Posted by: Phil | May 21, 2009

The Sad Story of the Rowdyuff Blunder

Three time's the charm

Three time's the charm

This is for everyone who every watched and still watches the Powerpuff Girls…

No, seriously. I love the show. I watched it ever since it first began, in 1998. I’m a boy, by the way… and I liked it. Because, the show was created not specifically for girls to begin with, right? Correctamundo!

It’s been 7 years since I’ve seen an episode… until I was able to borrow a copy of the Complete Series DVD set from my local library, that is. This was pretty much a week ago. Looking at the cartoon now, 10 years older than I was when I took this seriously (as a 9 year old) I appreciate it more. It’s highly entertaining and funny! I, like many of you guys that actually were man enough to watch this show, became instantly glued to what we all spotted in the main title of the series.

“Awww man! There are the ‘Powerpuff Boys’ too!”

Oh yes. Ever since spotting this amazing phenomenon, I was ANTICIPATING the episodes where they appeared! I kept wondering: where are they? Surely such extremely important characters (equally-strong, bug-eyed, counterparts to the girls) couldn’t be in one episode?

I mean, consider this: throughout most of the series, the strange-looking Powerpuff Girls were identified as very special individuals; possessing unparalleled super-powers and defeating every foe they encounter. Unstoppable and known and loved by all citizens of Townsville: they are obviously the heart of this entire series. So far, there has not been ANY villain that has come close to matching the trio in terms of strength. Ever. All of them usually get beat up in humorously violent ways.

Not until I saw the episode, “The Rowdyruff Boys”.

Left to Right: Boomer, Brick, Butch

Left to Right: Boomer, Brick, Butch

Oh boy… now, here’s what my 9 year–old mind related to. I liked the show, but wow, opposites of the Powerpuff Girls? Their male equivalents? Instantly glued! This is Colossal! I’m sure many, many other boys watching this show on Cartoon Network at that time felt the same. It’s characters I related to, and it was great actually seeing the unbeatable Powerpuff Girls actually meeting their match. It felt empowering and really really special to me. Sure, they blew up at the end (which I loudly protested about while seeing it), but there was NO WAY characters THAT important were going to be set aside like other one-shot villains, such as that slug-monster from Episode 25, or the lame stinky creature from episode “Whatever”… right? … right? This was battling fire-with-fire… this was a clash of tiny titans!

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Fight! Fight! Fight!

This was a pathetic decision. This is the point of this piece of writing: the creative team seriously didn’t think the Rowdyruff Boys were strong enough to be placed as permanent residents of “The Powerpuff Girls” universe.

There are certain logical reasons, that I believe were talked about whenever they (creative team: Paul Rudish, Clayton Morrow, Genndy Tartakovsky-yup, the Dexter’s Laboratory guy, and Craig McCracken) were discussing this particular (in my opinion, most important) episode. I shall do my best to figure out logical reasons why this story-changing concept was not to be continued:

-It probably had to do with the fact that the Rowdyruff Boys were slightly physically stronger than the Powerpuff Girls. Having them permanent residents within the universe, would also mean that there would be many clashes, and each of them would become a long, boring effort any time they would meet.

shock.

Stare! Stare! Stare!

-Because they are slightly more powerful than the girls, they would eventually have destroyed them; obviously, ending the series.

-The creative team didn’t take enough time on the characters, and probably didn’t know how to characterize each boy, resulting in having nothing interesting the Rowdyruff Boys could do. (if you see the first episode… they have hardly any personality at all)

All three reasons have one answer: lack of interest. Too bad the reason WHY this lack of interest has happened, will never be revealed (unless I suddenly became friends with a few of the guys who worked on this)… Okay, fine, want my answers to these reasons?

they blew up after this.

they blew up after this.

Reason 1 has a lot to do with the Boys’ personality. Sure, the first episode was a wonderful Introduction, but how about making their aspirations and purpose something else? They don’t have to fight the Powerpuff Girls everytime they meet. They don’t have to always become their enemies in the show. Just let them EXIST, for crying out loud! Let them be the mean testosterone-induced big-headed shadow-versions of the girls in the show! Let them do things on their own! Let them develop! Let them dooooo stuuuuuuffff!!!!

Seriously: I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t grasp why this equilibrically balanced idea, as natural and genius as it may be, was just set aside like the slug-monster from episode 25. I’ll take some time to compare how important these three characters are to this series. The equivalent to taking them out and forgetting them, would be like: taking out Shadow from “Sonic The Hedgehog”; taking out Mewtwo opposite of Mew in “Pokemon”; taking out Venom opposite of Spiderman; taking out Wario as opposite to Mario; taking out Agent Smith to Neo; Sabretooth to Wolverine; Evil Ash to Good Ash in “Army of Darkness”; taking out those funky colored versions of each character in Super Smash Bros.!!

4 years later… when I really didn’t care much about the show anymore, let alone watch it, it came to my attention that the Rowdyruff Boys were written back in, and revived! Apparently, seasons 5 to 6 was the slow demise of the show. Apparently drastic action had to have been taken. Perhaps the boys caught many many more fans’ attention than I thought. In any case, the idea was most likely forced on the show. And it didn’t work. I didn’t see any of the newer episodes the time they premiered. Too late, too bad.

5 years after that; I picked up the 10th Anniversary Collection at the library, and was very interested in watching the newer episodes: and these are my thoughts:

Design Change

Design Change

The Rowdyruff Boys return with a resistance to their only weakness: cooties. The Satan-Character, Him, re-created the boys (the first time it was Mojo Jojo) with vaccination. Alongside the vaccination, whenever they are kissed, they grow in size and power. Brilliant. Pretty much what we all wanted in the first place! Second, the new hairstyles. Sure, its alright. I kind of liked Brick’s older hairdo better.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Fight! Fight! Fight!

And third, and most importantly: They have personalities! Whoooaoaaaaa! In the first Episode, they had the personality no greater than a toaster oven; none of them had any individuality. This time around we’ve got a commandeering, self-obsessed leader, Brick; a dumb blond (think… Raiden from “MGS2”); and a hyper-aggressive borderline psychotic piece of craziness in Butch.I love that excited twitch he makes every time he anticipates violence. Good job!

This is great and all, but I am just very upset at the sheer stupidity of these characters. They’re stupid.

Insanity! Insanity! Insanity!

Insanity! Insanity! Insanity!

There’s nothing to it. Where the Powerpuff Girls are tactile and smart, the Rowdyruff Boys are completely the opposite. Also, all they seem to do is punch each other, steal, and spit at stuff in their downtime, with nothing better to do. While these factors fit with the boyish representation they display; its disappointing because, genetically, they should be the exact same to the Powerpuff Girls; the only difference would be: They’re boys.

What I would have liked, in this show, is to have seen the Rowdyruff Boys become far more sophisticated, tactile, and smart during the run of the show, and definetly have better things to do than the three fairly lame stories they were in, in the following Season 5 and 6 episodes. How wonderful would it have been to see a full-blown movie where the boys, with their accumulated experience and knowledge, square off with the girls? I thought it would have been incredible. Make it loud, put in some Rammstein, make these mighty midgets duke it out in a destructive battle royale in the vein of Dragonball Z (with the hour-long staring scenes cut out), and the destructive-range of Godzilla! That would have been hilarious, as it would have been cool!

Still don't like Brick's hair.

In fact, I attempted to write  a script for “The Powerpuff Girls Movie” in which this precisely happens. However, since I was 11 while writing it, and thankfully the script is lost and I have no idea where it is… it sucks… in a major way.

Another thing I hated, and still get mildly annoyed about, is how comic books and magazines based on the Powerpuff Girls, include the Rowdyruff Boys in its issues, but massively downplay and make fun of them. In one of the comics, I heard that they get beaten by a squirrel. In another, they’re dismissed as foes the Powerpuff Girls easily defeated.It makes one wonder: who are these writers, and why are they acting like 6-year-old kindergartners?*

In any case; the question still remains: Why. Why were they discarded? Why weren’t they what they could have been? Why such negligence?

Classic Shot? It should have been.

Classic Shot? It should have been.

To be honest, I have had my childishness return to me for a while, while watching the new episodes of the Rowdyruff Boys a day ago. I was smiling and fairly excited to see these guys back in action. Just think… think about how much better this show would have been (and a lot less girl-stereotyped) with the permanent inclusion of the Rowdyruff Boys… not only limited to lame storylines, but as major players  within the whole thing.So much potential, so many excited fans, all gone. Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot.

* – here is a response to a fan-letter from a Powerpuff Girls comics magazine…kind of juvenile nature I’m talking about.

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Responses

  1. Pretty sweet, Phil. They should have done more with the Rowdyruff boys.

    Also, you should update this site more.

    • thanks. Not a bad idea. I just don’t have much to talk about.

  2. Watchmen Watchmen Watchmen!!!

  3. That response in the Powerpuff Girls comic: I found that myself, scanned it, and sent it in to RR.net some years ago! The reason I sent it was to show how the RRB were being treated at the time. Just like you said they just seemed to diss them or make fun of them is they were mentioned at all.

  4. you did that? Man, I remember getting that Powerpuff Girls “powerzine” way back in 2000. Speaking of which: How many were published?

    Yeah, isn’t that weird or what? I’m so disappointed at how these characters were treated.

  5. There was just one issue of the Powerzine published. There would have been more had PPG series lasted longer. That wasn’t in the Powerzine, BTW it was in one of the comic book letter columns. The comic boook series lasted longer, before the PPG were movied into the Block party comic. Around the same time, the RRb apeared in the Action Pack comic, but they stopped doing RRb stories after about five issues. I beleive that both comis are now cancelled.
    I alos wrote an article on how thw rrb were treated, which got published on RR.net. It is out of date, and some of the speculation wasn’t quite accurate, but some of it, I believe, was on target:

    http://www.rowdyruff.net/jarjar.shtml

    I hadn’t thought about the whole PPG/RRB thing either for a while, but I started thinking about it again since I graduated, and I have time to start drawing and writing again.

  6. I’m also a longtime fan of the PPGs, and like you, I also thought of the Rowdyruff Boys as the greatest thing that could have been added to the show. And, I also disagree with some of the writers’ choices in how the boys were portrayed. But on the other hand I can also kind of understand why they were made the way they were.

    The boys were originally one-shot villains because the writers probably didn’t expect them to be so popular. Also, the boys didn’t have much personality in their debut episode partly because they didn’t have enough time, and also partly because Mojo was the actual main villain of the episode. The boys were just another weapon Mojo created. Also, in their return, the boys were made stupid and unorganized because the girls needed to have some kind of edge over them since the boys were equally powerful, if not stronger.

  7. I hate the rowdy ruff boys they took everything that I love the most someday soon I’ll kill those brats who took everything that I love and care about but first I’ll drain all of their powers then I’ll kill them especially those brats girlfriend’s Then I’ll burn those brats girlfriend’s and their 3 medium sized machines with fire then those brats girlfriend’s and the rowdy ruff boys will be no more then everyone will be free from that brainwashing spell


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