Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media
Episode directed by Takao Yoshizawa
We’re back with another episode of Sailor Moon Classic! With the first episode out of the way, we are now plunging headfirst into the filler episodes which Sailor Moon Crystal did not choose to use, so we won’t have anything really to compare it against and we’ll have to see how it holds up on its own. Will this episode give us what was so desperately missing in Sailor Moon Crystal, or will it just go to show that Crystal was right all along to streamline series the way it did, even if it did so poorly? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with… a recap of the episode we’re about to see? What!? Yeah, it’s that thing they usually put at the end of the PREVIOUS episode to get you excited for the next one, but they put it at the beginning of the episode its advertising! Not only that, but it has some serious spoilers in it!! Oh, and after THAT is a recap of the previous episode where Usagi, after just explaining what she’s GOING to do as Sailor Moon, tells the audience that she is in fact… SAILOR MOON!! I’m assuming this is going to be the case every episode, but I’m only going to complain about it here. Is this how the original dub or the original Japanese version was done!? It’s just so out of place to put these two things back to back like this at the very beginning of the episode and just starts things off poorly. Anyway, the episode begins with a group of women lining up around the block to see a fortune teller. Apparently this guy is famous and has been on TV, but he still operates from a card table in an alley. Does he have a permit for that!?
One person in line (dressed like an incognito Ninja Turtle) is Jadeite, the first King of Dark Kingdom. He seems to be inspired by the amount of traffic this psychic is getting and decides to try yet another human energy-sapping plot after his first one with the jewelry store failed. Speaking of Dark Kingdom, we cut to Queen Beryl’s throne room which has probably the funniest scene in the entire episode. She questions her legion of demons or whatever (standing outside a five-meter radius of her throne) on whether they have found the Legendary Silver Crystal yet, and they all sheepishly reply “no” in unison. Then when she commands them to keep looking, they sheepishly reply “okay…” before teleporting off. Dang! She’s either got them all SUPER whipped (which I can believe considering we’re talking about Queen Beryl here) or these are meekest monsters of all time. No wonder a fourteen-year-old is gonna kick their asses.
While her legion may not have found the Legendary Silver Crystal yet (which will apparently bring unlimited power to their master or something), Jadeite has already got his plans underway. We go from there to Usagi’s house where once again she’s overslept and is late for school. By the time she DOES make it there, she gets caught yet again and has to stand in the hallway. She seems to have a guest this time around (though for no explained reason) in the form of the super nerdy kid Umino who has a crush on her. How do we know he’s nerdy? He gets good grades and has etched spirals into his lens.
He has a subplot this episode where he tries to come up with a way to confess his love for Usagi which of course involves video games and stealth attacks because he is a NERD!!!! Naru tries to tell him that he’s going about things ass-backward and instead tells him that he should… talk to a psychic. Okay, I guess that’s MARGINALLY better but still a bit circuitous, don’t you think? Well, he decides to take her advice and heads to the shiny new Fortune Telling building that is obviously the location of Jadeite’s new scheme. I’ve got to say that I’m impressed he was able to rent this storefront and put up a giant customized sign within twenty-four hours. Did they have demon contractors to build and place that sign? Do they have in house legal representation, or did they hire another firm to draft a Letter of Intent for the landlord? How would Jadeite pass a background check!? MAGIC! THAT’S HOW!!
Usagi bypasses the shiny new cathedral for demonic activity and instead has her fortune read by the kind old man who tells her that someone out there likes her. She assumes that it’s her friend who works at the arcade (Motoki) and heads straight there to greet her destiny! As you’d expect, Motoki is super charming and sets Usagi’s heart all a flutter while being completely oblivious to her affections. That MIGHT have something to do with her only being fourteen and he looks to be a college student. Just as things are starting to heat up (at least for one person), Luna appears out of nowhere and provides the mother of all mood killers.
The stud hunt is officially put on hiatus due to Luna’s interruption and Usagi is not happy about it. Luna tries to lecture her about her importance to the protection of humanity and the restoration of the Moon Empire, but this only gives Usagi a chance to escape and she runs back to the fortune teller to get even more advice. Unfortunately, the old man and his table are no longer there (he was probably murdered by the competing demon fortune tellers) and Usagi has to decide whether or not to go to the new place. Instead of making the decision herself, she instead tosses her shoe in the air and will go if it lands on heads.
I’ve never heard of this, but even if this IS a thing, wouldn’t a shoe have 4 sides!? WHICH ONE OF THOSE SIDES IS HEADS!?!? She tosses the shoe and it does indeed land on heads. Well, “A” head to be more precise. I wonder if that counts. The head in question is Mamoru’s (who still hasn’t been named yet in this series) and he starts to yell at Usagi for being a big dummy. This effectively kills her interest in seeing a psychic and she decides to head home instead to piss and moan about this rude dude. Well, it’s a good thing she DIDN’T go in there because we finally see the psychic that’s running the place and she’s certainly something.
This odd dichotomy between her look and her voice (I guess she’s supposed to sound Romani) is most likely an outcome of the dub, where an English audience’s expectations on what a fortune teller sounds like clashes with the Japanese interpretation of what a fortune teller looks like. I’m surprised though that they did it this way considering this ISN’T the super localized version from the nineties. Maybe it’s an intentional gag to give her a comically mismatched voice (like Dracula the Dirty Old Man) but I doubt it considering her voice isn’t THAT extreme. It’s just an odd accent choice. So the evil psychic’s plan seems to be to take all the dudes that come by and turn them into asshole mind slaves. Umino is one such victim and basically goes all Peter Park in Spider-Man 3 at school the next day. I half expect James Brown to start playing as he walks around school out of uniform, laughs maniacally in class, and flips up his homeroom teacher’s skirt. Wait, what!?
DUDE! That’s a MAJOR dick move! As stated earlier, he’s not the ONLY one the fortune teller has brainwashed and other kids in the school are acting up as well. After narrowly dodging a kiss from Umino, Usagi and Luna determine that the cause of this seems to be the new psychic and they go off to investigate! By investigate, I mean they barge into the fortune teller’s pep talk with her mind slaves and they start demanding her unconditional surrender. Yeah… no. She turns into a medusa (so now she’s Romani Rokurokubi who turns into a Greek monster?) and sics the douchebag brigade on her.
Who can POSSIBLY save Usagi now!? That’s right! BATMAN!! No wait, it’s the OTHER Batman! No, not Iron Man! Look, it’s Tuxedo Mask, alright!? Once again this valiant hero comes to save Usagi by throwing roses at things! He seems to hit the fortune teller right between the eyes which I guess breaks her control over the jerk zombies and they freeze in place. Then the dude just leaves. He gives a small speech about believing in yourself, waves to the crowd, and walks away to presumably collect his check for this walk-on appearance.
After the geek squad had been disposed of, it’s only a matter of time before Usagi throws her tiara at the fortune teller and disintegrates her in what must be an extremely painful fashion. The fight scenes in this show might be the weak point of the series if these last two episodes are anything to go by. It’s rather brief, there’s some repeat animation, and the actions the characters take seem independent of their environment or even spatial relation to each other. A lot of anime at the time had this problem (*cough* Pokemon *cough*) but I think this one is at least making up for it with the great characterization and hilarious moments throughout the episode up until this point. The fights so far feel perfunctory (so much so that they can afford to stop right in the middle of it for a Tuxedo Mask speech) and I certainly hope they improve as the series goes on. At least they managed to make the death scene as horrifying as possible.
And so the day is saved with the bad guy now a pile of dust and the brainwashed masses returning to normal! Oh, but things aren’t all sunshine and roses just yet. The next morning, Umino has to find out what horrible deeds he committed while being controlled (which I don’t think he’s aware he was) and spirals into never-ending despair. The only thing to drag him from the depths of depression is Usagi’s warming smile and the realization that SHE’S perfectly happy being a screw-up so why can’t he accept that he was one for just one day! WOW, dude; that’s pretty harsh! No wonder she doesn’t want to kiss you! Of course, we can’t end the episode without one last bit of slapstick on Usagi’s part. Bring it on home Usagi!
This episode was a lot of fun and shows just what was missing from Crystal. Sure, ti’s not going to be an important episode later and it’s not filled with melodrama, but it let us spend some time with Usagi and Luna to get to know them better, and the story itself was enjoyable throughout. The only real downside is that the fight scene at the end didn’t impress, but I probably shouldn’t expect too much from that aspect at least for the time being. I do hope that they don’t spend too long on these episodes before getting the Scouts together considering how much you can get out of their team dynamic, but even if there’s a couple more like this one before we meet Sailor Mercury (who I assume is the first one because she was the first in Crystal), I won’t complain too much.