Plot: Seiya’s next match is against the owner of the Dragon Cloth – Shiryu. With the power of the strongest shield and fist, he’s certainly a fierce opponent, but no matter how badly he gets beaten, Seiya keeps getting back up. Shiryu gets news in the middle of his fight that his beloved master is terribly ill. Shiryu wants to see him as soon as possible, but he can’t forfeit the match and face his master in shame. Neither will Seiya give in and give up his only chance to find his sister. But how can one beat a warrior who boasts having both the strongest attack and the strongest shield?
Breakdown: This episode was very intense from start to finish. Before we’re even five minutes in, Seiya is laid out flat on the canvas and is bleeding heavily from his mouth. It really looks as if he’s been defeated, but Seiya just won’t stay down, which really makes me question how long exactly a fighter is allowed to stay down without being counted out. There are about three times in this episode where Seiya is laid out motionless on the floor of the ring for extended periods of time, and yet no one calls the match. One instance even really seemed like Seiya was dead. He was completely unconscious in a pool of his own blood, but no one was calling it. Is there some main character clause in the tournament rules?
Shiryu’s backstory is short but sweet. He loves his smurf/elf fusion-esque master as a father. His master taught him everything he knows and gave him the courage and strength to reverse the flow of a waterfall with his power to prove himself worthy of the Dragon Cloth. He’s currently very ill, however, and Shiryu is desperate to go see him. However, Seiya won’t stay down, and no one will call the damn match, so he can’t leave.
Shiryu really proves to be an impressive powerhouse. He was always one of my favorite characters in the show. He has an extremely strong defense in his, admittedly small, shield, and an extremely powerful offense in his fist. His punch is so strong, in fact, that it manages to shatter the armor on Seiya’s left arm in just one hit, badly wounding his forearm and getting him in the face at the same time.
I will say, if there’s one thing I was disappointed in, it was how Seiya managed to break the shield and stop Seiryu’s fist. His strategy was based on the Spear-Shield Paradox – a Chinese story of a man who tried to sell the world’s strongest shield, that could stop any spear, and the world’s strongest spear, that could pierce any shield. When a customer asked what would happen should the shield and spear collide, the seller gave no answer. Instead of this being a paradox, however, the solution given in the show is that they destroy each other. That is one of the theories, but they act like that’s the definitive answer when it’s not. Hence why it’s a very famous paradox. Seiya basically risked his life on a complete gamble.
And when I say he risked his life, I mean this crazy bastard literally went at Shiryu face first. His plan was to go at him face first so Shiryu would guard with his shield, punch with his fist and wind up missing Seiya and hitting the shield, which would destroy both. His plan relied on 1) The shield and fist both breaking instead of just canceling each other out or something. 2) Shiryu not preparing for such an attack, which he did, delivering what would have been a fatal blow to Seiya’s head with his shield if not for Seiya’s helmet, 3) Shiryu trying to also punch him after delivering this terrible blow, which, honestly, would be overkill in that moment (It really looked like’s Seiya’s head was crushed after that. It was very bad). And 4) Shiryu missing Seiya’s head and hitting his shield/Shiryu not putting his shield down after hitting Seiya.
So many dominoes had to be fall in such a precise manner that it’s insane the events actually unfolded as they did.
What’s even more frustrating is that Seiya was horrifically injured after this. Like I said, he was lying in a pool of his own blood unconscious on the ground, clearly suffering from a terrible head injury, and yet they were almost acting as if the match might end in a stalemate because Shiryu’s shield was broken and his fist was injured. But he was standing and was completely uninjured besides that. Count out the half-dead horse.
But of course they don’t. He somehow manages to get back up, both of them shed their armor and they prepare to take each other on bare-fisted. Seiya’s resilience is one thing, but he really doesn’t seem all that wounded when they restart their fight in the end. He had a bad stomach/chest wound that nearly knocked him out at the start. He had an arm injury, hit in the head a couple times and then that skull-shattering blow he just took. And yet he looks relatively fine.
I get it, it’s willpower, that’s great, and I’m not rooting for Seiya to lose or die, but I’m just saying that my suspension of disbelief is being spread awful thin here, to the point where I really feel like he’s just milking his main character status. If he didn’t absolutely need to win this tournament and wasn’t the main character, he’d totally be out by now, if not by knockout surely by just dying.
I worry that, should Shiryu lose in the next episode, it might be by more BS. I don’t doubt the match will be great, but I figure Seiya has to win, and I can’t see how he’d win without pulling something out of his ass.
All in all, this was a fantastic episode just with one glaring point of BS with him breaking the shield and fist, and a little less glaring with him not being counted out. He had to have spent well over an accumulative five minutes on the floor, most of them unconscious, and yet no one called it.
Next time, Seiya’s match with Shiryu concludes. Can the pegasus find a way to beat the dragon?
Plot: Lan, Yai, Maylu and Dex are recruited by the tech-hating/fish-lovin’ Maysa to get out and do physical activities instead of staying inside playing with their NetNavis all day. When WWW causes more havoc in the city by unleashing all of the fish from a robotic aquarium, the kids will have to utilize what they’ve learned about fish by Maysa to fight them.
Breakdown: Today’s episode starts with Maysa, the fish salesman, bursting into the kids’ fancy treehouse base as they fight their NetNavis. Maysa hates technology and NetNavis, so he demands that the kids do as he did as a kid and go out and play.
Now you may be wondering why they’re listening to a man none of them are related to and has no actual authority over them.
Dex: “Tell me. Why are we doing this, Lan?”
Lan: “Don’t make Maysa mad. Otherwise, he’ll throw fish at me again.”
Pretty sure you can have him arrested for that. Or just….go home?
Maysa makes them all run, even though they all cheat by using rollerblades, skateboards and scooters. Then he makes them do push-ups, climb a tree 100 times, swim 100 laps, then he hits tons of baseballs at the kids, demanding they try to catch them, which is beyond unsafe. They’re literally weathering a hail of baseballs being shot at them at like 40mph.
I’m sorry. I thought you just wanted them to go outside and play. Why are you training them like they’re soldiers heading off to war tomorrow?
As this all goes on, WWW gathers for their next big chaotic plan – letting all of the robotic fish at a local robo-fish aquarium out and cause chaos in the streets. I actually think the idea of a robo-fish aquarium is pretty cool. Designing fish that look and move exactly like the fish they’re emulating while also avoiding capturing and potentially harming real fish is awesome, although I can imagine it’s not the same thing as actually seeing the real fish. Robots are really cool, I love them a lot, but I don’t think robots would be able to adequately replace the experience of seeing the real thing.
WWW creates a bunch of jellyfish virus things, which turn the floor of a virtual space all wavy and watery, and they let out all of the fish.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Letting all of these robo-fish out would probably do nothing, right? Because they’re…ya know….fish? That can’t travel on land.
Well, these robo-fish can FLY……….for some reason. They just float around in the air like it’s water somehow. They were in water in the aquarium so I have no idea why these robo-fish are all designed to float in the air. There’s no need for such a function.
As the kids finally rest after being run like dogs, Maysa takes the opportunity to teach the kids some ‘fun fish facts’ which means the info being conveyed here is bound to be brought back up when they fight the robo-fish.
The first fish fact is that red sea bream have different colors depending on if they’re wild or farm-raised. Wild sea bream will be lighter/brighter red, and farm-raised sea bream will be darker because they’re raised in more shallow water, causing them to get sun burned.
Now, believe it or not, in some conditions, including being in shallow clear water, fish can get sun burned. However, this is not the cause of the farm-raised red sea bream’s darker color (the reason for that is unknown) and sunburning actually causes the skin of fish to turn whitish in color, not red. In fact, when fish get so much sun exposure that they end up sun burned, it’s a pretty horrific deal.
Most fish have a naturally occurring substance in their body called gadusol, which gives them great protection from UV rays, but it’s not foolproof. Just like with regular sunscreen, if the exposure is extreme enough and long enough, they’ll wind up getting burned.
The sunburns of fish involve the development of terrible sores which leave muscle tissue and cartilage exposed. Fish can suffer from kidney damage and even die if their sunburns get severe enough.
Dex: “No kidding! That’s pretty cool!” A fish having a perpetual sunburn is cool, Dex?
Maylu: “Yeah, I never knew that!” I’m sure your knowledge pool of red sea bream was so deep, too, Maylu….
Next, he explains that longfin tuna or albacore are called as such because of their long pectoral fins. This is correct.
Lan complains about how boring all of this is and asks Megaman if he can get him out of this, but Megaman refuses and says the fish facts might prove helpful. In any other situation, no….none of this information would be helpful or necessary in the slightest, but because of the obvious set up, we know they’ll reincorporate these “facts” in the final battle.
Maysa then states that jellyfish are 90% water, which is also a little inaccurate. They’re more like 95% water.
The robo-fish arrive, and Lan and Yai jack in Megaman and Glide to the location to figure out what’s going on before running away from the attacking fish.
Maysa slices a goddamn robo-bluefin tuna right down the middle with a normal filet knife, which…yeah okay.
Maysa: “That bluefin tuna weighed 350 pounds!” First of all, it was a robot not a real bluefin tuna. Second, even if it was a real bluefin, how can you tell the weight by merely looking at it? Finally, adult bluefin tuna weigh between 500-550 pounds, so why are you acting like this one, if it is the weight you claim, is some giant? As a robot, it should actually weigh more than a natural one would.
Megaman and Glide reach the aquarium’s server and discover the new watery area inhabited by Sharkman.
Under the water lies the viral jellyfish. Megaman’s outnumbered and can’t do much without a BattleChip, but Lan is too busy running from the robo-fish, specifically a shark, to upload one. Suddenly, Maysa has an idea. He tells everyone to stop running and stand really still. They do so, and the shark just floats on by.
According to Maysa, sharks are attracted by activity, so if you stop moving they’ll just avoid you.
No….that’s not right.
It’s true that movement has been known to prompt some shark attacks, but for the most part people typically get attacked by sharks for looking too similar to seals (in silhouette) and hanging around bait fish, which is why a lot of shark attacks happen while people are sitting on surfboards or lying on boogie boards. Attacks commonly do happen when a person is basically still, just hanging out in the water.
However, most importantly, sharks don’t hunt humans. There are instances where sharks will attack completely unprovoked, but they almost always try to avoid people. The odds of a shark chasing down a group of people like this is slim.
Not to mention that he’s acting as if movement is either the trigger for the predatory sense and removing it will make them docile or that they have some sort of t-rex-esque ‘their vision is based on movement’ thing, which is also very wrong both for sharks and t-rexes.
The most damning thing about this whole scene is, even if what he said was true, he’s assuming the robo-shark will work exactly like a real shark and not pursue them anymore when they stand still. That might make some sense, but still be very risky, considering they do seem to be designed to emulate the fish as much as possible….except, ya know…..the flying thing. If they were truly designed with as much tech as possible to emulate their respective fish perfectly, there’s no way they’d be floating in the air right now. In fact, there’s no way they’d be functional because they wouldn’t be able to breathe outside of water.
Lan: “And here I thought fish facts were stupid!” His fish “facts” are kinda stupid, Lan, so…yeah.
Maysa: “Having a PhD in fishology finally paid off!” This is likely a joke, I think anyway, but the study of fish is ichthyology.
The shark comes back and chases them all again because Maysa was being so loud. I thought it was movement, not sound, that attracts them, Maysa.
Back in the virtual space, Megaman continues to have difficulties fighting off the jellyfish because the water is slowing down his response systems. Megaman jumps out of the water and back to land again to escape the jellyfish. However, he’s not safe. The jellyfish all merge to create one giant jellyfish virus and float out of the water.
In the real world, Lan and the others are cornered in an alleyway by the shark, and despite the loud yelling being what attracted the shark before, supposedly, Lan and Dex keep yelling because Lan is frustrated that he needs to leave to jack in and help Megaman but he’s trapped.
Seeing how much Lan cares for Megaman, Maysa offers to be a decoy for the shark so Lan can escape and help Megaman. Ya know, if the shark really does act like a shark, maybe try punching it in the gills or nose a few times and poke its eyes.
Despite their concerns, Maysa runs off, the shark follows and the kids head to the robot aquarium to make a direct link to the server. When they arrive, they’re confronted by a kickass robo-squid. The squid actually looks bigger than the aquarium so where the heck was this thing stored?
Lan knows he doesn’t have time to hesitate, though, so he just maneuvers his way under the squid’s tentacles and enters the robot aquarium.
He connects to the mainframe and uses his Cyber Sword BattleChip. Megaman slashes up the jellyfish, but it quickly repairs the damage and even grows larger.
So, uh, Glide….you wanna, uh,…..do anything at some point? Glide has literally just stood in one spot this entire time. Why is he even here?
The jellyfish creates a tidal wave that crashes over Megaman and Glide. Lan only has two BattleChips left – neither of which can help him in this situation. Suddenly, something whizzes by Lan’s face. On the wall next to him, he sees a metal fish skeleton embedded in the wall with a new BattleChip hanging from it – the Electro Sword. Points to whomever saw electricity being the key to beating the 95% water jellyfish virus the instant they mentioned that fact. Fewer points if you knew that mostly because of Pokemon.
Maysa totally threw that, by the way. There’s no one else it could possibly be.
Also, this isn’t technically Lan learning any lesson. If he saw a new BattleChip being gifted to him specifically and none of his other BattleChips were useful, of course he’d use it to try and beat the jellyfish.
Despite being able to easily hit the jellyfish before, it’s too fast for the electrified Megaman to hit now….for some reason. Sharkman comes up and attacks the jellyfish…..oh….Sharkman is Maysa’s NetNavi isn’t he? I bet you anything he is.
This feels a lot like Coach Mountain from Medabots who acted like he vehemently hated Medabots and wanted his students to stop spending time with them, but then it’s revealed that he has his own Medabot and actually participates in robattles and he’s a big hypocrite.
Megaman has his opening to strike, so he does, electrifying the jellyfish and deleting it.
Glide: “Well done, Megaman! Excellently executed!” Yes, and you did a great job being a useless tin can, Glide. Seriously, why was Glide even here? I swear he never moved a muscle.
Sharkman introduces himself to Megaman, claiming he wanted to do this on his own but Megaman’s help was welcome. Despite acting like an enemy, he asserts himself as an ally before taking his leave.
Megaman: “Sharkman? I thought he was just a legend.” Really? What’s so special about him?
Lan reunites with the others, giving full credit on his win to Maysa for teaching him about jellyfish. He looks at the fish skeleton thing in his hands and wonders where it came from. I wonder that too because Maysa is nowhere near Lan. Even if Maysa had someone else give Lan that BattleChip, who could it have been and how? Lan was in a tiny cramped control room and no one else was around.
Cut to Maysa who is standing on top of a tower with the robo-shark impaled on the top pole. What the frick? What happened there? I want to see that battle not Pikachu vs. Tentacruel.
Also, despite them not fully revealing it in this episode, I totally called it, Sharkman was Maysa’s NetNavi. Reading up a bit more on him, I guess he’s not the same hypocrite that Coach Mountain was and his seemingly anti-NetNavi ways are more of a cover, but if that’s true why did he get so worked up about physically training Lan and the others? Shouldn’t he be happy that they’re spending so much time battling their NetNavis?
Even though it was kinda cool to see the robot fish, particularly the squid, and Sharkman’s really cool-looking, the episode as a whole was just dumb and pointless. The fish “facts” they learned weren’t actual facts most of the time, the ones that were facts were inaccurate on the details, and the aspect of robo-fish escaping an aquarium and flying all over town tormenting people is just silly. Not as silly as having the main conflict of an episode being getting a little girl to the potty so she can go tinkle in time, but still.
If I seemed nitpicky about the fish facts it’s only because the episode as a whole relied on them. If you’re going to center an episode about fish facts, then maybe check to see if the fish facts are actual facts. It annoys me so much when kids shows act like they’re being educational but they’re really being half-assed about actually teaching anything. Granted, it’s not like this information would ever be useful in real life, but you should still give an effort to actually teach kids something. Teaching is pointless if the information isn’t accurate.
The stuff about the shark might actually be kinda dangerous. The odds of a kid coming into contact with a shark are extremely low, but if they learned from this show they’d think their best course of action during an attack would be to keep very still and quiet, which may very well get them killed.
I still don’t understand why we dedicated so much time to having the kids do all of that physical training. It never benefited them. It was a huge waste of time. The episode should have been Maysa pestering them to learn about fish for whatever reason the entire time. It is good to teach kids that they should put their devices down every once in a while and go out to get some sunshine and exercise, but if you’re going to make that seem like hellish work with no payoff then you’re giving off mixed signals.
Next time, apparently the next episode is one they skipped and instead we’re getting one about hypnosis and MagicMan.
Plot: On a trip to the beach, Ikki and Metabee face off against a bunch of jerks who want them off their beach. Meanwhile, there’s a sea monster looming in the shadows.
Sharkkan: A SAK Medabot, Sharkkan’s design is based off of a shark. Sharkkan is an aquatic Medabot that can move very swiftly in the water. It also has arms in the shape of shark jaws.
Tentaclam: A CLA type, Tentaclam is based off of an octopus. Like Sharkkan, it is an aquatic Medabot that can move easily in the water. Tentaclam has two pincers on the ends of its arms that can be detached, shot off and latched onto nearby objects before being pulled in by cables.
Ryan vs. Ikki:Winner – Ryan (Metabee surrendered his legs.)
Ryan vs. Ikki (Rematch): Winner – Ikki (Metabee earned his legs back.)
Breakdown: Ikki, Metabee, Erika and…..I’m gonna be honest – I don’t know who the frick this guy is. It has been a hot minute since I last picked up Medabots, but I legitimately can’t remember who this person is, they never say his name in this episode, and, for the life of me, I can’t find a way to Google who this is. No one seems to match his description in the Wiki’s character list. He’s an adult, I guess, and that’s all you need to know.
Anyway, they’re all taking a quaint trip to the beach. The adult dude falls asleep while the kids head off to swim. Metabee has a scuba mask on for some inexplicable reason.
Metabee: “Swan dive!” That was not, in any way, a swan dive. You might as well have just stepped off the ledge.
When Metabee dives in, he freaks out when he realizes the water is salt water, which will make him rust. How’d he know the water was salt water? Why did Ikki take his Medabot to the beach when he can neither swim nor tolerate salt water?
By the way, does anyone want to tell him that all water makes metal rust? Salt just speeds up the process.
Ikki: “Oh come on. Medabots don’t rust that fast.” Still a shitty way to care for your Medabot. Ya know, the one you couldn’t afford in the first place.
Metabee sulks on the beach after Ikki tells him to just leave the water if he’s going to be crabby.
Metabee: “Ugh, I can’t believe Ikki let me go into the water. Me plus water equals rust. Rust plus me equals me getting ripped up the gill, ya know what I’m sayin’? GegegegegeGEKOW!”
No, Metabee, I don’t know what you’re saying. But I am about to research whether robots can have strokes.
First of all, now you’re just saying it was the water, not salt water, that you’re averse to. And you’re also mad at Ikki for “letting” you go into the water because water makes you rust…..Kinda makes you seem like an idiot if you knew water makes you rust but you went in the water anyway. At least when the salt was the reason you could make the argument that you didn’t know ocean water was salt water and Ikki should have told you.
Additionally, it’s a bit ironic that you’re mad about him ‘letting’ you do that when you were just adamant a minute ago about not being his to control.
Second of all, what in the glitchy matrix just happened to you near the end there? I can’t even tell if I accurately transcribed the last words before the gibberish correctly, but then you go off and spout random noises like someone was electrocuting your ass.
Three beach brats come over and start bullying Metabee, even poking him repeatedly in the head with sticks. Ikki arrives, and he seemingly gets angry with Metabee for some reason? Once they have a little spat, Ikki tells the jerks to go away, but they’re locals so, like a beach movie set in 1954, they tell him to leave their beach because strangers aren’t welcome.
They then reveal that the local sea monster also hates strangers.
Later, at a restaurant, Ikki asks the owner if she knows about the sea monster. She noticeably gets very nervous and tries to avoid the question. Erika says, if there is a monster, they should investigate. The owner tries to warn them to stay away from the rocks of the beach when a bunch of people run by the restaurant screaming. They claim to have seen the monster, but none of them can agree upon what it looked like.
Ikki and Erika head to the beach to investigate only to find that it’s entirely abandoned due to sea monster sightings……Uh, yeah, calling it right now, this is some Scooby-Doo bullshit right here.
Also, the entire beach was cleared out because of sea monster sightings? No skeptics, no people who think they’d be safe on the sand, no people with Medabots who might try to fight it – just a couple of tweenagers and their Medabot?
Erika is psyched about figuring out the scoop behind this sea monster, but Ikki couldn’t care less.
They spot a mysterious old man sitting quietly on a rock playing a shamisen by the water. Metabee tries to talk with him, but he only gets a few words out of the old man.
His Medabot, Tentaclam, arrives and catches a huge net full of fish. They then walk off together.
The three jerks arrive wondering why Ikki, Erika and Metabee haven’t left yet. Blah blah blah, the leader, Ryan, challenges Ikki to a robattle.
Ikki boasts that he and Metabee have never lost a robattle…..so yeah, now that he said that he’s totally going to lose.
Ryan’s Medabot is Sharkkan, and he immediately heads into the water. Metabee tries to follow by boat, but his bullets can’t hit Sharkkan underwater. Suddenly, Metabee gets very dizzy and nauseous. He’s so sea sick that he has to forfeit the match, surrendering his legs to Ryan.
Yes, you read that right. Metabee, the undefeated Medabot, lost his first match…..because he got sea sick.
Metabee, the ROBOT, lost because he got sea sick.
Metabee, the robot without a stomach and balance sensory systems/perception systems that don’t work in any way like a human’s would……got his first loss, via forfeit no less….by getting sea sick.
This is monumentally dumb.
At sunset, Ikki and Metabee lament their loss – Metabee wearing a goofy pair of spare legs that I think he got from Banisher.
Ikki: “He knew Metabee couldn’t swim, so he tricked him into a water robattle. Seems like cheating.” Uhm, shut your stupid lying mouth, Ikki.
Metabee didn’t even try to swim, so you’re already wrong there. Ryan didn’t trick HIM into anything. He and his goons just egged you on a bit, and YOU accepted a challenge for a robattle. Finally, using an aquatic Medabot in the water is just using the Medabot the way it was intended to be used. If anything, it was quite even. If he used his aquatic Medabot on land, he’d have a major disadvantage, but Metabee would have a huge advantage. If you had just said ‘Metabee don’t go in the water.’ then either the robattle would end in a stalemate because neither party would choose to leave their respective areas, or Skarkkan would leave the water because he was sick of waiting.
Basically, both of you are idiots, but Metabee’s less of an idiot because….
Metabee: “Nah, that’s just good strategy. He just won it fair and square.”
Of course, he loses some points with his next line.
Metabee: “Urgh, I’d love a rematch, but where am I going to learn how to swim?” I thought you plus water equaled rust and you didn’t want rust? Now you want to swim?
But again, just DON’T GO IN THE WATER. Even if he learned how to swim, he’d still be at a major advantage because Sharkkan’s a full aquatic Medabot with parts and weaponry designed for water robattles. Why give him that?
Ikki and Metabee have a brain blast, so they head to see the old man. They beg him for help in getting Metabee ready for water robattling. The old man loans him some spare legs from his Tentaclam. And, of course, Ikki and Metabee being the way they are, they bitch about the free shit they’re getting.
Metabee: “They’re so old.”
Ikki: “Do they even still work?” No, Ikki, he gave you non-working garbage because he’s trolling you.
Metabee jumps in the water, but he soon capsizes. Seems like just getting aquatic legs isn’t enough for him to function properly in the water, which makes sense. After all, the rest of him isn’t designed to be in the water.
They beg him to teach them how to deal with sea combat, and yeah whatever – what time is it?
The sun is going down quite a bit. Where is adult dude, and why are you guys not heading home yet? Your parents obviously aren’t here, you took a bus, and I can’t imagine that they approved of you guys staying at the beach overnight.
We then get a training montage of them doing a bunch of Karate Kid-esque chores for the old man. This montage clearly takes place over several days because we see more sunsets and implications of mornings. Again, where is adult dude and why are you guys not home right now? Are you missing school for this?
After the training montage, Ikki and Metabee collapse in the sand begging for water. Why is Metabee, the robot, asking for water?
The dog that’s with them, I forget to whom it belongs, brings them water bottles that look oddly like baby bottles. Ikki chugs his water and Metabee pours his on his head….because the Medabot who hated water at the beginning of this episode has suddenly decided that pouring it all over his head is the best thing ever.
Ikki and Metabee hear Erika screaming in terror of the sea monster. However, the ‘sea monster’ trips, and reveals that it was just the three Medabots owned by the beach jerks covered in seaweed. They made up the stuff about the sea monster to keep tourists off the beach. Yup. Scooby-Doo’d.
Also, I weep for humanity if literally everyone was scared to death of this thing.
Ikki and Ryan start a rematch. Metabee uses his Tentaclam legs, but this time he’s able to stand upright as the legs help him float on the surface. His training was meant to improve his sense of balance so he could stand on water, which…okay, but that solves literally no problems they were having. Metabee already had a boat, which allowed him to float on top of the water, soooooooooooooooooo…..???
Also, I don’t think that simply not being in a boat would prevent you from getting sea sick while floating on water, so what happened to that problem?
Whatever, Metabee still has problems fighting Sharkkan because he can move super quickly in the water and Metabee’s shots can’t hit him. Moreover, Sharkkan is now taking the offensive by hitting Metabee with torpedoes and leaping out of the water to strike at him directly.
Ikki is incredibly frustrated because he has no idea what to do to gain the upperhand. Metabee can now float on the water without issue, but he still can’t swim, giving Sharkkan a huge advantage. The old man reveals that the secret to this fight is in Sharkkan’s shark design. It gives off a warning before it strikes, and Ikki deduces that he means the dorsal fin peaking out over the surface before it strikes.
…Well…uh…duh. How did you not notice that before now? It’s the most signature thing about sharks. You show a dorsal fin sticking out of the water, people instantly think ‘shark.’ How are you this slow, Ikki?
The next time Sharkkan strikes, Ikki notices where he is via the dorsal fin, warns Metabee that Sharkkan’s behind him and Metabee is able to get a direct hit with his guns when Sharkkan comes out of the water.
Sharkkan is defeated, and Metabee gets his legs back.
At sunset, because they’ll apparently never go home, Ryan explains that his dad taught him that tourists are bad because they pollute the beach with their trash and they ruin the environment, so they decided to bully and scare every tourist away from the beach with their makeshift sea monster.
I guess this was supposed to be foreshadowed when Metabee threw his scuba mask on the sand, because that’s when they first met the beach jerks. It was also shown that the beach was filthy when the beachgoers were scared off, but they never draw attention to the littering. I had to go back and rewatch sections just to see if this out-of-nowhere PSA had some build up to it because it was never brought to the audience’s attention through dialogue.
Also, you’re kinda terrifying the locals too, if that restaurant owner was any indication. Unless she’s in on it.
Ryan and Ikki mend bridges, and the old man bids Ikki and Metabee farewell. He allows them to keep the Tentaclam legs as long as they always remember to respect the sea.
Our final shot is of adult guy still asleep on the beach, now horribly sunburned. Uh, can we get an ambulance? Because this guy has clearly been asleep for about a week, and he probably has third degree burns by now.
It’s at this point in the show when you really have to accept that this series is just plain bad. And it’s not only bad – it’s lazy. It’s probably one of the laziest series I’ve ever watched. Everything about it is just the bare minimum they can do without paying an iota of attention to the question “Does this make sense?”
One of the most basic things you can do when writing a story is establish a conflict, work out a resolution and resolve it. But this show can’t even do that correctly. I am still confused as to what Metabee’s actual problem was. First it was saltwater, then it was just water, then it was that he gets sea sick, then it was that he can’t swim, then it was that he couldn’t work the Tentaclam legs correctly.
The solution to any one of those problems was just to teach Metabee better balance so that he can stay on the water’s surface, but that doesn’t make any sense. He’s a robot. If he has balance issues, it’s either because of his design or his programming. You can’t really teach a robot balance. Not to mention that, while some of the chores the old man had them doing could be considered training in balance, like pulling the old man while they’re on stilts, most of it had nothing to do with balance.
He had them carrying wood, pushing one of those giant wooden crank things, blowing air onto a fire, carrying him on a giant rock up a mountain, giving him a frickin’ massage, which was just plain creepy.
A lot of shows do this, where they reference The Karate Kid’s training sequence of seemingly doing random chores only to show that it actually had practical applications in the student’s journey, but then a lot of them screw it up by not actually coming up with ways these chores applied to their practice. This is one of the worst examples.
It’s even more pointless because Metabee balancing on top of the water didn’t even do much. He could have defeated Sharkkan this way in the boat. All he needed to know was that you can detect Sharkkan via his dorsal fin. And Ikki didn’t even figure that part out on his own – he had to have the old man practically spell it out for him.
I will give this episode this much – there were quite a few funny expressions and even some funny lines. And I will never get tired of Ikki’s voice actor’s complete inability to scream in a believable manner. Just the terrible voice acting as a whole, honestly. I have a feeling this series was mostly a ‘Thank god, a paycheck.’ job for most of the voice actors. I don’t blame them for barely putting in any effort. Why do that when the series itself doesn’t? It makes for some funny moments anyway. That’s why I keep enjoying watching Medabots. It’s lazy, silly and stupid, but it has a lot of fun and ridiculousness to keep me entertained most of the time. Even if I’m just preoccupied trying to do the mental gymnastics around their writing choices, I tend to enjoy myself.
Plus, I do really like the designs of Tentaclam and Sharkkan. I wish we had seen the other jerks’ Medabots. We see them very, very briefly, but we never learn what they are, and the angles on them are so poor I can’t even remember what they looked like.
Next time, might as well keep in with the Scooby Doo-ness with some G-g-g-GHOSTS!
Plot: After leaving for the Amazon to find a new dinosaur, Chomp gets separated from the group and lost in the dense jungle. Soon after, Max gets lost trying to find him. Can they regroup, find the dino and capture it before the Alpha Gang?
Breakdown: Ya know, sometimes I get really sad watching kids shows as an adult because there are certain occasions where it makes me feel my old-ness. I was watching the first five minutes of this episode and had the following thoughts.
*Max’s dad tries to give him all sorts of supplies for keeping him safe in the Amazon (barring the stupid ‘this one stops bad breath’ one)* *the supplies don’t make it through the transporter for some reason* Me: “Oh that’s a shame. They could really use those supplies. They should be more properly prepared before making these trips so they stay safe.”
*About 30 seconds later* Me: “Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, they really should have stopped off to get vaccinations too.”
“Ah, no. Don’t split up. There’s a reason the buddy system exists, guys. You’re in the Amazon rainforest, not the park.”
“Ah, good. At least Zoey and Rex were smart enough to put their dinos in their card forms to ensure they don’t lose them. Nice to see some responsible kids nowadays – what the hell is happening to me?”
Anyway…..*lip smack* This episode is boring as buckets and as stupid as the last thing on Twitter that made you really angry.
This episode has no story…..like….none. Chomp gets lost for stupid reasons. Max gets lost for stupid reasons. Zoey and Rex meet a saltasaurus. The Alpha Gang fight the saltasaurus with Spiny…..Zoey and Rex just…..watch. They don’t help at all. Dunno why. They just leave their dinosaurs in their cards and spectate this innocent dinosaur getting attacked by evil people. Our heroes.
The saltasaurus manages to get away because Spiny randomly lost its energy. The saltasaurus starts chasing Max for seemingly no reason – we’ll get to that in a sec. Chomp fights a crocodile, which is simultaneously the most interesting thing in this episode and yet, still, somehow boring. Chomp is suddenly able to hear Max yell out for it. Max and Chomp fight the saltasaurus despite being reunited with Zoey and Rex.
Rex: “Should we call out our dinosaurs?”
‘Durrrr, should we….help or something?’
‘Nah, they got this.’
‘Why the fuck are we here?’
*the saltasaurus gets defeated and turns into a card*
Zoey: “Did Chomp win?” No…..No….he didn’t. Chomp died and the saltasaurus did a victory transformation into a card.
Rex: “Yeah, he clobbered that saltasaurus!” You’re awful happy about an innocent herbivore dinosaur getting its ass whupped.
Max: “You fought so hard, you turned back into a card.” So, it’s probably a good idea to leave him in that state to rest, then, righ–
*instantly de-cards him*
Oh well, screw me, apparently.
They find a lizard that Max found a few minutes prior to the saltasaurus chasing him and deduce that the saltasaurus was after the lizard, not Max.
You may be wondering things like ‘What?’ and ‘Huh?’
Dr. Taylor explains this by claiming the saltasaurus was thinking the lizard was its family, since ‘saltasaurus’ literally translates to ‘lizard from Salta.’ Salta is the name of the town in South America where the fossils of saltasaurus were first found – information that has no bearing on this explanation whatsoever, but Dr. Taylor still thought to share it. It’s not like the saltasaurus knew it was Salta anyway. Salta didn’t exist back when the saltasaurus existed….They’re both lizards, so it followed it, thinking it was family.
First of all, saltasauruses were not lizards. It’s just a name. They do have some lizards traits, but they’re not lizards.
Second, this saltasaurus must have the eyes of a hawk fusion-danced with an owl because it somehow saw this teeny tiny lizard in enough detail to think it was family when the saltasaurus is massive.
Third, dinosaurs aren’t exactly known for their brain power, but it is way too stupid to believe that this dinosaur would follow this tiny lizard, thinking they were the same species. That’s like a lost lion finding a house cat and following it, thinking they’re family……Actually, that’s being a bit generous. It’s more like the Liger Zero Zoid following a cat, thinking they’re family.
Whatever, they have a saltasaurus now. From what I read, it never matters. No lessons were learned, no characters were developed, no story was furthered. This was a huge waste of time.
Oh well, at least they didn’t destroy any precious historical landmarks today.
I’m sincerely thinking about dropping this series. It’s just not enjoyable to watch. It has the intelligence level of a candy bar wrapper and it’s not fun. If anything, you have to be fun, especially for a kids’ show. I can accept plenty of silliness and, even though I find it insulting to kids, stupidity in the writing for shounen shows, but if you’re not going to be fun, why even bother?
This is a show where you collect dinosaurs, give them magical powers by swiping cards, have them fight each other, and, when they’re not doing that, they’re cool trading cards or chibi-dinos that are convenient pets. All the while, you’re traveling the world in an instant and seeing precious historical landmarks (that you may or may not destroy.) It is ridiculous that this show can’t manage to be entertaining with that premise, but they found a way.
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Plot: Aichi’s match with Gouki is heating up, and it’s closer than anyone ever expected. With the regionals hanging in the balance, Aichi can’t afford to make any mistakes. Gouki’s Granblue deck is giving Aichi more than a run for his money, but with Aichi’s newfound confidence guiding the way it could lead him to the win Q4 so desperately needs to move on to nationals.
Why? Why are they doing this?
Why……are they starting Heart of the Cards supernatural bullshit now?
Let me get this out of the way – this was a GREAT match, and definitely a step up from the start we saw in episode 21, don’t get me wrong. It was neck and neck, it was exciting and there wasn’t a lot of overly dramatic BS. I’m also perfectly fine with Aichi winning. Yes, it’s a bit of a stretch for Mr. Newbie over there to beat a champion so soon, but the match was just close enough for me to not scoff at it. Plus, the plot does need to advance, so squeaking them into nationals is fine with me.
I will tell you two things I scoff at, though –
1) Aichi’s win was, as I mentioned, Heart of the Cards bullshit. And when I say “Heart of the Cards bullshit” I mean he hit all of the beats so well I’d swear he was auditioning to be a drummer.
First and foremost, he, not kidding, heard a card from his deck calling out to him.
Said deck also glowed.
Then we flashback to a scene I honestly don’t remember occurring where Aichi and Kamui were fiddling with his deck with some cards from a booster pack. Kamui told him to not put this Grade 3 dragon into his deck right away because it was too complicated for him right now, but then Aichi, again, heard the card calling out to him, said card also glowed, and he felt he had to put it into his deck.
Second, lo and behold, of course exactly when he needed the card he drew it immediately and knew how to use it FLAWLESSLY and doing so earned him the win.
And no, the glowy stuff wasn’t just in Aichi’s head. Kai clearly took notice of what was happening. There was even some glowy ball that flew by his head.
I pretty much knew something like this was coming, given the way the OP looks, but….I didn’t want it to come, ya know? I liked staying in the more grounded reality of it just being a regular ol’ card game. I could even swallow the super-realistic hologram stuff, but no, we’re definitely delving into supernatural stuff now…Maybe it will at least not be super-dramatic ‘ahh, win this card game to save the world’ crap, but only time will tell.
2) *Misaki gets her medal for the championship*
Misaki: “Thank you.”
No. No ‘thank you.’ You give that back right now. You don’t deserve it. You did less than nothing. You weren’t even around for most of the tournament, and when it was finally your turn you passed the buck to Aichi for no reason. I mean, granted, doing so probably won them the tournament………..which is EVEN WORSE.
Oh well. We have the nationals to look forward to. Maybe she’ll do a fraction of something there. And Nagisa and Morikawa were a little more tolerable this episode because most of the focus was put on the match. Even though, if I can give my finger one more wag, they balked out of the marriage arrangement between Kamui and Nagisa. She seemingly accepted the deal, in that she’d lay off of Kamui if Aichi beat her brother, but she didn’t. She basically wordplayed her way out saying she wouldn’t force Kamui to be her husband, but she would definitely be his wife and they’d get married immediately. Although Goki suggests waiting until after the nationals are over. Yay?
Someone look back and see if that was her exact wording when making this deal, because I think it’s more BS.
Overall, I did like this episode quite a bit, but that Heart of the Cards moment kinda sucker punched me. Great match, but that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Next time, the gang returns to Card Shop PSY to see Team Ultra-Rare, but a mysterious red-haired stranger appears.
Plot: It’s the Regional Qualifiers, and Tyson, Kenny, Max and Kai are all in the running to get a spot in the tournament. Who will move forward, and who will be left behind?
Due to the structure of the battles in this episode, I’ll just summarize that Max, Tyson and Kai all win their qualifiers, but Kenny winds up losing.
Breakdown: The Regional Qualifiers are underway, and people are already dropping like flies. The dialogue is a bit weird, though, because both the announcers and the Chief make it sound like Kai is personally beating all of these kids in the qualifiers, but the animation makes it clear that they’re just mass Beyblade battles against whole groups of combatants with about ten people per group.
One of the announcers, Brad Best and AJ Topper, actually brings up an issue I have with this format, and that’s, once enough Beyblades fall, won’t the losing blades kinda get in the way of the remaining competitors? Apparently, once enough blades fall, they stop the match, clean them out, then restart. Why not just do smaller groups in the first place?
One thing I’ve always thought was a lot of fun about Beyblade was the tournament format where the audience basically follows the action as if they were watching a real Beyblade tournament. We get cheesy (and sometimes very funny) announcers, overlay graphics, everything outside of sponsorship plugs.
Back to the action, Max manages to win his qualifier, and now Kenny is up next in block C. He manages to do pretty well, even if the animation continues to show off how much of a non-sport this actually is because the bladers just stand around doing nothing while their blades either get knocked out or destroyed or they wait for the other competitors to fall.
Somehow, someway no one noticed that Kai has been in this block the whole time even though they were just talking about him incessantly when he wasn’t actually there, and they keep bringing up that Kai is the reigning champion trying to defend his title.
And since Kai is in the Chief’s block, you can bet any hope you might have had for our bespectacled pal to actually get a win are now nonexistent. You can also clearly tell how ridiculously stacked battles are against blades that don’t have Bit Beasts in them because Kai’s blade is clearly changing direction sharply and aiming specifically for other blades.
Tyson: “Wait a minute, I bet Kenny and Dizzi have something up their sleeves. King Kai’s gonna lose his crown.” It’s really nice of Tyson to have such faith in Kenny and Dizzi, but I couldn’t help but be DBZ distracted when he called him King Kai….
Kenny is now the last one standing against Kai, and…..I gotta call out Kenny on his Beyblade. The Chief’s Beyblade is an odd duck. He uses a green blade called Jumping Base (Or Einstein in the original version). It’s a Beyblade…on a spring.
Okay, please bear with me because I am far from a physics major, but…isn’t this design bullshit?
They don’t really explain what they’re going for with this Beyblade, but just from looking at it, it doesn’t look like it could stay spinning for more than a second or two let alone be the last blade standing in a mass battle against Kai.
First things first, the whole blade is spinning, not just the top. That means that the little point at the end of the spring is the main point of contact and what is allowing the blade to spin.
Springs work by storing kinetic energy when they’re compressed. However, when compressed, the little bit on the end would obviously get force imposed on it as well. Since that bit is spinning, that means it’s generating friction on the surface it’s spinning on. That friction is gradually slowing the blade until the energy runs out. The force of the spring’s compression and eventual expulsion of energy would cause so much friction that I don’t think the blade wouldn’t be able to survive one bounce.
Not to mention that bouncing springs are kinda hard to control, and a wok/BeyStadium is probably one of the worst smooth environments you can find to control a bouncing spring. If you’ve ever used a pogo stick, imagine trying to use one in a half-pipe. And that’s with the spring wrapped around a pole, giving it stability and a rider being able to control a multitude of variables. This is just a free spring, allowing it to flail back and forth, with no one having any control over it.
Speaking of flailing, it might be able to take a hit pretty well, considering it has good ‘shocks’ so to speak, but the energy from a hit would just send it flailing, probably knocking itself into the wok blade first, which would drastically slow down the spin if it didn’t just fall over anyway.
You’d have to call in some sort of Beyblade Mythbusters to really debunk this, I’m just doing off-the-cuff research, but as far as I can tell, this Beyblade shouldn’t be functioning in the least, and the idea that Kenny, of all people, is using this goofy-ass design, and that it was Dizzi’s idea, is insane.
Sometimes lack of animation is too funny depending on the dialogue. “I can’t look!” Tyson says while making absolutely no effort to close or cover his eyes or look away.
“OoOhh! Kai’s attack is going to totally destroy that young man!” Says Mr. Dickenson as he doesn’t move, is smiling and posed in such a way that he might as well be feeding bread to pigeons in the park.
After taking a ridiculous amount of time for Dranzer to reach Jumping Base with its attack, Kai talks some smack and then defeats Kenny with no issue. (Kenny said he needed a lucky bounce to withstand the attack, but what was he hoping for? Jumping over Dranzer? He’d just attack again. This blade is really stupid.)
Wanting to avenge Kenny….I guess, Tyson runs out into the arena, but he, Mr. Dickenson and Kenny are amazed that Dranzer is continuing to spin with no signs of stopping. According to Kenny, this should be impossible. Right. Right….THAT’S impossible. But your Tigger-esque Beyblade is somehow not.
Tyson is about to take Kai on, but Kenny stops him, telling him he lost fair and square. He merely underestimated Kai, and challenging him now will just get him kicked out. Tyson backs off, Kai throws more smacktalk and walks away.
It’s a little weird that Kenny underestimated Kai. He’s usually the one who errs on the side of caution the most, and he had no confidence in himself when he went out there in the first place.
Next up, group D starts – Tyson’s turn. And who else was to be his main opponents for this qualifier than Carlos and a bunch of other Blade Sharks? Tyson and the Sharks manage to make it to the second part of their round, which introduces them to a new BeyStadium, an obstacle dish, which is just a sneak peak at the many, many, many ridiculous BeyStadiums they’ll come out with over time. It’s basically just as it sounds – it’s a dish with obstacles in it.
May I ask, however, why Tyson’s group gets this dish in their second half, but Kai and Kenny’s wok was extremely normal?
AJ: “It’s going to take more than skill to maneuver around those obstacles.” It’s going to take luck, because that’s all the control you’re supposed to have over your Beyblades once they’re launched. You can’t steer them. This will most likely be the last time I bring this up, because I have a feeling we’re now entering ‘Somehow we can control the Beyblades with our minds and commands and no one will question why this is or how this works’ territory.
The Blade Sharks obviously gang up on Tyson, and somehow, even without Bit Beasts, the three Blade Sharks I didn’t care to the learn the names of just so happen to not only be able to control their Beyblades telepathically, I guess, but their Beyblades can also generate electricity when they’re close together. I know I just said I’d refrain from mentioning stuff like this, but they don’t have Bit Beasts to sort of explain this away, so I was a little confused.
Tyson manages to maneuver away from them, and in a twist, Carlos picks off his teammates one by one (Though you only actually see him take out the purple haired one on-screen). Now’s as good a time as any to say that the three other Sharks have terrible voice acting. Nothing else to add there, I just don’t think we see them again after this and I wanted to get that out.
Anyway, Carlos tells the three of them to get lost because he’s flying solo now. It’s just him and Tyson. They’re entering into a third round, which I find strange. Kai and Kenny were only in a second round, not third, and considering Tyson’s blade was still spinning when Carlos’ crapped out, I’d saying this is Tyson’s win, but whatever.
Tyson: “It’s a game, and it has rules – rules you follow!” Yeah…..and in none of those rules does it say you can’t take out your teammates when it’s a free-for-all brawl with only one victor moving on to the tournament. They’re treating it like this is some terrible thing to do, and it is shitty, but they would’ve had to have fought each other at some point, Carlos just sped up the process.
Carlos: “I’d say you’re just jealous!” Trust me here. Amazing line delivery. All the effort of a sleeping infant.
Also, jealous of what? Again, Tyson would’ve won that match if they didn’t call for a third round here.
Tyson: “Better watch it, Carlos, cuz the rules are out the window!” 45 seconds prior to this you were literally looking down on Carlos, proclaiming that he knew nothing of Beyblade because it has rules that need to be followed. Now you’re saying ‘Ah, well, fuck the rules then!’? Come on, Tyson. Be better than that.
Carlos: “All my life, I’ve wanted to taste victory on my own. Now you’re the appetizer. *licks lips*” Uh, you’ve never won a match on your own? That is extremely incorrect. You alone were known around Tyson’s town as a bully who was constantly destroying or stealing other blades….on his own. Yeah, you were a member of the Blade Sharks, but they weren’t there helping you gang up on other kids.
Also, really could’ve done without the overly evil and gross lip licking.
They start the match, and Tyson shows he’s not messing around. Dragoon quickly vanishes before everyone’s eyes. Carlos is thrown for a loop, and Tyson uses this opportunity to knock his blade out of the arena…..Well…that was underwhelming. The second round lasted much longer and, in my opinion, was better because it had Tyson using the field to his advantage to get away from the Sharks. Here….he somehow made Dragoon vanish and he just, boop, knocked him out of the ring…and broke his blade apart. (Also, Kenny explains that, somehow, Dragoon is now so fast that it’s invisible to the human eye. I would roll my eyes a little harder at that, but, again, that’s just the tip of the goofy ice berg.)
As Carlos collapses on the ground in defeat and mutters due an animation problem, I assume, Tyson is declared the winner and moves on to the tournament.
Tyson’s a good sport, though, and hands Carlos the pieces of his Beyblade.
Tyson: “Wicked battle, man.” Carlos’ blade did nothing. That battle was one-sided and terribly boring. Also, it was really weak as a chance to either redeem Carlos or turn him into this big threat. Maybe this is just a measuring stick match since Carlos thrashed Tyson once before and still gave him a bit of a run for his money on the rematch, so him completely spanking him now is a sign of how much he’s grown, but it’s still disappointing.
Bottom Line: Qualifier rounds of shounen gaming anime tend to be mostly entertaining filler. You know the main characters (barring Kenny, because he’s the tech guy not a Beyblader, really) are going to advance, and the enemies this time around are rematches with people Tyson’s already beaten before.
The whole episode was building up to Tyson’s match, but all of the gameplay I saw there was rather boring. Like I said, the group match against all of the Sharks was more entertaining than his battle with Carlos, which was so short and uneventful it was almost a joke.
I was a little bit more preoccupied with Kenny’s match vs. Kai, because, well….that Beyblade, man. That bouncing little kangaroo Beyblade. That is some marvel of physics. And by ‘marvel’ I mean ‘marvelously insane.’ How did Kenny even make it as far as he did with that defy-er of all things logic Beyblade? Did he just bounce in place and managed to not get hit by anyone? Did he somehow manage to bounce above everyone when they tried to hit him? The more I think about it, the more confused I become.
This episode as a whole maxes out at ‘okay’ and I’m being a little generous there.
Last note, but this episode had noticeably worse animation than usual. Like…bad bad. I understand that the budget is typically reserved for bigger episodes and qualifiers basically are filler episodes, but wow. Some of those shots were beautifully bad.
Plot: Yusuke’s back proper now, and he’s got his first big case as a spirit detective. Three demons have stolen three incredibly powerful artifacts from the vault of Koenma’s father, King Yama. Yusuke is tasked with hunting them down, bringing them to justice and retrieving the artifacts before the thieves do anything malicious with them.
Breakdown: Ah, we’re finally into the nitty gritty. Yusuke’s officially a spirit detective now, and he’s got his first case. Not to mention, it’s the case that will lead us to two other main characters, Hiei and Kurama, who happen to be two of the aforementioned thieves.
We also get our first detective item in the Spirit Filtering Spectacles, known in the dub as the Psychic Spyglass, which allows the user to see through things such as walls, clothes etc.
Sadly, this is the first and last time we see this item, like so many other detective items, because, like I said before, it’s pretty much a gimmick they completely dropped not too long into the series.
As for Yusuke’s first enemy, Gouki, he’s pretty much forgettable. I get that we needed someone who was a typical run-of-the-mill type criminal for Yusuke to cut his teeth on before he moved onto bigger game, but he really is just forgettable. I remember him being a part of Hiei and Kurama’s short-lived thief crew and I remembered the item he stole, but I couldn’t remember his name or what kind of powers he had, and I just barely remembered his base character design. His full demon state, or I guess I should say ogre state, is also very, very boringly typical. Just a big muscular red dude with horns and big teeth.
I commend Yusuke for actually agreeing to this role. At first, he’s kinda blasé about it and wants to do his own thing, but he accepts that, in return for getting his life back, he owes it to Koenma and Botan to do this job. He’s ‘earning his keep’ as he puts it.
The first half of the episode really isn’t about the case, however, it’s about Yusuke’s return to school. Everyone is scared to death of him, whether it be because they’re just afraid of Yusuke by default or they’re terrified about the fact that he rose from the dead.
Mr. Iwamoto is also not happy about his return – so much so that he tries to have him expelled by framing him for various thefts. He even punches Yusuke in the face when he refuses to confess! God, I really hate Iwamoto….Oh well, at least he’s also a dumbass who keeps the stolen items in his frickin’ pocket as he’s interrogating Yusuke.
Speaking of idiots, let’s talk about Koenma for a minute. Yusuke has a one week time limit on retrieving these items, but not because the three thieves are planning something major that will go down in one week – it’s because Koenma’s dad, King Yama, is coming back from vacation in a week. If he sees the items are missing, he’ll go ballistic – supposedly raining havoc and destruction all over earth until he gets them back.
And the reason the items went missing, even though Koenma was specifically told to ensure the vault was properly protected….was just that Koenma didn’t guard it well enough because he just didn’t think anyone would try to break in…..
But that’s not all. Yusuke wants to teach Iwamoto a lesson for framing him and trying to get him expelled. Koenma points out that it’s in poor taste to attack a teacher after he was set free, but Yusuke is like ‘well, I can’t just let him go!’ So Koenma teaches him his trademark attack, the Spirit Gun, to attack him invisibly. At this point, the blast is no stronger than a really good punch, so that should be revenge enough. It is indeed a good shot of revenge since it flattens him out on the ground in an instant.
You may be wondering why this is a problem.
Well, teaching Yusuke the Spirit Gun right now isn’t a problem, and it’s only kinda problematic that he taught him the move in order to strike his teacher, since he deserved it and all – it’s that, after he already shot one off, Koenma tells him he can only use it once a day….He tells him that right before Yusuke sets off to find and confront the thieves.
Koenma let him waste his best and, pretty much, only decent weapon against demons and other monsters just because he was pissed off and too childish to let it go or at least wait until later to get his revenge. Hell, he could’ve told him about the Spirit Gun and the one-shot-a-day limit immediately and then told him to wait until after the case to shoot Iwamoto. The jackass isn’t going anywhere.
Overall, a bit more of a building block episode, but a good one. Yusuke’s first official case is a really big one, but there are three culprits to deal with one at a time to better split it up and let him grow more gradually at he faces each opponent. Gouki may be small potatoes and forgettable, but like I said he basically had to be as such in order to give Yusuke a training-wheels-esque enemy.
Next time, one of my favorite episodes!…And not just because it’s the proper debut of KURAMMMAAAAAAAA!!….I’ve always loved Kurama a lot…He’s my favorite character….And I may have had a big crush on him back in the day…..
Picking up where we last left off, Keiko was in the hands of the thug, Daisuke, who brought her back to some seedy bar to show her off to his friends. She doesn’t go quietly, however, especially when they start trying to do pervy things to her. They beat her up and knock her unconscious, leaving them open to sexually assaulting her. However, Yusuke, who comes in wearing a mask he won at a pachinko parlor, rescues her before they do anything.
Kuwabara, who got the news when Yusuke did, arrives on scene to save her, but Yusuke hands over the unconscious Keiko to Kuwabara so he can pretend he saved her – making it so she won’t ask questions or realize he’s alive for a day.
I don’t know why Yusuke is allowed to talk to Kuwabara but not Keiko or his mom. Also, Keiko is just faking being unconscious right now, she woke up a little earlier…so…what are the rules there? She’s allowed to acknowledge that he’s temporarily alive, touch him and hear him speak, but as long as he doesn’t speak to her and vice versa….it’s fine?
Keiko continues to fake being unconscious for several more hours, I guess to force Yusuke to not go traipsing around town and risking his body like that. When she leaves, Yusuke realizes she put a little kissy mark on his face.
This was…a fairly okay little arc. It was cool to see Yusuke back in action, and his ridiculous masks were hilarious. Plus, this was a cute little moment between Keiko and Yusuke, but this is just one of so many instances of Keiko being a damsel in distress. And the continued aspect of threatening sexual assault is uncomfortable.
Not to mention that I just find the whole aspect of him being able to see and converse with literally anyone else BUT Keiko and his mom is a grade A plot device that doesn’t even function logically. Yusuke put on a mask so Keiko wouldn’t recognize him, but it turns out she can acknowledge everything about his existence except communicate with him. And if he wrote that note to Keiko at the end, the one where he acts as if he’s Kuwabara, doesn’t that count as communicating with her?
I can definitely see why they didn’t put this in the anime.
Chapter 10: Forbidden Games
Another manga exclusive story, this chapter returns us to Shouta, the boy from a few chapters back who was dealing with confidence issues and the loss of his beloved dog, Jiro. Now, Shouta is doing pretty good in life, but he’s haunted by the spirit of a girl named Sayaka. She’s dragging him out of his body every night to play with her because she’s so lonely, as she was also very lonely in life. Shouta doesn’t remember these encounters after he wakes up, but when he’s in spirit form he resists going with Yusuke and abandoning Sayaka because he doesn’t want her to be lonely.
This is the first spirit Yusuke actually fights in the manga – and he loses pretty badly. Sayaka’s loneliness has created a deep darkness in her heart, and it’s granted her incredible power that Yusuke just can’t stand up against. If Sayaka continues to take Shouta’s soul out of his body night after night, she’ll eventually weaken his soul enough to drag him to the afterlife with her, but since her soul is so corrupted by loneliness, she’ll only be entering a world of darkness and despair with him.
After a few days of being Yusuke being unconscious (how that works as a ghost, I don’t know) we discover that Shouta is becoming pretty weak, though still not realizing what’s happening at night. Yusuke goes to confront Sayaka once more, but she refuses. She wants to finally bring Shouta to what she believes is heaven, but when she goes to force Yusuke away again, she finds her powers to be entirely diminished.
It seems that hanging out with Shouta so much has quelled the loneliness in her heart, and her powers have greatly weakened because of it. She still doesn’t want to leave Shouta and vice versa, however, so Yusuke happily offers to be a big brother to her and play with her until she’s finally ready to pass on for real.
She agrees, and Shouta returns to his regular life, healthy as a child should be, but it seems Sayaka is sticking around for longer than they thought.
I really liked this story and, truth be told, it’s better than the anime version of Sayaka.
Yes, Sayaka exists in the anime, but she’s basically changed so much that she’s not even the same character outside of the design. In the anime, she’s a one-episode character, taking the role of a spirit investigator sent to determine if Yusuke is really worth saving. She evaluates Yusuke’s friends and family as well as Yusuke and his relationship to them. Most notably, she investigates the relationship that Keiko and Yusuke have. She’s uncertain about her findings until Yusuke willfully sacrifices his spirit egg, his one chance at returning to life, in order to save Keiko’s life.
Sayaka’s report on the matter impresses Koenma, who agrees to bring him back anyway since he showed such selflessness.
Sayaka just always seemed like an unnecessary character. Isn’t Botan doing enough investigating and reporting on Yusuke’s attitude and relationships that Sayaka’s role is redundant? I never disliked her in the anime or anything, but she wasn’t really made interesting and, like I said, her presence seemed pointless.
In the manga, her story is much more interesting, and even somewhat heartbreaking. I absolutely loved that Yusuke offered to be her big brother and play with her without any hesitation. He knows she’s not a bad kid, she’s just lonely and sad. It was also nice to see Shouta again. It’s good that he’s still doing well and is turning into such a sweet kid, even if it is slightly implied that he’s becoming a bit of a ladies man….as much as an eight year old can be, anyway. I dunno why they needed that implication. Can’t he just be a nice kid to both genders without implying that he’s being nice to girls to impress them?
I was a bit sad that Shouta didn’t even mention Jiro, but Yusuke brought up his promise to Jiro, and that was really sweet. We’ll have to wait and see what Sayaka’s continued presence will bring to the series.
Chapter 11-12 A Broken Friendship/Demonic Hand
This is a two-parter story involving two best friends, Emi and Natsuko. They’re both top of their respective classes, and they’re competing for the lone spot offered by their school to go to N High School – a very prestigious school that everyone’s pressuring them to attend.
Recently, Emi has been having very ominous feelings, as if something is watching her or causing her to suffer misfortune. Yusuke spots the seeming culprit, the spirit of a boy who used to attend the school five years ago. He committed suicide, and I quote “due to some setback” but very much regrets his decision.
He’s not really the problem, though. He was attracted to Emi due to a dark power resonated from her because of an amulet. Natsuko had placed a curse on Emi to cause her to slip up in her studies and stop being competition for her for the spot in N High School. Natsuko was pressured even more by everyone else, especially her family, to get the N High School spot. This pressure was compounded by the fact that Natsuko was consistently second place to Emi throughout their entire friendship. She resented her for it, but those feelings would usually quickly dissipate after saving Emi from bullies or spending time with her.
Evil and corrupted spirits were attracted to the amulet, making it more powerful. However, the boy’s evil energy started fading when he kept seeing what a kind person Emi was. He didn’t fall in love with her or anything, but she showed him a light that drove back the darkness.
Meanwhile, Natsuko started regretting her decision after hearing Emi talk about not wanting to bother Natsuko with her worries, especially since Natsuko believes in the paranormal and may freak out.
Natsuko rips up the ‘amulet’ which I think is moreso a talisman, but okay. However, she’s shocked to find the mark of the amulet now tattooed on her wrist. At the same time, Emi is being pulled across the railroad tracks by a dark entity right as a train approaches.
The boy vanishes before the second half of the story. Yusuke asks if he’s moving on now, and Botan says suicide is too grave a sin to move on yet. He has a lot of repentance to do before he can do pass on properly.
Sayaka, who alerted them to Emi’s problems in the first place, notifies them of Emi’s current situation. However, they can’t do anything about it since spirits can’t really interfere much with human matters, and this evil entity is too powerful for any of them to take on. That’s not enough for Yusuke, however, as he rushes in and tries to bite the entity into submission, but he’s literally chucked all the way into space as a result.
The boy’s spirit returns and manages to bring Natsuko to the tracks to save Emi. That’s all he’s able to do before he disappears once more.
Natsuko pleads with the entity to let her go, and after a touching speech, the entity finally vanishes, as does the mark, and Natsuko saves Emi.
Later, at school, Natsuko and Emi tell their respective teachers, who have been pressuring them a lot since the class of the student who goes to N High School will get a lot of respect and adoration (and Natsuko and Emi are from two different classes), that they want the school to take them out of consideration for the N High School spot. They’ve both decided to not listen to anyone who is pressuring them anymore. They want to make their own decisions from now on. They’ve decided to go to S High School together, much to their teachers’ dismay.
This story was pretty good, even if I’m not sure it warranted being a two-parter. Emi and Natsuko have a very realistic friendship. Even the best of friends can have hidden resentments and anger amongst them while still being very strong friends, and such massive pressure on the both them could easily make them do crazy things, especially if they believe it won’t actually work. Despite believing in the paranormal, Natsuko didn’t believe her silly spell would work until she realized something was actually troubling Emi, and when she realized it was real she almost sacrificed her life to make things right.
My two main problems with this story are the boy spirit and the roles of Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka. The boy spirit, who is never named, mind you, seems like he could have an interesting story. He’s a kid who committed suicide at the very school the girls are currently attending, but we get an almost insultingly pitiful amount of information on him. Not only do we never learn his name, but we never learn of his story or why he committed suicide in the first place. “Due to some setback” is so vague it’s almost irritating. It was only five years ago. Why is he so unspecific about it?
And even though I get that suicide is taboo in a lot of religions, it does bother me that even in YYH suicide is apparently so grave a sin that you can’t go to heaven once you do it. They never imply he’s in hell or anything, just that he has to do god knows how many good deeds as a spirit before he can move on, but still. The kid was suffering so much that he killed himself and now, as a ghost, realizes he lost everything and regrets it. Isn’t that bad enough?
He does come back and help Natsuko save Emi, but then he vanishes and is never even brought up again. It’s a sad ending to an already sad story and it’s pretty much glossed over.
In regards to Yusuke, Botan and Sayaka, this is another story where they might as well have not even been there in the first place. You could completely remove them from this story and everything would have been exactly the same. The trio basically just acted as audience surrogates – creating an avenue for the characters to give exposition without it being narration or something, and that wasn’t necessary because…yeah, just have it be narration.
It’s not like Yusuke did any Spirit Detective-ing either. He literally just talked to the ghost stalking Emi and asked what’s up. The boy ghost was even the one who found out it was Natsuko who cursed Emi.
Yusuke attacked the entity, and that was a little funny, but it did absolutely nothing and the girls weren’t even able to notice he did it.
So, in conclusion, decent story but it didn’t have to be a YYH story nor a two-parter.
Chapters 13-14: Prerequisites of a Loved One/Inside the Flames
As I mentioned before, Sayaka is not a spirit investigator in the manga as she is in the anime – she’s just the spirit of a little girl. She has grown extremely attached to Yusuke, and she and Botan basically follow Keiko around so Sayaka can see if Keiko and Yusuke’s relationship is true love.
Everything else in the story is exactly the same barring the very ending. In the anime, Yusuke was told that the only way to save Keiko’s life was to use the power that has been stored up in his spirit egg to create a pathway in the fire. This would mean sacrificing his one chance at coming back to life, but Yusuke does it anyway since Keiko’s life means more to him than his.
After the ordeal, Koenma appears. He’s so impressed by Yusuke’s selflessness that he agrees to bring him back to life anyway.
In the manga, Koenma appears during the fire and explains to Yusuke that he’ll have to agree to a deal for Koenma to use his power to save Keiko. Yusuke doesn’t let him explain what it is as he’s far too impatient to wait for Keiko to be safe. Koenma uses his power and opens a pathway in the flames. Later, Botan explains that, in order for Koenma to make a miracle, like saving Keiko, he needed to use human virtue. Since Yusuke was the other half of the deal, he used the virtue that Yusuke had been saving up in his body to use his power.
However, unlike in the anime where this meant he sacrificed his chance to come back to life, in the manga, this simply means that it will take longer for Yusuke to build up more virtue and return to life. And he really doesn’t care, so this doesn’t seem like nearly the same kind of massive sacrifice as Yusuke made in the anime, which is disappointing.
Granted, the anime also doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s revealed later that, despite the egg being destroyed in the fire, his spirit egg hatched further down the line and became Puu. Still, you lose a lot of the emotional impact when you replace ‘You can never be resurrected’ with ‘it’ll take a bit longer to be resurrected.’
The manga also goes a bit further in the story. Kuwabara shows up and takes Keiko and Yusuke’s body to his house to help cover up Yusuke’s secret. His sister, Shizuru, loans Keiko some clothes to replace her burned ones, and she cuts Keiko’s hair since it was singed. We also learn Shizuru wants to be a beautician, which is something I don’t believe was ever conveyed in the anime.
Shizuru, having even stronger spiritual powers than Kuwabara, can actually see Yusuke’s spirit around Keiko. She comments that he seems to be a good guy and asks if she likes him. She says yes and Yusuke looks a little embarrassed.
Meanwhile, Sayaka also bids her farewell. She accepts that Yusuke and Keiko are a great pair. She doesn’t like the idea of relying on anyone else’s boyfriend, so she decides to pass on and find her own boyfriend in the afterlife. She even suggests Koenma is kinda cute and might seek him out next. She tells Yusuke to have two kids with Keiko, a boy and a girl, before finally departing.
There’s also a small part where Koenma shows back up after Sayaka leaves. He tells Yusuke that, since he had to save Keiko’s life and interfere in real world matters, he took a body part from her. Yusuke freaks out and rushes to Keiko and Koenma giggles and points out that he took her hair (since she just got a haircut.)
You’ll notice that another scene is missing from the manga, and that’s the scene after the fire is put out. Keiko stands by with Yusuke’s body in a wheelchair, believing he saved her from the fire. Atsuko, in a kind of annoying ‘I’m not really taking this seriously’ tone goes on about how sorry she is that she wasn’t there, but she’s thankful Yusuke is alive and will do better for him from now on.
I do kinda wish the manga had some scene with Atsuko, because this is literally all her fault. Like I said in my review of the anime episode, I almost feel like it was originally planned to have Atsuko accidentally set the fire due to her negligence but they decided against it to not make Atsuko too unlikable. Instead, she left the windows unlocked and covered her son in dust and garbage, giving the arsonist easy access and allowing the fire to spread easily.
This was definitely a sweet story in both versions, but I can’t help but prefer the anime’s retelling a little more. Yusuke knowingly and willingly sacrificing his one shot at being brought back to life is just better than him needing to be a ghost for a while longer. He didn’t know what he was agreeing to in the first place, and he didn’t care at all when he found out the cost.
Yusuke, in the anime, after everything was said and done, had a bit of a blowup. He yelled out to his mom, Keiko and Kuwabara to stop talking to what was now an actual dead body. He yelled at his mom to stop apologizing because he’ll never be around to say it’s okay, and he accepted that he was dead for good. He even started crying a little before telling Botan to just take him heaven or hell or wherever he was supposed to go now.
This blowup doesn’t mean he regrets saving Keiko, of course he doesn’t, but it’s very genuine to also show that the cost deeply affected him. A sacrifice isn’t really much of a sacrifice if the loss doesn’t hurt you.
Chapters 15-16: Target! A Victory/Victory Depends on Guts
As he’s floating around town, Yusuke spots an old classmate of his, Suekichi, being bullied by a group of thugs. Back when they were kids, Suekichi was always being bullied and Yusuke would save him from the bullies….for a fee, of course. He was so spineless and weak that the other kids had nicknamed him Suekichi the Idiot.
Yusuke couldn’t stand watching Suekichi be ruthlessly beaten into the ground anymore, so once he was knocked unconscious Yusuke jumped into his body, ignoring the warnings of Botan. Yusukichi easily flattened all of the thugs in one fell swoop, but Yusuke became locked in Suekichi’s body.
Meanwhile, Koenma appears before Botan and explains that a decision was made on Yusuke’s revival. They will allow Yusuke to be brought back to life even without him regaining the virtue he lost earlier. They explored Yusuke’s heart and found that he wasn’t evil, but he wasn’t entirely noble either. He very much acts without thinking, but many of his acts lead him to noble deeds….and some not so noble.
They’ve concluded that he’s a ‘bubblehead’ who can’t be accurately judged in his spirit form, so they’re taking the opportunity to see what he’ll do in a regular body..
Once Suekichi’s consciousness was reawakened, he freaked out at the invasion of Yusuke’s spirit, but Yusuke explained that he wished to help him. Suekichi is an aspiring boxer and he’s loved the sport of boxing since he was a kid. However, he’s never won a single match, which is really all he wants to do. Being bullied his whole life, he has a nasty habit of closing his eyes when the opponent is about to strike, so he always loses.
He does have a wealth of knowledge on boxing and great technique, but when it comes to applying it, he’s a total mess. However, he was chosen to partake in a competition as a representative of their school’s boxing society. He was one of only two candidates with the other being a thug named Itou who lost the position due to skipping too many practices. Itou’s cohorts were the ones beating on him in the start of the story, trying to get him to relinquish his spot. Itou himself starts wailing on him to get him to give up, but once again Yusuke takes over and beats the snot out of him.
Yusuke keeps trying to get Suekichi to believe in himself and have fighting spirit, but no matter the situation, he always folds.
One day, they bump into Tachikawa, who is meant to be his opponent in the match. He’s a dirty fighter who is known for purposely breaking bones and blinding his opponents in order to win. Yusuke took over his body and stood up to him for Suekichi, but when the time came for the match and he tried to get Suekichi to rise to the occasion, Suekichi simply couldn’t do it.
Yusuke finally got fed up and punched Suekichi (and by extension himself) in the face. With one final…let’s call it a pep talk Yusuke-style, Suekichi bites the bullet and heads out, which allows Yusuke to leave his body.
During the match, he does quite well. He doesn’t close his eyes and he has a newfound confidence. Even after he takes a hit, he’s able to power through because Yusuke’s punch was a lot worse. Tachikawa then aims to elbow him in the eyes to blind him, but Suekichi blocks with his head gear and socks Tachikawa in the face, laying him out and winning him the match. He cheers to Yusuke, even though he’s gone from his body, and Yusuke looks on with a smile.
I gotta say, if this was the main crux they were using for Yusuke earning his right to be revived….what a shitty story to do that with. It’s not a terrible story, it’s just largely uninteresting and not worth being so important. And haven’t we already had a story when Yusuke helps some bullied kid be brave? Nothing is riding on this competition besides some vow he made to himself several years ago, the outcome is entirely predictable, Suekichi is not an engaging character at all, and Yusuke was able to help him by beating up a dozen people and punching Suekichi in the face? Are you kidding me? THAT’S the act that instantly shows the higher ups in Spirit World that Yusuke’s worth bringing back to life?
Why couldn’t they have just made it so him sacrificing his ‘life’ for Keiko was the big act that convinced them? Why did he need to do something in a human body to show this? Didn’t he also do good deeds the few times he possessed people? Hell, just look to the brief period he was brought back to life and how he saved Keiko from that gang, even risking losing his chance at coming back to life if she spoke to him. It’s so backwards. This should have been one of the first ‘Yusuke proves he’s an alright guy’ stories not the final one.
Chapter 17: The Golden Awakening
Ah, we’ve finally reached Yusuke’s awakening, and it’s pretty much exactly as it was in the anime. The only real change I saw was that, at least in the English dub, Yusuke claims Atsuko had good insurance and that’s how they got such a good apartment after the fire. In the manga, a text box explains that Atsuko got money from pimps to pay for it…..I don’t know if they’re insinuating that Atsuko’s a prostitute or she just knows pimps who would give her money, but….there’s that.
Speaking of Atsuko, another thing that stayed the same was Atsuko going out and getting plastered, leaving Yusuke’s body all alone AGAIN. I know I’ve already complained about that when talking about the anime, but REALLY. She nearly loses her son AGAIN to a house fire because she was out getting shitfaced, and she decides it’s a good idea to yet again leave her son alone while she goes to get shitfaced. Bloody hell….
As a few final notes, the anime did add a scene where Yusuke tries to corral Kuwabara while he’s at the arcade, but his efforts fail, and the anime’s shot of Keiko kissing Yusuke was just plain better in the manga. The actual kiss is covered, but the angle is a lot better than the weird sideways kiss she gives him in the anime.
….Oh and also, the previous two chapters were even more pointless if he was just going to be revived immediately after.
And that was volume two! Quite the long road to Yusuke getting revived, but we’re finally getting him into Spirit Detective mode.
As for this volume’s journey to getting him there….Eh. The filler was okay, but I didn’t feel particularly impacted to the point where I was like ‘Whoa, I’m sad they never adapted this to the anime.’ The arc with Suekichi only gets increasingly frustrating the more I think about it. It’s boring padding that definitely didn’t deserve to be the defining moment for proving Yusuke’s worth as a person.
The manga just seems to have a problem with making stories that otherwise don’t really need Yusuke and Botan around. It doesn’t feel like Yu Yu Hakusho – it feels like an anthology. A Yu Yu Hakusho anthology-esque section could very well work if they focused more on giving Yusuke and Botan more stuff to do instead of reacting to what’s going on around them.
The arc with Yusuke’s temporary resurrection was okay, and the ending with Keiko was a little sweet, but I still find the conditions of this temporary arrangement to be bunk. It really just felt like a forced plot device to ensure Keiko and Yusuke don’t have some sort of reunion before he actually revives.
When it came to storylines that were adapted into the anime for this volume, everything seems in order, barring that one moment at the end of Prerequisites for a Loved One where the anime just did it objectively better all around. The manga did Sayaka’s role a lot better, but in comparison to the ending changes, it’s not much consolation.
Hm…..I feel like it’s a bit of a close call, but, ultimately, I’d give this round to the anime. If the anime had omitted more memorable stories and moments, I’d definitely give it to the manga, but they just made too many missteps here.
Volume 3 coming soon….
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Plot: Nami runs into Luffy while running away from Buggy’s pirates and pretends that he’s her boss so that she can get away while they’re distracted by him. However, much to Nami’s surprise, Luffy easily defeats the pirates. While Nami treats him to some food, Luffy asks her to be his navigator, but she refuses when she finds out that he’s a pirate. However, she seemingly changes her mind and agrees to be his navigator if he agrees to meet with Buggy first. Luffy agrees, but she betrays him and pretends that she’s handing over her boss and the map to the Grand Line to be on Buggy’s team as a ruse to get both the map and Buggy’s treasure. However, when she’s told to kill Luffy as a sign of loyalty to Buggy, she finds herself trapped in a moral dilemma.
Title Change: Terror and a Mysterious Power! Pirate Captain Buggy the Clown! is changed to The Circus Comes to Town.
I love how the 4Kids version really does act like it’s possible that Luffy died from that fall. Right. That’d certainly be a funny way to end the series. “I’m gonna be King of the Pirates! -SPLAT- The end!”
Luffy’s punch to one of the pirates is edited out.
They edit out Luffy’s Gum Gum Pistol hitting the other two pirates in the face.
The words ‘Drinker Pub’ are edited off of a sign.
In the original, there’s a bit of pun where Buggy’s pirate tells him that they left the key in the lock. Tsukeppanshi means “left in” but Buggy mistakes it for tsukeppana which means “Fake nose.” In the dub, the pirate says “Only the robber knows…” and Buggy mistakes that for “Rubber nose.” I don’t know what the pirate was going to say there. Only the robber knows….where the map she stole is? But you gotta give 4Kids credit for trying to put that pun in there.
However, they kinda screw it up later in the scene. Buggy flips out and yells at the pirate insinuating that his nose is big and red and looks fake. The pirate in the dub says “It’s a mistake!” in regards to hearing him incorrectly, but Buggy says “So now it looks like a steak?!” Well, steaks ARE red, but they’re not usually round and ball-like. I’ll leave your points where they are but that was kinda weak, 4Kids.
The original has Buggy ask the pirate what he does to traitors, and the pirate says he flashily kills them. In the dub, this is replaced by the pirate begging for his life.
In the original, Nami likes money and mikan, which are Japanese citrus fruit. In the dub, she likes money and tangerines…..They’re different. It counts.
And nooooooowwwwwwwww….the moment some of you have probably been waiting for maybe….Yet another of the most infamous One Piece edits! One of Captain Buggy’s pirates, the one who announces that Nami has arrived, was originally black. 4Kids, sensing that this may cause some racial backlash, decided to solidify that this would cause racial backlash by digitally painting the black guy into a white guy.
No….no, I am not kidding. I wish I was, but I’m not. I think a rep for 4Kids said that having a black pirate lackey could somehow be construed as racist so they turned him white (Don’t quote me on that, but I distinctly remember being told that). This in turn made them actually seem racist when they more than likely wouldn’t have had they left it alone. If they had left it alone and gotten criticism for it, which is unlikely, but still, they could have just blamed the original show creators. But this is 4Kids. The day they leave something alone is the day riceballs aren’t donuts.
Originally, Luffy asks why he’s in a cage. In the dub, he tells Nami to forget about being on his crew.
A scene of one of the pirates chugging a barrel of booze is edited out as is most of the scene with the party which includes some guy with like eight small casks of booze in his mouth. Also, a bottle on Nami’s table is edited away. What little scene remains is edited to make the beer look like orange juice, but I was too busy looking at that one pirate near Nami. Originally, he had a sword in his mouth and was balancing a bottle on it. In the dub, he’s got a balloon animal balloon in his mouth. Why? I dunno.
Yup yup. The drink they have is grapefruit punch in the dub…..Guh, I hate grapefruit juice. Whoever named grapefruits should be jailed for besmirching the good name of the delicious grape.
Dub!Nami: “At this rate, they’ll all pass out from acid indigestion and then their treasure will be mine.”…This….I can’t even…..First of all, who passes out from acid indigestion? You’d need immediate medical attention if that was true. Second, who the hell thinks that? Third, this line is made even more stupid because the original says nothing about waiting for them to pass out. You’d think the original was waiting for them to get so drunk that they all pass out so that she can get the map, but nope. She just thinks she’ll bide her time until she can swipe the map again and get Buggy’s treasure while she’s at it.
Oops, 4Kids didn’t notice that the black/white guy from before was in this shot. Whoopsiediddledaisydoo.
They replay that scene with the guy chugging those small casks and 4Kids doesn’t edit out this one….*shrug*
At this point I should mention that there are tons of occasions where Buggy has this weird Yami-Marik type filter on his voice in the dub. No type of filter is used in the original.
Buggy’s Buggy Bombs got changed to Buggy Balls. -giggle-innuendo-giggle-
And the black guy’s changed back to white again.
A bottle on the floor gets edited away after Buggy launches his Buggy Bomb.
The panning shot of the pirates is shortened.
The scene where Nami’s deciding whether or not to light the cannon has also been shortened.
Originally, the sound cuts out all but Nami and Luffy speaking to each other. This is shown as we see the pirates cheering, but don’t hear them. Luffy tells Nami that she shouldn’t go up against pirates if she doesn’t have the determination. Nami says “What? Determination to kill people without hesitation?” And Luffy says “No. The determination to put your life on the line.”
In the dub, the sound is unaffected, and Luffy tells Nami that, because she’s shaking while considering attacking him, she really doesn’t hate pirates as much as she says. Nami responds by saying “I don’t hate pirates because I’m not willing to blast one like it’s no big deal?” Luffy responds by saying if she feels so strongly that she has to put everything on the line.
The scene where the pirate is about the light the fuse is sped up.
After Nami hits the pirate with her staff, we see him pop up in a goofy manner with a pink mark on his face. This is edited out of the dub, which is weird because you’d think they’d be glad to leave in a shot where it shows that the pirate is relatively okay.
The scene where Nami uses her hands to extinguish the fuse is shortened.
In the dub, Zolo, who just showed up literally a few seconds ago, says, “Nami, are you hurt?” How do you know her name? You never met her.
A shot of Buggy twirling his knives and him licking his knife are edited out.
Even though the silhouette of Buggy getting cut up was left in (Was floored by that), any shot showing Buggy cut up is edited out, until after we hear Nami and Luffy talk, then they put it back in….I dunno what’s going on there.
When Zoro gets stabbed, we see the blade protruding from his abdomen, blood seeping through his sash, a backshot of his wound and the blade being removed. All of this is edited out/painted away.
Originally, Nami says she didn’t believe devil fruits were real. In the dub, Nami asks what kind of cursed fruit he ate, even though he just outright said the name directly before she asked that.
For more awkwardness, originally Luffy said “A splitting man?! He’s some kind of monster!” Then we comically see a text box with an arrow pointing to Luffy saying “Rubberman” In the dub, the dialogue is kept basically the same, but the text box is edited away. Also, they keep the length of that scene exactly the same, so we’re left awkwardly waiting for the next shot when there was supposed to be a joke there. Really, 4Kids? Was it too difficult to merely white out the text in the box and replace it with “Rubberman”? Or at the very least trim the shot so we’re not sitting there awkwardly like some laugh track is missing?
In the original, we see Luffy caught the knife Buggy shot at him with his teeth. He then says while laughing and breaking the blade with his teeth “I’m gonna kick your ass!” In the dub, they just reverse the scene of Luffy getting hit with the blade so it looks like the blade bounced off of him or he somehow shot it from his body, I dunno. Were they worried kids were going to try and catch knives with their mouths?
……Mmmmm……Errrr…..well….yeah, okay, I guess I can see some kids doing that. You get a pass there, 4Kids.
And, I know they can’t say ‘ass’, but Luffy saying “I’m gonna clobber you!” just seems lame. Reminds me of the swear edits in the Cartoon Network airing of Yu Yu Hakusho…
They add in a shot of Nami and Zoro and the pirates after Luffy shoots the knife back so he can have his dialogue.
The scene where Luffy just smiles in response to Nami asking how he’s gonna escape is shortened.
Any subsequent shot of the blood stain on Zolo’s shirt is edited away in the dub. So we’re supposed to think he’s wounded when there’s no blood, rip or….wound….well, okay.
This episode was a good introduction to Buggy. It definitely establishes that while he may be a clown with silly quirks, he is a bastard who will do the most terrible things as long as it benefits him. Luffy and Zolo got some great kick-ass moments and we end on a pretty good cliffhanger too.
Dub-wise, it’s certainly not getting any better. I mean, we don’t have hammer guns in this episode, and the knife-catching scene edit was understandable, though annoying due to loss of kickassery, but man, the whitewashing. That’s another league for them.
Next episode, Luffy has to find some way to escape certain death.
Plot: After throwing Drago into the river, Dan confronts his classmate, Ryo, who is very knowledgeable about Bakugan, yet has never played it. Despite Ryo being very courteous and bashful, Dan becomes infuriated at him when one of his classmates states that Ryo’s so knowledgeable on Bakugan that he might even be able to beat Dan in a brawl.
Nearly having his laptop broken by Dan’s outburst, Ryo is approached by Masquerade who recruits him, claiming he could be the best brawler around with his knowledge, and his strategies should be respected. Without Drago by his side and facing a super-strategic first-timer with a Doom Card on his side, can Dan manage to win?
Breakdown: *Deep breath* Okay, Bakugan. I am a reasonable person. Maybe you’re just struggling to get through this first handful of episodes. I get that. So, let’s put the water under the bridge, the exact same place you threw Drago, and try to move on.
Today’s episode starts with a really sloppily edited and written scene with Dan’s friend guilt-tripping him and trying to get him to go find Drago. He stubbornly refuses and goes to lay on his bed without shutting off the computer or closing the video chat.
“Dan, come back!” He’s just laying on the bed about two feet away from the computer. He can still hear you and talk.
Meanwhile, Drago and underwater shenanigans.
The next day at school, Dan starts ragging on this kid named Ryo who, despite never having played Bakugan before, likes to analyze the data from brawls and make up strategies for certain scenarios using his computer. So, pretty much Bakugan’s version of The Chief from Beyblade. How can he analyze data from brawls if time outside of the brawls always stops? Dan believes there’s no strategy to Bakugan – it’s all about who has the most power….This Bakugan prodigy, one of the best in the world….Has early Yu-Gi-Oh Joey syndrome. Or Morikawa from Cardfight!! Vanguard syndrome, take your pick.…..
I’m not kidding – Dan is MYSTIFIED that there’s actual strategy involved in this game.
They pronounce Ryo as ‘Rye-oh’….
One of their classmates says Ryo knows so much, he might even be able to beat Dan in a brawl, and Dan becomes enraged. He mocks Ryo some more, despite Ryo being perfectly pleasant and nice this entire time, and challenges Ryo to a Bakugan brawl. He tells him to put his money where his mouth is unless he’s afraid to show that his data isn’t worth spit, but Ryo didn’t say a damn thing, the other kid did. So he’d be putting his money where some other kid’s mouth is.
Dan gets so pissy that he rushes up to Ryo’s face to the point where Ryo stumbles backwards and drops his computer.
For a change, the other kids actually call Dan out for being a dickhead and defend poor timid Ryo and his possibly broken computer. Dan doesn’t own up to it, though, and just runs out of the room claiming it wasn’t his fault when it 100% was.
While Dan sulks later that night, Ryo is contacted through his Bakugan simulation software by Masquerade. Ryo states that he’s perfectly content simulating Bakugan, acting as if it’s a chess game, as opposed to playing the actual game. Masquerade claims Ryo wants to prove to the world that he has the skills and knowledge to be an amazing brawler, and he can help him with that if he joins his mission.
The next day at school, Dan actually seems like he might be about to apologize, but Ryo suddenly challenges him to a brawl, revealing that he has one of those Duel Disk-esque things from Masquerade. Dan accepts the challenge.
Dan: “This geek is going down!” So much for apologies, apparently.
Ryo sets down a Doom card, and they both set down their first Gate cards.
Ryo sends out Fear Ripper. Dan puts down another Gate card and summons Pyrus Terrorclaw.
Ryo….draws a card from his shirt? I’m not sure that’s allowed, but whatever. He places another Gate card and summons a dark praying mantis thing. He then uses the ability card, Marionette to….grab…Terrorclaw and…..somehow that allows the praying mantis thing to beat him.
Wiki Response – Apparently, moving Terrorclaw to Darkus Mantris’ spot….lowered its power enough to beat him…or something?
Anyway, Terrorclaw is now in the….the Doom Dimensionpbbbttthahahahaha. That will never not be funny.
Ryo recalls his Mantris for some reason, and we’re off to round two.
Dan calls out Juggernoid while Ryo summons….the Mantris again. Why recall it if you were just going to call it back out half a second later?
Juggernoid attacks Mantris, but Ryo uses the ability card, Companion, which…sends both of them to the Doom Dimension?
Wiki Response – I guess that’s exactly it’s function: it kills both an opponent’s Bakugan and your own. *shrug*
Dan is offended that Ryo let his own Bakugan be a sacrifice to beat his, but Ryo says they’re all just tools and parts of his strategy.
Round three – Dan sends out Robotallion and uses the ability card, Robotallion Enforcement. That….beats him….I guess?
Wiki Response – Robotallion Enforcement powered up Robotallion by 50g, which gave him a 40g lead over Fear Ripper. However, they never show Robotallion attacking. They both get engulfed in flames, return to their ball forms and, I guess we’re left to assume that Dan just won that round because of that.
Round four – Ryo sends out Reaper, and Dan thinks this match is clinched because Reaper is standing on a Gate card that will give his Pyrus cards an extra 150g, meaning Reaper won’t be able to beat Robotallion. Boy it sure is nice when the show actually EXPLAINS what’s happening.
Dan sends out Robotallion and activates his Gate card, but Ryo counters with Dimension 4, which nullifies his Gate card. Now without the g boost, Reaper is able to beat Robotallion, giving the match to Ryo.
Dan finally actually, legitimately lost…..and I feel numb. I thought I’d feel happier with Dan finally losing, knock him down a peg. But, remember, I am reading the Wiki page for this episode….He wins the rematch later on, so this whole thing just seems somewhat moot besides guilting Dan enough to go after Drago.
Also, despite the fact that time stopped at the start of the brawl, the second they get back from the pocket dimension, it’s suddenly looking like there’s going to be a storm.
Ryo and the other kids walk away, leaving Dan on the ground beating himself up over losing his Bakugan. And if there were ever a more inappropriate time for the commercial break to bust in going ‘Stay tuned for more Bakugan: Battle Brawlers!’
Dan has a welcome moment of self-reflection as he laments on not learning anything over his battles and being the cause of his Bakugan being sent to the Doom Dimension.
There’s also this –
Wiki: “When Dan was thinking about his battle against Rikimaru, the flashback of the battle is entirely different. None of it occur [sic] where Siege deflected Drago’s attack on him by the gate card. Thus this is more of an alternate timeline scene since Drago broke free from using his ability and waited for the gate card to open.”
Okay…..Wiki, I think you’re being a little generous with the ‘alternate timeline’ explanation. I think a better one would be ‘The writers were too lazy to remember what happened there, so they bullshitted something.’
He, rightfully, beats himself up for being so self-absorbed, then rushes off to save Drago from the river.
Drago…sparkles or something, allowing Dan to finally find him.
Once the symbolic and literal clouds clear, Dan apologizes to Drago, and despite the fact that Drago also admitted he was unfair and apologized to Dan in private, he doesn’t share such a kind sentiment in response to Dan’s apology.
Drago: “You are not completely useless to me, so why should I not take advantage of you as much as I can?” Stop. Please. I’m tearing up.
Dan: “Do you really mean it?” Why are you acting like that was a sweet thing to say?
Oh my god, that embarrassingly animated shot of still-frame Dan and slide-animation Drago. Wow. That’s a special thing right there.
They start a rematch with Ryo. Fear Ripper is called out by Ryo first while Dan sends out a horned demon thing. They show that Dan’s learning by pointing out that he suspects a trap.
His suspicions are confirmed when we basically get the exact same song and dance as before with Mantris and Marionette. Ryo also opens his Gate card, which grants Fear Ripper another 80g, making it a match of 400g vs. 320g.
Dan activates Fire Wall, which decreases Fear Ripper’s attack by 50g….Obviously….he failed math and the demon thing is sent to the Doom Dimension.
Dan: “Just trust me, Drago! Okay?”
Drago: “I trust you!” He threw you in a river and left you there for over a day and only retrieved you when he finally felt the sting of loss, knowing you were his best Bakugan and could give him the best chance to win in the future.
Round two – Dan calls out Drago, and Ryo…calls out…Fear Ripper again. I didn’t even see him recall him that time. Whatever.
Ryo then uses the ability card, Slash Zero, which grants Fear Ripper 80g, making its attack 400g to Drago’s 340g. Dan protects Drago by using the Gate card, Intercept, to stop Fear Ripper from attacking Drago.
Dan summons a Mantris of his own and also uses the ability card, Marionette, to take control of Ryo’s Fear Ripper and set it on Mantris’ Gate card, which is Mind Ghost, and even the Wiki doesn’t help me here as, apparently, doing that sent both Mantris and Fear Ripper to the Doom Dimension. Dan does explain what this does, as it’s basically Companion, I guess, but why the card activated on its own when Dan placed Fear Ripper on it is beyond me.
Logically, there’s no way Dan should’ve even known Ryo had that card, let alone had it out on the field. That wasn’t strategy – that wasn’t even heart of the cards bullshit – that was a guess and luck.
Dan: “Well, you see, Bakugan is really a strategic game. You have to read your opponent’s mind and anticipate his moves.” Literally, I suppose, because the only way you could’ve possibly have known Ryo had that card out was if you actually read his mind.
Also, shut up.
Ryo: “I don’t understand! He actually managed to double-cross me!” You’re not using that word right.
Round three – Ryo summons Reaper and quickly disposes of Dan’s Mantris.
Round four – Reaper and Drago face off. Dan is anticipating that Ryo will use Dimension 4 this time, which actually make sense.
Dan activates his Gate card, which looks like another Fire Wall, so Ryo tries to counter with Dimension 4 again, but Dan reveals this is a character card, which isn’t affected by Dimension 4, meaning Drago gets the powerup.
Dan’s whatever card doubles Drago’s power to 680g as opposed to Reaper’s 370g. Even though it’s entirely pointless because the power gap between the two Bakugan is now massive, Dan powers up Drago even more with a Boosted Dragon card, making his attack level a ridiculous 880g. Yes, I’m going to prove I’m not all about power by needlessly powering up my already overpowered Bakugan.
The match goes to Dan.
At least Ryo and Dan make up and look forward to a nice non-doomy match someday.
And by ‘someday’ I mean ‘never’ because Ryo never appears again. Shame. He’s much more interesting than Shuji anyway.
Dan takes a break from bragging about himself to his friends by bragging about Drago (and himself by proxy – even mentioning he went up a rank) Then Dan gets all cuddly and kissy (literally) with Drago’s ball. This series let me say that sentence.
This definitely was the most tolerable episode so far. Dan was a prick in the first half but got more likable in the second. He pulled some stuff out of his ass to win the rematch with Ryo, and, honestly, I think he was dumbed down for the first match. Dan has showed much more strategy than that, and the idea that he’s such a high-ranking brawler without understanding that this game involves strategy is ludicrous.
Either that, or Bakugan is a broken game, which it very well may be because I’ve been watching for four episodes now and I still can barely make heads or tails of what’s going on without needing the Wiki. Explain card effects. Name the Bakugan and cards every time you show a new one. Don’t just expect the audience knows this shit.
But, of course, either way, he needed to be dumbed down and beaten without Drago around in order to have Dan realize the error of his ways and go after him.
Dan’s problem was never a lack of strategy, it was impulsiveness and recklessness. The fact that they tried to show his growth in strategic planning (And, ironically, caring for the Bakugan as living creatures) by letting two more of his Bakugan be sent to the Doom Dimension (as PART of this strategy) and magically predicting Ryo’s use of a card Dan had no prior knowledge of is just poor writing.
Ryo’s personality change was way too much for me. I’d understand if Masquerade has some sort of dark influence on people, but, as far I know, he doesn’t. He’s just really good at coercion and manipulation. Ryo went from really timid and kind to cocky asshole and back again within the course of two days. It was a bit hard to swallow, even with Dan being a jerk as the trigger.
I did like Ryo as a character, and I would’ve loved him to be a sort Chief-like character for this show, if only for the sake of explaining what the hell is going on, but alas, that’d be something I’d enjoy so of course he’s a one-off.
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