Name: Machop is a combination of “macho” and “chop.” Machop is a good name. It’s snappy and fitting while also being kind cute.
In Japan, it’s known as Wanriki, which is a combination of “wan” for “arm” and “riki” for “strength.” This name doesn’t really appeal to me all that much. It’s fine and fitting, but I prefer Machop.
Fun Fact: Machop’s beta name was Kara-tee for karate. I actually think that would’ve been cute.
Design: I’ll admit, I used to find Machop kinda creepy looking, but now I find it pretty cute. Sure, humanoid Pokemon are always a bit weird either way, and Machop’s half-human half-dinosaur/Gumby body is something alright, but it’s got its own cute charm to it…..Not sure why it has a tail, but okay.
Sprite-wise, Gen I is pretty funny. Look at R/G’s doofy-ass face.
R/B looks a lot cuter, but it still looks like someone glued googly eyes to it.
Yellow is better, but those arms…..
Gen II is colored a bit oddly with Machop being more of a dirty bronze color than bluish-gray.
Most of the sprites beyond this point are pretty cute, except when we get to Gen VII where the default sprite looks smushed and weird.
Ah yet another shiny that looks like it’s spent a few hours swimming in pee. Shiny Machop isn’t too terrible compared to the other pee shinies, but I still wish they had chosen a different color.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machop is strong, and a master of many martial arts. It loves using Graveler as a barbell for some reason. Its muscles never get sore or cramp no matter how much it trains, and it can throw 100 adults. It likes particularly nutritious foods in order to help build more muscle, and it strives to challenge a Makuhita to a fight.
Design-wise, Machop is obviously based on body-builders, but it also has some reptilian features incorporated into it. Why? I have no idea. But it works fine enough.
Name: Out of the three, I like Machoke’s name the least. I get that it’s making secondary theming by having each second word also begin with a ‘ch’ word, but “choke” just sounds a bit too much like this Pokemon’s a serial killer not a master martial artist or body builder. I get that chokeholds exist, but it’s not what my mind immediately jumps to when hearing the word “choke.”
In Japan, it’s known as Goriki, which means “herculean strength.” I like it better than Wanriki, but I still don’t care for it all that much.
Fun Fact: Like Machop was going to be known as Kara-tee in the beta version of the English games, Machoke was going to be known as Kung-Foo.
Design: Machoke looks even more human-like than Machop to the point where it now has spawned wrestling trunks. It also now has a championship belt, which is actually a power regulator.
Machoke is purple, so it’s already earning a few points with me. Otherwise, it’s a pretty okay design. Despite losing the tail, it retained some of its reptilian features, and I like that the stripes on its arms look muscle details.
Sprite-wise, R/G is just as doofy as Machop’s R/G sprite.
R/B is hilarious because Machoke looks cross-eyed there. The fact that it looks like its making armpit farts doesn’t help.
What the shit, Yellow? Ew.
Gen II looks alright…..barring the pec wiggle.
Gen III is alright too, but what’s up with the animation for Emerald? It looks like he suddenly decided to take a violent crap on the floor.
Everything else is alright. He’s just posing and flexing his muscles in various ways.
I will ask why Gen VI onward looks so gray. It’s like he now has Machamp’s colors instead of his own purple coloring.
If Machop was swimming in pee to make its shiny, Machoke was swimming in baby poo. The blue on the stripes is a nice touch, but otherwise, ew.
Luckily, they realized how barfy this looked and changed the shade as time went on. Gens IV and V look more like pine green, and it’s a lot nicer.
So of course they made it worse later by having every Gen beyond that point look like Machoke is sick.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machoke is really strong. It is typically used to help with jobs involving heavy materials, like clearing land and construction. It never gets tired, and needs the aforementioned belt to regulate its power, which is weird because several Dex entries note that it always goes at full power.
Design-wise, Machoke has the same inspiration as Machop, except maybe with slightly more pro wrestler influence.
Name: I think Machamp is a perfect name for the final evo of this line. It’s the CHAMPION!
In Japan, it’s known as Kairiki, which translates to “superhuman strength”….not sure if that’s better or worse than “herculean strength” but okay.
Fun Fact: Beta!Machamp was going to be known as Ju-Doh.
Design: Out of the entire trio, Machamp weirds me out the most. I think it’s the four arms combined with the weird huge lips. Something about that combo is just weird. It doesn’t look terrible, but it kinda weirds me out, is all.
Sprite-wise, pbbbbbttttthahahahaha R/G again.
R/B just looks weird. It’s almost like it has three arms on its right side.
Yellow, for some reason, gives off 1920s cartoon vibes.
Gen II is very golden for some reason. I love the animation for Crystal.
What is up with the back sprite, though? It’s like it’s asking for a high five.
Everything else, which is mostly just flexing poses, is fine.
Mmmm….I don’t care for it. The face looks weird, I don’t much care for the charcoal gray color, and it’s just a weird shape. What is up with the Popeye-esque muscular structure of the arms? And why do the hands look too small/short? I do like the lava-esque cracks on the forearms, but that’s about it.
Shiny: More green, but I guess they got the memo with Machoke and decided to make most of Machamp’s shinies a pine or lime green….
….Barring Gen II of course, which looks more like overcooked asparagus green….
and Gen III, which looks more like the baby poop shade Machoke had.
Shiny Gigantamax Machamp is also green, but a darker shade.
I think it looks…..eh. The green doesn’t go well with the orange and yellow ‘lava’ cracks anymore. It makes me think Machamp’s turning into a citrus fruit.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Machamp is really, REALLY strong. It can throw punches from all four arms insanely fast, over 1000 in two seconds, and throw its victims over the horizon. One arm alone has the strength to move mountains. However, it has an issue with dexterity due to its four arms. It needs to really think about it before trying to do anything involving careful precision otherwise it may tangle its arms.
Gigantamax Machamp has punches so powerful that they sound like bomb blasts when they hit. It’s so strong that it once lifted a large ship back to port when it experienced trouble at sea.
Design-wise, the only difference between Machamp and the others in the line is that the blue skin and additional arms may be in reference to Hindu gods, Shiva or Vishnu.
And that was the Superhuman line. Honestly, not a whole lot to say, but it’s a pretty cool Fighting Type line, and it’s definitely a classic. Fun fact one last time – Machamp was the first ever holographic card I ever got, and I still have it.
Next time, the Bell Plant line!
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Plot: Yusuke and Botan, who is now posing as a classmate of his, catch up on the roof of the school. Botan has used her healing powers to help Yusuke recover for his next battle, and Kurama has been freed by the Spirit World punishment board on good behavior.
Things aren’t all great though, as Keiko spots Yusuke and Botan hanging out. They act suspicious around her, since Yusuke is trying to keep his Spirit Detective job a secret from her. As a result, she believes there’s something romantic going on between them.
Pressing Spirit World matters come first before Yusuke’s love life, however. Yusuke has one more artifact to retrieve – The Shadow Sword – and it’s in the hands of his toughest enemy yet, Hiei – the fire apparition with a third Jagan eye that grants him great power.
In order to get Yusuke to hand over the other two artifacts willingly, Hiei kidnaps Keiko and holds her hostage. His plot works, and Yusuke hands over the Orb of Baast and the Forlorn Hope to Hiei, but this face-off is far from over.
Hiei reveals that he’s struck Keiko with the Shadow Sword. In moments, when the third eye on her head opens wide, Keiko will become a mindless demon slave. Only the elixir stored in the sword’s hilt can change her back. Botan uses her Spirit Energy to help keep the eye from closing while Yusuke battles Hiei, but the battle is very one-sided.
Hiei is incredibly fast and powerful, especially once he transforms into his full demon state. Botan struggles even more upon this transformation as Keiko’s new demon eye starts feeding on Hiei’s demonic energy. Yusuke is able to get in some good shots, but Hiei quickly regains the upper hand, binding Yusuke with chains of demonic energy.
Just as he’s about to finish off Yusuke for good, Kurama suddenly bursts in and steps in the way of his sword strike. He cuts himself on the blade and throws the blood back in Hiei’s Jagan eye. With the eye blinded, Yusuke becomes unbound. Kurama goes to help Botan keep Keiko from transforming while Yusuke fights Hiei once more.
Hiei realizes that Yusuke becomes much more powerful the more the people he care about are put at risk, so he decides to end the battle once and for all. Yusuke tries to shoot Hiei with his Spirit Gun, but misses due to Hiei’s swift speed. However, Hiei is still struck from behind by the blast. Yusuke had used the Forlorn Hope, which had fallen on the floor in the battle, to bounce the Spirit Gun back and hit Hiei.
The Forlorn Hope was destroyed, but Hiei was vanquished.
Yusuke gives the elixir to Keiko, and her transformation is reversed. The group all delight in his victory, but it seems this was another instance of Yusuke’s dumb luck because he honestly didn’t know if the Spirit Gun could bounce off mirrors – he mostly just guessed.
Back at school the next day, Botan relays that, while they did retrieve the artifacts in time, King Yama still found out that they were stolen since the sword had blood on it and the Forlorn Hope was shattered. As a result, Koenma received 100 spankings.
Keiko spots the two of them hanging out again, and since Yusuke hasn’t been able to tell her about his secret, and she doesn’t remember anything about the events with Hiei, she assumes, again, and they’re romantically involved. Yusuke rushes to correct her, but she’s not very open to listening to him.
Yusuke’s first case is closed, but there is a new challenge right over the horizon.
Breakdown: Hey Keiko, you’re looking a bit distressed.
Damsel in distress.
I don’t know what I was doing with that joke.
Anyway, this episode is pretty good. It’s not the greatest, and I don’t think it’s a fantastic debut of Hiei, but it’s pretty good. I always kinda disliked Hiei’s full demon form. It’s not absolutely horrible, but it’s ugly and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why is that his full demon form? He’s a fire apparition, and the Jagan eye was surgically implanted, yet his full demon form is green skin and eyes all over his body.
And what was the point of mind-controlling all of those humans? They pretty much disappeared after they handed over Keiko.
Wonder where they went. Hm. Must’ve burned to a pile of white ash considering the sun is basically giving eskimo kisses to the earth right outside.
Seriously, animators, tone the sun and moon sizes down.
That being said, Hiei is still a very significant threat who very nearly did kill Yusuke if Kurama hadn’t bamf’d in and saved him. Have I mentioned how much I love Kurama? Because it’s a lot. Dude took a sword to the stomach for Yusuke and used his own blood to down Hiei while shrugging off the wound like it was nothing. Badass is an understatement.
Plus, Botan even got a moment of badassery. If it weren’t for her, Keiko would be all demonized right now. But, speaking of Botan….she has healing powers? Where were these earlier? And why is this even being brought up? Wasn’t he more or less recovered after his meeting with Kurama? I know he was hobbling around when Kurama called him out, but he was basically fine when he met him at the hospital. Did they just want to ensure no one would ask why Yusuke’s at full power even though he got a whuppin’ by Gouki?
I honestly don’t remember her using healing powers in the future, but maybe I’m forgetting something.
As a whole, this arc was a great start for Yusuke, and it’s allowed him to grow as a fighter and a Spirit Detective quite a bit more. We’ve also learned, in typical shounen fighting hero fashion, that his powers get stronger when the people he cares about are in danger or wounded.
Speaking of shounen fighting anime, get your brackets ready – it’s time for our first tournament arc! The powerful psychic, Genkai, is looking to pass on her abilities before she passes away, so she holds a tournament to determine who is most worthy of her power. To ensure her incredible abilities don’t fall into the wrong hands, Yusuke is tasked with joining the tournament. Can he beat out the rest and become Genkai’s pupil?
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Name: Mankey’s name is either a mix of “Man” and “Monkey” or “Mad” and “Cranky.” I think they’re kinda reaching for the latter theory, and, honestly, the former doesn’t sit right with me either. I always just thought they were lazy and changed one letter of “Monkey” to make it seem new.
Mankey’s name is fine. The word “Monkey” is already pretty funny, and changing it up a bit allows it to retain the snappiness and most of the humor in the word. I just think it’s kinda lazy, is all. Mankey’s name is kept from the Japanese version. No real fun facts today either.
Design: Mankey’s design is a bit unique in that I both find it very bland and overly weird. At face value, it’s just a brown and beige monkey, which is the boring part, but then you look closer at it and it’s weird.
First of all, I wasn’t rooting for Mankey to have realistic hands, but there’s something so weird about a monkey having paws for hands. Monkeys are supposed to be all about climbing and hanging from things, and paws just don’t work very well for that. The way it looks in the main artwork, it’s like the paws don’t come off as normal paws immediately. It looks like his ‘paws’ got broken and they’re bending in the wrong direction. They’re not, but that’s how it always came off to me.
Second, its face. I’m fine with the angry eyes, He’s supposed to be an angry little shit, and he is able to easily have cute expressions. It’s his nose that weirds me out. Apparently, his pig snout is supposed to be similar to baboons, of which Mankey’s design is partially based from, and uh…..I don’t see it. I’ve never seen any monkey-like animal with a pig nose. They have pronounced and long snouts, but they don’t come off like pig noses. Then there’s Mankey’s mouth….of which it has none. It does have a mouth since it can eat, but it has no visible mouth, and that just compounds the weirdness.
Finally, we have Mankey’s feet, which are also not hands, but they’re a tiny bit better in being Y shaped grabby feet. While being more practical, they also just seem very weird. It’s like someone fused bird feet with monkey feet.
In hindsight, it’s very strange that the main theory around Mankey’s name is that it’s a combination of “Man” and “Monkey” when they took pretty much anything human-like away from any monkey’s features in order to make this design. No hands, no opposable thumbs, no human-like body shape, no human-esque facial features (they even gave it tiny pointy cat-like ears) absolutely nothing. They went out of their way to remove those typical features, and I’m not saying it’s all bad, it just creates a bit of a mish-mash of confusing feelings.
Sprite-wise, RB is…..*sigh* My feelings are confused again. Mankey obviously looked a bit different back in the day. It gives off way more ‘pig’ vibes given the weird shadow around its face, but it’s still clearly monkey-like. And that back sprite is so weird. I keep thinking Mankey’s standing on its hands.
Yellow is a bit more normal, but RG is back to being more pig-like.
Everything’s about average until Gen III, where Emerald has a pretty cool animation. Makes it look like it just won a fight or something.
Other than that, I don’t have any other notes, good or bad.
I’m confident in saying Mankey’s shiny is one of the worst in all of Pokemon. It’s either a muted baby poop green or it’s a muted pea soup green. Either way, it looks more like Mankey is horrifically sick than shiny. At its best, it can come off looking lime green, which is a little better, but still not by much.
Dex Entries and Backstory: The Biology section of its Wiki explains that it’s similar to New World Monkeys, and look at these horrifying motherfuckers.
They are the stuff of nightmares.
Mankey are incredibly angry all the time, and they’re very quick to attack and become uncontrollably violent. They breathe heavily when getting enraged enough to attack. It will attack until it’s exhausted and then go to sleep only to become enraged in its dreams and wake up angry again. It can’t distinguish from friend or foe when it’s on a rampage, and they travel in such tight packs that, when they lose sight of their pack members, they become enraged by loneliness.
An interesting and, I would think, incorrect statement they make in the Dex entries is that, because it is constantly releasing stress by being violent, it lives a long life……I don’t think that’s right……or a healthy message to send kids. No, you shouldn’t bottle up your emotions, even anger, but I can think of few Pokemon who are worse poster children for that message than Mankey. Yes, kids, go and lash out at anyone you see whenever you want. Hit people, break things, it’s the health way of dealing with stress.
Ash’s Pokedex also says it packs a powerful punch, which I don’t doubt because it’s a Fighting Pokemon, but can a Pokemon with those paws really “punch” anything?
Mankey’s design is seemingly based on baboons and Japanese macaques.
Name: Primeape’s name is okay. It’s basically as one-note as Mankey, again being one letter (or….I guess two) off from the word, but Primeape is a bit more unique. It’s obviously a combination of “Primate” and “Ape.”
Its Japanese name is Okorizaku, which translates to “Angry monkey.” Really went all out on the imagination there, eh? It’s also kinda a clunky word, to be honest.
Design: I like Primeape’s design a little better than Mankey’s, but, when you get down to it, there’s not much of a difference between Primeape and Mankey. It loses the tail, gains some semblance of hands and actual feet, which I appreciate. It also, somehow, gets metal wrist and ankle shackles. But otherwise it looks pretty much the same as Mankey.
Sprite-wise, RB actually looks decent. It just looks a tiny bit less detailed than Yellow’s. RG looks…..weird. Like it’s a bootleg Primeape.
Otherwise, I don’t have a whole lot to say. HG/SS definitely has the best animation. They’re all trying to do the same kind of tantrum animation, but they’re not pulling it off. Emerald looks like it’s dancing, DPP looks like it slipped on butter. HG/SS actually pulls it off well.
Primeape’s shiny is arguably even worse than Mankey’s. However, the awfulness fluctuates depending on the Gen. Like Mankey, it has a very baby poop green look to it overall, but he looks horrible – absolutely horrible – in Gen III where he’s now Graham cracker brown and a deep baby poop green. That is definitely of the worst shiny sprite sets in all of Pokemon.
It looks a tiny bit better in Gen IV because it looks more lime green, and Gen V pretty much keeps the same shade, but after that it’s just back to grossness.
Dex Entries and Backstory: Almost all of the notes and Dex entries are pretty much just Mankey’s only more angry. Like in the anime episode with Ash’s Primeape, if you lock eyes with it, it will never stop chasing you in an effort to beat the crap out of you.
I was about to write off all of Primeape’s Dex entries and notes as being more or the less the same as Mankey’s until I got to its Dex entry in Sun where it says, “It has been known to become so angry that it dies as a result. Its face looks peaceful in death, however.”
…..First of all, holy shit, Pokemon. That was dark.
Second of all, that’s in direct contradiction to what they said in Mankey’s Dex entries where it said it has a long lifespan because it’s constantly letting off stress and anger.
This entry only made me more confused when we got to Ultra Moon where it says, “The blood vessels in its brain are sturdier than those of other Pokémon, so it can stay healthy despite its constant raging.”
Which is it!? Is it a heart attack waiting to happen or is it super healthy? I don’t get this at all.
And that was the monkey line. Had more to say than I thought I would, but I still didn’t wind up saying a lot. They’re fine Pokemon. They definitely wouldn’t be my first choice of Fighting Pokemon, not even in Gen I….Actually……They’d probably be my last choices in Gen I of Fighting Pokemon. Literally every other Fighting Pokemon seems more appealing than these two. My favorite Gen I Fighting Type was always Hitmonchan, but I also really like Machoke and Machamp, and Hitmonlee has definitely grown on me. Machop’s probably closest to the bottom in Gen I, but I still prefer it over Mankey and Primeape.
I will admit that they can be entertaining when they’re goofing around, but that’s about it.
I don’t even have any nostalgic connection with Primeape considering Ash had one because he only used it literally once and then just left it with some guy he barely knew for no real reason forever.
Next up, it’s GROWLITHE AND ARCANINE! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
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Plot: Yusuke’s back proper now, and he’s got his first big case as a spirit detective. Three demons have stolen three incredibly powerful artifacts from the vault of Koenma’s father, King Yama. Yusuke is tasked with hunting them down, bringing them to justice and retrieving the artifacts before the thieves do anything malicious with them.
Breakdown: Ah, we’re finally into the nitty gritty. Yusuke’s officially a spirit detective now, and he’s got his first case. Not to mention, it’s the case that will lead us to two other main characters, Hiei and Kurama, who happen to be two of the aforementioned thieves.
We also get our first detective item in the Spirit Filtering Spectacles, known in the dub as the Psychic Spyglass, which allows the user to see through things such as walls, clothes etc.
Sadly, this is the first and last time we see this item, like so many other detective items, because, like I said before, it’s pretty much a gimmick they completely dropped not too long into the series.
As for Yusuke’s first enemy, Gouki, he’s pretty much forgettable. I get that we needed someone who was a typical run-of-the-mill type criminal for Yusuke to cut his teeth on before he moved onto bigger game, but he really is just forgettable. I remember him being a part of Hiei and Kurama’s short-lived thief crew and I remembered the item he stole, but I couldn’t remember his name or what kind of powers he had, and I just barely remembered his base character design. His full demon state, or I guess I should say ogre state, is also very, very boringly typical. Just a big muscular red dude with horns and big teeth.
I commend Yusuke for actually agreeing to this role. At first, he’s kinda blasé about it and wants to do his own thing, but he accepts that, in return for getting his life back, he owes it to Koenma and Botan to do this job. He’s ‘earning his keep’ as he puts it.
The first half of the episode really isn’t about the case, however, it’s about Yusuke’s return to school. Everyone is scared to death of him, whether it be because they’re just afraid of Yusuke by default or they’re terrified about the fact that he rose from the dead.
Mr. Iwamoto is also not happy about his return – so much so that he tries to have him expelled by framing him for various thefts. He even punches Yusuke in the face when he refuses to confess! God, I really hate Iwamoto….Oh well, at least he’s also a dumbass who keeps the stolen items in his frickin’ pocket as he’s interrogating Yusuke.
Speaking of idiots, let’s talk about Koenma for a minute. Yusuke has a one week time limit on retrieving these items, but not because the three thieves are planning something major that will go down in one week – it’s because Koenma’s dad, King Yama, is coming back from vacation in a week. If he sees the items are missing, he’ll go ballistic – supposedly raining havoc and destruction all over earth until he gets them back.
And the reason the items went missing, even though Koenma was specifically told to ensure the vault was properly protected….was just that Koenma didn’t guard it well enough because he just didn’t think anyone would try to break in…..
But that’s not all. Yusuke wants to teach Iwamoto a lesson for framing him and trying to get him expelled. Koenma points out that it’s in poor taste to attack a teacher after he was set free, but Yusuke is like ‘well, I can’t just let him go!’ So Koenma teaches him his trademark attack, the Spirit Gun, to attack him invisibly. At this point, the blast is no stronger than a really good punch, so that should be revenge enough. It is indeed a good shot of revenge since it flattens him out on the ground in an instant.
You may be wondering why this is a problem.
Well, teaching Yusuke the Spirit Gun right now isn’t a problem, and it’s only kinda problematic that he taught him the move in order to strike his teacher, since he deserved it and all – it’s that, after he already shot one off, Koenma tells him he can only use it once a day….He tells him that right before Yusuke sets off to find and confront the thieves.
Koenma let him waste his best and, pretty much, only decent weapon against demons and other monsters just because he was pissed off and too childish to let it go or at least wait until later to get his revenge. Hell, he could’ve told him about the Spirit Gun and the one-shot-a-day limit immediately and then told him to wait until after the case to shoot Iwamoto. The jackass isn’t going anywhere.
Overall, a bit more of a building block episode, but a good one. Yusuke’s first official case is a really big one, but there are three culprits to deal with one at a time to better split it up and let him grow more gradually at he faces each opponent. Gouki may be small potatoes and forgettable, but like I said he basically had to be as such in order to give Yusuke a training-wheels-esque enemy.
Next time, one of my favorite episodes!…And not just because it’s the proper debut of KURAMMMAAAAAAAA!!….I’ve always loved Kurama a lot…He’s my favorite character….And I may have had a big crush on him back in the day…..
Picking up where we last left off, Keiko was in the hands of the thug, Daisuke, who brought her back to some seedy bar to show her off to his friends. She doesn’t go quietly, however, especially when they start trying to do pervy things to her. They beat her up and knock her unconscious, leaving them open to sexually assaulting her. However, Yusuke, who comes in wearing a mask he won at a pachinko parlor, rescues her before they do anything.
Kuwabara, who got the news when Yusuke did, arrives on scene to save her, but Yusuke hands over the unconscious Keiko to Kuwabara so he can pretend he saved her – making it so she won’t ask questions or realize he’s alive for a day.
I don’t know why Yusuke is allowed to talk to Kuwabara but not Keiko or his mom. Also, Keiko is just faking being unconscious right now, she woke up a little earlier…so…what are the rules there? She’s allowed to acknowledge that he’s temporarily alive, touch him and hear him speak, but as long as he doesn’t speak to her and vice versa….it’s fine?
Keiko continues to fake being unconscious for several more hours, I guess to force Yusuke to not go traipsing around town and risking his body like that. When she leaves, Yusuke realizes she put a little kissy mark on his face.
This was…a fairly okay little arc. It was cool to see Yusuke back in action, and his ridiculous masks were hilarious. Plus, this was a cute little moment between Keiko and Yusuke, but this is just one of so many instances of Keiko being a damsel in distress. And the continued aspect of threatening sexual assault is uncomfortable.
Not to mention that I just find the whole aspect of him being able to see and converse with literally anyone else BUT Keiko and his mom is a grade A plot device that doesn’t even function logically. Yusuke put on a mask so Keiko wouldn’t recognize him, but it turns out she can acknowledge everything about his existence except communicate with him. And if he wrote that note to Keiko at the end, the one where he acts as if he’s Kuwabara, doesn’t that count as communicating with her?
I can definitely see why they didn’t put this in the anime.
Chapter 10: Forbidden Games
Another manga exclusive story, this chapter returns us to Shouta, the boy from a few chapters back who was dealing with confidence issues and the loss of his beloved dog, Jiro. Now, Shouta is doing pretty good in life, but he’s haunted by the spirit of a girl named Sayaka. She’s dragging him out of his body every night to play with her because she’s so lonely, as she was also very lonely in life. Shouta doesn’t remember these encounters after he wakes up, but when he’s in spirit form he resists going with Yusuke and abandoning Sayaka because he doesn’t want her to be lonely.
This is the first spirit Yusuke actually fights in the manga – and he loses pretty badly. Sayaka’s loneliness has created a deep darkness in her heart, and it’s granted her incredible power that Yusuke just can’t stand up against. If Sayaka continues to take Shouta’s soul out of his body night after night, she’ll eventually weaken his soul enough to drag him to the afterlife with her, but since her soul is so corrupted by loneliness, she’ll only be entering a world of darkness and despair with him.
After a few days of being Yusuke being unconscious (how that works as a ghost, I don’t know) we discover that Shouta is becoming pretty weak, though still not realizing what’s happening at night. Yusuke goes to confront Sayaka once more, but she refuses. She wants to finally bring Shouta to what she believes is heaven, but when she goes to force Yusuke away again, she finds her powers to be entirely diminished.
It seems that hanging out with Shouta so much has quelled the loneliness in her heart, and her powers have greatly weakened because of it. She still doesn’t want to leave Shouta and vice versa, however, so Yusuke happily offers to be a big brother to her and play with her until she’s finally ready to pass on for real.
She agrees, and Shouta returns to his regular life, healthy as a child should be, but it seems Sayaka is sticking around for longer than they thought.
I really liked this story and, truth be told, it’s better than the anime version of Sayaka.
Yes, Sayaka exists in the anime, but she’s basically changed so much that she’s not even the same character outside of the design. In the anime, she’s a one-episode character, taking the role of a spirit investigator sent to determine if Yusuke is really worth saving. She evaluates Yusuke’s friends and family as well as Yusuke and his relationship to them. Most notably, she investigates the relationship that Keiko and Yusuke have. She’s uncertain about her findings until Yusuke willfully sacrifices his spirit egg, his one chance at returning to life, in order to save Keiko’s life.
Sayaka’s report on the matter impresses Koenma, who agrees to bring him back anyway since he showed such selflessness.
Sayaka just always seemed like an unnecessary character. Isn’t Botan doing enough investigating and reporting on Yusuke’s attitude and relationships that Sayaka’s role is redundant? I never disliked her in the anime or anything, but she wasn’t really made interesting and, like I said, her presence seemed pointless.
In the manga, her story is much more interesting, and even somewhat heartbreaking. I absolutely loved that Yusuke offered to be her big brother and play with her without any hesitation. He knows she’s not a bad kid, she’s just lonely and sad. It was also nice to see Shouta again. It’s good that he’s still doing well and is turning into such a sweet kid, even if it is slightly implied that he’s becoming a bit of a ladies man….as much as an eight year old can be, anyway. I dunno why they needed that implication. Can’t he just be a nice kid to both genders without implying that he’s being nice to girls to impress them?
I was a bit sad that Shouta didn’t even mention Jiro, but Yusuke brought up his promise to Jiro, and that was really sweet. We’ll have to wait and see what Sayaka’s continued presence will bring to the series.
Chapter 11-12 A Broken Friendship/Demonic Hand
This is a two-parter story involving two best friends, Emi and Natsuko. They’re both top of their respective classes, and they’re competing for the lone spot offered by their school to go to N High School – a very prestigious school that everyone’s pressuring them to attend.
Recently, Emi has been having very ominous feelings, as if something is watching her or causing her to suffer misfortune. Yusuke spots the seeming culprit, the spirit of a boy who used to attend the school five years ago. He committed suicide, and I quote “due to some setback” but very much regrets his decision.
He’s not really the problem, though. He was attracted to Emi due to a dark power resonated from her because of an amulet. Natsuko had placed a curse on Emi to cause her to slip up in her studies and stop being competition for her for the spot in N High School. Natsuko was pressured even more by everyone else, especially her family, to get the N High School spot. This pressure was compounded by the fact that Natsuko was consistently second place to Emi throughout their entire friendship. She resented her for it, but those feelings would usually quickly dissipate after saving Emi from bullies or spending time with her.
Evil and corrupted spirits were attracted to the amulet, making it more powerful. However, the boy’s evil energy started fading when he kept seeing what a kind person Emi was. He didn’t fall in love with her or anything, but she showed him a light that drove back the darkness.
Meanwhile, Natsuko started regretting her decision after hearing Emi talk about not wanting to bother Natsuko with her worries, especially since Natsuko believes in the paranormal and may freak out.
Natsuko rips up the ‘amulet’ which I think is moreso a talisman, but okay. However, she’s shocked to find the mark of the amulet now tattooed on her wrist. At the same time, Emi is being pulled across the railroad tracks by a dark entity right as a train approaches.
The boy vanishes before the second half of the story. Yusuke asks if he’s moving on now, and Botan says suicide is too grave a sin to move on yet. He has a lot of repentance to do before he can do pass on properly.
Sayaka, who alerted them to Emi’s problems in the first place, notifies them of Emi’s current situation. However, they can’t do anything about it since spirits can’t really interfere much with human matters, and this evil entity is too powerful for any of them to take on. That’s not enough for Yusuke, however, as he rushes in and tries to bite the entity into submission, but he’s literally chucked all the way into space as a result.
The boy’s spirit returns and manages to bring Natsuko to the tracks to save Emi. That’s all he’s able to do before he disappears once more.
Natsuko pleads with the entity to let her go, and after a touching speech, the entity finally vanishes, as does the mark, and Natsuko saves Emi.
Later, at school, Natsuko and Emi tell their respective teachers, who have been pressuring them a lot since the class of the student who goes to N High School will get a lot of respect and adoration (and Natsuko and Emi are from two different classes), that they want the school to take them out of consideration for the N High School spot. They’ve both decided to not listen to anyone who is pressuring them anymore. They want to make their own decisions from now on. They’ve decided to go to S High School together, much to their teachers’ dismay.
This story was pretty good, even if I’m not sure it warranted being a two-parter. Emi and Natsuko have a very realistic friendship. Even the best of friends can have hidden resentments and anger amongst them while still being very strong friends, and such massive pressure on the both them could easily make them do crazy things, especially if they believe it won’t actually work. Despite believing in the paranormal, Natsuko didn’t believe her silly spell would work until she realized something was actually troubling Emi, and when she realized it was real she almost sacrificed her life to make things right.
My two main problems with this story are the boy spirit and the roles of Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka. The boy spirit, who is never named, mind you, seems like he could have an interesting story. He’s a kid who committed suicide at the very school the girls are currently attending, but we get an almost insultingly pitiful amount of information on him. Not only do we never learn his name, but we never learn of his story or why he committed suicide in the first place. “Due to some setback” is so vague it’s almost irritating. It was only five years ago. Why is he so unspecific about it?
And even though I get that suicide is taboo in a lot of religions, it does bother me that even in YYH suicide is apparently so grave a sin that you can’t go to heaven once you do it. They never imply he’s in hell or anything, just that he has to do god knows how many good deeds as a spirit before he can move on, but still. The kid was suffering so much that he killed himself and now, as a ghost, realizes he lost everything and regrets it. Isn’t that bad enough?
He does come back and help Natsuko save Emi, but then he vanishes and is never even brought up again. It’s a sad ending to an already sad story and it’s pretty much glossed over.
In regards to Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka, this is another story where they might as well have not even been there in the first place. You could completely remove them from this story and everything would have been exactly the same. The trio basically just acted as audience surrogates – creating an avenue for the characters to give exposition without it being narration or something, and that wasn’t necessary because…yeah, just have it be narration.
It’s not like Yusuke did any Spirit Detective-ing either. He literally just talked to the ghost stalking Emi and asked what’s up. The boy ghost was even the one who found out it was Natsuko who cursed Emi.
Yusuke attacked the entity, and that was a little funny, but it did absolutely nothing and the girls weren’t even able to notice he did it.
So, in conclusion, decent story but it didn’t have to be a YYH story nor a two-parter.
Chapters 13-14: Prerequisites of a Loved One/Inside the Flames
As I mentioned before, Sayaka is not a spirit investigator in the manga as she is in the anime – she’s just the spirit of a little girl. She has grown extremely attached to Yusuke, and she and Botan basically follow Keiko around so Sayaka can see if Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship is true love.
Everything else in the story is exactly the same barring the very ending. In the anime, Yusuke was told that the only way to save Keiko’s life was to use the power that has been stored up in his spirit egg to create a pathway in the fire. This would mean sacrificing his one chance at coming back to life, but Yusuke does it anyway since Keiko’s life means more to him than his.
After the ordeal, Koenma appears. He’s so impressed by Yusuke’s selflessness that he agrees to bring him back to life anyway.
In the manga, Koenma appears during the fire and explains to Yusuke that he’ll have to agree to a deal for Koenma to use his power to save Keiko. Yusuke doesn’t let him explain what it is as he’s far too impatient to wait for Keiko to be safe. Koenma uses his power and opens a pathway in the flames. Later, Botan explains that, in order for Koenma to make a miracle, like saving Keiko, he needed to use human virtue. Since Yusuke was the other half of the deal, he used the virtue that Yusuke had been saving up in his body to use his power.
However, unlike in the anime where this meant he sacrificed his chance to come back to life, in the manga, this simply means that it will take longer for Yusuke to build up more virtue and return to life. And he really doesn’t care, so this doesn’t seem like nearly the same kind of massive sacrifice as Yusuke made in the anime, which is disappointing.
Granted, the anime also doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s revealed later that, despite the egg being destroyed in the fire, his spirit egg hatched further down the line and became Puu. Still, you lose a lot of the emotional impact when you replace ‘You can never be resurrected’ with ‘it’ll take a bit longer to be resurrected.’
The manga also goes a bit further in the story. Kuwabara shows up and takes Keiko and Yusuke’s body to his house to help cover up Yusuke’s secret. His sister, Shizuru, loans Keiko some clothes to replace her burned ones, and she cuts Keiko’s hair since it was singed. We also learn Shizuru wants to be a beautician, which is something I don’t believe was ever conveyed in the anime.
Shizuru, having even stronger spiritual powers than Kuwabara, can actually see Yusuke’s spirit around Keiko. She comments that he seems to be a good guy and asks if she likes him. She says yes and Yusuke looks a little embarrassed.
Meanwhile, Sayaka also bids her farewell. She accepts that Yusuke and Keiko are a great pair. She doesn’t like the idea of relying on anyone else’s boyfriend, so she decides to pass on and find her own boyfriend in the afterlife. She even suggests Koenma is kinda cute and might seek him out next. She tells Yusuke to have two kids with Keiko, a boy and a girl, before finally departing.
There’s also a small part where Koenma shows back up after Sayaka leaves. He tells Yusuke that, since he had to save Keiko’s life and interfere in real world matters, he took a body part from her. Yusuke freaks out and rushes to Keiko and Koenma giggles and points out that he took her hair (since she just got a haircut.)
You’ll notice that another scene is missing from the manga, and that’s the scene after the fire is put out. Keiko stands by with Yusuke’s body in a wheelchair, believing he saved her from the fire. Atsuko, in a kind of annoying ‘I’m not really taking this seriously’ tone goes on about how sorry she is that she wasn’t there, but she’s thankful Yusuke is alive and will do better for him from now on.
I do kinda wish the manga had some scene with Atsuko, because this is literally all her fault. Like I said in my review of the anime episode, I almost feel like it was originally planned to have Atsuko accidentally set the fire due to her negligence but they decided against it to not make Atsuko too unlikable. Instead, she left the windows unlocked and covered her son in dust and garbage, giving the arsonist easy access and allowing the fire to spread easily.
This was definitely a sweet story in both versions, but I can’t help but prefer the anime’s retelling a little more. Yusuke knowingly and willingly sacrificing his one shot at being brought back to life is just better than him needing to be a ghost for a while longer. He didn’t know what he was agreeing to in the first place, and he didn’t care at all when he found out the cost.
Yusuke, in the anime, after everything was said and done, had a bit of a blowup. He yelled out to his mom, Keiko and Kuwabara to stop talking to what was now an actual dead body. He yelled at his mom to stop apologizing because he’ll never be around to say it’s okay, and he accepted that he was dead for good. He even started crying a little before telling Botan to just take him heaven or hell or wherever he was supposed to go now.
This blowup doesn’t mean he regrets saving Keiko, of course he doesn’t, but it’s very genuine to also show that the cost deeply affected him. A sacrifice isn’t really much of a sacrifice if the loss doesn’t hurt you.
Chapters 15-16: Target! A Victory/Victory Depends on Guts
As he’s floating around town, Yusuke spots an old classmate of his, Suekichi, being bullied by a group of thugs. Back when they were kids, Suekichi was always being bullied and Yusuke would save him from the bullies….for a fee, of course. He was so spineless and weak that the other kids had nicknamed him Suekichi the Idiot.
Yusuke couldn’t stand watching Suekichi be ruthlessly beaten into the ground anymore, so once he was knocked unconscious Yusuke jumped into his body, ignoring the warnings of Botan. Yusukichi easily flattened all of the thugs in one fell swoop, but Yusuke became locked in Suekichi’s body.
Meanwhile, Koenma appears before Botan and explains that a decision was made on Yusuke’s revival. They will allow Yusuke to be brought back to life even without him regaining the virtue he lost earlier. They explored Yusuke’s heart and found that he wasn’t evil, but he wasn’t entirely noble either. He very much acts without thinking, but many of his acts lead him to noble deeds….and some not so noble.
They’ve concluded that he’s a ‘bubblehead’ who can’t be accurately judged in his spirit form, so they’re taking the opportunity to see what he’ll do in a regular body..
Once Suekichi’s consciousness was reawakened, he freaked out at the invasion of Yusuke’s spirit, but Yusuke explained that he wished to help him. Suekichi is an aspiring boxer and he’s loved the sport of boxing since he was a kid. However, he’s never won a single match, which is really all he wants to do. Being bullied his whole life, he has a nasty habit of closing his eyes when the opponent is about to strike, so he always loses.
He does have a wealth of knowledge on boxing and great technique, but when it comes to applying it, he’s a total mess. However, he was chosen to partake in a competition as a representative of their school’s boxing society. He was one of only two candidates with the other being a thug named Itou who lost the position due to skipping too many practices. Itou’s cohorts were the ones beating on him in the start of the story, trying to get him to relinquish his spot. Itou himself starts wailing on him to get him to give up, but once again Yusuke takes over and beats the snot out of him.
Yusuke keeps trying to get Suekichi to believe in himself and have fighting spirit, but no matter the situation, he always folds.
One day, they bump into Tachikawa, who is meant to be his opponent in the match. He’s a dirty fighter who is known for purposely breaking bones and blinding his opponents in order to win. Yusuke took over his body and stood up to him for Suekichi, but when the time came for the match and he tried to get Suekichi to rise to the occasion, Suekichi simply couldn’t do it.
Yusuke finally got fed up and punched Suekichi (and by extension himself) in the face. With one final…let’s call it a pep talk Yusuke-style, Suekichi bites the bullet and heads out, which allows Yusuke to leave his body.
During the match, he does quite well. He doesn’t close his eyes and he has a newfound confidence. Even after he takes a hit, he’s able to power through because Yusuke’s punch was a lot worse. Tachikawa then aims to elbow him in the eyes to blind him, but Suekichi blocks with his head gear and socks Tachikawa in the face, laying him out and winning him the match. He cheers to Yusuke, even though he’s gone from his body, and Yusuke looks on with a smile.
I gotta say, if this was the main crux they were using for Yusuke earning his right to be revived….what a shitty story to do that with. It’s not a terrible story, it’s just largely uninteresting and not worth being so important. And haven’t we already had a story when Yusuke helps some bullied kid be brave? Nothing is riding on this competition besides some vow he made to himself several years ago, the outcome is entirely predictable, Suekichi is not an engaging character at all, and Yusuke was able to help him by beating up a dozen people and punching Suekichi in the face? Are you kidding me? THAT’S the act that instantly shows the higher ups in Spirit World that Yusuke’s worth bringing back to life?
Why couldn’t they have just made it so him sacrificing his ‘life’ for Keiko was the big act that convinced them? Why did he need to do something in a human body to show this? Didn’t he also do good deeds the few times he possessed people? Hell, just look to the brief period he was brought back to life and how he saved Keiko from that gang, even risking losing his chance at coming back to life if she spoke to him. It’s so backwards. This should have been one of the first ‘Yusuke proves he’s an alright guy’ stories not the final one.
Chapter 17: The Golden Awakening
Ah, we’ve finally reached Yusuke’s awakening, and it’s pretty much exactly as it was in the anime. The only real change I saw was that, at least in the English dub, Yusuke claims Atsuko had good insurance and that’s how they got such a good apartment after the fire. In the manga, a text box explains that Atsuko got money from pimps to pay for it…..I don’t know if they’re insinuating that Atsuko’s a prostitute or she just knows pimps who would give her money, but….there’s that.
Speaking of Atsuko, another thing that stayed the same was Atsuko going out and getting plastered, leaving Yusuke’s body all alone AGAIN. I know I’ve already complained about that when talking about the anime, but REALLY. She nearly loses her son AGAIN to a house fire because she was out getting shitfaced, and she decides it’s a good idea to yet again leave her son alone while she goes to get shitfaced. Bloody hell….
As a few final notes, the anime did add a scene where Yusuke tries to corral Kuwabara while he’s at the arcade, but his efforts fail, and the anime’s shot of Keiko kissing Yusuke was just plain better in the manga. The actual kiss is covered, but the angle is a lot better than the weird sideways kiss she gives him in the anime.
….Oh and also, the previous two chapters were even more pointless if he was just going to be revived immediately after.
And that was volume two! Quite the long road to Yusuke getting revived, but we’re finally getting him into Spirit Detective mode.
As for this volume’s journey to getting him there….Eh. The filler was okay, but I didn’t feel particularly impacted to the point where I was like ‘Whoa, I’m sad they never adapted this to the anime.’ The arc with Suekichi only gets increasingly frustrating the more I think about it. It’s boring padding that definitely didn’t deserve to be the defining moment for proving Yusuke’s worth as a person.
The manga just seems to have a problem with making stories that otherwise don’t really need Yusuke and Botan around. It doesn’t feel like Yu Yu Hakusho – it feels like an anthology. A Yu Yu Hakusho anthology-esque section could very well work if they focused more on giving Yusuke and Botan more stuff to do instead of reacting to what’s going on around them.
The arc with Yusuke’s temporary resurrection was okay, and the ending with Keiko was a little sweet, but I still find the conditions of this temporary arrangement to be bunk. It really just felt like a forced plot device to ensure Keiko and Yusuke don’t have some sort of reunion before he actually revives.
When it came to storylines that were adapted into the anime for this volume, everything seems in order, barring that one moment at the end of Prerequisites for a Loved One where the anime just did it objectively better all around. The manga did Sayaka’s role a lot better, but in comparison to the ending changes, it’s not much consolation.
Hm…..I feel like it’s a bit of a close call, but, ultimately, I’d give this round to the anime. If the anime had omitted more memorable stories and moments, I’d definitely give it to the manga, but they just made too many missteps here.
Volume 3 coming soon….
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Plot: Uhhh, there’s some tournament called the Toshin tournament, but that doesn’t matter because we never see the tournament over the course of the show. This anime is also based off of a video game of the same name that I’ve never played, but I hope to God at least the fans of the game find some meaning behind this show.
A man named Eiji was apparently the last tournament’s winner, and his brother, Sho, has turned bad, apparently, and has betrayed his family, so Eiji’s on a mission to find him…..apparently.
But there’s also some lady named Uranus who dresses like Lady Gaga’s lobotomized twin. She’s evil and runs some evil organization called….The Organization. Eiji along with a bunch of other characters who are never adequately explored fight The Organization.
Breakdown: THEM Anime Reviews has, at least at one point, labeled this the worst anime they’ve ever seen. Ouch. Now, I’ve disagreed with THEM before, and, at this point, I’ve seen my fair share of crap. Do I share the same sentiment?
……Uhh, I wouldn’t say ‘worst’ but it’s pretty damn low on the list. It’s bottom 10 at least. This anime is confusing as hell to me. I really, truly hate when shows, anime or otherwise, expect that you should know the full backstory behind something, especially when the backstory is explained in an entirely different medium. I’ve never played Battle Arena Toshinden, yet this anime not only acts like you should know full well the backstory to this whole mess of an OVA, but it also assumes you know every character and what their story is too.
When they actually do bless you with some information, it’s thrown at you like a rock of exposition. Characters are constantly showing up, especially at the ending where the big clusterfuck of cameos happens. I had no idea who 98% of those people were when they showed up and the ones I did recognize I still knew nothing about. Oh yeah, the old man with Wolverine claws, dominatrix love-interest chick. ♪ And the rest….are here on Gilligan’s Isssllllleeee! ♪
Not like they even did anything either. They were simply meant to fight the lacky no-name no-face enemy characters to give the main guys a chance to go after the characters who actually somewhat matter. Eiji, one of the main characters, actually said “We don’t have time to deal with those pawns!” Yeah, great, thanks for telling me there’s no reason to give a crap about what they’re doing.
I didn’t even really get to know the main character that well. He’s a master martial artist and a nice guy…..that’s…about…it.
Another character who literally shows up just to create a plot point is Ellis. She’s a cutesy knife thrower in the circus who was also a participant in the tournament that I’m told happened. She appears in the final minutes of episode one and is in a coma dying from poison five minutes into episode two.
I don’t care about this person. If anything, she annoys me. I don’t care about her dad (It was also an exposition rock that a fighter named Gaia was her dad) And oh she’s voiced by Lisa Ortiz….
Let’s address Uranus, hm? Well, first of all we don’t see her do anything. She’s one of those behind-the-scenes villains who talks big then runs off when she’s confronted face to face. Oh and…she grew wings out of nowhere.
By the way, can someone please explain to me what the hell this is?
It looks she fell in the shower, got wrapped up in the shower curtain, curtain rod and all, walked to the mirror and said, “….Hm…that’s fine. Time to go to work.”
And look at the front!
Her dress has no top! What was that listed as in the item description? “Side-Boob-Displaying Uncomfortable Dress from Hell”? That has got to be one of the dumbest clothing designs I’ve ever seen in anything.
Oh well, she has to look better when she’s prepared for battle, right?
Wow….more practical but still ugly as all hell. I doubt she’d be able to move in that thing, though, considering the way the shoulder guards are designed. Also, all that armor, looking clunky as a robot made of washing machines, and the two areas they don’t cover are the head and the boobs. Oh well, at least she has boob socks – the strongest of all female armor.
I am thoroughly unimpressed with everything. Thank you.
Our only two actual villains in this movie who do things are Sho and a man-machine (because ‘android’ or ‘cyborg’ are just too complicated) named Chaos. Sho’s obviously the big brother who joined the bad ranks for whatever reason but still wants to fight his brother in an honorable match. Chaos is just a crazy guy wielding a sickle. He has a grudge against Gaia for beating him a while back and that’s about it.
From what story I could piece together, there is nothing here. It’s filled with so many cliches and suffers from such a lack of originality that it’s just sad. Being cliché doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker. You just have to be creative with the cliches…and they’re not. I could not care about anything in this OVA. Not the story. Not the characters. Nothing.
This isn’t even really good for action. The action scenes, while not being particularly boring, weren’t particularly interesting either. Their moves are so uninspired that I honestly would never be able to tell them apart if they were done one after another.
They all have regular weapons from your traditional sword, to a buster-sword-thing, to whips (of course the dominatrix character gets a whip….a PINK whip.) to big billy clubs (wielded by a female character who seems to be roller-derby-ish…..and they’re, of course, pink….They also look like giant Nerf toys.) to the aforementioned Wolverine claws. They also have the never-explained ability to use energy-powers, but none of these moves are memorable either.
Oh and did I mention that the ending basically resolves nothing? They manage to get the antidote for Ellis by defeating Chaos. The reason they couldn’t defeat him before was because he was turned into a man-machine. Every time he fought one of the main guys, he’d get data on their fighting styles and predict their moves. How was he beaten? Eiji shrugged him off and said to just fight using each other’s moves so Chaos couldn’t predict it.
Eiji: “You’re a fool for thinking we’d just do the same moves over and over.” You know what? That is a great point and a gigantic flaw in this multi-billion dollar experiment to make man-machine fighters. Way to go, Uranus, you dumb stupidly dressed sack of idiot.
Uranus gets away, the real Sho shows up (don’t ask) yet disappears as soon as he arrived to just say “Yeah I blew up all the stuff you had. Just wanted to end this BS. Bye!” Uranus escapes due to her unexplained sudden growth of wings (even though I don’t see how she really did escape unless there was a series of holes leading straight up out of the building), the good guys survive the explosion complete with walking out of the flames without even attempting to walk at a brisk pace because bad-ass.
At the very end, some guy, I guess, according to the Youtube comments, his name is Vermillion, comes out, Eiji smiles, unsheathes his sword, slashes once and reveals the title screen before the end credits start.
Look, if you want to release an OVA that is purely meant as an advertisement for a game or a manga or whatever – be my guest. There are plenty of times when that can work, but you have to do it well. You can’t expect that your audience knows all of this crap that may or may not be explained in the video games, and it’s really bad practice to do that because chances are the video game will become dated and phased out due to people ditching their old consoles for new ones, but the OVA will stick around for future viewings and people will be insanely confused.
I guess the Youtube commenters must’ve been fans of the game because I kept seeing “this is a good anime” and the like. However, seeing as how many people were also bringing up how this OVA is such a blast from the past, I’m going to either believe they have nostalgia goggles glued on or this OVA really is a lot better when you know of the game. However, I believe even if I knew of all of that stuff that this would still be awful.
Art and Animation: The art is terrible. It’s exaggerated fighting anime style, but it’s still really bad. I don’t know if I’d say it’s some of the worst I’ve seen, but it’s still awful. I will commend them for actually animating the action instead of resorting to still screens, but the animation as a whole is pretty damn bad.
Voice acting:English Dub – Ranges from ‘okay’ to ‘Wow, they really hired this guy?’ Most of the characters lean on the side of ‘okay,’ but characters like the Duke were just laughably bad.
Music: The music wasn’t that bad, but like everything else it wasn’t memorable.
Bottom Line: Unless you’ve played the old Battle Arena Toshinden games and can find some value in this OVA, there’s no point whatsoever in watching this. It’s confusing, poorly paced, extremely poorly written in terms of both story and dialogue, gives you no reason to care about anything and there’s not even good mindless fight scenes to enjoy. And I do have to reiterate – there’s no ‘battle arena’ in Battle Arena Toshinden. There WAS one. You just missed it.
Additional Information and Notes: Battle Arena Toshinden is based on a series of video games for the Playstation (1-3 and Vita) Game Boy and Sega Saturn. There hasn’t been an incarnation of the series since 2009, and even then it was released under an entirely different name with no connection to the previous storyline.
The OVA was produced by Animate Film and JC Staff. It was directed by Masami Obari, who also directed pretty much every Fatal Fury anime, Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer and uh…*cough*….some hentai titles.
It was co-written by Masaharu Amiya (episode one) who also did minor work on Ai Yori Aoshi, Beyblade, Karin, Inuyasha and….Yosuga no Sora.
Episode two was written by Haruo Takayama, and either the dude is too ashamed of this work to display it anywhere he’s listed or the Wiki doesn’t have accurate information. The only Haruo Takayama I can find did the screenplay for both of the Turn A Gundam movies and wrote the script for Jungle do Ikou’s OAV. Nothing anywhere about Battle Arena Toshinden.
The OVA was originally licensed under the now defunct Central Park Media, then known as US Manga Corps. Their licenses were distributed to many other media companies, but it’s unclear who owns the license to Battle Arena Toshinden now, if anyone owns it at all.
Recommended Audience: Plenty of violence, but nothing gets incredibly gory. One nude shot, of course of a woman, of course the dominatrix lady, some sexual-ish content, no swearing. 12+
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Plot: Koenma finally starts the process of reuniting Yusuke’s soul with this body, but the procedure for resurrecting him is complicated. First, Yusuke only has one day’s worth of a window to do what needs to be done for the ritual. Otherwise, he’ll have to wait 52 years to try again. Secondly, he’ll have to have someone who cares about him to transfer some of their life energy to him within that 24 window – and that life energy must be transferred through a kiss. In order to do this, he enters the dreams of the three people who care for him most, or two of them anyway, Kuwabara and Keiko, to convey images of them kissing him as he glows gold (a side effect of the gateway being opened within his body.)
Kuwabara is far too freaked out to even think about the dream any further, so it’s up to Keiko.
As terrible luck would have it, her mother is hospitalized with exhaustion that very same day. Keiko won’t leave her mother’s bedside until she recovers, so Yusuke goes off to find his only other two chances. However, despite Kuwabara’s high spirit sensory abilities allowing him to feel Yusuke’s presence, he is still too freaked out by the ‘tickle’ feeling of his powers to get the message.
Yusuke’s final option is Atsuko, and she’s too drunk at the bar to even think straight.
It seems like Yusuke’s destined to be a vegetable for the next 52 years until Botan gets an idea. She transmits a message to Keiko through her sleeping mother to go to Yusuke immediately. She’s got a handful of minutes to rush across town and kiss Yusuke before the strike of midnight.
She cuts it as close as humanly possible, but she succeeds.
Yusuke’s back in the world of the living once more!
When Yusuke returns, he wants nothing more than to lay low and relax, but curiosity gets the better of him when he hears that a bunch of thugs from Rugafuji Junior High, lead by Sakamoto, have muscled in on Kuwabara’s turf. Yusuke notices something very strange about Sakamoto that appears to go unnoticed by everyone else – he has horns growing out of his head! Despite this, Yusuke decides against getting involved, so as not to disturb his vacation.
He learns that they have Kuwabara running around like an errand boy, trying to do things that go against his honor code. Yusuke is shocked to see Kuwabara bowing down to Sakamoto and his goons, but apparently they have someone precious to him as a hostage – Eikichi. While Yusuke initially believes this is a girl, it’s soon made apparent that it’s a little kitten.
Sakamoto is displeased with Kuwabara’s inability to break his codes, so he gives Kuwabara one last chance to get back his precious Eikichi – he must beat up his friends until he tells him to stop. This is one step too far for Kuwabara, despite his friends agreeing to the terms full-heartedly. Sakamoto orders the cat be killed, but suddenly Yusuke rushes in and saves Eikichi.
Everyone is shocked to see the legendary Yusuke Urameshi back on the streets again, especially Kuwabara, but there’s no time for pleasantries. There are asses to be kicked. The Rugafuji thugs get taken down rather easily by Kuwabara, his crew and Yusuke, but Sakamoto makes a break for it.
Yusuke corners him in a tunnel and knocks him out. He thinks this is the end of it, but a little demon suddenly crawls out of the boy’s mouth. He’s shocked that Yusuke can see and catch him, as he’s normally not visible to humans. A strange fortune teller that Yusuke ran into earlier tells him that this little demon is a criminal that the spirit world has been trying to apprehend for weeks, but he’s so cagey that he always eludes capture.
Breakdown: Ya know, I always forget that this episode isn’t two separate episodes. The two halves are just so drastically different in their storylines that I kinda don’t understand why Yusuke’s resurrection wasn’t attributed to one episode and his first outing as a spirit detective wasn’t relegated to another. It’s just very odd in its structure.
Since I always see it as such, I feel it fitting to review this episode in two halves.
Side A (Yusuke’s Resurrection)
Ah the infamous episode where they pretty much seamlessly meld a Cinderella story with a Sleeping Beauty one. Even though I always find this story to be tense and exciting, barring the title of the episode completely spoiling the outcome (though, being fair, there wouldn’t be a series if we had to wait 52 years for Yusuke to come back) there’s no denying that it’s a clusterfuck of plot contrivances.
Of course Yusuke only has the next 24 hours to get the ritual done in order to come back, and of course he’ll have to wait an unreasonable amount of time to try again if he fails. Of course it’s a literal kiss of life scenario. Of course Keiko doesn’t try the first time she sees him, despite the dream, because the golden glow effect starts at his covered feet and works its way up. Of course his only legitimate chance to come back is sidetracked by a random medical emergency. Of course it’s a rush down to the second to kiss him, and of course she does it in nick of time while the bells of midnight are chiming, no less.
I can forgive all of those because I do love this storyline. It’s great for Keiko and Yusuke in regards to their relationship, and there were a couple funny Kuwabara moments.
However, that’s not to say the entire episode was good. There was one aspect that really pissed me off, and, let’s work one more ‘of course’ in here – of course it’s Atsuko.
You read right in the plot synopsis – despite nearly losing her son in the previous episode due to a house fire because she was too busy getting drunk off of her ass at parties, today’s episode showcases her, yet again, leaving the house in a drunken stupor to get more drunk down at the bar, leaving her comatose near-death son home alone.
At the very least she supposedly had really good insurance so their new home is bigger and nicer, and Yusuke’s not covered in trash and dust this time, but still. What the hell is this woman’s problem? How many times does her son need to nearly die in order for her to stay sober? Excuse me, her son actually did die once, so apparently not even death can stop her from being one of the most irresponsible parents I’ve ever seen.
Side B (Yusuke’s Officially a Spirit Detective)
Going back and watching the start of this series kinda makes me sad because I remember that the ‘spirit detective’ gimmick never really sticks around. From start to finish, Yusuke is a spirit detective, but, for the most part, the series never goes back to the way it started out. Yusuke used to get all sorts of neat gadgets and items to help him through his cases, and the stories used to at least have some semblance of mystery to them. However, quickly enough, this all goes away and becomes the usual shounen tournament fighter fare. Big baddie, fight littler baddies to get to him, get stronger, come out on top, prep for next baddie. Wash, rinse, repeat.
His ‘cases’ are usually just designating a target and explaining why he needs to be defeated.
Don’t get me wrong, I still adore Yu Yu Hakusho – it’s my favorite shounen fighting anime – but I still kinda wish we had held onto the spirit detective aspect more firmly. They pepper it here and there, it never fully goes away, but there was a lot of wasted potential in my opinion.
In other news, Kuwabara is a precious cupcake, protect him.
I mean, come on, the guy gave up his turf, bowed to an asshole’s demands and demeaned himself for a kitten. How can you not love him to bits?
As for Yusuke’s return, it was really well-written and bad-ass. He not only came to Kuwabara’s aid in the nick of time, but he also saved his kitten and defeated a demon. He was a tiny demon but a demon nonetheless. Plus, the fact that this guy was being possessed by a demon was pretty well done. He wasn’t being too over-the-top, he was just being a massive asshole. You probably never would have suspected he was a demon unless Yusuke noticed his horns.
And so starts Yusuke’s long journey as a spirit detective.
Next time, we get introduced to everyone favorite demons – Kurama and Hiei!…and some other third dude!
Plot: Yusuke has been given a spirit beast egg as part of his trial to come back to life. If he’s good, the egg will hatch into a guide who will reunite Yusuke back to the world of the living. If he’s bad, the egg will hatch into a horrific monster that will consume his soul.
A spirit world investigator named Sayaka arrives to keep an eye on his case. She is particularly focused on Keiko since a big part of bringing people back to life is ensuring the person in question has people who actually want him back.
Keiko cares for Yusuke’s body, waiting for him to return, but when his body is suddenly put in, ironically, mortal danger, she has to find some way to save him or else he can never come back.
Breakdown: This is another really great episode, particularly for building Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship even more. I feel like it’s a bit on the cruel side to say that there’s no point in bringing Yusuke back if he doesn’t have people who want him back. What about people who are really great but have no friends or family because of circumstances beyond their control?
The fact that Yusuke sacrifices his chance to come back to life, seemingly anyway, to save Keiko’s life is really touching. His outburst after his mom apologizes to his body is quite heartbreaking. Plus, despite the fact that Keiko’s very much a passive character throughout about 99% of the show, this is one moment where she gets to shine. Running into a burning building to get Yusuke’s body shows insane levels of courage.
There were, however, a couple of things I disliked about this episode, and one of them is pretty much hatred.
Let’s cover the least infuriating first – the random arson on Yusuke’s house. We needed to put Yusuke’s body in massive peril so Keiko would have to save him. To achieve this, they put in a random arsonist/pyromaniac who, of course, has Yusuke’s house set as his next target. This guy comes out of nowhere, has no face, is never caught and is never brought up again.
Also, the Neighborhood Watch Committee’s message on this is strange. They warn people of staying safe in the heat, and then they tag on that there’s a suspected arsonist who has already set fires to two homes. It’s literally ‘Hey guys, it’s mighty hot, so remember to stay hydrated, keep your pets inside (OR well watered, dub?) and oh yeah, there’s an arsonist around that you can do nothing about who is putting your lives in mortal danger.’
There’s even weirder dialogue later where they say there’s been 12 fires just that day, despite the arsonist only being linked to two, so the fire department conveniently can’t get to Yusuke’s house in time.
The randomness and convenience of this guy isn’t even what fully gets me. It’s the deep suspicion that I truly believe this was a hasty rewrite. I haven’t read the manga yet, and I doubt this is in there, but I always felt like this was originally meant to be Atsuko’s fault.
Which leads me to the hatred part of this episode – Atsuko.
I know I briefly talked about how the funeral in episode one showed us that Atsuko really did love her son, no matter how shitty of a mother she was when he was alive, and this is compounded briefly in episode two when she’s so happy to see that Yusuke’s still alive, even though she was going to slap his corpse for DYING, but now….
In this episode, Atsuko is just not home. How long she hasn’t been home, I don’t know. She didn’t call Keiko to take care of Yusuke for her – she just left a cartoony note that, for all she knows, Keiko wouldn’t have found for days. It seems like Keiko hasn’t visited Yusuke in a while due to the fact that she’s shocked as to the state of the house.
How is he even being giving nutrition? There’s no IV, and he’s in a coma so he can’t eat or drink.
Not only is Atsuko not home, but she’s also clearly drinking and partying. The house is a pigsty, covered in loads of garbage, and even Yusuke is covered in trash and dust. Also, the house wouldn’t have caught fire nearly as easily if there wasn’t loads of trash everywhere.
What mother who just got blessed with her dead son coming back from the grave would treat their son like this? It’s repulsive.
Granted, yes, she felt bad about it, but she moreso felt bad about not being there when the fire happened, not that she was doing a shit job of taking care of her son in the first place.
My theory connecting back to the first negative note was that I believed this fire was originally intended to be caused by Atsuko’s negligence. I feel like Atsuko was meant to leave a lit cigarette around the massive piles of trash and it was meant to cause the fire instead of Rando McPyro.
Then it was changed at the last minute because they realized this would make Atsuko seem a little too irresponsible? To the point of being unlikable?
Again, this is all just a theory I came up with, but it makes perfect sense to me.
Next Episode, it’s Yusuke’s one chance to come back to life, and he needs a kiss to do it. If he misses his window, he’ll have to wait 50 years for a new one. Can Keiko give him to kiss of life in time?
Plot: Coach Mountain is bringing the hammer down hard on Ikki and the Screws. It seems like every time they accidentally get in his way, he makes them all run and exercise until they’re exhausted. Coach Mountain seemingly hates Medabots and is especially strict about having Medabots and robattles on school grounds. When Erika shows them video footage of Coach Mountain training a Medabot, they all become livid. Why is Coach Mountain training a Medabot and why is he acting so peculiar?
Megaphant: An ELF Medabot, Megaphant’s design is based on an elephant. It has an iron ball on a chain on its trunk, which it uses to flail its enemies, thick armor, and two strong shields for hands.
Digmole: A MOG Medabot, Digmole’s design is a combination of a bulldozer and a mole. Digmole’s only specialty is digging and doesn’t have much in the way of offensive capabilities.
Coach Mountain vs. Gangsters: Winner – Gangsters (Coach Mountain surrenders his right to buy the land)
Ikki vs. Gangsters: Winner – Ikki (Megaphant surrenders his arm shield to Metabee and the gangster surrenders the right to buy the land)
Breakdown: The Screws are out training when they’re caught by Coach Mountain. He’s incredibly strict when it comes to robattles or Medabots on school grounds. If he catches you, he chastises you for wasting time with Medabots and forces you to exercise until you’re pouring sweat.
Ikki: “I mean, bringing their Medabots to school? How stupid can you get?” Nearly every character has been doing that since episode one, including you.
Metabee drops by, nearly getting Ikki the same workout treatment the Screws are getting.
Ikki: “And I heard he stopped an erupting volcano by plugging it with his butt!” The dialogue in this show is so stupid sometimes.
After discussing the legendary harshness of Coach Mountain with Metabee, Ikki tells him to never come back to school again, to which Metabee begrudgingly agrees.
The next day at school, Ikki is doomed to Coach Mountain’s exercise regimen after he, along with the Screws, got less than a 30 on their latest tests.
After a rigorous exercise stint, the Screws spot Coach Mountain talking to some shady guys about cash that Coach Mountain seemingly owes them.
Throughout the week, Coach Mountain continuously rides Ikki and the Screws for a bunch of honest mistakes, running them ragged until they’re unable to walk anymore…..I’m really surprised no one’s cited Coach Mountain yet. Making kids run laps because they do something bad, fine, but he’s making them so exhausted they can barely stand or keep their eyes open – and this is all because of accidents and mistakes.
This time, Ikki and Metabee spot Coach Mountain doing something suspicious. He’s dressed in dark clothing with a big wad of cash muttering that the money he has currently isn’t enough.
Ikki and the Screws try to hide out at the store to get some rest. I actually like when the Screws and Ikki hang out with each other. It’s an interesting dynamic.
Erika shows up to give them the latest scoop – a video of Coach Mountain training a Medabot. Everyone’s shocked, but they believe this is the missing piece to the puzzle of Coach Mountain’s harsh behavior. The shady characters, the wad of cash, the Medabot – the only logical conclusion, apparently, is….Coach Mountain is using his Medabot to collect their sweat and sell it to mad scientists.
…..*sigh* Okay, not only is that really dumb, but if the Medabot was the one collecting the sweat, wouldn’t they have seen it by now?
In order to get back at Coach Mountain for all of the exercising (And to get a great news story, on Erika’s end) Ikki, the Screws and Erika join forces to expose Coach Mountain.
That night, they start following Coach Mountain around town, eventually leading them to a very seedy part of the city that Sam claims is haunted. I have no way to prove this, but given that Sam is blushing here and the part of town they’re in, I’ll assume she’s actually talking about something more….adult….than ghosts.
My concerns are basically validated in the next couple of scenes because they’re then lead into an alleyway where….I assume a prostitute tells them they have to be 21 to get into…wherever this is, then they run into some grabby drunk guys who try to invite them to karaoke. Those obstacles are pretty realistic, but then they come across a guy who won’t let them pass on the street unless they solve some ridiculous math riddle.
Through the commotion, Ikki and Erika are separated from the Screws, but they stumble upon a backalley robattle. Coach Mountain is battling some shady characters. I’d give their names, but even the show doesn’t bother. Even in the Medabot Index screen, Megaphant’s owner is just ‘Gangster.’…..Unless….that’s his name. In which case, your mom screwed your future over big time.
Even though they’re not, at least as far as I can see, Megaphant’s hands look so terrible that I could swear they’re digitally painted over.
He’s defeated pretty handily by Megaphant and tells the kids to run away. The gangsters state that Coach Mountain is a terrible Medafighter since his Medabot is garbage and he doesn’t even know how to use it properly. They also reveal that the reason he keeps robattling them is because he has a dream to turn this area into a park for the local children.
The little children from the area run to Coach Mountain’s aid, and I guess we’re meant to assume that they’ve been there the whole time but are only just now running to him because the park thing was revealed?
Little Girl: “We don’t need a park, we can play in the alley.” And *cough cough* little Timmy doesn’t need his medicine this month. *cough cough* He can hold on until you pay the mortgage on the shed we live in. *cough cough* What? If they’re going to be melodramatic, I can.
Little Boy 1: “We live around here, but there’s no park. So whenever we play outside, we get road rash.”….You…You get road rash? Is someone throwing you out of a moving vehicle during play time? What?
Little Boy 2: “And then this angel man fell from the heavens and said he’d build us a park.” PbbbbbbbbbbtttttttttttHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! This dialogue is killing me.
Anyway, the gangsters want the land, and this robattle is to determine once and for all who gets the right to buy it. This doesn’t really add up with the earlier dialogue between Coach Mountain and these guys about not having the money and them demanding money, but whatever. Also, apparently Coach Mountain has been saving up so fiercely for this park that he wasn’t able to buy good Medabot parts and has even been starving himself.
Okay, calm the drama down, guys. Pretty soon he’s going to say he’s been selling his blood and crawling on the streets for loose change. And if he’s so dedicated to this cause, why has he been wasting so much time dicking around with Ikki and the Screws, being a complete hypocrite about Medabot usage, when he could’ve been out earning more money with a second job, training with his Medabot or even asking for donations?
Erika: “Wow…that’s the sappiest story I’ve ever heard.” At least they’re self-aware, but the fact remains that this is the truth, so mocking it in-story is kinda mean. It’d be different if they were obviously hamming up a lie.
Digmole obviously loses.
Coach Mountain: “A pink hippo slide….little horsies on springs….A swing made out of an old tractor tire….My dream is slipping away!” I honestly can’t tell if you’re trying to be funny or are going way overboard with the sympathy angle that you don’t get how corny this dialogue sounds. Either way, this is just goofy.
Angered at the gangsters for stealing Coach Mountain’s dream, Ikki and Metabee step up to challenge them instead…..Although….I don’t really get what the gangsters get should they win, besides a piece of Metabee.
Why wasn’t Mr. Referee already here for Coach Mountain’s robattle?
Also, the gangster’s voice is just terrible. I mean, pretty much all of the voices in this show are terrible, but this guy is something else. He’s just chewing up the gangster angle so much I’m surprised he’s not going ‘Nyah, see?!’
Metabee tries shooting up Megaphant, but his shields keep blocking his tracks, his only weak spot, and he has thick armor everywhere else. No only that, but they’re on very sandy terrain, which is great for Megaphant but terrible for Metabee. Ikki commands him to run over the back of a nearby gravel mound. Flying off of the mound to attack Metabee, Megaphant’s tracks are finally exposed from underneath, giving Metabee a chance to attack. He destroys his tracks and bombards him with missiles. The victor is Metabee.
The gangster falls in defeat, and Ikki and Coach Mountain have an awkwardly pseudo-romantic tearful embrace.
The next day, Coach Mountain is back to being a dickwad. He’s punishing the kids for something they did outside of school, which is ‘playing outside at night.’ So you don’t give a shit that they saved your precious park? Nice.
Metabee: “I’d help, but Medabots don’t sweat.” Shut up, Metabee.
This episode is bad, but for different reasons than the previous two episodes. For starters, Ikki and the Screws are actually in the right this time. The Screws were only in the wrong for practicing their robattling on school grounds. Everything else was an accident, yet they kept getting run ragged by Coach Mountain of Shit.
I was especially angry that Ikki saved his park for him and he STILL acts like an unfair twat and punishes them all again.
Not to mention his utter hypocrisy for seemingly hating all Medabots yet secretly having one of his own. I wouldn’t be SO bothered, if not for the fact that he was chastising the Screws for training their Medabots, too, when, again, he was doing the same. We don’t even get an explanation as to where he got this Medabot or why he doesn’t hate this one when he seemingly hates all others.
The first half is really repetitive, boring and irritating, while the second half is just confusing. I get that this is supposed to be some redemption for the guy, but the tone is really screwed up. They acknowledge that this park stuff is cheesy, but we’re supposed to be taking it seriously. They ham up the sob story dialogue like crazy, but the stakes for Ikki’s robattle are supposed to be high.
It’s hard to take any of this seriously anyway with such a cartoonish over-the-top 1950’s-esque gangster character, who doesn’t even have a name, being the enemy. His Medabot is pretty cool and powerful, but that’s about it.
The only thing I liked about this episode was Ikki teaming up with the Screws, just because I find that to be a neat dynamic. Everything else was terrible.
Next episode, Ikki and Erika investigate rumors of a Legendary Medafighter at the local private school.
Plot: Rex’s father discovers more Dino Cards. While waiting for them to arrive, a spinosaurus emerges in Egypt. Since Max is the only one with a stone and a dino, he’s is the only one able to transport himself to Egypt through use of the Dino-Holder. However, the Alpha gang has their sights set on the spinosaurus as well. Did Max and Chomp bite off more than they can chew?
Breakdown: I apologize for that pun, and this episode is pretty boring. Second episodes are usually just about establishing excess stuff that they weren’t able to establish in the first episode. The other two team members need dinos, we need to establish more things about the universe, and the Alpha gang needs a bit more firepower to stay on even ground with the D-Team. Most of the episode is either recapping stuff we already knew, talking about nothing or quickly spewing out exposition.
All you really need to know is now Rex has a carnisaurous named Ace and the power of wind, and Zoe has a parasaurolophus, which is way too hard to pronounce and spell, named Paras and the power of nature. Zoe’s move card is also a healing ability. So yay, more female characters relegated to being support/healers! Whoo.
The Alpha Gang also caught the spinosaurus to make their numbers a bit more even, and Dr. Z fabricated a move card for the T-rex.
…..Oh and the D-Team is also massively stupid and uncaring. First, Max doesn’t notice nor care that Rex and Zoe didn’t teleport to Egypt alongside him. They could be dead for all he knew, but he doesn’t even bat an eyelash.
Second, they’re specifically fighting in the ruins of ancient Egypt because the setting makes for a better battle. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, they do flatout destroy some of the monuments. Specifically, they beheaded the sphinx and they put a massive dent in one of the pyramids. The kids don’t notice nor do they care.
Third, after they’ve destroyed parts of what made Egypt so magnificent and fascinating to begin with, they decide, after the battle, that they’ll stay in Egypt for a week and see the sights…..the thoroughly destroyed sights. Oh and Dr. Taylor and Reese also don’t care that they both destroyed some of the most beloved ancient artifacts in the world (They’re goddamn paleontologists) and are taking an unsupervised week-long trip in Egypt on the fly.
Even if they’re poorly CGI’d representations of the monuments, it’s really hard to root for the protagonists when they flippantly destroy some of the coolest remaining parts of ancient Egypt. They don’t even properly react when it happened. They just throw dinosaurs into them and then YAY we win!