Reviewing the glass from the Eretz-Israel museum

On Thursday I went to the Eretz-Israel museum in Tel Aviv, and because I am a huge glass nerd (and, y’know, I’m doing tourist things as well but I am technically in this country to study ancient glass) I spent basically the entire time in their glass gallery ogling pretty Phoenician core-formed alabastra and Roman mould-blown bottles. So my reduced posting schedule this month doesn’t sting too much, here’s my definitive expert review of all the things there that most stuck out to me:

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Anime Time: Episodes 69 and 70

Lights, Camera, Quack-tion – Go West, Young Meowth

We’re doing these two episodes together because the plot of the second follows directly on from the first, but to be honest Lights, Camera, Quack-tion is really not all that interesting an episode, and beyond giving a brief (hah!) synopsis of the story, as I usually do, I don’t have a whole lot to say about it.  Most of this entry is instead going to deal with Go West, Young Meowth.  That one is incredibly interesting because it’s the one that gives us Meowth’s backstory, and Meowth – the Pokémon who goes out of his way to act like a human – is in a position to say all kinds of neat things about what it means to be a Pokémon or a human.  So, not much time and a lot to say; pretty much par for the course around here.  Let’s get to it!

“Prepare for trouble!  No stun double!  To protect the movies from devastation!  To restore spectacle and imagination!  To make great epics of hate and love!  To direct the best films you've ever heard of!  Cleavon Schpielbunk!  Winner of the Golden Growlithe for best director at the Flea Collar Film Festival!  Lights!  Camera!  Hit your mark when I call action or prepare to fight; THAT'S RIGHT!”
“Prepare for trouble! No stun double! To protect the movies from devastation! To restore spectacle and imagination! To make great epics of hate and love! To direct the best films you’ve ever heard of! Cleavon Schpielbunk! Winner of the Golden Growlithe for best director at the Flea Collar Film Festival! Lights! Camera! Hit your mark when I call action or prepare to fight; THAT’S RIGHT!”

In Lights, Camera, Quack-tion, the kids are out looking for a good spot to settle down and train for a while when they blunder into the midst of a film crew, led by the legendary director Cleavon Schpielbunk.  Schpielbunk is known for artsy films that receive critical acclaim but suffer at the box office, like Brock’s favourite movie of all time, I Saw What You Ate Last Tuesday.  His next production is going to be called Pokémon in Love, and will only star Pokémon.  He’s looking for a Pokémon to co-star opposite his Wigglytuff, a foul-tempered, thin-skinned prima donna.  Several Pokémon audition: Pikachu, Psyduck, Vulpix, Jessie and James’ Arbok and Weezing, Meowth, a Raichu belonging to a trainer the kids met earlier, and a random Doduo, Hitmonlee and Tauros.  The first round of auditions, dance, eliminates the Pokémon we don’t care about.  The second requires a duet with Wigglytuff.  Meowth flat out refuses, telling Wigglytuff “I work alone,” and Arbok and Weezing’s cringe-inducing performances earn vicious Doubleslaps.  All the other Pokémon slink off, unwilling to risk Wigglytuff’s wrath… except Psyduck.  Schpielbunk shrugs and awards Psyduck the part, to a mixture of pride and bemusement from Misty, then explains the plot of his film.  Pokémon in Love is a tale of star-crossed lovers that essentially rips off a fairly significant portion of Romeo and Juliet; Misty comments that it doesn’t sound very original, but Ash and Brock are moved to tears (in fairness to Schpielbunk, Romeo and Juliet itself was basically ripping off the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid’s Metamorphoses).  The climactic scene calls for Wigglytuff and Psyduck to try to end a battle between their feuding families, only for Psyduck to be killed in the crossfire.  While the crew films this scene, Team Rocket shows up and deploys one of their patented godawful machines to capture all the Pokémon – except Psyduck.  Misty shouts at Psyduck until his headache-based superpowers kick in, and he is able to free all the Pokémon and hurl Team Rocket off into the sunset.  Schpielbunk calls cut, and decides he somehow has basically enough for an awesome movie.

Continue reading “Anime Time: Episodes 69 and 70”

VikingBoyBilly asks:

Why can’t persian relearn Pay Day after it’s evolved? Why does drowzee/hypno have Assist as an egg move? (the japanese name for the move is a cat-related idiom, isn’t it?)

1) I suppose because Pay Day is so closely associated in the designers’ minds with Meowth’s habit of collecting coins and other shiny objects (which Persian doesn’t share), and also with the basis of Meowth’s design in those little waving cat statuettes you see in Japanese shops sometimes (again, a feature Persian doesn’t share), which are supposed to bring luck and prosperity.  Discounting the existence of a first-generation TM, it’s actually one of the most exclusive moves in the game – the only other Pokémon who can learn it is Purrloin (and even then only as an egg move, which means that she can’t relearn it either, whether before or after evolving [EDIT: WRONG; as of X and Y you actually can re-learn egg moves]).  Contrasting that with Game Freak’s willingness to splash around other things that were originally signature moves, like Leaf Blade and Waterfall, it seems like Pay Day’s ability to generate wealth must be specific to the design of Meowth and Meowth alone.  Apparently this is really important to them.

2) They’re hardly the only non-cat Pokémon who learn it that way – so do Sneasel, Chimchar, Sentret, and Spinda.  To me it makes perfect sense that a manipulative Pokémon like Drowzee would be able to learn a skill that makes use of allies’ powers in place of his own.