It is done... not only is this review longer than the first PPGD review, it's also longer than the three reviews combined. And just as promised, no distractions this time. Now if you excuse me, I gotta rest for a while, I'm truly exhausted after writing this. Also, an apology for not properly responding everyone as I promised.
Well, my review has received both praise and hate, but I guess the general consensus is that I rushed the PPGD section just to watch Die Hard. I said it in the past, and I'll say it again, it was meant to be something trivial, I had no idea it would have such a negative impact, and much less that it would force me to do a second review. But seriously, think about it from my perspective, I just spent 4 straight hours in this review, you think I want to make the last, and perhaps the most important part of my review ('cause we all love PPGD) worthless? Lose all my credibility as a critic while I'm at it? In fact, if I had not written that Die Hard would start in 30 minutes, I doubt anyone would have a problem with my review, because all my points are still being addressed. I still find it odd that such a crucial part of the job depends on a robot with mental retardation, that the villains decided to execute their plan with Super Heroes in the conference, find Bell extremely boring in the fight, hate the fact that we can't focus only in Blossom or Dexter to save the audience some time, and especially the fact that we need a page where a M.I.B. agent gives the girls some glasses.
But again, I believe I disappointed everyone with that last segment, so I have decided that the only way to compensate you all is to make a second PPGD review, "biggerer and betterer" than the previous one, and this time with no distractions at all, unless you guys consider music a distraction... oh, wait, I love this part of the song! Nahhh, just kidding, that's what I love about videogames music, it can be relaxing, and most of the time they lack of lyrics, so I can focus on what I'm writing. So, let's jump in, shall we?PPGD Second Saga Review
So the first saga ended back in September 11, 2005, with Olga in the remains of Mandark's base. Then Bleedman decided to make a segment called The Forgotten in 2006, but completely abandoned the comic to focus on Grim Tales (back when I liked it). We would not see another update until 2008, but things were different. This time, it wasn't Bleedman alone, he would receive help from a writer (BeeAre), and a talented artist with great coloring skills was also involved (Seiryuga), so things were pretty promising. However, this new update was about the Forgotten, the real PPGD storyline officially continued in March 15, 2009.
So it all starts with Dexter fighting that pink monster from the cartoon, again. Too bad he is no match for it, and even with all his weapons, he is pretty much doomed. But fear not, Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup have arrived to save the day. I liked this page because it was a wise reference to the cartoon, hell, while Dexter is being consumed by the monster, he says the exact same thing he said in the cartoon (I think), so yes, I understand that most of the comedy in this comic is based on nostalgia and obvious references to the cartoons. So again, great start, I liked it, 5 pages I enjoyed. They defeat that monster, save Dexter from falling, and return to school, pretty simple, right?
Another reason I liked the introduction of this second saga is because it sets the tone correctly, a lighthearted comic with all the cartoons we all loved back in the past. Oh... wait... Dee Dee died in the last saga, which was a pretty dark segment in the story. Well, still, it's a comic for all ages, and again, it includes all those cartoons we all loved in our childhood, so it sets the tone for the comic pretty well.
I want everyone to look at this page: Link
Another great page because it's faithful to the source material, not to mention it saves us some time. Blossom is sitting with Dexter, Buttercup with all those girls, and Bubbles with Mandy and Gaz, so things haven't changed. Also, you can clearly see Billy and Ed, are they the center of attention? Of course not, they are only cameos in the page.
In the next page they introduce Olga, and judging by that cloud over her head, she's pretty pissed. Gaz and Mandy don't like her because she used to sit with them, and then abandoned them and became the best dancer at Megaville Elementary School. Bubbles is quite excited, and Olga offers her a chance to join her at the auditorium. At this point I still liked the comic.
So Bubbles forces Blossom to join her at the ballet try-outs. While she accepts (I mean, she tried out that ballet dress), Dexter isn't feeling to well, mostly because ballet reminds him of Dee Dee. It's a pretty sad moment because some scars never heal, especially when our family is involved. Just as Blossom and Dexter leave, Olga identifies him, and the lights go out. Is this a coincidence? I'll answer that in a moment. So Blossom and Dexter still want to leave, but Olga starts demanding for a genius to repair the lights, as they constantly go out. To be fair, I really didn't notice this the first time, I simply assumed that the lights truly went out, and Olga simply asked for help, which caught Dexter's attention and decided to act out of character and help her. When I wrote my first review, I wasn't aware that it was Olga the one responsible for the blackout and wanted Dexter's assistance. And yes, she is the one responsible for the blackout, because when she says that the lights are constantly failing, Bubbles says that the lights look pretty Ok, but Olga insists that's not the case, and they need someone's help. Not to mention you can see that huge exclamation mark on her head when she notices Dexter.
So by admitting that I was wrong the first time, is my whole review wrong? Well, not exactly, if anything, it reinforces my point of how pointless this whole scene was. To begin with, it pretty much ruins the emotional tone of the page. Dexter is sad, but by having a character in need for a Boy Genius, he completely forgets about Dee Dee, about the tragic past. If that was the case, then why bother setting the sad tone in this scene and have Dexter just sitting there, waiting for Blossom? You might also think that she wanted Dexter for a certain task, maybe just to tell him her last name so that he made the connection between Mandark and Olga, but I can't help but think "what if?". Let's explore this scenario carefully, shall we?
1. What if Blossom didn't go with Dexter to the backstage? How would Olga tell him her last name? Just shouting it while he is upstairs? Wait, I guess not, as it's plain evident that Dexter can't hear anyone. Seriously, look at Blossom's speech balloon when he is upstair, you can't read a thing, so it's obvious that Dexter wouldn't hear her.
2. What if Blossom forgot her last name?
3. What if they weren’t in the mood of talking about Olga, and just focused in the lights and the science project.
"Fortunately" none of this happens, Olga, Blossom and Dexter go to the backstage and... wait? What? Oh yeah, that huge explosion, was there a bomb? Was Olga planning to kill Dexter by placing a bomb there? Wait, I guess not, she's in a very vulnerable position and could be caught in the middle of the explosion, unless she is planning to avenge her brother at all cost, but... ughhh... maybe I'm just putting a lot of thought into this, but seriously, that whole scene was just pointless from my point of view. Nothing happened and Dexter went out of character thanks to his ego. I ask again, why bother setting the emotional tone if you guys are going to ignore it immediately, and why bother having Olga asking for Dexter? Just because we needed Blossom to learn Olga's last name? Then why bother setting the whole emotional tone to begin with? Because Bubbles looks like Dee Dee? Is this even relevant to the plot? Oh wait, I guess it is because Dexter makes a comment when Bubbles is fighting against those robot bugs in the conference, but if that's the case, is that even relevant to the fight? Did you guys were discussing back in 2008 - 2009 and someone came to the conclusion that it would be cool if very early in this second saga Dexter made a connection between Dee Dee and Bubbles, and then in the middle of the fight that would occur MUCH LATER he would make this connection again? WHY?!? What will this achieve?!?
Ok, that whole act is finally over, we can finally proceed to a different segment, this time it's Buttercup and Jack in the Kendo class. Since I'm starting from zero again, I decided not to include any argument from BR in this new post, but I will make an exception this time:
Buttercup becoming MORE enamored by Jack is not a change? Buttercup realizing Jack looks like her father? And this is not in some way useful to approaching her character? Do people change really easily? Do you want the characters to, every two pages, kill off a character so we can have eternal bounding angst?
Enamored is defined like this: "To inspire with love; captivate". We all know that Buttercup has a crush on Jack, but we all see this as platonic, it will never happen. If you actually see this as a possible relationship for both characters, then yes, you are wrong. Is this truly a useful approach for her character? It might be character development, there’s no doubt about that, but there are two problems with it, this was established in the first saga, we know all we need to know about these two and their “relationship”, and even if this is character development, it ends up being pretty unimportant because there’s a huge difference between “love” and “teachings”. I believe you want to establish that what really matters is what Jack will teach to Buttercup, but this is not the best way to do it. So again, let’s analyze this scene, Buttercup is in the Kendo class, and beats the living shit out of every character present (Chowder, Jimmy, Flapjack), so Jack stops her, finds her attitude unacceptable, and demands Professor Utonium to go and talk with him. How is this supposed to teach Buttercup that being calmed and collected is a better solution than using brute force? How about Jack asking for volunteers to fight against him, Buttercup decides to fight against him, and she is no match for the man. Jack then explains her all the flaws in her technique, and that’s it. Pretty simple, we just avoided watching Buttercup trying science and cooking because this is a direct message from her Sensei, and being unable to match her opponent’s skills, it is obvious that she has a lot to learn.
Anyways, so Jack receives Utonium at his office, and I gotta be honest, did you actually expected us to think that Jack looking like Utonium would have an effect on Buttercup? It was a pretty intelligent reference, because both characters have lots of similarities, but other than that, it's far from important in the story, it's just a joke. So Bubbles is still in the ballet try-outs, and Blossom reveals Olga's last name, much to Dexter's surprise, and the chapter ends.
Perhaps I was a bit too harsh in my first review towards this chapter, so I decided to check the FIRST CHAPTER of PPGD and see what went wrong. To begin with, the first chapter establishes that the Powerpuff Girls are no longer in Townsville, which implies that a new chapter in their lives will begin. When they introduce themselves as Super Heroes, everyone laughs at them, so again, they aren't famous like they were in Townsville. Dexter introduces himself and fights against Buttercup. Being no match for him (mostly because he caught her off guard), Blossom and Bubbles help her and they start a fight. I guess Dexter is victorious, however, Jack appears just in time and tells them to stop this. Before the chapter closes, we get to see Professor X and Bell. Notice that they are in the roof, where no one can see them, and thanks to his overall evil design, and the fact that there is a giant armed robot with him, it establishes that they are the villains, and he has knowledge of the Powerpuff Girls. I may be giving Bleedman too much credit, but this is a great introduction because he presents the four main characters in the story, establishes a completely new setting with characters from different cartoons, and at the same time introduces the villains, both Professor X and Bell.
In this new chapter of PPGD, although faithful to the original first saga, it's pretty much the exact same. If I have to be honest, the only "important" aspect in the story so far is Olga's introduction, the rest is pretty much the same we saw back in the first saga, only a bit more boring because they gave a lot of focus to certain sections that didn't really deserve it, and we already know all the main characters, but again, this is only the first chapter, the calm before the storm. Pretty calmed... eh?
So, after almost 5 years, Bell finally appears! Applause!
So she's in the moon with Gir, and receive a message from Professor X. There's a giant sand clock, which Bell must activate. I guess they are testing a weapon, or maybe they are already executing part of the plan. Whatever the case is, this seems pretty important, Bell activates that giant sand clock with the voice command, hides, and we get to see a giant fucking explosion... or something. Whatever it was, it was pretty big, and then the sand clock disappears. Bell lost the space suits, and asks Gir to find them. We get a series of flashbacks that show how Bell really feels thanks to the fact that she lacks of friends. I thought Gir was more than enough... I don't know, maybe Mandark visited her or something when he was alive, and now that he is gone, she is truly alone. Would prefer a flashback of Bell with Mandark instead. Suddenly, Naga appears and offers his friendship, or something.
Actually, I got a funny story in here. Decided to watch Seiryuga UStreaming, and he was reading my review while chatting with me. Well, at least the Sugar Bits and the PPGD review. I remember mentioning Naga as a Mary Sue pretty early in the review, so I was kinda of nervous about his reaction towards this accusation. Seriously, I even told him "sorry for saying that, didn't meant to offend you", and expected the worst. He was actually pretty nice, and while he defended his character, we had a good time discussing. So, is Naga a Mary Sue? I'll deal with this in a moment, we got a story to criticize in here.
So Naga introduces himself, is curious about Gir, and Bell immediately attacks him. Naga is behind her and praises her attack, but not before Bell attacks him again. Naga is once again behind her, unharmed, and finally presents himself. Bell doesn't cares about him, but he then gives her the lost spacesuit. She finally communicates with Professor X, Gir throws a rock towards Naga's head, but the rock just passes through his head, and Bell freaks out. Alright, now we can start talking about Naga.
So when the character was introduced, it received much hate from the fans, but why? Well, I can only blame it on his horrible introduction. So Bell just activated this giant fucking thing in the moon, and is sad. The character appears out of nowhere, which is not a good signal, especially if we just happen to be in the moon, and despite the fact that he got attacked by Bell (a character who is far superior than Blossom) TWICE, he is unharmed. In fact, you could even say he is toying with Bell. Just read the dialogue:
Naga: That's awfully impressive, but don't you think--
Bell: HOW DID YOU DO THAT?!
Naga: I didn't...
"I didn't"? WHAT?!? How can you do that and at the same time don't... oh God, I need a beer. So anyways, he introduces himself with quite a fancy title, something that might be important in the character's respective universe, but in here it's just some information I just don't care about, but I assume that by the fancy title he is royalty or something, and then gives Bell the spacesuit she just lost. Gir kicks a rock and this rock passes through his head, again, he is left unharmed. Can anyone please tell me a flaw in his character? Again, he can easily dodge Bell's attacks, is a pretty nice kid, and is invincible. "Invincible you say? Just because a rock didn't harm him?". Well, that's pretty much the purpose of the scene, otherwise, why would Gir kick the rock? Is he a ghost? Is he even real? Again, I wouldn't blame it on the fans for the lukewarm reception Naga received, and more in the way he was introduced. Why not have Bell like in a military base, checking the moon, we see a giant explosion and she tells her father that the device has been activated, then Naga appears. She doesn't attacks him, he simply introduces himself, Bell is forced to leave and that's it? It wouldn't establish so many positive aspects from Naga, you know, like in this teaser:Link
I'll say that he isn't a Mary Sue because at this moment, he isn't important for the story (at least right now), and his appearance is more like something random. But again, the character is way too perfect for his own sake, main reason almost everyone hated him back in 2010. I still don't like him, and seriously hope that in his next appearance he is toned down, and we can see him in a more vulnerable position. Don't want to sound impatient or anything, but at this point in the story I'm already bored, as nothing is really happening. Oh, yeah, forgot about Bell's melancholy in the moon. Is this even relevant to the plot? While I offered a better solution towards those flashbacks which I just found odd, I can't help but feel that her character being sad was just pointless. Not only don't we explore this again, in her second and current appearance in the story, she's only there to execute Professor's X operation. He said something about Doomsday, so I guess it's pretty big. But I gotta stress, why bother developing a character if that won't matter in the story. I'm not even sure if you guys understand that even if you develop a character, it can end up as random and unimportant in the end. In fact, we could skip that whole emotional moment and introduce Naga immediately, and we wouldn't feel any difference. In fact, we could skip the whole operation in the moon, and I sure as hell wouldn't feel anything is missing in the plot.
We have returned to Earth, and both Jack and Utonium have decided that it would be the best if Buttercup takes care of Courage. Again... why? The only important piece of information I got from this whole scene is when Blossom tells her sisters that Dexter was a different person after they met Olga. This actually is something pretty important, because, while you ruined a pretty emotional moment back in the auditorium, this could easily fix it by not making it a flashback, and actually have a scene where Blossom leaves Dexter at his place and he leaves without saying "bye" or anything. I mean, at least I find it more important than Buttercup being forced to watch over Courage. Ironically, the fans also find themselves as a part of Buttercup's punishment because we are forced to see her in ridiculous outfits, trying a new hobby in order to calm her stress. Couldn't Bleedman just try some fanart of this and post it in his DeviantArt, and keep it separated from the main plot? I gotta stress, why is this important to the plot? Other than the fanart, can anyone take this seriously? At this point I'm actually getting pretty impatient because all the story elements introduced seem to be highly unrelated to each other, and overall unimportant.
Again, I'll have to carefully explore one of the moments I hate the most in this second saga, the picnic in the beach. So everyone thinks it's a good idea to go to the beach and relax, you know, because they couldn't do something as simple as this Link
Oh no, if you thought the first chapter of this new saga was slow, just wait for this! I think this is the right moment to talk about Olga, because at this point I'm actually tired of her. So I talked with Seir, and he told me that including Olga in this saga was essential, something I agree with. Why is she essential you ask? Well, at the end of the first saga, you can clearly see her in the remains of Mandark's base, so it pretty much establishes that she will have an important role in this second saga. The main problem with this is that her character has nothing to offer in this story. She is just a talented dancer, THAT'S IT. She doesn't wants to avenge her brother, so far they haven't attempted to make a love triangle between Dexter, Olga and Blossom, so again, why have her in the story? Just because she appeared at the end of the first saga? Well, if that's the case why not put some thought into her character? I said it in the past and I will fucking repeat it, you could literally replace Olga with any other character from any cartoon, and it would have little to no impact in the story. So what if we skip Dexter's emotional scenes after he learns her last name? Do those scenes have an effect in the story?
Has anyone watched Ricky 1? It's a pretty lame parody movie of Rocky (duhhh), you can actually see the AVGN review in here Link
But if you are too busy having a life, I will resume the whole review to you, it's a horrible movie with many cheap jokes and that most of the movie has nothing to do with Rocky. Now, I'm not saying that this comic is horrible... well, I hate it this second saga, but by no means I'm saying it's the worst thing I've seen in my life. Anyways, near the end of the movie, it finally starts resembling Rocky, we finally get a training montage, a fight, hell, there's even a theme song. But at this point, I no longer care about the movie, I gave up a long time ago (quoting the AVGN). I can pretty much see myself in his position, because at this point, I no longer care about Olga. You can blame it on the slow updates, but the real flaw is how horribly paced this story is, and how they decided to make the story long and quite fucking boring. Oh, and because I'm saying "fucking boring", I don't mean it as a personal offense, but I like to express myself this way. Hell, most of the first part in my review lacked of any swearing, I need a fucking break! Perhaps the worst thing in this trip to the beach is that we don't receive any closure, was there any purpose to it? There might be a purpose to it, but in the current circumstances, I doubt it has any effect on us. Seriously, we are in the middle of a fight, so what could we achieve by finally closing (2 years late) this part of the comic? The love triangle they teased on that poster? Wait, is the story actually going to continue AFTER the conference fight?
So Mandy and Bubbles are discussing different versions of what truly happened in the beach, leaving the audience wondering, and then Dib appears. He asks for Bubbles' help because Gaz is out of batteries. I can only assume he was responsible for this, and now is paying the consequences of it. But fear not, XJ-9 is here to rescue the day. She gives Gaz a pair of batteries, and Bubbles uses expository dialogue to explain the audience XJ-9's role in this universe. While this is something acceptable in both movies and comics, I still find her introduction way longer than it should be (seriously? a robot version of Bubbles?). So Bubbles is incredibly excited because it appears that Jenny is world famous, and invites her home. I guess I judged her introduction unfairly, as it serves as an excuse to present Mrs. Wakeman, and at the same time they explain that she is being honored, which pretty much sets the whole conference conflict. But I insist, did XJ-9 needs an introduction? Literally, her only purpose in the story is to be used as a gate so that all the bad guys get an entrance. No, she does not need an introduction. Especially if this conference is to honor Mrs. Wakeman, I mean, it's kinda of obvious that Jenny would be there for her mother, so seriously, what gives? You want to make her role a bit more tragic? For a character you just introduced? O...k? Seriously, she’s just a plot device, even if she survives this whole invasion, she shouldn’t have an introduction, at least not this long, and much less in Megaville Elementary? How about a proper introduction in the conference, while Wakeman is being honored? I… I just… ughhh… why?
Again, I said I was going to avoid quoting BR, but I'll make a second exception.
The ballet, the science fair, Buttercup's cooking, all of these things were picked by design to offer the characters different thematic reasons for attending this big science meet. That's what the chapter was doing--setting up the characters' positions at this meet.
I don't want to sound rude, but did we seriously had to endure ALL THAT to set the characters in this conference? Guess I was wrong in the end, these stories were truly related in the end, too bad that it took over a year to place them in here, and in the end, all the stuff we saw has nothing to do with the fight itself. And shit, if the parents of these characters are hosting the event, why not save us some time and have their kids assisting the event because their parents told them to? You know, instead of placing all these highly unrelated stories in the same place for no apparent reason other than "it works!". Jenny is there, Bubbles is her fan so if Jenny told her to go, I can assure you she would. The Science fair is being hosted in the same place, so it also makes sense that Blossom and Dexter assist (notice that this was established when the second saga started), and Buttercup could be there, just chilling. Instead... we got this...
So Samantha is in the conference with Gir, obviously planning something. I insist, a crucial part of the plan depends on Gir? You know, a robot with mental retardation who usually screws everything up? And the villains are counting on him to put that device on Jenny and activate a portal which will be their entrance? *sigh* Whatever. So the portal opens, and these giant robots and Bell are the first ones to exit it. They immediately attack everyone. No negotiations, no nothing, that robot shot missiles straight at the audience for no apparent reason, I guess they are allowed to shoot first and ask questions later. You could also say that... wait a second... is that Mimi? What the fuck is she doing in this comic?!? Ahhh fuck it, I have more important things to look at than just a mindless cameo.
As I was saying, they attack the audience immediately, no negotiations or anything. Some robot yells that the Cluster needs both Victims, Slaves and Food. But it is obvious that they must use a smaller version of the Sand Clock Bomb for... something. I gotta stress, imagine that the whole moon sequence never existed, would it have an effect in the story so far? I'm still wondering what's the purpose of that device, not to mention they could use some expository dialogue of how they already used it in the moon, saving us some time. To this moment, Bell's melancholy and Naga's appearance are so unrelated to the story, it pains me to think those scenes were actually written in a script and in storyboards. Also, I gotta stress, why do it when all these characters are present? Professor X is aware of the Powerpuff Girls, so why not do it a day before the conference? Is that a bomb? Will it explode, killing all the humans in here? Then why plant it when there are so many factors that could interfere in this moment? Are they going to steal something? I ask you the exact same question. Was it a coincidence and they had to do it the exact same day? Then how about this? Kidnap XJ-9 or get another robot who can also open the portal, start the invasion in another place expecting little to no resistance so that the Super Heroes leave the conference and fight the Cluster over there, and have Bell fight on her own in the conference against the M.I.B. agents, in the end, they are no match for her. But for whatever reason, no thought was put into this, and they decided that we needed this huge battle. Great job Professor X, you sacrificed being a good father for this, and forgot the most important part of it, EXPECT NO RESISTANCE AT ALL!
So Bell and that robot guy are talking, and Olga hears their conversation. They notice her presence, and the Cluster robot, or whatever he is, is about to kill her. I guess she wasn't a villain after all, but again, this proves that I'm correct, and her character is just unnecessary in this story because she has nothing to offer. Ironically, I found the April's Fool prank you guys pulled on us way more interesting because at least if offered a new perspective and challenge to the characters. Much to my dismay, it was an actual prank, and the story continued. Why have Monkey in this fight? His appearance didn't change the tides of the fight, and to makes matter worse, he accepted that robot's challenge in the sky, so again, why is Monkey relevant to the fight? Oh, wait, it isn't. Notice that Dexter carries Olga and refuses to let her go, I can only assume something happened in the beach, but again, is this going to change the tides of the fight? Two more than vulnerable humans with no super powers trying to escape while the Super Heroes try to stop the villains. Why not focus on the Super Heroes?
So this fight is pretty boring because we still have no idea who the main character is. Wait, all of them? What?!? I've said it in the past, why not focus on a single character's perspective, in this case, Blossom? The fight starts, she immediately fights Bell, saves Olga, follows Bell, and the plot advances at A MUCH MORE ACCEPTABLE PACE. Instead, we need to focus on Samantha against Jack, Monkey, Dexter, Olga, even Bell. Don't you guys know what priorities are? Oh, and I love how all the stuff that happened before the conference is completely irrelevant and far from important. So Blossom gets a pair of glasses, Bell also steals those glasses, Buttercup goes against her senseis advice and decides to use brute force against that giant robot thing, and at this point I already gave up in the comic, I'm watching it more like an obligation. You know, like with the Star Wars prequels, you just want them to be over, you've been scammed twice, so why not just fucking end with it.
Ughhh... Craig McCracken, Phineas, Ferb and Isabella cameos, a horrible, horrible joke of Courage trying to guide the scientists to a safe place. Do I even need to explain why I hate those pages? So Courage decides to stay and fight the bugs, Bubbles rushes to help him. Dexter and the scientists try to open the door, but nothing happens, so Dexter needs some "muscle" in order to open it, and goes for Bubbles, and that's the story so far...