Monday, July 13, 2009

It's been a hard twelve night...

Don't worry folks, this blog isn't dead just yet!

"I Want a Boyfriend Too! A Trap on a Luxury Cruise Ship"

-You know, I really like Thetis. Not only does she actually have a personality and comes up with the plan this time, her feelings and relationship with Jadeite we don't know about really beings a refreshing change of pace. If only the other Youmas were like her.
-The revel/staging of the cruise thing actually being a commercial didn't come across as well as it should have.
-If the subs are right, nice touch of the maximum passenger capacity being 666.
-Heh, Umino being hit by Usagi in the dream sequence is so unexpected, it's amusing.
- Is it just me, or is Unimo's hair more "spiky" than usual? And speaking of Unimo, I notice Unimo's "eyes" actual move. So I guess they're not part of the glasses!

-It's a split second thing, but check out Usaigi's hair after Unimo said where the tickets are. A visual technique that we won't be seeing a lot that I wish it did.
-Man, this season really liked exaggerating Usagi's running ability now, didn't it?
-Odd use of a high angle when Rei said "Invitation for two". Ditto on closing in on Rei's monologue.
-I don't know if it's becuase of the animators working on other shows, but what is up with the background characters in this scene?

-I do like the use of fiery backgrounds when Rei uses the machine. Very atmospheric over something pretty small.
-Also, I'm starting to notice that this show loves highlighting certain scenes while the rest isn't in a certain angle, like what I saw with Usagi when she finds out about Rei's situation. This is like the fifth time I saw this on the show.
-I've heard somewhere that whenever you see silhouettes in a crowd shot in animation, it's pretty much an animated shortcut. Nonetheless, it does works in a night time setting like it was used in this episode.
-Interesting use of a up angle shot on Usagi after Luna's complaining. I wonder if it used for Luna's perspective on Usagi? If it was, nice touch.
-Imagine that, no lipstick this time on the disguise.
-One thing I don't get about villains in shows like this. Why do they remind themselves about they're own plan? I know they do that for the audience, but from a storyteller's point of view, that's just bizarre. Nice use of black spirits things to tell the plan in a "head only" approach though.
-Speaking of bizarre, why did Jadeite gave himself a tan and black hair for this disguise? According to the other episodes, he can pull off disguises without them, so why for this one? Make him more handsome or something?

-Hey look, a music cue that'll be used later for the pre-commercial break R eyecatcher! How quaint!
-Another up angle shot when we see Jadeite looking at Usagi. Hm, lots of "looking into something through a high angle" angles in this episode for some reason.
-Again, I really like the change of pace of the Youma (Thetis) doing the plan and Jadeite just following along. Also, all of this because Thetis loves Jadeite and wants his attention just makes me wish we have more Youmas who are interesting and are non-one dimensional. If only, if only...
-Only in animation when eating is made funnier with facial distortions and exaggerating acting.

-Wow, what's up with Ami's neck in the dinning scene? And speaking of Ami, one thing I'm starting to notice about her is that in these early episodes, she's not really emotional invested into things, at least, compared to her behavior in the future. I mean, not only does she seems to be more focused into studying, she's making a lot of casual one-liners and facial expressions in this particular episode. Whenever or not I'll miss it later on, we'll see. 'Til then...
Seriously, pretty jarring.
-Okay, Ami just being "surprised" (wasn't really conveyed that well) about Sailor Moon came out of nowhere. I can't describe in words on how unintentionally funny/sad that part is.
-Now here's a weird staging problem when Sailor Moon is seen. The camera pans up to her, but during this, there's moon beams that distract you to the right of the screen, and when the pan is finished with the moon beams, it looks awkward and cluttered. Not a highlight of the show's visual moments I admit...
-However, the clear use of abstract backgrounds on Thetis approaching Sailor Moon IS a nice visual moment.
-And why is Luna telling Sailor Moon about Thetis's attacks when she can see it herself? Then again, lots of comic books love stating the obvious...
-No Tuxedo Mask in this episode I see...
-I never noticed the spinning background during "Bubble Spray" until now. And I knew about the "missing glove frame" before that!
-Ending was kinda redundant though.

Overall: As you can see with me pointing out small details, this isn't a strong episode, but by all means does it not suck. I really liked the Youma in this one, the characterizations were okay and there were some good facial expressions, but the plot and animation wasn't anything special. So, all in all, pretty average (yet again).

All images are from "the oracle". That is true, that IS possible!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Eleven Heaven!

Okay, let's see if I can actually post this without procrastination this time...

Usagi vs Rei? A Nightmare in Dreamland

-First episode Masahiro Ando is credited as the animation director. Therefore, keep your eye out for more circular faces and lots of facial expressions!
-Well, it's unneeded, but it's nice to know the three girls already have a chemistry to work off each other for the next 14 or so episodes.
-Third mention of the princess. Thrown away casually as usual, I see.
-Interesting angle in the Dark Kingdom when we see the soldiers. It's not seen well, but I appreciate that it's not a head-on angle this time.
-The reveal of Jadeite wasn't really executed that well. Not only can you see part of his hair a little when you see him before the revel, giving you a clue alredy, he plays it in a calm matter. It should be a minor shock, but that didn't happen.
-Love the facial expressions on the characters after we see Usagi on the merry-go-round. The timing on that was great.
-Okay, what's up with Ami in this shot?
-Nice use of delay timing when Usagi sees the lion, as it makes the reaction funnier, and a interesting use of using straight shapes and lines when she reverted to Rei. Uses the frenzy and panic of Usagi very well. Get used to it though, as it's used a few times in this series.
-Great face on Rei after Usagi gets off on her. Nice use of a upward camera angle too.
-BTW, while I'll like the use of a more circular head on the Dream Princess, as it makes her distinguishable from the other characters, unfortunately, that circular face will be used for the other characters in future episodes Ando worked on. It's fine now, but wait until we get to S, it'll get ugly...
-Suspenseful background behind Jadeite there. Too bad the use of primary colors ruins it a little bit.
-Wait, how did Usagi get that rabbit? That was unexpected, and not the good kind either.
-Now, the scene where Usagi and Rei fight over the kid with the bear is what Masahiro Ando excelled at. Funny facial expressions, abstract backgrounds, and fast pace timing. Now he was great at that. The stuff where it's slowed down and all sappy, however, he didn't do so hot on that. But I'll save that chapter for another day.
-The use of a roller coaster as a scene cut, however, doesn't work. Not only does it distract the viewer, it doesn't really make a lick of sense. I mean, how does a roller coaster transition a scene flawlessly?
-You know, Mamoru being on that train doesn't really make sense. Even if we leanr more about the character later in the show, it still doesn't make sense.
-A unique way of ending the first act. To explain, most episodes in this show end their first act by some still of something (like, a background before the fade in to the eyecatcher). Here, the train keeps going, and bam, eyecatcher. Interesting, isn't it?

-Thinking about it, isn't it kinda odd that Murid in this episode does a evil smirk in her non-evil disguise, but as a youma, never does? That's kinda, oddly weird, isn't it?
-This might be just me, but so far, Rei is kinda acting like a straightman, or a realist, to Usagi. Certainly a nice contract to Usagi's antics and crying if you ask me.
-Why do I have a feeling that there a story about a snake and becoming stoned somewhere?
-First use of "Begone, Evil Spirits!" Surprised that didn't hurt her though.
-Whoa, Murid's transformation was great. Not only was it on 24 fps, it just felted a little spooky, but not the scary kind. That's my nomination for "Best Youma transformation during Jadiete's time on the show".
-Sheesh, that's the third time we see Luna in that "Watch out" pose was. I know this show reuses its' footage a lot, but that's just lazy.
-Yet another great facial expression when we see hearts coming out of Usagi's and Rei's eyes. See what I mean when facial expression was Ando's specialty?
-More great timing when we revel what Usagi and Rei were actually riding. Their voices suddenly stopping helps add to the hilarity.
-Reusing Tuexdo Mask's appearance from the first episode? Was the budget really that low?
-One of the few times in the show where two normal attacks were combined for massive damage. Again, certainly wouldn't be the last.
-Oh, before I forget, I notice that other then the mechanical animals, the episode didn't really used it's amusement park setting to it's potential. Oh well, at least we got pretty backgrounds to stare at that isn't Tokyo.
-There's that sitcomish ending again!

Overall: Sato once said to Ikuhara that he was overdoing his episodes, as seen as this episode was lighter then the previous episode he directed. Again, he was wrong, as this episode had what episode 6 had. A more interesing plot for once, characterizations being just right and not being completely annoying, and of course, some great animation. So, while this episode wasn't quite as good as the sixth episode, it's still a good one. I say give it a watch.

FUN FACT: Ikuhara was responsible for completely changing Rei's character, as seen by the comic dialogue in this episodes. There's more examples, so I'll point them out when we ge there. So, next time you complain about Rei's character in the anime, remember, it's Ikuhara fault!

All images are from "the oracle". What's that you say? You don't care? TOO BAD!

Ben Ten (yes, that's the best I can think of right now)

Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawl in search of blood
To terrorize y'alls neighborhood
And whosoever shall be found
Without the soul for getting down
Must stand and face the hounds of hell
And rot inside a corpses shell
The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom
And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller...

Cursed Buses! Fire Senshi Mars Appears

-The beginning scene with Beryl and Jadeite feels rather redundant now, doesn't it?
-Don't you think Usagi should at least mention what was up with the police car to Ami before being reminded by the other police car and Naru? Because I don't think people lose their curiosity when talking to someone.
-So, was Usagi supposed to be confused, worried, or what in the facial expression after Luna's comment? The clarity of it is wasn't coming across very well.
-And of course, the plot is flat out told in a overt fashion. How typical.
-Now's here something visual to look out for. Notice how Jadeite's eyes are in the dark, or not visible. Not only does it bring up a plot point for Rei later, it brings up visual interest to remind the young folks of the enemy. But, again, it's something to point out.
-To add on the visuals, look at the use of flames, the darking on Rei's eyes, and the usage of music on Rei's first appearance. Feels rather moody, doesn't it?
-You know, it's funny on how three girls just go along with the creepy old man's "ceremony". You think they make some comment on him and leave, but hey, what's the fun of that?
-Little do we know that Usagi actually becomes one for a while in episode 62 and 151. But that's another story...
-And thus a friendship begins. You know what I'm talking about.
-Also notice that while Jadiete attacks the girls, you can clearly see the eyes. Weird convenience? I think not.
-Nice use of primary colors and a camera angle when we see the schoolgirls. Brings a downcast approach to it pretty well.
-So wait a minute. Grandpa also hits on males? Either Grandpa's "Pepe Le Pew" approach to the ladies hadn't been developed yet, or he's using the males like in episode 136. Either way, let's not get anal about this.
-As much as there's charm in seeing some of the animation in these early episodes, man do some of them get off model pretty badly. Like this shot of Rei for instance...
-So, how can telling what's going on using flames made Luna assumes Rei could be the princess? I don't remember the actual princess telling the future when we see her later on.
-Again, I can see stuff like the dialogue between the mom and Rei happening in real life. Such progress we made, huh?
-Hey look, animation shortcut #723. No movement on the background characters!
-[Insert comment about Usagi's character here]
-Wow, nice use of flashing lights when Usagi said "no way, no way" on the bus. Definitely helps the frantic feeling of the scene. You know, as much as this episode isn't really interesting, at least from the visual standpoint, it on par with the other episodes, which of course, I like.
-Also, I don't know why, but I sorta like Ami's sudden shock when the portal shows up.

-See, Jadiete's eye connect to the plot somehow! Don't you love it when plot points like that connect each other?
-Okay, Usagi's personality right now is starting to remind me of Homer Simpson (no, not the episodes where he's a jerkass). The two of them changing their attuides like a dog, same lazy attitude, same happy go lucky lifestyle, you know what I'm talking about.
-However, not only was there was a nice use of abstract backgrounds again with Luna, after Usagi disguised herself, there's also a nice use if flahing backgorunds again when Usagi jumps. See what I mean about the visuals?
-You know what else I'm noticing? Every time Usagi is disguised, her disguise always comes with her wearing lipstick. And how does lipstick make you look different?
-See what I mean when Usagi reminds me of Homer? The "I don't wanna, but I'll do it" feels like something Homer would do.
- Note: The tiara actually doesn't kill the Youma this time. It also does some air move to trap the enemy according to this episode.
-Another Note: It also one of the rare episodes where another solider kills the youma, in this case, Mars with "Fire Soul" for the first time.
-Speaking about Mars, I'm not quite sure what Rei's character is the first time we meet her. Is she the serious, mysterious type, or is it something that only lasts this episode? Because unlike the introduction of the others, Rei isn't coming across who she is that well.
-Oh, and I'm not a huge fan that, somehow, Ami's pen extend the hole. That just feels so cliche and overused to me.

Overall: Yeah, as you can see, just like episode 8, other then introducing the next Sailor Solider, nothing really special happens in this one. The plot just feels uninspired again, the characterizations is mediocre again, and the drama I can take it and leave it. So, what the word I'm thinking of that's made for you and me? A-V-E-R-A-G-E!

The images are from "the oracle". Why? 'Cause I can thrill you more than any ghost would ever dare try

(P.S. Sorry to keep you guys waiting)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fine looking nine!

Alright, I'm sure you guys don't care, but to keep up at my own pace, you guys get a bonus today! Ready?

Usagi's Misfortune! Watch Out for the Rushing Clocks

-Remember when I said the plan in episode 5 was the best plan Jadiete came up with? It still is, but this is probably the second best plan. I can see all the mayhem happen in a non comedic way in our world.
-I think this is the first time montages were used differently, by seeing different places and by seeing random moments that don't connect each other happening.
-I really love it when the show takes a break from the plot for a while and we just see the characters just having fun with their surroundings. Moments like that really make these characters much more fun and relateable and add more depth to them then what we know them for.
-For some reason, the orange bird looks like a orange colored early-1970's Big Bird to me.
-See what I mean that Usagi needs a character like Ami, and while I'm at it, Ami needs a character like Usagi? Their personality are so different, it much more enjoyable then when one of them carries a episode by herself and goes nowhere. But, I think the R movie describes this feeling better then I can.
-Nice use of abstract backgrounds on the clocks. I especially like the use of downward stripes on the mushroom clock. Makes it much more hilarious somehow.

-I'm sure it was intentional, but I really liked the use of cuckoo birds in the backgrounds during Usagi's money problem speech. Makes the sitution far more absurd in a good way.
-So, what was Kenji working on? Hammering in another clock?
-It's always midnight where the crazy crap happens in cartoons...
-First appearance of Ami's mini computer. It's important to the show, so get used to seeing it a lot.
-Finding out about the clocks wasn't really that dramatic, music wise.

-Whoa, pretty bold to start the post-eyecatcher with a car crash, what with that one dramtic angles, loud sound effects I already heard and whatnot. But there's people act funny after that, so it all evens out in the end!
- Although it's not the first time a youma is with Jadiete, it's the first time the youma talks to him in some blank background, By the way, it's nice to see that the youma in this one, Ramua, isn't completely one dimensional compared to the other ones. At leas she shows a feeling other than anger and calmness then the others.
-I must be the only Sailor Moon fan who knows the bus crashing sound effect WAS used in other cartoons. I wish I could remember, but I swear, that's a common sound effect, because I heard it before somewhere.
-Although it's funny, Usagi's personality on the time feels a little OOC for her. It's not bothersome (like I said, it's funny), but it really feels weird.
-I'm noticing lots of close ups on the faces for some reason.
-First episode where I believe Sailor Moon fights in a fictitious place, where the villain kinda has the upper hand in its surroundings. In this case, I really like the Davi-equse clocks around the surrounding.
-Voice acting goof time. After Usagi barges the clock door and says her line, Mercury mouth moves, but nothing is heard. I guess dialogue was planed, but wasn't needed.
-I must say, Kotno makes a rather convecting young voice for Sailor Moon. And while it's stereotypical, gotta like the old voice on the elderly Usagi.
-While it's yet again a story cheat, it's interesting that Tuxedo Mask's appearance in this episode is different from the other episodes. Rather then make a speech and leave, he just looks around and throw the rose on the clock. Different, but it's refreshing.
-"Protect The Innolent"? Man, I love it when the English language shows up in a Japanese show and screws it up sometimes. I just find that ironically funny.
-I've noticed that Sailor Moon appears longer in this episode than any of the previous episodes. While the previous episodes have her appear in the 4 or so minutes battle, she in most of the post-Eyecatcher in this episode. How quaint.
-Hey, how did they change back to their civil form quickly?
-Ugh, there's that sitcomish ending for the third time, and it's the most blatant of them all. Not only does it connect with the episode in any way, it has that "that's our character" line many sitcoms had. Tisk, tisk, tisk.

Overall: MUCH more entertaining then the the previous episodes (excluding the sixth episode, of course, which is no surprise, since it had the same writer on both of them). Animation was a little wonky, but the plot was way more exciting and interesting this time around, and the characterizations had no problem, so that's a plus. All in all, I say it's a fun one that's worth a watch.

The two images are from "the oracle". First that site, then the official site. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Number eight, celebrate!

Okay, I lied about the dub thing. Sigh, how and why do I keep myself busy? Sorry for the delay guys (all 4 to 14 of you), but I better keep going before I get flat out lazy. After all, it's the debut of Ami! (BTW, sorry about the crappy last post. I'll make that up in the future)

Is the Genius Girl a Youma? Brainwashing School of Terror

-Don't people who go to the best school, collages and etc. usually get some high profile jobs, like doctors, psychologists, teachers and whatnot? You think Beryl and Jadiete would get the smart connection, but you know, what do they know?
-I have observe that if people's laughter make people laugh, something funny is afoot. Because hey, Usagi's laughs is making me laugh. Kotono definitely have range if she can do a high pitch laugh like that and make people like me laugh.
-Love the timing on Usagi's sweat. It's so sudden, you can't help but at least chuckle at it.
-Judging by Ikuko comment on the crying, it looks like the production staff is aware they're overusing the crying. Let's hope they follow it later in the season (like I said, been a while since I seen the whole show).
-Did we really need that bedroom scene? Really, other than casually reminding the audience about the goal of the characters, there's really no point in it. At least there's a funny Usagi quote and facial expression in there, so it wasn't totally worthless in a cosmetic way.
-First time Luna talks to the Sailor V machine. Nice change of pace for once.
-So, if everyone is treating Ami's smarts like they been there before, why are talking about her like it's her first day there with the rumors and whatnot? It's wasn't very clear in the dialogue (oh wait, she's in another class. Well then, shouldn't they know her a little by now?). Either way, I smell plot exposition again...
-Luna jumping on Ami was more dramatic then it needed. Because really, a cat jumping on a human isn't that big of a deal. Then again, it's probably the slow motion that came to that conclusion.
-It's rather refreshing that rather than making some crazy facial expression or making a big deal on Luna jumping on her, Ami just simply strokes the cat and acts pretty calm about it. Right away, we see who Ami is, and right away, I'm enjoying this calm character.
-Other than some more funny facial expressions (One of Luna's looked like something out of a 1950's cartoon for some reason), the scene of Usagi and Ami walking, to me, lets us learn more about the characters. While Usagi is very loud, makes tons of facial expressions and is very happy pappy, Ami is mellow, pretty calm, and barley acts like a cartoon character (no facial expression, mood swings aren't as wild as the others). I'm not sure why, but I like when we see moments like this. Let us kn ow a little bit more about the characters in a good way.
-That sad music cue during the video game wasn't really necessary. I see nothing depressing in this scene.
-Also, I'm not a huge fan of Ami doing excellent on the Sailor V game. I know the scene was to see how smart Ami was, but I don't know, I think they could of made a better scene than that, like telling Usagi a thing or two on astrology.

-I think I need to learn more about the history of computers. I mean, I know the technology of computers were around in 1992 (after all, the Commodore 64 wasn't discontinued yet), but, wasn't the use of the computer didn't become mainstream until around 1995 or so? Becuase the late comment Luna made about people and computers really pipes my interest on computers and how people used it for some reason.
-Say, what does happen if people learn Luna can talk? Is it some kind of rule that the Moon Kingdom put upon to Luna? Or is it some cliche rule the show had to do for some reason? I'm thinking it's the latter...
-I'm not sure why, but I'm noticing that Mamoru isn't acting a total jerk in these past 2 episodes. Maybe the comments don't have the same spark, or maybe he's stopped the laughter at her, I'm not sure.
-Thinking about it, was becoming a nurse really necessary? Unless there was some guard we saw off screen, I don't see the purpose of "becoming" a nurse. And shouldn't the hallways/school be more guarded, or am I thinking too much into the future?
-I'll admit it, you got to like that Usagi's thinking of gravity by asking the apples.
-Er, I kinda disagree with Ami's line about studying. Yes, you shouldn't relay on computers that much, but aren't computer there to help you out on your work and make things more easy? I understand where Ami came from, but, don't certain studies must be done on a computer? I could go on, but this would lead nowhere.
-The introduction of Sailor Mercury felt a little rushed. In fact, the battle felt a little rushed.
-And we end the episode with nothing special. What a shocker.

Overall: You think with the introduction of a new character, the episode introducing her would actually become better than usual, right? Well, in this case, it's not. Story structure is a little more focused, and I'm really liking the character of Ami, but the episode is still basically bland in a nutshell. So, oh well, hooray for another average, not out of the ordinary episode of BSSM.

[Insert witty play of words about images on "the oracle" here.]

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm not dead folks!


You guys missed me? Sure you did. For the curious, I went ahead and took the weekend off as a short break for myself. That, and a lot of stuff happened "beyond our control", so I didn't really have time or excitement to keep going right away. Besides, I didn't promise this would be daily, am I right? But don't worry, I'm back for the week!

Yet, it's dark out where I am, so I won't post my thoughts on episode 8 yet. To make it up, here's some video substance for your enjoyment...

First off, here's the promo that probably started it all for me...

Next, some behind the scenes videos. I'm not spoiling you on what you'll learn in these videos...

(sorry, don't have the time to make it fancy on this blog. You folks will have to copy and paste for the time being)

And because I'm running out of ideas, for the [insert your own word here] of it, here's the ending song from "Sailor Stars"...

I hope you guys enjoy that, I'm pressing for ideas at the monet, Episode 8 is coming tomorrow though, don't worry. And if I lie, then may the Lord punish me with a marathon of the English dub!

Friday, June 19, 2009

(Not so) Lucky Seven!

Last pre-Sailor Mercury episode. Praise the lord...

Usagi Learns a Lesson! The Road to Stardom is Tough

-Common anime shortcut #32. Animate [insert name here] a running cycle, but don't actually animate [insert name here] running.
-Interesting use of scrolling "Japanese writing" on the poster.
-Ah Umino, always here to make a unmemorable episode have some funny parts in it. And reminded me stuff like that people actually used the Internet back in 1992.
-I find it kinda weird that happy upbeat music was playing when Jadiete found the next target. I'm assuming there was supposed to be dramtic music in that scene, but I guess someone got lazy.
-I don't get the tennis racket joke. Funny, yes, but a logical joke? No. How does "storm them" relate to tennis in any way?
-So, "Moonlight Densetsu" is a real song in this show? Er, only way that could work is that it's one of the songs in the CD in the ending of the last episode or something like that. Then again, "Bart Get Famous" did something similar to this, and the fans didn't care...
-Nether the less, I bet the singing was entirety improvised (and trust me, people do sing like that). Huge shame I'm not laughing at it. Oh well, at least we get the "Stop killing the cat" line though.
-Well, the split thing came quickly, out of nowhere, and will only last for about one episode.
-Talent. Just do something completely out of the ordinary and/or something stupidly simple and it's talent. Sigh, people and their expectations.
-Man, other than one facial expression on Usagi and a ugly face on Naru for one scene, I'm not noticing anything special animation wise in this first half. And we made progress so well.
-Why do I have a strange felling someone in the staff saw "Psycho"? Because while the scene reminds me of that, it's completely the poor man version of that scene. People remember that scene for a reason folks.
-I will admit, Mikan Shiratori's voice is cute. I can see why her voice actress will later voice Mimete later on in S.
-Again, Unimo delivering funny parts in a unmemorable episode. To be honest, I'm not really surprised anymore.
-Speaking of funny, the police and executive thing was so random and unexpected, along with the exaggeration of the voices, it's funny. Probably the funniest scene Unimo wasn't in.
-Although I like the use of the music cue, I really don't give 100 percent care about Usagi's and Luna's feelings during their scene together. A been there, done that feeling, along with that compared to most cartoons, Usagi wasn't that decided to her work. Besides, Usagi crying over spilled milk again!
-Also, I'm starting to understand why Luna wasn't my favorite character in this show. She's like the Jimmy Cricket of this show, only not entertaining and unique enough for me to care. At least she gets more interesting later on.
-Sheesh, and Mamouru wasn't even trying to be a jerk this time. Then again, here's there for time filler, so who really cares?

-Times like this where I wish I can get the Japanese way of telling joke in their language. Because I'm still confused on the word jokes in this episode and the episodes to come.
-Again, great cue, but I'm not feeling the tension and emotion in the classroom scene. In fact, I don't even think the cue works in this scene very well. Not even Unimo being hit by the tape could save this scene.
-Nope, still not feeling the tension ans sympathetic toward them.
-On the positive side though, I did like seeing the Youma's face in Mikan's body. Also liked the lip sync and reading of the line "You saw me, didn't you". A shocker that actually works, thankfully.
-While I understand Usagi being scared, come on, she faced like 6 youmas by now. You think she would get used to youmas scaring her right about now.
-It's the little things that we enjoyed. In that case, the sound effect of Sailor Moon popping out is an example of that.
-So Usagi got frozen and could of possibly die? Why do I have feeling this won't be the last time this won't be her last cosmetic near-death experience?
-Well folks, they tried their best, and they fell for the Dark Kingdom's trap again. The lesson is, never try.

Overall: Thank goodness the Pre-Ami stuff is done. Not only did I not care for this one, it had all of the flaws the previous episodes had (other than episode 5 and 6), so there's no reason for me to repeat myself. Thankfully (?), it's all uphill from here!

There are no images from "the oracle" this time. This reminder is brought to you by the letter S and by the number 7.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't stop me now number 6!

The first episode Kunihiko Ikuhara, future show director, directed. You folks ready? I am.

Protect the Melody of Love! Usagi is a Cupid

-I'm not sure it's the point or not, but I did enjoyed the music cue in that Dark Kingdom cassette. It's rather fascinating.
-One has to wonder on how and why Naru is suddenly interested in jazz. Seeing her character in these past episodes, it doesn't really match up. I sense it's for the plot, and that wouldn't surprised me.
-The fade in from the cover to Yusuke Amade is certainly dynamic. Something you don't see in anime like this everyday.
-Whoa, nice usage of jerking on Kyurene's hand there. I don't know why, but I also get a kick out of stuff like that. Certainly something you can't do in live action that well (CGI excluding).
-Eh, the romance between Yusuke and Akiko doesn't really come across that well. I like their personalities, yeah, but I not really feeling why Yusuke loves her so much. The age factor might be a part of this is you think about it.
-I don't need to tell you that the P.O. Usagi facial expression is hilarious (darn, I just did).
-I like the intriguing fact that Yusuke isn't what you call a "mature" man, but he still has the basic of an adult man anyways. It's refreshing after seeing adults who are either idiots or bland.
-I don't know about you folks, but the scene of Kyurene seeing Yusuke was great. The use of coloring, shadows, camera angles, and lighting not only brings dratmic tension, it bring something that this anime surely needed. It's truly something that sticks into the mind for a while.

-Thinking about it, I think this is the first time the Monster Of The Day was targeting someone (first) rather than putting in the master plan for Jeditete. Considering who the director is, it's no surprise.
-Also, check out the still image after the scene. That looks like a good monster movie poster if I say so myself (note: it's a compliment).
-Speaking of Youmas, Kyurene is actually a good Youma in this one. Not only because she's actually a mence to people other than Usagi, her human form is actually threading.
-It's nice that Usagi isn't a complete idiot in this episode. Not only does her desires of being an adult is a less stupid idea for her, it's actually a relateable one. Also, no crying, so that's a plus.

-Interesting to note that Mamoru doesn't appear at all in this episode. I guess there was no need for him in this slighty darker episode, or something.
-Mostly because of the hair, I rather liked Usagi's disguise in this episode.
-I love the timing of Usagi's drink scene, and the facial expressions during this just further helps the gag along.
-This episode is just stepping it up in the visual department, because you gotta love the red lighting and face when we see Kyurene come out of the evalator.

-The direction during the "car chase" is surely speculator (at least, compared to previous episodes). I especially liked it when it went 24 fps on us when the car jumped.
-There's theories going around that this episode wasn't dubbed here in America because Yusuke and Usagi weren't wearing seatbelts. I find that a bunch of bullhonkey.
-Usagi's right about love, but really, it is right to love someone that looks younger than a person like Yusuke?
-Nice pace during the battle inside of the studio. Definitely a" keep on your toes" moment for the audience.
-Wait, did Sailor Moon broke the fourth wall during her speech? If she did, good. I love moments like that.
-I hope there was a passage of time, because Yusuke being married so soon seems rather like a quick joke if it happens in the next day.

Overall: Junichi Satou, the series director at the time, said the episode was "too heavy" after the episode was done. He was wrong. Not only was the episode was a fresh change of pace to the basically bland episodes, it was actually a good episode on its own. The plot was actually interesting, the animation sparkled throughout, the dramatic tension worked, and above all else, I was entertained throughout. Definitely give this episode a watch if you see it.

(BTW, I would appreciated it if I got more comments on these posts. I know people are reading this, so wouldn't you people like to disagree myself and voice your own opinion on the episodes? Because I know a few episodes I know people will disagree with me down the road...)

All images are from "the oracle". Please don't sue. I don't have a clue or time on this stuff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rouding up at number 5...

Ikuko Ito's and Yuji Eno's first episode in the show. Right off the bat, this'll be interesting.

A Youma's Scent! Chanelas Steal Love

-Right off the bat, I see the animation team for this episode liked using facial expression when the eyes and head (don't forget the eyebrows) is completely exaggerated. But trust me, compared to previous episodes (other than the first), this is a fresh change of pace.

-I might be alone on this, but the sudden change of the models and expression in these past few episodes is reminding me when the models on the Looney Tunes would change depending on the director and whenever The Simpsons is being inbetweened by different Korean studios. Of course, like the two mention, not only is it noticeable to the trained eye, there were of course episodes/shorts where it was great, and there shorts/episodes that looked horrible. I could explain why, but this isn't the time to talk about that. I will tell you this though. Ikuko's style in this episode is reminding me of whenever Chuck Jones directed Bugs and Daffy and whenever Rough Draft got a Simpsons episode. And trust me, that's a good thing.
-First mention of the Moon Princess. And I must say, I'm surprised it was just a mention. You think Luna would say more details about that. But, I guess that's another episode for another time (at least the hints doesn't show yet).
-Hey, "Moon Pudding" made me laugh. Not only did it popped out of nowhere, the visual and timing in the voice acting made it funnier then what it said on paper.
-I don't why, but thinking about it, this is probably the best scheme Jadeite made for the Dark Kingdom. If Sailor Moon didn't meddle in, I actually think it would work. Not only does cute animals work most of the time, it's sounds much better than starting a fortune teller place or taking buses to the "next dimension" in good evil villain sense.
-You know, do they still make alligator skin hand bags? Because I've never seen one (yet). But hey, must be funny somehow, because not only the show made that joke, the Looney Tunes did that joke a few times, so it must be a "see it to believe it" type of gag, or something. Either way, Unimo's scene was pretty funny.
-Looking at those Chanelas, they really look like evil versions of Bunnys that haven't been trimmed in months. Without the spell though, I think no one will that and keep saying they're cute and lovey stuff like that. Cause that's how we roll.
-Poor dog. Not only was it there to make people sad, it was only a part of the plot of this episode. Weird though that it didn't appear later when Usagi enter in the same backdrop.
-I'm not going to bother with the sudden outburst in Usagi (you know the reason). At least the facial expression was funny this time...

-Interesting that Haruna is a decent teacher and balks at the Chanelas in this episode. You think with the personility in the previous episodes, she'll be at least tolerable with them.
-Sheesh, first kicking a cat, then pushing a teacher? Man, you don't get away with stuff like that nowadays. Helps the episode, yes, but as a out of context thing? Not good for the soccer moms and animation fans out there...
-So Mamoru is going to appear in every episode, whenever he's needed or not? Alright, I don't have a huge issue with that. Lets hope he's still interesting in the upcoming episodes though.
-Lots of plot convenience in this particular episode (the dog, the little kid, Mamouru, you get what I mean).
-Well, I rather liked a car light was on Usagi when the sound effect was heard. Also a interesting choice to see her silhouette before her actual appearance too.
-Iguara's design is a rather unique one. Note that I didn't said it was good. Because seriously, a youma that's part monster and part Iguana just looks wrong in a interesting way.
-I think I know why we never see "Moon Tiara Sawdust" again. Tell me folks, other than Stars, was there any monent in the anime where Sailor Moon actually "healed" someone? Go ahead, guess, make my day.
-Ah, a good old fashion story cheat on the youma. Is there anything those cheats can help us speed the episode even faster?
-So Shingo was willing to take a hero's advice, despite he has no idea who the hero was? Sigh, gotta love kid's young nativeness on things. Besides, anything to make Luna's appearance in the resistance not as confusing later on.
-Nice unique iris out there.
Overall: Much more entertaining then the past few episodes. Not only was the plot actually more interesting then usual, the characterizations was not as bothersome this time, and above else, the animation direction was pretty good. Took me by surprise. All in all, yeah, I say it's a above average episode.

(seriously though, Ikuto's direction shines though this one, so whenever you see this episode, check out the facial expression. I bet you'll love it...)

All images are from "the oracle". And if I break her rules on the images, then I hope I get run over by a streetcar.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Three episodes in and there's no fat jokes? Well, we'll fix that!

Usagi Will Teach You! How to Lose Weight (kinda a oxymoron, isn't it?)

-Why do I have a feeling the first bath scene was in there for the males watching this episode? I mean, seriously, how does this add anything to the episode other than fanservice?
-I know females are more concerned then us males on our weight, but come on, CRYING over it? Other than my typical character complain, I'm starting to think back when these episodes was made, the staff making the show didn't quite grasp between what's funny and what's embarrassing. Because come on, a teenage women crying over her weight is embarrassing, not funny. I'm sorry, but it is. And if it WAS supposed to be, man, the guys sure didn't nailed execution that well yet.
-Great, another outburst. Seriously, do first through third graders (the show's audience if I read correctly) REALLY fund this stuff funny? Because the staff thinks so...
-I should laugh at that drawing Luna did, but I'm not. I blame the execution again.
-On the bright side, I enjoyed the sudden the out of nowhere facial expression on Usagi in the claasroom.
-Hey, I forgot to mention the music so far. Well, we won't get into spesfic until later, but I like the music cue during the women group scene. Not only is it relaxing, it's also fits the mood in a unique fast-pace way.
-New theory time. I think the crew had more fun with the supporting characters then the actual main characters. Sure, it might be because it seems like the people working on this show loves comedy (judging by these episodes so far), so therefore, the humor of the minor characters might be stronger than our main character. Or maybe it's the rule of comedy relief being annoying funny by cartoon law, what do I know?
-Despite me having no clue what Haruna said, at least it sounded funny. I mean, after all, recording the voices after the animation certainly has it advantages.
-So Unimo has the "glasses=creepy nerd" personality eh? Well, he's still hilarious, so maybe things will improve.
-Hey, if tiaras and masks cover people's identity well, why not some kind of shades and sweat clothing (the guys takes them off once, so the clothing must help)?
-You know, I'll come clean. Jedeite is probably one of the most bland and uninteresting villains in this show. I won't miss him when he's frozen later on.
-As someone whose going through what these girls are going through, I can relate to their struggle. Too bad I'm not laughing at it.
-So the dark coloring and un-gym like areas doesn't make the girls suspicious? Why am I not surprised?
-Well, that Beryl scene was necessary, wasn't it folks?

-I don't blame the little kid's reaction. I admit, I do things like that too, but drooling over a young kids' food MIGHT just be a little bit creepy.
-Ah yes, the unexplained love interest. Truly this will be something all us fans will remember for the rest of the show.
-Seriously though, I'm not feeling the relationship between Usagi and Motoki. Not only is it unexplained, comes out of nowhere, and leans nowhere, the funny moments couldn't save these "tenor" moments.
-Yeah, still a shame Mamouru didn't act this much of an asshole later on in the show.
-I'll admit it, Usagi saying "thin" over and over in the exercise bike made me laugh. Mostly because of Kotono's acting on that scene.
-Luna's sudden attack on Usagi actually sounds finny on paper, but on screen, it's not quite as funny. Must be the timing or something.
-Can't really comment much on the fight. Not much to comment about.
-WOAH. THE ENEMY ACTUALLY HAD SUCCESSES! Wow, that's probably the only time in the series when this happens. Man, you know, I now kinda wish the villians actually get little moments like this. It wouds actually make them more threading for our hero, for starters.
-To be honest, I rather liked Usagi actually GAINING some weight. Not only does it feel like a change of pace in a show like this, it provides some funny acting from Kotono again.

Overall: While I'm glad these episodes are developing Usagi's character, I can't tell a lie. Episodes like these prove she can't carry on the show by herself. As shown YET again, characterizations is still uninteresting, the animation wasn't anything special, and while the plot was a little more structured, it wasn't a really entertaining one. Only thing saving this episode was the voice acting and funny moments. So, all in all, here's come the part we scream real loud when I describe my feelings of this episode. UNREMARKABLY MEDIOCRE!

The image is from "the oracle". If I did sell these as my own, I wouldn't be here right now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Number 3 Mr. McGee!

And here's Round 3 coming up...

Mysterious Sleeping Illness! Protect the Girls' Hearts in Love

-Man, third episode and Beryl's already impatient. Thus begins the "oh, I'll get her time, I promise!" routine for the next 10 episodes. I can hardly wait for the hilariousness...
-Thinking about it, the whole "Midnight Zero" program sounds like something out of a desperate hotline. And with that, I don't think programs like that won't exist in today's world.
-Well, I enjoyed Haruna's sudden happiness (and close up out of nowhere). You know, I'm starting to realize that while they're "comedy relief", I'm enjoying and laughing much more with the supporting characters than Usagi in these early episodes. That's a bad sign, and I'm talking "Porky's Duck Hunt" bad.
-H'okay, that toast thing was weirdly funny.
-Heh, only in a cartoon when a teacher being funny can happen. Seriously though, Haruna is probably the second funniest character on the show so far. HUGE shame we never see her post-R, becuase she would have fitted SuperS so perfectly.
-Now here's something a forum pointed out. Check out the crowd scene after Hatuna went to sleep Do you see an old man there? If yes, congratulation, you just found one of the most bizarre faces in a crowd shot in this show. Can the rest of the show top that?
-I'm not quite sure if there was a purpose of that Luna scene. Only thing I got out of it was facial expressions.
-Hm, is it just me, or does Flau's human form look like Lindsey Naegle from "The Simpsons"? Maybe it because if the hair and they're executive, or something.

-Laughing at Usagi after some joke he made? Wow, Mamoru sure was a jerk in these episodes. I could never picture his post-R character this much as an asshole. And yet, I can't help but find that enduring. If only we DID see this part of his character in the not too distance future.
-Well, the pen thing on Usagi and the facial expression after she gives up is pretty chuckle worthy.
-Man, the animation poses are all over the place. One minute we get Usagi with shadows, and in the next, we get an slightly off model Usagi (and not the good kind either).

Example of being off-model:
-Not only do I find it silly that Usagi began her slumber like the way it did, but it's also silly that no one tried to wake her up by screaming and calling for help quickly. Then again, that's up to interpretation, since I have no bloody idea what happened after she slept.
-Say, where's Motoki? Doesn't Usagi love him too? Or is the dream not all that appears?
-NOTE: Tuxedo Mask's eye were closed when he reveled himself in the dream. Of course, we all know who he is, but I wanted to point that out. Could be useful one day.
-Well, Jadeite's scene had "plot exposition" written all over it. Really now, I think Flau knows the plan.
-First appearance of the Disguise Pen. Not much to report on the sequence itself, other than this. Was Usagi being naked in that sequence really necessary guys?
-I'm surprised they actually cut the pre-"Moon Tiara Action" stuff. I'm guessing they ran out of time to include that. Either way, it's a good thing.
-Again, nice that she's getting stronger by the episode. Ditto on the character development.
-Was that Tuxedo Mask laughing in the foreground? If it is, there's the "Unintentionally Funny Moment" award for this episode.
-There's that sitcomish ending thing again. But at lest Haruna gave us one last funny moment.
Overall: Despite my "nitpicking", this episode was little better than the last two episodes. The plot was more interesting then usual, but the characterizations are still uninteresting, and the animation wasn't up to par as usual. Again, it's the funny moments/ jokes that'll be remembered from this one. So yeah, chalk up another mediocre SM episode folks! (three down, four to go)

Fun fact: Apparently, according to ANN, the animation director on this and episode 8 (Ami's debut), Kunihiko Natsume, would later go on to become one of the animation director for the eighth Pokemon/Pocket Monsters movie, Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, aka, the Pokemon movie that everybody/most fans loves. What he did, no clue.

All SM images are from "the oracle". If I claim these pictures for myself, I'm a idiot.

Word of the day: Foreshadowing

Alright, now that I got a few people reading this blog, I better explain what I'll be doing and what I'll accomplished with this blog. I've already explained what this blog will mostly do, but I'm also planning...

Rants/Rambling: If I want to discuss something in the Sailor Moon world, you can bet your butt it's a rant/ramble. In fact , I got a few ideas planned already, but I won't revel them, becuase I'm afraid I won't do them and'll be reminded over and over again. So, excpet them when I feel like it. :p

Random stuff: Since this is my blog, I have a feeling that I'll do some un-Sailor Moon things here and there. In fact, I'm in the mood right now...

Yeah, didn't see that coming did ya? I know some of my GAC buddies will enjoy that!

Reviews: If I feel like it, I'll probably look into the season after I'm done with each episode in that saga and see if I agree with fans opinion on that saga.

Other: There's more, but we'll see...

As for what this blog will accomplished, well, the main one is that I want the SM fandom, or people who haven't seen the show, to get SOMETHING out of this blog. Sure, I'm setting my hopes too high, but hey, a lot of blogger have the same attiudude I'm having, and look what happends! So, we'll see.

Until then...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two for the show...

Hey, why not?

"Punish Them! The House of Fortune is the Youma Mansion!

-I do find it interesting to point out that the villian's plot is already unfolding in the first few minutes. Definitively a change of pace from the first episode.
-Again, who are those evil background characters? I know they're searching for the crystal, but what are they? Youmas?
-If it wasn't for the facial expression, I would get annoyed of Usagi's being late pretty quickly.
-While the expression's of Usagi's class noticing her is funny, I'm surprised no one spotted the voice acting mistake in that scene.
-Umino is still cracking me up. I'm starting to think it's his personality and the energy his voice actor, Keiichi Nanba, is bringing to this "werdio".
-Although the staging of the "someone you will meet" scene is kind of confusing, I laughed when Umino's face showed up and when he walked to the building. Must be the timing again...
-Eh, not a fan of Motoki. He's too uninteresting/pretty bland for a recurring character in this series.
-Oh, I've been in Usagi's position before. I can totally relate to screaming at a game and whatnot.
-You know, the production guys got the Sailor V game pretty well. It looks pretty straightforward (easy learning curve), but darn it, you can't help but enjoy the choppiness of it and laugh when the player dies.
-Okay, Usagi's love with Motoki came out of nowhere. I think I like to know how this love began.
-However, I do enjoy that heart visual. Never saw it like that before.
-I did like that "what are you doing here" gag. I'm sure it's been done to death, but again, Usagi's facial expression made the scene.
-You know, it's such a waste that the Fortune Teller only purpose of the show was progressing the plot of this episode. I know future episodes do this too, but wouldn't it kill the writers to make a half-ass reason for why we never see him again?
-The timing of Usagi's shoe hitting Mamoru head sure was funny.
-I must say, Balm's disguise has a good design on her. The eyes especially.
-It's rather ironic that later on, Usagi's dad would become more like Unimo later on when we see him.
-Right now, yeah, I can see the connection between Usagi's dad and Motoki. They were both introduced in this episode and there's bland characters that I have no interest in. So far.
-I don't care how inappropriate it is, but Umino flipping the skirt is HILARIOUS. The smiley and Haruna's moment after it is icing of that cake.

-Again, Umino is pretty much becoming the highlight of these episodes so far. That laughter when he reads the manga helps support that theory.
-I should feel scared/worried on Unimo now, but I don't know, it's not really coming across during the rock throwing scene.
-While I found Usagi's outburst on Umino funny, again, I can't wait when Usagi's character develops. However, that use of a abstract background during that scene was nicely funny.
-Eh, Usagi personality throughout this last half just kinda doesn't work. While I feel for Usagi, at this point, I'm not really feelin' for her so far. I think it's because it's being rushed, I'm not sure.
-Yet, lines like "Give me a new item!" and "I forgot what I'm supposed to say!" reminds me that I like the stupid oof I like in Usagi. Sure, she's not the brightest of the bunch, but her oofish charm is what I'm liking on her so far.
-I'm not sure what Balm was accomplishing with the kids screwing around in school. Other than some weird thing that they must do evil things to suck the energy out of them, I don't get it. Doesn't come across very well.
-Good to know that Sailor Moon is getting a little stronger already in the second episode. I'm sure I'll get tired if she acts like what she acted like in episode 1 for a few more episodes. That'll get annoying fast.
-The last shot feels a little sitcomish to me for some reason.
Overall: Yeah, not much to report on this episode. Other than a few funny moments (mostly coming from Unimo and the animation's facial expressions), the episode was pretty much unremarkable. Plot wasn't really memorable, characterizations was pretty much uninteresting, and above all, the dramatic tension in this one wasn't really fulfilling. Other then introducing new characters and locations (and moments), nothing special."

All images are from "the orcle". I own and claim nothing.