Thought-Controlled Universe

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Usagi and Minako are watching skating on TV, and Luna and Artemis suddenly mention that figure skating was a big thing in Moon Kingdom culture. We promptly cut to Kunzite announcing that he’s going to use that to attract and identify Sailor Moon.

Given the canon explanation for why none of these people are a hundred percent sure what they’re doing on their best day, this is actually pretty believable. One of them has an experience that recalls a memory, and when it arrives, the Silver Crystal’s ongoing system-restore process copies that packet and uses the keywords to do a quick-and-dirty targeted restore on everyone else’s memories of that topic. Boom, collective mnesia.

I wonder if that’s ever happened to them before. Like, Usagi starts talking about the cherry in her sundae, and then suddenly Luna remembers how the Moon Kingdom got cherries shipped over from Earth because the trees wouldn’t grow there, and the next day Jadeite is giving out free samples of energy-draining cherry desserts at the supermarket and Sailor Moon has to beat up a cherry youma.

But now that she’s starting to like figure skating, I wonder if she’s finally aware of what a real princess should be like.

Girls, you need to get Artemis a dictionary.

Then, when he says shit like this, you’ll have a nice convenient blunt object handy. >_>

Huh. Apparently immediately after the ski trip episode, Sailor Moon has… a figure skating episode.

That feels weird to me. The structure of the conflict in each episode is usually pretty consistent, but the central themes have always been really varied, so seeing two winter sports ones in a row is jarring.

If you like urban fantasy stories, complex female characters, interesting family dynamics, snappy narration, lots of mysteries, and/or crazy superpowers, I still recommend you check out Corresspondence from the Goddess, a serial fiction on Tumblr by my friend mrnelson007. He’s been updating it once a week without fail for almost two years now.

As a longtime reader, I can tell you that there’s never been a better time to try this story. Not only has the author added a convenient index page to help you get started, but nearly two years of weekly updates means it’s almost time for entry #100, and I assure you shit is getting very real. From my reaction to the latest update, in an IM conversation with the author:

Superhero comics have a long tradition of hella expository dialogue. Partly they get it from being among the first commercial comics and thus coming from writers who weren’t sure yet what their artists were capable of- but partly they get it from science fiction, and from wanting the reader to be informed enough to guess what happens next despite the fantastic story elements. If the reader knows what the hero can do and what they can’t, they’re better equipped to connect with the story- they can form ideas about what the characters should be doing, and that lets the writer reward them for being right or shock them with a surprise reveal.
Not so with villains- or indeed with anyone who isn’t the subject of the audience’s emotional connection to the story. Nobody goes through life with a third person omniscient narrator, and very few people talk to their opponents when they’ve just won a fight, let alone during one. Letting the reader know what’s going on is fine, but describing everything in detail, whether the protagonist knows about it or not, ruins your ability to do “oh shit” effectively- and in a story where your protagonist can already do things beyond any mortal man, “oh shit” is a powerful and necessary tool.
The ending of this segment is a brilliant example of how “oh shit” should be done, particularly in an action scene. We only know what Lydia knows- and in this moment, what Lydia knows more than anything is that she’s badly uninformed. That, more than the specifics of the surprise, is what makes me want the next installment NOW… and that is exactly what you were going for.

  • Fred: Hey Ron. Knock, knock.
  • Ron: Who's there?
  • George: Yuno.
  • Ron: Yuno who?
  • Fred & George: DON'T CALL HIM THAT! Fear of the name leads to fear of the thing itself!
  • ...
  • Ron: Hey Perce, listen to this. Knock, knock.
  • Percy: Who's there?
  • Ron: Yuno.
  • Percy: What? Come off it, Ron. No I don't. Who's there?
  • Ron: /facepalm

If you want to write a story about how Superman’s vast powers and alien origins make him someone normal people should be afraid of, I’m not going to tell you to stop. All I want you to do is acknowledge the character whose long history and core concept made your story possible. Usually in comics, stories have their own unique identifiers, but are also marketed under the name of the protagonist, or at least the character who served as the primary inspiration. So you can even keep the title you already have- just put “Lex Luthor: ” in front.

GoFundMe: Alexis' journey to Pratt by Alexis Turner

I don’t remember where I got this link anymore, but: this girl is really talented, clearly willing to work hard, and has already put together over 80% of the initial investment she needs to follow her dream and make a life for herself doing what she loves. It would be really nice to know that people like you are willing to help provide the last push she needs to make that happen.

If you have as little as five dollars to spare, I’d like you to consider donating. Donors of $50 or above have the option to commission a piece of artwork and receive the finished product in the mail- but for Alexis, every penny counts.

Hahaha.

Tuxedo Kamen emerges long enough to save Sailor Moon, then recedes into the dominant personality, who has no idea what’s going on and immediately runs away.

Should’ve seen that coming.

Oh snap, Burizaa is back!

That wasn’t even on my list of possibilities. Dang!

This is legitimately both heartwrenching and suspenseful. I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

This started out as a monster-of-the-week episode.

This started out as a comedy series.

The heck with Madoka and NGE and M. Night Shyamalan. This is a surprise.

Oh my god.

Rei is trying to get him to remember, and

they were talking earlier about how she likes him but she thinks it’s one-sided and

she just

Your beloved, Sailor Moon, is here! Please remember, Tuxedo Kamen-sama!

;_;

Oh, shit.

Endymion showed up, and he’s actually ready to fight.

So far it’s generally felt like he’s more of a hostage than a villain- he barely gets involved in fights, and he’s in conflict with the villain group who want to go after our heroes. When he’s shown up, it’s basically just reminded us that Mamoru is brainwashed and nothing else.

But Metallia was holding him back before- she said sending him against all five Senshi was an unacceptable risk.

And all five Senshi aren’t here now…

And then just when it looks like the girls might eventually have to decide what to do about Yuuichirou knowing their secret identities, he gets knocked out.

That’s… still a cheat, but it’s so ubiquitous a cheat that it’s less “disappointing” and more “par for the course”. Which is frustrating in its own way, but harder to pin on any one creator.

Oh hey, Yuuichirou actually reacts to how strangely comfortable Rei and her friend are with this enormous weirdness apparently involving Sailor Moon.

I was hoping for some of that, but I wouldn’t have bet on it, because this show’s practices for dealing with new characters are roughly as irrational and uncoordinated as its practices for dealing with secret identities. >_>