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 1:00 p.m. EST. We will then be watching MLP at 1:30. Note that this is one hour earlier than normal.
Also, I will not be there this week–someone who’s in the chat please copypasta the conversation into the comments, and I’ll update the post with my own thoughts when I have watched the episodes.
ETA: Chatlogs behind the cut!
01[13:17] <Froborr> I’m going to miss these credits in a couple episodes when we’re done.
[13:18] <Arrlaari> There aren’t any credits in this OP
[13:18] <Arrlaari> Is it still normal for US shows to have abbreviated credits in their OP?
01[13:18] <Froborr> Okay Mr. Analpants, you know what I mean.
[13:18] <@Sylocat> Ah yes… when we left off, Hitomi had wished herself back to Earth
[13:19] <Arrlaari> The elemita?
[13:19] <@Sylocat> Elemita?
[13:19] <Arrlaari> I’m not sure if I got the spelling right but that’s the card
[13:20] <Arrlaari> They gave this guy the same voice actor?
[13:20] <@Sylocat> Ah… I didn’t notice the tarot card
[13:20] <@Sylocat> Yes, they did…
[13:20] <@Sylocat> And this is how she knows it wasn’t just a dream
[13:21] <Arrlaari> So she didn’t just go back to earth, she went back in time?
[13:21] <@Sylocat> And then…
[13:22] <@Sylocat> It has to be back in time, since we saw one scene on Earth with Amano and Yukari investigating Hitomi’s disappearance
01[13:22] <Froborr> This is a deeply strange plot twist and I’m not sure what to make of it.
[13:22] <@Sylocat> I’m not quite sure how the time travel thing works
[13:23] <@Sylocat> Ah, a song
[13:23] <Arrlaari> Well, the travel was driven by unintentional use of the pendant, so I guess she was regretting ever getting involved with Gaea.
[13:23] <@Sylocat> True
[13:24] <@Sylocat> And now she gets a chance to re-do this evening… will she make a different choice this time?
[13:25] <@Sylocat> And Gaea is happening in real-time as well
[13:25] <@Sylocat> IT helps that they heard her say that
01[13:25] <Froborr> Oh, right, they don’t just have a superweapon, they also have a massive fucking army.
01[13:25] <Froborr> Oops.
[13:25] <@Sylocat> Eeyup
[13:26] <@Sylocat> Ah yes, and someone else used the warp light recently too…
01[13:26] <Froborr> Wat.
[13:27] <Arrlaari> I’d forgotten that, was Dilandau teleported out of the last figh with Vaan?
[13:27] <@Sylocat> Yeah, he was… he started screaming as he remembered his flashback
[13:27] <@Sylocat> Then he warped away, with Jajuka in panicked pursuit
[13:27] <@Sylocat> Allen still worried about protecting Hitomi
01[13:28] <Froborr> I am distracted by the weirdass wine bottle and glass.
[13:28] <@Sylocat> But he actually cares about her feelings?
01[13:28] <Froborr> Oh, okay, I misinterpreted things earlier.
01[13:28] <Froborr> I thought Dilandau was on Earth!
01[13:28] <Froborr> And who the fuck is Celena?
[13:29] <@Sylocat> Celena is Allen’s long-lost sister
[13:29] <Arrlaari> Celena, presumably, is Allen’s sister
[13:29] <@Sylocat> The one who mysteriously disappeared years ago
01[13:30] <Froborr> So Dilandau is actually Allen’s sister? Da fuq?
[13:30] <@Sylocat> Confused yet? I was, the first time I saw it
[13:30] <@Sylocat> Merle is being uncharacteristically sensitive
01[13:31] <Froborr> Cats are surprisingly good with people in pain.
[13:32] <@Sylocat> Awkward…
01[13:33] <Froborr> Huh, I guess Allen has never actually seen Dilandau outside his mech before.
[13:34] <@Sylocat> Oh, he’s seen Dilandau before… it’s just, he looks different… notice how Celena’s bones crinkled when she mutated back?
[13:35] <@Sylocat> Ah… and now Hitomi takes this opportunity to re-do this evening, and make it turn out better
[13:37] <@Sylocat> Unfortunately, to get Hitomi back so she can help them in the final battle, well, that plays into Dornkirk’s long game
[13:37] <Arrlaari> Vaan clearly does not know about outer space
[13:38] <Arrlaari> Whatsisface and Whatserface are gonna be ????????? even more than last time around
[13:38] <@Sylocat> Eeyup
01[13:38] <Froborr> This is Gaea, yeah, but definitely the low-rent district.
01[13:39] <Froborr> So that was… a detour that occurred.
[13:39] <@Sylocat> Indeed
01[13:41] <Froborr> I don’t have much else on it?
[13:41] <Arrlaari> So, that’s I think the third time I’ve seen gender change as dangerous mad science in JP media
[13:41] <@Sylocat> It’s certainly getting weird, isn’t it
01[13:41] <Froborr> I get that the idea of it was for Hitomi to recognize that her feelings for Allen were a projection of her feelings for whatisface and thereby settle on Vaan, but… eh.
01[13:42] <Froborr> And yeah, gender change is treated… oddly in anime.
[13:42] <@Sylocat> Usually, genderbending in anime is played for laughs
01[13:42] <Froborr> They depict it, which is… something, I guess? But yeah, they always depict it as in some sense jarring, either a joke or a horrific thing.
[13:43] <Arrlaari> The first time I saw what I suppose is that trope was a video game where the idea of transgender people was invoked and thrown under the bus in service of a plot about a cis girl’s anxieties about gender roles (the same game did a similar thing with homosexuality and a straight boy’s anxiety about gender roles)
[13:44] <Arrlaari> A lot of people cling to readings of those characters as actually trans and gay, but as more supplementary material comes out around that game those readings become more difficult to sustain
01[13:45] <Froborr> *nods*
01[13:46] <Froborr> Any other comments before we move on?
01[13:47] <Froborr> I found a Youtube file, though it’s only 480p.
[13:47] <Arrlaari> How does it compare with Sylo’s link?
01[13:47] <Froborr> It is the same link. :/
[13:48] <@Sylocat> I wonder if this particular case could be read as a commentary on gender roles in action series… Dornkirk wants everyone to fit their narrative roles, so he turned Celena into an unstable and sadistic killing machine because that’s what he thinks boys are supposed to be
01[13:48] <Froborr> Should have checked that first, I guess.
01[13:48] <Froborr> Hmm, that is a thought, Sylo.
01[13:48] <Froborr> It goes with the general read of Dornkirk as a not particularly imaginative fanfic writer.
[13:49] <@Sylocat> He doesn’t realize that Dilandau’s brutality is actually noticed and treated with horror by the other characters, instead of just accepted as Boys Will Be Boys bullshit
[13:49] <Arrlaari> I’m not sure if Dornkirk has been keeping very close track of Dilandau?
01[13:50] <Froborr> I dunno, though, it seems more likely that this is pulling out the tired old “people who cross gender lines are unstable and dangerous” thing.
[13:50] <Arrlaari> His major sin appears to be indifference to the literal human costs of his grand world-perfecting project. Not even knowing that Dilandau does what he does would be consistent with that.
[13:51] <Arrlaari> I’m getting a “common root” read – “altering people with mad science makes them dangerous” and “gender reassignment is mad science”
01[13:52] <Froborr> Yeah, I can see that.
[13:52] <@Sylocat> Well, there’s the added angle of “involuntary gender reassignment,” which is at least SUPPOSED to be the important bit… but I can see how it might not come off that way in a larger cultural context
[13:52] <Arrlaari> Another thread is that there’s no evident awareness of the reported experiences of actual trans people
01[13:53] <Froborr> Which is gross, but… transphobia and gender essentialism were even more widely accepted in the 90s than they are now.
[13:53] <Arrlaari> Yeah, Dilandau is presented as an entirely different person created over Celena
[13:54] <@Sylocat> Heck, since Dilandau is literally “a woman trapped in a man’s body against her will,” it could be read as, “shoving people into the closet is dangerous.”
01[13:55] <Froborr> Yes, that seems the logical place to go in attempting a redemptive reading.
[13:55] <Arrlaari> In the US I mostly see transphobia directly engaging with and denying the self-reported experiences of trans people. Here, and in other transphobic JP media I’ve seen, I see a studious refusal to even acknowledge trans people.
[13:55] <@Sylocat> With an added message about performative masculinity
01[13:56] <Froborr> I haven’t seen it, but I’m told by people who would know that there’s reltively good representation in the series Jellyfish Princess?
[13:56] <@Sylocat> I haven’t seen that either… I’ve been meaning to check it out
[13:56] <@Sylocat> brb
[13:58] <Sylocat> Okay then… start in 2 minutes?
01[13:58] <Froborr> Sounds good.
01[13:58] <Froborr> FYI I have already seen this.
01[13:58] <Froborr> That’s where I was this morning, at a viewing party.
[13:58] <Sylocat> Ah
[13:58] <Sylocat> I’ve deliberately avoided spoilers, even the teasers
01[13:58] <Froborr> So there’s some bits I’ve seen but not heard because people were laughing or cheering, but basically I’ve seen it.
[13:59] <Sylocat> I’ve accidentally seen a couple screencaps though
01[13:59] <Froborr> I will try to avoid spoiling anything.
[13:59] <Arrlaari> I basically don’t engage MLP fandom except for these chat/viewing, so I don’t have any spoilers either
01[13:59] <Froborr> *nods*
01[13:59] <Froborr> I’m mostly out myself, but I still belong to the local fanclub’s Facebook group and I get Meetup invites.
[14:00] <Sylocat> Click
[14:00] <Sylocat> Whereas I’m still up to my neck in it
[14:00] <Sylocat> Ahahahah
[14:01] <Sylocat> Oh yikes…
[14:01] <Sylocat> So that’s the setup?
[14:01] <Sylocat> (or rather, the excuse… I do know the premise)
01[14:01] <Froborr> I think I’m slightly behind, can we resynch at end of credits?
[14:01] <Sylocat> Oh boy… this’ll go over interestingly
01[14:01] <Froborr> Ohhh, “Muffin.”
01[14:02] <Froborr> Derpies line there was the first thing I couldn’t hear over the crowd.
[14:02] <Arrlaari> paused at end of credits
[14:02] <Arrlaari> Have these characters been seen before?
01[14:02] <Froborr> Ready.
[14:02] <Arrlaari> The mules or donkeys?
[14:02] <Sylocat> Cranky? Yeah, it was “A Friend in Deed”
01[14:02] <Froborr> Say wehn, Sylo.
[14:02] <Sylocat> AHAHAHAH
[14:02] <Arrlaari> Sylo, did you pause at end of credits?
[14:02] <Sylocat> Oh, we’re paused at the end of credits?
[14:03] <Sylocat> Okay, I’ll go back
[14:03] <Sylocat> okay… click again
[14:03] <Sylocat> Yep, it’s the “main characters fighting a monster in the background while the background characters go about their everyday lives” premise
[14:03] <Sylocat> I LOVE shows that do this
01[14:03] <Froborr> Yep, “The Zeppo.”
[14:03] <Sylocat> And yep… he’s the Doctor
01[14:04] <Froborr> He just mentioned he’s centuries old! I missed that hte first time, lol.
[14:04] <Sylocat> Is this his cover story?
[14:05] <Sylocat> Vinyl, once again, never takes off her headphones
[14:06] <Sylocat> Ah, the Lebowski ponies are back
[14:06] <Sylocat> This is the second stoned pony we’ve met this season
[14:07] <Sylocat> duuuuuuuuuuuuude
01[14:07] <Froborr> “What is this word you keep saying, “maaaaaan”?”
[14:07] <Sylocat> Octavia’s a brit too?
01[14:07] <Froborr> Transplants from Trottingham, I guess?
[14:07] <Sylocat> Well, that fits… she’s the highbrow one
[14:07] <Sylocat> (if I believed that “highbrow” and “lowbrow’ were actually a thing)
[14:07] <Sylocat> WHAT THE
[14:08] <Sylocat> Amethyst Star?
01[14:08] <Froborr> Yes, and I love that she was the organizer before Twilight came.
[14:08] <Sylocat> Ah… I’d forgotten she was a fandom character
[14:09] <Sylocat> Is that a bad omen or something?
[14:09] <Sylocat> Ah… they ARE a couple… we saw it in Rainbow Rocks too
01[14:10] <Froborr> Nope, they just have a fan characterization as prone to overreaction and panic.
01[14:10] <Froborr> I laughed SO HARD at that thing being a bugbear.
[14:10] <Sylocat> WHAT
[14:10] <Sylocat> AHAHAH…
[14:10] <Sylocat> This is amazing…
01[14:10] <Froborr> This is a reference to the fact that she was named Sweetie Drops as a toy before being named Bonbon in the show, btw.
01[14:11] <Froborr> They are SO knocking hooves.
[14:11] <Sylocat> Korrasami, Garnet, and now this
[14:11] <Sylocat> Does it work?
[14:12] <Sylocat> Oh, so it ALMOSt works
[14:12] <Sylocat> They’re French?
[14:12] <Sylocat> AHAHAHAHAAH
[14:12] <Sylocat> Oh my god… Steven Magnet!
[14:13] <Sylocat> I vowed to try not to get baited by this episode, but I can’t help it… this is awesome
01[14:13] <Froborr> I feel the same way, Sylo.
01[14:13] <Froborr> I am DEEPLY curious what my niece thinks of this, though.
[14:13] <Sylocat> Aww
[14:14] <Sylocat> Ooh… Steven, stahp
[14:14] <Sylocat> Wait, is he Discord in disguise?
[14:14] <Sylocat> So, are they going to hint at TaviScratch too? My favorite music track of all time is Haydn’s 88th symphony followed closely by the 84 mix of Life During Wartime, so TaviScratch is my fave fanon pairing
01[14:15] <Froborr> I love their divided house.
[14:15] <Sylocat> Ooh… WOW
[14:15] <Sylocat> That’s some good music
[14:15] <Sylocat> Yep, they’re knocking hooves too
[14:15] <Arrlaari> You really should ask your neice about this, I’m curious too
[14:16] <Sylocat> I wonder why Vinyl is mute… she’s clearly not the timid sort
[14:16] <Sylocat> Button Mash!
01[14:16] <Froborr> Was that BUtton Mash?
01[14:17] <Froborr> I mean, this is basically the flight sequence from Double Rainboom done well.
[14:17] <Sylocat> The Twilicane?
[14:17] <Sylocat> WHAT
[14:17] <Sylocat> Oh my gawd…
01[14:17] <Froborr> Gummi has thoughts
[14:17] <Sylocat> Wait, this isn’t really Gummy narrating. It’s going to pan out to some other pony
[14:17] <Sylocat> Or wait… that was Gummy?
01[14:17] <Froborr> Pretty sure that was Gummi.
01[14:17] <Froborr> He is basically living a noir.
01[14:18] <Froborr> Or possibly a French neo-impressionist film.
[14:18] <Sylocat> Ooh, is he having a traumatic flashback?
[14:18] <Sylocat> Uh oh
01[14:18] <Froborr> Is that Sweetie Belle’s voice actress playing Bonbon?
[14:19] <Sylocat> So I’m predicting a whole new genre of fanfic: James Bond pastiches with Bon Bon as Bond Bond and Lyra as the Bond Marre
01[14:19] <Froborr> BOND BOND
01[14:19] <Froborr> YES
01[14:19] <Froborr> Also: scarf.
[14:19] <Sylocat> I still want Celestia to get an episode of her own at some point
[14:20] <Sylocat> A throwback to the mustache gag!
01[14:20] <Froborr> “maretrimony”
[14:20] <Sylocat> “trots of life”
[14:21] <Sylocat> A changeling!
[14:21] <Sylocat> YAY!
01[14:21] <Froborr> The Changeling’s just there for the buffet, and by buffet I mean love.
[14:21] <Sylocat> And Bulk Biceps of course
[14:22] <Sylocat> WHAT
01[14:22] <Froborr> I was one of like three people at the meetup who got “jack and jenny”
[14:22] <Sylocat> Are those donkey terms or something?
01[14:22] <Froborr> And of course the Doctor was cheering about love while sitting next to ROSEluck
01[14:22] <Froborr> Yeah, a jack(ass) is a male donkey, a jenny is a female.
[14:22] <Sylocat> Yeah, the animators have been putting him next to Roseluck a lot lately
[14:23] <Sylocat> Wow
01[14:23] <Froborr> So that was basically everything I wanted when I heard the premise, which is to say crossing “The Zeppo” with “22 Short Films About Springfield.”
[14:24] <Sylocat> As I said before, I vowed to not get baited by this episode. But I think they genuinely pulled it off
[14:25] <Sylocat> I’m biased though, because I’m jsut a total sucker for stories in general about “the unimportant people.”
01[14:25] <Froborr> Yeah, I actually really like that they decided to make their hundredth episode about THIS.
01[14:25] <Froborr> I mean, it would be very easy to just make it a bunch of gags calculated to get bronies cheering.
01[14:25] <Froborr> Which, okay, yeah, it was that.
01[14:26] <Froborr> But it did it WITHOUT losing the ethos of the show.
[14:27] <Sylocat> Exactly
[14:27] <Sylocat> And dat queer subtext
01[14:27] <Froborr> Yes, although it is still subtext.
01[14:27] <Froborr> And even subtextier than Korrasami.
01[14:27] <Froborr> (Garnet is not subtext. Garnet is text.)
01[14:28] <Froborr> So, same objections as Korrasami apply, but on the other hand MLP is owned by a TOY COMPANY, which are the single strongest force for social conservatism in children’s television.
[14:28] <Sylocat> Indeed… pandering to right-wing suburban parent sensibilities is the best way to move toys
[14:29] <Sylocat> (well, the suburbs are crumbling like wet soda crackers, but company executives are notoriously slow on the uptake about things like that)
[14:30] <Sylocat> …Okay, I’m finally going to dust off my animation skills and do an analysis video of this
01[14:31] <Froborr> I cannot WAIT until suburbia and everything associated with it just dies already.
01[14:31] <Froborr> Cool!
01[14:31] <Froborr> So you’ve been very quiet Arrlaari, any thoughts?
[14:31] <Arrlaari> I regret to say, but the last thing I heard about suburbia is that population growth in the suburbs is recovering roughly in parallel to the economic recovery
[14:32] <Arrlaari> I’d like to reiterate: I want to hear what your neice has to say about this episode
01[14:33] <Froborr> Yeah, I’m gonna message my sister and see if she’s seen it.
01[14:33] <Froborr> Shit, no, I just realized, she’s still with her dad.
01[14:33] <Froborr> No way of contacting her.
[14:33] <Sylocat> All the little kids I know are more into Shakespeare than ponies, but I should ask some of them just in case
[14:35] <Sylocat> Speaking of which, I gotta get to rehearsal pretty soon
01[14:35] <Froborr> All right. Glad you could be here for the whole thing this time, Sylo!
01[14:35] <Froborr> Have fun!
[14:35] <Sylocat> As am I
[14:36] <Sylocat> Thank you, I will
[14:36] <Sylocat> (oh, and remind me to tell you guys about the play I saw last night, at some point)