Sailor Moon Newbie Recap: “I Won’t Run Away from Love Anymore: Ami vs. Mamoru”
The episode where they try to do the last arc again.
Ohmigod, Rhett Butler is back.
Well, not really. We only get two tiny glimpses of him in an episode that already acknowledges that it’s retreading old ground from the last arc. We open in Africa with Motoki’s girlfriend Reika (totally forgot that I referred to Kunzite as Captain McShirtopen in that recap) and for a hot second I thought OH WOW are we gonna have an international episode? *GASP* Is Reika going to discover archeological evidence of the Moon civilization?
But no, Endymion appears and sucks her into the Dark Crystal, revealing that he’s already captured her, Joe the Crane Game Troll, the pastor, and Rhett Butler the poorly drawn cat. That’s four of the seven Great Youma from last story arc, and he’s only got three more to go: Rei’s grandpa, the artist Yumemi Yumeno, and… Urawa, precog, fellow prodigy, and Ami’s love interest. Queen Beryl is banking on the strategy of sending her least trustworthy minion to implement a plan that didn’t work last time: get all seven youma together in once place so that they can turn into a single, sevenfold powerful youma. Which can still be done, even after Usagi cleansed all the youma hosts with the Moon Wand. Because I guess the last thing the Senshi would expect is for the Dark Kingdom to do literally the same thing but worse.
Being a precog, Urawa knows all about the Dark Kingdom’s plan, and he calls up Ami to give the Senshi the heads up, so there goes even the most minuscule hope for the Dark Kingdom. At this point there are only two of them left: himself and Rei’s Grandpa, and Urawa refuses to tell Ami where he is, so that the Senshi will be forced to protect their own rather than him. It’s self sacrifice, but, as the episode will establish, it’s dumb self sacrifice. I mean, the Senshi are entirely capable of protecting Urawa. But like Ami, his motivation comes out of a healthy dollop of low self-worth. He undervalues his own life, and his importance to other people, and in that context sacrificing himself to the Dark Kingdom is an easy way out of the conflict.
Ami calls all the Senshi to the Hikawa Shrine to set a watch over Rei’s grandpa, but Makoto feels strongly that they should protect Urawa as well, regardless of what he says. They’re not sure where he is, but they know he’s in the neighborhood, and she drags Ami off to look for him.
On the search for Urawa, Makoto and Ami have a heart-to-heart about how Ami is too dedicated to the cause: she’s absolutely got time to start a romance arc with Urawa if she wants it. If she has her approval high enough and has chosen the right dialogue options to initiate the romance have I mentioned that I can’t play Dragon Age: Inquisition until I completely rebuild my computer because that’s been on my mind lately. Which makes sense: Ami’s always dedicated herself to schoolwork, postponing more emotional joys to her adult life. But the whole “secret superhero” thing doesn’t really have an expiration date on it, so there’s no reason why she shouldn’t live a little when the world isn’t in immediate need of saving. In other words: “You should date the crap out of him.”
And speaking of Urawa, he just ran into Endymion, but manages to get a head start as any smart teen would: by shouting that this grown man is trying to kidnap him and then running away as Mamoru is blocked by a concerned crowd of onlookers. This is when Ami and Makoto finally find him, and transform in order to protect him, standing their ground in one of Sailor Moon‘s easily available empty alleys. Which has more dark alleys, Gotham or Tokyo?
Makoto volunteers to take Endymion on by her awesome self, but he quickly shows that she’s nowhere near a match for him. Instead of killing her or even knocking her out, he just leaves, because supervillain. Meanwhile, Ami runs off with Urawa to a nearby closed amusement park, messaging Usagi to get down here with the Moon Wand because there just might be a chance of curing Mamoru with it.
But while they’re waiting, Ami and Urawa have a heart-to-heart where Ami communicates all the stuff that Makoto communicated to her earlier. “Sacrificing yourself is certainly noble,” she says, “but be honest, wouldn’t you want to keep on living instead?” And also, date me? Then Endymion turns the ferris wheel lights on, in order to attract the rest of the Senshi, because I know when I see a ferris wheel with its lights on I think “that’s suspicious and definitely supernatural.”
Ami attempts to take him out with Bubble Spray before he can do anything, but Endymion still gets Urawa into the Dark Crystal lickety split, because Bubble Spray is a purely defensive ability. Then he leaves immediately, travels to the Hikawa Shrine, and easily nabs Rei’s grandfather, as there are only two Senshi there to guard him. Then he summons the sevenfold youma and destroys the Sailor Senshi.
Just kidding, he gloats over Rei and tells her exactly how to free Urawa and ruin the Dark Kingdom’s plan.
So she does. With Bubble Spray. She defeats him with Bubble Spray.
All of the six youma pop out of the crystal and hit the ground unconscious, as Usagi and Makoto arrive on the scene. A couple of power moves later, and Sailor Moon actually gets a Moon Healing Escalation off on Tuxedo Mask. Under the power of the Legendary Silver Crystal, Mamoru remembers everything about the Sailor Senshi, and then faints dead away.
Wow! I thought to myself, a major Sailor Moon plot event that happens in an episode that isn’t at the end of an arc! What a diversion!
There, Queen Beryl resolves to imbue him with the power of their Great Ruler, making him a loyal Dark Kingdom citizen again.
Crisis averted, the Senshi visit the amusement park during opening hours, where Urawa and Ami go on their first date. I just hope somebody worked out how to get Reika back to Africa, because I can’t imagine that “I was forcibly kidnapped by dark forces and that’s why you don’t have a record of me entering the country” will fly real good with customs on her way out.
Moon Prism Power… Wrap Up!
I don’t have much that’s profound to say about this episode other than the obvious: treading old ground. I’m not even really mad about that, just amused. Next week I get to find out about Minako’s apparently unforgettable ex-boyfriend, so I’m looking forward to see whether that can live up to the hype the series has created around that resolution. I think what this episode has brought to the fore is the show’s commitment to showing seasonal change. I know it’s probably just an excuse to depict the characters in several different outfits, possibly for merchandising reasons, but it’s dang cute seeing their personalities reflected in summer, fall, and winter outfits. Also until Sailor Moon I did not know that kotatsus were a thing, and now I super want one.