After a long season, we FINALLY meet Princess Kakyuu- the one the Starlights have been searching for all this time.
It’s time for more Sailor Stars! The final eight episodes are upon us! We’ve seen the last of some Sailors’ attacks (this far before the ending? BAD SIGN), everyone knows each others’ secret identities, and mistrust still shines between the Sailors and the Starlights. And we’re continuing on with the final “Focus Episodes” each Sailor gets… as well as our very last “In the name of the Moon…” and Monster of the Week! We really ARE close to the end!
Our final Minako-themed episode, as she hits the semi-finals of an Idol Competition… but sighs and rejects it- there’s too much going on right now. This being her lifelong dream, it hurts both her & Artemis, and he confesses the secret to the other girls (who are a bit stunned that Minako’s all “Let’s study hard and not screw around!”). They confront her at school and force her to take the job, saying that it’s been her lifelong dream (Usagi naturally makes the best point: “It’s all the more reason to go- you have to hold onto your dreams at all times”). When Yaten turns out to be a judge, now HE’S mad at her because she’s doing this even with the seriousness of the situation, but she goes on anyways. Meanwhile, Sailor Lead Crow (remember, the Anima-Mates are TV executives) has been tied up and gagged by Sailor Tin Nyanko, who swaps in as a judge in her place!
Minako’s song is pretty catchy (but her VA’s voice is a bit weak), but impresses the judges enough, as does her helping another girl up when they run into each other during the dance portion. But Yaten’s all “URG WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS NOW?” during the Q&A portion, so she responds with “When it comes to your dreams, there is no before and after”- the songwriter (and Victim of the Week, obviously) adds “She’s got you there, Yaten”. Finally, he confesses that “maybe being a Guardian isn’t everything” to her, and wonders why their Princess has yet to appear before her. Sailor Musician appears, and is more garish than anything I’ve ever seen before, and talks like Patrick Warburton. Star Sensitive Inferno and Venus Love & Beauty Shock (the last time we’ll see THAT attack) stun him, and we’re out. Minako turns out to have WON the finals… but in a very “Sailor Moon” moment, says “this proves that I can be an idol at ANY time… so right now, I’d rather be with my friends” and puts the letter away, figuring she’ll grab her dream later.
ANOTHER big ending… this episode marks the VERY LAST TIME we will ever see a “Monster Of The Week”, and the very last “In the name of the Moon… I’ll punish you!” speech! The two most classic, long-lasting aspects of the entire freakin’ anime!
So Juban High is holding a festival, and their idea is a MAID CAFE, which was not only a thing back then, but still common today. The whole “servile woman” thing always kinda weirded me out, but whatever. Seiya is invited to the café and shows up, while he and the other Lights discuss the scent of their Princess on Chibi-Chibi. This leads to Seiya’s friendly visit, while the other two actually corner the innocent baby and try to force her to hand over their Princess Kakyuu’s incense burner! This makes them look like HUGE DICKS, and so the Sailors get involved.
Meanwhile, Sailor Lead Crow mourns the loss of Siren again, smiling over their “last photo together”, but finds Siren’s JOURNAL (with all her notes on Usagi’s true nature), and how has an idea! She promptly hits the girls when they’re having their typical post-Light “why are they so awful?/no they’re not all bad” conversation and calls them out- she knows their secret identities, and that Sailor Moon has a Star Seed! And WE GET THE DRAMATIC MUSIC AGAIN FINALLY!! Damn it’s been a while since we’ve heard that.
Lead Crow promptly kicks some serious ass, wiping out Venus, Mars, Jupiter & Mercury with a pair of whip-strikes, making them DENT CONCRETE. Lead Crow uses a portable black hole to threaten everyone at the fair unless Usagi gives up her Star Seed, and so OF COURSE SHE DOES, offering it to the villain. Everyone chides her, and Crow is starry-eyed over the beautiful Seed (you can tell because her eyes go all wide like a “good girl” instead of “Narrow Villain Eyes”)… but then Tin Nyanko attacks, breaking the black hole’s container.
Lead Crow merely sheds a tear and begs forgiveness from Aluminum Siren as the black hole consumes her, while Nyanko prepares to take the Star Seed… until Chibi-Chibi, trapped in the same vortex, uses the incense burner and rips the black hole apart! And it’s unmistakable to the Starlights- Princess Kakyuu has arrived, carrying Sailor Moon back down to earth.
Pretty big deal this time around, with the end of Lead Crow and her adorable mourning for Siren, Tin Nyanko proving herself a HUGE slime yet again (truly one of the nastiest villains in the show), and the Princess FINALLY appearing.
(First Appearance: Princess Kakyuu)
And now with Princess Kakyuu finally having appeared, we get our favorite Sailor Moon cliche: “Now that we’ve caught up to the manga, let’s do an Exposition Dump!”. Kakyuu immediately apologizes to the tearful Starlights for making them wait so long, and tells Sailor Moon about… the SAILOR WARS. “Sailor Guardians are the reincarnations of stars”, set to protect peace for centuries since the dawn of time, and Sailor Cosmos, the ultimate Guardian, finally sealed away Chaos, the source of all evil. But now Chaos has returned in the form of Sailor Galaxia, who wants to steal all the Star Seeds in order to return the galaxy to Chaos. Oh, and the “Light of Hope” is the Macguffin we need to stop her! Sailor Moon’s all like “yeah of course” to Kakyuu’s request to help find it, but OH SHIT HERE’S SAILOR URANUS & NEPTUNE AGAIN. They’re all like “how dare you ask us to help?” and calling her selfish, but Kakyuu prevents her Starlights from attacking for this insult.
Meanwhile, Galaxia feels the light of Kakyuu returning, and angrily sends Sailor Tin Nyanko to retrieve the Star Seed of Sailor Moon. There’s a great bunch of comedy when the other Sailors are protective of Usagi, knowing she’s the target and the villains know who she is- she’s given a ton of weapons, Minako & Rei get paranoid and think every passerby is the enemy (hilariously, the third one IS), and Usagi gets a whistle that causes Rei to motor ACROSS THE CITY from her school to theirs! But the gag soon turns serious when Minako (of course) namedrops Mamoru, which is a sore point, as he STILL hasn’t called (cuz he ded) and that wound is still raw and getting worse. So she asks to be left alone, leaving REI (of course) beside herself with worry.
Oh shit and now Usagi’s “tired of feeling alone…” and “I’m so lonely, Mamo!”. And TIN NYANKO attacks! Rei barrels across the city again and gets Seiya’s help (just as he prepares to say goodbye to that life), but he gets on the roof where the fight is and BAM- thrown rose! The TUXEDO MASK MUSIC!! But alas, Moon’s heart is broken as it was just Seiya wearing his overcoat like a cape. Star Serious Laser puts Nyanko on her ass, and Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss… blows up ONE of her bracelets! She escapes in the phone booth, but half her costume is now WHITE! And Usagi has a complete breakdown over the rose, bawling her eyes out about missing Mamo, and Seiya… leans in with a serious look and says “Aren’t I good enough?” That’s still going on?
The Usagi/Mamo stuff and the bits with the Sailors was REALLY well done, here, as the creators are definitely ramping up the drama as we reach end-game.
(First Appearance: Sailor Cosmos- seen but not named)