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Thread: The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon! (---)

  1. #451
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    I liked seeing Misty and professor Oak getting involved here, plus the mirage pokemon were intriguing as well. Getting a cameo of Tracy and Elm was nice and so was seeing Pikachu's memories from past pokemon films. ^^

  2. #452
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    Ash's voice sounded hoarse here, but I was simply happy to see Prof. Oak and Misty again. Dr. Yung was a good villain too.

  3. #453
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    I kinda found it unbelievable how Mew was able to float around the mirage Pokemon and not be attacked, you think that someone with complete control of the system would not do a thing about it.

  4. #454
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    Omg, I didn't like how cruel Dr. Yung was to Mirage Mew or how he arrogantly thought of it as a flawed specimen: Mew just had its own personality. The battle between Ash and friends' Pokemon and Mirage Mewtwo was awesome tbh.

  5. #455
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesdayz View Post
    Omg, I didn't like how cruel Dr. Yung was to Mirage Mew or how he arrogantly thought of it as a flawed specimen: Mew just had its own personality. The battle between Ash and friends' Pokemon and Mirage Mewtwo was awesome tbh.
    Yung's a sociopath who can't understand the value of a living soul in Pokemon or human beings. Mew was flawed in his eyes because it wasn't a mere automaton like the rest of the Mirage Pokemon
    Favorite Generation: V
    Favorite Pokemon per generation: Mewtwo, Jirachi, Giratina, Ferrothorn, Klefki
    Favorite type: Water
    Favorite team: Plasma
    Most recent shiny: (HG Random)

  6. #456
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    I didn't like Dr. Yung's motivations in this special, nor the fact that Ash and the others had new voices. I don't even think Oak and Misty were needed in this special.

  7. #457
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    And this special shows why VA's should practice their imitations first. Brock isn't too bad but it's blatant with Ash, Misty, and May. They got better with May eventually but Misty didn't come back later so we don't know if she improved on her as well. Natochenny has at least gotten better with Ash. She'll never be Veronica Taylor though.
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  8. #458
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    I was actually advised against watching this. Not one person I’ve come across has said that it was good. But I’m a sucker for the Mew Duo, and this is Misty’s last major appearance to date. With those two things going for it, it can’t be that bad, right? Right?

    …Right?

    Let’s get this out of the way first - 4Kids didn’t exactly start their dub as a breathtaking example of quality voice acting. It took a while for them to find their groove. This being the first thing that the TCPi cast ever did, there’s a limit to how harshly one can judge them when you divorce the performances themselves from the fact that an anniversary special commissioned for the American audience is a poor choice in venue for testing out a new cast brought in to make things cheaper. And they did eventually re-dub the thing for DVD, an acknowledgement of their initial mistakes.

    I’d be curious to see the re-dub some day; the copy I had to watch was the original. And, cutting them some slack for being first-timers…it’s bad. Anyone who’s ever tried to watch a Godzilla film with the international dubs Toho prepares in Hong Kong will have seen worse dubbing, but this is still bad. The fact that TCPi’s improvements over the years have been marginal at best is also a limit on the slack I’m willing to cut them. Professor Oak’s is probably the worst voice here, emotionally flat and often sliding more into Gary territory. I’m not surprised Jamie Peacock was replaced as Ash, either. Her voice might bear more resemblance to Veronica Taylor’s Ash than what Sarah Natochenny eventually did, but there’s no energy to the performance. Whether Bill Rogers improved as Brock over the years or not is an open question; he was never that good IMO. And Misty’s voice is weak, and probably the most frustrating. Michele Knotz has done a fair Jessie over the years, and her stab at Misty comes very close to Rachel Lillis in timbre, but without any of the temper, teasing, sweetness, or life that Lillis brought to the character. Like Professor Oak’s, it’s a flat performance emotionally.

    Another technical problem with this special is the animation. I cannot for the life of me figure out why an anniversary special seems to have been given such a low budget. The Mirage Kingdom episodes of AG (to name just one example) had much higher quality than this. I would critique this animation if it popped up in a regular episode; in a special like this, it feels like a cheat. The bright backgrounds and almost pastel color palette also undermine any sense of threat or menace that Yung might have possessed.

    The pacing is off as well. If the pokefilms after a certain point lost a truly cinematic feel (for the most part), they did at least try to present their material with a bit more flair and scope than the average episode. Certain episodes try to have a bit more flair and scope than the rest. The way the story is laid out here is so…mundane. Nothing is given any sort of weight; the threat posed by Yung isn’t treated any more seriously than something a CotD or even the TRio would pull. The story itself has the glaring flaw that there’s no good reason for Yung to have invited anyone except Professor Oak to his castle. There isn’t anything in the way of a plot or an arc for Ash or anyone else; they’re basically there to witness what Yung is up to, and they don’t even stop him. Several of the films have the same problem, but not to this degree IMO, and this special doesn’t even have a CotD as a de facto protagonist. Not unless you count the Mirage Mew, which…give ‘em a point for originality, I guess.

    And the character work is irritatingly lame. Misty’s guest appearances throughout AG all made more out of her initial reveal and the group’s reaction to her. Things never went overboard in that regard, but all those moments were treated as special events. In this special, her turning up is just tossed aside. Seeing her alongside Ash and May is fun, but it doesn’t amount to anything thanks to the virtual non-existence of a role for any of them in the plot. The unique dynamic between Misty and Ash, or Misty and Brock, or Max and Brock, or Ash and Professor Oak - the well-established and entertaining dynamics between any two characters - aren’t made use of, and Max and Brock individually aren’t made use of at all.

    And then…there’s that one bit…

    So, remember how, back in the early Kanto days where Ash and Misty were just barely friends, we had “Here Comes the Squirtle Squad,” where Pikachu is sick and the Squirtles threaten to dye Misty’s hair (or kill her, if you go by the Japanese version), and Ash is super concerned for both of them, and urges Jenny to get him back to the cave faster because he’s worried about Misty, and when he reaches the cave he imagines her screaming and falling and gets all frightened? Remember that?

    Fast forward hundreds of episodes, eight movies, an hour-long special, a couple of Chronicles adventures, and lots of character development that saw Ash and Misty become best friends, with the latter definitely crushing on the former and the former possibly subconsciously doing the same. Given all that, what is Ash’s reaction to Misty falling to her apparent death?

    “Misty! Oh, wait, they’re taking Pikachu away. Pikachu! Oh, wait, there’s a not-Mew I need to talk to. Good luck, guys!”

    ********.

    I might give that moment more of a pass in other circumstances; the TRio have taken falls and been blasted off in ways that would result in certain death in a literal reality countless times. Those falls are played as cartoon comedy, and had Misty taken a plunge from a great height in that kind of a situation, I wouldn’t be so bothered that Ash didn’t have more of a reaction. But this is meant to be a dramatic moment. The possibility that Misty could be in real danger at the least is (nominally) present. Why does Ash have such a muted response?

    This special isn’t even the only instance of this problem. Such a lack of emotion regarding human jeopardy has become a chronic flaw of this anime, and it’s maddening to me that the staff doesn’t seem to regard the bonds between people and their human loved ones as being of equal importance for the characters - and the audience - as the bonds between people and their Pokemon.

    All of that said, is there anything good about Mastermind of Mirage Pokemon? Well, Professor Oak having a sweet-*** Dragonite was cool. And the basic concept of an evil scientist creating Mirage Pokemon wasn’t bad. It could easily have made a movie, and perhaps it should’ve. Executed with better animation and more emotion and scale to the storytelling, this could’ve been an excellent pokefilm, much better than Temple of the Sea IMO (which I assume it would’ve replaced). It’s just such a shame that almost everything was done wrong in the execution of this idea, and in an anniversary celebration no less. Alas, it seems TPC has made the same sort of mistake (in different aspects of production) on their next anniversary…

  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonstardust View Post
    Ash's voice sounded hoarse here
    He was voiced by Kayzie Rogers when this special first aired if I remember right, so yep his voice sounded quite strange hee hee. However this special was re-dubbed and his voice improved thankfully.

  10. #460
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Oreo View Post
    He was voiced by Kayzie Rogers when this special first aired if I remember right, so yep his voice sounded quite strange hee hee. However this special was re-dubbed and his voice improved thankfully.
    Sarah voiced him in the edited version of this special that was released with the ninth movie's DVD iirc, so I wouldn't say that it was an improvement per se lol.

  11. #461
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    Since this special was mainly a tenth anniversary present, I kind of knew ahead of time that nostalgia would be the main component. Seeing Okido-hakase, Kenji, and Kasumi again was still pleasant however, but the Mirage Pokemon subplot seemed weak. The upside was that we got to see a Mewtwo again, even though it was a fake.

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