Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 188 & 189
The moon and stars aren't breaking up—they just need a little space.
Nothing like secret identities to throw a wrench into the beginnings of bee-yoo-ti-ful friendships. We’re making the shift from magical girl sitcom to superhero drama this week, as is our seasonal tradition, which means big reveals and even bigger angst. Although really, when it comes to end-of-season hardships, the heroes got nothin’ on the villains. If you thought maintaining a personal relationship was tough as a good guy, try being a minion. Crow’ll tell ya. It is rough.
Episode 188 – Sailor Startling Revelations
The gals think C.C. might be an actual plot device, and Galaxia is breathing down Siren’s very confident neck. But c’mon, none of that is nearly as important as the special fan club members-only Three Lights event that’s taking place ON AN AIRPLANE?! And all the Moonies EXCEPT USAGI are gonna be on it?!
DON’T DO IT, MOONIES! They’ll blow you up and then write you out of the show and grow new protagonists in your place!
(…Oh my God, Tuxedo Mask is a hydra.)
Usagi can’t go because she isn’t in the fan club and the tickets are sold out—but what’s this? An invitation? From Siren? So she did see Usagi’s entire transformation sequence last week and knows her secret identity?!
Frightened for her friends and the other passengers, Usagi rushes to the airport to warn them, but since she can’t very well say “An alien is going to attack because Sailor Moon is on board and also that is me,” the flight attendant just gives her a sideways glance and she gets hustled to her VIP seat with the Star Lights.
Seiya mistakes her concern for a fear of flying (airplanes ARE a snake’s natural habitat, after all), and tries to get her to calm her nerves.
Well, actually he tries to get his mack on. (Okay, that’s unfair of me, he’s probably just worried and wants to comfort her, but c’mon dude, could you have been more flirty about it?) But anyway, we’ve got bigger, literal fish to fry, because Siren has phaged the flight attendants and is out for Usagi’s star seed!
Downstairs, the passengers have been hit with sleeping gas and the Moonies (save one adorable Ami) are bored with the Star Lights’s superhero flick (continuity!), so they head upstairs to hang out… only to be stopped by the phage army! Unwilling to transform in front of the Lights, they get to kick ass the old-fashioned way.
They’re actually holding their own, but fighting isn’t Usagi’s strong suit out of uniform, so she’s in a pickle. And Siren went and called her “Sailor Moon” right in front of the Lights (RUDE), too! Something has to give, and it turns out it’s Seiya. Unwilling to see Usagi starvested, he transforms into Star Fighter in front of everyone.
Well, we certainly can’t leave Seiya to battle the Starvesters all on his lonesome! Usagi, the other Lights, and then ALL the Moonies join the transformation party, and right in front of each other, too. Moon and Star Power, Make Up!
Siren unleashes a juice-flinging attack that allows her to escape, but without the true star seed she’s at the mercy of her evil boss. Despite Crow’s desperate pleas, Galaxia tears off Siren’s bracelets as well (RIP my villain ‘ship), turning collection duties over to Crow and the newest AniMate, Sailor Tin Nyanko. Galaxia also loses a metric ton of vital information about her enemies and the true star seed in the process. She’s a fitting book-end to the show’s villains, seeing as how she reminds me of Beryl more and more each week.
The bummers continue as our Moonies and Stars separate from each other, feeling rull awkward about the whole alter-ego thing, and for once our heroes and villains can all agree on the state of the Moonion:
Episode 189 – Video Killed the Radio Sailor Star
The dust may have settled but the Moonies are still shaken, Usagi much more so than the others. I kinda love how chill everyone is about the fact that their friends sometimes have boobs—Mina seems to have decided this means they’re “actually women” and her romantic aspirations are over, but Mako figures they’re still the same people on the inside so, like, it’s all good, right?—while Usagi’s just bummed they were keeping secrets at all. Can they really call themselves “friends” when they know so little about each other, she wonders?
The other Moonies point out that they were keeping secrets, too, and Usagi grapples with the difficulties of leading a double life. I feel like now would be a good time to point out that all our fun recurring side characters have vanished from this season, even the stalwart Narumino and (sob!) Teddy. I am frequently bummed about this, but it may also speak to the increasingly isolating nature of life as a vigilante.
And speaking of isolated vigilantes, the Stars have taken to their Broodin’ Corner, too.
Despite recently warming up to both Usagi and Sailor Moon, finding out they’re the same person has emptied Taiki and Yaten’s damns tank, and since they have none left to give, they’re back to wanting to use her or ignore her altogether. Seiya’s having none of it, though. He’s sick of their disdain for the resident heroes, and they’re sick of him projecting his feelings for the princess on to Usagi.
Yeah, Seiya! Stop getting distracted by other super-powered crime-fighters who clearly like you and would probably help you find your princess and defeat the woman who destroyed your home planet! You should be focusing on important stuff instead! Like performing on radio shows!
Oh—but before that, Seiya and Usagi need to spill their guts to the local fortuneteller.
These scenes are pretty cute, mostly because Rei is awesome in them, encouraging the pair to be courageous enough to face the other and be sincere. They clearly care about each other, so just explain that to the other and it should be all right, she says. Rei’s done a lot of growing since Season One, and it’s lovely to see her straightforwardness maturing into such clear, focused honesty.
She’s also a great friend, taking Usagi to said radio show (“Jack’s Evening Guest”) so she and Seiya can stare meaningfully at each other. They feel feelings SUPER HARD over a bubbly pop song (because ’90s shoujo), and it’s silly, but also kind of sweet. Seiya “says” that he can’t tell her any details yet (there are still 11 episodes left, after all), but the two promise to keep trying to understand one another.
The DJ’s not quite sure what’s going on here, but eh, probably not the weirdest thing that’s ever happened on his show. Heck, it’s not even the weirdest thing that will happen that night, seeing as how Crow quickly rips out his star seed and turns him into Sailor DJ.
Sailor Moon quickly arrives, and even though it was totally her jerk boss’s fault,
Kunzite Crow blames Sailor Moon for Zoisite’s Siren’s death and is ready to take her down… until Nyanko (much to Crow’s chagrin) fires a cannon at her back. Usagi, quick! Use your special ability to throw the nearest love interest in front of you as a human shield!
Except… wait a minute, Tuxedo Mask isn’t around, so then… aww, poor Seiya. I hope you like getting stabbed, pal! And also, ouch.
The rest of the Moonies storm the scene, Crow and Nyanko retreat, and the remaining Star Lights proceed to lose their shit.
They storm off carrying the unconscious Seiya, and I… I’m sorry, but I’m not really feeling it. I liked the conflict between Usagi and Seiya as they grappled with hurt and guilt and struggled to balance their secret jobs with their personal lives. All of that was, as Rei would say, sincere: emotionally grounded and true to their characters.
But having Taiki and Yaten suddenly regress to super-callous(fragilisticexpialidocious~) antiheroes after weeks of showing they were having fun with the Moonies, too? It doesn’t make sense to me, especially given that they’re on the same freaking side. I’d totally get it if the Stars were fighting different enemies or if they had different methods the way HaruMi did, but they don’t, so… what exactly is the problem here, again?
This, That, and the Other
- TuxedoWatch: Still exploded.
- It took me longer to find all those Airplane! gifs than it did to write the actual post. WORTH IT.
- As bad of a week as everyone is having, I feel worst for this poor flight attendant who’s going to wake up with her legs crushed beneath a drink cart and NO IDEA how she got there.
- Heh, Sailor Nyanko used a literal cat’s paw to fight.
- The Sensei Next Door: “Nyanko” is an affectionately diminutive and somewhat childish way of referring to a cat, roughly equivalent to the English “kitty-cat.” I’ll be curious to see if Viz translates her name for the dub to better match with the other AniMate’s names, or if they leave it as-is.
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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