I will go back on what Kirby’s Dream Collection has to offer in next Friday’s article. Until then, I need to talk a final time about Kirby: Right Back At Ya. There are three episodes of the TV show available in the collector’s item, so I figured it would be fair to review them here. I remember making an article about the anime in general back in January, but I believe I didn’t exactly do the show justice there, writing what’s more like an introduction than an actual review. I was also planning to write quick posts about every episode, but I soon found out that my real life obligations would have made it impossible for me to do that. Think of this as me paying this kind of debt to the Kirby anime, by offering finally honest critiques of three episodes of the show, maybe giving you the desire to look for these episodes and watch them. And Monday, I will try to direct you to twelve other episodes that I really enjoy in this anime, episodes that I go back to more often than others… that is, whenever I’m in the mood to watch Kirby kick ass outside of a video game. Alright then, enough blabber, let’s get this started!
Episode 1 – Kirby Comes to Cappy Town
EXT. FIELD – NIGHT. Panorama shot of a hoard of sheep sleeping. A giant octopus monster comes out of nowhere and starts eating them all, leaving carcasses behind.
Well… This sets the mood! Welcome to Dream Land, home of all your kaiju-esque nightmares!
|Ah, Kirby. Adorable regardless of dimension.|
2D world, 3D world, game world, anime world...
In Cappy Town, the Cappies confront King Dedede about the giant octopus, but all he has to show them is a tiny cute little pet octopus that cannot in any way be the giant monster that attacked last night. One villager, the young Tiff, daughter of King Dedede’s Cabinet Minister, still has doubts, especially after seeing the tiny octopus doing a scary face. (After all, who else but villains do scary faces like that?) Worried, the townspeople head towards the mystical Kabu, a giant stone spirit in the forest, and the spirit informs them that a hero named Kirby is coming. Tiff immediately imagines a Link-like figure. Oh, girl, you’re in for some disappointment!
|Tiff; if you're dreaming of bishonen, I have bad news for you;|
You got gypped, you were sent into the wrong franchise.
|"Do not worry my friend, I am not here to clob-beh|
you with that there, uh, sword. Am I doing this right?"
|Wow, look at all that equipment! Dedede, you're equipped|
to be the villain in another show, not this one!
Meta Knight explains to Tiff that the star trinket is actually the Warp Star, a source of Kirby’s power, and Kirby has to be reunited with it to be able to face this foe. The battle went a few floors higher, so Tiff goes up and shows the star to Kirby, who regains his energy and becomes able to inhale the mini-octopi. When the giant octopus releases fire-powered ones, Kirby inhales them and transforms, a crown of fire appears on his head, and he gains fire powers. And all this time, Meta Knight exposits like he has never exposited before. This power still isn’t enough though, so Tiff throws the star and it magically grows to become a platform for Kirby to fly around on. With this, Kirby gains enough power to send away the giant octopus, defeating it finally.
The good guys cheer, Dedede and Escargoon cry at the thought of never getting a refund for that monster, and Customer Service, who was spying on the action, tells his master that Kirby is a Star Warrior after all. Kirby then prepares to leave Popstar, but the ship gets shot down by Dedede’s tank. Thus, Kirby has to live in Cappy Town for a while.
This pilot does a good job at setting up the characters and their motivations, showing Kirby’s joyfulness and abilities, King Dedede’s greed, and some facets of Tiff’s personality as well. It also contains many hints towards a larger storyline, in no small part thanks to Customer Service, his master in the shadows, and Meta Knight’s large knowledge, implying the masked blue puffball will be some kind of mentor.
However, the story does start a little clunky, in part because we have no idea why King Dedede called NightMare Enterprises to order a monster before Kirby even came around. We’ll never get an answer for that. Like many pilots, this one also does quite a bit of exposition, since there was a lot to set up and sometimes just showing it on the screen doesn’t help.
Also, while I kinda liked the intro before, I might revise my previous opinion and say it looks good but the lyrics kinda suck, repeating “KIRBY!” far too often. Viewers, make sure to remember the name of the main character! But if you forget, don’t worry, the theme song will remind you. Dozens of times.
Episode 60 – Crusade For the Blade
This episode takes us past the halfway point of the series, after many things have been explained, so you might have to watch more of the show to follow. However, by this point it’s been established that Meta Knight and a group of galactic heroes called the Star Warriors fought for a long time against the demonic forces of a cosmic evil deity named Nightmare, and that Kirby is a baby Star Warrior who needs to learn how to use his powers to their full extent to defeat Nightmare for good. That’s the ultra-ultra-condensed-abridged-shortened version. Now, on to the episode.
This one starts when a new spaceship crashes near Cappy Town. King Dedede and Escargoon go to investigate, and meet the ship’s inhabitant, a girl with white hair (or fur? In the Kirby series, it’s hard to tell), who asks who they are. Upon hearing that the penguin is King Dedede, she says she’s in the right place, and breaks their limousine with a few blasts of her weapon. She follows them back to the castle and attacks the army of Waddle Dee. As she ventures inside, she encounters Meta Knight and it becomes clear that he’s the one she was looking for. She shoots at MK, then later shoots at Sword Knight and Blade Knight. Good thing this girl has the accuracy of an Imperial Stormtrooper, or we’d be seeing blood in this kid’s show! The white intruder’s weapon seems to have an option for everything: A gun, a hookshot, a rocket launcher, a blade… There are heroes out there who have wet dreams of ever owning a weapon like this one.
|Let's make a deal; Beat up Dedede and I'll tell you where Meta Knight is.|
Just stop pointing this weapon at me, pleaseé
|Flashback time! And we can see it, too.|
The world of fiction can be so awesome sometimes.
|Kirisakin, you have such big claws!|
No, that's not the line!! You are messing up Red Riding Hood!
|Galaxia doesn't like its hilt touched by strangers. Sorry.|
Sirica, Sword Knight and Blade Knight’s efforts proving futile, Kirby inhales a sword and becomes Sword Kirby, but he, too, isn’t able to do much. Sirica grabs Galaxia again, but this time the swords speaks to her and explains that Garlude sacrificed her life in the previous fight against Kirisakin to throw the sword to Meta Knight, the Chosen (because even in the cartooniest confines of the universe there’s a goddamned Chosen One, I will never escape from this trope, ever!). Accepting that she can’t wield the sword, Sirica tosses it at Kirby, who grabs it, and unleashes a Galaxia Blast that splits the monster in two, destroying it for good. Because of course Kirby is the next Chosen One, am I right?
After making peace with Meta Knight, Sirica embarks on her ship and leaves the planet, over the goodbyes of her new friends.
This is a very strong episode that explores Meta Knight and Galaxia’s backstories some more. It introduces Sirica, who is frequently described as “Tiff, but white, and with the complete opposite personality”. So, basically, not Tiff at all, though she is a cool action counterpart to her. Can she get her own show, please? This episode also has more action, which is pretty neat. However, King Dedede and Escargoon are a lot less important in it, taking away some of the comedy potential, making it a grimmer episode than others. Thankfully, that doesn’t have an impact on the quality, and more serious episodes are important in kid shows. All in all, an episode beloved by the fans, and I can see why.
Episode 72 – Waddle While You Work
|Oh hey1 I had that amount the other day|
in AdVenture Capitalist! Or was it Cookie Clicker?
|"Okay, you were working the ovens, so you are a Hot Waddle Dee."|
"You managed the freezers, so you're a cold Waddle Dee."
"You bumped into Kirby and lost the fight easily, you must be the Normal Waddle Dee."
|The Dees instinctively know how to use a broom.|
Or anything else, really. If their health wasn't so
poor, they could be dangerous.
|They sure seem to be able to dapt to anything...|
|A Waddle Dee with a mouth. That's an abomination|
of nature. Unlike the normal Dees, whose lack of
mouth is somehow acceptable.
With no servants and no knowledge on how to do anything for himself, poor Dedede is left looking like a hobo, pitifully attempting to sell pencils door-to-door. And the villagers mock him. You can almost feel sorry for this penguin. After eating a raw vegetable he uprooted, Dedede swears he’ll turn his life around and do his best to “never go hungry no more”!
|Honestly, this scene would be really scary, if it were|
not for the derpy expression on the Dyna Chick.
Dedede, stop, you're choking this chicken!
.......Wait, I just realized what I said. Forget that.
|Gee, good thing there was the right number of Waddle Dees!|
Had there been one more, there would be a Dedede-shaped
dent in the ground right there.
Despite Dedede learning nothing, the Waddle Dees go back to serving him, but the Cappies will remember for a long time the happy days where they had all of those extra helpers around town. As for the penguin king… well, he won’t be running out of coffee machines in his castle anytime soon.
Then again, Dedede has never been one to learn all that much; he's the Kirby equivalent of Cartman.
Then again, Dedede has never been one to learn all that much; he's the Kirby equivalent of Cartman.
|Image from Brawl In The Family.|
Original strip here. Ganondorf Boomhauer forever.
There were way too many Ds in this part. I am taking a break from using that key for a bit. Starting immed- er… starting now!
...Dammit, I still gotta give my thoughts on the episode. Well, it’s a pretty good one. Never thought it would be possible to make an episode about the most generic minion the series has ever had; it would be like the Super Mario Super Show making an episode about Goombas, back in the 90s! The idea behind the episode is really good, and follows all the logical conclusions one would make from that scenario. Tiff’s usual attitude gets shot down pretty quickly (she has a tendency to be sanctimonious). However, in the end, it’s still an episode about King Dedede and how he would be reduced to nothing without his minions on this show. In the games, he’d still be able to put up a fight, but you don’t exactly fight the oven to cook yourself a meal, so even there a lack of minions would be a problem. Thus Dedede ends up having to learn a lesson… which he doesn’t due to other circumstances showing up, and then the episode ends up with an almost-status quo, as usually happens in those series. It’s pretty funny to see the Dees occupy menial tasks around town, like swatting away readers in the bookstore (it’s not a library!), or working at the restaurant but none of them answering the phone (and only then does Chef Kawasaki remember that they can’t speak). And Kirby, who just accepts the new role like it’s nothing. In the end, it’s a pretty great episode about Dedede.
Come to think of it, it seems to make an awful lot of sense that the developers at HAL Laboratory picked those three episodes, even if they’re not necessarily the best ones in the series: Each episode is centered on one of the main three characters of the franchise. The pilot is obviously about Kirby. “Crusade For the Blade” shows more of Meta Knight’s backstory. “Waddle While You Work” is all about King Dedede.