Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 65-66

Better late than never, no?

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Delayed SM post this week, courtesy of the hectic holiday season. (Note that I announce these delays in the Chirp-o-sphere, so if you ever notice something isn’t coming out when it’s supposed to, you can check there for more info.) It was a fun week, with some subtle plot bombs and slightly varied character dynamics—all good things, really—but in the interest of getting this out before the end of the weekend (I’m typing this during the, like, three-hour window between parties and chores), I’m going to unleash my little-used superpower: EXTREME BREVITY. Prepare yourself, Kakarot!

The Recaps

Episode 65 – Love Gemstone No. 9

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The gals had plans to spend the day together, but Ami’s studying and Rei’s shrining and Usa’s probably dashing across a street somewhere with a piece of toast hanging out of her mouth, so for now it’s just Minako and Makoto, who have never really interacted much before. The park is full of snuggly couples despite the heat (“They’re getting their gross sweat all over each other,” Mina and I think simultaneously, like true romantics), which leads to a debate about love that only worsens when the girls rescue Chibiusa from a pair of bullying boys.

Minako: “Boys tease girls because they like them.”
Makoto: “Nah, those guys are just assholes.”

The two are not mutually exclusive, incidentally, but it sparks a Huge Argument about why the other is still single—both of which basically come down to “you’re still not over the last guy you liked.” Usagi shows up just in time to be confused about the conversation and to get jealous at Chibi AGAIN for crushing on Mamoru, proving that she’s still the least mature scout in the park.

Meanwhile, the Spectre Sisters are sniping at each other about THEIR bad luck with romance, too. Holy thematic coincidence, Batman! Eldest sister Petz recently got dumped and second-eldest sister Calaveras is giving her crap about it. Then Rubeus puts Calaveras on a new Crystal Point assignment, she acts all Too Cool For School but changes her mind, only to discover that Petz took the mission. Looks like it’s time for a Sister Act!

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Our Black Crescent Club (henceforth known as the BCC) take over a local magic shop that sells gems which supposedly grant wishes, and turn them into eeeeevil gems which grant you the reverse of what you actually wished for. Love turns to hate, success turns to failure, pizza turns to broccoli—it’s CHAOS!

Of course this is exactly when the Moonies-about-town swing by and Usagi decides to try her luck, first chug-a-lugging a juice which will get the person you like to like you in return, and then following the “shopkeepers” into a shady room where they’re shown a conveniently affordable gem guaranteed to “bring back love.” All three gals go for it at once… and then things get adorable, because Minako insists Makoto not use it because CLEARLY the guy who dumped her had terrible taste, and Mina wants Mako “to have a loving relationship.” After all, she’s a precious friend, and Mina wants her to be with someone who deserves her.

And now, if you’ll excuse me:

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Mako takes back her earlier gripes about Mina being “too picky” as well, and somewhere in the background Petz is all like “Damn skippy that asshole didn’t deserve me!” and it’s kind of a hilarious bonding moment for all involved parties. Let’s give up on these stupid charms and ex-crushes and find someone newer and better, TOGETHER! Hoo-wah!

…Oh, except for Usagi. I guess she’s stuck with that Mamoru jerkoff since he’s the Romantic Hero and all.

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“Geez, you guys, I’m standing right here!”

That’s right—Chibiusa followed the gals and Mamoru used his Chibidar to find her, so they walk into the shop just in time to hear Usagi go on about how he’s the only one for her! He leaves in a dramatic angsty HUFF!, just in time for the shopkeeps to blurt out their nefarious schemes and reveal themselves as the BCC. Gasp!

Then there’s a fire extinguisher and a bunch of fog and transformation sequences, and I’m pretty sure Usagi shoves Chibiusa into a crate at one point so she can’t see her when she transforms, even though she shouts “Moon Crystal Power Make-Up” SUPER LOUDLY right outside the crate. Along the way Petz monologues about how love makes women weak because they rely on men instead of themselves, but Makoto and Minako figure you can believe in love and STILL be a badass, and they prove it by learning a pair of new moves: Mako gets the Engrish-tastic “Sparkles Wide Pressure” (I prefer last cour’s Thunder Dragon), and WOOHOO MINA FINALLY LEARNS THE LOVE-ME CHAIN!

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And Sailor Moon Crystal Venus is all like, “Girl, what took you so long?”

The scouts (Rei and Ami joined the party late) drive off the Sisters and Sailor Moon shows up just in time to halate the local droid Jamanen into crystal dust (“Jeez, I don’t even get to say my catchphrases!”). Then she goes right back to chug-a-lugging love potions. Have you learned NOTHING from this moving experience, Usa? Ahh, who’m I kidding. Have fun chasing your uncommunicative romantic hero. I’m sure he’ll come around—maybe even if the next episode, in fact…

Episode 66 – Currying Favor

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Chibiusa’s class is having a “parent-child curry rice event” this weekend, but Usagi’s ‘rents can’t attend because “something came up” (read: It’s Sunday and we’re tired, dammit), so they volunteer Usa to do it instead. Chibs tells everyone to shove that idea where the sun don’t shine, she’d rather go by herself than with “Stupid Usagi,” so THERE, but she’s clearly upset, and the thought of a parent-child event makes her all teary-eyed and nostalgic for the past (future?) again.

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Literally the only thing I know about the future is that everyone is up to their ears in bubbles.

At first Usagi has no intention of helping out a little brat who doesn’t want her help, despite Morality Cat’s insistence that she be the bigger person, but she relents when she catches the Chibi crying over a pot of failed rice. She gets Chibiusa to agree to let Usa go to the curry event, but only by suggesting they invite Mamoru along, too. Hopefully Usagi won’t come to roux this decision before the day is out.

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Oh, so yeah—surprise, Mamoru! You get to play house with your ex-girlfriend and a tiny child from the future. At first he’s all “Buzz off, I’m sleepy,” but Chibi busts out the cute and he agrees. Mind you, none of them actually knows HOW to make curry rice, so Usagi takes a crash cooking course with The Thunder Chef, Makoto. Everyone is terrible at chopping veggies, they mistake a carrot for Minako’s finger, and it is hands-down the best scene of the episode. Can we just get an entire webseries of the scouts trying to cook things together? I would watch the hell out of that.

And meanwhile down in the PCPavilion, Petz is eating an entire cake.

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“Nom nom feelings nom nom.”

At least until Rubeus pops in with yet another Crystal Point mission, this time at the Juuban Supermarket. Petz and Cal go together again, because they get along SO well together, and start selling Dark Fruits (slogan: “Let’s all be unhappy together!”), which turn all the shoppers into zombies and everything the shoppers touch into rotting brown ooze. Their grossest scheme yet!

The newly-minted eeeeevil supermarket puts a real damper on Usagi’s afternoon, as she’d been having Pretend-Family Fun Times with Mamoru and Chibiusa until they got to the store and found everything all mushified. “GAWD, Usagi, how could you not know that this place only served rotting food?!” Mamoru snaps dickishly, and he and Chibs leave in another HUFF. Which, honestly, perfect timing, because now Luna and Usagi can go a-sleuthing!

Out on the streets of Juuban, Rei runs into Mamoru and Chibiusa at a local butcher’s shop and gets dragged into their Pretend-Family Fun Times. Oh goodie, Mamoru gets to make curry with a DIFFERENT ex-girlfriend now! Much better!

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“Please don’t talk about that time we made out in the arcade please don’t talk about that time we made out in the arcade…”

It is exactly as awkward as you’d think, so much so that even Chibi notices the difference, and says they’d better go find Usagi. Rei agrees with the relief of a woman pardoned five feet from the gallows. Even better, the supermarket is full of eeeevil energy, so Rei gets to sprint inside, leaving Pretend-Family Fun Time in the dust.

The BCC’s plan is taking too long to come to fruition (hah!), so they call on droid Avocadora to speed things along. Sailor Moon is in a pinch, but it’s Sailor Mars to the rescue, and winning Entrance Pose Of the Week to boot!

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“See, Tuxedo Mask? I can do it, too!”

There’s a Banana Knife and a Lychee Grenade, and then The Tux shows up and uses his DUELING!Cane, and everything is ridiculous and wonderful again, right up until the rest of the scouts show up and force our squabbling Spectre Sisters to beat a retreat. Sailor Moon halates Avocadora, and…

Huzzah! The food regenerates! Probably the shoppers do, too, but more importantly: FOOD! Mamoru retrieves Chibiusa from whatever crate he stuffed her into (I assume that’s how we’re handling this now), they finish their shopping, and Usagi takes them to Mamoru’s for a home-cooked curry meal, which, despite its funky look, is actually quite tasty. Side Quest Completed! +10 Ex-perience Points!

This, That, and the Other

  • Our villains are surprisingly dark this season. There’s only one brief, dim shot of what the BCC did to the previous owners of the magic shop, but man, it is not PG-rated.
  • Is it just me, or are the scouts gradually giving less and less of a damn about protecting their secret identities? They’ve never exactly been subtle, but creating a smokescreen so you can shout your transformation spell like five feet from your enemy is a whole new level of obvious.
  • I’m not sure what surprised me more: That the supermarket didn’t allow pets, or that Usagi actually respected the rule. Luna has shed, kneaded, and rubbed her face on literally every other public place in this city. Why stop here?
  • “You’ve angered the fresh highland vegetables and melt-in-your-mouth shabu-shabu beef!” Thanks to Usagi and Mamoru being on a disturbingly similar wavelength, I got to giggle at this line TWICE today.
  • Hark! A plot point! Hey, fancy that! The shadowy outlines of Chibiusa’s parents look EXACTLY like Mamoru and Usagi! Which begs the question: How does she NOT see the resemblance? Surely there are childhood photos of Mum ‘n’ Dad kicking around SOMEWHERE in her fancy future home, right?
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