ANP Classic: Pokemon 2.B.A Master Review


I’m going to try to come back, but first, I want to recollect.

Today many of us may harangue about the evils of 4Kids. How they ruined One Piece, how they rendered Yu Gi Oh indecipherable (and possibly for the better). I’d like to go back to the happier times, when 4Kids was in charge of localizing everyone’s favorite cartoon show based on a Nintendo game: Pokemon.

I’m sure all of us have happy memories of our travels with Ash, Brock, Misty, and Pikachu, and could regale ourselves over the many times Team Rocket had been defeated. But how many of us remember the greatest music ever put in a saturday morning cartoon show? And indeed, the greatest CD ever devoted to said music?

Just to get the ball rolling, here are my thoughts on each song.

Pokémon Theme– This song, sung by Jason Paige, is quite possibly the most unforgettable song to ever come out of late nineties saturday morning cartoons. When Paige sings, “I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was,” we all want to say, “Move over Pavarotti, he’s the best already!” But it’s not just Jason Paige’s emotional vocals, the lyrics are filled with philosophical depth, “Our hearts so true, our courage will pull us through, you teach me and I teach you, Pokémon.”

Socrates claimed that the unexamined life is not worth living. What he didn’t know was that life could only be examined with Pokémon.

2.B.A Master– Russel Velåzquez takes over for this towering song. What can I say that hasn’t already been said before? When Velåzquez implores that, “all the children sing” only the most heartless could refuse to join in the chorus, “na-nana-na-na-nana-nana-na-na-nananananana.” After this song, I too was “writin’ a brand new chapter” on my Pokémon Blue cart. And guess what, not only did I meet and defeat… the elite. I survived against my rival, and not only that… I caught them all.

Viridian City– Jason Paige returns to remind us that we are on the motherf****** road to motherf****** Viridian City. No other song expresses the feelings I feel while going through Route 1. “Now here’s the plan we’re gonna head down to the forest. Try to collect some pokémon” how did he know!?

What Kind of Pokemon Are You?– The bongo drums are reminiscent of The Rolling Stones’ Sympathy For The Devil. But the song itself is reminiscent of awesomeness. No other song in the history of the world so succinctly describes the effectiveness between other types of pokémon, and with such vividness and fervor.

“Don’t ya bug me with a Caterpie/ For a flying type the win’s easy/ Good luck with Muk and it’s poison gas/ Make one wrong move and it’ll kick your grass.” Who else hasn’t felt this? The pun that opens this verse is positively shakespearean, while the one that closes it out can only be described as hardcore, and ultra badass.

My Best Friends– An ode to the only thing that matters in the world. Pokémon. The hard guitars that salt and pepper this specimen of R&B perfection only hide a soft inside, “We will go where our dreams come true.” Clearly the Indigo Plateau.

Everything Changes– I feel bad for Parmenides, I seriously do. If he had only lived another twenty six centuries he could have heard this monumental song and would have recanted his heresy, “everything changes, changes, things are changing constantly, everything changes, changes, it’s evolutionary.” Who can disagree? Especially when sung by the always magnificent Shelia Brody. The song even provides empircal evidence for its philosophical assertion, “my Metapod evolved into a Butterfree!” Ash squeals. What other song would do this? Lesser ones, clearly.

The Time Has Come (Pikachu’s Goodbye)– Ladies and Gentlemen (yes, even Gentlemen) take out your hankerchiefs, and make sure to have at least two glasses of water handy. This song has been banned in twenty countries due to dehydration. Marti Lebow knows how to work the heartstrings like no other singer in the history of humankind. “I wish we could go back to the beginning!” Marti pleads. Before you reach for your razors, remember, Pikachu did come back at the end of the episode.

Pokémon Dance Mix– Michael Jackson cameos to warm our hearts of stone with his cool dance beats. “You can be a MASTER IF YOU TRYYYYY!!!!” Just like you Mr. Jackson? Even like you? Sometimes, when I beat the Elite Four… it can feel that way.

Double Trouble (Team Rocket)– Jessie, James, and Meouth sing a remix of their terrifying motto. They add a few more lyrics, just in case we didn’t get the picture. Did you know they could cause a riot in sunday school? Or that do unto others is their Golden Rule?

If I could think of only one problem in this song, it’s the line, “We’re Team Rocket and we fight for what’s wrong, for mayhem, and madness, and rare Pokémon.” If Rare Pokémon are wrong, I don’t want to be right.

If anyone listening are harmatialogically inclined, this is your song.

Together Forever– A perfect pop song that explores the erotic connection between Ash and Misty. Hey, Justin, J.P. Hartmann brought sexy back nine years ago! And for everyone who’s purchased this album, it’s never left.

Misty’s Song– I don’t know about you, but when I watched the TV series, I never detected any sort of love relation between Misty and Ash, until this song. The second best R&B song on this album, making it approximately the third best in existence. “I want to tell you what I’m feeling, and to say that I love you.” One day you will Misty, one day…

PokéRAP– Nothing needs to be said. Nothing. If you don’t recognize this as the greatest song ever written, produced, and rapped, well then, get out of my Universe.

For those who purchased the CD, it contains the PokéRAP music video.

You Can Do It (If You Really Try)– Look upon John Loether’s work, ye mighty, and despair. “It’s your destiny, to spread your wings and fly.” Sure it may be a cliché, but for the first time, I believe it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going onto the roof.

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‘Cause This Is Thriller!

It has come to my attention that Chile is in the middle of one of those election things.  They’re having their run off election now and I don’t know if there are any chileans reading this but if you are I would like to offer my own suggestion.  As you know, here at A Nice Place™ we feel politicians are too boring and stuffy.  In the 08 election we supported Mike Gravel for the US Presidency.  Our reasoning was:

Mike Gravel is the most substantive candidate in the race.  Take a look at all of his other videos tackling such deep issues as rocks, fire, why people won’t let him say what he wants to say, whether he’ll run with Ralph Nader, and how he gets to the bottom and goes back to the top of the slide, and he stops and he turns and he goes for a ride, till he gets to the bottom and HE SEES US AGAAAAAAIN.

We don’t choose people based on whether they will win, but rather on whether they make us happy.  Because, frankly, that’s all that matters.  Neither guy will get much accomplished, and on the important things they don’t seem too far apart.  So why not vote for the funny guy?  Politics is boring, it’s time to get beyond it.  So we here at A Nice Place™ support Sebastian Piñera in his run for the Presidency of Chile.  Why?

He has some sick dance moves.

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First They Came for the Charlie Brown Christmas Special…

Things are good for blogging right now, so I thought I might as well.  I went looking for some stuff to talk about and found this:

In the opinion of Arlington Mayor Russell Wiseman, President Barack Obama’s speech on Tuesday night on the war in Afghanistan was deliberately timed to block the Christian message of the “Peanuts” television Christmas special.

This is why Obama also forced TBN to air his speech.  In other news, Obama has purchased the morning hours of ABC Family to play his various speeches with commentary by those guys from VH1’s popular I Love The… series.

Besides, if we Christians need the Charlie Brown Christmas Special to spread the good news, we’re screwed already.  Bumping it a week or two is hardly a blow to the faith.  Maybe the more Christian thing to do would be to notice that our President is escalating a war that may not be winnable, without the input of our allies in Afghanistan, and consider the ramifications.

But what is Obama’s motivation in all of this?

“Ok, so, this is total crap, we sit the kids down to watch ‘The Charlie Brown Christmas Special’ and our muslim president is there, what a load…..try to convince me that wasn’t done on purpose. Ask the man if he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he will give you a 10 minute disertation (sic) about it….w…hen the answer should simply be ‘yes’….”

The Obama Administration has shown enough incompetence in foreign affairs to prove that bumping the Christmas Special is just them being stupid.  Don’t suggest malice when stupidity will do.  And if our president is a muslim, the jihad isn’t quite working out.

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Video We Don’t get #241134


I enjoy being part of the in crowd.

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I Don’t Understand

I still don’t quite understand this video.  As far as I can ascertain, you’re getting shot, and in that moment it doesn’t matter what others think of you, but what God thinks of you.

Or, believing in creationism will prevent you by being shot by a random teen.

<h/t: Andrew Sullivan>

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Dragonball: Evolution, A Review For Those In the Know

To cut to the chase, out of a Five Star system, I give it *1/2.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, it was pretty entertaining, though half of the time it was entertaining the wrong way. To sum up the plot, Piccolo is this bad guy because the narration says so, who 2,000 years ago nearly destroyed the earth with his disciple Oozaru. He was sealed away by ancient warriors, and has escaped because the narration says so. He is looking for the Dragonballs so he will be granted the power to rule the world. Because he wants to. Because he’s evil. Because the narration said so.

The movie got Goku completely wrong. Instead of being fun loving, oblivious, and caring only about combat, he’s a shy, nerdy kid who can’t keep his hair straight and is picked on by all the kids in school. And he has to believe in himself. So, in short, they made him the exact opposite of the anime version. All because they wanted to do the grand reveal that he is Oozaru (which everyone knows already, and Oozaru is not a freaky fish guy. He is an ape) and have him suddenly remember all of the slogans that his Grandpa Gohan has been telling him since he was a child. You know stuff like “have faith in who you are” the common nonsensical slogans everyone has to deal with as they grow up, and then find out they’re really a demon or alien from another planet.

What absolutely kills Goku is that Justin Chatwin is the worst actor in the movie. Evidence of this was already in the trailer, when Bulma throws her motorcycle capsule thing and all Chatwin can manage is a monotone “cool.” When he tries to go into a rage he looks constipated, when he tries to yell he sounds pathetic, when he tries to cry… he also looks constipated. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did this film constipated.

Master Roshi is perfect. Chow Yun-Fat has fun, and is easily the best actor. We never see enough of Piccolo to see him as much of a threat, or really care. Bulma is ok. Yamcha was nearly perfect, and Chi Chi was… there. No Krillin, no Ox King. Shen Long is a let down.

For a movie ostensibly about capsules that transform into anything, people firing ki blasts, and trying to summon massive dragons, the special effects were a let down.  Oozaru looks like Satan in Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, and that is not a compliment.  While the ki blasts were well done, most of the time they’re invisible.  Besides this, the directing can get annoying.  There is no good reason for Goku to hand someone a dragonball in slow motion.  I wasn’t aware that was meant to be a dramatic scene.  There is nothing I hate more in movies than a random slow motion, speed up cut.  And Dragonball had this in abundance.

The biggest problem with the plot is that it moves too fast, and I’m sure people suspected this. But they honestly don’t try to fit too much plot into one movie. The plot is simply as I described, Piccolo wants the Dragonballs in seven days, and Goku has to stop him. The problem is that Goku never develops, and Piccolo just kinda stands around and talks really deep. Literally, the night before Goku fights Piccolo we are given a scene where Master Roshi tells Goku that he is not ready to learn the Kamehameha, but he will teach it to him anyway. So Goku struggles to light lanterns with his ki, he finally does thanks to hormones. But by the time Goku fights Piccolo he is already more powerful than Master Roshi simply by the necessities of the plot, and squashes Piccolo in less than five minutes.   It’s the biggest letdown since Mike Gravel lost the Libertarian Party nomination.  Piccolo never comes off particularly threatening, but this is not James Marster’s fault at all. He did a pretty good job, when he’s given the chance to talk and do something.

But those are all of the movie’s faults. I’m not a connoisseur of the fighting genre, and many may disagree, but I enjoyed the fights, save for the last one. There was a lot of decent humor, especially involving Master Roshi. I was pleasantly surprised by how strong Yamcha was, even if he also hardly does anything. And the scene where Goku finally fights the school bullies, was a pretty awesome fight scene. In short, if you’re a fan you can see it in theaters and get enraged or laugh ironically. Either way, it’s at least worth a rental for the curious when it comes out.

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