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2:40 – Believe in Love and the Future! Usagi’s Determination

Alternative Title: Skeletor’s Revenge

First Aired: 26th February 1994

Wiseman's true face

The Sailor Senshi commence their assault on the Jakokusuishou growing in the middle of Tokyo, but as they make it inside, Dimande attempts once more to force himself upon Sailor Moon. This time, however, she is able to make him reconsider his motivations, and Dimande finally turns on Wiseman, who reveals his true motivations, and powers, at last.

This is the first of the final two episodes of Sailor Moon R. It’s odd, but I’ve never had a very good memory for this episode – the final one so eclipses this episode in terms of content, art and drama that this gets rather lost.

Saying that, it’s not overly good. This being the less-talented art and writing team, some shots look off, and it feels incongruous when compared to the style of the brilliant episode before, and the one that follows.

There are some great moments, however, and I much preferred watching this to, say, football. Or paint drying.

The episode begins with Usagi running away from the Jakokusuishou (Evil Black Crystal). Well, that was fast. Guess she knows when she’s beaten.

Run away! Run away! Hahaha oh that line's only funny for Monty Python fans, isn't it?

Run away! Run away! Hahaha oh that line’s only funny for Monty Python fans, isn’t it?

Ah, in fact she’s running home to rest up before the Senshi’s final assault on the crystal. We see a flashback of Tuxedo Kamen telling her to go home while he… investigates a little more? What random bullshit is this? What more is he going to learn from staring at a crystal he can’t even get close to?

As Usagi is in that same goddamn park again (I need to start tagging “stupid park” for these episodes), she’s stopped by Naru. We haven’t seen her in aaaages, and it’s been so long since she was relevant in anyway. Kinda sad, really. Usagi got new cooler friends and dumped Naru.

"Hey. Remember me? I want my goddamn friendship bracelet back."

“Hey. Remember me? I want my goddamn friendship bracelet back.”

Naru is in a rather strange mood, telling Usagi that she’s been acting strange lately, and asking if she has anything to do with the big-ass crystal. When Usagi just looks shocked, Naru takes it as confirmation…

Usagi manages to relieve the tension with a laugh about how ridiculous it would be for her to know anything about anything, and the moment passes. but it’s interesting to note that this is clear confirmation that Naru has, in fact, realised that Usagi is Sailor Moon.

"Well it was sort of obvious. I mean, it's not like you're wearing a mask..."

“Well it was sort of obvious. I mean, it’s not like you’re wearing a mask…”

Well, perhaps not overtly, but considering the last piece of evidence (Naru phoning Usagi when she needed Sailor Moon without explicitly stating why), I take it as that not everyone around Usagi is completely obtuse about her identity.

This is a nice moment, especially when Naru tells Usagi that she won’t pry any more, and promises to see her at school. That’s real friendship for ya.

"I know you're not Sailor Moon, but if you see her, tell her she's doing a shit job because I still keep getting attacked by monster."

“I know you’re not Sailor Moon, but if you see her, tell her she’s doing a shit job because I still keep getting attacked by monster.”

Over at the Jakokusuishou (the one in the future) Wiseman, totally chilled, shimmies up to Dimande as if he hasn’t just killed his brother 20 minutes ago. Dimande is obviously a little pissed off, but Wiseman doesn’t seem to understand social cues.

"Are you sleepy? Hungry, right? That's what human faces look like when you need food. Am I close?"

“Are you sleepy? Hungry, right? That’s what human faces look like when you need food. Am I close?”

Wiseman tries to distract Dimande with a shiny ball, as if he’s a well-dressed cat, showing him the growth of the Jakokusuishou in the past under Black Lady’s supervision.

"A shiny ball isn't going to distract me. I need a ribbon, maybe a laser pointer if you have one."

“A shiny ball isn’t going to distract me. I need a ribbon, maybe a laser pointer if you have one.”

As it happens, Dimande isn’t being a total dense idiot like he usually is, and actually persists in asking why Wiseman disobeyed him and killed Saphir. The answer, Dimande, if you’re reading, is that Wiseman is evil. I thought you would have gotten that by the several times that Saphir told you he was evil.

Also, I mean, just look at ’em.

Wiseman goes on a different tract this time, groaning on and on about the greater good and the dream of revenge the Black Moon clan had for being forced to live on smelly-ass Nemesis. As he talks, something rather interesting happens. We get quick flashes, nothing more than a glimpse, of what lays beneath Wiseman’s hood…

"I hope you didn't see that, I haven't washed my skull-face today."

“I hope you didn’t see that, I haven’t washed my skull-face today.”

Suffice it to say that he’s pretty much what you’d expect.

Dimande, like the complete wussy baby he is, backs down and just tells Wiseman to get on with it, promising “a thorough investigation” when Earth is taken over.

Dude, he’s a fucking skull in some dirty old cloak. I’m not sure an investigation is going to cut it. Seriously, Dimande is such a tool.

"I hope the investigation is fair and objective, and that you're not a skull-racist."

“I hope the investigation is fair and objective, and that you’re not a skull-racist.”

The next day, the Sailor Senshi have gathered for their assault into enemy territory, but alas, Tuxedo Kamen has apparently “investigated” his ass into getting kidnapped, because he’s gone missing. Good job, Top Hat.

"We should have sent Tuxedo Kamen to investigate a chocolate pudding, or something closer to his difficultly level."

“We should have sent Tuxedo Kamen to investigate a chocolate pudding, or something closer to his difficultly level.”

We should also get rid of the cats, right? Because it would be so hard to animate them during the final battle. So lets have them jump head first into the crystal and get them shocked out of service.

"Yeah I knew that would happen, I just wanted to have an excuse not to come with you."

“Yeah I knew that would happen, I just wanted to have an excuse not to come with you.”

Much better. Seriously, though, this is silly. You can always tell when it’s the less-talented team writing, because silly crap like this makes it in.

Usagi begins to yell out “MOON CRYSTAL POWEEER!” but Ami suddenly stops her. Everyone looks around a little shocked. Ami then comes out with a rather sweet moment, thanking everyone. It’s a bit of a tender moment between the girls that I think has been lacking for a few episodes.

"Just in case we don't make it back, I want to tell you all how much I hate you."

“Just in case we don’t make it back, I want to tell you all how much I hate you.”

I’m glad they had this chance to show their bonds before the last battle. Ami being sweet is always nice to see.

And then, MASSIVE transformation scene. Gotta get one last big one out the way before the finale. Also it’s good for killing time, am I right animators?

"OK, who's hand smells like Cheese-Its?"

“OK, who’s hand smells like Cheese-Its?”

So everyone’s all revved upto go kick some ass… and then Sailor Moon is immediately knocked on her own ass by the Evil Black Crystal’s cackling barrier. Well that was anti-climatic.

"OK I'm done with this shit. Let's all go home."

“OK I’m done with this shit. Let’s all go home.”

The Senshi’s plan appears to be just to stand around saying stuff until they’re cut up a little, before they remember they have Sailor Teleport and can totally cheat-code their way in.

Why didn’t they just do this in the first place instead of pissing about with the barrier? Honestly.

"Guys, there's a fucking door right over there we could have used."

“Guys, there’s a fucking door right over there we could have used.”

The Senshi arrive deep inside the crystal. It looks pretty cool.

And then Sailor Moon immediately falls through a trap door. You can still see the dent in my desk where I slammed my face in frustration.

If there's one thing that riles me up more than anything else in the world, it's TRAP DOORS. I don't know why

If there’s one thing that riles me up more than anything else in the world, it’s TRAP DOORS. I don’t know why

This is so stupid. All that resolve, all that determination built up the tension, only for Sailor Moon for fucking fall down a well. I hope these writers had their pay docked. This is the 2nd to last episode, it should have been given to one of the good studios.

So where does Sailor Moon’s rabbit hole lead?

Uh-oh.  I know that face. Better get out the restraining order, Sailor Moon

Uh-oh. I know that face. Better get out the restraining order, Sailor Moon

Oh shit, it’s Dimande. His brother is dead, his killer is floating around like he owns the place, he’s on the verge of taking over the Earth, and yet all he wants is another chance to sexually assault a teenage girl.

I hated this the first time, and I hate it here. I hate having to talk about sexual assault when reviewing a kid’s anime from the 1990s, but they bloody well won’t let me. I feel like I need to start putting trigger warnings at the top of every review.

I see that Dimande has a lot of fans on the internet.  I don't why, he has a real Ted Bundy vibe to him

I see that Dimande has a lot of fans on the internet. I don’t why, he has a real Ted Bundy vibe to him

Luckily, I’m pretty sure this is the very last time I’ll ever need to broach this subject ever again. Fingers crossed.

Sailor Moon is once again hypnotised by Dimande. It happened rather quicker than before. I really just wish she would knee him in the balls, but instead she sheds a single tear as he goes in for the kiss and whispers “Mamo-chan…” which apparently somewhat kills the mood for old grabby-hands Dimande.

A bit like Prince Harry, now that I stop and think about it.

A bit like Prince Harry, now that I stop and think about it. Oh god are the Royal Family going to sue me for that?

Upset, he begins shaking her and asks her to “QUIETLY give yourself over to me“. It’s a weird moment. On one hand, it’s amusing to see Dimande so upset, his cool demeanour breaking. On the other hand, this still looks disturbing like assault.

Sailor Moon snaps out of it (THANK THE GODS) and learns to stop looking Dimande directly in his vagina-eye thing. I guess she just has to kill him with her eyes closed.

"Dude, that's gross. Stop whipping it out in public, no one cares.

“Dude, that’s gross. Stop whipping it out in public, no one cares.

There’s some back and forth about the definition of love, and then Sailor Moon totally forgets to keep her eyes closed and looks Medusa directly in the eye.

I don’t want to comment on this considering the situation.

...that's the sound of you innocence burning to death

…that’s the sound of your innocence burning to death

Oh thank GOD it was his HAND. That’s mildly better than what my mind went to. I want to find the animator who drew this scene and snap every pencil he even looks at.

Sailor Moon has a brief moment inside her head of remembering all her friends, and that Dimande has obviously never washed his hands, and she comes to again. None of this is working for me. I don’t give a shit about this sorry rapist. I’ve checked out for the last 5 minutes.

Sailor Moon and Dimande stand around yelling a bit more. Dimande refuses to accept that they can coexist, but after some not-especially moving words from Sailor Moon, he seems to FINALLY realise that perhaps Wiseman has been just messing with him this whole time.

"So what you're saying is... uh... Wiseman bad? Man all this thinking hurts."

“So what you’re saying is… uh… Wiseman bad? Man all this thinking hurts.”

Could it possibly be that the creepy old man with infinite power, the ability to foresee future events and the ruthlessness to kill your own brother is evil!? POSSIBLY?

What a tool. It’s far too late to redeem yourself now, you’re the only Black Moon guy left alive.

Wiseman appears. That GOD. Maybe things will get interesting. He throws off any pretence of serving Dimande and decides “to hell with this” and begins to attack Dimande.

"Also I totally stole your credit card and bought, like, 4 Starbucks frappacinos. Large ones."

“Also I totally stole your credit card and bought, like, 4 Starbucks frappacinos. Large ones.”

Wiseman’s attacks are a lot less cool than last episode. It’s just boring black lines, not that interesting white void that he used to kill Saphir.

Where did that awesome white blast go? The one that turned Saphir into KFC?

Where did that awesome white blast go? The one that turned Saphir into KFC?

Things get a little Dragon Ball-ish as the two stand around and throw energy blasts at each other while Sailor Moon just stands blankly and stares. Gosh, this is not a great episode.

Wiseman seems to think that it’s easiest if he just does away with Sailor Moon now before she becomes a nuisance. A clever guy. I mean, she’s obviously not paying attention.

"BOO. No seriously, though, I'm going to need you to die. Now where are you because I don't actually have eyes."

“BOO. No seriously, though, I’m going to need you to die. Now where are you because I don’t actually have eyes.”

He tries to stab her with energy prongs (they exist, right?) and it hits deep…

"Thanks for saving my life, now would you PLEASE stop grabbing my ass?"

“Thanks for saving my life, now would you PLEASE stop grabbing my ass?”

Into Dimande. Ah, he’s sacrificed himself. Ugh. This was romantic when Mamoru kept doing it last series. Here it’s… misplaced and ugly. They really make Sailor Moon a passive character that needs to continually be saved. This time it’s just annoying.

Dimande has enough strength for one last blast and, rather surprisingly, he seems to destroy Wiseman! We all totally know that the dude is coming back, though, right? Because I love Wiseman.

"Kamehame... wait, wrong show."

“Kamehame… wait, wrong show.”

Dimande is covered in blood. It’s still quite surprising to see the red stuff in Sailor Moon. It’s happened a couple of times, the most shocking of which was Nephrite, but they thought to give him freaky green blood just in case.

"Bleugh... shouldn't have eaten that second burrito."

“Bleugh… shouldn’t have eaten that second burrito.”

Dimande dies in Sailor Moon’s arms, regretting everything he ever did in his entire life. Good job, dude. You achieved literally nothing but the destruction of your entire people.

"Oh well thank fuck for that then."

“Oh well thank fuck for that then.”

In the background, however, Wiseman’s crystal orb begins to float, and the hooded figure begins to reform. Hooray! Could you imagine if Dimande actually managed to kill him? It would have been terrible.

Dimande’s death is completely unmoving as Saphir’s was touching. Not buying into any of this. His reversal took place in a matter of seconds, from trying to force Sailor Moon into kissing him to noble defender.

Sailor Moon, distract by her would-be attacker’s death, doesn’t notice as Wiseman grabs her by the neck. It’s pretty powerful stuff, actually. He’s been so non-physical, floating around, talking trash, that seeing him debase himself to physical violence makes him that-much more dangerous.

"Give me your Netflix password so I can watch Orange is the New Black. GIVE IT TO MEEEE"

“Give me your Netflix password so I can watch Orange is the New Black. GIVE IT TO MEEEE”

He’s after the power of the Ginzuishou. I don’t know why he cares, he seems to be infinitely powerful, and immortal, just using the Jakokusuishou. Maybe Wiseman is just bored and lonely, but he tries the same brainwashing illusions that he used to convert Black Lady on Sailor Moon.

If the last time someone tried to brainwash Sailor Moon is anything to go by, this should end pretty quickly.

Wiseman starts off by being SUPER FUCKING CREEPY and suggests that Mamoru and Black Lady has hooked up.

Ok well that's weird, but it's not too bad I suppose.

Ok well that’s weird, but it’s not too bad I suppose.

OK. The levels of wrongness here is unbelievable. this is so Freudian…

WOAH. OK easy there I thought you guys were going to...

WOAH. OK easy there I thought you guys were going to…

WOAH WOAH WOAH That's NOT cool. I mean, DUDE

WOAH WOAH WOAH That’s NOT cool. It’s so so so WRONG

AHHH FUCK BURN IT. BURN EVERYTHING.

That’s his daughter. Jesus, the writers are just so cack-handed today. I understand that Usagi has been jealous of Chibi-Usa and Mamoru spending time together earlier in the series, but this is not what they were building towards.

This is one of those special moments that Sailor Moon fans all acknowledged happened, and love how weird it is, but try not to think too hard about lest their brains implode.

Gross. Anyway…

Sailor Moon goes backwards and forwards between refusing to believe it and (I’m guessing) gagging in disgust (I am at least), but the thought of Chibi-Usa brings her back to her senses.

No, Mamoru may be a dick sometimes, but he’s not going to leave you for you daughter. That’s just silly.

"That was gross, Wiseman. That was really inappropriate. I can't believe you made me look at that." "...Yeah it was a little messed up, wasn't it? Sorry."

“That was gross, Wiseman. That was really inappropriate. I can’t believe you made me look at that.”
“…Yeah it was a little messed up, wasn’t it? Sorry.”

Wiseman just says “fuck it” and tries to kill Sailor Moon…

…and she’s saved by Tuxedo Kamen, because obviously she’s not allowed to save herself.

"My cape was a little slow coming out of the dry cleaners. Hope I didn't miss anything."

“My cape was a little slow coming out of the dry cleaners. Hope I didn’t miss anything.”

Where the fuck have you been, Tuxedo Kamen!? No, seriously. No explanation is ever given for this. It’s just a complete hole in the writing. Sailor Moon is better than this.

Oh yeah, the other Senshi are thrown in seemingly as an after-thought. They’re completely shafted in this episode.

"Heey! We arrived in time to do absolutely nothing. Great."

“Heey! We arrived in time to do absolutely nothing. Great.”

Wiseman isn’t worried, though, because the Black Gate has finished forming, and the Jakokusuishou is about to send a butt-load of Dark Energy through the portal to destroy the world.

And then suddenly they’re on top of the crystal. They must have found an elevator.

"They call it The Anus of Lucifer" "You're just making stuff up again, Mercury."

“They call it The Anus of Lucifer, you know.”
“You’re just making stuff up again, Mercury.”

Black Lady emerges from the gate, looking evil as hell. The episode ends on her creepy laugh as she announces herself to be the Death Phantom’s dark messenger. Well that’s promising at least.

"You made it to the final boss level! Congrats."

“While you guys were pissing about down below, I beat my high score on Tetris.”

Guys, the final episode is so so so much better than this one. This almost torpedoed the finale of Sailor Moon R, but they bring it together brilliantly in the end. It even features what I think is the 2nd most emotional moment in the entirety of Sailor Moon. Which is nice.

 

Episode Score: 2/5 (Man, this is a tough one to get through. At least it’s forgettable)

Dimande’s Bad-Ass Death Score: 1/5 (He died as I was rolling my eyes, and didn’t even take Wiseman out)

Freudian Creepiness Rating: 97% (Seeing Mamoru make-out with his daughter, even in an illusion, is as about as creepy as you can get)

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16 Comments »

  1. “Luckily, I’m pretty sure this is the very last time I’ll ever need to broach this subject ever again. Fingers crossed.”

    Umm… Have you seen SuperS?

  2. “Luckily, I’m pretty sure this is the very last time I’ll ever need to broach this subject ever again. Fingers crossed.”

    Ummm… Have you seen SuperS?

    • Yeah, recently actually… I remember Fish Eye being deeply disturbing, and being rather worried about the relationship between Chibi-Usa and Pegasus…

      • The relationship between Pegasus and Chibiusa isn’t too bad… Except that she starts falling in love with him before getting clued into the fact that he’s a person, anyway.

        But the Amazon Trio’s entire MO is basically a metaphor for rape…

  3. You know, I had completely forgotten that. Yeah I’m going to have to bring this topic up again aren’t I? Oh man…

    • I haven’t watched SuperS in a long time, but there are some interesting analyses out there that interpret the Trio’s Dream Mirror/sexual assault metaphor as a fairly sophisticated commentary on rape survivors and victim blaming. Interesting stuff, if you’re interested.

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