In the game of crystals, you win or you die. Er, sort of.
A lot of Stuff happened this week and I went a little wild on the recaps, so I’m going to skip the usual opening retrospective and just jump straight to the episodes. H’okay? H’okay.
Episode 13 – Jadeite and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Down in the Skulltryoshka, Beryl is annoyed because Jadeite keeps getting whupped by a bunch of teenagers, so she gives him one last chance to knock out the Sailors before she sacks him, by which I mean she’ll put a sack over his head, hit him with a club, and dump his body in a river.
With no time to lose, Jadeite finds a giant projector and sends a message to the Moonies: Come fight me at the airport, or I will vomit fire ALL OVER this stinkin’ town.
(“But wait,” you may be thinking. “Why doesn’t he just vomit fire all over the town NOW and kill the sailors THAT way?” And you would be completely missing the point, because then he wouldn’t get to concoct an elaborate plan involving golems and airplanes, and where would the fun be in that? Say what you will about Jadeite, but the dude has style.)
The Moonies convene the next day–Mars wants to fight, Mercury wants to plan, and Usagi would really rather just hide under her covers pls and ty–and agree to accept the summons. As the day passes, we get a quick sequence of scenes where Usagi touches base with all the recurring side characters (Naru, Umino, Sakurada-sensei, Motoki, Stalker “Zero Friends” McGee), just to remind you they’re still around for this first-cour finale, and then it’s off to the Boss Fight!
At the airport, Jadeite is being incredibly considerate, putting the security guards to sleep so they won’t get involved in the upcoming bloodbath. By the time the Moonies arrive, he’s even replaced them with clay golems. Attack of the Security Guards!
Rei proves she’s a BAMF in and out of uniform by roundhouse kicking one of the grabby golems, then the girls spend some time recycling chase sequence animation before Ami realizes something is amiss. She uses her goggles to confirm that the security guards are, in fact, “Boo Boo” (Arrest Mode!), which apparently means Mars has free reign to kick and chew all the ass and bubblegum (respectively) her little pyro heart desires.
But oh noes! Jadeite saw them transforming! He knows their true identities! Who would have ever suspected that those schoolgirls who look exactly like the Sailors were the Sailors this whole time?! But now Jadeite will have his revenge, and he’ll get it with his secret weapon: DEATH PLANES!
Yes, Jadeite sends actual planes careening across the runway at them, and Luna is adamant that Mars can’t burn THESE to a crisp because they’re, like, SUPER expensive, you guys, like you don’t even KNOW. Which is absurd, but does make me wonder if Luna has to turn in some kind of monthly expense report to her Arcade Game Overlords.
So we run around for a bit more until–guess who?–Tuxedo Mask appears, stops the planes with a well-thrown rose (yeah, you heard me), and squares off against Jadeite on the roof.
You guys. YOU GUYS. The Tux is actually going to FIGHT somebody!
…Wait, nope, no. False alarm, gang. He’s just going to dramatically circle Jadeite a few times, then fall into the ocean and drown. My bad.
Now that The Tux be sleepin’ with the fishies, Jadeite is feeling pretty jazzed. He even starts throwing some major shade on the Moonies, talking about how women are weak and always need a man to save them. I know I should be angry but, honestly, I’m still laughing about Tuxedo Mask falling into the ocean.
Which is fine, ‘cause the Sailors are mad enough for all of us (“Denigrating women is a relic of the feudal age!” Ami has the best burns). They team up to bubblebeam, exorcise, and Tiara Action that misogynistic jerk right under an oncoming plane! Girl power! Hoo-wah!
To his credit (why does he need any?), Jadeite does manage to escape back to the Skulltryoshka. He tries to tell Beryl about the girls’ secret identities, but she is SO not interested in pertinent intelligence about their enemies. So she has Jadeite frozen in carbonite. And sent to hammerspace. Like ya do.
And, back at the airport–heyyyy! Tuxedo Mask is okay! He just had to run home and change into his other tux real quick ‘cause the first one was soaked! The girls get to chat with him for a moment, which basically boils down to:
Moon: “I wanna get in your pants!”
Mars: “I too would like to request access to your pants!”
Mercury: “I don’t care about your pants but tell me who’s behind your mask!”
The Tux: “Sorry ladies, I won’t grant any of your requests, but I WILL remind you that Friendship is Magic. And now I must be off! Tuxedo, awaaaaay!”
Don’t you ever leave us, Tuxedo Mask. Not ever again.
Episode 14 – Crybaby Steps
And once again we begin by checking in with our villains. With Jadeite out of the picture, Beryl is going to need someone else to harvest energy for her, so we’re introduced to a new pair of henchmen:
- Nephrite, an eeeevil astrologist who I can’t stop calling “Nephertiti.”
- And Zoisite, who specializes in floating around the throne room, mocking Nephertiti, and vanishing in a cloud of flower petals.
Nephertiti will be doing all the scheming for now, it seems, and he’s not interested in Jadeite’s old “any bum on the street’s energy will do” tactics. No, our new baddie wants only the freshest, finest life forces, so he’ll be targeting individuals with high levels of energy, milking them dry, and then leaving their desiccated corpses by the side of the road.
This brings us to our first victim: Saionji “Sis” Rui, an old friend of Naru’s and the star tennis player at Usagi’s junior high. Nepher–screw it, I’m just calling him Nephy–poses as a super hot coach so he can place a curse on Rui’s racket, turning her into a tennis player so unstoppable, she makes John Wayne look like Michael Pemulis.
(Somewhere out there, one of you nerds got that joke.)
But Rui isn’t just blowing tennis ball-sized holes in the court and creating typhoon-level winds with her racket. She’s also acting like a total asshat (the ONLY weird behavior that anyone in this town seems to notice), and Naru is terribly worried. We’re bombarded by a series of Rui/Naru flashbacks so adorable that Usagi can’t help but get involved. She really IS a good friend, y’know.
They arrive at the tennis courts to find Rui thrashing her opponents, and Usa gets the distinct sense something monstrous is about to happen. She refuses to call up the other Moonies, though, because they were mean to her earlier and she’s determined to prove she can fight baddies on her own. She can’t, mind you, but it’s nice to see her willingly walk into danger for once.
Usa arrived just in time, because Rui’s energy levels have peaked, meaning its time for Nephy to enter Phase 2 of his eeevil scheme, in which a monster flies from Rui’s tennis racket and murders her in the face. Sailor Moon to the rescue!
…Or not, because this week’s monster apparently moonlights as a comedian. It transforms Sailor Moon into a giant tennis ball and bounces her around the court (“Serves you right!” it cracks, to my giddy approval). Usagi is in trouble, which means it must be time for…
DEUS EX MASKINA!
And, because there are no large bodies of water around, The Tux actually DOES get to fight this time. He uses his EXPANDO!Cane (for no gentleman leaves home without his EXPANDO!Cane) to beat up the tennis monster, breaking the spell on Moon and freeing her up for the Tag-Team Battle of the Century. And by “Tag-Team,” I mean Moon runs around looking like a spazz until Tuxedo is all “The hell with this, PETALS TO THE FACE MUTHAFUGGA!”
I’m all ready for the death blow, but then–gasp! The Tux grimaces and collapses to his knees! TUX!! What’s wrong!? Did you run out of flowers?! Were you active in the story for too long?! WAS YOUR CAPE NOT FLOWY ENOUGH?!
Before either Moon (or I) can rush to his side, he assures us he’s fine and orders Moon to finish off the monster. Fortunately those rose petals are REALLY sticky and Sailor Moon is able to Tiara it to death. (I love this show for allowing me to write that sentence.) When she looks back, Tuxedo Mask is gone, leaving the audience to assume he’s okay and Usagi to fantasize wildly about playing tennis with him. TONSIL tennis, that is. Awww yeahhh.
Oh, and in other news, the Moonies now think Usagi can defeat monsters on her own. This can only lead to good decisions in the future.
This, That, and the Other
- Episode 13 was called “Girls Unite: The End of Jadeite.“ Way to spoil the ending for me, jerks.
- Umino thinks the Jadeite Hologram was aliens “giving us a warning about our corrupt ways,” and I am gonna laugh SO HARD if that turns out to be the case. Mostly because it’s the best theory I’ve heard so far, and also because Umino could really use one in the “W” column.
- Ol’ Zero Friends is back in Full-On D-Bag Mode this week, mocking Usagi and her crushes (“any guy who likes you must be a loser”) until she dissolves into tears. He responds by throwing a shoe and fleeing the scene. Our Future Romantic Hero, ladies and gentleman!
- Tuxedo Mask has become the “Norm!” of this show. I think he’s been showing up more often just so everyone can shout his name simultaneously. Not that I blame him. Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name…
- Hark? A plot point? Luna’s Arcade Boss finally gave her some intel on their enemies, but it was all stuff the viewers already knew. C’mon, Arcade Boss, you can’t just watch the anime, recap the episodes, and pretend it’s valuable information. That’s MY job, dammit.