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

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