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3:24 – A House Full of Evil Presence! The Secret of the beautiful Girl Hotaru

Alternative Title: Where’s My Coffee?

First Aired: 12th November 1994

Hotaru walking down a corridor

Chibi-Usa is nervous to visit her frail new friend Hotaru at her house, but the two get along brilliantly, despite Hotaru’s continued vague illness and a curious fascination with Usagi’s transformation broach. With the Professor now brewing coffee unknowingly for his fire enemy, and a face from the past returned from the dead, this is one play date they’ll NEVER FORGET.

*Cue dramatic music.*

After last episode having such a lacklustre story, we stick a bit in a lull in terms of story. Thankfully, this episode is filled with exceedingly enjoyable parts, even if the 2nd half cocks it up a little, and the slow exploration of a new fascinating character, Hotaru, is rather interesting, even if it is a little slow.

I feel that, having gotten the big reveal over the identity of the Professor out of the way, the series is content to linger for a while. This string of episodes feels like real filler, even when one of the most interesting characters, Hotaru, is finally in play.

There are a couple of really cool moments, though, so stick around.

It’s bath-time. Uhhh wow. As a heterosexual male in his mid to late 20s, I hereby forgo any comments that I may have about this scene. So I am pointedly ignoring what you think I might talk about. Just like last time.

This is like the 6th time weve seen Usagi taking a bath. Who are they giving fanservice to exactly?

This is like the 6th time we’ve seen Usagi taking a bath. Who are they giving fan-service to exactly?

Chibi-Usa is in a great mood, apparently. You can tell because she looks as though she’s been lobotomised. This is because, she tells Usagi, that she’s finally found a friend. This girl is such a dweeb. And yeah I totally identify with her… except for the whole, uh, “having a friend” part.

I wonder what that’s like?

Anyway, Usagi instantly suspects that this is a boy, for the simple reason of Usagi being Usagi. She projects her own  wants and needs.

Naturally this turns into a mother-daughter battle where both are trying to drown the other. That’s totally normal, right?

Hey guys, remember Mamoru? No? Well anyway this intense dude is standing in a rather fetching amphitheatre(although not the same one as earlier in the series, or even that one from episode 6. How many amphitheatres does Juban have…?). He’s preparing to have a good old chat with the Outer Senshi…

"Keep it together... they can smell fear, you know."

“Keep it together… they can smell fear, you know.”

I must say, Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna appearing from the shadows, looking tough as shit and calling referring to Mamoru as “Endymion-sama” is totally badass. These ladies could be the shit out of their future king.

"Your wallet. Now."

“Your wallet. Now.”

Just to make sure Mamoru knows he shouldn’t mess with them, the three ladies transform all together. Hey, but early for it, but seeing as this is one of the less-able animation teams, this eats nicely into the running time.

These sequences still look great too. Could watch them all day.

I love Mamoru’s response or shifting seamlessly into Tuxedo Kamen. Looks great, actually, even if our poor Mamoru doesn’t get his own transformation sequence… ever.

"Hey its pretty chilly out here today. Id better put on another layer..."

“Hey it’s pretty chilly out here today. I’d better put on another layer…”

"KERBLAMMO! Want to see how quick I can get undressed too?"

“KERBLAMMO! Want to see how quick I can get undressed too?”

This is all extremely formal to be honest. And it feels rather forced. More than that, the Outer Senshi being willing to talk to Tuxedo Kamen as an equal while refusing to see the Inner Senshi as equals really is rather insulting.

Pluto gives some rather interesting backstory on the Outer Senshi. They were apparently given stronger powers than the Inner Senshi (YOU THINK?) to defend the Solar System from external threats. Which explains why they didn’t bother to tackle the Dark Kingdom or the Black Moon.

Lazy gits.

"You see, we are massive racists to descrimiate against anyone from outside the Solar System."

“You see, we are massive racists and  discriminate against anyone from outside the Solar System. It’s tough, but SOMEONE’S got to protect our jobs.””

Tuxedo Kamen gives a half-assed attempt to make the Outer Senshi join the Inner Senshi, but you know the response. Why would they even bother to call him out just to shoot him down?

In a moment of complete hubris, they posit that the coming battle is too much for the Inner Senshi, that they will be the ones who will defeat the Death Busters.

Oh that’s interesting, because who the fuck saved your ass and defeated Eugeal with powers beyond your own? Sloppy writing here – I would understand their philosophical differences, but this motivation doesn’t fit right.

"Hey remember that time you touched the Holy Grail and became Super Sailor Uranus? No? Well shut it then."

“Hey remember that time you touched the Holy Grail and became Super Sailor Uranus? No? Well shut it then.”

I liked the talk about the purpose of the Outer Senshi, but really this scene is entirely redundant.

ANYWAY, let’s cut to Makoto just looking ADORABLE also deadly because she could totally beat my face in. She, and all the girls have apparently been visited by Chibi-Usa, who was looking for tips on socialising…

"CHIBI-USA HAS A FRIEND?"

“CHIBI-USA HAS A FRIEND?”

Chibi-Usa is such a sheltered little princess in Crystal Tokyo that she has no idea how to make friends? What about that Momo girl ehhh? You know, that friend of yours?

Although this is pretty weird, I actually really liked each of the girls warmly giving advice to Chibi-Usa. Sort of showed this warm aunty figure that I imagine they take on in the future as well. Warm and fuzzy scene.

Chibi-Usa apparently also visited Rei… but their heartwarming connection was destroyed by Usagi’s intervention. I’m not entirely sure I understood everything that happened in this throwaway joke, as Rei was apparently distracted by the name “Michael”. Who the fuck is Michael? …Jackson?

"Michael Jackson used to be hot, you guys."

“Michael Jackson used to be hot, you guys.”

We cut to Chibi-Usa and Usagi coming out of a bookstore. Apparently Chibi-Usa has gone for Ami’s advice and decided to bring along a book to a girl she met just the once. I feel like everyone has social difficulties in this show, sometimes.

Usagi has seamlessly invited herself along to Chibi-Usa’s… invitation, like the nosey mother she is. I like the look Chibi-Usa gives her here.

Hey Usagi, arent you... studying for your entrance exams? You have time to follow Chibi-Usa around?

Hey Usagi, aren’t you… studying for your entrance exams? You have time to follow Chibi-Usa around?

After Chibi-Usa describes her friend as “cute, but frail it seems”, Usagi totally gets the wrong idea. I get the impression that Chibi-Usa is totally letting her mother think that she’s dating a sick dude as a 9 year old.

Usagi is weird.

Well at least this one look better than that weirdo low-budget art kid Masanori she liked

Well at least this one look better than that weirdo low-budget art kid Masanori she liked

Let’s back to normality with the Messiah of Silence shall we?

BURN THEEEEM. Its like that bit in Akira

BURN THEEEEM. It’s like that bit in Akira

Uhhhh… ok?

I love the music here. Sharp staccato strings in a creepy melody give this a real ominous vibe. We see once again the Messiah of Silence demanding a Pure Heart. This is going to be a fun playdate for Chibi-Usa.

"Were going to braid each others hair and sacrifice a small animal to the deep god Cthulhu."

“We’re going to braid each other’s hair and sacrifice a small animal to the deep god Cthulhu.”

Usagi and Chibi-Usa approach the front door, but before they can knock, someone opens it… veeeery slowly….

Holy. Fuck.

"We dont want any fucking girl scout cookies, now piss off."

“We don’t want any fucking girl scout cookies, now piss off.”

This is one of the most creepy reveals on Sailor Moon. Sure it’s not as moody as plenty of other moments, sure it’s in the middle of the day on a doorstep, but the shadows in Kaorinite’s face, her eyes, her sly, haughty look, is so malevolent, and so out of the blue, that it actually takes you breath away for a second.

"Shit I forgot to log out of Facebook in that internet cafe."

“Shit I forgot to log out of Facebook in that internet cafe.”

And not remotely is this foreshadowed or hinted at. This is a big shock. Kaorinite is supposed to be dead, we haven’t seen her in half a series.

Usagi’s reaction is completely spot on. And remember – Chibi-Usa never met Kaornite.

"Seriously, do you mind not staring? I realise my boobs are barely held together by this dress, but my face is up here."

“Finally, the plumber’s here. The toilet’s been blocked for 2 days and it’s starting to smell like a Malaysian fish market in there.”

The moment is suddenly broken as the Professor appears, warmly greeting Usagi and Chibi-Usa, and introducing the TERRIFYING GOAT-EYED MONSTER as Kaori, his assistant.

Usagi is still freaked the fuck out… but for some unknown reason decides that the woman who looks exactly like Kaorinite, and has almost the same fucking name as Kaorinite, must be a different person.

"Oh this is just my evil magical lab assistant Kaori who you killed a few weeks ago, anyway would you like coffee?"

“Oh this is just my evil magical lab assistant Kaori who you killed a few weeks ago, anyway would you like coffee?”

This isn’t that big a point for me actually. I just find it hilarious what a dramatic moment that was before being completely resolved in a few seconds.

I also like the Professor shuffling off to “brew some tasty coffee…” like a demented butler.

The seamless change from the kindly Professor into… THE Professor, is fantastic too. His humming all the while as he puts his coat on, before staring directly at the camera again, is pretty funny/creepy.

Who put the lovely hear ton his locker...?  Thats the most creepy thing of all.

Who put the lovely hear ton his locker…? That the most creepy thing of all.

Mimett, meanwhile, is reading manga, acting out all the parts (which makes everyone shrill and annoying), while she ignores the phone ringing. I can’t believe Eugeal got replaced by this.

After finally picking up the phone, Mimett randomly picks the author of a new book off a flyer on her desk as the target. She has no idea if he even has a Pure Heart. Seriously, Mimett, get a grip.

"Mimett, youre fired." "Oh yeah I totally understand why. In fact I judge you for not firing me earlier."

“Mimett, you’re fired.”
“Oh yeah I totally understand why. In fact I judge you for not firing me earlier.”

Oh yeah, the Professor hasn’t forgotten about his daughter’s guests, and is preparing coffee in a glass beaker over a Bunsen burner. I love that. Bet it tastes great. His maniacal laughter at having successfully created tasty coffee is just perfectly absurd.

Mimett’s author target is… a football referee? I have no idea. Why is he wearing the same shirt that’s on the posters and flyers? Maybe he has just the one. I’ve got to stop thinking about the random and ancillary character. Especially one so lazily designed.

Usagi, meanwhile, is wondering where the fuck her coffee is. Still in a lab beaker, love.

Looks like they’ve been waiting a while for Hotaru… and we get the reason why. Hotaru is have a seizure… one that looks totally fucking evil when framed by her dark hair and shadows.

This is why I never invite people over. Walking from my bedroom to the living room is SO HARD.

This is why I never invite people over. Walking from my bedroom to the living room is SO HARD.

When she enters the room she’s all smiles, however, and instantly I love this girl’s earnest and honest delight at seeing her friend.

Aww look how adorable the ickle possessed girly is!

Aww look how adorable the ickle possessed girly is!

Usagi is taken aback, having previous thought that her 9 year old future daughter was in love with some sickly dude.

Hotaru invites the pair to her room (after a fight that ends in Hotaru giggling her face off) when she’s surprised by Kaori bringing coffee in.

Hotaru’s expression is so fierce right here. I really like how they’re building her character. Honest, earnest, frail, with a determination to be independent and a refusal to hide her dislike and distrust for someone who is OBVIOUSLY AN EVIL GOAT.

Theres something deeply alarming about the minutely furious expression here

There’s something deeply alarming about the minutely furious expression here. You don’t want to piss off Hotaru. that’s for sure.

Seriously, Kaori gets fucking told here, as Hotaru grabs the tray of coffee and marches the way to her room.

Hotaru explains that Kaori is a pain in the ass assistant (which actually explains nothing whatsoever) before bumming everyone out by revealing that her mother has been dead for some years.

Gotta love the dead mother trope. It does seem cruel to pile all this pain on poor Hotaru, but she seems to handle it well… so far…

Hotaru’s room is rad. It’s filled with strange gentle lamps that give a soft purple blueish glow. I’ve got to redecorate my room like this…

Yeah yeah its pretty but I bet shes helping to melt the ice-caps. Those lights dont look environmentally friendly

Yeah yeah its pretty but I bet she’s helping to melt the icecaps. Those lights don’t look environmentally friendly

And then Hotaru ruins it all by passing out, spilling the coffee everywhere. Hey, maybe someone else should have held the tray after all? Also, don’t give coffee to kids, Professor Tomoe, it can’t be good for their supple frail kidneys.

"Sorry I was thinking about Dawsons Creek and the thought of Pacey got me all woozy."

“Sorry I was thinking about Dawson’s Creek and the thought of Pacey got me all woozy. Happens every day”

Hotaru manages to convince the pair that she’s perfectly fine (she’s not), but before they can pull Hotaru back to her feet, she notices Usagi’s Transformation Broach peeking out of her pocket…

…and shit gets scary… again…

Aw isnt she adorablea as she glares into my very soul

Aw isn’t she adorable as she glares into my very soul

Apparently the power of the simply holding the broach makes her feel “better… and better…” as that creepy two-toned synthesised voice of the Messiah of Darkness begins to come out.

This is just the most fun playdate ever, isn’t it?

"I bet this would sell for, like $200 on eBay."

“I bet this would sell for, like $200 on eBay.”

Thankfully, scary-ass Hotaru comes too before she can trip out and eat people’s faces off/crawl through the TV and scare you to death.

Seriously though, what Chibi-Usa and Usagi must think of this freaky girl. No wonder she can’t keep friends. Really rather sad thinking about it.

Chibi-Usa tries to smooth over the freaky-ass moment by giving Hotaru her gift, when a flyer conveniently flies out, informing them of the autograph session of Random Referee Author.

"HOLY CRAP a conveienient excuse to leave this depressing house just flew out."

“HOLY CRAP a convenient excuse to leave this depressing house just flew out.”

This is such a weak excuse to get them to the action, but both girls suddenly become determined to get the books autographed for Hotaru. It’s probably just an excuse to acoid having to give medical treatment to an ailing girl, or mopping up her coffee-soaked carpet, which everyone is ignoring.

Dipshit Author Guy is attacked in a car park by an exceptionally annoying Mimett. I actually like how coy she’s being before she attacks, cocking her head to one side.

OK, but why the shirt...?

OK, but why the shirt…?

I seriously don’t care about this fight. Get me back to Hotaru’s house, please. You don’t have to have a Daimohn fight every episode, you know. Sigh.

Anyway, this Daimohn is pretty shit. Uhenshu has the most tenuous link to the subject matter of all Daimohns – she’s like a paperwork demon lady? She’s obsessed with deadlines, too. What has that got to do with anything?

"Yeah I know I suck. The artists just doodled their project manager and decided to run with it. Im sorry."

“Yeah I know I suck. The artists just doodled their project manager and decided to run with it. I’m sorry.”

Also she’s clearly a cheap pornstar. That probably says more about me than any of you wanted to know, but there you go.

Enter Usagi, who smartly gets Chibi-Usa to leave with Hotaru before she transforms. Good, because whereas I like Chibi-Usa (generally), I don’t think Chibi-Moon adds much to anything.

Sailor Moon gives her entrance talk as Uhenshu eats the dude’s Pure Heart and, you know, all the fighting and stuff begins. Uhenshu is SUPER dedicated to whatever theme she’s chosen, with a “WHITE MANUSCRIPT HELL” attack…

"Look at all these rejected scripts for the Hollywood live action adaptation of Akira! Look at how shit they are!"

“Look at all these rejected scripts for the Hollywood live action adaptation of Akira! Look at how shit they are!”

And then a “Cut and Paste attack“. This would be quicker if you just hit Ctrl+X, you know.

Sailor Moon is, as ever, saved, this time we get the full version of Sailor Pluto’s Dead Scream attack. We can’t have the Inner Senshi doing anything worthwhile in this series, can we?

And yeah, this attack looks awesome. I love everything about it. It’s dark, brooding, with a unique colour palette, this strange wind-rushing sound, and Pluto’s characteristic fatalistic mutter of “...De-do Sukureemu…” like a total emo.

And hey, as a free bonus, here’s Dead Scream as a gif, because I understand the internet likes that.

Dead Scream gif

This kick-ass attacks neatly allows Uranus and Neptune to free Sailor Moon. Apparently they’re not so opposed to helping her as they claimed to Tuxedo Kamen.

There’s a bit more furious fighting – Uhenshu is really putting up a fight against the Outer Senshi, which is pretty unheard of. I gotta give this lady props, even if she can’t dress properly.

Just as Uhenshu is about to use a giant box-cutter on Uranus’s face, who should save her ass but…

This brings up the total number of times that attack has been useful this series up to: 2

This brings up the total number of times that attack has been useful this series up to: 2

Hell yeah, Sailor Venus! And the other Senshi too! They’re NOT ENTIRELY USELESS?

Oh yeah, and this douche too, who condescendingly explains to Uranus and Sailor Moon has a team to back her up. Gotta have a dude come in to heavy-handedly explain the moral of the episode.

"They call me Tuxedo Mansplaining"

“They call me Tuxedo Mansplaining I’m here to condescend to an entire sex to perpetuate gender stereotypes and maintain the patriarchy.”

Anyway, Sailor Moon uses the Grail to upgrade into Super Sailor Moon, who uses Rainbow Moon Heart Attack, job done. I fear that this secondary transformation and attack is quickly on its way to become pedestrian with these run-of-the-mill battles.

I dont want to stop feeling that this is special!

I dont want to stop feeling that this is special!

As a final reveal, after she dies. it’s shown that Uhenshu was formed out of… a manga sequence of Uhenshu fighting Sailor Moon…? What…? That’s pretty meta. I think I like that? Hard to say.

Sooooo... who the hell drew this? Why was it just lying around the Death  Busters lab?

Sooooo… who the hell drew this? Why was it just lying around the Death Busters lab?

Anyway, I was pretty bored during that fight. I think the brilliance of the battle with Eugeal soured me to the routine battles. Peaked too soon, Sailor Moon!

The episode ends back in the bathtub. They really didn’t resolve anything with Hotaru did they? Just totally swept out of the way for Mimett. Boo.

Usagi in the bath again

“I still never got my goddamn coffee though.”

Hotaru apparently had great fun in the arcade, as it was her first time. That really mirrors another budding friendship, waaaaaay back in the day… or even more recently… I wonder if they were trying to draw parallels between Usagi and Chibi-Usa on purpose here.

The episode ends with Chibi-Usa becoming a total Hotaru fan-girl, and takes it a weeeeeee bit too far as she imagines her smiling, as credits roll.

Chibi-Usa begins furiously writing Hotaru fanfiction in the bathtub

Chibi-Usa begins furiously writing Hotaru fanfiction in the bathtub

I like a lot of stuff here, but that final third of the episode really drags. That’s going to be a theme with the coming episodes, actually, which is a shame, because up till now Sailor Moon S has been flawless… barring a couple of notable hiccups.

It does, however, leave me intensely interested in Hotaru, Professor Tomoe and Kaorinite, which is where the series is headed. Fun times ahead! Also pain and death and stuff.


 

 

Episode Score: 3/5 (Struggle with this one, but some shoddy artwork here and there, and the final act, really drags it down.)

Monster Score: 2/5 (She put up a good fight, but Uhenshu was not wanted at all.)

Final Thought: Why didn’t Kaorinite recognise Usagi as the girl she attacked, the one that got her killed? Also, she knows she’s got an enormously Pure Heart, and surely she knows that the Professor is looking for one for the Messiah of Silence to consume? Goddamnit, Plot Hole City.

NEXT TIME: Mimett chases celebrities. Enough said.

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9 Comments »

  1. I loved how the daimon looked like it was inspired by Lum from Uresai Yatsura, that was my take on it anyways :) Also, i just realized that Venus the only one to say her name in an attack (in the dub they did it for them all) odd ne?

  2. Dead Scream is magnificent. Hotaru is FASCINATING. I really can’t wait to learn more about our sickly mystery girl.

    I’m starting to understand the massive hate for Mimete, though. She’s kind of horrific in every way. I think I could compare her to Esmeraude, and Esmeraude would come out the better of the two. >.<

    Seriously, really REALLY hoping the Second Coming of Kaolinite makes up for this awful, boring, annoying waste of screen time.

    On the other hand, I am really REALLY starting to enjoy the arc Chibi-Usa is on. Could NQS have sent her back here specifically to find and befriend Hotaru, knowing how important she would become (I'm guessing 'very')? And could Pluto have been sent back by Serenity as well, to aid the Outer Senshi and facilitate smoother relations between them and the Inners? One seems more likely than the other, I'll grant. But it's interesting to ponder just how much impact on the present day Crystal Tokyo had.

    • They strongly imply NQS set up a time loop by sending Chibi-Usa to befriend Hotaru. Plus mamma probably needed some away time from the kid, who better to babysit than yourself?

  3. Yes, the “Michael” reference in Michael Jackson. He was popular in Japan (just like he was everywhere), and the voice actress for Rei supposedly was an especially huge Michael Jackson fan, so they slipped that into the episode as a gag.

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