Episode One-Derland: Fantasista Dolls

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Plot: Uzume is a former card tournament champion who has recently entered middle school. On the train to school one day, she feels her bag being jossled. She first believes someone took something from her bag, but it turns out that someone actually placed something within it – a strange card reader.

At school, she panics since she believes someone is after her, and she hears a voice asking to sign an entry form in order to gain the voice’s assistance against the threat. She agrees, and a girl named Sasara emerges. Sasara is a fantasista doll – a virtual being with various powers based on equipment. She, as well as the equipment, are kept in cards until they’re called upon by their master, and Uzume is now Sasara’s master.

Uzume gets attacked by a fellow student who also has a fantasista doll and is apparently after one of the cards in her possession. Once Sasara is properly equipped, she manages to defeat her.

Later, Sasara introduces her to the other fantasista dolls in Uzume’s possession; Madeleine, Katia, Shimeji and Akari. She agrees to help protect them and be a proper master, even if she has a lot to learn about what that really means.

Uzume suddenly gets a call from a strange man wearing a monocle and a suit, named Lord Rafflesia, who gives her a bouquet of flowers and reveals he was the one who gave her the dolls. He wants her to become a card master and ‘become that which is like a dream.’

Breakdown: I’m going to describe this show the best way that I can. It’s a monster battling, gaming, magical girl anime. There. That sums it up.

I can’t really make good heads or tails of this as an intro. Uzume is a former card champion, but of what card game we’re never told. Someone mentions a game called Magic: To Gather, which might either be a translation error or a direct reference to Magic: The Gathering. Either way, we’re not really told what game she used to play nor how to play it.

As for her personality, she’s nice enough and a little on the dense side, but she’s also pretty whiny and a bit of a fraidy cat. Seriously, she ran screaming and hid only to take lengthy orders, which amount to a contract, with a strange voice in her head that promises to protect her is because she heard a noise while changing in the locker room and felt someone pat her back. Instead of turning around to see who it was after maybe having a brief freakout, she instead just bolts through the school without looking back and hides in the closet.

Sasara is a bit rough, but seems to mean well enough.

We learn absolutely nothing about her enemy nor her fantasista doll, and we also don’t really learn any real character traits of the other four dolls outside of their clear stereotyped personality traits such as big boobed responsible one, loli and goth loli.

Plus, Lord Rafflesia could not be more Tuxedo Mask-ish. Not only does he have the same mannerisms, flowery speech and pose of Tuxedo Mask, but he also uses flowers quite a bit and practically has Tuxedo Mask’s theme song. Listen to it and call me crazy.

We kinda learn how the battles with the fantasista dolls work. You summon a doll from a card and modify them by equipping them with fashionable outfits that grant them various powers. For instance, the enemy fantasista doll used shuriken while Sasara’s gave her powerful fencing abilities.

When a doll is defeated, you get a card from them that gives the card master various powers. For example, Uzume’s won card was a repair card which, conveniently, allowed her to fix everything the dolls broke during their battle.

I will admit, having a group of people fight for you instead of a bunch of monsters is interesting, even if the fanservice-y outfits being the equipment is a little meh. Plus, I’m a sucker for both magical girl anime and gaming anime, so this is basically designed to force me into watching it.

I pretty much enjoyed the first episode, but I will admit it did somewhat of a sloppy job setting up the plot and ‘game.’

Art and animation-wise, it’s very generic shoujo style art, though it is pretty detailed. The animation is pretty good as well.

Music wise, this was a weak spot for me. The OP and ED are as generic as they come and the BG music was completely unmemorable.

Verdict:

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This will probably be a short shoujo step-by-step given the subject matter, but it seems like it’s worth a look-see if you want a girlier gaming anime or a magical girl show with a gaming slant.

Recommended Audience: The girls default outfits don’t leave much to the imagination and there’s a couple panty shots. There’s a tiny bit of blood, but it’s just a scratch. 6+


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Yu-Gi-Oh Episode 1 Sub/Dub Comparison

YGO Ep 1
Permanent marker smiley faces create a bond that not even the forces of darkness can break!…..Literally..But that’s later.

Plot: Yugi and his friends love playing the card game Duel Monsters, but when the world champ, Seto Kaiba, overhears that Yugi’s grandpa has a super rare card at his game shop, he believes it to be the card he’s been searching for for ages. When he arrives, lo and behold, it’s the Blue Eyes White Dragon he’s been looking for. However, Yugi’s grandpa, Solomon, won’t sell it or trade for it because it’s so precious to him.

Kaiba later kidnaps Yugi’s grandpa (because logical reactions) and duels him for the card. Solomon falls ill after losing to Kaiba, and Yugi goes to save him. Kaiba rips up the Blue-Eyes to prevent it from ever being used against him since Kaiba already has three Blue Eyes, and Duel Monsters’ decks can only have three copies of one card in a deck. He challenges Yugi to a duel as his grandpa goes to the hospital. Yugi struggles with Kaiba for a long time, believing he’ll lose. Will one card be the difference between triumph and defeat?

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I don’t completely understand Kaiba’s reasoning for kidnapping Yugi’s grandpa. I know he wanted the Blue Eyes, but why did he want it so badly?

1) It’s pretty clear his Grandpa was never going to sell it to anyone or trade it.

2) He also didn’t show a desire to use it in a duel.

3) Even if it was ever used against him, he has three Blue-Eyes – he has a huge advantage. In addition, tearing up a card doesn’t mean it can’t be used in anymore duels. I mean, maybe in duels using the holograms (because the system probably couldn’t ‘read’ the card that way) but it’s still usable. If you wanted it gone so badly, you should’ve burned it.

4) Why destroy it anyway? Free backup Blue-Eyes in case anything happens to the three he has.

Why does Joey mention that Yugi has the Millennium Puzzle when he’s listing off reasons as to why he can win? He doesn’t know at this point that that thing has magical powers to help him win duels, so basically he’s saying “Hey Yugi, you can win this card game because you have a giant necklace!” In the original version he just talks about how Yugi helped change him from a fight-loving thug.

In order to make it a surprise that Kaiba has the other three Blue-Eyes, they omit the part of Kaiba’s speech before the duel where he mentions that a deck can only have three copies of the same card, and he destroyed the fourth because he couldn’t use it and didn’t want it used against him.

This season is well-known for the utmost disregard of the rules of the game. In the Yu-Gi-Oh game, each player starts out with 8000 life points. What you can summon depends on how many stars the monster has. If a monster has four stars or below, it can instantly be summoned. If it has five to six stars, it requires one monster to be sacrificed from the field. If a monster has seven or more stars, it requires two sacrifices. In this season, incredibly powerful monsters can be summoned from the start and each duel requires only 2000 life points on each player. You’d think this would make duels go faster…..Silly you! :3

To be honest, though, I like this season. Sure the rules are used as toilet paper and a lot of the moves make no sense, but that makes duels kinda exciting and more fun.

You also hardly ever see direct attacks in this season. In the game, if you have no monsters on the field but your opponent does, they can attack your life points directly causing damage equal to the number of attack points a monster has.

Take the duel in this episode for example. Surely Kaiba has other monsters that he can summon from his hand when Saggi is on the field. If he did, Yugi’s one monster per turn defense would fail, and he’d win in a matter of a couple of turns, yet he doesn’t. In addition, it doesn’t seem to matter if you have more than one monster out. If your opponent has one defense monster, I guess you’re barred from using the other monster to attack.

Kaiba states that the Swords of Revealing Light card only affects monsters that are currently on the field during activation. A new monster won’t be under the same spell. This is entirely wrong – new monsters are just as affected by Swords as the others.

Subbed, dubbed, that friendship marker smiley face thing is still insanely cheesy.

Exodia comes out of a pentagram in the original. They added more lines in the dubbed version to avoid controversy, though it makes more sense to use the regular star design since it has five points and Exodia uses five cards/parts….Also, technically, that’s far from a Satanic pentagram, but whatever.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Changes: I honestly don’t understand why they chose to change only some of their names. 4Kids changes names a lot in order to Americanize their shows, but only a handful are changed in Yu-Gi-Oh.

Katsuya Jonouchi is changed to Joey Wheeler, Hiroto Honda is Tristan Taylor and Anzu Mazaki is Te’a Gardner. Yugi’s last name is altered in a weird way. His last name is Muto, but it’s ‘changed’ to Moto for the dub, for some reason.

Pegasus also had a slight name change. In the original, he’s Pegasus J. Crawford. In the dub he’s Maximillion Pegasus. This is yet another name change I just don’t get. Why change it so that his first name is his last name? Either way, both the original and dub characters call him Pegasus. Though, I do have to say, at least the dub makes Pegasus’s parents look better. Max is a fairly normal first name and you can’t do much about your surname. His Mom and Dad must’ve hated his guts to name him Pegasus….

Entire Show Edit: The dubbed version never shows the title cards.

Entire Show Edit: The opening and ending themes have been replaced for the entire run and the next episode previews have been removed……Though, to be completely honest, I prefer the dub version’s better, at least for this season. Later seasons get better themes.

Entire Show Edit: All of the cards had to be edited for the American release to not look like the TCG cards (Trying to avoid product placement in kid’s shows and whatnot, though I could never make heads or tails of the actual rules involved with that.) Instead of showing them as they look as the real-life TCG cards, they only show the picture, color, attack and defense points. This causes a lot of confusion during the series as the characters seem to read cards several times, but there’s no text to read. It also makes you wonder how anyone knows what these cards do.

Entire Show Edit: Though Kaiba is still an asshole in the series, he’s is much more respectful in the original version. Dub!Kaiba slings insults and treats people like crap while original!Kaiba is more subtly condescending and uses honorifics.

Entire Show Edit: As typical 4Kids fashion, a lot of the music is replaced and there is hardly ever any silence.

I’ve brought this up before and I might as well do it again, dubbed Yugi never sat well with me. I can partly understand if his friends don’t realize his eyes, demeanor and height change when he duels, kinda….But Yami’s voice is so deep compared to Yugi’s in the dub that it’s completely unbelievable that they wouldn’t notice that.

In the Japanese version, Yami sounds just like Yugi only using a deeper, smoother voice. It’s a very subtle change.

Don’t get me wrong, Dan Green does an incredible job as Yami, and I commend him in his range because he does not sound like Yugi at all, but the change is too drastic for me …Also, why is it they all seem to notice when Yugi gets encompassed by light but no one bothers building on that?

Next episode, Pegasus and Yami have a showdown through a video tape. Will the tracking need to be adjusted during the duel!? Tune in and find out!

….Previous Episode


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