Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Basquash! - Episode 13

With Team Basquash through to the semi-finals, it's probably no surprise to see them drawn against Eclipse in the next round of the OCB qualifiers - Although you have to wonder if Turbine City is going to hold up long enough to actually host all of the remaining games before being reduced to rubble...

However, it isn't really the city or its inhabitants that interest this episode (aside from a small segment featuring Sela) - Instead, this entire episode is all about the burgeoning relationship between Rouge and Dan, with the two meeting, talking, understanding a little more about one another and getting closer and closer to each other despite the natural competitiveness which comes from their forthcoming match against one another.

Indeed, it's that rivalry which drives the two, particularly in the case of Rouge who takes some insane risks in the hope of people able to fairly match up against Dan just once - A risk which eventually leads to her collapse and loses Eclipse the game. Against this backdrop we finally learn the sinister truth about Eclipse's existence, before Rouge's return to the Moon gives Dan a new focus for his own aims and goals.

It's probably this final point that is the most pertinent in the midst of the rumours currently doing the rounds about Basquash! - Namely, that in the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the series Dan's sister Coco is going to be basically edited out entirely, killed off in the accident that "merely" paralyses her in the series we've been watching. Introducing Rouge as a new focus for Dan's desire to reach the moon seems to fit this speculation perfectly, replacing as it does Coco as the reason for Dan's actions for the remainder of the series. If it's true, I have to confess that I find the prospect of such a major change pretty abhorrent, particularly given the obvious drop in animation and story-telling quality over the last few episodes. Thankfully episode thirteen did at least pick up the pace a bit more, giving us a compelling emotional edge to proceedings that I have to admit has been largely lacking throughout the series so far, albeit at the cost of the attitude and style which made Basquash! so fun in the first place. Such a sea change in the modus operandi of the series has left me floundering - Do I welcome the introduction of more character-driven story-telling, or mourn the loss of the lavish style that drew me to the show in the first place? Considering that character-driven shows (especially those revolving around love and romance) are ten a penny, right now I'm still tending towards frustration at the loss of the Basquash! I fell in love with in the first place. Let's see if the second half of the series can prove my doubts wrong...

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