2:21 – Protect Chibi-Usa! Clash of the Ten Warriors
Alternate Title: STREET FIGHT
First Aired: 11th September 1993
After Chibi-Usa wets Usagi’s bed, she’s embarrassed and lonely, and runs off. This is the morning, however, that Wiseman has predicted that The Rabbit will appear, and sure enough The Phantom Sisters chase after her, sensing blood. With every Senshi out in force, a massive fight breaks out, and with Rubeus himself joining the fight, Sailor Moon do all she can to save Chibi-Usa.
This is probably one of the best episodes of Sailor Moon yet, and even to come. I adore this one. It just stands out so well, probably because the battle sequence is the most dramatic since the end of season 1.
Amazing art, music, writing, drama, character development… this is a complete homerun, and it comes in a winning streak of episodes.
The best thing about it is that Sailor Moon comes off so heroic for once.
Oh, one last thing before I begin, this marks the half-way point in Sailor Moon R. Boy I’m just whizzing by these episodes aren’t I?
We start the episode off looking at a frankly terrifying stained-glass window, featuring a rabbit.
We zoom out to reveal that we’re at Usagi and Mamoru’s wedding, which is more than a little odd, especially when you consider that we’re in a Christian church ceremony. Usagi’s life has always been markedly more Western than the typical Japanese person, this is just an extension of that I suppose.
There doesn’t appear to be anyone we recognise in the congregation, though. I guess Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako (and Naru and Umino and even Usagi’s family) didn’t get an invite.
The dream (for it is obviously a dream) ends with Usagi laughing embarrassedly… and it’s a freaky weird laugh. It doesn’t sound like Kotono Mitsuishi at all, it sounds like her American dubber. That is the first and only time that I’m going to acknowledge that the English dub exists.
Usagi wakes up suddenly, and sadly, and turns over to fall back asleep, but suddenly she jumps out of bed, absolutely horrified by something on her bed…
Luna wakes up, and peers over and… they’re both struck dumb by the wet patch in her bed. Just to really really rub it in, Luna just cannot believe what she’s seeing. This is amazing.
Usagi’s face of horror is perfect. “HOW EMBARRASSING” Luna says helpfully.
Then suddenly, Usagi notices something else in her bed. It’s Chibi-Usa, who is apparently the source of all the urine. As one who only stopped wetting the bed fairly late in life (I had a weak bladder as a kid, ladies), I totally sympathise with poor Chibi-Usa.
Usagi is not so forgiving.
Let’s leave for a second and visit the Black Moon’s UFO. Wiseman, who you may recall from episode 14, makes another appearance. He’s as creepy as ever, and foresees a coming event – their hated enemy, The Rabbit, will release a large amount of energy one morning soon.
I love all this. He’s so mysterious and threatening, but at the same time subservient and devoid of emotion, that he remains quite the enigma. Wiseman, you cad.
Rubeus takes this in and promises to send out the Phantom Sisters to deal with her, but the scene is more interesting for the next part – Rubeus inquires how “things are going over there.” I’m rather interested myself.
We finally get a shot of Crystal Tokyo of the future outside of Chibi-Usa’s happy memories or Mamoru’s garbled visions. It’s not looking so swell. The sight of thousands, tens of thousands of spiky otherworldly UFOs descending upon Earth is a fantastic image.
We learn that Crystal Tokyo should have fallen completely by now, except for am energy barrier protecting the palace at the centre. The lights that appear at the barrier are rather familiar… in fact they match up perfectly with Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus’ colours. Odd that.
So this is what the Black Moon have been trying to do in modern-day Tokyo – corrupt these Crystal Points that form the barrier with Dark Power and bring it down.
Just to confirm that, yes the Senshi are in the future, we see the Sailor Senshi of a different time all combining their powers in a constant stream of energy. It’s brilliantly shot, enough to give us a clear shot of who it is without revealing any details of their face. Keeps the viewer at an arm’s length, and makes them that much more inquisitive.
Well wasn’t that dramatic. Let’s get back to something a little more down to Earth, such as airing out urine-soaked bedsheets.
Lovely. Usagi’s job isn’t made any easier by Shingo loudly and obnoxiously suggesting that it was her who wet the bed. He’s worse than Luna. What a dick.
Usagi, at the height of her frustration, turns around to see Chibi-Usa walk out the front door. There’s a big old pause where they just stare at each other… and then the little girl runs off. I’m feeling completely empathetic today.
There’s definitely a different art studio doing the heavy lifting today. The characters have a rather shiny look to them. It’s fantastic, but definitely a little more effort has gone into it than the usual episodes.
Luna tells Usagi off, explaining that Chibi-Usa is a lonely girl who only crawled into Usagi’s bed for comfort. Usagi’s more annoyed by the fact that Luna is showing so much more consideration to Chibi-Usa than to her when she thought it had been Usagi who wet herself.
Again, I love this back and forth. Usagi agrees to go find Chibi-Usa and apologise.. but then just sits there for a bit, until Luna comes back to yell at her some more.
Gosh I love this episode.
Chibi-Usa is sitting on some steps feeling pretty bad about herself, and who wouldn’t really?
She recalls a time when she was very small when she wet the bed, and her mother comforted her. I love the simple pencil drawings they use for a kid’s rose-tinted memory. It’s clear once again who her mother is. It’s quite a different Usagi we see than the angry yelling one from one scene before…
Chibi-Usa is having one of those low moments again, and stares for a while at the Space-Time Key before deciding to try it one more time. I could have told her that this was a bad idea, remember when she destroyed gravity?
This time, nothing much seems to happen at first, but then a portal of clouds opens above her! Is she going to be able to go back home?
NOPE. The portal fades, and she falls crying, devastated that she still can’t get home… and oh shit, it’s that weird energy again. This is what Wiseman predicted. Luna notices it, but so does…
Well hello Berthier. There’s a nasty level of threat coming from her today. With Koan blocking to top the the stairs, Chibi-Usa feels in real danger today! It seems an impossible escape for the poor girl, until…
Luna-P seems to roll in the way of Berthier, who trips over ridiculously (she falls brilliantly), and then gets the added indignity of having Chibi-Usa run over her back.
Koan then jumps in the way, and Luna-P launches itself at her new attacker! Seriously, this ball thing is amazing. Koan smartly knocks it aside, but…
LUNA WITH THE FOLLOW-UP ATTACK. What a cat. Seriously, I’m digging this episode so much right now. Just to make sure I’m having the maximum enjoyment out of this episode, Berthier comes over to gloat at Koan, but then gets hit upside the head once again by Luna-P. P FOR PERFECT, RIGHT?
Now we’re getting to the even better stuff.
The Senshi, minus Usagi, are all waiting for her. I guess she didn’t call to tell them that she’s looking for Chibi-Usa. She’s definitely the unreliable-friend type.
Luna comes crawling around the corner all battered up. I don’t like seeing her like this, but they’ve done it rather often, such as in Episode 44 of season 1.
So now they’re aware that Chibi-Usa is in trouble and the girls leave Artemis to look after Luna. It’s a bit creepy, but he begins licking her wounds. I guess this should be sweet… but Artemis is kind of a douche (he’s rather like Mamoru, really), so gross. Rhett Butler was much better, Luna.
Chibi-Usa, meanwhile, is crawling into a construction site to hide. I would say it’s safer in large crowds, but the entirety of Tokyo appears empty today for some bloody reason. Usagi spots her going in, and follows.
I love this location. The muted colours, the emptiness, the quiet, it’s a great place for what’s to come. Usagi creeps behind to where Chibi-Usa is sitting to eavesdrop. Normally I’d chastise someone for listening in, but screw it, Chibi-Usa has too many secrets.
Chibi-Usa, crying, calls her contact on Luna-P again, the one she calls “Puu”, which I refuse to make any jokes about. The music is great by the way, this big dramatic piano-strings piece that really adds drama to scenes in the series to come.
Puu essentially tells Chibi-Usa to suck it up (although slightly nicer). She tells her to trust in her powerful allies, the Sailor Senshi.
This is when we get the reveal of Chibi-Usa’s motivation in a big dramatic moment – her mother, who we know is really Usagi in the future, has had something terrible happen to her, although it’s not clear just what yet.
Seriously, so much emotion right now. Eyes are wiggling with tears like crazy. Puu brings it back once again to the Sailor Senshi, and we get a fantastic shot of Crystal Tokyo with the Senshi of the future, and young Chibi-Usa. What a mysterious fantastical shot. Absolutely stunning stuff. I’d like to think that they look older from the back, but of course it’s impossible to tell.
Usagi, listening in behind the partition, is like “wtf” but seems to have only taken in that they’ve harmed Chibi-Usa’s mother, which is good enough reason for Usagi to defend her.
And defend her she must, since Koan has finally found her! Usagi transforms discreetly behind some girders (there doesn’t look like enough room for all the naked twirling she does.)
Sailor Moon’s entrance feels a bit punchier today, perhaps because of her emotional connection to Chibi-Usa, but she’s not just up against Koan – all four Phantom Sisters are out today.
Sailor Moon is definitely in trouble, especially because she seems determined to protect Chibi-Usa, but then she’s joined by her own fucking street gang.
YES YES YES YES. The Senshi come walking in like complete badasses, and you know shit’s about to go down.
And it totally does. This is one of the best 10 minutes of any episode in Sailor Moon. it’s like someone lit a fire beneath the animators ass, everything is spot on, even the camera positions. The pacing might be a little off with the action, but hey, this is 1993.
Best of all is the music – Ai No Senshi is a pumping action tune that fits perfectly with the Senshi all battling their counterpart Phantom Sister. I really urge you to take a listen and a watch.
Did you watch? Good!
I love this. Sailor Mars and Koan’s flame interaction looks eye-popping. The blue and the red are just lovingly drawn.
Berthier’s Dark Water attack we haven’t even seen before, but it looks great. It’s a shame that Sailor Mercury doesn’t do much but look a bit annoyed. Fight back, girl!
Sailor Venus and Calaveras’ whip fight is sort of sexy, actually…
Sailor Jupiter and Petz’s fight is recycled from a couple of episodes back, but hey, screw it, it still looks great.
At the side of all this is Sailor Moon, doing what she does best, keeping out the way and defending a little girl. And defend her she does – Sailor Moon is whacked by a massive attack from the back that looks incredibly painful.
That’s right, if it weren’t enough, Rubeus is out to play today. It’s great to see him doing more than bark orders, even if his attack looks a little… pink. He’s really very threatening. Great presence.
Like an idiot, he spells out their plan to Sailor Moon – to alter the future of Tokyo by killing The Rabbit. He also reveals that the Black Moon clan hail from “The 10th Planet”. Ohh even more mysteries!
And then he launches into more attacks. His bombs look fantastic! Sailor Moon completely tanks it like a pro though. For once, you get to be super psyched by Sailor Moon’s courage, to stand up to such physical abuse while defending this little girl who gives her nothing but trouble.
And she doesn’t even know that she’s Chibi-Usa’s mum yet.
Sailor Moon has a great character moment, thinking how bloody annoying Chibi-Usa is, how horrid she is, but strengthens her resolve. Just as Rubeus is about to attack again, she stands up, shaken, with a “I will not die so easily. I will protect this girl no matter what.”
Fucking badass Sailor Moon. This is one of her best moments. It’s not even in attack, but simply defending another.
And FINALLY Tuxedo Kamen turns up. I guess a street fight isn’t a street fight without a guy in a cape and top hat.
OK Tux is actually awesome here. Rubeus throws a ton of those pink bombs at him, but he defends himself by throwing…
WOOOOAH HOLY CRAP there’s like 100 roses. Just one of those was enough to crack Queen Beryl’s chest open. Rubeus’ reaction is just so sweet.
He even has a great moment with Sailor Moon, telling her that she’s the only one who can defend Chibi-Usa and to finish Rubeus off. He even has a smile on his face. I like this Tuxedo Kamen much better.
Sailor Moon fires off a Moon Princess Halation. I really felt like she earned this today, after all she sent through. Just as it looks as though Rubeus is about to be killed, he and the Phantom Sisters retreat like cowards
LIKE COWARDS I SAY.
It’s now night, apparently. I thought Chibi-Usa went missing and got attacked in the morning? Were they fighting for 14 hours straight or something? Never noticed this before now. Oh well, who cares?
Sailor Moon tries once again to coax some information out of Chibi-Usa, who now trusts Sailor Moon more then ever.
When Sailor Moon asks about the future, or the Black Moon clan, or her mother, all she gets is tears. Chibi-Usa finally cracks, hugging Sailor Moon and begging her to help save her mother from the bad guys. It’s, once again, rather moving, even if she gives no relevant information.
This should be the turning point for most people. Chibi-Usa displays such vulnerability, such recognisable emotions from the fear of losing one’s parents, that this request (oddly self-serving from Usagi’s point of view, although she does not know it yet) should be all you need to buy into Chibi-Usa 100%.
And I do.
The episode doesn’t quite end there, however. Let’s visit this Black Moon, this 10th planet that Rubeus mentioned.
The architecture is quite different from that of Crystal Tokyo. The buildings are curved, like hives, or penises, and the green glow is rather ominous.
Inside their central palace sits Wiseman saying some super creepy stuff about dying flowers and The Rabbit’s mother. His future-telling brings up an image in front of him, and he shows the first sign of emotion, a slow dark chuckle that will come to be his signature.
And the hologram image? The Rabbit’s mother of course. Neo Queen Serenity. Just in case they needed to ram this massive revelation in the viewer’s brain. Yes, this is Usagi.
And my, she’s looking awful refined, isn’t she? What an amazing end.
And what an amazing episode! Seriously this is up there with the best of them. This is one of those episodes that justify the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on Sailor Moon and this blog thus far.
So, so good. And the good doesn’t stop! We’ve got good episodes for quite a number ahead! What a great run! Sailor Moon R is a fantastic series, even if it did start off with a couple of pointless incestuous aliens.
Episode Score: 5/5 (As if you had any question)
Ai No Senshi Score: 5/5 (LOVE THIS TUNE. I actually work out to it. Yes I’m that sad, what did you expect?)
Number of Roses Thrown by Tuxedo Kamen: Est. 13,000