1:43 – Is Usagi Going it Alone? The Sailor Senshi Get Into a Big Fight
Alternative Title: Never Trust a Plan Formulated by Usagi
First Aired: 6th February 1993
Sailor Moon appears to have gone separate ways with the Sailor Senshi! The fighting continues to escalate, and the Dark Kingdom have sent an agent in the form of a reporter to sniff out whether or not this schism is true or not. As it happens, it’s all an elaborate (sort of) plan by Usagi to make Kunzite think that Sailor Moon is defecting, in the hopes of infiltrating the evil-doer’s lair and rescuing Mamoru. With Sailor Moon in fairly serious danger, can they keep up the ruse?
This is the last filler episode of the first series! It’s all storyline from here, guys. Despite the fact that nothing of note really happens to progress the plot, I love this episode. The (rather obvious) fake out of Sailor Moon fighting her comrades provides for unique situations never seen before, which makes it intensely interesting, but the real shining moments are the humour.
It’s just hilarious throughout.
The episode begins brilliantly. It’s night. Shadows are running through a park (naturally). We think at first that it’s the team running together, but four of the shadows surround the fifth.
The clouds finally part in front of the moon, revealing rather stylistically, Sailor Moon beset by her comrades. “WHAT’S GOING ON?” I hear you ask. “YOU SHOULD HAVE READ MY SYNOPSIS,” I cry back.
Everyone’s pretty darn serious. Sailor Jupiter looks ready to kick Moon’s head in.
Even Sailor Mercury’s being mean, even calling her an idiot! For some reason, insults from Mercury sting the worst.
Sailor Mars predictably seems most devoted to destroying Sailor Moon, using a Fire Soul to… accidentally set the ground alight beneath all four of the other Senshi.
It’s a pretty funny way to break the tension, I must say. The scene shifts out with everyone screaming that they’re on fire. It’s hilarious. Good writing! (Did that sound callous?)
In the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl and Kunzite are both shocked by some sort of energy reading created by all the hot Senshi-on-Senshi action (don’t look at me like that).
Kunzite reveals that his “plan already in motion” this week is a ninja-monster by the ridiculous name of Oniwa Bandana, who witnessed the Senshi fight and brought photographic proof.
I like this monster Bandana a lot. She likes to end every sentence with a diminutive “…ban-ban…”. Bandana confirms that Sailor Moon seems to be at odds with the other Senshi.
Everyone smells that is might be a trap immediately, but there seems to actually be some question about it, so Kunzite decides to double-check….
…by delegating to Bandana again, obviously.
Our monster decides to get Sailor Moon’s attention by robbing Osa-P, the jewelry store that Naru lives above, is owned by Naru’s mother, and appeared in the very first episode. I actually think that this scene is a little homage to episode 1, in a vague sort of way.
You might think that it’s too much of a coincidence for Bandana to have attacked Naru again, but there’s a suggestion in a bit that Naru was targeted because of the number of times Sailor Moon has had to rescue her. Which is smart!
Naru and her mother try to surprise the burglar…
…only to be pinned to the wall with Kunai (those ninja-dagger things). You’ll notice, by the way, that Naru’s pajamas are identical to the set that she was wearing when Nephrite died. They’re obvious not the same set, they were ripped up and covered in Nephrite’s green blood, which doesn’t wash out so easily let me tell you, so I can only surmise that she went out and got an identical set because she’s a fucking nut.
ANYWAY. Sailor Moon turns up, and gives it the usual “I’m the Sailor of Love and Justice!” malarkey, but in the middle of her routine Sailor Mars unceremoniously kicks her right up the bum.
This. Is. Hilarious. Playing on the usual tropes and poking fun at yourself is the mark of a show not taking itself too seriously, and it works great here.
The other four Senshi are complete bitches to Sailor Moon, calling her an eyesore, and accusing her of following them to the crime scene to steal their glory. It’s a little uncomfortable, actually.
With all the fighting, Bandana slips round the side quietly and comes back in her human form – a reporter who seems to have been frozen in the 70s. Seriously, bandana, brown waistcoat, flared trousers with a star on the side. All she’s missing is platform shoes.
She begins taking photos of the Senshi fighting, which blinds them all, then moves in asking questions about their status. I wonder if this is a commentary on the nosiness of the paparazzi?
Sailor Moon assures Rita Skeeter that the Sailor Senshi are just fine, and looks to the other Senshi for confirmation, but they pointedly, and cruelly, snub her. WHAT’S GOING ON? (It’s obvious, but play along will you?)
As the other Senshi and the reporter all leave the store, it’s left to Naru to ask politely if she can be saved. It’s pretty heart-breakingly funny.
It’s interesting how far you get into the episode before the big reveal of the plot, because it ain’t happening yet!
The next day, walking to school in their Winter gear, Naru is telling Usagi what happened, including the Sailor Senshi’s fighting. Usagi tries to tell Naru that she’s sure Sailor Moon is too nice (and cute) ever to fight with the rest of those jerks when BAM.
Reporter turns up. She appears to have been stalking Naru… She starts asking Usagi why she has such a strong opinion on the matter (I actually like this voice actress, she sounds noisy as heck), and Usagi is severely put out.
Usagi eventually comes up with a brilliant plan, get the reporter focused on Naru – it’s here where she’s asked why she’s been saved by Sailor Moon so many times, another moment of focusing on the tropes of the show. I like this a lot.
It’s nighttime at Hikawa Shrine. The Senshi are all trying to murder Sailor Moon again!
Jupiter and Venus aim savage attacks at our heroine, but they’re dodged rather beautifully!
I think my favourite bit of the episode is Mercury’s attack – she shoves a book in Sailor Moon’s face and asks “WHAT’S THE SQUARE ROOT OF 2!?”
Sailor Mars tops this all off by, once again, unceremoniously booting Sailor Moon up the bum once again.
This starts her crying that Sailor Mars is kicking her for real, and the plan is finally exposed in a fight of words between the two. The plan (of Sailor Moon’s creation, you’ll be worried to hear) is to fake a schism, get the Dark Kingdom to extend a hand to Sailor Moon, find out where their hideout is and save Mamoru.
This is an awful plan. It’s worse than Luke’s plan in Return of the Jedi when he gets everyone captured and/or turned into sex slaves in Jabba the Hutt’s palace.
I have to say, all the girls have been very committed to this plan so far.
In the day time, the girls (in their civilian gear) are discussing the reporter who has been sniffing about, wondering if it’s really the Dark Kingdom. A tabloid article has even come out about their fight in a rather unfortunate photo.
Luna warns Usagi that the final stage of the plan will be dangerous, but Usagi’s (haltingly) up for the job. Rei offers to hold Usagi’s Moon Stick, just in case, which confirms Usagi’s worst fears.
She accuses Rei of planning to be rid of Sailor Moon so that she may become the leader. The fighting here, even though we’ve seen it a thousand times before, is even funnier than usual.
The scene ends with the two of them sticking their tongues out at each other, yelling to “STOP SPITTING ON ME”, while the other girls look on hopelessly. Their collective sigh is priceless.
Usagi goes to the reporters apartment to deliver a message from Sailor Moon (this isn’t suspicious at all). The letter (printed on stationary bearing the original artwork of manga artist Naoko Takeuchi! It looks pretty cool!) claims that Sailor Moon doesn’t want to be a Senshi anymore, and wishes to make a shocking confession to the reporter.
This plan is just awful.
Bandana hands the letter over to Kunzite, suggesting that Sailor Moon really is looking to defect, and the two plan to meet her at the suggested time and place…
Sailor Moon is all by her lonesome at a clock tower. It’s all very creepy. The reporter appears before Sailor Moon asking if her defection is true using her tried-and-tested journalism:
Brilliant. Reporter finally transforms into Bandana and calls Kunzite out. Sailor Moon is a little cross at this, telling him she’s meant to be having an interview right now. The obtuseness of this statement is amazing.
Kunzite asks Sailor Moon to join their side, allowing her to see Endymion aaaanytime she wants. It seems like a sweet deal to me, but Sailor Moon is defiant.
…but then Bandana and Kunzite notice the other Sailor Senshi hiding noisily in the bushes and realises that it’s all a trap after all. I’m surprised it took them this long.
Kunzite decides to stop fucking around, and opens a BIG MASSIVE SCARY HOLE in time and space behind Sailor Moon.
It’s even screaming quietly and Sailor Moon really doesn’t want to go in. She takes time to announce loudly that Kunzite is as mean as Sailor Mars.
Throwing caution to the wind, Bandana throws a ribbon around Sailor Moon’s neck choking her! They demand the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal), of course, but Sailor Moon claims not to have it.
In the bushes, the girls want to go and rescue the pathetic Sailor Moon, but Mars insists that they wait lest the plan be for naught. Eventually Sailor Jupiter can’t take anymore and gets up to go, but Mars still says no.
Jupiter gets pretty upset about this, accusing Mars of really hating Sailor Moon after all. To be honest, I can’t see the point in waiting around any longer either – it’s clear that Kunzite knows it’s a trap.
Sailor Mars, tearing up, says that she doesn’t hate Sailor Moon, otherwise why would she be looking after the Ginzuishou for her!?
Jupiter is mollified, and they wait another 4 seconds before even Mars gets antsy, and they all jump into to save their leader.
Even though this was all pointless, I appreciated the interplay of words here, and the obvious struggle it was for the callous but caring Sailor Mars.
As soon as the other Senshi arrive, Kunzite shouts that he already figure out their stupid plan, which leaves them all rather depressed.
Mars’ Fire Soul frees Sailor Moon, while Jupiter and Venus attack Kunzite with a combo. Alas, this does nothing, but like only the lover of the ridiculously cowardly Zoisite could, he runs away.
Seriously, complete coward.
Bandana is now left alone, and starts trying to slash Sailor Moon with a sword. It’s pretty violent, actually, and Sailor Mars has to throw the Moon stick back at it’s rightful owner so that she can defend herself.
That thing is made out of some tough material!
Bandana’s next approach is to multiply into 5, under the impression that numbers will win this match, but, alas…
Sailor Mercury makes it misty with Bubble Spray (FOR NO REASON), and Sailor Mars uses the trick from the opening of the episode and sets the ground alight, reducing Bandana back into one form!
I bet you never saw the opening as foreshadowing did ya? More good writing! I love the way Bandana is screaming comically here. A great monster!
Sailor Moon does her Moon Healing Escalation stuff and we get a healed reporter. Yay and junk.
The episode ends with Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars fighting over whether or not the former was crying like a little girl when she was being choked to death.
Finally, the reporter, having just come round, sticks her head in looking for a scoop. It’s a fitting and hilarious end to a great episode!
Episode Score: 4/5
Monster Score: 4/5
Sailor Moon’s Plan Score: 1/5