3:29 – The Battle in a Demonic Dimension! The Sailor Senshi’s Bet
Alternative Title: We Should Have Played Mario Kart
First Aired: 17th December 1994
When Mimett overloads the Daimohn Oven, a powerful and strange dimension opens up in Professor Tomoe’s house, trapping Hotaru and Chibi-Usa inside. The Sailor Senshi begin a rescue mission, but come across a Daimohn unlike any other. Roll them dice.
This is one of those episodes that I have a mixed relationship with. One the once hand, it’s a complete filler episode in a strong of dull entries in the series, with a bit of a rubbish story that feels there just to kill time, without any particularly impressive art or writing.
On the other hand, there are quite a few moments where I laughed out loud, so I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it, rather like the previous entry. It’s hard. I feel like I should be holding Sailor Moon up to the high standards it set earlier on in this season… but hey, this is the last bit of fun before all the heavy stuff of the final arc in Sailor Moon S hits.
So enjoy while you can!
The episode opens with Chibi-Usa and Hotaru playing the card game Old Maid. I think it’s Old Maid? I suck at card games. Whatever it’s called, Hotaru loses, which gives her the opportunity to bemoan how much the Joker card likes her.
The Joker card is death. Jesus, Hotaru, you’re so emo.
Chibi-Usa looks a bit freaked out at this (who wouldn’t be, she just said that death follows her around) and suggests they play Memory instead, probably because Hotaru might start drinking blood and drawing pentagrams on the carpet at this rate.
You know what these girls need? A Super Nintendo. Please.
I really like this next bit, only because it fulfils a private question of mine. The Professor is shoving a playing card into the Daimohn Oven, promising to Mimett an exceptionally strong monster out of it.
While he’s cackling softly to himself (it’s really rather half-hearted today, which makes it all the creepier), Mimett looks rather exasperated, and reminds him that it’s his turn to go get the snacks.
I love that. The Professor in this low, raspy, creepy voice announces that he’ll head out to get the snacks (never has it sounded so much like a threat) and Mimett seizes the opportunity to start fucking around with the Daimohn Over.
I’ve always wondered what would happen if you just shoved a bunch of stuff in at once… and as it happens so has Mimett. Tired of all the shitty Daimohn’s she’s had lately, she just starts throwing stuff in at random, such as board games and… a roulette wheel? They had that just lying around?
Just as the Daimohn Oven seems to have a critical failure, Mimett runs the hell away screaming “I didn’t have anything to do with thiiiiiis!” which is totally what I would do too.
If you have forgotten, the Death Buster’s lab happens to be in the basement of Professor Tomoe’s house… where Chibi-Usa and Hotaru just to happen to be in, right as TIME AND SPACE are completely boned by this Daimohn Oven meltdown. Well maybe the Professor should have put some warning signs up… or should have fired Mimett years ago.
What form does this take? Well Chibi-Usa looks outside the window to find an ocean…
OK this looks really cool. I do like this idea a lot, even if it’s a little weird.
Everything is pretty messed up. Hotaru looks outside another window to find the Serengeti, which is rather peculiar, to which Chibi-Usa gives possible the most understated line the history of the universe:
“It looks like something really out of the ordinary happened.”
Well, no shit.
Chibi-Usa calls up the Sailor Senshi for assistance, who are all sitting around studying. This episode actually has the other characters do stuff for once. I have rather missed them. They’ve been almost an non-entity since the Holy Grail appeared.
After Hotaru discovers that fish are swimming in her drawers, Chibi-Usa decides to raise the shutters on her writing table, which is something of a mistake because a fucking lion bursts into the room.
This is all very silly. Like Jumanji really. Another case of guys sitting around and trying to decide of exciting adventures that Hotaru could go on that no one really wants to see.
The Professor returns to the house with snacks. Just seeing him on screen screams “this should be good” and it totally is. Unable to open the door, Tomoe begins yelling at the house itself, lines such as “I AM THE MASTER OF THIS HOUSE SO OPEN!” – which I loved.
It’s after he tries body slamming the door that he hears voices behind him… which turn out to be the Sailor Senshi muttering something about “alternate dimensions” and whatnot.
His reaction is perfect. It’s interesting to see the arrival of Sailor Senshi from someone else’s perspective. At it is, this is obviously deeply alarming for the Professor, who first thinks he’s been rumbled. There’s a reaclly cool moment where the face of the Evil Professor and kindly Professor Tomoe flashes between each other .too.
The Senshi give their usual introduction, which ends with the rather zealous Sailor Moon announcing to the bemused Professor “If you don’t know us… we’ll punish you!” – which gets a smack on the back of the head from Sailor Mars, obviously.
Come to think of it, this looks insane. It’s like a Sunday afternoon or something, and here at 5 women dressed in mini-skirts running around. Often interesting to step back and look at how strange Sailor Moon really is.
It’s at the point where Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars are fighting (how I’ve missed this) that the Professor thinks to himself seriously that he’s overestimated his opponents. I have to agree.
This moment makes me laugh very, very hard.
Chibi-Usa and Hotaru are trekking through many different locations. The only real bit of interest comes from a teleporting penguin, which is decidedly adorably weird.
Outside, Sailor Moon cheerfully orders Sailor Jupiter to bust down the door with Sparkling Wide Pressure, or failing that she’ll get Mars to burn the door down with Burning Mandala. Obviously she’s a little too gung-ho about this. I love how Mars asks her what she’s planning to do, to which she responds, “Me? I’ll, uh, just watch.”
I love Sailor Moon.
This is great banter between the group, with Mars trying to embarrass Sailor Moon in front of a “civilian”. I’ve missed this stuff, there’s a real scarcity of it in the last 3rd of Sailor Moon S. By and by, the team prepare to enter the alternate dimensional space with Sailor Teleport.
The move still looks as great as ever.. although if I remember correctly it should really destroy Tomoe’s driveway, as it leaves a rather strained looking Professor on his lawn with the two cats. This should be an awkward conversation.
Instead, the Professor slips back into his evil shadow persona once more and gleefully decides to eat all the snacks while he waits for his daughter to be rescued.
We have a few scenes of the Sailor Senshi in dimensional madness, which while attractive, is a little too off the wall to be interesting at this point.
The Outer Senshi, meanwhile, are once again loitering with a lack of anything better to do, and Haruka remarks that it would be better if the whole lot of them didn’t come back out if it meant that Hotaru Tomoe would also be removed. For once, this gets a reproachful look from Michiru.
I don’t buy this aggressive attitude yet. It’ll become clearer next time, but again, the Outer Senshi feel obsolete as soon as Hotaru is introduced. I’m sure there’s a better way they could have written the overall arc of this part of the series.
I really hate this next scene. Chibi-Usa is walking along when the scenery changes and she begins falling into a deep crevasse, and is only saved by Hotaru. This “climax” feels so manufactured and stupid. We know no one will be hurt here, this is just dull.
By and by, both girls fall in, but are saved by a Venus Love-Me Chain (hey, she gets to DO stuff!)
The Senshi have apparently not thought about what they would do once they actually found the girls, since they are unable to Sailor Teleport both out at the same time. I thought Mercury was meant to be smart enough to remember stuff like this…?
Anyway, Hotaru gets another chance to display how very emo she is, insisting they save only Chibi-Usa since she is “someone who was never meant to be born in the first place.”
See, there’s a level of sympathetic which drops to pitiable. I think they try a little too hard sometimes to get you to empathise with Hotaru and it comes off a little desperate.
The Senshi give a nice warming cheer-up talk to Hotaru, insisting they’ll save both of them, while repeatedly stressing how personally they know Chibi-Usa as a close friend. Why not just TELL her who you are, guys?
At least it’s better than the anime, where it seems like half of Tokyo seems to know their secret identities.
At last, Mercury manages to do… something… with the dimensions, and stabilises it so they return to the actual house, at which point Sailor Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Chibi-Usa all fall down the stairs. That’s some nice placement, Mercury. I bet this was on purpose.
Inside the drawing room is the source of all the crazy bullshit… and it’s the Queen of Hearts. Sailor Moon is naturally terrified of this… thing.
This is the Daimohn that was created by Mimett screwing around with the oven, and boy is it weird. I like it quite a lot actually. Her name is Ikasaman, and she acts like a 44 year on holiday in Las Vegas for the first time.
The Senshi are about to beat her face in, when Ikasaman announces that while she’s a villain, she’s also a pacifist, which is a rather interesting philosophical position when you stop and think about it. But I won’t, I promise.
Anyway, she just looooooves to play games and junk. This really reminds me of a storyline from the Ranma 1/2 manga… I recall it being a particularly fantastic story, although they all were.
They do a fantastic job animating card shuffling here, which I really appreciated. I wish they could apply such vigour all the time, but I suppose that’s too much to ask for.
Mars gets fed up by all this and just tries blasting her with Burning Mandala… which does not go down well. Ikasaman threatens to remove them to some weird location again, and the group agree that even if one person wins a game against her, she’ll free them.
Well this is a unique battle, isn’t it?
Each Senshi is allowed to pick their game against Ikasaman in a weird retro casino. Seriously, this looks like the 70s, someone should be in the corner ODing on cocaine.
Anyway, for some reason I cannot explain, Jupiter chooses… roulette? She went for a game where she has a 37/38 chance of losing? What?
Miraculously, she actually wins! Except that Ikasaman totally cheats, as Red 16 flips to become 7. Well how about that, the self-confessed villain is in fact a dick. Jupiter finds herself trapped in a huge glass card for some reason.
At this point I’ve just thrown all logic aside and am just enjoying the silliness, even if it is weirder than a normal episode… which are weird enough.
Mars chooses Jenga (I had to laugh at this – after Twister last episode there’s a real 90s games vibe going on) but Ikasaman cheats yet again with thin wire attached to a brick. THE SWINE. How are the other Senshi still willing to play when she’s just a total cheater?
Next up is Junior Chess Champion of Japan Sailor Mercury! She can’t lose this one right? Out of all the tenuous ways to cheat, this is the most stupid – Ikasaman announces that the square Mercury placed her pawn on is special… and the board just explodes in her face. This is just so stupid… but it’s so stupid that it’s funny. I have to admit, I laughed.
Sailor Moon and Venus decide to challenge her together. This I really love. They’ve alluded to these girls playing this arcade racer before in the series, so it’s a nice call-back. Obviously the game is rigged so that they reverse and explode. Why they thought she would allow them to even get a chance to compete is beyond me.
Ikasaman doesn’t just cheat – she cheat’s stupidly and obviously, so that they don’t even have a chance from the very beginning. It’s so absurd that I have to admire it.
Chibi-Usa announces that she and Hotaru will be the last to play against Ikasaman. This time it’s Old Maid. You know, like the start of the episode where we saw that Hotaru was really bad in some fumbling foreshadowing of a later event where she would have to finally become good at the game to save everyone’s life?
Yeah, that game.
I have no idea why, but Ikasaman doesn’t try nearly as hard to cheat here. In keeping with her earlier strategy, the first cards they should pick up should have, like, cholera on them or something.
Again, this seems like the strangest climax for a Sailor Moon episode, but there are so many laughs here that I have to like it. Chibi-Usa sneakily arranges her expression so that Ikasaman chooses the Joker from her hand. For a gambling monster, she’s really shit at this.
I love how sneaky Chibi-Usa looks, and Ikasaman’s expression is amazing too.
Next is Hotaru’s turn to choose a card from Ikasaman, and copying Chibi-Usa she totally tries to double-bluff Hotaru into taking the joker, but Hotaru is so… gullible/innocent/stupid that she takes whatever Ikasaman says at face value, totally picking the safe card.
Chibi-Usa wins the match, but in a final sneaky dick move, Ikasaman announces that she’s altered the terms of their arrangement… pray she does not alter them further… and Hotaru will have to win as well before she lets them all go.
I love the Sailor Senshi all complaining loudly in the background as this happens.
Hotaru must now pick between 2 shuffled cards to avoid the Joker. I have to say Ikasman likes to make the odds as bad in her favour as possible. A blind 50/50 chance isn’t great odds for her.
Ikasaman’s helpful internal dialogue explains that she knows exactly where the Joker is, and that she’ll “work on the girl” to make her choose it. This is really dumb stuff again, but I don’t dislike it.
Ikasaman is being so incredibly obvious about which card is the Joker that Hotaru should be straight up suspicious, but such is her fractured ego that Ikasaman manages to rattle her.
Now, I’m not sure how this works, but thanks to the encouragement of all the Senshi and Chibi-Usa, Hotaru gets the courage to pick the card that she wants to pick… so she chooses the correct one? This is really eye-rolling here, but what the hell why not.
So Hotaru wins! And immediately passes out. Goddamn this is stupid writing. Having a character with ill-health doesn’t give you the excuse to conveniently make her pass out whenever it suits you. Poor writing.
The reason for this pass out is to have Ikasaman refuse to let anyone go, and Chibi-Usa transform into Sailor Chibi-Moon. We really didn’t need that. She could have broken the Senshi out some other way. Honestly.
Crisis Make Up -> Super Sailor Moon -> Rainbow Moon Heartache. You know the drill. When I get exasperated at the writing I tend to zone out during the final attacks.
So the dimensions all get resolved, everyone’s happy, and the Senshi hand over the unconscious Hotaru to her father. Gosh he must be so glad, he-
“Someday you’ll regret having saved her, Sailor Senshi…” Well if that isn’t shittingly ominous I don’t know what is.
The episode ends with Chibi-Usa remarking that she and Hotaru are the ideal team. Way to schmaltz up the ending, Chibi-Usa.
So there you have it. A mixed bag if ever I saw it. This episode has so many great chuckles, but so much weird and poor writing too. It’s just uninteresting. The only things you really take away from it is the scenes with Professor Tomoe and Ikasaman, nothing else sticks.
Middle of the road stuff here, but next time things begin to heat up rapidly in a big way. The time for fillers are at an end! Mostly…
Episode Score: 3/5
Monster Score: 4/5 (I really like how evil and petty she was. Her design was great too, really fascinating to watch her move)
Final Thought: What the fuck is Hotaru going to think when she wakes up? All this crazy paranormal stuff keeps happening to her and someone she doesn’t question it in the slightest. I think her character works better ignorant of all the weird crazy stuff that Sailor Moon goes through.
NEXT TIME: Sailor Saturn. We’ve been waiting for it. Not the full thing, but by god are we getting the best Senshi of them all reeeal soon.