Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 5 and 6
Just say NO to Chanelas.
Welcome to Sailor Moon episodes 5 and 6, featuring Furbys, jazz clubs, cat attacks, car chases, and, most excitingly, Usagi showing a growing sense of responsibility!
Scent of a Monster: Chanela Will Steal Your Love
Episode five begins by setting up its B Plot, and Usagi’s little brother Shingo, heretofore relegated to guest appearances, features heavily. The understandable question of whether the family is going to be keeping the black cat that Usagi’s been hanging around with is raised, and Shingo, traumatized by a cat bite at an early age, is firmly against it. After torturing him by waving Luna at him, as is the right of any big sister, Usagi tasks Luna with the difficult goal of winning over Shingo’s affections.
The A plot comes along soon after, when one of Shingo’s classmates encourages him to overcome his fear by visiting a new pet shop. Man, if I were a character in a Sailor Moon story I would never visit any establishment that had opened within the last year. You guessed it: the new pet shop is part of Team Bad Guy’s —
Okay, I have to start calling these guys by their actual name, even though it hasn’t been mentioned yet that I’ve noticed. *Wikipedia-ing noises*
The Dark Kingdom (which I will now assume is made entirely of chocolate) has a new plot, and it is: Furbys. Furbys that smell, just, like, really good. They’re also pretty cu —
So these tiny hellbeasts are called Chanelas, and staring into their horrible red eyes puts you into a trance, causing you to care only about staring at your Chanela and appreciating its “cuteness.”
Also sometimes they emit a radioactive glow, because that’s against all laws of nature. Meanwhile, in the B plot, for once Usagi is berating Luna for lack of persistence. That is, until Shingo, in the throes of Chanela-addiction, kicks her across the room. Oddly enough, this is not the moment in the episode where she slaps the heck out of him. The next day Shingo stays home from school to watch his Chanela, and in her own classroom, Usagi finds plenty of students who couldn’t be parted from their little Shih-Tzu Rabbit Demon hybrids for even five minutes. But unlike previous episodes where this might pass without comment, other than how much she wants one, from our heroine, this time she pounces on this behavior as weird right away!
Usagi decides to go check out the pet store but hesitates before entering, worried that the Chanelas will mess with her head, too. Cue Mamoru to pop up and piss her off until she steps on in. In the name of the moon —
Well that was quick. One quick cat attack and Luna puts that thing where it belongs, in the garbage. There’s only room for one supernatural pet in Usagi’s life, and it’s the one that’s fully sentient and is also her mentor. Now fully aware of how horrible Chanelas are, Usagi returns home and smacks the crap out of Shingo trying to get his Chanela away from him. He runs off to the pet store to join Iguara’s army of Chanela-addicted kids, and it only takes a little coaxing for a demoralized Usagi to suit up and go after him.
Unwilling to fight her little brother even if he’s part of a lizard-kid army, and resigning herself to the fact that she can’t always depend on Tuxedo Mask showing up, Usagi learns a new Area of Effect Crowd Control ability, Moon Tiara Stardust, which frees the kids from Iguara’s control. Then it’s just a matter of a good old Moon Tiara to her special weak spot and Iguara and all the Chanelas disintegrate. And then…
Shingo totally fan-persons out on Sailor Moon, mistaking her for Sailor V. But it’s alright, even after he’s corrected he still thinks she’s pretty cool. She tells him that she wants him to be nice to his sister’s cat from now on, wrapping up the B plot in a nice little crescent-shaped bow.
Ok. No more hellbeasts, it’s all cutting edge 90s technology from here on out.
Protect the Melody of Love: Usagi Plays Cupid
Perhaps symbolically, this episode that flaunts typical Sailor Moon episode formula begins with a new angle on the Dark Kingdom, as Queen Beryl treats her subjects to
a theramin concert some “subliminal ultrasonic waves” with the power to steal the energy of anyone who listens to them. Those waves are contained in a tape cassette that can infect others like a “virus” and… you know, the explanation makes even less sense than usual, so let’s just say: tape cassette + recording studio = everybody’s energy stolen, ok?
Kate Kane a red headed bat-lady with the job of placing the cassette where it needs to go. Then there’s a crazy misunderstanding! Recording studio lady Akiko mistakes the tape for one recorded by famous, lovesick musician Yusuke Amade, and sets off to bring it to him before monster of the week Kyurene can stop her.
For his part, Yusuke plans to finally tell Akiko that he has feelings for her, but chickens out when she’s called back up to the studio without even noticing that the title of his new song is “A Waltz for Akiko.” Dejected, he starts to walk home in the rain, like the protagonist of any good romantic comedy in its third act. Kyurene follows.
But wait a second, this show is about Usagi Tsukino! Usagi bumps into (and this is Sailor Moon, so I mean she literally slams into him) Yusuke a bit later, and, panicked by another angry woman, I guess, he tells her all about how he was chased by a terrifying bat demon. Calming down a bit, he laughs it off as a hallucination and then nopes out of there. Fortunately, Usagi recognizes his name from how he’s, you know, a celebrity, and decides to help him without any prompting from Luna.
Somewhat unsurprisingly Usagi is also excited that investigating Yusuke’s problems will give her greater insight into “the grown-up world.” I really dig any time Usagi uses her pen, because so far the show’s interpretation of how a teenage girl envisions the life of an adult woman to be really spot on and reveal a lot about Usagi’s character.
Meanwhile, Jadite chastises Kyurene for letting the tape slip through her fingers twice now, and yeah, seriously Kyurene. You might be the scariest looking monster of the week since Episode 1, but you’re also being about as effective as Tuxedo Mask.
Usagi follows Yusuke to the jazz club that he’s playing at tonight and disguises herself as a “hot musician” after Luna suggest she might have trouble getting into the place as a teenager. Related: I just found everyone’s new user image. Wait, did I say “hot musician?” Because I meant a character from Jem and the Holograms.
Inside, Usagi does the bare minimum to keep up the pretense that she is a human adult, but in a moment of inattention, Yusuke slips out the back at the end of his concert, pursued by Kyurene. Before Usagi can catch up, she gets her tape back, grows a pair of awesome batwings, and zips off. Yusuke pursues in his car and totally lets a strange teenage girl come with him, so I guess it’s good that he’s not the kind of famous musician who has paparazzi all over him. Usagi explains that she’s a champion for love and justice, so that’s why she‘s after that monster, and she guesses that there’s a lady involved here, now that she’s seen the title of the song.
Kyurene books it to the recording studio, but before she can infect everything else, Usagi and Yusuke snatch it from the player. There’s a brief hostage situation with Akiko, heroically defused by all the good guys, and the tape is destroyed. Exit: Kyurene, pursued by Sailor Moon. In a concert stadium, our heroine turns Kyurene’s own sonic abilities against her. In the hallway, Yusuke confesses his love to a stunned Akiko. And the day is saved. Yusuke and Akiko get married, and he designs his next album after Sailor Moon. Better watch out, Tuxedo Mask. She teamed up with a different formalwear wearing dude this time and didn’t even need his help to defeat the monster!
Moon Prism Power Wrap Up!
Three weeks ago, in my first Sailor Moon Newbie recap, I hazarded a guess that the theme of the Dark Kingdom’s exploitation of humanity would be preying on a lack of self-control. I don’t think I was 100% right. It’s clear that they’re more after luring humanity in with things that they want and then exploiting those desires by presenting them with easily acquired and hard to let go of solution. Their plans still involve erasing humanity’s self control, but later episodes have dealt with a few less easily demonized desires: for good music, or for a pet, compared to expensive jewelry or love letters.
I think bad guys who prey on desire is an interesting villain archetype for a series whose themes include the triumph of love. I’m still a newbie, but I know enough to know that Usagi and Mamoru are . Still, I appreciate that villains haven’t directly come after sexual or romantic desire yet (just the desire to easily obtain such without confronting your paramour). That could get icky fast.
Previously in Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps
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