Jab’s Reviews: Sailor Stars (Episodes #176-179)

Sailor Moon Fashion — Episode 176- Seiya's Work Out Clothes
How could anyone be unimpressed by Seiya’s workout gear?

More Sailor Stars! This time the other two Sailor Starlights get some focus.

EPISODE #176: 

School test shenanigans are afoof, as Usagi, Minako AND Seiya fail their tests and need to do make-ups, but Seiya’s ALSO struggling with a stage director, who criticizes his entire performance. Meanwhile, Rei continues her “teleports straight to Juuban High” gimmick, while now copying the “Noblewoman Laugh” anime cliché as part of a persona to impress the Three Lights (it just weirds them out)- but she discovers that the stage director, Akane, is a nun/teacher at her Catholic Private School! Yes, the Shinto Shrine Maiden is at a Catholic School- Japan is weird that way. In any case, she wants to accomplish both stage direction and religious study, and sees no reason why she can’t do both.

Finally, she explains her harshness- she was dazzled by the Three Lights’ “singing with all their hearts” as if they were calling to “that one special person” (perceptive, that one)… but while Seiya’s acting, he shows NONE of that same “fire”, and that’s what angers her so (“is this not worth your time?”). Thankfully, since Seiya is competitive and prideful, he gets the picture, and isn’t satisfied unless he gives it his all- his FABULOUS dancing thus impresses her next time, in a good bit (the belly-shirt and undies over the tights make this look soooooooooo girly, but… YOU KNOW…).

Naturally, Akane is attacked by Sailor Iron Mouse, and a furious Seiya is left with no other option- he uses “Fighter Star Power… Maaaaaake up!” with the most Jem and the Holograms Transformation Sequence ever, appearing with a literal goddamn MICROPHONE/EARPIECE that shifts his male body to a female one (yes, no breast-binding here), and a bunch of still action-poses result- huh, no flowing transformation stuff. Must be a lower budget. “Star Serious Laser!” wipes out the Phage (Sailor Director), but Sailors Moon & Mars arrive to protect it, since it was once human- Star Fighter’s all “You have no idea what it’s like! We had to leave our homeworld and stuff!”, but Mars threatens her with the Flame Sniper attack (holding the arrow and flaming bow at her in a cool bit) and Sailor Moon casually reverts the Phage back to normal. Kind of a pointless argument given everyone should know the deal by now, but whatever.

I liked the bits here between Seiya & Akane- one of those things where they give our Weekly Victim a lot of focus and give her some depth so she’s not just some nobody. The debate about effort and fire gives more character to Seiya beyond “Smug, Aloof Douche” and reveals the kind of effort and strife needed to become truly great.

(First Appearance: Sailor Star Fighter Transformation Sequence)

Sailor Moon History on Twitter: "Other roles voice by Narumi Tsunoda (bday  today)! - Kou Taiki (BSSM) - Rei Ijuin (Tokimemo) - Ryoko Futaba (Pia  Carrot) - Jane (Die Hard 3)… https://t.co/Cuk3qOmNE3"

Jesus that is one big god damn forehead.

EPISODE #177: 

Taiki gets a Focus Episode this time- it’s based around the fact that Mr. Fivehead is one of the smartest students in school- equal to AMI of all people! Both he and Ami nerd out over their Physics teacher being super well-educated, but Taiki’s dialogue is hopelessly exposition-y and delivered in the most bland monotone from the actress playing him. Ami casually points out that the teacher is talking about the comet he discovered “like a lover”, which is funny to just blankly state like that. In any case, the core story is one of those “Romance vs. Science” things that pops up in this series fairly often- the Sailor Moon S movie among them. Ami likes the teacher’s more romantic idealism (dreams and wonder about the stars keeping him from taking a research job at Cambridge), while Taiki chides him for such odd viewpoints despite being a man of science.

Taiki disregards the notion of them viewing the comet because “there’s a 100% chance of rain”, but Ami is convinced things will work out- Taiki, despite his nature, finds himself compelled to come see anyways (“this is silly”, said as much to himself as the others), but naturally Sailor Iron Mouse attacks (showing some Mimete-style tendencies, crushing on what the teacher used to look like, and his “rugged” looks now when his glasses fall off). So Sailor Star Maker attacks the “Sailor Teacher” Phage, but Ami defends him as the teacher she once knew, pointing out that “the desire to pursue dreams and wonder is the energy that drives us as human beings!”, to which Maker replies “so that’s what you meant” with a smile. Yeah, it’s a pretty “Sailor Moon” conversation to have.

Anyways, Sailor Moon shows up, but Sailor Teacher keeps throwing chalk at her- Star Maker uses “Star Gentle Uterus” (hee) again, but confesses she “reduced the power by half- after all, he’s someone you respect”- Sailor Moon transforms him, and the day is saved. And of course the sky clears and everyone happily sees the comet- “I can see the dreams and wonder that you spoke of”. Aw, Taiki, the comet has thawed your logical heart. Not a bad episode, but pretty old-hat for the show. Star Maker seems okay, but a tad stoic and forgettable- I can see why Captain Fivehead is the least-popular of the trio.

(First Appearance: Sailor Star Maker Transformation Sequence)

EPISODE #178: 

And now it’s YATEN’s turn for some characterization! Luna ends up staying with him so he can have a pet to show off on a TV show, and this gives him some depth- he’s terse, rude and impolite with people in person, but has a soft spot for animals. Since Luna’s kind of a perv with pretty humans, she’s into the idea (seriously it even shows her with the “drooly mouth of thirst”). The girls at first tease her, but when they find out Luna took a BATH with him, Rei & Mako are outraged, and Minako is beside herself with lust, hilariously getting the “anime pervert nosebleed” while thinking about bathing, sleeping and cuddling up next to Yaten. I love how she’s just like “OH HELL YES MAMA WANNA RIDE THAT LIKE A PONY!”, straight-up curling her fingers at the thought.

So of course poor Artemis, who’s IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH LUNA, is jealous and distressed, especially as Luna is giving Yaten these loving looks, and Rei’s no help, immediately suggesting he’ll find another cat (Mako’s at least sympathetic, though he finds her pity annoying, too). But Luna is struck when the Three Lights have a conversation about the girl they’re looking for, with Yaten saying she’s the only one he’s interested in knowing, and that he HATES humanity and doesn’t trust any of them. He’s even annoyed at Seiya’s idea of “love at first sight”. His grumpiness has him telling off a dipshit Teen Idol who refers to herself in the third person, too. When she mocks Luna’s appearance, then suggests that Yaten doesn’t like her so must be GAY, Luna swipes at her in a great bit, but then she’s attacked by Sailor Iron Mouse. Yaten’s like “Whatever, I don’t even like this bitch” and tries to bail, but Luna actually attacks the villain, getting blasted for it!

So of course the Sailors are all there, with a great “Pre-Fight Lecture” about how Iron Mouse “violated an idol’s privacy”, to which Venus adds “Yeah, even I’VE been trying to hold back!” like a doofus, and then Moon starts tossing out her speech while Iron Mouse keeps trying to get a word in and is being ignored. Then she teleports out and Mars chides Moon for taking so long to call her out- hee, great fourth-wall gags. Anyways, Sailor Ojyou appears as our Monster, and RIPS HER CLOTHES OFF, revealing a scandalous whale-tail-thong lingerie outfit, but Yaten reacts to Luna’s sacrifice by transforming and knocking the Phage (whose attack is just… using a whip) into the wall, setting up her defeat. Like, why would FIVE SAILORS need help against a Phage with only one attack shown? I guess they were outta time, lol.

Fun little episode, with Yaten being an adorable little grouch about everything- the soft spot for animals humanizes him, as is him having by far the most angst about looking for this mystery person. Though having Luna lust for another human after we know she’s with Artemis is an, um, curious look, and is a bit irksome given there’s an episode a season in the past that features her SLASHING HIM for possibly flirting with a human woman. HYPOCRITICAL LUNA, I AM DISAPPOINT.

(First Appearance: Sailor Star Healer Transformation Sequence, Sailor Iron Mouse’s Blast)

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