Sailor V and Artemis making an appearance in “A Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan" (R, ep. 70)
This normally sits on a shelf in my den, but I figured I’d bring them out for a photo op. No visitor to my home has ever guessed what they are. The ones that I let in on the secret usually think less of me because I’m male and I like Sailor Moon.
AT LEAST I HAVE THE STONES TO ADMIT IT.
Okay, so after the post I reblogged from nagisayuu last night, everything we thought we knew about Crystal seems to be open for debate. There were a lot of tantalizing possibilities revealed with respect to the role the Shitennou will play in the remaining episodes, but there was also the apparent revelation that the episodes will keep up a one-for-one pace with the manga, meaning that the Dark Kingdom arc is over in 8 more episodes.
Personally, I’m disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to see more material being brought to the screen than just doing a one and done rehashing of the Dark Kingdom, which we’ve already seen in the form of PGSM. What disappoints me is that the Dark Kingdom is my favorite arc and I was anticipating it being around for a while, with a director and creative team coming at it with fresh ideas to expand the canon and give us something new, leaving the door open for future seasons to adapt later arcs.
And while there have been substantial changes made from the source material already (namely Rei’s personality shift) this interview makes it clear that they are adapting the main story pretty much as-is. It’s repeated a few times that since the manga is complete and they “know the ending” it gave them the ability to add in things like Usagi’s dreams of the Silver Millennium and the teasers at the end of each episode. Still, whatever new material we get, for the moment, seems to be character-driven rather than plot-driven.
Sine Kobayashi pretty much confirmed that there would be no filler episodes because of the one chapter = one episode approach, that leaves only one choice in strengthening the character development of your leads: work it in where you can. As I mentioned in my last post and in the Episode 4 review, the early scene between Rei and Ami at Crown is the best example of this attempt to call the focus on other characters. That conversation didn’t exist in the manga. The element being strengthened by that scene is the bonding between the Senshi, even when Usagi isn’t around. You never really saw much of that in the manga beyond each Senshi’s introductory chapter. And considering the sometimes breakneck speed of the story, the manga never really had a chance to develop the interpersonal relationships of the Senshi beyond the standard rallying cries of “Usagi-chan!!!” during almost every boss fight.
So while I appreciate Crystal’s attempt to bring some more depth and dynamics into the personalities of the characters surrounding Usagi, it makes me wonder why they would bother doing the same for the Shitennou, with respect to the fact that Crystal seems to be embracing the pseudo-canonical pairings that have been the stuff of fanfic legend for the last 20 years. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not unhappy that my four favorite characters are actually being given something more to do than show up, cackle maniacally, and die. I’m just wondering what Kobayashi means by this quote:
From the standpoint of already knowing the end, this can’t be separated from the story’s worldview. If they are just wiped out in split seconds, it would be difficult to make the Guardians except for Usagi to stand out (in the story).
The other Senshi stand out in the manga, at least where the Shitennou are concerned, by dealing their killing blows. That’s it. I mean, other than one panel of Jadeite expressing attraction to Rei, and Kunzite being the only Shitennou to get a word of dialogue in flashback about Venus, there is no connection between the two groups except as antagonists. If Crystal is going to try to reference their past relationships, what good will it do in the end? Is there even enough time to flesh this concept out given how densely packed the latter chapters of the manga get? If during the Silver Millennium flashback we see the traditional 4 x 4 pairings, how will that affect the Senshi’s attitudes towards the Shitennou in the present day? In terms of having to move the main story along, the only possible outcome I can see is all the Senshi unanimously agreeing that the Shitennou are traitors and killing them off with impunity.
However, there’s not just the Senshi to consider: there’s Mamoru. Once again, Kunzite is the only Shitennou who ever gets to interact directly with Mamoru, and it’s not until after he dies facing the Senshi in a brainwashed haze. If Crystal is concerned with presenting the past relationships between the Senshi & Shitennou, it stands to reason that it would have to touch upon their relationship to Mamoru. The manga only gives us a few fleeting sentences of exposition. Crystal has the opportunity to show us why Mamoru trusts these men, even after their betrayal to the Dark Kingdom, and why he continues to call on their guidance in the future.
What I’m most curious about now (other than how much depth the Sen/Shi relationships will be presented) is how and when the Shitennou will meet their end. I previously speculated it could happen in Episode 7 where Zoisite died in the manga. However, now I can envision a situation in which Zoisite survives his encounter with Sailor Venus meaning all the Shitennou would still be alive following the arrival of Sailor Venus. (I’m working under the assumption that Nephrite will also survive his fight with Jupiter in the next episode.) That means that Kunzite could still attack the Senshi by himself in Episode 8, which would serve as his solo outing (which all the Shitennou get), and all the Shitennou would witness the aftermath of that fight, meaning all the Shitennou would remember their past allegiance to Endymion.
In the manga when Kunzite regains his memories, Queen Beryl plants a stone in his forehead rendering him little more than a zombie. At this point the other Shitennou are already dead, so he goes up against the Sailor Senshi alone, giving Queen Beryl the opportunity to brainwash Mamoru into her service. Since Crystal seems to be taking a team vs. team approach, I speculate that all the Shitennou will survive to take part in that final battle. Think about it: it’s implied in the quote above that the Senshi will “stand out” as a consequence of the Shitennou’s very presence. So since this fight takes place after the Senshi regain their memories of the Silver Millennium, a confrontation with the Shitennou would take on much greater significance.
Also, considering that Kunzite is flat-out the only reason that Usagi and Mamoru are able to defeat Metalia at all, (HIT HER IN THE HEAD!) that leaves the door open to a bit of reconciliation between the two teams after the fact. Remember that after the Shitennou turned to stone, Mamoru kept their stones in his pocket, even when he was masquerading as Endou. When Usagi stabs him with the Moon Sword, the stones deflect the blade and save his life. What always boggles my mind is that Mamoru doesn’t ask Usagi to to try to resurrect the Shitennou, despite the fact that she goes on to use the Ginzuishou to revive the Senshi and everyone else that was killed during Metalia’s brief rampage. Hell, the selfless Usagi doesn’t even offer to try! I guess I’ve always chalked that up to the fact that the Shitennou’s bodies were destroyed and I guess the Ginzuishou can only revive a dead body, not create a new one.
Speaking on the topic of stones, the interview states:
By the way, the Shitennou were named after minerals and gemstones, which have their meanings just like flower languages. Each type of gemstone has many symbolism attached to them, some are referenced in the portrayals of the Shitennou in their past lives.
So what does that say about the Shitennou’s possible portrayals? I direct you to this lovely breakdown of each of the stone’s supposed healing properties which I saw on Stayka’s Dark Kingdom website probably about 10 years ago:
- Jadeite is a symbol of purity, courage, justice, mercy and wisdom. Spreads calm and helps to meditate. As a stone of love it gives more contentment and strengthens the personality.
- Nephrite helps against love magick and false friends. It protects from nightmares and helps to become more creative.
- Zoisite helps against insolence and wantonness and prevents thoughtless deeds. It harmonizes sexual lust and erotic feelings of the partners.
- Kunzite strengthens the ability to love, gives endurance and persistence. It shows inner blocks and helps to loosen them with discipline and perseverance. Kunzite helps to develop logical thought and intelligence.
Interesting possibilities to say the least…
But what does all this speculation do to inform what follows the Dark Kingdom arc? Since it’s all but certain that the latter half of Crystal will cover the Black Moon as well, why is the creative team putting the effort into making the Shitennou stand out a bit more and tie their very existence into the development of the Senshi?
'Cause I think the Shitennou are coming back.
I’ve always considered the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arcs to form one continuous story. Now, I know the manga tends to bleed one story arc right into the next one anyway, but in terms of a larger over-arching theme it makes sense: these two arcs comprise the fall and rebirth of the Silver Millennium. Even in mechanical terms the two arcs share similarities: the Dark Kingdom arc features several flashbacks to the Silver Millennium and the Black Moon arc features several flash-forwards to the 30th century. If you consider that the Ayakashi Sisters basically fill the role of youma in the Black Moon Arc, then you have the same amount of antagonists in Wiseman, Demande, Saphir, Esmeraude, and Rubeus. The Ginzuishou is once again being pursued, as well as a Princess in the form of the future princess, Chibi-Usa.
Now, I don’t expect the Shitennou to survive through the end of the Dark Kingdom arc. It would be FAR too complicated to work them into the rest of the story, especially since as the interview tells us the creative team “knows the ending” already. However, since we are getting to see the Shitennou during flashbacks to the Silver Millennium, I see no reason why we might not see them turn up again in a flash-forward during the Black Moon arc. It doesn’t need to be a huge deal or come with an episode’s worth of explanation as to why they’re there. It would just be a nice flourish if, as Kobayashi seems to indicate, there might be the possibility in the far-off future that whatever “deep involvement” they may have had with the Senshi in the past might come full-circle.
I’m reminded of a scene from the last episode of Sailor Moon R when Chibi-Usa returns home to the 30th century. She runs to the top of a grassy hill overlooking Crystal Tokyo and sees Neo-Queen Serenity, King Endymion, and the Senshi waiting for her. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Shitennou, ghostly or not, were standing behind their respective Senshi? Or perhaps flanking Endymion? If those computers can project King Endymion’s consciousness as a hologram / spirit, I don’t see why the Shitennou can’t get in on that action, too.
But that’s probably wishful thinking on my part. I’ll probably hold off on doing another one of these speculative posts until there’s something more substantial for my brain to gnaw on. Until then, enjoy the reviews and whatever else I happen to regurgitate onto my little corner of the interweb.
Elemental Hair: Aquamarine
Michiru’s hair is meant to evoke images of her marine element; her hair resembles both the ocean’s waves and (funnily enough) seaweed. Just like the sea’s colors are ever-changing, Michiru’s wavy hair has been shown to be a wide array of shades of blue-green, including aquamarine, teal, and turquoise.
Aquamarine is a very sophisticated and refreshing color. As the combination between blue and green, it retains the same calming effect of both colors. Aquamarine also represents femininity, water, emotional healing, calmness, soothingness, and protection. In addition, aquamarine is said to open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word, allowing one to express themselves clearly. Aquamarine is also said to heighten intuitive ability, allowing one to obtain spiritual growth.
Michiru’s hair color not only highlights her connection to the sea and her power over it, it also represents aspects of her personality. Not only is Michiru very feminine, calm, and elegant, she has a very developed sense of intuition and has no problems expressing herself, be it through words or art.
Happy Belated Birthday, Michiru Kaioh, my flawless lady!
Square used to have the most inventive, thought-provoking storylines…. Final Fantasy games were like high quality interactive fantasy+surrealist novels.
What happened, Square???? Why forsake great stories for shallow CGI and superfluous gameplay systems???
I’m most impressed at Final Fantasy 6 though — for the pure fact that the bad guys successful caused the End Of The World HALFWAY through the game, and you spend the rest of the game navigating through a post-apocalyptical world.
Also, clown bosses are always THE freakiest and the best.
I just love the fucking crazy backstories of the protagonists in the Final Fantasy series
Cecil was from the moon
Terra is an esper
Cloud faked his past memories and was even hinted to be a clone (he isn’t, but still)
Squall’s backstory had something to do with a closed time loop where every single one of his actions were all predetermined from the start
Zidane was part magical monkey from another world or something….
Tidus was an imaginary manifestation of people’s dreams…..
FF7 > FF6 > FF8 > FF10 > FF4 > FF9 > FF1 > FF2 > FF12 > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > FF13
The truth y’all.
1980s Workplace Computer Precautions
This is like an AOL Acid Trip.
I want these in my future work place
Well then, that escalated quickly…
lady of dreams | vast (x)
strange and beautiful | aqualung (x)
i’ve been watching your world from afar. i’ve been trying to be where you are, and i’ve been secretly falling apart, unseen
hundred | the fray (x)
it’s hard, i must confess. i’m banking on the rest to clear away, cause we have spoken everything everything short of i love you. and who’s to say it’s wrong and who’s to say that it’s not right where we should be for now
you’re all i have | snow patrol (x)
strain this chaos, turn it into light. i’ve got to see you one last night before the lions take their share, leave us in pieces, scattered everywhere. there is a darkness deep in you, a frightening magic i cling to. give me a chance to hold on, just give me something to hold on to
mountain and the sea | ingrid michaelson (x)
you call me a mountain, and i call you the sea. i’ll stand tall and certain and watch you swallow me. you can move me, if you want to. you can move a mountain. i will grow my own trees, while you follow the moon
travelling woman | bat for lashes (x)
hang on, traveling woman, don’t sacrifice your plan. cause it will come back to you before you lose it on the man. never fall in love with potential cause you can’t see with your own eyes. all the pretty faces and sorry words can take away your pride
junkyard | page france (x)
i was born to lie here patiently, be dragged on by the black star. and you were told to glow majestically and love until your hands bleed. oh my royalty, my hand goes out to you. you look painfully true, but i saw you cry like you used to laugh
one more night | stars (x)
take me like that, ruin it all then build it again. please my love, please, i’ll kill who you hate, take off that dress, you won’t freeze. he starts with her back cause that’s what he sees. when she’s breaking his heart, she still fucks like a tease. release to the sky. look him straight in the eye and tell him that now, that you wish he would die. you’ll never touch him again so take what you can, bleeding him empty one more night
love & war | immediate music (x)
outside | age of information (x)
believe that every drop you bleed could never ever satiate the hunger that eats away at me. what is gone can never change, and all your words just make this harder. i’m a faithless martyr who has lost so much along the way. these bloody hands cannot escape this, but i cannot take this anymore
i don’t know | starsailor (x)
see that poor girl with the glint in her eye. she could turn you that way if you’re willing to try. don’t you worry about your friends and the time they’re having. they are on the outside and they’re looking in. i don’t know what love is, but i think i had it
ashes and wine | a fine frenzy (x)
don’t know what to do anymore. i’ve lost the only love worth fighting for. i’ll drown in my tear-storming sea, that would show you, that would make you hurt like me. is there a chance? a fragment of light at the end of the tunnel? a reason to fight? is there a chance you may change your mind? or are we ashes and wine?
paralyzed | the cardigans (x)
this is where your sanity gives in and love begins. never lose your grip, don’t trip, don’t fall, you’ll lose it all. the sweetest way to die
betrayal and desolation | london symphony orchestra (x)
my favorite book | stars (x)
when everything breaks, you are the anchor that holds me. you can make my bed, i’ll fall into it, shattered but not lonely because i never knew a home, until i found your hands. when i’m weathered you come to me. you’re my best friend. I can read you you’re my favourite book
YES I FOUND IT. One of my favourite fanmixes ever, and in tumblr format too so I can reblog it.
First listened to it in 2010 in a Shitennou LJ and I still think it’s a really well-crafted, slick fanmix with choices of songs that matches my musical tastes.
'Lady of Dreams' by VAST, 'One More Night' by Stars and 'I Don't Know' by Starsailor are my fav tracks in here (although all the tracks chosen are great). They're perfectly haunting and perfectly suited for this pairing <3
Damn, Michael Jackson was such a great vocalist.
Even in his 40s his voice still stayed as powerful as his Thriller days.