Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 10 - Moon

Quick Note: The first time I tried reviewing Crystal when it was brand new, I didn't get any farther than Episode 9. It's not that I didn't want to continue reviewing it. I kept watching and enjoying it. I just got kind of... lazy.

So this marks the first time I've ever talked about Episode 10 and beyond. So - yay! Congratulate me! Or something.

Anyway - in this episode, the girls are taking One Giant Leap for Princess-kind and going to the Moon.

That was a dumb joke. I apologize.

Luna: We've decided to go to the Moon. We have to wait a few days and go when it's full.

Jared: Because, MAGIC!

Ami explains some of the scientific facts and figures about the Moon.

Rei: That explains what the Moon is, but how exactly does Luna expect us to get there?

Jared: Magic!

Hey! He's finally getting the idea! It's taken him to the tenth episode, but he's gotten it!

I'm so proud.

Usagi is teaching Naru how to play the Sailor V game and the other girls observe that she's starting to feel better.

Makoto: I knew she couldn't stay depressed forever! Besides, there's no time to be sad - we're going to the Moon!

Jared: I could make a comment here about Tuxedo Mask, but I will refrain.

Opening Credits - jokes about "Love Lightning" - you know the drill by now...

Jared: Wait a second - the Crystal looked different there!

The Credits Always Spoil.

Jared: Hey, I like his sword. Well, the scabbard, anyway. You can't see the sword. Still better than Tuxedo Mask's outfit.

Yep - we're going to end up cosplaying that at some point.

Jared: I mean, the guy walks around in a tux. And this is from a guy who owns a frock coat, and I'm asking this!

The episode begins and Usagi's dad announces that he brought home donuts.

Jared: We last saw him... what? Five episodes ago?

Kenji-papa: Oh, Usagi! This too - I stopped by the jewelers.

He hands Usagi a box with the Legendary Silver Crystal inside, now on a chain.

Jared: That is a tiny clasp.

Kenji-papa: So, that crystal's pretty important, huh? Is that because it's from a boy that you like?

Usagi: Yeah, something like that.

Kenji-papa has a mild freak-out. Because, dads. 

Jared: I guess he wasn't prepared for that answer!

Seriously, why ask the question if you don't want to know?

Me: She's only fourteen.

Jared: And he [Kenji-papa] looks fifteen!

Yeah, Usagi's dad is drawn pretty young.

The sweet moment is interrupted when Usagi and Shingo start fighting.

Kenji-papa (to Ikuko-mama): You know what, honey? Sometimes, I think our Usagi looks like a different person. Before we know it, our little girl is going to be all grown up!

Jared: And still fighting with her little brother.

Later, Usagi and the girls meet in the park to discuss the full moon and stuff. Usagi thinks about the last time she was by this fountain. As ever, her thoughts turn to worry over Mamoru...

Usagi (inner monologue): What's he doing?

Jared: Something super-important, I'm sure.

Luna does... something... to make the fountain bubble and magic happen. It's kind of weird. Jared snorts in laughter.

Jared: You know what, sure! She can cat-magic!

How long has been watching this show with me, again?

The girls step into the glowy fountain and start transforming...
Jared: Is she wearing suspenders?

I'm not 100% sure which one he's talking about - Usagi and Rei are both wearing outfits that look to have some kind of strappy thing over their shoulders -

- but who knows?

Me: I think it's a jumper.

And there all five girls are in their Guardian forms.

Jared: WOW! They skipped the transformation sequences! They're really pressed for time!

The golden shield-ball-thing of magic zips off of Earth and seems to stop only partway between Earth and the moon. Which looks eerily like something went terribly wrong.

Jared: Oh drat, we're halfway and we're stuck - WE'RE DOOMED!

Nah, they're just taking in the scenery.

They finally land and see what the place looks like. Not at all the sparkly-princess-royal-magic place that we've seen in flashbacks.

Also, no moon landing site. Too bad.

Sailor Moon: This... is the Moon?

Jared: It's seen better days.

Sailor Mars: There's no sound here at all.

Jared: Except my voice.

Luna gives them all the grand tour of the place. It doesn't take long.

Jared: So, they're just going to ignore the whole atmosphere thing, then? I mean, they had Ami read from a textbook about the moon, but they skipped the whole "No Atmosphere" deal.

The tour ends at a plinth where a sword is sticking out. Yes, it's exactly what you're thinking. 

Jared: Okay, that is pretty cool.

Luna: Mercury! Mars! Jupiter! Venus! Can one of you pull the sword out of the stone?

Jared: Nope! Not happening! DOOMED!

Sure enough, Jupiter tries and can't get it. Mercury and Mars help her, and it budges a bit. But no luck getting it out completely.

Jared: Hey, it actually moved!

Venus steps up to try and actually gets it out! Once the sword is free, a voice speaks from.... somewhere.

Mysterious Voice: That is a Legendary Sacred Sword, intended to protect the Princess!

Jared: Hey! More of that "no sound" we heard about before!

Mysterious Voice: Luna! Thank you for bringing everyone here!

Jared: Thanks, Exposition Fairy! Oh - literally a fairy! Okay...

Sailor Moon: Queen Serenity? My mother from my previous life?

Queen Serenity: My adorable little Serenity! Is that you?

Jared: They have the same name? Well, no... it's a royalty thing. Sure.

Queen Shady Serenity explains that she's only a recording saved in the system and not actually there.

Jared: That must be BORING.

Me: It's the Fortress of Solitude.

Jared: Which also must be boring!

Queen Holographic Recording adds even more to the girls' (especially Usagi's) knowledge of their lives on the moon and how the Princess used to sneak down to Earth because it was green and the Moon wasn't (I never understood the fascination with the color green, personally.)
GREEN! It's everywhere! Get used to it...

Jared: So, what do you eat on the Moon? I mean, besides cheese?

Another 'whoosh' and the other girls get to see The Moon That Was - complete with a ginormous palace and... oh, there are trees there too!

Jared: Oh, so there were plants on the Moon. That explains... a few things. I guess.

Me: Where'd you think all the flowers came from?

Jared: I dunno... magic?

Well... okay.

Jared: So, I get why the outfits are sailor outfits on Earth. But on the Moon?

Peasants on Earth revolted - wanted to be their own kingdom instead of baby-sat by the pretty Moon people - got brainwashed by evil beings in the process - and they all look like they're from Medieval/Georgian/Victorain Europe.

Jared: So... that was what... a couple hundred years ago?

How do I explain this to him... Never mind, I'll do it later.

Endymion was immune - tried to stop the evil influence and protect Serenity ('cause goodness knows she can't do shit for herself) - died in the process...

Jared: He kind of needs a better battle plan. Just in general...

Queen Serenity: When he fell, so great was your despair that you took your own life!

Jared: OH WOW!

Jared: I was NOT expecting THAT in the Pretty Princess Show!

I must pause and explain why this is so momentous. Jared is so well-versed in storytelling techniques and plots and tropes that he can usually guess what's going to happen before it actually does - before others in the audience even figure it out. He's a walking-spoiler-machine, even though he doesn't mean to be. It's not often that a plot twist surprises Jared.

So for him to be genuinely surprised that Princess Serenity killed herself in the midst of this terrible battle, that's a testament to the writing.

Jared: Geez... bad enough to have been torn apart by the angry mob. But killing yourself?? Sheesh...

Queen Serenity: The planet was completely destroyed and had to begin its history all over again.

Jared: Oh, so it's been much longer than a couple hundred years.

I forgot the episode explained that. For which I'm grateful. Wasn't sure how I was going to do that myself...

Jared: So now I'm sitting here and thinking genetics. Her eyes are gray, but hers are blue...

Queen Serenity diagnoses the problem with the shine-less Silver Crystal. The magic absorbed by Tuxedo Mask is keeping him alive, so even though he's in the clutches of Ultimate Evil, he's probably actually okay.

Sailor Moon weeps in relief at this news, which that alone made this whole trip worth it.

Jared: It's one of those secondary powers she has. Laser-guided teardrops.

The hologram of the queen starts to flicker and fade...

Jared: Oh no! Need more double-A's!

Jared: Do they ever actually get around to, you know, restoring the Moon?

Me: Spoilers.

Morning comes on Earth (well, it does in Tokyo) and the girls have to go back home. And we FINALLY come to the mid-point of the episode.

It seems like the episode should actually be over already.

Meanwhile, in the Dark Kingdom, the Four Kings/Generals/Beryl's Boy-Toys are snooping around in the basement where Queen Beryl keeps her private email server the Great Ruler in a glorified fish tank -

What has been seen...

...cannot be unseen.
Oh, and there's a thing about past lives for the Four Kings. Because of course there is. And Jared's actually kind of intrigued by this part. So much so that he's been quiet throughout -

Yeah, the boys were reborn like the girls were, except Beryl got to them first and turned them into her pets. Kind of stinks that this part is getting shoved in during a few minutes of one episode and not getting its own mini-arc in the story. But I'll take what I can get.

Beryl discovers that the guys have remembered their past lives and a minor, ill-advised scuffle ensues.

Jared: Yeah, this is when you just leave.

And they're back under her power just like that. Phooey.

Back on Earth, Luna and the girls are checking out some freaky seismic/thermal activity going on where none should be.

Jared: The cat at the keyboard! It's just... He laughs. Because it's funny.

And then the alarms go off...

Ami: What's that?

Jared: Plot convenience!

The city is completely frozen over. Three guesses who...

Jared: Oh. Well, they've definitely stepped up their attack a bit.

Me: Yeah, they've left behind video stores and wedding shops.

The girls rush out the meet the new threat. Already transformed.

Jared: Yeah, they're really pressed for time!

Fighting for the Legendary Silver Crystal ensues. Well... the girls fight. Sailor Moon just kind of... stands there.


Venus runs up the side of a building to avoid an attack from Kunzite. 

Jared: Okay, that's pretty impressive.

Sailor Venus: Kunzite! Please stop! This isn't you! This isn't the man I fell in love with!

Jared: Oh - SNAP!

The battle suddenly ends while Sailor Venus stops to give out exposition that reeeeeeally needed to happen elsewhere. Like, you know, when Fairy Hologram Shady Serenity was telling her cute little story. 

Oh well...

Jared: CREEPY SMILES! Actually, they're more like Stepford Smiles.

A flashback ensues...

Jared: Okay, talking is not a free action, but is exposition a free action?

Me: Apparently so.

Venus tells the girls about Prince Endymion's four loyal knights that fell in love with Princess Serenity's Sailor Guardians. Which, again, would have been a cool story, had it been given time and space to develop.

And would have made more sense to tell when the girls weren't locked in a battle to the death with these guys!

(I like the story. The execution of it here annoys me.)

Jared: So they're ALL in love with each other?? Well, snap...

You said that already, dear.

Sailor Moon finally figures out that she's the star of the show and pops in with her customary "In the Name of the Moon..." speech.

Jared: They had to get it in somewhere...

Sailor Moon commences to kick ass.

Jared: She seems to be a little more competent now.

Me: Learning your backstory seems to have that effect.

The girls get up and realize they can't let the past haunt them - they have to help their Princess. Which they were doing admirably until Venus opened her big mouth.

Girl, sometimes it's just better to keep some things to yourself.

Venus still tries to get the guys to remember their true selves, but it doesn't work. Did we really think it would?

Venus: We were so close.

Jared: You were?

No, they really weren't.


Back in the Dark Kingdom, Beryl pervs on Tuxedo Mask and sends him to kill Princess Serenity.

Jared: And there's more brainwashing...

Me: It's a recurring theme.

I need so many showers after this.
Next Time: Episode 11 - Reunion, Endymion

Previously: Episode 9 - Serenity, Princess

Monday, December 5, 2016

I Like That Loophole. That Is A Nice Loophole.

Review/Recap of Once Upon a Time Episode 6.10 "Wish You Were Here" - SPOILERS!

I could get used to these somewhat-low-key mid-season finales. Even though there was a big twist about Emma being sent to a reality where she was never the Savior and, in years past, they would have made an even bigger deal out of it.

It was fun to have a side-step with a Princess Emma where she was a ineffectual singing princess who didn't know how to do jack squat. I don't think I could have taken more than an episode's worth of it, so thank goodness Regina was there to provide the snark.

Neal/Baelfire was Prince Henry's dad in alternate!Enchanted Forest... ehhhhhhh.... sure. I suppose there had to be some kind of explanation, since Henry was vital to the whole "Make Emma Remember Who She Is" plot (they couldn't call in a Mufasa-cloud-epiphany thing?) But it all felt super-contrived, just to make Henry fit in where he was supposed to be.

Okay - so Regina decides that she's going to "steal" the Genie's Lamp from the Evil Queen... even though it's basically like stealing from herself (props for that lovely little loophole, guys. I was genuinely impressed by that).

David facing-off against the Evil Queen... it's a really good thing Hook's around to keep Charming from doing All-Time-Stupid-Things, because I think this whole Ladyhawke curse that Charming and Snow are dealing with is starting to make David (at least) kinda punchy.

In the background, Rumple and Belle are freaking out because the Blue Fairy falls down on the job (...sigh...) and baby Gideon is now the property of the Black Fairy. Lovely.

And Robin Hood's back! And... he's robbing women out in the open beach area because... the forests are too crowded? I have no idea - it doesn't make sense the longer I think about it. But he borks Emma and Regina's escape plan, so we're back to square one.

(I wouldn't complain if alternate!Hook showed up to help in the next episode. But you all know where my priorities lie with this show.)

On the whole, this was a "meh" episode. It kind of felt like an episode meant to connect the two halves of the season, without making it like there are two halves of the season. I'm actually okay with that - not everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow and there's still time to deal with things in March. And it still feels like one giant overarching story. Now, if the season finale next spring is as open-ended as this episode, I'll be mad. But right now, this is good.

Speaking of March -

A diamond ring, huh? Oh, come on OUAT - I know a misdirection when I see one.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 9 - Serenity, Princess

In this episode, everyone cries and no one is happy.

When we last left off...

Jared: And... BAM! to the face!

Me: Deeeeeeeaaaath... Only death!

Jared: Yeah - 'cause Sailor Moon didn't have time to get a shield up. And he doesn't have a shield, so...

Mamoru (inner monologue): Someone is calling to me... long hair... that shimmers like moonlight... the one who calls out to me in my dreams...

Me: Oh gee, I wonder who that could be?

Look, this joke has just about reached the end of its shelf life. Just let me enjoy it.

Mamoru: Sailor Moon... you're sad. A face such as your shouldn't be sad. Why are you crying?

Jared: Because you're dying! FOOL!

And comprehension dawns - Mamoru Chiba's past life was that of Prince Endymion of the Earth. And it only took almost-pretty-much-dying to discover it.

Jared: Yep. Waaaaaay better than his tuxedo. I could totally cosplay that!

Well... crap. We're going to have to find Prince Endymion armor in Jared's size.

Back in the not-foggy-dream-world of screaming princesses, Sailor Moon is ugly-crying over Tuxedo Mask's not-dead (but almost) body.

Tuxedo Mask: I found you... Princess Serenity...

Jared: And now she's heartbroken because he's in love with Sailor V.

I think he's joking?

Regardless, there is a perfectly angsty story in that gap where they think Minako really is the Princess and Mamoru is confused as heck about ~*~destiny~*~ and all that junk. But that's for later.

Me: Her memories of being the Princess came back though?

Jared: Oh, they did? But still - he's dead, Jim!

Look, this is a sad and angsty episode. I needed something to lighten the mood a bit.

Also, the traditional -

Jared: Love Lightning!


Excuse me, this is kind of an emotional thing for me.

But there is one more comment from the credits that must be made note of. Because Jared chooses NOW to observe Mamoru's sartorial choices.

Jared: I've never mentioned this before, but that cardigan is terrible.

Before anyone asks, no. Jared has NOT seen any of the original anime. I inform him that Mamoru wore some pretty awful clothes back in the day.

Jared: Worse than Kitty Boobs?

Me: Kitty Boobs are in a class all their own.

And now that we've had "Kitty Pockets" and "Kitty Fist," I have to differentiate what "Kitty Boobs" even means. Because they are TOTALLY different! Thank you, dearest.

I'm so glad we're laughing at this point. 'Cause the laughs are going to get fewer and fewer from here on out.

Jared: It's like her hair has anti-gravity powers.

Back at the scene of the battle, we see things have come to a standstill. At least, from where the people on the ground can see them. If they're even conscious, that is.

Jared: Their shields are the same color!

Me: Not "color coded for our convenience," then?

Little green bubbles...
No, indeed. How inconsiderate of them.

With a dramatic "beat" on each face, the Sailor Guardians stare in horror at the scene laid out before them - dead Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon about to lose her shit.

Jared: Way to go, Sailor V! You nearly got your princess killed! Isn't that smart?

Me: 'Cause you just had to go all "lone wolf" and not tell anybody what the hell was going on!

Sailor Moon officially loses her shit, people. 

Jared: And her mind broke!

Me: It's worse in the live-action version. She actually becomes homicidal!

At least her screams broke that awful tiara thing she had stuck on her forehead.

From the Command Center (probably), Luna and Artemis look on in horror as Sailor Moon turns sparkly and princess-y and everyone acts like it's a harbinger of doom.

Jared (laughs): They're just like... "OH CRAP!"

Me: They done effed up!

Well, they wanted to find the Princess. Here she is!

Mamoru's broken watch starts ticking backwards and Serenity starts remembering...

Jared: And now they're stealing from All Dogs Go To Heaven.

A quick flashback to a sword falling and Serenity screaming.

Jared: She's kind of useless as a princess.

Me: Yes! She is! It's terrible! You look up the word "ineffectual" and her picture is next to it!

Serenity remembers visiting the Earth because it was so blue and green and stuff. She had to sneak down because there was a thing where Earth people and Moon people didn't like each other.

Jared: And I'm sure you blended in perfectly with the locals. You know, with the whole Moon symbol and ten feet of hair.

Serenity (inner monologue): And then I saw you, Endymion. The Earth's prince and heir.

Jared: How did you know he's a king?

Me: *blank stare*

Jared: You don't know the next line? You've never seen that bit from Monty Python?

Me: I've seen Monty Python. I don't have the whole thing memorized!

Jared: "How do you know he's a king?" "He's ain't got shit all over 'im." So, that's obviously how he knew that she was a princess.

I told you this episode needed lightening up.

Serenity: We mustn't fall in love...

Me: Too late...

Serenity: But... it was too late.

Me: Tol'ja.

Jared: Her hair's still anti-gravity there!

Me: It's used to being on the Moon!

Of course, it must follow that such lovey-dovey-ness be followed up with destruction. Mobs of Earth people attack the Moon, even though Endymion tries to stop it.

Endymion: Stop this! I am your prince! Cease this warfare!

Jared: So, who is the king?

Me: Not sure.

Completely-Unknown-And-Not-At-All-Recognizable Woman: Endymion! Have you turned against us?

Jared: She looks familiar!

Woman: I will destroy you!

Three guesses what she does next.

Jared: Not only did you get killed by your own people, you got killed by a non-combatant woman! I really doubt she was trained in the sword!

Back in the present, Serenity continues to weep and bemoan the fact that she lost her True Love right as they found each other again.

Serenity: Did we find each other just to be separated again? Fate cannot be that cruel.

Jared: Yes it can! Especially if Nick's DM'ing.

(Nick's one of the guys who's part of our D&D group. And he's thrives on death and destruction in the campaigns he runs.)

Me: I shouldn't be laughing! This is so sad and heartbreaking and terrible - but YOU!

I start tickling Jared. He deserves it.

While this is going on, Serenity starts positively bawling. One of her tears crystallizes and becomes - you guessed it - the Legendary Silver Crystal.

She had the damn thing the whole time.

The light nearly blinds everyone in the immediate area.

Jared: Mercury's visor just deployed on its own! Have we seen that yet?

Me: Nope, this is the first time.

Luna: I didn't think the seal would be broken for a long time!

Me: There was a SEAL?? And you knew about it?

Jared: Of course there was.

Me: INFORMATION! That was information they needed!

Jared: To be fair, Artemis said that part of the seal was on Luna's memories too.

The Crystal shines and shines and shines... and shines some more. Finally, a small part breaks off and goes into Tuxedo Mask's mostly-dead body and the shine subsides.

Jared: This part doesn't really make sense.

Me: It's not whole. A piece of it broke off. It's basically useless now.

Jared: Yes, but why did it do that?

Me: Because she wanted to save him.

Then, there's this -

Me: And now we're looking up her skirt.

With the brilliant-bright light gone, Queen Beryl shows up and orders Kunzite to go after the Crystal and Tuxedo Mask. Battle ensues.

Jared: Now he's dodging again! What is this?

Me: It's because she's [Queen Beryl] there and she's a more powerful entity, so they need to show who's stronger.

Jared: The Worf Effect!

Me: Exactly! She can just take them out like punks.

Serenity looks down and realizes that Tuxedo Mask is gone. Which is strange, because he was laying in her lap and the Sailor Guardians were all around them.

Jared: WAIT! How did they do that? Where did he go? How did she not notice that?

Beryl and Kunzite slowly back into the portal back to the Dark Kingdom. Kunzite is carrying Tuxedo Mask's unconscious body and (they think) the Silver Crystal.

The Princess is FREAKING. OUT.

Sailor Mercury: Can't we save him for her?

Sailor V: We can't! We have to protect the Princess!

Me: You didn't care so much about that twenty minutes ago!

Queen Beryl and Kunzite leave and Serenity/Usagi screams for them to let Tuxedo Mask go. It's heartbreaking.

Serenity/Usagi: Mamo!

Jared: Yep. That went badly.

Me: See what happens when you don't tell people things??

Jared: It's all Sailor V's fault! And Artemis. We can blame him too. Because he's not as cool as Luna.

Back from "commercial"... the Guardians got the Princess back to the Command Center. Serenity/Usagi is weeping uncontrollably.

And I hope everyone feels as bad as they should.

Jared: Where'd the stool come from?

Not only that - where'd they get that pink-princess-y pillow for her to conveniently sob into?

Sailor V: Sailor Moon... I mean, Serenity. My Princess. Has your memory come back?
If I didn't know Usagi better, I would say that she is throwing
Serious Shade toward Sailor V right here.
Serenity would do it, I bet.

Jared: Well, YES! That's why she's so sad!

Me: No thanks to you, you bitch.

Jared: Her memory came back and you just let them take her love away!

Sailor Venus tells everybody that she's the true leader of the Sailor Guardians (you suck at your job, honey) and about Silver Millennium, the glorious kingdom on the Moon that they were all part of and Usagi was the princess of - which kind of rings hollow, given what's happened in the past few hours.

Sailor Venus: Do you recall our kingdom, Silver Millennium? And the glory that it once was?

Jared: Yeah. And, you know, her boyfriend.

Sailor Mars: So the Princess isn't really Minako? It's actuall Usagi?

Artemis: I'm so sorry we had to deceive you all.

Jared: Had to. Hear that? They had to. *coughs* Bullshit *cough*

Being a Sailor Guardian just means kneeling and looking
adoringly at the Princess all day, it seems.
Artemis: All of you served the Princess as Sailor Guardians. You were her bodyguards, her protectors. Then came that terrible day. The Earth went to war with the Moon.

Me: When you actually had to be arsed to do something.

Jared: I've gotta wonder - how did the Earth peasants get to the Moon?

Me: Did you not see the giant Haunter-looking thing behind them?

Jared: Okay, so magic did it!

Sailor Jupiter: As Guardians, we were ready to lay down our lives for the Princess.

Artemis: Indeed. While you were busy trying to repel wave after wave of Earth soldiers, Endymion, the Earth's prince and sole heir fought to make peace. Sadly, one of his own people turned against him and struck him down.

Jared: So, not only did they fail originally, he was doing their job and they let him die.

Artemis: Mamoru Chiba is Prince Endymion reincarnate.

Jared: So, who was the king?

Me: No one knows.

Artemis finishes the story, for which Usagi has been quiet throughout. She only comes out of her funk when they discuss who Queen Beryl is. Sailor Venus keeps calling her "Princess."

Usagi: Stop calling me that! I'm not a princess! I'm Usagi Tsukino! I'm not royalty! I'm just a normal girl in middle school! I'm just a girl in love with a boy...

Me: And get me out of this stupid dress!

The Crystal gleams as if to say "Don't forget about me in all your misery! I'm the cause of all this!"

Me: "And I got a rock."

Usagi: I can't believe this was my tear and it's also the Legendary Silver Crystal we've been looking for.

Sailor Venus: It's not your tear. It's your strong love for Endymion that manifested itself in this world as the Crystal.

Usagi: Endymion...

That name triggers images of Tuxedo Mask protecting Sailor Moon and the subsequent tragedy from there, which leads to yet another Blue Screen of Death for Usagi. And she faints.

Me: I'd almost prefer the homicidal maniac to all this water-logged misery.

Jared: Oh boy...

Just because we need a short change of scenery -

Keep dreaming, I guess.

Meanwhile, in Dark'n'Creepy Land, Queen Beryl is looking at Tuxedo Mask like a starving cat looks at an unconscious mouse.

Queen Beryl: Kunzite, have ou found the Legendary Silver Crytal yet?

Kunzite: No, my queen. And we've searched his entire body.

Jared: How thoroughly did they search? And do we really want to know?

Me: Yeah, that doesn't sound good.

Come on, translators! Surely you could come up with better phraseology than that! What are you people getting paid for??

Queen Beryl: Find it, whatever it takes! But until you do, keep him alive.

Jared: Those are somewhat contradictory statements. If the Crystal is supposed to be inside his body, how are they supposed to get it out and still keep him alive?

The Dark Kingdom: The kingdom for people who do not make any sense and are proud of it.

Queen Beryl takes off and the other Four Generals suddenly materialize to stare at Tuxedo Mask. It's kind of weird if you don't know what's going on.


Jadeite: Who's he? I feel like I've seen him before.

Jared: You HAVE seen him before! He was
there when you crossed with the Sailors!

Kunzite starts to remember a thing... but mentally squashes it.

Zoicite: So what do you think, Kunzite?

Kunzite: No. He doesn't look familiar to me. Let's focus! The only thing that matters is finding the Legendary Silver Crystal for our Great Ruler! Nothing else!

Me: "Because I'm the leader and I'm allowed to undo the first couple of buttons on my shirt, so you all have to listen to me!"

Jared: "Plus, I get the shiny cape!"

Usagi has a nightmare about Beryl killing Mamoru and he disintegrates. Which is an INFINITELY better image than his skin melting off his bones, like it did in the manga in this same nightmare. Still not wonderful, though.

Which would you rather have?
Jared: Yeah, that's still a pretty bad nightmare.

Usagi (inner monologue - get used to these, folks): How many nightmares has it been? How many times will I wake up crying?

Jared: And her parents do NOTHING!

Luna is shown moping at the Command Center.

Jared: And Luna isn't even... LUNA SHOULD BE THERE!

Jared is taking Luna's current inaction as an personal insult on Usagi's behalf. It's obvious that a significant amount of time has passed - just not sure exactly how much.

After Luna makes some excuse about her memories having been sealed away and her and Artemis in stasis sleep for so many centuries, the Sailor Guardians show up and tell her to get her kitty butt in gear and go with them to see Usagi.

At Casa de Tsukino, Ikuko-mama greets the girls warmly and says that Usagi still hasn't come out of her room, but will be glad to see them.

Me: Depending on how long it's been, shouldn't her parents have called a doctor or something?

Jared: Yeah...

Me: I mean, it's not like the doctor could do anything for her really. But it's like... "Come on, Mom. Get it together!"

Jared: Also, it's the whole... that.

The girls walk into Usagi's room and find that her hair has taken over the entire room. Not only that, it's GLOWING.

Goof grief, they took this Pretty Sparkle Princess thing a little too literal!

Makoto: Usagi? What happened to your hair??

Jared: It got WAY longer! And... wait... THE BUNS ARE GONE!

That's almost sacrilege, y'all.

The girls work quickly to get Usagi's hair back to normal. And it's actually kind of sweet that they're all gathered there giving her a makeover of sorts. 

Jared: That was fast! It's like it never happened!

Minako: Back when you were the Princess, you'd always let your hair grow long. Now that you're memories are back, your body's changing back a little too. Don't worry about it!

There are so many unfortunate implications that I just thought of. And Minako sounds way too excited about that prospect.

Usagi (inner monologue): My body's changing? Does that mean I'm turning back into the Princess?

It's obvious that idea does not sit well with her right now.

Jared: There are a lot of jokes that I could make about her body changing, but I'll let it slide.

Me: She's fourteen! And besides, by the time girls are fourteen, all of that's pretty much done.

Jared: I know, but it was the perfect opening!

Usagi's thoughts lead from one thing to another Luna (and her WONDERFUL sense of good timing and sensitivity to tender situations) brings up the topic of the Silver Crystal, which reminds Usagi of Mamoru and what the Dark Kingdom could be doing to him. That leads her to have a panic attack.

Usagi: Tuxedo Mask! What's happening to him? Where is he?!

Jared: And there's the PTSD...

The girls rush to comfort and soothe their distraught friend. It's obvious that seeing her with such worry and fear has thrown off the team's entire dynamic. It says a lot about how central Usagi is to the group that her emotions influence the others' so much.
As Jared observes -

Jared: I think the buns are bigger now...

And... the moment's gone. Then again, if her hair keeps getting longer, it's gotta go somewhere.

Usagi insists that she isn't the princess, to which Rei (one of the few times I will give her any kind of credit) says what we've all been screaming at the TV.

Rei: That's right, you're not [the princess]. You're Usagi Tsukino. And you don't have to follow

anyone else's destiny but your own.

Jared: Except her destiny is to be a princess. So... checkmate?

Yes, Rei and Mako went on to talk about Usagi's purpose in being reborn and they all promise to help her. It's hard to catch everything when you're also talking over the characters' dialogue. One of the hazards of this project. *shrugs* Eh, what can you do?

Minako: That's right. We'll be with you. Come what may.

Usagi: Thank you.

And they all hug.

Jared: Now, if you just could have been a little more supportive earlier, V, this could have been avoided.

Usagi: Thank you guys! By I still don't know how to save Mamo!

Me: Well, you have your support team back, so that's a step in the right direction.

Luna: I think we should go to the moon!

Jared: At least it's a plan! Better than moping around here.

Me: Field trip!

Usagi (inner monologue. I really need a shorthand for this): The moon - where Silver Millennium once stood. I was happy there, surrounded by my dearest friends...

Jared: Technicolor! Manic Pixie Green!

Yeah, that green is ridiculous.

Jared: And she's finally getting off her butt and being more proactive!

Usagi: Never again! I will not be a tragic princess!

Me: Whoo-hoo! Usagi Tsukino, my dear - you have FINALLY arrived!

I can't tell you how much I despise the "tragic princess" persona of Serenity. She's tragic and ineffectual and kind of a wimp. She makes Actual Usagi look like freaking Chuck Norris by comparison. But that line of Usagi's right there automatically makes EVERYTHING better.

It's my favorite.

No more tragedy, girl! Now go find your boo!
Next Time - Episode 10: Moon

Previously - Episode 8: Minako, Sailor V