The gang’s all here…
If you were wondering why the sailors skipped a planet along the way, wonder no more, for we’ve found Saturn at last, and she is… somewhat less interested in saving the world than the others are, it seems. And the Outer Guardians are a VERY exclusive club and don’t seem inclined to let her join. But that’s fine. I’m sure the Moonies can print up another Inner Guardian membership card if she asks. They gave Jupiter one, after all, so clearly their definition of “inner” and “outer” planets is already real flexible.
Episode 118 – The Gamer’s Gates
Sailor Moon gets its creepy foreshadowing on when Hotaru and Chibiusa play Old Maid and Hotaru keeps getting stuck with the death-faced Joker. (And y’know, if your daughter has a potentially life-threatening illness, maybe buy a set of cards with, like, Hello Kitty on them or something, not the Grim freaking Reaper. Just sayin’.) Meanwhile, SCIENCE is happening in the basement.
Well, SCIENCE and tea time, anyway. Professor Dad remembers he’s in charge of snacks today so he runs out to grab some goodies, leaving Mimete unattended with the Daimoncrowave. She responds like a kid in a candy store, grabbing every game within arm’s reach to create a super-powered Game Daimon. But it’s too much SCIENCE for the device to handle, and the energy shockwave turns the house into a labyrinth of dimensional portals full of violent creatures and deadly pitfalls threatening to destroy the girls.
So. Like the title says. Gamer’s Gates.
Chibiusa wastes no time in calling the scouts for backup, which leads to a wonderfully awkward meeting between the returning Professor and the entire team of Moonies. They promise to help him get back into his house and rescue Hotaru along the way, although they need to do it quickly: In one hour, the house will be sucked into another dimension and DESTROYED! Also you can’t just bust down the door, otherwise DESTROYED! Dimensional portals are a delicate sciency-magic, doncha know.
After some squabbling, the scouts use Sailor Teleport to get inside and BAMF around like drunken Nightcrawlers until Ami (who spends the entire first act saving e’ryone’s asses) eventually gets them to the same dimension as Chibiusa and Hotaru. And not a second too soon, seeing as how both girls are currently engaging in the Tsukino family’s favorite past time of dangling over a chasm.
The scouts rescue the girls only to have the entire group wind up in the Daimon’s Gambling Den, where they must win a game to escape—and must bet with their very lives! The Daimon sucks at games but is a whiz at cheating, and soon has all the scouts in its clutches. Time for Chibs and Hotaru to bring this story full circle and Old Maid their way to freedom!
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Luna and Artemis stand around chatting away in front of Professor Dad, and Professor Dad eats an entire mountain of snacks.
Also The Outsiders stand around ominously and Haruka half-hopes that Hotaru will die in the hell dimension. Antiheroes!
Back in the Den, Chibs cleverly uses the monster’s own pride against it and wins the game of Old Maid, but the Daimon insists they BOTH have to win, so it’s up to Hotaru to choose the Ace of Hearts instead of the deadly Joker. Good thing we’ve got Sailor Moon around to teach us the secret to victory:
Believing in yourself.
So Hotaru does, and lo! She chooses wisely! And, I mean, sure, the Daimon still ain’t gonna let you escape, but moral victories are important, too. Plus then Hotaru’s kind enough to pass out, allowing Chibiusa to transform, free Sailor Moon, and help wreck this cheating cheaterpants. Then the Moonies get to go back to Usagi’s house for celebratory hotcakes and Hotaru gets to… go back inside the evil mansion with her evil father. Can we have the hell dimensions back, please?
Episode 119 – Star-Crossed Besties
Rei’s Spooky Prophecy Dream returns with a vengeance, which is how you know this episode is going to include Plot. Her visions now feature a shadowy girl (Dolly) wielding an equally shadowy scythe. Rei doesn’t know what to make of this, although combined with The Outsiders’ vague suspicions about Hotaru, she’s beginning to put a hypothesis together.
Michiru’s Spooky Prophecy Dreams have also been upgraded to HD, the key difference being that she has a Time Lord around to help her interpret this noise (or silence, rather). It’s all bad news though, ‘cause the scythe is almost certainly the Silence Glaive, a.k.a. The Scythe of Silence, a.k.a. The Weapon Wielded By Sailor Saturn, a.k.a. The Guardian OF DOOM.
Saturn’s the planet of destruction, which, like, why would you even want that guardian when you’ve already got a guardian of death, seems like overkill, and Pluto is NOT cool with Saturn trying to steal her job from her. She’s also apparently crazy-strong, and awakening her would be… ill-advised. New plan, then: Find her and kill her before she has the chance to wake up. Antiheroes!
And just in case you’d forgotten that Dolly was bad news bears, she gives you a pretty literal reminder.
But enough of all this gloom and doom! Chibiusa wants to take Hotaru to the planetarium (because I guess they ran out of fun things to do together?), and she needs some older guardian-types to accompany them. The scouts agree to go largely because the show’s performed by famous DJ Thomas Harris this week—which naturally means he’s a target for perpetual fangirl Mimete as well. This is bad for the DJ but good for the audience, ‘cause it means something interesting will happen at a planetarium for once.
The scouts scoop up Hotaru on her way home from school and encourage her to do what she wants without calling her dad to ask permission or let him know where she’s going (ROLE MODELS!), then it’s off to the star show! With a DJ in charge, you’d think it’d be full of fat beats and remixes, but not even Harris can improve planetariums, as he drones on about the “sad stories of young girls in the stars” in a voice that says he’ll be firing his agent when he gets home tonight.
Doctor Puu shows up and rescues the scouts from Death By Tedium, taking them into the lobby and FINALLY telling them everything about the Messilence and the Spooky Prophecy Dreams. Which is great, although it does leave the planetarium largely undefended from Mimete, her star-slinging Daimon, and her knockout gas (finishing the job the planetarium was already well on its way to accomplishing).
The scouts come running back in to find everyone unconscious except Chibs and Hotaru, and Hotaru’s in the middle of a seizure. Haruka’s here too, refusing to let Chibiusa get her friend medical assistance ‘cause she wants to see what’ll happen next. Which, I mean, WHY? There are only two ways this can go: You wake up the demon-child you saw before and she starts ripping people apart, OR Hotaru’s just an ordinary girl with a medical condition and she swallows her tongue and dies, and NEITHER OF THOSE ARE GOOD OUTCOMES, HARUKA, HOW IS THIS YOUR PLAN.
…Anyway, The Tux shows up and everyone bounces around for a while until, finally, Hotaru reaches peak oxygen deprivation and begins to awaken—with hauntingly cool music and a nifty glowing forehead symbol, to boot. That’s right, team! We’ve found the last Shikon jewel shard Dragon Ball Celestial Warrior Sailor Guardian, and she…
….Is definitely NOT a morning person.
The Outsiders waste no time trying to kill her, but Chibiusa jumps in front to protect “Hotaru” and Usagi shoves them both out of the way, keeping anyone from getting Dead World Submerged. The Outsiders ain’t pleased, but the Moonies are all like “NO, we do NOT kill people just because they ‘might’ destroy the world someday!” and while they’re arguing Kaori BAMFs the now-unconscious Hotaru out of there and back to her bedroom.
And just in case you (like me) were wondering where the Prof stood on the sliding scale of villainy, he shatters the fourth wall long enough to inform us that he’s way down there on the Beryl and Wiseman end of the spectrum, as he pretty much hand-picked Hotaru to be the Messilence because she’s the reincarnated Saturn. Dude, are you even really her dad?
This, That, and the Other
- Hotaru offering to stay behind in the dimensional rift because she “should never have been born anyway” is just THE SADDEST. Someone give this girl a happy ending, stat!
- The sudden shifts from light to dark used on Professor Dad in Episode 118 as he fluctuated from “Hotaru’s Dad” to “Mad Scientist” were stylish and fun. Not subtle, maybe, but fun.
- I’m not entirely sure why that penguin was able to travel between dimensions as well, but rest assured that I’m writing him an intricate sci-fi headcanon as we speak.
- Why did “Let’s Get It On” make a ‘90s Japanese music show’s Top 10 list? A Top 10 list of what? “Songs the American Audience Was Conceived During”?
- Sorry if I offended any planetarium fans. It was all in good fun. But no, really, planetariums are great—FOR TAKING NAPS IN!
- Hark! A plot point! Please refer to the entire Episode 119 recap for details.