venus-says
venus-says
Under the Moon's guidance
The adventure we've been waiting for is here so let's go, oh, my lucky train!
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venus-says · 2 months ago
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Healin' Good Precure Episodes 37-45 [END]
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Hoping for a healthier future.
Well, I'm being word limited by tumblr for some reason so I guess I'll have to abandon this tumblr but this is stuff for the future and I'll think about it later.
I know this is anticlimatic but for now I'll have to leave y'all with a link for the post on my wordpress blog. I know it's incovenient but it is what it is.
https://whatdoesvenuswrite.wordpress.com/?p=5765
Thanks for everyone cheking it out there <3 luv ya
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venus-says · 4 months ago
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Healin’ Good Precure Episode 36
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Also known as "Missed opportunity, the episode"
Look at that, a post about an episode coming out in the week that it aired, who would've guessed that I'm still able to do deliver stuff like this.
But, I have to say, don't expect much out of this post. I didn't have any strong feelings about this episode and so I don't have much to say, I actually thought of skipping this week again but I was afraid that I'd leave to do this next week and never touch the show again until January so, here we are.
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So this episode is about Hinata and they tried to pull off two plots at the same time and it didn't work very well, the plots didn't match well and the end result was just... meh. It feels that these were planned as two different episodes but because of rewrites they ended up merging the two and both stories suffered because of that. Again, it wasn't necessarily a bad episode, if this was back in a time where I was more charmed with the show I'd probably have enjoyed it a lot more, but as I'm currently kinda indifferent to the show what sticks with me the most is just the missed opportunity.
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In actuality the plot of Hinata and Eriko I didn't care for it at all, more because they used the "since we can't see each other every day obviously we're not friends anymore" thing than anything, but I overall just couldn't really care for it because this was so in the back seat they didn't give much of a reason to care in the first place.
I understand that after that first awkward interaction it would make sense for Hinata to think that attending different schools means losing friendships, but this is something I already hate in any kind of show, and seeing it happening in Precure is a little more annoying to me because I believe this is the producers and writers trying to shape our mindset to believe in that so that they can be lazy because having they all in one school is easier to write than having them spread-out through other schools. I mean just look at how few seasons we have cures that attend to different schools, and even then most of the cases are because of age rather than they live in different parts of town or their families have different financial conditions and things like that. And let's be honest, they could've done a similar plot with the other two friends of Hinata we already know, but the show forgot they exist because apparently, cures can't have friends outside their magic circle unless they're used for one-time-only plots.
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But what bothers me the most, is that they had the opportunity to do something nice with Hinata's ADHD but they ended up trading that for "Look how cute and quirky this character is. She's bad at school, she can't focus on anything, ain't she funny? Hahaha". You know, they didn't even have to do much, pretty much everything else related to Hinata studying could've stayed in the exact same way, just make Hinata's dad go with her to a doctor and get her a diagnosis instead of having him cry silently in the dark while he eavesdrops his daughter without moving a finger to help, that already would be enough. It would show the parents what to do if they have children with ADHD but weren't aware that this was a thing and it would also show the kids that if they relate to Hinata they're okay and they can be fine if they have help, it's not a bad grade at school that defines them for life. But I guess that is too much to ask, which is sad because from what I hear everyone their depiction of ADHD is actually pretty accurate and it would be nice to have this be canon. Oh well.
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I would go on again about how the villains are boring but I've done that way too much already and I don't have the energy. But you can see how this power-up of the villains was pointless since this is the second week in a row they just use the old-regular Mega Byogens. Speaking of pointless, that was another episode where the "magical" portion of this magical girl show was irrelevant to the plot of the episode and I'm just tired of this? Like, make the fights relevant for the plot, is not that difficult. Or then just don't have them at all, I'm sure the kids won't make a riot because the Cures didn't fight in one episode here and there.
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Anyway, that's enough of "adult mad at a kids' show" for one day so I'll wrap up here. Let me know what you think of this episode (I'm sure it'll be way much more positive than what I have to say, but still). Before anyone asks, yes I've seen one of the leaks for Tropical Rouge (against my will), and no, I won't comment on them and would also appreciate it if no one mentions it in the comments for anyone who also doesn't want to see the designs before the official reveal. And that does it for me, stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thanks for reading, and until the next time. Healin' Goodbye~
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venus-says · 5 months ago
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Healin’ Good Precure Episodes 31-35
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The anti-vax go crazy at the sight of the new Healin' Good power-up weapon.
I honestly don't know how to start this post, I think I never actually knew how to do these ever since I began this thing, but anyway back for more Precure! It only took me five weeks to get back this time, hooray!
You know, I wish I was more happy and excited to be back, but being frank, I'm not really? Part of it is because I feel like I lost the touch for writing, but the biggest reason is that I will be kinda negative about the things I have to say and I've been trying to stay away from negativity, especially now that my cat is sick, and I didn't want to be a source for negativity. But it's already December, I've neglected this blog a lot already and I feel bad for it so I decided to do something about it.
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But to be honest, those weren't the only reasons why it took me a month to be back... I've actually been avoiding watching Precure. Well, I've been avoiding watching most of the things I write about because I've overdone it at the beginning of the year, and burn out hit me seriously, but from everything Healin' Good is what I've been avoiding the most. I know it doesn't seem like it, considering the last 3 posts I've made in the past 4 months (wow) were of Precure, but I've been watching the other shows here and there, I've just been sitting on a huge pile of drafts in my Evernote because I can't put my thoughts on those shows in a cohesive way for some reason, but when it comes to Precure, while it's easier for me to write about, I didn't feel compelled to get back and watch this show.
Every time I would sit down to watch a Precure episode at the same time I would open YouTube and Twitch in the hopes of something else I was more interested in would be there in my subscription box so I could avoid watching Healin' Good. And it's not like I think the show is utterly bad or isn't even like I don't have a good time when I actually sit down to watch the show, I just... lost interest. I think ever since Earth's debut my interest in the show has been decreasing more and more, and I don't know how to pinpoint if it's actually a problem with the show or if it's just me and the headspace I've been in ever since the pandemic hit Brazil. Yes, the story had plot points that I didn't like and the flaws of the show have been more apparent in my eyes with each time I watch it, but at the same time sitting down to watch one episode isn't an excruciating experience (especially when i'm not live-tweeting, istg i don't know why I ever thought that would be a good idea), I just don't feel attached to these characters as much as I did before and I'm not engaged in seeing what their story will become in the future.
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With that being said, I think you all are already prepared for a post that won't be very positive so I guess it's time to put my personal rambling aside and talk about what y'all came here for, episodes 31 to 35 of Healin' Good Precure.
When I left in the last post I know I've said the cliffhanger of Episode 30 was a good one, and well... Episode 31 used its boots to step on my fingers and made me fell from that cliff. I forgot that since we were ending in that action the next episode would begin with the Cures being defeated, the major portion of the episode would be for dealing with the tension, and the new power-up would come at the climax. And that was exactly what happened, except that there was no tension at all and the power-up didn't feel like a cathartic experience just a Deus Ex Machina. The episode was very anticlimactic and just very uninteresting as a whole and once again, I know I'm going to be very repetitive here, it all comes down to the villains.
Everything that is depending on the villains' side to make me feel something 9 times out of 10 won't make me feel anything because of how boring they are. They made such a big deal about the villains evolving after using the Mega Parts, but it feels like anything changed. Shindoine is still just "the girl", Guwaiaru is still just the dumb strong guy, and the so-called power we're supposed to see from these new forms don't really make much of a difference since these two never get into actual fights with the cures, only the MOTW do. Daruizen is the only one they make stuff with, but it's more because they're really desperate to make him and Nodoka to be deeply connected and so they'll mold his character and personality to forcefully match him with whatever Nodoka's problem will be in that episode, if they need him to be the bored one he'll be, if they need him to be the curious type running experiments he'll be that, if they want him to be a selfish lone wolf they'll make him be. And that's just boring, at this point this villainous team and a cardboard cut-out are basically the same thing.
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While also speaking about this "evolution" from the villains, you would think the new human-powered Giga Byogen would bring something new to the table, but no. It's just the exact same thing as before just with a bigger range for creating infections and a slightly higher defense stat. They aren't used in creative ways neither proposes a different treat that the other Mega Byogens did, proof of that is that in Episode 35 instead of a Giga they bring back a Mega just to show how irrelevant they are. They're also different from other monsters who draw their power from humans like a Nottrigger, or a Desertrian, or a Zetsuborg, where in most of the cases the summoning of the monster would be relevant for "solving the problem" afflicting either the victim of the week or the people around them. The teacher being affected didn't make his son appreciate the father more than he did before because that wasn't his conflict, Nodoka's doctor didn't have a revelation about his talents for medicine and Nodoka also didn't get anything new that she hadn't already learned before in the episode, neither did Chiyuu and her rival, you could completely delete the fight and that episode would've reached the same conclusion. Heck, the victim of episode 32 had only TWO appearances before he was turned into a monster, I doubt he was on screen for more than a minute, and they didn't need Touji to be there protecting the dog in the middle of the fight BECAUSE CHIYUU WAS ALREADY AWARE THAT HE'S A BRAVE HARD-WORKING KID BEFORE. These monsters are completely irrelevant and they don't add anything else to the show, and that's just really sad.
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Back to Episode 31, let's talk about this power-up, shall we? Being straight to the point, I don't like it, both in the visual and narrative aspects. I visually like them even less now that we already know how the movie power-up looks and how much those forms are way more interesting than just a bigger hair and bigger skirts with a set of wings in the back that you could find in a Halloween costume sale. But who cares about how they look when this power, that is the manifestation of the the four cures combined powers together with their respective healing animals, comes out of nowhere without anything specific happening for them to trigger the appearance of the Healin' Good Arrow and the Special Healin' Good Bottle. Guess is needless to say that the Special Healin' Good Style doesn't feel special at all, it's like it only exists just to sell toys. Well, it's not like everything in this franchise is just to sell toys, but they usually know how to merge this with the story of the show and this didn't happen here. Also, for Christ's sake, this is the second year in a row where the name for the group powered-up attack is just the name of the series being used in the more boring way possible, where has their creativity gone to? The only good thing I have to say about this is that it gave us the healing animals doing some sort of rhythmic gymnastics and Pegitan twirling in that is prime content.
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Overall complaints done, let's move one. (these will be quicker)
Episode 32, at first I thought I wouldn't like this one because they brought back this weird rivalry Pegitan has with Chiyuu's brother that doesn't have much of a reason for existing, but it was actually pretty sweet and heartwarming seeing Pegitan leave behind that and showing that he actually cares a lot about Touji, this silly rivalry is just his silly way of showing it (Showing it to who? I don't know, since no one but Pegitan and the audience seems to be aware of this, but shhh). This episode also made me like Touji, before he was just a background character to me and I didn't care much for him, but now I see him as more of a character of his own and not just Chiyuu's brother.
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Episode 33 was my least favorite of the bunch because it connects to what to me is the worst plot point of the show: Nodoka's illness being a magic thing. If this had never been a thing, I'd be completely here for this episode. Nodoka's Doctor leaving his job because he felt powerless regarding Nodoka's disease and that being what drives him to go overseas to start doing medical research?? That seems great, and Nodoka feeling guilty for him leaving, while in actuality she's his inspiration is actually pretty emotional. But to me, it all just loses a lot of its importance because Nodoka was never sick after all, and unless this dude discovers on his own about the Byogens he pretty much went through all of this emotional trauma because and for nothing, it all becomes sad when you remember this aspect of it.
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Episode 34 was going very well to me up until it's last moments where instead of sticking with a somewhat unique perspective on how to do a story like this they just throw it all through the window and instead of making Chiyuu and Tsubasa friendly rivalry exist outside the world of competitive sports they make Chiyuu change her mind and decide to pursue the World Tournament because you obviously can't have other interests and want to pursue different things when you're out of school, you gotta do that all your life, no other option allowed. This got me so disappointed, y'all have no idea.
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Last but not least, Episode 35 which was my favorite, probably because it felt completely disconnected from the rest of the show and I could freely enjoy it in a separate pocket dimension without thinking about the rest. But regardless this was just a very fun and over-the-top episode that wasn't concerned about anything else other than just being fun, and that was exactly what I've been needing. Also, volleyball and beach volley is just cool as heck and seeing that incorporated in the fight of the episode was just fun as hell and a good change of pace. Akane sure is proud.
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And that does it for now. Much like at the beginning, I also don't know how to close this one, especially after writing all those bad things and the fact that I'm not that excited for what's to come next. Well, let me know how you feel about all this, I don't know when I'll be back with another post but I promise I'll at least reply to any comment I receive. Without much else to say I'll leave you all with my usual sign-off. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time. Healin' Goodbye~
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venus-says · 6 months ago
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Healin' Good Precure Episodes 21-30
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Hope you're comfortable and have your reading glasses on because I'm about to rant.
It has been a long time since I came here and bashed my thoughts on this show for young kids, but you know? It feels like just a couple of weeks have passed.
And I say this because to my surprise, and maybe disappointment, not a lot happened in these 10 episodes. Does it mean it was bad? Not necessarily. Excluding maybe 2 or 3 episodes, I had a great time binge-watching these last episodes in the past three days.
Usually, in a Precure season, the episodes that follow the debut of the mid-season Cure are used to insert the new character in the team, create connections with each member, make us feel like the newcomer belongs here. In Asumi's case, these episodes also had the function of building her as a character since she's someone who literally just appeared out of thin air. And these episodes haven't done either of those things, in my opinion. I came out of these 10 episodes with the same basic information I had from last time, she's clueless, she's obsessed with Rate, as a Cure she is gorgeous and cool as heck, but maybe a little too overpowered. I know nothing about Fuurin Asumi.
One can argue "well, she was just brought to existence, it's obvious you know nothing about her because there's nothing learn", but that doesn't mean that they couldn't build her character. They decided that her whole thing would be learning about human emotions(?) and they could've chosen some specific points that would help her to build her personality and her character, give her goals and ideals, a reason for her to be a main character in this story. And while we see evidence that she has learned the meaning of those words and she can recognize them on herself and in other people, this is not a personality is just a computer recognizing patterns.
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The feeling I had while watching these episodes was that she was a blank canvas just so that the writers could use her as a jack-of-all-trades for whatever situation they were trying to build in the episode. And this inconsistency with her is pretty evident, I mean in one episode she exhibits a lack of knowledge about basic human feelings, but then she suddenly knows what rap is even though we haven't seen a single instance of her having contact with it, and then later we see she giving Grace life advice.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed and had fun with Asumi in those isolated instances, it's because of them that even with all the problems I have I still like Asumi VERY MUCH, the thing is that this isn't an episodic show where each story is centered on itself and there's not a bigger picture to be seen, this is a continuous narrative so just isolated moments aren't enough. Imagine how much more meaningful it would have been if the words they decided to explain to Asumi were things that deeply connected with her, imagine how much more fun the rap gag would've been if we had seen before she going out on her own and meeting with random people on the street and we had a precedent of her knowing something that was weirdly very specific and seeing that being brought up in the future as her unique comedy gag, imagine how much more meaningful her words to grace in episode 29 would've been if we had seen her gain that level of understanding of human emotion in a way that wasn't by just explaining the definition of that word in a dictionary.
The reason why this "arc" feels so frustrating is that the basis for something great is all there, they just don't use it at it's fullest which makes her, who could've been the most interesting character the Precure franchise has ever seen, just another one, and that hurts. Because I freaking love this spirit lady and I wanted her to be more.
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Overall rant is done, let's talk about each individual episode, shall we?
I know it doesn't seem like it, because I've written around 600 words of how disappointed I was, but I had a great time doing this mini-marathon to catch up with the show. I don't know if it was because it had been so long since I watched something Precure related, or if it was because my expectations were low since even though I try to avoid seeing other opinions before I write my own reviews since it has been so long I couldn't really avoid that and those comments weren't really that positive, or if it was because I was live-tweeting my impressions instead of taking my usual notes. but overall my experience was great. Even in the episodes I didn't like or had major issues with, it wasn't to a point where it made me regret the decision of getting back to this show so most of these are going to be very positive.
Except for the final three episodes, I'm not doing these in the correct order so I decided to leave the episodes I disliked for last. I'm probably going to go overboard with the negativity in those ones so if you don't wanna any of that you can leave before me going in the mean territory.
Anyway, Episode 21. That was a very fun one, it had a good combination of comedy with endearing moments and even bigger picture stuff. It was still early on Asumi's journey so her cluelessness was very fun and endearing and I had some great laughs with that one (that moment where she struggles with the chopsticks was my favorite bit. I also liked seeing Nodoka work her way around to let Asumi stay at her house, I like how straight-forward it was and how the lie developed after it, I don't know how Nodoka's parents bought the story but I loved it. The theme for Asumi this time was learning about empathy (I think?) and she and Nodoka had some great exchanges in the episode. Getting more development with the Mega Parts was also good, there were interesting bits of information like how to harvest them and that they can be injected in the Mega Byougens by anyone, it doesn't need to be the one who began the infection. Also, the group roll call was very cute, I love Rate touching paws with each of the healing animals, and the new eyecatches are cute as hell!!!! I also liked the special intro bit with Nodoka and Asumi, I wish they did things like that more.
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Episode 22 was a bit weird. The lesson of the episode was about the word "like", but it was a bit confusing. It seemed that the point they were trying to make is that liking sometimes it's hard because is something you can't control, but it didn't connect very much with the conflict between Rate and Asumi? I think very valid and important points were raised throughout the entire episode, but in the end, to me, it felt more like a plot about empathy, because Asumi wasn't being considered of Rate's feelings and the resolution for the main conflict in the episode was about that, but I can also see the logic behind what they were doing it's just that they could've been more clear in that aspect. Regardless, this episode gave us the starting point for one of the relationships I enjoyed the most in this run that was Chiyuu and Asumi getting along so well, I honestly thought Asumi would be more connected to Nodoka and the animals, but she has a lot of chemistry with Chiyuu and it was a delightful surprise discovering this friendship.
Of the initial episodes to connect with each Cure, Episode 23 was probably the weakest. I think Hinata and Asumi didn't really click for me when they were together, and teaching her the concept of "cute" didn't seem all that useful to me, the impression it gave me was that they couldn't think of anything else meaningful Hinata could bestow on Asumi and they went with the easy route instead of putting in the work to make something bigger. With that being said, I really appreciate that in no moment of the episode the show tried to tailor Asumi for her to think that only one thing that follows a certain aesthetic pattern can be considered cute, I was very afraid of that happening and it was a huge relief to see that it hasn't happened. One curious thing about this episode was the Cures directly interacting with civilians, has that already happened and I just forgot about it? Or was this the first time? That got me really curious.
Episode 24 was a mixed bag, it introduced elements that I liked but it overall gets ruined by what I've mentioned at the start and also because it can be summed down to Spirit Lady Too OP. The thing I liked the most in this episode was seeing Asumi connect with another adult human, it was a nice interaction that I was really into it and that I hope keeps happening in Asumi episodes, to me it was an example of interesting interaction outside the Cures' circle that could be meaningful for building Asumi's character (if they were really concerned in building her one). I was also pretty excited for a new general and Nebusokku seemed to have enough to be a fun character, sadly he was defeated in the same episode which was kinda disappointing and it left me with the Batetemoda blues. There was also the portal stuff that was random and it never happened again and, I don't know, it just felt way too convenient. Spirit Lady is too OP and, sadly, that's a problem.
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Surprisingly enough, Episode 26 was one of my favorites. I know it's just a clip show, but you can see that they cared enough to make this feel like a genuine episode and not just something that you can skip if you want. Maybe they could've put a little more of care into it since they made the big mistake of saying Asumi wanted to do a Rate Diary but all the questions and recollections Asumi got were from everyone BUT Rate, but I still really enjoyed the episode. I really like the journey of Asumi not being scared in the cold opening, to the group deciding to make something that is nice to her but that will also surprise her, and the cute moment at the end was a really nice payoff. I also like how Asumi stumbled upon the information about the festival and seeing her actively wanting to be part of the team and her being sad for feeling like she was being left behind without making a big mess about it, like she was sad but she also (miss)understands what's going on and that just makes her even sadder. This recap episode gave up more characterization about Asumi than the episodes that were meant to do that and this is both impressive and sad.
Speaking of episodes that characterize Asumi, Episode 27 was another great one at it. Again, Asumi connecting with another adult being determined to help, feeling frustrated for the Hot-Air-Balloon Team loss and wanting to actively do something about it. It was really great seeing her so assertive, and seeing her feel so strong about something, and even better, something that wasn't related at all to Rate. She felt like a real character, a real human, and I really liked that. This was a very straight-forward episode but I think it works completely in favor of the episode, I like the plot, I like the characters of the day, I like that even Nodoka's father got some characterization since now we know he was a Hot-Air-Balloon nerd, we even got a new element bottle. It was simple and it was great.
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From this point on we're on Salty territory so read at your own discretion.
Going from the one I have the least to talk about, Episode 29 was boring I thought they were going to do something bigger, considering what episode 28 was, and if you disregard Cure Earth giving really mature advice about something she shouldn't have the know-how to talk about they had a nice bit of Nodoka going reckless and she realizing she shouldn't be so hard on herself, but that was pretty much the only thing this episode had going for it. I really couldn't care for anything else, the comedy felt very odd, and getting the final bottle for the shelf was very underwhelming.
Then we have episode 25, that feels disconnected from the rest of the storyline, and that is just here in the bottom list because of two factors. The first is the fact that is a very cliche plot and the show didn't bring in enough new elements to make it interesting, instead, they wanted to make it WAY TOO SAD for that little girl and it was just cruel to watch it because I knew all the time Pegitan would eventually leave her and I wanted that little kid to be happy because she seems like a good kid. My other problem, and my biggest one, is what started this whole plot. I hate the "I'm a boy, I'm not cute, I'm cool" line of thought, and while it makes sense that Pegitan, being as insecure as he is, would have a concern like that, I hate that the show makes Chiyuu feel guilty and blame herself for doing it, and I hate it even more that at the end the major message was "Yes, Pegitan, you're cool" instead of "It's okay for you, as a male, to be cute". From a franchise that two years ago was saying boys can be princesses, this feels like a step back and I hate it.
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Episode 30 was one of the most boring things I've watched in this season. To begin, what the hell were they thinking of making Hinata, of all girls, to be the one to not know tigers and cats are related? She lives in a veterinary clinic, both her dad and her brother should've mentioned that at some point, and I'm being gentle here and not considering this as common knowledge for 14-years-old kids. Then there's the thing that completely ruined the episode to me that was that little boy and his friend. I really didn't care for this random character with the most white straight male thought ever wanting all of their friends to be the same as him because he doesn't like to have their world views being challenged. If it wasn't for the eventual cute interactions between the girls this episode would've been the worst.
And there's an element in this episode that ties in with Episode 28 which is, without a doubt, my biggest problem with this series: the villains.
I hate the Healin' Good villains, all of them. Except for Batetemoda, but he's dead so he doesn't count. This is probably the most uninteresting set of generals of the entire franchise, and we live in a world where the Trio the Minor and the Mahou Tsukai villains exists. Guwaiaru is way too dumb, his dumbness is supposed to be played for laughs, but when you repeat the same joke of him adding more stuff to a bigger thing to make it stronger, or dirtier, or spicier, in the span of 10 episodes it doesn't become funny, it's just tiresome. Then there's Shindoine, who's flat-lined as hell. Her whole thing, her only thing, is her unhealthy obsession with King Byougen. She doesn't have anything else besides that, she doesn't do anything interesting, every time she's on-screen she's talking about King Byougen, and it's not fun, it's not interesting, it is a big pile of nothing. And you would think that after Anacondy, Papple, and Gelos, the creators of this show would know better and wouldn't make another general that is so in love with the leader of their organization to the point of doing dumb shit that could get them killed, but no. We gotta raise the stakes. And as cool as powered-up Shindoine looks, I can't get excited. Because she, just as her companions, doesn't change as characters. They are the regular "pick a stereotype and make a character out of it" gone to an extreme and in the most boring way possible.
Thanks, I hate it.
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And then, there's the biggest offender of them all. Daruizen. He is the "bored one" and that's enough to make him boring because he doesn't have anything to pique my curiosity to learn about him or see what he's capable of. In other circumstances, this would be fine, but her companions are just as boring, and the thing that maximizes this as a problem is that for some reason the creators of this show thought it was a great idea to pair him up with the main Cure. And when you do something like, to make sure your audience will be completely on board with you, you gotta make sure both characters are interesting enough to carry this on.
The catch is that Daruizen isn't interesting at all, the thing that makes Daruizen interesting is the thing that makes Nodoka/Grace less interesting, and that's not a good balance.
When Episode 28 decided to make canon that Daruizen is the result of a parasite that took residence in Nodoka's body they elevated his level of in the scale, now we have a very close connection that raises the bar for the rivalry these two have and it also drops answers for questions we didn't even know we had. But they couldn't leave it at that, they had to undermine their main character and probably the whole, show while at it too.
The thing that made Nodoka such a unique lead for this show was the fact that she is a sick kid, we never know what her disease is, and I understand the reasons why the show wouldn't want to pin-point and existence disease neither create a fake one, but we know her health isn't one of the best, we've seen her suffer because of it and the show wasn't shy of putting images of the main character in a hospital bed. And this is very important because, while the majority of the target audience most likely has never been in those conditions, I'm sure a lot of kids, and even adults, who unfortunately have been in hospitals for most of their lives watches this show for hope, for strength, for comfort, and having a main character similar to them is strong as fuck. But when you make Nodoka's disease to be something magical you devalue a lot of that. Yes, magical or not, Nodoka did experience her disease, that affected her, that changed her. But just how it magically came to her, it also magically left her body, and sadly that's not a luxury that we in the real world have... and that affects people. Of course, I'm working here just based on assumptions, thankfully I never had to be hospitalized and the closest my family got to that was when my aunt got her tubes tied and the period right before my father's death, so I may not be in my place to say, and I really hope I'm wrong in this, but I do believe this was a bad move for the representation.
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Even if I'm wrong (and I really do hope I am), this still isn't a good narrative move because it just turns this show into something very focused on the lead cure when this is supposed to be a show about a team. It makes it feel like this world spins around Nodoka, and not that Nodoka spins WITH the world she's in. This deep connection with one general, that isn't emulated with the other generals in parallel to the other Cures, makes it feel like she's the only one important and that nothing else matters, and this saddens me because makes it look like I hate Nodoka when I deeply care for her and this is the reason why I'm so mad about this mess. Now that I think about it, it's very similar to Kamen Rider EX:AID to a certain extent, and from all the aspects I could draw a parallel this is definitely the worst one to intersect. Well, at least they haven't made her be the be-all-end-all of the show (yet).
But just to not end this on a negative note, Episode 28 did gave us one of the most emotional scenes ever between Rabirin and Nodoka, and that crushed my heart, I had no emotional structure to sit through that without shading tears. It was an amazing scene. And Episode 30 did end on a good cliffhanger, it feels like we're entering the final arc that will lead us to the Christmas special and then the finale, and I'm very curious to see the path this show will take.
And that does it for me. I feel like I've written way much more than I should, and maybe I'll have to write more because I'm not necessarily sure if I should post this right now considering the US Elections, but regardless, whenever you get to read this share your thoughts with me, I feel like for this block of episodes more than any other else I'm really curious to see what people have to say about it. And considering the sheer length of this post, if you're someone who's reading this on tumblr, consider going over to the blog (the link should be in the sidebar if you're accessing it via pc) the comment section should allow for a better discussion that doesn't need to be broken down in several replies like here on tumblr. Without anything else to add, I think it's time to sign off. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so so so much for reading this insanely huge post, and until the next time. Healin’ Goodbye~
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venus-says · 8 months ago
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Healin' Good Precure Episodes 19-20
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Anju looks good in purple.
I'm gonna be honest with you all here, I don't know how to start this one. I've watched these two episodes back to back TWICE and I have so many mixed feelings, I have no idea how to put my thoughts in a cohesive order for this post to make at least a little bit of sense. So bear with me because I have a lot of conflicting emotions.
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So beginning from the basic stuff, Episode 19 was strong, with great emotional moments, and I loved it for almost all of its run-time. Episode 20 was a bit of a letdown, the emotional parts didn't work as well, and what were supposed to be great moments felt like they needed a little more gas to me, and how things were solved in this episode made me like the previous one a little less than I did on my first watching.
You see, my major problem with how both of these episodes went down is that the pay off for the build-up wasn't exactly that satisfying.
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When the matter is Mid-season Cures, my preference will always go to when the character that will become said Cure has already been introduced before because these are characters we already know and already had some development so when the "Curefication" happens that moment feels like a turning point or an essential moment for those previously established characters arcs. When they become Cures, it's rewarding, it's exciting, and when they need to integrate that character with the original group it feels more natural because they already knew each other, at least to a certain level.
Cure Earth's case falls under the situation I like the least, where a character comes out of nowhere, transforms, and saves the day. And I don't know how to feel about those situations because I don't know that character, I don't know how I should feel about them. When they just appear it's not a rewarding build-up, it's frustrating. It feels like a Cure Ex-Machina and it can ruin what in other circumstances could've been a great moment. And the way things happened in these two episodes felt just like that.
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Episode 19 was everything centered around Rate, it was an episode where we finally got to know more of her and see her thoughts for once in a situation where the girls had to run to fight a monster right after. She was sick, she was feeling weak and powerless, and the entire episode was walking in a path where Rate would be the main star. Whatever happened there, it should be Rate in the spotlight, it was Rate's moment. But in the end, she didn't do anything and she was just the poor, defenseless little puppy that she has been all this time along. And in Episode 20 she was robbed even more of her spotlight, she didn't even get a chance to help in the battle like the other healing animals and it felt like such a missed opportunity. The sensation I had was that originally Rate was supposed to give a group power-up at this moment and this would be like a level up for her, but because they're so bound in this "Sixth Ranger" tradition they changed the focus to a character that literally didn't exist before she was needed to exist.
And I feel like I would be more okay with this if Rate at least had an active participation in creating Asumi and making her Cure Earth, you know? Rather than making Teatinu being the one who awakened the spirit, it could've been Rate that did it, it would show how powerful she is and how much she has grown and it would go hand-in-hand with her conflicts we've seen earlier in the episode. It would also serve as the reason why Asumi feels so connected with Rate and her strong feelings about protecting her, without mentioning it would explain why Rate was able to bond with her and turn her into her Cure partner immediately instead of the three characters that for 20 episodes have been giving their all to take care of her.
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With that being said, I also had many things that I liked in these two episodes. Seeing the girls caring for Rate in Episode 19 was very endearing, Nodoka waking up in the middle of the night to give her comfort, Chiyuu skipping club activities to be with her because she's concerned, Hinata taking advice from costumers of her family's clinic to give help on her own way, even Nodoka's father that was there just to be comic relief, all of these moments were pretty sweet.
And the magical-girl-centered part of the episode was pretty good as well. For example, I like that because Rate is sick with a real illness she can't feel the Earth calling for help so the girls go unaware of the Mega-Byougen wreaking havoc in the mountains which gave Batetemoda a huge head start so the monster was stronger than usual which lead to the cures being trapped in that situation, that eventually lead to Rate taking up action where it gave Batetemoda a chance to capture her which triggered Cure Earths birth at that moment. Aside from the problem of a character coming out of nowhere, it was a natural progression of events that had me on the edge of my seat for the entire second half of the episode.
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And Earth's entrance was pretty cool as well, the way she fought the Mega-Byougen doing all of those jumps and kicks was amazing, and seeing her creating an Elemental Bottle made me go crazy. Her second fight on Episode 20 was even better, going toe-to-toe with Batetemoda and sweeping the floor with him and the powered-up Mega-Byougen, that was awesome. My mind went places when she reveals she's not a human, and that she's technically a newborn. That paired with how clueless she is about everything and how she acts a little silly at times made it for an awesome time following her around. I joked about it on twitter, but Asumi sounds exactly like Anju from PriChan, and not just because Mimori Suzuko is doing the exact same voice she does for Anju but because this "cluelessness" reminds me a lot of how Anju acts sometimes whenever she's hiding her true identity. I'm just waiting for the time where someone will do an AMV of Cure Earth with Fortune Karat playing in the background and an edit of Anju's coord change with Earth transformation song playing as the background.
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Oh, and by the way, can we talk about how freaking gorgeous she is? Both in civilian and Cure form. Earth is one of the prettiest Cures ever and if you don't think so I recommend you to leave because I don't think we can be friends (jk, I condemn favorites shaming XD). I love her transformation, I love her attack, I love her weapon. I'm all here for these aesthetics and I have no doubt that in a couple of weeks I'll be here with an "I ♡ EARTH" headband and two purple lightsticks going "GO EARTH! GO EARTH!" because of that. Like, I can get tired of it??? From Rate's running to Asumi, to her grabbing Rate's little paws, to them snuggling each other TWICE, how her hair changes, and how she gets her earrings and the winged headpiece everything in that transformation is perfect. And gosh, the attack, after 20 episodes with attack animations that weren't all that exciting or inventive how fresh it feels to have a Healing Hurricane to blow us all away.
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I think from these episodes the only thing I can't forgive it's the villains' side of things, again. Like, they just lost their more interesting member, and now I just don't feel as engaged with the villains once more. Also, that power-up thing coming from a Mega-Byougen fragment was also a bit meh. More because we haven't really seen that being mentioned before, you know? And it's not like they didn't have the chance to explain it either, I believe Batetemoda was born from something with similar properties so they could've introduced this element before. I don't know, I'm just sad my good boy is gone and now we're stuck again with those boring three and the main villain that probably had less screen time than a side character so far.
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Another sadness was the new ending. I'm sorry y'all but I don't like this song, I don't like this dance, I don't like the visuals for this ending, and I'm just very sad. I'm gonna miss Miracle tto Link♡Ring SO SO MUCH... and this Ending doesn't even have hints for what the next season will be, I'm sad.
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Oh well, like I said CONFLICTING FEELINGS, I'm a mess but I hope I could pass my point to everyone. If you have anything to share about these episodes or my thoughts please let me know in the comments down below. I believe that's all for now, don't forget to stay healthy, stay safe, and never stop resisting. Thank you so much for reading, and until the next time, Healin' Goodbye~
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venus-says · 8 months ago
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Healin' Good Precure Episodes 14-18
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Vows of Friendship.
Yes, contrary to what it looks like, this blog is still alive. Life happened, there was a succession of not so good things happening IRL (again) and I thought it was for the best to forget the blog was a thing for a few weeks so I could give proper attention to those matters. But things are starting to get better so I decided it was time to be back.
Before everything, I know episode 19 has aired already and we already had the debut of our mid-season cure, but this post is being released right before episode 20 and seeing that this couple of episodes will be so connected I decided to talk about them together so they're not in this post and I won't talk about things that happen in there for now.
PSAs done, let's get right into what this post is for: Healin' Good Precure!
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I think before going into each episode I need to say that I'm kinda glad I let these episodes accumulate because while I enjoyed all of them I wouldn't have too many things to say about more than half of them and it would be very difficult to me to make full posts for every single one of them. Like, these were all very sweet episodes and some had some amazing things happening but overall it didn't feel like we were making much progress with the story, despite a new set of Element Bottles appearing in these episodes which would indicate otherwise.
Of course, every episode that gives us more development to each character is important for the progression of the show so in one way or another all of these episodes are important (14 is about Nodoka's health, 15 is about Nodoka and Rabirin's relationship and so it is episode 18 with Hinata and Nyatoran, Episode 16 is important for the friendship of the group, and 17 is important for Chiyuu and her future). But in terms of plot, as I see, Episode 14 was the only one that had relevant things that moved it forward since it laid down the backstory of the previous Precure that acted in that region.
And Episode 14 is a quite interesting one because it sets that Nodoka's health is in perfect condition now after a few months of living in Sukoyaka City, and they did a quite fun thing with this, you know? Because at the beginning of the episode I thought that Nodoka's health was improving because of her Precure powers, and I feel like other shows would've gone with this route, but at the end, the general consensus was that her health got better because of the energy of that community and that's pretty sweet. And I don't know, maybe it's just me being crazy, but I feel like there was some sort of comment on the pandemic there because in this situation everyone's health isn't depending only on ourselves but also on other people doing their part for this to not spread any longer. I know it's farfetched but it makes sense in my head. In any case, stay home, wear masks, and wash your hands PLEASE.
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The other big part of the episode is the revelation that there was a Precure from years ago that also lived in Sukoyaka City, that used her music to help everyone in the city, and that she was Teatinu's partner and had some relation with the Wind Element. Of course, this is already out so I won't speculate on, but I wish they had thought of a better way to put this information in, you know? I don't know how much time has been between the time where the last precure was active and now but they could have an older citizen in the festival give a hint about a girl that healed everyone with her music and then the Wind Element would expand on that in the end instead of dropping a full expositional speech.
With that being said, at least this episode has shown that Nyatoran knows his type match-up type when he told Sparkle to use an electric type attack on a flying type enemy, the pokemon logic wins once again. XD
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Episode 15 was definitely the more interesting of the bunch with Rabirin and Nodoka's fighting each other. I had a problem with the episode calling this their first fight because I have to me that their first fight was on episode 2, but I guess they didn't have developed a friendship yet at that point so I guess it's okay for this case. I had a bit of trouble at the beginning to grasp what they were trying to do at first because the episode was being pretty sweet for the majority of the first half and I couldn't see where the conflict would come. Yeah, it was pretty clear that Rabirin feeling a bit ashamed of liking something that everyone else was dissing would play a part on it, but Nodoka was being very welcoming to her so I couldn't see where the conflict between the two would come from and I was afraid that it would end up being handled pretty poorly.
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And you know, I would've rather that the conflict had hit more of a gray area thing so that we couldn't choose a side in the matter (being on Nodoka's side here was way too easy, after all, she actually did nothing wrong), and I also wish Nyatoran as an outside factor hadn't been used in such a keen way because it made him look more mean-spirited than his character actually is and if someone wants they can point that he's the one at fault and this takes part of the importance of the main conflict in my eyes. I think if they had made Nyatoran keep his mouth shut, it would be more effective because then Rabirin denying her love for the daruma doll would have come from herself thinking that she would be made fun of for liking something the other mascots didn't like and the conflict would be more interesting because it would be coming all from herself, and it would be able to tell more about her as a character rather than the "environment" in where she's in.
Taking this into consideration, even with all problems I have in those regards, I still like how it happened and how the resolution came out, I do feel like it was a bit rushed because they had to come in terms with each other under the pressure of the fight happening and they not being able to transform due to their feelings not being in sync, but for something that begun and ended in a single episode it still worked and they ended on a pretty note and with a good message that even though conflict and fights happen they know how to apologize and make peace so it's okay that a quirrell happens here and there. Though, this should've been a two-parter, just saying.
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Episode 16 was a bit of a letdown, but that's more on my end rather than the episode's fault. You know, the plot was pretty good, I like the concept of the Eternal Tree, I like the idea of celebrating this tree even if it was dead already, and the concept of a group of friends that had vowed eternal friendship under the tree but that now aren't together anymore it's pretty cool. I just personally wish they didn't try to fix a broken friendship, maybe it's me being a pessimist, but friendships don't always last forever and in some cases, it's better that one friendship doesn't go for years and years, and I would like more if we had seen a case where a friendship couldn't be saved and the girls vowed eternal friendship anyway because they believe in their bond so much and they understand that just because it happened to those three it doesn't mean it will also happen to them. Maybe I'm asking too much for a kids' show, but still...
In any case, this episode served to mark even more in my head that Batetemoda is the best of the villains since he's the only one with an actual personality, him rapping all episode was a delight.
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Episode 17 is the one I have the least amount of things to talk about. It was cute, it served for Chiyuu to build up more on her character and how she relates to her future, her family, and the family business. But, being honest, the episode didn't have much else going on. The plotline with Emily was okay, but they could've done more, you know? I feel like they decided to take up time with Pegitan having some sort of rivalry with Chiyuu's brother in cleaning the inn and they could have used that time to flash Chiyuu and her conflict more, especially because the Pegitan thing doesn't go anywhere, doesn't have a conclusion, and it feels completely lost in the middle of the episode. If they had made this change the episode would be more interesting and I would've liked it more, as it was, it's just an enjoyable episode but that won't leave an impression on me in the future.
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Wrapping up with episode 18. Probably my favorite because it was a very fun one. I was very scared of the "fairy fall in love with a human" because I'm a bit traumatized by this concept, but I enjoyed this episode from beginning to end. If I had to say one thing I don't like from this episode it's all the panic about Nyatoran changing partners, they dragged this for too long, and also they were making assumptions without directly asking Nyatoran anything even when they had the chance to do it.
With that being said, Hinata was amazing in this episode showing her full support to Nyatoran, always having his back and thinking of ways to help him to be happy, and protecting what's precious to him because he is her partner and she values him and the things that he has thought her, I almost shed a tear when they did that callback to Sparkle's first episode when she took a full-blown attack to protect Nyatoran's letter and decorations because that was precious to him. It was really good. And the ending was also pretty good, a heart being broken was never so fun to me as this one was for some reason, I don't know, it was just very sweet especially Hinata being there for the sulky Nyatoran afterward.
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One thing I haven't mentioned because I didn't find a place to do it so is how annoyed I am by how Crunchyroll in the English subs is still using the "-san" when talking about the Element when the rest of the show goes with very few honorifics and it gives us atrocities like "The Element of Wind-San". Like, just call "The Element of Wind" or "the Wind Elemental" for pity sake! It's not that difficult. But anyway, I believe that's all for now.
Oh, one last thing. I'm thinking about it and, for my mental health sake, starting this month, I think I'll stick to just 3 or 4 posts per week and instead of posting about the weekly episodes as they come out, I'll talk about them in pairs, with a few exceptions here and there. It's not final yet, I'm just considering it, but I feel like by doing things this way, if things get complicated IRL again, it would be easier for me to manage to keep the blog consistent. In any case, stay healthy, stay safe, stay tuned (!!), never stop resisting, thanks for reading, and (hopefully) until the next time. See ya~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Healin' Good Precure Episode 13
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I think I've been wrong all these years and yellow is actually my favorite color.
After 9 long weeks, Healin' Good is finally back to us!!
I know it doesn't feel like that much time has passed to me since I had that break and I watched the previous episodes still in this month, so to me it has been only 2 weeks or so, but I'm just as glad as everyone else that our girls are back.
It's kinda sad I don't have a lot to say in the episode because despite it being great not a whole lot happened on it, and that's understandable considering our situation I wouldn't expect an episode that was packed with everything. But to compensate for that, since this is the first week with Precure being released in simulcast on Crunchyroll I'll have a little section at the end to comment on the releases, it'll more or less just be what I've said on twitter but for anyone who doesn't follow me there or that missed the tweets I'll just put those thoughts in here.
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But that's enough of introductions and talk about the episode itself.
We (thankfully) pick up from the point we left last time with the villains welcoming their new general and Hinata doubting her abilities.
One thing that was pretty fun of this episode was seeing how Batetemoda interacted with his fellow generals. I don't know if they'll pick this idea and have him spend some time with Daruizen and Shindoine as well, but this awkward junior and senior relationship that they established here between him and Guwaiaru was pretty great. Something tells me that Batetemoda's enthusiasm here was pretty much all fake and that he'll at some point eventually drop the act and stab Guwaiaru in the back or something like that, and honestly, I can't wait to see something like that happening.
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While still on the villains, I liked this plan of infecting a drone and going around infecting the city in smaller quantities but affecting a more broad area, and the dynamic of the girls running around trying to find the Mega Byougen but only being able to find it after looking at people mentioning UFO seeings on their version of twitter, I can't express how much I liked this it was so much fun, I love that they put that there. I think the only disappointing part of this was in the action department, but again, I understand that they wouldn't be able to deliver something spectacular so it's okay, also we got some cool moments in this fight like when Sparkle used Grace's shield to give her impulse to jump and kick down the monster so there's no much of a reason to be hung on this very much.
With this part out of the way, let's talk about the main focus of this episode.
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So, I was very afraid that they would somehow rush with Hinata's conflict to make up for the time lost with the hiatus, thankfully what we got here was a somewhat mid-way point, the conflict was there and it was pretty good but it felt like they concluded this way quicker than what they may have intended at first, of course, I'm in no way related with the writers of the show and this may have been the original plan all along and I'm here saying misconceptions but to me, it felt that they wanted more.
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And in other cases I think this would be harmful, but since we're talking about insecurities, anxiety, maybe a little bit of self-imposed pressure and self-esteem, and these are things that are constant but at the same time are things that come and go, I feel like having it appear here and be solved and then, if they chose to, appear later on would actually make sense, and I think the way the episode handled the question was pretty good, you know? That thing Chiyu said about this not being logical and that are times where people can't help about the way they feel about something regardless of what other people say is very true, it's very relatable, and it's very important that a show for kids is going out there and saying this to heir main target audience. And of course, Chiyu and Nodoka being there for Hinata, expressing their support, was pretty good as well, after all, sometimes all we need to stop thinking everything we do is meaningless is a single person being there for us so... great stuff, great great stuff.
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I think this pretty much does it for the episode itself, so let me share my thoughts on the official subs for the show!
So, I watched episode 13 three times, one with the fansubs, one with crunchy subs in English, and a last one with crunchy's subs in Brazilian Portuguese. The Crunchyroll subs are good. I wouldn't call it excellent because by the way they translated the scene in Hinata's room, in the English subs, felt a little colder than what I saw in the fanmade and in the PT-BR subs, there's also a very minor thing that bothered me that's the fact they translated the whole show without the use of honorifics (which is completely fine to me) but then when they referred to the Element they used "Element-san" and it felt odd because it didn't match with the rest of the work they've done. But for that matter, I really liked Crunchyroll subs in Portuguese, it did a pretty good job with adapting each character and the way they speak to what would sound normal to a Brazilian person, in particular Hinata, Nyatoran, Batetemoda, and Guaiwaru, it felt like they gave an extra amount of care in writing their lines. With that being said there were a few lines in the intro bit that the pronouns used were a bit off, but it happened just there so I think it was just a small fluke.
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In conclusion, the Crunchy subs are good, I believe the differences I noticed from the English and Portuguese subs are probably just particularities from each different translator who was in charge of each specific language, which is to be expected so, it's not a big deal. In the end, the biggest villain here is Crunchyroll's player that everyone knows isn't the best, but I believe we can all get past that so if it's available on your country and you have ways to afford it go support the official release, and if you're from a non-English speaking country you may also want to check the subs on your native language just for curiosity to see a different translator take. Sadly the first 12 episodes aren't up yet, which is kinda a weird move, but I think it's worth supporting an official release to the western audiences.
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And I believe that's all I have to say, I wanted to comment on how Nyatoran has a cute as hell birthmark in the format of a fish on his forehead and how fun it was seeing him being embarrassed by it but I had no place to put this comment on so... In any case, the show is finally back and apparently, they're not skipping episodes, at least not up until episode 18 from what I saw in the Wikia, and that makes me really happy, as I mentioned one of my biggest fears was them rushing in order to catch up with the time lost but it seems that at least for the next month we won't be suffering from any rewriting hurting the pace of the show, and that's great. Let me know what are your feelings about all of this, the episode, the Crunchyroll subs, the future of the show, anything you have to add, the comments section is open for everything you have to say. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resting, thank you so much for reading, HAPPY PRIDE! And until the next time, healin' goodbye.
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Ex-Aid Episodes 16-30
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Insert COIN to Continue.
If Ex-Aid hadn't clicked with me in its first 15 episodes, it's with much joy that I come here to say that I think I finally get this show and I'm here for it!
Yes, I still have quite a few of problems, and a lot of the complaints I had in my previous post are still present in here, but my enjoyment of the show has only been growing more and more with each new episode I watch to the point where now only very few aspects of it still annoy me really hard and I can let go of things more easily like, for example, the weird dialogue and the comedy style that while are still aspects that I don't like but that now I can get past that without being bothered.
Honestly, what bothers me the most is that I didn't know the show had such a clear break into two parts and that I divided the episodes for the reviews in a way that will make a bit weird to talk about, especially in this post. I didn't expect episodes 1 through 23 would end up being a big arc, with episodes 24 onward being kind of a different thing, a step-up from the previous arc. But oh well...
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Since these episodes were clearly divided into two separate arcs I'll do the same here and comment on them separately.
This first part, going from episodes 16 to 23, are a bit weird to comment on because even inside them there's also a mini division we can make, episodes 16, 18, 19 and 20 are like a mini-arc to give Brave and Snipe power-ups while 21, 22, and 23 have more like an end game plot going on, and episode 17 is kinda just hanging around there, a bit out of place that usually would be considered a filler but that introduces a character that is used later on so while we can't completely disregard that episode we also can't really put it in the same basket as the others.
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The first portion is the weakest of this whole section, being completely honest I don't remember much about it, I know Brave and Snipe get their asses kicked and they lose his gashats and that was pretty cathartic, but then Genm did his thing again and gave them Level 50 power-ups and I was a bit disappointed, not really in aesthetic levels or powers, like I don't care for Snipe's but I love how Brave looks and I think is really cool that he can command a troop of minions, my biggest problem is that the power-up is in one of those double gashats with that ugly circle thing and they have to share it but the division isn't really fair since Snipe has been keeping it for way more time than Brave did. But oh well.
Oh also during this part my hate for Kuroto was constantly raising, I really despise this man and whenever someone wipes the floor with him is like I'm having an overdose of serotonin because he's an awful human being and that's what he deserves and seeing him being fucked up brings me a lot of joy.
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The mini-arc of episodes 21 to 23 is when things start to get interesting as we see the plot unveiling mysteries and the gears grinding in incredible speed making these three episodes feel like the end of a season. Now, as interesting and exciting that it was to watch this climax payout I do have some problems here. My biggest one is that, once again, they made Emu WAY too special, now he's not just a doctor, a genius gamer, and patient 0 from the game illness, but he's also the reason why Kuroto is like this nowadays, and different from what we thought he's been incubating this virus since he was a little kid because Kuroto is such a shit human being that he sent an infected game to a kid because apparently, he thinks only him can be a game developer in this world and come up with ideas for games. And yes, this is very in-character, Dan Kuroto would really do stuff like this, is the fact that they make so many things focused on a single person that bothers me.
Another thing I have a problem here, although it's a much smaller one if compared to my previous point is just how convenient it was for the show to put a way to reprogram the virus in Kiriya's computer. I think my problem here is just how easy they got the information, you know? They knew from that detective that Kiriya was digging up something and Hiiro decides to look for information and in the first place he looks he just happens to find his computer and the files in his research were there. Again, it's a minor thing, but I felt like I had to comment on this.
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One thing that I really enjoyed in this mini-arc was Kuroto's plan to avoid the Ministry and still get data in his hands by infecting himself with the virus to appeal to Emu's emotions. Again, a very in-character decision and the way it played out was very fun even though it was pretty clear he allowed himself to be caught seeing how easy it was for them. The way things escalated leading to his death was also pretty good, it's a bit annoying that his death gets reverted only a few episodes later, for a show that is constantly talking about doctors dealing with death having a death be reversed is a bit counter-intuitive.
As a result of this conflict, we get Ex-Aid's Level 99 power-up, and while it's cool that is a gashat he made it himself and that he used Kiriya's driver after his was fried up by Genm, holy jesus how ugly is this thing. It's so huge and bulky most of the scenes with him moving have to be done in CGI because that looks like hell to walk on wearing it. This just isn't the ugliest power-up of this season because Snipe still has the worst designs, but oh gosh.
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After episode 23 we enter in the Kamen Rider Chronicle arc, where being led by Parad they gather data from the missing games by reviving Graphite and brainwashing Poppy, and Ex-Aid becomes a light novel with a battle royale/survival game that actually kills people when they get a game over (or upload them to the cloud and erase their physical bodies apparently because now they're saying those people can be revived).
Attempts of joke aside, while it's not anything new that they're doing here I do like how they implemented the concept in the story. It's pretty cool having regular people acting up as the players while the Riders we follow are like special NPCs that drop rare items when defeated, it's a fun gimmick and it's also a way to the villains to put another obstacle to the riders without having to do much.
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I think what I liked the most in this plot was the mini-arc they had for Poppy, up until this point I didn't really have a strong opinion on her but what they had with her in these episodes was pretty cool. To begin they gave her a pretty dope song, at first I questioned what they were trying to do there but when we get to know that her whole singing scene was part of a brainwashing process it turns things really interesting. But is the journey of her freeing herself from this brainwash that really does it for me, when she starts remembering memories from the person that she took over she gets in this existential crisis and it gave us some great moments, I really like that scene in episode 28 when she's there trying to tell everyone AND herself that humans and bugsters are enemies and Emu puts himself in the line kinda with a wake-up call for her, it was pretty awesome. I feel like she also got way more agency after the events in that episode and I hope they keep that with her. Oh, we also got Kamen Rider Poppy which wasn't a thing I necessarily needed, but that was still pretty cool.
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But because not everything can be flowers I have two major issues for this part as well, the two are things that I already mentioned so I won't take too long with them. The first one is obviously the "making Emu too special" thing since it gets established that Parad is the bugster that Emu incubated for all those years and that Parad is actually Emu's "second personality". Again, it's a cool concept, and there's one episode in which Parad gets control of Emu's body and they have a fight between each other while in Ex-Aid's Level 20 form and it was cool as heck, is just the fact that they keep adding layers to Emu like he's the center of the entire universe that makes me feel kinda iffy about it.
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The second aspect I don't like is the reversibility of death. I get that this is a show for kids so they would come up with a way to bring everyone that died in Kamen Rider Chronicle because this doesn't seem like the type of show that would just obliterate a lot of people out of existence like that, my problem is with bringing back characters that have some sort of impact with the characters. Yeah, so far we only had Kuroto and he's back but not really since now he's a bugster and Poppy can keep him under control with her drive, though let's be honest this won't last too long, but they're raising the possibility of bringing Hiiro's girlfriend back and I'm sure they would try to bring Kiriya back too and is this thing that I feel like it goes against some of the messages this show is trying to pass to his main character. Emu is constantly facing death and as a Doctor he will face it many times in different contexts and part of the process for him to learn how to deal with this he needs to feel the effects of mourning for those who passed away, but when you bring people back from that while it doesn't revert what he went through makes it feel like death isn't as serious. This is a thing Rider likes to do a lot honestly, I mean look at Ghost, and it never sat with me well, but I feel like in this season in especial, as I mentioned, it's very counter-intuitive.
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And I believe that's all I have to say for now. I feel like I'm way too repetitive, and that's a problem I should work on, but I have to say this again, I'm still having my problems with Ex-Aid but these problems aren't cutting down my enjoyment of the show and I'm really excited to see how all of this will come up together in the end. If you have anything to say about my comments or these episodes please let me know in the comments, I'll be very happy to have other people insight into this show. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so so much for reading and until the next time. See you in the next game!
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo Episodes 38-48 + Movie
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Bloom, flowers of life.
And we reach the end of another season! Wow, it has been a while since I could say this for precure. But we're finally here again.
The GoGo ending was a pretty interesting one, I quite enjoyed it, but before talking about it I wanna comment on the movie of the season because I wanna end this post on a positive note and if I leave this to the end I won't achieve that.
Y!PC5GG: Happy Birthday in the Land of Sweets♪
So, this movie was a choice. I feel like if you're someone who likes Nozomi and Coco you will probably like this movie, but if, like me, you're someone who sees this relationship as problematic then you will probably not care or hate this movie. To be honest, I think that even if you do like this pairing you may not like this movie as much, because even though this movie is very Nozomi focused and a huge part of that focus is on her relationship with Coco, the everything around it isn't much interesting so in the end, it's nothing really special.
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I personally didn't enjoy this movie, but it wasn't even because of the Nozomi and Coco stuff. To begin I don't like that they introduced another character that is used to instigate jealousy in both Nozomi and Milk, thankfully they don't do much with that. I don't like how the other cures are useless here, like yeah, Aqua & Rouge and Mint & Lemonade fought against the minions but they didn't really impact the outcome of the movie, and they just forget Milk has powers up until the end where she's beaten down by the villain. And I also don't like how in the call to action scene they start to cheer for Dream only and not for the Precure and I don't know this kinda sounds disrespectful, it makes it look like the only important cure here is Dream and the other ones are just backup dancers, though Shining Dream is a pretty beautiful form, I can't deny that. But the thing I hate the most about this movie is one specific scene, while Coco is being controlled by Mushiban, and he corners Dream against a pillar or a wall and he gets close to her in a very predatory way and he says "Make me feel satisfied" and the way they frame the scene looks like it's something sexual and it's just very gross, and it gets grosser when you think it's a much older man behind Coco saying those words. I get that by the context of the movie he was just talking about turning Nozomi into chocolate and eating her like a snack, but the movie frames it like Coco is going to kiss Nozomi by force and it's not cool to see. I'll probably never watch this movie again.
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While I'm still here in this gloomy mood let's talk about what I didn't enjoy in the actual season?
So my fears came true, we had almost like a boss rush in this final quarter which made those defeats a little less impactful, in fact, the first episode of this section we had the defeat of that pair of villains and I can't remember much about it. Mucardia's end was also kinda lame, first because we had a fake-out death and second because he was just killed away by the Director in the blandest way possible and it was pretty lame.
And speaking of lame endings, poor Anacondy. They really went to the "I'm in love with this man route" for her and in the end, she was just used and discarded by the man she loved like if she was the wrapping paper of candy, it was pretty sad. It was impactful, and it made me hate the Director more than I already did, but I wish she could have gone in a glorious way rather than by the hands of a crap man. And since we're talking about him, gosh I hate this dude. He's like those guys that get obsessed with a girl and just can't accept when they say no and instead of looking at themselves to try to find out why they don't want anything to him he just keeps forcing himself like if this is gonna change something. The Director is the concept of thrash man impersonated in a cartoon character. It was very cathartic seeing the cures whoop his ass with that giant rose.
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The last thing I didn't like was the resolution for the mystery of Syrup's past. Like, seeing how this was a big thing throughout the whole season you would think his past would be more than just "he was born in the Cure Rose Garden, he was raised by Flora, and he was attacked while he was doing a delivery from Flora to the Director and that's probably what made him lose his memory". I don't know, for the amount of build-up this had I expected them to do something bigger with this. And it feels like that was the plan at some point because in the middle of the season we see Syrup meeting the Director and recognizing him from somewhere, it seemed like there was more to uncover there, but no, we just got some lame past stuff.
Before moving to the positives, I wanna quickly mention the Christmas episode that wasn't anything exceptional, but that there was some cool stuff in it, like Syrup being a fan of Santa since, when you think about it, Santa IS a delivery boy. To be honest, I was just glad they didn't have any sort of world-threatening invasion in this episode, it was very refreshing. XD
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In any case, as it's usual for any precure season we get episodes for each cure's closing arc as an integral part of the final quarter. Being completely honest, I feel like Kurumi and Karen got the short-end of the stick here because while they had good episodes it didn't really give me the impression that they were concluding anything for them, different from Urara, Rin, and Komachi who got episodes where the conflicts had conclusions that tied-in more with their future aspirations and the path they've been walking through this season and also the previous one.
I think the reason why Kurumi and Karen's endings didn't feel as conclusive is that other things in their episodes stole my attention more than their conflicts. For example, in Kurumi's case, we see her feeling pressured because of her mission, which is very in tune with her whole thing as a caretaker, but this episode also shared space with working her relationship with Nozomi and that's what I was more focused in rather than Kurumi's personal thing that felt like it was more in the background. In Karen's case, the conflict was she doubting that she had what it takes to follow a career in medicine, but the show was putting more importance in King Montblanc being sick and again Karen's plot was kinda in the background. This is not to say that their endings were bad, it just seems a bit forgettable when you put that in comparison with the other episodes for the other girls.
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For example, Urara's final episode was about her doing an audition to get in the same musical her mom performed before she passed, we also have a MOTW plot that works in a way to directly affect her negatively in this audition by making a Little Mermaid plot where Shibiretta steals her singing voice. This is a combination that works with Urara both in her precure life and in her civilian life. It concludes her arc and it feels rewarding to see her finally pass that audition. Kurumi and Karen didn't really have that. Actually, Rin and Komachi didn't have a conclusion that was so well rounded as Urara, but it was more centered on them, they were still in the center and able to shine in their episodes, though I wish Komachi had done more in her episode, it didn't really feel like she had much agency in that episode.
The Nozomi episode is a bit unfair to put in this comparison because while it is an episode that dwelled with her efforts in studying in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher, this episode was more to show the difference of power between them and the Director while Nozomi's conclusion comes around in the end during the final fight and the aftermath of the battle.
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And about this finale, this was very enjoyable. I like that we had the final conflict happening through 3~4 episodes but it didn't feel like they were stretching a plotline or maybe dragging the finale for more than it needed to. It was pretty solid, it was well built, and despite the problems, I mentioned it was pretty good. I think my favorite moment of this ending was when Syrup was giving his speech to the petrified cures, and we could see that the things he was talking about was pretty much related to his growth and his development through the whole season and it was pretty moving, I also think it was hella cute when he mentioned that letter the cures sent was the first letter he ever received in his life and that he was really happy about it, and my heart just melted and all I wanted was to hug him and say "you're a good boy, my son T-T" to him.
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I also liked that whole seed of life and how seeds have infinite potential discourse at the end, yeah it was a bit of a stretch after all depending on the case seeds are pretty predictable, but it was a good message for the end, it hit the points it had to hit so I count it as a win. I also like how in the end Flora turned into a seed in hopes to bloom into a new life in the future, it was a pretty optimistic and happy way to end the show and it was a good way to wrap-up this pretty good season.
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And that's it for Yes! Precure 5! I gotta be honest, I didn't think I'd enjoy this season as much as I did because I wasn't the biggest fan of its predecessor and I didn't have high hopes for the sequel, but I found myself enjoying the show more and more as I would go, even with its flaws and the elements I don't like. It was truly a joy to find a new love for this season, a new love for this world, and a new love for these characters. While the original season is at the bottom of my list of favorites during this series of rewatches, this sequel sits more close to the top, and that makes me very happy. So, what are your thoughts on GoGo? Let me know in the comments down below. Next, we're finally getting to Fresh which is one of my favorite seasons and I'M VERY EXCITED!!! I can't wait to watch this season again. But that's for another day, for now, stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Ex-Aid Episodes 01-15
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Press START button.
Ex-Aid is one of those seasons that when you look at it sounds like something that shouldn't work. I mean, putting doctors and video-games together? Is this what, a Dr. Mario live-action, an adaptation of Surgeon Simulator, or an actual Kamen Rider season?
This odd combination of factors always made very skeptical about this season, there's also the huge anime eyes in the helmet that never sat well with me too, but this concept combo always seemed pretty wild to work. But then I watched Gaim, which also had an odd combination of themes, and I saw that those odd concepts mixed together can be doable and be something fun so I started to look forward to the season. But even with the excitement, a small fear started to linger because as I started seeing more and more of Kamen Rider and seeing more of the community I always saw Ex-Aid popping up as one season that everyone thinks it's top-notch and well... the last time I saw a highly acclaimed season in the fandom I hated it so the chances of that happening here again were there.
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And you know, I think my fears became reality and I feel like I'm having another Drive experience here. Maybe not at the same level as Drive, I feel like Ex-Aid got me less angry and annoyed, but this season really didn't click with me. I see that it can grow on me because after episode 11 I started enjoying it more, but the general feeling for these 15 episodes and this movie was... meh? Like, I don't like most of the characters, I have a serious problem with the comedy, and there's something in the dialogue of this show that really tickles me off. I also don't like how CGI heavy this show is, and most of the CGI looks horrible.
One thing that really pushed me off at the beginning was the structure that wasn't very interesting, we had 4 episodes to introduce the riders, 4 episodes to give a power-up to each of them, and 2 to introduce a shared power-up and defeat the first general of the villains, and I felt like I came out of these without that much story, it felt like they were just going through a checklist of toys they had to sell and not actually telling a story. It's only from episode 11 onward that it starts to feel like this show has some sort of plot.
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I also don't like how this starts similar to a Rider War thing, with all riders competing to see who cleans 10 games first and gets the most Gashats, but they make all characters out of the main one be completely hateful so we have no choice other than root for him. And like, it's okay to give us jerk characters, but you gotta give us something about them so that we can hang on, you don't need to make them redeemable or anything but you gotta have enough for us to love hating on a character otherwise it's just annoying.
Going back to my weird dialogue point, probably one of the things that I dislike the most is how there are times where they don't seem like real people talking? Like, the image I have when seeing the dialogue is that a bunch of old men in a writers' room sit down thinking "what will sound very trendy to hit off with the kid gamers", "what's a young people language we can put here" and they think they're being very smart and clever, but just sounds odd as hell, especially with the gaming aspect and the catchphrases (that at this point in this franchise I'm already tired of them because most of them aren't even charming anymore).
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Another thing that doesn't sit well with me is just how special they make these characters be when there's no necessity for it. Like, being an actual doctor is already special enough, you don't need to have your main rider be extremely good at games to justify the gaming motif, you don't need the secondary rider to be a famous prodigious surgeon to install a rivalry. I mean look at Kiriya, as far as I can't remember he doesn't have any special trait and yet he manages to be interesting and stand out on his own. Heck, you don't need to have Emu be patient 0 of the gaming disease when you already have him being really good at video-games and when you're starting to add another element to him with a possible second personality, it's too much for a single character RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING. It's not like we're seeing those characters evolving into becoming special, they're already special and we just have to buy it. Of course, there are still routes that they can go with that will make the show more interesting, like for example they can do something with Taiga and Emu and their game addiction/obsession and that can be really great, but all this special feeling since the beginning really bugs me.
I think since I'm already here let me talk about the characters. Emu is a precious kid, there are times in which he kinda gets under my skin, but I overall like him. I especially love that he works as a pediatrician, in the beginning, especially considering this is a kids' show, I like to have this idea of doctors being heroes in the mind of children because they really are (despite the health care system in a lot of countries make it looks like they're villains). Other than him being extra special there are two things the show does with him that I don't like, the first one is that after the first arc is done they make him leave pediatrics to start doing surgeries and while I understand that as an intern that's the normal course and he probably has to go through different areas before choosing a specialty, but I feel like that was done just to hone more the rivalry with Hiiro and I don't really care for that, I hope he's back at pediatrics later on because I feel like it's what makes more sense for him and for the target audience of this show. The other thing I don't like is his personality change when he "starts a game" because it never felt like there was much of a change in any of the cases, they just make a gust of wind and he shows a grim for a few seconds, but nothing changes. And seeing that this is a plot point they want to explore it annoys me that they never made that play out before, it's bringing something up when it's convenient and saying that they had a basis for that but the basis is a single small thing that was never brought up to attention before.
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Moving to Hiiro, I Hate Him and that's all I have to say. And I hate him even more because the show put him in a relationship where he was very cold and dismissive of his significant other and still they want to make us sympathize with him, they frame it as "the girl left because she didn't want to bother your studies" instead of "she left you because you were a jerk". But of course, they can't make that because then they wouldn't be able to make the stoic character they want so much, they would have to make someone who's trying to become a better person after he lost someone important that he didn't give the proper attention to, and that's much harder and they don't want that. UGH, I hate this man so much.
Taiga. Taiga is... interesting, I like the concept of someone who worked at CR before but lost himself to addiction, that's a great plot point. It's sad they don't do much with him and we end up with another obsessive jerk. Still, don't hate him as much because I can see the potential for them doing something very cool with him, but as of now, he's in the pile of hate.
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Kiriya was probably my favorite character of this cast, it was really fun seeing him go from a mysterious man lurking around to someone who looks very deceptive, and all the journey of him investigating the truth as the episodes where going, and seeing his credibility be questioned but he never gave up despite that, it was all very great. Do I think it was a cheap move to kill him before he could tell the truth about Emu? Yes, I do. Because this is something we see everywhere, it's not a new trick. But I still felt his death, and if they don't come up with a way to revive him somehow I'll give this show props because it was a bold move to kill off a character during the Christmas special.
About Genm, and all the villains for that matter, I don't have much to say. I don't get them, I'm not curious to understand them, thus I don't care for them. It's interesting that the powers of the riders end up coming from the main villain? A bit? But then again, if you have all of these powers and you're handing them to people who oppose you, it seems like it's very counter-intuitive. At least they have the excuse that he's gathering data from them, but if he never recovers those gashats, is he really getting the data he wants? I don't know, everything about him and the villains seems very odd. But for what's worth, he almost killed himself to gather data for a zombie game and that was pretty wild so I guess that counts? About Graphite and Parad, I don't have anything to say, don't really care for them.
This leaves us with the side characters. Asuna/Poppy, I wanna like her but sadly I don't. If she is the "token girl" of the season, I'm at least glad she's not a romantic interest and that she fills in as a support role, but still, don't know why she can't just be a regular nurse that goes a little crazy sometimes. Though I guess if they had gone this route with her she would probably become Kiriko 2.0 and that's also bad so... There's the Director of the hospital, and I just hate him, I hate that they make someone who's supposed to be the leader of the hospital sooooo stupid. And he's stupid at all times, he doesn't even get the treatment Jun had in which he was there for comedy but he also had his moments where he was serious and those moments were pretty good. This dude is just here to make his eyes pop and drool over his son and I hate that. Mr. Minister should've chosen someone better suited for this job. And last, there's Nico who just seems like another jerk I don't like, but I'm holding on talking about her because I think I've only seen her for 2 or 3 episodes and she appeared very little so I can't say much about her.
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I intended to talk about the Dr. Pac-Man movie, but they actually integrated that plot in the show in a much more flashed out way this time around so I feel like it would be redundant to talk about it since the bigger points I would have to make were already touched on. But let me say, what a mess of a movie. Like, there was no reason for Wizard and Gaim to be there, like how did Gaim even get there in the first place? This movie would be much better with only Drive, Ghost, and Ex-Aid, because they actually had a decent plot going around there that connected very nicely. But it's still a cross-over movie and they make a lot of things I hate about these cross-overs, the awful rider forms are there, there was an awful huge CGI battle scene that looked ugly as hell (though props to them for making this fight happen mid-way and not at the end), there was that scene were the riders started to speed-run through their old forms that were also pretty awful because I could barely understand what was going on in the scenes, all the mess that every rider cross-over movie has. But the thing that annoyed me the most this time around wasn't even that, was Ghost being Ghost again and putting another countdown to doom into Takeru and bringing Akari in this hell with him, and having ANOTHER fake-out death for him at the end. GOSH, THIS ANNOYS ME SO MUCH, LET THIS DUDE LIVE, STOOOOOOP.
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And before wrap-up let's talk about what everyone loves, the designs.
This is probably the group with my least favorite designs EVER in this franchise, I'm sorry. I get, they're taking inspiration of different game genres, and the different forms are like they're leveling up, and in concept, I like that but in actual looks, only a very few of them get to pull it off. To begin with, I don't even know what those belts are supposed to be, they look way too busy and I can't define what that shape is.
The Level 1 forms are a mistake. I know, it's Mario before he eats a mushroom, it's still ugly as hell, and I hate that when they grow to their Level 2 forms the head of Level 1 goes to their back like a backpack. In terms of Level 2, I wasn't a fan of Ex-Aid's eyes at first but the design grew on me a lot, I love the colors and how vibrant it is, I also like Genm's because it's just a color variation and it looks good so... Kinda wish his hammer arm stayed as a hammer all the time though, makes Brave having a sword less special. And speaking of him, despite hating his character, as an RPG fan, I do love his design. Snipe, on the other hand, is an abomination. That thing on his right eye that is supposed to hair? What the fuck Kamen Rider, you can do better. Well... at least he's not just a bike, I guess. Thinking about it now, I should've known that Kiriya would end-up dying when his level 2 form was just a bike, that was a major red flag. At least he looks cool.
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Sadly Level 3 starts to make everything look ugly again because the power-ups are attachments and they usually go only in the upper body making everyone look like an ice cream cone. I don't think there's a single Level 3 design I like, all of them look awful. I think Shakariki Sports and Jet Combat offend me the most, but all of these can be thrown in the trash. Together with the shared Level 5 power-up, gosh talk about an awful form, it's so bulky, and that dragon head looks so ridiculous, I think the only Level 5 that works is Brave's because in the end it just looks like he's branding his sword, but everyone else looks awful, in special the Full Dragon form.
The Level 10 forms are fun because I love Genm's zombie version, black and white is an easy combination but it works so well, and this dude looks so freaking cool, also NO BACKPACK HEAD! Also, he has a much better belt than the others, this should be the design for all the riders, it's not very big, it's easily recognizable as a portable console, it just looks good you know? But then we have Ex-Aid's Level 10 and he's chibi ex-aid again and he looks awful, thankfully this form is just a set for us to get Level 20 Left and Right that is a concept I love and definitely my favorite suits out of the ones for this season so far. Would I like it better if there wasn't the shoulder piece with Lv.10's head? Definitely, but I still love these forms. I personally love the right side more because after all we already have a light blue rider on the team, but I also think the bright orange with blue accents looks more appealing and stands out more than the blue with orange accents. The last form present in these 15 episodes is Para-DX's Puzzle and Fighting game forms, and I hate the puzzle form, it's really ugly, the fighting game form works way much better, but the back of the helmet being Puzzle's head brings it down a little.
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And that's it for this post. Not gonna lie, considering how much I didn't enjoy this show at the beginning, I'm very surprised by how long this post is. I think it's a sign I'm invested so I'm hoping we'll have only good things from here on now. If you have anything to add, please share your thoughts in the comments down below. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading me rant for so long, and until the next time. See ya in the next game.
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Zero-One Quarantine Specials
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This post was NOT presented by ZAIA.
I wasn't sure if I was going to watch these things or not since I knew they were just recaps and let's be honest, who watches recaps, am I right?
Well...
FOMO afflicts this guy here in weird ways, and this time was one of them. And you know what? I don't regret the decision of watching them because it wasn't all that boring (different from the Kiramager one I watched, but this post isn't about that), still wasn't enough to make a post about. But then I saw the first part of the Project Thouser Blu-Ray specials had been subbed already so I thought that could justify making a post and I could bundle up the thoughts I had concerning new things that were revealed in the recaps. So here we are.
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Talking about the recaps first, I liked how they framed for at least the President Specials to happen, it felt like those two episodes were more though out while the Shooting and Super Job Wars was more of a silly thing with a bunch scenes glued together. In fact, I wish this plot of The Ark trying to fool Aruto in order to gain data with a fake Is of sorts was brought into the show, I think it could be a pretty interesting set of episodes, if not like this at least have the information that was given us appear in a clear way in the show. (Knowing Kamen Rider they will probably make these episodes canon and they won't do that because they will deem redundant, but WISHFUL THINKING)
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I think what makes these recaps interesting and worth watching is the extra bit of input we get that was only possible for them to show us because it was being given by another perspective that wasn't the one of the protagonist. And is having these tiny pearls of extra knowledge, like knowing that Naki was implanted on Fuwa after he had already become a rider, that make these episodes more than just a "this is what happened so far" thing. I also like the clever use of reused scenes but with a new voice-over, again this is used in a much better way during the President specials, I feel like because of when this takes place the Shooting one has fewer scenes to use so they repeat way more and don't make a lot of sense, but I still like that this was added in.
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But the biggest thing of these specials is really the preview of what the final villain, which I'm assuming will be The Ark in humanoid form, looks like. That was another neat thing that made this special actually feel special because it was a surprise and a reward for those who decided to watch it. Oh, we also had some gorgeous eyecatches (?) during these episodes that can be used as some pretty cool wallpapers too, I hope they released those arts somewhere on the web.
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Moving on, the Project Thouser special was a very good surprise.
Judging by the name, I expected it would be more of Gai's side of the story, kinda like what they did for Alain in the Ghost DVD releases, but no! Yes, Gai is there, and yes, the background for everything that happens in the episode is to conclude the project to make Thouser possible, but this episode was more for Naki and about them than anything else, and I Like That!
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This episode covers from the beginning of the story up until the moment where Horobi defeats Fuwa putting him in critical condition which allows for Gai to put Naki's data on his chip, which is a surprisingly short time in terms of episodes, I believe that's only 8 or 9 episodes, but that has a lot of things happening. One thing I think is interesting is that Gai says Naki was found with a forceriser after the Daybreak Town events so this means Horobi wasn't the only one involved and responsible for all that, this also can imply that a Kamen Rider Naki is a possibility, and I would be very happy if we could see that happening (though my expectations are low).
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But even more interesting than the speculation and new background information was seeing Naki's internal turmoil. This wasn't said in-text, but I think we can all assume that after they were recovered Gai asked to reprogram them so the new Naki we see here has definitely things on their code that forces them to follow Gai's order, but even despite these conditions they achieved singularity and it wasn't an easy process. It made them confused, it made them question their own existence and role, and I'm very glad they brought in a non-binary person to portray a character like that because what Naki was going through is very similar to what a lot of people in the LGBTQIA+ community goes through and what I believe also goes in the minds of people who are discovering themselves in their gender identity in different degrees. I don't know if this was what they had in mind when they brought Satsuki Nakayama to portray the role, it's very likely that it wasn't, but I appreciate it being there and it gives an extra meaning to everything, even if it wasn't the creators' intentions.
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And I believe that's all I had to say, I gotta be honest, I'm surprised this post came out this long, I wasn't expecting it. Well, I hope you folks liked it. Did you watch any of these? If you did, let me know what were your thoughts about them. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo Episodes 25-37
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They finally changed that awful ending theme, YES!
I have this thing while watching Precure weekly where at some point during the third quarter I start to get tired of the season, this doesn't happen always but more often than not during this time of the show my fire starts to burn out. And I feel like if I had watched GoGo while it was airing this burn out would hit me for sure because I do think this is the weakest point of this season.
The feeling I had while watching this was that nothing really relevant was happening, even though we actually had quite a decent amount of events moving the story. It's that just most of these events were happening in episodes that weren't very memorable or eventful, we also didn't have a climax for this quarter which made it feel like most of the stuff was meaningless. Also, different from the first and the second quarter, this one didn't have an episode that stands out as a sign of this portion of the story and these are all things that make this the less interesting part of this season so far.
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We didn't have a lot of fillers, but we had a lot of what would be considered important events happening in episodes where the main plot could be considered filler, and this is the feeling I have for this quarter, it was the "filler arc" even though we didn't really have an immense amount of fillers if we think about it.
Episode 25 introduces new villains and we have Queen Bavarois' departure, then we have the filler in the big city followed by a summer festival episode. Next in line, in episode 28, we're introduced to the next monarch, Princess Crepe, and the following episode marks the debut of another general. We reach episode 30 which is another fairy tale episode but that introduces the new toy that will give Milky Rose's power-up in the next episode, which also crowns Nuts as a rightful ruler since he finally gets to use the power of the crown. Then there's a couple of filler episodes, one to showcase the new general's power and one filler for Urara, and we're already saying goodbye to Princess Crepe in episode 34. Episode 35 is the "last" filler of this arc, and we close this quarter with the two-parter that serves as the climax for this section of the story.
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As you can see, a lot happens, yet it doesn't feel like it, it doesn't feel like we had any significant progress outside of Milky Rose's new attack. Does this mean the show became bad and that I stopped enjoying it? No, one of my favorite episodes of this season is here, but again, in comparison with the previous 24 episodes, these 12 feel pretty week.
Talking about the fillers, Episode 26 was a bit weird, it was fine but I still don't know if by the end the people of that city really believed that precure were real or if it was a tv/promo thing for the parade. 32 was the pinnacle of filler episodes because by the end I was like "okay, seeing the girls shrunk down was fun, but why was that for...? What was accomplished here by doing this?". 33 was cute, it's good to see the girls interacting with other characters from school that aren't secondary characters, but by the end, it didn't feel very special. Then we have 35, that seems like it would be a strong emotional episode about the girls wondering about their future and everything, but that is kinda put in the background in order to give Bumbee of all persons a focused episode and it was just weird. And for last, there's episodes 36 and 37, that were supposed to be our climax for this part but that honestly are more filler than anything. They don't really add much to the story, it was just a game show thing for the sake of it, it didn't change the status quo, to be honest, it didn't even have to be a two-parter IMO, it was fun up until a certain point, but they dragged it way too much.
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Thankfully, filler land wasn't just a bunch of mediocre stuff because we had the glorious summer festival episode where we can see the combo Komachi and Rin working together again and IT'S FUN AS HELL!! I gotta say, after Yes! Komachi didn't leave that much of a big impression on me, but in GoGo I'M LOVING HER! She was amazing in this episode, from being quirky because of her love for scary things to the smartness to find a way to walk through that world, to her kindness in trying to help Rin overcome her fears, she shined brightly. And once again, she used her Emerald Saucer in another creative way that brought a lot of fun to the fight and that reiterated how versatile mint is as a cure, Again, marvelous episode.
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Going to villains, my opinions on Shibiretta and Bumbee remain the same, they've been consistent with what we've seen so far. The biggest thing for the villains was the introduction of not just one, but three new generals at this point of the story, given that we haven't seen much of them I don't have any strong opinions on Yadokan and Isogin, they seem pretty bland and I'm not invested on them but I like that they go all out and they didn't reserve what I believe is their fully beast form only for their final appearance. The more expressive addition to the cast is Mucardia, who's very different from all previous generals we had, I like how his approach is through using disguises and everything, it reminds me of Shitattare in this aspect, and I'm here for this. We also had a kind of a confirmation that the Director had something romantic with Flora or something on those lines from one flashback/dream sequence we had in one of the episodes. Now, the only thing I haven't enjoyed from the villains is Anacondy, I don't like how they're making her someone who's obsessed with a man, I think I was fine with her rivalry with Shibiretta because it could be something of the likes of her feeling threatened of losing her position, but here they made it more obvious that she has feelings for the Director and I really don't like that, especially since they also show her having some level of attraction to Mucardia, I think this goes too much to the route of "this strong woman NEEDS a man". And I think they could let the Mucardia stuff be present, but having her be in love for the Director it just feels like a cheap move.
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With Queen Bavarois back to her kingdom, we're greeted with the monarch for this arc, Princess Crepe. And I have a lot of problems with her, to begin is her personality, she's the basic ojou-sama archetype but that is a bit extra delusional because of her love for Coco, she's also the monarch we spent the least amount of time with, I believe, and in this short amount of time we had very few instances where we could see her real personality because the show was more concerned in making her another rival in love for Nozomi and Milk, so it's hard to get to like her and because I don't like her whenever they try to make an emotional moment for her, it just doesn't work.
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Now to close this post, let's talk Nuts. I'm glad the show addressed the fact that he was feeling useless, because well... he was, and I like that they gave him his mini-arc of about 3 episodes or so because he was really needing it. I just wish the groundwork had been set in a better way, the steps for his arc here are he sees a laptop in episode 26, in episode 29 we see him drawing the plans for the communicator, in episode 30 he finally builds it but he can't make it work, and then episode 31 is about him putting out there his frustration, showing his determination and being able to summon the power of the crown to give Milky Rose her new weapon and attack. My problem here is that it feels like it wasn't enough, like yeah those points were there, but we effectively only saw that affecting him in 2 episodes, it wasn't a good build-up.
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And this lack of build-up also hurts Milky Rose a bit because we don't see Nuts and Milk/Kurumi having an extra bond, the only thing they had was when Nuts knew Kurumi was Milk before she revealed her identity, and again, that was only one instance of it happening. Also, the star of the episode is more Nuts than Milk, so for her to gain a new power-up from this sadly doesn't feel like it was deserved or earned. And I think the producers kinda knew that because instead of giving her something completely new that could make use of the Milky Mirror in the way it deserves, because it is a pretty cool weapon, they just made her old attack but with a different CG effect for the petals of her rose. It is a bit disappointing.
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I think this sums up perfectly this third quarter, a bit disappointing from a series that was being consistently good, and I hope this quarter was just a fluke and that we'll end this season with a bang because I really enjoyed the first half of the series and it would be sad to see it sink down in my concept. But anyway, these are just my thoughts, I wanna hear what do you have to say about in the comments down below. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Amazons Season 2
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The Amazons are back... but this time they're boring!
It has been around one year or so that I've been running this blog, considering the number of things I've watched I came across a fair share of excellent things and I also have come across a lot of things that I didn't like, some of them were boring, some of them were emotional, there was a lot of frustration, a lot of joy, a lot of anger, and a whole lot of love.
But in this entire year, I have never come across something that I dislike just as much as I dislike Amazons Season 2.
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After Season 1 I didn't have high hopes for the second season, I came to it open for whatever they would throw at me but I knew I shouldn't expect more than what season 1 delivered, a show that was mediocre but still fun. But that's not what I got from this season. This was bad, very boring, very difficult to go through, I wanted to give up on this show every time I finished an episode.
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And it's not even that the plot is utterly bad, I could see it working. They had a child that was born as an amazon, we had normal people now becoming amazons like if the cells had become a virus, we have a new team hunting down the amazons for another company that has shady plans for the technology, and we have the returning conflicts from season 1 with Jin still trying to hunt down Mamoru who's now trying to lead the Tlaloc survivors into war and also trying to recruit more people to his cause since his group is the responsible for people being infected, and Haruka trying to stop him while at the same time he tries to aid his former companions of the Pest Control team that are back in action hunting amazons while they also try to deal with the events of 5 years ago, with an extra sprinkle of Mizuki who's left his passive personality behind since now she's also an agent. On paper, this all looks awesome, especially when you add in the fact that Chihiro is Jin and Nanaha's son, this sounds like it should be an amazing show. Except that is not.
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This show has a terrible sense of pacing, watching this show felt like an eternity. This show just keeps dragging and dragging, it's like the story is never moving, then we have a turning point in episode 8, the only good episode of this season because it's showing Jin's side of the story, and you think the show is going to pick up and go strong for the rest of it, but it's just an illusion because it begins to drag again and it's painful. There were 3 or 4 times (if not more) that were perfect for the show to end, but it just never did and when came time for the show to finally end they don't even bore to give us a decent action scene at least because it wants to make a vague commentary about life to pretend that this show is about something other than just an edgy CGI mess. This shouldn't have been a 12-episodes-series, this should've been a movie so that they could cut off the excess and have a smaller script to try to make something decent.
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It would probably still be awful because the new characters added to the cast are all horrible and unilateral and it's not fun to follow any of them around, but maybe with a shorter run time they could rework some stuff around, like that dude who we're supposed to believe is Chihiro and Iyu's friend and really cares for them when he doesn't even bother to visit his friend who lost a leg not even once, or giving up on the idea of making Nanaha becoming an amazon that later becomes this entity that doesn't do a lot, maybe they could just give up on the romance and cut all the scenes where Chihiro does awful men behaviour by believing any sign a girl makes means that they're definitely interested on them, or even not being stupid of adding this plot point that for the toxin or whatever that is in Iyu's armlet needs from 6 to 8 hours to kill her because whenever you wanna add a button to kill an individual you're controlling you really wanna give them a good amount of time to wreck havoc before shutting them down.
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Or I don't know, maybe forget about adding new characters since you're not gonna work with them, just stick to doing something cool with the ones of season 1 and actually explaining things for us. Because I came out of this season without really knowing anyone of the new cast, we also never got an explanation about how Chihiro escaped, we also don't know how Mamoru got to make amazon!Nanaha to cooperate with his plan, heck even in the episode I liked, we don't get to know how Jin's body recovered from the wounds he received in Tlaloc. Honestly... this show... *sigh*
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I can't even say they at least have good suites designs because Neo Amazon and New Alpha look awful. Just as awful as all the CG blood and CG kills, and the glossy filter they borrowed from the early seasons of Rupaul’s Drag Race.
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This season was a mistake, and I'm emotionally dry. I need to go play some Hollow Knight and watch some Precure to regain joy in living as soon as possible because UGH. Anyway, these are my thoughts on Amazons Season 2, if you also watched this tragedy let me know what you think in the comments down below. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, be aware of the water you drink, thank you so much for reading this post full of anger and disappointment, and until the next time.
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo Episodes 13-24
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Forget about everything, this is an Urara fan account now.
Part 2 of the GoGo reviews, reaching the mid-point of the season. And I honestly don't know where to start?
Like, I'm still enjoying the season and they had some pretty good episodes in this portion I'm covering now, but different from the beginning where it seemed like there was a pretty good and coherent 12-episodes arc happening, it didn't feel like we had this progression in here. Which it doesn't necessarily hurt the series, it just hurts me because I don't know how to tackle this post since there's not much of a linear thing going on. XD Probably the only linear thing going on is the mystery about Syrup's past and how we have his arc developing, and that is pretty good, don't get me wrong, but if I would write a post based on that I would be talking about only 4 or 5 episodes out of 12. XD
When thinking about these episodes we can kinda separate them into four groups, we have four fairy tale episodes, six episodes focused for each one of the main girls, two episodes for the bigger picture, and one episode that is completely disconnected from everything and it's definitely the low point of this section and of the season so far.
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Going on first at the stand-alone episode, Episode 17. The reason why I don't like this episode it's because it's one of those episodes where a famous comedian does a cameo on the show, and I honestly don't know who thought it was a good idea to make these a thing. These cameos should be just cameos, not an entire episode focused on this comedian, who most definitely isn't what the targeted audience consumes or wants to consume, so there's not an actual reason to put them there for more than a couple of scenes in the first place. Not even to mention how awkward it is having them trying to dub their characters, at least for the guy in this episode if felt like he was not comfortable at all while saying his lines, it was just a pretty bad experience.
But moving on, at the beginning of this second act, a new general of Eternal is introduced and thanks to her we have a series of episodes that watching them from the future seems like were ideas of episodes for Smile Precure. XD And I really like the addition of Shibiretta and her powers of creating these pocket dimensions or so based on fairy tales and storybooks because it helps to break a little of the usual stuff we would see happening just in their city and it's a pretty decent change of pace, I also like how she works by dividing the team because we can see more of their dynamics like this and it's all just very fun.
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Like, my favorite episode of these is the episode focused on Komachi and Karen where they're brought in to the world of Hansel and Gretel with Nozomi and they end up captured in the candy house, but together Karen and Komachi get to trick Shibiretta into leaving them alone which gives Nozomi the chance of getting to the house and helping them escape, and it's just so clever and so fun at the same time, is amazing. I also love the creative ways in which they used Emerald Saucer and Sapphire Arrow in the episode, I feel like precure doesn't do that enough with attacks that have a stock footage for them so whenever that happens it always makes me very happy. And speaking of creative powers, can we talk about how versatile Mint is? Like, she's a defensive cure on her core, but in this season we've seen her attacking, defending, and giving support with her attack that is technically just a green circle thing, it's so amazing and it proves that defensive cures can work outside just creating barriers and we need more cures like her.
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The character-focused episodes were a bit of a hit or miss, Urara had an excellent episode but the other girls didn't have the same luck. Nozomi's episode where she tutors Rin's siblings was pretty good and marked a very important step for her considering her dream of becoming a teacher, and it was very sweet in a lot of moments, but they added stuff in there with Syrup and Coco that didn't feel like it belonged in that episode and thus brings it down a little. Rin is kinda funny and tragic at the same time because she's the only one to get two episodes, but since them are so focused on her friendship with Nozomi and since Nozomi has such a huge presence both episodes end up being more about Nozomi than Rin so we still don't get a lot of her. Komachi's episode was cute but also a bit forgettable because I feel like they didn't use to the fullest the concept of her being concerned for her sister's future. Karen's episode also suffers from this, I feel like since they shared her episode with the Urashima Taro tale her conflict of not being able to tell her parents about her plans for the future ends up being put in the back and the episode loses itself on that a little bit. And Kurumi's episode fails because it's supposed to be the episode where her identity is revealed, but since it was pretty obvious that Kurumi is Milk the episode doesn't work in the way they thought it should.
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As I mentioned Urara's episode is the only one to stand out here. First, because of the technical parts, the composition of the scenes, the use of colors and lighting, it's all very beautiful, and while the drawings and the animation aren't perfect all the time, they invested where they should and all keen scenes are a delight to the eyes. I also really like the plot of the episode, this episode is for both Urara and Syrup, but different from the episodes for Rin and Nozomi, here it feels like a more equal thing, you know? This episode is to show Syrup that affection, support, and caring for people can come in different ways, not just the obvious ones, just as much as this episode is to show how Urara's dream is hard for her to achieve but because it's so important to her she holds to it and she gains strength for keep pushing forward in order to reach it. Also putting this one in conjunction with episode 4 we can see they're drawing a relationship between Syrup and Urara, I don't know how much the show wants it to be romantic because we didn't have much about it yet, but if they want to go this route I feel like it's a pairing that I can buy, both because they seem to regulate in age and they also had this thing being developed slowly, different from Coco X Nozomi and Nuts x Komachi. Also Urara's song this time around is way better than her old song.
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Now for the big picture, the things of the major plot. While we had only two episodes dedicate to moving this plot forward (23 and 24) we had small bits of this happening here and there. To begin in episode 13 we have established that Syrup is not native from the Palmier Kingdom and he has no memories of his life before getting there, which becomes important for the plot of episodes 23 and 24 to happen. Then in episode 14 King Doughnuts suddenly isn't bound to the pact anymore, he goes back to his kingdom, and in the next episode we're greeted with the next monarch, Queen Bavarois, who's more or less just used as a joke but that finally gave the girls the ability to use their phone-like transformation devices as a communication tool in episode 19. The final things to appear before episodes 23 and 24 is Syrup's quarrel with Coco and the crown of the Palmier Kingdom appearing out of nowhere to them.
And it's in that last part where most of my problems of this part reside, because while Syrup was always bickering Coco it was never so aggressive, so mean spirited as it happened in episode 22 and it felt out of place there. I think they missed putting the thing that flipped the switch and make Syrup really angry at Coco and with how he was acting so it would make the anger feel justifiable and would make the events of episodes 23 and 24 have more impact.
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And speaking of those two episodes, while they were a pretty good climax for the mid of the season it also felt like some of the things that happened there shouldn't have happened at this moment but in the climax for the end of the season instead. More specifically Syrup and Coco meeting the Director and out of this encounter we getting a resolution for Coco and Syrup's relationship, a hint that Syrup has a relation with the Director and a hint that the Director and Flora also have a thing. Maybe not for Coco and Syrup, but it felt like it was too early to drop the hints, if not too early I think it got shoved way into our faces. Like, the big bad guy who's supposed to be very powerful just let Coco and Syrup go because he was shocked when he listened to Flora's name, it's already weird that the dude didn't move a finger when Syrup gets into the room with the Rose Pact on hand, then he flinches with the mention of Flora and then afterward we have a scene of him thinking of her making it obvious that there's more here, it wasn't a flinch that could pass as if it was nothing as if it was a case of "he hates her" or "his nemesis was mentioned", the way they presented it made it look very obvious that there was a previous relationship here, and if that's the case I feel like it would be more beneficial if we had this information closer to the final episodes. But we still have half of the season to go so maybe they'll work that on in a longer way for the next episodes.
My final problem with this whole thing is just how useless they made Nuts be, like he was left behind in the human world when everyone else was sent to Eternal, and at the end Coco summons the power of the crown by himself and it's framed like he's being crowned as the one and only king. It feels like Nuts was downgraded to one of the Monarchs that transformed themselves into Palmins because at this point that's how much relevant he has been, heck at this time his screen time is probably just as big as Doughnut and Bavarois, it's ridiculous. Not to mention that there's only one crown and we should technically have two kings, but they mentioned the crown was lost when the kingdom was first attacked so that's at least justifiable, but it shows just how they don't care for him at all and makes me question why is he still here, like if he's not gonna do anything here at least send him back to the Palmier Kingdom, you know?
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But in any case, with the power of the crown, the cures got new weapons and a new group attack, AND I LOVE THEM. I LOOOOOOVEthe fleurets, it's one of my favorite precure weapons ever, I love their design, it's pretty much a lightsaber but gay and I love everything about it, and I also think it's pretty cool how the names of each Fleuret reflects their attacks from season one. And while the CGI roses they use are a bit odd, I love how in the attack they look like knights' stances, I know they're not really knights but there's something very Three Musketeers going on in the imagery, like if they were a royal guard of sorts, which it's pretty cool considering this power-up came from the crown of a king so it has this extra special feeling.
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And that pretty much does it for now, GoGo has been a very strong and very consistent season so far, I'm loving talking about it, no joke, this is one of the few instances where I sit down to write and everything just flows naturally, it's being a joy not just to watch but also to write about it. But these are just my feelings, let me know what you think of these episodes in specific or your feelings about GoGo in general, I'll love to read them. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya, everyone~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Zero-One Episodes 34-35
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What a beautiful family reunion.
Is for times like that I wish I had stuck to my original plan and done a podcast out of this blog just so I could do my best (that would still be very bad) Cardi B impression to say "shit is getting real" because this written down doesn't have the same effect. But, DAMN SHIT IS GETTING REAL.
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We're only up to episode 35, this in a Corona-less world would mean we would have at least more 10 episodes of this before the ending, which is a pretty lengthy road, but I'm already feeling like we're entering the end game. The time for (not so) funny jokes is almost over, we're getting into serious business here and I'M EXCITED THE HELL OUT OF IT. I've been feeling too positive about Zero-one recently, this is a weird feeling, I don't know how to handle this.
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Watching these two episodes was kinda like watching one of those JRPGs where the combat happens in a board like a strategy game, you know? It was putting everything in place for the ending to begin. We had Gai ready to follow his armament agenda, Naki is now out of Fuwa's brain, Horobi got Ikazuchi's data and now metsuboujinrai is complete again. The miniatures are on the board just waiting for the roll of the die to start moving towards their objectives, and from what we saw in this episode they're going to go all out.
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As I mentioned in my previous post the low point of this episode was the "Humagear of the week" plot, given that at least this time it was somewhat connected with the plot, but I still think it didn't add much. But it was nice they setting up the parallel between Horobi and the farmer Dad (and then later on with Aruto), it was a bit on the nose and pretty obvious what they were trying to accomplish, but since they were successful (at least on my eyes) I think it's okay.
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My favorite thing about these episodes was definitely Fuwa and Naki's split.
I was concerned seeing Yua teaming up with metsuboujinrai, but I'm glad apparently this was a one-time-only thing, and it makes sense that she agreed on taking Naki out of Fuwa's brain because even if they were in peace there would always have a possibility of Fuwa being hijacked again, so it would be both helpful to her allies and it would also serve as a way to try to compensate for what she has done and move on. And this split was very beneficial to the show because I LOVE NAKI and I'm glad to see them integrated with the cast. I love how OP they are, and I love how bloodlust for ZAIA and Gai they seem to be, when I saw them stopping the entirety of Gai's army without a sweat I was jumping in my chair. And I hope that there will have consequences after they messed with the ZAIA specs and put everyone in berserk, if we come back and Gai/ZAIA don't get backlash out of this I'll call bs. But the best thing for sure of this split was seeing Naki and Fuwa interacting, and Naki telling Fuwa's real past and it being "pedestrian and tedious" and having Fuwa being made fun out of it. I love that moment. XD
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But these episodes weren't just for that, I think what they did here was something similar to what they've done with Naki in the model episode by planting a seed that would lead to a new awakening for Horobi related to his background as a Father-type Humagear trying to prepare the ground for a possible redemption later on which I think I'd like to see. But it appears that the show wants to make metsuboujinrai be the final villains and not Gai so I think this will lead to a path of a lot of destruction that will probably eventually mean neither of the 4 generals will get to live alongside the good guys. Which is sad because Jin, Naki, and Horobi, all seemed to have been doing some progression that could be used as a plot point and a justification for their redemption but it felt like all this progress was lost once they decided to get the gang together again.
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But even taking that into consideration I'm really looking forward to what this arc will deliver to us in the future. I'M FINALLY CAUGHT UP!!! YES! And I managed to do it before the show began airing again, yes! I'm considering if I should cover the specials that aired in the past few weeks, I thought they were just recaps but I saw people saying there was some new stuff in there, but I don't know how much of that is true or not. Let me know if you all would be interested in that, and also let me know what are your thoughts on this set of episodes. I think that's all for me, folks. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thanks so much for reading, and until the next time. Bye~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kamen Rider Amazons Season 1
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They're Here...And They're Hungry.
When I decided it was time to get back with the blog I knew that eventually at some point I would have to get back to the previous Kamen Rider series that I haven't watched, but I didn't want to come back to a full season of 50 episodes or so right away, I wanted something that would be a bit easier to do more or less just so that I could have time to prepare more posts ahead since to catch up with the time wasted I would have to start to release posts for Precure and Rider back-to-back and doing that without preparing would be a nightmare. And that's how I decided to watch Amazons now instead of doing it in a distant future after I had watched Amazon, as I had originally planned.
And talking about Amazons is a funny thing because back in last year before I decided I would jump head first in the Rider franchise I watched a lot of those "Where to start watching *insert huge franchise here*" videos and all of them always mentioned how Amazons was a different season because it was aimed at a much older audience and that it was dark, and serious, and very violent, and there was this aura that was created around this show and the Amazon from the 70s, and it was something I was really curious about, I'd say Amazon and Amazons were probably the things I was looking forward to watching the most.
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And well... what I got from this show wasn't exactly that? Like, I was expecting something way more gruesome, but what I got was just another regular Kamen Rider season that has some CGI blood on it, it wasn't anything special, you know? The impression it gave me was that they gathered a bunch of boys and asked them what they considered to be "adult-like" and they took all the suggestions mixed them in this show and then they added a blue/gray filter on it to give it a ~serious~ vibe. They didn't even were that violent to be honest, outside of very few specific scenes we don't see anything that is too far from what Kamen Rider already does, and whenever it goes beyond it end up looking more gross rather than violent because they use a black/green-ish slimy blood for the monsters, who are the ones who suffer from this extra violence the most, and even then their blood usually is covering the screen making it hard for us to see whatever it is that is going on the screen. In other words, it was doing the cool for the cool.
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Does that make it a bad show? Eh... not really? I mean, I understand it if someone doesn't like it because there's indeed not a lot to the show, but I enjoyed it. It wasn't anything that I loved, but it also didn't get me bored or utterly annoyed at the show. It was underwhelming, yes, which I believe is the reason of why this review will end up making this post be shorter than it should be considering I'm covering an entire season at once, but it more or less kept me entertained for a few hours so it wasn't an awful experience.
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I think the biggest disappointment of this show is that it's always trying to raise interesting concepts, but they never commit with any of them and this kinda makes the show feels like it's hollow, like there's no proper theme at its core. And being honest, the biggest problem here isn't even that it feels like this show is about nothing, but the fact that they try to do an ethical discussion about life, and what lives are worth saving or not, but it was never an actual discussion, at least it never gave me that impression, what I was seeing was character A making X argument, and character B making Y argument, but they never have an actual conversation so characters A and B don't change at all and they just keep hanging to those arguments until the end. The whole rivalry between Omega and Alpha feels like this to me, it's supposed to show two different sides and they more or less end up at the same point where they started. Now that I think about it, it sounds a lot like Gaim... which is making me question my feelings for that season now... well that's not important now.
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Like I always do I intended to dedicate a separate section to go through the characters, but as I was going through each one of them I realized they're not very interesting and I wouldn't have much to say about them so I'll just go briefly on what I think saved this show for me that was the side characters.
Okay, not all of them are good, but we had a few gems in this cast. I especially like Nanaha and how her relationship with Jin plays out in the show, of course, there's still a bit of that old Rider writing for women where she's more or less just an accessory for Jin, but they managed to make her personality still shine despite that which makes me fully believe she truly loves Jin and she does all that she does of her own choice (or at least I like to believe that). I also really like the pest control team, yeah they kinda end up merging into a single entity at some point, but I like having them there, especially for Mamoru who's a very interesting character, and one of the few ones of this show that actually goes through an arc (that go me quite emotional because I like the little dude and seeing him losing himself to the amazon cells was REALLY HARD), but that was sadly not used to its full potential (yes, I'm salty they called episode 13 "M" but instead of focusing on Mamoru they decided to focus in the pointless fight between Haruka and Jin).
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Now the last thing I have comments to make about is the suits and the designs. Not gonna lie, it feels weird to have this section here because as I mentioned the show has this awful color filter on to make it look like something more dark and serious so I don't know if what we're seeing in terms of colors looks exactly with what they wanted during the conception and production phase, but overall I like the designs for both Riders and Amazons. I have a frustration with Omega's suit because they tried to make it something more modern and sleek but when they did that they lost all the charm of the original Kamen Rider Amazon that was left to be implemented more in Alpha and Sigma's suits, and I would be more okay with his design if they hadn't shown us his more primal form, that actually looks like Amazon, and that look more interesting than it's final design. Of our 3 riders, my favorite in terms of looks is Alpha, both because it has the iconic piranha imagery and also because it's color is such a vibrant red that even with the awful filter over it makes it stand out a lot and I love this. I feel like, in the end, poor Sigma got the short end of the stick here since his design is pretty much just a recolor from Alpha, but considering his plotline was pretty much useless it makes sense they wouldn't put that much effort on it. I feel like I don't talk much about the accessories in these but I really like Omega's weapons that come out from the handles on its belt, I think it's a pretty clever idea and it's cool as heck seeing him pull a spear and a whip out of that belt, it's sad it's not used all that much... I think it's used only once in the fight on the roof of that apartment and it never shows up again, which is just a tragedy.
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You know, now that I mentioned it, I really like the different ideas they came up with for Amazons that were hunting their prey. I love that bus plot, the apartment building that is an ant colony was very fun, and the restaurant that cooks humans in a "civilized" way was also pretty good, it reminded me of the iZombie TV show where in one of the seasons the villain starts to run like a catering service in a similar fashion.
And I believe that's all I have to say about the first season of Amazons, it feels like I've left a lot of things out but most of those things didn't feel worthy of commenting on, it would more or less just me listing up all the events and I believe that's not what you all are here for. In any case, these were my thoughts on Amazons season 1, I'll watch season 2 and it should be my next review on the Kamen Rider seasons, but for now, let me know what do you think of this season. Do you love it? Do you hate it? Write it down in the comments. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Kiratto Prichan Episodes 105-106
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Things are going quite fast around here, aren't they?
Disappointed. That's how I feel about these episodes. Not that they were utterly bad or anything, but like, things went so fast, there was no good build-up for anything and the rewards we pretty much reverted after we got them so there's no feeling of fulfillment.
I feel like I would've felt way more okay bout these episodes had they come a little later on the series, but as of now, I see problems with it. I don't know if they hurried up with this plot because they knew they would have to take a break because of the pandemic or if this was always intended to be happening as of episodes 3 and 4 of the season since the start, but regardless of what it was, it doesn't change the fact that it was too soon.
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But to give the show credit I feel like Ep105 wasn't very affected by this since it was pretty much an Easter filler episode, without explicitly saying it was n Easter episode. and it was a very fun one at that. They even managed to make me start liking KiracCHU and Melpan, they had very good moments in this episode, and they even managed to hit a somewhat emotional scene in the middle.
My problems with this episode come in the fact that they "evolved" to their chibi forms (I believe they're called Pretty Mascots) way too quickly, we barely saw these mascots growing so it doesn't feel as rewarding. And it gets even worse when we get to know that these forms aren't permanent and that they get back once they're out of the Park grounds, this all feels bit underwhelming.
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But this episode had a platypus laying a PrettyEgg pretty much on-screen so I think this gives this episode a pass. XD We also got to see the third mascot wandering around which is curious because I thought she was Ring Marry's mascot, but Ring Marry is still in New York so...? Questions.
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Now, Episode 106 was my biggest disappointment. Here's where the thing of being too soon really hurts because we had no build-up at all for this and everything that was supposed to be big moments just feels shallow. Like, right at the beginning when I knew what this episode would be about I already knew what was going to happen at the end and it was just as lackluster as I imagined.
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And I'm not even sad for the fact of seeing Meltic StAr lose again, at this point I'm already used to that. But the episode had literally nothing that could justify Kiratts win there other than they had a new song where Meltic didn't, but even Kiratts new song doesn't make it feel any special because we've been watching this exact same song, with the exact same coords, with nothing new being added to it, for the past 4 episodes.
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Another thing that gets hurt for the rushing is KiracCHU idol transformation. Again, it wasn't a thing that feels earned because we've seen very little of her, this is also another thing that gets reversed at the end so it doesn't feel as rewarding AGAIN, and the biggest problem is that since this is the first time we see it happening they have to explain what it happened after the fact which takes the focus of them winning, that should've been the more important thing here.
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I could come here and talk about how ugly the Illuminage coords are, but I already knew this fact so I knew what to expect. I'm actually just glad that they used a different effect to light up the dress because the ones they use for the arcade game are horrendous and give me headaches. So at least that they got right.
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But I think what I hated the most was seeing what they're doing with Anna? I know I said before that I was fine with it, and I WAS. Up until this episode. But here she's just shady, she's not talking about anything, and we don't have her side, we don't have her side, we don't know what is going on on her mind so it just seems like she's becoming a bitch for no reason. I like that there's this thing now of her directly going for Mirai instead of Emo to show that she's serious now, but just making her become this mysterious girl without explanation, without a proper build-up, it just feels very wrong.
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And they had time to at least give us something about Anna. They had those scenes with Alice at the beginning of Episode 105 that served no purpose at all, I know it's a short time, but we could've gotten something there. If they wanna keep the shady feel because this is something they want to explore later they also could've done it, just make a scene of Anna staring to the horizon with something that can be a hint, they didn't even need to have her speak or anything, just drop a hint so you can call it a foreshadowing later on. I don't know, anything they gave us would've been better than give us nothing.
I'm sorry this aspect is really bugging me, and not even making KiracCHU shove her butt inside Emo's mouth can make overlook this.
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Yeah, this ended in much downer note than I expected, I'm sorry. Do you have something more positive to say? Please share with me what you think (even the negative thoughts, I'm fine with those too XD). With that being said, it's time to wrap up here. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time, goodbye~
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venus-says · 10 months ago
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Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GoGo Episodes 01-12
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Roses are red, but roses are also blue.
Are you all ready for a precure overload for the next few weeks?
Yes, I'm back rewatching the previews precure series and reviewing them, and gotta be honest I'm so glad I'm back to doing these. Obviously, it would've been better if I had done the right thing and got back to doing these while Healin' Good was on hiatus and not now only 2 weeks before the show is back on TV (if the information we all have is correct), but I'm still suffering from the abstinence of my weekly precure dose anyway so this will fix the problem and give me an overdose for the next month or so.
Coming back to GoGo was a funny experience. Back in March I had watched about 10 episodes or so and I was HATING the show, I don't remember what was exactly that was making me feel that way but I seemed very aggressive in my notes, but for writing this post I decided to rewatch the episodes I had already seen, take new notes and everything, and in the second way around I liked this show WAAAAAY more. Like, if you compare my notes from March to the new ones I made this time around it's like two different people talking about two different shows.
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Does this mean I think GoGo is perfect? Not really. I still have some problems, most of them were carried over from the first season, but after some more thought, the things I actually dislike are more or less related to a single character rather than the show as a whole. In fact, I think I liked these 12 episodes more than the first 12 of the first season and probably I like them more than the entire season as a whole? I think that because this is a sequel, I already know most of these characters, the dynamics they have, and the show doesn't need to take its time to explain those details to us leaving more space for them to work with the new characters for the season, also another thing that helps is that there are not many new characters outside the villains which gives the new additions to the cast even more space for them to shine.
I also like this season more on the thematic level. While on season 1 the themes were hopes and dreams, the theme for this season (at least from this starting point) is conveying/delivering your feelings which I feel works better for this cast than the theme of season 1 does, especially seeing how they really want us to buy in the romantic element for these two seasons. It is a bit on the nose, yes, after all, they have a delivery boy, a mailbox mascot, and a whole lot of letters going around, some of them even being sent by animals, but I like that. It's actually very charming seeing so many letters when we live in the era of e-mail where even e-mail is becoming "obsolete".
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The plot of the season is, so far, pretty much the same. It's the Evil organization wants a Magical item related to Another world, that Magical item falls in the Precure hands, and the Evil organization starts to target them. The plot is so similar to the first season that they even have those useless little fairies that have no purpose at that all need to be collected on their transformation devices, this time around they at least have the excuse of looking for the monarchs, but still is a pretty bland part of the formula. But even taking this into consideration, as mentioned, I really liked these episodes by themselves, you know? The first episode was a really strong one, they have an episode focused on Urara that is also pretty good, and there's the one who's probably one of my favorite episodes ever where they're going to eat a cake but the cake goes missing and Komachi starts acting like a detective and they go on this very fun accusation game that later gets tied in with the villain of the episode and is just very absurd and also a lot of fun.
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Another point I absolutely love for this season is the upgrade the girls got in terms of designs and powers. I love their new look, it's like they're wearing uniforms of different colors and it's just a new sleek design that in my mind really works well as bringing new air to the show. I also love how the new transformations look, much like what happened with Max Heart they got more vibrant and dynamic, and the new group roll call is also gorgeous, one of the most iconic of the franchise for sure. I also love the new attacks, especially Lemonade's, Mint's, and Aqua's that are very different from their season one attacks, I also like how despite not having an incantation/spell the animations aren't so long, they hit the sweet spot perfectly. And despite being more generic, I like the new phones they use as transformation items, if I wasn't so broke I would try to get one for myself because I really dig the design.
And speaking of powers, the action in this season has been SO GOOD??? After how much Yes relied on stock footage spam I wasn't expecting the jump in quality for the fight scenes would be this big. I don't know if they changed the art director or whoever is responsible for this part in the show in-between seasons but in these episodes, it has been awesome, the animation is very fluid, the fights are exciting, and even though the attack spam has been an element for some of them because the stock animations are shorter it doesn't feel as bad as in other seasons. It's sad that the show can't have everything so in a lot of cases whenever there's a fighting scene that is more detailed it means the other points in the episode will have drawings that are off-model (the most common thing I've noticed was Eyes in weird positions), but I think it's a fair trade.
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The last part of this review will be to talk about the characters, and I'll start with where I have more problems just so we can end this up on a positive note.
So, it's not a secret my least favorite characters from the Yes cast are Coco and Nuts, and well that hate from season 1 comes back here but with some aggravating factors. Starting by the easy one, Nuts so far has been useless, if he had stayed in the Palmier Kingdom I wouldn't have made any major difference, at least not for these first 12 episodes. He's just there because the team needs a hub and for some reason, Karen can't use the storages of her family that aren't in use for herself, and that's it for Nuts.
Coco on the other hand... oh gosh. Do you know when during the first season I complained that Coco and Nuts human forms seemed like different characters than their fairy forms? So what happens with Coco here is something similar but is not really related to their form change and more with the character himself. Like, in the "prologue" in episode 1 fairy Coco is pretty much the Coco we left at the end of the last season then the butterflies appear and they have to go to the human world and getting there Coco assumes a sulky personality, thinking he alone is responsible for everything that is happening, and he starts to avoid the girls because he doesn't like that Nozomi is having to fight again, and yadda yadda yadda, and then Nozomi gives a speech to him and he's back to normal AND THERE WASN'T EVEN AN ENTIRE EPISODE OF HIM BEING LIKE THAT!!!!!!!! Like, I wouldn't like it if they had kept going on this line, but I think is much worse that they put in something that seems like it could be something deep, serious, that could bring interesting things in the future, and just drop that IN EPISODE FREAKING TWO. And then after this, he also loses his purpose, because Nozomi's infatuation(?) with him only comes up again in Episode 12 where they use it to make Nozomi feel jealous (which as we saw in the first season is a great plot, am I right?). All he does is be awfully dismissive to Milk and her letters, which yeah is in-character with what was shown in season 1 but it doesn't make it any less awful.
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And probably the part of the plot I like the least is the royal drama that goes on with the Four Monarchs and Coco and Nuts. And the reason why I hate this is because when you stop to think the Monarchs are right to doubt from Coco and Nuts, but the show is obviously on their side so they wanna make the Monarchs seem like pricks that don't trust in CocoNuts despite they being such good guys. But like, they're two monarchs that rule over a kingdom, and they left their people unattended during a time of crises where the kingdom is rebuilding itself when it's pretty obvious that a certain brown squirrel could've been left behind and do the things people in power should do and lead their people. And the worst thing of all is that this could've been avoided if instead of making a shot of them looking at the Kingdom in the "prologue" they could just have them in whatever reunion they were having with the monarchs because then we could be in CocoNuts defense since in the first time they were absent from the kingdom was because everyone else had been taken and in the second time they would be in a much similar situation to the monarchs that also left their people without a leader to follow because they were under imminent attack. And I know this is a kids' show, I shouldn't be complaining about this since this is a thing kids would miss anyway, but well, I'm not a kid, I'll look at these things as an adult, and I could come up with a way to make them have the same results, without major alterations, but with a better justification for everything they were trying to do, and if even I, a nobody, can think of this, they most definitely could've come with something better.
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Leaving the rants behind (just for a little bit), we have probably the most important addition to this cast, Mimino Kurumi, Milky Rose, also known as our favorite butt in the ass fairy, Milk. Speaking first about Milky Rose, I love her, I've always had, her design is great, her transformation item that doubles as a weapon is a lot of fun, and she's powerful as hell. I also like how we saw the process of Milk finding the Blue Rose seed and taking care of it as the episodes would go so it wasn't something that came out of nowhere, which I appreciate. My problems here come with how they portray Kurumi because while with the other girls she still acts the same, with Nozomi is like they reverted her character to the way she was back when she was first introduced and I don't like that. It's a cheap way to introduce a conflict that shouldn't even exist. And speaking of things that shouldn't exist, why is she keeping her identity secret anyway? Like there's no reason at all for that, is just to keep the secret vibes but even that doesn't work because while the show didn't tell our protagonists he information so they are in the dark and living the mystery, we as an audience already know Kurumi is Milk so it's a secret that it's not a secret thus it's not interesting.
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But here's where the positives start to appear again because we also have Syrup's (and Mailpo) addition to the cast and I really like him. We don't have much info on him yet other than a few flashes of his past/thing he's looking to find in the Cure Rose Garden, but these episodes served to establish how he'll interact with these characters and the things he has learned with them that help in building the base for his development. Another aspect of him that I like is that he's very connected to the "delivering your feelings" theme of the show, and not just because he's a delivery boy. He's something that sees the emotional value of things and these are things he wants to protect, and judging by his actions I feel like the only way he feels so keen on this is because he probably lost something or someone important to him and that will connect with his backstory somehow, and I'm very excited to see more of him (and to know if my theory is correct too).
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I wanted to have a paragraph for our heroines but not a lot changed for them, they had good character-focused episodes in this first batch but none of them actually was developing anything, at least not anything that was new so there's not a lot left to talk about them. And I kinda feel the same way about the villains, the Eternal is pretty much like a museum and I like their concept as villains, but Scorp wasn't very interesting as a general, and Bumbee became Team Rocket (which is not a bad thing) so there wasn't much out from the villains just yet for me to be able to give them any more elaborated opinions.
All in all, this was a very good set of episodes and I'm feeling that the journey with GoGo will be a good one.
So, that's it from me for now, what are your thoughts on GoGo? Are you also in the team that thinks this OP slays and it's one of the best of the franchise like I am? Did you also felt compelled to buy one of those rose-scented aroma diffusers after this show? Let me know what you think in the comments down below. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, thank you so so much for reading until this far, and until the next time, see-ya~
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venus-says · 11 months ago
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Kamen Rider Zero-One Episodes 32-33
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Feelings that can overcome technology.
This was another good set of Zero-One episodes, I'm legitimately surprised with how much I've been enjoying this new arc after how the last one made me question my life decisions.
Before going to each one of the episodes in detail, I feel like I need to put this out there. Is it just me or do other people also think that the plot centering the "Humagear of the week" could be scrapped from these episodes? Like, I get why they're there, we need to see Aruto doing his work so whenever this comes up at a key moment later on it won't feel like it just came out of their asses, but honestly, they didn't add much. Like, okay the mode kinda gave Naki her wake up call, but this could've come from anyone really, and the tennis coach guy was just useless, that didn't even get tangled in with the plot of the episode, you know? They didn't add much, it felt like it was some excess fabric hanging from what would otherwise be very tight-fit clothing.
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In any case, episode 32 was the least interesting of the two, and what I mean by that is that the interesting stuff was more in the background and the focus was more in the model and the fashion show, which was a decent plot but I wasn't very engaged with. The high point of this episode was how much focus Naki was given and how we could see they waking up and achieving singularity in baby steps. I can't express how glad I'm that they're bringing Naki in the main show, especially now that I'm past being skeptical about the whole brain chip thing, I think there's potential for them to make something very cool with this character and I can't wait to see what they have prepared for us in the future.
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But now let's talk business, let's talk about episode 33.
First and foremost, FINALLY YUA IS FREE. I gotta be honest I wish she had a mini-arc of her own to do this stuff, and I wish there was more of her in her decision to stand up against Gai, but I'm glad we're finally over this, and even with the problems it was still a very cathartic episode.
I gotta say, I wish they had established Yua's relationship with technology a bit sooner just so her actions in this episode didn't feel so... sudden? I'm not sure if that's the word I'm looking for. What I mean is that it wasn't so clear what it was that made her flip the switch, it was clear that she hit the point where she was done, but it wasn't very clear what was the last drop that made this cup overflow. Actually, it's clear that the reason why she was done was because Gai meddled with her work way too much and without her knowledge, but it wasn't clear why that was so important to her. In her turning point speech, she said she had no dreams but she had her beliefs and that she believed that there's no point in technology if it's not for the sake of the people, and while this is a very good point and a pretty decent motivation it felt like we didn't have enough background on this specific point to make it be such a big thing.
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I also wish they were a bit more clear about Fuwa's dream? In the way that was constructed, it felt weird, like is his dream really to be a Rider that Yua has made on her own? It feels like an odd thing to want to achieve, but it also, somehow, makes sense because all of his three forms were created by other people with different designations of what they should do, so he's a Rider but he's technically not the Rider that he thinks he should be? I think? I don't know, I admit this was a plotline that got me confused.
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Regardless, seeing Yua have her big moment delivering Gai his comeuppance was great, it was an awesome fight, and the aftermath with Yua punching him on the face and resigning from ZAIA, it was EVE-RY-THING, I also love how that happens during sunset with those beautiful poetic shots. It felt like my soul was cleansed at that moment, I repeated that scene like 3 or 4 times and I was rejoicing. After that moment nothing mattered anymore and it cemented this episode as one of my favorites of Zero-One.
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Now, I have a concern about Yua joining forces with metsuboujinrai at the end, I think we could've used a few episodes of Yua on her own wandering what she wants to do now before siding up with another "organization" again. I'm afraid they're already set on making her just a sidekick that is used for other people because they freak out whenever they need to write women that aren't just tokens, but I guess this is something we can just sit down and wait for.
Anyway, what are your thoughts on these episodes? Share them with me in the comments below. Stay healthy, stay safe, never stop resisting, than you so much for reading, and until the next time. See-ya~
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venus-says · 11 months ago
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Aikatsu On Parade! Dream Story Episodes 03-04
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Gathering strength from the others.
Not losing any time we already get started to the Grand School Grand Prix. Again, I really liked these episodes, and I do believe this is a format they should continue using for more side characters because is really fun to see a story in this faster pace, this obviously wouldn't work for a year-long season with episodes every week, but for a web special this really works and I'm having a great time with it.
These episodes are more for the event on itself as we “see” the performances of the representatives and the choice of each top representative. I have a problem with how the results come out just as each team finishes their performance, I think this should've happened at the end of what I believe is Day 1 of the event, but again is not that much big of a deal.
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I know this is a review for both episodes but allow me to talk about each episode in specific here for a moment.
Episode 3 is probably my favorite of this duo because we get to see more of Noeru and explore some more of her insecurities, I like this aspect about her, is a good change of pace of the pas protagonists, they had insecurities but they were only momentaneous while Noeru's insecurities are always constant and she's always facing and overcoming them, it's very endearing to see. Funny enough that's very Akari-like, another parallel that makes their rivalry even more interesting to watch.
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Another aspect of Ep3 that I liked was seeing Sora and Maria supporting Noeru, it was clear how they were encouraging her and backing her up but without giving too much input letting herself find her own path. And that discovery happened naturally as she saw everyone around her working hard for Dream Academy's sake in this competition and it was beautifully done, I especially like that her answer at the end was "I'm not sure I can win, but I'm sure that I can lift up everyone's spirits" and that's very sweet because it shows her vulnerability while still showing her strength.
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On the other hand, Episode 4 is a little weaker in this aspect because it serves to show everyone else and leaves the main thing for this episode for a very brief moment. That moment was very nice and it worked but I feel like that wasn't the main focus of the episode so this looses in comparison, in this regard. But even with that in mind I still loved how they're building the Noeru x Akari rivalry each time more and more and it was great to be able to see Akari's side in this whole thing, I kinda would rather if Akari had reached the conclusion that it was because of that rivalry that she as feeling so pumped by her own, but it makes a lot of symbolic sense that Ichigo was there to deliver the message too so I'm fine with it.
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Talking about the Grand Prix, I love the idea of the Premium School Dress and I really dig those designs (I think Neo Venus Ark and Starlight's are my favorites), it's also very good to know what was that dress Noeru, Sora, and Maria were wearing in the promo pictures for the anime. XD
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Seeing the interactions of each representative team before their "performances" was also pretty cute, somehow the one of the Star Harmony girls felt a bit cold and not very personal, I think I'm just getting weird vibes for seeing a 3 member team coming from the Friends cast, but I really enjoyed Venus Ark and Four Star interacting, and Starlight was very goofy with Aoi fangirling over Noeru and Otome being Otome and leaving to go find lucky charms for her, Sakura, and Akari. It was small things but that sprinkled a lot of joy in these episodes.
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Still in the "Star Harmony being odd" theme, I was really curious by what song were they singing, because like it was pretty obvious that Four Strs was doing episode Solo, neo venus Ark didi Bon Bon Voyage, and Starlight did Diamond Happy, they even had a version of the song play in the background. But the Star Harmony team is a mystery, because they were singing in the gold version of the "Friends Cathedral" stage, but ll songs of that stage are duo songs, and even then it didn't seem like they were singing any of the possible choices. I know it's a very small thing, but I really can't stop thinking about this.
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Going on the choices for the finalists, I pretty much agree with the final group, but I think what I said last time about wishing it was Mirai and not Karen plays even more here because there's no type diversity here. Again, it's a small thing because types don't really matter that much, but c'mon, 4 cute idols and only one cool is pretty unbalanced. And okay, technically Noeru will be performing with a cool dress and Rei with a sexy one, but having Mirai here would've been very much appreciated t least to say that the pop type still exists.
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But oh well, I still enjoyed the hell out of these episodes and I'm very sad I'm finally caught up because now I'll have to wait until July for the next episode like everyone else did. XD At least we already got some promo image for the next update in the arcade so I'm expecting we'll be fed with some new content while the next episode isn't out yet (I hope).
What did you think of these episodes, and how you're feeling about Dream Story as a whole? Let me know in the comments. Stay safe, stay healthy, never stop resisting, thank you so much for reading, and until the next time, bye-bye~
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