1:37 – Aim to be a Princess? Usagi’s Weird Training
Alternative Title: Attack of the Well-Spoken Squirting Oyster Lady
First Aired: 19th December 1992
Usagi has decided to become more regal in light of the revelation of her true identity, and manages to worm her way into the “Princess Seminar” course held by one Countess Rose from England. Predictably, all this is a front for Kunzite’s latest plan to sniff out Sailor Moon – the girls who are unable to pass the Princess course, yet are able to throw a frisbee, match his profiling of Sailor Moon. Usagi and the other Sailor Senshi have walked right into his etiquette-based trap.
We have only 10 more episodes left of the first series! Mental. This is a great episode – Usagi is more or less back to her usual self, it’s beautifully drawn and the humour is spot on. Throw in a couple of hilarious stereotypes that the Japanese hold for the English and you’ve got one hell of an episode.
Usagi has woken up late and screaming once again, with a rather comfortable return to normality. All the crying and grief was great for a bit, but it’s nice to see her all “genki” again, as the Japanese would put it.
She bumps into an equally genki Naru-chan outside the school gates and they give the most genki high-five I have ever seen.
Usagi confidently accuses Naru of waking up late too, but Naru has bad news for her – she had to wake up early to finish their homework in 6 different classes, all of which Usagi appears to have forgotten. Hell of a girl.
Usagi’s breakdown is interrupted by a Rolls-Royce parking up outside the school. This guy who looks like he’s had a screwdriver to the face steps out, and Usagi thinks he looks cool.
This goes someway to explain why she had a crush on Motoki at the very least.
Screwdriver-Face opens the door for a trio of snooty-looking students, and Naru steps up as Basil Exposition for the moment, explaining that these stuck-up girls (they really haven’t done anything except turn up in a nice car and walk around without opening their eyelids in an attempt to look demure) are attending the “Princess Seminar” at “Rose Mansion”, whatever the fuck that means.
The course, Naru goes onto explain (she’s slowly turning into Umino), is being held by one Countess Rose, a ” famous aristocrat back in England”. I think it’s adorable when Sailor Moon tries to do English stuff, which they do more often then you might think.
Essentially, this philanthropist is giving rich Japanese people a “princess’ education”. If the British monarchy is anything to go by, the course will cover; flying helicopters, getting a famous bum, dressing up as a Nazi, losing one’s clothes in a Las Vegas strip-poker match, being casually racist to foreign dignitaries and plopping out a royal infant.
FYI, I’m not a monarchist. Could you tell?
Usagi is sleeping in English class again, and we’re launched into one of her dreams again. This one features a ball, very much like in the episode where Tuxedo Mask sexually assaulted her, and a massive Christmas tree for some reason. That’s nice and Western, why not?
Dream Usagi is dressed as Princess Serenity, has a wee dance with Tuxedo Kamen, and then is rudely interrupted by her teacher Haruna. Usagi shoots her down in a fantastically regal manner and Haruna is sent begging…
Or at least she is in the dream. The real life Haruna isn’t so cowed.
I loved this bit, reminded me warmly of the early episodes. Usagi, standing outside the classroom, resolves to try harder to be more like a princess (although mainly her motivation is so Tuxedo Mask will dance with her).
Let’s hop on over to the Dark Kingdom shall we? See what Beryl and her two favourite boyos are getting up to?
Queen Beryl orders Evil Tuxedo Kamen, aka Endymion, to partner with Kunzite in his latest scheme to bring down Sailor Moon. Endymion refuses to work with Kunzite. If this were anyone but Beryl’s boy-toy she would be apoplectic at this insubordination, but alas, he can get away with murder.
We begin to see the friction that will come to define the relationship between Endymion and Kunzite. Completely understandable on Kunzite’s part – Zoisite was executed for having tried to kill Endymion. Also, Endymion is a total cock. Not sure shy Endymion is being so unfriendly though, office synergy and all that.
Beryl seems to like competitiveness with those who work beneath her – she had the same hands-off approach with Nephrite and Zoisite. Interesting to see that aspect of her management approach continuing here.
Back to Luna. At the arcade at night once more, we find her logging in to the secret console, and after she gives the code (“The rabbit on the moon makes rice cakes”,) the mysterious voice comes online.
Unfortunately, the connection seems unstable and the blinking light that Luna normally sees is replaced with…
THE LITTLE TURD ARTEMIS.
This is a serious abuse of power, and goes further in compounding my dislike for the furry bastard. Luna is not so impressed either. That dude is getting a claw up his puckered little rectum.
Yet another mystery solved! Pretty funny how atmospheric and serious those scenes of Luna in the arcade were earlier on the series, only to have the big reveal be bloody Artemis. It’s almost ballsy. I tip my cap to you, Sailor Moon.
Day time, Rose Mansion, Interior. Let’s go.
Countess Rose is holding one of her weird Princess classes. It involves all the young ladies wearing identical dresses and drinking tea and HOARDING ALL THE WEALTH, YOU BASTARDING ONE PERCENT. Sorry about that, I meant that the Countess reads some poetry. It’s pretty awful, from someone named Frances Hinecks, who Google assures me doesn’t actually exist. You couldn’t have slipped in Tennyson or Byron?
“I am sunken in darkness and the golden arrow that reaches me is a letter from someone dear. A kind poison tips the arrow and I am a prisoner of love who does not know what to do.”
I’m no expert on poetry, but that blows.
Usagi appears in the scene, hiding in a pine tree outside like a pervert. She likes the poem, having absolutely no idea what constitutes good poetry, and is trying to get tips on being a princess. She’s more interested in the cake they’re eating.
After being discovered in the tree by Screwdriver-Face, or as we must now call him Edward, Usagi and Luna fall to the ground. Usagi asks if she can join the seminar, and is rebuffed, but Countess Rose comes out at announces that Usagi can enter the course on one condition: that she can competently throw a frisbee.
What the heck? That’s a bit of luck, eh? Usagi, having extensive practice with frisbees thanks to her Moon Tiara Action attack, is a fucking PRO. Finally, something she’s good at!
Usagi gets into the Princess Seminar! Yay, I guess?
At the Hikawa Shrine, the other girls, plus Artemis (little bastard) are discussing Usagi’s entrance into the Princess Seminar. Artemis continues to be a complete jerk, saying that he hopes she can become a proper princess, because frankly she seems to be a complete letdown for him.
Minako finally calls him on his bullshit and asks what the fuck he’s talking about, to which Artemis cannot satisfactorily explain. He mumbles something about needing to be Princessy to use the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal) correctly, but Minako just wants Usagi to stay the same as she is.
Aww Minako I’m liking you more and more. And Artemis less and less.
To break the tension, Ami suggests that they all go and keep Usagi company at the Princess Seminar (free cakes I guess) and all are taken with the idea.
Usagi, over at Rose House or whatever the hell it was called, is looking a bit bored with all the frisbee practice. The girls are all wearing what appears to be horse riding jackets, but upon closer inspection it appears that the animators of Sailor Moon have absolutely no idea what equestrian jackets actually look like, and just know that “rich English people wear red sometimes”.
If you’re wondering what exactly all this frisbee business is about, never fear: the answer is Kunzite and his weirdly-astute yet ultimately-stupid plans.
He’s realised that the real Sailor Moon would be deftly efficient at using a frisbee, yet be completely clumsy and unable to pass the Princess Seminar course. He’s a GENIUS. Sailor Moon may be in trouble, as long as the Dark Kingdom doesn’t massively cock-up.
Spoiler: they do.
Usagi is just as awful as Kunzite predicted, and is a complete klutz in every other area of the course other than frisbee. My favourite moment is when she tries to sip her soup without slurping, and just can’t. Screwdriver-Face Edward tries to coach her, but she’s so inept that he’s reduced to screaming at her.
The final test of the seminar is ballroom dancing. Usagi is, naturally, completely awful, and her partner is in serious danger of death around her.
As if out of nowhere, the other four Senshi are also participating in the final exam! Where did they come from? How did they get on the course? How did Usagi not notice them before this moment? Where have they been in all the other classes. Who cares, it’s Sailor Moon.
Ami and Makoto, being the most graceful of the five Senshi, are taking the dancing like a duck to water. They look marvelous, I might add, particularly Makoto, and I would like to take a moment to reaffirm my allegiance to the Mako-chan Fan Club.
On the other hand, Rei and Minako are almost as bad as Usagi, bemoaning that dancing is the one thing they can’t do.
Rei keeps trying to lead…
…and Minako looks as though she’s trying to go clubbing.
I like this bit – it’s almost a bonding experience, all the ineptitude.
Countess Rose moves around the room and pats the girls who have passed at “being a princess” or whatever, and moves them into the next room. This includes Makoto and Ami, which leaves Usagi, Minako and Rei behind looking rather ill-tempered.
You’ll be thanking the stars that you can’t dance in a minute, ladies.
In the adjoining chamber are numerous wax statues. It’s obviously unnerving for Makoto, and even more so when Countess Rose turns into the monster Shokoukai and blasts them all in a wax bukakke, which turns Makoto, Ami and the rest of the girls into wax statues.
I think as far as the oyster-theme goes, the designers were trying to reference the picture of Venus inside a giant clam-shell. Instead they’ve ended up with this monstrosity who looks more like the poster child for venereal disease.
In the other room, the evil-aura-sensitive girls are aware that something bad just happened next door. Before they can go check on Makoto and Ami, however, Polite Oyster Monster attacks them. She explains the whole plot behind the seminar, and concludes that one of the three remaining girls must be Sailor Moon because they’re so goddamn incompetent.
I’d just like to point out that there’s no way this is true – every young girl in the city cannot be at this seminar, therefore this monster in all probability just have ordinary uncoordinated girls.
However, WHAT ARE THE ODDS, the plan has worked. Oh well.
When Polite Oyster Monster starts juicing all over the room with her wax, Luna and Artemis attack, allowing Usagi, Rei and Minako to jump outside and transform, as if that will protect their secret identities in any way.
The battle moves outside, with both Mars’ Fire Soul and Venus’ Crescent Beam being turned to wax, which is remarkable when you think about it.
The girls are in a sticky situation (WAX PUN GUYS, PAY ATTENTION) when the familiar rose drops down…
You know, considering that Tuxedo Kamen is meant to be evil now, he does a pretty good job at saving Sailor Moon’s life. He demands for Sailor Moon to hand over the crystal in return for her life, which is much better terms than what Polite Oyster Monster was offering.
Sailor Moon is saved YET AGAIN, this time by the appearance of Kunzite, who is rather pissed off that Endymion is sticking his cute little nose where it doesn’t belong, and I have to agree with him. Both begin ordering Polite Oyster Monster about on the order in which they should kill Sailor Moon (before or after they steal the Ginzuishou, as if that mattered).
Polite Oyster Monster is so bemused at deciding whose orders to follow that it gives Sailor Moon time enough to saunter over to her and offer her a coffee…
…and then use a Moon Healing Escalation on her.
With Countess Rose back among the human, Kunzite IMMEDIATELY scarpers (Zoisite must have left some cowardice in him. Also syphilis) and Endymion follows suit. These guys are goddamn cowards.
Endymion has the extra audacity to suggest that Sailor Moon is merely “holding on” to the Ginzuishou for him until he can be bothered to take it. Such a tool.
As the women inside the mansion revert back to normal, Makoto and Ami look outside to see Sailor Moon standing like a goddamn badass princess as she pines for Tuxedo Kamen.
The dramatic pose, combined with synth strings, are telling us that Sailor Moon really is a princess, but only when she’s depressed. Sort of sad, that. A lovely little moment though.
The episode ends with Usagi late for school again, being chided by Luna for being exactly the same as ever. Usagi confidently announces that she’s decided to be her own kind of princess from now on.
Holy crap THEY BUSTED OUT THE FEMINISM RIGHT AT THE END. The point of the episode, with the etiquette and social demands on propriety and Artemis being an asshole, is to show that women don’t have to conform to the ideals of femininity demanded by society. Be whoever you want to be, do what you want to do and fuck those guys for suggesting that you’re not feminine enough.
At least, that’s what I got from this ending. What do you think?
I know what Usagi is thinking: she should probably stop running with toast in her mouth.
All in all, great episode, surprisingly poignant commentary on social expectations upon young women, beautifully drawn, excellent comedy, every one of the Senshi had their little moment in the spot light.
Episode Score: 4/5
Monster Score: 3/5 (I liked old Oyster Pants for her refined speech, even when attacking people, but she didn’t put up much of a fight.)
How Many Fucks Usagi Gives About Being Regal: Zero