Cardcaptor Sakura/Cardcaptors (Nelvana) Episode 14: Sakura, Toya and Cinderella | Sub/Dub Comparison

Card (s) of the Day: Mist – A card that creates an odd green mist that destroys anything that it touches. Its weakness seems to be Shadow as it can contain Mist and keep it from spreading and causing harm.

Plot: Toya’s school is holding a fair, and he’s set to be in the play of Cinderella. As Cinderella. The play is actually gender-swapped, meaning the boys play all the girl parts and vice versa. A girl named Yoko, who has a crush on Toya, gets the part of the prince. However, the Clow card, Mist, appears and puts Toya and Yoko in danger. Sakura has to stop Mist before they’re hurt or worse.

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Title Change: Sakura, Toya and Cinderella is changed to Play Misty for Tori, which makes sense, but also doesn’t?

Sakura’s ticket is painted over in English and the details are changed. The Seijou High School Fair is changed to the Reedington High Culture Fest. The dub gets the date right, but the original doesn’t state that it’s the 24th annual fair.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, I have no clue why they erased everything but one of the x parts of one of the kanjis.

Hey guys, guess what? Yukito was cut out some more! As she looks at the ticket, Sakura flashes back to Yukito giving it to her. They talk about how Toya’s been staying late at school the past few days to prepare for it, and say he might be worried about the play. Yukito hands her the ticket, says it’s good for both her and a friend and that the ticket also allows her to eat at any of the booths. All of this was removed. And because we have an overlaid transition to get us back to where the dub starts, they do some REALLY sloppy editing that makes it seem like the footage got somewhat eaten in a VCR.

Tomoyo originally gets in a good close-up of Sakura because she looked so lovely as she was lost in thought in her flashback. Sakura then nervously laughs with a somewhat cartoony face. In the dub, this is changed to just her freaking Sakura out because she brought the camera in case a Clow card showed up – something she really shouldn’t be surprised at anymore considering that thing is almost always glued to her hand. Also, the editor must just be drunk today because they cut out Sakura’s nervous laugh and cartoony face, but it’s shown for a brief second again making the footage look like it was messed with.

The other student asks Toya if he can mend the shoes, and Toya says he can do it with the other guy’s guts (??) In the dub, the guy asks Tori if he needs the shoes, and Tori says he has his own.

After that, the girls rush over and clamor at Toya for being good at sewing and they say he’d be a good husband. The editor strikes again because they cut out the shot of the girls clamoring for no reason I can fathom, causing a jump in the footage and a whiplashing dialogue shift. The dialogue is changed to them basically mocking him for ‘losing a bet’ and taking an embarrassing role in the play.

Yukito’s stand is specifically a candy shop, not just a generic food store.

The food choices are cold-candy water and ramune soda in the original. They’re lemon soda and desserts in the dub.

Sakura looks at Yukito as he walks away and says softly ‘Yukito-san’. This is removed.

God, the editor is having a rough day. Sakura sees Syaoran, and he stares hard at the three of them. Sakura freaks out slightly, and we cut to Syaoran with intense flames in his eyes. Yukito asks if he’d like another, and Syaoran shyly nods ‘yes.’ Sakura and Tomoyo see a mess of bottles and plates indicating that Syaoran has been there for quite some time. We get more glaring and Syaoran jumps towards the girls dramatically. All of this is edited it out because it’s more poking at Syaoran’s crush on Yukito, but it, like the other scenes, was edited with a second of footage from the clip left behind making it glaringly obvious that something was removed there. In addition, Julian doesn’t ask Lee if he wants another, he just greets him and Syaoran lunges at the girls.

Toya’s friends are baffled by Toya’s work ethic and strength as he doesn’t believe the trunk that they’re lugging around is heavy. They ask if he’s a robot or a gorilla and Toya stops to think. In the dub, they just say they need help moving it.

The girls are watching the guys carrying the trunk and they gush over Toya some more. They talk about how he’s on the soccer team, good at cooking and sewing etc. and they ask Yoko, the red-haired girl from earlier, if she likes Toya too. She asks why they’d ask her such a thing, and they say she’d make a cute match for him seeing as how she’s the head of the drama club and is good at taking care of people. She rolls her eyes and walks off. In the dub, oh wait a sec:

Name Change: Yoko is changed to Vicki.

As I was saying, in the dub, the girls are basically complete bitches. They whine about how the boys better not ask them to help move the trunk and how they better get moving to get to the stage with the trunk on time. They then ask Vicki if she memorized all her lines, and she says she memorized most of them. The girls taunt about how she’ll forget her lines and make a fool out of herself if she doesn’t ensure that she memorizes all of the lines. Vicki then walks off to study her lines some more. What is with older English dubs and making girls snobby divas? 4Kids did the same thing. Also, why are they removing a heterosexual same-age crush from the series too? There are no “content” excuses for that. Do they just want to remove most romance aspects now?

Even more of these hints of a crush are removed because, after Yoko leaves, the girls assert that Yoko probably does like Toya, but they understand why she’s so avoidant of the matter because it’s supposedly one of the ‘seven mysteries’ of their school as to why Toya and Yukito don’t have girlfriends and shoot down every girl who asks them. Gee, two of the hottest guys in school who spend practically all of their time together and seem to show no interest whatsoever in the opposite sex sure is a mystery. I mean, it’s not right to make assumptions but really, come on. I refuse to believe no one at their school ever suggested this possibility. This entire scene is removed. At least they didn’t make the edit sloppy this time, though.

Syaoran responds to Sakura liking the stuffed pink bunny by asking her why she would like such childish things, and she responds that it’s because it’s still cute. In the dub, Lee tells Sakura that she has one just like that at home, and Sakura says she likes it anyway. How exactly does Lee know what stuffed animals Sakura has at home? He’s never been in her room has he?

The fee to do the challenge for the toy is actually 100 yen, roughly a dollar. But since 100 yen is a coin, they change it to a quarter. By the way, really, the challenge for getting one of various SMALL CUTESY STUFFED ANIMALS is to dribble past five players on the school’s basketball team? This is either a booth specifically designed for guys to impress their girlfriends and win them a prize or this is the suckiest booth ever. I’m not saying a girl couldn’t do it or wouldn’t want to, I’m quite certain there are some girls in the school who would, but I doubt the number would be big enough to warrant a booth. I also doubt the number of teenage boys who would do the challenge would want a pink bunny.

In response to Yukito giving Sakura the bunny, Syaoran grumbles a bit. The grumbling’s removed.

I’m actually surprised they left the following scene where it’s shown that Yukito also wins toys for Tomoyo and Syaoran.

Syaoran shyly asks Yukito if he’s also going to be in the play. Yukito says yes and that his role is a can of mackerel. The kids all try to process this weird information, but Yukito just smiles. All of this is removed and the editor mucked up the cut again. Dude, even when I did AMVs in Windows Movie Maker I was still able to do fairly clean cuts almost all the time. You have professional editing equipment, what is happening?

Also, I can understand removing the part where Yukito and Syaoran talk, at least by Nelvana’s stupid standards, but why the rest of it? There’s so much hacked away today that it’s one of those episodes that I really fear will be extended for time with something or other.

Since all of that is removed, the rest of the scene is changed. Sakura originally says that it sounds like a yummy role, and Yukito agrees because canned mackerel is really good. In the dub, Sakura continues on the previous discussion about Tori being in the play and says that whatever role he plays he’s sure to be great at it. Julian responds that he’s sure it’s a performance that they’ll never forget.

Syaoran asks why canned mackerel would be in a play about Cinderella. In the dub, Lee says Tori’s probably going to play one of the rats.

Upon seeing Toya as Cinderella, Sakura falls out her seat and the girls in the audience clamor over Toya. When Sakura pulls herself together, Tomoyo points out that Toya’s really popular. In the dub, all of this up until Sakura pulls herself up in her chair is removed, and since the scene with the girls was removed, Madison says that Julian was right about this being a performance they’ll never forget.

I’m starting to wonder why this entire episode wasn’t axed. I mean, it’s butchered enough as it is, you can tell that just from this comparison, and we’re just barely past the commercial break so there’s probably plenty more to go. Now we have crossdressing. Look at all the stuff that has been cut either for stupid reasons, pointless reasons or no reason at all in this one episode. Now take into consideration that Toya’s crossdressing and it’s left alone. It’s not just him either, the other female roles are being filled by guys from his class too, and the prince is played by a girl because it’s a gender-swapped play. I don’t get their logic at all. I’m glad they’re leaving it, but I don’t get their nonsensical rules.

ALSO, this scene directly contradicts the girls’ words from earlier about feeling bad for Tori because he ‘lost a bet’ and I guess had to take that part because of it. It’s a gender-swapped play, meaning other boys are dressed in feminine clothing too. If anything, Tori had the best part in the play because he gets a love scene with an attractive girl.

They remove a shot of the two boys playing the evil stepsisters getting in each others faces about who’s going to marry the prince.

To add more time, they add in a shot of Sakura making an awkward face from earlier.

The play’s actually been fairly loyal, dialogue wise, but before the stepsisters and stepmother leave, the evil stepmother tells Cinderella to be jealous, and the stepsisters tell Cinderella to make ramen for them before they come home from the ball. No demands for Cinderella to be jealous are made, and the stepsisters tell Cinderella to make them a late night snack for when they come home.

In response to Toya’s less-than-enthusiastic acting about wanting to go to the ball, Syaoran says “I don’t think he wants to go to the ball at all.” In the dub, it’s kept the same, but Lee’s delivery of “I don’t think he wants to go.” is almost as bad as the way Tori’s VA is purposely trying to act right now.

Okay, this is just getting ridiculous now. I’m actually getting a little angry. Yukito comes on stage and, again, all of the girls clamor. Tomoyo points out that Yukito is also very popular. Sakura agrees, claiming it’s because he’s so wonderful. Syaoran nods in agreement then realizes what he did and grumbles. Yukito’s role is….odd…to say the least. You remember how he said he’d be playing a can of mackerel? He wasn’t lying. He is playing some wizard or something that hands Cinderella an invitation to the ball. He has a can of mackerel on his head and states that the can of mackerel is where he gained his powers. Sakura and Syaoran both fall over this time, and Tomoyo states they must’ve used that to raise awareness over wasting things. It’s a weird yet funny scene. All of it is removed. Also, no, it is never once explained what this is actually about, though that’s the joke.

Something had to have been done outside of one funny face shot insertion to make this episode run longer. There is just too much removed. Maybe they jam packed a lot of commercials.

Another shot of a goofy face of Sakura’s is removed.

Sakura and Syaoran both get a goofy face and say this is a weird play. They realize they said the same thing and both grumble. This is removed too.

More of the dance is removed for no reason.

Another mention of the ramen for dinner is omitted.

In addition, since Yukito’s part was completely cut, we get another funny line gone since Toya originally says ‘but the can of mackerel said I had to be home by midnight.’ In the dub, it’s the obvious Fairy Godmother.

Tomoyo only missed the capture, she never intended on recording the play nor did she ever try. The dub claims that she ran out of film before the play started and that’s why she also missed the capture.

When Yukito shows up, Syaoran bows and says he did a great job as the can of mackerel. Yukito thanks him. This is removed, but they couldn’t avoid showing Syaoran’s embarrassed face in the next shot as Sakura asks where Toya is.

Yoko brings Toya up to the roof and confesses her feelings to him. However, he gently declines. She asks if he likes someone else and he nods. She says she figured that was the case and wipes some tears away telling him to not worry about her and apologizes for crying. She then points out that the bonfire dance is starting soon and asks him for a favor – one dance. He agrees.

In the dub, Vicki just says thanks to Tori and says she owes him big time. She says it’s a shame that the play was ruined, he nods in agreement and she says there’s always next year. Then she asks to dance with him. The shot of her wiping away tears is also removed. I have no idea anymore. I guess all love is bad in Nelvana’s eyes. Maybe it was changed because Toya kinda-ish implies that he likes Yukito in the end, but it’s not that much. He just said he likes someone else. It’s only because I know about what happens later on that I know this is a poke at him liking Yukito. Plus, they could’ve left in the stuff about Yoko’s crush without implying that he has a thing for Yukito or even anyone else period. He could have just said he doesn’t feel the same way and let her down gently.

If you were only watching the dub, you’d be totally confused as to what this character’s purpose in the episode was. She didn’t study her lines much then got saved by Toya. The end.

Toya originally says as he walks away, since it was time to change partners, that he never promised anyone else to a dance. Yoko then says he acts a little too cool. In the dub, Tori says he wants to talk to his sister for a bit and Vicki says she’ll wait for him then.

Also, a music note, in the original, the song playing during the bonfire dance…..is “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”…………………………………..Wh….why? I just….why? Why would that song be playing at a high school bonfire dance? Oh yeah, when I want to have a nice dance with someone I like, the first sweet romantic hit I think of is Do you ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie ’em in a knot? Can you tie ’em in a bow?

It’s not even the fact that it’s not a romantic song, because it doesn’t have to be for a bonfire dance. It’s the fact that it’s a children’s song, one most kids don’t dance to, being played on something like an organ grinder. In the dub it’s just generic BG music, which, in this one instance, is actually better.

Yet they leave in the final scene with Yukito and Sakura dancing and even the closeup shot of Syaoran’s emotionally crushed face, but they remove the later scene of him making an equally crushed face in the background as Tomoyo films.

Also, hey Madison, I thought your camera ‘ran out of film.’

Leave it to Kero-Chan!/Kero’s Corner: They actually get everything right, but the reason Tori’s bag has no school emblem is because it’s not given by the school, and they never mention that Julian’s bag is from his grandparents.

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Overall, this episode is okay. The weird play was quite funny, but the Clow card and capture were ultimately boring. The dub was awful, and they made what seems to be way more cuts than usual. The only scene that was mostly left alone was the capture scene.

Next time, Kero and Sakura have a fight and he runs away from home.

…..Previous Episode


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 22 (21 for the Dub) Clash! Genshi vs. Ototan Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: TP Lady hatches a new plan to seduce Ototan and steal all of the Space-Time Monsters.

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Title Change: Clash! Genshi vs. Ototan is changed to Rocky in Love.

They originally don’t explain why Moaiwa is outside. In the dub, Sarah asks Mowah to wait outside because he’s so big he’d get in the way of their cleaning.

Putera tells Dr. Yamato that his lazy attitude towards cleaning is the reason why he can’t get a bride. In the dub, he chastises Dr. Goodman for how dirty the place is.

The original doesn’t have any mention of Dyna and Mite going surfing.

They reverse and replay TP Lady looking through her binoculars.

The sign in the garbage pile that Oto-tan falls into originally said “Garbage Disposal.” In the dub, it’s wiped free of text.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Okay, I get they’re in the future so I won’t question why they have a robot garbage man……but what are these?

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Does garbage get turned into weird giant spheres in the future?

So not only are the Space-Time Monsters not a secret, but Ototan also talks with Ms. Aino like it’s not weird he’s a stone axe?

…Okay.

Originally, Ms. Aino says she was at the dump because she likes to go to there to look at the mountains of trash to relieve stress. In the dub, she says she’s taking her class on a trip there and wanted to make sure it was safe. Points to the dub here because the original’s explanation is just stupid.

I get the logic with Tokio and Wing flying higher to see more, but also Ototan’s a small stone axe. You’ll never be able to see him if you go that high.

With all the Space-Time Monsters now roaming freely around town, it truly is safe to say that they don’t care about keeping them secret.

The sign on the coffee shop says “Coffee Shop” in the original. In the dub, it says “Etta’s Coffee House.” Additionally, text is removed from the tiny sign below that one, but the image quality is too poor for me to read it.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Wait a minute, so hardly anyone bats an eye at the Space-Time Monsters traipsing around town, but everyone stares at and is confused by Ototan being a living stone axe? This world makes no sense.

*sigh* I hate that this episode is making me imagine the physical logistics of a human having an intimate relationship with a stone axe…..I mean, I get that he’s a human too, he’s just stuck in the form of a stone axe, but still. Eugh.

Ototan mentions that they’re in Tama City. He doesn’t mention they’re location in the dub.

Ototan asks Ms. Aino how the ride is (he’s currently carrying her on his head….) In the dub, they just talk about where they’re going. I understand this change because uh…..yeah asking your love interest how the ride you’re giving them is….Hmm….

Genshi asks why they’re hiding, and Tokio responds that it would be bad to interrupt them. Sora then asks when Ototan and Ms. Aino got so close. In the dub, Flint asks where they’re going, and Tony says he doesn’t know. Sora then says they should follow them but make sure they stay hidden….I know, small potatoes. But this episode’s kinda uneventful change-wise so far.

They repeat a short shot of Tony talking after they cut to Dr. Goodman.

Tokio originally points out that she’s rubbing his “shoulders” while Yamato takes notes on his romantic technique. In the dub, Tony says he didn’t know Ms. Iknow was so strong, and Goodman says she’s full of surprises.

Huh, I honestly didn’t think they’d ever address this, but they actually bring up Genshi’s mom here…..and it has a very unsatisfying resolution. Ototan just doesn’t remember who she was. He explains that turning into a stone axe gave him a bit of memory loss, which is very confusing. He’s never shown to have any memory loss before now, and he remembers everything with Genshi just fine. Genshi also doesn’t remember ever having a mom, so I assume she’s either missing or dead. All this is kept in the dub.

Apparently, in the dub, Ms. Iknow’s first name is Emma. I don’t know if that has any significance.

In the original, Genshi asks if he can eat ‘marriage,’ which reminds me so much of Goku with Chichi in Dragon Ball. In the dub, he just asks if anyone can tell him what’s happening.

After Dyna and Mite shake the net and punch it in the cat mech, the dub repeats them spinning the group over their head for some reason.

Ototan tells Ms. Aino that they’ve only just met, and proposing marriage is going way too fast. However, he still wants to be friends with her. In the dub, Rocky tells her “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” She tells him that, if he leaves now, it’s over, and he says he’s sorry she feels that way.

Wait….so this is our payoff for Talun getting bummed in the other episode about being a coward? She just…..randomly goes super in an episode that barely involves her?….Okay.

Name Plate removed:

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Name Change: Super Talun is changed to Talen Master.

Eugh, Super Honey-Honey looks way too weird with its barely-changed face….

Name Plate removed:

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Name Change: Super Honey-Honey is changed to Jitterbug Master.

Like usual, their attacks have no names in the original. In the dub, Jitterbug has a Jitterbug Power Whirl, and Talen has…..*sigh* “Accessory power”……You see…..she throws off her beads and traps….her enemies………..*deep sigh*

Oh and Honey-Honey’s dancing beam? Jitterbug just says “Jitterbug” when he does it. *shrug* I get that the Jitterbug is a dance, but considering it’s also his dub name it just seems awkward.

Tokio specifies that the food falling on them is takoyaki. In the dub, he just says it’s a fast food attack.

Ototan originally points out that, since he’s a rock, being underwater doesn’t affect him….I guess he means….he doesn’t have to breathe? In the dub, Rocky just says it doesn’t matter how much Flint squirms, he’s not getting away.

In the original, Genshi says “Ototan, it hurts!” In the dub, he talks way too much for someone currently drowning and on his last breath. He explains to Rocky that he’s under the control of Petra’s stamp and he has to break free of it.

They inserted an old shot of Rocky using Fighting Spirit and Flint swinging him. I dunno why. He had already used it before they started running.

They reverse and replay Flint and Rocky’s hug to when he was holding up Rocky to insert a line about them achieving anything together even if Rocky married Ms. Iknow.

Again, reversed and replayed Tony, Sarah and Pterry talking.

There’s no mention of a field trip in the original.

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This episode was fine. Kinda felt like they just threw some things together, though. Like they mention Genshi’s mom, but it goes nowhere. They show Talun and Honey-Honey transforming, but there’s little fanfare to it, especially considering they made a big to-do about Talun running away before and feeling bad about it. Ototan gets mind-controlled, which is a cool concept, but there’s not much tension there because of course he’ll break free of it. Other Space-Time Monsters have broken free for much less than something like their own children.

TP Lady’s plan had legs, but it was poorly executed. Seducing Ototan and infiltrating Genshi and the group to steal the Space-Time Monsters could have worked if she was in it for the long game instead of just romancing him for an hour, assuming literally everyone on the good side would follow them and then throwing a net on them….

There wasn’t even a whole lot for me to note for changes. Much of the dub changes or story notes were extremely benign, and there was no historical figure to talk about this episode.

It has a very slow first half, but the second half has enough in it to keep your attention.

Next time, we meet the Space-Time Monster, Unita and learn about the Space-Time Monsters as they travel to the Land of Time.


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Pokemon Episode 65 Analysis: Showdown at the Po-Ke Corral

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CotD(s): None

Plot: Ash is back in Pallet to prepare for the Indigo League conference. He, Misty and Brock visit Professor Oak to get more information on the tournament. When they arrive, they’re met with Gary, who is visiting his grandpa. Oak explains that the Indigo League tournament will be taking place in two months at the Indigo Plateau, and over 200 Trainers are set to partake in the event.

Ash and Gary learn that the other two Pallet Trainers who started their journeys at the same time as them quit some time ago. The two of them are now Pallet Town’s best Trainers. Ash and Gary both butt heads about their progress with Gary gloating that he’s captured many more Pokemon and has much better training regimens and battle strategies than Ash.

As Oak shows them around his research facility, which houses every single Pokemon, Ash, Gary and any other Pallet Trainer has caught and isn’t currently in their party, and tells them all about Pokemon, Gary and Ash come to a slightly better understanding of each other. They’re about to have a friendly practice battle when Team Rocket shows up, demanding Pikachu and all of the other Pokemon on the premises. As Ash and Gary prepare to battle them, Ash’s herd of Tauros bursts through the fence and plows through Team Rocket, sending them blasting off.

Gary takes his leave, promising Ash that they’ll have their match in the Pokemon League tournament. Meanwhile, Oak hands Ash, Misty and Brock some wood and tools to fix the fence Ash’s Tauros destroyed.

Ash has two months of prep time until he will partake in the Indigo League tournament. Will that be enough?

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– There’s more confusion with the ownership of Mr. Mime as this episode proves that Mimey only listens to Delia not Ash.

– They misspell “Corral” as “Corrall.” in the title card.

– Mewtwo escapes from Giovanni in this episode, which helps establish a timeline a little bit with the movie, but not entirely.

That being said, having that scene in this episode was pointless. They show Mewtwo flying off, Jessie, James and Meowth meet with Giovanni who tells them nothing else but to do their jobs, and then they all leave the site of the destroyed HQ. Even taking the movie into consideration, what does this scene add to either?

– The rudeness to Ash from the previous episode continues in this episode when Mr. Mime wakes Ash up by vacuuming his face, Misty just tells him now he can go another week without taking a bath, then Professor Oak is shown being happier to see a Togepi than seeing Ash again.

– The fact that the other two Pallet Trainers quit before even getting to the Pokemon League just makes me even more curious about them. They were keeping pace with Gary throughout like half of Kanto and seemingly were nearly as skilled as he was. What happened to make them both quit? Saying “They just didn’t have the skill.” doesn’t explain much or make much sense. How can you start your journey demolishing Gym Leader after Gym Leader and then skew off into “I guess I suck now.”?

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– I do appreciate Ash saying maybe the Pokemon deserve more credit for his Gym Badge accomplishments than he does.

– Okay, pause for a second. Mewtwo just escaped. Oak says it’s two months until the Indigo League conference. Let’s say the tournament goes on for….a week? And then Ash gets on a new journey like a couple weeks later? So around three months from now is when it will seem to make sense that the movie takes place? Am I close? Sorry, it’s just bugging me.

– How the hell is Gary’s Krabby that buff and seemingly high level without Gary evolving it?

– Ya know, I really hate how much of a point Gary has. And I apologize for jumping ahead a bit in this tangent, but I feel this is an appropriate time to go over this. Ash doesn’t switch out his roster pretty much ever (hell, he barely switches it up from just Pikachu and the starters. RIP Pidgeotto), and it does cause his Pokemon to stagnate. It also causes him to stagnate because, if you never train with anything besides one roster, an incomplete one even, it makes adapting so much more difficult when you do decide to switch it up.

Gary constantly switching out his roster to level up all of his Pokemon evenly, catching a lot of Pokemon and constantly training allows him to be incredibly versatile and greatly increases his knowledge and skills in battle. If anything, this should have been one of the bigger hiccups in Ash’s performance in the Pokemon League. It would have proven Gary right and showed Ash the error of his ways in his lackadaisical training style. But no. Instead, Muk will perform perfectly well in its bout, and Krabby will do so well it somehow ends up evolving.

“But Twix” says the strawman I’m making up again, “Ash probably trained those Pokemon a little bit in the two months he had until the Pokemon League.” That would be smart, wouldn’t it? Eating some crow and deciding that he should train Muk, at least one of his Tauros and Krabby in case he needs them for the Pokemon League….

That would be very smart.

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So of course Ash doesn’t do it.

There are several episodes between now and the Indigo League competition – eight to be precise – and not a one of them includes Ash training any of his B-squad. Hardly any of it includes Ash training at all. He spends much of this downtime dicking around in random filler episodes. He’s gonna find out how Slowpoke evolve. He’s going to be in a movie. He’s going to go surfing. There’s going to be a really weird episode involving giant ancient Pokemon. Only one of them is even kinda centered on training, and most of that episode is just Ash and Brock simping after Bruno while he makes them do random exercises. Then the episode ends with a lesson that they’ve learned about fifty times over by now.

Just to prove that Ash didn’t train them off-screen, when Ash uses Krabby during the tournament, Misty points out that Ash has never used Krabby before. If Krabby was trained, then that would imply that Ash has been using Krabby in practice battles.

The fact that Ash makes it further in the tournament than Gary does kinda throw a negative moral in kids’ faces that you can screw off, ignore valuable advice and hope for the best, and somehow you’ll beat out people who have worked harder, studied more and have more experience. I know that the Charizard incident conveys the exact opposite message, and trust me we will cross that bridge with a goddamn tank when we get to it, but the fact that he skates by like this without putting in the work is one of the many reasons Ash annoys me so.

Gary may be somewhat irritating with how he treats Ash, but it’s very clear that he works hard, cares about all of his Pokemon deeply and studies a lot. He’s also proven he can be a fully respectable guy as long as he’s not stroking his ego. I actually believe Gary should’ve been the one to beat Ash in the Pokemon League. Not only would that have scratched the itch to see these two battle after teasing it for so long, but it would definitely knock Ash down even more of a peg than it did when losing to Richie. You can still have Gary lose immediately after so it humbles him a bit more too and makes him realize he needs to do some soul searching and reevaluation, but having him come in lower than Ash in the tournament just comes off so badly, if you ask me.

Oh, and Ash doesn’t even bring Krabby or Muk with him to the tournament, despite having an open spot on his team. He has to have Oak send them to him when he’s already at the Plateau. It’s no wonder it takes him 25 years to finally fully win a league tournament.

– Admittedly, though, it is kinda weird that Gary starts schooling Ash on Pokemon Type matchups for Gym Leader matches. It was totally out of the blue since no mention of Types or Gyms, outside of collecting Badges, was brought up. Ash definitely does have an issue with typing his matchups effectively, but Gary has no way of knowing this.

– When Brock asks what Gary would use against his Rock Type Gym, he says he’d use a Water Type with a Grass Type for backup. I find it weird that this exchange is even happening. Gary having a Boulder Badge implies that he battled and defeated Brock (and bear in mind that Gary made it to the Pewter City Gym before Ash, so Flint wasn’t manning the Gym as he is now) Brock should be saying something like “Yeah, when he battled me, he completely wiped me out with his Water and Grass Types.” or something.

Gary asks what Ash would use, and Misty says he’d use Pikachu. I want to half-defend and half-condemn Ash here. Misty is referencing the match Ash had with Brock in which he did use Pikachu as his main attacker, but he didn’t really have much of a choice. His roster at that point was a Bug/Flying Type, a Normal/Flying Type and an Electric Type – none of which having an advantage on Rock/Ground Types. Granted, out of all of these, Electric is the worst Type because it should be completely ineffective against most Rock Types since they’re usually dual-type Ground as well, as Geodude and Onix are, but they hardly ever remember that little caveat when Messiahchu’s in the mix.

If Ash were to battle Brock now, I’m……75% certain he’d choose a Pokemon besides Pikachu now that he has more variety. A good chunk of that 25% that was lost was because the “(Aim for) the horn!” incident is still fresh in my mind.

– Gary: “Hah! Everybody knows you shouldn’t use an Electric Pokemon against a Rock Type.” Hah! Everybody knows that’s only good advice if the Rock Type is also dual-type Ground. Rock Type on its own is neither strong nor weak against Electric.

Also, pot, meet kettle. In Battle for the Badge, Gary purposefully used an Arcanine, a Fire Type, against a Kingler, a Water Type.

– Hahah, when did Oak pickpocket Gary and Ash for their Pokedexes? He just suddenly scans them out of nowhere.

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– I’m gonna disagree with Gary on his “capture first, ask questions later” policy in regards to the Pokedex. I actually think Ash’s approach is better. You may think you know everything about a Pokemon, but the information the Pokedex offers could be invaluable to both capturing and raising it. Considering Oak made the damn thing, it’s almost like Gary is so arrogant that he’s saying he knows more than Oak half the time. Even if he doesn’t whip out his Pokedex whenever he sees a Pokemon, why wouldn’t he use it after the fact to research it more after capture?

Also, this more or less proves that the anime doesn’t keep the game’s goal of filling out the Pokedex.

– Oak: “Let’s Poke-round in my laboratory!” Never say that again.

– Well, womp womp, let’s talk about Ash’s Tauros…..or not. The dub doesn’t bother explaining how and why Ash caught 30 Tauros at the Safari Zone so………*shrug* I guess I already said my piece about it in the episode analysis for the Legend of Miniryu/Dratini, so no point going over it again here. Would’ve been nice if 4Kids even made the effort to cover up the big gaping hole here, though.

– I find it weird that they make off like Gary doesn’t make friends with his Pokemon. He loves his Pokemon and is obviously friends with them. We’ll see in a second that he’s very affectionate towards his Doduo.

– While Oak’s views on Pokemon and how much he cares for them has always been really heartwarming and sweet…..I don’t really buy that he cares for all of those Pokemon by himself. As they said, he seems to have thousands of Pokemon in his care, even if Ash and Gary combined have about 232-ish. I assume some of these Pokemon belong to the other two Pallet Trainers and any other Trainers Pallet has had in the recent past. Still, I really think he has to have employees helping him. I know them staying in Pokeballs a good chunk of the time helps, but he lets them out every day.

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– I think it’s insanely interesting that Oak was talking about variations among Pokemon of the same species. This was quite a ways off from any variant, even shinies, but it’s cool to think he may have been foreshadowing that.

– Ash, for god’s sake. Put the Pokedex away. You’ve seen a Dodu–…..Wait, has Ash seen a Doduo? He’s seen Dodrio like three times, and it’s been in the background a lot. *Googles* Wow, he actually hasn’t! This is the debut of Doduo in the anime……Huh…….My apologies. Carry on.

– That Geodude blushing when Jessie grabbed its hand was adorable.

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– Alright, so, in the end, you kinda can’t ignore the Tauros issue because the one conflict of this episode is resolved by Ash’s Tauros. Having Oak be like “Oh but you did save my research center, Ash. All of those Tauros are yours.” has absolutely no meaning whatsoever if we don’t even know where these things came from or why he has them. To a viewer who has never seen The Legend of Miniryu/Dratini, it’s going to come off like Oak is giving credit for the efforts of some completely random Pokemon to Ash.

Even if we did know…the ending message in that exchange is kinda weird. Ash is trying to give credit to the Pokemon for saving them from Team Rocket, and Oak is trying to give Ash the credit because, if he didn’t catch the Tauros and leave them all there with him, they wouldn’t have been there to save them. But also….they didn’t need the Tauros to save them. Ash beats Team Rocket by himself all the time, and he had Gary about to help him here, so victory was a certainty. The Tauros plowing through and blasting Team Rocket off, seemingly on total accident (they didn’t run to Ash or anything. They ran off immediately afterward.) really only served to beat them a little faster.

Also, it’s pretty sad that Ash didn’t recognize any of his Tauros until Oak pointed it out. And none of the Tauros recognized Ash either. I guess that means he’s never seen them since he caught them. At least Krabby and Muk show up on video calls with Oak sometimes.

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This episode was necessary in regards to being a buffer between all of the Badge episodes and getting ready for the Pokemon League, and it was nice seeing Gary again and getting caught up on their statuses at the end of their Kanto journey, but there’s really not much to talk about in this episode. Most of what I did discuss here was regarding future events in the Indigo League with some parts involving the movie.

As you can tell from my incredibly short synopsis, nothing much actually happened. It wasn’t even really building up to anything in the future with Gary because, as we’ll see later, Gary and Ash never get to have their match in the Pokemon League. They wind up having a battle back in Pallet after the tournament is over.

That’s not to say it’s a bad episode, it’s not, and it’s kinda quaint to have a slow and comfortable episode back home before we get into the nitty gritty of the Pokemon League tournament, but it’s just kinda void of much to actually talk about.

Speaking of the nitty gritty of the Pokemon League tournament, get ready! Because next time we’re going to start……wading through several episodes of filler before we actually get to the tournament.

It’s such a shame that they didn’t bother actually making a cool little mini-training arc for Ash. If you weren’t going to dedicate these next EIGHT EPISODES to actually showing Ash buckling down and training for the Indigo League, why even bother having this gap here? Either skip ahead the two months and use these episodes to make the main tournament longer, which, as we’ll see, was desperately needed, or use the episodes for something worthwhile to his training….Anyway, next time we learn how a Slowpoke evolves into a Slowbro using a Shellder – something that honestly doesn’t make much sense even when explained.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 17: Close Match! A Model’s Invitation (Placeholder) Review

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Plot: Kaiba’s third shitennou appears! An idol named Aileen comes to Japan to defeat Yugi on Kaiba’s behalf using Anzu as a hostage. The game? An ancient Indian game called Raijinhai that Yugi has never played before. Can Yugi find some way to win and save Anzu?

Breakdown: The best part about this episode is the absolutely hilarious way Anzu was animated excitedly shaking a box back and forth in the beginning. If you only watch one shot of this episode, please just watch that. You won’t regret it.

As for the rest of this episode……eeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….First of all, yay, another Anzu-centric episode. Whoo. Hoo. It’s not as bad I feared because she thankfully spends a majority of the episode frozen in total silence, but still. She starts the episode being annoying, and she ends the episode being an absolute bitch. For someone who worships Aileen, a model who looked pretty unique, especially in Japan in the 90s, she’s sure easily fooled by a pair of sunglasses….

Second, the first half of the episode is mostly nothing. It’s entirely setup to the game, which, if you ask me, is too long. Most of the first scenes with Kaiba could have removed, and the scene with her….boyfriend (?) could have been removed too. The scene with her boyfriend, or whoever that was, was meant to show us that she’s really good at games and something awful happens when you lose to her. Somehow, losing to her caused this guy to break his leg. The game she chose was Raijinhai, which, I checked, is not a real game. And, somehow, losing that game resulted in the guy breaking his leg, which was a big deal because he’s a famous soccer player.

While this does inform the viewer that this woman is serious business…..isn’t it a bit better to have that be a reveal? Like she can just be a nice celebrity at first and then boom she reveals that she’s taken Anzu hostage and is one of Kaiba’s shitennou? What we learn about her through these scenes is that she became one of Kaiba’s shitennou because he promised she’d be able to meet smart and famous men to be game opponents that way, which is not exactly compelling. (Also, are women not good enough opponents for her?)

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Later, we learn that she’s all about strategy, psyching out her opponents and reading people. She loves games that rely on strategy and reading your opponent and dislikes all games based on random chance. Aileen is actually a pretty okay character. She might be the only half-Canadian half-Indian anime character in existence, which is cool. She doesn’t come off as nearly intimidating enough, though.

I pretty much just like her attitude. She’s not over-the-top evil or a massive jerk. She’s just someone who loves games and outwitting her opponents…..even if that’s not what she ends up doing. She even lost gracefully, and she left Yugi on good terms. I would say that’s a bit weird considering she held Anzu hostage, but who cares? She made Anzu shut up and not move for about ten minutes. It’s all good.

Third, the game of the episode is very poorly explained. Apparently, the people who wrote the Wiki somehow had access to more rules than they presented in this episode because, as far as I saw, it was very random and luck-based. Which is weird because she specifically said she didn’t like luck-based games.

There are a set of figurines kinda akin to a chess set. You have a king, queen, Raijin Indra, Shogun, two Elephants, two Cavalry and two Soldiers. The Raijin Indra is the strongest, it beats everything but can only be used once per game. The king beats everything and is only beaten by the queen. The queen can’t beat anything besides the king. For the rest, I’m assuming the Wiki writers were using what happened in the game to figure out what beats what and pretty much guess because she doesn’t explain what any other piece does.

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The game works like this – you have a game board with a screen in the middle. You put the screen up and choose a piece. Then you lower the screen and compare the pieces. If the piece beats your opponent’s, the losing piece is removed from the game. You win by either taking all of your opponent’s pieces, all of their stronger pieces or their king.

It’s very much just a guessing game until you have eliminated some pieces. Aileen goes on about how this is a game of psychology to the point where it honestly seems like she can read Yami’s mind. Part of this mind game is to take Anzu hostage because she knows Yugi/Yami cares about her, referring to her as his girlfriend.

The way she reads Yami is weird and never adequately explained. She invites Yugi and Anzu over after asking Yugi to bring her a really rare and interesting game from his grandpa’s game shop. She has a dance studio in her apartment, somehow, and invites Anzu to come dance. As she gets into a dance pose, Aileen tells her to hold the pose….and she does. She’s in some kind of trance. She’s not conscious, though her eyes are wide open and not focused. She can’t move a thing, and she’s totally silent.

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Yami later asks if this ability is hypnosis, and the Wiki says it is, but she doesn’t seem to agree. When she tries to explain this power later, she says “All I do is use words to get into the crevices of people’s hearts.” How did saying “Hold that pose, okay?” get into a crevice in Anzu’s heart?

During the game, it seems as if she’s cheating because she predicts every single piece that Yami uses, but this also makes no sense. It’s explained that she can do this because she rattled Yugi by taking Anzu hostage. Then she used probabilities combined with his disrupted thinking to predict what he’d play.

Here’s the thing, though…..That makes no sense. There are seven pieces. Yugi has no experience with this game. He can’t really make much of a strategy either since it’s largely random. There’s no way she’s accurately predicting every single move based purely on probabilities and the fact that Yugi’s a bit distracted by Anzu being in danger.

What’s even funnier is that Yugi turns around and does the same thing to her. Once he realizes what she’s doing, he rattles her by predicting one of her pieces accurately. Once she’s rattled, he’s able to predict all of her moves. But here’s the thing….again…..this doesn’t make sense either. Not only should he not be able to do this because of the reasons I just explained, but him doing this trick wins him the game. Why? Wouldn’t they just be stalemated because they can both read each other? Or would they stop letting the other read them and still end in a stalemate?

Oh and the funniest part of this whole game was when Aileen randomly upped the stakes. Apparently, the threat of Anzu forever being a ballerina statue wasn’t enough. She reveals that there’s a door slowly opening in the dance studio. With each piece Yami loses, the door raises slightly.

What’s behind this door?

……Aileen’s pet tiger!

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Because she’s Indian and thus has a pet tiger, I guess.

I laughed out loud when this was revealed. How completely random both with the unnecessary stakes increase and the sudden tiger.

Yami kinda uses his powers a little…..I think….or maybe not. His Puzzle glows as he boasts that she has 2000 years of Indian experience with this game behind her, but games were invented in ancient Egypt – so he has 5000 years of experience behind him…..I don’t get it. But whatever.

Yami wins, and Anzu’s safe, Yippee frickin’ skippy……

Oh, sorry. Does it seem like I’m being overly mean to Anzu today? You know, you’re right. I give Anzu too much crap. She hasn’t done anything awful today….Okay, she was kinda rude to Yugi earlier because he didn’t know who Aileen was, but she was okay besides that. Yeah, I’m sure once Anzu wakes up, she’ll perfectly delightful…….*cough*

I was so caught off-guard by what Anzu did when she was released from the trance. It was one of those moments where I had to pause because I was just flabbergasted.

……She slapped the unholy fuck out of Yugi.

For no reason.

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He ran into the room, concerned for her, and the instant she snapped out of her trance she slapped him so hard he fell down. She says that he got in the way, but 1) No, he didn’t. He was in front of her when she woke up. 2) Even if he did interrupt her, she was POSING before she was frozen. How do you get in the way of a pose? And 3) He didn’t touch her or do anything. He just ran in yelling her name and she scrambled his face meat with her palm.

Fuck you, Anzu. I can’t believe how much you make me yearn for 2000anime!Anzu. Do you realize how shitty of a character you have to be to make me yearn for Captain Friendship over there?

When all is said and done, Kaiba fires Aileen, and her final words to him are that he’s not as strong as Yugi. Later, Aileen flies back to….wherever she’s from…..wait, did she bring her tiger with her on an international flight…..for a day trip? Or does the tiger stay in Japan? Who takes care of that thing? She said it attacks everyone but her.

As Aileen flies off, she thinks to herself that she wants to play another game with Yugi in the future – a game of love. She’s 19 and Yugi’s like 17, so this isn’t squicky. I just always get distracted when people are romantically interested in Yugi because he looks so much like he’s ten….

This isn’t the last we see of Aileen, however. Apparently, she returns later in the show again under Kaiba’s employ for some reason.

All in all, this episode was fine, just kinda boring, which is a shame for the third shitennou episode.

Just so we’re clear – Kaiba’s shitennou so far have been a guy obsessed with dolls, a guy who was really lucky and a model who could kinda-ish use hypnosis and whose specialty game was one that relied extremely heavily on chance while saying she dislikes games relying on chance and acting as if the game doesn’t rely heavily on chance……….Cool.

Also, I should note that Jonouchi, Honda and Miho don’t appear for a single second in this episode, which is very, very odd. They constantly get shoehorned into episodes that have little to nothing to do with them, but here we have plenty of time to throw them in and they chose not to. Weird.

Next time, we’re finally getting back into comparison territory as we cover chapters 46-47 and an ancient Chinese game where your soul is on the line.


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Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters | Episode 1: Getting Played Review

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Plot: Yugi and Téa are getting into a new game called Capsule Monsters – a spin-off (?) board game of Duel Monsters. Joey wins an all-expense paid trip to India and invites all of his friends to come along, but their plane suddenly crashes on a remote island. While everyone is okay, they’re stuck until help arrives. The group decides to explore the island while they wait, and they quickly stumble upon an unconscious man named Alex Brisbane. According to him, he was exploring a strange Egyptian-esque pyramid on the island with Yugi’s grandpa when he suddenly went missing.

Yugi and the others follow Alex into the pyramid to Solomon’s last location only to see a massive empty room with a strange map covering the floor. As he walks onto it, Joey vanishes in a flash of light. Realizing Yugi’s grandpa likely vanished the same way, Yugi, Téa and Tristan step on the map as well, following Joey and Solomon to find them and bring them home. Little do they realize that they’ve actually become trapped in the world of Capsule Monsters, and they’ll need to play the game in order to leave.

Breakdown: Ever since I did my 4Kids retrospective, I’ve wanted to completely review Capsule Monsters. I won’t be able to do an SDC on it since a Japanese version either doesn’t exist or simply isn’t available, so I thought I’d just do a simple episode-by-episode review on this…spin-off?….Season? Arc? I dunno. Whatever 4Kids intended for this to be.

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The first episode starts with Yugi having a nightmare about Yami, who is clad in gold armor for some reason, fighting a giant shadow creature, who winds up consuming him. Yugi jolts out of bed and reveals that this is a recurring nightmare. He then notices the Puzzle glowing and acting strangely.

Yugi heads out, but then remembers that his grandpa is still gone after suddenly leaving for a ‘secret’ week-long trip. He should have been home that morning, but there’s been no sign of him. Does he not have a phone or anything?

After the theme song, we get such a dramatic reveal of Joey that I really thought this was indeed meant to be a spin-off moment. There’s no reason whatsoever to reveal him so dramatically when nothing is going on. However, no one else gets such a dramatic reveal so I dunno.

Joey partakes in a street contest for a prize of some sort.

Back at school, Téa and Yugi are playing Capsule Monsters, and Téa, being the mostly stereotypical girl character she is, doesn’t bother learning how to play and only wants to play cute monsters like Happy Lover. She duels the same way, basically, but at least she roughly knows how Duel Monsters works and gives a crap about it.

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Téa: “I suppose that means your soldier guy is going to fight my flying guy?” Soldier gu—That’s Celtic Guardian. You know Celtic Guardian. You’ve seen that monster tons of times.

Tristan shows up followed soon after by a super excited Joey who explains that he won three tickets for a special trip for all of them…..All four of them. I guess it’s possible that he was showing off the tickets he was offering to the others and withholding his, but why would he do that?

As they walk along, Téa thinks to herself that she has a bad feeling about their trip because whenever they go places terrible and usually supernatural things tend to happen. Well, I mean….yeah, she has a point.

She’s snapped out of her concerns by the voice of Yami, and they oddly note his sudden appearance with a chime like “Oh who cares about all those supernatural threats that tend to follow us? I have my hunky pharaoh now!”

It’s only here, right before they’re about to get on the plane, that we learn this is a six-day trip to India. Before, all he said was they were “tickets to paradise” and literally all the tickets showed were vague images of fields with stone walls with a statue in the foreground.

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As they’re flying, the plane starts shaking violently and the first thing Tristan says in response to this is;

“Hey! You messed up my photo, man!”

Either he has nerves of steel, or he’s an idiot.

Their engines fail, and the plane crashes into the water below. We cut to the group, sans the pilots, on shore. Joey complains he lost all of his stuff, but uh…..how? He has a backpack, and it looks like you can still access the plane no problem. Go back and get it? I guess it’s possible that it’s all waterlogged, but if that’s the case then how were all of their backpacks left dry? Why do they even have backpacks? It sounded they were planning on a vacation not a backpacking trip.

Téa says that the pilot, who is never shown again, sent out a distress signal, but it could be hours before they’re rescued. Joey and Tristan immediately decide to leave and wander in the unknown wilderness so their trip won’t be wasted. You guys are going on a six day trip. They said it would take a few hours to get rescued. I’m sure they’d still take you to your destination. Just stay still. But of course they don’t, and I guess it’s made okay because they point out how stupid they’re being.

They stumble upon a man in black robes passed out on the ground. They give him some water and help him out when Yugi notices a black bandanna fall out of his pocket that looks identical to his grandpa’s.

Shocked, the man, Dr. Alex Brisbane, reveals that he was on an expedition with Yugi’s grandpa in the area, but he went missing….I just realized Yugi flippantly went on a six-day trip to India right after he became suspicious because his grandpa hadn’t returned home yet. He DOES have an off-screen mom, and he had to have gone home and packed. Didn’t he learn any more about grandpa’s trip or anything during that time? Was the trip literally immediately after Joey won the tickets?

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As they travel with Alex to help find Solomon, Yami tells Yugi that this all seems way too suspicious. They randomly win a trip, they randomly crash, they just so happen to stumble upon the last person to see Solomon before he went missing right in the area they ‘randomly’ crashed in – it’s all too weird. Very good point, Yami. Although it’s so obvious that you really wonder why no one else has gotten suspicious before now. I mean, yeah, weird things do tend to happen to them……I was going to continue, but then I started listing all of the weird things that happen to them in my head, and realized this is probably one of the easier things to accept.

They reach a pyramid, and Alex explains that they were exploring and analyzing this weird Egyptian pyramid that somehow is in India (I assume they’re in India) when Solomon went missing. According to him, this pyramid is the tomb of Alexander the Great who was briefly crowned a pharaoh in Egypt, which is why he supposedly has a pyramid, but the mystery is why the pyramid is in the middle of the jungle instead of in Egypt.

Alexander the Great was indeed a pharaoh, and the Egyptians even named Alexandria after him and hailed him as a god after he died. However, he was mummified and buried in a tomb in Alexandria. No one knows where exactly in Alexandria the tomb is as of now, but they’re fairly certain it’s in Alexandria because several people who claimed to have visited the pyramid in the past stated it was in Alexandria.

There was a recent report in 2021 claiming the tomb had been found in Siwa, Egypt, but it hasn’t been verified, and there hasn’t been any updates on that report as of this writing.

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Anyway, is anyone going to ask why two professional archaeologists went in the middle of nowhere to investigate an incredibly fascinating out-of-place pyramid that they’re theorizing is the resting place of one of the most famous historical figures ever whose tomb is so mysterious that people have referred to it as the ‘Holy grail’ of archaeological discoveries, should it be found, and went to this place entirely alone and without proper emergency equipment or communication with emergency services?

No? Okay. Moving on.

Actually, while I’m at it, why did none of them go back to the plane and notify the pilots who have radios and stuff? Yugi’s grandpa is missing and possibly hurt or worse. Can someone please make an intelligent decision?

As they wander the halls of the pyramid, Joey accidentally sets off a spike trap that nearly kills him, and Alex, whose name totally isn’t suspicious, by the way, just ignore that, remembers to mention that there are deadly traps around every corner in this place. To avoid them, they have to hang from ledges 50 feet above more spikes and scoot across the chasm as well as crawl in tunnels.

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Téa is only now getting suspicious, but not of anything I’ve mentioned. She gets suspicious because Alex seems to know an awful lot about a pyramid he’s only been in once before. Yes, the one thing that’s not all that suspicious is the thing she gets suspicious about.

They reach a fork in the path – one leading up and one leading down. Alex explains that he and Solomon, being the incredibly dumb people we’ve already established them as being, decided to split up at this point. Alex would explore upstairs while Solomon explored downstairs. It’s stupid enough to split up in an unexplored tomb in the middle of the jungle, but they already knew at this point that the place was covered in lethal traps. Why the hell did they split up?

Alex eventually reached a sealed door, so he went back, but Solomon wasn’t there. He took the path down and reached a dead end where only Solomon’s bandanna lay on the floor.

They’re all adamant that Solomon has to be there somewhere, so they all head downstairs. They reach a massive room with a giant map on the floor – a detail Alex omitted from his story. They all believe, for some reason, that the room is so big that Solomon probably got lost in it, so they head off to find him……*lip smack*….The room isn’t THAT big, guys. Is it big? Yes? Is it so big someone would get lost in it? No. There are no walls, and you can clearly see the other side of the room. It’s about as big as a hockey rink. Even if, for some reason and somehow, Solomon did get lost in this room, you’d be able to see him and vice versa.

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Joey rushes off to find him, but the instant his feet hit the map on the floor, it glows and Joey is sucked into it. Yugi, Téa and Tristan run off to investigate what happened, only slightly weirded out by the fact that their friend just vanished in a magical floor. Again, though, given their lives at the moment, it’s understandable that this doesn’t surprise them much. They realize that there’s an odd pattern to the map. It’s a mixture of multiple environments such as mountains, jungles and deserts. Yugi thinks that it looks familiar somehow. Alex mentions that this tomb is also said to house some sort of game. Yugi believes that it now makes perfect sense why his grandpa would come on this trip – he loves games. I think him just being an archaeologist would justify him being here, but okay.

Yugi proclaims that he’s going to enter the floor map and find his grandpa and Joey. Téa and Tristan offer to go as well, but Yugi tries to convince them not to go.

Yugi: “Thanks a lot. But I’ve been leading you guys into danger week after week for way too long.” Haha, it’s funny because Yu-Gi-Oh! used to air weekly.

Also, it’s not really your place to act like this is purely your responsibility anymore, Yugi. Joey’s lost too. Besides, if anything, it’s your grandpa’s fault. He’s a very bad archaeologist.

When they jump into the map, they wind up back in the forest, but now they have weird contraptions on their arms and belts that look like they’re meant to hold things.

They also notice strange stone pods around them, and Yugi tells Yami that he thinks something might be inside.

Before Yugi can investigate further, they’re suddenly attacked by three monsters.

Yugi: “I recognize those things!” Yeah, you should. They’re Gokibore, some of the most common monsters in Duel Mons– “They’re from the Capsule Monsters board game!”

Uh, well…yes, that is accurate, I guess. They are in that game too.

*Kamakiriman appears* “That looks familiar too!”

Yeah, it’s a very basic insect card from Duel Monsters. You know, that game you incessantly play every single day of your life?

….Uhm…anyway, Téa and Tristan wind up getting separated from Yugi. They’re being chased by the Gokibore while Yugi gets chased by Kamakiriman. Téa and Tristan manage to escape the Gokibore by sliding into a very small cave that leads down a deep hole and lands them onto a beach. Behind them, they see that a Happy Lover and Thunder Kid have followed them, but they’re posing no threat. If anything, they seem very friendly to them. Téa recognizes Happy Lover from the Capsule Monsters game. I’ll accept this because, as far as I remember, despite Tea having a fairy themed deck, I’ve never seen her use or witness the use of a Happy Lover card.

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Briefly back with Joey, who somehow got to the top of a cliff, he’s suddenly taken away by a giant crow-like monster I can’t really identify because I can’t see it very well.

Back with Yugi, he escapes the Kamakiriman by diving into the water, but it follows him when he reaches shore. Just as he’s about to be attacked, Yami shifts into action and jumps away, accidentally touching one of the weird pods. In response, it glows and reveals Celtic Guardian, who leaps into action against Kamakiriman.

Yami: “Why does this all seem so familiar?” Because it’s Celtic Guardian. He’s been in your Duel Monsters deck for age–

*flashback to Yugi and Téa playing Capsule Monsters*

Uh…..are you guys okay? You all collectively seem to have Duel Monsters amnesia. I mean, I get that he touched the capsule which summoned Celtic Guardian, but that is the only factor that would lead back to the board game. You can’t even argue for the map being strictly Capsule Monsters related because that’s just bumming off of Field Spells from Duel Monsters, particular in season one where Duelist Kingdom pre-made their field spells based off of the environment.

Also, I’d like to point out that this is the exact same shot they used earlier (the one I used as the header image), but the one they used in the flashback has an animation error where the capsule to the far right is on the wrong layer, so it looks like it’s floating beside the desk.

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Once Celtic Guardian defeats Kamakiriman, he speaks to Yami, which is trippy as hell, and tells him that, for the duration of the game, he shall protect his new master, Yami/Yugi. In a glow of light, he’s sucked into the device on Yami’s arm, which then ejects a capsule just like the ones from the Capsule Monsters board game. This would have been a much more appropriate time to make that connection. Like, have them think this is all Duel Monsters related like normal but then when they see the capsule that’s when they say “No….this is….Capsule Monsters!” But, hey, I’m not the director.

With his new Capsule in hand, Yami proclaims that they’ve found themselves in the world of Capsule Monsters. Just to really drive it home that it’s Capsule Monsters, when they do a big zoom out, they overlay grid lines and Celtic Guard to make the area look like a game board.

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———————————————

And that was the first episode of Capsule Monsters…….it was bad.

The animation and art are noticeably jankier than the regular series is, and that’s already not that good. I kept getting distracted by how cheap it all looks. The story, which, again, is something you’d typically give leeway to anyway because it’s Yu-Gi-Oh!, is somehow even sloppier than the writing tends to be. No one is acting or thinking the way I’d think they would be or should be.

Téa is nervous about the trip before they even go, and for no other reason besides terrible shit just seems to follow them, but then she sees absolutely none of the major red flags raised by Alex. The one she does see is barely a red flag. Like “Hm, this archaeologist certainly does know a lot about this place he was researching and has explored before.”

Everyone has Duel Monsters amnesia, which, given how much of their lives revolve around that game, even if half of them don’t really play it, is really, really weird to the point where it’s kinda unsettling. It would be one thing if this was an entirely different game from the ground up. I wouldn’t be as preoccupied wondering why they’re not thinking of Duel Monsters. However, as far as I’ve seen, it’s just Duel Monsters in pods with a weird crystal involved.

In the manga, they had entirely different monsters than the Duel Monsters game so it felt more unique. This just feels like it’s piggy backing off of Duel Monsters.

What’s even worse is that they explain almost nothing about this new game besides you have to play strong monsters and you need to capture your opponent’s symbol thingy, if that ever comes into play. That is a pretty big sin for a gaming anime to commit. You can’t just throw your audience into this completely blind. They don’t even show them playing a full game. They just show Téa gushing about her cute monster while Yugi passively explains two facts about the game.

The only real hook I see from this series is that they have ‘real’ monsters in a ‘real’ environment, but that’s something they’ve already done before several times. Specifically, this feels awfully reminiscent of the Legendary Heroes and the Virtual World (Noah’s) arc. Hell, anytime they have a Shadow Game the monsters are technically real.

But let’s see how the story unfolds further next time.


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Tokyo Mew Mew New Episode 2: What Makes a Real Friend? Review

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Lettuce’s debut! Or should I say De-Mew–Nonono! Must stop! *ahem* Anyhoo, Lettuce is here! How did they cover everyone’s favorite finless porpoise? Let’s check my notes.

– So apparently all legendary creatures are actually Chimera Animas?…..Mmm….Okay.

– Also, the reason they chose endangered species for the Mew Project was because those animals are naturally more motivated for fight for their survival? I guess that’s cool, but doesn’t really make much sense. How do animals know they’re endangered?

– She can change back from her Mew form by just saying “Change back”? I wonder if that will work on her full cat form. Probably not. That is a slightly interesting inclusion, though.

– Wow, Shirogane. It’s rude as hell to call her a bioweapon…

– I like that Mint snickers when Ichigo spills the parfait on one of the bitchy girls. I think I’m liking their dynamic a tiny bit more in this version, even if the differences between versions aren’t that stark. Mint is still a bossy stuck up girl, but she’s a little less abrasive and meshes with Ichigo just a tiny bit better here.

– While it is really cool that Lettuce gets powers over water when she’s really upset, why doesn’t she get all mermaid-y like Ichigo gets cat traits, ears and a tail? It’s weird that once again the series explains that Ichigo has cat traits because of her powers but they never adequately explain why the other girls don’t have traits of their animals. At least, not yet, I guess. Kinda doubt they will go down that route, but I feel I can have some hope.

– OOOOHHHH Mint’s new transformation is awesome! I like how they had the door shift to being on bottom so they could show the birds flying up out of it instead of just out of the door.

Not crazy about her pose, though, because she seems like she’s turned too much. She’s not facing the same direction as the bird, and she’s not facing us. I get that she’s meant to be facing up towards the sky, but I still feel like maybe turning her a little would feel more natural. Maybe that’s just me. I love the added touch of the sunbeams, though.

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– Disappointed that we didn’t get to see Lettuce’s true transformation today nor her proper attack animation, but that’s fine. I’m sure we’ll see it in the future…….Does give me bad flashbacks to 4Kids’ basically all but removing her transformation entirely, though.

– As for her new look when transformed, I like it. I particularly like how they styled her hair. Not crazy about the skirt, but that’s about it.

– I like the minor tweaks they did to Lettuce’s breakdown here. It’s not her taking advantage of her powers to lash out. She’s losing control of her powers and basically herself because she’s having a massive breakdown over her internal struggles with making friends. I also like that they included brief glimpses of Lettuce throughout her life showing that, no matter what she did or how much she tried to make friends she’d always end up alone.

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I always kinda disliked the original version (whether sub or dub anime version or manga – though the dub was the worst offender) because it’s like they were shaming her for how she was feeling when it was totally validated. Here, Ichigo’s not only making the effort to ensure that Lettuce knows she legitimately wants to be her friend because she’s nice and cares about others, but she’s also saying that learning to love herself is more important than pleasing others, and that friendship is more than just spending time with people.

They actually managed to pull off a very emotional scene here where it always frustrated me in the original versions. It really struck a chord with me, personally. I actually kinda felt like tearing up. I am quite impressed, TMMN.

And they showed her rejecting the bitchy friends! AND doing her best to be more legitimately sociable! AND the customers cheering her on!

This is pretty much everything I ever wanted from Lettuce’s reveal. Bravo!

In the end, this is definitely the best version of Lettuce’s debut, and the episode as a whole was very enjoyable. I like they ended with her not only getting some legitimate friends but also showing that she’s becoming a bit more confident, even if she clearly has more work to do. I hope we see some cool things from Lettuce in the future. She was always one of my favorite characters.

Next episode is Pudding’s debut. Will TMMN continue to impress me? I certainly hope so.


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SSBS – Bakugan: Battle Brawlers | Episode 5: Runo Rules Review

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Plot: Dan learns that Runo lives in his town after bumping into her while running an errand. After accidentally leaving his BakuPod behind after their meeting, Runo intercepts a challenge message from Masquerade to Dan. Having lost Bakugan to Masquerade, she takes the challenge on herself. Dan rushes to the scene to get his BakuPod back, and they both learn that Masquerade isn’t there. In his place is the local bully, Tatsuya, who is working for Masquerade and was meant to challenge Dan.

Runo asks to take Dan’s place, however, itching for revenge against Masquerade. Dan agrees, and Runo and Tatsuya brawl. With some patience and strategy, Runo is able to defeat the hot-headed Tatsuya.

Breakdown: Alright, Bakugan…..Let’s just dispense with the niceties. Please don’t suck today.

We start with Dan talking with his friends online about him patching things up with Drago until his mom comes upstairs to get him to do an errand.

Dan: “WHAT?! Yeah, but can’t you see I’m busy with my boys right now, mom?”……Three of the four people you’re talking with right now are girls…..

His mom convinces him to do it by explaining she needs him to go to the supermarket since there’s a big sale on loin tips – his favorite dinner.

Meanwhile, at the park, enter asshole kid number, what are we on, six now? Anyway, his name’s Tatsuya. He’s bullying some other Bakugan players, and apparently this little twerp’s so scary that him merely yelling is enough to get all three of these kids to haul ass out of there screaming.

They’re doing some weird distortion thing to Masquerade’s voice this time around. I don’t know why. He challenges Tatsuya to a brawl. I’m not going to bother recapping it because it doesn’t matter.

The point is, Tatsuya….well, I would say ‘loses’ but he only lost two Bakugan, so I guess he conceded.

Meanwhile, Runo’s whining about her job waitressing at her parents’ restaurant, even though there’s literally no one there.

Her mom sends her out on an errand to get some meat for the restaurant. If she goes, she’ll make her favorite dinner – liver kabobs….ew.

Hey, wait. What are the odds that there’s a huge meat sale not going on in the exact place Dan is right now? I smell a mighty big coinky dink.

Runo assumes she’ll bump into Dan at the store. We see that they’re similar doofs because they get excited about their respective meatstuffs and even sing about it incessantly as they head to the store.

Runo: *to Dan* “Do you live around here?!” Why would you assume you’d bump into Dan at the store if you didn’t think he lived around where you live?

Runo challenges Dan to a Bakugan Brawl later in the park, he accepts and they part. Runo discovers that he dropped his watch thing, which we now learn, five friggin’ episodes in, that it’s called a BakuPod. Also, judging from your empty bags, neither of you have been to the store yet, so why are you guys separating right now?

Dan gets a message over it, and Runo, being ever so respectful of the privacy of others, opens it. It’s a challenge from Masquerade, and Runo’s going to take it.

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Meanwhile, Dan realizes his BakuPod is gone. I love how they flashback to Dan losing his BakuPod when he bumped into Runo because you can only barely tell it happened. I watched the shot three times – you can only just barely see it on the edge of the screen.

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He goes back to where he bumped into Runo, but finds nothing. He rightfully assumes Runo must’ve taken it.

Meanwhile, Runo meets with Tatsuya, who has taken Masquerade’s place in the challenge. I just learned that apparently you can enter the Bakugan dimension, or whatever this is, if you run fast enough to avoid being halted in time. Okie dokie.

Runo complains as she gives Dan’s BakuPod back to him even though she both read/watched his messages and stole his challenge. So when do I get likable characters? Sometime soon, I hope?

I guess, at the very least, Dan’s understanding about the situation, given that Runo has lost Bakugan to Masquerade (but….this isn’t Masquerade, so….) He even cheers her on.

They both throw out their gate cards, and Runo sends out Juggernoid first. Tatsuya sends out a Gargonoid. Being stronger than Juggernoid, Gargonoid attacks. Runo counters with the ability card, Lightning Shield, which lowers Juggernoid’s attack by 100. Despite being only 10gs stronger than Juggernoid, it still gets sent to the Doom Dimension….Still not sure why some attacks are strong enough to destroy other Bakugan but others are only strong enough to….send them back to ball form or whatever. Sure would be helpful if the show told us basically anything about the rules of this game the show is centered on. But I suppose that’s just asking too much.

Help me out – is Bakugan plural on its own? From the way the characters have been talking this whole series, I thought it was Bakugan singular and plural not Bakugans. I looked online, but all I found was an obviously incorrect answer on Answers.com that said it’s Bakugans like how Pokemon plural is Pokemons (it is not)…..I’m 99.99% certain it’s Bakugan, but Runo just said ‘Bakugans.’

I find it funny that Runo said several lines about how everything was riding on Gargonoid at the start, but it’s gone now and she is still brawling.

Runo throws out a Saurus, Tatsuya continues to be annoying and then sends Gargonoid out again. He uses the ability card, Fire Judge (really just adoring this never ending cascade of creative names) which increases its power to 430g.

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Runo: “I’m down to my last chance to win!” You’ve been saying that since literally before the match started. You still have one more Bakugan to go and a trump card in Tigrerra. Chill out.

Using an Ability Counter card, she neutralizes Fire Judge’s effects, bringing it back down to 330g, which is still higher than Saurus’ 290g.

Dan: “He’s right, Runo. That wasn’t much of a move. His Gargonoid’s got power. Loads of it.” Not much of a move? She got rid of 100g of his advantage. Now he only has 40g over her. I know I don’t understand this game very well (I wonder why) but that’s not THAT much more powerful. If it was, Tatsuya wouldn’t have felt the need to use Fire Judge in the first place.

Tatsuya attacks, but Runo uses her Gate Card to switch the attack of her Saurus with that of her strongest Bakugan, which is her Tigrerra. At 340g, he beats Gargonoid (I guess? The Wiki counts it as a win, but Gargonoid wasn’t destroyed because it didn’t get sent to the Doom Dimension, and they’re seemingly acting as if a 10g advantage shouldn’t be enough to destroy Bakugan….I dunno. Is it just three victories overall? Because that’s even more confusing.)

Runo sends Saurus back out and Tatsuya calls on a Griffon. He uses Fire Wall to lower Saurus’ attack by 50g, making it 360g vs. 240g. He attacks, but Runo uses her latest Gate Card, Pyrus, which swaps the attacks of each combating creature, giving Saurus the win.

Dan: “That was awesome! How did you figure out that counter move?” Using a card specifically meant to counter attacks by stronger opponents as you’re being attacked by a stronger opponent? Yeah, Runo, how did you come up with that one?

Runo sends out another Gate Card and Saurus again. Tatsuya sends out his last Bakugan, Fear Ripper, and calls for an attack. This guy’s whole strategy is nothing but blindly attacking. He uses ability cards, sure, but he doesn’t counter anything. Meanwhile, Runo’s whole strategy has been built on just waiting for him to attack because she keeps laying traps, which he always falls into because he’s an idiot. He’s terribly boring as an opponent.

Not like we should have expected much of him anyway if he surrendered to Masquerade after losing two Bakugan.

Runo uses some sort of wall card that stops Fear Ripper’s attack. Now she calls upon Tigrerra after she’s been spending the whole match begging to be put in the fight.

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Runo: “I figure with your power, we can finish off his Gargonoid and walk away with a win!” Yeah……except you beat Gargonoid two rounds ago and are currently fighting Fear Ripper…..

The wall goes down, and Tatsuya attacks Saurus with Fear Ripper….but it doesn’t defeat it? Then Tigrerra attacks, Fear Ripper counter attacks, but that also doesn’t defeat anyone? Saurus then grapples Fear Ripper, Tigrerra jumps on his back, Runo activates the ability card…or gate card Crystal Fang that….makes Tigrerra’s claws grow?……Fear Ripper is defeated, okay?

We’re robbed of seeing Tatsuya post-loss and instead immediately jump to Dan and Runo talking about it while lying in a field.

Dan: (About Tigrerra reacting to Runo calling her cute) “Hey look, she’s blushing!”

*they all laugh for a few seconds*

Runo: “I’m so funny, ya know?”……….You….didn’t make the joke…..Dan barely made a joke. What are you talking about?

The episode ends with Runo, Dan and their parents having a cookout so they can argue about meat.

———————————

Well, that certainly was a thing I watched. What an utterly pointless episode. Granted, it’s a breath of fresh air to watch someone besides Dan brawl, and Runo’s a pretty good player, even if she, as a character, is annoying as hell. Her relationship with Tigrerra is also much more interesting to watch than Dan and Drago’s.

However, Tatsuya is a really boring and irritating opponent. He’s every little snot-nosed bully brat you’ve ever seen in shounen gaming anime. He laughs at every Bakugan the protagonist throws out and talks so much shit you’d think their mouth was a septic tank.

He’s focused purely on attack power with absolutely no strategy. Even though Runo wins time and again with traps, he just keeps attacking like an idiot.

Plus, it’s not the best writing choice in the world to have the big antagonist of the day get handily defeated in the first five minutes of the episode.

The only thing this episode really served to do was show that Dan and Runo can now hang out in real life, and we got to see Runo actually do things. She’s too annoying for me to really care, however.

Next time, more Runo. Dan and Runo enter the first team up match we’ve seen in the series, so that should at least be interesting.

…..Previous Episode


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SSBS – Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 7: Gouki and Kurama Review

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Plot: Yusuke is going toe to toe with the demon, Gouki, who is using the Orb of Baast to steal souls, particularly those of small children, and eating them. However, it seems like Yusuke has bitten off more than he can chew with the hulking Gouki towering over him and easily taking every blow Yusuke doles out. The same cannot be said of Yusuke, however, who is being pounded into dust.

He’s suddenly saved by a familiar voice acting as a group of people posing a threat to Gouki. The demon decides to spare Yusuke for now and flee before the group shows up. A tattered Yusuke then quickly passes out.

Three days later, he awakens at home to a tearful mother who had been worried her son’s life might have been in danger. Turns out, the familiar voice he heard was Botan. She had taken on a human form to help assist him as he performs his duties as a Spirit Detective.

News reports are pouring in about kids around the city falling into comas, and Botan and Yusuke know Gouki is the one behind it all. Yusuke expresses a deep desire to save the kids, especially since a soul cannot pass on to the afterlife if it’s consumed by a demon. Yusuke must face Gouki once more, but this time he has his fully powered Spirit Gun. Problem is, Gouki’s skin is like armor and the Spirit Gun will likely not be enough to pierce it.

Round two starts, and Gouki starts whupping Yusuke once more. He’s being beaten to a pulp when Botan shows up with a large piece of wood to help stave him off, but it’s obviously not enough to do any real damage. However, it does give Yusuke the opening he needs to shove a piece of the wood into Gouki’s mouth, forcing his jaws open. His skin may be armored and protected against his Spirit Gun, but his insides aren’t so lucky. With one good shot to the mouth, Gouki is defeated.

Yusuke has successfully retrieved one of the demon artifacts, but he still has two more to go.

As Yusuke hobbles through town wondering how he’ll be able to handle another demon challenge, the holder of the Forlorn Hope, Kurama, approaches Yusuke. He claims he doesn’t want to fight and will even give Yusuke the item willingly if he meets him in three days. While Yusuke is actually trusting of Kurama, Botan is suspicious. The Forlorn Hope’s power is to grant the user any wish in exchange for ‘something’ and it only works on full moon nights, which is three days from now, meaning the only reason he’ll seemingly give over the item is because he’ll have used it by then.

Still, Yusuke waits and meets up with Kurama at the hospital. Turns out, Kurama lives a rather human life with a human mother that he cares for deeply. However, she’s deathly ill. Kurama was originally a spirit fox who slowly developed demon powers as he lived throughout the centuries. He eventually used his keen intellect to become a thief who most enjoyed solving puzzles and codes to open locks to sacred items.

One day, he was badly wounded by a pursuer during one of his jobs. In spirit form, Kurama sought out an unborn child within a woman and merged with it, becoming the ‘human’ Shuichi. He decided to lay low for a while as his spirit energy recovered, but human life and human feelings eventually got in the way.

His father died when he was young, and his mother fell very ill. Even though Kurama was at full strength and could leave whenever he pleased, he found that he was too attached to his mother to abandon her like that, especially after all the hardships she went through raising him as a child.

As he said before, he is willing to give up the Forlorn Hope immediately once his greatest desire – his mother’s life being saved – has been granted.

However, there’s a hitch. The Forlorn Hope’s price is the user’s life. Kurama is more than willing to give up his life for his mother, especially once she takes a massive turn for the worst.

Under the light of the full moon, Kurama calls upon the Forlorn Hope’s powers, but Yusuke suddenly intervenes – not to stop him, but to sacrifice his life in Kurama’s stead. He’s already seen one mother grieve the loss of her son and he doesn’t want to see that happen to another. In a brilliant light, the Forlorn Hope grants the wish.

Kurama gets up and rushes to his mother, who is miraculously in much better condition and on the road to recovery. Yusuke is collapsed on the ground, much to a tearful Botan’s dismay, but Yusuke soon gets up, realizing he was being a little silly considering his mother would have been grieving again if he died then.

The Forlorn Hope reveals that it granted the wish without taking a life since Yusuke made such selfless sacrifice.

Yusuke now has the Forlorn Hope and the Orb of Baast, but time’s running out. One last artifact to go – the Shadow Sword, and the three-eyed fire apparition, Hiei, won’t be giving it up so easily.

Breakdown: Since this is another episode that might as well be in two parts, let’s separate them again, shall we?

Side A (Gouki):

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The conclusion to Yusuke’s first actual battle against a demon is very well done. He realistically gets his ass whupped only to be saved in the nick of time by Botan. Granted, I think it was a little unrealistic for Gouki to get scared away by Botan’s trick, but it’s not a big issue.

Round two was also well done. Considering Yusuke starts off the fight getting his ass handed to him again and not even the Spirit Gun seems to be a worthwhile effort makes the entire fight very tense. I liked that, again, Botan’s help allowed him to get the opening he needed to win the match. Botan becomes less active as time goes on, but she really doesn’t get enough credit.

Something else I appreciated about this episode was repeatedly showing Yusuke with his mom. I may have a lot of problems with Atsuko, but this episode really showed her better side. She was crying and worried sick when Yusuke was brought home unconscious and beaten again, and she was extremely nice to both him and Botan, even making them tea and snacks. That’s quite the changeup from the mom we saw in the first episode who basically acted like she didn’t care at all about Yusuke.

Not only is this genuinely nice to see, but it fits in perfectly in the second part of the episode where Yusuke remembers his mom’s grief and sacrifices his life for a complete stranger just so that same thing won’t happen to someone else….even if he does realize way too late that his own mother would’ve suffered a second time if Yusuke died right then.

All in all, a great team effort with some awesome moments, even if Gouki was, ultimately, a very forgettable enemy.

Side B (Kurama):

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…….KURAMA’S HERE!!

Ku-ra-ma! Ku-ra-ma! Ku-ra-ma! Ku-ra-ma! Ku-ra-ma! Ku-ra-ma!

Kurama has a very interesting backstory, and his conversation with Yusuke on the roof in the red light of the sunset has always been very memorable to me. He barely knows Yusuke, and vice versa, yet both of them trust each other enough to have this meeting in the first place and have such a deep conversation. Likewise, as I mentioned, Yusuke is willing to sacrifice his life for Kurama’s even though he’s basically a stranger and a demon because he didn’t want to see his mother suffer and knew he was being genuine and selfless. Say what you will about Yusuke’s general demeanor, he can be a prince sometimes.

The fact that Kurama’s mom happened to be on death’s door that very night was insanely conveniently dramatic, but it’s not as bad as Yusuke’s resurrection.

I also thought it was sweet that Botan started crying a little when she thought Yusuke was dead again. Although I still have to ding Koenma for his shitty management practices. All Botan knew about the Forlorn Hope was that it grants the user’s deepest desire for a price that no one seems to know, but Koenma knew and he didn’t bother telling Botan, his most trusted advisor, until Yusuke was already meeting with the demon that had it. I’m not going to give him major points off since the item itself makes the price clear (which is probably why most people don’t know of the price – if you use it, you die.) but still, Koenma, give your employees all the vital information they need to fix your stupid mistake.

Not that any of it matters anyway. That moon is so insanely massive that we’re all certain to die in mere minutes from the catastrophe it will wreak for being so close to earth.

I will say that the Forlorn Hope is a very confusing and seemingly useless DEMON artifact, because it appears like it’s only useful in situations where you have a completely selfless wish.

If the user has to give their life to get their deepest desire, then there is literally no point in using it unless their wish is selfless. If you want to rule the world, find love, be ungodly rich, etc. one of the common desires of humans or demons, then you literally won’t live to enjoy your wish being granted. It’s especially funny to think about if your wish is immortality because it’s clear the price is paid and then your wish is granted.

To anyone suggesting that normal demons might just use the good ol’ fashioned human sacrifice method, it really seems like they can’t. The Forlorn Hope straight up asks the user if THEY’LL sacrifice THEIR life for their wish. Even if a sacrifice could be used, it seems that the person needs to agree to the terms in order for the deal to be complete, and I sincerely doubt anyone would do that.

I guess their could be some cases where the user would want something so badly that, even with death as the price, they’d still want it to happen. For instance, they might want to avenge a loved one or destroy the universe or something, but in the vast majority of cases I can guarantee that it’d be passed over.

This brings us to the other point about the Forlorn Hope….why was it impressed by Yusuke’s sacrifice so much that it made the wish free of charge? Yes, Yusuke’s sacrifice was indeed noble, albeit a little stupid given his reasoning, but if the Forlorn Hope only logically works in the case of selfless desires, for the most part, then why is Yusuke’s sacrifice so impressive to it? Is it just because he was being even more selfless for sacrificing himself for someone else’s deepest desires and life?

The Forlorn Hope is so accommodating and reasonable that it really doesn’t fit as an “Artifact of Darkness” among an orb that steals souls and the sword that can turn humans into demons.

Overall, a really great episode. Unlike Yusuke’s Back, I didn’t feel like this episode was just two episodes smushed together. There were two largely different stories and tones, but they melded with each other a lot better than Yusuke’s Back, and other than some weirdness involving the logic of the Forlorn Hope, which is really more nitpicking and speculation, I didn’t really have any complaints.

It sure is terrible that no one will read this post due to the deadly natural disasters caused by the moon not practicing social distancing with the earth, though.

Next time, Yusuke faces his biggest challenge yet – fighting everyone’s favorite three-eyed not-Vegeta, Hiei!


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 21 (20 for the Dub) Entering the Olympics with Musclun?! Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The group heads to ancient Greece to find Musclun – a Space-Time Monster that can give people massive muscles, super strength and super speed. When they arrive, they find that an aspiring Olympic athlete, Damon, is using Musclun’s powers to cheat in order to win races at the Olympics.

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Title Change: Entering the Olympics with Musclun?! is changed to Muscles.

Ms. Aino tells the girls to run three more laps and the boys to run five more. In the dub, she tells everyone to do five more laps.

Ms. Aino says Genshi’s not easy to pick on (She’s teaching PE right now and is trying to punish him by making him work more, but Genshi being Genshi, he enjoys it.) In the dub, she says “Hm, he must’ve eaten his oatmeal.”

Sora tells Tokio he’s just awful (at running). Sarah cheers Tony on.

Uhm….what the hell? Sora tells Tokio that Ms. Aino has a point and says it’s weird that he’s so bad at running when he puts so much effort into soccer and baseball. Tokio responds by saying games are fun, but running is monotonous and boring. In the dub, Sarah basically just agrees that he’s a bad athlete in general and points out that he needs to be in great shape in order to be a Time Detective. She is literally sitting right next to two other kids who are listening intently to this conversation. Are they not trying to hide what they do at all? I’m so confused. Also, Tokio’s lines are changed to saying there’s more to life than running and he finds it boring.

Ms. Aino tells Tokio that running is the basis of all sports, and if he doesn’t learn the basics, he’ll never build a good foundation. In the dub, she says he has to work it, work it, work it and then laments on how lazy the youth of today is.

When Ms. Aino tells them to run 20 more laps, Tokio yells “Why?!” In the dub, he and the other kids yell “Yes, Ms. Iknow!” It’s just weird because Tokio’s facial expression doesn’t match what he’s saying in the dub.

Ms. Aino thinks to herself, “If you want to blame anyone, blame Genshi.” Ms. Iknow thinks, “Hehehe, I love watching them sweat.” Please phrase that in a less creepy manner.

So now Putera is coming to school out in the open and is loudly talking about Space-Time Monster stuff. Okay, I guess they really don’t keep it a secret.

The original has them learning about Musclun after they’ve already arrived in 4th century Greece. In the dub, they learn about it on the Time Cycle then splice in old animation of them time traveling before they get to ancient Greece. I actually prefer the dub because it seems weird that they’d leave before learning anything of the Space-Time Monster.

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Name Change: Musclun is changed to Muscles.

With the spliced in animation we get some extra lines, including Rocky saying ancient Greece has some great food like moussaka, spanakoita and baklava, none of which existed in 4th century Greece. Also, why exactly does Rocky, the caveman, know so much about Greek food?

The original says they’re in 4th century Greece, which does line up with when the original Olympic games were held in Olympia (8th century BC to 4th century AD.) The dub claims this is 4 BC, which…no. Even if they put “century” in there, it would be the wrong date. 4th century Greece would indicate AD not BC.

Sora says they’d hold sports competitions instead of battling, which started the first Olympics. This is oddly phrased but technically correct a little kinda. In the dub, Sora says the Olympics started out as religious and athletic festivals that eventually evolved into the Olympic games that we know today, which is surprisingly more accurate and even included a mention of religion. Wow.

They reverse and replay a short bit of Tokio talking to Genshi about the games in order to give him more dialogue.

I find it hard to believe that Genshi has been living in the modern world and been going to school for so long at this point but he doesn’t know what sports are. They literally listed two sports earlier and indicated that Tokio was very active in both.

Tokio is impressed this guy can keep up with Genshi. In the dub, Tony says she thought Sarah ran fast, but these guys are way faster. Flint was running with you guys earlier and showed how fast he was. Sarah never seemed to be noticeably fast.

For some reason, they cut out the shot of the two when they’re shown jumping. I think, maybe, because you can see their underwear?

Also, this makes the dub only have two cutaway images, making the flow of the scene kinda wonky.

Split-second, but, again, they cut out a shot where you can see their underwear after they fall down.

So this guy is Damon – a name so vague it’s a bit of a pain to try and figure out if they even modeled this guy on anyone at all. There is a notable figure in Greek legends that supposedly existed around this time period, but he had nothing to do with the Olympics. He was one of the main figures in the story of Damon and Pythias. When Pythias was accused of conspiring against the tyrant, Dionysius, he was sentenced to death. However, he wanted one last chance to say goodbye to his friends and family.

He obviously wasn’t going to be allowed to leave without Dionysius having some leverage, so Damon offered to take his place in jail until Pythias returned. If he didn’t return within an agreed upon time, Damon would be executed in Pythias’ stead. Dionysius had no faith that Pythias would return, but Damon never gave up on his friend, and Pythias never gave up either. He returned as he said he would and saved Damon’s life. He was willing to accept his punishment, but Dionysius was so moved that he let them go. Some sources even claim he was so moved by their friendship and love that he asked to be their third friend, but they shot him down.

The balls on this guy. “Hey, I know I just nearly killed both of you for absolutely no reason, but can I be your pal?”

And, yes, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas was based very heavily on this legend.

So….what is this, really? They just found a Greek figure from around the same time period and decided to make him an Olympic athlete? Why? There are many people that we know participated in the ancient Olympics. Why not use one of them? I feel like they kinda gave up on this show being even partially educational.

They repeat a bit of Sarah talking after Tony talks about Damon’s muscles.

Okay, what? Now they leave in a clear underwear shot of Flint? I’m so confused.

Name plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Damon doesn’t know what training is while in the dub he says he’s trained before but it never works out. The dub makes more sense because you’re telling me an aspiring athlete in ancient Greece doesn’t know what training is?

I’m honestly surprised some of these training shots made it into the dub. There’s one shot where they’re holding weights while standing perched over lit candles so if they relax they’ll either get burned or they’ll get a candle straight up their ass. One kinda shocked me – they’re meant to hold weights with their arms held straight out to the sides, and they have knives tied to their upper arms so if they relax their arms they STAB THEMSELVES.

Kyoichiro says he’s taken in too much sunlight, which is why he’s weakening so quickly. In the dub, he says his outfit will never be the same and he was never meant to sweat.

Why would TP Lady tell Musclun to attack Genshi? It would just make him like ten times more powerful.

TP Lady says “She’ll be fine….I think?” When Musclun uses its powers on Sora. In the dub, she says “We’re in big trouble.”

It’s so weird that Damon’s transformation is painless and quick, but when Sora gets affected by it, it’s massively painful and takes forever.

Okay, so now we’re at the point in the next episode preview from last time that gave me pause. When Sora gets affected by Musclun….for some reason…..she just gets super tall. And while she’s transforming, Kyoichiro uses his magic cloak to dress her, because her clothes are starting to rip off…..and he dresses her……in a playboy bunny-esque maid-ish costume.

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Why?

How?

What?

And

Ew.

I can’t watch this without thinking “Someone had a very specific fetish and wanted to act it out in this episode…..with a child….”

It doesn’t even make sense. Musclun’s ability does also make the target taller, just for the sake of aesthetics I presume, but it’s main ability is to give the target massive muscles, super strength and speed. Why does Sora get no new muscles? Why does she become a cast member of Attack on Titan? The absolute only reason I can imagine is that Musclun’s powers don’t fully affect girls because…I have no idea besides sexism. Writing-wise the only reason I can come up with circles back around to the fetish thing. Big muscles aren’t a part of that fantasy, I guess.

The other thing you have to keep in mind with this transformation is that Sora gets MUCH bigger than Damon did. Damon just looked like he was a six-foot-tall muscular adult when he was like five foot-ish without Musclun’s powers. When Sora transforms, Tokio only comes up to her thigh. She looks to be about 15 feet tall or more.

Oh and what’s the first thing that happens to her after she transforms and gets her bunny costume on? Musclun settles itself between her boobs. What’s the second thing? Kyoichiro gushes over how she looks.

What the actual fuck were they thinking with this development? This is extremely disturbing. And even more confusingly, what the actual fuck was Saban thinking when they approved dubbing this episode? They just clipped out two shots because Genshi and some dude were showing their undies, but a 12 year old having a lengthy transformation sequence into a giant wearing a mix between a playboy bunny outfit and a maid costume is A-okay?

I know we’re collectively more aware of these strange-ass fetishes now than we were back then, but even so, she’s very clearly being sexualized right now, and Saban is rolling with it. They even left in the stuff with Musclun on her chest and Kyoichiro being turned on by it.

What the hell? Just, god, what the hell?

Oh well, at least that’s the only grossly offensive thing in this episode.

Ammon asks where he even kept a costume like that………Wait….so it’s not fully magic….It’s a costume he had at the ready? He just magically dressed her in with his dressing-room cloak? That’s so much worse. WHY did he have a giant bunny maid costume?

OH MY GOD. They even have an imaginary shot where Sora turns back to normal and is trying to cover her naked body because, being normal size, the costume would no longer fit and would fall off of her……and SABAN KEPT THIS TOO! I don’t even want to really continue watching this episode. I feel so icky right now.

The dub does have her imply that she’s more thinking about not wanting to go through a transformation again, but the imagery clearly implies that she’s trying to cover herself. Just cut out the half-naked shot, show a static image of her now and have that explanation in dialogue. I am forever baffled by the decisions they keep making.

Speaking of which….blackface.

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Yup, Warusclu is using blackface, complete with dreads and big lips.

This entire episode can go to hell. Just as deep into hell as you can get.

Why is it even being given blackface? Why does a muscles-based Space-Time Monster translate to blackface or even a black person? Just because it’s meant to resemble a dumbbell and….dumbbells are….black? At least in this point in time blackface was finally starting to be taken seriously. This is basically the same year the Jynx controversy in Pokemon started, causing them to change Jynx into a purple color forever. I don’t know why this never affected Flint the Time Detective. I know it’s not nearly as popular, but certainly they got many messages about it. Were they just not on the air long enough for them to bother?

*sigh* Anyway….

Name Change: Warusclu is changed to Muscles-con…Yes, it sounds awkward that way. They should have just called him Muscle-con.

Name plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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It makes absolutely no sense that powers a person got from a base stage Space-Time Monster made them able to easily defeat a Bad Transformation version of that same Space-Time Monster.

Pterry: *as Sarah’s beating up Muscles-con* “I guess this is why women were originally kept out of the Olympics!” Why would you say that? Why would they write that line? Yes, let’s turn a depressing note in the long, long, long history of sexism into a joke. Haha, women weren’t allowed to participate in the Olympics because they were 15 foot tall leviathans with super strength and the men were too scared of them or something.

Women weren’t only not allowed to participate in the Olympics, to the extent that athletes and trainers had to appear in the nude to prove they were men, they originally weren’t even able to spectate them. If they were caught spectating, there was a law that said they would be “cast down from Mount Typaeum into the river flowing below.” This was seemingly never carried out, but the law still existed.

Unmarried women were allowed to watch the events, but only because it acted as a means of finding them suitable husbands.

This doesn’t mean women never competed in the ancient Olympics or even that they never won any ancient Olympic games. They did a couple times, but they had to use loopholes. The loopholes came in the sport of horse racing. Basically, this wasn’t really a sport, per se. The credit for winning the events was always given to the people who owned and trained the horses, not the racers (who were usually slaves). However, women were never officially banned from the event because breeding and caring for horses was so costly and women just didn’t have a lot of money back then since they weren’t viewed as having the rights to large sums of money, land, etc.

In came Cyniska, who, being from a wealthy family and literally being a Spartan princess, allowed her the funds and means to breed and train her own horses and enter them into the races, which they won. She then tried again in the next Olympics and once again won.

However, sexism being sexism, even though she technically won the events, she wasn’t allowed into the stadium to watch the event or collect her prize. She was, however, allowed to have a series of bronze statues set in Zeus’ sanctuary with an engraving that read “I declare myself the only woman in all Hellas to have won this crown.” Which, yeah, is pretty cool, but I don’t really see it as the win it’s made out to be. She did train the horses and raised them, but she didn’t race them. She wasn’t even present at the event, so it just kinda makes the victory seem a little hollow. Not to mention that only women who happened to be super rich somehow could abuse this loophole anyway, which they did numerous times after Cyniska’s wins.

Cyniska is a testament to Spartan women, who were encouraged to participate in sports and other intense exercise, unlike other Greek women who were barred from practicing or learning about pretty much any activity involving a lot of physical excursion that wasn’t baby making…..which, while being a step in the right direction, was also a tiny bit sexist because the reason they supported women partaking in sports and exercise was because they believed it would help them produce the strongest male offspring….

But things weren’t all bad for women athletes because they did have their own version of the Olympics called the Heraean Games. Named after the goddess, Hera, queen of the Olympian gods and wife of Zeus, the Heraean Games were held every four years right after the Olympics. The prizes were quite similar to those given out at the Olympics – you get a crown of olive leaves and portraits and/or statues with engravings that would be placed in honor of Hera.

There were still some caveats here. The only events were a variety of races, and married women were still not allowed to compete. They were obviously allowed to watch this time, though.

What I’m trying to say is sexism is shit, and this episode is awful.

“But Twix,” someone, somewhere says in order to fill the role of being a strawman here, “Sora is kicking butt! That’s not sexist at all!” Yeah, she is kicking butt……while yelling and crying. Anything she’s doing to Warusclu isn’t because she’s actively trying to fight. She’s basically panic-fighting. He might as well be a wasp that she’s trying desperately to swat away from her.

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Sora is noted as being more athletic than Tokio, at least in regards to regular exercise, I don’t know if she plays any sports, but that’s about it. I don’t even understand what we’re supposed to get from this in terms of a possibly feminist message, if one even exists (if that’s what Pterry was trying to convey with that comment) because she’s not using her own skills and athleticism to win this fight – she’s using Musclun’s power boost.

As Sora is grappling with Warusclu, Kyoichiro takes pictures of her….including one of her ass. Try to convince me this has nothing to do with fetishism….Also, again, Saban left the butt shot in. Screw you, Saban. What the hell are you doing?

Sora wins the fight by throwing Warusclu then cries because she’s sick of fighting and begs Genshi to help her…..

Damon is chasing after Warusclu only deciding to take it as a race after Genshi suggests it. In the dub, he instantly decides to race him.

Genshi points out that their race is the Olympics. He tells Damon that instead of fighting Warusclu, they should do sports. In the dub, Damon asks Flint if he thinks they can catch him, and he says he doesn’t know.

Flint: “Alright, it’s a race! Last one to the Parthenon is a rotten egg!” How the shit does Flint know what the Parthenon is when he thought the Olympics were a food ten minutes ago? In the original, he just called it a building.

Damon says “A race to the Parthenon?! Impossible!” In the dub, he says “Can’t….lose!”

Sora’s voice when she’s enlarged is noticeably deeper than when she’s normal sized. Before, the dub kept her regular voice but added an echo effect when she was larger. At this point in the episode, they stopped using it for some reason.

It’s very weird that they’re having Sora run in slow motion just because she’s giant.

TP Lady asks what Warusclu is doing competing in this race. In the dub, she says it will be easier to defeat them when they’re worn out from this race.

In the original, Tokio points out that TP Lady is cheating, and she says she doesn’t care what’s fair or what she has to do as long as she wins. Damon then says “You can’t do that!” before realizing he was doing the exact same thing by trying to use Musclun’s powers to win at the Olympics. They try to convey this in the dub, but, man, is it clunky. Tony says “Don’t worry, I can save him….” And Petra responds, “Hey I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but some of us lose and some of us win!” Then Damon chimes in with “Winning is everything!” before his inner monologue cuts in with his realization that he’s as bad as her. Why cut out the stuff about cheating? And why change his line to something so awkward? Why would he suddenly yell that winning is everything (in an assured tone, not a questioning one) when his enemy just taunted them saying that same thing?

The hammer robot thing TP Lady has isn’t given an introduction in the original. In the dub, Dyna says “From Japan, it’s Louie and his flying hammers!”

As a result of the lack of focus on cheating in the dub, the end message is kinda messed up. In the original, Damon picking up Musclun so they can cross the finish line together is them winning without cheating. In the dub, Damon picks up Muscles so they can win the race together – which defeats the purpose of learning that winning isn’t everything.

So…..where the hell IS everyone? They’re in ancient Greece right before the Olympics, supposedly, and yet the only person from this era that I’ve seen this entire episode is Damon. There aren’t even any background extras.

I would think that Ms. Aino would get fired for making her students run non-stop for hours while she’s away. I’d also think some of those kids would say “fuck it” and quit. It’s literally sunset right now. They should be going home and reporting Ms. Aino to her superiors.

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*sigh* So before I go off on my obvious “This episode was awful” spiel, I will go over some things I liked.

I liked that Sora got one legitimate instance of helping fight without being objectified or crying.

I liked the message in the original that cheating is not the way to come out on top. No matter how good winning seems, it will never feel genuine unless you do it on your own merits.

I liked the IDEA of going back to ancient Greece and having a storyline around an Olympic athlete who is struggling to achieve such a goal without cheating.

I like that the episode has a bit of a pro-exercise message, even if it didn’t really commit.

That’s about it.

Now for my spiel.

*deep breath*

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This episode was awful. Quite frankly, I feel about as exhausted with it as Tokio and Kyoichiro did from exercising so much. I knew this episode would be bad, but not quite this bad. They barely teach you anything about the Olympics or ancient Greece. They don’t even focus on an actual historical figure from ancient Greece or the Olympics. They pretty much only lifted the name of a person in a Greek legend and went with it. They didn’t talk about the legend associated with that person at all either.

It really feels like this entire episode was used as an excuse to get Sora into that form and outfit. If so, whoever made that decision, please go seek help and then go to hell.

And just throwing blackface in there so flippantly, just…why?

Next time, Ms. Aino/TP Lady seduces Ototan and turns him against Genshi.


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