S2E01 - Mutation City

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S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Betaruga » Thu Feb 05, 2015 1:53 am

Starting off the discussion of this episode with some (Tumblr friendly, feel free to use!) gifs from the opening scene of season 2! :) This season, despite the animation style changes being even less consistent than season 1, has (most of) the best animation of the entire series, and breaks right into the American directed "anime" territory.

Mutation City Liveblog, part 1 of 5

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And how awesome is it to see our heroes again, and in different outfits, to boot!

Speaking of...

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"It's really cool we finally found where our boots were."

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"You know, wearing boots is a good idea! I kinda wonder why we don't just wear boots all the time?"

"Aw Chance, you know the real reason why... it isn't that boots are impractical..."

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"...It's cuz boots are for chumps!"

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"But... you're wearing boots, too!"

"Don't question my logic!"

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"Honestly though, have you even seen our feet? They're HUGE! I actually blacked out from the pain while putting these on--I still don't know how they managed to fit!"

"Ggghfrr *cough cough* J-Jake! Grggller...! Bu--*cough* b-ut gleuhurK boots are actually *COUGH* kinda cool..!"

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"Glargk! J-Jake *cough* n-no seriously though *gak!* he-eurgk-elp! *cough* Help!"

"Hah! Pretending to drown just so I can show off how awesome I am at not drowning? Nice try, buddy!"

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"...Waaaaiiit. You're actually drowning. And I just totally ignored your calls for help--while beating you at this little obstacle course of ours, though it's not like I'm keeping score or anything..."

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"Thank God nobody was here to see me almost commit katslaughter due to gross negligence... or how married we look while I resuscitate you."

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Jake legit thinks Chance wound up drowning while pretending to drown.

His respect has just totally plummeted. Jake's admonished Chance before, but his level of contempt here is definitely an unprecedented moment in the series. I know Razor's Edge gets all the street cred, but this scene breaks into the new season with some noteworthy character development.

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In fact, this is the first time we see Chance's abrasive defense mechanisms come into play when one of his "failing" and long suffering vulnerabilities is grudgingly brought to light -- his inability to swim. Razor's Edge shows that Jake's self confidence can be rattled and how he'd react to that--albeit in a slightly less believable way than this exchange, (due to logistics explained below) showing an integral part of Chance's personality and how he deals with insecurities... As opposed to Jake, whose projectile weapons have somehow "never" hurt any civilians before, despite all the ridiculous infrastructure damage done by the Turbokat within the show (and even when they do, they don't.)

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"How come you never told me?!"
"You never asked."

Actually, the fact that Chance wouldnt divulge that kinda info on his own (even lying about having a cramp after) displays an irresponsibile deniability about the risks in covering up that crucial bit of information. Beyond his own humiliation, there might have also been some fear-factor there, that if he opened up about his weaknesses to Jake, that it would change the nature of their competitive rivalry, or worse, would make Jake not want to work with him...?

Though Jake's concern is valid--suppose they wound up on a mission that requires swimming! ... ;) Or worse, imagine that instead of the happy ending we had, Chance couldn't save someone who was drowning because of his earlier refusal to learn how to swim...? (Fanfic guilt trip time!) That's a liability for sure, and Chance's intentional concealment of that information could have cost them both their lives (or someone else's life!) at some point. That point is unspoken in this conversation, but still speaks loudly later on in the episode, and the character implications are... kinda huge.

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"Hey no sweat, I'll teach you to swim!"
"Forget it. Fish swim, I fly."

Chance's own stubbornness to confront his own weakness here, even (if not especially) with the aid of Jake, his best friend and competitive rival is also telling, as is his unconvincing rebuke against Jake's offer to help.

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"What, you don't trust me enough to teach you how to swim after almost letting you drown?"

This is just my POV, but a lot more comes out of this exchange to me rewatching this as an adult as opposed to my binge-watching SWAT Kat as a kid. This scene isn't just about Chance; Jake's confusion is also telling of his inability to relate to Chance's temperament around this issue (which is actually something Chance has in common with a lot of guys, who would have felt just as humiliated and reacted the same way) The fact that Jake doesn't catch on to that doesn't just highlight his own rationality in the face of the issue of Chance not being able to swim and being upset with that by shifting his attention to the logical solution, "so just learn how to swim"... but it more inherently tells of Jake's healthier ego, (or perhaps lack of trauma) suggesting that he doesn't take his own shortcomings as personally as Chance, and views them as impersonal obstacles to overcome.

Such might also explain why Chance has so much success playing to a shorter list of specific strengths, such as piloting and being the brawn of the team, as opposed to the more multi-disciplined and patient Jake, who has the "jack of all trades approach" on top of being an expert gunner and weapon specialist.

Whereas Chance gets frustrated and destroys TVs and refuses to learn how to swim and face the difficulties of "failure" that weigh on him personally, Jake goes with the flow and doesn't see obstacles in front of him as any different than goals to overcome. And that's not a criticism of Chance's character--actually, all these faults of his are not just challenging to his capability as a hero--but even his own integrity to an extent...which actually make him a more relatable character for his weaknesses--and a compelling one for them.
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Kooshmeister » Fri Feb 06, 2015 12:47 am

Betaruga wrote:"Thank God nobody was here to see me almost commit katslaughter due to gross negligence... [i]or how married we look while I resuscitate you."


I'm pretty sure they'd still say "manslaughter." As I've pointed out before, Feral calls his Enforcers "men," not "kats." :lol:
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Betaruga » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:13 am

Kooshmeister wrote:
Betaruga wrote:"Thank God nobody was here to see me almost commit katslaughter due to gross negligence... [i]or how married we look while I resuscitate you."


I'm pretty sure they'd still say "manslaughter." As I've pointed out before, Feral calls his Enforcers "men," not "kats." :lol:


Why you gotta crud all over my clever kat puns bro
Why you gotta be like dat
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Felony » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:59 am

I wish they had more episodes where we saw more into Jake and Chance's day to day lives. I liked this exchange too as well as the one in the Reflex Room and other episodes showing them training. I always got the impression from scenes like these that Chance has lived a bit harder of a life than Jake did, and that Chance is most likely the older of the two, though maybe by a couple years.

One thing that irked me about this scene is... where the heck did Chance's arm stripes go? LOL Obvious bad animation error there.
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Betaruga » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:43 pm

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Concept art mistake ;) They modified T-Bone's design from his "casual Chance" design where his arms are covered... whoever did the concept art for the animators screwed up (and so did their supervisor for not catching it)
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Kooshmeister » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:01 pm

Wow, that's sloppy... unless they're implying Chance paints the stripes on. :lol:

This is actually my least favorite Dr. Viper episode, because he's barely in it. We see him in the pet store, and then later on when he pours the Katalyst X-63 onto his head, and... well, then he reappears as a gigantic monster and that's all she wrote for classic Viper this season, and, heck, for the remainder of the series - excluding his origin story which is completely in flashback.

And as a giant, he does... what? He smacks Enforcer Headquarters a couple of times, shows off his new manicure and then gets taken out like a punk because he for whatever reason decides to hold the anti-mutagen canisters high above his head, all but putting a "Shoot These!" sign on them. Alas, Dr. V, this may be the best-animated episode you appeared in, and the closest you came to achieving your Megaswamp--sorry Mutation City (because inter-series continuity is for suckers), but your performance in it leaves a lot to be desired.

Still a fun episode, and my favorite stuff involves the fact Manx has a little bust in his bathroom to put his toupee on (that entire sequence of him preparing to shower is a hoot; thank goodness it got interrupted before he could remove his robe, though!) and the fact he spends the entire episode in his robe and slippers, Felina's (second) introduction rescuing Callie from that really ornery tree, as well as the world's most tenacious giant frog ever! That thing just would not let go of the dang jet!

I do question why ace pilot Felina and her cohorts decided to fly so low between the buildings, mere feet above the mutant-infested water. You do know that helicopters can fly higher than that, right, Felina?
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Betaruga » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:09 pm

Kooshmeister wrote:Wow, that's sloppy... unless they're implying Chance paints the stripes on. :lol:

This is actually my least favorite Dr. Viper episode, because he's barely in it. We see him in the pet store, and then later on when he pours the Katalyst X-63 onto his head, and... well, then he reappears as a gigantic monster and that's all she wrote for classic Viper this season, and for the remainder of the series, excluding his origin story which is completely in flashback.


I kinda like that it implied that Dr. Viper as we knew him died... Not because I don't like Viper, but because... well, it was like, closure? And also made me more curious about what happened to him. Until I heard about the unfinished episode with Dr. Viper, I thought for eons that the anti-mutagens reverted him back to being a normal kat again, and wondered how he'd deal with that....
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Kooshmeister » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:12 pm

Betaruga wrote:I kinda like that it implied that Dr. Viper as we knew him died... Not because I don't like Viper, but because... well, it was like, closure?


I always entertained the notion that if he'd returned, he would've had a new appearance. Something halfway between his giant-self and his old self, sort of akin to the action figure he got. But preferably less buff. Seriously, Viper and buff do not go together. When when he's a giant, the boy's got some serious love handles.

Betaruga wrote:Until I heard about the unfinished episode with Dr. Viper, I thought for eons that the anti-mutagens reverted him back to being a normal kat again, and wondered how he'd deal with that....


Well, he'd probably get arrested, for one thing. And, remember, he was evil (or at least crooked and mean) before he got mutated. Even if the courts dismissed all post-mutation charges against him he'd still be looking at assault and attempted theft.
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Betaruga » Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:16 am

Kooshmeister wrote:
Betaruga wrote:I kinda like that it implied that Dr. Viper as we knew him died... Not because I don't like Viper, but because... well, it was like, closure?


I always entertained the notion that if he'd returned, he would've had a new appearance. Something halfway between his giant-self and his old self, sort of akin to the action figure he got. But preferably less buff. Seriously, Viper and buff do not go together. When when he's a giant, the boy's got some serious love handles.

Betaruga wrote:Until I heard about the unfinished episode with Dr. Viper, I thought for eons that the anti-mutagens reverted him back to being a normal kat again, and wondered how he'd deal with that....


Well, he'd probably get arrested, for one thing. And, remember, he was evil (or at least crooked and mean) before he got mutated. Even if the courts dismissed all post-mutation charges against him he'd still be looking at assault and attempted theft.


Now all I can imagine is de-mutated Viper in jail with his inmates smuggling in the regular goods and each time he glosses it over like, "I dunno, I mean, will this really, I mean like really mess you up?" like almost praying each time that he'll run into something that'll revert him back into a mutated nerd-beast. I bet he'd really be at odds being in a kat's body again, and probably hate it.
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Re: S2E01 - Mutation City

Postby Kooshmeister » Sun Feb 08, 2015 8:42 pm

It seems as though a maximum security nuthouse would be a better place for him. I have an interesting conundrum, though; Elrod Purvis is legally dead. How would the courts go about prosecuting Viper, returned to normal form or not? That'd be one interesting trial!

The same, of course, can be said for the Metallikats and the Pastmaster.
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