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.
"So not only does Sora manage to sneak into Mimi's 'boudoir,' but she also somehow knows what kind of nightmare Mimi is having."ReplyDelete
I just do what the kids do later and dismiss it as a dream. That makes more sense.
But seeing as how Sora was clearly really there at the mushrooms of forgetfulness and at Veggiemon's Diner, this kind of holds true to the pattern. It'd be too coincidental that Mimi would dream that Sora, of all characters, was there to help her.Delete
Other than the three best ones I mentioned (episode 16, episode 20, and episode 21), this is an episode of the Server arc I'm really fond of for some reason. Mimi's had a good deal of focus before, but I feel this really showcased her biggest flaws and strengths. Survival in the Digital World was always rough for a sheltered girl like her, so if presented with a safer, more luxurious lifestyle, she'll sincerely want to take that over her duties as a DigiDestined. But spoiling her rotten with everything she wants and letting her emotions go unchecked could lead to her behaving in a way that is very insincere with who she truly is, and that's what happened in this one. Mimi got so absorbed in the princess fantasy that she gave herself up to the role and became a spoiled brat who treated everyone like dirt, even her own friends, and refusing to listen to reason from anyone. And what works is that she's not entirely unsympathetic here - we see how and why she came to act like this and make these decisions. She legitimately forgot the words to the song at first, then after getting spoiled on a feast, she subconsciously decides to stall the singing to see what else can be given to her, and by the third or so time, she's deliberately putting off her royal duty in order to keep living the good life. She's not a bad person even as the princess but she got carried away to the point where she exhibits terrible behavior and actions that almost costs her her friends. I think that's very good stuff, played appropriately funny and serious whenever the moment calls for such moods.ReplyDelete
The other reason I loved this one? The twist with ShogunGekkomon at the end. That he's an even meaner tyrant than Mimi had been and a danger to his own subjects and the DigiDestined was just an unexpected turn that was both amusing and alarming for the viewer, and gave us a reason for the good guys to come together to engage in some action.
Mimi coming off as 100% justified while Tai and Joe make no good arguments for why she should ditch her princess life to join them again is another dub issue. Originally the DigiDestined are charged with fixing the distortions in the Digital World, and those clearly don't end with defeating Etemon so the kids still have a duty to uphold. The dub making the villains out to be just individual Big Bads creating random imminent threats spoils that - people will figure that if no one knows about Myotismon and his plans, then why is Mimi needed?
You say Palmon was off here, but she's always been Mimi's loyal companion so I figure it would take her a while to recognize how wrong Mimi was acting. In the dub, I felt like Mimi was off at one point. She gets very pissy over Palmon calling her a spoiled brat and it really sort of seems like an overreaction. In the original, Palmon tells Mimi "When you're like this - I HATE YOU!", and that really messes Mimi up enough to lead to her nightmare.
Lastly, the "I wanna sing a song" song in the dub was fine, but I definitely miss "I Wish." I like the second end credits song too and that actual ending might technically be better, but I personally prefer "I Wish" as a song. It just has a warm, nostalgic, beautiful quality to it in it's vocals and instrumentals that I find perfect and representative of both Mimi's character and the more heartfelt parts of the series as a whole.
Agreed: despite the problems highlighted in the OP, this was a delightful Mimi-centred episode. The best scene is the one near the end, when she regrets what she's done and publicly apologizes for her behaviour. It's an admirable moment for her.Delete
When I was a kid, I was shocked that it wasn't Togemon digivolving to fight Shogungekkomon.ReplyDelete
It makes sense for that to happen. I suppose that either Mimi was so evil in this episode that she temporarily damaged her crest, or Tai just jumped the gun and wrecked ShogunGeckomon before Mimi could get around to having her epiphany. And Lilimon would have been able to calm him without resorting to physical violence.Delete
Interestingly enough the novels actually do move Lilimon's debut here.Delete