1:41 – I Won’t Run from Love Anymore! Ami and Mamoru’s Showdown
Alternative Title: Zoisite’s Crappy Legacy
First Aired: 23rd January 1993
Evil Endymion, under orders from Queen Beryl, is using Nephrite’s old Black Crystal to capture the Seven Rainbow Monsters to reform a Huge Massive Evil Monster. He gets through five of them before one of the former monsters, Urawa Ryo, finally gets around to warning Ami. With Endymion hot on Ryo’s trail, and Rei’s Grandpa under guard, Sailor Mercury must defend her pseudo-semi-quasi-boyfriend from Endymion’s evil machinations.
Considering the quality of the animation and writing in the series of episodes previous to this one, we have a bit of a dud here, thanks to the less-accomplished production team. All the characters look particularly vacant, Ryo is a complete damp frog of a character and the action is dire.
Still, the return of the Seven Rainbow Monsters plot is welcome, and Endymion is actually something of a threat for once, so it’s not all bad.
Plus, I just can’t bring myself to dislike anything with these characters, such is the investment any viewer will have after watching 40 episodes of them.
The episode begins, oddly enough, in the Serengeti of Africa. Why the heck are we starting here, you may ask? Well, Reika, who you may remember as the love-interest of the arcade douche Motoki, is here working…
…as a paleontologist. Field work is pretty rare for a biochemist, but whatever. Her work is interrupted by a shadow, which turns out to be none other than Endymion, in full armoured regalia!
Reika is sucked unceremoniously into the old Kurozuishou (Black Crystal) that Nephrite created and Zoisite misappropriated. We see the other inhabitants of the crystal, which is all made up of former Rainbow Monsters!
Ami is at home (studying, what else?) when her old friend/almost-love-interest Urawa Ryo calls up. Ami seems delighted. Without even exchanging pleasantries, and sounding like a complete maniac, Urawa tells her to turn on the TV.
He doesn’t even tell here what channel to switch to, but it’s the right one, oddly enough. Yumeno Yumemi, the curiously repetitively-named Rainbow Monster, has gone missing.
Ryo warns Ami that the Dark Kingdom has recaptured all the old monsters except for himself and Rei’s Granpda, and magnanimously asks her to “protect him”.
What a drip. He even admits that he was going to ask for help from Ami (his useless psychic powers means he knows her secret identity), but instead just tried to sound cool and self-sacrificial. See? Total drip.
As he walks off into the snowy streets of Tokyo aimlessly, Makoto spots him, but is called to the Hikawa shrine by Luna, unaware that he’s the Dark Kingdom’s target.
More coincidence. The bad writer’s opiate.
So why exactly are the Dark Kingdom recapturing the Seven Rainbow Monsters? Kunzite, in the Dark Kingdom, would like to know just that.
In all other evil kingdoms that I’ve seen, and I’ve been beholden to a fair you, believe me, the frequent insubordination that Queen Beryl has to suffer would have been met with ear-choppy-woppy-offness to say the least.
Beryl is just a complete bitch to Kunzite, and I like it. About time someone put him in his place. I have to say, I thought I would like Kunzite the most out of the 4 generals upon his introduction, but as it turns out he’s really rather boring.
All this Rainbow Monster talk makes me sort of wish Zoisite were still around, and I hate that guy.
Queeny informs Kunzite that by gathering all the former monsters within the Kurozuishou, the greatest monster of them all will be recreated. There’s a rather vivid, if poorly animated shot of what Beryl imagines will happen to the Sailor Senshi.
I have to say, if they’re relying on tropes like this to kill Sailor Moon, they’ve already lost.
Let’s go see what the Sailor Senshi are planning to do about all this, shall we?
At the Hikawa Shrine (it’s all nice and snowy), the girls are discussing what to do. Makoto is insistent that Ami be the one who finds and defends Urawa (while Usagi, Rei and Minako stay behind to defend Rei’s crazy pervert grandfather).
Makoto is awfully sensitive in situations like this, no? The scene ends, typically, with Rei and Usagi fighting over the latter reading the former’s manga, with shouts of “You’re SLOBBERING all over it!”
I actually quite like this next scene, even though I’m not particularly fond of Urawa. Evil Endymion, in his all-black street attire, is walking around town looking for the next former-monster with the Kurozuishou as a guide. He’s wearing his stupid sunglasses. At night. In January. In the snow. What a moron.
I have to confess that I have the exact same sunglasses, and wear them regularly while pretending to be blind so that people give me their seats on the London Underground.
Spotting Urawa, Endymion goes into total creeper mode, preparing to lead the boy off into a dark alley.
Ryo sputters some nonsense about “this person told me something so now I’m doing stuff that contradicts my visions and junk” but immediately redeems himself by yelling at the top of his lungs:
“MURDERER! SAVE ME!”
This is pretty darn funny, as it actually works. Regular citizens of Tokyo begin to jostle around Endymion with interest, as if studying some sort of scientific specimen. If I thought some suspicious guy on the street was a murderer I’d probably not get within stabbing distance myself.
Endymion looks distinctly embarrassed and stupid as he chases after Urawa.
Makoto and Ami are wondering around town looking for Urawa (his big plan, they assume, correctly, is to walk around until Endymion gets bored and goes home), when Ami suggests going back.
Makoto launches into busybody mode, asking how Ami feels about Urawa and telling her to be true to her feelings lest she “regret her youth”. I think Ami is more worried that by dating Urawa she might regret her life.
This bit is tiresome. If it were written better, with a more interesting love interest for Ami, it might be very involving, but as it is it’s tawdry.
Thankfully we are spared any more of Makoto’s opinions on whether Sailor Senshi are allowed to date or not when Ami spots Urawa running through a crowd.
I’d like to point out the placard the small upset old woman is holding – it’s a sign asking for the return of our very own Rhett Butler. Having a cat of my own, I briefly felt distinctly sympathetic to this throwaway moment. You BASTARD Endymion.
Urawa chooses to run down a dark alley, which is completely retarded (again, a word used with exquisite sensitivity, but equally there’s no other word to describe it) since the only ploy that has worked for him so far is to be surrounded by others.
Luckily, he runs into Sailor Mercury and Jupiter before the whole lot of them are set upon by Endymion.
While Sailor Mercury escapes with Urawa, we get a pretty cool fight scene between Sailor Jupiter and Endymion! It’s animated poorly, and Jupiter doesn’t do nearly as well as she normally does, but I appreciate the set up.
Jupiter is completely outclassed in hand-to-hand combat for once, and it’s a little upsetting to watch Mamoru, who we all love and respect (ahem) fighting back. He holds his final punch to the face, however.
I think this is supposed to be a reason to respect Endymion, even though he’s evil, but his refusal to punch Jupiter, in my opinion, is a little insulting. Not that I’m advocating physical abuse of a character, but I would have preferred if Jupiter and Endymion were a little more evenly-matched. As it is, it feels like a cop-out.
Urawa, running with Sailor Mercury, asks if they can hide in a closed amusement part for some obscure reason. It’s a little pathetic (in fact it’s very pathetic) but Urawa reveals his dream – to go to amusement park with Ami.
He gets all fatalistic again, claiming that now he has fulfilled his dream (he hasn’t, they’ve just walked through the ticket barriers and stood around) he can die happy.
He even starts crying. Urawa is meant to be the everday earnest teenage boy that Japanese society sees as worthy of trying to emulate, in that he’s shy, good at school and willing to kill himself if he thinks it’ll save some people a bit of bother.
Which is completely stupid, of course.
Sailor Mercury, even though she should be utterly repulsed, decides to “be more honest” to her feelings.
She convinces the moron that killing himself is not such a good idea after all.
And thank GOD Endymion turns up to provide a distraction. Sadly, his distraction is to turn on the Ferris wheel, which means a lot of preparation that he probably didn’t have.
Then again, the Sailor Mercury-Urawa conversation was especially long and boring.
So we get a rather unexpected fight between Endymion and Sailor Mercury, the most poorly-equipped of all the Senshi. I really don’t think her bubbles are going to be much use against a dude with a sword who can fly.
Endymion moves to attack Sailor Mercury, but it’s a feint, and he does something smart for once by sucking Urawa into the Kurozuishou first.
Sailor Mercury is understandably less-than-happy about this, and actually looks rather scary for once.
Mercury moves in to attack Endymion, who transforms pointlessly into Tuxedo Kamen (he now has like 14 different outfits that have no effect on his powers whatsoever), and we get a rather poorly-animated shot of her rushing past him (jogging lightly would be a better description).
She fires off a Bubble Spray at Tuxedo Kamen, who blocks it easily. Such is his arrogance, with a stupid smug expression on his face, that he really is annoying rather than threatening.
The truth is that this Bubble Spray is also a feint, and Sailor Mercury rather brilliantly snatches the Kurozuishou and smashes it, releasing the inhabitants.
It’s all drawn very poorly.
I’ll just give a small farewell to the Kurozuishou, which has survived three owners and appeared in many, many episodes, only to be smashed in a single stroke by a pissed off Sailor Mercury.
I’ll also mention that Reika, from the opening in Africa, also pops out of the crystal. What the frak is she going to think when she wakes up 12,000 miles away back in Japan? Does she have to buy a ticket back to Africa all over again? I assume so. It’s crazy when you think about it.
Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Moon (Usagi has been in this episode for the whole of 10 seconds) finally arrive, and together they co-ordinate an attack against Tuxedo Kamen, who isn’t fleeing in terror for once.
A combination of Supreme Thunder and Bubble Spray (the third we’ve seen this episode) effectively stop Tuxedo Kamen in his tracks.
Sailor Moon finally gets a chance to use Moon healing Escalation on Tuxedo Kamen, and it actually works! He seems to remember who is his, before yelling out a “REFREEESH!”
It’s quite pathetic to watch, actually.
So it’s over right? Mamoru is back? Everything’s great?
Queen Beryl won’t let go of her brainwashed sex-slave that easily. It’s a bit of a cop-out (again), but Mamoru goes back into his pod in the Dark Kingdom, and Beryl promises that this time Queen Metalia’s energy will convert him irrevocably.
Yeah that sounds totally like it’ll happen.
The episode ends in the day time at the amusement park, with Ami and Urawa enjoying a Ferris wheel ride together. The other girls are looking on jealous (which is a bit weird, who goes on a date with their peers staring on?).
The whole scene is sickly sweet and so horribly wholesome that I want to vomit into my own eyes. It’s just so terribly absent of any real romance or drama, or even of interest. I can’t stand it.
Thankfully we never hear from Urawa again. I think.
Except for the computer game adaptation Sailor Moon: Another Story, that is, but more about that some other time.
All in all, writing was poor, animation sucked, action was sub-par even if it was novel, and the soppy speeches about emotions and friendship were rather grating.
But hey, a rare miss is acceptable in a series of general quality.
Episode Score: 2/5
Evil Plot Score: 4/5 (It almost worked. If Tuxedo Kamen hadn’t pissed about trying to fight Sailor Mercury, he could have destroyed the world. Shame, really.)
Number of Crappy Heartfelt Speeches: 4