Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 144 & 145
Remember that thing I said about Ami episodes a few weeks back? WELP.
Oh hey, lookie there, I mostly enjoyed SuperS this week! Funny how those weeks so often coincide with Ami episodes, innit? And, I mean, anytime Sailor Moon does an episode about artists, it usually ends in a good time. Although it’s always super(S) unpleasant when the show decides to make cracks about Usagi’s weight. For a series that’s usually so good about empowering young women, it has a rough track record when it comes to body image commentary, that’s for darn sure.
Still, most of the events were pleasant enough, although we’re still deep in Filler Territory, meaning there ain’t much to talk about other than what’s in the recaps themselves. So hit the jump and let’s get to it!
Episode 144 – Life’s a Beach
The gals are celebrating what I believe is their fourth summer in two school years (Time. PSSH. What even IS that?) and have hit the sands in search of hawt dudes. They also brought Li’l Brother Shingo (remember him?) along to fend off any dudes they don’t deem hawt enough. Four out of five scouts are rather shallow this week. The fifth (predictably) is Ami, whom Shingo is crushing on because she’s an older girl who treats him like an actual person. And since Ami thinks of him as a good friend, his crush is cute instead of creepy! Yay, I can enjoy this one without reservations!
Madame Zirconia’s also got her eye on Ami, or at least on her dreams. Ami is a pickup artist’s worst nightmare, what with all that caution and perceptiveness, but Tiger desperately needs the approval of others, so he volunteers for the mission in an attempt to please the Madame. Hawk and Fish come along for moral support.
Tiger tries the Ol’ “I’m sorry I spilled your sno cone, let me make it up to you by inviting you to my private beach” Strategy, but while the other Moonies are all a-flutter, Ami isn’t about to wander off with some rando, so she politely turns him down. The girls wanna know what up with that, but Ami says she’s not interested in seeking out love. If someone comes along and love blossoms, awesome, but if not then that’s okay, too.
Later, when Ami and Shingo take a raft out into the ocean, Shingo broaches the topic again and Ami clarifies that while becoming a doctor is her dream, she also likes the idea of having a “lively family” like the Tsukinos, so she isn’t ruling out the possibility of “chasing family over work.” And y’know, that’s okay by me. Keep your options open, Ami! Follow your bliss!
And you know where that bliss DOESN’T lead? Anywhere near this guy:
Tiger befriends a dolphin and approaches Ami and Shingo when they’re out rafting. He thinks drowning Shingo will really set the mood, and is very confused when Ami ignores him and instead dives in to save the drowning child (although seriously, why would you let someone who can’t swim go out into the ocean without a life vest? IRRESPONSIBLE, Sailor Moon.)
Although in Tiger’s defense I’m reasonably certain he helped Ami and Shingo make it to shore, given that they all three wind up in a cave quickly enough for Ami to administrator mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In between saving Shingo’s life, Ami explains that he’s her “important friend,” and Tiger wonders what these “friend” things are.
In the end Tiger decides he doesn’t need friends as long as he can please Madame Zirc, so he busts out the Examining Table. Shingo defends Ami long enough for the Moonies to arrive and force Tiger to beat a retreat, leaving his Lemures “Ponko the Pandemonium” to handle the rest.
Possibly the oddest monster to date, it plays a slightly bawdy gambling game with the Moonies that involves exploding balls and the world’s least comfortable breast implants. She’s a handful (pun SO intended), so it’s a damn good thing Tuxedo Mask can teleport.
Usagi Stages it Out thanks to a clever one-two punch of Ami Strategy and Tuxedo Hatterang, leaving Mamoru to hitchhike his way back to Juuban (his teleportation power only gets him to Usagi, not away from her) and the rest of the team to enjoy the evening fireworks. Ami thanks Shingo for his bravery, and the two share a cute little moment on the beach as the credits roll, and my “It’s Scientifically Impossible to Write a Bad Ami Episode” theory lives another day.
Episode 145 – Sailor Tutu
I’m really sad Sato didn’t direct this one, ‘cause then I could’ve made a bunch of Princess Tutu jokes that would’ve gone over most people’s heads but would’ve made ME pretty darn happy. But he didn’t, so we’ll stick a reference in the title and just focus on the recap from there.
So, yeah. This one’s about ballet! Yamagishi Studio offers free lessons to beginners, as well as a chance to be in their upcoming production of Giselle. The Bunnies jump right on those lessons (as do their Moonie pals), and Usagi even gets offered a role in the show. Given Usagi’s famed grace, I figured she’d get cast as a tree, but the truth is even better:
That doesn’t happen until later, though. For now, everyone has aspirations of landing the lead role, most of all Fish, who’s joined the class to chase their next Dream Target. Fish is graceful and otherworldly, just like the fairy (wili, actually) Giselle is supposed to be, and Yamagishi’s enchanted. He asks Fish to stick around and help him “expand his image” of Giselle.
Kiriko, the current Giselle who’s struggling to get into the role, assumes she’s being replaced and storms off in a huff. “I’ve been betrayed by my beloved, just like Giselle!” she cries, because no one on the show has actually read a synopsis for this ballet.
Both she and Yamagishi are short-sighted and a bit silly, but I ended up liking them because they realize this about themselves and try to correct it. Not long after the blow-up, the Bunnies find Kiriko regretting her outburst and admitting she overreacted. She vows to support her beloved even if he doesn’t return her feelings, just like Giselle, because NO ONE ON THE SHOW HAS ACTUALLY READ A SYNOPSIS FOR THIS BALLET.
Meanwhile, Fish’s attempts to woo and/or Dreamcatch Yamagishi hit a snag when they realize Yamagishi never actually intended to give them the part at all—he really was just dancing with Fish to get a better idea of how to direct Kiriko in the role. This was very poorly explained on Yamagishi’s part, but he apologies and admits his mistake right away, so he’s okay in my book. He tries to explain why it’s so important that Kiriko have the role, but Fish is all:
And attacks! Usagi was heading to the theater for her own “rehearsal,” so she and Chibiusa intervene in time to meet our latest Lemures, Kurumiwario the Nutcracker. He promises to turn these two into prima ballerinas, so Fish leaves him to it, whereupon he… huh. He does in fact train the Moons to be prima ballerinas! Sometimes I forget the circus thing isn’t just a cool aesthetic—these guys are actual performers and take their jobs SERIOUSLY, dangit.
Amusing concept aside, it goes on way longer than it needs to and isn’t particularly funny since it devolves into everyone fat-shaming Usagi because she’s developed some slight love handles. Usagi’s response to this is basically a big ol’ fuck-you, so good on her for sticking up for herself, but it’s still pretty mean, especially when Mamoru gets in on it.
But once that unpleasantness is out of the way, it’s on with the show! Our director and his star reconcile and Giselle is a smashing success, thanks in large part to the Moon watching over them both. Casting Director of the year, that Yamagishi.
This, That, and the Other
- Minako runs slap-bang into her Dreamcatching ex-boyfriend and has NO IDEA it’s him, even though Tiger recognizes HER right away. Can we just say it’s canon now that everyone in Juuban has face-blindness?
- I’d like to direct your attention to these two screenshots: This one because the girls appear to be playing volleyball with a melon, and this one because I just really dig the cartoony art style.
- Aaaand Yamagishi cast himself as the leading man. He runs a local theater company, all right.
- The Sensei Next Door: I thought I’d come in here and shed some light on Ponko the Pandemonium, but quick searches have yielded nothing and I don’t have enough time this week to go questing, so it remains a mystery for now. I can tell you that the reason she was too embarrassed to talk about the “golden balls” (kintama) is because it’s a euphemism for… well, the same thing “balls” is usually a euphemism for. Naughty Sailor Moon.
- Hark! A
plotcharacter point! Is it just me, or do the Amazon Trio appear to be, like, learning things this week? Or at least attempting to? Tiger has a minor crisis over the concept of friends, and even Fish engages with Yamagishi in a way that suggests he’s trying to understand the “heart” behind Kiriko’s dancing. It’d be a loooong road to redemption for these three, but I’d be interested in watching it play out, at least.
Dee is a nerd of all trades and a master of one. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and East Asian studies and an MFA in Creative Writing. To pay the bills, she works as a technical writer. To not pay the bills, she devours novels and comics, watches far too much anime, and cheers very loudly for the Kansas Jayhawks. You can hang out with her at The Josei Next Door, a friendly neighborhood anime blog for long-time fans and newbies alike, as well as on Tumblr and Twitter.
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