1:23 – Wish Upon a Shooting Star! Naru’s Pure Love
Alternative Title: If You Really Love Me You’ll Steal Me Stuff
First Aired: 22nd August 1992
Nephrite is in deep water (this is a rather familiar situation), and decides that his only way to escape punishment from Queen Beryl is to locate the Silver Crystal that Zoisite’s been looking for. His locating device, the Black Crystal, shows him an image not of the crystal, but of Naru-chan!? Nephrite once again targets Naru, thinking she must have the crystal, and gets her to steal from her own mother! Can Sailor Moon knock some sense into her friend?
This is the first of a two-part episode that brings together the entirety of the Nephrite phase of the series, and as such, it’s pretty important. The animation’s not perfect, but I really like this episode. Lots of genuine dread, an interesting moral dilemma for Usagi and and a great build-up to the next episode.
Plus, lots and lots of great Nephrite scenes.
Naru’s in love. In love with a bad, bad man. She can’t stop thinking about Masato Sanjoin floating about in petals (her emotions take a weird form, alright?) Her reverie is broken by Usagi splashing water about, and Naru takes the moment to lord it above Usagi because she’s “in a mature relationship” – which sounds utterly disgusting.
Usagi is horrified when Naru reveals (in an irritating manner that mirrors perfectly the haughty superiority of rival schoolgirls) that she’s in love with a man whom Usagi knows to be an evil freak.
Considering that Naru’s previous encounters with Sanjoin have all ended with her being knocked unconcious and with amnesia, I’m at a loss as to how she formed this attachment, but hey, Nephrite is a good lookin’ fellow.
Usagi naturally warns Naru away from Sanjoin, but Naru takes this as an insult. This has finally become a situation for the Sailor Senshi.
I like the next scene a lot. Ami, Rei, Usagi and Luna are all discussing what to do about Naru, all with different advice.
Rei wants to rush in and force Naru to see the truth, which is typically unsympathetic for her. Ami, ever the cautious coward, recommends doing nothing. I seem to remember that Naru was once a complete bitch to Ami, so standing by while Naru gets groomed by Nephrite might seem like a fitting revenge.
God I’m disgusting. Anyway, Usagi is caught between the two views, but decides that she must warn Naru in anyway she can. No one is particularly enthused about Usagi’s odds of success least of all her loving companion Luna. She’s so supportive.
In the Dark Kingdom throne room, Queen Beryl is SUPER PISSED. This is far surpassing anything she gave to Jadeite, and I’m liking the threat! Even better are the forlorn calls from the peanut gallery of monsters: “Ohhhh terrifying!” Nephrite has run away like the baby-face he is, refusing to answer her summons. Maybe it’s because Beryl liked Nephrite so much more than Jadeite that explains why she’s so angry at his insolence. That’s how I’ve always read it, but I realise now that this is based on nothing but the one compliment she ever gave him a few episodes ago.
Nephrite, hiding in his castle, is plotting to find the Silver Crystal instead of Zoisite, in the hopes that this will cause Queen Beryl to save his life. This he tells to Zoisite, who comes to piss him off.
Zoisite is less than please by this plan – “You’re MEAN!” and runs off crying. Now alone, Nephy-poo gets down to business and gets his magic on. From his celestial astrology bullshit (there’s a peculiar angle of Neptune and Mars) he creates the Black Crystal! Oooohhhhhh!
I mentioned before that I love the Japanese for Silver Crystal – Ginzuishou – and I love the Japanese for Black Crystal just as much – Kurozuishou. This crystal has much more play in the series that you’d expect for something that Nephrite pulled out of his ass at the last moment.
The Black Crystal is supposed to reveal to its user where they can find the Silver Crystal, and what is it Nephrite sees? Naru-chan! If I were Nephrite I would ask the cosmos for a refund, the crystal is clearly faulty.
We get a great gay scene between Zoisite and Kunszite (seriously, they’re super cute together, it’s great). Zoisite keeps rubbing up against Kunzite’s knuckles like a cat. So freaky. Kunzite suggest just letting Nephrite find the Silver Ginzuishou so that they can steal it from him, and Zoisite sends a waiting monster for the job.
Apparently this thing was just waiting around watching Zoisite and Kunzite snuggle until it was needed. Maybe they like an audience.
Usagi goes to Naru’s place to tell her to stop being such a besotted fool, but can’t bring herself to. Luna waits, skeptical that she’ll come up with anything to say to Naru. Usagi decides instead to go hangout with Motoki in the arcade. Luna is not impressed.
We get another great scene in the arcade. I’m not a fan of Motoki, but seeing Usagi turn up all cheerful, only to see Motoki invading the personal space of another young girl, is fantastic. While she’s muttering to herself, a cold aura sneaks up behind her.
I love her reaction to Mamoru here.
Motoki offers to take Usagi out for tea (pervert) and Mamoru, weirdly enough, invites himself along too. Usagi is understandably annoyed by this.
Usagi gets advice from the college boys over parfaits and shit, with Motoki repeating Ami’s advice of waiting around, and Mamoru insisting that it’s more courageous to tell Naru the truth.
This is the first time that Usagi actually takes Mamoru’s advice, which is pretty decent advice for once and not a diatribe about how “people these days have lost all their morals and are just consumed with their image”. This is also the first time that Usagi offers to pay for lunch, astounding both Motoki and Mamoru.
I seriously love everyone in this episode, especially Usagi.
Usagi marches boldly up to Naru’s place, tells Naru how evil Sanjoin/Nephrite is, how he’s not even human and how Naru should definitely stay away from him – then she runs off without even waiting for a reply.
Luna is less than impressed by Usagi’s haste to leave, and demands that she go back and make sure Naru isn’t about to do something bad.
Which of course Naru does.
It’s Nephrite, calls her out to the park. At night. YOU FILTHY BASTARD. Naru’s mum sees her leave and is naturally worried. Call the police, love.
In the park, Nephrite gives some grade-A baloney about being threatened by some bad men, and that he’s come to say goodbye, unless he can get the Silver Crystal…
Naru remembers an expensive silvery diamond in her mother’s shop, and goes off to steal it for Nephrite.
Of course Naru is hooked. Is she naive and stupid? Why yes, but she’s 14 and in love. I remember doing far crazier things for my raging hormones at that age. I think the writers did an amazing job building Naru’s character up throughout the series to set her up for this fall. For an anime that’s about a “pretty sailor who stands for love and justice”, this storyline actually shows the bad side of love, love that makes you cast aside your ethics and friends and sensibilities for the hope that the object of your affection will return those emotions.
As such, I find Naru hugely sympathetic, and completely understand her decisions at every point in this, and the following, episode.
Naru gets caught stealing the crystal by her mother – she still seems a little scary (I can’t get the image of the first episode out of my head) – and Naru runs out. Usagi hears the story from Naru’s mother and runs to the park, on a mission to protect her friend from Nephrite.
Nephrite’s Black Crystal obviously doesn’t react to the stupid thing Naru brought, but it does go all funky at Naru herself! What could this mean!? Nephrite gets super fucking creepy her and begins leading her off… God knows where.
Sailor Moon stops everything! “I’ll arrest you on the charge of romantic fraud!” is a pretty great way to make an entrance. She denounces Nephrite to Naru, who of course doesn’t believe any of it, until Nephrite begins attacking Sailor Moon!
I like the action here. Sailor Moon is shit at always, but the girl knows how to flee.
She is, of course, saved by Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars, who combine Bubble Spray and Fire Soul to get him off-guard enough for Sailor Moon to throw a Moon Tiara Action at Nephrite. That’s the end of THAT, right!?
This stupid tiara flies at Naru, holding her arms out, for like, 30 goddamn minutes, which gives everyone the chance to give a shocked face, Naru to give a speech on how much she loves Nephrite and Sailor Moon to scream for the tiara to stop.
Which, remarkably, it does. It’d be pretty messed up if Sailor Moon killed Naru right here.
Then a buuunch of crazy shit happens.
The Kurozuishou glows in the aura of Naru’s love, Nephrite realises that the crystal simply reacts to “human love”, and then the horrible Kabuki monster flies out of nowhere thinking that the glowing Black Crystal is the Silver Crystal.
As the monster is about to attack Naru, Nephrite defends her, killing one of the Dark Kingdom’s monsters. Where did this come from? Naru’s attempted sacrifice apparently touched Nephrite in a way that nothing else did. A brief fight with a second monster, which Sailor Moon kills, and that’s that.
Naru is passed out (conveniently) and Nephrite walks away promising retribution. I like how he can switch between saving Naru’s life and being a complete dick to Sailor Moon in the flicker of an eye.
The episode ends with Sailor Moon looking up at a shooting star and wishing that Naru will be safe.
I GUESS WE’LL SEE. This is the most ominous ending of Sailor Moon yet. A great episode.
Episode Score: 4/5
Evil Plot Score: 2/5
Naru Attack Count: 10 (Double figures, woo!)