Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Monster of the Week: Sailor Moon 13 & 14

Ep12 - None

Jadeite battles this episode without the assistance of Youma.

New Moon.  

Ep14 - Tesuni
Type - Youma
Sent by - Nephrite
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action
Stored within a tennis racket, Tesuni was draining Rui's energy.  At it's peak, Tesuni emerged from the tennis racket only to engage with Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen.

Old Moon.  She turned Sailor Moon into a giant tennis ball and that's all the points she earned from me.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ep. 16 - Cowbell of Happiness

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Shiawase no Kauberu" 
July 16, 1997
No duel (kind of)

Haha!  We're here!  This is beautiful!  Though interesting, this is episode airs close in date to Chik-Fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day.  Oh, and it begins with rehashing the fairy tale memories of Utena.

So we have Anthy staying up late, eating potato chips, watching some home shopping channel.  What are they selling that she just can't tear herself away?  A Sebastian Dior pendant.  You can tell by the Dior name that this is meant to be some high-class fancy stuff right here.  So why does Anthy care?
Because she's trolling.  

At the Kiryuu house, Nanami is looking stunning in some green and yellow gown of beauty.  Her wardrobe is perfect no matter that it's almost twenty years later. Her mini bees are gushing over how gorgeous it is too, Keiko is first to speak up which is relevant in a few episodes.

Oh, and her ring!  Oh, and her shoes!  Oh, and her earrings!  My fashionista baby is the best dressed.  I love how her dress gives her the shoulder-pad "large and in charge" look while flattering her completely.  Did they have freakin fashion experts consulted for Nanami's timeless beauty?

Of course, Nanami isn't entirely humble.  She's got a special pendant ticketed away that she's going to present as a big unveil to get more attention gushed on her.  It sounds evil but this is actually fairly developmentally appropriate behavior from a teenager.  I'm unique, no one else has experienced this before, please notice me as unique.  Nanami craves this attention and focus from her peers.

Back to the pendant that she received.  She doesn't talk about from who but we were already set up to Anthy's tv watching.  We all learn at the end of the episode that she bought the cowbell for her own cow named Nanami (haha, Anthy's so cheeky) but the show she was watching CLEARLY says Sebastian Dior in the beginning, not Cowstian Dior as the cowbell came from.  In conclusion, Anthy bought the tiny pendant knowing Nanami's personality to outshine her peers and followed it up with delivery of the cowbell.  All hail the troll queen.

Okay, so we have the setup of the pendant and now Juri enters the room cloaked in a necklace so dazzling, the animators employed Sailor Moon sparkle glitter magic to make it shine.  Seriously.  I think Ikuhara just grabbed some of the leftover glitter from Sailor Moon just for this.

Miki looks great and everyone in the room is captured (by the awful high-waisted purple slacks, what is wrong with you Juri).  Apparently her necklace is so awesome that everyone can't even see how horrible those slacks are.  Apparently it was a modeling gift.  But Juri, if you're a model then why are you wearing those pants?  You must know they're horrible.  Burn them.

The delivery of the cowbell.  Perfect timing.  Right after Nanami is feeling one upped.  And of course, not only is the name of the company a play on the original but so is the logo and everything so EVERYBODY thinks that it is Sebastian Dior.  

Nanami doesn't even look in the box before announcing to everyone to come and look.  The box is huge therefor must be filled with an awesomely gorgeous trinket is the logic here I suppose..  Oh Nanami, look before you leap into things...  

And she puts it on.  Right then and there and everyone knows what it is.  And no one says a word.  We even hear glass shattering like someone dropped their champagne looking at Nanami wearing that thing.  

But it doesn't stop there!  She KEEPS wearing it!  She showed it off at the party, now to show it off to anyone who might not have come.  This is how amazing I am.  *walks by wearing a cowbell in confidence*

Anthy's knitting for more trolling.  Have you ever knit anything?  A sweater like she's making can take a week and that's if all you do is knit.  Not like Anthy who also cleans and cooks and goes to school.  She has been knitting and PREPARING for this high-level of trolling about to be done.  Because oh, this isn't done yet!

But why Anthy?  What purpose does this serve End of the World?  This isn't for End of the World.  This is for Anthy.  Anthy's just messing with Nanami for fun.  Nanami has always had Anthy slapped around and this is Anthy's slap back.  Just like Saionji got slapped back in the curry episode.

Everyone is staring and talking about Nanami, which is what she wants so she keeps wearing the cowbell.  She doesn't see the attention as negative, she just sees attention.  This is actually a more common behavior from children than you would believe.  Children crave attention, many kids who are used to getting attention from negative behaviors won't see the difference like Nanami doesn't.  They're getting the attention and that's what they feel is more important than how they got the attention.  

Poor Tsuwabaki is just openly stating to Nanami what no one else her age has the guts to say, and he gets his opinion shut down simply because of his age.  Not because he's right and you're wearing a cowbell. 

Utena breaks and calls Nanami out in a very pushy manner.  She sounds like her guidance counselor when she would scold Utena on her uniform.  But we've seen what pushing your opinion on someone does.  The more you tell a teenager NOT to do something, the more drawn they are to doing it.  Nanami is this.  Don't tell Nanami to stop because it will only encourage her to keep going.  Especially since she doesn't carry much respect for Utena's opinion right now.  If her brother disapproved though....

Notice ChuChu drinking that bottle of milk?  Does Anthy actually milk her cow? I suppose.  If you're gonna troll, troll hard or go home.

And now for our "dueling song" as Nanami has a dream about her shadow being that of a cow and her brother treating her as such.  I think she recognizes how weird it is but she's so committed to the attention while afraid of the implications of wearing it all at the same time.  

Then she lets the dream become reality.  Not on purpose does her personality change, but I think the weight of her fears of wearing the cowbell actually has her depressed.  Change in appetite, lack of energy.  Everyone sees her more mellow personality as a positive thing but it really isn't.  So why does she keep wearing it?

And then the hair clips!  Aren't they so cute?  Nanami, please stop your self-destructive behavior.  You look tots adorbs but at what cost?

And then she goes out to eat flowers because Ikuhara.  I really don't know what else to say about that except she's finally taken things too far.

Shadow Girl C-Ko performs the tale of the belled cat.  Lying to others ends up hurting yourself in the end.  And isn't that what Nanami is doing?  She's so focused on impressing everyone that she's destroying herself.  "You reap what you sow."

And now, the reveal.  Understand that in Japanese, there is a word for cow.  Nanami honestly didn't realize that "cowbell" was something meant for "ushi" and learns what a cowbell really is.  Poor baby really didn't know.  

Then Anthy hands Utena the sweater.  The sweater that she made completely in the wrong season. The red sweater.  The icing on this cake.  

And here is our "duel" for this episode.  Rage cow Nanami versus Utena because Ikuhara.  If you only watch one episode of Utena, let it be this one.

I love how Juri can be so deep and beautiful while being so hypocritical at the same time.  You talk the talk but we don't see you walk the walk.

Then we meet cow Nanami because Anthy is a giant troll.  A giant troll who just ordered a Cowstian Dior nose ring for her cow Nanami.  

And judging by these faces, it went to the "wrong" Nanami again and she's wearing it!  It's like watching teenagers make the same stupid decision again and again thinking "did you not just learn your lesson last time?"
No.  Never.  
This episode is important to remind the viewer that these are teenagers, these are kids.  We go through some pretty intense things in this show but don't forget, these are not adults.  These are children.

Does it suit me?

Screenshots from the lovely ohtori.nu.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Myths About Being a Convention Volunteer

Reflecting on yesterday's post of my excitement from attending my first convention volunteer meeting (yes, I still get that excited about helping the con) I thought about some things people have told me when I talk to them about volunteering for the convention.

If I miss a meeting, I'll be removed as a volunteer.
I really don't know where this even came from.  While the more meetings that you attend, the better informed you will be..  We're all people with lives outside of the convention.  We have families, work, and other obligations.  If you miss a meeting, you will not be removed as a volunteer.  It is important to contact your department head to have them fill you in on what you might have missed.

Volunteering for a convention won't do anything for your career.
Not true.  The people that you volunteer with and meet are expanding your networks.  Not only that, these people can be professional references able to voice their opinion of what you are able to contribute. 

There's nothing useful that I can contribute.
Oh baby, don't be like that.  There are so many departments that have so many sub-departments.  All of these departments have a number of duties delegated to them that we can find something that you can do.

I signed up for one department and think that I would be better in another but now I'm stuck in this department forever.
Not at all.  If you're working in one department but start to see that you might do better in another, speak up.  This isn't prison, this is not a life sentence.  Convention volunteering is meant to be enjoyable while being helpful to the convention.  If you aren't happy where you are, say something and get to a place that you enjoy and can bring the most benefit to the convention.

I don't get to actually experience the convention.
You will get to see what the panels and events are before anyone else.  You will set your own schedule of what hours work for you.  

Only super nerds volunteer.
Haha... No.  You don't have to be an expert in comics, anime, or gaming to participate.  There are people of all kinds and that makes for most of the fun.  You get to meet many people and (my favorite) make many new friends from the experience.  

I'm not a people person, there will be too many people.
There are many departments that don't see the light of day.  You could work IT or help cook the food to feed the volunteers.  You don't have to be in a department that puts you in the middle of a large crowd if that makes you more comfortable.

It will be too time consuming.
Again, this is all about working around you.  You don't have to sign up for more time than you are able to give.  If you have to go to your grandmother's birthday dinner that night, just let someone know.  

I won't get to have any fun.
I personally get to think that as a volunteer that you open the doors to extra amounts of fun.  Not only do you get to be part of the fun of the convention going on, but you get to be part of the fun that happens among the volunteers.  

The convention has nothing that I'm interested in.
Then we REALLY need you!  We need you to tell us what you think the convention is missing so that we can try and include your interest.  Your contribution of your interests are vital to the convention's success.

If you haven't signed up to volunteer for MGA Con, please visit Heroes and Villains Comic Shop and fill out a volunteer application.  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


PDM1 – The child will practice healthy and safe habits.
PDM1.4c Consistently follows basic safety rules and anticipates consequences of not following safety rules.
WSO: Follows basic safety rules with reminders. 

Activities: What Happens If?  Have a dice block with various situations on it (i.e. Running in the halls, hitting someone, etc).  The students roll the dice and explain the consequence to the action displayed.

Books: Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill by: Jamie Harper


SED4 – The child will develop relationships and social skills with adults.
SED4.4c Shows affection to familiar adults by using more complex words and actions.
WSO: Interacts easily with familiar adults.

Activities: Staff Appreciation Days.  Nurses, administrators, and more.  Create class cards, banners, murals, or more to express your gratitude.

We Missed You.  Teachers get sick, take personal days, and go to professional learning. Planned or unplanned, your students can create something for their missing teacher.

Books: Miss Bindergarten Stays Home From Kindergarten by: Joseph Slate
The Biggest Valentine Ever by: Steven Kroll


CLL9 – The child will use writing for a variety of purposes.
CLL9.4d Writes some letters of the alphabet. 
WSO: Uses letter-like shapes, symbols, and letters to convey meaning.

Activities: Musical Letters.  Letter tiles are placed on the floor as students circle with dry erase boards.  When the music stops, they sit by a letter and write it on their dry erase boards.

Glow Writing.  Have words or letters printed on paper.  Turn off the lights and use a black light to write over the letters using a highlighter.


CD-CP1 – The child will demonstrate awareness of cause and effect.
CD-CP1.4c Draws conclusions based on facts and evidence.
WSO: Makes meaning from explorations, and generates ideas and solutions based on their own observations of the natural and human- made worlds.

Activities: Read and Do.  Instead of reading a science book after an experiment to explain what happened, read the book prior to your experiment.  This gives students facts to refer to during the process.

Books: any number of non-fiction should assist in providing students factual information to draw conclusions from.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monster of the Week: Sailor Moon 11& 12

Ep11 - Mooridu
Type - Youma
Sent by - Jadeite 
Defeated by - Moon Tiara Action & Fire Soul

She looks like a princess for a theme park.  She's so sneaky with her illusions too!  Her stone poison is so cool. Then, she turn almost doll-like to reveal her Youma-visage.

Waning Quarter.  I adore this youma.  Her design is so clever, how she transforms from sweet to evil is so cool.  And her voice sounds so cute the whole time!

Ep12 - Tetiz

Type - Youma
Sent by - Jadeite 
Defeated by - Fire Soul
Under the guise of an entertainer on a cruise/first-mate of the ship.  She kind of does it all, even stuff the intimate moment blossoming between disguised Usagi and Jadeite.

Waning Gibbous.  She's pretty, she's sassy, and is it just me or is there some... tension between her and Jadete?  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ep. 15 - The Landscape Framed by Kozue

This episode analysis(musing) contains spoilers.  This episode analysis skims over topics and doesn't go into huge detail because each detail is really worth it's own post.  This analysis does not cover every detail to analyze but ones that I have chosen to discuss.  Also, these are my opinions and nothing official.  You do not have to accept or agree with any of this.

"Sono Kozue ga Sasu Fuukei" 
July 9, 1997
Duel song:  Kakuu Kakokei Majinai 
Duel theme: attache - Attachment

Miki and his musical world.  I love how when things break his innocent bubble you get the piano twitter with the visual of the sheet music.  

I'm just going to say how much I do love Kozue here.  The way the character carries herself and design, she is very sensual just in that alone without even the implication of her dialogue with others.  Really quite different from how Miki carries himself.

We see Kozue bring in her boy toy closer to whisper gossip in his ear as Miki gets approached by creepy music teacher which catches Kozue's attention.  Kozue's game is so strong that she sees what that music teacher is doing with her brother and just shoves her toy away.  She doesn't have time for that because her brother's purity is in threat.  

I love her blank state as Miki innocently smiles to the music teacher.  Almost a hint of "you are so innocent that you really don't even see it."  Almost a hint of wishing that she could still have such innocence.  That innocence must be protected.  We think Juri has some ferocity but really, tred in on Miki's innocence and Kozue is a beast.

Touga is moping to some gloomy tunes, still refusing to go to school, Nanami is even begging that he at least eat something.  His reclusive behavior is really weighing heavy on her but wow, she steps up to take on his duty as student council president.  If she can't get him to leave the room and take care of himself, she's going to go out and tend to his duties in his absence.  Go Nanami!

As Mamiya!Anthy pulled the sword from Kanae's heart, she suggests that they use those close to student council members to utilize their heart swords to defeat Utena.  

Kozue by the pool, grasping handfuls of water yet never being able to keep it within her hands.  Just like her and her brother.  They keep grasping to what was, never really being able to hold it.

Her "friend" that asks for Kozue to introduce her to her brother to add another boyfriend.  Oh the look Kozue gives her!  You want to ask me to introduce you to my brother so you can date him and another boy? Not worthy!  

Miki is so adorably awkward about doing something as simple as asking Anthy to play the piano with him.  Utena, again trying to do what she thinks is right, drags him upstairs and just revels in his adorkableness as he stares at his lap bashfully.  

It's interesting when he says Chu-chu's name wrong and Anthy says that Choo-Choo is cute too that he jumps to agreeing and how they have such similar tastes.  He places her on such a high pedestal that he really creates connections out of anything.

Flashes to the music teacher in blasts of orange.  The scene is distorted and not as clear as any of scene we've seen animated because we really aren't part of what is happening here.  Or is it from Kozue's perspective?  The anger and rage almost blinding her vision as she delivers her punishment upon this teacher for his actions towards Miki.

Juri talks to Kozue about the incident.  She knows the power play of intimidation of teachers.  We see them opposite one another; one on left while the other on right, one looking out while one looks in, one looking up as the other looks down.  Two intimidating figures who go about it in different ways and for different reasons.

The milkshakes in the M and K glasses.  If ever there were a symbol for childhood innocence in this series, this is it.  Kozue saying that she can't partake in it, Miki still being able to drink his.  I stupidly love the symbolism of these milkshakes.  In a way, her not drinking it is a simple way of her trying to hold on to it.  Miki quickly drank his cup empty as Kozue's remains full.  In a way, she hasn't lost her innocence fully but keeps it within herself just as she keeps her milkshake in the glass.  She can't lose it if she doesn't let it out.

Miki and Anthy playing The Sunlit Garden while Utena meets Kozue.  Kozue asks about Anthy and her eyes turn the same as they did with that teacher.  Beware this girl.

Nanami announces the egg speech on the ascent to the student council chambers but the words are not exact.  She is trying to fill her brother's shoes but she doesn't understand as much as he did about what is going on.  

The fan.  The fan that turns with Nanami basically that this meeting has no purpose, she's just blowing hot air up their pinwheels.  She doesn't even realize that what she is saying about taking in the role of student council president isn't true.  She's taking on the title but the role of student council president really was close with Ends of the World, a connection that she does not possess.

Now we are faced with the conversation anyone with siblings has ever had with someone with no siblings.  Utena gushes about her idea of what it's like to have a sibling and Akio gives his perspective.  His is more an opinion of Anthy, "you don't really think about it and it doesn't really serve any purpose."  And Utena doesn't even react.  Girl, he just called your BFF/lover useless and you didn't catch it!  

I honestly think that what happened in the music room was innocently cute.  For being so detached from Miki, she watches over his napping body and gives a sweet kiss to his cheek as though she were a little kid.  But being teenagers, and spotted by Anthy, she becomes a frightened animal.  

And Miki's immediate snap awake when Anthy spoke.. How asleep was he?  I doubt he thought anything negative about his sister giving a sisterly kiss but I can't help but to think of the movie here. How long were you awake?  Were you always awake?

In the elevator, she clings to the sheet music.  What is happening with Kozue and Miki isn't that complicated which is why the elevator ride goes more quickly than others.  She isn't battling her feelings for Miki or her anger towards Anthy.  She is direct and so is her elevator ride.  

How beautifully she plays the piano when she doesn't hold herself back.  Note when Miki enters the room, Kozue is cast in shadow before fully displaying her.  Miki was becoming so enrapt with Anthy that when he first entered the music room, there's no way he could have seen his sister there.  When she fully displayed, he was pulled toward her once more.  

Miki's sword pulling is the most gentle of those from this arc.  Kozue bears no ill will towards her brother, she most definitely does not wish him pain.  She wishes to protect him and his innocence.

Utena's dueling invitation is posted publicly on the announcement board next to exam postings.  This is reflective of Kozue's bold personality.  She isn't going to sneak a note into Utena's locker, that just isn't her style.

The shadow girl play here is reflective of the invitation placement.  The waitress talks as though she is addressing many but there is really only one person there that she is talking to.  

On the desks we see Miki's full milkshake glass.  This is what Kozue duels for, her brother's innocence.  And Anthy drinks it!  She picks up glass after glass during the duel and drinks.  As if to say, you can't keep it safe.

Did you notice?  The body in the coffin is not just one, but twins within it!  Something so subtle that you could miss if you blink but they give it to us anyway.

Bedtime in the Koaru house as Miki gives his sister a goodnight kiss.  You still have your brother, sweet Kozue.

Choo... Choo...

Screenshots from the lovely ohtori.nu (except Kozue glaring at her friend, Kozue and Juri, the milkshakes glasses, the sheet music on the elevator floor, and the twins in the coffin).