Jab’s Reviews: Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie: Black Dream Hole (1995) - IMDb

SAILOR MOON SUPERS- THE MOVIE:
-And now we come to the final movie in the Sailor Moon movie trilogy, SuperS! This one made less than half what Sailor Moon R: The Movie did, and the SuperS and Sailor Stars seasons did less and less well as time went on, so the studio wisely ended things here. Again, the continuity here is kejiggered, Sailors Neptune, Uranus & PLUTO active, but no Sailor Saturn mentioned at all. Since it’s a “Chibi-Usa” time, she’s very prominent here, arguing with Usagi and getting into a “befriending the dewey-eyed fairy-like magic boy” thing with Not-Pegasus.

My biggest memory of this was finding a huge magazine-style book at a bookstore in Japan featuring this movie prominently, taking snapshots of it and letting you see the whole plot, which made it very easy to follow. I read this thing A LOT back in the day, and it was my look into the proper “Japanese names” for the attacks (“Fire Soul”, “Sabao Spray”, “World Shaking”, etc.), even ones I hadn’t seen yet like the Outer Senshi’s stuff. This was a huge help in my Sailor Moon fandom at the time, and stuck with me so much I can still pick out exact images in this movie that remind me of that book.

Dear God, I’ve only seen this movie ONCE before and I still remember the fairy song (used to hypnotize children) like it was yesterday. The animation after that point is REALLY bad, though, with really sketchy, thin lines (like someone erased the inks too much, or they dried out) and some questionable animation and background characters. You can see the budget diminishing with time, here. In any case, after a pretty pedestrian scene involving baking (which only Ami & Mako are any good at, though Chibi-Usa’s at least TASTE good), Chibi-Usa meets Perle, who’s been watching the other Fairies abduct children, and they have one of those meaningless childlike conversations Chibi-Usa always gets into, while Usagi childishly demands Mamoru tell her who’s more important to him- her or Chibi-Usa.

SAILOR MARS IS WEARING LEATHER PA– no, no. I am calm.

But then we get into the meat of the plot, as SAILOR MARS IS WEARING LEATHER PAN– I mean, young children are being abducted from their homes by fairy flute-playing. The evil fairy brings forth “Bonbon Babies” that knock the Sailors around for a bit, allowing us a Transformation Sequence and a quick Mook Battle- melee attacks do no damage, but Sailor Attacks will. Venus pulls out “Venus Love & Beauty Shock!”, but the others use SEASON ONE AND TWO ATTACKS, without Stock Animation, even! The animation picks up a lot here, but with some weird bits (oddly slow-running Usagis; weird shaky facial expressions to denote shock; REALLY bad face animation in a shot clearly never meant for the era of pausing DVDs).

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The movie’s odd Bonbon Babies.

Tuxedo Mask arrives when the fairy, Poupelin, creates an illusion that stuns the girls, but he’s held back by the mind-controlled children and badly injured by a Bonbon Baby, putting him out of the fight after like 30 seconds, which is pretty funny. Perle & Poupelin are revealed to be brothers as Perle opposes the use of violence, and Poupelin summons the image of Queen Badiane, yet another Evil Queen character in the franchise (that’s like… four, now). She empowers the Babies to regenerate from all harm, and Poupelin abducts Chibi-Moon and takes his leave.

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Our wacky villain designs.

Two more fairies are revealed as three ships in total arrive in a Floating City sort of thing that materializes in space, and Queen Badiane talks some smack, elaborating upon her plan to Sailor Chibi-Moon. Apparently she abducts children to put them in “Dream Coffins” which will give “Sugar Energy” from their dreams (yes, really) to empower a Black Dream Hole that will soon engulf the entire Earth, putting ALL HUMANITY into Dream Coffins. She got the fairies to go along by promising them a world of “happy dreams” where they will never get hurt.

Perle takes the Sailors to “Marzipan Castle” and the enemies, but a cannon shoots down Perle’s ship, and the fairies attack with more Bonbon Babies (pink and orange join Poupelin’s blue ones). The other two fairies are pretty goofy, though, with weird voices and appearances- very gangly and odd- one covered in leaves, and the other with a dome hat and long tongue- they look “off model” compared to Poupelin, who at least looks like a well-drawn, detailed villain. The Baby surge seems to spell the end for our heroines… but then WORLD SHAKING strikes- it’s Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune & Sailor Pluto! The Outer Senshi return! Neptune’s Mirror sees through all illusions, so they’ve found the castle, and then it casts “Submarine Reflection”, which marks the fairies’ flutes as the source of their power- Uranus’ “Space Sword Blaster” slices one open, and “Mars Flame Sniper” takes out the other, turning both fairies into doves (this would explain their lazier designs). Uranus slices Poupelin’s as well, and soon he’s a bird, too.

And then, in the movie’s most legendary moment, Uranus contemplates Poupelin’s suggestion that they’re just trying to give children a world in which they can remain children forever… and Neptune says “but you get to enjoy most of life’s pleasures as an adult, right?”, stunning even URANUS into blushing, coughing silence! Perle mourns his brothers for a moment before Badiane, who is clearly a GIANTESS, threatens them all. Her Black Dream Hole grows while she tortures Chibi-Moon in her grip. Her Force Field keeps out Perle’s ship, knocking everyone back… but the power of Sailor Moon & Perle’s love for Chibi-Usa lets them break through (yes, really, that three-minute conversation from the beginning of the movie held that much power), and Sailor Moon leaps into the Hole after Badiane (who declares that she IS the Black Dream Hole).

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Queen Badiane’s design and some rad cosplay. For a show with multiple “Giant Evil Queen” characters, this design still looks pretty good.

She turns up in Mamoru’s room, holding Chibi-Usa, but realizing that Mamo being so casual about Chibi-Usa’s health (“Just let her dream forever”) and declaring that “You are the only person in the world I care about” is way out of character, and promptly realizes that this is a dream. This breaks her out of her Dream Coffin, and she challenges Queen Badiane one final time, realizing the little words of wisdom from her friends earlier (about finding the bright side in sadness, the importance of future happiness, etc.) lets her “Care Bear Stare” that shit out, and when Badiane makes a final surge, burning the hell out of Sailor Moon, she calls on her friends to lend her their strength in ANOTHER one-off power feat, and their symbols light her up, rendering her immune to harm, and she & Chibi-Moon combined together for a double “Moon Gorgeous Meditation” that destroys the black hole (and Badiane with it) for good. Now how’d I know the power of love was going to save the day in this one?

This was… a thing. It’s hardly bad or anything, but it’s obviously the weakest of the three movies- the other two dealt with extremely complex emotions (lost love, self-loathing, want, desire, jealousy, etc.), while this one is just “we meet someone, three seconds later we’re friends, and now there’s a fight against another Evil Queen”. It’s so by-the-numbers that they pull the Ass-Pull “think about your love for others” feel-good solution to the overwhelming foe AGAIN, destroying the villainess with a one-off power surge. Like, yeah, it’s set up earlier on with the Sailors’ conversations over baking, and we DO know that the Usagis love each other despite all their arguing, but come on. The animation was questionable all over the place, but typically great in fight scenes, and the flying ships, Marzipan Castle and more had some of the best scenery in Sailor Moon. So on that front it’s middle of the road. Some of the best stuff was the opening & closing sequences showing the Sailors as little kids (something we NEVER see in this show), Neptune’s little flirtacious joke to Uranus, and some of the cool animation of their cinematic fighting moves.


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SAILOR MOON SUPERS SIDE STORY- AMI’S FIRST LOVE:
-With Ami proving to be the most popular of the Sailors to the book’s young fans, it was decided that she get a 15-minute animated short devoted to her. Things get adorbz immediately, as Ami goes on about all her studies and her habits and likes (which all involve studying- “my favorite thing about sandwiches is that you can study and eat at the same time!”)… and then finds a LOVE LETTER addressed to her! Freaking out about it, she confesses it’s the one thing she can’t handle. Meanwhile, she discovers a “Mercurius” matching her perfect scores in the national “mock exams” which are going on at the time (third-year in Middle School is a HUGE time for schoolkids, as it determines the level of High School they get to go to).

Ami assumes that Mercurius is a male, and her obsession over him leads the other girls to needle her about her ROMANTIC tastes, figuring this is what’s driving her. She famously (to the fandom) confesses that it’s “Einstein”, of course flooring everybody. She exhausts herself to beat Mercurius in every exam, and now we meet our villain- the double-ponytailed villainess Bonnun, who’s hidden away in the school for years waiting for “lascivious” romantic energy from a young girl in love. She latches onto Ami, absorbing her energy and leaving her bedridden, while the girls actually MEET Mercurius, who’s friends with Umino. And whatever they see stuns them into silence.

Kate Higgins acts out in a HUGE way as Ami is horrified to see her well-memorized lessons and knowledge fleeing her mind as she’s covered with LOVE LETTERS, really showing a lot of range with the usually-calm Ami Mizuno. Usagi, Mamoru & Chibi-Usa arrive at her apartment to find her room turned into a weird psionic madhouse, but Ami now mistakes Bonnun for MERCURIUS, doing a big speech about how she did this just to beat her in the exames. This leaves Bonnun rather annoyed and confused, and now Ami transforms into Sailor Mercury! But with an all-new transformation sequence and attack- “Mercury Aqua Mirage” is a nice shiny blue ball of water that turns into a Multiattacking Blast that wipes the floor with Bonnun. And then Ami passes out and declares the villain beaten. Then Usagi reveals that Mercurius really just looked like Umino, but Ami’s convinced he was a handsome pretty-boy.

This was pretty much a hoot, with Mercury being uncharacteristically insane the whole way through, demented by a “rival” and twisted by romantic thoughts that he must be some gorgeous hunk who clearly got good grades just to mess with her. It comes off as a bit boy-crazy and obsessive, combining her self-perfection trait with the confusing nature of romance, and it’s pretty funny. I wish they’d have done more things like this with the cast, but Ami was the most popular.


And we’re done! Next up- Sailor Stars!

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