3:28 – Higher, Stronger! Cheers by Usagi
Alternative Title: Sexy Legs
First Aired: 10th December 1994
Hotaru has become enamoured with a famous athlete, and writes him a letter expressing her admiration for his talents, but can’t bring herself to send it to him. Usagi and Chibi-Usa drag her along to his training grounds so that she can offer her idol the letter in person, but Mimett also has her sights on him…
Hey guys, first up, sorry there has been a lack of reviews this week, but I’m sure you enjoyed a break from my repetitive and venomous sniping. I know I did.
This episode surprised me without how pleasant it was to watch, even if the story blows chunks. It’s one from the fairly rubbish animation and writing team, so there are scenes that are a little eye-rolling, but I have to admit that there are quite a number of moments that give me a genuine laugh. So not a complete car-wreck then.
That being said, this is a rubbish storyline for Hotaru, and I’m really getting impatient with the final third of this season. This lull in the story arc actually continues for another couple of episodes, but when the final events are set in motion, Sailor Moon S really does shine once more.
We actually start off with Mamoru’s frowny face. D’aww Mamoru did someone use the last of the toilet paper without changing the roll? Is that why you’re a widdle cross?
This is actually Mamoru expositing on events that I really don’t think he would even know. They want to drop an info dump about the past and destiny of the Outer Senshi and have chosen the guy least involved in this entire series. Despite my cynical outlook… it sort of works. This is interesting stuff, even if it amounts to nothing really new. Essentially it’s an excuse to have Uranus, Neptune and Pluto look cool against cosmic backgrounds. They have been rather useless lately.
Basically, the Outer Senshi defend the Solar System from external threats. Great recap.
It occurs to me that this doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. How are they to battle threats from deep space? It’s not like they have a spaceship or can fly around in the cold vacuum of space. They have to chill out on Earth until some bad guy turns up. They’re the worst space-cops ever! Apart from those guys in Green Lantern of course…
We cut to the Inner Senshi, discussing the Outer Senshi and their distance from them. Makoto, naturally, looks rather cross at the thought that they possess powers stronger than her.
Mamoru continues to look SUPER moody as he warns them not to think of joining forces with the Outer Senshi because “they wish for a different world.”
Hey, I wish for a world when I can level up by defeating monsters. but you don’t see me getting all anti-social.
Usagi’s contribution to the conversation is to blandly repeat the last thing that Mamoru said to herself. Atta girl Usagi, keep using those brain cells or they’ll atrophy.
Mimett and the Witches 4 (I miss Eugeal) are… playing Twister. OK what the fuck? This is probably the most random out of any cut to the Death Buster’s lab, and there have been some WEIRD cuts. Remember when Professor Tomoe was on that treadmill for some reason?
Despite that the other witches are most definitely centre screen and actually interacting with Mimett, they are still clouded in shadow. It’s never looked so out of place… but the weirdness of the situation, how blatant the silhouetting is, makes this rather hilarious.
We now enter an EXCEEDINGLY long scene of Mimett trying to reach Right Leg Four as she cheers for herself in her own head. We spend so long on her creaky leg and repetitive chanting that it it begins to get irritating… and then it goes on for even longer until it gets actually funny again. It’s weird.
Anyway, her surprisingly nimble leg movement is witnessed by the Professor… lurking in the darkness as the camera pointedly suggests that he’s staring up her skirt. This is really disturbing stuff, especially combined with Mimett screaming with competitive fury.
The Professor mistakes… whatever it is they’re doing… for training. I have a feeling that by this point the Professor actually has no positive opinion of Mimett whatsoever. He’s turned up to shove a new Daimohn in her hands and force her out the door to attack the athlete, probably because that’s the only way she does any work.
After Mimett gets the hell out, there’s a long pause as the Professor turns to the remaining assistants…
…and begins playing Twister while laughing insanely. OK I love that cut.
What’s Hotaru up to? She’s the Dark Lord, right, the Evil Messiah, the Anti-Christ, Damian, The Omen, The Unborn, Paranormal Activity 4, so she must be doing something cool right?
Nah, she’s just obsessing over that creepy-looking curdled-milk athlete trying to write him a letter. Laaaaaaame. Seriously, I hate the storyline they give her today.
They really want us to be as enamoured with this guy Hayase as much as Mimett and Hotaru are, but honestly he looks like a complete douche. I’m not going to find some random guy interesting. The allure for Hotaru is apparently that Hayase was frail as a kid, and as such she sees parallels to her own life.
I want to kick the person who saw this awesome, flawed, pitiable character such as Hotaru and decided to give her this storyline. You had the entire world at your disposal and this is what you came up with?
Kaori seems to feel the same way, slyly sliding in next to Hotaru in her room and lightly mocking her worship of the jumping fellow. This is so weird and so creepy and lit so brilliantly that I actually find this scene hilarious. I have no real affection for Kaori whatsoever, but she’s cracking me up with how evil and petty she is here.
Hotaru’s reactions are perfect as Koari keeps leaving… and coming back… and leaving.
I like how this scene ends. Hotaru yells “You’re acting strange lately, Kaori!” to which Kaori responds, “Perhaps it is YOU who have been acting strangely, to write a letter that you don’t have the courage to send… HAHAHAHAHA!” This is such a small and petty point to be a complete dick about, but hey, whatever keeps you evil Kaori.
Hotaru then visits Chibi-Usa, but they are quickly interrupted by Usagi chastising her future-daughter for not offering tea. This is a social faux pas in Japan, but I really don’t think that Hotaru would give a damn. This is just an excuse to have Usagi and Chibi-Usa argue in front of Hotaru again. I think they forgot that they already did this in a previous episode. Bit tiresome really, especially since the animators cut costs by only showing you Hotaru’s face.
I do like the ending of this scene though – Hotaru laughs and comments that the house has a really gentle feeling, to which the girls respond “…really?“. Just made me laugh a bit.
Hotaru brings up the letter she wrote to Hayase and get her stupid feelings and stuff again. She explains that she won’t ever send him her letter though, and then Usagi offers to take it straight to him, because that’s how her mind works when it comes to celebrities. Honestly, all this self-doubt stuff I can skip, it’s really not interesting and doesn’t develop Hotaru’s character in any interesting way. Would much rather explore her relationship with her father, or her own split personality.
So yeah we’re at the training track with Mimett watching Hayase making out with his own knee. That’s quite a unique form of masturbation, I have to admit.
Just as you’re thinking to yourself “OH GODDAMNIT A SCENE WITH MIMETT. GO AWAY GO AWAY” (OK well I am), she sees a sign telling all those who are not athletes or staff to keep out of the track, and does not take this well, blowing her nose, scrunching it up, blowing her nose, scrunching it up, and then blowing her nose in it again. Yes, Mimett, the inanimate object wronged you. Continue to punish it.
The idiot, however, discovers that she’s being… watched… by the creepiest fucking staff member who stares at her until she freaks out and plants the sign back up. This is so weird… so very very weird, that I can’t help but laugh.
Her final eye-squint and vow to have her revenge really tops off this wordless yet horrifying encounter.
OK so why the fuck are the Outer Senshi here again? Honestly, they feel completely out of place here. At least just have them turn up mid-battle or something. When they just loiter around in the exact right spot it really makes them look sort of sad and lonely.
Speaking of sad and lonely, here’s Chibi-Usa running up to Setsuna. The 4 watch mouths agape as Usagi’s plan to get Hotaru to Hayase is revealed… So essentially the plan was to jump a fence and leg it before security could catch up? Great thinking Usagi, especially since Hotaru is all frail and stuff.
To bad the rubbishly drawn dudes with whistles attached to their lips catch up. Yeah this looks kinda bad and yeah it’s sort of naff, but I still find this really funny taking the piss out of pseudo-authority security types.
Hotaru seems to have accepted defeat, but Hayase himself ASCENDS FROM THE HEAVENS like a pancake-faced tracksuit-wearing sweaty-crotched Jesus to bestow his presence upon star-struck Hotaru.
We then get another drawn-out scene of Usagi encouraging Hotaru to give Hayase the letter, Chibi-Usa cheering loudly about giving Hayase the letter, and then Hayase pretty much saying “dude, where’s my fucking letter already?” until Hotaru caves and refuses.
OK I get that this is meant to be an emotional defeat for Hotaru, but my god I do not care. I think the animators realised this too, as they slipped in a shot of the security guys getting super bored and cleaning their glasses waiting for Hotaru to fucking say something.
I’ve never been so glad for Mimett to bust in and attack with a Daimohn, that was getting uncomfortable. Today’s Daimohn Undohkai is pretty shite to look at. I mean, it’s just a track runner with a conch shell stuck to her back. Saying that, she gets rather enjoyable in a bit.
She also has a large red ball she uses to mow things down, such as whistling security dudes. Farewell bros, you were rather amusing. Maybe next time you’ll get lines.
Obviously something terrible has to happen to Hotaru, so she loses her stupid fan letter to the fires left in Undohkai’s wake. Eye-roll.
So what must Hotaru think of her world right now? She’s now seen Daimohns on multiple occasions and has never brought the topic up with Chibi-Usa, her father, the police, the media… a psychiatrist? This would completely shock my world view, she seems to treat it like bad weather, something that comes along once in a while that sucks, but you dodge a giant flaming ball pushed by a snail woman and get on with your life.
Usagi quietly transforms (she doesn’t really have much to do with any of the story nowadays… which is more than the other Inner Senshi at least) in time to see Undohkai playing “ROLL THE HUMAN” with Hayase. Again, profoundly stupid and poorly animated… but I still found it funny. What is wrong with me?
Even the Pure Heart removal is especially humorous today for some reason, especially as he keeps screaming “SCARY! SCARY! IT’S TOO SCARY!”
Sailor Moon swings in, saves the day, and that’s that. Right?
Nah, she’s as shit as ever. Her and Chibi-Moon are bound together at the leg in a three-legged race sort of situation. OH THE HUMANITY. You have some monsters that kill on a whim, and then you have this one who makes the Senshi fall over clumsily. Good one, Undohkai, that’ll save your life.
Undohkai finally gets the Pure Heart… and there’s something especially disturbing seeing it from Hayase’s perspective.
I actually love this next bit, and once again I suspect I should feel a little guilty with how goofy it is.
Hotaru has been left slumped and traumatised from losing her letter in a corridor. Mimett and Undohkai run past… but then the Daimohn returns to ask Hotaru what’s wrong and suggest kindly that she goes to the nurses office.
Awww how sweet of- HOLY HELL WHY ARE YOU SO MEEEEAN?
And there you have it. The now-obligatory Hotaru Messiah Power scene. I’m not enamoured with these. Only the first was impactful, the rest detract somewhat from how mysterious her powers are.
Undohkai is actually doing OK, even if she’s rather frazzled, by hiding inside her shell. I kinda rooting for her now – she was nice enough to ask Hotaru if she was OK, and smart enough to hide in her shell. I think she’s going to learn the error of her ways and run for Japan in the Olympics, you know?
A cheap Pink Sugar Heart Attack gets her out and exposed, and Super Sailor Moon slams her with a Rainbow Moon Heartache.
Poor Undohkai, just as I was beginning to like her.
Imagine waking up after having passed out to see this creepy asshole. Jesus, Hayase, just stop whatever it is you’re doing with your face. It’s really bugging me out.
Hotaru seems happy though. With everyone ignoring the fact that they were just attacked by a goddamn monster and a witch there’s a heart-warming connection as Hayase explains to Hotaru how weak and shit he was as a kid, much like her, until puberty kicked in, and now he’s rich and famous while his bullies were all dead because he paid a homeless man to kill them all because that’s the power of money.
No not really. Hotaru seems satisfied by this crappy exchange and the episode ends with Hotaru watching Hayase on TV at home.
Well that was… abrupt. That story sucked. I loved the comedic moments but all the stuff with Hotaru really fell flat. Still, this is by no means a bad episode, and actually it’s surprising how entertained I was returning to it. At the same time, definitely getting antsy waiting for an episode which makes use of Hotaru in an interesting and constructive way.
Final Score: 3/5
Monster Score: 3/5 (Bad design, amusingly nice disposition)
Final Thought: Mamoru and the Inner Senshi got a screen time of about… 11 seconds collectively today. I miss them.
NEXT TIME: The most deadly game of Old Maid ever seen. I’ve always wondered what would happen if you just shoved a bunch of shit inside of the Daimohn Oven…