SSBS – Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch | Episode 3: Flickering Emotion Review

SSBS - MMPPP EP3

Plot: A new girl arrives at Luchia and Hanon’s school named Rina Toin. She immediately strikes everyone as a cool person, and Luchia and Hanon try to befriend her, but Hanon is too put off by her rude and cold attitude to continue pursuing her friendship. Luchia, however, is more accommodating and makes a trio of friendship rings for her, Hanon and Rina. When she’s about to give the ring to Rina, she spots what looks like Rina and Kaito kissing on the roof. Luchia is devastated, but not everything is as it seems.

Breakdown: In this episode, we’re introduced to Rina, who is the third mermaid in the magical girl trio, but we’re supposed to not know that, I guess, despite the fact that she’s in the opening theme song as a mermaid. Rina is very rude and cold, and she extremely suspicious of Kaito, believing him to be the evil Gaito. Well, she never directly says “Gaito” but we can assume considering the insanely similar names (to the point where the fansubber even mistakenly wrote “Kaito” in Gaito’s scene today)

Hanon also moves in with Luchia in this episode in order to help keep her mermaid secret from Kaito. She’s also getting closer to Taro Mitsuki, who is the music teacher, because she has a crush on him, and from what I’ve read on the Fandom page, this may have been kinda mutual so, ick.

Luchia believes she sees Kaito and Rina on the roof kissing, and she’s super bummed about it, but we see that she was just getting super close to his face because she believes he’s Gaito in disguise just pretending to be an average student.

While Luchia deals with that, she meets Jennifer Houston, a famous singer, who is in a similar predicament. She is in love with a man named Richard, who looks like a porn director from the 80s. However, she saw him out and about in town with some girl who looks a lot like Jennifer, so she believed they were dating. Luchia asserts that she must find out the truth because she only saw them from a distance (like she only saw Rina and Kaito from a distance) She could be mistaken, and she’ll never know for sure unless she asks him directly, which is what Hanon told Luchia several hours ago, but she couldn’t ask Kaito.

Just as Luchia manages to convince Jennifer to approach Richard, she and Richard are attacked by Gaito’s two goons, Eriru and Izuru, because Jennifer has a green pearl necklace that they believe is proof that she’s one of the mermaid princesses, but it turns out to be fake. They get knocked unconscious, and Luchia and Hanon transform, sing and take out Eriru and Izuru.

When they awake, Richard tries to explain himself to Jennifer, claiming the girl she saw him with was a fan of hers and “as (Jennifer’s) producer, she was enthusiastic….” and then Jennifer stopped him talking so she could confess, but, uh, Jennifer, that sounds really suspicious. This girl is a fan of yours, so your producer just, what, took her out on the town? And she was really enthusiastic? About what? This doesn’t sound like a legit explanation, but whatever. They confess their feelings, kiss, and that’s it.

Surprisingly, they’re actually continuing the story about Luchia being jealous about Kaito and Rina into the next episode, so we don’t get any resolution to that here, but that’s perfectly fine. I mean, we know this wasn’t what Luchia thought it was, so there’s not much in regards in regards to a cliffhanger, but sorting it all out and hopefully getting Kaito and Luchia closer is something to look forward to anyway.

Overall, this was a pretty okay episode. If these episodes have any message, not jumping to conclusions, especially when what you’re witnessing is far away, is a fairly good one. You may be afraid of what you think you’re seemingly witnessing, but you’ll needlessly stress yourself out or depress yourself if you don’t make the effort to directly find out for yourself. I think that’s a good message to give to kids, especially when they’re pre-teen and will start to be concerned about gossip and whatnot soon.

Next Episode….

…..Previous Episode


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Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 6

Hey look at this creepy-ass statue.

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Just thought I’d scare you all before the review started because I love you.

In the shadows of Mt. Olympus, a sheep herder tries to corral a black sheep who is running off and causing trouble. He always was the black sheep of the family……..:D

Anyway, the poor sheep ends up getting killed by a centaur after getting pelted in the head with a rock. Yes, this is still Cyborg 009 I’m reading. The centaur claims the poor sheep as a sacrifice to the gods and runs off.

The farmer’s family doesn’t believe his story that a monster stole his sheep, so he’s left outside without dinner.

In the actual first chapter, we see a bunch of centaurs and mythological creatures, known as the Mythos Cyborgs, eating the poor sheep. The one who did the killing is Centaurus D, and he’s being chewed out for it by a panther-esque cyborg named Achilles. D broke the rules that their leader, Dr. Uranus, gave them about not allowing humans to see their true forms, but D whines because he wanted wine and meat at their banquet….which was really just a normal meeting.

The fiery Apollo (who has a really awesome flying horse-drawn carriage) arrives with Dr. Uranus (who looks like a man-poodle) and Dr. Gaia. They convey the news that their Vietnamese Cyborgman cell has been defeated by the 00 Cyborgs. Despite these cyborgs being made in an earlier phase of the Black Ghost cyborg project, they have proved to be formidable foes due to their teamwork and unity, which, notably, the Mythos Cyborgs seem to lack.

Back at, I think, still Vietnam, Francoise tries to find a moment of peace, but her powers keep allowing her to see and hear the fighting and killing that’s going on all around her. I do feel bad for her in circumstances like this. She already has to experience more killing and destruction than all of the other cyborgs, and now she’s in a warzone and can’t get a moment’s reprieve from it.

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Jet is all fixed up with a new leg, which allows him to now exceed mach 5 speed. Back in the lab, we see Gilmore also improving G. Junior. While he states he can’t give the cyborgs more abilities than what they were initially given (This will later prove to be false, but just go with it.) he can enhance their current powers with the technology they obtained. 005 now has the strength of a thousand men and can crush steel into powder.

Gilmore plans on upgrading all of the cyborgs to help their fight against Black Ghost, but Francoise is having none of it. She hates the powers she already has – it’d be a nightmare for her to have even more enhanced senses. She also detests the idea of the upgrades because it pulls them further away from their humanity. She storms out of the room, and Dr. Gilmore criticizes her for not being able to see the big picture – allowing her sensitivity to cloud her judgment. They’re the only line of defense against Black Ghost, and they need to be in top shape to stop them.

I do get where Gilmore is coming from, but he should also see her side of it. Everyone else’s upgrades only better their lives, like 002 will be faster and 005 will be stronger. 003’s may make her more effective in battle, but it’d only make her suffer more in the down time.

They suddenly get a transmission from Gaia and Uranus telling Gilmore and the cyborgs to meet them on Magma Island in two weeks to either surrender themselves or die trying to fight. If they don’t come in two weeks, they’ll come for them and leave a trail of destruction in their wake.

Dr. Uranus begins to sympathize with Gilmore for a second and even suggests he and his team might win, which angers Gaia. Uranus claims it was all a ploy to manipulate Gilmore’s nobility against him, but Gaia thinks he’s being too soft and his views will lead to their downfall.

He’s so distrusting of Uranus’ methods that he recruits D to go off to the 00 Cyborgs’ location right then and take them out….Really? You’re confident with that? You think one man-horse, who isn’t even worthy of getting a real name, can take out the entire 00 Cyborg group?….Good luck, dude.

Pan, the little half-goat boy who can’t really speak, learns of Gaia’s plans and alerts Uranus and the rest of the group. Apollo rushes after D and takes him down. Back on shore, Uranus and Gaia chew each other out. Gaia believes Uranus’ method is needlessly risky and they should sneak attack them instead (Well….then why send them a transmission in the first place?) but Uranus believes he can resolve this entire situation without bloodshed.

After the fight, Gaia again sneaks off with D and decides to upgrade him with some new weapons before sending him off again. Pan, again, hears of this but Gaia tries to buy him off with a sweet egg.

Pan goes back to the other cyborgs to tell them. They whisper some plan, but when Pan tries to get Helena’s attention to join in, she just puts a ribbon on his horn and praises him for keeping them updated on Gaia.

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Chapter 23 is about the 00 Cyborgs’ journey to Magma Island. It’s chaos everywhere as American subs, Soviet subs and even the currents and falling debris get in their way. They don’t have a choice but to go through all of these hazards because they only have three days left on the deadline given by Dr. Gaia. It’s a pretty tense sequence, full of action and suspense, and WOOK AT IVAN’S WITTLE DUCKY BASSINET! WOOK AT IT! IT’S SO KYOOTT!

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….*cough* Moving on.

The Soviet and American subs destroy each other in the chaos, and the cyborgs just barely manage to get through the falling debris field by the skin of their teeth. I love how 008 and 009 manage to outsmart Gilmore briefly during the escape.

After they reach shore, their battle begins immediately. 009 grabs Pan and tries to pluck his horn off in order to stop him from transmitting data to the Mythos Cyborgs’ base, but 003 stops him since the horn is connected to his brain, and removing it might kill him.

003, 007 and 009 face off against Hippo Man (That’s literally his name. He’s never given an actual name. I also don’t know what Greek myth he’s meant to represent. There are no hippos in Greek mythology as far as I know. There’s a Hippocampus, which is a half-horse half-fish creature, but this is literally a hippo….with a tutu on…who has stretchy arms and powerful breath. He kinda sticks out like a sore thumb.) 007 takes the reigns in this fight and manages to defeat him. He also takes on Hippo Man’s identity to help infiltrate the island.

Achilles arrives with an army of panthers that have accelerator switches. 009 takes this match, but he starts getting overwhelmed by the panthers. Achilles waits until 009 is exhausted from finally managing to defeat the panthers to take his opportunity to strike.

Achilles also has an accelerator and a shield which amplifies reflected sun rays so strongly that it can melt rock. 009 has a lot of difficulty with him, and he’s cornered when Achilles takes 003 hostage because tropes. It seems like the jig is up until Pan, who has taken a shine to 003, bites Achilles’ ankle and gets him away from 003.

It seems like Achilles is getting back into the battle, but when he tries to accelerate, he ends up spinning in such a violent fashion that it results in his death. Turns out Black Ghost gave Achilles the most ridiculously obvious weakness he could possibly have – his heels.

He actually has one accelerator in each heel. When Pan bit his foot, it broke one of his accelerators, so his attempt to accelerate with the other one caused him to spin around at a literal breakneck speed. What exactly happened with Achilles’ design? Every other cyborg with an accelerator switch has only needed one, and if one of them failing can result in a fatal accident, why would you even consider giving him two?

It seems like Pan is an ally now, and they come up with a plan to pretend 003 is a hostage while Pan and 007 (disguised as Hippo Man) bring her in.

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Centaur K had overheard their plans, but 009 was able to kill him before he could relay the information. Standing behind him is a shocked Helena.

Helena calls her giant mechanical wooden horse to fight 009. It is a rather impressive robot with a targeting system, laser eyes, spikes, jets and even the ability to split in two, grab cyborgs through a powerful magnet and then squish them by reassembling.

However, disappointingly, Helena shows absolutely none of her own powers during this battle – and even more depressingly, she doesn’t actually seem to have any powers…..which just begs the question….what the hell is the point of Helena? (Is that a pun?….Pun intended if pun.) I don’t really mean that in a character sense, though that’s debatable. I mean in a cyborg sense. Why did Black Ghost make her? Any of the other Mythos Cyborgs could have piloted that horse….or, since it’s a robot, they could have had it be autonomous. 0013 was in a similar situation, but at least he had powers on his own and wasn’t reliant entirely on his robot.

Anyhoo, 009 manages to corner her in the horse and uses a special gas in his blaster to paralyze her. He blows up the horse and leaves Helena on the ground outside, sparing her life.

Back with 003, Pan and 007, their infiltration plan is going over well, though Gaia is very suspicious of 007 in his Hippo Man disguise once he gets word of K’s death and Helena’s Trojan horse defeat. He doesn’t trust that this hippo in a tutu managed to capture a 00 Cyborg. No clue why. Seems legit to me.

His suspicions only grow worse when his spy seagull (…..spygull) spots 009 skulking around outside. Uranus catches onto 007’s disguise, but chooses to not say anything. Gaia tells Uranus to put 003 in an electromagnetic prison while they handle 009, but he doesn’t trust him so he spies on him with a little trained/robot (?) mouse that he calls….Mighty Mouse.

Good taste in cartoons, bro.

Once they’re alone, Uranus ousts 007 and discusses their situation. It seems like he might be on their side, but he pulls out a blaster on them – not out of true malice, but because the Mythos Cyborgs are like children to him, like the 00 Cyborgs are to Gilmore. 003 manages to get through to him, though, when she points out that Gaia doesn’t trust him and is currently spying on him with a mouse.

Pan and a newly transformed Cat!007 give chase, which basically turns into a very long Tom and Jerry skit that runs throughout the following battle.

009 comes face to face with Apollo, and we get this odd exchange where he acknowledges that 009 is a 00 Cyborg, asks his name, and when he hears it’s 009 he….asks if he’s from the 00 series….???

They start their match, and quickly end up in a blaster standoff. Finding the match boring and without a point since they’d both kill each other this way, Apollo proposes to ditch their blasters and fight only using their cyborg abilities to determine which one of them is the supreme being.

Apollo goes all Human Torch on us, and it’s just awesome. He has always been one of my favorite cyborgs because he is such a cool and scary son of a bitch. The fact that he gets his own flying chariot is already major cool points, but the guy is living fire. He can reach temperatures as hot as the sun, he can melt anything he wants instantly with a point of his finger, and he’s obviously a huge threat to any cyborg (Hm…except maybe 006?) because he can melt them in seconds.

009 gives him a bit of a run for his money, but Apollo shoots him three times in the back with his heat beams and sends 009 careening into the rocky waters below.

Believing he has won, Apollo leaves, but we see Helena in the cliffside deciding to rescue 009 since he showed her mercy when no one else did. Once she gains 009’s trust, he tells her where their sub is so he can get patched up. However, they’re being tailed by a spy dolphin.

As 003, 007, Pan and Dr. Uranus are being held captive by Dr. Gaia, Helena reaches the sub with 009 to get him medical attention. 008 sends 006 off to destroy the spy dolphins before they relay their location back to the Mythos Cyborgs, but Atlas suddenly appears and starts an assault on their sub. Will they be trampled by the metal Goliath? How will the 00 Cyborgs get themselves out of this mess?

—————————–

This volume was a really great introduction to the Mythos Cyborgs, who were always some of my favorite cyborgs in the franchise. However, I do have to note that some of them are disappointing in design. Why even bother with weak and lame cyborgs like Centaurus and Hippo Man when you’ve already made so many impressive cyborgs that are much more powerful? Why make Helena so unimpressive and force her to just be a pilot to a secondary robot? And while Achilles was awesome in concept, the fact that he had such a peculiar and flawed accelerator setup when it’s been perfected and then some throughout the other cyborg designs is just baffling.

The story as a whole is very intriguing because Uranus kinda mirrors Gilmore in that he loves his cyborg team like family and wants to help them but, unlike Gilmore, he still holds a loyalty to Black Ghost. Likewise, many members of the Mythos crew seem like they’re decent people but they also embrace their roles as soldiers of Black Ghost. Pan in particular is a cute little dude. You can tell he wants to be loyal to his comrades, but they also treat him poorly – even Helena – while 003 was nice to him from the beginning and respected his abilities.

The battles were exciting and memorable, and I look forward to covering the conclusion of this arc.

Next Volume….

….Previous Volume


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 14: An Explosion Makes for the Worst Date/Manga Chapter 45

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Plot: Now that she realizes that there’s ‘another Yugi’, Anzu brings Yugi to an amusement park to try and lure out the darker more mysterious Yugi.

Breakdown: Oh dear lord, this is going to be a trial. Don’t let that plot fool you. Just because it seems like slice-of-life fodder doesn’t mean we don’t still have insanity. And it definitely doesn’t mean that someone’s not a complete mean-spirited twat today.

Sidetracking a bit, I really don’t understand the wonky way in which they adapted these chapters. I can’t review chapter 27, where I left off on the manga chronologically, yet because it’s adapted in episode 22, which I am no where near, yet I have to keep skipping to the near end of the manga when I’m barely to the midway point of the anime.

Anyhoo, let’s get into it.

In the manga, we merely start with an image of a newspaper explaining the latest in a string of bombings caused by the Card Bomber. He’s called such because he announces his bombings through playing cards. In the anime, we actually see the inspector from the Burger World episode investigating the threat before the bomb goes off. He’s called by the bomber who gives him a ‘quiz’ to determine where the bomb is in the department store.

The quiz is ‘Big or small (upper or lower)? The department store has 12 floors, so is the bomb lower than the sixth floor or above the seventh?’ The inspector guesses ‘small’ and the bomb goes off because it was on the ninth floor.

I really don’t get this quiz. It’s a complete guessing game considering it’s a 50/50 shot. No other clues were given.

Cut to school where Yugi is explaining the serial bombings to Jonouchi, Honda and Anzu. In the manga, Yugi was reading the story in the paper as he and Anzu were already walking to the amusement park.

In the anime, Anzu recaps that Yugi has the same wound on his hand as the person who saved her in the previous episode. She doesn’t readily believe that this Yugi is the same Yugi who saved her, though. He must be another Yugi. Because it’s more logical to think that there’s some Yugi clone or alternate Yugi personality instead of believing Yugi could just be brave and save his friend.

Anzu grabs Yugi’s paper because she sees an ad for an amusement park. She invites Yugi to go with her on Sunday. Jonouchi, Honda and Miho eavesdrop on their conversation and assume that Yugi and Anzu are dating behind their backs. They decide to go to the amusement park on Sunday as well in order to spy on them. We get a pretty funny daydream where Jonouchi imagines Anzu and Yugi on a roller coaster. Anzu is proudly standing up with her arms crossed as it descends and Yugi’s screaming and grabbing her leg.

Anyway, there’s no respectful way of segueing into this observation, so look at Anzu’s boobs in this bottom left panel.

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They’re so pointy, I’m convinced she stole the Millennium puzzle for a second and hid it in her bra.

Back with matching both versions, Yugi and Anzu arrive at the park the next day. Yugi stutters through nearly asking Anzu if this is a date, but she interrupts him by telling him they need to buy entrance tickets. When Yugi goes to the gate to get two student tickets, the woman assumes he needs one student ticket and one child ticket. Yugi pouts and asks what she means by that. She explains to Yugi, whom she calls ‘Boy’ in both versions, that student tickets are for high schoolers not elementary school students. Yugi gets understandably upset and angrily explains to her that, despite his appearance, he’s a high school student.

I’d get pissed too, but the writers of the manga, Season Zero and the 2000 anime really do their best to make Yugi look like a little kid. I get that that’s his thing, all innocent and pure and whatnot, but do they have to make him look like he’s half his age? As much as I’d think it was cute to see Yugi and Anzu together, to some degree (*coughYugiandJonouchiforevercough*) it’s hard to ship them because he looks too much like a little kid. Keep in mind, Yugi is supposed to be 16…..

In the manga, we cut to them getting ready to go on the water slide. In the anime, we get an added scene where the bomber is giving the inspector a hint as to his next target.

‘Big or small? Will the temperature at 11 o’clock be more or less than 28 degrees (Celsius)? The answer will be revealed on the 11 o’clock weather report.’

Back at the park, in the manga, Yugi and Anzu are next seen on the water slide where we get probably the most shameless instance of fanservice I’ve ever seen in Yu-Gi-Oh. They go down the water slide and….well….pretty much this entire page.

I swear she went up two cup sizes since the title page.

Also, I can’t believe I have to say these words, but look at Yugi between Anzu’s legs. He’s looks like a toddler.

In the anime, we also get pretty much this same fanservice shot of Anzu in her bikini, but she’s dry. Yugi is meeting with Anzu after they get changed into their bathing suits and that is the first shot of her that he sees.

Oh and Jonouchi, Honda and Miho are stalking them throughout all of this in the anime. I probably won’t bother noting it from here on unless something important happens.

If you’re wondering if we get the waterslide scene in the anime, we do, but it’s not so ridiculously drawn as it is here.

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Anyway, look at Yugi’s stupid face.

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This is actually mirrored from the manga, but how hilarious does he look?

As they’re sunbathing, it looks like Yami takes over Yugi for a split second and Anzu notices. Either that or she’s hallucinating. I’d probably bank on the latter because Yami typically never emerges unless there’s something serious going on. Also, uhm…he kinda can’t emerge unless Yugi’s wearing the Puzzle…….Where’s your Puzzle, Yugi? You were wearing it when you came in. I know they probably wouldn’t allow him to wear that clunky chunk of metal at a water park, safety hazards and whatnot, but where did he put it? Don’t tell me he left it in one of those lockers they give you for your shoes and clothes. My dude’s gonna get so robbed.

He changes back when some kid shoots a water pistol in his face, causing Yugi to chase after him. Anzu also believes it was her imagination, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s unclear.

Anzu’s all about that hot Yami action, so she decides to force the ‘other’ Yugi to appear.

This is so manipulative. I know that Anzu is legitimately Yugi’s friend, but she’s taking advantage of his feelings to get closer to his sexy alter-ego.

Also, considering that Anzu doesn’t know about the actual separate spirit within the Puzzle….What does Anzu believe the ‘other’ Yugi actually is? Because, in real life, the only real explanation for someone having two personalities is a mental health issue….Which means that Anzu looks even worse in hindsight because, to anyone else in this universe, she’d look like she was not only taking advantage of a friend’s feelings but also like she’s taking advantage of someone with a mental health problem. And trying to force out the other identities of another person, especially for the sake of lusting over him, sounds like flatout abuse.

I’m just trying to imagine Anzu attempting to explain to Jonouchi, Honda or even Miho that her intentions with this date were to force out Yugi’s ‘other’ personality because she wants to get into that Yugi’s pants.

In the manga, some oiled up beach dude comes up to Anzu and asks if she wants to hang out with him. Anzu, seeing this as an opportunity to get the ‘other’ Yugi to defend her, screams out that he’s a pervert. Yugi does take notice, but so does a large group of people around who start beating the shit out of the guy.

And Anzu just grabs Yugi and walks away before anyone asks any questions. What the hell, Anzu?! You got some poor dude beaten up all because you’re horny and then you just bounce? The guy was kinda sleazy, sure, but he didn’t deserve to get the crap kicked out of him all because he asked if she wanted to hang out.

What I think is especially funny is, in the anime, Jonouchi hits on some women in basically the exact same manner as this guy, but gets shut down pretty badly and we’re meant to sympathize with him. So, basically, this dude was no worse than Jonouchi with girls, but it’s supposed to be okay that he gets beaten up. Okay.

In the anime, Anzu’s first approach to this was to pretend she was drowning in the pool. Yugi rushes out to save her, but, funnily enough, she’s saved by two guys in the pool, and Yugi actually ends up legitimately nearly drowning and needs to be saved by another guy. (Where are the lifeguards?)

Manga!Anzu: “After all that, I haven’t seen him.” All that what? You tried one thing.

In the anime, we catch up with the police after Anzu’s failed attempt to draw out Yami. The weather report states that it’s now 28.2 degrees, meaning the answer to the ‘quiz’ was ‘big.’

There are so many variables here. He never mentioned what specific weather report he wanted them to listen to/watch, and considering the threshold was merely a couple of decimal points, I’d say that it could have varied quite a lot between reporters depending on where they’re getting their readings and what equipment they were using. It also means the bomber had no plan for this one since he didn’t know the answer either. This was purely another guessing game. There is no way to know the answers to these ‘quizzes.’

I’m guessing since the inspector starts getting upset that he answered ‘small.’ Not that it matters anyway because the bomber calls up and says it’d be boring if they ended the game there, so he’ll give them another quiz. Thanks for wasting our time, man.

The bomber basically just straight out tells them that his next target is the largest pool in the city, which just so happens to be located at the amusement park where Yugi and Anzu are hanging out.

Hey, just thought I’d tell you, a little late, sorry, but the anime does recreate the pervert scene beat by beat at this point only with two major changes. 1) Unlike Manga!Anzu, SeasonZero!Anzu specifically says the pervert touched her in a nasty place. And 2) Remember how I compared the manga pervert to Jonouchi a bit ago?……Yeah, the ‘pervert’ in the anime is Jonouchi. She spotted him following them so she allowed him to accidentally bump into them, giving her the opportunity to act like she was getting groped so Yugi would Yami up and save her.

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Luckily, Jonouchi didn’t get beaten up by the guys who apprehended him, but seriously Anzu you should be smart enough to realize that was Jonouchi. His only ‘disguise’ was sunglasses….

I love how no one calls her out on the fact that she clearly lied about a sexual assault here. Jonouchi asks why she did that, but we get no answer before cutting away to a later shot of them walking together. She could have just told Yugi that some creepy guy was following them (Although, he’d definitely recognize Jonouchi….) or yelled out ‘creepy stalker!’ or something. But nope. Instead, she accused him of touching her in her bathing suit area. That type of accusation can land a guy in prison, Anzu. And you almost did that your good friend all because, again, you’re horny and manipulative.

As Jonouchi, Yugi and Anzu walk together, Jonouchi reveals that Honda and Miho are there too. Anzu asks why he was secretly following them and Jonouchi denies the accusation. To help tamper tensions, Yugi suggests that they all play together now since they’re together for the day. Anzu suggests….playing tag? And specifically just with her and Yugi? I get what she’s doing, I do, but even Yugi should be confused.

First off, who the hell goes to an amusement park to play tag?

Second, what 16-year-olds go to an amusement park to play tag?

Third, why would you suggest playing two player tag as a response to Yugi saying they should all do something together?

God, Anzu, your plans are so transparent and stupid.

The next part is changed in a very important way, and it’s one of the key reasons why the manga version upsets me so much. Yes, the pervert scene wasn’t the worst of Anzu in this chapter.

In the manga, Yugi and Anzu spot the police in the park and wonder why they’re there. An announcement over the PA system informs them that a dangerous item has been brought to the park and that everyone needs to evacuate immediately. Yugi thinks it’s the Card Bomber, and Anzu responds by saying “A bomber, eh?….What a thrill! This could get interesting!” And then she thinks to herself ‘This is the perfect chance to see the other Yugi.’

Jesus.

Christ.

Anzu.

People could get killed or lose limbs and your only thought is ‘Oh boy, I can use this terrorist attack to see sexy Yugi-kun!?’ Whatever drops of respect I still had for you just went down the drain into the most putrid sewer system. What the fuck is wrong with you, Anzu?

In order to enact her plan, she sneaks away from Yugi and takes a ride on the Ferris wheel. Why the Ferris wheel is still taking passengers and operating when the police are evacuating the place in response to a bomb threat, I have no clue.

Manga!Anzu: “I hope Yugi gets worried! If he does, I might meet that stranger…The other Yugi-kun….”

Back with the anime, Anzu just heads off to the Ferris wheel because she’s upset.

Anime!Anzu: “Stupid Yugi. I finally had him alone….” Yes, stupid Yugi for being unable to control our friends and suggesting we all spend the day together when I never made it clear or official that this was a date.

A bomb explodes on the Ferris wheel, but not in the car that Anzu is riding, car three. It’s only here where they finally announce that there’s a bomb in the park and they need to evacuate. Anzu reacts to the news of a bomb with shock and horror, like a normal person.

Everyone stampedes out, forcing Jonouchi and Honda with them. Yugi is left behind. He informs the police that Anzu is on the Ferris wheel. Another officer explains that there are actually three cars with people in them – one with Anzu, another with a mother and her child and yet another with a mysterious shadowed person who is totally not the bomber.

SPOILER ALERT: HE IS.

And what a stupid-ass bomber to place bombs on the very Ferris wheel on which he’s riding. Even if there isn’t one in his car, he can still easily cause the Ferris wheel to topple over and kill him.

Yami emerges, which makes Anzu ecstatic. (Congratulations, Anzu. Do you think you’ll have enough time to pleasure yourself before your car explodes?) and takes over the game for the police, who just allow it because Yami proclaims he’s really good at card games….O…kay…

Shadow Game…..Kinda

In the manga, the ‘Shadow Game’ (it’s not really a Shadow Game in this chapter, and it’s not initially in the episode, but let’s just call it that) is a game called Clock Solitaire. A deck of 52 cards (excluding the joker) is used to distribute the face-down cards into twelve piles of four cards each. The piles are arranged like the points of a clock, each representing one number that matches the numbers on the Ferris wheel. A thirteenth pile of four cards is created in the middle to represent car thirteen.

The player, Yami, will randomly choose to flip a card from a pile one by one. Whatever number is on the card that he flips over, he will set on the pile that corresponds with the point on the clock. If he flips an ace, it will go on the one pile, two on the two pile, etc. This will keep going until the piles are completed. The first pile to be completed will have the bomb on that car blow up, as demonstrated when he completes the four pile and again when he completes the eight pile.

After the first car explodes, Anzu finally realizes, holy shit, tempting fate with a bomber on the loose was a BAD IDEA?!

Yugi needs to ensure that he doesn’t complete the piles for any cars that have people in them, especially Anzu’s car, number three. Before he knows it, the three pile already has three cards on it, so he needs to win.

How do you ‘win’ this game, you might ask? Well, initially Yami explains it like this.

Manga!Yami: “There’s only one way to win this game! I have to gather all of the king cards! I started the game by drawing from that pile, so I have to finish the game by completing it!” Uhm, Yami, the bomber never said that. He never explained how to win this game at all. You’re just making a guess.

Yami IS right, but for an entirely different reason. As I already stated, the bomber is on that Ferris wheel, which is how he can see what’s going on (and, really, the only reason this is kept a secret is because the art allows this to stay secret. In reality, the police would be pretty damn suspicious of the guy in the car who keeps looking down with binoculars and talking on the phone….the one with the bomb detonator in his hands. He’s also in the car closest to the ground, so they’d be able to see roughly everything he’s doing. Why would he trap himself in there anyway? I get that he needs to be close to the action to see what cards Yugi’s flipping, but surely there’s a better way.) He can’t blow up car thirteen because he’s the one in car thirteen.

Yami wins the game, and everyone’s rescued. Before Yami walks off with Anzu, he tells the inspector to interview the guy in car thirteen since he’s obviously the bomber. Anzu happily grabs his arm and insists they continue their date….which totally wouldn’t happen.

First of all, the park is bound to be shut down for at least few days because of the TERRORIST ATTACK they just suffered. Secondly, you’re going to be a little busy making statements to the police. Third, Anzu….are you a sociopath? I was going to say that jokingly, but I really mean it. Are you?

Between the messed up stuff you did today and now going off on a date like you didn’t just survive a TERRORIST BOMBING WHILE TRAPPED ON THE FERRIS WHEEL THAT WAS BEING BOMBED, you’d think you’d maybe need a breather….maybe wish to go home? Perhaps look up one of those “therapists” I’ve been hearing about.

In the anime, the game is entirely different. The police are instructed to get a bunch of balloons of various colors. The inspector is then told to release a balloon of any color. He chooses a white balloon. For a second, everyone’s on pins and needles because the balloon catches on Anzu’s car. However, it becomes loose and floats away. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief, but car one suddenly explodes.

Also, somehow the bomb made the car look like this.

ANIMANGACLASHYGOEP14SCREEN5

It looks more like the car was detached, dropped off a cliff and then reattached. How would any bomb cause that kind of damage?

The bomber explains the rules – the colors of the balloons each correspond to a car. If the player can figure out which color corresponds to Anzu’s car, he wins and saves the passengers. If not, the cars will explode and the people will die.

In a very hilarious take on the police handing over the reigns to Yugi in the manga, the anime has the police just flatout saying they can’t play this game. The inspector himself says he doesn’t have the confidence. The. Confidence. You are a goddamn police inspector. You’re not confident playing a game? A game that involves solving a puzzle? Something police inspectors typically do?

I can somewhat understand being hesitant about playing the card game, even if that was purely luck, but this is an actual problem that can be solved logically. The only luck involved is potentially needing to sacrifice cars in order to make it easier to reach the solution.

Yami takes over and accepts the challenge. Anzu realizes Yugi has changed, but unlike Manga!Anzu, she’s not swamping her bikini bottom over it.

The bomber explains some more conditions. Yami has a fifteen minute time limit. If he gives the wrong answer or explodes a car with a person in it, he loses. If he doesn’t provide any answer within fifteen minutes, he’ll detonate all of the bombs.

The only information Yami has is that the white balloon corresponded to car one. All of the cars are identical in color both inside and out, they’re not known by any other names outside of their given numbers, and they’re all the same shape.

The bomber decides to throw Yami a bone. Knowing he needs more to go on, he suggests releasing the yellow balloon. He promises that the balloon does not correspond to a car containing any passengers. The inspector doesn’t believe him, but Yami does, citing that the bomber enjoys his games too much to purposely end it here.

Yami releases the yellow balloon, and, in response, car ten blows up.

He can’t reach a conclusion based on only two answers. Half of his time is already eaten up. The bomber is getting bored, so he suggests releasing another balloon – this time pink. Yami asks if the pink balloon is safe to release, but the bomber refuses to give anymore hints, meaning Yami will have to gamble more than he did before. The bomber threatens to blow up a car with a passenger if he doesn’t release the pink balloon soon. Yami, realizing the bomber still desperately wants to enjoy his game, decides to release the pink balloon.

Car four blows up.

Also, it seems like someone phoenix down’d car one in this shot.

ANIMANGACLASHYGOEP14SCREEN6

Yami keeps looking at his watch, keeping an eye on his time limit. Suddenly, he comes to a revelation. The Ferris wheel is mirroring a clock. The way the numbers correspond to colors is by use of a flower clock. I have no clue what a flower clock is. I tried looking it up, but all I found, predictably enough, were images of either clocks with flowers on them or clocks made in gardens. I don’t know why either would be in an amusement park. When we see the flower clock, it’s a giant clock on the ground that has different colors for each hour of the day. I have no clue what flowers have to do with it.

The park staff member doesn’t know what color corresponds with the number three on the clock, so they have no choice but to go to the clock and see for themselves. It will take two minutes to run there, but they only have one minute. Yami spots a drop tower nearby and heads off to ride that to get an aerial view of the clock. It somehow starts the second Yami sits in it. Are these rides all sentient? What is happening? There shouldn’t be anyone manning this ride and no one was running ahead of him.

Yami spots the clock and finds the color for three – blue.

He’s wrong, and Anzu blows up.

Oh fine, you never let me have my fun.

He’s right, but they’re not done. Yami decides to make him play his game now. He’ll specify where the bombs are and the bomber has to guess. Also, Yami’s kinda just stuck on the tower drop ride?

The bomber likes Yami and games so much that he agrees.

Yami says the hint balloon he’s symbolically releasing is white. The bomber states that the number is one since they’ve already gone over that. Yami says he’s wrong because now they entered into evening time on a 24 hour clock. The white balloon would actually correspond to the number thirteen, as in thirteen o’clock. Yami deduces the same thing he deduced in the manga, that the bomber had a clear view of both him and the Ferris wheel, but the entire park had been evacuated. The only number that doesn’t exist on a traditional analog clock is thirteen.

Yami tells him to blow up car thirteen if he is really wrong. The bomber claims he is wrong and that he’ll blow up car three in retaliation. Surprisingly, Yami tells him that he won’t have time to detonate car three (Also, looking at the detonator, how is he even specifying the cars? It’s literally two buttons.) because thirteen will blow up before he has a chance to push the button.

The bomber laughs, claiming there is no bomb on car thirteen, but scary-ass!Yami educates him a little and claims there is indeed a bomb. He amplifies the sound of his ticking watch over the phone to make the bomber paranoid. Then he implements his punishment game by making the bomber hallucinate a bomb in the car. Despite the fact that he can just try to throw the fake bomb out the window, he instead decides to bust open the door and risk falling to his death.

ANIMANGACLASHYGOEP14SCREEN7

He falls through a concession stand and is alive, but holy fuck Yami! You could’ve killed that guy! I saw the far shot of the Ferris wheel. Car thirteen was up so high it was near the top of the tree line. Yami’s no stranger to nearly killing people, and, in the manga, he canonically has killed people, but wow.

Unlike in the manga where Yami sticks around and Anzu gets to happily finish her date with him, Yami reverts back to what Anzu refers to as ‘usual’ Yugi, which upsets her a little. She then asks “What happened to the cool Yugi from earlier?”…out loud….to ‘usual’ Yugi.

Jonouchi, Honda and Miho reunite with them, which also wouldn’t happen because this place is a terrorist crime scene with a bombed Ferris wheel right there. Anzu is still annoyed that Yami isn’t around, but she’s happy she was able to see him and Yugi’s happy because he’s a precious marshmallow who deserves way better than this bimbo.

————————————–

In regards to the manga chapter, I kinda hate it. Everything with Anzu is terrible because she’s a terrible person. The game was boring and based entirely on luck. And I hate that Anzu ends up getting her dream date with Yami in the end. Screw that noise.

The only good points in the manga were that there were some funny moments and expressions, and most of those were reflected in the anime.

The anime episode, in my opinion, is a million times better than the manga chapter. Sure, there was still a decent degree of Anzu being horrible, but she was more tolerable and acted more understandably than her manga counterpart, and she didn’t end up on a date with Yami in the end. Jonouchi, Honda and Miho had absolutely 100% no purpose in being here. I can’t remember the last time they felt so shoehorned into an episode. I can tune those spots out, though.

The real highlight is in just how much better the anime’s Shadow Game is compared to the manga’s. The manga’s game was based entirely on luck and never became an actual Shadow Game. The anime’s game was pretty well-crafted. Even though the connection to the clock and the flower clock was never really set up very well, it was one of the most intense Shadow Games I’ve watched throughout the series. Not only that, but it ended on an awesome Shadow Game/punishment game where a really scary Yami nearly straight-up murdered a man. I love how he pulled a switcheroo on him and challenged the bomber to his exact same game and beat him. Such a badass move.

Only negative points in the bomber story for the anime are that the ‘Big or small’ ‘quizzes’ were stupid and based entirely on luck. For a guy who Yami deemed as basically being obsessed with games, he’s certainly not good at making them. Those moments were also complete wastes of time, but they did set the tone, so I don’t mind much.

Winner: Anime

Next three episodes are, as far as I can tell, not mirrors of the manga so we’ll have some placeholders to deal with for a bit.

Specifically, the next episode is about…..*sigh* Anzu being jealous that a new girl is giving Yugi attention. Oh boy. More Anzu goodness. Is it my birthday or did the gates of hell open?


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Episode One-Derland | Erased

Plot: Satoru is a 29-year-old who seems more bothered by life than anything. He has a job as a pizza delivery boy and doesn’t have many people he would consider friends. However, one thing makes his life extraordinary – the power of what he calls ‘revival.’ Every now and then, Satoru will suddenly be jolted back in time about one to five minutes in order to stop something terrible from happening. Problem is, he usually doesn’t know what it is he’s stopping or what to look for. All he knows is that something is ‘off’ on the replay of events after he goes back in time. He has saved numerous people this way, but it’s just another thing he lives with.

One day, Satoru’s mother is mysteriously murdered in his apartment by a man who seemingly has ties to the murder of a young girl back when Satoru was a child. Satoru, locked in a panicked state at the sight of his murdered mother, runs away from the police when they try to question him. As he runs, he triggers another revival, only this time he goes back much further than one to five minutes. He goes all the way back to 1988, when he was a child, seemingly propelled back to find the one who will murder the young girl, save her and hopefully save his mother in the process.

Breakdown: I was very sick, tired and medicine’d when I first started watching this, so I didn’t watch as closely as I would normally, but I still very much enjoyed this first episode. The concept of time travel is always kinda iffy, though. I didn’t think I’d be bothered since he travels in such short bursts, but now that he’s traveled back around twenty years, I think I’ll become a bit more confused. Hopefully, they’ll be able to handle it well.

As a first episode, they do a good job setting up the world, story and characters. Satoru’s power is kinda introduced out of nowhere, but we’re given a sample of it in such a way that it had a point and allowed for some development with other characters.

The characters are fairly interesting. I really liked Satoru’s mom, even if it is really weird that this 50+ year old woman looks like she’s in her mid 20s at most. I also liked Satoru’s young co-worker, Airi, even if I find it a little weird that it seems like they might be setting up a romance between Satoru and Airi considering she’s in high school and he’s nearly my age.

Satoru himself is rather lackadaisical, but he’s not a bad person. He always tries his best to save whomever he’s supposed to save when these revivals happen. He just also happens to be rather closed off and abrasive.

I really like this murder mystery we have on our hands here. The fact that someone seemingly innocent was framed for the murder is also really intense. I’m very intrigued to see where this mystery ends up.

Verdict:

Continue Yes

I’ve heard some pretty good things about this show before I checked it out, and now that I have gotten a taste I am very much looking forward to the rest.

Note: I wrote this quite a while back. It somehow got filed on my computer as something I’ve already posted. And, being honest, I really did think I really did think I had posted it, but I can’t find it. I’m posting now just for completion’s sake. Since then I have watched and written a review of the rest of the series that will be posted in the near future.


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Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru (Manga) Volume 10 (FINALE) + Full Manga Review

Plot: Who cares? This crap is over!

Breakdown: Our first chapter of the final volume starts with Iku and Yori seeking refuge at Yano’s house since Yori has effectively kidnapped Iku. They didn’t even stop to get dressed – they’re just wrapped in a sheet. Yano lends Yori some clothes and dresses up Iku in a maid outfit because of course he does. He even mentions that seeing her in that costume is reawakening his lolicon tendencies…….Can we go one chapter without making me feel icky?

He brings them to his family’s summer home to crash for a while and leaves.

Yori, realizing he never took Iku’s feelings into consideration and asked if this is what Iku wanted before disowning their parents and kidnapping her while naked, asks Iku if this is what she really wants. If it is, she has to kiss him. If not, she can leave right then.

Go choke on toothpicks, Yori. It’s a little late to be asking her if this is what she wants. I don’t care if you admit that – it’s still too late. And, again, you’re basically blackmailing her with ‘stay with me and be my lover or leave and never see me again.’

Here’s exactly what he tells her.

Yori: “You choose! Be mine, or agonize for your entire life over today’s events and become some other man’s woman!” Gee, that sure isn’t worded in a way that is coercing her into one option over the other and isn’t said in a demanding tone.

I will concede and say that Iku has seemingly legitimately fallen for him at this point, but I can never really be certain if she is actually in love with him or she’s trapped in a delusion of love born of panic over possibly losing him. Yori has fucked her up ten ways to Sunday over the course of this manga, and she’s, quite frankly, stupid, naive and easy to trick.

Iku: “I don’t like you…..but….I love you!” *deep sigh* I’m beyond tired of fighting for you, Iku. I have more than extended my fair share of defense and leniency with you. You deserve whatever sex dungeon he locks you in for the rest of your lives.

Yori: “If Iku can hate the unreasonable and bossy me, then I can forget this love. However….the aggressive and forceful me, Iku not only accepted, she seriously replied to me! That was the first time….I felt regret.”

I hate you. Hate. Hate. Hatehatehatehatehate. HATRED. HATE.

You’re only now, for the first time, feeling regret over how you’ve treated Iku?

Now, that she finally admits she loves you too?

Now, that you’ve disowned your parents and subsequently taken her from her family?

Now, that you’ve kidnapped her in the middle of the night while you were both nude directly following the aforementioned kidnapping?

Now, that you’ve treated her like some object you’re entitled to because your Mom never told you that you were only half-siblings, which would barely affect anything.

Now, that you’ve emotionally manipulated her for the better part of two years at least?

Now, that you’ve repeatedly borderline sexually assaulted her several times?

Now, that you’ve made your feelings and relationship to Iku public to many people and essentially destroyed her social life back home should this ever spread, which it certainly will. especially if Tomoka is still in communication with their home town?

Now, that you’ve given her yet another blackmail-y ultimatum which was acting as a test to see if she’d love you even acknowledging that you’re a massive dickhead who knows he acts like a dickhead yet makes no effort to be a better person?

NOW?

…..Now.

Go to hell. Now.

We cut to a flashback of Yori overhearing a conversation Iku was having with her friends, asking what age they’d like to get married. Iku says she’d be fine never getting married as long as she’s with the person she loves.

Yori then flashes back to their mother confirming that they were technically still siblings, and he comes to the realization that he can’t make Iku truly happy. All he wants is one last memory with her before he leaves her.

*sigh* Alright, look. For the sake of Iku’s future, even though I doubt it’s bright either way considering she has no skills, knowledge, common sense, hopes, aspirations or interests and tends to attract attempted rapists, yes, leaving her would probably be best.

That being said, again, it’s kinda fucking late for this. The damage is done, Yori. You’ve gone too far to turn back now. Turning back at this point will only further confuse and hurt Iku. You are the epitome of a human disaster.

Oh that ‘one last memory’ was sex, if anyone was wondering. Because that also won’t do more damage or anything.

But, hey, let’s also make it gross. Iku says she doesn’t want to have sex right now because she’s all sweaty, but Yori says he likes it that way so he can fully experience Iku’s smell.

For good measure, let’s keep the creepiness up. Iku says it’s too bright. He can see her too well, and it’s embarrassing her. She asks to turn the lights off, but Yori vehemently refuses.

The next chapter is sex….Sex on the floor….the hard tile floor. That was the memory you wanted? You could’ve at least bottomed, Yori. Have some courtesy.

Hair sniffs: 9

Then they basically dick around for a while….Not in that way – showcasing more of Iku being terrible at everything like making god awful food and losing ten games in a row while playing video games, only winning the last game because Yori let her.

They dick around some more, again not in that way, then head to a church where they find the familiar white clover.

Yori: “Iku, did you know the clover is a flower that existed when Adam and Eve were in paradise?”

………Oh no.

Yori: “Since they committed a taboo, they were banished from the Garden of Eden.”

Please, no. You can’t be serious.

Yori: “When they were banished, they said to remember only the happy times.”

It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

Yori: “Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and some people say that act alone had the meaning of ‘doing the most intimate act.’”

You’re not making me do this. No. I’m not comparing the story of Adam and Eve with Yori and Iku. I’m not doing an in-depth analysis on the symbolism of Adam and Eve to see if it could justify Yori and Iku’s relationship.

The fact that this is even here is insulting to me. Not even on a religious level, just in general. I’ve never looked at the story of Adam and Eve in a positive light. You’re not supposed to. It’s literally the fall of man.

It’s not some beautiful love story, it’s not about committing a taboo because you love someone that much – it’s two idiots screwing over the human race for all of eternity because they thought they should listen to a snake over God and couldn’t resist eating fruit from one of two trees in all of the Garden of Eden when there was perfect food sources everywhere.

And the act of eating the fruit wasn’t intimate. It was just her offering it to him.

It’s literally –

Snake: “Yo, Eve, eat this fruit.”

Eve: “God said I shouldn’t.”

Snake: “Who cares? Do it. It’s real delicious and stuff.”

Eve: “Okay. Hey, Adam, want some fruit from this forbidden tree?”

Adam: “Sure!”

*Humanity Fucked*

Their taboo also wasn’t that they loved each other…..They were kinda….meant to love each other. She was literally made for him. And if you even start to tell me that her being born of his rib is a mirror of Yori and Iku’s incestuous relationship, I’m just leaving. I can’t even.

But, hey, considering these are two idiots leaving a path of destruction in their wake, maybe there is more to this connection than meets the eye.

That is the second time I’ve gone off in this volume. I’m not even done with chapter two. Dear god.

According to whatever source he’s getting this from, clovers were brought with them from the Garden of Eden when they were banished because, I guess, after defying God and being booted from paradise, developing feelings of shame and making their lives exponentially worse for all eternity, they thought ‘Hm, we should bring some souvenirs with us. Let’s grab this random plant.’

When Yori first gave Iku the clovers several volumes ago, he was trying to tell her ‘Even if I have forsaken God, I still want you as my lover.’

They enter the church and both pray. Yori prays for him alone to be banished from Heaven since he is responsible for the taboo. Oh, you didn’t think you were bound for hell already? That’s cute.

The next chapter, Yori tells Iku that they’re going home. Not the beach villa home – their actual home, back with their parents. He claims this has been his plan since their dad caught them together. I feel I need to reserve my energy for the rest of this review, so let’s just say ‘Bullshit, go to hell’ and move on.

Yori tells her it’s completely outside of the realm of realism for them to run away together. It’s all just a dream.

Iku pushes him down on the pew. She yells at him claiming he hasn’t even tried anything yet to help them build a future, he’s just needlessly throwing away every idea. He claims he loves her, but he won’t even make the effort to try, despite everything he’s done. She just wants to be with him no matter what.

Yori asks her if she’s ready to fully give up her parents, because that’s the price for them being together. For good measure, he states Yano told him their mother fell ill. You withheld this information from her just to possibly use it in an ultimatum? I’m losing track of how many terrible things you’ve done, Yori.

The very next page, they burst home. Yori was telling the truth. Their mother is quite ill brought on from stress in her tirelessly searching for Iku and Yori since they left home. She’s lost weight, as has her father. Even Inu-Yori wouldn’t eat as long as Iku was gone, but started gobbling up food as soon as she got home. They don’t give a time frame for how long they’ve been gone, but considering their parents’ conditions, I’ll guess a couple or a few weeks.

You guys never even thought to buy a throwaway phone and call, even just to assure them you were okay? Jerks.

The chapter ends with Iku devastated that she caused her parents and Inu-Yori such pain. Despite what she said earlier, she’s now struggling with the idea of giving up her parents forever for Yori.

The next chapter opens with the entire family enjoying a meal together. For a fleeting moment, Iku believes they might actually be able to ignore everything that has happened and be a family together again. Doesn’t take long for the other boot to drop, however, when Yori mentions going to rest.

Their mother suddenly snaps at this, demanding to know where they’ll be ‘resting.’ Yori, with that same dumbass supervillain smirk on his face, replies “Where? Isn’t it obvious? In our room….because we are siblings.”

She forbids them to be alone together ever again. She demands they sleep in separate rooms and do everything apart. Yori points out the obvious problem that she can’t monitor them all the time nor can she do it forever.

Suddenly, Yori comes to realization that, if he truly wanted things to go back to normal, he never should’ve abducted her.

No. You’re supposed to be super-smart. There’s only so many instances of ‘Oops, I never realized this insanely obvious repercussion of doing (blank). My bad!’ that I can believe. You’re a manipulative house of dicks. Burn in hell.

Yori tells them all that the only option is for him to leave the family. His dad tries to stop him, but he’s made up his mind. Iku and Yori meet in their room, and Iku tries to convince Yori to stay.

One more for the road –

Hair sniffs: 10

Yori asks Iku if she wants him to cut her hair since she stated sometime before that she had wanted to, but Iku knew Yori liked it long on her. He starts to cut her hair, symbolizing their ending love and him leaving since he’s cutting off “16 years worth of hair” and they reminisce about a time when they were younger.

Yori would braid Iku’s hair every day, and a boy made fun of him for it because braiding hair isn’t something boys should know how to do. Iku didn’t want Yori to be made fun of, so she learned how to braid her hair.

Yori explains that he gave the boy “a brutal beating” when that happened, because he took away his “privilege to stroke Iku’s hair.” Psychopath. Nothing new here.

When he gets done cutting her hair, he wishes her to have good memories of him after he leaves. She starts crying and asks him once again to not leave. He puts her to bed, claiming they’ll talk about the future in the morning. That was the last time Iku ever saw Yori.

The last chapter starts with Iku and Yori’s conversation continuing from what we heard before. He claims he’ll go away to some place where she’ll never see him again and their lives will move on after some time. She may forget this love and move on, or she might not ever get over it, but they’ll never see each other again. Yori leaves, taking one last look at the house and remembering the good times with his family before leaving for good.

In the middle of the night, Yano gets a text message telling him to take care of Iku. Realizing Yori left for good without that conversation he promised in the morning, Iku falls into a deep depression. She stays locked in her room, not eating for five days. She loses so much weight that the ring Yori gave her falls off. I guess she never looked at the damn thing because she only now realizes it’s engraved with a message that says he was blessed to have her in his life.

Iku blames herself for Yori leaving.

Iku: “This is all because of my weakness.” No, this is 99% because Yori’s a prick. That 1% is reserved for your utter lack of pretty much any positive characteristics.

She decides to finally eat so the ring won’t fall off again. When she grabs a bowl, she finds a note in it from Yori saying ‘Don’t oversleep. You must eat your breakfast!’ She then finds or remembers a slue of other notes reminding Iku to do various daily tasks.

Iku: “If I cannot become a woman who can stand on her own two feet, it will be impossible to continue any form of relationship. Such an obvious thing….I finally understand it for the first time.”

Good. Good girl. Become a strong independent woman. I’ll be rooting for you. Ya know…I’m actually kind proud of you, Iku. Maturing so much. I’m certain that this will stick and you won’t instantly revert to the overly dependent dumbass you’ve been this entire serie–

So the next page has Iku ready to intensely study for entrance exams to Tokyo University…….because she believes Yori will be there.

God.

Damn.

It.

Of course, Yano points out the obvious that there’s no way Iku would ever get into Tokyo University, even if she went to cram school.

We instantly cut to ten years later. If you needed a boost of inspiration in your life, let me tell you that the most incompetent and dependent idiot in the world, Iku, somehow managed to get a great job and earn enough money to travel the world at 26. She’s in London on business and has been looking for Yori for ten years. Of course she has.

She’s also keeping in contact with Yano I guess because he’s either feeding her money or because Yano is upholding his promise to take care of Iku….or both.

Iku: “I need to rely on my own strength to allow this love to become ‘one ordained by fate.’” Iku, it’s hardly ‘fate’ if you’re combing the globe for over a decade searching for him.

She goes to the local university’s library, and we see that Yori has become a junior lawyer. After some near-misses in their meetings, they finally cross paths. As Yori and Iku’s eyes meet, and they finally embrace once more, Yori thinks to himself “I love my younger sister.”

End.

Thank god.

But also, what?

How is this even happening?

I thought Iku couldn’t give up her parents, that’s really why their relationship would never work. You don’t stop having parents once you become an adult. You still can’t pretend they’re not related – Yori doesn’t even seem like he changed his name. If this is really insinuating that it was ‘FATE’ that they met back up several years in the future once Iku had ‘matured’ and learned to be more self-sufficient, then….the blame really is being put squarely on Iku being weak?

Fuck off.

Don’t get me wrong. Iku was and possibly still is one of the weakest, most dependent, dumbest, poorly written sacks of female I’ve ever seen. How the neurons in her brain fire without a note from Yori, I don’t know.

However, all of this is undoubtedly almost entirely Yori’s fault. If he could’ve kept it in his pants, not been an emotionally, physically and sexually abusive twat all this time, if he could stop being a psycho for five minutes, none of this would’ve happened. I can guarantee Iku never would’ve fallen for Yori. They probably would’ve gone their separate ways in college because god knows she’d never get into the same university. He would’ve lessened his crusade to get into his sister’s panties, and she would’ve gone off to flunk clown college and married some guy who would be cool with supporting her for her whole life and enjoyed the bonus storage space in her skull.

This entire series, if this last part is meant to be taken as fact, was meant to build up to Iku becoming more independent so she could have a real relationship with Yori when that was never the real problem. And Yori’s big moment of development is leaving Iku to pick up the pieces of her broken family, who now realize she had a sexual relationship with her brother for a couple years, her social life, which was undoubtedly screwed over from the rumors, and her love life, which seems like it was non-existent after Yori because who can top that perfect specimen of man?

Meanwhile, Yori, making off like he made some grand sacrifice, gets to go off, start a new life for himself overseas, everyone completely unaware of his escapades in sister boinking, becomes a successful lawyer and eventually gets exactly what he wants – Iku. Go. Drink. Molten. Lava.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the ending of the OVA was better. They had a small fling, he realized what he did was wrong and left. His parents never found out, there never was any scandal in his family, only Yano and Tomoka knew the truth about them, but Yano would never tell and Tomoka didn’t seem like she was far enough along in her bitchy development to do anything with it.

Oh well. Like I said, they deserve each other. I still feel bad for Yano, though. Now he’s spent ten+ years chasing Iku to no avail. Granted, he’s almost as bad as Yori anyway, but I’d rather have her go with him than Yori.

But we’re not quite done even now. We have three bonus chapters to go through….Oh happy day.

The first bonus chapter takes place before Yori admits his feelings for Iku. He’s giving her a piggyback ride home, he tricks her into saying she wants to do it with her, changes the subject abruptly and says he just wants to be by Iku’s side forever.

That sure was worth the ink and paper.

The next chapter is a more developed story of something they flashed back to briefly in the next to last chapter. Little Yori is about to be a prince in a play. He wants Iku to be the princess so he can pretend they’re getting married, but their teacher won’t allow it because Iku’s too dumb to remember her lines.

Yori vows to get Iku to learn her lines, but he works her too hard (even withholding food from her until she says the lines he wants her to say) and she falls unconscious with a fever. I know this is a trope, but either Yori’s a slave driver or Iku really is the weakest person alive.

Yori feels insanely guilty….for all of five minutes. We later see an unconscious Iku, still sick with fever, playing Sleeping Beauty opposite Yori. They changed the play to Sleeping Beauty because she’ll barely have any lines to remember, and she’ll be allowed to sleep through a good portion, I guess. Then he kisses her to wake her up. The end.

….So, what I’m getting from this is….Yori forced his sister to partake in a play because he wanted to play pretend marriage with her and kiss her, ran her like a dog until she was sick and unconscious because he really wanted her to keep the role, and the school, for some reason desperate to keep Yori as the prince (The girls in his class practically protest, complete with a sign, for him to be prince, but the only reason any of them would want that so badly is if one of them got to play opposite him, so I don’t get it), changed the entire play so Yori would still be the prince in the play instead of a tree, not even caring that they were putting a sick unconscious child on stage and allowing another child to kiss the aforementioned unconscious child.

Does the horribleness ever stop? The manga is technically over and it’s still happening. Someone please help me.

Also, apparently the teacher is such a doormat for the girls in her class that she agrees to Yori’s terms in regards to letting Iku play opposite him when another girl already has the part. The girl in question, named Rika (whom I don’t remember at all if she’s an established character) clearly doesn’t agree with this arrangement, but since the other girls are so insistent on just rolling over to make Yori happy, she’s forced to play a tree. This manga isn’t for children, but this is such a terrible message. As long as you’re cute and people love you, you’ll have everyone bending over backwards to give you literally anything you want – even if it’s completely unfair to everyone else! Iku didn’t deserve to have the lead in the play, and Yori didn’t deserve to have everyone cater to his screwed up fantasy.

The final chapter is the story of how Yori adopted Inu-Yori.

He went to a pet store looking for a high-energy corgi.

Yori: “If Iku takes it for a walk every day, she can definitely lose some weight.”

HORRIBLE. NEVER. ENDS.

The female corgi liked him, which I assume eventually becomes Inu-Iku, but he turned her down because he wanted the dog to be in his stead as he was gone, so he chose the male……….He chose the male because he wanted the dog to be in his stead. I thought it being a companion so she’d never be lonely was the point of this. What does the dog having a dic—forget it. I don’t care.

Manga over.

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Well…..that sure was…..*exasperated sigh*

This manga has a 7.08 rating on MAL and a three-star rating on Anime-Planet.

How?

Why?

….What?

I’ve said my piece on this manga by now, but to wrap things up, this is a terrible manga. This is a terrible thing. These are all terrible people doing terrible things. No character is really likable. Even the dogs end up being a little creepy. This is a terrible ‘romance’ story that never really felt like a romance. Like I said in the tags of volume nine, the story actually is serviceable, but it’s completely burned down to the ground and pissed on by the unlikable and infuriating cast.

Yori’s a rapey jackass who admits flatout that he’s mean, bossy and forceful, and that’s just the tip of the assberg. He never tries to change his ways, and any instance of him doing something good is usually laced with terrible implications or motivations.

Iku’s a complete imbecile who spends her time either acting like a toddler, crying at something Yori’s doing or responding to things going on her around with that HeroineFromAmnesia-esque vacant stare. It’s hard to believe someone so stupid and useless actually exists. Scientists would probably want to study her brain, if they could find it.

They love each other but, despite all this, we never really learn why. Yori only has bad personality traits. Even when he’s going out of his way to care for Iku, he’s still a jerk to her and everyone else. Iku is kinda nice, but her uselessness and stupidity as well as complete lack of characterization outside of her over-attachment and dependence on Yori make her incredibly frustrating to watch.

It’s Yori’s lust and obsession stirring up Iku’s crippling dependency to the point where love is an illusion. The ending may contradict this, considering Iku did eventually stand on her own two feet, but I don’t know if she got that job because of Yano (his family is filthy rich) and her focus is still entirely on finding Yori to the point where I think the only reason she became independent was find Yori, ironically.

The only two emotions this manga made me feel were apathy and anger. The only part that I legitimately enjoyed was the story of Takuma and Mayu, and they left that plot on a damn cliffhanger. Did they ever get together? Did he really die when he hit 20? We’ll never know, but hey, let’s watch Yori sexually assault Iku again, and then we’ll watch Iku be so stupid she forgets how to walk. Quality writing.

I didn’t think this series would get substantially worse than the OVA, but, goshdarnit, you proved me wrong and then some, manga.

If I’ll throw it any bones, I’ll say the art was alright. Like I mentioned in my AniManga Clash!, the art style is basically exactly the same as the anime, but the manga’s was noticeably better. Just slightly. It still looked weird, especially with the mouths and the fingernails, but it was alright. Very typical shoujo style.

Please don’t waste your time or brain cells on this manga. Trust me. It’s not worth it.

Recommended Audience: There’s several instances of nudity but really only in regards to breasts as the crotch region is usually fully airbrushed out. There are numerous sex scenes, but they never get that graphic. I feel I can easily put a rape trigger warning on this series as there are tons of instances of flatout sexual assault and borderline rape, even if they paint it as romantic. Plus, there’s just a lot of squicky creepy talk and gestures. Incest alone is probably a flag for many people. There’s no violence, swearing or blood/gore. 15+


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Hell Girl: Three Vessels | Episode 25 – Yuzuki Review

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Plot: The truth has finally been revealed to a distraught Yuzuki – she died when she was a child and everything she’s been experiencing over the past year has been nothing but an illusion. When she learns the truth of her death, she has to decide whether or not to take up the mantle of Hell Girl.

Breakdown: As much as I’ve been ragging on Yuzuki, and as much as I didn’t care for the previous episode, I still held out hope that the reveal behind Yuzuki’s true backstory would be serviceable. I had little hope it would be so good that it would be worth all of the episodes of Yuzuki being a bland sack of drywall dust, but from all I heard about this season I did hold out hope that her story would be alright. Fully bracing for mediocrity, I watched.

And my response was….

I have been trying really, really hard to not lose my temper when writing reviews lately because it tends to make me come off as unfair and grumpy. Well, I’m not worried about that right now, so I’m letting ranty!Twix have a moment out of her cage today, because fuck this, this is brain-bleedingly stupid, fuck this, why, why, why? 25 episodes….for THIS? No, fuck you, Hell Girl: Three Vessels. I’d rather have a full 26 episode run without any main storyline than this steaming heap of garbage.

I had to pause the episode at least three times to exclaim out loud how stupid all of this was. This is next level stupid. How anyone thought Yuzuki’s story was anything but insanely poorly written and purposefully exaggerated to ridiculous levels does not compute with me. It just doesn’t.

Okay….backing up and calming down a tad. Obviously, we have to establish why Yuzuki is considered a replacement for Ai as Hell Girl. She needs to have some sort of deep vendetta or something that would make her a proper candidate, right?

What could such a young girl have gone through to have this vendetta?

Yuzuki’s family life was very normal when she was young. In fact, it was pretty much unrealistically Full House brand saccharine. So, this being Hell Girl, of course things have to go horribly wrong.

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Yuzuki’s father was a bus driver. One day, the brakes went out, causing him to t-bone another bus. He lost his life in the crash, and at least one other person was confirmed to have died as well. We never get confirmation on how many people died or were injured in the crash, but Yuzuki’s father and some girl or woman died.

The bus company completely denied that their bus had suffered from any malfunction or that they were at fault at all. They wouldn’t place any blame on the driver either, but they didn’t say it wasn’t him, so everyone just assumed that Yuzuki’s father was to blame for the crash, which is dumb because several reporters stated that some of the survivors from the bus asserted that the driver said the brakes failed right before they crashed.

Apparently, in this ridiculous version of the world, everyone completely believes the official statement of a bus company who would obviously rather – prepare for an awesome joke – throw one of their drivers under the bus rather than accept any responsibility for a fatal crash. And not a one of them would want to believe the survivors who know firsthand what happened when they were there and witnessed it.

Why wouldn’t there be an official police investigation into this? The only investigation that was cited was the internal one the bus company ran.

Everyone also acts as if he crashed the bus on purpose or something, calling him a murderer and such, which makes absolutely no sense because no one ever presented any theory as to why he’d ever do such a thing on purpose. He wasn’t suicidal, he was a great guy as far as I saw, and I’m certain plenty of people would vouch for him, but nope. Just grr, this awful bus driver man who fucking DIED in the accident and left behind an ailing wife and young child is a monster who obviously crashed the bus with malice.

In any other situation, people would probably have a lot of sympathy for the driver’s family at least. It was a terrible accident that they had nothing to do with. There’s no reason for them to suffer for any of thi—‘Fuck you, viewer!’ says the writers.

It’s time to put the patented Hell Girl ‘people are nothing but evil stupid shitbags’ writing into….

For some reason I still cannot wrap my head around, everyone, and I do mean everyone, starts to treat Yuzuki and her mother like they’re monsters – as if they’re the ones who crashed the bus and did it completely on purpose. As if they all lost precious loved ones in the accident while Yuzuki and her mother laughed maniacally from the street corner while pissing on a pile of everyone’s family heirlooms.

It’s not just the adults either. All of the children in Yuzuki’s school avoid her or write ‘Murderer, disappear’ on the chalkboard because of the terrible things their parents told them about her, which, again, I can’t imagine what they could possibly be saying. ‘I don’t want you associating with that Yuzuki girl again. She’s somehow responsible by proxy for a terrible bus accident her now dead father caused, I think.’

Really, even if Yuzuki’s dad did cause the accident on purpose, which is a HUGE stretch with absolutely no evidence – even it being his fault at all holds little water because of the witnesses – isn’t it enough punishment that he died in the accident? Isn’t it bad enough that Yuzuki lost a father and her mother lost her husband? Why would any of these people, let alone ALL OF THEM be such malicious, horrible scumbags that they’d torment Yuzuki and her mother like this?

I haven’t even scratched the surface of how overblown this behavior is.

It’s not just whispers and people being rude, oh no. They plaster her apartment door with papers that say various horrible things like “God of death,” “Murderer,” “Leave,” “Fall to hell,” “Die,” and “Disappear.”

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An employee/co-owner at the local grocery store not only doesn’t want to sell food to Yuzuki, but she detests that her co-owner, who was childhood friends with Yuzuki’s mother, decided to hire her since they were low on money after the death of Yuzuki’s father (It’s mentioned that Yuzuki’s mother was offered money by the bus company, probably to decrease the chances that she’d sue them, but she refused it.) She even knows that she’s ill, but that only makes her hate the decision more because she can’t do as much work while sick even though she’s trying her best.

I’m still not done. That same childhood friend decided that while Yuzuki’s mother, the one who just lost her husband in a terrible bus accident like not even a month prior, is having a terrible coughing fit (spoiler alert, she’s dying) would be a great time to hit on her, but she rejected his advances and ran off. She said she quit after that, but it’s moreso implied that the guy fired her for it because he’s super pissed the next time he sees Yuzuki and won’t even let her buy food at the store….

Yuzuki’s mom tries to solicit help from their relatives, but each one turns them down. Seemingly for the same reasons as everyone else, so apparently this condemnation is so terrible even family is turning their backs on them. Lovely.

But, hm, how can we go even further with this? How can we assure the audience that all human beings are complete and total irredeemable rotten monsters?

Ah, yes. How about when Yuzuki’s mom gets deathly ill no doctor will see her. I am not kidding. Yuzuki’s mom is turned away at every local hospital and doctor’s office all because of this moronic bus accident bullshit. I paused for several minutes and yelled at my computer screen when I saw this. NO ONE WOULD BE THIS TERRIBLE FOR SUCH RIDICULOUS REASONS, LET ALONE AN ENTIRE TOWN.

Compare this story with that of Ai or Takuma. Ai was treated as a monster because of rumors involving her having weird powers, and because she was seemingly the cause of much suffering in her village for escaping the Seven Sending ritual that was meant to bring prosperity to them. Takuma was framed for the murder of his mother and putting his father into a coma while also being blamed for every Hell Girl incident in his town and everyone accusing him of being a devil child who wrecks stuff and flippantly kills animals.

Yuzuki was the daughter of a bus driver who got into an accident that killed an only confirmed two people, one of which being some no-name no-face person that no one ever references outside of her parents when she initially died, the other of which being himself. Nothing else happened. And yet they’re being treated WORSE than Takuma was. Yes, I’m not kidding. Because at least Takuma’s father was able to get medical treatment, and Takuma was fully allowed to visit him. At least Takuma was able to go out and buy things. At least Takuma had a few people who were willing to try and clear his name. And Takuma’s case was so unreal and ridiculous that I made a running joke about how ludicrous it was becoming.

And Takuma’s town full of horrible people did have some modicum of legitimate reasoning to hate and fear Takuma, considering everyone was convinced he was both a parent murderer and a demon with the power to make anyone he wants vanish. It was only the circumstances revolving around why the evidence for these assumptions initially kept piling up that was convoluted. He was ‘coincidentally’ put in the middle of so much shit that it was insane. Once the wheels were in motion, everyone just kept abusing the ‘Takuma did it’ excuse for friggin’ everything awful, particularly Hell Girl vanishings, that realistic (for the most part) mob mentally set in rather violently.

In addition, both Takuma and Ai were directly the targets of the ire of their respective villages/towns. Yuzuki and her mother are merely related to the target of everyone’s hatred here.

Literally NO ONE will stand up for Yuzuki and her mother – not even the survivors of the crash who went on record saying it was a brake failure will come out of the woodwork. Yuzuki’s mother is dying in front of everyone, and no one will give a single shit – not even doctors in hospitals. Even mass murderers would be able to find medical treatment because doctors have a duty to treat people who are sick and injured, even if they don’t like them or are the worst scum in the world.

Yuzuki is running around town in a panic when her mother collapses after coughing up a bunch of blood, desperately trying to find her help, but no one will listen. They either turn her away or ignore her, saying, and I quote “Children’s problems are negligible.” “Making such a big fuss. She probably has a cold or something.” Granted, I have no idea why Yuzuki doesn’t just call for an ambulance, but knowing this backwards-ass episode, the operator would probably be like “Oh, you’re the kid of the evil bus driver. Yeah, your mom can go die. Call us when she croaks. We’ll have a pizza party. Without you, of course. I hope you die too.” *hangs up*

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Yuzuki’s mom is literally hobbling down the street, supported by her like four-year-old daughter, she’s pale with dark circles under her eyes and may as well have a giant neon sign over her head that says “I’m going to take a dirt nap soon.” and everyone just stares at her with sheer hatred in their eyes.

This story might be made a bit better if Yuzuki’s father survived the crash, but wound up permanently injured or disabled because of the wreck, and he grew hateful and bitter because of both his injuries and how no one would believe that he didn’t cause the wreck. And many more people died in the accident, like practically everyone in both buses, and he was one of the few survivors. Everyone would start treating Yuzuki and her mom like crap too for their association with him. Yuzuki’s father would become so far gone that he wouldn’t care about Yuzuki or his sick wife anymore. Maybe, and this is going a bit far, admittedly, Yuzuki’s mom would die out of nowhere because she hid the severity of her illness to not worry Yuzuki or bother her husband. And then, fed up with everything, Yuzuki, who’d I’d imagine as being slightly older in this scenario, would kill her father because he was the cause of everything, and then she’d somehow get some revenge on the people in town who made the situation a million times worse.

This is coming from a place of a genuine desire to help this story be better, by the way, because there is really a good deal of potential in Hell Girl, especially for something like finding Ai’s replacement, but this is just ridiculous. This entire town would run laps around Takuma’s town in regards to being overly evil and ‘we ran an x-ray and we’re afraid there’s literally nothing in your skull’ levels of stupid. I’m not a great writer either, and this suggestion isn’t even that good to be honest, but it’s really all I could come up with while still keeping the bare bones of what they gave us. If I want to be honest, Yuzuki’s story probably needed to be scrapped and just rewritten from the ground up.

Anyway, at the very end of their ropes, and with Yuzuki’s mother clearly at death’s door, Yuzuki’s mother decides to bring Yuzuki to an old rickety shrine where she plans on mercy killing Yuzuki via strangulation before she dies herself. She’s stopped before her hand even reaches Yuzuki’s throat by the sounds of some passing teenagers who pray at the shrine briefly. Almost immediately after they leave, Yuzuki’s mother dies.

Yuzuki buries her in cherry blossoms under a cherry tree. Her eyes turn red, which lead me to believe that she was about to go kill someone or, I dunno, burn her whole town down or something. It would’ve been way too much for a little kid to do, but it’s not anymore unrealistic than anything else in this episode.

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……Nope.

She gets the red vengeance eyes and then goes home to clutch her teddy bear and…..die. Of what, I don’t know. I assume dehydration or starvation or something. She didn’t look like she was dying or was ill when she left, but she just falls asleep on her bear and never gets up. Her corpse is seriously as Ai and the others presented to her. She is just a pile of bones on a teddy bear, which only adds to the confusion of this episode.

So no one thought to check up on Yuzuki? No one ever went back into that apartment? No one ever smelled the stench of dead child?

Back in the present, Yuzuki, whose form also confuses me because I don’t understand why she’s a teenager if she died as a small child, willingly accepts her role as Hell Girl now that she remembers her horribly written tragic backstory. No argument, no nothing, she just accepts her role with open arms.

Also, her assistant is now Akie, who I guess is seriously in hell, which I guess means that the series DID happen….somehow? But they weren’t really friends as teenagers because Yuzuki died as a child? There was a brief scene where the young Yuzuki ‘met’ young Akie, but all that happened was Akie passed by her, gave her a candy and left. She never even introduced herself. So….I don’t really get why Akie is considered so precious to her outside of being the one person who showed her a slight bit of kindness while everyone was being a freshly baked pan of frosted bastards.

Isn’t Akie really confused right now? Like, ‘Wait, who are you? Why am I serving you? I met you for 11 seconds as a little kid and gave you a candy? What?’

Yuzuki’s whole present-day situation is extremely confusing to me. So she left this world full of hatred with a desire for vengeance, if her red eyes were any indication, and she supposedly didn’t pass on to either heaven or hell because she was wandering in this realm because of those dark feelings, if Tsugumi is to be believed….So Ai and the others prepped her for being the next Hell Girl by aging her up and allowing her to live a mostly happy-ish life with good friends that she never had before in addition to having her mom and dad still be alive and speaking to her, just not physically there, while also briefly having her skim by most of the clients they had in the interim, hopelessly “trying” to stop them or maybe not it depends, with her one major moment of slipping in this illusion being witnessing Akie get sent to hell, and all of that really just made her vehement AGAINST Hell Correspondence. Did they even know ahead of time that Akie would be sent to hell? Was that part of the plan? What exactly was the goal here? I don’t get it. Wouldn’t they have been better off just teaching the little girl version of Yuzuki about how to do Ai’s job?

Ai didn’t just transfer her role to Yuzuki. She put her soul back inside of Yuzuki to make her Hell Girl, which makes even less sense. Hell Girl is a role Ai was given. She shouldn’t need to be a part of Yuzuki’s soul to pass on the baton. They act like Ai is gone, Yuzuki tells the Hell Team to leave because Akie’s her assistant now and their previous master is gone, but Ai literally went into Yuzuki’s body. She didn’t pass on or anything. I don’t get it.

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Why is Yuzuki even being given this role? Ai was given the role as a punishment for slaughtering her entire village in vengeance after she was killed by them and betrayed by her closest friend. She needed hundreds of years of watching how vengeance causes suffering to understand her wrongdoing and eventually accept her pain and move on. Yuzuki didn’t do anything. Her eyes turned red, then she hugged a teddy bear and died. She may be a wandering spirit filled with vengeance because of how badly everyone treated her and how their actions basically caused her and her mother’s deaths, but she didn’t do anything to warrant being given this job if it’s really meant to be a punishment. If anything, they’re putting someone in a role who will surely abuse it because they’re clearly now glorifying the act of vengeance.

Case and point, the first thing Yuzuki says when she becomes Hell Girl is that she won’t send someone sinless, like Akie, to hell ever again. She’ll purify the world. Problem is, Hell Girl doesn’t have that power. She is bound by the rules of her role to never reject viable clients or target people who haven’t been marked by clients. That’s a big part of why her existence is so tragic. Even if many of her targets aren’t innocent, she has to ferry a ton of nice people, children etc. to hell all the time since they’re clients. And she also has to let some of the worst people in the world to run free. The one time she chose to attack people she had a personal vendetta against cost her more time as Hell Girl. And the one time she refused a ferry was a test to see if she could really let vengeance go.

The point is, Yuzuki is now Hell Girl, none of this feels ‘earned’ and I am much angrier than I ever thought I would be after watching this. And what’s even worse is this is only going to get…..well….worse…Because, as I mentioned before, this shift isn’t permanent. Yuzuki does not stay as Hell Girl, and Ai doesn’t get relieved of her duties quite yet. We have to go through one more episode to return to the stupid status quo, and I can only hope they don’t manage to piss me off anymore….

Next Episode, the ending. At this point, I just wanna plow through it so we can also plow through Fourth Twilight to see Ai finally pass on for good.

….Previous Episode


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Pokemon Extravaganza | Movie 11 (Dub) Giratina and the Sky Warrior Review

Plot: A Shaymin is minding its own business when a nearby Dialga gets attacked by a Giratina. They drag Shaymin into the scuffle, and Giratina pulls Dialga into a different dimension – a world opposite ours called the Reverse World. Giratina wants revenge on Dialga for causing spacial disruptions in the Reverse World due to the disturbances in time and space that it and Palkia caused in the previous movie.

As they fight, Shaymin uses Seed Flare and opens a portal out of the Reverse World. Dialga follows, but not before trapping Giratina in a time loop that robs it of its portal creating powers, leaving it trapped in Reverse World.

A mysterious man named Zero monitors the confrontation, intent on capturing Giratina for his own nefarious purposes.

Meanwhile, Ash and the others discover Shaymin and help it journey to the flower garden for the Flower Bearing – a festival that the Shaymin of the area partake in to move the garden. Zero pursues them, aiming to capture Shaymin in order to get Giratina. Ash, Dawn and Brock do everything in their power to protect Shaymin, but that’s easier said than done.

Breakdown: Like I’ve stated before, we’re so far into the later parts of Pokemon that I honestly never bothered to learn too much about this movie before now. I will say that I’ve definitely seen and heard more about Shaymin in this movie than I have Giratina, and that’s just kinda weird.

Giratina is one of my least favorite Legendaries mostly due to its design. I find it to be very weird and unappealing. It’s too creepy for my tastes.

Shaymin is a Legendary I’m just okay with. I like that it can change forms, but I don’t really get the point of it. I suppose you could argue that it doesn’t need a point, many aspects of animals and nature don’t have points or major purposes, but they still have them. I just feel like maybe they couldn’t decide on which form to keep so they kept both of them.

For the record, though, I like the sky form a lot better. Land form looks like a cute-ified chia pet.

I don’t have much else to say about the movie beyond that, so let’s get into the review!

As always, you can check out the comparison from Dogasu’s Backpack here.

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We start off with a real game-changer – the world of Pokemon! Not much to note here besides I just listened to the new voice of Exeggutor for the first time – Could the VA sound more bored?

Also, Ryperior is a dork. Rhydon is much more intimidating, better designed and just overall better. I’m perfectly fine with Magmortar, even if its face is doofy, but Ryperior, go home.

Wow, they made Ash’s introduction kinda epic with that sunrise behind him.

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Out of all the Pokemon you could’ve shown Pikachu battling in the beginning, why an Electivire – a Pokemon who barely feels electric shocks?

After that, we get the opening to the real story, including the introduction of Shaymin the hedgehog.

Shaymin! It can kinda move!

Shaymin! It’s got an attitude!

Shaymin! It’s the most annoying hedgehog alive!

The most annoying hedgehog alive!

Dialga soon shows up – HEY! Dialga! You already got your own movie! Go home! Shoo!

Giratina, hailing from a parallel dimension called the Reverse World, causes a dimensional shift which thrusts Dialga, Shaymin and Giratina into a vortex leading into the Reverse World.

Giratina and Dialga battle in the Reverse World because two Legendary Pokemon cannot share the same space without duking it out. Shaymin, getting caught in the battle, gets so panicked that it also causes a dimensional shift and escapes Reverse World. Dialga, after fending off Giratina, follows Shaymin through the same rift.

The rift closes, Giratina tries to make its own to follow Dialga, but finds that it can’t enter the rift it created. Due to Diagla, it is now caught in an infinite time loop in Reverse World.

The title animation this time around isn’t bad, per se, but it is confusing. We see a bunch of exploding snowflakes, water, the Sprint logo, lines that turn into shapes that turn into water Pidgey, then we get more water followed by the title card. Lots of water for two Pokemon who are, in no way, based on anything relating to water.

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No theme song in this movie, by the way. I’m really starting to miss it.

Back with Ash and co., Ash apparently needs to be reminded to wash his filthy-ass hands before eating because his mother thought it was more important for him to change his underwear incessantly than to teach him proper hand hygiene.

Cue all the Pokemon being let out for meal time, yay!

Shaymin arrives behind their backs and starts eating the pancakes Brock made for the humans in the group.

*watching Shaymin eat the pancakes*

Dawn: “What is it?”

Brock: “A Pokemon!” No shit, Brock. Everything that is not an inanimate object is a Pokemon…..and some inanimate objects are Pokemon!

It acts like a little shit, destroys Brock’s grill, sucks up the smoke from the grill and….explodes.

Can I say I’m glad Shaymin’s finally talking? Because it was incredibly annoying just saying ‘Min!’ over and over.

Also, Shaymin’s a dick even when it can talk. Lovely.

Dogasu noted this behavior as being refreshing given the overtly saccharine cute Legendaries we’ve gotten over the years, but I wholeheartedly disagree. You can have a good personality without being an overly sweet Pokemon. A jackass personality is still annoying to watch. You can make the argument that, as a character, Shaymin gets better, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still incredibly irritating either way.

Shaymin has a fever so they bring it to the Pokemon Center.

Nurse Joy: “It’s Shaymin – the Gratitude Pokemon.” Pft, don’t you mean Shaymin – the Irony Pokemon?

This Nurse Joy wears old lady glasses for some reason. Hope that fact enriched your life with knowledge.

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Ya know…..It’s been 11 years at this point….is anyone else bored to tears of Brock’s ‘Hit on a girl then get dragged away by someone’ shtick?

Shaymin is brought out and continues to be a little shit.

Shaymin: “Oh please! I never need healing! But I do get hungry!”

Ash: “That sure doesn’t sound like gratitude to me.” I like when we agree on things, Ash.

Nurse Joy reveals that Shaymin has the ability of Seed Flare – it intakes polluted air, such as the smoke from Brock’s grill, turns it into light and water and expels it from its body.

Dawn: “Shaymin! You’re really something, aren’t you?”

Shaymin: “I am, aren’t I?” Rrrgh.

Nurse Joy further reveals that the more the air is polluted, the bigger the explosion. A Shaymin once sucked up so much polluted air that the resulting explosion destroyed an entire forest. Wow…..that power kinda sucks a little, doesn’t it? Imagine if, when Suicune purified water, a nuke went off immediately after. Kinda negates the point, doesn’t it?

Oh and Shaymin expects to be thanked for not causing a bigger explosion, by the way…..It’s going to be a long movie, isn’t it?

I don’t really know why Dawn is so jazzed about this little grass stain.

Shaymin demands to be taken to the flower garden for the Flower Bearing – a gathering of Shaymin that happens once a year where the Shaymin migrate from one flower garden to a new location to create a new garden. No reason given as to why they do this – it’s just a thing they do.

Team Rocket grabs Shaymin, but, as they make their escape, they’re dragged through another dimensional rift to the Reverse World. Dawn and Ash get sucked in as well, leaving Brock as the only one left on the other side.

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Dawn and Ash are suddenly targeted by Giratina, who is seemingly after Shaymin. A strange man named Newton Graceland appears and helps them escape. Side note, part of this world is low gravity, and I found it adorable that Piplup was flapping its wings and acting like it could fly. Poor flightless bird.

Newton is a researcher investigating the Reverse World. He explains that the Reverse World is a dimension just like ours only opposite, which really makes zero sense because it’s pretty much exactly like our world only warped like a funhouse mirror with a weird sky and funny physics. Also, there are no people or Pokemon besides Giratina, who acts as the master of this realm.

That being said, the Reverse World is pretty nicely designed.

Newton states that disturbances in Reverse World started cropping up more often when Dialga and Palkia started fighting, believing their territory was being impeded upon for some reason. Ash then….recalls that happening….and Dawn brings up…Alamos Town….

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa……whoa….wait….This movie….is a direct sequel to Movie 10?

I know that seems like a stupid statement, but the movies seem to exist in their own little canon, even separate from each other. The fact that this movie is not only acknowledging a previous movie but also building its plot from it is….pretty much unheard of. This isn’t a complaint, it’s a very interesting turn of events, but it kinda threw me for a loop.

The disturbances are actually toxic clouds of gas, and Giratina was upset at this pollution of its world, so it traveled to the real world and captured Dialga to take its revenge. Shaymin’s little freak out allowed Dialga to escape, so now its in Giratina’s crosshairs too.

Giratina attacks again, this time grabbing Shaymin.

YAY!

But it turns out to be Substitute, and Shaymin’s fine.

Booooo!

Newton leads them to a portal that leads to the real world and they make their escape.

Shaymin: “Thanks to me, you’re all safe and sound. Aren’t you grateful I’m around?” What the shit did you do to help them get out of there? Ash is going to bring up that Shaymin’s the reason they were ever in danger in the first place in a minute, but really, what did Shaymin do to help them escape? Newton’s the one who lead them back to the portal.

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Also, Shaymin has this incredibly irritating running gag shtick of jumping on Ash’s head and yanking him in various directions as he tries and fails to tell him which way the flower garden is. It’s not funny. It got old real fast. They keep doing it.

Zero shows up and—I’m just now realizing, this character named Zero has a massive zero on his shirt………Okay.

Zero sends his Magnemite, Magneton and Magnezone army after the group in order to capture Shaymin. They manage to escape on a train, and then we interrupt the plot for Shaymin to be an annoying little compost heap again complaining that he’s hungry.

Ya know, Dawn’s irritating me almost as much as Shaymin in this movie because she’s constantly coddling it and ignoring it’s bratty behavior. I wouldn’t be as bothered if not for the fact that I know she wouldn’t be doing all of this if Shaymin weren’t a super ~kawaii~ Pokemon.

Anyway, let’s stop the plot some more by talking to some randos on the train about how wonderful Shaymin is. Whoopee.

One of the randos has a bouquet of gracidea flowers, which are nearly identical to the flowers on Shaymin. People give them to others when they want to show gratitude because it’s so similar to the supposed gratitude Pokemon. Upon sniffing the flowers, Shaymin transforms into its sky form.

The only real thing from the comparison that I feel compelled to note at this point in time is the fact that Shaymin has two voices in the dub whereas, in the original, it has the same voice throughout. The sky form clearly has a boy’s voice while the land form is girlish.

I don’t really have anything to add to their comments, so I’ll just copy/paste this segment.

Dogasu: “Ignoring the whole “cute little things are girls, brave adventurous types are boys” sexist BS for a moment, the reason the voice change doesn’t make any sense to me is because Shami doesn’t actually talk. It’s using telepathy throughout the entire movie. So why, why, would it suddenly start thinking in a young boy’s voice (or, as some have pointed out, Zoey’s voice) because it changed form(e)s? Wouldn’t it just do what the Japanese version does and just think in the same voice regardless of any transformation?”

I would like to hold on the sexist BS for a second though, because that is totally sexist BS.

On the upside, though, the voice change is actually fairly welcome because it doesn’t matter if Shaymin’s telepathically speaking on doing the Pokemon shtick of saying its name (which is only the ‘Min’ part usually, by the way, which somehow makes is even more irritating) Shaymin’s land form voice is like a cheese grater made of chainsaws on my ears. At least sky form is more pleasant to listen to, even if it’s still a brat.

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Hmmm…..I can’t really add this to the sexism because it’s not the dub’s doing, but why is Shaymin so much braver and battle-ready in sky form than it is in land form, where it’s basically a wimp?

The Magne-army finds them and they start battling.

If there was one set of Pokemon that was crappy to have constantly get beaten by Ash and co, it’s the Magne-line. They’re Iron and Electric, but here they are dropping like flies to an Electric type, a Grass type and a Water type…..

Just for the record, Magnezone is fugly.

Shaymin: “It’s ‘Thank Shaymin’ time!” I’ll thank you if you leave this movie.

Now they’ve moved onto a boat for the other leg of their journey. Brock talks about how the river they’re on was created by a glacier that eroded the—

Ash: “A glacier?”….Yes….A glacier.

Dawn: “Looks cold!” Yes…..glaciers are…..very…cold….So you guys never went to school, eh?

Enter about five minutes of dicking around.

At least some of the visuals are nice. They got the water CGI really nicely done this time around.

Brock mentions that Shaymin will be leaving them when it gets to the flower garden, and Ash suddenly looks sad…..for some reason. Apparently he’s going to miss the obnoxious little turd he’s done nothing but fight with this whole movie. What? Did the whimsical dicking around change his tune about it?

He does switch gears and says it might be a relief, but he’s clearly covering.

Back with Zero, we see old video footage that shows that Zero used to be Newton’s assistant. They wanted to harness Giratina’s power to move freely between the Reverse World and the real world.

A portal to the Reverse World suddenly appears in the water next to the gang’s boat, because the portals appear on reflective surfaces because…Reverse World I guess. They get sucked in, Zero follows suit, and Giratina confronts them in the Reverse World.

I guess Shaymin does get a personality change when its in its sky form because instead of cowering and pushing them to run away, it actually attacks Giratina first and challenges it to a battle.

Ash: “You go, Shaymin!” Yeah, you go with the challenging the massive scary Legendary Pokemon who wants to EAT YOU to a Pokemon battle you clearly can’t win! Whoo!

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With the help of Pikachu and Staravia, they try to take it down, to no effect, but the sun sets, causing Shaymin to revert back to land form since the sun needs to be up for it to maintain sky form. Also, because it’s land form now, it’s a weak wimp again.

Also, because they’re stupid, Giratina’s now more pissed than ever.

Shaymin: “Give. Me. FOOD!” Forty minutes until the movie is over. Dunno why I suddenly checked that.

They manage to escape with the help of Newton again. However, Shaymin is kidnapped by Zero and the others are restrained.

Zero: “This place is beautiful….but people destroy it.” He says while looking at one of the toxic clouds made because of damages to time and space made purely because of Dialga and Palkia going at it – the non-human Pokemon who aren’t homo sapiens. I swear to god if we get on another ‘man is evil’ stint in this friggin’ series, I’m walking out.

Zero directs one of the toxic clouds to the gang and brings Shaymin over to it. They act like Shaymin is sucking in the poison to save them, but Shaymin has shown time and again that it will automatically suck in polluted air without thinking about it, so they really could’ve just put Shaymin in the cloud without trying to kill Ash and the others and it still would’ve worked.

He’s trying to force Shaymin to use Seed Flare in order to release Giratina into the real world, and it works. Everyone gets sucked in through the portal back into the real world and Giratina is set free.

Brock: “That’s a glacier!” Yes. Brock. Thank. You. This movie has been sponsored by The International Glacier Foundation.

Newton reveals that Giratina never wanted to eat Shaymin at all – in fact, it was trying to save it from the Magne-line and was only pursuing it in the first place to get it to use Seed Flare to allow it to escape to the real world. Soooo….is that supposed to be Giratina’s redemption or something? Because it was still trying to kidnap it and force it to do something against its will.

Zero uses a massive machine thingamajigger on his airship to kidnap Giratina. His scanners reveal that Giratina has regained the ability to move freely between the real world and the Reverse World because coming to the real world somehow ended the time loop Dialga put him in.

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I should’ve asked this earlier, but how does a time loop stop you from moving between dimensions? If we’re dealing with moving between dimensions, interdimensional spaces, if you will, wouldn’t a better enemy to focus on be Palkia, the master of space? The Pokemon that has been shown to have power over interdimensional portals? Why choose Dialga for this? It makes no sense.

Also, how does ending a time loop restore those powers?

How was Giratina caught in a time loop when, outside of losing its portal powers, it didn’t have any other issues behaving normally?

Newton reveals that he designed that machine. He originally intended on using it to harness Giratina’s power and gain the ability to move freely between the real world and the Reverse World, but he deleted all of his work when he realized the only way to accomplish it would be to sacrifice Giratina. Newton was vehement against doing this, but even though he deleted his work Zero seemed to remember the specifications of the machine and built it himself.

Zero: “It won’t be long before the Reverse World is all mine. And I will rule there like a king! Muahahahahahahaha!” Yes, that almost entirely void of life world that’s filled with a bunch of weird physics and is built like a MC Escher painting will be all mine! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Your motives are dumb.

Newton, Ash and Dawn take Zero’s hover-glider thing that he left behind for some reason to confront Zero and save Giratina. Shaymin transforms into sky form since they arrived at the garden without realizing it and it follows them to the ship.

Ya know, if nothing else, the cinematography in this movie is really good.

Also, Pokemon being held in a force-field cage – here’s hoping Ash reprises his habit of tackling force fields here!

A battle in the air commences with the Magne-line until they reach the ship. Newton infiltrates the ship to stop Zero while Dawn and Ash combat the Magne-line on the deck.

I know that they can’t destroy the force-field, but can they not destroy the arms that are generating it?

Newton reaches the control panel, racing against the clock before Giratina’s power is…sucked up or whatever this machine is doing to it. It just says it’s scanning, so I don’t get how it’s killing it. He forces me to recall that painfully stupid scene from NCIS where Abby and McGee are both typing on the same keyboard by upping the ante by typing on a keyboard and also having four robot arms type with him.

Newton’s hack works, stopping the scan at a dramatic 99%. The force field starts to wane, but whatever he did to stop the force field also caused the ship itself to fail. The ship starts falling out of the sky.

Newton: “I’m sorry. To shut down the system, I had to shut off the engines too.”

Ash: “So what does that mean?” Okay, come on, even without schooling, you can’t be this dumb.

They escape from the ship on the glider thing, but Giratina falls off into the waters below. Zero makes his escape in a little….vehicle thing that dives into the water, and the ship crashes into the mountainside.

Giratina emerges from the water but topples over, seemingly on its last legs.

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Ash: “Giratina, come on!” He’s not saying this in a sad, pleading manner – he’s yelling this like he’s scolding Giratina for dying.

Shaymin tries to help Giratina by using Aromatherapy and yelling ‘SHAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” about thirty times, which is even annoying in its sky form voice.

Anyway, Giratina’s fine. Yay. There wasn’t a lot of tension there because if they really wanted us to think Giratina was killed by the power scan…absorber thing, they wouldn’t have shown it being able to get out of the water under its own power.

Zero’s little plane thing emerges from the water, and, after a Power Rangers-esque kinda shitty quality CGI compared to what we’ve gotten for the rest of the movie cutscene where the plane kinda transforms, Zero attacks Giratina for some reason then escapes into the Reverse World.

He somehow managed to get enough information from the scan to utilize Giratina’s power, clone it and put it in this little emergency plane thing even though the scan only got to 99%, Newton hacked the whole system to make it impossible to do anything afterward anyway and he somehow managed to do all of this in the time it took for the ship to crash.

This whole thing reeks of them being unable to write themselves out of a hole once they stopped the machine and saved Giratina. ‘Uh oh, there’s still 20 minutes left in the run time – give Zero the portal powers anyway.’

He starts attacking these little real world bubbles that are all over the Reverse World. Damaging them damages the real world, even though it pretty much just seems like all that happens when you destroy one is a small explosion occurs.

Why is he doing this? I. Don’t. Know. It was never established that Zero wanted to destroy the real world, only that he wanted to rule Reverse World. He’s pretty much just pulling villain shit out of his ass and running with it.

He claims he’s destroying the real world because the real world is destroying the sanctity of the Reverse World and dammit, I told you not to go down the route of ‘man is evil’! Dialga and Palkia caused the disturbances in Reverse World, come on!

His shenanigans cause Regigigas to awaken. Oh boy, only 85% into the movie and we get a random other Legendary appearance. I remember reading it was in this movie, but I honestly couldn’t give less of a shit about Regigigas. It’s one of my absolute least favorite Legendaries.

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Zero’s purposely trying to break apart the glacier in the real world to….Uhm….destroy the nearby village….which will….accomplish….something……I guess.

Dawn: “If this keeps up, it will destroy the flower garden!” Why does that matter? They’re just flowers. They’re not important. And wasn’t the flower festival thing a ceremony where they move the flower garden anyway?

Giratina and Ash try to take down his plane while every Pokemon able to do Ice moves in the real world are trying to slow down the glacier’s descent, to little success.

Regigigas appears with a massive herd of hilariously CGI’d Mamoswine, and they all try to physically stop the glacier from advancing.

Meanwhile, Zero has taken down Giratina and is about to finish it off, but Ash intervenes.

Ash: “Hey! You stop destroying this place, Zero!” Or I’ll tell my mommy!

Zero: “If anything is destroying this place, it’s the real world!”

So, let’s just go over some things. The real world and the Reverse World are co-dependent, one cannot exist without the other. Zero knows this. To protect the Reverse World, he’s destroying the real world, which will supposedly cause the destruction of the Reverse World.

In short, Zero’s an imbecile.

At least Giratina attacking Dialga made a little more sense. Dialga actually was one of the parties responsible for the toxic clouds. I’m not exactly sure why they’re still appearing so rapidly if Dialga and Palkia basically ctrl+z’d the damage, but they were the ones who started this.

Come to think of it, when he realized Shaymin could purify the toxic clouds, why didn’t it occur to him to use the Seed Flare powers to help Reverse World?

Dawn: “You can do it, Regigigas!” Yeah, only you and not the thousands of Mamoswine trying to help it.

Shaymin sucks up a toxic cloud in an effort to save Ash again, and it uses Seed Flare to open another portal. With the help of Giratina, they knock Zero into the real world and he crashes his ship, damaging his system. Dawn’s Bunneary and Swinub as well as all of the Ice move knowing local Pokemon freeze Zero’s ship. Zero’s systems start failing entirely, and he’s unable to save the data on Giratina, meaning he can’t remake his portal machine. The moral of the movie is – always backup your data.

Seriously, how did he have the time to transfer that data to the plane thing within the ship but didn’t have any mode of backing it up?

Zero: “All of my glorious plans, ruined.” All of my glorious plans of ruling an empty hellscape and destroying one world which would inevitably result in the destruction of the world I was trying to rule, ruined.

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Shaymin enters the portal and transforms back into land form because–

Shaymin: “I’m really not good with the cold!” *shrug* Also, if you’re not good with cold, why did you put your flower garden so close to a glacier?

Giratina starts magically fixing the damage in the Reverse World…..It can do that, I guess, and fixing the damage stops the glacier from advancing. Giratina, Ash and Pikachu re-enter the real world through another portal.

Chalk this up to another movie where Ask flies on a Legendary Pokemon, but I am forever sad he didn’t try to tackle something that would throw him across the room.

Is there any purpose to Giratina’s two forms if both of them can fly? Is it just that the dragon/serpentine version is more aerodynamic?

I love how Ash casually ignores the Regigigas. He’s seen so many Legendaries he doesn’t even care anymore.

Giratina spends a minute with the group before flying off, supposedly to go find Dialga again….Uh…is that not still a problem? Guys? Hello?

Ah, who cares? More Shaymin are arriving, and it’s time for the flower festival thinger.

Shaymin: “Ash, I must say, I’m grateful to you too.” Is it ‘emotional redemption for the annoying pissant character’ O’clock already?

Shaymin makes its tearful goodbye, and the festival starts. They create the sky bouquet together, flying in a spiral and making a tornado of the flower petals from the garden. All of the Shaymin fly away, off to create another garden.

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Ash starts—I know you’re not starting to cry, Ash. Because then I’d have to shank you. All of the Pokemon you’ve said goodbye to, all of the friends who have left, you don’t cry for, but Shaymin, a Pokemon who’s been a snotty little brat to you for most of the movie, you start getting teary eyed over. Rrgh.

Not even Dawn’s crying, and she always liked Shaymin.

The movie ends with the gang all looking to the sky with smiles as they watch the Shaymin head off into the sunr—are we seriously not going to bring up Giratina’s bloodlust for Dialga again? That could cause some major problems. Is this ever followed up on in another movie? Hello? Guys? What about the toxic clouds in Reverse World? Are we ever going to bring those up again? I thought they were a threat to the stability of the realm, thus also threatening our world? Hello? Writers? Is anyone paying attention?

The credits roll and there’s not much of note in the background animation besides three things. 1) The gang all send gracidea flowers to their parents. I thought that was sweet. 2) A bunch of Aron and Lairon are eating Zero’s ship, I guess to ensure the audience that the machine won’t be found and used by someone else. 3) Zero got arrested, and Newton, for some reason, happily lends him a hand to get out of his plane, and Zero kinda smiles back….is he supposed to be redeemed now? That was not earned if he is.

The song for the credits is ‘This is a Beautiful World’ sung by Aaron Brotherton. It’s a pretty nice song. Definitely grows on you, even if it’s a little repetitive.

And, yes, the whole credit reel rolls without seeing Giratina at all. For all we know, the fabric of time and space will come crumbling apart when Giratina finds and murders Dialga and Palkia. The end.

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This is one of those times where I have to vehemently disagree with Dogasu on their evaluation of this movie. Even though I’m only up to the 11th movie, I’d find it difficult to say it even makes my top ten favorite Pokemon movies list.

Our Legendaries this time are a little brat of a hedgehog with an annoying voice and a somewhat ugly Pokemon with fairly unimpressive powers who may or may not be an asshole. I grew to like Giratina as a Pokemon a bit more through this movie, but really only design-wise. Its main notable power is making portals to and from the Reverse World, which is a barren wasteland of a world that looks like someone put a blender filter on our world. Palkia’s more impressive than that – it can move freely between all dimensions.

I still can’t believe they ended Giratina’s role in this movie by saying it’s probably going to go find Dialga. That’s not a good thing! Why is no one concerned?! They should have ended with Giratina returning to the Reverse World and attempting to clean up the damage and maybe, somehow, get rid of the toxic clouds.

The plot this time around is also….boring. We absolutely have to get Shaymin to the flower garden to be in the festival. Oh wait, we really don’t because there are plenty of other Shaymin who can do it. The only thing that will happen if it’s not there is it will be disappointed that it missed the festival. I’m quite certain it can find the new garden location and partake next year.

The main plot with Giratina was also nothing special. I greatly respect that they tied in this movie to the last one. They’ve really never done that up until this point. Granted, Dialga all but vanishes after the first act, but, still, the fact that they even built a plot around the repercussions of the previous movie’s events is well-appreciated.

However, Zero’s motivations make—here comes an awesome joke, are you ready for it? I’m brilliant. Here it comes – ZERO sense!

He wants to capture Giratina and scan it to obtain its power to move freely between Reverse World and the real world. This will, for some reason, kill Giratina. He got the power even without a full scan or killing Giratina.

His REAL plan was to gain this power in order to become ruler of the Reverse World – a mostly empty warped version of our world.

Then his REAL-REAL plan is to go there and destroy the real world by destroying parts of the Reverse World in order to save Reverse World because he thinks the real world is what’s causing the toxic clouds even though he knows full well that it was Dialga and Palkia who did it and that destroying the real world destroys the Reverse World and he has to basically destroy the Reverse World in the first place to destroy the real world and–

It’s like they were making up his motivations as they went along, and they never reached a point where he was making sense.

I’m also shocked that they left the issue about the clouds alone. Are we meant to believe Giratina stopped them when it healed all of the damage from Zero? Because if it can do that, why attack Dialga? Why is this even a problem?

Then there are minor issues like Brock getting a grand total of absolutely nothing to do this whole movie besides make pancakes. I nearly went this entire review without mentioning him because he is constantly being left behind. They even point it out in the movie. He gets left behind the first time they go to Reverse World, then he gets left behind when Newton, Ash and Dawn leave on the glider, and he clearly shows that he’s disappointed he keeps getting left behind. What do the movies have against Brock?

Team Rocket also could’ve been completely omitted from this movie and nothing would’ve changed, but that’s par for the course for them.

Speaking of pointless, Regigigas. Yes, it held back the glacier, but it came out of nowhere with absolutely no explanation of why it was here and left just as suddenly without a word. It’s like they wanted brownie points for getting another Legendary in the movie, like Kyogre in Movie 09. But, hey, at least I like Kyogre.

The action was decent, and the fun whimsical moments were alright, but they weren’t really up to snuff when compared to the other movies. The action wasn’t as good as Movie 10, the dicking around scenes weren’t as visually interesting as the dicking around scenes in Movie 09, the ending of ‘Pokemon doing mystical stuff’ scene wasn’t as nice as Movie 02, 04 or 05 and even the tearful goodbye wasn’t nearly as emotionally impacting as Movie 03, 04, 06 or 08.

Even the new world they introduced is rather lame compared to things like the Sea Temple, the Unown’s illusion world or even the Tree of Beginnings.

I hate to make a mass comparison, but when you reach 11 movies, you kinda can’t avoid it.

Sadly, unlike some of the other movies that I’ve borderline disliked, like Movies 09 and 07, there weren’t really any standout moments that made me want to return to this movie. Movie 09 might be dumb, but I love the Sea Temple, and the goofy moments can be kinda fun. Movie 07 might be poorly written, but at least it has the Battle Tower and the hilaradorable Munchlax. This movie really has nothing to put on the table.

The most I can say is that it could’ve been worse. Shaymin could’ve been more annoying. I mean, it could’ve been a crying baby Pokemon like Manaphy in addition to being a brat. Zero could’ve been more confused in his motivations or made out to be more generic, like the Iron Masked Marauder or Lawrence. And at least Dawn got to do more than May or Misty usually got to do in these movies, even if most of it is just doing whatever Ash is doing or cuddling Shaymin. That might be offset by them shafting Brock so badly in this movie that they actually acknowledge it.

Art and Animation: The CGI went back and forth between really quite good to kinda bad. The regular art and animation were better than normal with only a few odd shots here and there.

Music: Rather forgettable, but fitting and nice. I actually liked the ending song this time around.

Voice Acting: On the up side. Sarah Natochenny didn’t have to emote much in this movie, but the instant she did it was hard to listen to. Zero’s VA was quite good, to be honest. He really went for it.

Shaymin’s land form VA is all kinds of annoying, though. Whether it’s legit speaking and shouting ‘Min!’ over and over or being a little snot when it’s telepathically speaking, it’s irritating to say the very least. The sky form version is better, especially since it’s, for some reason, less of a dick, but even that form’s voice can’t not sound annoying when it’s yelling ‘MIN!’ incessantly.

Bottom Line: This isn’t one of those movies where it’s so bad I get angry at it – I’m more numb to it. At its core, it’s just a bland and lazily written movie. Most people would have little issue sitting through this movie, nor would I, but I didn’t really have fun at any point. Either Shaymin was being annoying and ruining it or whatever was happening was so stupid that I couldn’t get invested.

I can handle lazy writing and stupidity as long as they’re being fun with it, but this movie just didn’t give me fun. I can’t see myself returning to this movie for any reason.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go….watch this movie again….In Japanese.

Recommended Audience: They’re going back to being too scared to say ‘Die’ again – instead referring to it as being ‘no more’ or ‘destroyed’ and the closest they get to a death scene is far lighter than most similar scenes in other Pokemon movies. I can’t really think of anything of note. E for everyone!


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Space-Time Detective Genshi-Kun/Flint the Time Detective Episode 18 (17 for the Dub) Sub/Dub Comparison | The Super Beauty, Ammon

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Plot: After getting angry with Kyoichiro for ignoring her, Ammon is captured by TP Lady. She takes Ammon to China in the 3rd century BC to bring the infamous terracotta army to life in order to serve her and help her take over the world.

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Title Change: The Super Beauty, Ammon is changed to Bindi Master.

Entire Series Edit: I think I’ve seen this enough to call this right now – the opening establishing shot is either always replaced or has an additional establishing shot of the city added in the dub.

Ammon’s name plate is removed again.

Ammon refers to herself as Acchan. Since we don’t really have an English equivalent, she just refers to herself normally.

Once again, daytime establishing shot of the bureau exchanged for an evening one.

The dub has a pretty massive screw up right here. Rei explains that TP Lady is in China during the Qin dynasty, which existed between the years 221 BC and 206 BC. Jillian claims that Petra Fina is in China…..in the 30th century BC. That’s QUITE the difference there, Saban.

The specific city they’re visiting, Chengdu, existed as far back as 3000 years ago or the 10th century BC, but the site on which it’s built, the remains of the ancient city of the Baodun culture, date as far back as 4500 years ago or the 25th century BC. Technically, the official city didn’t exist until the 3rd century BC, which is when the Qin took it over.

Entire Series Edit: I think I can also say for certain that every time the kids go off on Ridon, Saban changes the clips to include Goodman yelling to them about something – usually about bringing him back a souvenir. This time, he tells them to bring him egg foo young.

Well, here’s a smaller screw up. When they leave, Pterry says they’re heading to the 13th century, which is closer, but still not right because, as we’ll soon see, the first thing they encounter is the Terracotta Army, referred to in the dub as just clay statues/a ghost army, which dates back as far as the 3rd century BC. The Terracotta Army was a form of funerary art, symbolically sending soldiers to protect the first emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huangdi, in the afterlife.

Putera says it’s odd because this period should have been right when the army was being made, but no one’s around. In the dub, Pterry doesn’t point this out.

Also, Qin Shi Huangdi’s Terracotta Army is incredibly fascinating. It’s always been one of my favorite pieces of history. Unlike what a lot of people think, they’re not carbon copies of each other. The statues were individual pieces produced from molds and stuck together. While the bases of many of the pieces are identical, they were shaped and decorated to make unique features. Each statue is so uniquely designed that it’s theorized that each soldier had a living counterpart used as a model, though that theory isn’t strongly accepted since doing that would be a huge hindrance on the production. Instead, it’s more accepted that the varying appearances were trying to encapsulate the many different types of people from the various regions in China which had been united while under Qin Shi Huangdi’s rule.

They have different hair styles, caps, builds, expressions, poses, beards, etc. In addition, when they were originally created they actually had a lot of beautiful and bright colors on them to differentiate themselves even further. The color faded over the years, however.

Here’s a picture of what a painted Terracotta soldier might have looked like.

(Image was posted to SmartHistory.org, but photo credit is listed as Charlie, CC BY-SA 4.0)

They’re not all soldiers, either. There are chariots, horses, archers, generals, waterfowl, musicians, political officials, dancers, acrobats and more. He basically had a complete society created for his tomb out of clay and bronze.

It took over 40 years for the army to be completed, and, from all we can gather through GPR, all of the pits and the tomb combined cover approximately 38 square miles. We’ve been excavating the pits of the tomb since 1974 and we’re still working to excavate it all. As for the tomb itself, that will likely stay hidden forever. The tomb is buried underneath a forested funerary mound. No one currently has the technology to safely excavate the rest of it without running the risk of damaging or destroying everything else down there. There’s also the very real risk of many unknown and known booby traps, and the high levels of mercury in the area. In addition, the citizens of China simply don’t want to disturb the resting place out of respect for the emperor.

There hasn’t been a lack of trying, though. Plans for excavation have been proposed numerous times since the discovery of the tomb. In addition to curiosity, proponents of excavation claim they want to open the mausoleum and start removing artifacts to actually help preserve them since the site rests on a seismic zone and grave robbers might get to the artifacts before they do, but the proposals are always shot down for the reasons stated before. Even the opening and excavation of the nearby tomb of the emperor’s grandson was rejected because they were concerned that tomb was so close to the emperor’s that opening it might cause damage to the main mausoleum. At best, we can hope we get imaging technology that gives us a peek into the tomb, but in the realm of actually opening the mausoleum and taking a stroll through there, I highly doubt we’ll ever be able to do that any time in the near future.

I’m getting really off-topic, but there’s no historical figure present this episode, so I thought I’d at least discuss the Terracotta Army because I think it’s really cool. Check out the links I provided to learn more. It’s very interesting, and I only covered a small portion of the topic here.

If I had more notes on this, it’d be that, obviously, in the show, the soldiers are all depicted as being exactly the same (quite simply designed as well) and, despite just being made, there is absolutely no color on them. I’m feeling pretty lenient here, though, because I don’t expect a low-budget kid’s anime from the 90s to animate an army where everyone has a unique design while also being statue-esque.

Dyna says “It went well, didn’t it?” And Mite responds “You said it!” In the dub, Dino asks how much longer they have to wave the fans, and Mite adds that his arms are tired.

Ah, so that’s why Ammon was with Vlad the Impaler. Because her powers are like a vampire that sucks the life from living things. Only she also has the ability to transfer the life energy to non-living beings to bring them to life as well. Cool.

They add the sound effect of bowling pins falling down when the soldiers get revived.

While both lines basically mean the same thing, Merlock says “I’m here to claim Bindi, Petra!” whereas Kyoichiro just demands Ammon be returned to him. The reason the dub line bothers me is because it treats Bindi like property instead of a friend.

Name Plate Removed:

Subbed: STDGKEP18SCREEN1

Dubbed:

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Name Change: Ankoku is changed to Bindi-kon.

Flint: “Wowwee!” Wowwee, that sure is dated.

So they suggest that Genshi just turn Ankoku into a monster egg………doesn’t that imply that they can just shoot the fossilization beam from the start instead of going through a lengthy battle every time?

Toki-G: “If a Space-Time Monster is dominated by a dark heart, they can’t be turned into a monster egg.” Well…..That’s dumb. I mean, I guess I already explained why having that function would be dumb anyway, but the explanation as to why that can’t work is just silly. I thought the explanation would be that they have to be in their tiny forms in order to be fossilized because Ototan doesn’t have the power to fossilize something that big.

They insert an extremely brief flash of white when Merlock hits the rocks. Because that’ll sure trick kids into thinking he…didn’t…hit the rock?

Okay, the white flash thing is something I think happens a lot more than I’ve noticed because I keep seeing it now during this battle, but it’s so quick that I needed to notice it the first time to tell myself to check the rest of the time. It’s definitely not the first time I’ve seen this flash, but it was so quick that it’s literally blink-and-you-miss-it. This is such pointless censorship, if you can even call it that. It’s not like it cuts anything but a frame out, and I guarantee those frames didn’t show anything more violent than what was shown otherwise.

Sora: “The Terracotta soldiers….”

Tokio: “Combined!”

In the dub, Sarah points out that the combined statue is huge. Tony says “At least it’s not moving.” and because the opposite has to happen in order for that to be funny, the opposite happens, and we’re immediately shown the giant Terracotta soldier moving.

Originally, Mite grabs hold of Ankoku’s tentacle as its sucking the life from Dyna to try to yank it off of him while he yells “Hey, you have the wrong guy!” In the dub, for some reason, they changed it to having Mite hug the tentacle and yell “Oh thank you for not hitting me! Thank you!” Dude, your best friend is DYING.

Name Plate removed.

Subbed:

STDGKEP18SCREEN3

Dubbed:

STDGKEP18SCREEN4

Name Change: Super Ammon is changed to Bindi Master

Oh my god, Saban was being so lazy with Petra and Dino’s next lines. In the original, Dyna says “Ammon transformed and became….” while TP Lady finishes with “Super Ammon!” In the dub, they let Dino have all these lip flaps go silent and only let one word out, “Wow” while they load up all of Petra’s lip flaps with “Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow.” No idea what they were going for here, if anything, but that was awful. Please don’t do that again.

Oddly, though, Mite’s “You said it.” line is kept exactly the same in the dub. *shrugs*

Why exactly doesn’t Ammon remember anything of what happened? No other Space-Time Monster has suffered amnesia after being stamped/bad transformed. And even if she did, wouldn’t she still have her memories from when she was Super Ammon? The stamp was gone by then. This makes no sense. She just lost her memories immediately after transforming back into her normal form.

Also, doesn’t that kinda mean this entire episode was more or less pointless? Outside of Kyoichiro gaining a better appreciation for Ammon, I guess, the episode was also supposed to be character development for Ammon in helping her understand that Kyoichiro does care deeply for her, despite ignoring her earlier. Also, it may have helped her realize she was being a bit of a brat for running away just because Kyoichiro had to work and couldn’t pay attention to her. Wiping her memories just wipes any growth that she may have experienced during this episode.

In the original, Ammon says she’ll fight whomever hurt Kyoichiro, not realizing it was her. In the dub, Bindi’s basically worse than she was before because she says he better not be thinking about canceling dinner on her again or he’ll be sorry. He’s clearly hurt and very weak from an event you don’t even remember, but yes, bitch about your dinner plans….

They intercut shots of Tokio talking so they can skip over Kyoichiro’s explanation of his genetic trait. There’s no point in this. All this edit does is allow Tony to whine more about how he has no chance of being a Time Detective since Merlock’s a vampire (originally, he also included Genshi in his complaints, asking if normal people have a chance at being Time Detectives if the only two he’s seen so far are a caveman and a vampire). Originally, Kyoichiro assuaged Sora’s concerns by saying he doesn’t drink blood or do anything evil like a vampire. He’s just “slightly more immortal than the average person.” whatever that means.

Ammon’s lack of development here is highlighted when she slaps away Sora’s hand when Kyoichiro starts sweet talking her and holding her hand. *sigh*

In an odd edit, Old Timer kinda highlights that they edited out additional information on Kyoichiro. Originally, Toki-G said he’s happy all of them are getting along, and he’ll be counting on Kyoichiro and Genshi a lot from now on. In the dub, Old Timer says they’re taking the vampire news better than he thought, and there will be more time to actually discuss that later. I still don’t get why they didn’t discuss that now….I am wracking my brain trying to figure out why they cut that.

They add a white flash to Genshi getting hit in the head by Ototan, but this time they also noticeably remove Genshi’s reaction face.

STDGKEP18SCREEN5———————————-

All in all, this episode is…..pbbbttt pointless. And cliché. How many times have you seen the plot where some immature character is being ignored by someone so they run away, get into trouble, and the person who ignored them comes to their rescue and everything’s made okay because of that? It’s a pretty tired old plot. And, again, cliche’s aren’t inherently bad, but they don’t do anything with this one to make it interesting or unique. In fact, they pretty much make it worse by having Ammon forget literally everything that happened so her bratty entitled behavior doesn’t stop or at least lighten up. Like I said, if anything, she got worse.

I never thought Kyoichiro was really neglectful of Ammon, so anything he learned seems superfluous. Their little moment together was sweet enough, I guess, but it wasn’t all that impacting. It was very much going through the motions of both this very plot and the typical plot the show always has of the Space-Time Monster being brought back to their senses by flashing back to good times with their friend. At least we finally know, for the most part, what Kyoichiro is….unless you watch the dub, where they withhold some information for no reason.

I won’t complain about the lack of a new Space-Time Monster this week because we never really explored Ammon’s powers during her debut, and, being honest, they’re really cool. Her bad transformation is alright, and her super transformation is……pretty…..but also really confusing.

How did we go from a snail who can transform into a giant hermit crab to a….very human fairy being? Also, what do snails and hermit crabs have to do with healing or sucking away life energy? What’s funny about Ammon is that it seems like her most powerful or useful version is her base version because Ankoku seems to focus more on sucking life from things and Super Ammon seems to focus more on healing/restoring energy while normal Ammon can do both seemingly just as powerfully as her other forms.

I also won’t complain about the lack of a historical figure this week because I got to research and discuss the super cool Terracotta Army…..What I will complain about, however, is that they destroyed many of the Terracotta soldiers. Dozens were smashed into a pile of rubble and no one cared. I understand that the Terracotta Army we know now also has a bunch of soldiers that were destroyed either due to age or damage from excavation, but still. I really don’t like when kids’ shows think it’s fine to act like they’re even slightly educational and then spit in the face of what they’re educating the kids about.

Also, despite this being the time period when the Terracotta Army was being built, there’s literally no one around. Not the emperor, not the workers, no one. It’s a completely abandoned area. It’s just weird.

The dub really didn’t have many edits this time around, except for the loads and loads of white flash ‘censors’ and some….very confusing edits like the lip flap thing with TP Lady and removing Kyoichiro explaining his clan’s nature. Because apparently Saban can never leave well enough alone.

Next time, we’re introduced to the Easter Island head themed Space-Time Monster, Moaiwa!

….Previous Episode


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CSBS – American Dragon Jake Long Episode 5: Act 4: Scene 15 Review

ADJLCSBSEP5SCREEN

Plot: After wrestling it away from the Huntsman and Huntsgirl, Jake is tasked with protecting a scarab beetle that has the power to bring the dead back to life.

Meanwhile, he tries to get the attention of Rose, but finds that she’s preoccupied with an upcoming play about Antony and Cleopatra. In order to get closer to Rose, Jake decides to try out for the role of Antony.

Back with Huntsman and Huntsgirl, doubts begin to form in Huntsgirl’s mind about pursuing the beetle any further, believing the dragons probably already sent it back to Egypt. Huntsman refuses to give up the mission, stating it is their destiny to hunt down all dragons and kill them. Not only that, but the beetle is vital to their clan’s future.

He brings Huntsgirl down to the mysterious catacombs where he reveals the tombs of the past fallen Huntsclan members. He plans on using the beetle to bring them all back to life, creating a new army of Huntsclan warriors and wiping out dragons for good.

The next day, Jake lands himself the part of Antony, and he and Rose decide to practice their lines at his grandpa’s shop that night. She suggests practicing the kissing scene since it’s so vital to the play, but Jake, having never kissed a girl before, starts panicking and awkwardly babbling his way through the conversation. His state of panic leads him to accidentally releasing the beetle.

Jake tries to play it cool at school and gets another rehearsal date with Rose, this time at her house, even though she was reluctant to let Jake come over.

That night, Jake is amazed to discover that Rose lives in a massive castle-like mansion with her uncle. They’re about to rehearse the kiss when Rose suddenly freaks out. Her uncle has arrived home. She quickly hides Jake under the table before discretely throwing him out, citing that her uncle is very strict and doesn’t allow visitors. However, Jake lost the beetle again during the chaos after it had sneaked into his backpack.

Jake decides to bring Rose to Trixie’s house to rehearse. They prepare for the kiss scene again, but they both notice the scarab beetle fly out the window. Not wanting to alert the other of their secret identities, they make up a few excuses to quickly rush out and fight over the beetle. After the fight is over, the Huntsman arrives and takes the beetle for himself, revealing his plan to Jake.

Back at home, Fu Dog explains that the Huntsman is probably planning on using the beetle for a spell that brings dead people back to life. Under the light of the full moon, the Huntsman can indeed bring his ancestors back to life – and the moon just happens to be full tonight, the night of the play.

Later, with the help of Spud, Jake learns the location of the tomb of the Huntsclan. He, Grandpa and Fu head there to stop the resurrection, but they’re too late. Several Huntsclan members have been revived, but Fu Dog manages to grab the beetle to prevent any more from coming back.

Jake grabs the spell book and burns it, causing the revived Huntsclan members to die once more. The struggle continues between the Huntsman, Huntsgirl and the dragons, with Huntsgirl accidentally getting her leg injured in the process. Huntsman takes Huntsgirl and leaves, and Jake has just enough time to make it back to the play for Act 4 Scene 15, the big kiss, which is a good thing because without Jake and Rose, the play has been a disaster. Spud and Trixie have had to take the reigns, and it’s becoming an embarrassing display.

Jake makes it in time, but is shocked to see Spud taking over the role of Cleopatra. Rose couldn’t make it back in time, and Trixie was being so obnoxious that they yanked her. He’s forced to kiss Spud, much to his disgust.

The following day, Jake meets back up with Rose who apologizes for missing the play, citing that she got a sprained ankle at a family event. Jake is slightly suspicious as the injury seems very similar to the one Huntsgirl got, but brushes it off and finally asks Rose out on a real date.

She agrees, much to Jake’s delight.

Breakdown:

– Huntsman has a robot in his fireplace specifically designed to take off his glove to reveal his dragon birthmark? Talk about disposable income.

– What is with the trope of auditions having a string of complete idiots? I’ve been to plenty of auditions for school stuff before. They’re never entertaining. It’s just people reading the same lines over and over and being varying degrees of bad to okay.

– It’s kinda funny that Jake tries to be this smooth ladies man ‘mack-daddy’ but the instant Rose mentions practicing the kissing scene, he becomes a complete doof. Quite a realistic portrayal of a 14-year-old boy.

– I appreciate that Fu Dog is supportive about Jake being nervous about his first kiss.

– Jake: “Seriously, my church isn’t this big!” I never knew Jake was religious. That seems….a little…strange considering the various mythos that are real in this series. How does that work?

– Nice Darth Vader reference when Huntsman puts his helmet on.

– Of course the spell can only be done on the night of a full moon, of course the full moon’s that night and OF COURSE the full moon is on the night of the play.

– Why is Jake acting like, as long as he comes in before Act 4 Scene 15 (the kiss) that he’ll still be able to do it? Bringing in an entirely new actor in the middle, or moreso end, of the play for no reason is pretty stupid even for a junior high play. Not to mention, it’s a little insulting to the understudy to bail until you decide to show up then take the best scene in the play all for yourself.

– Why would they not have an understudy for Cleopatra? Why did the woman running this play not notice until Spud was out there doing both roles?

– I love how the cover of the Huntsman’s ancient spell book is literally just a picture of a skull and the word ‘Spells’

– Why would getting the beetle out of the moonlight not stop the Huntzombies but destroying the spell book does?

– They don’t actually have the balls to show the Jake/Spud kiss, but they do let you hear the audience gasping in response. I think they’ll probably skip the episode where the parents’ groups whine about the gayness.

– Macy Gray was in this episode!?! The hell?! She played the woman who was running the play and Trixie’s grandma. Two extremely small bit parts. Wow. Talk about a wasted cameo.

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This episode was fairly good but really, really cliché. Like, appallingly cliché. The school play kiss, the nearly missing the play, the nervousness because the school play kiss is a first kiss, the trying to keep a double life a secret while trying to do two really important things on both sides, the school play falling to pieces because the leads are missing etc. It’s all really old hat.

The aspect of bringing the Huntsclan back to life was interesting, but the payoff was really weak. The ones that did get brought back were no more powerful than any other brainless lackey, and they all had the same character design. They were also beaten in a predictable and easy manner. Not to mention that it was ridiculously easy to find the Huntsclan’s tomb. Spud found it through a few minutes of searching on the Internet…..SPUD found it.

I like that Jake and Rose’s relationship isn’t one of those annoying super-slow burns and that the development is realistic. It’s also nice that they’re allowing us to see Rose’s double life as Huntsgirl. It puts the audience in a unique position of connecting with her as well as Jake while knowing, and dreading, that their happy little romance will likely come crashing down once he finds out the truth.

Many similar shows would have the audience in the dark just as much as Jake is, and the big reveal would come later. This arrangement is much better.

………………….Seriously, Macy Gray was in this episode!


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Sorette Dakara Ne! (ONA) Review

Plot: Released as a promotional ONA for the animated idol group, AGC38, this anime follows a girl named Ayano who is suffering from some kind of terminal illness or condition. Her friends desperately try to convince her to get an operation that could save her life, but she seems to have accepted her fate. However, her friends won’t let her go that easily.

Breakdown: I’m actually a little uneasy about how I feel about this one. It’s an eight-minute web release, so there is no time whatsoever for character development or even exploration. I only remembered two of the girls names by the end and would never be able to pick them out of a lineup except maybe Nene with her weird purple hair rope.

So the focus has to go purely to the story. How’s it fare in that regard?

Just okay.

Ayano has some sort of terminal illness, and her doctor says there’s an operation that they can do to possibly save her, but it only has a 2% success rate. Ayano vehemently refuses to do it.

No matter what her friends do, which is pester her day after day, she still won’t go through with it. I don’t blame her at all. A 2% success rate is appalling, and if there is a 98% chance she’d either be worse off for it or instantly die when she could just live out her sickly days doing what she wants then I completely understand her decision.

Her friends won’t stop asking her about it, though. They bring her gifts everyday and ask her to reconsider. Her closest friend, Nene, soon snaps, slaps her in the face, complains about the fact that Ayano doesn’t understand how they feel about the situation and runs off.

Okay, I understand emotional outbursts in times like this, but that was the wrong way to handle this situation. The slap is bad enough, but she’s actually straight out saying ‘Well, what about meeeee?’ Way to make someone’s terminal medical condition about you.

It takes that and learning that Nene prayed at a shrine for Ayano’s recovery that she decides to do the procedure, which I also find slightly questionable. It makes it seem like she is just choosing to take an operation with appalling odds (odds I don’t even think most doctors would operate on?) just to appease her friend. It’s a sweet gesture, but she shouldn’t feel she has to do something like that.

However, after she decides to have the operation, we get quite a few cute, but really quick, shots that warm the heart like Nene focusing more during archery because she has faith in Ayano, the girls writing ‘Hold out’ outside of Ayano’s hospital with their umbrellas etc.

Then she dies. The end.

……..Oh alright, of course she doesn’t die. That’d be the non-Hallmark Channel version. Instead, she lives, hooray, and gets to go after some guy who hasn’t been seen this entire ONA.

The actual end.

Oh, but we also get 2 minutes and 40 seconds worth of end credits. I will never understand why ONAs and OVAs that are so pressed for time will easily flush a good chunk of it away with credits. Credits are important, but they don’t have to be so long.

Art and Animation: Surprisingly really detailed and fluid for just a short ONA. Ayano’s hair bugged me a lot, though. I just wanted to reach my hand through the monitor and brush it away from her eye. Why does she like it like that?

Music: The music’s forgettable, but decent enough.

Bottomline: You’d lose nothing from watching this, especially at a paltry eight minute runtime, but you also won’t gain much from watching it either. It’s a cute little story and a shot or two may tug at the heartstrings, but you don’t know any of these characters well enough for this story to have a true impact, and the fact that the girls are so pushy about making Ayano do the surgery, something which has a much bigger chance of harming or killing her than making her better, is a little off putting.

Additional Information and Notes: Sorette Nakara Ne! was produced by Asahi Production.

Episodes: 1

Runtime: 8 minutes

Year: 2011

Recommended Audience: They don’t even show the slap, but it does discuss terminal illness and death, so probably 6+


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