Film Talk: Pretty Guardian Sailormoon, Act 18

Posted September 29, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Pretty Guardian Sailormoon: Act 18 (PGSM 18)Plot Recap: Jadeite has been revived and has pretty much immediately started to work on getting the ginzuishou from Venus. Venus has revealed her civilian identity to Mars and scolded her for doing her job as she understood it.

Also Usagi is in a funk because Mamoru has a girlfriend.

Onwards then!

Oooh, instead of a narrative recap we get a purely visual one this time.

*sigh* Venus, go see my recap of the previous episode for my response to your scolding. And so the bonding has come to an end over a fight on whether Venus needs protecting. That’s a key to Venus’ behaviour here, perhaps. She’s used to being a loner and doing everything herself. She’s not used to having people look out for her or put people above monsters. And she’s not considering the very real possibility that, had Mars left her, she’d have had to fight two shitennou at the same time whilst wounded and, also important, starting off that fight lying on the ground. She’d have to get up before she’d get a good chance to get away or do much of anything and that would cost her valuable time that she, arguably, would not have had. Mars, for all her ineffective arguing back, does seem to have some grasp of that situation and acted on it, which makes Minako’s reaction whilst on the one hand pretty understandable for a loner whose sole mission it’s been to chase demons and thieves without regard for personal safety also completely unreasonable and a sign that she’s got as much if not more growing up to do than she’s accusing Mars of needing. We’ll have to see if someone calls her out on that somewhere in the episode.

Oh, good. She’s realising her mistake herself. That’s even better than someone calling her out on it. That’s someone actively considering their actions and finding them at fault by themselves without being told by some outside force. That’s not something I see all that often: people reflecting on their mistakes without being told what they did was possibly out of line.

And we see that Minako is very much not okay in general. This is going to become important later, but it’s one of the many changes they made to Minako’s character and it’s one I want to flag up now that we know it’s not some one-episode thing, but a recurring one.

And we also see that Minako has a real competitive streak for some reason because her response to Rei showing up with dog food is to buy several boxes of the stuff, and of course she’s going for the best her money can buy — which, being a famous idol, is probably very good — all to one-up Rei. Who’s the one needing to grow up, Minako?

*snrk* Look at Motoki just flomping in his chair when he realises Makoto’s only talking to him to learn more about Mamoru. And then she gives him stuff for Kamekichi and his face just lights up. It’s adorable. And sneaky. And I think you could totally bribe Motoki by getting him things for Kamekichi.

And the romantic plot thickens as Mamoru thinks about his feelings and Hina is apparently thinking about where they should be getting married. And he’s already caught between his feelings because he’s clearly not feeling for Hina what she’s feeling for him.

Considering you’re just reliving the worst things we’ve seen him call you, that’s a good question, Usagi. And I suspect that his yelling at her to get on the motorcycle was supposed to be something mean as well, but really they were fleeing from jewellery thieves. I’m going to have to give him a pass on circumstances being unlikely to tell him gently and politely to get on for that one. The others, though… No pass. That was just rude and uncalled for.

Yes, Luna. There is bound to be a motive for the attack. Considering most of us probably figured this out last episode, you get no cookie for taking so long. You’re supposed to be smart.

And it’s interesting how apparently no one answers their phones unless everyone answers them together, isn’t it?

Posing is clearly important when fighting the enemy because the enemy will a) let them do it, b) show us the same posing several times from different angles. Makes me wish Kunzite was with them at this point because he would’ve given about zero fucks for the posing and just attacked and we’d have been spared the multi-angle posing. Yes, let’s split up so we can have a three-against-two when the two-against-four were already winning, Rei. THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE.

Those are some fast cartwheels, Rei. Where did you learn those? I’d like to be that fast with cartwheeling.

You know, I like the way the show visually lets you know when attacks are and aren’t in synch with one another like in this episode. It’s a nice touch and it’s a good sign that Usagi isn’t entirely paying attention.

And now we get the first hint that Venus doesn’t actually believe that she’s the princess. If you want to interpret it that way.

Look at Usagi not using her wand for healing Mamoru and Hina. I WONDER HOW SHE CAN DO THAT WHEN VENUS CAN’T (and also doesn’t appear to care overly much).

And hey I’m actually impressed that Rei is wondering about Venus’ choice of phrasing. For the record, I have no problems with them not figuring out that Usagi is the Moon Princess. Just that I have issues with the idea that no one thinks there’s anything at all fishy about what we’ve seen about Venus and the Moon Princess so far. Things just don’t add up there even if you don’t jump to “Usagi must be the Moon Princess” from what you’ve got. It’s really nice to see someone actively noticing that the puzzle pieces don’t quite fit together the way you’d expect them to.

That’s… one of the issues with rewatching a show where you know the basic storyline fairly well, actually. It creates a difference in expectations, especially when the symbolism is quite thick. The wondering and questioning will likely work the first time (because new story and information!) but subsequent viewings will just leave you wondering why no one picked up on things not making sense in-story before when it’s so very obvious. And there’s actually a pretty easy fix to it too. All the show would have needed to do was take some of the more obvious discrepancies, such as Usagi having a brooch instead of a bracelet, and made it explicit that this is an “You’re the leader, so your gear is slightly different” instead of letting that be inferred by the narrative because that creates an immediate in-story reason for the characters to dismiss that as an irrelevant piece of information that the audience doesn’t have to fill in themselves.

Artemis, you are a cruel little plushie in this show. You really are. Let the girl make some friends. She’s not got any. Although there’s that hint there that something is up and she only has six months… to do what? The show doesn’t say, but leaves it to be inferred that she’s going to vanish or disappear or die or something else entirely unexpected. (Maybe we’ll learn she’s actually Queen Metallia and she’s doing her best to fight off the youma and the Dark Kingdom so she won’t become her alter ego!)

No, okay, that’s not it. BUT IT WOULD BE REALLY INTRIGUING IF IT WERE. And I like how it follows up with Usagi making a scarf for Mamoru and echoing… Well, the opposite of what Artemis is getting her. He doesn’t want anyone to hurt, or Minako to hurt because she knows she’ll hurt people because they care about her. And there’s Usagi wondering if loving someone can ever be a bad thing.

And also there are birds underground in the Dark Kingdom, apparently. Next time! Valentine’s Day! On the show that is, not in reality. See you then!

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