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Episode 12: "Stars in Their Eyes"

CARTOON SUMMARY

Mario and his gang find themselves in space, piloting a ship that looks like a jar of mustard. They are hit by a barrage of aggressive cherry tomatoes and have to make an emergency landing on planet Quirk. On this very planet, we see Mouser harassing a couple of hideously deformed cucumber-men, until the Marios crash their jar of mustard right on top of Mouser. They find that the planet's low gravity is playing tricks on them, so they stuff tools down their panties in order not to float away.

They are then welcomed by the cucumber men who are most grateful for having been saved from "the wicked Astromouser". Well, not completely as Mouser has survived the "unfortunate accident", and is now flat as a pancake and majorly ticked off, so he starts to lob equally paper-flat Bob-ombs at everyone. Luckily, Mario and co can escape with the cucumber-freaks in a bathtub filled with blocks of strawberry bubblegum (which is their national export). The cucumber people then reveal themselves to be the Quirks, the natural inhabitants of this dump and explain how their planet has been overrun by "Moonman" Koopa (eh? Is that Koopa in a Sailor Moon costume?). The Marios don't care, however; all they want is to rip off supplies and food from the Quirk's factory. Alas, a badly-drawn smoke signal has already alerted Koopa of their presence, so in order not to get noticed, they come up with an incredibly ingenious solution: they stick two cucumbers onto their fishbowls, thus fooling everyone into thinking they're really Quirks. And if that fails, they can always pretend to be lumps of strawberry bubblegum.

On their way through the factory they spot kitsch mecha designs, suspicious-looking supplies and finally, Koopa, who isn't wearing a Sailor Moon costume after all, but has instead opted for the natural look by putting his head in a fishbowl. Sito presto, Koopa activates a large and rather unpleasant magnet. Since everyone has stuffed their undies with heavy metal tools, they are immediately stuck onto this magnet and are now in Koopa's grasp. Koopa then condemns them to several years of harsh labor and to top it off, he also forces them and the Quirks to wear shackles around their feet. I told you he had a thing about handcuffs. Not willing to submit himself to Koopa's perverse practices, Mario recites his speech for the UN freedom convention, but nobody listens. Angered, Mario begins to hit a large hump of raspberry pudding with his hammer (he doesn't like raspberries) and in doing so, he discovers a glaring flaw in Koopa's security systems. It appears that "the shackles' electrosystem reacts to sound!". About as improbable as seeing Rei Ayanami having hysterics, but oh well. After some more raspberry pudding torturing, they are freed from their chains and rush off with a tubful of strawberry bubblegum, courtesy of the Quirks. Koopa doesn't like that idea, however, and tries his magnet trick on them a second time. The Quirks, gripped by a sudden martyr complex, intercept the magnetic ray with their chains (who're made of metal, after all). Que little self-sacrifice scene and some slobbering from the Princess. The others don't give a damn and head back into space with their interstellar mustard jar. However, Koopa is right behind them in a bizarre spaceship of his own.

After a short firefight, where the Marios use pasta as ammo (and it even works), Koopa starts to gain on them and everything seems lost. The Marios refuse to admit defeat and prefer to kill themselves by opening the hatches of their spaceship and suffocating when all the air is gone. Only the animators have forgotten that it's impossible to breathe in space, so they need to find another, even more immensely dim solution: dump their last doses of pasta into the gaping maw of Koopa's ship (for his ship does indeed have a maw). Once again, this bit of complete nonsense actually works, since the pasta was way past it's expiry date and gives Koopa's ship an indigestion. Probably. Koopa isn't too pleased about this and decides to take out his frustration on the Quirks. The Quirks, however, are quite adept at thinking up tremendously dumb solutions as well, and reason that "if the shackles reacted to sound, then maybe it'll work on Koopa's spaceship". Oh, right, now I get it. One could make variations on that, such as: "if genetically-modified radishes react to LSD, maybe it'll work on carrots as well". Anyway, they starts to hum the Legend of Zelda theme, and the horror of this causes Koopa's ship to crack up, so his only option now is to flee as fast as he can. Joy all round, as the Marios head off to the nearest intergalactic pasta parlor.

WHAT'S GOOD?
  • The flattened Mouser lobbing flat Bob-Ombs is quite funny.
  • It's amusing to hear the Legend of Zelda theme music.
  • The outer space setting does add something.
WHAT'S BAD?
  • That bit about the electrosystems reacting to sound is simply insane.
  • The Quirk's little martyr routine failed to leave any kind of impression, as it was done so very clumsily.
  • Some may experience violent urges to strangle the Quirks.
  • The kitsch mecha designs and background paintings are not for everyone.
  • Somehow, this episode appears a lot shorter than most others.
  • More plot dimness than you can shake a stick at (opening the door of a spaceship while in space is plain suicide, but everyone seems to have forgotten about that, somehow).
OVERALL
Allright, the bad points far outnumber the good points, but this really isn't that much of a travesty. If you can stomach the Quirks and the immensely debile plot twist of the sound-sensitive electrosystems, there are quite a few things to enjoy here. And it's quite nice to hear the Zelda theme as well.

EPISODE RATING: 2.0/5.0

LIVE-ACTION SEGMENT
An Aussie bloke breaks into the Mario residence, claiming that he's after a vicious monster in the sewers. This monster is later revealed to be "the Rattigator". Who or what on earth is the Rattigator? Nobody knows, nobody cares, except for Mario and Luigi who want to stop the Aussie bloke from harming this Rattigator for some reason (he's a close personal friend of theirs, I'd imagine). To this end, they cover the Aussie bloke with a giant tea towel, which causes him to run off to make a movie.