sailor moon crystal

Anime Mondays #67

This week’s random bit of Glitterbots news: I am no longer a blonde anymore.  That’s right.  No blonde at all.  Since I came back from my traumatic turn as a brunette a couple of years ago, it was blonde + some other color all the time (read: pink, red, blue, violet, etc.), but I bit the bullet and dyed my hair this dark shade of purple.  For those of you playing the home game, it was called “light radiant violet” or some crap, but there is definitely nothing light about it.  It’s like purple/black purple.  I also took a turn at dyeing my hair black once, to which I vowed never again, but this fades to a weird pink color, so I think I’ll be able to go blonde again in a couple months.  My hair sucks, it’s permanent dye, and it’ll be out in about 4-6 weeks.  I also cut it short because it was asymmetrical, and I decided I wanted to grow it out again, so it was just easier to go all one length first so it doesn’t grow wonky.  ANYWAY.  That was your beauty lesson of the day.  Can you tell I used to work at a hair salon?  Let’s talk about Sailor Moon or something now.

All images are from MAL, and there are spoilers up to the episodes listed!

Yu Gi Oh Duel Monsters – Episodes 91-107 Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters Cover

Okay, I did not think I watched 16 episodes of this, but I guess I did…I swear, the box set episodes counts are off, but when I went to wikipedia to see where I was, it told me I had gone all the way up to 107, so there you have it.  I finished off season 2 of Yu Gi Oh! and am a disc and a half deep into season 3.  Firstly, season 2 ends at the WORST SPOT EVER.  So round one of the Battle City finals are over, right?  Kaiba beats Marek’s sister without using his Egyptian God Card, and she can’t use her fortune telling/future seeing powers anymore.  Then Evil Marek takes on Bakura/Original Marek for some reason I don’t quite understand (and to be honest, I don’t even remember what happened because it was so convoluted), and then, right when round two is supposed to start, the blimp gets sidetracked and caught up in some force field shit, where this kid named Noah now controls it and lands it on his ship in the middle of the ocean where they have to start a whole new tournament and leave the Battle City one behind.  Um…what??  Why would they insert this gigantic, stupid tournament in the middle of a perfectly good one?  Does this have manga?  Is this filler?  I don’t get it.  Anyway, this is another ridiculous “virtual” tournament where the old Kaiba Corp guys who lost in the last virtual thing come back with new rules to try to take over everyone’s bodies.  Okay.  Alright.  STUPID concept, but whatever.  These new rules make absolutely no sense, and I think all the old rules/continuity of the duels have gone right out the window.  Like, how many times can these shits attack per turn?  Sometimes they have to sacrifice monsters, sometimes they don’t.  How many monsters can they bring out per turn anyway?  And what’s up with these “duel masters” which make the cards talk now?  I can’t keep up with all this fuckery.  The virtual tournament actually has some good things going for it, namely, all the stupid puns from the English dub that are based on the settings (ie: the penguin battle has 64 million jokes about “chilling out”), and that people like Tristan and Tea are forced to battle.  Oh, and DUKE DEVLIN.  Marry me.  I have the oddest anime crushes.  I can’t believe I’ve watched over 100 episodes of this, though.  Closer to the end every week, kids.

Phi Brain Season 2 – Episodes 5-12 Phi Brain Season 2 Cover

See, now this is an anime I thought I got further into, but I’m not even halfway through.  It’s not that it’s dragging, I just had been steadily watching it all week and figured that it was almost over since the first arc ended rather abruptly.  Yeah, no.  So, it turns out the Orpheus Order is mainly after Kaito because — get ready for it — he had made a promise to Freecell when he was a kid to do a puzzle together, and Kaito forgot about it.  Freecell was then so traumatized that his sorrow transferred into his dying mother, so he thinks KAITO KILLED HIS MOTHER.  Shut the fuck up.  Sit the fuck down.  I’m really played out on these villains having the stupidest reasons to come after the protagonists.  Of course, when Kaito is forced to play a puzzle game against Freecell, he freaks out and is like, “Let’s play again, Kaito!  Again and again and again!!!!11”  Again, shut up.  Kaito did not kill Freecell’s mom by association.  Freecell is a nut job.  Anyway, Kaito’s group wins the challenge against Freecell’s group, and then we are abruptly taken into not one, but two, beach filler episodes.  Choke.  They’re on vacations and all these shits want to do is puzzles.  Finally, once that crap is finished, the student council president decides he’s worthless and wants to go undercover to learn more about the Orpheus Order so he won’t be such a waste of space.  Smart move.  Unfortunately, he’s not powerful enough to overcome the fake Orpheus ring’s hold on him.  And that’s where I paused.  Stop trying to have plot, Phi Brain, just do puzzles.

A-Channel – Episode 1 A-Channel Cover

For some reason I put this in my rental queue…I have no idea why.  Normally, all I put is retro stuff that I want to watch dubbed and whatever I can’t get on Netflix, but this is subtitle only and new.  Probably can’t get it on Netflix, though.  Maybe that’s why.  Anyway, A-Channel looks to be a worthless slice of life show where this girl who is a year younger than all her friends has an obsession with keeping people away from her blonde BFF.  That’s about all I got out of the first episode.  I’m really turned off slice of life lately.  Why?  Because NOTHING HAPPENS.  It’s not even funny or amusing to me anymore.  I just want something to happen.  Anything.  I’ll finish this this week so I can send it back, but I need to go through my lists.  Stat.

 

Ao Haru Ride – Episode 2 Ao Haru Ride cover

Two episodes in and I had a stomach drop already.  Oh my god, with the dude pulling the girl into him while she was crying so no one would see her…I died.  My heart broke and I just died.  Then I started crying, too.  I have this huge soft spots for guys who protect girls from the smallest things.  It’s like tiny gestures open my heart more than huge ones.  And that little half-hug thing…it just broke me.  And then when the girl stood up for the cute girl and lost all her “friends” in the process?  Holy crap.  I can’t.  This show is going to kill me this summer, I know it.  I love it so much.

 

 

 

Hikaru no Go – Episodes 21-24 Hikaru no Go Cover

I’m trying to remember anything that happened in these episodes and I’m drawing a blank.  Seriously.  I mean, I watched this DVD as soon as I got off work and saw it had come in the mail, but seriously.  Um…Hikaru passed his test to get to the next level in going pro.  Akira found out Hikaru is going after him.  Then Akira lost a match to the professional champion or something.  It looked like the anime was finishing off a season because the last episode had a bunch of snow, and like the tone was going to change.  That’s about it.  I can’t believe Hikaru ditched his friends and his middle school Go club to try and go pro, though.  What a dick.

 

 

Kimi ni Todoke – Episodes 7-13 Kimi no Todoke cover

God, this show.  With the feels.  I had to open up my second box set from NIS America I hadn’t popped the plastic on yet to continue my re-watch because it’s still.  So.  Good.  Sawako realizes she has romantic feelings for Kazehaya, and while he tries to let her know he has the same ones, he’s too damned shy to get it all out and Kurumi has flashed her bitch card, and UGH.  I’m sorry, this is romance done so right.  I don’t even mind that the set doesn’t have the recap episode (I watched it and it sucked) because it’s just so beautiful and sweet and innocent.  I wish when kids like these became adults that they would hold on to some of that.  All I’ve found are creeps.  This is why I’m single.

 

 

Dramatical Murder – Episode 2 Dramatical Murder cover

I know I said I wasn’t going to watch this on a weekly basis, but I was bored and didn’t feel like flipping to another Roku channel other than Crunchyroll, so I gave this anime one more chance.  And it still sucks.  Nothing happened.  I can see the hints of yaoi, but they are nothing spectacular.  Some stalker is following the blue haired dude.  He can’t remember anything about his duel.  That’s…it.  NOTHING HAPPENED.  I’m over you, Dramatical Murder, please step to the side.

 

 

 

 

Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) – Episodes 1-2 Terror in Resonance cover

Holy crap, this show is good.  The whole time, I kept thinking to myself, “Too soon?  Too soon?!?!” but I guess it’s not.  This is an anime about high school aged terrorists.  It’s like Degrassi – it goes there.  But it’s not about bringing a gun to school or gang violence, it’s about stealing plutonium and blowing up police stations.  These guys just give no fucks.  They are like the anti-heroes of the decade.  I want to know why they are doing this, but at the same time, you want to punch them in the face for putting innocent people in danger and destroying things.  Plus, they wrap a girl up in their plots because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now she has to deal with the mental anguish of keeping their secret (or they will kill her) while not being allowed to help.  She’s like a lookout for a secret club she’s not allowed in.  This show is intense, creepy and insanely addicting.  Stop what you are doing right now and go watch the stream on Funimation.  You won’t be sorry.

I My Me! Strawberry Eggs – Episodes 11-13 (Completed!) Strawberry Eggs Cover

Told you I would finish this anime this week.  And surprisingly, it wrapped up and ended really well.  You know the creeper student/teacher vibe that was going on?  Well, they almost kissed.  ALMOST.  But they didn’t (though, not because the teacher stopped being a creep, but because they were interrupted).  And then the shit hit the fan.  This bitch who had been trying to get the teacher fired all year somehow got some hidden camera footage of the dude taking off his girl makeup and clothes and showed it at an assembly, and he was pretty much forced to resign.  Once all the kids realized he wasn’t just a pervert but a really great teacher, they decided they wanted him back, but the teacher gracefully walked off into the sunset, saying he needed some time to better himself before he could come back to the school.  He didn’t get with the girl who loved him.  He made the exact right decision.  GOOD FUCKING ON YA.  God, it was like a breath of fresh air to leave everything resolved with people making the right, moral decisions and not have him kidnap the girl or turn her into his love slave or anything.  This throwaway Pioneer release was much better than I gave it credit for.  I rated it 6/10 on MAL (which is good for it being a slice of life show), and if I didn’t spoil it too much for you, give it a watch if you have a few hours to kill.

Sailor Moon Crystal – Episode 2 Sailor Moon Crystal Cover

I’m actually writing this post before I write my episode review (because I haven’t watched it for a second time yet), but I’ll re-iterate what I posted on twitter: Sailor Moon Crystal is a beautiful show visually, but it severely lacks on the plot and originality.  Originality because it’s a re-boot.  If I were watching this without seeing any of the original franchise, I think I’d hate it.  Some of the magic is missing, but I’ll get more in depth into that in my episode review.

 

 

 

 

Bakamatsu Rock – Episode 3 Bakamatsu Rock cover

Yep, I’m still digging this show.  There’s not a whole lot to say about it, though, either you’ll love it for what it is, or you’ll hate it.  There’s not a whole lot of plot, other than for the rock band to better themselves as artists, and the music is great.  Approve, approve, approve.

 

 

 

 

 

Love Stage – Episode 2 Love Stage cover

Okay, so after the yaoi-filled opening, I was NOT expecting the hot dude to freak out once he found out Izumi was a boy and not a girl.  I knew he would have had no idea about his gender, but the dickbag like, FLIPS OUT after he admits that he’s loved Izumi for ten years after they met that one time.  Hello, love is love, gender notwithstanding.  Also, that Izumi thought his first kiss would be with a GIRL…how they got some gay dudes out of these characters, I have no idea.  I can’t wait for the next episode.  Love Stage is moving at a really quick pace, but it has to because it’s only a ten episode series.  I am so excited to see what happens next and how this whole thing is going to pan out.  Plus, I think I’m in love with Izumi’s older brother.  Marry me.  God, that’s two husbands in one column.  Again, this is why I’m single.

Currently watching 246 shows (added two new ones), while I have completed 33 anime this year (one off the list this week).  I’ve got to get my head around this backlog challenge again.  Watching a ton of Yu Gi Oh doesn’t help things, even though that was all I wanted to plow through.  Next week, we see if A-Channel is as big a piece of crap as I think after one episode, and more seasonal shows.  Figures, I’m really into the seasonals when I shouldn’t have picked up any new ones.  Life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 1 – How Does it Live Up to the Hype?

It’s here.  Let me repeat myself.  IT’S HERE.  The day has finally come, and alarm clocks and iphone apps around the world went off a mere two hours ago because NEW SAILOR MOON HAS PREMIERED.  Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know I am a complete and utter Sailor Moon fangirl.  I have the VHS tapes to prove it.  Needless to say, when I heard the announcement of a new series, I cried like I was back watching the R movie again.  I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this for over a year.  And today was the day when it was supposed to all pay off.  About 90 minutes ago, I woke up to watch the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, an anime that is not so much a new Sailor Moon story, but more like a re-boot, billed as a more faithful adaptation of the manga.

Did it deliver as promised?

Well…yes.

Did it live up to my expectations?

The jury is still out on this one.

The show opens on the still frames of outer space that were shown in the trailer with this gorgeous background track behind it.  Yeah, this girl on the hype train was crying again.  It helped to set the mood, but was completely unnecessary and a waste of time, up until we saw the moon and the earth, and then we were treated to some gorgeous Revolutionary Girl Utena-style art of a prince and princess.  I don’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen the episode, but, I mean, if you have watched even a tiny bit of the old series, you can tell what I’m talking about.  If you have seen the entirety of the old series, and can sometimes repeat dialogue verbatim from the episodes that DiC released on video back in the day, then this first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will feel undeniably familiar to you.  Why?  It’s almost exactly the same as the first episode of the the original.  If you watched it in Japanese, there are huge portions of the script that are the ridiculously similar, if not lifted from the premiere episode of the old Sailor Moon outright.  It helps that both the original and Crystal hired the same voice actress for Usagi, and, while you can tell in the new series that her voice is a touch lower, it’s still like turning on something you’ve seen a million times, just with updated animation.

The new theme song is pretty solid.  I love the lyrics; they completely encompass what Sailor Moon is all about, a group of girls who can fight their own battles and don’t need a man to save them (sorry, Tuxedo Mask).  The opening animation feels stilted, though.  And the CGI parts baffle me.  Why would you just throw them in there like that?  And it’s not good CGI, either, it’s distracting Love Live! CGI, where you can completely tell that it’s not hand-drawn and the bodies just look off.  As for the character designs, well…Usagi is Usagi.  Her eyes feel a little vacant, but she is a little vacant, so I suppose it’s just something I’m going to have to get used to.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

Ami is gorgeous, which is odd for me to admit because I never really liked Sailor Mercury.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

You can’t really tell from this picture, but Rei has extremely distracting red lipstick.  It makes her look so much older than she should, and now she has permanent bitch face.  Actually, all the girls have distracting lipstick.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

Except for Makoto, who is stunning.  She is the favorite of a lot of my friends who admit to watching this show, and now I can see why.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

image from animenewsnetwork.com

And then, we have Minako, and did you know that according to some Facebook quiz, I’m most like Sailor Venus?  But I digress.

If you’re looking for something new, you will want to look for the flashbacks/forwards that I previously mentioned.  Other than calling Sailor Moon’s tiara attack “Moon Tiara Boomerang,” which was never used in the anime, that’s about it.  Is it more faithful to the manga?  Yes, with the addition of these shadow scenes.  Now, in the original, these were never my favorites, but with the art style in Crystal, they are the best parts of the episode.  It’s Utena.  You know what I mean.

Utena silhouetteThink this but with long pigtails and a flowy white dress.

I also feel the need to mention that the hideous CGI returns in Sailor Moon’s transformation scene, which completely ruined it for me.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the background were CGI, but this was just unnecessarily distracting.

The ending and ending song, were, however, utterly gorgeous.  If you’re looking for a new episode preview, you’re not going to get it, but you will get beautiful title and eye catch cards.  Seriously.  All of that art is the best part of the show.  Best, best, best.  But, episode one of Crystal was still almost identical to episode one of the original series, which makes my hype train slow down.  A lot.

It’s still the first episode, and it remains to be seen whether or not they are going to cram the entire manga into this reboot, or if they are just going to stick with the first five or so volumes, before we are introduced to most of the outer senshi.  I have a feeling that that is what’s going to happen, and I will be sorely disappointed because, for me, Sailor Moon did not blossom until the S season.  In two weeks, we’ll get introduced to Sailor Mercury because they did give us a tiny hint of foreshadowing by showing a shot of Ami walking around the school before they cut to the ending.  And that’s all I know.

What did you think of Sailor Moon Crystal?  Are you more interested in this or that Viz is going to release the old series in its entirety?  Are you waking up ridiculously early again to catch the next episode in two weeks?  Let’s chat because it’s way too early to do anything else productive.

image from animenewsnetwork.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

à suivre…