That aside, though, it turns out I still really like it! I did not expect to cry on this viewing, but there I was, crying. I think the focus on everyone being pretty much a loner and shunned by society is something everyone can relate to, to a degree, and we relate to it to a very strong degree. In fact, we recently had an experience that brought back aaaaaaall those old wounds, so the timing of this viewing was...really good or really bad, depending on how you look at it. And then Usagi comes along and she just loves everybody and doesn't care what anybody else thinks about it. And that is why we've always loved Sailor Moon and why Usagi has always been high on the list of favorite characters.
After the movie, we spent some time chatting with our friend, and of course we had to bring up Miraculous. She hadn't seen it, so we searched for some YouTube videos (she doesn't have Netflix, and I couldn't cast it to her TV from my phone). I'm a little bit worried that we ended up watching a couple of illegal uploads, but I know some of the videos that came up were official! ...And they were in English. I still can't deny the possibility that I only dislike the English dub on principle, and that it might actually be fine.
But it had the same weird disconnected feeling we got from watching the Big Hero 6 series. Like...somehow the voices and the animation didn't match. And you'd think that was just because it was a dub, but when we watched the French version of Big Hero 6, the disconnect wasn't there. ...But because of our current obsession with French, I can't rule out the possibility that the problem is with us rather than English voice actors. I still just felt like they were Acting the parts, instead of becoming the parts. I don't know.
More importantly. We mentioned that there was a Japanese dub, so our friend looked that one up, and now we have seen all of Despair Bear in Japanese. I'm still not sure if it was legal, and if it wasn't, I'm very very sorry! But I did want to say that the Japanese voice of Chloe was amazing, and the voice of her butler sounded just like the French one. He also sounded a lot like Yasunori Matsumoto, aka Gourry...but we can't get confirmation on that. We didn't really like Ryota Osaka as Adrien that much (sorry, Osaka-san). I mean, he played the part well, but...I don't know. It just wasn't the same. Maybe he does better as Chat Noir, but Chat Noir didn't talk much in that episode, and we tended to accidentally talk over him when he did. ...And the translation critic came out again when he said, "This floor is really slippery." And like, we're not native Japanese speakers, so we could be totally wrong on it, but we felt like the attitude of the line was not expressed very well in the language. But that's just us being our usual incorrigible selves.
When we got home, it was time for a quest. Turns out our niece is now really into Glitter Force, known in Japan as Smile Precure. The show is old enough, and non-mainstream enough, that toys for it are pretty hard to find Stateside, so our sister asked us if we could help out. The show is even older in Japan, and while I'm pretty sure it was super mainstream there, it's too many generations back for there to be easy-to-find merch. Hence a quest. (I mean, it's still technically possible to get the wands, but they're like ninety bucks, and much as we all love our niece, that's just too much money.)
I tried a few things, and it looked like they weren't going to work, so I told our sister, and she's like, "Oh well, she likes other things, too," and I was like, "No! Our niece is into a magical girl series, and she will get merch from it!!!" So I kept going. I hoped I could find, like, some secondhand vendors Stateside, but Book Off! doesn't have any Smile Precure stuff (at least not that I can order online), and the Ebay vendors I found were still in Japan. So the best I got is that Mandarake is still able to ship things to the US despite covid restrictions...but odds are it will take forever and a day to get here. And our niece's birthday is in a couple of weeks. So we ordered a set of keychains of the five Cures for that season, and we had them shipped to Mom's house. And either she'll get them for her birthday, or she'll get them for Christmas. In the meantime, I had Mom inform our sister that she'll probably want a backup gift.
And that was our magical girl day. Today I'm thankful for having a very nice time with our friend, getting to see the Sailor Moon R movie again, getting to see Miraculous in Japanese (it was weird being able to watch it without subtitles, know what everyone was saying, and not have a kneejerk negative reaction), finding some Smile Precure merch for our niece, and winning some more Pokemon battles.