Sunday, March 19, 2017

Jared Watches Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 12 - Enemy, Queen Metalia

A cliffhanger is no way to end a blog post! So, let's get back to it!

This facial expression kind of becomes Usagi's default for a while.
Jared: Dun-dun-dun... okay, that music is weird.

Sailor Moon is in shock upon finding that the evil dude that she's been fighting is indeed her main squeeze. Which prompts an "I Know You're Still In There, Fight!" moment, almost verbatim.

Gah - I read so much TV Tropes...

Anyway, Beryl tries convincing Sailor Moon that Mamoru is dead, even though the other Guardians know that Beryl is full of it. Sailor Moon needs to listen to her friends more often, quite frankly.

After the opening credits, we get this splash image -

Jared: ... what does "toxic metal" even mean???

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you - my husband's thought processes...

Meanwhile, Sailor Moon is going through the EXACT SAME mental battle that she just went through at the end of last episode (and won). She can't fight her Mamo-chan because... she just can't! For... anime reasons.

Luckily, cooler heads prevail and Sailor Jupiter arrives on the scene, having gotten out of her Dark-Kingdom-Induced-Brainwashing-Coma-Thing.

The other girls take the hint and join in the fun.

Jared: At least they have shields now.

That does seem to help. Though the Command Center isn't taking the abuse very well. 

Sailor Mercury: Hyperspatial Sphere Generate!

Jared: That's new.

Mercury summons an alternate-dimension-portal thingie so their fight doesn't bring the building down around their ears. It's kind of nice when superpowers allow heroes to not completely destroy their surroundings. 

Beryl gloats that the Sailor Guardians are still going to lose, even though they are no longer on Earth. And then she unleashes her Ultimate Weapon: her hair.

Jared: That's a LOT of hair.

True. Though given how insane Usagi's hair is sometimes animated, I wonder if she couldn't learn to do something similar.

Beryl continues to rant about the day she pledged herself to Queen Metalia and her ultimate goals and she's starting to look like she's gone completely off the deep end.

Jared: She's got the nutso-face going on.
I could make a joke about several politicians right now,
but I will refrain.

Venus - it's always Venus - provides the needed backstory: Beryl was the ringleader of the malcontents on Earth that caused all the death and destruction. And it was due to the fact that Prince Endymion didn't choose to love her.

Honestly, there could be an ENTIRE spinoff anime about how the Moon Kingdom fell, if they ever wanted to do something different from the oft-repeated storyline. But I shan't get my hopes up.

The girls band together and kick Beryl's ass. It's pretty epic. Jared doesn't say... well... anything through the whole thing. He's definitely engrossed in the story.

After Mercury identifies Beryl's weakness and Venus and Mars run block, Sailor Moon lunges at Beryl with the sacred sword and catches Beryl's necklace with the blade. And that causes Beryl to lose her powers.

Jared: I guess that kind of renders the whole thing about "toxic metal" moot.

He's still on that? Sigh...

Beryl does get in one more taunt about Endymion belonging to the Dark Kingdom, which Sailor Moon (FINALLY) rejects. That makes the Crystal - still in Tuxedo Mask's hand - glow all hopeful and shiny and stuff.

Jared: Why did he have the Crystal and not her?

Me: He was just holding onto it for her.

Not coincidentally, Beryl's necklace shatters into a million tiny pieces and she's suddenly having a REALLY bad day. 

Jared: Oh, my eyes! Glass shards in the eye - not a laughing matter.

To add insult to injury, Beryl starts shriveling up with the loss of her powers.

Jared: Oh... you got old. You got UGLY.

Beryl laments the fact that she and Endymion never had a chance... because she never actually talked to the guy.

Jared: Creepy stalker to boot! WHOO!

Remember kids: Poor Communication Kills.

Jared: Wait - she wasn't reborn? She was just hanging around this whole fricking time?

Me: Yep.

Jared: That's just sad.

It's amazing the lengths evil will go to for revenge.

The sacred sword suddenly turns bright and shiny (and probably no longer toxic), complete with some unknown language that Sailor Venus (yep, Venus) informs us that says something about praying to the Moon and the rebirth of some sacred power that will restore their kingdom.

Jared: Who is speaking that language? How could they read it?

Another thing for Jared to obsess over? Maybe.

Elsewhere, Queen Metalia takes her position back as the Big Bad of the piece and again turns Tuxedo Mask against the girls. He attacks them, then takes the sword and the Crystal and goes off... somewhere. Sailor Moon - IN HER INFINITE WISDOM - follows him. Alone. 

Jared: That... was probably a bad plan.

Me: Just a little bit.

Jared: Leeettle bit... yeah.

I have no reason for screencapping this - other than I think
it's really, really cool.
After the mid-episode eyecatch, we're back to Sailor Moon in hot pursuit of Tuxedo Mask. Who is suddenly no where to be seen.

Jared: How did he get that far ahead of her?

Me: Time and space, something or other

Physics are just weird in this dimension, I guess. But, eventually, she does catch up. 

Tuxedo Mask: I didn't think you would follow me here.

Jared: Hey, he can speak now!

I think Beryl just wanted a silent boy toy to follow her around. It's pretty creepy if you think about it too much.

Sailor Moon tries to get through to Tuxedo Mask the reasonable and civilized way. It doesn't go well.

There's going to have to be some serious couples therapy
after this is all over.
Meanwhile, the Sailor Guardians and the cats are trying to figure out where Usagi ended up. The computer figures out that she's somewhere in the Arctic, so that's where the girls are headed. 

However, the way the scene is framed - first with the girls flying through a snowy landscape and then cutting back to the Command Center with the cats - is pretty confusing for a moment.

Jared: Then what was that glowy yellow thing, then? Are those out of order or something?

Editing, what is it?

The scene finally settles on the girls finding their way to the entrance to the Dark Kingdom through D-Point in the Arctic. There, they meet up with the Generals. Angst ensues. 

Sailor Mercury: How can we fight them now?

Sailor Venus: We don't have a choice! They don't remember who they really are. We're the only ones who can help them!

Jared: Help them to death! Then be sad about it...

Elsewhere, Sailor Moon is squaring off against Tuxedo Mask. A red, glowing, evil Tuxedo Mask...

Jared: That's not good...

Complete with the shrieking of the damned coming from Queen Metalia.

Back with the Sailor Guardians, the girls try to reminds the boys about their promises to protect the prince. Appealing to their better natures doesn't seem to be working out so great, sadly.

It's not looking so great for Our Intrepid Heroes.

Luna to the rescue! She translates the funky language on the sword and that does A Thing for Usagi. She unleashes her biggest Power Of True Love shot and... we'll come back to that.

And the girls... well... duty before personal life, I guess.

They attack the Generals and somehow that brings back their memories of being good guys. Sort of a "life flashing before your eyes" deal. Except they each have two lives flashing before their eyes.

Also -

Jared: They're not dead!

Funny how things turn out.

Except... Queen Metalia gets pissed and we can't have a happy little side story going on (after all, how would these four fit in during later seasons?)

Queen Metalia: Weak-minded fools! All those who resist the darkness much perish from its awesome power!

Jared: Oh... well.

Yeah, that crater there? That's where the guys used to be. Dammit. 

Jared: DANG. Crater.

The girls all break down in tears at the sight.

Jared: This is why we can't have nice things.

To put kind of a happy spin on this (sure?), the guys' voices speak from beyond the grave and encourage the girls to go save the Moon Princess

I just... I would have liked that storyline to have been given better treatment. More time to be fleshed out and worked on. That's all.

Maybe in a hypothetical prequel about the fall of the Moon Kingdom. That will never get made because we have to tell the same story OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Sigh... anyway...

Neither Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are looking so great in their battle against each other. Tuxedo Mask isn't willing to back down, though. Sailor Moon is out of obvious options, which prompts a mental visit from Queen Fairy Shady Serenity. Which leads to a reconsideration of... less obvious options...

This can only end in tears.
Jared: That little bit on the end makes for a crappy sword.

My husband's priorities, folks.

Right as Usagi takes up the sword, that's when the girls show up. And, apparently, the power of True Friendship is no match for the bad conclusions Usagi comes to when all she has to depend on is the memory of the mother of her long-dead previous incarnation who didn't exactly Make Good Choices either.

Usagi (internal monologue): Mamo... are we star-crossed lovers? Always destined to end in the same fate?

Jared: OH GEEZ!!! SERIOUSLY?? That's your plan???

To make things worse, Usagi turns the sword on herself.

Jared: *facepalm*

I blame Queen Serenity. I always do.

Jared: HER PLANS SUCK! You don't win the fight by killing yourself! It doesn't even make sense...

I think this episode broke my hubby...

Me: Are you heartbroken over this?

Jared: Nah. It's not going to stick.

He's fine.


Next Time: Episode 13 - Final Battle, Reincarnation

Previously: Episode 11 - Reunion, Endymion

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