Welcome back for more reviews of the “All Chibi-Moon, All The Time” season of Sailor Moon! We just got done a bunch of Filler Episodes while they wait for Naoko Takeuchi to write more issues of the manga, and some times actually move forward and change here! So the baddies are still looking for the Dream Mirror that holds Pegasus, but WE know that it’s in Chibi-Usa’s Mirror!
This is a very important episode, as it’s the POWER-UP for all the girls into their “Super” forms (Super Sailor Mars, Super Sailor Mercury, etc.)… but of course we STILL HAVE A VICTIM OF THE WEEK. And also, notably, they don’t bother to debut the girls’ new attacks this episode, either. I really question the necessity of doing a Filler Episode addition to what should be a more-focused show. The focus is a little boy (a bit older than Chibi-Usa) who plays soccer and wants to date our young heroine, and… FISH EYE is into him? Oh JESUS!! Even Hawk’s & Tiger’s Eye are horrified at this Michael Jackson shit, yo. “Those growing, lustrously supple arms and legs…” AGH.
Chibi-Usa gets playfully teased by the other Sailors about this “Robert” boy asking her out, and they give some good-natured advice. However, it’s clear that Chibi-Usa is feeling something for PEGASUS, as her protestations over the date, and her declaration of what true love is like (“When you want your time together to go on forever!”), reveal some deeper feelings (as does Pegasus going all “eye-watery” when she tells him of the boy who asked her out).
Then of course Fish Eye dresses as a “cool big sister” and tries to SEDUCE THE LITTLE BOY HOLY JESUS CHRIST, but in a funny bit, he acts more annoyed at “her” cooing over sports and young men’s thighs, and bails to go meet Chibi-Usa. Fish Eye immediately attacks him, and then the Lemures (goofily dressed up like a muscular man in a Pegasus costume) blocks Sailors Moon & Chibi-Moon from the others. The other four arrive, but their attacks can’t penetrate the barrier. Pegasus injures himself against the barrier (and without him, Sailor Moon is helpless)- the girls, initially mistrustful of his intentions thanks to some trickery from Fish Eye (his disguised Lemures was attacking random people before this), finally accept his offer to transform them into “Super Sailor Guardians”.
Their transformations are quick- new Transformation Sticks appear, and the girls basically gain slightly pimped-out versions of their standard outfits- they gain the same “transparent shoulder cuffs” that Super Sailor Moon had in Sailor Moon S, much longer bows on their backs, chokers with stars on the front, Venus changes her earring color from orange to red, and Mercury gains extra earrings. And the power-up is immediately apparent, as their once-useless attacks now hit MUCH harder, shattering the barrier completely when all four move in tandem. Sailor Moon wrecks the Lemures easily, Fish Eye retreats, and Chibi-Usa lets Robert down easily.
Another sad bit, as with 57 episodes left to go in the series, we see Mercury’s “Shine Aqua Illusion” for the final time. These little notes are bound to get more and more frequent (next episode we say goodbye to what was once an important character).
(First Appearance: Super Sailor Mars, Super Sailor Mercury, Super Sailor Jupiter, Super Sailor Venus) (Note: They are literally never named that ever in the show)
This one is Mercury-focused, and it features the adorable subplot of Usagi’s brother Shingo getting a schoolboy crush on Ami after she saves him- given her maturity and kind-heartedness, it’s completely adorable. The episode is amazing right out of the gate, as the girls start boy-watching at the beach, and Rei gets the binoculars literally the moment a dorky guy’s saunters up in his speedos, complete with moose-knuckle bulge, as he and his loser friends hit on the girls. Shingo, roped into acting as “bodyguard” against undesirable males, sees them off. And then Ami acts all nice to him, he blushes, and the girls kind of “aww” over how cute it is.
Ami gets one of those “Mercury is a Closet Romantic” moments when Tiger’s Eye hits on her and she rebuffs him to the shock of her friends, pointing out that if fate (“God” in the original writing) has a man in store for her, then “wouldn’t I feel something the moment we met?”. With her lofty standards, no random “Meet Cute” will do. She suggests to Shingo that even though her dream is to become a doctor, her lack of solid family life (raised by a single mother, also a doctor) means she envies large families, and possibly wants one of her own.
Tiger’s Eye soon blows up the raft the two are using, but Ami goes out of her way to give Shingo mouth-to-mouth. The shocked villain is all “Is this the human value known as friendship?” and knowingly wonders “do I have anyone I can call a friend?”. Then he just gets sick of it and attacks anyway. When the Sailors arrive, his Lemures reveals herself… as a ball-swallower? A flat-chested ball-swallower, whose swallowed balls become big breasts, and then she regurgitates them out? I assume this is some Japanese thing. Ami gets her dreams looked at, but recovers pretty quickly, telling the gang to cover the Lemures’s mouth before she can spit out another bomb. Tuxedo Mask, arriving with one of the most insane rambles yet (these are getting REALLY silly, by the way), all “this is a beach for bikini-clad blossoms- your bombs aren’t welcome here!” and his hat plugs her mouth. It’s over pretty quickly after that. Shingo feels guilt over his failure as their “bodyguard” (Tiger’s Eye KO’d him pretty quickly), but Ami reassures him.
And yes, the girls manage to get their “Super Sailor” upgrades the episode prior, and get absolutely zero offense here. They clearly have their “Super” designs (transparent sleeves and a heart on the front bow), but are just sorta standing around.
This episode, sadly, marks the final time we see Shingo in the anime. He was never really a major character of focus- more something to humanize Usagi, but he was a source of amusement, some good teasing, and some fun early episodes (the pair with Mika, and the laser tag one). And it’s really astonishing that a show with FIFTY-SIX EPISODES LEFT in it couldn’t find the time to show the MAIN CHARACTER’S BROTHER even once in all that time.
Wow, they waste ZERO time diving into this one- Usagi & Chibi-Usa join a free ballet class and instantly meet a girl who wants to be Giselle in the ballet, but Fish Eye also shows up, and does an ethereal dance that perfectly fits the way the Fairy character is supposed to behave (you can tell the teacher is entranced, because they go all the way with the “Haruka & Michiru Music” when he stares at “her”). When the teacher favors Fish Eye a little too much and acts like she’s the perfect “Giselle”, Kiriko, his main student, runs off in a huff. Wow, her eyes are drawn REALLY differently from the rest of the cast- most of them have whites in the middle of their eyes, but hers are little highlights in the top corner- it makes her look much more ethereal and mature than the wide-eyed other girls. Her lips and cheeks are drawn with more detail, too.
Their relationship is actually given some complexity here (probably thanks to diving right into the plot- there isn’t even a “Dead Moon” scene with the other two agents!), as it’s clear Kiriko likes him, but he hasn’t thought of her that way. However, a few little glimpses here and there make him realize aspects of her fit Gisele perfectly, and that while Fish Eye’s technique is better, and perhaps more alien, this “imperfect” Gisele will be more likable to audiences. Then it’s a villain attack, some actual POWERS from Fish Eye (they went all this time without showing he had water powers?), a goofy Nutcracker Doll enemy, and Tuxedo Mask’s distraction leads to the ending. It’s kind of odd seeing Mamoru being the secret to victory all the time again.
The girls are entranced by Kiriko’s Gisele at the final show… while even Tuxedo Mask tells Sailor Moon she needs to go on a diet (because of a few close-ups of some pudge over her waistline throughout the episode). Given how skinny Sailor Moon is drawn, and how Tuxedo Mask IS HER BOYFRIEND, that’s a bit of a shit-ass moment. Good episode otherwise, though the monster fight is again silly.
And we’re done for another day! The episodes just keep getting weirder, and we’ve attained some kind of bizarre “Old School Template Episode” with Tuxedo Mask now being important to every battle again. It really comes off like they’re spinning their wheels and trying to do whatever they can while waiting for more plot to be explained to them. Given how this season had Sailors Uranus, Neptune & Saturn in the original manga, it’s a bit mystifying why the show refuses to use them as regulars.