3:32 – A Mystic Flower that Steals Hearts! The Third Witch Telulu
Alternative Title: Little Shop of Horrors
First Aired: 14th January 1995
The next of the Witches 5, Telulu, has a radically different approach to collecting Pure Hearts for the Messiah of Silence. She’s engineered aggressive plants that can zap the hearts right out of people, and begins spreading them all over town, Setsuna is immediately suspicious. Meanwhile, the Professor convinces Kaori to get back out in the field…
This is a bit of a mixed bag of an episode. There’s a bit of a mix in terms of art work – a couple scenes are obviously done by a better team than the rest of the episode – but overall it’s rather watchable.
It’s an extremely odd episode, too, as this is the first case of what should be the next big bad guy completely wiping on her first outing, so it has this strange drama to it.
There’s also some rather interesting stuff happening with Kaorinite also. I can’t say this is the best episode in the series, but it’s by no means bad, and several moments really stick with you.
SO! Just to recap, Mimett had the plug pulled on her by a green-haired Witch called Telulu, who we can safely assume is picking up the mantle of our least-favourite person in the whole world.
We pick up straight after the end of Mimett’s death. The Inner and Outer Senshi have a confrontation outside the school, carefully forgetting the 4000 or so attendees of the lecture lying unconscious on the floor.
It’s the same friction we’ve seen before, the Inner Senshi pleading with the Outer Senshi to not murder a little kid, but naturally this does little to persuade Uranus or Neptune. I continue to like this rift between them. I understand the ethical conundrum, and would find it hard to place myself on either side.
My own personal ideals would dictate that the sacrifice of a innocent child to save the rest of the world is necessary from a utilitarian standpoint, but the weight of shame and responsibility mutilates the very core of humanity. The real question then would be, do we even deserve to live after such an act?
LOL but enough about that thinking junk, back to SAILOR MOON.
Chibi-Usa is the most adamant out of all the Senshi, and screams that she’ll protect Hotaru from anyone. This does, at the very least, make Pluto pause and look slightly guilty. Making progress! Sort of…
Speaking of Hotaru, the Messiah of Silence is STILL after Pure Hearts for her revival. Wasn’t this meant to have been done weeks ago? Mimett has really slacked off.
I really like how she looks here. Sure this animation team may be less talented that the other teams, but they manage to get around their limitations with some clever simplistic lighting.
In the middle of a diatribe, the Messiah of Silence actually loses her thread for a second, and Hotaru, the real Hotaru, breaks through… before the Messiah returns. It seems like Hotaru is spending less and less time in control of her own body.
Doesn’t seem overly alarming yet, but this builds to possibly one of the most emotionally turbulent moments in a later episode.
The impact of Mimett’s death upon the Death Busters is profound… Only joking, all that happens is they put a new sign up.
Telulu, now in charge, receives her orders in that familiar way from the Professor. She has a different approach to Pure Heart reaping – her stupid ugly plants. I guess she’s the botanist.
Incidentally, when we cut to the Professor for a second, we see that his phone handset is held together with tape, a nice call-back to a previous episode. I laughed hard.
We’re not quite done with the Death Busters, however. The Professor is greeted by Kaori, serving tea. Apparently that’s what happens when you get revived from death – you’re put on drinks duty.
I’d rather stay dead.
The Professor admits that he has a crick in his shoulders, and Kaori cheerfully offers to massage them, leading to a rather awkward scene set to romantic music. Deeply troubling.
Here’s where we explicitly get the information that Kaori definitely was dead, and that it was the Professor who revived her, making Kaorinite the sexiest zombie ever.
She’s also a zombie in LOVE apparently. That’s messed up. There’s something so deeply concerning about this relationship, especially since the Professor seems to know, and then seems to actively exploit her emotions for his gain.
He emotionally blackmails her into considering getting “back in the field” – apparently death has made her rather averse to trying it again. I think I can agree on that point.
And so Kaorinite, looking deeply worried, decides to… uh… go Super Saiyan or something? She begins glowing and powering up or whatever…
…and puts on a new dress. Is this meant to show that she now means business? I think it’s a funky dress and all, but none of this really makes sense now, does it? Then again… what does make sense in this show?
I do like this scene quite a bit. Kaorinite is a fascinating character. Not too much, you understand, but this knowledge of death, this demotion, this crippling fear and, finally, this strange devotion that allows her to be manipulated with ease, tinges her character far more than the plain old bad guy she was at the beginning of the series.
Telulu’s plan to gather Pure Hearts for the Messiah evidently starts with her securing a start-up business loan from her bank to create a flower shop, so we get a scene of her comparing the best rates from the high street banks and improving her credit score and-
-oh no wait she just has a store. Evil guys have the easiest time of things.
Anyway, she’s selling her stupid ugly flowers and calling them Teluluns. I wonder who she named it after? I rather like how she’s selling them for 10 yen. That’s, like, 1 cent. Bad business practices, Telulu, you’ll never make a profit that way.
So the stupid-ass Japanese public go ape-nuts over this stupid-ass flower, because people desperately want cheap things. So too does Setsuna, who JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE WALKING BY WHAT ARE THE ODDS I TELL YA, and shows professional interest in a flower she’s never heard of.
We get a shot of a Telulun in someone’s greenhouse, firing off some evil powers and withering every other plant around it. Why? How is this useful? This will only make the owners get suspicious at the only flower left unmolested and they’ll chuck it in the bin.
You don’t need to show a plant being evil for us to realise that it’s evil.
The next day, we see Chibi-Usa running down the street, eventually followed by a huffing Usagi, Luna and Artemis. Apparently Chibi-Usa is out for a walk, and the cats are worried about her…
And Usagi is just there for some reason. She has no real motive in following Chibi-Usa around. I sort of love how clueless she is here. So clearly Chibi-Usa is going to do something stupid. She’s got that look in her eye, and also she’s Usagi’s daughter, which is not a great help in the brains department.
The scene dissolves in an argument after Luna comments on how similar Chibi-Usa is to her mother, something Usagi takes offence at. Very funny!
So where is Chibi-Usa going? Where else but Mugen Academy? She’s all pumped up and ready to sneak in, when…
Well that was easy.
Chibi-Usa wanting to run in by herself to save her friend is exactly why Usagi would do. I like these moments of similarity. I also like Usagi patting Chibi-Usa on the head, as dodgy as the art is. It’s sweet.
Hotaru, meanwhile, has awoken by herself in the Messiah of Silence’s chamber, and she’s rather confused. I imagine it’s the weird-ass clothing. Definitely confusing. She wanders off never to be seen again.
Setsuna, meanwhile, is now a botanist or physicist or some junk, because she has her own lab in her house (she has a house?), wearing a lab coat (she has a lab coat?). Apparently that was her greenhouse the Telulun murdered. We’re learning all sorts of stuff about Setsuna that we will never see again in any format whatsoever.
The determines that the Telulun is, like, magical and evil and shit. I guess. The plant seems to know it’s been rumbled, because it decides to attack Setsuna with… uh, dark magic (?), but she’s miraculously saved…
…by her Garnet Rod, which can apparently act independently of Setsuna. So it has free will? Yeah, we never see this ever again. There’s so much here that feels completely arbitrary and pointless. I dislike how Setsuna is made to seem so human – she’s losing that ethereal mystical quality that defined her in season 2.
Hey hey, Hotaru is up and about! Considering everyone wants to either use her, save her or murder her, this trip out is remarkably relaxing… unless you count Telulu randomly giving her a Telulun flower for free on the street. WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
Hotaru seems to have forgotten that she’s been held as a possessed slave for a couple weeks, and only thinks about giving the plant to Chibi-Usa as a gift. Bit weird that. She doesn’t even question why she isn’t at home, was in weird clothing, where her goddamn dad is.
Nothing too much in this episode really fits within the writing of the rest of the season. I’m not complaining… too much…
You can imagine the reaction when Chibi-Usa opens the door to find a girl she thought kidnapped and alone on her doorstep.
Now, consider this: Chibi-Usa knows that there are three powerful people looking to murder Hotaru, as well as an evil organisation which is probably looking for her, so what does she do? She takes Hotaru outside and slams the door shut on Usagi, probably one of the only people who could reasonably defend Hotaru from others.
Thank goodness Usagi likes to spy.
Hotaru manages to give Chibi-Usa her stupid ugly plan, give another talk about how she’s afraid someone else is inside her, attack people and her not remembering it, before she passes out a bit. Standard affair for Hotaru, really.
This is where things get a little interesting. Hotaru undergoes a change of somekind… and the Messiah awakens, her eyes glowing eerily. It’s quite effective.
I suppose she can sense a particularly Pure Heart inside Chibi-Usa, and makes to grasp her by the neck. It’s pretty creepy to watch.
The Messiah fails however – Hotaru, within, cries out in horror, which breaks the possession, and leaving Hotaru deeply troubled and begging Chibi-Usa to help her. It is, once again, deeply sad and pitiable. Poor girl.
And what the fuck is Chibi-Usa supposed to do anyway?
Nothing, that’s what, as Kaorinite, in her new dress (I think it’s directly from the manga) shows it off, appearing suddenly to “take Hotaru home” like some lunatic magical nanny. Man she looks threatening.
After blasting Chibi-Usa back, Kaorinite pretty handily grabs Hotaru and runs, which is pretty much the last we’ll see of her as a normal girl really. What an exit.
It all seems a wee bit silly when you stop and think about all this – Kaorinite not recognising Usagi, the girl she once suspected of being Sailor Moon for one thing, but try not to think so hard it this is pretty good stuff.
While moping around after the brief encounter, Setsuna rocks up. Busy house today. She immediately recognises the Telulun that Hotaru gave Chibi-Usa, and what’s more it’s starting to crackle slightly…
It’s actually rather funny to see Setsuna smash it right out of her hands, and Chibi-Usa’s freaked out reaction. Naturally, too, who knocks a plant out of your hands? Setsuna does look pretty psychotic here.
She then doubles-down by suggesting that Hotaru is after Chibi-Usa’s Pure Heart by giving her the flower. She’s really earning points with Chibi-Usa today.
It’s evident that the Telulun is evil and stuff, which immediately leads them back to the flower store. Nice cover, Telulu, they figured out your disguise in 11 minutes.
I like Usagi, Chibi-Usa and Setsuna working together in an investigative manner. I would love to see a spin off of them opening up a detective agency. It would be so much fun, until Setsuna threatened to beat Usagi to death with the Garnet Rod again.
Telulu has somehow managed to get a bunch of stupid people into her store despite only selling the ONE VARIETY OF FLOWER, and proceeds to activate the plants, stealing a whole bunch of Pure Hearts at once.
I like this idea, really shakes things up, but at the same time WHY. What about all those other plants you sold? What are they gonna do? Also, I thought Pure Hearts only existed in the pure. Are you saying if you grabbed 30 people and shoved them into a shop that they would all have Pure Hearts…?
Telulu gathers the Hearts into a Black Star logo thing she carries around, which is fairly cool, but it’s also like having a glowing weak spot in a boss battle. I do like the look of it, however.
Sailor Moon, Sailor Pluto and Chibi-Moon all bust into the flower shop, and they look pretty bad ass. I’m always weary of the pedestrianisation of Sailor Pluto – she works better as an ethereal, unrelatable character – but seeing her shoulder-to-shoulder with Sailor Moon is pretty cool.
After how threatening and cool Telulu looked while killing off Mimett… she’s something of a disappointment. This entire fight is pretty flat and uninteresting. Never really liked evil sentient flowers, and there’s a weird abundance of them in Sailor Moon.
Naturally, Sailor Chibi-Moon gets targeted because, well, she’s annoying as heck, but here comes Sailor Pluto’s redemptive arc. While I understand that this shows the level of love Pluto has for her Small Lady, I just don’t buy this as a resolution to the beef between them. Pluto is, after all, still convinced that Hotaru must die, no matter how many times she gets attacked for Chibi-Moon.
I feel like this is an oversimplification of a complex and gratifying clash of ethics, but hey, what do I know?
There’s some classic Sailor Moon dodging action (you know the drill) and eventually Tuxedo Kamen turns up because, hey, three kick-ass independent women trying to do something by themselves? OF COURSE they need a dude to turn up and save them.
Sailor Moon uses Rainbow Moon Heartache in a rather anti-climactic manner – she just destroys all the evil plants in the shop. I imagine this could be achieved with a baseball bat to be honest.
Anyway, Telulu is naturally all pissed off that her babies have been murdered. Obviously she just needs to get a cat, they’re much more fuzzy and loveable than a carnivorous plant.
She has one final Telulun plant left (it’s her favourite and she has probably named it Benedict or Maximilian or something), and decides pull a Lance Armstrong and pump it full of steroids.
Things get rather Little Shop of Horrors here, as the Telulun turns into a vagina monster of horrific design and proportions. The most terrifying feature is is poor animation, to be honest. That’s a face only a mother could love.
Telulu exhibits the same hubris here as Mimett, ironically, cockily turning away with her haul of Pure Hearts in the Black Star. Alas, it is to be her downfall. She probably just didn’t think she’d be killed after one episode. I certainly didn’t
And then Tuxedo Kamen murders her in the most ironic, cruel way you could possibly imagine. Seriously. Wow.
He throws a rose at the Black Star she’s boasting about and waving around, and the entire haul spill out across the floor… and Audrey II acts as though someone’s just waved a crack stone under her nose.
Yes, indeed, Telulu designed it to be hungry for Pure Hearts, and she’s in the middle of a bunch, hence her getting tentacle grabbed her own creation. OH IRONY AND WHATEVER.
This is a pretty nasty way to go. They’re trying to murder the shit out of one another as Telulu struggles, and eventually… I’m not sure how or why exactly, but they implode. It’s obscure really why any of this happens, the writing is pretty poor here, but you get the expected fate of an arrogant evil scientist. Job done, I guess.
Sailor Moon notices that the fried corpse of Telulu dropped a Mugen Academy student ID… wait, she was a student? How old was she? I rather like the photo they chose, after such a horrific fate it’s amusing to see her giving the V sign.
OK now I feel bad for Telulu, despite us having no sense of her personality or background.
This ID seems a tad pointless to me also, since the Senshi already knew that Mugen Academy was fishy. Oh well, I still like this growing suspicion and intrigue about the school.
The episode ends with Chibi-Moon and Pluto burying the hatchet… to some degree. Pluto still cannot backdown, but Chibi-Moon seems to understand the sorrow this is bringing her. I do like this set-up. How can you resolve conflict with someone you love over something so dire? You can’t, really, and the show doesn’t try to.
And there you have it. Not the best episode, but considering this is from the crappy writing and animation team, this is a good job. I liked the ham horror elements, I liked the different approach Telulu had to the series, I feel like they’re moving rapidly towards a big series climax. Very watchable.
Episode Score: 3/5
Monster Score: 2/5 (Evil sentient flowers are never my thing, unless Queen Beryl is attached to it.)
Final Thought: I wonder why they rushed through the last 3 Witches… The Eugeal run was great, but it might have been better to spread the Witches out a little more. Why did we get so much bloody Eugeal?
NEXT TIME: Telulu returns! No not really but she may as well have, as Ami follows strange and suspicious people into dark basements.