Out with the old, in with the who?
I’m on the road for the next couple weeks, so I was already planning on this post being on the short side, but, er, well… I may have left my notes on these two episodes at home (yes, I take notes on paper, like some kind of peasant). And, what with all the running around, I didn’t have time to rewatch the episodes. Meaning that all I have to remind me of what happened this week is a series of screenshots and whatever plot darts stuck to my brainspace. So today, we’ll be playing a new and exciting game: Josei Vs. Fallible, Faulty Memory! And a 3, 2, 1…!
Episode 150 – A Minion of a Different Color
Keeping with Sailor Moon‘s ongoing themes about adulthood and maturity, Chibiusa and her friend Momo dream of growing up (and meeting boys or whatever), but a quartet of brightly colored girls at the Arcade think this is The Dumbest. The best dreams are those of children, they say, over and over AND OVER again. You will be unsurprised to learn that these new characters vehemently against adulthood are, in fact, antagonists.
Yes, last week’s Shadow Girls have stepped out of the shadows to become the Amazoness Quartet, and their names are…
…Yeah, I’m drawing a blank. So we’re gonna call ’em Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue for now. Blinky is marginally the leader, because red is always the leader. Pinky has an air of refinement. Inky is the most childish. Sue is…green. I dunno. She didn’t really stick out to me past that.
Unlike the Trio, who were more your long-suffering middle-management just trying not to get fired, these gals are insubordinate and power-hungry, bullying innocent Eye Spies and willing to climb over Madame Zirconia’s corpse to reach the (big) top. They’re strong, too, but also immature, impulsive, and uncoordinated, meaning Zirc is still in charge for the time being. She intimidates them into following her orders, so off they go after the next Dream Target: Chibiusa’s friend, Momo.
Oh, also, Ikuhara’s finally back in the director’s chair after a very long absence, which means mantras, thematic progression, and AWWW YEAH, MORE EERIE CIRCUS IMAGERY.
And even MORE eerie circus imagery when Blinky lures Chibiusa and Momo (and their Sailor chaperones) to the Dead Moon Circus and hypnotizes Momo with a nightmare trapeze act!
Momo wanders outside and straight into the Quartet’s trap, but she’s got a concerned bestie on her tail, and a whole mess of scouts behind her. The gals show up just in time to watch Blinky pool-shot Momo’s Dream Mirror out of her chest and—
OHHHHH, that’s RIGHT! It turns out the Dream Mirror containing Pegward will shine gold, meaning all those people the Trio painfully and uncomfortably spirit-groped for the last half-season? Yeah, TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.
Momo’s mirror is normal, but the Lemures’s tummy is makin’ the rumblies that only dreams can satisfy, so Blinky has her Snake Girl swallow the mirror whole. Chibiusa responds to this in the most hardcore fashion possible, running right up to the snake, jumping into its mouth, and trying to drag the mirror straight out of its throat. It doesn’t work, mind you, but I have to give Chibs mad props for trying.
In the end, Sailor Moon’s able to Stage it Out, and the Quartet beat a retreat to their favorite massage parlor to plan their next move. They all think Pegward is dreamy in every sense of the word, so they’re now more than willing to hunt down his hidey-hole. And thus the new antagonists begin their quest in earnest!
Episode 151 – Harper Better Faster Stronger
Ami episode! Get hype. She’s discovered this cool series of tubes that connect computers to one another (one might call it a wide web of tubes connecting the entire world, in fact), and she’s been sticking her ear against those tubes and listening to piano music as it wafts up from the labyrinth. She’s got a major talent crush on the composer, with whom she’s been chatting through one of those tubes, and has even written lyrics to match his music.
The Moonies mistake her admiration for affection, but they’re supportive as ever, encouraging her to show the lyrics to the composer. By virtue of crazy random happenstance, they even stumble across said composer playing at a local restaurant, so Ami can give those lyrics to him in person!
Thrilled to meet his online pen pal, the composer (no notes = no names, womp womp) invites the girls back to his studio, introduces them to his girlfriend(?)-slash-co-writer, and tells them about the pair’s dream to share their music with the world. They’re excited to see Ami’s lyrics, but, insecure as ever, she changes her mind and flees, convinced that she, an amateur who’s only doing this as a hobby, doesn’t have the right to show her work to such passionate professionals.
Her escape lasts all of 30 seconds. Then Blinky shows up in the studio and goes after the composer’s Dreams and the Moonies (Ami included) all spring to defend him. They face off against a Tadpole-turned-Frog Girl who, for some reason, has the power to trap them inside a computer, where Blinky attempts to hack (ba-dum tish) them to pieces.
And that’s when shit gets metaphysical.
Ami passes out and meets herself, who encourages her to be brave, little Piglet, and to realize that her identity can come from more than just one thing. She can keep her dream of becoming a doctor and pursue her passion for music and poetry! After all, the blood of both artists and scientists runs in her veins (her dad is traveling the world and sending her pencil sketches of where’s he’s been, by the by).
It would have been nice to see Ami’s love of music expressed prior to this episode (I can’t really remember a time when she seemed interested in artistic projects), but it’s such an empowering realization that I can’t be too upset at Sailor Moon for not laying the groundwork sooner. Plus it leads to an awesome new attack involving a typhoon-spouting harp, so bonus!
Mercury breaks them out of the computer, freeing Sailor Moon up to Stage Out the Frog Princess. After the quickest of quick changes, the girls return to the studio, and this time Ami has the confidence to show the composer her lyrics. He and his partner-in-headbands are so impressed that they vow to work even harder in order to make their dream a reality. And so we can all warm our hearts on the soft glow of another Ami episode as the end credits roll.
This, That, and the Other
- Yes, I recognize the irony of forgetting my notes for the episodes that chanted “never forget to remember” over and over again.
- And yes, I also recognize that I could have Googled all the characters’ names and casually pretended like I hadn’t forgotten my notes. But that would be dishonest to you, dear readers, and I’m cultivating a culture of trust over here at JND. Plus. I mean. Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue are pretty solid nicknames.
- Sailor Moon usually does a good job of not dating itself, but its ’90s were showing somethin’ fierce this week during that wonderful “OMG INTERWEBS” conversation. That said, I really like their description of it as a digital bulletin board, as well as the way they optimistically focused on its ability to help aspiring artists reach audiences they wouldn’t have been able to before.
- Is it just me, or does Queen Nehelenia kinda look the way Queen Serenity would look if we were in the darkest timeline? Sans goatee, of course.
- Hark! A plot point! …Sorry, I still can’t get over the fact that the Trio went around sticking their heads into dreams FOR NO DAMN REASON for 22 solid episodes. What the actual fuck, Nehelenia?! Seriously.