The Kickstarter is past 70 percent–$715 out of $1,000! We’re in the home stretch! I’ve revealed the first stretch goal; next reveal is when we hit 100 percent!
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!
01[14:04] <Froborr> I see the invasion is going much as expected.
[14:04] <Arrlaari> Well, that was a short battle
01[14:05] <Froborr> I was really expecting this episode to BE the battle. This is in some ways more effective though.
01[14:05] <Froborr> That was also an unexpectedly short battle.
01[14:06] <Froborr> I wonder: time constraints, budget, or both?
01[14:06] <Froborr> …wow, yeah, that’s one way to keep your treasury from being raided.
[14:07] <Arrlaari> moeteru, or I guess moeteiru
01[14:07] <Froborr> This is a weirdly unmarked flashback.
[14:07] <Arrlaari> I’m glad you mentioned that in that comment
01[14:07] <Froborr> Oh?
[14:08] <Arrlaari> I’ll have to explain later
01[14:08] <Froborr> Also, one of the most strikign differences between Japanese culture and ours, at least for me, is the whole “no crying when you’re sad” thing. Manly tears only in anime-land.
01[14:09] <Froborr> I mean, i’m assuming it’s a Japanese cultural thing, it could just be an anime thing.
[14:09] <Arrlaari> That’s a difference? No crying for men is totally a thing here.
01[14:10] <Froborr> I don’t think I’ve ever seen a TV show in which someone was *yelled at* for crying except where the parent is being portrayed as abusive.
01[14:10] <Froborr> Whereas in anime it’s quite commonplace.
[14:10] <Arrlaari> I guess here not crying is a grownup thing
[14:10] <Arrlaari> And kids are allowed to do it
[14:11] <Arrlaari> An energist in the hilt
01[14:11] <Froborr> Well, and also we *do* allow it in times of loss. Our media will totally portray men crying if, for example, someone just died. Which is precisely what Chid is being yelled at for.
[14:11] <Arrlaari> Hm, perhaps artifacts of Atlantis were divided among the kingdoms here
01[14:11] <Froborr> Wait, Atlantis?
01[14:12] <Froborr> I think it’s more likely that possessing an artifact of Atlantis is a good way to found/conquer a kingdom.
[14:12] <Arrlaari> Fire instead of water, but basically the same idea
01[14:12] <Froborr> So Freid has nukes.
01[14:12] <Froborr> And the empire wants ’em.
01[14:13] <Froborr> What is he DOING?
01[14:13] <Froborr> Trying to control Escaflowne with his mind?
[14:13] <Arrlaari> He’s communing with the machine spirit
01[14:14] <Froborr> Huh, you were right.
01[14:15] <Froborr> Van has yet to consider the possibility that becoming your armor kind of ruins its abilities to keep you from hurting.
01[14:15] <Froborr> Rain of blood. Portentous.
01[14:16] <Froborr> It’s really weird, Chid is basically living the cuckoo fantasy, but he’s ALREADY a prince, so it’s kind of inverted?
01[14:17] <Froborr> Are you there, God? It’s me, Merle.
[14:17] <Arrlaari> The Zaibach guymelf’s are showing that they can roll anyone other than the protagonists
01[14:17] <Froborr> This is really feeling like they ran into time constraints, the pace has accelerated MASSIVELy.
01[14:18] <Froborr> We’ve already covered ground that would have been 2-3 episodes back in the single digits.
01[14:18] <Froborr> Shit, did the duke just die?
[14:18] <Arrlaari> I think it’s been mentioned before that they were expecting more episodes than they were given
01[14:18] <Froborr> Ah.
01[14:18] <Froborr> This must be where they found out.
01[14:20] <Froborr> tl;dr version of the duke’s speech: “Eh, I’m dying anyway, may as well unleash the civilization-destroying superweapon.”
01[14:20] <Froborr> What a dick.
[14:20] <Arrlaari> It sounds like he’s saying that Zaibach is going to win, will of the gods, nothing we can do about it
[14:20] <Arrlaari> But I’ll die for my duty because Honor
01[14:21] <Froborr> Yeah, I misread it, I thought he was about to USE the superweapon.
01[14:21] <Froborr> But he’s just saying that the fight’s over and Zaibach is certain to get the sword.
01[14:21] <Froborr> Now RUN AND TAKE HIS SWORD, ALLEN.
01[14:21] <Froborr> FFS
01[14:24] <Froborr> That’s a MUCH better keyblade than the Kingdom Hearts one.
01[14:24] <Froborr> And Van’s stuck inside his mech and dying, great.
01[14:24] <Froborr> Well, that happened.
01[14:24] <Froborr> What was it you were saying earlier?
[14:25] <Arrlaari> About moe being derived from the verb “to burn”?
01[14:26] <Froborr> Yep.
01[14:26] <Froborr> Seriously Beautiful Fighting Girls is a great book.
[14:27] <Arrlaari> It has to do with what I guess are Madoka Magica fanfic ideas that I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while
01[14:27] <Froborr> Ah.
01[14:28] <Froborr> We start SMC in 3 minutes, is that sufficient time to explain or do you want to wait until after?
[14:29] <Arrlaari> In particular, I’ve been imagining a character who is a magical girl revolutionary who’s really big on apocalyptic ideas, “cast into the fire” imagry, and is motivated by a “fire in her heart” whenever she sees what she considers mistreatment. And I had no idea “moe” was linguistically rooted in that kind of feeling.
01[14:30] <Froborr> Ah. Yep.
01[14:30] <Froborr> Which is to say, my description of it way back in my first Madoka panel as “White Knighting meets lolicon” was more accurate than I knew.
01[14:30] <Froborr> Anyway, ready for SMC?
[14:30] <Arrlaari> Yeah
[14:31] <Arrlaari> It’s loaded and paused here
01[14:31] <Froborr> click
01[14:31] <Froborr> I turned adblock off for crunchyroll, btw, I’ll let you knwo when I hit one.
01[14:32] <Froborr> Oh god, I can SEE the “idiot plot” incoming.
01[14:32] <Froborr> Chibi-Usagi knows something useful and is going to just sit on it for eleven episodes because FEELINGS.
01[14:33] <Froborr> Scratch that, there’s ten episodes left in the buy.
01[14:33] <Froborr> She’ll sit on it for nine of them.
01[14:34] <Froborr> ad
01[14:34] <Froborr> I just noticed at the end of the credits Sailor Mercury has noticeably shorter legs than the others. Nice touch.
[14:34] <Arrlaari> I still don’t know what is causing the ads to skip, I’m pretty sure I don’t even have ad block installed
01[14:34] <Froborr> lol
01[14:34] <Froborr> Server blacklisted by your firewall?
[14:35] <Arrlaari> It might just be a bug, when I was trying to watch Nozaki kun flash player would freeze outright
01[14:35] <Froborr> WTF ad? What’s a “music selfie”?
01[14:35] <Froborr> Huh.
[14:35] <Arrlaari> It doesn’t happen when I watch from my older computer
[14:35] <Arrlaari> but that’s a linux / windows 7 dual boot and this is 8
01[14:35] <Froborr> back
01[14:36] <Froborr> Now I know she’s unconscious, Mamoru, but could you TRY not to make out with the kindergartener?
01[14:37] <Froborr> Yeah, alternate-universe Sailor Moon who failed is seeming pretty likely.
01[14:37] <Froborr> And here’s that No Crying Allowed thing again.
01[14:38] <Froborr> Of COURSE Mamoru has a puppet of himself.
01[14:39] <Froborr> “Well, you’ve been awake for a whole thirty seconds. Time to go to sleep!”
01[14:40] <Froborr> I still find Artemis’ voice HILARIOUS.
01[14:40] <Froborr> Ooh, Sailor Mercury, Tactical Analyst. I like it.
01[14:41] <Froborr> And now Usagi is jealous of a six-year-old. Her relationship with Mamoru is clearly The Healthiest Thing Ever ™.
01[14:42] <Froborr> maleficblackcrystal.tumblr.com
01[14:42] <Froborr> Nah, works better as a band name.
01[14:43] <Froborr> Ah, Mercury’s next.
01[14:45] <Froborr> Oh yeah, Naru is a character in this show.
01[14:45] <Froborr> lol at Usagi drowning
01[14:46] <Froborr> Good use of background sound
01[14:46] <Froborr> Mercury’s father is dead, isn’t he?
01[14:46] <Froborr> Okay, were the Spectre Sisters specifically manufactured as rivals or something? This is bordering on silly.
01[14:47] <Froborr> I am fairly certain that the use of FUTURE-DETECTING MAGIC is not permitted in tournament chess.
01[14:47] <Froborr> ad
[14:47] <Arrlaari> No ad for you?
01[14:47] <Froborr> lol
01[14:47] <Froborr> So you’ve been very quiet.
[14:47] <Arrlaari> Hm, I must be running ahead of you
[14:47] <Arrlaari> Well, a lot of this matches with what I’ve seen in the old series
01[14:47] <Froborr> I just hit the commercial bumper, and then ads.
01[14:47] <Froborr> Ah.
[14:47] <Arrlaari> This chess match happened, for example
01[14:48] <Froborr> *nods*
[14:49] <Arrlaari> Although IIRC Berthier was after some old chess guy and Ami got into the match with her to stop her, in the 90’s anime
01[14:49] <Froborr> 90s anime seems to have had a lot more character-of-the-week
01[14:49] <Froborr> back
[14:49] <Arrlaari> Instead of Berthier literally challenging her over national tv
01[14:50] <Froborr> WHY DID YOU ACCEPT THAT CHALLENGE MERCURY
01[14:50] <Froborr> You should have just called in your friends to kick her ass!
01[14:51] <Froborr> I’m pretty sure telepathy is cheating at chess too!
01[14:51] <Froborr> Still, good psych game on Belthier’s part.
01[14:51] <Froborr> Ah, not dead, abandoned her.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> Flash crashed
01[14:51] <Froborr> Ouch, this got real all of a sudden. Poor Mercury.
01[14:52] <Froborr> Shit, I’ll pause.
[14:52] <Arrlaari> The video froze but the sound continued
[14:52] <Arrlaari> And I got “flash is not responding” messages
01[14:52] <Froborr> Let me know when and where you resume.
[14:52] <Arrlaari> It was locking up all of firefox
[14:52] <Arrlaari> The last thing I saw was the door’s shadow closing over Kid Ami
01[14:53] <Froborr> k, I’m there, let me know when you’re ready
01[14:53] <Froborr> Actually, just let me know when you resume.
[14:54] <Arrlaari> Before we resume, I’m seeing two motives for Ami to accept the chess match
01[14:54] <Froborr> Yes?
[14:55] <Arrlaari> First, it was a personal challenge, meeting it is Honorable. Second, recall what Ami said earlier about learning what the opponent is thinking through the chess match – she wants to learn about the Black Moon’s motives
01[14:55] <Froborr> Hmm, point.
01[14:55] <Froborr> Still, silly of her not to get her friends to at least sit in the audience.
[14:56] <Arrlaari> And because this is not a subtle show, Berthier is outright telling her important things while showing off her mind reading.
[14:56] <Arrlaari> Hand on the button –
[14:56] <Arrlaari> And resume
01[14:57] <Froborr> Oh, they are in the audience!
01[14:58] <Froborr> MERCURY <3
[14:58] <Arrlaari_> Firefox crashed
01[14:58] <Froborr> Shit, sorry.
01[14:58] <Froborr> Where’d you leave off?
[14:59] <Arrlaari_> Mercury was freezing before making a move as the pendant pointed at her
[14:59] <Arrlaari_> The sound went on long enough for me to hear Usagi shouting from the audience
01[14:59] <Froborr> k, I found the spot.
01[15:00] <Froborr> And yeah, guess they were in the audeince, it just didn’t show them before this.
01[15:00] <Froborr> Let me know when you resume.
[15:00] <Arrlaari_> go
01[15:01] <Froborr> OH NO, SHE KNOCKED A PIECE OVER, THAT MEANS SHE LOSES
01[15:01] <Froborr> In no variant of chess ever.
01[15:01] <Froborr> Sometimes having a person with no sense of propriety is handy!
01[15:02] <Froborr> Again: MERCURY <3
01[15:02] <Froborr> Oh hey, that’s actually a really good representation of the “lines of force” top chess players talk about.
01[15:03] <Froborr> Haha, Usagi, “Did she win?”
01[15:03] <Froborr> And of course Berthier has no intention of keeping her word.
01[15:04] <Froborr> Oh cool, Mercury’s HUD.
[15:05] <Arrlaari_> Shine Snow Illusion is something new to me
01[15:05] <Froborr> Dude, Mercury’s showing off a LOT of new powers.
01[15:05] <Froborr> Snow, ability to create duplicates.
[15:05] <Arrlaari_> Also, it’s actually an Illusion
01[15:05] <Froborr> And of course now Mercury gets kidnapped.
[15:06] <Arrlaari_> And Mercury is not able to report her findings
01[15:06] <Froborr> Yep.
01[15:06] <Froborr> I’m not bothering with the next ep preview.
[15:06] <Arrlaari_> A lot of elements are the same, but the overall theme of the Specter Sisters is totally different
01[15:06] <Froborr> Yeah, this seems very much about isolating, physically and psychologically, the characters.
01[15:07] <Froborr> How was it in the old series?
[15:07] <Arrlaari_> There was a picture about Belthier specifically I bookmarked on twitter, but the image is deleted
01[15:07] <Froborr> What was the gist?
[15:08] <Arrlaari_> Well, first I should explain that the 90’s era Specter Sisters got character development and shared a redemption arc formula
[15:08] <Arrlaari_> Here, the formula is they show up for an episode, be evil at their counterpart, put their counterpart in an elemental prison just before getting vaporised by Sailor Moon
[15:09] <Arrlaari_> Then Rubeus carts off their sealed counterpart
01[15:09] <Froborr> Yeah, the focus is definitely more on developing the Scouts here.
[15:10] <Arrlaari_> In the old anime, which had more time for them, we got to see them interact with each other and their immediate superior, Rubeus. They were basically competing with each other for Rubeus’ approval and affection, for a bad guy faction understanding of the word “affection”.
[15:11] <Arrlaari_> As one can guess, Rubeus saw them as disposable pawns
01[15:11] <Froborr> *nods* Very familiar badguy-team anime dynamic.
[15:11] <Arrlaari_> So there was an episode where Rubeus basically gave the fire one a bomb and told her it was going to kill both her and Mars and that’s as useful as she can be to him, because of what an incompetent loser she is
[15:12] <Arrlaari_> And she was basically down to accept that fate until Mars talked her out of it and she manages to get the bomb clear of them both, but loses her badguy powers and becomes a baseline human and friend of the scouts
[15:13] <Arrlaari_> Also: In the whole 90’s anime no villain ever discovered the scouts’ secret identities without being ejected from the badguy team for incompetence or killed by the scouts before they could report
01[15:13] <Froborr> Huh, whereas Black Moon seems to just somehow know.
[15:13] <Arrlaari_> e.g. For Belthier, the chess tournament was her last chance before being ditched like her younger sister, and that’s where she learned that Ami is Mercury
[15:14] <Arrlaari_> Also, in the chess match she froze the arena and set it up so that a part of Mercury would freeze whenever she lost a piece
[15:14] <Arrlaari_> And when she lost the match her two older sisters showed up to tell her that she’s a loser who should go die, so she starts to freeze herself (and the whole room with her) but her younger sister talks her down
[15:15] <Arrlaari_> I won’t talk about the older two specifically since we haven’t seen their episodes yet
01[15:15] <Froborr> *nods*
01[15:15] <Froborr> Well, I enjoyed this episode as-is–I really liked the insight into Ami’s character.
[15:16] <Arrlaari_> Anyway, the image I bookmarked was basically pointing out that Elsa from Frozen is literally Belthier and there’s actually a history between the animation studio that did 90’s sailor moon and Disney
01[15:16] <Froborr> Ah.
[15:16] <Arrlaari_> But it doesn’t work with this Belthier, who’s just a villain who gets killed
01[15:17] <Froborr> *nods*
01[15:17] <Froborr> I mean, it’s the correct decision: with 1/10 as many episodes, you chuck development of the villains and focus on the heroes instead. That’s reasonable.
01[15:18] <Froborr> I mean, it might have been better to just do one arc and focus on both sets of characters more.
01[15:18] <Froborr> But if they’re doing “more faithful to the manga” as a selling point then their hadns are to an extent tied.
[15:18] <Arrlaari_> I wouldn’t be surprised if this is just how it was in the Manga, and their development was invented by the 90’s anime crew
01[15:19] <Froborr> Well, yes, because again that’s what you do–you need to turn one volume of manga into 30 episodes? Character development for everyone!
[15:19] <Arrlaari_> I do know that the manga killed the Specter Sisters, who survive to become makeup saleswomen in the anime
01[15:20] <Froborr> *nods*
01[15:20] <Froborr> All right, any other thoughts before I post this up?
[15:20] <Arrlaari_> I have more thoughts but I should hold them back until later
01[15:21] <Froborr> Okay.
01[15:21] <Froborr> Want me to clip your fic idea out?
[15:22] <Arrlaari_> It’s not that embarassing, is it?
01[15:22] <Froborr> Not at all! Just some people prefer not to publically share their ideas before they execute them, so I thought I’d ask.
[15:23] <Arrlaari_> Well, I wasn’t planning to actually execute these ideas, telling you about them is as close as I’m likely to come
01[15:24] <Froborr> Ah, okay.
[15:24] <Arrlaari_> It’s about time. I could get good enough at writing to do it if I chose to drop programming for it, but I ain’t gonna do that.
01[15:24] <Froborr> I understand, it’s the reason I dropped music in my early teens.