English Dub Review: The Reflection “Beef or Fish”

So you mean… there was a reason for all the awkward silence, then?

Overview (Spoilers)

We open as I-Guy uses his shiny new Ferrari and matching black power armor to beat up a bunch of dark reflected. Get this. Their names are Steam, Goat Face, and Slender Man. I chortle. Anyways, X-On shows up to keep him from killing one of them as he interrogates them for information on Wraith. Elsewhere, Eleanor has a run in with Steel Ruler, who tells he backstory and gives the teleporter an offer. If she comes willingly to be with Wraith, they will release all their captives from New Orleans. She also hands her a drive filled with incriminating information on X-On. Afterward, Eleanor gets picked up by the Reflected’s Men In Black. They want her to take Wraith up on his offer, and to wear a wire. Eleanor doesn’t say no, but she does take the opportunity to look at the files. According to them, he is the only survivor of a lab accident, and he left his friends to die. He doesn’t say anything in his defense. But, a later conversation between him, Men In Black chick, and the investigator confirms that there is a whole lot more going on, and X-On is sworn to silence on the matter. Thoroughly cheesed, though, Eleanor decides to take Steel Ruler up on her offer. She just can’t sit around and do nothing when she can save people.

Courtesy: Funimation

This episode looks like it’s a big turning point. Eleanor is coming completely into her own. When the series started, she was tired of always running away. Now, she’s more of a hero than X-On. She seems willing to jump into the fray and sacrifice herself for the greater good. We FINALLY start moving on the idea of who this masked Mega Man wannabe is, and we finally get a bit more of an understanding of who these G-man types are. We even get to understand what makes Steel Ruler the magneto wannabe she is. See? This is moving a plot along. And while it may not be the most brain blasting deep character development, this episode starts showing off that this growth has actually been happening. Literally. Flashbacks to the start of the series show us what Eleanor was like. Four episodes left, but this was growth earned, baby.

It seems like this episode’s title has little to nothing to do with the episode, but you couldn’t bee more wrong. For one, this is the primary dilemma faced by the girls from Japan, who are on a flight to America. Prepare yourselves, people. Sailor Moon is gonna wreck face. Really, it’s just a metaphor for the choice that Eleanor must make. Choose to stick with X-On, whose enigmatic past and aloof nature leaves her wondering if he gives a rat’s about her. Or, she could choose to go over to the baddies side, where she knows she’s valued, but only as far as she is useful to them. It’s just two different flavors of meat, really. This is her choice.

Our Take

But, that’s the past. Let’s talk about the present. This episode still had a bunch of awkward pauses littered all throughout, but that’s par for the course. Like usual, there was no point to having I-Guy in this episode. At all. Oh, you want to show off all your shiny crap? Why not wait until it’s a significant contribution to the plot? Why are you even in this show? The last time you had any effect on the plot, you got called a bug zapper and chucked out of the scene. Just stop, you emo Tony Stark wannabe.

The convo between Eleanor and X-On, however, drops the biggest bomb of them all. No, not that thing about him being the sole survivor of a lab accident. The fact that every time this series has sat there staring at X-On’s fully-covered face, it wasn’t just a dumb directorial choice. There’s a point. He wants to tell her the real answers, but can’t. He’s sworn himself to secrecy on the subject. The show has illustrated this by lingering on his face in silence, since we can’t see it from his facial expression, and the voice acting in these parts isn’t exactly amazing. While this is a great thought, it made for a really annoying trip through the series. We have lost sooooo much time just staring at that irregularly drawn X on his face.

The episode has an action scene, but it’s so slow moving because the animation causes so many full stops so it can save budget by not using special effects. See Eleanor pop up somewhere, not move, stuff flies at her, she disappears. Repeat. This continues for a good amount of time. Good direction of this scene could have really taken it far. By having her blink into new shots WHILE stuff is moving around her, and changing the shot every time she ‘ports, you could amp up the intensity here. As it is, it’s just slow up until Eleanor jumps Steel Ruler, knocking her down and inspiring a bunch of fanboys to start writing fanfiction. Then, the rest of the episode is talking. And, this show never animates talking right.

Voices, voices, voices… Aviva Pressman did Eleanor right in this episode, I think. There could have been a bit more expression and depth in there, but on average, she’s pretty good. Eh, everyone else just talks all samey, like every single character except Goat Face, is moping. Goat Face, though. Seriously, what’s with the bleating? Just because you have horns doesn’t mean you have the right to turn every line into a ba-a-a-a-ad joke.

So, like usual, the technicals are a wet and mushy pile of slop. The action isn’t really all that good, but the story brings the boys to the yard.

SCORE

Summary

You know what, I'll give it seven flash drives full of ambiguous, but incriminating evidence out of ten. Enjoy that.

7.0/10

Marshall Daley

One part best-friend/philosopher, one part creepy mad scientist. Shaken, and sprinkled with geeky factoids, quirky humor, and a major case of skepticism towards the world and you might just find a cocktail that changes the way you see... Everything!

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