Shoujo Step-by-Step: Boys Over Flowers Episode 1

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Plot: Makino Tsukushi was enrolled in the very prestigious Eitoku Academy, and she has done everything in her power to stay to the background. She wants nothing more than to make her final years at the school to be peaceful and uneventful. However, when she butts heads with the biggest bullies in school, a four man group called the F4, they declare war on her, making her a target of vicious attacks from not only them but everyone in school.

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I have no super-interesting backstory with this one. In fact, I’m pretty unfamiliar with this series. Though still I adore these older titles.

The OP has a very 60’s/Detective Conan music feel to it, if that makes any sense. It’s pretty catchy, though I will admit that the sudden heel drop sound in the middle kind breaks the rhythm.

Our main character is a fairly poor girl named Makino Tsukushi who is currently enrolled in a prestigious high school, Eitoku Academy, with a lot of rich kids. She has two more years at the school before she graduates and only wants to make those final two years be peaceful and quiet.

One day, she sees a boy being bullied by a gang of four guys, all of which are sons of the richest families in the school, for getting dust on one of their pants while cleaning. They are known as F4, and while many students, especially female ones, find them attractive and cool, they are feared by just as many students. What’s worse? When F4 is against someone personally, the whole school turns on them, making them a target for schoolwide bullying.

They start kicking around a garbage can and Tsukushi wonders why the boys are the way that they are, especially over something as minor as dust. One of the boys, Rui Hanazawa, picks up the garbage can and returns it to its proper position to the chagrin of his friends who want to leave the mess behind. Tsukushi gets flustered when Rui gives her a glance before leaving with his friends.

After standing up for her friend, Makiko, when she accidentally falls on the leader of the F4, Tsukasa, Tsukushi ends up as the next target of the F4’s bullying. They officially declare war on Tsukushi and, as a result, the entire school starts bullying her as well. What’s even worse than their terrible bullying is the fact that Makiko keeps avoiding her and refusing to talk to her in order to avoid getting the bullying herself, something that she expressed concern for earlier. Makiko wanted to solidify her friendship with Tsukushi to ensure that she would never abandon her if she was bullied like a lot of other people would, yet she has become the very type of person she had worried about.

Tsukushi refuses to cry in front of her classmates and has an outburst outside of the school when she again meets up with Rui who just laughs at her anger towards him. Despite her attempts to actually speak with him civilly, he just suggests that she leave the school. Tsukushi goes on the offensive stating that the F4 has bullied several people out of school in the same manner, but she didn’t even want to go to the school to begin with. She only went because her family wanted her to. Before she can even finish speaking, Rui leaves stating that he doesn’t care as he has no interest in other people.

Makiko meets with her in the bathroom stating that she sneaked out of class to find her desk that went missing from the classroom earlier. While she is visibly remorseful, she can’t bring herself to stick with her in public. Tsukushi understands and tells her that she should leave before she ends up getting in trouble. Before she rushes out the door, she hands Tsukushi a voice recorder in the shape of a frog that bears a recording of Makiko apologizing to Tsukushi.

Despite gaining a newfound resolve and a better respect for herself, she is still the victim of harsh and even violent bullying. As she’s being assaulted (and nearly raped?) by a group of boys from the school, Rui appears again telling them to let her go, even though the boys are directly under Tsukasa’s orders.

Tsukushi is very grateful to Rui for what he did, but he merely says he doesn’t like stuff like that (violence, sexual assault or possibly both? I mean, I have to assume it’s sexual assault because the F4 has to have been violent with plenty of people) before leaving. Again, Tsukushi gains a second wind and becomes determined to carry on through this.

The next day at school, Tsukushi comes prepared to battle against the bullying. When the F4 shows up, she kicks Tsukasa in the face, plasters a red slip on his face and responds to his war declaration with one of her own. Now excited to face the school year, Tsukushi prepares for war.

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There are a bunch of things that I liked about this first episode. For starters, Tsukushi is a great character. While the bullying does affect her, she also comes back with a vengeance. She won’t stand for this behavior whether it’s to her or others, and I really respect that. She’s also notably hurt by Makiko’s somewhat betrayal, but she has enough maturity and understanding to forgive her for it.

While I am a bit miffed at Makiko for not standing up with Tsukushi when the only reason Tsukushi’s even in this mess is because of Makiko, I also understand her position. It takes a lot to stand up to others and stand with your friends, especially when the bullying is this bad. Does this make her a coward? Maybe; but then again we all have to look within ourselves and ask if we’d honestly do the same thing.

Plus, she kinda made up to her a little, and she’s clearly beating herself up over her decision.

The F4 (which stands for Flower Four, by the way. It’s supposed to highlight how pretty the guys are, but what a dumb nickname to allow to stick when you’re trying to be intimidating) are realistic bullies. They’re entitled little shits who act like they run the school because their daddies are the richest in the land and most people follow them either to be cool/popular or because they’re afraid of them. They are a bit over the top, but it’s not anything terrible. They’re not like supervillains or anything, they’re just assholes.

Rui…..*sigh* I don’t know what to do here. The worst part of this episode, in my opinion, was Rui. Tsukushi is obviously falling for him even now yet, despite the fact that he saved her once, there’s no denying that he’s partaking in the bullying merely for staying loyal to the F4, and he even seems like he mocks Tsukushi about the egg in her hair from the bullying. He states that he doesn’t care about her story or problems, he has no interest in other people at all, is never going to give any secrets or info on the F4 and wants her to leave the school.

The two main points of Tsukushi’s interest in him are the fact that he’s cute, he picked up a garbage can and he saved her from those boys. That’s it. That’s what separates him from the other jackasses and makes him so cool. And really, when you think about, Rui had to have known that Tsukasa called for that attack. They stick together so much that he was probably even there when he did it. If he really was a good guy who secretly cared about her, he’d stop the attack before it started not after it was already happening. For all we know, it was a fluke he arrived at the right place at the right time considering how far she ran away. If he were just a few minutes later, she could’ve been raped or at least seriously injured.

He’s not as much of a douchenozzle as his friends. That’s it. Yet Tsukushi is putting him on a pedestal. Until he actually steps up a bit and shows that he has a true caring bone in his body and not just a ‘I don’t like sexual assault’ attitude, I can’t see much that isn’t dumb about this crush.

Then again, I also developed a crush on someone who bullied me simply because they opened my stuck locker to help me get my lunch money out when I was really hungry one day……Hey, cut me some slack. I was 11. She’s like 15. And the situation is different. And shut up.

The art is actually pretty bad for early/mid ’90s. I would’ve guessed it was mid ’80s. The animation is also just okay.

The music also seems stuck in the ’80s, most notably the OP. The BG music is fine, but spots of silence seem awkward. The ED is decent but not very catchy or memorable.

The sound effects, though, ech. I don’t know what went on in the sound booth, but there are scenes where a lot of action is going on yet there are so few sound effects and those that are there seem weird or aren’t making enough noise. This is especially prominent in the attack sequence that starts with no music. The silence mixed with the weird sound effects makes for a very odd sounding scene.

All in all, I expect this series to become something pretty good and I did enjoy this first episode just fine, but the Rui thing will definitely keep bothering me until he gets some development in him.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended Audience: Possible implied attempted sexual assault, minor violence, no nudity, sex or swearing. 7+

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Shounen Step-By-Step: Medabots Episode 1

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Plot: The biggest ‘sport’ in town is robattling; pitting two medabots against each other in combat. Nearly everyone (every kid anyway) has a medabot and while some medabots are meant for mundane tasks, practically everyone with a medabot robattles. Ikki is the odd man out in his school. While he loves watching robattles, he doesn’t have one himself and this leads him to be the subject of ridicule. However, when his friend Erika is cornered by a bunch of medafighters who have been forcing other medafighters into submission battles (battles in which the winner gets a part of the loser’s medabot), Ikki spends every penny he has buying an old model medabot that he names ‘Metabee’ to save her and her metabot Brass.

Medabot Debuts:

Peppercat: A CAT type medabot, Peppercat has electric abilities and high speed.

Dr. Bokchoy: A BOK Type medabot, Dr. Bokchoy is good at scanning, making him effective against enemies with cloaking abilities, but he ultimately has no combat capabilities and is mostly used for research.

Brass: An SLR type, Brass is ultimately unimpressive. She has weak weapons and poor aim, but her aim can be increased substantially by her variablehair.

Metabee: A KBT type, Metabee is an older model medabot with a focus mostly on projectile attacks.

Phoenix: A PHX type, Phoenix mostly employs fire attacks.

Blackram: A DVL type, probably poking at the term ‘devil’, Blackram has powerful physical attacks but virtually no defense.

Cyandog: A DOG type medabot, Cyandog is a mediocre medabot with a focus in shooting. Cyandog in itself is known along his master as being awful in battling because its medal is a monkey type, meant for hand to hand combat, and his body is meant for shooting. Spyke refuses to get a hand to hand combat model body due to a preference for shooting models and doesn’t want to get a new medal, so he remains in suckage.

Battles:

Samantha Vs. Student Council President: Winner – Samantha

Spyke vs. Rockers: Winner – Rockers

Ikki vs. Rockers: Winner – Ikki

Breakdown: Medabots was a show that I caught while watching Digimon on Fox/ABC family. I was never really too into it because something about the show never really sat right with me. Maybe it was the aspect of robots over what I was normally used to in these shows, animals or spirits, but I really kinda liked a bunch of the Medabots. Maybe it was the main character who really has nothing unique to his name. Maybe it just seemed like nothing particularly important was ever happening. I don’t know, but despite this I still watched fairly frequently as it usually came on right after Digimon.

Getting into the first episode, they really waste no time introducing us to robattling as our very first scene is of a robattle. The two contenders, Samantha and the Student Council president are battling to see if Samantha and her crew should be allowed to use the Student Council room as their own personal meeting room. How odd that so much is concerning the Student Council when I can bet anything that robattles and medabots aren’t allowed on school grounds. If they are, that’s BS. I couldn’t even bring my Pokemon cards to school. 😦

I would say this battle explores the rules of robattling, but it really doesn’t. It just shows the average structure of robattles, which is the exciting twist of ‘give them commands and watch them fight’. Mr. Referee’s only job, at least at this point, is to declare a winner and make sure no one gets hurt. But nearly every robattle I remember is merely decided from the medal popping out and I don’t know what Mr. Ref would do if any dangerous situation did arise. Submission robattles involve handing over one of the losing medabot’s parts to the victor, so yay we also have pseudo-gambling.

This battle also introduces us to Samantha, the screws, Ikki and Erika, and their rather shallow character traits are pretty much laid on a platter. Samantha’s a bully, the screws are mindless followers of her, Ikki’s bland and a bit of a jerk, and Erika’s obsessed with journalism and is also a bit jerkish.

The first battle of the series is at least pretty interesting, but the fact that Ikki points out that there’s no way Dr. Bokchoy can win before the battle even starts is pretty lame, even if he does get off a hit. It also showcased some strategies of these battles such as sacrificing all armor for speed.

Ikki is mocked frequently because of his lack of medabot and it pisses me off more than it should. Erika asks why he doesn’t just do what she did and ask his parents to buy him one, but Ikki says his parents think they’re too expensive and want him to save up the money and buy one himself.

Now, we can all relate to some degree. Most of us as children have asked our parents for something expensive and been denied, but his tight-assed shrews of parents won’t shell out probably hundreds of dollars, maybe thousands, for a sophisticated robot that is only destined to be damaged and destroyed 15 minutes after he purchases it. And what’s worse is that they actually want to teach him the meaning of a dollar and make him buy one himself after saving up. Why is no one calling child services?!

Henry, the owner of a local Medabot shop, kindly offers to give him an older model medabot with the money he can offer, but Ikki and Erika laugh in his face and mock the thing. See what I meant about jerkish? Even an old discontinued medabot is better than no medabot, Ikki, and you were lucky to find someone willing to basically give you one with the pittance in your piggy bank.

This episode also introduces us to the Rubber Robo Gang and the Phantom Renegade, neither of which you can really take seriously at this point, but the main thing is that they try to steal a rare beetle medal, but the Phantom loses it in the river only to be found later by Ikki, meaning he has an advantage by default and just so happens to be offered a medabot that is perfectly compatible with the medal since Metabee’s a rhinoceros beetle, KBT type.

While Ikki bitches some more to his mom about not having a medabot, they see a news report about a group of thugs forcing people in submission robattles while Spyke, one of Samantha’s crew, loses a new part of his to these thugs called the Rockers.

Erika and Ikki learn of this, follow Samantha and the screws to see them confront the Rockers and end up getting in the middle of it. Since Ikki has no medabot, they leave him alone, but they try to pressure Erika into battling with Brass.

Ikki runs off to buy the KBT model he was offered earlier and we’re shown the mechanical aspects of medabots as Ikki puts his together. It’s nothing that complicated, just a skeleton and external parts that are interchangeable. The main aspect, however, is the medal, which is the mind and soul of the medabot.

By the way, I never realized that Metabee’s name had nothing to do with a bee. It’s metal and beetle combined….In my defense, he IS yellow.

Ikki’s return and first battle are pretty predictable. Metabee won’t start up, he starts getting his ass kicked because of it, Ikki yells at him and then Metabee kicks all of their asses. Ikki doesn’t even really do much besides yell at Metabee and change him into attack mode, which I’m fairly certain he was in either way.

Erika is completely ungrateful saying that Ikki merely ran away and him doing so made her lose the chance to get pictures, which is a total lie considering all of her film was used up by the Rockers before Ikki even left.

And the final kicker is when Metabee finally speaks and expresses outrage at his master calling him a piece of junk and starts shooting him. I should mention that I hate Metabee. His voice, mannerisms, catchphrases, all of them. Hate hate hate.

Final Notes:

Entire Show – The art and animation are appalling. The art is not detailed in the least and we’re not even blessed with any shading most of the time. It’s also sometimes hard to tell what’s going on in robattles because of the sloppy art and animation.

Entire Show – The English dub, while not being that bad, is just blech because there are so many moments when you see the characters screaming or yelling something but the actors just refuse to put any emotion or additional volume into their voices. Also, Samantha’s voice is really irritating.

If these Rockers are such douches, why don’t they take all of the medabot’s parts when they win?

This episode was a fairly formulaic intro. There are some funny, albeit predictable, moments, and I find it strange that the most unique and funny characters are ultimately the bad guys save Mr. Ref.

Next time, Ikki and Erika become popular targets for robattle after Erika runs a story about him beating the Rockers, so Samantha and the screws decide to have a shot at him too.

Episode One-Derland: Guilty Crown

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Plot: The year is 2039 and Japan has been crippled by an outbreak of a mysterious virus. A boy named Shu tries to live his life normally, but typically has problems socializing and connecting with people. He stumbles upon a girl named Inori who is injured, barely says a word and is trying desperately to protect a small robot and bring it to a man named Gai. Shu fails to protect her from being captured by the government organization called GHQ who take her in as a terrorist. He takes it upon himself to bring the small robot to Gai to finish what she started. As he brings the robot to Gai, he and his group are attacked by mechs and Shu is reunited with Inori only to find that he possesses the power to pull a powerful sword from her body that helps them take down the enemy.

Breakdown: This series doesn’t have a good reputation it seems. THEM anime reviews says it barely passes for mediocre since it doesn’t do much to stray from the typical post-apocalyptic norm and I’ve seen several other people say it’s, at best, fun garbage.

Ouch.

Well, what did I think of its first endeavor?

Once you get over how pretty it is, and it really is pretty……..It’s fine. Story-wise, yeah I can see how it doesn’t stray too much from the norm. Shu is basically a Gary Stu at this point. He’s a socially awkward yet perfectly normal looking guy who suddenly discovers he’s awesome and gets to use super cool new powers that he rips from a hot chick’s chest, something I will have to address in a minute. There’s nothing really wrong with him, but he really seems like Shu Everyman.

Inori is also okay so far. She starts off pretty brave in the opening, and she seems determined, strong and honorable. When she meets Shu, however, she basically turns infantile and stupidly throws herself at the enemy when there’s no guarantee Shu would’ve given in or the robot would’ve been protected.

Gai is a bishie badass with a stone face and Tsugumi is a loli bitch.

We don’t really explore anyone besides that, and Gai and Tsugumi appear so late that we learn little to nothing about them. We also don’t really learn anything about Inori, which might be on purpose. It’s hinted that Shu knew her as a small child, but it’s not explored yet.

We learn the most about Shu, but even then we really only know his personality traits and nothing about his actual life besides he’s awkward socially and tries to live a normal life in school.

I’d like to actually know what this virus is. It’s blurted out in one sentence of narration and we never learn what it really is besides devastating.

I’m pretty much okay with the GHQ and Guilty Crown itself not really being explained thusfar as it allows for exploration in the future, but I would’ve liked Guilty Crown to at least be explained a bit.

What we can surmise of it from merely seeing it in action is something…..*sigh* I really never wanted to think of this show again, but it’s the exact same power, beat for beat, of the soul bladers from Shining Tears X Wind. Exactly the friggin’ same. Trigger a portal in some girl’s chest, pull out giant sword. I was going along with this show fine until it seemingly ripped off and/or reminded me of that heap of trash. And don’t worry, I’ll rip into that show soon enough.

Art and Animation: Like I said, this show is very pretty. Not horribly stylized, but still very pretty. The animation is very fluid, and got its time to shine during the fist fight with Gai. Production IG did a wonderful job here.

Music: I’m also digging the music here. The OP, at least of this episode, was beautiful, the BG music was fitting albeit a bit forgettable, the insert song was great and the ED was fine.

Voice Acting: Japanese – No stand out performances or voices, but everyone seemed fitting and fine in their roles.

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No one is really giving me hope that this show will get any better from episode one. In fact, Nihon anime reviews claims the show really starts getting bad after the halfway mark. So what’s my status here?

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This isn’t so much a reluctant ‘yes’ in hopes of finding something redeemable about this show beyond the art and music and moreso an ‘I’m curious as to how bad this show really is’. At best, I’ll get something laughably bad or stupidly fun and if not I can probably have a new ranting chew toy. At worst it will just turn out to be boring.

Pokemon Episode Analyses – Episode 1: Pokemon, I Choose You!

Aw, they’re already friends. ❤

I started rewatching Pokemon from scratch a while ago and while I was watching it I started making little snippets of notes in my personal blog on another website about certain episodes. Eventually, this lead to me making regular entries about the episodes, breaking them down and basically making mini-reviews. As of this writing, I am up to episode 156, which is really just a drop in the bucket compared to the 840+ that are out right now. I wanted to add this little series to my actual blog, but since I only have about 50-60 episodes worth of legit entries, I have to go back and start from scratch again. Well, at least for little bit. Plus, I’ll still be watching from where I am onwards as I’m doing it, so once I reach a certain point it’ll be much much much easier to make entries.

Here’s how it works. I give the full plot synopsis so I don’t have to go step by step and bore everyone with every single detail, and after that I give my notes on the specific episode whether it be errors or plot holes or just things that piss me off or make no sense, and I’ll be including aspects that I enjoy, of course. Then I’ll give a short review of the episode and a preview of the next. I’ll also be noting character debuts, characters of the day (CotD) and Gym Matches to be annoyingly thorough. Alright, let’s start!

Character Debuts:

Ash Ketchum: Our protagonist of the entire series, Ash Ketchum is loosely based on the protagonist from the first Pokemon games, Red. He is a ten year old boy just starting out on his Pokemon journey. He’s a bit cocky and stupid, especially later on, but he ultimately means well and does learn lessons sometimes.

Pikachu: Pikachu, or as I’ll not-so-lovingly nickname him throughout the series, Messiahchu, is an Electric rat Pokemon that Professor Oak gives Ash as a starter since all of the others were taken. He started out as a complete brat for some reason, but soon became the best of friends with his new trainer, Ash, after he tried to save his life. He’s also inexplicably powerful for some reason.

Professor Oak: The local Pokemon professor and the one who gives starters to new trainers in Kanto, Oak is a Pokemon researcher, grandfather of Gary and friend of Ash and Delia. He frequently gives Ash advice and information while taking care of his excess Pokemon not in his party.

Delia Ketchum: Delia is Ash’s mother who simultaneously dotes on him and overlooks him most of the time when he visits. Delia has an odd fixation on ensuring Ash changes his underwear, but is ultimately a kind woman. She eventually ‘captures’ a Mr. Mime who keeps her company and helps around the house.

Gary Oak: Gary is more strongly based on the rival from the first video games, Blue (or Green depending on what version of the game you’re playing or what manga you read.) Gary’s role here is basically the exact same thing. He shows up sometimes out of the blue, makes fun of Ash and then leaves. The biggest difference is that, unlike Blue, Ash rarely ever battles Gary at all over the course of the series. I think they battle a maximum of twice if I recall correctly. He’s a much more competent trainer than Ash is, and is chauffeured around in an expensive sports car by cheerleaders who are way older than him. It’s assumed that Gary took the Squirtle as a starter as he has a Blastoise later on.

Misty: The former Cerulean City Gym Leader, Misty aspires to be the best Water Pokemon trainer in the world. She is also Ash’s first companion under the excuse that she’s following him to make him pay for her bike that he ruined, but it’s not long until that’s pretty much forgotten and we assume that Misty follows Ash because they’re friends. Misty is also Ash’s love interest to a degree, but it doesn’t go anywhere. 😦

Plot: Ash Ketchum has just turned ten years old and he’s ready and raring to become a Pokemon Trainer. His dream is to become a Pokemon Master, and he gets started on achieving this dream (pfft) by getting his first starter Pokemon the next morning. Ash oversleeps and finds that all three of the starter Pokemon being given by Professor Oak, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander, have been given to other trainers. One of which, Squirtle, being given to Gary Oak, Professor Oak’s grandson and Ash’s rival. Bummed from not getting a starter, Oak decides to take pity on Ash and give him the temperamental Electric Pokemon, Pikachu.

He and Pikachu head off on their journey, but Pikachu severely dislikes Ash and needs to be literally dragged on the journey since he’s too much of a brat to even stay in his Pokeball.

Ash finds a Pokemon that he wants to catch and tries to get Pikachu to battle. He refuses, so Ash decides to assault the innocent animal with a rock. It turns out to be an ornery Spearow who calls his friends and begins to attack Ash and Pikachu. In an effort to save an injured Pikachu, Ash steals a nearby girl’s bike (Hi Misty!) and heads to the Pokemon Center.

They’re cornered by the Spearow and Ash decides to take the birds’ attacks to protect Pikachu. Seeing his sacrifice, Pikachu shocks the birds, saving Ash and starting a lifelong friendship as they finally arrive in Viridian City.

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– I cannot tell you how happy it makes me when I see the GameBoy game opening scene shift into the anime’s version. Especially since they seem to use the same music from the game too.

– What is up with this guy?

Where am I?!

– We see an odd green Pokeball, but it’s possible that it’s a Safari ball.

– It also may be possible that the silhouette of the trainer we see is Bruno, one of the Elite Four, though since this seems like a league match, I’m not sure why he’d be there. Unless the league mirrors the games in that regard and you get to fight the Elite Four after. I wouldn’t know, we never see Ash or anyone else get that far.

– Seeing all of the various Pokemon stuff in his room just makes me more angry for future episodes when he’ll have no idea what some of these Pokemon are like Voltorb, Clefairy and Zubat.

– It seems they don’t really pronounce Pokemon correctly in earlier episodes. It’s Poh-kay,mon, not Poh-kah-mon. Though, in all honesty, since it’s short for ‘pocket monsters’ it should be ‘pock-eh-mon’….Eh, semantics.

– In addition, it really seems like Veronica Taylor’s voice was fairly different in the first handful of episodes too. It was quite a bit deeper and she didn’t have as much excitement in his voice. I don’t know if she got more comfortable in the part or if her voice naturally got raspier with each recording and all his yelling. I’m kinda hardpressed to say that the first voice is bad. The acting’s toned down a bit much but I kinda like the first one.

– The title card’s all funny too. They use the English logo instead of just writing ‘Pokemon’ and the background’s all green, checkered and funny looking.

– Also, everyone please enjoy the pun-less titles while you can.

– It still bugs me to this day that we never find out who the other two trainers from Pallet Town were. That would’ve made for some great storylines. At least include Green/Blue (Green if you’re following more closely to the English manga, Blue if you’re more towards the original Japanese version) somewhere in there. She would’ve made a great anti-hero-ish character. Or hey include them in the Indigo League somewhere. Don’t just ignore that they exist….

– I love seeing all this Japanese text in a 4Kids production. It’s just an amazing example of how far they plummeted.

– It kinda bothers me that Gary, a 10 year old boy, has a personal cheer squad of girls who are 16+ (considering one of them drives after the Indigo League)

– Gary may be obnoxious, but I will defend to my dying day that he is a way better trainer and much more interesting character than Ash….

– Speaking of which, their first meeting is kinda weird now that I think about it. Gary acts like he’s never met Ash, but he’s heard of him. Ash acts like he knows Gary but hasn’t seen him in a long time. Much later, we learn that they were childhood friends (pre-10-years-old), so this is confusing both ways.

– Why do the Pokeballs have Japanese text on them in their first shot but not close up? ……Wait….*checks* Dammit, 4Kids, I was just praising you for this! I mean, including them from far away is better than not at all, but I am just disappointed.

– Speaking of which, all of these Pokeballs shouldn’t even be here if all of the starters are gone. Unless Oak transfers them between balls for whatever reason.

– Oak should’ve just saved Ash the trouble and told him that all of the starters were taken and not even let him in. Or at least he should’ve mentioned it and immediately taken Pikachu out to not waste his and subsequently our time by showing all of the Pokeballs being empty one by one.

– Seeing as how he chose Squirtle and was going through the choices in his dream in terms of difficulty, it seems Ash was willing to go with an intermediate choice erring on easier (Bulbasaur) for a second option and just settling on the hardest selection (Charmander) for last. Poor Charmander.

– Do we ever get the origin story of Pikachu? How’d Oak get it and why was it such an untrusting brat when it was first introduced?

– Also, seeing as how we see all of Ash’s Pokeballs several times and never see the lightning bolt mark again, I’m gonna assume it was just forgotten about in the art department. Not that it matters, he never uses it and the ball only appears a few times in Ash’s futile attempts to make him go in.

– Hey they show the skeletons when they’re electrocuted here! They removed that in Mew Mew Power! There, a legitimate change between early and late 4Kids. I feel I’ve accomplished something maybe.

– Delia: “I packed your sneakers…” Isn’t he wearing his sneakers? Or does he need an identical backup pair?

– Delia: “I thought all Pokemon stayed inside their Pokeballs.” Yes, Delia. They stay in there forever….and ever….and ever 

– And thus starts Delia’s odd fixation on Ash’s underwear. What a momentous day.

– This episode also really showcases how much Pikachu has slimmed down over the years. What, was pudgy Pikachu not ‘cute’ enough?

– Dexter really had a ‘tude in earlier episodes didn’t he? With his sarcasm and insults….He’s also a lot more talkative. He keeps chiming in all the time with new info but in later episodes he’s basically relegated to just Pokemon intros.

– I would call Ash out for throwing rocks at Pokemon to capture them….but….Safari Zone….It’s still messed up.

– I tend to like Misty, but she’s pretty much a bitch in the first handful of episodes. She pulls a clearly roughed up boy and a Pokemon out of the water and 1) all she cares about is the Pokemon, 2) She SLAPS Ash for no reason (it’s cut out of the dub) and 3) She instantly insinuates that HE did something to Pikachu even though no evidence is given to support that. I will grow to loathe Ash with every fiber of my being later on, so enjoy these few episodes where Ash is actually preferred over Misty….

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Overall, this is a really good start to the series. It introduces Ash pretty well and I’m much more accepting of his cluelessness in these earlier episodes than I am in later seasons. At least he has an excuse of actually being a complete beginner here, though considering how fixated he is on Pokemon basically being his life, it seems weird that he doesn’t even know the bare basics. The beginnings of Ash and Pikachu as a team is also pretty memorable, but still somewhat cliché.

The art and animation in this episode are actually fairly worse off than I remember. The electric shock scenes may have been changed later on to sate the newer rules about flashes that were brought on with the Porygon episode, so that may explain why they look insane choppy. There are just a slue of odd shots and weird animation that kept cropping up.

This episode also featured a lot less music than I’m used to with 4Kids. There’s almost always noise, but there are several periods without any BG music whatsoever and that weirded me out.

A lot of people, even I, praise the original episodes for being some of 4Kids’ better works. Deservingly so since this was one of if not their absolute first dubbing venture. However, there are still some 4Kids-isms left like erasing the text from the Pokeballs and cutting out a mere slap to the face. They also paint over a banner, but I’ll definitely let that slide since I know they could’ve just erased the whole thing and showed their support with a plain white banner.

The voice acting is somewhat stilted, and I think many of the actors, except maybe Rachel Lillis, were still getting used to their roles. They just don’t seem as comfortable or animated (if you’ll excuse the term) as they do later.

However, despite the various problems, it’s still a pretty good pilot episode that I can watch over and over. It is the start of an era afterall.

Next episode, Ash and Pikachu make it to the Pokemon Center in Viridian City, but the place is soon ransacked by Non-Comic-Relief Team Rocket. Yeah enjoy this one episode where they’re not comic relief. At least until the start of Best Wishes, where I believe they get changed back to comic relief later anyway.

Digimon Episode 1 Sub Dub Comparison

Digimon Episode 1 Sub Dub Comparison

They told me this would happen if I flushed bubblegum down the toilet…or am I thinking of alligators? Eh whatever.

 

Plot: Seven kids at summer camp are somehow transported to a mysterious place called the Digital World, where they meet strange creatures called Digimon who have supposedly been waiting for their arrival. But there’s no time to get acquainted with new friends because a fierce Digimon called Kuwagamon has targeted them for attack.

 

Preface:

I am a huge fan of Digimon. This is one of those anime that I could watch over and over and never get tired of it. The characters are lovable. Well, most of them. The story is great and it never felt like it overstayed its welcome.

The dub definitely doesn’t fare nearly as bad as some of the other shows I compare, but there’s still plenty of script changes and stuff of note that make this a worthy show for comparison. Digimon was dubbed by Saban, who you may recognize from every Power Rangers series ever. They also dubbed DBZ once upon a time and Samurai Pizza Cats. The show was distributed by Fox Kids, which is now Jetix. As much as it pains me on occasion, let’s start comparing Digimon Adventure 01.

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The opening theme song was changed to a completely different song. I like the dub song…..shut up. 😦 No, it doesn’t have many lyrics, and yes it’s repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be catchy and awesome. The original song is okay, but I’m not tempted to download it or anything.

 

Surprisingly, all of the background scenes of the opening theme were kept exactly the same barring the title screen. Some slight edits may have occurred for time reasons.

 

In the original, a traditional narrator is narrating the opening scene. In the dub, Tai is. We also get no specification on what areas are being showcased when the explanations of the weather phenomena are given. In the original, the paddyfields in southeast Asia were drying out. In the dub, it was just “the rainforests.” In the original, the middle east was getting flooded. In the dub, “other places” were getting flooded. In the original, America was becoming insanely cold. In the dub it was “cities that were blazing hot in the summer were becoming freezing cold.”

 

Entire Show Edit: A lot of the background music also seems to have been changed.

 

Some kooky kid jokes have also been added. The tone is a more serious in the original.

 

Name change: Tai’s full name in the original is Taichi Yagami. In the dub, this is changed to Taichi “Tai” Kamiya…I have no clue why. Usually when names are changed it’s to Americanize the name. Why change the name to another Japanese name? Also, something kinda funny just occurred to me. Yagami is Light’s last name from Death Note. Kari is Tai’s younger sister, so her last name is also Yagami. Kari’s short for Hikari, which is Japanese for Light. In addition, if you switch the A and the I in Kari, you get KIRA! Screw L and Near, I solved that crap no problem.

 

In the original, the narrator is simply listing off their names as they appear in the same black borders as seen in the dub. In the dub, Tai’s still narrating and he’s giving slight opinions about each of the characters/character descriptions.

 

Name change, though not really?: In the original, Matt’s real name is Yamato. In the dub, his name is listed on screen as being Yamato, with Matt in quotes as his nickname. TECHNICALLY, this still makes sense since YaMATo, but I guess it still counts as a change since that’s not how he’s addressed in the original.

 

Name change, though not really?: Izzi is originally Koushiro Izumi. In the dub, his name is also listed as Koushiro Izumi but with Izzy in quotes as his nickname. Same circumstances as Matt with it ‘counting’ since his name is still displayed, he’s just being addressed differently.

 

Name change, though not really?: TK is originally Takeru, but they do the same thing with his name as with the others.

 

Name change in spelling: Joe’s original name is spelled Jyou. It should also be noted that, for some strange reason, Joe’s name in the dub is written in a different font from everyone elses. Maybe it was changed last second.

 

Visuals: Font for everyone else – http://i.imgur.com/pwD8O00.png

Joe’s Font – http://i.imgur.com/EBSW19o.png

 

In addition, the original name boxes also included their school name and what grade they were in. The dub just has their names.

 

The dub doesn’t use the title screens from the original, which are cool, so that sucks. Also, the name of this episode is “Adrift? The Island of Adventure!” in the original. In the dub it’s “And so it begins….” I like these title screens since they change every episode, so I’ll do you guys a solid and post each one.

 

 

After the commercial break in the dub, they replay the footage right before the Digivices burst out of the sky. They add a line to Mimi in doing so.

 

In the original, no mention of what Koromon means is given. In the dub, Koromon says it means “brave little warrior” I don’t understand how that can be. Koro, to be extent of my knowledge, usually means some point in time such as “When” Mon is short for monster, hence Digimon; Digital Monsters. Saban must’ve thrown that in to point at his later crest of courage? None of the other Digimon get name explanations, so this just seems kinda weird. If anyone has another explanation, feel free to share.

 

The Digimon Index screens, which is what I call it when the Digimon’s information comes up on the screen, is entirely in Japanese in the dub barring the English version of the Digimon’s names in the corner, which were there to begin with. Maybe it was too much editing, but I gotta say, all that Japanese text was scary. I wish 4Kids was here right now 😦

 

OH! IT’S CALLED FILE ISLAND…BECAUSE THEY’RE DATA!….I never freakin’ got that until now. Wow.

 

Dub Izzy: “I believe those miniature remote digital gadgets took on physical form.” You mean that Digivice on your backpack strap took on a physical form that is on the ground next to you? That makes sense. In the original, Izzy just says Motimon’s been following him since he woke up.

 

In the original, the narrator from before gives detailed information about Kuwagamon. In the dub, Koromon gives it. In the future, Izzy will usually be the one doing this. In fact, I rarely ever heard a narrator in Digimon in the dub, but it sounds like the original has him everywhere.

 

Mispronunciation? In the dub, Sora calls Pyocomon “Yokomon”. I’m not sure if Saban thought the P was silent or Sora’s VA goofed. I’m also fairly certain I’m not mishearing it either.

 

Ya know, in a debate I had long ago about weird Digivolutions, I never brought up Pyocomon…She goes from a radish to a bird line….how does that make sense?

 

Mispronunciation?: It sounds like they say Pukamon as Bukamon. In both Digimon’s index screens, they have it spelled right, they’re just saying it weird.

 

I’m also gonna go ahead and guess that in the dub Tokomon has the same VA as Gatomon. It just sounds like her.

 

In the original, no mention of what the creatures are (Digimon) or where they are (The digital world) is given until after all of the characters have reunited. In fact, where they are is never even mentioned in this episode. In the dub, they say it quite often after Motimon makes his appearance. Thus, the big reveal of what they are is fairly lost in the dub.

 

The commercial break eyecatches are edited out, which is also very common of practically any dubbed show. The eyecatches here are basically Digimon cards of each of the in-training Digimon combining together to make their rookie forms in a group shot. After the commercials, the rookie cards join together to make a champion group shot. I’m not sure if ultimate and mega will be added, but I’ll post them if they do.

 

Visuals: http://i.imgur.com/RtCInWh.png
http://i.imgur.com/9wCaKVC.png
http://i.imgur.com/MeHTTNr.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/nuVhNHu.png

 

In the original, the Digimon all restate their names after the commercial. In the dub, they give awkward explanations like Digimon are cute, loyal, have nice hair etc.

 

When Tai’s introducing everyone in the original, he follows up everyone’s name with what grade they’re in. Tai, Sora and Matt in fifth grade, Joe in sixth, Izzy in fourth and TK in second. In addition, the original’s dialogue is somewhat awkward. Tai introduces everyone and everyone follows up by introducing themselves. For example, “This is Ishida Yamato” “I’m Ishida Yamato” The dub is no better. It basically sounds like a video game character selection screen. You select one character and they say something that of course their characters would say. Like Matt “No autographs please” and Izzy “Do you have Internet access?” Tai also makes a weird note to type some of the characters such as Matt, the self-proclaimed cool one and Izzy our computer expert.

 

They don’t seem to dislike Mimi in the original. In the dub it’s all “Hey, where’s that girl with the silly pink hat?” “Hey now, her NAME is MIMI. *verbal eyeroll*“Maybe she’s picking flowers or going on a nature hike.” I just find this funny because it’s like the dub’s giving us clues as to how annoying she is.

 

As the kids are running in the dub, Izzy says “Okay, so maybe she’s not picking flowers” he’s not speaking in the original, and you can clearly see that his mouth isn’t moving.

 

Kuwagamon doesn’t roar in the original. Barring his wingflaps, he’s totally silent.

 

The original has sad harmonica music playing when the kids gather their wounded Digimon. The dub has decent sad music for it, but I prefer the original. Can’t beat sad harmonica music. D:

 

Dub Izzy: “They must be programmed for courage…” Izzy, go to your corner. Just go. One of the things that really bugs me about the dub is that there’s rarely a time when Izzy’s not talking like a little tech nerd, even when what he’s saying is stupid or makes no friggin’ sense. Izzy’s the tech guy in the original too, but they don’t jam it down your throat NEARLY as much as the dub does…..You’re still my favorite, though Izzy. And Ken when I get to him. ❤ In the original, Izzy just says “Why did you do that?”

 

Though Mimi is annoying, you have to give her credit for being the only one in the group who knows that Tanemon and the others have no other choice but to fight.

 

In the original, a vocal song is playing as the Digimon Digivolve for the first time. In the dub, regular Digimon background music plays. Basically a more instrumental and softer version of the dubbed theme, which will usually be used from here on out. In addition, in the original, the Digimon say (Digimon’s name), evolve! (Digivolved version’s name) In the dub they say (Digimon’s name) digivolve toooooooooo (Digivolved version’s name)

 

Can someone help me out here? I know R and L are interchangeable in Japanese, but are P and B? Because Biyomon is originally Piyomon, and that would explain the Buka/Pukamon thing too which, btw, is reflected in the text behind the Digimon as they’re Digivolving.

 

Attack name changes: Patamon’s Air Shot is changed to Boom Bubble. Tentomon’s Petite Thunder is changed to Super Shocker (Which sounds better IMO) Agumon’s Baby Flame is changed to Pepper Breath (Again, better) Gabumon’s Petite Fire is changed to Blue Blaster (Eh) Biyomon’s Magical Fire (Geez so much fire.) is changed to Spiral Twister (at least it adds variety) and screw Gomamon’s attack, because they don’t even do it. Yeah, Gomamon needs to be near water, I think, to use his Marching Fishes attack so ladeeda. Palmon’s Poison Ivy is the only attack left alone.

 

Dub Izzy: “They made vaporware out of them” ……CORNER! GO! Also, vaporware? Vaporware is software that is announced but never released or died off somehow. How is Kuwagamon like that? Just because you know a fancy term kids wouldn’t get and it sounds technical doesn’t mean you should use it in places it doesn’t belong. Also, “them?” Who’s “them”? You’ve been fighting the same one Digimon this entire time. Try “it.”

 

In the original, the music when everyone’s celebrating suddenly cuts out when Kuwagamon reappears. In the dub, the song properly ends, so it doesn’t sound as dramatic.

 

The dub gets rid of the ending theme song and replaces it with the same opener. Fairly common of dubbed kids shows. The original song is pretty good. They also lose the next episode preview, which, again, is also very common.

 

Next episode, we get our first champion Digivolution with Agumon becoming Greymon!

 

 

 

Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 1 Sub Dub Comparison

 

Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 1 Sub Dub Comparison

Aw, man. This isn’t the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

Card(s) of the day:

Windy: Windy is the only card Sakura was able to hold onto when she scattered the cards. Being one of the four element cards, Windy is a force to be reckoned with, but has a gentle nature.

Fly: An out of control bird, Fly grants the user the ability to, well, fly. Luckily, Fly’s weakness is Windy, so that worked out well. Fly is very frequently used throughout the series.

Plot: Sakura is a normal elementary school girl until one day she accidentally sets free the power of the mystical Clow cards. Teamed up with the guardian of the Clow cards, Kerberos, Sakura must become a Cardcaptor and collect the Clow cards before they end up destroying everything.

Preface:

Cardcaptors is a show that I only got to watch very little of when I was a kid. It was on some animation block on some channel that I don’t even think I get anymore. By the time I had discovered it , I had only watched a few episodes before it was yanked, but I really liked it. I believe I discovered the series right around the time I had become a fan of Sailor Moon, so it’s easy to see how I got into so quickly. When I finally got access to a computer and the Internet, I looked up the subbed version and watched the full series. I really loved it, but I never remembered the quality of the dub nor did I really feel the need to find the dubbed version.

Some time later I see a THEM anime review showcasing the dubbed version of Cardcaptor Sakura, Cardcaptors, and it was a pretty damn scathing review. So, when I was looking for shows to do SDC’s about, I remembered that review and gave it a whirl. Yeah….I can see why that review was so harsh.

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Show name change: The Japanese version is called Cardcaptor Sakura. The dub is called Cardcaptors. Some people believe this change was to coincide with the more male oriented dubbed version Nelvana was trying to create. They didn’t want to insinuate that Sakura would be the entire focus of the show. I can’t confirm that, but it is possible.

The opening song has been replaced with an English song. It’s not an English dubbed version of the original song. To be honest, I think the opening is pretty good in the dub and sub. However, the dub does lead you to more “focus on guys” since it’s a dramatic action-y song and the sub is very much a cutesy magical girl opening.

Entire show…mispronunciation: They constantly say Sakura (Sah-kur-ah) as SaKERrah (noted emphasis on the KER). It’s semi-minor, but man is it annoying. Also, they change her last name to Avalon instead of Kinomoto. Because she needed to sound like a knock-off make-up brand.

Entire show….Mispronunciation: Kero is supposed to be pronounced “Care-oh” The dub says “Key-roh”

Entire show edit: A lot of the BG music has been replaced

Sakura sounds like a cute elementary school girl in the sub. In the dub, she sounds like a somewhat snotty teenage girl.

COMPARISON NOTES: There’s a drastic difference between this comparison and my other ones. Whereas 4Kids is really about digital paint and removing some scenes, which makes screencaps really necessary, Nelvana’s dub of CCS is really more about story changes and removing entire scenes for no real reason. Because of this, I won’t be including visuals of absolutely every scene that has been removed. That would take up way too much time. I’ll only include the pictures that I believe should be shown. If anyone wants to see screencaps of certain removed scenes, feel free to let me know.

They edit out Sakura’s giant fist and anime annoyance vein.

They edit out the introductions for everyone. Sakura just keeps blabbing on about the Clow.

Entire show….mispronunciation: Clow is supposed to be pronounced like glow. Not like cloud as the dub states.

The edit out the scene where Sakura’s brother leaves and she gobbles down her food to go after him.

They add a echy pop song during Sakura’s first rollerblading ride.

Name change: Toya, Sakura’s brother, is changed to Tori.

Name change: Yukito, Toya’s best friend, is changed to Julian.

They edit out Sakura popping up on screen when Yukito first appears and having her eyes turn into hearts as she gushes over him.

 

After they arrive at school, they edit out Yukito giving Sakura a candy as he says goodbye one more time. They also edit out the initial introduction of Tomoyo who has a short conversation with Sakura about Yukito giving her the candy.

 

Visuals: http://i.imgur.com/hNv91u1.png
http://imgur.com/ZGrFcV6
http://imgur.com/sjvsr01
http://imgur.com/IxyqTer

 

Tomoyo has a bit of an implied crush on Sakura. This is not included in the dub.

Name change: Tomoyo, Sakura’s best friend, is changed to Madison.

They edit out Tomoyo gushing some more about how Sakura’s the cutest and Sakura falling to the floor after she says this saying that Tomoyo’s kind of strange.

“We’re on line 12” – Sub

“We’re on line 48” – Dub

After Sakura drops the baton and the two girls talk about her, there’s a scene where she is holding her head and crying. In the dub, it’s cut out.

They edit out where Sakura is looking at the whiteboard in her home after she arrives and before she goes after the…’pudding’? Is that pudding? They say it’s pudding, but, nevermind…They also edit out her mention that her dad’s going to come home late.

Dubbed version, right before the book opens: “The book from my dream…” The book wasn’t in your dream…. Only the cards, your outfit, your staff and Kero were in the dream.

Kerberos is called Keroberos in the dub. I guess to make his nickname sound more fitting? However this also kinda puts off the meaning of his name. His name is based off of Cerberus.

In the sub, Kero has a cute child voice. In the dub, he has an obnoxious pre-teen boy who has at some point smoked voice.

They edit out a short scene where Kero’s back is turned as he’s trying to sense the cards.

They edit out Sakura’s reaction to Kero saying he was asleep for 30 years right before he says being a guardian’s not easy.

After Kero says a Cardcaptor is born, Sakura screams in confusion as Kero eats the…pudding? This is cut out of the dub.

As Kero is setting Sakura down after being blown away by the fly card, Sakura’s eyes turn to spirals and she acts like she’s dizzy. Cut out of the dub.

Entire Show edits concerning Sakura’s “Catchphrases”: Sakura has lines that she says most every episode. A speech she gives before she releases her wand, a line she says before she uses a card and a line she says before she catches a card. Each is changed in the dub.

Sub for releasing the wand:

The key which hides the power of dark

Show your true form before me

I, Sakura, command you under our contract

RELEASE

Dub for releasing the wand:

O key of clow, power of magic

Power of light

Surrender the wand

The force ignite!

RELEASE

Using a card:

This varies greatly depending on the card and what she’s using it for. However, at the end, Sakura always says the name of the card. Many times, the dub adds “Release and dispel!” to the dub’s scenes with card usage.

Sub for capturing a card:

Return to the guise you were meant to be in…

CLOW CARD!

Dub for capturing a card:

Return to your power confined (Am I the only person who thinks this sentence just doesn’t sound right?)

(enter name of card captured here!)

They edit out where Sakura has a short bit of crying where she said she thought she was going to die.

Kero’s short edits: Though they keep the general idea of this short the same, there are some edits. There are some things they actually forget to edit, too. They forgot to change “Cardcaptor Sakura” to “Cardcaptors” in the logo for the short. Oops.

The shorts also are supposed to appear after the credits, but I guess Nelvana didn’t want kids to walk off before seeing the short.

The short was originally meant to explain the main design of Sakura’s school uniform. Instead, Kero just treats it like a Fashion show saying Sakura has such great fashion sense (even though she’s forced to wear that to school) I also love how they talk about her shoes and socks when 1, again, they’re mandatory, not her choice and 2, the shoes are barely in the shot they’re focusing on. In the sub, they were focusing on her skirt, but I guess they didn’t want to focus on a little girl’s skirt for an extended period of time. Also, they edit out where they show a rough sketch of the male uniform because it wouldn’t fit in the dub segment if they were just talking about Sakura’s (MANDATORY) fashion sense.

 

Also, I should mention that Kero smokes a pipe at the end of mostly every short and it’s not edited out or painted off. Granted you never see any actual smoke, but he is holding it. Out of all the stupid changes Nelvana makes to this show for stupid reasons, the one thing that might actually be understandable to edit out, they leave. What the actual hell….

The ending is replaced by an instrumental version of the opening.

There’s no preview in the dubbed version, which isn’t uncommon for English dub

 Next episode: It’s the debut of Shadow Card, and it’s wreaking havoc at Sakura’s school. Can she overcome her fears of the dark to capture it?