Sailor Moon Newbie Recap: “Usagi Abandoned: The Falling-Out of the Sailor Guardians”
The one where they fight.
What’s up with this episode? Usagi has a crazy plan: make it outwardly look like the Senshi have fractured and she’s being kicked out of the group, all for the purposes of fooling Kunzite into believing that she wants to switch sides. It’s not a terrible plan, I mean, the Dark Kingdom still let Tuxedo Mask work for them after he repeatedly messed with Kunzite’s plans, so, they’ll probably fall for this ruse as well. So, the Senshi stage several training sessions in easily observable locations where they all gang up on Usagi. This does not go unnoticed by the Dark Kingdom, who have assigned the youma Oniwabandana with monitoring the Senshi.
Queen Beryl orders Kunzite to continue his investigation. So he turns around immediately and tells Oniwabandana to continue his investigation. It’s excellent to see such adherence to the chain of command. Oniwabandana’s next move is to break into Naru’s family jewelry store, presumably because the Osaka family business has been the sight of so many of the Dark Kingdom’s encounters with Sailor Moon. And, naturally, Sailor Moon shows up immediately, swiftly followed by the rest of the Senshi, who appear to be there entirely to heckle her.
They bicker so much that Oniwabandana just slips away and turns back into the human that she’s possessed, freelance investigative reporter Nana Asahina—and, offering no explanation as to how she knew they were here or got into the building, she grills them for an expose on the rift in the Sailor Senshi for the tabloid Weekly Dokkiri. While Usagi attempts to save face, the rest of the scouts give her the cold shoulder, storming off to leave Usagi to take Naru and her mom down from the wall where they were tacked up by throwing knives. Overall, everybody does a great job of looking like they’re fighting, even Ami, which is pretty freakin’ impressive for that adorable little pushover.
The next morning Nana also accosts Usagi and Naru with her recorder while they’re on their way to school, but they manage to stay tight lipped and get away from this awful stalker. It’s at this point that Artemis and Luna start to become suspicious that Nana Asahina has been possessed by a youma, I guess because she’s the latest stranger to be interacting with any of the Senshi. But that’s all going exactly to plan, as the characters confirm to the viewer for the first time in the next scene: the Senshi aren’t actually fighting, they’re just pretending in order to fool the Dark Kingdom. Sailor Moon cooked up the plan in order to… well, I’ll let her explain.
Usagi’s plan really only seems to extend to creating a way that she can get inside the Dark Kingdom, though, not how to find Tuxedo Mask when she’s there, or how to get back. But maybe it does and it just never came up because… well, let’s just keep going. Everybody decides that they’ve done enough play fighting to convince the Dark Kingdom, it’s time to contact them. Usagi delivers a message from Sailor Moon to Asahina the next morning in person, because that’s not risky to her secret identity.
I mean, really, though, it’s not. Because everybody in Sailor Moon has faceblindness.
She gets the message that Sailor Moon wants to meet her in the park that night to give an exclusive interview about how she’s leaving the Senshi.
And she delivers that news to Kunzite…
And all that’s left is for Sailor Moon to wait for her invitation to defect to the Dark Kingdom.
After quickly confirming that Sailor Moon really does want to leave the Senshi, Asahina transforms into Oniwabandana and summons Kunzite. Usagi puts up a good show of being conflicted about joining the Dark Kingdom, so Kunzite offers to let her see Endymion right off the bat, provided she hands over the Silver Crystal first. Usagi agrees, but only if she gets to see Endymion before she gives up the Crystal. At this point negotiations breakdown somewhat and, long story short… Kunzite suspects a trap so Oniwabandana attacks Sailor Moon in an attempt to flush out the other Sailor Senshi, who are probably hiding nearby to make sure she’s alright and come to her aid if she gets in over her head.
And of course he’s right. After a lot of nervous deliberation and tension—and a nice character moment confirming that no matter how she picks on her, Rei is still utterly loyal to Usagi and Usagi still trusts her implicitly—the Senshi come to rescue their own! “I KNEW IT,” shouts Kunzite as he nopes out like the final boss he has delusions of being, and then what happens is a fairly standard youma/senshi fight.
2. Usagi complaining about the ruining of a plan that she “spent all night” coming up with.
And then a pretty standard Moon Healing Escalation to return Nana Asahina back to normal and a comedy beat of Rei and Usagi bickering.
Moon Prism Power… Wrap Up!
It’s nearly the end of a whole season of Sailor Moon, and maybe the writers are just getting tired of formula, but I’m enjoying having a few episodes that break the formula of “External event happens –> Senshi secret identities get involved–> turns out it was the Dark Kingdom –> fight.” This one even starts en medias res! I also want to, again, express my joy at seeing that Naru still has those pajamas. Seriously, they look so great. I want some.
Loyal Sailor Moon Newbie recap fans, next week will be my last recap that features only one episode. Because the week after I’ll be tackling the two part season finale!