We watched this episode right on the heels of the last episode, at Jared's insistence. Which is kind of amazing, because whenever I've tried to show him other magical girl/shojo anime, he's begged off that he can only stand so much crazy-squealy-sweet-goofiness in one go.
Folks, we are making progress.
Jared: Snark is very powerful. The Mystery Science Theater method really works.
Me: And it's not mean or malicious snark, either!
Nope - it's done all in love.
So, this review/recap begins with the "Next Time" trailer at the end of Episode 2, wherein Usagi and Luna are talking about seeing a really pretty girl if you catch the 6:00 bus on line 66...
Jared: What they're saying is really weird. And they spoiled her ENTIRE transformation sequence in the preview! Good job, everyone! I mean, you're almost into "Putting the Statue of Liberty on the cover" territory here!
Yeah... they kinda did. Who runs these stupid things, anyway?
Apparently, that's a thing the group once did. It was before my time, so I've only heard about it. It's probably going to happen.
Me: And this is study material!
The episode has begun while we've been talking. Queen Beryl is NOT happy with her minions and their failures. Someone new comes out of the shadows to cockily take over the post of Head Minion In Charge.
Nephrite: Queen Beryl, allow me, Nephrite, your loyal general, to succeed where Jadeite has failed.
Jared: But if you're a general, where are your troops? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Luna? Luna?
Did I mention Jared's a military fiction nut as well?
Jadeite: What is the Legendary Silver Crystal? Why is it so important?
Jared: How are they going to find it, if they don't know what it is?
We get a short glimpse of a young woman muttering about something evil coming... and cue opening credits!
But what would one of these be without lyrics commentary?
Jared: Her eyes are purple, not scarlet.
I glare at him a bit.
Jared: I know, I know. But saying "scarlet eyes" when even purple eyes don't happen in nature...
Me: They were forcing the translation to fit everyone's theme!
Jared: And it's still way better than the majority of anime theme songs.
I am not looking forward to the Season 3 theme song. Bleagh...
Jared: Even the ones in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood weren't as good as the ones for the original Fullmetal Alchemist.
This prompts a side-trip so he can show me the original FMA theme song on his phone. I still have no opinion. I've only seen Brotherhood, though. And only once. We also theoretically discuss cosplaying Van Hohenheim and Trisha Elric for a future Comic Con.
And with THAT tangent out of that way - back to Sailor Moon!
After a VERY brief moment with a little girl named Mii and the mysterious shrine maiden that we have NO CLUE who she is (excuse me while I giggle), we're back with Usagi's Gang at school and the traditional "Gossipy Info-Dump," courtesy of Umino -
Jared: What's with the whole...? He can't finish his sentence. Umino does that to people, I'm finding out.
Meanwhile, Usagi is curled up next her desk and Luna peeks out from on her lap.
Luna: Wow, kids really do love to gossip, don't they?
Jared: YES THEY DO!
Luna jumps up and tries to wake up Usagi...
Luna: Usagi! We have to go meet Ami after school!
Jared: She's a little too free talking in class.
Usagi insists she's too tired, but then Luna mentions that they're meeting at the arcade and that gets Usagi's attention.
Jared: Oh boy... Poor Luna.
Later at the arcade, Ami muses about the sudden change her life has taken. Luna assures her that she'll get used to it and it'll be fine. Usagi's more interested in beating the Sailor V game.
After the meeting, Ami goes to her cram school. Ami tells Usagi that there's a "really pretty girl" on the bus route. Conveniently enough, that's the same route as the so-called "Demon Bus."
The girls get on the bus. As advertised, they see the famous "really pretty girl."
Jared: Oh hey, the flowers are back! I hadn't seen them in a couple of episodes.
Me: No, they were there.
Me: Yeah, when she saw Luna with Ami.
Indeed, the flowers are there.
Meanwhile, Usagi got off at the bus stop after the "really pretty girl" an Luna is kind of annoyed with her charge.
Luna: Did you get off here just to chase after that girl?
Usagi: She sooo beautiful! And I've got nothing else to do!
Jared: Except STUDY!
Rei's Inner Monologue: I sense an evil aura - is it a ghost? No demon or specter will haunt this sacred shrine! Not while I'm here!
Jared: DRAMATIC EXPOSITION!
Rei: Evil spirit, be gone!
You knew it was coming -
Rei: Huh? The girl from the bus?
Me: The one that was stalking and spying on me?
Seriously - it's amazing how well Rei took all that.
Rei: Still, it's strange. Phobos and Deimos usually don't usually attack regular people unless they've been provoked.
Jared: Ha! That is... sigh... of course the birds are named after the moons of Mars. Although, without the context, it's kind of creepy. A shrine maiden names her birds "Fear" and "Despair"?
Some women have come to the shrine looking for Mii, the little girl from the beginning of the episode. One of them is Mii's mother and asks Rei if she's seen her daughter lately. The other women eye Rei suspiciously.
Jared: Oh, not "Despair" - "Dread."
That doesn't make it better!
Me: Ehhhh... close enough.
Rei tells everyone about the urban legend of the Sixth Hill of Sendaizakaue and the people who supposedly disappear near there.
Jared: So how is there an urban legend about the sixth hill, if people only recently started disappearing?
Me: The bad guys probably taking already-existing legends and using them in their plans.
The next day, Usagi overhears MORE gossip at school about people who've disappeared on the Demon Bus.
Jared: The Exposition Friends strike again!
Me: How else is she supposed to find things out? Other than, you know, actually talking to people.
Luna wonders if Rei could be their missing princess - since Rei is so beautiful and mysterious and has spiritual powers. Or, she could be something more sinister.
Jared: Why does she think that? I mean, they're not hiding who the princess is! At all!
Me: But Luna hasn't seen the opening titles.
Also, Ami and Usagi have their communicator watch-thingies from the arcade. SELL ALL THE TOYS!
Usagi and Luna talk on the bus ride to Hikawa Shrine. And Luna is VERY careless about who she lets hear her speak.
Luna: *meowing VERY unconvincingly*
Usagi: Luna? What's the matter?
Yes, she's THAT oblivious.
The camera pans up to reveal that same guy that Usagi keeps running into. No fancy flower-vision, sadly (though this guy's significance is BEYOND flower-vision).
Jared: *inelegantly snorts*
Mamoru: We seem to be running into each other a lot. There's no need to scream.
The guy is introduced as Mamoru Chiba, a first-year high school student. Which is MUCH better than him being a college students and Usagi a middle-schooler. Yep.
Still kind of awkward. Because, Usagi.
Jared: Love at first... avoidance.
Usagi gets up the courage to ask Mamoru about the Demon Bus, which he says it's this bus. Usagi has no answer to that, but to hold Luna over her head like she's trying to hide under her cat. This girl sure knows how to make an impression on a guy.
Jared: Stare at Luna's butt now.
Indeed, Luna keeps making protesting "Meowing" noises at the indignity of it all.
Jared: Poor Luna...
Me: I think that should be the title of the show: "Poor Luna."
Back from "commercial" -
Rei is confronted by the same angry women from earlier. She insists that she can't help them find Mii and that her mother would be better off calling the police.
Angry Woman 1: Her child is missing! You're supposed to be psychic! Why don't you help her?
Jared: Oh yeah - TOTAL redneck. Is there a Japanese equivalent?
I have no clue, so Jared consults Google...
Me: I thought they were more like high-class society ladies.
Jared: It's the tone and the complete lack of grace...
Meanwhile, Rei talks about her tough childhood and how difficult it's been for her to have psychic/spiritual powers all her life.
Usagi: Oh Rei... everything will be okay! I'll help you find Mii!
Rei: Thank you, Usagi. But you should stay away from me.
Me: Rei's a LOT nicer to Usagi in this version. In the original anime, she can be a high-class beyotch.
Jared: mumble, mumble... something... intelligible... potatoes...
Me (genuinely confused): What?
Jared: Instead of being called "rednecks" for getting sunburned on the neck, they're called "Smells Like Potatoes."
Rei suddenly senses that Usagi's in trouble, so she goes after her. But rather than find Usagi, Rei instead gets captured by Jadeite, who is driving the Demon Bus.
Usagi sees Rei unconscious in the bus.
Luna: Do you think that could be the Demon Bus?
As the bus disappears into a wall...
Jared: That seems to be a pretty good indication!
Usagi uses the Moon Disguise Pen to transform and go after her. She transforms into a flight attendant.
Luna: Why did you change into a flight attendant?
Jared: Yes, WHY did you?
Usagi: It's my duty to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers no matter what!
Jared: *throws in hands in the air* Still makes no sense!
Usagi lets go of her bag and jumps to grab onto the bus at the last minute. She leaves behind her travel bad and flight attendant hat, as well as Luna, who is caught by Tuxedo Mask.
Me: It just gets left there, I guess. I don't know.
And we may never know.
Luna (calling Ami on the communicator): Ami! Ami! Can you hear me? Usagi is in trouble!
Me: Yes, Ami can hear you. And so can the entire cram school!
Jared: They wouldn't know it was the cat!
Luna just sucks at secrecy - let's be real here.
The bus travels to some shadowy and dark dimension where we see that Jadeite has been collecting unconscious humans for... reasons. Nephrite calls him out on this.
Nephrite: You should have just killed them, Jadeite.
Jadeite: There's a good reason to keep them alive.
Jared: PLOT CONVENIENCE!
Jadeite: Living hostages are better for luring out the Sailor Guardians.
Jared: I'm TOTALLY not a pansy Magical Girl villain! Nope, not at all. I'm not saying he should have killed them. It's not that kind of show.
I mock-punch him on the shoulder.
Elsewhere, Usagi frets about getting lost in this dark place and doesn't know how she's ever going to get out. Her progress is suddenly stopped.
Jared: And she just walks straight into a column.
The communicator goes off and Luna's voice comes through. She's with Ami back in the real world - and the cat is tying on Ami's laptop, trying to find Usagi.
Ami: Luna, can you track her location?
Luna: I need a stronger signal. This one's too weak.
Me: I'm so glad you find this amusing.
Ami and Luna suggest Usagi transforms so they can get a stronger signal to find her. Which... she probably should have been transformed into Sailor Moon when she first got there - dangerous place and all that...
Jared: It's the different stuff, you know. They add the fingernail polish - and then they add gloves.
Me: It's double-girly.
Jared: Can normal people bend that far backwards?
Me: Gymnasts, maybe.
Jared: 'Cuz, I certainly can't! But maybe I'm not the best example...
Jadeite looms over Rei's unconscious form.
Jadeite: So beautiful. I'm strangely attracted to her, like we've met somewhere before.
I say nothing. I shouldn't even be mentioning it on the blog, since Jared reads it. But, he kind of figured it out, so whatever...
Then again, it wasn't THAT difficult. I was curious if he'd pick up on it, though.
Sailor Moon: I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for love and for justice! I am Sailor Moon! In the name of the Moon, I'll punish you!
Jared: Okay, so love and justice...
Sailor Mercury: I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for love and for intelligence! I am Sailor Mercury! Douse yourself in water and repent!
Jared: Love and intelligence, okay. So what's Venus going to be over? Love and love?
Me: Love and beauty.
Jared: So, love and love, then.
Me: Beauty doesn't necessarily mean love. I mean, look at the Kardashians.
Jared: OH GOSH NO! Do NOT bring that up! Do NOT mention them ever! I'd rather talk to a Cardassian and they're pretty nasty themselves.
We just referenced Star Trek and reality TV inside of a minute with this post. Make of that what you will.
The fight begins - and it's a knock-down drag-out clash.
Sailor Moon: When did it get so cold?
Jared: Well, when you wear skirts that short, it is a risk you run.
Jadeite starts to gain the upper hand in the battle.
Sailor Moon: Was this all a trap to get us here and take up prisoner?
Rei starts to come-to and recognizes Sailor Moon's voice.
Rei: Usagi? Is that you? What's going on here?
Sailor Moon: No, Rei! It's not me! I'm not Usagi!
Jared: *laughs* I like Luna's reaction. "Why are you even trying?"
Rei: Why are you fighting him?
Sailor Moon: Well, I kinda have to because I'm a Sailor Guardian. And normal people can't exactly fight evil like this! Ya know, 'cause power and, like, responsibility...
Jared: And now she's quoting Spider-Man. BUT - is it the cool Japanese Spider-Man with the mecha? Because that is totally a thing that exists.
Rei takes Usagi's semi-plagiarized explanation to heart and realizes that she has her powers for a reason. She grabs Jadeite's arm and stops him from attacking Sailors Moon and Mercury.
Jadeite: I wouldn't do that if I were you. You're only human.
Jared: I've heard this guy's voice before!
Me: It's Todd Haberkorn. Spock from Star Trek Continues.
Jared: It is? Wow. That's hilarious.
Me: I've told you that before.
Jared: That's the guy?? Okay.
The Mars symbol appears on Rei's forehead and Luna has a moment of clarity.
Luna: No doubt about it now! Rei! Catch!
She throws a red pen very similar Ami's blue one and Rei catches it.
Jared: Where did THAT come from?
Me: Luna has hammerspace. Or she just has kitty-pockets.
Jared: Hee - kitty-pockets. But that's not fair! I guarantee you they [meaning the Guardians] don't have pockets! So the cat has pockets, but the Sailors don't.
Me: It's like you said - if Luna had thumbs, she could take over the world.
Rei begins her transformation...
Jared: Techincolor! I always wonder why they do that with the outlines.
Me: You mean the silhouettes? I dunno... so something different?
Jared: I suppose. Oh, she gets heels huh?
Me: They all have "heels" - she just has pumps.
Jared: Oh, like I know what a "pump" is!
Sailor Mars: I am the Pretty Guardian who fights for love and for passion! I am Sailor Mars! In the name of Mars, I'll chastise you!
Jared: Love and passion, check!
Luna: I knew it, Rei! You had to be! You are one of the Sailor Guardians! You're Sailor Mars!
Jared: Thanks Captain Obvious!
Sailor Mars (inner monologue): Is that why I was born this way? With these powers? Was it all so I could help Usagi? As a Sailor Guardian?
Jared: Yep! You win!
Sailor Moon throws her Tiara Boomerang, and Sailor Mars finishes Jadeite off - just not permanently.
Sailor Mars: Evil spirit, begone!
Jared: I don't think he's actually a spirit, though.
Me: It's a translation thing again. The attack is actually [and I butcher it out loud] Akyrou Taisan. Basically, it just means "banishing evil."
With Jadeite defeated, the Guardians get the hostages back to the real world, including Mii. The little girl wakes up with her friend, Rei, there to greet her. And Mii's mother comes to find her.
Luna: Another Guardian found! Now, let's do the same for our princess!
Jared: And keep on talking in public, Luna!
She can't help it. Talking cats never can...
|Another day, another bad guy defeated. Go get lunch, girls! Or dinner, by now.|
Next Time: Episode 4 - Masquerade Dance Party
Previously: Episode 2 - Ami, Sailor Mercury