Monday, October 24, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 6 - Tuxedo Mask

It's late, so we only have time for one episode tonight. And even though I warn him that this one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, Jared wants to watch just one.

Okay - here we go!

When last we left our intrepid heroes - cats came bearing gifts.

Luna: That is the Moon Stick. It's yours now.

Jared: Moon Stick? They are terrible at naming things. That is a TERRIBLE name.

Sometimes, I think I married a twelve-year-old boy. Sometimes, I'm not much better.

Me: Wait until they get to the "Cutie Moon Rod."

I don't think he believes me.

The opening credits roll.

Jared: I don't think I've commented there on the opening thing where they swoop straight into her hair - WHOO!

Jared: So, when they change the theme song, do they change the animation too?

He's heard me complain about the Season 3 theme song - which is the WORST thing on the planet. But we'll get there.

Me: Oh yeah - they change the whole thing. Don't get me started. But that's not until Season 3. This sticks around for these first two seasons, with a few minor changes.

That's not spoilers, so shut it.

Jared: Oh, that thing where they're all crammed together under the umbrella - Ami's sitting there petting Luna. Luna's cheating on Usagi again...

OMG - SHE TOTALLY IS! How did I miss that...
We finally get to the first scene of the actual episode...

...sort of.

Jared: Tuxedo Mask. Who is not wearing a very good mask, but whatever.

Mamoru Chiba wakes up from a nightmare about a fierce battle taking place. A princess (gee, I WONDER...) yells for someone to find the Legendary Silver Crystal.

Jared: Hm... doesn't quite make sense.

Me: Why?

Jared: Okay - that was her in a past life. Didn't she already have the Crystal at the time? Why did she have to tell him to get it?

Dreams... memories... wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey...

Usagi meets up with her friends, who comment on how she's early and didn't oversleep.

Usagi: I've been having a lot of weird dreams lately.I wake up and then I can't go back to sleep!

Jared: Then, shouldn't she be more tired?

Flashback to Usagi's dream...

Jared: Those are really big pauldrons.

That's the shoulder-thingies the prince is wearing in case, you're like me, and had no clue those had a name. If you did know - well, I'm an idiot. I make no claims to the contrary.

Usagi (still lost in her thoughts): Who are you, Mystery Man?

She turns a corner and runs smack into somebody in a genuinely hilarious moment. Even the Crystal-haters have to admit it.

Me: Ask a stupid question...

Usagi: Not you again?

Mamoru: Bun-head? You should watch where you're going. You could get hurt.

Usagi: Same to you, pal!

Their bickering really is endearing.

Me: He's making an effort to be nice.

Jared: He really is.

Me: I don't even know that he's making an "effort." He's just being nice.

Ami: That shirt! I recognize that uniform! It's from Moto-Azabu, the very elite private high school.

Jared:'s just a white dress shirt. That guy in the background is wearing the same kind.

Usagi: I know his name. It's Mamoru Chiba and he's always mean to me.

Jared: Is he now?

Mako: Aha! So you do know him!

Usagi: It's not what you're thinking!

Jared: Yes it is!

Suddenly, a news report about a mysterious person named "Tuxedo Mask" comes on every TV in the Juban District. And we have to see them ALL. Including Ikuko Tsukino's.

Jared: *bursts out laughing* She's playing with Luna!

Me: Luna's cheating again!

Jared: Wait - we never see... Usagi just shows up with a cat and her parents are all "Okay, you can have a pet."? Stray cat wit a bald spot.

Me: Some people when they see a stray animal, they have to take it in.

Luna (to herself): Tuxedo Mask... what are you up to this time?

Jared: She's a suspicious cat...

Me: She could rule the world.

While we were talking about stray cats ruling the world... Tuxedo Mask's announcement in the news has caused a fresh round of gossip around town. And he has to go to the tops of buildings and brood about it.

Jared: How does he ever get up there? How does he get down?

I have a theory -

Tuxedo Mask: I will find the Legendary Silver Crystal. I don't care what it costs me.

Me: You're gonna regret that one, dude.

The image of the news report zooms out and we see the Dark Kingdom watching The Creepy Crystal Ball Channel.

Jared: I love how they're not watching actual news people in the studio in their crystal ball. They're watching the TV through their crystal ball,

The Dark Kingdom: Too cheap to spring for cable.

Beryl's Boys quibble about who is going to Earth to take a crack at finding the Silver Crystal next.

Zoicite: Nephrite may have failed, but I, Zoicite, will not.

Me: It's like calling numbers at the DMV.

Meanwhile, Team Sailor listens while Luna explains more of the plot. They're meeting at the Arcade after closing for some reason.

Luna: Depending on how [the Silver Crystal] is used, it could blow up a whole planet easily.

Jared: Blowing up a planet while you're standing on it is a terrible plan.

Luna: Right now, I must learn more about who our main enemy is.

Me: You know, some of the girls could help her out with that.

Jared: Like, maybe the genius? Just saying...

But we aren't to the point where Important Information gets shared among our main characters. That comes after death and destruction and misery come to the Sailor Guardians. Because... it builds character? I have real issues with the in-universe person who set this plan up in the first place. Nasty theories too. But that's for later. Spoilers, sweetie.

Usagi (looking at the Sailor V game's sleep animation): Huh? That looks like the Moon Stick Luna gave me.

Jared: She has the Moon Stick just in her bag?

Sailor V (in the game): Don't be afraid! You can do it! You're Sailor Moon!

Usagi (inner monologue): Did Sailor V really just talk right now? Or did I imagine it?

Jared: It's interesting that they haven't addressed the fact that there's another Guardian running around.

Usagi (talking to the group): Is Sailor V a Guardian of justice too?

Jared: Oh, well there you go.

The next day, there is a TV special on the Legendary Silver Crystal. Complete with an "expert."

Jared: How do they find EXPERTS about these things? They only heard about it yesterday!

Me: Well... three guesses who THAT is.
Zoicite, fooling NO ONE.

Jared: But this really happens! Something weird happens and suddenly an "expert" shows up out of nowhere on the news to explain it! But yes - it's obvious that that's one of the bay guys. Even before they got to the glowy-mind-control-DOOOOOOOM.

Usagi gets home and find her mother digging through drawers and closets for reasons-yet-unknown.

Ikuko (in a zombie-robot voice): I can't find it. It's not here... or here... or here. I can't find it anywhere. Where could it be?

Jared: She has very purple hair.

Ikuko: The Legendary Silver Crystal. Where is it?

Jared: They don't even know what it looks like! How are they supposed to find what they're looking for.

Me: The plan was not very well thought out. Especially when you have housewives digging through their sock drawers. And their kids' sock drawers. And all those other little hiding places that you put things that only moms can find.

Luna and the other Guardians confer via communicator about the newest round of brainwashed Tokyo citizens and decide to meet at the Arcade.

Jared: And it only took them several hours. Although - the time shift's been a little odd here. 'Cause it was nighttime, then it was daytime, now it's nighttime again.

The team gets to the Arcade and Luna reveals the hidden bunker under the Sailor V game.

Jared: But that's okay, because - SECRET BASE! That you get to with a cat pushing buttons.

Me: That not even the Arcade owners know about, apparently.

Jared: Who is the owner?

Me: I'm not sure.

Jared: Maybe Luna's the owner.

Me: You know, she could be! She writes Motoki's paycheck!

Jared: Signs it with a paw print!

Fanfic writers, get on that please.

Jared: Of course, clearly the bad guys have loads of money too. Considering they set up an entire cram school to use as cover. Real estate is not cheap in Japan.

Me: Well, when you can brainwash people, you can whatever you want.

Jared: That's Professor X's secret.

While we've been writing fanfic about Luna's small-business-owning side activities, Usagi's insisting vehemently to the rest of the group that Tuxedo Mask is not their enemy, because warm hands and lending strength, etc. Which leads to everyone (except Usagi) realizing the obvious.

Mako: Usagi, it almost sounds like you've fallen in love with him.

Me: I'm... not sure that you could quite make that claim yet.

Jared: Not especially.

Me: Fangirl crush, maybe. But not fallen in love.

Usagi: You're all wrong! You don't understand!

Me: "I'm a teenage girl!"

Jared: Her running off does enforce that a bit, though.

Quick montage of all the times Tuxedo Mask saved Sailor Moon, complete with Usagi's frantic inner monologue about how he's always saving her life. Including the time they both fell off the balcony together.

Jared: Except that time he didn't save you. He actually failed there, just for the record.

Me: He even said that she saved him that time.

Elsewhere, Zoicite (still in his "Silver Crystal Expert" disguise) laments that the ordinary citizens of Juban have failed to do what the Dark Kingdom wanted them to do.

Zoicite: These human beings are pathetic. None of them have been able to find the Legendary Silver Crystal. They're no use to me.

Me: But you expected them to find it hidden under a trash can or something!

The Sailor Guardians (not transformed for reasons unexplained. Other than Toei needed to fill time with transformation sequences) show up, taunt Zoicite over his failure, and then transform.

Jared: Is Jupiter's pose supposed to be meaningful?

Me: Not really. It's just a pose. They all have a different one.

Jared: Oh. Okay.

I like it when he asks questions like that :)

Wherever Usagi is, she's struggling to get where she's going.

Usagi: I feel so weak and dizzy...

Jared: So how is she getting her energy drained?

Me: Slowly.

Jared: But they're supposed to be immune to that crap, aren't they?

Me: The other girls are closer to the center of it, so it's not bothering them. She ran off and hers is actually going a little slower than most people.

Tuxedo Mask shows up just in the nick of time. Of course.

Jared: 'Course, the fact that he's immune to it indicates that he has some kind of powers.

Tuxedo Mask insists that he didn't do the worst of this situation, but he did start this mess and for that, he's sorry. Also, he needs to find the Silver Crystal for... reasons.

Tuxedo Mask: And I don't have special powers to help me...

Me: Yeah, you do.

Jared: He has travel powers!

Usagi sympathizes and explains that she doesn't feel like she's good enough and that she can't lead everybody.

Usagi: I guess... all we can do is try harder.

Jared: Except for the whole "Protect Everyone" but, she's actually doing pretty good at being vague enough here.

While Usagi and Tuxedo Mask are having ~*~a moment~*~, the other girls are fighting Zoicite and are actually doing pretty well for themselves. Mercury's Bubble Spray actually got a straight hit on the guy. But then they realize the camera's back on them, and they all go down like punks.

Jared: And of course they all got taken out with one volley.

Usagi starts heading that direction.

Jared: Why is she walking? Where is she going?

Me: She's being pensive.

Queen Beryl appears to gloat and taunt and just generally be evil. Kitty boob dress and all.

Jared: See what I mean?

Me: Yep. And now I can't un-see it.

Look at the purple outline. The two cats are
looking at each other. One ear sticks up on each.

For the record: "Kitty Boob" is my invention.

Beryl: Sailor Guardians, my name is Queen Beryl. I command the Four Kings of the Dark Kingdom. And I have sent them to obtain the Legendary Silver Crystal. Once I secure it, the Dark Kingdom will rise again. Then every human being on Earth shall perish.

Jared: What's the point of ruling an empty world?

Me: To say that you did it? I dunno. Villains don't think these things through.

Jared: That'd be boring, just living in an empty world.

Me: You haven't seen that part in Once Upon A Time, where Regina curses everything and nobody remembers their lives in the Enchanted Forest except her and she's all "What's the point of ruling if no one knows who you are?"

Usagi deliberates with herself. She can't possibly transform into Sailor Moon in front of Tuxedo Mask! He'll know who she is!

Tuxedo Mask: Well, Sailor Moon? What are you waiting for? Hurry! Transform!

Jared: Oh snap! He knows who you are!

Me: Of course he knows!

Jared: Yes, I know. It's complete obvious considering he came to her bedroom to get her for the last thing!

Usagi freaks out because she can't throw fire or ice or lightning like the other girls can. Like that's been helping them out lately.

Me: You can chuck your tiara! And you make laser beams fly out of your forehead!

Jared: I get that she didn't realize that he knew up until this point. But, how could she not... HE CAME TO HER BEDROOM WINDOW!

Me: Logic is not her strong suit. Especially when she's having anxiety over so many other things.

It's panic time and Luna's even yelling out "USAGI!"

Jared: Okay, Luna - they're called "Secret Identities!" I mean, really?

Me: She talks in front of people!

Jared: She's talking in front of the bad guys! The bad guys now know her first name! That's like, Peter Parker's first rule. Don't let them know your name. 'Cause then you get crap like - Mr. Sandman shows up in front of Aunt May's house and breaks it down. And then he's mad because Peter's not there. He's at college or something.

Secret identities are Serious Business.

Jared: What do the little glowy bits in her hair buns do? 
Had to get this off YouTube, 'cause trying to get
clean screengrabs of the transformations on Hulu
is next to impossible.

Me: The red jewels? They look pretty.

[Note: Yes, I know they made her sonic-scream-power-thing in the first episode work. But that never happens again.]

Jared: Then there's the little... thingies... in the hair too.

Me: Barrettes?

Jared: Sure.

Jared didn't grow up with any sisters, so his knowledge of female hair accouterments is severely lacking.

Sailor Moon launches into her "I am the Pretty Guardian... In the name of the Moon..." schpiel.

Jared: Who is she saying that to? She's still not there.

But she does get there and faces down Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon: I am Sailor Moon. I am the leader. So please, Moon Stick, help me save them!

Jared: Talking to a stick, huh? And that is still the Worst Name Ever.

Oh, how little does he know...

Me: They talk to a lot of inanimate objects.

Tuxedo Mask: Sailor Moon! Do it!

Travel powers.
Jared (slightly freaking out now): See? See? HOW did he get there?? HOW DID HE GET THERE? He said he had no powers! He's either completely oblivious to what powers constitute. Or he's just short-selling himself.

Me: Probably both.

Beryl takes Zoicite (who took the blast from the Moon Stick and is now unconscious) and they bugger off.

Jared: Nice bit of Pieta plagiarism.

Me: What?

Jared: That sculpture of Mary holding the crucified Jesus. 

Me: Oh.

I knew what it was. He just changed gears from ranting about Tux's non-power-powers, to what famous Renaissance art the animators took inspiration from/liberties with.

Jared: And now she's back to being tired. And hey! She's back to where she started too!

Me: They can obviously fly.

And no, I'm not a fan of this framing-composition-thing.

Jared: Her eyes are up there, man.

Neither is my husband. Friends, I chose well.

Jared: What is it with you and kissing unconscious girls??

Me: Well, just her.

Jared: Okay, unconscious girl.

Me: I think that was just him bending down to pick her up. I don't think he actually kissed her there.

Jared: Fine, we'll give him that one.

Usagi (unconscious inner monologue): His embrace feels so familiar.

Jared: And there's Sailor V, who's been useless so far.

Usagi wakes up in an unfamiliar bed, in her school uniform.

Jared: Wait - now she's not transformed! Last time, she fell unconscious, but she was still transformed!

Me: Last time, she fell asleep. This is falling unconscious from over-exertion. There's a difference.
Usagi wakes up and takes in her surroundings, including a mysterious pocketwatch that showed up while she was knocked out. She's excited at the prospect at meeting Tuxedo Mask in person!

Jared: Might want to consider where you are. 'Cause you've got no idea.

And guess who shows up to greet her when she wakes. No, seriously. Guess.


Jared: Except her. Like, seriously lady!

Jared: Goodness gracious, she is oblivious!

And that's where the episode leaves off. Until next time!

Next Time: Episode 7 - Mamoru Chiba, Tuxedo Mask

Previously: Episode 5 - Makoto, Sailor Jupiter

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