I don’t know whether the long time it took for the subtitled version of Episode 3 to be released was because it’s final exam season over here in ‘Murica or whether it will be normal for this series. Regardless, I promise to keep getting these reviews up as soon as possible. Let’s get started!  D-SMASH!

aw man what a rebel

Summary:

Akira and the kids (except Chris, who has no interest in being a hero) have come up with a “brilliant” plan to rescue the kidnapped Pepper. Their plan, which consists of pushing a heavy box onto villain King Cobra, is unsurprisingly a total failure…until who should appear but Chris, apparently convinced by Cap’s speech (which I thought the kids couldn’t even hear due to distance? Apparently not) to help out, shows up in some sort of vehicle and smashes the bad guy.

Loki, furious that Pepper has been released, quickly traps all of the heroes, except the already escaped Spider-Man, in DISKs. His henchman, a blonde guy in a creepy mask who is apparently one of the few anime-original characters, shows up to menace Akira and co. (Wikipedia tells me that blonde guy’s name is Tim. Tim the Supervillain.) Tim destroys the biocode installer that Akira’s father entrusted to him, explaining that now he and Loki are the only ones who can control DISKs.

Akira’s “Brilliant Plan”

Ed insists that Captain America will save them, only for Loki to show up and reveal he has captured every hero except Iron Man, who managed to use his repulsors to escape. Iron Man, for some reason, spends his time mocking Loki instead of fighting him, and gets trapped as well. Then, the supposedly destroyed biocode installer goes off, injecting biocode into the kids and giving them the ability to control DISKs. Spider-Man shows up, rescues Iron Man’s DISK, and gives it to Akira, who summons Iron Man….only to decide to charge Loki head-on himself. Loki and Akira’s wristbands have some sort of strange connection which causes all of the other DISKs to get teleported into random places around the globe.

The episode ends with Loki and Tim escaped and Akira and co in the custody of SHIELD, where Nick Fury reveals to them that Akira and Hikaru’s father has gone missing. He also says that he wants to keep the kids in custody to examine the biocodes that were installed into them. Saddened by his father’s disappearance but still willing to help, Akira tries to summon Iron Man again, but fails, only for his DISK to….start ringing like a phone? A small hologram of Iron Man appears from the DISK, but we don’t get to hear what he has to say before the credits roll.

Loki still channeling his inner Junko here.

Loki the Pokemon Master and Tony’s brilliant distraction tactics

My Opinion:

Episode 3 suffers from the same problem as the first two – it’s trying to fit way too much plot into a 20 minute episode, resulting in some stuff getting lost or being very easy to miss. My summary up there doesn’t even include everything that happens in this episode because there’s just so much. I continue to hold out hope that, now that the DISKs are scattered and the “gotta catch ’em all” plot is beginning, things will slow down.

This plot-heavy episode resulted in a lot of the characters getting shafted. Other than Akira and Chris, the kids had barely any lines – and Chris’s moment in the spotlight was pretty disappointing, as he is not only the “too cool for you” loner type but also a fairly generic tsundere, insisting that his sudden heroism had nothing to do with wanting to save the others. Akira continues to be your average Hot-Blooded Kid Protagonist, right up to his decision to charge an Asgardian deity while two superheroes were standing right there. I really want to see more from the other kids, especially Hikaru, who is basically a living prop at this point.

The rushed pace also leads to the explanation of how the DISKs work being handled rather poorly. It is never explained why the biocode installer is still able to function after being destroyed, and what the five different colors of biocode/DISKs are. (I had to look that up online as well – turns out that the five types of DISK classify heroes/villains according to their ability. Hopefully, this is explained in the show itself later on). We also get no explanation as to why Akira’s second attempt to summon Iron Man failed, or how he is able to “call” Akira from within his DISK. Least explicable of all is the random reaction between Loki and Akira’s wristbands which caused all of the DISKs to get scattered. To be honest, all I could think of during that scene was the “mystical connection” between Harry and Voldemort’s wands in Harry Potter.

As poorly explained as it is, the biocode still is pretty

Honestly, I felt like this episode was the weakest so far. The plot was rushed, the explanations were confusing, there was a lot to keep up with, and there were still moments where it felt like a parade of Marvel character after Marvel character, especially with the villains. Loki is still a treat, if only because his characterization, while hammy, is consistent. Tony seemed less “snarky” and more “childish” this episode, such as when he distracts Loki with a “made you look trick” more appropriate to a kindergartner than a superhero. And Loki’s minion Tim, who got his first moment in the spotlight this episode, has little personality other than “evil laughter” and, plague-doctor-esque mask notwithstanding, is pretty much the most generic character ever. I really hope that this anime takes some time to have some real character-focused moments in upcoming episodes.

That being said, the animation continues to look very slick, with no noticeable drop in quality yet. Iron Man being summoned from his DISK, despite being accompanied by rainbow sparkles and a cheesy English voiceover, looks genuinely cool. Loki surrounding himself with all of the captured DISKs only for them to be accidentally teleported off to who-knows-where was also a great visual moment. And the Biocode installation is downright gorgeous!

While this was the weakest episode of the show so far, now that the heroes are in their DISKs, I expect the format to change fairly soon. Let’s just hope it’s not as rushed once the kids actually set out on their quest to free the captured heroes.

Out of 5 Dios, this episode gets:

dio    dio

Magical girl Tony

Akira’s other “Brilliant Plan”

Gotta catch ’em all! A-VEN-GERS!