SSBS – Saint Seiya Episode 2

SSBS - Saint Seiya Episode 2

Plot: Seiya has arrived in Japan right as the Galactic Tournament is starting up. The Galactic Tournament is a series of matches between those who have earned Bronze cloths for the sake of winning one of the 12 Golden Cloths. Seiya has absolutely no interest in joining, however. His one goal in coming to Japan and the tournament arena was to deliver the Pegasus cloth to a man named Mitsumasa Kido, who ran the tournament.

Six years ago, Kido separated Seiya from his sister after their parents died. He shipped him off to Greece and told him he could only return and be reunited with his sister once he acquired the Pegasus cloth. Now that he has done so, he wants to see his sister.

Saori Kido, Mitsumasa’s granddaughter and current runner of the tournament gives him terrible news. Not only is her grandfather dead, but Seiya’s sister went missing from the orphanage almost immediately after Seiya was shipped off to Greece. Saori was never told where she was, if her grandfather had anything to do with her disappearance.

However, she is very keen on getting Seiya to participate in the tournament, so she offers to lend her resources and money to him to find his sister should he win the tournament. He’s still not interested, even after also being pressured by the owner of the Unicorn cloth, Jabu, who used to know him in the orphanage.

He goes to the orphanage, known as The Foundation, for clues and meets with his old friend, Miho, who is currently helping care for the children there. She tells him that she also doesn’t know where his sister might be, but suggests that he try to get her to find him by fighting in the tournament. It’s a massively publicized event, and he has a good chance of having his sister find him if he participates.

Seiya agrees, thanks Miho and goes to join the tournament.

His first match is against the owner of the Bear cloth, Geki. The Bear Saint has massive power in his arms, and he boasts about killing hundreds of bears with his bare hands, no pun intended. He tries to strangle Seiya to death, and it seems he has him down for the count until Seiya remembers what Marin once told him when he was a child.

When fighting someone more powerful than you, find the main source of their strength and attack it. Since Geki’s strength is in his arms, he starts crushing the armor on his arms with his hands. He breaks free and uses a flurry of kicks too fast for the human eye to catch to destroy Geki’s cloth and knock him out of the fight.

Seiya’s next match is against Jabu. Who will win a battle of the horses?

————————————-

We’re getting slightly rushed with this episode because not only do we get thrown into the tournament and see our first match, but we also have to acquaint ourselves with backstory and several new characters.

I love tournament fighters, so I’m not really complaining about the latter, though I will mark something down on that in a minute, I’m moreso complaining about the former.

Seiya’s backstory is pretty good, but I won’t deny that it feels very rushed here. I feel like we needed a full episode to develop this firmly instead of having it crammed into the first part of this episode. The inclusion of Miho felt particularly rushed, especially considering she’s obviously being set up as Seiya’s love interest.

The tournament half was good, and it was nice to see Seiya struggle during his first match instead of flippantly blow his first opponent away just to show what a badass he is, which he did a few times in the start of the episode, but the manner in which he would achieve victory was a little too obvious from the beginning.

What imbecile tells his opponent where his true power lies in the middle of a fight? That’s almost as bad as telling someone where your weakness is. The instant he said ‘My true power lies in these arms’ I facepalmed and said to myself ‘well, now he knows what to attack, you idiot.’ If you manage to take away someone’s source of power, they’re helpless. Hubris, Geki. Hubris.

Then we get an almost insulting scene where Seiya flashes back to his studies under Marin, where she shares the aforementioned lesson. Since Seiya’s a child in this flashback, I wasn’t bothered that it was included, but I could feel my blood pressure increasing when they flashed back to Geki saying his true power lied in his arms, then again when they repeat Marin’s lesson, then again when Geki repeats what he said, then they do it again, and again, and again – we get it! Most people would’ve figured it out on their own without a single flashback, but apparently the writers and editor think we’re so dense that we can’t piece together such simple strategy.

I also found it stupid that Geki has such massive strength in his arms, but instead of ripping Seiya apart or incapacitating him and beating or crushing him to death in a few blows, Geki gives Seiya ample time to come up with a strategy as he slowly strangles him. He’s not even really aiming to strangle him – he wants to build up enough strength, incredibly slowly, to snap Seiya’s neck, which is something people without bear strength can do in a matter of seconds but Geki wants to savor it I guess.

Seiya breaks Geki’s cloth, so…does that mean the Bear cloth no longer exists?

It was an entertaining match for a little bit, but then the rest of the match is a prolonged strangling session until Seiya is able to break free and give his badass finale move – this time in kick flavor.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode, but it has a bunch of logic issues and the pacing needs work.

Next episode, we meet the Swan Saint and the tournament continues.

Advertisements

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 30

SSBS - TMM EP 30 SCREEN1

Plot: Aoyama has been kinda flaky lately, so Moe and Miwa bring Ichigo to the school fortune teller, Mariko, to see what’s up. Mariko manages to quell her fears by telling her to trust him more and be honest about her feelings to him. She also ‘psychically’ sees that she and Aoyama are a great match for each other.

Ichigo meets up with Aoyama later that night, and he’s happy to see her. He apologizes to her for being so flaky and states that kendo club is eating up all of his time lately.

Later, everything’s going great for Ichigo and Aoyama, and she’s so happy about it that she seeks out Mariko to thank her. She finds Mariko at the soccer field and notices that she’s staring at a soccer player named Shunsuke. She quickly deduces that Mariko has a case of unrequited love for Shunsuke and believes him to be dating someone else that she sees at the field.

Ichigo overhears Mariko giving Shunsuke some psychic advice to be honest with the feelings of his loved one and admit them to the girl at a park with a fountain on Sunday.

When Ichigo finally meets with Mariko to thank her, she admits that she was eavesdropping on her and Shunsuke’s conversation. Mariko doesn’t want to butt in and ruin Shunsuke’s love for another girl, so she wants to support his efforts and ensure his happiness.

That Sunday, Ichigo goes to the park and finds Shunsuke. She hides behind a tree and is surprised to find Mariko also hiding. Ichigo encourages Mariko to go be honest about her feelings, like she told her to be with Aoyama, but, Shunsuke being her childhood friend and love, she still doesn’t want to get in the way of his love.

They’re about to watch Shunsuke meet his crush when Kisshu suddenly appears, demanding Mariko’s crystal ball. They’ve detected Mew Aqua within it and will not leave without it. Ichigo tells Mariko to run, but Kisshu pursues. Shunsuke sees Mariko in danger and jumps in the way of Kisshu’s soul-extracting ability.

He creates a chimera animal with Shunsuke’s spirit, creating a giant elephant monster, before nabbing the crystal ball.

Ichigo struggles with the chimera animal, and the other Mews show up to help by trying to get the ball away from Kisshu. Mariko also gets knocked out, but Ichigo’s too preoccupied with the chimera animal to help her. The Blue Knight rushes in to help Ichigo and gives her advice on how to defeat the creature.

Ichigo manages to take the chimera animal down, but the crystal ball breaks in the scuffle. The ball was merely ordinary crystal afterall since Mew Aqua would never break like that.

Mariko and Shunsuke wake up, and as Mariko is about to leave Shunsuke to have his date in peace, he tells her to check her email. She sees that he tried to ask her on a date in the park at the fountain, but failed to get the message.

They confess to each other, after having a bit of a back and forth bicker, and the girls look on in content, happy their friend has found love.

Turns out, Mariko was faking at being a fortune teller anyway and quits after her ball is broken.

————————————-

– Yeah, bring Ichigo to a fortune teller to help understand why Aoyama’s being flaky instead of just telling her to ask him what’s up. Well, we needed a plot I suppose.

– Mariko: “Oh sorry. I scare people because I’m unfriendly.” Pbbbahahahahah!

– I like Mariko. She’s actually a pretty good advice giver under the guise of a fortune teller, and I like her personality. Although, is this problem really an issue of trust?

Aoyama’s being flaky and brushing off Ichigo, though not being that rude about it. She’s worried that he’s losing interest in her. That seems like a valid concern given the evidence. She trusts Aoyama. It’s not like she thinks he’s off with some other girl or is doing something bad – she just worries that Aoyama’s no longer emotionally involved.

To her credit, Mariko later tells Ichigo to be honest with him about her feelings, which is much better, but the trust thing still bothers me a little.

– Also, hi, budget episode. I see you’re giving everyone swollen cheeks today.

– Why did Shunsuke’s spirit become an elephant?…..Why did it yell “I’m an elephant!” when it arose?

– Yes, Ichigo, transform right in front of Mariko. Who cares about secret identities anyway?

– Ichigo had to be told by The Blue Knight that this elephant monster was slow….Come on, girl.

– What is up with the falsely identifying Mew Aqua? It seems silly the types of things they’ll wrongly detect. Granted, the ball did glow a bit earlier, but that doesn’t really mean anything. Ichigo would’ve sensed it, had it been active enough to glow.

– Yay convenient amnesia! Is that officially a magical girl trope yet?

– This plot was already insanely predictable, but the reason the meeting happened without her knowing she was the girl he was trying to confess to was because she failed to check her email? Wow.

—————————–

I liked this episode because I found Mariko to be a very good character, in spite of being a flash-in-the-pan-we’ll-never-see-her-again character. I believe she had better chemistry with Ichigo and was more interesting than either Moe or Miwa. I’m sad to see her go…..but, that being said, like I mentioned already, this plot is very predictable.

Right when they set up her unrequited love and this nameless, voiceless potential love interest for Shunsuke, you know exactly what’s going on and what will happen. There are zero surprises. The other Mews seemed like an afterthought, yet again, the Blue Knight showed up for all of three seconds just to spout out the obvious trick to beating the Chimera Animal, and even the problem with Aoyama wasn’t very well-written.

Seriously, Aoyama of all people was seemingly sneaking around just because he was busy with kendo? He’d tell Ichigo that as soon as it became any sort of issue. She mentioned he canceled a date the previous weekend – he would’ve definitely told her then.

While the animation didn’t technically suffer, the art was terribad in this episode. Swollen cheeks, weird angular designs and warped faces weren’t that distracting but they were certainly noticeable.

These issues didn’t distract a great deal from an otherwise enjoyable episode, but there were still there.

Next episode, Ichigo’s dad finds out that she’s dating Aoyama and is livid about the situation. Will he stand in the way of their love?

Episode One-Derland: Gasaraki

Plot: Uhm….pbbbbttt…..A mech pilot dances and tries to summon Satan?

Breakdown: I’ve seen a lot of boring anime in my time.

And this is one of them.

I swear to God, if I wasn’t falling asleep while watching this, I was trying to understand what half the cast was talking about.

The first half of the episode has our main character, Yushiro, piloting a mech in a simulation. He infiltrates some building and is about do…something when they stop the simulation. This part of the episode is only there to tell us that Yushiro is special somehow because…his heart rate increases substantially when he’s on a mission?

The second half has Yushiro in somewhat of a Noh dance. It’s quite the jarring transition, actually. I was questioning whether the video spliced in a different show or something.

The dance takes up the entire second half, and we soon realize that he’s meant to use this dance to go into a trance and summon something called ‘The terror,’ which is about as bland as humanly possible.

A girl…in a…spiderweb cocoon? Contacts him psychically, tries to kill him, but fails. There are people manipulating the girl. He keeps summoning the terror then stops as they enter the final stage because the girl told him not to.

And that’s it. That’s the episode. Just add about 150 lines of ‘science’ or ‘magic’ babble that is never explained and imagine I hired Ben Stein to recite all of that.

Holy hell, it is massively boring. Speaking on a first episode basis, it fails on practically every level. I don’t know anything about the world they’re living in, outside of it seemingly meant to be set in modern day Japan, I think.

I have no clue about any of the characters – not even Yushiro. There’s one ominous bad guy manipulating Yushiro. There’s another ominous bad guy manipulating the blue haired girl. They both look very similar outside of one wears glasses. The girl is…..I have no clue. I would say she’s nice, but she tried to psychically murder Yushiro for no given reason sooooo….

Yushiro’s the worst bland offender. Not only do we barely get two words out of the guy before the end of the episode, but his face is obscured through 98% of the runtime. He’s wearing either a half-mask or a full face mask for all of it. When he does talk, he’s only repeating what the blue haired girl said about not bringing back the terror, and finally tells it to go back when it’s nearly summoned. And he can’t even add a drop of emotion to that.

It’s like it’s a big reveal when he finally takes off his mask. Like, ha! I have an identity! But his face is absolutely forgettable (It’s like when people saw Kakashi without his mask for the first time. Lots of buildup for “Oh, it’s normal”), and his actions after he takes it off are the polar opposite of anything epic. It’s not worth the psuedo-buildup at all.

Yushiro has a sister, whom we learn even less of, he was…taken from his home (?) and he’s special somehow. That’s all we know about him.

I feel like there might be something interesting here in terms of ideas, but the best I’ve heard about this show’s plot in reviews is – Kavik Ryx of Nihon Anime Reviews “However, to its credit, there are moments dealing with the SSDF and Japan’s economic crisis that are quite riveting. What is done with real world politics is absolutely uncanny, in a good way. There is something to be said when an anime’s highpoint revolves around the price of grain exports.” Oh boy, I can’t wait for that….grain…export….crescendo….

I’ve been told that the first episode is universally seen as a major weak point of the series because it leaves the audience with very little information and fails to grip the viewer in any way. Supposedly, you need to watch at least the first four episodes to get any sort of real grasp on the plot and characters, but, I’m sorry. You can’t give me dirty dishwater as an appetizer and expect me to order a four course meal.

Nearly every full review I’ve read of this anime tops out the rating as mediocre at best, and a lot of the praise seems to be going more towards the production values than the story or characters, so I don’t even feel compelled to make the trudge on the promise of something better.

I will say this, though. This was one of the most realistic uses of computers I’ve seen in a while. They move the windows, we get to see the cursor, they use menus and everything. They don’t just bash on their keyboards and have ten thousands things happening at once.

It also has pretty good art and fluid animation. The mechs are uninspired, and nothing strikes me as amazing, but it’s nice.

The music is also a positive. The ED in particular was gentle and calming…which is a tad problematic when you’re already falling asleep.

Final Verdict:

750spsl

If you have a lot of patience, do like some have said and watch the first four episodes to see if it grips you. However, I can’t see myself returning to this. I need much more substance in a first episode to justify going through more boredom.

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 29

SSBS - TMM EP 29 SCREEN1

Plot: As Ichigo’s about to board a train, she runs into a cat and finds that she can understand its speech. Later, the same cat, named Asano, appears at the cafe. It seems that her being able to understand cats is yet another side-effect of her Mew powers as she is the only one able to understand Asano.

Asano wants to ask Ichigo for a favor. He is in love with a fancy Lilac Point Siamese cat named Jacqueline. They fell for each other in a kind of Aladdin and Jasmine type of way. Ever since their first meeting, Asano has brought her a sardine, something she couldn’t enjoy because her owners always fed her fancy cat foods. Ever since Asano brought her one to try, she’s loved them, and she started loving him soon after. One day, Jacqueline’s owners locked the windows, likely to keep her away from Asano. However, Asano was adamant to always return, day after day, with a sardine, knowing that one day her owners would open the windows again.

Jacqueline made a wish to see the world outside of her window and eat lots of sardines. Asano promised her that he’d take her on that journey the next time those windows opened. Time went on, and Jacqueline stopped coming to the window. Soon after, he noticed a sign on their gate that said the owners have moved to their condo.

He asks Ichigo if she’ll help find her and reunite them. Lettuce agrees to help too, but they’re disheartened when they can’t find the new address. Asano catches her scent and they spot a poster nearby with a picture of Jacqueline. Her owners are preparing an arranged marriage at a cat fair and are calling for possible suitors who are also Lilac Point cats.

Aoyama explains the nature of the cat fair to the girls. It’s a huge gathering of fancy cat owners who find suitable mates for their cats so they can make kittens and earn copious amounts of money selling the kittens.

Lettuce and Ichigo cook up a plan. They have Pudding paint Asano the proper colors to pass as a Lilac Point Siamese cat and enter him into the competition so he’ll have a chance at being chosen for Jacqueline’s mate.

Asano runs off when he catches wind of Jacqueline’s scent. Just as Ichigo and the others are about to give chase, Masha pops up and states that he senses a Chimera Animal nearby.

Mint and Pudding send Ichigo and Lettuce off to help Asano while they try to investigate the Chimera Animal’s location.

Asano finds Jacqueline and tries to free her from her cage so they can run away together, but Jacqueline, shockingly, doesn’t want to leave. She wants to be with Asano, but her owner now has no one left but her. Her owners were an older couple, and the wife recently passed away. Before she died, the wife asked Jacqueline to care for the husband and be by his side in her place. Because she doesn’t want him to be lonely, she wishes to stay.

Understanding her plight, Asano accepts her decision and tearfully runs away. As he runs, a tank of water is suddenly knocked over, splashing water all over Asano and revealing his true colors. He nervously tries to play it cool, but is obviously heartbroken. Lettuce vehemently encourages him to not give up just because the circumstances are bad, especially because forcing a couple together, even if they’re cats, is wrong.

As Jacqueline is being sweet-talked by another Lilac Point cat, named Michel, Asano bursts in and claims he won’t give up his love. Jacqueline rushes by Michel and quickly nuzzles with Asano. Angered at being snubbed and rejected for an unrefined cat, Michel gets possessed by a parasite alien and turned into a Chimera Animal.

Asano jumps in the way of its attack, injuring his leg in the process.

The girls transform and Ichigo uses her bell to play with the Chimera Cat, distracting it long enough to get a good shot with her Ribbon Strawberry Surprise. The Chimera Cat is defeated, but Asano is still hurt.

Jacqueline’s owner thanks Asano for protecting Jacqueline as she’s the most precious memory of his deceased wife. He explains that he remembers Asano as the cat that visited Jacqueline every day. He knew they meant something to each other, but wanted to find a more suitable suitor for Jacqueline. He realizes, after seeing Asano risk his life to save her, that he was wrong and that Asano is the best suitor for her. He takes him in, allowing Asano and Jacqueline to be a family with him for the rest of their lives.

———————-

– Do they really stop trains if a stray animal gets on board? I’d get it if it was something huge or dangerous, but a cat?

– Blah blah blah, why does she get another special Mew Mew Power when the others don’t? Blah blah blah.

To clarify, it’s been implied that Zakuro can maybe talk to dogs/canines, based solely on her supposedly being able to speak with Mint’s dog, Miki, that one time, and I remember something about Mint later being able to maybe somehow communicate with birds I think, but still.

– I love how the others are all listening intently to Asano’s story even though, for the most part, all they’re hearing is ‘Meow meow meow’ over and over while Ichigo sometimes interrupts to repeat information for the sake of letting the other girls in on the conversation.

It’s even funnier because, later in the story, it’s like they understand what he’s saying even though Ichigo has given them no updates.

– What stupid owners Jacqueline has. “We’ve moved to our condo.” Yeah, that’s helpful. It’s almost like that message was purposely vague for the sake of this episode not being ‘Oh hey a forwarding address!’ *credits*

SSBS - TMM EP 29 SCREEN2

– Okay, I am not about to add ‘Arranged marriages for cats’ in my Google history – is this really a thing? Even just a fancy rich person thing?

– Also, what a weird turn of events. We go from a fairly believable cat love story to a cat needing to stop the marriage of his lover because her owners are forcing it.

– Why does Aoyama know about cat marriage?

– Why is cat marriage so huge that there’s a massively popular fair about it?

– Aoyama: “You see, the kittens can be sold for a handsome price.” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….Money. Gotcha.

– I was going to ask what Aoyama’s point was here besides just being an exposition dump for the cat fair, but I suppose uber-activist Aoyama would be able to sympathize with the morally questionable nature of this cat fair.

– Do they really believe these snooty rich snobs will buy that a painted street cat will pass as a Lilac Point Siamese cat? Not only will the paint be pretty damn obvious, but these people like to analyze the hell out of these cats to make sure they’re as perfect as possible, like they do at dog shows. I’m pretty sure they will notice. Even the biggest idiot would probably notice. It’s not just the colors either. Siamese cats have one of the most well-known and notable body shapes of any cat. Asano looks nothing like that. This whole plan is stupid.

– Wow, they literally just poofed in a Chimera Animal plot out of nowhere like they forgot this was a magical girl show.

– Who the hell knocked over that tank of water? Why is no one trying to clean it up? Did they really include the swimming cat just so we can dramatically wash away Asano’s paint?

– Again, Lettuce is acting like she understands what’s going on even though she can’t understand a word of what these cats are saying.

– Wait, this is what the Omiai (arranged marriage) thing with the cats is? Just show the girl cat and prance out the boys in front of her and see if they start porking on stage or something? Pbbtthahahah!

– And, of course, the first guy has to be a complete ego-driven douche….then again….he is a cat….

SSBS - TMM EP 29 SCREEN3

– Behold, the only love story you’ll ever see where the dramatic crescendo is the girl proclaiming that she loves sardines.

– This Chimera Animal was extremely forced. We only met Michel a minute ago, and there was obviously no way he’d stand a chance.

– Oddly, this is one of the better designed Chimera Animals.

– I know Pudding is naturally a happy and excitable girl, but she sees Asano be clawed away by the Chimera Animal and while the others are serious, stating they need to transform, Pudding has a really happy expression and gleefully yells ‘Let’s go!’ A little sympathy, Pudding.

– Also, after the transformation sequence, she yells out ‘it’s a big kitty!’ Uh…yeah. This happened a little while ago. Pay attention, Pudding.

– Since when is Ichigo’s bell a boomerang?

– Ichigo: “Secret technique: Cat amuser!” This seems like a real ability she has because, 1) it explains why her bell is suddenly a boomerang and 2) it actually does temporarily incapacitate the Chimera Cat. In which case, no matter how silly, this is yet another power being given to Ichigo and it seems like a power that is really only useful for this one situation.

SSBS - TMM EP 29 SCREEN4

– Nice to know that Lettuce, Mint and Pudding were entirely useless this episode. Not only did they contribute nothing to the battle, but they did nothing in this episode as a whole. You could argue that Lettuce helped encourage Asano, but I really feel like they gave her lines that were meant to be Ichigo’s considering she’s the only one who can actually talk to the cats. They just seemed needlessly shoved into the episode for the sake of having all of the girls there.

I usually like when they’re inclusive and dislike when all of the focus is on Ichigo, but not just for the sake of including them. This has been going on for like five episodes now.

– Also, again, they just transformed and battled in front of all of these people. Surely some of them were videotaping or taking pictures. You suck at your jobs.

– Yeah, tell the cat with the severely wounded leg to come to you, jackass. Get a vet, for god’s sake.

– It was sweet of him to compare their love for each other like his love for his wife.

—————————

I have always been and continue to be confused as to my feelings on this episode. On one hand, it’s filler, but on the other hand it can’t really be ignored because it includes a new power for Ichigo (The cat communication not the cat toy thing)

On one hand, this power is never brought up again (If I recall correctly), but on the other hand it does seem like a major missed opportunity considering animals are meant to be a cornerstone of this show. Likewise, this whole cat love storyline is pointless, but I kinda want more stories in this same vein because, again, this show is supposed to have a bit of a focus on animals. Outside of chimera animals, we don’t get many plotlines about actual animals.

On yet another hand, despite seeming really out of place in this series, I did enjoy the cat story because it’s cute and pretty sad. However, the cat marriage thing just seems ridiculous, even for this show. For all I know, this stuff does go on, but from a clueless outside observer, this just seems silly.

On one foot, the Chimera Animal sequence is incredibly forced, really short and is defeated through a stupid one-off ‘ability’ Ichigo suddenly has. On the other foot, it did serve a fairly good purpose of getting Asano and Jacqueline together.

On your foot, the other girls served absolutely no purpose today and seemed even more wedged in there than the Chimera Animal. On your other foot…..nope I think I’m out.

This episode is very much middle of the road. If they didn’t force the Chimera Animal in there and understanding cat speech wasn’t a necessity, this could easily be the plot of practically any other shoujo show. Oddly, the worst parts of this episode are the Mew Mews simply because they’re not necessary. Their part was really lazily written. I did like the main plot, though, because their cat love and even the story of Jacqueline’s owners was pretty sweet.

Next episode, fortune telling!….Is that a magical girl trope too? Because I feel like fortune telling is in a lot of magical girl shows.

SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 18

SSBS CFV Ep 18

Plot: They basically skip through every match until we get to the finals, then we break for lunch and that’s pretty much it.

Breakdown: This episode is a gigantic mess. It is, by far, the worst episode I’ve seen.

I’d like to apologize to anyone who read my last CFV review because I was wrong about the next episode. The preview made it seem like we’d see Goki and Kamui fight, at least in separate matches, but no.

First half, we rush through all of the remaining matches for the tournament so we can quickly get to Team Q4 vs. Team Handsome, which is kinda pointless because we don’t even get to see the start of that match in this episode.

I like tournaments because, even if they’re battling people who will obviously lose, it gives the writers the opportunity to get creative and introduce us to some interesting one-off characters. CFV doesn’t seem like they want to bother with this.

If you need more evidence, just look at the brief glimpses of the teams as they whiz by in the montage of defeat. If you thought Team Handsome was a stupid name, try Team Martial Arts, Team Chemistry Club or even Team Hot Noodles….And, yes, Team Martial arts is filled with martial artists (whose only saving grace is giving Q4 their dojo signs after they lose. That was a little funny.) Team Chemistry Club is, well, duh, and Team Hot Noodles…is a bunch of ramen cooks. How did these people even get here?

The only other team is Team Nadeshiko, who are alright in name, and their shtick is that they’re…super respectful and traditional?

Oh and yeah, people are still creaming their pants over Kai. Because that never gets old.

They also jam in the backstory of Kamui and Goki. Kamui was bullied as a kid because he was so small, but he saw Goki beat an adult at Vanguard and he was inspired by that, so Goki became a bit of a mentor to him, I suppose. Kamui wants to prove to Goki that he can fight on his own.

It’s….not a good backstory, if you ask me.

Beating an adult at a children’s card game is not akin to beating someone twice your size in a physical altercation. Besides, Goki is clearly a teenager here and he’s a pretty big muscular guy. He’s nearly as tall as the adult he’s battling, and he’s definitely bigger than the kid we see beat up Kamui.

The logic doesn’t click. It would’ve made more sense if Goki was younger and smaller like Kamui and he took down someone twice his size at Vanguard. It’s still not the same, but at least it would make more sense. Maybe it would show Kamui that he can come out on top in certain things despite his small stature.

But at least we got to see the origins of Goki’s bandanna…..That was something on your mind, wasn’t it?

Second half, lunch time. You heard me. They’re pulling this shit again. And, like last time, this part of the episode is filled with Kamui gushing over Emi, who arrives late to get some lunch to Aichi and his friends.

Ooh, but wait! There’s more! Remember, Nagisa, the human cheese grater for the ears, is here, so she’s also filling up this half of the episode with gushing over Kamui and getting in poor Emi’s face for ‘stealing her man.’ I am developing a massive pile of hatred for this little brat. I hope to God she just fades into the background more and more as time goes on, because I can’t stand much more of her.

Misaki arrives after lunch with no explanation as to where she’s been this entire time. They keep bringing up that Aichi ‘had’ to fight the first match of the tournament, even though, like Shin points out, the teams are the ones who choose the order of their participants, so Aichi never really had to fight at all other than to give him some screen time.

Dash your hopes for seeing her fight in this tournament, though, because she passes the baton to Aichi since he’s been doing so well…..Then why even show up at all?

Shin references Larry the Cable Guy by saying ‘Let’s get ‘er done!’………….That was a thing that happened.

So the finals st—nope. We have to interrupt our tournament for a random song number by the Ultra Rares – the pop group made up of the girls from the card shop PSY. The song’s not good, though they keep the Japanese version for it, which is nice, and it’s a completely unwelcome intrusion that’s accompanied by another unwelcome intrusion – a random unnecessary clip show to the episode in PSY so we can….remember who these girls are? I dunno.

Just when you finally think they’ll start the finals, you look at the time stamp and realize the episode is very nearly over. Kamui’s first up, itching to take on Goki when –

Goki’s not fighting! But wait! Who’s taking his—Nagisa….Nagisa’s fighting Kamui. And she’s added the stipulation that, should she win, she and Kamui will get married. She’s also wearing pink Vanguard Fight Gloves…of course she is.

Which means….next episode is chockful of Nagisa. The only thing I might find more enjoyable than that is shoving a swarm of angry wasps into my eye socket.

Oh and since this is the last round of the regional qualifiers and I can’t see Kai the VanGod losing his match, I assume Kamui must lose his match in order to have Aichi be the crux match in the finals. I care so little about this next match that I’m going to cheat and peek at the end of the next episode.

Yup, he friggin’ loses. Which also means Nagisa will never shut up about the marriage thing, right? Let me cheat again! To the Wiki!

Yup, even after a time skip, she’s still trying to force him into marriage. Lovely.

I’m going to take a break on this series for a little bit since…I just really don’t want to watch the next episode right now. The show’s not falling to pieces or anything, but this episode is so sloppily done I’m almost angry at it. Not to mention, I need to charge up if I’m going to watch an entire episode centered on Nagisa.

For now, I’ll switch to Tokyo Mew Mew for my regular updates.

Rating: 2/10

Next episode, Nagisa gets locked in a box and never appears in the series again so Twix can refrain from ripping the screen off of her laptop.

Pokemon Shorties! (6) Gotta Dance!

Rating: 6/10

Plot: Team Rocket has made a new base in a canyon, and they are making a party there for Giovanni to impress him. Jessie and James leave Meowth in charge while they go invite Giovanni. Meowth uses this time to rehearse his music and dance number with three captive maraca playing Whismur. He forces them and the Team Rocket alum to dance using a magic baton…..In a world with sentient serial killer lawnmowers, please refrain from laughing.

Pikachu and some of the other Pokemon stumble upon this and try to save Whismur, but the power of dance is too much to resist.

Breakdown: Ladies and gentlemen, the last short to accompany a Pokemon movie….for a long whole anyway. I think they might have started doing it again, I’m not certain.

They continued to make shorts throughout the years, but this was the last short to be included with a Pokemon movie. I don’t know why they ended this trend as I thought it was pretty nice to have these shorts alongside the movies, but what can you do?

Like the last one, I have no prior knowledge or experience involving this short. Pokemon movie 06 was the first Pokemon movie that I only just caught on TV when it played on Cartoon Network. This was probably due to the fact that the movie came out right at that time when I really didn’t care much for Pokemon anymore because it was the post-Misty days. I was more into Digimon, Yugioh and whatever I could get my hands on with Toonami and Adult Swim.

I was bitter because Misty was gone, and I didn’t take to May much. I especially didn’t like Max, which may make the rewatch of the movie annoying….But I digress. What awaits us in this short? Hopefully a DDR contest.

===========================================

Lotad, Pikachu, Torchic, Mudkip and Treecko are playing around in a tree as Meowth narrates over them. He muses over their frivolity and says he wishes he could be that way, but music recently ruined his life. I still have no idea why A) These Pokemon are wandering around in the woods alone with no sign of their trainers and B) why it’s only these five Pokemon. I don’t know their rosters at this point well enough to list off everyone who’s missing, but considering there’s only five here, they’re likely missing a lot. Ash’s Pokemon are Pikachu and Treecko, Brock’s are Lotad and Mudkip, while May’s is merely Torchic.

The Pokemon all get flung through the air by springing on the awful CGI tree branch because we’re really vying for ‘Pokemon flinging’ to be an Olympic sport.

I love how Treecko won’t get out of his laid back pose as they’re flung through the air. Such a bad ass.

PES6 - SCREEN4

They continue falling after the ground breaks below them and they all slam into a boulder. No worries, though, because they slam through it and leave marks behind in the exact shape of their bodies like Looney Tunes.

The horrendous CGI rock falls apart – seriously guys, just draw it. It’s a rock.

They look up and see some fort embedded into the cliffside. It’s decorated to look like dice for whatever reason.

PES6 - SCREEN1

Narration from Meowth says it’s Team Rocket’s new headquarters and they were about to show it to Giovanni when his story began. A base? What the hell do you guys need a base for? You travel all the time because you follow DumbAsh and the superfriends to get Pikachu. More importantly, why would Giovanni be happy that you’re wasting funds on building a clubhouse?

They’re preparing a big party at the base, complete with an ice sculpture of Giovanni, to impress their boss. Jessie and James, who remain mostly out of frame in line with the usual ‘no humans’ law of the shorts, leave to retrieve Giovanni and leave Meowth in charge. He takes this opportunity to rehearse with the band, a trio of Whismur playing maracas.

He leads them with some stick that he says can control all Pokemon, forcing them to dance easily……Wait…you guys have a stick that controls Pokemon…..and you think it’s more impressive to show Giovanni…..a fort painted like dice…….It’s really no wonder how much you guys fail.

We get our opener which is really forgettable and not really the most dancey or catchy song ever. There’s a noticeable lack of….well, music, and Meowth is the one singing….

One interesting aspect is, it’s almost like they knew this was going to be the last movie short because they show the Pokemon dancing in the main locations of all of the previous shorts. We get the Pokemon sign from the park in Pikachu’s Summer Vacation, the giant tree from Pikachu’s Rescue Adventure, the tire fort from Pikachu and Pichu, the mansion from Pikachu’s Pika-boo, and the train from Camp Pikachu.

After that, we get bad CGI dice (what is with the dice? Am I missing something?) and our title screen.

PES6 - SCREEN2

The song soon ends, and Meowth gushes over his baton, imagining that Giovanni will be really impressed with it. I would say this makes my earlier poke moot, but he says he’ll be impressed with how it can make Pokemon dance, not how it would help……take over the world and everything. At least easily steal every Pokemon you see.

They continue to rehearse while we cut to the main group heading towards Duke Devlin’s wet dream.

Meowth and the others lock up the Whismur in a cage and Meowth says this:

Meowth: “You three wisenheimers….” Wisenheimers?! Wisenheimers?! My great-grandpa wouldn’t even use that in serious conversation. How old are you?

Pikachu and the others spy on Meowth and the Team Rocket Pokemon in the base as they walk away from the cage to get something to eat. They fall through the window after they leave because I guess Lotad’s another comic relief clumsy Pokemon.

They discover that the Whismur have been taken captive by Team Rocket, and they use Pikachu’s lightning, Torchic’s fire and Mudkip’s water to blow the lock off the cage………..which is entirely unnecessary seeing as how the only lock on that cage is an easily accessible lever that one of them would just need to push…..but why do that when you can make explosions while trying to perform a covert operation?

PES6 - SCREEN3

The Pokemon hide as Meowth and the others investigate the noise. They discover the Whismur are missing and Meowth commands the others to find them. In the process, they knock Meowth over, causing him to drop his magic baton thing, sending it flying to the barrel that Treecko is hiding in and suddenly activates.

It plays music and all of the Pokemon dance uncontrollably…wait….so…that stick really is only good for making Pokemon dance? What a dumb invention. I would take back my earlier comment, but if it can control these Pokemon to a degree, surely it can be reprogrammed to control them in other ways. But whatever, it will likely see the fate of the dark balls in ‘just forget it exists-land.’

I do love that Treecko’s doing everything in his power to not dance. I forgot how much I love that little guy.

During the dance, a Loudred that has been sleeping outside shows up to do some disco moves. Well thank god. Now someone do the macarena.

Treecko, in his efforts to avoid dancing, falls over, causing the baton to shut off.

Everyone stops dancing and Meowth notices Pikachu and the others. They attack, but Pikachu and the others knock them all down with the barrels. And when that’s over they play a version of

Not even kidding.

A chase ensues and the Team Rocket gang chases the Pika gang to the balcony. Pikachu tries to Thunderbolt them, but Wobbuffet Reflects it back, nearly knocking Mudkip off the tower. Treecko uses the baton to try and save Mudkip and in the process, it accidentally activates the stick, making everyone dance.

Mudkip is saved and joins the dancing. Their dancing, however, is causing the balcony to collapse and even makes the horrible CGI tower do a terribly animated fall into the river below. Well, at least we’re destroying most of this eye abusive CGI….

They’re about to dance off of the balcony and suddenly switch to a tango, making them walk onto a more sturdy part of the building while the barfy CGI balcony also breaks and falls.

They deactivate the stick again and start the chase back up.

They run into the party room and destroy it with the final blow being Cacnea using Pin Missile all over the room. This results in him destroying three pinata/party balls which revealed three banners with poorly drawn pictures of Giovanni on them…..okay you got me, that was funny.

PES6 - SCREEN6

So they’re destroying the base when Giovanni’s supposed to show up for a party eh? I smell sitcom-level shenanigans!

Meowth gets up and accidentally hits the baton again. He hits a button which changes it to hula mode, causing everyone to hula while covered in flowers.

It’s deactivated again rather quickly since one of the pinata/party balls falls on Meowth. They run off again, and I’m gonna mention at this point that whenever they end these dance sequences….they focus on the Loudred for a bit….Just long enough to be awkward because much of the time he’s just staring with his giant mouth agape or he’s quietly saying his name. It’s unsettling.

You can see where this is going. They get chased, Meowth gets flung in the air, the baton falls on Wobbuffet’s head and they start dancing again.

The baton gets flung up again and gets stuck in some sand, for some reason causing it to short out. They make three quick cuts to Treecko, who’s still doing his damnedest to not dance, and I guess since the stick shorted out, he can’t take it anymore and goes dance crazy.

They keep dancing and dancing and dancing….I actually think they repeat animation shots a few times with the excuse that it goes with the music, roughly. They also speed up a shot.

They have to keep switching from speeding up to slowing down and we crescendo as the baton explodes.

Everyone stops dancing, but now Loudred is going nuts and attacking the Pokemon with a pipe. He corners them in a room, Seviper tries to attack, but is interrupted by Loudred’s pipe which breaks an important column in the base. The base rumbles and seems like it’s going to fall, but doesn’t. However, Lotad, a Pokemon I don’t remember being quite this irritating, sneezes causing the whole place to come crumbling down.

Well, they’re dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nah, of course they’re not. They’re just riding such a terrible looking CGI wooden platform that my sides hurt from laughing at it.

 

This is just insanely crappy CGI and it’s horribly integrated with the traditional animation. The guys at OLM keep getting worse and worse at this. Please, either go back to training or save my eyes and stop using CGI where it’s not necessary.

Their platform breaks in two sending Pikachu and the others flying one way and Meowth and the others in another. Pikachu and friends are about to crash into a cliffside when Lotad decides not to be annoying for a change and Water Guns them away from it, allowing them to land safely.

Meowth and the others end up back in the now destroyed base and as it crumbles even further, we get another

It wasn’t funny the first time, stop it.

The end!….Hey wait, what about Giovanni? That was a great set up for more sad trombone-y goodness.

Granted, I can’t imagine Giovanni would’ve bothered humoring these idiots anyway.

Also, that Loudred seriously wasn’t related to those Whismur? Why was it there then?

Like I said, the end, with those cute little fan art drawings of Pokemon. They also have Pikachu doing his impressions of the featured Pokemon, which I admittedly think is really funny. Then we have the Pokemon just doing random things.

Bottomline: Well that was….something. What a random short. Pikachu and the others save some Whismur from Team Rocket and we get what is essentially a 20 minute long chase scene with really long dance sequences intertwined and then they destroy the place and fly away. That’s it.

The art and animation, like always, get a bump up in this short. Except for the awful, terrible ew CGI.

The music, shockingly, is pretty poor for an episode centered around dancing. The main song is completely forgettable and definitely not up to the catchy ear worm standards of 4Kids. I would dance to a lot of 4Kids songs and this is one I wouldn’t tap a toe to.

While I will admit that the short had its entertaining moments such as Pikachu’s impressions, Treecko’s desire to avoid dancing as much as possible and some of the dances, there’s a lot wrong with it.

There’s so much padding. It’s almost like this short is nothing but padding, which, admittedly, is what most of these shorts are by default. The chase is padding, and the dancing, while being the focal part of the short, is basically just padding. It’s pointless dancing for the sake of ‘oh how funny! Pokemon dancing!’ It is entertaining a few times, and it made me smile once or twice, but it really gets old.

The sequences with Loudred were also pointless. They were causing enough destruction as it was, he didn’t need to be here. And those times when they lingered on him after a dance were just awkward.

Some of the ‘jokes’ like Lotad’s sneeze have poor timing, and I am forever perplexed as to how and why Meowth had a magic ‘force Pokemon to dance’ stick.

It’s probably the funniest short since the first one, but it’s too long for this non-existent story, very repetitive and, to be honest, poorly directed.

Well, we end the movie shorts on a mediocre note, but there’s still more shorts to cover! I just have to pick them out by my own discretion now. What will come for movie 07?! Find out when it happens!

Recommended Audience: You need to ask? E for everyone!

Final notes:

………WHAT WAS UP WITH THE DICE!?

PES6 - SCREEN5

WHAT DID DICE HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING? I DON’T GET IT!…….DICE!

SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 17

SSBS CFV EP 17

Plot: Aichi’s match is coming to a close. Can he utilize his newest units to get a win against Team Black Magic? Afterward, it’s Kai’s turn to see if he can put one in the win column.

Breakdown: Aichi’s match was intense, but, I won’t lie, I felt a little bit like the match was won due to the ‘heart of the cards’ luck. Even Shin said he likely wouldn’t have won had he not drawn a critical trigger. It’s a bit annoying how draw luck is such a deeply integrated part of this game, but I guess, technically, that’s a part of any card game.

He utilized his new units well, and it’s clear that Aichi is improving his strategies every day. Also, it’s a bit surreal to hear them talk about expansion packs. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a TCG based anime talk about that stuff. I’ve heard booster packs but not expansion packs.

It’s so pointless to watch Kai’s matches now that this is yet another of his matches that they opt to completely skip over. They hype it up like ‘Wow, they both use the same kind of decks. This will be intense!’ Then they skip to the final turn where Kai completely thrashes the opponent without batting an eyelash. It’s getting old…

And even though we only catch the final turn, he still draws two critical triggers. Is his deck loaded with them or something? Then everyone, not just Aichi, gushes over him. It’s irritating that so many people are such massive fanboys for a guy as douchey as Kai. He cracks a smile during Aichi’s match, but he’s still a cocky douche.

Because they won two matches in a row, Kamui becomes devastated that he’s unable to fight. He’s completely shocked that this is a rule…..but I’m confused as to why. Kamui either has first-hand experience fighting in tournaments or he’s watched a lot of them, yet he’s surprised that he’s not allowed to fight when they’ve won 2/3 matches already.

Team Black Magic is revealed to be a bunch of pretty boys, but they’re really nice and respectful. Also, they somehow all have surnames that start with ‘Kuro’ (Black) How they managed that, I don’t know, but I hope they come back in the future.

Rating: 7/10

Next episode, Kamui is finally able to fight and we see Goki in battle again.

My Poke-Pinions: 001-003 – The Bulbasaur Line

Bulbasaur

Name: According to Bulbapedia, Bulbasaur’s name is pretty self-explanatory. The ‘bulb’ part is indicative of plant bulbs, and the ‘saur’ part is Latin for ‘lizard.’ I’ve always loved the name Bulbasaur. It rolls off the tongue nicely, is very fun to say and suits it very well.

In the original Japanese, its name is Fushigidane, which can either be translated as ‘Isn’t it strange?’ or ‘Mysterious bulb’, the latter of which is what I believe the writers were going for. I’ve always liked Fushigidane too, even if it is more of a mouthful than Bulbasaur.

Fun fact: In the French version, its name is Bulbizarre, which I thought was really cool.

In the Mandarin version, its name is Miàowāzhǒngzǐ, which translates to ‘Wonderful frog seed’, which is just amazing. Here’s to you, Bulbasaur! You’re a wonderful frog seed!

Design: Bulbasaur’s design is very simple, but incredibly cute. I love its large and expressive eyes and the overall shape of its body. It looks perfect for a pet. I also really like its color scheme. Oddly, I believe the spots were just the right add-on for Bulbasaur because I think it would look really weird and too simplistic without them.

Going over the sprites real quick, the one for Red and Blue is cute.

It’s in a dynamic pose, and I like that. The back view makes it look derpy, though.

Yellow’s version makes it look possessed.

Green’s version makes him look derpy from the front.

Pretty normal and nice until we get to Crystal, which is also fine, but I could do without that animation. That makes me uncomfortable for some reason.

All of the other sprites look fine except for the backs of the Black and White versions. They’re fine, but the animation makes it look like it’s humping something….

Shiny:

The shiny version kinda ruins the color scheme, if you ask me. Yeah, it’s a Grass type, so green should suit it just fine, but it’s a little…too green.

Cry/Voice: Bulbasaur’s cry is cute, but sounds too much like an old Atari crash sound near the end. Bulbasaur’s anime voice has always been a favorite of mine. Whenever I feel like imitating a Pokemon, my first choice is usually Bulbasaur.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Bulbasaur’s story is pretty straightforward in all of its Dex entries. It’s a creature that had a seed planted in its back from birth. The seed slowly sprouts and grows with the Bulbasaur over time. Bulbasaur absorbs and stores nutrients from photosynthesis in the bulb, and can go days without a proper food source thanks to this storage system. The bulb itself is full of seeds.

Anime-exclusive, the bulb will glow blue when it’s close to evolving, which I believe is a fine add-on.

Another thing they only mention in the anime is that researchers aren’t sure whether to classify Bulbasaur as a plant or animal, but that’s always seemed silly to me. The entries clearly state it’s an animal that had a seed planted in its back upon birth. In fact, no matter the physiology of the Pokemon, don’t all Pokemon have to be technically classified as animals or animal-like since they’re living, breathing creatures?

Ivysaur

Name: Ivysaur’s name is on par with Bulbasaur’s, even if it has slightly less bounce to it. Like before, the ‘saur’ part is Latin for lizard while the ‘ivy’ part is alluding to the plant, ivy.

In Japanese, its name is Fushigisou, which is also not quite was bouncy as Fushigidane, but still nice. It translates to ‘It seems strange’ or ‘strange grass,’ again, the latter of which is what I believe they were going for.

Fun Fact: In French, Ivysaur’s name is Herbizarre, poking at herbs. I think Herbizarre sounds cooler than Bulbizarre and Fushigisou.

The Mandarin version of Ivysaur’s name is Mìaowācăo, which means ‘wonderful frog grass’ Somehow, not as funny as ‘Wonderful frog seed.’

Design: I adore Ivysaur’s design. They add enough to it to make it very distinct among its line without seeming like it’s purely a middleman. The flower bud is pretty, the leaves make it look much grassier, the sharpness to its face is just enough to keep it adorable while also giving it a clear tough look. The slight change to its color scheme is nice. I like the darker blue-ish green hue and the black pupils they added, plus it’s cute little ears.

Sprite-wise, what the hell is up with Red and Blue?

Green’s look like it got run over.

And all of the early back sprites look very odd, like they pushed the flower up way too high.

Silver makes him look like a super villain, which is awesome.

And Crystal makes it seem like he just ate a part of my face, which is…awesome?

Every other sprite looks pretty okay, except what is up with Black and White? Why does it look like its waving its leaves at me?

Shiny:

I like Shiny Ivysaur much better than Shiny Bulbasaur. It’s not my favorite shiny by a long shot, but the yellow flower looks nice, and that melded with the lighter green skin gives off a calm spring meadow vibe.

Cry/Voice: Ivysaur’s cry is rid of the Atari crash sound from Bulbasaur’s cry, which is nice. It also sounds a little higher pitched while ending on a deeper note, which makes it sound pretty cool, in my opinion.

Ivysaur isn’t in the anime enough for me to even remember what it sounded like (Mid-evo starters get no love in the anime. They even had the perfect opportunity to give a main character an Ivysaur, twice (Ash’s Bulbasaur refused to evolve – May’s evolved into Venusaur from Bulbasaur OFF-SCREEN, but nope. Pbt.), so I had to go check. Ivysaur’s voice is mostly just a slightly deeper and more gravelly sounding voice, which is fine, but not as nice to listen to as Bulbasaur.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Personally, Ivysaur is my favorite Pokemon – really only sharing that spot back and forth with Raichu. I can’t really explain when or how Ivysaur became my favorite, but I’ve always been a huge fan of it.

Ivysaur’s Dex entries are usually off-shoots of Bulbasaur’s, explaining that the bulb on its back has now turned into a flower bud. The bud absorbs nutrients from sunlight much in the same way the bulb on Bulbasaur’s back did, and it will start to bloom when it’s fully grown, IE ready to evolve. It’s also said to be close to blooming/evolving if Ivysaur starts spending much of its time laying in the sun.

Due to the large flower bud on its back, it can no longer stand on its hind legs (so it can’t look weird in Red and Blue….well, weirder.) and now its legs and trunk have started to become much stronger in response.

Finally, Ivysaur’s flower bud emits a very pleasant and sweet aroma, which is more just a note than anything else as it doesn’t appear to have a function.

Venusaur

Name: Venusaur’s name keeps the saur=lizard theme, and the ‘venus’ part is referencing the Venus Fly Trap, which I find odd because Venusaur’s flower in no way looks like a Venus Fly Trap. If anything, it always reminded me, oddly, of the Corpse Flower.

At least with Ivysaur, its leaves looks somewhat reminiscent of ivy leaves.

Venusaur’s name is alright, but it never hooked in with me that much.

In the original Japanese, it’s called Fushigibana, but which is a pun on the phrase Fushigi no hana – or Strange flower. I like Fushigibana. It brings back the bounce that Fushigidane had – in fact, I’d say it’s even bouncier.

Fun Fact: In French, it’s called Florizarre, which I find difficult to pronounce for some reason, and in Mandarin, it’s Miàowāhuā or Wonderful frog flower.

Design: I’ve never been a huge fan of Venusaur’s design. The flower doesn’t look all that great, the angles of the face, particularly the eyes, don’t sit well with me, and the wart-like bumps put me off, but if there are few Grass Pokemon that give off a feeling of the pure power of nature, it’s Venusaur.

In Bulbasaur’s Mysterious Garden, a Venusaur is basically portrayed as the king of this forest. Its voice even causes a tree to immediately blossom. This thing is huge, looks like a reptilian or amphibian powerhouse and, as we see in the manga, it looks like a sneaky Bulbasaur when it has its flower closed.

It’s still my least favorite of the three final evo Gen 1 starters, but I’ve gained a better appreciation for it over time.

Sprite-wise, we’re going pretty good in Red, Blue and Yellow, but Green looks like it was, again, run over by a truck.

The back sprites of the early games were just sloppy. You can barely tell what that is.

Other than Crystal’s animation looking like it’s winking at me,

and Black and White’s randomly getting its groove on,

the rest of the sprites are very good.

However, the back sprites of the most recent games….let’s just say, I don’t think Venusaur is meant to show so much ass.

Shiny:

I feel about the same way towards Shiny Venusaur as I do Shiny Ivysaur mostly because the changes are identical. It gains a light/lime green skin color with a yellow flower. Though, the flower for Venusaur is slightly more golden looking, making it seem slightly a little better than Ivysaur’s to me.

Mega:

Mega Venusaur was one of the first Megas I ever saw and….I was never a fan. They added more plumage, put a flower on its head, marked its face up a bit and put some vines in there. Sadly, I have not gained a better appreciation for Mega Venusaur over time. There are much better looking Megas out there, and, frankly, Venusaur’s somehow looks both cluttered and lazy at the same time. I prefer the regular version of Venusaur.

Cry/Voice: I’m okay with Venusaur’s cry, but it doesn’t have a deep enough tone or enough oomph for me to be impressed with it. Its anime voice is a huge step in the right direction. It’s deep toned, powerful and fitting. The only gripe I have is that it sounds a little goofy while saying ‘Venusaur’, particularly when yelling it.

Dex Entries and Backstory: Venusaur’s Dex entries are kinda boring because they say almost nothing different from Ivysaur’s except that the little flower bud is now a huge flower. Venusaur is also noted as being more powerful in summertime due to the energy it absorbs from the sun, but why can’t that be said of Ivysaur and Bulbasaur?

Other than that, the sweet scent emitted from the flower, stated in Ivysaur’s Dex entry, is said to soothe people and Pokemon. I prefer that the anime adds that it has somewhat of a power of nature, because that makes it seem a lot cooler.

Next entry: the Charmander line.

Amnesia Review

Rating: 3/10

Plot: A girl loses her memory after bumping into a fairy named Orion. She tries to get through her regular activities without alerting anyone, but soon finds out that she has a boyfriend, and hiding the secret from him proves difficult. She spends about a month with him before suffering from an accident which suddenly causes her to appear at the beginning of the same month, in a different world with a different boyfriend. The pattern keeps repeating over and over, reliving the same month with different boyfriends in slightly different worlds suffering from a terrible accident before repeating the pattern again. Will she regain her memory and find her real world?

Breakdown: I was going to review this show, but I FORGOT what I was gonna say! 😀

Oh fine.

Amnesia is simultaneously terrible and perfect.

Not a perfect show – oh god no, I mean a perfect adaptation of an otome game….to a degree.

Amnesia is indeed based on an otome or reverse harem dating sim game of the same name with a very similar plot. Like most dating sims, the player chooses who they end up dating by a series of choices. The story is tailored to your selections. When you do this, you choose a specific ‘route’ in the game and, after a certain point, this route can’t really be changed much.

There’s a severe problem in adapting dating sims to anime. Because the player can freely choose which guy or girl they go after, there’s usually no one you’re ‘supposed’ to be choosing – no specific route you’re ‘meant’ to take. That’s kinda the point. The player chooses who they want based on their own preferences.

Because of this, most dating sim adaptations go down one of two routes; Have the main character, IE The Player, go after all of them equally and turn out to be a cheating douchenozzle because of it (EX: White Album and School Days) or you can force a main relationship, pre-select a mixed ‘route’ if you will, and have the main character get into all sorts of wacky accidental-romantic situations that you won’t care about because you know the person will go with the guy or girl that was obviously selected from the get-go.

This show is ‘perfect’ in a way as an adaptation because they allow the main character to date all of the eligible bachelors without cheating or seeming like a whore. This is achieved through the magic of alternate realities.

The main character – and I know I’m avoiding saying her name, trust me, I’ll get to that in a minute – is bumped into by a fairy named Orion. The contact ends up giving her amnesia of her entire life. She deals with this for a bit and finds out that she’s dating a guy, but after a month goes by she nearly dies and ends up waking up in an entirely new reality, back at the start of the same month, where she’s dating a different guy. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So, it’s not cheating, because she’s living an entirely new life in an alternate reality! Yay space/time continuum!

That being said, this show really is just consecutive ‘routes’ played out and all of them are purely about the guy with a little peppering of how the main character affected their lives. At least until we get to Toma and Ukyo anyway.

On that note, we really have to address the characters and the various ‘routes’, but before we do I need to address the art because I’ll be including pictures.

The art is fairly unique, beautifully detailed and very pretty, but when it comes to the character designs, it’s almost too pretty. The eyes all have this weird thing going on where the colors are glaringly bright, and many characters have gradients in their eyes that make them two completely different (insanely bright) colors. It, in no way, looks natural and it’s incredibly distracting.

Then there’s the little light gradients of colors like pink and purple that usually go into the hair and clothes. I feel like most of these people are made of leaking highlighters.

One thing anime has taught me is tolerance for insanely stupid and illogical clothing choices. While the clothing isn’t too bad a lot of the time, there are some characters here and there that look more suited to be in an MMORPG than a mystery/reverse harem anime. A lot of black, bright neon colors like yellow, lime green and orange, lots of horizontal and vertical black stripes (on top of the neon colors, of course) and checker patterns for whatever reason. One character is quite literally covered in belts from head to toe.

LOOK AT HIM! How long does it take him to get dressed in the morning!? I counted, he has 25 BELTS ON HIS CLOTHES! And that’s not counting the latches on his boots which may or may not be belts as well. And there’s 10 belts merely on his left arm. I think there actually may be more hidden on his back! And this is the character most known for being incredibly logical!

Shin also wears two belts on his neck while one of the female characters wears at least six on her clothes as well.

At least Orion is supernatural, so he has an excuse for looking like a court jester’s LSD chugging nephew, but wow. Did the Joker open a Hot Topic or did the Shuffle Alliance lose their minds?

*cough* On that note, let’s get to the characters.

This is our main character. She starts out–…..Oh sorry hang on.

Uhm, I’m getting word that I put up a picture of a cardboard box instead of the main character. I’m almost certain that’s her….No?….Seriously? You’re right, the box is far more interesting. Sorry.

THIS is our main character. And she…..is the biggest….most obvious Mary Sue….I have ever seen in my entire life. You wanna know how I know that?

She has.…

 

 

 

No.…

 

 

 

 

 

Name.

You heard me. She is never given a name ever in the series. She also doesn’t have any in the game. She’s known only as ‘the heroine’ or ‘Heroine’ to make it more personal. She has a couple of fan names, but not an official one, and over the series she’s either called ‘Senpai’ or a pronoun.

She has quite literally no personality. She’s incredibly quiet and when she does speak she never raises her voice or puts any personality into her words. I get it, she has amnesia. Thus she wouldn’t be able to project as much of her original personality, but that doesn’t mean she should have zero personality whatsoever, and it doesn’t make her anymore enjoyable to watch. It gets unbelievably old really fast.

Watching paint dry on an unsalted cracker narrated by Ben Stein would be far more interesting than watching this chick for more than five minutes. I never thought lack of character would be so irritating, but Heroine pulls it off without a hitch. Bravo.

She has varying personalities and backstories in the different realities. However, the one we see has the same annoying as crap non-personality of barely ever speaking a complete sentence or speaking at all, never changing her tone, never getting angry or emotional, always speaking in such a soft and barely audible voice while hardly ever changing expression.

That very situation is why she gets an out in regards to the question of ‘Why do all of these guys like this completely boring and generic girl?’ It’s simply because they know her as someone who’s supposedly interesting.

I get annoyed by bitchy characters and jerks. I get annoyed by characters who act like idiots and think they’re funny, but I can usually ignore characters who have no personality. The main problem here is that the personality-less person is not usually the main friggin’ character. How can you even give a shit about what’s happening to her or who she really is or what her true memories really are when she doesn’t even seem to really care? How do you care about someone who, by all means, is just nothing? How do you care about her relationships with these guys if she shows no actual interest in any of them? If she just instantly ignores her previous reality’s boyfriend for the next? If she even thinks of anything at all. It is by far the biggest issue in this series.

For a rantier rant on Heroine, see my entry on her for The Salty Anime Challenge.

The guys in the series are based on card suits. In fact, their specific routes are labeled as such; diamond, hearts, spade, clubs/clovers and joker. Why?

The first boyfriend is arguably the most boring with Shin, the heart route. Shin’s somewhat abrasive and a bit closed off, but he’s still a kind person who is childhood friends with Heroine. The Heroine in the hearts reality is apparently a nice girl who joined a band and liked to sing, though apparently she wasn’t good at it and only recently got somewhat decent.

I’d like to point out that the Wiki notes that as her only skill. Something she’s only passable at and only exists in one reality is her character’s only notable skill. Geez, her blandness might be affecting her alter personalities.

Shin’s big backstory is that his dad killed a man when Shin was a kid. Because of that, he was bullied and most kids kept away from him either on their own or because of their parents. Only Heroine and his other childhood friend, Toma, stuck by him. Eventually Heroine and Shin started dating a few months prior to the start of the hearts route.

That’s pretty much it. I honestly don’t know why he’s seen as the most canon choice outside of Ukyo.

The second boyfriend is a little more interesting with Ikki, the spade route. Ikki is the resident bishie god that every girl adores. In fact, one of the few plot lines that runs through most of the stories is Ikki’s batshit insane ‘fan club’ who bully Heroine quite often either because she’s friends with Ikki or because she’s dating him, depending on the route. They do all sorts of awful things to her and she just takes it instead of confronting them or trying to retaliate or telling anyone because that would require her actually doing something.

Ikki’s story is that he wished on a star as a child that girls would love him and he soon found that his wish came true. He could instantly gain the heart of any woman that he wanted if they looked into his eyes. In fact, he wears sunglasses in his route sometimes to combat this ‘condition.’

Because of this ‘power’ he found he couldn’t get close to people either due to his popularity and rabid fangirls or because he figured anyone who did love him would just be under the power of his charms. He eventually just decided to screw it and dated a bunch of different girls, gaining the reputation of a playboy.

The Heroine in this route didn’t fall for his charms, which peaked Ikki’s interest as he’d never been rejected by a girl. He decided he’d do his damnedest to get her to love him. In the visual novel, this is apparently because she had a playboy father and didn’t like that attitude, but this is never stated in the anime.

Ikki’s personality is pretty bland. He’s a nice guy, polite and really calm, but that’s about it.

The third boyfriend is more interesting in terms of their actual relationship, which was a surprise, with Kent, the clubs. Kent is a very intelligent mathematics major who is pretty damn robotic, yet he still has eons more personality than Heroine. That is just amazing.

In my opinion, he’s actually the most interesting and entertaining characters in the show.

He’s very logical, blunt and cold, yet is still fairly kind and caring when he wants to be. His relationship with Heroine almost seems to be like a training session for Kent to be more human as he’s slowly learning how to act more normally and warmly to people the longer he’s with her.

He is completely clueless when it comes to their relationship, and he frequently does awkward things like constantly text her ‘good night’ and ‘good morning’ by her wishes without ever including any other messages, or sitting in complete silence in his office with Heroine for hours at a time while he studiously works because he noted she wanted to spend more time together. It’s not that he’s an asshole, he just legitimately doesn’t know what to do.

Sometimes this awkwardness is cute and funny, but other times it’s just awkward.

Heroine, in this reality, isn’t really well-explored. What a shock. She’s apparently not very upfront with her wishes in their relationship, and they frequently argued mostly in regards to his awkward and cold nature. Oddly enough, the amnesiac Heroine’s kindness or lack of yelling gives Kent hope that he can have a good relationship with the other Heroine as well when she jumps to another reality.

 

*exasperated sigh*…..Ahhhh…Tomaaaa….

Toma is the fourth ‘boyfriend’ and the prompt of the diamond route. Toma’s a pretty cool character in the few other times you see him in other realities, mostly the heart route, as he’s a pretty easy going and fun loving character. In fact, I was really looking forward to his reality, and he was in the front running for my favorite character. In this route, he’s still basically like that…for a bit.

In this route, Ikki’s fan club is out in full force because they don’t like how nice he is to Heroine. It’s hinted throughout the route that this reality’s Heroine is cheating on Toma with Ikki in secret and his fan club is getting agitated with her. They start pulling a bunch of awful pranks on her like filling her mailbox with garbage everyday and giving out her personal information online to shady people who seem to think she’s an escort or something. Toma has been protecting her from these pranks, but there’s a few issues here.

First of all, he is not really her boyfriend in this reality. Neither is Ikki. She just assumed Toma was her boyfriend here because she’s gotten used to the shtick and Toma rolled with it because he was in love with her, subsequently taking advantage of her amnesia. The Heroine in this reality is again childhood friends with Shin and Toma but liked Toma more because of how much he cared for her. In fact, she’d cry on purpose to get Toma to pay attention to her. However, she didn’t like the fact that he always seemed to like her as a friend or sister and never saw her as a woman, so she was asking Ikki in secret for advice on the matter.

Second, Toma becomes completely obsessed with ‘protecting’ her and keeping her away from Ikki.

How obsessed? Well, let’s see – he steals her cell phone and makes her believe that she broke it, takes advantage of her amnesia to pretend that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend, practically needs to be where she is at all times, makes several comments in a rapey vein about how, since he’s a man, he can’t control himself around her, practically demands that they be together 24/7, drugs her regularly to make her sleep so she’ll stay with him, oh and there’s that little thing about KEEPING HER IN A DAMN CAGE AGAINST HER WILL FOR DAYS! An actual cage! Look!

EMOTE, YOU REACTIONLESS SACK OF BRAN FLAKES!

This just….what the hell?! Oh and if that’s not bad enough, in addition to Heroine being so stupid that she hears Orion warning her about Toma drugging her and not to eat or drink anything he gives her and just decides to do it anyway without a thought, because she’s a massive dumbass, her response to all of this is just ‘aw, but he just wants to protect me. I’ll forgive him for everything even though he probably would’ve imprisoned me forever and maybe raped me if he never found the diary.’

He actually says lines like this:

“If I take all of you by force, will you see nothing but me? Or will you break?

If I can’t protect you, should I break you?”

But of course little miss ‘dumb as a brick with about as much personality’ doesn’t get angry at this at all. She doesn’t even seem scared. She has the same reaction that she does to everyfuckingthing. ‘Well, this is happening now.’

And you wanna know something else? Something really creepy? Toma is a fan favorite character….BECAUSE OF THIS. I thought it was in spite of this, but no, you can find all sorts of ‘Toma: The Obsessed’ fan stuff out there. What is wrong with you people!? I liked Toma a lot too, but that was before all of this stuff. Seek help!

I just realized that hat makes him look like a taxi driver.

WARNING: We’re touching upon stuff that actually matters to the plot now. While everything else is completely inconsequential to the overall story, this one actually does tie into everything. Spoilers, is what I’m getting at.

Ukyo is the final boyfriend and supposedly her original and ‘real’ world lover. He’s also the Joker of the suits. Ukyo is another string in all of the realities because he approaches the Heroine in all of them seemingly knowing that she’s jumping between realities. The final route takes place in his reality where he is dating her, but there’s a catch.

The reason for the reality jumping was that she was Ukyo’s lover but she died in Ukyo’s world. He wished to see her live past her death on August 26th, and his wish was granted by a passing god named Neil.

It’s really not entirely clear, but apparently she hops from world to world and lives out the month of August in another reality. Ukyo is allowed to jump as well with Neil’s help to watch her for that month, which grants his wish.

The problem here is that she still ‘dies’ in every reality…as does he? I honestly don’t get it. The point it is that they can’t coincide in the same reality. If they’re in a reality where Ukyo doesn’t belong, the world kills him and if they’re in Ukyo’s world, where Heroine doesn’t belong, the world tries to kill her….I think.

He spends the entire month warning her of the various dangers in his reality because he’s seen her die in those ways. He wants to keep her alive past midnight on August 26th because she’ll stop being killed by the world, but since she doesn’t belong there, Ukyo has to die and…he does, but he also lives past midnight and he dies and turns into light and that stops the jumping and–

Ukyo has another problem. Because of the jumping between realities and being killed so many times as well as seeing Heroine get killed over and over, he’s developed two personalities; the good or normal one and a murderous psychopath.

Ukyo’s pretty likable but it’s disappointing that the guy who is supposed to be Heroine’s actual lover in her original reality doesn’t get explored much. Ukyo’s a very kind and gentle person, who has a bit of Heroine fever in that he frequently frowns and apologizes a lot.

Because the Heroine does jack squat in terms of everything, our main plot doesn’t move in the least until episode 11, and we don’t get much information on what’s really going on until the huge exposition dump that is episode 12. And let me remind you of how useless she is by pointing out that she spends at least a month with each guy in each reality. Meaning a good four months go by and she still does absolutely nothing to regain her memories, figure out what’s causing the jumps or anything at all. She is the most benign, stagnant main character, or character period, I’ve ever seen.

That’s partially why I’m still so confused. Episode 12 slams you with all sorts of exposition, backstory and trying to tie up as many ends as possible that it’s overwhelming. It’s like they compressed what would’ve been the linear storyline and jammed it into one episode.

If there’s one final character we need to address, it’s Orion.

Orion is a fairy or spirit who bumped into Heroine, causing her to lose her memories. While he does his best to help her out in terms of regaining her memories and dealing with the various worlds that she visits, he spends much of the show being absent because he keeps being forced out of the worlds for reasons never revealed.

Orion’s a pretty likable kid, and he has to practically babysit Heroine in the various worlds because, again, she’s useless….and stupid. And as stupid as the outfits in this show are, I really like Orion’s for some reason. It’s just fun.

Art and animation: While the colors are bizarre to say the least and the clothes are just baffling, they are extremely well detailed and stylized. The backgrounds and various set pieces are also very well detailed. Practically everything is a pleasure to look at. The animation is good, but given that there’s little movement needed, it’s hard to see it really tested.

Music: The music was pretty good. While not horribly memorable, it was still nice to listen to and there are some BG tracks that are memorable.

Voice Acting: Japanese – Heroine’s VA got on my nerves because of how light and breathy she was probably directed to sound like the entire time. It’s not an awful voice, it’s how it’s presented. Everyone else was pretty good, especially Ukyo’s VA who bounces quite well between his two personalities.

Bottomline: Have no question, this is just pure indulgence for anyone who likes anime guy eye candy and wants an experience of a dating sim without that pesky game to get in the way. The plot itself is interesting but they do nothing with it until the very end. The majority of the show is just getting to know the stories of the various guys and sometimes it will touch upon the Heroine’s personality in that reality.

However, it’s not like that even really matters. It’s established that the characters are somewhat or drastically different between the realities so even if we know the various Heroines, they’re still not her in her reality and neither are the other guys. I guess, in a way, that’s good because that means Toma might not be a rapey dungeon lord, but that means that most of the episodes are completely pointless besides pasting your picture on Mary Sue McPaperpersonality and imagining you’re the one all these guys are pining after.

In the end, the story still doesn’t make much sense to me either way because of the horrific pacing with the actual plot.

Heroine makes this show a massive chore to watch. She is downright infuriating with how zero dimensional she is. And I swear if I see that dumb expression that she wears 99% of the time again, the only memory she’ll need to worry about is remembering the number for emergency services when I beat her in the face with a rock…..A rock that probably also has more personality and is much more interesting than her.

Guilty as charged, if it wasn’t for the eye candy I would’ve dropped it purely because of her.

Additional Information and Notes: Amnesia was directed by Yoshimitsu Ohashi, who barely does any directorial work, but directed some episodes of Code Geass R2, Trigun and the entirety of Witchblade.

It was written by Touko Machida, who also wrote Allison and Lillia, Boku wa Imouto—wha, really?! I can’t escape that damn show. Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, and Lucky Star.

Animation was produced by Brain’s Base, and it is currently licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.

Year: 2013

Episodes: 12

Recommended Audience: There’s some self-harm and one instance of suicide, some kinda dark moments, but no nudity, no sex though there are allusions to it, no real swearing, some minor violence. 10+

SSBS – Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode 16

SSBS CFV EP 16

Plot: Aichi, Kai and Kamui, dubbed team quadrifoglio for four leaf clover, prep to go to regionals, but Misaki is mysteriously missing. Shin explains that Misaki had something to do and that she’d meet them later that afternoon at the arena. Problem is, their first match is in the morning. Don’t worry, though. That’s what alternates are for. Right, Aichi?

Their first match is against the ‘mysterious’ team Black Magic, who all wear black cloaks and try to act dramatic and imposing. It’s Aichi vs. Kurosawa in the first round, and Kurosawa uses a deck very similar to Kai’s. This fact along with the pressure of the tournament start to get to Aichi. Will he be able to pull out a win, or will Team Q4 start off the tournament 0-1?

Breakdown: Whoo yeah, regionals! Whoo yeah, trope subversions!

While the first half of the episode is largely establishing specifics of the tournament as well as revealing who of the known characters happen to be there (it’s damn near everyone – including Nagisa, who is still a bratty bitch), the second half starts off the action of the tournament. It was to be expected that Misaki would go missing purely for the sake of forcing Aichi to cardfight right out the gate. I thought Misaki would be treated as the alternate, but apparently Aichi is.

Team Black Magic is a bit of a parody of those super mysterious cloaked teams that lots of gaming and tournament fighters tend to have. They try to act imposing and dark, but they’re obviously a bunch of goofballs in cloaks. I found them to be pretty funny, and I actually like that Morikawa is slowly starting to believe they’re real wizards for no reason after he heckled them.

They’re not to be shooed aside, either, because they are very skilled Vanguard players.

The match isn’t all that fantastic so far, except the cliffhanger is pretty good considering Alfred isn’t at full power and Aichi had to sacrifice all of his cards to get him to the level he’s at now, which means he’s completely without guards.

Also, you really don’t know if Aichi will win this match because this is a team tournament. If Aichi loses, it doesn’t matter much because it’s best of three. Meaning, he could very well lose.

This tournament utilizes the Motion Figure System we were introduced to before at the card shop, PSY, meaning we’re now jumping headfirst into the hologram fights. And this time there are two major differences.

First, the holograms on the Motion Figure System at PSY were very small, like game pieces. The fighters lorded over the arena like gods in the sky. Here, the holograms consume the entire play field. All of the monsters are monster-sized and the fighters themselves take the spot of the Vanguard. Also, all of the cards are shown in the hologram when played. The only times we ever really see the fighters full-out anymore is when we see them drawing triggers, and even that’s not consistent.

Second…..they get some sort of special (albeit cool-looking) gloves called Vanguard Fight Gloves. According to Shin, they all bear a crystal that comes from the planet Cray…..*cough* So are these kids meant to be really gullible or is Cray meant to be a real place in this series? Because you guys may have just bitchslapped me away from my views of ‘wow, this series is really realistic.’

The gloves enhance the fighter’s experience in battle by allowing the Vanguard to track their movements and mimic them, making it seem like they’re actually leading the battle as their avatars instead of it all just being in their imaginations.

I would think a full-body tracker suit would be needed for this, but whatever.

I’m….not sure how cool I am with this. Like I always thought with Yugioh, this would be really awesome if it were a real thing, but I am more partial to them just imagining the battlefields. In a weird way, you’re both adding to and taking away from the experience by making these holograms.

The movements are no longer what you imagine them to be – they’re being imposed on you. It’s like how people are never happy with book adaptations because the TV show or movie isn’t matching what they imagined it was like. Each person has their own internal view on how things look, and if the vision is imposed on you, it makes you feel slightly disconnected.

At the very least, these holograms still aren’t as ridiculous as Yugioh holograms are, like when they induce pain or are seemingly so real you can stand on them.

….Or maybe not.

In the manga, from what the Wiki states, the gloves cause pain to the user whenever they take damage. Though they seem to only be used in conjunction with special systems and an antagonist team called Foo Fighter. Still, though.

Like I mentioned some episodes ago, the realness of the show made audience members connect with it better, too, because those overblown shounen gaming anime made you feel disappointed whenever you played the real thing and it wasn’t nearly as fun or exciting. Maybe that view is silly, though, I dunno.

…..I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a pair, though. I don’t care if I don’t have any Vanguard cards – those are cool gloves.

Rating: 7/10

Next time, the match between Kurosawa and Aichi concludes. Can Aichi and his paladins pull off a victory?

Final note: Apparently, fighters aren’t allowed into nationals unless they have a pair of these gloves…..I worry for a future ‘oh god, we can’t enter the tournament because we don’t have some superfluous item we’ll inevitably find or replace’ episode. I hate to keep making comparisons to Yugioh, but they did this, like, twice.