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3:9 – Save Friends! Moon and Uranus Join Forces

Alternative Title: Crash

First Aired: 28th May 1994

Uranus shocked by Sailor Moon

Haruka and Michiru have a strong suspicion who the next Pure Heart target will be by Koarinite, but they don’t realise that their interference is expected. After wounding Neptune, Sailor Moon and Uranus are bound together by Kaorinite, and the two must overcome their differences to save Neptune.

Ugh.

Seriously. Do I have to review this? This is horrible. How dare they call this Sailor Moon? So far this series I’ve had moments that have actually reached the pinnacle of animedom. We’ve seen touching explorations of sexual confusion. We’ve seen beautifully written character development. We’ve even seen pure hilarity.

And then there’s this episode.

This is hands down the worst in Sailor Moon S, and is in competition for one of the worst episodes of the entire show.

The episode begins in the Death Buster’s lab. We haven’t been here for a while, so it might have been nice to revisit the antagonists and take stock.

"This is the worst nightclub I've even been in"

“This is the worst nightclub I’ve even been in”

Kaorinite and the Professor (who does not even appear outside of a disembodied voice) discuss Uranus and Neptune, and appear to hatch a plan to draw them out and dispose of them.

A flat scene that doesn’t quite do justice to the images of pure vomit that are to come.

"How is it we have all this awesome footage of the Sailor Senshi, but can't seem to film them transforming?"

“How is it we have all this awesome footage of the Sailor Senshi, but can’t seem to film them transforming?”

Today’s “theme” is motocross. I do not know what the Venn diagram between Sailor Moon fans and motocross enthusiasts looks like, but I’m guessing there’s not too much overlap.

Sorry all you motoheads out there reading this.

If it's not XGames then I don't want to hear it.

If it’s not XGames then I don’t want to hear it.

Apparently the winner of the poorly-animated race was Haruka, as her adoring fans of Usagi et al. inform us. There’s some “dialogue” here, but it’s brain-numbingly awful. Ami at one points goes on about having forgotten an English word because she was “too excited”.

That's the face of a person who is "too excited"

That’s the face of a person who is “too excited”

When then cut to Haruka, post race, and Michiru handing her a towel, and then suddenly helmeted asshats appear to beat Haruka up because she won a race.

This isn’t an 80s movie. This doesn’t happen. This is stupid.

"Now is the hour of Gotham's reckoning, Batman"

“Now is the hour of Gotham’s reckoning, Batman”

The first guy’s line is literally, “Oi, Tenoh Haruka. You won and you’re a GIRL.” Yeah that’s genius.

I get that they’re trying to say something about gender equality, and the bruised ego of the patriarchy, but it’s so woefully dumbed down as to actually serve against… whatever it is trying to say.

And of course it’s up to a man to step in settle things down, because apparently you can win a motocross race as a girl but diplomacy is still beyond you. Poor Haruka.

"HEY. YOU. I'm pretty sure it's illegal to beat people to death."

“HEY. YOU. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to beat people to death.”

This guy (I’m guessing his name is Yamada) seems to order enough respect amongst the people who were about to beat a woman with wrenches in front of witnesses to leave Haruka alone.

The police should immediately be informed, especially in light of what is yet to come.

And just to completely telegraph everything that is to happen in this episode, Michiru remarks pointedly to Haruka that Yamada obviously has a Pure Heart and will most definitely be the random dude chosen in this episode.

"I sense something... this will be a shit episode." "We should leave while we can."

“I sense something… this will be a shit episode.”
“We should leave while we can.”

Normally I tend to overlook such coincidences and poor writing, but today this irks me.

As the gang are leaving the park, Usagi… uh… becomes obsessed with some really crap motocross dolls and misses the bus. Well we’ve all done it, right?

Nice to know that Usagi commands enough attention from her friends and boyfriend not to be missed on a crowded bus. Oh well, if they got away with it in Home Alone…

Mamoru's reaction: "Oh well." Such a great boyfriend

Mamoru’s reaction: “Oh well.” Such a great boyfriend

Upon realising that the next bus doesn’t leave for an hour (this is a stupidly remote place to hold competition, Usagi is luckily offered a ride by Haruka on her motorcycle.

Now… I don’t want to say anything about Haruka’s driving ability… but she has almost killed Usagi while riding that thing before.

"I suppose technically I'm safer on the bike than on the street..."

“I suppose technically I’m safer on the bike than on the street…”

Today, however, it’s not Haruka’s riding that will almost kill Usagi, but those fucking psychopaths from earlier.

That’s right, you ignore a threat of death and this is what happens. Some dudes will try and run you off the road in a truck. Usagi also has nothing to do with this stupid random altercation. This is huge. There are are normal humans trying to kill the future queen of the world.

Soooo... the TRUE monster is man? Because I can go with this if you run with it

Soooo… the TRUE monster is man? Because I can go with this if you run with it

And it goes nowhere.

The way Haruka gets out of this is not to pull over and call the cops, but to drive away even faster because that’s totally not going to cause an accident.

The looks on the stupid motocross murderers’ faces when a motorcycle proves faster than a fat ass truck is unbelievable. What did you think would happen?

"JAZZ HAAANDS"

“JAZZ HAAANDS”

Haruka and Usagi end up in a bush waiting for the truck to pass, but they actually get out and start hunting for two teenage girls that they’re trying to murder. And not one person on the writing staff suggested that this might be a little out of tone for Sailor Moon?

And then another stupid bit where Haruka holds Usagi into her boobs for some reason (there’s no reason), and Usagi starts flushing as if she likes it. As shown, I actively encourage homosexual encounters in Sailor Moon, but this is done so poorly, especially when Usagi starts talking about how nice Haruka smells.

"OK you turned me again."

“OK you turned me again.”

Usagi is literally a few paces away from two mask-wearing murderers and she’s hitting on a girl. What.

Well what did you expect from shoving a girl into your boobs?

Well what did you expect from shoving a girl into your boobs?

The solution to all this is just for Haruka to kick both the guys until they piss themselves and run away. So tonally inconsistent. They were totally ready to murder her and now they just drive away with a vague “you’ll regret thiiiis!“, but of course she won’t.

We, of course, regret all of this. BE BETTER DAMMIT.

You'd think Haruka kicking a guy in the fucking face would be good. It's not, really

You’d think Haruka kicking a guy in the fucking face would be good. It’s not, really

We cut to more recycled motocross shots, this time of Yamada. Heroic shots of him driving around the Japanese countryside, pausing only to look contemplative above waterfalls.

Don’t care. Please die already.

"I feel like I'm going to be an important character for more than 3 minutes."

“I feel like I’m going to be an important character for more than 3 minutes.”

Oh, it’s Kaorinte in a bubble to make that happen. Are we going to get a cool Daimohn to make up for all the shit animation and writing thus far?

Nope. We won’t.

Meanwhile, just to make sure we throw in a couple more plot contrivances, Haruka’s motorbike has broken down for some determinable reason (the reason is plot contrivance), and it’s at this point you should realise that you aren’t getting an episode of motocross racing action, you’re getting a boring romp through some woods.

Haruka theorises that the "spark plug has gone crazy", which sounds plausible

Haruka theorises that the “spark plug has gone crazy”, which sounds plausible

Michiru, who has been stalking Yamada, contacts Haruka to tell her to get her frosty well-toned ass over there, and Haruka tells Usagi to screw off, which she obediently does.

And Haruka just runs off into some bushes. It’s actually rather unintentionally hilariously bad.

Usagi is obviously suspicious, and they toy throughout the episode with the girls discovering each others’ identity, but it’s so premature in the series, and nothing ever comes of these suspicions, so the entire episode is pointless.

Yamada is beset by… this… thing…

"I was drawn by a three year old high off sniffing paint."

“I was drawn by a three year old high off sniffing paint. Behold my rubbery groin.”

This is awful. Remember the awesome F1 racing car Daimohn? It’s a bit like that but totally shit. It’s called “Tiren”, which sounds about right. They can’t even be bothered to think up a clever place to put the Black Star Tattoo, so they just slap it on her stupid fucking forehead.

Ahem. Excuse my swearing.

Sailor Neptune is running this one by herself, launching a Deep Submerge at Tiren (I puke every time I write that). This is, as ever, stock footage, which means that it’s the nicest-looking thing in this episode drawn by monkeys.

The Pure Heart is knocked out of Tiren’s clammy fist, and Neptune quickly realises that it’s not a Talisman. This is waaay to early in the episode for this to be happening. Looks like they’re trying to play with the routine a bit.

"Thank god this episode is over, I can finally go h-"

“Thank god this episode is over, I can finally go home”

If it was written or drawn by any one of the other teams, I would be inclined to applaud them for that. It is not, so I’m not.

Kaorinite appears to reveal that she didn’t give a damn about the Talisman, and reveals her SUPER SECRET WEAPON to do away with Sailor Neptune.

Remember Tiren? Yeah, it’s that, but two of that.

"So we need a convincingly threatening enemy to take on Neptune here." "A tire with a face." "Not feeling it. "How about two tires with a face?" "...I love it."

“So we need a convincingly threatening enemy to take on Neptune here.”
“A tire with a face.”
“Not feeling it.
“How about two tires with a face?”
“…I love it.”

*slow clap*

What’s worse than a rubbish monster? Two of them, obviously. Actually no, I lie, it’s whatever they’re doing here:

I want to find out whoever drew this and punch them in the balls.

I want to find out whoever drew this and punch them in the balls.

Yeah, they can… turn into wheels with faces, which makes no physical sense whatsoever, and looks completely shit into the bargain.

Who is writing this show? It’s these rare terrible episodes that make me occasionally a little embarrassed to love Sailor Moon so much. Thank god there aren’t too many of them at this level.

So Neptune is tied to a tree (I always thought it would end this way) as Uranus turns up… and then Usagi turns up right behind her chasing after Haruka for some reason…

I thought she was meant to be, you know, good?

I thought she was meant to be, you know, good?

It’s all a little rushed here. What they don’t, and can’t establish, is why Usagi would be running after Haruka, find Sailor Uranus exactly where Haruka should have been, and not join the dots.

Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon (nice, a transformation sequence that takes up another 2 minutes of air time. The more the better) and joins the Amazing Tumbling Uranus in battle.

...OK, I'm done with this.

…OK, I’m done with this.

Meanwhile, Kaorinite’s big plan is to threaten to jab Neptune in the throat with a crystal unless Uranus gives herself up. Hey, here’s an idea: stab her now, then you don’t have to worry about Neptune kicking your ass later, yeah?

"I will force you to tell me what colour hair dye you use first, THEN I will kill you."

“I will force you to tell me what colour hair dye you use first, THEN I will kill you.”

It’s actually Sailor Moon who frees Neptune here, with, you won’t believe this, a Moon Tiara Action. WOW that’s so RETRO.

And then she’s promptly shit again. Sounds about right. Sailor Moon ends up being saved by Uranus, who is obviously resentful, and the two begin to bicker.

Kaorinite notices this, and instead of, I dunno, blowing them up with a bomb, thinks up the dumbest thing she can think of. This is like an episode of Saved By The Bell.

"Oh no, now we'll never win the talent contest at The Max against Kelly and Zack!"

“Oh no, now we’ll never win the talent contest at The Max against Kelly and Zack!”

Yep, they’re chained together. You can already see the ending: they’re really uncoordinated, they’ll patch things up emotionally, then they’ll be in total sync. Ughhhh.

So Kaorinite is now trying to give them a lesson in “friendship”? This is stupid.

"I don't know what I'm doing. I'm so drunk by now."

“I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m so drunk by now.”

Apparently the situation is so dire that it’s gotten to the stage where Kaorinite can finally “kill” Neptune by throwing her into the waterfall. What happened to the goddamn stabbing, Kaorinite? Her name is NEPTUNE, she’s obviously going to survive.

I guess they want this to be all dramatic and stuff.

Uranus drags Sailor Moon off into the woods instead of trying to save Neptune. Seriously, if this is how she died, against two sentient wheels, that would have been hilarious.

"COME ONE. Into the woods. I need to pee."

“COME ON. Into the woods. I need to pee.”

Sailor Moon and Uranus end up hiding in a cave from Tiren & Tiren. I can’t believe these shitty bad guys are causing so much trouble. It’s silly.

Sailor Moon is still wroth that Uranus could have left Neptune behind, and Uranus gets all huffy, angry that Sailor Moon could have misinterpreted their deep bond of trust. You know, the usual stuff.

"We're so different! WHY ARE WE SO DIFFERENT?"

“We’re so different! WHY ARE WE SO DIFFERENT? And OTHER emotional outbursts.”

We at least get an interesting glimpse of the lengths Uranus and Neptune are willing to go for the Talisman, even sacrificing one another. This is the only redeeming aspect of the entire episode.

At the very least, Sailor Moon seems to understand that Uranus doesn’t relish the thought of their being victims, but sees it as a necessary evil to save others. Even if she doesn’t agree with it.

This is literally the only interesting interplay in the entire episode

This is literally the only interesting interplay in the entire episode

And being the pragmatist that I am, I have to agree with Uranus.

We then get the obvious-going-to-happen bonding scene, where Sailor Moon offers to clean a wound on Uranus. This is lame. I almost cracked a smile when Sailor Moon asked Uranus to scratch her back for her, but it really was still rather painful.

They've resorted to ape social interactions to move the plot along

They’ve resorted to ape social interactions to move the plot along

Yeah this would be my reaction too

Yeah this would be my reaction too

Nice to see Uranus warming to Sailor Moon at least. Sailor Moon actually recognises Uranus’ perfume as the same as Haruka’s at one point, and seems to make the connection, but since this is NEVER BROUGHT UP EVER AGAIN the moment is entirely pointless, and serves only to annoy rather than to entice.

Anyway, stupid Tiren & Tiren are back and as ugly as ever.

This time, as you knew they would, Sailor Moon and Uranus are moving in tandem. One conversation and they’re magically in sync.

Gripping television

Gripping television

As if to underline how stupid and random this is, Kaorinite actually says it out loud, just in case you were too dumb to realise at home.

No idea why, but the Tirens try to lock Moon and Uranus together again… even though they’re already locked together… which results in the pair managing to break themselves free.

That was Plot Contrivance  number #9 today, if you're keeping count

That was Plot Contrivance number #9 today, if you’re keeping count

I feel like this was all made up as they went along. Let’s just cut to the chase. None of the action is any good.

Uranus kills one Tiren with a World Shaking, and Sailor Moon the other with Moon Spiral Heart Attack. Thank FUCK. Never again will they so rudely offend my eyeballs.

I'm never watching this episode ever again

I’m never watching this episode ever again

Hey, what ever happened to that Yamada guy?

Whatever, Neptune and Uranus are reunited, Sailor Moon looks all smug, and that’s actually the end of the entire goddamn episode. I’m glad to say we never get an episode that bad ever again. I think…

"You should have left me to drown." "You know I could never leave my partn-" "No I would rather not be associated with you anymore. Not after this."

“You should have left me to drown.”
“You know I could never leave my partn-“
“No I would rather not be associated with you anymore. Not after this.”

Personally, I don’t consider this to be canon. This never happened, you hear? THIS. NEVER. HAPPENED.


 

 

NEXT TIME: Yuichiro actually sinks lower, which we all thought was impossible, after he suspects Rei and Haruka of dating. To be fair to him, she’s clearly the better man.

Episode Score: 1/5 (Can I give this zero? Pleeeeease?)

Monster Score: 1/5 (ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS SHIT?)

Final Thought: This is a goddamn travesty of an episode. That is all.

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