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3:6 – Leave It to the Moon for Love Aid

Alternative Title: …And For the Love of God, Use Condoms

First Aired: 7th May 1994

Umino serious

Usagi is determined to solve a misunderstanding between Naru and Umino, and thus they are entered into a “Lovers’ Competition”, whereby they must complete several proofs of their love to win. Thankfully, a Daimohn interrupts the proceedings, but not before a great deal of damage is done by an emotionally raw Umino Gurio.

This episode irks me in a few major ways. It’s not terrible by any means, but I’m fairly certain that this is yet-another animation team, one that I don’t like as much as some of the others, and it has some pretty dodgy writing to boot.

That being said, there are some good moments, and one fairly terrible moment from, of all characters, Haruka, which I’ve always been sore about. Still, it’s a moment that I could certainly see others enjoying, so it’s probably just my own personal hangups.

Anyway, let’s start.

We haven’t been seeing much of the Death Busters have we? It’s mostly been short glimpses of Daimohn Eggs being rocketed out of the laboratory and the Professor laughing maniacally.

...not that this is any different

…not that this is any different

We get a little more here, although don’t expect it to be anything significant. The Professor is seen messing around with cells, creating a new Daimohn Egg, and complaining good-naturedly (or so it seems) to Kaorinite about the ones they’ve wasted looking for the Talisman thus far.

Kaorinite promises to go out herself this time.

…aaaaand that’s it. Looks like we’ll have to wait to see anything interesting happening with these guys, but the eerie ambiance, the music, the performance from the Professor and Kaorinite’s weird goat-eyes do serve as a friendly reminder of threat and evil ambition.

At school, during a recess, Usagi is lured out to a dank alley by Umino. Thankfully we know Umino too well to suspect anything untoward, but he’s still a bit of a creeper, bless his cotton socks.

"...Well OK, but Im taking a baseball bat with me, just so you know."

“…Well OK, but I’m taking a baseball bat with me, just so you know.”

Umino appears to be worried about Naru, who, you may have forgotten, is actually going out with him. I have no problem with dating nerds, I mean come on I write a fucking Sailor Moon blog, but the pairing of Umino and Naru has always been a little weird.

Anyway, Umino is worried that Naru is hiding something from him, that she is, in fact, cheating on him. Hey hey, this could be interesting.

This rather melodramatic scene ends with Umino lamenting that his emotions have been poured into the fried shrimp he makes for her every day, or as he puts it, “this fried shrimp of sweat, tears and love!

"Maybe you should diversify your menu...?"

“Maybe you should diversify your menu…?”

I think I can see where he’s gone wrong.

So Usagi is left to worm info out of Naru. We haven’t seen these two interact much, if at all, since season one to be honest. There was that stuff with the friendship bracelets and the time Naru totally knew that Usagi was Sailor Moon, but that’s it. Now they’re all buddy-buddy again.

"I just dont feel the same since I stopped getting attacked by monsters every other day."

“I just don’t feel the same since I stopped getting attacked by monsters every other day.”

Naru seems to suspect Umino of being super paranoid, and even goes as far to suspect that he’s cheating on her.

Usagi’s reaction, of laughing loudly and scoffing, is pretty much what we’re all thinking. Sorry Umino, I still love you, you big weirdo.

Naru is understandably pissed off at Usagi for being a dick about her boyfriend and runs off. Hey, you know what they say, love is blind.

Yes, that was a quote from The Room.

"Youre tearing me APAAART, Usagi!"

“You’re tearing me APAAART, Usagi!” – someone gets that reference, right?

I like the artwork in this episode so far. Everything looks and feels like a series 1 episode, mainly because of the reintroduction of Umino and Naru, but also because there’s something with the art.

That’ll change in a bit, I’m afraid.

Anyway, instead of feeling bad for being a dick, Usagi decides it would be a good idea to interfer, and so immediately thinks of asking Rei for advice.

What qualifies Rei to give advice on romance...?

What qualifies Rei to give advice on romance…?

I have no idea why. I suppose Usagi just looks up to Rei. I like that about their relationship, especially since Rei is only to eager to have the opportunity to opine.

Rei’s advice is to get them to “confirm their feelings for one another“, whatever the hell that means, and produces a leaflet she claims will solve all their problems, which is her advice for everything.

It’s a flyer for the “Lovers’ Park Affection Contest.

"...I think Ill go ask Minako instead..."

“…I think I’ll go ask Minako instead… Or that homeless guy down the street. Anyone, else, really.”

No, Rei. This is a fucking terrible idea and you should be ashamed for having suggested it, via flyer no less. Why were you ever hanging on to this…?

Usagi is taken with the idea, and instantly thinks of entering with Mamoru (HE WOULD LEAVE YOUR CRAZY ASS) before Rei has to remind her that the contest is for Naru and Umino. Lucky escape, Mamo-chan.

"Yeah, screw those guys, I have to rub my happiness in strangers faces."

“Yeah, screw those guys, I have to rub my happiness in strangers’ faces.”

So Usagi drags Naru and Umino up to Lovers’ Park (it looks a little like a quieter version of the elevated Ueno Park in Tokyo), only to find that the contest entry is over.

Seriously though, how many people could have entered for this stupid competition that entries would ever be closed?

Then comes the big embarrassed reveal, where both Umino and Naru reveal at the same time that they entered themselves without the others’ knowledge. A bit eye-rolling if I’m honest.

"Oh, I guess youre both enormous losers. I guess you DO deserve each other."

“Oh, I guess you’re both enormous losers. I guess you DO deserve each other.”

With the contest the following day (I have, like, zero interest in what will undoubtedly be a stomach-churning public mocking for all involved), Umino can be found prepping the best he can.

He tries to sleep early, under his not at all creepy poster of Naru hung abover his head (for “inspiration“?), but spends the whole night counting sheep without luck.

Seriously though, what the fuck? I expect him to have the other walls covered with nailed severed hands

Seriously though, what the fuck? I expect him to have the other walls covered with nailed severed hands

Which is about when the Daimohn Egg nestles itself inside the love-shaped monument at Lovers’ Park. Is that seriously what they’re going to call this place? How can you call it that and not expect frequent acts of dogging?

We get a brief scene of Haruka and Michiru sensing the evil in the park, and deciding to hang around until the Daimohn reveals itself. I appreciate them trying to explain why the hell Haruka and Michiru would be hanging around this head-slappingly awful event.

"...something terrible is going to happen there. Hopefully the Daimohn will put a stop to it."

“…something terrible is going to happen there. Hopefully the Daimohn will put a stop to it.”

Here’s where the art starts to get a little weird. Not bad, just… not quite fitting to the usual aesthetic. A bit shiny maybe. Umino in his over-large blue suit just looks like a clown.

How did they make Umino look even worse than usual...? At least Naru looks nice

How did they make Umino look even worse than usual…? At least Naru looks nice

Naturally the other Senshi have turned up to watch this debacle unfold, courtesy of Rei, also because they’re all romantics, even Ami, who ashamedly reveals that she’s hoping to pick up tips. Quite sweet really. Even nerds can love.

"Oh come on guys, that was nothing compared to my erotic fanfiction of Breaking Bad."

“Oh come on guys, that comment was nothing compared to my erotic fanfiction of Breaking Bad.”

The girls are all shocked to see Michiru and Haruka strolling along, having entered the contest, despite their similar genders. Haruka’s suit is… unflattering. I hate this design. She looks like a 70s pimp.

I want to melt the costume designer for this episode

I want to melt the costume designer for this episode

I like that no one is especially curious about two women entering the lovers’ contest. It’s remarked upon, but that’s it. They don’t try to draw attention to the fact that, yet again, they’re showing a homosexual relationship in a normal and positive light in a kids’ TV show.

You’re all right, Sailor Moon.

Thus begins the, uh, “contest“, which is being MC’ by someone similar to the dude who was running the lover’s boat ride contest from the first series! Nice call back!

Now, you’d expect a contest that had closed entry would be packed full of hopefuls. Well there’s 5 couples, all a bit shady looking. In fact, most of them appear as though they’ve turned up in the park for a dogging session and wandered on stage.

"This is the Lovers contest, right? I hope we havent walked into the Dogging competition again..."

“This is the Lovers contest, right? I hope we haven’t walked into the dogging competition again…”

Also, the crowd is tiny too. This is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. And Michiru and Haruka are just up there, grinning like idiots. A smidge of cynicism wouldn’t have gone amiss, you know. This is all so saccharine.

I liked seeing Minako cheering for Haruka, Apparently the discovery that her ideal man is, in fact, a woman, hasn’t deterred her by as much as you might think.

Hey, Im not judging Minako. Love is love, yeah?

Hey, I’m not judging, Minako. Love is love, yeah?

Here’s where the art really starts to bug me: everyone who is entered into the contest. They just don’t look like they’re in the same anime. They’re all too long and lumpy, even Haruka, who resembles a mop wearing a coat.

The first challenge is for the men to figure out whose hand is their lover’s. It’s like someone is making this up as they go along.

Haruka (she looks ridiculous in that stupid coat and those bagging trousers) instantly grabs the correct hand without any speculation. This causes Ami to speculate if they are lovers after all, and then she blushes furiously. Man this show really wants us to realise that they’re gay.

I like that this MC continues thinking Haruka is a guy for the entire day

I like that this MC continues thinking Haruka is a guy for the entire day

Michiru, by the way, is dressed like a prostitute. I don’t mean that with any judgement whatsoever, only to say that the animators decided that Michiru would look good wearing nothing but a lilac mac that fell juuust below her butt cheeks. I’ve only ever seen Amsterdam hookers pull this off.

Rooooooxanne. You dont have to put on the red light.

Rooooooxanne. You don’t have to put on the red light.

All I’m saying is that it’s a weird look. If you think you can rock it, by all means go ahead. I just find the combination of Haruka and Michiru’s costumes to be absurd.

As for Umino, he recalls Naru wearing a plaster on her finger, and picks the wrong hand. This isn’t going well for him.

"THIS IS MY HAND NOW"

“THIS IS MY HAND NOW”

Naru reveals through inner monologue that she had the plaster on months ago, but instead of dismissing Umino as an idiot, she seems taken with his weird memory disorder. Oh well, whatever floats your boat. At least this guy bleeds red blood.

Haruka is finally looking a little cynical about this whole stupid escapade, but Michiru checkmate’s my grumpiness with the line “I think being able to become that serious about something like this is a wonderful thing. It’s not just a game for him…

Well la-de-dah. Maybe he should stick to checkers.

"I dont care how earnest or noble he is, he still looks like a bronie."

“I don’t care how earnest or noble he is, he still looks like a bronie.”

After a bunch of other events (all terrible and game-show like), it turns out that none of that even fucking mattered since the last round is “Confess Your Love!” which decides the winners.

I can’t to see what these freaks are going to come out with.

Im not even going to comment.

I’m not even going to comment.

First up is Haruka and Michiru, and this is where my brain leaves my body in disgust.

Haruka sputters, in broken English, “Show is over“. UGH. I hate it when characters use English to try and sound cool. It’s really rather lame, especially because she instantly has to translate it in Japanese anyway.

In my head, this never happened

In my head, this never happened

Haruka then gives this horrible sapping speech about how they weren’t being serious about the contest after all, and that true lovers deserve to win. It peaks when she opens her arms to the crowd and declares:

LOVE. LOVE IS EVERYTHING.

This still never happened. Lets just move on with our lives and pretend the writers didnt complete screw over Haruka with this lame speech

This still never happened. Lets just move on with our lives and pretend the writers didn’t complete screw over Haruka with this lame speech

I immediately went out and bought a hat, just so that I had something fitting to vomit in. Seriously, this is cringe inducing. This stuff makes me embarrassed. When it’s coming from one of the Inner Senshi, who are all young and naive, it works fine, but having this fostered upon Haruka is stupid. This is so out of character for her.

Even worse, all the idiots in the crowd lap it up.

The other couples are all jokes. It’s mildly amusing I supposed, but once again it all feels completely out of kilter for Sailor Moon. It’s like some jokes were lifted out of a script for a different show.

OK this joke was actually pretty good

OK this joke was actually pretty good

Then it’s Umino turn, and he instantly falls over. I feel like they’ve made him a shade too pathetic, you know.

"Is make this speech standing up but Ive pissed  and pooped myself."

“I’d make this speech standing up but I’ve pooped myself.”

His speech is actually rather touching, even though the art gets really weird as it tries to show Umino as approaching dashing and handsome.

"It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."

“It puts the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.”

Apparently the speech is enough to make everyone in the crowd cry. Might be laying it on a little thick, writers.

And so Umino and Naru win just for having that one moment. Well that was neat, wasn’t it? If I were either one of this couple I would feel mortified at having such a personal and raw moment exposed to a cheering crowd, and then being made to “light the flame of love” at the park’s beacon.

"Thank god our private emotions have been put on display for strangers amusement."

“Thank god our private emotions have been put on display for strangers’ amusement.”

Thank god that as Umino touches the heart the Daimohn appears. Finally a little violence for the proceedings.

This Daimohn sucks though. For one, its name is DIEHEART. For another, its design is so damn lazy. Compare it to the elephant-vacuum-demon-lady and you’ll see why this one is so disappointing.

Die.

Die, heart. Seriously, though, such lazy design work.

Umino’s Pure Heart gets blasted out of him, of course, and the Senshi all transform in public and somehow no one notices. Or maybe everyone is just pretending not to notice.

Dieheart gets worse by the minute. Apparently her *thing* is to end every sentence with the word “heart” – that’s stupid.

Kaorinite is still floating about not doing a goddamn thing. She’s such a pointless character so far, and doesn’t really develop further than this in the entire series, although there’s some interesting stuff near the end.

We have Dieheart continuing to bum me out with some more shit English – “LET’S DANCING!” she says, before whipping out “ideal” partners for the Senshi.

Oh sweet mother of all that is good and holy, have a little self respect,

Oh sweet mother of all that is good and holy, have a little self respect,

This is tragic. This is so stupid that I actually find it hilarious, especially the stupid reveal of freaky tentacle monsters. I have a feeling they knew how dumb it was too from the melodramatic music cue. I don’t mind Sailor Moon doing this once in a while, but this does make them look like complete idiots.

"Hey, nobodys perfect. Lets keep dancing."

“Hey, nobody’s perfect. Let’s keep dancing.”

Thankfully Uranus and Neptune arrive to inject some seriousness into the proceedings.

Dieheart tries to summon dance partners (prison lingo?) for Uranus and Neptune, and I’m sort of sad when she gets attacked to prevent this. What would their partners look like? I could only imagine that they look like each other.

I have a feeling her ideal dancing partner is standing right next to her

I have a feeling her ideal dancing partner is standing right next to her

After looking like complete chumps, Sailor Moon and the Senshi get freed, and Uranus and Neptune move on to Kaorinite.

I have to admit – I like how emotionless and cold she is. Her tight-lipped smile is super creepy, and she seems completely fine with fleeing, not because she’s in any danger, but because the challenge isn’t there. Rather cocky of her. I wonder how that hubris will be rewarded?

"Also Im here. Uh. Bye."

“Also I’m here. Uh. Bye.”

After determining that the Pure Heart isn’t a Talisman, Uranus and Neptune return it to Umino. The only thing left to wrap-up is Dieheart (god I hate her), and Sailor Moon quickly solves that issue with a Moon Spiral Heart Attack.

I actually love this shot of Sailor Moon

I actually love this shot of Sailor Moon

Despite the fact that nearly every in the crowd has fucked off (goddamn they’re cowards – they didn’t even bother to call the police), the MC completes the event with a glowing heart for Naru and Umino. Sooooo tacky.

"Look! LOOK AT THIS COUPLE. They are to be SACRIFICED to the ALMIGHTY HEART."

“Look! LOOK AT THIS COUPLE. They are to be SACRIFICED to the ALMIGHTY HEART.”

The episode ends with Umino promising to make fried lobster for Naru on the morrow, and the last bit of goodwill I have for this episode leaks out of my ear in a rhythmic bloody pulse. I miss all the death and stuff.

Ive had my fill of Naru and Umino for one year. See you guys next season.

I’ve had my fill of Naru and Umino for one year. See you guys next season.

Not a terrible episode, but not a great one either, and one that most will pass by.


 

 

NEXT TIME: One of my favourite episodes in the series, as Makoto appears to undergo sexual confusion because of a scarf.

Episode Score: 2/5

Monster Score: 1/5 (Dieheart can bog off)

Final Thought: As soon as Naru realise that her entire relationship with Umino is a result of emotional projection after the death of Nephrite, will Umino’s daily bribes of fried shrimp be enough to make her stay? It would for me.

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7 Comments »

  1. One thing i would like to point out is that originally in Japan this wasn’t a show aimed at little girls, but early teens like the main character. Also there is a much different attitude to same-sex relationships, you can find them in many animes and nobody bats an eyelash. Most of Clamp’s stuff for instance, even Card Captor Sakura. Finally, though occasionally a character makes a comment, at the time it wasn’t strange for a young girl to be dating an older guy, the age of maturity for girls was 14, they could even get married and have children. Now i believe it’s 16. But it wasn’t uncommon to drop out of school to get married, again in CCS Sakura’s mother married her TA and dropped out to become a model. This was all quite normal. Again great review! I’m enjoying S more than i thought i would :)

  2. I don’t think the pairing of Umino and Naru is that weird. He absolutely loves everything about her. She found him annoying at first, but grew to appreciate his quirky personality. He’s safe and stable and harmless, which is something Naru might find very appealing after that relationship with Nephrite. She seems to kind of like that she can boss him around if needed, though she doesn’t take advantage of it. Plus he’s really smart and is obviously going to be successful in life. They have fun together and I think they make a good couple.

    Some people might wonder if Naru could do better… but why would she need to? Are they saying Naru’s too pretty for him and he’s too ugly, and this is all about looks? Yeah, maybe she could find someone more classically attractive and a little more masculine, if she spent years and sifted through tons of jerks to find that someone, and then would he love her as much as Umino does? Who knows.

    I forgot how freaking stupid this episode was, that Haruka speech in particular. I get that Sailor Moon wasn’t exactly created for mature fans of classic literature and film, but this just crosses way over the line and becomes embarrassing to watch. It can be excuseable if they’re doing it for comedic effect, but they weren’t… this was meant to be taken seriously. Ugh.

    The fashion in this series is always interesting too, they seem to make a real effort to dress the characters well. But then in this episode, everyone (especially Haruka) is wearing something unattractive.

    Then the daimon is lame too. The dancing thing was SO DUMB. Couldn’t they at least get some entertainment out of this? At least let the daimon finish creating partners for Haruka and Michiru… it would have been cute if it created two more men, and Haruka and Michiru could have commented that they’re realllly not interested. Then the two men could shrug and start dancing with each other.

    Or… maybe this daimon knows her stuff, and creates two women! Haruka and Michiru could then look caught off guard that it knows them so well.

    I don’t remember any episodes of S being this poor. Weird.

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