1:25 – Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love
Alternative Title: Supreme Sundae
First Aired: 5th September 1992
Usagi makes friends with the tall and slightly scary transfer student Makoto, and discovers a sensitive and love-struck girl. Makoto, for her part, has suddenly fallen for “Crane Game Joe”, a guy famed for being able to pick toys out of crane games with an almost preternatural ability. As it happens, Crane Game Joe is, unbeknownst to him, one of the Seven Rainbow Monsters (I’ll get into this later), and Makoto must transform into Sailor Jupiter to, you know, kick his ass and stuff.
It’s time to clear the air a bit. After the fantastic, but depressing, conclusion to the Nephrite saga, the writers evidently decided to shake things up a bit. And this they did. In an episode that’s crammed full of the new flavour that will carry us through late into the series, the standout has to be, naturally, Makoto aka Sailor Jupiter.
She’s just so frickin’ awesome. On with the episode!
Episode 25 has such a great opening. Straight into the Dark Kingdom’s inner-most sanctum, we see Queen Beryl in a most un-Beryl-esque fashion. Apparently Jadeite and Kunzite didn’t do such a terrible job of harvesting energy after all – Beryl donates it into a giant weird lava-lamp thing.
Beryl is being super humble in this scene. The Great Ruler, as it is called, hasn’t quite awakened yet, and commands Beryl to find the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal). Maybe you can make really good coffee from it or something.
Beryl admits that she has no idea how to find the crystal, to which she is told that the Seven Rainbow Crystals must be gathered by awakening abnormally strong monsters posing as humans. It’s all rather unwieldy, but it’s this plot that will drive the next dozen episodes.
I love this scene. It’s mysterious, it’s interesting set-up, you get to see Beryl kneeling and it’s drawn beautifully.
The transition to the next scene is great – it’s Usagi late for school again, with Luna running along behind her carrying her lunch. It couldn’t be further removed than the Dark Kingdom.
It’s also nice to notice that Queen Beryl’s voice actor is the same as Luna’s. Normally they don’t sound much alike, Keiko Han is an accomplished actress, but when Beryl is acting humble, and Luna has a lunch bag in her mouth, they suddenly sound rather similar. I laughed heartily.
Anyway, Usagi is unable to run and open her eyes at the same time because, well you know, she’s an idiot, so of course she runs into some nodooniks. Her reaction is priceless.
What exactly these guys are expecting in terms of reparations isn’t clear, but they seem curiously physically hostile towards poor Usagi. Thankfully before they can beat her up (or worse – I still haven’t forgot about the possessed rapist Umino in episode 2), we get one hell of a good introduction.
This girl insists that it was the doofus gangster’s fault for not looking where he was going (it really isn’t – Usagi was running with her eyes closed) and decides to beat the shit out of two of the men before the last runs off crying.
It’s a great little action scene that firmly cements Makoto as one hell of a cool character. I love Usagi’s response too – a breathless “amazing…”. When Makoto leaves the stunned Usagi with a cool exit, Usagi notices her rose-shaped earrings, and it’s this more than anything else that leaves her with a girl-crush.
I love every bit about this episode.
We get another good Dark Kingdom scene, with Queen Beryl giving out orders to her two remaining generals Zoisite (the new Big Bad) and his ice-cold lover Kunzite. They discuss the Seven Monsters – powerful beings who were sealed away using the Seven Rainbow Crystals that make up the Silver Crystal.
Beryl’s solution is to give Zoisite the modified Black Crystal that Nephrite created – now it has the power to reveal the human forms that the Seven Monsters have taken, as well as to do a bunch of arbitrary crap that the writers need along the way.
Now at school, it’s lunchtime. We can tell because Usagi is super happy, and singing a tuneless song about eating because that’s what she loves most in the world. She’s startled to see the girl in the brown uniform that saved her from a beating that morning!
I should point out that Makoto doesn’t wear the same uniform as every other girl in her school because she’s an orphan and too poor to afford the new one :-(
Usagi seems simultaneously obsessed and terrified with her savoir, and spies on her until soggy-douche Umino breaks her reverie.
Apparently this transfer student “has enormous physical strength! Rumour is she was kicked out of her previous school for fighting. You better stay away from her Usagi…”
…which of course leads Usagi to march straight up to the girl to make friends. She does this by essentially stealing all of Mako-chan’s food.
Umino puts it best:
And just like that, Usagi and Makoto are friends.
Usagi drags her new friend to the arcade (it’s where she drags everyone at some point). When Rei, Ami and Luna walk in, Usagi makes the introductions. There’s a great bit as Makoto stands up…
…and Rei and Ami seem slightly alarmed at her height! Usagi introduces Rei as a meanie, because she totally is, and this sets them off bickering. Makoto observes that they must be really good friends to be able to fight so easily, which is a rather astute and lovely observation. Makoto is proving to be formidably sensitive as she is aggressive.
Also I’ve never seen anyone rock a brown uniform like Mako-chan.
It’s about this time that we first see Crane Game Raider Joe. He’s clearing out the Sailor V and Sailor Mercury dolls from a crane game, and we see that, rather than skill, he’s using some weird telekinesis to beat the game. What a cheater. He’s brilliant.
For Makoto, it’s love at first sight. She claims he reminds her of her Upperclassman (I’m just going to use the Japanese “Senpai”, it’s quicker) from her last school that broke her heart.
As Joe’s walking along without a care in the world, Zoisite is stalking him, and finally jumps out wielding the Black Crystal. Joe is obviously freaked out.
As much as I hate the fucker, Zoisite is brilliantly malevolent in this scene. I don’t like to admit it, but he’s just hateable and watchable enough to make an excellent bad guy. Not to mention that he’s representing for gay rights way back in 1992.
Just before Zoisite can extract the crystal and turn Joe into a monster, Joe’s OTHER stalker runs in to save the day – Makoto has evidently been following him for a while now, and goes toe-to-toe with Zoisite, powers or no.
This is why I love Makoto – great entrance, great action, no regard for personal safety.
Zoisite, being magic and all, easily dodges her attacks, but by using her rose earrings to distract Zoisite, Mako manages to get a meaty blow right in his kisser, and we get one of those lines that Vega from Street Fighter might give.
Zoisite runs away like a baby when Usagi finally turns up. Joe, meanwhile, is not in a good way. Apparently the Black Crystal had some lasting effects.
Mako continues to follow Joe like a lovesick puppy, afraid for his safety, but Joe wants nothing to do with her. He eventually consents to a cup of coffee, but it seems more of an excuse for him to boast about his cheating powers than anything else.
Mako is affronted by his willingness to cheat, but before she can do any moralising, a waiter shows up. There’s a great joke as Makoto orders a large curry and rice without thinking, then hastily orders the far more delicate “milk tea” instead.
Too bad the waiter is Zoisite, who proceeds to wreck the cafe. Crane Game Joe is apparently a massive, massive cowardly dick and crawls away. Usagi challenges him on this (only she would pick this moment), and Joe stammers that he doesn’t even like big girls anyway.
THE CAD. Poor Mako-chan. After she defended him and everything. Joe can piss off.
Of course, whereas the typically stereotypical girly thing to do would be to cry, that’s not Makoto’s style. She chases after Zoisite and Joe, but whether to defend or murder Joe, I couldn’t say.
GO GET ‘EM, MAKO.
Zoisite has now successfully removed the Rainbow Crystal from Joe in the middle of a park (it’s always a park in Sailor Moon) by the time Makoto turns up. Sailor Moon jumps in, and Makoto actually recognises her – apparently SM’s fame is growing!
There’s a great exchange between Zoisite and Sailor Moon here;
“You’re a little late Sailor Mo-”
“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!?”
Her complete lack of class is amazing.
Zoisite disappears in his usual cloud of pink petals (he’s gay if you haven’t got that by now), leaving Crane Game Joe to transform into a monster! This is new! What diabolical and hideous form will Joe take on?
Oh, he’s like the product of a a guy having sex with a crane game.
You’ve just seen your first big step in Sailor Moon. Although previously there had been enemies themed on whatever it was they were around, this is the first “comically” themed monster. From here on out in Sailor Moon, in all series to come, they’ll be a little more like this cheery fellow here.
Sailor Moon isn’t doing so well (what a shock), but even as a feeble human Makoto is able to lift Geisein (for that is the monster’s name) into the air and throw him into a bush. What a loser.
It’s at this point that we see the familar glowing symbol on Makoto’s head, and Luna realises that she’s Sailor Jupiter!
Sailor Moon’s reaction to Makoto’s strength is exactly the same “…amazing” that Usagi gave earlier, and it’s a joke that had me laughing.
As Sailor Moon is grabbed by the monster’s… grabby arm thing… Luna throws Makoto a transformation pen, and we get SAILOR JUPITER. Yay. It’s worth noting that Mako-chan is only slightly freaked out that a cat is talking to her.
After a great transformation scene, we get Sailor Jupiter’s first Supreme Thunder attack. I love the detail of a lighting rod emerging from her tiara to call the lighting down. Plus, those thighs are rocking.
She frees Sailor Moon from the grabby arm thing, and SM’s reaction to Jupiter’s Supreme Thunder attack is priceless:
Jupiter is all up for killing the thing, but Luna reminds them that the monster is, in fact, still Crane Game Joe. So how are they to defeat him!? Simple – Luna creates a Deus Ex Machina out of thin air, bequeathing the “Crescent Moon Wand” to Sailor Moon.
The translation always calls it a Crescent Moon Wand, but actually they all call it the “Moon Stick” in Japanese, which is somewhat less dramatic.
Sailor Moon’s new attack is the “Moon Healing Escalation”! They have some great attack names in this show. I love the weird broken English. This isn’t so much an attack as a “Cure” spell (or Esuna if we’re sticking to Final Fantasy rules” that reverts the monster back into the form of Joe.
His call of “Refreeeeesh!” as he turns back to normal is another addition in this episode that will become a staple of the show – far ahead, monster will continue to scream weird, weird shit as they die.
Luna announces that, now that Sailor Jupiter has awakened, Sailor Moon must become the leader, since it is she who is able to wield the Crescent Moon Wand (you know I actually sort of prefer the name MOON STICK).
Understandably Sailor Moon is less than enthralled by this.
Back in the arcade, Makoto seems to be getting her
sexual romantic frustration out on the Sailor V game when Matoki waltzes in. Mako is instantly in love AGAIN, commenting how similar he is to her Senpai who broke her heart.
Usagi calls her out for talking bullshit since Crane Game Joe was meant to look like her Senpai, but Makoto clarifies by saying that it’s Motoki’s voice that’s similar this time.
This chick is messed up.
The episode ends with an incredulous Usagi and then U2’s Stuck In A Moment starts playing. (OK not really but it would totally fit.)
Episode Score: 5/5 (I love this episode! Strong start to the new saga!)
Monster Score: 3/5 (Geisein was kinda fun, a little naff, was fun seeing it tossed about by Makoto)
The Best Sailor Senshi: It’s clearly Sailor Jupiter, guys