Sailor Moon and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media
Episode directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
We’re back with another episode of The Three Amigos: Moon Edition! After gaining another ally in their fight against evil, the Sailor Scouts are ready to face whatever challenges will be set out before them! With Jadeite’s impending retirement on the horizon, will he be able to stop three Scouts when he couldn’t even stop one in prior schemes? Will the new dynamic for Team Moon work in their favor or will they get in each other’s way when fighting the forces of evil? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with a Sailor Scout team meeting as Luna catches everyone up to speed on their current goals for the coming fiscal year. Sadly, they have yet to find the Moon Princess, but the increase in staff will surely mean success in the coming months! That is, if Rei and Usagi can keep from killing each other.
Clearly they need a distraction or else this whole enterprise is going to fall to pieces. Fortunately, Ami has been keeping up with the news (which in the nineties meant reading newspapers) and suspects that the bad guys are up to something, what with fifty people disappearing from a nearby amusement park. Ami turns out to be right on the money as we cut to Dark Kingdom where Jadeite is starting to feel the chill from Beryl’s icy stare of disappointment.
The plan is not yet clear, though it turns out that Jadeite once again is getting smack dab in the middle of his plots by being the creepy new guy that was hired as a security guard. How the hell does Jadeite pass a background check anyway? Does he even have a high school diploma or did he take independent studies in Malevolence? I guess he must have had an impressive resume considering he’s the guy the park is using to communicate to the press, and to be fair his methods are quite effective!
Jadeite as a surly security guard is already an amazing development, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg of how freaking awesome this episode is! The Moon Crew are at the park investigating but Usagi, as you’d expect, gets distracted VERY easily and it leads to some SPECTACULAR moments.
Sadly the merriment must be put on hold as the Scouts are there for a mission, though Rei is being EXTRA mean about it. I’m guessing she’s someone who’s used to being in charge and making all the decisions, so she’s already trying to put herself into a position of power by undermining Usagi; the current presumed leader of the Scouts. She goes so far as to slap her on the back as an admonishment for her short attention span and the impact is enough to knock Usagi off the bench she’s sitting on and right into the face of a talking lion.
It’s all fine though because Princess Dream (the mascot of the park) comes out and explains that the talking lion, along with a host of other animals, are all animatronic. BULLCRAP!! She’s one of Jadeite’s pawns and those animals are powered by EVIL!!!! Rei seems to be picking up on it right away, but her less than diplomatic nature makes it hard for Usagi to buy this, especially when Princess Dream is letting her ride a bear. Curse Princess Dream’s cute animal death squad! The bad guys definitely have Usagi hook line and sinker and Princess Dream informs the group about an upcoming show at the House of Sweets which they should all attend. Usagi, still detecting no danger, RSVPs to the chagrin of everyone else and they head out to investigate further until the show begins in about an hour. The House of Sweets, by the way, is not so aptly named as I would have gone with something like House of 1000 Corpses.
Okay, I’m guessing those people are just passed out, but that is some SERIOUSLY messed up imagery! Jadeite is NOT messing around anymore which I guess makes sense because he’s becoming increasingly desperate, though I wouldn’t say this plan is as sloppy as his one in episode 10. At least he isn’t having a bus fly through the air when he could easily banish them to the Doom Dimension himself, though I’m not sure why he isn’t doing that here. Back where there AREN’T stacks of bodies, the Moon Crew is deciding what their next move will be and Luna figures that the BEST option is to split up. Not only that, but she assigns Usagi and Rei together which is like mixing your alcohols; It’s just gonna end with a lot of pain and regret. Rei immediately takes charge to Usagi’s dismay and they begin stalking Princess Dream all over the place which doesn’t work out as well as she’d hope, especially when the two of them start harassing children.
After making such a scene, the two have to lay low so Usagi comes up with the brilliant idea of riding the kiddie train around the park so they can cover more ground. Not the most inconspicuous of solutions, but at least this way they’ll have a better chance of spotting any skullduggery within the park. Sadly enough, they aren’t the only people too old to be on the ride as Mamoru is sitting right in front of them and proceeds to berate Usagi which has the effect of fast-tracking him into Rei’s good graces. Fortunately, Usagi has a retort this time as she starts using toxic masculinity to her advantage by telling him off for riding such a childish ride. To be fair the train IS being driven by a talking panda, and I’m sure the guy is WAY over the weight limit.
The train ride gets frosty after that exchange, and neither one of the Moon Crew spot anything unusual. Rei seems to think that Mamoru looks like Tuxedo Mask, but I doubt that revelation has anything to do with her psychic powers and more to do with the fact that he looks EXACTLY LIKE TUXEDO MASK! Usagi though isn’t buying it for a second, though she might just be acting defensive considering how much she hates the prick. True love, am I right? Usagi and Rei rush to the castle but are too late as the doors have already locked with Ami inside. With a new crop of victims, Princess Dream sets her plan into motion which is to… drug them? She releases some sort of mist from her mouth that causes the people inside to have waking dreams while being drained of their energy until they pass out. Okay… I guess their energies are more potent when they feel good. No wait, I thought it was better when they were stressed out? Oh, who cares!
Rei senses something nefarious inside the walls of the fake castle which causes Usagi to deploy Attack Strategy Alpha; i.e. start crying until everything works out. In case you were wondering, Attack Strategy Beta is the same thing, only while running in circles. You don’t even want to know what Attack Strategy Charlie is! Anyway, Rei starts to scold Usagi for her lack of professionalism which is a valid point, but the bickering doesn’t seem to be getting them anywhere and Luna needs to yell at them to shut the hell up and transform before Ami and everyone else inside is left a lifeless husk. They finally stop for the moment at least and Rei blows up the door (because explosion and fire are the same things) before heading inside; only to be stopped by Princess Dream, and uh… things get weird.
Princess Dream turns into this REALLY creepy puppet monster named Moorido and she’s easily the most frightening monster that Usagi has had to (and probably will ever) face. Her head just drops down into her body, and after some unsettling rotations and mechanical noises, she reemerges as a creature that will probably be accepting a lifetime role in your nightmares. This is a perfect example of what makes this show so amazing. In the same episode as adorable animals and Usagi theme park fun times, we get a villain who would be a very appropriate second bride for Chucky, and it still manages to keep a consistent tone. None of this feels out of place due to the show’s distinctive art style, dreamlike atmosphere, and solid pacing which is an impressive feat for any show.
Her strategy basically boils down to spraying mist at them over and over again so that they continually stay in a dream-like state until all their energy is drained out, which I THINK was an episode of Inuyasha, but that had vaguely incestuous undertones if I recall. I wouldn’t say that the undertones here are in THAT kinky, but they are… interesting.
I find it a bit odd that Sailor Mars finds this guy as big of a stud as Usagi does (wouldn’t peg them to have the same taste in men), but the daydreams get cut short as the REAL Tuxedo Mask enters the scene to throw a rose, give a witty comeback, and run away to quickly change out of his heavy suit and thick cape. It can’t be comfortable wearing that in this weather! Moorido is not pleased with this change of fortunes and since her only move is to spray evil gas, the Scouts have adapted to her move set and developed a counter-strategy which boils down to RUN AWAY!! They do find Ami during their mad dash away from the wooden monstrosity and wake her up just in time to plan an attack. Sailor Mercury starts off with a bubble spray to blind the enemy (though if I was Moorido, I’d worry more about getting warped in this sudden change of humidity) and Sailor Mars follows up with a paper charm to freeze the enemy in place which also leads to one of the most gratuitous panty shots I’ve seen in a while.
The paper charm successfully immobilizes the enemy (though the blatant show of underwear might be just as culpable), and Sailor Moon and Mars follow this up with a FIRE TIARA!!! Since puppets are allergic to fire, the attack destroys Moorido completely, though it MIGHT have been a bit of overkill considering how effective the tiara has been on its own. Jadeite sadly has NOTHING else up his sleeves (not even an explosive in the building) and starts cursing the Scouts like a Scooby-Doo villain before the castle dissolves and everyone inside begins their escape. The day has been saved once again and it looks like the Scouts have learned a lesson in teamwork. No wait, I think that was a typo. The Scouts have learned NOTHING about teamwork and Usagi and Rei begin to bicker once again as the episode ends. Eh, they still got a bunch of filler episodes to figure it out.
This episode was FANTASTIC! Its humor was spot on, the chemistry between the characters (even when they were arguing) was great to watch develop, and the villain is one of the better ones we’ve gotten so far. It’s going to be a while before Jupiter enters the picture so we’ll be getting more time to develop the trio’s relationship, but if this episode was the only one before Makoto entered the picture, I would be fine with that. There are some minor complaints here and there, such as the villain only having one attack for the final fight and Jadeite being somewhat repetitive as he spends every episode mocking the Scouts before letting them trounce him and his schemes, but these are very minor and don’t detract from the overall quality on display here. This one episode basically captures everything that the show can do when it’s firing on all cylinders, and I hope that they can keep this up for the rest of the Usagi/Ami/Rei episodes that we’ll be getting plenty of from here on out.