|“||Anime Review: Excel on Excel Saga
|--Review by Chris|
While the plagiarism in Sonichu is obvious to just about anyone, there are even deeper, more subtle layers of unoriginality in Chris's masterwork. Truly, if Sonichu is the bastard gay love-child of Sonic the Hedgehog and Pikachu, then Excel is surely his surrogate mother. For while the characters in Sonichu are mostly fusions of Sonic characters and Pokémon characters, Chris draws a lot of his "humor" from Excel Saga (エクセル・サーガ, Ekuseru Sāga), along with various other miscellaneous ideas that wound up in the comics.
Additionally, Excel Saga has left something of a cultural impression upon Chris's personal life as well. The purpose of this article is to list as many of these influences as possible, and to provide the original context for those unfamiliar with the anime. Due to the relative obscurity of Excel Saga, and the complexity of Chris's plagiarism of it, this article will also provide some additional background on the series.
The genesis of the anime lay in Kōshi Rikudō's fan comic, Municipal Force Daitenzin, which was an adult-themed parody of the sentai genre (read: Power Rangers). By 1996 he had retooled the concept to focus on Excel, one of the characters in the original fan comic, and the first Excel Saga comics saw print in Japan. Fun fact: Rikdo dabbled in some Sonic fancomics as well, and he hit the big time at the age of 26, making him everything Chris has ever dreamed of being professionally, whether Chris is aware of it or not.
The manga tells the story of two factions struggling for control of the city of Fukuoka, Japan. One, ACROSS, is led by the ruthless but myopic Lord Il Palazzo, who seeks to conquer the city as a stepping stone to world domination under his own high-minded ideals. His organization consists of only a handful of young women, who seem only vaguely aware of his intentions. The title character, Excel, is the first of these agents, later joined by Hyatt, and even later, Elgala. The second faction is the Department of City Security, headed by the civic-minded but manipulative Dr. Kabapu, a powerful government official. Over the course of the series, he recruits a number of people to work for his department, then slowly compels them to perform increasingly bizarre tasks in the name of civil defense. Though Kabapu and Il Palazzo share some mysterious history, the rest of their respective groups remain unaware of each other for much of the series. Against this backdrop, Rikdo weaves a satire of life in Japan during the recession of the 1990s.
Soon after the manga began publication, Rikdo was approached about an anime adaptation. He agreed, on the condition that the anime's storyline differ from his own, as the manga's plot was still unfolding. Further, much of the cynical, sometimes controversial humor in the comics was unsuitable for Japanese television, and so the anime's director, Shinichi Watanabe, had to come up with additional material to fill out the show. Among these contributions were a new character Pedro, an immigrant worker, the Great Will of the Macrocosm, a cosmic entity capable of reshaping continuity, and Nabeshin, the director's over-the-top alter ego. To explain this flagrant disregard for the source material, one of the running gags of the anime is an ongoing struggle between Rikdo and Nabeshin for control over the creative direction of the series, with Rikdo using a comically oversized rubber stamp to approve the use of his characters to lampoon various anime genres.
The series and Chris
The series was then adapted for release in North America by A.D. Vision in 2002, and would eventually end up in the DVD player of a certain autistic manchild we all know. The English dub adds yet another layer to the series, which parodies other anime series as it partially adapts a manga that itself parodies even more anime. To better help American audiences get the references, ADV included optional pop-up notes in the DVDs so that a befuddled viewer could learn just what the hell Excel was imitating or why such-and-such dialogue was supposed to be a pun in Japanese. In other words, 99.99999999996% of the humor in Excel Saga was almost certainly over Chris's head, and so when he speaks of the series as being funny, he's probably just repeating what it says on the back of the DVD case, or referring to slapstick humor like Excel falling down a hole. That Chris would dare to steal material from this series has three side-effects:
1) Chris doesn't actually understand what he's stealing. At least when he ripped off Pikachu, he knew how to do it. Cute yellow thing shoots lightning. Simple. From there, Chris would go on to draw its penis, but the basic gist of Pikachu was properly stolen. When Chris rips off a joke from Excel Saga, however, he robs the gag of all context, resulting in an awkward line of dialogue that's unoriginal and unfunny.
2) Chris is ripping off anime he hasn't even seen. For example, since Chris actually had watched Dragon Ball Z, it's difficult to say for certain if the Curse-ye-ha-me-ha was lifted directly from DBZ, or the episode of Excel Saga that parodied it. The vast majority of anime titles mocked or referenced by Excel Saga, however, Chris has probably never even heard of, so when he steals that material, he doesn't realize it was already borrowed the first time.
3) For once, it isn't immediately obvious when Chris is ripping something off. Since Excel isn't nearly as well-known as Sonic or Pikachu, Chris can actually sort of get away with lifting ideas from it.
Episode guide to Excel Saga, with influences on Chris
Excel is assigned to assassinate manga artist Koshi Rikdo, who created the Excel Saga comics on which the anime is based. After the Will of the Macrocosm restarts the story several times, Excel gets a part-time job directing traffic for a construction site. There, she meets immigrant worker Pedro, who gets killed as a result of Excel's hyperactive negligence.
Influences on Chris:
- FQX as a replacement for the FOX network: An FQX searchlight logo is used at the end of each episode as Excel promotes the next one. Chris would use "FQX News" as the home network of Greta Squall when he ripped off the Spring Break bit from Family Guy in Sonichu #8.
- "Only three days since I skipped my last deadline": Sung aloud by Koshi Rikdo as he blithely draws his comics in his home, unaware that Excel is preparing to murder him. Chris would repeat this line for no good reason in "Off Target", featured in Sonichu #4.
- "PEDRO IS SHOCKED!": One of the many running gags throughout Excel Saga. When a character is shocked they will scream out "SHOCK!" This is usually done by Pedro, but Nabeshin and Sandora have also said this. "SHOCK" has been used many times throughout the Sonichu comics, and this is most likely the inspiration.
- "I could do all this before breakfast, but I had lunch a couple of hours ago": Said by Pedro when Excel motivates him to work harder at the construction site. Even the characters acknowledge that's a dumb wordplay gag native to Japan. It's less of a joke than a sign that Pedro is settling into his host country. Nevertheless, Chris uses it in his "classic" Sonichu strip from January 13, 2004, featured in Sonichu #0.
- Il Palazzo: Excel's leader, whose vast ambitions are undermined by his myopic strategies. For example, Il Palazzo seeks to unite the entire world through conquest, yet seeks only the takeover of the city he lives in, since it poses a lesser risk. When he calls for a purge of comic books from his New Order, he sends Excel out to kill a single cartoonist (Koshi Rikdo), an empty gesture at best. Chris attempted to demonize the manager of the Fashion Square Mall by recreating him as "ScotPalazzo", but this is ineffective, as Il Palazzo is less a villain than a mere parody of one. This would be equivalent to combining Scot from Charlottesville Fashion Square with Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes or Dark Helmet from the movie Spaceballs.
- Nabeshin: Self-insertion of series director Watanabe Shinichi. His appearance in his own anime is intended to be a parody of other directors who insert themselves in their own animes, and so he appears as a colorful man of action and mystery, often portrayed as more important and critical to the plot than the characters adapted from the original manga. In general, Chris probably draws justification for his own self-insertion into Sonichu because Shinichi did it first, ignoring the fact that the Nabeshin character manages to be ironic and badass at the same time. Shinabe, the martial arts master who raised Punchy Sonichu, resembled Nabeshin in appearance and name.
- Excel: Hyperactive protagonist. Fanatically devoted to Il Palazzo's contradictory ideals, Excel blathers on endlessly throughout the series, with mixed comedic results. While the character "Mypoe" is named for Puni Puni Poemy, another anime Shinichi Watanabe directed, she looks much more like Excel than anything else.
- Menchi: A small, white dog. In many ways, the mascot of the show. Chris owns a plushie of Menchi, which can be seen in the background of many of his videos. He also created "Menchi-Nasu High School" in his "The High School Story."
Sci-fi parody. Nabeshin senses his old master, the Space Butler, has been abducted by the Martian Puuchus, en route to invade the Earth. Excel destroys the Martian battleship in a manic fit, and the Martian's "Princess"--Hyatt--ends up in ACROSS headquarters, where Il Palazzo assumes her to be a new recruit.
Influences on Chris:
- Explaining the story: After the opening credits Excel apologizes that the story from the first episode makes no sense at all. So she then tells us what the story is about, a few of the characters, and the setting as well. Being that Sonichu's story also makes no sense at all Chris would copy this in Sonichu #0.
- Puuchu: If backed into a rhetorical corner, Chris would probably argue that his own blatant usage of Pikachu is legitimized by Excel Saga's Puuchus, cuddly yellow creatures clearly indented to resemble the popular Pokémon character. The difference, of course, being that Puuchus offer a humorous twist on Pikachu, in that not only their cuteness belies their hostile nature, but they also put a definitely not cute face on when hurt or serious.
- In addition, Sonees and Roseys certainly resemble Puchuus more than, say, Pichus.
B movie action film parody. Il Palazzo tasks Hyatt with finding Excel, who was captured by mercenaries in the previous episode. Instead, Excel is rescued by Nabeshin, who infiltrates the mercenary camp to save his beloved Tetsuko. Nabeshin blows up a bunch of shit and Excel returns to Japan, where she meets the sickly Hyatt, who has barely even begun her first mission.
- Director as the main character: While Nabeshin had been aggressively inserted into the story before, the action movie format necessitated him in a bigger role, and here he pretty much moves the entire storyline forward. Much of this episode, from Nabeshin's fruitless quest to save his love, to Nabeshin's impossible victory over an entire army, would be reflected in the Sub-Episodes.
- Prolonged speeches: This is a staple in Excel Saga, but it's worth noting here because this is the first time Il Palazzo really gets to preach on about what's wrong with the world. Similarly, most of Excel's dialogue in the anime comes in the form of rapid-fire babbling, which she does a lot of here, since she's in mortal danger for most of the episode. Chris may have interpreted this to mean that long-winded speeches are funny in general, regardless of topic or context. Thus Excel Saga may have inspired all those walls of text Chris writes into his stories, especially the ones where he lectures the villains for daring to oppose him. It should be noted, however, that while Excel and Il Palazzo are no less chatty in the Excel Saga manga, the author is much more conservative about writing every single friggin' word they say, since the gag wouldn't work as well in print.
- Bumping into each other: Throughout the episode Excel's side of the story is being told is shown in wide screen, while Hyatt's has been shown in a normal screen. Near the end of the episode Hyatt begins her mission to locate Excel. We then see Excel, which Menchi strapped to her chest, skipping happily down the street; overzealous with the joy of escaping. We then see Hyatt, walking down the street rather slowly, contemplating on where she should begin her mission. It switches between Excel and Hyatt a few more times; until the two happen to meet with Excel's side of the screen still in wide screen, and Hyatt's in full. Rosechu and Amy Rose would copy this in the epilogue of Sonichu 6, resulting in something that just doesn't make sense. Also, if we consider that Rosechu was in wide screen mode, that means that she answers only to the all mighty ScotPalazzo.
Romantic comedy parody. The girls' next door neighbor, Toru Watanabe (not to be confused with Nabeshin) asks Hyatt out on a date, but the matter is soon complicated to the point of absurdity by the antics of their respective roommates.
- Dating game simulators: This episode uses the concept brilliantly, depicting a real-life date between Hyatt and Watanabe, parallel to Lord Il Palazzo, who plays a video game featuring Hyatt as the girl he's trying to win. The idea of the game is to respond to romantic situations with one of three options. Throughout this episode, option 3 is often simply "Put it in". As these dating simulator games never caught on in the United States, it's highly likely that this episode was what gave Chris the big idea to use Sprung to further his "Dating Education". This is further evidence that nearly all of the jokes in Excel Saga are way over Chris's head. The whole point of this episode is that these games are childish and unrealistic, and Chris simply assumes the writers are trying to give him tips on how to score.
- Doll humping: Excel rolls around on the floor with a life-size wooden figure dressed up to resemble Il Palazzo. Again, this is an example of Chris's warped behavior which might be attributed to him watching this show and thinking it's somehow acceptable in real life.
- Simple white background characters: These nondescript bystanders appear during Hyatt's date with Watanabe, a parody of Di Gi Charat. Naturally, Chris took their use as implicit permission to slack off in his own drawings of large crowds. You can spot this in almost any issue of Sonichu.
- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!: Before there was Darth Vader, there was Pedro. After dying in the first episode, Pedro's ghost endures a series of emotional trials throughout the series, as his wife immediately forgets about him and finds a new man (something Chris himself would later do when after a day he forgot about PandaHalo and moved on to Julie). Forced to watch the charming Gomez take over his family, Pedro can only watch in tears and scream his beloved catchphrase, which Chris would later repeat in Charlottesville Fashion Square.
Drama about social issues. Excel and Hyatt infiltrate a government building to undermine the highest ranking city officials. Concurrently, Watanabe and his roommates, Iwata and Sumiyoshi, get jobs as civil servants working for the Department of City Security, a pet project run by the mysterious and influential Dr. Kabapu.
- Red String of Fate: When Watanabe whines about having to work alongside his odious roommates, Iwata suggests they're bound by the red string of fate. Watanabe angrily retorts that the Red String is only supposed to be for destined lovers, not just any two people. Watanabe then meets Hyatt, posing as a refreshments vendor, and decides that the Red String of Fate binds the two of them. This could be where Chris first learned of the concept, since it's not like he would have found out about it from Dragon Ball Z or Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
- Dr. Kabapu: Dr. Kabapu is the leader of the city's defense team. However, he seems to hold a great amount of power in politics; so much that he could potentially make anyone mayor if he needed to. His desire to protect the city is strong; although a bit warped. If there is a threat to the city, he will find and destroy it. This warped way of thinking may have influenced the way that the Mayor runs the city of CWCville.
- Drool Waterfalls: Tears streaming like waterfalls is an often-used effect in Excel Saga, particularly seen on the long-suffering Pedro. However, in this episode, many of the government workers are sickened after consuming Hyatt's refreshments, and begin roaming the building in zombie-like fashion, green drool pouring from their mouths. A very similar visual appeared in Sonichu #4, when Crystal managed to paralyze the Jerkops in lust at a bowling alley.
Survival drama. Excel and Hyatt are sent to install a powerful weapon on a mountaintop and use it to destroy the city. Coincidentally, Kabapu's Department of City Security agents undergo training with laser pistols, and Iwata unwittingly foils ACROSS' plot when his weapon misfires.
- Misaki Matsuya's Character Notes: The introduction of Matsuya was treated as a big deal in the anime, with a pause to display text on the screen describing the character's age, gender, hobbies, and personality traits. Chris would emulate this several times when introducing new characters, including Wes Iseli, Sarah Hammer, Allison Amber, Simonla Rosechu, and Zapina Rosechu.
- Ha-chan, Eh-Chan, Will-Chan, etc.: The suffix "-chan" is ubiquitous in anime, but most English dubs don't carry it over into the translation. Even if Chris had heard it before watching Excel Saga, the sheer abundance of "-chan" combined with the first syllable of a character's name in the series is probably what led Chris to dub himself "Chris-Chan". This would also explain Chris's failure to realize the context of -chan. While the honorific is used for children, girls, and young women, Excel Saga uses it so gratuitously that a viewer might never notice the pattern, especially in this episode. Nevertheless, the suffix "-chan" could be seen as working for Chris in a unique way, since it effectively puns off his last name: "Chandler". The suffix is further validated by the fact that in many ways, Chris really is a child.
Horror film. Kabapu sends the DCS team into the sewers, not far from the underground lair of ACROSS. Excel and Hyatt activate defense systems at random, causing a flood. Both groups run afoul of the Puuchus, led by the hideous Puuchu Queen, until Nabeshin triggers a second flood which saves the cast and destroys the monsters.
- Ms. Momochi: Kabapu's secretary, who walks in on Kabapu while he's in between changing clothes in his office. While bearing no physical resemblance, the character may well have been the inspiration for Miss Allison Amber, Chris's mayoral aide and girl Friday.
Pretty girl anime. In a shameless bid to increase ratings, all male characters are stricken from the storyboards, appearing only as off-screen voices, shadows, or hands. The DCS team take a vacation day to visit the City Pool, while Excel and Hyatt coincidentally do the same. Hyatt befriends a young girl named Cosette Sara, who turns out to be a cunning assassin. In a strange twist of fate, Cosette is transported to the world of the dead, where she sees her mother's ghost once more, but Pedro warns that she cannot cross the Sanzu River to join her, for it would mean she would die as well. Taking pity on Cosette, the Great Will of the Macrocosm retcons Cosette's life so that her mother never died and her dark life as a child assassin never happened. The other male characters later confront Pedro for violating the "no-men" rule of the episode.
Influences on Chris: Nothing really obvious. This episode was primarily a tongue-in-cheek exercise in gratuitous fanservice, so Chris may have been too busy fapping away to notice anything else. He may have gotten the idea to do the Spring Break story in Sonichu #8 from this episode, but other than the all-Rosechu cover, it seems like a rather thin connection.
Sports anime. Considering athletics to be the universal language of the masses, Il Palazzo sends Hyatt and Excel to research ways to exploit sports for the purpose of world domination. This leads the duo to part-time jobs in a bowling alley, which is soon overrun by the terrorist/bowling organization "Stick and Balls", who plot to use the alley to spread their pro-bowling propaganda and return the "sport of kings" to its former glory. Excel flees to the women's restroom, where Nabeshin agrees to train her in the art of bowling to defeat the Stick and Balls' ringleader. Excel kicks everyone's ass and saves the day.
- "I'm much, much saltier": When Excel confronts the terrorists, they mock her for having run away earlier. Excel's response: "But I'm not the sweet little girl I was a few minutes ago! I'm much, much saltier now!" Compare to Chris's line from Sub-Episode 6 of Sonichu #4, as he describes his showdown with the Jerkops at a bowling alley: "Ah, but I am not the weak person they think I am; I am much, much saltier!" Chris has also used this phrase in private e-mails, to describe himself in the present compared to the naivete of his youth. Note that by omitting the word "sweet", he completely loses the pun.
- Bowling: The course of the battle in Sub-Episode 6 really doesn't match up well with Excel's bowling adventure, aside from the single hero challenging an entire squad of goons in a bowling alley and defeating them with superhuman bowling moves. It's possible Chris may be channeling some other cartoon in addition, but given the "much, much saltier" line, it's clear that Excel Saga gave Chris the bright idea to do a comic set in a bowling alley.
Animal anime. Menchi, Excel's pet dog/emergency food supply, escapes their apartment and tries to seek out a kindly old man who once took care of her. She soon befriends a pack of fellow strays, led by the charismatic Wolf. Wolf's pack agree to help Menchi find the old man, but soon run afoul of the Animal Control Department, a squad of dogs who serve as dog catchers. After great heartache and betrayal, Wolf and the others sacrifice themselves so that Menchi can escape. Perhaps favoring Excel's long-term threats to the immediate dangers of the outside world, she returns to Excel's apartment.
- Anthropomorphic dogs: While Menchi can't talk, and in fact seems to look and sound more like a cat than a dog, the other dogs in this episode can speak, and on occasion assume humanoid postures. It appears that Chris ripped off this imagery when he reincarnated his own dog, Patti, as Patti-Chan. Patti doesn't quite resemble any of the dogs in this episode (her design actually having been stolen from a picture by Megan), although her face does look sort of like a cross between Menchi's and Kyoko's. Her body seems to more closely resemble Wolf's when he's standing upright, and it may be that Chris had to combine their designs in order to approximate Patti's breed.
- A kind old man: Toward both the start and the ending of the episode Menchi has memories of the kind old man that took care of her before she met Excel. Once her memories are near completed, circles with memories of the old man fall slowly down the screen. Chris would copy this for the cover of Sonichu #7.
- Menchi's silent adventures: Until Menchi meets the other dogs, her speechless journey through the city bears a strong resemblance to the Sonichu Babies segments from Sonichu #3. In particular, a band of cruel children start throwing rocks and boulders at Menchi, not unlike a certain Whale we all know and love.
- "I shall show you the power of the well-read dog!": Defiant last words of "The Professor", a Scottish terrier in Wolf's pack, as he sacrifices himself on Menchi's behalf. Chris alters the line into "Behold the power of the well-trusted dog!" when Patti-Chan appears in CWCville to save Crystal from Mary Lee Walsh.
At this point, the folly of Chris's plagiarism should be clear. He steals ideas and clever lines, but dismisses the concepts that made them worthwhile in the first place. Patti-Chan's storyline in Sonichu is basically this episode in reverse, with a dead dog coming back to life and saving her friends, whereas the whole appeal to "Menchi's Great Adventure" is the absurd pathos of a Scottish Terrier with glasses and cartoon bombs being a suicide bomber.
Youth drama. Excel and Hyatt take temp jobs as teachers, and quickly get saddled with the responsibility of training the school's delinquent baseball team for the big championship game. They lose, as is a common trope in sports anime, to reinforce the greater importance of sportsmanship and teamwork.
Influence on Chris: None, apparently. Chalk this up to his apparent disinterest in sports, and the male-heavy cast of this particular episode.
Detective anime. Hyatt gets taken hostage by a pair of burglars, who panic and ultimately kill themselves when she dies and they fear they've murdered her. Meanwhile, the Department of City Security agents train under Purin, an impertinent young woman possessed by the ghost of her hardboiled gumshoe father.
Influence on Chris: None, again.
Review show. Excel and Hyatt compete in a game show-style contest assembling short films using recycled clips from the previous episodes.
Influence on Chris: None. Good going, Chris.
Episodes 14 & 15
Dr. Kabapu commissions the pederast cyberneticist Dr. Shioji to build Ropponmatsu, a female android to serve under the Department of City Security. Iwata immediately falls for the shapely robot, until she is destroyed while disarming an ACROSS bomb, and rebuilt as an obnoxious prepubescent girl.
Escalating the conflict, ACROSS deploys a robot to deliver a second bomb, which battles the second Ropponmatsu to a standstill. Shioji delivers a reconstructed Model One Ropponmatsu to assist, but ultimately both are destroyed by the bomb... only to be rebuilt again.
Influences on Chris: Ropponmatsu II may have inspired Zapina Rosechu in some way, but that would require corroboration.
Desperate for story ideas, the writers use both Ropponmatsus in the same story. By mistake, the rebuilt androids end up living with Excel and Hyatt, and imprint upon them to an almost romantic degree. After stealing food and money to support the ACROSS Agents, the Ropponmatsus eventually sacrifice themselves so that Hyatt and Excel can escape the wrath of the city police.
- Ropponmatsu II's "death" scene: This is played out as an over-the-top parody of sentimental self-sacrifice scenes in anime, and as Ropponmatsu II begins to break apart, a drop of fluid leaks from her eye socket like a tear, and is depicted as splashing into a darkened pool of water. This would be repeated in Episode 23 when Excel gets shot. Chris would imitate this in Sonichu #4, using blood instead of tears, and Chris's impotent rage instead of the sadness of loss.
"American Japanimation." Il Palazzo sends Excel and Hyatt to the United States on a reconnaissance mission. There, they meet Pedro's son Sandora, who dreams of becoming a rich and famous animator in Japan, where he believes cartoonists are highly respected. Sandora makes a living selling animation sheets of later successor Puni Puni Poemy to a suspicious-looking man, and is later horrified to discover that his artwork is being traded as bootleg anime cels. Excel rescues Sandora from the criminals by employing various "rules" of both American and Japanese animation.
This was Chris's favorite episode.
- Sailor Moon: Long before Chris met Megan and got into the Sailor Moon series itself, Chris had used Sailor Moon trademark poses and variants on her catchphrase for his alter ego, Chris-Chan Sonichu. The Excel connection here is that Excel does the same routine in this episode, and a gunsel recognizes the reference, and notes that it's a really old cartoon. Compare to Chris's battle with Mary Lee Walsh in "Witch Confront", where Mary mocks Chris's poses and slogan as being "so old".
Kabapu forces his DCS team to wear the power suits of Municipal Force Daitenzin, and use them to battle injustice in the city. Furious at being trapped in the sentai costumes, the team agrees to just combat litterbugs, jaywalkers, and other minor scofflaws until the suits finally deactivate. Ironically, the awesome powers of the Daitenzin, coupled with their self-absorbed motives, cause far more damage to the city than any mere crime wave.
- Bagget, Jerkop Daitenzen (sic): Perhaps wanting a more powerful role for Bagget than a mere Jerkop, Chris put him in a brown Power Ranger suit and history was made in Sonichu #4. Strangely, Bagget never makes use of any of the Daitenzin's special attacks or weapons.
- The boy and girl on the bench who look like a character from Battle Athletes and Ash Ketchum: In Excel, these two characters are attacked by one of the Daitenzin for public displays of affection, when in fact the girl was refusing the boy's advances. Chris used the girl in a similar scene in Sonichu #5, only they were a more romantic couple, and it was the Jerkops who intervened.
- Man and woman in coffee shop assaulted by Daitenzin: In the original version, the couple were discussing when the man would leave his wife, as the woman was pregnant with their child. Chris sanitizes the moment into a "love confession" interrupted by a Jerkop, who punches out the man just as Sumiyoshi does in Excel.
Animal anime again. Menchi ends up joining a young heiress on a journey around the world, but their trip is cut short by a common enemy.
Influences on Chris: Chris said this was the episode with Key, but he's wrong. Way to suck, Chris.
- Old Man Cyborg: The punchline of this episode ends up being that the assassin determined to kill the heiress turns out to be the kindly old man who once took care of Menchi, before he turned evil and Menchi shot him in Episode 10. He returns here with a powerful robot body, eager to take revenge. While he doesn't look much like any of Chris's characters, the connection to Merried Seinor Comic is apparent, and this character may have inspired the other Manajerks Chris depicted as cyborgs.
Review show again. This episode recaps the Pedro subplot that's been going on since the show began. In short, Pedro learns that the author of all his miseries is a cosmic Yakuza-type known only as "That Man". Pedro is helpless against his awesome power, until Nabeshin unleashes the secret powers within both Pedro and his son Sandora. Now sporting afros of their own, Pedro and Sandora join Nabeshin to confront That Man, until he escapes with the Will of the Macrocosm.
- Sub-Episodes: While the segments of the Pedro recap aren't titled this way, they are numbered independently of the episodes of the main series. This "saga within a saga" format probably inspired Chris to depict his own adventures as separate from Sonichu's. Also, combining Pedro's adventures into a single all-Pedro episode is probably how Chris decided to rehash his existing Sub-Episodes in Sonichu #4, with additional Sub-Episodes to provide some closure to the storyline.
- Pedro in Limbo: The common theme of Pedro's adventures is that he has been mostly powerless against the forces that affect his life. As a ghost, he could only look on in horror as his family abandoned him, and strange cosmic forces manipulated him for sex and lulz. Similarly, Chris has been describing a similar experience for himself in the Sonichu comics since he got marooned in the time void.
Rock anime. Il Palazzo's superiors send him a message via Key, an oversexed rock musician who insists on delivering the message through song, yet refuses to sing until he feels the proper artistic inspiration. To that end, Excel and Hyatt attempt to cultivate Key's creativity, but Excel finds herself becoming attracted to Key's untamed sexuality.
- Key: Chris admitted that he adapted Key's revealing outfit to design the costume of his evil gay twin Reldnahc Notsew Naitsirhc. The only significant differences are the change from red leather straps to green, and torn blue jeans in place of Key's ass-less chaps. Also, while Key merely displayed an ambiguous sexuality in keeping with his role as a bishonen rock hero, Naitsirhc is a hardcore gay guy, living out Chris's fantasy life of ejaculating whenever and wherever he pleases.
Koshi Rikdo grants permission for ACROSS to actually conquer the city. The matter becomes academic, however, when a Puuchu warlord leads an invasion force to Earth to avenge their past defeats. Excel joins forces with Puuchu rebels to defeat the invaders, but the city is destroyed when debris from the battle collides with the Earth.
- Nabeshin as martial arts master: As the series approached the end, Nabeshin teamed up with Pedro and Sandora to battle That Man, and the three of them would go to a special training ground to hone their powers for the final battle. Based on this, Chris recast Nabeshin in Sonichu as G.D.W. Shinabe, a martial arts sensei who teaches his students how to edit film with karate chops. Shinabe would adopt Punchy Sonichu into his dojo.
Post-apocalyptic anime. Cut off from ACROSS, Excel wanders the ruins of what was once F Prefecture, defending the survivors from gangs and warlords. Horrified to learn that the villains are working for ACROSS, and that she has been targeted for execution, Excel confronts Il Palazzo to learn the truth. He shoots her in the chest without a word.
- Time-delay attack: Mostly, this episode parodies Fist of the North Star, which features a powerful fighter kicking ass in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Since Excel is in the role of the hero, she uses a variation of the anime's titular attack, which involves punching your opponent a billion times. The thing about the Fist of the North Star is that it takes three seconds to have any effect, after which the opponent explodes like a water balloon filled with blood, then becomes a pastiche of Dejiko from Digi Charat. When dubious villains question the attack's power, the hero would famously reply "But you're already dead", right before they die. Chris adapted this idea when he first used the Curse-ye-ha-me-ha in Sonichu #0. The Jerkhief didn't feel a thing at first, and then his life began to unravel from the curse.
Koshi Rikdo strips the series of all gags. Excel is rescued by Municipal Force Daitenzin, but after recovering from the gunshot, she has amnesia. ACROSS has conquered the region, but Il Palazzo begins to teeter on the brink of madness. The only hope left for resistance is Kabapu's promise of a secret weapon, and Nabeshin, who sacrifices himself to defeat That Man, one of the Il Palazzo's superiors in ACROSS.
Influences on Chris: Make your own "joke-free comedy" joke here. Seriously, though, Chris probably never stole anything from this episode because he couldn't wrap his brain around the irony.
As Kapabu and Municipal Force Daitenzin stage a desperate attack on ACROSS's mobile fortress, Excel sneaks into the base to confront Il Palazzo, whom she vaguely recalls as the key to regaining her memories. Il Palazzo makes short work of Kabapu's forces, but when Excel arrives and confronts his madness, he regains his sanity and they escape the fortress together as it explodes. Meanwhile, Pedro and Sandora discover That Man has survived, and defeat him for good with their ultimate attack, the Nabehameha Wave.
- "One Shot is all we get!" This line is said in unison by both Pedro and That Man before they engage in their Dragon Ball style beam struggle. Chris blatantly stole it for his epic showdown with Mary Lee Walsh, depicted in Sonichu #2.
- Nabehameha: Obviously, a parody of the Kamehameha attack from Dragon Ball, renamed for Nabeshin, who invented it and taught it to Pedro off-screen. While Chris had watched Dragon Ball Z, it was undoubtedly the Nabehameha that gave him the bright idea to customize his own version of the Kamehameha and pretend it was original. Thus, the "Curseyehameha", which he later changed to "Shinyehameha". As Chris has diluted every other idea he stole from Excel Saga, he does so again here, since he failed to utilize the part of the Nabehameha that was so awesome: the afro.
- Those things always have weak knees!: Kabapu uses a giant robot to attack ACROSS mobile fortress. When the defending troops counterattack, this is the strategy they offer. The way the idea is discussed, weak knees in giant robots may be some cliche in giant robot anime lore, but in any case, Chris stole the line for his battle against the Count Graduon's Golem in Sonichu #2.
- "Honest-to-Goodness": Near the end of the episode, Excel fights Il Palazzo's inner demons that are the reason behind his sudden outburst of megalomaniac actions. After punching them out, they fall back and take full control of him, and when they do so, Il Palazzo says "Now, I'm the honest-to-goodness Il Palazzo!". Judging by the climactic delivery of this line, it is very likely it got burned into Chris's subconscious, to end up being used every time he claims to be TRUE and HONEST; an example is his Wikipedia page, which starts with "The One, The Only, from his Own Honest-to-God Words".
Sort of a bonus episode full of material too graphic for Japanese TV. Cosette Sara from Episode 8 returns as the newest member of ACROSS, who somehow causes Excel and Hyatt to switch bodies. After a lot of nudity and violence, Nabeshin kills the rest of the ACROSS Six and Hyatt floods the world in blood.
Influences on Chris: Chris was probably too busy fapping to anime noods to copy anything.
Puni Puni Poemy
Puni Puni Poemy is something of an Excel Saga spinoff, starring Nabeshin's daughter Poemi Watanabe as she struggles to become a voice actress while fighting aliens with the assistance of the seven Aasu Sisters. The show's relation to Excel Saga is tenuous, with only Nabeshin and Kumi Kumi present (though a news anchor bears a resemblance to Koshi Rikdo), and some reused background music from the series.
Influences on Chris: Chris has more than once referred to himself as "Great Director Chandler", shamelessly ripping off Nabeshin's declaration that he is the "Great Director Watanabe."
|Gallery of plagiarism|