2:31 – Venus Minako’s Nurse Mayhem
Alternative Title: Only Idiots Never Catch Colds
First Aired: 18th December 1993
After the charged emotions and gratifying development of the last episode, it’s only right to have one slightly more jovial. Although there’s not much going on in the wider plot (it’s grade-A filler), this is actually a very enjoyable watch.
A large part of that is Minako, who we haven’t seen as developed as much as the other Senshi, owing partly to her late arrival, as well as a certain… something… that the writers seem to want to avoid. I suspect it was Sailor V’s success – they didn’t want to draw focus away from Sailor Moon, and besides Usagi and Minako are similar in many ways.
Here we see a continuation of the characteristics that I felt only really came into play in S2E19 – Minako’s dottiness, her high-handed dreams, her self-assurance and her brittleness. These will get explored much further in series 3, Sailor Moon S.
Also, the humour is right on point. today.
Right from the first scene, we see that this is a seasonal, opportunistic episode. It came out in late December 1993 after all. There are Christmas decorations up, more then I’ve ever seen in Tokyo in the festive period.
We see a news report on a severe influenza out-break (the citizens are all wearing sick masks, as they do out there to limit infection. If only this practice caught on in the West), before Esmeraude walks haughtily by.
As it happens, the Black Moon is responsible for this infection. Sort of remarkable what they’re able to make Dark Power do. Almost like making it up as they go along… oh well, we’ll give them this conceit.
The only one in the streets who appears unaffected, apart from Esmeraude, is… Minako. She’s rather determined to do something, and it’s at this point that a shiver should be running down your spine.
We jump over to Hikawa Shrine, where poor Rei has been struck sick. Strange seeing all the fire gone from her for once. She’s on the phone to Makoto, also poorly, who reports that Ami and Usagi are also ill…
I’ll just point out here how weirdly cute I find Mako and Rei when they’re all bundled in blankets and snotty. Call it a sexual dysfunction I suppose.
Rei comments that this means all the Senshi are sick, but Makoto badtemperedly corrects her on this. Before she can give her warning, however…
Minako bursts through the door like a hyperactive tornado. Makoto down the phone is already flinching – Minako has apparently already trashed her apartment in the name of “healing”.
Thus begins Rei’s eternal struggle, how to put up being fussed over by an incompetent.
I absolutely love Minako here. She seems to be on the verge of mania with her energy, especially when she looks vaguely guilty but determined to continue.
Rei bravely tries the congee (you know, like savoury rice porridge), only to find it loaded with stroke-inducing levels of salt.
Other tortures continue for poor sick Rei. They just keep piling up, and we can see the storm growing. It’s a great moment.
Rei’s final outburst is extraordinary, but Minako is unperturbed, heading straight to the Tsukino residence. Sense would tell her to quit with some dignity, but alas…
The Dark Henge in the mean time, is actually growing rather nicely with no interruptions. Emseraude’s plan today is actually half decent. Could she actually be doing a good job for once? Instead of, I dunno, developing an eating disorder?
Usagi has been forewarned in full about Minako from all three of the other Senshi, but the extra element of disaster in the Tsukino household is already causing mayhem.
Chibi-Usa is, strangely, also not sick. I was thinking that this was a shame – a little influenza might shut her up a bit – but she’s sick rather often in this bloody series alone.
Chibi-Usa almost falls from the fucking balcony trying to hang washing up to dry, until Usagi’s mama Ikuko rescues her. Great job looking out for a 7 year old guys, you and Eric Clapton must be getting tips off one another.
…too soon…? Yeah now I feel bad.
I suppose it’s sweet to see Chibi-Usa wanting to help out her sick family… but yeah it’s also sort of annoying, a fact which Usagi vents a little.
Usagi wishes aloud for someone to babysit Chibi-Usa for her, which is a big mistake. It’s an open invitation for Minako to bust right on it – jumping up to the 2nd floor. This girl isn’t even transformed. Terrifying.
Usagi remembers the warnings from her friends, and tries to get Minako only to look after Chibi-Usa, but Minako steamrolls right over her objections. And now she has a little helper too.
The anarchy that ensues is wonderful. I love all the silly slapstick in this episode, it’s a very easy watch.
Luna, by the way, is also sick, which is remarkable since influenza is not meant to be able to be infectious cross-species. Call it Dark Power again I suppose. She’s also looking curiously cute as a sick little kitty.
She gives a great rebuff to Artemis, commenting that he’s so lucky to be healthy, as only idiots never catch a cold. SICK burn.
Minako in a nurses outfit is rocking by the way. I’m feeling particularly heterosexual for some reason today.
Poor Usagi doesn’t have a chance, especially as Minako almost immediately throws a thermometer through her window. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but I suppose if she has muscles enough to jump a storey into the air…
Even Chibi-Usa is looking a little worried.
After managing to avoid eating Minako’s food, Usagi eventually convinces them just to go away and do some housework. This goes as well as you’d expect.
Usagi, surveying the mayhem, begins to feel rather faint. I’m sure I would too, thinking about the clean-up job these schizophrenic apes caused. Eventually, she passes out, in a humorous way.
This always happens in anime. People don’t just lose conciousness every time they get sick, you know. It’s a fairly serious occurrence if they do. Not that this bothers me here.
Usagi’s dream of dinner with Mamoru is as elegant and ever-so-slightly sexual as expected from a teenage girl, but it’s plagued with thoughts of her friends haunting her, and evil demon Minako and Chibi-Usa.
It’s definitely meant to be a bit silly, and I’m pretty sure they’re mocking the seriousness of previous dream sequences in the show in the way that Mamoru disappears in a ludicrous manner.
Eventually the sensation that she’s on fire wakes her up, and Usagi realises that Minako in the midst of applying a new wet towel to her forehead.
She’s rather sweetly taking care of her. Even though she knows she’s incompetent in the extreme, her loyalty and desire to help her dear friend shines through. It’s a really nice moment, and a moment of connection with the viewers and Minako.
Chibi-Usa seems a little embarrassed at being caught out as worried for Usagi. Very adorable. I like this episode.
Minako and Chibi-Usa step out to fetch some medicine from the pharmacy. I don’t know what they plan to get, nothing they could buy over the counter would help against flu, especially Dark Evil Energy Flu. Oh well, the point is that the very place they go to is Esmeraude’s Negative Point.
In fact, all the pharmacists are knocked unconscious. Apparently Esmeraude’s Droid, Pharmakon (inspired naming as always) is spreading the disease further with contaminated medicine. THE SWINE. Seriously though, clever tactic. May have to remember it one day mwa ha ha.
When they enter the premises, Chibi-Usa is incensed to find no one manning the front desk, and starts running around shouting & looking for someone to serve her. It’s actually rather funny.
Or it would be if it weren’t so creepy. She bursts in on Esmeraude and Pharmakon, who insist on giving her “a shot”, just in case, and alarm bells start ringing in Chibi-Usa’s head.
I’m pretty sure you don’t get doctors advancing on you menacingly to jab you in the arm. Only in anti-vaccinationist propaganda, perhaps.
This frightful scene (I’d be shitting myself) ends with Chibi-Usa exploding in screams and energy, and Esmeraude realises she’s just accidentally caught The Rabbit. WHAT ARE THE ODDS? This is further then Rubeus got anyway.
The energy blast alerts all the Senshi to the situation, and the first on the scene is, naturally, Sailor Venus.
Guys, her performance today is exemplary. After Pharmakon busts out into monster-mode (she’s nicely shiny looking), Venus arrives as energetic as she was when she was nursing.
Esmeraude is shockingly impressed.
“You already noticed the location of my Dark Henge and came here!?”
*appalled look from Chibi-Usa*
“Then you already knew that we’re using this hospital as a base to cause the flu epidemic by spreading medication containing Dark Power!?”
“YES OF COURSE I KNEW THAT!”
*another appalled look from Chibi-Usa*
I -love- this scene. I -love- Sailor Venus here. It’s been so rare that I get to say that in the last 2 seasons, so bravo to this episode for making it happen.
Despite the fact that they’re all almost dead, the other Sailor Senshi are slowly crawling to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Sailor Venus is putting up a great fight. We get the classic Crescent Beam attack, probably my favourite looking attack in the entire show, but Pharmakon is rather nimble.
Her attacks are all based around hospital equipment – that is to say sharp stuff, which definitely adds an element of danger above, let’s say, turning your enemies into icing sugar, as we saw a couple of episodes ago.
As Sailor Venus is trapped, and Chibi-Usa cornered by Pharmakon, Tuxedo Kamen makes his appearance at last. Mamoru is still on my good books, so I’ll forgive his snootiness today.
This gives the other Senshi time to appear and attack. Esmeraude, surrounded, has a rather ugly look on her face, and runs away, leaving Pharmakon to her fate of DEATH!
…but it doesn’t come!? Sailor Moon is too weak from fever to blast off a Moon Princess Halation. It’s briefly worrying, but Tuxedo Kamen uses the power of his overwhelming libido into coaxing out a second wind from Sailor Moon:
“Be strong, Sailor Moon! I love the energetic you!”
Well what a manipulative arse. I suppose it did get the job done, Sailor Moon being overly sensitive to any sort of coercion…
As everyone is self-congratulating after Pharmakon turns to dust, Sailor Venus pointedly reminds them that she’s still stuck to the wall by giant glass syringes. I laughed out loud here too.
The episode ends with Minako’s position reversed – she finally got the real flu, along with Artemis, and it’s Usagi’s turn to “nurse” her, with Chibi-Usa in tow.
Luna helpfully points out that this means that Artemis isn’t an idiot after all, since only idiots never catch a cold.
Usagi as a nurse is just as adorable as Minako, and just as destructive, but Minako just takes it all stoically, realising the trouble she put everyone else through.
All in all, love this one. Good filler, great chance to connect with Minako, fantastic humour.
Episode Score: 4/5
Monster Score: 3/5
How Attractive I Find Sick People: Rather Unnervingly Attractive, apparently