is, and the big reveal would come later. This arrangement is much better.

………………….Seriously, Macy Gray was in this episode!


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 13: Targeting the Female Students – The Prophet’s Fang/Manga Chapter 5

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Hmm, this is a 90s anime taking place in a school. Aren’t we due for the ol’ fortune teller episode?

We sure are!

Introducing Kokurano, a fake psychic who has everyone convinced he’s the real deal. He even has a posse of girls who practically worship him.

Jonouchi feels as though he’s cursed because he got into a bad fight and nearly got clocked by a piece of equipment falling off of a power pole, so he reluctantly goes to Kokurano for his fortune.

In the anime, he doesn’t believe he’s cursed. He just goes to get his fortune told because he wants to.

Additionally, while both the anime and the manga include the story about how Kokurano accurately predicted a classmate’s home would burn down, we don’t actually see it in the manga. In the anime, the episode starts out with showing the fire. However, the anime omits the part about the classmate getting wounded in the fire. In fact, the classmate is seen at the opening shot and he’s fine. It’s never really made clear whether Kokurano set this fire or not, but if he did, holy crap!

Since most of the people coming to see Kokurano are girls, Jonouchi decides to save face by proclaiming that Anzu dragged him here.

Love his expression when he does so.

The anime kinda mirrors the expression, but it’s better in the manga.

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The anime also changed this to Jonouchi claiming Honda dragged him here, which, in my opinion, makes the scene funnier.

Kokurano’s headband originally bore the symbol for “chou” which stands for ultra, upper, super and/or ascend. In the anime, it’s just a blank star.

Another thing the anime added to this scene was a short joke exchange with a girl student. Kokurano tells this girl, who is clearly designed to be unattractive, that the ‘dawn of her beauty’ will last forever.

More anime-exclusive stuff – Honda berates Kokurano for improperly using school supplies for his fortune telling. In order to get him to shut up, he tells Honda that he will marry the girl he’s in love with, which obviously sends him over the moon imagining himself being married to Miho.

A minor earthquake occurs in both versions, and Kokurano pulls out a piece of paper he supposedly wrote on earlier that predicted the earthquake, causing mostly everyone to gawk at his powers.

The only one of them who actually gets their fortune told in the manga is Anzu (well, technically, Jonouchi does too, but all Kokurano tells him is that he’s cursed. In the anime, he tells Jonouchi off-screen that he’ll be a policeman in Los Angeles.)

The manga and the anime differ widely here, but they also leave the core information alone. In the manga, Anzu wants her fortune told at the same time Jonouchi gets his done, and she’s flattered when Kokurano starts creepily molesting her hands in order to get a palm reading. Anime!Anzu is creeped out and disgusted when he does it to her later (which is a much better and reasonable reaction if you ask me.)

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He tells Anzu that she’ll soon meet a wonderful man and she’ll surrender her body and mind to him. Anzu is pretty willing to believe him almost immediately. In the anime, however, she’s incredibly skeptical and doesn’t even get her fortune read until we’re into the second half of the episode.

Yugi ousts Kokurano during the first round of predictions claiming that he doesn’t really believe in his ‘powers’ since he’s seen similar tricks like that before. For instance, the piece of paper he claimed he used to predict the earthquake earlier could have been one of hundreds of slips of paper with vague predictions on them that he whips out whenever a ‘prediction’ comes true.

Technically, Anime!Yugi also ousts Kokurano with the same theory, but he does it much later in the story. The reason he waits so long is because he believes Kokurano, in his own way, is playing a game. As far as he can tell, his predictions and tricks are harmless. Being such a game enthusiast, he believes revealing Kokurano’s trickery is breaking the rules of his game, so he leaves him be. Only when Anzu starts believing in Kokurano’s powers and he convinces her she has a secret mysterious admirer does he finally snap and make the accusations.

Additionally, in the manga, Yugi doesn’t care that he said those things to Kokurano. In the anime, Yugi feels really bad that he ‘broke the rules’ of Kokurano’s game all because he was jealous. I like Anime!Yugi here much better because refusing to ruin the fun of a fortune teller because he respects games so much is a totally Yugi thing for him to do. The fact that he feels bad about doing it in the end only makes him seem sweeter and more innocent.

In both versions, Kokurano makes an ominous prediction on Yugi after this point. He tells him that countless words from heaven will fall down on him and bring destruction.

As I said before, Anime!Anzu stays skeptical throughout much of the episode and refuses to get her fortune told (probably to extend this otherwise short story to fit the episode length), much to Kokurano’s disdain. He’s intent on making her his, so he persists in luring her into getting her fortune told.

Between when Anzu finally gets her fortune told and the initial fortune telling scene in the anime, there’s quite a bit of filler involving Kokurano’s predictions. Kokurano tries to convince her that he’s the real deal by the lockers, but she stands firm. There’s a scene where the group is getting ready for gym, and Jonouchi complains that he’s too stiff. He also complains that the girls get the easy task of playing tennis while the boys have to do Judo.

Continuing on from that, they meet Kokurano in the hallway. Jonouchi literally gets on his hands and knees in front of Kokurano asking him to read his fortune some more. Kokurano tells him to beware of lights coming towards him – a prediction that later comes true during Judo when a lighting fixture above Jonouchi falls and nearly injures him.

Miho pops up to….act like she’s friggin’ three years old and starts tugging on Kokurano’s cloak, wondering what’s underneath it. She has no reason to ask this – like she glimpsed something strange underneath it – she just has the mind of a toddler who took ten too many tumbles down the stairs. It’s not like this is the big reveal of him cheating or anything, either. It’s just Miho being irritating.

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Kokurano tells Anzu that there’s a mysterious man watching over her from the shadows and that, if she wants to learn more, to come see him later to get her fortune told. She still doesn’t bite, however. After she hears of the light prediction coming true, she decides to get her fortune told, curious if the mysterious man he’s speaking of is Yami.

When she actually goes to get her fortune told, the scene stays more or less the same as it was in the start of manga, barring some notes I already mentioned and excluding everything the anime already showed. Anzu gets her hands molested, Kokurano tells her about the mysterious man, but in the anime he also adds that the man will be in the science room at six o’clock.

Some minor changes in Anzu and Yugi’s plans for after school. In the manga, she seemingly told Yugi at the end of the day that she had the day off from work and wanted to go window shopping with him. He’s just gathering his things in the classroom while she waits in a different classroom. He spots a book left on a desk and decides to return it to the library real quick before going to meet Anzu.

In the anime, Anzu tells him about having the day off earlier in the day, when they’re talking by the lockers, and asks if he wants to go to a tea shop after school. Once the day ends, Anzu decides to see if the prediction was true, so she hangs out in the science room waiting for the mysterious man to arrive. Meanwhile, Yugi had just found a book lying in the hallway and decided to return it to the library.

In both versions, as Yugi is returning the book, the bookcases all domino into each other and nearly squash poor Yugi (countless words from heaven), but Yami kicks in and escapes from the danger in the nick of time. He realizes that this was set up by Kokurano. Fearing Anzu is in danger, he rushes off to save her.

Anzu is met with Kokurano in the science room. In the manga, he claims Yugi’s not coming to meet her, but since she’s not waiting for him in the anime he doesn’t make this statement there. He does, however, state that his prediction was right and that she did meet her mysterious man that she will surrender her body and mind to – him.

He uses chloroform to knock her out. The only difference between the two versions here is that, in the manga, he’s clearly copping a feel on her boob. In the anime, he’s not.

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Yami arrives and challenges him to a Shadow Game. Anzu is just about to lose consciousness at this time and tries to get a look at Yami’s face so she can finally learn the identity of the owner of the mysterious voice, but she passes out before she can.

Shadow Game

The Shadow Game today is almost entirely different barring the use of chloroform bottles and the risk being the loser will be knocked out by the chemical.

In the manga, Yami spreads a bunch of sheets of paper on a desk and places the chloroform bottle on top. They will take turns each sliding a piece of paper out from under the bottle without knocking it over. Whomever knocks over the bottle loses and will be knocked out.

They each remove some pieces of paper until one of Yami’s pulls lands the bottle on the very edge of the desk. Surely, if Kokurano tries to remove one more piece of paper the bottle will fall. Yami goads him into trying anyway, claiming, if he is a psychic, he’d be able to telekinetically lift the bottle and take a piece of paper. Too full of pride to disagree, or maybe simply delusional, Kokurano agrees and tries to lift the bottle with his mind. He pretends like it’s working, but Yami points out that it’s clearly a lie. Unable to remove the paper without knocking the bottle over, the bottle breaks and Kokurano is left unconscious on the floor with his cloak splayed out.

His open cloak reveals, as Yugi coincidentally predicted, that he had a slue of papers with vague predictions written on them so he could whip them out whenever appropriate and pretend he had psychic powers.

In the anime, the game is a bit more complex. Yami attaches several chloroform bottles to the classroom clock via thin wires. The clock is set up to snip a wire once every minute. Which wire is connected to which bottle is a mystery. They’ll each have to take turns guessing which bottle will fall each minute and try to catch it before it hits the ground.

They each take a turn, successfully catching a bottle, but then Kokurano plays dirty and trips Yami when he rushes for a falling bottle. He’s able to keep the bottle from falling by….I honestly don’t know what happened. He threw his Puzzle, the pointed bottom stuck in a wall and the string….somehow grabbed the bottle and suspended it in mid-air….I have no clue. I think Yami just screwed over the laws of physics ten ways to Sunday and back to Friday.

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There are only two bottles left now, and they’re way too far apart for the player to recover if they choose the wrong bottle. Yami eggs Kokurano on, claiming if he’s a real psychic he can just use his powers to accurately predict which bottle will fall. (Of course, if he does, that just leaves one bottle and….what, does the game just end?)

He guesses wrong, the bottle breaks, and, as in the manga, he’s splayed out on the floor with his ‘predictions’ in his cloak on display, certain to expose him as a fraud in the morning.

Truthfully, I like the anime’s Shadow Game a little better than the manga’s. The manga’s game is a little overly simple (Kokurano could have pulled the paper from any other side to prevent the bottle from falling…) Not to mention the fact that just because you have psychic premonitions doesn’t mean you also have telekinesis. Kokurano never once claimed that he had telekinesis. Why would Yami be like ‘If you’re psychic, you can just make the bottle float with your mind.’? And why would Kokurano lean into that?

The anime’s game makes much more sense because Yami’s coaxing him based on the fact that Kokurano claimed he could predict the future and this game relies entirely on predictions. Plus, I like that Kokurano tried to cheat during the game in the anime. It keeps in line with the theme of antagonists cheating during Shadow Games to open the doors to darkness. I do still wonder what would have happened if Kokurano just guessed correctly. Is the door to darkness thing that he would’ve chosen wrong no matter what?

In both versions, Yami carries a still-unconscious Anzu to safety, and she groggily muses over her mysterious savior again onto the fall back to sleep once more. However, the anime continues on and carries a very important change with it.

In the anime, while she was being carried, Anzu saw that Yami’s hand was injured (somehow. They never show it being damaged and we never see an injury on his hand before Anzu notices it.)

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In an added scene after that, the group all discusses how Kokurano was a fake. In a rather genuinely sweet scene, Honda is shown being depressed at this revelation because he believes it means he and Miho aren’t destined to be married. Miho walks over the cheer him up saying they can make their own futures now (unaware that he was upset specifically about his future with her.) Honda instantly gets his spring back in his step.

When Yugi runs off to join Honda, Jonouchi and Miho, calling Anzu to join them too, Anzu notices that Yugi has a wound on his hand that is identical to her mysterious savior’s wound.

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Yes, Anzu seemingly now knows that Yugi and Yami are one in the same. I don’t know why they rushed this revelation, but they keep on with it considering the next episode leaps WAY ahead to chapter 45.

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I thought the manga chapter was fine, but I much prefer the anime version. It fixed many issues I had with the story in the manga and even added some stuff that was unexpected but nice. Anzu was made much more tolerable in the anime than she is in the manga. She isn’t being terrible in the manga, but I much prefer her being skeptical and weirded out by Kokurano than instantly falling for his predictions, getting all swoony over her hand being groped and being gushy over the thoughts of the owner of the mysterious voice.

Yugi was also just being an adorable sweetheart in the anime. Again, there’s nothing terribly wrong with him in the manga, but he comes off as more of a spoilsport from the beginning in the manga whereas, in the anime, he’s playing along and being sweet. The only reason he loses his cool is because he was jealous, and even then he felt very guilty about it.

Honda and Miho went back and forth this episode. I liked that Miho was also skeptical of Kokurano, and her scene with Honda at the end was sweet, but her tackling Kokurano over getting his cloak off was obnoxious and completely unnecessary, and I am getting so sick of Honda’s shtick of puppy dogging after Miho. Jonouchi was also being pathetic in this episode, groveling after Kokurano, whereas he more or less has nothing to do with the plot after the initial fortune telling in the manga.

Winner: Anime

Next time, Anzu is at her absolute worst as she tries to lure out Yami at a water park. Prepare for one of the absolute worst chapters of Yu-Gi-Oh!….But can the same be said of the anime version?


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Sorette Dakara Ne! (ONA) Review

Plot: Released as a promotional ONA for the animated idol group, AGC38, this anime follows a girl named Ayano who is suffering from some kind of terminal illness or condition. Her friends desperately try to convince her to get an operation that could save her life, but she seems to have accepted her fate. However, her friends won’t let her go that easily.

Breakdown: I’m actually a little uneasy about how I feel about this one. It’s an eight-minute web release, so there is no time whatsoever for character development or even exploration. I only remembered two of the girls names by the end and would never be able to pick them out of a lineup except maybe Nene with her weird purple hair rope.

So the focus has to go purely to the story. How’s it fare in that regard?

Just okay.

Ayano has some sort of terminal illness, and her doctor says there’s an operation that they can do to possibly save her, but it only has a 2% success rate. Ayano vehemently refuses to do it.

No matter what her friends do, which is pester her day after day, she still won’t go through with it. I don’t blame her at all. A 2% success rate is appalling, and if there is a 98% chance she’d either be worse off for it or instantly die when she could just live out her sickly days doing what she wants then I completely understand her decision.

Her friends won’t stop asking her about it, though. They bring her gifts everyday and ask her to reconsider. Her closest friend, Nene, soon snaps, slaps her in the face, complains about the fact that Ayano doesn’t understand how they feel about the situation and runs off.

Okay, I understand emotional outbursts in times like this, but that was the wrong way to handle this situation. The slap is bad enough, but she’s actually straight out saying ‘Well, what about meeeee?’ Way to make someone’s terminal medical condition about you.

It takes that and learning that Nene prayed at a shrine for Ayano’s recovery that she decides to do the procedure, which I also find slightly questionable. It makes it seem like she is just choosing to take an operation with appalling odds (odds I don’t even think most doctors would operate on?) just to appease her friend. It’s a sweet gesture, but she shouldn’t feel she has to do something like that.

However, after she decides to have the operation, we get quite a few cute, but really quick, shots that warm the heart like Nene focusing more during archery because she has faith in Ayano, the girls writing ‘Hold out’ outside of Ayano’s hospital with their umbrellas etc.

Then she dies. The end.

……..Oh alright, of course she doesn’t die. That’d be the non-Hallmark Channel version. Instead, she lives, hooray, and gets to go after some guy who hasn’t been seen this entire ONA.

The actual end.

Oh, but we also get 2 minutes and 40 seconds worth of end credits. I will never understand why ONAs and OVAs that are so pressed for time will easily flush a good chunk of it away with credits. Credits are important, but they don’t have to be so long.

Art and Animation: Surprisingly really detailed and fluid for just a short ONA. Ayano’s hair bugged me a lot, though. I just wanted to reach my hand through the monitor and brush it away from her eye. Why does she like it like that?

Music: The music’s forgettable, but decent enough.

Bottomline: You’d lose nothing from watching this, especially at a paltry eight minute runtime, but you also won’t gain much from watching it either. It’s a cute little story and a shot or two may tug at the heartstrings, but you don’t know any of these characters well enough for this story to have a true impact, and the fact that the girls are so pushy about making Ayano do the surgery, something which has a much bigger chance of harming or killing her than making her better, is a little off putting.

Additional Information and Notes: Sorette Nakara Ne! was produced by Asahi Production.

Episodes: 1

Runtime: 8 minutes

Year: 2011

Recommended Audience: They don’t even show the slap, but it does discuss terminal illness and death, so probably 6+


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My Poke-Pinions | #50 and 51 – The Dig Line

Diglett

Name: Diglett is an adorable name. It’s easy to remember, cute and fitting. It’s fairly self-explanatory. Its Japanese is name Digda, which is as cute if not cuter than Diglett. Digda just seems to be based only on the word ‘dig.’

Fun Fact: In France, it’s known as Taupiqueur, which is derived from ‘taupe’ for ‘mole’ and ‘marteau-piqueer’ for jackhammer, which is pretty cool.

Design: Despite Diglett being an absolute cutie, its design is still almost ridiculously simplistic. It’s literally just four pill shapes. Pill-shaped body, pill-shaped nose…mouth…thing, and two pill-shaped eyes. It definitely works, I won’t lie, but they really didn’t pull out the creativity with the thing outside of never showing its bottom half.

Alolan Diglett

I feel like whoever made Alolan Diglett was a troll. Like, ‘What if we made Diglett a little darker and gave it three little hairs that are somehow made of metal and called it a new version of the Pokemon?’ Despite there not being much difference between the two, I don’t actually care much for Alolan Diglett. Something about those little hairs makes it somehow lose cuteness points with me.

Sprite-wise, Gen I looks normal until Green where it looks more like a baby Diglett, which is pretty cute.

Crystal looks like it’s trying to kiss something.

I like Emerald’s animation of it going underground.

Nothing much worth mentioning after that.

Shiny:

A simplistic Pokemon comes with a simplistic shiny. All that’s changed about shiny Diglett is that the brown color is SLIGHTLY darker and the nose mouth thing is blue. While I usually love blue shinies, and there’s really nothing wrong with this shiny, I can’t stop thinking that this looks like a Diglett that’s suffocating.

Shiny Alolan Diglett does the same thing.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Diglett digs.

Alright, they also gnaw on roots underground, destroying the crops of many farmers. Ironically, many Diglett are domesticated and are trained to work on farms since they quickly and effectively till soil. Farmers will plant trees that Diglett enjoy most around their crops so they’ll till the land when they move back and forth between them. Also, their droppings make good fertilizer….yay.

Wait, they can see their droppings, yet we’ve never seen a Diglett’s lower half?

No one knows exactly how big a Diglett is, and the size listed in the Pokedex is based purely on how much of its body peeks out of the ground.

Here’s something I found very interesting – Diglett’s skin is thin and weak. It can’t be exposed to light otherwise its blood will heat up and weaken it. In Clefairy and the Moon Stone, I criticized the fact that they said the lights being put up throughout the caves in Mt. Moon were having a negative impact on the Ground Pokemon. They stated that the heat from the lights was causing the Ground Pokemon to dry up, weakening them, which didn’t make much sense to me because Ground Pokemon thrive on dry environments and hate water. Well, I guess at least for Diglett, I have a reasonable answer.

Kinda weird that Diglett have thin skin, though, considering that you’d think it’d need tough skin to dig around in the dirt and rocks all day. However, I do have to note that, in the anime, Diglett show up a lot in the sunlight.

Alolan Diglett is stronger than regular Diglett because they dig through volcanic rock. The high iron content of the soil gave them three metallic ‘whiskers’ on their head through which they can communicate and sense their surroundings above ground.

In terms of design, Diglett is based less on real moles and more on the moles seen in Whac-A-Mole games.

Alolan Diglett’s whiskers are based on Pele’s hair, which are strands of volcanic glass found in Hawaii. It’s not metallic, it’s more pure rock closer to granite, but it does appear to be yellow or golden, mimicking the color of blond hair. The black dirt around the Alolan Diglett is likely in reference to black sand found near volcanoes and/or black magnetic sand since it’s also adopted Steel-typing in this form. That’s actually pretty neat, but considering the dirt isn’t REALLY a part of the Pokemon, it’s hard to say that I can give it anymore points for that.

Dugtrio

Name: Dugtrio’s name is extremely fitting. It’s slightly more intimidating than Diglett and reflects its…..three-ness very well. It has the same name in both English and Japanese.

Design: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first of several Pokemon evolutions where the brilliant idea was “Let’s take three of (x) and smush them together to make a new Pokemon!” I don’t hate Dugtrio, I just think the design is lazy, much like with Magneton and Dodrio. The most they do to differentiate it is give it an angry expression, but only like half the time.

Alolan Dugtrio

If someone was kinda trolling when they made Alolan Diglett, someone was top tier trolling when they made Alolan Dugtrio. When this image was first released, I laughed out loud for several minutes. This is just a Dugtrio in three stupid blond wigs. They look ridiculous. They look like they fused with Hanson. I don’t care if there’s lore here – at the end of the day, they have one of the stupidest most goofy designs I’ve ever seen in Pokemon.

Sprite-Wise, there’s not much to say. Crystal’s animation is pretty cute, but that’s about it.

Shiny:

Same as Diglett. Just a little darker and blue nose mouth thing. I think the shade of blue for Dugtrio might be just slightly deeper, but that’s about it.

Shiny Alolan Dugtrio is the same way, but looks worse than shiny Alolan Diglett purely due to the fucking stupid hair. Because the brown color is darker, the contrast with the blond hair is much more apparent, making it somehow look even worse than it originally did. Please save me from this bleached blond hell.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Why didn’t Ash’s Pokedex have any information on Dugtrio in episode 31? It’s not a mysterious Pokemon by any means besides the no lower half thing. Hm.

Dugtrio is either three Diglett fused together for some reason and somehow or a single Diglett split off into three heads. They all think the same thoughts and act together, which is the polar opposite of Dodrio, interestingly. Although, one section said the heads will sometimes fight each other food.

It can move underground at speeds upwards of 60 MPH and can create earthquakes, and that’s about it besides stuff it retained from its Diglett form.

Alolan Dugtrio is regarded as a deity, and no I’m not kidding. Remember how I said that Alolan Diglett’s whiskers were based on Pele’s Hair? The name Pele comes from the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes, Pele. She created the islands of Hawaii, and she’s a very popular and respected Hawaiian deity. Alolan Dugtrio didn’t just use Pele’s hair in its design and conception – it also used Pele herself as inspiration.

In addition to being viewed as a deity, Alolan Dugtrio is also specifically said to be feminine deities of Alola incarnate, and there’s also a curse associated with Alolan Dugtrio – keeping any of its fallen hairs will bring the person bad luck. This is based on Pele’s curse where any visitor will be cursed if they take and keep anything from her island.

Pokemon, Game Freak, Nintendo, what are you doing? I’m not Hawaiian nor can I speak for any Hawaiians, so I won’t attest to how offended they might be, if at all, but I don’t think there’s any denying that this is overall insulting. You set an entire region in a place that is akin to Hawaii, use one of their most beloved (and fairly feared) deities for a Pokemon design, and you squeeze out that janky blond turd.

Can you imagine anyone worshiping an Alolan Dugtrio? How ridiculous that would look? There are some pretty weird religious practices in Pokemon, but I would be embarrassed watching anyone praying to a Dugtrio with a perm.

What’s even more embarrassing is that the design is also based off of the look of many typical surfer dudes, particularly the SoCal surfers that likely frequent Hawaii as tourists.

The only other things of note in the Dex entries are that its metal ‘whiskers’ are heavy and slow it down, but provide it with a lot of force to go through bedrock. They also act as helmets and sensors to help it as it travels.

————————————-

And that was the Dig line. Quite the ride that was. I didn’t have much to say about regular Diglett and Dugtrio, but damn the decisions made with the Alolan versions. Diglett may be a simple little thing, but it is cute and effective at what it does. Dugtrio may be a lazy evo, but……uhh…..at least it sounds cool when chanting with Diglett. Digletty, Digletty! TRIO TRIO TRIO!

The Alolan versions can kiss my ass. Call me grumpy and old all you want about my opinions on some mega and Alolan etc. versions, but these are just insultingly bad on every level. They’re uncreative or laughably goofy at best and headache-ingly goofy and offensive at worst.

Next up, Meowth and Persian! We have a LOT to cover here.

Previous – the Veno Line


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Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) Delta State

Plot: Four amnesiac twenty-somethings with psychic powers are recruited to protect the world from fellow psychic beings called Rifters. The Rifters originate from the mysterious dream-like realm called the Delta State, and their main intent is to control the minds of everyone in the world. The four have no choice but to accept this dangerous task as it is their best chance at remembering their pasts.

Breakdown: This is one of those shows where I find myself struggling to discuss it properly.

Let’s start with the basics. Delta State is a show based on a (never released) comic book of the same name by Douglas Gayeton. It was produced by Nelvana and released by Teletoons on Canadian television in 2004, and it has the honor of being the first ever fully rotoscoped animated TV series.

The art style really makes it stand out from other animated TV shows I’ve covered. I’ve seen numerous fully rotoscoped animated movies and short films, but they typically do this to gain a more realistic appearance while also taking advantage of the creative benefits that come with animation.

Rotoscoping itself is largely viewed as a lazy form of animating since you’re literally taking frames of live action footage and tracing over them, but I do believe this form of animation was the right way to go for this specific series.

Delta State has a very….college-esque kind of vibe to it. That makes sense considering that the characters are all in their early twenties, live together and basically act like college students. Not to mention the fact that doing a Google search on this title results in mostly colleges.

The show also doesn’t have tons of background music and utilizes natural idle conversations quite well. It doesn’t feel like a show where the fate of the world rests on the shoulders of the four main characters, but by the end you start feeling the stakes.

The reason rotoscoping works well for Delta State is because of the Delta State. Technically, all of their psychic powers could be done in live-action just fine. Claire has the power of remote viewing, which can easily be done with practical effects. Martin is a telepath, which is done even more easily since no effects are needed. Philip has the power of psychometry, which allows him to have visions of past events related to items, which can also be done fairly easily with editing. Finally, Luna has precognition, which can also be done easily with editing.

The Delta State, however, is meant to be a dream-like realm – and in dreams anything can happen. In addition, like lucid dreams, various aspects of the world can be controlled with enough focus and effort. In fact, the name Delta State comes from the stage of deep sleep where delta waves develop. The Delta State sequences obviously benefit from being animated because animation allows you the same creative freedom that are necessary for dreams.

Additionally, we can gain a better understanding of how surreal or off this realm is considering that everything else is rotoscoped realistically. It’s just a normal city with normal people. The main four don’t even look like anything special. Since it’s rotoscoped and not live-action, we’re not distracted by the contrast of the live action versus the animation. It could have been fully animated as well, but then we would have lost the more realistic feeling the show is going for.

This is truly one instance where I really think full rotoscoping was the absolute best option to present the exact experience that the creators were going for.

…….But that’s not to say it’s perfect.

While the rotoscoping job was done well enough, I don’t care much for the character designs. The facial features of the people are done in such a craggy manner. In a way, it does help it stand out even more, but it’s just flatout ugly, especially the ‘noses,’ I don’t know why the noses are almost always just triangles. It baffles me. Why are they just triangles? It’s so distracting.

For everything else, I’m not really bothered by the craggyness. It gives it more of a cartoon/comic book style, and I like that. But the faces are just really….no. Martin in particular has it bad because not only does his face suffer like everyone else’s but his hair is just an anomaly. I get that it’s supposed to be spiky white hair or frosted tips, but it comes off more like his hair is Elmer’s glue, they stuck it to a wall, pulled him off when it was half dry and left it like that.

There is a sense of emptiness to the city as well, which is strange. There just aren’t that many people around. It’s understandable, because rotoscoping that many people would be a pain in the ass and expensive, but it kinda loses the realistic feeling if we’re in the heart of downtown and there are barely a handful of people here and there. Most of the time it really feels like only the most necessary people even exist in the city.

Speaking of characters, it’s also a bit difficult to get a grasp on the main four at this point. Admittedly, this first episode is a part one, so maybe the second part will allow me to get a better idea of the true personalities of each character, but so far the only one I feel I have a decent idea about is Philip. He’s a pretty nice and laid back guy who loves books. He’s also an awkward but not fully shy dude that I could definitely see myself hanging out with.

Martin seems like the looser cannon of the two guys in the group. He’s also seen flirting with Luna and saying he has a connection to her, which may or may not be BS, I dunno.

Claire is a responsible person, but not all that proactive. When Luna runs off near the end, she doesn’t do much to stop her, and when Martin confronts her about why she didn’t do more to stop her she says she was waiting for him….which….huh?

Luna is the most emotional of the group. She doesn’t care for Martin invading her privacy by reading her mind, which is totally understandable, but she also, as I mentioned, runs away near the end because she can’t take the premonitions or the mission of the Delta State anymore. This is probably fine, but I feel like it’s way early in the show for someone to be running off because they can’t take the pressure anymore.

It’s like how I felt it was weird that the first episode of Teen Titans starts with Cyborg leaving the team because he’s fed up with Robin. Stuff like that needs to be built up.

Then there’s Bodie, who was only in this episode for a short while. Bodie is their handler/mentor figure. He knows about the Delta State, does…stuff related to it, and is the one who recruited them to begin with. He seems pretty okay for now. He’s somewhat mysterious and a bit rough around the edges, but he’s not setting off alarm bells for me yet.

In regards to the story, they’ve set things up pretty well so far. Them all having amnesia of their entire lives up until two months prior to the start of the series is pretty interesting, and them all having various psychic powers instead of the same set is cool. It makes all of the characters necessary in some way or another instead of having one or two characters who outshine the whole group. I especially like how they use their powers in creative ways to achieve their goals. For instance, Claire can sense/see things psychically, and in this episode she learns she can do that over the phone because she needs to covertly see inside of a bookstore.

The idea of the Delta State is fascinating. It’s a dream-like state clearly linked to their subconsciouses, but it’s also an entirely different realm that mirrors our own world while also not. They can see little clues to their pasts throughout the Delta State, but they’re typically too busy dealing with Rifters to really focus on these little flashes of memories.

Sadly, so far, the Rifters only seem like evil psychics so far, but, again, maybe that will be better fleshed out in part two.

In this episode, they’re tracking a Rifter named Karla who initially appears to Philip at the bookstore during a book signing. They’re alone in the store because the author suddenly left due to unknown circumstances and apparently the people who work in the store don’t exist and other customers never visit. They flirt for a while, but she decides to leave since she has prior engagements. When she gives her signed book to him as a gift, he’s able to psychically see events connected to the book – the most recent of which being the author of the book running away from the store after being touched by Karla, seemingly being spooked by her doing something to him psychically.

The group, sans Luna, go off into the Delta State to investigate. They’re caught by Karla and her cronies, however. Back in the real world, Brodie and Luna start experiencing, I’d call them, glitches in the fabric of reality because of disturbances in the Delta State. Luna decides to set aside her unease about their situation and head off after them. She’s somehow able to fight off Karla’s goons quite easily, but they’re confronted by the image from a vision Luna had earlier, which was of a car approaching her. What she didn’t initially see, however, was that the person driving the car was her in the past. This revelation is where the episode ends.

As a whole, this is a perfectly good introduction to the show, especially for a part one.

I’m disappointed that it seems like this show has been largely lost to time. It’s not streaming anywhere, there are barely any articles or discussion pieces about it – it’s just kinda drifting in a void. It is on DVD, but only the first ‘season’ (I say that because there’s only one season and 26 episodes. I guess they split up the first season and called it two seasons?) and barely anyone has bought it. As of right now, the first DVD set of it on Amazon has only nine reviews, though a bulk of them are very good. Also, the description barely has anything about the DVD set like…how many episodes it has, what other features are on it, what quality it’s in, etc.

I had to do a Google search just to find what the back cover of the DVD set looks like. It has 13 episodes, a ‘The Making of Delta State’ featurette, and electronic collectible cards.

Verdict:

Delta State seems like a very cool show to me so far. Maybe not masterpiece material, but I do strongly believe that I’ll have an enjoyable ride watching the rest of the series. From the sparse amount of people I’ve seen who have watched the entire show, it is indeed a good one with a strong finale, so I look forward to sharing more of this show in the future to hopefully draw more attention to this largely ignored, but interesting and well made, series.


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Hell Girl: Three Vessels | Episode 24 – Mayfly Review

Plot: Yuzuki is fed up with Hell Girl, but she has more important things to worry about, such as the results to her high school entrance exams. However, when she tries to check to see if her name is on the list of accepted students, she suddenly finds that no one recognizes her and the results for her exams don’t exist. Even her home has become dilapidated and condemned. Yuzuki struggles to find someone who recognizes her or proof of her existence when she’s approached by Tsugumi, who explains the truth about what’s happening and Yuzuki’s fate as Hell Girl.

Breakdown: I have been saying for many episodes now that Yuzuki’s story better be pretty damn good in order for it be worth putting this soggy paper towel at the forefront, even though I had no faith that they could deliver something THAT good.

And, well, at least so far, they haven’t.

Let’s cut to the chase, pretty much the entire series was just an illusion. Or it wasn’t…? It’s very confusing. The world that Yuzuki has been living in as a student, as a friend, as a daughter, as someone trying to stop Hell Girl…a few times anyway, does not exist. It was an illusion built by Ai to make her understand the true nature of the world and how everyone has hate in them, but Hell Correspondence acts as a beacon of hope to the people who don’t use it because they can rest assured that the most evil people will pay from their crimes in some way.

This just makes everything so confusing. Does this mean that any Hell Girl case that even slightly involved Yuzuki didn’t exist? Were all the hell candles fake? Were the people in hell fake? Even the people that Yuzuki knew in the illusion didn’t recognize her (In the real version of the world) and/or they didn’t exist at all because it really seems like this entire town is empty once Yuzuki learns the truth. Her group of remaining friends also seemingly vanished in the hallway.

Are we really “It was all a dream”ing the ENTIRE SERIES? Were we seeing illusions? Were the scenes that didn’t involve Yuzuki also illusions? Were they not, and that’s why she wasn’t really involved in much of anything over the course of the series?

If you’re thinking that maybe all of this is a big fakeout illusion within an illusion or something – it’s not.

See.

She’s dead.

And has been the entire time.

She is one of apparently several potential Hell Girl replacements that Tsugumi has seen come through over the years (That doesn’t make any sense given the fact that between the second season and now, Ai has supposed to have been gone even to her associates. Although maybe they were coming through without Ai and they brought in Ai to help secure a replacement?) However, the others have hung on and lived between worlds, never being able to pass on and living in torment in the living world, and she was trying to tell Yuzuki that her fate as Hell Girl was preferable to the alternative.

Tsugumi has completely given up on the hope of ever getting rid of Hell Correspondence, which, again, is weird because she should have lived in a Hell Correspondence free world up until the past year or so. Her father lived with a hope and passion for that dream for years, but eventually he grew tired and gave up (it’s continuously implied that he died, but they still never outright say it.) Tsugumi gave up after years and years of her powers in seeing Hell Girl visions. They taught her that Hell Correspondence was necessary and fate is something you can’t fight. She needs to live alongside with Hell Girl and not deny her.

Yuzuki refuses to give up and tells Tsugumi that she doesn’t think she’s given up either or else she wouldn’t have stopped her from passing through that torii during the festival. She doesn’t know what will happen if she passes through it, but Tsugumi knows, and she’s still vehemently trying to get her to not pass through.

Tsugumi agrees and says maybe a small part of her does still believe, which is when she decides to tell Yuzuki the big death secret as long as she agrees to accept the truth and not fight it.

Yuzuki, however, refuses to believe and runs to her house in a panic only to find her skeletal remains on the floor of her room clutching her teddy bear and the Hell Team confronting her.

So….are the remains also an illusion or did no one think to look in this apartment for however many years? There’s just a dead child on the floor. How did no one notice this?

So far, I am less than impressed by this being Yuzuki’s big revelation. At best, it’s uninspired, and at worst you literally just told me to my face that I wasted around 12 hours of my life on stuff that didn’t happen, maybe, I think, possibly? Being an illusion or a dream doesn’t take the full value of an story experience away, the good stories that were told are still good, but it does damage it quite a bit.

At this point, all I can hope for is that Yuzuki’s full backstory will be worth a few more points, because, so far, it’s pretty lame and not worth the price of admission. So Yuzuki’s dead. It just means she somehow managed to be even more lifeless than she has been when I thought she was alive.

I’m also a little bummed that this episode had no case in it. I pretty much knew that would happen because the last few episodes in any season of this show is usually relegated to main plot stuff, but when our main plot stuff is Yuzuki-centric, I’d rather have a case to keep my attention…


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Sony Pictures Analyzamation – Open Season (2006) Review

Plot: Boog has been a domesticated bear for his entire life – ever since he was rescued by the forest ranger, Beth, as a cub. After meeting the deer, Elliot, who caused a lot of chaos and problems in Boog’s life, Beth realized that she finally had to bring Boog out into the wild and let him be free. Completely lost in the woods right before the start of Open Season, Boog and Elliot try to find their way back to town and Beth before the hunters or other animals get to them first.

Breakdown: Many years ago, I reviewed Open Season for my old blog on that old forum I’ve mentioned before. My review was….bad, like many of my old reviews. Most notably, it was a bit overly negative, again, like many of my old reviews. So, for the review series tackling all of Sony Pictures Animation’s movies, Sony Pictures Analyzamation – yes, that is a mouthful – I decided to rewatch and rewrite the review from scratch.

And I’m glad I did, because it allowed me to finally review this movie with a more level head.

One my biggest issues with the film on the first watch was Shaw and how ridiculous he was as a villain. If there was one critique that stood up from my previous review, it’s definitely that one.

Shaw is, indeed, a ridiculously awful villain. Technically he’s a fine villain because he’s VERY easily hateable. But he’s such a ridiculously over the top caricature of hunters that it’s almost too easy to hate him.

I’ll admit something, my dad is a hunter and I’ve been brought up my whole life to learn about responsible hunting practices and gun safety. While I can’t bring myself to kill an animal, I do respect responsible hunters (not trophy hunting. That can die.). I also completely understand and respect people who are against hunting. It’s one of those issues where I’m probably a hypocrite, but the point is a hunter being a villain in a movie where a deer and a bear are the protagonists is completely understandable. It’s also understandable for them to be made unlikable, but Shaw is one of the biggest most over-the-top ridiculous parodies I’ve ever seen. I say this after pausing to write these notes at a moment where Shaw had just got done whipping his rifle out in a crowd of people to try and shoot a deer and bear in the head at once with one bullet, and then, once he’s heading off in his car to chase them once they’re returned to the woods, he says this.

“A bear and a deer working together. How far does this conspiracy go? How many other animals are involved? God bless America! I hope the bald eagle hasn’t turned!”

No, I’m not kidding. He even tucks his gun into bed at night…. Shaw is an evil person, but he’s also a complete dumbass, spending a good chunk of the movie thinking the animals are taking over the world and enslaving humans….

Shaw’s not the only ridiculously overdone hunter either. Later in the movie, a giant group of hunters all go out at the start of open season being loud and rowdy on the way up there with one of them yakking about how they’re going to blow the animals’ heads off. All of these people seem to be one big hunting group, which isn’t typically allowed for a multitude of reasons.

Not to mention the fact that the only cop in the area, the sheriff, is entirely useless. He sees Shaw have a clearly illegally killed deer on the hood of his truck, splayed out, which is also against the law, and is just like ‘eh’. He sees Shaw try to shoot his gun into a crowd of people, Shaw leaves when he’s not looking and he’s just like ‘eh’ and never tries to pursue him.

But enough of that malarky. How is everything else? Well, considering how I slammed it in my first review, upon rewatching, it’s pretty okay. It’s not gonna win any awards with me, but I had a fine time watching it. Smiled a few times, kinda chuckled a bit, got a bit moved by the emotional moments and had some fun. It’s a very okay movie and decent enough first outing for Sony.

I do agree with some of the critics who said that it’s hard to get a lock on who the target audience is, however. Like, the humor is overall pretty juvenile, including an amount of toilet/poop humor, but some of the humor is somewhat adult and some of the imagery is actually pretty messed up for a kids movie.

For example, there’s a joke where Shaw warns a couple to watch out or their weiner dog will shank them, and the lady said ‘Oh no, we don’t have to worry about that. We got him fixed.’ I want to believe with all my heart and soul that I didn’t just hear a dog humping/bestiality joke in this movie. I want to believe so badly.

There’s a scene where Boog and Elliot are behind a curtain at a show Boog is doing. They get into a fight, and their shadows are meant to convey an extremely bloody and gory murder of Elliot. Boog ‘skins’ him, ‘disembowels’ him and splatters his ‘blood’ all over the curtain. And what’s even weirder is that Beth is also watching this from in front of the curtain and she won’t go behind the curtain to stop Boog from slaughtering this innocent deer. She just keeps yelling for Boog to stop while in front of the curtain.

Shaw’s cabin legitimately freaked me out. Many times when (kids) cartoons will show taxidermy, even if it’s in a scary manner, they won’t choose to design the taxidermy in the same general style as the other animals. Because showing the cutesy big-eyed goofy cartoons as a dead-eyed lifeless decorations is kinda scary to many kids. If they do maintain the style, they typically don’t try to make the scene scary. It will just be dark humor. However, in the scene in Shaw’s cabin, his walls are covered in heads that are all the exact same goofy cartoony style as the other alive animals we were watching earlier. And this scene, while having brief few frames of humor, was definitely meant to be shocking and scary. It was meant to show how ruthless and bloodthirsty Shaw really is. He’s not just a dopey hunter. He’s a violent, dangerous killer.

Then there’s all the obvious gun play and talk of violent acts on animals, it’s all very iffy.

While they didn’t spend a whole lot of time together, I think they did a good job at making Beth and Boog’s relationship feel very genuine. I felt like they were truly attached to each other and watching her have to say goodbye to him was pretty emotional.

I will, however, call her (and the sheriff) out for sending Boog off into the woods like that, though. Boog had spent his entire life in captivity, and he has to be several years old. He had his own ‘apartment’, he had a teddy bear, tons of treats, his own TV – for god’s sake, this bear is literally toilet trained. And yet they think it’s okay to send him off to live in the woods with no preparation whatsoever.

While many of the animal characters were just annoying as sin (except the porcupine, who was adorable, and Giselle, who is just a VERY typical and bland love interest) including Elliot, I don’t think they did a bad job redeeming them in the end. They ended up being pretty entertaining in their own rights. I just think it was all fairly rushed. Too many of them were flatout jerks for me to be all that glad for their happy endings. And is it really all that happy? Did the animals end hunting in that area forever?…..I mean….they did literally bomb the hunters out, so maybe they did.

The animation was okay. Bouncy and cartoony, and stands up alright after 15 years. I think the art style is very ugly, however. Nearly every animal and human is just butt-ugly. They have incredibly odd proportions, and few of them look appealing. I thought the beavers and porcupine were cute, but that’s about all. I will give them a good amount of credit for Boog’s fur, though. While it definitely doesn’t look like what you’d see on a realistic grizzly bear, it does look fluffy and soft, kinda like what you’d get on a toy bear. I would say maybe that’s on purpose because he’s a domestic bear, but I don’t think they’d think that far ahead.

The music was alright. Some of the songs were very fitting for the scenes, but the soundtrack is overall fairly forgettable.

In the end, Open Season is okay. I don’t think I’ll ever watch it a third time, but if you’re up for a predictable but reasonably entertaining movie, then have at it.

I am not, however, looking forward to the THREE DIRECT-TO-VIDEO SEQUELS at all. Hopefully they’ll be alright, but I am reading up on them and I’m not gonna hold my breath.


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 17 (16 for the Dub) Sub/Dub Comparison | Fly! Fly! Wing!

Plot: In America 1881, the young Wright Brothers meet the flying Space-Time Monster, Wing, who can give anyone and anything the ability to fly. Orville in particular grows attached to Wing after getting fed up with the way Wilbur treats him. Tokio, also feeling annoyed by how Sora treats him, sides with Orville and Wing, flying off with them in protest of their older siblings.

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Starting today, we have new title card art in the original. Instead of showing Genshi, we now show a bunch of Space-Time Monsters.

Title Change: Fly! Fly! Wing! is simply changed to Wing.

They add an establishing shot of the town before the establishing shot of the lab.

The original just says that Sora is older than Tokio. The dub specifies that Sarah is 327 seconds older than Tony.

Sora points out that Tokio blundered in his homework because she’s told him before to do the equations in the parentheses first but he didn’t do that. In the dub, Sarah says “When will you learn to multiply before you divide?” Uhh….

When we see him typing, he’s writing the numbers on the bottom fraction, which I think means he’s showing his work, but it doesn’t make any sense that this is the way the way the homework…works. And this is coming from someone severely math dumb.

Either way, he hasn’t multiplied or divided yet. He’s just writing out the way he thinks the fraction should be simplified, which isn’t correct, but still. If your criticisms of his work are also incorrect, you’re not helping anyone.

I’m going to see if I do this equation just to make sure I’m not too math dumb.

The simplified version should be 6+1 ½, which would be 7 ½…..right? Did I do it? Are ya proud of me?

Genshi asks Ototan if it’s really that bad having siblings. Oto-tan says it’s just because they’re so close. In the dub, Flint asks Rocky why he doesn’t have a sister. Rocky says it’s because cave sisters eat their brothers for breakfast….Uh….huh?

Tokio just wishes he were the older brother, presumably so he’d be the one with the edge instead of Sora. In the dub, he says his homework would be a cinch if he were the older one…….How?

They insert a shot of the Masked Man after the closeup shot of Wing in the montage.

I’m shocked beyond belief that they got this next info correct. The Wright Brothers moved around a lot when they were kids, so the fact that anime writers knew to look up exactly where they were in 1881 (Richmond, Indiana) is commendable.

Also, Masked Man just says he and TP Lady can have a sky date if they capture Wing. In the dub, he says they could fly up and have a date on the moon. Yeah…..pretty sure just growing wings wouldn’t allow you to fly up to or survive in space, but you do you.

Orville says to Wing after Wilbur tells him to come down “Listen to him, Wing!” In the dub, he clunkily explains who Wilbur is to Wing and subsequently the audience.

Name Plate Removed:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Orville yells down to Wilbur that Wing will get lonely if he comes down, so he’s staying in the air. In the dub, Wing, who can talk because it’s the dub, asks Orville what Wilbur’s problem is. Orville says Wilbur is jealous because he wants to fly more than anything, and he’s flying around in the air but Wilbur can’t.

Wilbur originally tells them to quit messing around and come down otherwise he’ll get angry. Orville refuses, mocks him and flies off with Wing. In the dub, Wilbur says, “Those wings aren’t flight-worthy!”…..Uh….they’re flying…..so…..yes they are. Also, he’s flying without flapping his wings most of the time and is able to hover perfectly still in the air without flapping as well, so they seem more than flight-worthy to me….they seem like budgetary restraints on animation.

While it took them until adulthood to develop a serious interest in aeronautics, the Wright brothers did have a love of aeronautics at a young age. When they were children, Orville seven years old and Wilbur eleven, their father bought them a model helicopter made of bamboo, paper and cork that they loved playing with until it broke. While they couldn’t really do much with their interest until later on, they did claim this toy was what first inspired them to get into aviation.

They buckled down and took a serious interest in flight engineering in 1896, when Orville was 25 and Wilbur was 29. This was when there was a huge boom in people experimenting in aeronautics. The death of Otto Lilienthal, a German aviation engineer, was cited by the Wright brothers as being the biggest turning point in their interest in aviation. Lilienthal had been testing a glider, but it crashed, causing him to break his neck. He tragically died the next day.

Orville: “They’re more flight-worthy than anything we’ve made so far! Just watch, brother!”

They haven’t made or attempted to make any actual flying machines at this point in their lives, but they did make a toy helicopter similar to the one they had that broke. It didn’t fly, of course, but it’s still cool that they made one.

The art and animation in this episode is noticeably worse than normal. Every shot just looks really bad. Did they cut their already paltry budget?

They extend Petra’s dialogue by reversing the shot of her pointing her finger at Orville and Wing.

In the original, Sora says Tokio better not be too reckless. In the dub, she says “This oughta be good for a laugh.”

*snort* That dumb vacant expression Wilbur has as the camera just holds on him being still for several seconds is gold. I really must reiterate – this episode looks AWFUL.

Tokio says Orville and Wing have been playing too many pranks, and it was mean to do all that stuff to the town. In the dub, he yells “I don’t know who you are, but Wing’s coming back with me!” Yeah, the best way you can convince the Time Shifter that you’re on their side is by demanding that they have no other choice but to go with you….

Orville originally asserts that he wasn’t playing pranks with Wing, he was performing research. In the dub, he oddly responds to Tony’s demands by saying “Take your hands off of me! I’m an inventor!”

That’d be like me saying “Take your hands off of me! I’m a blogger!” Like, who cares? Why is that a reason to let you go?

They repeat shots of Orville and Tokio talking to extend the scene.

Orville: “That’s right, a famous inventor!” No, you’re not. At least not right now.

In both versions of the flashback, Wing flies by saying “Wing!” but it’s already been established in the dub that he can speak English, so it just sounds like he’s saying his name for no reason.

In regards to Orville and Wilbur having any sort of sibling rivalry……….that’s a bit hard to say. They did have arguments, they didn’t agree on everything, but they seemed to get along much better than most siblings. They grew up together, shared everything, talked a lot, worked together, brainstormed together, played together, shared their toys, worked most of the same jobs in the same businesses, and they never really had much in the ways of issues.

I’m not saying this plotline of them having a sibling rivalry is unlikely, every pair of siblings has their moments of clashing no matter how close they are, but, from all I’ve read, I can’t imagine Wilbur would treat Orville like he was stupid and had no idea what he was doing.

Original!Orville: “Just because my brother’s grades are a little better in school, he always acts like I’m stupid!” This is actually true, barring the end part.

While there’s nothing to imply Orville ever did badly in school, he was quite bright and curious after all, he never seemed interested in pursuing higher education. He dropped out of high school and never had plans to go to college.

Wilbur excelled in school and he had high aspirations for his scholastic future, not only planning on finishing high school and going on to college, but choosing Yale as his college of choice. It was only after he badly injured his face in a hockey game as a teen that he abandoned those plans. He had lost his front teeth and suffered other injuries that left him in a lasting and deep depression. He, like his brother would, dropped out of high school and abandoned his plans for college, choosing to stay home, read and care for his ailing mother.

Again, though, I doubt Wilbur ever treated Orville like he was stupid because of whatever difference in their grades may have been.

The art is killing me. Tokio is just staring over Orville’s head as he talks to him.

By the way, I’m not going to discuss all of the controversy in regards to whether the Wright Brothers were really the first to invent the airplane. By all intents and purposes, and simplified as much as possible, they did. We can “Well, technically” and “But what about” until the cows come home, but in the end I feel confident in saying that they were the first. As much as I love doing research on random topics for these reviews, I really don’t feel like combing through hundreds of pages of articles debating this topic, especially since most of the articles I did read still ended up with conclusions stating the same thing, which is “We may never know for absolute certain who invented the airplane first, but the general consensus and evidence we have still support the Wright Brothers.” If you, personally, have a different view, that’s fine, I won’t fight you on it, this isn’t a hill I want to die on, just know that, in regards to criticizing and legitimizing the history covered in this episode, we are going to take them inventing the airplane as gospel.

Speaking of being technically correct, they ignore the fact that Wilbur and Orville were actually two of seven children. Orville and Wilbur had two older brothers, Reuchlin and Lorin, and one younger sister, Katharine. They also had twin siblings, Otis and Ida, but, sadly, they died when they were infants. They didn’t need to bring them up, and there was really no organic way to do it anyway, I just wanted explain that they’re not the only Wright siblings. I’m particularly disappointed that we won’t be able to discuss Katharine because she was a huge supporter of her brothers throughout their engineering of the airplane and helped them with building and testing. She wasn’t officially an engineer, but she was definitely mechanically inclined, and she was a key player in the woman’s suffrage movement in Ohio. She’s a very interesting person, but I understand why she’s not here. Not only are there the time constraints and difficulty in fitting her into the story to consider, but Katharine would only be about seven at this point, so she’s not really doing much besides being a typical little girl.

Orville originally says Tokio and him are brothers now. Tokio’s the older brother, Orville’s the middle and Wing is the little brother. In the dub, it’s the same, but instead of calling them brothers he calls them all expert flyers.

I love how Orville and Tokio’s big plan to get back at their older siblings and teach them to respect their little brothers was to mock them and then leave. That’s literally it. The entire plan. They went back to ‘protest’ their older siblings, bii-daa’d them, left, dicked around for few hours and then said ‘Well, I’m sure they’ve learned their lesson now.’

Tony: “Boy, I’m afraid our plans have started to backfire.” Boy, I’m afraid your dialogue has started to seem really awkward.

I love how the dub is also including propeller sounds when Tony, Orville and Wing are flying by when they’re clearly flying with regular wings and should be accompanied by wing flap sounds.

They change the animation of TP Lady whipping Wing to one that lasts a little longer and involves her waving it around a little more…..*shrug*

Name Plate Removed:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Change: Waruwing is changed to Wing-kon.

Orville originally just exclaimed that Wing transformed. In the dub…

Orville: “This will have Wilbur shakin’ in his boots!” Orville, read the room.

Being fair, though, it doesn’t take long for original Orville to join him in being a little sociopath.

Waruwing attacks Ridon, sending Genshi, Sora and Wilbur hurdling through the air, and Orville responds by smiling and happily yelling that that will teach Wilbur a lesson.

Hey, guys, you want to hear a not-so-fun fact? Orville was the pilot on the first ever fatal airplane crash. On September 17, 1908, he took part in a flying demonstration on the Wright Military Flyer when the blade of a propeller split and hit a bracing wire, causing the propeller to shatter, the bracing wire to break free and the rudder to swivel to a horizontal position, causing the plane to veer out of control and nosedive into the ground. As a result, 26-year-old Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge was jettisoned into a wooden upright, causing a severe skull fracture which would prove fatal in mere hours. Orville had a fractured femur, four fractured ribs and a hip fractures that would continue to affect him for the rest of his life, though he did recover enough to work just fine.

What I’m trying to say is, Orville, flying is really dangerous, and your brother can’t learn any lessons if he’s a big red stain on the ground. So maybe not cheer when a living fighter plane crashes into him as he’s perched precariously on the backseat of a flying robot dinosaur bike above the clouds.

Also, if I can’t imagine Wilbur treating Orville like a useless idiot no matter what age they are, I certainly can’t imagine real-life Orville being giddy at his brother being in mortal danger.

Dub!Orville: “I want him to scare my brother so much he turns bright green!”…..Wh…how would that happen?

Waruwing’s little black wing dart things don’t have a name in the original. In the dub, they’re called Petra Darts.

Original!Orville: “Stop it! Brother is going to get hurt!” Oh NOW you care.

Dub!Orville: “Please, Wing! I didn’t mean it! I was just kidding!” No, you weren’t, you liar.

Orville originally calls out to Wing, but in the dub he tells Tony and Flint (I think) to get out of Wing’s way.

Rocky: *getting grabbed by Petra’s ship’s giant hand* “It’s a handasaurus!” Rocky, goddammit.

Hahaha, that shot of Orville falling right before Waruwing catches him. My god. It’s literally just a single oddly drawn unmoving frame of Orville straight on while the background moves. Wow.

TP Lady says her face is all muddy now. Dyna and Mite tell her she’s beautiful even with a muddy face. She should flap her wings and head to the sky like an angel…..I really don’t see how that makes sense other than they’re referencing the fact that they’re flying away right now.

Petra says she’s sick of being thwarted by Flint and his friends, she’s getting crazed with anger, and she won’t let them humiliate her again. Dino and Mite then say she should have worn her seatbelt, but it’s a good thing they did, Petra puts on her seatbelt before they fly off and leave. Sooo…Petra made a big declaration acting like she was about to attack again, then leaves?

Wilbur: “We decided from now on for the both of us to come up with ideas and make the airplane together.”

Aw that’s nice.

*Orville immediately produces a model biplane* Where the actual hell did you get that?! In the few minutes between TP Lady leaving and now how did you somehow build a wooden plane that perfectly exemplifies your combined ideas in a design that surpasses concepts that shouldn’t exist for like 20 more years? That doesn’t even look like the Wright Flyer, it looks like a more advanced biplane.

Tokio says things are better when siblings get along. Sora says with a pointed look “You say that now….” And Tokio gets a nervous/goofy expression on his face. In the dub, Tony’s responding to Wilbur talking about the ‘aeroplane’ and says “Yeah, that’ll be great. You can bet on it. Right, Sora?”

And then Sora says with her expression of suspicion “How about it, bro? Are we friends?” And Tony responds with the weird expression “Yeah.”

If they forgot everything involving the kids and Wing…..doesn’t that technically mean that Orville and Wilbur would just forget that they made up?

Old Timer: “If those two brothers hadn’t learned to get along, we’d still be traveling by horse and buggy.” No, no you wouldn’t. First of all, the automobile will be invented five years from this point. Second of all, I guess let’s just bop this topic one more time, many other people were testing with flying machines when the Wright Brothers had invented the airplane to the point where there were a ton of legal issues and controversy to this day about who actually invented the airplane first. If not them, you can rest assured the airplane would be invented, tested and patented in roughly the same amount of time. Who knows how different the world of aviation would be, but we’d definitely have airplanes.

Also, Sora and Tokio go back to fighting because they love each other so much and nothing was learned.

I wasn’t expecting the two to be best friends or anything, and I was definitely expecting the status quo to be restored by the next episode, but we’re literally exactly where we started. Sarah pestering Tokio about how he’s doing his homework wrong, him getting upset and Ototan explaining that they fight because they’re so close, which is a bit of a toxic mindset. My sister used to insult me and get into fights with me all the time, and I never once felt like it was because she cared about me.

Actually, let’s dissect this further. If a big sibling yells at you for being reckless or getting in trouble or something, then yeah, it’s reasonable to believe that they just love you and don’t want to see you get hurt. As children/teenagers themselves, they might not know how to protect you from these things without losing their temper or treating you like a little kid. But when it comes to acting like you’re stupid, being condescending and just overall being an ass, that’s not caring or love, that’s just, well, being an ass.

This episode was entirely Orville and Tokio getting treated badly by their older siblings and them having to learn a lesson while Wilbur and Sora just kinda went back to what they were doing. Wilbur seemed to have grown, but Sora clearly hasn’t. She didn’t even lend Tokio a kind word about how brave he was to tackle Waruwing so they could get a chance to escape or how heroic he was in catching Genshi when he fell. She just complains that he’s not understanding her explanations of his homework again.

Flint: “Oh yeah? Well, if that’s really true, I wanna get in on the fight!” See how weird that sounds?

You can really tell how much they were banking on this show being a hit because, after the credits, my copy of the episode keeps these little commercials for the CD of the soundtrack for the show, including the single of the ED performed by Manabi Mizuno, who was so proud of her work on the show that it’s not even listed on her IMDB page. Manabi Mizuno did go off to become a fairly successful singer and voice actress for several anime with a career spanning nearly two decades.

——————————————–

Overall, despite some issues and TERRIBLE art and animation for whatever reason, this was a pretty good episode. Sora and Tokio butting heads has been a recurring enough issue for this plot to be engaging, and having Orville and Wilbur Wright act as their sibling rivalry counterparts was a decent enough choice, even if they really didn’t seem to have issues of that caliber at any point as far as I know.

Wing is a pretty cute Space-Time Monster with an interesting power, and his bad transformation is really cool. It not only has a really interesting design, being a vertical fighter plane with a vulture-like face, but it has two pretty intimidating attacks in a propeller that detaches and launches at his opponents, and two machine guns that shoot razor sharp feather darts.

The aerial battles were some of the best fighting scenes the show has had to offer so far. Being in the air changes the game quite a bit and makes it more exciting considering that, without Ridon, Genshi can’t fly. And he may be durable, but not even he couldn’t survive a fall from like 30,000 feet.

History-wise, there were some questionable things, but they actually got most things right…..or…should I say WRIGHT? Hahahahahahaha…..hah…..*cough*

Most of the stuff I went on about was just either built on conjecture, slight nitpicking or just things I found interesting that I wanted an excuse to share. The worst of it was the very ending where Orville magically produces a perfect biplane replica out of thin air after the battle with TP Lady. How? How? How?

Being fair, considering how they’ve been lately about this stuff, it’s much better than I ever feared. At least they didn’t have Wing build the plane for them and then they forget Wing and take credit for inventing it or something. And the stuff Orville learned from Wing was stuff that is very much akin to things Orville and Wilbur were researching in real life during adulthood. They studied birds and their wing shapes to help them design the wings of their future planes, creating the concept of “wing warping” which would help stabilize the plane in flight and allow for better control.

In the show, Orville learned about flying from watching Wing, who is technically a bird, and observing how everything else flew when Wing gave them the ability to fly with those bird wings. Of course, he couldn’t really learn much from that considering Wing’s powers seem more magic than realistic. I mean, they fly with their wings perfectly still, tiny wings could flip TP Lady’s ship, etc. but this is another moment where I’m just being a bit nitpicky.

If there’s one thing I’m very hung up on about this whole story is….they’ve been trying to build the world’s first airplane….They have a Space-Time Monster who can make anything fly, they’re battling a woman who has a flying cat-shaped spaceship and they’re befriending people who have a flying dinosaur bicycle. Why are they not more amazed by this stuff? Why are they not asking more questions? Why are they not taking notes on how these things work?

Next time, TP Lady takes control of Ammon, putting Kyoichiro in danger.

….Previous Episode


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