Cartoon Step-By-Step: Xiaolin Showdown S01 Ep01


Plot: Many years ago, the forces of good and evil battled against each other over the Shen Gong Wu, numerous powerful artifacts with the collective ability to conquer the world in the wrong hands. Dashi, a noble warrior with the power of the Shen Gong Wu fought fiercely against the Heylin witch, Wuya, and came out triumphantly, sealing her in a box. In an effort to prevent the power of the Shen Gong Wu from ending up in the hands of evil, Dashi hid them and scattered them across the globe.

Centuries later, a monk named Omi, the Dragon of Water, learns that three new students will be joining him under the guide of Master Fung; Raymundo from Brazil, Kimiko from Japan and Clay from America. While they’re very rough around the edges, particularly to Omi, they have to quickly get their act together when Wuya is revived and sent to partner up with the self-proclaimed evil genius bent on world domination, Jack Spicer. Since Wuya has no corporeal body of her own, she decides to use to him to gather the Shen Gong Wu and get a real body as well as allow him to conquer the world.

Omi, Raymundo, Kimiko and Clay set out after the Shen Gong Wu with the sensing capabilities of Dashi’s old friend, a small transforming dragon named Dojo. They continue to clash with their personality and culture differences, causing them to lose the Mantis Flip Coin, a magical coin that allows you to easily flip and leap, but they manage to get the Two-Ton Tunic, Dashi’s old armor that is seemingly impenetrable but is incredibly heavy.

When they get to a third Shen Gong Wu, the Eye of Dashi, Spicer and Omi get to it at the same time, causing them to fight over it and triggering a Xiaolin Showdown; a contest between two beings set in an alternate dimension where the winner gains the right to own the Shen Gong Wu. Unfortunately, it’s a race across several extremely tall pillars, giving Jack a major advantage with his Mantis Flip Coin and leaving Omi in the dust with his Two-Ton Tunic. Utilizing some lessons he’s learned from his new friends throughout their journey, Omi overcomes the Jack Bots that Spicer sends to attack him and manages to come out victorious. Later, at the temple, Master Fung reveals that the new students were meant to teach him as much as he was meant to teach them as they are actually Dragons themselves; Raymundo, the Dragon of the Wind, Kimiko, the Dragon of Fire and Clay the Dragon of Earth.

Breakdown: Xiaolin Showdown is a show that I watched as a kid, but I didn’t keep up with it very closely. It kept my attention, and I enjoyed it perfectly fine, but I never got around to sitting down and watching every episode.

First episode wise, this is a very good way to kick off the series, even if there are some very convenient aspects such as all of the Dragons being assembled right before Wuya gets released from her box and somehow being able to utilize every minor thing Omi has learned from Raymundo, Kimiko and Clay. Like the ‘using your weight to your advantage’ thing works perfectly here, but the Jack Bots actually had huge on-off switches, and Jack was so slow that he not only let Omi catch up to him, but he also let him pull down his pants?

We learn a fair amount about each character. Omi is a very serious, almost too serious, Xiaolin monk who treasures perfection and hard work, but also has a huge ego on him and is a bit headstrong. He’s voiced by Tara Strong. I do have to wonder if his character design could be construed as a bit racist though. I mean, I’m not sure why Omi was designed like that, but he’s a Chinese kid with bright yellow skin………..

Raymundo’s lazy and a bit of an ass, but I assume that will get better later. He’s voiced by Tom Kenny. Give the guy credit for range – I never would’ve guessed that.

Kimiko’s a bit too into technology with none of it being useful at all (even that Pac-man-like game. Who plays a game by poking one button over and over? And is it really playing a game if the little guy keeps eating even if you’re not touching anything, he doesn’t move, the food doesn’t move and there seems to be nothing to avoid?) but she’s kinda sweet in how protective she is of Omi. She’s voiced by Grey DeLisle who doesn’t seem to be sporting a voice that is very similar to any of the voices I know her as such as Sam from Danny Phantom and Vicky and Tootie from Fairly Odd Parents. She seems to have pretty good range.

Clay’s pretty cool, and he seems to do the most outside of Omi. Plus, like I mentioned, his was the best advice. He was voiced by Jeff Bennet.

Master Fung also has a nice balance of traditional Xiaolin master and contrasting humor.

Jack Spicer still stands out to me as both a really good and a fairly silly villain. All of the pieces are there, but he needs the opportunity to prove himself to me a bit more. Though, who cares? He’s voiced by Danny Cooksey, and that’s all that matters.

The only one I didn’t much care for was Dojo. He’s a comic relief talking animal sidekick, and that’s all you really need to know. He’s like a less-funny and less-energetic Mushu from Mulan….and I don’t even really like Mushu. At least Dojo can turn into a huge dragon, though. Also, he’s voiced by Wayne Knight. Make of that what you will.

The story is, admittedly, on the ‘been there, done that’ spectrum with the forces of good and evil battling for items that hold great power, but the fact that all of these items have their own unique powers and not just some generic ‘power’ is a breath of fresh air. The main characters also having the power of the elements isn’t that clever either, but I will say that it’s nice that the main-main characters (Omi and later Raymundo) don’t have the power of fire. It’s also nice that the lone girl in the group wasn’t given the power of love or flowers or some crap.

The art is pretty stylized and nice, with only some things looking a bit ugly. The animation’s not fantastic, but it’s reasonably fluid and works to bring the characters and action to life.

The music’s also very fitting and nice to listen to.

This episode had quite a bit to plow through, and I think it did a pretty good job. It’s a bit fast-paced, but nothing overwhelming.

Next episode, Clay gets some spotlight when he’s mocked for his slow and steady method of combat. He’s left on his own to get a Shen Gong Wu when his friends get trapped by Jack Spicer.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Episode One-derland (Cartoons) Yin Yang Yo!

Plot: The world is mostly blind to the mystical evil around them, and there’s only one force in the world left to take them on – the siblings Yin and Yang who are being trained in the magical martial arts style of Wu Fu by their lazy master Yo.

Breakdown: Well, at least that’s what I found on their plot synopsis. The story gathered from this episode is that Yin and Yang are the sole students of Yo who teaches them the mystical martial art style of Wu Fu and that’s about it.

This is a really messy first episode, and I mostly mean that by the writing and pacing. The introductions of the characters are fine, though their personalities are horribly cliché especially for the early 2000s. They have a very typical older sister younger brother dynamic. Yin is kinda a feminist who is also very responsible and girly. Yang is more interested in goofing off and doing anything he deems as cool. He also wants to be accepted into groups that are seen as cool. And in the end they prove that they really love each other.

Yo’s not very characterized at all here. He seems a little lazy, but that’s it.

The pacing in this episode is exhausting. It never takes a damn break. Granted, it’s ten minutes long so rushing might be excused, but I could barely keep up. It constantly makes cuts and edits and rushes around like it’s on speed.

They try way too hard to make the antagonist of this episode, uhhhh…..the ultimoose martial arts teacher guy (?) to be funny. They put on a ‘Mr. Crocker’ act a bit with him having him spout out words or gibberish enunciated with random body movements.

I just never got into it. I never laughed or cracked a smile, the action wasn’t interesting or creative enough to keep my attention, and neither were the characters.

Even the art was fairly ugly with weird shaped characters and boring backgrounds. I don’t even know why everyone in this show is an animal. Our two main characters are bunnies, their teacher is a panda, the ultimoose guy is a moose obviously, there was a monkey in the class. Granted, a lot of shows exist in worlds where everyone is an animal for really no reason (Kung Fu Panda might be the best comparison in that regard) but I just don’t see the point.


It pretty much fails to me as a starter episode, and the show just doesn’t give me any reason to want to continue. Really hyper kids with a love of fake martial arts, magic and animals might enjoy it better.

Recommended Audience: Some incredibly minor instances of potty humor like underwear jokes and showing someone on a toilet, both of which alone are meant to be jokes, but that’s the worst of it. E for everyone.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf Review

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf

Plot: Brothers Terry and Andy Bogard are out with their martial arts master and father one day when, suddenly, their father is murdered by his old nemesis, Geese. Terry and Andy both make a pact on their father’s grave that they will train for ten years and return to take down Geese.

Ten years go by and the brothers have reunited, prepared to take on Geese. Before they do so, however, the secret technique of their school must be passed on to either Terry or Andy. They decide to enter a martial arts tournament in order to decide who will inherit the technique, but before they can decide a victor, Geese breaks up the party. Will the brothers defeat Geese? Who will get the secret technique? Is it true that this same story has been told 3 trillion times before and better?

Breakdown: Fatal fury truly suffers from poor pacing. With a recycled plot, semi-poor dialogue, inconsistent martial arts portrayal, and a boring story, it’s not looking very good for this movie.

This isn’t even a full hour long. That’s a fairly significant problem. The story may not be good, but it’s a story that would need at least an hour and a half to tell correctly.

Before we get to the details, let’s tackle the “I don’t get this” stuff. First, does the anime really expect us to take a villain named ‘Geese’ seriously? I was expecting associates named Ducks, Herons and Pelicans under the gang name ‘Waterfowl.’

Secondly, exactly what kind of realm is this world? They do nothing but regular martial arts for the first 40 minutes. Then we get introduced to the secret hurricane fist, which looks like Goku acting like Taz. Then we have Geese shooting off chi blasts like the ki blasts in DBZ. In addition, this is very obviously a world with guns. Several characters get shot in this. I know this is a martial arts flick, but…why not shoot them? If you want them dead so badly and don’t give a damn about honor or finding worthy opponents, why not shoot them? You tried to before. Wounded one. Why not do it again?

There are other minor things, but they’re not all that important.

Now onto the breakdown. Terry and Andy are with their master and father on a day out. Their father, Jeff, is with a group of young kids and buys a flower from a young girl. Suddenly, Jeff is attacked and killed by his old rival, Geese. Geese flees the scene (Must’ve been chicken)

along with the young flower girl. Terry and Andy later make a pact on Jeff’s grave that they will train for ten years and then return to avenge their fallen father.

Ten years go by and we meet Terry again. Annndddd *fast forward* blahblahblahblahblahunimportantBSblahblahblahTheflowergirlfrombeforeisnowanadult,guesswherethisisheadingblahblahblah. Terry and Andy reunite and meet up with their master. They have to decide who gets to learn the secret technique of their school as it needs to be passed on before Master Tung dies. They can’t decide, so they enter a martial arts tournament in order to determine who gets the technique…..why they couldn’t have just had a fight is beyond me, but whatever.

Geese learns of this and decides to kill Terry. He sends the flower girl from before, Lily (Get it? Because she had a flower….??), to poison Terry. Again, perfectly usable guns. You have no qualms against using them. Police apparently don’t exist….gun.

Lily, however, can’t do it because she’s fallen for Terry. Damn, that was quick. Are you by chance related to a Disney Princess? Terry kisses her (You almost poisoned me? Lay one on me, sweet stuff!) and goes off to the tournament. Geese finds out that Lily failed in her mission and decides to, get this, SHOOT HIM.

Once Terry and Andy have, predictably, met in the ring, Geese’s sniper takes aim. Andy’s fighter friend, Joe, decides to take the bullet for them and is shot in the shoulder. Before the sniper can make a second shot, however, the power goes out. When the power returns, all three are gone. Geese sends his men out to find them.

Lily leads them out of the building. They lock themselves in a room and drop a ladder out the window. Lily forces each of them to go ahead of her and, shocker, she gets caught by Geese who promptly pushes her/chi blasts(?) her out the window.

Terry holds the remarkably unbloody Lily in his arms as she dies and he yells to the heavens. (*sigh*) Master Tung shows up and drives them away, but is mortally wounded by Geese in the process. The doctor claims Tung might not even make it until morning.

Andy runs out of the hospital and meets up with a remarkably mostly-recovered Joe. They go off to avenge both his father and Master Tung. Terry stays behind at his Master’s request, and Master walks outside like nothing and teaches Terry the move in like two seconds. (Seriously, it’s just “Here’s the stance” “Okay” “Feel the chi of the earth” “I can’t do it!” “You must!” “Okay” *does it* “And then unleash it!” *does hurricane thing* “Wow Master, thanks for showing me—oh hey you died….Oh hey you died in a completely impossible position. Okay…” Takes place over the course of maybe a minute and a half. Not kidding.) Terry then goes after Andy and Joe.

Andy and Joe arrive at Geese’s place and defeat two of his lackeys. Andy and Joe face Geese himself, who, oddly enough, doesn’t seem to show a lick of martial arts talent. Seriously, in both his fight with Terry and Andy he just seems to stand there, dodge and shoot energy blasts from his hands. Geese blows Andy away with one shot and no effort. (Sorry, Andy. Apparently the writer doesn’t like you)

Terry shows up, and Andy passes the baton to Terry (As if he had a choice). Terry faces Geese and this is, by far, one of the most disappointing endings I’ve ever seen. Well, ‘disappointing’ might be the wrong term. ‘Disappointing’ usually implies that you were look forward to something….Lame. Yes, lamest ending fight ever.

Terry faces Geese and uses a move quite similar to the Gaia Crusher from G Gundam called the Power Wave – because that’s an imaginative name. Geese easily dodges and teleports behind him. Terry tries to recover with another move called the Burning Knuckle or something (Wait, first the Gaia Crusher, now the Burning Knuckle(finger?) Come to think of It, wasn’t there a tornado move in G Gundam too?)

Geese catches his attack and palms him in the chest. Then Geese shoots a chi blast at him. Terry, however, blocks it with his hands. Terry’s losing confidence, but decides to use the secret move on him. Geese is shocked (really?) by him using this move. However, Terry’s move is not good enough to defeat Geese. Oh, did I say that? I meant to say “Terry forgot to stop dicking around and actually put his all in that last move.” He does it again and this time it defeats Geese.

I know I make that sound somewhat interesting, but, again, this all takes place in like a minute. After the battle, Andy, Terry and Joe go to Jeff’s grave to put flowers on it. They decide to part ways. Joe goes off to train harder for the championship. Andy goes off to become stronger than Terry due to the fact that Master chose Terry over him. Terry goes off the train as well to get deeper roots or whatever he said. The end.

All taking up a total of about 46 minutes. Bad pacing. So bad. The entire movie is so damn predictable. Even if you’ve never seen a movie with this kind of plotline, you can predict everything that happens.

Of course they’re gonna want revenge, of course they’re gonna train, of course Terry is going to be chosen, of course Terry’s gonna fall for little miss flower, of course little miss flower’s going to die for the sake of mangst, of course Andy’s gonna fail etc. etc. etc. There is nothing you haven’t seen in this movie.

Usually that can be made up for in old action shlock like this with cheesy fun, but there’s not even that much of that in here. The fighting moves aren’t even all that impressive. I still don’t even understand how being spun around a few times and thrown into pond can kill a master of martial arts.

The anime might have been better if it focused more on the brothers and their relationship/rivalry more than the other BS, but even then it wouldn’t have been very original or interesting.

Bottom Line: If you’re not bothered by movies like these then maybe you should give it a watch. 40-some odd minutes isn’t that much to sacrifice. It’s not god-awful, but is it poorly paced, poorly written and cliché as hell.

Art and Animation: The art isn’t that awful and the animation is fairly decent.

Music: Typical 80’s-esque fight movie music.

Additional Information and notes: Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf (Not even sure what that title means…) is based off the Fatal Fury game series. This movie was produced by NAS and directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi. The English dubbed version is available from ViZ.

Runtime: 45 Minutes

Year: 1992

Recommend audience: Mmm, some murder, a little swearing, blood….Eh, 13+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at