2:14 – An Angel? A Devil? Mysterious Girl from the Sky
Alternative Title: This Is Why We Need Gun Control
First Aired: 26th June 1993
Things are finally looking up for Usagi. Her relationship with Mamoru is going excellently… up until a strange little girl appears from the sky demanding the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal). Even odder is that the girl claims her name, too, is Usagi. The girl ingratiates herself into Usagi’s family via hypnosis, but doesn’t seem overly hostile. The organisation that’s chasing this little girl is, in fact, hostile, and Sailor Moon must begrudgingly defend the new nuisance in her life.
We’re back on track! With the so-so story of Ali & En wrapped up, the main part of Sailor Moon R is about to begin. I really love the over-arching story of the Black Moon arc, as it’s known. While it would have been easy to fall into routine and cease the character development of Usagi, she continues to grow alongside the scope of the show.
So let’s begin!
I love this opening. It’s so creepy. Tokyo, on a sunny day, hangs against an eerie sound effect. The washed-out colours, the lack of noise, the angle of the camera shot, and the reveal that we’re seeing the scene from a curved archway floating in the air, all serve to make Tokyo feel very small and primitive.
We land in a dark room with many of these doorways overlooking Tokyo, along with a strange-looking gang. Each of these characters look distinct, with well thought-out designs, although they all share a certain air of haughtiness.
This is Rubeus and the Phantom Sisters. I’ve always liked these guys. A really good balance between interestingly vulnerable yet undeniably nasty and dangerous.
Our suspicions are raised as soon as Koan, the youngest sister with weird cat-ears formed from her hair, announces to “Master Rubeus” that she’ll locate the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal) and destroy this primitive Tokyo. My my, new enemies so quickly.
Rubeus, dripping with hubris, tells her to take her time, and likes the idea of finding and killing “The Rabbit” first.
It’s then revealed that the platform this gang is viewing Tokyo from is a weird spiky UFO.
A great reveal. I love the design of this thing. It only vaguely looks like the sort of UFO of Western culture. It’s much more of an evil-looking crystal. Really striking – already the visual design of the series has taken a leap forward.
Usagi and Mamoru are so disgustingly happy together. They’re on a date, apparently doing the exact same thing as Mamoru did with Rei on their first date, which is weird when you think about it.
Usagi has started calling Mamoru “Mamo-chan” (super cutesy), and he’s calling her “Usako” (even more super cutesy). This might normally be annoying to one such as me who reviles romance, but considering all these two have been through, it’s rather touching.
As Usagi steps out of the boat onto the jetty, she trips “accidentally” and falls into Mamoru’s arms with a “lucky!” and, quite frankly, a most dirty look.
Having such an overt sex make-out on kids’ TV was still new territory, even in Japan, at this point. It’s a mark of how well it was loved that it could pretty much get away with anything.
This is a really lovely moment though.
…although it’s suddenly interrupted when something strange falls from the sky and hits Mamoru squarely on the head. He’s so far into Usagi’s mouth that he’s not overly bothered at first. A hilarious moment.
It appears to be a large ball with an antenna with the face of… Luna. With no time to process this, a second object falls from the sky…
…and lands right on Mamoru’s lips.
This is… awkward. This is even more awkward than it initially appears too. In fact, it’s super fucking awkward.
Poor Usagi is left smashed on the ground with no idea what’s happening while Mamoru is left kissing a little girl. Usagi obviously is rather upset by this (she’s definitely the jealous type and, considering the circumstances, it’s hard not to empathise).
The little girl turns around to look at Usagi and… wow, she looks so damn evil. The red eyes are one thing, but her expression is extremely cold. Combined with a shuffling little sound effect, we’re meant to be rather intimated by her. And yeah, it works.
The girl announces herself to be called “Usagi” which is a little weird, and she begins questioning our Usagi as to why she has the same hairstyle as her.
I like all this mystery, works really well.
Upon hearing that this is Tsukino Usagi she’s talking to, the little girl comes over rather worryingly aggressive.
By pulling out a fucking pistol.
Seriously though, this is a 6 year old holding a gun, making demands. There’s no way you could get this by the censors. Mental. Despite her fear, Usagi maintains that she has no idea what a Ginzuishou is, but the girl keeps getting more and more aggressive, threatening to kill her, until…
Mamoru moves in (ABOUT TIME, HERO), to find that the gun was, after all, just a toy (wouldn’t stop police snipers though), leaving a shell-shocked Usagi.
It’s a good release of tension after what amounted to the first hostage-at-gunpoint we’ve seen on Sailor Moon (although actually it’s the second. Sheesh, this show, honestly.)
Usagi gets home exhausted and confused after having her lovely fate ruined, and slowly walks into her room. After a few seconds silence, she comes pelting out again at top speed, screaming for her little brother Shingo.
Perfectly timed, perfectly animated. A great shot!
As it turns out, Usagi’s room is completely trashed, and she thinks it’s Shingo. I mean, who else could it be?
Usagi’s reaction to seeing the little girl who appeared from the sky, demanding the Ginzuishou, and shot her in the face with a dart is amazing. There’s no half measures here, she goes nuts, especially when her family all seem to recognise the girl as “cousin Usagi”.
The sense of being the only sane one in a room is exactly this frustrating, and it’s hilarious to watch Usagi lose her shit.
Even more worrisome is the plethora of photos of Usagi and the little Usagi that has appeared in the family albums. This drives Usagi to apoplectic rage, as does the little girl’s cutesy act towards her and her family.
I’m seriously loving all this. Top notch Sailor Moon right here.
Usagi is eventually pulled into the bath by Luna, so that the latter can explain that, while she was out of the house, she came home to find Usagi’s entire family brainwashed with weird energy.
Usagi, chilling out in the tub (she’s completely nude here, a curious bit of fan service that is, regardless, completely unsexualised, so that’s ok), when she notices some bubbles appear.
Her sniffing the bubbles cracks me up every time.
But of course it’s really the little girl, sopping wet and acting super creepy once more, demanding the Ginzuishou.
Hearing Usagi scream, Luna busts in, only to find the girls splashing about pathetically in the tub. Again, this nudity doesn’t bother me, nor is it sexual – it simply serves to make the whole scene that much more ridiculous.
Luna’s consternation, along with the “Well, at least she doesn’t seem to be out to kill Usagi…” is the cherry on top. Only just realised that there hasn’t been writing this good since the last series.
In bed, Usagi really should be expecting another attack, but she’s too busy thinking about Mamoru to notice that the little girl has crawled inside her pyjamas demanding the Ginzuishou again.
Usagi screams at the top of her lungs “GET THE HELL OUT OF MY ROOM” which naturally wakes the entire household. As is seems as though Usagi is bullying the poor little girl, who puts on a sobbing act, Usagi is left looking like the psychopath.
I can only imagine her murderous rage.
I have to say, many people I know find the little girl, we may as well just start calling her Chibi-Usa, annoying in the extreme, but I’ve never found her so. Even in this, her first episode, where she’s much more manipulative and conniving, I find her more precocious and intriguing than I do annoying. I hate to admit it, but I’m a Chibi-Usa defender. That makes me sick.
Back in the UFO, the Phantom Sisters cannot locate “The Rabbit”, whom they intend to kill (although I think we all know who it is they’re after). Suddenly, a strange figure appears in the centre of the room, a hooded figure who is CLEARLY FUCKING EVIL AS SHIT.
Wiseman, as he’s called, whips out a crystal ball that awfully reminds one of Beryl’s… he pronounces in an incredibly messed up voice that the Ginzuishou must be collected so that they can destroy “Crystal Tokyo”, whatever that means.
Seriously, it means something so awesome. I love this story line.
Oh my god, we’re only half way through the episode.
At the Hikawa Shrine, Rei performs a reading of one of the doctored photos placed in Usagi’s house by the little girl, but can’t get anything from the photo, other than that Usagi’s kimono is far prettier than its owner.
She just loves to kick Usagi when she’s down, doesn’t she?
The girls are, in fact, being spied upon by the little girl, who reasons that Usagi may have handed the Ginzuishou over to them for safe keeping.
As she blandly sits on the decking, Rei’s Grandpa walks by with green tea and cookies for the girls. He stops to ask why this little girl is just hanging around his shrine, something I think he’ll come to regret.
The girl bounces her freaky floating ball and calls “Luna-P Transformation!” – apparently that thing can transform into pretty much whatever she wants. Which is handy.
This time she creates a giant baby bottle, and proceeds to squirt some liquid into the tea, much to Grandpa’s horror, until the girl shoves the bottle into his mouth.
Sleeping potion. This girl is like Ethan Hunt.
Showing that she’s the ultimate secret agent, the girl’s next step is to deliver the tea… as Rei’s Grandpa. They do a really good job with shooting this – all his actions look just a wee bit off.
Usagi begins stuffing her face, as usual, while the other girls begin sipping their tea. As such, Usagi is the only one left conscious when Grandpa comes waltzing back into the room, turning back into the Luna-P ball once more.
Can you image if she didn’t? If it really was Rei’s Grandpa? How goddamn creepy would that be?
Usagi wastes no time in grabbing the little girl. It’s payback time after all!
It’s funny seeing Usagi so authoritative. I’m not one for corporal punishment of any sort, but this is a different time and a different culture, and Chibi-Usa totally deserved it.
Usagi’s questioning gets her nowhere, except for that it causes Chibi-Usa to begin crying… and a crescent moon appears on her head!
What does it mean!?
This energy blast is scene a few miles away by Phantom Sister Koan, busy suspiciously checking random children’s foreheads. I love this bit, she looks so out of place, and the kids look so confused.
Koan rushes off towards the energy signature.
Her appearance in front of The Rabbit, Chibi-Usa, is very scary. This lady is straight up here to murder this kid, and the Senshi are unconscious and Usagi is un-transformed.
This is also the first time that Chibi-Usa has appeared scared.
Chibi-Usa runs outside, giving Usagi a chance to transform and give chase. This should be a good fight. Seriously, I love this episode.
Outside, Chibi-Usa has been knocked unconscious from the fantastic-looking blue flames of Koan. This lady is all set to burn this kid alive. Pretty nasty. The new music pumping in this scene is fantastic, by the way.
Thankfully, Chibi-Usa is spared the barbecue by Sailor Moon, although she’s not much good against Koan’s Dark Fire attack. Koan eventually traps her behind a wall of fire before slowly, intentionally walking towards Chibi-Usa…
But Sailor Moon brings it back around with one of her coolest moments thus far in the show – she runs atop the wall of the shrine and launches herself at Koan screaming “SAILOR BODY ATTACK!” – which means an awesome body slam to you and me.
She even lands well afterwards! Koan didn’t know what hit her. Can we please have more of this from Sailor Moon? Pleeeease?
Koan seems more concerned about her dirty face than any injury, but she’s stopped from any further attacks by Tuxedo Kamen. It’s been so long without his silly little entrances that I’d quite begun to miss him.
I guarantee that good will won’t last.
Sailor Moon takes advantage of Koan’s surprise of Tuxedo Kamen’s arrival by blasting a Moon Princess Halation at Koan. At first, it looks as though she’s finished off Koan (you heartless murderer, Sailor Moon!), but swift like a cat, Koan escapes vowing vengeance.
Tuxedo Kamen’s bland observation that “it looks as though you have a new enemy now” really is a bit of an understatement.
As he stares down at the unconcious little girl in his arms, Tuxedo Kamen gets all intense and freaky, and has a sudden vision of a giant crystal city that seems frozen in time…
He seems pretty worried about it, but we get no more.
Back on the UFO, Koan is putting make-up back on her disheveled face while she describes being attacked by Sailor Moon and “an awfully pretentious man called Tuxedo Kamen” which always makes me laugh.
Rubeus doesn’t seem too concerned now that they know The Rabbit is in the city – they can take their sweet time killing her. Very dark.
The episode ends with Usagi looking at the sleeping Chibi-Usa in her bed, looking rather caring and maternal for once. She seems a lot more fond of her now that she knows she’s a victim.
As they sleep all in the same bed, Usagi throws a leg over Luna, which is joined by Chibi-Usa’s leg, and then Luna-P for good measure. Poor Luna.
The final shot is of Usagi and Chibi-Usa, sleeping in identical inelegant fashion.
If you don’t get her identity by this point, what are you doing with you life?
Seriously, amazing episode. Has the advantage of being the first in a new story, but the art, the writing, the mystery, the action, everything is spot on. This is exactly what was missing from the Ali & En arc. We’re back on track!
Episode Score: 5/5 (You couldn’t ask for more)
Sailor Body Attack Power Level: 23,000
Number of Times Usagi Lost Her Mind: 13