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2:20 – Usagi’s Parental Love? A Curry Triangle Relationship

Alternative Title: I Always Knew Avocados Were Evil

First Aired: 21st August 1993

Usagis messy curry

 

After discovering that Usagi’s parents won’t be available to accompany her to a parent-child curry cook-off, Chibi-Usa begins looking for replacements. Eventually she manages to enlist Mamoru and a highly-affronted Usagi. Despite the awkwardness of the situation, the three seem to be getting along well, but with Petz and Calaveras trying to spread Dark Power in Usagi’s local supermarket, things get a little messy.

This episode continues a fantastic steak the series has been on lately, and it by no means stops here. We get come really great character moments, a fairly big revelation and some amusingly awkward situations.

It also has one of my favourite jokes from any episode of Sailor Moon, more of which later…

We open the episode immediately with Usagi’s parents just being awful. They promised Chibi-Usa that they would take her to her school’s Parent-Child Curry Cook-Off, but are having to cancel, probably because they don’t want to spend more time around Chibi-Usa than humanly possible.

"If you were  us, you would totally bail on you right now."

“We have an important engagement at a Wendy’s and then a dirty alley behind Wendy’s. You’ll understand when you’re older.”

Even Shingo, twerp-incarnate, thinks this is a shitty move, condemning them for breaking promises. As much as it pains me, I sort of agree with him. Look at what happened to that little bastard in Hook with Robin Williams. How’s that for a reference?

Usagi pokes her head unaware of the situation, and is immediately volunteered by her parents. These people are just great parents, aren’t they?

Usagi’s actually fine with attending the curry workshop (I actually have no idea what this event is meant to be, except that curry will be the focus), but Chibi-Usa decides to totally bitch Usagi out and refuses.

Chibi-Usa anrgy at Usagi

“I’d rather cook curry with Idi Amin. That’s topical right?”

It’s not like she’s looking after you and routinely letting you sleep in her bed or anything. Still, considering Usagi’s ability (or inability) to cook, this is probably the smart move.

Chibi-Usa is feeling pretty down and lonely again, but since she refused Usagi’s help I’m not feeling particularly sympathetic today. OK I feel a little bad when she breaks down in tears, but only a little.

The sequence of her reminiscing about a boat ride is rather beautifully animated

The sequence of her reminiscing about a boat ride is rather beautifully animated

Luna, meanwhile, is chewing Usagi out for being a big baby and letting a lonely and emotional kid get to her. It’s only when Luna points out how privileged and spoilt Usagi is that our heroine is convinced to go offer curry help to Chibi-Usa.

ONLY JOKING, Usagi decides to go get some rice crackers instead.

"Can we just leave her in the woods?"

“Can we just leave her in the woods?”

In the kitchen, however, Usagi comes across Chibi-Usa trying to practice curry-making by herself. She has an independent streak, but no skills – she can’t even prepare rice. Well, she is only 7.

When Chibi-Usa starts crying again, all covered in rice, Usagi finally relents.

I only learnt to make rice at the age of 21, so Im not throwing stones

I only learnt to make rice at the age of 21, so I’m not throwing stones

As bratty and tearful as Chibi-Usa is, I like all this stuff. Usagi and Chibi-Usa’s relationship is so fractured, so dysfunctional, that it’s a wonder they find common ground whatsoever, which makes the moments of their connection that much more satisfying. I guess.

Usagi gets Chibi-Usa on her side being rather clever for once. She suggests they ask Mamoru, knowing Chibi-Usa’s infatuation with him (GROSS), and it’s this that convinces Chibi-Usa to let Usagi attend Curry Madness or whatever it’s called.

Yes, it may seem the height of arrogance to have to “let” Usagi help her, but hey, this is a stupid kid. Usagi’s showing a patient, motherly side to herself. For once.

Of course for Usagi it’s really just all an excuse to see Mamoru, but we’ll over look that.

Hey, if shes going to spend a couple of days with Chibi-Usa, she needs a couple of perks

Hey, if she’s going to spend a couple of days with Chibi-Usa, she needs a couple of perks

When Mamoru opens the door and sees Usagi, he goes into Ultra-Dick Mode. Jesus, mate, chill for a second yeah? He’s about to slam the door in her face until he sees the 7-year old, and then lets them in.

What a dick. Seriously.

"I was going to slam the door in your face, but then I saw that 7 year old who I made out with that one time"

“I was going to slam the door in your face, but then I saw that 7 year old who I made out with that one time.”

Mamoru, as it happens, is working on the following day, but some more emotional manipulation gets him to promise to get out of it. Chibi-Usa is like a sociopath.

Sadly, he has no idea how to cook curry & rice. Come on, Mamoru, pull it together. Chibi-Usa is about to suggest that Usagi show them how, but the absurdity of that statement sinks in. Let’s think back to the last time Usagi made curry, shall we?

How about opening a cook book instead of just laying into Usagi at every turn, HRMMM?

How about opening a cook book instead of just laying into Usagi at every turn, HRMMM?

Usagi takes this as a challenge, and confidently announces to demonstrate to Mamoru and Chibi-Usa how to make curry… as long as they give her a few hours to… get some things done…

Such as learning how to make curry. I do love this girl.

Meanwhile, in the Black Moon UFO…

"I hope I dont go into diabetic shock again. Oh well *munch*"

“I hope I don’t go into diabetic shock again. Oh well *munch*”

JESUS Petz, PUT THE CAKE DOWN. You’re not going to find self-actualisation at the bottom of that dish. Maybe just cut a slice off and see how full you feel after that?

Calaveras is being slightly less weird, but not by much. She’s wearing slices of lemon on her face because she’s heard Earthlings do it to maintain youthful skin. Do we do that? I’m asking you.

"I tried strips of ham, but dogs kept attacking my face."

“I tried strips of ham, but dogs kept attacking my face.”

The fact the Phantom Sisters are so shallow and concerned with their looks does occasionally concern me, but then Petz will say something perfectly reasonable, such as “Men who judge women only by their appearances are scumbags.”

Once again, just as the sisters are at each other’s throats, Rubeus breaks it up with his Man-Power (because men are the only things that can stop women fighting each other, apparently).

I like how Calaveras quickly stuffs the lemon slices into her mouth. I am a little confused as to how she can do so without her face collapsing in on itself with the sourness.

Still cant get over Petzs nipple-adornments

Still cant get over Petz’s nipple-adornments

Rubeus orders the sisters to go after a new Crystal Point – a supermarket. Oh, how I wonder how this will fit into this episode about food?

Usagi’s curry-making lessons go as about as well as one might expect.

Betweem Ami’s studious listing of the 50 or so spices they would need to blend for a truly authentic curry, Rei suggests instant curry – she is, in fact, an instant food aficionado. I love that the brand she’s proffering is called “Here! Curry!

You know, box curry is pretty damn good... I dont think any other family is going to try that hard.

You know, box curry is pretty damn good… I don’t think any other family is going to try that hard.

Makoto, who actually knows what she’s talking about, begins actually giving Usagi the lesson. She demonstrates how to cut up vegetables… and then Minako decides that she’d like to give it ago.

Theres no way this could go wrong, right?

There’s no way this could go wrong, right?

What follows is one of my favourite 15 second jokes in Sailor Moon thus far.

Minako suddenly freezes, having cut her finger. Off.

Minako cuts her finger off

Usagi starts freaking out, pointing at the disembodied finger on the cutting board, which sets everyone else screaming too. You now have 5 girls running around a kitchen screaming…

Total anarchy. Theyre actually more calm then I would be, for sure.

Total anarchy. They’re actually more calm then I would be, for sure.

Until Makoto realises that Usagi was screaming at a carrot on the chopping board, and that Minako only nicked herself. Great stuff.

"Lets sew it back on anyway"

“Let’s sew it back on anyway”

In the evening, Usagi, Mamoru and Chibi-Usa are on their way to buy groceries for curry-alchemy. It’s a rather nice sunset.

Chibi-Usa gets lost in a memory of her walking with her parents in Crystal Tokyo of the future.

I love all the art related to Crystal Tokyo, but this is one of my favourite shots

I love all the art related to Crystal Tokyo, but this is one of my favourite shots

Gosh, doesn’t her dad look familiar…?

Hrmmm he looks rather dashing in that tuxedo...

Hrmmm he looks rather dashing in that tuxedo…

And her mum- WAIT ONE SECOND.

Who are they trying to fool with that hair?

Who are they trying to fool with that hair?

Yeah, this is pretty much the first big reveal over Chibi-Usa’s identity here, especially considering that, being lost in this memory, she grabs Mamoru and Usagi’s hands and happily saunters along.

Another great shot

Another great shot

What a lovely familial moment. From here on out I’m just going to assume that you realise that Usagi and Mamoru are Chibi-Usa’s parents. Also, yes, this makes Mamoru and Chibi-Usa’s relationship deeply, deeply Freudian, which I dare say was the intention of the writers.

THANKS GUYS.

Even Usagi feels rather emotionally confused by how nostalgic it feels to be walking along holding Chibi-Usa’s hand. This really is a lovely character moment for all three of these assholes.

Luna, following this family, thinks how nice they look… but it’s quickly ruined as Chibi-Usa accuses Usagi of grabbing her hand without her permission. A nice return to familiarity, then.

Inside a supermarket, Petz, Calaveras and some anonymous lady who will turn out to be a rather absurd Droid, are running a stall selling “Dark Fruits”.

These things look disgusting.

Not helping is Petz’s sales technique, which I will post in full because damn if it’s not amazing:

You, there! Might you be feeling anxious about your life? For an unhappy person like you, black is perfect! Let’s have some Dark Fruits and we can both be unhappy!”

"THEN LETS DRINK BLEACH TOGETHER"

“THEN LET’S DRINK BLEACH TOGETHER”

If someone pitched a fruit at me like that, there’s no way I would not be buying it. As it is, all that happens is people ignore her, except for a pointing child. I love this scene.

I love Petz

I love Petz

Calaveras’ sales technique is much better, and much more shrill. She manages to get people buying in their droves, and Petz begrudgingly admits that she’s good.

The free samples being offered out to the unknowing public instantly turn them into consumer zombies (hey, I’ve seen Fight Club and Dawn of the Dead, I know how this works).

"Spread Dark Power! Drink Coca-Cola!"

“Spread Dark Power! Drink Coca-Cola!”

The creepy people are sent forth, filled with Dark Power, spreading Dark Power by, like, rotting everything. It’s gross.

Ew. Ew ew ew. Why is this going to help them take over Crystal Tokyo? There must be a cleaner way?

Ew. Ew ew ew. Why is this going to help them take over Crystal Tokyo? There must be a cleaner way?

Unfortunately, this is precisely the store that Usagi has brought Mamoru and Chibi-Usa, promising the freshest ingredients. Bad timing, eh?

With everything smelling like hot shit, Chibi-Usa and Mamoru turn to leave, but Usagi is stopped by Luna, who has realised that everything being rotten is probably a sign that something evil is happening. Usagi is so lucky to have someone around to point the obvious out to her.

"lets go before she has to transform and shit."

“Let’s go before she has to transform and shit.”

Mamoru and Chibi-Usa are buying meat from a street vendor when Rei bumps into them. Seriously, what are the odds? Oh well, if you can’t go with constant unlikely coincidences you won’t get through Sailor Moon.

Rei gets a little defensive about Usagi when Chibi-Usa slags her off behind her back. I liked this, it showed that a) Chibi-Usa is sort of a bitch and b) Rei really is a good friend.. sometimes.

Chibi-Usa eventually ropes Rei into helping them make curry instead, after hearing Rei boast of being able to make a wide variety of curry, Indian, Sri Lankan, Japanese (not realising that they’re all instant.)

Id trust her cooking over Usagis

I’d trust her cooking over Usagi’s

Rei doesn’t think this is such a good idea – she instinctively knows that this is wrong, that she’s encroaching on Usagi’s territory somehow. It’s quite funny to see her so worried, but she relents anyway.

Its not like youre stealing her family or anything... or are you?

Its not like you’re stealing her family or anything… or are you?

A little bit later, Rei, Mamoru and Chibi-Usa are sitting on a street bench. It’s all very awkward. I really like this, actually. Everyone’s feeling terrible for having left Usagi behind, even Chibi-Usa, who felt so right with Usagi, and says that she should get her back after all.

This is even more awkward than Chibi-Usa trying to come onto her own future-father

This is even more awkward than Chibi-Usa trying to come onto her own future-father

Rei is more than happy with this, but as they approach the supermarket, she feels a massive evil aura and warns Mamoru and Chibi-Usa not to follow. Weird how the normally omniscient Mamoru didn’t notice this evil plot for once, eh?

In the store, Petz and Calaveras orders their Droid to contaminate everything. The Droids name, a little inexplicably, is Avogardora. This one just loves fruits. And under-boob.

Droid Avogadora

I don’t really like this Droid. Food as weaponry is just a shade too stupid for me

Usagi finally transforms, having noticed that she’s under attack, but Luna goes in for the first attack. Seriously, she looks so pissed off today. It’s great.

If a cat looks at you like this, dont bother running - itll catch you

If a cat looks at you like this, don’t bother running – it’ll catch you

Avagadora whips out a “Bana-Knife” (Oh dear lord), which gives Sailor Moon enough time to prepare a dramatic entrance, as is her wont. She spouts absolute nonsense about farm produce, obviously.

And then Sailor Mars gets in on the action too, much more impressively by riding a goddamn shopping cart like she’s on Jackass. This episode is very entertaining.

"HI IM JOHNNY KNOXVILLE AND WELCOME TO JACKASS"

“HI I’M JOHNNY KNOXVILLE AND WELCOME TO JACKASS”

Avogadora’s main attack is to yell her name, really loudly, and spin, shooting explosive avocados in every direction. This is, in fact, fairly similar to an attack Sailor Jupiter gets in season 4… bit weird, that.

By the way, I really hate the design of this Droid. It’s… sort of racist. There really shouldn’t be any need for me to explain why.

Just as the Senshi are about to be killed by a “peeled lychee bomb“, probably the most embarrassing way to be killed next to “choked on condom“, Tuxedo Kamen finally turns up.

I did not know that lychees were hollow inside

I did not know that lychees were hollow inside

Hey wait, did he just leave a 7 year old girl by herself on the street at night? I guess he did.

Tuxedo Kamen’s usual pretentious speech… is exactly the same as Sailor Moon’s! This makes her very happy, of course. For me, it’s a sign that they’re both just as insane as each other. A fitting pair.

"Yay hes as crazy as I am. That means Im his only chance at happiness!"

“Yay he’s as crazy as I am. That means I’m his only chance at happiness!”

Now with Avogardora matched in a sword fight with Tuxedo Kamen, Mars is free to use her recently-earned attack Burning Mandala on Petz and Calaveras…

But it’s knocked harmlessly aside.

Just as we think Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars might be in for a serious fight, the Phantom Sisters begin arguing about who gets to kill first, which gives time for the remaining Senshi to turn up and surround them.

"Oh hey, maybe mid-battle wasnt the best time to squabble." "Fuck off."

“Oh hey, maybe mid-battle wasn’t the best time to squabble.”
“You’re such a bitch.”

Idiots.

Oh yeah, about this time Sailor Moon finishes off the racist caricature of Avogardora with a Moon Princess Halation. Just so that we’re keeping track.

Petz and Calaveras run off because, hey, why not? All the food in the store miraculously reform back into normal food, but seriously, who the fuck would still eat that after it was green goop just 4 seconds before?

Then again I eat food off the floor, so...

Then again I eat food off the floor, so…

These idiots apparently.

The final scene is of Usagi preparing curry for her weird dysfunctional future-family. It looks to be a complete mess…

Actually it look pretty good...

Actually it look pretty good…

Mamoru and Chibi-Usa politely allow Usagi to take the first bite, and to everyone’s surprise, it’s actually OK! I like this, a definite symbol of Usagi’s developing character from the last series, don’t you think?

The final shot is of this messed-up family all happily munching away in a remarkably non-dramatic sort of way. I really liked this! So unassuming.

Aww. Hes still a dick and shes still dumped, but other than that a perfect family.

Aww. He’s still a dick and she’s still dumped, but other than that a perfect family.

All in all, a great episode. Yes, Chibi-Usa is a little bratty, but I think it’s within acceptable levels. I like the writing, the art is pretty darn good, there’s some good action and Luna got a couple of great moments too. Very solid.

I also like how we never even get to the so-often mentioned “Curry Party”. We had all the closure we needed with Usagi’s curry.

 

Episode Score: 4/5

Monster Score: 2/5 (As a rule, I don’t like monsters who use food as weapons, or ones who might be a racist caricature)

How Bad Do I Want Curry Right Now: So Bad

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5 Comments »

  1. I live in California, where Avocados are kind of worshipped as a deity by 80% of people. Preeeeetty sure this isn’t what they have in mind though.

    The whole Crystal Point mini-arc was even more perplexing than the Rainbow Crystals from the first season.. Having not read the manga (but having watched Crystal, for what that’s worth), I usually can only guess as to what was added for the anime and what’s not, but I feel like it’s a safe bet the Spectre Sisters are nowhere to be found in the book. (Maybe?)

    One good thing about this is, it does show that both Usagi and Mamoru love Chibi-Usa in their own (bizarre, weirdly TREMENDOUSLY fucked-up) ways. This being a shoujo anime, I’m like 95% sure that’s going to factor in hugely somewhere near the end.

    It occurs to me that it would be SUPER dark if Chibi-Usa died of a broken heart or something and Usagi and Mamoru had to get back together to bring her back. After the end of Season 1, I wouldn’t put anything past the showrunners.

    • Actually the sisters were in the manga… but they were pretty much monsters of the week. Sailor Moon killed every last one of them in the issue they appeared.

      Glad you’re reading the narrative. A well-written story will foreshadow and set-up, without spoiling, and I think Sailor Moon R does this.

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