2013
11.26

Issue #8 or “The End of Equinox!”

 

The Equinox arc is one of the most memorable in the series, starting in an earlier cold open when Batman saved the Question and Gorilla Grodd from being killed by the diabolical villain who was obsessed with equality. This episode is his first full appearance and is one of the most memorable episodes in the series for it.

In this issue you will see a knock down drag out war on evil on quite a grand scale. Villains that have lost themselves to blind rage, secret organizations battling against each other, a hero that learns how to be one, and a hero that learns he already was one. But most importantly, it ends with the one act that Equinox cannot figure out how to balance self-sacrifice on his warped scale of good and evil. As far as superhero stories go, they rarely come as pure as this one, neither are they as explosive at the same time.

Suffice to say, we are dealing with one of the best in the show’s run. Can OMAC, Batman, and Buddy put a stop to Equinox’s manipulation- or is this the end of the world? Well, sit tight. It might not be as easy going as you think.

This is the Silver Age at its best folks, so let’s get to it!

 

#8 – When OMAC Attacks!

Written by: Stan Berkowitz

Directed by: Brandon Vietti

Principle Cast:

Diedrich Bader as Batman

Jeff Bennett as OMAC / Buddy Blank

Oded Fehr as Equinox

Greg Ellis as Kafka / Shrapnel

Dee Bradley Baker as Brother Eye / Operative

Keone Young as Operative

 

The GPA (Global Peace Agency) has called Batman in to help them with a special case but not is all what it seems. It seems that a foreign dictator has overstepped his bounds and is declaring war and they want to send Batman in to deal with the situation. They had hired Batman for reconnaissance but his work is not up to their standards and they aren’t above telling him so. Though they have it out for Batman, and are rather rude at the same time, they claim that our hero is the man for the job- he just needs a partner to help.

Cue Buddy Blank, janitor at the GPA, who is called in to clean up a mess before being angrily turned away for incompetence. He looks up to Batman and other heroes and longs to be one himself, but he’s far too weak and clumsy for that.

He seems like a nice guy, far too nice for the GPA, but there is more to him than meets the eye.

Despite being turned away, the operatives inform Batman that Buddy Blank is the very partner they were referring to. All it takes is a little zap of the “Brother Eye” satellite and Buddy Blank becomes “OMAC” (One-Man Army Corps.) who is a whole separate personality. It’s an odd way to power a hero, but it sure is fascinating to think about.

It’s a shame that the only drawback to this power is as large as it is.

He can get sent upgrades from Brother Eye that beams down into him, as well as advice, but doesn’t know anything about Buddy just as Buddy knows nothing about him. He’s strong, but he might not be enough for this mission.

Nonetheless, Batman and OMAC take off to find their enemy’s secret base. Batman prefers the stealthier approach, but OMAC bats him off saying that he doesn’t need tactics when he has upgrades and storms the base on his own. Though clearly outnumbered, OMAC easily thrashes the enclosing army and chides Batman about how easy it was.

From here it should be clear sailing to the General and stopping his insane planning. What can stand against a One Man Army Corps, after all?

“You know, not everything requires excessive force.”

“Hit hard or not at all, I always say.”

“Words to live by.”

But when they meet General Kafka, everything changes. He is planning to use a “grey goop” to “level the playing field” against the GPA but doesn’t exactly explain why. Mainly, he just wants revenge for some undisclosed discretion.

But as OMAC moves toward the General, something in the shadows catches Batman’s attention.

The villain, Equinox steps from the shadows as OMAC begins his assault on the General’s base and takes Batman aside. He won’t take to having Batman interfering with his quest for balance in the world and prevents him from interfering with the battle using his odd powers. Equinox is a madman obsessed with balance between chaos and order to the point where even good and evil pale in comparison with the two.

Batman is too much of a wildcard to be let free, but before he does anything, OMAC has already reached a decision of his own. The only way to stop the General from getting his mad revenge on the world is to kill him. Apparently, the living weapon has decided that the easiest way to solve a problem is to incinerate it. But they were supposed to take Kafka alive! What is wrong with OMAC!?

Our hero stops his fatal blast at the last moment, but it sends the resulting shot into the ceiling and unleashing Kafka’s own poisonous medicine out on himself instead as his base is flooded. Though OMAC doesn’t intentionally kill General Kafka, he is definitely responsible for what comes of his rashness.

The pair flees from the building as it crumbles under them to reveal what still exists of the twisted remains of General Kafka. He calls himself “Shrapnel”, and now he will personally use his own body as a weapon for revenge. His new look isn’t just for show either, with his rock hard body and ability to throw out actual shrapnel- he is a living weapon himself.

Shrapnel isn’t all talk, either- he easily takes down OMAC and transforms him back into Buddy leaving Batman with a narrow escape while the villain cries that he will kill OMAC himself.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as it were.

Back at GPA headquarters, the operatives are chiding Batman for his failure at stopping Kafka’s advance, and that he let a monster like Shrapnel loose. He retorts that if OMAC had more of Buddy’s heart then OMAC would be far more powerful and effective as a hero. He would be a solider instead of just a weapon. They shrug him off as useless.

Not only that, the GPA has no record of an “Equinox” and believes Batman is making the villain up as an excuse to cover for his failure. They only see the surface problem of Shrapnel, and are uninterested with anything else.

Meanwhile, Buddy is disappointed with his uselessness when Batman arrives to cheer him up. He’s a better hero than OMAC is, even if he doesn’t have the chance to show it. But his speech is cut short with knowledge that Shrapnel is in town and he’s madder than ever. Why won’t this guy just give up? Well, there’s a reason for that.

Batman warns OMAC to think before charging into their enemy’s waiting fists, but his words have no effect.

“Brainless fool! You didn’t just create Shrapnel; you brought this entire war upon yourself. The Global Peace Agency came to my country to stop a war but destroyed an innocent village in the process. Crops, farmland, all gone. The farmers survived to tried to rebuild, but I survived to get revenge!”

OMAC’s headstrong attitude and fighting style is not enough to catch their enemy off-guard, and he tells them exactly why he’s so angry towards the GPA. The organization may say they want peace, but they do not stop to think everything through- much like OMAC. If it wasn’t for their interference, Shrapnel would not exist, and neither would the city have to be destroyed in retribution. Shrapnel has gotten so strong that he punches OMAC straight through three stories of a building and chases after him into the next city block.

It’s an eye for an eye.

But before Batman can give chase he is visited by the mastermind once again. That’s right, it’s Equinox coming to tell Batman that he has no right to interfere with this fight. One country gets plowed into, it’s only fair that another gets plowed in retribution.

“The scales of justice… balancing right and wrong… it seems our goals are really quite similar.”

“We are nothing alike.”

“They say the flapping wings of a single butterfly can stir a wind on the other side of the world. Ever wonder what impact your little bat-wings have on this world?”

If it wasn’t already clear before, it is clear now. Equinox has no moral center anymore (if he ever did), his powers to hold balance between chaos and order has melted down into seeing good and evil as their counterparts (or the reverse depending on how it suits his strange ideas) completely unaware that he has fallen into evil himself by validating population control via genocide and making sure that the cycle of violence and hatred would always continue and cause more carnage. Equinox is far more dangerous than Shrapnel. He’s probably more dangerous than any villain Batman has fought so far.

And there’s the exact problem. Batman can’t fight him.

His powers of balance makes it so any force Batman uses is rendered harmless and any movement Equinox causes is rendered harmful toward him. It’s a futile battle, but then again- Batman never gives up. But how can he defeat an enemy he can’t hit?

However, the battle with Shrapnel might be going worse as the villain slams OMAC through a nuclear power plant and sets off a meltdown sequence. OMAC still can’t appear to smash through the former General, who only appears to be getting stronger and stronger with every passing moment. He’s so strong, in fact, that OMAC gets an idea. Maybe there was something to Batman’s advice of paying attention to his enemy’s movements.

He calls for support from Brother Eye to up his defense at the cost of his offense, and his brother complies. Still, Shrapnel isn’t impressed with his righteous new glow as he knocks him through the power plant and back into the parking lot with ease.

That was a close one.

Batman arrives at the plant with the intent of stopping the meltdown, but Equinox won’t have it. He engages Batman in a fight our hero can’t win in order to stop him from ruining his perfect “balance”. Batman still fights back, despite the thrashing he receives even though he has no chance against powers of this level.

But the Shrapnel threat is also still at large.

OMAC lands in the parking lot and thanks Brother Eye for the support- otherwise he would be road kill. He asks OMAC if it was a smart idea, and as Shrapnel arrives to finish him off, he tells his brother that it definitely is. Shrapnel wails on the one man army to less and less effect with every blow, as it appears Shrapnel only runs on the rage dished out to him like a twisted version of Equinox and is eventually unable to even budge OMAC’s cheek with a punch.

Eventually Shrapnel runs out of energy and falls over himself and OMAC seals the destructive deviant with a large steel beam. The threat has been neutralized, but OMAC is now out of power as Brother Eye informs him and transforms him back into Buddy Blank. So now what can he do being that he has no idea where he is or what he’s doing?

Well, Buddy Blank stands in the middle of the remaining chaos of OMAC’s battle, but that isn’t what draws his attention.

Over in the plant he sees Batman being knocked around by Equinox and decides to help. He throws the balance of the fight off by tackling the enemy when he is ready stop Batman and gives our hero the second he needs to escape into the radiation and put a stop to the deadly meltdown.

Buddy takes a heavy beating of his own to prevent Equinox from stopping Batman from stopping the countdown, but our hero has no time to stop now. Though the radiation beams down on him, Batman continues to fight back and brings the meltdown to a stop, but it comes at a price. As the heat levels drop, Batman falls to the ground dying. Because of Equinox’s interference, he had no time to get a protective suit, and has paid for it.

Despite all of the villain’s scheming, it was all brought to a stop by one heroic sacrifice. So much for an eye for an eye.

But again, Equinox won’t have it.

“Looks like your flapping wings stirred up a hurricane that even I didn’t foresee.”

Batman’s self-sacrifice might have stopped his plans for “equality”, but the villain would certainly not let his death be on the “impartial” Equinox’s hands. Though that isn’t the reason he gives for saving his life (He wants to choose when Batman dies), given his obsession with being the equalizer, it makes sense.

But now he’s at a crossroads. He can’t play favorites, so how does he fix the balance that he threw our of whack in the first place? Well, he has to erase his own interference. He can’t be personally responsible for pushing for the direct shift of the balance of chaos or order, leaving him with only one option- but it involves admitting defeat.

There’s only one thing for him to do to Batman.

“You can’t control my fate, Equinox. My life- mine to sacrifice.”

“I beg to differ.”

He removes the radiation from Batman’s body to keep the balance and tells our hero that he hasn’t won yet. Though Batman tells him that his own life is one he chooses to give when he wants to give it, Equinox fails to understand. His direct involvement is what threw the balance off in the first place- it was Batman (not OMAC or Shrapnel) that set it right again.

He leaves Batman behind, failing in his attempt at balance, to find something a mere mortal like Batman can’t even stop. But that’s for another day.

Batman is the one element Equinox could not account for- not knowing if he was chaos or order because of the way he deals with criminals and uses him to bring the balance to his side. But he also forgot a second thing, he might have taken into account how hard-headed OMAC was, but he never even gave Buddy Blank a second thought. Who would have thought a janitor could have merit?

Not Equinox, that’s for sure.

Buddy arrives and carries Batman out of the plant, worse for wear. Equinox gave him one crazy beating, but he still wouldn’t let the villain free to stop Batman’s heroic move. He’s quite ecstatic that he was able to not only save Batman but also stop a super villain’s scheme- maybe he really is a somebody after all. Batman and Buddy make such a fantastic team that they should be able to take on any threat!

Surely Equinox won’t mess with them again?

Batman isn’t so sure.

True force, balance, good and evil, and saving the world. Surely heroes have to deal with such things on a daily basis, but it’s everywhere in this encounter with Equinox. However, mostly the episode is about discernment above all. OMAC has the heart of a hero but doesn’t use it, the GPA has a trusted hero in Batman and doesn’t listen to him when he tells them what they need to know, Buddy Blank is more than a loser but nobody gives him the chance, Equinox has no understanding of good and evil but thinks he can control order and chaos, and General Kafka truly believes as Equinox does that an eye for an eye will fix all of his problems and make his country a better place but it instead turns him into a living weapon.

Nobody sees the forest for the trees and it almost costs them the world.

But Batman’s self-sacrifice was the game changer and the one thing Equinox could not manipulate to his own gain. His life to give could only be for a noble cause worthy of giving himself up, and it was to stop Equinox’s plan when he knew full well it was too late. But Equinox still didn’t see it coming, and that is what was most infuriating. Despite all of his manipulation, he is still just a petty schemer with incredible powers; he cannot truly stop those with free-will from being who they are and choosing to do the right thing even when it might be too dangerous or life-threatening. Equinox is just a villain like the rest of them, and that is simply not good enough for him.

Not yet.

But the evil equalizer will not give up just yet, as we will see in the next episode. Equinox isn’t one to take defeat lying down. No, his quest for perfect balance has only just begun!

Until next time, Bat-fans! Same brave blog, same bold place!

2013
11.22

Now if only Bumi knew the Batusi.

Time to hold your breath and count to ten, I guess. At the time of this writing, Nick had recently released four episodes in one day. Ignoring the whole “Does Nickelodeon have any issue with Korra” controversy that’s been making the rounds, this proves to make the blog more challenging to write than usual. One episode allows a central topic to form. Four at once means that it’s hard to write something cohesive without rambling in the middle. In fact, you may insist that I’m rambling right now. But in any case, the show’s season finale gives me as good a chance as any to do appraisals of the characters. Legend of Korra makes an interesting case for this due to some characters like Korra and Bolin arguably changing over the course of the show while others like Unalaq and Tenzin remain stagnant for the season. The show can’t tell whether it wants the characters to drive the plot or for the plot to drive the characters, and that seemed to be what drew criticism toward the second season from many dispirited viewers.

So for a word on the plot, I wasn’t that impressed. Yeah, I know. I’m complaining about the plot in a Nickelodeon show, but the Unalaq arc stalled while taking over screen time from other stories like Tenzin’s family dilemma. The writers wanted to make his plan a twist, but the whole “Fuse with Vaatu to become Dark Avatar and take over the world” scenario became too by-the-books. Once Vaatu got introduced, we knew where we going with this plot. The writers really wanted to play with this yin-yang concept, but didn’t seem to understand how it worked. Chaos and order don’t automatically equate to evil and good, respectively. Chaos can lead to freedom while order can be corrupted into totalitarianism. And yet, the chaos Vaatu promised was shown as unambiguously evil whereas Raava’s energy was taken as absolute good. The finale never questions whether Unalaq’s truly evil. However, I did not expect Korra keeping the spirit portals open. I liked that part. Though given the show’s attempt to progress as the early 1900s did—with filmmaking, automobiles, and capitalism taking over—I’m more than a bit intrigued as to how Bryan and Mike will deal with that certain part of the 20th Century. But enough with speculation, time for characters.

Bolin: I remember reading from a source I can’t find right now—so what I’m talking about right now might be hogwash—that Bolin would get a bigger piece of the pie this season, story-wise. Instead, Bolin was still the series’ monkey. I like how his character arc was woven into the world-building, but it didn’t really inspire my interest. The Nuktuk scenes were hilarious, but there was no meat to Bolin’s development. He becomes corrupted by the prospect of stardom, only to immediately realize that it’s lonely at the top. And then he saves the President from Varrick’s mercenaries while winning Ginger’s love. There was no pacing to any of that, with little time for Bolin to breathe.

Varrick: I’ve said this so many times before, but Varrick is love. If he wasn’t in this season, chances are I probably would’ve dropped this show midway. In a sea of characters acting a bit thick-headed, he was the one guy who could pull the strings. It’s a shame that he immediately went with the “kidnap President” plan instead of wait for the war to start, as he was already ensured to reap some profits. Since he already had the President’s good will, kidnapping felt a bit like overkill. He could’ve slowly convinced the President that war might be a good idea through his propaganda rather than simply forcing his way to the top. You don’t win a chess game by using the Queen before the time is right. If you’re going to do that, do it when you’re not already getting the turnover from this relationship. In the middle of the proposed war, when the President decides that he’s had enough with fighting the other side, Varrick could hatch that part of his plan then and there for the best effect.

Asami: Oh, poor Asami. Any character development she gets involved being romantically played with by Mako or economically manipulated by Varrick. I was hoping that they would deal with Hiroshi’s betrayal, but that only gets casually referenced. Asami’s just a satellite this season. When Mako’s not around, she revolves around Bolin. And Bolin gets the tiny subplot, which he resolves by his own will and Earthbending rather than any help from her end. Characters whose only role is to exposit plot to Korra like the President have more impact on the plot than Asami. I am pretty sure that girl who threw a snowball at Korra and called her the worst Avatar had more impact on the plot than Asami.

Mako: That scene where Lin and the rest of the Metalbender Corps applaud Mako while promoting him got to me. Sure, he gets called out on his personal life soon after, but that moment was too congratulatory for his character. So he figured out what anybody who looked further into Varrick’s plan would? Never mind that he thought dealing with the Triple Threat Triad was a good idea. Please forget that he only recently became part of the force. No, he gets a pat on the back from Lin for doing such good police work.

But admittedly, at least the writers did well in finally calling Makorra off. The romance angle never worked for the show. Even in the first season, it was haphazard and only induced wincing than empathy. Everyone, in and out of universe, knew that Korra and Mako had no chemistry together. And so, that had to get cut. Now maybe they can have character interactions that don’t lead to relationship subtext. Who knows? Maybe Mako’s character can develop enough to form believable interactions with everyone else. And this is a good first step in doing so. For all of Mako’s faults, he has the potential to change in comparison to my next subject.

Unalaq: He entered the show as an obviously evil guy with bizarre motives and ended his run as an obviously evil guy with bizarre motives. And he wasn’t even entertaining in his villainy. Instead, every moment he was given was made to show that we were supposed to root against him. That works against his character, because it’s hard to believe he could do any of this and not question a bit of his plan. When the climax of your plan involves transforming into a demonic titan with red tattoos and tendrils bent on taking over the world, it’s a tad hard to find sympathy on your case. You may as well be twirling your mustache if Varrick didn’t already have one.

Unalaq appears to be the case where the mystery is more interesting than the explanation. Like in the first season, where Amon had more sway over the show as a masked man who could take away bending instead of Tarrlok’s estranged brother. The mystery surrounding him gives way for many ideas, so at least a few fans were probably disappointed when he turned out to be a bloodbender instead of something weird like Koh or an aged Azula. I suppose using a mystery might be a double-edged sword, due to no clear way to resolve the mystery without making it less interesting. The reason why people avoid the obvious answer to a question is because they want something that goes against their expectations. I had a faint hope that Unalaq wouldn’t be what he appeared to be because I saw him being a villain as taking the easy way out.

Desna and Eska: Like Asami, the two were just on the side despite being featured a lot in promotional materials. Despite working closely with the main villain, neither of them really offered much for personality. We basically got Mai clones as the henchmen. This showed, as being questioned as to why they follow their father only elicits blind loyalty rather than an explanation. How they got coerced into joining the good guys—through Bolin confessing his love to Eska—felt odd in the wake of previous episodes. We’ve already been through the “I love this guy more than I fear you” schtick with The Boiling Rock. Like, they turn good because of the power of love, making Eska’s heart grow three sizes that day.

I just feel more could’ve been done with these characters. It would’ve been interesting to see their relationship with Korra, and why they adhere to their father’s whim. Instead of doing that, the show reveals about as much of their personalities as we knew when they first premiered. They just came off as Unalaq’s henchmen—to make it seem like Unalaq had more clout to support his cause rather than be a lone madman—so why bother making these characters if you’re not going to do anything with them?

Tenzin: I could tell the writers were trying to give Tenzin some character flaws for the finale. That scene where he asks a spider for help, only to get attacked, that was nice. Then it happens again, which seemed a bit stupid. Along with giving him some family drama, they did try. But Tenzin’s character doesn’t change. He only gets affirmed. He reunites with his family by using “I am Tenzin” as a mantra, but who is Tenzin besides the team mentor? How can he transcend from being the static teacher and develop? The show offers points like his relationship with Aang for conflict, but that doesn’t lead to much. The show wants to remind us that Tenzin isn’t Aang, so show why instead of just saying so. Don’t go halfway by giving us a shaky history between Tenzin and his siblings, and have Tenzin simply use an affirmation mantra to make those problems go away. Though given the ending with spirits populating the human world again, this gives Tenzin good enough ground for character growth.

Jinora: So what was with that ending where Jinora makes Raava come out of Vaatu to give Korra an edge in the final fight? I appreciate the writers making sure that Korra’s victory wasn’t just her own but a cooperative effort, though it only raises questions. Jinora goes from being hinted at spirituality to seeing spirits to that. It’s like that scene from Last of the Time Lords where the Doctor becomes almighty and starts wrecking the Master’s plans out of nowhere. Sure, there was some foreshadowing. But there’s no missing link between point A and point B. That’s like if caterpillars instantly became butterflies. Jinora’s moment needed to gradually develop for it to work effectively. Instead, she became Inch-High Wonder Christ out of nowhere. Like Bolin, there’s little time to see her character change. Maybe the second season could have benefited from more episodes to allow a smoother pacing.

Korra: And now we’re at Korra. Now that the dust has settled, I’ve found her character to be a bit more redeeming. I like how she can’t connect to the previous Avatars anymore. She never gave much value to that, so the oncoming season will see how she’ll deal now that part of her is gone. The show never gave her much reason to seek spirituality, and now this rift will do that for her. Though maybe it’ll be botched up and by the start of season three, Korra will be just as flustered as ever. But I give the writers the benefit of the doubt that they have something planned for season 3. After all, season one’s ending wasn’t made with the immediate assumption that more seasons would be made. Plus, I like how her ending this season basically threw out the ending from last season. Last year ended with her talking to Aang and making out with Mako. This year has Aang torn out from her soul and Mako purely on platonic terms. It feels like the writers want to restart with her character and try something else.

But that doesn’t ignore what happened in the finale, where she turned into Dr. Manhattan and had an Ultraman fight with Unalaq. And then she gets saved by the aforementioned Jinora moment. I’m pretty sure that no amount of foreshadowing would have made any of that sensible. There’s something about how activating all seven chakras while inside the spirit tree can do that to Korra, but it’s a moment that gives off confusion rather than awe. The tree was used to seal Vaatu, and it somehow made Korra more powerful despite having Raava taken out of her. Then there’s something about how cosmic energy combined with the harmonic convergence somehow made this all possible. I know someone will use Energybending as rationale, but the entire climax just came off an odd way to resolve the season. Not that I’m complaining, but it could have been structured better.

2013
11.22

Or maybe it’s not even a pun at all – just some basic wordplay. I dunno. Screw it, commence the blog entry!

Contrary to the implications of last week’s preview, this episode is actually not about Gamagoori taking driving lessons. In fact, it seems probable that he acquired a license immediately prior to the beginning of this installment. But I think the major thing to focus on with him this week is that he powers up due to the sexual pleasure he feels from being in pain. That’s right, Kill la Kill now officially sports a submissive bara character who channels the erection he gets from having pain inflicted on him into pure fighting spirit. It’s just, like, what. I honestly can’t think of any comments to make about that. Who’s the masochistic exhibitionist now, Hakodate!?

Much like Sanageyama in episode 6, it’s nice to see Gamagoori get some real development in this episode. It’s wonderful that the writer(s) are putting effort into making the Elite Four into actual characters instead of just boss fights for Ryuuko. The flashback where he first meets Satsuki is proper excellent, serving only to make them more understandable and perhaps even sympathetic. I struggle to think of any anime with more likeable villains than Kill la Kill. Hell, I don’t even know if I’d call them “villains” at this point. Even though they apparently have no issue forcing the other students to fight to the death, and one of them probably killed Ryuuko’s dad, they don’t really seem like bad people to me. In fact, they mostly come across as honorable and classy so far. I guess that’s what they call “lawful evil.”

Speaking of flashbacks, I love the stylized way in which this show presents them. The washed out colors, the film grain, the 4:3 aspect ratio… it really gives off the feeling of watching an older anime or, due to Satsuki, a classic samurai film. I hope the next episode clues us into more of Gamagoori’s backstory, though – it felt a bit incomplete here. We also learn a little more about Ryuuko’s more vulnerable years, and considering the countless amount of people she appears to have beaten up in the past, it’s a wonder how she’s such a nice person today. But I like that she isn’t an asshole; the whole anti-hero jerkwad thing has gotten really tiresome after being used in so many shows. As I’ve said previously, Ryuuko seems like a protagonist you can legitimately root for, and I’m very fond of that.

There isn’t much of a fight this week, but the action is crazy all the same. I loved when Gamagoori wildly spun his pimpmobile round and round in an attempt to outmaneuver his aggressors during the car chase, clearly showing off his lack of driving skill in another classic moment of that pure Kill la Kill goodness I’ve grown to adore. I also laughed out loud when I realized that the automobile club captain’s goku uniform was, itself, a car. Of course, Gamagoori stole the show with his “punish me more! I unleash my full power when I climax” shenanigans, delivering both ridiculous humor and a display of his fearsome abilities in one fell swoop. I absolutely cannot wait to see his fight with Ryuuko next week. I hope he gets a full sexy transformation sequence like everyone else has so far.

I'd say "context is for the weak," but there's really only one way to interpret this.

Something I’ve noticed about this anime is that the odd-numbered episodes seem to have much better/more animation than the even-numbered ones. Budget limitations unfortunately restrict the number of scenes that can move as fluidly as the initial prologue at the very start of the series, and I’ve noticed that nearly all of these moments occur in the odd installments. For instance, #5 has Tsumugu vs. the gardening club and #7 has Ryuuko vs. Mako, while #6 only really has the bits where Ryuuko gets launched and this one doesn’t even have any particular standouts. That’s not to say that Kill la Kill ever looks bad, it’s just that it only ever seems to reach that threshold of amazing during the odd-numbered episodes. I assume Trigger purposefully goes back and forth like this to keep up the momentum while also ensuring that their budget doesn’t run dry from overspending. With how well KLK is selling, I can’t wait to see the level of animation they’ll deliver in their second TV anime.

I’m having so much fun watching this show week after week that it’s hard to believe it’s already almost 1/3 over. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed an anime this much before, especially not one I watched as it was airing. I never want it to end! (Gotta’ give a shout out to the excellent Samurai Flamenco, though. This week’s episode was even better than Kill la Kill‘s! Go watch it.) KLK just hits all the right notes for me in every conceivable way. I can’t explain why, but I have trouble even coming up with one thing I don’t like about it. I can think of some flaws, absolutely, but they just end up endearing it toward me even further. In honor of its consistent greatness, I think I’ll go ahead and do a little “end of act 1” episode ranking:

#7 – Spot on humor, great writing, and some very nice action near the end. The complete package; exactly what I’m looking for in this show.
#4 – The funniest episode I’ve ever seen of an anime, bar none. Masterful usage of budget constraints.
#5 – Excellent action scenes, fun character development, and my favorite art direction so far.
#1 – One of my all-time favorite first episodes of any TV show. Does a good job establishing Ryuuko’s character. I can watch the prologue over and over.
#8 – Fantastic build-up/backstory episode. Gamagoori is one of my favorite characters. So hyped for Thanksgiving now.
#6 – Defining episode for Sanageyama and Satsuki. Succeeded in making me like the antagonists.
#3 – Great storytelling and a very fun battle, though a bit anti-climactic I thought. Hallway fight is short and CG but still legendary.
#2 – I still love this one, but as fond as I am of the tennis battle, Aikurou stripping, and Mako getting blasted with tennis balls, I have to admit it’s my least favorite thus far.

How would you rank them at the moment? Please leave a comment with your favorites and least favorites!

Next week is the showdown with the Elite Four. Or maybe not. These previews keep lying to me. WHY ARE YOU NEVER HONEST WITH ME ANYMORE TRIGGER? I KICKSTARTED LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA 2 AND EVERYTHING! </3

2013
11.21

Last time, Sunrise recycled itself for the umpteenth time. This week… EXPLOSIONS!

Smoke fills the room...

We begin with a replay of last week’s cliffhanger featuring L-Elf and Lieselotte where Michael finally confesses his love to his lost amour (well this isn’t going to end well now is it?). The two attempt to flee the palace but are stopped by Q-Vier who challenges L-Elf to a knife fight… or more precisely a “Q-Vier attacks L-Elf with a knife”-fight. Meanwhile, after releasing all the hostages (save for Daddy Tokushima, w ho has Stockholm-syndrome now), Haruto heads off to give L-Elf an escape route, knocking out Q-Vier but ending up with Lieselotte instead as L-Elf goes off to beat up Cain or something.

I bet you're so looking forward to it Q-Vier...

While all this is going on the Dorssians have figured out that the New JIORians are planning to use an old museum piece rocket to flee back to space and start shelling the hanger containing said shuttle. The resulting battle totals the only available runway and our band of not so merry teens appear to be screwed. As Haruto attempts to rescue them, we get the single largest piece of backstory yet about what the hell exactly is going on in Dorssia from Lieselotte… and its what nearly kills this episode.

Cue Gurren no Yumiya

As you well know by now the country of Dorssia has had its government recently overthrown and replaced by a sinister Space Nazi regime led by Space Wizards. What we did not know is that the Space Wizards are actually the Magius, incorporeal alien beings who crash landed here 150 years earlier and are currently manipulating empty or possibly dead shells ranging from Cain, the Dorssian Emperor, and even Pino the Valvrave computer. Like the Holy Spirits (whose creation may have been the result of the Magius’ influence), the Magius eat Runes to survive, however their process is far more parasitic having no other body to go back to. To make matters worse, poor Lieselotte is also one of them, however she rebelled and is being tortured in that weird sauna like machine we saw a few episodes ago.

So yeah… Space Vampires Vs. Space Nazi Zombies. Ah Valvrave Idiocy… its good to have you back.

That's not how you use the patch girl...

Back to L-Elf on a motorcycle, who is being chased by waffle irons in some of the best animation of the episode. With no runway available, the closest alternative is to use the road out Dorssiana, but the problem is the bridge is out. Somebody has to make it drop and that person is good ol’ L-Elf. After taking several bullets and lowering the bridge, Michael prepares to taste sweet death finally only to get saved by Haruto in the end. The rocket takes off but a stray laser blast causes a rupture in one of the boosters making it descend. While Haruto tries to get back on the rocket, Lieselotte uses her Space Zombie Wizard Nazi powers to fix the damage but not before the process sucks what little life she had left. Naturally L-Elf is more than a little bummed about this and finally breaks out into tears. However Lieselotte’s sacrifice was worth it and the JIORians are finally going home. All in all an one hundered percent successful trip despite losing Marie. I mean its not like they actually forgot to pick somebody up ri-

Oh.

Yup Saki’s still stuck on Earth. WAY TO GO GENIUSES! (then again I kinda forgot about her too judging by these more recent recaps)

Sad L-Elf is Sad.

This week’s Valvrave is kind of a double edged sword. On one hand, the Magius stuff ranks up with some of the more cockamamie ideas to come of of the first half of the series and quickly derails the episode with its sheer out and out silliness. On the other, the action this week is very top notch and my attempts to summarize it only glaze over L-Elf’s incredibly well done gun battles. One of the things Valvrave sets out to do is make you ignore the rather half-assed/flat out silly plot with balls to the walls action and this episode pulled it off rather well. That being said, with the return to space means a return to Shoko, who has been mercifully absent for the past few episodes for the most part. This does not bode well for me.

6.5/10.

2013
11.19

Issue #7 or “Bad Storm Rising!”

 

Red Tornado’s arc is a bit of a sub-plot throughout the first season. We first get a taste for his personality in the Christmas episode where he wants to find “Christmas Spirit” like he sees in the movies and ends finding some semblance of inner warmth by episode’s end. It is a cute episode that’s a lot of fun, but is pretty self-explanatory and not that uncommon of a tale.

Next we had the issue when Batman traveled to a parallel world and met Silver Cyclone who was Red Tornado’s doppelganger. Silver Cyclone ended up being one of the most heartless and vile villains that wasted no time attempting to wipe the world clean of the humanity he didn’t understand. Silver Cyclone was what Red Tornado would be without the inkling of soul that existed underneath his chips and wires because of his unbridled hatred of those he didn’t want to understand.

In this episode we continue the Red Tornado story, this time in his quest for a family. So grab your Red Tornado plushie (what do you mean there aren’t any?) and have a seat for this red knuckled episode of “The Brave & the Bold”!

 

#7 – Hail the Tornado Tyrant!

Written by: J.M. DeMatteis

Directed by: Brandon Vietti

Principle Cast:

Corey Burton as Red Tornado

Carl Lumbly as Tornado Champion / Tornado Tyrant

Diedrich Bader as Batman

James Arnold Taylor as Major Disaster

 

At nightfall Batman arrives at a laboratory that he appears to know all too well. Underneath a sheet on a lab table there appears to be something hidden, but only when Red Tornado arrives on the scene does he understand what it’s for. It’s a project Red Tornado has been working on for a while, and he is eager to share it with someone he trusts. What lies under the sheet is another robot just like him.

The robot is based upon Red Tornado’s fundamental design but with several “important” upgrades. “Tornado Champion” as he calls it will improve upon the previous generation in the most crucial way-that being the addition of emotion that Red Tornado lacks. He will be the next generation- an “improvement” over the one that came before.

Batman warns him of the danger of creating life in a lab, but his friend replies that he is already aware of the risks. He has installed a fail-safe switch in case it doesn’t work out, and his creation goes awry. But what surprises our bat-like hero more is that Tornado refers to it as his “son”. Even Red Tornado longs for the companionship of a family- he’s always longed for more than what he had.

After the spark of the laboratory shocks Tornado Champion into life, we meet… a soulless automaton who merely states obvious sentences over and over. Red Tornado states that it may just take time for his emotional programming to awaken and decides to simply get started on their crime-fighting career in the meantime. But if it has the proper programming, then why isn’t it closer to being like him? They catch a distress call during their discussion and take-off to find the source of their trouble.

Tornado Champion is eager to help, but that only seems to be because of his programming. He has no real motive or drive to speak of.

Major Disaster, a villain who causes storms, waits at the seaside amusement park, threatening pedestrian lives for riches and if they do not comply he will send a hurricane upon them. The trio arrive to stop him before he carries out his threat. He goes down rather easy, since three heroes is usually too much for any villain to handle.

The parallels are obvious, as are the amusement park to the father and son, and the spark of life that creates Tornado Champion to the spark that… well, that’s coming. For now, we wonder what it is that makes Red Tornado so different from other robots as even his son who has “emotional” programming does not appear to have the soul that Red Tornado possesses. But he is still the family that he desperately needs.

But maybe his son just needs the right trigger to be set off.

The trio takes the villain down when, in their celebration, he sends a lightning bolt of vengeance at our heroes that strikes Tornado Champion center in the back- but not before Champion says something very concerting to Batman. Batman takes the villain down before he can do further damage.

Before he is taken for repairs, the violent bolt appeared to awaken something in his son as he recovers now fully aware of who he is. He even calls Red Tornado “father”. Perhaps he was right when he said his son simply needed time to integrate his personality.

After a full diagnostic, Red Tornado comes to the conclusion that Tornado Champion was awakened by the force of the bolt which kick-started his programming into overdrive. It was really nothing short of a miracle. Or maybe something a bit less than that. Tornado Champion can feel and emote unlike his father and is able to be just as logical. So he is an improvement after all, then.

Maybe he really does have all the pieces to be the next generation of the Tornado line.

Batman appears a bit concerned, but says nothing as the son gives his father a great big hug and wants to learn everything he can.

Their new lives as a family are just beginning.

Tornado Champion asks many questions including why humans are so important and his father tells him that they have an inner strength different from other creatures. His son wonders if he has this strength too, but only time will tell in that case. This inner strength is more of a mystery to his son than to Red Tornado since unbeknownst to him, he has already encountered it many times before.

Why is there evil in the world? Why do some choose to do the wrong thing? Why do others become heroes? Red Tornado does not know the answers; just that human kindness is preferable to human cruelty. Why is it preferable? He doesn’t know the answer- just that all his studies have brought him to the conclusion that it is the only answer.

The world is a complicated place and hard to understand- especially for machines that run primarily on logic alone, the answers are not as simple as equations in a problem. There is no formula for the sins of evil or the goodness of deeds. Red Tornado accepts it to the extent that he is able to, which is more than one asks of a robot that should not be capable to.

But, his son?

Even Batman keeps watch on the pair, something bothering him about Tornado Champion. He stays out of it and only keeps watch from a distance- but it clearly bothers him. The last thing he said to Batman was very concerting, though maybe it was erased with his new personality. There’s no way to be sure. Yet.

They arrive at a large fire tearing down an apartment complex and spin away flames and rescue children from the building. Champion concocts a plan to save the children while Red Tornado aims for the flames. It’s a rather simple plan and the father is proud of his son for thinking it up in the first place.

But Champion is a bit too eager and when pushing the flames and crashing beams away from the children, he pushes them through the opening in the wall and out the apartment side. He catches them and brings them to safety, but not before hearing about his over-eagerness from the parents and police. But he saved them from death, isn’t that good enough?

“Robot? I’m not a robot. I’m a person, just like you!”

Red Tornado takes his son aside back to the beach where he was first born and tells him to master his emotions so they don’t master him. His son apologizes but is still confused about what his feelings were in the heat of the moment. He thinks, he feels, and he is human in almost every way but they don’t accept him still. But humans fear what they do not understand, they just need time before they understand- or so Red Tornado says.

After all, Red Tornado has had much experience with humans, surely father would know best? But something about Tornado Champion leaves him unable to accept his words.

His son disagrees, and thinks he trusts them too much. He takes off on his own still confused about the right thing to do and the right way to feel.

Tornado Champion appears to have a real problem grabbing hold of his emotions and keeping them under control But why exactly is that? Red Tornado doesn’t know the reason since he does not have them.

Batman shows himself and Red Tornado asks why he has been following them, which was to make sure he was adapting well to society. Red Tornado lies and says that he is to which Batman wonders how he can be so sure. Batman has been watching the whole time, so why does Tornado think he can lie to him? He knows Batman can read personalities, but still attempts to fool him. He should know better.

He probably isn’t sure why he does it himself, but he has an answer.

Fathers just know.

Major Disaster has risen again to cause trouble elsewhere. Red Tornado and Batman put off their discussion to stop the evil storm from approaching. He breaks from his prison with his storm powers, and no guard offers any resistance to him. Even Red Tornado and Batman alone have problems keeping him at bay, that is, until assistance arrives.

They don’t have much time, as the storm has arrived and their enemy is strongest with one at his disposal. But who knows if he’ll have the chance to use it?

Tornado Champion arrives to help saying that he could never stay mad at his father. But the celebrations don’t last long. Major Disaster deals an intense near-fatal blow to Red Tornado that sends Champion into a blind rage to which he almost kills the villain, but Batman manages to stop him just before he goes too far.

“There’s a difference between justice and revenge.”

“The difference is that revenge is more efficient.”

“The difference is morality.”

“Morality? I am above human morality!”

In his blind rage, he nearly kills Batman before Red Tornado comes to his rescue. He tells his son that they are servants of human kind to protect them from evil they cannot otherwise protect themselves from. It is their duty to do the right thing. His son almost awakens from his poisonous mindset, but it proves too difficult for him.

Champion disagrees and calls them evil and a disease. They are unable to grow or change- not like him, and they will always be filled with mindless hate. He believes his father is a fool for believing in them as much as he does, but before he can continue- Batman disables him. Tornado Champion lies beside the very villain he was supposed to stop and the very same one that gave birth to him. But, what can they do now?

There’s no going back from this.

Red Tornado believes that in more time they can fix the software anomalies, but Batman doesn’t. He sees Tornado Champion as a threat that is out of control and will snap at any time. He tells him to use the fail-safe to protect lives from the monster lurking inside of his son. Red Tornado sees the logic of the situation and follows Batman’s advice.

He has already crossed the line, and sees no fault in doing so. Tornado walks over to the console and shuts his son down. There is nothing more he can do for him.

His son is dead.

They leave the body alone to grieve, but something is amiss. Tornado Champion awakens, having removed the fail-safe some time ago and decides to give himself some upgrades. That he was wary enough to know why he had the fail-safe in the first place and still had it removed speaks volumes to who he really is.

Nobody was ever going to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Even if it meant trampling all over life itself.

He steals pieces of the very lab that birthed him to form his armor and shape into something much different and something much more sinister. Tornado Champion is dead. Long live the Tornado Tyrant.

It goes back to Red Tornado’s advice to his son to not let his emotions control him, but the robot is nothing but emotions and logic which leads to a dangerous combination. The emotions not only control his logic, they are a tyrant over him which lead him toward the very path that almost killed Major Disaster and Batman- not to mention those children that he “saved”. Something had been missing from his son from day one, but it was clear from the moment he removed the fail-safe that he cared more for his own survival than those he might hurt and it was clear whose intentions he cared most about.

We are brought once more to the beach that birthed Red Tornado’s son and the first step in Tornado Tyrant’s final solution. His purple tornado knocks the waves into the beaches to signal his arrival. He floods the beach and sends cars crashing out from the parking lot down into the sand without any regard for life.

Because life doesn’t matter: he’s already decided.

Maybe it isn’t a coincidence that his colors are very similar to Silver Cyclone’s. They certainly think alike.

He wishes to create a tidal wave that will obliterate the city and everyone living in it in his first act of tyrant. He will not stop until the world is dust under his feet and humans are crushed. But little does he know that help is coming for the humans.

Red Tornado hands Batman a scrambler that will stun his former son and give him enough of a chance to stop him. It’s all they can do if he will not see the error of his ways.

Red Tornado and Tornado Tyrant do battle, but Batman quickly realizes with his friend that he is much stronger than he was before.

“I’ve moved beyond you.”

The upgrades have beefed his strength up, but he is otherwise the same child-like robot as before just now dressed in stronger armor.

Though he easily thrashes his former father, he can’t seem to stop him from getting back up again. Red Tornado tries to tell him the value of humans to dream, to live, to love, and to reach out for something better than their individual needs, but his former son has moved beyond interest in such trivialities.

Not even his father will stand in his way.

“Declaration: You cannot mock love, for it was love that created you.”

“You are a fool.”

Before he can deliver the final blow to his father, Batman swings in and inserts the electronic scrambler into Tyrant’s head and brings him back to the ground again. It might be their only chance in the chaos of the deadly storm, and Red tornado refuses to wait. He rushes in with a speed he didn’t know he had.

He charges into his former son with his full strength and punches into him- cracking open his chest. Batman rolls out of the way, fully knowing what is coming.

Red Tornado has landed the fatal blow.

His son is dead.

“Father.”

The battle is over, but the damage has been done.

Back in the lab, Red Tornado melts down the remains of Tornado Tyrant and what remained of his son. He believes he never should have done such a thing in the first place; he never should have played with the nature of human existence. But somehow we and Batman know that he’s fooling himself. He knows more about humans than he lets on.

Batman tells him what he should have already known from back when he first wanted to create his son. That he understood the value of life and the depths of the soul better than most humans he had ever met. He basically is one himself- more than his son was, anyway.

In seeking to make his own son, he found his own humanity, but Red Tornado won’t have it. He lies again to Batman saying that he was only parroting what he had learned in human art and everyday life and what lay underneath the surface that he had picked up. He didn’t really understand them. But then why did he lie? If he was only circuits and wires, how could he pick up things he couldn’t process? There is more to him than maybe even what he himself thinks.

“You okay?”

“Why would I not be?”

“… Take care, Tornado.”

His son had the emotions and the logic, but he was missing something- the soul that Red Tornado had that pulled them together and brought out the love that made him want his son in the first place. While his son had rejected everything life could have brought him (like Silver Cyclone had), Red Tornado embraced humanity and earned his love and suffering that brought him to be who he was.

The title might have been a reference to the idea that Champion hailed to his emotions to become the tyrant that he grew to become- but it was his choice to embrace them. Red Tornado and Batman did all they could. Red Tornado might not understand it, people don’t either, but there is something more to him than a soulless robot. It’s the very same thing that makes him a hero and not the monsters Silver Cyclone or Tornado Tyrant were. But Tornado Champion was still his son, and he still failed him. It isn’t as easy as looking on the bright-side. Not this time.

Batman leaves his friend to grieve, but tornado has no intention of letting it get to him. He is just a machine, he tells himself. But then why does he care so much?

“Oily discharge- I must run an interior diagnostic.”

Not necessary, Tornado.

Red Tornado leaves the lab for the dark and walks back out into the night. Maybe next time. Maybe next time, he will do better. There’s always a next time as long as there’s life.

Until next time, Bat-fans! Same brave blog, same bold place!

2013
11.17

This is easily my favorite episode to date. That’s high praise.

You know how almost every American cartoon comedy has that one episode where the characters randomly get rich out of nowhere and it turns them into complete assholes? That’s this week’s Kill la Kill. And it pulls off that concept really well. Not only is this installment funny as hell, it also has a lot of heart, and contains what is quite possibly the finest JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure reference I’ve ever seen. I struggle to think of a more perfect “trial of friendship” in anime. Ryuuko x Mako shippers are probably going wild right now.

Something I’ve always loved about Japanese storytelling is how frequently the tone can flip between utter silliness and piercing melodrama. Admittedly, it doesn’t always turn out well, but when done right this can lead to amazing results, such as Sion Sono’s masterpiece, Love Exposure. With both this installment and those of the previous two weeks, Trigger has proven that they are quite capable of pulling off such dramatic tonal shifts with great results. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the final act of this episode. It goes from goofy comedy to over the top action to emotional character drama and back again without missing a beat. I laughed at the setup and mid-jokes, got hyped during Ryuuko’s fight with Mako, and will freely admit to getting a bit teary at its conclusion. Mission accomplished!

On that note, I find it interesting how an absurdist comedy where the main character nearly gets naked to power up, defeats her opponents by cutting their clothes off, and works with a perpetually-stripping dude from a group called Nudist Beach somehow manages to do dramatic scenes and character drama better than most serious anime. I’m not even joking, I legitimately think KLK is more effective at crafting intriguing and emotional moments than the majority of the grimdark and tearjerker series out there right now. For me, its tendency to revel in audacious depravity works in the show’s favor toward making the un-silly scenes feels more natural and less forced. Kill la Kill is honest with the viewer, and doesn’t give a shit whether or not one likes it; it doesn’t hide anything from you in an attempt to make you feel something later via cheap shot, it just tells a story that its target audience will likely find appealing.

There’s no discernible cynicism anywhere in this series. It works because it embraces both the strengths and shortcomings of its medium, proudly declaring its love for cliches new and old, occasionally taking them at face value and often cranking them up to 11. Simply put, it’s an anime for anime fans. It exists to be enjoyed and not thought about too hard (ha). You’re supposed to like Ryuuko and Mako not because they’re particularly well-written characters, but because they’re the heroes. The action is over the top and filled with impossibility because that’s fun. There are boobs and asses and pecs everywhere because why the hell not? And I think it’s this mindset – that pure entertainment comes before anything else – that makes it so insanely enjoyable. Maybe that’s not highbrow enough for some folks, but to me it’s a breath of fresh air. I’m so tired of anime that clumsily stumble in the dark attempting to be “deep” or give you “dem feels” that over the top action genuinely comes across as well-written by comparison.

Make no mistake, Kill la Kill is an immature show. But there’s a lot of maturity in that immaturity. It is stupidity perfected. To make something so inherently dumb this compulsively watchable must have – ironically – taken a lot of intelligence. The scripts are self-aware without winking at the audience. The expert pacing successfully covers tons of ground in each episode without causing sensory overload. The direction is second to none. It doesn’t play out like a new studio’s early attempt at pandering to make money at all, it genuinely feels like a labor of love. It may not have been all that obvious in the first few installments, but I think it’s plain as day now. I can certainly see why it wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but in my mind Kill la Kill is immaturity done right. And at the end of the day, isn’t that the very essence of a good cartoon?

As for the rest of the episode, I quite liked Ryuuko’s fight club boss rush in all its limited animation glory (the budget wisely saved for her battle with Mako). Every villain design in these moments is unique and characterized by creativity, inviting instant replays, frequent pausing, and even frame by frame viewing for the truly insane amongst us. I especially loved how our hero’s success in this endeavor was all planned out by Satsuki from the beginning. Coupled with the uncharacteristic smile she sported upon the protagonists rekindling their friendship near the end of the episode, that reveal perfectly showcases the secret respect she harbors for her opponent. Even if she is a fascist dictator, it’s the little things like this that make me unable to dislike her. I absolutely cannot wait for her next showdown with Ryuuko.

Next week, Gamagoori takes driving lessons. THIS SHOW JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER.

2013
11.16

Author’s note: Sorry about the wait on this one folks. The episode had not yet been made available when I had time to watch it due to apparent system errors over Daisuki. What’s worse, apparently this weekend’s Magi is getting delayed as well. =(

When last we left our heroes, they had discovered a large battleship was being sent to destroy New JIOR once and for all… however that’s not important right now. This week its all about Haruto and L-El…excuse me… MICHAEL! (yes he has a real name now, sorry Foggle).

DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!

We’d received piecemeal bits on the rather strained relationship between L-Elf and his distant amour, Dorssian princess Liselotte, but this week’s episode added a rather large chunk to the puzzle. At some point Michael NoLastNameYet tried to smuggle Liselotte, who is apparently a prisoner of the space wizards and Cain, out of Dorssia. However, Liselotte talked him out of it under the impression that there was really no place they could flee to. However now that Michael has dumped Dorssia for good its time to go about with an escaple plan in a blaze of glo-EPISODE OVER.

…yeah that was the smallest plot of the week. As for the main plot… ugh…

You're so matter of fact, Q-Vier

The Dorssian Royalists alert Haruto and the Gang to a huge cache of JIOR refugees who are being detained in an underground complex beneath the Dorssian capital. As the kids try to find members of their own families in the list, one name immediately jumps out to Hauto: Souichi Tokishima, his father…

Oh dear god, its a Sunrise family reunion episode.

Its as plain as the Liselotte on nose's face.

For those who are up on their Sunrise mecha show lore, the family reunion episode is usually one that leads to serious emotional head trauma for its protagonist. For example, in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, after spending 30+ episodes assuming he was dead, Amuro Ray finally found his father only to have discovered he’d gone totally space crazy. Likewise, in Gundam Seed, Kira Yamato found out his parents actually weren’t his parents at all, and that he was the product of a sinister genetics program designed to create the ultimate super being. Now Valvrave wouldn’t have the gall to ripoff off either of these plots right?

HAHAHA! Nope you’re getting both of them!

Nothing in this show is "natural"

It turns out the JIOR hostages constitute the original VVV development team and, to noone’s surprise, Daddy dearest here was the leader of the project. You see, the Valvraves weren’t designed for military use initially but instead to trigger the next stage in human evolution, the “Homo Sapiens Novus”. All the students at the school are test tube babies, genetically engineered so that they could be turned into space vampires by the VVV system, and – despite the obvious drawbacks caused by what happened to Marie – Mr. Tokishima is very proud of his work. Naturally this only earns him a knuckle sandwich from Haruto.

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

As you can tell, most of this episode was just old Sunrise cliches being served to us on a reheated blue plate special. This was a problem episode 14 had a few weeks ago but its worse here because you can tell they just are trying to hide it. Haruto’s backstory is now recycled that if there was any chance of him becoming anything more than “generic Sunrise mecha boy”, that day may never come. At the rate we’re going, I expect Shoko to be revealed to be his sister next week or something. The other plot with L-Elf is decent but there’s just not enough of it to save this episode. Ultimately a waste.

4/10

2013
11.15

Nacho Libre was suiting up for his next cage match. It was a dark and stormy cage match. Nacho Libre has nothing to do with this story though, so fuck that guy. Right in his asshole.

* * * * * *

It was a dark and stormy 30 tatami room. Kirito lay upon one of said 30 tatami, naked, his cock exposed to the webcam upon which he was displaying his body for all the world to see. Over the past two years since defeating Aincrad, Kirito had become an internet gigolo camwhore. Nakamura gazed upon Kirito’s 8 inch meat stick through the computer screen, whispering in the microphone, “yes you fucking deviant, masturbate that cock further.” Kirito grunted as he stroked his shaft with the force of a Cadillac engine revving up at a drag race. “I’m telling you, if you painted it silver and twisted the end, it’d look like a kickstand,” Nakamura said about his schlong. Kirito blushed at the compliment so lovingly provided to him by his wonderful girlfriend. Who is this generation’s Alex DeLarge. Aku no Hana is the best anime of the year.

Meanwhile, Ryuko walked along the ravaged crossing field. Approximately 220 tatami away from Ryuko was Kirito’s apartment. She counted the tatami as she walked, because clearly this is an important thing that everyone should do. In fact, it was the year 2027, and the metric system had been completely abolished, replaced only by the tatami scale, as invented by Akihiko Kayaba in the mid 2010’s.

Suddenly, on the way to Kirito’s love shack, Ryuko bumped into Birch Small, who immediately burst into song. “This is my life, so don’t get in my way!” she shouted at the overly sexualized oriental harlot. Ryuko wasn’t having any of her shit though, and asked the obnoxious high schooler, “what the hell are you singing?” Immediately following this, she ripped the other girl’s tongue out using the heel of her high top, and ate it. This gave her two tongues, with which she was able to speak the language of the devil, and also give better cunnilingus to her girlfriend, Satsuki.

Aikurou entered the scene, his shirt off, his glowing nipples exposed to all. That said, the scene was actually the club. He was on the scene and did a bunch of cocaine off Luis’ ass crack. Luis was having his bachelor party upon realizing that he was going to get married to his sister who he raped. It was a very special occasion, fraught with much hardship. No one could understand his plight, but the likes of such great men as that dude who runs the Men’s Rights Activism website A Voice For Men. Aikurou was not a fan of incestual sex slavery, however, and thus decided it best to forcefully take Luis as his own, using a rusted pipe wrench as a dildo.

“You are invited to join…” Aikurou paused mid-sentence to remove his aviators, “NUUUUDIIIIIISTOOOOOO BIIIIIIICHIIIIIIIIIII.” in all caps for good measure. Luis was confused, frightened, and a little aroused by this turn of events, so he had no choice but to comply. And then the entire club dropped some molly and had a huge orgy, ending with Lil Wayne showing up to lick the turds off the floor. Because any good orgy involves scat.

Back at Kirito’s ass pad, he was just finishing up his fifth camwhore session of the day, when suddenly, his door exploded. Asuna burst into the room, wearing nothing but a potato sack. Kirito jerked forward, and back, and up, and down, and finally climaxed as if he was a rubber band shooting cum off of its elastic shit. I don’t fucking know how to describe rubber bands.

Asuna plopped onto the bed next to the tired Kirito. “Oh Asuna,” Kirito moaned, “you always get me so hot when you wear the potato sack. Now, take off your hair weave for me.” Asuna did indeed remove her hair weave, the beehive that she had been cultivating for years finally unleashed upon her perfect egg shaped head. Literally. It was an actual beehive in her hair. The bees escaped, stinging Kirito on his now flaccid penis. Her chestnut colored hair was still beautiful though.

Kirito was saddened by the fact that his cock was now covered in bee stingers, and he let out a small sigh of frustration as he day dreamed of Leafa sucking the stingers off of his dick. He knew she was his sister but he didn’t really give a shit anymore. He always fucked Yui a few times. “Oh Kirito, I love you so much, if I were ever not to be your submissive waifu, I’d totally set myself on fire from the inside out,” Asuna crooned at him and he mended his broken penis.

“Shut the fuck up, bitch, and make me a sandwich,” Kirito demanded. As Asuna ascended from the bed, he slapped her ass so hard that she flew through the wall, breaking the supports of the apartment. The entire building collapsed on Kirito and he died instantly. Fortunately, this is Sword Art Online, so he was able to come back to life within a span of five minutes.

Ryuko approached the broken housing project from the west. She spotted Kirito, alone and derelict sitting upon the destroyed wreckage of his home. “Hello Kirito,” she said to him, with a twinkle in her eyes. Kirito, dejected, just looked away. “I have come to challenge you for the love of your harem,” she declared. Kirito’s eyes shot so far out of his head that they literally came detached from his skull and rolled onto the ground. They bounced all the way across the street, with a BOING BOING BOING, and were finally ingested by Guts, who – having finished his latest sexual experience with that other Guts from that other anime – immediately crapped them out onto the street, where they were run over by a passing taxi driven by Nakamura.

The next twenty five minutes of their lives were spent walking incredibly slowly, without a word, to the park where they were to have their final showdown. Ambient music played in the background as everyone with any sense of cinematic pacing fell asleep in their chairs and instantly dropped this fanfic. “How am I supposed to fight you without any eyes?” Kirito asked solemnly, gripping the shaft of his sword with one hand and the shaft of his throbbing erection with one hand with the other.

“How the hell am I supposed to know,” Ryuko responded, “you usually pull stuff out of your ass anyway!”

“Good point.” Kirito reached his hand into his asshole, all the way in, until he retrieved a new set of eyes from the interior of his colon. After washing them off in the park’s sprinkler system, he slammed them into the once-empty sockets. “Alright, I am ready for battle,” Kirito declared. Suddenly, he became violently coughing and grabbed his chest with a pained expression on his imperfect circular saw shaped face. “I can’t breathe!” he yelled, and died instantly. For good this time.

“Well, that was anti-climactic,” said Ryuko. “Looks like I get his harem now.” She walked off, leaving Kirito’s corpse to decompose. BUT HE WASN’T ACTUALLY DEAD FOR GOOD THIS TIME AT ALL. Using the magic of the power of the treasure of the underfiend, Kirito’s nipples began to glow and his entire skin transformed into life fibers. “I will have my revenge, Matoi-kun,” he said with a posed look.

Let’s talk about Sandra-san for a minute. She is a roller skater among roller skaters. If one could see Sandra’s panties for even five fractions of a minute, it would be the most heavenly sight on the face of this earth aside from when I randomly molest eight year old girls in the middle of the road. Sandra’s panties were exquisite. They were truly the finest in women’s underwear one could purchase in Canada or wherever the fuck My Life Me was made. Probably Canada because all of their cartoons sucks. Fuck you Teletoon I hope you go off the air. Her panties were made out of silk, freshly extracted from the anus of her uncle/grandpa, who liked keeping a farm of silk worms inside his asshole for some reason who fucking knows. They were colored a deep pink, because all the Pepto Bismol he drank on a daily basis rushed directly to his rectum, coloring the silk worms pink by default. Merely gazing upon Sandra-sama’s panties for the mere moments that I was allowed in my brief existence caused me to have an erection among erections that would never be satisfied until I was able to rub my swollen mansicle on her beautiful pink undergarment. I really like talking about panties. I’m not a pervert or anything though. I just think there is an art to the construction of lingerie and I really appreciate all the effort that goes into making that which covers a woman’s genitalia. Imagine if her panties were a two star Goku Uniform, they would be 20% life fibers, but if her panties were a 75 star Goku Uniform that would be like fucking I don’t know 750% life fibers. That’s a lot holy shit. Imagine if Sandra’s vagina was a mollusk for a moment. It would be the most perfect mollusk on this planet. I would like to see her mollusk do things to insects because that is probably what mollusks do. Imagine this mollusk vagina is like a faucet. If you were to pour fifty pieces of magic cirtcuitry bullcrap into it, it would flow all over my face when she orgasmed. That really turns me on.

Sandra was expecting Birch to give her analingus, but Birch’s tongue was missing, so Sandra was very sad. The pair vowed revenge on Ryuko and then scissored for like five minutes because I could probably fap to that.

Ryuko returned to her castle in the middle of the clouds. Waiting for her there was Satsuki, who greeted her with a steamy kiss because I could probably fap to that as well. In the next room over, Holden Caulfield was doing ass to ass with Christian Grey, using a eggplant. However, this was no ordinary eggplant. In fact, it was ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The eggplant ate both of these lovely gentlemen from the inside out, then grew an eyeball on it and squirted its orange juice-like liquid shit everywhere. Ryuko, however, was too deep inside Satsuki’s vagina to care at this point. Her cunt became the world. Then Kirito’s harem showed up and they all fucked the end.

BUT WAIT

THAT WASN’T THE END AT ALL

I BET I TRICKED YOU HUH

THERE’S STILL LIKE FIVE MORE PAGES TO THIS SHIT SO GET READY MOTHERFUCKER

Nakamura burst in through the skylight, riding a dragon made out of Takao’s shit. The dragon breathed horrible CG fire all over the place because it was a metaphor for sex somehow thank you DEEN. Pulling her humongous metal strap on out of Satsuki, Ryuko turned the sex toy into a railgun and began firing supercharged pennies at the dragon, because that’s all she really had lying around. Clipping the dragon’s wing with one of the Abraham Lincoln emblazoned medallions, Ryuko demanded her newfound harem to do a cheer for her to power up Senketsu further. Every one of those stupid waifu bait girls from Sword Art Online jumped onto each other’s shoulders and began to chant:

MOAR DEBAN
MOAR DEBAN
MOAR DEBAN!!!!!!!11
Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

This 100% original do not steal chant powered her up so much, that she transformed into a Symbiote. Ryuko was no longer human. She was not human after all. Whenever she spoke, her acidic spit sprayed all over the place, burning pieces of the room. “Oh shit fucking dick tits bitch ass fucker,” some background character from Black Lagoon yelled as tentacles sprouted from Ryuko’s anus, “she has the power of the overfiend! It’s the only thing that can defeat Kirito but has never done so before because reasons!!!!” Suddenly Ryuko’s phone went off, but she smashed it under the weight of her freshly toned alien abs. Using the tentacles, she climbed up the side of the building, and skewered Nakamura ass to mouth on one of them. This caused her to explode because explosions are cool. Then Ryuko became best friends with the dragon and they had hot steamy interspecies sex together because she was incapable of being attracted to humans anymore after receiving the gift of Symbiosis.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t the gore and sex make this so DARK and MATURE?

Meanwhile, Kirito was biding his time in his underground fortress. He had finally put the finishing touches on his masterwork, Dragon’s Brown, a Dragon’s Crown doujinshi about the amazon warrior or whatever the fuck she’s called making a large ball out of her poop and force feeding it to the dwarf guy. His now skeletal cock was rock hard (A/N: do penises actually have bones in them? Probably because they’re called boners lol) at the concept of having someone do this to him.

Two years (worth of semen) later…

After four successful Comikets selling his doujin to the unwashed masses of Japan, Kirito was finally ready to finance his revenge against Ryuko. Using the roughly five billion yen he had earned, he was able to purchase a WW2-era tank and a driver to go along with it. This driver was a loli but since she was speaking English she sounded like a 40 year old woman (this is a Sentai dub after all). “Let’s drive this shit into the sky and lay waste to that motherfucker!!!!” Kirito yelled in his best McLovin impression.

Suddenly the loli removed her mask, revealing Greg Ayres under it. “Shall we go, my Lord?” he asked.

“Indeed, sir Ayres,” Kirito responded in kind. “Panzer vore means panzer vore.” Then the panzer ate Greg Ayres sexually because it was panzer vore. As Greg drew his last breath and tears fell from his eyes, he near-silently cried out, “I’m not crying, it’s a sickness!”

* * * * * *

“Wait, hold the fuck on!” my editor yelled at me as she threw the manuscript back in my face. I put out the cigarette in my whiskey. Only my alcohol and smokes could ever hope to understand me. My blazer slumped off my shoulders as I slowly turned my sleep-deprived ocular receptors toward her. “This… is not fanfiction. It is straight-up porn. Not even good porn. Post it elsewhere,” she declared.

I sighed. Women could never understand the complex life of a man’s man such as myself. I took another swig from my bottle of whiskey, choking on the cigarette butt as it went down with the drink. “This is art, my dear,” I explained to her with a solemn look upon my disheveled face. “If you cannot understand true art, I suggest you go back to reading your fantasy trash such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Meanwhile, I will bask in the glory of David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece, Infinite Jest.” I spit on her. Because that is how I treat women. I am a man’s man. I learned everything I need to know about life from the great Ernest Hemingway.

“No, seriously,” she said to me, “your story makes no fucking sense, is not in any way erotic, and is filled with amateurish mistakes that even a beginning writer would not–” I stopped her immediately with a deep, passionate kiss. Our tongues intertwined for an indefinite amount of time before she pushed me away and sprayed bear mace in my eyes.

“Please…” I cried, “I want to drink your saliva. Please.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

“Abuse my body with your spit. I want you to squirt it inside my mouth.”

“Get away from me!”

“No! It’s my art! My art! This will be my masterpiece!” I declared as I propped my mouth open with a screwdriver. It dug into the fleshy inner part of my mouth, but I didn’t care. It hurt so good. I swallowed my own blood, and it tasted like honey.

“I’m leaving now,” she said with a confused expression upon her beautiful visage.

“I don’t think so,” I responded. Suddenly, my five vampire brothers appeared from behind the curtain. “We are going to become very good friends from now on, Yui,” I said to the woman.

“My name’s not Yui, it’s–” My literally bloodthirsty brethren went in for the kill. She took off running through the halls of my humble abode. Yui just kept on screaming and screaming as she throughout the Resident Evil mansion in which I resided.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: sorry about that guys XD I had a little dispute with my editor but it’s all good now ^___^ it’s weird that she doesn’t like yaoi as much as I do, bishounens make me SQUEEEEEEEEE I love yamapi and koji seto let’s watch some j-dramas together sometime urusai

The tank flew towards it destination with the wings of a pegasus. Kirito had bonded with the tank, and it was now his noble phantasm. Kirito was actually Sandra’s Servant in the 72nd Holy Grail War and had been this entire time. “I will win the Grail for my beloved Master,” he said under his breath as the tank approached its destination. At this very moment, Ryuko was basking in the tanning salon of her castle. Her beautiful green, bulging, veiny skin was becoming a nice dark viridian.

This next scene is going to be very artistic so it shall be told through song. Imagine that they are singing the following lyrics. Lyrics are copyright Linkin Park and Three Days Grace respectively. I love both of their beautiful musics and vigorously rub my crotch to them every night.

Kirito: I’m tired of being what you want me to be
Ryuko: I can’t escape this hell
Kirito: Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
Ryuko: So many times i’ve tried
Kirito: Don’t know what you’re expecting of me
Ryuko: But i’m still caged inside
Kirito: Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
Ryuko: Somebody get me through this nightmare
Kirito: Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
Ryuko: I can’t control myself
Kirito: Every step that I take is another mistake to you
Ryuko: So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
Kirito: Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
Ryuko: No one will ever change this animal I have become
Kirito: I’ve become so numb, I can’t feel you there
Ryuko: Help me believe it’s not the real me
Kirito: Become so tired, so much more aware
Ryuko: Somebody help me tame this animal
Kirito: I’m becoming this, all I want to do
Ryuko: This animal, this animal
Kirito: Is be more like me and be less like you
Ryuko: I can’t escape myself
Kirito: Can’t you see that you’re smothering me,
Ryuko: I can’t escape myself
Kirito: Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control?
Ryuko: So many times i’ve lied
Kirito: ‘Cause everything that you thought I would be
Ryuko: So many times i’ve lied
Kirito: Has fallen apart right in front of you.
Ryuko: But there’s still rage inside
Kirito: Caught in the undertow, just caught in the undertow
Ryuko: Somebody get me through this nightmare
Kirito: Every step that I take is another mistake to you.
Ryuko: I can’t control myself
Kirito: And every second I waste is more than I can take.

Kirito’s tank burst through the wall of the shower, because in the span of the montage Ryuko decided to take a shower because singing in the shower is fun. Kirito fired the projectiles from his tank barrel, but they turned out to actually be talking hamburgers – nice and greasy hamburgers – that swarmed Ryuko’s naked body and began eating her disgusting Symbiote flesh. Unfortunately for them, her skin is entirely poisonous since the transmutation made it so for some reason. Kirito anticipated this turn of events however, and launched his special sexy hamburger at her. His name was Humphry. And he had a Brooklyn accent. Also, Ryuko now sounds like Keith David because reasons.

Humphry, however, was annoyed by Kirito’s using of him as an object, so Humphry fuckin’ ate Kirito’s face off and then Ronald McDonald had sex with The Grimace on top of the tank and immediately produced a pickle child named Ben Dover. Ben inserted himself into Kirito’s nostrils, and choked him to death. He was dead for good this time OR WAS HE no he was actually dead this time because Ryuko had activated the treasure of the underfiend.

Suddenly, Kirito’s nipples began to glow again, and another Kirito ripped out of his skin. THE TRUE FORM WAS FINALLY REVEALED. A hideous silence filled the room or wherever they were, and then Ryuko bitch slapped Kirito so hard that he flew out the window and into the sun where he burned to death painfully because he survived entering and exiting the atmosphere because he is gary stu and then died forever and is dead now stop fucking asking me to bring kirito back you twats.

Plot twist: this is the end of the story now. All the characters sing Get Lucky by Daft Punk as the credits roll and they engage in a lesbian orgy. The end.

BUT WAIT we forgot about Birch and Sandra so let’s just bring them back for a few minutes. To make a long story short they joined Nudist Beach along with Aikurou and Luis and now they are all engaging in a session of Tetris roleplay sex. As a beautiful orchestral rendition of the Tetris theme resounded through the halls of the children’s recreational center, the inserted their blocks into each other with a vigorous force unseen by humans since the late 1800’s when some dude’s cock broke off inside his partner’s ass. Unfortunately, all of the people involved suddenly had to urinate simultaneously, causing them to piss inside of each other until they exploded. Except Aikurou. Who fucked Prof. Sycamore. The end. The real end.

PLEASE RATE AND REVIEW OR I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL XD LOL BACON

Rate and review on FanFiction.net

Watch the making of on YouTube

2013
11.12

Issue #6 or “That Episode with the Elf-thing!”

 

Okay, this is going to be harder issue to tackle, fellow bat-fans. What we have here is a 5th dimension midget elf with the powers to manipulate reality and the demeanor of small spoiled child trying to buddy up with Batman. It is no exaggeration to say that his might be Batman’s biggest challenge yet, as he has never really dealt with a foe he could not hit before now nor one he couldn’t reason with on some level. But at the same time, it’s the first time he’s dealt with someone that has no particular ill will to him causing trouble.

This is clearly a more comedic episode that wouldn’t appear out of place in other ’90s-era Warner Bros. comedy shows or an off-kilter superhero parody like Freakazoid! What sets this apart from those is that despite being so crazy, it still remains 100% in canon and never strays over the line into becoming a pure farce. It still retains the edge that Batman is known for, but shows a more explosive side that might have never been shown in animated form if not for TB&TB.

In other words, it’s an important episode.

So pull up the barbecue and burn us some grub, because this episode is going to melt your icy heart! (The next one will hopefully be better, I’m sorry. These are hard to come up with and they are always oh-so-terrible) Enjoy this week’s installment of the Batman bonanza!

 

#6 – Legends of the Dark Mite!

Written by: Paul Dini

Directed by: Ben Jones

Principle Cast:

Diedrich Bader as Batman

Paul Reubens as Batmite

Dee Bradley Baker as Ace the Bat-hound

Jim Piddock as Calendar Man

 

It’s a good night for a bank heist, as two grizzled thugs explode their way into the Gotham bank for a little withdrawal. Unfortunately for them, after arriving in the vault they are met with the shadow of the greatest hero in the known universe. Who is it? Well, if you guessed Batman you’d be right in this case. But something is not quite right here.

Just as Batman approaches the criminals, a narration appears seemingly out of nowhere to direct what is happening. Both the criminals and the hero are flummoxed by this disembodied voice, but pass it off as nothing more than the wind. The Caped Crusader tells the two criminals to give up their scheme and come along quietly. Being thugs they… comply and follow Batman’s orders.

WHAT? Boring! Who wants to see criminals learn from their evil ways when Batman could be beating sense into them instead!?

This might come into play later.

Without warning, the mugs are pulled over to the giant sack of money and are made to attack Batman with it, without their consent. They even apologize for hitting Batman despite the voice’s protests that he can take it, and even our hero believes their cries of innocence. The voice pushes them on further to keep attacking Batman but they won’t have it and raise their hands once more in defeat.

Batman wins again.

But the voice won’t have it.

The crooks are given machine guns and a random assortment of back-up thugs that are transported instantly to their location. Batman dispatches them with ease, but still the two original criminals show no will to fight. It looks good for Batman until the transported mugs are transformed into… ninjas. Yes, Batman is now fighting ninjas.

Something ain’t quite right here.

The voice appears to be having a great time when Batman finally has enough and asks him to show his face. Excitedly, the voice grants his request. He is transported to the middle of Gotham where he meets the weird creature causing the chaos. He calls himself “Batmite”. Though he calls himself Batman’s number one fan, our hero wastes no time trying to get away from him.

It’s hard to blame Bats. The longer Batmite talks, the more he sounds like a psycho fan-boy who would prefer to keep Batman in a glass case then let him be who he is and catch the bad guys. Batmite misses the point a lot. He says he’s from the 5th dimension and has powers we could only interpret as magic, though it doesn’t quite explain why he’s bothering our hero.

The pest explains that he arrived because he was tired of seeing Batman share his superhero duties with “losers” like Green Arrow, the Flash, and Plastic-Man, and decides to show everyone why Batman is the greatest hero of them all. Though it’s unclear if even Batmite knows why he’s such a great hero. Batman could not appear to care less before he once again tries to send him home, this time with a friendly gesture. But of course, Batmite has plans of his own.

First thing to do is to change Batman’s costume. He tries to find the best image of Batman through his magical means, but all he comes up with are looks that go too far in a specific direction.

“Imposing, but too Dracula!”

“Too dashing!”

“Too campy!”

“Too icky!”

“Too confusing!”

“Too psycho!”

Batman tells his diminutive doppelganger to cut it out. Our hero doesn’t fight crime because he likes to (though he actually very much enjoys it), he fights it because he’s needed. To try to force who he is to a specific image misses the whole point.

Hmm.

Batmite says he understands, but clearly doesn’t as he decides to put Batman to a fight to the death with his greatest foe which is… Gorilla Grodd? No, it should be Solomon Grundy! No, Shaggy Man would be a better choice! Batman whispers to Batmite before his next choice and succeeds in his quick gamble to get the villain he wants to face.

“Calendar Man.”

“Calendar Man!”

“Calendar Man?”

Unfortunately for the vile villain he is caught in mid-scheme when transported to the Gotham street and has no intention of fighting. Batman whispers to him to take a dive, which Calendar Man does…, in the hammiest way possible. Calendar Man deserves his own show.

But, Batman has finally succeeded in taking down Batmite’s villain of choice. Surely, NOW he will leave the hero alone?

Nope.

Batmite declares that the fight wasn’t “fair” and that Calendar Man needs a boost. So using his powers he transforms Calendar Man into Calendar King who has abilities of his own. He can now bring any holiday icon of his choice to life. For someone who doesn’t like camp so much, Batmite sure doesn’t mind bringing it out against Batman. What happens next is pretty off the wall, even for “The Brave & The Bold” standards.

“First, an army of Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns. Next, a legion of biker Santas. A company of uber-patriotic Uncle Sams. Happy holidays, Batman!”

Yes, he actually fights those things. It’s quite a messy battle, too. It’s not everyday you get to see a motorcycle simultaneously crash into and explode in someone’s face.

Eventually, even mutant Easter bunnies even join the fray.

Batmite’s ideas are campier than anything that actually appeared in TB&TB so far, it’s quite amusing to think about. Especially considering what he decides on much later in the show’s run… but that’s for another day. There are Silver Age and even Golden Age influences abound in TB&TB, but nothing on the level of this weirdness. Batmite should know better, especially since the reason he grows tired of this stuff is because it’s too campy. You can only blame yourself, friend!

But then he decides to take it to a neutral party to judge for us. That’s right; Batmite takes us to a fan convention to see if Batman is staying true to his roots.

It’s like getting a root canal when all you want is a check-up.

The panel has a clip playing of the very scene in question, and several fans are allowed to ask questions about what has been happening to our caped crusader. Why doesn’t he just ask them if they want a Calendar Man show? That’s what I’d like to know. You ask them something like this and, well, you’re really asking for it.

Batmite, we hardly knew ye.

“I always felt that Batman was best suited in the role of gritty, urban, crime detective. But now you have him up against Santas and Easter Bunnies! I’m sorry, but that’s not my Batman!”

That sounds familiar. But then again, it might feel a bit out of place in retrospect considering the reaction TB&TB actually had, but early reactions were very similar to our friendly nerd friend’s. Nonetheless, those that hate the show are in a small minority nowadays since most other fans gave it a proper chance.

“Most”, anyway.

The panel responds with a single written statement that Batmite reads aloud.

“Batman’s rich history allows him to be interpreted in a multitude of ways. To be sure, this is a lighter incarnation but it is no less valid and true to the character’s roots as the tortured avenger crying out for mommy and daddy.”

The best part of this statement is the best part of TB&TB as a whole that it rarely gets credit for. Though this being the first season, they probably didn’t know yet, neither did Paul Dini. They actually did the “tortured avenger” as well, in fact, they did just about everything in 65 episodes that Batman was known for whereas most Batman shows (even the excellent ‘90s show) only choose one piece of the puzzle and run with the one they are chosen.

Throughout its run, it would go everywhere from the Golden Age to the Silver Age to the Bronze Age to the distant past and to the far off future and from the afterlife to the outliers of space- Batman goes anywhere he is needed. And is that not exactly what makes him so enduring? In fact, that might be why I, “Spark Of Spirit” (formerly “Desensitized” of long ago) decided to create these very issues you’re reading in the first place to help spread the word among fellow animation fans. But I’m breaking the fourth wall now, and we can’t have that.

Batman topples Calendar King, transforming him back into Calendar Man to which Batmite sends him back to wherever it was he was taken from. Batmite is ready to go for more, but Batman tries to talk him out of it.

After all, he wouldn’t want him to waste time waging pointless battles when there’s a legitimate war on crime out there, would he? No true Bat-fan could want that!

To make sure, he buys him off with an official signed Batarang.

Now, what fan could pass that up?

Batmite finally takes the hint and leaves, which sends Batman back in the bank with the two dazed delinquents where we started from. It was almost as if no time had passed at all. The pair is still standing idly by when Batman returns to their side once again and they ask him the question that is burning on their minds.

“Hey, Bats, did you hear this weird kind of voice heckling you?”

“No.”

He takes the defenseless duo down and brings them to justice. Breaking into a bank is still a crime, even if you’re not stealing anything. After a long night of crime-fighting it’s time to return to the Batcave.

Ace the Bat-hound is waiting for him when he arrives and our hero tells him the whole crazy story. Dealing with such a total creep and freaky pest can really wear on your nerves. Boy, what a night. But, something isn’t quite right again as another Ace appears behind the dog. Are there actually two Aces?

No, you can already guess who it is.

Batmite is enraged after being called a creep and a pest and takes our hero with him as he teleports away.

Now what happens next is a little difficult to explain with all the mutant aliens, exploding saucers, and trippy views, so a short explanation will have to do. Batmite basically throws Batman to the freaky mutant alien wolves (so to speak) and lets them have at him. If Batman thinks he’s such a great hero, then he can get out of this without any issue. He’s going to play with Batman like a toy until he breaks!

But Batman decides that he has had enough.

He would rather die than become a mere toy for some overpowered freak’s delusions of grandeur. But Batman can’t give up, right? Batmite knows that much! Batman has a code of honor!

So Batman tells him that if he knows so much about being Batman, then he should don the cape and cowl himself. After all, it should be so easy, right?

The only thing to do to satiate his desire for Bat-action is to become the hero he has admired for so long. So he uses his powers to become Batman and leaves to fight crime on his own. There’s only one major problem. He has no training, no skills, and no sense about him. In short, the brat is out of his league.

After destroying the world on his first attempt, Batmite takes a tumble into the depths of his own imagination. It looks like he isn’t quite on the level of Batman after all.

Being a hero isn’t quite as simple as the real Batman makes it look. Even though Batman narrates an easy scenario for him, he can’t quite cut the mustard and falls apart at every given moment. He just can’t quite understand exactly why Batman does what he does or why he appears to know how to battle his opponents as well as he does.

Not only that, but now he has to deal with a cavalcade of villains all at once!

Batmite gives up his heroic pursuit and runs for the hills. He can’t quite escape the evil villain’s grip no matter how far he runs and quickly finds himself running without road. Batman tries to get him to face his enemies, but it’s of no use since he is letting his imagination run away with him.

It looks like his manipulation of free will from the episode’s beginning is working against him now. Even Batmite doesn’t know the true depths of his powers.

After being thoroughly smashed to pieces over and over he finally admits that he’s no hero. He needs Batman’s help. It only takes a quick jump for Batman to join the fray and easily topple each monstrous creation of Batmite’s imagination. While our hero easily dispatches his foes, Batmite gets a confidence boost and concentrates his powers to settle his imagination down and bring Batman back home while defeating his enemies.

Batmite apologizes for being a pest and confesses that he’s no hero. While that might be true, it still wasn’t as if our hero’s life was in any real danger. He’s just an idiot, not a villain. Batman congratulates him for his efforts to become better and should use his own skills to become a true hero in his own right. After all, we can’t all be Batman, but we can all be better people… or better 5th dimension elf-things with obnoxious powers. Either way.

After a long night, it’s time to get some rest. Bats just hopes to Ace that Batmite has finally settled down.

Meanwhile in another location, Green Arrow is out fighting crime when suddenly-

Yeah, why not?

This episode is a first for many reasons, one being that it is the first proper adaption of Batmite in animated form, and the second being that it has quite a few fourth wall moments that are even more insane than this show is known for. But despite its craziness there were a few moments of realization for Batmite’s confused bratty nature and for Batman to understand a bit more about how others might see him outside of the job. So its a double realization even if a lot of nutty stuff is going on.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that no other serious superhero show could quite get away with an episode like this, nor could the more comedic ones have the moments of sincerity that come near the end without goofing on it. It’s quite the healthy mix that only TB&TB could get away with and would continue to get away with until Batmite ruined it all (Long story).

While this episode might veer more on the comedic side, the following episode might have you wondering if this is the same show that had Batmite on it causing havoc just before. But I assure you, it is the very same show- and that’s what makes it so great.

Until next time, Bat-fans! Same brave blog, same bold place!

2013
11.10

Kill la Kill panders equally to everyone this week. If you like cartoon sexiness – male or female – you’re gonna’ be pleased. Truly, Trigger is saving anime.

Never let it be said that Uzu Sanageyama is a man without resolve. It takes a special kind of dedication to willfully sew your fuckin’ eyes shut, after all. This time, Ryuuko faces her toughest opponent yet (unless, of course, you count Satsuki), and while it pains me to see her get beaten up, I have to say it was pretty intense. Though really, this episode isn’t about her; it’s about Sanageyama. He’s got some incredibly perceptive eyes, eyes that can see any opponent’s moves before they make them, but he relies on this ability way too much and loses to our lovable heroine rather quickly. So, you know, he does what any totally 100% sane guy would do… he gets rid of them. Hardcore.

I greatly enjoyed the little bit of his backstory we got to see. The concept of a cocky, confident badass being bested by someone even more powerful, and then – instead of getting mad – willingly joining said person to train under them is just cool to me. It’s clear throughout that he and Satsuki have a really deep sense of mutual respect for each other, and I love that. And, as mentioned above, the lengths he goes to to prove his worth to her are certainly something. It’s great to see how Sanageyama has his own code of honor and is being treated as more than just a tough subordinate for Ryuuko to fight at the end of the series.

Much like episode 5, this one was a bit more serious than I’d come to expect from Kill la Kill. However, that didn’t stop certain moments from being absolutely hilarious. The cold opening features yet more sexy teacher manservice, complete with the most intense Shaft tilt of all time and… glowing nipples. Indeed, Aikurou’s manly man nips emit a magic purple aura for some reason. Later on, Sanageyama gets his own transformation sequence exactly like Ryuuko’s and Satsuki’s. I’ve always wanted to see something like this happen in an anime, and it looks like my prayers have been answered. However, those scenes aside (and the bit where Senketsu declares his love for being ironed), this one was played with a pretty straight face. While I still think episode 4 is my favorite overall, I must say that I quite like these more dramatic installments as well.

Speaking of Sanageyama’s transformation, his armored mode (see Figure 1.3) greatly reminds me of something out of Anarchy Reigns. His suit resembles Big Bull’s design quite a bit, while his main form of attack gives off a heavy Garuda vibe. I have no idea whether or not this was intentional, but that game is truly excellent, and I’ve always considered Trigger to be the Platinum Games of anime, so that’s just a nice little tidbit for me to munch on. Anyway, his fight with Ryuuko in the second half of the episode is pretty crazy, though I do think it recycled loop animations a bit too much. In all honesty, as excellent as the rest of the episode is, I wasn’t quite feeling the action this week. By no means is it bad or anything like that, and a couple of cuts are simply perfect, but I felt it was a bit below the (admittedly high) bar set by the previous installments.

Figure 1.3

Once again, the OST impresses. Sawano’s score is completely on point this week, perfecting every scene – silly, dramatic, or action-packed. I think it’s safe to say at this point that my pre-order of the soundtrack is wholly justified. And as usual, the little details scattered throughout are sure to make you smile. I particularly love the way Inumuta’s mouth-covering sweater thing descends and ascends accordingly whenever he starts or stops talking. Also, Aikurou’s lip movements in the first scene had way too much effort put into them. That was some seriously high quality animation right there.

To my sadness, there was a distinct lack of Mako this time around, but fortunately the next episode seems to rectify that by focusing squarely on her and her family. Let’s hope it can somehow manage to be as insane and fun as #4!