2:30 – Our Feelings are the Same! Usagi and Mamoru in Love Once Again
Alternative Title: Well Jeez, FINALLY
First Aired: 11th December 1993
Mamoru is as cold as ever, and Usagi seems unable to recover from her heart ache. After falling asleep making a friendship bracelet, or “promise ring” as they call it, Usagi experiences the same traumatic vision that Mamoru has been seeing all the months. Now the truth is out in the open, Mamoru is still reluctant to see Usagi, thinking she will die, but can Usagi’s deep and ineluctable love break Mamoru’s resolve?
This episode moves forward the romantic plot line in Sailor Moon R a great deal, and for that I’m so very glad. It’s been a pain having to put up with a douchebag Mamoru and an emotionally crushed Usagi.
Despite my general impatience for Mamoru, he comes off relatively well today, and the couple just feel right, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Let’s recommence the inappropriately adult relationship between a college student and a 14 year old girl!
Not just the story progression is good here – the humour lands really well here, and the art is great too. All a breath of fresh air after last episode’s utter pantsplosion.
We start off with a classic – Usagi late for school. It’s been such a while that it feels almost nostalgic here. As she runs towards her home room, she ploughs straight into Umino.
It’s been a while. Good to see the old lovely creepy nerd. Umino explains that their teacher Haruna isn’t even in anyway, so they have study period.
Naru asks Umino to “give it back”, and we can only presume she means the last 8 months of her life being his girlfriend, but this is in fact not the case.
As it happens, Naru has been working on a “promise ring” – not, not the Jonas Brothers’ purity Disney bullshit, she really means what we would call a friendship bracelet. Apparently the fad is to give one to the object of your affections.
Usagi delightfully mishears “promise ring” as “pro wrestling”, and imagines Naru slamming Umino into the mats.
We cut away as Usagi mumbles… “ecchi…”, or “kinky“. That, ladies, and gentlemen, is one of my favourite jokes even in Sailor Moon, and I laugh every single time.
Usagi is, as ever, excited at the prospect of making promise rings of her own. Umino starts spouting off bullshit about how you pour your wishes into every single knot and magic and stuff. For a geek, he really is stupid.
But now he has Naru concurring with all his crap.
I must say, this entire start feels very much like early Season 1 Sailor Moon, and I’m liking it a lot. Missed this school feeling.
Umino suggests that Usagi attend a class at the speciality promise ring… store… hrmm… that’s rather suspicious, is it not? I mean, and entire store just full of string…?
It’s rather unlike Usagi to want extra classes outside of school, but she remembers that Mamoru’s an ass who dumped her and she gets all maudlin.
We then get a brief montage of all the horrible shit Mamoru has been yelling at Usagi, and I can only wonder why she would try to get him back at all. It really does look like a horrible emotionally abusive relationship when you stare hard enough…
Usagi’s sombre mood follows her home, but Ami and Makoto try and cheer her up. They’re actually being good friends today, as opposed to usual where they’re telling her to invest more emotional and energy into trying to win back her ex-boyfriend.
Oh, and then Mamoru turns up yet again. Seriously, this “accidental meeting” trope has gone on way too long. Thankfully I think this is the last one.
Mamoru can’t even be bothered to think up an excuse today, and begins to just walk off like a cold, cold man.
Usagi falls to the ground, tears in her eyes (seriously, the pathos is amazing today), and asks why…
His response is spot on, for once. “It’s just me being selfish. Please forgive me…” YES. This is what you should have said from the START instead of making her feel like SHIT, you rotten dipshit.
Usagi is left heart broken anyway.
Let’s leave all the emotion for a sec and check on Esmeraude. She’s drinking heavily for some reason – she kinda reminds me of Cersei Lannister when she’s like this, only far less pro-incest.
The new Negative Point is… oh look at that, the promise ring store. What are the odds? She sets up her ludicrous Dark Henge, ready to absorb all the Dark Energy (dark dark dark dark dark) and throws out a new Droid, the unfortunately-named “Udering”.
Well, I guess she’s… topical? Udering has this whole 70’s hippy vibe to her.
As it happens, Ami and Makoto are terrible fucking friends after all – instead of comforting their heart-broken friend, they take her to the promise ring shop and insist that if she makes one, her love life will miraculously get better.
Oh well, Makoto looks cute give her shitty advice anyway. I suppose their plan was just for Usagi to get her mind off Mamoru… but I don’t think making a bracelet for him is going to help that.
Oh yeah, Makoto and Ami aren’t even going to make one with her, they just dump her off on Umino and Naru (who happen to be there) and wander off. Great pals.
The scene of the increasingly frustrated promise ring teacher trying to teach incompetent Usagi warms my heart to no end. For one, they put a hell of a lot of effort into animating hand movements while tying the promise ring knots.
For another, the long pause of Usagi having no fucking clue what to do is amazing. Such a great episode.
At the end of the lesson, by herself, we see that the lovely promise ring teacher is, in fact, Udering. Why she had to transform and scream “Ole ole ole ole Udering!” at the top of her lungs while she was by herself is a question I can’t comfortably answer.
We learn that all the promise rings made with materials used in her lesson is TAINTED (my favourite word) with Dark Power – it’ll drain its wearers of energy and provide power for the Dark Henge.
Good thing Usagi is so shit at everything that the promise ring will never get made, right?
Wow, she’s stayed up all night trying to make it. Poor Usagi. I really do feel bad for her, as much as I did when they first broke up. This break-up has been going on for a while, and I wish they resolved it sooner, but I still adore this episode.
Usagi is not having the best of sleep. She’s dreaming once again about a wedding to Mamoru (she’s had quite a few of those), and as lovely as it looks, it ends a little differently this time.
Just as they kiss, the earth explodes around them, and Usagi hears a deep voice addressing, not her, but Mamoru – it’s the prophecy Mamoru has been seeing all this series, that his being with Usagi will somehow cause her death.
It’s aaaaall falling into place. Well it would have done a lot sooner if Mamoru had just told her about this vision, but…
Usagi awakes suddenly, confused. She picks up an adorable photo of her and Mamoru… and it cracks, just like Mamoru’s did. VERY suspicious. Usagi now has an inkling of what’s going, and it’s been a long time coming.
Now she should kick Mamoru’s ass for not believing in her, or trusting her enough to tell her the truth, but instead she just goes to plead with him a little more.
Like the crazy ex-girlfriend she is (love you Usagi, please don’t hurt me), she pounds on Mamoru’s door in the middle of the night until he opens up looking irritable.
He tries to slam the door in her face again -seriously, he’s such a tool- but Usagi get’s his attention with talks of dreams. It’s also poignant that this is where the first real horrid bust up between the two characters occurred.
Mamoru asserts that this doesn’t change anything, that she’ll still die if they see each other, but Usagi refuses to believe in it. Then comes probably the most relevant line regarding Usagi’s character yet:
“If it’s with you, I don’t mind dying. Even if the Earth is destroyed and I die, I just want to be with you.”
It’s naive, it’s stupid, it’s romantic and it’s perfect for Usagi. Great writing today. Very Shakespearean.
Mamoru steels himself once more and throws her out, and Usagi is left screaming through is door like a psychopath. What the neighbours must think.
As Usagi leaves the building exhausted of tears, Chibi-Usa is waiting for her. She’s brought Usagi’s half-finished promise ring in the hopes that it will heal their relationship, which really is rather uncharacteristically sweet of the girl.
However, now is the time that the bracelets choose to activate, and Chibi-Usa is attacked by a rather gross-looking energy-sucking string. It’s up to Luna to save the day again.
Bad ass kitty to the rescue yet again.
Usagi realises that it’s the promise ring store that’s the source of all the mayhem (Naru and Umino are included), and she gathers the troops via communication watch. It’s time to kick some ass, ladies.
The Dark Henge is doing rather well today, but I don’t know why Esmeraude doesn’t just step up a whole bunch of them at once to divide and conquer the Sailor Senshi.
Actually, hold on to that thought for a future episode.
On the roof, Udering (she says “ring” an awful lot, by the way) is pissing about when Sailor Moon appears. She’s immediately attacked with.. rings… lots of them. A little uninspired as an enemy perhaps.
Tuxedo Kamen pops up, and he’s rather quiet today. Odd that. He has none of his usual swagger (although he’s as snooty as ever). He himself has to be saved by Sailor Mercury’s Shine Aqua Illusion, which stops him getting ripped apart.
Nice to see Tuxedo Kamen put in his place.
Udering is doing a pretty good job today. As more and more Senshi turn up, she eventually resorts to using the Olympic logo as an attack. As we all know, they’ve very protective about their brand and sues anyone using it without their permission, and as such Udering is litigated into defeat.
Only joking, it’s a Moon Princess Halation. I do like this attack.
Despite having been completely foiled again, Esmeraude turns up to laugh for a bit, throw out a few crappy threats about the Jakokusuishou’s energy destroying Tokyo, then leaving sharpish.
What a sore loser.
I love this next bit. Truly I do.
Tuxedo Kamen looks curiously intensely at Sailor Moon, affirming their goal in protecting both Tokyo and the future Crystal Tokyo, in a rather strange voice.
“No matter what kind of hardships stand in our way, we have to overcome them and keep going.” It’s a typical posturing thing to say for Tuxedo Kamen, but in light of their previous conversation it feels meaningful.
And then he sods off.
Sailor Moon is left confused, but not for long. Sailor Mars, and then the rest of the Senshi, have noticed that things have finally changed between them, and tell her to bloody well go and run after him dammit.
Just like that bit in Bridget Jones, maybe. But with less snow and knickers.
Usagi runs after Mamoru as my very favourite Heart Moving begins to play – it’s perfect for this scene.
She runs into his arms (in the park, where else) with these words:
“Mamo-chan, maybe we’re not supposed to be together in the future. but… but right now, just for a little while…”
As the two embrace, everything feels right in the world. All Mamoru’s previous protestations (and dickish attitude) seems forgotten as they rather passionately kiss.
As the scene zooms out, we realise that they’re on the balcony where they first kissed all those episodes ago (it was sexual assault but whatever), or so it looks like.
A lovely ending to a great, satisfying episode, and a vindication for all the time we’ve invested in this couple thus far. It’s so nice to have Usagi romantically fulfilled again, it’s been so, so long.
I should also mention that full-on kisses like the one they show in this episode are rather rare for kids’ shows in Japan in this period. For Sailor Moon to get away with such a passionate kiss shows how powerful a show it was in 1993.
Just for that ending alone, I have to give this a top score. I like my romance, I suppose. At least when it’s done right.
Episode Score: 5/5
Monster Score: 3/5 (Funny in her human form, pretty boring as a monster)
Romance Score: 97%