Episode None-Derland (Cartoons) Action Dad

I was starting to watch Action Dad for the sake of an Episode One-Derland review. I got through until the theme song and already had a few questions, so I stopped the video.

I looked up more information online about the show, and, of course, the first hit was the Wiki page. It didn’t have much, and I honestly didn’t expect it to, but then I saw that the series was created by a man named Andrew Dickman.

The end of the Wiki article explained that Dickman made the concept for the series in 2006, and it seemed to be a project he had a good amount of passion for. However, the series was straight-up stolen and produced behind his back in 2012. He was never told about it until five years after it aired and he never received a dime from it.

I used to watch the videos of a very talented reviewer, artist and animator named Andrew Dickman, but I didn’t really think it’d be the same guy. I mean, what are the odds? I click on one of the dArt pages linked in the Wiki to concept artwork and, lo and behold, it’s the same guy.

I can find hardly any information on this, for lack of a better word, ‘scandal’ on the Internet. Andrew has still never been paid for this work, even though they, for some reason, did bother to put his name in the credits as creator.

The only thing I was able to find was a screenshot the Wiki linked to where Andrew briefly explains what happened.

I’m not looking to start a witch hunt, even though my level of respect for ToonZone, which was already fairly low, tanked after reading this, and if Andrew himself is requesting that we leave sleeping dogs lie, then I’m perfectly willing to respect his wishes, but I felt like I had to at least write this because –

1) I didn’t want to go through with the review anymore. I didn’t even finish watching the episode (Hence the ‘None-derland’)

2) I got a bit pissed off after finding so little about this situation. I wanted to at least make the one thing I said about this show the one thing that needs to be said.

I know that this is a mostly unknown show that aired one season in Cartoon Network Brazil, but that’s no excuse.

Andrew is a very talented guy. Even though I followed his reviews more than his regular art and animations, his work is fantastic. No one should profit from stealing the ideas and concepts of others, especially on this scale. Screw the people who did this, and don’t give this show the time of day.

If You’d Like to Support Andrew Dickman’s Work, visit these links (Be warned: Some of his artwork is NSFW)

DeviantArt: https://www.deviantart.com/andrewdickman

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/awd

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSD2hR0DAANkZtckrMLSi4w

Advertisements

Smile Precure!/Glitter Force Episode 3 Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Yayoi is a great artist with terrible self-confidence. Akane and Miyuki enter her in their school’s Clean Up Week poster contest to boost her self-esteem and get her to see how great her art is. She eventually agrees and makes a great poster with a superhero character called Cleanpeace Man. However, she only gets an honorable mention in the contest results.

Yayoi is heartbroken, but she soon feels even worse when a new enemy, Akaoni, comes to make a Bad End for everyone.

Happy and Sunny can’t defeat Akaoni’s Akanbe on their own. Can Yayoi believe in herself again and bring peace to this conflict?

——————-

Entire Show Edit: Probably safe to assume the recaps are always a little different in terms of clips and dialogue.

There are tons of practical purposes for a magical item spawning roses out of thin air. And by ‘lots of practical uses’ I mean saving 30 bucks on Valentine’s day.

In the original, Akane compliments Miyuki’s mother’s omelets and Miyuki says she’ll pass along the kind words. In the dub, Kelsey asks how they’re going to convince the other warriors that they’re part of the Glitter Force.

Akane and Miyuki just kinda randomly use Akane’s rose décor. In the dub, they say they might convince them by using the Glitter Pact in front of them and decide to demonstrate by using it. Point to the dub.

Okay, so the strawberry décor summons a massive strawberry, but the rose décor summons an unreasonably small bouquet of roses. Ain’t no one’s wife gonna accept an apology with that tiny thing.

Akane says that becoming a Precure one day before her has gone to Miyuki’s head. In the dub, Kelsey sarcastically says that Emily’s speech about collecting the charms and saving Jubiland doesn’t sound crazy at all.

Candy: “Glittertastic!” Shut up, Candy.

Yayoi calls her drawings childish and Miyuki argues that they’re not childish. She then states that she likes picture books, which are similar. Akane suggests that she show everyone in class her drawings because they’re so good.

In the dub, Lily says her drawings are of her as a superhero and says it’s dumb to imagine that. Emily then says it’s not dumb because most people have imagined themselves as superheroes. Kelsey says it’d be funny if she found out she really were a superhero. They probably changed this just to shoehorn in foreshadowing of something we already know is going to happen….

Title Change: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Cure Peace! Is changed to We Want Peace! Glitter Peace!

Oh…they left the Japanese writing on the wall in the room with Akaoni/Brute….Huh….That’s strange.

Hang on, let me get distracted by the fact that they named a henchmen ‘Brute.’ Between this and Buffoon, the creativity juices must’ve been exploding in the brainstorming session for these names.

Ah, there we go, erasing that Japanese like you’re not supposed to.

I’m pretty sure, if the bits and pieces I can see and what Reika said is correct, that says ‘Class Competition: Clean School Grounds Week Poster”

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The writing on the chalkboard behind them is also gone, even though most of it is just a big box and there’s tiny illegible writing at the top and side.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Hehe, they leave in the box behind Yayoi when she’s being nominated purely because her head’s blocking the Japanese part.

Side-note: I really love Yayoi’s eyes. They’re a very pretty copper/golden color.

Name Change: Soga is changed to Cornelius.

Soga originally won the previous poster competition. In the dub, Lily says he’s had his art put in galleries.

Name Change: Mikawa is changed to Naomi.

Name Change: Narushima is changed to Byron.

Narushima is noted as making great and beautiful portraits of girls. In the dub, Byron is just popular and has great hair….

Also, Lily makes a bit of a rough comment. When she says he has great hair, she says it’s better than hers and Emily and Kelsey’s. Not only is this rude, but I don’t think Yayoi would make such a comment.

Is it me or does Emily sound condescending when she’s talking to Lily sometimes?

Oh wow, Saban, did you seriously add in a record scratch when Lily said her heart is telling her she should quit?

Wow.

Miyuki tells Yayoi that pictures are the mirrors of the heart. On the outside, she might be a crybaby, but on the inside, she’s kind and considerate, something that her drawings reflect with her superheroes. In the dub, Emily says to not think of this like a contest, but just another picture. That way she can draw whatever she wants without concern.

Candy tells Miyuki to go look for the third Precure. Since they already know who the Glitter Force members are, Candy tells her to tell Lily that she’s one of them in the dub.

Yayoi originally believes Candy’s a piglet. In the dub, she believes she’s a talking stuffed bear.

Hmm, I’ll give them points for this. The food in the original is okonomiyaki, which is a savory pancake served with a massive variety of toppings and batters. In the dub, they just call it a Japanese pizza, which is, technically, what it is, and even the Wiki entry for it says it’s sometimes called Japanese Pizza.

Also, damn, I really want to try that. It looks so delicious.

Only part that confuses me is, why does Kelsey follow this up by saying ‘Chow down, chicas!’? Kinda weird to present your friends with a Japanese dish and then say a Spanish word is all.

Surprising absolutely no one, the poster is altered. It originally said ‘Clean School Grounds Hero: CleanPeace Man!’ In the dub, this is changed to ‘Keep it Clean with Captain Peace!’

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

Captain Peace’s name is a little odd, given the context. I get that it’s connecting to Lily’s Glitter Force form, but shouldn’t he be named something related to cleaning?

Eyecatches:

Oh my god, that girl is way too close to justify not drawing in her face. DEMON! DEMON!

Obviously, all of the posters have been changed, and oddly all of the original name changes have been changed.

The first poster, the third place winner, was made by Narushima and it said ‘Clean air!’ In the dub, the phrase has been changed to ‘Pick It Up, People!’ and the name on the plate is ‘Jonathan.’ They completely removed the grade numbers.

The second place winner had the phrase ‘Think Clean and Be Clean!’ and it was made by someone named Yamamoto Junichiro. In the dub, it says ‘Love Your World, Keep It Clean!’ and was made by Naomi. So they shafted Byron and gave second place to Naomi when she didn’t earn it. Lol.

Subbed:

 

Dubbed:

 

Also, the dub phrases are slightly better, in my opinion.

Strangely, they got Soga’s name right. Originally, it said ‘Littering is Not Allowed!’ and in the dub it says ‘No Dirt on My Watch!’

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

The name plate for Yayoi’s is just altered to reflect her English name.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

While it’s mostly cropped out of the shot, they gave Byron whatever the ‘Inspiration’ thing is off to the right of Lily’s poster.

Can I be completely honest about these posters? Soga’s deserved to win, Narushima’s was just bad, Yamamoto’s was lazy and if I had control of the rankings, it’d be:

1 – Soga

2 – Whoever’s off to the right of Yayoi.

3 – Yayoi

Inspiration Thinger – Yamamoto

Honorable Mention – Narushima

Akane and Miyuki were originally telling off Soga and his goons. In the dub, they’re telling Lily to ignore them.

Wait, is the only reason they got Soga’s name right on the poster because they show him bragging about winning? If that’s true, they knowingly got the other two names wrong for no reason.

Yayoi says she knows she’s no good, but she still likes drawing pictures. In the dub, she tries to convince herself that there’s not a scary troll talking to her.

Akane yells that the poster was the fruit of Yayoi’s hard labor. In the dub, she calls out Brute for littering when it’s School Clean Up Week. Because why care about your friend’s hard work and art when you can care about a piece of paper on the ground?

Originally, the girls talk about how they won’t stand for Brute destroying Yayoi’s picture. In the dub, it’s just them talking about them taking down Brute.

Kelsey even throws in a line about Brute being a litterbug. Again, why care about your friend’s feelings when you can care about a single piece of litter?…Also, damn, he’s stealing the happiness from everyone within a 100 yard radius, including Lily. That’s also a lot worse than littering. Get your shit together, Kelsey.

Giving equal time to the girls as they transform side by side….*sniff* I’m so happy right now.

Akaoni: “You girls are Precure, huh?”

……So….you go off insulting Wolfrun about not being able to defeat the Precures, claim you’ll do it…and you don’t even know who the Precures are or what they look like? Good job.

Also, it kinda doesn’t make sense that the Akanbe keeps the A’s on its costume if its dub name is Buffoon. Too hard to paint over?

Ladies and gentlemen, the award for ‘hardest attack name to take seriously’ goes to…

*drum roll*

Buffoon Broom!

Still keeping the ‘We got spirit…’ cheer….

See, it’s times like these where the name Lucky seems like a silly change. Because it sure was unlucky that her attack sputtered out before it even hit.

The problem for both of them is that they’re not putting enough power into their attacks? That’s a far cry of realism from Happy just not aiming properly.

Candy: “You didn’t put enough Glitter Spirit into it!” Stop saying that!

Miyuki says that she still won’t forgive Akaoni for making fun of Yayoi’s drawing when she put so much effort into it. In the dub it’s more ‘never give up’ spiel without mentioning the drawing.

Yes, Kelsey, yell out ‘Oh just tell her that she’s one of the Glitter Force!’ so it really seems like we’re just trying to plow through Peace’s introduction.

They added the dialogue to the flashbacks again. They got all of them right, but the one on the roof is changed. Originally, Emily said ‘Don’t thank us. This is something you did all on your own.’ In the dub, she yells ‘You did it, Lily!’ Honestly, I think this was necessary because the clip itself seems cut down from the original shot, but it also wasn’t because it was unnecessary to add the dialogue at all.

Lily: “Stop, you big buffoon!” Get it? Because he’s literally a big Buffoon?

Obligatory ‘Oh god, please be another transformation free of ‘poof poof’s’ prayer before I watch the transformation.

Yayoi doesn’t say anything mid-transformation in the original. In the dub, she says ‘Glitter Bands, Glitter Boots! The Power of Peace!’ Yay lack of poofs!

Truth be told, though, her transformation is straight-up boring. Besides tambourine-ing her makeup puff thing, it’s just her clothes appearing.

Her speech kinda makes up for it, because an all-yellow character saying ‘pika-pika’ (Sparkling) is gold. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Pokemon, though, I dunno.

Yayoi’s speech is ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors! Sparkling bright….Cure Peace!’ Lily’s is ‘Puppies and Kittens! The Power of Love! I’m Glitter Peace!’ As much as the ‘puppies and kittens’ part makes my teeth gnash, I will admit that her speech makes more sense than the original. Am I missing something about the ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’?

Help me out, Wiki!

“In her introductory speech, Cure Peace says “Rock Paper Scissors.” This may be referencing her Cure name, as the hand sign for the scissors in the game is also the hand signal for peace.”…..That…is so….dumb….

At first, I thought they were referencing art with paper and scissors (Maybe rock for sculptures) but, seriously? It’s because the sign for scissors looks like a peace sign? For the love of god. Japan has another meaning to the peace sign hand symbol – V for victory. That would be much more fitting. Have her say ‘V for victory, and with victory comes…Cure Peace!’ or something.

Come on, guys. Make some effort.

Miyuki gushes over how cute Cure Peace is. Emily gushes over how ‘The power of love’ is so cool.

Akane asks what the ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ thing was about. Since that’s not in the original, Kelsey asks what the ‘puppies and kittens’ thing is about. Nice to know we’re self-aware of the weirdness of this writing.

Akaoni expresses surprise that there’s a third Precure. Brute says that kittens give him the sneezies.

Candy: “Now channel all of your Glitter Spirit…” I swear my blood pressure goes up every time you say that.

Attack Name Change: Peace Thunder is changed to (Glitter Force) Sparkle Lightning.

Oh my god, Yayoi’s Cure Decor is adorable.

Like in Akane’s episode, Yayoi asks if she can call Miyuki by her first name instead of calling her ‘Hoshizora’ In the dub, since that’s not an American thing and they don’t have last names, she asks if they’re friends. Kinda weird how, in both versions, she doesn’t ask Akane the same question.

—————————-

You can find my opinions on the episode as a whole here.

As a dub, this episode fared alright. Lots of paint edits, but nothing that bad and only a couple I would deem ‘unnecessary’. I also feel like we removed some lines that would’ve given this episode a bit more of a unique message to it, like the line about still liking drawing even if she feels she’s no good at it.

It’s even more generic ‘never give up’ and ‘friendship is everything’ than the original episode was. Not by much, but still.

Also, I keep feeling like Emily knowing who all of the Glitter Force warriors are is giving the show an excuse to make you feel like ‘Oh for god’s sake, just tell her and get it over with’ instead of giving the transformations their proper hoorah. It’s much more apparent with Peace than it was with Sunny, but still. We already know who the girls are given the opening and ending themes, but the dub seems impatient with their debuts sometimes.

I will give the dub credit for making more sense than the original with the ‘puppies and kittens’ thing over the ‘rock, paper, scissors’ mantra (Hey, when people think of peaceful things, I bet a lot of them think of puppies and kittens). That was a change I can get behind because, unless someone tells me otherwise, that explanation of the original is bull.

Also, the changes with the Cure Decor at the beginning and the phrases on the posters were a slight improvement on the original.

Next episode, we’re introduced to Cure March!

Pixar’s Lamp: Monsters Inc.

Rating: 8.5/10

Plot: Kids always worry about monsters in their closet – and well they should be, because there are plenty of them in there. Behind the doors of every child’s closet is a portal to the world of monsters, and a company called Monsters Inc. is tasked with scaring children and collecting their screams as a form of energy to power their world. A small girl nicknamed Boo sneaks into the world of monsters causing panic within the city since monsters believe human children to be highly lethal to monsters. A monster named Sulley and his best friend Mike must return her to her room before she falls into dangerous hands.

Breakdown: Next up on the Pixar list is Monsters Inc. a beloved movie and a shining example of how creative and heartwarming Pixar can be.

I got Monsters Inc. for Christmas one year and I remember watching that movie over and over. It is a very original and creative concept to work with. Not only do they create a world of monsters behind the closet doors of every child, but they also need to scare children to collect their screams for energy. And if that’s not enough, there’s also the incredible irony that these scary monsters are terrified of humans to the point where merely touching an item in the human world can result in incredible panic of contamination.

I don’t know exactly why they believe that humans, children in particular, are so lethal to monsters. Perhaps it’s another matter of fear being born from ignorance.

This movie is dear to me, but I will admit it’s not as strong as Toy Story. It’s definitely their most heartwarming adventure so far, edging out Toy Story 2 just a tad in sadness and heartwarming moments.

It has plenty of funny moments, snappy dialogue and nice pacing. The story is also good, though the villains were a little too obvious. I like the twist of making laughter stronger than screams, the action sequence with the doors was awesome and beautifully done, the relationship with Boo and Sulley was cute and genuine, plus Boo is incredibly adorable and an actually realistic child, and it never felt like it dragged that much.

I love Pixar’s texture work in this movie, especially with Sulley, Randall and Boo’s costume. It’s hard to believe this is their first foray into working with fur. The art and animation are great, but I would’ve liked a tad more diversity with the background monsters. I particularly enjoyed the opening sequence’s animation because it was so creative and fun to watch. They got so much better with human characters. Compare Boo with how Molly looked in the first Toy Story…….eugh…..I still have nightmares.

The music’s a nice changeup from the norm, and it was very fitting and nice to listen to. The duet at the end with Sulley and Mike is great. I listen to it off and on to this day.

That being said, I do have some minor problems. While Sulley and Mike do bounce off each other nicely and seem to have a realistic relationship, I’m not in love with either character. Sulley’s a tad bit bland. Outside of being a gentle giant character, there’s not much else to him. Mike can be annoying on occasion, and there are times when Billy Crystal’s voice and shtick don’t sit well to me.

The relationship that Mike has with Celia really only makes for awkward moments while trying to keep Boo a secret, which, as a whole, is a negative to me because quite a bit of the movie is keeping Boo a secret, meaning there’s a good degree of awkwardness. Not terribly done, but awkwardness still irritates me.

Celia does one thing in the movie outside of being luvey duvey with Mike and that’s it, so she’s a textbook love interest character.

The way the doors work is a bit confusing as Boo is gone for a full day yet it seems like it’s possibly the same night she left when she’s returned. During the scene with all the doors, all the houses they enter are conveniently empty as well. These aren’t major issues, but they’re noticeable.

Bottomline: Some of Pixar’s finest work, but not without some minor issues. I really just have a problem with storylines that require hiding something from people. While it, thankfully, doesn’t amount to too much awkwardness, it’s still there and it still has a negative impact to me. If that doesn’t bother you or if you even think those situations are funny, feel free to bump the rating up a few decimal points.

Recommended Audience: There’s a couple instances of pee jokes, burping and, while he doesn’t have anything down there, there is a nut shot gag with Mike. Some minor scary situations, especially in regards to that damn machine. I mean, wow, strapping children into a chair and sucking the screams out of them? That’s something out of a horror movie. 6+

SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 3: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Cure Peace!

SSBS SP EP3 SCREEN1

Plot: Akane and Miyuki try to increase Yayoi’s confidence in her drawings by entering her in a poster contest for the school’s Clean Up Week. Yayoi agrees, and, with her friends’ help, she gets a great poster done. However, it only earns an honorable mention in the contest. She’s mocked by the winner, takes her picture off of the wall and runs off.

Believing herself to be no good, Yayoi sits on the steps outside with her poster in her hands. A new enemy named Akaoni shows up to create a Bad End for everyone. Cure Happy and Sunny show up, but are overpowered by Akaoni’s Akanbe of Yayoi’s crumpled up poster.

Can Yayoi find it within herself to break free of her self-doubt and bring peace to the world?

Breakdown: I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I also have about as much confidence in my work as Yayoi does. I’d rather have my drawings in private than show them off because I am very sensitive to criticism (irony?) and I easily lose my drive to draw when I feel my art isn’t hitting the mark.

I am also very shy, love superheroes and am a little bit of a crybaby.

In a lot of ways, I connect with Yayoi. I especially like the route they went with her story. She didn’t even just get second or third place – she got ‘honorable mention’, which is basically the default ‘participation’ trophy. I think this is important because it shows that it’s not just never giving up in the face of your own self-doubt, it’s also about never giving up when you do come face to face with the failure you were so afraid of in the first place.

There’s also a nice brief line of Yayoi’s when Akaoni starts mocking her work. She says she knows she’s no good, but she still really enjoys drawing. That is a great starting point of a lesson that they never fully complete here.

If you love something, do it. Don’t beat yourself up over whether you’re the best or not. You shouldn’t even have to feel compelled to show it off. Even if you’re more comfortable doing it in private, enjoy it. Make it your own. Don’t let anyone take it from you just because you fail or because some people are jerks.

Sadly, though, I found this episode to be boring otherwise because it feels like we’re treading water with the ‘never give up’ and ‘friendship is everything’ messages. Seeing as how we’re only at episode three, treading water already is a bit alarming.

Akaoni is also nothing to write how about. He’s a stupider and less intimidating Wolfrun. It’s a step down, if anything. Also, while the design of today’s Akanbe is a little interesting (A superhero with a broom for a weapon) it’s also a bit goofy that today’s Akanbe is made of a crumpled up piece of paper. We went from a house, to a volleyball to a piece of trash.

Cure Peace is a little cool with her lightning and how she seems to have a special ability to summon a bolt of purifying lightning when scared, but her transformation sequence is on the boring side and so is her attack animation.

I look forward to Yayoi’s character development as time goes on. I hope she immerses herself more into her role as a superhero and busts out of her shell more often. As it stands, though, her debut wasn’t all that great. Not bad, but I still wasn’t terribly invested.

Rating: 6.5/10

Next episode, it’s Cure March’s debut!

Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 10 Sub/Dub Comparison

Card (s) of the day:

Flower: A fun loving card that produces flowers…..It’s about as useful as it sounds.

Plot: It’s Sakura’s school Athletic Festival, one of Sakura’s favorite days in the school year. However, things get complicated when not only does Tomoyo’s mom show up and reveals that she has a rocky past with Sakura’s dad, but strange flower petals start falling from the sky and burying the schoolyard. Is this the work of a clow card?

————————-

A shot of the scoreboard is removed.

In the first scene we have Sakura explaining in inner monologue that it’s her school’s athletic festival today. Most students dislike the athletic festival, but she loves it. In the dub, there’s no inner or regular dialogue whatsoever.

Originally, the parent-only race that Yukito mentions is a 100 meter race. The dub changes it to 400 because…Nelvana hates parents and wants to torture them by making them run 300 more meters?

Yukito asks Sakura if she’s going to be participating in the cheerleading event. She says yes and Yukito holds up his camera and says he’ll take lots of pictures…..which, I admit, is kinda creepy. I know she’s his best friend’s sister and her friend to a degree, but he’s not related to her…she’s a kid….Yukito, unless you’re taking those pictures for Toya or her dad, please put the camera down.

Sakura then grabs Toya and whispers to him to make sure that he takes some pictures of Yukito too, I guess for her own use….. Nelvana edited out everything past asking Sakura if she was in the event.

I’m not sure why Nelvana didn’t edit out this whole scene if they were gonna edit it at all, but here goes. Two boys walk by Tomoyo’s announcer stand and talk about how Sakura’s really fast and they’re not sure anyone in their grade could beat her. Tomoyo then pops up behind them and gushes that she’s not only good at running, but she’s also cute too. Nelvana edited out Tomoyo popping up and her entire joke, which makes the scene look pointless.

When Sakura runs up, Tomoyo asks her if that’s her uniform for the cheerleading event. She says yes and Tomoyo gushes over it but says it’d be better with frills and other things as hearts bubble around her head. Sakura asks about Tomoyo’s mom and she says she’s busy, but she’ll try to make it to the festival.

Sakura explains in inner monologue that Tomoyo’s mom is the president of a big toy company and that she’s always very busy. Sometimes, Tomoyo goes days without even seeing her mom and Sakura’s never met her either. As Sakura and Tomoyo’s pictures are overlayed on one another, she explains that Tomoyo’s never mentioned her dad. Sakura then says that she has to get going and leaves Tomoyo.

In the dub, Madison doesn’t mention anything about Sakura’s outfit and the hearts are edited away. Instead, Madison asks about Sakura’s dad and she mentions that he’ll be there soon, which prompts her to ask about Madison’s mom. Madison says she’s in a big meeting but hopes to make it there. We then get the same explanation of her mom’s job, but a key detail is changed. Instead of saying that she sometimes goes days without seeing her mom, dub Sakura says that Madison’s mom always makes time for her.

I get that it sucks that Tomoyo sometimes goes extended periods of time without seeing her mom, but why did this need to be changed? Tons of kids have busy parents that they can’t see as much as they’d like. Also, the entire scene about wondering about Tomoyo’s dad is removed as well as Sakura’s departure.

The same boys from before agree that Sakura is very cute after that scene. Tomoyo pops up with her camera and says she’s going to record Sakura’s bravery on film while blushing. This makes the boys comically fall over. In the dub, the boys ask each other if they want to watch the cheerleaders, which they do. (Yeah, I’m sure you’re going for the spirit of competition, eh?) everything with Tomoyo and beyond is cut.

Most of the scene with Yukito talking to Toya while taking pictures is kept in (which is odd since they removed the scene of him talking about getting pictures of her) but they edit out when Sakura’s baton falls on her head.

When Yukito cheers Sakura on before the race, both Sakura and Syaoran smile in joy that he’s there. Then Syaoran straightens his face and tells her that he’ll never lose. The shot where Syaoran and Sakura are both smiling is edited out because that’s, like, totally gay and stuff. They could’ve just zoomed in on Sakura for that shot if it bothers them that much, but whatever.

The dub’s music for the race is boring. Why would they add that music as opposed to something more energetic like the original? It’s a race, not a gentle stroll through the park.

Originally, Syaoran trips because he was too busy blushing over Yukito. In the dub, he glances over for a second when Julian cheers, but the scene where he blushes is edited out. I guess we’re meant to assume that Syaoran tripped because he glanced over for a second?

Syaoran initially refuses Sakura’s request to have lunch, but after he sees Yukito having lunch with them, he blushes, bashfully grabs Sakura’s shirt and agrees to have lunch with them. Syaoran is so insanely adorable in these Yukito scenes. In the dub, Syaoran just agrees from the start in order to avoid the whole ‘gay’ vibe.

A shot of Tomoyo reacting to Yukito eating so much is edited out because dot eyes.

Sakura shaking her head in disagreement with Yukito stating that he’s eating too much is edited out.

Yukito says that the food tastes really good. Syaoran stands up shyly and states that it’s a sign that you’re healthy when food tastes good. Yukito smiles at him, Syaoran blushes, puts his shoes on, thanks them for the meal and runs off as they all stare at him. This is all edited out of the dub.

Name Change: Tomoyo’s mom is named Sonomi Daidouji. In the dub, she’s Samantha Taylor.

I’m surprised that they left the scene where Sakura gets a big blush on her face when Tomoyo’s mom gets close to Sakura, calls her cute and says she reminds her of someone she knows…They edit out all of those scenes with Yukito and Syaoran, but not that…Seems like a double standard to me.

They edit out where Tomoyo’s mom freaks out at the sight of Sakura’s dad.

Past Name Change: Sonomi’s maiden name was Amamiya. In the dub, it’s King.

In the original, Sonomi explains that Sakura’s dad actually met and married Sakura’s mom when they were teacher and student. Sonomi always felt angry at this, especially since she was her best friend since they were in Kindergarten. (Also, seeing as how she called Nadeshiko her ‘precious’ she might’ve had a similar friendship to her that Tomoyo has to Sakura.) She is upset that he’s so whimsical when he let Nadeshiko die at the mere age of 27. He says that he promised Nadeshiko that he would never cry, which makes Sonomi back off a bit before claiming that she still won’t forgive him.

In the dub, all of this explanation is removed I guess because of parent/teacher relations, mentions of death (despite the fact that we know Nadeshiko died) and Sonomi’s similar affection to Nadeshiko as Tomoyo has for Sakura.

Some parts of the scene are removed such as Sonomi pointing at him, yelling at him, turning around before she speaks, pointing at him again. Fujitaka basically says let the best racer win.

Name Change: Fujitaka Kinomoto (Sakura’s dad) is changed to Aiden Avalon.

Originally Sakura says that her dad and Tomoyo’s mom know each other. In dub, she explicitly states that they were best friends when they were kids.

Oh boy…I hate when they start delving deep into plot points like this. It usually means whole scenes being changed….LIKE THIS! 😀

Originally, Toya said that Sonomi and Nadeshiko were more than best friends, they were cousins. Nadeshiko was an heir to some conglomerate, but that changed when she met Sakura’s dad, whom, at the time, was a rookie teacher.

They got married when she was 16, and they faced many hardships. She had to do modeling while she was in school to make money. Sonomi had apparently taken care of Nadeshiko since they were very young and she greatly opposed their marriage. Yukito points out that, despite this, Nadeshiko always looked happy in her photos at home whether they were modeling photos or not. Toya says “In any case…” and then trails off to say that there’s many flowers flying around.

In the dub, most of this is changed. It’s never mentioned that Natasha and Samantha were cousins nor had the same last name before she got married. Instead, all three of them, Samantha, Natasha and Fujitaka were best friends as children.

Samantha and Aiden constantly battled for Natasha’s attention, but were rivals who didn’t much care for each other otherwise. When Aiden married Natasha, Samantha just kinda stopped hanging around them. Also, there was some big race between the two and Aiden beat her out for a spot in the National Championship, so it’s a lasting grudge.

Julian then points out that he never knew that Sakura and Madison’s families had so much history together and that it’s a shame that they couldn’t have stayed friends. The rest of the scene plays out the same.

Originally, Sakura asks how good of a runner Tomoyo’s mom is and Tomoyo responds that she was in the National Championships back in high school. Uh oh, that contrasts with the previous dialogue change. Better remove that scene entirely. Doopdedoo.

Toya says that their dad is the most athletic person in their family. Tori says that he neglected to mention that their dad won the National Championships that year. I’m just imagining Nelvana taking Sonomi’s trophy away and handing it to Fujitaka while saying “Screw you.”

I love how Yamazaki refuses to let Syaoran go in an emergency situation on the chance that injured people might come to them for aid since they’re on the medical staff for the event. (They really have no adults there to do that job? Seems irresponsible.) He even tackles him to the floor to keep him there. Isn’t it more important to go out and help people who may need to be saved instead of sitting there waiting for already injured people to go to you?…Granted it’s just flower petals falling from the sky, but still.

Sakura originally asks Tomoyo where she was holding that cell phone…I’d like to know too because it looks like she either took it out of Sakura’s back or pulled it out of the back of her pants…Dub Sakura just says “Remind me to thank you later.”

I love how they have to call Kero to realize that maybe they should look for the source of the flowers….Also, the fact that they didn’t notice a giant ball of pink light about 50 feet from them is baffling.

I know that this is part of the joke in their characters but Sonomi and Fujitaka really don’t find it odd that they’re being buried in flower petals? Just keep on truckin’ in the race, huh? They’re also not worried about the welfare of Sakura or Tomoyo when this height of flowers could bury them, possibly suffocate them and children are screaming all around them?

They edit out where Sakura comically falls over after Tomoyo says that she forgot to tape the clow card capture.

Yukito says he can make a bunch of jam with the flower petals. Julian says it’s a shame you can’t eat flowers, which, as you can see, is the exact opposite of what he said in the original. I guess they might not have wanted kids to eat random flowers or plants, but plenty of flowers are edible. I’ve eaten some in my time. Some are very sweet.

Originally, Sonomi was very, very mad that she lost to him. She explains how frustrated she was when Nadeshiko married a teacher and how they lived in a tiny apartment, went to school together, walked home holding hands and he made her lunch with matching husband and wife bento boxes. Fujitaka says that it would’ve been dishonorable to lose on purpose for her sake.

In the dub, Samantha’s more passive-aggressive if anything. She does the whole “First you beat me in high school, go on to the Nationals, now embarrass me in front of our kids so now you want to rub it in my face.” Blah blah blah, rivals, blah blah being rivals meant they pushed each other to their limits and he owes much of his victory at Nationals to her.

Sonomi continues on saying more stuff about how cutesy Nadeshiko and Fujitaka were in school while Samantha says “I’m the president of a toy company now, ya know?” Yeah, but you didn’t win the Nationals.

They omit the part where Sonomi says that Nadeshiko would always go to her with a smile whenever she was upset about their situation.

The flower that…well, Flower, gives to Sonomi and Fujitaka is a nadeshiko flower. Much like Sakura’s named after a flower, the cherry blossom, Nadeshiko was also named after a flower, which is a bright pink and white flower. In the dub, since her name was changed and they probably doubt kids would know what a nadeshiko flower is, they just say that the flower, whatever it is, was Natasha’s favorite.

Sonomi was crying because, despite the fact that Nadeshiko always smiled, she noticed that she always had her biggest and brightest smiles after she met and married Fujitaka and it pained her that she died so early in life. Fujitaka apologizes, and states that he regrets that she felt that way since that meant that he basically got the time with her from her 16th birthday to her 27th. Sonomi then breaks the hug they were in and pinches his cheeks saying that that what she hates about him.

In the dub, she says that she hated how much time Natasha spent with Aiden and she was so pent up in her rivalry with him that she never told Natasha that what she meant to her. Aiden says that she knew and the rest of the scene is cut.

Tomoyo tells Sakura that her mom always told her about how much she loved her cousin Nadeshiko. In fact, she wanted Tomoyo to grow out her hair because Nadeshiko’s hair was so long. Sakura then says that her mother really loved Sakura’s mother. Tomoyo responds by saying she loves Sakura too and Sakura says she loves Tomoyo. (D’awwww)

In the dub, a faraway shot of them at the beginning is edited away. I really thought this was edited away because they’re holding hands in this shot, but they leave every other shot of them holding hands alone. They basically say it’s cool how their mothers used to be friends and now they’re best friends and BFFs! Also, they say that they hope that Sakura’s dad and Madison’s mom can mend bridges one day and that they can always work on them.

They edit out a shot of Tomoyo, I guess the word would be ‘admiring’, Sakura as she runs toward Toya.

Leave it to Kero/Kero’s Corner: The dub doesn’t mention the fact that Sakura’s baton case is embroidered by her dad to spell her name.

Kero gives a mini-PSA at the end of the segment and says that exercise is important. He exercises by flapping his wings 30 times a day. In the dub, this is changed to praising Sakura for being a natural athlete who always picks up sports easily, which is why he chose her to be a cardcaptor. That whole thing with being the one to unleash the cards had nothing to do with it eh?

Also….did Syaoran never get away from Yamazaki’s clutches?

Next Episode, Shield’s debut! Tomoyo believes a clow card is keeping a jewelry box locked in her house. It can’t be opened by any means and both Tomoyo and her mother keep precious items in there so Tomoyo calls in Sakura to help.

SSBS – Tokyo Mew Mew Episode 36: Shirogane’s Past – The Secret of the Mew Mews’ Birth

SSBS - TMM EP 36 TITLE

Plot: Ichigo chews Shirogane out for her transforming into a cat. These days, the transformations are happening more frequently and they’re being triggered by something as minor as a dog lick. She is frustrated because the increasing risk of transformation makes it more difficult for her to live her day to day life and date Aoyama. Shirogane offers no help, however, and tells her to leave the room so he can change.

As she waits for him so she can chew him out some more, Akasaka informs her that Shirogane left. Ichigo begrudgingly leaves and is suddenly kissed by an iguana that flew out of the hands of a young boy.

She rushes to kiss a nearby bird to turn back and heads to school. As she’s walking, the same kid with the iguana shows back up and the exact same thing happens again. She spots a dog walking by so she rushes off to kiss it, but is stopped by the dog’s massive and angry boyfriend. He identifies her as the weird cat who’s been going around kissing small animals and is enraged that she’d go after his girlfriend.

He’s about to attack her when Alto shows up and saves her. Then run off and he kisses her, turning her back into a person. Before Alto is able to walk away, Ichigo grabs him and decides she’ll treat him to a can of cat food before she heads to school.

Alto suddenly starts glowing and turns into Shirogane, revealing he also has cat transformation powers. Ichigo spends the rest of the day in a daze at this revelation, especially considering that he kissed her. Akasaka pulls her aside and decides to tell her the whole story of Ryou’s power.

Five years ago, Akasaka was working in America under the archaeologist, Dr. Shirogane – Ryou’s father. He was secretly investigating some technology of a previously unknown species after a significant find in some ancient ruins.

They seemed to be the remains of creatures who could create chimeras, and Dr. Shirogane lived in dread of his find because he believed they could still be a threat to humanity to this day.

Ryou was an incredibly intelligent boy. He had an IQ of 180 and desired to be a scientist like his father. However, he was also bullied quite frequently, and his mother would always gently tend to his wounds without judgment since he was never in the wrong.

Akasaka suggested that, since they’re in America, his father let Ryou skip to attend university, something that is impossible to do in Japan. Dr. Shirogane, who didn’t really want to let his son follow in his dangerous footsteps, agreed since it might be the best choice for his son’s future and happiness.

Later that night, Ryou and Akasaka were out driving back home when they heard an explosion. They arrived home only to find the entire building engulfed in flames. Ryou was restrained by Akasaka as they saw the chimera animal from the fossil that Dr. Shirogane had been investigating had somehow resurrected and attacked the lab. The chimera animal vanished and Ryou’s father and mother perished in the blaze.

After the fire had died down, Ryou and Akasaka stood in the ruins of his home. Ryou proclaimed that his father’s research was not lost – he remembered everything in his father’s research logs, and he swore to go to Japan to restart and finish the Mew Project.

Like he promised, they returned to Japan and completed the Mew Project after five years of rebuilding and research. In order to ensure that this power was safe to inject in the girls they planned to target, Ryou injected himself with it, entrusting Akasaka to the project should this experiment fail.

Akasaka reveals that this power, when injected into someone who does not have the proper gene type, merely turns the person into an animal. As expected, Ryou turns into a cat when the process is complete, and he is forever granted the ability to transform back and forth into a cat through will. However, the hitch is that he cannot stay in cat form for longer than ten minutes, otherwise he’ll remain a cat forever.

Shirogane, in private, of course, has always been protecting the girls since before he even knew them. And he is always telling Akasaka that he’ll protect them no matter what.

A tearful Ichigo expresses regret that she’s always said such nasty things to him without knowing his story or his true intentions and feelings. Ryou walks in and tells her to not worry since he got them all into this in the first place – it’s merely the right thing to do.

Ichigo says she feels sorry for Ryou, and he suddenly decides to kiss her and turn her into a cat as punishment for saying she feels sorry for him. Akasaka tries to kiss her to turn her back, but she freaks out. The other girls, who have been listening outside the door, collapse on the floor when Ryou leaves. Ichigo takes the opportunity to kiss Pudding to transform back.

She confronts Ryou in the hall saying she’ll never pity him, but now that she knows Ryou’s serious about this situation, she’ll always do her best.

——————————

– This episode has a lot of Shirogane fanservice for a budget episode….wait, Shirogane’s backstory episode is a budget episode? What the hell?

– This is the second time Ichigo’s walked in on a half-naked Shirogane…

– Ichigo says that she never used to transform unless she was properly kissed, but now she’s turning into one when she’s licked by a dog….but a dog kiss is what turned her in the episode where she discovered this ability. I guess that was still a kiss-kiss, but still.

-….Alright, why the hell is there a kid running in the sidewalk holding up a massive iguana yelling ‘YAY! IGUANA!’?

– Wait, what the hell?! She can talk to birds now?! Sorry, Mint. Ichigo took your thunder – the thunder you only kinda have.….I guess I’ll file this under ‘all animals can talk to each other’ but Aoyama’s dog never talked to her in the last transformation episode – only other cats did.

– Why even bother asking if the bird is male or female if it didn’t matter to her?

SSBS - TMM EP 36 Screen1

– What the hell was the point of that entire segment? It’s not even really showing that Ichigo is transforming more easily because the iguana full-on kissed her – it’s just that the circumstances were ridiculously convoluted.

– It happened the exact same way A SECOND TIME!? Why does this complete braindead moron of a child keep running around yelling ‘Yay IGUANA!’ without looking where he’s going? He tripped in the exact same way at the exact spot with the exact force needed to send it flying onto Ichigo’s lips AGAIN! And, in spite of the transformation to cat form including a big pink light, this idiot kid again doesn’t see a thing.

This is some lazy writing meant to pad time and recycle animation. Seriously, most of the shots are from the last transformation scene only with the perspective reversed.

– She can understand dogs now! For god’s sake! I know it’s, probably, only when she’s transformed, but screw it. I’m calling this – she snaked the only two ‘extra’ powers the other girls had. Sorry, girls. Ichigo’s too special. Go back to being part of the wall.

SSBS - TMM EP 36 Screen2

– This has been happening so often to Ichigo that animals are going around talking about the strange cat who’s forcing kisses on small animals? (“Kissing maniac”, as Ryou puts it) Even if dog licks are also triggering it now, she shouldn’t be transforming at this frequency.

– I hate to side with the dog attacking Ichigo…but…she is a little bit of a serial animal molester right now.

– How did Ryou know she’d be in that alley or that she was being attacked? Does he have Blue Knight powers now? Funnily enough, even Ichigo draws this comparison.

– Wait, she de-transformed….and now she can’t understand Alto….the cat…who she should be able to understand….Did the writers completely forget the powers she has?

– Just out of curiosity, why does Ryou not transform with kisses?

– Did her bag transform with her?

– Give the show props – this is the first time we’ve gotten confirmation that chimera animals have killed people before. That’s definitely a proper jump in threat level.

SSBS - TMM EP 36 Screen3
Pretty intimidating design too.

– Why can only girls properly attain Mew power? Akasaka says you need a specific gene type to attain the power, which is fine, but he specifically said that girls were the main target for the power. Is it only girls who can have this gene? Why?

– Also doesn’t explain where the scarf came from.

– I get that they did extensive research on this stuff, but how do they know ten minutes is the time limit for Shirogane’s permanent transformation?

– God, Ichigo’s getting all sorts of game. Yet the girls can’t even get a love interest to save their lives.

– She clearly seems more comfortable kissing Pudding than she does Akasaka. I’m not sure what I’m implying, but there ya go.

SSBS - TMM EP 36 Screen4

– I love how the girls have been literally nothing but background decorations this whole episode. They didn’t even get a line. At most they got a few reaction noises. If Ichigo had just let Akasaka kiss her, I wouldn’t have even mentioned one of them in the synopsis. That final shot of them all in front of the cafe is even worse since Ichigo’s the only one who moves so it makes them all look like literal cardboard cutouts.

– I like how the next episode preview music is changed for the Christmas episode. It’s the music box song, and I love it.

————————————

Overall, pretty bad first half, but great second half.

There were much better ways to show that Ichigo’s fed up with Ryou’s flippant attitude towards her Mew problems than to have a contrived ‘Ichigo keeps getting kissed by an iguana’ plot. Maybe, I dunno, show her on a date with Aoyama and needing to run away because he made her so flustered that she turned into a full-on cat.

Her transforming more often because the threshold for emotion keeps getting lower is much more believable than ‘dammit, I can’t go one day without something or someone kissing me….and it’s turning me into an animal molester!’

Ryou’s backstory was quite good and does up the ante with the whole situation with the aliens and the chimera animals. I don’t remember if we ever find out what happened to the chimera animal that killed Ryou’s parents nor what allowed it to resurrect, but that’s alright.

I kinda wish the backstory had been longer and went over the majority of the episode instead of being relegated to the second half. We would’ve been able to connect more with Ryou’s parents and feel more of his pain.

Also, despite being a budget episode, the animation wasn’t all that bad. I wish they didn’t default to the ‘insanely giant eyes – can barely see the lines for the nose and mouth’ style, though. Still wondering why such an important episode was a budget episode, too.

Next episode, CHRISTMAS IN SEPTEMBER!? WHOO!

Ichigo struggles with her feelings as she and Aoyama spend Christmas together. Can she continue to keep her Mew powers a secret? Should she?

Pokemon Episode 49 Analysis: So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d

Pokemon Ep 49 Title

CotD(s): Keith – An idiot and a thief, Keith utilizes his Farfetch’d to trick Pokemon trainers so he can steal their stuff.

Pokemon: Farfetch’d.

Reappear?: No.

Plot: Ash, Misty and Brock stop in the middle of a forest to rest. Ash looks up Farfetch’d on his Pokedex since Brock mentioned a rumor about one being spotted around the area. They’re extremely rare, so Ash is itching to catch one.

As Ash and Brock head off to get some water, Misty rests with her Psyduck. She spots a Farfetch’d that is clearly trying to impress her, so she decides to try and capture it. However, it runs away from her. She bumps into a boy in the forest and after they exchange apologies, he grabs her bag off the ground and hands it back to her. He leaves, but now Farfetch’d is long gone.

When Misty returns, she meets up with Ash and Brock and tries to relay her story to them when she realizes her bag is filled with rocks. The boy she bumped into, Keith, must’ve taken her bag on accident. Misty freaks out since all of her Pokemon were in that bag, so they rush off to tell Officer Jenny.

Meanwhile, Keith is revealed to be a big con man. He switched her bag on purpose to steal her Pokemon and the Farfetch’d who ran off was actually his.

As he enjoys the fruits of his mischievous labor, Team Rocket walks by. He decides to pull off another con. He tells them that he’s looking for someone to take his Farfetch’d, Staryu and Starmie off his hands because he’s tired of being a Pokemon trainer. They happily agree, and he suddenly has to take off for a few minutes, so he asks them to watch his Farfetch’d and his bags. Again, they agree, but decide to just swipe his stuff and make a quick getaway on a nearby boat.

They laugh about their haul until they realize the boat has been sabotaged by Keith. It starts to sink, and Jessie and James’ Pokeballs float off in the water. Farfetch’d scoops them up in a basket to deliver them to Keith. Jessie and James try to use the Starmie and Staryu they believe they stole until they discover that the bag is yet another one filled with nothing but rocks. Team Rocket, sufficiently conned, get swept away by a waterfall.

Misty, Brock and Ash arrive at the police station, and Jenny reveals the swap was no accident. That same Farfetch’d con was pulled on at least five other trainers that week alone. She’s been trying to catch the culprit for a while, but he never stays in one spot for too long.

Meanwhile, Psyduck lets itself out of its Pokeball and takes notice of its situation. It runs off into the forest to tell Misty. She brings Jenny out to the spot in the forest where Keith bumped into her and Psyduck suddenly pops up. They decide to follow Psyduck’s direction to find Keith.

Team Rocket find and confront Keith. He gets them to go away again by giving them a whole bag filled with Pokeballs as an ‘apology.’ He’s about to move camp when Misty and the others find him. They scold him for stealing Pokemon, citing how much love and hard work goes into training them to help them win battles. Jenny believes he’d learn a good lesson if he had to battle with his Farfetch’d. Keith doesn’t want to battle, however, since he believes Farfetch’d is too weak.

Farfetch’d decides to go in on his own, against Keith’s wishes. Ash sends out his Bulbasaur and the match begins. For a while, it seems Keith was right. Farfetch’d is getting beaten down badly by Bulbasaur. Keith tries over and over to get Farfetch’d to give up, but it won’t listen. It suddenly turns the match around with Agility to confuse Bulbasaur. Then it finishes the battle with a Fury Attack.

Keith is baffled since he never knew Farfetch’d had such power. He admits that, had he known, he never would’ve used it for stealing.

That’s not quite good enough, and Ash tries to continue the battle, but Misty intervenes to battle him herself. She tries to send out her Pokemon only to remember that she never got her Pokeballs back. Psyduck steps up and it’s a duck on duck smackdown….literally.

Farfetch’d starts smacking Psyduck in the head with its leek, laughing at how pathetic Psyduck seems. Misty, realizing that Psyduck will get a terrible headache this way, encourages Farfetch’d to keep attacking. The headache triggers Psyduck’s psychic powers and it uses Disable to throw Farfetch’d into Keith and then throws them both into a tree.

Meanwhile, Team Rocket is in their balloon, and they want to see what Pokemon Keith gave them. They open the Pokeballs and reveal that they’re all filled with Voltorb. They chuck them all out of the basket before they can explode, and the Voltorb rain over Ash and the others. As the explosions go off around them, Keith yells out that he’s sorry for stealing and that he’ll never do it again.

Later, at the police station, Keith is relieved to hear that none of his victims will be pressing charges since the Pokemon are all being returned to their rightful owners. He decides to start a proper Pokemon journey and work hard to train his Farfetch’d to be the best it can be.

Team Rocket keep up the search for Keith, prepared to report their encounter to Giovanni, but Meowth convinces them not to since he’d probably want to hire him and fire them as a result. A leftover Voltorb explodes in the basket and Team Rocket blasts off.

—————————

– I always thought it odd that, out of all the Pokemon you could claim are hunted for their delicious meat so fiercely that they’re nearly extinct, you’d choose…Farfetch’d….the Pokemon based on the very common non-nearly-extinct duck.

– I also find it odd that no one says anything in disgust or outrage that Farfetch’d are nearly extinct because they’re too yummy. Ash just says he wants to capture one because they’re so rare.

– Let’s just get this out of the way – I don’t care for Farfetch’d.

I adore ducks. Ducks are insanely awesome. I am always checking local ponds, lakes and rivers for ducks when I drive by them. My favorite hockey team is the Ducks purely because their mascot is a duck. Yes, I am that petty. I have a duck Beanie Baby. Ducks are amazing.

This duck, however, is boringly designed and ugly. It’s a blah shade of brown, it looks like it has a unibrow, and it’s a little dumb to have a duck Pokemon that’s not at least partially Water Type. What were they thinking? Make an ugly duck and give it a leek. Then make it Normal-Flying. Another Pokemon successfully designed.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen1

It’s also redundant because, as we plainly see, we already have two duck Pokemon in this gen with Psyduck and Golduck. Sure, neither really looks like a traditional duck, but since when does that matter?

Even its voice is annoying. Ducks aren’t exactly songbirds, but Farfetch’d sounds like a kazoo being tortured.

People only even remember this thing because it has a silly name. And that’s English-exclusive, so it doesn’t even really have that. Why is it called that anyway?

Wiki – “Farfetch’d is derived from far-fetched, meaning unbelievable, perhaps relating to Farfetch’d’s rarity or the “far-fetched” theme of its Japanese name.

Kamonegi is a combination of kamo (wild duck) and negi (spring onion). Additionally, 鴨葱 kamonegi is an abbreviation of the proverb 「鴨が葱をしょって来る」 (“a duck comes bearing green onions“), which means “something surprising but convenient”.”

……Alright, first of all, Farfetch’d would’ve had to have been nearly extinct since it was first discovered to warrant the name ‘Farfetch’d’ because of that, which is impossible.

Second, Farfetch’d is uncommon at best. It’s nowhere near rare enough to call it ‘far-fetched’ to ever see it. It also has a fairly high capture rate.

Third, alright, let’s say that they were clever enough to poke fun at the origins of Kamonegi’s name. Why poke fun at that name specifically? There are a hell of a lot more Pokemon with weird name origins to warrant being called ‘Farfetch’d’ A duck holding a leek based on an old proverb? Weird, sure, but considering the other weird Pokemon in existence, it doesn’t deserve that moniker.

– “So Near, Yet So Farfetch’d” And I hate your title! It’s a pun for the sake of nothing, and it barely makes sense!

….Sorry, residual anger.

– I’m confused. Since when do they need to ask the others’ permission before they go off to try and capture a Pokemon? I know Farfetch’d is ‘rare,’ but what did they expect her to do? Run off and tell them about it, bring them back and hope this ‘super-rare’ Pokemon sits still long enough for them to return and discuss who gets to capture it?

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen2

– So this kid’s scam, one of them anyway, is to lure trainers into running into the forest after Farfetch’d, bump into them and….somehow have a bag that looks identical to theirs prepared to swap out with the victim’s…..How?

Not only that, but he seems to be under the assumption that all of the trainers he tries this with will be holding their bags so loosely that they’ll pop off when he bumps into them. Even with Misty having her bag on her shoulder and not grasping it with her hand, chances are the bag would slip down her arm and not just fly off after being hit.

Even so, he is a master of slight-of-hand if he can grab the bag as it’s slipping off, throw it to where it won’t be seen, and make the switch for the identical bag filled with rocks without the target seeing him do it.

A better plan would be to lure Misty away from the spot so he could steal Ash and Brock’s bags, since she just left them sitting there to chase after Farfetch’d…..Actually, he had no way to know she’d take her bag in the first place so this whole trick could’ve been for nothing. A lot of ridiculous dominoes had to fall in place perfectly for this to work.

– What is in Misty’s bag that she doesn’t find it suspicious when her bag is switched with one filled with rocks?

– Keith: “Let’s see what’s inside. Five Pokeballs! This must be all of her Pokemon!” Why would you assume that when most trainers have full parties of six?

– Give him credit, though, he’s way more successful at this than Team Rocket ever was.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen3

– I’m a little confused as to why Misty and the others believe Keith switched the bags on accident. Do they really believe this kid was carrying a bag of rocks wrapped with newspaper on a random walk through the forest?

Not only that, but Keith obviously didn’t leave the scene with a bag.

– For some reason, Keith’s character design is modeled after Farfetch’d. I have no clue why they randomly decide to do this with some CotD and their Pokemon, but it’s obvious and goofy.

I’m aware that Ash has those lines on his face because they’re meant to look like lightning bolts and he has a Pikachu, but it’s not like he looks like a Pikachu.

– Jessie: “I hear that people are spotting Farfetch’d in this forest all the time.” Well, then, they’re not that rare then, are they?

Oh excuse me, I meant to say ‘That’s far-fetched!’

– Why are Team Rocket so disheartened to learn Farfetch’d has a trainer? They do remember what they are, right?

– Meowth: “Hehehe, that sucker just lost one Farfetch’d!” But he was planning on giving it away anyway. I don’t get why this plan had any further steps since he should’ve screwed himself over after saying ‘I’m looking for someone to take all these Pokemon off my hands.’ Team Rocket would be all ‘We can do that!’ and his response would’ve been…what? They just cut from him saying he’s looking for someone to take his Pokemon to him walking in the forest with Team Rocket.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen4

“Look, he even left a boat for our getaway!” How and why does he have that there? Also, either he knows what Team Rocket is, and hardly anyone, even those in law enforcement, know what Team Rocket is, or he’s just under the assumption that any random trainer will steal Pokemon when given the chance.

– How did he know they’d take the boat instead of just running away?

– Meowth: “Too bad he didn’t leave his recipe for Farfetch’d flambe!” I know he’s joking, but this is the third time they’ve mentioned eating this thing. They finally manage to snag a really rare Pokemon and they seem to be seriously considering eating it.

– How did he know merely putting them out in the water would be enough to knock their Pokeballs off? I thought Pokeballs sank. Or is this one of those factoids they screw with whenever they feel it like because the plot says so?

How did he know they wouldn’t be able to stop the boat from sinking? How did he know they didn’t have a Water Pokemon capable of saving them? How did he know they wouldn’t be able to grab their lost Pokeballs before they floated away? This guy is either the luckiest kid in the world, or this is some of the most convoluted writing in the world.

– How did Jessie and James even know those Pokeballs contained Arbok, Weezing and Lickitung (Lickitung’s here because of episode arrangement problems due to the incident.)? They didn’t check their belts to see if their Pokemon had gone missing. They could’ve just been garbage Pokeballs floating in the lake.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen5

– Congratulations, Keith! You’ve been upgraded from a petty thief to an attempted murderer!

Even if you take the boat sinking and capsizing on purpose as a harmless prank, and he had no reason to believe they could swim, there’s a massive waterfall they get dragged into as a result, which would almost certainly kill them whether or not they can swim.

– Jenny can’t catch a backpack thief who is staying in a large tent no more than 100 feet from the nearest trail, considering he can easily see Team Rocket passing by. She’s been on this case for at least a week, but says she’s been trailing him ‘for a while.’ He targeted both sets of main characters within an hour and he’s really cocky. Bait him out. It’d be easy.

– Keith: “We’ve been together for a long time, Farfetch’d. Right after I found you injured on the road and nursed you back to health, we started stealing. I wish there was some other way for us to get by, but…how else are we going to survive?”

That was so exposition-y I’m going to have a bruise from the exposition hammer you just slammed into my face.

Who just randomly spouts out their backstory to the only other being who knows it?

Also, that second sentence is so weird. It sounds like the reason they started stealing was because he nursed a wounded Farfetch’d back to health.

“I wish there was some other way for us to get by”? Do you not have parents, kid? I assume most Pokemon trainers have allowances sent to them by their parents so they can travel the world without needing to get odd jobs or resorting to….well…thievery. Either his parents are terrible or he’s an orphan. In the case of the latter, why isn’t he in a group home or with relatives or something?

Keep in mind that he’s very clearly stealing money and other items from these trainers in addition to their Pokemon, but all Jenny and anyone else seems to be concerned with is the Pokemon. If he wasn’t stealing items or money, which he must be considering he’s stealing whole backpacks, where did he get the money for that massive tent or all that camping gear or that boat that he just flippantly sank on purpose?

Either way, don’t try to BS me into feeling bad for this guy. It would be one thing if he was obviously reluctant to steal or at least outwardly expressed remorse to himself after he stole something, but he doesn’t. Like I said, he’s cocky about it. He finds it entertaining. Not to mention that you don’t need to steal POKEMON to ‘get by’ unless he’s selling them or something, and that’s even worse.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen6

Oh but please, continue, Keith.

“We’re just too weak to battle.”

1) Is this confirming that trainers give out money to their opponents when they lose, like in the games? That sounds like it’d be a huge pain in the butt. How do you even decide upon the amount?

2) If the parent thing was the real reason he doesn’t have money, he’d have said that. Since he blames their lack of money or whatever on weakness in battle, which we’ll address soon enough, I’m left to assume he’s not an orphan. What’s the deal there, then?

3) If that’s the issue, why did he not just steal some Pokemon and start using them to win battles, legitimately catch more Pokemon and get money? Why is he collecting a mass amount of Pokemon just to seemingly use them as tools in his tricks? He’s been at this ‘for a while’ (At least enough time for a significant injury to heal) and has at least ten backpacks, not counting what I believe is his own bag. Unless he’s been selling the Pokemon, there’s no reason why he hasn’t been doing this unless he’s just making dumb excuses for himself to make it seem like he’s a victim somehow.

– I commend Psyduck for going off to find Misty….but I think it’s more than strong enough to have brought her bag to her as well.

– Misty gives zero shits that her Psyduck was stolen. Being annoyed by it is one thing, not caring that it could now be in the hands of someone who might be doing harm to it is just low.

– Then she turns around and is all happy to see Psyduck. I hate how she acts around Psyduck sometimes. Does she think her friends will think less of her if she shows affection for a Pokemon she has had an unreasonable amount of anger for since the day she met it? I’d think they’d think less of her for treating it like crap for no reason.

– Why is Misty asking Psyduck all these questions like it possesses the ability to answer back with anything but ‘Psyduck’?

– Granted, it’s a kinda funny scene…..until Misty blows up at Psyduck.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen7

– How did he manage to pack up ten backpacks, a tent, cooking equipment and all those Pokeballs in three bags?

– Why is he not packing the Pokeballs in their shrunken forms? Surely that would make them easier to pack and carry.

– Keith: “Well, if we meet someone on the road, we’ll just have to take their Pokemon too!” See, even he states he’s doing this purely for the Pokemon, which let’s assume he’s keeping. And he’s outright proclaiming that even bumping into a random person on the trail is grounds for stealing their Pokemon. He’s not doing this because he has no choice. He’s not doing this to ‘get by.’ He’s doing it because he’s a jerk.

– Keith: “Hey, can’t you guys take a joke?” A joke where you steal their Pokemon and try to murder them? Haha.

– Why and how did he have an entire bag filled with Pokeballs that only contained Voltorb? That either means:

1) He legitimately caught all of those for the sake of using them as a means to deal with threats or anyone who manages to find him. In which case, that means he has a bunch of Pokemon who are, objectively, fairly strong. Why does he not just use them in battle?

I doubt this one because that would most likely mean he’s used Farfetch’d in battle, and he hasn’t.

2) He ran into several trainers who had numerous Voltorb on them for whatever reason. How does that happen?

3) Either way, he just gave up like 25 Pokemon. He could’ve easily just used one, had it explode and run away in the smoke.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen8

– Jenny: “You’re under arrest for grand theft Pokemon!” That’s a thing? Also, many counts of regular theft and several counts of attempted murder.

“Maybe we should start off by showing this kid just how difficult a Pokemon battle is!” Jenny, for the love of god, just cuff him! You’re not his mom. It’s not your job to teach him a lesson about how difficult it is to battle Pokemon, which is an asinine lesson at this juncture anyway.

You want to teach a real lesson? Take his Farfetch’d away. The real moral Ash was going for was you can’t take someone’s Pokemon away because they put a lot of love and care into raising them. The battling thing is only a small part of that.

He’d lose his Farfetch’d anyway since I doubt they allow Pokemon in juvie.

– Who really has the final say in consent when it comes to Pokemon battles? Keith is very clearly against this, but Farfetch’d wants to battle.

– Misty: “At least now you can see the right way to capture a Pokemon in the wild!” This line is bafflingly horrible to me because she’s saying this while Bulbasaur is beating the living hell out of Farfetch’d. It’s hard to see who has the moral high ground here. No, it’s not right to steal other people’s Pokemon, but it’s also very difficult to say it’s better to beat Pokemon into submission, jam them into a small ball and enslave them for life.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen9

– Ash: “What’s that?”

Brock: “It’s Farfetch’d’s Agility!”

Keith: “I didn’t know Farfetch’d could do that.”

Let’s play pretend and believe levels properly exist in the Pokemon world again. If this is right, Farfetch’d is at least level 31. How did it get to this point without Keith battling with it? If it was that level when they met, why did he ever believe Farfetch’d was a weakling?

The only thing I can come up with is that, since they met when Farfetch’d was very injured, Keith subconsciously believed Farfetch’d never recovered to a point where it was strong enough to battle again. However, nothing in the episode implies this. Keith never states such a thing. It’s a very weak correlation that is basically fantheory territory.

The best explanation I can make out of this for real is that Keith never bothered trying to train it or battle it. I would say maybe he’s so worthless as a trainer that he couldn’t do much with Farfetch’d but he is literally doing nothing but telling Farfetch’d to stop and it’s winning.

He just assumed Farfetch’d was too weak to ever battle for absolutely no reason and never bothered putting him in a battle because of that fact. I don’t even know how he managed that because Farfetch’d is very confident in battle and is going in against its master’s commands.

In essence, his reasoning behind why he ‘has’ to steal Pokemon and backpacks, which is ludicrous enough, is based on a ridiculous assumption he never bothered to check.

– Keith: “Wow, I never knew Farfetch’d had attacks like that.”

Misty: “You really didn’t know about its powers?”

Keith: “No. If I had known it was this strong, I wouldn’t have used it to steal.”

If they hadn’t wedged in that exposition earlier, purely on the basis that he said that to no one but himself and Farfetch’d, I would swear this is another con. Even Misty facepalms at how clueless this kid seems.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen10

Brock: “You can’t judge a Pokemon by the way it looks.”

Oh….so his assumption was based on….the fact that Farfetch’d’s design looks weak….That’s even worse. There are a multitude of Pokemon who look much weaker than Farfetch’d and they win matches just fine.

– Wait, now he’s sending Pikachu out? For what purpose? Keith only has Farfetch’d, legitimately. If Farfetch’d falls, he’d have nothing to even the match with. Why is this not merely one on one? Is this match designed specifically to have Keith lose? That’s unethical to say the least. Two wrongs don’t make a right, guys.

Let me also point out that Farfetch’d is very visibly injured right now. They rarely ever show wounds on anything in this show, but Farfetch’d looks like it’s been thrown off a cliff. Not to mention that Ash is sending Pikachu after a Flying type. This is needlessly cruel, even if Farfetch’d won. He gets the point.

– Misty: “Hold it! He robbed me, so it’s my job to battle him!” What? He’s already in the middle of a battle. Where was this five minutes ago?

“I choose you, Staryu!….Oh wait. I forgot. I didn’t get my Pokeballs back yet.” This is kinda funny, but it’s also a little stupid considering Misty also didn’t notice that she didn’t grab nor throw a Pokeball. Did she think Staryu was already out for some reason?

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen11

– Psyduck fighting for Misty’s…honor I guess, is kinda cool, but I really wish the poor thing could use its psychic abilities without needing to be put in terrible pain.

– Yeah, you threw a ten-year-old into a tree and cheered. Be the bigger person, Misty.

– Why would Team Rocket think it smart to open all those Pokeballs in the hot air balloon? Any one of those could hold something like a Snorlax, which would cause them to crash, or a Magmar, which would probably kill them just by being in such close proximity. Even if they were all small Pokemon, opening them all at once is incredibly risky in such a small space in a hot air balloon.

Do I even need to mention that, since they didn’t think to check the Pokeballs before leaving the area, Keith could’ve just given them empty Pokeballs?

They are being ridiculously dumb today, even for them.

– Also, giving people a bunch of Pokemon that are essentially bombs. More counts of attempted murder.

– Also, also….does this mean Team Rocket never got their Pokemon back?

– Team Rocket has been gone for a while now. What are the odds they would be flying right overhead as they decided to open those Pokeballs?

– Good thing Voltorb can easily survive 300 foot falls.

– From what we’ve seen, Voltorb explosions are typically much more violent than this. Either these are some very low-level Voltorb or this is more inconsistency.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen12

– Keith: “Forgive me. I’ll give back all the Pokemon I stole.” You don’t really have a choice.

Jenny: “None of the victims are going to press charges since they all got their Pokemon back.”…..What!? This is seriously a three numbered list rant episode? Fine.

1) None of them are going to press charges? Not a single one?

2) All of them are still in the area? Or do more people have cell phones in this world than we’ve been lead to believe?

3) You managed to contact all of these people and ask them if they’ll press charges in such a short amount of time?

4) Keith only now agreed to give back the Pokemon, meaning the victims haven’t yet gotten their Pokemon back. *Some might be missing. If none are missing, that confirms that he hasn’t been selling them, but if he hasn’t been selling them or using them in battles, what is the point in stealing them at all?

Also, same issue with Team Rocket, what if this is another con? What if all of those Pokeballs are empty or have more Voltorb in them? You’d never know until after he left.

5) Again, you’re only focusing on the fact that he stole Pokemon. He also stole property and money. I assume they’re getting at least most of their property back (though, if he also stole the boat…) but what about the cash? Considering he’s been ‘getting by’ on stealing, he must’ve used up a good chunk of the money and can’t replace it if he doesn’t get money of his own.

6) Let’s be really, really, insanely generous right now and say this kid would get off without charges or juvie time. Jenny should still technically be taking him in since he seemingly has no parents and no financial assistance.

Pokemon Ep 49 Screen13
Alright thief kid with no money, no place to stay, no parents and a penchant for attempted murder. Be on your way.

– I was under the assumption that the big blue bag was legitimately his, but he left it behind. Now he’s traveling without any supplies whatsoever?

If you really don’t get money through trainer battles, he’ll be back to stealing within a day or two.

– *There was a Voltorb left the in the basket, meaning one of those victims must be missing a Voltorb if none of those were legitimately caught by Keith, which, if he’s never battled with Farfetch’d, must be true. Charges filed then?

– Where was that Voltorb hiding in the balloon?

———————————-

This episode is dumb.

It is.

This is another episode I have on VHS, and even back when I was a kid I didn’t care for it.

Keith’s character is all over the place. I don’t like Farfetch’d (and it’s yet another Pokemon that never seems to be characterized as anything but a cocky jerk) Misty was being a bitch, Team Rocket was being stupid even for them and Keith’s cons weren’t so much clever as they were simultaneously insanely lucky and completely contrived.

Not to mention that this is another criminal character who is getting away with various crimes without a drop of legal ramifications just because they ‘learned their lesson’ some other way. I don’t think this one’s quite as infuriating as the criminal situation with Melvin, but it’s on the same level. At least Keith’s not nearly as obnoxious or creepy as Melvin.

Next episode, prepare yourselves.

The egg is hatching……and the Togepi is upon us….

SSBS – Yu Yu Hakusho Episode 3: Kuwabara – A Promise Between Men

SSBS - YYH EP 3

Plot: Kuwabara and his friends save Keiko from a bunch of thugs, but their actions land them in trouble back at school. The bastard teacher Mr. Akashi is more than happy to lay out the punishment for them. The terms: No fighting for a whole week or else Okubo loses his part-time job privileges. Okubo desperately needs this job since his mother is too sick to work, his siblings are too young to work and his father’s not in the picture.

It seems like a doable task, even with Kuwabara willingly taking every beating that the many thugs who have a vendetta against him and his friends dole out. He even commands them to target him and only him so his friends won’t suffer.

Mr. Akashi suddenly adds another condition: Every boy in the group must earn at least 50 points on the upcoming physical science test. Most of the boys are confident that they can meet this challenge since their scores in the previous test weren’t too bad, but Kuwabara reveals that he got a measly seven points on his last test.

Desperate to help his friend, Kuwabara starts studying like never before. He’s hitting the books hard, but his many rivals in the area are hitting him even harder. Yusuke decides to try and help his friend by reaching him in a dream the night before the test. He helps him study while he sleeps, and he seems set for a passing grade the next morning.

More thugs try to jump him while he makes his way to the test. Yusuke is helpless to protect him until the boys accidentally knock out a schoolgirl that Yusuke is acquainted with. He possesses her and beats the hell out of the boys without Kuwabara even noticing.

Kuwabara’s test goes well, and he’s able to determine that he passed before he even got his grade by copying his answers and checking them after the test was over. He and his friends are ecstatic, but Mr. Akashi is devastated that his plan didn’t work. Mr. Iwamoto, his bastard partner in crime, helps him by erasing the last answer on the test, giving Kuwabara a failing grade.

When Kuwabara gets his grade, he’s furious, but he’s even more enraged when he notices that Mr. Akashi erased the final answer on his test. Fed up, Kuwabara attempts to hit Mr. Akashi, but Yusuke ‘stops’ him and tells him to not give up everything he just did for Okubo for the sake of beating an idiot teacher.

Kuwabara relents and walks away. Mr. Akashi looks on in satisfaction until Mr. Takanaka shows up and reveals he knows what Mr. Akashi and Iwamoto did to his test. He demands that he change the grade and honor the conditions that he set for Kuwabara and his friends.

Okubo and the others share the good news with Kuwabara as Yusuke and Botan watch them up in the sky. She reveals that Kuwabara couldn’t hear him or feel him back there, but he probably felt the communication of his intentions through Yusuke’s feelings.

Kuwabara looks up into the sky, seemingly sensing Yusuke’s feelings again, and thanks his lost buddy for his help.

——————————

Episodes like this are a shining example of why I love this show and these characters so much.

It also exemplifies why Kuwabara is a precious cupcake, protect him.

Every second of this episode, barring the enraging Mr. Akashi and Mr. Iwamoto, makes my little jaded heart flutter. Kuwabara and his friends protecting Keiko, Kuwabara and his friends fiercely sticking together as they get unfairly punished, them also sticking up for Okubo when he gets targeted, Kuwabara asking, without prompt, for the bullies to target him and only him with their beatings, Kuwabara taking the beatings without an ounce of retaliation, Kuwabara doing all of that hard work studying to get a good grade for Okuko to keep his job, Yusuke helping out Kuwabara several times in various ways, those little moments between Kuwabara and his friends at the end as well as his look to the sky to thank Yusuke and his smile back down at him – how can you not feel all warm and gooey?

When people ask me why this is my favorite fighting anime, I just think of episodes like this. Particularly this one, to be honest, because this is one of my absolute favorite episodes of YYH.

In addition to being a wonderful friendship episode, it’s also a perfect melding of the action aspect with the gentler moments. Yusuke beating the crap out of those jerks as an innocent schoolgirl is just golden. It sucks that the Toonami airing cut out him viciously kicking one of them over and over in the groin.

It’s also great how they perfectly mixed this episode as both a story that highlights the strength of Kuwabara’s friendship with his inner circle with his friendship with Yusuke. We barely even know anything about his other friends at this point either, yet you feel like you know them quite well in this episode.

We never got to focus much on the friendship aspect of Yusuke and Kuwabara’s relationship yet, so this was a great opportunity to show them as more than just rivals, and it gives a lot of backing behind Kuwabara’s outburst at Yusuke’s funeral.

I guess the only thing left to say about this episode is….

Fuck Mr. Akashi and Mr. Iwamoto.

Next time, Yusuke’s revival is getting closer and closer, but his reincarnation might be put in danger when his house catches fire. There’s no one in the house to save Yusuke’s barely living body, and it’s up to Keiko to save him. Can she get Yusuke’s body to safety or will she die trying?

SSBS – Smile Precure! Episode 2: Burn! It’s the Hot-Blooded Cure Sunny!!

SSBS - SP EP 2 TITLE

Plot: After watching her amazing display in a volleyball match at school, Miyuki watches Akane in a volleyball club match. However, she does poorly and is seemingly losing the chance to be the ace attacker on their squad.

Later, Miyuki tries to cheer up Akane, but she finds that Akane’s not disappointed – she’s more determined than ever to get better to earn her spot as ace attacker. Miyuki offers to help her practice, and she agrees.

The next day, Akane does much better in her match, but the day is sullied when Wolfrun reappears. Cure Happy’s not enough on her own. Does Akane have the inner fire to become a Precure herself and save her friend?

Breakdown: I feel like Akane will be my favorite character in the future. I like her attitude and her spirit. She’s got a good sense of humor without being a jerk about it, and she’s got plenty of fiery passion and determination.

That being said, one of the things that confuses me about this episode is the message.

Akane is amazing at volleyball and blows everyone away when she plays with her class. In the club, she does terribly. After one afternoon of hard practice, she’s suddenly on ace attacker level?

It would’ve helped if we knew why Akane was playing so badly in that match. It might just be a matter of bad luck or having a bad day, but then what’s the lesson? Never giving up and trying your hardest is good, but considering there’s no reason for her bad game, it seems odd. She’s not overcoming anything or working through anything if she already had the skills and confidence to begin with.

Either that, or they’re saying she didn’t stack up with the league players before and, after one afternoon of hard practice, she’s on her way to ace attacker?

Maybe they could’ve had her be uncertain with herself in the club, but she’s much more confident in her abilities in class games because there’s not as much pressure. Then, with the help of Miyuki and the practice they had together, she becomes more relaxed and confident in her club matches. She had the determination in her, hence why she was working so hard, but the help of friendship allowed her to shine through….like the sun!

I’m so clever.

Plus, Cure Sunny is a badass. That fiery transformation. That kickass attack – a flaming volleyball spike of death! It is convenient that it’s a volleyball move, but it’s a million times more awesome than a heart shaped sparkly laser. In addition, I like that it seems like Sunny has super strength above Happy’s because that gives her something else to differentiate herself.

Next Episode, the debut of Cure Peace!

Episode One-Derland: Log Horizon

Plot: Elder Tale is one of the most popular MMORPGs on the market today with over 20 million players worldwide. The game becomes reality for hundreds of thousands of players when they find that they are now within the game world, haven taken over their game personas. They can feel, smell, touch and taste everything within the world of Elder Tale. One question remains, however; what happens when you die?

Breakdown: Being a fan of MMORPGs and a franchise with a similar story, Dot Hack, I got into this rather easily. It even sorta grants a wish I had at the end of .Hack//Quantum which was “I wish we got to see more of a widespread “trapped in the game” epidemic, since this was such a flash in the pan.”

Though, I will say, like the Dot Hack anime, the first episode is fairly slow. Not as slow as Sign or Roots, but still slow. Not much happens is all. They realize they’re stuck in the game along with thousands of other players, our main characters gather together and they have a fight with some monsters.

It is definitely more fun than the intro episodes of the aforementioned series, but structurally, it has similar flaws.

As a first episode, it establishes much of the necessary information such as our main characters, and subsequently their character information, the game world itself, some of the social groups like the Crescent Moon Alliance and Shiro’s former group, the Debauchery Tea Party, and some of the basics of MMOs as a whole. I’d say it’s a success in all areas.

I like our main characters so far, though Shiro is slightly boring, I can see him getting a lot more interesting with his strategist abilities. Naotsugu is a little charming, and Akatsuki seems like she could be bad-ass, though I’m worried that she’s a little too moe. Marielle was pretty funny as well. I was concerned she’d be an overly clingy love interest for Shiro, but she acts luvey-duvey with damn near everyone it seems, so it’s fine.

The art and animation aren’t that stand out or fantastic, but it’s alright and flows fairly well.

The music is also alright. The OP was great but the rest of the music I could take or leave.

Final Verdict:

cbxcz0k

Some of the commenters on this series stated that this is a ‘better’ or ‘fixed’ Sword Art Online, and since I’ve never seen SAO, I don’t much care about that. However, I am very interested to see where this story will go, and how it may or may not sate my desires for more MMORPG related titles.

Recommended Audience: No fanservice so far, so swearing or killing or anything. E for everyone!