Thoughts while watching Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 3

Trying something a bit different this time–did this one as a chat with a couple of readers, similar to the Kill la Kill liveblogs. I’m of two minds about whether to stick with the format of the first two episodes or switch to this. Which format do you prefer? Let me know in comments!

[15:50] “gonna,” the subtitle says
[15:50] Ah, it’s Nephlite
[15:51] So, where’s Malachite?
[15:51] I’m pretty sure the Hulu subtitles are different
[15:51] Annd it’s frozen.
[15:51] No it’s not.
[15:52] Something outrageous?
[15:52] The theme song reminds me of Kill la Kill’s
[15:52] Truly, truly outrageous?
[15:52] This theme song was done by Revo
[15:53] They’ve been all over lately. They did both SnK OPs and the entire soundtrack for Bravely Default
[15:53] Well, arguably Kill la Kill is an attempt to do to magical girls what Gurren Lagann did to mecha.
[15:53] Oh, is it the same group?
[15:54] Visually KlK invokes magical girls, but in tone and structure it’s clearly a Shounen fight show
[15:54] True.
[15:54] Ad.
[15:54] The flashbacks we got for the four shittennou in the same episode that Ryuko fought them? That’s a thing Bleach did a lot.
[15:54] Back.
[15:54] my ad is starting
[15:54] done
[15:55] wait
[15:55] I got a second
[15:55] Yeesh
[15:55] second ad is done
[15:55] Sorry about that
[15:55] “Demon bus.” How nice
[15:55] GAH
[15:55] Oh, it’s him again
[15:55] What’s his name, again?
[15:56] The boy is the most into the gossip, Luna
[15:56] Holy crap how many dozens of people has Jadeite killed at this point?
[15:57] Again, Luna gives them less mission briefing than Kyubey did
[15:57] Fuck yeah Usagi wants to see beautiful girls
[15:57] Something I noticed in the preview images: Ami’s uniform is too big for her
[15:57] Oh wow
[15:58] So, she’s straight-up openly bi in this version
[15:58] Rather than just blatant implications
[15:58] Sure seems that way.
[15:58] Ahah… knocked out by a spell tag
[15:58] Rei is good with those things
[15:58] She sensed DEMONIC power from Usagi?
[15:59] Ooh, interesting…
[15:59] “Phobos” and “Deimos?”
[15:59] That is so… perfect
[15:59] Gee, I wonder if she might be Mars, she just has ravens named after its moons…
[16:00] Namedrop
[16:00] Oh shit, is this the Higurashi crossover episode?
[16:01] The Princess!
[16:01] And you two thought she was just Mars
[16:02] Hey, why isn’t that dude dressed like Dracula?
[16:02] Tuxedo Jackass has been downgraded to Suit Jackass.
[16:03] ad
[16:03] Me too.
[16:03] ad ended
[16:03] Mine’s still going.
[16:04] You get something other than just two runs of the crunchyroll/devices spot?
[16:04] Yes.
[16:04] I basically never see any other ads on this site
[16:04] Back.
[16:04] So, she doubles as a fortune-teller?
[16:04] Fortune telling is somethine shrines generally do
[16:05] Cut the amateur McCarthite act, ladies
[16:06] And then after helping Rei find Mii, they’ll go looking for Faa…
[16:06] Oh, he’s getting directly involved now
[16:06] …WHAT.
[16:07] *facepalm*
[16:07] Yay, he didn’t come with her into the portal
[16:07] Way to save a cat, Tuxedo Kamen
[16:07] You’re a real hero
[16:07] Is it too much to ask that he won’t butt in on the fight?
[16:08] Wait, where’d Tuxedo Jerk go?
[16:08] Goddamit Usagi stop being useless.
[16:09] Why wouldn’t they teleport?
[16:09] And I don’t see anyone else infiltrating the enemy base
[16:09] Ooh, joint coordinated transformation sequences, neat.
[16:09] Yeesh, Rei has it goin’ on
[16:10] Ahah
[16:11] “No, I’m not the girl who has an obvious crush on you”
[16:11] Oh no, an Ice-type pokemon.
[16:11] Wherever will they find a Fire-type to help them?
[16:12] …Wait, is the Mars symbol being the stereotypical “male” symbol the thematic excuse for Usagi having a crush on her? Please tell me that’s not it
[16:12] Given Usagi’s obvious attraction to Ami last episode, I’m thinking no
[16:12] Ooh, I like the CGI on the transformation sequences
[16:13] So that thing where Jaedite used his ice power to clear up the mist, I’m pretty sure no enemy ever had an answer for the mist in the older anime
[16:13] It just worked every time
[16:13] …except how screwed up her hads were at the end
[16:14] so, Rei curbstomps Jadeite, then Nephlite and Zoisite intervene, so Tuxedo Jerk has to bail them out?
[16:14] Oh sure, he has a name, so he just gets trapped by the boomerang.
[16:14] Wait, it’s too late in the episode for that
[16:14] I generally like the CGI transforms, especially Mercury’s water and Mars’ fire, but I’d like it better if their bodies were normal animation, for a kind of Who Framed Roger Rabbit effect
[16:14] And Tuxedo Mask didn’t show up, because he’s a pleb who can’t teleport
[16:15] What a loser
[16:15] Works for me
[16:15] I dunno, I like that they translate into the CGI Dimension. Clearly it’s where their powers come from.
[16:15] Lemme guess, Silver Moon Crystal in the chest?
[16:15] (Don’t answer that people who’ve read the manga/seen the original anime)
[16:15] Presumably… or it’s a red herring
[16:15] Okay, this is the third consecutive ad for Chili’s.
[16:16] (I don’t remember… I haven’t read the manga and barely remember the original anime)
[16:16] Under The Rules, I must therefore boycott Chili’s for a period of no less than one year.
[16:16] I really don’t care for the ending credits theme.
[16:16] Yeah, it’s too wussy
[16:16] Also I don’t see why everyone in this episode was all “oh, Rei is so gorgeous” when Ami is OBVIOUSLY the hot one.
[16:17] So for a long time people have talked shit on Mercury’s aqua mist for being useless because it’s not a damage attack, but it was also the only season one attack that wasn’t straight up replaced by later season upgrades, and it never failed to work, so actually it was the best season 1 power
[16:17] It’s the hair… it’s always the hair
[16:17] But anyway, good episode. I like that they’re now past needing Tuxedo Jerk’s help.
[16:17] The episode description even emphasized her “raven black hair”
[16:17] Because he’s a scrub who can’t teleport.
[16:18] Bro, do you even port?
[16:18] lol
[16:18] …but I like Ami’s hair!
[16:18] Thoughts the next episode preview?
[16:19] I’m surprised they didn’t describe Rei’s hair as “flowing locks” or a waterfall or whatever
[16:19] Also I should be uncomfortable talking about 14-year-olds this way, but for some reason the art style causes my brain to register them as slim adults. The opposite of most anime, where my brain registers even the adult women as busty 12-year-olds.
[16:19] (an obsidian waterfall)
[16:19] I skipped the preview, oops.
[16:19] Or, well, closed the window during the ending credits, same thing.
[16:20] Yeah, the closing theme song sucks… I like the opening though
[16:20] I remember being very surprised to learn that the Sailor Moon crew are middle  schoolers
[16:20] and not in high school
[16:21] Whereas, say, Madoka’s teacher looks like she should be a student.
[16:21] They all read as taller than e.g. Madoka characters, even though the officially given heights are in a similar band
[16:21] I’m gonna google for numbers to use an examples
[16:21] Something to do with facial proportions or hip width to leg length or soemthing like that, I’m sure.
[16:22] Or head size to body size ratio, maybe
[16:23] According to wikis, Madoka Kaname is 2 cm taller than Usagi Tsukino
[16:23] Do you believe that?
[16:23] TALLER?
[16:23] No I do not believe that
[16:23] “Height: Slightly less than 150cm (4’11”). Production Note shows a height revision to 152cm (5’0″). ”
[16:24] ” Height      150 cm or 4’11”  ”
[16:24] I have trouble picturing Madoka as 5′ tall… she looks like she’s about 4′ tall
[16:24] But of course, that’s the point of deconstructing moé
[16:25] According to my roommate it’s the elongated limbs on the Sailor Moon characters, and the fact that the Sailor Moon characters are based on pre-moe boom character designs.
[16:27] Well, thanks folks, this was fun!
[16:27] Any other closing thoughts?
[16:27] Maybe we could make this a weekly thing too?
[16:27] Hmm, maybe?
[16:27] If we did, I’d want to do it immediately after the Kill la Kill one on Saturdays.
[16:28] Ooh, double feature
[16:28] The juxtaposition will be interesting as well
[16:28] Yep.
[16:30] Aren’t new Crystal episodes biweekly?
[16:30] I seem to recall that they alternate with Utena Dumps for that reason
[16:30] Yep, they are.
[16:31] And then after the Utena Dumps they’ll alternate with… something else I’ve already written.
[16:31] 😉
[16:31] Ah, the Near Apocalypse of ’09? Or something else
[16:31] I think Near Apocalypse is going to be the Sunday feature after the MLP material is over
[16:34] Something else, yeah.
[16:34] Near-Apocalypse replaces MLP.
[16:34] This is much shorter, only five parts.
[16:35] …Huh. The suspense!
[16:36] lol
[16:37] I am trying to find a number for the Sailor Senshi who is the tallest (it’s something that gets discussed) and somehow it’s not straightforward
[16:39] 168cm / 5’6″
[16:41] Comparing to this screenshot from Madoka Magica promo material, she’s taller than any of the holy quintet. Apparently Sayaka is the tallest of them, at 158-160cm (the image I’m looking at gives ranges. Possibly with/without shoes?)
[16:43] Sounds like the SM characters have much wider height range than the PMMM characters…
[16:44] Someone mentioned the Teacher looking like a student – according to this chart she actually is slightly shorter than Sayaka & Kyouko and about as tall as Homura & Mami
[16:44] Huh.
[16:45] Madoka’s dad is listed 175-180cm. Violin boy is 170-175cm.
[16:47] Madoka’s mom is 160-165, tying Hitomi for tallest women on the chart.
[16:47] Madoka’s mom is the only female on the show who really looks (or acts) like an adult
[16:48] Even she registers as young to me. It’s the faces, I think.
[16:48] So, none of the women or girls in Madoka are as tall as the famously tall tallest Senshi
[16:50] Rei is 160, Ami 152
[16:52] 157cm for the other Senshi that Froborr hasn’t met yet
[16:52] So Sayaka, tallest of the Holy Quintet, ties with the second tallest Senshi
[16:56] Huh. I have two images here, height charts for the two shows. The height line for Madoka’s head runs into the middle of Sayaka’s head, and the line for Usagi likewise runs into the middle of Rei’s
[16:56] But my subjective impression was that the differences in height are more visible in Madoka
[16:57] Oh, Froborr, how much of this is going to get copied to the blog?
[17:00] Dunno, most probably?
[17:00] Sorry, got distracted by the Internets.
[17:02] brb
[17:05] I started playing a Platinum Games joint recently. Shortly after playing one of their other titles. It got me to thinking about “self-aware”
[17:05] Generally, when people say something is “self-aware” there’s an “ironically” that goes without saying
[17:06] But in all of the games Platinum has made, I feel like there is self-awareness without irony
[17:07] Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising, and Wonderful 101 all come across as being sincerely and enthusiastically about the things that they are about
[17:08] And the notes in those games that indicate self-awarness are about thinking about how awesome Platinum Games thinks the things those games are about are
[17:08] I feel like the fanservice in KlK is like that. There’s self awareness which leads a lot of people to presume irony where there is sincerity.
[17:24] Hmm, an interesting thought.
[17:25] So it’s self-aware of its fanservice, but not ironic about its fanservice–it’s actively and consciously celebrating the objectification of half-naked women?
[17:25] (And, to be fair, occasionally men.)
[17:25] That’s… worse, I think?
[17:26] There’s excuse-making, but yeah, not a point in the show’s favor
[17:27] Also, the show rhetorically positions itself as opposed to slut-shaming, which I see a lot from fans trying to make excuses for objectification in media they like on the internet
[17:28] Episode 3 (and the brief exchange on the subject between Ryuko and Gamagoori in their fight) basically import that argument into the diegetic reality of the show
[17:29] I think KlK is doing something different, but I’m not sure I’m articulate enough to put it into words.
[17:30] The answer to it is to observe that the actual decisions regarding how fictional women dress are made by authors, not the characters themselves, but when the argument is pulled into the diegetic reality that answer isn’t readily available to the characters
[17:33] I think what it does is, rather than just mocking fan service itself, it takes all the standard excuses for skimpy outfits (the excuses that creators and fans alike both make) and plays them completely straight,
[17:35] like, “What if this wasn’t nonsense?” Just to show how it IS nonsense
[17:35] I’m probably completely wrong, though
[17:40] Well, anyway… I should probably get going
[17:40] See you

3 thoughts on “Thoughts while watching Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 3

  1. “[15:57] <@Sylocat> Oh wow
    [15:58] <@Sylocat> So, she's straight-up openly bi in this version
    [15:58] <@Sylocat> Rather than just blatant implications”

    That scene was directly taken from the manga. In the original anime Usagi's reaction was a LITTLE more subdued. See it here but WARNING THIS THREAD HAS SPOILERS JUST SCROLL DOWN AND LOOK AT THE PICTURES:

    “[16:00] Oh shit, is this the Higurashi crossover episode?”
    Well there was that OVA where Rika becomes a magical girl…and then you add Umineko…and Madoka Magica…

    “[16:06] And then after helping Rei find Mii, they'll go looking for Faa…”

    *very loud groan*

    “[16:08] Goddamit Usagi stop being useless.
    [16:08] YOU CAN TELEPORT!?”

    Ami's teleportation came out of nowhere in the original manga too. In the anime she apparently prayed, and in the live action show she somehow made a portal appear using her Aqua Mist power.

    Finally, there may have been a big plot change from the original manga, but it's not very clear yet. I'll save for that next week.

  2. Seriously though, Ami being able to teleport makes her the powerfullest. She just hasn't noticed yet.

    Intriguing about the maybe-departure. I look forward to next time.

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