October 11th, 2007

#627: Plot Hole in Pretty Cure Episode 5

Yeah, a big one, one large enough to drive a Terex Titan through.

This entire discussion is going to be a spoiler so don't read if you intend to watch the series.

Basic premise: bad guys need Prism Stones. There are seven and the last two were sent to Earth to keep them out of the hands of the bad guys when they took over the World of Light. The Prism Stones are in the tails of Mepple and Mipple.

The Annoying Mascots from Hell have to spend most of their time in these transit capsules which look like flip phones, and which have a slot through which various cards are swiped. When Nagisa and Honoka wish to transform, they swipe the "queen" card.

They have to be together to transform, and they have to do it at the same time.

Now, in ep 5, Honoka gets cornered by Pissard, villain #1, who manages to get Mipple from her. And here is the problem.

Does Pissard immediately take the thing back to his boss, who has told Pissard "another failure:=death"?

No.

Nagisa shows up and he gloats over how they can't transform into Pretty Cure...and then he gives Mipple back to Honoka so they can transform.

If I'm a bad guy, here's what I would do: take the one Prism Stone I just got back to my boss. "Here, boss; here's one of the two." This gives the boss a good reason not to kill me. Then I say, "I'll go get the other one now, BRB d00d!" Go back to Earth, grab the other Annoying Mascot even if I have to kill the girl who has it, and take that to my boss. My boss is happy, I'm not dead, and I haven't violated any of my personal morals or ethics because I'm a bad guy and don't have any.

Unfortunately, it also means that Pretty Cure has a bad ending after only five episodes.

Pissard's motivation for giving the thing back to Honoka, right after he's gotten it, is flimsy at best. He has no personal honor and isn't interested in a fair fight. He's already said he intends to kill her for not just giving him the thing.

But the writers had backed themselves into a corner. Honoka and Nagisa are junior-high students; they can't possibly stop Pissard as themselves--only Pretty Cure can do that. Nagisa and Honoka can't transform into Pretty Cure without their bitchy mascot-phones. And they both have to do it at the same time so there's no way Nagisa can turn into Cure Black and kick Pissard around a bit in until he drops Honoka's phone.

And so you end up with a situation in which the bad guy breaks character, completely.

He doesn't really say anything when he tosses Honoka's phone to her. If I'd been writing it, at least I would have had him say something like, "You two have really annoyed me, so you're going to die today. But you'll die too quickly if you stay like that." Toss. "Transform; and then I'll kill you slowly enough to appease my anger."

But he doesn't. He just gives the phone back with some lame comment and waits for them to transform, and then they fight. And at the end of it, Pissard has the gall to be surprised that Pretty Cure, which has beaten him four times already, beats him again.

Naturally there are a bunch of other bad guys waiting in the wings. #2 had his (or her?) flavor text read by the DM in ep 5 and is coming out in 6. And already we can see that he's overconfident. "They're just little girls!" Uh, okay, his pals point out, but you're little, too. "Don't judge me by my size!" O, the irony.

It's the function of bad guys in magical girl series to be disposable, particularly at first. Sailor Moon had about 40,000 villains who were trying to accomplish various tasks for Queen Beryl, each of whom got killed one way or another when they failed too many times. Eventually the Evil Overlord loses his patience with failure and replaces the bad guy.

It's also the nature of bad guys to think, "So-and-so failed because he's stupid and weak. I can easily defeat the good guys!" (Hmm..."Socialism failed in Russia because they didn't do it right! When we do it here, it'll work!") They never think, "So-and-so was defeated. He was a putz--stupid and weak--but I'd better approach the enemy with caution because they're obviously not ordinary humans."

But the bad guys usually are rivals for the Overlord's attention, eager for power, and they typically only get along without killing each other because the Evil Overlord will kill them if they fight. And if Bad Guy 2 learns from the mistakes of Bad Guy 1, it can make it too hard for the good guys to beat them.

The really interesting point of ep 5 is that--once Pissard is defeated--the girls find themselves in possession of another Prism Stone. The bad guys had five of the seven, and the girls had two of them; now they have three--and that is going to make trouble for the bad guys, because now they must obtain three rather than two Prism Stones.

There ought to be a shift in the balance of power, but I've no idea what will actually happen. Because of how it happened we don't know why Pissard had one of the stones on him, unless that was the source of his power; presumably it'll be explained in the next ep or so, which is fine.

One mistake in one episode isn't, and shouldn't, be enough to ruin a series. I'm still enjoying Pretty Cure and I'm hoping that future writing mistakes will be less common, or at least less egregious. The series ran to a lot of episodes and sequels, and I fail to see how it could have done that with the writers making a lot of boneheaded mistakes like this one.

#628: O boy, more headlines.

I'll tell you what, it's a good day to be a conservative with these kinds of news stories.

Here is an article about the lot of women in Iran and how Sean Penn--who experienced, first-hand the oppression they endure--said nothing bad about Iran when he returned to the US. I could blockquote the hell out of the article to make the point, but I'm just going to implore you to read it, instead. 'Cause damn, I knew Penn was an asshat, but that pretty much proves it.

Global warming is 250 years old. That's right; data has been found which shows that the present warming trend that's supposedly caused by industrialization and SUVs and stuff actually started in 1750, before SUVs were invented and before the Industrial Revolution. Here's more data for the warmistas to ignore.

The Canadian health care system is so good, Canadian women come to the US to have their babies. Canada's health care system can't deal with all the high-risk and premature cases which are now taking place, so they are--as they always have, but haven't needed to much--using the US medical system as a safety net.

Basic economics: an artificially low price on a good or service increases demand beyond supply.

Advocating gun rights? Get thee to a shrink, kid. A student at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN, has been suspended "...after he raised questions about the campus ban on concealed weapons, and [the university] is ordering him to have a mental health evaluation before he can resume his education."

Translation: "What? You want to be allowed to carry a gun? You must be crazy! You must be like that asian kid that shot up Virginia Tech! You can't come back until we know you're not going to go nuts and shoot a bunch of people!"

Alternate translation: "You want to carry a gun? You must be insane. No one in his right mind wants to carry a gun. I mean, what do you need it for? This is a university, not the wild west! All you'll do with a gun is hurt yourself or shoot a professor who annoys you, anyway."

Ah, how open-minded these liberals (or "progressives") are.

Larry Elder discusses the consequences of economic growth versus the perception of it. Despite the Democrat and media drumbeat, Americans--all Americans--are rich and getting richer.

Ask a poor guy in the Philippines if he would like to be as poor as an American poor person. Or go to Zimbabwe and ask a poor guy there. Ask anyone who lives in a third-world country whether they would rather be poor where they are, or come to America and be poor here, where a poor person typically:

  • has hot and cold running water
  • has air conditioning
  • owns a car
  • has a cell phone
  • has at least one TV and access to premium programming (ie cable or satellite)
  • never misses a meal
  • etc

Statistically speaking there are virtually no people in the US who live in grinding poverty--which is to say, poverty where obtaining food and shelter are major problems. There are enough welfare programs to prevent that in most cases, and the cases where they don't typically are due to other issues--not just a lack of employment, I mean.

Finally, Nealz's Nuze. Once again it's chock-full of tidbits that are on the official Atomic Fungus Required Reading list.

He's behind the curve on the "homeless in SF" story, though. Heh. Gotta move faster, there, Neal!

#629: Going to a race? Get your shots!

Congress aides should get immunized for "hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, diphtheria and influenza" before visiting a NASCAR track.

You know, that's taking this whole elitist schtick a bit too far. "ZOMG we're going to be out among rednecks! Requisition some hazmat suits!"

According to the Democrat in charge of the House Homeland Security Committe, "the immunizations are commonly recommended for people working in hospitals, holding centers and similar locations" which is why it was "recommended" that the House staffers get them.

Earth to dipshit: your staffers aren't working in those places; they are just visiting them. The staffers aren't going to be performing procedures, handling biohazardous materials, or even dealing with patients; all they're doing is looking, watching, and taking notes.

The insinuation that a NASCAR event is somehow the equivalent of visiting a third-world country offends me, and I'm not even a NASCAR fan. What a jerk.

*

At least she's honest.

I can't amplify that without blockquoting the entire freaking article, unfortunately. But the old joke goes, "Which is cheaper, a girlfriend or a prostitute?"

This lady--if she is real--definitely fits into the latter category, whether she believes it or not. And I think the response (if real) she got is perfectly appropriate.

As an internet joke, though, the grain of truth at its core is what makes it so damn funny.

Yes I am down on women. What do you think? My last relationship went as far as engagement and was then ended because (at least in part) I wouldn't send her $300 per month. Of course I'm going to be cynical about this stuff. What do you expect?