Plot: Genshi is set off to find the Space-Time Monster, Ammon, in 15th century Transylvania where she is currently hanging out with ‘Dracula’ himself – Vlad the Impaler.
Title Change: What is Ammon? is changed to Bindi.
The first shot of the original is the computer screen showing Ammon. In the dub, they insert two establishing shots of the bureau before showing that screen.
Name plate removed:
The dub adds wing flapping noises when showing Pterry and Getalong even though they’re just floating there without flapping their wings.
The dub also adds the same shot of them getting on Ridon and heading down to the basement as usual, but they go even further by adding Jillian chastising Professor Goodman for hitting on her before.
Between when Genshi inserts the card and when they depart, the dub adds in the professor telling the kids to wait a second through the computer, but they won’t wait.
The dub inserts another shot (presumably from later) where we see an overhead view of the town and the kids flying over it before we cut to Sora and Genshi talking.
Genshi initially thinks Dracula is a food, which is why he rushes down to see it. In the dub, Flint seems to know what Dracula is, so he, for some reason, rushes down to see him.
Instead of zooming OUT on the castle, the dub zooms IN. *shrug*
Sora starts telling Genshi they should look for Ammon somewhere else. In the dub, Sarah says they’ll be safe as long as Flint is with them.
So, you know how I was confused as to how they’d go about this episode? Because either 1) They’d be meeting the fictional character, Dracula, in history somehow or 2) They’d start palling around with Vlad the Frickin’ Impaler – the real-life mass murderer on whom Dracula was based?
And HOO. BOY. Do we have much to discuss here.
First of all, Vlad over here is depressed because people keep calling him Dracula and are afraid of him. However, Vlad pretty much gave himself that name in real life. He signed his name as Dragulya or Drakulya after his father, Vlad Dracul (Vlad the Dragon) – a name he received after joining the Order of the Dragon, which was a chivalric order in Europe at the time. Draculea or Dracula was Romanian for ‘son of dracul.’ While ‘dracul’ originally meant ‘dragon’ its meaning changed to ‘the devil’ in the more modern vernacular. In turn, the son of the dragon became the son of the devil.
Second of all, Vlad is also specifically calling himself Vlad Tepes here as if it’s his actual name, which it’s not. It’s literally just Vlad III (of Wallachia). He was given the name Vlad Tepes because ‘tepes’ in Romanian translates to ‘impaler.’ This title was bestowed upon him, posthumously, mind you, because the dude loved him some impaling.
Third, in the dub, Vlad is saying Dracula is a family name, which it’s not, technically, (Vlad II’s descendants were all referred to as Draculesti) and means something different now – something warped from what they originally stood for.
Hm….Hmph. The ‘family’ name of Dracul, inherited from Vlad II was only ‘warped’ because of Vlad III’s cruelty and the slightly embellished stories in the newspapers, word of mouth and, of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Whether or not Vlad II had a good reputation is up in the air. I feel like it’s a gray area situation.
From all I’ve read, he had his fair share of blood on his hands and made some questionable military decisions, but he seemed to have been a pretty fair and caring ruler overall and was nothing anywhere close to the cruel person Vlad III was. His worst crime is implicated as handing over his sons, Vlad III and Radu, to the Ottoman empire, but he was forced into that arrangement (they were kidnapped and being held hostage to try and keep Vlad II under their thumb) and Vlad II tried to ensure that his sons were kept safe and eventually returned to him. He appeared to have died believing that, somewhere down the line, his sons were murdered by the Ottoman empire.
Fourth, this whole setup is kinda screwed from the getout because Vlad III never owned any property or lived in Transylvania. It’s been recorded that Vlad III might have been born in Transylvania, but, even if he was, he never lived there. Even the place they call ‘Dracula’s castle’ – Bran Castle – is just a spooky castle in Transylvania that Vlad never once visited. His armies once passed through Bran the city when they were murdering Saxons and burning nearby suburbs to the ground in the area, but that’s about it.
It was rumored to be the closest existing castle bearing resemblance to the castle described in Dracula, but it’s really not even that. In the 1970s, the Romanian government just banked on the rumor that it was strongly connected to Dracula, so they drove up tourism by marketing it that way.
Moving on, Putera originally tells Tokio and Sora that Vlad was just a model for Dracula and that such a being is not real. In the dub, Pterry tells Sarah and Tony that, if Tony’s nice enough, Vlad might give him the grand tour of the castle – the one that involves showing him his coffin.
Also, somehow, Ammon can talk, which is very much unlike most other Space-Time Monsters.
Speaking of which, Tokio asks how Ammon can talk, and Ammon doesn’t really have an answer for him. In the dub, since all Time Shifters can talk anyway, this is changed to Tony saying Flint won’t make a very good vampire unless they change his diet. Bindi then says to knock off the vampire talk around Vlad because he doesn’t care for it. While supernatural beings of a vampiric-like nature have existed for over a thousand years, ‘vampires’ shouldn’t be a thing in 15th century Transylvania since the word ‘vampire’ wouldn’t exist until the early 1700s.
Mite originally asks what powers TP Lady could be referring to. In the dub, he asks if it was worth missing bowling for a Time Shifter with no powers. Also, after TP Lady goes on about how Ammon could have eternal life or beauty, Mite points out that TP Lady always seems to want the Space-Time Monsters with powers that specifically benefit her. In the dub, he asks if the next Time Shifter they’ll go after will have experience in hair dressing.
TP Lady originally jumps out of the ship to tell them that those are the basics in life that she needs. In the dub, she, for some reason, says ‘One more time! One. More. Time!’ before falling.
I am currently watching Vlad the Impaler happily bounce on a bed with a time traveling caveman……Again, I truly, deeply love anime.
However, let me be a downer nerd for a second……a downerd, if you will – mattresses didn’t start having springs until 1865. Unless there’s something else springy in that mattress, there’s no reason they should be bouncing like that, especially so easily. I have no clue why I decided to look that up, but here we are.
They censor the wolf getting hit in the face with Kyoichiro’s cane by cutting to a flash of white when the strike happens.
They do the same thing again when the other two wolves get hit, but it’s so quick and really nothing is shown during the split-second shot.
Ammon: “The count is really a nice person. Everyone just misunderstands him.”
Vlad once impaled a donkey because it started braying after Vlad impaled its masters…..Who were monks.
A group of Ottomans once refused to remove their turbans in his presence due to religious reasons, so he ordered their turbans be nailed to their heads in honor of their religious devotion.
There’s a story of him having a woman killed because she made a shirt for her husband that was too short.
Here’s a woodcut depicting him eating his dinner while surrounded by dead/dying people impaled on pikes with one of his men chopping up corpses in front of him as he dines.
I mean, granted, yeah, it’s been suggested that the stories about his cruelty were exaggerated to some extent, but, still, the guy didn’t have some sort of fake image as a monster smeared on him. He earned it. He left tens of thousands of bodies in his wake, usually leaving them alive while impaled on stakes and allowing them to die slowly for days wherever he left them. His most famous instance of cruelty and murder was leaving what was described as a ‘forest’ of impaled people on stakes – over 20,000 Ottoman POWs – as a means of intimidating an Ottoman army into retreating (and it worked.) His estimated final death toll is about 100,000.
He is hailed as a Romanian hero by some as he was an extremely effective military leader who held strong resistance against the Ottoman empire, protected Wallachia and had a very noble sense of law and order. But even people who hail him as a hero recognize that he was a cruel person who did horrific things. They simply justify it on the grounds that his cruelty was ‘necessary’ in such horrible times and his acts lead to some good. I actually found quite a few lengthy comments by people who were vehemently defending Vlad on those grounds. I’m not Romanian nor did I live in the 1400s or know the guy personally, but I just can’t see through that lens. Even if you can excuse or justify the acts themselves, if he actually did them in such a merciless manner and took pleasure in it, he’s simply a horrible person in my eyes.
No matter if you don’t accept the monstrous viewpoint of Vlad or even accept him as a hero, you have to agree that it’s SO weird that this show is choosing to paint him like this. The guy is depicted as such a gentle softspoken man that he’d probably be an understudy for The Count on Sesame Street.
They insert a shot of Sarah talking right before Merlock introduces himself.
Kyoichiro tells Sora that he hasn’t properly introduced himself to her yet. In the dub, he tells Sarah that he’s her servant.
In the original, Dyna and Mite say the missiles might not be flying right because Mite mentioned to the people who repaired their ship that they keep getting defeated so they probably skimped on the work. In the dub, Dino says cuts to the defense budget caused the problem and Mite adds that if they had written to their congressman like he suggested this wouldn’t be happening.
Vlad originally tells the women to take the children and run while the men work to put out the fires. In the dub, he tells everyone to grab a bucket and head to the wells to put out the fire.
Also, yup, now Vlad the Impaler is a village-saving firefighter…..
They recycle a couple of shots from the chase after it restarts before Merlock hits the cliff.
They remove about half of the shots of the saw approaching Kyoichiro and Ammon. He was biding his time until the very last moment so he could get the best shot at defeating the robot and getting away. In the dub, he just suddenly attacks.
*lip smack*….Uhhh……why is the sawblade now flying around back and forth like it’s a boomerang that never falls? TP Lady’s not doing this.
Petra: *nearly got hit by the sawblade* “I hate when this happens!” I, too, hate when sawblades defy the laws of physics and basically become a flying sentient Beyblade from hell for absolutely no discernible reason.
Putera: “Vlad was attacked by many, but the townspeople loved him. Just as history should be.” This is half-right, to some degree. As I said, some Romanian people hailed him more as a hero, and they still do. If nothing else, he’s viewed as a good military leader who defended Wallachia no matter what.
However, I am totally still calling foul on this narrative like he was given a bad rep unjustifiably. I get that this kids’ show can’t depict or even discuss the horrible acts of Vlad the Impaler, but acting like he was this goshdarn swell guy who had the heart of a lion but everyone unfairly treated like a monster for absolutely no given reason is taking it way too far.
It’s a hop, skip and jump away from telling the tale of a down-on-his-luck artist who had the best of intentions but everyone just started being mean to him for no reason and his legacy was forever marred because of rumors. Genshi and the others really have to help innocent little Adolf.
I joke, but Shin Devilman pretty much did that.
And I definitely won’t agree with the statement “Just as history should be.” It’s not as history should be because you’re omitting, like…..ALL OF THE HISTORY. The dub parrots this last line exactly and it really irks me. At least Saban changes the first line to saying he was part of a noble family that cared for his country instead of making this defenseless victim narrative.
Dub Villager: “We listened to too many bad stories.” Again, what were these stories? Who was telling them? What were they even about?
Tony: “I guess the vampire was just an urban myth of the count’s era.” No. He was a mere part of the basis of the most famous vampire in history, ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, which wouldn’t be created for another 400 years. Not only was Vlad’s cruelty and impaling shtick inspiration for him, but there was also the popular rumor that Vlad liked to drink the blood of his enemies. It should be noted, however, that the strength of Vlad III’s connection to the fictional Dracula are said to be overstated. Stoker got the name Dracula from him and drew inspiration from the stories of cruelty surrounding him, but the majority of the character was pieced together from years of research on vampire legends as well as essays, books and articles on the subject.
They also found clippings indicating that Stoker was researching Mercy Brown at the time he was writing ‘Dracula’. Mercy Brown was the epicenter of the Mercy Brown Vampire Incident, which was part of a growing ‘vampire panic’ in New England at the time. Many people were dying of tuberculosis during that period, and being the superstitious and largely uneducated bunch people were back then, they started believing those who had died from it were becoming ‘vampires’ since the disease would also spread to their family members and seemingly suck the life force from them while the corpses of some of those who had died were sometimes left without much decomposition and with blood in their vital organs.
One such famous incident of this very occurrence was Mercy Brown, who had died of tuberculosis after her mother, Mary Eliza, and sister, Mary Olive, had died from it. When the three were exhumed for analysis, Mary Eliza and Mary Olive showed a normal rate of decomp, but Mercy didn’t. Mercy was accused of being a ‘vampire’ (though they probably didn’t directly use that term) who was sucking the life from her surviving brother, Edwin, who also had TB. They burned her heart and liver, put the ashes into a ‘tonic’ for Edwin to drink in order to cure him, desecrated Mercy’s body and reburied her, believing they saved poor Edwin….He died two months later.
Also, it was later revealed that Mercy’s body was kept in ‘freezer-like’ conditions in a crypt for the two months following her death, something that was not done with Mary Eliza and Mary Olive, which would explain why they were so decomposed and Mercy was not. This incident was seemingly one of the last of the vampire panic, though it should be noted that Mercy’s case took place in 1892 and the first recorded example of this type of thing happening was in 1793….Yup. Nearly 100 years exactly of people thinking ‘vampires’ were the culprits behind the TB outbreak in 19th century New England. Gotta be thankful for modern medicine, education and science at times like these. Granted, it’s not like it was a massively popular thing to do – according to New England Today, there were only seven documented cases of this happening – but still.
The Mercy Brown incident was never strongly associated with Stoker’s writings, but it’s very interesting nonetheless.
….Also, supposedly Stoker had a nightmare brought on by eating too much crab meat about a vampire king rising from the grave. Now I can’t stop imagining a crab vampire…..
Vampiric beings in general, as I stated earlier, had been around for much longer than Vlad’s time, and the myth has remained in a multitude of ways to this very day, so boiling it down to just being an urban legend of Vlad’s era and location and that blew up in correlation to the rumors surrounding him is just wrong.
And, really, if you think about the timeline of the show for even a second, you have to wonder….how did the fictional Dracula even become a thing off of Vlad? Was it purely the outlandish seeming rumors surrounding him for whatever reason? Does this mean they changed the timeline and now Dracula doesn’t exist because Vlad’s reputation was saved?
Toki-G brings up how odd it is that Ammon can speak again. Since this isn’t in the dub, Old Timer just talks about Merlock and Bindi traveling together now.
The final scene with Toki-G is basically kept the same, but they add in some recycled footage to extend it.
……What a weird-ass episode.
Normally, really weird episodes would be welcome because they’re just insane and fun, but this is weird in a confusing and bland way…..What do I even do with this?
It’s an episode acting as if Vlad the Impaler was an innocent nice dude who never did anything wrong and was treated badly just cuz. It’s uncomfortably washing away literally everything even slightly bad that he ever did. I know they did the same thing for Christopher Columbus, but muffled history and years of washed schoolbooks were basically to blame for that depiction. What was behind this? Why even select someone like him to focus on in a kids’ show?
This episode also showcases a Space-Time Monster that never displays her powers, doesn’t transform and never fights. In the dub, she’s even more boring because there’s no mystery about why she can talk since all Time Shifters can talk in the dub. Not to mention the fact that she’s clingy and jealous, which are not personality traits that appeal to me at all. And now she’s going to be Kyoichiro’s companion. I hope she’s over the jealous bit now and will be more likable in the future.
Our big battle of the episode was against TP Lady’s robot cat, which has been defeated numerous times, and, in the end, they just ran away because they were terrified once Genshi was de-fossilized.
We didn’t even get a new good transformation for one of the Space-Time Monsters on the allied side. Eldora was called in but only to act as a means of de-fossilizing Genshi by reflecting the beam back.
We did learn more about Kyoichiro, and he definitely proved to be more than just a goofball puppy-dogging after Sora. He’s a pretty cool guy with some legitimate skills………….Why no one pointed out that he looks like a vampire, much more than Vlad (and basically is one) I’ll never know.
The one actually notable thing about this episode besides the aforementioned Dracula/Caveman bouncing on the bed thing is the weird flying sawblade with a mind of its own. Where did it even go once the tree pinned Kyoichiro? Is it going to slaughter the villagers? Violate land clearing laws? Audition for the new Saw movie?
I didn’t dislike this episode, but I also didn’t like it. Outside of the weird and uncomfortable light they put Vlad in, there’s not much to like or dislike about this episode because there’s simply not much in it. There’s not a real story. I don’t even feel anything for Ammon having to leave Vlad because they never didn’t put any adequate focus on their relationship. From the very start, it was just Ammon getting pissy that Vlad was making friends with Genshi. And unlike most other instances of a Space-Time Monster leaving their friend, Vlad never has one final moment of fondly remembering Ammon or even saying goodbye. He just makes friends with the villagers and gets his mind wiped.
I will admit that I had a lot of fun researching everything in connection to this story. I always enjoy stories of creatures and monsters and how they intertwine with history, and Vlad the Impaler has always been a pretty fascinating person to me, even if he was a mass murderer. However, the more I researched, the more irked I got at the changes they made. Oh yeah, Vlad the Impaler totally rescued a little pink snail creature and let it sleep in his bed….right after he supposedly captured, tortured and mutilated rats and small birds and stuck their bodies on tiny sticks.
Next time, we’re seemingly getting a Christmas special. Cool. Don’t think they’re meeting the real Saint Nicolas, but cool….Wait, does that mean this was meant to be a Halloween episode? Hm.
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