1:35 – Memories Return! Usagi and Mamoru’s Past
Alternative Title: So Much Emotion
First Aired: 5th December 1992
Sailor Moon is really Princess Serenity! Mental. Her new-found use of the Silver Crystal allows her a brief respite from Zoisite’s attacks, but in the heat of battle Tuxedo Kamen’s heavily-injured body is stolen by the Dark Kindgom for nefarious purposes. With all the memories of her previous life flooding back to her, and Tuxedo Kamen’s abduction, Sailor Moon’s grief threatens to overwhelm her as Kunzite moves in for the kill.
This follows directly on from the previous episode, so if you’d like to get caught up on all the crazy shit that’s going on, I suggest you go ‘Refresh’ your memory (hahahaha oh that was awful).
This episode is nearly all backstory, and is thus very interesting in understanding the story arc currently taking place, but it means very little happens in the way of progressing that arc. The artwork is a little rougher, being from the less-talented team, and I don’t particularly like the writing, but it’s engrossing all the same.
SO. If you remember, Tuxedo Kamen has just been stabbed rather violently by Zoisite, and Sailor Moon’s grief has apparently summoned the Rainbow Crystals to reform the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal). I can only imagine the reaction that sentence would invoke on someone who had no idea what Sailor Moon even is.
All on board? Sailor Moon, now transformed into a sparkly princess of some kind, is looking majorly bummed. Luna’s crescent-shaped patch (which she has previously insisted is not a bald spot) begins to glow in response to Sailor Moon’s chaste new attire, and she recognises her as “Princess Serenity“.
This causes that EHHHHH??? sound that Japanese people love to make when confronted with shocking news (which I love) from the other Sailor Senshi. Despite the fact they’ve been looking (they haven’t been looking at all) for the Moon Princess that Luna kept going on about, it turns out that it was Sailor Moon all along.
It was sort of obvious, guys. Granted, Usagi isn’t exactly the royal type, but…
They are also shocked by the revelation that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask. Mamoru at this point in lying in another woman’s arms having been stabbed through the chest with a giant fuck-off icicle, but his current girlfriend doesn’t seem overly bothered by this.
Zoisite has recovered from the shock of… whatever it is that’s happening with Sailor Moon… and decides to attack again in the hopes of regaining the Ginzuishou. Poor, stupid Zoisite. Sailor Moon is a PRINCESS now, that comes with special powers just like in real life.
Princess Serenity is able to effectively use the Guinzuishou, atop the Moon Stick, to whack Zoisite with, like, magic and stuff.
It’s at this point, despite his terrible wounds (which have suddenly left absolutely zero blood despite all the bleeding last episode), Tuxedo Kamen wakes up, announcing he “remembers everything” to Princess Serenity, and immediately goes to grab the Royal Boobs.
When Tux reminds Serenity that his name is really “Endymion” (great name) we get a flashback of their previous lives – it’s a great looking little segment that, despite the weird drawing of the faces, is actually brilliantly fantastical, just like the new opening.
We see Serenity making a gift of the star-shaped music box pendent (it’s like the Swiss-army knife of rubbish presents), and Endymion is so overcome with love that he doesn’t immediately throw it away.
Although, if you remember, he totally gave it back a few episodes ago. What a lovely guy.
The brief relationship we glimpse is simplistic, overly-romanticised and sickly-sweet, but it works in that “young love” kind of way. Only an icy-hearted FIEND wouldn’t melt at the sight of them together.
Alas, something apparently went wrong as the Moon Kingdom is set ablaze, and we see Endymion flying off into battle.
The whole sequence is devoid of real information, and presented in an oneiric fashion (obscure reference of the day, BOOM) so we get the impression that it’s all rose-tinted in Serenity’s blurred memories. It’s clunky, but it’s not terrible. It gets the job done.
Princess Serenity seems to have become exhausted by all this angst, and reverts back into Sailor Moon before passing out.
The girls FINALLY rush over to their comrade (about time) and Sailor Venus checks her Sailor Moon’s pulse, announcing that she just fainted. I have no idea why, but I really like this bit. Among all the crazy fantastical stuff, it’s weirdly grounding to see someone doing something as pedestrian as taking a pulse.
Artemis the cat helpfully suggests that all those memories rushing back to Sailor Moon probably “overloaded” her. That’s some sound medical advice, there. Artemis is… sort of a douche.
Zoisite gets up again with the old “this is nothing!” routine, but is spared the indignity of having his arse kicked again… with the indignity of having Kunzite turn up to whisk him away to the Dark Kingdom.
As a parting gift to the Sailor Senshi, Kunzite blows some foul-looking wind right in their faces (he could have easily just killed them) before stealing the limp and flaccid form of Tuxedo Kamen right out from under their noses.
Sailor Mars still doesn’t look that bothered.
Over at the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl is chewing out Zoisite and Kunzite for failing to secure the Ginzuishou or kill Princess Serenity (a fine day’s work, Gentlemen), but Kunzite convinces her that they have time to murder the fuck out of Serenity before she is able to really control the crystal. Queen Beryl seems sated by this.
However, out of the blue…
Holy shit! Just like that, she kills Zoisite! Normally the deaths of the major villains are announced in the episode title, at least it was with Jadeite and Nephrite, so this comes right out of the blue!
Queen Beryl is so pissed off that Zoisite went against her orders and tried to kill her beloved Endymion (how did he think he was ever going to get away with that?) that she straight up murders him. Even Jadeite got the Eternal Sleep treatment for being grossly incompetent.
Suffice it to say, Kunzite is not best pleased that his gay lover has just been killed, but is too much of a straight-laced git to say it to Queen Beryl’s face. Her follow-up is priceless:
Beryl then goes to the Great Ruler, also known as Queen Metalia, also known as That Bubbling Lava Lamp Thing In The Back Room, and they discuss how remarkable it is that the Prince of Earth, Endymion, has somehow “transmigrated” (great term) into the current age.
Queen Metalia orders Beryl to restore Endymion with “dark energy”. I assume that means Red Bull and morphine, gets me through the day too.
We get the final scene with Zoisite – he’s clinging on to life in Kunzite’s arms against a romantic swelling string score and Kunzite’s penis, spluttering that he’s happy to die in his lover’s arms.
It’s really rather touching, even though I hate the bastard. Zoisite has one final wish: “I want to die beautifully.”
Kunzite summons flowers and shit, and Zoisite’s happy, dying with one last “I loved you, Master Kunzite.” Wow, that’s heavy stuff.
Kunzite is left alone in a drafty chamber, with one final Zoisite-petal falling to the ground.
Fuck me this whole thing is disgustingly dramatic.
Considering what a prick Zoisite has been in the series, I’m a little annoyed that he didn’t die screaming protests as Jadeite was. He seemed far too happy with his death. That being said, even though the sequence was disturbingly melodramatic with all the flowers and hand-holding and junk, it gave real character to both Zoisite and Kunzite, showing that even the evil characters have depth.
The homosexual relationship between Kunzite and Zoisite is really rather interesting, and I’ll be exploring it in the next blog post, so stick around for that kettle of fish.
With Zoisite dead (yay), it’s left to Kunzite to pull the weight of the Dark Kingdom. Look out, Sailor Senshi.
Speaking of which, they’re lost. Super lost. Kunzite made some crazy stuff happen to the tower in the previous episode, and apparently Sailor Mercury’s supercomputer is having troubling finding the fire exit. It’s in an alternate dimension, after all, what Sailor Mercury calls an “imaginary space”, whatever the hell that means.
Sailor Moon finally wakes up on the back of Sailor Jupiter, which is sort of sweet, and immediately starts asking about Tuxedo Kamen. The cats take the opportunity to talk about the memories that returned to them when Princess Serenity awoke.
More flashbacks, yaaay! No I’m serious, it’s far more interesting that the angsty pissing about with the Sailor Senshi.
The Silver Millennium was the Moon Kingdom that lasted for hundreds of years, and it looked awesome. Flowers everywhere.
We get a brief glimpse of someone lurking behind Princess Serenity that looks rather familiar, but we’re kept in the dark about her identity at first.
Alas, at some point, the Earth was taken over by an “Evil Spirit” (I think it’s called they refer to it as the ‘Dark Night’ in the Japanese), and the Earth invaded the Moon, attempting to get a hold of the Ginzuishou. Princess Serenity managed to use the Ginzuishou to defeat the forces of Earth.
The whole lot of them, from Sailor Moon to Sailor Venus, have been reborn in the modern age, but it’s not explained how or why at this point. You’ve got to have a little mystery right?
Luna claims that the Princess and Queen wanted the girls to live normal, happy lives, and thus here they all are. SO much exposition. The Senshi are giving it all the “let’s do this!” stuff, but all through this, however, Sailor Moon isn’t looking so pleased.
A little like Emo Spider-Man, she doesn’t want to responsibilities, the memories, the hurt and the pain. Apparently the identity of Serenity that returned to Sailor Moon is not a happy one. Her grief is palpable, and the voice actress does a bang-up job here.
“I’m just Tsukino Usagi…” is a great line, mirroring the very first line of Sailor Moon in episode 1. It throws into relief the enormous change that both the series, and Usagi as a character, has undergone in the last 34 episodes. Usagi was just a clumsy cry-baby, as she routinely reminded us, but the quiet, simple life of that girl seems suddenly hugely enviable to Sailor Moon, who has suffered a great deal of hurt in both this life and the last.
What I’m trying to get across here is that Sailor Moon’s reaction of wanting nothing to do with the Silver Millennium, the Dark Kingdom or the Sailor Senshi is entirely relatable, and a great character moment. It’s amazing to think of the little girl in episode 1 who was so worried about her test result is the same one here.
That’s good writing, guys.
Sailor Moon isn’t given much sympathy – she asks why the hell the other girls aren’t feeling the same aversion to the past life suddenly thrust upon them. The underlying reason for her emotional fit is that Mamoru’s fate has suddenly made the issue of mortality very real, and she couldn’t face the prospect of losing anyone else.
So what does Sailor Mars think about all this?
Finally, Rei shows that she does actually give a damn about Mamoru after all, with her fists, and Sailor Mercury is nice and condescending by ignoring the fact that Sailor Moon has just been hit in the face and called a coward by suggesting that Usagi will be back to normal soon.
Thankfully, the awkward air is rent by Kunzite, who is back to finish the job and is ready to take out his grief over Zoisite’s death on the Sailor Senshi.
To be fair, it was Queen Beryl who killed him, mate.
The four Sailor Senshi move to defend Sailor Moon like the fragile little flower that she is (a bit annoying, she’s always the bloody useless one), but Kunzite appears immune to all attacks. He’s pretty serious about killing the lot of them today, and knocks out Jupiter and Venus with a couple of attacks.
Sailor Mars, the complete badass that she is, steps forward knowing that her attack will be useless. There’s a great moment where she asks Mercury to take care of the rest, and tells Usagi to “wake up”.
It’s completely badass, and shows that despite her tendency to physically abuse Usagi, Rei really loves her stupid useless friend.
Finally, Sailor Mercury steps forward. Such is the complete crappyness of her Bubble Spray attack that she doesn’t even get to use it – Kunzite merely blows her away like a fly. Poor Mercury.
By the way, throughout the entire episode the Senshi are all using their real names. I assume this is to underline the fact that their talking to their real, emotional selves rather than their superhero personas, but come on THE BAD GUYS ARE RIGHT THERE. It’s sort of easy to check how many girls are called Usagi in Tokyo (answer: it’s one.)
Now that everyone else is close to death, Sailor Moon starts hallucinating the voice of Tuxedo Kamen and finally pulls the fucking lead out.
As she steps forward, Kunzite has a great line: “Do you mean to step into hell voluntarily, Princess?” – he’s pretty darn awesome. Alas, Sailor Moon’s use of the Ginzuishou completely swamps him, and destroys this “alternate dimension” that Mercury kept rabbiting on about, and Kunzite has to run away like a baby, just like Zoisite would have.
As the sun rises back in the real world, Sailor Moon hardens her resolve to fight against the Dark Kingdom and save Tuxedo Kamen with the other Senshi. What a hopeful ending to a rather depressing episode.
Sadly, shit’s going to get worse for poor Usagi next next episode.
Thus concludes the Rainbow Crystals arc of series one. It was really rather good, wasn’t it? I daresay it was the best so far! The show has really hit its stride. From here on out, we have a new MO for the Dark Kingdom, and the shift in tone seen in the last two episodes continue…
Episode Score: 4/5 (Some bits were great, others fell a little flat, but it’s an enjoyable episode)
Zoisite’s Death: Beautiful, Apparently
Number of Times Character’s Screamed Emotionally: 7 Trillion