SC Riffs: Glitter Force, Episode Two

Hello, and welcome back to Riffing the Riff-Raff! I’m your host, SC, and today I’m back with another episode of Glitter Force, because the first one was so hilariously bad that I just had to keep going. Like, as I said last time, it’s not the most horrible thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s also not really that good. It’s full of clichés and puns you can see from a mile away and jokes that leave you going “huh?” rather than laughing your socks off. It likes to tell when it should just show, and it often continues to tell over and over again, even though you only needed to hear it once.

So, episode two of Glitter Force. Entitled, “Kelsey Gets a Makeover,” so that already kind of spoils who the next Glitter Force girl is going to be, although as I made very clear in the last episode, it’s not like it was hard to figure out in the first place. Let’s jump in, shall we?

~~~

I already saw the intro last time, so I don’t need to comment on that again. There’s a short recap from episode one, whatever.

I forgot that Candy sounded so annoying, though.

Right out of the gate, we get shown how people are greeted in Jubiland. It looks suspiciously like how Japanese people pray.

*rings gong*

*rings gong*

…BUT WE’RE STILL NOT IN JAPAN, FOLKS.

Candy’s stomach growls, and this leads into some exposition about the Glitter Charms: apparently, they’re made of Bullshitonium and therefore can do stupid, mundane stuff whenever you’re not busy being a hero, like summoning giant strawberries on a whim. So long as you use the compact, that is. I’m pretty sure magical girl series don’t typically futz around with their powers while they’re on an Important Quest of Importance, but hey, whatever, Glitter Force.

I guess Emily’s the ditzy idiot of the group, because she somehow managed to forget, over the course of only a few hours, that she’s supposed to round up four other girls to form the Glitter Force™. Then the show awkwardly segues into shenanigans. Because it is not at all subtle with how desperately it searches for openings.

Oh yeah, and we run into the Getting Crap Past The Radar trope, with this:

Candy, stop looking there.

Candy, stop looking there.

Candy disses Emily hard, and then we cut to the VILLAINOUS HIDEOUT OF EVIL!

IMG_20160105_160629024

…Precariously positioned on a geologically impossible cliff. Nice.

As we enter the villain hideout, ominous black blobs with glowing, evil red eyes openly mock the pissed-off Big, Bad Wolf, as he thunder-punches a boulder. I should note here that the background looks like it came out of that game Okami. STILL NOT JAPAN.

Wolf vows revenge for his embarrassing defeat in the last episode, and we cut back to… Kelsey. Well, one could guess she needed to show up sooner or later in an episode about her.

But before we get into that: really, Glitter Force? You cut away from the heroes for all of thirty seconds to establish that there’s more villains, when you’ve already established that there are an assload of villains and monsters to be fought in order to save Jubiland and the world? That was so unnecessary!

Back to Kelsey, we’re playing volleyball! You’d think at first that the show would use this as an excuse to put all the main girls on the same team, so as to demonstrate their natural synergy, but it actually doesn’t. From the top-down shot we get, Kelsey, Emily and Lily (the blonde one) are on one side, and April and Chloe (green and blue) are on the other side. I appreciate that, to be honest.

And then everything is a blur as the server smacks the volleyball way too high to start. Guitar music pumps up as we-

Watch Kelsey Sue her way through the entire game. Even Resident Sporty Gal April is caught off-guard by it.

You don’t need to be a glory hog, Kelsey. You have a team of five other people you can utilize.

I paused it just a second sheet April says, “Man, she’s good!”, and it happened to stop on the scorekeeper flipping numbers. And can I just say, I find the scorekeeper girl more appealing to the eye than all of the main girls put together.

Seriously, look at her!

Seriously, look at her!

I guess as I’ve grown more mature with my anime interests, the wacky hair colors and styles have just gradually stopped catching my eye. That, or I just happen to find brunettes in glasses to be more interesting than a squad of rainbow goons, I don’t know.

*SC adjusts his glasses and runs a hand through his brown hair in a totally not point-making manner*

Back to the game, Lily almost gets wrecked by the ball (which I admit to laughing at, probably because the show told me once already to revel in her suffering), and then Kelsey calls to Emily to set up a spike. You know, I’ve played volleyball, it tends to go a bit too fast to have the leisure time to call out plays. This ball is made of helium, isn’t it?

Dramatic blur shot as Emily stresses over having to actually, you know, play the game – to be fair, so would I if I had someone on my team who had basically been ruling the net up to now – and shenanigans ensue once again as Emily sets up her hands… and gets nailed in the face. What is it with things hitting Emily in the face? What did her face do to hurt you, universe?

Mmm, watcha saaay~

Mmm, watcha saaay~

The ball goes space-bound off of Emily’s face, Kelsey’s all, “cool, whatevs,” and April and Chloe finally pull their heads out of their asses and move to intercept. They all try to match Emily’s vertical jump record from last episode (good luck with that) in a race to spike the ball first, but Kelsey beats them to the punch with an unnecessary super move commonly found in sports anime (think “Celestial Hand” from Inazuma Eleven), which she calls her “Patented Sledgehammer Slam.”

…I’m not sure how old you have to be to patent something, so I can’t really comment on that, but I wasn’t aware you could patent a super move. Gonna make a note about that for future reference.

Anyhow, dramatic white light as April and Chloe fail to defend the net and the ball smacks the ground on their side. Game over, Kelsey and the Goon Team win. April and Chloe are left in shock, and Chloe decides to give exposition about Kelsey: she’s the best Attacker in the League-

Wait, hold the fuck up, Kelsey’s playing at LEAGUE LEVELS?! How old is she again?! What League?! She’s not pro level, is she?! This is P.E., for crying out loud!

(Meanwhile, Emily is hit by the aftershock of the Wreckoning she received from the ball in the background. Lily freaks the hell out.)

We cut away from the game to see Candy creeping about in a bush, which stands out like a sore thumb on a campus devoid of any greenery that is not field or tree.

Well, that, and she takes up the whole screen.

Well, that, and she takes up the whole screen.

Kelsey becomes Punlord Kelsey the Agonizing, and this is just not shenanigans. I’ll get back to you when the plot kicks back in.

…And we’re back! Emily pulls Kelsey and Lily aside to let them in on the whole Glitter Force thing. She also makes the most terrifying face ever, but I’ll spare you having to see it. Kelsey and Lily kind of go, “uh?” and Candy, still creeping in that bush, is all, “Damn it, she’s doing it WRONG!”

And more shenanigans. Give me a sec.

So, Candy intervenes and tells Emily to stop being a fuck-up, because you can’t just go and point-blank tell someone they’re a Magical Girl, bro.

*sigh* More shenanigans, just a minute.

So, Kelsey of course turns down the offer, for reasons listed above. She says her mind is all volleyball and no glitter right now, which is fair, but she’s still inevitably going to get shanghaied into the plot. Kelsey offers to teach Emily how not to get slammed in the face by a volleyball moving at high speeds, and we cut to the end of the school day. I can’t claim to know how Japanese schools work, but I guess it’s common practice to hang around after school hours and futz about on campus. Which, you know, same goes for American schools, but most kids just want to go the hell home by the time the bell rings.

Kelsey, whilst practicing her spike game, proceeds to get totally wrecked by other much more competent players, proving that Emily’s class is a load of slackers when it comes to volleyball. Rather than Kelsey, a girl with some cool hair named Jasmine is looking like the MVP of the court this year –

Jasmine's the one on the left, with the cool hair.

Jasmine’s the one on the left, with the cool hair.

– and naturally that’s a bummer that can’t be allowed to stand.

Cut forward again to sunset:

THIS IS NOT JAPAN WE SWEAR

THIS IS NOT JAPAN WE SWEAR

Emily is walking home to her Not Japanese residence, bemoaning Kelsey’s loss earlier that afternoon. By no coincidence, she happens upon Kelsey angrily spiking a ball into a support beam of the Not Japanese Train bridge. She’s actually hitting the ball so hard that it’s leaving white marks where it impacts the beam. Jesus H. Christ, woman.

We almost get a bit of characterization for Kelsey when she starts crying out of frustration, but then the show remembers, “oh yeah! Tell, don’t show!” and Emily decides to inform us of what we already know (that she’s crying).

And more shenanigans. I swear, I’m not joking when I say this. This is a play-by-play of the episode, as I’m watching it.

Oh, and sappiness. I almost forgot that that was a thing in this show, too.

Kelsey says she wasn’t crying, it was just sweat (okay, Glitter Force, you got me on that one, fair play). Every the optimist, Kelsey agrees to let Emily help her practice for the game. Candy, meanwhile, bitches about how long it’s taking to recruit the heroes. Because Candy apparently doesn’t realize that it’s something of a process, convincing a group of strong-minded individuals with their own agendas and opinions to unite under a singular cause. Ask Nick Fury, he had a hell of a time getting the Avengers to work together.

Wolf is back, and for some reason hates picturesque sunsets (but they’re pretty, bro!), then we cut to the next day. Kelsey is playing volleyball for the MVP title, and Emily is cheering her on from the sidelines. This time, Kelsey Sues the game to victory.

Just in time for Wolf to decide he hates volleyball, too!

Wolf paints the campus into despair, much like he did in the first episode, and Kelsey is unfortunately caught in the emo feelings that spring up from it. He reminds us that every negative feeling puts the clock one tick closer to reviving his Master, because we didn’t register that the first time around, and then he kicks back for a minute to mock everybody, right to Emily’s face no less. Guy’s got balls, I’ll give him that.

Emily, naturally, steps up the sap game to eleven, and its transformation time! And it’s just as awful as last time. I really hope they just speed through the transformations at some point, because watching this scene every single time is going to make me puke.

We’ve a little over thirteen minutes left in the episode, which means we have plenty of time to get Kelsey in on the game. But that’s later – Wolf, anticipating the whole heroic transformation deal, wastes no time busting out his new monster:

A… gigantic… Clown Volleyball. Okay. Sure, whatever.

Emil- whoops, that’s Glitter Lucky now – has a temporary falter in confidence, but can’t really afford to get too dragged down by it, because the fight is on-

Oh shit, the Volleyball Clown is wrecking her day.

Well, eventually Lucky gets the upper hand, and is able to unleash Sparkle Storm early into the fight this time, once again forcing my TV to adjust the brightness down so that it can actually show the attack in action because it’s so fucking bright.

Problem is, we still have eleven minutes in the episode, and Kelsey hasn’t been recruited yet. Can’t have the villain beaten that easily, so naturally, Lucky misses.

Her ultimate attack MISSES.

I’d make a luck pun here, but that’s too easy at this point.

She tries again… but doesn’t have enough power, because you can’t just fire off two ultimate attacks in the same day, bro.

So, things aren’t looking good for Lucky right about now. But her sappiness kicks in again and inspires Kelsey to stop being an emo kid, and hey howdy, in comes Red to save the day!

…After shenanigans, God damn it.

Wolf does some villainous posturing about how friends are useless in his world, and Lucky gets all sappy again in retaliation. But, like, Tumblr sappy. And I do quote:

“Friends are the awesomest thing ever!” -Glitter Lucky

Kelsey has a dramatic flashback to yesterday afternoon, and then again to earlier that day, and gets pumped just as Wolf orders Lucky’s execution. Not that it does much good, because she attacks the Volleyball Clown… with a volleyball.

Uh, Kelsey? Ever heard of weakness exploitation? You’re kind of doing it wrong, chief.

But Kelsey’s too pumped to give a shit, so she goes on a suicide charge to try and bare-fisted-beatdown the Volleyball Clown, which is equal parts inspiring and awkward-chuckle sad.

But then Kelsey gets SO PUMPED that she starts to transform into Glitter Sunny out of nowhere. Candy gives her a quick rundown before it happens, and inexplicably, Kelsey acquires a Glitter Charm to power up with. I’ll assume Candy gave it to her. Despite the fact that Kelsey has, through the entire episode, thought the Glitter Force to be some kind of weird home she didn’t get, she somehow knows exactly how to do the transformation thing, and actually manages to make it look kind of cool, because she suits up with FIRE.

“This girl is on fire!” -Glitter Sunny

…Nevermind, she ruined it. It’s gross now. The only saving grace is that she has cool hair (if you don’t mind orange and yellow highlights in bright red hair done up in a messy bun, that is).

I mean, compared to the rest of her...

I mean, compared to the rest of her…

With one last dramatic explosion, the transformation is complete. Sunny’s hair goes from being three colors to just orange, but that’s fine.

And motherfucking hell, more shenanigans. I’m starting to hate shenanigans now, this is terrible.

Wolf again channels my thoughts on the matter (“Are you two about done?”), and Candy introduces him under his proper name, now – Ulric. Oh man. Herr, I’m so sorry.

And now the fight is back on! But it’s primarily Kelsey- crap, I mean Sunny leading the charge now, as this is her episode, after all. It’s only fair.

Candy gives the cue fit Kelsey to fire off her ultimate attack, Sparkle Fire, and after a brief rundown about powering up the attack, Kelsey sets to work. She conjures up a fireball which, again, is too fucking bright for my TV to handle without adjusting the brightness down, and spikes it right into the Volleyball Clown, who just stands there and takes it. I mean, if you’re just gonna do nothing when your opponent is taking so much valuable time to ready a super move, then damn it, you deserve to be disintegrated.

With this victory, Kel- shit, Sunny is officially inducted into the Glitter Force, the next Glitter Charm is acquired, the world is set right, and Ulric is forced to retreat once again, cursing his bad luck. The episode draws to a close on some more sappiness, and an attempt by Candy to be poignant…

And we get the weird MMD credits again to finish things out. You know, the end credits song is actually kind of catchy, for being cheesy as hell.

~~~

Well, that about does it for episode two! I will say that it wasn’t QUITE as bad as the first episode, but that’s actually not saying very much in its favor. It was still bad.

But, that said, I’m done here! Thanks for reading, folks, and stay tuned for next time! My posting schedule on this blog is shit, so don’t be surprised if it takes me forever to get back to this. In the meantime, I’m SC, and I’ll see you next time!

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