Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 192 & 193

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Taiki and Yaten continue to be a broken record of unnecessary hostility, but the rest of the story has no interest in stewing with them. We’ve got auditions, minion deaths, shiny star seeds, black holes, and plot holes. And I thought my week was busy.

The Recaps

Episode 192 – A Sailor Star is Born!

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Minako opens a piece of mail, then (after a delightful sequence of mirrored Mina ‘n’ Artemis faces) gets bummed and puts it away. What’s eating Aino Minako? Artemis explains: She made the final round of tryouts to work with a famous producer (Moroboshi Takuya) on a new song, but decided not to pursue it because there’s so much happening on the superhero front.

Well, the other Moonies have a thing or two to say about that!

follow your dreams (big)Encouraged by her friends, who remind her that her personal goals are just as important as her team ones (especially now, when any fight could be their last), Mina attends the audition. Artemis is along for adorable moral support, something she’ll need in bunches when Yaten turn out to be one of the judges and scolds her for putting her dreams ahead of her duty.

Also sitting in a judge’s seat is Nyanko (a.k.a. “Suzu”), who’s representing Ginga TV in place of the absent Crow. She was planning to attend, but got all tied up and couldn’t make it.

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Mina’s confidence is shaken at first, but remembering her friends’s words allows her to direct the haters to the left and rock the audition. She explains to Yaten that her fellow guardians support her, which makes this their dream as much as her own, and that it isn’t a matter of placing one life ahead of the another–she can and should find a balance between both.

Given that they’ve been single-mindedly pursuing one goal they still haven’t achieved, Yaten wonders if maybe the Star Lights aren’t the ones “lacking something.” Mina assures him otherwise–but enough introspection! Nyanko’s on the scene to starvest a music producer, and Minako (and the wandering Usagi, who came to support her) ain’t about to take this sitting down!

Because when I think intimidating instruments, I think keytars.

Because when I think intimidating instruments, I think keytars.

They defeat Sailor Musician with a Healer-Venus combo attack, and Yaten gets a whiff of C.C.’s Princess Censor (Princensor?) along the way. But don’t worry. This will definitely not cause unnecessary drama next episode.

Later, Minako finds out that she did indeed pass the last round of auditions…and promptly slides the letter in a drawer. She’s proven that she has the talent, so she can “become an idol any time she wants.” For now, it’s more important for her to be with her friends.

My initial reaction to this was NO, WUT, MINA, STAHP, given that opportunity is a drifter and when she comes a-knockin’ you damn well better answer that door ’cause there’s no guarantee she’ll stop by again…but at the same time, the whole point of the episode is about finding a healthy balance between desire and duty, and that it’s okay sometimes to do what you want to do rather than what people think you “should” do. So if Mina’s happy with her decision, then I guess I am, too.

Episode 193 – Sailor Stardust Crusaders

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School Festival Episode! And you thought you wouldn’t need your Anime Bingo Cards eight episodes from the finale. Usagi’s class is doing a maid cafe and she’s enjoying the feeling of unity that comes from working together with others. Now if only she could get a certain trio of aliens to enjoy that feeling, too…

Speaking of that trio, it’s Seiya’s turn to get frustrated about their absent princess and wander off brooding into the night. While Taiki and Yaten make plans to shake down a toddler for intel, Seiya follows the butterflies (which I think are more a visual representation of the princess’s scent than literal butterflies) and winds up at Usagi’s house so the two can banter cutely. I’ve missed their banter. Usagi invites him to the festival and he promises to come.

Meanwhile down in the Battlestar Galaxia, Crow’s getting pressured to find the true star seed, but all she can do is look morosely through Siren’s stuff. While there, she finds Siren’s super-secret diary, where she wrote down her discovery about Sailor Moon and the “true” star seed.

Also in this drawer? FEELS.

Hiiii, Feels!

Hiiii, Feels!

The School Festival is good times until Taiki and Yaten start stalking C.C., because while they still don’t see the princess, they sure can censer. (…Yeah. Sorry. That one hurt even me.) Mako rushes to C.C.’s defense, but continues to be as useless as all of the Moonies have been this season. She’s easily handled by Yaten, who also manages to work in a couple sexist digs along the way, just ’cause he wanted to give me more reasons to dislike him.

The rest of the Moonies come running with Seiya in tow. Seiya would just like you to know that these guys are more like his coworkers than his friends, so, like, don’t go holding him accountable for any toddlers they try to rob, ‘kay? The Star Lights retreat for a chat, leaving the Moonies right as Crow comes for Usagi’s star seed. Transformation time!

While four experienced guardians get their butts handed to them by a single minion {insert infinite sighs here}, Taiki and Yaten tell Seiya about the censer. Just as I’m shouting at my tablet that they could try, I dunno, TALKING to the Moonies and explaining WHY they need it, Seiya, bless his heart, suggests the same thing… only to have Yaten refuse because HE CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG. He has time to FIGHT them for the censer, sure, but ASK for it? DON’T BE SILLY.

anger - hate things

Their debate gets tabled when the butterflies return to guide them back to the battlefield. With the Star Lights on the scene, Crow is getting desperate, so she busts out her secret weapon: A black-hole-in-a-bottle! Unleash this bad boy, and everyone at the festival could get sucked in! Mwahahaha!

My response to this is “Pssh, we defeated a black hole, like, three transformation upgrades ago. Bring it, lady!” But everyone else has shorter memories, so Usagi offers up her star seed in order to save innocent lives. Not getting starvested and thereby losing the only person who can cure phages would probably save a lot more lives in the long run, but part of Usagi’s heroism is that she refuses to let people get hurt even for the sake of a “greater good,” so I can’t really get too mad about this.

"If only a rose would zip in out of nowhere and put a timely stop to this!"

“If only a rose would zip in out of nowhere and put a timely stop to this!”

It looks like Crow is gonna win this round, but villains gonna villain, and Nyanko intervenes in order to steal the “true” star seed and take the credit for herself. She smashes Crow’s black hole, which first sucks up Crow (who’s “Sorry, Siren” may be the saddest last words a minion has ever uttered on this show)… and then Usagi, C.C., and the censer get slurped up, too?!

But that’s ALL the plot devices, GONE! How will our hero get out of this one?! No one knows! Not even the writers! So the growing black hole just blows up from the inside, spitting out Usagi and C.C. (but not Crow, because Reasons) and a metric ton of butterflies. Usagi’s star seed is returned to her, and the Star Princess makes her long-awaited appearance.

"Super glad Crow unleashed that plot hole so I could finally pop out of it."

“Super glad Crow unleashed that plot hole so I could finally pop out of it.”

Sailor Moon, I hope next week features a fair amount of exposition, ’cause you have got some serious ‘splainin’ to do here.

This, That, and the Other

  • “Did Judge Suzu have to leave suddenly?” “Yeah, but she left her ratings for the contestants, so we can still use those, right?” “Um, about that…”
  • I like how the scouts have slowly moved from hanging out at the arcade/Rei’s shrine to spending their afternoons at the cafe. It’s a nice way to show how their interests have changed as they’ve grown over the past two school years.
  • This season has largely wasted its opportunity to use the Star Lights’ transformations as a way to explore gender identity and arbitrary binaries, but it is worth noting that both Seiya and Yaten make comments this week which suggest they aren’t “disguised” as men, but genuinely identify as such. I was prepared to go back and fix pronouns if it turned out I’d been misgendering them; a bit relieved to see that wasn’t the case.
  • Hark! A plot point!OhhhhhWho lives in a censer within a black hole? PRIN-CESS KA-KYU! ♪
    (By the by, her name means “bolide,” a.k.a. an exploding meteor. This bodes well.)

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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