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2:23 – A Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan

Alternative Title: I Love You. Here’s A Bomb

First Aired: 2nd October 1993

41

After Rubeus is warned by Wiseman that The Rabbit will appear at Hikawa Shrine again, he sends Koan, in the knowledge that “something terrible will happen to her”. Koan, utterly besotted and beguiled by Rubeus, begins her hunt, but after Sailor Mars proves to be a match for her, Rubeus reveals his cold heart to his subordinate.

Yet another great episode! They’ve really been knocking them out of the park this series. Really lovely episode, with convincing character developments and inter-personal drama that could make Eastenders envious.

Really great development of the main story too. Plus, any episode with Yuichiro is a fun episode.

The episode starts in the Black Moon’s UFO. Things haven’t been going so well for Rubeus lately, have they? Wiseman’s appearance before him doesn’t do much to bolster Rubeus’ resolve. Just as well, he’s a pretty shite manager if truth be told.

"Yeeeeah I'm gonna need those CPS files on my desk by Monday."

“Yeeeeah I’m gonna need those CPS files on my desk by Monday.”

Another character is introduced, if only by mention. “Prince Dimande” is pretty pissed off, apparently. Naoko Takeuchi really loves naming stuff after stones and precious gems, doesn’t she? Nephrite, Kunzite, Beryl etc. Rubeus, Dimande… the list goes on, and into next season too.

I love eveything about Wiseman. He’s so fucking creepy. Apparently Rubeus’ feelings are pretty hurt at the mention that Dimande is displeased. It’s rather amusing seeing him so… human.

"And then he said that he found your lack of sleeves repulsive." "My sweetums said that..."

“And then he said that he found your lack of sleeves repulsive.”
“My sweetums said that…?”

Wiseman offers to assist Rubeus. He foretells of “the crescent energy”, referring to Chibi-Usa’s emotional outbursts, appearing on a sleepy afternoon.

You won’t believe where it is.

Hikawa Shrine. This will be the 3rd time Rubeus has sent someone there. Odd that they haven’t made the connection between The Rabbit and the shrine yet. Honestly, some people.

Apparently Tokyo has been split up into jurisdictions for the Phantom Sisters. This is the first I’ve heard of anything, but it’s an excuse to send Koan there again. Rubeus is all set to go send her off, but Wiseman has one last presentiment…

He sees that something terrible will happen to Koan there. Rubeus’ reaction? “Yeah, so?” What a knob. He’s almost as bad as Mamoru.

We schooch on over to Rei, out shopping with Yuichiro, who is so whipped that he’s carrying all her goods. How does a shrine maiden afford all this crap?

"I sell crystal meth on the side."

“I sell crystal meth on the side.”

I’d feel sorry for Yuichiro if I didn’t love Rei so much, and if I didn’t secret suspect that this is what gets him off. You know, sexually.

Those packages are actually balancing on his erection

Those packages are actually balancing on his erection

Yuichiro gets chewed out for complaining (Rei is in her element today), and unable to clearly see where he’s going, he lands right into Koan, also out shopping.

THE ODDS, WHAT ARE THEY?

She's never looked more cat-like

She’s never looked more cat-like

Koan, despite the fact she’s all angry, looks great today. I think it’s because she’s a little less psychotic looking when she’s not in pink pyjamas and a spiked explosion-skirt. She beings berating poor dumb Yuichiro too.

Koan recognises him from Protect Esthe from a few episodes ago. Nice to see continuity! Not always an issue in Sailor Moon. He finds him completely and utterly pathetic for being so whipped, and tells him so too. It’s pretty funny, actually.

This is the face most women make at me, too. That tends to happen when you sleep in the gutter

This is the face most women make at me, too. That tends to happen when you sleep in the gutter

It’s also pretty ironic, as we shall see.

Koan gets back to the UFO and is surprised by Rubeus. Her feet make this really cool electric buzz sound every time they hit the floor. It’s a nice effect. She’s all flustered by Rubeus’ sudden appearance. Apparently she’s rather taken with him.

This is the first time we’ve seen anything of this. Rubeus seems to know what effect he has on her – he moves in close and starts giving her awful soppy lines. I don’t think it’s for any real purpose – he seems to be doing it just to mess with her.

"I love you, Koan. That means something to do with food, right?"

“I love you, Koan. That means something to do with food, right?”

What an awful man, eh? There’s the possibility that he was buttering her up for a task later on… we’ll get to it. For now Koan is completely ready to run off to Hikawa Shrine to attempt to kill The Rabbit. Again.

It’s sort of adorable and pathetic how she hugs her shopping bag as an emotional crutch here. Funny how she can’t see how she’s just as besotted as Yuichiro.

"I shouldn't have eaten those mushrooms."

“I shouldn’t have eaten those mushrooms.”

As Rubeus turns to leave, Koan hands him a small bottle of aftershave. Which is a little weird I guess? She offers it as a token of her love, although she doesn’t call it as such, and Rubeus seems happy at first…

"THIS ISN'T HUGO BOSS, KOAN."

“THIS ISN’T HUGO BOSS, KOAN.”

…but then crushes it in his hand, apologising for his manly grip. His smile, his easy lie, his manipulation, Rubeus could score rather high on the Bob Hare Psychopath Checklist me thinks.

Koan is as crushed as the bottle… but heads out to Hikawa Shrine regardless. While there (I’m loving the parasol), she reflects on Rubeus’ dickish actions, and completely rationalises the scary event away as an accident. Yeesh. She’s as bad as Usagi…

Yuichiro pops out, all chipper and ready to meet any desire she might have from the shrine. I live his salesman persona, especially when he offers an exorcism.

I love him. He's so stupid

I love him. He’s so stupid

Koan isn’t too pleased at seeing “the pathetic man” again, but goes to draw a fortune anyway.

It’s DAI-ICHI luck, “Your long time wish will come true!” or so it says. Poor idiot Koan laps it up, of course. This somehow relates to Rubeus in her head – he was acting cold and harsh because he loved her… or something…

Seriously, this is such an unhealthy attitude. Props to Sailor Moon for showing how destructive this set up can be. A fine lesson for girls. Maybe. What the fuck do I know?

"Apparently I've won the Sweepstakes Lottery! All I have to do is provide a 40,000 yen processing fee"

“Apparently I’ve won the Sweepstakes Lottery! All I have to do is provide a 40,000 yen processing fee”

We get a scene of Rubeus checking up on Koan through her make-up mirror compact thing (is that what they call it? A compact?), which scares the shit out of her, obviously. After telling her just to kill any and all young girls (he’s all about subtlety), Rubeus signs off after calling Koan his “love”. You utter bastard.

...When did he install Facetime in her compact? What a weirdo. Worse than the NSA. Well, no, not really

…When did he install Facetime in her compact? What a weirdo. Worse than the NSA. Well, no, not really  

Interesting how much they focus on Koan’s inner monologue. Her character change in this episode is very much explored. It therefore comes across as entirely convincing and fleshed-out.

Koan, all haughty from being called “my love”, looks over and sees Rei trying to beat Yuichiro to death with a broom for not feeding the chickens. This seems like a reasonable reaction. Koan is all snooty and superior, of course.

Where’s Usagi, you might be wondering. She’s in Rei’s room reading her manga, of course. I love Rei’s reaction of screaming “HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO STAY HERE?”

Usagi has stopped giving a shit about Rei being pissed off, which is exactly how to trump her

Usagi has stopped giving a shit about Rei being pissed off, which is exactly how to trump her

Usagi used to get hurt rather quickly at moments like these. I guess her fear of Rei has abated, she just shrugs her off.

The two are interrupted by the call of a saleswoman at the door.

It’s only frickin’ Koan! She’s changed too, she looks lovely…. even if the flower on her hat looks dead. She’s selling cosmetics as her sneaky undercover disguise today, it’s a role that seems to suit her rather well.

Muuuuch better. Floppy hates makes everyone more approachable

Muuuuch better. Floppy hates makes everyone more approachable

A couple of well-placed compliments to Rei and Usagi and they’re eating out of her hand.

Koan's reaction when they call her "ma'am" is hilarious

Koan’s reaction when they call her “ma’am” is hilarious

During their chit-chat, Koan idly asks whether the girls have boyfriends, which receives a rather complex answer. Rei blushes and gives a “Well I don’t know if I’d call him a boyfriend, but…”

Yeah, that’s because he’s closer to a live-in butler.

Usagi tries to respond that she sort of has a boyfriend too, before Rei charmingly reminds her that she got dumped. As Usagi is feeling bad, Rei tries actually being nice for once, telling her that she should trust in Mamoru.

…because he totally trusted her enough to tell her the truth about why he dumped her?

"And the way to get him to love you again is sexy laundry and an eating disorder."

“And the way to get him to love you again is sexy laundry and an eating disorder.”

“It’s important to keep on believing in him, no matter how coldly he treats you,” she says. That is the second worse piece of advice Rei has ever given on this show. Sailor Moon just revoked its “good teachings for girls” status that I only just gave it.

Koan is absorbing all of this stoically, and actually responds like an adult, pointing out that their thinking is a bit off, but ruins the whole thing by claiming that “loving and trusting each other doesn’t mean much”

This hubris definitely won't blow up in her face. No siree

This hubris definitely won’t blow up in her face. No siree

She’s perfectly reasonable in suggesting to Usagi that is he’s treating her badly, she should leave him. Sort of harsh seeing the good guys so wrong on this issue.

Makes sense. Then yet again ruins the effect by announcing her philosophy of pasting on make-up at all times so that men will love you. Oh Koan.

She seems to have forgotten her mission a bit. Embarrassed, Koan casually asks if there are any little girls around since she also carries a range of cosmetics for kids.

OK so that’s sort of a smart way to check around for The Rabbit, but seriously, no. No make-up for kids. That’s weird.

Rei politely gets rid of Koan (I love the way she shakes her head slowly while Usagi looks at her like she’s absolutely nuts. Koan figures that she’ll just have to stake out the place instead.

Rei's poker face is markedly better then Usagi, who's sporting her very best WTF look

Rei’s poker face is markedly better then Usagi, who’s sporting her very best WTF look

As Usagi (finally leaves), she passes Chibi-Usa heading up the shrine stairs. Usagi is really going in the wrong direction for what’s about to happen.

No worries, this is pretty much all we get of Chibi-Usa's obnoxious side today

No worries, this is pretty much all we get of Chibi-Usa’s obnoxious side today

As soon as Chibi-Usa sets foot in Hikawa Shrine, Koan attacks, abck in her battle regalia. I miss the floppy hat.

Koan is pretty violent today, whacking Chibi-Usa down on the floor. Considering the number of times this kid loses conciousness from impact, she should have severe cognitive damage by now.

OK, forget what I said earlier, THIS is the most catty Koan's ever looked

OK, forget what I said earlier, THIS is the most catty Koan’s ever looked

As she’s lording it over Chibi-Usa’s prostrate form, she gets whacked in the head… by Yuichiro’s broom.

The insult of being hit by a dirty broom in her beautiful head pisses Koan off to no end, and Yuichiro gets rather scared. As he should be, Koan shoots flippin’ Dark Fire at our poor beloved idiot!

I love this face. To be fair, that broom was disgusting-looking

I love this face. To be fair, that broom was disgusting-looking

Rei runs towards the scuffle and tries to defend Yuichiro, but untransformed as she is all they can do is avoid being set ablaze by Dark Fire.

Great shot, but look at that skinny leg. Not sure that's the best "dodging" pose

Great shot, but look at that skinny leg. Not sure that’s the best “dodging” pose

Rei is about to be blasted when Yuichiro does that thing that all good guys seem to do on this show at some point or another (or if you’re Yuichiro, every episode he’s on) and stands in the way of the attack.

He seems in a rather bad way, not comically injured like he normally is.

No exploration of what the fuck Yuichiro thinks is going on. It's just pedestrian for him now

No exploration of what the fuck Yuichiro thinks is going on. It’s just pedestrian for him now

Koan does that whole “I’m a bad guy so I couldn’t possibly understand why you’d want to sacrifice yourself for someone else” thing. A little common perhaps, but it works well enough.

Yuichiro goes all gravelly-voiced, gives a “I can only show my love in my own way” (gotta love the melodrama) and passes out. For Koan, this seems to have been a rather unpleasant thought, because she gets even more irate.

Rei is also irate, and says “fuck it” and transforms right in front of Koan. ‘Atta girl, Sailor Mars!

Koan is, of course, taken aback. Sailor Mars and Koan have a pretty cool fight, featuring lots of fire and physical attacks. It’s VERY entertaining. Great action.

GORGEOUS

GORGEOUS. She’s screwed

Sailor Mars is pretty beat up as Koan begins to rain fire down on her. Seeing that Yuichiro is about to be engulfed by this attack, Sailor Mars risks her own life to carry him to safety, and as a result gets her bloody leg burnt.

"I should probably stop pretending to be unconscious, this joke isn't funny anymore."

“I should probably stop pretending to be unconscious, this joke isn’t funny anymore.”

By the way she shudders in pain, and her gasps, I really feel her agony. Poor Sailor Mars, she’s never normally this outclassed.

You know, it doesn't look that bad. Just walk it off, Sailor Mas

You know, it doesn’t look that bad. Just walk it off, Sailor Mas

Koan is, again, ridiculously confused as to why Mars would risk her life for a man who she doesn’t even love. Mars explains it to her like she’s an idiot, which she is; he lovers her, she owes him a debt. Also she’s not a heartless bitch.

There’s lots of emotional shouting back and forth, which ends in Sailor Mars pointing out that Koan isn’t really loved by Rubeus. I have no real idea how they got onto the subject, or why she’s bothering engaging in debate when her fucking leg is burnt, but I don’t mind it. It’s silly and melodramatic, and it’s also massively enjoyable.

"I DON'T UNDERSTAND LOVE AND I'M ANGRY FOR SOME REASON"

“I DON’T UNDERSTAND LOVE AND I’M ANGRY FOR SOME REASON”

Essentially, Koan begins realising that maybe Rubeus is a douche.

Finally remembering that her mission isn’t to piss about and yell, Koan moves back in to attack Chibi-Usa, but Tuxedo Kamen (late as ever) turns up, picks up Chibi-Usa and runs off without a backwards glance at Sailor Mars.

"Burn in hell, Sailor Mars. I'm outta here with this unconscious 7 year old."

“Burn in hell, Sailor Mars. I’m outta here with this unconscious 7 year old.”

You used to date her, you know, you heartless bastard.

As Koan is distracted by asking Tuxedo Mask to stop instead of, I dunno, throwing blue fire at him, Sailor Mars takes the chance to throw a Burning Mandala. Now the both of them are beaten up.

Rubeus turns up. I love the way he enunciates as he says “KOAN.” He’s obviously guessed that Koan would fail today. Poor Koan has to admit that she’s failed.

"You didn't get those CPS files on my desk this morning either. Margarita Friday is cancelled this week."

“You didn’t get those CPS files on my desk this morning either. Margarita Friday is cancelled this week.”

Rubeus throws Koan an office leaving party right there, complete with cheap cake and a card signed by everyone in the office, and thanks her for all her hard work. In all seriousness, his cold stare is pretty nasty.

Koan, still now, seems hopeful that Rubeus will help her, but his contempt for her is almost complete.

“I’m an unlucky man, to have such an incompetent subordinate as you.”

You’re only as good as your leadership, you ass.

Rubeus grants Koan his “first and last gift” – it’s a rather ominous dark orb of goo. Very worrying. He orders her to use it to kill Sailor Mars… and leaves.

"I lost the receipt, so you won't be able to regift it."

“I lost the receipt, so you won’t be able to regift it.”

I love the look of this thing. The light it casts over the scene is great too. The dramatic tension is ratcheted up 10-fold. Koan calmly calls it a space-time bomb, which sounds horrendous. She realises that Rubeus wants her to die too. This is pretty harsh stuff.

"Well it's not what I asked for, but hey, I've had worse presents."

“Well it’s not what I asked for, but hey, I’ve had worse presents.”

Sailor Mars tells her to get rid of it, but such is Koan’s devastation that she feels like she has nothing less, and seems numb to the idea of death. Everything in this scene looks great, from Sailor Mars’ eye-dilating horror to Koan’s silent tears running down her face.

Great moment. You can feel her shock and helplessness

Great moment. You can feel her shock and helplessness

Right on time, Sailor Venus comes in with a Venus Love-Me Chain to knock the Space-Time Bomb from Koan’s hands, and Jupiter blows it up with a Sparkling Wide Pressure. Nice to see them using their new attacks!

"Oh, so when you said Space-Time Bomb, you just meant Ordinary Bomb"

“Oh, so when you said Space-Time Bomb, you just meant Ordinary Bomb”

The rest of the Senshi arrive, full in combat mode. Thy ahven’t been here for all the heart-rending pathos you guys. They don’t know that Koan’s been through this shit.

"I'VE BEEN THROUGH SHIT. ALSO MY MAKEUP IS RUNNING."

“I’VE BEEN THROUGH SHIT. ALSO MY MAKEUP IS RUNNING.”

Not that Koan helps much. Now desolate, with nowhere else to go, she throws herself in a mad frenzy at the Senshi, who are all a little terrified. Only Sailor Mars understands what’s going through her.

I love the juxtaposition of their humorous fear next to Koan's misery

I love the juxtaposition of their humorous fear next to Koan’s misery

Sailor Jupiter, as is her wont, tries to knee Koan in her fucking face, and Sailor Mars appears from nowhere to take the blow. I have to question how quickly she could move here, or why Jupiter couldn’t stop a meteor smash right in Sailor Mars’ side, but hey, not a big deal.

Her kicks are just TOO POWERFUL to stop

Her kicks are just TOO POWERFUL to stop

Everyone is a little shocked at Mars being all crazy, but Mars turns to Koan and begs her not to give up, that she hasn’t lost everything, that she still has herself. Oh gosh darn it Sailor Moon, you’re back to giving good advice again, even if it does sound like lines from a self-help book.

"Also taking 5 minutes a day for yourself to collect your thoughts can really centre your aura."

“Also taking 5 minutes a day for yourself to collect your thoughts can really centre your aura.”

Koan is finally overcome and cracks. Sailor Mars asks Sailor Moon to heal her Dark Powers using the Ginzuishou, like she used to do with Moon Healing Escalation, but Sailor Moon no longer has that ability.

Luna reassures her that she can simply harness the Silver Crystal directly, which she does.

We get a lovely shot of a naked Koan being REFREEEESHED! like the old days! This was very much appreciated! Not for the nakedness, but that they hadn’t forgotten the first series.

I missed the good old REFREEESH!

I missed the good old REFREEESH!

The episode ends with Rei on a crutch ordering Yuichiro to scrub the floors. He’s covered head to toe in bandages. I guess he got rather more messed up then Rei, but it’s not stopping her giving orders.

They bandaged his face just to shut him up

They bandaged his face just to shut him up

She’s once again visited by a cosmetics saleswoman. Koan has returned, this time as a normal human being, to giving cosmetics another shot I guess.

I love this last shot. It’s rather nice and warm after all that crying and shouting.

AWW they're doing that "my eyes are closed because I'm happy" thing

AWW they’re doing that “my eyes are closed because I’m happy” thing

Great episode. Bit overly-dramatic in a couple of places, but in perfectly enjoyable ways. Another one of the highlights of the series, in fact!

 

Episode Score: 4/5

Koan’s Desperation Attack: Power Level 155

Number of Skin Grafts Required: 32

 

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12 Comments »

  1. I got into a MASSIVE argument with my boyfriend about the Specter Sisters getting ‘REFRESHED’, since he thinks they would do irreparable damage to the time stream or something, even turned human. He likes a lot of death and darkness in his anime though, and isn’t wild about happy endings that make no logical sense.

    For my part, I consider them smart enough (and as humans, maybe compassionate enough) to not make any terribly huge messes. And I’m a sucker for a happy ending when it makes emotional sense, which saving the Spectres did.

    We’re ineffably nerdy like that.

    • It’s certainly possible… The redemption of the sisters seems a bit too neat, frankly, but it happens for a reason: to show that the Black Moon isn’t inherently evil, they’ve been corrupted by something. It also serves as a kind of… false hope, I suppose. It plants in your head that everything will end up happy, that everyone can be saved.

      Not sure how effective it will be, but you’ll see ;)

    • I suport your point of view . Maybe they had to travel in time to the past and to be the origin of their own clan. Or something similar. Anyway, the time stream changes because Chibiusa ran away from a destroy Crystal Tokio and returns to a Wonderful city with all her friends and family ok. Besides I like this more than the original manga. There is a place for redemption. I wrote a lot of fics about the new lifes of the four Ayakashi sisters, right after the end of Sailor Moon R. Only one thing, they are all in spanish, because I am spaniard, but I have a translator. If you have some curiosity..

      http://josefanficsblog.blogspot.com.es/p/golden-warrior.html

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