Episode Review: Star vs the Forces of Evil (Season 2, Episode 17) – Mathmagic / The Bounce Lounge

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And we’re back, to review another episode of Star vs the Forces of Evil!

Well, after the one-two punch of intrigue that was episode 16, let’s dive right in, and see what episode 17 has in store for us!

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-Mathmagic-

After accidentally creating a ruckus in class during Ms Skullnick’s math lesson, Star is forced to go up to the blackboard, and solve a math problem.

However, Star has no idea what she is doing, and decides to claim ignorance…but suddenly, finds herself stuck in a time-loop that refuses to end, until she solves the math problem!

This is another one of those ‘lessons for Star’ storylines, where Marco takes a backseat, and she has to figure out just what the heck is going on. And frankly, for being a story that seems to spend most of it’s time spinning it’s wheels and going nowhere…it’s pretty fun!

If you’ve read some of my previous Star reviews, you might have seen me mention that the concept of ‘time,’ is something that pushes my buttons (thank you, Back to the Future!). After seeing some time-related elements in last episode’s segment, Running with Scissors, Mathmagic provides us with another story about how time and space work in this series, beyond the norms of our own Earth realm.

With this segment, we also get the return of a familiar face, in the form of Father Time (last scene in the segment, Freeze Day), and, more information on a newer character, named Omintraxus Prime (voiced by Carl Weathers). Omnitraxus had a small cameo in the segment titled Page Turner, and just like Hekapoo in Running with Scissors, he gets an expanded role here, that shows just what he’s capable of.

Mathmagic could have easily been a throw-away segment, but the fact that we got some more information about ‘alternate universes,’ and a little more information on Omnitraxus, may mean there’s something here, to keep in mind as we move forward.

It does feel like there’s a bit of fan-service when we see several alternate universe Star Butterfly’s (among other things), but overall, it’s a decent story about Star understanding a bit more about how the universe works.

Final Grade: B

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Best line from segment (said by Star Butterfly): “What is happening, and why do you keep wearing these terrible hats!?”

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-The Bounce Lounge-

Star gets a visit from Princess Pony Head, who tearfully informs her ‘bestie,’ that their old hangout, The Bounce Lounge, is closing!

Wanting to save their old hangout, Star and Pony Head decide to get their old crew back together, in hopes to keep the party going!

Having seen a number of cartoon series over the years, it seems a given that sooner-or-later, a series will get to a story like this one, where a group of friends band together to save a place that means a lot to them. To most who watch movies, this will probably seem closer in tone to the main theme of The Blues Brothers (minus the Police chase at the end, among other things).

The story plays a bit fast-and-loose with Star and Pony Head’s past, as well as a number of their Bounce Lounge friends. Most of the story, is mainly them trying to get the gang back together.

Where the story trips up for me, is in regards to it’s payoff at the end.

Milly Sparkles (the Bounce Lounge’s owner), is the character that is largely throwing out little bits of information here and there about the lounge, but it is in her final revelation, that may make some ask, “why didn’t you just tell us ‘that’ in the first place?”

There is the rather grown-up message about how nothing lasts forever, and in a sense, sometimes, we may need to move on. That may not be easy for younger viewers to grasp, but for the older viewers (like myself), it’s something we’ve all encountered at least once in our lives.

Milly Sparkles’ voice is provided by Constance Shulman, which may sound familiar if you watched cartoons in the 90’s. Constance was the voice of Patti Mayonnaise from the TV show, Doug (both on Nickelodeon, and ABC)and Milly marks her first animation voice-over work, in over 18 years!

Another notable cameo, is the character of Johnny Blowhole, a dolphin who was first introduced to us die-hard fans, in the current Star comic book series (available at most comic stores near you!). This does make me wonder, if the Deep Trouble comic mini-series, is canon with the show (can anyone on the show confirm this for me? Please?!).

We also get some return appearances by quite a few other characters (such as Kelly and her boyfriend Tad from Goblin Dogs), as well as a much larger cameo appearance, by the pirate bunnies we’ve seen on-and-off throughout the series (though we still don’t have names for them).

The segment reminds me of a few anime I watched in my teens, where every-once-in-awhile, we’d have a ‘random dance party’ episode. Despite the somewhat lukewarm ending, it was fun to see Marco get swept up in the excitement, as the Bounce Lounge came alive again (thanks to Brian H Kim’s ‘sick beats’).

Final Grade: B-

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Best line from segment (said by Princess Pony Head): “What!? I thought that’s what you were thinking!”

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Best honorable mention line from episode (said by Star Butterfly, in Mathmagic): “You expect the punch line to be one thing, but what you end up with is just logic. Classic anti-humor!”

Well, episode 17 wasn’t as wholly-entertaining as the last episode, but still, not that bad overall!

Mathmagic has some mind-bending fun with time and space, while also teaching Star a lesson about trying. The information Omnitraxus Prime gives about alternate dimensions (let alone the imagery we see about them), makes it a segment I’ve come to watch several times!

The Bounce Lounge fills itself up with that youthful vigor to try and bring life back to a place that needs a helping hand, though falls a bit short in how it wraps itself up in the end. Even so, it has enough good vibes and good will to get me to bop along to it’s catchy beats!

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And now, comes another couple days hiatus, while we wait for episode 18. Just like Hekapoo and Omnitraxus Prime, another character from the segment Page Turner, will be showing up in the first segment of the next episode, and it looks like Star is going to be taking a little trip with him. Plus, the segment after will hopefully answer a question many of us have had for awhile: Now that Glossaryck is under Ludo’s control, will he end up driving the crazy little bird-creature, even crazier?  We’ll see you back here soon, to find out!

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About MWH1980

Growing up in the state of Iowa, one would assume I'd be enamored with pigs and corn. Well, I wasn't. Instead, I grew fascinated by many things that were entertainment-related. Things like movies, animation, toys, books, and many more kept my attention. This blog I hope to use to express myself regarding my varied obsessions. (P.S. There's no Photoshop involved in that Gravatar-I really am holding an Oscar)

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