Monday, August 18, 2014

SMM: Mary Poppins Bullshit

previously on Sailor Moon, we learned that beautiful people just don't commit murder

Episode 4- Masquerade Dance Party

We open with Luna being the internet's favorite cat and using her computer skills to do research on the Sailor Guardians. My favorite part of the opening is that it clearly labels Rei as an Aries, because Rei is so an Aries. Also, apparently Luna keeps really good records as it even has all of their blood types.  She then brings up Mamoru and labels him suspicious. This cat has good instincts on people because she has clearly figured out he is Tuxedo mask even though no one else has.

~*Shiny Makeup Moonlight Song*~

Luna is waking up Usagi again as this girl is perpetually late to everything all the times. Luna could not possibly be rolling her eyes any harder. We cut downstairs to Usagi's mother reading the paper and saying how great Sailor Moon is to Usagi. Then her mother flips the page and we see a picture of a legendary treasure exhibit. This people is called foreshadowing 101.

Usagi makes her way to school and notices that there are noticeably more police officers out than normal. She tried to convince Luna to let her transform into a marathon runner so that he won't be late to school.  Luna tell her no and then we get a Luna voice-over recapping who Sailor Moon is. Finally, Usagi gets to school and her classmates tell her about the Princess of D being in town with her legendary secret treasure. Of course Luna goes to school with Usagi so she overhears all of this. I'm sorry how does no one notice a cat going into a school building? Or the cat walking with Usagi down the street? No cat I have ever met would do these things.

Later we see Rei telling Ami how smart and brilliant she is and how Rei has never been to an arcade before. Well obviously, arcades stopped existing in 2001 so of course she has never been to one. Ami tell Rei that she had never been to one before Usagi dragged her there either.  Then we get more voice-over narrative from Luna about who these two girls are.I have to wonder, we are on episode 4 is a recap of the last three episodes necessary? Is it because they are showing episodes 2 weeks apart and think people forget that quickly? 

Rei asks where Usagi is and Luna tells them that she got detention for sleeping in class. Surprise, surprise. Ami then teaches Rei how to play video games and its apparent that Rei is uncomfortable with being friends with people. Usagi shows up and Luna proceeds to have a meeting right there in the middle of an arcade
 where anyone can walk in on them at any time. You know I think I need to start counting all the times we have unnecessary cat talking in public.

Clearly not enough high-fives in Rei's world
They ask who the Youma are and Luna says she is not sure but that they must protect the princess as they are her guardians. But of course they have no idea who the princess is because Luna says her power is sealed away so her enemies can't find her. They have to protect her because she has the Legendary Silver Crystal that is the all-powerful Macguffin that will destroy the world. Luna says the guardians are the key to finding the princess and the crystal because once all the guardians are awakened they will know who the princess is. You know for some reason I don't think its going to be that simple.

We then cut away to see Usagi playing video games not listening to any of this. This is the 14 year old girl I expect. Luna then jumps on her head and starts yelling at her to pay attention. We got more of the Princess of D and her legendary treasure backstory and that she is throwing a dinner party tonight. Usagi says she wants to go to the party and Rei in her creepy fortune-teller says that's a bad idea. 

Over at Queen Beryl's camp we get to see Jadeite being teased by the other kings of the dark kingdom (Now known as the the four pretty boys of the apocalypse) for losing out to a pack of girls. Queen Beryl then goes on about rising their great ruler and evil running the world.

Usagi comes home from hanging out the arcade and we see a man in a Tuxedo. I am going to assume this is her father we have never seen before and I have to wonder how this guy with dark black hair and Usagi's mother with purple hair managed to have such a blonde child.  Daddy says that he is going to the dinner party tonight to get an interview for the magazine he works for.

Usagi then decides she is going to the party and uses her magic pen to transform into a princess as Luna makes "what what what" faces.We then see Usagi, Rei and Ami in party dresses heading for the ball and trying to figure out how they will get in. This seems to not be a problem as this party has the worst security ever and the three girls just waltz right in. This Princess of D must not be particularly concerned for her safety as the guards toss out the cat but let three girls without invitations right on in. 

The three girls all say they must find the princess, but Usagi, of course, runs off to be a 14 year old girl and dance the night away. Usagi klutzly knocks into someone and gets her dress as wet and runs off to dry it. Tuxedo Mask sees her and follows her out to ask her to dance. I love that these two see each other all the time and yet both are too dense to realize who the other is. They dance and Usagi gets all girly and emotional because she's 13 and has no idea what butterflies in your stomach are like. Luna then says something and Tuxedo Mask runs off. Luna and Usagi then have a completely inappropriate conversation on the middle of the dance floor when everyone is staring at them. Seriously, these two do not know how to be low-key about the talking cat shit.

Back upstairs, Ami and Rei are actually doing their jobs and protecting the princess from Nephrite who attacks the princess with a Youma. CGI Transformation time! 

The princess of D then runs through the ballroom and transforms the ballroom into a energy-zapping lifevoid. Luna and Usagi run out of the room where Usagi grabs hold of the princess to get her to calm down manages to get knocked off the balcony. Tuxedo Mask catches her arm just in time, showing how much of a dreamboat he is to save the girl. His fingers slip though and they both go falling off the balcony until Luna yells at Usagi to use her pen and it turns into.... an umbrella??? 

This is supposed to help them gently land? Are you kidding me? This is some Mary Poppins Bullshit right there. No umbrella is helping you land from falling off a balcony. Tuxedo Mask thanks her and then runs off again and Luna reminds her that she has work to do since she is supposed to be this bad-ass superhero and stuff. 

During Sailor Moon's transformation we remember that her Tiara got burned up in the last episode and somehow Tuxedo Mask's hand-holding has created Sailor Moon a new, better Tiara? This shit seriously makes no sense. 

Sailor Moon runs over to help Mercury and Mars take down Nephrite but none of their normal tricks work. Tuxedo masks yells down that the only thing that can defeat Nephrite is powerful light and this somehow means that sailor Moon needs to reflect the moonlight from her Tiara towards Nephrite. This shit gets more WTF as it goes on but YAY the Princess of D is saved. 

We then see the four pretty boys of the Apocalypse standing on the rooftop and introducing themselves to the Sailor Guardians and saying they will get the crystal at any cost.  The princess then wakes up and the girls run off to not be seen. The Princess of D then shows us her magical treasure which is a statue of herself made of diamonds. 

Over on the balcony, Sailor Moon is asleep on a bench and Tuxedo Mask being all creepy-stalker comes over and looks down at her. He then leans over and kisses her, which is both charming in a Sleeping Beauty way and creepy in take-advantage of someone sleeping way.

 Luna yell at him to leave Usagi alone, completely blowing Sailor Moon's marginal cover of being a different person. Luna don't you know that as soon as someone knows a superhero's identity that its all over for them? I mean you put Usagi's whole family at risk let alone could have made her a media target. For such  smart cat, that's kind of a dumb move.  Luna asks if Tuxedo Mask is working on their side or the enemies and Tuxedo Mask makes a flippant remark about not knowing before diving over the balcony.

On the other side of town we see a girl stuck out in a rain storm running home.

Luna inappropriately speaks in front of everyone: 2 times 
Legendary Silver Crystal Count: 9 times

Thursday, August 7, 2014

This Ain't A Scene, It's a Fall Out Boy Concert

So I have made no effort to hide my unabashed love of Fall Out Boy on this blog before. I've reviewed their cd, I've talked about seeing them in concert. I will admit to being a total Fall Out Boy Fan and being such a fan I attended yet another one of their concerts. This will make for the third time I have seen Fall Out Boy in concert, which is 2 times more than I have seen any other band in concert. This is possibly because the Foo Fighters don't play too many shows on the East Coast but also because FOB is awesome.

Anyways several months ago I was alerted that FOB was going to be doing a show in St. Augustine which is about 45 minutes away from my house. After giving iMac sad puppy eyes and a pouty face, he agreed to go with me making it also the first concert I have ever drug him to. Originally the line-up was supposed to be FOB and Paramore but for whatever reason Paramore dropped out sometime after I bought tickets and were replaced with some band I have never heard of.

So I got the tickets and the show started at 7:30, considering its an opening act I have never heard of iMac and I weren't in rush to get to the show on time. We figured FOB wouldn't go on stage until closer to 9 pm anyways. So we show up at about 7:45 and find out the parking lot is full and to park anywhere else nearby is $20 and of course we don't have cash. So we go to the gas station get money from the ATM, finally get parking and walk to the concert making it there about 8:05 pm.... just as Fall Out Boy is coming out onto the stage. Clearly their opening act could not take the Florida humidity (this being an outside venue and all) and did like half a set. If you have never been to Florida in the summer, the humidity is a lot like this:

So we managed to get to our seats just in time to stand for the next two hours.  My first inital thoughts during the opening song were: Patrick Stump clearly has lost weight; good for him and they have been on stage for less than 2 minutes and they are dripping in sweat. Obviously FOB wasn't prepped for the Florida humidity either because they were all in skinny black jeans and black shirts and black hoodies except for the drummer who had the good sense to take his shirt off. I'm pretty sure the entire band lost 3 gallons of sweat during their show that night.

Anyways the concert was amazing and having seen FOB in concert twice before you'd think I'd be ready for it and yet they managed to find way to surprise me like: Patrick Stump and Andy Hurley having a massive drum off during the break between sets (sorry if these pictures aren't the greatest).

Patrick Stump playing the piano that rose up out of nowhere on the back of the stage, while signing Queen's We Are the Champions too.

The giant flotilla of balloon balls they decided to have us toss around during a song (I can't remember which one anymore).

All in all it was an amazing show and not only did I have fun it appears iMac had fun too. Granted he was double fisting beers during the show but whatever. He did say after the show was finished that they put on a really good show and were clearly a talented group of guys. I take this as a good sign coming from a guy whose favorite bands are Cake and 311 and tends to go with mellower (read hippie-pot-smoking) music overall.

My favorite part of the whole concert was that I told iMac that at every Fall Out Boy concert there is the one token dad who doesn't want to be there with a pack of screaming teenagers. Luckily for me, we were standing right by him.

The dad in the white shirt stood with his arms-crossed looking sullen for the entire concert. It was funny everyone around him was dancing and singing and he just stood there looking grumpy. Towards the end of the concert we finally spotted his much shorter wife next to him who was her hands covering her ears and was clearly miserable at the loudness at the concert.

There was a drunk young guy that was 2 rows in front of us that was clearly there on behest of his girlfriend (no judgement here) who was dancing and getting down all night too. He was hilarious to watch dance and kept making a joke of himself but alas every time I started to videotape him he would stop dancing.

Anyways it was so much fun it almost makes me less sad I missed FOB's last tour where Panic at the Disco opened for them... almost.

Monday, August 4, 2014

SMM: Beautiful People Just Don't Kill

 Episode 3: Rei- Sailor Mars

We open on Queen Beryl in her usual sexy queen outfit giving the smack down to Jadeite for being pretty shitty at handling the sailor scouts. He apologizes and we meet the two other kings of the Dark Kingdom: Nephrite and Zoisite. I vaguely remember Zoisite being a girl in the original run of Sailor Moon back when I was a kid. I have to say even know, Zoisite has hair any girl would be jealous of.
We also get some background story on the Legendary Silver Crystal, Beryl says anyone who obtains it will be the ruler of the whole universe. So basically its the same as just about every other macguffin and I half expect Indiana Jones to show up just in time to save it from the Nazis. Jadeite vows to destroy the sailor scouts and the scene fades out.

We open on a dark-haired girl by a fire saying she can feel the evil coming. That's a really nifty trick to have in case you ever have to go out at night alone in a dangerous city.

~*Shiny Makeup Moonlight Song*~

A little girl is running away from the temple saying bye to Rei the dark-haired girl who can feel the evil coming to get her.

Then we cut to school where the students are talking about  the Demon Bus that passes a certain avenue every night at 6 pm. Listen I live in the South where there are only two types of buses: school and greyhounds. So my experience with buses is that they are all demon buses in their own way.  Either snot-nosed-kids are riding them torturing each other or you are on a greyhound for 13 hours with the weirdest collection of people you can imagine and you are terrified of getting left in a Hardees in bum-fuck-nowhere during the stop for food.
Anyways for whatever reason Luna, who is at school with Usagi is listening to the other students talk about the bus. I'm sorry is it cool in Japan to take your cat with you everywhere? because in America that would be grounds for being teased and as well as never going to happen. Usagi is sleeping at school again and Luna tries to wake her up by using the arcade as cover for a meeting. It works pretty well.

Ami and Luna are talking at the arcade about the evil and having to protect the princess and the Legendary Silver Crystal, while Usagi plays that Sailor V game per usual. Yet again a magical prize pops out of the machine and I am starting to wonder how the cat manages to rig it so that these prizes only drop for Usagi. Isn't the kid who plays the game next going to feel gypped he doesn't get a cool watch or something?

Usagi and Ami are hanging out waiting for the bus while Usagi whines that Ami is always studying. Ami tells her they can take a bus which a beautiful girl rides around this time of day.  This also happens to be the mysterious demon bus. Ami and Usagi get on the bus and Usagi sees Rei and immediately gushes about how beautiful she is and also creepily stares at her. Usagi then creepily stalks the girl off the bus to her house/shrine. Usagi you need to just reign it in a little. I'm pretty sure stalking is a crime in Japan too.
Sidenote: There has been some fervor on the internet on how this shows that Usagi is bisexual and blah blah blah. I'm not going to get into that here. If you think Usagi is bisexual great, if you think she is not great. I think the Japanese have a very different way of looking at sexuality than the Western World. This is a country that created Tentacle porn and some of the other anime iMac has made me watched is downright bizarre including one where a girl had to wear a chastity belt until a spirit could take over her body and have sex with the girl's stepbrother. Basically: Japan's ideas of sexuality are very different than North Americas and we should just go with it.

Rei feeling the "evil-twinges" gets all bad-ass on us and throws an ofuda scroll (yes, I had to Google what these were called) at Usagi's forehead, knocking her to the ground. I'm sorry this is what you get for being a creepy stalker Usagi.  Of course, Usagi just gushes more about how cool Rei is and how she's a shrine maiden.  This is all interrupted with Rei's kid friend from the previous day shows up missing. The kids mother is basically a bitch and says that the area hasn't been safe since the shrine got there. We here more about the Demon 6:00 pm bus and how people disappear when they ride it.
 Usagi hears tons of people talking about it at school. Usagi says she wants to go visit Rei after school again and Luna thinks Rei might be the princess they are looking for on account of her being so beautiful, because you know only beautiful people can be princesses.

Usagi is on the bus complaining about Ami having to go to so many cram schools and Luna tells her that they can stay in touch by the magic matching watches that just mysteriously "fell" out of the Sailor V game. Luna then realizes that someone is watching then and starts acting all cat-like prompting Usagi to not get a fucking clue. Then of course, who is sitting next to them? Mamoru of course, because you didn't see him sitting there before you sat down on the bus? He asks if she is talking to her cat again, because that seems to be a thing with her. Usagi asks who is he and if he goes to junior high and Mamoru has to whip out his school ID because he is in High School and pshhaw that someone thinks he is in junior high. My only thought was, do high school students in Japan wears suits everyday? I can't get my 30 year-old Fiancee in a suit now. Usagi catches herself staring at Mamoru and does the only thing a 13 year old can do at this point, try to hide under her 8 pound cat.
 Back at the temple, the kids family is badgering Rei to use her powers to find the kid. They are blaming her for the child's disappears and Usagi shows up and yells at them. Arguing that Rei is too beautiful to do anything like this, because beautiful people don't do bad things right? This just reminds me of Elle's argument in Legally Blonde.
Rei says that people treat her coldly because she is beautiful and has these mysterious powers. Usagi volunteers to help Rei find the kid, but Rei shuns her.  Rei then is hanging out by the fire and sees a vision of Jadeite attacking Usagi. Rei runs to help Usagi but the Jadeite shows up in the demon bus and hypnotizes Rei and brings her on the bus. The bus, driving erratically, then goes right past Usagi who sees Rei on the bus and runs after it. Usagi transforms into a flight attendant and even Luna is like Dafuq are you changing into a flight attendant for? Usagi jumps on the back of the bus as it crashes into a wall and goes into the void of wherever? Of course Tuxedo Mask sees all of this and is like "she totally transformed" but doesn't recognize that its Usagi even though he catches her cat and she is the only person running around Tokyo with that hairstyle. Clearly Mamoru's powers of perception aren't that great.
Luna contact Ami on those watches telling her that Usagi is in trouble. Back in void-land, Nephrite is telling Jadeite how this plan is never gonna work. Jadeite looks down at Rei and strokes her face noting how beautiful she is and how he is attracted to her

Elsewhere Usagi is freaking out and crying because no one can save her here and she clearly doesn't have any power to save herself. Listen, its not a Sailor Moon episode if she doesn't cry at least once. Then Luna chimes in on the magic watch where she is tracking Usagi's coordinates on the computer. Seriously, this cat knows how to use a computer than most people I know. Ami and Luna realize if they can get Usagi to transform to Sailor Moon it will magically teleport them to her. I don't know how this logic works, but I just go with it.

Time for CGI transformations.

There is a lot of posturing between Jadeite and the Sailor Scouts. Mercury does her aqua mist but Jadeite turns it into freezing water. Jadeite then traps Moon and Mercury and Rei wakes up from her trance, immediately knows that Usagi is Sailor Moon (see how hard this is Tuxedo Mask? Rei has only known her for 2 days). Usagi tells Rei everything because Usagi is horrible at keeping secrets. Rei jumps in and stops Jadeite saying she has powers too and we suddenly see the greek symbol for Mars on her forehead. Luna throws her a pen and is all like "transform bitch" and I have to wonder how Luna is carrying this shit around with her. Does she have a little kitty knapsack with all this stuff in it? 
Ami and Usagi get all excited at the prospect of having Rei on their team and Rei seems happy to not be the only person with magical powers. Jadeite is clearly thrown off by having a third teenage girl to fight and the Sailor Scouts get the upper hand. Sailor Moon uses her boomerang as a magic lasso to capture Jadeite and Sailor Mars uses her special powers of throwing flame sticky notes ofuda scrolls to vanquish him.

Back in town Rei hugs her little kid friend and tells her the Sailor Guardians saved her. Ami and Usagi tell Rei they were looking for someone like her and Rei seems happy. Now I remember Rei being snarky in the original run of Sailor Moon and I hope they keep some of the girl's snark. Someone has to tell Usagi to stop crying all the time. The three girls walk off talking about how they still need to find the princess and the "Legendary Silver Crystal."

We then cut to the airport where a little old Japanese man is carrying a small box as photographers take pictures.

Silver Crystal Count: 6
Usagi Cry Count: 1

Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Things I Miss about North Carolina (and some things I don't)

You can take the girl out of North Carolina but you can't take the North Carolina out of the girl. Well apparently you can since technically I was born in New Jersey, but whatever, semantics. Living in South Carolina and now Florida, there are just some things I miss about North Carolina like:

1. Never being more than 20 miles from Krispy Kreme
Honestly I'm not really a huge doughnut fan, but there was something about driving through NC and seeing Krispy Kremes everywhere. If you are ever in the mood for a doughnut this is the state for you.

2. Cook-out
Oh the joys of Cook-out. If you have never been to one- you don't know what you are missing. A cheeseburger, onion rings and a milkshake at 2 am for $4.75 is amazing. I can only hope that one day they expand to Florida.

3. College Rivalries
Technically we have college rivalries in Florida but its all about Florida- Georgia. Forget that, give me ECU, UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest and Appalachian State all hating each other. That's real college sports. There was so much trash-talking in NC for every sport it is ridiculous. I have to say I missing seeing Greenville being covered in people wearing purple. Go Pirates!

4. Insane weather
 North Carolina weather is just special. I have literally had a day where I started out in winter clothes and was wearing sandals by the end of the day and having a hurricane that night.  I remember switching between heat and air condition everyday in fall and spring. In Florida, its just fucking hot. I even miss the freaking out for the few snow flurries that we would get each year and how everything closed.

5. Listening to people fight about Barbeque 
 Somehow this post is more about food than I would like. Again not a huge fan of BBQ, but nothing is funnier than watching Eastern NC people and Western NC people fighting about BBQ. The fight boils down to this Eastern NC uses the whole hog and vinegar and peppers. Western BBQ uses the shoulder area with vinegar, peppers, ketchup and sugar.  People fight over which one is better pretty regularly, especially in college towns where there is a mix of people. This is such a thing there is even a Wikipedia page about North Carolina BBQ. And god forbid if a South Carolinian enters this fight (SC BBQ uses a mustard base) then its going to be an all day battle.

On the flip side I definitely don't miss: Anything to do with taxes in North Carolina. The State-income tax, the gas tax, the vehicle emissions tests; North Carolina was a taxing fucking state. Also Hurricanes, as weird as it is North Carolina gets significantly more Hurricanes than Florida.

Oh North Carolina how I miss you.... just enough to visit.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

This Is Still A Thing People Do?

So like most normal people I listed to the radio on the way to the work every morning. Recently getting heavy rotation on the radio is this song Rude by the band Magic. If you have been living under a rock, here is this song for you.

So the basic premise of the song is pretty simple. Guy is in love with a girl and goes to the girl's dad asking to marry her. The dad says no and guy gets all upset and says the dad is being rude and he's going to marry this girl anyway. Now I'm not entirely sure the dad is being rude per-say, I mean we don't have any reason why he is saying no.

But it got me thinking, is this still a thing? Do guys expect to go to their girlfriend's fathers and ask for their hands in marriage?

I mean I know it still happens. UNC-Sis just got engaged and her fiance went to our stepfather to ask for my sister's hand in marriage and I'm pretty sure my stepdad was like "yeah okay."

 The whole thing just seems bizarre to me though. I mean when I told iMac about my sister getting engaged and her fiance, I told him that if he had asked for permission to marry me I would have said no on principle. It just seems so antiquated. The idea that I belong to my father (or stepfather) and that another man needs permission to obtain me. It makes me feel like a possession and not a person. I might a well have a dowry and bedding ceremony too.

But between this song and my sister, I am starting to wonder if maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. So Internets tell me: did your husband/boyfriend ask your father's permission to marry you? Or if you are not married, would you expect your significant other to ask for your hand in marriage? Is this something as a society we still do?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sailor Moon Monday: Cats rule the internet

Episode 2: Ami- Sailor Mercury

We open on a middle school in Japan where a blue haired girl is doing complex mathematical equations. Listen I don't know what the schools are like in Japan, but that looks way to hard for a 13 year old. The teacher hands her back her test where she got a perfect score, because of course she did she was just going calculus on the blackboard at 13.

Then we watch two boys walk by talking about the brilliant girl in class 5  that has a 300 IQ and that she even studies during breaks and has no friends. Of course blue-haired brilliant girl is sitting on a bench studying while they walk by because of course. We then watch the blue-haired girl watch wistfully at Usagi and her friends laughing.
 Credits time: they sing way too much about shiny make-up and then say they are not helpless girls. It's a confusing song.

After the credits it time for the villains! We see last weeks head villain, Jadeite talking to Queen Beryl who is demanding more energy for their master. Queen Beryl is clearly evil, did you see how much cleavage that dress shows? They say "Legendary Silver Crystal" like three times in two minutes. Jadeite then goes and raises the demon of the week.
 Cut back to Usagi's house as she flops down on the bed complaining about being hungry. She asks Luna why she is sticking around and Luna warns her that more evil is coming. Like any good 13 year old, Usagi throws a bitch fit about having to be in danger and not wanting to do it again. I can't blame her, I wouldn't want creepy zombies trying to steal my energy either.
She asks Luna what this evil is and Luna replies "spirits that are not supposed to exist in this world." Thanks for being completely generic Luna. Luna says to find her allies and save the princess. Usagi hopes Tuxedo Mask and Sailor V are on her side and Luna says she has someone a little less fancy in mind.

Usagi is now asleep and Luna is using some sort of super computer to do research on the blue-haired girl, Ami. I would really love to know where Luna is hiding that big super computer in that tiny bedroom. On the bright side, on the internet no one knows if you are a cat and if you are you would probably be treated like royalty.
 Back at school, all the students are huddled around some board with grades on it. Ami has a perfect score in every class. Clearly they are setting Ami up to be the smart girl with no friends. Usagi and friends are talking when unimo tells them that Ami is taking classes up at the Crystal Seminar for super smart people, which is conveniently by the same arcade Usagi goes to. We find out Ami is a genius, her mother's a doctor and their family is rich. Yeah, I'd be jealous of this girl too.

On the way home, bemoaning her grades Usagi sees Ami petting Luna and runs over to talk to her. Ami says Luna come down from the sky like an angel and we all see why Luna likes Ami the best. Usagi then thinks about how cute Ami is and hopes they can be friends so Ami can teach her to study. Seriously the girls needs to learn how to study.

Usagi drags Ami to the arcade where of course Ami is great at the sailor V game. Of course she is, she's a genius and does everything perfect. When Ami finishes the game a blue pen pop-out and Usagi being the spoiled girl she is wants one too and starts shaking the arcade game until one pops-out.

Ami then realizes she has to run to seminar. She says all she is good at is studying and wants to be a doctor like her mom. Usagi's eyes get even wider than they already are (seriously if they get any bigger they will be the only thing on her face) and its clear she has a total girl-crush on Ami.
  At seminar we meet Ami's teacher that gives her a study disk to use. Ami's eyes turn green and we all quickly realize this is the new demon of the week.

Next day Usagi and friends are going to get ice cream. One of their friends walks by rattling off the digits to Pi and doesn't even acknowledge them. Random friend A says that their friend is now going to the Crystal Seminar too. Usagi goes to find Ami to see if she wants to come get ice cream and Ami clearly wants to go but the brainwashing as gotten to her and she says she has to study. This seems fishy to me, I love to nerd out on books and stuff but I am out the door if someone says ice cream. I don't see anyone saying no to a waffle cone.

Back at Crystal Seminar the teacher is trying to enroll anyone she can. Listen the sign of a good school is how selective they are. The minute you start letting in just anyone something is wrong. Usagi like any good 13 year old is like fuck extra studying and crumples up the flyer and tosses it away. Didn't this girl learn anything about littering from the last episode? What do you know its Mamoru it hits in the face again, and he questions her about Luna talking.  Usagi freaks out and runs away. This is a complete legit reaction to being busted with a talking cat.
Usagi and Luna go home with Ami's Crystal Seminar disk she left and Usagi does whatever every good QA tester does and punches keys on the board until something fishy comes up. They find the brainwashing on the disk and rush over to the Crystal Seminar school to save Ami. The pen Usagi "won" at the arcade earlier turns her into a doctor and I have to wonder why she chose doctor. It's a school, wouldn't a teacher be a better disguise? Also this is the sluttiest doctor disguise ever. It's like the porn version of a doctor.

Inside the teacher is pressuring Ami to work faster so that she can use Ami's amazing brain to take over Tokyo and find the Legendary Silver Crystal. The teacher picks up Ami's pen she won and throws it across the room, Ami goes to pick it up and the teacher grabs her. Just then Usagi runs into the room and Luna attacks the teacher to get Ami free. The teacher asks who Usagi is and she replies a doctor. Usagi tells Ami about the brainwashing which causes the teacher to become all super villainy.

Luna tells Usagi to transform and Usagi hesitates before doing so and we get another 3 minutes of CGI transformation. What amazes me about these transformations is that is seems like Sailor Moon's hair gets longer during these. The girl can step on her hair. Why does her mother let her have it this long? Isn't it heavy?

Sailor Moon taunts the minor villain of the week before starting to cry and scream again. Seriously I cannot get over how bad sonic crying is as a super power. I mean hell Aqua-man has better powers than that. The sonic crying does nothing and the teacher attacks her with thousands of papers. They stick Sailor Moon to the wall and all I can think is this is what they mean by death by a thousand paper-cuts. Also considering how bad Usagi is at school, being killed by tests should be her worst nightmare.

The villain goes after Sailor Moon and Ami screams for her to stop and we see the Greek symbol for Mercury on her forehead. Luna instructs her to transform and for someone with a genius IQ, I find it hard to believe that Ami isn't like "why the fuck is this cat talking to me? Am I hallucinating?" Instead genius girl does as the talking cat says and we get her nifty transformation sequence and another minute of CGI.
 Ami pulls out her special trick of aqua-mist and confuses the demon of the week. Its funny, Sailor Moon can't do anything without instruction and yet Sailor Mercury knows how to do her special attack 30 seconds after changing into the suit? I call bullshit here.

The mist isn't enough and lucky for everyone Tuxedo Mask shows up to save Sailor Moon from the papers. Sailor Moon boomerangs the demon of the week and Tuxedo Mask disappears. Well that is how you end a fight sequence in 3 seconds.

Jadeite hovers over the city the next morning look displeased about the appearance of a new Sailor Scout. Ami and Usagi walk to school and says they are going to be friends from now on, which is good since they will be spending a lot of time together.

# of times someone says "Legendary Silver Crystal" this episode: 5 1/2
# of times Usagi cries/whines: 2

Monday, July 7, 2014

Introducing: Sailor Moon Monday

So it's been a long time since I have recapped any TV shows on this blog. The last time was 2012 and it was the very first season of Project Runway All-Stars. See the problem with recapping TV shows in real-time (as opposed to several years later) is that life happens. All of a sudden you are swamped at work and get behind and the next thing you know you're 8 episodes back with no hope of catching up in any sort of reasonable fashion.

But for whatever reason, I was watching Sailor Moon Crystal this weekend and I thought, "I need to snark this." Please don't get me wrong. I was a child of the 90s and I loved Sailor Moon back, which is why it feels only right to do this. So introducing: Sailor Moon Mondays! where I snark the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal ever other week. If you never watched the original don't worry, Sailor Moon Crystal is a reboot; so you won't miss anything. Also you can watch it for free on Hulu. So lets get started:

Episode 1: Usagi - Sailor Moon

Let me get it out of the way right now, that having been a loyal viewer of the original English dubbed Sailor Moon back when I was eleven, it is going to be hard for me to get used to Sailor Moon being name Usagi and not Serena. So if I screw it up, please forgive me. Also iMac volunteered to watch the new Sailor Moon with me because he said "its a gateway drug to other anime," which he is always trying to get me to watch.

So the first 90 seconds are just pretty animated shots of the solar system and the moon. Nobody is watching this for the artistry. Get to the story. Oh there we go. Usagi is the same as always: oversleeping, being forgetful and clumsy as hell. This is the perfect way to introduce a heroine- have her tumble down some stairs. Clearly this happens all the time as her mom doesn't even get up to check on her. She simply yells down the hall asking if she is alright.

Credits time: I have to admit the new song is catchy and fits the show. Although they keep going on about shiny makeup, which concerns me slightly. Why does their make-up need to be shiny? Isn't makeup supposed to make your face less shiny? Being a fan of the 1995 version its hard for me to not be like "where is the Sailor Moon Theme Song?!?" though. I mean how can you not love this:
Moving on: I can already tell these new title cards are going to bother me.  We see Usagi running towards school and telling us a little about herself. In her own words she is 14 in eighth grade, clumsy and a crybaby. Clearly, she knows herself well. I don't know how many adults are willing to be like "yep, I'm a fucking crybaby. Deal with it." As she is telling us this, she trips over a cat. She runs over to pick up the cat and kisses it. The cat reacts exactly as you would expect a cat to react.
That's pretty much how my cat reacts to me every morning when I try to pet her. Further proof that cats are in fact evil. Well except this cat of course. Usagi pulls off the band-aids covering a little moon on the cats forehead and the cat runs off. Usagi then remembers that she was supposed to be at school and freaks out.

Cut scene to our first encounter with a villain. He's a blond man pulling a pile of goo and dust up off the floor to take the shape of a woman. What is it with the Japanese making villains out of putty? Isn't this how expendable henchmen were made on Power Rangers too? Then he asks it to find the "Legendary Silver Crystal." Listen as far as macguffins go the Legendary Silver Crystal already sounds a lot better than the Sankara Stones (sorry George Lucas, they sucked).

Usagi finally gets to school to be reprimanded by the teacher. Clearly this getting to school late happens all the time. The teacher forces her to stand out in the hallway. Since she rushed out of the house early she decides to eat her lunch. Listen, I don't blame her for this. You know how hard it is to concentrate on anything over a growling stomach. Girl, eat your food.... until of course the teacher catches you and yells at you about bad grades. I guess they let her back in class because we meet her best friend Naru and the annoying class nerd with weird eyes. I mean really he has hypnotize eyes.
Also games? I'd like to punch him too

Finally its lunch time and poor Usagi can eat. She's there with Naru and two other girls. Its not important to learn any of these girls names as they will be disappearing within the next 5 episodes when the Sailor Scouts arrive. I mean Sailor Moon can't be friends with these people after she gets magical powers. These girls are all talking about the recent robberies at jewelry stores and how Sailor V foiled the robbers plans. How is it that Sailor Moon is the leader of this group when Sailor V has been kicking-ass and taking names for a long time before her?

Naru then talks about how her family owns a jewelry store and how they are having a big discount sale. How very convenient for the plot of this show. They go to the jewelry store after school and there is like a mad panic of people shoving at the jewelry. We then cut to the mom being all evil-like about how the jewelry is sucking the energy out of these people. Isn't this like the entire plot of Hocus Pocus?
Usagi gets all upset because she can't afford the jewelry and her mom sure isn't going to buy her any with the 30 she got on today's test. She leaves the jewelry store, crumples up her test and we meet- Mamoru when the test hits him. He doesn't waste a second before insult Usagi about her hairstyle and it brings me back to my meatball-head- days-of-yore.
They argue before Usagi runs away muttering how he is wearing a tuxedo in the middle of the day. Really its not the tuxedo that gets me but the pocket watch. It's 2014 who fucking wears a pocket watch anymore? Is he a 90 year old British royal? Anyways, he is also looking for the Legendary Silver Crystal.

Usagi still feeling down on herself walks past an arcade that has a big poster for a Sailor V game. Wanting to be more like Sailor V, she takes an detour into the arcade and I take a detour back to 1992 when arcades still existed. She plays the game, we meet Motoki - the cute arcade attendant. The cute cat with the moon on her head shows up at the arcade and Usagi makes fun of her for having a crescent-shaped bald patch. For as upset as Usagi got when Tuxedo Mask made fun of her hair, you would think she wouldn't criticize the cat's style choice.
Usagi then finally goes home where her mom questions her about the test and then freaks the fuck out at her. I mean I got bad grades in my day but my mom never told me to not come home for them. Her mom then shoves her 14 year old daughter outside and tells her to not come home. Even in Japan completely negligent parenting happens on shows with teenagers. I immediately was like "what is the crime rate in Tokyo," and was answered with "Japan has one of the lowest crime rates in the world." Still leaving a 14 year old locked outside at night seems like a bad idea.

Eventually Usagi is let back into the house and she goes straight to take a nap. This is my kind of girl; naps are awesome. She has a dream which features  Sailor V fighting Godzilla. The Japanese really know how to get their cameos in.
Usagi is then woken up by the cat with the moon shape on her head and the cat talks to her. Usagi reacts the way any 14 year old girl would react by climbing under the cover and assuming she is dreaming. The cat introduces herself as Luna and gives her a present. The cat tells her she is the choose guardian and must save Tokyo and my thought is in a city of 13.35 million people they couldn't find someone more qualified than a 14 year old girl?

Anyways we then get our look at the new transformation sequence. I'm a little jealous of those perfect glowing nails because I can never get my nail polish to look that good. The sequence little longer than the original one and Sailor Moon got some sweet new accessories, but it still pretty awesome.

Usagi can then hear her friend Naru in trouble and although clumsy and not at all qualified for the job, she runs to save her. Naru's mom is locked in the basement and the villain-of-the-week is about to kill Naru when Sailor Moon shows up. The villain asks who she is an clearly Sailor Moon has no idea who she is either. Luckily, Luna is there to remind her.
The villain-of-the-week then calls all her energy zombies to attack Sailor Moon and like any good heroine, Sailor Moon trips and falls. Luna tells her to fight, but like a smart 14 year old girl she is running for her life. Of course she breaks into tears and starts crying, which turns out to be sonic crying and all the windows in the jewelry store shatter and the zombies cover their ears. So basically you are telling me she is a super hero and her skill is crying? Way to set the feminist movement back ten years. I could not sum it up better than my friend Lorriane:
After the crying has immobilized the energy zombie everyone keeps telling her to "do it now" and she has no idea what they are talking about. Give the girl a clue here, she only became Sailor Moon five minutes ago. Home-girl has no idea what she is doing. Finally, she takes off her tiara so it can becoming "moon tiara boomerang" and I burst into laughter at how completely ridiculous that sounded. The tiara flies off barely touches the villain-of-the-week and the villain disintegrates back into dust. Tuxedo Mask tells her job well done and hops off, jumping higher than no normal person ever could.

We then cut back to the original blond villain watching from his crystal orb and muttering about having to get that Legendary Silver Crystal. I'm concerned they are going to call it the "Legendary Silver Crystal" every time. Is there another non-legendary silver crystal we can get it mixed up with? I think we can safely call it the Silver Crystal and by now everyone knows it is legendary.

Usagi is back in school the next day and all her friend can talk about is being saved by a Sailor Scout and this right here is why these friends will stop existing soon. There is no way a 14 year old girl like Usagi is going to be able to keep this a secret for long. We then see out the window where Sailor Mercury is running in the rain.

I have to say its a pretty strict reboot. The story doesn't seemed to have changed much. I will say I was put off by how much skinnier the characters are this time around. Usagi's face is much shallower and pointier than it was before. Plus, she looks older; less like a 14 year old. Her arms and legs are much skinnier too. I realize the reboot is supposed to be in the style of the original manga but I do worry they made the characters a bit too skinny.

Anyways, how did everyone else like the new Sailor Moon Crystal?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Confession: Being Boss-Y

So I've always been the kind of girl that people called bossy. I kind of had to be as a kid; I had younger siblings and a mom who was still young in her own right (Seriously I was 10 and she was 26). Somewhere in all of that I developed an attitude that if shit needed to get done right I needed to take charge and make sure that happened. This doesn't mean I didn't play well with others or railroaded people into doing what I wanted. I had more than my fair of group projects where I took a backseat to other more-vocal bossy people.

But somewhere along the line I learned how to take charge and get things done. This is especially true of my relationship with iMac. I am a super-type A neurotic. I pretty much have a set routine and start planning out my weekends on Thursday. That being said, iMac is a very mellow type-B and that is both good for me because it forces me to relax to accommodate him, and bad because I am forced to plan and coordinate everything (and when I ask for his input its "yeah thats fine".... gggrrrr). So I've gotten really used to bossing him around because if I didn't nothing would get done.

This is all well and good, but its funny now that I am technically a "boss" (I'm a middle manager in-charge of two-soon-to-be-four people), I find it an uncomfortable feeling. I mean I think I'm pretty good at training people to do the job and I try very hard to lead by example. When it comes to telling people what to do, or that they are doing something wrong, however, I feel sort of awkward about it...almost guilty.

The thing is I don't want to make anyone feel bad about themselves and I don't want to be Meryl Streep in the Devil Wears Prada. Nobody wants to be the boss that everyone hates and I just got rid of one of those, so I know how awful they can be. So I try really hard to be the boss without being bossy, and I try to show people how they could be doing things better instead of telling them they did something wrong (although I suppose wrong-ness is implicit in the fact that I am pointing out things they can do better).

The problem with this is that people don't change overnight and while I need to be forward about things needing to be done and stuff that has to change, my team has to be receptive to changing. We get so complacent in how things are, that we don't want to change. I don't want to be a bossy bitch, but I'm going to have to get comfortable with that if I don't want to get walked on. So I'm probably going to have to channel my inner- Devil Wears Prada Christian Siriano and I just have to find a way to get used to it.

Interwebs: did you ever have this problem? How did you handle it?

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