Digimon Frontier Episode 2: Wolfmon of Light – The Battle in the Underground Labyrinth! Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Junpei tries to take Tomoki back to the real world without the knowledge of the others in the group when they run into a group of Pagumon who want nothing more than the endless chocolate supply that Junpei seems to keep in his pockets. The chase leads them to an underground cavern where another child, Koji, is also exploring. After getting beaten by Koji, one of the Pagumon evolves to Raremon and starts melting the place with acid. Takuya tries to Spirit Evolve to save the day, and while it seems to work for a minute, he quickly changes back for some reason. When Koji finds the Spirit of Light and Spirit Evolves into Wolfmon, it’s up to him to beat Raremon and save everyone.

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Title Change: Our title today is Wolfmon of Light: The Battle in the Underground Labyrinth! In the dub it’s Lobomon: Warrior of Light! which I guess means….

Name Change: Wolfmon is changed to Lobomon. Lobo is Spanish and Portuguese for wolf….Because it makes more sense than just saying ‘Wolfmon’ apparently.

Bokomon doesn’t say he’s keeper of the book, he just explains that the Digicode has returned to the land and restored it. Neemon also doesn’t say he’s keeper of his pants, he just gives a similar explanation.

Neemon doesn’t interrupt Bokomon while he’s telling the story in the original.

Zoe wonders if her D-Tector can also help return the code to the world and turn her into a Digimon. She says their D-tectors look the same, then Takuya says maybe girls aren’t meant to be Digimon. I wouldn’t really bring up this rude statement if not for the fact that nothing was being said in the original, and it’s not like she’s tried – at this point the only one who has Spirit Evolved is Takuya.

Why is JP acting like he is or was a hero who seems to know firsthand that it sucks? Junpei just says it seems that way and brings up that Takuya was somewhat harsh with Tomoki earlier though he really wasn’t. Also, I never thought I’d hear the words “This place sucks!” in Digimon….in the dub! I know that’s not a swear or anything but I laughed because it’s just so weird to hear that in Digimon.

JP: “This world of yours really isn’t our scene.” They really won’t stop with dated dialogue, will they?

The Trailmon that they try to bribe originally yells that he’s going to get more chocolate when he runs off. In the dub, I can’t hear what he’s saying at all. It’s drowned out by train noises. However, the original makes no sense. The Digimon in this world act like they’ve never had chocolate yet he’s off to get more? Where? Why not stay with the person whose already given you some?

Bokomon originally suggests that Junpei and Tomoki got separated from the group. Neemon says that humans are odd creatures. In the dub, Bokomon says they might be playing Hide and Go Seek while Neemon suggests they got eaten by bears.

The Poyomon say that they saw Junpei and Tomoki in the train station with Pagumon. In the dub, they say they were being chased into the woods by the Pagumon. They were, but the Poyomon only saw them at the train station.

Koji sounds more annoying in the dub. In the original he’s stoic and attitude-y and whatnot, but he also seems bratty in the dub.

Junpei only calls Tomoki stupid for thinking he can Spirit Evolve. He doesn’t act like whatever Tomoki would evolve into would be lame nor does he say that it seems painful.

Bokomon and Neemon say the situation is troublesome then say they should split away from the group to search more. In the dub, they both complain about Takuya and Zoe being loud then run back to them because they got separated.

As usual, the kids got bumped up in age for the dub. In the original, Takuya and Zoe are in fifth grade with them both going to be 11 soon. In the dub, they’re in sixth grade and, though they don’t mention specific ages, I can bet they’re going on 12 or 13. They also say Tommy’s in third grade in the original, but they don’t mention it in the dub. The wiki only says third so I guess they didn’t change it. Junpei seems to be in 6th while JP is in 7th.

Izumi doesn’t say that she could kiss Takuya like Zoe does.

The rest of the conversation couldn’t be kept because she’s talking about the informal way Takuya’s addressing her. He’s saying “Omae” which is an informal way of addressing someone while she’s asking that he say ‘kimi’ instead, which is more formal. She also mentions that Izumi Orimoto is a perfectly cute name to use while Takuya says it’s only cute to her.

To it’s credit, the dub does try to give this a shot by making Takuya call her ‘girl’ and her getting upset over it. I will admit, that’s more rude than informal. Because there’s not much they can do with this, they just have her remind him to call her Zoe instead of girl and argue for a bit.

Wolfmon/Lobomon is our eyecatch for this episode.

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How much chocolate does Junpei have on him? Every time they have the slightest issue, he magically pulls another candy bar from his pocket. How is it even possible he keeps all of those chocolate bars in his pocket, especially after all this running and stuff, without them melting?

Junpei says the bright side is that the Pagumon can’t get them down there. In the dub, it’s that they won’t starve…….given that statement, he must have even more chocolate bars in his pocket…enough to last for days…..

Dunno how or why Pagumon skips rookie level to become Raremon, a champion level. But okay.

Raremon says “You’ll go to hell” in the original version. He just laughs in the dub, but obviously this wouldn’t have been translated anyway.

We don’t get a completely pointless flashback to when Takuya first Spirit Evolved in the original. God knows we need to be reminded of something that happened an episode ago and we’ve already talked about and thrown back to earlier in both versions.

Saban also adds in the same big reveal/show-off-y scene of Agunimon from the previous episode after he Spirit Evolves. Because apparently we don’t remember the first episode so much that they felt the need to re-add that scene where it was completely unneeded. When a new evolution is presented in an episode, the fanfare goes to that Digimon. It’s just Digi-law. If you don’t give them that glory, the whole event just seems to be fanservice with a new Digimon thrown in for new stuff.

And lest we forget that all of this scene insertion was pointless because Takuya randomly transforms back mere seconds later. I don’t even see the point of this in the original. Just make it so he can’t Spirit Evolve. They used that excuse all the time in the previous series. However, it still made more sense than him doing it in the original, practically making your own Agnimon fanvid and then having that happen. It makes it seem like a total joke instead of a real problem.

Oh God, Lobomon’s (dub) voice is awful. It sounds nasally and like Steve Blum’s JP voice. (Sorry, Mr. Blum)

Izumi only says “legendary warrior?” In the dub she says she’s never seen anything more beautiful in her entire life…..While Lobomon/Wolfmon does look pretty cool, he doesn’t really look ‘beautiful’.

Also, as usual, another vocal song gone, just regular BG music.

Attack Name Change: Licht Seigar is changed to Lobo Kendo…which doesn’t sound as cool. I don’t really think of anything that intimidating when I think of kendo. Kendo’s cool and all, but the first visual that comes to my head with I think about it is Japanese high schoolers.

Well, this is just lame. In the original, Wolfmon’s final words to Raremon before he scans his Digicode are ‘The spirit of darkness, the light will save!’ This is actually slight foreshadowing seeing as how there is a child who holds the spirit of darkness which we will get to sometime later and Koji does everything in his power to save him. In the dub, he says “Alright you talking trash heap, time for you to be recycled!” Feh.

Am I the only one who thinks “Fractal code, digitize!” makes no sense? Everything in the Digital World is already digital…hence the name. Why or how would the code need to be digitized? In the dub it’s just scanned.

Saban’s being weird today. Koji says in the original that he hates strangers touching him and that they don’t need to thank him for saving them – he’ll find his way on his own. In the dub, Koji just says he doesn’t need anyone’s help. He then says he should thank Takuya for saving him and that he always repays his debts…Repay deb—What the hell? Takuya didn’t save you, you saved them! You kicked the Pagumon’s asses and then kicked Raremon’s ass. How the hell did Takuya ‘save’ you? He may have protected you for half a second before he accidentally knocked you down a supposedly bottomless pit, but that’s about it.

Also, the reason Koji wants to know Takuya’s name (and no one else’s for some reason) is because they won’t be talking to each other much. In the dub, he says he won’t be able to repay him if he doesn’t know his name.

The add in a shot of the exit of the tunnel for some reason. They also add a weird triangle transition between the final scene in the tunnel and Koji sitting outside.

Koji says to himself “So I turned into a Digimon?….This should be interesting…” In the dub, Rika is narrating all over this shot.

Next episode is, surprisingly, Tomoki’s Spirit Evolution episode.

…..Previous Episode


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 8: Sphin’s Riddle Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The Space-Time Monster, Sphin, is in ancient Egypt under TP Lady’s control. She has taken over as queen with a legion of slaves who have been brainwashed by Sphin. He possesses the power to put anyone under mind control if they fail to solve his riddle. Genshi winds up under Sphin’s spell after failing a riddle. Tokio and Sora have been fighting lately, but can they come together to save Genshi and Sphin?

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Title Change: Sphin’s Riddle is changed to Lynx.

The first shot of the episode was originally a panned still shot of the sphinx in Egypt. In the dub, it’s replaced with an outer shot of the agency.

Sora was explaining (and basically foreshadowing) how legend states that the sphinx would posit difficult puzzles to wandering travelers, and how the sphinx and pyramids were symbols of the power of the pharaoh. In the dub, Sarah basically just explains what the statue of the sphinx is and that it dates back to over 2500 BC.

Tokio originally just wants Sora to help him with his research paper whereas Tony wants her to copy her own work and give it to him. Yeah I’m so sure the teacher wouldn’t notice that.

Sora tells Tokio that, if he can’t even do his own homework, he’ll never be a Space-Time Detective. In the dub, she tells him that she refuses to cheat.

Then Tokio tells Sora that she’s making too big a deal out of it, since he could do his homework just fine if he wanted. Sora argues that he can’t do anything on his own, and they pout. In the dub, Tony whines that he though he and Sarah were a team (and thus she should feel obligated to let him cheat?) but Sarah argues that they are a team, but being a team means he has to do some work too. Tony argues that he is doing his best, but she’s always hogging the computer. Sarah retorts by saying he’ll never be a Time Detective without her. Uh, yeah, Tony’s argument doesn’t really stand up. 1) He’s not doing his best if he’s not even trying to do his work and is just asking her to cheat for him and 2) she was done with the computer – he could have done his work then.

They splice in a closeup shot of Rei between when Flint and the others pop up but before she introduces Lynx.

Name Change: Sphin is changed to Lynx.

The original specifies that they’re going to Giza, which the dub omits, but then the dub adds that they’re going to 323 BC, which wasn’t specified in the original – they just said ‘ancient Egypt.’

When they arrive in Egypt, we see a closeup of the sphinx, which has now been altered. In the dub, we get the panning shot of Egypt that was removed before, only this time it’s reversed.

Likewise, Tokio asks what’s up with the sphinx but Tony just says he senses something weird.

TP Lady points out how she altered the sphinx to look….like her I guess? I really don’t get what they did to the sphinx. It does obvious look wrong, but it doesn’t really look like TP Lady.

In the dub, the just goes on about how she’s more beautiful than that ‘hag’ Cleopatra.

Despite the dub not mentioning the changes made to the sphinx, they decide to leave in that TP Lady wants to also put her face on a pyramid (to help the masked dude find her faster) but the way they wrote it is weird. She, again, wants to sleight Cleopatra and says she’s going to carve HER face into a pyramid, acting like Cleopatra either had her face carved into the sphinx and she’s trying to one-up her (I guess, because the sphinx would obviously draw more attention) or she’s trying to copy something Cleopatra did…..both of which are wrong.

The Great Sphinx of Giza is suggested to emulate the face of the pharaoh, Khafre. While this has been debated a few times, I’ve found no theories suggesting Cleopatra was the model for the sphinx head. In fact, she was born way, way, way beyond when the sphinx would have been created (She was born in 69 BC and the sphinx has been estimated to have been created sometime in the 2500’s BC) – and archaeologists have even been debating the age of the sphinx as being much older than originally cited.

There are much smaller sphinx statues, one even depicts female pharaoh, Hatshepsut (For an awesome re-telling her story, check out Puppet History’s episode on it. It’s a great series as a whole if you like cool stories from history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rm9t94mpkjo ) but not a one that depicts Cleopatra.

As for carving her face on a pyramid, as far as I can tell, this is also false. She did have a massive carving of her likeness embedded into the side of the Dendera Temple, but that’s about it. There has been tons of art made in her likeness, including statues and busts, but when it came to glorifying her in massive statues and buildings, there’s not much to discuss. Even her and Antony’s tomb has never been found.

Interestingly, in 1998, a small sphinx was discovered underwater that was said to emulate the features of Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, but again, nothing directly about Cleopatra.

In the end, I have no idea why they’re so hung up about Cleopatra at the moment in the dub, especially considering they’re a few hundred years behind her birth, but that’s Saban for ya.

They add in a further shot of the scene after Petra points out that the kids are here, and there’s no dialogue so it’s just a really awkward pause for no reason, and they add a closer shot of Petra talking while she summons Lynx.

Sphin’s name plate is removed.

Subbed: FTTDSDCEP8SCREEN2

Dubbed: FTTDSDCEP8SCREEN3

Also, it is frickin’ adorable that Sphin barks.

Sphin’s little asp thing asks “What’s something that you use when you’re not using it and that you don’t use when you’re using it?” In the dub, it asks what’s everyone in the world is doing at the same time.

The answer is a bath plug. In the dub, the answer is that everyone’s getting older at the same time.

Tokio originally just says they should leave. In the dub, he suggests Lynx ask Pterry a riddle. Wow, so you want Pterry to be enslaved too? Nice, Tony.

Tokio originally tells Sora that she should’ve known about Sphin’s power (….How? Rei gave them nothing but vague clues about it.) then Sora accuses him of the same and they argue. In the dub, Tony pretends like he knew all along about its power, but then Sarah calls out his BS and they argue.

I know Petra was saying “All I wanted was a back rub, but I end up getting stomped by a bucking bronco boy!” But I had to double take when she first said that because I would’ve sworn she said “fucking bronco boy.”

Ya know, considering how strong Genshi is overall and the crazy things Genshi tries to eat, Sora’s arm should be either bleeding profusely, broken or both after being bitten like that. He’s even gnawing on her.

Sphin asks “What kind of bird is always a lonely bird?” In the dub, Lynx asks “What can you catch but not throw?”

In the original, the answer is “One person” or “Hitori” since one person is lonely and “tori” is Japanese for “bird.” In the dub, they insert more talking from Lynx between when he asks the riddle and when Sarah answers. Also, the answer in the dub is a cold because that is one of the easiest riddles in human history.

Next, the original asks “What is something that will always mirror something else?” In the dub it’s “What runs but has no legs?”

The answer in the original is a mirror. In the dub, it’s a nose.

They do keep the next riddle, more or less “What reflects like a mirror, but never shows itself?” the answer is also kept the same – an echo.

Originally, Kyoichiro was silent when he was miming the echo….because….ya know….that’s how miming works. Also, he’s trying to stay silent so he won’t draw attention to himself. In the dub, he’s making noise and talking, which is stupid because he might as well just say ‘Echo’ outright if he’s going to talk.

We don’t see Kyoichiro vanishing in the original like we do in the dub. I’m to assume they just reversed the footage of him appearing.

Tony: “We’re in big trouble if you muck this one up.” Okay, first of all, stop saying things that sound like you want to say fuck but you can’t. Second of all, big trouble how? Lynx is already basically defeated, and Dyno and Mite are of no concern.

Sora’s riddle is kept the same.

They add another shot of Dyno and Mite talking before Sarah gives the answer.

The answer to the riddle, what walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon and three in the evening is a human, but the dub keeps saying ‘man.’ I get that people can interchange ‘man’ with humanity, but in this context, it sounds like Sarah’s saying only men go through these stages.

The man that Petra was laying on was actually cleaning her ears. In the dub, he says ‘Peel your own grape.’ which is weird because what he’s holding is clearing white and fuzzy, not a grape…unless the grape is moldy or something.

Name Change: Waruphin is changed to Lynx-Con.

Name plate removed.

Subbed: FTTDSDCEP8SCREEN4

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Does anyone else think Waruphin looks like a sports mascot?

Usually, the abilities of the transformed Space-Time Monster are a more powerful version of the original’s powers, but for some reason Waruphin’s power is to…trap people within itself?

I get that we’re going for a teamwork moral this week, but neither Tokio nor Sora is needed to turn Tanegun from a fossil into its creature form. Ototan can move on his own, and Love-Love was the one who pushed the button.

Ah hey they’ve finally gotten a reinforcement where they don’t immediately bitch about their efforts to help. Good job.

Name Change: Super Tanegun is changed to Bubblegum Master.

Name plate gone.

Subbed: FTTDSDCEP8SCREEN6

Dubbed: FTTDSDCEP8SCREEN7

They shift TP Lady’s tantrum from after Genshi eats to before.

They insert a shot of Pterry talking before Getalong brings the drumstick for some reason.

Also, again with the ‘we need to feed Genshi so he can fight’ thing.

Originally, Sphin makes a pretty cool almost singing-like sound when he uses his sonic beam. In the dub, he just growls and laughs.

They repeat shots of Genshi talking and Shin reacting after he’s saved.

Originally, TP Lady, Dyna and Mite yell out ‘Spinning’ over and over after Super Tanegun shot at them, but that doesn’t make any sense because they’re not spinning. In the dub, they just scream, which actually fixing this problem.

Oh NOW Love-Love remembers he has powers that literally make people get along. Why bring this thing everywhere if you’re only going to sparsely remember it has that power? Why is it even using it now? Sphin is basically back to normal and is becoming friends with Genshi.

Wait…..are Sora and Tokio actually making up right now or are they just under the effects of Love-Love? The one time they remember to use Love-Love and it’s not only pointless, but it also basically forces the conflict resolution. And even this is pointless because they were bound to make up after all of that.

Again, Tokio asks Sora if she’ll help him do his research paper. In the dub, he asks if she’ll do his homework.

The dub adds an establishing shot of the Land of Time and some old repeat shots of Toki-G before we see the continuing shot of everyone dancing.

Toki-G only wishes he could be with Genshi and the others. Old Timer tells a riddle of his own while saying he should visit Egypt again sometime.

So uhm, important question….is anyone going to bring up that they DESTROYED THE GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA?! Its face is gone and most of it crumbled. Even if the TP Lady part was a big stone mask, the face underneath was completely blank…also the crumbling thing. Geez, reminds me of Dinosaur King where they were destroying ancient Egyptian monuments left and right and no one gave a single shit.

Sora was even writing a paper on it before. If it’s destroyed, then is her paper now wrong?

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Overall, I liked this episode. I love ancient Egypt, and this was a pretty fun plot they had going here…..even if the destruction of the sphinx was quite annoying. I loved Sphin, though more in the original than the dub because he sounds cuter. The aspect of riddles being used as a method of mind control was a neat concept, and it has a very good design, even if its bad transformation form is just weird.

The teamwork part of the story was….admittedly kinda forced. It does make sense for Genshi to be out for a good chunk due to not being smart enough to figure out the answer to the riddle, the kid barely understands words let alone word problems, but he needed to be taken out three times in this episode. Once through mind control, another being trapped in Waruphin’s body and the final one because he was, yet again, hungry. And all to allow Tokio and Sora to take the reigns so they can show that they do need each other.

I was disappointed because I thought we’d finally get some development with Tokio and really understand what he brings to the table as a team member. He’s the one really gunning to be a Space-Time Detective, but as far as I’ve seen he doesn’t really deserve to be anything more than what he is. He’s lazy, he bickers with his sister and he doesn’t have any outwardly useful traits that no one else has.

Sora is clearly the brains of the outfit, and Genshi is the brawn, Putera is more brains on the side of the technical aspects of being a Time Detective, Ototan helps fossilize and de-fossilize Space-Time monsters and is a usable weapon, Love-Love has a power that would destroy the entire fabric of the series but is poorly utilized, and Tokio’s….what? The helper?

Even though Sora’s role as the brains is definitely highlighted here, what did Tokio do? He helped hold up Ototan, who didn’t need it (he just needed someone to press the button) and he saved Sora from a rock, which was good, but Genshi could have done the same, and Sora was kinda dumb to just stand there waiting to die.

In regards to comparison, this episode didn’t fare that bad. Typical scene swapping fare, name plate removals and some dialogue changes, but nothing too bad.

Overall, still a good episode, but the teamwork aspect could have used more work.

Next time, we head to 19th century Paris where the Space-Time monster, Horurun, possesses the ability to bring drawings to life. I love the concept of bringing drawings to life, so I look forward to this one.


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Digimon Tamers Episode 3: Renamon Vs. Guilmon – Fighting is a Digimon’s Purpose! Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Ruki is attacking Takato and Guilmon in hopes of absorbing Guilmon’s data to make Renamon evolve. However, when Terriermon gets caught in the crossfire, he ends up evolving instead. As Gargomon, he starts getting out of control, and it’s up to Renamon and Guilmon to stop him.

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Title Card: DIGIMONTAMERSSDCEP3SCREEN2

Title Change: Renamon vs. Guilmon: Fighting is a Digimon’s Purpose! is changed to To Fight or Not to Fight?

Takato says Child (Rookie) level is what he was thinking when he made Guilmon. Rika wonders what he means by that but brushes it off to have Renamon fight. In the dub, he just says he’s new to this.

Card Name Change: Heavy Metal is changed to Armor. It’s actually a kinda weird change because Renamon doesn’t get armor from it, she gets some kind of hydraulic arm hammer thing.

Terriermon asks Renamon if she can evolve since she’s so strong. In the dub, he asks if she felt weird rolling around in the dirt.

A very short shot of Jenrya turning around to look at Takato and Guilmon is edited for the commercial break.

Jenrya gives his full name, Lee Jenrya (Jenrya is probably where they get Henry) and Takato asks if he’s Chinese. He says his dad is from Hong Kong and his mother’s Japanese. We don’t get this information in the dub.

Takato learns that Jenrya keeps Terriermon in his room and envies that because Guilmon can’t fit in his room and needs to be kept somewhere else. He says it’s okay though because the place he found makes for a great hideout. Jenrya says that’s great and it’s also great that he and Guilmon are actually friends.

In the dub, they talk about Henry saving Guilmon from Rika and they wonder how anyone can treat Digimon like fighting machines. Takato says Digimon really just want to eat. He goes on to say that due to his previous adventures in the cafeteria at school, he knew it was time to find a hiding place with a lock. Henry then says Guilmon probably saved their lives because the cafeteria food probably would’ve poisoned them eventually.

Takato asks Jenrya if they’re friends now too, Jenrya says yes and he and Terriermon have a small back and forth about leaving before actually leaving. In the dub, Takato says Guilmon could be their official taste tester. Henry says that’s a great idea but then they’d go hungry. At the mention of food, Terriermon says he’s hungry. Henry asks how he can be hungry since he just ate, but Terriermon says moumantai and they leave for dinner.

Name Change?: Takato’s last name is Matsuda. In the dub, it’s Matsuki…..No idea.

Juri only says he ditched gym whereas Jeri says he ditched school altogether.

There’s no inner monologue from either Renamon nor Rika in the next scene with them in the street.

Shaochung repeats over and over that they have sukiyaki (A type of soup/stew) for dinner whereas Suzie, I think, keeps saying ‘bald bunny’ over and over after Henry’s comment about her rubbing all of the fur off Terriermon’s head.

Does Jenrya/Henry not understand the concept of devolving? He seems to believe that evolution is permanent like evolution in Pokemon is.

Jenrya says he’ll bring Terriermon some manjuu (a kind of pastry) after dinner. Henry says Terriermon’s response was rude. I guess because he started with ‘How many times do I have to say it?’

The original doesn’t make a sexist comment (Though I can’t even really be sure. It sounds like he’s saying girls can’t be good at the Digimon TCG, but if taken literally it sounds like he’s saying a girl can’t be the Digimon QUEEN. “Comprehend this; That’s the Digimon Queen! It’s like synchronicity dude! (Yeah for some reason Saban made these guys complete idiots with surfer dude speech styles) “Come on, that’s a girl, man!” See what I mean?)

Also, yet another poke at my theory because only the dub states this line “Yeah, she’s kinda cute too. Kinda like Kari with a punk ya know sorta edge.” There’s no way they’d know about Kari unless the first two series were either TV shows or actual people in this universe. Also, wha, Rika looks in no way like Kari. Not even if you gave Kari a ‘punk ya know sorta edge’. Also also, it’s really weird for them to be gushing over her like this and even acting like she’s not even hearing what they’re saying.

The original just has the guys gushing over how good she is at Digimon and the tournaments she’s won…which is also kinda creepy, but at least they’re clamoring over how good she is at something and not going on about how cute she is.

Option cards are called modify cards in the dub.

Well it’s nice to know both versions are sexist in the scene where they’re amazed that a girl could be a champion at Digimon. I’d say they’re equally matched in their sexist comments, but the dub probably wins out by making it seem like Kazu’s making the case that he’d be a shoe-in for the next tournament because apparently the last tournament was so easy that a human being with a vagina won it. Kazu also originally says that the Digimon Queen is so skilled even high schoolers are intimidated by her abilities while the dub has him all cocky about how she just hasn’t met her match yet and he’ll be it. Kazu’s cocky anyway, but coupled with the aforementioned comments, it’s just compounding the sexism.

The original has Takato asking where the Digimon Queen lives and Hirokazu says she goes to school somewhere east of the train station. He then thinks to himself that that must be why she was so familiar. In the dub, they twist his words to make it seem like Takato’s making off like he’s instantly got a crush on her and Kazu, in awe of this, says he’s out of the club.

Juri comes in saying that she enjoys tarot cards, but Kenta says you can’t battle with tarot cards and that Digimon is a man’s game! Ya know, despite the whole thing with the last tournament winner being a girl and everything. She says that’s discriminatory and Kazu actually offers to teach her how to play Digimon and that she may even be the next Digimon Queen. Well, that makes up for some of the earlier stuff, I suppose.

In the dub, Jeri asks, if Takato needs a girl, if she’ll do. Kenta says not unless she can beat the Digimon Queen. Jeri then says boys are so silly with their fighting. Well, it’s nice to know that the sexism at least goes both ways. But Kazu actually says he knows plenty of girls who enjoy a good fight. Getting mixed signals here.

Juri’s friend is Miki, but in the dub they say it like ‘Mickey’.

Ruki says that Digimon always seek each other out because they’re meant to fight each other. Also, Ruki doesn’t keep making fun of Takato and Guilmon like Rika does.

Since they use the word Digivolution instead of Evolution in the dub, the evolution screen had to be changed to reflect this.

Subbed: DIGIMONTAMERSSDCEP3SCREEN3

Dubbed: DIGIMONTAMERSSDCEP3SCREEN4

Attack Name Change: Gatling Gun is changed to Gargo Laser.

Renamon scratches Gargomon’s face before jumping off of him. This is removed from the dub.

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It’s weird, though. They remove the scene of him getting scratched, but leave the actual wounds.

Gargomon is actually pointing his gun at Rika. In the dub this is digitally painted away.

Subbed: DIGIMONTAMERSSDCEP3SCREEN6

Dubbed: DIGIMONTAMERSSDCEP3SCREEN7

It’s hard to tell, but I think they also remove a front shot of Gargomon pointing his gun at Rika (and ultimately at the audience) It’s only for a split second, though.

Next time we’ll delve more into Jenrya’s past with Terriermon and learn why he didn’t want him to evolve.

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Digimon Adventure 02 Episode 4: King of Darkness, Digimon Kaiser Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: The Chosen Children are determined to free the Digimon who are under the Digimon Emperor’s control. Gabumon, caught up in the mess, sends out an SOS. Yamato and the others arrive to help him as well as some captive Digimon, but a Redvegiemon and his Vegiemon cohorts won’t let them leave in one piece. With a control spire over their heads, Daisuke butting heads with everyone and V-mon getting into trouble of his own, they’ll need to find some way to make Gabumon evolve to help get them out of this mess.

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Entire Series Edit: The clips for the recap are different from the original, but the recap itself is the same.

Title Card: DigimonA02EP4SCREEN8

Title Change: King of Darkness, Digimon Kaiser is changed to Iron Vegiemon.

Taichi says they should get back to school because Koushiro and Miyako are probably worried. Tai says he can smell the cafeteria food from there, to which Davis responds that it’s the peanut butter and jelly bean sandwich he’s had in his pocket all week.

Cody: “Yuck!” My sentiments exactly, Cody.

The dark towers are called control spires in the dub.

They cut out Gabumon getting hit by Redvegiemon.

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Also, everyone giggle at the fact that the Digimon Index Screen shows Redvegiemon as Red Vagimon.

Subbed: DIGIMONA02EP4SCREEN3

Dubbed: DIGIMONA02EP4SCREEN4

And shouldn’t veggie be spelled with two g’s?

I kinda like Redvegiemon’s dub voice over the original’s. I dunno, there’s just something about him sounding like his VA is doing a Jack Nicholson impression that gets to me.

Originally, Redvegiemon says the punishment for trying to escape is 100 hits. In the dub, the punishment is smelling his rotten roots. This is to cover up the fact that Gabumon is getting pretty badly beaten in this scene. Likewise, all of the shots of him getting beaten are removed and the dialogue is merely Gabumon saying the smell is gross.

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They keep in the final strike, which sends Gabumon flying, but they edit in Redvegiemon going down to the ground in the dub where he didn’t in the original.

They obviously completely change the song that Yamato sings, but they kinda sound similar. I pretty much really like both of them. However, I remember the dub song gets repetitive throughout the series since it seems to be the only song his band sings…

Needless to say, the rock puns in the next scene aren’t in the original.

Jun says she gets all the cute boys to sign her shirt, but it’s a perfectly white shirt. You can’t even see where Matt just signed it.

Jun originally doesn’t say that she hasn’t washed the shirt in two years nor does Takeru say that there isn’t much room on the, again, perfectly white shirt.

The e-mail that Takeru receives from Miyako is translated for the dub.

Subbed: DigimonA02EP4SCREEN14

Dubbed: DigimonA02EP4SCREEN16

Tailmon originally said that the TVs that are strewn about the Digital World can be used to send an SOS to the real world. Agumon did the same thing in a previous episode. In the dub, Gatomon asks why the things on top of the TV are called rabbit ears. She believes they should be called cat ears since rabbits don’t sleep on top of TVs, cats do.

Another instance of very clear ‘poop’ being changed to ‘digisludge’.

Daisuke berates Takeru for not having any ‘telepathy’. Iori corrects him and says he means to say ‘delicacy’ and then Hikari, Takeru and Iori laugh at him. In the dub, Davis again gets TK’s name wrong calling him TA. Cody laughs that Davis forgot how to spell TK and the others join in.

In the dub, Patamon acts like a prisoner, which he shouldn’t considering he’s wearing a fake dark ring.

I don’t get it. Why is it perfectly okay to show V-Mon pinning down a Vegiemon and punching him repeatedly in the face, but the earlier scene with Gabumon had to be censored and changed to him smelling gross roots? It’s basically saying ‘Good guy beating up bad guy (who is really just a good Digimon under the control of an evil being) is perfectly fine. Bad guy beating up good guy, showing the wrongness of the situation and creating deep sympathy for Gabumon, is bad.’

(Late-Stage Edit: After doing more comparisons on the other Digimon series…..yeah, it really does seem to be a double standard with Saban that the good guys are commonly censored when being hit, but the bad guys rarely if ever get the same treatment. Is it because little kids might get upset when their heroes are hit while they’ll be happy when their enemies are hit? I really struggle to understand this.)

Daisuke just says that his sister always talks bad about him behind his back. She doesn’t like him, but he doesn’t like her either so they’re even. In the dub, Davis lists off all this embarrassing stuff about him that he thinks Jun told TK, like chewing his toenails, sucking him thumb and wetting the bed.

Yamato gets mad because Daisuke is badmouthing Jun. Matt gets mad because Davis has a big mouth….but really all he said was that Jun badmouths him and then went on to explain completely embarrassing stuff about himself, so I don’t see why Matt would get that mad about it. He also only spoke with her for a minute, so for all he knows she does indeed constantly talk shit about him behind his back. At least in the original, there was the added comment of saying Daisuke dislikes his sister to help justify Yamato’s anger a little.

Takeru doesn’t add the fact that Daisuke’s younger than Yamato thus he ‘doesn’t know any better’. And TK, really, you’re using that excuse? He’s the same age as you are, and you know better than to act like that about your siblings.

V-mon just says ‘Daisuke’ before the scene cuts back to the others. In the dub, Veemon starts a knock knock joke.

The Gazimon say they’ll go find a rope as thanks for saving them. In the dub, they say they’ll hang onto each other and make a rope out of themselves so they can ‘hop down the bunny slope’. You’d think Gabumon would refuse and just say to help him get a rope, but nope he says it’s a great idea….

It’s very brief, but they cut a tiny sliver of the first strike Redvegiemon gives to V-mon and put a white flash in there to help censor the punch.

Attack Name Change: Red Hot Machine Gun is changed to Chili Pepper Pummel.

Attack Name Change: Hazard Breath is changed to Stink Jet.

For some reason they remove the yellow strike marks near V-mon when he gets slammed down by Redvegiemon.

They do the same ‘cut out of a bit of the strike, add a flash’ censorship when Veemon’s getting beaten.

They cut out the strike to his stomach.

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They cut out two more hits to V-mon’s face.

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They cut out V-mon trying to crawl to Daisuke and then getting hit in the back….Wow, that’s pretty sad.

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They technically remove the shots of V-mon getting beaten, which is just reshowing the previous beatings being treated as new ones. They keep the overlayed shots of them, but they only show stillshots of each beating instead of showing the animated version like the original does.

In addition, the four-way splitscreen showing V-mon’s pained expressions is supposed to come on one piece at a time. In the dub, they all show up at once.

They remove another strike to V-mon’s stomach.

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They remove recycled animation of V-mon getting beaten some more and instead just steal a stillshot of it to show him standing up against Redvegiemon.

Daisuke offers to take V-mon’s place in the torture. Davis just tries to convince Veemon that he’s happy now to……I….uh…don’t know. He got into this to cheer Davis up, but he can’t get out because Davis is saying he’s happy. He could just give up, but he’ll still keep getting beat anyway.

Again, the strike to V-mon’s head is slightly cut and a flash is thrown in to censor it a bit.

They remove more of the beating, which, again, is really just slightly altered recycled animation.

Another stomach strike censored with a little cut and flash.

Redvegiemon originally says he’ll send V-mon to hell. He obviously doesn’t do so in the dub. As a bonus, Yamato and Gabumon don’t originally tell V-mon to duck when he’s about to get hit again, he just does it on his own.

Entire Series Edit: Like the original series, there’s a vocal song accompanying every evolution in the original. It’s the same every time, though changed between types of evolution. In the dub, they also use the same song for Digivolutions, but it’s just the Digimon theme song.

Redvegiemon just screams when he’s on fire. In the dub, he says ‘I’ve heard of grilled vegetables before but this is ridiculous.’

Revegiemon asks what he’s been doing the whole time. In the dub, he asks, when he sees the dark ring, if he got married when he was asleep.

Taichi says they have to destroy the spire at the Gotsumons’ home as well. They just say they’re taking them home in the dub.

Daisuke apologizes for his behavior and the fact that V-mon got into trouble because of it. V-mon then says Daisuke’s matured quite a bit now. In the dub, Yolei says she’s happy the Gotsumon are gone because they’d scratch her CDs just by touching them. Cody then says that they’d clog the sink everytime they’d brush their teeth. Davis says that they were still pretty cool.

Because the final shot of the original fades to white, they have to use a stillshot of Ken’s face taken from earlier in the scene and place it at the very end of the scene to add ‘To be continued’ and the final narration in the dub.

———————————

This episode was….meh. Nothing really interesting happened, though this is probably the most edited episode of Digimon I’ve ever dealt with so far. Usually all I have to note in these series are dialogue edits, but they did a lot of censoring here. It wasn’t 4Kids level, but still.

Other than that, Davis was a brat, the Vegiemon and Redvegiemon weren’t threatening very much outside of the extended beatings. The story was just more ‘rescue Digimon from controlled evil Digimon’ and there was a lot more recycled footage than usual. The main revelation for this episode was the spawning of the control spires and learning that their new mission is to destroy them all, though Davis has a really good point in saying that the Digimon Emperor could just build more. The old Digimon can’t protect all those areas.

Next episode looks like basically the same episode only replace Yamato’s presence with Joe, Daisuke’s little character development with Iori’s and put snow on it.

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Digimon Adventure 01: Episode 12 – Adventure! Patamon and I Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Takeru and Patamon arrive at The Village of Beginnings, which houses hundreds of baby Digimon and Digieggs. As Takeru and Patamon care for the eggs and babies, slowly falling into chaos as they cry, their caretaker, Elecmon, appears to defend them. He gets into a fight with Patamon, and tensions increase. Can Takeru help them put aside their differences?

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Title Card: DigimonA01EP12SCREEN2

Title Change: Adventure! Patamon and I is changed to DigiBaby Boom

Truthfully, I’m not a fan of either title, but I’d say the dub’s is a bit better.

TK’s imaginary ‘Porkymon’ was originally ‘It’s-Probably-Like-This-mon.’ Saban should’ve at least removed the English text in the corner of the fake Index screen that has its literal name of TabunKonnamon.

They remove a shot of the cartoon pig turning around after it shakes its butt at the camera….Dunno why they’d remove that but not the butt shaking.

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TK’s Hogmon was originally KittoKonnamon, which is ‘It-Must-Be-Like-This-mon’ Again, the English name in the corner is left alone. Also, nitpicky, but the animal Takeru is referencing is clearly a hippo, not another pig.

I know it’s excusable because they’re so far away, but the walk cycle, if you can even call it that, on Takeru when they first enter the village is horrific,

The Village of Beginnings is changed to Primary Village. As much as I’ve gotten used to the dub name, the original’s name is quite beautiful.

The first introduction to The Village of Beginnings is really quiet and sweet with only a gentle music box tune playing. In the dub, not only do we have the typical doopy travel music, but we also have TK’s obnoxious dialogue about getting cotton candy etc. over it. TK, I love ya kid, but your voice is one I’ve never been fond of, at least in little kid form.

In the original, Takeru’s first line into the village is ‘It’s so pretty!’ and he and Patamon gaze in wonder. In the dub, they’re still blathering about candy, which further ruins the moment.

Oddly, the original has a bowling ball hitting pins noise when Takeru and Patamon tumble over the hill. In the dub, this is omitted. Usually, it’s the opposite.

Takeru says the floor feels like a bed. In the dub, he says it feels like marshmallows.

I saw this joke coming. The dub has TK make a joke about Punimon being ‘Puny.’ He’s just making noises of awe in the original.

Yuramon’s voice is way too deep in the dub. It’s a baby, guys, not a ten year old.

Takeru’s comment about Devimon also starting as an egg makes me think. If Digimon never die, their information just get reconfigured, does that mean that every evil Digimon who has been defeated by the Chosen Children could, theoretically, return as eggs and then grow back up to conquer the Digital World again?

Patamon: “It’s Digicode!”

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Oh come on. Digimon, I usually praise you for keeping a good chunk of the Japanese text on screen. Now you’re claiming it’s some gibberish ‘Digicode’ because you’re too lazy to throw some digital paint on this note? Don’t pull a Pokemon on me.

What’s even dumber is that there actually IS a Digimon language called Digicode (or DigiMoji or DigiLetters) and it, predictably, looks nothing like this.

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Haven’t we kinda gone over this too? In Kabuterimon’s debut episode and the episode with Mimi in the maze? Unless they’re saying Japanese text looks like DigiCode just because ‘Oooh weird squiggles all look the same’ in which case, wow, way to be racist.

TK: *Rubbing a DigiEgg* “Maybe a digital genie will come out.” TK….goddammit, you’re not this dumb.

Also, nice that you guys accidentally put the background egg layer on top of Takeru’s layer while animating the second rub.

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TK: “I’m gonna wish for a new skateboard!” TK…..please shut up.

Originally, he just keeps talking about rubbing the egg.

TK, you don’t need to be narrating every step of the flashback. We can easily see what’s happening for ourselves. Also, in the original, you can’t hear what kid!Yamato is saying. In the dub, he says ‘Atta boy!’

Elecmon’s Index screen is more involved in the original. The narrator states that Elecmon is a very inquisitive Digimon who loves playing pranks. He also spreads his tail feathers like a peacock to threaten enemies. In the dub, Elecmon is doing his own Index screen and he says he’s the caretaker of baby Digimon ‘so don’t cross wires with me!’

Attack Name Change: Sparkling Thunder is changed to Super Thunder Strike.

I don’t know why I’m mentioning this, but the Pabumon makes a fart noise before Takeru checks if it messed itself. In the dub, it doesn’t.

It really bothers me that none of these baby Digimon sound like babies in the dub. They’re not even trying.

Again, the baby Digimon layers in the background are overlapping on top of Takeru. Animators, wake up please.

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Originally, Elecmon says Takeru and Patamon were ‘coddling’ the babies. They ask why that’s a bad thing, and he says ‘coddling’ means both ‘petting’ and ‘bullying’ and he meant the latter. In the dub, he says they were playing with the babies. TK asks why that has anything to do with him, and Elecmon explains that he’s the caretaker of all of the baby Digimon.

The way Dub!Patamon says ‘Now, now, don’t get all puffy!’ is weird.

In the original, Takeru just says ‘stop…’ quietly to himself before we see the Digivice reacting slightly. In the dub, he says ‘This is very bad! He’s Digivolving!’

That line makes no sense. First of all, he prefaced the declaration with ‘This is very bad’ meaning he can’t be implying Patamon is Digivolving because….that’d be good.

Second, how does he know either of them is even close to Digivolving? Neither is glowing, and TK can’t see his Digivice right now.

Third, if he somehow can see his Digivice reacting and is claiming a Digivolution would be a bad thing, he’s somehow inferring that his Digivice reactions are about to make Elecmon Digivolve.

The only way this would make sense is if TK were afraid of Patamon Digivolving, which we’ve proven that he isn’t.

Takeru is quietly and sadly scolding Patamon and Elecmon for fighting. In the dub, he’s yelling at them.

Dub!Elecmon’s lips are clearly not moving when he says ‘Hmph, my fur looks fine!’ Dialogue when there originally was none should only be used when the speaking character is off-screen, guys.

In the original, Takeru is announcing the match as a traditional sumo match. He calls the corners ‘east’ and ‘west’ and gives Elecmon and Patamon titles like ‘Elecmon of the Vast Sea’ and ‘Patamon of the Large Mountain.’ He’s even doing the inflection properly. In the dub, TK basically announces this like a pro wrestling match. He just says ‘That corner’ and ‘the other corner’, and he calls Elecmon ‘the defending champion’ and Patamon ‘The most excellent Digimon’ which is funny because he chose this format specifically so they could fight fairly, but calling Patamon essentially the best is clearly playing favorites.

The dub is just weird because you lose the joke entirely. You’re left wondering why the hell TK is wearing that getup and why Patamon and Elecmon are wearing those cloths. The joke is lost even further because it’s supposed to be a tone shift from traditional and serious to a childish game of tug-of-war. But in the dub, the tone is kept consistent.

It’s also funny because this is one of those 4Kids-y moments where they’re missing the forest for the trees. “Oh no, kids! Those squiggly lines aren’t Japanese text – they’re Digicode! Now here’s TK in a gyoji outfit waving around a gunbai while Elecmon and Patamon sport custom mawashis.”

Another scene where the tone is completely ruined? Oh joy. In the original, the tone of the scene changes from tense to very gentle as feathers rain down on Primary Village before Patamon is declared winner. In the dub, they keep the tense tone, so the feathers just seem like an odd addition. The change in tone is meant to help signify the new respect Patamon and Elecmon have for each other, which makes the shift kinda awkward in the dub.

Oh good, another scene where the tone is completely ruined, and this time by a stupid and kinda terrible joke. In the original, Takeru says fighting between friends is okay as a kid because you make up quickly. Then he says ‘Fighting between adults….’ which is hinting at his parents fighting.

From this one line we can tell that Takeru was likely upset at Patamon and Elecmon fighting because it reminded him of his parents. As you’ll recall, Takeru and Yamato’s parents are divorced, and Takeru probably remembers hearing a lot of fighting, even though he was pretty young when they split.

In the dub, TK retains the line about kids patching things up quickly, but says that adults don’t forgive as easily because his parents are still mad at him for that one time when he painted their cat. Uhm, considering that can really hurt an animal, I’d say they have a right to hold a grudge, TK.

So, not only do we lose a nice subtle line that explains a great deal about why Takeru was so upset, but we also make TK out as an animal abuser who is pretty much implying that his parents are overreacting to his cat-painting actions….

In the original, as Elecmon is looking around The Village of Beginnings, he tells Patamon an old saying, ‘A grain of pepper may be tiny, but it’s still sharp on the tongue.’ Patamon mistakes ‘pepper’ for ‘pansy’ and believes Elecmon has eaten pansies before.

In the dub, Patamon messes up an idiom of his own by saying ‘You can’t judge a cover by its book’ and Elecmon tells him to forget the sayings for a minute while he tells him something. Then we get a kinda Lion King-esque reference as Elecmon claims all of Primary Village will be Patamon’s some day and acts like he’s his dad? I get that we don’t really have that original old saying in America, but you can still use it and have Patamon mishear it. It’s not like it’s one of those untranslatable jokes.

Elecmon originally gets straight to the point in saying that Devimon’s on Infinity Mountain. In the dub, he says a bunch of stuff about how the terrain is dangerous and they need climbing gear before TK interrupts by mentioning Devimon. Also, it never ceases to amaze me how the dub both expects us to believe these Digimon are clueless about human things yet they know about stuff like climbing gear.

Takeru says he knows something great will happen when their hearts become one. In the dub, TK goes on a tirade about laughing and friendship. The tone is the same, but it’s like TK’s not making a point in the dub.

This is strange. In the original, Elecmon calls the area near Pyocomon Village ‘Gear Savannah’ but in the dub, he calls it ‘Gea Savannah’ with a long A sound. You’d think at least ‘Savannah’ would be pronounced with a short A sound, though. A long one is probably correct, but short is typically the pronunciation in America.

The narrator has some time during the long shot of the sea to give a monologue about the upcoming battle that is topped off by seeing a small flurry of feathers, which is a cute nod to Angemon’s impending debut. In the dub, Devimon is talking over a good chunk of the first part, then we get a commercial break, then the rest of the scene is silent, making the feathers meaningless.

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I have to say, I’m a little torn about this episode. In the original, the episode is pretty cute and is a good prelude to what’s about to come, but I also feel it was kinda cheesy and a little boring. The baby Digimon are cute but get a little annoying, and the whole plot with Patamon and Elecmon felt slightly forced and under-written. If Patamon’s so mature, he should’ve just explained that they found a note telling them to hatch eggs and they felt compelled to care for the babies when they started crying. If it was such a problem, he should’ve offered to leave.

Elecmon, harsh as though it may be, was perfectly within his rights to attack because they were intruders touching his babies and letting them run loose all over the village. For all he knew, they really were attacking them since they were all crying. He should’ve heard them out a bit more, but that’s all.

The one being treated as the unreasonable one is Elecmon and no one else. Elecmon’s the one who has to learn a lesson, and he learns it through tug of war. It’s not like he even realized something about Patamon during the match or when he hit the block. It was literally them playing tug of war, him losing, then Elecmon’s all smiles and giving Patamon a bunch of praise before he apologizes. Patamon never apologizes even though, in my opinion, he was technically more in the wrong.

And don’t get me started on the animation. There’s no excuse for the layering thing to happen twice, and the overall animation is on the lower end of the spectrum for this show.

The dub is a mess of bad jokes and ruined tones. The whole meaning of the episode almost ends up getting lost because it’s like Saban completely missed the point or didn’t care. The dub is basically a hollow shell because of it.

Also, even though they have a decent amount of Takeru and Patamon bonding, I think the episode should’ve been more focused on their friendship, considering what’s to come, rather than focusing so much on Elecmon and The Village of Beginnings. Yamato and Gabumon had way more development in their episode than Patamon and Takeru did here.

Not to mention, now that I’m older, how glaringly obvious is the hanging thread of ‘We’ll be best friends forever!’? That’s almost as bad as telling someone you love them before heading off alone in a horror movie.

Next episode, one the preview just completely ruins from start to finish, Angemon’s debut! Ready your tissues.

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AniManga Clash! Yu Yu Hakusho Volume 1

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Preface: It’s no secret that I love Yu Yu Hakusho. It’s one of my favorite anime, and it’s my favorite shounen fighting anime. (Naruto, DBZ and One Piece are up there, and HunterXHunter is looking to be very strong competition for top spot as I get further into it, but YYH has maintained the top spot.)

However, I’ve never read the manga before. I’ve never even heard or read up much about it before, either. So I figured, since I’m also doing a Shounen Step-By-Step on the series, it’s the perfect opportunity to also dive into the manga and do an AniManga Clash on it.

So let’s not waste anymore time and explore volume one of the Yu Yu Hakusho manga!

Chapter One: So Long World

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(First episode review and summary) Yusuke smokes in the manga when he’s about to chew gum in the first episode.

The wake is a lot less dramatic in the manga. Atsuko sits for half of it like she does in the anime, but she does it with this cartoonish blank face as opposed to just a blank face. Additionally, Kuwabara doesn’t attempt to hit Yusuke’s picture and end up bursting into tears in the manga. The picture in question is a cartoony picture of Yusuke, though to be honest the one they used in the anime seemed really weird to me. Like he was a much younger kid looking back at a camera, but he was obviously the same age.

The anime doesn’t include a really sweet flashback (Well, part of this flashback is in the anime much later.) Atsuko thinks back to the last time she saw Keiko so forlorn. It was several years prior when Yusuke got a bad cold.

He fell into the river after running from Keiko after he flipped her skirt. Keiko was adamant to not leave Yusuke’s side and was very upset about how sick he had gotten. The next day, despite still being sick as a dog, Yusuke decided to suck it up and go to school because if he took a sick day Keiko would continue to worry as she was the day prior, and he didn’t want that. When we cut back to present day, Atsuko slightly berates her son for making Keiko sad again before basically passing out on the counter.

It’s a shame because this is an adorable flashback that adds to Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship quite a bit and even gives us some more glimpses into Atsuko as a caring mother, if only slightly. I mean, she is still blaming him for leaving.

Chapter Two: The Test for Revival

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(Episode 2 review and summary) Keiko is blaming herself heavily throughout all of chapter two. The last thing she said to Yusuke was ‘Just die!’ and now her last exchange with him keeps replaying in her head. The anime doesn’t include this, which is a shame because Yusuke comforts her (in his own way) and combats her guilt before he tries to tell her about his body being cremated.

Apparently, in the manga, they implement a restriction on Yusuke after he possesses Kuwabara. He can’t infiltrate people’s dreams or possess anyone until the test is over. But this restriction wasn’t in the anime. In fact, much of the episode about Kuwabara and his friends is centered on Yusuke helping him through his dreams and possessing people.

Chapter Three: Time to Begin!

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This story is actually pretty different from the anime version, and that’s quite disappointing because, in the manga, this chapter is one of very few where the focus is entirely on Yusuke’s feelings for Keiko and vice versa.

In the manga, Yusuke is told that he only has one more day to talk with any loved ones, specifically Keiko (or his mother) before the test to get revived formally starts and he’s completely barred from communicating with them. Why is he barred from communicating with his closest loved ones? No idea. Just cuz, I guess.

Because of this, Yusuke has a chance to give his ‘last words’ to Keiko in person instead of a dream, because she might not believe the dream is really Yusuke talking to her. Yusuke must possess Kuwabara, because he has higher spirit sensitivity, find her, convince her that he’s Yusuke and pass on his final words before his possession window closes in 30 minutes.

In the anime, they continue on the plotline from the previous chapter about trying to prevent his body from being cremated. Originally, Keiko was convinced enough by the dream sequence of Yusuke telling her to check to see if his body’s still alive that she ran to Atsuko’s house in the middle of the night to do so. She was successful, though Atsuko had already discovered Yusuke was alive because Atsuko opened his coffin to smack him one more time and noticed his face had color.

In the anime, she’s somewhat convinced by the dream, but decides to not tell Atsuko about it out of fear that she might upset her even further. Yusuke has to find a more convincing avenue of telling her, so we cue up the Kuwabara plot to tell her in person. I don’t much care for this change because we go from a sweeter plot of Yusuke rushing around to give one last message to the girl he loves to a race to save his body from being cremated with sweet moments with Keiko interspersed throughout. The sweet moments are still very sweet, but it’s more romantic in the manga.

The rest of the story goes the same in both versions, basically. Yusuke possesses Kuwabara but runs into all sorts of problems while trying to find Keiko including accidentally pissing off Keiko’s parents by ‘posing’ as Yusuke and running into a ton of thugs that Kuwabara and his gang have challenged in the past.

However, he does indeed find Keiko and convinces her that he’s who he says he is by grabbing her boobs and joking around about it, which is something Yusuke has more or less done since they were kids. She slaps the fuck out of him, yelling out his name, and she instantly knows he really is Yusuke.

This is where the two stories shift again. In the manga, he only asks her to wait for him and have faith that he’ll return to her. She agrees and tells him she’ll wait forever. In the anime, obviously, they have to add in the part where he tells her that he’s taking a test to return to life and that he needs her to take care of his body until then, including stopping the funeral so he won’t get cremated. Then the conversation ends with the aforementioned dialogue exchange.

Again, this scene is still sweet and romantic, but it loses something when the other stuff is piled on there. It’s much more emotionally impacting if he’s simply rushing around to tell the girl he loves his ‘last words’ to her than it is to have him tack it on at the end of telling her stuff she has to do for him to help him out.

Oh and the anime adds Kuwabara taking advantage of the fact that Keiko was hugging his body when he was possessed by Yusuke to get in some hugs from a cute girl only to have Keiko slap the fuck out of him again. This was unnecessary but it did kinda highlight that Keiko truly knows Yusuke and could tell when Kuwabara had taken over again. However, I don’t think Kuwabara, Mr. Honor over there, would continue hugging Keiko like that to be a little pervy.

After Yusuke is saved in the anime or just after he returns to spirit form in the manga, Yusuke looks on at Keiko and proclaims that he must go back now because he promised her. He even says he’ll never do another bad deed again if he can come back to life (though he thinks to himself that fighting’s not a bad deed.) In the anime, Yusuke just checks the spirit egg, which is feeding off of his spirit energy. He wonders if that’s a good thing because he thinks he only did good things that day, but Botan wonders because he beat up a lot of people too.

This is actually a point where they lost a sweet moment entirely. I love that Yusuke has a newfound determination to come back to life for Keiko, even promising that he’ll never do another bad deed if he returns. The anime’s ending isn’t necessarily bad, but this romantic gesture is completely lost.

Chapter Four: The Old Dog and the Wolf

This chapter never made it to the anime, and I’m very glad for that because, even though I can’t bring myself to say it’s a particularly bad chapter, it is still insanely sad, and I don’t much care for Yusuke’s behavior in it.

The chapter involves a boy named Shota grieving over his dying dog, Jiro. His bitch of a mother coldly forces him to go to school while Jiro is on death’s door, and a bunch of asshole kids bully him about his dog when he arrives. Botan and Yusuke are watching, knowing that the dog won’t live until Shota returns.

They’re right. Jiro dies while Shota is at school and he’s completely devastated by it to the point where Yusuke thinks this may be the tipping point for the kid to commit suicide.

Jiro’s spirit won’t leave Shota’s house because he’s worried about him. Yusuke comes up with a plan to appear to Shota in his dreams, pretending to be an agent of hell trying to ferry Jiro down to hell because he won’t go up to heaven. He even uses a thorny leash and kicks him over and over, which I thought was really overkill. I get that Jiro is dead, but if hell is a place in this universe and you can feel pain there, it’s not a stretch to say Yusuke is actually hurting the dog.

Shota, in an effort to save his dog from hell, beats up Yusuke and tells him to leave Jiro alone. Yusuke relents, but says he’ll come back for Jiro if Shota continues to be a crybaby and wimp. He won’t let that happen, and an angelic Botan takes Jiro up to heaven.

The next day, Shota’s mom was apparently replaced by another woman because she actually offers to allow him to stay home from school today. Yeah, his dog is hours away from death, so you scream at him, act like the dog doesn’t matter and force him to go to school. Dog’s already dead? Oh honey, you can stay home today.

Bite me, lady.

Shota, however, declares that he must be strong and go to school because he made a promise to Jiro and he’s going to keep it.

At school, the bullies continue to be dicks, even going so far as saying that once his dog dies (they’re unaware that he died) they’ll chop him up and make dog stew. This time Shota fights back and tells them if they ever talk about his dog again, he’ll beat them both up. Because the chapter’s almost over, of course they relent and Shota’s off to start a new life as a confident young man who will be forever worried that the slightest show of cowardice or soft-heartedness will be a one-way ticket to hell for his beloved doggo. The end.

This chapter really pulls me in two directions. First of all, it deals with the death of a pet, and that’s a very sore topic with me. If you want to see me cry, just show me any story that involves animal death, particularly dogs. It’s almost instantaneous with me.

Second of all, I can’t really get behind Yusuke’s methods for helping this kid. Sure, he pretended like he legitimately got his ass kicked by Shota so he’d get a boost of confidence, but he also threatened the kid basically saying if he ever went back to having feelings and not attempting to beat up two kids who were way bigger than him that he’d send his dog to hell.

Third of all, they were worried that Shota was in such a bad place that he might commit suicide soon, so they decide saying that his dog is going to hell because he’s such a wimp is the best course of action? They’re incredibly lucky that worked, otherwise they might have blood on their hands.

Finally, the ending was really cliché and, realistically, shouldn’t have worked. As far as I can tell, standing up to bullies does tend to make them back off, if you’re dealing with one bully, but in this situation the power balance was a bit too much – it was two bigger sociopathic kids against little Shota threatening to beat them up. They not only relented after he told them off, but they were so stunned and in total fear of him that it was a bit comedic. He didn’t even hit them – he just grabbed one of them by the collar.

I won’t say this was a bad chapter, even if it does have several objective problems, but it did make me really uncomfortable and sad.

Chapter Five: Christmas of the First Year

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Another story that was completely lost from the anime – and it was a Christmas special. Yeah…I never knew there was a Yu Yu Hakusho Christmas special but here we are. It kinda threw me for a loop because that implies that Yusuke’s been dead for MONTHS now. Remember, the episode with Yusuke saving Keiko with his spirit egg happened in summer. I had no idea there was so much of a gap between him getting his spirit egg and actually being revived. I guess this is so we can see Yusuke doing more good deeds while dead instead of him just doing a couple like he did in the anime.

As for the chapter as a whole, it’s very sweet. There’s a spirit of a girl (She’s never given a name) who has been waiting on a park bench for over a year. She’s very adamant about not moving because she agreed to meet a guy she liked, Kenji, on that bench on Christmas of last year, but she suddenly fell very ill, lapsed into a coma and died. Botan wants to help her move on, but she will only leave if she’s able to see Kenji to apologize for standing him up, whether he can hear her or not. They make an agreement – if he’s not there by their meeting time last year, noon on Christmas, then they leave. They wait until 1:30, because she says he’s always late and finds that charming about him.

Kenji, surprisingly, does show up, but he’s there to meet another girl. When they talk about how late he was, he mentions the spirit girl. He explains that he loves to leave girls waiting for him. On that day on Christmas, he had a 10,000 yen (1000 dollars) bet running with his friends that she would wait over five hours for him to show up, but she never showed and he never talked to her again, implying he doesn’t know she’s even dead. He also mocks her before heading off with his girlfriend.

The spirit girl can’t find it within her to get angry with Kenji, however, especially when she states that she would have waited the five hours if she hadn’t fallen ill. She is, understandably, devastated, though. Yusuke is angry that he can’t beat the crap out of Kenji, and he’s frustrated that the spirit girl won’t get angry either, so he decides to help her forget about him and move on instead.

He takes her on a date – movie, seeing the sites, going on a roller coaster etc. as best they can since they’re spirits. At the end of the date, he tells her to tell Kenji off by yelling into the city, but she just yells out a note of thanks to Kenji because, if it wasn’t for him, she’d never have met Yusuke and had such a nice time.

She happily departs from this realm knowing that there are better people than Kenji who are probably waiting for her on the other side. If she can manage to find someone even half as nice as Yusuke, she’ll be happy forever.

Yusuke, while glad that the girl passed on with no regrets, is not as forgiving of Kenji. Somehow breaking the laws of appearing to humans, he’s able to speak to Kenji over the phone, acting like one of the girls he’s burned by his games and he also appears to him as a ghost to scare him. Botan ‘lets’ him just this once, but I really don’t understand how he’s doing this or why, if he’s able to appear to humans, he hasn’t been allowed to do so with his family or friends outside of dreams.

No matter, though. The jerk had it coming to him. It even looks like his current girlfriend isn’t too happy with him now. Not that she should have been from the very beginning, though. He talks about the girls he’s emotionally screwed around with, brags that she’s a new one just like the others and implies that he’s currently doing this to many other girls.

Chapter Six: Lonely Journey

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Yet another story never told in the anime. This one is about an old man who is close to death, so Botan and Yusuke are keeping an eye on him. He’s a bitter old man who doesn’t trust anyone and throws the kindness of others back in their faces, but he wasn’t always like that.

He used to be a very kind old man who loved spending time with his family, particularly his grandson, Shinji. However, his daughter/son and son/daughter-in-law along with Shinji died in a terrible car accident. His family fought him over the estate, so he became distrustful, got rid of most of the estate and closed himself off from others.

Botan and Yusuke spot a tanuki wandering around the old man’s house, and it’s confirmed that in this universe animals can see and interact with spirits. In addition, animals like foxes and tanuki can transform. This is a rather young tanuki, and it explains why it’s watching the old man.

When he was a little baby tanuki, he got his foot caught in a snap trap. The old man and Shinji freed the tanuki from the trap and patched him up, saving his foot and, ultimately, his life, so he wanted to repay them somehow. When he learns that Shinji has passed and the old man is close to death, the tanuki decides to transform into Shinji to keep him company on his dying days, but he can only do it at night.

The old man is very happy to have Shinji around, even if it’s only at night, and his last days (or nights) on earth are made so much better because of it. As the old man is reaching his end, his final request is for Shinji to stay with him until he goes. But the sun is rising, and the little tanuki’s time transformed is about to be up.

Surprisingly, the old man reveals that he’s known all along that ‘Shinji’ was actually the little Tanuki. He knew he was just trying to provide him with comfort, so he played along. He still wanted the little tanuki to stay with him until he passed, and the tanuki tearfully honored his final request.

The old man finally passed on to reunite with Shinji and the rest of his family, and the little tanuki went back off into the wild.

This story was pretty heartwarming and sweet. I won’t lie, I teared up a bit by the end, but….you notice how Botan and Yusuke had really nothing to do with the actual story? That’s a bit weird. They really were just reacting to what was going on and talking about it. They had no effect on the story whatsoever besides telling the tanuki about the old man’s family, and he could’ve figured that out on his own.

Chapter Seven: Promise

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(Episode 3 review and summary) The next chapter finally matches back up with the anime (or vice versa, I guess I should say) as they cover the story where Kuwabara needs to both stop fighting for a week and get at least a 50 on his next test in order to save his friend, Okubo’s, job.

The anime adapted this story pretty well. They didn’t really omit anything nor do I remember them including anything notable. There are some notes here and there that I don’t remember being in the anime, like the first scene being Yusuke visiting Keiko at school to see how she’s doing, and Yusuke explaining that he thinks his mom makes money to support them by….extorting a cop. Atsuko: Mother of the Fucking Year.

Also, there’s a little character blurb off to the side about Keiko and uh…..Ya know, I could write a whole post about how shafted girls are in this series (As much as I love Botan, she’s still just an assistant – as much I enjoy Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship, she gets to do fuck all over the course of the series and doesn’t have that deep of a personality – Atsuko’s a horrible mom – Yukina’s as literal of a damsel in distress as possible, complete with being locked in a tower, and certified love interest etc. The only really good female character in the series who fights and does important stuff is Genkai.) I had to pause and just sigh because her little character blurb said this:

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Yes…Keiko’s hobbies are….cooking….and cleaning…..There’s nothing wrong with enjoying cooking and cleaning, but, Keiko, for God’s sake, you’re really not helping the pseudo-sexist vibe this series gives off whenever women are involved nor are you making yourself any more interesting as a character.

Anyhoo, I’ve always really loved this story. It’s a very sweet example of how dedicated Kuwabara is to his friends and how much honor he has a person. It highlights the friendship between Yusuke and Kuwabara very well too. Beforehand, you really just think they had a mutual respect for each other and weren’t really friends, but this episode truly shows that their bond was a lot deeper than just fightin’ buddies.

Chapter Eight: A Short Lived Revival

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The final chapter of the volume does a bit more for Keiko’s character, but not so for Atsuko who, AGAIN, has left Yusuke all alone and even has the balls to say in a note to Keiko that Yusuke is ‘sleeping like the dead.’ What the unholy hell, Atsuko?

In this chapter, Yusuke is temporarily reunited with his body. Apparently, if his body doesn’t get some activity from his soul every month after being revived, then his body might actually die from the lack of energy.

Botan tells him to just sleep the entire time he’s in his body so he can more efficiently recharge his batteries and so he doesn’t accidentally interact with his mom or Keiko, which will break the terms of his revival and make it so he’s unable to come back.

Yusuke, of course, doesn’t listen to her advice and goes off in public anyway. Like in the anime, though in that case it was after he’s officially resurrected, he decides to stay under the radar for the most part. In the manga, he doesn’t slick back his hair, and that’s his only disguise. In the anime, he also puts on sunglasses.

Like in the anime, he bumps into a few people and is just happy they can see and feel him. Even when a couple of thugs try to mug him, he’s just happy that he’s alive and corporeal. These thugs are from Kasanegafuchi Junior High, whereas in the anime they were from Rugafuji Junior High.

The rest is altered from the anime, however.

Yusuke manages to scare off these thugs by nearly strangling one of them. The one who nearly got strangled is so pissed, he decides to take out his anger on one of Keiko’s friends, who accidentally bumped into him. He kicks her to the ground, and Keiko, not taking an iota of shit, slaps him across the face.

Kuwabara’s friends, sans Kuwabara because he’s actually off studying, confront them instead. Keiko’s friends manage to convince her to leave and let them handle it. However, almost as soon as they start to leave, Dai(Daisuke), the thugs’ leader, arrives and swiftly beats the snot out of Kuwabara’s gang.

Keiko turns around and demands he stop, smacking him in the back of the head with her bag when he ignores her. Dai grabs her face and threatens her. Meanwhile, Yusuke is off playing pachinko, completely unaware of what’s happening with Keiko. Even if he does learn about it, it would mean his certain death if she sees him.

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I’m actually quite astonished about how little the manga, so far, has been adapted in the anime. Only a week or two seems to go by after Yusuke’s body is revived when he’s finally brought back to life for good, but in the manga he’s been out for at least a month, given that he’s only learning of this body recharge thing now, and I have to imagine it’s way more than that – bear in mind the thing about it one minute being summer and the next it’s Christmas.

Do I fault the anime for omitting all of these stories?….Yes and no. I could’ve done without the story about Shota, for obvious reasons, and while the story with the old man was really sweet, it really had absolutely nothing to do with either the main plot or Yusuke or any main character. I’m on the fence about whether or not I’d like this cliffhanger plot with Keiko to have stayed. On one hand, it’s a bit of a badass moment for her, and she gets few in the course of the series, if any. On the other hand, the badassery leads her to be a damsel in distress – complete with impending rape implications….

I get that they probably wanted to rush Yusuke back to life so he could finally get into some Spirit Detective action, but I can’t deny that it would have been nice to at least see a couple more stories of him being a ghost and helping people or spirits out. I’m especially disappointed that we didn’t get that Christmas special. It could easily be altered to not be a Christmas special if the timing or whatever is an issue, and it was a very sweet story about an equally sweet girl. Plus, Yusuke’s being a big teddy bear in it, and that’s rare to see, even when he’s with Keiko.

The parts that were actually adapted were done well, and the anime’s changes were mostly made for the better, especially that wake scene. There were some snippets of information here and there that were lost, but it was nothing too bad.

I’m actually at a bit of a loss as to how to determine a winner here. Only about half of the manga so far, if that, was adapted to anime form. I don’t feel like the side-stories that were lost were so vital that it should damage the anime’s score too much, but I also feel like we simply got more out of the manga.

I want to say ‘Tie’ here, but…

Winner: Manga

I’m mostly giving this round to the manga because I think they really should have explored more stories while Yusuke was a ghost in the anime, and I think they did some of the adapted stuff just a tiny bit better – by a barely noticeable margin. The anime did the wake better, but the manga did the brief reunion with Keiko better as well as several other quieter moments with her.


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Cardcaptor Sakura/Cardcaptors Episode 12: Sakura’s Never-Ending Day Sub/Dub Comparison

Card(s) of the Day: Time: A card that has the ability to control time flow as well as reverse an entire day’s worth of time at midnight. Time’s weakness seems to be Shield as its time manipulation is useless against those who use Shield.

Plot: Sakura makes a mistake during her recorder test and wishes she could retake it after she practices more. She gets her wish as the Time card reverses time back one day. While she gets another shot at her recorder test, Time continuously reverses time back one day every night at midnight but only Syaoran, Kero and Sakura retain the memories of the days replayed. Can Sakura and Syaoran capture time or will they be stuck in a time loop forever?

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A closeup shot of the board is removed despite the fact that we can clearly see it behind him in the next shot. Continuity!

The dub seems to be shoving the concept of time down our throats before we’re even five minutes into the show. The dub title is “Time and again” when the original’s is “Sakura’s Never-ending Day,” and I swear her dad has said “time” emphasized at least three times now.

A shot of the class is removed. We also don’t hear Sakura’s narration of saying that this is the first time that she’s ever heard details about what her dad does, and that, to her, archaeology seems difficult but interesting. Her dad is talking over any remaining shots.

Sakura’s dad’s topic stays roughly the same, but originally he says King Kufu’s pyramid in the Giza strip is the biggest Pyramid that remains standing today with some people speculating that it took over 40 years to build. In the dub, he’s talking about how one brick of limestone he has is all that remains of a section of King Kufu’s pyramid.

They remove him saying that supposedly 2,700,000 bricks were used to build the pyramid.

A moderately long sequence is cut. Once the bell rings, we cut back to the auditorium where the class is clapping for Fujitaka. While Syaoran’s standing on his chair clapping his head off behind Sakura, Sakura muses that she wishes all of her classes seemed that short. The bell for lunch never seems to come while the bell to end recess always comes too soon.

I guess Syaoran really is psyched about archaeology because he asks Fujitaka all sorts of questions about his lecture. He originally asks about pharaohs making curses on their tombs and people who ransack the tombs getting cursed and dying. Fujitaka says that’s a tough question and responds that not all pyramids were meant to be the tombs of the specific pharaoh who made them. Some pharaohs made as much as five pyramids in their lifetime. (While Atem was off playing card games. Pfft)

In the dub, Lee asks how, in time, the pyramids will all be gone. Aiden agrees that will happen eventually, but seeing as how they’re so massive and have stayed around for thousands of years, they probably still have some staying power left in them.

At the realization that Syaoran likes archaeology, Fujitaka invites Syaoran to his house because he has even more artifacts there. The dub has Aiden invite Lee to the university because they have a great Egyptology section. You can basically deduce why this was removed. Was it kosher even back then to invite kids to your house when you’re an adult? I know he has a kid Syaoran’s age, but still.

Poor editing strikes Nelvana again. After Syaoran finds out that Fujitaka is Sakura’s dad, he glares at her as she waves to her dad. She slows down her wave and slowly tilts her head down with a sweatdrop asking what Syaoran’s problem is now. In the dub, they try their damnedest to remove that scene with the sweatdrop but leave in like a half a second of it before the transition. Nelvana, it helps to go through the scene frame by frame when you remove stuff to ensure that there’s no trace left. Just sayin’. It looks shoddy.

The scene that follows is removed. Sakura runs to her dad as he’s leaving, he asks if his lecture was alright and she says yes. Fujitaka is pleased and asks Sakura what she wants for dinner tonight. Sakura asks why he’s asking her if it’s Toya’s turn to cook. Fujitaka explains that Toya has an exam tomorrow so he’s cooking to give him some extra time to study. As Sakura’s about to answer, the bell rings and Sakura laments that recess is over. Fujitaka says recess always feels too short and he sends her off. I guess this was either removed because too much Fujitaka or merely because the scene was fairly pointless.

Kero originally asks why Sakura’s up so late and says good little kids should be in bed by now before cheering at winning his game. In the dub, Kero’s just talking about his game before cheering that he wins. Also, they left in the footage of the game which is odd because there’s Japanese all over it.

Originally Sakura was presenting Toya and Yukito with Nikuman. In the dub, Julien says they’re pastry puffs. You know, you can just leave out what they are instead of making claims like that. Food is food.

Also, before Toya opens the door Sakura practices what she’ll say and do when she gives the nikuman to Yukito. This is removed.

Sakura says she’s feeling uneasy because she’s sleeping while Yukito’s in the next room. In the dub, she says she has to get some sleep because she has a big music test tomorrow and she’s worried she didn’t practice enough…I had music class when I was in grade school, but I don’t ever remember having music tests. Did anyone else? Am I having a serious memory blank?

Dub Kero: “What’s with the ding dong thing?” They’re called bells, Kero…..

They edit out hearing Yukito and Toya talking about the bells through the wall. I guess because even Yukito’s voice is offensive somehow.

The good news is Sakura really does have a music test in the original; a recorder test. Ah, the recorder…I don’t remember being formally tested on that, though. Had a lot of fun playing it. Hot cross buns!

Shots of Sakura’s cartoony crying face and a depressed face.

The dub doesn’t mention that Sakura has problems hitting the high D. If you made a joke in your head about that line, go to the corner.

You can’t hear what Tomoyo’s mouthing to Sakura in the original. Also, Sakura turns around to look at Madison before she calls her name in the dub. Psychic Sakura!

A shot of Tomoyo anticipating the next measure is edited out.

The original has Syaoran pretending the play the recorder beside his desk. The dub adds in the music. Because that makes sense right? Lee totally wouldn’t be causing a disturbance in music class by playing the recorder while someone else is trying to play in front of the whole class for this final exam. Good job, Nelvana.

This next scene was sorta changed and a spot was removed. Sakura says she made a weird noise in her test, but Tomoyo says she did very well on the other parts, which I guess means she still passed. Sakura then compliments Tomoyo on the job she did on her exam and says she couldn’t even tell it was the same song. In the dub she tells Madison that she really blew the test that morning and, if she could, she’d go back and do it all over again.

Originally, Sakura wonders why Syaoran’s practicing the recorder when the final is done. Tomoyo says it might be because he didn’t do very well on his test, but it’s dangerous to walk and play at the same time. In the dub, Sakura sees Lee playing and says “So he can walk and play the recorder at the same time. Big whup.” Madison scolds her, but she responds by saying he still doesn’t think she should be a Cardcaptor. Right, he doesn’t think she should be a Cardcaptor (A little bit justifiably, by the way) so make fun of him for innocently playing the recorder while walking by. Way to be the bigger person, Sakura.

A short scene is removed where Sakura asks if Syaoran moved to Japan from Hong Kong by himself with Tomoyo responding that she doesn’t know because she doesn’t know much about his family.

They remove Sakura also calling Syaoran’s kick amazing and them looking back to him with smiles.

A scene of Sakura, Toya and her dad making toasts for finishing exams as well as Sakura drinking her drink is removed. No idea why. Not like it’s alcohol.

They remove a shot of Sakura agreeing to practice more. Also, the dub insinuates that Tori did perfectly on the exams or something and still makes it seem like Sakura failed whereas in the original Toya says he did so-so on his exams and Sakura is still frustrated over making one mistake.

Dub Sakura: “Well, Tori and my dad think I didn’t practice enough. So I’M going to show THEM next time.” In the original, Sakura says her dad suggested that she go over the parts that she couldn’t manage to do on her test to get them right anyway if missing the notes frustrated her – probably to prove to herself that she can do it and would’ve been able to do it earlier if she applied herself. Then Kero and Sakura praise her dad for such good advice.

In the dub she makes off like they were mocking her for missing the notes and not practicing enough so she’s going to rub it in their faces later. And need I remind you, Sakura, that you said earlier you wished you had practiced more and admitted that you thought you didn’t practice enough that previous night.

Dub Kero: (Right after that line I just wrote) “Expect the unexpected!”……What the hell does that have to do with this conversation?! Expect that she’ll unexpectedly rub it in her dad and brother’s faces that she can play that part now? Expect that you’ll put that catchphrase in places miles away from where it belongs? Or are you saying it’s unexpected that she’ll be able to play the song? Because that’s a little insulting.

After Kero finds out that his save file’s been deleted again and Sakura leaves the room, he shakes his head back and forth crying saying “Why, why, why!?” This is removed.

Again, they make off like Sakura completely flunked the music test instead of just making one mistake. Is it just more believable that Sakura would want to redo a test she failed instead of wanting to avoid making an embarrassing mistake in front of her class?

Tomoyo asks if Sakura’s nervous, Madison asks if Sakura’s been having weird dreams.

Despite the fact that dub Sakura denied having a weird dream where she failed, Madison says her dream was wrong because she did perfectly. In the original, Tomoyo just says she expects nothing less of Sakura than to do so well on her finals.

Hm….I don’t quite get the redo of Syaoran’s kick. When Syaoran kicked the ball coming at his face the first time, he was at the top of the steps a good ten feet higher than the soccer field. The second time, he’s on the same level with the soccer field and he’s standing further ahead than he was before. If this really is supposed to be exactly the same as the previous day barring what Sakura, Kero and Syaoran do, why did the ball change direction to seek out Syaoran again?

After Syaoran makes the kick again, Sakura does say in the original that things seem slightly different, but she never builds upon what she means by that. Does that mean that everything that happened the previous day must happen to them no matter what they do to avoid it? Because that doesn’t make full sense seeing as how she made a mistake on her music test the first time and didn’t the second time.

Tomoyo says when she was designing Sakura’s outfit for the day, she was imagining a night fairy flying freely through the skies. In the dub, Madison says nothing of a fairy and says it’s for undetected night flight…..undetected night flight, huh? This thing?

This bright yellow fairy outfit is supposed to be stealthy? Whatever you say, Madison.

Minor nitpick, but Kero asks how she knew the card was in the clock tower in the original whereas dub Kero acts like he believes full-on that Sakura sensed it was in there.

Another minor nitpick, but in the original Sakura and Kero’s voices lower dramatically when time slows down like it would when slowing down an audio track. In the dub, they just speak really slowly. I’ll admit, while the original is more realistic, the dub is preferred to me because that scene is friggin’ creepy.

I believe the commercial break for the dub was supposed to come immediately after we see Kero and Sakura frozen in time. However we see a split second of the following shot of the hourglass before it cuts out.

After Kero explains that, while Time can control time, it only has the ability to rewind a whole day on midnight. They see that it’s 11:45pm and Sakura gets a sweatdrop on her face and says they’ll have to repeat the whole day again. Sakura cries that she’ll have to do the recorder test again, Kero cries that he’ll lose his save data again and they rush off to catch the card. This whole conversation as well as the sweatdrops and crying are removed. They just point out that they have 15 minutes to catch the card and fly off.

Original Kero says the card is speeding up time merely around the clock tower to be able to activate its full-day time reversal, which is super cheating if you ask me. You can’t put a limitation on a card and then give the card the ability to easily work around it.

“You have this great power over time, but the only restriction is you can only reverse a whole day at midnight.”

“Okay, I’ll just fastforward to exactly midnight.”

“Ah, wait, you can’t do that.”

“Ahp ahp ahp. You said that was the ONLY restriction.”

“Yes, but…”

“TIME MAGIC!”

Dub Kero and Sakura’s voices remain unchanged again when Time does a full-day rewind.

Kero asks why they have to keep leaving so late. If they know where the card is and what it is, why not leave earlier? Sakura responds that she had to celebrate with her dad and brother and practice again beforehand…..Wait, I’m STILL not getting what this rewind entails.

So you mean the first time the rewind happened even after she knew there was a clow card at work she still had to go home, celebrate and practice before leaving? But that makes no sense because after she practiced on the first day before the first rewind, she went to bed. If she, Kero and supposedly Syaoran are bound to do the same things they did that day, why are they free to break from that to chase after Time? That makes no sense. Is there any time travel related story that doesn’t have gaping plot holes?

Also, that thing about leaving earlier is omitted from the dub. Sakura and Kero just keep whining about having to do the same stuff three times over.

If this day has been replayed three times, why is Syaoran just NOW showing up to help? I thought he was all gung-ho about catching the cards before Sakura yet here he is ignoring the card until he gets fed up with her not catching it. Was there something he ‘needed’ to do over and over keeping him from the fight or did they not know how to fit him into the fight yet?

While there have been hints here and there about the differences in attitude between Lee and Syaoran, he’s really starting to get cocky and degrading in the dub.

Lee: “Time’s flying! I mean fleeing!”……..Ugh.

Dub Sakura: (After Lee uses his Lightning) “You backed me up!” Well, duh! He came here to help you capture Time not sabotage you. In the original, Sakura’s just surprised Syaoran had a trap ready.

Dub Kero: “Sometimes the card doesn’t always go to the one who seals it, Sakura.”

Sakura: “But why not?!”

Dub Kero: “Hey if I had all the answers, you’d think I’d look like this?”

Yeah…except you DO have the answer, you dimwit – at least in the original. Kero says the card doesn’t go to the one who seals it, it goes to the person who returned the card to its original form. Syaoran turned it back into its original form with his Lightning, so despite the fact that Sakura sealed it, Syaoran gets to keep it. Why couldn’t this rule be explained in the dub?

Originally Sakura had a kanji writing test. In the dub, it’s a spelling test.

They remove a shot of Sakura cartoonishly crying because she studied the wrong thing.

Visuals:

Leave it to Kero-Chan!/Kero’s Corner: Wow, Nelvana’s being derpy today. During Kero’s Corner, they don’t remove the edited logo until about a second after Kero popped up on screen so it covers him for like 15 frames.

Dub Kero: “The theory behind this design (Sakura’s fairy outfit) was to dress up like Tinkerbell to get past Time’s ancient form.”…………………………………….I have…..no words…..How?……What’s the actual theory? Because that makes no sense. Someone explain this to me. Please.

In the original, Kero just says the fairy costume goes well with the fact that they just switched to Summer uniforms at school.

Original Kero doesn’t mention anything about the wings boosting her magic ability (How would Madison have the ability to do that anyway?) or that they’re high-tech and aerodynamic. They’re not high-tech. There’s no tech involved period. They’re not even aerodynamic from my standpoint. In fact they look like they’d bog her down in flight.

Dub Kero: (About Sakura’s school bag) “You’d be amazed at the amount of stuff you could fit in there. About the only thing you can’t fit in there is time.” Well, seeing as how Time is a card, she’d probably be able to easily fit it in there. I get what he was saying, but given the circumstances that’s a silly comment. Originally, Kero just mentions that the bag’s very simple but functional and has a hook on the side.

Overall this is a bit of a dumb episode. Time seems like a cool card, but the episode as a whole makes little sense to me and the dub is downright irritating at points, especially considering editing errors that make me wonder if Nelvana’s editing staff wasn’t off that day and they had the janitor stand in. The premise is also a big cliché, though it may have been less of a cliché back then.

Next episode, Power’s debut! A trip to the zoo leads Sakura and the gang to finding the Power card and it’s causing all sorts of chaos.

.Previous Episode


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My AniManga-ish Thoughts on Aishiteruze Baby

A long, long time ago in a place….directly where I am now, maybe a few feet away, Twix watched an anime called Aishiteruze Baby. Twix was not one to be easily swayed by stories of little children. No, she was a jaded old grump whose thoughts would instantly jump to ‘Oh god, here comes an annoyance.’ whenever a child character would be introduced to, well, pretty much anything, which she’s now realizing is insanely ironic because her favorite TV show as a kid was Rugrats.

The point is, it would’ve taken quite the lovable little kid and a nice heartwarming story for her to really be invested in an anime centered on a little kid. And Aishiteruze Baby was that anime.

I dunno why I keep doing the storybook-esque intro. Anyway, it’s been eons since I watched Aishiteruze Baby. In fact, it was one of the first dozen shows I ever reviewed.

Aishiteruze Baby is the story of five year old Yuzuyu who has been temporarily abandoned by her mother. Her teenage cousin, Kippei, is forced to take care of her until his family can figure out where Yuzuyu’s mother is and when or if she intends on coming back for her daughter. The story explores how Kippei adjusts to being a surrogate parent to Yuzuyu while also trying to balance his own life, and how Yuzuyu copes with being abandoned by her mother as more and more time goes on.

I really enjoyed the series when I first watched it. Kippei was a sweetheart, his relationship to Kokoro, his stoic yet lonely girlfriend, was nicely done, the stories were cute and heartwarming with some well-done drama and tension, and Yuzuyu was a PWECIOUS WITTLE CUPCAKE!! She was such a little sweetie, and she was so adorable, and she loved Kippei so much, and she was so cute, and so sweet and she so cute and she was so sweet and she so cute and she was s—

*cough* Sorry.

I really enjoyed watching Kippei mature and take to his new role as a parent more and more to the point where he was excitedly doing stuff for Yuzuyu, even without anyone telling him to. I loved seeing Yuzuyu have fun with Kippei and everyone else, even if it was tough watching her whenever she’d be reminded of her mother or when she was thinking she was a burden on Kippei. While it’s not a perfect show, I really enjoyed every minute of it.

The only two real issues I had with the show were that the very serious conflicts they’d bring up were usually resolved too quickly, and there wasn’t really much of an ending, though I didn’t think the ending was as unsatisfactory as many seemed to think. I knew the manga had properly ended the show and I pretty much knew what the ending was, but it would be well over a decade before I finally sat down and read it to see if it was also void of the other problems I had with the anime.

Well, was it?

….No, not really.

Let me back up.

First of all, to my recollection, the anime did a very good job adapting most of the stories from the manga. About 90% of the story material here I remember being in the anime, loosely or exactly, so in that regard, good job, anime.

Second of all, sadly, yes, the series still has that problem of bringing up a lot of serious issues and resolving them super quickly and sometimes overly easily. I mentioned the storyline with the stalker in my initial review of the series, and that story was resolved exactly the same way in the manga.

She should have at least been slapped for this. Get a life, you goblin.

For a differentiation on this issue, we also have a story of a little boy named Shouta. He became fast friends with Yuzuyu, but it’s revealed that his mother is terribly abusive. How is this resolved in the manga?

Kippei has a conversation with his mother, pointing out that her behavior is going to drive Shouta away someday. She takes a good hard look at herself, stops being an abusive shitstain and convinces her husband to move them away to the country where it’s quiet and less stressful, which is totally easy to do considering the fact that he doesn’t have a job is one of the key points of her stress.

I’m not saying that things couldn’t happen like this in real life, but the odds are insanely low.

You need to understand something – this bitch is a monster. She wouldn’t just hit Shouta. She’d make him feel like garbage. She’d make this five year old boy feel like he was an embarrassment to her, like everything was his fault and everything he was doing was wrong. And she’d sometimes do it with a smirk. She wasn’t just terrible to Shouta, either. She was also an asshole to Kippei AND YUZUYU! But yeah, sure, one conversation with Kippei would certainly turn her around entirely and make everything better.

Believe it or not, the anime did this much better. We get more backstory on why his mother started acting this way, not that it’s much to sympathize with. She had difficulty coping with the challenges of being a parent, and, seemingly, Shouta was a bit behind other kids his age, which made her believe Shouta was an embarrassment. She quickly started taking her frustrations out on Shouta for pretty much everything and began smacking him around.

Kippei does talk to Shouta’s mom, but it doesn’t really sink in fully. Shouta accidentally runs into her when she has groceries in her arms, causing her to drop them everywhere. She slaps him so hard he fell down the stairs, knocking him out, and he had to be sent to the hospital. The doctor treating him finds all of the old bruises on his body and suggests she and her husband seek family counseling. He tells them that, if they ask for it, people will help them.

As a result, his mother realized what a monster she’s been to him, and even her husband realizes that he’s been failing as a parent. After Shouta recovers, they move to the country to be with Shouta’s grandparents so they can help take care of Shouta and her husband can have a better chance at finding steady work. The country lifestyle will also be more relaxing and hopefully relieve some of the stress his mother has. She proclaims that she’s no longer afraid to ask for help if she needs it. All she wants is to start over.

ABSCREEN1

Nearly getting your kid killed, someone suggesting therapy to you and having such a deep moment of self-reflection that leads you down a better path is more preferred than just another instance of Kippei’s Talk no Jutsu. I’m just sad Shouta had to suffer more in the anime than in the manga.

Another plotline involved Yuzuyu’s cousin, Miki, attempting to kidnap Yuzuyu. In the anime, she would carry around a bike chain as a weapon, but in the manga she wielded a KNIFE and would even threaten Yuzuyu with it. I don’t care if she never intended to actually hurt Yuzuyu, you don’t hold up a knife to a little kid.

Miki was a horribly depressed girl, to the point of self-harm and suicidal ideation. She wanted to kill herself, but she didn’t want to leave her parents without a child, so she decided she would kidnap Yuzuyu and give her to them. No, it really doesn’t make any sense, but mental illness isn’t exactly known for creating logical thought. At home, Miki’s life was a nightmare.

She wanted to oust an incident of a teacher viciously beating a student, which made all of her teachers target her. All of her classmates harassed her, even the person she was trying to defend, who just told her she should’ve stayed out of it. Her parents were no help, either. Her father even hit her when he found out about her poor performance in school.

She’s about to commit suicide via cutting her throat and jumping off a bridge, but Kippei talks her down and convinces her to go back to her family by telling her she’s still important to several people and plenty of people still want to talk to her, which is all she needed to hear.

This one I’m more lenient about. These kinds of situations diffuse under a multitude of circumstances, so I’m definitely not going to say that’s an unrealistic way of going about things. Plus, her troubles really didn’t just end there. She still had to talk with her parents. Her father, by the way, upon hearing that his daughter just tried to kill herself, nearly smacked her again while yelling “You’re still causing trouble!?” Father of the fucking year.

Her mother was much more receptive, however, and is able to get her dad to stop being a dumbass and listen to her. In the end we just know Miki is on a healthier path, not that her life is fixed or anything. She reappears later and is, indeed, getting better, which is great.

Sadly, one of those rushed resolved plotlines was the main one. Like I mentioned, there wasn’t really a solid ending to the anime. Yuzuyu was concerned she would someday forget her mother since she outgrew the pajamas she had made for her, but after talking with Kokoro about their mothers and loneliness, she felt better. The pajama plotline, by the way, is part of the manga too, but it’s quite a bit earlier. Reiko (Kippei’s older sister) finds Yuzuyu’s mother, who is apparently so far away that she needed to take a plane to get there.

Yuzuyu’s mother, Miyako, had initially abandoned Yuzuyu because her husband had recently died and she couldn’t handle the stress of being a single parent. After his funeral, she couldn’t stop herself from crying. It reached a boiling point when she struck Yuzuyu for no reason. Thus she left her kid behind in her house and vowed to return when she felt she was mentally strong enough to handle taking care of Yuzuyu properly. She doesn’t call, she doesn’t send letters, except once, and the one time she came to check up on Yuzuyu she wore a disguise and skulked around Yuzuyu’s school.

When we catch up to Miyako in the finale, we learn that she’s been counting the days that she’s been trying really hard to not cry and she got a job to save money for Yuzuyu’s care when she returned for her. When she feels she can make it through without crying, she’ll come for Yuzuyu.

Most people, justifiably, dislike Yuzuyu’s mom. I totally understand if she was struggling mentally and emotionally with her husband’s death and being a single parent, and I get that striking your kid has to be difficult to process when you’re actually remorseful about it, but she went about this in the worst way possible. She really comes off as just being selfish and stupid as a result.

Her family seems like they’re really nice and accommodating people. If family is in dire straits, they welcome them to live in their home without barely batting an eye. In the manga, even when Kippei proclaims that he wants his girlfriend, Kokoro, to live with them because she’s lonely living all alone, they’re just like ‘Eh sure! Welcome!’

Why didn’t she just come to them and ask if she and Yuzuyu could live with them? Why didn’t she ask if they could take care of Yuzuyu during the day, sleepover some time, etc. while she got her shit together and maybe sought some therapy? Abandoning her child and never really making an effort to communicate with her was one of the worst options she could’ve taken.

But we’re not even done with her yet.

In the manga, Reiko still tracks down Yuzuyu’s mother, being tired of hearing or seeing nothing from her for months on end. When she finds her, she appears to be living with a man. Reiko was enraged by this because she perceived this as Miyako ditching her kid and going to live a new life with some man with no intentions of ever coming back for her daughter.

This especially hurt Reiko because it’s revealed after this that Reiko cannot bear children, thus she has no intentions of marrying or leaving the house (Yeah, that doesn’t make much sense either.) She sees Miyako have a child, what Reiko views as a precious gift, and to seemingly just throw her away is already a massive sin in her eyes, but to do that and then move in with some guy is practically unforgivable to her.

She and Kippei have a private discussion later, and Reiko basically tells him to have Yuzuyu forget about her mother. She’s not coming back, and continuing to give Yuzuyu false hope will only hurt her in the long run. Yuzuyu was listening to this, and she was so shocked that she actually did forget her mother.

All of this ongoing trauma and Reiko’s final words about her mother basically caused Yuzuyu to have a mental breakdown to the point where she was having massive fits when her mother was brought up and she was even passing out due to the emotional strain.

Even though Kippei was having a lot of difficulty finding the heart to let go of Yuzuyu, they do decide to start sending Miyako letters and pictures Yuzuyu drew to her mother, now that they knew where she lived.

Even though Kippei was very uneasy about the idea of Miyako writing back or coming back, they still checked every day for a return letter from her, to no avail.

One night, as Reiko gets the mail, she finds a letter from Miyako simply saying “I’ll be coming to pick up Yuzuyu on her birthday.” And, surprise, her birthday is in just a couple of days. Reiko, however, doesn’t say anything because she doesn’t want to upset the birthday festivities in case Miyako doesn’t come.

Yuzuyu’s birthday comes around, and Miyako does indeed arrive to take Yuzuyu back. Kokoro takes Yuzuyu upstairs before she becomes aware of her mother’s arrival.

Miyako’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. So, what does she have to say for herself? While she’s been gone, she’s gotten a new job and has been saving up little by little for when she’d get Yuzuyu back. She realizes that she was selfish and naive, but she needed some time to be alone and figure herself out. She asserts that didn’t throw Yuzuyu away – she got away from her to protect her…..which is still bullshit.

Like I pointed out before, there were so many other options she could have taken that would have been a lot more helpful and beneficial to both her and Yuzuyu. Even if she felt she was a danger to Yuzuyu, she could have explained the situation to her sister and worked some arrangement out with her. She still could have had time to herself while also keeping in touch and ensuring her daughter that she would indeed come back for her. You don’t ditch her without barely a word, go missing and only send two letters in the several months you stay gone. Have 23 hours and 50 minutes to be alone, and at least attribute 10 minutes to a friggin’ phone call, you idiot.

“I had no choice, no matter what you think.” Fuck off, yes you did.

But, again, we’re still not done.

Reiko bitterly asks what she means by wanting to be alone since she saw her living with a man. I’ll give Miyako’s response in her own words.

“We’re….not actually living together. I met him at work. And he provides comfort to me in many ways.” In layman’s terms, he’s boinking her.

Misako (Kippei’s mom/Miyako’s sister): “Do you plan to marry him?”

“Yes, I do….I talked to him about Yuzuyu….and it took him quite a while to accept the idea. But it seems like he’s finally accepted it. So…”

Are you kidding me? This nameless dude you’re obviously boinking boinked the bad parent out of you, and then he didn’t like the idea of taking Yuzuyu in, even though she’s the daughter of the woman he supposedly loves, and now he’s ‘finally accepted it.’ like it’s an inevitability that he has to bear in order to keep his sex ticket.

My thoughts exactly, Misako.

No.

No.

No.

You’ve been gone for, what, a year at this point? And THAT’S the best you’ve been able to do? No seeking therapy? No gaining true independence? Just shacking up with some guy who, I guess, has been so kind as to stomach the idea of his fiancee’s daughter living with them.

I wasn’t expecting to actually be angry at the manga’s resolution. At least in the anime it seemed like Miyako was striving to gain the strength to return to Yuzuyu on her own, even if the method was quite questionable. Here, it’s almost like she’s expecting this guy to take care of everything. He’s got the house, he can provide money, he’ll be able to ensure Miyako doesn’t backhand Yuzuyu again, I guess. She did mention getting a job, but that’s about it – and the problem was never that they didn’t have money. It was shown that Miyako would chew Yuzuyu out for stupid shit even when her father was still alive, so this won’t fix anything.

This is so much less Miyako bettering herself and trying to become a good mom to Yuzuyu and more her improving a little and finding Yuzuyu a new daddy.

I’m not alone in feeling this way because both Reiko and Misako don’t accept her words. They blatantly tell her that her explanations aren’t good enough and they can’t just hand Yuzuyu over because of that. They tell her to go home, but also tell her that if she’s serious about getting Yuzuyu back that she has to visit every single day to prove her determination. Then, eventually, she’ll earn the right to get Yuzuyu back.

Meanwhile, Kokoro and Yuzuyu wait in her bedroom. Kokoro asks what Yuzuyu thinks of her mom, and she replies that she thinks her mom loves her. She sent her a bunch of letters, so of course she loves her (I don’t really get that either, but maybe it’s just kindergartner logic.)

After Misako sets her terms, Kokoro brings Yuzuyu downstairs, much to everyone’s surprise. Yuzuyu finally reunites with her mom, and Miyako even shows her all of the letters Yuzuyu sent her, telling her what a talented artist she’s become. However, Misako soon silently interjects, and Miyako knows she must go. She tearfully leaves, promising to come back again, much to Yuzuyu’s dismay.

Yuzuyu runs after her, and Kippei goes off to get something. Yuzuyu calls again and again for her mother, but Kippei stops Yuzuyu….to give her her shoes. He tells her to go because she’s wanted to be with her mother all this time and it’s what she’s truly wants. He tells her he loves her, in a scene which nearly made me cry, and Yuzuyu runs back to her mom.

That cracking noise is my heart breaking.

Kippei doesn’t stick around for more than a few seconds, however. He runs back into the house and sadly crumbles in front of the door, looking at the birthday cake he made her and her teddy bear lying on the floor. He’ll always cherish their time together no matter what.

Cut ahead to….I’m gonna guess maybe ten years in the future. Kokoro is rushing Kippei out the door to get him to work. She tells him he got a letter from Yuzuyu, which we see on the table in front of her teddy bear.

As we see a now teenage Yuzuyu back home, she explains in the letter that she’s still doing art, and is apparently so good at it now that she’s won an award for it. She tells Kippei that she was never lonely when her mom left because she always had her Kippei Onii-chan with her to make her lunches, take her to school and play with her. Those are precious memories to her, and she thanks him for everything he did. She closes out the letter telling Kippei that she’s always really loved him.

And as a special treat, apparently Yuzuyu and Shouta reunited and may or may not be an item now. They’re at least friends, and that’s good enough for me.

39

For all of my bitching about Yuzuyu’s mom, this absolute end did hit me more than I expected it to. As I was re-reading the passage again while writing this, I was actually tearing up, which was annoying because I just managed to get through her and Kippei departing from each other without getting misty eyed.

I really just wish we 1) had more insight as to what was going on in the future with Yuzuyu, Kippei and Kokoro at least (but all of the characters would’ve been very much welcome) and 2) that it had been less abrupt of a shift.

Still, it was a very fitting end to the series, and it reminded me all over again why I really love these two.

While we’re still on the subject of storylines that didn’t make it to the anime, however, there was quite the doozy that was omitted….Two doozies, technically. Maybe three.

Doozy 1: Buckle up, buttercup, because this doozy is….a…doozy. We’re introduced to Itagaki, or as I affectionately call him ‘Creepy Asshole.’ Technically, Itagaki was in the anime for a fleeting moment. He was an artist there, and he asked Kokoro out on a date. She refused because she was dating Kippei and…that was pretty much it.

In the manga, there’s an entire arc about this guy.

Here, he’s a baseball player, but that’s not important. He admits to Kokoro that he likes her, but she rejects him because she’s dating Kippei. Itagaki won’t stand down, however. He confesses to her again and reminds her of what a playboy Kippei is (he does have a tendency to flirt, but he’s completely devoted to Kokoro.) Still, she turns him down, but this time he’s not accepting that. He grabs her arm and forces a kiss on her. She manages to struggle away, bruising her leg in the process, and she’s traumatized by the assault. She becomes very nervous and jumpy, even around Kippei, and she becomes distant to all of her friends.

Kokoro decides not to tell Kippei about what happened, and, guess what? Creepy Asshole legitimately thinks that her choosing to not tell her boyfriend about the sexual assault is proof that she likes him more than Kippei.

Bear in mind that literally 30 seconds before he said this, Kokoro was telling Itagaki she didn’t want anything to do with him and never wanted to speak to him again. Whoo yeah, Itagaki. She’s falling for you hard….as in literally….ya know that thing she did when she was trying to fight off your sexual assault.

She, of course, shoots him down again, but the Creepy Asshole persists. This time he goes to Kippei himself. Itagaki tells Kippei that he confessed to Kokoro and that the reason Kokoro has been so distant from him lately is probably because Kokoro feels the same way.

Kippei, not being a creepy asshole, handles this pretty well and realistically. Before Itagaki confronts him, Kippei gives Kokoro her space and doesn’t get angry or frustrated with her. After he learns of the confession, he simply finds Kokoro and asks her about it, plainly wondering if she plans on breaking up with him. Again, he’s not angry or judging her, he’s legitimately concerned about their relationship.

Kokoro breaks down and talks about the assault. Kippei wants to confront Itagaki immediately, but Kokoro stops him. Instead he comforts her and reassures her, staying with her for as long as she needs him.

Uhm, I kinda can’t talk about the resolution to this plotline without moving onto doozy 2.

Doozy 2: Kokoro and Kippei end up making love as a result of this. They’re on a school trip and in a hotel room, and it just kinda naturally happens. It’s not graphic or anything, and even the implications only last a few panels, but it was a really sweet and beautiful moment for the two of them. They never sleep together in the anime.

Doozy 1 cont.: After the deed is thoroughly done, Itagaki deduces that the two of their groins did the fusion dance. And, as if he wasn’t enough of a douchebag, Itagaki acts as if her sleeping with Kippei is a betrayal to HIM and basically implies that she’s a slut for having slept with Kippei behind his back.

Itagaki: “Even though I’m here, you still went and did that as if it was okay, Tokunaga-san. I didn’t think you were that type of person.”

FUCK.

OFF.

Even after Kippei confronts him, with Kippei not even bringing up the sexual assault for the sake of Itagaki and Kokoro (they’re having this fight in the hallway in front of numerous people), Itagaki has the balls to say Kippei should give up on Kokoro and HE brings up that they kissed.

Luckily, Kippei verbally tears him a new one, and Kokoro tells Itagaki she never wants anything to do with him ever again.

Whoo Kippei!

The last we see of him is one of his friends acknowledging that his manner with girls is messed up and asks if he wants him to teach him on how to date. Kokoro briefly mentions later that she hasn’t seen Itagaki ever since that confrontation, and Itagaki was thankfully gone from this manga forever.

Doozy 3: Still building off of that entire plotline, our final doozy is a pregnancy scare. Soon after Kokoro and Kippei have their first time together, she starts developing weird symptoms and believes she’s pregnant.

Now…this doesn’t really go anywhere because she later realizes she wasn’t pregnant. Kippei realizes that he’s been a bit too preoccupied with Yuzuyu, which kinda made him not realize Kokoro was acting weird. Kokoro says she was actually looking forward to being pregnant a little, because she wanted to spend more time with Kippei. And it mostly just culminates in Kippei inviting Kokoro to live in their house so she can be less lonely and spend more time with him and Yuzuyu, which both his family and Kokoro happily accepts.

I was disappointed a little because this would have been the perfect opportunity for them to discuss the possibility of them someday having kids, but it somehow doesn’t really come up. Remember, they’re 17 so it’s not really completely illogical for them to be having discussions about someday having a family.

Something unfortunate I noticed is that Kokoro, in the manga, is actually flatter than she is in the anime. 90% of her character is her relationship to Kippei. 8% is her being lonely and the other 2% is her being stoic and seemingly cold.

Her backstory is that her mom died some time ago and her dad is getting remarried, so he’s basically kicking her out of the house for when his new wife moves in. She doesn’t seem to care, and the apartment her father gets for her is extremely nice (because her family is rich), but it’s the foundation of the running issue with her character being lonely.

It’s perfectly understandable that she is lonely, but it really is the bulk of her character when she’s on screen and not with Kippei. She’s lonely, and she either expresses it to Kippei or not. Over time, it becomes easier for her to express her loneliness and not be afraid of it. After Kokoro moves in with him and his family, she really doesn’t do much but be with Kippei and sometimes play with Yuzuyu.

She’s friends with two other girls, Aki and Mai (the latter of whom is basically just Kokoro lite with more expression in public), who are typically seen sticking up for Kokoro whenever they think Kippei has done something wrong. Aki is particularly vocal about putting Kippei in his place and blaming him for pretty much anything. In a side story, they reveal that she hates men and is terrified of them. When she was 16, a man in a trench coat flashed her, and she’s thought men were nothing but perverts ever since. She even has recurring nightmares about the flasher and panics when a man approaches her from behind.

And this is one of those plots that is resolved abruptly and in a rather unsatisfying manner.

Aki was closest to a boy named Shin, whom she had known since elementary school. She didn’t see Shin as either male or female, so their relationship got on fine. However, when he started expressing interest in girls, Aki started resenting him, believing he was indeed another pervert man.

Despite Aki’s traumas being very valid, she still secretly holds a desire to also be sought after by guys (particularly Shin). She feels like she might not be cute enough or attractive enough.

She’s suddenly spooked accidentally by a male teacher, screams and runs off. Shin finds her, she yells out that she hates men and she hates Shin and then Shin just kisses her and says “Don’t say hate! You love me!” And then she realizes he’s right because he was the one she turned to all the time, even when the flasher incident happened, and the story ends with them seemingly getting together even though I don’t remember Shin showing up in the regular story.

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You know that joke that a lot of people make about female leads in romance movies and romantic comedies? That they make it seem like all of your problems can be solved by a man? Well, apparently, even lasting trauma brought on by sexual harassment is one of those problems.

Now why did I just go through all of that for the sake of a character who doesn’t really impact the main plot at all? Because I can write all that about a character like Aki but I can barely write a paragraph on Kokoro.

Don’t get me wrong, I still adore her relationship with Kippei, and it’s not like she likes him for shallow reasons. She loves that he never says anything to hurt anybody, he’s so carefree yet caring that she feels more at ease around him, and he’s the one who is able to make her smile the most.

Problem is, it’s kinda hard to describe her without resorting to either calling her Kippei’s girlfriend or just saying she’s lonely. She’s nice, but she also comes off as cold and unfriendly sometimes. She’s also willing to be blunt about some things, especially when it comes to Kippei. She connects with Yuzuyu on a level Kippei can’t quite get because she lost her mother, but she never becomes a mother or even big sister-like figure to her.

The issue with her father, which is the most prominent part of her story that doesn’t have anything to do with Kippei, isn’t even one that’s properly resolved. She never goes back and talks with her dad or explains her feelings. The guy never gets redeemed or anything. He never pops up again after Kokoro moves out, which happens in the first couple of volumes. We don’t know if he knows Kokoro moved in with Kippei and his family, which is something you’d think he’d have words about it if he cared about his daughter.

In the anime, they did explore this aspect a bit further. We saw more of Kokoro as a kid. After her mother’s death, she became more independent and closed herself off. It took a few years for her mother’s death to truly hit her emotionally, but she slowly started becoming more and more lonely. One day, she found that all of the pictures of her mother that were hanging up throughout the house were taken down. Her father explained that she wouldn’t stop crying when she looked at them, so he put them away. Shortly after he did this, he brought home the woman he intended to marry.

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The last shot we see of Kokoro’s dad, she’s walking by his house and he’s snipping roses to help keep local kids from getting hurt on the thorns. She and her mother had planted that rose bush together, and, again, it seemed like he was wiping her memory away. Kokoro is terrified that she’ll forget her mother entirely. She’s even forgotten what her voice sounded like.

Kokoro’s dad did offer to have Kokoro come in the house to talk about things, but she refused, and that was the end of that in regards to her dad. It’s weird how one of the aspects of her character development is opening up more to others, but she never expresses her feelings to her father or mends bridges with him.

I still really like Kokoro, and the problems with her character aren’t very severe, but I just think they should have fleshed her out more to help allow her to be a stronger character on her own, considering she’s such an important part of Kippei’s life.

One other storyline that was not included in the anime was Aya and Akari Ooga. Aya is about Yuzuyu’s age and Akari is about Kippei’s age. Their situation is fairly similar to Yuzuyu and Kippei’s in that Akari is usually the one who has to care for Aya since their parents are constantly working. Truth be told, I nearly forgot about this plotline, mostly because they don’t impact the main story much. Akari’s presence makes Kokoro a little jealous, especially when they connect through the kids, and she asks him for help once or twice, but, again, Kippei is entirely devoted to Kokoro and has no interest in Akari that way, Akari also says she has no interest nor does have time for a boyfriend, and Kokoro is never seriously jealous, so it’s kinda pointless.

The biggest point of conflict in that story is Aya overhearing Akari say something like she wishes she could just live a normal life instead of watching Aya all the time, but it’s fixed rather easily by just clearing up the misunderstanding. There was also a point where Aya, Yuzuyu and Marika (Yuzuyu’s friend) got lost in the city because they were trying to find Aya’s parents, but they were all okay.

Their storyline wasn’t bad, and Akari and Aya are nice enough characters, but I didn’t see much of a point in it, especially since their situation is so similar to Yuzuyu and Kippei’s situation that it makes it seem redundant. In fact, there’s a plotline where Yuzuyu tries to walk home by herself in order to not be a burden on Kippei, and Kippei and Yuzuyu get sick after the brief story about Aya getting sick, so it’s pretty much exactly the same.

A couple more characters I want to touch upon are Marika and Satsuki.

Satsuki is Kippei’s younger brother. He’s very blasé about pretty much everything, he’s extremely mature for his age, and that’s really there is to his character. There’s only one episode of the anime that delves into his story even a little, and the same can be said of the manga.

In that story, a girl named Ayumi has a big crush on him, but she becomes convinced that he doesn’t like tall girls with long hair and he doesn’t like models (she’s a model) all because her friends are assholes who told her that for seemingly no reason. However, when she confronts him and confesses, he tells her he doesn’t dislike those things. Then it’s kinda implied that they’re dating afterward, even though she doesn’t appear again.

I just don’t really understand why he’s here. He does have a few cute moments with Yuzuyu and bonds with her a little, but that’s about it. Again, this is another situation where I don’t dislike his character or even his lone storyline, but I just struggle to understand his actual role in the main plot.

Unlike Satsuki or the Ooga sisters, however, there is one character whom I do dislike, and her name is Marika. Yuzuyu has two main friends at school – Marika and Ken. While Ken is a nice enough boy, there’s nothing much to say about him. Marika, on the other hand, is a stuck up bitch.

The end.

Oh fine, let’s be “FAIR” to the five year old. Pft.

All joking aside, Marika really is just a brat. She brags a lot around Yuzuyu, she makes nasty comments, and most of her moments are either making Yuzuyu feel bad or gushing over Kippei, whom she has a crush on.

She can be alright when she’s just hanging out, but usually she’s insufferable.

There’s one point in the anime where she’s pretty okay, though. Their kindergarten class is assigned to write a letter to whomever they deem as their special someone. Yuzuyu writes one to Kippei and Marika writes one to Yuzuyu. We never learn what it says, but the gesture is more than kind enough.

A girl in their class, Namiko, does her letter project with Yuzuyu and tells her that she doesn’t like Marika because she boasts and brags, she interrupts people and she ‘doesn’t look good in ribbons and socks.’

Marika gets angry upon hearing this and calls her a stupid jerk, Namiko cries, though she was clearly putting on an act, and sticks her tongue out at Marika as she leaves the classroom. Yuzuyu asks Namiko if she’s jealous of Marika. She doesn’t get an answer and decides to go outside to do her letter project with Marika, who is crying over what Namiko said. The end of this story is Marika asking Yuzuyu a question. She boasts and brags and loses her temper easily – is that okay with her? Yuzuyu says it is and then she says then that makes them friends.

This storyline is pretty cute and it does redeem Marika to some degree, but this also is not very healthy. Marika’s basically saying “Look, I’m a total jerk, even to you, are you cool with that?” And Yuzuyu’s just like ‘Yup!’ It’s not like Namiko didn’t have reason to say what she said. Marika IS a braggart. She IS a glutton for attention. And she’s a brat. It’s great that Yuzuyu sees the good in Marika, but she’s not really making an effort to be better. It’s like that ‘If you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best’ thing.

Yes, I’m still aware we’re talking about five year olds. If this can be a series where a stalker of Kippei’s thinks his five year old cousin is a romantic threat, I can believe a five year old can realize she’s a bit of a harpy and try to be a better person.

Granted, Namiko’s still in the wrong anyway for making fun of her socks and ribbons. And earlier she purposely got her new socks dirty because Marika was showing them off to Yuzuyu. Didn’t say Namiko wasn’t a brat too, she just seemingly has a slight reason to be a brat.

And remember this one bit of genuine niceness is only in the anime. In the manga, she’s not quite as insufferable because she doesn’t have as many scenes, but she never gets a chance to redeem herself or having a really nice moment with Yuzuyu.

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And….I think that’s all there is to say. While the anime is a bit dated in the art department, I’d definitely give both the anime and the manga a big recommend. The anime omits some parts of the manga, though how much that truly impacts your experience depends greatly on how interesting and important the Itagaki plotline seems to you (since the parts with them sleeping together and the pregnancy scare can be omitted without bothering anything) and which ending seems better to you.

While I was writing this, I found that way more people hated the manga ended than I originally thought, so make of that what you will. The general complaint was that they thought Kippei and Kokoro should have adopted Yuzuyu, and they were angry that we didn’t get much of an update on any other characters after the time skip, the latter of which is very understandable. Plus, people seemed to not realize the woman at the end with Kippei was Kokoro. *shrug*

I think both versions still provide a really great experience, though. It’s a very cute and heartwarming (and heartbreaking) story that never fails to hit the right chords with me. While you can make the argument that it’s a little melodramatic sometimes and some of the plotlines get resolved a bit too easily, I never really felt like anything was that unrealistic. Things in real life can be very dramatic and dark, and sometimes they can be put on a better path with a few simple words.

……But mostly THERAPY. Go get therapy, Miyako. Jesus. I’m glad that the future glimpse of you seems like you’re in a better place, but still therapy. Grief counseling. Family counseling. Anything. The actually abusive monster mother sought therapy – you can too.

P.S. Yuzuyu is still the cutest little kid in anime and manga. I shall love her forever. ♥


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero Episode 3 (Chapters 9-10)

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Plot: Duel Monsters is a trading card game that is quickly gaining popularity across Japan. Kaiba, heir to the powerful and massively successful Kaiba Corp., is a champion of the game and is always looking to ‘acquire’ rare cards. He sets his sights on Sugoroku’s extremely rare Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, but his means of acquiring it lead him into the clutches of Yami and a shadow game.

Breakdown: The manga did not include a scene where Kaiba has his goons viciously beat up a student at a school for the sake of getting his Dark Magician card, which he was vehement in not handing over because it was a memento of his father. Kaiba has apparently been doing this or similar things to everyone else at this school that has rare Duel Monster cards and has possibly wiped out other schools in the same manner.

I don’t think there are enough super-special-awesome cards out there rare enough to warrant this. Considering, in the 2000 anime, Yugi has a Dark Magician card by default, there is a duelist who specializes explicitly in Dark Magician cards, Dark Magician has several variations and is one of the easiest to get strong cards ever, I sincerely doubt that card is worth strong-arming from someone, especially when Kaiba’s one of the richest mothereffers in the world.

In the manga, the story starts out with Yugi, Jonouchi and Anzu talking about the upcoming craze, Duel Monsters, at the game shop with Sugoroku. It has been popular in America for a while, but is just gaining traction in Japan. Sugoroku shows the kids his precious Blue-Eyes White Dragon card. It’s extremely rare because they stopped production on the card since it was deemed too powerful to use in the game.

Kaiba suddenly enters the card shop, and he makes no effort to hide his assholery as he looks at the cards Jonouchi just bought and calls them garbage before flippantly chucking them back at him. He also makes it clear that he’s a champion Duel Monsters player and wouldn’t sully his good name to play with an amateur, but gracefully offers to have Jonouchi duel him when he’s collected at least 10,000 cards.

If you know of the 2000 anime, you likely know how the rest goes in the manga. He sees Blue-Eyes, desperately wants it, offers Sugoroku an entire briefcase filled with rare cards for it, but Sugoroku refuses because it was a gift from a treasured friend, so Kaiba begrudgingly leaves. A very similar scene does happen a bit later on, but in Season Zero Kaiba makes a clear effort to get on Yugi’s good side first, believing he might have rare cards.

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Jonouchi was originally extremely interested in Duel Monsters. In Season Zero, he spends a little time brushing it off as a childish game.

Honda is not in this chapter at all. In the anime, he goes on a tangent about protecting the students from unlawful card maniacs who will obtain Duel Monsters cards through illicit means.

Even though we’ve never seen him before this chapter, Yugi and the others act as if Kaiba has been a classmate for quite a while. In the anime, Kaiba just now transfers to their school for the sake of finding kids with rare cards and stealing them.

If you know Season Zero, you know it takes quite a bit for me to say this – This episode’s animation quality is noticeably worse than usual….and that’s just upsetting.

The anime is setup rather poorly, if you ask me. While the manga doesn’t make it a secret that Kaiba’s a douche, the anime goes to the trouble of establishing that he’s an even bigger douche than his manga counterpart, and then they try to pull off the ol’ ‘Forget what my clearly evil character design implies – I’m a good guy! Hey protagonist, let’s be pals! Wanna come to my really cool house? Invite your friends! I’m a good guy!’ to ‘Psych, I was really a bad guy! Muahahaha!’ switcheroo. In the anime, all you’re doing is waiting for the other boot to fall because we know Kaiba’s a bad guy who steals cards.

They could’ve pulled this off cleanly if they simply didn’t have the opening scene with Kaiba stealing the Dark Magician card, which is a scene that turns out to be entirely pointless outside of showing us prematurely that Kaiba’s a jerk.

Speaking of him pretending to be Kindba (hahah, I make the puns. They are funny) anime!Kaiba invites Yugi over to his house to check out his Duel Monster card collection. Yugi brings everyone else along, and Kaiba basically says ‘the more the merrier.’ Jonouchi hates him because he’s rich but also super nice because he translates that as being snobby. Honda later hates him because Miho starts fawning over him for giving them free tickets to his amusement park.

Kaiba conveys his Duel Monsters Champion status when he reveals his card collection room which also displays several of his trophies from Duel Monsters tournaments.

Kaiba asks Yugi if he has any rare cards, and Anzu remembers that Yugi said his grandpa has a really rare card. Kaiba asks if he could see it and Yugi agrees. Despite the other setup being poor, I like this particular setup because at least now Kaiba has a reason to visit the card shop. In the 2000 anime, Kaiba overhears Yugi talking about his grandpa’s rare card when they’re in class, which he just assumes might be the Blue-Eyes. The manga just has him randomly arrive.

I find it even weirder that Kaiba would do all of this without the belief that Yugi has a rare card. Kaiba is a complete ass. He wouldn’t play Mr. Nice Guy unless he knew he’d be able to get something out of it.

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Somewhat minor, but the anime neglects to mention that, supposedly, people have killed each other over Duel Monsters cards before. Yikes.

Miho: “What!? I thought it would have diamonds or jewels attached to it!”……You thought a rare trading card for a children’s card game would have diamonds and jewels on it……Miho, please go be stupid somewhere else.

Also fairly minor, but the anime calls it Blue-Eyes Dragon not Blue-Eyes White Dragon. It’s not an issue with the subs either, I can hear it.

They point out that this next bit doesn’t make sense, but still—Honda claims it’s too dangerous to hold such a rare card and that Sugoroku should hand it over to the beautification club. Sugoroku asks why a beautification club member would care and Honda doesn’t have any response to that.

The beautification club stuff was silly enough at school, mostly because Honda keeps equating being a beautification club member to being a school prefect or something, but even if the beautification club had any say in these matters, why would he ask to confiscate a card that someone off school grounds is holding?….That an elderly man off school grounds is holding?……That an elderly man who owns a game shop off school grounds is holding?

I don’t think it’s a matter of him wanting to take the card for himself because Honda’s such a goodie-two shoes (well…kinda. He beats people up in the name of justice with Jonouchi sometimes) and I don’t think he even plays the game in the first place (His first match seems like it’s in the next scene). This whole sequence is just strange.

While the scene at the game shop plays out basically the same outside of those Honda and Miho moments, Kaiba continues to play the nice guy when he gets shot down. In the manga, he basically has a big huff and leaves.

The next scene in the manga has Yugi playing a friendly game of Duel Monsters with Jonouchi. In the anime, Jonouchi’s playing with Honda. The duel is changed up slightly, though. Honda plays the card manga!Jonouchi originally played, Zombie, and places it in the graveyard zone. The manga doesn’t have any sort of field advantage mat like the anime does, so the card just gets played regularly. Anime!Jonouchi plays the Dark Dragon card – the same one manga!Yugi played. It’s 1500 vs. 800, so Jonouchi proclaims himself as the winner, as manga!Yugi did, but anime!Yugi stops him. Since Honda played Zombie in the graveyard field, its attack points double, making it 1600, so Honda wins.

I find this increasing entertaining the more I think about it, because it’s almost like Yugi is retroactively cheating between versions for the sake of not letting Jonouchi win.

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Also, DOUBLE ATTACK POWER for undead creatures in the graveyard? Are you insane? I know Zombie only had 800 attack points, but even slightly stronger creatures would be ridiculously overpowered in there.

Honda and Jonouchi both get into Duel Monsters for the sake of beating Kaiba. I find this disappointing because manga!Jonouchi was genuinely excited about the game itself and even challenged Kaiba before he started thinking he was a jackass. Having his one drive be defeating Kaiba, and pawning off that same drive on Honda, just feels lazy and uninteresting. Granted, they never play the game again after this, in this continuity anyway.

In the manga, Yugi randomly brings Blue-Eyes to school for the day after asking his grandpa if he could borrow it….for…some reason. In the anime, Kaiba specifically calls Yugi the previous night and asks if he can borrow the card from his grandpa so he can see it up close again.

I have problems with both versions. In the manga, why would he take such a rare card with him to school? His friends have already seen the card, and carrying around such a rarity just makes him a target for ‘maniacs.’

In the anime, why wouldn’t Yugi find it odd that Kaiba would ask him to do such a thing? His grandpa’s a reasonable guy. Surely he’d let Kaiba keep seeing it. Maybe not hold it again, but he’d be able to see it. Yugi’s a bit naive to believe Kaiba would ask something like that without having ulterior motives.

By the way, why is Kaiba allowed to wear such a drastically different school uniform? Every other boy has a blue uniform, but Kaiba is allowed to wear a pure white one in the anime. Is it just because he’s rich? (Just for the sake of noting this, he only wears his school uniform in a few episodes of the 2000 version, but his uniform is the proper color there.)

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Literally just realized how gross the color scheme in his hallway is. Is there any place in this anime that has pleasant colors?

The manga only goes so far as to show Kaiba pulling the fake Blue-Eyes out of his pocket to make the switch while the anime decides to show him dropping the card to make the switch too. I like this change because it bugged me a little that we don’t see how Kaiba swapped the cards right in front of Yugi’s face.

In the manga, Yugi is the only one who notices that Kaiba swapped the cards. In the anime, Jonouchi and Honda notice and take action against Kaiba after school without telling Yugi, which promptly gets their asses kicked by Kaiba’s guards.

I can’t really decide how much this bothers me. Anime!Yugi does later reveal that he noticed Kaiba take his card, but he thought he’d reconsider and give him the chance to return it. He was heading home with the fake and I guess hoped Kaiba would come to the shop later and own up or something. Manga!Yugi, on the other hand, confronted Kaiba after school about it, begged him to give him the card back since it’s so precious to his grandfather and got beat up by Kaiba who refused to cater to his wishes.

I prefer the manga side in that regard because, while it is realistic that Yugi would give Kaiba the chance to own up to what he did and make things right, I don’t think Yugi would return home with the fake Blue-Eyes card and possibly have to break the bad news to his grandpa, who may notice it’s a fake.

Also, I’m a tad annoyed because so many episodes/chapters include the main characters getting beaten up. It starts to wear thin.

After school, Yugi walks home and is confronted by Anzu who tells him she thought he’d be with Honda and Jonouchi because they decided to challenge Kaiba. Yugi somehow puts it together that Honda and Jonouchi are back at school, on the roof no less, physically confronting Kaiba.

The rest of the exchange goes the same, essentially, but since the guards are in the picture in the anime, Yami has to beat them up before going to confront Kaiba.

Shadow Game

The manga and Season Zero share the 2000 anime’s original default life point count of 2000, which will later get bumped up to 4000, though rarely, if ever, do they mirror the real life TCG’s default life point count of 8000.

Make fun of the game in later days all you want, it is a million times more complex and entertaining than the game in the manga and Season Zero. I would’ve been really bored playing the game like this. Most of the moves are drawing and playing whatever you’ve just drawn then attacking with whatever monster you summoned. Also, there’s only magic cards, no traps, though you can put magic cards face down and have them act like traps, I think?

Oh my god, the animation for the Dark Dragon falling! That is too hilarious. It was literally like someone knocked down a cardboard cutout. Is this a rough draft version of the episode? Wow.

It’s interesting seeing the beta versions of some of the more well-known Yu-Gi-Oh cards like Holy Elf/Mystical Elf and Minotaurus/Battle Ox.

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Apparently Season Zero wants to channel Bakugan in the future for a minute here as they play a magic card, but only say it makes the monster stronger. They don’t explain how much stronger or for how long. In the manga, they explain that Growth increases Minotaurus’ attack by 20%.

In the manga, once Minotaurus is powered up, Yugi suffers several losses in a slight montage where his life points are eventually whittled down to 500. His next card has to be strong or else there’s a high chance he’ll lose, which is where Demon Summon/Summoned Skull comes into play a la heart of the cards.

What’s that? You say you thought the heart of the cards was some 2000 version bullshit? Haha, you’re silly, reader.

In the anime, Yugi only suffers the loss of Holy Elf. His life points stay the same, since she was in defense mode, and he instantly draws Demon Summon.

I don’t really mind this too much because the manga makes Yugi out to be a complete idiot who keeps throwing out weak monsters in attack mode instead of defense.

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Also, have another aged chuckle, because Kaiba notes that Demon Summon is one of the five strongest monsters in the game. Wow.

Here’s where Kaiba really differs from manga and Season Zero to the 2000 anime. In the manga and Season Zero, Kaiba cheats by pulling a Blue-Eyes out of his jacket pocket, palming it and pretending to draw it on his next turn.

2000!Kaiba, as much of a jackass as he is, would never sully his good name or his honor as a duelist and cheat (The ‘summoning a bunch of monsters on one turn’ thing doesn’t really count because that was technically in the Duelist Kingdom days where half the moves were technically cheating or making shit up.) The closest he ever got was threatening to commit suicide if Yugi chose to defeat him, but that was only because Mokuba’s life/soul was on the line. If he lost that match, he’d have lost his only chance to challenge Pegasus and save his last remaining family and one of the only beings he loved.

Either Kaiba loses another monster off-panel in the manga or they did some bad math. Kaiba went down to 1500 LP when his Gargoyle was defeated. His 2040 Attack Minotaurus was his next monster to be downed, and it was by a 2500 Attack monster, which means he should be at 1040 LP. However, the next time we see his LP counter, it’s at 800.

I want to believe the anime did this wrong as well because Kaiba’s LP only go to 1200 when Minotaurus is defeated there. However, since the anime didn’t tell us Minotaurus’ exact power boost with Growth, I can only assume it’s wrong. It’s not either 800 or 1040, so unless they changed the card effect, it has to be wrong.

A small bit of text above Kaiba’s head in the manga implies that he also cheated to win those aforementioned tournaments, so this isn’t a new thing for him.

Oh, oh….oh retro Blue-Eyes and its animation…..Wow….just..wow.

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What the…? Blue-Eyes isn’t even attacking and is, in fact, in the process of destroying itself, but anime!Yami’s life points are going down to 50? Whaaa?????

I would call BS on Blue-Eyes not attacking because he’s not Kaiba’s card, thus he doesn’t have his heart in it, his grandfather does, but I think this is just the embodiment of Kaiba’s cheating so I’ll give it a pass.

I get that it’s poetic justice for Yami to revive Blue-Eyes to fight for him, but he could’ve just attacked Kaiba’s life points directly with Demon Summon. Or are direct attacks not allowed in this version, like it wasn’t in the first season of YGO? Also, when anime!Yami revived Blue-Eyes, why did he not attack with either?

Now when it’s anime!Kaiba’s turn, like Yami, his life points start going down for absolutely no reason. What the hell is happening?

Even more weirdness because, in the manga, Kaiba loses this duel, and the subsequent penalty game has a lasting effect on him that will herald in the biggest arc of the manga. Yami attacks with Blue-Eyes and wins.

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In the anime….I have no clue what the hell happened. Kaiba draws a Gremlin, which, even with 2000 attack, isn’t enough to defeat either Demon Summon or Blue-Eyes. However…Kaiba summons him on a mountain range, I think, which, I guess, grants the card the ability called Split the Land….which automatically ends the duel in a draw…I suppose?

…..HUH!? Why did Kaiba not get defeated here? He not only should’ve lost, he should’ve got a well-deserved penalty game for cheating. But the anime decides, nah, let’s have it end in a draw? Even 2000 anime Kaiba lost. And where did Kaiba vanish to after the duel ended? What is going on!?!?

YGOEP3 5

It also makes th setup for the Kaiba arc so much weaker than the manga. Instead of Kaiba, the champion, being pissed about being defeated and basically being forced to go through hell, instead he’s just butthurt that he got a tie.

I’m a bit surprised that manga!Yami was lenient on Kaiba in his penalty game. It’s horrible to be trapped in a card and experiencing something ‘close to death’ as all of the fallen creatures torment him, but he clearly says it’s only for one night whereas we’re left to assume most of the other people who got penalty games were punished indefinitely.

If they weren’t, then why haven’t people like Ushio come back to get their revenge on Yugi? Are they just too scared of him now? Have they changed their ways because of their punishment? Tetsu got straight-up killed for sure, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think most of the other penalty games stuck unless stated otherwise so…..??

Kaiba beat up numerous people, stole god knows how many Duel Monsters cards and tried to steal Yugi’s grandfather’s precious treasure. I’m not saying all of that is worth eternal torment or death, I’m saying Yami’s done worse to some people for much less. Why is Yami so inconsistent with how he punishes people?

Also, the anime ends with a few tags – Kaiba trashing his trophy room in anger at getting a mere draw in a duel, Yugi, Anzu and Jonouchi being glad Yugi got Blue-Eyes back (somehow) and an overly long really stupid sequence of Miho riding on the back of Honda’s bike and them spending a ridiculous amount of time on the ground in a daze after crashing.

———————-

I thought this was a good introduction to Duel Monsters, for the most part. I don’t think they do an adequate enough job explaining the rules (The manga does a lot more than the anime, but they have an advantage in being able to display fairly detailed text boxes that convey that type of info. Still, a good anime would be able to convey the information naturally), and both versions have a serious problem with keeping track of life points, but the anime moreso because both of their life points went down so far for literally no reason. Nothing was happening at the time, but they were losing points. I feel like they only did that so it would be more viable for the duel to end in a draw.

I already expressed how I also didn’t care much for the nice guy act they put on Kaiba in the anime. Like I said, that would’ve been perfectly fine if they didn’t ruin the act in the first place by showing Kaiba’s guards beating up a kid for a Duel Monsters card and establishing that he does that stuff all the time.

Kaiba’s design has been noted throughout the years as being the funniest manga/Season Zero design of all of our well-known characters because, while the Kaiba we know and love has brown hair, manga/Season Zero Kaiba…well.

Again, what is up with the screwed up colors in this show?

Do I even need to bring up the janky animation in this episode? This series has always been poorly animated, but this is lower than shoestring budget. It’s like…..off-brand floss budget. It reminded me of those old Filmmation cartoons from the 70s on occasion.

Kaiba is a good antagonist, of course, and I’m glad they left the door open for him to return in the future, but that draw wasn’t earned in the anime. He may not have been able to do anything with Blue-Eyes once he was on the field, but he still cheated. He deserved to lose. There’s honestly no reason he shouldn’t have lost either. It’s like the writers were cheating FOR them. What was wrong with the manga’s ending that they felt the need to change it? Just wanted it to seem more like Kaiba and Yugi/Yami were on the same level? That’s just silly.

Winner: Manga

Next time, some filler on the anime’s part and some not really filler but never adapted chapters in the manga.


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AniManga Clash! Tokyo Mew Mew Volume 7 (FINALE + Entire Series Champion Decision)

Plot: Deep Blue has arrived, and it’s time for the final climactic showdown!

——————————————–

– I mentioned in my review of the anime that it bothered me a little that Ichigo was so shook by the revelation that Aoyama was Deep Blue that her friends got hurt trying to protect her from her own perilous behavior. However, I also gave some leeway due to the fact that she was rightfully and lovingly chewed out by the other Mews after this occurred. They had been fighting in her stead to give her time to process and grieve, but when the situation got too dire, it was time to slap some sense into her and get her back in the game.

The manga…..WHOO BOY. I got a bone to pick with you, manga. A big bone. Dinosaur sized.

Sssooooo….in the manga….Ichigo is still too shook by the Deep Blue/Aoyama revelation that she’s in a daze just watching the girls try to fight Deep Blue….In her daze….she picks up her bell….and ATTACKS THEM TO DEFEND DEEP BLUE.

What….the hell?

She did immediately regret what she did, but she still consciously did it. No mind control, no nothing – she willingly attacked her friends. There’s a world of difference between being unable to accept reality to the point where you can’t defend yourself properly against a threat, which puts others in danger as they try to protect you, and consciously making the decision to attack your friends. I really thought she would just jump between the Mews and Deep Blue and she’d get hurt, which would be incredibly reckless but so much more understandable than attacking her friends.

That was the first time I’ve ever been really shocked while following this series. Sure the Aoyama/BK/Deep Blue revelation was surprising when I first watched the series, but Ichigo attacking her friends….wow….I just lost untold amounts of respect for her. I really don’t care about the circumstances. There’s no excusing that, if you ask me.

– Mint still chews out Ichigo, but the speech is much shorter and no one tries to bring her spirits up afterward – they just say they’ll die if they don’t fight.

– Likewise, even after all of that, manga!Ichigo seems to have much less faith in Aoyama than anime!Ichigo did because, in the manga, when she’s having her first clash with Deep Blue, she’s acting like it’s hopeless and Aoyama might have been lying to her this whole time. In the anime, she was either adamant he was still the same person or hopeful that she could get him to come back to her. Even when she was faltering, she still never gave up on Aoyama. For a girl who just tried to kill her friends for this dude, her faith is sure flighty.

– Alto/Ryou still comes in to save Ichigo, but whereas in the anime where he stopped the attack and pointlessly scratched Deep Blue’s face, here he takes the brunt of Deep Blue’s attack and badly wounds his arm as a result. There’s actually quite a bit of blood for this series.

– In the anime, Pai was really the only one who had such strong faith in Deep Blue that he realized the destruction he was about to bring and accepted it with open arms. Kisshu was silent about it for a long time, though clearly torn and upset, and Taruto was visibly upset and turned on them immediately, wanting the fighting to end. He also quickly went to Pudding’s aid after she was de-transformed from Deep Blue’s attack.

In the manga, all of them are tickled pink that Deep Blue’s going to destroy the world. They’re also taking great pleasure in the knowledge that the Mews will all die soon. Kisshu even quickly jumps at the chance to ask Deep Blue if he can be the one to end Ichigo.

– As if there wasn’t enough Ichigo favoritism around, there’s this ridiculousness. When Deep Blue’s base appears, Ichigo and the other girls need to reach it. Since the girls can’t seem to confusingly fly on their own in this manga, Ichigo asks them to lend her their power, which combines in her bell….

….and allows her to grow butterfly/angel wings???????????????????

And then she engulfs the other Mews in light that allows them to fly with her???????? And she just knows how to do this even though this is the first time she’s ever shown this ability????

I cannot compute…..What is this? It doesn’t make a lick of sense that Ichigo would have this kind of ability, even with the other Mews helping. This is the kind of thing I’d expect a Mew Aqua’d MINT to be able to do – with her, ya know, being a bird and all – but nope. Ichigo, the CAT of the group can suddenly sprout angel/butterfly wings and not only fly but extend a public transport service to the other Mew

– And just so we’re keeping score with the favoritism, the same old ‘Ichigo’s the only one who can save the world’ spiel is alive and well in the manga.

– In another grand example of the poor pacing the manga tends to have sometimes, the battle between Pai, Taruto and the Mews is literally over in less than two pages. They launch one attack at their Chimera Animal and then…that’s it. They’re defeated. Battle of the century.

In the anime, while the girls couldn’t do much against it, at least the battle between the Chimera Animal and Pai was somewhat entertaining and lasted quite a while. They were suffering from hits, they were landing hits, they were clashing and struggling – it was decent enough. This was a flash in the pan not-battle.

And the sweet moments from the aliens? Basically gone. Pai just says with a smile that it seems like the humans were stronger than them afterall, and Taruto tells Pudding that he never hated her, which makes Pudding cry out his name. Both moments are contained on one page.

In the anime, Taruto and Pudding got two very sweet and tender moments after he turned heel. He helped prop her up when she was de-transformed, and Pudding’s speech as she cradled his dead body after being killed by Pai was really heartbreaking. And while Pai’s ‘emotional’ sacrifice was rushed and somewhat nonsensical, it was at least cool.

In the manga, it’s just kinda sad and really out of left field considering they were all still having tons of fun trying to kill the Mews and destroy the earth. Taruto stuttered once before the battle started, when he was talking to Pudding for a second, but that’s about it.

Almost comically, I literally nearly laughed out loud, the next page has the girls all toppling over, near dead from exhaustion. They didn’t even get hit by Pai and Taruto’s Chimera Animal or anything – they’re just really tired.

Granted, it’s hard as hell to keep up with the timeline in this manga sometimes, especially when it comes to the other Mews because the focus is so squarely on Ichigo most of the time, so maybe they have more of a reason to be so exhausted than I’m aware of. Hm. Maybe they got blasted in the face with Mew Mew power by some bitch.

– In another weird heel-turn, despite itching to kill Ichigo earlier, Kisshu is now defending Ichigo and challenging Deep Blue to a duel to protect her. I was going to mention how he’s a bit nicer here in that he doesn’t imply that the world and everything in it can be destroyed as long as Ichigo’s okay, but he kinda lost those points where he started snuggling up on her boobs after he got mortally wounded….

There are some good things to note here, though. Kisshu seems to have accepted that Ichigo doesn’t love him, even if he’s trying so hard to get her to do so. He doesn’t care, though. He still loves her anyway and will do whatever it takes to protect her. He also manages to sneak a cheek kiss and tells her he loves her twice before passing away.

Then Aoyama just kinda appears. There’s no sudden revelation that Ichigo looks exactly as she did in his nightmares (even if she was in completely different clothes in that nightmare), no dealing with an internal struggle, just Kisshu dies and then boop Aoyama pops up.

– In the anime, Aoyama doesn’t really pay any mind to the fact that he just murdered Kisshu in cold blood – besides that Ichigo was upset about it. In the manga, he touches Kisshu’s face and acknowledges that he did this horrible thing, which I appreciated.

– In the anime, the Mew Aqua within Aoyama gets revealed when Ichigo triggers it with her emotions. In the manga, the Mew Aqua is revealed by Aoyama crying and one of his tears turning into a plant, which I thought was cool and should have been added to the anime version.

– Aoyama bubbles up Ichigo to protect her from Deep Blue, which actually panics her because Deep Blue tries to unleash a massive Mew Aqua explosion over Tokyo, which would kill all of her friends, but leave her alive.

– Aoyama’s sacrifice was similar, but in the manga he impales himself on his sword, whereas in the anime this was changed to having Ichigo attack him. I actually like the anime version quite a bit better. It showed that Ichigo was willing to do something so terrible and painful for both of them because it was what Aoyama wanted. In the manga, she’s very passive and just kinda has to let it happen.

– Anyway, Ichigo’s naked now. I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t….know.

She’s about to transfer her life energy to Aoyama to resurrect him and she’s just suddenly naked.

Oh and she has her light wings back somehow, in a more angel-esque shape this time, there are even feathers flying around, somehow, even though they’re wings made of light. Cats sure have feathers.

– And now she has her clothes back on, again, inexplicably. Also, despite the fact that the others girls have all de-transformed, like in the anime, Ichigo is still in her Mew outfit, despite being ‘dead.’

– So I guess Aoyama is still magic even without Deep Blue or the Mew Aqua, because he bubbles them both up and floats them back down to the ground.

– This also means that the Mews and the aliens find out about Ichigo’s ‘passing’ on the ground, not in the base. It also means the base doesn’t just turn into a spaceship so the aliens make a quick getaway without a strong goodbye for them.

– Ichigo’s naked again, but I guess this time it makes sense because all of the Mews are naked when they transform – only makes sense to have them be naked on the de-transform.

Gotta love Kisshu’s face right as it’s happening though. Lol

– Speaking of giving the aliens their proper sendoff, Kisshu expresses that he’s fine with Aoyama and Ichigo being together, but is still clearly disappointed. Ichigo stops him before he leaves and tries to come up with the words to thank him for everything, even if it’s awkward for her. Kisshu kneels before her and tells her that the only thing he wishes is for her to be happy. In inner monologue, he also thanks her for giving him the chance to love her, even if it was hopeless.

He manages to sneak one last cheek kiss before running off.

Taruto and the others are about to head home when Pudding stops him. He says he doesn’t have a reason to stick around anymore and Pudding kisses him!

N’AW!

I remember seeing the pic of this a long time ago and was so happy. They’re so adorable.

Granted the kiss is an excuse to give him a candy drop, which just makes it…..SWEETER.

She pleads with him to not say goodbye, but Taruto says he might return sometime for another candy drop…OoooOOOOooooohhhh Taruto’s such a charmer.

– Instead of the aliens finding a bit of Mew Aqua left behind from Aoyama/Deep Blue, Shirogane just gives his last bit of it to them in the manga.

I’m not….sure I really like this version of events. Shirogane doesn’t have much of a reason to trust them. The only one who turned heel in the manga was Kisshu. The others were just defeated by the other Mews. But hey, take the last bit of this superpowerful material we’ve been spending seven volumes specifically trying to keep away from you lot.

Also, the whole ‘this itty bitty amount of Mew Aqua is enough to rejuvenate our world into being as beautiful and lush as earth so we totally didn’t need to do 99% of all of this to help our people.’ plot hole is alive and well.

They also leave without a spaceship somehow? Can they teleport all that way?

– The anime ended with the cafe shutting down, the Mews spending weeks or months apart and somehow all ending up at the cafe like they were being called there. Just then Shirogane and Akasaka explain that a new enemy has arrived and they need the Mews to take them down. Ichigo and others were rightfully confused, but Akasaka explained that the loss of powers was only temporary due to the Mew Aqua. Now that some time has passed and there’s a new threat, they have their powers back and are being called into action.

In the manga, the girls still work at Cafe Mew Mew, though some time has passed. Ichigo explains that Aoyama is now studying abroad in London to learn about red data animals, specifically the animals the Mews were based on since their abilities help save the world.

Ichigo acts like she’s okay since she’s supporting someone she loves, but the other girls know she’s secretly very lonely and sad. They come up with the plan, Mew Project W, to cheer her up. They kidnap her and bring her to a church. They put her in a wedding dress (the W stood for wedding if you’re not catching on) and have invited Aoyama to have a fake wedding ceremony.

They ‘get married,’ but not before a strange new figure arrives at the cafe (I assume she’s Berry from the sequel?)

As Ichigo says ‘I do,’ her ears and tail suddenly sprout, indicating that her powers aren’t really gone and their story is not quite over.

The end!…For now!

—————————————-

So, who wins the final battle in the finale battle in the end finally?…..Uhmmmmm….

This is actually kinda difficult. I think, out of all of the volumes, this one both has the most drastic differences from the manga version but also has the most discrepancy in whether the changes were good or not. For example, I really hate that the manga has Ichigo attacking her friends while she’s in shock. I thought that was going way too far and really tainted my view of Ichigo. The Mews get shafted enough in nearly every way possible without her basically acting like they’re the bad guys and blasting them in the face with her bell.

The Mews’ pep talk to her after the fact was also better in the anime.

However, I love the better absolute ending the aliens got in the manga, especially the really sweet moments between Kisshu and Ichigo and Taruto and Pudding, even if they were less earned.

I didn’t like that the aliens stayed firm on Deep Blue’s side, barring Kisshu, until the very end because it kinda ruins their redemption if they don’t….ya know…have redemption arcs. Or even just a redeeming scene. I complained that Pai’s heel turn was just too sudden and didn’t make a lot of sense in the anime, but at least it was something and at least it was pretty cool to watch.

Taruto’s turn in the anime made total sense, and was one of the more emotionally impacting moments of the series to have Pai kill him in order to carry out his orders. Pudding cradling Taruto’s body and her speech to him was also incredibly sweet.

Would you rather have those cool moments or two lines that take up all of one page? Pai basically compliments the Mews on how strong they are, and Taruto tells Pudding he never hated her. And that’s it. They’re redeemed.

The other Mews got even less to do in this finale. Their big battle was just one attack on some random Chimera Animal that instantly wins them the match and kills Pai and Taruto.

That’s pretty much something else to complain about, too. The Mews killed the aliens themselves instead of Pai killing Taruto, who was trying to help the Mews, or Deep Blue’s Mew Aqua beam killing Pai as he tried to sacrifice himself to save the Mews.

Granted, they didn’t technically get to do a lot in the anime finale battle, either, and both side battles ended on disappointing notes, but it was still an actual battle that lasted longer than a sneeze and things happened in it.

I guess Ichigo using the girls’ powers to summon weird butterfly/angel wings of light can be interchanged with the anime using their powers to create an attack, but the anime also wins out here because the girls were flippin’ exhausted, collapsed on the ground, when they did that in the anime – and they were doing it to create one final attack on Deep Blue, not to turn Ichigo into a flying Uber. In the manga, they were fine and this ability comes right the hell out of nowhere.

Ichigo, shockingly, didn’t even get a big moment other than her reviving Aoyama….while naked. She barely got a shot off the whole battle besides one clash with Deep Blue and that whole ‘attacking her friends’ fiasco. She gets bubbled by Aoyama and then he kills himself instead of having Ichigo attack him. Then it’s just over. Kisshu fought him properly, Aoyama fought him internally, the Mews fought him properly – the only one who didn’t really legitimately fight the main bad guy in the series was the main character.

Ichigo narrowly avoided suffering the same fate in the anime, but she did deliver the final blow to him.

The epilogue was much better in the manga, if you ask me. The anime’s absolute end just made very little sense. The girls gather at the cafe for no reason. It’s suddenly right as a new enemy is attacking somehow. Their powers have suddenly returned right then, even if we physically saw Ichigo’s cat leave her (which doesn’t happen in the manga, by the way. She just de-transforms) Shirogane and Akasaka have no guilt over throwing the girls back into Mew duty even when he promised they’d live a normal life afterwards. And we don’t learn who or what this new threat is, especially considering the main and only threat they were created for was the aliens and Deep Blue. And we never will learn who it is because the anime never got a sequel.

In the manga, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for Aoyama to suddenly study abroad and leave Ichigo behind, but the wedding was really sweet. The little bit at the end where we catch a glimpse of Berry and we see that Ichigo’s cat powers are still present was enough of a cliffhanger to want to continue on to the sequel, Tokyo Mew Mew A La Mode. Being fair, Shirogane said their powers would disappear once they weren’t needed anymore, not that the Mew Aqua had any hand in it. So her gaining her ears and tail again is both a nice nod that she’s still a Mew while subtly indicating that a new threat might be around the corner.

Logically, if we tally things up here, the anime would probably win, but I’m struggling with handing over the point so easily. I had a lot of issues with the anime ending, culminating in the opinion that it was ultimately middle of the road. I think the same can be said of the manga’s ending. What they did so much better in the manga is balanced out by what they did so much worse.

It’s a close call, and if you pulled my arm I’d probably say the anime won here, but I’m going to just say it’s a tie.

Winner: TIE

And so, we’ve come to the end of this AniManga Clash! Only one thing left to do, and that’s crown an overall champion.

Overall AniManga Clash Champion!: Anime

I wish I could say I struggled with this decision more, but I really didn’t. While the manga does have a lot going for it, numerous things I wish the anime had kept, the anime just made, overall, better choices with the way the story unfolded.

If there was one thing I was really looking forward to in regards to the manga, it was getting to see the other Mews use the Mew Aqua Rod, considering they got no new powerups in the anime. However, that was a disappointment. I got a bit too excited when Mint got her shot with it because it was the first time – and it was a moment that was wrenched away to Ichigo in the anime. When Pudding’s time came, it was also a cool moment, but, again, I might have been more excited than I should have been, especially considering the anime actually did something arguably better with this moment, and it was for the sake of Taruto and/or PuddingxTaruto. And after that point, you realize what is going on.

They literally all did the exact same thing with it. It was the same thing with each Mew. They sense the Mew Aqua, they find it and then they use Mew Aqua Drops to solve the problem. They could have had the Rod react differently to each Mew or something, but nope. It’s just copy/pasted on all four of them.

Ichigo technically remains the only Mew with actual powerups, of which she got even more in the manga than she did in the anime.

Like I mentioned before, filler also worked in the anime’s favor in regards to giving a better degree of characterization to the other Mews. While the focus typically did lie with Ichigo most of the time, the filler allowed us to have more episodes centered on the other Mews, like Mint and her brother, Zakuro and that lonely little girl, Lettuce and her one-sided crush on that guy who was about to propose to another girl, Pudding getting sick, prompting the girls to help take care of her little brothers and sisters, and several others.

In the manga, let’s be real, the other girls might as well have not been there at all. They’re glorified props with rare times where they have an actual purpose. The girls did get some small storylines here and there, but it felt more like an obligation than the author actually wanting to explore their characters.

That makes sense considering the series was originally designed to be about one girl, Tokyo Black Cat Girl, which was shown in a special bonus chapter of Tokyo Mew Mew, but then then the editorstold Mia Ikumi, the artist and co-creator (alongside Reiko Yoshida) it would be more appealing to audiences if it was a team. I don’t think either of them had any resentment towards being forced to make this change, but it’s quite possible their hearts just weren’t fully in making a team series.

We don’t even get a lot regarding Ichigo’s relationships to the other Mews. They just hang out a lot because they work and fight evil together, so they must be important to each other. The other Mews are endlessly loyal to Ichigo, and we can tell she’s fond of them, but it pretty much ends there. It definitely comes to a screeching halt during the scene in which she attacks them to protect Aoyama/Deep Blue. In any other situation like this, the main character would be far too torn between her love of her friends and her love of her boyfriend to likely do anything outside of either yell at them to stop, commit self-sacrifice or do literally nothing.

I can’t help but imagine how the series would have gone had she actually seriously harmed them or killed them. And you can’t tell me these girls don’t have endless loyalty to Ichigo considering they didn’t even actually get mad at her for doing this. Like in the anime, they were moreso mad that she wasn’t seeing the situation for what it was, getting up and taking on the actual threat of Deep Blue. But unlike the manga, the anime just had Ichigo being so out of it that she nearly got herself killed as a result. I could never imagine the Ichigo I know from the anime ever, and I mean ever, attacking her friends like that, which is probably why it was rewritten in the first place.

I mentioned how lackluster Mint’s yelling of ‘Ichigo!’ was when she realized Ichigo was dead in the anime because her VA just didn’t seem like she was putting enough oomph into it. She does the same thing in the manga, but the reason I had a problem with it here, despite having no audio accompaniment, was because the dramatic collapse and yelling didn’t really feel warranted. In the anime, she and Ichigo had a relationship akin to Rei and Usagi from Sailor Moon. They seemed like they got along the least, but Rei was basically the closest Sailor Scout to Usagi.

Likewise, despite butting heads a lot, Mint is the closest Mew to Ichigo, so it makes perfect sense, in the anime, that she would be the one to collapse and yell out her name when Ichigo died. In the manga? Not so much. They have the same relationship in the manga as the anime, but there is much less exploration into it and moments between them to build the type of relationship necessary to warrant such an outburst.

It was so odd. And the art didn’t even actually focus on Mint, so I was confused as to who was even saying that line when it happened.

Even the aliens and Deep Blue are done better in the anime. The aliens have more time focused on them and their individual dynamics, and Kisshu defecting started their actual redemption arc as a whole. He had a crisis of faith, essentially, and even though it made him go mad, it also gave him more perspective on everything and lead him to the real source of power that he needed. Him also getting severely wounded and Deep Blue abandoning him while he’s laid out on the floor also sewed the first seeds of doubt into Pai and Taruto’s heads that Deep Blue might not be so great afterall.

Taruto choosing to save Pudding instead of letting her die was also a massive turning point for him, even if he didn’t defect as Kisshu did at the time.

Having Pai be the only one who stood by Deep Blue, even causing him to kill Taruto, was quite powerful also. It was the most understandable for the stoic most non-feeling of the group to be the most loyal to Deep Blue, even under the circumstances, but it never felt like he was irredeemable. It was weak that his big turnaround was unearned, but it was still better than the manga’s explanation.

Deep Blue got more time to talk with the aliens, be more of an imposing figure lurking in the shadows and even got a tad more characterization once he was actually awakened than he did in the manga.

Speaking of Deep Blue, they don’t give any actual explanation as to his situation in the manga either. In the anime, they explained that Deep Blue was one spirit/being that broke off into Aoyama and The Blue Knight until Deep Blue could be properly awakened, in which case those personalities should have vanished, leaving only Deep Blue.

In the manga, Aoyama becomes Deep Blue and they kinda don’t talk about why or how that is. They just accept it without question. Likewise, no one talks about how or why Aoyama is The Blue Knight, either. Granted, the anime also doesn’t explore this before the Deep Blue revelation, but still.

Even Aoyama doesn’t escape this because he’s nothing but a sweetheart in the anime, but there are so many times that he’s super creepy in the manga. I don’t dislike him or anything, but it’s still unnerving to have those moments in there.

Some might say the anime is too drawn out, but I’d argue that the manga is too compressed. Yes, there are seven volumes to this story, but 80% of it feels like it’s going way too fast, especially when you compare it to the anime. The battles are the worst examples of this. So many times I was reacting to scenes going ‘What, that’s it?’ or ‘Wait, it’s over already?’ In a similar manner, there were moments where I was shocked a plot thread was still going on, like with the giant moth or the heat dome, because the manga got distracted and went off elsewhere, usually to something Ichigo was doing.

You’d think that the one thing the manga would explicitly have over the anime would be the art. Afterall, I had my fair share of time complaining about Studio Pierrot’s art and animation that ranged from ‘Good’ at its best to ‘Please gouge out my eyes with a cork screw’ at its worst. However…….eh.

The art of the manga is by no means consistently bad, it’s pretty good most of the time, but there is always at least one moment in every chapter where I’m left scratching my head as to a decision they made in the art.

You remember me being confused as to the shot where Mint yells out ‘Ichigo!’? Why was Mint in the background of that shot? Why did the speech balloon not connect to her? It honestly looked like either Kisshu or Shirogane could have been yelling that, but even they were shot from behind or not on-panel so it was hard to tell. Why are there so many moments where Aoyama gets this glazed over ‘I’m going to murder you’ look in his eyes? Is that to hint at Deep Blue or is the art just inadvertently making him look 100x creepier than he should, even when he’s not acting creepy? Why was Ichigo drawn with a massive blush and looking at Shirogane with bedroom eyes when he said she could go with Aoyama? Why was she drawn in day clothes/negligee crying in Aoyama’s future vision when she was in her Mew form when that happened (Something the anime fixed)? Why are there several fight scenes where I honestly can’t even tell who or what they’re attacking?

That coupled with the fast pacing really makes the manga a little difficult to keep up with sometimes.

I definitely don’t feel like I can give the art award to the anime either since there was just mounds of derp, and I kinda don’t forgive them for cheaping out on the series finale, of all things, so let’s just call that a tie there.

But yeah, at the end of the day, I feel more comfortable giving this clash over to the anime. I still really enjoyed the manga, there was a lot to like about it, and I look forward to A La Mode, but I was mostly just disappointed that, even though they did some things right that the anime did poorly and even did some things better that the anime did well, there were too many instances of the anime doing things better or just not doing things as badly as the manga.

And that’s that, my friends. At least until the reboot comes out. I don’t think I’ll be doing another AniManga Clash when the reboot comes out, but I’ll certainly talk about it in relation to the first anime and manga. I hope it takes all the best parts of the anime and manga, adds even better stuff to it and makes something amazing. I really do truly enjoy this franchise, and it has so much potential, they just need to draw it out.

Coming soon, A La Mode!


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