Welcome back to more Sailor Stars reviews! As the show nears its end point, every enemy general is dead but one, we’re out of “Focus Episodes” for the Sailors, and we’ve finally met Princess Kakyuu, who reveals the history of the Sailor Wars and how Sailor Galaxia is trying to return Chaos to the world.
Oh, and this episode features one of the most famous Sailor Moon moments ever- an iconic mass death scene.
And we put a cap in the “Three Lights” story arc, as the trio announces they’re disbanding and holding one final concert to say goodbye… oh, and the episode is titled “Princess Kakyuu Perishes”, so there ya go. Rei confronts Usagi at her home about the need to let Seiya down easily, since she has Mamo… at which point she discovers that Mamoru has NEVER WRITTEN BACK TO USAGI. Given that MONTHS have passed since he left, Rei is shocked and horrified that Usagi never told anyone. The girls all join together to commiserate over this, with Ami saying the University told her that Mamoru never showed up. Rei: “That Usagi! She didn’t need to go through this all by herself! If only she’d told us sooner- we could have helped her!”. Rei’s mix of fury and worry is just SO Rei Hino- she feels everything deeper than everyone else, and is the most insightful, making her the most sensitive to this kind of thing.
Usagi goes against many Sailors’ wishes to see the Lights off for their concert, Seiya ultimately confessing he’d fallen for her and wanted to make sure he said it before he left… which is kinda narcissistic given how Usagi’s clearly still in love with Mamoru and he knows that. But he’s all “I hope you see your boyfriend soon” so oh no I guess he’s nice anyways- shrug. Now we get a VERY long bit of their final concert, as the show was I guess REALLY proud of all those little songs they wrote, so we gotta listen to many of them in longform. The Lights’ VAs really aren’t great singers, though. But then, right near the end, Sailor Tin Nyanko attacks! But, with half her costume white, she is fighting against herself, saying “Yes, I must be punished” one second, and trying to kill them all the next! When Princess Kakyuu says that she was once a fighter for good and is being controlled by the bracelets, Sailor Moon and the others decide to help her, while the Starlights are still trying to blow her up. Sailors Uranus & Neptune are also involved, all “UGH stay out of our business!”, but Moon & Kakyuu are agents for unity here.
Buuuuuuuuuut now Galaxia shows up. IN PERSON. And vaporizes Nyanko immediately (“You have done enough. Good work”), then attacks Kakyuu, recognizing her as being from Planet Kinmoku. Kakyuu manages to counter Galaxia’s repeated energy blasts, demanding the Starlights leave her while she holds the demon off. But Galaxia simply executes her and steals away her “True Star Seed”, horrifying the Starlights & Sailors alike (only Uranus has a serious face on- even Neptune is mortified). Kakyuu fades away, “Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss” does NOTHING to the villain, and Galaxia promises to come for their Star Seeds next, and now Tokyo is riddled with dark energy and people’s screams. Now THAT’S a big loss for our team. At least it’s clear (to us, anyways), that Chibi-Chibi is the “Light of Hope” they need.
Pretty epic finale, though the mid-part was just a “Greatest Hits” of Three Lights songs to slow pictures of them singing. And Kakyuu dies like one episode after she first appears and speaks, giving us only the barest hints of her personality (which, fittingly, is similar to Sailor Moon’s in its desire for harmony, peace, and working together). Pretty funny given they spent like the entire season up till this point searching for her Some weird faces and animation in parts, though- only Kakyuu looked to be animated particularly well, especially in all the screaming scenes.
EPISODE #196: Endgame approaches, and things rev up immediately- the Starlights, having lost their Princess, move to Galaxia’s hideout for a suicide attack. The Sailors, now FINALLY joined by Sailors Pluto & Saturn, also plot, but the four “Outers” head off on their own, stating that at least one of them must survive. Things sound really “final” when Neptune & Uranus pull their “as long as you’re with me” stuff. And sure enough…
So Sailor Chibi-Chibi teleports the Inners in to the battle, where the Starlights are in that “lines all over them so you know it’s a tough fight” pose and Galaxia is easily winning, deflecting all their stuff. But then Sailor Moon is all “I demand you leave this planet at once!” and so Galaxia fires off her Star Seed Remover blast at the Starlights… and that’s it for Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, as they LEAP IN THE WAY. Their Star Seeds are in Galaxia’s hands and the girls begin to fade away (Neptune, away from the battle, feels this and gives a great “Oh my God!” at the realization)- the Starlights are like “WTF? Why did you take that hit for us?!” and we get the more emphatic version of “Because we’re trying to save those we love” stuff that hits a lot harder when it’s, you know, the dying words of a hero. Mercury & Venus say they love them just like they love Usagi; Jupiter pleads with the Starlights to protect their Princess as they once did, and Sailor Mars… Mars…
In one of the show’s most legendary moments, even way back in the mid ’90s when I was reading recaps online and devouring every bit of Sailor Moon content I could, I heard about this one. All four Sailors are executed and slowly fade away, but it’s REI, Usagi’s old rival and the meanest and most critical of the group, that Usagi runs to first. She begs Mars not to leave, saying she promised to be with her always, and Mars gives one of those “Rei” comments “Don’t be such a baby- pull yourself together…”. She chides Usagi playfully, tears in her eyes, and says she still has Mamoru (of course, WE know she doesn’t), then fades away- naturally, several seconds after the others- when Rei has shit to say, she tells death to F off and death listens). And with a “sorry I won’t be there to protect you anymore”, she’s gone.
Sailor Moon FREAKS, demands “Give them back!” and tries to move forward, but Galaxia just calmly sits on her throne, shoots Usagi back, and admires her new trinkets- the life forces of Usagi’s friends. Showing Sailor Moon her collection of Star Seeds, she reveals a golden one… the one from EARTH. In a great stroke of plot, Usagi recognizes a golden one immediately (“Is that… Mamo?”) and realizes what it means if that’s with them. Mamoru is dead, too.
Yeah, so THIS is the big one. Largely just “people standing around” until the fight later on, but you’re not gonna surpass “the death of Sailor Moon’s closest loved ones” in terms of plot twists. Too bad the show already did that in the first season, and more dramatically (cutting them down one by one instead of all at once). But Usagi & Rei getting the final moments is a great middle finger to the Rei haters out there, lol.