Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon - Episode 1: Usagi, Sailor Moon

The beginning of this project has an auspicious beginning - we're more interested in my new paintable RPG minis that came in the mail than actually watching the start of the episode.

Boy, this is getting off on the right foot...

Eventually, Jared DOES notice the spacey opening with all the stars and planets. I think it's gorgeous. Jared?

Jared: All the lovely planets in completely wrong sizes and completely wrong places.

This is what I get for bringing a hard sci-fi guy to Magical Girl Anime.

Jared: At least the Moon looked right. It's - what - 1.245 light seconds away?

Sigh... this is going to be a looooooong project.

A mysterious princess and prince (OH GEE, I WONDER WHO THEY ARE) nearly kiss - and we cut to the head of a young girl still asleep in bed.

Jared: Of course they skip the kiss. Because of course.

Me: Dreams always skip the best part.

Jared: Well, yes. It's a very interesting yellow-colored-house.

He doesn't have time to explain how Chez Tsukino is an "interesting" yellow color, because...

Usagi (on screen): AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Jared: *smirking laugh*

Usagi is shown in close-up getting dressed and fixing her hair, clearly in a rush.

Jared: Okay, those hair buns HAVE to take a while to do.

Me: You noticed she sleeps with them in like that, though.

Jared: Then why is she putting the bobby pins in?

Jared: That is a very impressive length of hair.

The "Moon Pride" theme song plays. And something sticks in Jared's head. Well, several somethings.

Click to see the awkward translation. Yes, even I admit it's awkward
Moon Pride Lyrics (English Subtitles): Someone is shouting love out loud/Like a flash of lightning.

Jared: Wait - Love Lightning? How does THAT work?

I give him a Look. He grins and starts miming bolts of lightning with his hands.

Jared: Love lightning - pew! Love lightning - pew!

I explain that it's a translation thing and that there were much better fan translations when the song first came out that put the "Lightning" line with Jupiter and the "Love" line with Venus. He still thinks it's funny.

And then this happens -

Jared: Why "Shiny Make Up"? That makes no sense. How is makeup supposed to be "shiny"?

And before anyone asks or tries to make a snotty point about it - Jared knows full well how Japanese is often peppered with gratuitous English that often makes no sense. He's just making comments to be funny. And, I admit, it works. He's too damn cute for his own good sometimes.

Jared: That's a different animation style there.

Me: The CGI?

Jared: Yeah.

Me: There is a lot more CGI in the first two seasons, which I like. But a lot of people bitched about it, so they changed it for Season 3. And I thought it looked washed out.

But we'll get to Season 3 later...

Usagi: [does her Usagi intro] - "...I'm a bit of a klutz and kind of a crybaby too."

Jared: Well, at least she admits it.

Me: She owns her mistakes.

In her rush to get to school, Usagi trips over something on the sidewalk - it's a cat! She picks up the cat and apologizes for stepping on it.

Usagi: I'm so sorry, are you okay?

Jared: And cue the claws right about...

Luna: *yowls and scratches the crap out of Usagi's face*

Usagi: OW! What did you do that for?

Jared: Yeah, what DID she do that for? I'm mean, it's obvious it was coming. But still..

Luna jumps out of Usagi's hands and over her head and perches on a nearby wall.

Jared: Okay, her color just changed. Went to kind of purplish-black to jet black. And now it's back to purplish-black.

Me: Different animator?

Cut to the Dark Kingdom, where a Super Shady Character is doing Super Shady Character things.

Jared: Oooooooh - green fire! (I glare at him.) What? there's green fire everywhere.

Jadeite summons a creature out of the ground and orders it to do their Great Ruler's bidding.

Jared: Is that an Earth Elemental?

Me: Huh?

Jared: He's making creatures out of the rock.

Me: Sure... we'll go with that.

Back in the normal world, Usagi is late for school and told to go stand in the hallway as punishment.

Jared: Do they still do that? Make kids stand in the hall?

Me: No idea. Leigh-Ann might know.

Leigh-Ann is one of our friends and pretty much knows everything about every culture you could possibly want to know.

Jared: At least they stopped giving them buckets of water to hold outstretched.

Usagi remembers her dream from the previous night of the beautiful princess descending to the Earth and wishes she could be a princess. Because, Magical Girl Anime...

Usagi: Someday, I'm going to become a princess and I'll never have to go to school again!

Jared: You know, I'd ask how she plans to do that, but that's pretty typical so I'll let it slide.

Miss Haruna comes out with Usagi's awful test score. Usagi's narration introduces the rather grumpy teacher - and the visuals warrant comment. Apparently.

Jared: The flowers motif there is in stark contrast with the whole... "GRRR..." nasty, shaming her in front of the whole class thing.

Naru and Umino are subsequently introduced - and Umino warrants comment as well.

Jared: Ugggghhhh... the glasses...

Umino explains who Sailor V is and how she's been helping the police catch bad guys all over the city.

Jared: So, did they arrest the golems or something? If they caught the bad guys...

Usagi, Naru, and the other girls have a squee moment over the thought of criminals stealing pretty jewelry. Their reactions somehow strike Jared as funny.

Jared: They're teen girls. I'm just gonna let it slide.

I have a feeling that's going to be the theme of this entire endeavor..

After school, Usagi and her friends go to Naru's family's jewelry store where Naru shows everyone all the best stuff they have on display.

Naru:'s worth a billion yen!

Jared: How much is a billion yen, anyway?

Me: Ask Google.

He pulls our his phone and does a quick search for the answer.

Jared: Ten million dollars! Ten million dollars, right there in the front window!

Naru's mother points out that they're having a huge sale - 95% off (if the posters on the store's walls are to be believed.)

Jared: 95% off?? How do they make any money? How does the joke go? How do you make money if you mark things below market cost? Oh, it's fine - we'll just make it up in volume. No... no, that's not how it works!

I don't spoil anything.

The next scene is this -

Mamoru: Hey, that hurt Bump-head. Are you trying to make bumps on my head too?

Jared: How did that hurt, exactly? And why is he wearing a tuxedo in public?

Usagi: What kind of weirdo wears a tuxedo in the middle of the afternoon?

Jared: THANK YOU!!

Usagi heads to the arcade and starts playing the Sailor V game. Not much happens there. Usagi does have a crush on Motoki, the guy that works there.

Jared: And he's... what... six years older than her? College age? Yeah, that's not creepy at all.

Yeah... it's a good thing I'm not showing him the original Sailor Moon anime.

Usagi heads home and her mother asks how her test went. Her mother freaks out when she finds out that Usagi failed her test and kicks Usagi out of the house.

Jared: That's an interesting punishment. Making them go outside instead of somewhere you can watch 'em. Yeah, that's a perfectly reasonable response. Because, Japan.

Elsewhere, the women who bought the super-discounted jewelry aren't feeling so great. "Naru's mom" explains they're collecting energy for their Great Ruler. And Naru walks in when this is happening.


Me: See? THAT'S why they discounted the jewelry so much. The bad guys know what they're doing.

Jared: I suppose...

Usagi: Mom didn't have to get that angry. It's not fair, I tried my hardest! *yawns* I don't feel like doing my homework right now. I'm tired. I'm going to take a nap.

Jared: Those two sentences right next to each other! No wonder she does bad in school! "I tried my hardest. I'm gonna take a nap." It's great...

Usagi takes a short nap, dreams about a princess and Sailor V and is rudely awoken by a talking cat.

Usagi (in the dream): It's the cat with the crescent-shaped bald spot!

Luna: Don't be rude. This is NOT a bald spot!

Usagi: I can't believe it! The cat is talking!

Jared: And reading your mind, apparently.

Luna thanks Usagi for getting the bandages off her forehead earlier and that the kids in the neighborhood are such evil brats. Also, she couldn't talk until the bandages were removed.

Jared: Why couldn't she talk until they were removed?

Usagi's reaction to the fact that a talking cat has been looking for her?

Jared: You know, that is a perfectly reasonable response to all this! I mean, the cat's talkin'! It could very well be part of her dream!

Luna gives Usagi a pretty brooch and tells her of her new mission. Usagi is more interested in the new jewelry.

Jared: Yeah, she's not listening to ANYTHING you say!

Usagi's new brooch glows, to Usagi's surprise.

Luna: Now do you believe what I've been telling you, Usagi?

Jared: She wasn't listening to you anyway!

Moon Prism Power, Make Up!

Jared: I'm a little unclear on how giving her magic powers will convince her she's awake.

Usagi begins the transformation sequence into Sailor Moon. It's very sparkly.

Jared: It's a good thing the normal school uniforms aren't like that. Just... yeeeeeeaaaaah...

The jury will note that my husband has asked me on a number of occasions if I'd like to do a Sailor Moon cosplay. I haven't decided yet.

Jared: There's a term for it! Magic skirt. Meaning that she can turn every which way and the skirt will still stay down where it's supposed to.

Me: Well, if you had magical powers and you had to wear a skirt, wouldn't you make sure it did that?

Jared: *after a rather long pause* *and pause some more* Well... well... yeah. But you'd think there'd be an easier way to not have that problem!

Sailor Moon: I am the pretty guardian who fights for love and justice! Sailor Moon! And now, in the name of the Moon - I'll punish you!

Jared: How does she know these words?

We're still talking about the costume, while Sailor Moon goes to confront the "golem" at Naru's family jewelry store.

Me: This is more like a figure skater's outfit. You have the bodysuit and the skirt goes around it, so it's not strictly a panty-shot.

The monster starts taunting Sailor Moon.

Jared: For an Earth Golem, that lady has a lot of snark.

Yep. We're calling them "Earth Golems." Just go with it.

The brainwashed humans attack Sailor Moon on the Golem's orders.

Sailor Moon: I thought this was just a dream!

Jared: See! See! She still thinks it's a dream up to this point! And you can't really blame her!

Luna: You need to fight back!

Jared: How?? How is she supposed to know?

Sailor Moon: What do you mean? How am I supposed to do that?

Jared: At least she's on the same page as me.

Me: See? She knows what she's doing... sort of.

Jared: She knows what she's not doing too.

Sailor Moon panics and wonders how she got into this mess. 

Me: You took a Band-Aid off a cat's forehead.

Her panic leads to "magical crying," which leads to windows shattering...

Jared: That is a really tall building for a jewelry store.

Me: They are rich.

Jared: True. They did have a ten million dollar necklace in the display window. With no bars!

...which leads to incapacitated villains, which leads to...

Jared: Where the heck did HE come from?

Sailor Moon stops crying, Luna tells her to use her Moon Tiara Boomerang, monster turns into dust.

Jared: Was Jadeite controlling that thing, then?

Me: Yes. He creates them and sends them off.

Jared: Do they always turn into women?

Me: Mostly.

Tuxedo Mask: I didn't find the Crystal, but I found something else quite interesting...

Jared: And off he goes! After doing nothing.

Me: He gave her encouragement from the sidelines.

Jared: Well, this is true. He wasn't completely useless. But he doesn't have powers, does he?

Me: He can fly, apparently.

Jared: Yeah, that is a good question. How does he get around? And who picks that name??

Me: Japan picks that name.

Jared: *sigh* ...yeah...

The next day, Usagi hears Naru telling the other girls about the attack at the jewelry store.

Usagi (inner monologue): Everything that happened - it wasn't a dream! What's next? I don't even want to think about it!

Jared: At least she's stable enough to know this isn't just a game. That does help.

Me: At least in this version, she gets help pretty quick. In the original anime, she goes for several episodes with it just being her on her own. It's like "How do you not die, girl?"

The end credits roll with not much comment. Until this -


And thus, the project begins... somewhat auspiciously. Kind of.

Next Time: Episode 2 - Ami, Sailor Mercury

Previously: Intro

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