1:28 – Illustrations of Love, Are Usagi and Mamoru Getting Closer?
Alternative Title: Drawing Dicks
First Aired:17th October 1992
Yumeno Yumemi is an amazing artist currently in a slump. She is suddenly hit with inspiration when seeing Mamoru and Usagi together outside one of her exhibits, and convinces them to model for a scene she keeps seeing in her dreams. But, surprise surprise, she’s only a bloody monster, and Zoisite transforms her into an angel-monster (that almost didn’t make sense). With a three-way battle for the 4th Rainbow Crystal, can Sailor Moon put aside her feelings for Tuxedo Kamen for the greater good? (Answer: Nope.)
There are some fairly clumsy moments in this episode, both in writing and artistically, but despite this the episode works well. The relationship between Usagi and Mamoru is increasingly complex, and they hit just the right level of suggestion. It’s a decent episode, but not one of the best.
We start in the Dark Kingdom, and Beryl is giving Zoisite his monthly performance review. As it turns out, he’s not doing so well, having lost 2 out of the 3 Rainbow Crystals to their enemies thus far. Beryl’s condescension of Zoisite is quite refreshing to watch. We all hate that smug bastard, right?
Meanwhile, in the park (where else?), birds are chirping, a gentle breeze lifts the autumn leaves across the lake, and Usagi is miserable. It’s all these fucking happy couples. I often feel the same to be honest. To compound her misery, she’s pondering over whether or not Tuxedo Kamen is an enemy – he’s after the Rainbow Crystals like she is, and seems determined to nab them.
Luna is very much against Team Tuxedo Kamen, but this just sets Usagi off further – her tirade about not knowing who the man she loves actually is, and all the goddamn monsters, is pretty darn funny.
Naru-chan turns up and BAM! Complete mood shift. Guess those mood stabilisers aren’t working Usagi. The two girls run off, but Usagi’s Moon Stick (they keep stubbornly subtitling is as “Crescent Moon Wand”) falls out her bag, and Luna has to catch it.
Considering how important this pink plastic thing is, Luna is understandably vexed.
Naru has dragged Usagi to an art exhibit, namely that of Yumemi Yumeno. Her art work is rather reminiscent, yet off in a charming way. Take, for example, this painting:
Does it remind you of anything? I’ve never really noticed it before this viewing, but that’s totally a representation of Nephrite and Naru. The uniform gives it away – not to mention that the girl has a similar shade of hair to Naru. Also there’s all the fire, which reflects all their angst and shit.
OR I’m just making this all up. Whatever.
Umino appears out of nowhere as always, and drops some serious knowledge bombs. Yumemo’s pictures are meant to be romantically blessed – you’ll have a loving relationship if you own one. Usagi, naturally, falls for this obvious marketing ploy.
She’s an advertiser’s dream.
As an aside, when Umino normally appears from weird places, both Usagi and Naru react rather shocked. Today, Usagi is creeped out a little, but Naru seems completely unperturbed. Perhaps this is suggesting a warming in their relationship? Because if so, gross.
I lol’d. I lol’d heartily.
Yumeno is completely anonymous – now we all know where Banksy got the idea from – and her self-portrait is rather fetching. Usagi mentions that since no one knows what she looks like, she could be really ugly.
As it happens, Yumeno is lurking in her own exhibit looking for inspiration to get out of a slump (Usagi seems to like the word when Umino uses it, and randomly shouts out “Surumpu!” for no reason).
At this moment, Yumeno notices Mamoru creeping outside and grabs his arm, trying to ask him to model (she’s awfully shy). Usagi runs out after them, thinking that Mamoru might be cheating on Rei.
Outside, Usagi is threatening to tell Rei that Mamoru has been holding hands with this random girl. It’s funny to see Mamoru on the defensive for once. Yumeno also grabs Usagi and announces that they both fit her dream, and asks them to model for them.
Mamoru is pissed off. He’s such a dick. He complains about having been pushed into coming to this woman’s house because he “doesn’t have a lot of free time” which is bullshit because he’s always running around in a cape a top hat, probably with a boner because that’s the kind of freaky stuff he’s into.
Ahem. Excuse me.
Usagi instantly recognises the woman’s artwork as Yumeno Yumemi, and the artists begs her not to tell people. She has horrible self-esteem issues, not wanting people to realise how plain she is.
Mamoru reluctantly agrees to model, while Usagi is worried about what Rei might do if she saw the two in a compromising position.
She does briefly size-up Mamoru for the first time ever, and thinks he’s probably handsome. It’s too bad he’s such a dick. In his case, Mamoru does seem to warm to Usagi’s frenetic yelling briefly, although it’s depicted in one of the most awkward animations I’ve ever seen.
As the evening draws in, Yumeno’s picture is coming along well. Usagi loves how it progressing, but Mamoru continues to be a dick.
Yumeno explains what when she draws, she wishes in her heart that the person viewing her work will feel happy. Her self-esteem and image problems come up again, then she mentions that she has no friends either.
And them Mamoru is a dick again.
“A person who cannot make herself happy should have bigger concerns than strangers’ happiness”. The moralising dipshit comes out again in Mamoru.
Usagi is understandably pissed off at this, and shoves an illustration in Mamoru’s face to show him… something? Mamoru recognises the scene as something he’s dreamed of.
Yumeno explains that its a picture of a women giving a star-shaped pendant to her lover as a gift (it’s a pretty awful gift to give to a guy if I’m honest) but that she always feels sad when she thinks of the two. It’s getting a little pretty handed here. A shade more subtlety wouldn’t have gone unappreciated.
If you hadn’t got it by now, Yumeno is psychic or something.
When night comes, Yumeno is walking Usagi through town (she calls her Usa-chan, which is slightly adorable). Usagi gives Yumeno a confidence boost the only way Usagi can – by saying how nice she is, how great her paintings are, and how tasty her cookies are too.
Shame for all us antisocial ugly people who can’t paint and can’t cook cookies for shit. Thanks, Usagi.
As Usagi walks off, she’s rather pleased with herself – “Yup! That was a great thing to say, if I do say so myself!” – So modest. Luna jumps out and returns the Moon Stick to her, although the cat is markedly less pissed off at having had to run around all day carrying the thing in her mouth than I would’ve thought.
When the Moon Stick start beeping, Usagi realises that the signal is coming from Yumeno’s house, but as usual she’s too late. Zoisite has transformed her into this angel-thing called Vena (like Venus I guess?).
The attack and the transformation sequence are quite lazily drawn, and it’s noticeable. Bit of a shame, really.
Usagi calls the girls, but has to go on ahead by herself.
Which doesn’t turn out great. For some reason, Zoisite is… running around a construction yard with Vena aimlessly. He doesn’t know the Senshi are on their way. He can teleport instantly wherever. Why is he pissing about? So weird.
Vena’s attacks consist of creating stuff out of thin air. Here’s a tip: draw a gun.
Tuxedo Kamen saves Sailor Moon from death-by-rock, then runs after the cowardly Zoisite and the Rainbow Crystal. Vena tries to stop Sailor Moon from following…
…but finally the Sailor Senshi turn up (their entrance is SUPER lazy – they just open a screen and BAM! Right on the street.) Sailor Moon leaves them to Vena and runs after Tuxedo Kamen.
Tux falls into a petal-trap (it’s so lame) and Zoisite throws a murderous ice-shard at him. It looks a little like Edea’s attacks in Final Fantasy VIII, if you know that reference. In a change of pace, Sailor Moon uses a Moon Tiara Action to save Tuxedo Kamen this time. I actually liked that reversal.
And then another clumsy lazy bit.
Sailor Moon drops the pendant she STOLE from Tuxedo Kamen a couple of episodes back and offers to return it. Tuxedo Kamen tells her to keep it, and Sailor Moon takes the opportunity to ask for the Rainbow Crystal he has in his possession also. She doesn’t know when to quit.
Tuxedo gives his old “I may have to fight you for your crystal someday or whatever” but of course we don’t buy it. Do we?
Sailor Moon suddenly remembers that she doesn’t have time for this bullshit, and returns to the battle with Vena, only to come upon the other Sailor Senshi mercilessly torturing the poor monster.
Seriously, they’re meant to weaken the Rainbow Monsters, not bloody maim them.
A refreshing Moon Healing Escalation later and Yumemi Yumeno is back to her old self.
Later, Mamoru and Usagi visit Yumeno’s gallery, and find her putting up the finished product of their modelling, as well as a new self-portrait, one that reflects the truth.
All in all, great in places, no so great in others, I still like this episode a lot.
Episode Score: 3/5
Monster Score: 2/5 (She got owned)
Number of Times Mamoru was a Dick: 7