Player Two Start!: The Jellyfish Pirates

To say that Guilty Gear is a very strange fighting game series with very strange lore and very strange characters with very strange moves in a very strange setting is like pointing out that there’s sand at the beach, but as weird and wacky as the Guilty Gear games are, some of its’ various elements, music, gameplay, moves and characters are odd but also oddly beautiful and fascinating. One such group that falls into the latter category for me are the Jellyfish Pirates.

Smile in the face of danger. Yo-Ho!

This wild ‘n’ woolly band of air pirates (’cause sailing the sea is sooooo last year!), led by the charming and charismatic pirate king Johnny

“Lemme be yer Johnny-bear!”

Traverse the skies in their fish-shaped airship, doing the Robin Hood thing: robbing from the rich, giving to the poor…

…And occasionally stopping for bitchin’ beach barbecues.

There are two interesting things to note about the Jellyfish Pirates: One, that each crew member is named after the month of the year that they joined (that plus the name ‘Jellyfish Pirates’ is very Japanese, and I love it), and two, aside from their captain Johnny…

…Nearly all of them are attractive young women! Rawr-Rawr!

But who are all of these not-so-irate pirates, anyway?

“Jellyfish Roll Call!”

Janus – She’s a cat. A black cat, in a red pirate’s hat, who’s a member of a pirate crew. I told you this game was weird.

Febby – Wears a pink hat and does the laundry.

March – The youngest member of the crew, with pink hair covering one eye. She’s kind of an adorable li’l hot mess: when she first joined the crew, she couldn’t even speak, and loves to see people getting tortured. She goes around barefooted and is rarely seen without her penguin plushie. Her role is Communications, somehow.

April – May’s adoptive sister and best friend. Acts as the ship’s Navigator. Now with glasses!

May – The spunky First Mate and the only Jellyfish Pirate who’s a playable character (technically 1 of 2, but we’ll get to that). She’s young looking and never seems to age, despite the game series spanning across years. Utterly devoted to her captain Johnny, and she’d like to get closer to him in more ways than one. (It’s just a crush. Clean up your minds!) She fights with an anchor and can summon dolphins!

June – Purple hair, pink hat. In charge of Deck Management.

July – Combatant. Rocks an eye-patch. She’s also very well-endowed, wears short-shorts and a top which exposes her stomach. (Bom-Chicka-Wow-Wow!)

Augus – Another Combatant. Brown skin, white hair, purple hat, white top, gold rings. Along with July, rocks the sexy.

September – Medic. Blue hat, brown hair, white shirt, but with an apron in front. We only ever see her smiling with her eyes shut, so her eye color is anyone’s guess.

Octy – The Lookout. Has excellent eyesight, despite her eyes perpetually being covered by her green bangs.

Novel – Mechanic. Red hat, white shirt, yellow tie. Sports goggles on her hat.

Leap – The Chef and Administrative Director. Unlike the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she is much older than the rest of the crew. She is the chef of the group and a maternal figure to them, with them referring to her as “Auntie Leap”. While she isn’t named after a specific month like the other Jellyfish Pirate members, her name comes from a leap year.

Side Bar: This is weird to admit, but I freaking love Leap’s design. Her plump, round, dumpling shape contrasts beautifully with the more svelte and slender looks of the younger pirates. Like the other Jellyfish Pirates members, she joins May in her in-game battle pose and her Instant Kill. She is also featured alongside May in her outro in Guilty Gear Xrd and -Strive-. She is the one who causes the final blow due her weight and size, and I love that. Apart from Leap and Granny of the Looney Tunes from Space Jam: A New Legacy, I seem to be bombarded and mesmerized by little old lady characters lately. Is that weird?

“Hey, don’t knock older women ’til you’ve tried ’em, homie!”

End Side Bar.

Now you may have noticed that I didn’t list a December Pirate; well, they had one for a time, but she’s…not around much these days. No longer with the crew is their Administrative Coordinator Dizzy, the only other playable Jellyfish Pirate character.

Dizzy’s been…elsewhere occupied after her momentary stint with the Pirates, and given that she’s an insanely powerful half-Gear with a tail and sapient shapeshifting wings, Necro and Undine, and has more baggage than L.A. Airport, that’s probably for the best.

Did I mention that Guilty Gear is weird??

That’s Warner Brothers!: Gathering the Tune Squad

I’m not going to pretend that Space Jam: A New Legacy was one of the greatest cinematic achievements of our time, ’cause I know it wasn’t; it was a bloated, blatantly commercial cash grab for Warner Bros. and the NBA.

-But so was the first one.

That said, as a Looney Tunes fan, there were some things about the movie that I really dug. (The Looney Tunes of course being chief among the examples.)

For one thing, I really liked the concept of the WB Server-Verse. The visual geek in me loves the premise that all of Warner Bros.’ various TV shows, movies, franchises and properties residing in their own respective planetoids inside the studio’s giant server. Was it a giant plug for WB? Yes, but I still think it was cool, so I don’t care.

BTW, this image isn’t of the actual WB Server-Verse; it’s a map of the worlds from Video Land from Captain N: The Game Master. I couldn’t find a full image of the WB Server-Verse, but again, I still think the ‘franchise universe’ thing is cool.

I’m not going to recap the entire plot of the movie because a) I’m not a reviewer, b) this ain’t a review of the entire movie and c) it’s been out for a while now, so those of you who have seen it already know the story and those who haven’t clearly don’t care, but my all-favorite sequence in the film, not surprisingly, takes place once Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes show up.

When Al G. Rhythm (get it?) dumps LeBron James into the depths of the Server-Verse, he lands in Looney Tunes World (or just Tune World, potato, po-tah-to)…

Looney, babuh!
BTW, I just love the layout of Tune World. It’s got all of the various recurring settings for Looney Tunes cartoons compressed into a single planetoid. Someone should really consider turning this into a theme park area.
Ah. Nevermind.

…LeBron bumps into Bugs. After some classic toon shenanigans…

Of course the animators had to work Big Chungus in there somewhere. Thanks, internet!

…Bugs relates that he too has a score to settle with Al G. It seems some time prior Al told the Looney Tunes that they were wasting their talents on their home world and convinced them to split to seek their fortunes out in the Server-Verse (what grudge Al G. seemed to have against the Looney Tunes is unclear; professional jealousy maybe? Or perhaps he took them out to dinner one night and they stuck him with the check), causing the other toons to abandon Tune World, leaving Bugs all alone; he opted to stay behind because he enjoys just being a wacky toon and has no other aspirations. Kudos, writers. That is so him. Bugs Bunny is the Alex Rieger of the Looney Tunes. (That’s a reference to Taxi, BTW, kids; ask your parents.)

So we come to my all-favorite sequence in the movie: after Bugs finagles Marvin the Martian into “lending” him his space rocket, LeBron and Bugs embark on an epic journey through the Server-Verse. LeBron thinks they’re assembling a team of WB owned all-stars and heavy hitters to form the ultimate basketball team (such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Gandalf, King Kong and the Iron Giant), but Bugs (who, let’s face it, has gone a little nuts from being on his own for so long) is surreptitiously using this as a means to reunite with his fellow Looney Tunes family.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is: Dude, we’re gettin’ the band back together!

Super, Man!

The first planet Bugs and LeBron visit is DC World, home of — no surprise — the DC Super Heroes.

Can I just mention how awesome the look of DC World is? It’s half Gotham City, half Metropolis, with the two cities connected by a small bridge (makes no sense, but it didn’t make sense in Batman V Superman either) with the DC logo floating in front of it (branding!) and the Justice League Watchtower hovering above its’ surface? No? Well, too bad, I just did.

LeBron expects that since they appear on each planet decked out as famous characters from each world (BTW, whenever they’re on the planet of a live-action property, LeBron’s live-action, but on the world of an animated franchise, he’s a cartoon, nice touch), that here he’ll be somebody dope…

Bugs manifests onto the planet’s surface as Batman (or Bat-Rabbit, I guess) with LeBron as Robin! (“Robin?? I’m freakin’ ROBIN???!?”)

“Hey, who says I’m not dope? Just don’t judge by Teen Titans GO!, OK?”

The entirety of DC World is rendered in the manner of the 90’s through ’00’s DCAU (Detective Comics Animated Universe) cartoons, with the runaway bullet train Bugs and LeBron are pursuing whizzing past the DCAU versions of Dick Grayson, Selina Kyle, Comm. James Gordon, Jimmy Olsen…

Not to mention a certain mild-mannered reporter.

Anyway, it turns out that Daffy Duck is the one responsible for this impending disaster (so what’s changed?); he’s masterminded this whole crisis so he can get filmed saving the day (well, Porky Pig dressed as Jimmy Olsen is the one doing the actual filming) so, he, Superduck, can get admitted into the Justice League. Unfortunately, Daffy breaks the lever that stops the train, so now it really is zooming out of control, all set to crash into an orphanage! The train (with LeBron and Bugs clinging on to the top and Lois Lane, Alfred Pennyworth and Harlene Quinzel trapped inside) zips by the red-skied Gotham City from The New Batman Adventures and the DCAU version of Atlantis, before finally coming to an abrupt halt. Daffy is all set to shout out to the world that he’s the one who did all of this, until he comes face to face with the guy who actually stopped the train…

…Big Blue himself, flanked by Aquaman (sans the hook hand), Batgirl, Green Lantern John Stewart and the Flash. Suddenly the idea of shooting hoops is sounding pretty good to Daffy about now.

“What a Lovely Day!”

The next stop on our Planetary Product Placement tour is Mad Max World, or to be more precise, Mad Max: Fury Road, where the Looney Tunes’ resident desert dwellers, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, are currently residing.

Wile has apparently joined the ranks of the War Boys, using his newfound marauder status to — what else?–

…Catch the Road Runner!

He fails of course, but we do get to see some cool explosions. So that’s 2 more down.

“Yeah, Baby, Yeah!”

Next up is Austin Powers World. Here Elmer Fudd has assumed the role of Mini-Me…

“One hundwed biwwion dowwars! Heh-he-he-he-heh!”

While Sylvester has become Dr. Evil’s bald cat, Mr. Bigglesworth!

What happened to Tweety, you ask? When Elmer and Sylvester board the ship, Sylvester spits out Tweety; apparently he devoured him some time previous. (How long does it take toons to digest, anyway?)

Taz-Mania

I can’t add anything to Taz’s entry into the movie, so I’ll just replay it here. Roll the clip!

“Sing it, Sam!

We next visit WB Classic Movies World, specifically Casablanca, where Yosemite Sam has replaced Dooley Wilson in Rick’s Cafe.

“You’ve got baggage, lady!”

A Dance with Roosters

Next we find Foghorn Leghorn as Daenerys, riding a dragon outside of Game of Thrones World.

“Winter, I say, winter is comin’!”

-Incidentally, an earlier draft of the script had LeBron and Bugs actually visiting GoT World, and Foghorn was originally going to play Stark. I have no horse in this race because I’ve never watched Game of Thrones. I’ve never watched GoT, never watched Westworld, never watched Deadwood, never watched Boardwalk Empire, but I never missed an episode of Laff-A-Lympics or Freakazoid!. I was that weirdo.

“Matrix Are for Kids”

We next arrive at Matrix World, where the unlikely team of Granny and Speedy Gonzales having taken on the roles of Trinity and Neo, respectively. Here they are in action.

Speedy’s “What’s happenin’, bro?” gets me every time.

Big ups to Gabriel Iglesias who voiced Speedy here. Fluffy knocked it out of the park.

Side Bar: Can I take a moment to point out just how awesome Granny was in this movie? She was only a cheerleader in the first Space Jam (though that didn’t save her from getting tackled by the Monstars when the ball landed in her hands), but here she’s a full-on team member, talking smack, karate kicking, sipping martinis at halftime, taking down the Goon Squad member Chronos and riding her motor scooter through exploding buses being launched by Wile E. Coyote. The producers cranked Granny’s usual spunk up to 11, and I’m here for it. I hope we get to see more of ‘Gonzo Granny’ in future Looney Tunes projects. Fingers crossed. End Side Bar.

This Rabbit, This Warrior

The last Looney Tune to be rounded up is Lola Bunny, who’s migrated to Themyscira, home to Diana, aka Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Wait, didn’t we already go to DC World? No, that was DC TV cartoon world, Lola’s in Wonder Woman comic book world; it’s completely different.

The animation and visuals here are gorgeous. The characters and backgrounds are rendered to look like they came straight out of a comic book, complete with all the scenes being blocked off into panels. The thin outlines on the characters, Wonder Woman’s flowing black hair, the Amazons of all shapes, sizes and colors…(chef’s kiss).

Anyways, Lola is about to partake in a time trial obstacle course in order to become a full-fledged Amazon, not the easiest thing to do when Bugs keeps calling for her attention in the crowd. Bugs and LeBron follow her and nearly fall into a lava pit for their troubles, but when LeBron tells Lola that he needs to rescue his son, she rescues them and agrees to go with them.

Lola doesn’t complete the obstacle course in time, but Wondy informs her that her heroic act cinched her in. Diana declares Lola an Amazon, and she gives her consent to go compete in the ‘ball of baskets’. Yay.

The Looney Tunes are back in da house, baby!

OK, enough gushing. I do have some gripes about this. For one thing (and this is more of a general gripe I had with the film), I really wish could’ve gotten the screwball version of Daffy and the funny version of Lola here. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed their scenes well enough, but think how much cooler those scenes would’ve been if we had the insane version of Daffy just messing with everybody, and would it have killed them to have Lola crack one joke? They had a blueprint for Lola right there from The Looney Tunes Show and New Looney Tunes, and they didn’t use it, why? Even if they wanted to make Lola a jock and a warrior wannabe, I would taken that (though I like scatterbrained weirdo Lola just fine), but even going that route with Lola doesn’t mean she couldn’t be funny. DBK of Toonland Inquirer is right: seeing the Looney Tunes revert back to their 1950’s personas after 2 shows with them adhering to the 1940’s style (which I prefer overall) was a bit of a step down for me, but I still enjoyed them overall.

Finally, my other beef with this sequence is that there was a major glaring omission. Somebody got passed over.

No, not him.
I’m talking about Gossamer.

Of all the Tune Squad, we never saw which planet/franchise Gossamer ended up on; he just poofed onto the deck of the ship during the montage. A companion graphic novel version of the movie depicted Gossamer in the world of Scooby-Doo

“Jinkies! That’s not Professor Hyde-White, that’s an actual red-orange furry monster in sneakers!”

And you know, I’d like to have seen that. If it was was animated, maybe it can be bonus footage on the Space Jam: A New Legacy Blu-Ray.

The again, knowing Warner Brothers, they’d probably just release it as a DVD crossover.

That’s Warner Brothers! Getting a Little Loony

So, this year, Warner Bros Media announced that Cartoon Network will begin airing the international preschool programming block Cartoonito to the CN US starting this September.

“Uh………yay?”

The reason why I’m bringing this up here is because there are no less than three (3) shows coming to the block that are based on Warner Brothers owned properties. One of which is Batwheels, a series set in the DC universe that focuses on the exploits of the Batmobile.

Well, OK, then. So that’s a thing that’s happening.

But what’s more interesting to me is two other shows based on WB properties that are coming. One of which is a new Looney Tunes animated series titled Bugs Bunny Builders.
What it’s about (source: TheTVDB.com) – Bugs Bunny Builders brings the wackiness, humor and slapstick we’ve grown to love to a new preschool audience. At ACME Construction Company Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny manage a crew of builders that, quite frankly, should not be anywhere near a construction site. However, by working together as a team, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and others use their tools and wild vehicles to pull off some of the looniest construction jobs ever.

My Initial Thoughts:

I know that we’ve been down this road before with Baby Looney Tunes, but this series seems to be a tad more ambitious than that series was. BBB isn’t just a clone of Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies.

This series at least has an original premise (well not so original. Bob the Builder anyone?), and this series claims to incorporate some of the Looney Tunes’ signature zany humor. Now, I don’t know how well that’s going to translate on a show aimed at preschoolers, but it’s certainly an ambitious endeavor.

Also, based on the few images that I’ve been able to find, it looks as though Builders will focus mostly (if not solely) on the characters of Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Lola and Tweety. I’m guessing that if any of the other LT characters appear at all, they’ll appear as either guest stars, supporting players or make the odd cameo now and then.

Side Bar: I read a comment about this show on YouTube in which someone responded with:

“No…Pepe LePew! (sob)”

OK, seriously. I like Pepe LePew as much as anyone else, but can you all please stop crying about Pepe LePew whenever the subject of something Looney Tunes related comes up? I agree that it sucks that Pepe’s one scene in Space Jam: A New Legacy was cut, but it was just one scene, which wouldn’t have made a huge impact on the film even if it didn’t get cut. And yeah, I agree that WB doesn’t need to remove the character going forward., but the fact of the matter that Pepe’s chief shtick (jumping on anything with a pulse) didn’t age well. That’s really all there is too it.

Pepe was problematic, but not unfixable. WB could at least try to give the character a new shtick for the modern era. New Looney Tunes (an underrated show, in my opinion) was on the right track when they turned Pepe into a parody of James Bond. In those shorts, Pepe’s advances were strictly toward his female partner, but she would routinely rebuff his advances and tell him to keep his dirty mind focused on the mission at hand. As for Bugs Bunny Builders, Pepe was never an A-list character. He was B or C-list at best, so it wasn’t a given that he’d be in this show anyway, at least not as a central character.

End Side Bar.

Is it just me, or do the Looney Tunes appear to be drawn to look a little younger than usual? I guess that makes sense, seeing how this show is aimed at preschoolers.

And if this picture is any indication, it looks as though we’ll be getting the 1940s crazy version of Daffy Duck here. That puts a smile on my face. And on that note…Producers, please make Lola funny on this show. Having Lola revert to her earlier boring, dull as dishwater self in Space Jam: A New Legacy was such a letdown! Please tell me that we haven’t seen the last of kooky, distsy, zany Lola.

I don’t plan on watching this regularly, since I’m not 4 years old, but I must admit that I am curious to see just how WB plans to execute this idea. When it’s ready to air, there will undoubtedly be clips for it on YouTube and sites similar to that, so I’ll likely check those out in order to satisfy my curiosity.

Moving on…

The last show based on an established WB property that was announced was a show being called Tom & Jerry Junior.

And if you thought Warner Brothers was being tight lipped about Bugs Bunny Builders, the studio is being super secretive about this show! The notes on Tom and Jerry Junior must be locked up in a vault and that vault must be buried 6 feet underground! So far, we’ve got no synopsis, no trailer, no premiere date and the only image for the show that I could find was the above title card that doesn’t even have any characters on it. Literally, all we know about this show is that it’s going to air on Cartoonito, it has something to do with music and Tom & Jerry are in it. That’s it!

I’m legit curious about this show’s title. Why is it called Tom and Jerry “Junior” (singular) and not “Juniors”, with an ‘s’? Is the word “Junior” in the title because it’s a preschool show? Or is it another kiddification like Tom & Jerry Kids was?

We just don’t know.

Usually, when a studio is this secretive about one of it’s projects, it means that said project is either very good or very bad. But this is Warner Bros. we’re talking about, so I’m pretty sure that it’s not a case that WB has a major bomb-a-saurus on it’s hands. Most likely, the studio hasn’t ironed out all of the details yet.

A few weeks ago, Cartoon Network made a trailer for Cartoonito and none of the aforementioned shows were anywhere to seen in it. It’s clear that all of these shows must still be in development, so we’ll just have to wait a little longer to learn more about Bugs Bunny Builders and to find out what the hell Tom & Jerry Junior is. This is why I didn’t do this as a full blown Peeks segment. This was just a little taste.

Kind of like mini cakes, only not as delicious.

iViva Los Straitjackets!

A big shout-out to Los Straitjackets, my favorite instrumental surf-rock band of Luchadores!

If you haven’t heard the following tracks from this band, you’ve been leading an empty life:

Rockula

Squad Car

Tsunami!

Wrong Planet

The Mad Scientwist (with The World Famous Pon)

They’ve also done a pretty cool cover of The Munsters‘ theme for the collaborative album Halloween Hootenanny. (And how often do you hear the word ‘hootenanny’ nowadays?)

If Rob Zombie doesn’t call these guys so he can use their rendition of the theme in his new Munsters movie, then I guess he’s not the auteur we thought he was.

Rise of the Mash-Up

Hiya, folks.

Story time: Years ago Jason had considered starting a second blog called The Mash-Up. It would’ve been a more abstract, less rigidly structured and more freeform blog focusing on whatever was going through our minds at the time. I dismissed the idea because I felt it was unnecessary, that there was no need, that nothing could be better than what we were doing on Twinsanity at the time.

I was wrong.

Before I go any further, I just to assure you all that Twinsanity 2.0 is still our long term goal for this site. We haven’t thrown in the towel on that, nor have we given up the dream. The Razzle Dazzle Show and webtoons are still this site’s future, that hasn’t changed, but Twinsanity 2.0 has proven to be such a huge undertaking that we’ve had to move the goal posts back a bit. The process and preparation for the videos and webtoons is taking a little longer than we anticipated, and I don’t want to do nothing in the meantime. For a long time, I just wasn’t inspired to do anything, but in recent weeks and months I’ve seen things, shows, ideas and concepts that I’d like to express my thoughts and opinions on, and I’d rather not have to wait until Twinsanity 2.0 is ready to roll to get them out there; you’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and all that. Long story short, I/we may be putting up some new blog posts in the upcoming weeks and months. These will not be Twinsanity 2.0, nor will they be made instead of Twinsanity 2.0; just something to tide you (and us) over until Twinsanity 2.0 is ready to roll.

However, these new posts come with a slew of caveats; it’s not going to be a continuation of what we’ve been doing up to the point where we left off. Real life, my current schedule and energy levels just won’t allow that, plus I just plain don’t want to work at that pace or continue the kinds of posts we were making then. Going back to what I said at the top, this new slew of posts will follow a different formula: they’ll be done in the Mash-Up format.

“What does that entail?” I’m pretending to hear you ask. I’ll tell you:

For one thing, the pace of the output will be greatly reduced and much more relaxed. I used to make lists of everything that I was planning to do per month. Those days are over. One of the reasons I got out of blogging was that it was starting feel like a job, I was working myself to death trying to put out content. No longer. Starting now I’m only going to pour my attention in a single post at a time, and once that’s done, I’ll move on to something else. I’m only going to make a post when I have something to post, and I’m only going to put something up when I have something worth posting. It doesn’t matter if I only make 2 posts in 6 months as long as those 2 posts are good and entertaining. Quality over quantity. I don’t want to be a posting machine; those days are over.

The upcoming posts will also follow a much looser structure than before. It’s not going to be like before when I would tell myself “I have to do a new Talkin’ Nerdy or TV Special Showdown because I haven’t done one in a while”. I don’t wish to be beholden to all of these fancy categories we created; if something fits into one of the little boxed we’ve created, then I’ll check off said box, but that’s no longer a requirement for a post. It’s a pretty simple formula, really:

I’m going to post what I want to post.

I’m no longer going to feel compelled to make a Retro Bin or a Cartoon Couch or a Talkin’ Nerdy or a Beyond the Background just to fulfill some imaginary quota. I’m going to post whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. (Sidebar: I won’t be continuing the Animal Jam Pop Dream right now; I’m just not feeling it at the moment. I may get back to it one day, but right now it’s just not on my mind. It’s way too much work to be making something you’re not even into. End sidebar.)

Third, expect less snark posts and more general geeking out on stuff we like, and definitely less review-type stuff. I never wanted to a reviewer; that’s just not where I’m at. I don’t want to be known for snark. I like cartoons. I like to make jokes. I like to have fun. The blog posts were starting to not be fun for me, that’s why I stopped, so these new ones are going to be of a more lighthearted nature. I don’t care if it’s something only I know or care about; if it makes my happy or I’m really interested in it, then I’ll make a post about it. I also plan to reduce the amount of fact-checking and research, because that also became a drag for me. Of course I’m not going to post something that’s just plain factually wrong (like saying that Wally Gator was a champion surfer and railroad tycoon who married Jennifer Lopez), I’m still going to keep my facts straight, but I’d much rather joke around and have fun than write up an essay.

Finally, there’s no minimum requirement for the length of these new posts; they’re going to be as long or as short as they need to be. A post can be a lengthy bombastic diatribe or it can be a quick bite no longer than a couple of sentences. We don’t need to be anchored to one specific structure; I likes muh freedom!

So keep an eye out for some new stuff coming soon. You’ll see the new posts, whenever they happen.