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 Yurikuma and commenting there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching MLP at 2:30.
I will update with the chatlog after the chat.
ETA: Chatlog below the cut!
01[14:00] <Froborr> Oh, right, last time we ended on an actually shocking cliffhanger!
[14:00] <@Sylocat> Ah yes… when we left off, Ginko had been caught
[14:00] <Arrlaari> I hit the “go back to start” button instead of play, so I’ll be behind until the ad at the end of the ed
[14:01] <@Sylocat> The OP is just starting, so… that won’t be too long
[14:01] <@Sylocat> (I couldn’t see the bear logo because the first shot of this episode is so dark)
01[14:02] <Froborr> Hello mere. You’re early today, we’ve bearly started Yurikuma!
01[14:02] <Froborr> (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun.)
[14:02] <@Sylocat> (“bearly.” Lol)
[14:03] <@Sylocat> (mere_oblivion, Yurikuma is an anime about bears who disguise themselves as humans… sort of… and there’s lesbians)
01[14:03] <Froborr> I am paused at end of OP. You both have ads, yes?
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Also, you’re a half-hour early
[14:03] <Arrlaari> in post-OP ads
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Yep
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Oh… I’m back
01[14:04] <Froborr> (I still maintain that the human/bear and lesbian/not lesbian binaries may not actually apply to this show.)
[14:04] <mere_oblivion> Oh, “bearly”! Okay.
[14:04] <@Sylocat> (oh, I agree with you on that one… this is Ikuhara, after all)
[14:04] <mere_oblivion> Lost track of the time, but in a good way. Back in a bit . . .
[14:05] <@Sylocat> I should show dad Revolutionary Girl Utena before starting him on this series
[14:05] <Arrlaari> paused after ads
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Okay then… Click
01[14:05] <Froborr> I mean, “I should show [person who has not seen Revolutionary Girl Utena] Revolutionary Girl Utena” is never not true.
[14:05] <mere_oblivion> You should show it to me anyway. See you at 1;27ish
[14:05] <@Sylocat> They put “history” in parenthesis under the “1 month ago?”
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Wait, they only met a month ago?
01[14:06] <Froborr> They’ve been doing that consistently for the tags on flashbacks.
[14:06] <Arrlaari> Sometimes they are labelled flashback
[14:06] <@Sylocat> That was a quick-developing romance
01[14:07] <Froborr> WAS it only a month ago that they met, or did she write the letter a month ago?
[14:07] <@Sylocat> Oh… good point
01[14:07] <Froborr> I’m pretty sure the implication is that they met the first day of school.
[14:07] <Arrlaari> I think it’s the letter written a month ago
01[14:07] <Froborr> Oh, a fictional work in an Ikuhara story. You know what that means.
[14:07] <@Sylocat> Eeyup
[14:08] <@Sylocat> Wait, we already know this one is “true.”
[14:08] <@Sylocat> So they’re just showing it from Kureha’s POV instead of Ginko’s?
01[14:09] <Froborr> Yep. Who is “Kumalia,” though? A bear goddess, by the sound of it.
[14:10] <@Sylocat> Wasn’t that the name of the planet that exploded and caused the meteor which started all this (according to the way the humans tell it, anyway)?
01[14:10] <Froborr> Oh yeah, it was!
[14:10] <Arrlaari> It’s been one of the bears telling that story
[14:10] <Arrlaari> Lulu
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Kumalia gives weird tests, even for a deity in an anime world
[14:11] <@Sylocat> So, why does Ginko remember that, and Kureha apparently doesn’t?
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Still Kureha at the top of the list, of course
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Eeyup
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Ooh, someone voted wrong?
01[14:13] <Froborr> She voted for HERSELF.
[14:13] <@Sylocat> Whoa
01[14:13] <Froborr> Which is to say, she willingly chose social exclusion for the sake of her lesbian love, which is why she was a valid target to be eaten by the bears.
[14:15] <Arrlaari> By the bears who chose to be invisible. Lulu & Ginko say they eat only invisible girls.
[14:15] <@Sylocat> Ad
[14:15] <Arrlaari> ad
01[14:16] <Froborr> Which is what she became when she was excluded, no? The targets of the Invisible Storm are ostracized, i.e. rendered invisible.
[14:16] <@Sylocat> I think that’s correct
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Now, is it only Lulu and Ginko who have to only eat invisible girls? Or is that a global rule amongst bears?
[14:17] <Arrlaari> They consistently describe members of the invisible storm as being invisible. In an earlier episode it was described as a consequence of being part of the herd.
01[14:17] <Froborr> I see what my friend meant when she said that although Yurikuma seems more outlandish on the surface, it’s actually easier to figure out and more straightforward than Penguindrum.
[14:17] <Arrlaari> Those who refuse to be part of the storm are therefore refusing to be invisible
[14:17] <@Sylocat> When Yurikuma is over, I’m going back and binge-watching it all the way through
01[14:17] <Froborr> And that’s a good question. IIRC that other bear also targeted a girl who’d been excluded.
[14:17] <Arrlaari> paused after ads
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Same here
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Okay… click
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Oh… who ratted out Lulu and Ginko?
01[14:18] <Froborr> Hmm… perhaps invisible to humans and visible to bears are the same thing. Being excluded by the herd renders you invisible to the herd and more visible to predators.
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… is it blonde teacher lady?
01[14:19] <Froborr> My guess is blonde teacher lady.
[14:19] <@Sylocat> There’s not too many other characters it could be
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Yep, it’s her
01[14:20] <Froborr> Yeah, they met on the first day of school.
[14:20] <@Sylocat> So what’s this character’s name again? I forget
01[14:21] <Froborr> I do too.
01[14:21] <Froborr> I’ve been trying to remember because she’s the only other real candidate for the person
01[14:21] <Froborr> Okay, yeah, it’s her, not the teacher.
[14:21] <@Sylocat> I thought she was the one talking to the person we couldn’t see
[14:21] <Arrlaari> ad
[14:22] <@Sylocat> Ad
01[14:22] <Froborr> No, that was the leader of the Invisible Storm.
01[14:22] <Froborr> Two different people, I’m pretty sure.
[14:22] <@Sylocat> Ah… I have a hard time telling them apart
[14:22] <Arrlaari> That character became leader of the invisible storm after the previous leader was eaten by Ginko and Lulu in a previous episode
01[14:23] <Froborr> Wait, so it is the same person who was plotting in the bedroom scene?
[14:23] <Arrlaari> This episode we also saw a character leading the storm in the past, she got an intro card so I’m pretty sure she wasn’t seen in any prior episode
01[14:23] <Froborr> So then it probably IS her and the teacher that were there.
[14:23] <@Sylocat> So I wasn’t hallucinating, it really was the same character
01[14:24] <Froborr> Blarg, this show has too many characters!
[14:24] <@Sylocat> (paused after ad)
01[14:24] <Froborr> At least Baccano had the decency to introduce us to almost all of them in the opening credits every episode.
[14:24] <Arrlaari> Paused after ad. So many of them get eaten by bears, they needed spares starting out.
[14:24] <@Sylocat> Click
[14:24] <@Sylocat> Aww, Lulu
[14:25] <@Sylocat> Be careful with those bandages go
[14:25] <@Sylocat> Oh… the mysterious voice on the phone is one of the judges
[14:25] <@Sylocat> Why the heck did I not realize that sooner?
[14:25] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… they’ve crossed the wall now?
[14:26] <@Sylocat> Is this another trap?
01[14:26] <Froborr> Yep, and one a long time in the creating.
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Ah… but Kureha was supposed to open it in front of Ginko, right?
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Oh… apparently not
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Oh, they are dead
[14:28] <@Sylocat> Yeesh… Ginko is going to kill them all
[14:28] <@Sylocat> Oh… here she is?
[14:29] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[14:29] <@Sylocat> I was not expecting that
01[14:29] <Froborr> And there it is, out in the open.
[14:29] <@Sylocat> Ah, and now Kureha re-reads the letter with Ginko in front of her?
01[14:29] <Froborr> Yep.
01[14:29] <Froborr> Well.
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Well, kneeling in front of her, but that works too
01[14:30] <Froborr> That was rather a gamechanger, wasn’t it?
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Wow
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Yep
[14:31] <@Sylocat> And now the three judges-or-whatever have crossed the wall too…
[14:31] <Arrlaari> In previous episodes, the Judgemens told Kureha over the phone, “give yourself over to the bears”. Earlier this episode, the Judgemens told Ginko, “give yourself over to the flames”.
[14:31] <Arrlaari> post ED scene
01[14:31] <Froborr> Shit, really?
01[14:32] <Froborr> Let me go back there.
[14:32] <@Sylocat> Wait, so it was Yurizono (the Homura Akemi lookalike who got killed) that ate Sumika? I’d forgotten that
01[14:33] <Froborr> I think we didn’t actually know that until now.
[14:33] <Arrlaari> She claimed responsibility shortly before Kureha shot her
01[14:33] <Froborr> Oh yeah, good point.
[14:33] <Arrlaari> Produced Sumika’s glasses as proof
[14:33] <@Sylocat> Ah, I’d forgotten that too
[14:33] <@Sylocat> Oh yeah… that was downright mean
01[14:34] <Froborr> But the revelation here is that Ginko witnessed it and let it happen.
01[14:35] <Froborr> So I’m thinking now that Ginko and Kureha are friends, Ginko is going to start struggling with guilt that she let someone so precious to Kureha die as part of her schemes to get close to Kureha.
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Seems logical
[14:38] <@Sylocat> But Ginko’s not going to have much time to feel guilty if the three judge guys are in town…
01[14:38] <Froborr> True, except insofar as they can serve as reifications of her guilt.
[14:38] <@Sylocat> I wonder if the final battle is between Ginko/Kureha/Lulu and the Judges/Invisible Storm, and the plot reveal is that the judges and Invisible Storm are all part of the same system
01[14:39] <Froborr> I think that’s very likely.
[14:39] <@Sylocat> Because they’re pretty much collaborating anyway, whether it’s intentional or not
01[14:39] <Froborr> I do note with interest that the judges are the only male characters in the show, there may well be some significance to that.
01[14:40] <Froborr> Especially given one of Ikuhara’s recurring themes in the 90s was that sexism and patriarchy render masculine love problematic, and as such only lesbian love is pure.
[14:40] <@Sylocat> I’d kind of like it if there were no male characters, but maybe they ran out of hairstyles to differentiate the girls with
[14:40] <@Sylocat> What the…
[14:40] <@Sylocat> Did Twilight just blow a raspberry at a BOOK?
01[14:40] <Froborr> Ah, I know Twilight’s problem well.
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Oh… does the map respond to Twilight’s mood?
01[14:41] <Froborr> Apparently not.
01[14:41] <Froborr> Oh, it skipped the OP. Boo.
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Maybe they skipped the opening to evade the Copyright Bots
01[14:41] <Froborr> Probably.
[14:41] <mere_oblivion> Clever!
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Noelle Benvenuti, didn’t she write Maud Pie?
01[14:42] <Froborr> Yes she did.
[14:42] <@Sylocat> Ah, Applejack has to return to the city she loathed so much she got her Cutie Mark by leaving it
01[14:42] <Froborr> I’m guessing this one will involve Applejack’s rich cousins from Season 1.
01[14:42] <Froborr> The Oranges?
01[14:43] <Froborr> Oh ho, this is going to be one of those “consecutive episodes happen simultaneously” things.
[14:43] <@Sylocat> Yeesh, Applejack practically has PTSD
[14:44] <@Sylocat> She wasn’t this terrified when they went for the fashion show
[14:44] <mere_oblivion> Whoa, even I knew that hat was simply wrong!
[14:44] <@Sylocat> This isn’t the Friendship Problem, Rarity
[14:45] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[14:45] <@Sylocat> Didn’t the customer drop the bit? He can just pick it up
01[14:46] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s what I was assuming would happen.
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Ahahah…. it’s Lucy Van Pelt’s clinic!
[14:46] <@Sylocat> It got a cameo in Zen and the Art of Gazebo Repair too
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Huh?
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Oh… so this is it
[14:47] <@Sylocat> Coco?
01[14:47] <Froborr> Oh, Coco, not the Oranges? Huh.
01[14:47] <Froborr> I guess it could be both.
[14:47] <@Sylocat> Ooh, she was the fan favorite of last season until Maud came along
[14:48] <Arrlaari> Rarity is on edge when it comes to finding the purpose the map sent them for
[14:48] <@Sylocat> This is one of those episodes that was practically made for me and mere_oblivion
[14:48] <mere_oblivion> I wuz just thinking that
[14:48] <Arrlaari> I think she wants to be back in time for the Sisterhood Social
[14:49] <@Sylocat> “My Fair Filly,” of course
01[14:49] <Froborr> Hmm, this actually is a good job for the two of them.
[14:49] <@Sylocat> Indeed it is
[14:49] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… she has Babs Seed hair, so she’s evil
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Okay, what is this guy based on?
01[14:50] <Froborr> Shoot, my video stalled.
01[14:50] <Froborr> Pause after the Emperor Norton guy?
[14:50] <mere_oblivion> Mine did too, but only briefly
[14:50] <Arrlaari> paused at 10:23
01[14:50] <Froborr> 10:07 for me.
01[14:51] <Froborr> Going to let it buffer a bit.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> So, the apparent issue here reminds me of Gryphonstone
[14:51] <@Sylocat> Emperor Norton?
[14:51] <@Sylocat> Okay, scrolled back to 10:07
01[14:51] <Froborr> Runs an import/export business, dresses like a 19th century gentleman, appears homeless?
01[14:51] <Froborr> That’s Emperor Norton all over.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> scrolling back
[14:52] <Arrlaari> Scrolled
01[14:52] <Froborr> Okay, ready when you guys are, just say the word Sylo.
[14:52] <mere_oblivion> scrolled
[14:52] <@Sylocat> Of course, I knew he was based on something
[14:52] <@Sylocat> Okay…
[14:52] <@Sylocat> Click
01[14:53] <Froborr> Oh, Rarity shouldn’t have said that.
01[14:53] <Froborr> Yes, the map is an eigenplot generator, but still.
[14:53] <@Sylocat> Hmm… it’s a little early for them to know what the Friendship Problem is, but this task really was practically made for them
[14:53] <@Sylocat> Ah… I started typing that before I saw the state of the place
[14:53] <Arrlaari> Wasn’t taking on too much work alone the problem in AJ’s first focus episode?
01[14:54] <Froborr> The first, the second… it’s a recurring problem for her.
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Whoa… Rarity will need to make HER a new hat
[14:55] <mere_oblivion> Actors are pompous twits? WHo knew??
[14:55] <@Sylocat> Especially the superstars
[14:55] <@Sylocat> These ponies are the Henry Breedloves of Equestria
[14:55] <mere_oblivion> Excellent
[14:56] <@Sylocat> I wonder what the ponified title of “Macbeth” would be
01[14:56] <Froborr> Big Macbeth
[14:56] <mere_oblivion> Scottish Horseplay?
[14:56] <@Sylocat> I wonder if there’s a horse breed that could be a play on the word “Scottish”
[14:57] <@Sylocat> Aww… street theatre!
01[14:57] <Froborr> I’m pretty sure the Method Ponies are not using the Method here.
[14:58] <mere_oblivion> Whatever they’re doing, it has a madness to it.
01[14:58] <Froborr> Are… are we going to get a play within a play within an episode?
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Metafiction-ception
[14:58] <@Sylocat> (which is redundant, since Inception was all metafiction)
[14:59] <Arrlaari> This is basically a play about the founder of the midsummer theater founding the midsummer theater
[14:59] <@Sylocat> Ah, and all the ponies they talked to showed up
[15:00] <@Sylocat> Ahah, the taped-on Cutie Marks
01[15:00] <Froborr> Those are pretty great, yeah.
[15:00] <@Sylocat> Aww, Applejack has stage fright
[15:01] <@Sylocat> Well, THAT’S a moral applicable to the theatre
[15:01] <Arrlaari> Ok, so the “Applejack takes on too much work” idea went in a different direction than the first time.
01[15:01] <Froborr> Um.
[15:01] <@Sylocat> Wow… this is a really great moral. “It’s the little things that really help.”
01[15:02] <Froborr> Was that two horseshoes flung over a branch?
[15:02] <@Sylocat> Yep… mission complete
[15:02] <@Sylocat> …Such a great moral that they felt the need to spell it out three times
[15:03] <@Sylocat> Ahah… here we go again
[15:03] <@Sylocat> Another new music track over the closing credits!
[15:03] <mere_oblivion> In honor of AJ?
[15:03] <@Sylocat> Wow… I loved it, but of course, I’m hella biased
01[15:04] <Froborr> So, yeah, given the title of the next episode, I think we can guess its plot.
[15:04] <@Sylocat> *checks what it is*
[15:04] <@Sylocat> “Brotherhooves Social?”
[15:04] <@Sylocat> Yeah, it’s a parallel-episode thing
01[15:05] <Froborr> And yeah, that was pretty good. Season 5 continues to be solid, with no real duds I can recall but few true standouts, with the only one I can think of off the top of my head being “Do Princesses Dream”
[15:10] <mere_oblivion> Has everyone gone to equine silence?
[15:10] <@Sylocat> I felt they overloaded the front end of the episode a little and tried to cram just a little too much into the back end…
[15:11] <mere_oblivion> It did feel kind of rushed
01[15:11] <Froborr> Yeah, and it was weird how they kept repeating the moral. There didn’t seem to be a secondary one, either.
[15:11] <mere_oblivion> But then putting on a show usually does feel rushed.
[15:11] <@Sylocat> Then again, I was actually kind of relieved that they didn’t make it about the conflict with the prima donna actors
[15:12] <mere_oblivion> Me too. Or do any jokes about Mare-ull Streep. (Wait, Sesame Street already did that 25 years ago.)
[15:12] <@Sylocat> It was really clever how they justified having Twilight stay behind, though…
[15:12] <Arrlaari> It’s the same device that kept her out of Gryphonstone
[15:12] <@Sylocat> There was a whole lot of clever use of foreshadowing and continuity-building here, which this show usually doesn’t do
[15:13] <mere_oblivion> Oh yeah, Arrlaari–you mentioned Gryphonstone earlier and it kind of slid past me.
[15:13] <@Sylocat> (except when Larson is writing)
[15:14] <Arrlaari> During the “we don’t have time” scenes, there was a visual emphasis on the bits being paid for the services at the various stalls, but they wound up talking about time and not thinking your contribution would amount to something worthwhile rather than talking about preoccupation with money.
[15:14] <@Sylocat> Well, I can see why they wanted to avoid getting into the economic side of things, especially with a moral like this
01[15:15] <Froborr> Yeah, I mean, in a real neighborhood you’d never get that kind of mix of different classes.
[15:16] <@Sylocat> Season five has had a very odd relationship with capitalism
01[15:18] <Froborr> I think it’s strugggling with the underlying tension of the show, between its inherently anti-capitalistic values of friendship and cooperation, and the fact that it exists to sell toys for the enrichment of a large corporation.
[15:20] <mere_oblivion> “A kinder, gentler exploitation” seems about the best we can hope for these days.
[15:20] <@Sylocat> The show seems, whether intentionally or not, to be rebelling against its toyetic origins any way it can (see also, their transparent effort to sneak lesbianism past the corporate overseers in “Slice of Life”)
[15:20] <mere_oblivion> Missed that one. Was it so transparent?
[15:21] <@Sylocat> I still haven’t shown you Slice of Life?
[15:21] <@Sylocat> Oh wow…
[15:21] <mere_oblivion> Nope.
01[15:21] <Froborr> I dunno, I still feel like “Slice of Life” was closer to queerbaiting than an actual attempt to slide lesbians past the censors.
[15:23] <@Sylocat> Eh… I thought it was pretty clear they were “Just Friends” in the same way that Kitty and Bunny from Courage the Cowardly Dog were “Just Friends”
[15:23] <@Sylocat> But anyway… back to this episode
[15:24] <@Sylocat> Further thoughts?
[15:25] <mere_oblivion> Who’s Emperor Norton, again?
[15:25] <@Sylocat> I had to Google it to refresh my memory too…
[15:26] <@Sylocat> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emperor_Norton
01[15:26] <Froborr> Oh, right, not everyone is as Emperor Norton-obsessed as I am.
[15:26] <mere_oblivion> Thx. Did anyone ever prove he wasn’t Emperor of the United States?
[15:27] <@Sylocat> Were you thinking of a different Emperor Norton?
[15:27] <Arrlaari> Well, it would have been unconstitutional
01[15:27] <Froborr> No no, same Norton.
01[15:27] <Froborr> I find him an endlessly facinating figure.
[15:28] <mere_oblivion> I can see why!
[15:28] <@Sylocat> He was a very interesting guy
[15:29] <mere_oblivion> If only Emperor were an elective office, we could vote for him in ’16. Except he daid. (Would that be held against him?)
[15:29] <@Sylocat> Hey, people have voted a dead guy into office before
[15:29] <mere_oblivion> Not just on that episode of Red Green?
[15:29] <@Sylocat> And Night Court, as well…
[15:29] <@Sylocat> but John Ashcroft actually lost an election to a dead guy
[15:31] <mere_oblivion> Served him right. Were the dead guy’s nipples visible through is shroud? (Obscure John Ashford ref.)
[15:31] <mere_oblivion> “his shroud”?
01[15:31] <Froborr> lol
01[15:31] <Froborr> *got the reference*
01[15:32] <Froborr> But yeah, IIRC the guy died mid-election, still beat Ashcroft, and his wife was awarded the Congressional seat.
01[15:33] <Froborr> (By “mid-election” I mean several months before the actual vote.)
[15:33] <mere_oblivion> Cool!
[15:33] <@Sylocat> (in fairness,most of the voters really were just voting semi-indirectly for the guy’s wife)
[15:34] <mere_oblivion> Sounds fair enough to me. . . . Well, I’m off to file my candidacy papers.
01[15:34] <Froborr> Ah, yes, foudn it. Mel Carnahan was the dead guy, and Jean Carnahan his wife.