1:18 – Shingo’s Innocent Love! A Sorrowful French Doll
Alternative Title: Dolls = Creepy, Am I Right Or What?
First Aired: 11th July 1992
Usagi’s little brother Shingo is a certifiable turd, but even he is shocked at his behavior against his pseudo-girlfriend Mika after she tries to give him a French doll that she made. Repentant, and under Usagi’s uncharacteristically sisterly-supervision, Shingo tries to make it up to Mika. Unfortunately, this is the week that Nephrite has chosen to target her and her stupid creepy French dolls, and Mika’s gone nuts. WHAT. ARE. THE. ODDS?
The title of this episode suggests that it is going to suck. I hate Shingo almost as much as I hate Motoki, also I hate dolls too, but guess what? It’s a good episode! Lots of Nephrite, a creepy monster and an interesting story make this an episode to watch.
Queen Beryl is crabby. Nephrite seems to have been coasting on his honeymoon period, and his failure to deal with Sailor Moon et al. has dear old Beryl somewhat displeased. To add fuel to the fire, Zoisite appears in a cloud of petals (he’s out and he’s proud, remember), suggesting mischievously that he and Nephrite work together. Queen Beryl just loves this idea, but in the first display of insubordination so far, Nephrite refuses and runs away, leaving Beryl irked.
All according to Zoisite’s plan. CRAFTY LITTLE BASTARD.
Usagi and Naru are walking home from school when a couple of cute little junior school children rush up to Usagi to tell her that her little brother is a shit. The story goes like this:
Shingo’s semi-quasi-pseudo-demi girlfriend Mika recently won a French-doll making competition. He’s rather chuffed by this, until Mika makes a gift of the competition-winning doll for Shingo in front of a gaggle of other little boy-turds who mock him for, you know, being given a doll. I can’t blame them really. Shingo, embarrassed, pushes the doll towards Mika, who drops it in shock, and the doll falls in super-slow-mo to the ground. Mika is devastated.
What a turd. Usagi tells the girls to “let this wise and pretty old sister handle this!” Shingo should be very, very afraid.
Over at Mika’s place, the 7 (?) year old has gone all emo over her broken doll, sitting in the dark and carving the face of a new doll with a knife. She has literally hundreds of creepy fucked-up French dolls in her room, staring down at her in her misery. I could take tips from this girl. Mika’s mother comes in and comments that her latest dolls looks sad. It may just be me grasping for straws, but this might be SYMBOLISM.
They really ham on the emotions in these scenes, with the music, the lighting and the frequent focus on Mika’s tears. I actually genuinely feel bad for Mika, but then I remember that this is a TV show, Mika doesn’t exist and my sympathies would be better served on the suffering of real people.
Shingo is trying to construct an apology letter, but as far as construction basic sentences go, he’s about as good as his older sister. Speaking of which, Usagi barges into the room and smacks Shingo upside the head (HELL YEAH PHYSICAL ABUSE), demanding Shingo apologises.
This he tries to do, going to her house, but he’s stopped short as a familiar 1992 boxy Ferrari skids round the corner. Nephrite, in his civilian suit, pops out and enters Mika’s house as Masato Sanjoin (need I remark on the stupidity of the name again?)
As it turns out, Nephrite just LOVES dolls. In a recent episode he could also be seen prancing about in silk too. There’s a pattern here. Nephrite holds the sad-looking doll that Mika has been making and does his intense mojo, injecting a monster into the doll.
This is messed up for several reasons. 1) The doll is not clothed, save for a nappy. 2) Nephrite is holding this naked baby doll and looks really angry. 3) Upon being possessed, the doll’s face turns super messed up.
I. HATE. DOLLS. This is probably a reaction to watching the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Tommy Knockers at the age of 6, in which there’s several similar scenes.
Side topic over, Nephrite informs Mika and her mother that he’d love to put the dolls up in an exhibition. Showing that she now lives vicariously through her daughter’s successes, Mika’s mother agrees.
Mika responds by getting possessed by the doll later that evening, pushing her mother over and looking SOOOO CREEPY. Great stuff.
Shingo finally manages to get around to apologising to Mika. Her mum hopes that seeing Shingo will chill Mika out a bit (good luck with that), but Mika won’t see him.
Shingo is at home, deflated, when Usagi comes into his room again, this time bearing iced-tea (I think, it’s orange goo) instead of a punch. She’s actually caring and sisterly, which is rather unusual. Both she and Luna smell something fishy in Mika’s change of personality, and suspect the Dark Kingdom’s influence.
Luna gets in a backhanded complement too, “Usagi, you’re unusually sharp today!” She responds by saying that she thinks cursed dolls are sort of interesting, which Luna gets a little freaked out about, and I have to say I quite agree. Destroy them all.
Shingo makes a gift to give Mika out of clay at her ugly doll exhibition. Usagi is thrilled, telling Shingo that Mika will love his little pig. When Shingo replies that it’s meant to be Sailor Moon, she’s obviously less than filled.
The next scene… now HERE’S A SHOCK! Rei and Mamoru are still dating!? Apparently that date they had with the emotional blackmail and the evil squirrels and butterflies and birds and being knocked into the lake and all that hasn’t dissuaded Mamoru from realising that Rei is amazing. Albeit an uncomfortable number of years younger than him, that is.
Rei drags Mamoru to (where else) the fucked-up doll exhibition. Mamoru seems less than thrilled about this. His attempts to look interested are hilarious, but Rei seems genuinely confused when he reveals that dolls suck.
There’s a great moment as Mamoru walks past Nephrite, and both seem to recognise some power in the other. They stare at each other in a macho-sort-of-way. It’s over fairly quickly, but it’s an enthralling encounter, even though nothing of note happens. Rei yelling for Mamoru to hurry up breaks the tension nicely.
THAT’S GOOD WRITING, GUYS. I’m serious about this.
Usagi has dragged Shingo to Mika’s side-room in the museum with his pathetic clay Sailor Moon monstrosity, but a shade too late: Mika’s doll has gone Rambo, and a monster emerges. It’s HORRID. I mean, honestly, look at this thing:
Creepy Doll V2 sucks Mika’s energy until she becomes unconscious (convenient), knocks Shingo out (convenient), and then steps on Shingo’s ugly clay doll for no good reason that I can ascertain, crushing it into pieces.
Maybe it’s the editing, but Usagi’s reaction of “ARGHH!” seems more in response to the doll being crushed than for her brother being hit so hard that he gets knocked out. Maybe she isn’t so sisterly after all.
Anyways, it’s SAILOR MOON TIME. I’ve been using caps-lock like there’s no tomorrow. I can’t help it, this is an exciting climax! Even Luna comments that Sailor Moon is especially enthusiastic today, although she seems more worried than pleased.
The fight happens outside of the museum. Creepy Doll Monster’s main attack is to fire off little creepy dolls with big teeth. It’s horrible. Sailor Mercury’s Bubble Spray (predictably) does nothing
Sailor Moon is doing what she does best, getting choked out by the monster. Sailor Mars tries to blast it away with Fire Soul, but it doesn’t seem to do a thing! Oh no!
Sailor Mercury actually uses her supercomputer for once (you’d think she’d use it a little more often) and discovers that the monster’s weak point is in the ankle. Tuxedo Kamen turns up for 2 seconds to distract the mosnter with a rose long enough for Sailor Moon to Moon Tiara Action the ugly monster’s foot and BAM! CONCLUSION!
Shingo and Mika make up (hooray) and Mika makes a disturbingly accurate model of Sailor Moon for Shingo, who is thrilled and proceeds to… grope it and stroke it with his face.
That’s your sister, bro.
Mika is upset with Shingo’s love of Sailor Moon and harrumphs off, leave Shingo nonplussed. WOMEN AMIRIGHT.
Enjoyable, solid, above-par episode! That’s two hits in a row. I… can’t say the same for the next one I’m afraid…
Episode Score: 4/5
Evil Plot Score: 5/5 (Mika is menacing despite being a little tiny girl and that doll thing can sod RIGHT off)
Shingo Obnoxious Scale: 74% (Ehhhh he was only mostly-irritating)