Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 190-191

*headdesksbeds* indeed, Usagi.

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Our teams are still struggling to see eye-to-eye–and in some cases not “struggling” so much as “working very hard to NOT do that thing.” I was pumped when the Outer Guardians returned to the cast at the beginning of the season, but their role in the story has been so limited and aggravating that I almost wish they’d stayed in Time Prison/on their couples road trip instead. Still, despite Team Xenophobia’s best efforts, Team Moonie is slowly but surely winning over Team Lights thanks to a combination of friendship and empathy. Now if only they could do the same for their own allies…

The Recaps

Episode 190 – Mostly Void, Partially Sailor Stars

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The Outer Guardians have returned for the first time in a while to forgive and forgePFFT AHAHAHA, no, I’m kidding, they’re here to be assholes again. Although, to be fair, Taiki and Yaten are exactly as hostile as they are. They reveal their secret identities to each other and have a super-mature “You stay outta my business,” “No YOU stay outta MY business” stand-off until Seiya shows up to point out that they have zero reason to fight. Seconded, bro. Seconded soooo hard.

There’s an argument where this hostility kind of makes sense–I mean the Lights did show up at the same time as Galaxia, so you could maybe be suspicious of them because of the timing–but that argument is not made here, so basically everyone but Seiya looks like a dumbface. Still, Seiya agrees to stop seeing Usagi to help keep the peace, and the Outers are satisfied.

Cut to school, where the Lights continue to be absent and Usagi continues to be bummed. Everyone tries to cheer her up, but only Mina succeeds by getting her the phone number for the Lights’s rehearsal venue. Yay, friendship! But Yaten won’t let her talk to Seiya since he’s “refusing to see her.” Boo, that-relationship! Eventually the Outers show up to, ah-hem, take credit for this new status quo. Usagi replies:

status not quo

They insist that they can only trust each other, which would have gotten them all Death By Inner Guardian’d if Usagi had thought that way when she had met them, but whatevs. The important part is that Seiya thinks this is silly too, so he asks Usagi to come to their concert at the local amusement park and listen to their song. (“Which song?” “You, uh, you know the only one we ever sing?” “Yeah.” “That one.”) Cat Bestie Luna encourages her to go, because even cats are more welcoming to strangers than the Outer Guardians.

The concert is sold out, meaning things can once again get a little sweet and a lotta ridiculous, as Usagi stations herself in a nearby(ish) Ferris Wheel and Seiya sings across distance, through glass, and straight into her HEART, serenading her with his back story. It’s mostly stuff we already knew, but it does come with traumatic visuals.

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“What, this? Oh, no no no, that’s just how we play tag on my world! Now lemme just pull up the real repressed war memories for you…”

This requires too many feelings, so Seiya promptly passes out. But don’t worry, he’ll wake up soon enough to wander off his stretcher and over to Usagi, just in time for the two of them to get attacked by our latest phage, Sailor Amuse, a.k.a. the amusement park manager. He fights with bomb balloons. Bombloons. (Shush.) And Seiya’s still too injured to transform or even flee properly, so Usagi’s got her work cut out for her.

Luckily(?) the Outer Guardians happened to be out on a romantic date with their chaperon (poooor Pluto), so they help Usagi turn the manager back to normal. BUT THEY’RE NOT HERE FOR SEIYA, OKAY? DEFINITELY NOT FOR HIM BECAUSE BOYS HAVE COOTIES, GROSS, GAWWWD.

The Lights come to collect their wandering friend and the two sides are once again at a stalemate, despite Usagi and Seiya clearly wishing otherwise. Forget “Dammit, Chibiusa”–dammit, Outer Guardians! Stop being stubborn and let Usagi save the world with friendship like she always does!

Episode 191 – Fist of the North Sailor Star

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This episode is fun, because it’s about the Inners being silly, and it is also frustrating, because it’s also about the Inners getting beat up and bailed out by others. But we’ll get to that later. First, C.C. has to see-see some glowing red butterflies, don a sailor suit, and find a magical censer. All in a day’s work for plot devices!

The Lights feel this as “the Princess’s energy,” which raises question we will not be answering today, because the arcade is having a special event, and Usagi is TOO DEPRESSED TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES?!

shock - gasp

Missing their leader, the rest of the Moonies decide to enter the gaming tournament. But not for themselves, oh, no–they’re here to win so they can have a chance to talk to prize-presenter Taiki about their princess. Usagi has awesome friends. They are also giant cosplaying dorks. This only makes them more awesome.

Ami’s not familiar with the fighting game being played, nor are any of the other Moonies (Mina would’ve won if it was a racing tourney!), but she memorizes the move sets and works her way through the bracket, because genius. She also sees her friends getting pummeled by 6-year-olds. It fills her with determination!

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Ami takes on the Fightin’ Wolf in the championship match and owns him, allowing her to get close enough to Taiki to ask for a private word. They’ve watched stars together and helped dying children find their courage, so he figures eh, what the heck, but then quickly loses interest when he realizes it’s not about her burning love-love for him, but about Usagi.

Ami fights for her friend (#UsagiDidNothingWrong), insisting she’s a caring person who “spreads her warmth” and always wants to help others. All true! She also argues that Seiya got hurt because he was helping someone he cared about, and that Taiki would’ve done the same thing. Taiki’s all:

feelings - none

He does his very best to prove her wrong when the other idol (the second target this week so inconsequential I didn’t even bother writing down a name) gets starvested, turns into Sailor Gamer, and starts “Actually”-ing people on the Internet. Mercury is hard-pressed to combat this barrage, so Taiki… walks off, leaving her to handle it alone. See? He really IS heartless, just like he said! So suck on that, Ami!

The other Moonies arrive to help, but Rei and Mina are too into the cosplay to transform and none of them wants to actually hurt the phage. They mostly just get their butts handed to them until Seiya yells at Taiki, he remembers that squishy thing in his chest called a heart, and decides to help the Moonies after all. I swear there was a time when the Inner Guardians could handle fights on their own, but it sure does feel like it’s been a while.

They're CON stat is through the roof, though, I'll give 'em that.

Their CON stat is through the roof, though, I’ll give ’em that.

Usagi conveniently cheers up thanks to C.C’s red butterflies and heads down to the arcade in time to cure the phage. The Lights admire the Moonies for refusing to give up and being willing to endanger themselves to help others, so while Taiki still hasn’t quite accepted their friend requests, he’s willing to at least follow them on Twitter for a while and see how it goes.

I still don’t really know what it is about the Moonies that the Lights have such a hard time “accepting,” given that they have many of the same goals and ALL of the same enemies. But hey, maybe the point is that fear of “the other” is frustrating and irrational and absurd, in which case… well, it’s still frustrating and irrational and absurd, but I can get behind the intent, at least.

Taiki also gets wicked Princess Vibes from C.C. and Usagi together, which suggest things might be a bit more complicated than “C.C. = Princess.” When you’re dancing with the Sailor Stars, “more complicated” is pretty much par for the course, it seems.

This, That, and the Other

  • Crow’s recurring thoughts about Siren (how she liked amusement parks, how important  “formal introductions” were to her) are THE SADDEST. I hate to break it to you, protagonists, but the villains are out-pathos-ing you something fierce right now.
  • Remember when the scouts had communicators and could let each other know about monsters across town instead of just hoping they’d randomly show up? Those were the days.
  • Hark! A plot point! Turns out the Star Princess fled her home world while it was under attack and the Lights chased after her, leaving their planet to die. Monarchs, amirite?
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8 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Newbie Reviews: Episodes 190-191

    • Fortunately I fished Airplane out of a DVD bargain bin a few years back so I can watch it whenever I start jonesin’ for some Leslie Nielsen silliness.

      I know this is a late reply, but I’m glad to hear things are going better for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As amazing review as always <3 !!! <33
    I tend to lurk and not comment much because I discovered your blog too late, and this last season is quite straight-forward, so it doesn't have much to comment on. But it's always a pleasure to read a favorite series from a newbie's perspective, so thank you so much for providing so much fun for us all!
    On the episode: Maybe a way to pretend HaruMichi more reasonable than intended is to consider the power level.
    Who do you think would win between the outers and the starlights?
    They seem about evenly matched, yet the outers are like at the peak of their powers, while the starlights trasform with their STAR power – so they're like on their second tier only. Now imagine if they grew 2-3 tiers and upgraded to crystal power too – they'd wipe the floor with outers!
    So HaruMichi are kinda employing the policy of preventing a potential threat from developing. And if the starlights are actually stronger, then to the outers its like those starlights claim to be refugees, yet they also brought the heavy artillery with them. They could be nicer about it, though.
    That'd also add a sense of nobility to the outers, as they would be starting a hopeless fight only to defend their Princess.
    But the way HaruMichi been portrayed, do you think they would start a fight they know they can't win? Seems more characteristing for them to only pick on starlights for them being weak, and had they been stronger, would HaruMichi harass them? Or would they just tolerate them in that case?
    Ah, how much I wish that beautiful couple from S ever developed into characters you can love and rescept and not those surface level hotties they ended up being. Imagine how Supers would have been had HaruMichi never left, became fulltime team members, and actually started having focus episodes!
    And Stars almost makes me relieved Hotaru stayed in the limbo – who knows what this season might have done to her if she made an appearance! I don't want to imagine an asshole Hotaru X_X

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  2. I’m not going to lie. I may have made a very loud euphoric squee when the Inner’s Make Up music kicked in during Neptune’s attack. I also may have broke the Hulu app on my mobile device rewatching it over and over again. 😅

    I miss their music and them being more than a hive-minded, connected at the hip allegory a la The Night Vale City Council.

    Like

    • I’m glad you said that, because I’ve felt like the guardians have been sort of homogenized this season too. Glad to know it’s not just me. A+ reference, too. Although now I really want an ice-skating date-night episode…

      Like

  3. Meanwhile, us Sailor Saturn fans are being trolled hardcore. I can kind of understand if Pluto, Uranus, and Neptune maybe want her to try to have a normal childhood and keep her out of battle as much as possible, but couldn’t we at least check in with civilian Hotaru every once and a while? How is she doing now that she’s not possessed by an alien demon? Is she making friends now that she’s more healthy? Does she get to see Professor Dad sometimes? What’s life like with Mama Michiru and Papa Haruka?

    We never even got an official Saturn transformation sequence. *sheds a tear*

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    • I haven’t talked about it in my posts much, but the lack of Hotaru might be my biggest grievance about Stars. They bring all the Outers back at the beginning, set us up to think they’ll be significant characters for the rest of the season, and then… sideline them in favor of Star Serious Love Interest & His Angsty Pals? The Star Lights are fine characters, but it feels like such a waste to have such a great (and big!) existing cast and almost completely ignore them in your final season in order to spend time with people we’ve never met before.

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  4. Even if Mercury and Jupiter and Rei and Minako (why did they chose to fight and ruin their cosplay outfits?) were getting their butts kicked in battle, at least they were able to prove that they’d never give up no matter what.

    Also Ami definitely has grown greatly in this series (I don’t think she got shoved aside here and nearly ignored); she started out being shy yet now here she’s confidentially standing up for her best friend and believes in her no matter what.

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