Flashpoint in a Flash: Season 1 – Episode 12: Haunting the Barn:

Hey Moonies: The other Flashpoint episode summaries are done and waiting to meet you all on We Got The Solution – however, this one featured Stephanie Morgenstern (Sailor Venus #1) and Robert Bockstael (Diamond) in guest roles. Stephanie played an officer, and Robert played Harvey Silver, a retired SRU member. Pictures and summary are after the jump!

We begin outside a crowded subway station surrounded by police and citizens. Spike maneuvers in a bomb robot towards a suitcase bomb as Jules counts down the time left before Spike detonates the suitcase. The case explodes… and rewind! Four hours earlier, the SRU complains about the broken AC as they head towards the briefing room. An old friend, the retired Sargent Daniel Rangford, visits the SRU and catches up with them. The SRU is alerted to the station where the suitcase is, and as they leave, Rangford hopes they keep the peace. Ed tells Sam about Rangford and how great his legacy with the SRU was. Back at headquarters, Rangford asks to use the Briefing Room and walks around the halls he once knew. He puts a letter in someone’s locker. The SRU arrives at the station which has been marked off by police line as they come up with a plan about the suitcase. Rangford asks Kira for a file, but he flinches a little when she says she needs clearance from the commander. He begins to speak in a threatening voice towards her and shows her a gun. Back at the subway station, Spike wheels out his robot as Jules works Command Post. At the SRU, Rangford takes Kira down to the archives, and holds her cell phone. As Kira goes in to retrieve the file, Rangford spots a plaque dedicated to him, and quickly turns away. The SRU doesn’t know why the suitcase is here in a public place. Rangford assures Kira that everything should come back to normal, and instructs her on how to act. As he walks back into reception with Kira, he is greeted by another of his colleagues. He talks the barest minimum to him and he walks away. Rangford tells Kira to sit down. Spike begins to scan the suitcase. Spike suspects there is phosgene in the suitcase. The same colleague back at the SRU gives Rangford a water bottle , and inadvertently he spots the gun. Rangford pulls a gun on the colleague , and backs into the briefing room. Kira sends a text message to the SRU and they split up, Ed, Wordy, Sam and Greg head back to HQ and Jules is put in charge of this situation at the subway station. Rangford keeps the SRU members at HQ at a distance as he locks himself in the briefing room. Roll Opening! Kira gets through to the SRU over voice and fills them in. They arrive back at HQ and figure out ways to monitor the situation using equipment he doesn’t know about. Spike finishes his scans and sends his robot, affectionately named “Babycakes” to open the suitcase. Ed starts the negotiations with Rangford. Greg talks to Kira and learns about what happened. Greg asks Kira to suit up and call up Rangford’s old partner, Harvey Silver. Ed is in a bind as Rangford has foiled his fiber optic camera, but Wordy manages to get another one in as Ed continues to talk. Rangford begins to drink out of his bottle of whiskey as he reads an old newspaper article. The SRU watches, and Sam begins typing in the event log. Rangford begins shooting at a chair, almost delusional as if there is someone else in the room. After a few shots he comes back to his senses. Rangford’s wife comes in, asking to see him, but Greg takes her aside. Ed breaks into the room, and Rangford holds the gun to his head. Commercials! Back at HQ, Rangford says if they move forward, he will shoot himself, as he goes through the rules of negotiation. He begins to lay out all the pages in the file in a circle around him.Harvey arrives, but Sam deters him from coming inside the room, and Sam asks him about an incident in 1989. Babycakes surrounds the suitcase with a special scanner, and sees things he doesn’t want to see. Kira tries to talk to Evelyn, and she says that he is not the same man she married. He doesn’t enjoy a lot anymore, and he had nothing left to his life when he retired. Rangford talks more about what tactics will not work, including tear gas. Evelyn feels detached from her husband who has been “hanging off a cliff” all these years. We go to Harvey and Sam, and Harvey tells the story about what happened in 1989. It was at a house where an 18 year old was looking after her orphaned brother and sister. There was a home invasion, but by the time they got there, they had left. The rest of the team went back on patrol, and Harvey and Danny stayed to write it up and sit with the kids, trading baseball cards. Two hours later, there was a homicide there. The girl who they managed to save was brain damaged to the point where she couldn’t have a great quality of life. The other two were killed. Greg leaves Ed to find out more information. Harvey didn’t know what to say to Dan. Spike gets ready to detonate the suitcase. Ed rolls in a water bottle to Dan. Kira brings in a bunch of beta tapes from the incident. Greg finally allows Evelyn to see Dan, but behind shields. Dan is ready to shoot himself in the head again, but upon seeing Evelyn wants her to go away so he can do this without her. The suitcase detonates as Dan puts the gun towards the SRU. Commercials! Evelyn begs Dan not to shoot. Dan gets delusional again and appears to be talking to a child. Kira fast forwards to a police interview with the 10-year old girl after the incident.You see Stephanie Morgenstern from her backside in this scene. We can now understand why Dan feels guilty – he told the boy to show his sisters how brave he was, and the little boy stood up to the criminals. Greg and Ed try to talk him down. Dan remembers what the little boy was like before he left, and he remembers seeing a screwdriver jammed into his throat. He blames himself for what happened and can’t take it anymore – all he sees are the ghosts of all his failed missions. He then asks Ed to shoot him. Ed takes the bullets out of his gun, and puts them on the ground. He takes off his equipment and his vest. He understands where Dan is coming from as he remembers all the calls they didn’t get to on time. Ed says Dan made him who he was, and he manages to pull him into a hug and takes the gun. The two men have a good cry about all their tough times as the camera pulls away. And we go to commercial. Spike looks at the remains of the suitcase, and sees actual hay and grass, and the remains of Dan’s Silver Shield which he earned for his bravery in this incident. The montage begins, as Dan is led away, and Greg promises to send him to rehab. Ed goes to his locker, and pulls out the letter Dan left for him. In the briefing room, Greg is with himself as he signs the incident report. Kira takes the report back to her office. Ed goes home and shows a special bulletin board with news articles about his career to his wife. He puts the note Dan left for him up there (a simple “I’m Sorry”) and hugs her. The end.

This was one of my favorite episodes of the show because we saw more of the effects a lot of these incidents that don’t go as planned have on the officers – something which the montages at the end never seem to capture all of. I thought the performance given by the entire cast was superb!

We Called It!

As we reported not too long ago, Kunihiko Ikuhara was frantically working on the opening to an anime that he did not mention by name. We thought (along with many fans) that it was for the upcoming animated adaptation of the yuri manga Aoi Hana. Today, we can say for certainty, that our hunch was right! On Thursday, he posted another entry expressing his relief that he was finally finished, and congratulated and cheered his staff on for getting this finished in such a short time frame. He posted some very blurry pictures, but we can make out one of the faces and we have matched it to a character’s face on the official site. We’ve got the picture here! Many Japanese sites are also reporting that he has only directed the opening sequence of this series, but, we’re going to wait and see when the series starts. Kunihiko Ikuhara is best known for creating and directing Revolutionary Girl Utena, and of course, for directing many episodes in the first four seasons of Sailor Moon, as well as the Sailor Moon R Movie. He has also been very brave, and has cosplayed as Sailor Mars in the past!

Toei Fails To Shop Around Sailor Moon

We mulled over this for over a week over whether we should bring this to light or not, but we decided we should. Mainly because, it has a lot of relevance to our current campaign and the situation with Sailor Moon. Earlier this month, the Licensing International Expo took place in Las Vegas. This expo is a huge industry show where companies from all around the world set up booths/pavilions with their works that are ready to be licensed. Just to give you an idea of the companies who appear at this show, we’ll drop a few names: Marvel, Cartoon Network, Disney, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Cookie Jar Entertainment, Sanrio, Viz Media, and Toei. Before we go any further, we’ll have to add a small caveat. Should you go wandering around the site to look at individual exhibitors, DO NOT CONTACT ANY OF THEM. These are mainly for serious buyers and licensors only. We have provided safer addresses in our forums should you want to write any of them. It’s important to note that Bandai and FUNImation did not have a presence here this year. We took a peek at Toei’s page, and we learned that they did not shop around Sailor Moon for a potential license (but they did shop around some other old anime). The titles that they put up this year were:

Marie and Gali: This is a new anime that began airing in March in Japan. M&G’s episodes are not full length per se, but 5-minute shorts that aired on NHK. It’s about a GothLoli named Marika who hates science, but somehow ends up in a strange town where she meets some of history’s most famous scientists. We haven’t seen this one, and as of this writing it is not licensed in North America. The official website is here.

Asataro, The Onion Samurai: This looks like a silly series about a band of feudal superheroes that are vegetables. Kinda reminds us of Slayers meets Coconut Fred’s Fruit Salad Island. His famed weapon is his onion juice, he has a sidekick who has a garlic head, and another who is a cucumber. The bad guys are potatoes. This is not licensed in North America either! We found a video clip, here! Official website is here!

GeGeGe no Kitaro: An old series from the late 60s which has been revamped several times since, the latest being in 2005. Back in the 60s and 70s it was directed by one of our favorite Studio Ghibli directors, Isao Takahata. The plot is still the same – a young boy strives to help find a way for Yokai (spirits) to live in the same realm as humans, and also helps out humans who get in trouble with evil Yokai. Video clip here, Official Site here. This is not licensed in North America yet!

My 3 Daughters: This is one based on a mother’s blog in Japan about how she raised her three daughters. This is a slice-of-life comedy that was big in Japan, but unfortunately not licensed here yet. This began in April of this year! Official site is here!

Digimon Data Squad:Already licensed, this is the 5th Digimon series. Need we really say any more about this show about digital monsters that fight against others? We don’t think this series has much to worry about since there’s an abundance of video games, toys, and other merchandise, and it’s still relatively popular with the younger set. It’s on the Disney Channel too, so it’s still doing relatively well. Official site is here!

Master Hamsters: If Hamtaro was a superhero, this is what he would look like. These hamsters passed their Master Exam, which gave them special Master Badges to turn into Master Hamsters. They get special powers like super strength and the ability to speak and understand human language. Of course at the end of the day, they love their sunflower seeds! This looks like one for the kids! Video clip here, and official site here! No license yet.

Happy Lucky Bikkuriman: This is another franchise revival, but the original is not as old as Kitaro . This one first began in 1987, and is another superhero show. Bikkuriman and his friends help save the world from devils. This spawned from a simple sticker tag game that used to come with candy over 20 years ago. Video clip here,and official site is here!

Pretty Cure, Yes! Pretty Cure 5, and Fresh Pretty Cure . This is the current “big thing” in Japan with respect to Magical Girls! Already a hit in Canada, it’s a waiting game to see if this will show up on Cartoon Network in the fall or be released on DVD. The show has already been hailed as successful as Sailor Moon in Japan and we’re hoping it will achieve just as much international success! Official site is here!

Moguragumi:We spent an hour trying to figure out what the heck these little critters are. We have come to the conclusion that these are webisodes and cute characters that are available for licensing. We have no idea what these guys are about, and judging by the buzz on the internet, we think they are probably popular with the mobile market, but probably wouldn’t be a huge hit on this side of the pond. See for yourself at the official site here.

Dragon Ball Series We’re pretty sure you all know what this is about. We’re not going to say much about this except that we think it’s pretty much as popular as it can get (however, Toei must do a better job with the rumored upcoming sequel). The story of Goku and his evolution into the great hero of the Universe is a hit with almost every anime fan. Official site here!

One Piece: Already licensed and a hit. This is another hot one in Japan and in North America. This one is about the trials and tribulations of Monkey D. Luffy, a teenager who accidentally consumes a strange fruit, and he becomes super stretchy! He is on a quest to find the legendary one piece, the treasure left by the Pirate King. Official site here!

Fist of the North Star: Another old series that has had various resurrections over the years. This one is a martial-arts and assassins drama. But, this is pretty old, and we can’t say for sure how hugely popular this is. An older version was released on DVD in North America 5 years ago… Maybe Toei wants to redub this? Add the recent films to the North American market? Who knows…we do know the series is currently streaming with Toei’s ventures in the North American Market. Official site here!

Captain Harlock: This series is over 20 years old. It’s about a space pirate who saves the universe from its enemies. This, like FotNS is also streamed everywhere in North America. We also can’t say how popular this is (though we don’t think it is very popular). Official site is here!

Saint Seiya the Hades: Older Saint Seiya series are licensed by ADV (one of the only Toei titles that they have the rights to), but this one is up for grabs. We do know that Saint Seiya is popular with older, more hardcore, anime fans. This one is about orphans who unite to protect the Earth from the reincarnation of an evil Goddess. Official site is here!

Now , for our opinion. We don’t really see any new standouts. Of course, Dragon Ball will always be a hit with anime fans, Digimon with kids, and Pretty Cure if it is managed correctly. But as for the others, we can see them being popular with niche audiences, and not wide ones.

However, Toei not shopping around Sailor Moon could mean one of a few things. First, perhaps Toei and Funimation are once again just teasing fans with talk of Sailor Moon to lure their opinions about other series. Second, there could still be underlying issues with Toei and/or Princess Naoko Planning (Naoko’s own company). Genvid had an epic article some years ago of how the show was nowhere to be found in the character licensing directory. Or third, Toei doesn’t care about Sailor Moon, while Funimation does. Perhaps Funimation’s strategy is much like ours, trying to show fan pressure to Toei. Either way, since this new development, Operation Moonrise has become even more important now for fans to get their voices heard to Toei. In this economy, it would likely to be much cheaper to deal with something that is a proven hit rather than gamble with a new (or old) unknown series, so to speak. In any case, we are a little worried about the prospects of Sailor Moon and we cannot urge fans enough to get involved in our campaign. It isn’t right for Toei to continue to name drop Sailor Moon in most if not all of their press releases, and for Funimation to speak of some interest in the series after five years, and for them not to aggressively pursue a second chance for the series. We are sure many of our readers can agree.

In other, lighter news, Toei Animation Europe has gone mobile in France, delivering mobile contact through Zaoza’s downloading platform. Proposed content includes mini-videos, wallpapers and animated wallpapers.

On another note, Yoshihiro Togashi’s work was shopped around by Viz – Hunter x Hunter was one of the works they showed for licensing! Though we have to wonder how a company would be willing to deal with his sporadic hiatuses.

What a Day…

On February 3, 1959, a plane crash claimed the lives of three of the big names in music of the day: Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly. This was later dubbed “The Day The Music Died.” Today, we lost two legendary icons, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. The magnitude of these two icons must be as large, if not larger, as those three artists in their day. I wonder, if some time in the future, this day will have a name too. The entire staff of Moon Chase sends out condolences to the family and friends of Farrah and Michael.

I wasn’t alive when Farrah Fawcett was an Angel. I had heard stories of her though, and came to know her as one of the stars my Mom used to watch growing up in the 70s. She was the epitome of beauty, she had the hair every woman wishes they had, and she had a major impact on the world as we know it with her personality, and her time on Charlie’s Angels. Over the last year or so, she was one of the celebrities that popped in and out of the tabloids, and throughout the bits and pieces of the truth that came out about her cancer battle, I came to appreciate her much more. She had gone to great lengths to fight her cancer, seeking treatment in Germany when (from what I had read) doctors just weren’t willing to try or consider other therapies that were deemed too experimental.

I watched her documentary a few times when it aired last month. Here was a woman, afflicted with one of the worst diseases a person could ever have, going to great lengths to beat this, and still at the end of the day having the energy to fight for her rights to privacy, and still making the time to find the good in life. And even though the cancer was tearing her family apart, she still managed to keep them together by keeping everyone laughing and smiling through the ups and downs of her battle. I finally had a reason to look up to her, but not for the same reason as the generation before me.

I had read in recent days that her health had taken a severe turn for the worse, and I hoped that she would be relieved of the disease that had caused her so much pain, in one way or another. She never stopped fighting. In her death, she had dealt the cancer the ultimate blow. She wasn’t going to let it hurt her anymore, despite her attempts to hurt the cancer with treatments, of which some worked, and some didn’t.

And that’s how I will remember Farrah. She is best known for playing a brave, strong, and blonde superhero, much like the icon this site is dedicated to, but I will know and remember her for her bravery and strength she showed in her last years on Earth. Rest in Peace, Farrah.

This afternoon, I had finished watching the last aired episode of Flashpoint on my DTVR. I was ready to get up off of the couch and celebrate, because writing 28 pages of TV episode summaries within a span of four days, was not a joke. I thought one day, when Sailor Moon had achieved the success that it deserved and had settled into the market, there would be no more stories to tell on Moon Chase. Slowly, to the fans who were still interested, I would share some of the crazy stories from behind the scenes of the things the staff and I did to bring content to the site. This, was one of those anecdotes to share when that time came.

I had stopped the episode, and was waiting for my box to delete it, when in the corner of my screen, CNN was playing, and I hear Michael Jackson is in a deep coma. As the news was recapping the details, I had wondered if this was the result of some sort of last minute plastic surgery gone wrong. I was weary of what his upcoming shows were going to be like, and I had friends who were going to attend his concerts in September. I knew of all the rumors about his face falling apart, and figured it must have been surgery gone wrong. After the episode deleted, I got out of my list screen and watched the news. Then as more details came out, it had seemed that this really did come out of the blue.

I was a child of the 80s, and I probably was a fan of his music back then, but now, not so much. Over the last few years the news reports had reported so many bizarre things that I pretty much thought that if his strange clothes and personal anecdotes make him happy, then who are we to judge? I admit, I was creeped out with the court case not too long ago, and it’s hard not to have anything to say when it came up in conversation. But, that’s all in the past now… what anyone may ever say about him, he was talented, and motivated to be a star since he was a child, and he worked hard to bring happiness to the whole world over in his time. And that is the memory that will last with our generation.

BREAKING NEWS: Flashpoint Season 3 begins on July 17th… On CBS?!

Breaking earlier today on CBS’s Press Express was an announcement about Stephanie Morgenstern’s (Sailor Venus #1), and her husband Mark Ellis’ Flashpoint having a Season 3 premiere on July 17th. So much for having a break until the fall, we are all working hard behind the scenes to get our Flashpoint blog up, and I was looking forward to a long break from watching any episodes! In an effort to have caught up with our summaries, I have been running a marathon through all of Season 2 since Monday! The episode that will air that day is “Coming To You Live”, about a popular radio show host who is holding a prominent politician hostage on the air. He is seeking revenge for a murder that he thinks the politician committed years ago, and is ready to kill him on the air. Can the SRU fix this situation? We’ll get to see in about 3 weeks. As for whether I will be able to keep up with the summaries or not, I can’t speculate on that right now 😉 though if this experience has taught me anything, I will have to keep up with it at least a few days after they air!

We here at Moon Chase are surprised by this announcement. CBS had kept the show off of it’s Fall Schedule, while CTV had announced that it was on theirs, and also committed to 13 episodes for 2010. Now if CBS’s Ghost Whisperer, NUMB3RS, and Medium are set to premiere on September 25th this leaves room for up to 10 new episodes of Flashpoint to air. Nine episodes are being shot right now, and this set of episodes began shooting in May. We are a little worried about Flashpoint’s future, and perhaps it was CTV’s announcement of the show airing on it’s Fall schedule that provoked this action by CBS. It’s a strange and twisted industry, and we were looking forward to seeing it again in the Fall on a more regular schedule. We sure hope that the show’s future will be made clear in the coming days.