Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie (Parts 1 and 2): In the Name of the Moon, I Watched This – Netflix Review

Having watched almost no previous Sailor Moon, I felt like I could go ahead and take on this challenge. I was wrong.

There’s not going to be a real summary section to this. I decided that my limited comprehension of what was going on is best represented by me drunkenly dictating my thoughts into my computer’s voice-to-text. I’m four shots in, and I have no f*cking idea what happened, but here’s what I remember. 

****SPOILERS****

It started off with a knock-off Rita Repulsa actually named Zirconia (Naomi Watanabe/Barbara Goodson), then there was an eclipse, a pegasus (but actually an alicorn) called Helios (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Brian Beacock), and an H.R. Geiger circus. I assumed this meant there would be xenomorph clowns or something coming, but fortunately it ended up mostly being girls in form-fitting outfits. Anyway, Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru (Kenji Nojima/Robbie Daymond), Sailor Moon/Usagi (Kotono Mitsuishi/Stephanie Sheh), and their time-travelling 900-year-old-but-somehow-still-five-years-old daughter Sailor Chibi Moon/Chibiusa (Misato Fukuen/Sandy Fox) are having a sleepover.  Oh, and Chibiusa is hot for her dad, which is creepy on several levels, but I guess daddy issues are still a thing in the future. 

If it has a horn and wings, it’s an alicorn. Friendship is magic.

Zirconia’s boss, Nehelenia (Nanao/Laura Post), orders her to attack the Sailor Scouts so she can get a crystal that I am guessing I should have known about from previous arcs. Zirconia passes the task to her minions, the Amazoness Quartet: JunJun, VesVes, CereCere, and PallaPalla (Yuko Hara/Erika Ishii, Rie Takahashi/Erica Lindbeck, Reina Ueda/Cassandra Lee Morris, Sumire Morohoshi/Xanthe Huynh). They have a tiger attack Usagi and Chibiusa and the girls almost die cuz they can’t transform but then they get an upgrade and the horse blesses them and then everything is back to normal. There are things called Lemures that the dub pronounces “lemurs,” and I wanted to break the f*cking TV every time they said it, that the Amazons from the creepy circus summon to trap people in nightmares, but the horse upgrade lets Sailor Moon and Mini Moon get rid of them. Then Mamoru gets lung cancer, but apparently it’s actually a flower? Modern medicine was not prepared for this. 

Oh, and Usagi and Chibiusa switch ages for like 3 minutes and that’s still weird.

The Amazon Quartet turn a fish, a tiger, and a bird into three members of a knockoff version of the Misfits. Not the real band, the ones from Jem and the Holograms. The three animals in human form try to trap Sailors Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter (Hisako Kanemoto/Kate Higgins, Rina Satō/Cristina Vee, Ami Koshimizu/Amanda C. Miller) in their own nightmares, but the scouts beat them really easily (though Mercury does it the easiest, because she’s the best). Sailor Venus (Shizuka Itō/Cherami Leigh), whose cat Artemis (Taishi Murata/Johnny Yong Bosch) has a boner for her, gets attacked by the circus’s knife throwers, but she ends up killing them before the Amazons capture all of the scouts aside from Usagi, who collapses from another flower in her lungs. Turns out that Helios is also a priest from the center of the Earth and that he has a black flower in his chest because he’s actually projecting from a cage in the center of the Earth. Then, weirdly, Sailor Saturn (Yukiyo Fujii/Christine Marie Cabanos) is shown reading W.B. Yeats as part one ends. 

These are the evil minions, not a new all-girl J-pop band.

Part two starts with the reveal that Sailor Neptune (Sayaka Ohara/Lauren Landa) and Sailor Uranus (Junko Minagawa/Erica Mendez) are married now, and hopefully nobody tries to make them cousins again, because that’s f*cking weird. Or they’re not married but they wear matching rings along with Pluto? I’m hoping it’s a polycule, but I bet they wouldn’t allow that on television. Whatever, Neptune and Uranus are adorable together. Along with Sailor Pluto (Ai Maeda/Veronica Taylor), they are raising Sailor Saturn, who was apparently reborn as a kid? Anyway, Saturn gets her memory back of being a teen, then gives powers back to Sailors Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto. They go save the other non-Moon scouts, because they’re still trapped by plants somehow, and then Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon show up only to be injured. They get healed and there’s something about crystals that, again, is probably part of the mythology that I skipped by not watching Sailor Moon Crystal (oh, THAT’S why they call it that). Also, the horse dies, but death means less here than it does in a comic book, so he’ll be fine.

Don’t call them the B-Team, they get sh*t done.

All of the scouts go to fight Nehelenia, whose backstory is revealed as basically Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and they all get trapped until some power of love stuff. Sailor Moon gets another transformation sequence into Eternal Sailor Moon, and she fixes everything with the power of… moon love crystal stuff. The horse comes back to life (told you), and the Amazons are revealed to be asteroid scouts, because we’re out of other celestial bodies. Everyone lived happily ever after until next season, unless this is the finale. 

Tuxedo Mask is there too, but who cares.

It’s really funny that throughout most of this, it really hit me how much Sailor Moon is just Dragon Ball Z for girls. Death means nothing, time travel subplots abound, random villains show up that are somehow stronger than the last ones despite the last ones being “the strongest in the universe,” and the new bad guy is always beaten by some new transformation or technique pulled out at the very last minute. Given how much of my childhood I spent watching roided up people with spiky hair yelling at each other before firing beams, it’s not surprising that a lot of people spent theirs watching cute girls transform into superheroes and… well, still largely stand around yelling before firing beams. At least on Sailor Moon there are a lot of characters with varied personalities and a nice overlap between personal problems and superhero problems. The movie even drives this home by having the villains attack their insecurities more than attack their physical forms. 

And at least some of that insecurity is that they will never look as fabulous as these anthropomorphic minions.

Overall, it’s a movie that’s designed for young girls, but I get why so many people love it. More power to you.  

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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High-Rise Invasion: A Strange World of Kill or Be Killed – Netflix Review

A young girl wakes up in the opposite of wonderland.

SUMMARY 

Yuri Honjo (Haruka Shiraishi/Suzie Yeung) is a high school girl who finds herself suddenly in an alternate world populated by a number of skyscrapers which are connected by suspension bridges. She manages to call her brother, Rika (Junya Enoki/Zeno Robinson), who reveals that he is also trapped in this world. It turns out that the high-rises are populated by mask-wearing people who are compelled to try and drive other humans to suicide. Among them is the Sniper Mask (Yūichirō Umehara/Jonah Scott), a stylish killer with, as the name implies, a sniper rifle. Yuri manages to find a knife-wielding girl named Mayuko Nise (Shiki Aoki/Jennie Kwan) whom she befriends. Eventually, they find other humans, including a woman named Kuon Shinzaki (Akira Sekine/Stephanie Sheh) who is immune from the attacks of the masks. Yuri has to find out the truth behind this world and find a way out.

She’s not having a good time.

END SUMMARY

I’m sure there’s an actual term for this kind of show, but I don’t know it. It’s the genre where a group of people spontaneously are pulled into another world that is almost identical to the regular one and forced to play a game that is, in reality, part of a much bigger plot. The most famous example is probably GANTZ, although I’m sure that’s not the oldest one. The show Alice in Borderland is another one that has recently been on Netflix. The genre tends to be at its best when it focuses more on the characters and the worldbuilding than on the particular game that the participants are forced to play. This show does a good job of focusing mostly on the feelings and the relationships between the characters rather than just on delivering action sequences. Because of that, when you actually do get an action sequence, it’s more impactful. 

They can also come out of nowhere, because sniper.

That’s not to say that the worldbuilding isn’t solid. Even though this season only takes us about 12 episodes in, there are a lot of hints about what is really going on and it is clearly much larger than it seems. It seems to be building up to a more metaphysical second season, but not in a way that invalidates our characters’ actions during the past.

Also, perhaps more hammer.

Overall, pretty solid show. Just be aware that it’s pretty gory and a little rapey at times.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

Netflix Mini-Review: Cannon Busters – A Fun Take on Classic Anime

An American indie comic gets animated and it’s worth a shot.

SUMMARY (SPOILER-FREE)

It’s a world of sci-fi robots and magic that is somehow also the Old West. Sam the gynoid (Hinaki Yano/Kamali Minter) and her robot mechanic partner Casey Turnbuckle (Shiori Izawa/Stephanie Sheh) seek out legendary outlaw Philly The Kid (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka/Kenny Blank). Together, the three journey in order to find Sam’s lost owner Prince Kelby (Junji Majima/Zeno Robinson) and get caught up with bounty hunters, international politics, some weird drunks, and the occasional nihilistic robot.

Image result for cannon busters
Two are relentlessly optimistic while the other is a scumbag.

END SUMMARY

I admit I wasn’t that interested in the series until I found out it was created by LeSean Thomas, a guy who has been associated with a number of projects I enjoy, ranging from The Boondocks to Avatar: The Legend of Korra. So, I gave it a try and it was pretty solid. I’m not going to say that it revolutionized the anime genre or anything like that, but it definitely keeps you entertained. The show is a serial, with many of the episodes leading directly into the next with nearly no filler, something that stands at odds with most anime. 

Image result for lesean thomas
He co-directed The Boondocks. ‘Nuff said.

A lot of what makes the series work is that it really does create a strange and yet compelling world through its characters and story-lines. For example, the main character is a gunslinger who drives a transforming pink Cadillac and is mystically immortal. Actually, that’s probably a good test for whether or not you’ll like this show: Does a pink Cadillac that transforms into a giant Minotaur robot when you put enough quarters into it sound like a funny idea? If so, then this show is for you. 

Image result for cannon busters
Is a hypersonic alcoholic Ronin fun? Then watch.

The fight scenes in the show have a lot of variety, incorporating guns, swords, robots, and martial arts. The humor in the show isn’t overwhelming, but it manages to lighten some of the more genocidal or nihilistic moments. The plot is pretty simple, although it does run several plot-lines simultaneously, but the correct amount of hijinks tend to ensue at any time. 

Image result for cannon busters unfettered
Extradimensional monster eating a village? Yeah, that’s a thing.

Overall, if you have an inclination towards anime, I recommend giving this a try. At 12 episodes, it’s not much of an investment.

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.