Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 1

Posted April 14, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Missed the previous reaction post? You can find it here!

Title card for Act 27, Premonition, Part 1. A stylised silhouette of Princess Serenity.

Welcome to the very first reaction post for Sailor Moon Crystal, Infinity. This introduction (and the one for next week) will be slightly different from the others. I’m writing this after having seen the episode and writing up the reaction posts rather than before, so there’s no pre-episode excitement to discuss.

I did want to remind everyone that I’ve seen this episode before and these are not my very first reactions. If you’d seen my very first reactions, I suspect you’d appreciate it. It, um, wasn’t very coherent. It generally consisted of the letters O, M and G. Either that or just squeeing with joy. The post below is more coherent than that at least.

As a reminder: I’m screencapping bits this time around, so these posts are image-heavy and not necessarily bandwidth-safe. Tread with caution if bandwidth is a concern. And let me know if the alt text works for you or needs changing!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27: Premonition Part 1

A dark, ruinous courtyard. Water is flowing from an ominous fish-shaped fountain. A pillar is glowing purple in an archway.

That… Um. That is not the opening I was expecting, I have to admit.I was expecting the show to start by introducing Usagi and the senshi and their normal lives and then the enemy. I really like that switch. I think it make the episode (and the season) more accessible to people who don’t already know the story. It sets up far more sinister conflict and creates a much better hook than a short recap of Who Are We would have done. In the latter case, it’d have been “Uh, why do I care about this? I don’t know these characters”. Now it’s “OMG! What is this creepy voice talking about? What old place? What power? WHAT IS GOING ON, SHOW?!”

<3

Three stars (yellow, purple, blue) shining in the night sky forming a triangle. Text reads "I sense a light similar to Taioron Crystal, the spring of our power".

!!!!! Look, it’s three stars. It’s the Outers! Tell me it’s the Outers, show. Teeeeeeeeeeeell meeeeeeeeeee. No? No? Oh, fine. Don’t tell me. It’s four Outers technically anyway.

Close-up of the fish-fountain. In the background we can make out a figure in front of a glowing pillar. Behind it, two eyes shiny ominously. Text: "I know, sir."

Pharaoh 90 looks a lot like early Wiseman with the glowing eyes.

A girl (Hotaru) with half-long, black hair is lying in a bed, asleep.

OMG! It’s introducing us to Hotaru before the Senshi! I am liking this set-up so far!

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Hotaru is dreaming of the old Moon Kingdom?! OMG! OUTERS! Look look look! The Outers! <3 And we’ve introcued the Talismans and and and. *happy*

Three senshi (Uranus, Pluto, Neptune) are standing on a pillar. They're backlit, so you can only see their silhouette. Each of them is holding an item: a sword, a staff and something we can't make out (but it's a mirror.) Text: "The time has come."

“The beginning of doom”. Well, that‘s certainly a cheery way to end the episode introduction and a great time to switch to the opening song. That song has grown on me, by the by. I wasn’t too fond of it at first, but now it’s earwormed me and I find myself humming it at random moments.

I love the opening sequence. I love how it hearkens back to the original anime while being its own thing. I love the animation and the way it’s focusing on everyone and just. <3

Oh, look, we kept the little title cards for the episode titles. <3<3<3<3 I liked those! It’s nice to see them again. Adds a nice bit of visual continuity.

Wow. We’re still sticking with Hotaru. I have to say, I wasn’t keen on the repetition the first time I watched it, but I like the way it helps lead us to introducing the senshi now. It leads us from Hotaru to Mamoru to Rei, after all, so it’s a nice transition.

Shot of a clear sky, the top of a church tower and a tree. Text: "The sound of bells?"

Huh. Usagi gets a dream too? Well, of course she‘s not going to be dreaming of destruction. Weddings are far more her style of dreams. As I said, I think it’s a nice and effective transition from Hotaru and the foreboding of the opening to introducing the senshi (and their everyday lives).

A young pink-haired girl (Chibi-Usa) in a school uniform having a meal. Beside her sits a small grey cat with a crescent moon on her forehead (Diana). In the foreground, we see the shape of an adult holding a ladle (Ikuko). Text: "You're right, Ikuko Mama."

DIANA! THERE IS A DIANA! Also look at Chibi-Usa being absolutely adorable. Wait, a monster? We didn’t see anything about a monster. I like that we’re introducing the monsters without really showing them, though it makes me wonder what happened to it. It doesn’t seem like the senshi were involved with defeating it, so… what happened?

Also can I just point out that Usagi’s parents are in this episode? Doing parenty things? Well, sort of. They’re having breakfast and explaining things (and offering exposition), but I just so appreciate that they’re there. I’m missing a Shinji, though. Where’s Usagi’s little brother?

I’d also like to note that it’s so pretty. I mean, yes, the art still has some of the same problems for distant faces from what I can tell, but it’s so bright and pretty and it makes me happy and cheerful just to look at this anime so far.

A long-haired blonde girl (Usagi) wrapping her arm around that of a young, black-haired young man (Mamoru). Text: "Mamo-chan, my dear. Sorry to be late."

Usagi, you are terrible. You’re so obviously angling without meaning the first thing about what you’re saying. I can pick up on that. I think.

Chibi-Usa looking up happily as she hugs someone. There's also an angry-looking rabbit symbolism to indicate an off-screen speaker.

Show. Show. Show. Are you giving us the silliness, show? Are you? Truly? Honestly? You’re giving us the silliness and the little asides and details that added so much personality to the original and to the manga? Truly? TELL ME THIS IS NOT A LIE, SHOW. TELL ME YOU ARE ACTUALLY DOING THIS! (Disclaimer: Yes. Yes, it is.)

A pink-haired girl (Sailor Chibi-Moon) and a white-haired woman (Neo-Queen Serenity). The woman is wearing a white dress with ornamental wings. They're surrounded by pastel colours and sparkles. Text: "She came to the past from the 30th century to be trained as a Sailor Guardian."

Awwwwwwwwww. Chibi-Usa is the first senshi to be introduced. That is adorable. And see you don’t even need to know much about the previous season to understand this introduction, so hopefully that means the whole season can stand on its on reasonably well in that regard. *hopes*

Wow, this episode is really liking the not showing Usagi and Mamoru kiss, doesn’t it? That’s the second time it’s done that in only a couple of minutes. Yes, Mamoru. Go ahead and tell Usagi nothing is wrong. There is absolutely nothing that could go wrong by telling her everything is fine when you think it won’t be.

Oh, I like that, show. I like that you’re actively showing Usagi as picking up on the moods and realising things are about to go wrong (again). She’s such a happy-go-lucky character and it’s so easy to show or write her as someone who is genuinely entirely clueless and…Usagi isn’t. It’s just so easy for people to mistake being happy and focusing on compassion and kindness and positivity for being dim and… Yeah. I love that note.

A green-haired woman (Michiru) emerging from the water. All we see is her face as she tilts it back.

OMG! MICHIRU! Okay, show, I could have done without the close-up of her getting out of the pool, but she looks gorgeous. <3 So elegant and… Michiru-like. <3 Haruka~ <3 I am such a ball of emotions about the subbing here. I’m cautiously optimistic about how the show will handle Haruka’s representation and gender identity because that is such a big thing to so many people. (Haruka/Michiru too, but I think it’s not that much of a spoiler to say the show’s explicit about their romance. IT’S NOT SUBTLE about it is what I’m saying. It is glorious and I heart it and oh please please please please show do not mess it up.)

Two young people in racing suits. One of them (Haruka) is holding a helmet and pointing at a car. Text: "This machine is awesome. I wanted to go faster."

HARUKA! (What? I had to have a shot of Haruka’s introduction as well as Michiru, surely.) Look at how gorgeous and wonderful and show you may have just stolen my heart with these last two minutes or so.

Usagi and a brown-haired girl (Naru) entering a building. Text: "Good day, Motoki-san."

Wait, was that Naru? *rewinds* Yes, yes, it is. OMG! Naru! Remember how I loved on PGSM specifically because it did not forget that Naru existed? And sure she didn’t show up all that often, but she did show up and wasn’t ditched or forgotten about because she’s not a senshi? USAGI AND NARU ARE STILL FRIENDS! And it looks like Naru is sort-of part of their friends’ circle and <3

And we get the senshi introduction. And we’re focusing on who the senshi are as people rather than their powers. I AM IN LOVE, SHOW. PLEASE KEEP THIS UP ALL SEASON.

*laughs* D’awww. A helmet. <3

Haruka, you were not there before. XD

A game over screen. The game being played was a racing game. The player was in second place in the final lap.

Minako, first of all, it’s an arcade game. She’s not actually going to crash herself into a wall. Secondly, don’t distract her from driving. Usagi might’ve made that turn just fine if you hadn’t distracted her by telling her it was too dangerous.

Oh, look, Usagi is blushing. Say, show, can we have a conversation between Usagi and Haruka that was kind of like it was in the latest musical where Haruka explicitly goes against gender binaries? Please? Can we have that conversation in this show too, please?

Michiru holding a fancy mirror. Text: "It's a mirror that reflects previous lives."

I am so glad to know how this show is going with the Outers. Well, sort of. Let me rephrase. I am so glad I know the Outers are going to be allies because OMG! If I did not know this before hand, I would find this so very deeply creepy. In an “I want to watch and see what this is about” way, that is.

Eyecatch Card #1 Sailor Uranus encirled by roses, holding her sword.

OMG! The EYECATCHES. URANUS AND NEPTUNE. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3 Here, let me show you Neptune’s as well! They’re gorgeous. I love the change up and the way it keeps continuity with the previous seasons. <3

Eyecatch Card #2: Sailor Neptune, encircled by roses holding her mirror.

Two girls - one with long black hair (Rei) and the other with short blue hair (Ami) - talking to one another. They're both wearing different school uniforms. Text: "That's it. He's a student at Mugen Academy."

Say, Ami. If Mugen Academy is for sheer genius and brilliance and excellence and has been around long enough to be pretty well-established, how come you’re not attending it? You’d be perfect for it. Also, of course Usagi hasn’t heard of it.

Ah! Surprise Umino! Nice to see him again too!

Usagilooking hurt. In the foreground Ami is making a shushing motion. Text: "And you delivered a final blow".

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Thank you for the silliness, show. <3

An ominous thunder-cloud like appearance in an otherwise clear sky.

Show. What is happening? Show? Why is there a sudden storm cloud, show? Why is there ominous music, show? Where are the baddies? Are we going to get an introduction from the baddies now?

A big, purple insect-like monster is readying itself to attack civilians.

CREEPY MONSTER. We only get a monster?! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! *hides*

A boy (Umino) and Naru looking scared while Mamoru looks determined. Text: "I'll take care of Naru-chan and Umino. You handle the monster."

Umino’s face. :O Also, Mamoru, I love that you’re saving Naru and Umino, but. Um. What about everyone else running away?

OMG! Minako told everyone to transform. MINAKO TOLD EVERYONE. She’s being the leader she’s always been and calling the shots and <3

A hand behind a heart-shaped brooch. Text: "Make up!"

This is 2D. We’re getting 2D animation sequences?! I grew to kind of like the 3D ones of the first two seasons, but they never quite fit right for me as much as I came to appreciate them on their own terms. But we’re going back to 2D animation? BE STILL MY HEART.

I AM SO EXCITED. Seriously, the transformation music and the 2D animation and the transformation formulas and I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE UPCOMING BATTLE I WANT TO KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN in a way that I don’t recall feeling about, um, any transformation sequence in the shows. Not even Classic. I love the homage to the old transformation sequences as well.

And either it’s me or they’ve changed Mars’ pose from what it was in the previous two seasons of Crystal.

OMG! All the speeches! <3 They look SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO goooooooooooooood. <3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3

A girl is being scanned. The view looks like a virtual display.

MERCURY USING HER VISOR.

Chains coming from out of a dust cloud. Text: "... Wink Chain Sword!"

OMG! A) Venus Wink Chain Sword! WITH THE HOLY SWORD. B) ACTUAL CHAINS.

Wait, we don’t get to see Moon Spiral Heart Attack this episode? BOOO! BUT IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

Sailor Jupiter having caught a young girl that's fallen unconscious. Sailor Venus looks determined. People in the background look shocked.

Didn’t all these people just see you transform? Why is there no comment on them seeing you all transform? I do love the detail of calling for an ambulance, though. <3

Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus standing back to back. The ending sequence lists the lyrics of the song in Japanee, romanji and English. (English: Jumping over thousands of dawns. Jumping over eternity."

Unpopular opinion incoming: I don’t particularly like this ending song. As an ending song, I mean. I love that the ending song is Neptune and Uranus and that they’re singing it together and how much it makes of their relationship. I adore that and I think some of the touches in it are really beautiful. But I don’t really like it as a song for the ending credits. I think it’s the long instrumental with nothing but petals that does it? So then it wouldn’t really be about the ending song, but the way it’s styled and/or how much of it is NOT about Haruka/Michiru in that ending. I’d much rather see it in a music video that is All About Haruka/Michiru. I’d really like to hear a full-length version. (With that music video! Can we have a Haruka/Michiru-themed music video like we had a Moon Pride music video? Pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaase, universe?)

Also, despite not being wowed by the song, can I please point out the fact that the last three lines end on: Haruka, Michiru and together/both? Because they do. IT IS GLORIOUS AND I LOVE THAT LITTLE DETAIL AND PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE ON THE MUSIC VIDEO?

Usagi wearing glasses winks at the camera. The shot is encirled with a romantic frame.

And the preview. Whoo! SO EXITED. I’ll save my general commentary for later, though, when I get around to the next episode.

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