In Memoriam: Eugeal, She Stole my Heart
Eugeal is one of my favourite characters in Sailor Moon. Yes, she was chronically under-utilised, but in terms of personality, intelligence and class, she’s unmatched. She wasn’t granted a soppy storyline, nor a distant and slightly-unbelievable redemption, or even a particularly glamorous death, but what she did provide was a dead-pan no-nonsense approach and laughs a-plenty.
I love Eugeal. The trope of the evil scientist is one that I rather tend to abhor, but while the Professor is more straight-forwardly your evil psychopath scientist, Eugeal was more of a problem solver.
While nearly all other enemies of Sailor Moon employ ephemeral magic against the Senshi, Eugeal surrounded herself with tools. I loved the concept that she invented brutal yet effective items for every task.
A feature of hers I was especially fond of was her white station wagon. It’s so quintessentially contradictory – a plain, functional car that looks more like that of a soccer mom (not writing that as “mum” actually hurt me there) than an evil witch.
The on-going gag of the station wagon popping up in the most unlikely of places got me laughing every single time.
Eugeal’s approach was markedly different from nearly all other enemies. Rather than employing a complicated and illogical plan of slowly corrupting a target, impregnating some inanimate object nearby etc etc, seeing Eugeal just rock up to her victim in her car, lean out the window and gun them down with that Pure Heart rifle was genius. See, it actually made sense.
More than that, it also protected Eugeal from the taint of failure that so many other bad-guys face. The Phantom Sisters or Esmeraude from season 2, for example, by design, could not succeed in their mission at any point, lest the world be destroyed. As such, they constantly lost, and looked rather weak.
Eugeal’s goal is to find the Talismans. Which, in fact, she does, through effort, intelligence and ingenuity. Also a bit of cruelty. Despite Mimett’s accusation that she’s a “failure”, Eugeal is probably the most successful of all Sailor Moon enemies.
Eugeal played the straight-man brilliantly, such as when she would ignore Chibi-Moon entirely, or explode in anger against a Daimohn who proved to be less effective than promised. Her vexed look, one of a long-suffering office lady, never failed to make me smile. I especially loved her brief phone interactions with the Professor, although there weren’t enough.
One of my favourite moments from Eugeal was her crowd-control of the insanely ornate party thrown by Edwards. Gassing the room, with her victim stumbling towards a woman in a Chinese dress,only to see Eugeal with a gas mask on and holding a rifle, was such a bad-ass moment.
I also thought she looked brilliant at any point when she was wielding her trademark flamethrower.
And the far-too-long phone message she left threatening Haruka and Michiru? Brilliantly edited, brilliantly performed, brilliantly framed. Such a great scene, and no one else could have pulled off the self-righteous fussiness like Eugeal.
The thing I appreciated most about Eugeal was that I had the strange compulsion to want her to succeed. She always looked so long-suffering, she always put in quite a lot of effort, only to be rather unfairly stymied by Uranus, Neptune and Sailor Moon. I actually found myself, against my will, cheering her on as she was trying to run away with the Talismans.
She had just been through so much shit that I felt like she deserved a break.
While I might accuse Eugeal of being an underdeveloped character, my favourite generals have always been ones where the writers steered away from giving them too much depth. I realise that this is against everything I have ever written about good writing, but there is a certain purity about having a reliably evil character pop in, do their thing without hogging attention away from the central characters.
In the end I wasn’t that enthusiastic about Dimande’s backstory and oppressive/inappropriate love, but I did really enjoy Rubeus’ completely bland aggressive ambition. It allowed for some genuinely tense face-offs while allowing the writers to concentrate on creating the character arcs of the main characters.
As it is with Eugeal.
I salute you, sheik hippy Eugeal. You can fire my heart out my chest any time. Hope drowning to death in a car accident wasn’t too painful…
It’s worth mentioning that this betrayal by Mimett in a rather gruesome manner will forever poison me against her. She is an interloper, a sub-standard replacement that killed her boss for a promotion. Not to mention everything else about her. So let’s all give thanks for Eugeal, the first and best of the Witches 5.
Number of Episodes Survived: 9 (That’s really not that many…)
Effort: A (She created a programme in an old can of tinned peaches on a floppy disk. That’s effort)
Final Score: 5/5 (She really is one of my favourites. Apart from the Professor, no one else in this series really holds a candle to her)