Sailor Moon- Series Overview

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Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:25 am

Episode #34: Another "non-Template" episode (it's funny how the show actually shakes things up fairly often), as Venus joins up with the group properly (revealing her identity to them... mysteriously, they appear confused by the girl with long blonde hair and the TALKING WHITE CAT, despite having met Venus the night before- the original dub actually forced in a mention that "we look different in real life!" to explain this away. But still- the CAT). In this one, a still-injured Tuxedo Mask is made to fight Zoisite for the Rainbow Crystals in a duel (Queen Beryl has demanded he be caputured alive, by this point), but he stupidly puts the Crystals in the center, and they're stolen away by Kunzite.

It's here that Sailor Moon & Tuxedo Mask FINALLY reveal their identities to each other by observing each other's Transformation Sequences (yes, Tuxedo finally gets one)! But Zoisite challenges him AGAIN, and this time, Telekinetically creates a giant crystal shard, which IMPALES TUXEDO MASK. Dying, he tells Sailor Moon not to cry... except she totally does, and her tear crystalizes, going all Deus Ex Machina by forming the Seven Rainbow Crystals into the "Legendary Silver Crystal", right in front of everybody! They finally make the big reveal: Usagi Tsukino is the Moon Princess they've been searching for this entire time!

(First Appearance: Minako Aino, Kunzite's Darkness Power & Building-Altering Spell, The Legendary Silver Crystal)

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Episode #35: The second part, we get the full explanation. Though it's funny- the whole "Usagi is the Moon Princess" thing takes an astonishing THIRTY-THREE EPISODES to be revealed, which always comes off as a huge waste of time. Even as a young fan, this bothered me, because I knew about it beforehand, yet it was all they talked about sometimes- it's like you wait ALL THIS TIME, and then it's "oh wait no- she was here the whole time". Kind of anti-climactic, y'know?

Princess Serenity one-shots Zoisite in hilariously-casual fashion, and now their memories come flooding back- Mamoru is "Prince Endymion" of the Earth, and the two were lovers centuries ago. Kunzite manages to abduct Mamoru/Endymion anyways, but Beryl, furious with Zoisite's attempts to murder Mamoru against orders, executes her subordinate, leading to a bit of "sympathy for the devil" from us, as Zoisite dies in his belove Kunzite's arms.

There's some great character bits in this one, too- the Sailors are all "YEAH, LET'S FIGHT!" when they find out that yes- they are ALL the reincarnated souls that died in the "Silver Millennium" (the name for the Moon Kingdom centuries ago)- the Sailors were Guardians of Princess Serenity. But Usagi... refuses to fight. She's sick of all the violence, watching Mamoru get impaled, and more, and rather than "Leap at the Call to Adventure", she packs it in and wants to go home and be a normal person. And then Rei just walks up and SLAPS HER, calling her a coward, and chiding her for allowing Mamoru's sacrifice to be in vain! It looks super-callous... but then you get a look and Rei is CRYING as she says it. And later she smiles at Usagi and tells her to embrace her destiny- little things like this let you know she's not JUST the bitch of the team.

Eventually, Kunzite attacks again, easily defeating the Sailors. But Sailor Moon jumps up, uses the Crystal's power, and makes him Teleport away. She declares her willingness to continue the fight... but now Endymion's being healing up as the Dark Kingdom's prisoner...

(First Appearance: Usagi as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:58 am

Episode #36: In a continuation of last episode, we see Usagi suffering from acute depression since Mamoru's abduction. The Sailors meet to figure out what to do, and now it's REI who is the most sympathetic! After all, she's the one who was DATING the guy! But this turns more into the standard "Template Episode", right down to the "new business opening up in town", which is a hair salon intended to find which girl has hair that matches Sailor Moon's, thus figuring out her secret identity. Sailor Venus/Minako ends up taking up the "most important secondary character" role, as she's the newest Sailor- in previous episodes, she seemed all action and fairly serious, but here she's a bit more normal. But in a funny bit, Minako got some of Usagi's hair on her earlier in the day- the villains mark Minako as their target!

Naturally, an episode with the serious ramifications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Usagi's feelings of utter loss also features an enemy that uses Hair Salon supplies as weaponry. Moon's about to transform the creature back to a person when a ROSE knocks the Moon Rod out of her hands- in a sick reversal of fate, TUXEDO MASK has now been turned evil, and is saving the BAD GUYS at the last second instead!

(Monster Powers: Giant Blade, Power Blowdrier, Machine Gun that shoots Scissors, Giant Electric Razor) (First Appearance: Sailor Venus Transformation Sequence)

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Episode #37: Usagi is upset over her lack of refinement, and so she gets everyone signed up for "Princess Academy" lessons from some Countess in England. Meanwhile, Beryl tasks Endymion & Kunzite to team up, but they refuse to co-operate, and Luna discovers that ARTEMIS has been "Mission Control" the entire time! This bit seems added largely as a joke (it's not in the manga at all), which makes it odd- Luna's been conversing with the computer a DOZEN TIMES on various things, and it's all spent on the gag of Artemis being seen operating it from behind the screen (complete with cans of cat food beside him!)- we of course never see it again.

The Countess allows Usagi into the Academy thanks to the neat twist of "I want an interesting person to be around", but of course it's a trap- Kunzite wants to see a girl who's good at frisbee (one of the courses), but sucks hard at everything else, because he knows Sailor Moon is a clumsy dolt with Moon Tiara Action as a power. Usagi naturally screws up everything, and then the OTHER Sailors show up during the "elegant dancing" lesson! Hilariously, though Mercury & Jupiter are just fine, Venus & Mars are just as bad as Usagi- the sight of Rei aggressively taking the lead and throwing her dance partner around is worth the price of admission alone. The Countess turns into a blue chick with clams all over her body- the clams shoot out sticky green Snare stuff, and she's been freezing all the girls who pass the course into statues. Mars & Venus actually congratulating the Monster for her "brilliant plan" of sussing out Sailor Moon due to her uncouth nature, and Sailor Moon being annoyed at the compliments, is awesome.

Kunzite & Endymion contradict each other's orders to the Monster, confusing her and leaving her vulnerable to Moon Healing Escalation. The only weird thing is... they're after Sailor Moon and want the Crystal. At this point, Kunzite & Endymion should EASILY be able to take out three Sailors. But they flee as soon as the monster drops, which is rather inexplicable.

(Monster Powers: Multiattack/Area Effect Permanent Snares, Teleport)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:20 am

Episode #38: One of the first episodes I remember seeing, it was before I knew the general plot, the characters' names or anything. I just fell in love with the bitchy brunette chick :). The blatantly-obvious "Moon Princess Contest" takes place on a ski hill, and the girls plan on winning it- it turns out that Yuichiro, despite dressing as a hobo and working as a trainee in a shrine, is actually from an EXTREMELY wealthy family, giving another wrinkle to his character. The Ski Instructor/Monster throws out some Elsa-level "Snow Control" feats, nearly killing everyone. Yuichiro's dramatic "stand in front of the rolling snowball" stance is translated into "YOU SHALL NOT PAAAAAAAA--UGH!!", which is a pretty good Dub-Joke.

Usagi & Rei end up stuck in a pit, and eventually work out some issues with Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask. Rei has finally acknowledged that it's not going to happen between them. "If you don't live a life of happiness with Mamoru- I'LL PUNISH YOU!" The nice moment is then ruined when they argue over why neither of them realized that the "Fire Soul" power can get them out of the pit. Nice small touch: They remember that Usagi is wearing WINTER GLOVES, and so she has to remove it to do the proper Transformation Sequence. Endymion arrives to take control and finish the girls... but Mars' tearful plea actually GETS TO HIM, and his Black Roses turn RED, causing him to attack the Monster! It wears off, causing the Rose to return to black (that's a nice visual motif for showing his evil brainwashing, too). Mars chides an unconscious Yuichiro for being so self-sacrificing and stupid, but kisses him on the cheek ("You idiot...") while smiling and OH MY GOD THE SHIPPPIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!

Great episode.

(Monster Powers: Snow Control, Avalanche, Flight, Freeze Snare, Throwing Ice Spear)


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Episode #39: Another one I remember very well- Makoto reveals a sudden skill in ICE SKATING, as these two famous European skaters show up, and naturally the male reminds her of "the guy who broke my heart..." Mako in her green skating mini-skirt = HOT DIGGITY DAMN!! And then she LIFTS HER MALE PARTNER!!

This one brings to mind something that bothers me- the cats go on about how ice skating was super-popular in the Moon Kingdom, which is something we almost NEVER SEE. You'd think the girls would ask more questions about their past, or what went on there. But they really just kind of gloss over the whole backstory. In any case, the skaters are holding a "free practice day" (again, the girls never clue in to these obvious traps), but Mako is SO GOOD that she catches the eye of Misha, making his partner jealous. They make up, however, forming a Monster Skating Pair (with some INCREDIBLE designs, too- the show's really amped these up over the past several episodes, enough so to make these equal most shows' regular villains!) and actual recognizable OPERA MUSIC playing behind them, rather than the typical nonsense the show's been peddling as "background music". Sailor Moon arrives with the ability to make ICE SKATES on her boots (because why not?), but still lands on her ass, while Mako gets cuts that damn near make her costume NC-17.

TUXEDO MASK interferes again, saying he doesn't like them "attacking the innocent" (meaning Mako), but that he's still Moon's enemy. Moon starts ACTUALLY SKATING to win, but the villains nearly kill both until "Supreme Thunder!" takes them down. Kunzite nearly kills everyone with an ice machine, but Endymion/Tuxedo Mask takes it out, and Sailor Moon transforms the skaters, who make up.

(Monster Powers: Skating Gear with Martial Arts & Arm Blades) (First Appearance: Sailor Moon's Magical Ice Skates)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:43 pm

Episode #40: A distinctive "Non-Template" one, because the Tsukino family heads to a Hot Spring/Onsen for vacation, but is attacked by an evil "scorned lover" Yokai that LIVES THERE, having been trapped underwater for generations by some couple's love. Mamoru/Endymion ends up saving the Tsukinos, showing some of the good man that he once was. The Yokai has a GREAT design, matching some of the "standard ugly chick" dynamic of early Monsters, but packing pink hair, a mermaid's tail, and claws. Very Monster High. The other Sailors show up, and they finally purify the Yokai with Moon Healing Escalation once Mars is able to trap it with her "Magic Paper Attack".

(Monster Powers: Flight, Speed, Claws, Strength, Mermaid's Tail, Instant Immortality) (First Appearance: Crescent Beam & Supreme Thunder combined into an Electrified Laser Beam)

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Episode #41: One of my first sights of this series was actually the opening few minutes of this episode, before I had to run to a friend's house. I wasn't hooked then, but a couple days later I would be. The Dark Kingdom schemes to bring forth The Seven Great Monsters once more, by collecting their old Crystal Carriers! This gives us Motoki's girlfriend, some backgrounders, and even Ryo Urawa- Ami's love interest! Ami is accused of running from her feelings and being afraid to fall in love (naturally, Makoto, the born romantic, is the accuser), and Ryo admits he likes Ami, but is super-prepared to die fighting the Dark Kingdom (which he totally did last time, too- guy has a death wish). Endymion challenges them, takes Ryo into the Dark Crystal, and even embarrasses Sailor Jupiter in a solo fight (easily dodging all of her attacks, and then taunting her by holding back at the last second). However, Mercury gets one of her best showings EVER, bluffing Endymion/Tuxedo Mask with Bubble Spray, then grabbing the Crystal and SMASHING IT, freeing its victims!

Jupiter & Mercury then ZAP HIM with their attacks, allowing Sailor Moon to excorcize him! But Queen Beryl steals him away immediately, totally giving the heroes a downer ending.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Jan 09, 2017 1:19 am

Episode #42: OH MY GOD THIS ONE!! I forgot about it! The infamous "Sailor Venus meets her old boyfriend from England" episode, which was deleted from the list of North American dubs initially. It's a huge bit of backstory for the mostly-ignored Venus character. And wow, it turns out it's important to the overall plot, too- the "Dark Spots" on the Sun appear as the final warning sign of encroachment from the Dark Kingdom.

Anyways, Minako's old friend Katarina (who's hooked up with Minako's old crush, Allan, from back when they all lived in England...) arrives under the sway of Kunzite, and becomes the monster Papillon (Butterfly) in order to kill Minako. Usagi helps out (magically able to pilot boats when her Disguise Pen transforms her into an ACTUAL Sailor), and soon we get the backstory- Minako & Katarina were partners, fighting crime and Monsters in England back when Minako was just Sailor V. Minako was in love with Allan, but when she found out that Allan & Katarina were in love, she allowed them to believe that she was killed in a blast. Sailor Moon thinks Venus should be SUPER-bitter and hate them, but the more-mature Venus insists she's not EVIL or anything, and convinces Sailor Moon to use the Healing Activation to cure Katarina of the Dark Kingdom's brainwashing. The final summation: Venus is the most-mature of the Sailors. Well, THAT'd go away once she became the "Idol singer-obsessed" one of the bunch.

This one was a nice showcasing of the old Sailor V manga. But it's REALLY weird that this "Allan" guy was the key to much of the backstory, but didn't even actually APPEAR- he was just in the flashbacks!

(Monster Powers: Butterfly Shield, Butterfly Snare, Wings, Giant Scythe-Claws) (First Apperance: Katarina, Allan)

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Episode #43: A bit of a different one, involving a staged fight between the Sailors, intended to make the bad guys think the team is splitting up. It's kind of dull at first (you can see the resolution coming a mile away, and Kunzite isn't even fooled), but things come to a head when it's revealed that Usagi left the Silver Crystal with SAILOR MARS of all the group! It's moments like these that let you know the depth of the connection between the girls, and that Mars is the only one Moon would trust with the thing (controversially, the original dub implies that Mars just TOOK IT because she didn't trust "Serena" to not just give it up). Another great bit is that Mars was entrusted with it because Moon trusted her not to give it up to the bad guys (Usagi, in a rare moment of self-awareness, realized that she would give it to the Dark Kingdom if they threatened Mamoru; therefore, she didn't trust herself with the Crystal)... yet when Moon is being tortured by the Monster, Sailor Mars struggles, cries, then BREAKS, and comes running to Sailor Moon's aid. Because this show is GODDAMN MAGNIFICENT, and you are the Emperor of Douche-Town if you disagree.

(Monster Powers: Split Images, Shuriken, Big Scimitar, Choking Fabric)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:39 am

Episode #44: The Endgame approaches- Sailor Venus & Artemis have discovered the entrance to the Dark Kingdom, and the Sailors investigate, but are thrown through time by Kunzite! The girls arrive in the ruins of the Moon, coming across a light message of QUEEN SERENITY HERSELF, and she finally goes into detail about the backstory of their world: The Silver Millennium was the Moon Kingdom meant to watch over the Earth, but a human sorceress named Beryl was possessed by an "evil energy" called Metalia, and attempted to take over both. She leads a bunch of humans into attacking the Moon- it is Prince Endymion of Earth who delivers the warning to Princess Serenity, his love.

The war is quick and sudden, with hordes of humans (in armor, shields and swords) attacking, and Metalia one-shotting the Sailors (complete with in-your-face panty-shots, because of course there are). Princess Serenity & Endymion are killed as well, causing Queen Serenity (Past Usagi's mother) to sacrifice her life in order to resurrect the dead, and to seal Queen Metalia away. Warning that Metalia could return at any time, Serenity orders Luna & Artemis to watch over the girls when they are reborn. The girls return to modern times, where Kunzite beats the hell out of their Cats, and starts throwing around Energy Boomerangs. The girls are badly-hurt, but Usagi pulls out the stops and uses Moon Healing Escalation. Pained, but with too much pride to say "Refresh!" and be de-eviled, Kunzite instead throws out one last Boomerang, which is reflected back. Fatally-wounded, he can only call out Zoisite's name to lead his soul into limbo.

And with that, the gang knows the villains' hide-out, and they promise to invade.

(First Appearance: Queen Serenity, Kunzite's Time Teleport Attack & Boomerang Attack- Split)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:04 pm

Episode #45: The first of the Two-Part Finale, the Sailors invade D-Point and the Dark Kingdom, facing off against the DD Girls (a band of toughs who announce to Beryl that THEY'LL take the mission of killing the girls) in Arctic temperatures. But... this is a bit... DIFFERENT. When the DD Girls attack, Sailor Jupiter lets out a point-blank Supreme Thunder on them. And DIES. Mercury decides to "hold them off" to allow the girls to get to Beryl faster, and is surrounded by an "Illusion" that gives off real heat- the DD Girls (now only three in number- seems Jupiter killed two of them) trap and torture her... but Mercury reveals her ruse, using her Computer one last time to shatter the crystal that's controlling their powerful illusions before the Girls kill her. Sailor Moon offers up the Silver Crystal if the Girls will lay off, but no dice- they just keep coming.

Sailor Venus dies next, after vaporizing the pink Girl on-screen with her Crescent Beam- this leaves only two Sailors left- the two who've spent the entire series thus far arguing with each other. Sailor Mars admits that all their arguments in the past were fun (a pretty fatalistic comment), but falsely claims that "I'll be fine!". At which point she's dive-bombed by the remaining two enemies. They're fast and lethal, trapping her in ice, and the green Girl is prepared to kill Sailor Moon... when "Fire Soul" comes blasting out from under the ice, burning the monster alive! Then the blue, lead Girl comes up with Mars' broken body, taunting and ready to make her attack.

Usagi is screwed with a capital "S" as the cruel bitch taunts her... but a bloody, beaten and dying Sailor Mars weakly grabs one of her fairy wings. The confused monster looks down, and in the series' best friggin' moment, Mars just goes "I'm not beaten yet"... and before the Monster can fight her way free, we hear a light "Fire... Soul..." and she immolates before our eyes. Seriously, this is "Zuko in Iroh's Tent" storytelling right here- the single Sailor that's been lecturing and berating Sailor Moon for thirty-ish episodes is the last one standing, and gives the last of her energy to save her dearest friend. And MAN that death is satisfying- the DD Girls were SO evil, and SO lethal, and this one doesn't get any kind of light, quick death. She dies SCREAMING, burned alive. Sailor Mars can only say "You were right, Usagi... I should have kissed Yuuichiro..."

And with that, all four of the Sailors die. This move shocked the HELL out of the fans, and apparently angry mothers deluged the TV studio with complaints about their traumatized daughters, and of course in North America this was heavily edited to the point where Episodes 45 & 46 were turned into ONE, with all the naughty death bits taken out... but WOW. Now THAT is how you do a motherf***in' penultimate episode. This is like the best scene in most other TV shows, but drawn out for a full 22 minutes. And then IT GETS BIGGER.

(Monster Powers: Flight, Damaging Vine Snares, Ice Control, Illusion Disguises, Heat Blasts)

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Episode #46: In the finale of the first Season, Sailor Moon is immediately swept into Queen Beryl's Chamber, where she confronts our heroine with Endymion in tow- a Mind-Controlled Prince nearly slaughters his beloved (even after she tosses the Tiara into his chest, realizing that she can't let her teammates' deaths be in vain), until she brings out the LOCKET OF TRUE LOVE, which completely wipes out all the dark energy. Endymion, now back to Mamoru, is able to throw a single Rose straight through a crystal spear of Beryl's, nailing her right in the cleavage- the "Good Energy" of the rose starts cracking her evil body.

Curiously, it only just now occurs to me that this is THE ONLY TIME BERYL AND SAILOR MOON MEET. Seriously, the entire rest of the show has been Beryl sitting in her chamber, giving orders. It's a given that she's more powerful than her henchmen (she slaughters two of them), but a bit odd that she gives zero effort otherwise. And considering that she's this Season's Main Villain (though Metalia's in charge), it's kind of funny that she has zero interaction with the main characters for this long.

Mamoru/Endymion dies from his wounds rescuing Usagi one last time, and Usagi refuses to kiss him... because "My friends weren't able to kiss the boys they loved." A wounded Beryl pleads with Queen Metalia for more energy- soon the two are merged into a Demonic Purple Giantess, who wields tremendous power. She blasts Sailor Moon, who transforms into Princess Serenity- the show's Theme Song ends up being played over the battle, which is too bad, because the Original Dub used the AMAZING song Carry On in this case, making it an enormous one-off song (I think the Dub probably spent the budget it saved on animation on rockin' music).

But still... Princess Serenity unleashing her full power, with the spirits of her dead friends fighting alongside her, holding hands to ? Now THAT'S a Season Finale. And like so many Shoujo shows before it (seriously, this was apparently a trend), the heroine dies... but not before she's resurrected by the Silver Crystal, along with all of the brave heroes who died before her. This is all still a bit weird- essentially undoing the deaths, but still giving us the "Bittersweet Finale" because the girls have all been mind-wiped (along with everyone in the world, I guess, because nobody remembers that the girls were once friends). Artemis can only suggest that the girls will have to just meet up again.

From JetWolf's review:
Then it’s the main event, and — proving yet again that maybe Usagi’s on to something with her fervent belief in them always being there — her friends kick death in the nuts to heed her call and lend their strength in what is probably the biggest Their Friendship Is Awesome moment in a season packed with them.

Berytalia’s been screeching about how the world is rotten and people suck and there’s no love, and Usagi’s all oh bitch no, my friends and I love each other so much even you killing them didn’t do shit, so sit your gigantic ass down, shut up and suck on some pink light.

I may be paraphrasing.

But for real, Usagi’s relentless optimism even in the face of a hundred-foot high screaming green ladydeathmonster, and then being completely right because her friends are just not going to be stopped by something stupid like dying is about the purest embodiment of this series. If you don’t get goosebumps every time those ghostly hands come to join Usagi then you need to go immerse yourself in a bathtub of puppies stat because you are dead inside.

Also, because the tiny details are important dammit, mad love for Rei’s hand joining Usagi’s first, and for Mako’s hand being noticeably bigger than everyone else’s.

And then Usagi dies.

Fuck the end of this season is so good.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:19 am

SAILOR MOON R:

* Sailor Moon R is the name given to the second "Series" of Sailor Moon in Japan- the different arcs actually have different titles, rather than "Season 1/2/4/whatever" like you'd see over here. With the previous threat (and really, the Sailors' ENTIRE REASON FOR EXISTING) defeated and dead, new threats suddenly emerge, and Sailors are reformed to fight THOSE, as well. And, of course, a new "status quo" is reached, much like the old- the main villains summon Monsters, which steal energy from Naru and other civilians, and the Sailors soon pound the daylights out of them.

The first part of R was a bit weird, as they needed to bridge the gap between production of the manga and the new season (then, as now, shows rarely wait too long before copying a hit manga, meaning that the writers soon run out of material). Therefore, a mini-arc was formed with the "Makai Tree" and a pair of sexy aliens that are trying to save it. Each of the girls also get new powers added in, which are notable for being A) super-awesome and cool-looking, and B) NEVER BEING SEEN AGAIN. Seriously, these powers were added in simple to allow focus on the Inner Senshi, only to be ignored completely for the entire rest of the run. Why they didn't at least keep the POWERS around is beyond me.

The theme song is the same Moonlight Dentetsu as before, but with a different opening sequence- some more bits that ended up in the U.S. version, including the "Serena & Sailor Moon as reflections" bit, her hugging a white-clad Mamoru, and the final bit where the Sailors all do a pose in front of a neon cityscape.

Episode #47: And we begin a new era in Sailor Moon- with a non-manga arc designed to renew the girls' partnership, and introduce a new enemy. The girls have all still had their memories erased (it's pretty clear that nobody AROUND them knows that the girls had ever met, either- it's a bit unknown as to WHY this had to be that way, but whatevs...), and are slowly meeting again. And a pair of aliens touch down on Earth- Ail & An, alongside their "Makai Tree". Despite being all in love with each other, they pretend to be brother & sister at the Junior High School (Natsumi & Seijuro Ginga- former Ann & Alan Granger in the original dub), and both begin macking on other students- Ail finds himself enraptured with Usagi's beauty (this becomes a bit of a recurring trend with villains and side characters), and An goes "sploosh" at the sight of Mamoru.

And naturally they need to absorb life energy to survive, and so send out a "Cardian" to drain people. Poor Naru gets attacked because OF COURSE SHE DOES, and even Luna's getting in on the gag ("I gotta say that girl sure does get her energy sucked a lot..."), but this unfortunately draws Usagi into things, and now Luna HAS to bring her memories back. "Goodbye, my ordinary life..."- Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon once more, defeating the Cardian after Luna provides the distraction.

(Monster Powers: Leaping, Vine Snares, Energy Drain)

(First Appearance: An, Ail, Natsumi & Seijuro Ginga forms, The Makai Tree, Cardians)

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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:37 am

Episode #48: And with Sailor Moon's memories back, it's time to re-introduce the OTHER girls. And poor Usagi gets rejected by Mamoru, because of course HE doesn't remember her, either! This is a kind of funny thing... the show endeavored to keep the two apart for so long (they were rivals, then he was evil, then he was forgetful, then he was hiding away because of dire warnings in his dreams) that by the time they DID really get together, they had almost no idea where to go with him!

In any case, Ail & An set up a TV Studio audition that lures in "five special girls" (translation: Naru and the four Sailors), and Usagi tags along to finagle an audition herself. But instead they're attacked by a Sexy Blue Minotaur Girl. I love that it chases the girls around for a while, until Mars & Jupiter realize that they're the two Sailors so devoted to kicking ass that they've learned to kick ass in their CIVILIAN LIVES, and so they whup on the monster some. Makoto judo-flipping Minotauron through a freaking piece of scenery is worth the price of admission alone. The monster soon beats on Sailor Moon, and thus the four Sailors have their memories restored. This gives us one of the better "Sailor Team-Ups" seen, as it's literally "Bubbles obscure, Thunder stuns, and Crescent Beam & Fire Soul combine to exterminate the beast" in about ten seconds. This makes one of the very, VERY rare occasions that a monster is killed by the OTHER girls- not them wearing it down for Sailor Moon.

(Monster Powers: Extendable Horns, Energy Drain)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:36 pm

Episode #49: This is a very, very famous one for the Sailor Jupiter fandom of the late 1990s- we are introduced to her friend Ken (here, he has a full name- Kenji Shinozake now), a completely-platonic buddy who helped her through the hard times of when "I was dumped for the umpteenth time". Fans of Jupiter LOVED this little extra bit of backstory, and the Shipping began immediately. Sadly, Ken wasn't a manga character, and so that part was totally out-of-continuity, and this potentially-interesting side character never appeared again (much like Greg/Urawa did from the first season). And of course the nice little song Rainy Day Man from the dub was taking the place of the Japanese original, which was apparently a soft jazz number (was that a HUGE GENRE in early 1990s Japan or something?).

SERIOUSLY OH MY GOD RAINY DAY MANNNNNNNNNNNNNN....!!! (seriously- you ever wanna reach into a cartoon and punch someone in the kidneys? That's how I feel about Unnamed Ex-Boyfriend Who Callously Dumps Poor Mako-Chan.)

I always like this kind of thing, though- Sailor Jupiter, while the toughest, trash-talkingest member of the Senshi, also has the most easily-broken heart. She's big and tough and strong as hell, but she wears pink roses as earrings, wears a big flowing ponytail, and obsesses over domestic skills like housekeeping and cooking. She mixes the masculine AND feminine traits together in a way that I can't recall basically ANY other character doing. In any case, she gives a ton of blood to help Kenji survive after falling off an embankment, but is still fighting the monster the next night (in a great moment, Moon begs her not to fight "Please, Jupiter, I don't want you to die", and Jupiter is all "OMG I'm so touched, I had no idea you were so concerned... but sorry because F*CKING VENGEANCE IS MINE"). Alas, the beast (a big pink lion, straight out of She-Ra or a Lisa Frank catalogue) is a remarkable fighter, and soon whups on everybody with a Breath Weapon from Hell. Only the intervention of a rose saves the day... a WHITE rose??? Yes, it's the arrival of the Moonlight Knight, a rose-throwing Arabian-themed interventionist who is so TOTALLY Mamoru, but claims not to be. His scimitar shatters the Lion's energy-draining spinning wheel, which basically wrecks it.

Mako & Kenji apparently have a relationship that's "Closer than romance", but Usagi finds it hard to believe that a boy and a girl can be that close, and still "just friends" after it all. Hopefully, we'll see more of this in the futureHAHAHA NOPE WE NEVER SEE OR HEAR FROM HIM AGAIN.

(Monster Powers: Claws, Leaping, Breath Weapon, Wheel that drains energy)

(First Appearance: The Moonlight Knight)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:56 am

Episode #50: A new Virtual Reality Game thing comes to town, and naturally it's soon targeted by the villains. However, the crux of the episode involves An flirting with Mamoru, who is ansty around her and cruel to Usagi, who still loves Mamoru, yet is now being pursued by Ail. Then Usagi's dad and brother show up at the place, and they get attacked by a monster, alongside Mamoru! Mamo holds his own pretty well, but then we get a series of shockers- Sailor Moon's Tiara stops working (dropping in mid-spin)! The Moonlight Knight appears... with Mamoru standing RIGHT THERE! The Knight goes Ogami Itto with his sword, as the monster's tentacles are sliced apart, but she soon recovers and traps him. The other Sailors finally arrive, however, and soon deal with the monster- Fire Soul tears off her remaining tentacles, and then a Crescent Beam/Supreme Thunder combo finishes her. This season's been very odd with letting the girls actually kick some ass on their own.

(Monster Powers: Hair & Hip Tentacles, Energy Drain)

---

Episode #51:
This one takes place during "Cherry Blossom Viewing" season, and is basically all the girls showing up at a large park in order to enjoy one of Japan's big sightseeing ventures. Haha, love the '90s fashions in this one- Rei's giant pink overalls, big puffy jackets and more. The school uniforms can hide the era pretty well, but during crowd scenes, you can definitely tell when this was made. Watching Naru & Umino flirt (not too long before they become irrelevant) is adorbz, and there's some fun comraderie/arguing between the girls as well, providing for some fun stuff. Really, I could watch stuff like this even more than the often-superfluous fighting.

Naru & Umino get energy-drained by the new Cardian- a phasing girl in traditional Japanese dress (this is literally the third time in FOUR EPISODES that Naru has been drained), and soon Ms. Haruna (called "Ms. Sakurada" in the subtitles, but still Haruna in the dub) joins them. Now, it's a brawl- the other Sailors are drained in their civilian forms, trapped and helpless, and Usagi's Tiara STILL doesn't work! And now, her TRANSFOMATION BROOCH is shattered! It turns out that she's being depowered due to her angst over becoming Sailor Moon again- so long as she desires being "a normal Middle-School girl", she will be unable to transform. Sent into the world within her mind, she comes face-to-face with Queen Serenity, who advises Usagi that her heartfelt desire to save her friends will allow her to use the Silver Crystal again- she gains a new brooch and power-up phrase ("Moon Crystal Power... Make-Up!").

Alas, the dub changes the line from "Thank you, Queen Serenity... mother." to "Thank you, Queen Serenity... thank you" for no apparent reason (it's the SAME SYLLABLES!!). But in any case, she returns to Earth all powered-up and ready to fight... but the Cardian still kicks her ass (this thing is VERSATILE, too- tons of powers). However, the Moonlight Knight distracts it, and Queen Serenity tosses down, and I swear I'm not making this up, the CUTIE MOON ROD, and casts "Moon Princess Halation" (a spirograph of pink lights followed by a moon circling a sphere made of blue stars that Blasts the enemy), exterminating Cardian Leshy once and for all.

(Monster Powers: Speed, Strength, Phasing, Vision Area Energy Drain, Dimensional Travel Attack, Claws, Monstrous Form Morph, Petal Blasts)

(First Appearance: New Brooch, New Sailor Moon Transformation Sequence, Cutie Moon Rod, Moon Princess Halation)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:54 am

Episode #52: Finally, another "Sailor Venus" episode. This one presents a big shift in her character, as she shifts from a semi-stoic, friendly, Generic Buddy character into an Usagi-like flake. Here, she is woken up too late (Usagi-style), freaks out at her cat (Usagi-style), and rushes off to school in the same way Usagi always does. Except because of the different gender of the cat, she calls him a pervert for being near her while she's getting undressed for school (in his defense, he's covering his eyes. And is only attracted to cats).

She ends up getting conned into hanging around a bunch of kindergarteners after saving one of them from some bullies- unfortunately, the kids are too precocious for their own good, and go all "there's no such thing as Sailor Moon, and we've never heard of Sailor Venus- are you feeling alright, old lady?" on her, much to her annoyance. Just when it looks to be 100% about Minako, Usagi shows up with the Transformation Pen to become a "Substitute Teacher", because entire school buses full of children are the current Victims of the Week, and this one looks to be next. Now it's VENUS'S attack that doesn't work right (the monster just shrugs it off), and so she learns that "believing in yourself" is the key to victory after watching the children cheer them on, and pulls out a "Venus Meteor Shower" (the same attack sequence as the Crescent Beam, but it splits into dozens of energy beams that converge on a target instead), which is (almost) never seen again in the show, even though Artemis is all "oh that's just one of your latent powers".

(Monster Powers: Winged Flight, Giant Claws/Strength, Energy Drain)

(First Appearance: Crescent Beam Shower)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:48 am

Episode #53: An & Ail, having just gone after tiny kindergarteners, have now begun attacking FREAKING BABIES as part of their plan! BABIES!! This leads to our main plot, as Usagi & Ami meet up with a mother and her baby approximately three seconds before a Cardian attack, and thus now feel responsible for the infant (the mother is left in the hospital thanks to an Energy Drain). The authorities are somehow convinced to leave baby Manami with Mamoru (a childless college-age boy working a menial job), which serves the purpose of having him and Usagi interact in a meaningful way.

The biggest thing I remember about this in the original dub is having a bit where the baby pees in An's face (twice) being edited out, but in the Sailor Says Moral-Of-The-Day portion at the end of the episode, sure enough- there's a shot of the baby pissing in An's face! Full stream and everything! They did this earlier when Sailor Mars slaps Sailor Moon to knock her out of a stupor. Naturally, the dub left out scenes like Usagi discovering Manami's penis (surprise!), and the girls catching sight of child-rearing Usagi & Mamoru and snarkily asking when Usagi had Mamoru's baby :). EVEN AMI GETS IN ON IT!! AMI!!!

The two argue back and forth for a bit, but soon make up when Manami starts taking his first steps! Ami interrupts the festivities, and sends Moon after the Cardian, who wipes out the other Senshi because she used a bunch of babies as a HUMAN SHIELD- the BITCH!! And sadly, THIS is the episode that gives Sailor Mercury her "Upgraded Power"- an episode that barely features her at all. She freezes the Cardian solid, allowing Moon Princess Halation to finish her off. Usagi & Mamoru, hand in hand, cheering Manami's first words (their own names, followed by "bye-bye!"), is adorbz.

(Monster Powers: Multiple Draining Tendrils, Flight, Area Blast, Move Object- Multiples)

(First Appearance: Bubble Spray Freezing)

Jabroniville
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville » Wed Mar 01, 2017 7:43 am

Episode #54: OMG IT'S THE REI HINO/SINGING IDOL EPISO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-DDE!!! This one produced TWO cheesy pop songs for the Sailor Moon soundtrack back in the day. It centres around Rei performing a couple of songs in front of her entire school (Japanese society is hyper-obsessed with "Idol Singers"). Sadly, this one uses the "Triangle Eyes" director, and so all of his girls look a bit deformed, and super-young. So Young Jab's Rei Lust is not applicable in this particular case. Even when she's lording her position over everyone at the festival thing and bossing everyone around.

Rei in a perfect microcosm: gladly telling her friends about how easy writing all of her songs was, and how easily the melodies flowed from her fingertips, and how little effort she puts into everything... while he see the images of her tearing up sheets, angrily pounding on keyboard keys, and slumping over, defeated, with tears welling up in her eyes. THAT IS REI HINO.

In any case, a Cardian attacks her while she's singing the opening stanza (these opening clips became Call My Name (And I'll Be There) in the original dub- making a whole song off a short bit). The Cardian (a giant nudist Mermaid named Siren), shrugs off the Sailors' powers and pretty much drains all of them, and a weakened Mars's Fire Soul does little, too. However, the Moonlight Knight gives his trademark inspirational speech, leading to Mars casing "Fire Soul Bird!" at the creature, stunning her (the bad-ass firebird actually deftly avoids Siren's water spout and tears right through her body). One Halation later, and it's over- Rei finishes her recital. And OH MY GOD, HER SONG IS ACTUALLY USING THE SAME MELODY AS O STARRY NIGHT YOU GUYS!! That is totally the song from the Original Dub, with different words!! I am marking out here you guys!! Checking the original verison, and yup- both sets of dubbers just copied the same melody. The original dub versions are better (and use a better singer, too- this poor girl barely sounds like she can hit a proper note).

And then it ends in the only way it could- with Usagi genuinely complimenting Rei's skills and hard work... and an embarrassed Rei blowing it off with a playful jab (suggesting she teach USAGI the same traits), which starts a fight when Usagi takes offense to it. Because Rei cannot handle compliments from Usagi, and cannot make comments to her come off as anything but teasing.

(Monster Powers: Flight, Prehensile Hair, Slithering, Multiattack Snare/Drain, Draining Powder Spores, Water Spray)

(First Appearance: Fire Soul Bird)

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Davies
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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Post by Davies » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:33 pm

These are pretty interesting to read.

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