Like these douches? You better- the creators fall in love with them and they run away with the spotlight for weeks at a time.
Hey, we’re back! And now I finally reach the final, FINAL arc of the 200-episode series, as we hit the “Sailor Starlights/Galaxia” arc! The entire nature of the show shifts from this point out- this ends up being one of the least-popular seasons, probably less notorious only because it was never dubbed until a couple of years ago, meaning many, MANY fans, even hardcore ones like me, had never properly seen it.
And now it’s a huge, huge episode- the last of our real “Season Premiere” episodes! And we’re immediately introduced to the central “Cool New Characters Who Steal The Spotlight”, as the THREE LIGHTS make their debut! They’re a trio of long-eyelashed pretty boys who… holy jesus that one has a big forehead… ANYWAYS, their whole gimmick will soon become clear.
In any case, the Three Lights are a Teen Idol group, and the girls are immediately gaga over them. You know shit’s serious when AMI is gushing over one of them! Makoto & Minako are nutso over the dangerous, immature bad-boy Seiya, Rei blushes over the mysterious and aloof Yaten, and when Luna chides their obsession and feels reassured by Ami’s corrective stance… it turns out that Ami’s a fan of the mature and intelligent Taiki! She even mentions his looks! So Seiya is average-sized and black-haired, Yaten’s super-tiny with white hair, and Taiki’s eleven feet tall. All have MASSIVE ponytails that were apparently added at the last second, which is why they look so weird.
But wait! The directors have run out of ideas for Mamoru so badly that he’s now moving to America!! Usagi’s naturally all “No, it’s fine! It’s his dream!”, but everyone’s way too close friends with her to believe that nonsense. It’s even worse since they friggin’ wrote Chibi-Usa out off-camera, as she’s now back in the 30th Century! Luna finally cheers her up by pointing out how much more mature she’s gotten, and she & Mamoru do have a sweet send-off aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand he’s dead. Yes, SAILOR GALAXIA makes her debut, snuffing out a “Star Seed”, and it turns out our Three Lights felt it and know what’s up. So Mamo is laser-blasted away with zero fanfare. This is why the fanbase thinks that all the directors hate Mamo, you know. It also lends credence to the “fans hated Season 4 so they’re getting rid of Chibi-Usa ENTIRELY” by just ignoring her from this point on.
Meanwhile, the girls see a Three Lights movie being filmed, and oh my god Ami is so adorable pretending not to moon over them and getting embarrassed when she’s caught fawning like the others. But Seiya gets stunned by Usagi’s beauty immediately, and sets right to acting like the typical “Aloof Cool Guy” with his smirking, “Bun-Head” act. Honestly, he’s just like Early Mamoru now (probably a deliberate thing).
Anyways, their co-star is attacked by a tiny girl with Amazoness Quartet-like proportions, and she announces herself as Sailor Iron Mouse. “SAILOR?!?” is Eternal Sailor Moon’s confused reaction. But Iron Mouse is after the idol’s “Star Seed”, which is taken out. However, it fades, proving it’s not what she wanted… but the faded Seed turns her into a monster called a “Phage”- calling itself Sailor Buri. Usagi refuses to attack an innocent person, but in our NEXT major twist comes the infamous Sailor Starlights! A trio of characters who are clearly the three male idols… but are busty, long-legged WOMEN, because holy cow the anime took some liberties with the source material here.
In any case, Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Star Maker & Sailor Star Healer arrive, and Star Fighter (Seiya) blasts out a “Star Serious Laser” (stars conjoining into a laser beam) that wipes out Buri, but Sailor Moon refuses to let them kill an innocent person, and we get our new “way to end fights”- the “Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss” alternates as a transformative attack like the old Healing Escalation, transforming Phages back to normal.
So YUP- new villain, new Mega-Boss, new type of enemy, THREE new Sailors, three supporting cast members to get to know, and Mamoru & Chibi-Usa are gonezo! Helluvan episode to start us off. And oh god, wait’ll you find out what Star Healer’s attack is called.
(First Appearance: Sailor Galaxia, Sailor Iron Mouse, The Sailor Starlights- Sailor Star Fighter/Seiya, Sailor Star Healer/Yaten, Sailor Star Maker/Taiki)
Wonder of wonders- the Three Lights now join Juuban High School, meaning they’re classmates with the girls! Hilariously, Rei manages to be there constantly, despite going to a whole different private school, weirding out her friends with this seeming teleportation. And we get some fun bits with the girls actually doing “Club Stuff”, showing more of their non-Sailor sides, as Minako is on the Volleyball Team, Mako is nearly recruited for track & field (though she’s embarrassed over being “The strong girl from Juuban Middle School”) and Ami is naturally in the Computer Club. However, the crux of the story is that Seiya, key member of the Lights, is crushing on “Bun-Head” and is more or less mimicking how Mamoru used to act, teasing an annoyed Usagi and trying to flirt with her. Minako, meanwhile, just aggressively bullies Taiki into letting her escort him to “Culture Club” (… Karma Chameleon?). Meanwhile, Sailor Iron Mouse deals with Sailor Galaxia, who has a very non-threatening, feminine voice compared to most Evil Bosses on this show.
We learn that Seiya’s into like, every sport, as he embarrasses people at basketball, then runs circles around the football team… but in a fun bit, our Victim of the Week, the team captain, runs Seiya down and tackles him, shocking Usagi! She scolds the “big bully” and is prepared for more violence, but he just shakes Seiya’s hand and they congratulate each other in the manliest way ever about how good they both are at manly stuff. But this is all we get of him, as Sailor Iron Mouse attacks right away, turning him into the banana-hammock-sporting “Sailor Guts”, who throws globs of sweat! The other Sailors arrive, but the Sailor Starlights appear immediately, and deflect his attack with Sailor Star Maker’s Star Gentle… Uterus?!?
STAR. GENTLE. UTERUS.
Yes, it’s finally the debut of the most infamous, bizarre, “Take random English words no matter WHAT they mean” name in Sailor Moon history. I still remember absolutely plotzing the first time I heard that phrase used. All that weirdness for a simple “make a star turn into a laser beam” attack.
(First Appearance: STAR. GENTLE. UTERUS.)
It’s the directors’ favorite concept- Minako Is Insane. Here, Minako’s idol dreams take hold once more, as she arranges to make it look like she’s dating the Lights in order to get her face in the papers. But then she just switches to being their personal assistant, for the dual purposes of jumpstarting her idol career AND snagging a boyfriend! The girls are, naturally, annoyed that she seems to want all of them (I can’t mention enough how odd it is to see AMI fawning over somebody), and equally flummoxed that she’s all “BOTH!” when asked if she wants a career or a boyfriend. The subtitle/dub jokes are swapped due to language differences, as a pun doesn’t work- in the original, Usagi mistakes “warming up voice training” for “Cleaning their boobs?”, and there’s this hilarious “WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY BE CLEANING THEIR BOOBS!?” from Minako.
In any case, a photographer joins the group on assignment, and Minako is very quickly annoyed by her pushy, intrusive attitude. She has a GREAT design, though- short hair, a ballcap, suspenders and a belly-shirt- it’s a really distinctive look. It’s pretty clear that her somewhat brusque way of saying “The Idol life isn’t so simple” is because she’s as high-end a pro as they are (I assumed it was because she’d tried it and failed, but nope- SUBVERSION!). And Minako’s all “Kay, our time is done!” at the studio when their schedule says it’s over, but everyone just keeps on working- this is when our Victim of the Week softens up and points out this is the cost of the life (“For us, every day is for keeps”). And, in a good learning moment, Minako GETS IT, and redoubles her efforts, realizing there’s no side-road to fame and success- she has to earn it.
Sailor Star Healer now gets to debut her attack- the “Star Sensitive Inferno”, defeating Sailor Genkiru (a turtle/camerawoman- because “kame” for turtle sounds like “camera” in Japanese). The backstory of the Lights is becoming more clear- they worked hard to become teen idols so that the female they’re searching for would be able to find them. I already know the backstory here, so I’m curious as to when and how it’ll unfold.
(First Appearance: Star Sensitive Inferno)
Okay, so three episodes into the final season, and we see the Three Lights take over a big part of the show. Seiya is “Early Mamoru”, but we haven’t found out what the other two are about quite yet. But… we will…