Sailor Moon- Series Overview

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Davies
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:42 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:06 am
In any case, Chibi-Moon puts her own Mirror back in (why does no one else do that?),
No one else is Mary-Su--er--the Princess of the Moon and Earth.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:56 am

Episode #163: So a captive Chibi-Usa is easily held back by Queen Nehalennia (the first time anyone interacts with her in person), and she gives her ORIGIN STORY! She's the "Queen of Darkness", from a cold & desolate asteroid, who grew envious of the Silver Millennium on the Moon centuries ago. Desiring the Golden Crystal, which could give her ownership of that kingdom, and the whole universe, she met its caretaker... Helios. Desiring not just the Crystal "but the young man as well" (PERVERT!), she offered him a place at her side, ruling the universe... but the Crystal punished her for "possessing an evil heart", as only those with Beautiful Dreams can gain its power. Queen Serenity imprisoned her in the darkness of the New Moon for centuries, so Nehallenia bided her time... and struck when the solar eclipse occurred, capturing Helios. And still holding a grudge "against those of the White Moon", she tortures Chibi-Moon for her link to them. "Feel the vengeance of my long-standing grudge", she says.

Zirconia is sent to deal with the Sailors, while the Quartet steal away with Chibi-Usa, swapping her with a dummy while the Queen taunts Helios. Zirconia activates the reflections in a house of mirrors, each trying to convince the Sailors to give up- in a great bit, a couple of them are VERY personal: Jupiter's suggest she's becoming less and less feminine (with an image showing her longingly staring at a loving couple, reminding her what she doesn't have), and Mercury's asked if she's throwing away her dream of becoming a doctor. Venus and Mars get more impersonal ones, saying they should get more praise (to Venus), and a warning that they might die in their next fight (to Mars). Sailor Moon is taunted with childhood laughing, all "oh come on, just give up and stop caring about everything else", but of course SHE'S the first one to fight back- "I have FRIENDS to share all my joys and sorrows with!", and the Sailors all raise their eyes and go forward. In this moment, Usagi kind of gives away all of her past feelings of desiring to be a normal girl and quit all this fighting- the notion of Mamoru & Chibi-Usa in danger is enough to help her fight on.

Several attacks (and MOON TIARA ACTION!) break Zirconia's mirrors, and the girls insist that they still have their old dreams, but fight on regardless. The Quartet leash Pegasus and try to get the Golden Crystal, but this creates a giant wall of flames- they're shocked when a recovered Chibi-Moon braves them and dives in to save him. Zirconia traps THEM in mirrors for their insolence, while Jun-Jun in particular is stunned and keeps thinking about that sacrifice- "We're definitely stronger than her, but it feels like she's BETTER than us, don't you think?". And with that, we end another one.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:50 am

Episode #164: The cats OF COURSE just now remember an old story about Queen Serenity sealing away a wicked sorceress. And the backstory of the Amazoness Quartet shows that they were once joyous, carefree scantily-clad preteens until Queen Nehalennia corrupted them through her mirror. Meanwhile, Nehalennia confronts Helios/Pegasus, blackmailing him with Chibi-Usa's life, but his stern gaze actually AGES HER, giving us a hint to her motivations, and she panics & blasts him back. He & Chibi-Usa have a bunch of romantic moments while they're being attacked, but she grabs his horn (CONSENT IS A THING, lady!), which results in the Golden Crystal being placed in her hand!

And now it's Zirconia sent to kill the Sailors once and for all- she creates a batch of illusory Zirconias, but Mercury's "Visor of All-Seeing" of course figures out which one is the real one, and her "Aqua Rhapsody" attack actually staggers her, sending her hunched forward and gasping for air! But then she pleads for help from Nehalennia... who drops the Quartet in, and drains their energy into Zirconia! When they're all "WTF, Queen?", Nehalennia's all "LOLZ did you think I actually cared about any of you?" and says she just used their energy and young dreams to fuel her Dead Moon. Mercury tells them to destroy their orbs, as that's what's causing the energy drain, but VesVes reveals that their "Amazon Stones" are the embodiment of their dreams! Destroying them to kill their dreams and make them become adults without magic, but Sailor Moon insists that's garbage ("Dreams that are truly beautiful can never be destroyed..."), and of course now she's risking her life to save her deadly enemies (in other news, night follows day; film at eleven!). The girls finally smash their Stones at that prompting, and are freed.

A staggered Zirconia stumbles to Nehalennia's mirror... where the Queen taunts that she hates seeing her "dark reflection", and, using the Golden Crystal, breaks the seal between worlds and enters ours! Zirconia dies screaming and vanishes in a flash of light as Queen Nehalennia enters the land of the "White Moon". This... isn't quite as epic as any of the previous "the world is at stake" final surges, but it's pretty decent, I suppose.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:51 am

Davies wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:42 am
Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:06 am
In any case, Chibi-Moon puts her own Mirror back in (why does no one else do that?),
No one else is Mary-Su--er--the Princess of the Moon and Earth.
Chibi-Usa is really weird in this season. In making her the new Main Character, they've reduced many of her flaws (like brattiness) save when Usagi's around, and made her a more personable, decent person... but it's made her VERY bland. She's effectively now a "Nice Everygirl" with few traits of her own.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:46 pm

Episode #165: Queen Nehallenia immediately confronts the Sailors, revealing that Chibi-Moon's been put under a spell to make her sleep forever, easily deflects their attacks, and knocks Sailor Moon across the floor (etching the stone while she's at it- a sign that the girls are more durable than humanly possible?) before wiping out all the others. They drag themselves off the floor and manage their old "Sailor Planet Attack!" move, but when THAT fails, they're about done. The Amazoness Quartet plot to interfere, however, realizing they can still use their magic after all (as their power was the source of the Dead Moon's energy, after all).

Meanwhile, a sickly Mamoru begins to dream, and HELIOS speaks directly to him- Mamo becomes Endymion in the dream-world, peering into his old kingdom, the "Golden Kingdom", which Helios says used to guard Elysion itself! Helios apologizes to the Prince for his failure, as now the Dead Moon has taken all the dreams from the world... but in a neat bit, a very calm Endymion kind of does the "respond with questions" thing ("Do you really think it's possible for the Dead Moon to wipe out all dreams?" "Is your duty the only reason you protect dreams?" "Do you still have that dream?") that causes Helios to realize that dreams cannot be stamped out- it's a bit cheesy, but given this show, it runs on that kind of idealistic belief. And so Helios uses the last of his dream magic to awaken Chibi-Usa with a kiss (the Sailors all blush, lol)!

A furious Nehallenia is all "you're dead now!" but turns out that she's been pranked- the Quartet swapped the Golden Crystal with a pineapple! And then VesVes tosses it to Sailor Moon! But when she goes to use it on the Queen... it doesn't work! It's powered by either her darkness or beautiful dreams, all of which have been stamped out already. So the show playing the "Serious Dramatic Fight Music" was all for naught. Nehallenia declares victory... but Helios counters with Endymion's own point that NOTHING can stop dreams- only quiet them! So Chibi-Moon literally does the Sailor Moon equivalent of the Spirit Bomb, where instead of absorbing Chi for a death bomb, they absord kindness and caring... for a death bomb. Yes, Chibi-Moon asks all the people of the world to renew their beautiful dreams. Yeah, only in Sailor Moon and Care Bears can you call upon the power of human love around the world to defeat evil. Primarily the very young hear Chibi-Moon's call, as her school friends, Unazuki (but not Motoki, notably), her teacher, and more... and the world slowly shines forth from the dark cloud encircling it. And with one final "Moon Crisis Power!", the two Sailors Moon unleash the full power of the Golden Crystal, blasting Queen Nehalennia and seeing light burst out of her Dead Moon Circus!

And then the episode ends and we gotta wait to see the fallout next time, lol. Actually, this was a really good episode, quick as it was- devoted mostly to one room and their Villain Fight.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Sun Mar 01, 2020 2:28 am

Jabroniville wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:46 pm
but in a neat bit, a very calm Endymion kind of does the "respond with questions" thing ("Do you really think it's possible for the Dead Moon to wipe out all dreams?" "Is your duty the only reason you protect dreams?" "Do you still have that dream?")
This is this season's version of the Tuxedo Mask puppet.

The bit at the end is also a bit of a tribute to Peter Pan's 'clap if you believe in fairies' bit, and has been used in a lot of Pretty Cure episodes and movies.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Mar 01, 2020 4:56 am

Yeah I got a real sense of the clapping thing, too- the only thing missing was Chibi-Moon speaking directly to the viewer.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:03 am

Episode #166: So the Care Bear Stare from last episode absolutely vaporizes hundreds of floating Dead Moon Circus Tents all across Tokyo, and finally, the large central tent also falls. All the Sailors are down, but Sailor Moon recovers to see Nehalennia fly off with Chibi-Moon in the ruins of the central tent. Hanging on for dear like, Usagi spots the Queen... and realizes she's now shriveled up like Zirconia was! And the agonized Queen reveals her full backstory (in the final episode?!?)- she was once the beloved Queen of a joyous nation, but the realization that her future was to be ugly, the beautiful girl (her face is drawn with the "large round eyes" instead of the Womanly Eyes of Evil Adulthood, so you know she's young and pretty) devoured the dreams of all of her subjects in order to maintain "eternal youth and everlasting beauty". Losing their Dream Mirrors transformed her subjects into the bizarre abberations of the Dead Moon, and cast spider-webs all over her world. Oh, and she explicitly refers to them as "living corpses", which is hella-dark, even for Sailor Moon.

The Queen accepts her fate of going back to the Dead Moon (which is why her citadel is rising), because she's going to be ugly and nothing else matters... but demands revenge against Sailor Moon, strangling her with a Zirconia-In-The-Box from her chest. But Usagi stuns her with her with an "I feel so sorry for you"- she recoils, remembering the past, when Princess Serenity of Silver Millennium gave her the same pitying look as Queen Serenity originally sealed her away in the Dead Moon. Disgusted with the pity, she THROWS CHIBI-MOON OFF THE CITADEL, since "you took away what I cherish most", so she'll do the same to her enemy. Usagi defiantly leaps after her, as the Queen derides her foolishness, and happily goes back to the Dead Moon, alone but still "young and beautiful forever!", as she goes back into her dark mirror, trapping her in her youthful image once more- and that's how we leave Queen Nehalennia (she'd shockingly reappear later, though!). And so it becomes super-clear- the Queen's dream is the opposite of Chibi-Usa's- one has the mature dream of wanting to get older, while one childishly holds on to the image of youth at all costs.

Sailor Moon falls short of catching her future-daughter, however, but REFUSES to give up in her own Usagi way, which naturally causes the real moon to appear in front of the Dead Moon, which transforms her into Princess Serenity, who, in addition to wielding the power of the Silver Crystal, can also fall faster I guess, so she grabs onto Chibi-Moon! Well that's different from just using the Silver Crystal again. But still things get desperate, as some great animation and scenery sees them careen towards the earth, but finally some impassioned pleas of "We'll lose our future!" and "Let's grow up together" finally awaken the girl, which awakens Helios, who transforms into Pegasus and gives us the "icon shot" of the two Princesses with flowing wings descending to earth.

And we finally end things with everyone at the park, saying goodbye to Helios, who cannot stay in our world (as the protector of the Golden Crystal and ruler of Elysion, his duty is elsewhere). He kisses Chibi-Usa on the hand to say goodbye (hilariously, Makoto & Rei are both annoyed that Chibi-Usa has "beat us to it..."). VesVes, showing up for the first time all episode, distracts everyone so that Chibi-Usa get get a free hug in while everyone's not staring at her, then the Amazoness Quartet walks away, figuring they'll see the girls again some day. And our last shot is Pegasus flying away, with Chibi-Moon mournfully saying she never got the chance to tell him about her dream- Usagi says they'll see each other again someday, and that's that for Sailor Moon SuperS.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:24 pm

And however bad this was, what comes after ... is actually pretty good, but what comes after that is really dumb in a lot of ways.

I am not sure why the anime doesn't go the manga route of turning the Amazoness Quartet into the Asteroid Guardians. Granted that it would have made the next arc that much more complicated, but it's one of (I think) two times that Takeuchi-sensei tries to have villains redeemed instead of killed. (The other is Hotaru, who's even so a completely different character in the manga.)

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:34 am

Yeah, it's really bizarre, given how they're usually left elaborating on things Takeuchi left unexplained or unexplored.

But like I've said before... given how much extra time they have to develop things, it's utterly shameful how little the anime uses what's there. Ami is the only one of the four Inner Senshi who has her parents even MENTIONED, and her mother is just a silhouette and we never see her face! We never heard about anyone else's parents save Hotaru and her father situation! TWO-HUNDRED EPISODES and this is what we get!

So yeah, just dropping the Quartet here feels pointless. The only thing I can think of to justify it is... Takeuchi probably didn't tell them until it was too late. It appears to be a very "Late Stage" addition (Saturn begging Future Serenity to bring them back), and so the animators may have not even had the time to explain it.

Though why none of the Outer Senshi got big roles in this season is perhaps even more confusing- I know they went all-in on Chibi-Usa, but you'd think popular new characters like Sailor Saturn would have produced a lot of fan interest. Instead... NOPE- it's all Chibi-Moon, all the time!

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:31 pm

SAILOR MOON S- THE MOVIE:
-So they released another one-hour feature after the end of Sailor Moon Super, and again, it's out of continuity. Unsually, however, it's based off of a manga story- a side-story Naoko Takeuchi did on larger paper in a "tankobon" (like a trade paperback for us). This movie's ALSO about a Giant Space Meteor like Sailor Moon R was, with the magical Snow Princess Kaguya arriving on her icy meteorite to take over the planet and remake it in her own image. And HOLY CRAP is she "Image Comics" levels of naked. Like, she has to have invisible nipples or something, because her shirt covers almost nothing.

The gang gets a showcase at an outdoor market, giving us some fun shots of the group- and an iconic scene where they try a "Punch-Testing Machine" and Usagi scores 35 (and bonks herself with the punching bag), Minako 65, Rei 80, and Mako casually one-hands it and scores 100. Plus there's Haruka, Michiru & Setsuna, meaning we get nine Sailors for this one!

More of the subplot sees a Japanese astronaut named Himeko (note: "Hime", her nickname, means "Princess" in Japanese) getting a lot of public focus for an impending trip to the moon, Luna catching a cold, and an astronomer named Kakeru noticing Kaguya's meteorite and picking up a crystal offshoot from it. The plot threads together when Luna's nearly hit by a car and Kakeru saves her life. And it turns out he's friends with Himeko, who lectures him about "romanticizing space too much". In a fairly mature way, she chides a man of science for saying stuff like "there's a Goddess living on the Moon!" and such. Anyways, it's clear from their body language that she likes him but he seems oblivious, and now upset because she's challenging his beliefs- he chases her off brusquely, but she overhears his confession about the romantic ideals of the Moon to Luna.

Upon hearing the man go on about always having feelings about the Moon ever since he read the old Japanese fairy tales about Kaguya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_ ... boo_Cutter), Luna is twisted up inside by newfound feelings of admiration for him- "what is this heartache I'm feeling?" she wonders. The girls all worry about a missing Luna the next day, but it turns into a childish argument IMMEDIATELY when Minako brings up the idea that maybe Usagi offended her and that's why she ran off. Artemis thankfully snaps them out of it (kinda dumb and out of character for the girls to move so easily into arguing when a sick Luna is missing). But then Kaguya summons dozens of "Snow Dancers" that make winter everywhere they go- hey, this light blue lady making an eternal winter and summoning snow creatures is reminding me of something.

So the Snow Dancers lure in all the Sailors and oh my god have I missed the three Outer Sailors transformations- that damn song and their cooler "lip rods" and updated transformation animations- that's epic. "World Shaking" shatters one, while all four Inners have to combine to take out theirs. The Usagis have trouble with a "Spinning Snow Dancer" illusion, but then SANTA CLAUS saves them... with a rose. Yup- it's Tuxedo Mask in a weird disguise, soon whipping it off and throwing a DRIEDEL (!?!), allowing Sailor Moon to wipe out out with "Moon Spiral Heart Attack". Then everyone's thawed and they just go on with their day.

Luna has a nice bit where SHE actually asks USAGI for advice after seeing Himeko taking care of Kakeru, curious about what couples do together, and "what does a kiss taste like...?", then it's Kakeru explaining that his poor health cost him his dream of becoming an astronaut, too. He hopes to live to see Himeko carry on both their dreams... and Luna realizes that a lot of Usagi's comments about relationships are accurate (like watching your man sleep). When the Sailors all figure out what's going on with Luna, poor Artemis sulks in his own silent suffering way, which only Minako is savvy enough to clue in to. But then it turns out that Usagi's the only person in the cast who HASN'T figured out that Artemis loves Luna (both Ami & Rei chide her cluelessness). But then Usagi follows Luna one day and they both watch Kakeru blow off Himeko's "maybe we can be together after I'm done my mission" in a very drastic manner over how she just sees the Moon as an object floating in space (he starts out smiling in a confident, secure way but then just YELLS at her).

Luna figures out immediately what's going on- Kakeru loves Himeko deeply, but refuses to let her know about his illness or his real feelings. And tearfully, she confesses this all to Usagi, crying about her own heartache and how "I'm not the person he was meant to be with after all" but how much she wishes she could be a human so she could be with him. It's really good stuff. But then the conflict rears its ugly head- Kaguya comes for the crystal shard (which has been exacerbating Kakeru's illness, absorbing his very life energy to empower itself), and when he names her, she formally adopts that name (oh, so she was just some nameless whatever beforehand, okay). And JUST THEN, Artemis remembers a "ancient manuscript" about an evil star that covered worlds in ice, but the power of love & friendship (oh, Sailor Moon) saved the day.

Kakeru's still dying from the crystal's existence, and Luna figures (kind of... oddly) that if she transforms into a "Princess Kaguya" for him, he can regain the strength to continue on. But it's FIGHT TIME- the Sailors locate Kaguya's base of operations as she covers the entire Earth in ice and snow, freezing nearly everyone alive. The Sailors fight and naturally are now AMAZING fighters against what is now an army of Snow Dancesr, with all their baseline attacks now counting as "Area Attacks", but they slowly get overwhelmed in some dramatic fight animation that seems them all grabbed in mid-attack sequence or just buffetted from all directions. The Outer Sailors actually get SAVED by the Inners, but all are soon wiped out, leaving only a late arrival- Sailor Moon. Kaguya promises to remove all pain from the world as she freezes it eternally, but Sailor Moon gives one of those dramatic speeches about how sure, heartache and loneliness and unrequited love can keep you up at night, but those feelings are just part of what makes life great, and that thinking only of yourself means you'll never love another and all that. She activates the "Crisis Make-Up!" part by unlocking the Holy Grail (from Sailor Moon S, naturally) and becoming Super Sailor Moon, but Kaguya overpowers her with one shot.

Sailor Moon risks her life by drawing out the Legendary Silver Crystal, but the other Sailors realize Artemis's comments about "love and friendship" means they can all "Care Bear" that risk away- Tuxedo Mask arrives to take out the Snow Dancers while they encircle Usagi and let her power up. Though even the cynical-ass older Sailors doing it is terrific. Triumphant music plays as the Sailors funnel their light through Sailor Moon's Silver Crystal, overpowering Kaguya in a scene right out of the first season's destruction of Queen Metalia & Beryl (even the same angle- firing it diagonally upwards), vaporizing her, shattering her meteorite, and removing all the magical ice that's covering the world.

And finally, in the movie's iconic scene, Sailor Moon's wish allows Luna to temporarily transform into a human girl- a distinctive-looking girl with long purple hair. The transformation sequence silhouette is, um, not leaving much to the imagination (they usually leave them "nude except for nipples", but this time they LEFT THEM IN?), but a yellow dress soon covers her up. She takes Kakeru to see the sunrise from outer space, and even Himeko in space sees them fly across like a comet- stunned, she confesses "The Moon Goddess is real!?" Luna/Kaguya convinces Kakeru to live on, and to find "your true Kaguya on Earth", which finally leads him into the arms of Himeko when she returns. Luna confesses she's happy for them, gifting Himeko the candy that's been a minor thing between her and Kakeru throughout the picture, saying "after all, I'm just a cat", but finally she runs into Artemis when he happily arrives and says "I'll always be by your side"- she gladly goes off with him, probably changed a fair bit. Naturally, as this is out of continuity, they have their own random thing in the Sailor Moon SuperS season.

So this overall was a pretty neat little story, though mostly for the relationships over the pretty generic "I want to freeze the Earth" one-note villain. Kaguya is one of the least-remembered movie foes for a reason. But Luna-As-Kaguya manages to be very memorable, and I loved the story with her, Kakeru, and Himeko. It was full of need, want, complexity and emotion- Luna's scenes would have been silly in many other places, but here you genuinely felt for the cat that wanted to be with a human, and I liked how he kept trying to force Himeko away despite his own wants. The whole nature of him being annoyed by her lack of belief in a Moon Goddess came off a bit weird, though I guess you have to accept such things in a Sailor Moon universe (I mean, humans SHOULD know Magic is real by this point in the show). Artemis being in love with Luna and her being clueless to it was a neat sub-plot, and him being there for her when it was all over was neat, if a bit like Luna was "settling".

The animation quality here was solid, but more "above-average episode" than game-changing, like the Sailor Moon R movie was- that movie had some TREMENDOUS, feature-film level animation, and this one was a lot moroe simple. Kaguya had white outlines for her body that didn't really "work" so well, and none of the action scenes were as mind-blowing as the intial flower assault in the first one.

Continuity-wise, it doesn't really "fit", unless you assume that they're between "Death Busters"-related stuff, as nobody is talking about the Silence. The Holy Grail is here like that's still an issue, but Chibi-Moon is nowhere prominent, there's no Hotaru anywhere, and the Inner Sailors are just kinda hanging around.

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:26 am

The part of this that sticks with me the most, other than Luna showing Kakeru the stars, is the bit towards the middle where Pluto muses "I feel like time has stopped." Well, yeah, Setsuna, you're supposed to be dead right now, what are you doing just hanging around?

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SuperS- The Movie

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:30 am

SAILOR MOON SUPERS- THE MOVIE:
-And now we come to the final movie in the Sailor Moon movie trilogy, SuperS! This one made less than half what Sailor Moon R: The Movie did, and the SuperS and Sailor Stars seasons did less and less well as time went on, so the studio wisely ended things here. Again, the continuity here is kejiggered, Sailors Neptune, Uranus & PLUTO active, but no Sailor Saturn mentioned at all. Since it's a "Chibi-Usa" time, she's very prominent here, arguing with Usagi and getting into a "befriending the dewey-eyed fairy-like magic boy" thing with Not-Pegasus.

My biggest memory of this was finding a huge magazine-style book at a bookstore in Japan featuring this movie prominently, taking snapshots of it and letting you see the whole plot, which made it very easy to follow. I read this thing A LOT back in the day, and it was my look into the proper "Japanese names" for the attacks ("Fire Soul", "Sabao Spray", "World Shaking", etc.), even ones I hadn't seen yet like the Outer Senshi's stuff. This was a huge help in my Sailor Moon fandom at the time, and stuck with me so much I can still pick out exact images in this movie that remind me of that book.

Dear God, I've only seen this movie ONCE before and I still remember the fairy song (used to hypnotize children) like it was yesterday. The animation after that point is REALLY bad, though, with really sketchy, thin lines (like someone erased the inks too much, or they dried out) and some questionable animation and background characters. You can see the budget diminishing with time, here. In any case, after a pretty pedestrian scene involving baking (which only Ami & Mako are any good at, though Chibi-Usa's at least TASTE good), Chibi-Usa meets Perle, who's been watching the other Fairies abduct children, and they have one of those meaningless childlike conversations Chibi-Usa always gets into, while Usagi childishly demands Mamoru tell her who's more important to him- her or Chibi-Usa.

But then we get into the meat of the plot, as SAILOR MARS IS WEARING LEATHER PAN-- I mean, young children are being abducted from their homes by fairy flute-playing. The evil fairy brings forth "Bonbon Babies" that knock the Sailors around for a bit, allowing us a Transformation Sequence and a quick Mook Battle- melee attacks do no damage, but Sailor Attacks will. Venus pulls out "Venus Love & Beauty Shock!", but the others use SEASON ONE AND TWO ATTACKS, without Stock Animation, even! The animation picks up a lot here, but with some weird bits (oddly slow-running Usagis; weird shaky facial expressions to denote shock; REALLY bad face animation in a shot clearly never meant for the era of pausing DVDs). Tuxedo Mask arrives when the fairy, Poupelin, creates an illusion that stuns the girls, but he's held back by the mind-controlled children and badly injured by a Bonbon Baby, putting him out of the fight after like 30 seconds, which is pretty funny. Perle & Poupelin are revealed to be brothers as Perle opposes the use of violence, and Poupelin summons the image of Queen Badiane, yet another Evil Queen character in the franchise (that's like... four, now). She empowers the Babies to regenerate from all harm, and Poupelin abducts Chibi-Moon and takes his leave.

Two more fairies are revealed as three ships in total arrive in a Floating City sort of thing that materializes in space, and Queen Badiane talks some smack, elaborating upon her plan to Sailor Chibi-Moon. Apparently she abducts children to put them in "Dream Coffins" which will give "Sugar Energy" from their dreams (yes, really) to empower a Black Dream Hole that will soon engulf the entire Earth, putting ALL HUMANITY into Dream Coffins. She got the fairies to go along by promising them a world of "happy dreams" where they will never get hurt.

Perle takes the Sailors to "Marzipan Castle" and the enemies, but a cannon shoots down Perle's ship, and the fairies attack with more Bonbon Babies (pink and orange join Poupelin's blue ones). The other two fairies are pretty goofy, though, with weird voices and appearances- very gangly and odd- one covered in leaves, and the other with a dome hat and long tongue- they look "off model" compared to Poupelin, who at least looks like a well-drawn, detailed villain. The Baby surge seems to spell the end for our heroines... but then WORLD SHAKING strikes- it's Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune & Sailor Pluto! The Outer Senshi return! Neptune's Mirror sees through all illusions, so they've found the castle, and then it casts "Submarine Reflection", which marks the fairies' flutes as the source of their power- Uranus' "Space Sword Blaster" slices one open, and "Mars Flame Sniper" takes out the other, turning both fairies into doves (this would explain their lazier designs). Uranus slices Poupelin's as well, and soon he's a bird, too.

And then, in the movie's most legendary moment, Uranus contemplates Poupelin's suggestion that they're just trying to give children a world in which they can remain children forever... and Neptune says "but you get to enjoy most of life's pleasures as an adult, right?", stunning even URANUS into blushing, coughing silence! Perle mourns his brothers for a moment before Badiane, who is clearly a GIANTESS, threatens them all. Her Black Dream Hole grows while she tortures Chibi-Moon in her grip. Her Force Field keeps out Perle's ship, knocking everyone back... but the power of Sailor Moon & Perle's love for Chibi-Usa lets them break through (yes, really, that three-minute conversation from the beginning of the movie held that much power), and Sailor Moon leaps into the Hole after Badiane (who declares that she IS the Black Dream Hole).

She turns up in Mamoru's room, holding Chibi-Usa, but realizing that Mamo being so casual about Chibi-Usa's health ("Just let her dream forever") and declaring that "You are the only person in the world I care about" is way out of character, and promptly realizes that this is a dream. This breaks her out of her Dream Coffin, and she challenges Queen Badiane one final time, realizing the little words of wisdom from her friends earlier (about finding the bright side in sadness, the importance of future happiness, etc.) lets her "Care Bear Stare" that shit out, and when Badiane makes a final surge, burning the hell out of Sailor Moon, she calls on her friends to lend her their strength in ANOTHER one-off power feat, and their symbols light her up, rendering her immune to harm, and she & Chibi-Moon combined together for a double "Moon Gorgeous Meditation" that destroys the black hole (and Badiane with it) for good. Now how'd I know the power of love was going to save the day in this one?

This was... a thing. It's hardly bad or anything, but it's obviously the weakest of the three movies- the other two dealt with extremely complex emotions (lost love, self-loathing, want, desire, jealousy, etc.), while this one is just "we meet someone, three seconds later we're friends, and now there's a fight against another Evil Queen". It's so by-the-numbers that they pull the Ass-Pull "think about your love for others" feel-good solution to the overwhelming foe AGAIN, destroying the villainess with a one-off power surge. Like, yeah, it's set up earlier on with the Sailors' conversations over baking, and we DO know that the Usagis love each other despite all their arguing, but come on. The animation was questionable all over the place, but typically great in fight scenes, and the flying ships, Marzipan Castle and more had some of the best scenery in Sailor Moon. So on that front it's middle of the road. Some of the best stuff was the opening & closing sequences showing the Sailors as little kids (something we NEVER see in this show), Neptune's little flirtacious joke to Uranus, and some of the cool animation of their cinematic fighting moves.

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Davies
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Re: SuperS- The Movie

Post by Davies » Fri Apr 10, 2020 7:43 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:30 am
Some of the best stuff was the opening & closing sequences showing the Sailors as little kids (something we NEVER see in this show),
And the animators liked it enough to bake a reference to it into the opening sequence for Sailor Stars.

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Ami's First Love

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:13 am

SAILOR MOON SUPERS SIDE STORY- AMI'S FIRST LOVE:
-With Ami proving to be the most popular of the Sailors to the book's young fans, it was decided that she get a 15-minute animated short devoted to her. Things get adorbz immediately, as Ami goes on about all her studies and her habits and likes (which all involve studying- "my favorite thing about sandwiches is that you can study and eat at the same time!")... and then finds a LOVE LETTER addressed to her! Freaking out about it, she confesses it's the one thing she can't handle. Meanwhile, she discovers a "Mercurius" matching her perfect scores in the national "mock exams" which are going on at the time (third-year in Middle School is a HUGE time for schoolkids, as it determines the level of High School they get to go to).

Ami assumes that Mercurius is a male, and her obsession over him leads the other girls to needle her about her ROMANTIC tastes, figuring this is what's driving her. She famously (to the fandom) confesses that it's "Einstein", of course flooring everybody. She exhausts herself to beat Mercurius in every exam, and now we meet our villain- the double-ponytailed villainess Bonnun, who's hidden away in the school for years waiting for "lascivious" romantic energy from a young girl in love. She latches onto Ami, absorbing her energy and leaving her bedridden, while the girls actually MEET Mercurius, who's friends with Umino. And whatever they see stuns them into silence.

Kate Higgins acts out in a HUGE way as Ami is horrified to see her well-memorized lessons and knowledge fleeing her mind as she's covered with LOVE LETTERS, really showing a lot of range with the usually-calm Ami Mizuno. Usagi, Mamoru & Chibi-Usa arrive at her apartment to find her room turned into a weird psionic madhouse, but Ami now mistakes Bonnun for MERCURIUS, doing a big speech about how she did this just to beat her in the exames. This leaves Bonnun rather annoyed and confused, and now Ami transforms into Sailor Mercury! But with an all-new transformation sequence and attack- "Mercury Aqua Mirage" is a nice shiny blue ball of water that turns into a Multiattacking Blast that wipes the floor with Bonnun. And then Ami passes out and declares the villain beaten. Then Usagi reveals that Mercurius really just looked like Umino, but Ami's convinced he was a handsome pretty-boy.

This was pretty much a hoot, with Mercury being uncharacteristically insane the whole way through, demented by a "rival" and twisted by romantic thoughts that he must be some gorgeous hunk who clearly got good grades just to mess with her. It comes off as a bit boy-crazy and obsessive, combining her self-perfection trait with the confusing nature of romance, and it's pretty funny. I wish they'd have done more things like this with the cast, but Ami was the most popular.

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