January 24th, 2005

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Assorted toon stuff

The funniest cartoon of all those I watch, for the past two weeks, has been the new season of Duck Dodgers. Of course, it relies on cartoon knowledge and a lot of cultural references for that humor (but hey, we like that sort of thing, right?). One bit I didn't get this week though. Dodgers makes a reference to some name and walks off; Cadet looks at the camera and says, "Don't worry, kids; I don't know who that is either." Of course, that line made it funny anyway.

But the most surprising gag was this Friday. In an episode where Dodgers reluctantly joins Cadet in a multiplayer online role-playing game (total immersion of course; it's the future!), Dodgers takes a wand from a magician and uses it on himself. First, he turns into Beaky Buzzard. Then, surprisingly, he turns into Axel Gator (complete with Rob Paulsen doing the laugh). That's the first time I've seen an animated cameo by a Taz-Mania character, in anything. Nifty.

"Zoiks, and away! ...Hmm, if I remember correctly, this doesn't end well."

Saw what I think was the first episode of the new American Dragon Jake Long. Funny bit there was Paul Rugg as the school teacher. I wonder if that will be a recurring role.

A few months ago, after the debut of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, I was pondering over the number of cartoons on the air today in which characters speak rudimentary Spanish. I wondered if, given the large Asian population in the U.S., there should be a show with a character speaking rudimentary Korean or Chinese. Well, of course, just a month or two later, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi came out, in which the characters speak rudimentary Japanese (and some pretty long sentences that I don't get, too). The show is rather mediocre though. Last week's with Kaz and the two cats was good -- standard cartoon type plot with suitable cartoon gags. I did get a kick out of when the two cats hide as objects. The black cat (has a Chinese name I can't remember) does the standard Felix clock thing, but the white cat -- Tekirai -- did that good-luck charm cat bookend thing you see in Japanese and Chinese restaurants and homes. I wonder how many people figured out why Kaz couldn't find her when she was sitting there with her paw in the air.

Anyway, one thing puzzles me about that show, and that is why they removed one line from the theme song recently. During the theme, originally, there were two lines spoken in Japanese. Now, one of them has been removed. It used to go:

It all started when we first met and strapped on our guitars
We made music so great and cool that soon we were rock stars
We're biggest in Japan
Yumi's Japanese line here
With lots of screaming fans
Ami's Japanese line here
But now we tour around the world, so come and join the band
Ein, Zwei, Drei! ... then the chorus.

Well, they've taken out Yumi's line as of three or four weeks ago. I wonder why! Anybody know? They still have the intact version up at cartoonnetwork.com, so I snipped out the line but I can't make out what she's saying: http://www.california.com/~keeper/hhpay.wav (only 96K). Seems to be "sono (or sonno?) (something) nai (or nae?)". kodo? kudo? kado? koda? koto? kuto? Nothing seems to make much sense, so I'm still left wondering why the line is gone in the new episodes. Hmmmmph.