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2:21 – Protect Chibi-Usa! Clash of the Ten Warriors

Alternate Title: STREET FIGHT

First Aired: 11th September 1993

Sailor Senshi and Phantom Sisters face off

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.

They understand the form but not the essence. It's a vague semblance of a catholic wedding but doesn't come close. Very amusing!

They understand the form but not the essence. It’s a vague semblance of a catholic wedding but doesn’t come close. Very amusing!

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.

"I'm so glad my friends aren't here, I fucking hate those guys"

“I’m so glad my friends aren’t here, I fucking hate those guys”

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.

This is actually really lovely, so OF COURSE it's a dream

This is actually really lovely, so OF COURSE it’s a dream

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.

"I can't believe the Princess of the Moon just pissed her bed."

“I can’t believe the Princess of the Moon just pissed her bed.”

Usagi’s face of horror is perfect. “HOW EMBARRASSING” Luna says helpfully.

Best. Face. Ever

Best. Face. Ever

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.

"Oh this? No no, I just... keep a juice box between my legs when I sleep. Yeah.

“Oh this? No no, I just… keep a juice box between my legs when I sleep. Yeah.

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.

"I foresee you getting me a goddamn Gin & tonic. Like, 2 minutes ago, bitch."

“I foresee you getting me a goddamn Gin & tonic. Like, 2 minutes ago, bitch.”

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.

Such a great design, such a great look. Like evil little Christmas Tree ornaments

Such a great design, such a great look. Like evil little Christmas Tree ornaments

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.

"You came 32 million miles to be stopped by some lasers. Great invasion."

“You came 32 million miles to be stopped by some lasers. Great invasion, dicks.”

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.

"I haven't been to the toilet in 3 week." "Mercury, The smell tells me that that's not entirely true."

“I haven’t been to the toilet in 3 week.”
“Mercury, The smell tells me that that’s not entirely true.”

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.

She's getting shit from a little boy with a sailor anchor on his polo shirt

She’s getting shit from a little boy with a sailor anchor on his polo shirt

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.

Great moment. They just sort of stare at each other for about 6 seconds

Great moment. They just sort of stare at each other for about 6 seconds

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.

They really put in the extra effort in order to perfectly capture the emotion of "embarrassed after pissing in someone else's best"

They really put in the extra effort in order to perfectly capture the emotion of “embarrassed after pissing in someone else’s best”

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.

I love the way she sits here. Who's the story-boarder? They didn't need to do this. But they did. And it looks great

I love the way she sits here. Who’s the story-boarder? They didn’t need to do this. But they did. And it looks great. Also, THE LEGS

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.

This image doesn't do the "Ouuu ouuuu!" sound of fright Usagi makes justice

This image doesn’t do the “Ouuu ouuuu!” sound of fright Usagi makes justice

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…

To be fair, this time Chibi-Usa didn't wet Usagi's bed, she wet her own, which is completely fine

To be fair, this time Chibi-Usa didn’t wet Usagi’s bed, she wet her own, which is completely fine

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?

Not sure why Rubeus can't spot a giant pillar of pink light

Not sure why Rubeus can’t spot a giant pillar of pink light

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…

"If I were smart, I would just kill you from a distance right now. But I'm not, so I won't"

“If I were smart, I would just kill you from a distance right now. But I’m not, so I won’t”

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…

This is the greatest escape since Russell Crowe turned down the part of Wolverine in X-Men

This is the greatest escape since Russell Crowe turned down the part of Wolverine in X-Men. No seriously, he did. And he suggested his buddy Hugh Jackman instead

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…

YEAH FUCK HER UP, LUNA. Seriously, if I saw this sight I'd be running so hard

YEAH FUCK HER UP, LUNA. Seriously, if I saw this sight I’d be running so hard

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?

P for Power Move. P for Piss Poor Performance. P for Prat-Fall

P for Power Move. P for Piss Poor Performance. P for Prat-Fall

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.

Maybe they should just stop expecting Usagi to turn up anywhere? They never learn from this

Maybe they should just stop expecting Usagi to turn up anywhere? They never learn from this

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.

She settled. He's the only other talking cat in existence, for one thing.

She settled. He’s the only other talking cat in existence, for one thing.

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.

Every scene just looks fantastic today

Every scene just looks fantastic today

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.

"...did she just call me a bitch?"

“…did she just call me a bitch?”

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.

"When I was 7 I was already stabbing rats to death with a sharpened toothbrush for food, You have it easy, kid."

“When I was 7 I was already stabbing rats to death with a sharpened toothbrush for food. You have it easy, kid.”

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.

"Also I'm too short to ride roller-coasters, and that's really depressing me too"

“Also I’m too short to ride roller-coasters, and that’s really depressing me too”

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.

AMAZING shot. I love everything to do with Crystal Tokyo, and this one is just fantastic

AMAZING shot. I love everything to do with Crystal Tokyo, and this one is just fantastic

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.

"We were right in the middle of a Masterchef Australia marathon, and we're pissed."

“We were right in the middle of a Masterchef Australia marathon, and we’re pissed.”

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.

I'm expecting this to escalate into that scene from Anchorman

I’m expecting this to escalate into that scene from Anchorman

Yep, this is pretty much Anchorman. What the fuck is Sailor Venus doing?

Yep, this is pretty much Anchorman. What the fuck is Sailor Venus doing?

YES YES YES YES. The Senshi come walking in like complete badasses, and you know shit’s about to go down.

SO GOOD. The music's pumping, the art's pumping, what a great episode

SO GOOD. The music’s pumping, the art’s pumping, what a great episode

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.

8 side boobs face off

8 side boobs face off

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.

I'm not sure "fighting fire with fire" is actually a recommendation

I’m not sure “fighting fire with fire” is actually a recommendation

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 Mercury's reaction to this is like "that's mildly annoying"

Sailor Mercury’s reaction to this is like “that’s mildly annoying”

Sailor Venus and Calaveras’ whip fight is sort of sexy, actually…

All the other Phantom Sisters have energy attacks. I'm not sure why Venus can't beat her with a magic whip

All the other Phantom Sisters have energy attacks. I’m not sure why Venus can’t beat her with a magic whip

Sailor Jupiter and Petz’s fight is recycled from a couple of episodes back, but hey, screw it, it still looks great.

I love Jupiter, but I sort of want Petz to win... she's hilarious.

I love Jupiter, but I sort of want Petz to win… she’s hilarious.

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.

"OW SHIT I instantly regret shielding you."

“OW SHIT I instantly regret shielding you.”

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!

"Also my PIN is 7482"

“Also my PIN is 7482”

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.

Too bad her courage came at the worst possible time for her physical well-being. bad coordination

Too bad her courage came at the worst possible time for her physical well-being. bad coordination

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.

I'm actually glad to see the rose today

I’m actually glad to see the rose today

OK Tux is actually awesome here. Rubeus throws a ton of those pink bombs at him, but he defends himself by throwing…

"I spent 40,000 yen on roses just for this one frickin' fight"

“I spent 40,000 yen on roses just for this one frickin’ fight”

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.

"I'm going to be killed by flowers by a man who think's it's 1864. Great."

“I’m going to be killed by flowers by a man who think’s it’s 1864. Great.”

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.

"Don't worry, I'll start being a dick again tomorrow."

“Don’t worry, I’ll start being a dick again tomorrow.”

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.

"Errrrrr I think I left the central heating on, gotta go bye"

“Errrrrr I think I left the central heating on, gotta go bye”

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?

Another gorgeous shot. I've missed this hazy, water-coloured imagery

Another gorgeous shot. I’ve missed this hazy, water-coloured imagery

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.

Aww. She's not so bad, guys. Even if she is usually covered in urine.

Aww. She’s not so bad, guys. Even if she is usually covered in urine.

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.

Jesus, guys, build a fucking cinema or something, that place looks dire

Jesus, guys, build a fucking cinema or something, that place looks dire

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.

"Wait, what did I get this out for? Aw jeeze, let me see, I walked into the kitchen and then... nope, can't remember. Darn."

“Wait, what did I get this out for? Aw jeeze, let me see, I walked into the kitchen and then… nope, can’t remember. Darn.”

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.

Wow, she's... really elegant and shit. Are we sure this is Usagi?

Wow, she’s… really elegant and shit. Are we sure this is Usagi?

And my, she’s looking awful refined, isn’t she? What an amazing end.

She hasn't changed her hair in 1000 years

She hasn’t changed her hair in 1000 years

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

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12 Comments »

  1. Now that I’m all the way caught up with the blog, at least in terms of the anime (the game is a WHOLE different story), I find I keep coming back to this one.

    Despite LOVING “The Four Sisters of Sorrow!” , and even more so “Defeat Rubeus!”, this one is…well, it’s kind of an exemplar of the show. The battles, the animation, the music — I finally got off my lazy ass and looked up the English translation of “Ai no Senshi”‘s lyrics, and damned if they don’t sound VERBATIM like the sentiments Usagi had waaaaaaay back when she first got her memories back.

    In fact, they sound like something Venus would say if she dropped the cheery psychotic-manic act. There’s a lot of pain in that girl.

    Kind of makes me wish the Witches 5 hadn’t done themselves-slash-each-other (I may possibly hate Mimete as much as you do) in in Sailor Moon S. I want there to be one of these battle royale episodes EVERY DAMN SEASON from here on out.

    • I agree, after everything I’ve seen this is one of the best episodes of Sailor Moon and blows away every other anime in 1993. It has energy, drama, heart and music, as well as fantastic artwork. There are stakes involved, and Sailor Moon is very, very cool – the best part being that this isn’t in a traditional massive-attack kind of way, but that maternal, defensive aspect that enormously develops her character.

      Ai No Senshi is on my daily playlist too.

  2. I know this is probably old news, but if you watched these on the ADV Region 1 Box Set then you weren’t wrong about hearing “Serena” instead of Usagi, it is indeed an audio glitch which ADV acknowledged and replaced the disc if you sent it in ^_^ …obviously not so much now, seeing as ADV are obsolete.

    Here’s a link to the issue http://sailormoonforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=13676

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