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 after the cut! Warning: consists mostly of me shouting at people and/or being angry about things.
01[14:00] <Froborr> So I noticed some mapping onto the FF characters in the comments on last episode.
[14:01] <@Sylocat> The comparison does invite itself
01[14:01] <Froborr> It works pretty well, but I think the one guy–not!Setzer–maps even better onto a Skies of Arcadia character.
01[14:01] <Froborr> Whose name I can’t remember EITHER, so it works.
[14:01] <Arrlaari> Moreso on the imperial side than on the protagonists
[14:01] <@Sylocat> Come to think of it, I never finished Skies of Arcadia
01[14:01] <Froborr> I dunno, you’ve got clear Sabin, Edgar, Setzer analogues in the good guys.
01[14:02] <Froborr> The GameCube remake is the best RPG of that era.
[14:02] <@Sylocat> Ooh, scenery porn
01[14:02] <Froborr> Yes, I acknowledge that it is better than Xenosaga, after I correct for Xenosaga being obviously made specifically for me personally.
01[14:02] <Froborr> Great, the cast’s been vaporized.
[14:03] <Arrlaari> The cat is the first person to not immediately follow into the vanishing field
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Time and space are obviously nonlinear around here
01[14:03] <Froborr> Those bricks feel out of place.
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Is Van even in the same place?
[14:03] <mere_oblivion> Anyone else note a scenic resemblance to Castle in the Sky?
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Oh, he’s back in Fanelia
01[14:03] <Froborr> Oh my yes.
[14:03] <@Sylocat> No wonder the bricks look different
01[14:04] <Froborr> Everyone is back at the sites of their personal tragedies.
01[14:04] <Froborr> Except that Hitomi doesn’t actually have a character or plotline of her own, so she’s at another one of Van’s.
[14:04] <Arrlaari> So both the dudes are in hallucinations and Hitomi gets to hang out in the actual place
[14:05] <@Sylocat> “We?” Oh, she’s channeling a spirit
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Or, she’s translating…
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Whoa, the wings were man-made?
[14:05] <@Sylocat> I’d forgotten that
01[14:06] <Froborr> GAEA is manmade!
01[14:06] <Froborr> That’s a slightly bigger revelation!
[14:06] <@Sylocat> And they created Gaea as well
01[14:07] <Froborr> Man, when they said omniscient and omnipotent they MEANT it.
[14:08] <@Sylocat> Trippyyyyyyyyy
[14:09] <@Sylocat> Van went through this with the Dragonslayers already
[14:09] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… someone else arriving?
01[14:10] <Froborr> Or the gate collapsing?
01[14:10] <Froborr> Oh, I LIKE that bit about wishing from anxiety.
01[14:11] <Froborr> I am less enthused with Everything Is Hitomi’s Fault.
[14:11] <mere_oblivion> Me too (neither?)
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Something tells me that’s not really Van’s mom (or even her ghost/whatever)
01[14:11] <Froborr> But maybe this is just this place doing to her what it’s doing to the other two.
01[14:11] <Froborr> Playing on their fears, anxieties, and traumas.
[14:12] <mere_oblivion> I’m hoping you’re right
[14:12] <@Sylocat> This place does transform thought into energy, after all… maybe it’s just telling Hitomi what she secretly believes
[14:12] <@Sylocat> I can’t remember, though
01[14:12] <Froborr> On the other hand, that would be too much like giving Hitomi characterization.
01[14:12] <Froborr> Which this show is clearly quite averse to.
01[14:13] <Froborr> Hey, that actually says “Journal” on it!
01[14:13] <Froborr> In English!
01[14:13] <Froborr> It’s a weird font, but it’s readable!
[14:13] <@Sylocat> Ah, so THAT’S how Hitomi’s grandma got the pendant
[14:14] <@Sylocat> And the song is in English too, for some reason…
01[14:14] <Froborr> To be exotic and romantic, obviously.
[14:14] <@Sylocat> Ah yeah, I was right… this is all their own subconsciousnesses manifested.
01[14:15] <Froborr> I’m still totally squicked out by 50-year-old man with obsessive crush on teen girl he saw one, btw.
[14:15] <Arrlaari> This guy is clearly trying very hard to pronounce english correctly but he also said “crear mind”
[14:15] <@Sylocat> It’s unclear what his age was when he first saw her…
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Awwwww
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Ha… I do like that resolution
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Like, the show actually has him realize he’s been a dumbass
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… the evil catgirl twins are en route
01[14:17] <Froborr> Yeah, I do appreciate that.
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Now to rescue Van
01[14:18] <Froborr> There’s only a couple of minutes left to the episode, rescuing Van is clearly the plot of the next one.
01[14:18] <Froborr> Or… not?
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Is it on autopilot, or is he in there?
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Oh, he’s in there?
01[14:18] <Froborr> No, he’s in there.
01[14:18] <Froborr> Ah, yes, “I hear the sounds of war” referred to the catgirls.
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Ahahah… Van’s ticked that THEY’RE the ones who yanked him out of there
01[14:18] <Froborr> Oh good, and he’s still hallucinating WHILE fighting them.
[14:19] <@Sylocat> That’s putting it mildly
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Yeah, something tells me this isn’t going to end much better than the others did…
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Oh. They got interrupted
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Oh shit…
[14:20] <@Sylocat> That was weird
01[14:20] <Froborr> He appears to have sent them Away.
[14:21] <@Sylocat> The heck
01[14:21] <Froborr> Oh hey, that shot was from the opening credits.
01[14:21] <Froborr> New energist, time to upgrade Escaflowne again!
[14:21] <@Sylocat> I’ve never seen a transparent green energist before
[14:22] <@Sylocat> Maybe it’s the old Atlantis model before they started using dragon hearts?
01[14:22] <Froborr> Yeah, that was definitely one of the better episodes.
[14:23] <Arrlaari> The preview was pretty good
[14:23] <mere_oblivion> Weird as all get out, which as so often is a good thing.
[14:24] <Arrlaari> Less “here’s a big spoiler for what happens” more “here’s a vague idea the episode is about”
01[14:26] <Froborr> So, any thoughts?
[14:26] <@Sylocat> One thing I like about this genre is it allows a more seamless blending of character-devlopment/character-driven storytelling with kickass trippy action sequences
[14:27] <Arrlaari> I was fully expecting Folken’s cats to die here
[14:27] <Arrlaari> But they got let off with a warning
01[14:27] <Froborr> WHY THANK YOU FOR THE SPOILER THAT THEY DIDN’T JESUS CHRIST ARRLAARI
[14:27] <Arrlaari> What? You just saw the episode?
[14:27] <@Sylocat> You’re… you’re kidding, right?
[14:27] <Arrlaari> I thought he was going to kill them in this very episode
01[14:27] <Froborr> Yeah. It ends with the Imperials being sent Away. We have no idea what their situation is.
01[14:28] <Froborr> I mean, they’re PROBABLY alive.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> It didn’t seem vague to me
[14:28] <Arrlaari> I didn’t see them in the preview or anything
01[14:28] <Froborr> Wait.
01[14:28] <Froborr> Sorry.
01[14:28] <Froborr> I got confused as to who has seen the rest of the show and who hasn’t.
[14:29] <@Sylocat> I think it’s only dad and I who have seen the rest of it
01[14:29] <Froborr> Okay.
01[14:29] <Froborr> Sorry.
[14:29] <Arrlaari> Well, that is fully half of the people in this chat
[14:29] <Arrlaari> And two thirds of the people who aren’t Froborr
[14:29] <mere_oblivion> And my memory is such that no one need worry i’ll commit any spoilers WHATsoever
[14:29] <@Sylocat> (and I can only remember parts of it, even though I saw it like 5 times when I was a kid)
01[14:29] <Froborr> lol
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Anyway… SMC?
01[14:30] <Froborr> I mean, like I said, they’re PROBABLY alive. But if the next episode opened with Folken mourning their deaths, that wouldn’t be completely out of left field, either.
01[14:30] <Froborr> Sounds good, I’ve got it queued.
[14:30] <mere_oblivion> Glad to be back, anyway. How many more episodes can we do before MLP–or are we going to combine this with MLP, or . . . ?
[14:30] <@Sylocat> I’ll see you this evening, dad
[14:31] <@Sylocat> Hmm… good question
01[14:31] <Froborr> Oh, the plan is that Escaflowne and SMC will alternate.
[14:31] <@Sylocat> Works for me
01[14:31] <Froborr> Every week’ll be one ep of anime and one ep of MLP.
01[14:32] <Froborr> Until we run out of one or the other anime, anyway.
[14:32] <mere_oblivion> Coolness itself!
01[14:32] <Froborr> Also I won’t be here the weekend of the MLP premiere, but there’ll be a post and a chat and all.
[14:32] <mere_oblivion> Indeed, 5:30ish, yes?
[14:33] <@Sylocat> Right… see ya then
[14:33] <mere_oblivion> That was for Sylocat
[14:33] <mere_oblivion> Ciao 4 now!
01[14:33] <Froborr> Laters!
[14:33] <@Sylocat> All right… start at 35 past?
[14:33] <@Sylocat> 2 minutes?
01[14:33] <Froborr> k
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Click again
[14:35] <@Sylocat> I still say this logo looks like Speedy Gonzales
[14:35] <@Sylocat> Ah yes… now however many of the scouts have been kidnapped
01[14:35] <Froborr> Nah, it’s clearly a cat.
[14:35] <Arrlaari> All but one
[14:35] <@Sylocat> I know it’s supposed to be a cat
[14:35] <@Sylocat> Tuxedo Fedora being useless again
01[14:35] <Froborr> All of the ones I care about are gone, it’s just frickin’ Usagi and whatserface left.
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Oh… she dropped an earring!
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Eh, I like Venus
01[14:36] <Froborr> Okay, being able to just teleport a petri dish around stuff is pretty nifty.
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Yeah… so they can do Magic!SCIENCE!
01[14:37] <Froborr> Does it count as a petri dish if it doesn’t have that red stuff? I’m fuessing probably not.
01[14:37] <Froborr> *guessing
[14:37] <@Sylocat> Petri dishes aren’t always red, they’re often like pale orange-brown
01[14:38] <Froborr> Both of which are kinds of red, so phbt.
[14:38] <@Sylocat> I said “pale” orange-brown
[14:38] <@Sylocat> But anyway
[14:39] <@Sylocat> Uh oh…
[14:39] <@Sylocat> Something tells me chibiUsa’s friend is evil
[14:39] <@Sylocat> I mean, we’ve seen her in a two-second static shot, but…
[14:39] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[14:39] <@Sylocat> That was unexpected
01[14:40] <Froborr> Indeed.
[14:40] <@Sylocat> “Nemesis.” Lol
[14:41] <@Sylocat> “Ruler?” Who does he think is Earth’s “ruler?”
[14:41] <Arrlaari> Ad
01[14:42] <Froborr> Likewise.
[14:43] <Arrlaari> Wow, they actually had three different ads
[14:43] <Arrlaari> ad over
01[14:43] <Froborr> Still on my second.
[14:43] <@Sylocat> Wow, not just the same ad three times?
[14:43] <@Sylocat> That’s novel
01[14:43] <Froborr> back
01[14:44] <Froborr> Ah, so Wiseman’s really running the show and the minions are worried about it.
[14:44] <@Sylocat> Gee, I wonder if Wiseman will turn out to be the true villain of this arc
01[14:44] <Froborr> Sylo.
01[14:44] <Froborr> That kind of comment is NOT INNOCUOUS when it comes from someone who’s seen/read this before.
[14:44] <Arrlaari> Okay, that operation name is definitely different
[14:44] <@Sylocat> Is it really a spoiler? It’s painfully obvious
[14:45] <@Sylocat> But okay
01[14:45] <Froborr> Yes, because painfully obvious things are sometimes misdirection. Now I know it’s not.
[14:45] <@Sylocat> Why did Usagi suddenly run out of the interrogation?
01[14:46] <Froborr> Usagi, you are like a DECADE OLDER than the traumatized little girl, why are YOU the one running out crying?
01[14:46] <Froborr> All your friends have been kidnapped! Now it’s once again Maawwwwwly’s turn!
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Ah, Naru and glasses WHAT ONE OF THEM HAS AN ALBUM?
[14:46] <@Sylocat> And… and swirly glasses guy knows she’s from another world or whatever
[14:47] <@Sylocat> This is a… bizarre way of luring them out
01[14:47] <Froborr> It’s kind of brilliant though, because of course nobody with any sense will beleive in this channeling nonsense.
01[14:48] <Froborr> It’s like spreading UFO rumors around a site for testing experimental aricraft so nobody who sees lights in the sky gets taken seriously.
[14:48] <@Sylocat> True… making yourself look like a crank to anyone who’s not already in the know IS a pretty good way of stopping the normals from asking too many questions
[14:48] <@Sylocat> Ah right, these kids in that club
01[14:49] <Froborr> Oh shit, it’s all the one-shot characters!
01[14:49] <Froborr> Da FUQ?
[14:49] <Arrlaari> Okay, I heard that in the manga Mamoru had the rocks they turned into when they died, but this is news to me
[14:49] <@Sylocat> A whole lot of channeling of spirits going on in this episode
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Ooh, are the Rock Knights going to fight the spirits of Rubeus’s henchbabes?
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Maybe hook up with them in the afterlife and let the Senshi have more interesting boyfriends?
[14:50] <Arrlaari> ad
01[14:50] <Froborr> likewise
[14:50] <@Sylocat> (I don’t know if that’s the case)
01[14:50] <Froborr> I think you mean more interesting girlfriends.
[14:51] <@Sylocat> True, true
01[14:51] <Froborr> And by girlfriends I mean Usagi and each other.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> So we’ve seen that Naru suspects something is going on, and then we see two people who are friends with Mars and Jupiter who suspect osmething is going on
01[14:51] <Froborr> Poly senshi 4ever
[14:51] <@Sylocat> Though I kinda like Makoto’s new friend
[14:51] <@Sylocat> But yeah… poly is good
01[14:51] <Froborr> Yeah, he’s easily the least terrible potential het relationship in the show.
[14:51] <Arrlaari> ad over
01[14:51] <Froborr> Still going for me.
[14:51] <@Sylocat> There are both wholesome and unwholesome reasons why I want to see a lesbian orgy amongst the senshi
01[14:52] <Froborr> back
[14:52] <@Sylocat> WHOA
[14:52] <@Sylocat> They stole her Morpher brooch?
[14:52] <Arrlaari> Notable: there wasn’t one for Mercury
01[14:53] <Froborr> This is true.
[14:53] <@Sylocat> I don’t think any of the senshi besides Makoto have gotten a new hetero love interest yet, have they?
01[14:53] <Froborr> Wait, how did Maaawwly and the one-shots get brainwashed too?
[14:53] <@Sylocat> She’s saying “Mind control” while being filmed with a TV camera?
01[14:53] <Froborr> Also, new band name: Maawwwly and the One-Shots.
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Is it affecting the audience at home too? Or is she saying hang the consequences?
[14:54] <@Sylocat> What the…
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Whoa, they’re puppeteering the minor characters?
[14:55] <@Sylocat> “Spectre Sisters,” that was their name
[14:55] <@Sylocat> Jeez…
[14:55] <@Sylocat> Ahah… they call her “Rabbit” in katakana
[14:55] <@Sylocat> Alerted by a cell phone?
01[14:55] <Froborr> Rubeus’ camo pants are hilarious!
[14:56] <@Sylocat> Yeah… he’s the butchest guy in the anime thus far
01[14:56] <Froborr> That’s a WEIRD attack name.
01[14:57] <Froborr> Also, fuck, now Fedora McLoserpants gets actual superpowers?
01[14:57] <Froborr> Blech.
[14:57] <@Sylocat> Yeah… that was the most unintentionally-funny attack name so far
[14:57] <@Sylocat> Have Chibi-Usa’s eyes changed color? I could have sworn they weren’t red before
[14:57] <Arrlaari> Nothing even close to that happened in the 90’s show
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Or were they always red?
[14:58] <Arrlaari> They’ve always been that color
01[14:58] <Froborr> I think they were either yellow or red previously.
01[14:58] <Froborr> Okay.
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Huh… weird
[14:58] <@Sylocat> “You’re late.” Great line, I admit
01[14:59] <Froborr> ad
[14:59] <Arrlaari> ad
01[14:59] <Froborr> They’re STILL making Final Fantasy games?
01[14:59] <Froborr> Why do they bother?
[14:59] <@Sylocat> Oh yes they are
[14:59] <@Sylocat> Because they make money
01[14:59] <Froborr> Because people still buy them, I know.
[15:00] <@Sylocat> I’m not sure why they keep stalling on Kingdom Hearts, though
[15:00] <Arrlaari> And in fairness, they aren’t actually exhausting a single “IP”
[15:00] <Arrlaari> They just put the name and some brand gubbins on an original setting and story
01[15:00] <Froborr> I think it’s more “Why does Squeenix bother to continue existing?”
01[15:00] <Froborr> back
[15:00] <Arrlaari> It’s not actually different from making a bunch of new games
[15:00] <@Sylocat> To the extent that any FF setting is “original”
[15:00] <Arrlaari> baack
[15:01] <@Sylocat> But yeah, I do like that they only make one or two games with each set of characters
[15:01] <@Sylocat> Huh… so how does Venus get abducted if they rescue her here then?
01[15:02] <Froborr> Wait, 30th century!?
[15:02] <@Sylocat> What the…
[15:02] <@Sylocat> No wonder they call it “Silver Millennium,” if there’s always 1,000 years between generations
01[15:03] <Froborr> …so is Chibi-Usa a member of the Legion of Superheroes?
01[15:03] <Froborr> Or the Sailor Moon of her time, anyway?
[15:03] <Arrlaari> rhetorical question of course
[15:03] <@Sylocat> Presumably
[15:04] <@Sylocat> WHOA
01[15:04] <Froborr> I mean, I’d been increasingly leaning toward her being their kid from the future, but a 1,000 years in the future? That’s… a bit far for that?
[15:04] <@Sylocat> I won’t spoil anything, but next episode looks awesome
[15:04] <@Sylocat> I’d been wondering if there was a different answer this time
[15:05] <Arrlaari> The next episode has one of those spoiler titles
[15:05] <@Sylocat> (if nothing else, her getting introduced by inadvertently making out with Mamoru would be awkward in that light)
01[15:05] <Froborr> Unless Sailor Moon is immortal–wasn’t there something a couple of episodes ago that implied the senshi won’t age?
01[15:05] <Froborr> Or am I confusing with one of the other things I’m watching currently?
[15:05] <Arrlaari> Demande did say something about immortals
[15:06] <Arrlaari> I don’t trust my memory to work out what he said and what I know from spoilers
01[15:06] <Froborr> But I vaguely recall talking SOMEWHERE about my idea for a magical girl who we first meet 30 years after becoming such, and her normal form is in its 40s but her transformed form hasn’t aged a day.
[15:06] <Arrlaari> Yeah, you did mention that
[15:07] <@Sylocat> You posted the opening chapter of that during one of your Fiction Fridays, IIRC
01[15:07] <Froborr> I believe I did, yeah.
01[15:07] <Froborr> Hrm.
01[15:08] <Froborr> As for introducing Rabbit by having her kiss Fedora Mask, I mean.
[15:08] <@Sylocat> I wonder why there haven’t been more takes done on the “magical girl who is a boy in her untransformed form” theme, though. I can only think of one so far
[15:09] <Arrlaari> Well it’s probably a dodged bullet for trans people that more clueless cissexuals haven’t gone there
01[15:09] <Froborr> Remember how this show depicted him first kissing Usagi–they spent a whole episode paralleling him to her dad and then he kissed her while she was unconscious. This show’s notion of romance and appropriate relationships is FUCKED.
[15:09] <@Sylocat> Indeed it is
[15:09] <@Sylocat> (that was in reply to both of you, kind of)
01[15:10] <Froborr> Wasn’t there a team of boys-who-become-magical-girls in a later season of the original SM anime?
01[15:10] <Froborr> That is one of the things I vaguely know about it.
[15:10] <@Sylocat> This show’s conception of romance seems, to me, another iteration of the Twilight Phenomenon: women are socialized to believe that sexuality is evil, so in order to fantasize about sex, they have to imagine boyfriends who are domineering and forceful
[15:11] <Arrlaari> That’s a thing but I think a different thing than Sailor Moon
01[15:12] <Froborr> Yeah, I do think there’s definitely an element of that in play, Sylo.
[15:12] <Arrlaari> Particularly between Usagi and Mamoru, the read I get is unearned trust because they’re already in love from past lives and destiny and stuff
01[15:13] <Froborr> I mean, it’s weird, because we also got that FANTASTIC episode that introduced Jupiter?
01[15:14] <Froborr> I think there’s a lot of ambivalence here, and that means lots of room for alternate interpretations.
[15:14] <@Sylocat> Yeah, that was good
01[15:15] <Froborr> I also know a manga spoiler that a friend of mine cites as one of the clearest examples of sex-positivity in shoujo. So… yeah.
[15:15] <@Sylocat> So it’s only the main character who has to have a “Bad Boy” boundary-crossing asshole boyfriend.
[15:15] <Arrlaari> There’s a real tension in this show between Mamoru being the man and also his name being literally what you find when you look up “protect” in a Japanese dictionary and Usagi being the actual star of the show who is the most powerful because she’s the star
[15:16] <Arrlaari> In the 90’s there wasn’t any tension, Mamoru trying to do any actual protecting was a joke
01[15:17] <Froborr> I wonder how it compares to the manga.
[15:19] <Arrlaari> I don’t read the “bad boy” trope at any time outside of when he’s under mind control, during which the bad boy dial went up to 11
01[15:20] <Froborr> Well, not “bad boy” per se, but he is significantly older (hence verboten), quite mean to her at first, and continually ignores the notion that she might have personal boundaries.
01[15:22] <Froborr> It’s not “bad boy” in the leather jackets and motorcycles sense, no, but it’s the domineering, controlling, forceful Cullen-type that means not having to feel guilty about having desires.
[15:23] <Arrlaari> But Usagi doesn’t feel guilty about having desires? There’s no “oh no tee-hee” from Usagi, instead there was people telling Usagi “we don’t know if he’s friend or foe” and Usagi thinking “but I really want to trust this dude”
01[15:23] <Froborr> No, Usagi doesn’t, you’re right.
[15:24] <Arrlaari> The tension is all between her Knowing that Mamoru is safe and not having any actual reason to know that
[15:24] <Arrlaari> Which is resolved by her having a magical reason to know it
01[15:24] <Froborr> I don’t think these are exclusive at all.
01[15:25] <Froborr> We’re talking past each other–you’re talking about Sailor Moon in isolation and I’m talking about it as part of a cultural trend.
[15:25] <Arrlaari> I also recall during the scenes where he takes her to his apartment there was a point made about Usagi characterizing him as “gentle”
01[15:26] <Froborr> Gentle people don’t kiss unconscious girls!
01[15:27] <Froborr> Look, like you said, there is a tension here.
01[15:27] <Froborr> More than one, actually.
01[15:28] <Froborr> What it seems to me that’s going on is that there’s a tension between the traditional, fairy-tale, romance-novel (and for all of those, read “massively fucked up”) relationship of Fedora Mask and Usagi on the one hand.
01[15:29] <Froborr> And on the other hand, you have what is clearly an impulse toward sex-positivity and feminine empowerment on the other.
[15:30] <Arrlaari> I just remembered that one of the filler episodes of the 90’s show involved the scouts volunteering to save a production of either sleeping beauty or snow white
01[15:32] <Froborr> (And, I mean, it’s not like the notion of people being Destined For True Love is any less fucked up when you get dwon to it, it’s all part of the same complex designed to get women to be accepting of suboptimal relationships.”
01[15:32] <Froborr> Oh?
[15:32] <Arrlaari> obviously, the villains of the season attack the show and yada yada, but yeah, the fairy-tale chivalry thing is definitely something the Sailor Moon author was/is into
01[15:32] <Froborr> I mean, ultimately, the mangaka is doubtless writing what appeals to her.
[15:33] <Arrlaari> Like I can’t remember which of the sleeping princess fairy tales it was but it was definitely one of those
01[15:33] <Froborr> And like most of us, what appeals to her is a mix of good and bad impulses, ugly internalized societal attitudes and personal preferences, etc.
01[15:34] <Froborr> And the point of this kind of criticism isn’t “Sailor Moon contains these things and is therefore a bad show!” It’s “the culture infects Sailor Moon with these things, and is therefore a bad culture.”
01[15:36] <Froborr> And to be clear here, I’m not talking about Japanese culture being a bad culture, I’m talking about something fucked up in OUR culture that is being reflected in this work. I’m neutral on whether it’s because it’s something shared in common between the two cultures, or something we’re projecting into it from our culture.
01[15:36] <Froborr> Not really relevant which.
[15:38] <@Sylocat> By “our” you mean human culture in general? Or are you talking about the, er, “influence” that western culture had on Japanese culture post-WWII?
01[15:39] <Froborr> Not necessarily either.
[15:39] <@Sylocat> For a moment I thought your answer was just going to be “Yes.”
01[15:40] <Froborr> I’m saying that here are some cultural issues that I’m seeing in this work. That might be because they are issues in the culture that originated the work, in which case both the possibilities you offer are possible explanations, or it might be something we are reading into the work.
[15:40] <Arrlaari> There’s some evidence that the relevant elements of western culture influenced Takeuchi specifically – the greco-roman astrology and architecture, Mamoru’s dracula suit
01[15:40] <Froborr> But it doesn’t matter, because the point is that our culture has these issues and must therefore die.
01[15:41] <Froborr> Oh yes, there’s definitely a lot of Western influence in this show–other examples include the senshi’s powers being based on BOTH European and Chinese traditional magical associations to the planets, hence why Jupiter gets both lightning and plants.
01[15:45] <Froborr> But there’s also a lot of Japanese culture going on here, in which, unless I’m much mistaken, none of us are experts.
01[15:46] <Froborr> So I think it’s a mistake for us to try to read this in terms of any culture other than our own, since that’d be pure guesswork.
[15:47] <@Sylocat> Gotcha. I was just curious as to your wording
01[15:47] <Froborr> That’s why I felt it necessary to clarify that I’m projecting it into Western culture and Western sexism, not saying “Oh, those Japanese with their sexist animes, they’re such a sexist culture.”
01[15:50] <Froborr> Anyway, any other thoughts before I post this liveblog up?
[15:51] <Arrlaari> Venus escaped the formula!
01[15:51] <Froborr> So she did!
[15:52] <@Sylocat> For now, at least
[15:52] <@Sylocat> But it’s a hopeful sign
01[15:52] <Froborr> There was a point where I was actually expecting that Rabbit would transform and get kidnapped in her stead.
01[15:52] <Froborr> I’m glad we finally ended an episode where nobody got kidnapped.
01[15:52] <Froborr> Of course that just means five people get kidnapped next episode.
[15:52] <@Sylocat> Well, there was only one left of those anyway… but yeah
01[15:53] <Froborr> In all honesty, though, I think three times is a good number to hit a formula.
01[15:53] <Froborr> It’s just enoguh that breaking it the fourth time is genuinely surprising.
01[15:53] <Froborr> I was thinking about this in terms of Slayers’ most obnoxious running gag, Gourry crossdressing.
01[15:54] <Froborr> Which happens in the mid-season four-episode nonsense break in every single one of the first three seasons.
01[15:54] <Froborr> And then not at all in the equivalent from the last two seasons (they’re half length, so that’s teh first four episodes of season 5).
01[15:55] <Froborr> And that’s genuinely surprising!
01[15:55] <Froborr> And also welcome, because “lol man in a dress” is not actually funny.
[15:55] <Arrlaari> Earlier, I was going to say that Mercury not having a Normal Friend who Knows Something Is Up was a sign that she doesn’t have friends outside of the scouts, but I’m not sure. I know in the 90’s anime she was friends with a chess guy who ran the chess tournament, but IIRC nothing like that showed up in this one.
01[15:55] <Froborr> IIRC her introductory episode spent a lot of time suggesting she’s quite lonely and isolated?
01[15:55] <Froborr> So.
01[15:56] <Froborr> Yeah, she probably *doesn’t* have friends outside the Scouts.
[15:56] <Arrlaari> True, and that was in the 90’s show. In the 90’s show she was able to make connections outside the scouts after becoming friends with Usagi
[15:56] <Arrlaari> I guess in this show the scouts are enough for her
01[15:56] <Froborr> Or it’s just a time thing.
[15:57] <@Sylocat> A small circle of friends works for some people (heck, having no friends at all works for some people… not many, but some)
01[15:57] <Froborr> Very true.
01[15:59] <Froborr> Okay.
01[15:59] <Froborr> Any other final thoughts?
[15:59] <@Sylocat> I think it’s all been said, on my part at least
[15:59] <Arrlaari> I could talk about Mars and Venus in the 90’s show and how the additional time influenced their characterization
[16:00] <Arrlaari> They both had interests that were outside being a Scout which aren’t evident in this show, is the short version
01[16:00] <Froborr> I’d say yes, but we just hit the two-hour mark for this liveblog. Save for another ep?
[16:00] <Arrlaari> Sounds reasonable
[16:00] <@Sylocat> Hopefully we’ll remember to ask Arrlaari about it next time
01[16:00] <Froborr> Possibly one where I don’t spend the whole thing shouting at people and being an angry jerk?
01[16:01] <Froborr> Sorry about that, both of you.
[16:01] <@Sylocat> e-hugs are available if needed
[16:01] <Arrlaari> Not the whole time but you are observably not recovered from the bad news last week
01[16:01] <Froborr> Yeah, that’s probably true.
01[16:01] <Froborr> And thanks, Sylo.
01[16:01] <Froborr> Later all!
[16:01] <@Sylocat> Later