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 La Reconquista....Wow. (Spoilers / Very Long / Very Pompous)

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PostSubject: La Reconquista....Wow. (Spoilers / Very Long / Very Pompous)   20th October 2013, 6:10 am

For the first two hours I was ready to declare this the best Sailor Moon Musical ever made. It was shaping up to be the DEFINITIVE version of this story. This was the story I always wished they would tell in a musical, making the relationships between the soldiers and the shintennou the focus of the story. (I was already picturing a future version of the "myu" Galaxia storyline where the generals are FINALLY revived at the end, are vindicated and get to live their new lives with their lovers.) I was just thrilled beyond belief. I loved the idea of showing Usagi's transition from a childish, whiny brat into a strong, courageous soldier. I loved how they incorporated Queen Serenity and actually showed her being Serenity's mom, which I always wanted to see. (The Greek-style Silver Millennium costumes! Somebody actually looked at the comics!) It came to a head when Zoisite died again with ~EXACTLY~ the same staging as the first time. OMG, that was SO effective and awesome. I thought the whole thing was amazingly well-done.

Then, Sailor Moon killed herself like a whiny little self-centered snot and destroyed the entire thing. From that point on, I checked out. (Forget the fact that after literally seeing it 27 times already, I could not care less about the girls dying. We know what's going to happen. "OMG, the Silver Crystal revived us!" No way, really?? Please move on.)

I know Sailor Moon kills herself this way in the comics, and I've always thought it was stupid there, but it was worse here because at least in the comic it was a spur-of-the-moment reaction. Here, it was thought-out. Apparently Sailor Moon simply decided she didn't need to worry about destroying the ACTUAL enemies or protecting her friends and the rest of the people on the planet from the immediate danger she knew they were in. Ah, big deal - so the bad guys get the Silver Crystal, gain unlimited power and rule the universe! Usagi will be reborn again and get to make out with Mamoru in the park, so who cares, right? (Of course, since the enemies would have the Silver Crystal Usagi probably WOULDN'T ever be reincarnated again - and if she was she wouldn't last a day - but, hey, who needs logic when you're a whiny, self-centered, immature brat?)

And to top if off, they actually had Mamoru be PROUD of her for it?? Really??? That's what he meant when he told her to believe in herself?? "Only think about yourself, and when you don't get what you want, close your eyes and hope it's better when you wake up! If it's not, it's okay - you can always give up and kill yourself again, and maybe someone else will fix it for you!"

What she did completely obliterated whatever they thought they were saying about her "coming of age". This is just bad, bad, baaaaaaaaad writing. I honestly felt sorry for the actresses trying to make this look good. You know everyone on that stage had to have been aware of it.

I have NEVER felt cheated at the end of a Sailor Moon musical. (Not even when Tuxedo Mask WASN'T revived at the end of the original Supers musical and stayed dead. In fact, I thought that was VERY COOL.) This is NOT "sera myu". In "sera myu", this story would never have been put on the stage with such a horrible ending. Say  what you want to about any of the old musicals, but they always gave you what you needed by the end (even if it was after a very long, convoluted ?what-the-uh...vampires? storyline).

It could easily have been fixed by tweaking what happened in that scene. (Example A: Evil Endymion stabs Usagi first, and with her last ounce of strength, she kills him and they both die. Example B: Sailor Moon kills Endymion, Beryl kills Sailor Moon, Venus kills Beryl. You could easily come up with others off the top of your head. Apparently they couldn't.) Maybe the budget ran out after they'd finished the first two hours, or the show ran long and they had to cut the part at the end that made the whole thing NOT completely suck.

Being loyal to the comic wasn't their motivation for this. They didn't seem to have much of a problem ignoring what was supposed to happen to Queen Beryl. So Sailor Venus lost potentially the coolest thing she would ever do (killing Beryl), and instead we get the Shitennou playing with her little stick after abruptly coming to their senses for NO APPARENT REASON, Beryl says "oooooh" and, hey presto, we don't see her again so she must be dead, huh? After all that, we don't even get to see what happens to her? She doesn't learn a lesson? No vindication? No one says anything about how tragic what happened to HER was??

Didn't mean for this to be so long, but, oh man - I haven't been this let down by something in a looooong time.

I won't dwell on the mostly cosmetic stuff.

Like how there was NO REASON for "momo-we-can't-sing-why-are-we-famous" or whatever they're called to be involved in this, and playing the "fan service" game lead to the characters repeatedly making use of a video game they were fully aware was MADE BY THE ENEMY THEY WERE FIGHTING SPECIFICALLY TO HURT THEM. (You think Ami would still be carrying that thing around with her for any reason other than to use it to sabotage the enemy??)

Like how a certain set of make-up people needs to learn that they actually DO make stuff that helps keep people's faces from shining like wet saran wrap under stage lights.

Like how Ami looked like a starving refugee who found Judy Garland's "tramp" wig in a dumpster and dyed it blue.

http://www.movieforum.com/movies/titles/easterparade/images/hats.jpg

Which is a shame, because Miyabi Matsuura was great. All of them were great. I do think Yamato Yuga was miscast. She'd make a great Uranus. She's too effeminate to play a man. I don't care what she did in Takarazuka, she looked and sounded like a woman playing a man, and the unwise decision to have her constantly melodramaticly flipping her cape made it worse. Also, please be aware that I can see that she's wearing shoes with a 14-inch heel because her blocking keeps forcing her to display them. Maybe don't do that?

Or, let's see... Like, how horrendous the music was? Some of the songs were okay (a couple stood out - especially Serenity's song - but the rest were messy, forgettable, lazy, disorganized dialogue-set-to-random-music that I have no desire to listen to again). However, playing them on a thirty-year-old $25 Casio keyboard from Toys 'R' Us did NOT help. Even the FIRST "sera myu" had a lot of music recorded with an actual orchestra, and the songs that weren't didn't sound "cheap" at all.

I stand by what I said in a previous post - Kosaka Akiko is a musical genius. Every single song from every "sera myu" was a well-written, memorable song. There was never a single instance of cop-out dialogue-set-to-non-repeating-music. Every song was a fully-formed, stand-alone SONG. I honestly can't think of a single "dud" from the hundreds of songs she wrote. The closet I can come up with is maybe "Miracle Twister", and that song sounds like "Over the Rainbow" next to some of the half-@ssed junk that was in this show.

Kosaka's songs that were primarily synthesized always used real instruments (horns, strings, guitars) to cut the "artificial" sound, and the sounds were piled on so thick and were mixed so well that even after 15-plus years I'm still hearing things I've never noticed before. (Those recordings are the reason headphones were invented, I think. "OMG, there's a portamento lead thing playing on the far left side!")

One specific example of how sub-par these songs were: I loved that they attempted to do a classic "sera myu" medley at the end of the first act. However, in the old musicals they did it the correct way, introducing memorable songs for different groups throughout act one, then using them as leitmotifs in a medley at the end of the act. (This is EXTREMELY hard to do and requires a lot of forethought.) When we hear them mixed together, it ups the emotional intensity and puts the songs in a new context. The "medley" in "La Reconquista" was just some new "melodies" written to roughly fit over a new piece of music. A total, lazy cop-out and NOT same thing at all.

If you don't believe me when I say that Kosaka's medleys were brilliant and well-thought-out, here's an example. "Triple Dreams" in the Supers musical combined three totally different songs - "Double Moonlight Romance," "Fukkatsu! Crisis Yurusumaji," and "Dead Moon no Kuroi Yume" - and they blended together perfectly when sung over the top of each other. When this song was done again in the 6th musical, the "outer" soldiers had been given a new song, "Kokoro Tabanete Makin' for the Right", which replaced "Fukkatsu! Crisis Yurusumaji" in the medley at the end, and it still fit perfectly. The fact that it fit with the other songs like that was wasn't an accident, it was written that way on purpose from the beginning.

There were more "duds" in this one musical than in Kosaka's entire "myu" career. That's pitiful.

(In all fairness, the lady who wrote and recorded "Anata" is a VERY hard act to follow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOZ1wDm88QM)

FYI, after the first few scenes I did change my mind. I don't mind them not using Kosaka's songs and treating this musical as its own, new thing. But the new songs need to at least be in the same ballpark quality-wise as the old ones. It needs to sound like you're at least trying. Hire an orchestra for an hour, people. You have the money. (Or at least go get a more recent Casio keyboard from Toys R Us. The new ones let you play more than 4 notes simultaneously!)

Well, I'm going to stop because you will all most likely think I'm a pompous, rude jerk for saying these things (if you managed to even get this far...). I just had to write some of it out because I was really bothered by it. It was sooooooo good, then it was SOOOOOOOO BAD, then it was over.   I hope if they make a "revision" that they'll fix these issues with the story, and that the music will be redone with an orchestra, because this could still be a fantastic show if they went back and took a look at the immense flaws in the story.

At least they fixed Sailor Moon's wig before the show opened!
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PostSubject: Re: La Reconquista....Wow. (Spoilers / Very Long / Very Pompous)   20th October 2013, 11:26 am

you do know that Usagi is a 14 year old girl........ 14,  so yea, she is going to be immure. duh.....

and please, the generals as a boy band was the best thing ever, i even got Erosion love and love is 3D on my MP3 player and i have Erosion love as a ring tone on my phone.      i think the generals should pose as a boy band in the new anime...

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PostSubject: Re: La Reconquista....Wow. (Spoilers / Very Long / Very Pompous)   20th October 2013, 11:45 am

Well I actually agree with you on the music as thats my main problem with the musical. Because, call me crazy, but when I see a musical, I expect to see good singing and hear good music. None of that was present. With the exception of a few actresses (mainly Beryl and Q. Serenity).  And yes, Akiko Kosaka is a really hard act to follow. I just bought her 40 year commemorative album "Kaiso ~ A link to 40 yrs. ~". It's really amazing and all the songs are her playing piano and singing with maybe a few background instruments for some songs. Its really great to see how powerful just simple piano and voice can be (her piano versions of Tuxedo Mirage and Moon Revenge are LOVELY).

Now I'll have to disagree with you on Momoiro Clover Z. To be honest the majority of the singing in the musical was worse than Momoiro Clover Z. I can see you've clearly haven't listened to any of their other music or maybe just aren't into that type of japanese music (which is understandable if you arent into it). HOWEVER, don't say they can't sing if you haven't listened to their other music! This group might not be the best, but they can clearly sing. I've listened to several of their songs (whole albums and multiple singles) and lots of their live acts. Their living singing is very very excellent. They are very engaging with their fans and just overall a fun group to follow.

That first Nico Nico event where most of the SM fandom gets their hate for them from? Well there's a few reasons why it was so off:

A.) They were jet-lagged, tired, and had only practiced Moonlight Densetsu a few times at that point since it had JUST been decided they would sing it.
B.) Konako (red) can sound not in key with the rest of the group sometimes, which is what happened in Moonlight Densetsu on that first nico nico livestream (this has actually improved over time since that event in my experience listening to them).
C.) In my opinion (other MCZ fans may disagree with me), I just don't think Moonlight Densetsu is really THEIR song. I don't think its their best song when I hear them sing it, many of their other songs sound way better and fit them as a group better. I would have almost rathered they have a new song that would be the new theme song for the anime rather than a rehash of Moonlight Densetsu.


Now why are they involved?  Because whoever makes the big decisions wants them to be. In Japan, Momoiro Clover Z is a power house of an Idol group. They are AMAZINGLY popular (like AKB48 idol groups. Pretty sure AKB48 is considered their rivals) in Japan and their popular will help to drive interest in the new Sailor Moon.

I don't know if you've noticed or not, but the way they are going about this Sailor Moon "revival", it's in a very nostalgic way. They are not aiming at a broad audience (i.e. to young kids and up) but at the audience that grew up with Sailor Moon that find it nostalgic. Which is why we are getting make up, fake nails, collectibles aimed more towards adult collectors, not kid toys, etc.  Drawing in a popular idol group like MCZ means more revenue and interest in Sailor Moon than just the people that grew up with it from 1992 and on (like many of us on this forum).


But, from what I see from "La Reconquista", is that it was more of just a celebration of Sailor Moon. The difference between La Reconquista and Sera Myu is that La Reconquista is just more of an entertaining western type musical show, and Sera Myu was more like a play with the characters singing about their feelings that would often go more indepth in its themes and character development (and to top it off, had actual good singers, even the ones where it was their first time. *coughprettymuchalltheinnersinDarkKingdomcoughcough*)


ANYWAY, I don't think there is anything wrong with you talking about the musicals flaws. After all we are entitled to our own opinions yes?  And its good to see pretty indepth break down of its problems (although a bit pompous sounding Razz)   

Also I had someone tell me on tumblr that La Battle La Reconquista (or whatever its called) is better than Triple Dreams.  I just can't. /facepalm

But to be honest, I'm really sick of seeing the fandom freaking out over this musical after they've all pretty much ignored the past musicals for years. -_-

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PostSubject: Re: La Reconquista....Wow. (Spoilers / Very Long / Very Pompous)   20th October 2013, 11:50 am

OH I'd like that add that apparently on Ms. Kosaka's blog (or some site that interviewed her? I can't really remember cause it was all in japanese and i had a japanese speaking friend tell me about it) she expressed interest in doing music for La Reconquista but was never asked.

I'm not sure why though. Maybe it has to do with rights to the music? I can only imagine it really has to do with something legal rather than just not liking her music or something. o.O

Also note that La Reconquista has completely different sponsors than the past musics soooo thats another thing to think about.

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