1:39 – Paired With a Monster!? Ice Queen Mako
Alternative Title:The Desire to Kill Overcomes All Marital Disputes
First Aired: 26th December 1992
Usagi discovers from Luna and Artemis that, in her past life as Princess Serenity, she was a rather accomplished ice-skater, and gets it into her head that she’s probably just as good in this life. She is not. On the other hand, Mako-chan turns out to be a rather splendid figure skater, and catches the eye of the male half of a famous skating duo. In the middle of this strange love triangle we throw in yet another dubious plan to find and kill Sailor Moon by Kunzite, and an increasingly and alarmingly confused Tuxedo Kamen.
All this ice is perfect considering the weather at the moment.
Great art, good comedy, lovely shots of everybody’s (mine, mostly) favourite Senshi Mako-chan. Despite the writers being unable to find a balance between good and evil (and douchey) for Tuxedo Mask, leaving him floundering, I flippin’ love this episode.
This is the second winter-themed episode in a row. The last episode was set on the ski-slopes, and this one, released on Boxing Day 1992 (although that means next to nothing in Japan), is just as seasonal.
The episode starts with an ice-skating pair being featured on Usagi’s TV. She’s watching it with Minako and the cats Luna and Artemis, and the girls are delighted.
The pair are Janelyn and Misha, Olympic gold medal winners apparently (have Japan ever won even a medal in figure skating…?), and their ability to not fall over gracefully has Usagi inspired.
Her attempts to replicate a double axle jump ends in disaster, of course. All TV shows need legal warnings for Tsukino Usagi not to try anything at home ever.
Despite their injuries, the cats seem rather pleased about Usagi’s attitude to ice-skating, as her previous incarnation, Princess Serenity, was quite the skater.
Perhaps this is a sign that Usagi is becoming more like the Princess that Artemis expects of her?
Kunzite is showing off to Queen Beryl that he’s done his homework and remembered that the girls of the Moon Kingdom way back in the day rather enjoyed figure skating. Not sure ice-skates even existed a thousand years ago, but whatever. Beryl signs off on the, if I can be frank, “retarded” (a word used with exquisite sensitivity) plan of Kunzite.
Endymion decides to jump in at this point. Even in the Dark Kingdom, as an evil dickish general, he can’t help but moralise in that self-righteous way he does. He disparages Kunzite for trying to use subversive techniques to trap the Sailor Senshi, and suggests just trying to fight them head-on for once.
Hey, it’s not like any other plan in the last 38 episodes has worked, right? Why not give it a try?
We cut to the famous figure skating pair of Misha and Janelyn, practicing in a rink. They suck. It’s a blame cycle of mistrust, and their inability to skate in sync is apparently emblematic of their relationship at large.
On the other hand, I’d say the fact that Kunzite turns up to mutilate them into monsters working for the Dark Kingdom should be their main concern right now, but, alas, no. Petty spat first, murder second.
The usual irony occurs as Usagi and Makoto drag the other girls down to the local ice-rink – Misha and Janelyn are offering to coach people en masse to celebrate the opening of the new rink. And also to find Sailor Moon and skate over her face.
I should mention that only groups of five girls get into the coaching session for free. For once the girls actually grow suspicious at this oddly arbitrary number, and Usagi and Minako enthusiastically suggest that it might be a Dark Kingdom plan.
They are, of course, only saying that to get a free skating lesson, and really don’t suspect anything untoward about this obviously dodgy scenario.
By the rink, Usagi hasn’t even gotten onto the ice before she falls over and starts crying. It isn’t a promising start.
All the attendees begin screaming in adoration when Misha and Janelyn appears, but Makoto is struck dumb by Misha in particular. As it happens, he has the same shin bones as the upperclassman who broke her heart, and she’s besotted.
The girls all go out onto the ice (SO MUCH LEG. SO MUCH LEG EEEVERYWHERE). It turns out that Usagi has never actually been skating before, and has trusted that her previous life’s skating skill will come back to her with ease.
It does not.
Her reaction is priceless. “This isn’t right!” and “This isn’t how it was supposed to be…! My brilliant debuuut!” had me lol’ing about like a seal.
That’s a saying, right?
Nobody is particularly suprised by Usagi’s inability to remain vertical, but everyone is shocked at Makoto’s brilliance on the ice. She’s such a good skater, in fact, that even Misha and Janelyn are impressed.
Particularly Misha. The jealousy begins.
With all the attendees out on the ice being directed by Misha, Janelyn is in a back room with a rather fancy computer. Looks like the Dark Kingdom is finally investing in some decent Sailor Senshi-identification software.
Janelyn briefly pauses on Usagi, poised to use the identification software (it uses body morphology), but thinks to herself that, although Sailor Moon is said to be a little clumsy, Usagi’s farcical ineptitude clears her suspicion.
So Janelyn marks her negative without even using the software. How long would it have taken, really? 2 seconds? Goddammit Janelyn pick your game up.
Out on the ice, Misha is moving in for the kill, asking Makoto to dance with him by calling her “Uandafuru Gyaaru” (Wonderful Girl”. Oh he’s so smooth).
Rei seems eager to catch his eye, but both pointedly ignore her. It’s pretty darn funny considering her usual arrogance.
Makoto looks completely out of it with love as they skate together, but it gets a little embarrassing after Misha tries to lift her up – she’s too heavy, you see, all that muscle. And those fabulous thighs, of course.
In a completely emasculating move, Makoto decides to lift Misha instead, and actual manages it. I think they intended for this to be romantic, but it looks super, super gay. Although Makoto looks great, naturally.
Back in the computer room, Janelyn has witnessed the entire sorry (and disturbing) affair, and it’s an understatement to describe her merely as ‘pissed off’.
Using the PA system, she tells everyone to fuck off before she breaks out the hockey sticks (I’m paraphrasing but I’m pretty sure that’s what she said).
As everyone leaves the ice a little miffed, Makoto turns away from Misha ready to go, but LIKE A RAPIST he grabs her and whispers “I won’t let you go.”
I hate this guy. Get your hands off my Mako-chan.
Outside the rink, only three girls have emerged. Minako, looking rather disgusted, explains that Makoto is being given a “special lesson” by Coach Misha (the lesson is that he’s a paedophile), whereas no one is really sure what happened to Usagi.
At this point, all the shutters for the ice rink fall rather ominously. The Senshi have been around one too many of the Dark Kingdom’s shitty plans not to recognise that something is wrong.
Usagi, unknowingly trapped inside, is skulking around. She plans to convince Janelyn and Misha to give her special lessons too (kinky), as she feels sure that she’s meant to be a good skater.
You see, Artemis!? You see what your unrealistic expectations for this 14-year-old girl has done to her!? YOU BASTARD.
Walking along a corridor, Usagi’s face is caved in bu Janelyn angrily opening a door and huffing off towards the rink.
Usagi, now sporting a concave nose, peeks at the computer room that the skater just left, sees that the computer has identified Makoto as Sailor Jupiter, and realises that her friend is in trouble.
On the rink, Janelyn is losing it. She’s transforming piece-by-piece into her monstrous form in front of Misha and Makoto. Like the pathetic cheating douche that he is, Misha tries to explain that he was just “checking if she was Sailor Moon or not” (that’s the excuse I always give to the police).
Alas, since Janelyn is the typical jealous crazy woman in a relationship, she doesn’t listen. I’m hoping the writers weren’t that sexist, but it was Japan in 1992, so they were probably stuck on that stereotype, at least a little.
Monster-Janelyn begins her attempt to murder Makoto with her sublime figure skating, and Misha decides to transform himself into a monster and join her.
It’s at this point the episode shifts into a humorous camp-fest of figure skating, the music shifting to Night On Bald Mountain by Mussorgsky, which you may recognise from the scene with the Devil in Fantasia, which is almost comically terrifying.
With Misha and Janelyn giving a “We’re the best pair in the world!” routine that would foreshadow the Jesse & James Team Rocket introduction in Pokemon by a number of years (YES NERD REFERENCE OF THE DAY), the two are genuinely menacing towards Makoto.
A combo kick leaves Makoto injured, and her outfit… well… rather shredded. This is probably fan service. Why else would you get a glimpse of Makoto’s boob?
Sailor Moon jumps in for the rescue, and, miraculously, skates pop out of her boots!
Okay, I’m going to make another awful reference here, this is just like the scene from Batman & Robin (1997) directed by the loathsome Joel Schumacher where the same skate-popping trick happens with Batman. It did not work then.
It works here. It works great.
Despite being shit at skating as Usagi… OK Sailor Moon is equally rubbish – she’s actually rather depressed that she can’t even skate when transformed, and it’s adorable.
Completely helpless, she’s saved, as usual, by Tuxedo Kamen. Since he’s supposed to be evil, you would have thought that they’d give it a rest but, alas, NOPE.
I suppose the writes just couldn’t resolve the fact that you have a character you is meant to be evil, but not completely evil. They ended up just making him a good guy who acts like a dick. This isn’t at all like Season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Angelis (3rd awful reference of the day).
Oh well. Evil-Good Tuxedo Kamen pretty much teaches Sailor Moon to skate in the middle of battle. He throws her up into the air and she nails a triple axle!
Is it camp? Is it awful? Is it completely idiotic? Yes, yes and yes but this is great stuff. It’s nice seeing Sailor Moon being capable for once – the second triple axle she lands is completely under her own power, too, making her all the more independently bad-ass from Tuxedo Kamen.
Her reaction of “I’m AMAZING!” is great too. Then Tux ruins the moment by saying, in English “Naisu jumpu da, Seraa Muun” (Nice jump, Sailor Moon), so he sounds like a twat.
As Misha and Janelyn get one over on Tuxedo Kamen and Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter appears to get her own back a little against the pair. Not as much from her as I would have liked though.
The other Senshi finally arrive on the ice, which gives Kunzite an excuse to turn up. He’s none too pleased that Tuxedo Kamen, or rather Endymion, has chosen to arbitrarily and repeatedly switch allegiances (neither am I) and decides that THEY CAN ALL GO TO HELL.
So he turns on the air conditioning.
But, like, EVIL air condition, AC that beings to freeze the Senshi, Endymion and the Monster Skating Pair alike.
And then he fucks off without checking his bit of technology actually does the job. Idiot. Naturally Tuxedo Kamen is all about self-preservation, so he breaks Kunzite’s air conditioning remote control (or whatever it is).
Sailor Moon restores the skating duo back into their human forms and… well it gets a bit weird. The pair of Human Misha and Human Janelyn begin skating as well as ever, right in front of Sailor Moon et al. Aren’t they at all concerned that legendary super heroines are standing right by them?
Walking home, the girls try to console Mako-chan on her latest failed foray into romance. Mako-chan doesn’t seem too depressed though, and decides that maybe it’s time to stop looking so hard for love…
…until this dude walks by with “the exact nose-shape of the upperclassman who broke my heart!”
The episode ends on an exasperated Usagi and a happy, happy audience.
I love this episode. A little weird here and there, just the perfect amount for a Sailor Moon episode.
Episode Score: 4/5 (Fourth one in a row!)
Monster Score: 4/5 (Ho ho hoooooo! Ridiculous and stylish)
Evil Plot Score: 2/5 (So many stupid choices, Kunzite)