2:18 – In Search of the Silver Crystal! Chibi-Usa’s Secret
Alternative Title: Maybe Don’t Give a 7 Year Old the Power to Manipulate Space-Time?
First Aired: 31st July 1993
The Phantom Sisters decide to flush the Rabbit out of hiding by sending thunder and lightning, hoping to scare her into revealing her energy signature. Scared and lonely, Chibi-Usa tries using a mysterious key to return home to Crystal Tokyo, but instead screws up physics. Can Sailor Moon defend Chibi-Usa from her would-be murderers while floating about?
I like this episode a whole bunch. This series definitely plays around with the Sailor Moon formula, and this episode feels rather poignant, not only for the over-arching plot developments and the air of mystery, but also in the character development of Chibi-Usa and, albeit it slight, Usagi.
Also, this episode looks fantastic. With the grim weather as a stark contrast to the bright colours of Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa, it’s lovely to watch.
Plus, some fairly important themes are introduced, which we’ll come across.
The episode starts in the Black Moon UFO. The Phantom Sisters are being extremely… well, themselves. All are preoccupied with their appearance. Petz, the eldest & green haired lady, is busying herself with applying black lipstick, with a “I’m thinking about bringing the colour of the dead into fashion this summer.” I like Petz. She’s so morbid.
Also, she wears what appear to be green nipples on her outfit, which is just lovely. While Petz and Berthier seem to get along just fine, Calaveras (pseudo-dominatrix) and our favourite Koan (cat in pyjamas) are somewhat more bitchy to each other.
I really enjoy the barbs they exchange, trying to sound caring but insult each other’s taste in make-up and clothes.
Yep they definitely feel like they’re horrible sisters. I’m not so sure I would go as far to say that I feel like they have a history, but I’ll say I enjoy their dynamic.
The squabbling is brought to a close by Rubeus’ arrival. I’m not sure I entirely approve – their squabbling is instantly turned “feminine” by a man who flies in and has to get them to focus. Bit sexist really, but what the hell do I know? Queen Beryl was firmly in charge all last season.
Rubeus has suddenly remembered that The Rabbit (Chibi-Usa) hates thunder (how did he just remember this?) and Petz catches on at once. It’s so rare that bad guys have competent ideas in this show that it must be a pleasure when they come along.
Petz summons a Droid over Tokyo, Furaiki, who is pretty comical looking to be honest. She has a drum with which she bangs on with electrodes to make thunder and lightning – very much like an old Japanese legend.
I’m really digging this, especially when she uses a blow-dryer to create wind.
Poor Usagi is running home when it starts raining. When the thunder hits, she runs off terrified.
At home, drying off, Usagi is rather childishly calling for her mum when Luna reminds her that she’s out, and that she has to go back outside and pick Chibi-Usa up from swimming class.
I think the intention of having her so childish at the beginning of the episode was to create a sense of contrast for when she gets her shit together while out searching for Chibi-Usa… and perhaps later on in the series too?
Usagi, you may recall from waaay back in Episode 20 of series 1 (ahh memories) is deathly afraid of thunder and lightning. Very much like Chibi-Usa, how curious…
Meanwhile, at elementary school, the final few little kids are still waiting to be picked up by their parents. All are rather upset, but Chibi-Usa remains strong and encouraging, despite her own fear, especially to one little boy who looks like his bunny just died.
I like Chibi-Usa here. She’s quite admirable. She gets a lot of hate from Western audiences, but I’ve never found her too abrasive.
Finally left alone, Chibi-Usa begins to break down. I seriously felt bad for this poor kid, terrified of lightning, far away from her Mama and Papa. She’s eventually so scared that she tries to run home through the rain herself.
…but alas, she misses Usagi. This is how kids end up on the news.
A phone call home to shit-pants Shingo is enough to convince Usagi that Chibi-Usa is missing. Despite the fact that she’s a huge pain (and despite the fact that Shingo plainly does not care), Usagi is deeply worried for the girl and goes looking.
It’s rare we see her so on edge. More of that increased responsibility I was talking about earlier.
Usagi, miraculously, (SERIOUSLY WHAT ARE THE ODDS) runs into Mamoru while running around. It’s super awkward, especially when, out of fear, or opportunity, she jumps into his arms from a thunder boom.
He gets a chance to be an enormous dick again, although he does linger holding here just a bit too long, before agreeing to help Usagi find Chibi-Usa.
And then he makes her feel bad about not having found Chibi-Usa yet. This guy needs a goddamn kicking.
The worst bit of it is that Usagi just sees the best of him, and is more impressed that he’s willing to help look for a lost child.
“No matter how coldly you treat me, I still love Mamo-chan.” – Now isn’t that the thesis statement of anyone in an emotionally abusive relationship?
This scene is viewed from inside a cafe by Makoto and Ami, who are surprised to see that the couple seem to be over whatever it is they were fighting about. I rather like this misunderstanding. It’s so horribly wet and emotional outside that it’s a nice break with Mako and Ami.
The two are joined by Rei and Minako (ODDS. WHAT ARE THEY), who are also avoiding the rain. I joke about the odds, but Minako explicitly brings it up, remaking how weird coincidences like this are. At least they’re well aware of it.
Nice to see they’re all having fun while Usagi runs about scared and worried.
Chibi-Usa, meanwhile, is right beneath the girls in an alley. The music here is a rather depressing theme they’ve come to use for loneliness, and it works brilliantly here. Seriously, I love this scene. It’s not particularly special, but everything about it pops out.
The dreary colours, the ambiance, the music, the writing, all brilliant.
Chibi-Usa pushes the nose of her Luna-P ball, which turns it’s right eye into FaceTime mode. Enter a mysterious pixelated image…
Who could this be? Chibi-Usa calls her Puu, which isn’t really very helpful, and doesn’t translate well into English. Maybe they should have checked a dictionary first?
Chibi-Usa asks to go back to her Mama using a key she keeps around her neck, but the voice of Puu refuses, asking her not to be so weak.
Now we see who gave Chibi-Usa the mission of getting the Ginzuishou – Silver Crystal – and why they need it: to save Chibi-Usa’s mother in the future.
I love this plot. It’s just fantastic stuff, even more so when you consider it’s a kid’s show. The emotions, the stakes, the isolation, it’s all great. Chibi-Usa’s attempt to restrain her emotions here are again very moving.
They got the pathos down good.
Puu’s advice is terrible. “When we have defeated all the bad guys, a time of happiness will come. Until then, you must bear it.” PUU. GODDAMN. SHE’S 7. She even hangs up without waiting for a response.
With all the lightning and emotions, Chibi-Usa tearfully runs inside an department store and tries to use the Space-Time Key anyway. Sadly, this fucks shit up instead.
Gravity decides to go on a break for a bit, leaving everything floating about, including the girls upstairs in the cafe. What’s odd is that there’s no one else around, no shoppers, no police, no one. Oh well, a slight oversight.
There are some great jokes here. Rei flies up Minako’s skirt, who is rather offended, while Ami, the brains of the bunch, is merely enjoying the broken physics engine happily. I’d be over the moon, personally. About both events, obviously.
Downstairs, Chibi-Usa is floating about in a cloud of fruit, which looks wonderfully weird. She gets so upset that she’s unable to go home that, like in 2:14, she releases a huge energy beam into the sky. And, just like that episode, the enemy notices.
Furaiki is on her way to kill the Rabbit!
No idea how, but everyone seems a lot more mobile in zero gravity than I would have thought. Chibi-Usa manages to “swim” upstairs, as Usagi makes it into the building for a floating transformation into Sailor Moon.
In the cafe, all the other girls are pretty might wiped out from Furaiki’s blowdryer. Looks like we’re only getting Sailor Moon today, guys. Her entrance today is fantastic. It’s so wonderfully weird seeing her balance in midair.
Chibi-Usa comes to and, for the first time, sees Sailor Moon. Rather surprising to realise that she’s never seen her before now, but it’s true.
Despite her impressive entrance, Sailor Moon is completely crap against Furaiki. Indeed, she’s crap against most monsters, but especially this Droid when there’s no gravity.
As Furaiki seems ready to electrocute Sailor Moon once and for all, Tuxedo Kamen finally turns up by a window and pierces the Droid’s drum with a thrown rose. What a champ. Oh, sorry, I meant chump.
Chibi-Usa seems as taken with Tuxedo Kamen as she was Sailor Moon.
Tuxedo Kamen spouts some utter nonsense about Japanese drums, and Sailor Moon shuts him up by using a Moon Princess Halation on Furaiki. Bye bye, you drum playing weirdo!
Outside, Petz isn’t best please. Rather than continue fighting, Petz runs off, not wanting to “fight in a weird place like that”. To be honest, with all the floating crap in the air, I see her point.
And float the crap does. Tuxedo Kamen attempts at graceful landing into the cafe, but trips on a can and flails about, much less composed than normal. Hilarious.
Chibi-Usa cops to all this being her fault, and holds the the key while calming herself down to turn gravity the way it was. Bit of a shame, I think that cafe could have made millions by remaining the only place where you could buy a cream soda while up-side-down.
The landing isn’t so smooth for everyone else. The Senshi really have had it tough today.
The girls confront Chibi-Usa about the key, and her wanting to return home to her Mama, but she’s still reticent to tell them anything. To be honest, she really does have a lot of explaining to do.
Sailor Moon tries to go the caring route (remember, Chibi-Usa has no idea that she’s really Usagi) and offers her help if she only tells them what’s going on, but Chibi-Usa remembers Puu’s words and remains silent.
Finally pig-headed and condescending Tuxedo Kamen decides to put a stop to the really rather intrusive questioning by the girls. Chibi-Usa is so grateful for his support that runs into his arms.
Bit weird really. Especially how they look together. Really rather wrong actually.
The final scene is of a drying and sunny evening in Tokyo, with Chibi-Usa hand in hand with an obliging Tuxedo Kamen. Chibi-Usa is singing a funny little song about rain. It would be touching if Chibi-Usa didn’t look so slavishly at Tuxedo Kamen…
The episode ends with a rainbow breaking over Tokyo. A hopefully piece of imagery after a damp and emotionally-charged episode I supposed.
All in all, a fantastic episode. It’s never slow, it looks great, it sounds great, it’s written perfectly and who the hell is Puu is a great mystery. I can’t give it the highest of score – the story is good and interesting, but doesn’t hook me like a 5 star episode I’m afraid. I’m rather stingy with my 5’s you know.
Episode Score: 4/5 (But, like, a great 4)
Monster Score: 4/5 (Furaiki is silly, fun and looks interesting too)
Evil Plot Score: 4/5 (It worked! Brilliant! Just a shame you couldn’t kill a 7 year old immobilised by a lack of gravity I guess)