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Episode 7: "The Great Gladiator Gig"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Mario and the others are traveling through the Linguini empire. See, the emperor is organizing a charity spaghetti banquet to raise funds for an orphanage (so what is it with this series and orphanages? I'm curious...). The Princess is dead keen on meeting the emperor and Mario is dead keen on meeting the spaghetti. Little do they know that Koopa is watching them, and that he is wearing a dress. Once they have arrived in the city, they are welcomed by a certain Brutus, "guardian of the coliseum". Brutus looks like an oversized onion with legs, who wears a green skirt. The Linguini empire has a very informal dress code, see. Trouble is, the coliseum’s plumbing has gone down the drain and unless it's fixed, there will be no spaghetti banquet. Mario is immediately super motivated to go fix the plumbing, but first, Brutus takes the Princess and Toad to see the emperor. The fact that they are accompanied by Koopa Troopas doesn't even remotely worry them, and by the time they figure out that this emperor is really Koopa, it's already too late and they're imprisoned. Brutus then starts calling Toad names. It's horrible.

Meanwhile, Brutus is taking Mario and Luigi to the catacombs of the coliseum. Brutus, apparently, is able to duplicate himself and be in two places at the same time. Either that or the animators just "forgot" that he was already taking Toad and the Princess to see Koopa's new dress. In any case, Brutus now reveals his true colors and sends a bunch of Koopa Troopas after the Marios. Mario counterattacks by sending out a simply hideous song (think Teletubbies meets Julio Iglesias on fast forward and you're halfway there. You keep hearing "Twoing, twoing, twoing, shut up!". No, really). The Marios then attempt to hijack a nearby horse. The horse is too preoccupied with munching on fresh weed, but when Mario dangles his last reserve of heroin in front of the horse's nose, the horse starts running like a madman. Brutus throws two watermelons at them and laughs evilly (actually, they're not watermelons, they're very badly-animated Koopa shells. So badly animated it's pitiful). The horse then has an overdose and stops dead in it's tracks. Mario and Luigi manage to escape via a not-so secret "secret escape door", and find themselves in the arena of the coliseum where Koopa sends Triclyde after them. Triclyde throws badly-drawn nets at Luigi and bites Mario's bottom. The situation is getting drastic. Toad and the Princess just stand around and do nothing whatsoever. In fact, the Princess prefers to deliver dumb remarks instead of trying to smack Koopa's face in. That's how much she cares about Mario and Luigi's misery (you can tell she just wants to flirt with Koopa. It's either a brilliant move or completely sick, you decide).

Just when everything seems lost, Mario and Luigi have a brilliant idea: they kill Triclyde with a display of dodgy dancing. It's the hyper-secret dance of death or something. Either way, it looks so horrid it could kill anyone. But Koopa will have none of that and sends two lions with pink noses after the plumbers. Mario decides that diplomacy is their only option now and tells the lions that it's a bad idea to eat him and Luigi, because they both have mad cow's disease. Instead, he convinces them to eat Koopa instead, who has soft, gentle skin and tender muscle texture (hang on, how does Mario know this?). Luckily, the lions have dirty minds and they quite fancy taking a nibble out of Koopa. Mario then jumps into the air and drop-kicks Koopa. Koopa is sent flying into a pillar. The pillar crumbles and the entire coliseum comes down with it. That's what you get when you hire cheap builders. Koopa is then chased out of the coliseum by the two lions, and the others proceed with the long-delayed spaghetti banquet. But since the lions still haven't had enough after Koopa, they start to harass Luigi and everyone laughs evilly.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • The storyline is just about tolerable
  • There is a big fight between the Marios and Triclyde (but it's kind of lame)
  • Koopa honors the saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans" by wearing something that sort of looks like an emperor's gown. Only sort of, mind you.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • Brutus is a nuisance.
  • The song in the middle is so bad it's illegal according to current EU standards.
  • Triclyde's voice gets on ones nerves.
  • The dialogue is often dead on it's own feet, same goes to the few attempts at wit.
  • What little fights and action there is is ruined by naff jokes
  • Animation quality is back down a notch.
OVERALL
This episode has lots of flaws, but what makes it extra bad is that there are hardly any good things to counterbalance those flaws. So we're left with quite a boring episode. Not quite as bad as some of the absolutely horrid ones, but still a let-down.

EPISODE RATING: 2.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
Mario gets hit on the head with a drainpipe and goes a bit nutty. A psychiatrist is called in, who only ends up making the situation worse. It's things like this that give shrinks a bad reputation.