Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media
Episode directed by Kazuhisa Takenouchi
We’re back with another episode of Sailor Moon Origins! The last episode was by no means perfect, but it did show that just because they weren’t working directly from a story in the manga doesn’t mean they can’t make the filler in this show enjoyable. Can this episode keep up with the level of quality we saw last time around, or are we already headed for a downward spiral until Sailor Mercury shows up in this? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with Jadeite’s performance review in which he embellishes his accomplishments I’m the last two episodes.
Queen Beryl seems to be impressed by his lies and extends the deadline for his energy collecting project in order to maximize Dark Kingdom’s returns on their investment. So now that he has a bit of wiggle room, what will Jadeite do to steal the energy of unsuspecting women? Radio broadcasts!! He starts to host a late-night program where he reads the submitted love letters to the imagined husbandos and waifus of teenage girls and lonely women. Case in point: Usagi’s teacher who is fast becoming my favorite character.
Those lucky enough to have their live letters read on the air get a free flower brooch courtesy of the show, and COINCIDENTALLY there’s been a spate of some mysterious sleeping sickness around town. Now OBVIOUY this couldn’t be connected to this spooky radio show hosted by… wait, what name is he using for this? J. Daito!? Nice.
There also seems to be some tension building between Luna and Usagi as the latter keeps ignoring the former whenever she brings up her duty as a Sailor Scout. I like the angle, but it doesn’t really go anywhere (doesn’t have that dramatic climax where they hash out their differences) and it feels like it came out of nowhere too. I won’t complain too much about either of these points considering were still working our way through filler episodes, but it is a significant portion of this episode that ends up falling flat for me. The next day at school, Usagi is running late once again but actually manages to catch a break for once because their teacher Ms. Haruna hasn’t arrived yet. She eventually makes it there, stumbling along the way as it’s clear she’s completely exhausted. GEE!! I WONDER WHY THAT COULD BE!!
Wait, how the hell did the brooch get to her so quickly!? The radio show aired at around midnight which was only eight hours ago!! Did she not suspect anything when a winged hell beast asked her to sign for it at 12:15 in the morning!? No one is able to wake her up so she gets taken away im an ambulance where I’m sure the paramedics don’t bother to remove the evil plant that’s sucking out her soul. Unlike last time around, Usagi doesn’t seem to be nearly as perceptive and is still unable to put the clues together yet. Instead, she starts to contemplate writing her own letters after hearing that Naru’s been submitting her own as well. Because she’s not paying attention to where she’s going, she once again walks face-first into Mamoru’s manly pecs and falls flat on her ass. Cue the love/hate relationship!!
Mamoru is acting like such a dick in this! I guess he’s gonna turn around at some point, but why do all these one true love stories have to start with them hating each other’s guts!? For some reason, Usagi’s hate boner for the guy steels her resolve to write the best darn love letter in the world! Much like my own writing process however, she spends most of her time goofing off and not getting anything done.
Luna meanwhile is off to the side wringing her paws about all this because the moral of the story as she points out, is that love letters are only meaningful if you they’re for the eyes of the one you love. Um… no. There are plenty of love letters that have become well known and bring inspiration to others. Winston Churchill, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Hendrix, Oscar Wilde, the list goes on. Not only that, but a lot of romantic poetry out there is basically just a bunch of love letters, so should we discount those because they were published in a book? Hell, even if we’re talking about one person giving it to another, there are public ways of expressing that, and a radio program would be as good a way as any! I feel a bit bad pointing this out though because Usagi’s reaction to Luna pointing this out is way over the top.
Why the hell is she so mad!? Is it misdirected anger towards Mamoru? Has Luna been getting on her nerves too much? The antagonism between them in this episode just doesn’t feel justified and because it’s a filler episode, it’s unlikely to be leading to anything significant! I would definitely like to see this two hash out their differences, but none of this feels all that organic, especially at only three episodes in. Usagi needs a change of scenery to finish her magnum opus, and so she decides to visit the station to talk to J. Daito for inspiration. When they get there though, the security guard informs them that there is no show about fan fiction live readings!! BUM BUM BUM!!! With this shocking revelation, both her and Luna head back home to see if the show comes on, which of course it does. On tonight’s episode, Naru has one of her masterpieces read, so we can probably guess where this is going. Unfortunately, Usagi still cannot despite the mounting evidence which includes the station’s publicized schedule of shows not mentioning this at all. What the hell happened between this episode and the last one!? It took her almost no time to find out the psychic place was full of evil with very little evidence, yet despite everything she’s found out so far hasn’t convinced her of anything! Hopefully, that will change soon once Naru becomes Jadeite’s next victim.
Naru brings her flower to school to put in on there and she INSTANTANEOUSLY starts to pass out! Usagi sees this and is even close enough to have it suck out some of her energy and it ends up knocking her out as well! Wait, so the flower works that quickly!? How hasn’t anyone seen the connection yet!? Do they still have their flowers on at the hospital!? Oh look! A dream sequence!
Alright, so Usagi somehow recovers from the illness (does this mean everyone is eventually going to get better?) and now she FINALLY decides to investigate the radio show. Actually, it’s more that Luna finally asserts herself and tells the Sailor Scout to get her ass in gear, but close enough! We’re finally ready to get this show on the road! The two of them head to the station that night but have to find a way around the security guard. This is when Luna gives Sailor Moon her second awesome accessory (I’m surprised such an integral part of her arsenal was revealed in a filler episode) which is her transformation pen. Similar to her transformation brooch, saying the secret password followed by the name of a disguise will transform her into that so she can sneak into places. Now how a fourteen-year-old girl is supposed to pass as a reporter is beyond me, but let’s just go with it. Once she makes her way into the studio, she finds that Jadeite and the cookie-cutter female henchman have knocked out the crew who were supposed to be putting on a show tonight and are using the hijacked studio for their nefarious ends. Yeah, great job with that whole security thing. The staff is getting cracked over the skull and your station is being occupied, but at least you keep the fourteen-year-olds out! Well that is unless they wear an obvious disguise, but what the hell can you do in that position, right? Anyway, Usagi sees the skullduggery going on at the station and just walks right the heck up to the recording booth, sits down, and smack talks J. Daito right to his freaking face! HELL TO THE YEAH!!!!
Realizing that this interloper has just revealed his plan to the world, he sends his henchman after her and they have a pretty bland fight throughout the building that leads to the rooftop. Like last time, the animation on the fight is limited (there’s even a shot that repeats three times in a row), but it’s what I expected considering we’re still fairly early into this show. As I understand it, they save most of their animation budgets for key episodes so we’ll hopefully get some really great fights in the future to compensate for the lackluster ones in these episodes. Once on the rooftop, Sailor Moon finishes off the henchman by slicing her in half with her saw blade tiara (Frieza style), and tries to pull the same shtick on Jadeite with no luck. He’s clearly much more powerful than Sailor Moon is at this early state which doesn’t look good for our hero as the situation swiftly turns for the worst.
Can anyone save our hero!? Why yes! Tuxedo Mask shows up to throw a rose which distracts Jadeite momentarily. This of course is enough for him to just piss off to Dark Kingdom instead of finishing her off right now. Okay… well, thank you Tuxedo Mask! Now go fly away despite not having any powers!
And so the day is saved! Usagi hasn’t been killed yet and the people who were sleeping due to the flowers have all now woken up. She’s even gotten the inspiration to write a love letter at school the next day, now that she knows who it’s for (spoiler alert: It’s Tuxedo Mask). Of course, things can’t go her way and Naru takes her letter so that she can read it herself. The teacher makes it to class at that point, but instead of stopping Naru from teasing Usagi, she instead joins in on the fun and tries to read the letter as well and we end the episode on yet another freeze frame!
This one was a bit of a disappointment when compared to what we’ve seen so far. The last episode had the relationship between Usagi and Luna very well defined, but it feels like we’re going backward with this one considering how often their at each other’s throats for no previously established reason. I’m guessing that most of these filler episodes were made simultaneously, so maybe character relationships were less defined at this point and we may run into similar problems in the future. Usagi on her own comes off as pretty unlikable in this, what with her constant complaining and stubborn refusal to get serious until after one of her friends gets directly affected by it. The plan is SO obvious that it kind of hurts the episode because of how much work is going into this scheme, yet no one is even slightly aware that anything is going on! How does the radio station not know its own studio is being hijacked!? Still, the script for this dub is top-notch with some VERY fun lines, and the animation outside of the fight scenes is strong. There are a lot of great expressions in this that gives Usagi a lot of character and makes her very likable despite how poorly she acts in this episode. Hopefully, this is just a minor sag in the quality and that next time they will bring things up a notch. I like these filler episodes, especially because we get so much time with Luna and Usagi doing things together, and I hope they only get better from here!