Aleph’s Wish – Rider Jump 0

This is the first of many special episodes, which allow the unKamenCrew to diverge from strictures, structures and rules to go more in depth on a variety of subjects, mostly in the world of Kamen Rider. This episode Sono and Aleph discuss misgivings, hopes and dashed aspirations through the lens of Gaim, Drive and Wizard. They also get into some Dekaranger discussion and exhort EVERYONE to watch Hibiki.
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This episode’s hosts can be reached @NeedsMoreAleph for Aleph and @SonoYourFace for Sono.

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Dowsing In Her Sandbox – Sailor Moon Crystal 16 Review

Under the pall of the Black Moon, Sailor Moon Crystal seems to have taken to tending the soil to reap a bountiful harvest of all the seeds that seemed to have been haphazardly scattered at the end of episode 14. This could be tedious work, but Takeuchi has turned what could be unremarkable plodding into something exciting. I’d claim she divined the location of the gems in this episode by dowsing, but for the fact that she laid the soil herself nullifies that claim. What Takeuchi has done, what some authors fail to do is balance the backstory and current events of their characters’ lives so well. This episode showcased the cast dealing with fears, doubts, and sadness all while revealing more about the Black Moon and Chibi-Usa. Ami got to be cool, brave and strong. The information about her past layers and enriches her as a character and I can only hope that the other girls get treated this well, even as I fear they’ll all be abducted and possibly killed over the next month or so.

smc16-C

I don’t like the character models for the Spectre Sisters and honestly the Malefic Dark Crystal feels derivative of the Legendary Silver Crystal, but hopes that they will be linked somehow, have me a little more optimistic about it

For being a thrilling ride with an epic chess match, sad father-related back story and Ami’s awesome goggles, I give this episode a 5 out of 5.

Maleffected- Sailor Moon Crystal 16 -MS 14

Sono and Ammit discuss the latest Sailor Moon Crystal, from the low points to the greatest heights of its success. Not really. This time is all highs. Sure there were some sad things, but the plot is thickening and the pressure is building and this episode kicked so much butt!

But so, so good!
But so, so good!

SMC 16 – Abduction – Sailor Mercury

Meat & Veggies

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-Usagi grills Chibi-Usa when she realizes that she saw Rei being taken. She accuses her of being aligned with Black Moon and doesn’t stop until Luna tells her to calm down.

-Luna goes to Mamoru to help Chibi-Usa who is too upset to go back to the Tsukino house1

-Chibi-Usa or Small Lady, as her mother called her has a special key and a pendant that looks like the LSC. She had a vision of a wasted city below a black Moon and asks Mamoru if Sailor Moon can save her mother.

-Usagi is really down about this whole Chibi-Usa thing. It seemed she felt at least extremely uncomfortable and at worst a bit betrayed by the fact that Mamoru and Luna brought Chibi-usa back to her house.

-I love Ami’s response that Usagi and Rei aren’t chess pieces in Berthier’s game. That was so boss! She’s so great protecting Chibi-Usa… or should I say Rabbit? That was fantastic, though, it is a little ironic that Chibi-Usa was there watching when maybe she should stay away.

Frills

16

-Berthier is experiencing a sympathy with Ami… did her sister, Koan, experience one with Rei? Are these sisters developing powers like the Sailor Guardians to mimic and defeat them?

-Naru is so sweet to try to cheer up Usagi.

-Berthier is a bitch to be playing at Ami’s fear of being left by her friends, just as her dad left. The fact that her dad taught her the importance of swimming and chess too is a little stretchy and cheesy, but it was also frieken awesome how it played out.

-That epic chess match was fantastic.

What was the best line of the episode?

Best Line 1: “I can do that too. This is a Luna P ball. I call it Luna P.”

-Chibi-Usa

-OR-

Best Line 2: “Checkmate.”

-Ami (who is a bad ass!)

More vocabulary building from Takeuchi:

Maleficma·lef·ic

məˈlefik/

adjective

literary

adjective: malefic

  1. causing or capable of causing harm or destruction, especially by supernatural means.
  2.  Astrology

relating to the planets Saturn and Mars, traditionally considered to have an unfavorable influence.


If you’d like to comment on our thoughts, or ask any questions, you may send correspondence to  our inbox or we can be reached individually @sonoyourface and @trialofheroes on Twitter. We hope you enjoyed the show and thank you for listening.

The opening for this episode was performed by Josh Aggarado whose work can be found on Youtube and his site, please check out all the other cool music there.

The awesome closing was adapted and performed by 18moptop who does lots of English language anime covers

Check out text reviews every Monday after Crystal airs and hear new Moon Speak the Monday after that. That’s four Sailor Monday every MONTH!

RSS|iTunes|Sticher [not Yet Ready] Subscribe through keep up with every episode of Moon Speak as it releases!

Uncomfortably Warm – Sailor Moon Crystal 15 – Review

Chibi-Usa and all the changes she has brought to the show have knocked me over, much like our heroine at the pull of a toy trigger. I want to hate Chibi-Usa, but I can’t. The Black Moon crew makes me uncomfortable, but I like it. I can’t really say what it is I am enjoying about the changes Takeuchi has introduced to the show, but it may be the ring of the honesty and consistency I hear from the addition of all these new fixtures.

SMC-15

To continue the metaphor, it’s as if Crystal has played out as an orchestral piece and the conductor has placed unfamiliar instruments and players into the pit. I’m distracted, intrigued and worried about how these new factors will affect the sounds I’ve heard thus far. Chibi-Usa, Koan and Rei’s abduction are like the striking up of new instruments in a tempo that doesn’t seem to match the rest of what the conductor has had play so far, and now she’s removed one of my favorite pieces and players. Will the other Sailor Guardians go away? Can Chibi-Usa replace Usagi? Is she meant to? Why does she sound and look and feel so much Usagi or someone from Silver Millennium? Is the conductor mad? Do I really like her work, or was that first movement, just really catchy and engaging?

smc15-REI

Getting back to the old truths and familiar elements that comfort me in this time of transition, one of the best things in this episode is the demonstration of Rei’s changing personality. In fact all the girls get to show a different side. These characters aren’t static and haven’t stagnated. We may not see enough of them in their civilian lives to track everything smoothly, but seeing them experiencing peace at the start of the episode is good for now. It’s equally engaging to see each Sailor Guardian get her time to shine as it is to wonder about the new villain cast. Watching Rei open up to her classmates and seeing her deep care for the nuns, who are important figures in her school, was lovely. It made me happy for her and also gave me an appreciation for the openness of the world Takeuchi presents and which Rei embodies. Rei, a psychic, Shinto shrine maiden, attends a Catholic school and everyone seems to be ok with that. We get no insight that she has ever been given trouble by school officials and they allow two groups of students to have fortune tellers, not something of which an American pastor, preacher or rabbi would likely approve. Rei as a woman of the cloth, or perhaps just as a being of good heart, has immediate concern for the nuns and risks her life to protect them.

I know, Usagi! Right? Whats happening to Rei?!
I know, Usagi! Right? Whats happening to Rei?!

Now to address the discomfort and uneasiness brought with the new additions to the show, I’d like to focus on a key difference between the Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon: the Black Moon is more dangerous and has longer-lasting magic at its disposal. Koan had apparently been going around killing people to warm up her fire powers before confronting Sailor Mars. She seemed more powerful than Mars and her flames engulfed her even after Sailor Moon destroyed her with her new attack!

Perfection Overshot – Sailor Moon Crystal 14 Review

SMC Act 14 – Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangere

Except for the whiplash I got at the end, I really enjoyed this episode. The final show down with Queen Metalia was fantastic. Usagi’s power coming from the noble sacrifices of her friends and Luna’s prayer is surprising. I’m not sure from where Takeuchi is coming with this idea, but the strengthening and illuminating power of prayer really resonated with me- it is such an off-beat choice for most fiction. I can’t think of anything that comes close, from what I’ve seen over the years. Most entertainment which pits heroic and villainous forces against each other involves mundane violence and takes a more common path to illustrate messages which can be good, poignant and beautiful even though they are punctuated by explosions and giant robot puches, lazer beams or Rider Kicks- the endgame here is so striking for its lack of actual impact.

Again, Takeuchi splits her storytelling in an interesting way. This episode could have easily been two, but the immediate release of seeing life having returned to normal after all the drama and near-tragedies is really welcome. Other personal moments for the characters were really satisfying too, like Luna pleading with Queen Serenity and Usagi turning down the full Moon Queen position. The music was really great in the fight with Metalia and the scenes of Usagi and her friends living a normal life.

SMC-14

I’m not going to go into the last minute or two of the episode which kind of ruined it for me, I try to pretend that didn’t happen. I give this episode an 5 out of 5 on an emotional high.

I also give the episode 3 out of 5 for Takeuchi falling flat on her face which came out of nowhere, almost like a like a tiny pink-haired Usagi pointing a gun in my face and making me feel a little betrayed.

 

Mooned- Sailor Moon Crystal 14-15 -MS 13

Join Sono and Ammit as they discuss the blemished and slightly whiplash inducing shift to the Black Moon arc.

Image from Sailor Moon News.

 SMC 14 Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangere

AND

SMC 15 Infiltration – Sailor Mars

Meat & Veggies

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– Usagi’s faith in herself and her friends fuels a silent prayers from her heart which coalesces with the Sailor Guardian’s and Luna’s prayers, which restores the Moon to its true luster. The Holy Light of the Moon delights Metalia who thinks she is about to take that which she has long craved, but her malicious intent and ephemeral body are banished by the great light.

This has great implications to me from a theological POV- the prayer for the Moon’s radiance to be restored…

– Usagi is told she is to be the Queen of the Moon and live there now, but she refuses, saying she will live as an ordinary girl, protecting the people she loves on Earth. She gets a new brooch, in which she places the LSC and gets a new transformation call “Moon Crystal Power- MAKE UP!” and her tiara comes back, covering the moon on her forehead.

-WTF? Another Usagi dropping in from out of nowhere… “Accidentally” kissing Mamoru and pulling a gun on Usagi Tsukino… WTF?! I don’t think I like this.

What’s my problem with the kiss?

Well…it wasn’t earned at all, it shouldn’t be used for comedy and it feels like Takeuchi is hurting her characters on a whim like Urobuchi.

Frills

14

– This showdown with Metalia music is so F-ing EPIC. WOWZA!!!

-The shot with the seagulls flying away as the girls reunite was really lovely.

-The music played while the girls are shown living their normal lives again is so great!

-There were so many cute moments here. I loved Usagi having gotten up early, but also having forgotten to do her homework. That’s so me/human to feel accomplished about making positive changes only to realize you’re not quite there yet and you have to work a little harder to get where you want.

-LSC in the new moon brooch is totally awesome. It looks like/is a compact! I love that!

Meat & Veggies

15

– I love all the girls casual outfits. So cool. It’s really fun that they’re all visiting Rei at her school. It adds another dimension to their friendship with her. It just makes me happy to see. The juxtaposition of a burning nun and the man Rei dreamt about getting killed is rough, but serves to make me feel the impact of the two extremes more. The balance makes the former more heartwarming and the later more chilling.

-Power-ups are great, seeing Rei , Ami and Makoto with amped up attacks on their own, but again, I don’t know how I feel about Usagi getting the Moon Rod after Mamoru’s slightly unnecessary and inexplicable deflection and rescue.

-Rei was abducted! How scary that the defeat of Koan didn’t break the fire she put around Rei. This is unexpected. I’d like Takeuchi to carry this further.

Frills

15

– These new villains want to destroy the LSC and call it the source of their misery

-Chibi-Usa is an adorable name

-Ami and Rei are so great teasing Usagi. We need so much more of this!!

-Asanuma is a first year from school: Moto-Azabu, Makoto knows him. He’s Mamoru’s kohai!

-Goodness the cast expansion is so surprising

And now introducing a new feature to the show… Sono what was the best line of this episode? Sweet, funny, sad, anything works:

Sono’s pick: [You don’t have to do this]

Ammit’s pick: I know what I have to scream: Moon Princess Halation!

Tangent: Halation is a real word!

ha·la·tion

hāˈlāSHən/

noun

noun: halation

  1. the spreading of light beyond its proper boundaries to form a fog around the edges of a bright image in a photograph or on a television screen.

If you’d like to comment on our thoughts, or ask any questions, you may send correspondence to  our inbox or we can be reached individually @sonoyourface and @trialofheroes on Twitter. We hope you enjoyed the show and thank you for listening.

The opening and closing for this episode was performed by Josh Aggarado  and whose work can be found on Youtube and his site, please check out all the other cool music there.

Check out text reviews every Monday after Crystal airs and hear new Moon Speak the Monday after that. That’s four Sailor Monday every MONTH!

RSS|iTunes|Sticher [not Yet Ready] Subscribe through keep up with every episode of Moon Speak as it releases!