AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 9: Explosion! Yo-Yo Ultimate Technique/Manga Chapters 48-49 (Notes on 11-12)

Plot: Jonouchi is showing off his awesome yoyo skills, but he’s halted when a boy named Nezumi rains on his parade. He hates yoyos because a group of thugs with yoyos attacked him the previous day. Jonouchi and Yugi declare that they’ll help him get revenge on the yoyo-ing thugs, but quickly find out that it’s a trap laid by Jonouchi’s old comrade turned enemy, Hirutani.

He wants Jonouchi back on his side, and he’s willing to do anything to achieve his goals, including trying to kill Yugi.

Breakdown: In typical fashion, anything involving Miho is 100% anime exclusive. This week, she expresses interest in the yoyo, but Honda tells her not to do it because he’s afraid she’ll…get hurt and die?

However, Honda is actually in the first scene where Jonouchi is messing around with his yoyo. Like always, manga-wise, though, he’s just kinda there. In the anime, he catches Jonouchi’s yoyo to make him stop. In the manga, Nezumi made him stop by yelling at him and explaining his story.

Nezumi doesn’t seem to exist in Season Zero, unless he’s that guy who gets attacked in the cold open, but he doesn’t look a thing like he does in the manga if it is meant to be him.

Let me get this out of the way, yes, the concept of this story is super goofy even for Yu-Gi-Oh. The concept of a yoyo gang is about as silly as the bicycle gang in Pokemon, but at least they were plausible, especially since they were on a stretch of road that was meant only for bikes. A gang that mainly uses yoyos as a weapon? I mean, yeah they’d hurt if they hit you, but they’re certainly not the most efficient weapons in existence – most notably because, once they hit their target they usually stop spinning, meaning you have to manually yank them back and manually wind the string back up to throw it again.

Can someone please explain to me why they live in a world where elementary school students are whipping out switchblades and uzis but one of the most feared near adult age gangs in town wields a bunch of yoyos?

Since Nezumi doesn’t exist in this version, the reason Jonouchi wants to go out to challenge the yoyo gang is because they’ve just been harassing people in general and he wants to put a stop to it. I kinda don’t mind this change because Nezumi gets away at the end of this arc in the manga and ultimately vanishes entirely. It’s clear that he was a willing participant in this, not threatened or blackmailed into luring them down there, so it’s a little disappointing that he never got comeuppance.

A very short scene of Yugi at home worrying about Jonouchi is not present in the manga.

From this point until the commercial break, pretty much everything is adapted from chapters 11-12, which I covered in the review of that arc. If you haven’t already, please go read that review. Not a ton is changed between versions, but it’s still a good idea to read that and check back here afterward.

This is still technically in regards to chapters 11-12, but Honda interrogates one of the Rintama gang members outside of the bar before going in. That’s not present in the anime. Additionally, when Yugi and the gang entered the bar, they found the gang member that hit Yugi on the ground, but Jonouchi is nowhere to be found. Fearing the worst, they all split up, but Yugi finds Jonouchi by asking the Puzzle to help him.

In the anime, they ask the bartender what’s up. He tells them that, if the gang is not at the bar, they’re likely either in a fight on the streets or in the warehouses, since that seems to be their base. The bartender notices that they’re Domino High students and tells them to avoid the Rintama gang because they recently coerced a Domino High student into joining them.

Yugi proclaims, out loud, that the bartender must be talking about Jonouchi and that he really was forced into joining back up with the gang.

Then possibly one of the stupidest things they ever could have done happens. Honda lies to the girls…again…and says Jonouchi is probably just hanging out with old friends. Miho happily agrees and says he’ll probably be back in school tomorrow. Anzu also agrees and says he’ll be back to swing around his silly yoyo like he was before. Then they leave.

……Are Anzu and Miho braindead? Are they deaf? They’ve been right next to Honda and Yugi during this whole conversation. They just heard the bartender say that the gang coerced a Domino High student to join them and Yugi proclaiming Jonouchi was forced into being a gang member….but Honda brushes it off like he’s just hanging around with old buddies and Miho and Anzu are like ‘Oh phew, that’s a relief. Let’s go home!’

Even if they, for reason, ate up this excuse without question, are they also forgetting that they saw Jonouchi being entirely complacent with the gang beating up some poor guy, the fact that Jonouchi said he didn’t know Yugi and the others and that he both said and did nothing when one of the gang punched Yugi in the face? You’re either ignoring or forgetting ALL of that and are just expecting him to be at school tomorrow like nothing happened? What the hell is wrong with you two?

The only reason I can see for them doing this is that they wanted the girls out of the picture so they could head to the warehouses and get Jonouchi back, but it was entirely unnecessary. What was wrong with the manga version where they split up to find Jonouchi and Yugi manages to find them with the Puzzle? If you need Honda to be there in the anime, just have them split up in teams of two and tell them to not engage with Hirutani and the gang without getting the others first, as they did in the manga.

This scene just serves to make Anzu and Miho look like oblivious idiots and all for the purpose of ‘gurlz kant b envolvd n sumthing soooo danguriss!!’ Even though they have been involved in a multitude of dangerous things, so this just seems pointless even in canon.

When Honda and Yugi arrive at the warehouse, they try to convince Jonouchi to come with them, explaining that they know he was forced to join the gang, but Jonouchi stands firm against their claim and says he’s with them by choice and is sick of his life adhering to rules and pretending to be their friend.

Honda presents the band to Jonouchi, pleading with him to remember their friendship. Jonouchi drops the band on the floor, steps on it and punches Honda in the stomach.

The next day, Honda and Yugi head to Rintama High. Honda challenges Hirutani to a fight – if he wins, Jonouchi goes free. Hirutani agrees and whips out his yoyo….his yoyo with retractable spikes…. Ya know, between this episode’s gimmick and the last episode with the fully realistic adult woman marionette being controlled by a dude behind a curtain with two pieces of wood, I’m really just finding my footing in the marvelous insanity of this series. I’m not kidding, it’s a hilariously fun ride when it’s not being miserable.

By the way, Hirutani doesn’t even have his own yoyo in the manga.

Honda gets felled rather quickly, and when Hirutani throws his yoyo for a final blow, Yugi steps in the way. His Puzzle deflects the yoyo back at Hirutani, cutting his face.

Hirutani is not happy about this, so he ties up Yugi in the warehouse and has his goons relentlessly wail on Yugi. In the manga, both Jonouchi and Yugi (With Nezumi) had entered the warehouse and when Yugi got jumped they literally hung him by his Puzzle. Jonouchi had to concede to Hirutani or else Yugi would die.

Jonouchi enters the warehouse and tells Yugi once more that he shouldn’t keep pursuing him. With a flick of his yoyo (….That sounded dirty) he seemingly tries to attack Yugi, but ends up hitting one of the guys who was beating him up instead. Jonouchi challenges Hirutani for going back on their deal. He said if Jonouchi joined their gang, he’d leave his friends alone, but now that he’s broken that promise, Jonouchi wants to take Hirutani down.

The other gang members surround Jonouchi with their yoyos, which is also what happens in the manga. I assume all of their yoyos are metal and not plastic, so they’d definitely hurt being hit by them, but in each version Hirutani’s acting like it’d be absolute torture to walk through the hail of yoyos. Yeah, it’d hurt, but again, once they’d hit their target, they’d fall. And, really, how insulting would that be to their friendship? “Yeah, I love ya, Yug, but I ain’t getting smacked with a few yoyos to save yer life. Deuces!”

Admittedly, it is extremely sweet when, in both versions, Jonouchi braves the yoyo storm and tries to protect Yugi, but you really have to focus on the fact that he’s being nearly beaten to death and ignoring the fact that the weapon of choice is a bunch of yoyos. The manga is more dramatic and sweet, in my opinion, though.

In the manga, Jonouchi saves Yugi by giving him a boost and allowing the Puzzle’s rope to gain enough slack to be removed from the hook. Jonouchi then asks to borrow the Puzzle and spins it in front of the yoyos, getting the strings tangled up with the Puzzle and stopping their assault. He then takes their yoyo strings and hooks them up to the hanging hook, lifting them up in the air by their fingers, which is insanely dangerous, but also quite easy to get out of.

In the anime, Hirutani tries to shoot his spiked yoyo at Jonouchi, which gives Jonouchi the opening he needs to throw his own yoyo, deflecting Hirutani’s yoyo and….somehow…Jonouchi’s yoyo slices the rope and frees Yugi.

Sooo….is Jonouchi’s yoyo super sharp or is this just stupid?

Once Yugi is freed, Jonouchi is knocked down by a swift strike to the back of his head via one of the bigger gang members. This finally prompts Yugi to transform into Yami. Jesus, Yami, what took you so long? It took him the same amount of time to transform in the manga, but still, why did it take so long?

In both the anime and the manga, the other gang members chase after Yami, who has escaped to the roof. Yami reveals that he also, for some reason, has a yoyo, and he has some rad skillz with it.

Shadow Game (Kinda)

Yami challenges the thugs to a game. Whoever is the last one on the roof wins. Yami runs from the gang, simply grazing the roof with his yoyo as he runs around and dodging the strikes of the gang, who are also frequently hitting the roof when they miss Yami. They corner Yami on the roof and proclaim that they’ve won. However, Yami turns the table on them and directs their attention to the roof below their feet. It’s rusted and old metal, easily punctured with a yoyo, but it will soon crumble beneath their weight. Yami is supported on the corner beam of the warehouse, but the thugs aren’t so lucky and fall through the roof.

This game is exactly the same as it is in the manga….and yes, it’s just as silly. I mean, if the roof were THAT weak, they never should have been able to stand on it in the first place, let alone run around like it’s a basketball court.

Meanwhile, Jonouchi challenges Hirutani to a fist fight. Jonouchi is getting the better of Hirutani, but he plays dirty and throws BROKEN GLASS INTO JONOUCHI’S EYES. Geez. You’d think that would leave Jonouchi with lasting vision problems and maybe even blindness, but nope. He’s temporarily blinded but perfectly fine by the end of the chapter/episode…

In the manga, after Jonouchi struck Hirutani, causing him to hang from the ledge, Jonouchi was just fine. However, in the anime, he also falls for some reason. Honda saves him by throwing him the band, which he used to hang from the hook and return to the ledge. That sure was necessary.

In both versions, Jonouchi uses ‘Walk the dog’ (Or Jonouchi’s version “Let the Dog Out.”) on Hirutani’s fingers, causing him to fall. By the way, in Season Zero, you can clearly see that Jonouchi’s yoyo has ‘Made in USE’ written on it. Quality products always come from the United States of ‘Erica. (In the manga, it says ‘Made in the USA’)

In the manga, Jonouchi reunites with Yugi and proclaims that he’ll kick Nezumi’s ass if he ever sees him again and that’s the end of the chapter. In the anime, he thanks Honda for saving his life and Yugi happily returns affirming that Jonouchi would never change like that.

Meanwhile, back in school, Jonouchi tries his variant on ‘Around the World’ again, but this time he does it so fast that the wind causes Anzu and Miho’s skirts to fly up. They get pissed and Jonouchi runs off. The end.

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Well, that was a bit complicated to compare, but as a whole….The manga does both stories better than the anime’s combination of the two. It’s to be expected. They’re not only merging four chapters but two stories into one episode, but it’s not just that. The little changes that they made that didn’t need to happen just made the story worse off, if you ask me.

That scene with Anzu and Miho is still irking me, and, overall, I feel like Honda’s presence was poorly written in this entire episode. It’s like they’re having Honda and Yugi struggle for the spot of Jonouchi’s best friend but no one will point out that Yugi’s obviously winning. It’s like they adapted the manga chapter pretty well and then the anime writers wrote on the script ‘Oh yeah, and Honda’s there too.’

The backstory they made for Jonouchi and Honda was just stupid. He passed off a band to Jonouchi in a track meet, which he was meant to do, Jonouchi won and they’ve been buddies ever since?….But they also don’t seem to be all that close? In the anime, Honda may fight people if need be, but he’s not a fellow ex-bully like Jonouchi. He’s a rule-abiding, strict goodie-two-shoes. The only thing we really know about Honda’s past is that he aimed to be class president but didn’t get the role.Those two would never hang out pre-Jonouchi’s attitude change, but yeah, I totally believe that pink track band is a huge emotional symbol of their friendship.

In the manga, it makes more sense because Honda is an ex-thug like Jonouchi and hung around with him because he liked picking fights. He’s still a superfluous character, if you ask me, but his story makes more sense. In neither story does Honda play a big role outside of explaining Jonouchi’s family situation, for the most part, and Jonouchi’s past with Hirutani, and that’s all he really needs to do.

Instead, he’s jammed in here like broken glass in Jonouchi’s non-blind eyes. Reading the manga alongside watching the anime really makes that moment when Honda saves Jonouchi stick out like a sore thumb as something that felt like it was tacked on. Did he even need that band? Wouldn’t it have been easier and more realistic to just grab the hook itself? How did he have time to both catch it and loop it on the hook without having time to just grab the hook? Would it even support his weight? How did Honda even throw it up that high? It’s a frickin’ band of fabric.

In addition, the more emotional moments were better in the manga, and I liked that it was moreso a great moment for Jonouchi and Yugi’s friendship instead of having Honda butt his nose into it. Like I said before, Honda can exist and Jonouchi can have more than Yugi as a friend, but Honda doesn’t have any purpose being as prominent as a character as he is in the anime.

I know this tirade seems contradictory given my statement in the review of chapters 11-12 where I praise them for giving Manga!Honda more story to work with, but that’s mostly because his presence so far in the manga has been to be set dressing. It’s nice to see him get a bit of an actual role in their dynamic, but as I’ve pointed out here, he doesn’t need to be anymore prominent than that. If Hanasaki, an objectively much better character, has to be dumped almost entirely, Honda can be mostly in the background too. Either that or give him more independence and agency as a character. Stop making him entirely reliant on those around him.

The yoyos make this whole story rather goofy, of course. I do think yo-yos are a fun weapon idea, and I’ve seen before in Yu Yu Hakusho and HunterxHunter, but there they were enhanced/created with supernatural abilities, not bought at Target in a three-pack for $9.99. They really easily could have just adapted the first story and been all the better off for it. It’s a much more dramatic story, and it’s pretty much the one they adapted outside of all the yoyo stuff and the psuedo-shadow game.

Or, here’s a thought, maybe try keeping both stories. Hirutani’s return, barring the silly yoyos, was well done. We needed a reprise for this storyline where Jonouchi actually comes out on top over his former comrade. The first story provided the backbone and the last story provided the payoff. It’s not like they don’t have filler episodes they can lose to squeeze it in there.

Another thing I didn’t care for was the way Jonouchi acted. In the manga, he has to struggle to restrain himself when Yugi is punched. He doesn’t even make it more than 10-15 minutes before he punches the guy who did it. That punch was more than enough to break their deal, and Jonouchi knew that.

In the anime, Yugi gets punched by the same gang member and he deals with it, even though that should have broken their deal. He socks Honda in the stomach, sending him to the ground and thinks nothing of it, which makes no sense. I get that he’s trying to convince them that he’s bad and to leave him alone, but he’s trying to save his friends from getting hurt and here he is punching one of them.

Next time….

Final Notes: Hirutani never once makes an appearance in the 2000 anime, nor is he referenced, but he does make an appearance in one of the video games. And when I found this out, I was kinda floored.

Hirutani is in the Dungeon Dice Monsters video game for the Game Boy Advance, only his name in that version, in the American release, is Diesel Kane. I love the Dungeon Dice Monsters video game, and I actually remembered that dude. It’s really cool that he’s not just some generic thug made for the game, but I wish they had explored this dynamic more in the actual game. All I remember and all the Wiki says is that the guy has a vendetta against Jonouchi, but you never find out what it is.

All of his gang members, both from the taser story and the yoyo story, are also in the game but they’re never given names.

Coincidentally, Nezumi also exists in the DDM game……..And his name is changed to…..Nibbles. Look, I get that both names are a reference to West Side Story, but that name is just as silly as a gang using yoyos as weapons.

Apparently, a ton of manga-exclusive characters are in DDM with funny names. For example, the escaped convict from the Burger World story is Jackpot, the old bald guy who owned the store Mokuba stole a Capsule Monsters machine from is Egger Baldwin, Kokurano (fortune-telling character we’ll meet later) is named Fortuno,Kujirada is named Beluga (Get it?! Because whale! He’s fat!….Again!) Sozoji is named Fender Shrill, and Hanasaki is named Lint Greendale…….LINT. His name is LINT! Hasn’t this kid been through enough without naming him Lint?

….Also, Yugi’s mother’s in DDM, which I didn’t remember at all. She doesn’t get a goofy name, but she is merely called ‘Yugi’s Mother.’ Like, guys, I assume she has a real name. At the very least, she’s Mrs. Muto…..


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective: Episode 13 (39 for the Dub) Omochan’s Christmas | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: It’s Christmastime! Genshi, Tokio and Sora head to 17th century France (on Christmas Eve) to find Omochan, a space-time monster who, fittingly for the season, looks like Santa and has the power to turn anything into a toy or ride. Omochan is trying to help young Maria find her mother after being separated from her four years ago. Can Genshi and the others help Maria and create a Christmas miracle?

————————————————

Hey, hey, hey, Saban’s getting into the episode swap game!

This is, obviously, a Christmas special. At the time, it was merely late April when this was set to air in America, so Saban simply plucked it from the lineup, aired it on December 17th and moved on to episode 14. The airing of this episode came rather conveniently because Flint the Time Detective would end its American run on November 5th, meaning there wasn’t too horrible of a gap between the series finale and this Christmas special.

Still, that means that, once again, our numbering system is off. Hooray.

Title Change: Omochan’s Christmas is changed to Caveman’s Christmas.

Holy crap. The angles on the kids when the shots only focus on them makes the tree look like it’s massive.

Uh….Sora tells Genshi that Santa is a messenger from God who gives gifts to all the children once a year…..I mean, yeah, Saint Nick….but…uh…I’ve never heard straight up Santa Claus be defined like that. The dub doesn’t mirror this.

Genshi asks what presents are and if they’re tasty. Fed up with Genshi asking if every single thing is tasty, everyone else answers annoyed that, yes, presents are tasty. In the dub. Flint asks if he’ll get a present too since he’s been a good boy. Then everyone, for some reason, responds annoyingly that he will. Flint still stays on the original track by hoping the present will be pizza.

The original doesn’t mention anything about mistletoe or eggnog, nor does it claim that Rei is allergic to mistletoe and finds eggnog too rich.

Why is Dr. Goodman reacting before the alarm goes off in the dub? In the original, the alarm is going off before he reacts.

The screen getting all staticy before showing Elfin is removed, I assume to make it easier to show the shot without the name plate.

Speaking of which, name plate removal.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

What a coinkydink that a space-time monster that basically acts as Santa Claus makes its appearance right at Christmastime.

They insert a shot of Flint taking the card before the kids run off.

They also insert a shot of the kids jumping on the time cycle after the shot of the kids running, which makes the scene look weird because suddenly the Christmas tree is gone.

When the time cycle activates, they insert a couple of shots of Flint, Goodman, Tony and Sarah talking for some reason.

Gotta say, out of all of the space-time monsters so far, Omochan seems like he’d be the one I’d most want as a pet. Turning literally everything into either a ride or a toy? Sign me up!

They insert a shot of Pterry talking before cutting back to the girl.

Okay….I get that they’re trying to make Elfin sound like the real Santa Claus by giving him that deep voice, but HOLY HELL STOP IT. That voice couldn’t not match that body any more. His voice in the original isn’t that great either, but it’s much more fitting than what Saban gave him.

When the girl says the same thing Sora said before about Santa being a messenger of God, they change it this time to asking if Elfin is an angel, which is basically the same thing so I’ll concede and say they left it alone.

Wow the animation on Genshi’s head is so craggy and weird when they’re shaking the empty bag.

For some reason, they add a flip screen transition between Sarah and Flint realizing the bag is empty and Flint chasing Sarah.

Name Change: Maria is changed to Monique……..*massive shrug*

Holy crap. Not only are they keeping all the religious imagery and discussions, but they also kept in the fact that Maria/Monique’s mother went missing during a war four years ago. However, unlike the original, they specify that the war was the ‘last French civil war.’ Considering this episode takes place in 1651, that would mean she went missing in 1648. As best as my research could lead me, I’m assuming they mean she was lost in The Fronde, which was a series of French civil wars that broke out as a result of the Franco-Spanish war in 1648.

Name…Given?: Maria’s mother is never named in the original. In the dub, she’s named Simone.

Maria’s mother went off to check for a safe escape route when she went missing. In the dub, she went off to find food.

Yes, Saban, add a slide whistle noise to Monique turning her head as we’re discussing her praying diligently for her probably dead mom to return to her. That’s not jarring and stupid or anything.

They insert a shot of Flint and Elfin crying after Sarah hatches the plan to go back in time to retrieve Monique’s mom.

They cut to a closeup shot of Pterry as he talks about the dangers of changing the timeline (Uh, dude….dude, really? I know you guys erase the memories of everyone when you leave, but you definitely don’t leave things untouched.)

Once Flint and the others leave, they repeat and reverse the shot of Monique and Elfin hugging and talking to extend the scene.

They extend the time travel shot to show them exiting the portal.

Flint: *at the scenes of war* “How could people do that to each other?” ………….You’re a caveman…………

See, the whole thing with pointless line changes like, say, turning ‘I’m going to look for safety’ to ‘I’m going to look for food’ is that it makes scenes where, say, Maria’s mother is trying to find a safe way to escape from a burning town, into weird moments where, for some reason, Monique and her mother are watching their town burn down around their ears and, instead of seeking safety, they’re like ‘I’m hungry.’ ‘Oh, well, sweetie, lemme go find food in this BURNING HELLSCAPE OF AN ACTIVE WARZONE OTHERWISE KNOWN AS OUR VILLAGE.’

Again, Saban, for god’s sake. The touching moment where Monique’s mother leaves her, heading to her supposed death, is not the place for a ‘haha slide whistle’ moment when her mother is simply standing up!

I love how they specifically came here to save Maria’s mom but they just watch the building fall on her and suggest saving her afterwards.

Flint: “This is horrible! Why can’t they get along!?” Cave. Man.

Rocky: “Dr. Goodman says ‘resorting to violence shows a lack of imagination.’”…….That’s uh…that’s your big anti-war sentiment, Saban? “War is caused by lack of imagination?” *lip smack* Yeah, I’m not sure I’m going to hear an acoustic guitar song with those lyrics anytime soon. Isn’t that backwards, too? Because a lot of strategies, armor, weapons, technologies etc. are insanely imaginative and were only spawned because of war. It’s sad, but true.

*Monique’s mom gets crushed by a falling building*

Flint, Tony and Sarah: “Ahhhhhhhhh..That was one of the funniest moments in this series. Their absolute lack of appropriate reaction to this person getting crushed is hilarious.

Also, they added that in because the shot where they make that noise was inserted before where Sora made the appropriate (but delayed) response of demanding they help her.

Putera/Pterry: *in response to Sora/Sarah proclaiming they need to help Maria/Monique’s mom* “No! We can’t alter history! We just have to watch the events play out.” Then why the hell did you even agree to come back in time? Chances were ridiculously high that her mother was just flatout dead. So you either came back to save her or you came back to watch her die and go

But nope. Instead, she’s relatively okay except for the fact that she has total amnesia. That’s why she never returned for Maria/Monique.

Amnesia: Being a convenient plot device since the written word was invented.

They extend the time travel shot again.

They add a reaction shot from the priest after Monique and Elfin get kidnapped. It’s pointless, but I’m fine with it because I was kinda expecting the original to have one but they didn’t for some reason. Only gripe I have with it is, because this shot takes place outside, it looks like they suddenly moved outside. Also, this shot was completely removed from its original spot. It was originally placed right before the commercial break after the priest ran outside to chase after Dyna and Mite.

In order to extend Petra telling Elfin that she’ll be keeping Monique around since she’s important to Elfin, they replay and reverse part of the shot.

They replace the scene of TP Lady, Dyna and Mite dancing around to explain what the TP stamp does to a more menacing version. I don’t like scene changes, but I kinda get this one because 1) The original’s just too goofy and 2) Dyna and Mite let go of Omochan and Maria to accompany TP Lady in this dance….so….why are they not running away?

Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, why keep Maria hostage anyway? The TP stamp is already mind control, and they’re grappling Omochan.

They extend the whipping scene for some reason.

Name Change: Waruchan is changed to Elfincon.

Name plate removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

This is, by far, the most disturbing bad transformation of any space-time monster. Look at that thing. It’s insane. I love it.

As TP Lady is riding away, she sings ‘Jingle bells, jingle bells, follow me all the way!’ In the dub, she just laughs.

The art in this episode is even worse than usual. The eyes especially are really boxy and distracting.

SABAN. ENOUGH. SLIDE WHISTLES.

Life would be a living hell if there was a slide whistle sound effect whenever someone did the slightest movement. I get it. You feel like you have to inject humor to keep everything from getting too heavy. But maybe….don’t? There’s a difference between comic relief and ruining any semblance of emotion a show like this can garner.

Omochan is a Santa Claus space-time monster whose power is to make toys and rides out of anything, right? So what is his bad transformation power? To make nightmare death theme park rides from hell out of anything. That is so kick-ass.

They insert the stock shot of Ototan using Fighting Spirit before he hits Dyna and Mite.

They reverse and replay the zoom-out shot of Petra looking at Monique and the others to extend the scene again.

Also, originally, TP Lady was upset because they were ignoring her. In the dub, she basically just rolls her eyes at the reunion and attacks them.

How the heck did Putera send that video message to Yamato? Ridon was nowhere near them.

Sarah: “IF YOU GIVE UP ON ME NOW, I’LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU!” Jesus, Sarah. Tone down the bitchiness. What is your problem? In the original, she yells that Nekketsu can do it.

I really thought they’d just remove this entire segment, especially considering Tokio’s in a skirt here, but the cheerleading shot is mostly left alone barring the fact that they removed ‘Nekketsu’ from the flags since Nekketsu’s named Batterball in the dub. They still left the Ns on the shirts alone, though, so you’re left wondering what that stands for.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Name Change: Super Nekketsu is changed to Batterball Master.

So Super Nekketsu’s ability is to hit…..giant flaming balls….I promised I wouldn’t go for the low hanging fruit……….

The original didn’t cut to Sora talking after Tokio cheered on Super Nekketsu when the horses were surrounded like the dub does.

They insert a repeat shot of Flint running from the Ferris wheel after Petra’s reaction shot.

Really, Saban? You added a bowling pins falling down sound effect when the horses got knocked down by the Ferris wheel?

Did Maria’s mom get her memories back because Maria was in mortal danger or because she got more head trauma?

Saban, I swear to god, I will shove a slide whistle up your ass and, yes, pull the plunger while doing it so it makes a hilarious sound if you put in one more unnecessary slide whistle.

So, wait, they don’t remember Omochan/Elfin anymore….but they do remember that Maria/Monique’s mom was missing for four years…..so….how do they think they were reunited?

The real (fictional) Santa Claus is here now. I was going to call shenanigans, but it’s a Christmas special. I’ll let it slide.

Like usual, they change the establishing shots of the Land of Time to different shots because ehhhIdunno….

Uh, Toki-G, did your little balloon pig thing drink too much caffeine today? Why are you floating up and down so fast?

Also, it just occurs to me that it’s very weird Toki-G’s dub name is Old Timer. Like….was he never young?

In the original, Rei conveys what her chief told her about Genshi’s punishment regarding them changing history. She mimics her chief, temporarily taking on a happy-go-lucky tone, to say that, since it’s Christmas, Genshi won’t be punished. In the dub, this is basically kept the same, but they don’t have Jillian mimic her chief. Instead, she legitimately conveys this message as herself, which makes it seem like she was kinda out of character for a moment.

Because of this slight change, the end of the scene had to be removed. Originally, Rei shifted back to her stern self after she was done conveying the message and said ‘That is all.’ The group then fell over comically. Since this wouldn’t make sense in the dub, they just cut it.

They could very well be sparkling cider, but I’m surprised they left those bottles on the table alone.

Old Timer: “And so Flint learned the true meaning of Christmas.” Did he? Because at the end he still demanded a present, from Santa of all people, and the present in question was Santa’s hat….so he kinda….mugged him a tiny bit. Flint did a nice thing, of course, but I don’t think his understanding of Christmas is any deeper than ‘people get presents and presents are good.’ Does every Christmas special imaginable have to end with someone learning the true meaning of Christmas?

———————————————–

That was a fine episode. It really didn’t connect with me on a Christmas-y level, though. I don’t know why. There was plenty of mentions of Christmas in it, and I’m always itching to get into the holiday spirit, even when we’re fresh into summer, but it just didn’t click in that way.

I did enjoy Omochan a lot. I love that it’s basically a mini-Santa who can make toys and theme park rides out of anything. Out of all of the space-time monsters we’ve seen so far, he’s my favorite. I also adore Waruchan. That form is probably the most creative thing to come out of this show. It’s like a demonic reindeer. I love that it retains its power of making toys and rides out of objects, but the toys and rides are evil and attack people. In addition, Nekketsu’s Super form was pretty cool.

The story is fine. It touched on some real history just the tiniest bit, it was fairly emotional and it was sweet that they reunited Maria with her mom…..I just can’t help but feel the tiniest bit….cheesed. And by that I mean, the fact that she had amnesia, no one recognized her and, apparently, she never left that church and that’s the reason why she left her daughter for four years and then she conveniently remembers later on is cheesy.

I really don’t understand the logic behind why she was gone for four years. Yeah, she had total amnesia, but, in addition to that being pretty hard to swallow, you also have the insane coincidence that no one knew her somehow. They lived in that village. She couldn’t have been gone from Maria for more than a few moments, yet not only did no one in the church know who she was but I guess she just never left and went back to the main part of town to see if anyone could help her learn who she was.

Keep in mind, the church where Maria’s mom was staying was so close that Sora and Tokio could go there and back in a handful of minutes.

The dub seems like it recognizes this plot hole and tries to cover it up. When Sarah and Tony are watching Simone, Sarah says ‘And nobody knows her in this other village.’ I guess insinuating that they brought her to a different village to get treatment after the incident. I appreciate the effort, but the plot hole remains because why would they not just take her to the village she was transported from to determine her identity? Again, it can’t possibly be that far away.

I can’t help but think what would have happened if Maria’s mom really was dead. They had absolutely no reason to believe she was alive. When that building fell on her, I really thought she was dead. Legitimately. I audibly gasped. I know this is a kid’s show, but a brick building collapsed on her face. How the hell did she get away from that with just a bump on the head?

In a realistic scenario, they’d be like;

“We’re gonna go back in time to find your mom, Maria!”

*time travel*

*a few moments later*

“Oh you’re back! Where’s mama?”

“Errr, well….She kinda had a run-in with a building….or, more to the point, a building had a run-in with her! Haha….ha.”

“What do you mean?”

“Let’s just say, if your mother got a Valentine from a building that was three feet in front of her, it would say “I’m falling for you. Hope you have a crush on me.””

“….What?”

“If we had a slide whistle the last time we saw your mother, we’d play it downward.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Ya know what? We’re just going to grab Omochan and erase your memories immediately. This is getting awkward.”

Who can blame me for thinking this either? They gave the reason for their separation being WAR. And they explained in both versions that her father died in the war. They showed cannons shooting at their location. When they first went back in time, the town was BURNING TO THE GROUND.

Speaking of the war, there’s surprisingly little of a ripple effect in ‘present day’ (1651). The Fronde was still going on in 1651, but the town seems like it’s been rebuilt and everything and everyone is relatively fine.

Still, it was an entertaining episode with not too much going on in the alteration department outside of Saban being VERY shot-insertion happy. Usually, dubs will cut some stuff for time because they have more commercials than Japan typically does, but Saban must’ve added at least 30 seconds for no reason I can ascertain.

Next time, TP Lady is trying to take the space-time monsters from Genshi by making a case against him to the Time Bureau?….I have a sneaking suspicion this will be very recap/clipshow heavy…..


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Yu-Gi-Oh GX Episode 4: A Quintuple Combination! VWXYZ | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: It’s the monthly exams, and advancement to the next rank is possible for our boys in red if they do well enough. In an effort to get rid of Judai (again…) Cronos snakes the new shipment of rare cards that just came in for the sake of giving them to Jun so he can make him face off against Judai in his practical test and wipe him out. However, Judai’s not going down so easily.

————————————-

The original doesn’t say that the ship has been fighting off attack subs or anything since they left. They just said they need to protect that case at all costs…..Wow, with several battleships and helicopters, that briefcase must hold something incredibly valuable and not something silly.

Oh they’re rare Duel Monsters cards….yeah, that’s worth tens maybe hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and manpower to secure during a journey. Then again, Kaiba owns this place, so I can’t be too surprised that he’d burn this much money for cards.

Also, the captain says to prepare for landing not to speed up. Hope you like crashing, dub.

While I’m shocked that they left in Shou praying to Osiris for help, they leave out the reason why he has Monster Reborn cards everywhere. He’s being symbolic because passing the monthly exam and possibly advancing him to Ra Yellow will be like resurrecting him from the dead. Also, Shou doesn’t imply that not passing this test will leave him in Osiris Red forever like Syrus does.

Speaking of the test, why exactly are they having an advancement test so soon? I can’t imagine much real time has gone by in the series. They only just enrolled.

They remove a sweatdrop from Hayato as Shou leaves.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai just keeps repeating that he’s late whereas Jaden says that Chumley made him a five course breakfast presumably to make him miss the test. This was slightly poked at during a dub line insertion where Chumley said he’d go to plan B, however, this plan doesn’t make sense to me. If he’s partaking in the exam too (which he shows no indication of doing over the course of the rest of the episode, in fact I’d be hard pressed to say that he ever leaves the dorm), cooking him all of that food and supposedly eating with him would make him just as late as Jaden.

The lady recognizes Judai as a duelist and points out that he’ll be late since he has a test today. He replies by saying it’s no matter because he can’t ignore an old lady in trouble. In the dub, the lady believes Jaden’s from the auto club and Jaden says to not let the red jacket fool her because he’s just a person doing a good deed……Wait, red jacket? What does that have to do with an auto club? Am I missing something?

Daitokuji says nothing while Banner points out that they have 45 minutes left in the test.

As Shou sleeps, he keeps saying “Big bro, sorry.” in his sleep I guess because he feels guilty for leaving instead of ensuring that Judai got up even though he did try several times. Judai walks up to him and whipser-yells “Unforgivable!” Shou wakes up and Judai says that studying to the bone has no point if he’s just going to sleep through the test.

In the dub, Syrus keeps saying stuff about dueling in his sleep. Jaden walks up and says he didn’t know this was an oral exam. Syrus wakes up and Jaden says maybe Syrus should focus more on sleep instead of staying up all night hold Slifer seances…..Oh, we’re passing that off as a séance and not prayer? I honestly don’t know how to respond to that because saying that’s skirting religion sounds incredibly dumb when he was praying to a poster of a Duel Monster.

Also, how did Jaden know he was doing that at all? He was asleep that entire time.

I don’t get it. If this exam is an advancement exam, why are the Obelisk Blues there? They can’t increase in rank anymore besides seniority or graduating. Is it just mandatory testing for them?

Asuka thinks to herself that Judai’s a half hour late and that shows lack of respect/concern over the importance of the written exam. Alexis thinks to herself that Jaden’s 15 minutes late and he better hurry if he wants any chance at finishing.

Daichi’s inner monologue is roughly the same, but he also states that it’s weird how Judai has such poor studying skills and manner in the classroom yet he’s still such a skillful duelist. The dub basically says that his lack of studying skills and poor classroom manner are keeping him from being a great duelist.

They cut out a shot of an Osiris Red as he asks himself how a guy like Judai could beat Cronos.

Judai says that the practical test is what really matters, not the written exam, while Jaden says if there were a test in melodrama, Syrus would get an A. This seems so dumb to me. Why even have the written part if it can be offset at all times by practical duels? Judai/Jaden gets crappy grades and is a crappy student and he fails constantly in his written schoolwork, yet because he’s good in duels he constantly skates by, even supposedly being the closest one to advancement in Osiris Red since he beat Chronos in the entrance exams despite getting abysmal marks on the written portion of that too. I know practical skills do count for a lot, but you can’t make the written parts practically moot in exchange.

I find it funny, in a weird way, that the only students piling on top of each other and going crazy for the shipment of rare cards are the boys. I don’t even see any girls in the room.

The Group of Students Pounding the Door (dub): *robotically* “Guards! Guards! Guards!”

………….WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL WAS THAT!? Why were they talking like that?! What were they repeating “guards” in unison!? Why weren’t they raising their voices?! What the hell did I just witness?!

In the original, the students just ask what’s going on….

The envelope originally said ‘Sold’ in Kanji whereas the dub envelope is predictably blank.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The girl at the counter looks mad when Judai runs up to them because he calls her ‘old lady’ (maybe mistaking her for the lady from earlier) before correcting himself and saying ‘miss’. In the dub, Jaden does call her ‘counter girl’ which could be kinda offensive I guess, but it really just looks like she’s bitchy for no reason.

“SP-Pack” is removed from the booster pack.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai looks sad during the conversation about the booster pack because Shou accidentally calls Judai a mutual enemy, which is from his conversation with Hayato earlier. In the dub, he looks sad because Syrus implicates that without the booster pack Jaden may fail….I don’t see why. Jaden’s beat Crowler, I think he can beat other Slifer Reds…

Finishing off that conversation, Judai just tells Shou to take the deck so that they can use the time they have until the practical exam to perfect their decks together. In the dub, he says he may fail sometimes but he never fails.

The old lady, Tome, introduces herself properly to Judai and Shou while she doesn’t do that yet in the dub and instead calls Jaden ‘Auto-club’ while telling him that she owns the card shop.

Syrus: “How do you know her, Jay?”

Jaden: “Uhh, I think it was the carburetor.”

What the? That doesn’t answer his question at all.

You’re seriously telling me no one in the school recognized Crowler? I know he had on a hat and coat as a disguise, but he wasn’t changing his voice in the slightest and you could still see his long trademark blonde hair.

Jun’s friends don’t clamor over Chronos’ ‘style’ with having a bunch of cards in his coat like the dub does.

Jun points out that it’s Chronos and includes that ‘it’s the guy who got beat by Judai’. In the dub, he says ‘You look better all covered up.’ Yeah, make fun of your teachers. That’ll get you ahead.

Daichi originally thinks to himself that if Judai wins they’ll be in the same dorm and it seems incredible that a first year rose up so quickly. In the dub, he thinks the duel is a trap and only a fool would accept.

They insert shots of the characters talking to extend the scene.

Judai calls Jun ‘Manjoume’ while Jun corrects him and says ‘Manjoume-SAN’. This can’t be mirrored in the dub, really, so Chazz just says ‘Bring it!’

I guess the whole thing of calling Winged Kuriboh ‘partner/aibou’ like Yami and Yugi used to do is never going to be included like it really never was in Yu-Gi-Oh either.

The duel is one turn in (just Judai/Jaden making a play) and all he did was summon Elemental Hero Clayman and we get those overly dramatic splitscreens with other characters gasping. *Gasp* “He made a very basic first move with an otherwise unimpressive monster! My heart can’t handle this excitement!” I think they just wanted to pretend it was a really epic move or something since we were cutting to commercial, but come on, that’s just unreasonably lame.

Eyecatches:

A zoom in on Daichi as he’s talking and a far away shot of the duel is removed.

A kinda far shot of Jun talking is removed.

Jun has already explained the other special ability (Switching one of Judai’s creatures into attack mode) but this time we get the splitscreen on Shou and the shot of Shou is him reacting to the fact that Clayman has such low attack and is now in attack mode. In the dub, since they removed the shot of Chazz talking, he had no time to explain the card before the splitscreen. Instead, the splitscreen basically interrupts Chazz and Syrus just wishes his turn would end already before Chazz finally explains.

VW-Tiger Missile is changed to Heat-Seeker Blitz, which actually sounds better.

Chronos clamors over Jun’s skills while Crowler basically says Jaden’s not as impressive as everyone thought.

Shou says playing in defense mode isn’t like Judai. This line is omitted in the dub and we just cut straight to Bastion explaining that this could be all he can do right now. I should mention that Syrus also says that it’s not fair, and I would fault this on 4Kids since that’s not the same line Shou had (he just said ‘B-but’ there) but Shou has also had a slight habit of saying certain legit moves weren’t fair and even said so earlier when Jun showcased the abilities of Frontline Base.

Asuka thinks to herself that this can’t be all Judai can do right now. In contrast, Alexis says the duel is a complete mismatch and asks ‘How can he duel when he doesn’t know what he’s fighting?’ What does that line even mean? Cards are played in concealed manners (face down) all the time. It’s hardly a newly conceived tactic. Plus he only has one card face down right now.

Unless she’s talking about the fact that Chazz seems to have plenty of new cards in which case boo-friggety-hoo. Like anyone really shows their opponents their entire decks before dueling. Jaden also has new cards and has fought Chazz before so I can’t make heads or tails about what she means by this.

They cut a shot of Chronos gushing over the battle and how Judai will lose soon.

Another mention of ‘Manjoume’ ‘Manjoume-SAN’ is omitted.

Eh…this next one is a change, but technically it’s hard to call it wrong. A Hero Emerges allows the opponent to select a card from the opponent’s hand to summon at random if it’s a monster. Jun chose the card on the far left while Chazz chose the far right. The shot of Judai grabbing the card is kept the same. The thing is, neither version indicates which perspective is supposed to be used here; Jun’s or Judai’s. The original chooses Judai’s (Judai’s left) while the dub chooses Chazz’s (Chazz’s right) yet both can be correct. I’m still going to fault 4Kids here though because they have the original script and there’s really no need to change the line since it can make sense from both angles.

Another one I’m uncertain about noting, but here goes. Judai says he trusts his deck, and as long as he has monsters willing to fight by his side in his deck, he’ll never stop fighting. In the dub, Jaden says he’s not done because he has all sorts of ‘vicious monsters’ waiting to get at Chazz. The original instills loyalty and trust in his monsters and his deck as a whole while the dub is just macho “I’m gonna kick your ass with my scary monsters!” stuff.

Well, this is weird. Before, the SP-Pack text was the only text removed from the booster pack. The logo was left alone. In the dubbed flashback, the logo and text are both removed now. Guess they got digital paint happy.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Not TOO happy, though, because before the little white oval where ‘SP-Pack’ was written was also removed, but this time it’s not. Consistency is fun.

The dub omits mentioning that Winged Kuriboh can reduce an opponent’s attack to zero with its special ability with his V-Z’s own special ability (I really hate cards that have a laundry list of special abilities. It’s understandable when the card is insanely difficult to summon, but seeing as how cards that are insanely difficult to summon constantly get miraculously summoned in this franchise, it’s hard to not get annoyed by it.)

Judai: “Our life points are the same at 1000 now. Wouldn’t it be funny if I drew a monster that had 1000 or more attack points right now?”

Jun: “What kind of crap are you spewing!? As if it’d be that easy!”

….It’d be pretty damn easy, really. It’s like…one of the easiest things ever if you have a well-balanced deck. It’s definitely a lot more believable than achieving the crap you’ve done in the span of two turns, Jun. This also isn’t present in the dub, it’s just Jaden gloating more or less.

Love the stock crowd gasp sound effects, 4Kids. You’re really amping up the quality.

I love how the other duels on the arena already concluded and absolutely no one was interested in watching them.

Samejima says the trust in Judai’s deck, the loyalty to his cards and his passionate dueling soul are the reasons that Judai is being promoted to Ra Yellow. In the dub, Shepherd just says that a Slifer Red has never fought an Obelisk Blue in the tests and showing great courage to not only take the challenge but also to win is inspiring, thus he’s being promoted. But, again, he beat a PROFESSOR in Obelisk Blue for his entrance exam but was booted to Slifer. Why is beating a student of Obelisk Blue so much more impressive?

Both versions, nice CGI confetti. Hey, did none of the other duelists advance? Is this like a one spot kinda deal? Because, if it’s not, then that means the other duelists got no confetti for their advancement. Nice.

Hayato talks about how insane it is that an Osiris Red advanced so quickly whereas Chumley is talking about making an ad for a new roommate and tells Syrus to make him a grilled cheese.

Judai talks about how he loves red more than the other colors for the reasons mentioned in episode two. In the dub, he talks about how much better yellow seems compared to red, but it’s nothing without Syrus. I should also mention that Jaden says ‘Congrats on passing your practical exam’ which means, yes, we completely skipped over Shou’s duel.

Judai says, in response to Shou’s emotional outburst, that this must be ‘passion red’. Jaden says it’s a good thing red doesn’t stain as bad as yellow……..wait, what? Tears don’t stain, do they? Also, even if they did, why would the stain be more apparent on yellow than red? Unless tears were red colored or—oh nevermind.

Next up, the group heads to a forbidden dorm to face a shadow duelist.


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Yu-Gi-Oh! (Manga) Chapter 24 Review (AniManga Clash! Season Zero Placeholder)

Hey guys, who remembers that short Yu-Gi-Oh! Spin-off thinger – Capsule Monsters? I sure do!….Kinda!…I remember it existing. I remember watching some of it and being rather bored.

Fun fact: The Capsule Monsters anime, despite being based on an actual game in this old-ass version of the manga (No idea if it’s played the same way, though), wasn’t something the original anime creators wanted to make. In fact, the series never released in Japan.

Also, apparently, according to the Fandom Wiki anyway (I really question whether this is true), despite never once airing in Japan, there is a Japanese version of it. Why they dubbed it and never released it is beyond me.

Who was actually behind this spin-off no one asked for, no one paid much attention to and amounted to nothing but basically being a money sink? Why, who else but the donut bakers themselves, 4Kids?

Yup, 4Kids, for some inexplicable reason, ‘commissioned, produced and editedCapsule Monsters when Yu-Gi-Oh’s original run was reaching its final season. They also did the kinda skeevy thing of re-editing the series into a movie (Two movies, I guess, technically?) and treating it like it was a new movie based on the series. Because that’s never sketchy or annoying, especially when you’re dealing with something aimed towards kids.

At least they released the movie for free for one day on their website for some reason so some people could be made aware that it wasn’t new content….No idea why they did that, but they did.

I really have to review Capsule Monsters at some point, but back to the topic at hand….Uh…well, more Capsule Monsters.

I brought up the anime because, even when that aired, I didn’t really understand how the game was played nor did I feel very compelled to learn because the anime, to my recollection, was quite boring.

Capsule Monsters, otherwise known as Capsule Monster Chess/Capmon in the manga (sometimes) is Mokuba’s niche game in the manga. I could’ve sworn he was also a player of the game in the anime. I would have bet a substantial amount of money on that….but he’s not. Mokuba not only isn’t an avid Capsule Monster player in the Capsule Monsters anime – he’s not even in the anime. Poor Mokuba. Were you too busy being kidnapped to be in the anime?

What of the first depiction of Capsule Monsters in the manga? Let’s find out.

——————————————-

The manga actually explains fairly well how this version of the game is played. Capsule Monsters are dispensed in gashapon machines, which I just learned are supposed to be called ‘blind boxes’ in America, but I have never once heard that ever. They’re also called ‘gacha’ machines, and if you play pretty much any MMO or mobile game in existence, that word awakens something visceral in you.

Yugi explains how the game is played, for the most part. The capsules all have one number between one and five on them – this indicates their attack power. Within the capsules are….the uh…well, the monsters, of course. Each player unleashes five monsters onto an 8×8 game board, of which there are 50 different types. This game area mimics the planet of ganastar….I’m not sure why that matters, but okay.

All of the monsters stay within the capsules when they’re setting the game up, so each side starts the game mostly blind to the monsters the opponent is playing, outside of their attack strength. Monsters all have their own ranges, types of attacks and effects, so strategy comes into play when moving the pieces and battling the monsters. Whoever destroys all of the opponent’s monsters wins.

Yugi’s in line to get some capsules when, in typical Yu-Gi-Oh manga fashion, he comes across an asshole. This asshole kid cuts in front of him in line then says Yugi’s too old to play the game, being in high school. This game is equated to chess and yet it’s aimed squarely at middle school and younger?

He lets Yugi get his capsules eventually, though, but Yugi’s money gets lost in the machine. He, strangely, loses his shit and starts swearing at the machine, shaking it violently. Bit of an OOC moment for him. I know he’s passionate about games, but he’s never one to have a temper like that. The old man who owns the candy store that the machines are in starts screaming at him.

Suddenly, Mokuba Kaiba makes his debut appearance, looking just as frightening and creepy as you’d expect in this manga’s art. Apparently he’s such a Capsule Monsters baller that the other kids go silent in his presence. Like Seto is a champion in Duel Monsters, Mokuba is a champion in Capsule Monsters.

So, did you guys forget that you’re reading Yu-Gi-Oh’s early manga days? You did? Oh, let me remind you by showing you this scene where Mokuba, the small child, orders these small child children of the kid nature to attack Yugi. They have a taser………..a switchblade……………..And….I’m not kidding…..A fucking Uzi.

What kind of world does this manga take place in?! Not even the chapter with an actual murderer involved a fucking UZI.

Mokuba wants to fight for his big brother’s honor, so he’s kidnapping Yugi and taking the candy shop’s gashapon machine (After throwing the owner a stack of money to pay for it.)

They bring Yugi to their secret base, which is just a warehouse, so they can play. Beforehand, though, Mokuba’s little goons try to intimidate him some more, saying stuff like he’s wimpy and they’ll burn down his house. Ya know, typical schoolyard stuff.

They cross the line when they try to touch Yugi’s Puzzle, however, because, under threat of smashing it and trying to grab it from him, Yugi instantly shifts to Yami, who flips his shit and screams at them to let go of his Puzzle.

The goons are shocked at this change, but, surprisingly, Mokuba’s not because apparently Seto told him about Yugi’s ability to transform. *shrug*

Mokuba says he stole the gashapon machine to make the capsule picks completely blind so he wouldn’t have an unfair advantage using his own capsules…..then he reveals in inner monologue that he rigged the machine, paid off the candy shop owner from before Yugi even got there and rigged the machine to give him the better capsules anyway, so….I don’t know why he even bothered trying to act like this was fair.

Also, again with making the Kaibas cheaters. Granted, in the 2000 anime, the one and only time you see Mokuba duel, against Yugi, he cheats by trying to steal some of Yugi’s star chips in the middle of the duel, but that was in desperation to keep Kaiba Corp from being sold to Pegasus.

Yugi’s capsules result in attack strengths of 1-1-1-2-4 while Mokuba’s are 4-4-5-5-5….I think anyone with a single brain cell could have deduced that Mokuba rigged the machine just on this result alone without him immediately telling us, but okay.

Before they start, Mokuba lays a bet down. Now, you’d imagine that, considering he’s playing for his older brother’s honor, his wager would be something like Yugi would have to kiss Kaiba’s feet or give him all of his Duel Monster cards or something, right?

……His wager is, if he wins, he’ll CUT OFF ONE OF YUGI’S FINGERS! He’s even holding a folding knife as he says it. What the hell is wrong with this manga?!

Yugi says, if he wins, Mokuba will suffer a penalty game.

Anyway, as expected, even though they laid out the rules at the beginning, much like with the part with Duel Monsters, they just pretty much do whatever without explaining anything. Like, what determines which piece moves how far and when? Why do formations matter all that much if you can move freely? If attack level is all that matters in battles, then doesn’t that mean the match can be decided before they even get on the board? If monsters have effects or abilities, like duel monster cards, where is this information held? In some sort of book or something? Because there’s no text on the capsules or in them.

Yami gets pummeled, only managing to kill one of Mokuba’s creatures on a stalemated attack, so he had to sacrifice his most powerful creature for that.

He’s down to his last monster, and it seems all is lost until, luck of all lucks, Yugi reveals that he was luring all of Mokuba’s monsters into a diagonal line, and his last monster, which is level one, just so happens to have the ability to literally insta-kill any monster with its attack, even if it’s level five. And it shoots this ability in a diagonal pattern, meaning all of Mokuba’s monsters are defeated in one shot.

If you think this situation stinks at all, it’s because Yugi totally pulled this win out of his ass.

Mokuba may be a cheat, but he’s still a Capsule Monsters champion. And even if he cheated in those championships (We don’t know that, but he cheated here and it’s suggested that Seto cheated in his championships, so it’s not a far cry to say Mokuba did too) he definitely knows the game well enough to play the part. He’s making observations about strategy and formation as if he’s a veteran, so he has to be pretty skilled. All of the monsters get revealed at the start of the game, meaning he had to know what that monster was and what ability it had, so he should have been very careful to not do anything dumb like line up literally all of his monsters in a perfect diagonal line right in front of him.

How does this low-level creature have such an awesome ability anyway? If it’s a simple straight diagonal line of insta-kill damage, he could kill a monster from the other side of the board if he aimed carefully. And it insta-kills even the strongest monsters, too?

Granted, they did set this up visually. As you’ll note in the first shot of the game board when they’re done setting up, the bird thing that has this ability is off on its own, further back than his other four creatures, which were meant to cut off Mokuba’s creatures on the way there and set up this line.

The problem is, though, he gambled a hell of a lot here. I know the Heart of the Cards thing has basically become a meme by now, but come on – this isn’t even Duel Monsters. Is there a Heart of the Capsules? The luck in play here is insane. What if Mokuba caught on to his game and avoided the diagonal line? What if he sent one monster off to approach from directly ahead or off to either side? Or what if he spread out his monsters even a tiny bit more? If he didn’t get all of those monsters in one shot, he definitely would have lost. And Yami never once seemed the slightest bit concerned that his plan wouldn’t work. He was sporting a cocky smirk the whole time like his plan was foolproof when it was about as airtight as a moth’s nylon stocking.

I feel like this is the anime version (Season Zero) of the duel with Seto where Seto just pulled a sudden ‘It’s a draw lol’ card out of nowhere at the last minute, right as he was about to lose.

Anyhoo, Yami sentences Mokuba to a penalty game, which is being trapped in an illusion of being sealed in a Capsule Monster capsule (and it has a level one mark on it – nice shade, Yami.) But before it’s closed, Mokuba teases that this isn’t over. Seto is setting up for his revenge against Yugi with something called Death T.

Also, this chapter ends with a pretty cool illustration of a little dice game you can play to try and beat Kaiba. I might try it for myself sometime. It’s a neat little addition.

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So, uh, this chapter was pretty messed up, wouldn’t ya say? Uzis and switchblades and threatening to cut off people’s fingers – all brought to you by elementary school students. Fun fun.

The story is alright. I still think that ending was complete bullshit, but it’s not like this series is a stranger to bullshit wins. Mokuba’s a friggin’ psychopath in this version, and I can’t really tell if I love that or hate it. In the 2000 anime, he’s kinda Seto’s morality pet more or less, but, on his own, he’s really not all that interesting. He’s basically Tristan just with more of a purpose (behind the scenes anyway) and 10000% more kidnappings. He’s a nice little kid with a good sense of justice and very strong loyalty to Seto, and he’s very forgiving, but he’s just not that interesting.

Can I even say this version of Mokuba is more interesting, though? Because he’s just a nutcase. There’s nothing likable about this future mob boss besides his desire to avenge his brother’s honor, and that’s kinda watered down by the fact that he doesn’t even try to face Yugi/Yami properly before cheating. The little prick cheated before he even MET Yugi.

I actually like the concept of Capsule Monsters here, even if I’m still kinda confused about it. I hope it becomes a little clearer when we revisit the game later (at least in Season Zero. We might revisit it again in the manga, I’m not sure. The manga and anime will stray away from each other quite a bit in the future.) I’m not holding my breath, though because even the Wiki page for it says some concepts are just flatout poorly explained, like abilities.

I thought I remembered Capsule Monster toys being a thing when I was younger and turns out I was right. It was very shortlived, obviously, and didn’t get a lot of distribution in stores, but apparently they pushed it enough for me to remember it being in my local Walmart for probably a month before it faded in obscurity.

Also, it seems like this version of the game is played differently from both the manga and anime versions.

Not only that, but apparently there was a video game version of Capsule Monsters made for the Playstation in 1998 called Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle that was only released in Japan. Golly, a video game released in 1998 where you collect monsters in small balls and raise them to help them evolve into stronger monsters that you will use to battle other monsters. How did that not immediately take off?

To my surprise, there was another video game that came out in 2004 based on Capsule Monsters for the PS2 titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum. I had followed the Yu-Gi-Oh video games pretty well when I was a kid, but I didn’t have much money to buy many of them, and I never once remembered seeing this game in stores. Maybe I did – the box art is just the slightest bit familiar – but, again, they didn’t seem to push this game very well. I remember them pushing the Dungeon Dice Monsters game, and I bought that, but the Capsule Monsters game is a blur at best.

Also, it’s weird that they spelled ‘coliseum’ like that, isn’t it? You don’t typically see it spelled that way. It’s usually spelled ‘Colosseum.’ Ya know….like, uh, hm what’s a good example?…..Uhm….Oh, how about Pokemon Colosseum….the game that was also released in 2004?

I’m just poking fun at the Pokemon connection, really, because Capsule Monsters does seem like a fun game and honestly isn’t a ripoff of Pokemon, given the board game aspect and chess-like strategies. I just think it doesn’t do a good job of explaining how different it is out the gate. You hear ‘capsule monsters’ and see that the blurb is just ‘collect, raise and battle monsters in small balls’ and you can’t help but think ‘Pokemon rip-off.’

And, to be completely fair….the concept name of Pokemon was literally Capsule Monsters, so they’re kinda asking for it.

I think if it had taken off more I would’ve definitely gotten into it. Maybe not so much because I was spending enough money on Yu-Gi-Oh cards without buying packs of small toys that probably cost even more. It just seems like, no matter how much they tried, they couldn’t get this game off the ground. They really hit their stride with Yu-Gi-Oh/Duel Monsters, but I think you could still make something great with Capsule Monsters. It’s a shame, really. Seems like a missed opportunity. Maybe the timing wasn’t right or something.

Final Notes: This episode is only extremely lightly referenced in episode 11, and that’s because the Capsule Monsters game played there is basically a mirror of the one played here. Literally everything else is different, including there being a different opponent.


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Sailor Moon (DiC) Episode 11 (8 for the Dub) Usagi vs. Rei, Nightmare in Dreamland | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Usagi, Rei, Ami and Luna are spending the day at a local amusement park to investigate a string of mysterious disappearances that they believe is linked to Jadeite and Queen Beryl. However, Rei and Usagi’s constant bickering is holding back progress on the mission. When Ami gets trapped in a youma’s spell, Rei and Usagi need to….kinda sorta work together to save her and the other people who have gone missing.

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Title Change: The title of the episode is actually accurately translated, but they omit a part. It’s actually Usagi vs. Rei, Nightmare in Dreamland whereas the dub just has Nightmare in Dreamland.

A short bit of the opening scene where we see the gate to the shrine and see Usagi, Ami and Rei talking with Luna is edited out.

The book that Usagi likes is actually a Sailor V manga. In the dub, she says it’s a book called “Sailor V Goes to Hollywood.”

Ami wasn’t talking to Luna about Usagi and Rei fighting in the original. She was too enthralled in Rei’s encyclopedia.

The girls reacting to Luna’s outburst is edited out.

Originally, Luna tells the girls that they need to focus on finding the princess. Usagi then asks how they’re supposed to find the princess, and someone says something like there must be a big sign on them that labels them as the princess. Luna hesitates, and Rei says, if there’s not a big sign, then it’s impossible to find her…..Right, that makes sense. No one ever found anyone without a giant sign on their bodies labeling themselves as such. In the dub, Raye and Serena keep fighting because the moral of this story has something to do with getting along.

Ami suggests some investigative work to help them along with their Sailor duties and shows them a paper with a story on an amusement park called Dreamland where many people have disappeared. Luna thinks it’s a great idea, and they decide to go. In the dub, Amy suggests that they go to Dreamland as a sort of vacation because they’re going stir crazy with each other. The thing about the disappearances is brought up like an afterthought. Hey, we should go to this great new amusement park that happens to have a bunch of people go missing in it!

The newspaper with the story on the amusement is removed of most of its Japanese text in lieu of English scribbles. I guess that’s better?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

They translate that but they don’t translate/remove the plaque with the giant Japanese text outside of the park? Weird.

The security guard, who is obviously Jadeite, doesn’t deny that people have gone missing in the original. He just says that they haven’t gone missing at the park and the disappearances have nothing to do with the park. In the dub, he basically says the missing people in their entirety are rumors set forth by their competition. Yeah, tell that to their families.

Some of these line reads. “I’m gonna REPORT…you.” That didn’t even match the mouth flaps. Nice job, DiC.

Usagi tells Rei that insults are no way to treat her senpai…Usagi’s older than Rei? Or is she talking about the Dream Princess? Anyway, no American equivalent so she just says Raye is wrong.

The castle thing is called the Candy House. In the dub, it’s called the Sweets Dream Factory.

In the original, as Usagi picks up the rabbit and shows Rei, Rei brings up the fact that Usagi’s name means ‘rabbit’. Since Serena doesn’t mean ‘rabbit’, the dub couldn’t do the same thing, so they just had Raye berate her for not being serious again.

The panda driving the train (It’s an amusement park thing) says he’s getting the stop signal. In the dub, he says he has to stop for two turtles crossing the tracks.

The dub kinda makes Serena look like a hypocrite when she makes fun of Darien for being on the train when she is as well. In the original, she also makes fun of him and even laughs at him for riding the toy train, but it’s for riding it by himself not for doing it at all. I guess riding the toy train with another person who is way too old for that makes it better, Usagi?

Ami thinks that they might find some clues in the Candy House. In the dub, she thinks she can’t believe Serena’s missing out on all the free sweets.

Originally Usagi was crying at the door because she was worried about Ami. In the dub, she whines since the door to the Sweets Factory is locked and she wanted a cookie…..

Because of this line change, Raye tells Serena to think of Amy, to which she replies that Raye’s being mean. She’s being mean for pointing out that you’re being a crybaby over a cookie when your friend could be in danger? Right.

Also, she immediately follows this up by asking Raye if she has any feelings……..What? She’s (in the dub anyway) the one worried about Amy. You’re the one being an inconsiderate ass worried more about your sweet tooth than your friend. In the original, Rei tells Usagi to stop crying over everything, to which Usagi replies by asking if she even cares about Ami and calls her cold-hearted.

What the hell is up with way they make Raye’s English VA say “Mars power!” in this episode? She draws out the word Mars so long like she missed a cue or something. “Maa….aaa…..a……aaaaaa….rrrrSSSSSSSS POWER!”

Rei’s original chanting for her removal sutra is gone again. In fact “Entire series edit” this because I’m pretty sure we’ll never hear it.

Rei also does the same chanting she does when she’s just performing her regular priestess duties. In the dub, Raye says she calls upon the power of Mars and fireballs or something.

I have to say, this is definitely the creepiest monster-of-the-week they’ve had so far. I mean, look at this thing.

And before that, her headless body floated above the ground and spun slowly in mid air. Eheghyghgfhsd.

The shocked stillframe of Rei and Usagi with pure silence is priceless and I’m so glad they kept that the same way in the dub. It’s like they’re mirroring the audience going ‘What the hell!?’

The demon this week is named Durimu (Dream), but in the dub she introduces herself as “your dream dolly”….which….may or may not be creepier.

Usagi mentions something about maidens as she’s trying to do her motto. Rei stops her to ask what she means by maidens, and Usagi brushes her off. In the dub, Raye asks Serena if she wants her to just blast the demon to which Serena declines.

As Durimu starts another dream, Luna tells Usagi to not fall for her tricks again. Usagi says that she won’t, but Rei says she’s not so sure about that. In the dub, Luna tells Serena that she has to learn to use her tiara faster. Serena says that at least she acted brave and didn’t let Raye take over, but Raye replies that she should’ve.

I love how Rei’s all “Hey, don’t cry because Ami might be in danger or worse, we need to focus on the mission!” but the instant she sees Tuxedo Mask she completely loses focus and gushes over him.

A short scene of Rei and Usagi looking very confused about what just happened is edited out. I don’t know why.

Any reason why Tuxedo Mask’s mouth isn’t moving when he’s talking to Rei/Raye and Usagi/Serena?

Wow, nice pointless panty shot on Rei as she jumps down onto Durimu, original version. The jump is kept in, but they carefully edit out the panty shot. Not getting a screenshot for that one.

This episode brings us a pseudo new attack move made by Sailor Moon and Mars. Sailor Moon uses her Moon Tiara Action while Mars uses her Fire Soul to turn the tiara into a kind of fire/molten tiara. It’s really cool.

Serena: “Moon dusted!” First of all, awful pun. Second of all, that was a joint effort with Mars so that doesn’t entirely work. In the dub, Usagi just says “We did it!”

So no one in the park is going to question why a giant well-known castle in the amusement park suddenly vanished? Okay.

Usagi yells at Rei for supposedly having a bigger ice cream than she has, but Rei argues that Usagi picked out the one that she wanted herself and it’s ridiculous that she thinks hers is bigger. Usagi then tells Rei to trade, but she refuses and chases her around until she spills her ice cream. In the dub, Serena yells at Raye for slurping her ice cream, Raye says she should talk, calls her a meatball head and Serena chases her until she drops her ice cream.

Next episode, it’s the love boat! And demons and stuff.

Previous Episode


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My AniManga Clash-ish Thoughts on Angelic Layer

I haven’t watched Angelic Layer in quite a long time, but it still holds a place in my heart. It’s a rare shouJO gaming anime that had likable characters, a fun game to focus on and a decent story. It had its problems, but none of them were so severe that it badly damaged my perception of the series.

When I started reading the manga of Angelic Layer, I really thought I wouldn’t even wind up writing one of these posts because, frankly, there wasn’t much to talk about. The anime and manga, as far as I can remember anyway, were pretty well matched for several volumes. There wasn’t much in regards to changes to the story or characters, so what was there to say other than ‘Yeah, they’re pretty much the same.’?

But then I got to the ending.

And here I am.

Before I get to the ending, I would like to discuss some things regarding earlier parts of the anime and manga. As far as I remember, the anime had a more gradual buildup to Misaki eventually becoming the ‘Miracle Rookie.’ There was more in regards to her playing Angelic Layer with other people before she was flung into tournament play. In the manga, she has one match before she’s entered into the regional tournament.

Because of this, her ‘Miracle Rookie’ status irks me a bit more than it did in the anime. She is about as rookie as a rookie can be before she’s entering a major tournament – and she winds up winning that tournament. Then it’s immediately followed by the national tournament, which she doesn’t technically win, even though she does in the anime.

I say she doesn’t technically win the tournament in the manga because, even though she lost in the finals to Athena, the very last scene is the crowd cheering on her tournament win? (The announcer says ‘Here is the winner of our tournament!’ when she walks out.) She’s wearing a royal cape thing and crown at the end of the tournament – Hikaru (her Angel) even gets the same outfit. The epilogue has people calling her the Angelic Layer Champion, too. I don’t get it. Was Athena like a set champion to try and defeat once she won the main tournament? Like how there’s a league champion to defeat once you defeat the Elite Four? I dunno.

Either way, she somehow managed to make her way to the finals at least despite being almost completely new to the game when she started out in the tournament bracket as a whole.

She does practice a lot and studies frequently in between matches and tournaments, and it’s not like her record is flawless, she does lose a couple times, but so many of her matches are Hikaru struggling → Misaki struggling → Can’t give up! → Oh I figured out how to win against this highly-experienced veteran. → One-hit defeat. (And by that I mean the only hit that actually does damage. A lot of the time her hits will connect but do nothing.)

Many of her victories are one-hit wins, even though her Angel is built mostly for speed and is very light. There’s no reason why she should have such powerhouse hits that they either cause impressive ring-outs or deplete an Angel’s full health bar in one go. This is especially frustrating considering that Hikaru takes so much damage during these battles yet she always manages to keep hanging on, despite the fact that, again, she’s not built for defense – she’s built for speed.

Even when they make a huge multi-volume long deal out of Hikaru’s mystery weakness to build tension, it’s not that significant or interesting when revealed (Hikaru’s really light……We already knew that, and it’s been mentioned numerous times over the course of the series. She’s a small model built for speed. Of course her weight means she both can’t land moves as powerful as others, and she, by default, has a disadvantage against heavier models.) and it’s resolved rather quickly and easily.

Coincidentally, her weakness is revealed on a field that gives Hikaru the advantage. They were on a beach layer, so she had Hikaru grab her opponent and dive into the ocean. Since Hikaru is light, she could swim, I guess, even though it’s never established that Angels are buoyant, and her opponent, being heavy, just sank.

Being completely fair, I never got angry at this happening. I just kinda started rolling my eyes after a while and found myself not really immersed in the matches because I came to expect that Misaki would win, which, in itself, is a big problem because Misaki’s supposed to be the underdog. Her motivation is all about proving how small, seemingly weak-looking people can face their toughest challenges and come out on top. She does that, but she does it too easily. I greatly admire her passion for the game and her love of Angels, but she’s just too good too quickly to truly be relatable to anyone in the real world who would sympathize with her.

Moving onto the ending changes, we have two significant alterations to discuss – the first being Misaki’s relationship with her mother/ her mother as a whole, and the endgame romantic relationships.

Starting with Misaki and her mom, Shuko, the story still remains about 50% the same. In both the anime and manga, Misaki doesn’t even really remember her mom much. She left Misaki in the care of her grandparents when she was five years old. Turns out, her mother holds a high position in the company that developed Angelic Layer and is the Deus of Athena – the strongest Angel in the league and the Angel that Misaki saw in a commercial that got her interested in the game in the first place.

That’s where the similarities end. In the anime, the reason Shuko abandoned her daughter was because she had a neurological disease that confined her to a wheelchair. She decided to dedicate all of her spare time to researching a cure/treatment with Icchan, which incidentally lead to them developing Angelic Layer. She was so ashamed of her condition that she couldn’t bear to imagine what Misaki might think of her as she grew older, so she left her in the care of her grandparents. She had hoped that, one day, when she was better, she would reunite with her daughter. Until then, she’d cut off all communication with Misaki and keep tabs on her from the shadows.

After a bit of a dark tonal shift upon their reunion during the national tournament, Misaki and Shuko air out their feelings and work things out before their final match, which Misaki manages to win….even if it is pretty much one of the most asspull-ish wins I’ve ever seen in anime.

In the manga, the reason Shuko abandoned her daughter…….

….is almost insultingly dumb.

Something you should know about me before I go on – I have severe social anxiety disorder and general problems with anxiety. So believe me when I discuss the stupidity of Shuko’s manga backstory.

According to any info page on her character, Shuko has severe social anxiety disorder. However, it’s not actually social anxiety disorder. The manga never once uses the term. She can be out and about and live her life with little issue. She’s seen talking to Icchan and Ojirou numerous times, and, from how they talk about her, it seems she’s regularly socialized with them for years. She’s a famous Deus who participates in many tournaments, and numerous people seem to know her personally.

I’m not saying all of these factors means she absolutely doesn’t have some degree of social anxiety – you can live a fairly ‘normal’ life externally but be suffering significantly internally – but I am saying that, considering how she can cope with her anxiety enough to do all of these things, there’s no reason why she can’t cope with it enough to be with her child.

“So, why isn’t she?” you ask?

Shuko’s problem in particular is being around people she loves. The more she loves someone, the more anxious she gets, to the point where she has ‘panic attacks.’ She loved Misaki too much to be around her without freaking out all the time, so she just flatout abandoned her child at the age of five with, I guess, no intentions on ever returning.

That….is not….how anxiety works…..like even a little. Does the feeling of love make you flustered and nervous? Oh yeah, definitely. It makes everyone feel that way. In people with anxiety, it’s worse, of course, but 1) that’s usually just in regards to romantic love and new relationships and 2) if the anxiety really only comes when you’re in the presence of someone you love, the odds of the core issue being social anxiety disorder are very, very slim. That is either a symptom of some other disorder or it’s just not a thing.

One of the few things that helps alleviate anxiety is having loved ones around. They make you more comfortable, they help pick you up when you’re spiraling and they work with you to help you through the tough times. Why would a loved one make you so ridiculously anxious? Unless it’s a situation where you love them but they’re very abusive or something, but this isn’t the case here.

Lest we forget, she has a freakin’ child. She used to have a freakin’ husband. Which means she has dated, fallen in love, gotten married, had sex, gone through pregnancy, birthed a child and raised it for five years all without noping out of there because of her anxiety. They even briefly mention that her condition must’ve made life for her husband really difficult. Yet, for some reason, when Misaki turned five, she suddenly decided she couldn’t take it anymore.

You could argue that her husband dying (I think he died anyway) was the crux of her abandoning Misaki, but you’d think that one fewer loved one around would make it easier for her to deal with her love-based anxiety. Plus, her husband is never mentioned as a correlating issue here. He was only slightly mentioned at the beginning of the manga.

The most angering part of this whole plotline is that it’s all simply brushed away. After their match, Misaki chases after Shuko to reveal that she knew she was her mother since the match started. And, unlike in the anime where there’s a pretty dramatic exchange of words, their reunion in the manga is more or less comedic. Her anxiety is treated comically (Less ‘realistic panic attacks’ and more ‘cartoony turning red and chibi with little dot eyes.’) Misaki has absolutely no axe to grind with her mother, which is just ridiculous and practically makes a joke out of this whole situation – even more than it already was. In the absolute end, they simply suggest that Shuko try living with Misaki and Shoko (Shuko’s sister/Misaki’s aunt whom she’s been staying with after moving to Tokyo) and Shuko agrees.

In the epilogue, Shuko’s still very much flustered around Misaki, but they work through it by having Shoko basically tell Shuko to chill out and they live happily ever after…..Yup, that’s it. No reason whatsoever why Shuko couldn’t have been doing this from the very beginning. She’s literally just giving a single iota of effort to deal with it and it’s fine now.

Actually, let me be completely fair. Before the epilogue, Shoko mentions that playing Angelic Layer with Misaki more might help because Shuko is more comfortable while playing the game, but that’s it. Granted, there is a lot of value in having an activity that helps reduce the feelings of anxiety – art and games help me quite a bit – but that just feels so cheap and corny to act like Angelic Layer will cure her eventually and that its existence basically saved their relationship. And I mean that literally. Shoko tells Shuko that they should thank the person who made Angelic Layer when she brings up them playing more to get accustomed to each other.

Speaking of Shoko, does Shuko not love her sister enough to panic around her? She’s having a conversation with her normally, albeit with a blush on her face.

I never thought Angelic Layer would make me feel like I was too harsh on the mom from Aishiteruze Baby. At least in that situation it was a traumatic event and fear of becoming an abuser that caused her to leave. At least she tried to reach out to her daughter while she was gone. At least she attempted to better herself. At least she came back for Yuzuyu a year later. Shuko? She just bounced the instant things started getting difficult. She didn’t seek therapy, she didn’t ask for help from family, she didn’t send Misaki letters or try to communicate with her for over seven years, and she lived a fairly normal life after the fact, even becoming the top player of a game in the meantime.

She’s never held accountable for what she did. Misaki forgives her without a thought, Shoko welcomes her with open arms, and she gets to live a happy life with her child even after doing something so terrible to her for such a pitiful reason. Seven years of fully abandoning her daughter wiped away with nary a stain left behind.

Her story may not be perfect in the anime, but having a debilitating disease that leaves you in a wheelchair and being so distraught over your condition that you feel too ashamed to face your daughter anymore is much more understandable than ‘I can’t be your mom anymore, Misaki. Being around you makes me 😳.’ It’s still not enough to warrant never communicating with her for seven years, but it’s better.

They even work in the Angelic Layer aspect better in the anime by saying Shuko helped create it when she was trying to develop a treatment method (or means of helping her walk. I forget.) with Icchan. She naturally became a master at it because she was using it as a means of medical research. In the manga, she’s just an employee at the company that makes the game and, I guess, played it so much that she became a master at it. So much time spent pointlessly playing a game that could have been spent with your daughter and/or in therapy.

I know how much of a struggle it is for anyone with mental health problems to seek therapy, and it’s particularly a problem when you have social anxiety disorder (for obvious reasons. There’s a joke that’s like ‘There was a group therapy session for people with social anxiety, but no one showed up.’) but I’m convinced she doesn’t have social anxiety disorder. She has ‘flustered female anime character’ syndrome. There’s no reason whatsoever that Shuko hasn’t reunited with her daughter by now. There was barely a reason to abandon her in the first place, but there is definitely no reason why she’s left her daughter without so much as a note for over seven years.

In the anime, Shuko is held accountable for her actions, even if she is also forgiven by Misaki. In the manga, no one’s ever mad at her for what she did. Misaki never so much as makes a frown at her. Not only is that very frustrating, but it’s such a disappointing payoff for this whole running plot.

Onto more lighthearted fare, it’s time to talk about the romantic relationships.

In the anime, they tease Kotarou and Misaki getting together for a long while. If we’re gender-flipping the typical shounen formula, Kotarou would take the role of the token girl/love interest. He does know quite a bit about the game, but he doesn’t play it and mostly sits on the sidelines cheering on Misaki. Outside of the arena, he helps her by giving her advice and teaching her about fighting via his karate moves.

Tamayo is Kotarou’s childhood friend who is rather loud, physical and teasing. She loves hugging Misaki and play-flirting with her, and she loves tormenting Kotarou with wrestling moves. As the series goes on, it’s clear that Tamayo has a crush on Kotarou. However, he’s too enamored by Misaki to notice. Plus, by his own admission, he never saw Tamayo as a woman before. Once she makes her feelings clear, things between the two get pretty awkward, but he eventually warms up to the idea of dating her, which they, presumably, do at the end.

Not a romance for the ages or anything, but I did like this pairing. It was nice to skew away from the predictable route of having him end up with Misaki, even if their chemistry was good, and I thought this pseudo-love triangle worked very well. It feels a bit one-sided for my liking, I thought they would make a very good couple over time.

As for Misaki, she ended up with Ojirou, who is Icchan’s step-brother and a very highly-ranked Deus. He adores Angelic Layer and has a strong personal connection with the game, just like Misaki. He’s clearly enamored with her over the series, flirts with her numerous times, and, once they meet in the arena, it seems like the feeling is mutual. By the end of the series, it’s also implied that they start dating.

In the manga, neither of these pairings happen.

Instead, the pairing that you’d expect to happen, Misaki and Kotarou, wind up together (canonically, as it’s established in an epilogue that they start dating officially) and….for some reason, despite never sharing a single line of dialogue or having anything even remotely in common, Tamayo ends up dating Ojirou (again, canonically).

I have no qualms with Misaki and Kotarou ending up together. It’s predictable, sure, but their chemistry is fine and they set up the relationship well.

I am kinda bummed that Tamayo and Kotarou didn’t even get touched upon, but what can ya do?

As for Tamayo and Ojirou……just…HUH?! That pairing had no lead up whatsoever. I don’t even think they properly met. Where the hell did this come from? Their personalities could not be any more different, which wouldn’t be a big problem if we saw them interacting and understood how their dynamic worked, but nope. The epilogue just slaps us with ‘Lol ya, they’re dating now.’ I guess they did share in making Misaki flustered by guessing what her underwear looked like, but 1) that’s dumb as a basis for a relationship, and 2) They never did that together. Again, I don’t think they ever even met before. Ojirou clearly had a crush on Misaki in the manga as well. He never once acknowledges Tamayo.

What’s even more confusing is, somehow, they’ve been dating LONGER than Misaki and Kotarou. The epilogue takes place a year after the end of the national tournament, and Misaki explains in narration that Tamayo and Ojirou have been dating for a month while Misaki and Kotarou have been dating for a week.

Keep in mind, Misaki and Kotarou were practically unofficially dating when the tournaments were going on. How did this all happen? Misaki and Ojirou made much more sense, even if they didn’t have quite as much buildup as Misaki and Kotarou. It feels like a complete afterthought to put Tamayo and Ojirou together.

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At the end of the day, the anime beats the manga handily.

Reading the manga highlighted the problems with the series as a whole more than the anime did. There’s not really a lot to be gained from either watching or reading this outside of ‘believe in yourself’ and ‘being small/short doesn’t mean you can’t be strong.’ The Miracle Rookie stuff also gets very repetitive, as does everyone constantly focusing on and praising Misaki.

Gaming anime typically don’t have to have deep storylines or messages, but that’s usually because the fun action of the game makes up for that, and fun action in gaming is so difficult to capture in manga panels, especially when the art isn’t that impressive. There were numerous instances where I honestly couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. I still have no clue how Misaki won her second to last match of the nationals. She was struggling, she couldn’t figure out how to win, everyone was worried she’d lose and then, fwoop, she won somehow.

I still really like the concept of Angelic Layer, but, quite frankly, reading the manga just made me yearn to watch the anime again just so I could see the concept done better. Not only do action/sports/gaming anime already have a leg up because they can show action in a more engaging manner, but the anime simply did a better job telling this story. The anime felt like it had more freedom above all else. There was better pacing in regards to Misaki’s development as a Deus, and everything involving Misaki’s mom made much more sense and was far more emotionally impacting that what the manga came out with. The romantic stuff I can give or take, but in my opinion they even did much better in that regard.

If Angelic Layer’s plot interests you, I fully recommend the anime. I had a lot of fun with it back when I first watched it, and I think anyone with an interest in gaming anime will have fun with it too. I still wish we had gotten a spin-off or sequel or something, and I’m forever sad Angelic Layer as a game doesn’t exist….

I can also recommend the manga, but not as enthusiastically. If nothing else, it’s a relaxing little gaming title that never has the ol’ cliché of ‘The fate of the world rests on my ability to play a children’s game!’. It’s nothing deep or introspective, you won’t tear up or yell at your screen, but if the premise sounds at all interesting it will likely entertain you for a while.


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 12: What is Ammon? | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Genshi is set off to find the Space-Time Monster, Ammon, in 15th century Transylvania where she is currently hanging out with ‘Dracula’ himself – Vlad the Impaler.

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Title Change: What is Ammon? Is changed to Bindi.

The first shot of the original is the computer screen showing Ammon. In the dub, they insert two establishing shots of the bureau before showing that screen.

Name plate removed:

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The dub adds wing flapping noises when showing Pterry and Getalong even though they’re just floating there without flapping their wings.

The dub also adds the same shot of them getting on Ridon and heading down to the basement as usual, but they go even further by adding Jillian chastising Professor Goodman for hitting on her before.

Between when Genshi inserts the card and when they depart, the dub adds in the professor telling the kids to wait a second through the computer, but they won’t wait.

The dub inserts another shot (presumably from later) where we see an overhead view of the town and the kids flying over it before we cut to Sora and Genshi talking.

Genshi initially thinks Dracula is a food, which is why he rushes down to see it. In the dub, Flint seems to know what Dracula is, so he, for some reason, rushes down to see him.

Instead of zooming OUT on the castle, the dub zooms IN. *shrug*

Sora starts telling Genshi they should look for Ammon somewhere else. In the dub, Sarah says they’ll be safe as long as Flint is with them.

So, you know how I was confused as to how they’d go about this episode? Because either 1) They’d be meeting the fictional character, Dracula, in history somehow or 2) They’d start palling around with Vlad the Frickin’ Impaler – the real-life mass murderer on whom Dracula was based?

…..It’s 2.

And HOO. BOY. Do we have much to discuss here.

First of all, Vlad over here is depressed because people keep calling him Dracula and are afraid of him. However, Vlad pretty much gave himself that name in real life. He signed his name as Dragulya or Drakulya after his father, Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Dragon) – a name he received after joining the Order of the Dragon, which was a chivalric order in Europe at the time. Draculea or Dracula was Romanian for ‘son of dracul.’ While ‘dracul’ originally meant ‘dragon’ its meaning changed to ‘the devil’ in the more modern vernacular. In turn, the son of the dragon became the son of the devil.

Second of all, Vlad is also specifically calling himself Vlad Tepes here as if it’s his actual name, which it’s not. It’s literally just Vlad III (of Wallachia). He was given the name Vlad Tepes because ‘tepes’ in Romanian translates to ‘impaler.’ This title was bestowed upon him, posthumously, mind you, because the dude loved him some impaling.

Third, in the dub, Vlad is saying Dracula is a family name, which it’s not, technically, (Vlad II’s descendants were all referred to as Draculesti) and means something different now – something warped from what they originally stood for.

Hm….Hmph. The ‘family’ name of Dracul, inherited from Vlad II was only ‘warped’ because of Vlad III’s cruelty and the slightly embellished stories in the newspapers, word of mouth and, of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whether or not Vlad II had a good reputation is up in the air. I feel like it’s a gray area situation.

From all I’ve read, he had his fair share of blood on his hands and made some questionable military decisions, but he seemed to have been a pretty fair and caring ruler overall and was nothing anywhere close to the cruel person Vlad III was. His worst crime is implicated as handing over his sons, Vlad III and Radu, to the Ottoman empire, but he was forced into that arrangement (they were kidnapped and being held hostage to try and keep Vlad II under their thumb) and Vlad II tried to ensure that his sons were kept safe and eventually returned to him. He appeared to have died believing that, somewhere down the line, his sons were murdered by the Ottoman empire.

Fourth, this whole setup is kinda screwed from the getout because Vlad III never owned any property or lived in Transylvania. It’s been recorded that Vlad III might have been born in Transylvania, but, even if he was, he never lived there. Even the place they call ‘Dracula’s castle’ – Bran Castle – is just a spooky castle in Transylvania that Vlad never once visited. His armies once passed through Bran the city when they were murdering Saxons and burning nearby suburbs to the ground in the area, but that’s about it.

It was rumored to be the closest existing castle bearing resemblance to the castle described in Dracula, but it’s really not even that. In the 1970s, the Romanian government just banked on the rumor that it was strongly connected to Dracula, so they drove up tourism by marketing it that way.

Moving on, Putera originally tells Tokio and Sora that Vlad was just a model for Dracula and that such a being is not real. In the dub, Pterry tells Sarah and Tony that, if Tony’s nice enough, Vlad might give him the grand tour of the castle – the one that involves showing him his coffin.

Also, somehow, Ammon can talk, which is very much unlike most other Space-Time monsters.

Speaking of which, Tokio asks how Ammon can talk, and Ammon doesn’t really have an answer for him. In the dub, since all Time Shifters can talk anyway, this is changed to Tony saying Flint won’t make a very good vampire unless they change the diet. Bindi then says to knock off the vampire talk around Vlad because he doesn’t care for it. While supernatural beings of a vampiric-like nature have existed for over a thousand years, ‘vampires’ shouldn’t be a thing in 15th century Transylvania since the word ‘vampire’ wouldn’t exist until the early 1700s.

Mite originally asks what powers TP Lady could be referring to. In the dub, he asks if it was worth missing bowling for a Time Shifter with no powers. Also, after TP Lady goes on about how Ammon could have eternal life or beauty, Mite points out that TP Lady always seems to want the Space-Time monsters with powers that specifically benefit her. In the dub, he asks if the next Time Shifter they’ll go after will have experience in hair dressing.

TP Lady originally jumps out of the ship to tell them that those are the basics in life that she needs. In the dub, she, for some reason, says ‘One more time! One. More. Time!’ before falling.

I am currently watching Vlad the Impaler happily bounce on a bed with a time traveling caveman……Again, I truly, deeply love anime.

However, let me a downer nerd for a second……a downerd, if you will – mattresses didn’t start having springs until 1865. Unless there’s something else springy in that mattress, there’s no reason they should be bouncing like that, especially so easily. I have no clue why I decided to look that up, but here we are.

They censor the wolf getting hit in the face with Kyoichiro’s cane by cutting to a flash of white when the strike happens.

They do the same thing again when the other two wolves get hit, but it’s so quick and really nothing is shown during the split-second shot.

Ammon: “The count is really a nice person. Everyone just misunderstands him.”

Uh.

……Huh.

Vlad once impaled a donkey because it started braying after Vlad impaled its masters…..Who were monks.

A group of Ottomans once refused to remove their turbans in his presence due to religious reasons, so he ordered their turbans be nailed to their heads in honor of their religious devotion.

There’s a story of him having a woman killed because she made a shirt for her husband that was too short.

Here’s a woodcut depicting him eating his dinner while surrounded by dead/dying people impaled on pikes with one of his men chopping up corpses in front of him as he dines.

I mean, granted, yeah, it’s been suggested that the stories about his cruelty were exaggerated to some extent, but, still, the guy didn’t have some sort of fake image as a monster smeared on him. He earned it. He left tens of thousands of bodies in his wake, usually leaving them alive while impaled on stakes and allowing them to die slowly for days wherever he left them. His most famous instance of cruelty and murder was leaving what was described as a ‘forest’ of impaled people on stakes – over 20,000 Ottoman POWs – as a means of intimidating an Ottoman army into retreating (and it worked.) His estimated final death toll is about 100,000.

He is hailed as a Romanian hero by some as he was an extremely effective military leader who held strong resistance against the Ottoman empire, protected Wallachia and had a very noble sense of law and order. But even people who hail him as a hero recognize that he was a cruel person who did horrific things. They simply justify it on the grounds that his cruelty was ‘necessary’ in such horrible times and his acts lead to some good. I actually found quite a few lengthy comments by people who were vehemently defending Vlad on those grounds. I’m not Romanian nor did I live in the 1400s or know the guy personally, but I just can’t see through that lens. Even if you can excuse or justify the acts themselves, if he actually did them in such a merciless manner and took pleasure in it, he’s simply a horrible person in my eyes.

No matter if you don’t accept the monstrous viewpoint of Vlad or even accept him as a hero, you have to agree that it’s SO weird that this show is choosing to paint him like this. The guy is depicted as such a gentle softspoken man that he’d probably be an understudy for The Count on Sesame Street.

They insert a shot of Sarah talking right before Merlock introduces himself.

Kyoichiro tells Sora that he hasn’t properly introduced himself to her yet. In the dub, he tells Sarah that he’s her servant.

In the original, Dyna and Mite say the missiles might not be flying right because Mite mentioned to the people who repaired their ship that they keep getting defeated so they probably skimped on the work. In the dub, Dyno says cuts to the defense budget caused the problem and Mite adds that if they had written to their congressman like he suggested this wouldn’t be happening.

Vlad originally tells the women to take the children and run while the men work to put out the fires. In the dub, he tells everyone to grab a bucket and head to the wells to put out the fire.

Also, yup, now Vlad the Impaler is a village-saving firefighter…..

They recycle a couple of shots from the chase after it restarts before Merlock hits the cliff.

They remove about half of the shots of the saw approaching Kyoichiro and Ammon. He was biding his time until the very last moment so he could get the best shot at defeating the robot and getting away. In the dub, he just suddenly attacks.

*lip smack*….Uhhh……why is the sawblade now flying around back and forth like it’s a boomerang that never falls? TP Lady’s not doing this.

Petra: *nearly got hit by the sawblade* “I hate when this happens!” I, too, hate when sawblades defy the laws of physics and basically become a flying sentient Beyblade from hell for absolutely no discernible reason.

Putera: “Vlad was attacked by many, but the townspeople loved him. Just as history should be.” This is half-right, to some degree. As I said, some Romanian people hailed him more as a hero, and they still do. If nothing else, he’s viewed as a good military leader who defended Wallachia no matter what.

However, I am totally still calling foul on this narrative like he was given a bad rep unjustifiably. I get that this kids’ show can’t depict or even discuss the horrible acts of Vlad the Impaler, but acting like he was this goshdarn swell guy who had the heart of a lion but everyone unfairly treated like a monster for absolutely no given reason is taking it way too far.

It’s a hop, skip and jump away from telling the tale of a down-on-his-luck artist who had the best of intentions but everyone just started being mean to him for no reason and his legacy was forever marred because of rumors. Genshi and the others really have to help innocent little Adolf.

I joke, but Shin Devilman pretty much did that.

And I definitely won’t agree with the statement “Just as history should be.” It’s not as history should be because you’re omitting, like…..ALL OF THE HISTORY. The dub parrots this last line exactly and it really irks me. At least Saban changes the first line to saying he was part of a noble family that cared for his country instead of making this defenseless victim narrative.

Dub Villager: “We listened to too many bad stories.” Again, what were these stories? Who was telling them? What were they even about?

Tony: “I guess the vampire was just an urban myth of the count’s era.” No. He was a mere part of the basis of the most famous vampire in history, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which wouldn’t be created for another 400 years. Not only was Vlad’s cruelty and impaling shtick inspiration for him, but there was also the popular rumor that Vlad liked to drink the blood of his enemies. It should be noted, however, that the strength of Vlad III’s connection to the fictional Dracula are said to be overstated. Stoker got the name Dracula from him and drew inspiration from the stories of cruelty surrounding him, but the majority of the character was pieced together from years of research on vampire legends as well as essays, books and articles on the subject.

They also found clippings indicating that Stoker was researching Mercy Brown at the time he was writing Dracula. Mercy Brown was the epicenter of the Mercy Brown Vampire Incident, which was part of a growing ‘vampire panic’ in New England at the time. Many people were dying of tuberculosis during that period, and being the superstitious and largely uneducated bunch people were back then, they started believing those who had died from it were becoming ‘vampires’ since the disease would also spread to their family members and seemingly suck the life force from them while the corpses of some of those who had died were sometimes left without much decomposition and with blood in their vital organs.

One such famous incident of this very occurrence was Mercy Brown, who had died of tuberculosis after her mother, Mary Eliza, and sister, Mary Olive, had died from it. When the three were exhumed for analysis, Mary Eliza and Mary Olive showed a normal rate of decomp, but Mercy didn’t. Mercy was accused of being a ‘vampire’ (though they probably didn’t directly use that term) who was sucking the life from her surviving brother, Edwin, who also had TB. They burned her heart and liver, put the ashes into a ‘tonic’ for Edwin to drink in order to cure him, desecrated Mercy’s body and reburied her, believing they saved poor Edwin….He died two months later.

Also, it was later revealed that Mercy’s body was kept in ‘freezer-like’ conditions in a crypt for the two months following her death, something that was not done with Mary Eliza and Mary Olive, which would explain why they were so decomposed and Mercy was not. This incident was seemingly one of the last of the vampire panic, though it should be noted that Mercy’s case took place in 1892 and the first recorded example of this type of thing happening was in 1793….Yup. Nearly 100 years exactly of people thinking ‘vampires’ were the culprits behind the TB outbreak in 19th century New England. Gotta be thankful for modern medicine, education and science at times like these. Granted, it’s not like it was a massively popular thing to do – according to New England Today, there were only seven documented cases of this happening – but still.

The Mercy Brown incident was never strongly associated with Stoker’s writings, but it’s very interesting nonetheless.

….Also, supposedly Stoker had a nightmare brought on by eating too much crab meat about a vampire king rising from the grave. Now I can’t stop imagining a crab vampire…..

Vampiric beings in general, as I stated earlier, had been around for much longer than Vlad’s time, and the myth has remained in a multitude of ways to this very day, so boiling it down to just being an urban legend of Vlad’s era and location and that blew up in correlation to the rumors surrounding him is just wrong.

And, really, if you think about the timeline of the show for even a second, you have to wonder….how did the fictional Dracula even become a thing off of Vlad? Was it purely the outlandish seeming rumors surrounding him for whatever reason? Does this mean they changed the timeline and now Dracula doesn’t exist because Vlad’s reputation was saved?

Toki-G brings up how odd it is that Ammon can speak again. Since this isn’t in the dub, Old Timer just talks about Merlock and Bindi traveling together now.

The final scene with Toki-G is basically kept the same, but they add in some recycled footage to extend it.

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……What a weird-ass episode.

Normally, really weird episodes would be welcome because they’re just insane and fun, but this is weird in a confusing and bland way…..What do I even do with this?

It’s an episode acting as if Vlad the Impaler was an innocent nice dude who never did anything bad or wrong and was treated badly just cuz. It’s uncomfortably washing away literally everything even slightly bad that he ever did. I know they did the same thing for Christopher Columbus, but muffled history and years of washed schoolbooks were basically to blame for that depiction. What was behind this? Why even select someone like him to focus on in a kids’ show?

This episode also showcases a Space-Time Monster that never displays her powers, doesn’t transform and never fights. In the dub, she’s even more boring because there’s no mystery about why she can talk since all Time Shifters can talk in the dub. Not to mention the fact that she’s clingy and jealous, which are not personality traits that appeal to me at all. And now she’s going to be Kyoichiro’s companion. I hope she’s over the jealous bit now and will be more likable in the future.

Our big battle of the episode was against TP Lady’s robot cat, which has been defeated numerous times, and, in the end, they just ran away because they were terrified once Genshi was de-fossilized.

We didn’t even get a new good transformation for one of the Space-Time monsters on the allied side. Eldora was called in but only to act as a means of de-fossilizing Genshi by reflecting the beam back.

We did learn more about Kyoichiro, and he definitely proved to be more than just a goofball puppy-dogging after Sora. He’s a pretty cool guy with some legitimate skills………….Why no one pointed out that he looks like a vampire, much more than Vlad (and basically is one) I’ll never know.

The one actually notable thing about this episode besides the aforementioned Dracula/Caveman bouncing on the bed thing is the weird flying sawblade with a mind of its own. Where did it even go once the tree pinned Kyoichiro? Is it going to slaughter the villagers? Violate land clearing laws? Audition for the new Saw movie?

I didn’t dislike this episode, but I also didn’t like it. Outside of the weird and uncomfortable light they put Vlad in, there’s not much to like or dislike about this episode because there’s simply not much in it. There’s not a real story. I don’t even feel anything for Ammon having to leave Vlad because they never didn’t put any adequate focus on their relationship. From the very start, it was just Ammon getting pissy that Vlad was making friends with Genshi. And unlike most other instances of a Space-Time monster leaving their friend, Vlad never has one final moment of fondly remembering Ammon or even saying goodbye. He just makes friends with the villagers and gets his mind wiped.

I will admit that I had a lot of fun researching everything in connection to this story. I always enjoy stories of creatures and monsters and how they intertwine with history, and Vlad the Impaler has always been a pretty fascinating person to me, even if he was a mass murderer. However, the more I researched, the more irked I got at the changes they made. Oh yeah, Vlad the Impaler totally rescued a little pink snail creature and let it sleep in his bed….right after he supposedly captured, tortured and mutilated rats and small birds and stuck their bodies on tiny sticks.

Next time, we’re seemingly getting a Christmas special. Cool. Don’t think they’re meeting the real Saint Nicolas, but cool….Wait, does that mean this was meant to be a Halloween episode? Hm.


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AniManga Clash! Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 2

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Chapter 9: The Momentary Resurrection

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Picking up where we last left off, Keiko was in the hands of the thug, Daisuke, who brought her back to some seedy bar to show her off to his friends. She doesn’t go quietly, however, especially when they start trying to do pervy things to her. They beat her up and knock her unconscious, leaving them open to sexually assaulting her. However, Yusuke, who comes in wearing a mask he won at a pachinko parlor, rescues her before they do anything.

Kuwabara, who got the news when Yusuke did, arrives on scene to save her, but Yusuke hands over the unconscious Keiko to Kuwabara so he can pretend he saved her – making it so she won’t ask questions or realize he’s alive for a day.

I don’t know why Yusuke is allowed to talk to Kuwabara but not Keiko or his mom. Also, Keiko is just faking being unconscious right now, she woke up a little earlier…so…what’s the rules there? She’s allowed to acknowledge that he’s temporarily alive, touch him and hear him speak, but as long as he doesn’t speak to her and vice versa….it’s fine? That’s so dumb….

Keiko continues to fake being unconscious for several more hours, I guess to force Yusuke to not go traipsing around town and risking his body like that. When she leaves, Yusuke realizes she put a little kissy mark on his face.

This was…a fairly okay little arc. It was cool to see Yusuke back in action, and his ridiculous masks were hilarious. Plus, this was a cute little moment between Keiko and Yusuke, but this is just one of so many instances of Keiko being a damsel in distress. And the continued aspect of threatening sexual assault is uncomfortable.

Not to mention that I just find the whole aspect of him being able to see and converse with literally anyone else BUT Keiko and his mom is a grade A plot device that doesn’t even function logically. Yusuke put on a mask so Keiko wouldn’t recognize him, but it turns out she can acknowledge everything about his existence except communicate with him. And if he wrote that note to Keiko at the end, the one where he acts as if he’s Kuwabara, doesn’t that count as communicating with her?

I can definitely see why they didn’t put this in the anime.

Chapter 10: Forbidden Games

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Another manga exclusive story, this chapter returns us to Shouta, the boy from a few chapters back who was dealing with confidence issues and the loss of his beloved dog, Jiro. Now, Shouta is doing pretty good in life, but he’s haunted by the spirit of a girl named Sayaka. She’s dragging him out of his body every night to play with her because she’s so lonely, as she was also very lonely in life. Shouta doesn’t remember these encounters after he wakes up, but when he’s in spirit form he resists going with Yusuke and abandoning Sayaka because he doesn’t want her to be lonely.

This is the first spirit Yusuke actually fights in the manga – and he loses pretty badly. Sayaka’s loneliness has created a deep darkness in her heart, and it’s granted her incredible power that Yusuke just can’t stand up against. If Sayaka continues to take Shouta’s soul out of his body night after night, she’ll eventually weaken his soul enough to drag him to the afterlife with her, but since her soul is so corrupted by loneliness, she’ll only be entering a world of darkness and despair with him.

After a few days of being Yusuke being unconscious (how that works as a ghost, I don’t know) we discover that Shouta is becoming pretty weak, though still not realizing what’s happening at night. Yusuke goes to confront Sayaka once more, but she refuses. She wants to finally bring Shouta to what she believes is heaven, but when she goes to force Yusuke away again, she finds her powers to be entirely diminished.

It seems that hanging out with Shouta so much has quelled the loneliness in her heart, and her powers have greatly weakened because of it. She still doesn’t want to leave Shouta and vice versa, however, so Yusuke happily offers to be a big brother to her and play with her until she’s finally ready to pass on for real.

She agrees, and Shouta returns to his regular life, healthy as a child should be, but it seems Sayaka is sticking around for longer than they thought.

I really liked this story and, truth be told, it’s better than the anime version of Sayaka.

Yes, Sayaka exists in the anime, but she’s basically changed so much that she’s not even the same character outside of the design. In the anime, she’s a one-episode character, taking the role of a spirit investigator sent to determine if Yusuke is really worth saving. She evaluates Yusuke’s friends and family as well as Yusuke and his relationship to them. Most notably, she investigates the relationship that Keiko and Yusuke have. She’s uncertain about her findings until Yusuke willfully sacrifices his spirit egg, his one chance at returning to life, in order to save Keiko’s life.

Sayaka’s report on the matter impresses Koenma, who agrees to bring him back anyway since he showed such selflessness.

Sayaka just always seemed like an unnecessary character. Isn’t Botan doing enough investigating and reporting on Yusuke’s attitude and relationships that Sayaka’s role is redundant? I never disliked her in the anime or anything, but she wasn’t really made interesting and, like I said, her presence seemed pointless.

In the manga, her story is much more interesting, and even somewhat heartbreaking. I absolutely loved that Yusuke offered to be her big brother and play with her without any hesitation. He knows she’s not a bad kid, she’s just lonely and sad. It was also nice to see Shouta again. It’s good that he’s still doing well and is turning into such a sweet kid, even if it is slightly implied that he’s becoming a bit of a ladies man….as much as an eight year old can be, anyway. I dunno why they needed that implication. Can’t he just be a nice kid to both genders without implying that he’s being nice to girls to impress them?

I was a bit sad that Shouta didn’t even mention Jiro, but Yusuke brought up his promise to Jiro, and that was really sweet. We’ll have to wait and see what Sayaka’s continued presence will bring to the series.

Chapter 11-12 A Broken Friendship/Demonic Hand

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This is a two-parter story involving two best friends, Emi and Natsuko. They’re both top of their respective classes, and they’re competing for the lone spot offered by their school to go to N High School – a very prestigious school that everyone’s pressuring them to attend.

Recently, Emi has been having very ominous feelings, as if something is watching her or causing her to suffer misfortune. Yusuke spots the seeming culprit, the spirit of a boy who used to attend the school five years ago. He committed suicide, and I quote “due to some setback” but very much regrets his decision.

He’s not really the problem, though. He was attracted to Emi due to a dark power resonated from her because of an amulet. Natsuko had placed a curse on Emi to cause her to slip up in her studies and stop being competition for her for the spot in N High School. Natsuko was pressured even more by everyone else, especially her family, to get the N High School spot. This pressure was compounded by the fact that Natsuko was consistently second place to Emi throughout their entire friendship. She resented her for it, but those feelings would usually quickly dissipate after saving Emi from bullies or spending time with her.

Evil and corrupted spirits were attracted to the amulet, making it more powerful. However, the boy’s evil energy started fading when he kept seeing what a kind person Emi was. He didn’t fall in love with her or anything, but she showed him a light that drove back the darkness.

Meanwhile, Natsuko started regretting her decision after hearing Emi talk about not wanting to bother Natsuko with her worries, especially since Natsuko believes in the paranormal and may freak out.

Natsuko rips up the ‘amulet’ which I think is moreso a talisman, but okay. However, she’s shocked to find the mark of the amulet now tattooed on her wrist. At the same time, Emi is being pulled across the railroad tracks by a dark entity right as a train approaches.

The boy vanishes before the second half of the story. Yusuke asks if he’s moving on now, and Botan says suicide is too grave a sin to move on yet. He has a lot of repentance to do before he can do so.

Sayaka, who alerted them to Emi’s problems in the first place, notifies them of Emi’s current situation. However, they can’t do anything about it since spirits can’t really interfere much with human matters, and this evil entity is too powerful for any of them to take on. That’s not enough for Yusuke, however, as he rushes in and tries to bite the entity into submission, but he’s literally chucked all the way into space as a result.

The boy’s spirit returns and manages to bring Natsuko to the tracks to save Emi. That’s all he’s able to do before he disappears once more.

Natsuko pleads with the entity to let her go, and after a touching speech, the entity finally vanishes, as does the mark, and Natsuko saves Emi.

Later, at school, Natsuko and Emi tell their respective teachers, who have been pressuring them a lot since the class of the student who goes to N High School will get a lot of respect and adoration (and Natsuko and Emi are from two different classes) that they want the school to take them out of consideration for the N High School spot. They’ve both decided to not listen to anyone who is pressuring them anymore. They want to make their own decisions from now on. They’ve decided to go to S High School together, much to their teachers’ dismay.

This story was pretty good, even if I’m not sure it warranted being a two-parter. Emi and Natsuko have a very realistic friendship. Even the best of friends can have hidden resentments and anger amongst them while still being very strong friends, and such massive pressure on the both them could easily make them do crazy things, especially if they believe it won’t actually work. Despite believing in the paranormal, Natsuko didn’t believe her silly spell would work until she realized something was actually troubling Emi, and when she realized it was real she almost sacrificed her life to make things right.

My two main problems with this story are the boy spirit and the roles of Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka. The boy spirit, who is never named, mind you, seems like he could have an interesting story. He’s a kid who committed suicide at the very school the girls are currently attending, but we get an almost insultingly pitiful amount of information on him. Not only do we never learn his name, but we never learn of his story or why he committed suicide in the first place. “Due to some setback” is so vague it’s almost irritating. It was only five years ago. Why is he so unspecific about it?

And even though I get that suicide is taboo in a lot of religions, it does bother me that even in YYH suicide is apparently so grave a sin that you can’t go to heaven once you do it. They never imply he’s in hell or anything, just that he has to do god knows how many good deeds as a spirit before he can move on, but still. The kid was suffering so much that he killed himself and now, as a ghost, realizes he lost everything and regrets it. Isn’t that bad enough?

He does come back and help Natsuko save Emi, but then he vanishes and is never even brought up again. It’s a sad ending to an already sad story and it’s pretty much glossed over.

In regards to Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka, this is another story where they might as well have not even been there in the first place. You could completely remove them from this story and everything would have been exactly the same. The trio basically just acted as audience surrogates – creating an avenue for the characters to give exposition without it being narration or something, and that wasn’t necessary because…yeah, just have it be narration.

It’s not like Yusuke did any Spirit Detective-ing either. He literally just talked to the ghost stalking Emi and asked what’s up. The boy ghost was even the one who found out it was Natsuko who cursed Emi.

Yusuke attacked the entity, and that was a little funny, but it did absolutely nothing and the girls weren’t even able to notice he did it.

So, in conclusion, decent story but it didn’t have to be a YYH story nor a two-parter.

Chapters 13-14: Prerequisites of a Loved One/Inside the Flames

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Ah, finally. We’re at another chapter that was reflected in the anime – Prerequisites for Lovers.

As I mentioned before, Sayaka is not a spirit investigator in the manga as she is in the anime – she’s just the spirit of a little girl. She has grown extremely attached to Yusuke, and she and Botan basically follow Keiko around so Sayaka can see if Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship is true love.

Everything else in the story is exactly the same barring the very ending. In the anime, Yusuke was told that the only way to save Keiko’s life was to use the power that has been stored up in his spirit egg to create a pathway in the fire. This would mean sacrificing his one chance at coming back to life, but Yusuke does it anyway since Keiko’s life means more to him than his.

After the ordeal, Koenma appears. He’s so impressed by Yusuke’s selflessness that he agrees to bring him back to life anyway.

In the manga, Koenma appears during the fire and explains to Yusuke that he’ll have to agree to a deal for Koenma to use his power to save Keiko. Yusuke doesn’t let him explain what it is as he’s far too impatient to wait for Keiko to be safe. Koenma uses his power and opens a pathway in the flames. Later, Botan explains that, in order for Koenma to make a miracle, like saving Keiko, he needed to use human virtue. Since Yusuke was the other half of the deal, he used the virtue that Yusuke had been saving up in his body to use his power.

However, unlike in the anime where this meant he sacrificed his chance to come back to life, in the manga, this simply means that it will take longer for Yusuke to build up more virtue and return to life. And he really doesn’t care, so this doesn’t seem like nearly the same kind of massive sacrifice as Yusuke made in the anime, which is disappointing.

Granted, the anime also doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s revealed later that, despite the egg being destroyed in the fire, his spirit egg hatched further down the line and became Puu. Still, you lose a lot of the emotional impact when you replace ‘You can never be resurrected’ with ‘it’ll take a bit longer to be resurrected.’

The manga also goes a bit further in the story. Kuwabara shows up and takes Keiko and Yusuke’s body to his house to help cover up Yusuke’s secret. His sister, Shizuru, loans Keiko some clothes to replace her burned ones, and she cuts Keiko’s hair since it was singed. We also learn Shizuru wants to be a beautician, which is something I don’t believe was ever conveyed in the anime.

Shizuru, having even stronger spiritual powers than Kuwabara, can actually see Yusuke’s spirit around Keiko. She comments that he seems to be a good guy and asks if she likes him. She says yes and Yusuke looks a little embarrassed.

Meanwhile, Sayaka also bids her farewell. She accepts that Yusuke and Keiko are a great pair. She doesn’t like the idea of relying on anyone else’s boyfriend, so she decides to pass on and find her own boyfriend in the afterlife. She even suggests Koenma is kinda cute and might seek him out next. She tells Yusuke to have two kids with Keiko, a boy and a girl, before finally departing.

There’s also a small part where Koenma shows back up after Sayaka leaves. He tells Yusuke that, since he had to save Keiko’s life and interfere in real world matters, he took a body part from her. Yusuke freaks out and rushes to Keiko and Koenma giggles and points out that he took her hair (since she just got a haircut.)

You’ll notice that another scene is missing from the manga, and that’s the scene after the fire is put out. Keiko stands by with Yusuke’s body in a wheelchair, believing he saved her from the fire. Atsuko, in a kind of annoying ‘I’m not really taking this seriously’ tone goes on about how sorry she is that she wasn’t there, but she’s thankful Yusuke is alive and will do better for him from now on.

I do kinda wish the manga had some scene with Atsuko, because this is literally all her fault. Like I said in my review of the anime episode, I almost feel like it was originally planned to have Atsuko accidentally set the fire due to her negligence but they decided against it to not make Atsuko too unlikable. Instead, she left the windows unlocked and covered her son in dust and garbage, giving the arsonist easy access and allowing the fire to spread easily.

This was definitely a sweet story in both versions, but I can’t help but prefer the anime’s retelling a little more. Yusuke knowingly and willingly sacrificing his one shot at being brought back to life is just better than him needing to be a ghost for a while longer. He didn’t know what he was agreeing to in the first place, and he didn’t care at all when he found out the cost.

Yusuke, in the anime, after everything was said and done, had a bit of a blowup. He yelled out to his mom, Keiko and Kuwabara to stop talking to what was now an actual dead body. He yelled at his mom to stop apologizing because he’ll never be around to say it’s okay, and he accepted that he was dead for good. He even started crying a little before telling Botan to just take him heaven or hell or wherever he was supposed to go now.

This blowup doesn’t mean he regrets saving Keiko, of course he doesn’t, but it’s very genuine to also show that the cost deeply affected him. A sacrifice isn’t really much of a sacrifice if the loss doesn’t hurt you.

Chapters 15-16: Target! A Victory/Victory Depends on Guts

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As he’s floating around town, Yusuke spots an old classmate of his, Suekichi, being bullied by a group of thugs. Back when they were kids, Suekichi was always being bullied and Yusuke would save him from the bullies….for a fee, of course. He was so spineless and weak that the other kids had nicknamed him Suekichi the idiot.

Yusuke couldn’t stand watching Suekichi be ruthlessly beaten into the ground anymore, so once he was knocked unconscious Yusuke jumped into his body, ignoring the warnings of Botan. Yusukichi easily flattened all of the thugs in one fell swoop, but Yusuke became locked in Suekichi’s body.

Meanwhile, Koenma appears before Botan and explains that a decision was made on Yusuke’s revival. They will allow Yusuke to be brought back to life even without him regaining the virtue he lost earlier. They explored Yusuke’s heart and found that he wasn’t evil, but he wasn’t entirely noble either. He very much acts without thinking, but many of his acts lead him to noble deeds….and some not so noble.

They’ve concluded that he’s a ‘bubblehead’ who can’t be accurately judged in his spirit form, so they’re taking the opportunity to see what he’ll do in a regular body..

Once Suekichi’s consciousness was reawakened, he freaked out at the invasion of Yusuke’s spirit, but Yusuke explained that he wished to help him. Suekichi is an aspiring boxer and he’s loved the sport of boxing since he was a kid. However, he’s never won a single match, which is really all he wants to do. Being bullied his whole life, he has a nasty habit of closing his eyes when the opponent is about to strike, so he always loses.

He does have a wealth of knowledge on boxing and great technique, but when it comes to applying it, he’s a total mess. However, he was chosen to partake in a competition as a representative of their school’s boxing society. He was one of only two candidates with the other being a thug named Itou who lost the position due to skipping too many practices. Itou’s cohorts were the ones beating on him in the start of the story, trying to get him to relinquish his spot. Itou himself starts wailing on him to get him to give up, but once again Yusuke takes over and beats the snot out of him.

Yusuke keeps trying to get Suekichi to believe in himself and have fighting spirit, but no matter the situation, he always folds.

One day, they bump into Tachikawa, who is meant to be his opponent in the match. He’s a dirty fighter who is known for purposely breaking bones and blinding his opponents in order to win. Yusuke took over his body and stood up to him for Suekichi, but when the time came for the match and he tried to get Suekichi to rise to the occasion, Suekichi simply couldn’t do it.

Yusuke finally got fed up and punched Suekichi (and by extension himself) in the face. With one final…let’s call it a pep talk Yusuke-style, Suekichi bites the bullet and heads out, which allows Yusuke to leave his body.

During the match, he does quite well. He doesn’t close his eyes and he has a newfound confidence. Even after he takes a hit, he’s able to power through because Yusuke’s punch was a lot worse. Tachikawa then aims to elbow him in the eyes to blind him, but Suekichi blocks with his head gear and socks Tachikawa in the face, laying him out and winning him the match. He cheers to Yusuke, even though he’s gone from his body, and Yusuke looks on with a smile.

I gotta say, if this was the main crux they were using for Yusuke earning his right to be revived….what a shitty story to do that with. It’s not a terrible story, it’s just largely uninteresting and not worth being so important. And haven’t we already had a story when Yusuke helps some bullied kid be brave? Nothing is riding on this competition besides some vow he made to himself several years ago, the outcome is entirely predictable, Suekichi is not an engaging character at all, and Yusuke was able to help him by beating up a dozen people and punching Suekichi in the face? Are you kidding me? THAT’S the act that instantly shows the higher ups in Spirit World that Yusuke’s worth bringing back to life?

Why couldn’t they have just made it so him sacrificing his ‘life’ for Keiko was the big act that convinced them? Why did he need to something in a human body to show this? Didn’t he also do good deeds the few times he possessed people? Hell, just look to the brief period he was brought back to life and how he saved Keiko from that gang, even risking losing his chance at coming back to life if she spoke to him. It’s so backwards. This should have been one of the first ‘Yusuke proves he’s an alright guy’ stories not the final one.

Chapter 17: The Golden Awakening

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I love how the action lines are also inside Yusuke’s mouth.

Ah, we’ve finally reached Yusuke’s awakening, and it’s pretty much exactly as it was in the anime. The only real change I saw was that, at least in the English dub, Yusuke claims Atsuko had good insurance and that’s how they got such a good apartment after the fire. In the manga, a text box explains that Atsuko got money from pimps to pay for it…..I don’t know if they’re insinuating that Atsuko’s a prostitute or she just knows pimps who would give her money, but….there’s that.

Speaking of Atsuko, another thing that stayed the same was Atsuko going out and getting plastered, leaving Yusuke’s body all alone AGAIN. I know I’ve already complained about that when talking about the anime, but REALLY. She nearly loses her son AGAIN to a house fire because she was out getting shitfaced, and she decides it’s a good idea to yet again leave her son alone while she goes to get shitfaced. Bloody hell….

As a few final notes, the anime did add a scene where Yusuke tries to corral Kuwabara while he’s at the arcade, but his efforts fail, and the anime’s shot of Keiko kissing Yusuke was just plain better in the manga. The actual kiss is covered, but the angle is a lot better than the weird sideways kiss she gives him in the anime.

….Oh and also, the previous two chapters were even more pointless if he was just going to be revived immediately after.

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And that was volume two! Quite the long road to Yusuke getting revived, but we’re finally getting him into Spirit Detective mode.

As for this volume’s journey to getting him there….Eh. The filler was okay, but I didn’t feel particularly impacted to the point where I was like ‘Whoa, I’m sad they never adapted this to the anime.’ The arc with Suekichi only gets increasingly frustrating the more I think about it. It’s boring padding that definitely didn’t deserve to be the defining moment for proving Yusuke’s worth as a person.

The manga just seems to have a problem with making stories that otherwise don’t really need Yusuke and Botan around. It doesn’t feel like Yu Yu Hakusho – it feels like an anthology. A Yu Yu Hakusho anthology-esque section could very well work if they focused more on giving Yusuke and Botan more stuff to do instead of reacting to what’s going on around them.

The arc with Yusuke’s temporary resurrection was okay, and the ending with Keiko was a little sweet, but I still find the conditions of this temporary arrangement to be bunk. It really just felt like a forced plot device to ensure Keiko and Yusuke don’t have some sort of reunion before he actually revives.

When it came to storylines that were adapted into the anime for this volume, everything seems in order, barring that one moment at the end of Prerequisites for a Loved One where the anime just did it objectively better all around. The manga did Sayaka’s role a lot better, but in comparison to the ending changes, it’s not much consolation.

Hm…..I feel like it’s a bit of a close call, but, ultimately, I’d give this round to the anime. If the anime had omitted more memorable stories and moments, I’d definitely give it to the manga, but they just made too many missteps here.

Winner: Anime


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-kun/Flint the Time Detective | Episode 11: Get Fired Up! Nekketsu Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Genshi, Sora and Tokio head to America in 1906 where the Space-Time monster, Nekketsu, has befriended an 11-year-old George Herman Ruth, known later as the legendary baseball player, Babe Ruth.

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They add in a stock shot of Ms. Jinguji talking between when the kids enter the building and when they pan across the room.

Name Change: Nekketsu is changed to Batterball

The original doesn’t state that Nekketsu has the power to instill people with great athletic prowess like the dub does. All he does is control any type of ball and create balls.

There’s no excuse for this change. In the original, Genshi hears “batter” and mistakes it for the word “butter” and gets excited. In the dub, he hears clearly but thinks they’re talking about batter for pancakes. Granted, the joke here isn’t better or worse than the one in the original, but there was no reason to change it.

Title Change: Get Fired Up! Nekketsu is changed to Batterball

The original just says they’re heading to 20th century America. In the dub, they specifically say 1906. I don’t know why the dub is consistently more accurate on the year than the original is, but give Saban their props. When the original keeps saying (#)th century, it’s way too vague. Technically, this episode was made in the 20th century, for crying out loud, and 1906 is just barely on the cusp of the 20th century.

As usual, the dub chooses to show the kids getting on Ridon up on the second floor and descending down to the transport bay while the original hasn’t shown that in a while.

Nekketsu’s name plate is removed.

Subbed: STDGKEP11SCREEN2

Dubbed: STDGKEP11SCREEN3

Originally, George asks Genshi if he’s okay. In the dub, they make him an idiot by making him ask if Flint’s an asteroid.

Apparently, Saban transformed the shoes of those bullies who were kicking Batterball into clown shoes because they add horn honking sound effects whenever they stomp on Batterball.

I think this has happened enough now to add this note.

Entire Series Edit: In the original, the Space-Time Monsters can’t talk. They just say their names or make random sounds, like Pokemon. In the dub, they can seemingly all speak English fluently.

In the original, Genshi introduces himself as a friend and then proceeds to dance around while singing his ‘Friends’ song. In the dub, Flint says he’s there to protect George and Batterball. George asks what a small kid like him can do, and Flint just…..dances to the chanting from the theme song for some reason.

George wonders if Genshi even understands what he’s talking about. In the dub, he says Flint probably takes a lot of vitamins. Fun fact: vitamins were discovered by Casimir Funk who coined the term “vitamins” (originally ‘vitamines’) in 1912, a full six years after this episode takes place. I honestly just checked that for the hell of it, thinking vitamins were way older and this joke worked, but nope.

Sora tries to remind Genshi that playing baseball is not what they came here to do. In the dub, Sarah says giving Flint a mitt will keep the ball out of his mouth….??

Tokio then says it’s not fair for Genshi to catch and that he should have a shot at bat…….Dude, he literally just caught ONE ball. George literally batted ONCE. You’re saying that arrangement is unfair? In the dub, Tony suggests letting Flint take a few swings while they look for a mitt. That’s better, admittedly, but George has a mitt. We just saw it a second ago.

Putera says that’s not what Sora was talking about, and Sora laments that even Tokio’s not focused on work anymore. In the dub, Pterry says he bets Flint can hit and Sarah says she hopes Flint doesn’t mistake the bat for a French fry. Ahahahah, and all, but they do realize that Flint’s a caveman…..bats are basically just thinner clubs.

What’s with these baseballs, by the way? They have no stitching. Were actual baseballs really expensive back then or did the animators just not put them on for some reason?

Sooooooooooooooo…..Tokio’s all like ‘This isn’t fair!’ when Genshi is made the catcher ONCE, but Genshi using his stone hammer as a baseball bat, that’s perfectly fine?

Dub!George: “No way he’s going to hit my curve.” I know jack shit about baseball and even I can tell that pitch wasn’t a curveball. It just kinda swayed back and forth.

Yes, George did cheat by using Nekketsu/Batterball, but, again, it’s also cheating that Genshi/Flint used his massive stone hammer when batting….

Pterry: “Boys will be boys.” I friggin’ hate that saying.

Getalong: “But why?”

Sarah: “Why? Because I think boys are ridiculous and juvenile.” Ah the common casual sexism in children. One of many things in the ‘Problematic yet generally overlooked’ bucket.

……..Also, Sarah, that does not answer Getalong’s question at all.

Sora originally said that she doesn’t understand why boys get so heated over stuff like this, which is still sexist but not nearly to the extent Sarah was being.

I love how TP Lady/Petra Fina, Dyno/Dyna and Mite are all super happy with themselves for pulling off their plan of grabbing Nekketsu/Batterball while everyone was distracted, even pointing out that that was, specifically, their plan……when…ya know….they could’ve just made off with Nekketsu scot-free if they just left the kids to their personal squabbles instead of drawing attention to the fact that they were stealing the Space-Time Monster/Time Shifter….

The Masked Man originally suggests making doubles with him in real life. In the dub, he tells Petra that her serve is almost as beautiful as she is.

Oh god, the original actually plays the ‘Wahh wahh’ horn when TP Lady gives in to the taunting and agrees to the game when she said the taunting wouldn’t work. Give the dub credit, they didn’t mirror that music cue….

Putera and Love-Love originally pretend they’re the announcers for the game. In the dub, Pterry explains that, per the rules of the game, Petra’s team pitches first since they’re the visiting team (aren’t they all technically visiting, though? Barring George.)

Honestly, this IS is a stupid idea considering TP Lady has control over Nekketsu…the Space-Time monster who controls balls….Spoiler alert, but the only way they win is through convenient stupidity.

They flip the shot of Tokio hopping around to get the ball and repeat it after Petra starts running.

When the scene returns to normal play, they also flip the shot of Sora running after the ball for some reason.

It’s really weird that George is blaming Genshi/Flint for getting hit with the ball. It’s obvious Nekketsu did that.

They mirror the shot of Flint running through the wall, I guess to make it not as obvious that they reused that shot in the original……Who the hell keeps putting random walls on the field?

Still running commentary, Putera asks Love-Love about her opinions on the game. Since Love-Love can’t talk, she just mutters her name over and over. In the dub, Pterry asks Getalong what they should do. Getalong says “Who cares? It’s just a game of baseball.” Uh….yeah….it’s a game of baseball where the lives of one of your fellow Time Shifters hangs on the outcome…..Pterry points this out, but but since when is Getalong such a jerk?

Right before showing George getting emotional, they insert a shot of Pterry talking into the camera to Petra Fina, for some reason, apologizing for Flint and Tony’s catch……???

Sora says it feels like everyone’s been best friends for a long time. Sarah tells the others that they have a game to play.

Alright, if just using Oto-tan as a bat isn’t against the rules, surely using Fighting Spirit when at bat is. Again, TP Lady’s team is cheating too, so it doesn’t matter, but I’m still a little hungup on Tokio’s comment from earlier.

Name Change: Reiketsu is changed to Batterball-con

Name plate removed.

Subbed: STDGKEP11SCREEN4

Dubbed: STDGKEP11SCREEN5

Reiketsu seems to only be able to say “Unbelievable” and grumbles in English. In the dub, he can still speak full fluent English.

They repeat a shot of Batterball-Con juggling Flint and Rocky before George yells at him.

Wow, George sounds way too old when he says “Batterball, put ‘em down!”

They repeat the closer shot of Flint and Rocky being juggled before Petra laughs.

Merlock: “Hello, Pretty Sarah.” Hello, Creepy Merlock.

Did….did Kyoichiro’s legs seriously give out from under him and cause him to roll down the hill?…..Why? Because…he was flustered by Sora? What?

They change the shot of Flint talking to George to a repeat shot of him talking from a few seconds before.

They insert the shot they cut in order to place that repeat shot in there to right after George starts to rear up for his hit. Such purposeful edits today.

TP Lady angrily lamented that she’d never be able to make doubles with the Masked Man now. In the dub, she comments that they won by being nice and she hates nice more than anything.

They extend the scene of Petra, Dyno and Mite leaving by showing them in the time stream and showing Petra yanking on Dyno and Mite’s heads.

They remove a short scene with Toki-G explaining everything. Old Timer says the same dialogue in narration, though.

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Another instance of a day shot being swapped for a sunset shot. This makes even less sense because the shot immediately following this one takes place outside where it’s clearly day again….

The original more or less implies that Nekketsu is depressed because he had to leave George. In the dub, they claim it’s because he hasn’t been able to play baseball since he arrived in the 25th century.

In the original, since I guess we didn’t have enough story to fill the full 20 minutes, they add a new segment called Toki-G’s Space-Time Monster Course where Toki-G explains the specifics on some of the Space-Time monsters discovered so far. In the dub, they make up an entirely new segment that’s not so much a proper segment (Where Sarah would be acting as a host speaking directly to us) and instead cuts to a scene where Sarah is updating her ‘Flint File’ which hasn’t been mentioned until now, and she basically does the exact same thing, only she goes over more Time Shifters and forms than Toki-G did.

The segment also continues on with Tony telling Sarah to come along since they’re taking Batterball to a baseball game. She refuses because they have too much homework. They fight, just like in the episode from which these clips are taken, but at the very last second they makeup and say they’ll do what the other wants.

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So that was……an episode.

What a dreadfully boring episode, to be honest. I might be slightly biased because I already find baseball to be a snorefest (although, fun fact, I wrote a paper on Babe Ruth when I was in middle school. I had to dress up like a baseball player to deliver it too. Don’t remember why, but there it is.) but, seriously, there is NOTHING to this episode besides the gimmick of baseball. NOTHING. It’s the same song and dance we’ve seen nearly a dozen times already without any substance to it.

At least they didn’t pull a Rodin and imply that Babe Ruth got his athletic ability from a Space-Time monster, but outside of hitting Baseball!Genshi, George didn’t do anything of note. He hit one good home run, which Genshi caught in his teeth after jumping up about six stories, and then he cheated after he took a turn pitching by using Nekketsu to manipulate the ball so he could make an impossible catch. George didn’t come off as an unlikable kid, but he wasn’t that likable and did nothing impressive. The ‘emotional’ parts also felt very shoehorned in. He was pretty boring.

Nekketsu is also a weird Space-Time monster. He controls…..balls? He turns things into balls?….Wow? Impressive? Not to mention that Nekketsu’s voice is very odd. It’s too deep.

Granted, Reiketsu’s a little better. Wielding four spiked clubs and being able to shoot nearly endless amounts of baseballs at high speeds is pretty intimidating. Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to try a batting cage but I’ve always been worried the machine would go nuts and shoot balls at me. Silly, yes, but leave me alone.

To make matters more boring, we don’t get a new good transformation of one of the Space-Time monsters today. They don’t even call for backup in this episode.

At least Genshi didn’t get hungry in this episode, but that’s not much consolation.

I didn’t even get to really research anything today, and that just overcooks my noodles.

All I got to research today was vitamins.

VITAMINS.

Based entirely on an off-handed remark.

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VITAMINS!

….Moving on….

Next episode seems a bit strange….We’re introduced to a Space-Time monster called Ammon, who is hanging out with…..Dracula….so….either he’s hanging around a fictional character and acting as if he’s a historical figure…..OR…..we’re going to be focusing on Vlad the Impaler, the actual inspiration behind Dracula…..who was one of the most cruel mass murderers in history…..Uh huh….I get that there’s a lot of ‘Well, Vlad had a point’ in regards to his leadership and rule, but dude was still bathing in the blood of tens of thousands of people. So, uh, I dunno where this episode will lead us, but we’ll have to wait and find out.


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective | Episode 10: Love-Love Rhapsody Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: TP Lady sets her sights on Love-Love and sets a trap in medieval Baghdad to capture her.

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They add a circular ‘droplet’ kind of transition when Petra has her fantasy.

I don’t understand TP Lady/Petra Fina’s idea here. Love-Love/Getalong only makes people set aside their differences and get along. She doesn’t make them fall in love.

The original fantasy doesn’t show any reluctance on the Masked Man’s part, making Love-Love’s interference seem strange. In the dub, they have the Masked Man say that he’s not sure they’re ready for marriage, which is what prompts Petra to use Getalong. It makes more sense in the dub – kudos for once, Saban – but, again, Getalong doesn’t do that….Also, it’s kinda silly to say you might not be ready for marriage when you’re already at the church and wearing a tuxedo. Maybe I should just chalk up the nonsensicalness to it being TP Lady’s/Petra Fina’s fantasy….

Love-Love’s name plate is removed.

Subbed: STDGKEP10SCREEN2

Dubbed: STDGKEP10SCREEN3

Another droplet transition after the fantasy ends.

It VERY briefly cuts to black when Petra is hit by the soccer ball. I’m going to assume that’s just a problem on the copy, because there’s no way that censored the hit.

Title Change: Love-Love Rhapsody is changed to Go Getalong.

They move a shot of the kids from after TP Lady speaks to them to right before then because the dub removed the title card, which originally appeared between when TP Lady got hit and when she started talking to the kids.

Okay….what…the hell….was that phone conversation? TP Lady called the Time Bureau to tell them, in a childish kind of voice, that she had found a monster….in medieval Baghdad? …What….just….what? Wouldn’t they ask how she’s calling them from medieval Baghdad?

Surprisingly, the exact same conversation happens in the dub. Is this just a joke that does not land very well or what’s happening here?

They changed another establishing shot to one in the evening.

In the original, Toki-G mutters “Ms. Jinguuji” in his sleep. In the dub, he doesn’t mutter anything.

They, again, add in Flint grabbing the time card and the kids rushing to the Time Cycle in between when the card is ejected and when they’re leaving. In the dub, Dr. Goodman also adds in that Baghdad was part of the Ottoman empire at the time period they’re visiting (This never matters, but educational nonetheless). Also, they specify that they’re going to Baghdad in 1539. In the original, they just say they’re going to medieval Baghdad.

Saban adds a shot of the kids coming out of the time stream in the dub.

Originally, Mite nearly mentioned Dyna’s name and Tokio caught it for a second. In the dub, he does no such thing, but Tony recognizes his voice for a second.

Dyna and Mite originally introduce themselves. In the dub, they introduce each other.

What the frick? They, for some reason, mirror flipped the shot of Putera telling Love-Love he did a good job? For what possible reason?

What’s ever weirder is there’s an identical shot a few shots later and it’s left alone. What the?

They remove the second time Love-Love uses her power and the subsequent effects scene as well as TP Lady saying she needs to get Love-Love quickly because she doesn’t think she can take much more of this.

STDGKEP10SCREEN4STDGKEP10SCREEN5STDGKEP10SCREEN6STDGKEP10SCREEN7STDGKEP10SCREEN8

Tokio just said to get TP Lady and the others. In the dub, he tells Getalong to use her love beam.

Putera originally points out that the effects of Love-Love’s beam are getting shorter each time she uses it. In the dub, Pterry says ‘There’s about as much love in this room as a piranha in a goldfish bowl.’

After TP Lady’s ship is crashed into the house, Putera asks the kids if they’re okay. Sora responds that she thought she was going to die, and Tokio says that was a reckless thing to do. In the dub, for some reason, Pterry tells the kids to get along, Sarah says “So this is what love is like.” and Tony says the most obvious addition to this sequence of dialogue “Love hurts, doesn’t it?” I have no idea why they changed this because it doesn’t make any sense. The only way these jokes would work is if Getalong made the ship crash into the house, but she didn’t – TP Lady did.

Sora doesn’t suggest running like Sarah does.

In the original, all Genshi says is that he’s hungry (and yes, they’re doing that shtick again) In the dub, he says he wants macaroni.

Dyna and Mite originally suggest boiling or frying Genshi when he’s captured. In the dub, they sarcastically suggest being his friend or offering a spot of tea. Technically, I think the dub works a little better because they’re mocking what happened earlier.

I concede on this one as there’s just no way they could have added this in English and had it make any sense. When TP lady is squeezing Genshi over and over in the robot, she says “Oshikura manju! Anko-juu!” Oshikura manju is a game kids play in Japan, usually on cold days in order to stay warm. A group of kids will link their arms and form a circle with their backs to the inside of the circle. When prompted, the group all pushes into each other with their backs chanting “Oshikura Manju osarete nakuna.” The game can simply be played as a means of warming up, meaning no one technically wins or loses, or a large circle can be drawn on the floor and the object becomes to push people out of the circle until only one remains.

Anko-juu is short for anko manju, which is a type of cake filled with red bean paste.

I don’t really see what the original was going for. People aren’t squished in the Oshikura manju game, but I guess they’re acting like Genshi is an anko manju and they’re trying to….squish the paste out of him? Ew.

In the dub, they change this to “What’s the matter, Flint? Cat got your lung? Oops, I mean ‘tongue’!” While I think it would’ve been funnier if they left out the correction part, this was a very suitable and fairly funny replacement line for the original joke. I actually prefer it to the original because, like I said, it doesn’t make much sense to me.

The net wasn’t electromagnetic or anything like it is in the dub. They even added electric sound effects. Guys, it’s a net….they’re tangled in a net…..You don’t need to add anything more complicated to that to explain why they’re trapped….It’s a net….It’s what nets do.

Pterry: “Flint! I’ve got the Time Cycle programmed to produce a time shifter!” That makes it sound like the Time Cycle is making a time shifter, not transporting one.

TP Lady originally points out that Talun’s only power is to enter into storybooks, so she’s not concerned. In the dub, she just gloats about her robot’s teeth. Gotta say, she had a good point. What exactly could Talun do here?

Tokio’s an asshole to Love-Love in the original. He yells to Sora that all space-time monsters can transform, so either Love-Love has that ability too or she’s a useless space-time monster. In the dub, he only says that they have no other choice but for Getalong to transform otherwise Petra will win. The really sad part about this is that Love-Love doesn’t transform in this episode, nor does she in the entire series.

I don’t really know why TP Lady even still wants Love-Love. Not to also be an asshole to Love-Love, but they’ve proven that her abilities last only a few minutes at most and they get weaker the more times she uses it in succession. The Masked Man won’t fall for TP Lady forever with Love-Love’s powers.

Tokio tearfully tells Love-Love to stop attacking the robot. In the dub, he emotionlessly (yet still with tears in his eyes) just explains what’s going on right now.

They insert a shot of Sora yelling to Genshi right before he mutters his line. Also, Genshi originally muttered Love-Love’s name. In the dub, he says “Ugh, who turned out the lights?”

The next attack, Genshi tells Love-Love to stop attacking. In the dub, he says “That looks like Getalong.” I only keep mentioning these slight changes because they keep draining the emotion out of this sequence for no reason.

Originally, the TP trio talks about how they messed up. In the dub, Petra asks if they have a warranty on the robot, Mite says not in medieval times and Dyno says the nearest repair shop is 1000 years from now.

I will give credit – Tokio apologized for the ‘useless’ comment.

Sora offers to make Genshi some food when they get home. In the dub, she says they should order some pizza.

More external shots of the bureau are changed for some reason. They don’t change the time of day, so I dunno.

And Saban just went full 4Kids by replacing the Japanese text in Tokio’s journal with scribbles.

Subbed: STDGKEP10SCREEN9

Dubbed: STDGKEP10SCREEN10

In the original, Love-Love just ‘sings’ a song with the only lyrics being ‘Love-Love’ because that’s all she can say. In the dub, Getalong sings about getting along to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.

They add an establishing shot of the outside of the Land of Time before showing Toki-G wake up….He’s been knocked out all this time? Dude needs an ambulance.

Tokio says to himself that maybe Love-Love’s not hiding anything (implying he’s overestimating Love-Love’s abilities.) In the dub, Tony wonders if Getalong has some sort of secret power.

They change a couple of shots at the very end to just different angles of Love-Love and Toki-G (as well as adding another establishing shot of the Land of Time.)

Even more is added after that – They repeat the shot of Getalong singing and have Tony ask her to stop because he wants to write in his journal to help him become a Time Detective some day. Finally, we end on the same old evening shot of the Time Bureau.

————————————

I thought I’d be disappointed with this episode, but it was one of the stronger stories of the series so far. The main issue I thought I’d have with the story was that Love-Love would be given focus but wouldn’t transform into her super form. While it would be nice to see Love-Love’s super form, this episode was all about how she doesn’t need to change herself in order to prove her worth as a teammate. Love-Love doing her damnedest to fight the robot was touching and very sad. A little lame of a resolution, but I’ll forgive it. I can totally believe Dyna and Mite were too incompetent to secure the bolts well enough to withstand Love-Love’s assault, though it was moreso the robot continuously swatting her away that loosened them I think.

HOWEVER, I don’t think I can forgive the fact that, in the end, Genshi defeated the giant robot and TP Lady without ever getting any food. I thought Talun went into the book to get Genshi some food, but he and Putera never came out. Genshi was just freed because the robot’s arm came off, Ototan used Fighting Spirit, and somehow Genshi had the strength to pull off the attack….Meaning, he could’ve won this entire time and Love-Love didn’t need to nearly kill herself to save Genshi.

I also assumed I’d be disappointed by the lack of both a historical figure and a new space-time monster. I would’ve liked to have seen both, but the humorous parts plus the emotional battle were enough to make up for it.

Next time, in 20th century America, Genshi and the others meet Nekketsu – a space-time monster that can turn anything into a ball. Fitting, as he stumbles upon none other than Babe Ruth.


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