SSBS – Beyblade Episode 4: The Qualifier Begins

Plot: The Regional Qualifiers are underway and people are already dropping like flies. The dialogue is a bit weird, though, because both the announcers and the Chief make it sound like Kai is personally beating all of these kids in the qualifiers, but the animation makes it clear that they’re just mass Beyblade battles against whole groups of combatants with about ten people per group.

One of the announcers, Brad Best and AJ Topper, actually brings up an issue I have with this format, and that’s, once enough Beyblades fall, won’t the losing blades kinda get in the way of the remaining competitors? Apparently, once enough blades fall, they stop the match, clean them out, then restart. Why not just do smaller groups in the first place?

One thing I’ve always thought was a lot of fun about Beyblade was the tournament format where the audience basically follows the action as if they were watching a real Beyblade tournament. We get cheesy (and sometimes very funny) announcers, overlay graphics, everything outside of sponsorship plugs.

Back to the action, Max manages to win his qualifier, and now Kenny is up next in block C. He manages to do pretty well, even if the animation continues to show off how much of a non-sport this actually is because the bladers just stand around doing nothing while their blades either get knocked out or destroyed or they wait for the other competitors to fall.

Somehow, someway no one noticed that Kai has been in this block the whole time even though they were just talking about him incessantly when he wasn’t actually there and they keep bringing up that Kai is the reigning champion trying to defend his title.

And since Kai is in the Chief’s block, you can bet any hope you might have had for our bespectacled pal to actually get a win are now nonexistent. You can also clearly tell how ridiculously stacked battles are against blades that don’t have bit beasts in them because Kai’s blade is clearly changing direction sharply and aiming specifically for other blades.

Tyson: “Wait a minute, I bet Kenny and Dizzi have something up their sleeves. King Kai’s gonna lose his crown.” It’s really nice of Tyson to have such faith in Kenny and Dizzi, but I couldn’t help but be DBZ distracted when he called him King Kai….

Kenny is now the last one standing against Kai, and…..I gotta call out Kenny on his Beyblade. The Chief’s Beyblade is an odd duck. He uses a green blade called Jumping Base (Or Einstein in the original version). It’s a Beyblade…on a spring.

Okay, please bear with me because I am far from a physics major, but…isn’t this design bullshit?

They don’t really explain what they’re going for with this Beyblade, but just from looking at it, it doesn’t look like it could stay spinning for more than a second or two let alone be the last blade standing in a mass battle against Kai.

First things first, the whole blade is spinning, not just the top. That means that the little point at the end of the spring is the main point of contact and what is allowing the blade to spin.

Springs work by storing kinetic energy when they’re compressed. However, when compressed, the little bit on the end would obviously get force imposed on it as well. Since that bit is spinning, that means it’s generating friction on the surface it’s spinning on. That friction is gradually slowing the blade until the energy runs out. The force of the spring’s compression and eventual expulsion of energy would cause so much friction that I don’t think the blade wouldn’t be able to survive one bounce.

Not to mention that bouncing springs are kinda hard to control, and a wok/BeyStadium is probably one of the worst smooth environments you can find to control a bouncing spring. If you’ve ever used a pogo stick, imagine trying to use one in a half-pipe. And that’s with the spring wrapped around a pole, giving it stability and a rider being able to control a multitude of variables. This is just a free spring, allowing it to flail back and forth, with no one having any control over it.

Speaking of flailing, it might be able to take a hit pretty well, considering it has good ‘shocks’ so to speak, but the energy from a hit would just send it flailing, probably knocking itself into the wok blade first, which would drastically slow down the spin if it didn’t just fall over anyway.

You’d have to call in some sort of Beyblade Mythbusters to really debunk this, I’m just doing off-the-cuff research, but as far as I can tell, this Beyblade shouldn’t be functioning in the least, and the idea that Kenny, of all people, is using this goofy-ass design, and that it was Dizzi’s idea, is insane.

Sometimes lack of animation is too funny depending on the dialogue. “I can’t look!” Tyson says while making absolutely no effort to close or cover his eyes or look away.

“OoOhh! Kai’s attack is going to totally destroy that young man!” Says Mr. Dickenson as he doesn’t move, is smiling and posed in such a way that he might as well be feeding bread to pigeons in the park.

After taking a ridiculous amount of time for Dranzer to reach Jumping Base with its attack, Kai talks some smack and then defeats Kenny with no issue. (Kenny said he needed a lucky bounce to withstand the attack, but what was he hoping for? Jumping over Dranzer? He’d just attack again. This blade is really stupid.)

Golly, who could have predicted this?

Wanting to avenge Kenny….I guess, Tyson runs out into the arena, but he, Mr. Dickenson and Kenny are amazed that Dranzer is continuing to spin with no signs of stopping. According to Kenny, this should be impossible. Right. Right….THAT’S impossible. But your Tigger-esque Beyblade is somehow not.

Tyson is about to take Kai on, but Kenny stops him, telling him he lost fair and square. He merely underestimated Kai, and challenging him now will just get him kicked out. Tyson backs off, Kai throws more smacktalk and walks away.

It’s a little weird that Kenny underestimated Kai. He’s usually the one who errs on the side of caution the most, and he had no confidence in himself when he went out there in the first place.

Next up, group D starts – Tyson’s turn. And who else was to be his main opponents for this qualifier than Carlos and a bunch of other Blade Sharks? Tyson and the sharks manage to make it to the second part of their round, which introduces them to a new BeyStadium, an obstacle dish, which is just a sneak peak at the many, many, many ridiculous BeyStadiums they’ll come out with over time. It’s basically just as it sounds – it’s a dish with obstacles in it.

May I ask, however, why Tyson’s group gets this dish in their second half, but Kai and Kenny’s wok was extremely normal?

AJ: “It’s going to take more than skill to maneuver around those obstacles.” It’s going to take luck, because that’s all the control you’re supposed to have over your Beyblades once they’re launched. You can’t steer them. This will most likely be the last time I bring this up, because I have a feeling we’re now entering ‘Somehow we can control the Beyblades with our minds and commands and no one will question why this is or how this works’ territory.

The Blade Sharks obviously gang up on Tyson, and somehow, even without Bit Beasts, the three Blade Sharks I didn’t care to the learn the names of just so happen to not only be able to control their Beyblades telepathically, I guess, but their Beyblades can also generate electricity when they’re close together. I know I just said I’d refrain from mentioning stuff like this, but they don’t have Bit Beasts to sort of explain this away, so I was a little confused.

Tyson manages to maneuver away from them, and in a twist, Carlos picks off his teammates one by one (Though you only actually see him take out the purple haired one on-screen). Now’s as good a time as any to say that the three other Sharks have terrible voice acting. Nothing else to add there, I just don’t think we see them again after this and I wanted to get that out.

Anyway, Carlos tells the three of them to get lost because he’s flying solo now. It’s just him and Tyson now. They’re entering into a third round, which I find strange. Kai and Kenny were only in a second round, not third, and considering Tyson’s blade was still spinning when Carlos’ crapped out, I’d saying this is Tyson’s win, but whatever.

Tyson: “It’s a game and it has rules – rules you follow!” Yeah…..and in none of those rules does it say you can’t take out your teammates when it’s a free for all brawl with only one victor moving on to the tournament. They’re treating it like this is some terrible thing to do, and it is shitty, but they would’ve had to have fought each other at some point, Carlos just sped up the process.

Carlos: “I’d say you’re just jealous!” Trust me here. Amazing line delivery. All the effort of a sleeping infant.

Also, jealous of what? Again, Tyson would’ve won that match if they didn’t call for a third round here.

Tyson: “Better watch it, Carlos, cuz the rules are out the window!” 45 seconds prior to this you were literally looking down on Carlos, proclaiming that he knew nothing of Beyblade because it has rules that need to be followed. Now you’re saying ‘Ah, well, fuck the rules then!’? Come on, Tyson. Be better than that.

Carlos: “All my life, I’ve wanted to taste victory on my own. Now you’re the appetizer. *licks lips*” Uh, you’ve never won a match on your own? That is extremely incorrect. You alone were known around Tyson’s town as a bully who went around destroying or stealing other blades….on his own. Yeah, you were a member of the Blade Sharks, but they weren’t there helping you gang up on other kids.

Also, really could’ve done without the overly evil and gross lip licking.

They start the match, and Tyson shows he’s not messing around. Dragoon quickly vanishes before everyone’s eyes. Carlos is thrown for a loop, and Tyson uses this opportunity to knock his blade out of the arena…..well…that was underwhelming. The second round lasted much longer and, in my opinion, was better because it had Tyson using the field to his advantage to get away from the Sharks. Here….he somehow made Dragoon vanish and he just, boop, knocked him out of the ring…and broke his blade apart. (Also, Kenny explains that, somehow, Dragoon is now so fast that it’s invisible to the human eye. I would roll my eyes a little harder at that, but, again, that’s just the tip of the goofy ice berg.)

As Carlos collapses on the ground in defeat and mutters due an animation problem, I assume, Tyson is declared the winner and moves on to the tournament.

Tyson’s a good sport, though, and hands Carlos the pieces of his Beyblade.

Tyson: “Wicked battle, man.” Carlos’ blade did nothing. That battle was one-sided and terribly boring. Also, it was really weak as a chance to either redeem Carlos or turn him into this big threat. Maybe this is just a measuring stick match since Carlos thrashed Tyson once before and still gave him a bit of a run for his money on the rematch, so him completely spanking him now is a sign of how much he’s grown, but it’s still disappointing.

Bottomline: Qualifier rounds of shounen gaming anime tend to be mostly entertaining filler. You know the main characters (barring Kenny, because he’s the tech guy not a Beyblader, really) are going to advance, and the enemies this time around are rematches with people Tyson’s already beaten before.

The whole episode was building up to Tyson’s match, but all of the gameplay I saw there was rather boring. Like I said, the group match against all of the Sharks was more entertaining than his battle with Carlos, which was so short and uneventful it was almost a joke.

I was a little bit more preoccupied with Kenny’s match vs. Kai, because, well….that Beyblade, man. That bouncing little kangaroo Beyblade. That is some marvel of physics. And by ‘marvel’ I mean ‘marvelously insane.’ How did Kenny even make it as far as he did with that defy-er of all things logic Beyblade? Did he just bounce in place and managed to not get hit by anyone? Did he somehow manage to bounce above everyone when they tried to hit him? The more I think about it, the more confused I become.

This episode as a whole maxes out at ‘okay’ and I’m being a little generous there.

Last note, but this episode had noticeably worse animation than usual. Like…bad bad. I understand that the budget is typically reserved for bigger episodes and qualifiers basically are filler episodes, but wow. Some of those shots were beautifully bad.

Next Episode….

….Previous Episode


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SSBS – Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 6 | The Three Demons! Hiei, Kurama, Goki

Plot: Yusuke’s back proper now, and he’s got his first big case as a spirit detective. Three demons have stolen three incredibly powerful artifacts from the vault of Koenma’s father, King Yama. Yusuke is tasked with hunting them down, bringing them to justice and retrieving the artifacts before the thieves do anything malicious with them.

Breakdown: Ah, we’re finally into the nitty gritty. Yusuke’s officially a spirit detective now, and he’s got his first case. Not to mention, it’s the case that will lead us to two other main characters, Hiei and Kurama, who happen to be two of the aforementioned thieves.

We also get our first detective item in the Spirit Filtering Spectacles, known in the dub as the Psychic Spyglass, which allows the user to see through things such as walls, clothes etc.

Sadly, this is the first and last time we see this item, like so many other detective items, because, like I said before, it’s pretty much a gimmick they completely dropped not too long into the series.

As for Yusuke’s first enemy, Goki, he’s pretty much forgettable. I get that we needed someone who was a typical run of the mill type criminal for Yusuke to cut his teeth on before he moved onto bigger game, but he really is just forgettable. I remember him being a part of Hiei and Kurama’s short-lived thief crew and I remembered the item he stole, but I couldn’t remember his name or what kind of powers he had, and I just barely remembered his base character design. His full demon state, or I guess I should say ogre state, is also very, very boringly typical. Just a big muscular red dude with horns and big teeth.

I commend Yusuke for actually agreeing to this role. At first, he’s kinda blasé about it and wants to do his own thing, but he accepts that, in return for getting his life back, he owes it to Koenma and Botan to do this job. He’s ‘earning his keep’ as he puts it.

The first half of the episode really isn’t about the case, however, it’s about Yusuke’s return to school. Everyone is scared to death of him, whether it be because they’re just afraid of Yusuke by default or they’re terrified about the fact that he rose from the dead.

Mr. Iwamoto is also not happy about his return – so much so that he tries to have him expelled by framing him for various thefts. He even punches Yusuke in the face when he refuses to confess! God, I really hate Iwamoto….Oh well, at least he’s also a dumbass who keeps the stolen items in his frickin’ pocket as he’s interrogating Yusuke.

Speaking of idiots, let’s talk about Koenma for a minute. Yusuke has a one week time limit on retrieving these items, but not because the three thieves are planning something major that will go down in one week – it’s because Koenma’s dad, King Yama, is coming back from vacation in a week. If he sees the items are missing, he’ll go ballistic – supposedly raining havoc and destruction all over earth until he gets them back.

And the reason the items went missing, even though Koenma was specifically told to ensure the vault was properly protected….was just that Koenma didn’t guard it well enough because he just didn’t think anyone would try to break in…..

But that’s not all. Yusuke wants to teach Iwamoto a lesson for framing him and trying to get him expelled. Koenma points out that it’s in poor taste to attack a teacher after he was set free, but Yusuke is like ‘well, I can’t just let him go!’ So Koenma teaches him his trademark attack, the Spirit Gun, to attack him invisibly. At this point, the blast is no stronger than a really good punch, so that should be revenge enough. It is indeed a good shot of revenge since it flattens him out on the ground in an instant.

You may be wondering why this is a problem.

Well, teaching Yusuke the Spirit Gun right now isn’t a problem, and it’s only kinda problematic that he taught him the move in order to strike his teacher, since he deserved it and all – it’s that, after he already shot one off, Koenma tells him he can only use it once a day….He tells him that right before he Yusuke sets off to find and confront the thieves.

Koenma let him waste his best and, pretty much, only decent weapon against demons and other monsters just because he was pissed off and too childish to let it go or at least wait until later to get his revenge. Hell, he could’ve told him about the Spirit Gun and the one-shot-a-day limit immediately and then told him to wait until after the case to shoot Iwamoto. The jackass isn’t going anywhere.

Overall, a bit more of a building block episode, but a good one. Yusuke’s first official case is a really big one, but there are three culprits to deal with one at a time to better split it up and let him grow more gradually at he faces each opponent. Goki may be small potatoes and forgettable, but like I said he basically had to be as such in order to give Yusuke a training-wheels-esque enemy.

Next time, one of my favorite episodes!…And not just because it’s the proper debut of KURAMMMAAAAAAAA!!….I’ve always loved Kurama a lot…He’s my favorite character….And I may have had a big crush on him back in the day…..


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SSBS | Bakugan Episode 4: Dan and Drago

Plot: After throwing Drago into the river, Dan confronts his classmate, Ryo, who is very knowledgeable about Bakugan, yet has never played it. Despite Ryo being very courteous and bashful, Dan becomes infuriated at him when one of his classmates states that Ryo’s so knowledgeable on Bakugan that he might even be able to beat Dan in a Brawl.

Nearly having his laptop broken by Dan’s outburst, Ryo is approached by Masquerade who recruits him, claiming he could be the best Brawler around with his knowledge, and his strategies should be respected. Without Drago by his side and facing a super-strategic first-timer with a Doom Card on his side, can Dan manage to win?

Breakdown: *Deep breath* Okay, Bakugan. I am a reasonable person. Maybe you’re just struggling to get through this first handful of episodes. I get that. So, let’s put the water under the bridge, the exact same place you threw Drago, and try to move on.

Ahem.

Today’s episode starts with a really sloppily edited and written scene with Dan’s friend guilt-tripping him and trying to get him to go find Drago. He stubbornly refuses and goes to lay on his bed without shutting off the computer or closing the video chat.

“Dan, come back!” He’s just laying on the bed about two feet away from the computer. He can still hear you and talk.

Meanwhile, Drago and underwater shenanigans.

The next day at school, Dan starts ragging on this kid named Ryo who, despite never having played Bakugan before, likes to analyze the data from battles and make up strategies for certain scenarios using his computer. So, pretty much Bakugan’s version of The Chief from Beyblade. Dan believes there’s no strategy to Bakugan – it’s all about who has the most power….This Bakugan prodigy, one of the best in the world….Has early Yu-Gi-Oh Joey syndrome. Or Morikawa from Cardfight!! Vanguard syndrome, take your pick.…..

I’m not kidding – Dan is MYSTIFIED that there’s actual strategy involved in this game.

They pronounce Ryo as ‘Rye-oh’….

One of their classmates says Ryo knows so much, he might even be able to beat Dan in a Brawl, and Dan becomes enraged. He mocks Ryo some more, despite Ryo being perfectly pleasant and nice this entire time, and challenges Ryo to a Bakugan Brawl. He tells him to put his money where his mouth is unless he’s afraid to show that his data isn’t worth spit, but Ryo didn’t say a damn thing, the other kid did. So he’d be putting his money where some other kid’s mouth is.

Dan gets so pissy that he rushes up to Ryo’s face to the point where Ryo stumbles backwards and drops his computer.

For a change, the other kids actually call Dan out for being a dickhead and defend poor timid Ryo and his possibly broken computer. Dan doesn’t own up to it, though, and just runs out of the room claiming it wasn’t his fault when it 100% was.

While Dan sulks later that night, Ryo is contacted through his Bakugan simulation software by Masquerade. Ryo states that he’s perfectly content simulating Bakugan, acting as if it’s a chess game, as opposed to playing the actual game. Masquerade claims Ryo wants to prove to the world that he has the skills and knowledge to be an amazing Brawler, and he can help him with that if he joins his mission.

The next day at school, Dan actually seems like he might be about to apologize, but Ryo suddenly challenges him to a Brawl, revealing that he has one of those Duel Disk-esque things from Masquerade. Dan accepts the challenge.

Dan: “This geek is going down!” So much for apologies, apparently.

Ryo sets down a Doom Card, and they both set down their first Gate cards.

Ryo sends out Fear Ripper. Dan puts down another Gate card and summons Pyrus Terrorclaw.

Ryo….draws a card from his shirt? I’m not sure that’s allowed, but whatever. He places another Gate card and summons a dark praying mantis thing. He then uses the ability card, Marionette to….grab…Terrorclaw and…..somehow that allows the praying mantis thing to beat him.

Wiki Response – Apparently, moving Terrorclaw to Darkus Mantris’ spot….lowered its power enough to beat him…or something?

Anyway, Terrorclaw is now in the….the Doom Dimensionpbbbttthahahahaha. That will never not be funny.

Ryo recalls his Mantris for some reason, and we’re off to round two.

Dan calls out Juggernoid while Ryo summons….the Mantris again. Why recall it if you were just going to call it back out half a second later?

Juggernoid attacks Mantris, but Ryo uses the ability card, Companion, which…sends both of them to the Doom Dimension?

Wiki Response – I guess that’s exactly it’s function: it kills both an opponent’s Bakugan and your own. *shrug*

Dan is offended that Ryo let his own Bakugan be a sacrifice to beat his, but Ryo says they’re all just tools and parts of his strategy.

Round three – Dan sends out Robotallion and uses the ability card, Robotallion Enforcement. That….beats him….I guess?

Wiki Response – Robotallion Enforcement powered up Robotallion by 50g, which gave him a 40g lead over Fear Ripper. However, they never show Robotallion attacking. They both get engulfed in flames, return to their ball forms and, I guess we’re left to assume that Dan just won that round because of that.

Round four – Ryo sends out Reaper, and Dan thinks this match is clinched because Reaper is standing on a Gate card that will give his Pyrus cards an extra 150g, meaning Reaper won’t be able to beat Robotallion. Boy it sure is nice when the show actually EXPLAINS what’s happening.

Dan sends out Robotallion and activates his Gate card, but Ryo counters with Dimension 4, which nullifies his Gate Card. Now without the g boost, Reaper is able to beat Robotallion, giving the match to Ryo.

Dan finally actually, legitimately lost…..and I feel numb. I thought I’d feel happier with Dan finally losing, knock him down a peg. But, remember, I am reading the Wiki page for this episode….He wins the rematch later on, so this whole thing just seems somewhat moot besides guilting Dan enough to go after Drago.

Also, despite the fact that time stopped at the start of the Brawl, the second they get back from the pocket dimension, it’s suddenly looking like there’s going to be a storm.

Ryo and the other kids walk away, leaving Dan on the ground beating himself up over losing his Bakugan. And if there were ever a more inappropriate time for the commercial break to bust in going ‘Stay tuned for more Bakugan: Battle Brawlers!’

Dan has a welcome moment of self-reflection as he laments on not learning anything over his battles and being the cause of his Bakugan being sent to the Doom Dimension.

There’s also this –

Wiki: “When Dan was thinking about his battle against Rikimaru, the flashback of the battle is entirely different. None of it occur [sic] where Siege deflected Drago’s attack on him by the gate card. Thus this is more of an alternate timeline scene since Drago broke free from using his ability and waited for the gate card to open.”

Okay…..Wiki, I think you’re being a little generous with the ‘alternate timeline’ explanation. I think a better one would be ‘The writers were too lazy to remember what happened there, so they bullshitted something.’

He, rightfully, beats himself up for being so self-absorbed, then rushes off to save Drago from the river.

Drago…sparkles or something, allowing Dan to finally find him.

Once the symbolic and literal clouds clear, Dan apologizes to Drago, and despite the fact that Drago also admitted he was unfair and apologized to Dan in private, he doesn’t share such a kind sentiment in response to Dan’s apology.

Drago: “You are not completely useless to me, so why should I not take advantage of you as much as I can?” Stop. Please. I’m tearing up.

Dan: “Do you really mean it?” Why are you acting like that was a sweet thing to say?

Oh my god, that embarrassingly animated shot of still-frame Dan and slide-animation Drago. Wow. That’s a special thing right there.

They start a rematch with Ryo. Fear Ripper is called out by Ryo first while Dan sends out a horned demon thing. They show that Dan’s learning by pointing out that he suspects a trap.

His suspicions are confirmed when we basically get the exact same song and dance as before with Mantris and Marionette. Ryo also opens his gate card, which grants Fear Ripper another 80g, making it a match of 400g vs. 320g.

Dan activates Fire Wall, which decreases Fear Ripper’s attack by 50g….Obviously….he failed math and the demon thing is sent to the Doom Dimension.

Dan: “Just trust me, Drago! Okay?”

Drago: “I trust you!” He threw you in a river and left you there for over a day and only retrieved you when he finally felt the sting of loss, knowing you were his best Bakugan and could give him the best chance to win in the future.

But okay.

Round two – Dan calls out Drago, and Ryo…calls out…Fear Ripper again. I didn’t even see him recall him that time. Whatever.

Ryo then uses the ability card, Slash Zero, which grants Fear Ripper 80g, making its attack 400g to Drago’s 340g. Dan protects Drago by using the gate card, Intercept, to stop Fear Ripper from attacking Drago.

Dan summons a Mantris of his own and also uses the ability card, Marionette, to take control of Ryo’s Fear Ripper and set it on Mantris’ gate card, which is Mind Ghost and even the Wiki doesn’t help me here as, apparently, doing that sent both Mantris and Fear Ripper to the Doom Dimension. Dan does explain what this does, as it’s basically Companion, I guess, but why the card activated on its own when Dan placed Fear Ripper on it is beyond me.

Logically, there’s no way Dan should’ve even known Ryo had that card, let alone had it out on the field. That wasn’t strategy – that wasn’t even heart of the cards bullshit – that was a guess and luck.

Dan: “Well, you see, Bakugan is really a strategic game. You have to read your opponent’s mind and anticipate his moves.” Literally, I suppose, because the only way you could’ve possibly have known Ryo had that card out was if you actually read his mind.

Also, shut up.

Ryo: “I don’t understand! He actually managed to double-cross me!” You’re not using that word right.

Round three – Ryo summons Reaper and quickly disposes of Dan’s Mantris.

Round four – Reaper and Drago face off. Dan is anticipating that Ryo will use Dimension 4 this time, which actually make sense.

Dan activates his gate card, which looks like another Fire Wall, so Ryo tries to counter with Dimension 4 again, but Dan reveals this is a character card, which isn’t affected by Dimension 4, meaning Drago gets the powerup.

Dan’s whatever card doubles Drago’s power to 680g as opposed to Reaper’s 370g. Even though it’s entirely pointless because the power gap between the two Bakugan is now massive, Dan powers up Drago even more with a Boosted Dragon card, making his attack level a ridiculous 880g. Yes, I’m going to prove I’m not all about power by needlessly powering up my already overpowered Bakugan.

The match goes to Dan.

Yay.

At least Ryo and Dan make up and look forward to a nice non-doomy match someday.

And by ‘someday’ I mean ‘never’ because Ryo never appears again. Shame. He’s much more interesting than Shuji anyway.

Dan takes a break from bragging about himself to his friends by bragging about Drago (and himself by proxy – even mentioning he went up a rank) Then Dan gets all cuddly and kissy (literally) with Drago’s ball. This series let me say that sentence.

The end.

————————–

This definitely was the most tolerable episode so far. Dan was a prick in the first half but got more likable in the second. He pulled some stuff out of his ass to win the rematch with Ryo, and, honestly, I think he was dumbed down for the first match. Dan has showed much more strategy than that, and the idea that he’s such a high-ranking Brawler without understanding that this game involves strategy is ludicrous.

Either that, or Bakugan is a broken game, which it very well may be because I’ve been watching for four episodes now and I still can barely make heads or tails of what’s going on without needing the Wiki. Explain card effects. Name the Bakugan and cards every time you show a new one. Don’t just expect the audience knows this shit.

But, of course, either way, he needed to be dumbed down and beaten without Drago around in order to have Dan realize the error of his ways and go after him.

Dan’s problem was never a lack of strategy, it was impulsiveness and recklessness. The fact that they tried to show his growth in strategic planning (And, ironically, caring for the Bakugan as living creatures) by letting two more of his Bakugan be sent to the Doom Dimension (as PART of this strategy) and magically predicting Ryo’s use of a card Dan had no prior knowledge of is just poor writing.

Ryo’s personality change was way too much for me. I’d understand if Masquerade has some sort of dark influence on people, but, as far I know, he doesn’t. He’s just really good at coercion and manipulation. Ryo went from really timid and kind to cocky asshole and back again within the course of two days. It was a bit hard to swallow, even with Dan being a jerk as the trigger.

I did like Ryo as a character, and I would’ve loved him to be a sort Chief-like character for this show, if only for the sake of explaining what the hell is going on, but alas, that’d be something I’d enjoy so of course he’s a one-off.

Next episode…..Runo….yay.


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SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 21: Rematch in the Final Match!

SSBS - CFV EP21

Plot: Aichi and Gouki are set to face off yet again, and the entire regionals are on their shoulders. Aichi manages to grasp a newfound confidence in himself and his royal knights, but Gouki’s no slouch either. He’s bringing his A-game with his Granblue deck filled with undead pirates who can return from the drop zone. Will Aichi manage to come out on top, or is he not quite at national level yet?

Breakdown: First of all, A + on that title. Doesn’t sound awkward. No sirree.

Second of all, I was half and half about this episode. On the one hand, it was great seeing Aichi get his second wind and even have Gouki on the ropes for a little bit (and Aichi’s voice actor was really going for it in some scenes) but I can’t help but feel this match so far is a little slow. I felt like anytime even the slightest thing happened we were brought back to random crap the others were doing, whether it was making banal comments about the match (Aichi’s different, he’s better, it sure is an exciting match etc.) or just Nagisa or Morikawa (Can we please write these two out of the show?) making insufferably annoying comments. The pace of the match just kept getting interrupted over and over.

And, somehow, I felt like the intensity was off here even when the focus was on the match. Maybe I’m just not feeling it because I haven’t watched the series in a while, but this didn’t feel like the start to the final match in a tournament, at least until the very end. Nothing really wowed me or impressed me, which is why, when the announcer started getting ridiculously excited about the match, I literally rolled my eyes.

Granted, Aichi has been doing well – certainly better than he did the last time he faced Gouki – but something still felt off.

Either way, I did leave a little excited to move onto to episode 22 and the conclusion (I assume) of the match because I really don’t know how this will go. It’s such a weird spot to be in. He could win and show that he’s improving substantially or he could lose and take it as a learning experience for the next big tournament they try to participate in.

Nothing about this match so far screams that it will go one way or another, so it’s really up in the air, which, as I’ve said before, is quite refreshing for this type of series.

I do find myself enjoying Aichi’s deck the more I see of it. A paladin/royal knight theme that supports each other is pretty cool and very fitting of Aichi’s character. If I ever managed to successfully play Vanguard, I’d probably want a deck like that.

Next time, will Aichi be able to take down Gouki’s undead pirates and win the match? How can he fight off two grade threes with only one on his side? Can he lead team Q4 to victory?

 


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SSBS – Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 5: Yusuke’s Back

SSBS - YYH EP5 1

Plot: Koenma finally starts the process of reuniting Yusuke’s soul with this body, but the procedure for resurrecting him is complicated. First, Yusuke only has one day’s worth of a window to get what needs to get done for the ritual. Otherwise, he’ll have to wait 52 years to try again. Secondly, he’ll have to have someone who cares about him to transfer some of their life energy to him within that 24 window – and that life energy must be transferred through a kiss. In order to do this, he enters the dreams of the three people who care for him most, or two of them anyway, Kuwabara and Keiko, to convey images of them kissing him as he glows gold (a side effect of the gateway being opened within his body.)

Kuwabara is far too freaked out to even think about the dream any further, so it’s up to Keiko.

As terrible luck would have it, her mother is hospitalized with exhaustion that very same day. Keiko won’t leave her mother’s bedside until she recovers, so Yusuke goes off to find his only other two chances. However, despite Kuwabara’s high spirit sensory abilities allowing him to feel Yusuke’s presence, he is still too freaked out by the ‘tickle’ feeling of his powers to get the message.

Yusuke’s final option is Atsuko and she’s too drunk off at the bar to even think straight.

It seems like Yusuke’s destined to be a vegetable for the next 52 years until Botan gets an idea. She transmits a message to Keiko through her sleeping mother to go to Yusuke immediately. She’s got a handful of minutes to rush across town and kiss Yusuke before the strike of midnight.

She cuts it as close as humanly possible, but she succeeds.

Yusuke’s back in the world of the living once more!

When Yusuke returns, he wants nothing more than to lay low and relax, but curiosity gets the better of him when he hears that a bunch of thugs from Rugafuji Junior High, lead by Sakamoto, have muscled in on Kuwabara’s turf. Yusuke notices something very strange about Sakamoto that appears to go unnoticed by everyone else – he has horns growing out of his head! Despite this, Yusuke decides against getting involved, so as not to disturb his vacation.

He learns that they have Kuwabara running around like an errand boy, trying to do things that go against his honor code. Yusuke is shocked to see Kuwabara bowing down to Sakamoto and his goons, but apparently they have someone precious to him as a hostage – Eikichi. While Yusuke initially believes this is a girl, it’s soon made apparent that it’s a little kitten.

Sakamoto is displeased with Kuwabara’s inability to break his codes, so he gives Kuwabara one last chance to get back his precious Eikichi – he must beat up his friends until he tells him to stop. This is one step too far for Kuwabara, despite his friends agreeing to the terms full-heartedly. Sakamoto orders the cat be killed, but suddenly Yusuke rushes in and saves Eikichi.

Everyone is shocked to see the legendary Yusuke Urameshi back on the streets again, especially Kuwabara, but there’s no time for pleasantries. There are asses to be kicked. The Rugafuji thugs get taken down rather easily by Kuwabara, his crew and Yusuke, but Sakamoto makes a break for it.

Yusuke corners him in a tunnel and knocks him out. He thinks this is the end of it, but a little demon suddenly crawls out of the boy’s mouth. He’s shocked that Yusuke can see and catch him, as he’s normally not visible to humans. A strange fortune teller that Yusuke ran into earlier tells him that this little demon is a criminal that the spirit world has been trying to apprehend for weeks, but he’s so cagey that he always eludes capture.

Breakdown: Ya know, I always forget that this episode isn’t two separate episodes. The two halves are just so drastically different in their storylines that I kinda don’t understand why Yusuke’s resurrection wasn’t attributed to one episode and his first outing as a spirit detective wasn’t relegated to another. It’s just very odd in its structure.

Since I always see it as such, I feel it fitting to review this episode in two halves.

Side A (Yusuke’s Resurrection)

SSBS - YYH EP5 2

Ah the infamous episode where they pretty much seamlessly meld a Cinderella story with a Sleeping Beauty one. Even though I always find this story to be tense and exciting, barring the title of the episode completely spoiling the outcome (though, being fair, there wouldn’t be a series if we had to wait 52 years for Yusuke to come back) there’s no denying that it’s a clusterfuck of plot contrivances.

Of course Yusuke only has the next 24 hours to get the ritual done in order to come back, and of course he’ll have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to try again if he fails. Of course it’s a literal kiss of life scenario. Of course Keiko doesn’t try the first time she sees him, despite the dream, because the golden glow effect starts at his covered feet and works its way up. Of course his only legitimate chance to come back is sidetracked by a random medical emergency. Of course it’s a rush down to the second to kiss him, and of course she does it in nick of time while the bells of midnight are chiming, no less.

I can forgive all of those because I do love this storyline. It’s great for Keiko and Yusuke in regards to their relationship, and there were a couple funny Kuwabara moments.

However, that’s not to say the entire episode was good. There was one aspect that really pissed me off, and, let’s work one more ‘of course’ in here – of course it’s Atsuko.

You read right in the plot synopsis – despite nearly losing her son in the previous episode due to a house fire because she was too busy getting drunk off of her ass at parties, today’s episode showcases her, yet again, leaving the house in a drunken stupor to get more drunk down at the bar, leaving her comatose near-death son home alone.

At the very least she supposedly had really good insurance so their new home is bigger and nicer, and Yusuke’s not covered in trash and dust this time, but still. What the hell is this woman’s problem? How many times does her son need to nearly die in order for her to stay sober? Excuse me, her son actually did die once, so apparently not even death can stop her from being one of the most irresponsible parents I’ve ever seen.

Side B (Yusuke’s Officially a Spirit Detective)

SSBS - YYH EP5 3

Going back and watching the start of this series kinda makes me sad because I remember that the ‘spirit detective’ gimmick never really sticks around. From start to finish, Yusuke is a spirit detective, but, for the most part, the series never goes back to the way it started out. Yusuke used to get all sorts of neat gadgets and items to help him through his cases, and the stories used to at least have some semblance of mystery to them. However, quickly enough, this all goes away and becomes the usual shounen tournament fighter fare. Big baddie, fight littler baddies to get to him, get stronger, come out on top, prep for next baddie. Wash, rinse, repeat.

His ‘cases’ are usually just designating a target and explaining why he needs to be defeated.

Don’t get me wrong, I still adore Yu Yu Hakusho – it’s my favorite shounen fighting anime – but I still kinda wish we had held onto the spirit detective aspect more firmly. They pepper it here and there, it never fully goes away, but there was a lot of wasted potential in my opinion.

In other news, Kuwabara is a precious cupcake, protect him.

I mean, come on, the guy gave up his turf, bowed to an asshole’s demands and demeaned himself for a kitten. How can you not love him to bits?

As for Yusuke’s return, it was really well-written and bad-ass. He not only came to Kuwabara’s aid in the nick of time, but he also saved his kitten and defeated a demon. He was a tiny demon but a demon nonetheless. Plus, the fact that this guy was being possessed by a demon was pretty well done. He wasn’t being too over-the-top, he was just being a massive asshole. You probably never would have suspected he was a demon unless Yusuke noticed his horns.

And so starts Yusuke’s long journey as a spirit detective.

Rating: 9/10

Next time, we get introduced to everyone favorite demons – Kurama and Hiei!…and some other third dude!


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SSBS – Megaman NT Warrior Episode 4 – Count to Three!

SSBS - Megaman NT Warrior Ep 4 Screen1

Plot: Yai and the others are held hostage at school by a crazed rare BattleChip collector named Mr. Higsby intent on obtaining Yai’s rare and expensive BattleChips.

Breakdown: Today’s episode introduces us to the rare BattleChip-crazy Mr. Higsby, who is surprisingly not part of WWW, and his NetNavi, Numberman, who actually has a pretty cool design.

Mr. Higsby is a guest lecturer at Lan’s school, talking about fighting viruses and utilizing BattleChips.

Later, Yai brings the group to her log cabin in a tree. She had her daddy build her a secret base in her yard. The secret is the treehouse/log cabin shifts into a high-tech building designed for 3D NetBattling.

The group instantly jack in their NetNavis to try it out. It’s here where I have the honor of pointing out that when Maylu jacks Roll in, she does it while twirling in front of a pink background covered in hearts and sparkles. Come on, guys, be a little more realistic. At least add in a unicorn and a few rainbows.

The whole 3D NetBattling thing is meant to be impressive, but the way they went about it makes it so that….it’s kinda not. From what we see of the 3D stage in a far shot, it just looks like they superimposed the typical shots of what we usually see in the net onto a big platform in front of them. And then when they start battling, they just switch back and forth from the characters to the scene in the net, which is how it typically goes anyway.

SSBS - Megaman NT Warrior Ep 4 Screen2

In conclusion, nothing changed and I just wasted your time.

Dex and Gutsman battle Yai and Glide who win because she’s rich and has access to all sorts of rare BattleChips that make Glide overpowered, despite not being a NetNavi designed for battle. Nice to see Megaman laying the groundwork for pay-to-win games. Good job.

Anyway, since I just mentioned Yai’s rare expensive BattleChips, obviously Mr. Higsby is in her super secure server, waiting in the wings with Numberman, spying on them.

The next day, Mr. Higsby sets up to attack Yai while the entire group is helping their teacher, Miss Mari, edit the school newspaper. Why does she need all of these kids to help edit the paper? I have no idea.

Lan is slightly late to the meeting, so when Mr. Higsby locks the school down to trap Yai, he gets locked out of the computer room. Numberman/Mr. Higsby threatens to destroy the school’s computer system if she doesn’t battle him for her rare BattleChips…..I’m not sure why he doesn’t just steal the chips. I guess he’s an honorable asshole?

Yai initially doesn’t care because she says she’ll just have her daddy buy the school a new system, but Maylu and Dex point out that he can’t replace the data. I’d think any school with valuable data on their system would regularly back it up somewhere offsite, but this is a public school system so maybe I’m giving them too much credit.

With Miss Mari’s permission, and somewhat insistence, Yai begrudgingly agrees to battle Numberman. I’m not exactly sure why she’d agree to battle him just hand over the chips. She’s always talking about her daddy’s endless supply of money – surely he can buy her new ones. She needlessly risking her NetNavi’s life…. She jacks in Glide, but even with his fancy BattleChips, he quickly gets laid out by Numberman.

Megaman gets jacked into the system.

Dex: “Megaman!”

Maylu: “That must mean that Lan’s right outside the classroom!” First of all, how did you not hear him banging on the door for the past several minutes? Second of all, just because Megaman is in the net space doesn’t mean Lan is right outside the classroom. He could be anywhere in the school.

SSBS - Megaman NT Warrior Ep 4 Screen3

Numberman has a really weird manner of attacking. He rolls a big die and whatever number it lands on is the number of explosions that will occur right next to the die, which means anyone who catches onto this will be able to combat it quite easily….just…ya know…stay away from him when he rolls the die….Also, having your attack strength completely reliant on the roll of a die seems very inefficient.

The school’s security system blocks Megaman from interfering in Glide and Numberman’s fight any further, for some reason, and Lan and the others deduce that Numberman must be controlled by Mr. Higsby.

They decide the only way to end this is by teaming up against Numberman, but they need to disable the school’s security system to lower the walls blocking them from Numberman. Roll offers to interface with the walls to see if there’s anything in the code that would lead them to the password…which…makes sense, but also makes it seem like this super high-tech security system is extremely flawed.

Within less than a minute, Roll finds the word ‘Dove’ and Miss Mari states that the password is the number of doves at the school, which she can’t remember so Lan goes out to count them.

Mr. Higsby: “Unbelievable. The competition will be over by the time he gets back here.”

Miss Mari: “You’re the one who’s unbelievable, Mr. Higsby!”

Mr. Higsby: “Pardon me? ….*Elvis voice* Thank you. Thank you very much.”

…………………………………………..Hello completely random Elvis impression that I doubt any child watching this would understand or find funny.

Lan counts 34 doves, which is the correct answer.

Within less than three seconds, Roll already has the second hint – tennis: the number of tennis rackets the tennis team uses…..Ya know, these numbers seem awful arbitrary. What if you get more doves? What if a dove dies? What if you buy more tennis rackets? What if the kids lose some of them?

My point is made even more apparent in the next scene. Lan accidentally enters the girls locker room and they throw tennis rackets at him. He goes into the storage room and counts the rackets there, which is the correct answer. Why don’t those other rackets count?

SSBS - Megaman NT Warrior Ep 4 Screen4

Anyway, the number is 63?! 63 tennis rackets?! I’m almost certain no school would buy that many rackets, especially when typically only one or two is in use at any given moment.

Another issue with this password thing is, if Mr. Higsby knows the system inside and out and is currently manipulating it….can’t he just change the password to something only he knows?

The final hint word is flowers, which indicates the number of potted flowers in the schoolyard. Again, that number can change at any given moment. The flowers could die, the landscapers might plant more without notifying anyone, some could get destroyed by the children. You guys really need a better password system.

Lan loses track counting the hundreds of potted flowers, but a mysterious green-haired woman who seems to be the landscaper and someone who knows what’s going on but for some reason isn’t interfering, tells him the exact number.

Numberman throws three dice this time…..why he wasn’t throwing that many to begin with, again, I have no idea, but with the walls down and Megaman able to access the fighting area, they’re able to save him. Numberman surrenders and relinquishes control of the school’s security system.

SSBS - Megaman NT Warrior Ep 4 Screen5

They confront Mr. Higsby who begs on his hands and knees for forgiveness, claiming he couldn’t control himself and that he loves BattleChips while most people don’t appreciate their value….I don’t think that’s true because most people seem to drool over rare BattleChips.

For a second, it seems like Miss Mari might actually punish Mr. Higsby….but instead she just asks him to remember back when he was a child and got his first rare BattleChip (?! How long have PETs and stuff been around?) He probably didn’t appreciate its value either, but the flashback and narration indicate it was the best day of his life……You’re really not making any sense, show.

Miss Mari gives him a second chance, even though he does not deserve it in the slightest. He hacked into a school’s security system. He held several people hostage/kidnapped them. He sprayed Dex with the school’s sprinkler system for trying to interfere. He threatened to destroy the system if he didn’t get what he wanted. He threatened a young girl into battle so he could take her rare BattleChips (If BattleChips are physical items, how does he take them without showing his face?) He nearly destroyed a young girl’s NetNavi, and we’re just supposed to forgive him because he wants to strong-arm rare BattleChips from people since they don’t appreciate them….when they do? And he was misguided all along when he didn’t appreciate rare BattleChips when he was a kid….when he did?

Anyway, to the epilogue, Mr. Higsby quit his job educating children on rare BattleChips and security systems thanks to Miss Mari’s kindness in forgiving him. He wants to do good for people now, because apparently valuable education doesn’t do that….So he’s…selling rare BattleChips.

Hey, writers, when you wanna make sense, please contact me. Your logic is about as airtight as a butterfly net.

———————————–

So that was that episode, and it was actually pretty okay. The things I talked about in regards to the security system’s password being too easy to figure out is probably forgivable given this is a kid’s show, but I can’t give as much leeway to the fact that the numbers would probably change all the time and some of them make no sense.

At least Mr. Higsby is a little better of a bad guy considering he’s not out to just cause chaos like the WWW members, he actually has a goal, but I definitely don’t agree with him getting no comeuppance for his actions.

Numberman has a cool design, but for a guy who obsesses over rare BattleChips, he really doesn’t use any. He just uses that same lame dice rolling trick. I also find it really strange that Megaman was able to intimidate him so easily. A guy with a huge collection of rare BattleChips should be able to put up a better fight, especially if he makes a habit out of bullying people out of their chips.

The tension involved with running around trying to figure out the password was much more intense and interesting than last episode where we sit on the edge of our seats hoping a little girl gets to the potty in time.

I didn’t really quite get the significance of introducing the 3D NetBattling system since it, honestly, looks no different to the viewer than it ever did before. It really just established that Glide could be a good fighter with rare BattleChips despite being a NetNavi not designed for battle. Not that matters because he couldn’t do anything against Numberman, even with the chips. He may have lasted a little longer than he would have otherwise, but that’s about it.

Next time, WWW targets a robotic fish aquarium. I’m not sure if a robotic fish aquarium is a really good idea or a really stupid one. Thoughts?


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SSBS – Medabots Episode 4: The Legendary Medafighter

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4

Plot: Ikki and Erika head to a fancy school for rich kids in order to find the mysterious undefeated Legendary Medafighter.

Medabot Debuts:

Neutranurse: A NAS Medabot, Neutranurse is based on a nurse. It has massive healing capabilities and a Holy Wall ability that creates an impenetrable shield for a short while.

Sumilidon: An STG Medabot, Sumilidon is based on a saber-toothed tiger. Its right arm holds the flexor sword, which is a series of three long claws extending from its wrist. It can utilize this part to also create an attack called the Shadow Sword. Its left arm has a Straw Hammer attack. Finally, its head part creates traps.

Gloomeg: A GLM Medabot, Gloomeg is based on a stone statue and specializes in missiles.

Robattles:

Koji vs. Eddie: Winner – Koji: No parts are exchanged due to refusal.

Ikki vs. Koji: Interrupted – no winner.

Breakdown: Ikki is on his way to school when he’s suddenly ‘saved’ from an oncoming slow-moving tiny car by a girl named Karin. She goes to Rosewood Academy, a nearby private school for super rich kids. Ikki is initially annoyed by her, but when he gets up close to her, he finds himself smitten. However, she runs off before he can talk to her more.

Two things about this – One, why is that little car allowed on public roads? And two, does this show have cartoon physics or not? Because Ikki was just slammed so hard into that wall that he left a massive crater.

Back at school, Erika is telling the tale of the Legendary Medafighter and his undefeated Medabot. She also, for some reason, has red marks under her eyes. Given the scary story motif, I think they were gunning for shadows, but they’re clearly red. It looks like she’s either blushing too hard or got very specifically placed sunburns.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 1

Not much is known of this Legendary Medafighter except he supposedly goes to Rosewood Academy. Since Metabee is itching to fight the Legendary Medafighter and Ikki wants to see Karin again, he asks if he can go with Erika while she investigates the place for an expose.

Is Ikki now allowed to bring Metabee to school? Because he’s clearly right there in the open talking to other students. Last episode seemed to imply that Coach Mountain was still being super strict about not allowing Medabots on school grounds.

They arrive at Rosewood, where the gates to the school are massive and made of 24k gold. I get that this place is meant for the super rich, but you don’t have to be super gaudy too.

They see a kid being thrown out of the school for not being rich enough to attend, so they decide to disguise themselves as students to get in.

Oh excuse me, did I say they disguise themselves as students? I meant they dress up Metabee like an idiot and pretend he’s a student while Ikki and Erika try to walk in dressed in their street clothes with only a Rosewood backpack to indicate they’re students.

Where did they get this stuff? Is there a gift shop outside?

Believe it or not THAT. WORKS.

The guy only asks where Ikki and Erika’s uniforms are and they say they spilled caviar on them and the butler had to clean them for later.

Is school even in session right now? Because if it is, Ikki and Erika (as well as the Screws, because they’re following them) are skipping school.

The same trick doesn’t work for the Screws, who didn’t even get Rosewood backpacks (again, where did they get those?) but they do make the scene kinda funny by claiming they spilled caviar on their butler.

Back with Ikki and Erika, who have somehow switched out their backpacks for plain ones (Did they just get stickers or something? I am way too confused about the origins of this Rosewood stuff.)

So the school is actually way the hell away from the main gate. It’s through a dense forest, over numerous mountains and after that there’s a lake and the school is on an island in the middle of that lake.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 2

Obviously, it’s an insanely long walk for the kids to get to the school and they ask themselves how these hoity-toity rich kids get to school everyday since they can’t imagine they’d walk. A helicopter shows up, which you’d think would be the answer, but a person on a loudspeaker tells them to land because commuting by helicopter is against school rules.

It’s later revealed that they do drive and take horses and stuff to and from school, but then why have they not come across any when they’ve been following the road?

Then…..*sigh* Then they meet Eddie and his Gloomeg Medabot. He and Gloomeg have been trapped on Rosewood’s lands for two years, trying to find the Legendary Medafighter.

And yes.

That is as dumb as it sounds.

Two years?

TWO YEARS!?

How has this guy been lost in Rosewood’s property for two years and not ever have anyone find him? Especially when the property is covered in stuff like a golf course, tennis courts and a friggin’ amusement park? How do they not have cameras set up everywhere? Especially considering, as we learn upon meeting Eddie, that Rosewood’s property is littered in traps to keep intruders out. Do they not regularly check these traps? Because Eddie admits that he keeps getting caught in them. Did the girl from that Pokemon sanctuary Bulbasaur came from grow up to build these traps so she could continue her string of negligent homicide?

Not just that, but his parents have to be worried sick. Do Medabots not have some sort of tracking device or interface for communication?

A horsedrawn carriage arrives on scene because Ikki and Eddie are making a ruckus because Eddie thinks Ikki’s the Legendary Medafighter and wants to fight him. If that’s all it takes to get someone’s attention, there’s even less reason that Eddie is still lost in here. Unless he’s such a stubborn idiot that he’s never looked for a way out, in which case, I’ll just stop watching the episode altogether because he is far too stupid of a human being to waste any of my brain cells caring about what he does in this episode.

In the carriage is Koji and his terrible voice acting. Koji snootily tries to make the boys stop fighting, but Eddie, somehow knowing Koji is a Medafighter, challenges him to a match.

Koji accepts and summons Sumilidon. The match is pretty quick as Sumilidon’s speed and agility allow it to easily dodge Gloomeg’s missiles and get several strikes in. Koji is the winner, but he doesn’t take any parts since he has too many as it is. With a literal twinkle of his not-drawn teeth, Koji leaves. Eddie follows because he wants a rematch, and Erika and Ikki try to follow too, but Karin pushes them out of the way and into a hole.

Erika’s pissed, but she soon realizes why she pushed them.

The ELEMENTARY school grounds aren’t just littered in net traps – they’re also covered in spear gun traps and bear traps.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 3
Is that a butcher knife?

How is Eddie still alive with all of his limbs after spending two years wandering around this death trap? How is this place even still open? Jesus.

Karin: “You’re that boy from yesterday.” Yesterday?….Wasn’t it just this morning? I didn’t see any noticeable passage of time.

Ikki’s name is really a problem when he introduces himself. “I’m icky.”…It’s supposed to be pronounced ‘Eek-ee’ I can understand the former is just a more common English way to say that word, but either pronounce it correctly to stop calling the poor kid ‘icky’ or, and I don’t like suggesting this, just change his name for the dub.

Also, how did Karin get here? At least they show Koji having a horse and buggy. Karin just came out of nowhere in the middle of this mess of land.

Karin leads them to some boats to access the island that the school is on. I refuse to believe that these rich kids only get to the school via row and paddle swan boats. There has to be some motorboats or yachts around here.

Ikki and Karin are in a row boat while Erika and Metabee are in a paddle swan boat. Karin suddenly looks at the water, making the boat creek a little, causing Ikki to rush her, thinking she’s going to fall out. He overshoots, however, and ends up in the water. Turns out, nothing was wrong….

Ikki: “Karin, what was that all about?”

Karin: “I thought I saw a penny at the bottom of the lake. *sigh* A penny. Boy, I could sure use that.”

…….*deep breath*

*sigh*

I don’t have the patience for this right now, so here’s a ranting lightning round.

– The lake is way too deep and you’re all out way too far for you to see anything at the bottom.

– Let alone a penny.

– Ikki looks at her with a -_- face like she did something wrong, but he overreacted over her just looking to the side of the boat. Her reasons were stupid, sure, but she didn’t gasp or freak out or anything.

– No one, not even the dirt poorest person in the world could ‘sure use a penny.’

– Because pennies are useless.

– They never explain why she wanted this penny. No reason would be satisfying, most likely, but still, why did she want a penny?

– You have to be one of the richest people in the country to even go to this ridiculous school – why the fridge do you need a penny?

– Even if you did somehow see a penny, then what? You call a scuba team and pay them a few thousand dollars to retrieve it, never getting the bitter irony of the situation?

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 4

They reach the castle of a school and Erika starts interviewing the students for info on the Legendary Medafighter. As expected, they all just know stuff based on rumors. It starts out normal enough, with some of them arguing over which Medabot he uses. Then it gets weirder with people exclaiming he’s over eight feet tall. Then it’s gets stupid with people saying he’s not eight feet tall – he actually has eight feet growing out of his head, which goes even further and stupider by other kids saying they’re all left feet and he has to buy 16 pairs of shoes when he goes shopping (is it even necessary to buy shoes for feet that are on your head? Also, they’re forgetting his regular feet – so 17 pairs of shoes…)

Ikki notices Karin mopping. She’s made fun of a little by some snotty girls who really only make fun of her by pointing out what she’s doing in one of those snotty bitch voices.

Bitch: “Don’t forget the toilet. I clogged it.” Yes….you’re so intimidating by admitting that you dropped such a massive load that you clogged the toilet. What an effective bully you are.

Ikki asks her why she’s cleaning, and she happily explains that it’s just something she does. Ikki instantly believes she’s super poor. She can’t afford the tuition, which is why she cleans the school and was trying to get the penny out from the lake.

Let me spoil this for you right now. She’s not poor. She’s just a ridiculously overly kind airhead.

Ikki is an idiot for even thinking this for a second. Why would any dirt poor kid go to one of the most expensive schools in existence? Unless they got a free ride for some reason (And I doubt that here because this is just an elementary school), that’s a horribly irresponsible thing to do. Not to mention impossible. If these middle class kids can’t even fathom being able to afford this school, no poor person, no matter how many pennies they pluck out of lakes, would ever be able to.

And I must reiterate, even poor people wouldn’t really care about a single penny no matter how hard up they are for cash.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 5

Through some more of some of the most painfully bad voice acting I’ve ever heard (please stop it) some boys ‘coerce’ her into giving them her lunch and dessert, which she happily gives away for also no real reason.

Erika shows up claiming that the latest batch of rumors state that the Legendary Medafighter is connected with a ‘maiden’ who is super sweet and has her hair up in pigtails.

They don’t.

Even glance.

At Karin.

They get frustrated because apparently that description could apply to thousands of girls in the school, but I only saw one other girl so far who had pigtails.

Eddie, who is in the vicinity, happens to overhear this and, having a working brain, does instantly connect the dots that it’s Karin.

After a very awkward moment, complete with awkward silence, happens between Karin and Ikki, she picks up a rose and pricks herself on the thorns that the art department couldn’t be bothered to draw.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 7

 

Ikki does the laziest job tying the handkerchief Karin gave him earlier onto her supposedly injured hand. Look at how loosely that’s tied. That’s not helping anything. Also, she just poked her finger, she doesn’t need a whole-hand tourniquet.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 6

Ikki: “Wow, she’s SO pretty.” Deep into the mind of a young boy this piece of wisdom comes.

Koji shows up, wanting to protect Karin from Ikki.

Erika: “Hey look, it’s that rich guy!” Literally every person in this school is rich….

Koji goes on a tangent about knowing Karin since he was in kindergarten and how he won’t let Ikki put his filthy hands on her.

Oh excuse me, I meant to say…

Koji: “I’ve had my eye on Karin since kindergarten. I’m the one who had to grow up with her through those awkward years. You think you can walk in here and lay your unmanicured hands on her?! Think again, groundling!”

So, treating Karin like property, like you had dibs on her, like you’re entitled to her because you ‘had’ to grow up with her, acting like her ‘awkward years’ were a particular burden on you, acting like a condescending twat to a guy based on your financial standing merely because he was trying to help your precious Karin not bleed – Full fledged asshole. Got it.

Mr. Referee comes out dressed in a suit of armor…for…some reason, and Ikki and Koji have a robattle.

Sumilidon is too quick for Metabee and slashes him in the back.

Ikki: “MeTAbee!” I know I can’t convey in text how awkwardly lines are delivered, but he emphasizes the ‘ta’ way too sharply here.

Ikki says Koji is really advanced and that he’s never battled anyone like him just because he thought to attack from behind….how novel.

After some grappling and quick shots, Koji becomes equally impressed by Ikki, stating no one’s ever lasted this long against him, especially with an outdated Medabot.

Suddenly, Karin is kidnapped by Eddie who is using her as bait to lure out the Legendary Medafighter. He doesn’t really intend on hurting her, he’s just desperate to fight the Legendary Medafighter or else he’ll have to admit the last two years of his life have been a waste.

Koji and Ikki, again, both deny that they’re the Legendary Medafighter (And if it was Koji, he’s already lost to him once, sooo…) However, once he starts yelling out his demands over a bullhorn, literally every (poorly drawn) guy in the school comes to Karin’s aid.

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 8
Seriously, look at the guy directly behind Ikki. He looks like he was carved out of a potato.

They all summon their Medabots and kick Eddie’s ass. Karin comes in to defend Eddie, somehow untying herself I think? She summons her Medabot, Neutranurse, to the scene to heal the damaged Gloomeg, which never made an ounce of sense to me. These are robots with dents and scratches and broken parts. You shouldn’t be able to heal physical damage with some magical light.

What makes even less sense is that it seemingly also heals Eddie of his wounds! What the hell!?

Ikki’s shocked that she’s a Medafighter, which at least makes a little sense because she didn’t have her watch on, but that just makes me question why she didn’t have her watch on this whole time. Koji exclaims that no one can defeat Karin, and her Wiki backs this up. She’s undefeated because, no lie, she’s so sweet and kind that no one has the heart to attack her, which just makes me physically ill. I don’t remember hating Karin in the past, but I think it’s inevitable.

Erika deduces that Karin is actually the Legendary Medafighter, and, yeah, she’s right. I have no clue how this rumor got started, though. Was someone just so ashamed of ‘losing’ to Karin that they came up with some silly story of a mysterious powerful guy?

SSBS - Medabots Episode 4 9

As Ikki, Erika and Metabee leave, they’re stopped by Karin’s massively long pink, because of course it’s pink, limo, (She was with Ikki and Erika on the regular grounds before but there was no limo – why didn’t she have it then?), and offers them a ride.

Karin: “There’s plenty of room as long as you don’t mind sitting in the Jacuzzi.” That limo is ridiculously long even for a limo. No one else is in the limo. There’s no way there aren’t more actual seats in there – you just wanted to mention that you have a Jacuzzi in your limo.

Ikki: “Karin, you’re rich!?” Oh for god’s sake, Ikki…Even if you held that stupid belief for that long, surely realizing that she owns a Medabot should be enough to prove she’s not poor. Even you couldn’t afford your own Medabot, Ikki.

Koji: “Come on, Karin. Let the commoners walk. They like the exercise.” He legit called them commoners….Ya know what’s even worse, though?

Karin: “Oh really? I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to interrupt.” She. Believes. Him. Are ‘commoners’ so foreign to you that you can’t even work your brain past a statement like that?

Also, you know what I hate? Super kind cutesy characters who don’t point out when other characters are insulting each other because apparently they’re so kind that they’re also oblivious. From Koji calling Ikki a groundling to a commoner, Karin doesn’t ding Koji for it or defend Ikki – she just goes about her day with that big ol’ smile.

Anyway, all of them have to walk the rest of the way because Koji’s an ass and Karin’s an idiot. Meanwhile, the Screws are damned to walking the grounds of the school for all eternity.

The end.

————————————-

I really want to reach a point where I can end a Medabots review without feeling the need to say ‘This episode is bad.’ At a certain point, it just makes me feel like I’m being a jerk, but…yeah, this episode is bad.

The concept of a mysterious undefeated Medafighter is alright, and so is the episode baseline of trying to find him, but every step along the way was really infuriating.

The school was way too over the top to the point where it didn’t even make logical sense for rich kids (Even traveling by carriage or car, there are mountains to traverse on their property to get to the lake’s edge, and you still need to seemingly take a row or paddle boat to get to the actual school. It would take way too long to get to school. You’d have to wake up at 4AM to be there on time. And let’s not even talk about the lethal traps they lay everywhere.)

Eddie’s story was terrible. He really couldn’t reach the school in over two years? Why didn’t he just follow the road? How is he not dead with all of those traps around? How did no one on security detail ever find him? In addition, it’s pretty sad (read: pathetic) that his two year trek to find and challenge the Legendary Medafighter amounted to him finding a girl who is literally unbeatable because, gosh darn it, she’s just so swell.

I am really interested to see a scene with him reuniting with his parents. They’ll be bawling and hugging him and then they finally ask the million dollar question – where have you been? And then he’ll explain he was stupidly chasing after a Legendary Medafighter in the woods of some snob school for two years, wouldn’t find his way back home….and then they put him up for adoption.

Seriously, imagine being that kid’s parents while hearing that explanation and try not to see a white flash of rage.

Then there’s Koji and Karin….ugh. Koji is a stuck up prick and Karin’s an overly saccharine perfect (to the point where her Medabot is basically a literal angel – look at that last screencap, come on) idiot who I can definitely see making my blood pressure go up in future episodes. It doesn’t help that she’s the typical oblivious center to a love triangle – IE two of the main characters constantly fighting over her.

Even the robattles in this episode weren’t that good. The first was completely one-sided and the second ended prematurely. I did like the sudden flood of Medabots in the end (Didn’t realize so many of them could fly/hover), but they were so briefly shown that I couldn’t really see them too well. Then there’s the logistics of how Neutranurse even works, and I don’t want to bother trying to do the mental gymnastics for that one.

Pile on all the other little nonsensical details I’ve listed here, and it’s just a largely unpleasant episode. I will say that they got me with the twist. I didn’t expect Karin to be the Legendary Medafighter, but that positive is put into question because the reasons behind her undefeated record are irritating.

Sumilidon is pretty cool, and that’s pretty much all I have left in the positives department.

Next episode, beach…stuff…I guess.

…Previous Episode


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SSBS – Dinosaur King Episode 3: Tanks a Lot!

SSBS - DK EP3

Plot: A saichania card is awoken in a museum in London and the Alpha Team and the D-Team scramble to claim it. Meanwhile, Rex becomes very frustrated with Ace, who keeps causing trouble.

Breakdown: I wonder if a piece of Veronica Taylor’s soul broke off into the abyss when she found out she was pegged for another show that makes her prattle off painful pun titles in voiceover. Hm.

This series continues to infuriate me, but it’s one of those things where I’m more pissed about the accumulating smaller details than the overall big picture.

For example, again, we are destroying valuable artifacts for no reason. First, the guards at the museum for some reason have no qualms with smashing dinosaur bones and displays just to apprehend some yahoos with shopping boxes wandering around, especially when the museum seems to technically still be open since Dr. Taylor is meeting with the curator.

Second, there are so many stupid moments. For example, Chomp finds a triceratops display and nuzzles it, which is actually insanely sad. Max points out that he probably misses his family, but without even a second of pause he goes on to say that they’re his family now and they’ll have lots of adventures together.

Real tactful timing, Max. Imagine doing that in any other similar situation. ‘It’s okay recently orphaned child, we’re your family now.’

What’s even stupider is they’re looking for the saichania, Max and Chomp find it but Max doesn’t realize it’s real even though it’s clearly moving, breathing and blinking. He doesn’t even give it a second look or touch it before turning his back and being silent for just long enough for the saichania to walk away, like a goddamned ninja, and then Max suddenly decides to also leave without looking back.

Dr. Taylor has a moment of stupid too. He asks what would lure out a saichania, and he thinks about the fact that they live near water, which is something….most animals do since all living beings need water. If you don’t live near a fresh water source…..you…die.

Zoe briefly raises her voice at Paras when she starts eating a plant and immediately after she sees Paras’ sad face she says now she knows how Ace feels. Why do you know how Ace feels? Wouldn’t this be more how Rex feels? You don’t know what that plant is. You could’ve been saving your dino’s life. Hardly akin to yelling at her for ruining a valuable book.

Later, she explains what she learned from that millisecond of ‘experience’ with the dinos, which is really as obvious as the nose on your face. They’re trying to be helpful, don’t yell at them – if you do, it hurts their feelings. Oh wow, you mean yelling at a living being and treating them like crap will make them feel bad? Golly, what a revelation. Sure am glad I’m two years old so this lesson is not painfully basic.

And how did she learn that from yelling at Paras for eating a plant? How was that helping?

Also, that doesn’t address the issue that Ace is being really hyper and destructive and Rex can’t figure out why or what to do about it. In fact, that’s never really addressed at all.

Thirdly, the saichania’s walk cycle is animated like it has a full diaper. I have no clue how a real saichania moves, but I am almost certain it doesn’t barely move its legs while shuffling around. That doesn’t really have much to do with anything, but the CGI just really bothers me still.

Fourth, the way the saichania is lured out is with a bunch of vegetables. Wanna know why? Remember how I said earlier that Dr. Taylor said saichanias like to live near water? Well, he jumped from that to hippos, because hippos also live near water. So he gathered up hippo food.

Now, saichanias were herbivores, but that’s not the point. He’s a goddamn paleontologist. He should be able to deduce luring out an herbivore with plants immediately instead of going “Saichania’s lived near water…what else lives near water?….err….HIPPOS!…So saichanias must be exactly like hippos. Hippos eat plants! So I should lure out the saichania with plants!” It’s a good think no carnivores or insectivores live near water.

Fifth, Zoe gets her first solo battle today, and it consists of immediately calling for help.

But Paras gets into gear!

Then immediately calls for help too. Because that’s one of Paras’ special abilities. Not lying. It can heal. And it can call for help. You certainly do belong to a female protagonist in a shounen show.

Then Max and Chomp show up and defeat Spiny easily. Yay.

As for the main plot of the episode, it’s one of the most predictable and boring plots I’ve seen in many moons.

Rex is a bit peeved at Ace for being all rowdy and getting mud on his nice book, which he then licked “clean.” The plot is resolved by Ace saving Rex’s life because that’s always how understandings are made between two characters.

The…..end.

Alright, there’s a tiny bit more to that. Rex had to understand that Ace was trying to help when he licked the book, but Zoe already pointed that out before the opening theme song, even, so I guess Rex is a crappy listener. Also, this wasn’t a time to shine for Ace because he loses against Terry.

As for the saichania, despite Dr. Taylor luring it out, the Alpha Team manages to snag it and they also get away with some important tablet. So, congrats, guys. You caused a bunch of damage to a museum and failed in both of your objectives. But hey, at least that minor tiff between Rex and Ace is over. Thank god. You can slow down now, pulse.

Overall, this episode is not good. I guess it’s not as infuriating as the previous episode, at least they didn’t flippantly destroy as many historical artifacts, but it’s, ultimately, very boring. That conflict was really lame, and the resolution might as well have come from the mouth of Dora the Explorer it was so preschool level.

Also, I can’t prove this, but given the animation, I really think Ace pooped on Rex’s book originally. If he had muddy feet, he would have been getting mud all over the room and on Rex’s bed as he was running around. Instead he popped a squat and suddenly left footprints. 4Kids would obviously change this, and I feel like that’s for the better. Afterall, if I’m right, then that means this entire plot is literally built….on crap.

It’s definitely more understandable that Rex would be upset, but it’s also a lot more gross, especially considering Ace licked it clean….

Rating: 4/10

Next episode….

….Previous Episode


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SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 20: Hidden Message

SSBS - CFV Ep 20

Plot: It’s the second match of the finals! While Kai steps up for his match, Aichi stews in anxiety as the weight of the tournament piles on his shoulders. He knows Kai will win, leaving the deciding match to him. Self-confidence slowly fades away from Aichi, but Kai sends him a hidden message with this battle. Will Aichi get what Kai is telling him?

Breakdown: This episode is 80% pointless. Even the characters know that Kai will, no question, win his next match, and we, as an audience, know he won’t lose to Mr. Kaboom. And if he did lose to that kabooming ignoramus, I think I’d drop the series along with my faith in humanity.

The only real point of this match is to bring Aichi’s waning self-confidence back up since he now realizes that he’ll be the deciding factor in whether or not they win the tournament.

What’s that, you say? What of Misaki?

Well, dear reader, she’s….refusing to battle. Yes, even though she was the main player in the team and Aichi was just an alternate, and even though she arrived so late the tournament was nearly over by the time she arrived, she vehemently refuses to play the final match when Aichi asks her.

I assume this is for the sake of building him up as a Vanguard fighter, but I’m really failing to see what the point even was of making her the main teammate in the first place. She has been completely without a role here. Also, isn’t she a bit too green herself to be doling out these life lessons like this?

How we even reached the ‘message’ is kinda strange and I’m not sure it makes enough sense. Kai taught Aichi to nut up and battle through………winning a Vanguard battle like Aichi knew he would. Aichi’s realization was that he wants to be as awesome as Kai, and to do that he can’t run from challenges.

So was this just Kai strutting his tail feathers around Aichi? Before his match even started, he said he doesn’t fight against players who run from matches. Considering Aichi’s deep almost obsessive admiration of Kai and his desire to battle him someday, I imagine that’s literally all he had to say to get him to do it.

What I don’t understand is how that gave Aichi confidence. Even when Kai’s match is over, he still says to himself that his skills are nothing compared to Kai’s.

In similar situations, the example being given to the character without confidence is usually by another underdog, or at least someone who’s not the obvious winner. They come back against all odds to win either through sheer determination, skill or hard work. Sometimes, the example in question doesn’t even win. It’s their behavior and attitude in battle that inspires the other character.

Here, we go into the match knowing Kai will win, even Aichi says that straight out, which is why he gets nervous in the first place. Then Kai wins and that somehow turns Aichi’s attitude around.

The one question mark was why Kai was choosing not to guard certain attacks when he easily could’ve, but obviously that was just part of his endgame strategy because again, duh, he’s not going to lose.

I might be a bit harsher on this episode than necessary because I felt a bit cheated. We’ve skipped over several matches that would’ve been interesting to watch in their entirety yet they dedicate an entire episode to Kai vs. Billy Mays and his KABOOM. Coming fresh off the heels of Kamui vs. Nagisa, which was both annoying and redundant in their play styles, and this final is turning into a disappointment.

I’m a bit conflicted on whether I want Aichi to win or lose. Kamui changed the terms of his marriage agreement with Nagisa to needing to win the finals as a whole for it to stick, so that’s on the line, but she’ll probably be a recurring character anyway.

I’d like Aichi to win, but on the other hand, if they do win this tournament this will probably lead to the Nationals, and not too long ago I praised this series for not going too far with their tournaments too quickly. I get that the stakes need to keep going higher for the sake of audience interest, but I always feel like shooting too high too fast causes the realism factor to diminish.

And just to get this out of the way, Morikawa was also putting his annoyingness on high today. That combined with KABOOM made me go into this episode feeling irritated enough.

All in all, I’m not really upset with this episode, I didn’t even find it bad, I was just disappointed. I didn’t expect much from this match to begin with, even Goki would’ve been thoroughly spanked by Kai, but I feel like it was a big waste of time.

Aichi’s moment of picking himself back up should’ve been handled a lot better. Maybe have Kai go first, then Kamui, then have a brief break where Aichi is freaking out about going into the finals with the victory resting on his shoulders then have Kai talk with him or even have a side-match with him or something. This just wasn’t the way to go, in my opinion.

Rating: 5/10

Next episode….

..Previous Episode


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SSBS – Beyblade Episode 3: Take it to the Max!

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen7

Plot: Tyson and Kenny meet the new kid, Max, who happens to be an ace Beyblader with a dad who owns a hobby shop with its own Beystadium. As Tyson tries to learn and train, they learn that there’s an exciting new Beyblading tournament coming up and they all want to enter.

Bey-Battles

Max (Draciel Metal Ball Defenser) vs. Tyson (Dragoon S)

Victor – Max

Breakdown: Tyson is training with his new Beyblade when it’s suddenly taken by a puppy named Sparky. After Sparky returns to his owner, a little girl, Tyson and Kenny meet the new kid in town, Max Tate. However, their introduction is interrupted when they hear the girl yelling out in panic as Sparky is whisked away by the river.

I have a few questions about this whole rescue. Where did that conveniently sized log even come from? How little attention was this girl giving Sparky to let him climb on a log and float away? Why is this river that quickly flows into an incredibly steep man-made waterfall not blocked off to the public? Tyson and the others hang out there all the time. Not only is the river not restricted, but kids can easily climb on top of the waterfall platforms with no gates, fences or even guardrails.

Tyson and Kenny try to save Sparky, but the current quickly gets too strong for them to even attempt going in. Just then, Tyson gets the idea to smack the log with his Beyblade so it will turn sideways and block off the top of the waterfall. I get that we have to incorporate Beyblades into basically every facet of every plot point, but if I saw a couple of kids trying to save my dog with Beyblades I think I’d smack them. I know they can’t do much else, but still.

Tyson’s shot was unable to turn the log and the blade lands on top of the waterfall. Max steps up and releases his Beyblade to help, but Tyson chastises him for doing the same thing he did when it failed. I don’t know why he’s upset. He already launched it, there’s no point in getting angry over it. Max doesn’t even do the same shot – he launches his Beyblade to Dragoon’s location and smacks it to the proper angle, successfully shifting the log’s position and stopping Sparky.

With Sparky safely back with his owner, Tyson applauds Max for his Beyblading skills and they become quick friends. However, he’s slightly concerned over his Beyblade for being sunk in the water after that last shot. Max suggests taking it to his father’s hobby shop to get it looked at.

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen1

After getting a clean bill of health on his Beyblade from Mr. Tate, he asks if Max wants to have a friendly Beybattle with him so he can teach him that shot that saved the puppy and he agrees. Max brings them down to the basement where he reveals that his father’s shop actually has it’s own Beystadium and even a few pieces of training equipment like a smaller Beystadium and a…..ramp with spikes—what?

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen3

Kenny has concerns, however, so he pulls Tyson aside to talk to him. He says he probably shouldn’t let Max train him because his shot seemed suspiciously good. Max is obviously a very skilled Beyblader, but finds it a bit too much of a coincidence to suddenly meet this skilled Beyblader with his own Beystadium right at the perfect time to save that dog…..Uhh…The dog was in trouble after Max started to introduce himself to them, so unless Kenny’s insinuating that Max was the cause of that accident, Kenny is a bit paranoid. Tyson just believes he’s being jealous and moves on with the match.

Kenny notices that Max uses an Easy Grip launcher, which improves accuracy without sacrificing spin, and the match begins. Dragoon is making some nice hits, but Max’s blade stays firmly in place. Max praises Tyson’s rotation, but Tyson points out that sitting there won’t help him win. Kenny, on the other hand, has news for Tyson. Max’s blade, the Draciel Metal Ball Defenser, is a special defense-focused blade. Despite it seeming like Tyson is way ahead, he’s actually doing no damage. Tyson’s not giving up so easily and changes up his strategy to pushing Draciel out of the wok instead, which he nearly succeeds in doing before Dragoon runs out of energy and falls.

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen2

Max is the winner, leaving Tyson upset that he doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Max tries to teach him that patience is the key to improving – one match won’t improve much of anything. Uhh, I thought the first scene implied that Tyson’s actually been doing quite a bit of training. Kenny agrees, which makes this even more confusing because he’s been the one training Tyson all this time.

I would understand if it was the shot that Tyson missed because that was a new issue that was brought up, but despite talking about teaching Tyson the shot, there was no mention of it during the match and it wasn’t implied to be the problem afterward. He just got overconfident in the power of Dragoon and overestimated its lasting power.

Max suggests training with him for a while, promising to teach him all sorts of secrets and techniques for accuracy and power. Tyson agrees, but before they can start another Beybattle, a man walks in and greets Mr. Tate. He introduces him as Stanley A. Dickenson, the chairman of the BBA, the Beyblade Battle Association. Kenny gushes over Mr. Dickenson, proclaiming him to the most important man in the sport of Beyblading. He promotes and trains up and coming Beybladers to make them some of the most skilled players in the game.

Mr. Dickenson is a family friend of the Tates, and he has come both to check out Mr. Tate’s new store and to let him be the first to learn of the new Beyblade Battle Tournament that the BBA is hosting. They all get excited over it, but Tyson quickly gets worried, stating that a tournament this major is sure to bring out Kai. Mr. Dickenson says Kai’s actually already entered……Wait, he specifically said he wanted them to be the first to know of this tournament yet not only does Kai know, he’s already signed up?

Mr. Dickenson praises Kai as a Beyblader and reveals that he’s actually the returning champion. Despite the worries, they all get amped up for the challenge and go back to training.

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen4

We cut to Kai who is also doing some training of his own. He’s trying to increase Dranzer’s lasting power. When he hears that Dranzer’s been spinning for over ten minutes, he implements a new phase of training, which is taking on three of his lackeys at once with the same still spinning blade. They start the match, but it’s over within a few seconds as all of their Beyblades are quickly knocked out of the arena. Even after the battle is over, Dranzer is still spinning strong. We get some slight insight into Kai who thinks to himself ‘That’s why I’m the champion….whether I like it or not.’

Back with Tyson and Kenny, who have returned to the dojo after from some intense training with Max, Kenny apologizes for what he said about Max and admits he was jealous. Tyson and him make up before analyzing Dragoon for some tweaks.

The truce lasts about a minute before Tyson gets all pissy about having to do actual planning, thinking and analysis to become a tournament class Beyblader. He says he’s gotten to where he is today without all of that boring stuff, but Kenny argues that it’s necessary in order to control the power of Dragoon. Tyson then gets personal and says Kenny’s only good at building Beyblades but sucks at actually using one, and he’s also so inept at controlling his own bit beast that he trapped her in a computer. Tyson realizes he’s gone too far too late and Kenny leaves.

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen5

I don’t even know why Tyson got so pissed there. I can understand him having a tantrum over having to do technical work but going that far when he knows full well that Kenny has been invaluable to his victories since he met him? And that he’s been a great asset in his overall training? Kenny’s been so valuable that he’s been kidnapped for his knowledge.

Kenny and Max has a bit of a heart to heart by the river and Max asks Kenny to get Tyson and meet him later.

Back with Tyson, he’s training in kendo with his grandpa, who, coincidentally, is basically mirroring his match with Max. Grandpa is taking a defensive stance, and Tyson’s continuous swings are useless against it. He says he has to be good at analyzing his moves and predicting them in order to succeed in battle, which Tyson connects to what Kenny was trying to tell him earlier.

Grandpa suddenly starts moving so quickly back and forth that he’s basically learned anime!Double Team from Pokemon. Tyson realizes that the way to combat this is by studying where Grandpa was and is in order to predict where he’ll be next. Then, with proper timing, he’ll be able to strike the real one.

Tyson’s attack actually fails, which I like because it emphasizes the other lesson about needing to practice new moves instead of learning them immediately.

Later, Tyson has some quiet reflection in the dojo, thinking that Kai’s strength is in balance while Max’s is in defense. If he can figure out strategies to combat both, he’ll be the new champ—uh, dude. No. That will help immensely, but you do realize that there will be many, many, many other very skilled Beybladers at this tournament, right? In order to truly be effective, you’ll need to learn how to quickly adapt, study your opponent’s moves for strengths and weaknesses and use both of those aspects to your advantage.

Kenny arrives at the dojo and spies through the window for a second to see Tyson start training. He puts some spin on his wrist as he launches Dragoon, and his Beyblade speeds off like a blur, leaving burn marks in the floor and shooting it through the wooden wall of the dojo, embedding it in another stone wall. Tyson rejoices that he’s finally mastered controlling Dragoon’s power. Uh….so you worry about your Beyblade when it’s submerged for a few minutes, but not when it’s crashed through a wooden wall and embedded itself in a rock wall?

SSBS - Beyblade ep 3 Screen6

As Kenny updates his stats and devises new strategies for Tyson, Tyson apologizes for what he said and the two make up, ready to take on the tournament together.

————————————-

I liked this episode, but mostly due to Max. Ray used to be my favorite character, but Max has gained a larger appreciation to me over the years. He has such a great attitude, awesome strategy, and I love his Beyblade. Plus, his backstory always seemed a bit more interesting to me than Ray’s. Truth be told, I think I used to be biased with Ray because I had a bit of a crush on him.

Tyson ruins this episode slightly to me because he has a little more ego than usual and he’s being a complete ass to Kenny for no reason other than ‘waaah, thinking!’

Some plot threads don’t mesh together like the log shot that Max just never taught Tyson, what connection the Double Team-ish move had to do with any of Tyson’s past matches, unless that was purely meant to give Tyson a niche (speed?) and I don’t see how him watching his grandpa do that automagically allowed him to control Dragoon.

Next episode, the qualifier for the tournament begins.

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