Gargoyles: Bushido – Episode Review

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Manhattan isn’t the only city with a gargoyles clan guarding it. And the Manhattan Clan aren’t the only gargoyles having issues with a businessman who’s taken an interest in them. In a small town in Japan, theme-park developer Taro is obsessed with making a gargoyles-based Disneyland – whether the gargoyles want to be part of it or not. While one of the clan likes the idea, the rest aren’t so thrilled. How will Goliath and Co’s arrival change the situation?

Miss last week’s? Read Sentinel episode review.

Spoilers are in the 20/20 moments. Info from Ask Greg is in the According to Greg bits. 


Season 2, Episode 40: Bushido


Reason(s) for existence: To explore again the idea of letting humans know about gargoyles. To warn again against trusting humans. To show that humans and gargoyles can work together.


Main antagonist(s): Yama (ish), Taro


Time(s):  February ?, 1996


Location(s):  Ishimura, Japan


So, I thought this episode was Cloud Fathers. It’s not. It’s Bushido. My great disappointment will result in a shorter ep review and possibly more snark.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - title

Are the gargoyles oni?

Previously: It show us way back in Awakening when Xanatos was saying he could help the Gargoyles.

Hey, does this mean David’s going to be in this episode? Hallelujah!


20/20 moment: no, it does not in fact mean that. It just means I get more disappointed.


In a Japanese village street, life is proceeding quietly.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - ishimura

I’m waiting for an anime character to appear. The Japan studio did get to do the animation for this ep!

That is, until two burglars break into a structure. One has a gun.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - burglars

I don’t know how he got this handgun, since they’re illegal in Japan. Making guns illegal means they won’t exist, right? Because criminals obey laws. Yes. Just like these guys are obeying the law that says don’t break and enter!

When the burglars come out, though, they’re in for a surprise. A clan of gargoyles in traditional Japanese dress – which is a vast improvement on the Manhattan Clan’s loincloths – greets them. There’s a struggle, and the gargoyles subdue the thugs. The townspeople and a number of other gargoyles appear. They’re all getting along fine and don’t seem to notice there’s a difference in species. There’s also a garg-beast that looks something like a dragon. I’ve forgotten about this dog-goyle. I really like it!

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - garg beast japanese

I want one of this breed!

The town’s lone police officer comes up and literally drags off the perpetrators. He acts like this is just another day on the life.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - thugs caught

For centuries, the gargoyles have kept police spending to nil.

One of the gargoyles, named Yama, is not a fan of this job. He’s sick of “these antics.” How much crime does this little, secluded village have? Yeesh.

A Japanese businessman in his 30s and wearing a suit is standing next to him. He says that they won’t last long. His name is Taro.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro and yama

A hot businessman? Ooh, better not trust him! Uhg, it’s not even a challenge anymore to decide who the antag is.

Goliath and Company come ashore. Elisa recognizes Japan. They wander into town, and happened upon the gargoyles. Fortunately, everyone speaks perfect English in this town that has apparently been secretive and hidden. The gargoyle leader – his name is Kai – says the town is the best-kept secret in Japan. Humans and gargoyles have worked together for centuries. They follow the ways of Bushido. That’s a nice change from what we’ve seen: gargs and humans at odds.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - bronx greets kai

“I loooove you.”


According to Gargwiki: The gargoyles in fact taught the humans the ways of Bushido. This is a take-off from the tengu, legendary winged creatures in Japanese myth who taught Bushido. They were tricksters, though.


The Japanese gargs take the American (Scottish) gargoyles in and even give a Elisa a kimono. I love it when we get to see characters in different outfits!

The gargoyles settled in Ishimura after peace came to the land. Not sure what peace this was exactly, but whatever.  Kai’s clan made an oath to protect the town.

The traditional arrangement isn’t to Yama’s liking, though. He doesn’t like being cooped up here, despite Kai’s warnings that their secrecy and cooperation with the humans has allowed them to survive. Yama points to G and Co, citing them as examples for getting out and about.

The sun is rising, so all the gargoyles go up to the walls around the town. Goliath is about to face the rising sun and the dangers that may come. But the Japanese face inward as a sign of trust with their humans. Well, we know how trusting humans has helped the gargoyle species.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - gargoyles face different

Nothing like being odd gargoyle out.

Side note: These gargoyle have names, just like the gargoyles in England and Guatemala. For “no names” being a gargoyle thing, it’s only appeared in the Scottish clans.

As soon as the sun rises. Ninjas attack. No, I’m not making this up. They’re wearing headbands, but they’re not from Naruto. They proceed to attack the townspeople and drug them.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - ninja

Is it Harvey from the Pack’s ninjas?

Taro pulls out a dart gun like those the Xanatos Enterprises Security Forces and David use. He casually shoots Elisa.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro with tranq

That drug kicks in fast, too, like in 3 seconds.

From Eye of the BeholderXanatos shoots with both eyes open, as he should.

disney-gargoyles-awakening-part-4-run-and-gun-elisa

Elisa, the cop, doesn’t.

When everyone wakes up, they find the gargoyles are gone.

The gargs wake up – including Goliath, Angela, the Bronx. They find themselves in an amusement park. Rather, it’s a replica of many places that they have been spotted. Notre Dame is there. A castle that looks like Wyvern but more like Edinburgh Castle. That says something. Namely, that news of their existence in their link with Xanatos Enterprises is not known to the general public.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - amusement park

Lots of room to fly, at least.

Goliath blurts out, “What sorcery is this!”

Taro says he brought the gargoyles here as a way of protecting them. Hm, that sounds familiar. Xanatos tried to do the same thing in The Edge, but with a much more tact – and a better plan/gambit. The village considered the gargoyles a burden, Taro says. The townspeople didn’t even care when he brought them there.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro and gargoyles

That smile isn’t to be trusted. Just once I’d like for a hot, rich businessman to be honestly on the gargoyles’ side.

We know this isn’t true. It’s looking like this guy is another Xanatos. Well, a Xanatos wannabe. There’s no one who can be another David Xanatos. David would never thing an amusement park would be a good idea for the gargoyles, for one thing. Can you imagine how ridiculous he’d consider that idea if someone proposed it?

Goliath calls Taro out on “charging admission” for the noble endeavor of introducing humans to the gargs, or vice versa. Taro isn’t pleased, but he calls on Kai to be his character witness. Taro admits that while he may have been a poor student of Bushido under Kai, he at least had this idea.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - angry taro

Taro also went to the city. While he didn’t turn into a panther, he is now a kidnapper.


According to Greg: Taro is indeed supposed to be a Japanese version of Xanatos, one who went public with the gargoyles. But in the next breath, Greg says Taro is no Xanatos. You got that right!


He also knew better than to announce their presence to the world. This may have been in part due to the Illuminati’s influence. I’m surprised they’re not involved in this park idea.


20/20 moment: Later in the series,we will see they are highly interested in using the revelation of the gargoyles’ existence.


Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - giant gargoyle

There’s a giant robotic gargoyle in the middle of the park that greets visitors. It’s like a DOS version of the Steel Clan!

At least Yama is happy, because they won’t have to fight idiots, and they will be able to teach the way of Bushido to others. Well, that’s what he tells Kai anyway.

Taro says that they can leave anytime, but they should stay around and see the children who will be coming in the AM. Oh, using children as motivation! It’s a tactic that’s well-known, especially to politicians.

We follow Taro as he talks to his ninjas. He says that he is prepared if the gargoyles don’t go along with the plan. That sounds familiar too!

Goliath knows something’s up. Elisa would never have let Taro take them away. It’s interesting that Kai doesn’t cite the same feeling about a human ally or allies. Perhaps they have maintained a traditional separation between the species, even though they work together.

Back in town, Elisa is working with the cop, looking at land records. They figure out where the amusement park is. They decide to visit.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - elisa cop computer

Somehow everything is in English.

The gargoyles aren’t too thrilled with the idea of having humans come to gawk at them. But at least this way they can show themselves to the humans on their own terms. And by “own terms” I mean Taro’s. Goliath calls the place cheap as he punches a chunk out of a battlement. Yama says he approved the park’s design. Then Goliath calls him a threat. That’s enough for Yama. He jumps at G, and a tussle ensues.

G knows he needs to leave. Taro won’t stop, especially since violence is not honorable. Knocking Goliath, Angela, and Bronx with a gas in the locked entryway is totally okay, though.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro traps goliath

Ooh, look who didn’t check for traps!

Apparently there’s going to be a giant press conference announcing the gargoyles existence. Having angry gargoyles will only be a plus. It’s obvious he’s not interested in presenting the gargs in a good light, despite his giant robot gargoyle calling them “noble gargoyles.”

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - reporters

Ah, the media. Ever pawns!

Kai and Yama approach Taro. Kai and co are going to leave. Um, no, I don’t think you will be. Taro triggers a secret control, even as Yama tries to talk him into letting Kai ditch. Aaand then Taro darts Kai. Yama is shocked.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro shoots kai

Pretty sure if Yama just took that gun away from him, Taro would be screwed.

When Yama discovers the kids are in fact reporters, he’s pissed. And rightly so. Evidently Taro doesn’t understand the importance of taking one gargoyle into your confidence almost completely. Xanatos did this with the Demona, and thus there were no little surprises for her. She knew exactly what was going on. There was, however, a surprise for David when she helped blow up the castle.

Elisa and the cop decide they need to get in. Rather than waiting around, they ran the SUV through a wall. That works.

Like every other poor misguided antagonist, Taro has auto cannons. They’re tearing the place up as they blast at the gargoyles.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - auto laser cannon

Stop using these! Does no one have common sense?

After the cop and Elisa take out a few ninjas, they free Goliath and Company, who are in the dungeon.

The auto cannons do some work, but Elisa and the cop shut them down.

However, are they still have Taro to finish off. And he’s not going down without a fight. He’s wearing Samurai that includes two electrified fans.  Goliath tries first, but fails.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro armor

Way more imaginative than swords.

 

Then Taro and Yama go at it, since they’ve got a score to settle after Taro lied to Yama. Taro is unapologetic: “Nobody ever got rich off honor!”

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - electrified fans

The animation with the electricity is superb!

Ready, set, fight! Because of Bushido, Yama won’t let anyone help him. Taro puts up a great fight. Yama is on the ropes until he shoves the fans together. Don’t cross the streams fans!

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - yama electrocuted

Don’t tase me, bro!

Boom!

After knocking him out, Yama him in the arms of the giant gargoyle robot. (It’s like the things from Chuck-E-Cheeses!) When the reporters enter, they find no gargoyles but only Taro stuck in his own creation. He says there are in fact gargoyles, but they’re stone now. And if the media will come back later, he’ll show the gargoyles to them. The cop and Elisa run in and say that yes, there are gargoyles! They’re 100 feet tall, but they’re invisible.

Disney Gargoyles - Bushido - taro in giant gargoyle

Well, this is embarrassing.

The reporters are completely lost at this point. They storm off, saying that even for publicity stunt it was terrible.

With Taro vanquished for the moment, the Manhattan gargoyles ship off. The Japanese gargs will begin teaching Bushido again.


Final Thoughts

I’m surprised the writers didn’t make it so Taro would be arrested. He is disgraced, which is quite unfortunate, but at least he didn’t go to jail. It’s like he wasn’t worthy of that, since he didn’t have the wherewithal to commit a real crime. He kidnapped the gargoyles, yes, which was something that Xanatos never did other than with Hudson (to date).

I really don’t understand how this would have worked anyway, since Taro would have had to keep them by force. Xanatos understood that doing so defeated the point of having them. Being above such things as amusement parks, Xanatos was more interested in controlling the gargs but through their own will rather than with whip and chain. He wanted them to voluntarily go to his research facility upstate. He wanted them to voluntarily protect the castle. He doesn’t want obedience just for obedience sake. He wants loyalty.

Taro, on the other hand, doesn’t even seem to understand how difficult it would be to keep these creatures caged. It would be even more challenging than keeping maximum-security prisoners locked up, since these creatures can bash through walls. Also, holy hell would break out when the world discovered that he was keeping a sentient species in cages. If nothing else, the SPCA would be all over it. I really don’t believe he thought about the repercussions. That alone loses antagonist points in my opinion. Also, an amusement park? Really? That’s your big plan? That’s pretty lame. All that expense and effort, and it all hinges on gargoyles working out? That’s even worse than Sevarius and his great idea with Nessie. He would have had a better go of it, since everyone wants to see Nessie. Heck, most people would probably think the gargoyles were just people in costumes.

Thank goodness, next ep is Cloud Fathers! We’re going to Arizona, where Xanatos is about to destroy an Indian sand carving. But that just scratches the surface of his real motive, one that will give him his “first stab at real cliched villainy.”

Thoughts? Comment!


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Lead researcher at Villainous Life Natures Research. Writer, reader, snarker. Lover of all things Geek and Dark. INTJ. Read my reports at vlnresearch.com and learn how understanding villains can help you succeed in life. Find my action-adventure post-apocalypse zombie thriller Wolves of the Apocalypse series at lcchamplin.com. I write fiction because the characters in my head have too much attitude to stay in my skull, I want to see the world through different eyes, and I want to live life through different souls.

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