Hi I'm Dranzerstorm
You may remember me as a regular contestant on the caption battle contest.
Welcome to Retro Retrospective, my world dedicated to the old guard of the Otaku world; expect some reviews of the old & obscure, and in-depth geeky knowledge with the occasional top ten and I now have a logo.

Little info about me
Well I'm British and I'm in to all things animated and nostalgia.
I've grown up with every cartoon going and have watched hundreds of anime.
Oh and to answer a question I was asked once, no I don't wear glasses in real life, I would wear Loke's sunglasses though.

Cartoon Vault: Elena of Avalor

Post 21 and we look into today's cartoons with Elena of Avalor

Elena is a Princess of a far off Latin Kingdom who ends up trapped in an amulet which saves her from death at the hands of a soceress for many years; after being set free by Sofia the First (Long story) Elena must learn how to rule her Kingdom using the tools left to her by her late parents along with her many friends around her.
Pretty simple premise but how does it stack up?
Basically if you've seen Sofia the First this is basically the same with an age upgrade, not really surprising as it's the same universe, same creator and Sofia is even responsible for setting the plot in motion so it's all set in stone, in fact it may as well be an older Sofia learning how to be a ruler but I digress; Elena is at least more interesting in personality and the characters around her are endearing enough to not be too distracting, on the other hand I also feel that this is.
1. Been done before.
2. An obvious post Elsa character that tries to deliver the notion that women are strong independent characters.
and 3. Proves once and for all that the main core Disney Channel is for girls.
Some people may disagree with statement 3 but looking at this kind of show makes it hard to ignore considering it's other programs are Miraculous Ladybug and copious amounts of teen sitcoms that are not worth the script their written on and only girls actually like them.
Because of my rules on pre-school shows, Sofia the First is exempt from review as the target audience are too young to defend it but seeing as this doesn't really deviate much from it, I'd say this review pretty much sums up both shows which in my opinion is that they are okay shows that don't really bring anything new to the table, hey at least Elena's music is better.

Cartoon Vault: Defenders of Dynatron City

Post 18 and the delay in posting has been caused by yet another cold, so once again I try and recover with this one off pilot.

Defenders of Dynatron City started as a Nes game by Lucasfilm Games, best remembered for its notorious difficulty affected by poor game mechanics, not one I want to bring up on Cartridge Diaries, but to try and gather some popularity a pilot cartoon was made, so lets see what happens.
Dr Mayhem created Proto Cola in order to cause chaos by mutating everyone in the city but this backfires massively when it turns into the greatest innovation of human evolution as no one seems to bat an eyelid at the idea of mutating. Angered by this, Dr Mayhem decides that the best way to spread fear is to use a robot army, but a group of maintenance workers discover Mayhem's plan and by a series of events get mutated into superheroes with the help of Monkey Kid, the Doctors reluctant assistant.
To rate the heroes by practicality
Ms Megawatt:- Useful
Jet Headstrong: - Useless
Buzzsaw Girl: - Not useless but highly impractical
Radium Dog: - Not useless but I can't quite work out his power
Toolbox: - Best character of the lot
So yeah a mixed bag of practical and impractical, in all honesty the cartoon and game would be stronger if it were just the Toolbox because he is the best character hands down.
The story itself is very much stuck in the Saturday Morning Cartoons Category, it's non offensive and it barely has any plot other than heroes appear at the right place at the right time to save the day; ironically this is the type of world that Magneto from X-Men would want to create, yet it feels like a 50s World of Tomorrow cartoon rather than an utopian world.
Like Battletoads and Bubsy this franchise was stillborn, not helped by the game's poor mechanics and equally not helped by a cartoon that had very little to offer besides a really cool Toolbox who could probably do this franchise alone.

Bleach: The Diamond Dust Rebellion Review

Post 17 and we now take a look at the 2nd Bleach Movie Diamond Dust Rebellion.

The 10th Division of the Soul Society has been assigned to guard a sacred artifact until an unknown Soul Reaper steals it from under them but Toshiro Hitsugaya seems troubled by the assailant and goes off after him only to cause a great deal of commotion among the Soul Society as Rangiku and the rest of the 10th Division are stripped of their duty as Hitsugaya has broken the laws of the Soul Society but it soon becomes even more serious when Rukia and a small group of Soul Reapers start working out that the assailant is Hitsugaya's old friend Sojiro Kusaka who was killed because only one person can wield the Zanpakuto Hyorinmaru and by mistake there was two created and the Soul Society are just ass holes who can't see past their stupid traditions and rules.
Anyway Ichigo gets dragged into the scenario by finding Hitsugaya injured but Hitsugaya starts acting emo and saying "it doesn't involve you" but soon gets even more into trouble when he attacks a number of Soul Reapers trying to catch him which just makes him guilty of conspiring to steal the sacred artifact since another attack featured the exact same Zanpakuto.
Once Hitsugaya comes to his senses the whole Soul Society confront Kusaka who uses the artifact to warp reality and make himself all powerful and then the final battle begins.
This film is a poorly edited cut and paste hack job. Bleach is meant to be an action anime, a Shonen Jump action anime and it refused to show any action at all instead having flashes of characters using powers that would've been nice to see in full action. Ichigo's friends fight Kusaka's minions but we never see how; Hitsugaya fights a number of Soul Reapers but we don't see the finishing blow, same goes for Kusaka vs Kyoraku, we never see how the fight ended and to top off the madness they chose Hitsugaya as the focus of this 95 minute film, the least interesting character in the whole of Bleach and I've said before that Bleach does have interesting characters but refuses to use them and that's a real waste, the story itself is okay if done before but as a film it wouldn't really connect to the main series as canon nor does it make Hitsugaya's emoness anymore justified.
Dubbing is top quality but doesn't make the film any better.
20 minutes longer and actually showing us action would've saved this film.
Final Verdict: A horrific mess of poorly strung together scenes and a lack of anything action orientated in what's meant to be a Shonen Jump series made worse when you realize how far the franchise fell afterwards.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Review

Post 16 and I'm back to normal service following my research into pink, time for a major player in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children.

Now I've mentioned before that my relationship with Final Fantasy is very much love/hate, with no consistency so I'll do my best with this review to make it fair.
Advent Children takes place two years after the events of the game and Cloud has become even more emo as he continues to blame himself for Aeris' death, then a group of Sephiroth wannabes show up constantly looking for mother which we discover later as Jenova although if you played the games it's a simple plot to work out.
Where the children element comes in, Kadaj the leader of this group have abducted children carrying an unknown illness known as Geostigma, I don't know, this part is pretty pointless, they were made to drink something which gave them weird eyes but we don't actually know why this actually happens but it doesn't really do much for the plot anyway.
After a failed attempt to rescue the children, Cloud does some soul searching before returning for the final battle where his team defeat Bahamut SIN and Cloud gets a rematch against Sephiroth who is revived thanks to Kadaj absorbing the remains of Jenova. After claiming victory once again, Cloud cures all the children of the Geostigma as well as himself, afterwards the credits roll and were treated to a beautiful scene of Cloud riding through the hills on his awesome motorcycle.
The first half of this film didn't need to exist at all and at one point I even considered stopping the film and writing it off but the second half made up for it even if it boiled down to Square Enix saying "Were sorry that the final battle in Final Fantasy VII was so underwhelming so here's the fight we wanted to do" and it's actually a pretty good climax.
Dubbing was good for the most part but the villains were dreadful, the art style boiled down to how much black leather the characters can get away with without it being a funeral, again the first half of the film was pointless and pretty terrible, but on the other hand I can get invested in Cloud's team and the fighting was really good.
What that leaves you is basically half a film so here's how I rate it.
Final Verdict: If you were disappointed by Final Fantasy VII's climax then this film will make up for that. If your a fan of Final Fantasy in general this isn't really going to add anything to your experience but it's at least good in general. If you don't like Final Fantasy then you'll hate this. I can't really break it down any simpler than that; my verdict is that it was okay and I'm not a fan of Final Fantasy.

Cartoon Vault: Barbie and the Three Musketeers

Post 15, and no I'm not suffering from any more illness nor has said illness caused me to blow a gasket; every so often I like to challenge myself to review something that's out of my comfort zone in the hopes of finding something that might surprise me but sadly not in this review as you will find out.

Barbie to most people is a fashion doll designed for little girls but in an attempt to stay relevant in the 00s, a number of CGI films were made to try and promote the character in a better light to try and stop her fading popularity and appeal, the results are generally from mediocre to terrible, this film, Barbie and the Three Musketeers is on the terrible scale.
Barbie is Corinne, a country girl who wants to be a Musketeer, so in the hopes of becoming said Musketeer she travels to Paris with a letter for the Musketeer captain but her initial impressions only lands her a job as a maid along with three other girls wanting to be Musketeers as well. During an incident involving a chandelier which showcases some of the girls talents for fighting, an elder maid named Helen decides to train them in secret.
After another incident, this time involving the Prince, everyone decides to go out into the streets to investigate but during an altercation in a dark alley, Corinne works out that the attacker holds a Ruby left at the scenes of the previous incidents, putting this all together she finds out that there is a plot to assassinate the Prince. (Or overthrow, age rating and all) So the Musketeers disguise themselves and enter the Royal Ball where they stop the evil plans of Philippe. Upon winning the battle the girls become the Royal Musketeers while Corinne ends up with the Prince.
First off, I approve of using Tim Curry as the voice of the villain but the script is so bloody awful that it looks awkward, also I tend to forget that a lot of former anime voiceovers tend to get used in these films but again the script they get is so awful I feel sorry for them.
If Barbie was trying to showcase the idea of women being strong and independent then this is not the best example, the characters borrow far too many tropes from the catalogue of girls cartoons, so alot of their strengths are hidden amongst coincidences, dumb luck, right place at the right time and the constant irritating notion that all males are morons.
The fight scenes are abysmal, you mean to tell me that you can beat trained soldiers with a sling shot, ribbons, a pair of fans and one sword? It also has a mascot character which of course is always annoying, to make it worst this is pretty much the dynamic for most of Barbie's films. Barbie wants to be great, by some coincidence she ends up exactly where she wants to be, she makes friends instantly without even trying, the villain tries to stop her for some really convoluted reasons, Barbie then saves the day by either doing a ripoff Disney Princess Transformation or finding a convenient plot point that may as well be "press button to win", Barbie then ends up with the male lead, male lead comes across as really stupid or oblivious, there's often an annoying mascot character and I've pretty much saved all you viewers from several more reviews of this franchise.
From an observational standpoint I've never seen the color pink as a very intelligent color; in franchises that rely on color coding such as pop idol shows, magical girl shows or any series that relies on a traditional princess as an important character tend to have the same type of female character, they all wear pink and they tend to follow the same personality; optimistic, happy go lucky and full of energy but not necessarily intelligent, sometimes portraying ditziness as a "cute" and "quirky" trait that makes her popular with the other characters, it's not just cartoons but video games and anime have the same problem but why do I hate this and tolerate say Precure?
Well Precure use other colors to make up it's team of characters more effectively and are backed up with differing personalities that can play off the lead in pink. Barbie on the other hand has three friends who might as well be Barbie as a brunette, red head or African American who only wear different colors to tell her apart from Barbie herself, it also doesn't work in her favor that Barbie has done 100 different jobs and careers so looking at all four characters is like another Barbie from another dimension with slightly different quirks but may as well be the same. Also they are taking a well known novel, gender flipping it and just made it stereotypically girly, they couldn't just be the three Musketeers, to look at the actual three Musketeers, Athos is a divorcee who is also a drunk, Aramis is a womanizer, Porthos is one morality point away from being a thief; D'Artagnan is the original blueprint for the fool hardy reckless hero much in the same way the Scarlet Pimpernel is the original blueprint for pretty much every superhero comic so portraying him is easy, but the other characters come with faults that make them anti heroes in the eyes of the cardinal trying to overthrow the King; Barbie does aware with these faults and instead you get four D'Artagnans which means you don't give the audience a choice of diverse characters you just pick from a palette swap of Barbie and I think the target audience for this deserve a lot more credit than what the film gives them.
And yeah the whole men are morons thing? Cut it out.
To conclude, this franchise is too outdated to be relevant in the social media age and considering how easily offended the internet gets from stupid things, I'm actually surprised that Mattel can still sell Barbie dolls.