1:30 – Grandpa Goes Crazy! Rei’s in Jeopardy
Alternative Title: So That’s Why Rei’s Psychic… She’s Demon-Spawn
First Aired: 31st October 1992
Rei’s pervert Shinto priest grandfather is attacked by Zoisite, but the old man’s psychic powers are enough to delay his transformation. The Black Crystal leaves its mark on him, however, as Grandpa goes crazy (hence the title). He takes in a homeless bum as his apprentice, Yuichiro, who starts training under his new master, for who knows what, and quickly becomes besotted with Rei. With Usagi desperate to make it up with Rei after severely pissing her off, the two of them end up having to fight the monstrous form of Rei’s own Grandpa.
Also, a shot of Rei in the bath.
This episode is nearly entirely made up of screaming and crying and, thanks to the poor writing of the not-so-good studio, there isn’t much to love about this episode. Still, it chugs along well enough, and I always have a weak spot for Rei-focused episodes.
I just wish Usagi was more of her usual lovable-idiot self than, frankly, just a bit annoying.
The episode starts with a bum. A “wondering hobo”, if you wish to be more romantic, or a “filthy hairy homeless person” if you wish to be less romantic.
Either way, this guy who seems to find it pleasurable to sleep on some stone steps (he mus have the spine of a slinky) is called Yuichiro and he is in fact a new long-running member of the Sailor Moon cast. Welcome him. And then don’t give him any money – he’ll only use it for drugs.
Let’s leave Yuichiro in his drunken stupor for now, and move over to Rei’s Grandpa, currently sitting on the roof moon-gazing and wishing he had some sake. He’s instantaneously attacked by Zoisite.
Honestly, this is the quickest attack we’ve ever had. Zoisite is on the ball today. That’s not a gay joke, I’m just saying… you know what, never mind.
Zoisite begins to extract the Rainbow Crystal from Grandpa, but displaying an initiative never before seen by a victim of the Dark Kingdom, he seems to be able to resist the Black Crystal with some sort of psychic blast.
Presumably this power was born from Grandpa’s true identity – that of a Rainbow Monster. This must mean, therefore, that Rei is the offspring of a semi-quasi-pseudo-monster, and thus her psychic powers are explained!
Very, very tidy explanation, I like it a lot.
The episode sort of goes downhill from here, much like Grandpa as he falls off the roof.
Rei’s crows (Japanese crows are massive by the way, like flying cats) Phobos and Deimos attack Zoisite and he runs away like a stupid duplicitous baby.
As Rei tends to her grandfather, the ruckus finally awakens Yuichiro, who instantaneously falls in love with Rei (who wouldn’t) and pledges himself to the service of the Hikawa Shrine.
Servitude has only ever won the heart of a woman once, and that’s in The Princess Bride (he says sexist-ally.)
Fighting off the effects of the Black Crystal has apparently given Rei’s Grandpa senile dementia, which is odd because I thought him barmy before the attack. He’s now training Yuichiro for… something…
None of this is particularly interesting or funny, nor is it animated particularly well. Shame, really.
Rei reprimands her little shit Grandpa for being so mean to poor stupid Yuichiro, but the old man is apparently suffering from bipolar depression, because he begins to weep.
And then this happens…
Usagi, laughing like an idiot, encourages his poor behaviour, which in turn leads to Rei venting her anger out on Usagi. She pushes her over (fairly dramatically I might add.)
Usagi’s annoying crying, always a feature of these poorly-written episodes, does little to win sympathy from Makoto and Ami, who have had enough of Rei and Usagi’s bickering and leave.
They totally have teenage girls down. Except for the fact that Ami leaves to study and Makoto leaves for kung-fu training.
Rei, affronted by her female friends, goes to the park (WHERE ELSE?) with Yuichiro. He rather poetically suggests that her grandfather’s psychotic break will heal itself in time because… it was brought on by Autumn…? Whatever, Rei’s heart seems to warm to the nonsense-spewing idiot.
Rei goes on to bad-mouth her friends – “Girls will pretend to be your friend but when you really need them, they’re so uncaring.” This makes Rei one of those women, you know, the type that prefers the company of boys. They really have teenage girls down to a tee… except for the fact that Rei’s a psychic super-heroine.
Usagi decides to intervene in this romantic (?) conversation by misusing the Luna Pen. We’ve seen nothing of the pen for a while, I think this might be the last time it’s ever used, so you’d hope for one last cute outfit to add to Usagi’s collection.
Her big plan to win Rei’s friendship back is to adopt the guise of a fortune-teller and ignite Rei and Yuichiro’s love by ordering them to kiss right away.
Naturally Rei can see right through the disguise (because it’s shit), reminding Usagi that she already has a boyfriend, Mamoru, and that she DEFINITELY is never going to speak to her ever again.
This has the desire effect of making Usagi speechless. If there’s one thing the happy-go-lucky girl can’t stand, it’s being rejected.
This ends up in annoying crying scene number 2.
Usagi is depressed, and wonders how she’s going to be able to win Rei’s friendship again again. Luna tells her just to leave it alone for a bit, which is what any sensible person would do, but instead she decides that the mochi cakes that Luna’s eating (can cats even eat rice cakes?) would make an excellent reparations gift.
That evening, at the shrine, Rei’s having a bath. Let’s all pause for a second.
OK, with that done, Zoisite comes back to finish the job he started on Grandpa. There’s a bit of a struggle between the two – I rather like that Grandpa’s putting up a fight – and they end up outside.
But first we get another shot of Rei, sensing an evil presence, in the bath. Because why the hell not?
Although Zoisite manages to get the crystal out of Grandpa, Tuxedo Kamen turns up for a half-hearted chase through the forest for the Rainbow Crystal, but loses it anyway. He doesn’t even think of returning to help out with the now-transformed Grandpa.
Jijii is pretty weird. He’s one of those monsters that seems unable to say anything other than his name, like a Pokemon, and is simultaneously ridiculous and a little intimidating. He sort of looks like the stone lions they have at Buddhist shrines.
By this point Jijii is chasing Yuichiro through the shrine. In his effort to save Rei, the idiot leads the monster straight to her, and also gets to see her naked in the process.
Naturally, Yuichiro is knocked out (seriously, the number of people in Tokyo who must be suffering from severe neurological impairment from repeated blows to the head must be staggering), but he does it defending Rei so that’s alright then.
Rei now has to fend off Jijii by herself. By this point, she’s realised that it’s really her Grandpa, and begs him to remember his cute little granddaughter (her words). The play on anime stereotypes, with a transformed person holding on to a wee bit of humanity, is excellently mocked here, as Jijii ain’t having none of her pleading.
Usagi, mochi cakes in hand, turns up to “save the day”. Of course when Rei reveals that the monster is funny old Grandpa, Sailor Moon is unable to anything but offer mochi cakes to Rei, then start running.
Finally Rei remembers her talisman thingys and uses one to immobilise Jijii. It’s interesting to note that Rei doesn’t transform once this episode, remaining as a human being to take down the monster, yet acting far more heroic and impressive than Sailor Moon. I’m just saying!
Sailor Moon uses Moon Healing Escalation, and Grandpa is Refreshed back into a human (or walking testicle-head, whatever you prefer.)
The episode wraps up with Ami and Makoto feeling bad about the way they left things with Usagi and Rei. They return to the shrine to make amends.
Meanwhile, Usagi, Luna, Rei, Grandpa and Yuichiro are all enjoying the excellent mochi cakes (I want one so bad right now, DAMN YOU SAILOR MOON) when Rei completely loses her shit and thanks the hobo for defending her by kissing him.
This leads to everyone trying to kill one another, because hey, Sailor Moon.
The episode ends with Ami and Makoto looking on, reflecting that Usagi and Rei’s friendship will probably be just fine.
Not a great episode, only really 2 moments stood out for me (Luna eating mochi and Rei failing to arose any recognition in the monster Jijii), and the rest was so-so to clunky.
With only one more Rainbow Crystal left, things are set to get rather interesting in the rest of the series…
Episode Score: 2/5
Monster Score: 4/5 (Kinda stupid, but Jijii had a winning character)
Number of Mochi Cakes Eaten: Like 200