How to participate in the liveblog chat: Option 1: Whenever you watch the episodes, 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 Sailor Moon and MLP there starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.
After the chat, I will update this post with the log.
ETA: Chatlog after the cut!
[14:02] <@Sylocat> Ah yes, this is the Holy Grail arc?
01[14:02] <Froborr> No idea.
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Ah… those are Uranus’s and Neptune’s colors, IIRC
[14:03] <@Sylocat> Ahahah… I love the villain name
01[14:03] <Froborr> Cryptic evil-sounding dude wants a crystal, and as we learned from the last two episodes, anything involving crystals is about the Sailors.
01[14:03] <Froborr> Yeah, “Pharoah 90” is pretty great.
01[14:03] <Froborr> It implies another 89?
[14:03] <@Sylocat> And they Katakana-ized his full title, “Master Pharoh 90.”
[14:04] <@Sylocat> ooh, new opening!
01[14:04] <Froborr> Wait, did I just see a mention of three talismans, a mirror, and a sword?
01[14:04] <Froborr> Aren’t those two of the three traditional treasures of the Japanese royal family?
01[14:04] <Froborr> (Wish I could remember what the third was)
[14:04] <@Sylocat> Ah, is that Saturn?
01[14:04] <Froborr> Wait, is that Pluto? Didn’t she die?
[14:05] <@Sylocat> I have a feeling death is a temporary state, especially since she was the guardian between worlds or something
[14:05] <@Sylocat> (that, plus time travel)
01[14:05] <Froborr> Point.
01[14:05] <Froborr> I am seeing a very heartening and encouraging complete absence of Tuxedo Mask.
01[14:05] <Froborr> Paused at title card in case of ads?
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Wasn’t that him who just woke up in that bed?
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Oh, ou mean in the opening
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Ah, I’ll rewind to the title card
01[14:06] <Froborr> Sorry, guess neither of us has ads.
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Yeah… Crunchyroll is unreliable like that
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Okay, paused at title card…
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Click
[14:07] <@Sylocat> Yep, Tuxedo Fedora is still involved, sadly
01[14:07] <Froborr> Okay, that was weird–was Mamoru dreaming he was a girl?
01[14:07] <Froborr> Oh, no, just multiple people having the same vision.
[14:07] <@Sylocat> I think he was sharing a dream with that other girl, who I’m assuming is Saturn
[14:07] <@Sylocat> I seem to remember Saturn starting out as an antagonist in the other anime? Can’t remember though
01[14:08] <Froborr> PLEASE keep in mind that I HAVE NOT SEEN the original series or read the manga, I do NOT know who these characters are on sight.
[14:08] <@Sylocat> “Usagi is a perpetual child.” classic
[14:08] <@Sylocat> Ah, sorry
01[14:08] <Froborr> “Unidentified monster emerges,” so Sunydale Syndrome isn’t a thing here I guess?
[14:08] <@Sylocat> I was just thinking the same thing
[14:08] <@Sylocat> Like, the NEWS is reporting on this? That’s jarring for this genre
[14:09] <@Sylocat> Yep, Chibiusa’s still got the Electra complex
[14:10] <@Sylocat> Ah, flashback for those who are just tuning in
[14:10] <@Sylocat> (I originally wrote that as “just tooning in.” I still associate this series with Toonami)
01[14:10] <Froborr> lol
[14:10] <@Sylocat> Wait, Usagi didn’t get the vision?
[14:11] <@Sylocat> But Rei did… she’s a shrine maiden though
01[14:11] <Froborr> Apparently not? Weird.
01[14:12] <Froborr> Wait, is this the same guy we were shipping with Sailor Jupiter last season?
[14:12] <@Sylocat> The race car driver? Nope
01[14:12] <Froborr> Wait, no, I recognize these two!
01[14:13] <Froborr> They’re the “cousins”, right?
[14:13] <@Sylocat> Yeah, even if you haven’t seen the series, sheer pop-cultural osmosis can tell you who they are
01[14:13] <Froborr> The ones that Utena and Anthy originate from.
[14:13] <@Sylocat> (and yes, the original series started out leading us to think Haruka was a boy as well)
01[14:13] <Froborr> Okay, yeah, this is clearly made with an expectation that they’ve picked up some new viewers, interesting.
[14:14] <@Sylocat> Yeah… maybe I could ask dad to join us for these as well
[14:14] <@Sylocat> They katakanized “clutch” and “engine.” Huh.
01[14:14] <Froborr> …Why would you need a helmet to play a video game?
[14:15] <@Sylocat> I’m having flashbacks to that cheesy-but-glorious “NASCAR Racers” cartoon I used to watch right after Digimon on Fox Kids
01[14:16] <Froborr> Okay, this is clearly them deliberately making contact for some reason.
[14:16] <@Sylocat> They’re being rather overt
01[14:16] <Froborr> Ah, Utena has the “I’m going to add this person to my harem” blush.
01[14:16] <Froborr> *Usagi
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Yep… and she’s bi, so it’s not even a Twelfth Night thing
01[14:17] <Froborr> Who do you mean, Usagi or proto-Utena?
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Did you get an ad? There should have been one right there
01[14:17] <Froborr> No, I didn’t.
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Usagi
01[14:17] <Froborr> Ah. Yes.
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Alright… I paused at the title card just to be safe
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Click
[14:18] <@Sylocat> “Reclamation projects?”
[14:19] <@Sylocat> “His” last name is Tenoh, even
01[14:19] <Froborr> Well. That’s a lot more efficient than Beryl’s method of turning people into monsters.
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Yep
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Beryl actually went through the trouble of TEMPTING them
01[14:19] <Froborr> Ooh, new transformation sequence!
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Ooh, pretty
01[14:20] <Froborr> Oh, I love that Mercury’s has hints of ice skating!
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Yeah…
[14:20] <@Sylocat> (and we now know Maud Pie can ice skate)
01[14:21] <Froborr> This is reminding me a bit of the group transformation sequence in Rebellion, where they each use a different style of dancing.
[14:22] <@Sylocat> Given their associations with the Four Elements, it reminds me a little of Avatar
01[14:22] <Froborr> That too.
[14:23] <@Sylocat> “Guardian of Protection?”
[14:23] <@Sylocat> Guardian of Redundancy more like
01[14:23] <Froborr> lol
01[14:23] <Froborr> Ooh, I love the Mercury!vision, I don’t remember if they had that in the first two seasons.
[14:23] <@Sylocat> (like “Pope Saint Leo The Great,” meaning “Great Great Great the Great”)
01[14:24] <Froborr> Whoa. I LIKE these two new attacks.
[14:24] <@Sylocat> Easy come, easy go
[14:25] <@Sylocat> So, if the monsterizers don’t bother exploiting people’s psychological weaknesses, the tradeoff is they’re way quicker to defeat
01[14:25] <Froborr> Looks that way.
[14:25] <@Sylocat> They just want an excuse to go in and explore the place
01[14:25] <Froborr> New ending!
01[14:25] <Froborr> Ooh, I like how it opens.
[14:25] <@Sylocat> And the ED is a spoiler re: Haruka’s gender
01[14:26] <Froborr> Yeah, but even I recognized her from pop-cultural osmosis, so.
[14:26] <@Sylocat> Yeah… IIRC, in the original series it was revealed at the end of her first episod
01[14:26] <Froborr> Oh hey, I recognize that thing with the flowers from Utena.
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Yep
[14:27] <@Sylocat> I’d forgotten how direct an influence this was
01[14:28] <Froborr> Ah, here we go! The three sacred treasures of Japan are the sword Kusanagi, the mirror Yata no Kagami, and the jewel Yasakani no Magatama, representing (respectively) valor, wisdom, and benevolence.
[14:32] <@Sylocat> “Gauntlet of Fire.” This will be an interesting one
[14:32] <@Sylocat> Does her hard hat have a bow on it?
01[14:33] <Froborr> Yes it does.
[14:33] <@Sylocat> Whoa, what’s happening to Spike?
[14:33] <mere_oblivion> The perils of bodyguarding in a mine.
01[14:33] <Froborr> SPIKE is evolving!
[14:34] <mere_oblivion> So male characters can do that!
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Ooh, it’s written by Lewis and Songco, who wrote “Castle Sweet Castle,” “Rarity Investigates,” and “Hooffields and McColts”
[14:34] <@Sylocat> I like the increased presence of Celestia and Luna in the series
01[14:34] <Froborr> There’s a dragonlord?
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Wait, what? Dragons have a biological pager?
[14:35] <@Sylocat> AHAHAH
01[14:35] <Froborr> lol
[14:35] <@Sylocat> They borrowed this cosplay from Maud
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Garble doesn’t get sarcasm, apparently
[14:36] <@Sylocat> Whoa
[14:36] <@Sylocat> This guy looks like the final boss from How To Train Your Dragon
01[14:37] <Froborr> Oh, so there are female dragons.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> Uh oh… is Spike going to get an actual girlfriend?
[14:37] <mere_oblivion> A very, very small one.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> He has a cockney accent
01[14:37] <Froborr> “Flamecano”?
[14:37] <@Sylocat> WHOA
[14:37] <mere_oblivion> So who(m) do dragons slay?
[14:38] <mere_oblivion> This guy makes Tom Hardy sound like Liberace.
[14:38] <@Sylocat> Okay, is this VA doing a Bob Hoskins impression?
[14:39] <mere_oblivion> Oh, she isn’t a very, very small girlfriend after all.
[14:39] <@Sylocat> She’s a teenager
01[14:39] <Froborr> Hahaha, Amber’s eyerolling, I like her already.
01[14:40] <Froborr> Okay, I like that it’s about her size not her gender.
[14:40] <@Sylocat> “Pillage Equestria for all their pillows.”
[14:41] <@Sylocat> So, Spike’s gonna wind up helping the princess win, I assume
01[14:41] <Froborr> Yep.
[14:41] <Arrlaari> Video sound cut out for anyone else?
01[14:41] <Froborr> Nope.
[14:42] <@Sylocat> The sound? IT’s still going for me
[14:42] <mere_oblivion> Yep
[14:42] <mere_oblivion> But mine’s back
[14:42] <Arrlaari> The whole video seemed to hitch on a point
[14:42] <@Sylocat> WHOA
[14:42] <@Sylocat> I assume that’s the princess, in the gold armor?
[14:42] <@Sylocat> Yep
[14:42] <mere_oblivion> Shades of The Goblet of Fire
01[14:43] <Froborr> Oh, her name is Ember, not Amber, of course.
[14:43] <@Sylocat> Ah, so the episode’s title is a reference rather than a pun?
[14:43] <Arrlaari> moving past the hitch fixed it
01[14:44] <Froborr> WIlhelm scream.
[14:44] <@Sylocat> I’m guessing she wins because the others are too busy screwing each other over
[14:45] <mere_oblivion> Excellent
[14:45] <@Sylocat> Shouldn’t she put the helmet back on? She’s supposed to be competing incognito
[14:46] <mere_oblivion> Good point
01[14:46] <Froborr> Awesome, tsundere dragon princess.
[14:46] <Arrlaari> How is Spike helping here
[14:46] <Arrlaari> Oh
[14:46] <Arrlaari> That’s how
[14:46] <Arrlaari> I was going to say his eyes are pointing the wrong way
[14:47] <@Sylocat> Wait, does the cave actually have moving stalactites or is this some monster’s mouth they’re flying through?
[14:47] <Arrlaari> But they’re actually pointing the way her eyes aren’t
01[14:47] <Froborr> I think it’s moving stalactites.
[14:47] <@Sylocat> Gargle pulled a Wile E. Coyote
[14:48] <@Sylocat> Yep, tsundere dragon princess
[14:48] <@Sylocat> (at least Spike didn’t introduce himself by accidentally groping her)
[14:48] <Arrlaari> I like how she’s smart enought to wonder that
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Uh, did Twilight forget she can fly?
[14:50] <@Sylocat> Though I suppose anyone but a dragon would have trouble flying in this cave
[14:51] <@Sylocat> AHAHAH
01[14:51] <Froborr> lol
01[14:51] <Froborr> HAHAHA the reaction of that other dragon.
[14:51] <@Sylocat> He commands them to get in touch with their feelings
[14:51] <mere_oblivion> Nice teeth
[14:51] <@Sylocat> And some of the dragons secretly relish the excuse
[14:53] <@Sylocat> He came around quick
[14:53] <mere_oblivion> I’ll say
01[14:54] <Froborr> Congrats, you’ve successfully interfered in a neighboring country’s succession of government to place someone more favorable to you on the throne!
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Camo-what? I missed the pun at the end
01[14:54] <Froborr> Yeah, I didn’t catch that either.
[14:54] <@Sylocat> I’ll look up the transcript
01[14:54] <Froborr> So, like basically everything this season, that was… all right.
[14:54] <@Sylocat> Ah, “Camo-Maud.”
[14:55] <mere_oblivion> I thought this one had a bit more substance to it.
[14:55] <@Sylocat> Something tells me the writers have figured out that Maud is the fan favorite
[14:56] <@Sylocat> I wonder if the reason the last couple two-parters have been lower-key is because they’re putting more adventure arcs in the regular season
[14:57] <Arrlaari> This episode reminds me of Pete Kropotkin
[14:57] <Arrlaari> Uh, Peter. Peter Kropotkin.
[14:57] <@Sylocat> How so?
[14:57] <mere_oblivion> Peter Kropotkin the Russian socialist?
[14:58] <@Sylocat> Aristocrat-turned-anarchocommunist
[14:58] <Arrlaari> Russian anarcho-socialist AND author of Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution
[14:58] <mere_oblivion> Really? I didn’t know that about him
01[14:58] <Froborr> Ah, I see what you’re saying.
[15:00] <@Sylocat> I think his formal title was actually “Prince.” I could be misremembering
[15:00] <@Sylocat> *googles* nope
[15:00] <@Sylocat> At least according to Wikipedia
[15:01] <mere_oblivion> The anarchist formerly known as Prince?
[15:01] <@Sylocat> …I would call that a dad joke, except I actually wish I’d thought of that one myself
[15:02] <mere_oblivion> You mean it’s NOT one of the worst jokes in the known or unknown universe?!?
[15:02] <@Sylocat> (I kid, I kid, don’t worry)
[15:02] <@Sylocat> (yes, when I was a kid, I literally described his jokes as “the worst jokes in the known or unknown universe”)
[15:03] <mere_oblivion> How much funnier I’ve grown since then!
[15:03] <Arrlaari> Anyway, the main thrust of this episode is that a cooperative unit of the two weakest dragons narrowly bests the strongest single dragon in the competition to survive a hostile environment
[15:04] <mere_oblivion> WHich is why i think it has a bit more substance than previous ones from this season (at least that i’ve seen)
01[15:04] <Froborr> So I just did some digging, and the Kropotkins hold the rank of knyazs, usually translated as “prince.”
01[15:04] <Froborr> *held
[15:04] <Arrlaari> And the thesis of Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, is that species which cooperate with each other are best able to survive adverse factors in the environment
[15:05] <mere_oblivion> Oh, I have to go shovel stones (a long and amazingly tedious story). See you all next week (except Sylo, whom I’ll see tonight on stage).
[15:05] <@Sylocat> See ya
01[15:05] <Froborr> Later mere!
[15:05] <Arrlaari> (I’ve seen it speculated that Kropotkin’s emphasis on a hostile environment is a consequence of his observations during geological surveys of Siberia, in contrast to Darwin’s work being rooted in jungle islands)
[15:09] <@Sylocat> According to Google he did some important early research into the study of symbiosis
[15:09] <@Sylocat> Or something like that
01[15:10] <Froborr> And of course you’ve got the parallel to Spike giving up being dragonlord.
[15:10] <@Sylocat> Indeed
[15:10] <@Sylocat> (whoa, Kropotkin dropped his title when he was 12!)
[15:12] <@Sylocat> I highly doubt (to put it mildly) that the parallels were intentional, but the more I read, they really make sense
[15:14] <Arrlaari> Competition is for suckers, it’s cooperators who win, is also the thesis of Adam Smith, a fact which is often obscured by the fact that Adam smith was discussing a class of people Adam Smith wanted to lose, and therefor Adam Smith wanted them to compete with each other
[15:19] <@Sylocat> …
[15:19] <Arrlaari> Smith may in fact be the more applicable example, in that while Kropotkin contrasts cooperation of all against individual competition of all, Smith describes the advantages sub-groups obtain over atomized competition
[15:19] <@Sylocat> Something that elites throughout history have made great use of
[15:21] <@Sylocat> AnCaps tend to assume that everyone will play by the same rules of competition, and in fact frequently behave as though that was actually the case
[15:23] <@Sylocat> So… any further thoughts on the episode?
[15:24] <Arrlaari> In this episode, the two cooperating Dragons obtain power over the atomized dragon society as a whole – Ember becomes Dragonlord, and Spike becomes Friend-Of-Dragonlord
[15:25] <Arrlaari> A status that other Dragons were not aware of, but consistent with Spike’s existing status as Friend-Of-Princess-Twilight
01[15:26] <Froborr> And he’s the hero of the Crystal Empire.
01[15:26] <Froborr> Spike is actually in a position of tremendous, albeit unofficial, power.
01[15:28] <Froborr> (Also I think your read of Smith is… unusual, to say the least, but am not up to the discussion right now.)
[15:28] <Arrlaari> Yet he’s free to not excercise that power without being held irresponsible. Trading Dragonlord for Friend-of-Dragonlord preserves that.
01[15:28] <Froborr> Yep.
[15:31] <@Sylocat> Incidentally, I like that, twice now in one season, they’ve had a male-female friendship in which anything approaching romance is left entirely to the fanfic writers
01[15:32] <Froborr> Which is exactly how it should be.
01[15:32] <Froborr> I still maintain we should have a century-long moratorium on het romance.
[15:35] <@Sylocat> Seconded