Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: All Together Now

It’s over.

Two years and it’s over. I’m not sure what comes next, but I do know that this has been incredible. But first for the episode.

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Sailor Saturn and Super Sailor Moon stop Master Pharoah 90 from consuming the planet. Because of the power from the Moon Chalice, Saturn is able to destroy him without destroying the planet. It’s actually very beautiful, and par for the course in Crystal we get some truly beautiful and affecting still images.

When Hotaru is reborn as a teeny tiny perfect baby, the outers decide to raise her and I’m so glad that this got included. Also the image of Michiru picking up the baby is so freaking perfect and adorable that I can barely even about it.

But the last few minutes of the episode are my favorite. We learn that Usagi passed her exams, so everyone is going to high school together. (You know, except Rei, who goes to a different school) including Minako! Chibi-Usa is getting ready to go back to the 30th century when the eclipse comes.

And we all know what comes with the eclipse right? I mean, I want more Sailor Moon, of course, but I’m actually quite happy to have a break before diving into that mess of an arc again.

Although, Crystal Amazoness…sigh.

Anyway, it’s over, for now, and I’m not sure what comes next here. I mean, I do need to read the short stories. So maybe I’ll do that, and write them up next week. But I’m not sure. I am trying to get a senshi cosplay group together for NYCC (I got tickets WEE!) so I’ll update that as progress gets made.

Overall, I’m glad that I did this. I opened myself up to a whole world that I hadn’t even thought to check out. I have to watch more anime. I want to watch more. Seriously people, I need recommendations. (If it’s on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon, so much the better.) I’d like to branch out beyond magical girl, but we’ll see…

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Saturn Rising

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Look, this is the third version of this story that I’ve taken in, and I understand that when Sailor Saturn wakes up it means that shit is about to go down. Her job is literally to end the world so that disaster doesn’t further spread or whatever, but damn is it cool when she emerges.

But the episode begins with the Sailors Moon transforming into their Super Selves and it’s really great, they also attack the monster with a “Double Moon Heart Ache” and it looks amazing.

I could spend an entire post just talking about how beautiful this season has been.

But I won’t because we’ve got some plot to deal with. So, after the Double Heart Attack doesn’t do the job, Sailor Saturn is born and explains how she was never supposed to awaken in this time, but because Professor Tomoe just had to turn his daughter into a cyborg, it ruined everything.

Uranus, is kind of having none of it and like the pure straight up bad ass that she is she charges at Saturn as Saturn is getting ready to wipe out existence.

And that’s where things end. Seriously. There actually isn’t a lot of plot momentum here because we get the Saturn awakening and explanation, but the other pause and enjoy it moment comes when Usagi realizes that everyone has always watched over and guarded her and that now it’s her turn to guard everyone else.

Seriously, it’s always my favorite story climax when Usagi realizes that it’s time for her to fight, and that she does it with love power from and for her friends.

Also, does Mamoru have powers? I always thought Tuxedo Mask was a Hawkeye type, you know, no particular powers, but lots of skills and everyone thinks he’s useless until he isn’t? Also, I cannot watch that Mamoru closing theme without laughing. I get what they’re going for, but it’s just so unrepentantly corny and hilarious.

Anyway, we only have one more episode. And then one week where I write a heartfelt post about what the past year and a half has meant to me, discovering this crazy new fandom.

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Chibi Power Up

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Sometimes the soul of your friend has to break out of her cyborg body and return your mystical rock heart to you, so that you and the teenage incarnation of your parents and all their friends can save the earth from being consumed by a giant black ink monster with a spikey back.

Or you know, that’s the case when you’re Chibi-Usa, in this episode. Hotaru’s spirit refuses to be chained by Mistress 9, she saves the Senshi, she saves Chibi-Usa, and through the power of feels, Chibi-Usa gets her power up to become Super Sailor-Chibi Moon.

Mistress 9 explains the plan that Pharoah 90 has, which is basically to turn earth into a copy of their solar system. It’s actually the most practical of any Sailor Moon bad guy plans, except maybe for Galaxia.

But not everyone can be the best.

Oh, also, Tuxedo Mask decides to get up off his butt and finally fight for once. (I do like the turn around, story wise, of Mamoru sitting at Chibi-Usa’s bed side while the girls fight, it’s the sort of thing that Sailor Moon does exceptionally well.)

Anyway, the Super Sailor Moons and the Inner Senshi get to work fighting the scary monster that popped out of Mistress 9.

And that’s the cliff hanger. Overall I’m thrilled with this arc and how it’s been paced, but it is hard to keep track of which fight happens where now that we’re in the climactic battle with the big bad.

But I’m excited to see Saturn, who has to be coming next week right? RIGHT????

 

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Innocent Souls

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MY OTP JOY IS EVERYWHERE!

A lot goes on in this episode. But the most important part is that somewhere in the ether, Hotaru’s soul is protecting Chibi-Usa’s soul. And also schooling her on hanging on to her Legendary Silver Crystal.

I think this is the first time that I’ve caught on to the fact that the Legendary Silver Crystals are tied to the life force of the Usagis. I mean, it makes sense it just never quite hit me. This is why Crystal is often good for me, because they tend to spell things out pretty unambiguously.

I’m not always great at nuance.

Anyway, Mistress 9 commissions The Professor and Kaori to vessilize dark eggs or something, as she channels the power of Master Pharoah 90. Meanwhile, Super Sailor Moon and The Outer Senshi head down to face whatever’s coming for them.

Usagi thinks about how she’s mostly useless on her own (not true) while Sailor Uranus explains that in their previous lives, the idea of their princess was an inspiration to them to hold their positions as guardians. I love the idea that Sailor Moon is a rallying point and symbol, as well as immensely powerful in her own right.

In the end, they arrive at a basement and have to fight The Professor and his Daimon’s, which he then absorbs and becomes a giant Daimon monster which is terrifying. It’s great, however that eventually they put him down, and it’s a big win. I’m sure that in the next few weeks Saturn is going to appear, and I’m very excited for that. Hotaru is finally starting to fight back and I’m excited about it.

Overall I’ve been thrilled with this season’s representation of the Outer Senshi. The thing that I think doesn’t come across as much in the original anime is how stalwart they are. These three especially stood at their posts, knowing that something terrible was happening to the world they loved but only had glimpses of. This comes across in big ways in this version and it’s pretty wonderful.

I was glad I was able to squeeze this episode in! It’s funny that I started doing the One Tree Hill rewatch in order to fill space, and this week, I literally do not have enough space to cover what I want to cover. (I’m not complaining…) but I am realize that in a few weeks I’ll be losing a mainstay of the blog, which is my Sailor Moon coverage, so I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’s meant to me…and it’s meant a lot!

Sailor Moon Crystal Check in: Dance The Magic Dance

(The title is a Labrynth reference…if you didn’t catch that)

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So, Chibi-Usa is in the hospital because Mistress 9 (that’s her name!) stole her soul, or whatever. Luckily, she’s a magical moon child, and has a very caring father, because Mamoru offers to share his life force with his future daughter. (He also gets the new closing credits, which seem very discoey, which is both weird and totally fitting!)

Meanwhile, Sailor Moon and the other Senshi are off to fight for both Hotaru’s soul and Chibi-Usa’s and it’s really, quite sweet. So they go off to Mugen Academy, the outers following not far behind, and they get into a really cool battle with the Witches 5, where the Senshi are tempted with the things they want besides being Senshi, to get them out of the way.

It doesn’t work because these ladies are determined, and in the end, the outers even join up and everyone lends Sailor Moon their strength so that she can be Super Sailor Moon again.

I want to focus on each girl’s fantasy though and what that means for them. This season, much more than 1 & 2 has done a great job with it’s limited space in giving the Inner Senshi their own spot lights. It’s partly because the manga has more to work with, but it would be very easy to shift most focus to Chibi-Usa, (Though I guess that’s more next season, that’s really her story…) and the Outer (who are also not getting skimped on.) Rei’s vision of serenity and order, Ami’s desire to strive for medical school, Minako in front of a crowd as an idol, Mako in a full garden full of rare plants.

But they rally, and they get to their friend. They all want to help, and being a Senshi is very important to them. So everyone is off to fight. I’m looking forward to seeing what that looks like from here on out!

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Destruction and Power Up

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So now that everything is out in the open, with the outer senshi, and a battle that stops everyone from trying to hurt each other, the end of the Witches 5 and the birth of a the guardian of destruction as well as an explanation of the outer senshi’s reluctance to embrace their inner sisters.

A lot happens in this episode, but it’s also really talky. We get like seven flashbacks, including one where Chibi-Usa talks to her mother about Sailor Moon just being THE BEST, and Neo-Queen Serenity, basically is all, “There’s a million things I haven’t done, just you wait, just you wait.”

Which is my weird theater geek way of saying, it’s time for Super Sailor Moon, who’s absolutely beautiful, and the transformation, which comes from the rest of the Senshi lending her their power, it’s really beautiful.

Meanwhile, we get the whole, “Saturn Awakened and destroyed what was left of the world after the fall of The Silver Millenium” flashback, which is important, as well, and beautifully done. We also get the “Hotaru becomes a cyborg” flashback as well as her transformation into the Saturn Black Lady (I don’t remember her name…and I don’t feel like googling it.)

I understand the need for this episode, to get the pieces into place and all, it’s just hard to recap this episode because, well, nothing really happens.

So, that’s why I don’t have a lot to say. Looking forward to what comes next week. (I’m actually going to be ahead of everything next week, because Memorial Day gives me time off, and I’m seeing 2 movies this weekend! YAY!)

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Cyborg Girls and Holy Grail

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There’s a lot that goes on in this episode, but I think before we talk about anything else, we need to talk about Sailor Neptune’s earrings, which I just noticed and are the best things ever.

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So cute! Anyway the episode. After Sailor Pluto appeared she explains the whole outer senshi rebirth thing, but not before first giving Chibi-Moon a big hug, because they’re the best friends ever. Then, Sailor Moon transforms into Princess Serenity and the outers explain who they are and pledge their fealty to her. But they also make it clear that they have control of their “mission,” which no one else should know about.

Rei and Mamoru are particularly wary of the newbies, because they’re carrying the three talismans (talismen? Seriously, I don’t know what the plural is there…) and they’re supposed to bring destruction.

Thanks to a news report that Usagi’s dad is watching they learn that there might be something suspicious about Hotaru’s father, so Chibi-Usa agrees to keep her eyes open and when she goes to visit Hotaru, after being stood up at the movies, she finds out that Hotaru is a cyborg. There’s also a super creepy scene where Hotaru has a new procedure.

As for the main battle, the outer senshi begin battling the last of the Witches 5, who the professor points out have been failing miserably. It’s a cool looking battle, and she eventually casts a spell to set the inners against the outers (sad), which is even cooler looking.

The thing that stops the battle though, is something that I don’t remember from the manga and I like a lot better than what the original anime presented, the Holy Grail is summoned when the Moon Family, (Chibi-Usa, Usagi and Mamoru) combine their powers. So the Holy Grail is like a Moon Family Captain Planet, and I think that’s kind of cool.

And that ends the episode.

In other notes, the opening has really grown on me. I don’t think I’ll ever love it the way I do “Moon Pride” or even the opening from Sailor Stars which I completely adore, but it’s a beautiful melody and the image of the girls flying through the air is very arresting.

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: The Return of Puu!

This episode was all about Sailor Pluto, well, not really, but she’s there, and it’s pretty great.

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Setsuna is working on plants for the professor, and she’s also freinds with Motoki and Reiya who are definitely in this episode and definitely adorable. They give us so exposition about the weird black clouds that hang around outside of Mugen Academy, which is why they aren’t going on dates to any of the fancy restaurants there. (Seriously, what is this school?) 

Meanwhile, Chibi-Usa’s next school assignment is to give her Holy Grail to someone she cares about, and when a boy in class tries to give his art project to her (and her adorable school friends all tease him for it) she realizes she should give it to Hotaru.(OTP BABY!) So she goes to do that, and while Hotaru is touched, but says that Chibi-Usa should give it to her family instead.

Usagi chases after Haruka and Michiru at one point, and they look super hot. Usagi refers to them as her allies, and they’re not really buying it and I really do hate this stretch because, I mean honestly, it sucks, and is really heart wrenching, even if it’s totally necessary and kind of beautiful.

Hotaru gets a scene at school where a bunch of kids are mean to her because, she’s sick? She drops her books? She’s kind of a weirdo, and probably a cyborg? I’m really not exactly sure what the point is of her being bullied, except to further show that Hotaru is kind of miserable when she’s not with Chibi-Usa? I don’t know. It’s weird.

Anyway, the Senshi wind up fighting some killer plants being helmed by one of the Witches 5 and they get spanked. Hoping to help out, Chibi-Moon gets her Moon Rod and brings forth my favorite Senshi Attack, “Pink Sugar Heart Attack.” (It’s so twee and perfect!) and when that also doesn’t work, it’s time for domination.

“Dead Scream.” Pluto takes the plants out. 

But of course then the episode ends. Just cuts off. And we get that adorable ending song with Chibi-Usa again…my god is it adorable!

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: So Many Snuggles

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OK, so this week, we got everyone dealing with the whole, “new Senshi” fallout and also Chibi-Usa does a parent trap!

OK, seriously, though…The Inners fight The Outers and realize that Neptune’s mirror and Uranus’s sword are both Talismans (Talismen?). Also, Ami fights a Deathbuster by herself LIKE A BOSS.

A lot happened in this episode. But I’m having focus issues, so let me bring it in for the real thing.

After their confrontation with Sailors Uranus and Neptune, the inner Senshi decide that they must be enemies, what with all of that attacking them for no reason stuff. Usagi isn’t so sure, because “We’re all guardians! We should be friends.”

I love her so much.

That night, she and Mamoru have the same dream about The Deity of Destruction, and they wake up, you know TOGETHER, in HIS BED with CHIBI-USA SNUGGLING and it’s the most adorable thing in the world. They hold hands and looked worried at each other.

The next day, Usagi is sitting around in a park like she do, and Haruka “Guess Whos?” her and they talk about Haruka’s androgyny, and then they kiss and Mamoru sees and then they go back to his place and are awkward until Chibi-Usa shows up and talks about wanting to make a Holy Grail for school.

Usagi doesn’t know what that is, but they do it anyway, and during the project they make up and Chibi-Usa falls asleep and PARENT TRAP!

We’re burning through the Witches 5, which is fine, I don’t miss the repetitive nature of the original anime, although I do miss getting to know everyone a little bit better. I’m also very into the increased focus on Rei (obviously) and her visions of destruction.

The episode ends with us seeing Setsuna for the first time! Guyssss, outer senshi are assembling and it’s totally the best!!!!

So movie season starts tonight, and that’s going to be a thing in my life for the next 7 months. (Marvel to Star Wars…that’s the way this works.)

 

Sailor Moon Crystal Check In: Her Hair Is Full of Secrets

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Everyone is asking Chibi-Usa to keep secrets and it’s kind of weird and annoying. I mean, it’s one thing when Hotaru does it because they’re in love, but when Haruka picks her up in her helicopter and tells her that their relationship with Usagi is a secret it sounds…predatory? I don’t know, I’m not into it.

Anyway, Chibi-Usa goes to see Hotaru to return her handkerchief, and to flirt, because they’re adorable. They talk about how Hotaru was in an accident and it’s awesome and I love them and this Ship is leaving the harbor.

Meanwhile, Usagi is freaking out about that kiss with Sailor Uranus, but when she’s talking to the other Senshi about it, she’s all, “she told me to stay out of their way and definitely nothing else happened you guys, OMG what??????” Sometimes I feel like Usagi should speak only in Emogi.

So Haruka gives Usagi tickets to Michiru’s next concert at Mugen Academy and the Senshi decide to go to investigate and also because pretty violin music. Mamoru got tickets from Michiru and I’ve always hated this aspect of this arc because it’s like, dudes you’re all star crossed soul mates here, stop making it difficult for the others. Anyway, he brings Chibi-Usa.

Minako is bummed about this because in another theater at Mugen Academy (how big is this school?) Pop Idol Mimi something (Mimette! MY LOVE!) is performing and she’d much rather do that, so she sneaks off to go to that show and learns that Mimi is really Mimette and goes to get the others. They fight and Uranus and Neptune show up and win the fight.

When Sailor Moon asks who they are we get a beautiful shot of them standing in dual spot light, and they say their names and the episode ends.

I’m liking so many things about this season, but the fact that we get this show once a week instead of every other week is probably my favorite part, it keeps everything from being bogged down and keeps the momentum going. And I really did forget just how much this arc books. 

I want to talk for a minute though about the closing theme which hit me in a completely different way this time. The opening chords are so haunting and gothic and perfect for Michiru and Haruka. Also, I’m a huge sucker for a female tenor line, which is what Haruka is singing here. Michiru sounds like a Mezzo? It’s pretty high but it doesn’t quite hit the full on soprano line. Anyway, for another stellar example of gorgeous female tenor stylings, listen to Queen Latifah’s version of “California Dreaming,” or any of her songs from December’s production of The Wiz. It’s one of the things that I’ve come to really love about Sailor Moon is how integral music is to the show and how beautiful the music is.

Anyway, I’m off to Disney World tomorrow, so I may not update tomorrow. It depends on how packing goes tonight!