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

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