Based on the American cartoon, "The Powerpuff Girls."
Professor Utonium and his son Ken are studying the strange Chemical X. When a mochi cake falls into the formula, it changes into Chemical Z. Ken fires a ray of Chemical Z at a glacier in Tokyo Bay, however that causes strange black and white lights to scatter. The black lights turn its victims into monsters, with emphasis on a black light hitting a zoo monkey and transforming him into Mojo Jojo.
The white lights, however, aim at three normal girls, Momoko, Miyako, and Kaoru. This gives them the power to transform into superheroes, the Powerpuff Girls Z!
The United States is constantly getting bashed for producing horrible adaptations and ripoffs of other countries' shows, movies, etc. Many times these criticisms are justified and the American version truly was shit. Other times the the US version is judged unfairly by people who never even saw it. Today's review is an example of a shitty adaptation of an American cartoon. Have you ever wished that some country would take a beloved US cartoon and do to it what the Yanks did to "The Wicker Man?" This is that cartoon!
The original Power Puff girls was a popular US cartoon during the animation bubble of
the 1990s. During the 90s, nearly every channel on American TV had a Saturday morning cartoon lineup and over 200 American cartoons were airing in any given year of that decade. In 2015 only 2 channels on US TV are airing cartoons and their are no more than 20 current American cartoons. This was a double edged sword because while the total number of awesome cartoon series was much higher during the 1990s, the average quality was actually lower. There were some BAD cartoons in the 1990s like the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter cartoons made by the USA Channel that would never pass current expectations of quality.
Power Puff Girls (same writers as 4chan's beloved MLP) was one of the top tier or roughly top 10 percent cartoons of the 90s decade.
So what did the original do well?
1. It featured cute character designs that paid homage to and parodied anime, which was a fairly new concept in the US.
2.It had lots of action, much of which was also heavily anime inspired. One of the early fights between Blossom and Princess was directly taken from the first Goku vs. Vegeta fight from DBZ!
3. Power Puff had MUCH younger and more "hip" writers that knew how to make pop culture references that actually hit home for the current generation. An example would be when they did a hilarious spoof on the then brand new 1998 Zelda game "Ocarina of Time" and Navi's extreme obnoxiousness. This was the decade when we had many shows with octogenarian writers like Hey Arnold, Doug, and others making constant references to Peter Lorre, Frank Sinatra, Mickey Mantel, and other 1950s pop culture jokes! Kids literally had to watch with their GRANDPARENTS to get the pop culture jokes in those shows! Power Puff was one of the first US cartoons written by younger writers in their 20s and early 30s for a young audience of kids and teens.
4. It didn't just patronize kids and offered some moral complexity and occasional witty writing instead of REALLY stupid PSA commentaries.
5. It could occasionally be surprisingly dark and wasn't afraid to push boundaries, but it also knew not to take itself TOO seriously and kept a balanced tone.
6. It actually had pretty good music and excellent animation for an American TV cartoon of its time.
7. It was freaking funny! My elder cousin would watch this show with me when he babysat me and my brother. He was a tough guy who was on his college's rugby team and was a bar bouncer and even he laughed his ass off!
Damashita Power Puff Girls Z and why it DIDN'T work!:
1. The Art Design: The character models are changed to be more realistic and less cutesy. This is a show for little kids! What's wrong with cutesy?! The girls in the anime version are WAY too oversexualized and it gives this show a very creepy, pedo vibe. These girls are in KINDERGARTEN for fuck sake! The redesigns of the villains are also just stupid as hell!
2. The Animation: PPG Z is 10 years newer than the original PPG and the animation is FAR worse. Of course this was animated by God Damn Toei, so you know exactly what to expect! The last popular American cartoon that had as low quality animation as 2000s decade Toei was the first few seasons of Ninja Turtles in the mid 1980s!
3. The Writing: Remember how I said the original PPG had generally good writing and was very pop culture savvy? PPG Z has NONE of that! PPG Z makes every character unbearably annoying, takes itself too seriously at times when it shouldn't, and has jokes that either fall flat or induce serious cringing. The Rowdy Rough boys peeing on people? Seriously?! Who green lights this shit!?
4. The Entertainment Value: The original PPG was a fun show that even older audiences like parents could watch with their kids and enjoy. PPG Z is about as entertaining as having your fingernails ripped off one by one. Even for little kids this shit isn't entertaining!
5. The Retcons: An adaptation is free to change things like background, time, etc. However, the changes made here were overwhelmingly for the worse. In the original show the girls were born with super powers and like Superman had to learn how to live among normal people. This was done in an interesting way and provided both laughs and some introspection. In PPG Z the girls are normal students that transform into heroes and are basically like every Magical Girl ever made! The villain backgrounds are changed and none of them are as amusing or creative. The setting is changed to Japan, but doesn't take advantage of this change by integrating any elements of Japanese culture or giving a REASON for the change. It is just a ripoff PPG that happens to be set in Japan for some reason.
I can now finally understand the anger that British people feel when watching the American versions of Top Gear! This was just PAINFUL to sit through! Even by the 1990s low standards of a kid's show and assuming I hadn't seen the original it would STILL be a terrible fucking show! This is one the worst adaptations of a children's movie or show I have ever seen! I think that giving it a rating of "2" is being generous!
I was a big PPG fan while it aired back normally on CN. So hearing that my much loved animated series was getting an anime series was great news to me. However after watching the anime series I was greatly dissappointed at how much they downplayed it.
Story: 6 The storyline was fair to me. Changes of course had to be done, but the amount of changes were a little to much for my tastes.
The main dissapointment was just how weak they made the heroines powers. Having yoyo's and barrettes made PPG go from a age-less great show, to a kiddy show in
Art : 10 If there was one thing I really loved about this series, was the art style. It looked like a anime, but still retained the overall PowerPuff look. Colors were bright and indeed colorful. It was something pleasent to see.
Sound: 5 Don't judge me too much by sound, this is my not my strongest review point. However the songs weren't too memorable or wouldn't be going in my album of anime songs.
Character: 7 One of the things that most dissappointed me asides from story. Half of the characters were so different in personailty and overall then to the original series that it annoyed me alot. The one who most bothered me was RowdyRuff Boys and Sedusa as for villains. Sedusa looked horrible in design, and the boys were changed completly.
Enjoyment: 6 I must admit at first I was excited, but as the episodes passed by, my excitement went diminishing.
Overall: 7 Overall this could have been a really great show with a very large following then it has, if only they would have made it as original as the actual original.
In a nutshell it was ok. After seeing the whole thing you can see how they stayed true to the original series, partially. They kept the old villains looks, personalities, and motives the same but also introduced some of their own to mix it up.
What bothered me the most were some of the cliches and overall placement of....well everything.
Complicated problems are solved within seconds, Professor Utonium has always built some new invention right on time in order to save the day, and they cram things that should span episodes into about 5 minutes.
Everything seemed small scaled, even the girls powers which if
you knew the original show they were quite a destructive force. But now its just "Ill steal these bananas then take over the world" or "I'll get this boy to like me". Things dont really pick up until the end.
The overall feeling you get from the entire series is that it's filler and its true, you could remove over half the episodes and still keep what little continuity it had.
Even fans of the original PPG will find it hard to watch. I'd recommend it if you are 14 or under.
So I know what the first comments are going to be, it’s a Powerpuff Girls knockoff. And to that, I would say yes and no. This is a slightly different story as the girls were not created with sugar, spice, and everything nice with a toxic element, but were normal school girls given powers. Yes, they made the Powerpuff Girls into an actually magical girl story with secret identities and such. They even have a ‘transformation’ sequence as the girls turn into superheroes.
Let me go over the storyline, and just to let you know, I only saw the English one so if the Japanese is
different (Thank god first off if it is) then I haven’t been able to see it. So, the story is that Professor Utonium and his young son Ken were playing around with chemical X, and ended up stabilizing it with a porkbun into chemical Z. When strange weather threatens the world, Ken is quick to shoot chemical Z into an iceberg even before testing it. This sends out black and white Z rays. The black ones hitting many different items and people to make them into ‘evil’ forms of themselves, and the white Z rays hit 3 girls who go to the same school but didn’t know each other really as they protected three kids playing games. These girls turn into the Powerpuff Girls and the creatures turned into their enemies.
This storyline brings up more questions then answers as why a porkbun ended up stabilizing a chemical in the first place, why the z rays turned into two different forms (Though they slightly give a answer to this, it doesn’t make much sense still), and just how the hell the girls got powers from what the children were playing with at the time. Let me explain, Bubbles got a weapon that was a Yoyo from a kid playing with one, Bubbles got a bubble wand from protecting a kid blowing bubbles…. And Buttercup got a hammer from a kid playing with a Daruma Otoshi. For those who have no idea what that is, it is a old game where you stack up pieces and try to knock them out of the tower from top to bottom without letting the pieces fall over. I guess they had to figure out some sort of attack for Buttercup.
So let’s see if there personalities make up for the strange storyline… Blossom’s personality is a really annoying and overly whinny. She isn’t like the cool leader in the original show and pretty much made her a nerd that’s into comics and superheroes. She just feels like they exaggerated the worst out of her. The Blossom I remember from the American version was a nerd but book smart, not an over dramatic Superhero lover. Bubbles is way too ditsy as though they took the idea of her being blond to a whole another level. At least with the American version she had the aspect of them being kindergarteners but it’s a different story when the characters are middle school level. Then it just feels like they should know better. Anyway, she grew up in a very traditional Japanese traditional household with her grandmother and a strict background though somehow she has become really into fashion. The only one that seems to be right is Buttercup in that she is the most tomboyish of the group, not really interested in the girly style. Want to know why Blossom and Bubbles wanted to be superheroes? Its not because of wanting to protect the city, its because they want to protect the store Blossom gets her snacks and Bubbles get her outfits… even the original girls were not that conceded. Though they end up wanting to protect everything else later on, they just still end up selfish with their bickering of who is the leader, the concept that when they are at the lab, they can do whatever they please and eat whatever they want, watch whatever they want and so on.
The other thing about this show is that there are a lot of odd transitions. Here is a example, Mojo Jojo is taking over New Townsville (Like it wouldn’t have just been as easy to call it Townsville? It has the same dopey mayor and Miss Bellum.) by throwing little preschoolers into a cage and stealing their candy and the Powerpuff Girls go to take him down. In the middle of the battle, the whole group stops, including the mayor and Miss Bellum who are watching the fight, just to have some ice cream. Talk about a face palm moment. I just feel like my brain is melting because of how stupid this show is half the time and yet I chose to take a look at it on my own. I was a big fan of the original but this show just makes me feel stupid. Can I mention that the story also revolves around them keeping their power a secret from everyone but the professor, his son, their talking dog (I’m not getting into that), the mayor, and Miss Bellum. They always have to make a excuse to leave the classroom, and instead of saying they have to save the world which these countless important people could clarify, the girls say they have a stomachache or they have heartburn of the brain or something even more stupid then that. I would think the teachers would actually tell them no after a while. If the mayor knows and appointed them as heroes, then the whole town should probably know including the school. Something like a mayor order that when people are in trouble, they can go save the day or something. Do we really need these lame excuses? It even goes as far as their teacher wanting to give them more homework because of it so that just seems to be doing the opposite of what they should do. There was even a episode where the principle said that if they left their test, they would be kicked out of school so the professor and his son had to end up saving the day… which the whole matter could probably have been taken care of if they actually told the school everything.
The artwork is actually rather good though very bubbly. Practically everything feels plastic and way to shinny. Actually, the whole anime feels like it’s made for small children and yet a couple of the jokes are ones children won’t understand. I just…. Ugg. It’s sad because the artwork looks so nice and fluid with bright colors, much like a comedy should. Even the outfits they wear have a bit more of a design to them instead of just a dress that looks like a moomoo that was so prevalent in the original. So why can’t they just have this artwork and keep to the well made script.
There are two opening that I listened to. The first being the England version that just sounds like they made a strange instrumental version of what they thought it should be. The other was a really good Japanese version that was really good. So good that I wonder why they didn’t keep it for the episodes. They played the Japanese in episode 21 but more on that later. The English script is so comedic that it’s hard to even understand what the hell is going on. The whole thing is just a big joke. There is just so much stuff crammed into one show that makes no sense. Sometimes there is a moral to the show but then other times they seem to just cram something in like ‘don’t eat to much candy’ or ‘sometimes its good to take a break’ but then they have nothing else about it. It’s just thrown in to be a lesson but it has no base for the whole show The voices are not that bad though, just slightly annoying. The ending songs seem to almost always be different for some reason which makes me wonder just why it is like that. The show isn’t that great that they could put that much more time into having each ending be different, I think I counted like 5 different endings they used. There are a lot of things they could have done to make it better and not waste money on the endings.
Now when I got to episode 21, there was a change to the soundtracks. They had the original Japanese opening, and a rather catchy transformation song that sounded so much better. I think the transformation song was Japanese because it had the Japanese pronunciations to their names. This was close to a godsend for me because it was better then what they had placed before. At least it was a little bit more bearable to watch. Sadly, this only happened for one episode and then they went back to stupidity, even going as far as calling Takoyaki a pastry puff. For crying out loud, the place that was making them had octopus on it. What Pastry Puff bakery would have an octopus on their sign? There are other cultural differences that just made this hurt to watch. It feels like it was mostly done by 4kids and not Catroon Network the way they re-dubbed it.
There was one point that I thought was going to save this anime. Episode 46 had a rather intense fight scene with the ‘leading’ enemy,HIM (though he really does not show up much and is normally easy to take out with just a bit of cold), and the girls learning more of how to fight with there weapons. Weapons they have had for the last 46 episodes mind you (and yes, I am counting the one they only had them for a brief time). They should have figured this out before hand but oh well, they wanted to put 46 episodes of filler into the show so by all means, don’t let me stop you. Anyway, they do a really good fight and just when I think they are going to take the show serious, we get the next episode where sadly, it feels like another filler! It is pretty much Mojo Jojo takes a holiday with the girl’s teacher, Miss Keane, who Mojo has a large crush on. Oh ya, I didn’t mention that in any this whole review, huh? That’s because it’s only touched like three times in the span of this show. Just like they only do one episode of where Mojo Jojo is ‘mother’ to the Rowdyruff Boys Z, the girl’s polar opposites. Then the boys vanish from sight till their next time they fight the girls. Every time you see Mojo’s ‘lair’ the boys are no where to be found so I have no clue where they live.
Overall, if you want something that numbs your brain, this might be for you but I know for sure, I didn’t like it. It felt like I was watching something that was for a much younger audience even if some of the jokes were more adult.
While America sees plenty of anime on its shores, you might be surprised at how many American shows make it to Japan. From on-screen comic book heroes, to cult classic flicks, these 11 American shows and films have some "interesting" anime adaptations.