Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monsuno Episode 2: The Kohdok Way

As you guys can probably tell, I was not very happy with how the second episode of Munsuno went. After the first act, the episode becomes a mess where none of the characters act with any sort of common sense and the fate of everyone comes down to a childish game of rock-paper-scissors. There is little tension and even less character development.

So, here's how I would have written Monsuno, Episode 2: "Courage"

I'd leave the first act relatively unchanged, as I liked how it went. Chase showed ingenuity and competence when unleashing his monster to nab the truck and their looting of it also made sense. I might have added Bren ferreting out the emergency rations as a nod to his complaints about food from the first episode and filtered out the lame dialog ("Lish"? What the heck?), but nothing else, really.

Now we get into the changes: Bren should have been opposed to the rescue plan; "We're the ones who need saving, here!" However, he is vetoed by Chase and Jinja who start up the truck and insist that if he doesn't want to be part of the plan, he can just stay there. Not wanting to be abandoned, Bren reluctantly comes along.

Bren would still botch the passcode entry due to being nervous. After they get inside and Chase gets out, he should have unleashed Lock like he did before and either gotten on his back and run off to lead the soldiers away, or used Lock to chase them off.

The next bit should have been more frantic. Jinja has to spur the trembling Bren into action to find Quickforce with his "Hacking mojo". Bren putters around and finds Quickforce. Jinja states that the room would be full of soldiers and wonders how to clear it out. Bren hesitantly makes a suggestion and hits a button, triggering the alarm to empty the room. However, the truck becomes surrounded by more soldiers who aim their guns at them and tell them to get out. With a smirk, Jinja says "Well, I guess we'll have to drive there," and barrels at the soldiers who duck out of the way and begins her rampage.

Commander Trey, who is evacuating, would get a call on his walkie-talkie revealing that the kids are here. He is clearly enraged. He grabs Jon Ace and the two change course from the fleeing scientists and soldiers to head them off.

Meanwhile, Chase recalls Lock so he can hide and evade the soldiers better, as they would be looking for a huge bear, not a kid. The soldiers that Chase dodges who were walking down the same hall towards the rampaging truck would have to duck out of the way, then turn and pursue the vehicle (Seriously, what happened to them in the real episode?). The truck crashes through the door, but gets stuck halfway, destroyed beyond repair. Jinja comments about how the truck is wrecked and Bren is paralyzed to his seat, then yells at Jinja for destroying the truck. The truck is blocking access to the room and the two soldiers start to try pounding on the walls and the truck's back doors to get into the lab.

At this point, there are two pathways this story can take: Either (A) Jinja insists that, due to her tougher attitude, she should get Quickforce and tells Bren to hack the system to lower the field, which he goes along with, or (B) Jinja tosses the core to Bren and volunteers to rip out the field's electronic guts. With option B, Bren is unsure, but Jinja tells him everything will be fine. They get in their places. No bratty Bren-mon-wanting and no stupid rock-paper-scissors.

We cut back to Chase who is caught by Jon Ace and Commander Trey (JUST those two, maybe one or two soldiers) Chase and Jon Ace begin their fight. After Blackbullet takes its first hit, Jon Ace does NOT return it, but this is instead where Trey opens his briefcase (It's not handed to him, he already has it) and launches Riccoshot. Riccoshot launches its lightning attack like before. Chase finds the sight of these two more powerful Monsuno daunting.

Back with Bren and Jinja, the forcefield begins to come down, but at the same time the two soldiers succeed at busting into the room and one grabs Jinja, criticizing her driving skill. (A)Jinja throws the core to Bren before being fully restrained and (both)tells Bren he needs to get Quickforce. Bren is unsure as the forcefield lowers to reveal Quickforce, while at the same time the soldier approaches with his gun drawn, telling Bren to put his hands up. Bren nervously tries to get Quickforce to cooperate, but is having trouble. The soldier yells one more time "FREEZE!"; and Bren finally musters the courage to deliver the word "Return" in a more commanding voice.

Outside, Chase is being badly double-teamed by Ace and Trey. Just as Blackbullet is about to attack, Quickforce busts out of the base, Bren and Jinja on its back. Quickforce lunges at Blackbullet, dealing enough damage to defeat it. Quickforce lands and Bren tells Jinja to go secure them a ride. Jinja does so, grumbling "Give the guy his own monster and suddenly he thinks he's in charge".

Quickforce joins the fight. Riccoshot performs an attack that sweeps by and barely misses Jinja as she tries to find a working ride, yelling at the guys to "Watch it!"

They use the same plan as before and escape on Quickforce. Jon Ace looks at the wreckage and asks Trey "How are you going to explain this to Charlemagne?" Trey growls in response; "Those kids..."

After they land, Bren apologizes to Quickforce, saying that he had been against saving Quickforce before, but is happy that he ended up doing so now. The episode ends about the same, with Bren being praised for acting bravely in the face of danger.

So those are the changes I would make. I haven't really changed the plot or the flow of the episode that much at all, but I've increased the tension and desperation and made the actions of the characters make more sense. Rather than Jinja driving around on random impulse and Bren whining for his own Mon, I've given those two no choice in what happens. For Jinja's driving, it was that or get caught and/or blown up. In the case of Bren, he knows Chase is in danger and now he sees Jinja in immediate danger, so he has to tame Quickforce or else everything is lost. Having him freeze-up multiple times during the rescue and not giving off the bravado he shows during the plan makes his turnaround less contrived and more heroic and gives him good character development. Some scenes get extended, but others get trimmed of excess fat, so the story would still fit in the time slot given. Also, I give Bren a little more work, but it's his episode, so that's fine.

The loose and trite way the second and third acts are handled in the actual episode just ruins it for me and I hope to not see such worthless writing in the future.

You hear that, Michael Ryan and Benjamin Townsend? Your writing sucks!!

This is Kohdok signing off.

1 comment:

  1. Howdy, Kohdok.

    I'm CaptainAshSpearow from YouTube. I'm thinking about doing a riff on this as well. Really dig your work. It's a pity that stuff like Sym-Bionic Titan got canned and this is allowed to clog the airwaves.