Can I just say that “Princess Karaoke” may be the single best episode title in the entire franchise? I'm a fan of good episode titles and it's a terribly overlooked area of improvement the dub has over the Japanese. The Japanese title of this episode translates to “Sleeping Tyrant! Shogungekomon!” Not only is that boring, it also gives away the amusing twist at the end of this amusing episode. Japanese titles almost always give away major evolutions and plot twists. Dub episode titles are often puns or clever references to things such as beloved Miyazaki films. Tamers was actually pretty big on quoting Shakespeare.
It's an amusing episode, yes, but character motives are terribly stretched out, bordering not so much on being out-of-character but on the inability to think with any degree of clarity. To recap the episode- Demidevimon tells Gekomon and Otamamon that Mimi's singing will help them revive their master, Mimi finds reasons to not sing and is spoiled rotten until Tai and Joe show up. After much arguing, a bad dream and some bed chatter from Sora, Mimi decides to sing and wakes up Shogungekomon... who promptly gets pissed off and goes on a rampage. MetalGreymon puts him back to sleep. The end.
So let's count the stupid moves: Demidevimon's plan hinges on Mimi going full diva on the unsuspecting Gekomon, despite it being entirely possible for Mimi to sing the song on the first try and get away from those freaks- all very sincere gestures and crest uppers. Mimi's stalling could not possibly have been intentional at first: there was no way she knew they would spoil her to that extent. Yet the Gekomon are so desperate to wake Shogungekomon that they totally cave in, going so far as to redecorate their home. Palmon blindly goes along for the ride without questioning it, which she has never done before. Sora also decides that rather to simply announce her presence, she would rather sneak into a guarded castle at night to visit its resident princess, dashing out to make Mimi think it was a dream. And after endearing themselves to the Gekomon by waking their beloved master (the reason they doted on Mimi so much), the digidestined promptly knock his ass out again. Everybody took their stupid pills today.
The funny thing is that Mimi playing the spoiled princess and refusing to leave is 100% justified. The important thing to remember is that as far as the digidestined were aware, there was no imminent threat to the Digital World. Tai's gone, the band has broken up and everybody's left to carve out their own living. She's got a pretty sweet gig here, so she actually raises the same argument Joe made after Devimon's defeat: why leave when we can live safely and comfortably here? By this point, she's gotten carried away with it and so entrenched that she's not listening to reason. Not that Tai used reason: he didn't once mention that there is, in fact, an imminent threat to both worlds. That's pretty important as their argument basically was “leave your ideal world for no reason and join us two wild and crazy guys- we have a swan boat that can't fit all of us comfortably!”
Palmon was particularly off in this episode for not realizing Mimi's ploys and getting swept up in the lifestyle too easily. She made up for it with her spoiled brat line, but she was disappointing. And Sora's shtick is getting really old fast, especially when you think about what she had to do to get into Mimi's room at night.
It's a silly and fun episode with plenty of comic moments like Tai and Joe attempting to sing or all this setting up Shogungekomon waking up... only to have him cranky and desperate for some coffee. But everybody's way off their game today, and we've got a major villain debuting in only a couple episodes. Do better.
My Grade: C
- What's with Tai, Joe, Agumon and Gomamon talking in unison so much? They do it several times early on, sometimes involving long, complex sentences. And nobody calls jinx.
- The Gekomon and Otamamon consistently call Shogungekomon “Shogunmon” throughout the episode. Consistently. The easier fix would have just been to change the analyzer screen.
- So not only does Sora manage to sneak into Mimi's 'boudoir,' but she also somehow knows what kind of nightmare Mimi is having.
- It's probably better for the episode's theme that Mimi finally sings in her most sincere form (default clothes, lights, disco ball, etc.), but it's her big performance. Why not go all out?
- In the dub, Mimi's song changes from her first performance to her final one. Her first one is actually kinda catchy. Her second is a regurgitation of the lesson she learned.
- Media Bonus (Or perhaps Maeda Bonus?)! In the Japanese version, Mimi sings the first ending “I Wish.” It's sort of a cheap plug to illustrate that Mimi's Japanese voice actress sings the ending theme (and will continue to do so exclusively until Frontier). The original plan was to post the first ending when it last appears. That's actually next episode. Since this episode incorporates it so much, let's have a go.
Yeah... it's kinda lame. The next one's better, but there's nothing resembling a properly animated ending until Tamers.