Sailor Moon- Series Overview

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Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am

Episode #124: Professor Tomoe explains that "this world of light, full of falsehoods" will soon be destroyed, giving way to a world of darkness, as The Silence wipes out the Earth. And Mistress 9's role as the Messiah of Silence is to place the Holy Grail on a device that will lure Pharaoh 90 to our solar system. The girls transform (using the "Slow Dramatic Music", no less!), but are immediately besieged by literally HUNDREDS of Daimons, which have burst directly from their eggs, and so are amorphous blob-monsters that can take humanoid shape. This is actually what all the Daimons were in the manga. The girls use their attacks to blow some away, but then Sailor Moon uses the Moon Spiral Heart Attack... which covers HUNDREDS OF FEET (!!!), wiping out a vast swath of them.

The Sailor Teleport attempt is stopped by a renewed assault, and Mistress 9 reaching through a friggin' portal with her kaleidoscope demon hand and DRAGGING Sailor Moon through it, into her lair! Meanwhile, the Outer Sailors attempt to fly in via their Mystery Helicopter, and the Daimons electrify it, BLOWING IT UP!! They're, of course, completely screwed... except Sailor Pluto, Guardian of Time, reveals her Secret Ultimate Power- She STOPS TIME. That's really freaking cool- they're basically sitting in a blowing-up helicopter, mid-explosion. That is really well-done conceptually.

Pluto reveals that this is the "Greatest taboo" she could commit, and teleports Uranus & Neptune out of there, saying "farewell" just as the 'copter blows up completely. Mistress 9 is all about to talk smack, despite being impressed, but then Hotaru speaks through her ("you will not use that pure heart for evil!"). But she turns into Hotaru Form and moves on, while leaving Prof. Tomoe (called "Daimon Germatoid") to fight Uranus & Neptune. He taunts them, announces that he's just a Daimon possessing Tomoe, and then imbues a horde of "Dolls" with his essence- damn, those things look straight-up like things out of Neon Genesis Evangelion. They even move like the baddies from Attack on Titan! Uranus & Neptune are screwed, as they're immune to most harm... but then Pluto's voice says "The Talismans!", the girls manifest the Mirror and Sword, and the Mirror flash-fries all the assmebled Dolls but one, and Uranus stabs it through the eye.

The Sailors, realizing they can't break in through the force field, simply opt to combine their efforts with an Energy Field that counters the growing field. I'd say that's an Ass Pull, but that's literally what they do in the Crystal Tokyo of the future, so I guess this is just a prelude to THAT.

The animation here is so far above the norm here it's crazy. Like, MOVIE good.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am

Episode #125: Mistress 9 has Sailor Moon, Uranus & Neptune with her, and the two elder Sailors attempt to wipe her out, especially after she confirms their message that "Hotaru Tomoe is dead". However, Sailor Moon gotta Sailor Moon, and so she JUMPS IN THE WAY, one of the few times I've seen a regular Sailor take damage from another Sailor's major attacks- she's hurt but, like, not even as much as most villains do to the girls normally. Mistress 9 just casually says "thank you" and then whups the two others, who are all "You fool!" and "Don't interfere!", but are immediately grabbed by Mistress 9's Prehensile Hair and tied to a giant, scythe-wielding angel statue. SUBTLE. Mistress 9 threatens their lives if Moon doesn't give her the Holy Grail, and naturally she's about to sacrifice everything when Professor Tomoe staggers in. 9 just taunts this "disgusting shell" and strikes him, but Hotaru's voice breaks through again, despite 9's insistence that "Hotaru died just now" earlier on!

Mistress 9 collapses ("this body's rejecting me..."), crying out "Daddy!... help me!...", but Uranus is all "Finish her off now, Sailor Moon!", because she's gotta be Uranus. Sailor Moon of course REFUSES, and brings forth the Holy Grail, insisting that "I refuse to accept a world that can only be saved if she dies", because Hotaru has done nothing wrong. But OH SHIT THAT JUST MAKES IT WORSE, as Mistress 9 cackles and blasts everyone, but you can still see her struggle. She finally describes what the Holy Grail is- the "crystallization" of the emotions, good and bad, elevated to their highest forms by Pure Hearts. Helpfully, however, she says "the only way" to defeat Pharaoh 90 once he assmilates the Holy Grail is to have a "Superior Pure Heart Crystal", which pretty much gives the whole ending away right there.

Pharaoh 90 begins to arrive- a giant black sphere with several waving tendrils- inhuman and never speaking. A blast from the Moon Rod does nothing- and a cool "reverberating" noise simply fires a beam through it, hammering Sailor Moon. His arrival sends out a series of blasts, one of which slams Mistress 9, who was JUST bragging about how she & he were going to rule the world together. The other one... is blocked by SAILOR MOON, who has guarded Professor Tomoe... and Hotaru?!? Yes, Hotaru & Mistress 9 continue fighting for dominance, with a tearful Professor remembering happier times, but confessing he's no way of returning his daughter to safefty. But then Hotaru finally thinks of those who need her protection, the "black star" forehead mark on 9's head shatters, and is replaced by the symbol of Saturn! Chibi-Usa's Pure Heart is returned as Mistress 9 disintegrates into nothing.

And yes, the Guardian of Destruction finally returns to the world. She calmly thanks Sailor Moon for guarding her physical body, then points out that she can destroy planets at the cost of her own life, and that only she may enter Pharaoh 90 at his core and destroy him. Sailor Moon LOSES IT, begging her not to sacrifice herself, and desperately attempts to use "Crisis Make-Up" for a switch to Super Sailor Moon. This is, of course, impossible without the Holy Grail... but then the other Sailors (who've had their Force Field wiped out by Pharaoh 90's arrival) have their tiaras glow... and then URANUS & NEPTUNE (clearly impressed/saddened by Moon's breakdown) join in, and soon we have Usagi powered up once more. With her shining "Super Pure Heart", she slowly walks through the ebony energy and joins the fight.

We never really see the INSIDE of Pharaoh 90- just the aftermath, as the black portal disappears, the sun shines, and the hole where Mugen Academy once stood now fills with a slow, rising pool of calm water. And Super Sailor Moon returns, carrying an infant wrapped in cloth.

(First Appearance: Sailor Saturn)

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Davies
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:58 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:59 am
We never really see the INSIDE of Pharaoh 90- just the aftermath, as the black portal disappears, the sun shines, and the hole where Mugen Academy once stood now fills with a slow, rising pool of calm water. And Super Sailor Moon returns, carrying an infant wrapped in cloth.
And with a rather horrifying thousand yard stare. I won't say that it's not Moon Ex Machina, but here, as in the R movie, it's clear that she has paid for this victory.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:57 am

Episode #126: So Pharaoh 90 has been defeated, but now we have TWO EPISODES LEFT. And we still have Sailor Moon standing their, eyes completely blank, with this expression on her face that's just like "fffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...".

And then they just jump to the following day, where they're like "Hey, where are Pluto & Hotaru?" because Uranus & Neptune had just absconded with Baby Hotaru seconds after Sailor Moon walked out. They plop her back in her father's lap after bonding with her for a few days, making Neptune sad- it's a bit odd, because they're all like "He has amnesia and can't remember the past few years", but the hospital just lets him motor around with the kid in his wheelchair (never mind Haruka & Michiru speeding along in that convertible with no car seat for the baby- she's just in Michiru's lap!).

Chibi-Usa is feeling it over losing her two best friends, but Pluto appears from outside reality, giving her and the audience the necessary exposition- Sailor Saturn & Mistress 9 possessed the same body, and now Mistress 9 has been destroyed and Hotaru is reborn as an impossibly-cute infant. Chibi-Usa sadly/hopefully tells Hotaru they'll meet again someday.

Meanwhile, Uranus & Neptune aren't DONE being bitchy, and so they call out the Sailors for the naivete that nearly destroyed the planet. All "sure you DID save the world, but you also RISKED it!". Sailor Moon acknowledges they're right, but the elder Sailors demand a FIGHT! Everyone's like "WTF?", but the big smirks on their faces imply something's up. And then Tuxedo Mask prevents the Inners from interfering ("let them fight"). Things seem to go sideways when Neptune hits "Deep Submerge" (one of the few times a Sailor's attack strikes another Sailor- Moon sells it like a regular punch, oddly), but Usagi's able to dodge World Shaking AND a ton of punches, then does a big Light Burst that knocks both of them into each other.

And then they just get up and BOW. Usagi's all "WTF?" again, but they both acknowledge her as the strong, true Messiah and Future Queen. This was all a TEST! They're like "you proved your power yet again", are all "you turned the Guardian of Destruction into a friend", and say their goodbyes, pointing out their mission is now done. And that's it for the Outer Sailors.

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Davies
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:45 pm

Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:57 am
Meanwhile, Uranus & Neptune aren't DONE being bitchy, and so they call out the Sailors for the naivete that nearly destroyed the planet. All "sure you DID save the world, but you also RISKED it!". Sailor Moon acknowledges they're right, but the elder Sailors demand a FIGHT!
And this is the other reason I find this season annoying. No, see, she doesn't gotta prove anything to the two of you, you should hafta prove something to her. Instead they just sort of saunter off whistling.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:07 am

Davies wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:45 pm
Jabroniville wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:57 am
Meanwhile, Uranus & Neptune aren't DONE being bitchy, and so they call out the Sailors for the naivete that nearly destroyed the planet. All "sure you DID save the world, but you also RISKED it!". Sailor Moon acknowledges they're right, but the elder Sailors demand a FIGHT!
And this is the other reason I find this season annoying. No, see, she doesn't gotta prove anything to the two of you, you should hafta prove something to her. Instead they just sort of saunter off whistling.
Yeah, I find those two characters interesting- the needs of the plot made them "separate" from the Inner Senshi, but... it's a bit iffy at times. Feels artificial and needlessly-rude for them to just decide for the easiest option every time.

But I like that the show makes them a bit antagonistic and proves them wrong on a few things. If they were treated as being in the right, they'd be excruciating characters- obvious Mary Sues. Instead, they become a lot more interesting.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri May 04, 2018 11:30 am

Episode #127: AND NOW ONE MORE!! I guess with all the planets represented by Sailors, they needed two episodes to wrap everything up. Chibi-Usa gets another childishly-written letter from her mother, asking her to return home, and she makes preparations. In a very Jem and the Holograms move, she gets upset when they appear too happy with her leaving, but the audience knows they're clearly going to miss her, and want to make the send-off better. Finally, the two Usagis cry as Chibi-Usa gets pulled into the sky... but then A DAIMON shows up, having survived the purge and merging with the "Daimon Oven"! She makes short work of the Sailors with some strong attacks and defenses, but is stopped... by Sailor Chibi-Moon? Yup- time being what it is, she pops back an indeterminate amount of time later, distracts the villain, Tuxedo Mask nails it with a rose, and then Sailor Moon wipes it out. And I guess she's back in the past full-time, now.

A very low-key finale, but establishes the new "Chibi-Moon is always there" status quo.

(Monster Powers: Extendable Limbs, Good Dodging, Melee Attacks, Multiattack Electrical Cord Strike, Oven Blast- Line Damage)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sat May 05, 2018 10:29 am

So all in all, I can definitely see why this is considered by many to be the finest season the series ever put out. I think the first season is still my favorite... but that one had a monstrously-long "crap period" in the early days, and took forever to get going. This one was consistent for the greatest stretch in the show's history, and introduced some great new characters. But a few things were kind of "off". I'll call it equal to the first season, though I might find myself re-watching this one much more, owing to the "newness" of the episodes.

THE GOOD IN SAILOR MOON S:
* Sailors Uranus & Neptune are fascinating new characters, with interesting motivations, beautiful Special Techniques, a great relationship with each other, and have great purpose in the plot. Episodes focusing on them are nearly always terrific as a result.
* The moral question here is a terrific one- Uranus & Neptune are after the Talismans, and are prepared to sacrifice the lives of people to get them. Does this make them evil, or just practical, in the face of armageddon? And when we discover that they're out to murder a CHILD, you're forced to decide whether this cruel act is the more practical one. And they have this thing where Neptune will occasionally be HAPPY they didn't succeed in some episode or another, because ultimately, we're all a bit hypocritical about certain things, and she's no different.
* Each Sailor gets two episodes of focus, which are usually very good.
* Sailor Venus's wackiness gets an upgrade, which proves to be hilarious.
* The whole "Silence" thing is very forboding and frightening- there's a LOT of dark subject matter here, some authentically creepy scenes, and you really feel, from a few episodes in, that failure here means the end of the world. Neither Metalia nor Death Phantom felt THIS apocalyptic.

THE NOT SO GOOD IN SAILOR MOON S:
* Turning it into The Uranus & Neptune Show comes at the expense of the other characters, who similarly have to take a backseat when CHIBI-USA becomes the central cog around which the second half of the season turns. I think everyone who watches Sailor Moon has the same realization (which goes back to Takeuchi never writing them with much depth in the first place), that the Inner Sailors are just criminally underused, given how great they are as characters. This is a continual problem with the show- I feel like they squander what is arguably the strongest supporting cast in television in this series. I LOVE Avatar: The Last Airbender, and they get more mileage out of their cast that Sailor Moon does, and I authentically believe that Sailor Moon's cast is at least twice as good as Avatar's.
* The Daimons are often patently ridiculous. Almost none of them look cool, and many are idiotic things like "person made out of a shoe" or "elephant vacuum cleaner-themed". Given the seriousness of the subject matter in this season, it's incongruous.
* The whole battle against Pharaoh 90 taking place off-camera? I'm not ENTIRELY on board with that. I feel like they coulda showed SOMETHING. I can get it as an artistic thing, but a lot of it just comes off like "well, we didn't know what it'd look like, so here".
* A recurring issue with Sailor Moon is the whole "Mystery" aspect to each Season. In that there's usually some big mysterious THING going on... but it's either so mind-bleedingly obvious, or we've known about it from before it was even dubbed the first time, so it falls completely flat. Never mind that it's usually insanely simple- the entire early part of the series was based around "Finding the Moon Princess" and it turns out IT WAS OUR MAIN CHARACTER ALL ALONG! And now, we're searching for Talismans and the Messiah? Where are the Talismans? Oh, in the very two people introduced to search for them. Oh, and a third person who just shows up to give exposition. And the Messiah is TOTALLY NOT SAILOR MOON, YOU GUYS, because she can't use the Holy Grail properly... except of course she is. Like, who ELSE was it gonna be? These "mysteries" are always revealed to be someone we've already met.

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