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Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:19 am
by Jabroniville
Episode #104: Makoto is wearing a tight white minidress with thigh-high blue boots. I feel the need to mention that. Chibi-Usa gives the gang a letter from her mom, which is hilariously badly-written (I still remember reading someone referring to the "No Kanji" nature of Neo-Queen Serenity's script, all these years later). Chibi-Usa is also there to make friends and build character, but the first boy she meets is super-beautiful, and she's smitten... until he starts hitting on her, openly mimics Crayon Shin-chan, and then WHIPS OUT HIS PENIS until his mom smacks him in the head and drags him off. Okay, this episode is awesome.

The kid doesn't show up again, but some young boy who's apparently... a tea master and head of a famous tea-master household?... is our new Heart Crystal Target of the week. They're really making these people into minor characters while the majors do all of the heavy-lifting- I don't mind that change, honestly. Chibi-Usa tries to rescue him, but there's a bunch of funny bits where she falls while transforming and gets interrupted by Eudial during her "I'll punish you!" rant, avoiding the "Stock Footage" and instead just being gags on how that doesn't always work. Then the Pink Sugar Heart Attack not only spritzes out at twenty feet, but Chibi-Usa then WALKS IT into the villain, annoying her greatly. Okay, Chibi-Usa's a lot more tolerable when she's embarrassing herself in battle.

Oh, and the kid's either a girl, or simply a Sailor Cosplayer in the end, embarrassing everybody. This one's... not a very serious episode.

(Monster Powers: Flying Kneeling Cushion, Acid Tea)

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:42 pm
by Jabroniville
Episode #105: Yay- another MAKOTO-focused episode! Here, she's experiencing great self-doubt owing to a loss against some Daimon in an off-screen battle. And she's training with a Buddhist monk way up in the mountains... and naturally Mamoru is working in a resort hotel nearby, which means all the girls have to come, too. And of course HARUKA & MICHIRU are here too, in a moment that really defies even the coincidental nature inherent to this series, until you realize they have the specific ability to "sense" when stuff is coming. Though a group of guys ogling the Sailors, then IMMEDIATELY getting distracted by the "hotter chicks" Haruka & Michiru, and the girls' reactions, are pretty hilarious.

Mako's quest for self-perfection is a mere backdrop to the girls' antics most of the time, but the monk seems interesting, in that he cops to a lot of self-doubt and acts a bit sillier than his serious persona would imply. He says that relaxation is important, and not to try too hard, which of course Jupiter ignores when she tries to fight the inevitable Daimon by herself, nearly getting the entire team killed after shooing away Uranus & Neptune's help. The girls all combine their powers to break a snare, leading to Jupiter finally heeding the advice and centering herself calmly, then firing out a Sparkling Wide Pressure. And unlike last time, where the villain deflected it back... it KILLS THE DAIMON?!?? A Sailor SOLOS A FREAKING MONSTER??? What madness is THIS???! Her cheerful, almost crying face at the joy of this is priceless.

(Monster Powers: Disc Toss- Blast, Electrical Line, Paint Brush: Needle Shot- Multiattack, Snare

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:36 am
by Jabroniville
Episode #106: The girls are visiting High Schools now, and come across the Victim of the Week- a famous athlete named "Elza Gray", who appears distinctly non-Japanese (dark skin with red/pink hair). Who FEELS UP Mako & Minako to determine the firmness of their asses, and suggests this makes them ideal for track & field. And the girls then laugh this off (#MeToo). However, the Daimon strikes REALLY early, as this whole thing is just a prelude to the origin story of Sailor Uranus (who was an old rival of Elza's). Haruka recalls being confronted with her destiny by Michiru, who shared the same prophetic dreams about The Silence. Haruka Resists The Call, wishing for a normal life, and her own dreams, which Michiru derides as selfish. However, she later confesses that she feels the same way, but is obligated to sacrifice herself to defend humanity- she ALSO confesses that shes totes in love with Haruka, in that "it's pretty clear, but she doesn't SAY it" way, admitting that "I want to be the girl who rides with you by the sea", and that she was following Haruka's career BEFORE she knew she was gonna be a Sailor.

Back to the present, the two Sailors interrupt the Monster snaring the others (because OF COURSE it has a snare), and make short work of it- Uranus even keeping up with the goofy-ass jogging "Shoe-Torso" Daimon in a race, because "I am the wind, after all". Haruka thinks to herself about this never-ending battle that she's chosen, but confesses "I'm glad I met you, Michiru". And then says "I won't let you go home tonight", which I'm desperately hoping means the same thing it would mean in English.

An interesting episode. Haruka's origin story is pretty boring (essentially "she gets confronted by Neptune"), but the actual CHARACTER part of it is fascinating, as she, like Usagi, never wanted this life, and feels constrained by her duty. But the whole Haruka/Michiru thing is REALLY explicit here, to the point where nobody could really miss out on it. And then she and Neptune gain TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCES!!!

(Monster Powers: Speed, "Hurdle Rope" Snare)

(First Appearance: Uranus & Neptune Transformation Sequences)

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:44 pm
by Jabroniville
Episode #107: Chibi-Usa has a first crush! Well, aside from the man who turns out to be her father, of course. But sadly, he's in love with their art teacher... Michiru? Well hell. He even gives her flowers ("they represent passionate love!")- she thankfully blows it off as a sweet gift and thanks him once she gets over the shock. That story's over by the second act, however, as Eudial and her weird "Cubist Art Monster" Daimon attack. It actually summons some creatures to fight Uranus & Neptune (doing rather well against Uranus, in fact), but Neptune figures out that water is their weakness (given that they're sculpted from sand), and Deep Submerge nearly melts the Daimon, allowing Sialor Moon to finish it off.

(Monster Poewers: Thrown Sculpting Knives- Multiattack, Spinning Rope Cylinder- Crushing Weight, Summon Monster From Sand-to-Stone- 2 Monsters)

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:13 am
by Jabroniville
Episode #108: Mamoru meets a friend- and English gentleman living in a great manor house with international students frequently attending his parties. This one is curious, because it's a sign of Mamoru's "regular life" (he's still a student), as well as a dubbing issue- the main crux of the matter is the girls being invited to a party where everyone speaks English. Except of course in the DUB this makes no sense, so it's shifted to "they'll be speaking proper English, so we need to speak it even better". Nice touch, as Mako & Usagi have TERRIBLE English, but Rei joins them in shock & horror when it turns out they have to brush up on the language. Ami and Minako do not- Ami's always the genius, of course, but Minako would normally be with them... except of course she lived in England for a time, and so speaks it with confidence. This hasn't been brought up in like sixty episodes, so it's good of them to remember that.

The girls are nervous at the part (most can't keep up with Ami's English skills), and Usagi grabs a drink to cool down. From a clear goblet. Oh yup, now Usagi is SHITFACED, and staggers through the ballroom, embarrassing herself more than usual. Though she sobers up quickly, and soon starts dancing with Haruka. Mamoru gives the guy's interesting backstory- he amassed a huge fortune while young, but found himself alone in the world and with no one to pass it on to, so decided to devote himself to the future on behalf of others. Sadly, this is mostly exposition- unlike the first season of the show Sailor Moon S is largely stuck with a huge cast, and so these backgrounders never really get too much focus.

(Monster Powers: First Form: Blasts From Roses; Second Form: "Watz of Hell" Multiattack Blast w/ Notes, "Yodel of the Devil" Area Blast)

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:30 am
by Jabroniville
And that's the first half of Sailor Moon S! It's really quite peculiar- this season contains some of the finest work of the series, and the animation is definitely better overall, but you can absolutely see them spinning their wheels at points. Dropping Kaolinite for Eudial adds absolutely nothing to the series, except that Eudial is slightly more silly, and prone to physical comedy. Both even have red hair! And really... 19 episodes in, and we don't get even the slightest indication of who the villains are, how they interact with each other, or anything? Sure, mystery was a big component of other seasons (Metalia and Death Phantom were both hidden as well), but we at least saw the villains talk to each other. A few comments between a "Professor" (who is STILL only seen in shadows) and his #2 agent/s don't cut it.

The Haruka/Michiru dynamic is definitely a good shot in the arm for the series, however. The two are a fascinating contrast to the other Sailors, given that they're more stoic and mature- they're less emotional, and MUCH more aloof. Their comparative heartlessness and focus on their mission is in stark opposition to the emotional, "Save EVERYONE!" mentality of the other girls, giving us some great conflict. Though I will say that seeing them show up in EVERY episode gets a trifle dull, especially if they have nothing to really add. It makes them a bit too smug at times, and they dominate a lot of the plot at other moments. And now that the show has to stick in five Sailors, two OTHER Sailors, plus the Victim of the Week... they really gloss over a lot of stuff. Chibi-Usa's crush being in love with Michiru, for example, doesn't get much attention because there's so much else going on. Hell, poor MAMO hardly never shows up- Uranus & Neptune tend to take up his "save the day" role, leaving him out of things.

You can really see them screw around with the "Victim of the Week" mentality here, as some of these guys are COMPLETELY meaningless except as a backdrop to a fight- sometimes they just have a couple of lines apiece, compared to the first season, which would put a HUGE amount of focus on the famous painter, or Naru's "older sister". Every episode following the same format gets a trifle dull, though. Way too "same-y".

Re: Sailor Moon- Series Overview

Posted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:07 pm
by Davies
Jabroniville wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:30 am
It makes them a bit too smug at times, and they dominate a lot of the plot at other moments.
This is half of my big problem with this season. The other half comes in at the very end.