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(Upon talking to Jules.)Jules: Came running when I heard you were putting on a show. I didn't know you were such an amazing dancer! I wouldn't recommend lifting in that outfit, but if you need to work up a sweat later, feel free to pop into the gym!
Hart: Certainly, I can do just that. But a man in my position must conduct his affairs with discretion. Which is to say that that which has been requested cannot be freely given...if you take my meaning.
President Shinra: You're lying to yourself, even now. Truth...justice, honor, freedom! Vain indulgences, every one. Picture it! Picture a world without Shinra. Without mako energy. A stagnant, impotent world. Now picture a natural disaster. Who would help the people? Help the recover and rebuild? You? With their old would ruined, will they thank you for the new? I'm going to give you a chance. One last opportunity to consider what your principles are truly worth. But bear in mind that time is of the essence.
Aerith: Freedom. Boundless, terrifying freedom. Like a great, never-ending sky. What you heard just now were the voices of the planet. Those born into this world. Who lived and who died. Who returned. They're howling in pain.
Now let me make this abundantly clear and say that I am not saying this as a blanket statement towards everyone who liked this matchup, because of course many just wanted this matchup because it was their favourite for both or they thought it was fun, and there ain't anything to be ashamed of in that regard. What got to me was the select group of people- that very loud lot that continually pushed for this matchup solely just to give Shadow a win out of pure spite. Nearly any time I saw this matchup brought up anywhere, it was always treated as "OOH SHADOW IS SO COOl, HOW DARE DEATH BATTLE DO HIM LIKE THAT, HE SHOULD COME BACK AND FINALLY GET A FREE VICTORY SO I CAN SATISFY MY FOOT LONG STIFFY... oh and uh, Ryuko's also there, I guess". This was at the time when I preferred Shadow as a character, mind you, and even I just felt insulted looking at that. Not just because the push for it felt like such a middle finger to Ryuko, but because it came off as pure pity towards Shadow, and given Ryuko had several ideas at that I saw as just doing what Shadow did but better, without being such an enormous shitstomp to boot (something I was also seeing pushed as a plus because "haha free Shadow win"), it completely left me feeling sour towards this matchup. If anything, nowadays I feel sorry for the actually reasonable people that wanted this matchup for its own merits instead of just for the sake of Shadow hype because that is not a fun bunch to be associated with. Still, it completely destroyed any interest or likeability the matchup may have had to me, so when the next time trailer at the end of Yoda vs King Mickey started playing, and I saw that shot of the gun being loaded... my heart sank and I knew one of my worst fears was right in front of me.
Sure enough, the wait period confimred a lot of what I feared from this matchup... but I hesitate to say that was all there was to it. There was... a lot of the obnoxious Shadow hyping that felt like people legitimately did not give a shit about Ryuko ad just wanted that free Shadow win, which made that wait period legitimate Hell, but Ryuko didn't get as dumpstered as I thought she would. This waiting period got a lot of people, including myself, to give the entirety of Kill la Kill a try and experience it in full, and so many new fans of the show were formed from it, which was really cool. I am at least happy it did that much and got so many people to experience such an amazing show. As much as the idea rubbed me the wrong way like a plate being washed with a sponge made of sandpaper, the blindingly obvious potential meant I wasn't really fearful the episode would drop the ball, so despite my extreme bias towards it, I stayed... decently optimistic. I didn't want to be an unfair ass and expect it to be complete dogshit going in when it pretty clearly wasn't gonna be without legit sabotage, so I kept my expectations decently high, and when the day came, I finally gave it a watch.
You can tell Lex vs Doom didn't have the same roaring ambition as the previous two episodes and in general, it played it far safer and didn't receive the same pay-off Yodickey or Shaduko did at their bests as a result. With that said, there is still more than enough here to make for a fun watch between Lex and Doom's analyses and the fight, and the banter especially is worth the price of admission alone... even if that price was free since this is an Internet video but shut the fuck up! >: ( But jokes aside, I really liked this one. It's a nice, fun episode to kick back and enjoy without needing to think too much on any problems it may have and while it may not have any particular moments that'll leave you in utter awe, it got the job done and got it done well, and really, can you ask for that much more?... Well I guess you can but... yeah IDK where I'm going with this so let's just move on to our next episode.
Although speaking of bones, that's exactly what was scattering the fucking battlefields known as this matchup's debate because we had a pretty blatant repeat of StarVen's whole debate, down to people denying Cloud's blatant as all hell cosmic feats with a bunch of headcanon and other such scrutiny while Link was getting off scot free with cosmic feats that were infinitely more questionable. The fact I was seeing people unironically downplay Cloud to average human type shit because he needed a motorcycle or got hurt by bullets should tell you just how desperate some of the arguments against Cloud's stats were. It was an absolute mess, to say the least. But okay, we're over that now, let's just get to the damn fight already,
The fight really comes into its own when Link loses the Master Sword and breaks out the Four Swords. The animation team definitely got creative with this segment as the four Links all coordinate with different items across Link's arsenal to set Cloud up for a big combo, one Link attempting to distract him by transforming into a fairy, a Link attempting to freeze him in place and get him right where they needed him, another one setting bombs up to blast Cloud apart, eventually ending in Cloud creating a black hole just to deal with them all in one fell swoop, it was a super cool usage of powers and Link's attempts to get the Master Sword back and set up for a Skyward Strike with the lightning using the Song of Storms was really great as well. It felt like a fantastic use of their versatility as well as the perfect showcase of the types of combatants both are. Cloud is way more straightforward in approach, just going straight for the jugular with hard hitting attacks and magic, while most boss fights in Zelda are all about using the items you obtain to solve a puzzle within the boss fight itself, exposing a weak spot to make your move and take them out. This was a perfect use of that as Cloud just focused on outmaneuvering each Link copy and brute forcing his way through them while Link got creative in his approach and used different weapons to get the jump on him with the right set of tricks.
None of this is even getting into the phenomenal voice work. Tom Schalk's DIO captured the condescending nature of DIO flawlessly as well as the sheer sadistic insanity of the character as seen in the final moment of the fight where he not only gives us a fantastic "MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA MUDA" but the accompanying "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" sounded legitimately visceral, like a viking warrior that had just brutalised the last remaining enemy and was cheering a war cry over the corpses in their wake. But what about Alucard? Well they got Alucard's voice actor from Hellsing Abridged for this role and when I first heard that, I was skeptical. Not to put down Takahata101's Alucard, it's fucking fantastic in Abridged but... that was my issue. It was fantastic in Abridged. Takahata's Alucard voice was so naturally goofy that I feared I wouldn't be able to take him seriously with Death Battle trying to portray him like he is in the actual series and not just the parody... and wowwas I glad to be wrong. Granted some of Takahata Alucard's goofiness does bleed through on occasion but it's only for like... two lines, the rest sounded just as deep and imposing as Crispin Freeman's Alucard voice in the original show. Lines like "I'm gonna enjoy hearing you scream" and "A real fucking vampire" sounded ridiculously raw, even if a good bit of that was the distortion on both lines kicking up the intimidation factor but weirdly I found myself really liking how a lot of his grunts and growls sounded, as Alucard sounded legitimately sadistic on that front, especially during the segment after DIO freezes Alucard's arms off, Alucard legitimately sounded like he was ready to turn DIO into a cornish pasty. Best of all was the Bird of Hermes speech, which the first time I heard it gave me fucking goosebumps.
Well again, more jerky and awkward movements and overly hilarious freeze frames that make Oni look like one of those glitched models you'd see in a fucking Bethesda game but not only is the Raging Demon slow and not only does it have less impact than I do on the dating scene, but the lighting makes it hard to even see what the fuck is going on- it looks less like Akuma devastating his opponent at a rapid pace and more like he's being ragdolled during a rave. Shao Kahn's face before the death fully initiates looks... dumb, between the awful fire filter and the fucking lens flare but the death itself? Well I think the idea behind it is sound, having Oni get tossed around by the weight of a giant hammer before getting a POV view as Kahn brings the hammer down for good but the execution was piss poor, possibly the worst death of the season. Hilarious Oni animations aside, it's inoffensive enough in the lead-up but the actual kill itself was... well, terrible. Akuma was off screen when the blow landed and the only indication we have he even died was a badly edited blood splatter on the camera. If we saw the kill from Akuma's eyes as Kahn brought the hammer down and the screen went black when the hit landed with a ghoulish sound to accompany it, there's no doubt it would've actually been an effective finisher that not only made Kahn feel far more intimidating as even someone as powerful as Oni is at his mercy but it would've done a way better job letting your imagination figure out how bad the kill was rather than it just looking unfinished. 2b1af7f3a8