Monday, November 21, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 8 - Minako, Sailor V

Jared's still on some housekeeping from the last episode, namely Zoicite's weapon of choice against Sailor Moon right at the end.

Jared: You know, that crystal-weapon-thing he was throwing was really stupid. It's like - waaaaay too wide. If you want to throw a spear at someone, you want it like *that* (here, he mimes something skinny and stick-like). He was throwing something like *that* (here, he mimes something big and wide). You do not throw a garbage-can-size spear at someone! That's overkill!

Especially with the noodley-arms!

He may have a point.

Regardless, it's time for All To Be Revealed! Kind of...

Jared: *spits* I've got hair in my mouth!

Me: What?

Jared: Not me - her!

Sort of takes the punch out of the reveal...

Jared: Do they not have scrunchies in this universe?

Me: They have those little bead-hair-tie-thingies. Jupiter wears one in her ponytail. You've probably never seen one in real life.

Like I mentioned before, Jared didn't grow up with sisters. Whenever I realize he doesn't know about some basic female beauty implement, I have to remind myself of this fact so I'm not completely shocked by these revelations.

Sailor Mars: Is she really the same Sailor V from the news and video game? Her costume seems different.

Jared: Slightly. No, 'cause there's totally a sixth Sailor Guardian running around. And why is Luna surprised?

Sailor V: I assure you, it's me. I've just never taken off my red mask before.

Jared: So why do it now?

Artemis: How rude! Show some respect! While it is true she is Sailor V, there is more. My mistress is of the Moon Kingdom, Silver Millennium. She is heiress to the sacred Legendary Silver Crystal. She is Princess Serenity!

Jared: Should you be saying all of this in front 
of the bad guys?

Me: Oh right - he's still there. I thought that he took off.

Jared: Nope. He just got stopped momentarily. At least he's being nice and letting them finish talking. I guess that falls under - how did Napoleon put it? - "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake." Free intelligence!

That's the extent of the snark through the opening theme. At least, until the eyecatch image between the theme and the beginning of the episode - which is the image at the top of this post.

Jared: Shoulder pads were not a good idea. Do they actually explain why the outfit is different?

Me: Not in-universe. (Note: I have shown him the original designs for the Sailor Guardians.) 
Naoko Takeuchi's original designs for the girls' Sailor fukus.
I remain partial to Mercury's, personally. It's classy!

Jared: I mean, I know there's an explanation out-of-universe, but... eh.

Sailor Moon gets a new tiara (oh boy) and a lot of sparkly-magical stuff happens.

Zoicite's still there, unfortunately.

Jared: Yep! There he is! Sitting there this whole time, doing squat.

Me: He could even have been doing squats.

Oh, and Tuxedo Mask is all kinds of confused. 'Cause he dream about a mysterious princess that he thought was Usagi (I think). But then this other blonde chick shows up, calling herself Princess Serenity - and it's just a mess, y'all.

Tuxedo Mask: Princess Serenity? That name, it sounds so familiar... 

Jared: And now he's just having a bad time...

Really, if they wanted to stretch this subplot out a bit, there is definitely something to explore here. My own personal headcanon has a LOT to say about Sailor V, Tuxedo Mask, and the princess. But I'm sure fanfic has done it somewhere. Recommendations are welcome, just FYI.

Tuxedo Mask: Usako... I couldn't protect her...


Jared: Yeah...

Me: Just run away from your obligations there, dude.

I might just write that fanfic on my own. Adding it to the ever-growing list of things I've decided to do... Maybe for next year's NaNoWriMo...

Remember Sailor Moon's new tiara?

Jared: That is a really weird-looking tiara.

No kidding. It looks like a tiara for a longhorned cow. And I'm not the only one to make that joke.

Jared: This part's a little weird. I mean, we all know that she's not the princess. And I imagine she [Sailor V] knows that, so... why?

The Sailor Team also finds out that Sailor V and Artemis were watching them through the Sailor V game, and even talking to them through it.

Sailor Moon: Oh wow! So it was you talking to me through that video game! I thought I was going crazy!

Jared: Embrace the power of "and"!

Usagi: That it was Sailor V talking and Usagi was going crazy?

Jared: Yes!

The group goes to the arcade and meet up with Luna at the Command Center. 

Jared: I swear that console seems to get bigger in each episode. It's like - that thing's supposed to be built for cats, but it's massive! It's a little silly.

Artemis jumps up on the console, but doesn't participate in the conversation.

Jared: He [Artemis] doesn't talk much, does he?

Yeah, he kind of doesn't. Not in this season, anyway.

The silent partner.

Minako relates the story of how she became Sailor V and hers and Artemis's adventures in solving the mysterious crimes plaguing Tokyo.

Jared: Except for the ones Tuxedo Mask did, because you never saw him. He admitted to them!

Me: I should show you the first little bit of the live-action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon.

Jared: With the puppet?

Me: Yeah.

Jared: The puppet's kind of creepy.

Me: This part doesn't involve the puppet.

Because I can interrupt a blog, I'm going to put this here for you, Dear Readers. You only need to watch until the 1:04 mark. I couldn't find a video with just the one clip -

There. Sailor V confronting Tuxedo Mask for his crimes of jewel thievery. And now you have the first part of the first episode of the series, which is all on YouTube, if you'd like to enjoy all the cornball-and-cheese-nonsensical-sparkly goodness You're welcome.

(EDIT 11/30/2016 - Well, this is embarrassing. After YEARS of PGSM being a steadfast staple on YouTube, it's been taken down for over copyright claims. Never mind that live-action Sailor Moon has NEVER been available for sale or official distribution in North America. I'm kind of miffed, actually. Unless this means we're getting a DVD/BluRay release from Viz or something... still looking for reasons why this has happened. But that's just sad, really. Especially since all I wanted was a two-minute clip of the damn thing. Oh well...)

Back to the task at hand -

Minako continues on her schpiel about the Dark Kingdom, enemies, troubling days ahead, destruction of the Moon Kingdom, Silver Millennium, yadda, yadda...

Jared: So, she pretty much remembers everything, then? And, yet she's still going through the whole charade.

Minako: This time, we have to seal it away permanently. We can't let history repeat itself. We must stop this thing once and for all!

Jared: Then, don't seal it away. Destroy it.

Usagi: Whatever you say, Sailor V... I mean, Princess.

Me: Okay, that whole "Sailor V, I mean, Princess" thing gets really old, really fast. She TOLD you her civilian name, for crying out loud! USE IT!

I have Opinions about such things.

Jared: Okay, you'd think they'd make her school uniform slightly different.

Me: Whose? Minako's?

Jared: Yeah.

Me: Hm....

Usagi: Good night, Princess!

Me: They keep calling her "Princess" in public!

Jared: Well, the cats are talking in public.

Minako: Time is running out. Soon, they'll remember everything.

Jared: Then why don't you just tell them?

Artemis: Minako, stop. You've been fighting on your own for so long. Let the others help you.

Minako: Artemis, I can't.

Jared: Why?

Minako: I have a mission. A very important mission. One that only I can carry out.

Jared: Is it just me, or is the shirt under her sailor-thing kind of oddly shaped?

He's talking about that white inverted-triangle-thing in the middle of her collar.

Me: There's this little... I don't know if it's quite a shirt, but it's this little piece that pokes up over her collar and that's part of it.

Jared: It's like a little... cone-looking thing.

Me: I think it's just part of the uniform.

After the "commercial" break. We are treated to a dream-like scene of a fierce battle taking place in a kingdom somewhere.

Me: The rivers ran red with blood.

Jared: I guess they didn't learn Rule #1: Pillage, then burn.

Not-So-Mysterious Shadow 1: Endymion!

Not-So-Mysterious Shadow 2: Princess Serenity!

Not-So-Mysterious Shadow 1: Endymion!

Jared: What did she call him??

Here, I burst out laughing. I don't know why. I suppose it wasn't the reaction I was expecting from Jared at this point. And I find myself ill-equipped to give an explanation between my hearty laughter.

Me: It's a *laugh* name from Greek *wheeze* mythology! *cough, cough, cough, laugh some more*

Jared: I've never heard... Indiman? Is that was it was??

To the Googles! I have to help him spell it.

We end up on Wikipedia. Same thing, really.

In Greek mythologyEndymion, was variously a handsome Aeolian shepherd, hunter, or king who was said to rule and live at Olympia in Elis,[2] and he was also venerated and said to reside on Mount Latmus in Caria, on the west coast of Asia Minor.[3]
There is confusion over the correct location of Endymion, as some sources suppose that one was, or was related to, the prince of Elis, and the other was a shepherd from Caria— or, a later suggestion, an astronomer: Pliny the Elder[4] mentions Endymion as the first human to observe the movements of the moon, which (according to Pliny) accounts for Endymion's love. As such, there have been two attributed sites of Endymion's burial: the citizens of Heracleia ad Latmo claimed that Endymion's tomb was on Mount Latmus, while the Eleans declared that it was at Olympia.[5]
However, the role of lover of Selene, the moon, is attributed primarily to Endymion who was either a shepherd or an astronomer, either profession providing justification for him to spend time beneath the moon
Jared is intensely interested in this portion of Greek mythology that he has - up until now - never heard of (bear in mind, he probably knows more about classical literature than I do. And that takes some doing). He's going to be a while.

Jared: But... the moon goddess was chaste! How does this even work?

Me: Wrong moon goddess, dear. You're thinking of Artemis/Diana. There was more than one.

Jared: He doesn't even look Greek. More like Middle Ages - with the armor and the sword...

Me: The author just borrowed the name. It really doesn't have any meaning beyond that.

He's less confused now. But I can tell he wants to look more into this. Who knew that magical girl anime could be educational, as well as fun?

Usagi wakes up suddenly from her nightmare. She's starting to realize that these are more like memories, than mere dreams. Maybe.

Usagi: I guess I dreamed that because I actually met the Princess the other day.

Me: But... why would you dream that you were the Princess? Think, kid.

Jared: Not really her strong suit. She kind of more, emotes.

Usagi: What does it all mean?

Jared: So, here's an interesting question: Could she Google "Endymion"?

Me: Possibly.

Jared: Do the Greek myths exist in this universe?

Me: They should. There's no indication that they wouldn't. She may just not put two-and-two together. She may not realize it's a Greek myth. I mean, it was pretty obscure for you.

Jared: Well, yes. But the question then becomes - if she's Serenity from before-times, and he's Endymion (Note: Yes, he's figured it out. It wasn't difficult.), what inspired the myth in Greece? I mean, Luna and Artemis and Endymion... not so much Serenity, I suppose...

He's caught a thread, y'all. He's theorizing! This is exciting!

While Jared's been caught up in theorizing, Usagi and Mamoru have met up in the park and Mamoru's kind of awkwardly apologizing for not being able to protect Usagi the night before. As with most anything with these two, it's damn adorable.
"My 'density' has bought me to you."
I'll let you decide which one's George here.

Mamoru: I'm sorry, Usako. I wasn't able to protect you. I'm ashamed to look you in the eye.

Jared: They really need to hear the quote - "God created men and Sam Colt made them equal."

Now we're imagining Tuxedo Mask with a giant Uzi showering bullets on Dark Kingdom minions.

Nearby, Luna is fretting that the fourteen-year-old girl that she's in charge of is actually interested in boys (OH NOES!), but Artemis comes to allay her fears about the future. Or the past. Or something.

Artemis: Before the Moon Kingdom fell, you had a place in the Royal Household. You used to look after the Princess.

Luna: What are you talking about?

Artemis: You still don't remember, do you?

Jared: Okay, so it's not Luna's fault!

Me: No. But - once Sailor V and Artemis show up, it's like tell them everything! Poor communication kills!

Jared: Yep.

In the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl is freaking out because the Moon Princess has shown up. But that doesn't make any difference to Queen Metallia because, crazy.

Metallia: This time, I will be victorious! And will reign over this world once more!

Jared: With no one to reign over! It's... kind of a flaw in your plan. Just saying.

Me: Villains really don't think these things through.

Also - Kitty Boob.

Me: Now that you've pointed it out, I can't unsee it!

Jared: You're welcome!

Kunzite goes to take down the "Princess." He finds Minako walking around town, isolates her, and give a "Menacing Voice-Over" so she can hear his demands.

Jared: Do the regular people just have selective amnesia? They keep falling over and passing out and searching their sock drawers for Crystals...

Me: It's just a normal Tuesday for them.

The girls run up to Minako, as if on cue, and invite them to dinner with them.

Minako: I'm sorry. I can't. I've got some errands to run!

Jared: Okay, that's just silly. She should have told them!

Me: That's what they're there for! You're a team! And the stupic thing is that she keeps insisting that she's the Princess, so they have to protect her, when in reality...

Jared: Yep.

Kunzite is tired of waiting (all twenty seconds of it) and cuts the power to the whole city. Luna, however, is Ultimate Kitty Prepper and probably has a monster power generator still running the underground computer console at the Command Center.

Luna (over the communicator): Can you all hear me? The electricity just went out all over Tokyo! And it wasn't an accident!

Jared: Which means that not only does she have a kitty computer, she has a kitty power source.

The girls find people passed out on the sidewalks and in the road (normal Tuesday, y'all) and realize that whatever caused the blackout also drained the energy from these people. The girls are okay, though Usagi worries about Mamoru (since, you know, he admitted he didn't have powers like she did and might not be okay).

Cut to: A pretty princess with blonde buns and pigtails in her hair (that don't look ANYTHING like anyone in particular that we would recognize AT ALL) floats in midair, screaming in terror.

You're fooling NO ONE, lady.
Mysterious Princess That We Don't Have Any Clue As To Who She Is AT ALL: Endymion! 

I'm at a complete loss, aren't you?

Me: Speaking of not being a team player...

Mamoru bolts out of bed from a dream, wide awake and full of energy. But he realizes that it was more than a dream. And this blackout isn't a normal blackout, either.

Jared: More indication that he has powers! He's immune to the weird effects.

Jared: And that's a weird light switch.

Mamoru looks out the window at the pitch-black-except-for-Kunzite's-green-power-bubble-floating-in-the-sky city.

Jared: You can see the green sphere just hanging up there! The next day, there'll be headlines saying "UFO Sighted Next To The Tower! Grainy Footage To Prove It!"

Minako looks up at the tower and begins to transform.

Jared: Eh, Jupiter's is better.

Maybe. We all have out favorites.

Jared: Although... her not saying anything there [Minako not shouting out her transformation phrase] - even if you hadn't ever seen this or knew the story, you'd would have to know that something's up.

Me: Well, yes! Because you're seen the dreams!

Sailor Venus confronts Kunzite one-on-one.

Sailor V: You got what you wanted, Kunzite! I'm here!

Jared: That's the problem with having your hair longer than your skirt.

Me: You look naked?

Jared: From behind, yes.

He kind of has a point.

It's Kunzite vs. Sailor V in a battle to the... something!

Jared: Okay, so she's been fighting these idiots for a while now. You'd think she'd be able to at least hold her own a little better.

Sailor V: Listen to me, Kunzite. Please don't do this! Remember who you are!

Kunzite: *has the good grace to look genuinely confused at her words*

Queen Beryl (over the Dark Kingdom telepathic pager thingy): Why are you hesitating, Kunzite?

Jared: Because she's spouting nonsense! What doesn't that mean?

Me: It's like watching an armadillo swim through a canal. That was a bad analogy... but it's like, you see something stupid, you just HAVE to stop and look!

Just in the nick of time, the other Sailor Guardians fly up in their team bubble and Sailor Moon does her thing. Her new tiara hasn't gotten any better.

Me: She looks like she has horns!

Jared: That tiara is really unfortunate.

Sailor V is determined to carry out her suicide mission, it seems.

Sailor V: Don't! Please! This is my fight!

Jared: WHY? Why?

See, if Sailor V is going to let the other Sailor Guardians believe the fiction that she's the Princess, and they've been told that their mission is to find and protect her, that's what they're going to do! 


The girls all proclaim their friendship as a group and it's sweet and cute - Sailor V accepts that this is a team effort and it's time to kick ass!

Unfortunately, no one told the scriptwriters and production team. When the girls all send out their attacks now, they might as well be pissing into the wind for all the good that it does.

Me: I would love for one of their attacks to DO SOMETHING! They all worked the first time they did 'em! Make a dent, faze them - anything!

Might get it...
...nope. Not a scratch.
Jared: He could at least dodge.

Me: That's one thing that kind of annoys me about this. The first time they use their attacks in each of their intro episodes - no problem! They take out the bad guys - even kills them. Every time afterward? It's pointless.

Sailor Moon winds up her Moon Healing Escalation - and it does about as good as the others did.

The windup...
...he does flinch, so that's something...
...and nope.
Me: See? Prime example!

Kunzite hits Sailor Moon and she goes flying. He also attacks the other Guardians. Sailor Jupiter grabs Sailor V - I mean, Princess - but Sailor Moon is SOL. 

Me: Look at that! They let her [Sailor Moon] fall, but they rescued the "Princess" who isn't really the Princess!
Boy, are they gonna feel dumb later.
But it's almost forgivable, since it Tuxedo Mask jumps in out of nowhere and saves Sailor Moon from the fall.

Jared: Wow! He actually get to have some heroics!

Me: He's doing your job for you! You're welcome!

Jared: And Luna still doesn't trust him. It's sad.

Me: Yes...

Sailor Moon tells Tuxedo Mask to get out of there because it's too dangerous and that he should leave the rest to her. Because, powers. And stuff.

Oh, and there's the small matter of the Big Damn Kiss.

Jared: And his brain just turned off. You can see it in his eye! Just... off! No one's home! I'm surprised he can manage to turn around!

Me: It's probably not a good time to lose brain function, at the top of a tower like that.

Tuxedo Mask - still processing what just happened - contemplates his and Usagi's future romance.

Tuxedo Mask (inner monologue): Who are you really? I want to know to everything. Who are you, Sailor Moon?

Jared: A constant crybaby. It's been established.

Me: He wasn't there for that.

Sailor Moon does the whole Donkey Kong jump up the tower to where the Sailor Guardians are in trouble and - like a freaking GENIUS - puts herself right in Kunzite's line of fire. Because she didn't have ANYTHING ELSE that could have stopped or at least distracted him.

I guess her Longhorn Tiara doesn't do the boomerang thing anymore. Why does she have that damn thing, anyway?

You could have prevented this, cupcake.
I just want you to know that.
Sailor V: Sailor Moon! Don't do it!

Oh NOW she wants to talk?

Jared: They had a shield up. Her plan was terrible.

Tuxedo Mask - flush with heroics and kissing and totally in love with Sailor Moon - does the only rational thing at this point and follows his lady love's lead. Though... given the tight spot these dumb girls have gotten themselves into, he really doesn't have much of a choice at this point.

Tuxedo Mask (inner monologue): Usako, I will protect you! And this time - I won't fail!

Well... damn.

Jared: His plan, at least, he didn't have time for anything else.

Sailor Moon: Tuxedo Mask!

Jared: And now... the wangst...

How little does he know. Though given his understanding of storytelling and tropes, he probably has it all figured out by now.

Fear not, loyal readers! For the project shall continue!

Next Time: Episode 9 - Serenity, Princess

Previously: Episode 7 - Mamoru Chiba, Tuxedo Mask

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 7 - Mamoru Chiba, Tuxedo Mask

It's been a few weeks - between colds and politics, reality has taken a front seat. Kind of an unfortunate place for it happen, considering the cliffhanger from the last episode. But we're back and the snark must flow!

Well... kind of.

I like your face.
When last we left our heroine, she was waking up in a strange bed in a strange apartment with a not-so-strange person hanging around. And she's oddly calm about it. Usagi's life is bizarre, folks.

Jared: And he somehow de-transformed her.

Me: I think it just happened because she was exhausted. She just powered-down.

Jared: Didn't happen last time she fell asleep while transformed!

I'm not having this argument.

Me: Last time [at the Masquerade] she was sleepy. This time, she used up all her Sailor Moon power.

Apparently, I am having this argument.

Jared is exceedingly hung up on the fact that Usagi woke up with her shoes off in a man's bed and he just won't shut up about it. Good grief - can't he just enjoy the tinkly romantic background music?

Me: Look, it's not like he changed her clothes before he put her in his bed! It's just a place for her to sleep it off!

Jared: Shouldn't she be freaking out even just a little bit?

Usagi (enchanted by the fact that she now knows the identity of the mysteriously sexy Tuxedo Mask): I never noticed it before. And those eyes that I can't seem to look away from...

Jared: No, forget what she says! What about her parents' reaction?

Sweet mercy - these two are having a ~*~romantic anime moment~*~ and my husband has to bring reality into this. I hope he's better behaved on our anniversary.

Me: We're just not going to tell them.

Jared: But it's the next day! They should notice that! Just a little bit?

Me: When you're the parent of a teenager who's a superhero, you're just oblivious to everything.

Jared: Nah - it's the new mantra: Luna did it.


Jared: No! That's actually brilliant! Luna can speak! If she can mimic voices, Luna could just sneak into her bedroom and call out from there!

Me: I'm sure her friends are looking for her. Probably fudged it and told her parents that she spent the night at one of their houses, so they wouldn't worry.

The credits roll and Jared becomes preoccupied with other details. Like the Sailor Guardians' accessories. 

Jared: Jupiter has the antenna, Venus has that weird ball-belt-thing, Mercury's got the visor. Mars... just has the paper-spell-scroll-things, so she lucks out there. Sailor Moon has, like, FIVE things.

Title card - and it's confusing to Jared.

Jared: I thought the last one was called "Tuxedo Mask,"

Me: It was. This one is "Mamoru Chiba, Tuxedo Mask." Important distinction.

And now, dear audience, it's time to come to the Tragic Backstory portion of the story. Well, the first of many. Let's be real here. None of these characters have particularly happy lives.

Jared is actually entranced by this part and doesn't say much. I'm taking it as a good sign.

Flashback to Mamoru's sixth birthday and tiny!Mamo-chan happily calling for his parents to take him for a drive.

Jared: Look, I know this is just because of the current political climate, but I swear it looks like he's wearing a Trump hat.

Good sign's gone, y'all.

Me (through hearty shouts of laughter): You are a terrible human being! This poor kid is losing his mom and dad on his sixth birthday, and you're just... with the hat!

Folks, I've lost it at this point.

Jared: Ah! And with the strategically-placed bandages on the cheeks, so you know he was injured! Very stylistic. It's not even that there's anything wrong there. It's like "Oh, he's an amnesiac. Better put the cheek-things on."

Mamoru: Mamoru Chiba? Is that who I am? I don't know. I could be someone else entirely.

Jared: Well, there's a story. Actually... already been done. Son of the Black Sword. A little darker, though.

Me: True. But there's not really a love story in that one.

Jared: Yes there is! The librarian!

Me: Yeah, okay.

Mamoru: You're looking for the Legendary Silver Crystal too. You and the other Sailor Guardians. How come?

Usagi: Actually... I don't know why.

Me: Now, people freak out because animators draw female characters too skinny, but look at him! Where are all of his internal organs??

Seriously, people. A little consistency, if you please.

Jared: The bigger question is where do they put their brain with those huge eyes!

Me: That's most anime, though.

Jared: I know, but still!

And another thing...

Jared: Now that's sad. He asks her why she's looking for the Crystal and she says "I don't know! I don't pay attention!"

Jared: Also, she's really short.

Me: Canonically, she's not even five-foot.

I feel like we've had this discussion before.

Usagi walks home in a lovey-dovey daze, thrilled that Tuxedo Mask is really not the Sailor Guardians' enemy. 

Jared: Well OF COURSE he's not your enemy! If he was, he could have stabbed you while you were asleep! Jut throwing that out there. Sure, it's not that kind of anime, but still!

Also, Mamoru called Usagi "Usako" and it's a cutesy nickname that is damn adorable, and don't you dare forget it!

I just... really like these two, okay? 

Jared: Her nickname would probably be more meaningful to me if I knew Japanese.

Me: It's like if you put "-ko" at the end of a name, it's a very sweet pet name.

Jared: Oh.

Yes, folks. Marvel at my super-extensive knowledge of Japanese honorifics.

Though I will remain forever miffed that they dropped the "-chan" off "Mamo-chan" in the dub. I get why it was done - it's probably better to drop all of the honorifics, rather than get it horribly wrong (which is easy to do if you're not 100% sure what you're doing). But there's something missing when Usagi just calls him "Mamo." My two cents.


Meanwhile, Luna's hanging out at the arcade/command center and talking to Mysterious Stranger #2. 

Jared: What? She's not even looking for Usagi!

Luna: Sailor Moon in particular is still having a lot of trouble, unfortunately. I think she needs some more time.

Mysterious Stranger #2: Time is a luxury we don't have. The enemy will be upon us soon.

Jared: Ooooh - shadowy person! Who could it POSSIBLY be? Good grief. They're sitting under her game! Why are they even trying to keep it a secret from us?

Me: It's kind of hard, since it's been twenty years and this is an extremely popular anime - almost twenty-five years, actually.

Speaking of enemies, Queen Beryl is feeding her pet spirit-smoke-entity-thing.

Beryl: Oh great ruler, Queen Metallia! Your humble servant awaits! I offer this energy from the humans. May it revive you, Great One!
I call this one "Beryl Feeding the Cat."
Jared: Appetizers!

Queen Metallia:

Jared: It's like she's the unholy combination of Meowth and Haunter.

He has a point -

Queen Metallia

Where is the lie?

Beryl: One day I discovered D-Point and found Evil HQ and became their Queen and took the power and destroyed a lot of junk. The end.

Okay, I'm paraphrasing.

Jared: So, this is way far north, then?

Me: Near the North Pole, yes.

Jared: So, how did she find it?

Me: She wandered very far. Don't know where she started from, though.

Jared: Good thing she has magic, or she would've starved to death. No - more importantly, in that outfit, she would have frozen to death.

My husband always focuses on the important details.

Beryl (inner monologue): It may have been my destiny to release [Queen Metallia], but when it comes to the Legendary Silver Crystal, I won't hand it over so easily!

Jared: Chronic Backstabbing Disorder! WHOO!

Back on Earth, a new video store has opened called Rental Shop Dark. Because NOTHING bad can come from something called "Dark," now could it? 

Jared: I love how they don't even have real cases for the DVDs. Just the cheapo plastic ones. No cover art.

Dude Walking Out Of Store: Gotta watch the movies... gotta watch the movies...

Jared: Yeah, that guy's creepy. MIND-BRAIN-WASHED!

Me: It'd be funny if they did the "Dark" version of Netflix.

Later at school, Usagi, Ami, and Mako are discussing important Sailor mission stuff. The girls wonder about Sailor V and study a picture Ami has of her on her not-iPad.

Usagi: Look! Sailor V has a crescent moon shape on her forehead, just like Luna! Maybe that means she's from the moon too!

Jared: That's... not bad logic, coming from Sailor Moon.

When you start with low expectations, you can only go up from here!

Umino jumps out of the bushes and creepily talks about finding Sailor Moon because Sailor V is "old news." It's as pervy as you'd expect.

Jared: Wow. Plant-pom-poms and the creepy - how did he get the creepy eyes? You can't even see 'em!

Ami: Umino, are you feeling okay?

Jared: Is he ever?

Luna (popping out from behind the girls): He's a little overly-aggressive today!

Jared: Why are you hiding? You're a cat! Just show up! Talk a little less, maybe.

Luna: Sailor V? I don't think she has anything to do with the Moon Kingdom.

Jared: Pfffffffffft....

Ami: Perhaps Usagi can sense something about Sailor V that the rest of us aren't able to pick up on. Usagi was the first Guardian Luna found, and she's our leader!

Me: "Our Leader," everybody.

Jared: What is that? Ketchup?

Mako and Ami point out that Usagi has ketchup on her face and Usagi scrambles to find her handkerchief, which she is just now realizing is missing.

Jared: She only has the one handkerchief?

Me: Not everyone has a handkerchief for every day of the week like you do, dear.

Jared: Yeah, but her handkerchief was in the princess dress, and she hasn't noticed this entire time that it's been gone?

Usagi (inner monologue): I know I should tell everybody about Tuxedo Mask...

Jared: Might want to fix your face before you start monologuing.

Usagi (still monologuing with ketchup smeared on her face): ...I'm sure they'd all be surprised...

Jared: No they wouldn't. I mean, Luna saw come to your bedroom window!

Usagi (more monologuing): What if they wouldn't let me see him anymore?

Me: They're you're friends, not your jailers!

Jared: And you're the leader, anyway.

Usagi: How come my heart beats whenever I think of him?

Jared: Because you're a fourteen-year-old girl.

Having once been a fourteen-year-old girl, I can confirm that this is true. Every fourteen-year-old girl whose had a crush thinks it's the end of the world.

Elsewhere, Mamoru is brooding on a rooftop, thinking of Usagi. Speaking of every fourteen-year-old girl's fantasy...

Jared: That's kind of a bland high school uniform.

Me: There's a jacket that goes with it.

Jared: But didn't one of the girls recognize it? And it's like "HOW?" That is the blandest thing ever. How many thousands of schools are there that would use the same style?

That's the real secret of Sailor Moon: the different styles of school uniforms.

Later, Usagi goes to class and finds out that most - if not all - of her classmates are brainwashed into obsessively looking for Sailor Moon.


Luna: Usagi! Your friend Naru isn't herself!

Jared: No crap!

Naru: I must find Sailor Moon...

Jared: She's got the empty-eyes going on. So, what? The teacher's just oblivious?

Me: The teacher's probably chanting too!

Luna sees the Dark DVDs and she and Usagi take it to the arcade, where Luna tells her and Ami to put it in the Sailor V game.

Jared: They really should stop putting brainwashing devices in right in front of their eyes!

Me: Ami got brainwashed once. She should probably be able to recognize the tactic. Or at least be immune to it.

Sailor V (in the game): What are you waiting for, Sailor Moon? That is a brainwashing DVD!


Usagi: The Sailor V in the game is talking to me again!
Jared: And no one else is reacting?

Ami: You should go, Usagi. Try to help anyone you can. I'll check out this disc and see what I can find.

Jared: Not their worst plan ever.

Meanwhile, Mamoru is still brooding but this time he's on the bus and berating himself for telling Usagi his entire life story.

Mamoru: Why did I tell her all that? Something's wrong with me.

Me: In Japanese, he actually says "I'm such an idiot." It's actually a little funnier.

The bus stops without warning and people start zombie-chanting about finding Sailor Moon and stealing the Crystal. Suddenly, Mamoru's problems don't seem to be that big of a deal.

Jared: Wait - who was driving the bus until now?

Me: That guy *points* The bus driver.

Jared: The brainwashed one?

Me: Yep.

Jared: They're really lucky they didn't crash.

Zoicite orchestrates all this from an undisclosed location.

Zoicite: Find Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon holds the key to the Legendary Silver Crystal. She must be taken alive!

Jared: But they know her first name! Luna shouted it out in the last episode in front of everybody!

See, people? Don't make rookie mistakes like that.

Speaking of rookie mistakes, the brainwashed-zombie-people start breaking windows and causing general mayhem in their frustration. Like you do. 
See also: The Current State of Portland.

Jared: Yes! Because rioting and looting is the answer to finding Sailor Moon!

Me: It's the answer to everything! Don't you know?

Jared: I guess technically rioting might actually work, because she's a Guardian. So, I guess she'd come stop crime from taking place and they could catch her then.

Me: Looking in sock drawers certainly didn't work last time.

Ami, Rei, and Mako get in touch and decide that they need to go protect Usagi, which leads to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it non-transformation-transformation sequence.

Jared: And they're really pushed for time! Zero transformation sequence!

Usagi decides that she needs to transform to stop all the chaos and wanton property destruction from taking place. 

Me: You know, she could have just not transformed and been fine.

Jared: They can't seem to find her in civilian clothes!

Sailor Moon transforms.

Jared: Do the barrettes even do anything?

Me: We already had this conversation, didn't we?

Jared: Probably.

Sailor Moon announces her presence... and she really didn't think this through all the way.

Jared: Now what?

The zombie-people rush out to grab her.


But then she "Moon Healing Escalation"-s the crowd and it actually works!

Jared: That's actually one of her better plans!

Her victory is short-lived, since Zoicite pops out of nowhere and tackles her to the ground.

Jared: IT'S A TRAP!

Sailor Moon: You took advantage of people who just wanted to watch movies for fun! That's unforgivable!

Jared: So many things are unforgivable.

Me: Oh, wait until we try out the original anime.

Sailor Moon: In the name of the Moon, I'll...

She screams as Zoicite disappears and then grabs her around the neck from behind.

Jared: Talking is not a free action! That's hilarious! That's the first time that it's actually been a thing!

The other Sailor Guardians appear and start fighting Zoicites

Sailor Jupiter: Supreme Thunder!

Jared: Wouldn't that be lightning?

Me: Ehhh... it's interchangeable.

But because this is none of these girls' introductory episodes and they can't ever be as powerful as they were the first time we met them, their powers fail and Zoicite easily blocks their attacks and knocks them down for the count.

Jared: It's almost better that they didn't plan those hits.

Zoicite taunts Sailor Moon and threatens to kill her friends if she doesn't hand over the Silver Crystal.

Sailor Moon: No! I have to save them!

Jared: Fighting back might be a good idea.

Sailor Moon (losing consciouness): me...

Out of nowhere, a gloved fist rushes in a lands a punch on Zoicite's jaw. 

Jared (laughing): Just POW! Right in the kisser!

He's vastly amused by this.

Sailor Moon: Tuxedo Mask! You came for me!

Jared: Okay, now is NOT the time to be doing lovey-dovey stuff!

Me: Flirting is definitely not a free action.

Zoicite: Tuxedo Mask? I thought you wanted the Legendary Silver Crystal too!

Tuxedo Mask: What I want? *winds up for another punch* You have no idea what I want!

(Quick Note: Mad props to Robbie Daymond for his performance there. That's one of my favorite Mamoru lines in the new dub. Thus far. *smiley face*)

Jared: Aaaand... not gonna work.

Of course not.

Me: Ugh. The same things never work twice! It's so frustrating.

Jared: Well, the first time it was a sneak attack. The guy has magic powers - and he has a fist. It's like - bother! Seriously!

Sailor Moon: Tuxedo Mask does want the Crystal! He's been searching for it to find his lost memories! And he's been searching for it all this time alone with no one to help him!

Jared (face in hands): WHY ARE YOU BLABBING? Blah-blah-blah-blah... I'm a little annoyed at her at the moment. The first time she got caught by him - okay. But - again? Right after Tuxedo Mask punches Zoicite to get you away - and you can't even stay away? For five seconds??

Suffice it to say, Jared is kind of frustrated right now.

Tuxedo Mask: Usako, you're what I want.

Sailor Moon: Oh, Mamo!

Jared: CODENAMES! Secret identities! It's important!

He's kind of taking this personally right now.

By now, Zoicite's had it with this flirting and sappy-mushy stuff. And he means BUSINESS.

Zoicite: Enough of this!

Jared: Wait, what? Okay, you're free. Now RUN! Do something!

Zoicite: Once you're out of the way, I can take the Legendary Silver Crystal.


I feel like the Grandfather in "The Princess Bride." I have a boy who is very worked up over a story and he might need a break.

Sailor Moon: NOOOOOOO!!

Jared: That would have been a good time for her whole "sonic" thing to manifest and shatter it. But, whatever.

Missed opportunities.

Fear not - for Mysterious Stranger #2 chooses NOW to make her grand appearance.

Jared: It's Miss "Three, Sir, Three!" Herself! But five is right out.

Sailor Moon: Is it possible that she's ... Sailor V?

Jared: Is it possible that she's anyone else? It's not exactly common.

Jared: Pah, pah, pah - get this hair out of my face.

And on that note, we wait until next time.


Next Time: Episode 8 - Minako, Sailor V

Previously: Episode 6 - Tuxedo Mask