Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) | Chaotic

Plot: The trading card game, Chaotic, is sweeping the world by storm. Tom and his best friend, Kaz, love the game and play with their other friends all the time. When Tom gets a mysterious code for Chaotic, Kaz tells him it’s a special password in order to enter the REAL world of Chaotic. Tom doesn’t believe him until he finally gives in and inputs the code into his scanner. Turns out, Kaz was right. Tom is instantly transported to a virtual world where Chaotic players gather to have ‘real’ Chaotic battles, with themselves as the creatures. In his first game, Tom chooses his favorite creature, Maxxor, and faces off against his opponent, who takes the form of a Takinom. Tom can certainly win his fair share of card games, but can he find a way to win when he’s playing for real?

Breakdown: I have been aware of Chaotic for a while, but never gave it a chance in the past. When I wrote about the whole huge mess with 4Kids and Chaotic in my retrospective blog post series, I became very curious about the series and game. Since the TCG hasn’t been re-released yet as far as I know, nor has the online version of the game, and I’m not particularly interested in buying the old cards, especially since they seem expensive, I decided to just watch the cartoon series.

The series is entirely available on Peacock (And Tubi) for free, so that was lucky.

As for the first episode…..it’s one of the messiest first episodes I’ve seen for a show in recent memory.

I came out of it not only not understanding how the hell to play Chaotic even a little bit (they never once play a full or even half game in the entire first episode, and we only see a few cards) but I’m also entirely confused as to what even happened to Tom when he entered Chaotic, what the ‘real’ world of Chaotic even is, and they had the gall to end the episode by circling around to the literal cliffhanger that was at the start of the episode in a flashback and barely continuing it at all before putting a ‘To Be Continued’ on the screen and ending it.

I get that this is a two-parter, but at least do something more substantial with your part one to help the audience understand what the hell is going on or make things interesting.

To summarize, the episode starts with a fire-wielding harpy-esque character named Takinom, chasing after and attacking a muscly green dude named Maxxor through a frozen tundra. He’s cornered on a cliffside, our main character, Tom, explains in narration that he is actually Maxxor, Takinom blows fire on him and then the theme song starts. After the theme song, we flash back to how he got in that situation.

Tom is a new-ish/not new (?) player to Chaotic, which is a TCG that has an online version of the game where you can enter codes to obtain digital copies of your real cards, just like the TCG and online game 4Kids and CUSA acquired and adapted for the US. Tom is playing Chaotic with some random guy after school in the cafeteria, which….why wouldn’t you do that literally anywhere else? Unless it’s a legitimate after-school activity, most schools don’t allow you to just hang out in the school for any reason, let alone to play trading card games. There are so many kids there just hanging out in cafeteria – it’s like no one went home.

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It’s not just that they’re there when they shouldn’t be, it’s also weird because what kid wants to just hang out at school after hours, unless, again, you were part of an after-school activity? Usually any kid would want to be anywhere else BUT school – their house, a friend’s house, a local hangout, a rec center, a park, a basketball court, etc. That looks like a really nice school in a nice area. I can’t imagine aren’t options.

But whatever, they montage this game in about 20 seconds so you really have no clue what’s going on. They attack each other, Tom says something about sending his opposing monster to Nauthilax, his enemy’s energy is depleted, and that’s it. That is the first, and, no I’m not kidding, only time we see this game played in the entire episode. I never thought I’d say this, but, Bakugan, you have been surpassed in awful game explanations. I at least had some minor degree of understanding how Bakugan worked a little when I saw the first episode, and at least they showed a full game. Not Chaotic. Who cares about properly explaining that game this cartoon was literally created to help advertise?

After he wins, he gets a message over the game. It automatically opens, and a password pops up on his screen that makes his best friend, Kaz, super excited because he knows that’s a special invitation to the real world of Chaotic where he can play for real. Why he got this for just beating some rando at school, I have no idea. Kaz has been a part of the real Chaotic for a while and excitedly told Tom stories about it, but Tom never believed him. Considering Kaz is yelling all of this information in a crowded cafeteria and has told Tom about it a lot, I’d guess it’s not a secret. But also, like….no one seems to know about it? Even rumors? There are a lot of people in Chaotic when they get there – how is this not more common? I know that would be a really difficult thing to believe without proof, but there would be chatter about it.

Then again, maybe they wouldn’t, because apparently these kids are all 15 years old. I was about to criticize this further, but then I remembered all of the characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! are in the their mid to late teens….

Anyway, Tom blows him off until Kaz calls him in a panic in the middle of the night. He tells him he has to input the code into his scanner before midnight otherwise the offer to join the real Chaotic will end. Why exactly isn’t this information given in the message that contains the password? What if you need to wait to input the code? What if you don’t have access to your scanner for a few days? What if you don’t personally know someone who has already been to Chaotic? What if you don’t want to input the code at all because it’s some random code on a blank message from no one?

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Also, if you’re wondering what the scanner is for, apparently, later in the show, they can scan real creatures to get information on them I think – like a Pokedex. It also kinda works as a smartphone in that it’s also a camera, can be used for video chat, has a music player and a flashlight. As for the purpose of the scanner in their real lives in regards to the game, I have no idea. Chaotic cards have codes on them that are manually input into the online game to create digital copies of your cards – they’re not scanned. I have to wonder if 4Kids originally planned to make the real life cards scannable, including creating a real scanner kids would have to use to scan the cards, but then realized that was too expensive or impractical or something so they opted to keep the code system instead but forgot that made the scanner concept nonsensical in the TV series.

The scanners really have no real world purposes for the game, so why do they even exist? Why do any of these players buy them? Kaz tells him to input the code into his scanner, but also the scanner doesn’t have a keyboard, not even a virtual one, it just has a d-pad like thing, so I can’t imagine it’s for the purpose of inputting codes. Since the game is played online, you can probably just input the codes on your laptop.

Tom gives in, and, when he inputs the code, it at first seems like it didn’t work. His screen flashes, goes black and the scanner won’t turn back on. He then throws the scanner out the window into the garbage can on the sidewalk like a douchebag. Yeah, I imagine that scanner was expensive, you little shit. And I bet anything your parents paid for it. Don’t try to troubleshoot it, don’t see if you can get it fixed, just chuck it out the window into the garbage. Don’t tell me Dan has competition for one of the most obnoxious gaming show protagonists too….

Anyway, that’s not what happened….but it also is? In narration, Tom says that’s what happened, but he didn’t realize that there was more. We then cut to the ‘more’ in question. When Tom hit the button, he actually did go to Chaotic…..only not really? The best I can guess is that a duplicate of himself was sent to Chaotic – one that his real-world self is not aware of? How? Why? Dunno. They don’t explain anything.

When he gets there, it’s not any better. They basically just tell him “Hi Tom! Let’s get you to your first match!” without explaining where he is, what happened to him, how he got there, what the hell’s going on, why he’s being forced into a Chaotic match minutes after he got there and everyone knows he’s new, nothing.

Luckily, Kaz does help him a bit with setup through his scanner, but other than explaining how the interface works and giving him a hint about his opponent, he doesn’t explain anything else. Which you’d think he would because there’s that whole thing about him becoming the Chaotic creature and getting into a ‘real’ battle with another Chaotic creature would be something you should discuss a bit.

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When he is turned into Maxxor and his opponent into Takinom, he obviously has no clue what’s going on, what to do, how to utilize any of the game mechanics or anything – he just does what anyone would do in his situation and runs away. Kaz and a bunch of other players are watching the match from the lobby, and Kaz just acts horribly embarrassed for him and facepalms at the fact that he’s not playing properly, which, of course he’s not, no one’s telling him anything.

The end of the episode, like I said, is just barely a continuation of the first scene. Tom/Maxxor is cornered on a cliff by Takinom, who attacks him with fire. The continuation is that the fire causes Tom to fall off the cliff. We get a “To be continued” as Tom is falling and that’s it. They haven’t established any stakes here. This Tom isn’t real, right? His real self is still in his room, right? I can’t imagine him dying (or even getting hurt) in the game is akin to dying in real life because then narrator!Tom wouldn’t have been able to act as if the stuff about real Chaotic was something he learned about later. In addition, if this is a real Chaotic game, then I’d imagine him ‘dying’ at this point would just result in his creature dying and then moving on.

What even happens if he loses the game? I can’t imagine they bar him from Chaotic or anything. I don’t get it. What is on the line here? I doubt even kids would find tension in this.

It’s just so baffling. 4Kids – the kings of overexplaining every single thing – made a show where they just don’t explain anything out the gate.

I didn’t even touch upon the fact that the art and animation are awful. I know that they switch studios after season one from Bardel Entertainment to Dong Woo Animation and the art and animation get better for seasons two and three (Looking ahead though….not that much better. Definitely much better art, but the animation is still pretty rough.), but wow, this is just bad. It reminds me so much of the art and animation from those old eSurance commercials with that Erin lady. Old Flash animation leaves a lot to be desired as is, but this is not good.

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Overall, I’m kinda torn. If I had just watched this without doing all that research on Chaotic beforehand, I’d most likely drop it, but the fanbase seems to genuinely enjoy the show as much as the game. Bryan Gannon, head of Chaotic USA, said he planned on continuing the show, not rebooting it, which means there must be something to the story worth keeping, I’d assume.

I’ll probably wind up finishing this series just casually, maybe throwing out a review here or there, maybe for full seasons, but this, as a first episode, just failed so badly that I feel like I can’t really suggest it. There are several more card game or gaming related shows out there that I’d recommend way above Chaotic. I guess I’ll just leave this as an undecided and make firmer opinions down the line.

Verdict:

Continue Uncertain


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Animating Halloween | Yami Shibai 10 Episodes 1 and 2 Review

Episode 1: A Job to Quit

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Plot: A man asks his friend’s advice on quitting his job when he shares an emotionally draining aspect of his work.

Breakdown: New Animating Halloween, new Yami Shibai, let’s GO!

Our first episode of this season involves mannequins, so we’re already starting strong. A man works at a mannequin factory with the specific job of checking for defects. The defects in question are any mannequin heads with the ability to talk. He is forced to throw the mannequin heads into the incinerator if they can talk, forcing him to listen to their screams as they melt away. He asks his friend if he should quit his job because the emotional turmoil is getting to be too much for him, and that’s about all I feel like spoiling for this one.

I think this is a very strong episode to start us off on. Some really creepy visuals, some legitimately scary screams and it fits very well within the five minute format. It, for once, doesn’t leave off on a cliffhanger. I really enjoyed it.

Our opening this season is a rather blasé shot of the narrator in an empty playground presenting the story to no one. The ending is much more interesting. It shows the narrator in an empty auditorium and he takes his mask off as he’s about to leave. While we don’t see his face, we do see the inner side of the mask, and it’s all dark and has a few red seals in it.

The ED is okay. It’s a bit of a rough listen because it’s mostly just acoustic guitar with vocals. It’s like someone threw it together on the fly. But does that make it bad or does it add to the unsettling ambiance? You be the judge.

Episode 2: Ending Note

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Plot: A trio of siblings clean out the apartment of their estranged father after his passing until they find a heartbreaking note.

Breakdown: Excuse me. Let me just pick my jaw off the floor.

Sometimes, Yami Shibai can be quite sweet. In certain stories, the darkness of the tale lies in the sadness and tragedy or the bittersweet situation – not in horror. I really thought this one was heading in that direction.

Hoo boy, was I wrong.

I don’t want to spoil this one either besides saying that I’m not 100% certain on how much I like the twist at the end. It was indeed creepy and definitely shocking, but it was one of those endings where I ultimately felt more sad than anything. That’s not a bad thing, though, so I don’t know if I can find it within myself to ding it for that.

Overall, this episode was certainly well-written and managed to throw me for a loop in a fairly good way.

So far, I’m quite impressed with how this season is turning out, and it seems many fans are having similar responses. Hopefully, the season maintains this momentum throughout the entire run.


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Animating Halloween | Hell Girl: Fourth Twilight – Episode 1: Can’t Be Seen, Can’t Be Heard Review

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Plot: Mayama is relentlessly bullied in a group chat. She has no friends and lives a miserable life. A fellow loner named Yukawa befriends her and is seemingly the only other person in her class who doesn’t bully her. She finally has a friend….or so it seems.

Breakdown: What wonderful timing to break back into our final season of Hell Girl. Almost poetic that a show I kept returning to each Halloween season is getting its final anime review set on Halloween. I promise I didn’t plan this – it just worked out very well.

So…..Fourth Twilight….The last Hell Girl anime season. To say I was disappointed by season three is definitely an understatement, but what concerned me most of all was that, despite season three getting some good response for whatever reason, season four was considered awful by many more people. The main issue is something we’ll get to in about five more episodes, but for now let’s try to be nice. Let’s be hopeful.

This might actually be okay.

This might actually be better than most people give it credit for.

This might start off with an endless barrage of people in a group chat calling the protagonist “gasball” and making fun of her farting and getting gassy after eating potatoes……

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*sigh* It’s gonna be a long frickin’ 12 episodes. Or seven episodes.

Okay, let me back up.

Mayama is being bullied in a group chat populated by her classmates that she keeps reading all day every day. They harp on practically nothing else but calling her a gasball and saying she smells of farts because she eats a lot of potatoes. The gasball thing is meant to be a double-whammy insult because it’s also calling her fat. They say she’s so filled with gas that she’s swelling up.

A few things – 1: She’s never seen or…uh…heard, farting. Never even like a flashback to a time when she farted and it was a big embarrassing moment or anything.

2: There’s never any indication that she smells even slightly bad.

3: She’s considered chubby? She doesn’t look any different from any other girl in this school.

4: She’s never shown once eating potatoes.

5: Is the title meant to be a play on the term “Silent but deadly”? Because I will burn this whole season to the ground if they made a fart pun out of the title of the first episode. Or any episode. I better just be imagining things, I swear to god.

I know that teenagers are just awful, and I know that making fun of people for things that aren’t true isn’t uncommon either, and I also know that cyberbullying is horrible, especially when you get locked in a habit of being unable to simply not read the messages, but this just seems silly. Constantly harping on her farting when it’s both untrue and juvenile would seem stupid to so many of these teenagers. Mayama both lost her father (it’s unclear if he abandoned the family or died) and is, for some reason, considered overweight – two things that most asshole kids would more likely jump on.

They later showed that this whole group started with things that actually were at least partially true about Mayama – namely that she’s too passive and apologizes too much, making her annoying.

Mayama is befriended by the flippant fellow loner, Yukawa, who spends most of her time on her phone listening to music and ignoring people. Yukawa wants to be her friend since they’re both loners. She even makes a group chat for them, and one other person named Yokota, since they’re all loners, which kinda defeats the meaning of being a loner, but whatever. It’s quite clear that Yukawa will betray Mayama at some point. It’s not even slightly subtle. She’s not likable at all. She’s uncaring and cold and acts as if ignoring each other while sitting in close proximity counts as friendship.

Earlier, Mayama had tried to contact Hell Girl to send someone to hell as revenge for her bullying, but both Ai and Kikuri knew that she didn’t truly know for certain who she wanted to send to hell. There were too many people for her to know. They decided to let her think about her final choice for a while and left her. Once Mayama befriended Yukawa, it seemed like she had an outlet for her feelings, she had a friend, she wasn’t focusing on the cyberbullying anymore, and it seemed like they may have actually lost a client….but of course it’s not that simple.

Mayama had become kinda beloved in the little three-person group chat because she was constantly telling Yukawa and Yokota about how she wants all of her classmates to die and also explained the manners in which she wanted them to die.

One day at school, her classmates all start acting very scared of her. Mayama gets to her desk and sees an open laptop with the three-person group chat up and her awful messages on display. Now everyone is both still cyberbullying her and is scared of her because of what they read in that chat.

Mayama doesn’t believe Yukawa would do such a thing, so she rushes off to another classroom to find Yokota. When she believes she’s found Yokota, she tells her who she is, but all she does is laugh in return. For some reason, this makes Yukawa believe that Yokota isn’t the one who put the laptop up and believes it has to be Yukawa.

Mayama calls on Hell Girl again, this time knowing for sure she wants to send Yukawa to hell. This time, Ai agrees and gives her the straw doll. She later meets with Yukawa in the park to get the full truth. Yukawa admits that she started the cyberbullying chat. One day, Yukawa bumped into Mayama, causing Mayama to drop her cell phone. She apologized, which pissed Yukawa off. She felt it was annoying and weak for a person to be bumped into, drop their own phone and then apologize to the person who bumped into them. She was so annoyed by this one interaction that she started a group chat to talk about how annoying Mayama is. She even started the “gasball” thing and the stuff about her farting after eating potatoes.

She admits all of that, but says that she felt bad about how far it went. She didn’t realize that people wouldn’t let up. She felt so bad about it that she befriended Mayama. However, she denies that she was the one who put the laptop on her desk. Mayama doesn’t believe her because she’s the only person who could have done it. Fed up with her lies, she pulls the string, sending Yukawa to hell.

While silly, the one highlight of this episode is the hell torture. Because, for a change, it’s actual torture. Sure, her having a giant cell phone for a head is silly, but the fact that they turned her organs into data and deleted them, literally, was horrifying.

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However, as per usual following up season three, things aren’t as clear cut as they seem. Once Yukawa has been sent to hell, Mayama basically turns into a clone of her. She just constantly listens to music on her phone and ignores everyone. She also doesn’t apologize to anyone when she bumps into them. But then, plot twist, she gets a message on the three-person group chat from Yokota, whom she believed was Yukawa pretending to be someone else on a spoof account. Turns out there were two Yokotas in the other classroom, and Mayama met the wrong one. Yokota was the one who put the laptop on Mayama’s desk, but why he did that is still a mystery.

This story isn’t that bad, to be honest. Some of the aspects about it are really stupid, and bullying being a motivation is something we’ve seen many times before, but it’s never not relevant in life so it’s fine. The plot twist at the end really did get me. I knew 100% that Yukawa would turn out to be a bad person, but I didn’t see the Yokota twist coming. That was a pretty good twist.

However, it’s not one of those twists where I’m like “Ooh nooo, she sent the wrong person to hell!” because Yukawa did start the bullying, and it was for a monumentally stupid reason. Just because it got out of hand and she decided to be her friend to make up for it doesn’t matter a whole lot, especially since she wasn’t even really a good friend. She ignored her most of the time in real life, was rude to Mayama’s mother and they basically just had a “Who else you want to die?” “This person!” “Oh who else you want to die!?” go around in the three-person group chat.

I don’t even know if I can say Yokota was more in the wrong because making fun of someone for farting is one thing – having a long stream of messages about how you want all of your classmates to die and explaining the manners in which you want them to die? That’s some psycho-ass behavior. Yokota wasn’t right for putting those messages up for display, and I still don’t understand why he did it, but Mayama also wasn’t right at all for saying those things.

You may be wondering what our main storyline of the entire series is going to be. That is also introduced a bit in this episode. A girl clad in green, and I mean entirely, like her eyes and hair are even green, whom we’ll later learn is named Michiru, appears to Ai and keeps telling her what she’s doing is wrong. Maybe the world doesn’t need a Hell Girl anymore.

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And that’s pretty much it for now.

Ai also has a spiffy new kimono, which is very pretty.

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Also, Kikuri’s not a wind-up doll anymore….somehow….for some reason…..yay?

The art and animation for this season are definitely a little different. I can’t really determine if I like it. What stands out most is the fact that the colors are a bit more saturated than they have been in the past, and the lineart is kinda off and on with looking crisp and looking very janky. I really hated the design of Mayama’s eyes. They’re shaped terribly and look too big.

The OP and ED are pretty good. They haven’t clicked with me as much as previous seasons, but maybe they’ll grow on me more.

I’m really hoping that the season will be okay in spite of what happens from episode seven onward. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, Fourth Twilight. Please deliver in some way.

Next episode….


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Tokyo Mew Mew New | Episode 1: Wait, What?! I’m a Superhero Now?! Meow! Review

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Oh should I say re-MEW?! Ahahahahahahaha! Ahaha…Hah…..*cough*

Well, the Tokyo Mew Mew reboot came out recently. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t notice because it’s basically been silent on all fronts since it came out. That actually kinda concerned me. I mean, I guess no news is good news…..or good MEWS! Ahahahaha….hah….That 4Kids retrospective kinda broke me. I apologize.

But outside a few mentions here and there, I haven’t heard anyone actually discussing it. It’s like the Shaman King reboot. I barely heard a word about that once it was finally out even though people waited for it forever.

I, personally, was interested in what direction they would go with it. Would they rely more on the anime version, try to be more loyal to the manga or would they just do their own thing? Or even some melding of all three?

Well, after watching the first episode, I can tell you that it definitely seems like it’s trying to be more its own thing than anything while also trying to be more loyal to the manga than the original anime did. If it takes anything from the anime, it’s that it tries a lot harder to give the others girls spotlight, which I am very, very thankful for. So far, they’re actually getting more focus than they even got in the original anime, which is very nice.

I’m not going to be doing another AniManga Clash on this series for the reboot, but I will try to bring up the differences as much as memory allows.

As in the manga, all of the Mews are in the endangered species exhibit on the day that their powers are given to them. Ichigo is there with Aoyama on a date, and Shirogane and Akasaka choose this as their moment to shoot off their……Pbbbt Mew Mew beam or whatever that is. In the hubbub, Ichigo and Aoayama accidentally have their first kiss (which is unlike the original anime where it was changed to Quiche stealing her first kiss). After that, Ichigo wakes up to Aoyama checking up on her when a Chimera Anima attacks. I know I’ve called them Chimera AnimaLs in the past, but that was a habit born from the subs I was reading. I will refer to them as Chimera Animas from now on.

Aoyama is knocked unconscious, Shirogane saves Ichigo from the Chimera Anima and tells her about her transformation powers, telling her to transform into Mew Ichigo to defeat the Chimera Anima. She manages to do so and that’s pretty much it.

There are some key differences between the reboot and the manga and original anime, however.

Ichigo seemingly doesn’t know Aoyama at all during the start of this show. Their story is still roughly kept the same, but Ichigo seemingly knew Aoyama for a while and had a crush on him for some time at the start of both the manga and the original anime. They weren’t super close or anything, but she clearly had spoken to him a few times and had a crush on him, and she was confident enough in her standing with him to ask him out right at the start.

I’m not sure how much I care about this change. I think it kinda made their development go by a little too fast in this version. She goes from not knowing who he is to being intense about wanting to get to know him, leading her and her friends to basically covertly gather intel to asking him on a date in only a few minutes. Not saying it’s unrealistic because these are teenagers we’re dealing with, but I preferred the pacing that the original manga and anime went through is all.

However, to kinda balance that out, I did greatly appreciate that Ichigo was honest with Aoyama about the circumstances involving their date. Usually in situations like this, the protagonist would just lie and pretend that they’re interested in the stuff their crush is interested in just because they want to get all up in that goodness, especially when asked about the topic as Aoyama does to Ichigo here. However, Ichigo was actually honest with Aoyama when he asked how long she had been interested in conservation and told him that she just got the tickets to the exhibit and thought it would be interesting to go with him. She even got really into the subject matter when Aoyama started explaining everything to her.

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I do think it was kinda silly for a teenage girl to not know what “endangered” means. “Red data animal” I get because that’s not a common phrase, but most people know what “endangered” means.

Anyway, while it was the slightest bit preachy, I did like how much Ichigo got into it. Plus, this series just tends to be a tiny bit preachy by default, so it’s alright.

The second biggest change to the series kinda shocked me. Mint, for some reason and somehow, already has her powers and is teamed up with Shirogane and Akasaka before Ichigo even goes to the endangered animal exhibit. She also goes to her school and helped arrange Ichigo to be at the exhibit supposedly to set up her being imbued with the powers.

This confused me so much, and I still don’t know if I like it. In the manga and the original anime, Ichigo being given powers was like a matter of circumstance. She just happened to be the one who had a good match with an iriomote wild cat out of everyone who was there. She wasn’t a literal chosen one. However, here, it seems very much intentional. Mint even grabbed her and threw her into some other location somehow that didn’t seem like it was in the same area as the exhibit so she could test out her new powers.

On one hand, I kinda like the Mint change….at least I think I like it. I know so little about what’s actually going on there that it’s really hard for me to formulate any actual opinion on it. It does get at least one of the girls a little more invested in the overall story, and Mint got to help in the big battle sequence. Plus it doesn’t seem that Mint is nearly as abrasive as she usually is, so that’s good. I’m just wondering how this change impacts both her and the story as we move forward.

I’m also kinda confused because I sincerely doubt the other Mews got the same test-drive kind of experience, so are they getting kicked to the side again? Like “Oh we had to ensure Ichigo got to activate her powers first, because she’s the leader.” Does this mean they know who the other Mews are right now or was Ichigo the only ‘chosen one’? How did Mint wind up with Shirogane and Akasaka? Why is she with them?

I know all these questions will be answered in the future, but it really threw me for a loop. I’d think if anyone made sense to be in with Shirogane and Akasaka from the start, it’d be Zakuro given the way her character was introduced in the past, but I guess I’ll reserve judgment on how I feel about this until I know a bit more about it.

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A slight change that they made was giving Moe and Miwa stuff to do and personalities beyond just being Ichigo’s friends. One of them wants to be a journalist, and the other wants to be a counselor. Very minor, but I take what I can get. I also appreciate that they helped Ichigo learn more about Aoyama so she could have a chance with him. They seem like pretty good friends.

I like the new art and animation. I think everyone’s characters designs are pretty nice. I also like how the Mews have more different hair styles when they’re transformed. Before, they just kinda looked the same barring brighter colors, but now they get slightly different styles as well. I particularly like that Mint’s hair is being kept down in her normal state and only has the buns in her transformed state while also making her hair a little longer and wavier when transformed. I also like Mint’s dress. It finally doesn’t give off “towel” vibes. That little fringe at the bottom does so much. I also like the bows, I think those are cute.

I liked the new transformation for Ichigo. I love that the cat appears behind her when she poses. While I did think it looked really cool, I don’t think it was a good idea to have her body appear with a galaxy/starry sky pattern on her as she transforms because it comes off way too much like Sailor Moon. It also doesn’t make much sense. What do their powers have to do with space? I also liked the new animation for her attack. I thought that was cool.

The little sequence they tagged on at the end with her in the truck was funny. It was also amazing how well they captured Café Mew Mew. It looks dead on to how it is in the manga and original anime, at least on the outside. I was very impressed.

The music is pretty good. I like it. Not sure I’m fully onboard with the ED quite yet, but it’s alright.

The voice acting was also pretty good. We did lose Megumi Ogata as Aoyama, but I think his new VA, Yuuma Uchida, does a pretty good job. Despite not appearing in this episode, I also learned Daisuke Sakaguchi wasn’t back to voice Quiche (and yes, I’m switching to calling them Quiche, Tart and Pie as well) which sucks. He was so much fun in the role, but hopefully his new VA will be good. I think everyone got a voice change, but don’t quote me on that.

Not sure if it will ever see a dub. That’d be surreal, quite frankly. I’d love to see a new English dubbing studio take on TMM, but after going through all of the 4Kids dub, it’d be a very strange experience. Welcome, but strange.

So…yeah…I was pleasantly surprised by this. It’s actually getting my hopes up a bit. It seems like it might be answering quite of a few of the criticisms I had about the original manga and anime. But I am treading lightly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I look forward to more, and I hope this is the start of something really great for the franchise. See you in episode two!

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Or should I say, episode MEW?! Ahahahahah!….Hahah…ha…Is there some 4Kids detox I can do?


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Watching the Blue Sky – Robots (2005) Review

Plot: Young Rodney is a robot who always aspired to be a famous inventor like his idol, Mr. Bigweld, who is viewed as one of the best bots in the world. When he moves out to the big city to show Mr. Bigweld his inventions and try to work for him, he finds that Mr. Bigweld is gone. In his place is a tyrannical robot named Ratchet who is using his business to force all robots into upgrading instead of repairing or replacing. Thousands of bots who can’t afford to upgrade are being labeled as “outmodes” and being sent to the scrapyard. Rodney has to find Mr. Bigweld and stop Ratchet before it’s too late.

Breakdown: Being honest, I wasn’t expecting too much going into this – and I say that as someone who sincerely loves robots. I haven’t heard a whole lot about this movie before now, and the only time I remember people talking about it was when people on Twitter started circulating that one joke about how “Making the baby is the fun part.”

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I very much enjoyed this movie all the way through. It’s not a masterpiece or anything, but it’s very fun, cool, funny and even a little emotional.

The animation is pretty good. I think it’s pretty cool how each robot has a fairly unique manner of moving depending on how they’re designed. The art is also stylized quite well and is fun to look at. The characters all mostly stand out from each other, are colorful and have little quirks that either add to their comedic factor or make them more useful. I also appreciate how well the sound design worked with the robots for the most part.

I also think the way the robots “age” is interesting. They get various replacement parts each year and, I guess, undergo some mild rebuilding every year to show their aging process.

The music was a mixed bag. The orchestral score works pretty well. It was nothing too unique or memorable, but it did keep me engaged and felt very fitting to each scene. My issue comes with the pop music. Taking a note from Dreamworks, I suppose, Blue Sky included some pop songs along with some more fitting but also kinda distracting older pop songs. There was one song in the middle where I really don’t think it is a pop song, because it sounds like a song written for the movie, but that would be the only time the movie would have a legit musical number, despite no characters singing. It’s very weird.

The absolute worst moment of this soundtrack being distracting was when Fender, a bot voiced by Robin Williams, so he’s basically just Robin Williams as a robot, fights off a bunch of robots by suddenly breaking out into “Hit Me Baby One More Time”….The joke is that he’s wearing a female lower half so he….sang a girl song? Also, the song was seven years old by this point, so it’s not even relevant. Definitely the worst moment in the movie.

And, of course, there was a dance party at the end because animated movie in the 00s.

The story was very cliché, but was strong enough to hold my attention. Also, they did throw me for one loop. When they introduced Mr. Bigweld, I thought for sure he’d be the villain. Rodney hero-worshiped him, he was a fat rich guy who seemed like he loved everyone and everyone loved him, he had statues made of him and everything. But nope. Mr. Bigweld was a good guy just overtaken by an evil guy who was a pawn for an evil woman.

Big corporation bad turned big corporation good as long as the people running it are good. Which, yeah, in an ideal world. That’s nice to think about.

Speaking of big corporation bad, dear god, the body count of this movie. I can only imagine how many “outmodes” got sent to the scrapyard IE murdered because they couldn’t afford the upgrades. It’s actually kinda disturbing how many parallels you can make to our world if you imagine all the characters as people….

There are no subplots in the movie, it’s right on one track and we keep going until the end. If I had any real complaints about the story it’s that I really wish Rodney had spent more time struggling and living with the other downtrodden robots, because, as far as I see, he arrived in this city, realized the problems involving an incredibly huge and influential corporation and fixed the issue entirely in like three days.

I didn’t much care for the romantic…..anything in this movie. Fender getting a love interest, I’m cool with. However, Rodney has two love interests in this movie, Piper, who is Fender’s little sister, and Cappy, who is an employee of Bigweld Industries. He has more screen time with Piper, but it’s like she’s not considered an actual romantic interest because she’s too young, but Rodney is only supposed to be like 18 or 19 while Piper is like 16 or 17 at least.

Cappy, whose age I’d imagine is in her late 20s or so, considering she’s a high-ranked employee at Bigweld Industries, is definitely framed as the main love interest, but they barely spend any time together, and the time they do spend together is usually with a lot of other people. They don’t get any moments together, alone or otherwise, they just get a few knowing glances between them. Cappy doesn’t even have a personality. She’s just a nice lady who works at Bigweld and constantly gets sexually harassed by Ratchet because that trope has to stay alive I guess.

And, yes, even in robot world, we can’t escape women being sexually harassed.

Speaking of women, I get that this movie was made in 2005, but some of the humor around women was a little uncomfortable. Like when Rodney gets a new torso for his senior year, he has to use a hand-me-down from his cousin….who is a girl. So he has a pink torso with a boob curve to it.

Rodney finds a new lower half in a panic after losing his in the scrap yard, and it’s a woman’s. So he goes “This is so wrong!”

When they meet Ratchet’s eviler mom, Fender calls her a “sir” and she points out that she’s a woman, so Fender says “Ouch!” and one of the other robots has his lightbulb eyes burst. Some of the humor hasn’t aged well, is all.

I don’t think this movie is sexist, for the most part, as the women do get a decent degree of things to do, including fighting, but there’s the whole ‘Cappy has no personality’ thing, and the fact that nearly all of the women in this movie just act as love interests.

I also didn’t think Ratchet needed an even more evil mother running the scrapyard to basically be his puppeteer. Ratchet is evil enough on his own. Although, this did make for a few good jokes, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

The comedy was pretty good. I was laughing fairly consistently. Not busting a gut or anything, but quite a surprising amount of chuckles. They’re probably cheating a little bit because I’m a sucker for puns and there are just so many robot puns and visual gags in this movie.

The action was also alright. I think the first action scene where Rodney and Fender are being flung all around town on that transport ball went on just a little too long, though.

The emotional moments hit a little more than I expected them to. I wasn’t choking up, but it did manage to connect with me several times. I think it was a really good idea to start this movie with Rodney’s dad super excited about being a dad and watching Rodney grow up for a bit before getting into the main story. It didn’t drag, and it made me feel a lot more for him and his parents than if we just started with him as an adult.

The characters all work well enough. I like Rodney and his parents quite a bit, Piper can be kinda cool, Mr. Bigweld was pretty funny and cool, and Fender has his moments. Sometimes he can really be too much, though. Even Genie knew when to tone it down, but Fender just never stops. I also never once felt like he and Piper were siblings.

I want to really lay out why this relationship doesn’t work. Fender is voiced by Robin Williams. Piper is voiced by Amanda Bynes. When this movie came out, Amanda Bynes was 19. Robin Williams was 54….They just don’t sound, in any way, like siblings. They’re written like siblings, they act like siblings, kinda, but they don’t sound like it. He just sounds like her dad or uncle.

Overall, Robots was an enjoyable experience that I had quite a bit of fun with. You’re not going to get much in the way of anything deep or new with it, but I do think you’ll be pretty entertained by it most of the time. I’d gladly watch it again in the future.

Recommended Audience: There are a few iffy jokes in there, but they never go too far. There’s the “making the baby” joke and they make a penis joke when Rodney is finished because they forgot to attach it………….I know you’re probably wondering a lot about how sex and sexes/genders in robots works in this world…..well, me too. And I wish I wasn’t. I guess you can also say there’s some scary imagery what with the robots being destroyed and picked apart. There was one moment where they officially announced that replacement parts were being discontinued. The robots were panicking because they thought they’d wind up dying if they couldn’t pay for upgrades. A robot fell apart in front of them and the vultures just started grabbing any parts of him they could. It’s hilarious, but also really messed up when you remember these are sentient beings. I guess 7+.


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Sailor Moon (DiC) | Episode 12 (9 for the Dub): I Want a Boyfriend, Too! The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Jadeite teams up with one of Beryl’s most trusted subordinates, a demon named Thetis, to steal energy from lovers on a lovers’ cruise ship. Rei wins a ticket on the boat and invites Ami to both spite Usagi and to find them both boyfriends. Usagi sneaks her way onto the ship disguised as a photographer to get in on the fun, but when they discover Jadeite’s trap they’ll have to defeat Thetis and save the lovers on the ship.

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Title Change: I Want a Boyfriend – The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap is changed to Cruise Blues…I just want to note that there are four episodes in this season that DiC named (Something) Blues….Truly masters of creativity…

The dub puts the footage of Serena attacking over the edited plasma ball thing Beryl has. In the original, it’s just a circle.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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The editing’s weird as a result because I guess they had to transition to the original footage due to the glow of the tiara.

In the original, Thetis, the demon of the week, seems to be above Jadeite and working directly under Queen Beryl. In the dub, Jadeite acts like Thetis is a lowly demon who has failed him once before.

The original commercial for the cruise is narrated by a woman instead of a man, and the commercial is much longer than it is in the dub though the same clips remain…

I guess they edited this part out because there’s a big closeup of the cruise’s advertisement that takes up all of the screen and has Japanese on it. Umino explains how nice the cruise ship is and says it would be great to fall in love on the ship as we transition to him imagining himself with Usagi on the boat with her suddenly elbowing him in the fantasy (which was hilarious).

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Also, in the dub, Melvin just says he can tell the girls how the ship was made.

Also, they omit that the ship has a capacity of 666…..which is kinda weird. I get that that’s considered an ‘evil’ number but it’s moreso a devil/Satan thing. I don’t think Beryl has anything to do with Satan…..right?

Umino doesn’t mention how he got the tickets whereas Melvin says he got them by entering a computer contest on the internet. A shot of the advertisement is edited out, I guess because there’s Japanese too close up. Umino says he gave the tickets to the lady next door because he didn’t want to do anything delinquent and shows the hours of departure for the cruise being 18:00-22:00 (6:00pm to 10:00pm) They also remove this explanation (they could’ve just said the hours but whatever) and said his parents wouldn’t let him go because he gets sea sick.

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They also edit out a shot of Naru and Usagi as Naru says that Umino has a weird sense of ethics.

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Umino says there’s a raffle in the shopping district for tickets. Melvin says there’s a raffle at the newsstand downtown.

This shot is edited out.

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A shot of the advertisement for the cruise is removed.

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Instead, both of these shots are replaced with a view of Tokyo Tower………Yeah, replace a shot of Japan with a Japanese landmark. Makes sense.

In the original, the consolation prize was tissues (I guess to be funny…or a jackass.) In the dub, since they’re blocks of white, they say the consolation prize is soap, which can also be jackassy when you think about it……But why? Why change that? Why? Are tissues bad? Next time you have a runny nose, blow it into SOAP. It’ll be gross, but at least your nose will smell nice.

Rei says they don’t have times for things like the cruise because of their responsibilities as Senshi. In the dub, Raye asks who Serena would bring because she has no boyfriend. Serena says she could bring a friend, and Raye asks if she’s talking about herself because why would she want to be stuck on a cruise with a brat like her? Yeesh. Who spit in her sacred fire?

Isn’t it cheating that Rei uses her priestess powers to win the contest?…..Actually, scratch the question, it flat out is. And you could make the argument that she’s just focusing hard and praying that she wins, but the gold marble comes out GLOWING so yeah, cheater cheater pumpkin eater. What’s funny is the dub actually points this out in a dialogue change.

Originally Usagi said Rei’s a big hypocrite for going through all that to win the cruise when she just said they don’t have time for it. In the dub, Serena says Raye’s a big cheat for using her powers to win and she should’ve been disqualified because of it. To be honest, though, while I agree, even if you called her out on it, who would really disqualify her? We know she really has powers, but you’d sound ridiculous trying to make that claim to others.

“I demand she be disqualified!”

“Why?”

“She used her supernatural priestess powers to will the gold marble from the machine!”

“……”

Usagi keeps harping on the suspicion that Rei has no boyfriend. Rei lies and says she has one or two. In the dub, Serena asks if she’ll take Grandpa, and Raye says she might invite Tuxedo Mask.

Usagi doesn’t call Ami a traitor for going with Rei like Serena does. Ami/Amy doesn’t even know what Rei/Raye’s talking about yet, how can she be a traitor?

Rei says she’s hoping to get Tuxedo mask for a boyfriend as she talks to Ami. In the dub, Raye just says she’s sure there will be lots of fun people there.

……I’m confused. This cruise keeps getting advertised as a great getaway for couples, yet they’re acting like this would be a great place to meet a boyfriend….unless Rei and Usagi have no qualms against dating a committed man, which would be dickish.

I’m surprised they didn’t edit out the close shot of a waiter pouring wine. I can bet many of these people are old enough to drink, but that’s still a scene with alcohol.

I love how Rei actually says that she knew this was a cruise for lovers but she didn’t think they’d be the only ones without dates. Even if there were SOME other people who went alone or with people who aren’t romantically involved with them, what are the odds that they would 1) be their age and 2) be someone they’d want to date?

Going on a lovers cruise on the off chance for some dating action is pretty pathetic when you think about it. I’m not saying going on a cruise by yourself or with friends is pathetic, but going on a cruise specifically meant for lovers to find boy/girlfriends is just weird. There are many better ways of finding a romantic partner.

I don’t even know how they got up the courage to do that. I’d be embarrassed out of my skull and depressed to be on a lovers cruise surrounded by couples by myself desperate for a date. This just seems like a poorly thought out excuse to get the girls on the boat.

You know what could’ve fixed that whole thing? Advertise it as a romantic cruise instead of a cruise for couples. There. You’ll not only get more people interested, you’ll also make more sense in the story.

Luna asks where they are, and Usagi responds that they’re in the engine room. Luna says that’s impossible because engines, especially for ships, are never this quiet. Usagi says the boat might be stopped, but Luna points out that the ship is moving at full speed. Usagi then says they probably have some state of the art engine that is super quiet and to stop worrying. In the dub, it’s just unimportant bickering, but Serena does claim that Luna should pretend to be her super important photography assistant.

What kind of disguise is that anyway? A camerawoman/photographer to get onto a lovers cruise? Wouldn’t a deckhand or waitress be a better disguise?

Luna originally senses a great evil aura while in the box. In the dub, she’s complaining about being in the box.

Jadeite thinks to himself that Usagi seems familiar. In the dub, he wonders why he’s being so nice to her. Well, I’d assume it’s to keep up appearances for your disguise but whatever.

Rei’s original idea was that since, for some reason, it’s inevitable that some of these couples will break up on the ship, they should keep an eye out for recently broken up guys and snatch them up. Ami then thinks she should’ve just stayed at home and studied.

That’s pretty mean and stupid of Rei to say, by the way. Wanting to benefit from someone else’s misfortune and wanting to be a rebound girl is bad enough, but why is it inevitable that one of these couples will break up on the trip?

First of all, it’s just a few hours long. If you’re so close to breakup that you’d break it off in a few hours, why did you even get on a romantic cruise ship for lovers anyway? Second of all, why is it inevitable at all? Is it totally unreasonable to believe that all of these lovers would stay together for a few hours? On a romantic trip?

In the dub, Raye says her great idea is to flirt with some of the male crew members, take pictures with them and show them to Serena to make her feel bad. Amy then says she wishes they’d stop feuding. I have to say, it’s a bit annoying to me as well, and Raye hasn’t even been around that long yet.

Jadeite in disguise tells Usagi that he wishes he could announce where she is to her staff over the intercom but he doesn’t want to ruin the romantic mood of the passengers. In the dub, he says he really has to go back to his captain’s quarters, but he invites her to dinner at the captain’s table.

As Ami and Rei get cornered by Slime Tokens—I mean Thetis’ goons who can regenerate, Ami says that they can’t transform in front of Jadeite and Thetis because then they’ll know who they are (but saying “we can’t transform” out loud is basically proof that you are Sailor Scouts. Just saying.) In the dub, Amy just says they need to stick together.

Thetis in the original says, despite the girls imposing on their lovers cruise, they still got plenty of energy for Queen Beryl, and Jadeite agrees. In the dub, Jadeite asks if there’s a faster way to get rid of the girls. Thetis responds that they can’t do that without using the energy they gathered. Jadeite then says they should wait.

When Usagi shows up and makes her regular speech, she berates Jadeite and Thetis for only stealing the energies of lovers and ignoring the girls without boyfriends while pointing to Rei which makes her pissed off. (Dunno why. Not like Usagi has a boyfriend either. Pot, Kettle.) In the dub, Serena just talks about her same shtick of righting wrongs etc. However, she still points to Raye and Raye still gives her a pissed off look so I dunno what she’s on about.

Originally, Rei says she wants to pay Usagi back for humiliating her while a tiny picture of Chibi Jadeite and Chibi Thetis pop up by Rei’s face. In the dub, Raye just says they need to help Sailor Moon beat Thetis and Jadeite and there’s no real purpose for the little chibi picture.

Jadeite is originally pulled from where he was on board the ship by Queen Beryl since she was getting fed up with him. Jadeite tries to blame the whole thing on Thetis by saying it was her idea, which it was, but she’ll hear nothing of it and goes off to decide his punishment. In the dub, it’s like Jadeite left of his own accord and was reporting in with Beryl. Jadeite blames his failure on the Sailor Scouts, and the rest of the scene plays out the same.

Rei and Usagi don’t fight over Tuxedo Mask in the ending fight–….Wow, Tuxedo Mask wasn’t even in this episode. I just now noticed. Hm. Anyway, they originally squabble about how the other can’t get a boyfriend and blah blah.

Here’s something a little surprising. Today’s Sailor Says is about getting out of abusive relationships. Gee, that’s a bit of a jump there. I know Usagi was enamored with disguised Jadeite for a bit there, but wow. Good message, but not something you’d really expect on a Sailor Says PSA.

Next up is apparently our last battle with Jadeite, and he seems to be on the front lines for a change. Will this really be the end of our heroines? 

…Previous Episode


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective | Episode 20 (19 for the Dub): Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown Sub/Dub Comparison

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Plot: Genshi heads to the Edo period to find Elekin, an electricity-based Space-Time Monster, and Hiraga Gennai, a brilliant scientist who is currently experimenting with Elekin’s powers to make a giant mech. TP Lady aims to take the mech and Elekin for herself to get rid of Genshi once and for all.

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Title Change: Elekin’s Super Robot Showdown is changed to Elekin.

Putera is explaining Elekin’s powers in the original. In the dub, Old Timer is narrating about where they’re going and who they’re seeing. Oddly, despite this change, they remove a scene with Toki G watching the kids go through the time stream and cheering on Genshi. This is shifted this to after they emerge from the time stream.

They, for some reason, change the name of our historical figure of the day. They call him Ichiban Hiraga but he’s actually called Hiraga Gennai. I thought maybe they were referencing a nickname or his birth name or something, but no. He was born as Shiraishi Kunitomo, and he did go by various pen names, but as far as I could tell none of them were Ichiban Hiraga.

The only reason I can think of for why this change happened is because Saban dubbed another anime that had a character named after Hiraga Gennai. In Digimon, there’s a character named Gennai, and both series were dubbed at basically the same time. This might also be the reason why Sora is changed to Sarah here, but the character, Sora, in Digimon keeps her name in the dub. Don’t know why Digimon got dibs on the original names or why that would matter, but that’s the only reason I can think of.

Ichiban, by the way, actually means “number one” or “first” which may or may not be a poke at the seeming change they make to his character.

The dub claims he ‘stumbled upon’ electricity, which, uh. No. First, that frames it like he discovered electricity, which couldn’t be less true. He just created an elekiter, which was a device used to generate and store static electricity. Secondly, saying he stumbled upon it kinda gives off the vibe that he hadn’t been studying it or working with it or, ya know, knew what it was. Whether he really invented the elekiter is a bit up for debate. The elekiter was originally a Dutch creation he acquired that utilized a Leyden jar, but it didn’t work. He was able to make it work, however. He presented the working device in exhibitions.

Oddly, Saban actually gets the time period entirely wrong this time. They usually get it even more precise than the original, but here, they’re centuries off. In the original, they’re going to the Edo period in Japan, which started in 1603. However, I’m to assume we’re somewhere in the range of 1749-ish because Hiraga Gennai was born in 1729 and he’s an adult here, so let’s just say he’s around 20. The dub claims they’re going to 12th century Japan, which is 1100-1200…..

For some reason, after Pterry says they’re going to 12th century Japan, Old Timer butts in again to say “Oh, much to learn about electricity, yes.” Uhm…why did you say that?

When they finally get around to showing the scene with Toki G, they change the dialogue. Genshi originally says he’s excited about meeting Elekin, and Toki G cheers him on and reminds us that he has to collect all of the Space-Time Monsters. Then he randomly falls. Flint asks what an Elekin is, and, as normal, he asks if it’s something to eat. Did they go out without Flint being briefed? Old Timer explains that Elekin is a Time Shifter and he’s not something to eat. Then he rambles on about how Flint only thinks about his stomach before he randomly falls over.

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Sora and Tokio apologize for the crash and say it was their fault. In the dub, Sarah asks what’s going on, and Tony asks where the giant robot came from.

Also, they make Getalong say “New friends! Meet new friends!” which is kinda weird to say at a time like this, but is especially awkward considering Love-Love/Getalong has a concerned expression right now, so it doesn’t match.

Dub!Elekin talks in third person for some reason.

So, the next exchange is pretty much kept the same, but all of the bits and pieces are out of order. In the original, Gennai explains who he is before stating he knows the kids are from the future and asking them to help repair his robot. In the dub, he asks them to help repair his robot, then explains who he is then suggests they’re from the future. Also, they add in that he “invented” electricity, which, again, isn’t true. We really have to stop saying anyone invented electricity, because electricity is natural so no one invented it. Mentions of working with or manipulating electricity go as far back as 600 BC.

For the record, Hiraga Gennai was so much more than an inventor and builder. He was a writer, painter, pharmacologist, physician, ronin, herbalist, he worked in mining and pottery, and he was quite a notable gay figure at the time, writing a lot about homosexual life, guides on male prostitutes and several works highlighting gay sex.

Not downplaying his work as an inventor and scientist, but I’m just saying it’s worth mentioning……Well, okay, the sex stuff probably isn’t appropriate for this show, but everything else yeah.

Gennai asks what kind of response it is to say they’re too busy to help him repair his Gennai mech when they’re the ones who wrecked it in the first place. They have no response. In the dub, he asks how time travelers are too busy to help when, logically, they have all the time in the world. Then he asks if this is what has become of manners in the future.

In the original, Gennai specifically says he’s going to get them some treats where red beans pour out if you squeeze them. In the dub, he just offers them snacks. I feel like maybe he should be calling them manju because they were created way back in 1341, so they had to have been known as manju long before this point.

Tokio explains that the treats in question were actually steamed buns (manju) In the dub, Hiraga says his cook is off-duty so he made them something with fish eggs….

Genshi just enjoys the manju, and Sora says he was right since red beans do pour from them if you squeeze them. In the dub, Flint asks for ketchup. Sarah explains that it’s caviar, and you don’t put ketchup on caviar, but Flint says he does.

The original explains that Gennai is primarily a pharmacologist. The dub doesn’t mention this.

Putera knows exactly what the elekiter is (although she refers to it as just an electrostatic generator). Pterry says it’s “some rudimentary electronic device.”

Genshi starts cranking the elekiter because he’s curious. In the dub, since Pterry doesn’t know what it does, Flint wonders if it makes food, because of course he does, so he starts cranking the machine.

Sora and Tokio express actual concern for Genshi as he gets electrocuted. Sarah and Tony just yell “Stop clowning around!”

Going in the polar opposite direction 4Kids goes, the original makes a “shocking” pun while Flint just says “Ooh does it ever not make food.”

Sora asks Genshi if he’s okay, and Tokio tells him to be more careful. Sarah just tells Flint to behave himself when he’s a guest in someone’s home. Tony doesn’t have a line.

In the original, TP Lady says “If I fail again…” before trailing off into her fantasy. In the dub, she says “I’ll make him pay attention to me!”

The fantasy sequence is of the Masked Man leaving TP Lady because she keeps failing him. In the dub, it’s so weird, because it’s almost like they’re completely ignoring what’s happening on screen. The Masked Man has his back turned and is walking away from Petra while Petra is on the ground crying and reaching out. The Masked Man (Or I guess he’s supposed to be The Dark Lord?) says “Tell me, Petra Fina, what does the Dark Lord love above all else?” and she responds “Control, manipulation and power!” It just doesn’t match what we’re seeing.

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The sequence of TP Lady hitting Dyna in the head over and over is shortened. She originally told him to hurry and catch Elekin. Dyna responded asking why he’s the only one getting hit. They didn’t remove the hitting entirely, just shortened the scene of it. So hitting is fine but don’t do it too long?

This next change is 100% pointless and dumb. In the original, TP Lady dresses up in elegant Japanese clothing, and Dyna and Mite introduce her as the successor to the late general, Lord Tokugawa Ieharu. In the dub, Saban, for some reason, has Dino and Mite introduce her as a nameless princess of Saskatchewan…..Ya know….in Canada. What the hell is this, Saban? What are you doing? Why wouldn’t you just says she’s some vague Japanese princess, if you didn’t want to bring up Tokugawa Ieharu for some reason? Are you just trying to make these three seem even stupider than they actually are? I don’t get it.

TP Lady just asks Ammon and Elekin to kneel before her. In the dub, she requests for them to come closer. Also, they reverse and repeat the shot of her opening her eyes when her face is cloaked in shadow, so it can look like she then closed her eyes for some reason.

I don’t think Ammon knows this is TP Lady, Dyna and Mite in the original, but she definitely seems to know it in the dub.

Kyoichiro is entirely focused on Sora when the kids approach and babbles on about their unexpected meeting of fate when he’s all dreamy and sparkly. In the dub, he’s focused on Flint, acting as if he’s running to him to beg for help with the case.

The animation in this shot is awful. Since everyone’s just far enough away for all of the details to be off, Putera’s eyes bounce all over when he talks, and Kyoichiro loses his nose whenever his mouth moves.

The introduction to the newly changed mech is much less impacting in the dub. In the original, they have loud music cues and a pretty cool techno-ish track to go along with it. In the dub, they lazily put in the quietest of single drum beats with each new shot of the robot, and then the music that follows is simple boring bland background music, like the kind you’d hear in casual conversation, not seeing a massive missile-laden robot….

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TP Lady names her modified version of the Gennai, The Great Gennai, which is weird. I’d think she’d name it after herself, but whatever. In the dub, it doesn’t get a new name. Petra just says of course she’d be the one to take complete control with a giant robot.

I’m getting so confused with this. Elekin’s power doesn’t seem to actually be controlling or creating giant robots, like the preview implied. It’s literally just a walking elekiter. You need to crank him and everything. Why does TP Lady need him to power this robot? She has tons of robots and mechanical devices that run on electricity that comes from some unknown future-device source.

If his power really is just creating electricity, and this is a time period where Gennai already made the elekiter….why does Elekin have any impact on what he creates? Even if it is a matter of Elekin being able to generate more electricity than his elekiter, he shouldn’t have instantly made the jump from ‘box that generates static’ to ‘giant mech.’ This is especially weird in the case of the dub, because Ichiban specifically said he wanted this thing to help people…..How does this help people? It’s just a giant mech.

Gennai tells Elekin to stop. In the dub, he tells Petra that she can’t use the mech (or Elekin maybe?) for evil.

They repeat a shot of Elekin after showing the gears turning.

They add a shot of Ichiban talking to have him say “This is grotesque” after Elekin powers up the attack.

This actually seems so backwards. Like “Oh no, TP Lady, the person who usually has high-tech robots and all sorts of gadgets to help her with her plans is now using, GASP……a low-tech wooden mech that she needs to CRANK to power and uses ROPES to control……Dear god….help us all….”

I love how it takes Kyoichiro and Ammon an insanely long time to notice the giant mech attacking the town about 250 feet to their left.

The original doesn’t mention anything about TP Lady putting this moment in her book. I didn’t even know she was writing a book.

Also, I thought for sure Genshi was going to smack the mech with Ototan. Why did he try hopping into the cockpit?

They repeat and reverse the segment of TP Lady mocking and laughing at Genshi after we see the track coming towards Genshi.

Sora and Tokio just yell in concern for Genshi. Sarah and Tony point out how impressive Flint is being before we even see him getting back up to stop the mech.

TP Lady yells “Why is he so strong!?” In the dub, he tells Mite to keep cranking Elekin.

Sora and Tokio ask if the mech has any weak spots. Gennai says that any machine made by the great genius, Gennai, has no weak spots. In the dub, they ask if Ichiban can make anything to fight “the evil power” just once. Ichiban refuses, saying he doesn’t stoop to the hurly burly of politics. He builds machines to help the human race.

If you ask me, both versions are obnoxious. The first version is better, but it still has Gennai coming off like a total egotistical prick. Instead of actually trying to come up with a solution to this problem, he just gloats about how perfect his machine is. And, dude, it can’t be that perfect if it was so badly damaged just by falling over after trying to avoid Ridon. As far as I know, the more humorous side of this character definitely tracks with Gennai in real life, but I haven’t been able to find anything implying that he was a braggart who got blinded by his self-righteousness or ego.

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The dubbed version just seems flatout wrong on all accounts. You can’t state that your devices are tools of good for the betterment of humanity and then go on about how you don’t want to create a device that fights evil. That makes no sense. And what the hell does that have to do with politics? Being fair, Gennai was the type of guy who liked to distance himself from politics, but, as I just asked, what does making a device to beat an evil person’s robot have to do with politics?

And while we’re it, again, how does your giant mech help people!?

In the original, Putera asks why Gennai is gloating about that. In the dub, he says “If the universe is destroyed, who will see them?” which comes off like Ichiban only wants to help so his devices will get attention….

In the original, Gennai yells to Genshi that the one weak spot of the mech is Elekin. Since he’s powering the machine, removing him will stop it. In the dub, he just yells out to Petra that, as the mech’s creator, he protests against the use of the machine in such a way and demands they stop……I thought this guy was supposed to be smart.

Genshi tells Gennai that he understands. Flint tells Ichiban “Keep yellin’! I think it’s workin’!” Wha…what’s working? Him yelling at them? What are they doing different?

So Sora falls and just….doesn’t even try to kinda get up. She just accepts her missile-y fate…..What a protagonist.

Sora just says “Narukami” after he saves her. In the dub, Sarah says “Now I really feel silly.” Yeah, well….you should.

Kyoichiro asks if Sora’s alright. Merlock tells Sarah that she shouldn’t feel silly because it was a scary situation that scared him too…..Uh huh…

Kyoichiro says that, with her looking at him like that, he wouldn’t be cool if he refused her request. In the dub, he says that he can tell by the look in her eyes how much Flint means to her and that, in the spirit of friendship, he’ll help her.

Kyoichiro gives a speech to Genshi about how he’ll teach him the real way to fight. Genshi responds with “Kyoichiro, I’m counting on you!” In the dub, he gives a dramatic speech to…no one about how his enemies will tremble at his feet and blah blah. Flint then yells “STOP TALKIN’ AND DO SOMETHING, WILL YA!?” Way to make Flint obnoxious, Saban.

They again reverse and replay TP Lady talking after Flint’s line, for some reason.

Kyoichiro doesn’t have a line as he pole vaults over the missiles. He just goes “Aieeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Then he yells “Genshi, now!” In the dub, he says “A little grace under pressure….NOT WHILE MERLOCK’S AROUND!” Were you, uh, meant to be responding to someone in that second part of your line? Because, otherwise, it sounds like there will be no grace under pressure while you’re around….

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Name Change: Warukin is changed to Elekin-con.

So….Elekin’s bad transformation is mostly just a bigger version of himself with a different face on screen and plug hands? How boring.

Sora says “Hang in there, Ammon.” Sarah says “She’ll be okay. She’s in shock.” Get it?! Because she was electrocuted! HAHA!

As usual, Love-Love can’t talk, but Saban has Getalong say “All because of that robot!” No, it’s because of Elekin. The robot didn’t shock Bindi – Elekin did….

The original doesn’t mention anything about ballast….Why is Ichiban acting like this is a ship?

Kyoichiro tells Sora to take care of Ammon for him, and Sora agrees. In the dub, Merlock says Ichiban’s crazy because the robot can’t move on its own. Sarah then also chimes in asking if he doesn’t understand that the mech doesn’t have any energy. Yeah, apparently both versions are writing Gennai to be a dumbass now….

They somehow make him even more of a dumbass in the dub because they repeat shots of him pulling ropes and the robot not responding while he yells “Forward!….Backward!…..Any-ward!” before he realizes the mech doesn’t have power….In the original, he only pulls the rope once before realizing.

They remove the shot of the kids reacting to Gennai’s blunder and replace it with an earlier and much less funny non-reaction shot where they just blink in response, complete with a blink sound effect.

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They also add in the slightly earlier shot of Sora yelling out as a means to getting Sarah to yell up to Elekin to remember that they’re his friends.

They remove the shot of Gennai, Kyoichiro and Genshi getting electrocuted before we cut to the lab.

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The dub has Pterry mention that Flint’s in suspended animation, which….no? He’s not in suspended animation at all…What was that line? Were they trying to make some meta joke that didn’t land?

They remove the shot of Redman getting electrocuted.

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Sora tells Redman that the giant robot is on their side (after they attacked it and got electrocuted, thinking it was the enemy) Tokio then tells them to look closely and see that Genshi and Ototan are inside it. In the dub, Sarah tells them not to give up, and Tony tells Sarah that they probably don’t have any juice left after that.

The dub includes a split-second group shot of the Cardians right before they transform…for… some reason.

I can’t not mention this anymore – Ichiban here is voiced by Tom Fahn, who voiced Agumon in Digimon. I just had to mention this because he’s very obviously just doing his Agumon voice with no change whatsoever. It is very distracting.

Gennai tells Elekin that he’s really a good guy and asks him to change back. Ichiban tells Elekin that he believes his powers can be “applied and conducted” whatever the hell he means by the latter, for the good of everyone.

They add in a flashier shot of Petra flailing her whip around because I guess her torment of Elekin has to look better?

Also, TP Lady just asks what Warukin is doing. In the dub, Saban writes this insanely stupid line that I can’t believe made it to the final cut.

Petra: “The secret of electrical power comes with me!” The SECRET of ELECTRICAL POWER?! YOU’RE FROM THE GODDAMN FUTURE. You have a cat-themed spaceship that also turns into a mech. You have a mind-control stamp. YOU CAN TIME TRAVEL. What secrets of electrical power do you think this thing has? Go find a tesla coil or something. You’ll get the same experience. What is wrong with you?

Genshi tells Gennai that they need to run. Flint tells Ichiban to go get the box with the wires in it because Elekin’s gonna need it. Apparently he’s psychic now.

The reason he needed the elekiter was Elekin….fell down….and the elekiter’s power was used to…I dunno, revive him? Whatever.

Kyoichiro says he may have loaned Genshi his strength this time, but he shouldn’t rely on him being there all the time. Merlock says he liked teaming up with Flint and he’ll be sure to appreciate his friendship from now on.

Ya know, I’ll just say it…Kyoichiro didn’t do anything in this episode. He’s being praised for nothing. Yeah, sure, he saved Sora, but Sora was only in danger because she was an idiot. Then later he ‘helps’ Genshi by…..dodging missiles and telling him to attack the mech…?? Then he helps again by pull ropes to help power the mech, which, knowing how powerful and fast Genshi is, he surely could have done himself. It’s clear this episode was meant to be a sort of bonding time for them, or at least a means of showing that Kyoichiro was useful, but we know he’s useful, and they didn’t do a good enough job showing the teamwork side of that equation.

Ammon apologizes for knocking Kyoichiro off the tower. Bindi asks what he did that for, as if he fell off the tower on purpose….

Gennai asks if his words are remembered in the future. The kids assure him that they are and that he’s actually famous in the future. Gennai says Super Redman was pretty impressive. Then he asks Elekin and Redman if they’d like to combine and make a Super Great Gennai mech. This makes Elekin and the Red Redman excited before they excuse themselves to leave.

In the dub, Ichiban wishes there was some way he could visit them in the future. Tony says maybe he’ll invent something that will help him do that. Ichiban then says he might be barking up the wrong tree with the electricity stuff because then he’d have to invent an electric can opener which would mean he’d have to invent the tin can….*sigh*….*rubs temples* Somehow that makes Elekin and the Red Cardian start making random noises that sound like “bike bike bike”…I dunno.

Tokio bids farewell, and Genshi says he really liked the treats with the sweet red beans in them. In the dub, Tony says they make that noise when they want to say “Thanks” and Flint says he really liked the raw fish eggs.

The dub continues to piss me off. In the original, there’s no narration over the memory erasure scene. In the dub, Old Timer says there’s no benefit to Ichiban remembering this, and the electricity stuff should be left to Benjamin Franklin, Count Volta, whom I seriously doubt most kids learned about in school, and “The others.” But the elekiter exists. He’s already a note in the history of electric power. Why are you acting as if it would be a bad thing for him to continue working with electricity?

After Ichiban wonders what he’s doing they again reverse and repeat the shot to return his face back to a drowsy expression for some reason.

Genshi just says Gennai was an interesting person. Flint says he needed a bottle of ketchup.

Tokio says there are a lot of strange characters among scientists, then he asks Wing if he’s right, seemingly nudging at the Wright brothers? How were they weird? In the dub, Tony asks why Goodman would need or want to come along and meet other people like Ichiban when he has the Time Shifters as company. Yes, why would you want to meet an incredibly interesting historical figure when you can just sit around with a bunch of Time Shifters who generally don’t have much in the way of meaningful conversation and just want to play most of the time?

They remove the last two shots of Elekin electrocuting everyone.

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This episode is just terrible. They portrayed Gennai as an egotistical idiot. Elekin is a lazily designed Space-Time Monster whose sole power is to electrocute things – and it can only generate electricity in its base form if someone cranks it. Like I said, I really thought that it had the power to turn things into robots or giant mechs, but nope. It just generates electricity.

Its role in the story made no sense. I don’t understand how Elekin’s presence prompted Gennai to make a mech nor how such a thing was even made possible. I also don’t understand what gave him the idea or WHY he’d do such a thing. They never explain any of this. Getting access to more electricity is not a logical explanation for any of this by a long shot. By the way, did they somehow dispose of the mech when they left? Because I’m pretty sure that would raise all sorts of questions if it was left in the past.

The elekiter was basically just glossed over and used as a defibrillator to revive Elekin, who simply fell down. It wasn’t like he died.

Kyoichiro’s role in this episode was mostly pointless, as I discussed, and Ammon was mostly just an annoyance again.

TP Lady’s plan was underwhelming. When I thought Elekin had something to do with creating robots, I thought they might apply Elekin to their spaceship mech and make it a much more powerful robot, but nope. Just a wooden mech powered by a crank and operated by ropes. The fact that Genshi was actually nearly losing against this thing was pathetic. He’s taken on so many bigger and more powerful things. This should have been toothpicks in seconds. Warukin was a much bigger threat, but even that was pathetically felled by literally falling…..

They honestly couldn’t get me invested at all in a giant robot battle. Do you understand how easy it is for robots to amuse me? I adore robots. Tiny ones? Adorable. Human-sized ones? Cool. Giant ones? Awesome! Robot battles? Awesome-er! Giant robot battles!? You have my heart! You have to fail pretty hard at robots for me to not be interested in a giant robot battle.

About the only good thing about this episode was seeing Super Redman again. And they didn’t even beat Warukin. TP Lady defeated them all herself by wrapping her whip on a missile and accidentally exploding it, knocking down the mech, knocking down Warukin and sending them blasting off.

The dub was one the worst I’ve ever seen in this series. Not only did they change the historical figure to a nonexistent person for some reason beyond my scope of understanding (if it really is the Digimon thing, that couldn’t be dumber.) which means it’s drained of any educational value, but they also made him an even bigger idiot than he was before and even implied that he was so stupid that he shouldn’t be working with electricity anymore and should just leave that stuff up to other scientists. They even got the time period wrong.

They added in that bunk about him wanting to make the robot for the better of humanity without even explaining why it would help or what it even does besides be a giant robot. They also cut out pretty much any even slight moment between “Ichiban” and Elekin.

Not to mention that ridiculously stupid line about Petra wanting the secret to electric power.

They repeated and reversed more shots in this episode than any other, I believe, and I can’t find any reason for it.

Even the ending was made very abrupt and almost dark because it cuts immediately as they’re being electrocuted without the zoom out to make it even slightly humorous.

What a wasted opportunity of an episode.

Maybe we’ll have more fun next time. Let’s see what we got.

Next time, we meet the Space-Time Monster Musclun in ancient Greece. Musclun has the power to give people huge muscles…Hm….Takes place at the Olympics. Pretty interesting. Let’s check the Fandom page. *click* Mmmhm….Mmmhm……Mmmmmmm……Oh…goodie, we have to talk about blackface AND grossly inappropriate depictions of young girls….Fun…fun….

…..Previous Episode


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One Piece (4Kids) | Episode 6: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Zoro and Luffy manage to get away from Buggy with the help of Nami and the mayor of the town, but they’re not out of danger yet. They meet a small dog named Chouchou who seems to be guarding a local pet store fiercely. The mayor tells them that the dog’s owner recently passed away and he’s been feeding Chouchou in his place since his passing, but he won’t leave the store no matter what. When Buggy sends one of his goons, Mohji the Beast Tamer, to defeat Zoro and Luffy, they find that Chouchou’s both bark AND bite, but will that be enough to protect his pet shop?

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Entire Show Edit: The recaps are always different and for some reason they are always presented in letterbox form in the dub.

The mention of Zoro being injured is kept the same, but it makes little sense in the dub. In the original, we constantly see blood spraying from Zoro’s wound and the blood stain on his clothes getting bigger. In the dub, there is no visible wound and he looks fine otherwise, so you’re left confused as to why they’re freaking out about an invisible wound.

Subbed: 

Dubbed:

In the next line, dub!Zoro says he’s fine besides his knee, which I guess we’re supposed to take as having gotten hurt when the Buggy Ball went off, despite having no damage to his pants. They even kinda point this out by having Luffy say his knee looks fine and then Nami saying it sounds awful. Because sounds are much easier to edit than visuals. Also, I guess they’re ignoring that he totally got stabbed earlier? Even if they didn’t show it outright, that’s what was implied.

They omit the part where Luffy introduces Nami to Zoro as their new navigator.

The line being said here, which is Nami asking why they’re so determined even though they’re pirates, is essentially the same, but the delivery loses the focus of the line. In the original, the line is said like Nami’s getting a whole new view on people who are pirates – like some of them have strength and determination to live on and fight for what’s right despite being pirates. In the dub, she’s all “They’re pretty determined, for pirates anyway.” which is really no change from how she’s been acting towards pirates this whole time.

Title Cards:

Subbed:

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Dubbed:

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Title Change: Desperate Situation! Beast Tamer Mohji vs. Luffy is changed to The Beast Breaker.

Originally, Luffy wonders if the unmoving dog is dead. Dub!Luffy wonders if he’s real.

They edit out a shot of the dog biting Luffy’s face. We can’t show that either? There’s not even any blood. It’s almost cartoony.

A shot of Luffy’s hand on the ground is edited out.

A shot of Nami talking to Luffy and another shot of Zoro smiling at the two of them is edited out.

After Chouchou eats the key, we get photo overlays of each of them looking in shock at what just happened. Then we see Luffy cartoonishly strangling the dog because he ate the key. This is all edited out.

They edit out:

  • A shot of Luffy holding the dog
  • Zoro asking who The Mayor is.
  • The Mayor explaining who he is.
  • The Mayor seeing the wound that Zoro has (the one that apparently it doesn’t exist in the dub)
  • A shot of the ‘closed’ sign on the side of the building.

They cut straight to Chouchou and Luffy staring at each other and then we get to the building.

The Mayor assumes the three are bullying Chouchou. In the dub, he’s telling Chouchou to not attack them.

In the original, The Mayor says that he offered Zoro medical attention, but he refused and said he just needed rest, so he’s sleeping at his house. In the dub, the same message is given, but it’s more like The Mayor thought the best medical attention was a nap instead of getting him a doctor….and I’m not lying, the dialogue says it, “I have the best medical equipment in the world – a bed.” Yeah, that’ll patch up a gaping gut wou—uh broken knee.

They edit out a shot of Nami petting Chouchou despite us seeing her petting him a few seconds later because…petting dogs is bad?……sometimes? They also edit out a shot of Luffy talking.

Urgh, 4Kids, I am amazed at how you have the innate ability to piss me off and impress me somewhat at the same time. Shockingly, the story about Chouchou’s owner dying and him guarding his owner’s store as his precious treasure is left in, but the music ruins it. It’s a very tragic story, 4Kids. The tone you’re looking for is ‘sad.’

They also shorten the scene of stillness and silence that is reflective upon the sad story because we wouldn’t want to have a moment of emotion, would we?

Also edited out:

  • Chouchou returning the dog bowl to The Mayor and going back to sit down.
  • Luffy sitting back with his face covered by his hat and looking up into the sky.
  • The ground shaking.
  • An extended shot of Luffy laying back.

The Mayor doesn’t speak baby talk to Chouchou originally.

How can Luffy not get out of that cage? I have a hard time believing a cage, especially one with fairly large gaps between the bars, can hold a rubber man. I mean, it may be painful, maybe, but he could easily squeeze through those gaps.

Name change: Mohji the Beast Tamer is changed to Mohji the Beast Breaker…Beast Breaker? That sounds awful. I have no clue why 4Kids sometimes makes things sound worse than they actually are. Sounds like he emotionally and physically tortures animals until they break and obey him.

They shortened the scene of the mayor flailing and running off with Nami.

They edit out a weird falling pane transition along with some dialogue from Mohji and a response from Luffy.

Dub!Nami: “Don’t you think it’s weird that you crashed through all those houses and you don’t have a mark on you?” He crashed through one house, Nami. Singular.

Blood is edited away from when Chouchou is hit and rolls away. Too fast for me to screencap. Plus it leaves the screen quickly, so you can just imagine a blood spray flashing around him in the dubbed version.

I’m actually not entirely bothered by the choice of song for the flashback scenes because, well, 4Kids sucks at sad songs and that’s really all the effort they’ll put into that. My expectations shall lower for you, 4Kids. Though the original song, that music box song….damn man, just damn.

Chouchou’s minor wounds are edited away.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Originally, in the flashback, the pet shop owner tells Chouchou that he’s getting old (though he really had an illness) and he needed to go to the hospital for a while and to watch the shop while he was gone. In the dub, it basically sounds like he’s dying right then and there and leaving the pet shop to Chouchou.

His wounds reappear during a zoom out. It’s like they didn’t digitally paint enough frames so it fades in for a second or two.

Originally, Chouchou gets hit off-screen and we see blood spatter on the pet store sign as Chouchou yelps. In the dub, we just see Chouchou lunge and cut to the next scene.

Original!Mohji shows us his bleeding bite wound, 4Kids shows us a band-aid. Because that tiny band-aid would cover a whole bite wound, right?

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Mohji yells out that the lion thing’s name is Richie when Luffy hits him with the Gomu Gomu no Tsuchi. In the dub, Mohji just screams.

I guess 4Kids had to paint away the embers in this next scene because they ‘had’ to paint away the wounds on the dog.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally wanted to kill Luffy before he started terrorizing people with a crew like Mohji. This is changed to just wanting to stop him. Also, Luffy originally stated that Nami would never be able to kill him. Nami then challenges Luffy to a fight, but Luffy stays silent. All of this scene is silent in the dub.

A still screen made in a hand drawn-style is edited out of the dub.

The sound mixing in the dub is really awful sometimes. The music can be deafening and can make it really hard to hear the dialogue.

Nami smiling at Luffy giving Chouchou the dog treats is edited out.

Mohji’s ‘wounds’ are painted off.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Nami originally points out that the mayor was crying before he ran off. Dub!Nami just says he’s not using his head.

Original!Zoro says that that things are getting pretty interesting and Luffy agrees. In the dub, Luffy responds to what Nami said about using his head by saying he’s using his heart. Zolo then follows it up and says ‘tough choice. Headache or heartache.’ Ha…hah.

I hate Dub!Luffy’s laugh, I really do. He’s always going hoohoohohoy! He has a more clown-ish laugh than damn Buggy.

———————————–

I really like this little mini-arc, even if it’s very sad. As and animal lover who has never lived without a dog, it breaks my heart. Poor Chouchou.

The enemy here is a severe threat, even if he looks ridiculous, and there’s plenty of tension to be had. Dub-wise, the episode loses a lot of its emotional impact, but I guess 4Kids could’ve done a lot worse.

Next episode, it’s a wounded Zoro vs. an acrobatic sword master named Cabaji, and a battle of devil fruits with Luffy vs. Buggy.

….Previous Episode


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero Episode 15: Scary Woman! Can’t Transform! (Placeholder)

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Plot: Yugi suddenly finds himself with an admirer when he receives a love letter from a girl named Risa, much to Anzu’s annoyance. While she is a very nice girl, Yugi isn’t interested in her, but he can’t get the nerve to turn her down. When she shows her true colors, Yugi won’t have to worry about turning her down – he’ll be too busy fighting for the Millennium Puzzle.

Breakdown: When I first saw the preview for this episode, I thought it would be boring and annoying because it focused on Anzu being jealous of a girl who was romantically interested in Yugi. And yup, it’s about as boring as this series can manage, and Anzu delivers plenty of annoying.

So…….witches.

Risa and her two triplet sisters are witches…..I…guess? They perform some sort of ritual thing in the start of the episode, and they identify with a trio of witch sister cards, but they never perform any magic….so…I dunno. Risa also has an adverse reaction to touching the Puzzle, but it only happened once. She touches it several times after this and it does nothing.

In a free booster pack she got from Sugoroku, Anzu obtains a very rare Violet Hekate card, which she gives to Yugi because he likes it so much. Overhearing this exchange, Risa decides to pretend to be romantically interested in Yugi so she can get the card from him.

Anzu is not happy about this, especially when Yugi falls ill and Risa takes it upon herself to nurse him back to health. Anzu spends a majority of the episode being a grouch about the whole thing, even prompting him to reject Risa, because she likes Yugi. However, bear in mind, Anzu doesn’t actually like Yugi, at least not in that way – she likes “strong Yugi” and yes that’s the term she used to describe him in this episode. She always sees Yugi as a little kid with toys. She wants her dark mysterious Yugi. So, she’s getting in the way of Yugi’s possible romance just because she’s in love…..with his alter-ego….That sure is fair.

Granted, her concerns are warranted, just not in the ways she first thinks. What I really don’t understand is why Risa and her sisters took the time out to psychologically mess with Anzu for so long. Why bother prompting her to go run errands just to hear that Risa already did them when Anzu returned? Why bother pushing her down the escalator at the mall? They don’t want or need anything from Anzu, and they’re only making her more suspicious by doing these things.

Yugi doesn’t want to give Risa the card because Anzu gave it to him. Frustrated, Risa, or one of her sisters, resorts to trashing his room to steal it……really makes you wonder why they didn’t just do that in the first place.

One of the sisters takes his Puzzle as a hostage for the Violet Hekate card. They’ll duel for it. Whomever wins gets both the card and the Puzzle. Yugi agrees.

Which brings us to the…

Not Shadow Game

Yeah, this isn’t a Shadow Game. The sisters are using a ‘machine’ that is somehow entirely hidden from view to show projections of the cards and their attacks, but that’s about it. It’s a normal duel otherwise.

Yugi defends first with a Sleeping Worm, but they blast it away with one of the three witch cards, Red Hekate.

Yugi then uses the Clocks card, which somehow not only brings the worm back from the dead, but it also EVOLVES IT?! Can someone find a way to wrap my head around that?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because the newly evolved form of the worm, Iron Beetle, is no match for their second witch card, Yellow Hekate.

Yugi starts succumbing to his fever again when Kaiba shows up. He explains that the triplets are well known in the world of Duel Monsters for using any means necessary to obtain cards that they desire. Since Yugi is ill, Kaiba offers to sub for him, offering an entire briefcase of cards if he loses. He even offers to let them put the Violet Hekate in their deck.

They agree, and the duel continues. Kaiba starts with a Cyclops card, which is blasted away by the Hekate witches.

Kaiba loses. The end.

The end

What? I know how to do math. They started with 2000 LP. Yugi lost 800 LP when they killed his Iron Beetle (in attack mode) with Yellow Hekate. Then he lost 1300 when Kaiba’s Cyclops (1200 attack) fell to the Hekate sisters (Both were attacking it at the same time, but I’m only counting one because that’s illegal) with 2500 attack.

Kaiba was subbing for Yugi, not starting an entirely new duel. This much is shown when we see that both of the Hekate sisters are still on the field when Kaiba comes in.

Yugi/Kaiba lost. The end.

But, oh, silly me. I can’t math. Nor can I pay attention. I am but a mere viewer of Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero, and apparently the writers can’t dig up an ounce of respect for my intelligence.

The duel continues once more – Kaiba summons a Blue Eyes, because of course he had one immediately, but they counter by summoning Violet Hekate, which is bullshit. Did ‘put Violet Hekate in your deck’ translate to ‘place Violet Hekate on the top of your deck so you can totally cheat’?

Anyhoo, the three Hekate cards automatically merge into Gorgon whose attack strength matches Blue Eyes. However, since it’s on a forest field, where witches thrive apparently (But…Gorgons aren’t witches….???) it won’t be destroyed if it’s in a stalemate attack. For some reason, she doesn’t choose to attack Blue Eyes right then to prove her point, leaving Kaiba open to summon his second Blue Eyes, because of course he got a second Blue Eyes on his third turn. And then, somehow, both Blue Eyes attack Gorgon, which….somehow defeats it? That shouldn’t have happened. They all have 3000 attack power, and the sisters said the Gorgon wouldn’t die in a stalemate while on forest land. Unless they somehow got a power boost from being together or something, there’s no reason this should be working like this.

With Gorgon gone, the sisters…..just….lose I guess.

Kaiba gathers his things and says he’d never let someone like the witch sisters defeat Yugi, especially in such a dishonorable manner. He’ll ensure that he’ll be the only one to defeat Yugi.

…..Then the episode just ends.

What a bunch of malarkey.

Boring plot, boring conflict, boring duel, boring enemies. You introduced witches to Yu-Gi-Oh and you give us nothing but jealous Anzu and a milquetoast duel that makes so little sense that, logically, the good guys should have lost? Also, it’s like they knew the duel was boring because they really shoehorned in that mysterious invisible ‘machine’ that makes holograms….oh excuse me – they call them ‘hallucinations.’ *eyeroll*

Not to mention Yami wasn’t even in this episode. And now I sound like Anzu, and that makes me pissed off. And being pissed off only makes me sound more like Anzu. 😐

Next time, more purely anime stories when we’re introduced to Shizuka, Jonouchi flirts with a nurse and the third Game Shitennou shows up.

..Previous Episode


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Ojamajo Doremi/Magical DoReMi | Episode 7: Aim for Level 9! The Witch Exam Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: The level 9 witch exam is almost here, and while Aiko and Hazuki are sure to pass with their extensive training, Doremi’s lack of practice is putting Majorika on edge. She has one more day of practice, but her mother sends her out to watch Pop as she tries to make a trip to grandma’s by herself. Doremi stealthily tries to help her by using magic, but she needs to ensure she saves at least one magic sphere for the exam. Will Doremi be able to pass and get her fairy, or will her lack of practice come back to haunt her?

——————————————-

As normal, the opening little scene is completely removed. It’s just Doremi upset over how she won’t be an ojamajo anymore.

Aiko just says the typical magic words in the first main shot and finishes by calling for tailless taiyaki. In the dub, I honestly tried to hear what she was saying but I couldn’t make out half of it. I think she said “Don’t care if it’s snapper, don’t care if it’s trout, this cake without a tail come on out!” Kinda surprised 4Kids didn’t change that more considering, if I was a kid, I’d have no idea what the hell that was meant to be.

The title on the book is changed to “Magic” and the label is flipped upside down and shifted downwards because books are read from right to left in Japan and they wanted to make it seem like an English book.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Hazuki says her magic words followed up with “A shortcake without the strawberry, appear!” In the dub, she says “Pretty soon I’ll have a fairy, for now I’d like a cake no cherry! Appear!” The dub sounds awkward. “I’d like a cake no cherry”? I get what she’s saying but it just sounds awkward. Why even change this? Strawberry shortcake is something we definitely have in America. As opposed to, oh I don’t know, a fish-shaped cake….

In the shot where Reanne makes the cake appear, the label on the book is back in its original spot….

Oh my god. They accidentally left the shot too wide, so we can see Doremi doesn’t have a bottom half when she’s animated backing up.

Oddly, the dubbed version doesn’t have this error. I don’t know if it’s because they fixed it on the copy 4Kids obtained or if they zoomed in slightly to cover it up.

The dub omits that their level 9 exam is on Sunday, followed by exams 8 and 7. In the dub, she just says the official fairy test is tomorrow.

Doremi points out that ghosts don’t have exams and questions why witches have them. Then her friends sigh in exasperation. In the dub, she just says she hates tests, and Patina tells her, as long as she practices, she’ll be fine, which makes her friends sigh.

Witch World is changed to the Lunaverse.

Majorika laments that she doesn’t much care how Aiko and Hazuki do on the exam, but she doesn’t have a choice in helping Doremi because she’s the one she needs to get her back to normal. In the dub, she mumbles that she could have been queen of the Lunaverse by now, but she has to cater to these three instead.

Doremi kinda mocks Majorika here by saying “That’s right! If your student fails, it will be really embarrassing for you, Majorika!” In the dub, Dorie tells her not to worry because she’ll be fine, considering Patina said the test was easy.

Majorika says failing the level 9 exam is very rare, so Doremi asks if it’s fine if she doesn’t practice then. Majorika then blows up at her because, again, she’s the only one she’s concerned about not doing well. In the dub, Patina says that just because the test is easy doesn’t mean she can risk screwing up. Dorie then asks if she can blow off practice for the day and practice tomorrow since it’s Saturday and she has nothing else to do, which I guess means the date of the test was changed from Sunday to Saturday for some reason. Patina then yells that she can’t practice tomorrow because the test is tomorrow.

The original doesn’t mention anything about the fairies they receive being either level one or a reflection of their inner selves like the dub does.

Aiko wonders what kind of fairy she’ll get. Mirabelle says her fairy will probably be able to kick some butt. Lala says she’s excited to see the new fairies too while Lorelai says Mirabelle’s probably right in her assumption. Doremi says she hopes to teach her fairy how to make magic goods. Dorie says the fairies can help out around the shop.

Majorika says all Doremi thinks about is doing things the easy way. Patina tells them to focus on passing the test before planning anything with their fairies.

A scene is cut of Majorika passing in front of the girls and muttering to herself wondering how the girls can pass like this. Doremi jumps up and says it will be a piece of cake before a test with a grade of 30 pops into frame, shattering her excitement.

Also, the bottom halves of the girls are again cut off as Majorika passes them.

Doremi got a 30 on her math test while Dorie got a D-. Typically, a 30 is most certainly an F. Also, Dorie adds “Well, at least it’s not a D.” which is obviously meant to show how stupid she is.

Doremi says that at least there’s no math on the witch exam, so it should still be easy. Pop interrupts, seeing her grade, and asks “A 30? What’s so easy about that?” In the dub, Dorie is still talking about the grade, and Caitlyn interrupts her to mock her on how she got a D- minus in subtraction and brags that it’s so easy even she can do it.

Pop says she has to remember to not become a bad student like Doremi is. In the dub, Caitlyn demonstrates her math skills by saying “This family minus Dorie equals a cleaner house.”

Doremi thinks about how terrible it is that her own sister has to be so cruel. Then she says her catchphrase of being the unluckiest pretty girl in the world. In the dub, Caitlyn points out Dorie’s mistake from before in claiming a D- is better than a D, then Dorie thinks that she needs to come up with a comeback.

Doremi mutters her magic words in her sleep and says she’s not a poor witch like adult Pop called her in her fantasy. In the dub, Dorie is silent until she flails and wakes up, saying she’s too excited about getting her fairy to sleep.

Pop just kinda randomly wants to go to her grandma’s alone. In the dub, her mother was going to take her and also get a cupcake along the way, but she insisted on going herself.

Pop says Doremi will only get in her way. Doremi responds with “Well, excuse me.” In the dub, Caitlyn says they’ll get lost if Dorie leads the way, and Dorie agrees.

They remove the next part where their mom agrees to let Pop go off alone. A chibi animation appears as their mom tells Pop to get a box of ten daifuku for her grandma (costing 1000 yen), get on the train and get off at the third station and then walk straight to grandma’s house.

The money was originally for the manju (daifuku is a type of manju) and the tickets. In the dub, it’s for the cupcakes.

In the original, their mom asks if Pop wants the “I’m Lost” sign. In the dub, she asks Caitlyn if she wants her to write down grandma’s address to ensure she’ll remember. Kinda prefer the dub…..Is the “I’m Lost” sign a thing? Either in Japan or in general? I’ve never heard that before.

Pop rejects the sign because it’s uncool. Caitlyn rejects the address card because she’s sure she’ll remember.

Doremi comes up with the idea of following Pop on her broom my herself. In the dub, her mom says she wishes she could be a little bird and fly over her shoulder to watch Caitlyn, which gives Dorie the idea.

Pop wonders if she heard Doremi’s voice. Caitlyn asks “What was that annoying sound I just heard?”

Doremi asks when she’ll be able to fly properly. Dorie says “Stupid broom, never flies right!”

Doremi’s magic words for becoming Aiko are changed in the dub to “When I wave my wand and cast a spell, turn me into Mirabelle!”

Pop thanks Airemi for putting up with her incompetent sister. In the dub, she says she wasn’t aware Dorie had real friends, then she asks Dorabelle how much she pays her.

Pop says she doesn’t have time to chat and apologizes for her rudeness before heading off. In the dub, she tells Dorabelle that she’s a very good person for putting up with Dorie since she knows how annoying she can be. Then she excuses herself and leaves.

Dorabelle is angry that she wasted a magic sphere on Pop. Airemi is upset she has to waste her whole day following Caitlyn.

Dorie says Caitlyn’s running errands, but that’s not what she’s doing. She’s going to visit her grandma. Just because she has to pick up some sweets on the way there doesn’t mean she’s running errands.

Doremi says that her transformation into Aiko was so impressive that the exam will be easy for her. Aiko then slyly asks for her to lay off transforming into her, which….maybe this is just my garbage memory, but when did Doremi ever transform into Aiko? I know she’s transformed into Hazuki, but I don’t recall her doing it with Aiko.

Dorie says that transforming into Mirabelle backfired on her. Mirabelle then says Dorie probably thought she’d be able to pass the fairy exam if she transformed into Mirabelle.

Doremi apologizes for turning into Aiko. Aiko then criticizes her kansai dialect. Dorie says she wasn’t transforming into Mirabelle to pass the fairy exam, and Mirabelle says that’s good because there’s only room for one (Mirabelle).

When Aiko reminds her to practice, Doremi thinks “Just like a Naniwa girl’s personality. She always remembers.” Whatever the heck she means by that. In the dub, Mirabelle basically says the same thing but Dorie thinks, “Oh man! When am I gonna find time for that?!”

Some text on posts and graffiti on the walls is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Text on the poster on the pole is removed.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Pop says that there’s no manju shop around where she is before running off. Caitlyn says she must have taken a wrong turn somewhere and she’ll retrace her steps.

They remove a shot of Pop with a big question mark over her head. I don’t know why. They’ve been keeping nearly all of these kinds of cartoonish expression marks before now.

Gonna give my typical “If you see a sign, it’s been digitally painted to be blank” notification here. They’re the in the city now. Signs are everywhere.

Doremi’s spell for the sign is changed to “I don’t want my sister to be lost all day, make a sign and show her the way!”

Since this is a special sign, I’ll note it. The giant sign Doremi conjures says “This way. Manju shop” In the dub, it’s painted over to say “This way. Bakery.” Honestly floored that they didn’t change the picture of the manju to cupcakes.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Pop originally calls the guy she asks for directions a “pretty boy.” In the dub, she just calls him “sir.”

Okay, it’s nice that this guy is giving her directions, but it’s kinda creepy for him to let her ride on his neck like that…..

The next bit of Doremi’s inner monologue was almost kept the same. Doremi thinks following Pop would be much easier if she were a cat or a dog, but after seeing Pop get excited about the manju she decides that doesn’t want to waste anymore magic spheres on her. In the dub, Dorie thinks the same thing about the cat and dog, but she adds that she could also turn into a bug and land on her arm. But then she rejects that idea since Caitlyn would probably freak out and squish her. When Caitlyn says she’s going to buy the chocolate cupcakes like grandma likes, Dorie thinks to herself that grandma likes the coconut ones, not chocolate.

I guess these don’t count as signs. The little price markers are changed to USD.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Interesting how the digital paint goes outside of the frame. Also, the prices are off. The original price of the manju was 1200 yen, which, at least by today’s conversion rates, is around $8.50. In the dub, it’s $3.50. Gotta say, $3.50 for a box of ten “cupcakes” is actually really good, especially fresh from a bakery.

Pop says the manju are supposed to be 1000 yen. In the dub, she says they’re supposed to be $3.00. The cashier only says that the prices went up this month. In the dub, she adds that the price was increased due to a strike at the chocolate factory.

Pop thinks to herself that, if she gets the manju, she won’t have enough money left for the train. In the dub, Dorie’s got inner monologue running over this shot, chastising her for buying the wrong cupcakes and pointing out that she won’t have enough money. Her mom in both versions is kinda irresponsible for not giving her more than enough money for her trip. I know she’s a little kid who might be tempted to spend all the money, but it’s better to at least give her a few bucks more to ensure she’ll definitely have enough for everything. Funnily enough, Doremi/Dorie mirrors my thoughts on this as she internally chides her mother for not giving her more than enough money.

Doremi’s spell to give part of her allowance to Pop is changed to “As if this day couldn’t get any worse, I never thought I’d say these words, but put my money in Caitlyn’s purse!”

The money in Pop’s purse is changed to American currency.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Pop tells the cashier that her skin is white as the daifuku and her cheeks look like sakuramochi (which are pink). In the dub, Caitlyn asks the cashier what the secret is to her beautiful skin tone because it’s as smooth as silk, and her hair glimmerings like dew on a fine summer’s morning.

Oh….so it’s just one cupcake for $3.50……In that case, what rip off. Also, now that I think of it, they didn’t paint the daifuku into cupcakes either. How strange.

Doremi questions why Pop’s haggling. In the dub, she questions why Caitlyn didn’t look in the purse. She did, though. If you count once and know you don’t have enough money, why would you bother looking again? You didn’t give her a reason to re-check.

Hazuki’s spell to make the square/cube hamburger is changed to “I just made a cookie shaped like a pear, now let’s see a hamburger shaped like a square!”

Aiko’s spell to summon a crescent rice omelet is changed to “At this rate, I’ll never mess up! Let’s have an omelet with some ketchup!”

The montage of following Pop is accompanied by rather dull jazzy oboe (?) music as Doremi narrates a bit about how much it sucks to follow her. In the dub, we get a poppy vocal song called “Now That I Can Fly” which I think was prompted purely because we see Dorie flying on her broom a bit better in one of the shots. I believe this song is kinda foreshadowing the very obvious future reveal that Dorie has actually been practicing her magic this entire time without realizing.

I know I said I wouldn’t note signs anymore, but the sign for the train station is hilarious. It’s painted to just say “TRAIN” in the biggest font they could manage.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Doremi blames Pop’s need to use the restroom on the ice cream she ate….which….why? She clearly has to pee……does eating an ice cream cone make you want to pee? I guess I never thought of it like that. It is a food, but it’s also just frozen liquid, basically. I’ve never eaten a lot of ice cream and had a deep urge to pee. Is this a thing? In the dub, she doesn’t mention this.

It’s kinda weird how 4Kids has been wary of even acknowledging the existence of bathrooms or needing to go pee several times in other shows, but they’re cool with showing Pop peeing her pants. I mean, you don’t see anything, but it’s very obviously implied.

How is Doremi down to her last magic sphere? She had a full wand of them earlier and has only done three spells so far. In the dub, Dorie even points this out by saying she’s used six spell drops already.

Speaking of which, they were given a small sack of magic spheres. I sincerely doubt it was just seven or so each.

Okay, okay, okay. What Doremi/Dorie’s doing is very nice, I’m not discounting how nice it is….but I really feel I have to point how insanely weird it is to have a scene where Doremi creates a “Wash your panties for free” machine out in the middle of the public park. And it’s just a giant washing machine, too. So Pop/Caitlyn had to remove her underwear OUTSIDE and stand waiting outside without underwear for several moments.

What’s even more shocking is the fact that 4Kids KEPT THIS IN. They even fully translated the sign!

By the way, are panties and pee and stuff okay to discuss as long as it’s in reference to a little kid? Because that’s kinda weird.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Granted, they did remove the shot of the underwear being thrown into the machine, because I just guess that part’s just too raunchy (You don’t see Pop taking them off) but everything else is kept.

You’re really not helping, song lyrics subtitles…..

There’s even a part where they dry the panties by holding up up high above the machine and blow fans on them. Because, yes, let’s put those toddler’s panties right up on display for everyone.

There’s a vocal song played over this that isn’t included in the dub.

When Pop runs off after getting her clean underwear, Doremi says behind her back “Good luck, Pop!” In the dub, Caitlyn says to herself “Now no one will ever know!” and Dorie says behind her back, “Well, almost nobody.” Also, yes, it’s definitely a secret what with your panties being flown in the middle of a park like a flag.

Also, will that underwear washing station go away after a while or does Doremi have to make it go away? Her transformation wore off after a few minutes, but does the same apply to objects being created/summoned? Because that would be really, really, really weird if it stayed there.

They remove Doremi shifting from being happy at her mom’s acknowledgment of a job well done to her being internally devastated about the exam.

Majorika is just mad Doremi didn’t keep a magic sphere. In the dub, Patina adds “So you weren’t even practicing!?” Uh, yes, she was. She used all the spell drops, which means she was inadvertently practicing…

4Kids brings the subtraction thing back by having Dorie say “I know how to subtract.” when asked if she’s sure she has no more spell drops left. So you’re saying you don’t possess the ability to just feel in the bag if there was any left?

Doremi says she’s the luckiest pretty girl. In the dub, she says if she had known she had another spell drop, she likely would have wasted it….You would? But you thought your last one was your last one, and you mulled over using it for Caitlyn because you knew it would cost you the exam.

Doremi says the exam will be a piece of cake now that she has a magic spheres. Dorie says she knew being bad at subtraction would come in handy one day.

The dub adds Dorie saying the door to the Lunaverse is actually the door to the patio.

Aiko says the test area looks like a booth. In the dub, she says it looks like a hot dog stand.

Name Change: The examiners names are Mota and Motamota, the latter of which being named since Motamota means “slow” or “inefficient.” In the dub, they’re Drona and Rona,

Despite the name change and the lack of any sort of alteration to make Motamota’s name mean anything similar in English (Drona probably comes closest as it sounds like “droning” like “droning on.” but not Rona), Aiko’s next line is mostly kept intact. She says “She’s definitely slow.” while Mirabelle says “So, we’ve got slow and slower here.” Being honest, I was kinda shocked they not only kept this line, but made it worse. Drona has only said “Hello’”so far, so it seems weird to call her “slow,” but, overall, it’ quite offensive to say such a thing in the first place. I know it was probably deemed less offensive in 2005, but still.

Mota says they should get started. Motamota says she’s so excited. In the dub, Drona sounds like she says “Let the tasting begin.” which I think is meant to be “testing” but considering the test in question, I could be wrong. Rona’s line in kept.

Doremi complains about the lack of tension since the examiners are so blasé about it. In the dub, Dorie says she hopes there aren’t many rules.

Believe it not, there originally wasn’t any text on the examiners’ book, so 4Kids actually isn’t responsible for the cover being blank. Go figure.

Aiko’s test was originally to make cubical takoyaki. In the dub, it’s to make square hot crab cakes.

These are crab cakes?

Aiko’s spell is changed to “I’m gonna show that I got what it takes! Make a plate of square shaped crab cakes!”

Hazuki’s test was to make a three layered pudding. In the dub, it’s to make a triple chocolate cream souffle.

Hazuki’s spell is changed to “I hope I pass this test today, with a triple chocolate French souffle!”

Doremi’s test is to make milk, anmitsu and coffee. Anmitsu is a dessert dish made of cubes of jelly. In the dub, her test is to make hot milk, jelly and taffy.

It does seem pretty unfair to give Aiko and Hazuki relatively normal foods and then throw some weird shit at Doremi/Dorie.

Doremi’s spell is changed to “I’m going to be a witchling forever! Make a hot milk taffy plate, whatever!” Yeah, those are the words of a true girl who is taking this test seriously….”Whatever.”

The reason Doremi’s spell failed and made a steak was because, instead of indicating exactly what she wanted before saying ‘Appear!’ like she normally does, she muttered “The most delicious food…” a few times before doing her spell and just saying “Appear!” which made a steak appear since that’s her favorite food. In the dub, she did indicate partially what she wanted, but it made a steak because she performed the spell while hungry.

Believe it or not, the fairies, Mimi and Rere, are entirely retained, from their names to the fact that they repeat their names over and over like Pokemon.

Doremi sulks in both jealousy because Hazuki and Aiko passed and got fairies and in sadness because she didn’t pass. The camera then pans up to show the moon as the episode ends.

In the dub, she mutters that she wonders if she can have the steak she made….because…I guess she doesn’t give a crap that she failed? Also, instead of panning up to the moon, they circle transition in on Dorie’s face.

—————————————-

And that’s episode seven. Yup, she just fails her exam. I was actually surprised that she flunked because I thought the lesson would be that she was practicing all day without realizing it, she was using her magic for good reason, she was even getting better at flying, and then she’d be able to implement her practice in her test and get a new appreciation for actually studying….but nope. I also thought maybe they’d let her squeak by because she seemingly sacrificed her one chance at taking the exam to help Pop, but, again…nope.

I guess the lesson is that you may be able to improve skills in your everyday life, but if you don’t take your studies seriously and actually make an effort at practicing or studying then you won’t get very far. That’s actually an extremely good lesson. Doremi shouldn’t be punished for choosing to take care of her sister instead of going to practice, but the fact of the matter is if she had been practicing the entire time, like Hazuki and Aiko, she’d be fine. Instead she blew off practice, thought the exam would be incredibly easy and got cocky about her chances.

In Dorie’s case, she was even worse. First of all, claiming it was more beneficial to be bad at subtraction? Not a good message, Dorie. Second, what was that pathetic spell? It would be one thing if she just messed up because she had the wrong thing in mind, like Doremi, but “Hot milk taffy plate whatever”? She was even setting up the “Whatever” on purpose because she started with “Forever.” I’ll make up a spell for you. “Hopefully this dish will fill your belly! Make me hot milk, taffy and some jelly!”

I also don’t approve of the very ending in the dub where she’s wondering if she should ask for the steak. It really makes it seem like her attempted sacrifice for Caitlyn earlier wasn’t much of a sacrifice if she fails the test and is just like “Eh, I’m hungry….”

Mimi and Rere are pretty cute fairies, and I guess the dub wasn’t wrong in their assessment that their fairies would be reflections of themselves. Rere even has big glasses. That begs the question, is Lala meant to be a reflection of Majorika too? What does that imply? Also, do fairies grow up and eventually become like Lala in that they can speak fluently and become more human-like?

Overall, even though Pop/Caitlyn is really annoying sometimes, I did actually like this episode quite a bit. Even if she was forced to do it, Doremi/Dorie took pretty good care of her sister and even seemingly sacrificed her chance at becoming a witch and getting a fairy all to ensure her sister was okay. That was pretty sweet.

I also liked that Doremi failed the exam. I wouldn’t have objected very much to her passing, but her attitude and behavior before indicated that she didn’t really deserve to pass. If anything, passing her would reinforce her belief that this stuff is easy and she doesn’t need to study to succeed with it. As the next episode preview shows, she will have another chance at taking the test, but she’ll need to actively put in the effort this time.

…..Of course, there’s no tension now because the next episode preview entirely spoiled that she would pass the exam. They didn’t say it, but they showed Doremi’s fairy full out, and she’d only get a fairy if she passed….Why do next episode previews insist on spoiling everything?

Next episode, WILL DOREMI PASS HER MAKEUP EXAM?! I DON’T KNOW! IT’S A BIG MYSTERY! D:

..Previous Episode


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