Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 122-123

WHAT HATH SCIENCE WROUGHT?!

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Sailor Moon is so steeped in fantastical elements that I’m usually prone to calling it a fantasy, but this week takes special care to remind me that, technically speaking, it’s probably more accurate to call it science fiction. Pretty much every major plot point of the story is rooted in some kind of SF element, from interplanetary foes to time travel to alternate dimensions to li’l universes. The scouts themselves are the most magical thing in the series, and even then I’m sure there’s some kind of “technical” explanation for their powers involving microorganisms or elemental particles or some such.

Point being, SM is light on the realism but heavy on the science-y magic, so it’s not surprising that we see that take center stage this week. Given that our villains are constantly using science (okay, SCIENCE!) for evil, it was probably a smart idea to have an episode where Ami reminds us that science itself isn’t evil when in the proper hands. I wouldn’t mind seeing that explored to a greater degree at some point, but for now Ami has and always will be our proponent of Helpful and Ethical SCIENCE!, which helps offset Professor Dad and his nefarious snow globes.

And speaking of Professor Dad—he’s having a pretty darn good week, and would like me to tell you all about it.

The Recaps

Episode 122 – Welcome to the Dollhouse

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The weekly State of the Mooniun meeting gets interrupted by Usagi bearing Urgent News: Ami got a perfect score on the most recent national exam! I thought we called that a Tuesday, but still, yay! Only one other person managed to pull that off: Bido Yui, a student at (dun dun DUN) Mugen U, where the next exam just so happens to be hosted. Looks like the team’s got a good excuse to infiltrate again.

Cue our next cannon fodd—I MEAN Witch, Viluy, who’s set up this exam for the sole purpose of collecting a bunch of pure nerd hearts. She throws some major shade on Kaoli before flaunting off to her eeeevil mission.

Meanwhile, Sad Chibiusa stands outside Hotaru’s house in the snow, and will continue to do so for the entire episode.

C’mon, Chibs, everyone knows she won’t come to the window unless you hold a boombox over your head and blast “In Your Eyes”!

C’mon, Chibs, everyone knows she won’t come to the window unless you hold a boombox over your head and blast “In Your Eyes.”

Back at Mugen U, Ami immediately gets whisked away from the others by this Yui gal WHO SURE LOOKS AN AWFUL LOT LIKE VILUY, HMM. She takes Ami down to the Undercraft (I guess because she’s recruiting new Witches since their group name just sounds silly at this point?) and shows her the Evil Snow Globe. Ami’s a little unnerved, and that only grows when Yui reveals that Mugen U lets its smartest students teach classes. Good teachers need empathy as much if not more than brains, Ami reminds her, but Yui says that’s ridic ‘cause teaching is a science and science is all logic and no heart.

Then she’s all “Aww snap, you just been deductive reasoned, fool!” and LEAVES AMI IN THE BASEMENT to play with the Evil Snow Globe even though Professor Dad tells her like 5 SECONDS LATER that he thinks Ami might be a sailor guardian. No wonder he’s kept this one in reserve for so long.

“For what it's worth, you weren’t my LAST choice, but...”

“For what it’s worth, you weren’t my LAST choice, but…”

Viluy puts her plan to work, using nanomachines to attack the students through their computers and suck out their hearts. Meanwhile, Haruka and Michiru stroll down to Mugen’s basement and use their school IDs to break into The Dollhouse.

So, to recap: The most evil organization in Juuban has its Actual Antichrist protected by the same airtight, elite security system as…

…a university library.

Our antagonists, ladies and gentlemen!

toast - sarcastic

But where was I? Oh yeah—the basement! HaruMi wander in and get ready to smash some doll heads, but Ami (who can only shake an Evil Snow Globe so many times before she gets bored, y’know) wanders in and is all “If you want Hotaru you’ll have to go through me first!” It looks like HaruMi might do just that, but Viluy crashes the party as well, smacking HaruMi to the floor and forcing Ami to choose between fleeing or transforming—and I think we all know how that went down.

Sailor Mercury holds her own, at least until Viluy’s attacks turn into nanomachines and start slowly tearing away at Ami’s flesh, devouring her cell by cell until all that’s left is her pure heart. Okay, Viluy, I take back that part where I said you sucked as an antagonist, NOW LEAVE AMI ALONE OR SO HELP ME

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Or better yet, get beat up by a one-two punch from Sailor Duo and the Moonies! The gang messes up Viluy’s nanomachines SO HARD that they short-circuit and chew through their master instead. Byyyyye, Witch #2! Your unethical practices have served as a valuable lesson to all the little scientists watching at home!

Plus you did do your boss a solid by having your battle in a room with security cameras, so Professor Dad knows all about the guardian’s secret identities. Villains 1, Moonies 0.

Episode 123 – G.D.F.R.

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Haruka and Michiru are having one of their

ill wind

moments, which we ALSO call a Tuesday around here. Then it’s time for everyone—sans Chibiusa and her two babysitters, Mamoru and Puu—to sneak back into Mugen U for another assault on the castle. (And Usagi used the fancy shampoo tonight, so you know things’re ‘bout to get serious.) Despite the Moonies clever disguises as Obviously Not Mugen U Students, Cyprine spots them right away and bubbles them off to her private office where she can kill them at her leisure.

Around the rest of the Mooniverse, HaruMi have found a seat and popped some popcorn so they can watch their classmates get their hearts yanked, and Chibiusa is having a metaphor. I mean, a nightmare.

Eh, six of one, half-dozen of the other.

Eh, six of one, half-dozen of the other.

She decides to go to Hotaru’s house one last time, a decision she will quickly rue seeing as how Kaoli has opted to one-up Cyprine by stealing The Purest Heart Of All: That of Hotaru’s BFF. She’s lying in wait at the mansion, hiding in the shadows so Chibiusa will think the significantly taller, longer-haired silhouette is Hotaru and come waltzing into the room, whereupon it’s all POUNCE and TRANSFORM and WINDOW SMASH.

But no worries, gang! The Doctor and the Gentleman are here to…

…watch Chibi Moon get kidnapped. You know, Pluto, for a Guardian of Time, ya sure do have a problem with punctuality, don’t ya?

Meanwhile, the scouts are getting owned by not just Cyprine but her recently un-fused life partner, Ruby. I mean, Ptilol.

All seems lost, but then a Moon Kingdom Miracle happens: The scouts use real, honest-to-goodness TACTICS to create a smokescreen, lure the two gems Witches away from each other, and then trick them into attacking one another through the mist, blowing each other up. It’s… pretty tragic, actually. There’s a fanfic here that is just begging to make your eyes leak, mark my words.

The backlash from their twin attacks opens a portal to a pocket dimension, so the Moonies (and HaruMi) hop in and pop out in the Undercraft, right in front of Professor Dad, Kaoli, and Chibiusa on a stone slab and oh, crap baskets. I’ve read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I know how this goes down.

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Usagi tries to reach Chibusa by running boob-first into an electric barrier, but when that doesn’t work she goes for her tried-and-true tactic of appealing to a person’s better nature. She urges The Prof to remember his love for his daughter, but he neither knows what love is NOR wants you to show him, so he wakes up Dolly and invites her to the world’s creepiest buffet.

But it’s fine, you guys, I’m sure Hotaru is going to wrest back control and oh wait, nope, no, Dolly is eating it, Dolly is eating Chibiusa’s heart.

Dammit, Everyone-Except-Chibiusa!

Dammit, Everyone-Except-Chibiusa!

We’ve got one last twist for the day, as Dolly awakens not as Sailor Saturn but as “The Messiah of Silence, Mistress 9,” whose first act of antichristery will be to straight-up murder Kaolinite (and once more, with feeling: “GAWWWWD”) and then blow up the building and poof out of there with Professor Dad in tow.

The Moonies flee back to base, where the cats convert Mamoru into magic life support (it’s not like he was using that reincarnated prince power anyway) in order to keep Heartless Chibiusa alive. Doctor Puu heads out to meet up with HaruMi and bust some death, but Usagi has had it up to HERE with all these sad people, and so she and her team head out as well, prepared to save Hotaru or die trying.

I am only slightly worried the outcome will be the latter.

This, That, and the Other

  • Okay, I’ll bite. What happened to Mistresses 1 through 8?
  • I know I said I’d given up on ever seeing Ryo again, but I was still SUPER SAD they didn’t at least work him into a cameo at that national exam thing. :(
  • I think “bad feeling” is just Michiru’s base emotion. Now, when she starts having a GOOD premonition, that’s when you know things’re ‘bout to get serious.
  • The Mugen U students are having the weirdest day. Not only did they wake up in the middle of their main hall not knowing how they got there, but then a pair of magical cats led them to safety just as the building starts crumbling around their ears? Those kids have a long future of therapy to look forward to, that’s for damn sure.
  • …I may have been watching a lot of Steven Universe recently. Possibly. MAYBE.
  • Hark! A plot point! Yui calls the Evil Snow Globe the “Tau Star System” and explains it’s a “miniature universe” that the SCIENCE! Department created. I… no, you know what? Reincarnated moon princesses and time-traveling clans from outer space. My Suspension of Disbelief Bridge can bear the weight of a Tiny Foggy Universe Inside An Evil Snow Globe.
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6 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 122-123

  1. I never thought I’d ever feel so sad for Chibimoon, but here we are. The scene of Mistress 9/Hotaru pulling her heart out and all she says is “Hotaru, I’m glad you’re okay.” I’ll..be in my room with my Tori Amos CDs…

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you’d told me before “S” began that I’d come to love not just Mamoru but also Chibiusa, I’d have had to put on my skepticals. Just further proof that Ikuhara is an actual storytelling wizard.

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  2. “Pretty much every major plot point of the story is rooted in some kind of SF element, from interplanetary foes to time travel to alternate dimensions to li’l universes.”

    Thing is all those were part of Fantasy literature before SciFi existed. Those are the same superficial elements that cause Star Wars to be mislabeled SciFi.

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    • Oh, for sure, there’s always been a significant amount of overlap and blurring genre lines between SF and Fantasy. And certainly SM’s “science” doesn’t make a lick of sense most of the time. ^^; I suppose it’s the fact that SM bothers to explain its magic with “scientific” explanations (rather than simply calling it magic and leaving it at that) that makes me think it’s attempting to classify itself as more scifi (or at least SCI!fi) than fantasy. Whether or not it’s succeeding is of course up for debate.

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