Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 5-6

So we’re all in agreement that Luna is the best character on the show, right?

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I’ve been trying to take notes while watching, and I swear 50% of my bullet points this week were some variation of “Luna is such a Boss.” She’s focused, sharp, cool-headed, quick on her tiny cat feet, and has some of the best expressions in the series, managing to look both catlike and human at the same time.

For Usagi, Luna is the voice of reason in a world of pleasant but ineffective adults. And for Sailor Moon, Luna is the coach, shouting instructions from the sidelines and teaching our young protagonist How To Hero. (“Quit relying on others!” Luna cries when Usagi looks around, waiting for Tuxedo Mask to help her. Like. A. Boss.). Luna makes Usagi just plain better, and we can already see that progress in these two episodes.

The Recaps

Episode 5 – Littlest Pet Shop of Horrors

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(And no, I’m never going to call the episodes by their actual names, so don’t even ask.)

This one shifts the focus toward Usa’s family, as we spend some time with her little brother, Shingo, who is terrified of cats. Usagi is determined to get Shingo and Luna to get along, but things hit a snag when Shingo falls victim to Jadeite’s latest scheme: An eeevil pet shop full of Rabbit/Wookiee/Hypnotoad hybrids called Chanelas.

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Chanelas hypnotize their owners, turning them into HORRIBLE CAT-PUNTING LITTLE ASSHOLES and okay, okay, I’m good now, I’m good. Whew.

Usagi (whose crime-fighting skills really level up this week) deduces that something is rotten in the state of Japan and goes to investigate the pet shop, only to fall under the Chanela’s spell herself. This is when I really fell in love with Luna, because even though her pet human is being a complete jerk to her, she keeps her cool and quickly snatches the Chanela away, snapping its hold over Usa. Oh, and she totally has time to comfort a crying child along the way. Like. A. Boss.

After that it’s a simple matter of using Moon Tiara Dispel to save the children (but not the British children?) and Moon Tiara Action to defeat the Monster of the Week. Shingo approaches “Sailor Moon” and is completely enamored with her, and Usagi, who really is a sweet kid (if not a bit short-sighted) uses her newfound fame to get him to be nice to Luna. Tsukino Family Strife: Solved!

Episode 6 – And All Bat Jazz

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While Episode 5 felt like an extension of the previous episodes, this one serves as a nice break from the usual formula. We spend almost no time at the usual haunts (school, Usa’s home), and Jadeite’s minions don’t get to sap a single person’s energy with their new eeeevil cassette tape.

Instead, the episode is about Amade Yusuke, an “old” (so, like, 30) jazz musician hopelessly in love with his friendly lady-boss, Akiko, at the record company. After his latest recording (“Waltz for Akiko”) gets switched out with the eeevil cassette, Yusuke finds himself getting chased by a batlady, who wants her damn tape back. During his escape, he runs (literally) into Usagi. She demonstrates impressive mood swings even for a 14-year-old, going from teary-eyed to murderous to sympathetic in 10 seconds flat. Yusuke tells her his life story. They are friends now.

And then…a lot of fun stuff happens. Usagi and Luna use the transformation pen (continuity, ho!) to sneak into a jazz club, and Luna has to pretend to be “neckwear,” and I giggled so hard that I had to take three screenshots of it (1, 2, 3). Then there’s a car chase, a fight in the recording studio that ends with Yusuke and Luna looking like BAMFs, the batlady becoming The Batlady (complete with some impressive spooky boob fluff)…

…Until, finally, it all ends with a showdown in an amphitheater, where Usagi reveals some real cleverness when she uses the amphitheater’s sound system to turn the Batlady’s supersonic attack against her.

It’s super effective! Batlady has fainted! Sailor Moon saves the day again!

Also–Yusuke and Akiko fall in love! And they get married! Yay, one-off character romances!

This, That, and the Other

  • Tuxedo Mask was absent again, making our lives a little less rosy, but Usagi made up for it with another hilarious bubble-filled dream about him. Sooo many hands these two are going to hold!
  • Queen Beryl’s castle is a super gross sequence of skulls eaten by other skulls. It’s a nesting doll of skulls. A Skulltryoshka!
  • No, don’t ask why the microphone in the amphitheater was still turned on in the middle of the night. Shhh.
  • I haven’t spent much time discussing the animation here, but for a show made over 20 years ago (yikes), it really holds up well. There are corners cut, to be sure, and it’s heavy on the still shots, but cleverness of camera angles and images (Jadeite is ALL UP IN THEM TVs) do a lot to make the animation still feel dynamic. Plus, seriously, the facial expressions are just magnificent.
  • Hark! A Plot Point! Luna says she’s looking for the Moon Pudding Princess, but Usagi is FAR too busy trying to cure her little brother of his ailurophobia (add that one to your word bank!) to bother asking for any more details.

Quote of the Week (Moon Prism Edition):

Shingo: “And Chanela doesn’t need to be fed at all.”
Papa Tsukino: “Wow, that’s one economical pet!”

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