Plot: The group heads to ancient Greece to find Musclun – a Space-Time Monster that can give people massive muscles, super strength and super speed. When they arrive, they find that an aspiring Olympic athlete, Damon, is using Musclun’s powers to cheat in order to win races at the Olympics.
Title Change: Entering the Olympics with Musclun?! is changed to Muscles.
Ms. Aino tells the girls to run three more laps and the boys to run five more. In the dub, she tells everyone to do five more laps.
Ms. Aino says Genshi’s not easy to pick on (She’s teaching PE right now and is trying to punish him by making him work more, but Genshi being Genshi, he enjoys it.) In the dub, she says “Hm, he must’ve eaten his oatmeal.”
Sora tells Tokio he’s just awful (at running). Sarah cheers Tony on.
Uhm….what the hell? Sora tells Tokio that Ms. Aino has a point and says it’s weird that he’s so bad at running when he puts so much effort into soccer and baseball. Tokio responds by saying games are fun, but running is monotonous and boring. In the dub, Sarah basically just agrees that he’s a bad athlete in general and points out that he needs to be in great shape in order to be a Time Detective. She is literally sitting right next to two other kids who are listening intently to this conversation. Are they not trying to hide what they do at all? I’m so confused. Also, Tokio’s lines are changed to saying there’s more to life than running and he finds it boring.
Ms. Aino tells Tokio that running is the basis of all sports, and if he doesn’t learn the basics, he’ll never build a good foundation. In the dub, she says he has to work it, work it, work it and then laments on how lazy the youth of today is.
When Ms. Aino tells them to run 20 more laps, Tokio yells “Why?!” In the dub, he and the other kids yell “Yes, Ms. Iknow!” It’s just weird because Tokio’s facial expression doesn’t match what he’s saying in the dub.
Ms. Aino thinks to herself, “If you want to blame anyone, blame Genshi.” Ms. Iknow thinks, “Hehehe, I love watching them sweat.” Please phrase that in a less creepy manner.
So now Putera is coming to school out in the open and is loudly talking about Space-Time Monster stuff. Okay, I guess they really don’t keep it a secret.
The original has them learning about Musclun after they’ve already arrived in 4th century Greece. In the dub, they learn about it on the Time Cycle then splice in old animation of them time traveling before they get to ancient Greece. I actually prefer the dub because it seems weird that they’d leave before learning anything of the Space-Time Monster.
Name Change: Musclun is changed to Muscles.
With the spliced in animation we get some extra lines, including Rocky saying ancient Greece has some great food like moussaka, spanakoita and baklava, none of which existed in 4th century Greece. Also, why exactly does Rocky, the caveman, know so much about Greek food?
The original says they’re in 4th century Greece, which does line up with when the original Olympic games were held in Olympia (8th century BC to 4th century AD.) The dub claims this is 4 BC, which…no. Even if they put “century” in there, it would be the wrong date. 4th century Greece would indicate AD not BC.
Sora says they’d hold sports competitions instead of battling, which started the first Olympics. This is oddly phrased but technically correct a little kinda. In the dub, Sora says the Olympics started out as religious and athletic festivals that eventually evolved into the Olympic games that we know today, which is surprisingly more accurate and even included a mention of religion. Wow.
They reverse and replay a short bit of Tokio talking to Genshi about the games in order to give him more dialogue.
I find it hard to believe that Genshi has been living in the modern world and been going to school for so long at this point but he doesn’t know what sports are. They literally listed two sports earlier and indicated that Tokio was very active in both.
Tokio is impressed this guy can keep up with Genshi. In the dub, Tony says she thought Sarah ran fast, but these guys are way faster. Flint was running with you guys earlier and showed how fast he was. Sarah never seemed to be noticeably fast.
For some reason, they cut out the shot of the two when they’re shown jumping. I think, maybe, because you can see their underwear?
Also, this makes the dub only have two cutaway images, making the flow of the scene kinda wonky.
Split-second, but, again, they cut out a shot where you can see their underwear after they fall down.
So this guy is Damon – a name so vague it’s a bit of a pain to try and figure out if they even modeled this guy on anyone at all. There is a notable figure in Greek legends that supposedly existed around this time period, but he had nothing to do with the Olympics. He was one of the main figures in the story of Damon and Pythias. When Pythias was accused of conspiring against the tyrant, Dionysius, he was sentenced to death. However, he wanted one last chance to say goodbye to his friends and family.
He obviously wasn’t going to be allowed to leave without Dionysius having some leverage, so Damon offered to take his place in jail until Pythias returned. If he didn’t return within an agreed upon time, Damon would be executed in Pythias’ stead. Dionysius had no faith that Pythias would return, but Damon never gave up on his friend, and Pythias never gave up either. He returned as he said he would and saved Damon’s life. He was willing to accept his punishment, but Dionysius was so moved that he let them go. Some sources even claim he was so moved by their friendship and love that he asked to be their third friend, but they shot him down.
The balls on this guy. “Hey, I know I just nearly killed both of you for absolutely no reason, but can I be your pal?”
And, yes, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas was based very heavily on this legend.
So….what is this, really? They just found a Greek figure from around the same time period and decided to make him an Olympic athlete? Why? There are many people that we know participated in the ancient Olympics. Why not use one of them? I feel like they kinda gave up on this show being even partially educational.
They repeat a bit of Sarah talking after Tony talks about Damon’s muscles.
Okay, what? Now they leave in a clear underwear shot of Flint? I’m so confused.
Name plate removed.
Damon doesn’t know what training is while in the dub he says he’s trained before but it never works out. The dub makes more sense because you’re telling me an aspiring athlete in ancient Greece doesn’t know what training is?
I’m honestly surprised some of these training shots made it into the dub. There’s one shot where they’re holding weights while standing perched over lit candles so if they relax they’ll either get burned or they’ll get a candle straight up their ass. One kinda shocked me – they’re meant to hold weights with their arms held straight out to the sides, and they have knives tied to their upper arms so if they relax their arms they STAB THEMSELVES.
Kyoichiro says he’s taken in too much sunlight, which is why he’s weakening so quickly. In the dub, he says his outfit will never be the same and he was never meant to sweat.
Why would TP Lady tell Musclun to attack Genshi? It would just make him like ten times more powerful.
TP Lady says “She’ll be fine….I think?” When Musclun uses its powers on Sora. In the dub, she says “We’re in big trouble.”
It’s so weird that Damon’s transformation is painless and quick, but when Sora gets affected by it, it’s massively painful and takes forever.
Okay, so now we’re at the point in the next episode preview from last time that gave me pause. When Sora gets affected by Musclun….for some reason…..she just gets super tall. And while she’s transforming, Kyoichiro uses his magic cloak to dress her, because her clothes are starting to rip off…..and he dresses her……in a playboy bunny-esque maid-ish costume.
I can’t watch this without thinking “Someone had a very specific fetish and wanted to act it out in this episode…..with a child….”
It doesn’t even make sense. Musclun’s ability does also make the target taller, just for the sake of aesthetics I presume, but it’s main ability is to give the target massive muscles, super strength and speed. Why does Sora get no new muscles? Why does she become a cast member of Attack on Titan? The absolute only reason I can imagine is that Musclun’s powers don’t fully affect girls because…I have no idea besides sexism. Writing-wise the only reason I can come up with circles back around to the fetish thing. Big muscles aren’t a part of that fantasy, I guess.
The other thing you have to keep in mind with this transformation is that Sora gets MUCH bigger than Damon did. Damon just looked like he was a six-foot-tall muscular adult when he was like five foot-ish without Musclun’s powers. When Sora transforms, Tokio only comes up to her thigh. She looks to be about 15 feet tall or more.
Oh and what’s the first thing that happens to her after she transforms and gets her bunny costume on? Musclun settles itself between her boobs. What’s the second thing? Kyoichiro gushes over how she looks.
What the actual fuck were they thinking with this development? This is extremely disturbing. And even more confusingly, what the actual fuck was Saban thinking when they approved dubbing this episode? They just clipped out two shots because Genshi and some dude were showing their undies, but a 12 year old having a lengthy transformation sequence into a giant wearing a mix between a playboy bunny outfit and a maid costume is A-okay?
I know we’re collectively more aware of these strange-ass fetishes now than we were back then, but even so, she’s very clearly being sexualized right now, and Saban is rolling with it. They even left in the stuff with Musclun on her chest and Kyoichiro being turned on by it.
What the hell? Just, god, what the hell?
Oh well, at least that’s the only grossly offensive thing in this episode.
Ammon asks where he even kept a costume like that………Wait….so it’s not fully magic….It’s a costume he had at the ready? He just magically dressed her in with his dressing-room cloak? That’s so much worse. WHY did he have a giant bunny maid costume?
OH MY GOD. They even have an imaginary shot where Sora turns back to normal and is trying to cover her naked body because, being normal size, the costume would no longer fit and would fall off of her……and SABAN KEPT THIS TOO! I don’t even want to really continue watching this episode. I feel so icky right now.
The dub does have her imply that she’s more thinking about not wanting to go through a transformation again, but the imagery clearly implies that she’s trying to cover herself. Just cut out the half-naked shot, show a static image of her now and have that explanation in dialogue. I am forever baffled by the decisions they keep making.
Speaking of which….blackface.
Yup, Warusclu is using blackface, complete with dreads and big lips.
This entire episode can go to hell. Just as deep into hell as you can get.
Why is it even being given blackface? Why does a muscles-based Space-Time Monster translate to blackface or even a black person? Just because it’s meant to resemble a dumbbell and….dumbbells are….black? At least in this point in time blackface was finally starting to be taken seriously. This is basically the same year the Jynx controversy in Pokemon started, causing them to change Jynx into a purple color forever. I don’t know why this never affected Flint the Time Detective. I know it’s not nearly as popular, but certainly they got many messages about it. Were they just not on the air long enough for them to bother?
Name Change: Warusclu is changed to Muscles-con…Yes, it sounds awkward that way. They should have just called him Muscle-con.
Name plate removed.
It makes absolutely no sense that powers a person got from a base stage Space-Time Monster made them able to easily defeat a Bad Transformation version of that same Space-Time Monster.
Pterry: *as Sarah’s beating up Muscles-con* “I guess this is why women were originally kept out of the Olympics!” Why would you say that? Why would they write that line? Yes, let’s turn a depressing note in the long, long, long history of sexism into a joke. Haha, women weren’t allowed to participate in the Olympics because they were 15 foot tall leviathans with super strength and the men were too scared of them or something.
Women weren’t only not allowed to participate in the Olympics, to the extent that athletes and trainers had to appear in the nude to prove they were men, they originally weren’t even able to spectate them. If they were caught spectating, there was a law that said they would be “cast down from Mount Typaeum into the river flowing below.” This was seemingly never carried out, but the law still existed.
Unmarried women were allowed to watch the events, but only because it acted as a means of finding them suitable husbands.
This doesn’t mean women never competed in the ancient Olympics or even that they never won any ancient Olympic games. They did a couple times, but they had to use loopholes. The loopholes came in the sport of horse racing. Basically, this wasn’t really a sport, per se. The credit for winning the events was always given to the people who owned and trained the horses, not the racers (who were usually slaves). However, women were never officially banned from the event because breeding and caring for horses was so costly and women just didn’t have a lot of money back then since they weren’t viewed as having the rights to large sums of money, land, etc.
In came Cyniska, who, being from a wealthy family and literally being a Spartan princess, allowed her the funds and means to breed and train her own horses and enter them into the races, which they won. She then tried again in the next Olympics and once again won.
However, sexism being sexism, even though she technically won the events, she wasn’t allowed into the stadium to watch the event or collect her prize. She was, however, allowed to have a series of bronze statues set in Zeus’ sanctuary with an engraving that read “I declare myself the only woman in all Hellas to have won this crown.” Which, yeah, is pretty cool, but I don’t really see it as the win it’s made out to be. She did train the horses and raised them, but she didn’t race them. She wasn’t even present at the event, so it just kinda makes the victory seem a little hollow. Not to mention that only women who happened to be super rich somehow could abuse this loophole anyway, which they did numerous times after Cyniska’s wins.
Cyniska is a testament to Spartan women, who were encouraged to participate in sports and other intense exercise, unlike other Greek women who were barred from practicing or learning about pretty much any activity involving a lot of physical excursion that wasn’t baby making…..which, while being a step in the right direction, was also a tiny bit sexist because the reason they supported women partaking in sports and exercise was because they believed it would help them produce the strongest male offspring….
But things weren’t all bad for women athletes because they did have their own version of the Olympics called the Heraean Games. Named after the goddess, Hera, queen of the Olympian gods and wife of Zeus, the Heraean Games were held every four years right after the Olympics. The prizes were quite similar to those given out at the Olympics – you get a crown of olive leaves and portraits and/or statues with engravings that would be placed in honor of Hera.
There were still some caveats here. The only events were a variety of races, and married women were still not allowed to compete. They were obviously allowed to watch this time, though.
What I’m trying to say is sexism is shit, and this episode is awful.
“But Twix,” someone, somewhere says in order to fill the role of being a strawman here, “Sora is kicking butt! That’s not sexist at all!” Yeah, she is kicking butt……while yelling and crying. Anything she’s doing to Warusclu isn’t because she’s actively trying to fight. She’s basically panic-fighting. He might as well be a wasp that she’s trying desperately to swat away from her.
Sora is noted as being more athletic than Tokio, at least in regards to regular exercise, I don’t know if she plays any sports, but that’s about it. I don’t even understand what we’re supposed to get from this in terms of a possibly feminist message, if one even exists (if that’s what Pterry was trying to convey with that comment) because she’s not using her own skills and athleticism to win this fight – she’s using Musclun’s power boost.
As Sora is grappling with Warusclu, Kyoichiro takes pictures of her….including one of her ass. Try to convince me this has nothing to do with fetishism….Also, again, Saban left the butt shot in. Screw you, Saban. What the hell are you doing?
Sora wins the fight by throwing Warusclu then cries because she’s sick of fighting and begs Genshi to help her…..
Damon is chasing after Warusclu only deciding to take it as a race after Genshi suggests it. In the dub, he instantly decides to race him.
Genshi points out that their race is the Olympics. He tells Damon that instead of fighting Warusclu, they should do sports. In the dub, Damon asks Flint if he thinks they can catch him, and he says he doesn’t know.
Flint: “Alright, it’s a race! Last one to the Parthenon is a rotten egg!” How the shit does Flint know what the Parthenon is when he thought the Olympics were a food ten minutes ago? In the original, he just called it a building.
Damon says “A race to the Parthenon?! Impossible!” In the dub, he says “Can’t….lose!”
Sora’s voice when she’s enlarged is noticeably deeper than when she’s normal sized. Before, the dub kept her regular voice but added an echo effect when she was larger. At this point in the episode, they stopped using it for some reason.
It’s very weird that they’re having Sora run in slow motion just because she’s giant.
TP Lady asks what Warusclu is doing competing in this race. In the dub, she says it will be easier to defeat them when they’re worn out from this race.
In the original, Tokio points out that TP Lady is cheating, and she says she doesn’t care what’s fair or what she has to do as long as she wins. Damon then says “You can’t do that!” before realizing he was doing the exact same thing by trying to use Musclun’s powers to win at the Olympics. They try to convey this in the dub, but, man, is it clunky. Tony says “Don’t worry, I can save him….” And Petra responds, “Hey I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but some of us lose and some of us win!” Then Damon chimes in with “Winning is everything!” before his inner monologue cuts in with his realization that he’s as bad as her. Why cut out the stuff about cheating? And why change his line to something so awkward? Why would he suddenly yell that winning is everything (in an assured tone, not a questioning one) when his enemy just taunted them saying that same thing?
The hammer robot thing TP Lady has isn’t given an introduction in the original. In the dub, Dyna says “From Japan, it’s Louie and his flying hammers!”
As a result of the lack of focus on cheating in the dub, the end message is kinda messed up. In the original, Damon picking up Musclun so they can cross the finish line together is them winning without cheating. In the dub, Damon picks up Muscles so they can win the race together – which defeats the purpose of learning that winning isn’t everything.
So…..where the hell IS everyone? They’re in ancient Greece right before the Olympics, supposedly, and yet the only person from this era that I’ve seen this entire episode is Damon. There aren’t even any background extras.
I would think that Ms. Aino would get fired for making her students run non-stop for hours while she’s away. I’d also think some of those kids would say “fuck it” and quit. It’s literally sunset right now. They should be going home and reporting Ms. Aino to her superiors.
*sigh* So before I go off on my obvious “This episode was awful” spiel, I will go over some things I liked.
I liked that Sora got one legitimate instance of helping fight without being objectified or crying.
I liked the message in the original that cheating is not the way to come out on top. No matter how good winning seems, it will never feel genuine unless you do it on your own merits.
I liked the IDEA of going back to ancient Greece and having a storyline around an Olympic athlete who is struggling to achieve such a goal without cheating.
I like that the episode has a bit of a pro-exercise message, even if it didn’t really commit.
That’s about it.
Now for my spiel.
This episode was awful. Quite frankly, I feel about as exhausted with it as Tokio and Kyoichiro did from exercising so much. I knew this episode would be bad, but not quite this bad. They barely teach you anything about the Olympics or ancient Greece. They don’t even focus on an actual historical figure from ancient Greece or the Olympics. They pretty much only lifted the name of a person in a Greek legend and went with it. They didn’t talk about the legend associated with that person at all either.
It really feels like this entire episode was used as an excuse to get Sora into that form and outfit. If so, whoever made that decision, please go seek help and then go to hell.
And just throwing blackface in there so flippantly, just…why?
Next time, Ms. Aino/TP Lady seduces Ototan and turns him against Genshi.
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