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
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.
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.
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’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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
…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.
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?
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.
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 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.
A couple of well-placed compliments to Rei and Usagi and they’re eating out of her hand.
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?
“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”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
By the way she shudders in pain, and her gasps, I really feel her agony. Poor Sailor Mars, she’s never normally this outclassed.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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