Category: Film & TV

Livetweeting Sera Myu: Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth

Posted August 18, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sailor Neptune, playing a violin right before a battle scene.This week’s musical was Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth. Livetweet Storify here! It’s an adaptation of the Infinity arc, with several characters unique to the musical. The narrative between the senshi and the Witches 5 more or less follows the narrative of the manga, ensuring that some scenes don’t really make much sense in the context of the musical and the addition of the Hoshino family just means the musical has less space to work out the plot it’s already got, but opens up a whole new reason for Hotaru to awaken as Saturn which is something I really appreciated it. Saturn is one senshi you definitely do not want to get angry with you.

And, basically, this musical follows the general trend of old!Myu where I wish they’d either stuck to the source material or ran wild with their original additions instead of trying to mesh the two together.

That said, after 5 seasons of the Classic anime, 3 seasons of Crystal, 4 new!Myu musicals and at least a dozen old!Myu musicals, a group of aliens in the Sailor Moon verse has finally thought to just try asking Usagi if they can use the ginzuishou’s power to save/revive their planet instead of trying to take the thing by force.

AND GUESS WHAT USAGI SAID.

“Sure. Here you go. I’d be happy to give it to you for the purposes of saving your world.” like everyone but the characters knew she would.

Also Tomoe gets to sing and dance in this musical. He does not get to fly. Foiled again! (Q: Will you ever let this go, Lynn? It’s been like a dozen musicals now. >> A: NOT UNTIL TOMOE GETS TO SING, DANCE AND FLY IN THE SAME MUSICAL. Also if it happens in such a way that I remember it, because I’m pretty sure he did some of these three in older musicals, but I can’t remember if he did all of them in the same musical.)

Anyway, this musical, while the messily plotted storyline I’m used it from Myu was a delight. I liked some of the aspects of the changes, notably Saturn awakening because she’s really, reallyangry about the whole “killing everyone from the planet Grimm” thing and basically just destroying everything because she’s Just That Pissed.

And then Uranus is just utterly defeated and despairing and MY HEART IT BROKE. Also Michiru is so bad-ass she gets to play a violin during one of the battle scenes. (Well, sort of. It was kind of before the battle started and it lasted about one World Shaking or Space Sword Blaster BUT STILL. She totally took her violin into battle to play Orleans no Sei Senshi. Bad. Ass.)

And also Hotaru before she became Mistress 9 used Mistress 9 and/or Saturn’s powers to be all “Hands off my bestie, Chibiusa” and, like, Mamoru was all “Chibiusa, did you make a friend? <3” and Chibiusa was all “Yeah, she’s really cute! Especially when she smiles!” and just d’awwwwww. Chibiusa/Hotaru is the cutest pairing even in musicals where they’ve only met, like, once for all we’ve seen the musical imply.

I have no idea what to expect of the revised musical next week, but I really hope that they won’t take out any of the bits that I really loved. We’ll see!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: 10th Anniversary Festival – Ai no Sanctuary

Posted August 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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All the senshi gathered at the end of the Ai no Sanctuary musicals

Oh, my, this musical was so much fun, everyone. It was everything I’ve been loving about Old!Myu, wrapped into an hour-long original story that actually mostly made sense. Here’s the livetweet Storify!

It’s now Sunday and I feel like I should be able to say something sensible and useful about it, but I’m afraid I’m still stuck on saying “EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “BUT I WANT MORE MUSICAL T_T” Not that the talkshow wasn’t fun because it was. It’s really interesting to hear previous cast members reflect on their time in the musicals and hearing what their answers to questions are and the sketches seem to have been either hilarious or adorable. (It’s a compilation of highlights from each day of the festival rather than 6 hour-long talkshows, so bits seem to have cut off.) I’d definitely recommend the talk show if you’re a fan of the old Myus. Everything about them is just so full of love and energy.

(Also, I think old!Myu does best when it’s trying to tell a wholly new story all its own. It gets to be every bit as silly as it likes and doesn’t need to worry about plot holes because “the audience already knows this stuff anyway”.)

Next up is a retelling of the Infinity Arc: Mugen Gakuen – Mistress Labyrinth, so we’re pretty much right back to retelling storylines from the manga/anime. I’ve only got about 6 old!Myu musicals left now. T_T NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady (Revision)

Posted August 4, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Ami sitting on the stage with a cup to her face during the revision of the Black Lady musical

A little later than planned (thanks, illness), but here it is: the storify of the 2002 winter special, the revision of the Black Lady musical, a musical reimagining of the Black Moon arc.

Wherein some small bits of plot were fixed and the musical as a whole still just relies on viewers knowing the franchise and bringing both the anime and the manga version of the narrative into this one.

And also more characters get added because it’s not like with, like, 11 main characters and roughly as many antagonist, we don’t have enough characters that need a compelling backstory or personality or anything.

Soon… The Ai no Sanctuary musical. This sounds like it should be a wholly new storyline again. Whoohoo!

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Livetweeting Sera Myu Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady

Posted July 19, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Usagi and Kouan from Sera Myu Tanjou! Ankoku no Princess Black Lady

Storify.

As is to be expected from the title (Birth! The Princess of Darkness Black Lady) this is a Myu retelling of the Black Moon arc. It looks… a little differently from what you might be expecting, though.

It’s made a couple of changes to allow for the whole senshi cast to appear in the musical, for example, and it sticks to the formula of “Let’s show off every single Sailor Moon costume upgrade” that, I think, all of the second stage musicals have had if not also most of the first stage musicals.

And… So far I like that. It’s really fun to see the musicals stick to roughly the same story and yet manage to spice it up with those smaller changes because it makes the whole story feel much fresher and unexpected. Also the changes meant we pretty much got rid of most all of the daughter/father romance ick that’s in this narrative as well as the part where Demand(o) sexually assaults Sailor Moon. (That particular change also had to do with the fact that Marina was 12 when she played in this musical.) Those are my favourite changes about the whole musical, really.

But the issue I have with this musical is pretty much the same as I’ve been having with most of them: it relies heavily on viewers already knowing key aspects of the narrative, such as the relationship between Chibiusa and Pluto and Chibiusa’s frustration at not being able to transform into a senshi. Honestly, I shudder to think of watching this musical without any prior exposure to the R arc because I doubt it’d make all that much sense to me. I mean, I know the musical is likely aimed at fans who, like me, already know the backstory in the arc and just wanted to see the story acted out in a stage musical, but still. I would have liked it to stand on its own more than it did. ūüôĀ

I’m hopeful that the revision will address the biggest of my concerns. We know from the new musicals that it’s totally possible to fit the narrative into a 2 hour musical, after all, and all I really want is just a little more build-up to the key moments of the second part of the narrative and to get the change I really want (establishing Chibiusa and Pluto’s friendship better) you only need to alter a couple of lines from an early scene.

Anyway, despite having some narrative issues with the musical, I did enjoy it. This musical especially suffered from being one of the later ones I’m watching, I think.

I adored Petite √Čtrang√®re when that came out. Absolutely adored it and this is very unfair of me, but I couldn’t help comparing the two as I watched and the script of the new Myu is just better. And the enthusiasm, while there, is nothing compared to the enthusiasm of the first stage musicals especially. So part of my lessened enjoyment is also just that I’ve already seen so many of the Myus that I’m starting to figure out what my preferences and favourites are.

Though, honestly, I would probably have loved the heck out of this musical if it’d just stood on its own more effectively.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu – Transylvania no Mori (Revised)

Posted July 1, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Usagi pouting because she 'forgot' something in the classroom.

As promised, tonight’s musical is the revised version of Transylvania no Mori. You can read the Storify here.

There were, um, quite a few changes to this musical. The second half especially is massively different, with a far greater focus on the Samael/Sailor Quartet as enemies and a completely different role for Astarte that, while not working for my perfectly, works a lot better than the original musical did.

Also Dracul returns because Reasons and the tearful final scenes where everything is going wrong were tearful and upsetting and works masses and masses better for me as well. Some of the same plot issues remain and I don’t think the musical manages to live up to its narrative potential even with the changes, but you know what? It was fun to watch and I got really caught up in it and, honestly, that’s really the main thing I want from all these musicals and the original version, sadly, didn’t give me that. At all.

I didn’t even remember we were going to get a revised version. That’s how badly I wanted to forget it. (Also, my memory is rubbish in general, but that’s not nearly as dramatic to say.)

Next week we do get the third and last instalment in the Dracul trilogy! I double-checked.

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Livetweeting SeraMyu Transylvania no Mori

Posted July 1, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Mandrake from Sera Myu Transylvania no Mori

And after a weeklong delay, we finally return to the livetweeting of the second instalment in the Dracul saga of Sera Myu. You can read the livetweets here.

This Storify is late largely because I was way way too tired to tackle a livetweet last week and then depression hit for, um, quite a while and when it wasn’t that it was just plain being busy with offline things. So since everyone’s been very kind and putting up with my irregularities first, I opted to just do one and a half musical today! (Watch me not manage to finish the third instalment now either.) That way I don’t have to reorganise the schedule for people.

Anyway! This musical is properly titled (in translation):¬†Decisive Battle / Transylvania’s Forest ~ New Appearance! The Warriors Who Protect Chibi Moon ~¬†though Chibimoon plays a really small part compared to other musicals. My main impression of this musical is that the presentation of its plot is every bit as messy as some of the First Stage musicals were and, as a result, just as confusing and scenes nearer the end of the musical that¬†should be packing a hefty punch just don’t manage.

I mean, if I’d been a child? Yeah, probably I would’ve enjoyed it just fine. As an adult my main impression of the plot is “Look, if I wanted to construct a sensible narrative arc for all these characters from the scraps you’re giving me, I would be writing it already. I just want to be entertained with a story that does not feel like it’s falling apart at the seams”. Which is a shame because this musical, even more than the previous Dracul musical, offers a chance to really,¬†really dive into some deep questions about humanity and ethics in a way that it’s accessible to children and adults. It’s trying to do some really interesting and neat things. Though, uh, that all said and I haven’t said it in the livetweets, but wow the way it uses Judaism made me really uncomfortable.

I really,¬†really wanted to like this musical. It’s introducing some great ideas in the characters of Vampir and the Amazon Quartet (it does introduce Elizath Bathory and Gilles de Rais – in a musical for children, yes – and then proceeds to do barely anything with either of their backstories which is just a wasted opportunity all around), but it’s also trying to introduce so much and include such grand ideas and dilemmas that nothing every truly gets a chance to shine. This is¬†especially true of Sailor Astarte. She gets this scene which is so inspired by Mistress 9 taking over Hotaru and it’s supposed to be this supermeaningful moment between her and Usagi, but we’ve seen her, like, thrice? And only briefly as the scenes quickly moved on to focus on other more important things? So we know¬†nothing about her at all and we have absolutely no reason to really care and. Just. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF IT ALL THEN.

And… Yeah. I’m pretty sure this musical is going to be one of my least favourite Sera Myu musicals if not my least favourite. T_T

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Livetweeting Sera Myu: Overture of Last Dracul

Posted June 18, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Chibiusa and Hotaru sitting in a pink boat while two human-sized ducks sit on the stage/water and one human-sized goose is posing.

It is time! After a good rest, I have collected last night’s livetweet into a new Storify!

This week I’ve livetweeted Overture of Last Dracul, or more accurately New/Transformation – The Path to Become the Super Warrior – Overture of Last Dracul and if that sounds like it’s a remake of a first stage musical you would be absolutely correct!

 

This musical is exactly like 1995’s Transformation – The Path to Become the Super Warrior except the Death Busters have been replaced by Death Nightmares, Tomoe… sort-of exists but is replaced by Berserk, Pharaoh 90 has been replaced with Death Vulcan, Mistress 9 does not exist, and oh there are vampires.

Yes, really.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island (Revision)

Posted June 11, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Usagi Tsukino (Fumina Hara) looking determined as she sings. CC reads "It's time for battle"

With another Saturday gone, it’s time for another Sera Myu livetweet link and a brief recap! Actually on time this time. Huzzah! You can read the Storify here!

The revised version of this musical was pretty similar to the original one we watched last week, with the most significant change being an additional scene set in Crystal Tokyo to explain why Chibiusa ran away to the past. The second-most significant change is the addition of a strange illness that affects everyone but Usagi (and had virtually no bearing on the plot otherwise but does give us Setsuna sharing historical tidbits and how have I gone through so much of my life not considering what a kick-ass history teacher the guardian of time would make).

Also we trade the adorable Haruka plus kitten scene for an adorable Haruka plus Michiru scene, which was awesome. And then Haruka was, well, Haruka and decided that killing the enemy was the only option and oh just imagine how much more heartbreaking that scene would’ve been if she’d previously bonded with one of them.

And, somehow, the musical managed to make the kittens even cuter. Like how! O_O

I was worried when I started this musical that it was going to follow the same pattern as the revisions of the other musicals that I’d loved the original version of. Because there was a pattern of it keeping pretty much everything I didn’t like and tossing out everything I’d loved. But this musical didn’t do that! Well, okay, it did a¬†little of that, but mostly what it did was add things that I enjoyed (also, I still think the Crystal Tokyo scene was absolutely worth it just for Endymion’s reaction to his 900-year-old daughter possibly writing love letters).

Did I like it as much as the original? Honestly? No, I don’t think so, but in this case, it’s just because of the order I watched them in. I really enjoyed this musical too.

Next week, we’re shaking things up a bit again because this was Fumina Moon’s last Myu musical and next week we’re getting a new Sailor Moon actress! I’m going to be sticking with the Japanese stage count rather than the Western fan stage count, though. But, yeah, small heads-up there.

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Livetweeting Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island

Posted June 10, 2017 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sera Myu The Legend of Kaguya Island: All Senshi, Mamoru and three kittens.

It is a whole week late, but finally finally here is a link to the Storify of last week’s livetweet of The Legend of Kaguya Island. As always, many thanks to SeaofSerenity.net for their fansubbing work and making these musicals accessible to those of us who don’t speak Japanese.

This is the second musical of the Second Stage after Anza Ooyama and most of the original cast left and the first wholly original story for the musicals. in this musical, the inners and the outers (and Mamoru) all win an all-expenses-paid trip to a newly developed resort island. Or do they? Dun dun DUUUUUN.

Okay, no. It’s Sailor Moon, of course things are about to go horribly wrong. You see, millennia ago, a comet was hurling towards Earth to make Earth its new home because it had aspirations of becoming a planet.

Earth was not happy and asked Princess Moon (also known as Princess Serenity) for help. Princess Serenity, being Serenity, was obviously having none of that Earth-destroying potential and changed Earth’s orbit so the comet wouldn’t hit it. At the price of, uh, you know. Kind of… destroying all of mankind as it existed at the time?

But hey the Earth was saved and lived peacefully for thousands of years until! Until! The comet returned and the past has come back to haunt the senshi. Again. Will the Earth be destroyed another time? Can Sailor Moon save the day for present-day mankind where Princess Serenity could not?

Well, duh. Eponymous heroine and all that. But oh the ride to get there. I’ve enjoyed the previous musicals, partially for their enthusiasm and sheer vivacity. They’re just plain fun to watch even if, as an adult, the plot holes are often glaring and detracting.

This musical, though. This shows you what Myu can do when it tries to tell a coherent story that has to rely largely on the musical to make sense. True, we don’t get as much sense of what the senshi are like and we rely heavily on knowledge of the manga and/or the anime to characterise their relationships, but given that what we get in return is a really fun story that stands on its own pretty well, I’m not complaining.

It’s even got two sets of antagonists without it feeling like either one of them was really short-changed in the narrative department. Even the senshi don’t feel like that if you’ve got a grounding in who they are.

This musical was just plain fun to watch and, so far, it’s easily my favourite of the old Myus. It’s energetic, it’s plot-filled, it’s fresh, it’s cheerful, it’s cute and adorable. It’s everything I’ve wanted in a Myu musical and then some. (Seriously, they had, like, 17 people who needed stage time to get their narratives across. THAT IS A LOT OF PEOPLE FOR A 2 HOUR MUSICAL. Heck, it’s not even all of them.)

Tonight, I’ll be watching the kaiteiban/revision version and I’m a little scared. So far, I’ve had mixed reactions to the revisions, but it’s fair to say that if I’ve loved the original musical the revision’s pretty much changed everything I loved about it in the first place. (I’m looking at you, Eien Densetsu kaiteiban!) So… Knock on wood that that doesn’t happen this evening because, wow, I would be upset.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKED THIS MUSICAL. AND I’M REALLY REALLY REALLY HOPING THE REVISION MAKES ME LOVE IT MORE.

But this musical? Yeah, I really liked it. It was a lot of fun. Also, IT HAD KITTENS. I brightened up the screenshot a little, so you can see Haruka hugging a kitten-child better. IT WAS THE CUTEST. (Seriously, you should all watch this musical just for this scene of adorbs.)

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