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Western Animation: Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo

Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo is a made-for-TV movie based on the popular 2003-2006 Animated Series Teen Titans, produced for Cartoon Network by Warner Bros. animation. It was the last original Teen Titans material to air on Cartoon Network before the show went into reruns.

After Titans Tower is nearly destroyed by a sentai-esque, paint-themed assailant, apparently for no reason, the Teen Titans decide to get to the root of the problem and head for Japan, where they believe the villain came from. Once there, they hear word of a fantastic underworld figure named Brushogun, who may be behind the unexplained attack...even though a team of Japanese troopers whose job it is to keep Tokyo safe from threats too great for the regular police insist that such a person is nothing but folklore and doesn't really exist. Discouraged, the Teen Titans put the matter aside and explore the city, until, unexpectedly, an attack by a group of bizarre monsters leads them to believe that there may be much more to the Brushogun "myth" than they have been told.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Twice, between Robin and Starfire.
  • Affectionate Parody: One of Japanese kids' shows/films from yesteryear, such as Astro Boy and Spirited Away.
  • And I Must Scream: Brushogun under Daizo's imprisonment.
  • Animesque: You don't say.
  • Animeland: In more of a Satire/Parody Sense.
  • Art Attacker / Art Initiates Life: Brushogun's ability.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The team faces this twice: once when first arriving, and again as the climactic finalbattle.
  • Batman Gambit: Brushogun sending the first Saico-Tek against the Titans to lure them to Tokyo.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Brushogun's origin.
  • Big Bad: Brushogun turns out to simply be a prisoner being used by the real Big Bad Commander Daizo.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Robin and Starfire finally get theirs, after four seasons of the show's Ship Tease but not until the last few minutes of the movie.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Nya-Nya, the pink-ink Catgirl, never speaks a word of English in either of her forms.
    • "Otaku" is the Japanese equivalent of "geek"...not cute, which Beast Boy seems to think it means.
    • "Nya-nya" translates to "meow-meow".
    • During the battle, when Nya-Nya is riding pterodactyl-BB:
    Nya-Nya: I love to hurt cute little animals. I look forward to tormenting you.
    • After kissing BB on the cheek:
    Nya-Nya Close your eyes. This will hurt.
    • With the poster image above, yes, those are the Titans' names in katakana.
  • Brick Joke: Super Twinkle Donkey Gum.
  • The Cameo: Aqualad briefly appears as the Titans fly over the Pacific.
  • The Chew Toy: Beast Boy.
  • Clear My Name: After Robin seems to accidentally kill Saiko-Tek.
  • Cool Shades: Robin, when he impersonates a Japanese street tough.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: When Saiko-tek somehow totally vanishes right in front of Robin after kicking open the sprinkler systems, Beast Boy jokingly suggest that he "just wasn't waterproof". As it turns out, he was made out of paint, so he really wasn't!
    • When the gang first arrives in Tokyo, the one place Beast Boy really wants to visit is a comic book factory. Wouldn't you know it, that's where the Big Bad's hideout is.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Titans have a hell of a time defeating the first Saico-tek. Robin then faces the second Saico-tek one-on-one evenly, while the others get curbstomped in their respective one-on-one fights. At the end, they're taking out hoards of the same enemies at once.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: The villain basically creates an ink army: this. He gets defeated and the Bigger Bad takes over.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: A ganguro features as part of Beast Boy's Unwanted Harem.
  • Deranged Animation: Bits of it within the movie.
  • Distress Ball: Starfire. She actually forgets that she can fly and has to be snatched out of the air mid-drop by Robin, who has no super-powers. Ironically, one fan once remarked on a forum that if such a thing ever happened she would be called out on it, as it would be an obvious ploy to attract Robin's attention. Instead it was played painfully straight.
  • Dope Slap: Raven does this to Beast Boy in the end, just before the credits.
  • Eat That: The Chef, trying to discourage Cyborg from eating everything in his restaurant.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Commander Daizo, a major plot point.
  • Foreshadowing: Saico-Tek uses pair of jitte, a weapon commonly associated with the police.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: During the Gratuitous English karaoke scene, Beast Boy morphs into a number of animals. He turns into an octopus—while striking the classic "seduction on a bed" pose. Yes. You read it right. They had the balls to put in a tentacle rape reference. Just wow.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In addition to the usual ones of Starfire and Raven, Brushogun toward the end as Daizo forces him to use his powers.
  • Indecisive Parody: Tokyo.
  • Jackass Genie/Deal with the Devil
  • Kaiju: The first threat the Titans encounter in Tokyo, eventually beaten by the Troopers.
  • Karaoke Box: Beast Boy during the movie, and the whole cast during the end credits. The lyrics are due to Rule of Funny.
  • Last Minute Hookup: After endless teasing in the series, Robin and Starfire finally kiss at the end of the movie.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Early in the movie as the Titans prepare for their trip to Japan, we see the individual members each packing for their trip; Robin methodically selecting a spare suit and suitcase, Beast Boy throwing everything he owns into a suitcase and turning into a mammoth to squash everything down so he can fit it all in; Cyborg packing spare limbs, Starfire using a vacuum-nosed animal as a living handbag...and Raven walking into a bathroom and selecting a toothbrush.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Commander Uehara Daizo
  • The Man Behind The Monsters: Brushogun
  • Mecha-Mooks: Well, technically magic-ink-construct mooks, but still...
  • Moment Killer: Robin ruins the first moment himself. The second time Robin and Starfire are just about to kiss, the rest of the Titans walk in and interrupt that moment. Funnily enough, they don't seem to suspect a thing.
  • The Movie: What do you think?
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Robin does this to one of the ink Mooks which leads to his imprisonment. May come off as Nightmare Fuel to some because the atmosphere was so tense, and then it gets to you: Robin actually starts to look like the criminal to both the police's AND THE VIEWER'S EYES.
  • Occidental Otaku: Beast Boy
  • Official Couple: Robin and Starfire. About time.
  • One-Winged Angel: Commander Daizo jumps into his magic printer, fusing himself with Brushogun's magic and turning himself into a gigantic ink monster.
  • Orbital Kiss
  • Palette Swap: The villain summoned several Palette Swapped copies of previously created villains for the final battle.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Beast Boy of course.
  • Portmanteau: Brushogun is a combination of the English "brush" and the Japanese "shogun".
  • Pummeling the Corpse: Robin to the first Saico-Tek, though subverted as it's not exactly a 'corpse'.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Take a wild guess.
  • Scenery Porn: The cityscapes of Tokyo are very pretty.
  • Shout-Out: There are tons of them for Japanese pop culture.
    • The blob monster that attacks Raven resembles No-Face from Spirited Away.
    • Mecha-Boi is...do I really need to say it?
      • His blue color scheme indicates...Mega Man?
      • His stocky stature resembles Rusty as opposed to Astro Boy's more slender figure.
    • Uehara Daizo throws himself into a machine, similar to the Joker's origin, albeit an intentional version.
    • Commander Uehara Daizo closely resembles Lupin III's famous Inspector Zenigata.
    • Kaneda and Yamagata from AKIRA appear in a crowd scene watching a sumo match.
      • The bike Robin "borrows" has taillights that leave momentary after-images, just like Kaneda's bike.
    • Saico-Tek is similar in design to numerous Kamen Riders, and his split-down-the-middle color scheme resembles Kikaider.
    • The yellow robot that fights Cyborg is noticeably similar to Boss Borot
    • Nya-Nya is based on the Puma sisters from Dominion Tank Police
    • A little less noticeable, but the story of how Brushogun and the ink monsters came to be is terribly similar to the Painter who tried to use ink dissolved with a Shikon Fragment to create his own personal version of the Hime that he was in love with in chapters 56-58 of the InuYasha manga. Inuyasha defeats him, though. The other similarity is that whenever one of his Ink Oni are killed they collapse in an explosion of ink, blood and guts, much like Brushogun did when killed by the Titans...minus the blood and guts.
    • Raven becoming a spokeswoman for Super Twinkle Donkey Gum mirrors the practice of hiring American actors to star in Japanese commercials.
  • Ship Sinking: Raven/Beast Boy, according to some.
    • This is not as definitive as the obvious sinking of Robin/Raven, however.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Subverted.
  • Tragic Monster: Brushogun is little more than a tired old man who's been enslaved to a complete and total Narcissist who uses him to create false threats for him to defeat. He's more than happy to finally finish dying after freed from his bindings.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Duh!
  • Tonight Someone Kisses: Robin and Starfire
  • Unwanted Harem: Beast Boy gets one of these. At first it's subverted in that he has no qualms about being Covered in Kisses, then it's played straight when it becomes apparent his new fangirls won't let him leave.
    • They're quite clingy in an almost Yandere sort of way.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Robin gets called out on this after he apparently killed a villain though the villain was made of ink:
    Robin: He wasn't human.
    Inspector: Neither are most of your friends.
  • Will They or Won't They?
  • Artistic License - Geography: Beast Boy, in-context. "When do we see the Great Wall?"
    • Also, Tokyo Tower is white and orange, not some shade of blue. And it would be lit up at night.
  • "You!" Squared: a variation occurs in this exchange:
    Cyborg and Beast Boy: *Screeching halt* Who's chasing you?!?
    Beast Boy: Girls!
    Cyborg: Chefs!
  • Your Mom: Robin yells "Hey! Over here! Your mother was a salamander!" to a giant, ink-created Godzilla-like monster in order to distract it from Starfire.

Things ChangeRecap/Teen Titans    
Teen TitansDC Comics AnimatedKrypto the Superdog
The Return of HanumanSuperheroThe Adventures Of Captain Marvel
Teen TitansWestern AnimationTeen Titans Go!

alternative title(s): Teen Titans Trouble In Tokyo
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