Friday, 10 December 2010

In which Mint muses on some animated shows; the Silly, the Bad and the Weird.

We have already covered in previous posts the fact that I am a gigantic nerd. But that's not just limited to roleplay games. I'm also a manic JRPG fan and I'm a huge cartoon and anime junkie. And since I'm meant to be revising for an exam just now, I thought I'd write a blog post about some of my newer discoveries.

I wasn't your typical kid in regards to TV growing up. I actually spent most of my time watching nature documentries and the Channel 4 learning programs that used to be on in the morning and cartoons barely factored in. My parents didn't have anything to do with that decision either; I was just a weird kid. Eventually Pokemon filtered in and I watched that, along with Flint the Time Detective, which was an amazing anime that actually didn't make a huge amount of sense now that I think about it...

This all changed after my gran had Sky installed at her house, and I discovered that there were whole channels that had cartoons on all the time. I was around thirteen or so at the time, and I had a lot of catching up to do, so every waking minute spent at my gran's house was divided between food and cartoons, and even then, those mostly happened simultaeneously. Since then, I'm constantly looking for some new animated thing to sink my obsessive hooks into, and I'm still finding things, even now.

Not all of them good things.

The Silly:
Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z!

The Powerpuff Girls was one of my favourite classic cartoons. It was, and still is, awesome. It was also a stealth parody (although not always very stealthy) of Japanese Magical Girl shows. And then this happened:

Yep, they made a Magical Girl anime out of it, complete with transformation sequences for the girls. And you know what? It worked. Despite the fact that suddenly Professor Utonium has a son and a robot dog, the girls are aged around 12/13, are not related and got their powers in a freak accident, and it's set in Tokyo, not Townsville, this thing works. Well, as long as you just forget the first episode ever happened. It was terrible, and added nothing to the show.

But yeah, this took the Powerpuff Girls and turned it into a hyperactive sugar-coated whirl of both accidental  and deliberate cross-parodies. Also, for some reason they seem to have almost switched Bubbles and Blossom's personalities around, and Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup are not their real names (those would be Momoko, Miyako and Kaoru respectively). Instead, they are applied only when they're in their Powerpuff forms. The traditional villains are still around though, with Sedusa, the Gangreen Gang and Fuzzy Lumpkins making appearances, along with Mojo Jojo (of course) and Princess. The Rowdyruff Boys are in there too, leading to much rejoicing from the original fandom.

Okay, I'm making it sound pretty bad, and on some level it is. As a Powerpuff fan, I do have to divorce this from the original show in its entirety, but you know what? I still enjoyed watching it.

The Bad:
Loonatics Unleashed

Okay, so you know how I said Powerpuff Girls Z was good even though it changed pretty much everything from its original concept? This is what happens they do that wrong:


This is what happened when Warner Brothers came up with the stupid idea that the Looney Toons needed a gritty reboot and an anime-esque art style. Which they didn't, and even if they did, they didn't need this.

I'll admit it, I watched a full series and a half of this show, for much the same reason that I read the first three Twilight books; in the futile hope that it would get better. And, much like the Twilight books, there is so much wrong with this show. These are Looney Toons (well, apparently they're descendents of them, which gets creepy at one point and makes no sense at others, but we'll get to that in a minute) with superpowers. Which they got because a meteor crashed into their 'City Planet' (yes, it's a planet that is just one big city) Acmetropolis and knocked it off its axis. And this somehow gave some people superpowers, more specifically, those six and a couple of villain characters.

Before I go on, okay, there are some good things about this show. Two good things in fact; specifically, these two:

These characters are Rev Runner and Tech. E. Coyote, and they are pretty much the only redeeming feature of this show, due to good voice actors (these versions can talk), good dialogue and superpowers that actually make sense. The rest of them... not so much. It doesn't help that our two rabbit characters, Ace and Lexi, are apparently both descended from Bugs and Lola bunny, and yet there are a couple of times where the show seems to want to pair them up, which isn't really that bad since they're probably only distant relatives, but then we have the fact that Foghorn Leghorn and Pepe Le Pew both apparently ended up with human descendents, and this just shoots straight into WTFery.

And speaking of WTFery...

The Weird:
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt

Okay, when you take a look at this artstyle, you may be fooled into thinking that we're looking at another Powerpuff Girls Z type thing, but believe me, the artstyle is where any and all similarities end.

Just to be clear, when I say this is weird, I mean it's really effing weird. But I don't mean it in a bad way; I mean it in a crazy awesome way. I've watched my way through the ten episodes of this that have been released so far and, although there have been moments where I've had to reach for the mental bleach, there are plenty of other ones where I've had a silly grin plastered on my face for entire episodes.

Panty and Stocking is something of an experimental show; experimental in the sense that the people behind it are trying to see just how far they can push it before the censors explode. To start with, the two main characters are angels who fight ghosts. Their weapons to do so? Well Panty, the blonde, can turn her panties into a gun, while Stocking, the gothic one, can turn her stockings into swords. They have a transformation sequence. Wanna see?

Yep, that's a Magical Girl transformation sequence... with stripper poles. There's also the fact that in ten episodes I've seen more fetishes catered to in this show than I have from visits to 4Chan (admittedly, this might be because 4Chan scares me a little bit and I avoid staying on it for more than ten minutes at a time). Add to that the extreme amounts of bad language, the fact that the girls live with a priest who is pretty much every black stereotype ever and also apparently has a thing for young boys, buckets of awesome fight scenes, comedy and a catchy soundtrack and you get this show, which really just has to be seen to be believed.

And even if you don't feel you can stomach the weirder aspects (I have an iron stomach for these things and even I had weirded out moments), I would still reccomend watching episode 6, because it is around twenty minutes of absolute win.

So yeah, that's all I've got for now. Hope you enjoyed.

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