3:5 – Protect the Pure Heart! A Three-Way Battle
Alternative Title: Elephant-Vacuum-Demon-Lady
First Aired: 30th April 1994
Usagi gets to know Motoki’s little sister Unazuki a little better after they discuss Unazuki’s dream of a perfect first kiss. Her innocent and naievety has made her a target for the Death Busters, however, and after a Daimohn erupts from her vacuum cleaner, a three-way chase across town for Unazuki’s Pure Heart takes place, as Sailor Moon finds herself outmatched by the ruthless Uranus and Neptune.
This is a fantastic episode. I feel like this is a strange summation of the four episodes thus far, capturing fully the strained relationship between the Inner Senshi and the Outer Senshi. Their differing fundamental values comes into play here, and it’s interesting to see the Senshi at such odds with each other.
Add on to that some fantastic comedic moments (including one of my absolute favourite jokes), decent enough action and a break from the usual repetitive structure of Sailor Moon, and you’ve got yourself an absolute winner.
The episode starts off with Usagi yawning and complaining about having to study at Rei’s place again, and she pulls the most amazing face. What a great start.
Luna tries to convince a obstinate Usagi, but she’s not really having any of it today. We all know the feeling. She’d much rather prefer a date with Mamoru (obviously), and as she voices the thought, his obnoxious motorcycle pulls up by the park.
A happy Usagi runs towards him, but her face falls as she sees that he’s giving someone a lift… Now, I no this isn’t a guarantee, but being lovers from their past lives, and having died a least a couple of times to save each other, I would have thought her faith a little stronger in him.
Then again, he’s totally made out with their future daughter, so…
Anyway, Mamoru isn’t cheating, he’s giving a lift to the same girl from season 2, Unazuki. I rather like her, even if she’s Motoki’s younger sister.
I rather like the heavy atmosphere, and how both Unazuki and Mamoru feel the need to explain why he’s giving her a lift. A surprisingly human moment.
I also love how Usagi is nodding along, so eager to accept any explanation of Mamoru’s faithfulness and charity. She really is naive to a fault, but I like her for it.
Usagi then breaks the tension by patting Mamoru on the shoulder and telling him how hot he looks in his riding gear. I love this so much, with him laughing embarrassed too.
“You’re so well proportioned, you look good in anything.” Such a sweet moment. Always makes me smile.
Unazuki, who looked pretty jealous at the flirting between Usagi and Mamoru, can later be found talking to Usagi in the Crown Cafe (above the arcade), asking whether she’s kissed him yet.
I love how shifty Unazuki looks. This is a chaste enough conversation, but you’d think they were talking about sex. Or maybe we are, hrmm?
Usagi is hesitant to answer, probably because talking about how often these two smash their mandibles onto one another’s face is a bit embarrassing, but Unazuki takes this to mean that they haven’t kissed yet.
Unazuki gets a low blow in when she says that this is a good thing, since Usagi is still in junior high and still fucking 14. She has a point, Usagi is in an incredibly mature relationship at a young age.
To teach the nosy dick a lesson, Usagi asks if Unazuki has kissed a boy yet (I’m assuming she knows the answer to that).
I like all the writing, all the tension building, all the blushing interested looks between these two girls. A very good scene, and a breath of fresh air after last episode’s train wreck.
Anyway, Unazuki hasn’t kissed anyone, even the boy she really likes, and announces her fervent desire to have her first kiss be absolutely perfect.
This is a sure fire way to be disappointed, and yes, that was a revealingly personal fact about my life.
Usagi doesn’t seem to think too much about Unazuki’s theatrics, even though she displayed similar romantic expectation back in the first season, but her response is cut short by the two eavesdropping bastards in the booth next to them.
Yes, it’s Haruka and Michiru. Get used to them “accidentally” turning up wherever Usagi is throughout this series, and then “accidentally” voicing their opinions on matters that don’t concern them.
Not that I’m complaining, the more the better with these two.
Michiru decides to complete condescend to the girls only a couple of years younger than her, and gives a stupid-ass lecture that includes the words “the first people to kiss in this world were Adam and Eve,” at which point I lost all respect for her.
This whole kissing talk feels suddenly so creepy when it’s coming from Michiru and Haruka. The only interesting moment of their appearance in this scene is when Michiru says “Your first kiss. You’ll want to cherish it,” before she and Haruka exchange a long, dirty look.
That was totally intentional. You kick ass, ladies.
Then we get the McGuffin. Unazuki, out of fucking nowhere, begins talking about “delicious cake“, which I’m fairly certain is code for crack, and invites Usagi over to try some.
Probably wants to give the first hit for free, get her hooked.
Usagi is so overwhelmed with the idea of cake (seriously) that she starts singing “Cake! Cake!” until other patrons begin staring at her, and Usagi realises how much of a child she is after all.
Another great moment. I always lol at that part.
We get a brief scene of Haruka saying to Michiru how dangerous it is for girls like Unazuki – the Daimohns are likely to target people like her. Well, now, isn’t that prophetic?
It’s a short scene that doesn’t add anything, but I like the exchange. It’s another moment where the girls seem to communicate on an entirely different level, with a lot of meaning left unsaid.
Meanwhile, in the Death Buster’s lab, the Professor entrusts Kaorinte with a new Daimohn Egg. Kaorinite reveals that she’s planning to attack someone dreaming of a firs kiss (WHO MIGHT THAT BE I WONDER).
Then comes one of those amazing Professor moments, where he smiles, muttering “I haven’t done such a thing in years… Heh heh heh ha ha haa MWA HAHA HAAA!“… breaking off into mad laughter. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does. He’s just so fucking crazy.
I love that Kaorinite is laughing along, but in a sort of forced manner, as though she’s just trying to be polite.
Cut to Unazuki, cleaning her apartment with an elephant-shaped vacuum. Oh you Japanese and random cute shit.
Unazuki begins staring a photo of herself and the guy she likes. Note that it’s a group photo, and she’s carefully placed paper over everyone else except for her and the guy, and framed the thing. That’s so creepy, Unazuki.
She thinks to herself that she might be putting too much thought into her first kiss, and bends down to kiss the photo… not like a peck, but from the looks of it, rather sensuously. It’s very odd. Are we sure this girl has a pure heart?
Anyway. The Daimohn Egg slips into the room and blends into the elephant vacuum, thus creating one of my favourite monster of Sailor Moon.
Osoji is the weirdest fucking thing. It’s an elephant-vacuum-demon-lady thing. This in itself is weird as shit, but she’s emblematic of the entire suite of monsters in Sailor Moon S. They’re all wonderfully weird, and have this real entertaining vibe to them that previous series were only working their way to towards.
Osoji’s Black Star tattoo is located on her chest (lovely), and she uses it to suck the Pure Heart right out of poor Unazuki. Well, wasn’t that smooth? No interruptions, nothing at all…
Well, apart from Uranus and Neptune turning up. How do they keep doing this? There was a slim suggestion that Neptune gets feelings of impending events, but nothing so concrete. Maybe more will be said in the manga.
Their appearance is as classy as ever, but Osoji isn’t impressed. She turns her arm into a vacuum head extension and fires… wind? Again, I really like that they’re sticking to this ridiculous vacuum cleaner theme.
Uranus’ answering World Shaking only knocks the Pure Heart of of her hands. She’s being rather cavalier about someone’s bloody lifeforce being thrown around.
Osoji manages to get one over Uranus, blasting her back and running after the Pure Heart…
…which lands into a pick-up truck. Thus begins the chase. Uranus, Neptune and Osoji are all left looking like chumps. I love this episode.
Meanwhile, Usagi has decided to totally take advantage of Unazuki’s offer of cake by invite four other people along. She’s the worst house guest. No one else seems overly comfortable with the situation to be honest.
By the way, everyone is looking especially cute today for some reason. The animation is from the pro team, evidently.
Usagi is getting no answer from the doorbell, and as the other girls are all discussing cake and studying, she gets increasingly frustrated, until she’s just repeatedly banging the doorbell. It’s hilarious.
Eventually, Usagi tries the door, and they find Unazuki collapsed on the floor.
Jesus, this looks super bad. Like she’s been murdered or something. Not everyday you open a door to find someone with their Pure Heart taken. THE ODDS, PEOPLE!
Naturally, the Senshi have no idea where to start looking for the Pure Heart. Pretty scary when you think about it, since she’ll soon die without it.
Speaking of scary, Osoji is rampaging around town at high speed, vacuuming the town as she goes. She’s yelling “WHERE IS IIIIT!?” at the top of her lungs too. This Daimohn’s great. SO weird.
It turns out that the vacuum head is actually a sensor for the Pure Heart, which explains why she’s trying to vacuum Tokyo. Also, where the hell is everyone again? There’s once more zero people on the street. They do this so often.
Ami, meanwhile, has also figured out a sensor system on her computer, and has tracked down the Pure Heart too, although it’s only a general area.
So all’s well right? Except for Unazuki opening her eyes, of course… We’ve not seen this before, someone acting after their Pure Heart has been taken.
This is shot like a horror film, with the creepy theremin music, Unazuki’s dead-eyed stare, and then the quiet “KISS.”
Turns out she really wants to kiss.
This is simultaneously hilarious and tragic, since the implication is that girls without pure hearts just want to kiss anyone, like other girls. I think that’s a messed up message to send out, but they probably (hopefully) weren’t thinking too hard.
When Ami voices this correlation, Minako very swiftly gives her a skeptical you’re full of shit look, and asks “is that how it works…?“. I love Minako for this. Someone has her priorities straight.
Either way we get Unazuki almost making out with Makoto, which is straight out of my fanfiction.
They play this scene like a great tragedy, with dramatic music, but it comes off totally absurd. Eventually Rei uses the old Akuryo Taisan warding spell on poor kiss-happy Unazuki’s face, and she falls still.
It’s sort of cruel, actually. Rei tries to look cool.
The other girls hit the streets for the Pure Heart. When Ami finally gets a strong reason, Mamoru turn up out of nowhere to ferry Usagi. Normally I’d bemoan the shitty writing that just had him turn up conveniently out of the blue, but he’s look pretty fucking cool in his riding leathers today, so why the heck not?
The art and music are both awesome as Mamoru and Usagi follow the Pure Heart’s signal. Some really great work today, they;re trying to go beyond just your average episode.
Usagi is distraught when it turns out the Pure Heart is in a dump. Where do you even start looking in there…?
Luckily, a timely explosion points the way to where Usagi and Mamoru should probably start looking. Nice to see that Osoji has been holding her own against Uranus and Neptune. She’s survived a lot longer than any other Daimohn has so far, almost half a day.
Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon, and we get the interesting circumstance of she and Tuxedo Kamen teaming up together from the start of a battle. Normally he just bobs his way in at some point.
Sailor Moon’s entrance into the battle is rather impressive. She announces that she won’t let anyone have the Pure Heart but its owner. I like that a lot, she surprises even Uranus and Neptune.
Kick their asses, Sailor Moon!
Osoji pulls a few tricks out of her dust bag, including whipping a power cable out, which looks like it bloody hurts, man. Sailor Moon isn’t doing so well…
But neither is Uranus or Neptune, really, although they’re not face-planting as hard as Sailor Moon.
As Uranus, Neptune and Osoji are outstripping Sailor Moon in terms of ability, she has a moment of real helplessness, where she thinks of Unazuki’s sweetness, and seems overwhelmed.
I like this a lot, and it’s a facet of Sailor Moon’s character that will slowly be explored in this series – her drive to protect the innocent even when she hasn’t got the power to do so.
Tuxedo Kamen finally arrives, knocking the Pure Heart to the ground, and giving his usual entrance speech on top of a pile of soiled toys, one of which is a shit-stained Tuxedo Kamen doll. Pretty ironic, that.
Poor Osoji is pretty out numbered now, and Sailor Moon takes the chance to fire off Moon Spiral Heart Attack.
Our elephant-vacuum-demon-lady gets Lovely’d to death. Poor, poor Usagi. I hope she remembers to carry that vacuum all the way back to her apartment. There’s no time to rest, however. The battle isn’t over.
As Sailor Moon moves towards the Pure Heart, Uranus holds her in a head-lock, as Tuxedo Kamen and Neptune right for the Pure Heart.
It’s pretty cool stuff seeing these guys fight each other! A really cool, interesting and unique scene.
We begin to see the underlying difference in outlook between Sailor Moon, and Uranus & Neptune. Sailor Moon could never abide sacrificing someone’s life, even if it were for the greater good, whereas the Outer Senshi understand that this is naive, that sometimes sacrifices must be made for the rest of the world to live.
Sure, it’s a old trope in anime, this conflict, but I think it works really well here. We love Sailor Moon, we admire her resolve, her ethics, her willingness to carry this through, but at the same time the impracticality of it is clear.
In the end, Neptune determines that the Pure Heart Crystal isn’t even a Talisman after all. Sort of makes Uranus and Neptune seem like jerks, doesn’t it?
Sailor Moon snatches the Pure Heart away from her anyway, and with the stand off over, it’s clear that the Senshi won’t be allies after all. As I said, a great wrap-up for the first few episodes of the series, and sort of a thesis statement for the rest of the series. Very interesting stuff.
Oh, and finally the other Senshi turn up. You guys need to get yourselves cars or something.
At night, Uranus and Neptune seem pensive. Neptune, looking rather sad and confused, says that she’s happy it wasn’t a Talisman. These characters are more three-dimensional than at first glance, too. they don’t want anyone to die – they seem to really feel the weight of the decision that they will have to make.
Their knowledge and understanding of this sacrifice of the owners of the Talismans make their motivations that much more complex.
Uranus chastises Neptune, telling her that they need to find the Talismans whoever it is that will be sacrificed.
They’re setting these two up for some heavy irony…
In our final scene, Unazuki has her Pure Heart returned, and seems healthier for it (although she’s still passed out). Usagi starts repeating the bullshit she heard from Haruka and Michiru on kisses earlier, but Ami brings everyone down to Earth by suggesting that they start study group…
…while there’s still an unconscious girl in the room who was, only a short time before, on her death bed. Jesus, Ami, get some perspective.
Understandably, this sets off an argument. If the episode ended there, I would have been happy, but we get one final scene…
Usagi slips out (there’s still broken glass everywhere – Unazuki’s gonna be pissed when she wakes up) to join Mamoru on the balcony
Just as they’re about to kiss, Usagi asks Mamoru if he remembers their first kiss… and he obviously can’t remember!
This is amazingly funny, especially as the normally unflappable Mamoru tries to cover the moment by talking about the moon. I love this scene.
Although… it really should have been Usagi who couldn’t remember their first kiss, as she was drunk off her face, and Mamoru whisked her away from prying eyes to kiss her while she was slipping in and out of conciousness, in what is clearly a scene of sexual assault on a minor, but that’s neither here nor there, eh?
ANWYAY. As I was saying, amazing episode. This series is starting so strong, with only one dud.
NEXT TIME: We get the return of Umino and Naru, and he reaches new lows of patheticness, something I thought impossible after Tuxedo Umino Kamen.
Episode Score: 5/5 (Couldn’t want more from it)
Monster Score: 5/5 (Osoji sucked the heart right out of me)
Final Thought: What the hell is Unazuki going to think when she wakes up with seven random people and two cats in her house, with the balcony window busted and her vacuum cleaner missing?