Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 47-48

R you ready for a new season?

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A Note on Spoilers: I didn’t really mind spoilers previously, but we’re entering the part of SM of which I know almost nothing, and I now have some other readers who are watching SM for the first time as well. To keep the experience fresh and exciting for both them and me, please avoid posting any future plot points (related to either the anime or the manga) in the comments section. Thanks!

Well’p. The bad news is that everyone has amnesia. The good news is that Sailor Moon’s creative team looked at this whole Sailor Moon Reboot thing and went, “What? Spend a bunch of episodes having the girls slowly regain their memories and powers? PSSSH. Ain’t nobody got time for that! We have magic cats. We can fix this in, like, two episodes, TOPS.”

And so they did!

With the exception of Mamoru, who spends most of his time acting like an ordinary (albeit progressively more freaked out) guy, we have the gang back together, memories intact, by the end of the week. Which is a Sailor Moon Relief, because not only is SM better as an ensemble show, it’s a lot more interesting now that the girls are all alive but also remember their most recent, brutal battle. For all Usagi’s cheerfulness, she’s a princess with a lot more weight on her shoulders now, as demonstrated by both her reluctant return to her role and her initial unwillingness to involve the other girls. The status quo may have been restored, but things will never be quite the same.

And what SM status would be properly quo’d without a bunch of antagonists trying to suck the energy out of the people of Tokyo? The Dark Kingdom may be gone but a brand new threat is just rarin’ to take their places, and it’s high time we got to know them.

The Recaps

Episode 47 – Lather, Rinse, Sailor Moon Repeat

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We skip two months forward to find the girls leading Totally Normal Lives, except of course for the talking cats hanging out at Usagi’s house. Artemis would like to settle down and start a life with Luna, and Luna would like him to back the eff off. Yeah, Artemis, back the eff off! Don’t you know?! Luna/Rhett OTP 5EVA! Man, it’s like he doesn’t even READ my blog.

But all that Totally Normal Living is about to change when something crashes into Juban, leaving a massive crater in the street—and you guys all know what that means.

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Say hello to Ail (dude) and An (lady), a green-skinned duo fresh off the spaceship with nothing in their pockets but a pack of cards, a song, and a dream. A dream to live freely! A dream to live peacefully! A dream to… feed on the life energy harvested from the human race? This immigrant metaphor took a sudden xenophobic turn, you guys.

To better understand their new home, the two enroll at Usagi’s school, posing as brother (“Seijurou”) and sister (“Natsumi”). Despite kind of being lovers (and also kind of being siblings?), Seijurou flirts with all the girls and Natsumi promptly falls for Mamoru, because dude is apparently some kind of villain-magnet. Is it the purple slacks? I bet it’s the purple slacks.

Natsumi/An’s stalking attempts get derailed when she collapses from a lack of energy. Ail takes her back to their apartment, which appears to have an other-dimensional room where they keep their “Makai Tree.” It’s a radioactive heart with an equally radioactive flower growing out of it, and is almost as gross as Metalia’s fleshy canopy bed. Almost.

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I really hope they call this room “The Atrium.”

Ail uses his flute to get the Makai to drip some sweet life energy onto An’s tongue, which revives her enough so that the two can start plotting. It’s energy harvesting season, and An says the best energy on the planet comes from young girls in love. You get the feeling she says this mostly ‘cause she’s annoyed at Ail for hitting on the gals at school, but it also draws the shortest story line between our villains and Naru the Resident Monster Magnet, which is pretty helpful, too.

An uses her divination abilities to draw the “Cardian” that can best handle the current mission. She pulls out a metal card entitled “Vampir,” which transforms into a monster at the sound of Ail’s flute, and proceeds to attack the ladies of Juban. So, basically, our enemies are evil alien cardcaptors. I can get behind this.

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“Wind, Rain, Shadow, Wood, Sword, Thunder, Power, Sleep…”

It doesn’t take long for Vampir to get spotted by the local law enforcement: Luna and Artemis. They come across the monster just as it finishes one meal and moves on to another. And you will be shocked, just SHOCKED, to learn that the “another” is…

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“I gotta say that girl sure gets her energy sucked a lot.”—Luna, with the quote of the week

Fortunately Naru was chatting on the phone with Usagi at the time, and all those last-minute dashes to school mean that Usagi can run, like SUPER fast. She’s there within 60 seconds, bursting through the door just in time to see Vampir with its tendrils all up in Naru’s area codes.

“This must be a dream!” Usagi cries. “It’s not a dream!” Luna cries. “HOLY CRAP THAT CAT TALKED NOW I KNOW IT’S A DREAM!” Usagi cries louder, and decides she can kick this imaginary monster’s ass. She can’t, but “A” for effort, at least. Vampir turns its tendrils on Usagi, and would have drained her right proper if Artemis hadn’t used Fury Swipes to draw its ire. Vampir chases our fuzzy white knight out the window, leaving Luna with a difficult decision.

Actually, it isn’t difficult at all. Sailor Moon Reawaken!

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Magic cats: Controlling your thoughts with moon beams since 1993!

Memories and powers back, our pretty guardian in a sailor suit hunts down Vampir and punishes it in the name of the moon (with a little help from her furocious sidekick, of course). The monster turns back into a card, alerting the Space Sibs to Usagi’s presence. “Aww man! This planet has people actually PROTECTING it? Laaaame,” they grumble, and swear vengeance before vanishing. Usagi bids farewell to her “ordinary life” and looks sadly up at the moon as our latest ending song rolls.

Aw, chin up, Usa! Sure, you have to risk your life to fight evil—but on the bright side, you and the Moonies are gonna be besties again soon~

Episode 48 – Sailor Moon Reunited, and It Feels So Good

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Memories restored, Usagi quickly gets back to her top priority: Mackin’ on Mamoru. But our forgetful prince has no idea what’s going on, so his response to Usa’s snuggles is “AH WHAT WHY ARE YOU BEING NICE QUIT IT.”

Mamoru flees to his part-time job (“Where’s your job, my reincarnated love?!” Usagi asks. “Why would I tell you, Stalker McCrazypants?!” Mamoru replies) just as Natsumi shows up. She wheedles some intel about Mamoru out of Usagi, then announces that she’s going to “make him hers,” because Natsumi doesn’t understand that Usagi called dibs on him literally AGES ago. And meanwhile Mamoru is off somewhere like:

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Later, Usagi chats with the cats about restoring Mamoru’s memories. They point out that it might be a good idea to restore USEFUL people’s memories instead, such as the other scouts, but Usa will have none of it: Let the others live normal lives, she can superhero on her own. It’s a dash of that misguided martyrdom we spoke about a few weeks ago (it’s hard to imagine the girls NOT wanting their memories back, especially poor friendless Ami and poor Artemis-less Minako), but fortunately for all of us, it’ll be pretty short-lived.

That’s because the Space Sibs have unleashed another evil Clow card (Minotauron) and are hatching a plot to snag more of that sweet, succulent teenage energy. They sneak into a creepy darkened room where a bunch of old dudes are looking at photos of school girls they could not POSSIBLY have taken legally, and sure, technically they’re “casting” for a “TV show” starring Mikan Shiratori (remember her?), but I don’t care, it’s still creepy as hell. They’ve narrowed their search down to every scout except Usagi (because poor Usagi) and Naru (because seriously, poor Naru).

As soon as they decide this, the Space Sibs step in and knock out everyone in the room (they don’t suck their energy though because they have standards, dammit). This means that instead of auditioning for a bunch of creepers who like to take candid photos, the girls will be auditioning for a pair of monsters who want to drain them of their energy. This… seems like a step up to me. Thanks, bad guys!

Then, at school:

Naru: So Usagi, I’ve got this audition thing, which is cool and all, but you know how every time surprisingly good things happen to me I end up getting kidnapped and knocked unconscious? Well, I’m thinking maybe… just maybe… this is one of those things.
Usagi: Whaaaaat?! Girl, you crazy. But I’ll come with you if it’ll make you feel better. Then maybe those Totally Legit Casting Directors will let ME audition, too! MY PAST EXPERIENCES IN LIFE ASSURE ME THAT THIS IS EXACTLY THE THING THAT WILL HAPPEN.

Turns out self-aware Naru is still damsel-in-distress Naru, because despite her misgivings she goes to the audition with Usagi. The guards won’t let Usa in, though, so she has to watch as first Naru and then the rest of the scouts file into the Totally Legit Audition Room (even Ami, who really just came so she could politely turn them down, seeing as how future DoctorLawyerPresidentEngineers don’t have time to be on TV). The Space Sibs invite the girls onto the “set” of a SyFy show, and then it’s all magic flutes and minotaur monsters and English farces from there.

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An gets annoyed at Ail for having too much fun watching a bunch of scared girls run around, and goes off in search of different food. There are some hi-jinks involving Usagi and “Natsumi” once they find out Mamoru’s part-time gig is at the TV station, but none of that’s particularly important, because Luna sneaks into the studio just in time to see Naru get knocked out and Rei and Makoto put on their game faces.

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“So are you getting wicked deja vu right now, or is it just me?”

Unfortunately all the exorcism spells and judo flips in the world can’t take down an evil Clow card, and the girls look to be in real trouble. Even the sudden arrival of Sailor Moon doesn’t help things, since Usagi lost the Moon Stick during her Bitter Beryl Battle and is now basically a white mage without a staff.

The others are dying to help the hapless vigilante, so Luna does what we all knew she’d do: Awakens the others and brings them into the fight. A Crescent Beam/Fire Soul combo attack defeats the monster and saves the day—or at least a few people’s days, anyway. Ail escapes energy-less, but An spent her time gnawing on Mikan Shiratori, so the drama series gets canceled to give the “exhausted” Mikan some time to recuperate. Considering that this project was run by dudes who secretly photographed junior high girls, I think our local idol dodged a bullet there. Thanks again, bad guys!

This, That, and the Other

  • Yes, I fully intend to make Sailor Moon Related jokes until I run out of them. So get comfy. There are a LOT of words that begin with “R.”
  • While I’m not sure if Sailor Moon is the kind of show that bothers to age its characters, the cherry blossoms are in bloom this week, which suggests that the girls have already begun or are preparing to begin a new school year. Usa & the Gang are top dogs at the junior high now, what what!
  • Only good thing to come out of that WB Cardcaptors dub? The opening theme. “CAAAAARDCAPTORS! A mystic adventure! CAAAARDCAPTORS! A quest for all time!”
  • Meanwhile, 15 minutes before the final script was due:
    “Oh shit. I just realized we haven’t named our antagonists.”
    “UGGGGGH. You know what? I don’t, I don’t even care anymore. Just jumble the letters of the English word for ‘alien’ and call it good.”
    “Well I haven’t taken English since high school, but you got it, boss! Now let’s see… I think that’s A-L-I-A-N…”
  • Hark! A plot point! I get the feeling the series may be setting Ail and An up as somewhat sympathetic villains, given that (a) they actually need this energy to survive, (b) they spend a lot of time yearning for a “peaceful” life, and © they make it a point NOT to kill the people they feed on. Compared to Queen “death to all living creatures” Metalia, these guys are looking downright cuddly.
  • Remember last week when I was all, “The ‘R’ is for ‘Rhodendron’! Plant people are coming!” WELLP.
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