Monday, October 31, 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 30

I'll admit, I put off posting this one so I could post it on Halloween.  Fitting, since the subject of this episode is Equestria's equivalent, Night Mare Night.
Luna Eclipsed
Spike (paradoxically dressed as a dragon) paces as he waits for Twilight Sparkle to put the finishing touches on her costume for Night Mare Night, and what a costume it is!  Just not a very recognizable one, as Twilight learns throughout the evening.  She informs Spike that she's dressed as Starswirl the Bearded, but as Spike failed to read the book on unicorn history she gave him, he's completely lost.  Fortunately for him, their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of trick or treaters, including the tiny Pipsqueak, recently moved from Trottingham, celebrating his first ever Night Mare Night.  His exposition is interrupted by Pinkie Pie, dressed a chicken, clamoring for candy.  She also fails to recognize Twilight's costume, and quickly moves on to the next house.  Twilight fumes over this as she and Spike head into town for the annual festival.
So incensed is she, in fact, that she seems to completely miss all the fun going on around her, in the form of hayrides, dances, and of course, free candy, which isn't lost on Spike.  Or Pinkie Pie, who shows up again to show off her haul, only to get spooked by a Shadowbolt-dressed Rainbow Dash.  Twilight attempts to admonish Rainbow Dash, but the pegasus insists there's no better night for pranks, and races off to frighten another group.  Twilight grabs a comatose Spike (either Rainbow Dash or too much candy induced) and moves along to scarecrow Applejack's stall.  Her bob-for-apples game is put on hold after Derpy gets a scene to herself, but it's just as well, as it's time for the mayor's speech.
The mayor invites the young ponies in town to follow Zecora and hear the legend of Night Mare Moon.  Her attempts to be spooky, however, are hampered by her choice of costume, a clown.  Zecora, on the other hand,  has a suitably spooky costume (an evil enchantress?), and she leads a group of children (plus a few adults) to a statue of Night Mare Moon inside the Everfree Forest.  Using some type of smoke magic, she explains the background of Night Mare Night: apparently Night Mare Moon not only wanted to create eternal night, but also to eat ponies.  Thus, the ponies dress up in the hopes that she'll leave them be if she doesn't find any, plus they leave a tribute of candy, just in case.  Her storytelling royally freaks out the kids, plus Pinkie, and they dump their candy out in front of the statue.
No sooner do they do this than the wind kicks up and the clouds part, revealing a mysterious, batwinged pegasi-pulled carriage.  Pinkie Pie declares this must be Night Mare Moon, and she and the kids (and Zecora) make a break for it.  The carriage does not stop, however, until it reaches Ponyville town square.  With a generous dose of lightning for atmosphere, the carriage's occupant, Princess Luna, leaps down to address the villiagers.  The terrified ponyfolk immediately bow in supplication, but Twilight, feeling a familiarity with the princess, attempts to go and greet her, only to be pulled down by Spike.  Princess Luna addresses the crowd using the Royal We and a powerful, booming voice, beckoning the citizens to turn Night Mare Night into a night of joyous feasting, not terror.  Pinkie hears this as "feast on us all," and once again runs off with the kids.  This doesn't go unnoticed by Princess Luna, who drops the booming voice to call them back, and seeing this is no good, instead goes to the mayor for a formal welcome, as befits a princess.  However, all that booming, plus the lightning, didn't really help things, and neither the mayor, nor her aide, is brave enough to take her hoof.  Nor is anyone else in town, so Luna leaves them without even a Royal Farewell.
Twilight finally gets free from Spike and goes to talk to Princess Luna, recognizing her terror-inducing ways as "trouble fitting in."  She finds the princess moping in the shadow of the Night Mare Moon statue, and is pleased that Luna correctly identifies her costume.  Luna commends Twilight for using changing her back, but Twilight points out it sounds like she's upset about it.  Turns out the princess is just using the traditional Royal Voice for addressing those of a lower station.  Twilight recommends she change her methods in order to get a better reception from her subjects, but the princess, lacking in a thousand years of social graces, is unsure she can do that.  But if Twilight has learned anything over the past episodes, it's that anything is possible with the help of her friends.  So, it's off for some help.
First stop, Fluttershy's, for lessons on being demure.  Fluttershy, however, reacts to Night Mare Night much the same way Harmony did to Surprise Day, though when she hears that it's just Twilight, she opens the door.  Until she spots Princess Luna looking severe, and slams it shut again.  It takes some "coercion" by Twilight to get Fluttershy back out, which Luna ruins by using the Royal Voice again.  This time Twilight just magicks Fluttershy into place, and Luna asks for a lesson on speaking quietly.
Luna: SHALL OUR LESSONS BEGIN?
Fluttershy: okay.
Luna: SHALL WE MIMIC THY VOICE?
Fluttershy: okay.
Luna: HOW IS THIS?
Fluttershy: Perfect. Lesson over.
Twilight prevents Fluttershy from retreating yet again, and advises the princess to just tone down the volume a bit.  It takes a little practice, but Princess Luna gets down to a normal speaking voice, and uses her magic to thank Fluttershy against her will.  Which is when Pinkie Pie arrives, kids in tow, looking for a good hiding place from Night Mare Moon.  Of course, the sight of Princess Luna and a nearly-comatose Fluttershy draws all the wrong conclusions and they run away again.  Luna tries to call after them, but neither the Royal Voice or her new, normal voice works, so Twilight calls for Plan B.
Back in town, the festivities have continued on, with ponies partaking of Night Mare Night-themed games, such as Smashing Pumpkins and Spider Toss.  But the return of Princess Luna sends all activity to a halt, bringing back memories of the old days for the princess.  Twilight is optimistic that Applejack can help them up Luna's likability quotient, despite the farmpony falling to the ground the moment the princess shows up.  Twilight asks her to help out the princess, but it takes her own brand of stare to get Applejack to do it.  Applejack tells Princess Luna to have a positive attitude, relax and have some fun.  A foreign concept to the princess, so Twilight and Applejack introduce her to spider toss.  A successful toss makes Luna a convert, and she takes on Smashing Pumpkins.  As her gourds hits the target, she cries out, "The fun has been doubled!" and this new side of the princess seems to loosen up the citizens of Ponyville, too.
The princess declares that all may call her simply "Luna," and goes to bob for apples.  She spots Pipsqueak falling into the water, and fishes him out.  Pinkie Pie, spotting this, insists that Luna was going to gobble him up, and she and the kids, including Pipsqueak, make another break for it.  Luna's ire at this ungrattitude undoes everything she had just done in the villagers eyes, and when they begin to back away in fear, she tries to reclaim it by enchanting all the fake spiders for Spider Toss into real spiders and having them swarm the web (and some Ponyvillians, too).  This creates panic and hysteria in the streets which Luna tries to stop, but cannot until she busts out the ultimate Royal Voice.  When Twilight tries to remind her of Fluttershy's lessons, she tells her that she's using the Royal Voice for a Royal Proclamation.  Bringing forth clouds, Princess Luna decrees that this insulting holiday shall henceforth be cancelled permanently!
As the disappointed ponies take in this information, Twilight decides to go after the princess and do what she does best: lecture ponies!  She spots the dejected princess on a bridge, and though Luna asks to be left alone, Twilight simply tells her that Night Mare Night is one of the most popular holidays in Equestria.  This doesn't cheer her up in the slightest, and so Twilight must think of a new tactic.  She does this by luring Pinkie Pie to a secluded area using a trail of candy, and then forcing the pink pony to promise not to scream.  She introduces her to Princess Luna, and the two make amends, until Rainbow Dash does her cloud prank again, making Luna look scary.  Twilight teleports and tackles the fleeing Pinkie Pie, trying to make her see that Luna =/= Night Mare Moon.  Pinkie reveals that she's known that the whole time and was hamming it up for the kids.  Night Mare Night's supposed to be scary, after all.  This gives Twilight the idea she's needed all night, though Luna is not as enthusiastic this time around.  But she goes with Twilight all the same.
As the little ponies lament the end of Night Mare Night forever, Zecora reminds them that there's still this Night Mare Night, which doesn't end until the official Candy Offering.  So it's back to the Everfree forest to leave their candy by the statue.  But once the last pony, Pipsqueak, offers his candy, the wind picks up and the Royal Voice of Princess Luna addresses them all, expressing pleasure with the offering, and the statue of Night Mare Moon comes to life.  As before, the kids scream in terror and run off, and Night Mare Moon morphs back into Princess Luna, spitting out fake fangs.  She isn't sure Twilight's plan has worked, but Pipsqueak returns, asking if she'll come back and scare them next year, too.  Hearing that being scared can be fun, Princess Luna decrees the return of Night Mare Night, and Pipsqueak declares her his favorite princess.  With the true meaning of Night Mare Night ringing true, Luna rejoices and rejoins the festivities.  With the problem finally solved, Twilight writes her letter to Princess Celestia, all about how she was able to share what she's learned about friendship with Luna, and how Ponyville learned to give scary ponies a chance.  Rainbow Dash sneaks up on Twilight for one last prank, but is pranked by Luna instead.
A very good episode all around.  Not only did we finally get a canon version of Luna's personality, it was great to see all the attention paid to the costumes of the background characters.  While a lot of fun, this episode does raise a lot of questions.  How exactly did the legend of Night Mare Moon evolve that way?  Since it appears to have been at least a year since the first two episodes, how has Luna not acclimated even just a little by now?  Would Celestia have helped her?  And just where was Rarity, a pony known for wearing outrageous costumes any time of the year, during the whole celebration?
That question at least has an answer.  While it's easy to assume that she spent the whole celebration collapsed in exhaustion from making all the costumes for the ponies in town (and there were some really good costumes, to be sure), according to Lauren Faust, the original script had a scene with her, ever the perfectionist, still working on getting her costume just right.
Despite knowing Luna is voiced by Tabitha St. Germain, I swear she sounds just like Mona Marshall when she uses the Royal Voice.

Misc. Screenshots
Mr. and Mrs. Cake as Raggedy Ann and Andy
Luna cracks the ground
E.T. reference?
Another offering
Luna and apple

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sushi Pack - The Yam Yakkers

I forgot how nice it is to do an episode that's only 11 minutes long.  Doesn't mean I take any fewer screenshots, though.
The Yam Yakkers
Aquabot-boy's new movie is premiering in Wharf City, and the Sushi Pack is ready, thanks to Maguro preordering the tickets.  Kani's excited that Vince Face, the actor playing Aquabot-boy, will be making an appearance, but Tako claims he's only a fan of the character; whoever plays him is incidental.  Ikura and Wasabi, on the other hand, are already set to get autographs.  Unfortunately, there's no day off for being a superhero, and Chief Flume arrives to let them know about the myriad of crimes going on all over the city: Sir Darkly invaded the mall, Oleander broke into all the nearby farms, and Titanium Chef raided the virus research facility!  She also belittles her own force for all taking the day off to see the movie, but no sooner does Tako pledge the Sushi Pack's help, she reveals she did the exact same thing.
Though Tako promised the Pack would take care of the problems, Ikura and Wasabi are not feeling it, and stay behind while the others roll out.  This doesn't go unnoticed by Tako, who is unmoved when Ikura states that waiting three years for a sequel is a valid excuse for not fighting crime.  Kani and Maguro try to get Ikura and Wasabi into the crime-fighting spirit with some snappy catchphrases, but no dice.  After all, there's always crime in Wharf City, but celebrities don't come around every day.
Tako goes into the many-headed thinking routine to process this information.  Is it so wrong to want a day off once in a while?  Kani interrupts him before he can finish, so he brushes her off and completes his thoughts: how to balance responsibility and pleasure?  He comes up with a compromise: Ikura and Wasabi can keep their place in line while he, Maguro, and Kani go after the villains, hopefully making it back in time.  Though not sure the plan will work, Tako and the others head off, while Ikura and Wasabi high five.
On the outskirts of town, Oleander drives away from the last farm and informs someone through a radio that she's "got them.  Phase one complete."  The abridged Sushi Pack spot her erratic driving, and Kani goes in to investigate, using her pincers to open a hole in the truck and find out just what Oleander was after.  But what she sees gives her a shock: three tons of yams?  Tako and Maguro, meanwhile, investigate the virus research facility, but they're too late, Titanium Chef is already gone with a whole van of yogurt canisters.  To be used in a sinister recipe, no doubt.  Tako and Maguro take off in the Sushi Craft and spot him driving down the road, also talking into a radio.  Phase two complete!
Maguro leaps onto the stolen van, leaving Tako to chase down Sir Darkly alone.  Which isn't too hard, considering the spectre's totally conspicuous (and awesome) vehicle.  Tako attaches the Sushi Craft to it via magnet, just in time to hear him tell the others that Phase Three of Operation Yam Yakkers (obtain mannequins) is complete.  Not wanting to see any operation set in motion by Sir Darkly, Tako takes control of the wheel.  Sir Darkly isn't worried.
As Kani confronts Oleander, Maguro uses her powers to make the Titanium Chef drive in place, but he gets rid of her with a little soy sauce (he is, after all, a master sushi chef).  Sir Darkly manages to knock Tako off the steering wheel, but the octopus is not to be deterred, clinging instead to the windshield.  Which leaves him vulnerable to the wipers, of course.
Back at the movie theater, Ikura can't help but worry about how long the others have been gone.  With the movie about to start, he wonders what to do.  Wasabi has the answer: see the movie, naturally!  Ikura agrees, and the two head inside.  However, the big climax of the movie reveals that Aquabot-boy gave up personal pleasure for responsibility, which is not lost on either Pack member.
Meanwhile, Maguro manages to catch up with Titanium Chef, Kani annoys Oleander, but doesn't get her to stop, and Tako finally maneuvers himself into a position to block out Sir Darkly's windshield with his ink.  The three vehicles end up on a collision course, with villains and Sushi Pack members alike bailing out just in time.  Looks like the end of Operation Yam Yakkers, but why are the villains bro-fisting each other?  The pile of crashed contents begin to glow, creating very odd looking vegetable...things, which immediately scoop up Tako, Maguro, and Kani.
Tako: Tell your sweet potatoes to let us go!
Oleander: They're not sweet potatoes, they are yams.
Just love the delivery there.  But it turns out those things are the Yam Yakkers, a special recipe from the Book of Chum Chop.  Not sure if they were supposed to come out looking so weird, but their main selling point is their loyalty to the villains.  To demonstrate, Titanium Chef orders the Yakkers to crush the Sushi Pack, and they oblige.  But all is not lost, as Ikura and Wasabi arrive to avenge their friends' deaths!  No need for that, though, as Maguro's forcefield was (just barely) strong enough to keep the Yakker's hand at bay.  Seeing the rest of the pack still alive, Ikura apologizes for putting his desires over his responsibilities, but Kani just tells him they can discuss it later.  Right now, they've got some potatoes to mash!  (Or rather, yams, as Oleander once again points out.)
The Pack attack from all sides, but the Yakkers are just too big!  Just when it seems they've got no chance of winning, Wasabi points out a glowing building, and the Pack heads on over.  Seeing this as a retreat, Oleander orders the Yakkers to follow suit, sending them right into the Sushi Pack's trap.  They slip on Ikura's orange roe and Wasabi's....whatever, and Maguro opens a cargo bay door just as they approach it.  The other villains also fall victim to the slippery path, though they merely fall on their faces. It turns out that the building is the Wharf City Cannery, a fitting end for yams.  And, as Tako points out, the other villains are headed for "the can" as well.
With everything taken care of, Ikura and Wasabi apologize again, but Maguro insists that the important thing is that they recognized their wrong and rectified it.  And, since they saved Wharf City yet again, Vince Face saw fit to stick around (in full Aquabot-boy costume) and give them a special screening of the movie.  Face-to-face with, well, Face, Tako abandons his earlier stance and asks for an autograph, with Maguro mocking him for it.  But hey, the guy is still in costume.

Not too much to say about this one, but I did like Titanium Chef's radio handle (Big Daddy Fish).  The whole thing felt a little rushed, but I like it anyway.

Misc. Screenshots
Tako gets in Ikura's face
Happy villains
Tako helps Kani up
High five!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Lorax Movie Trailer finally debuts

Back in July, a work-in-progress trailer for upcoming Lorax movie was uploaded to youtube, but Universal had it taken down right quick, along with any images that people had used to blog about it.  I completely missed this, so I was glad to catch it when a chinese site leaked it again last month, though once again Universal had it taken down almost immediately.  So it's probably in light of these leaks that the official trailer has finally been released.


Some parts are a little different from what was in the leaked trailer, and some things were left out, specifically one scene where the Once-ler accuses Ted of just doing this for a girl.  And the scene at the end of this trailer with (I assume) the Once-ler's relatives wasn't in the leaked trailer at all.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Hub Mashup Promos

The Hub continues to be awesome promo-wise, with a couple of new commercials that mix characters from the most popular shows, such as Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures and Transformers Prime:



And Dan Vs. and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: (gotta watch it on the site, but if they upload it to youtube, I'll add it here):
"My car!"
"...bedazzled..."
Keep being awesome, The Hub Promos!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episode 29

For the first official episode of season two, Twilight fully descends into madness, and the opening theme gets redone.  Now there's a train!
Lesson Zero
Twilight Sparkle and Spike get an early start, as Twilight has a lot of things to accomplish, including checking her checklist for making a checklist.  After taking her cape to the cleaners, among other things, it's time to pick up a parcel of cupcakes from Sugar Cube Corners for a picnic later that day.  All seems to be going according to plan, except Mrs. Cake saw fit to give Twilight a baker's dozen, which means they don't quite fit in the box, and Twilight gets anal over the cupcakes all having the same amount of frosting.  Which they do once she gets through with them.  Not very much frosting, to be sure, but at least it's even.  Thanks to her frosting escapades, "washing Spike" almost makes the checklist, but Spike's tongue is apparently long enough that he's able to lick himself clean.  Kind of neat, but kind of disgusting, too.
Once all their tasks are complete, Twilight and Spike return to the library, and Spike comments he's glad they don't have a friendship report to write up this week, since all that checking gave him a cramp.  This comment fills Twilight with panic, as she had completely forgotten about the letter, and since she's supposed to send Princess Celestia a report every week, she only has until sundown to do so!  Spike gets a bit of "leaning on the fourth wall" bits here, as he moves the background out from behind Twilight, and otherwise removes her fantasies from the screen.  The purple unicorn freaks out about being late with an assignment, but Spike points out that the princess will most likely grant her an extension.  But Twilight can only imagine the worst, a scenario that ends with her back in Magic Kindergarten.  Spike tries to tell her she's being unrealistic, but Twilight misses his point, and instead decides to go in search of a situation that will result in a friendship report.  She turns to Spike for just such a problem, but he has none, so she takes off into to town as Spike predicts the end of the episode.

Out in Ponyville Square, Twilight is certain she'll find a pony who needs her help, and is elated when she hears Rarity's scream.  She makes her way toward the sound of the scream, kicking down the door of Rarity's boutique.  Rarity declares her problem to be the worst possible thing: losing her diamond-encrusted purple ribbon.  Though she has searched, she cannot find it, and conjures her chaise lounge to lie upon in anguish.  Twilight sees this as the perfect opportunity to procure a friendship lesson, but before she can finish pledging her help, Rarity spots the ribbon just lying on the floor.  With the ribbon problem solved, Twilight asks if there isn't something else Rarity needs help with, but when Rarity just asks for her measuring tape, Twilight moves on without even saying goodbye.
Twilight isn't discouraged, though, since she still has four other friends that might need help.  And indeed, it seems that she's hit the jackpot when she spots Rainbow Dash smashing up Applejack's barn.  Seeing a potential friendship in need of mending, Twilight stops the pegasus and goes all therapist on her, ready to root out a report.  But it turns out that Applejack, bunkered in a nearby ditch, actually asked Rainbow Dash to destroy the barn in order to make way for a new one.  With Twilight's misunderstanding cleared up, Dash goes in for the kill, demolishing the barn with a sonic rain-mushroom cloud.
A little worse for wear both from stress and Dash's destruction, Twilight chides herself for not visiting Fluttershy first.  The timid pony must surely have an issue to deal with, she assures herself, yet when she peeks behind Fluttershy's cottage, she spots Fluttershy going all kung-fu on a giant grizzly.  Panicking over her bad luck, Twilight leaves before the punchline of the scene: all that fighting was actually some kind of chiropractic technique.
Having failed at finding problems with her other friends, Twilight doesn't even bother visiting Pinkie Pie, and instead starts losing it on a park bench, which is where Spike finds her.  She doesn't even notice his presence, distracted by the sound of churlish laughter that she imagines is directed at her.  Spike manages to bring her out of her reverie, revealing the laughter was just from some nearby fillies.  He reminds her of the picnic, hoping that relaxing with her friends will bring her back to normal.  Twilight, however, sees this as the solution to all her problems.
As the others set up for the picnic, Rarity declares forgetting the plates to be the worst possible thing and conjures her chaise lounge again.  Her woe is forgotten when Twilight shows up, her dementia plain to see.  Tired of hoping for a problem to just fall in her lap, Twilight outright tells her friends about her problem.  They don't find "being late with a report" quite as terrible as she does, and invite her to just enjoy the picnic for a while.  But this Twilight cannot do, and she storms off.
Back at the library, Twilight's delirium continues to grow, and she soon sees the only way to find a problem to solve is to make that problem herself.  Venturing into the park, she spots the Cutie Mark Crusaders happily playing ball.  Dropping in on their game, she thoroughly creeps them all out before presenting them with her old doll, Smartypants (complete with play quill and notebook for doing her homework).  Her plan is for the one-doll-to-three-girls ratio to cause a rift in the girls' friendship, but as Smartypants has obviously seen better days, none of the CMC bite.  In her desperation, Twilight casts a "Want it, Need it" spell on the doll, which makes all three of the girls want it instantly.  Finally getting the results she wanted, Twilight pulls herself together to act as an authority figure, but her spell was too powerful, and the girls resist her attempts to wrest it away form them.
Luckily for her, Big Macintosh was passing by, so she asks him to help her out.  Big Macintosh is easily able to get the doll, but having seen it, he's affected by the spell, and takes off with it.  Soon almost the whole town has spotted the doll, and they all swarm on Big Macintosh to get it for themselves, leaving Twilight unable to get a clear shot to cast the counterspell.  The mayor manages to get the doll, and makes a mad dash across the field, heading toward where the rest of the mane cast is still picnicking.  As the town chases after the doll, Twilight warns her friends not to look, lest they, too, fall prey to her foolish spell.  She confesses to her insane plan as the day finally comes to an end, making her officially tardy.
With the setting of the sun, a regal voice calls for Twilight.  Princess Celestia has arrived, just as Twilight feared, and she isn't happy.  With a dose of royal magic, Celestia cancels the effects of Twilight's spell, leaving the townsfolk dazed and slightly embarrassed.  They all disperse, though Big Macintosh grabs Smartypants before he leaves.  Twilight and her friends cringe, waiting for Celestia's pronouncement, but the princess simply tells Twilight to meet her in the library.  Twilight bids her friends adieu, certain that it's Magic Kindergarten for her.  Realizing they may never see Twilight again, Rarity declares this the worst possible thing, for real this time.
At the library, Twilight attempts to justify her actions, but as the sun has set, she has no recourse but to declare herself a bad student.  As this wasn't what Celestia was planning to address, she has to reassure her most faithful student that a weekly letter is not actually a requirement.  Before she can get any further, Twilight's friends bust in to say that they were to blame for the craziness in town, not Twilight, since they knew she was upset, yet they discounted her feelings due to her worries not seeming worth worrying about.  They beg the princess not to send Twilight away from them, and Celestia makes a bargain with them: if they all report on friendship from now on (and only when there's actually something worth reporting), she'll let Twilight off the hook.  The ponies accept her proposition.
With her worries allayed, it occurs to Twilight that the princess showed up awfully quickly, and so she asks how the princess knew what was up.  Celestia reveals that Spike wrote to her, and commends him for doing the right thing.  And with that, she returns to Canterlot, eager to read the first of the group reports.  Before the girls can get down to business, though, Twilight takes a moment to thank Spike.  The letter is written round-robin style, with each girl adding a piece of the lesson they all learned: treat your friends' worries seriously, even if they sound stupid to you, and don't let your own worries grow out of control.  Spike tries to add his own post script, stating that since he's such an awesome friend already, he didn't have to learn this lesson, but Twilight nixes it.
It'll be interesting to see how this whole "everyone reports on friendship" bit plays out.  Will it always be round-robin style, or will only those who actually learned a lesson write the letter?  At least it gets rid of the "Twilight hijacks another pony's lesson" problem from season one.
I'll admit, my first time watching this episode, all of Twilight's craziness started to get old, but on the repeat viewings, I was able to appreciate it more.  I guess that knowing where the story would end up going helps.  That whole doll part was the best part of the episode, IMO, though I also loved Twilight getting starry-eyed every time she thought she'd be able to help a friend.  And Big Macintosh as a brony? Priceless.  I gotta ask, though, how come Twilight didn't decide to just fudge it?  Y'know, make up a friendship scenario to write about.  Then again, Princess Celestia can probably cast some kind of spell that would let her know whether what she was reading was true or not.
The animation really stood out in this one.  Not just all the Twilight crazy faces, though those were superb, but in lots of little things, too.  You can tell that the animators have really improved since season one.

Misc. Screenshots:
Taking cover
"You don't expect me to lay on the ground, do you?"
Stop looking at me like that, Twilight
You're in trouble now, Twilight
No, now you're really in trouble
That's not exactly a reassuring face, Celestia
Frustrated Spike

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Share Bear Shines at last!

Well, two years after it was slated to come out, Share Bear Shines, the first (but now last) of the Care Power Team movies, finally made it to the states.
This one starts up with Oopsy stranded in the middle of nowhere on a rapidly deteriorating cloud.  Fortunately for him, the CPT is on the job!  Once they spot him, Share calls for them to activate their care power, though that shouldn't be necessary, as they're not that far from him.  Just drive up and get him, seriously.  But of course it's not that simple, as the last of the cloud dissapates, sending Oopsy plummeting towards his doom.  And apparently the powered up bears are faster than their cloud cars, because the Team leaps out and follow Oopsy down, streaming sparkles all the way.  They even fall faster than Oopsy and manage to get beneath him.  Using their badges, they slow their descent, and then create a pool of light that catches Oopsy without much trouble.  With Oopsy safe, Grumpy demands to know what he was doing out in the middle of nowhere, but before Oopsy can explain, Bedtime falls asleep, breaking the pool of light and sending the other bear falling again.  Cheer quickly rigs up a rainbow slide to catch Oopsy, and Share rushes to the bottom to grab him.  He survives, but his berries do not.
With the rescue complete, the main titles show up, set to the modified AiCaL theme song.  Back in Care-A-Lot, Grumpy again demands to know what Oopsy was up to, and Oopsy explains that he went to pick berries in a cloud canyon, when a piece of the cloud floated off with him on it.  Which is why no one's supposed to go there alone, Funshine points out, even if the best berries grow there.  And they do, as Grumpy forgets himself for a minute to fanboy over them.  Oopsy is chastised by everyone, then sent to clean himself up before the night's festivities.  It seems that it's time for the twinklet migration, last seen in Adventures in Care-A-Lot episode 6.  The CPT plan on watching from the Care Tower, but there haven't been that many Twinklets these past few years.  Share is optimistic that this year there'll be more to make up for the deficit, and she fantasizes about the baby stars meeting Princess Starglo, the mother of all wishing stars.  When Grumpy scoffs at her for believing in a fairy tale, she responds by singing a song about believing in things and having hope. Despite the catchy song, even Funshine has his doubts, but Cheer humors her.
As night falls, bears all over Care-A-Lot get into position to watch the migration.  Up in Care Tower, Share shows off her holographic Princess Starglo storybook, telling of how the baby stars live in Glitter City until the princess grants their wish to be full-grown stars, then places them in the night sky.  By the time she's done, the first star of the evening appears, so Share wishes on it, to Grumpy's consternation.  The others force him to humor Share, who doesn't seem to have noticed him anyway.  But the time for the migration to start has arrived, so the bears keep their eyes on the sky.
As the night wears on, one by one the bears fall asleep, except for Share, who keeps watching, but no twinklets show up.  She wakes the other with a shout, then rushes off to do something about the situation.  Grumpy tells her not to panic, that maybe the migration is really tomorrow.  The others agree, and Bedtime sends everyone off to bed, much to Share's dismay.  But just as she's about to head home herself, a lone twinklet appears in the sky and makes a crash landing in Care Square.  Share and the rest of the CPT rush to its rescue, but it seems all right.  Grumpy claims this proves his hypothesis, that the migration is tomorrow, and this twinklet is just ahead of the group.  Share decides to take care of the twinklet in the meantime, naming it Gleamer.  But she still can't shake the feeling that something has gone wrong.
The others start to leave, but Share calls for all of them to go to Glitter City themselves and discuss what's going on with Princess Starglo.  Grumpy and Funshine tell her that no one's ever been to Glitter City, and that Princess Starglo is just a story.  But Grumpy promises to bring his telescope to Care Tower in the morning so they can look for the rest of the twinklets.  Share starts to protest, but Bedtime intervenes, sending her home to bed.  Though she tries to sleep, Share just can't forget her worries, and decides to go to Glitter City with Gleamer on her own!  Grabbing her book, she climbs into her cloud car, only to realize she has no clue where Glitter City actually is.  Neither does Gleamer, but this does not dissuade Share from her trip.  She resolves to simply find it, and takes off.
Share isn't completely without direction, though, as she knows the direction that the twinklets go when they migrate, plus, the poem from her book has a clue, too.  And as she has the poem memorized, she doesn't notice the book fell out of her car when she took off.  She looks to the right of the Big Dipper, as in the poem, but there's nothing there.  But since all stars, even twinklets, have a connection to Glitter City, she asks Gleamer to try sending out a signal, and sure enough, a tiny pinprick of light appears.  And so Share and Gleamer drive off into the night, heading for what must be Glitter City.
As they travel, they come to a green-gold cloud, and Gleamer warns Share not to go any further.  It's a cloud of stardust, apparently, so Share uses her badge to blow some of it out of the way.  This creates a hole in the cloud for them to go through, though why they didn't just fly over the cloud, I don't know.  Sure it was big, but not that big.  But that was just one cloud of many, and though the rest of the clouds are smaller, they're also stormclouds, so Share picks up the pace, narrowly avoiding lightning bolts.  That danger over, they suddenly see an island of sparkling spires right before them: Glitter City!
Back in Care-A-Lot, morning has arrived, but the sky is still dark.  As the CPT wonder what's going on, the stars in the sky start disappearing right before their eyes!
 Share lands her cloud car and approaches the main gate, which is open, and notices the city is devoid of any type of activity.  She wonders what's going on, and Gleamer has no clue, so they simply enter the city.  Share wonders where Princess Starglo is, and is bombarded with a bright light.  It seems that hearing her name summoned the princess herself.  Seeing that she was right along, Share is beside herself, and introduces herself and Gleamer.  But the princess is not glad to see her, proclaiming that she no longer makes stars, and sends both Share and Gleamer on their way.  She tells them to visit the gift shop, and disappears in a flash of stardust.  She reappears and disappears a few more times, spouting various non sequiters.  Share's surprised at how weird the princess really is, not at all what she expected.  Still, she follows after Starglo as she enters the tallest spire, asking for her help.
Starglo insists she's busy and sends them off yet again, flying to the very top of the spire.  Share unexpectedly finds an elevator and follows her up.  She and Gleamer find themselves in an observatory room, and watch as Princess Starglo mutters to herself and touches lights on an orb in the center in the room.  As she does, the corresponding stars in the sky go out.  Share can't understand why the princess would do that, so Starglo explains that the stars are still there, just not lit up, due to a lack of power.  It seems that believing in Princess Starglo and wishing on stars power the entire city and all the stars, but not very many folks do either these days.  Share points out that she believes and wishes, and while Princess Starglo is grateful, the belief of just one bear just isn't enough.  She heads off to turn off the rest of the city, ignoring Share's cries that without the city, the twinklets will have no place to go, which will lead, in turn, to no more stars.  Seems to me that there's plenty of stars already, but Share refuses to let that happen.
Down in Care-A-Lot, Bedtime despairs as the last of the stars go out, but no one is awake to help him do something about it.  So he heads into Dreamland, where everyone seems to be having gravity-defying dreams.  He comes across the rest of the CPT having a surreal game of Belly Badge Ball and uses his badge to wake them up.  Seeing all the stars gone, they start to band together to find out what happened, but realize that Share is missing.  They can't find her at her house, but Bedtime's slippers, which are sentient in the CPT universe, I guess, notice the book that fell, and bring it to Bedtime's attention.  This piece of evidence makes it obvious where Share's gone, but without daylight, all anyone wants to do is sleep.  So Funshine creates a mini-sun with his badge, bringing Care-A-Lot back to life.  Since the mini-sun is only temporary, the rest of the CPT get ready to roll out.  Bedtime suggests that he stay behind, just in case, and so Funshine, Grumpy, and Cheer get going.
In Glitter City, Share tries in vain to get Princess Starglo to stop powering down the city.  For some reason she thinks that she can turn everything back on with just a touch, ala Princess Starglo, but the real Starglo sets her straight: only she has that power.  As she laughs with glee, more of the city goes dark, and she prepares to leave.  Shares insists that she just can't do that, reminding her of her heritage as the first twinklet and mother of all the stars.  Starglo is not impressed, however, as she's heard all those stories, too.  For the first time, Share's belief starts to waver, but Starglo admits that all the stories are true.  This leads to a call-and-response song for the two of them, with Share trying to convince Starglo that she's still important, and the princess not quite buying it.
The song does lower the princess' defenses, and she reminisces about watching her stars take their place in the sky for the very first time.  But, she points out once again, without belief and wishes, there's nothing to be done.  Her point is made very clear when Gleamer suddenly grows weak and starts to fade.  Starglo gives him a jolt of power, but explains she can only help him for so long.  This right here is why she's putting out all the stars.  As she goes to her orb to make sure she didn't miss any, she sees the other members of the CPT heading their way.  Gleamer spots this and tries to alert Share, but as she doesn't speak star, she instead follows him to the orb.  Starglo tries to keep Share from spotting the image of her friends, but she spots it anyway.
With a wave of her hands, Starglo creates a cloud of stardust for the others to fly through.  Unlike Share, they immediately think to go around, rather than through it, but the cloud won't let them.  With another wave of her hands, Starglo has the cloud become a tornado, claiming that since Share got in too easily, she'll have to up the danger levels this time.  Share tells her to stop, but Starglo refuses, stating that Share set her back in her plans enough as it is.  But she promises not to actually hurt anyone, just spin them around until they go on their way.  Of course, she doesn't know the Care Bears very well, and they manage to hatch a plan to get out of there.  Funshine figures that stardust likes light, so he uses his badge to create a giant ball of light, which the stardust cloud takes off after immediately.
Not to be defeated so easily, Starglo ups the lightning in the stormclouds Share flew through earlier, which knocks Grumpy out of the cloud car.  Unlike last time, the other CPT members stay in the cloud car and fly down to catch him.  Seeing her lightning failed, Starglo makes sure the gates are closed this time, keeping them out, and her and Share in.  Share has finally come to realization that the real Starglo is nothing like the one in her storybook, but Starglo has no rebuttal for her.
The others finally make it to Glitter City and spot Share's car.  Finding the gates locked, Grumpy attempts to "coax them open" with a lightning bolt, which hits a few of the locks, but then makes a beeline for his bottom.  Starglo crows over her apparent victory, but Share goes to open the gates herself.  But of course Princess Starglo shuts off power to the elevator, trapping both Share and Gleamer while she goes to take care of other things.
Meanwhile, Funshine declares unlocking the gates unattainable, so Cheer suggests just going over them.  However, each time they try, then end up mysteriously back where they started.  So it's back to trying to unlock the gates.  This time, Cheer notes a pattern, and remembers Grumpy's lightning bolt changing it when he used it earlier.  Grumpy declines to try that method, though, since he still has singe marks on his behind.  But there's no other alternative, so try it they must.  Grumpy sends off his bolt and then gets well out of the way.  The locks begin to flash in a pattern, and so the reduced CPT turn on their Care Power and go in to investigate.  Cheer finds the answer, and fortunately they only have to turn three of the locks to get the gates to open.  The three bears enter the darkened city, remarking on how empty it is.
Share, meanwhile, attempts to get the elevator to work again by using the touchpad, despite Princess Starglo already demonstrating that only she has that kind of power.  She surmises it must be a "star thing," and asks Gleamer to give it a try.  And it works!  For a split second.  Oh, well.  Just then, Share spots her friends in Starglo's orb, and seeing they've gotten into the city ups her resolve to get out of the spire, one way or another.  And since Gleamer was almost able to make the elevator work, she assumes two Gleamers will do the trick, and uses her badge powers to double it.  The two Gleamers get it working for a full second this time, and Share, remembering what Princess Starglo has been saying this whole time about wishes and belief, repeatedly states her belief in the Gleamers, which gives them the power to get the elevator working for real.  The two Gleamers become one, and Share heads out with twinklet in tow.
Princess Starglo continues powering down the buildings in the city and hears the other bears calling for Share.  Funshine worries for Share, since she was so worked up about Princess Starglo, and now there's no one in Glitter City at all, but Grumpy is just adamant about the nonexistance of any Starglo.  Which of course is when Princess Starglo decides to show herself to them.  Grumpy freaks out, certain that she plans to eat them, and Cheer and Funshine's "Oh, you really are real," comments don't win them any points either.  Starglo rants at them about taking the stars for granted, and Grumpy starts to protest that he doesn't, but she shuts him up right quick and tells them all to leave.  (I'm kind of curious, how does Grumpy believe he doesn't take stars for granted?)  But they won't go without Share, so it's convenient that she shows up right then, isn't it?
The others apologize to Share for not believing in her belief, but Share tells them her belief wasn't entirely right, either, since she's learned the real Starglo is nothing like the one in her book.  As Princess Starglo continues about her business, Share explains the whole "no one believes in her or wishes on stars" thing, and they point out that they believe now, doesn't that count?  Nope, according to Starglo.  At last, she powers down the last building.  The Care Bears look around the darkened city, and Share just can't take it.  She demands Princess Starglo turn everything back on and call back the twinklets, but Starglo refuses.  As the princess flies off, Share tells the others she's tried everything to change Starglo's mind, but Starglo points out that she didn't try offering her a cookie.  Not that it would have worked, but the point  is made.  This last non sequiter is the last straw, and so the CPT decide it's time to help Starglo "understand."  Saying she's too upset to think clearly, they surround her for a Care Bear Stare, but first they have to sing the Care Power theme.
The Care Bear Stare leaves Princess Starglo feeling radiant, and optimistic that the belief of four bears and one twinklet is enough to give her the power she needs to restart the city and light all the stars!  She starts with the tallest spire, and for a second it looks like everything's going to be okay.  But then the light fades away, and Princess Starglo remembers that she can't turn the city back on once it's been turned off.  Not with just the belief of four bears and one twinklet, anyway.  Her very existence hinges on people's belief, after all, and sure enough, she's beginning to fade away.  Gleamer also feels this lack of belief, fading like it did before.  Share calls on the princess to help the twinklet, and despite the fact that Starglo is facing the end of her own life, she tries, but can't do anything.
Cheer immediately makes the leap from the end of Starglo to the end of Care-A-Lot, which is news to Share.  Funshine fills her in on what happened down there, which fills Starglo with remorse, as she didn't realize the ramifications of turning off all the stars (including the sun).  As the princess openly weeps, Share finds it in her heart to forgive her, and this belief in Starglo gives her a second wind.  If only more people believed in her, she could turn things around!  So Grumpy hatches a plan to make more people believe: send a beacon out to Care-A-Lot, and they'll know what to do.
Speaking of Care-A-Lot, Funshine's mini-sun finally gives out, leaving the others wondering what to do.  Bedtime, as the current representative of the Care Power Team, advocates waiting for the other members to get back.  The other Care Bears aren't so sure that those guys even made it to Glitter City, so Bedtime distracts everyone by reading from Share's storybook.  He reads the story of how Princess Starglo was once the only star, so she built Glitter City, and if everyone believes, all the twinklets will join her there, and together they'll fill the sky with stars.  The bears listening affirm their belief in Princess Starglo, but more than anything, they just want the stars back.  And just when it looks like things are going to get wistful, they all spontaneously burst out into Share's song of belief from earlier.
As the song ends, a spark of light twinkles in the night sky, and Bedtime recognizes it as Glitter City (somehow).  It's actually the other members of the Care Power Team shining light from their belly badges.  Princess Starglo can tell that it's working, but advises more sparkle from Grumpy, who doesn't appreciate the constructive criticism.  Gleamer, meanwhile, is getting worse, so Share gives it all she's got.  Down in Care-A-Lot, the bears cheer to see the light, and Gleamer starts to shine again, and even Starglo becomes more solid.  Bit by bit, the city comes back to light, shining radiantly in the night sky.
With belief reinstated, Princess Starglo goes to turn the stars back on.  Seeing that their job is done, the CPT prepare to leave, though Share wishes she could stay.  But Starglo is adamant, Glitter City is for twinklets and stars only.  Still, she's glad that they came, and even makes them honorary stars.  As for Gleamer, she makes him her personal assistant, and even gives him the entire show, which involves spotlights, a big announcement, and Starglo using her powers to make him the official wishing star.
The bears start to go, but Share hangs back, and Starglo gives her a hug, thanking her for everything.  Share also says her goodbyes to Gleamer, and Princess Starglo reminds them all to believe.
One year later, the CPT unveil a new light on the Care Tower, to guide twinklets and remind Princess Starglo that they believe in her.  When night falls, the CPT rush to the top of the tower to watch, and Princess Starglo materializes to join them, much to their surprise.  It seems she's letting Gleamer guide the twinklets this time, and is using the opportunity to view the migration from the other side.  She doesn't stick around long, though, as she has to train the new recruits.  As Grumpy wonders how she can blink through glass, the movie ends.
Watching this one, it's easy to see why the other CPT movies went the "glorified episode" route.  To stretch the story out, the whole "not enough wishes and belief" thing is repeated over and over, which just serves to make Share look like an idiot who doesn't pay attention to what people are telling her.  Speaking of which, that whole thing really was not handled well, at all.  Princess Starglo makes it clear that her and the stars' very existence is at stake, giving her the audience's sympathy.  Cheer keeps trying to convince her not to go ahead with her plan without giving any particularly good reasons why she shouldn't, yet the audience is asked to view her point as the right one.  Thus, when the other Care Bears show up and give her a Care Bear Stare, it feels like they're forcing her to go along with their views without considering all the facts.  And when Starglo uses up nearly the last of her power in the misguided attempt to relight Glitter City thanks to said Stare, it is the princess who ends up apologizing.  On the other hand, by turning off all the stars, including the sun, she nearly doomed all life on Earth and Care-a-Lot, for the sake of her own life.  But this point is barely touched on in the movie, and not until the end.
I guess the real problem is that Share left Care-a-Lot before seeing the stars going out, thus she had no real argument for why Starglo shouldn't turn them off.  So for most of the movie, Starglo's reasoning seems like the right choice, even though it isn't, really.  Maybe if she'd just left the sun on and turned off the rest of the stars, that could of worked?  And if the belief of four bears and one twinklet wasn't enough power to light up the city, how did the belief of twenty five Care Bears max do it?  And if Gleamer's belief counted, then shouldn't the belief of all the stars in the sky have counted?  That would have powered Starglo up for sure!  Then again, maybe Starglo was just humoring Gleamer.
Plotholes aside, there were a bunch of things I liked about the movie.  For one thing, it was nice to see the Care Bears having dreams that seemed like actual dreams, rather than the mundane dreams they had back in Adventures in Care-a-Lot.  As usual, Bedtime is adorable when he gets to be part of the action.  And Princess Starglo has the best expressions.  Seriously, the real reason I waited for the DVD to come out over here before writing this up is because I needed to be able to use the frame-by-frame tool to get her expressions just right:


The only special feature on the DVD is a game where you have to figure out the locks on Glitter City's gates, in case you were wondering.  Oh, and some trailers, but I don't really count those.

Misc. Screenshots:
Share rides a star
Fireworks
In Dreamland, the trees are smiling
There really is a Starglo
Happy Starglo
Cheering for the stars

And so the Care Power Team/AiCaL era comes to an end.  Sad to see it go, really.  While the new series might be good, I have severe doubts.  And no matter what, it will never be as cute as the AiCaL style.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sushi Pack - No Clowning Around

It's been a while, huh?  I never really meant to stop posting Sushi Pack recaps, though I also never meant to post every single episode, either.  Much as I love the show, there are episodes that I just didn't feel warranted a full write up.  Granted, my feelings have changed by now, in both directions (i.e. some of the shows I wrote up probably didn't deserve it), but this is one I always meant to get to.
No Clowning Around - "There are no small jobs, just small sushi."
It's a typical day in Wharf City: the sun is shining, kids are having fun playing in the park, and lovers are having their romantic interludes interrupted by the sudden arrival of clouds.  No, wait, this isn't a typical onset of clouds, it's the doing of Sir Darkly, the personification of misery.  His very presence causes flowers to wilt, seesaws to break, and makes everyone in the vicinity burst into tears, much to his deadpan delight.
Over at The Green Donut, the Sushi Pack are testing out their new periscope viewer and manage to get it working, thanks to teamwork!  Thanks to the viewer, they catch sight of Sir Darkly, and as this is his first episode, Maguro points out some of his villainous quality, with Tako adding the most important one three times.  They're also aware of his ultimate goal: collecting enough tears of sorrow to seed the clouds, making misery literally rain down on the entire world.  While the Pack contemplates this, Ben calls for them to see the weather report.  Sophia Tucker is on location to report on the strange storm that appears to be moving in, right in the middle of the mayor's annual picnic!  And even this perky reporter is no match for Sir Darkly's gloom.
Seeing Sir Darkly on screen, Ben flashes back to the last time that guy was in town, and how he was carried off by the north wind, vowing revenge on the Sushi Pack.  Though we are not privy to what exactly happened that time (did the Sushi Pack cause the wind?  Was it serendipity?), we get a clue from Ben, who warns the Pack that they won't be able to sneak up on Sir Darkly the way they did last time.  And having jumped into their action pose to do this, he abruptly falls over when they stop to come up with a plan.  Ikura suggests a plan that's all him, but Maguro reminds him that they're a team, and Ben chimes in about teamwork, as he is wont to do.  Tako surmises they'll need a disguise, and luckily, Kani has just the thing.
Down in the basement, she unveils her latest creation: B.O.B. (Being Of Bamboo), a giant robot (giant to them, anyway) that they all operate.  Though impressed, Maguro has a feeling B.O.B. won't exactly blend in, but Kani already has the answer.  With her handy remote, she activates B.O.B.'s disguise mode, turning him into a clown, the perfect camouflage for a party.  Now that that's out of the way, it's time to learn how B.O.B. actually works.  Kani dons her science gear (so cute!) to explain that each member of the Pack controls a different part of B.O.B.: Wasabi controls the right hand, Ikura has the left foot (he isn't impressed), Maguro takes the right foot, Tako gets the left foot, and Kani forms the head!  She instructs everyone to strap in and wait for the command.  With everyone in place, it's time for action!  Unfortunately, no one but Kani takes the whole thing seriously, with Ikura and Wasabi being overenthusiastic and Maguro and Tako not feeling terribly needed, and thus B.O.B. wanders about haphazardly.
Sir Darkly is able to breeze right in to the mayor's picnic, thanks to his cloud of sadness, and continues collecting tears.  The inconsolable security guards also let B.O.B. right in, and so Kani again tries to get the rest of the Pack to follow her instructions, but to no avail.  B.O.B. continues his willy-nilly gambol, catching the attention of Sir Darkly.  Noticing no tears coming from B.O.B.'s eyes, he goes in to investigate.  Kani, as B.O.B.'s voice, introduces the robot as "Bob the Party Clown," then instructs Wasabi and Ikura to wave hello. They overdo it, whacking B.O.B.'s head, so Kani to tell them both to knock it off.  Wasabi gets offended, making his flame shoot up into the cooling chamber, melting the ice.  This causes water to drip on Ikura's head, so he plugs the hole up with a sticky orange ball, which just fills up with water and dumps itself all over him.
Wet and sticky, Ikura quits being the left hand and tries to take Wasabi with him, despite Kani's protests.  This causes B.O.B. to become even more unbalanced than he was before, and he ends up smashing into the cake and collapsing.  Unable to get B.O.B. to lift up, Kani proclaims herself a failure.  Tako quickly points out that it was the rest of them, not her, that failed, and even Ikura begrudgingly admits that teamwork means working together.  Which is all well and good, but what can they do now?
To the rest of the party guests, it appears that Bob the Party Clown is dead, and Sir Darkly seizes upon this opportunity to have everyone shed a tear for the departed clown.  While he collects tears, the Sushi Pack decides it's never too late, and work together to get B.O.B. back on his feet.  With their resolve to act as a team renewed, the others follow Kani's instructions to the letter, and manage to hit Sir Darkly with some slapstick, making the guests laugh.  The laughter starts breaking up Sir Darkly's clouds, and sends the specter himself to the sky, as he and the clouds disappear in a twinkling.  Kani congratulates everyone on a job well done and lesson well learned, and B.O.B. does a little dance.
I'll admit it, my main reason for wanting to do this one was Kani in her scientist get-up.  I love it!
Watching this ep again, I wonder if Sir Darkly's earlier appearance in Wharf City was supposed to be an actual episode, or it was never written on purpose.  You know, kind of a tongue-in-cheek reference to how most superheroes have a Rogue's Gallery.  In fact, it might have been an interesting concept for there to be no recurring villains on the show, but each new one treated as if they had shown up before.  With the only exceptions being Titanium Chef and the Legion of Low Tide, obviously.  I'm glad that they didn't go in that direction, though, since then we wouldn't have gotten the next episode I'll be covering: Yam Yakkers.