Tuesday’s Top 5: Sailor Moon Episode Villains

While I was a big fan of the 1990’s Sailor Moon, I remember how useless some of the individual episode villains were (and how ridiculous some of their costumes looked). I guess when you are a throw-a-way villain of the week it doesn’t really matter. Still, here’s my list of top 5 Sailor Moon episode villains. My criteria here are that they had to be introduced and killed in the same episode, they came from season 1 of the original 1990’s anime, and they made me actually remember them. As an added bonus, their outfit had to be totally ridiculous (though that more or less goes without saying).

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week: Murid (because of her dream or illusion ability) and Petasos (because she looks ridiculous).

Number 5: Ramua

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Early in the series, Serena and Ami are investigating some cursed clock and they end up encountering Ramua who apparently has the ability to control time.  What’s interesting is that while Sailor Moon gets transformed into a child at one point, Ramua doesn’t just cause her to die of old age instantaneously which is what I would think an effective villain would do at that point in time. Anyway, Ramua makes the list because of her striking facial features, and because they make such a big deal later on about Sailor Pluto being the guardian of time and yet here’s a villain playing with it like it is nothing.

Number 4: Garoben

Garoben isn’t exactly spectacular as a villain and her appearance is pretty cliché, though that weapon attached to her hand looks pretty deadly. The reason she’s on the list is because she was the first villain who made me realise even as a younger viewer that Sailor Moon wasn’t your typical girl’s cartoon. She literally grabs Ami by the head and shoves her face at the computer screen. That kind of hands on violence was almost unheard of in 90’s shows aimed at young girls. Whenever I think monster of the week, Garoben is one of the faces that immediately comes to mind.

Number 3: Cameran

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Not entirely sure if I got the name right and googling this one got me more confused as I saw more variations. While she was a later villain in the story and wasn’t particularly noteworthy, except for the part where she foolishly zapped herself with her own power which kind of makes her memorable, Cameran is on the list for the sheer ridiculousness of her design. What is with those shoulders? I honestly had to wonder if she would actually be able to even move her arms properly.

Number 2: Blizzar

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Okay, take in that outfit for a moment. Are we actually supposed to take a villain literally wearing snowmen that look like they are screaming in pain seriously? Despite that, Blizzar was actually a pretty decent villain of the week. She transformed from a skier who was very fit so actually had some good moves on her. Plus the scouts were separated so it wasn’t like they could gang up on snow-ball girl.

Number 1: Shakoukai

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I don’t know if it is the fact that she was a villain who didn’t resort to screaming or empty threats, or whether it was because she’s covered in clam-shells that somehow shoot clay, but Shakoukai (or the English name: Polite Society) was always one of my favourite villains. I liked that even mid-battle she felt the need to correct Sailor Moon’s grammar and was so upset by getting conflicting commands she literally just stopped fighting and waited for Sailor Moon to heal her. All and all, she was an interesting villain though not perhaps the most effective.

Okay, that was my list of Sailor Moon monster of the week villains. Who would you have chosen from Sailor Moon or who is your favourite monster of the week villain from any anime?


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Bungo Stray Dogs Episode 24

Review:

Apparently this show wants a season three as once again we’ve introduced a new villain in the dying minutes of this season. The thing is, after how unsatisfying this final episode was, I wonder how many viewers will stick through yet another season of messy tone and inconsistent story telling? And why is everyone celebrating? The whale dropped right in front of the city. I’m not great at science but something tells me that if the Moby Dick falling was going to destroy the entire city that dropping it in the water should have caused massive waves and some severe tremors still heaping piles of damage on the city. But no, we get a splash and move on. All and all this was a less than thrilling conclusion to the season and right now I’m kind of annoyed that I got my hopes up for anything more earlier this season. Oh well. Done now. I’ll write up a whole series review soonish.

However, one positive point, I liked Kyouko’s moments in this episode. It was nice her character arc finally got some closure.

Bungo Stray Dogs is available on Crunchyroll.

Izetta: The Last Witch Episode 5

Review:

It always goes so much better when the established villains have someone with a brain on their side. It makes for intrigue and actual suspense as you wonder when everything is going to get turned on its head. After the disaster of an episode that was episode 4 (okay, comparatively to other shows it wasn’t that bad but compared to the other episodes in this series it was pretty terrible), episode 5 kicks things into high gear as we establish the witch as a fighting force to be reckoned with. And of course, we knew that the ‘my power only works in certain places’ was going to be exploited as a point of tension (though I didn’t expect it to be exploited in the very next episode). There were some great developments during this episode and the energy from the first couple of episodes was back.

Jonas (glasses wearing soldier who apparently is bullet proof) is also back and he is definitely going to need some plot armour in the next episode or he may very well be the tragic victim of the series.

Izetta is available on Crunchyroll.

Tales of Zestiria the X Episode 12

Review:

Well, aren’t we all glad of second season announcements. Except that it leaves us with pretty much no resolution. Okay, Alisha is fine. A bit too fine given how much blood she lost. You would think it would take her longer to be up and bouncing around but at least she didn’t die.

Actually, my main complaint coming out of this will be the Lord of Calamity. Clearly he has never read a story in his life because otherwise he would know that any villain that lets the hero go (in order for them to become hope before being crushed) has just raised their own death flag. To be honest, it is a lame reason to let someone live and doesn’t make any sense from a self-preservation point of view no matter how arrogant a villain is supposed to be. The only purpose of such declarations is to delay a confrontation the hero can’t yet win and why would any self-respecting villain give the hero a chance to win?

Tales of Zestiria the X is available on AnimeLab.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love Episode 3

Review:

There’s something about the deadpan delivery of some of the lines in this show that just makes me laugh. Sometimes the lines aren’t even particularly funny and it’s the same every episode. One of the members of the Earth Defense Club will say something that is either beyond stating the obvious or is entirely left field of the main concern but they’ll say it in just the right tone to get me giggling.

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Yeah, questioning someone’s mental health isn’t particularly funny but in this episode it worked quite well as a running joke and the character in question most certainly had it coming.

I found episode 3 a vast improvement on episode 2, probably due to the reduced presence of the villainous twins (though they did make their presence felt) and the back to formula approach of the Defense Club just kind of trying to get through the day without too much fuss when aliens and weird monsters (or being forced into doing a recital which somehow became play) ruin their day.

Cute High Earth Defense Club Love is available on Crunchyroll.

Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto Episode 8

Review:

They put a scar on Hayabusa’s face. I’m not getting over that for awhile.

In the meantime, we now visit the cultural festival as we continue through our clichéd school events with a Sakamoto twist. This episode came dangerously close to having a plot and unlike previous ones, we didn’t win the villain over by the end. Some of the classmates also got a bit more time this episode to actually be people and not just squealing fan girls.

By the way, I was right. Sakamoto is definitely an alien.

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Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto is available on Hanabee.

Trigun Series Review

Overview:

Two insurance agents, Meryl and Milly, are sent to attempt to minimize the damages caused by Vash the Stampede (who is apparently a Humanoid Typhoon). Every town Vash visits is pretty much destroyed and because of that a massive bounty has been placed on his head. Only, once they catch up with Vash they kind of realise that it is the bounty hunters and circumstances beyond Vash’s control causing the problems.

There is definitely more to the story and it is a great science fiction, but I’m not going to include any spoilers so I’ll move on to the review.

review:

I had to wonder when I first started watching this series what all the fuss had been about. It was a not so well drawn, cliché comedy with a main character whose hair just kind of made me want to pour a bucket of water on his head.

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Really, really, glad I didn’t stick with my first impulse on this anime.

Yep, it starts out as a screwy comedy with a character who hops around in the desert, dodging bullets like Daffy Duck, and B Grade villains who really need to learn the meaning of restraint but don’t seem to offer any genuine tension.

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But somehow, after you get to the end of the series, you realise this show couldn’t have started any other way. Vash the Stampede is one of those shows where you don’t even know where the tone changed, but by the end of the series you are left feeling you’ve just watched a dramatic masterpiece. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but for something that starts the way it does, the character development and the way the plot is revealed just work so well. There isn’t a moment where you think, okay now it will get serious. It’s just that the blend of comedy and drama in each episode shifts more and more to the drama end of the spectrum while still holding onto some of the comedic elements and you don’t even realise its happening.

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Part of that transition comes because a lot of the story is filtered through Meryl’s perception of Vash and it takes her awhile to a) recognise who actually is Vash and b) begin to understand that there is more to Vash than the goofy persona he deliberately chooses to portray. Meryl’s growth as a character and her increasing empathy for Vash work well as a frame for so much of the story. Because, like Meryl, the audience is coming in to this half-way through.

Vash has a very complicated back story and while I’m still not entirely convinced by the seemingly subjective amnesia or the overall villains plot or even some of the twists that lead us to the conclusion, it didn’t matter while watching. I was engrossed by these characters as they slowly revealed themselves.

I do want to talk about Wolfwood though.

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He’s an interesting character. Like Vash, he plays the fool far too well, though his facade has a lot more chinks in it than Vash’s. More importantly, Wolfwood get’s the distinct role of playing a character while knowing he isn’t convincing anyone but pretends he doesn’t know that he isn’t convincing them. It’s interesting to watch given the animation isn’t amazing and yet Wolfwood’s nuanced expressions and the subtle (and sometimes less than subtle) shifts are well used to show us that he is well aware his antics aren’t convincing and yet he’s enjoying the chance to just play for awhile.

Far and away Wolfwood is my favourite character of the series because of his similarities to Vash, and yet the distinct path he chooses. And they use the contrast well. While they both play the fool, at the end of the day, Vash is an idealist whereas Wolfwood is firmly grounded in reality. Which is probably why the outcomes for these characters vary so deeply.

So should you watch Trigun?

Absolutely.

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It’s funny and heartbreaking and has fast paced action followed by some excellent characterisation. It builds a rich world where humans fight for survival and shows the history behind the current circumstances. Characters respond in not necessarily realistic ways, but in consistent ways to the conflicts surrounding them and there are some very cool characters who will appear throughout the series. While the villains are of the over-the-top and bad for the sake of it nature, the hero is also good for the sake of it so it kind of balances out and ultimately the story isn’t about who is good and who is bad but about choosing your own path.

That, and there’s a lot of gun fights and some fairly great weapons to admire.I love Vash’s sunglasses and coat but really would love to fix his hairstyle.

Have you watched Trigun? What were your thoughts?

 

My Hero Academia Episode 13

Review:

This episode brings the fight to a conclusion and allows the main villains that we’ve met to escape to plot their return in season 2. What it doesn’t do is give any of the students a real purpose for being there other than the occasional throw away comment and being the general awe-struck audience. Admittedly, doing anything more with the students would have made this episode a cluttered mess but bringing in all the hero teachers (most of whom we haven’t seen before) to mop up at the end just kind of made the students feel like a side-show when they’re the ones we’ve been following for over half the season.

I enjoyed this, but I went in expecting no resolution given all the announcements about a season 2. I’ll do a full season review later.

My Hero Academia is available on AnimeLab.

My Hero Academia Episode 12

Review:

At the end of episode 11 All Might showed up and this episode continues directly on. The fight is amazing and given what we know about All Might, full of unexpected tension. That said, the fight is literally the only thing that happens this episode as well as some ramblings from the villain about the basic understanding of what makes an act heroic or villainous but this is quickly shot down by All Might and we kind of just get back to hitting each other really hard. I am optimistic for the final episode and really would like to see Midoriya in action one last time (whether or not I get this remains to be seen).

My Hero Academia is available on AnimeLab.

Assassination Classroom Episode 45

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this. The first half of the episode was kind of ho-hum. Yes we had an epic battle going on but that isn’t why I watch the show and the students were totally sidelined leaving little if any of the usual tone of the show. Plus the villain never shuts up. Seriously, kill someone. Don’t talk about killing them. Can we please add that to a bumper sticker and make it mandatory for all villains.

The half-way point though and everything after, even though it continued being a battle, re-engaged me and while it is all a little trite, this episode ends as it kind of has to. But you know, we still have a giant lazer thing in space that no one seemed to want to mention.

Assassination Classroom is available on AnimeLab.