Film Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31

Posted May 13, 2016 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31: Infinity 5, Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto

Sorry this episode is a little later again! I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write anything up until, uh, just now, actually. Next week’s episode will almost certainly be delayed as well, but after that things should calm and slow down tremendously again.

Anyway, for now let’s just talk about this episode. The shiny continues. This season is simply blowing me away with how much I’m enjoying it and how well it’s done. And we’ve definitely entered into the territory of “I have no clue what’s going on anymore” and I’m enjoying that so much. I don’t really know what it’d be like watching this season knowing what to expect in detail, but I like having so little to go on. I’d actually like to have had a little less to go on, which is pretty rare for me. I’m normally an “I don’t care about spoilers” kind of person, but this show. This story. It would be so powerful if I didn’t know what any of the things meant and entailed or was coming up.

I’m just. Wow.

Oh, and the all-caps continue nearer the end because the end requires all-caps to even begin to convey my reaction properly. This is the episode where I regret not doing react videos because I think I stared at the screen in shock for most of the ending sequence and I think my reaction to the last five minutes or so must’ve been hilarious to watch. (Please note: my regret is a very small regret and you should not entertain hopes of getting react videos because I will sadly have to disappoint you.) This episode, though. Wow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31: Infinity 5, Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto

06-01

Oooooooh, I like the way they’re showing that Reika has a bad feeling about the place. It’s a neat little touch and very ominous. I still really like the music in the show too. ^_^

Aaaaaah! Wow, that daimon startled me. I do like Professor Tomoe, though. That is a really neat introductory shot for his presence this episode. It’s been pretty light on setting up the actual villains for the season. There’s been a lot — a lot — of hammering on those Talismans and on the deity of destruction and things going terribly, horribly wrong so far, but there’s actually been fairly little that deals with the villains themselves. Yes, we’ve had suspicions about Tomoe and yes we’ve seen those confirmed before, but now we’re seeing that he’s definitely willingly working with Kaolinite and Pharaoh 90, which… makes his giving that mini!Taioron crystal to Hotaru even more suspicious. It… didn’t particularly need to be more suspicious, but there you are. It definitely is.

Look! See? He’s definitely working with Pharaoh 90 on purpose. Also, wait, he’s a daimon? How does that work? Is that what’s up with his glasses? And wow does that Gregorian chanting there add to the absolute creepiness factor. (I like Gregorian chanting actually, but this show is definitely using it to very creepy effect and I find it incredibly effective indeed.)

Oh, look. Here we go again with the lights of destruction and the Talismans and WE GET IT, show. Seriously. We understood it in the first episode. It doesn’t need to be brought up every. single. episode. of. the. season. It really doesn’t.

06-02

Okay, Pharaoh 90, how about you don’t wipe out all life on the planet to live and just, you know, talk to Sailor Moon about your options? If her power’s as infinite as you claim, couldn’t you, like, find an uninhabited planet to terraform instead of a habited one? There’s quite a few in the solar system! It’s not like the Black Moon clan where Neo-Queen Serenity kind of sort of banished everyone.

06-03

Oh, Chibi-Usa. Bless you, you’re so dense. He likes you. Also we’re talking about how the children should give their creations to someone dear to them, yes? And they specifically mention a best friend as an option, yes? Can I just point out that even though Momo’s been cast as Chibi-Usa’s BFF (in this time) from when they met in season 2, Chibi-Usa doesn’t even seem to entertain the notion of giving it to her? So we’ve got a scene which is clearly coded as kids teasing a boy for having a (romantic) interest in a girl and which is the spark for Chibi-Usa’s decision to give her clay grail to Hotaru. Let me rephrase that: a romantically coded scene is what leads Chibi-Usa to decide that “someone special/important to her” is a girl she’s just met and barely knows.

06-04

Ugh. Bullies. This music is so sad, though. It’s beautiful, but so sad. And aaaah! What was that?!

06-05

OMG! The music in this scene and this shot. <3 And Usagi wanting to talk it out with Haruka and Michiru. And then she goes all white and grey with the animation and d’awwwwwww. (No, I did not add this line just so I could screencap this shot.)

06-06

Makoto, first of all, everything reminds you of your sempai. Secondly, why does he suddenly look like Mamoru? Thirdly, noooooo! I was so happy not to see you fixate on him quite so much this season. T_T But nope. No, here we are. Complete with scenic sparkles! Also, wow, could that question about Tellun have had less of a lead-in? It would have been fairly easy to address too. Makoto is clearly not paying any attention whatsoever, so the dialogue could easily have had a set-up of “hey, I asked you X about Y” “What’s Y?” or something along those lines. I wonder if that’s an artifact of the subtitling. (Fun fact about subtitling: it is not literal. It’s bound to X number of characters per line, so sometimes sentences get warped entirely to fit the character limit and sometimes things don’t get translated at all. Also possible, when you’ve got deadlines and/or a low subtitling budget, is that things get translated entirely wrongly.) The subtitles here, in any case, just make this a conversation that’s happening purely for the sake of plot. There’s no natural progression between what Makoto and her classmate were talking about. It’s pure “hey, I need to relate to the audience that this plant is going to be important and is bad news” and… it really doesn’t need to. Makoto loves plants. We could easily have a scene with her walking past a flower shop, spotting them and having the sales person explain it to her. Same scene, completely different context.

06-07

No, Usagi. No, it’s another girl who just happens to be named Hotaru Tomoe and just happens to be a student at Mugen Academy and just happens to look exactly like the picture you’re looking at. They are definitely not the same person. Obviously the Hotaru you met and the Hotaru here discussed are different people. *coughs* Sorry. I couldn’t contain my sarcasm. It was actually pretty dark and Usagi was a little distracted, so I’m not entirely unsympathetic to her asking herself this and giving it some thought rather than doing the immediate “Yes, yes, she is” answer that we, as viewers, can give.

It’s a Setsuna! !!!!!! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! Wait. No, we’re getting a scene skip? Nooooooooooooooo! I wanted more Setsuna! This is the first we’ve seen of her since the intro and this episode HAS HER NAME IN THE TITLE.

06-09

D’awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I love that Chibi-Usa’s reasoning here is partially that it’s not fair to Usagi. I love Usagi’s reaction to that too because she so clearly didn’t expect that. I feel obliged to point out, again, that Chibi-Usa barely knows Hotaru at this point, though. And so far her first response to thinking (or talking) about Hotaru is “She’s so pretty”. I’d just like to bring that to people’s attention because it’s easy to miss, being just short scenes spread over several episodes.

And also, OMG, Hotaru. T_T Saying you shouldn’t have it. After the scene with the bullying and knowing how lonely Hotaru herself is… That is just heart-breaking because it shows how little she values herself. And, oh, I like Usagi talking over the eyecatch!

06-10

Okay, that is not good. That can’t be good. Chibi-Usa, you are terrible at keeping secrets. WHA! What is going on, show?! I mean, I kind of know, but whatwhatwhat?!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH. OMG! Professor Tomoe! Can we go back to the light-heartedness and the not creepy episodes now? Also, Usagi, he is a walking, talking corpse. Of course his hand is going to be cold and hard. And we get another glimpse at Setsuna. I am… finding this a very Setsuna-less episode. You know, for an episode that has her name in the title.

06-11

We always knew that plant was going to be bad news. I do like how the show handled it, though. It sets up both the way Makoto will deal with the plant and the kind of trouble the plant is going to pose. It also sets up a nice question about how much of the fact that Makoto and Minako are both sleepy is due to the plant’s way of sucking energy from living things around it. I mean, I assume it sucks the life out of all of them. But then since the flower has apparently been popular for some time, why hasn’t anyone noticed anything and why hasn’t there been an wave of unexplained faintings/deaths? With the Dark Kingdom arc, we knew that Metallia needed to be fed energy constantly, so a slow siphoning made sense. With Pharao 90… It’s a little more complex since the focus is on gathering Hostes and those have been cast as whole and countable things, not a nebulous uncountable thing like ‘energy’. I assume that it actually works similarly, despite the need for people to become vessels that we’ve seen, but I kind of wish the show’d had a bit more set up for this.

06-12

Okay, I really want their outfits. (All three of them.) More notably, though, I like the fact that Usagi’s picked up on the similarities in the names of the wards and the family names of Haruka and Michiru. I also like that her response to the inners going “Mugen is the enemy! They’re doing something bad right now!” is to go “No, I must first chase after Haruka and Michiru!” Priorities. Usagi has them?

06-13

Ooooooooooooooooooooooh. Preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty… And look the energy ribbons look like their signature colours. *distracted* Oh no! Setsuna is affected too! So this is definitely a case of Tellu being careful about how and when she’s absorbing Hostes then. That’s… both good to know and very worrying. We’ve seen the Witches 5 be increasingly more powerful and needing increasingly more power to be defeated. It took Uranus last time, so… And Setsuna can’t just go off and die now! She needs to become Sailor Pluto and she’s barely been in this episode THAT IS NAMED AFTER HER, so we should be getting a transformation any moment, right?

06-14

Yay! Setsuna is awakening! Also, I’d like to note that Pluto gets magical modesty drapings and Haruka and Michiru don’t. And also hi Mamoru! We haven’t seen you all episode yet! Nice of you to show up too! XD Actually, I’m kind of sad to see how little we’ve got to see of Mamoru this season because I quite like this  version of him. I wouldn’t mind spending time with him. (Unlike some versions, PGSM. >>)

Oh, no. Are we getting the full — No? We’re getting a transformation collage this time? YES! THANK YOU. I like this sequence! I like it a lot! I love how they’ve compiled everything here. The whole thing is like a transformation sequence, but with different people. It’s really nice. I’m so glad! Not only does this group transformation look gorgeous with the way the clips match up to one another, but it keeps up the pacing of the transformation and doesn’t ask you to divide your attention between different transformations. I’d still like to see a little more variety in their attacks again, but wow that pacing. This battle is intense. So so so so intense and fast-paced and wow. This is all I’ve got: wow. Whaaaaaat. I mean, so far most of this battle has been stock footage of everyone’s attacks. And I’m on the edge of my seat because of how intense this feels.

06-15

Isn’t this the wrong season to be — Oh. No. Different person. That makes sense. Also Chibi-Usa got her Moon Rod. She’ll actually be able to attack now! Huzzah! Granted, it’s not actually going to do anything when Usagi’s own attack just got eaten up, but it’s the thought that counts and IT IS ADORABLE. How can you not think that attack is absolutely adorable? And, unlike what I remember from Classic, this attack is styled as one which actually works against some opponents. Just not against Tellu. I could see it succeeding against a much weaker daimon. It just looks like something that would be effective.

06-16

What just happened? Seriously, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? Why did Tellu transform into I assume a daimon? She was winning without the transformation? WHAT IS GOING ON, SHOW?! And where is Sailor Pluto?! We should be getting her right about now, surely. Also did I ask yet WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! Because OMG! Tellu just wiped the floor with everyone. O_O

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG! *runs around flailing* THAT WAS INTENSE. Suddenly a Tuxedo Kamen appearance and then Setsuna and wow she didn’t get to have a properly animated attack? T_T But OMG! She showed up just in time to save everyone and Chibi-Usa in particular and I love how it’s so clearly coded as showing up just in time to save Chibi-Usa in particular since she and future!Pluto were so close and ASDFGHK!!!!!

Wh– NO! No, it can’t be half an hour yet? It’s been fifteen minutes tops. WHY IS THERE THE ENDING SEQUENCE?! *fails at grammar* Why did it end there?! IT CAN’T END THERE. Where’s the rest of the episode? GIVE IT BACK, INTERNETS. Nonononononononono. Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! T_T

Aaaaand… I am going to leave it at that. I am too lost for words to say anything about the preview except “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! WHERE IS IT GIVE IT TO ME NOW I WANT TO SEE IT. PLEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASE, INTERNETS.” I just. I just. Wow. Anyone recall how I spent a good chunk of seasons 1 and 2 complaining about the pacing and how it worked in the manga, but not on the screen here? Assuming this still follows the manga pacing (and I have no reason to think it doesn’t), I TAKE THAT BACK. This pacing is perfect and edge-of-seat-must-see-now-worthy. Sure, I’d like to see a little more plot and character development — we could cut out some of the hammering on those Talismans for a start — but OMG! Does this show work fast and does it do so effectively. I would love to marathon this season with this kind of pacing.

Oh, seasons 1 and 2. Why couldn’t you be like this? T_T

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