Probably my favorite episode so far. I love what they did to this story, and it shows growth in both Zakuro and Mint.
One of the issues that I had with the original versions of this story is that Mint doesn’t get to be that involved with the resolution. Ichigo, as leader/main character, gets to the be the one who inspires and convinces Zakuro to join their team.
In this version, however, Mint is the one taking center stage, and she subverts your expectations. Instead of desperately trying to convince Zakuro to join them, Mint shows that she understands where Zakuro is coming from, respects her decisions and just wants to protect her so she can do what she actually wants to do. She merely asks if she’ll allow them to protect her from Kisshu – doing what they do best and what they want to do.
From what she said in the previous episode, it makes perfect sense that she’d decide against pestering Zakuro to join them and just let her do what she wants and find her own way. They can have all the faith in the world that Zakuro will be an ally and a fellow Mew Mew someday, but that’s her own choice to make.
Not only was this a very mature and respectful choice, but Zakuro was extremely impressed if not captivated by how fierce and determined Mint was when telling her this. Mint’s demeanor and expression were the polar opposite of the starstruck fangirl lost in a fantasy that Zakuro saw before. Mint had become more mature and stronger, which is something Zakuro also wants for herself.
When she saw how hard Mint was fighting to protect her, even getting hurt in the process, it struck a chord with Zakuro and gave her the drive to transform and join the fight. I thought this was a fantastic reimagining of Zakuro’s origin story, and it really made me feel like the other Mews truly do have more agency and purpose in this show instead of just being props to support The Ichigo Show.
Also, I DEFINITELY like this more than the 4Kids dub that insinuated that Zakuro/Renee was forced by her Mew Mew nature to protect the other Mews and join them.
I also love how the other Mew Mews had unwavering faith in Mint and supported her in whatever her decision was with Zakuro. It really shows how much their friendship has truly grown.
While I did really love this episode, there were some weak points. I think the antics of running around trying to sneak into the studio were drawn out a bit too long. It was entertaining, but it just felt like they were twiddling their thumbs after a while.
Also, Kisshu’s plan, while at least being less random this time around, was clearly not planned very well. He didn’t have an actual Chimera Anima this time. All he had were the Parasite Animas. We did learn that the parasites can merge into a giant insectoid creature, which is cool, but you’d think Kisshu would be better prepared with actual Chimera Animas to try to assassinate a Mew Mew, especially knowing the other four were likely going to be there to defend her.
The music stuff cannot shake this tinge of commercialism. The music sequences fit better in this episode than they did in episode four, but it still feels like it’s a bit crammed in there for the sake of soundtrack sales…..I did like the song, but I can’t help but feel that way.
Finally, you can’t tell me the cameras didn’t catch Zakuro transforming. In the original anime, she ran off and transformed to save the others. I didn’t catch this before, apparently, but she also transforms in front of the cameras in the manga. Zakuro’s identity should 100% be revealed right now. In the anime, she was even on a stage with spotlights on her when she transformed.
All in all, I really love this version of the story, and I’m still really enjoying this reboot so far. Onto episode seven!
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Plot: Ikki, Erika, Karin, Koji and Henry investigate the rumors of the Gimme Ghost – a ghost in the woods who terrorizes Medafighters until they hand over their medals.
Mistyghost: A GHT Metabot, Mistyghost’s design is based off of yuurei and have will o’ the wisps for arms. It can also project illusions to trick its opponents.
Ikki vs. Rubber Robo Gang:Winner – Ikki: Mistyghost forfeited its head.
Breakdown: Today’s episode starts with The Phantom Renegade flashily stealing medals from some….place that stores medals. Later, Henry tries to get Ikki and Erika to gush about the Phantom Renegade because he is the Phantom and wants an ego boost, but the two don’t give a crap about him. Instead, Erika relays a story she heard about the Gimme Ghost – a ghost who haunts the woods at night and forces Medafighters into giving it their medals. Ikki is terrified of the ghost, but Erika finds it to be an incredibly exciting article idea.
They’re soon met by Karin and Koji who are coming to ask for help with the Gimme Ghost. Koji was recently a victim of the ghost. His Sumilidon was damaged and his medals were stolen when he was in the woods the previous night.
That evening, the kids, their Medabots and Henry go off into the woods to confront the Gimme Ghost when Henry suddenly vanishes. Koji, for some reason, is acting like it’s ridiculous that it’d be the ghost and that they’re crazy for thinking anything’s in the woods……Uhm, excuse me, Koji, out of everyone in this group, you’re the only one who has had an encounter with the Gimme Ghost. You must have seen and fought it considering it beat Sumilidon and took all your medals. Why are acting as if the thing you seemingly know exists doesn’t exist? I get that it’s a big tough guy thing, but it doesn’t make sense.
Koji gets so agitated that he storms off ahead of everyone, the darkness eventually getting so bad that he gets separated from the others despite them being on a path. They suddenly hear him scream, making the others panic. It’s too dark for them to continue on or look for Koji and Henry.
….So….do none of these Medabots have lights? Out of all the things these Medabots can do, including miracle-healer NeutraNurse, having simple lights isn’t one of them?
Erika and Karin soon start feeling things touching them and weird slime starts dripping on their shoulders. Then little floating lights appear next to them. I have to say, for a show as goofy as Medabots, they’re definitely doing the best they can to make a creepy and mysterious atmosphere here, and I appreciate that.
They’re quickly met with the floating giant glowing yellow ‘eyes’ of the Gimme Ghost, who, as its namesake suggests, starts demanding “Gimme your medals!” Erika, Ikki, Karin, Brass and NeutraNurse run off, leaving Metabee, who wants to fight the ghost, alone. Ikki somehow gets separated from the girls, who are then cornered by the ghost. As Ikki runs off, he trips and falls over the unconscious body of Koji.
The Phantom Renegade shows up, explains who he is to Ikki, and then tells him to go home. Ikki runs off to find Erika and Karin only to find Brass and NeutraNurse who are empty shells because they had their Medals stolen.
I don’t really understand this. When Medabots aren’t in battle, they don’t have their Medals in them, right? Medafighters keep the Medals in their medawatches to allow them to communicate with and teleport their Medabots whenever they’re challenged to a Robattle. Many times, a Medafighter will put the Medal into their Medabot before a match, but otherwise they keep the Medal in their watch. Also, sometimes, when a Robattle is over, the loser will have their Medals pop out of their backs as a sort of sign that they’re definitively defeated.
In none of these circumstances do the Medabots end up being empty powerless shells because their Medal was not in their backs. I know that Medals act as the Medabots’ minds and kinda souls, but I don’t get why removing them would have that effect when it doesn’t any other time. Is it just a matter of the Medal being too far away from either the medawatch or the Medabot which causes this?
Also, that really sucks from a practicality standpoint. Imagine if you spent thousands of dollars on a Medabot for your kid but then it’s rendered useless because they lost the Medal? The Medals are the size of quarters. It wouldn’t be difficult for anyone to accidentally lose it, especially a kid, and especially since you take it out often or it pops out after a Robattle. It should just be like they can still be active and do stuff, but they have no personality and are creepily robotic…..pun not intended.
In a panic, Ikki grabs Koji and bolts through the woods. Koji wakes up while he’s being carried and demands Ikki put him down, but he won’t listen, causing him to accidentally fall backwards. Ikki still won’t stop running and keeps dragging him through the forest, leaving Koji unconscious again when they stop. It’s actually pretty funny.
Ikki stops at a cabin in the middle of the woods that has light coming from the windows. He approaches, believing he can ask for help, when he hears a voice inside counting Medals. He peeks through a crack in the door and spots Karin and Erika tied up and gagged on the floor while the perpetrator spouts exposition about how they started the ghost story to keep people away from their hideout, but it caused so many kids to come looking for the ghost that they were able to take the Medals of what looks like thousands of kids. They’re kinda taking the piss out on this clunky dialogue, though, because the next thing they say is that they’ll run their fingers through the Medals and laugh maniacally.
Why would you need to make up a ghost story to keep people away from your hideout that seems to be miles deep in the woods?
Anyway, it’s the Rubber Robo Gang, just in case you thought it’d be someone interesting.
Ikki gets found out, and, despite the fact that he knows the Gimme Ghost is the Rubber Robo Gang and he can see them doing the tricks to making the Gimme Ghost effects, he’s still going on about the Gimme Ghost and running around like a scared fool.
Ikki finally calls Metabee, who swiftly knocks them on their asses.
The Phantom Renegade shows up again, having saved Karin (Who would rather hug Metabee than Ikki) and Erika, but stole all of the Medals from the Rubber Robo Gang.
Pissed off, the RRG challenges Ikki to a Robattle using Mistyghost, the Metabot they used for their main tricks and illusions involving the Gimme Ghost.
Once the referee shows up, the Robattle starts. Mistyghost lures Metabee into the woods, emerging as several copies. The RRG claims Mistyghost has the power to multiply, but Ikki says a power like that should be impossible. Again, Neutranurse can instantly repair Medabots and heal wounds on living beings. I don’t think anything is outside of the realm of possibility for Medabots.
Ikki tells Metabee that if Mistyghost is multiplying, Metabee has to start subtracting. He has to use his lasers to take them all out until the numbers are down to zero. Then Metabee says;
Metabee: “I got a better idea. I’ll blast them ‘til there’s none left!”
Yeah….that is uh…literally exactly what he just said.
I don’t get that line at all. They were either implying that Metabee was going against Ikki’s orders when he wasn’t or they were trying to do that thing where a character explains something in overly complicated jargon that the other person can’t understand so the joke becomes that the other person repeats what the first person said in a simpler manner without realizing they actually understood and were just parroting what the first person said. But that doesn’t make any sense because what Ikki said wasn’t that complicated at all. How could anyone possibly be confused by “use your lasers to shoot them all until they’re down to zero”?
Metabee shoots them up, but none of his shots are hitting because the copies aren’t real. The copies corner Metabee on a cliffside, which shouldn’t be possible. Metabee, you’re well aware that they’re not solid objects. Just run towards them to get away from the cliff….
The copies are revealed to be projections that the other RRG members are creating. I don’t really get that, though, because the Index screen said that it can create multiple projections. Why would the RRG need to make their own projections?
Their trick is uncovered by the Phantom Renegade, who is shining a light on the copies to make them vanish. Now that they know which Mistyghost is the real one, Metabee punches it out and wins the match. I don’t agree with that ruling. I understand that the RRG were technically cheating, but they weren’t using an ability that Mistyghost isn’t supposed to have. There were about five or six copies. If Mistyghost can’t manage that many on its own, it doesn’t deserve to have its special ability note be MULTIPLE projections.
And, lets say it accounted for at least half of those projections. What the RRG made wouldn’t have impacted much besides making it harder to tell which is which. However, it’s still kinda dumb because you can CLEARLY tell that some of these copies are see-through. You can’t even use darkness as an excuse for not being able to tell them from the real ones because image projections require a good deal of light. You’d probably be able to tell which was which just based on which ones were glowing.
The Phantom Renegade’s interference was cheating on Metabee’s side, technically. No, TPR isn’t aligned with him, but he still only shined that light on those copies to help Metabee and Ikki.
This doesn’t mean I think the RRG should have won either, but I do think the match should have been stopped and reset.
Ikki wins Mistyghost’s head, even though the RRG ran away immediately after losing.
TPR falls out of the tree.
Ikki: “The Phantom Renegade.”
Erika: “He has our Medals.”
Karin: “Stop him.”
Yes, and after we do that, let’s get some espresso for your voice actors because they’re clearly falling asleep in the studio.
The sack of Medals rips, causing the Medals to spill out everywhere. TPR chooses to run away instead of find a way to scoop up the Medals. The kids laugh at him and claim they can now find the owners of all those Medals and return them to their rightful owners.
There look to be at least hundreds if not thousands of Medals in that bag. How would you be able to find all of the owners of those Medals, let alone ensure that each of them was going to their rightful owners? Did they write their names on them? Because, as far as I know, the Medals don’t contain any private information of the owner of the Medabot in which it belongs.
Koji wakes up, none of them realizing he was even there.
Erika: “Sorry, I think I stepped on your head.”
Koji: “Yeah, that would explain all the grass in my mouth and the loss of my short-term memory.”
Why is Medabots being legitimately funny today?
Henry pops up, pretending like he just got lost, none of them being the wiser that Henry was TPR.
In the end, Erika got to publish her article on the ghost, highlighting Ikki and Metabee’s part, the Medals were all returned, and TPR lived to steal Medals another day.
I was shocked that I didn’t have all that much to talk about in this episode. In fact, other that the Robattle, it’s a pretty solid Scooby-Doo-esque ghost episode.
I really like Mistyghost’s design, though I’m bummed that it’s owned by the RRG and probably won’t ever show up again. The episode managed to actually have some semblance of a spooky ambiance, which surprised me. And they even had some funny jokes. I was kinda impressed, honestly. After numerous episodes of being mostly sloppy and unfunny, it’s nice to see that they can actually pull off something pretty decent, even if it’s still not all that great. Hope that this trend keeps up at the very least sporadically.
One last thing, this is like the third episode in a row where the plot was “Mysterious (x) is challenging and defeating Medafighters left and right, scaring kids all over. Let’s investigate it to find out what it is!” and the second in a row that is literally a Scooby-Doo plot of “we started this monster/ghost rumor to keep people away!” Is there a reason for that?
Next time, Spyke and Cyandog get kicked out the Screws for losing too much. Are they just that bad or is there another issue with their fighting style?
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Plot: In 6th century England, the kids search for Leafy – a Space-Time Monster with the power to control plant life. Along the way, they meet the child version of the legendary King Arthur who, surprisingly, has a severe issue with self-confidence.
In the original, the game they’re playing is called Dragon Fantasy VI, which looks to be a spoof of Final Fantasy. In the dub, it just says “Dragon Game.” Hey, guys, are you pumped for Dragon Game? Coming out on the Game Console? I heard they’re filming the adaptation Dragon Movie soon. It’s gonna be awesome!
Tokio said he was about to beat the dragon and complete stage two. In the dub, he says all he had to do was reach level five and defeat the dragon to become a knight of the round table.
Genshi asks what a hero is. In the dub, Flint mistakes “knight” for “night.”…..You’re telling me, Flint, the kid who has a disturbing addiction to food and brings it up constantly focused more on “knight” than the mention of a table? Character development or the writers missing an obvious joke? You decide.
Genshi just says he wants to be a hero too. In the dub, he says he wants to be a knight of the “brown” table.
I don’t understand the shot orientation of this next sequence. They get a call from Rei while they’re in this playroom and display the video call as if it’s in the same room. However, the wall they’re looking at was clearly entirely blank a minute ago, so it can’t be in the room. And the next part of the scene, they’re walking into the normal video call area where the call is continuing. This is the same way in both the original and the dub. It’s strange.
A shot of Jillian is inserted before the shot of Leafy.
Name Plate removed.
Title Change:Leafy’s Magical Forest is changed to Leafy.
For some reason, they cut out a shot of the flowers and cover up the edit with a transition.
As I mentioned in the previous review, today’s episode is about King Arthur – someone who most likely never existed. Historians have been debating for centuries whether the character of legend was based off of a real person. The best assumption debating for his existence references to an Arthur who lead a Welsh resistance prior to the sixth century. The issue here is that the earliest references to him are believed to have been from a work of poetry or otherwise an exaggerated and fantasized version of a real event or even, to a certain extent, political and religious propaganda. There are some other indications of at least someone named Arthur being involved in battles in the 500s, but no indication that he was a king or any other particularly important or impressive figure.
Obviously, the most notable story of Arthur is the mythical tale written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in History of the Kings of Britain. The story has withstood the test of time, being one of the most well-known ancient tales from around the world and earning many re-tellings, additions, reimaginings and adaptations. In fact, it was the second most popular book in the Middle Ages with the first being the Bible. However, even this tale has been criticized for pushing a political agenda.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, you can read it here, but the main idea is that Arthur was a result of a rape, then he was kidnapped as a baby and raised by a wizard named Merlin. The wizard designated a round table in which 150 knights would attend, headed by Arthur’s father, Uther. But after Uther’s death, the knights would be lost as to who would lead them and head the round table.
Merlin declared that whomever pulled a mystical sword, named Excalibur, from a stone would take Uther’s place. Over the years, many tried to free the sword, but they all failed. Until, however, Arthur came along and yanked it out, not even realizing the prophecy he fulfilled. He then became a powerful, legendary and brave king who was the subject of many incredible stories and romances known as Arthurian legends.
Reportedly, Geoffrey got his inspiration from a book about ancient Welsh history, but no title was given, and no history book containing details of any heroic Arthur have ever been found.
Personally, I’m open to the idea that some heroic figure named Arthur existed and his story was blown massively out of proportion almost immediately. However, I can’t buy that he was a king or even anyone of very significant position otherwise there would be more sources available about his exploits.
It’s great that this tale has been so inspiring and interesting to people – It’s certainly captivating no matter what version you’re reading or watching – but at the end of the day, it’s just fiction. Even if it’s revealed that the character was definitely based on a person they can verify, that person won’t be anywhere near the King Arthur figure people have painted in their minds, and maybe it’s better that way.
But none of this really matters because, before we ever see Arthur in this episode, we know what version of events they’re going for. One of the first things they see when they come out of the portal is a sword in a stone….
So either the writers truly believe the legends are real or they’re dropping any pretense that this is any form of actual educational-ish program based on real history. I’m going to bet the latter.
Either that or they’re just bad at finding legitimate historical events and people to talk about and explore, which, given we’re only on episode 25 with several episodes not even focusing on a historical event or person, that’s pretty sad.
They repeat a shot of Sora talking to extend the scene before the first commercial a little bit.
Tokio just points out, again, that it’s insane Genshi was able to pull the sword from the stone. In the dub, he feels so bad for the people of the village that he wonders if they should just reveal that Flint can pull the sword out and become king to help them. Sora adds that they would have been in deep trouble if the old man (….Is that meant to be Merlin?) had seen Genshi pull out the sword. Sarah says they might reconsider Flint as king once they see how much he eats.
Also…..I don’t know why this is, but the shot is flipped.
Originally, the old man knows Arthur and calls out to him by name when he runs off. In the dub, he doesn’t know him.
How is it possible Arthur knows about the sword in the stone but he’s unaware of the legend of the sword in the stone?
Originally, TP Lady says the castle is a symbol of her love for the Masked Man. In the dub, she says she was worried he’d think it was a bit too froo froo, and they could put up a dartboard or some wood paneling in the den for “that boy look.”
So, yeah, they confirm that King Arthur actually existed and was some legendary hero, not that he was a (possibly mostly) fictional character. Ya know, there’s a difference between not being very educational and teaching kids that fictional stories are real history. I guess there’s no real harm in it for this circumstance, but it’s still really irresponsible to do that to kids.
There’s a short plotline in Kodocha where a little girl believes she can hatch a real chick from a store bought egg. Sana decides to covertly switch her egg with a real chick to make the kid happy, but Akito points out that, while she thinks she’s doing something nice, she’s setting the kid up for a possibly huge embarrassing moment in the future. At some point in her life, that kid is going to learn that you can’t hatch a chick from a store bought egg. Before that happens, she may share her belief with others who know better. Then they’ll make fun of her for such a silly belief, she’ll feel really embarrassed and dumb, she might be upset that Sana lied to and tricked her, and it will negate Sana’s seemingly nice act.
Acting as if the story of King Arthur is historical fact in a supposedly edutainment series is basically the same thing. You’re reinforcing false beliefs in little kids that may make them feel foolish in the future.
This kinda confuses me too, because if they were willing to explore more fictional stories, why the actual hell did they talk about the REAL story of the MASS MURDERER Vlad the Impaler? And they have a Space-Time Monster who can send them into fictional stories, so if they wanted to do a King Arthur story, they could have done it that way. But nope. Just claim Arthurian legends are fact. Whatever.
To make matters worse, they kinda ruined Arthur’s story. Since Genshi yanked the sword from the stone and just placed it back in, literally anyone could have walked over, pulled it out and acted as the chosen one. I know Genshi has super caveman strength, but that’s a magical sword that had a spell placed on it. He still shouldn’t have been unable to free it…..unless they ARE saying Genshi is the chosen one, in which case I don’t know what to think.
Arthur explains that the area beyond the waterfall was a popular spot for children to play in until “that witch” came to town. In the dub, he explains that Leafy is a kind and brave soul that he wanted to be friends with.
What exactly did Leafy do to those kids? Did it legitimately make plants grow OUT of them? Because that’s pretty horrifying…….But if it was just flowers appearing ON them, then it’s weird they’d just run off in horror like that.
Arthur originally says he understands Leafy’s name is….well….Leafy. In the dub, since Leafy can talk and introduce himself, Arthur says he understands that Leafy has the power to grow plants and flowers.
Speaking of Leafy’s power, how exactly is the power to grow plants and flowers helpful in maintaining the time stream, considering that was its main intention was?
This is minor, but in the original, Tokio kinda implies that he’s not understanding who the witch in Arthur’s story is, and Sora responds in an annoyed tone with irritation in her expression that, obviously, it’s TP Lady. In the dub, Tony clearly knows who this witch is, saying “Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?” I guess the expression on Sarah’s face still works here because she’s annoyed by Petra Fina, but still.
Putera yells out for help, and Tokio says he doesn’t want to die. In the dub, Pterry says he can’t swim, and Tony says it doesn’t matter because they’ll get smashed on the rocks anyway. Jeez, Saban. What the hell?
Ammon says manual labor doesn’t suit Kyoichiro. In the dub, she tells him he did a great job and she didn’t take him for the swashbuckling type.
Sora tells Arthur that he’ll get stronger from this point forth. In the dub, she says Flint does stuff like that all time, in regards to saving them from the waterfall. Sarah, it’s really not helpful to tell someone who feels inferior to another that they do the super impressive heroic stuff all the time.
That WORKS? Wow, Arthur, you sure are easy to convince. “I’m not strong. :(“ “Well, you’ll be strong and save Leafy and save the village and be a hero.” “You’re right! Let’s go!” I’m not even really paraphrasing there, I swear.
The action selection box is translated.
The two following dialogue boxes are also translated.
Tokio’s not saying anything as we see the animation of his character finding the waterfall. In the dub…it’s really weird. They have Tony say that he left his character by a waterfall, went to make a sandwich, came back and there was a passageway opened…..Even though the animation clearly shows him using “search” on the waterfall. So what, did a ghost possess Tony’s game while he was gone?
Tony: “Man, I’m good at that game!” Yeah, you found a secret passageway in that game by doing literally nothing. Such skills.
How did they get Ridon back? They just went down a huge waterfall, and they have no means of calling it to them.
Name Plate removed.
Name Change: Waruryu is changed to Leafy-Kon.
What kind of sense does it make for a plant Space-Time Monster to turn into a dragon besides adding a dragon to the King Arthur/Fantasy medieval motif? Especially since it has fire breath and fire and plants don’t mix.
Genshi says TP Lady will pay for this. Flint says Leafy-Kon’s breath is worse that his attitude.
Waruryu’s body is harder than diamonds?….Why? Again, it’s a plant-based monster. What kind of logic, if any, goes into these monsters’ powers half the time?
Also, if his body is that hard, shouldn’t he be unable to move?
So….did Yamato send a monster egg without being told they needed one?
Name Plate removed.
Name Change: Super Raldo is changed to Raldo Master.
Super Raldo FREEZES THINGS? What kind of sense does THAT make? He’s a frickin’ turtle who sucks things up into his shell prison.
Also, isn’t that stealing Mosbee’s shtick?
I thought for a bit that maybe they were trying to still keep to a semi-realistic Arthur story. That maybe the sword was just a sword and it was just stuck in a rock somehow. And that everything else was just exaggerated.
Excalibur is magical now, glowing and blocking dragon fire and everything, so I guess that throws that theory in the trash.
I love how Leafy and Arthur knew each other for all of literally 30 seconds, and they flashback to their moments together like they were longtime pals.
The dialogue from the clips shown in the dub is not the same as the clips from earlier. I dunno if they just didn’t bother to check or if they did that on purpose to create the illusion that they spent more time together than we saw.
TP Lady says, as her flower castle crumbles, that the life of a flower is brief, but next time the flower of a woman will bloom. Then I think Dyna yells “A flowery runway!” while Mite adds “Here’s where we take our “leave.” which I think is meant to be a leaf pun. In the dub, Flint says all the evil is crumbling, causing Mite to ask “Did he say “crumbling”?” as the flower castle falls. Petra yells in frustration, and Dino says next time they should make the castle out of brick. Then Petra asks if he thinks they’re the three little pigs before going through the portal.
Is the dub saying Petra Fina is the one responsible for the toppled pillars at Stonehenge?
Oh right, yeah, they did bring up Stonehenge quite briefly at the start of the episode, so there’s your ‘actual’ history tidbit of the episode….one that’s still ruined because they never actually talked about it, I barely noticed it was there, and now they’re saying Petra Fina knocked over some of the pillars. I mean, if we’re being fair, we don’t exactly why the pillars were knocked down. We know some of them were knocked over by fierce wind storms and erosion, but other than that we can only theorize.
The two strongest theories behind some of the pillars being felled is that they were toppled on purpose for some reason by the ancient people who built Stonehenge and that nearby construction and human activity knocked them over by accident.
For the record, the original just said TP Lady ruined the flower field.
Why does this matter? No idea. I know that Arthur said this spot was popular for the flowers, but there are no flowers whatsoever in modern day Stonehenge. Maybe some, but hardly a flower field. It’s mostly just a grass field as far as the eye can see.
Speaking of topography, guess what else isn’t at Stonehenge? A river and/or waterfall. The River Avon is closest to Stonehenge, but you still can’t even see it from there. It’s a good mile or two from it. And, as far as I know, there are no large waterfalls in it.
Admittedly, that’s really nitpicky, but it was such a significant portion of the story that I felt I should mention it.
Putera says this is the true power of Leafy. In the dub, he says Leafy’s powers would be useful for sprucing up Goodman’s lab.
This is another perfect example of the weird confusing nature of how this show really works. Arthur only became a hero because of the example Genshi and the others gave in regards to bravery and friendship. He also learned to overcome his fears and fight for himself and others by saving Leafy….but then they erase his memory anyway, so shouldn’t he be back to being timid and meek? Or are they saying character development sticks even if you don’t remember actually developing?
Arthur talks about working together with the kingdom to help improve everything. Tokio says he might be able to be a hero too, but his friends shut him down and tell him Arthur’s the real hero, which is pretty rude. In the dub, Arthur says he has a lot to learn about being a king, but he thinks he’s found something within himself that will help him to heal the land. The others tell Arthur that he’ll be a great king as long as he remembers to be nice to the people, and Flint tells him to let them eat cake, which….why does Flint know that reference? He doesn’t know some of the most basic things ever, but he remembers a quote from Marie-Antoinette and also remembers it’s connected to royalty? Is it just because it mentions cake?
As if the dub didn’t abandon the message of working together already, they make it worse in the next sequence. We see Toki G watching the events and explaining that the legend of King Arthur was retained, and he did indeed work together with the kingdom and Knights of the Round Table to restore it back to its former glory. In the dub, Old Timer only praises Flint for a job well done in saving Leafy and getting Arthur back on track.
Yamato says he loves Rei, while Goodman says she smells as nice as the morning jasmine.
I like the idea of going through a King Arthur story, because it is such a classic tale that just tends to be fun and inspiring, but not only does this story not belong in a show that is trying to explore actual historical events or people, at least to a basic extent, but this interpretation was just poorly executed in general.
First of all, it’s very unclear whether Arthur even was actually the chosen one here. Like I said, since Genshi freed the sword and only gently placed it back in the hole, probably anyone could have pulled it out after that. I realize I just made a lot of accidental innuendos, but let’s move on.
Why was Genshi even able to free the sword? I realize that Genshi is ridiculously strong, on a superhuman level, but Excalibur is a magic sword. I don’t really believe that Genshi, this cave child, is capable of being so physically strong that he can forcibly weasel around whatever spell is on the sword and just free it anyway despite not being the chosen one. I could believe he’d be able to smash the rock, but I’d still feel like a part of the rock would stay on there to uphold the legend. Is the show implying that Genshi was just THAT strong or he really was the chosen one and just let Arthur take his place?
Was that old man at the beginning Merlin? It really seemed like that was the idea, but he’s never referred to as Merlin, and, besides having a weird staff and wearing a hooded robe, he doesn’t seem to be a wizard.
Having Raldo show back up and become his Super form was cool, but his powers are confusing to me, he wound up being similarly as cowardly as Arthur after being attacked once and then kinda took the thunder away from Arthur in the final battle.
Not to mention that it’s a teeny bit frustrating that Raldo’s backstory with TP Lady really doesn’t seem to matter in the end. Raldo doesn’t mention her, and TP Lady doesn’t recognize him as an old friend. Even though her memory of their friendship was erased back then, she still watched it unfold from the outside and has those memories. You’d think it might mean something to her, but no. They’re basically strangers now, I suppose.
The actual story itself wasn’t even interesting. You have Arthur who has no other backstory besides that he was a wimp who got bullied and was then saved by a creature who summons flowers. The group all nearly dies going over a waterfall, but then they’re saved by Kyoichiro, whom they never see again, and Genshi. They confront TP Lady and Leafy, who, for no other reason besides fantasy aesthetic, turns into a fire-breathing dragon whose body is hard as diamonds. Then Arthur gathers the bravery to wield Excalibur to save his friend by watching Genshi be heroic, but even Excalibur isn’t enough and he still needs Super Raldo to come in at the end for an assist in the final blow?
The structure is also strange. The beginning of the episode really teases that this will be a story about Tokio learning what it means to be a hero and maybe becoming one himself in the end somehow, but instead Tokio’s basically a non-factor. The focus is almost entirely on Genshi being a hero and Arthur learning what it is to be a hero through him. Then they all insult Tokio in the end (in the original anyway) by saying he could never be a hero.
They didn’t even hit the historical figure and the Space-Time Monster friendship aspect right. I wasn’t exaggerating – they were literally friends for like 30 seconds before TP Lady attacked. Sure, Leafy saved him from bullies, but that’s about it. They didn’t bond beyond that.
It’s a massive mess, especially for a tale so simple as King Arthur’s origins. I don’t want even talk about the completely lazy way they stapled Stonehenge onto this to act as if it was legitimately historical if we didn’t buy the Arthur stuff.
Next time, we meet the Space-Time Monster, Bouzan, in Heian era Japan, and learn about the warrior, Benkei.
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So, who wants to go through an entire, beat-by-beat, retelling of Joe’s awakening chapter from the beginning of the series, now featuring Lil’ 007?!
Me either, so let’s just talk about the other 15% of the prologue, which is a time skip.
After Cyborg 009 was dropped by Weekly Shonen King, it was picked up by Weekly Shonen Magazine in July of 1966. This chapter was not meant to be considered canon, as confirmed by Ishinomori. All of the background information about Joe being a race car driver, Francoise being a ballerina and GB still being a child was inserted here for the sake of making the manga more inviting to people who had taken up the manga after watching the 1966 movie.
It’s been four years since the finale of the battle against the Mythos Cyborgs, which means, despite the series getting picked back up we’re still left without any concrete resolution to the Mythos arc. All we know is that they seemingly beat the Mythos Cyborgs and they all survived the battle.
Apparently, whether or not the Mythos arc is even still canon has been a topic of debate ever since this volume was released because it acts as though the Vietnam arc was the story immediately preceding this one. Ishinomori wanted to rewrite the Mythos arc one day to give it a proper conclusion, but even though the manga continued on for a long time, he never revisited it. I’m inclined to believe the Mythos arc is canon, but that’s just me.
One more note before we continue, even though Ishinomori claimed this chapter wasn’t canon, that doesn’t make much sense because a lot of what happens in this chapter will carry on throughout the entire arc. For instance, if Joe becoming a successful race car driver isn’t canon, why does he have that sick house for so long? If he was never followed by reporters wanting to get insight into the famous Hurricane Joe, why do they reappear as his informants later on? If Joe never had this encounter with his friends, how did he meet Helen? It’s very confusing.
Joe has taken up a job as a successful race car driver, but he holds a lot of resentment about his cyborg nature and Black Ghost. Despite his newfound success, he’s also garnered a reputation as being a bit of a grump who won’t talk to the press or take off his helmet while on the track. However, two persistent journalists decide to follow him home to finally get an interview.
Journalist: “One thing I’ve heard is that he’s some sort of half-breed. That would explain why he’s so damn secretive.”
I’ve never heard that stereotype before. They treat being mixed race like it’s a secret identity.
They follow him to a store where Joe meets up with some old delinquent friends from reform school. Ibaraki (incorrectly translated by Tokyopop as Ibaragi) Oyamada and Mary. They’ve gone straight since their school days and are even running a modest moving business out of their truck. Joe invites them to his swanky-ass smart house that has a combination-locked door, flippable floors to switch the purpose of the rooms instantly, a large screen TV, meals that pop out of the tables, etc.
As Mary and Joe get drinks, she suddenly becomes melancholy as she remembers her father and how he abandoned her. She wonders if her life would have turned out differently if he had kept her. Joe consoles her and they go back out to get the party going with the boys.
Mmm….old friends of one of the main characters….getting nostalgic….having fun…….they’re going to die, aren’t they?
It should be noted that this scene was drastically changed from the original version. Originally, it was revealed that Mary and Joe were both bullied as children for being ‘half-breeds’ which caused them to fall into the wrong crowd. I have no idea why this was changed to just being a generic ‘If I hadn’t been an orphan, would my life be different?’ speech. Especially since, as the comparison on the Fandom page explains, the translation claims she wound up at the same reform school, which should be impossible because Kurihama Juvenile Hall is meant to be boys-only.
The boys are watching a news broadcast about a giant robot bat that attacked recently that they believe originated from a Polynesian island.
Oyamada: “The news is so boring.” BORING?! What world do you live in where reports of a giant robot bat attack are boring to you?
A fly gets let in by the journalists, and it turns out to be a robot that triggers the three friends into attacking Joe. They were secretly cyborgs sent to kill him.
Ibaraki is covered in gun barrels in his chest and elbows. Black Ghost made 004 with guns in his fingers, which are extremely easy to aim……then they made Ibaraki with guns in his elbows and chest, which are very hard to aim…I guess this is an upgrade from Mr. “Black Ghost pretty much duct taped a machine gun to my arm stump.”….….……Black Ghost is filled with morons. Ibaraki also has target-vision, which is pretty cool.
Also, nothing to do with his cyborg nature, but look at his shirt.
Did someone look at a bowl of Alphabits and say ‘Yeah, I want that as a button-up shirt.’?
Oyamada is pretty cool looking, having a bunch of ‘tusks’ jutting out of nearly every space on his body. These tusks can spear his enemies, but if he captures one of them in his ‘ribs’ he can crush them to death.
Finally, Mary was turned into a dog-like cyborg who runs on all-fours, creates electricity with her paws, has razor-sharp claws and can control wolves with a cry.
Ibaraki is the main one attacking at first. He shoots up the joint while Joe runs for his life and tries to convince his friends to stop. He attempts to appeal to their bond as friends and reminds them of the good times they had. They do feel bad about what they’re doing, but they’re not just being ordered by Black Ghost, they’re legitimately angry with him. Joe simply vanished from their lives one day and they haven’t heard so much as a peep from him since he disappeared. What’s worse is that he never warned them about Black Ghost, and they were turned into cyborgs as a result.
The fight continues, Mary accidentally getting shot up by Ibaraki in the crossfire. Ibaraki and Oyamada decide to retreat for the time being in order to get Mary to safety. Before they drive off in their truck, Joe puts a tracker on it. After they drive away, he heads back into his house to put on his good ol’ uniform, hops in his car and heads after them.
They won’t let themselves be followed, however. They activate missiles hidden in the tail lights of their truck. Despite all of the massive explosions, Joe manages to outmaneuver the missiles. Mary wakes up and uses her wolf-summoning powers on Joe’s car, which, funnily, actually makes him stop, get out of the car and take refuge up a tree….Joe….you have super speed…..just run away from them and chase the truck on foot.
He’s trapped until Mary is so far out of range that the wolves no longer attack Joe.
When Joe is finally free, he tracks the trio to an old cabin in the woods.
Also, this creepy-ass owl.
The trio pop out of the cabin, but there’s something off about Mary…what it is, I don’t know. I can’t see anything different about her, but Joe asks with a shocked expression what they did to her. Joe tries one more time to talk to his friends, explaining that Black Ghost did the same thing to him as they did to them and that Black Ghost is the real enemy. The only way he made it through becoming a cyborg was with the help of his friends, and he wants to help them now. Despite his pleas, the trio attack anyway.
Shockingly, when they converge on Joe, they all explode.
Joe: “You were wired to explode if your thoughts strayed from the mission.”
Hey…hey Joe….do you do parkour?
…..Because that’s quite the leap you just made.
There was no indication that any of them were actually taking what you were saying to heart, and their final act was to lunge at you, either knowing they’d explode or otherwise. How do you get ‘they were wired to explode if their thoughts strayed from the mission’ out of that? They’d run away from you if they were really starting to reconsider. The Wiki page for all three of their characters also claims that this was a last-ditch attempt to kill him. Their reluctance was not translated to the imagery at all.
Also, would Black Ghost not just go for complete control over their minds instead of blowing them up the instant they even started thinking about disobeying? They basically made the same mistake they made with 0013 only worse. It took quite a while after 0013 considered defecting that he (technically 13 Robo, but still) was set to blow up, but Joe’s friends seemed to blow the instant they thought ‘Hm, maybe I shouldn’t kil–’
How is it possible that, given all the evidence we’ve seen throughout the manga so far, Black Ghost somehow manages to get worse in their tech and even stupider in their plans?
Joe mourns the loss of his friends for a minute before heading off to investigate the cabin. He finds a young woman named Helen tied up on the floor.
Before you ask, yes, Helen is basically just Helena recycled, both in name and design, but she’s not the Mythos cyborg, she’s an entirely new character. Tokyopop was even cheeky about this and changed a line when they first meet from ‘Hey! Hang in there!’ to ‘Hey! I remember you!’ which caused more confusion in me than anything because I thought this was a character that we might have met at the start of the volume/chapter or something. I knew she looked the same as Helena, but we didn’t know her name at this point, and it could have just been a coincidence. Next time, Tokyopop, just say ‘You look like someone I used to know….’ or something. Wording is everything if you’re going to intentionally change lines to make a joke.
There’s something else in the cabin as well – a giant robo-cat. Joe fells the robot rather easily. The robot is a cheap piece of garbage, and Joe wonders why Black Ghost would send such a pile of junk after him.
He and Helen drive off, and she explains her story. Her father, Fishbone, was a widely respected scientist that Black Ghost wanted to recruit. Fishbone, however, refused to join up. Black Ghost never takes rejection well, so he was hunted. Fishbone vanished, but Helen was captured as a hostage.
Joe considers getting the gang back together since Black Ghost seems so active lately. Right as he ponders that, he notices a helicopter following closely behind them. Joe tells Helen to drive while he jumps into the helicopter to confront their stalker.
However, much to his surprise, 004 is piloting the helicopter with a huge smirk plastered on his face. That little scamp.
004 hadn’t visited 009 in a while, so he decided to pop in with his helicopter. When he saw Joe’s fancy car, he decided to tease him a bit. He becomes apologetic, however, when 009 explains Helen’s situation. 004 did have actual business with 009 – the obvious situation with Black Ghost reemerging. 004 and 009 head off to meet Dr. Gilmore and the others, but Helen asks to come.
004: “I’m sorry. This is no place for a woman.” Yeah! There are no women on our tea–….Oh shit.
009: “Don’t be a pig, 004!” Thank you, 009. I love 004 to bits, but he has his moments…
The three depart, and 004 quickly detects and corners the journalists from earlier, but he doesn’t do anything to them. *shrug*
On the way to Gilmore’s place, 004 explains that, when the team broke up, he headed back to Germany. However, everyone was too afraid of his cybernetic enhancements to hire him. He was soon destitute so he tried to find work elsewhere.
Wow. That’s quite the contrast. 009 is able to become an insanely rich and famous race car driver, but 004 can’t even find work and wound up broke. Couldn’t Albert have just….ya know…covered his hands? Those are literally the only parts of him that are outwardly cybernetic. His chest is also noticeably mechanical, but unless he’s planning on being a stripper, that shouldn’t be an issue.
After recapping 004’s backstory, they arrive at Gilmore’s sub, which means DRUMROLL PLEASE
We officially have the Dolphin! Whoo! And we get the blueprints of it, which is awesome. I always love any mech/cyborg/robot etc. anime that provides blueprints or schematics for their machinery. It’s so cool.
The Dolphin is specially designed to go on land, air and sea, meaning they can go literally anywhere Black Ghost travels.
In the sub, 004 expresses distrust of Helen – not for anything she’s done but because she’s leading them on a Black Ghost case, and anyone even remotely connected to Black Ghost cannot truly be trusted until proven otherwise. 009 vehemently argues against this…..but….dude, you were literally just betrayed by three of your closest childhood friends because they wound up in the clutches of Black Ghost……that happened like six hours ago…
They’re suddenly attacked by one of Black Ghost’s robotic undersea dinosaurs, and I love that I get to say that sentence. They’re able to outmaneuver it with the Dolphin’s speed, and 009 uses some of the torpedoes to strike it down. Gilmore is impressed considering 009 has not been trained on the Dolphin yet, but 009 explains that he can intuitively understand how to operate any vehicle thanks to his cybernetics…..which…is something you’d think he’d never have to explain to Dr. Gilmore…the guy who designed 009…..
009: “I’d say that attack proves Helen’s on our side. I don’t think even Black Ghost would fire on one of their own.”…..009….did you suffer brain damage on a page I missed? Black Ghost attacks and kills their own all the time. In fact, again, they literally just did that by blowing up your friends because they maybe, for half a second, considered not fighting you.
Onto the next chapter, we get a news report explaining that the ‘bat’ monster we had heard about earlier was actually a robot pterodactyl with ultrasonic waves so powerful that it can crumble buildings and cause insta-death by vibrating your blood vessels and bones so violently that you basically turn to mush.
That…is ridiculously horrifying and awesome. Also, imagine how different Power Rangers would be if the Pink Ranger’s zord had that power.
Albert heads to China to recruit Chang, who is running his own restaurant.
Next, Joe heads to London where GB is utilizing his shape-shifting abilities to impress audiences in the theater. He’s also utilizing his power to continue looking like an adult because, you guessed it, Lil’ 007…..*sigh* Once he has GB on board, he tells him to head to the United States to find Jet while he heads to France to find Francoise.
Francoise has made it big as a ballet dancer, and she’s living her dream. When Joe confronts her about coming back, she vehemently refuses, wanting to leave that life behind her once and for all, choosing to chase a life of positivity and expression instead. Joe understands and wishes her luck, but she changes her mind before he leaves since she knows there’s a sense of duty involved.
Meanwhile, Jet has made it as a professional football player…….I really, really don’t understand why literally everyone else has found success and/or happiness, four of them ending up FAMOUS AND RICH, but Albert can’t even find a job all because of his robot hands that he can easily cover up.
Anyway, Lil’ 007 pranks Jet by turning into the football he caught, freaking him out and causing him to get dogpiled.
On a Native American reserve, I think anyway, G. Junior is riding around the countryside when Lil’ 007 calls him over by shaping a smoke signal to say 005….somehow.
Enjoy this surreal image of G. Junior dressed as a cowboy and Lil’ 007 dressing like a stereotypical Native American.
The final teammate to retrieve is Pyunma, who is now a gameskeeper in Africa. He’s confronted by a giant robot alligator…..which would be something I’d happily point out as being awesome…..
……But he DESTROYS PYUNMA!
What the fuck!? He is almost totally obliterated! Poor Pyunma. Rarely has a manga panel made me pause in shock like that one did. Dude just lost his entire family in the last volume and now this?!
Joe acts fast and fights off the alligator. When he leaves, Joe takes what’s left of Pyunma and rushes him to Gilmore as fast as his accelerator will take him.
When he arrives, the damage is assessed, and it doesn’t look good, obviously. All of his vital parts, barring his brain, have been destroyed. Gilmore rushes to reconstruct him, if he can.
While the others nervously wait for news on Pyunma’s condition, the TV suddenly turns on and reveals Skull. He is announcing to the world that they have one year until Black Ghost turns everyone on the planet into followers of Black Ghost. To prove that they’ll have no chance, he uses the robot pterodactyl to completely destroy New York City. The transmission suddenly ends, and the group determines that Black Ghost has somehow managed to take over the broadcast systems of the world, meaning he can beam any message he pleases over any media network at any time. It also means that he’s completely ruined any chance the group had at doing their missions covertly.
Gilmore emerges from the reconstruction room, having finished his work on Pyunma. However, he won’t know of his true condition until he’s had at least a few days rest. Before they’re able to catch Gilmore up on the broadcast, Albert accuses Helen of turning the TV on so they wouldn’t miss the broadcast. He now believes more than ever that Helen is a cyborg sent by Black Ghost, so he drags her out into the water.
He, not kidding, and this is exactly how 001 describes it, is putting Helen through a Salem Witch Trial. In the Salem Witch Trials, one of the tests they used to determine if someone was a witch was by stripping them down to their underwear and throwing them in a body of water – the logic being, if they’re a witch, they’ll float. If they’re innocent, they’ll sink. Here, 004 is using the same concept. She has a half hour of oxygen in her tank – if it runs out and she floats, she’s human. If she sinks, or if she can generate her own oxygen I guess, then she’s a cyborg.
….Uh….guys….don’t you have an x-ray machine?….Maybe….use that instead? Actually, doesn’t 003 have x-ray vision? If you’re dedicated to this stupid test, why did you even put an oxygen tank on her at all? Just throw her out there freebird. You wouldn’t have to wait for a half hour.
Anyway, no time for these murderous shenanigans – missile sharks!
Have I mentioned I love this manga?
They’re closing in fast, so 009 rushes out to save Helen. 004 pulls a super gun on 009 and demands that he get away from her. 009 persists in refusing to allow Helen to get tortured for the sake of 004’s paranoia, but 004 says he has no other options and 009 should trust him enough to know he’d never do something of this magnitude unless he had to. However, sadly, 009 says he can’t trust him that much.
I hate to disagree with 004 here, but I disagree with 004 here. Like I said, they have other options for determining if she’s a cyborg. This test is ridiculous, dangerous and pointless.
Commence awesome battle with the missile sharks. The Dolphin is able to shield them from some missiles because of its force field technology. Additionally, it has an ultrasonic pulsator that can disrupt the signals emitted from the devices on the sharks. The sharks are still mostly sharks, they just have missile launchers on their heads. Black Ghost’s technology allows them to tap into the shark’s innate desire to kill. When this desire is most active, their missiles launch.
….No, it doesn’t really make much sense. Sharks aren’t bloodthirsty murderers. They’re just eating. Their one desire is ‘find and eat food’ not ‘murdermurderdeathkillmurder.’ Killing is part of their eating process, sure, and they hunt, but they’re not processing the killing part. They’re just obtaining food.
Helen runs out of oxygen, so 009 rushes back to the Dolphin to get her treated. She’s unconscious, but alright.
009 confronts 004 about his actions, but he doesn’t believe he has to defend himself. After all, this incident didn’t prove she didn’t work for Black Ghost, it just proved she wasn’t a cyborg. In fact, he’s suspicious as to how the sharks even found them to begin with and suspects she might have a tracking device on her.
He goes even further by saying he’s not the only one who is suspicious of Helen – 001 is as well. Francoise also chimes in to say she doesn’t understand Joe’s blind faith in Helen………..But this is turned into girl things, because 001 claims Francoise is only taking this stance because Helen’s a woman, and Francoise is jealous because of her feelings for Joe. Meanwhile, it’s clear Joe is so adamant about defending Helen because he’s grown to care about her.
001 can sense these thoughts and feelings in both Francoise and Joe, but he hasn’t been able to sense anything in Helen. Just as he says that, he senses something very faint in Helen – a deep feeling of grief.
006 directs their attention to the news where a Japanese company called Mitsutomo has rushed the development of an anti-ultrasonic wave gun to combat Black Ghost…..how long has it been since Skull made that announcement? Because that’s quite the rush job.
They can’t have a single moment’s peace because, once the news broadcast is over, a new army of enemies appears.
It’s a….*deep breath* school of robot kamikaze drill stingrays….I know I’m repeating myself, but I do really love this so much.
And, taking up the back end, a giant robot plesiosaur.
The stingrays give the ship a good beating, and the Dolphin is damaged even more when they use their ultrasonic wave gun to destroy the stingrays. The Dolphin is now loaded with cracks, and one of their wings has been blown off, but they still try to make an escape. The plesiosaur, however, has other ideas.
Turns out, this is another monster with an ultrasonic gun. It gives their other wing a terrible hit. It looks like they’re done for, but 009 has an idea. He aims their own ultrasonic gun at the beast and prepares to fire right when the monster fires its shot, hopefully canceling each other out. The plan works, but in a manner they didn’t expect.
When the two ultrasonic waves collide underwater, they create whirlpools and waterspouts that shoot them out of the water and into the air. Since the Dolphin is also an airplane, they manage to escape, however just barely because the Dolphin is an absolute wreck at this point.
Or is it?!
Because the Dolphin is such a badass piece of machinery, even this disaster can’t take it down. The Dolphin actually has two exterior shells. One is meant to take the brunt of damage in battle. If the damage becomes too great, it can shed this shell and escape the danger with its main structure.
Once the Dolphin is back in tip top shape, Pyunma emerges from the reconstruction room with his brand new scaly body.
After a short time skip, Francoise and Gilmore watch Pyunma as he sits outside watching the waves from a cliffside. Francoise asks why Gilmore did that to Pyunma. Gilmore is extremely confused by her question because the body he built for him was much better than the design he had before, and he put a lot of work and passion into building that body for him.
I hate to break the flow of the story, but, uhm….the translation’s already doing that for me. See, in the speech bubble that is conveying the information I just explained, someone from Tokyopop wrote ‘Hahahahaha’ behind the words…..for…some reason. It’s overlaid like it was a mistake, but what the hell is this? Why did they write ‘hahahaha’ anyway? This is a very serious and somber scene but one of the people doing the text not only wrote that but left it in the panel, and this somehow got past quality control.
Gilmore insists that the new body is a major improvement and he’ll be exactly what they need to fight Black Ghost. Francoise, however, calls him out for ignoring Pyunma’s needs as a human being. He now has silver scales from the neck down and will have an awful time trying to fit into human society. She definitely has a point if Albert was experiencing such hardships that he nearly became homeless all because he has metal hands.
Gilmore: “Those scales allow him to move even more quickly underwater. He should be grateful. And silver is far better than the black of his skin. I was thinking of him.”
Gilmore….what the hell? This is the first indication I’ve seen of Gilmore being racist. I legitimately needed time to pause reading and process that. Not just that Gilmore is so blatantly racist here, but the thing is, he’s not just saying he dislikes the appearance of black skin….he’s saying SILVER FISH SCALES are more visually appealing. Wow….just….just wow.
Francoise, however, is having none of his shit. She argues that he definitely wasn’t thinking of Pyunma at all. He’s very proud of his heritage and his black skin, and replacing most of that with scales is an insult to his culture and him as a person. You tell him, Francoise!
After she leaves, Gilmore clearly has a moment of reflection on her words.
Outside, Albert meets with Pyunma and talks to him about his new body. Albert, previously being the most altered out of all of the cyborgs, has a metal cyborg body, and the only part of him that really looks human is his head. I know I mentioned before that his metal hands were the only parts of him that were causing him prejudice – I said that because I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t wear long-sleeved shirts on whatever job he got.
Likewise, I should mention that, for some reason and somehow, Pyunma’s hands are black when the previous shot showed that his hands were whitish-gray and had scales on them. I don’t know if he’s wearing some sort of ‘skin’ gloves or something. It was probably just easier to draw him that way instead of drawing scales on his hands every time he was shown.
Albert learned to accept who he was and how he looked because it gave him the power to make a difference. It’s a curse, but also a gift that he can use to protect people and stop evil.
His pep talk works, and Pyunma thanks Albert before taking off his clothes and diving into the water to test out his new skills. He’s now insanely fast in the water and even shows off for 005, 006 and 007 who are underwater in the Dolphin keeping watch.
Pyunma heads back into the house to thank Gilmore for the new body. Dr. Gilmore was attempting to apologize for what he did, but Pyunma interrupts him to thank him.
I’m….not entirely on board with that. It’s great that Pyunma has accepted his appearance and is learning to make the best of it, unfair as though it may be, and it’s great that Dr. Gilmore was even attempting to apologize, but I feel like he should have actually gotten the chance to apologize because, really, he did majorly fuck up in changing his appearance so drastically without taking Pyunma’s feelings into consideration. Even without the racist comments, no one would feel happy being covered from the neck down in metal scales. For a guy who felt so guilty about turning them into cyborgs in the first place that he chose to live a dangerous life on the run from Black Ghost in order to help the cyborgs, he sure doesn’t understand how they feel in regards to their increasing loss of humanity.
After that scene, we show Albert suddenly shooting off a finger dart to kill a fly. And then we get this looming shot.
You guys remember the last time we saw a fly? Hmmm?
Anyway, did you know that Jet is from America? Because he has a shirt on that just says ‘USA’ over and over.
Oh, excuse me, most of the words say ‘USA’ but some of them say ‘UAS’ and ‘ASU.’
001 is back to sleep, so he’ll be out of commission for another two weeks. Meanwhile, Joe has headed back to Tokyo to meet up with the journalists from before who were tailing him. He’s interested in learning if they have any information on Mitsutomo Engineering – the company that made the anti-ultrasonic gun.
According to them, the anti-ultrasonic gun was made a little over a year ago, and the president is someone named Ban Bogart (Whose name was really messed with in translation. His actual name is meant to be Van Vogt, which is how I will refer to him.) who lives in the Hakone mountains. When 009 arrives at Van Vogt’s home, he’s confused to find a building with no windows or doors. When he infiltrates the property, he finds even more oddities such as an incredibly small horse, a sea monster and a weird bigfoot/caveman monster.
What’s even more shocking, however, is that Joe sees Helen through one of the windows that is not supposed to exist.
009 is attacked by the weird bigfoot/caveman monster thing, which has a legitimately horrifying design. It looks like he’s about to be killed when ‘Helen’ yells out the window for it to stop. However, with one final panel showing that the blow connected, we’re left off on the end of the volume assuming the worst of poor 009.
And that was volume eight! We had quite a bit to go through there, but it was a fun and interesting ride from start to finish.
As you can see, this volume kinda acts as a very, very soft reboot of the series once the cyborgs had finished their initial mission and went off to live their lives. I like how mostly everyone found a career and success doing something they loved, but I will never not be confused as to why Albert has such difficulty getting work when his hands are really the only piece of cybernetics anyone can see regularly. Can he not wear gloves? I can imagine people with prosthetic limbs get plenty of discrimination too, but people are so off-put by the mere sight of his hands that he can’t find work anywhere and nearly went homeless? Maybe I’m just not thinking through the era and location.
Let me also clarify – I’m not saying anyone’s prejudice against their cybernetics is right in any way, of course it’s not, but if you can’t help what people think and you can do something to blend in better, I’d think it’d be better to take that option instead of running risk of being homeless.
The fact that literally everyone else went off to find success despite their cybernetics, several of them even finding fame and fortune, just seems weird to me when put in contrast to Albert’s plight.
Also, despite this being a gentle feather-touch ‘reboot’ the only backstories we recap are Joe’s and Albert’s, and Joe’s basically took up an entire chapter. I get that recapping everyone would be tiresome and repetitive, but, to be honest, Joe’s was tiresome and repetitive on its own. It was literally like they copy-pasted the entire actual first chapter and called it a day.
At least Albert’s was a brief flashback that was chopped up.
I liked the addition of Joe’s childhood friends, I just really wish they had been given more characterization. Mary in particular seemed like she had an interesting story attached to her, but they all had potential.
Their story was predictable after a point, everything was just going way too smoothly for this manga, but turning Joe’s friends into cyborgs sent to kill him from Black Ghost was an interesting way to hook him in particular back into the conflict. Things were already going down, but targeting Joe specifically and through his old buddies was a great way to actually get him emotionally invested, even if the way the conflict resolved itself was really confusing and jarring.
I still don’t buy that they exploded because their minds wandered away from killing Joe for a microsecond. Black Ghost is a really backwards company if they keep spending millions of dollars on these cyborgs, allow them to keep their free will but then put a bomb in them that will make them explode if they don’t obey.
Their reasoning is also a bit difficult to follow. They should know full-out that Joe didn’t abandon them, and warning them about the existence of Black Ghost would do nothing. It’s not like they could defend themselves against Black Ghost even if they knew about them. Their only option to protect themselves if Joe did tell them is by staying with Joe, and that’s just as risky if not moreso.
I can excuse this, though, because they’re probably just externalizing their own shame and guilt for being kidnapped by Black Ghost and ‘allowing’ them to turn them into cyborgs.
It was a great moment to get the old gang back together, and I was devastated to see what had happened to poor Pyunma. It makes sense, though. I was wondering why Black Ghost had only targeted Joe and everyone else was seemingly left to their own devices, but then Pyunma is suddenly targeted by this massive robot crocodile and veritably destroyed.
I felt a lot closer to Francoise then ever before. Everyone else just kinda joins right back up again when the call to action comes, but Francoise is very understandably put off by the suggestion. She has finally managed to find peace and happiness doing something she loves. Asking her to give all of that up in order to go back into the torment, pain and death of war is devastating to her, especially considering her powers. However, she realizes it’s a necessary evil. After all, she knows plugging her ears and going ‘lalalala’ isn’t going to help any. The death and destruction will just infiltrate her new happy life.
I also love that she was the one who confronted Gilmore about what he did to Pyunma. They could have easily made this as direct as possible and had Pyunma lash out at Gilmore immediately, resulting in a major fight. Instead, they cut right from our first exposure to Pyunma’s new body to showing Pyunma quietly dealing with the aftermath, lost in a depression.
Francoise has consistently been the one most vocal and passionate about maintaining their humanity at all costs. We saw this in a previous volume where she was appalled at Gilmore giving them new enhancements and powers, further increasing their status as machines instead of humans.
Not only is she defending Pyunma’s humanity, but she’s also trying to get Gilmore to understand that Pyunma’s skin was a very important part of his identity. He treasured his culture, and his skin color was a massive part of that. The fact that Gilmore threw so much of it away was like he was throwing Pyunma away.
Granted, a lot of his body was simply lost either way, but Gilmore has the ability to make artificial skin and could have easily restored his appearance, but he didn’t, which is even weirder considering he gave him black hands, in some capacity. In hindsight, that detail is almost insulting because it’s essentially Gilmore proving he could have restored all of his skin but chose not to because he really wanted to make Pyunma into Troutman. He not only didn’t think it was a big deal in the first place, but he thought he was doing him a favor by getting rid of his black skin in favor of silver scales, which is something I still can’t believe was said by Gilmore.
Francoise is also the emotional center of the group, because of course she is, so she can present her case in Pyunma’s defense very effectively to the point where Gilmore actually starts to feel apologetic for his actions, even though I was really disappointed that he never got to actually apologize.
Likewise, choosing Albert to approach Pyunma about his situation was a great choice since Albert is so drastically changed physically. He’d be the only one who really, fully, understands Pyunma’s feelings and how to talk to him about it to make him feel better.
Time will tell as to how useful his new enhancements will be, but I’m glad that he’s learned to use it to his advantage instead of hating himself for them.
Helen’s part of the story is intriguing so far. You know there’s more to her than meets the eye, but she’s not a cyborg and she’s seemingly a good person. She has this veil of darkness over her character that insists that something’s not right with her, which is ‘proven’ more or less when we see ‘Helen’ at the home of the president of Mitsutomo Engineering.
I definitely believe Albert went too far when trying to test her, though. He can be as suspicious as he wants, and he can even yell all he wants about it – at this point in the story he has a right to be paranoid of anyone with relations to Black Ghost – but doing a literal Salem Witch Trial test on her was way too far. Even if she is a bad guy, even if she was a cyborg, there’s no need for that level of extreme. He could have easily killed her for something that could be determined by using an x-ray on her.
However, in the opposite extreme, Joe’s being way too trusting for a guy who was betrayed by some of his closest friends literally minutes before randomly meeting Helen, who was seemingly being held captive by the people who just betrayed him. I get it. Joe’s a nice, trusting guy and he has a crush on her maybe kinda for some reason, but Albert’s got a point about her. He’s right to be suspicious. He goes too far with it, but he’s right to not trust her entirely.
And for those of you wondering if Helen is somehow controlling or manipulating Joe, she’s not.
Helen is an integral part of the final arc of Cyborg 009 – the Underground Empire of Yomi. I say ‘final’ arc despite being a long way away from the end of the manga, because most fans and even official sources, including Tokyopop, take this as being the grand finale of the series. You’ll see why at the end of volume ten, and when I start talking about all of the…..many…many things that come after it, but for now, there IS more to Helen than meets the eye.
……And it is super distracting that she is designed to look so much like Helena and has basically the same name. I get liking her character design, Ishinomori, but you could at least give her a more different name. The ‘Helen’ at the Mitsutomo house is even dressed like Helena.
Finally, the weird creatures at Van Vogt’s home are very interesting. I love the idea of a dog-sized horse, and that bigfoot/caveman giant at the end was legitimately horrifying.
Join me next time for volume nine!
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Plot: Aichi, Kamui and Misaki (And Morikawa) head to Card Shop Psy and meet the National Champion of Vanguard, Ren. Aichi experiences odd visions when Ren gets a weird glowing look in his eyes. Kourin challenges Ren to a match using identical decks, allowing the others to spectate. Is Ren really as good as his reputation suggests?
To my understanding, Ren is meant to be one of the main antagonists of season one, and I’m just not impressed. He’s a cocky guy in a long black coat. There’s just not a lot to him to make him stand out to me. Even the pirate guys had a gimmick to them, but he’s just very typical and bland. Hopefully that will change later when I actually see him fighting with his own deck.
Otherwise, this episode was….a Cardfight. Maybe I’m grumpy because I’m sick as of this writing, but yeah….it was a Cardfight.
I really feel like this show still has a bit of an issue not being easy enough to follow along if you don’t play the game. I know it’s been a while since I last watched the show, but I was still having a bit of trouble fully understanding why certain things were happening. Most notably, I have difficulty understanding guards and why you sometimes need several of them to block an attack. I get that it has something to do with the power discrepancies between attacker and target, but I haven’t quite grasped it yet. I even watched some videos about it, and it still sounds like gibberish to me.
One of the videos I watched showed the rules on screen, and the guard step section was literally over a page long. If someone can simplify it for my little pea brain, I’d appreciate it.
Next time, the team finds out Misaki has a eidetic memory and decide to apply it to Vanguard.
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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of “What the Hell is Wrong with Mokuba? Like, Really. Someone Lock This Kid Up.”
Today, Mokuba ‘invites’/psuedo-kidnaps Jonouchi and Yugi to his mansion for a party, but poor Seto is too tired from all of the preparation on his secret project, Death T, that he’s sleeping and can’t be bothered to tend to their guests. It’s up to Mokuba.
Mokuba decides to prepare them a feast – which is really just a bunch of random mundane foods like burgers and kids meals. However, Mokuba has prepared them in such a way that it is more than worth it to eat them, supposedly. The foods are on a spinning wheel, and one of the foods has a treasure inside. The only way to get the treasure is to eat your whole plate of food.
Jonouchi jokes about Mokuba poisoning the food, which he denies, but then Jonouchi eats it, and, yeah it’s poisoned.
Jonouchi is going to fucking die in 30 minutes unless Yugi can beat Mokuba at this game and find the ‘treasure’ without getting the other poisoned plate.
What….the hell…is wrong with Mokuba?
Mokuba is made out to be so much worse than Seto at this point. All Seto has done is rough up a few people and cheat at a card game. Mokuba has threatened Yugi with an uzi, threatened to chop off his fingers if he couldn’t beat him in Capsule Monsters, and now he’s poisoned Jonouchi and is aiming to poison Yugi.
Shadow Game (Kinda)
This isn’t really a Shadow Game because Mokuba’s the one running it, but eh.
Yami spins the wheel and gets the spaghetti, which is perfectly fine. Mokuba spins and gets the chocolate parfait, which is also perfectly fine. Yami notices that Mokuba touched an empty syrup bottle as he was spinning, which Mokuba says is just symbolic of his fate because of the old saying ‘The misfortune of others is like sweet syrup.’ In actuality, Mokuba’s cheating again. The bottle is a switch, and he can stop the wheel wherever he wants with it both for himself and Yami. He also knows where the poison is located.
He has committed the ultimate sin. Mokuba has spat in the face of 4Kids and every America to be American in America.
Yami spins the wheel, but he has a trick up his own sleeve. He ties his Millennium Puzzle to the wheel and gives it a strong spin, smashing the syrup bottle and rendering it inoperable. Mokuba no longer has the ability to stop the wheel where he wants – and guess where it ends up.
Mokuba gets the hamburger, and even though he could simply refuse to eat it, he does actually eat it and gets poisoned himself. Yami gets the antidote and saves Jonouchi, but…I guess leaves Mokuba to die? Because the chapter just ends there.
Granted, I assume he has more antidote for such an occasion, and his servants were coming to help him, but still, that’s kinda messed up, Yami. Is that his penalty game?
This chapter was pretty unnecessary given that we already had a run-in with Psychokuba a couple chapters back, and some elements were pretty nonsensical. For instance, why did Mokuba choose to put the switch in a glass syrup bottle on the table as opposed to being in a remote in his pocket or on the underside of the table or something?
Not only is it very obvious that he’s cheating, even given the extremely weak explanation he gave, but he’s leaving the switch open to being smashed. Even if Yami didn’t do the trick with the Puzzle, he could’ve easily just gone over and smashed the thing. What would Mokuba do about it?
Then there’s the question of why Mokuba would eat the poisoned hamburger. I was going to say maybe it’s a pride thing, but anyone who would cheat at the drop of a hat doesn’t have much dignity to play with. Mokuba would have just thrown the food and surrendered the antidote.
It wasn’t a bad chapter because it set up the main overarching plot for the next several chapters, and the game was pretty interesting and intense, but it was still technically unneeded.
Next time, Kaiba brings Yugi and Jonouchi to Kaiba Land for a fun day out playing games! Also, to try and kill Yugi’s grandpa! Ya know, just a relaxing Sunday.
Final Notes: So, I play Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, and one of Mokuba’s decks is called ‘Poison Hamburger.’ It’s centered around the ritual monster, Hungry Burger. I always wondered what the hell Mokuba had to do with hamburgers because I never recalled him doing anything related to burgers in the anime.
This chapter explains everything.
It’s really weird, because Duel Links!Mokuba will also make references to being really good at Capsule Monsters when that’s another thing that wasn’t carried over into the anime.
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Plot: Tyson faces off against Ray in the semi-finals. After getting savagely defeated in the first round, Kenny upgrades Tyson’s blade with a new untested defense ring. Can this newly outfitted Dragoon defeat the brutal slashes of Driger?
Round 1: Tyson (Dragoon S) vs. Ray (Driger S) – Victor: Ray
Round 2: Tyson (Dragoon S) vs. Ray (Driger S) – Victor: Tyson
Round 3: Forfeited by Ray
Overall Winner: Tyson
Breakdown: It’s finally time for Tyson’s match with Ray, and while Tyson is psyched for the match, Ray is being a conceited bored little prick.
Tyson is waiting for Kenny to show up since he was supposed to help trick out his Beyblade before the match, but Kenny is……somewhere doing research and trying to build a Beyblade for Tyson, I guess not realizing what time it is.
I was really confused by this because they made it sound like Kenny had Tyson’s Dragoon, and I was wondering how he’d be able to compete without it. But I guess Kenny’s just making a copy of Dragoon or something?
Max’s dad offers to modify Tyson’s blade, but then after thinking about for a second he rescinds his offer and tells them to go out anyway. Uh thanks for nothing, Mr. Tate.
Before this match, there are graphics showing the details of each Beyblader, which is also kinda cool and realistic (considering this is a televised sporting event), but once again I’m confused as all hell as to the status of Bit Beasts at this point. They not only know both Tyson and Ray’s Bit Beasts, but they also have graphics for both of them and list their special attacks.
Also, I’m not quite certain the stats are correct. They’re pretty vague star ratings, but Dragoon has max attack and evasion with minimum defense, which I can buy, but Driger has medium attack and evasion with maximum defense. That just doesn’t sound right to me. I’d think the attack would be maxed and evasion and defense would be two stars, but I dunno.
The match starts, and Dragoon immediately vanishes. It reappears above Driger and slams down on it, smacking it away a bit, but it’s not enough to get it out of the stadium. Driger rushes towards Dragoon, and one of the announcers exclaims that Ray made Driger spin counter-clockwise…..as if he just did that now? I don’t think he did that mostly because that’s impossible.
Without summoning Driger, he uses his Tiger Claw attack to carve up Dragoon and send it flying out of the stadium.
Max: “Dad, how did Ray get his Beyblade to disappear?” He didn’t do that. Tyson made his disappear.
Ray wins the first round, but then he starts to walk away. Ray finds no reason to continue because he doesn’t see Tyson as a challenge. It’s weird. I really don’t remember Ray being such a cocky asshat. I remembered him being pretty humble. Maybe he gets better later?
Just so he’s not seen as forfeiting, he also points out that Tyson’s blade is in no condition to battle. If he can’t fix it, he can’t continue anyway.
Tyson is shocked by this, but dude….why? How else do you think you can compete? There are literal claw marks dug into your blade.
What’s more shocking is Tyson reveals he DIDN’T BRING ANY SPARE PARTS…..like a dumbass. Literally every other Beyblader we’ve seen in this tournament was seen holding a tool box with spare parts in it, but Tyson, the best Beyblader in his town, didn’t think to bring any spare parts to this Beyblade tournament. Good job, Tyson.
Luckily, Kenny shows up with a box of spare parts, saving Tyson’s ass. Kenny reveals that he’s been up all night (has it been a night?) coming up with a new “invention” that Dizzi designed. It’s a new defense ring……….Even though Dragoon S doesn’t have a defense ring. The part that Kenny is holding up is an attack ring, hence why it has the big blades on it. A defense ring is kinda similar to a weight ring, only plastic. It has no blades on it.
Kenny: “So in order to properly defend against his extraordinary assaults, I’m going to accelerate your Beyblade’s attack spin in the frontal area.”
Wow, Kenny, that was a bunch of beautiful gibberish. You’re going to defend against attacks by….spinning? What’s a Beyblade’s attack spin? Is there a defense spin? What the hell is the frontal area of a Beyblade? It’s a circle and it’s constantly spinning.
Kenny: “Unless we increase the Dragoon’s power attack, we might as well quit.” Power attack?
When Kenny introduces his new “defense” ring…..
Kenny: “It’s made from a special indestructible alloy…” ….Adamantium? Also, does this mean Kenny literally made this ring? Does he cut metal? This was before 3D printing.
Before he heads out, Kenny warns Tyson that the new ring hasn’t been field tested yet – it’s only been successfully simulation tested. However, Tyson has faith in Kenny’s skills.
I love when Kenny puts Dragoon back together and holds it up. They clearly forgot to add the rest of the detailing to the Beyblade and put a flesh color in the middle, so it just looks like Kenny is holding up the “defense” ring again.
Mr. Dickinson comes into the….locker room? Waiting room? Whatever this is, to have a talk with Ray. He’s still being super cocky and doesn’t even want to continue the tournament because he thinks every competitor is lame and he could beat everyone with his eyes closed. Dickinson tells him to not write off everyone just yet since they could surprise him.
DJ Jazzman: “So, if you two are ready, let’s get it on! I SAID IS EVERYBODY OUT THERE READY?!” You didn’t say that…….Nitpicky but….he didn’t.
DJ Jazzman: “Wow! Tyson has changed his shooting technique, and his Beyblade is just a blur!” Uh….he didn’t change his shooting technique at all. And his Beyblade literally vanished the last time they battled.
While the instability of the new ring is making Tyson’s Beyblade overheat, Ray’s attacks are less effective than they were before. Tyson goes on the offensive and starts making a tornado with Dragoon, which is something Kenny is surprised by even though he’s seen this before.
The tornado surrounds Driger, but Ray isn’t done quite yet. He unleashes Driger…..Forgive me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t that be pronounced like “tiger” not like “trigger”? I mean, saying it like “trigger” sounds better, but if the tiger motif is what they’re going for, you’d think it’d sound like “tiger.”
Anyway, summoning Driger eliminates the tornado, leaving everyone in shock. Kenny wishes Dizzi were there to witness this……why do you not have Dizzi? You carry Dizzi everywhere, and one of your favorite pastimes is recording and analyzing Beybattles with Dizzi.
Ray and Tyson both go on the offensive and match each other head to head for a little bit before Kenny chimes in.
Kenny: “Tyson, there’s something important I forgot to tell you! The defense ring isn’t built for attacking!”
Jesus tap dancing Christ, Kenny.
So, first of all, what you’re saying is you REPLACED his attack ring with a defense ring – not that this is just a secondary ring? You said this defense ring works by increasing his attack power and spin….but it’s not designed for attacking? What the hell is the point of this defense ring, Kenny? Was the plan to just see if Driger would lose spin before Dragoon?
Tyson’s not giving up either way, and…uh…the stadium starts vibrating?
I think if Beyblades spinning within the arena can cause such violent vibration, maybe you need to tighten something.
Tyson calls out Dragoon, which shocks Ray even though I thought Tyson having a Bit Beast was known information if the graphic at the start was any indication. The two clash, Dragoon once again creating a massive tornado, and to everyone’s shock Driger is ejected from the stadium.
Tyson has won round two, and it’s now a tied game.
This is just so weird. Tyson, with his original attack ring, couldn’t so much as graze Driger. He puts on an unbalanced non-attack oriented “defense” ring that actually causes his Beyblade to overheat, and he pulls out a win. Okie dokie. Even Kenny doesn’t understand how that happened.
Max jumps down from his seat, which is like a 15 foot drop, to run to Tyson even though he didn’t win the full match – just that one battle.
Ray: “Why did….you let me…..lose the battle?” Why is…..your dialogue……….so stilted?
I guess one loss humbles the shit out of Ray because he immediately jumps down, congratulates Tyson and compliments his skills. Now they’re good buddies, I suppose. He also forfeits the final battle because he doesn’t think his skills can match Tyson.
That match was way too close for him to flip so hard. I mean, really, what kind of competitor is he if he trounces Tyson in the first battle, basically brushes him off for how easy he declared the battle, and then he quits after losing narrowly in the second battle?
In all honesty, we’ve only got about a minute of runtime left and they didn’t want this to be a two-parter, so off he goes.
Ray meets Dickinson in the hall to talk about it, and he reveals that he wants to join Tyson’s team.
With Ray out of the running, they immediately head off to the finals where Kai waits to face off against Tyson.
This was a pretty exciting episode, battle-wise. Everything-else-wise was much clunkier. Kenny made a completely nonsensical upgrade to Tyson’s Beyblade that I can only assume made more sense in the original Japanese version, and it still managed to eek out a win for him despite getting squashed before.
Ray’s heel turn also came out of nowhere. He was literally yawning and being completely disrespectful of Tyson beforehand, but he manages to get a win and he not only humbles himself and compliments Tyson, but he also bows out of the final round. At the very least, I’m pretty sure he’ll be much more tolerable to watch from this point on since, again, I didn’t remember him being such an asshat when I first watched this.
Next time, Tyson and Kai meet in the finals to finally have their rematch.
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Name: Machop is a combination of “macho” and “chop.” Machop is a good name. It’s snappy and fitting while also being kind cute.
In Japan, it’s known as Wanriki, which is a combination of “wan” for “arm” and “riki” for “strength.” This name doesn’t really appeal to me all that much. It’s fine and fitting, but I prefer Machop.
Fun Fact: Machop’s beta name was Kara-tee for karate. I actually think that would’ve been cute.
Design: I’ll admit, I used to find Machop kinda creepy looking, but now I find it pretty cute. Sure, humanoid Pokemon are always a bit weird either way, and Machop’s half-human half-dinosaur/Gumby body is something alright, but it’s got its own cute charm to it…..Not sure why it has a tail, but okay.
Sprite-wise, Gen I is pretty funny. Look at R/G’s doofy-ass face.
R/B looks a lot cuter, but it still looks like someone glued googly eyes to it.
Yellow is better, but those arms…..
Gen II is colored a bit oddly with Machop being more of a dirty bronze color than bluish-gray.
Most of the sprites beyond this point are pretty cute, except when we get to Gen VII where the default sprite looks smushed and weird.
Ah yet another shiny that looks like it’s spent a few hours swimming in pee. Shiny Machop isn’t too terrible compared to the other pee shinies, but I still wish they had chosen a different color.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machop is strong, and a master of many martial arts. It loves using Graveler as a barbell for some reason. Its muscles never get sore or cramp no matter how much it trains, and it can throw 100 adults. It likes particularly nutritious foods in order to help build more muscle, and it strives to challenge a Makuhita to a fight.
Design-wise, Machop is obviously based on body-builders, but it also has some reptilian features incorporated into it. Why? I have no idea. But it works fine enough.
Name: Out of the three, I like Machoke’s name the least. I get that it’s making secondary theming by having each second word also begin with a ‘ch’ word, but “choke” just sounds a bit too much like this Pokemon’s a serial killer not a master martial artist or body builder. I get that chokeholds exist, but it’s not what my mind immediately jumps to when hearing the word “choke.”
In Japan, it’s known as Goriki, which means “herculean strength.” I like it better than Wanriki, but I still don’t care for it all that much.
Fun Fact: Like Machop was going to be known as Kara-tee in the beta version of the English games, Machoke was going to be known as Kung-Foo.
Design: Machoke looks even more human-like than Machop to the point where it now has spawned wrestling trunks. It also now has a championship belt, which is actually a power regulator.
Machoke is purple, so it’s already earning a few points with me. Otherwise, it’s a pretty okay design. Despite losing the tail, it retained some of its reptilian features, and I like that the stripes on its arms look muscle details.
Sprite-wise, R/G is just as doofy as Machop’s R/G sprite.
R/B is hilarious because Machoke looks cross-eyed there. The fact that it looks like its making armpit farts doesn’t help.
What the shit, Yellow? Ew.
Gen II looks alright…..barring the pec wiggle.
Gen III is alright too, but what’s up with the animation for Emerald? It looks like he suddenly decided to take a violent crap on the floor.
Everything else is alright. He’s just posing and flexing his muscles in various ways.
I will ask why Gen VI onward looks so gray. It’s like he now has Machamp’s colors instead of his own purple coloring.
If Machop was swimming in pee to make its shiny, Machoke was swimming in baby poo. The blue on the stripes is a nice touch, but otherwise, ew.
Luckily, they realized how barfy this looked and changed the shade as time went on. Gens IV and V look more like pine green, and it’s a lot nicer.
So of course they made it worse later by having every Gen beyond that point look like Machoke is sick.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machoke is really strong. It is typically used to help with jobs involving heavy materials, like clearing land and construction. It never gets tired, and needs the aforementioned belt to regulate its power, which is weird because several Dex entries note that it always goes at full power.
Design-wise, Machoke has the same inspiration as Machop, except maybe with slightly more pro wrestler influence.
Name: I think Machamp is a perfect name for the final evo of this line. It’s the CHAMPION!
In Japan, it’s known as Kairiki, which translates to “superhuman strength”….not sure if that’s better or worse than “herculean strength” but okay.
Fun Fact: Beta!Machamp was going to be known as Ju-Doh.
Design: Out of the entire trio, Machamp weirds me out the most. I think it’s the four arms combined with the weird huge lips. Something about that combo is just weird. It doesn’t look terrible, but it kinda weirds me out, is all.
Sprite-wise, pbbbbbttttthahahahaha R/G again.
R/B just looks weird. It’s almost like it has three arms on its right side.
Yellow, for some reason, gives off 1920s cartoon vibes.
Gen II is very golden for some reason. I love the animation for Crystal.
What is up with the back sprite, though? It’s like it’s asking for a high five.
Everything else, which is mostly just flexing poses, is fine.
Mmmm….I don’t care for it. The face looks weird, I don’t much care for the charcoal gray color, and it’s just a weird shape. What is up with the Popeye-esque muscular structure of the arms? And why do the hands look too small/short? I do like the lava-esque cracks on the forearms, but that’s about it.
Shiny: More green, but I guess they got the memo with Machoke and decided to make most of Machamp’s shinies a pine or lime green….
….Barring Gen II of course, which looks more like overcooked asparagus green….
and Gen III, which looks more like the baby poop shade Machoke had.
Shiny Gigantamax Machamp is also green, but a darker shade.
I think it looks…..eh. The green doesn’t go well with the orange and yellow ‘lava’ cracks anymore. It makes me think Machamp’s turning into a citrus fruit.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machamp is really, REALLY strong. It can throw punches from all four arms insanely fast, over 1000 in two seconds, and throw its victims over the horizon. One arm alone has the strength to move mountains. However, it has an issue with dexterity due to its four arms. It needs to really think about it before trying to do anything involving careful precision otherwise it may tangle its arms.
Gigantamax Machamp has punches so powerful that they sound like bomb blasts when they hit. It’s so strong that it once lifted a large ship back to port when it experienced trouble at sea.
Design-wise, the only difference between Machamp and the others in the line is that the blue skin and additional arms may be in reference to Hindu gods, Shiva or Vishnu.
And that was the Superhuman line. Honestly, not a whole lot to say, but it’s a pretty cool Fighting Type line, and it’s definitely a classic. Fun fact one last time – Machamp was the first ever holographic card I ever got, and I still have it.
Next time, the Bell Plant line!
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CotD:Professor Westwood the Fifth – A renowned Pokemon professor who helped program the Pokedex, Professor Westwood is very proud of his lineage, which is made up entirely of fellow Pokemon researchers on his father’s side. Westwood is a bit eccentric, but he truly loves Pokemon.
Pokemon: A Slowpoke that eventually evolves into a Slowbro. Since he kinda stole Jessie’s Shellder, he might also have that too, technically?
Plot: Ash’s mother, Misty and Brock head off to a beach resort for a vacation while Ash is left behind to train for the Pokemon League. He visits Professor Oak who explains that he’s currently struggling with one of the biggest mysteries of Pokemon – Why Slowpoke evolves when its tail is bitten by a Shellder.
Oak tells Ash that the only person who might be able to figure it out is Professor Westwood, a Pokemon researcher who helped program the Pokedex. He just so happens to reside in Seafoam Island where Ash’s mother and his friends just departed to. Ash happily offers to visit Westwood to help get the answer for Oak.
When he arrives, he recruits Misty and Brock and they head to Westwood’s lab. While Westwood is a bit of a nut, he is clearly dedicated to his work. Sadly, however, he does not have the answers Oak is searching for. He’s been trying to unlock this mystery for a long time in order to impress his peers at the Pokemon Symposium. While Slowpoke is quite the derpy Pokemon, Psyduck finds it to be a kindred spirit, and the two make good friends.
Team Rocket shows up to steal his Pokemon, even though he only has the Slowpoke he’s currently researching. Jessie has a surprise, though – a Shellder to turn it into a Slowbro. As Team Rocket tries to force Slowpoke to evolve, Psyduck comes out to protect its new friend.
While the battle is clumsy at best, Psyduck gets a massive headache when Shellder latches onto his head. The headache allows him to use his Psychic abilities and defeat Team Rocket. However, his victory is short lived because Shellder just latches onto Slowpoke’s tail afterward anyway, evolving it into Slowbro.
Team Rocket tries to take Slowbro, but with its new abilities upon evolution, it is able to easily Mega Punch them away.
Having witnessed Slowpoke’s evolution, Westwood finally understands why Shellder latches onto Slowpoke. With Shellder’s weight on Slowpoke’s tail, it is able to balance on its hind legs and frees up its front legs for use in order to use skills like Mega Punch. Shellder is also able to move on land while hitching a ride on Slowpoke.
The mystery now solved, Ash and the others head back, but not before Psyduck and Slowbro say their goodbyes….their long….very simple goodbyes.
– I get that Ash OBVIOUSLY needs to train for the Pokemon League, and I’m not at all saying he should go, but it’s pretty rude of his friends to head off with his mom and her friends to an island/beach getaway for a while and not even bother telling him.
– Speaking of this island getaway, Delia explains that it’s taking place on Seafoam Island, which is a pretty long way away from Pallet Town, but it seems that this is the dub’s weird change. This anime-exclusive resort is originally called Binnes, and is supposedly quite close to Pallet. I’ll assume it’s just on the beaches nearby Pallet that you take to get to Cinnabar. 4Kids changed it to Seafoam Island because I dunno. This is another instance of 4Kids thinking kids don’t pay attention to the stuff they’re consuming, I suppose.
– Why is Mr. Mine sweeping the dirt?
He keeps doing that.
– Ash: *In response to Oak being frustrated at not being able to figure out the mystery of Slowpoke’s evolution* “Why don’t you just use the Pokedex to look it up?” Ash….Oak MADE the Pokedex. What makes you think it has answers he doesn’t?
– If this Professor Westwood did know the secret to Slowpoke evolution, would those findings not be public and thus something Oak wouldn’t need to lookup? This is especially weird because Oak says Westwood helped him program the Pokedex, so wouldn’t he also put everything he knows into it?
– Why does Ash need to visit him? Why can’t they call? This technologically advanced yet somehow still technology starved world continues to confuse me.
– Brock: “He’s the guy who programmed the Pokedex!” Okay….if he’s the guy who programmed the Pokedex, wouldn’t his area of expertise be more on the side of computers and coding than Pokemon? (Originally, he wrote the Pokedex. I don’t really know what that means. Okido provided the data but Nishinomori wrote the blurbs or something? You’d think Okido could do that himself.) Also, Oak just said he HELPED program the Pokedex, not that he was the one who programmed the Pokedex. That’s a fairly significant discrepancy.
– What exactly is it with Pokemon and having family lines that all look identical? First the Jennys, then the Joys and now this guy’s family line.
– Admittedly, though, it is pretty funny that he clearly had his painting made to make him look so much more handsome when he looks the same as his ancestors.
– Misty: “You mean like Togepi?”
Westwood: “I’ve never seen another Pokemon quite like that one.” But….you helped program the Pokedex/wrote it. Togepi’s in the Pokedex….Huh?
– I definitely remember the running gag of Westwood freaking out and apologizing to each of his ancestors before realizing the last one is himself. Wasn’t funny back in the day, and it’s still not.
– Look, I get that this is a neat little tidbit about Slowpoke’s evolution, but you cannot convince me that Pokemon researchers have never witnessed a Slowpoke evolving before. They’re way too common for me to believe that.
– Misty: *In reference to Slowpoke’s category of the Dopey Pokemon* “It’s not very nice to call it dopey.” I agree, but I also think the part where it says, after ‘no one can ever tell what it’s thinking,’ “if it ever does think” is more rude.
– Misty: “Hey, it’s the same clueless expression Psyduck has!” ‘Boy, it’s mean to call Slowpoke dopey……Hey look at its clueless expression! I’ll also now insult my Psyduck at the same time!’
– If there’s one thing I definitely remember about this episode, it’s the ‘conversation’ between Psyduck and Slowpoke. It’s pretty funny.
– Wow, that Krabby is such a dick. It literally just hopped out of the water to pinch both of them on the tail and then left.
– Ash: “Look, it’s got a bite!”
Misty: “Well, at least it’s good at something. Unlike Psyduck.” Misty, don’t you have to go be a bitch somewhere else?
– Giovanni: “Ah, a nice relaxing day at the beach is just what I needed after Team Rocket’s headquarters was destroyed.” Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttthahahahahahahah! What a weird thing to say and do. “Dammit, my evil organization has been dealt a severe blow. One of the strongest Pokemon in existence escaped from my grasp, my headquarters was destroyed, my Gym was blown up by that group of nimrods I won’t fire for some reason……Ah well. Time to break out the Hawaiian shirts, order a pina colada and sunbathe my troubles away. Ahhh.”
– YAY SHELLDER! I love Shellder. We don’t see it enough in the series.
– James trying to emulate Ash is hilarious and adorable.
– Also, look, Ash, even James knows to battle a Pokemon before trying to catch it.
– I don’t really know any logical way they’d set this up, but there really should be some failsafe put in place to prevent other people from capturing Pokemon you weaken in battle. Jessie just straight-up steals Shellder from James after he and Weezing did so well in that battle.
– Why did Giovanni only instruct Jessie, James and Meowth to break into Westwood’s laboratory? He didn’t tell them to steal his research or his Pokemon – he just said to break into the laboratory because it might prove useful to him.
– Jessie and James doing their motto muffled underneath their parasail had me laughing out loud.
– Westwood is a Pokemon researcher with only one Pokemon? Oak observes and cares for hundreds. Why exactly did Oak think Westwood would be helpful with this mystery?
– Technically, the mystery has changed, hasn’t it? Oak was wondering WHY Shellder clamps onto Slowpoke’s tail, and Westwood is wondering why it turns into a spiral shape when Slowpoke evolves into a Slowbro.
– I find it quite concerning that the one time Slowpoke is thinking and moving quickly is to get away from Shellder, knowing it will bite its tail. That has very weird implications for the supposedly symbiotic relationship the two have upon evolution.
– Misty: “Wait a minute, Ash! We’re at the ocean, and Water Pokemon are my specialty!” I’m all for Brock and Misty being more active, but why does Misty frequently need the excuse of being near water or involving Water Pokemon to take the reins so often? Imagine if Brock was like “Hold on, Ash! We’re by rocks, and Rock Pokemon are my specialty!”
– Westwood: “Fascinating! I can present this to the symposium!” You want to present a Psyduck and a Slowpoke staring at each other to what is supposedly the most prestigious collection of scientists in the Pokemon researching world? Okie dokie.
– *Shellder bites Psyduck’s tail*
Ash: “It’s gonna be a Psybro! :D” That line was pretty funny because it’s clear Ash is being sarcastic while Misty seriously replies “I’ve never heard of a Psybro….”
– Misty: “Wah! Psyduck used its Tail Wag attack!” Tail Wag isn’t an attack, Misty.
Ash: “I made up that Psybro thing….” But Misty didn’t call Psyduck Psybro. I actually think this is a flub. I think the script was supposed to say or did say that Misty was supposed to call out for Psybro here, but either someone accidentally put “Psyduck” in the script or Rachel Lillis just said “Psyduck” without realizing the script said “Psybro.”
Veronica Taylor’s delivery of this line is funny enough for me to excuse this flub, though.
– Why would they purposefully attack Psyduck’s head? They’ve been on the receiving end of Psyduck’s headaches before.
– This whole battle on both sides is very funny. No one’s doing anything right.
– Psyduck suddenly cutting off his power from out of nowhere was funny too.
– Westwood: *after Slowpoke* “I’m the first researcher to witness this!” No, you’re not.
…..I’m not debating this. He’s not. I refuse to believe that no Pokemon researcher has ever seen a Shellder latch onto a Slowpoke tail. They fish with their tails, Shellder seem to be jonesin’ for that tail, and you can literally just apparently put a Shellder next to a Slowpoke and they’ll do it…..No…..No, he’s not the first researcher to witness this. Unless every other researcher in the Pokemon world is the most inept scientist in existence, no.
– Alright, so the given reason for why Shellder attaches to Slowpoke’s tail is because it’s mutually beneficial. Shellder is able to now move on land while Slowbro has use of its arms and can stand on two legs.
And that’s it. That’s your explanation.
Even as a kid, I thought that was kinda lame and unsatisfying as an answer. Shellder gains the ability to move on land. Okay….why does it need to do that? It seems like it does fine on the beach and in the sand. Also, it was chasing Slowpoke on the beach and was keeping pace with it even when it was running. I’m pretty sure it’s fairly mobile on land.
Slowpoke is able to walk on its hind legs now and can use its front legs. Okay….I get that it can use Mega Punch and stuff now, but walking on two legs seems like it would be even slower than walking on four. Also, now it looks to be much heavier, so that would be a hindrance as well.
I guess not everything in nature needs to make sense, but when you’re writing something, especially a story centered on an explanation of such a phenomena, you expect the answer to be a bit better and make more sense than that.
I usually save these bits for My Poke-Pinions, but let’s see what the Pokedex entries have to say about this.
Bear in mind that most of these explanations were written years later.
According to the Pokedex, Shellder really latches onto Slowpoke’s tail because it likes the taste. Pokemon Stadium says the tail is crunchy….eugh, while Crystal…..”An attached Shellder won’t let go because of the tasty flavor that oozes out of its tail.”
Who wrote that? That’s so gross.
R/S explains that Slowpoke loses the ability to fish with its tail when it evolves, forcing it to swim and fish that way. Hm, let’s see, be able to stand on their hind legs and punch people or more easily and conveniently catch the food it needs to survive? Hmmm.
Then we have Ultra Moon with this helpful tidbit.
“Shellder, in its greed to suck out more and more sweetness from Slowbro’s tail, has metamorphosed into a spiral-shaped shell.” Excuse me—what?! How does that make sense?! Why does greed for more…..eugh…..tail sweetness equate to becoming a spiral shape?
These entries have to get better, right?
Sword: “Sweet flavors seeping from the tail make the Shellder feel as if its life is a dream.”
EUGHDSJ…….Galarian Slowbro Pokedex entries have to be less gross, right?
Shield: “If this Pokémon squeezes the tongue of the Shellder biting it, the Shellder will launch a toxic liquid from the tip of its shell.”
Speaking of which, they never do explain why Shellder becomes a spiral shape when Slowpoke evolves nor why Slowpoke full on evolves when a Shellder clamps on to a Slowpoke’s tail as opposed to it just, ya know….living with a Shellder on its tail. What is it about Shellder’s presence that prompts evolution?
Interestingly, the Dex entries also explain that Slowbro is a rare example of a Pokemon being able to devolve. If the Shellder comes off, or its tail breaks off, it reverts back to being a Slowpoke. Natural devolution is so rare that only one other Pokemon, Exeggcutor, has been recorded doing this as well. In the case of Exeggcutor, when one of their heads fall off, it becomes an Exeggcute again. Even unnatural devolution is extremely rare and complicated, usually involving powerful beings or very specific conditions and devices.
I would say trying to record a Slowbro devolving by taking the Shellder off its tail is much more interesting and unique than trying to understand its evolution. In fact, numerous Pokemon are shown to evolve by combining more than one creature, like with Magneton or Dugtrio, so outside of wondering why Shellder gains a spiral shell, which is never answered really, it’s not uncharted territory.
– Slowbro and Psyduck taking forever to say goodbye to each other was also very funny.
Dogasu had something to add about this episode that I kinda wanted to respond to.
As for the rest of the episode, the shonen anime “training arc” of the series is now officially underway and while Satoshi is rarely seen doing any actual training it’s kind of fun to see him try to be a serious Trainer for all of five seconds before finding some really flimsy excuse to just take the whole day off to go goof off somewhere. It’s a very ten-year-old boy thing to do, right? Satoshi being really bad at staying focused on training will be a running theme throughout this arc and even though he does eventually lose because of some B.S. disqualification the arc still manages to do a good job of making it clear that Satoshi is simply not ready to win the Pokemon League, sleeping Lizardon or not.
I think comparing this to a shounen training arc is both pretty apt and pretty funny purely because of the sheer lack of training that actually goes on.
From now until the Indigo League actually starts, I’m going to rate how well these episodes fare as training episodes.
This one? A flat zero. Even Misty points out that Ash missed a day of training to help Westwood. I don’t care if Ash brushes it off like learning about Pokemon is training. Studying? Yes. That counts as training. Learning about Slowpoke evolution? No. When would that ever prove useful in a League match? Study that some other time.
As for Dogasu’s point about it being very much a ten-year-old boy thing to do to brush off work to go play, well, yes, but also not really. I can totally get kids flaking on doing schoolwork or chores to go goof off. I definitely did that as a kid. But flaking on stuff you’re passionate about? I get that to some degree as well because many kids, at heart, just want to play around and have fun, especially if they know their friends are doing it too.
However, if you’re the one pushing for this goal – literally no one but Ash is pushing him to be a future Pokemon Master – you’d think they wouldn’t have as much problem actually putting effort into it. Goofing around for one episode or two? Yeah, sure, fine, understandable. However, goofing off even when you have stuff to do that’s important to you usually comes after you’ve already done some work. Ya know, as a bit of a break. This seems to be Ash’s first day of official training, yet he can’t muster the motivation to train for more than *checks watch* zero minutes?
I agree that this whole arc perfectly encompasses why Ash just isn’t ready to win the Indigo League anyway, despite his specific issues with Charizard, but I still get irked at the fact that Gary lost before Ash, and he clearly had a much better work and study ethic than Ash did. Not to mention that the lesson at the end of the Indigo League is that Ash screwed up with Charizard specifically and doesn’t get an earful of “Well, what do you expect when you barely do any training on your journey and then spend only about 5% of your time in between earning your final badge and the start of the League actually training?”
So, yeah, as a ‘training’ episode, this one falls really flat.
As an episode as a whole, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. It was definitely more geared towards just being pure entertainment because there’s nothing they really learned in this episode, and there’s not much of a story so much as just things happening. The entire story can be summed up in a sentence. It made up for it a lot with how genuinely funny it was. Slowpoke and Psyduck are always funny on their own, but the two of them together is fantastic, and there were plenty of other funny moments from other characters throughout the episode.
Next time, surfing Pikachu!
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Plot: Yusuke and Botan, who is now posing as a classmate of his, catch up on the roof of the school. Botan has used her healing powers to help Yusuke recover for his next battle, and Kurama has been freed by the Spirit World punishment board on good behavior.
Things aren’t all great though, as Keiko spots Yusuke and Botan hanging out. They act suspicious around her, since Yusuke is trying to keep his Spirit Detective job a secret from her. As a result, she believes there’s something romantic going on between them.
Pressing Spirit World matters come first before Yusuke’s love life, however. Yusuke has one more artifact to retrieve – The Shadow Sword – and it’s in the hands of his toughest enemy yet, Hiei – the fire apparition with a third Jagan eye that grants him great power.
In order to get Yusuke to hand over the other two artifacts willingly, Hiei kidnaps Keiko and holds her hostage. His plot works, and Yusuke hands over the Orb of Baast and the Forlorn Hope to Hiei, but this face-off is far from over.
Hiei reveals that he’s struck Keiko with the Shadow Sword. In moments, when the third eye on her head opens wide, Keiko will become a mindless demon slave. Only the elixir stored in the sword’s hilt can change her back. Botan uses her Spirit Energy to help keep the eye from closing while Yusuke battles Hiei, but the battle is very one-sided.
Hiei is incredibly fast and powerful, especially once he transforms into his full demon state. Botan struggles even more upon this transformation as Keiko’s new demon eye starts feeding on Hiei’s demonic energy. Yusuke is able to get in some good shots, but Hiei quickly regains the upper hand, binding Yusuke with chains of demonic energy.
Just as he’s about to finish off Yusuke for good, Kurama suddenly bursts in and steps in the way of his sword strike. He cuts himself on the blade and throws the blood back in Hiei’s Jagan eye. With the eye blinded, Yusuke becomes unbound. Kurama goes to help Botan keep Keiko from transforming while Yusuke fights Hiei once more.
Hiei realizes that Yusuke becomes much more powerful the more the people he care about are put at risk, so he decides to end the battle once and for all. Yusuke tries to shoot Hiei with his Spirit Gun, but misses due to Hiei’s swift speed. However, Hiei is still struck from behind by the blast. Yusuke had used the Forlorn Hope, which had fallen on the floor in the battle, to bounce the Spirit Gun back and hit Hiei.
The Forlorn Hope was destroyed, but Hiei was vanquished.
Yusuke gives the elixir to Keiko, and her transformation is reversed. The group all delight in his victory, but it seems this was another instance of Yusuke’s dumb luck because he honestly didn’t know if the Spirit Gun could bounce off mirrors – he mostly just guessed.
Back at school the next day, Botan relays that, while they did retrieve the artifacts in time, King Yama still found out that they were stolen since the sword had blood on it and the Forlorn Hope was shattered. As a result, Koenma received 100 spankings.
Keiko spots the two of them hanging out again, and since Yusuke hasn’t been able to tell her about his secret, and she doesn’t remember anything about the events with Hiei, she assumes, again, and they’re romantically involved. Yusuke rushes to correct her, but she’s not very open to listening to him.
Yusuke’s first case is closed, but there is a new challenge right over the horizon.
Breakdown: Hey Keiko, you’re looking a bit distressed.
Damsel in distress.
I don’t know what I was doing with that joke.
Anyway, this episode is pretty good. It’s not the greatest, and I don’t think it’s a fantastic debut of Hiei, but it’s pretty good. I always kinda disliked Hiei’s full demon form. It’s not absolutely horrible, but it’s ugly and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why is that his full demon form? He’s a fire apparition, and the Jagan eye was surgically implanted, yet his full demon form is green skin and eyes all over his body.
And what was the point of mind-controlling all of those humans? They pretty much disappeared after they handed over Keiko.
Wonder where they went. Hm. Must’ve burned to a pile of white ash considering the sun is basically giving eskimo kisses to the earth right outside.
Seriously, animators, tone the sun and moon sizes down.
That being said, Hiei is still a very significant threat who very nearly did kill Yusuke if Kurama hadn’t bamf’d in and saved him. Have I mentioned how much I love Kurama? Because it’s a lot. Dude took a sword to the stomach for Yusuke and used his own blood to down Hiei while shrugging off the wound like it was nothing. Badass is an understatement.
Plus, Botan even got a moment of badassery. If it weren’t for her, Keiko would be all demonized right now. But, speaking of Botan….she has healing powers? Where were these earlier? And why is this even being brought up? Wasn’t he more or less recovered after his meeting with Kurama? I know he was hobbling around when Kurama called him out, but he was basically fine when he met him at the hospital. Did they just want to ensure no one would ask why Yusuke’s at full power even though he got a whuppin’ by Gouki?
I honestly don’t remember her using healing powers in the future, but maybe I’m forgetting something.
As a whole, this arc was a great start for Yusuke, and it’s allowed him to grow as a fighter and a Spirit Detective quite a bit more. We’ve also learned, in typical shounen fighting hero fashion, that his powers get stronger when the people he cares about are in danger or wounded.
Speaking of shounen fighting anime, get your brackets ready – it’s time for our first tournament arc! The powerful psychic, Genkai, is looking to pass on her abilities before she passes away, so she holds a tournament to determine who is most worthy of her power. To ensure her incredible abilities don’t fall into the wrong hands, Yusuke is tasked with joining the tournament. Can he beat out the rest and become Genkai’s pupil?
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