How to participate in the liveblog chat:
Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!
Option 2: Go to http://webchat.freenode.net/. Enter a nickname, then for the Channels field enter ##rabbitcube, and finally fill in the Captcha and hit Connect! We’ll be watching Vision of Escaflowne and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching Sailor Moon Crystal at 2:30.
Chatlog below the cut!
[14:00] Huh… when I watched this series on VHS, I never heard that opening bass strum
[14:00] (and this time, arrlaari can see the opening credits)
[14:01] Have I gushed enough over them?
01[14:01] I hate to say it, but so far they’re easily the best thing about the show.
[14:01] Yeah, I downloaded a torrent because the stream sites were intolerably bad
01[14:02] Yeah. It’s not, like, actively bad or anything, but… I haven’t seen anything yet that makes me understand why it has such a great reputation.
[14:02] Well… you’ll see
[14:02] “The Diabolical Adonis.” A great description of Dilandau
[14:02] Yo prince it’s time to speak up for Cassandra
01[14:02] I mean, to be fair, the first time I watched Utena I probably would have said the same thing aroudn ep. 4.
[14:03] Good point
01[14:03] …well, except Utena ep 1 is pretty spectacular, so maybe not.
01[14:03] But then it goes into a fairly mediocre run for a while, so it can set you up for the sucker punch.
[14:03] Ah, I was wondering what happened to Merle (I couldn’t remember)
01[14:04] Annoying catgirl survived.
01[14:04] …Okay, I feel a little bad for calling her annoying when she was about to have this scene.
01[14:05] But I’m sure she’ll rejustify the accusation later on.
[14:05] There’s a lot of fainting in this show
[14:05] Does This Remind You Of Anything
01[14:05] Does what?
[14:06] The communique between Folken and the Emperor
01[14:06] Oh that. Yeah.
[14:06] IUh, Dilandau, you don’t exactly have a great track record with using those stealth cloaks effectively
01[14:07] I was ABOUT to type “his mom’s dead, isn’t she?”
[14:08] Vaguely Christian Graveyard
01[14:08] I like the almost-crosses on the graves.
01[14:08] Like a hybrid of a cross and a fleur de lisle.
01[14:08] de lis?
[14:08] Yeah… fantasy series have a strange relationship with Earth religions
01[14:08] Can’t remember.
[14:08] I think it’s “de lis”
01[14:09] I think you’re right.
01[14:09] Lol, for a second there I thought he’d found a tick on Merle.
01[14:09] It was a very strange direction for the show to be going, I thought.
[14:09] Seriously though, Vaan needs to testify that she is a legit oracle
[14:10] I think Van’s already told them that, they just didn’t believe him
[14:10] Dilandau isn’t great at pretending
01[14:11] I wonder how many episodes it’ll take to get an explanation of what’s so special abtou Escaflowne vs. the other mechs.
[14:11] Well, we’ve already seen that it’s fueled by a Dragon’s magical organ
[14:12] Mole Man had that coming
[14:12] I’m behind Sylo, I think
01[14:12] Well, yeah, but we don’t know that the others aren’t, and even if that is unique, we don’t know what it lets it do.
01[14:12] Sylo is definitely out of synch with me or vice versa?
01[14:12] I’m on a scene where Merle and Hitomi are both in bad glaring at each other.
[14:13] I’m at 13:10
01[14:13] Well, Merle is glaring, Hitomi is staring.
[14:13] Cat & Hitomi are thinkingabout how weird the other are
01[14:13] Yep, that’s where I am.
[14:13] All right… let me know when Mole Man shows up
[14:13] I’ll pause
[14:13] Okay, mole guy just showed up
01[14:13] He just showed up
[14:14] The ambush just begun
[14:14] And here they come
01[14:14] I will admit, I still find the idea of stealth mecha very funny.
01[14:14] Espceially how they make massive thumping noises and leave huge footprints.
[14:14] Those whip-claw things are OP
01[14:15] Pretty sweet-looking, though.
[14:15] Well, the stealth cloaks make sure that the enemy doesn’t have time to PREPARE for the fight
[14:15] Dilandau licks his lips while ordering his troops to burn everything because of course he does
[14:15] At least not if they don’t know to look for footprints
01[14:15] Yeah, I’m… not enthused with the cliche “effeminate, sexually deviant villain” thing.
[14:16] Van, cut your losses and run
01[14:16] Van, that kind of attitude is how you end up alone with all your allies far behind you and enemies on every side.
01[14:16] …not that this is how I lost my first ship in STO or anything, nope.
[14:17] Vaan’s older brother was briefly mentioned earlier ni this episode
[14:17] Earlier, the Samurai spoke of Vaan’s brother being disgraced for abandoning the “murder a dragon” quest
[14:17] Van and Allen both have sibling problems
[14:17] So Vaan’s hangup about retreating has a specific cause
[14:18] Dilandau cares about evidence?
01[14:18] Nah, Dilandau’s just rationalizing.
[14:18] Well of course
01[14:18] Well, that’s a point in the show’s favor at least, it’s not just because Van’s a shonen hothead.
[14:18] IIRC, in the dub, Dilandau’s voice sounded like a 10-year-old kid
[14:18] I mean Vaan is also a Shonen hothead
01[14:19] Sure, but it’s nice that they actually made some attempt at exploring where shonen hotheadedness might come from.
[14:19] Hahah… “Then kill anyone who sees you!” that’s Dilandau’s solution to everything
01[14:19] I like the look of their flight mode, it reminds me of Xenogears.
[14:20] Uh, Allen, you’ve already SEEN their guymelefs fly
01[14:20] …Come to think of it, I suspect the design of some of the villain-mook mecha in that series may have been influenced by this.
01[14:20] That game, not series.
[14:21] Van learns quick
[14:21] Always a good thing
[14:21] Ah, I forgot, Escaflowne has a flight mode too
[14:21] A much more fabulous one
[14:21] Ahaha… Dilandau leaves ONE henchman to fight Allen
[14:22] That dude might get murdered by Dilandau later
[14:22] “Not getting yourself killed” is not Van’s specialty
[14:22] The animation holds up so well, which is sadly rare for a series from this era
01[14:23] This is ture.
[14:23] VLC is defintitely better than shady stream sites
[14:24] Yes, yes it is
[14:24] I should skip previews if they’re willing to spoil a big twist like that one just did
01[14:24] Yeah, Sylo, I think whatever site you’re watching it on has upped the speed sligthly, most likely to hide from bots designed to locate copyright violations.
01[14:24] …I am suddenly glad I skipped the preview.
[14:25] I should just get around to torrenting Escaflowne as well
01[14:25] Yeah, that’s what I did after the second episode.
[14:25] So I’m starting to feel oriented in the setting
[14:26] Like, there
01[14:26] Anyway, this episode is kind of what I’m talking about: it’s nice to look at, cool mecha designs, good music, but extremely predictable.
01[14:26] The characters are familiar types with familiar problems, and there’s nothing that makes me stand up and go, “Yes, more of this please.”
[14:26] *there’s an evil empire trying to secure its power by destroying or capturing the Ancient Artifact that underlies the Special Kingdom’s power
[14:27] The visual similarities to FF6 are also a good cue
[14:27] I guess it’s not so revolutionary anymore, but IIRC, this was pretty darn radical in its genre at the time
[14:27] But trust me, once we find out what the villain’s plan is, well, the series gets very, very unique
01[14:28] I look forward to that, then.
[14:28] I suppose someone who watches PMMM after watching the Magical Girl shows that followed it (e.g. Yuki Yuna) wouldn’t be as impressed as a contemporaneous viewer
01[14:28] I mean, I’m committed to watching it, that’s how these things work.
[14:29] I’m glad of that
01[14:30] One of my friends pointed out (while noting that it was a MASSIVELY overbroad generalization) that there’s something of a tendency in anime and Japanese games to focus a lot of effort on having a novel setting and premise, but draw the characters from a fairly predictable pool of stock types, while American media tends to focus more effort on having novel characters but relies heavily on stock premises and settings.
01[14:31] I don’t think it’s entirely accurate, but I think it kind of works here–Escaflowne is cast entirely out of central casting, and whatever is novel about the premise/setting hasn’t really shown up yet.
[14:31] Well, giant robots in a fantasy setting would have been novel at the time
01[14:31] (Though, as arrlaari alluded to, I think growing up with FF6 makes fantasy with mecha feel less novel to me than it might have at the time.)
01[14:31] Yeah, exactly.
[14:32] I will spoil only one thing: When the true premise of Escaflowne shows up, well, it baffled me as a kid… it was only when I came back to it later that I was able to figure out what this show was really “about
01[14:32] Anyway, I’m going to go make soem toast and then we’ll watch SMC?
[14:32] Alrighty then…
01[14:32] That’s not really a spoiler, Sylocat, no worries.
01[14:33] (I mean, Mark Oshiro would treat it as one, but he’s WAY more hardass about spoilers than basically anyone I have ever heard of.)
[14:33] It’s probably a result of his huge audience throwing out enough people who push the boundaries of the spoiler rules that he wants to push the border out that far
01[14:34] A quite plausible theory.
01[14:34] (Toast status: currently bread, but the end is inevitable.)
[14:36] Alright… we start at 1:40/2:40?
01[14:38] Also buttering
[14:39] Ahahah… nice one
[14:40] That’s a cat
[14:40] I know, but it looks like him
[14:40] Ah yes… when we let off, Tuxedo Even-More-Of-A-Jerk-Than-Usual had beat up all Usagi’s friends
[14:41] I don’t remember “Queen Metalia” from the first anime
01[14:41] So are they implying that Beryl and Tux are undead?
[14:42] Queen Metalia totally was in the first anime. She looked different – more like a tumor in the roots of a tree – but had the same role in the overall plot.
01[14:42] In the opening credits, Metalia looks kind of like the Pokemon Haunter.
[14:43] Oh for goodness’s sake, Usagi, just slap some sense into the guy already
01[14:43] Hell yeah, Jupiter.
[14:43] Ah, their DPS is the first to revive? That’s lucky
[14:43] Oh… they’re all up now
[14:43] Sailor Star Trek leaps into action
[14:44] Ooh, they’re in the Technicolor Void? Aren’t they only supposed to fight the final boss here?
[14:44] Wait, she has prehensile hair?
[14:45] Oh, so it’s a past-life grudge
[14:45] Wait, she got the crystal? When?
01[14:45] Ah, so Beryl’s pullign a Starscream.
[14:45] Last episode I think Mamoru grabbed it
[14:46] Whoa, how did she summon that?
[14:46] Well it worked on your hair
[14:46] Finally, they DO something
[14:46] The Venus WHAT chain?
01[14:46] Okay, it’s confirmed: my favorite character is whichever of Mercury or Jupiter just did something.
[14:47] Venus Love-Me Chain
[14:47] That’s… all kinds of disturbing
[14:47] He will never become a warrior
[14:47] “You can change him with the power of your love!”
[14:47] Whoa, they defeat Beryl now?
01[14:47] I’ll admit, being able to change magic swords withthe power of her love is pretty cool.
[14:48] True enough
01[14:48] But yeah, like basically EVERYTHING ELSE to do with Tux, it’s terrible.
[14:48] Don’t tell me Beryl turned evil because she was in love with… oh for goodness’s sake
01[14:48] Oh bleck adn now the whole hsitory of the series turns out to just be a love triangle centered on Tux.
[14:48] btw Beryl’s motive was possessive romantic jelousy all along
[14:48] Bleck indeed
[14:48] Whoa, cool runes though
[14:49] Count Bleck
[14:49] (that was the point of Count Bleck’s character, really)
[14:49] (only Super Paper Mario actually realized how toxic that mentality was)
01[14:49] THAT IS NOT A GOOD WAY TO PICK UP A SWORD
[14:50] Wait, Metalia’s goons can’t really wield that sword
[14:50] Can they?
[14:50] But they can pick it up and run away
01[14:50] They can at least keep the good guys from using it
[14:50] Oh great…
[14:51] Did she switch out the crystals?
01[14:51] Blah blah legendary silver crystal is in her heart all along
01[14:51] THEY HAVE A SPACESHIP NOW!?
[14:52] Whoa, they have a spaceship with fancy magic radar?
[14:52] I do like that
[14:52] Their HQ was a spaceship alll along
01[14:52] Why didn’t they use THAT to go tot he moon?
[14:52] That’s awesome
[14:52] Because then their secret hideout wouldn’t have been hidden anymore!
[14:52] Oh no…
[14:52] More “But we can’t fight our boyfriends!”
01[14:53] So you’re actually going to fight this time? Please?
[14:53] Metalia is freaky
[14:54] I thought you put ths site on adblock?
01[14:54] No, just that one time.
[14:55] For some reason the video ads are blocked on this laptop. I don’t remember doing that and it’s not blocking a small banner ad to the right of the player.
[14:55] AdBlock’s gotten a lot better… they actually agree to show ads that are static and unobtrusive
01[14:55] User still has the option to block all ads, though.
[14:55] Like I don’t remember even installing ad block
[14:56] But it’s not the default setting, and most users never change the default setting
[14:56] But anyway
01[14:56] I wonder if we’ll ever get, like, actual motivation for Metallia?
[14:56] Ooh, laser battle
[14:56] I wonder if Metalia was just born out of the rage and weakness in people’s hearts, or stuff like that
[14:56] Wait, it is?
[14:57] Ooh, they have to rip the crystal out of him! I hope she actualyl does that
01[14:57] This is basically Asspull: The Episode.
[14:57] She won’t, of course… but it’d be fun to watch
[14:58] Come on, Usagi, fillet him like a fish and get the crystal
[14:59] Has she ever used that spell before?
01[14:59] Yeah, all the time.
[14:59] Like, was it foreshadowed at all?
01[14:59] It’s her big area-effect healing spell.
[14:59] Oh, it was? I forgot
[14:59] Mooon Healing Escalation is the thing that stick does ever since she got it
[14:59] Ah, it’s the same thing? I thought it was a different one
[14:59] Oh, of course… they change ALL the boys, with the power of their love
01[15:00] *throws up in own mouth a little*
[15:00] “The true meaning of their names?”
[15:00] Their names mean rocks
[15:00] Has this show never heard of foreshadowing?
[15:01] Ah, good, Metalia intervened
[15:01] Just straight up murdered all of them in a moment
[15:01] If it had been that easy, I would have been even more ticked off
[15:01] Whoa… wait, are they actually dead? How are they talking?
[15:01] “Thank you, guys”
[15:02] That is a bad subtitle
[15:02] I kinda like it, actually
[15:02] “guys” was not the word that fit
[15:03] Oh man, Mamoru’s expression is so goofy. It looks like he’s been cast as Dracula in a high school stage play.
[15:04] *Vision of your ghost mom* “You totally can fight your boyfriend”
[15:04] Yeah… this is so over-the-top I actually dig it
01[15:04] Now CUT HIM OPEN
01[15:04] DO IT
[15:04] DO IT… DO IT… DO IT…
01[15:04] Holy shit she actually did it!
01[15:04] SHE MURDERED HIM AND MADE OUT WITH HIS CORPSE
[15:04] Oh, this show suddenly became awesome
01[15:04] no wait
[15:05] I mean, it won’t stick, but it was fun to WHAT THE HELL IS SHE DOING
01[15:05] I WAS NOT EXPECTING HER TO STAB HERSELF AS WELL
[15:05] Well if she didn’t do that it wouldn’t be Romeo & Juliet enough
[15:05] which is the same thing as not being romantic enough
01[15:05] But I mean, this has actually reversed my opinion on their relationship
[15:05] So, it’s a Romeo & Juliet thing, only instead of their stodgy parents keeping them apart, it’s the Power of Darkness and the magic McGuffins
01[15:05] He makes out with sleeping girls, she makes out with guys she just murdered, clearly they’re made for each other.
[15:06] Ahahah… arrlaari and I both made the same connection
[15:06] But yeah… this show just suddenly got awesome again
01[15:06] Well, and also it’s playing the idea straight, where Romeo and Juliet is a black comedy.
[15:06] fyi I knew about that bit because it’s something people bring up when they talk about differences between the old show and the anime
01[15:07] Yeah, I mean, I’d’ve preferred she didn’t stab herself as well, but her stabbing Tux was METAL AS FUCK
[15:07] I actually like this show again
[15:07] That was a cutting motion, really
01[15:07] Total agreement, this show just got awesome again, that was the best thing since Sailor Jupiter’s intro.
[15:07] Also you two are so bloodthirsty dang
01[15:07] Eh, the sharp metal bit went in the squishy thing, that’s close enough to a stabbing.
01[15:08] It’s nto so much the violence as that it’s Usagi MAKING A DECISION AND TAKING ACTION
[15:08] “Ugh the sailor scouts are getting a squishy romantic hapiness OH YES THE BAD GUY MURDERED THEIR BOYFRIENDS” “Ugh Usagi is feeling conflicted because of her romance OH WAIT YES SHE MURDERED HER LOVE INTEREST”
01[15:09] But again, for me at least it’s less because violence and more because sudden swerve disrupting an otherwise obnoxiously cliche sequence.
[15:10] Oh, I didn’t object to there being romance and conflict, it was just the way it was handled had been so bad
[15:10] Like, all five of them were having the exact same angst about fighting their designated boyfriends and it was paralyzing them and preventing them from doing anything
01[15:11] I mean, a well-handled sappy romance can be really good.
01[15:11] But this was cliche and generic and ignored the fact that there were, you know, CHARACTERS on screen–they all went entirely programmatic.
01[15:11] Yeah, what Sylocat said.
[15:12] Anyway, in a couple of weeks I think I might urge you two to check out the last couple episodes of the first season of the older anime, because there are significant differences
[15:13] Well, I have been kinda hankering for an excuse to finally watch the older anime subtitled
[15:13] And the way it played out in the older anime is relevant to other things