Jet Wolf and Act 20
The manga and I are repeatedly clashing, and so instead of full liveblogs, I’m reading each manga act (mostly) silently, and then writing up summaries at the end. I’ll be very candid, which could well include criticism and snark about the manga either wholesale or in details. If that isn’t a thing you feel like reading, please skip this post!
“Papa!” Chibi-Usa cries, as her hands slide through the hologram. With a sigh, she adds, “Well, that’s another thousand years of therapy.” King Endymion doesn’t even try to instinctively hug her back. King Endymion is a fucking douche.
He doesn’t do emotions or leadership or fashion choices well, but god damn, this boy can drop some mad plot, and he wastes no time in getting to what’s really important: TWENTY-ONE STRAIGHT PAGES OF EXCRUCIATING EXPOSITION I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING I JUST FUCKING COUNTED THEM
We all know the basic story here, and thank god for that, because I can skip a literal third of this issue without having to reread it. If you’re familiar with the anime over the manga, what you basically need to know is even in the future, the Senshi are denied literally any modicum of agency and effectiveness. They don’t get to be the ones who used their powers to protect NQS from the Black Moon, it’s just a thing the ginzuishou does. The ginzuishou is more proactive and useful than Usagi’s four guardians and best friends. AS ALWAYS I APPLAUD THE BEST AND MOST INTERESTING CHOICES
And remember the cool shit where the Crystal Tokyo Inners combined their powers to shield the palace from the unrelenting attack of like six million UFOs, but were trapped and unable to do anything else or risk the shield dropping and everyone dying?
Nope! Just unconscious. In one hit. They don’t even get to be plot holograms (plolograms?) like Mamoru.
AWESOME THE MANGA IS DEFINITELY THE EXPRESSION OF FRIENDSHIP AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT I WAS HOPING FOR
We also get a more manga Crystal Tokyo backstory, about how Usagi became Neo Queen Serenity at 22. I CAN ONLY ASSUME TAKEUCHI NEVER ACTUALLY MET A 22 YEAR OLD. I’m also not super convinced that Takeuchi didn’t settle on 22 years old because she thought that was when you were the most smoking hot. Seriously, this could just be a translation thing, but my copy puts huge emphasis on how everyone looks so young, even going so far as to say that Usagi’s “figure has remained the same”. Given the flashes of extreme physical shallowness we’ve seen from Takeuchi in the manga so far, I’m just not unconvinced Usagi became queen at 22 because OH MY GOD COULD YOU IMAGINE HER IN HER THIRTIES OR FORTIES OR EVEN FIFTIES FOREVER DEATH WOULD BE PREFERABLE.
(At fifty currently, I assume she’s gotten a bit better about that now, but yeah.)
Anyway, I ignore all this and encourage you to do the same. BUT WAIT ENDYMION STILL HAS SEVERAL HUNDRED PAGES OF SHIT TO TELL US. He goes on to say stuff that got me all pissed off, and you can see my rant here.
So we get backstory on Planet Nemesis, ABOUT WHICH I TAKE SOME ISSUE. More talking, more talking, Minako drifts in and out and begins imagining she is the star of her own telenovella. “Minarita, Duchess of Loooove.” She has thrilling adventures and many lovers, and the Senshi are there, and every week she’s a favoured guest on Sabado Gigante.
Usagi ruins it all by doing her best Marty McFly impression.
Endymion explains that “you can’t exist in two places in two forms at the same time”. When asked why he didn’t bring this up three hours ago before starting his lecture, he shrugs and says “I’m a douche.”
ATTENTION PLEASE. NOW IS THE TIME WHEN JET WOLF IS GOING TO MENTION SOMETHING THAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE FOR LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE INVOLVED IN THIS STORY TO HAVE GIVEN TWO SHITS ABOUT. ATTENTION PLEASE.
Nobody asks if Rei, Ami, and Mako might be protected against this. Nobody asks if they should maybe get a move on with the rescuing if this is a risk they’re facing. Nobody shows concern about how Usagi going Sue Storm within twenty minutes might mean Rei – kidnapped now for the past six issues – is already dead.
SORRY SORRY I KEEP STUBBORNLY CARING ABOUT THEM I KNOW MY BAD
Mamoru pledges to protect Chibi-Usa because Endymion is a hologram and also a douche. But Endymion went three entire seconds without explaining something, and so now has to tell everyone all about Sailor Pluto. I bet Endymion has a Reddit account. If he’s technically a computer program, can’t we just switch him off? “Sorry, bud, already tried,” Minako informs me with a sad shake of her head.
I just noticed Endymion The Hologram somehow takes a Time Key from Pluto and hands it to Usagi. SO HE CAN HAVE CORPOREAL FORM HE JUST FUCKING PHASED OUT SO CHIBS COULDN’T HUG HIM AND HE CHOSE TO NOT HUG HER IS HE SEASON SEVEN GILES WHAT THE FUCK WHY ARE YOU SUCH A FUCKING DOUCHE DO YOU NEED TO SEND NIGHTMARES BACK INTO THE PAST IS THAT YOUR OUTLET WHAT
They pop back to their time, and Mamoru says he’ll take Chibs home, and as you’d expect, Usagi handles this is a completely mature and reasonable way, having learned from her hasty accusations and ensuing make-out session last issue.
BUT WHERE WOULD BE THE DRAMA IN THAT I ASK YOU
YES I CAN’T IMAGINE WHY HE WOULD PREFER THE COMPANY OF THE TRAUMATIZED EIGHT YEAR OLD MANAGING SOMEHOW TO THROW LESS TANTRUMS POINT MADE USAGI
That night, Minako looks out of her window, wonders where her friends are, and renews her vow to rescue them. “You can’t leave me to deal with this shit by myself for the next thousand years, fuck THAT.”
Morning comes, and Chibs has disappeared. Turns out she ran off to the Gate of Time. Pluto longs for the days when she could read her trashy romance novels without getting interrupted every other century. Chibs wants to stay and hang out with Pluto, but then somehow wanders into Crystal Tokyo and the palace. YOU HAVE ONE FUCKING JOB PLUTO AND I HAVE TO SAY YOU ARE REALLY KIND OF SHIT AT IT
Chibs wanders around the palace and finally comes to The Creepy Dead Body Room (WHY DO YOU HAVE THAT ROOM) complete with body display slabs and–
NO OKAY REALLY WHY DO YOU HAVE THIS ROOM AND WHY IS IT SET UP WHY WAS IT READY TO GO AT ANY TIME IF YOU ALL LIVE FOR A THOUSAND YEARS
And perhaps my larger question of all: WHO THE FUCK PUT YOU ALL THERE
IF ONLY TINY KITTEN AND SMALL LADY SURVIVED THE ATTACK WHO PUT YOU ALL THERE
Over to the Black Moon, where Rubeus is all “peace, baby, mellow out and be groovy”. But Esmeraude doesn’t want to be groovy, Esmeraude wants to KILL.
Specifically she wants to kill Chibi-Usa, and honest to god at this point if I were to make a list of characters I’d like to see killed, Chibs wouldn’t even rank. Usagi, Minako, and Mamoru show up (somewhere, Pluto flips her book open again with a VERY aggrieved sigh), and once again, Usagi’s attack fails to work. Guess whose does, though! GO ON GUESS YOU NEVER EVER EVER WILL.
So Mamoru kills Esmeraude, and while she did rank above Chibi-Usa on my kill list, I still feel empty inside. Excited at the opportunity to explain YET MORE SHIT, Endymion vomits some words about the ginzuishou and how it can only work in the past and that’s why Usagi’s power isn’t working. Something like that. I’m really just so beyond caring at this point, whatever.
Dimande shows up, captures Usagi, and oh good, it’s THAT time again.