Our review of this week’s episode will be a bit dry this time around - this episode mostly exists as a transition into the next act of this season. Next week will be juicy, but for now, let’s see how we’re getting there!
But first, a preliminary note: I’ve been having some trouble getting these posts done on time on Wednesday nights. As you can see, this is going up late again, much later than last week’s. So I think I’ll be moving it to Thursday at 8 pm instead. Any thoughts on this, please leave in the comments!
The episode picks up right where the last one left off, with Uranus giving Sailor Moon a surprise kiss. She’s too stunned after it happens to chase after Uranus anymore, and when the other Senshi catch up to her, she’s still in a blushy daze. Sailor Moon got a good, hard look at Uranus’ face before she kissed her. And she’s realizing that this mysterious senshi is probably Haruka... that boy from Mugen Academy, who’s been flirting with her at the arcade.
The next day, everyone is assembled at the control room at Crown Arcade. Usagi told them about... “making contact” with one of the mysterious individuals, but she can’t bring herself to tell them about the details. Diligent Minako reminds everyone that they can’t be sure whether they’re legitimate Senshi or not, but Usagi isn’t listening. She spots a magazine sitting on a chair with none other than Haruka on the cover, and she snatches it to read at home that night.
As she gazes at the pictures in the magazine in the low light of her bedroom, Usagi confirms how similar Haruka and the mysterious Senshi look. She starts to nod off, and we transition into a dream where she sees Uranus, and then Haruka, who grabs her hand in her dream and kisses her. But when Haruka pulls away, “he” is replaced with a Haruka-like individual wearing women’s clothing. Usagi asks who she is, but then she’s Sailor Uranus again, playfully running off without answering her question.
Sexual tension? Oh yeah. Usagi was attracted to Haruka in the first place... and she’s even more attracted to him/her now, despite catching on to the ambiguity of her real gender.
Oh, and Uranus mentions those “Talisman” things again as she runs off. The word echoes in Usagi’s mind... and in Hotaru’s. And in Mamoru’s. And Ami’s, and Rei’s, and Makoto’s, and Minako’s. The Talismans are for the “Deity of Destruction,” and the dream shows visions of the Senshi laying defeated in the rubble remains of the city before Usagi abruptly wakes up, having fallen asleep next to the magazine.
Usagi is still thinking about the dream as she walks to meet Mamoru before school as usual. As they walk, Usagi sees an advertisement for an upcoming violin performance by Michiru Kaioh, the strange girl she saw at Mugen Academy two episodes ago. Mamoru has stopped to look at the poster too - and Usagi is reminded of when she saw the two of them talking together.
One of the great things about the Sailor Moon manga is that it never stops being a story about Usagi and Mamoru. We get to see it grow and change the way all normal relationships do as the two of them grow up and go through hardships together. While the first arc established their relationship, the second arc is about jealousy, a common problem in the early days of romance, when the “honeymoon” period has passed and the couple is left with lingering doubts or insecurity. Usagi eventually learned to let go of her one-sided desire for Mamoru’s attention and appreciate the fact that he’s still an individual, even if he loves her.
The Infinity Arc shows another facet of their evolving relationship: temptation. Michiru flirts with Mamoru, who - to his credit - never seems to have any particular feelings towards her aside from curiosity. But Usagi struggles with this in a much different way. She’s attracted to Haruka and she feels guilty about it. Not because Haruka is a woman, but because she isn’t Mamoru. So when she sees Mamoru staring at that poster, she wonders if he’s in the same situation. Is he “interested” in Michuru too?
After school, Usagi happens to run into Haruka outside of Crown Arcade. They stare at each other. The music is soft and the wind blows through the trees along the street, creating a tense, pregnant moment. Haruka finally says that Usagi’s friends told her not to go near her... but she missed her and walked by Crown Arcade anyway. Usagi’s heart pounds, and she remembers her erotic teenage sexy dream from the night before. Looking at Haruka now, she sees her as both a man and a woman.
Haruka tries to introduce herself, but Usagi already knows both her and Michiru’s names - they’re famous, after all. Haruka gives her five tickets to Michiru’s upcoming violin concert. Usagi finally gives her name to Haruka, but before she can ask her more, a strong wind suddenly blows... and when Usagi opens her eyes again, Haruka is gone.
Senshi of the Wind disappearing with the wind? Love it. (Yes, wind. The 90's anime changed her element to earth, but the Roman god Uranus was the god of the sky.) Meanwhile, though, Mamoru has been watching them talk the whole time.
Usagi wanders into Crown, where the girls have gathered. It turns out that everyone had the same weird dream the night before, about “Talismans” and the “Deity of Destruction.” But the conversation is quickly derailed when they overhear other kids talking about an upcoming concert at Mugen Academy - not Michiru’s, but that of Mimi Hanyu, a hot new idol. Who, of course, idol-crazy Minako is already a #1 fan of. I LOVE YOU, MINAKO.
But next to Mimi Hanyu’s poster is another one for Michiru’s concert. Usagi announces she has five tickets, which is perfect for another investigative visit. Mamoru walks in at that moment (what was he doing outside for the past two minutes?) and overhears their plans to go to the concert. Whoops... what to do with the two tickets Michiru gave him?
And now for our daily stop-in with the villains. Kaolinite is leaning over her pool of water pondering the Sailor Senshi and their impressive power. They easily defeated Eudial in the last episode, and Kaolinite is realizing that the Silver Crystal is a similar source of power to their organization’s Taioron Crystal. But before she can grab that power, she’s got to find and destroy the mysterious three Talismans. She summons Mimete, the yellow-coded member of the Witches 5, who also happens to be Mimi Hanyu’s real identity. She’ll defeat the Sailor Senshi for sure!
Meanwhile, Chibiusa realizes that she still has Hotaru’s handkerchief. She decides to go to Mugen Academy - by herself, no less - to return it and manages to find Hotaru within the gates. (Chibusa, you can totally fit through those bars.) Hotaru invites her into her home and shows her her room, which is kept dimly lit by a dozen ornamented lamps.
When Chibiusa comments on Hotaru’s preference for black clothes, Hotaru reveals that she was in an “accident” a long time ago that left her body with scars. Chibiusa looks guilty for bringing it up, but Hotaru suddenly starts to have another one of her asthma-like attacks. She tells Chibiusa to bring her the creepy amulet her creepy dad gave her, which doesn’t seem to work as quickly as it did previously. Hotaru tells Chibiusa to stay away from her because soon, she’ll “become what she is not.” But Chibiusa takes after her mother; she can’t look away from a person in need. Opening her brooch, she removes the Silver Crystal of the future and uses it to help calm Hotaru’s body. This seems to solidify their friendship, and Hotaru promises her that she won’t tell anyone about her “amulet” or Sailor Chibi Moon.
Speaking of which, she thinks the monster that attacked them a few days ago was one of the experiments from her dad’s lab. Her dad is “eccentric” and researches “spooky things,” which may be the understatement of the century. But her dad was the one who saved her in the accident too, so he must not be all bad. She asks Chibiusa not to tell anyone about what she said... so I guess the girl is going to be keeping secrets in the interest of her crush. She’s really beginning to grow into a pre-teen early.
When Chibiusa leaves Hotaru’s house, it’s already dark out. And amazingly, OUT OF NOWHERE, Haruka and Michiru appear IN THEIR GODDAMN HELICOPTER and offer her a ride. Uhhh, Chibiusa?! This is a major stranger danger moment, what are you doing?! Don’t get in the strange helicopter?! But of course, she does anyway. And sure enough, they start asking her questions about Hotaru - are they friends, what did they talk about. Chibiusa mentions their conversation about amulets, and Michiru says she’s got something similar - the Deep Aqua Mirror. But it’s not an amulet... it’s a “Talisman.”
Haruka lands the GODDAMN HELICOPTER in the middle of the GODDAMN STREET outside Usagi’s house attracting a huge crowd of confused people. Usagi runs out, equally confused, but Chibiusa assures her by saying it’s okay because they told her they were really good friends of Usagi’s! CHIBIUSA NO, YOU’RE GONNA GET KIDNAPPED FOR REAL WITH THAT LOGIC. Usagi watches the helicopter fly off, but she catches a glance of Haruka in the pilot’s seat - wearing the same women’s clothing she saw in her dream a few nights earlier.
We skip ahead to Michiru’s concert. The girls came using the tickets Haruka gave Usagi, and Mamoru and Chibiusa came using the tickets Michiru gave Mamoru. The lights fall on the concert hall, and the notes of Michiru’s violin fill the air. Usagi feels like she’s underwater as she listens to it. Off to the side, she notices Haruka listening to the performance, wearing a suit and tie.
But at some point, Minako disappeared. Mimi Hanyu’s performance is happening at the same time on Mugen grounds, and she’s got to go see the cool, popular new idol!!! This leads to the best scene in the episode, where Minako uses her transformation compact from the Sailor V manga to disguise herself as a male Mugen student. Magic disguises was one of the ideas from Sailor V that was brought over into Sailor Moon when Toei asked her to turn it into a show about a group of girls, rather than just one; Naoko later peppered lots of fanservice references to the original series in the Sailor Moon manga years later, and this is one of them.
Anyway, obviously, Mimi Hanyu is Mimete, and the concert is a ploy to try to get Mugen students to join their creepy cult and devote their “souls” to Pharaoh 90. Minako manages to get out of the concert hall to avoid the effects of her spell, but in the neighboring hall, both Michiru and Haruka sense the trouble and the violin performance abruptly ends. Not long after, Minako contacts the others and tells them that the enemy has appeared.
Cue the action! Venus transforms and attacks the big star-shaped block of souls (or something) that Mimete has collected, shattering it. Mimete turns three students into Daimon, but the others arrive and make quick work of them. Out of frustration, Mimete attacks Chibiusa, but this was a bad move - two attacks come out of nowhere in retaliation, striking and killing her.
That’s right, you guessed it. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune have finally made their official announcement, appearing on the stage in the spotlights, no longer hiding themselves in the shadows at a distance. And the episode ends there. Ooh! Yet another cliffhanger. They’re good at those.
So, this is a pretty good episode - not a lot of important things happen in it, but it’s part of the slow build-up to the big important things that are coming in next week’s episode. And anyway, it’s a Sailor Venus episode, so of course it’s awesome. :D Overall the adaptation was very close to the manga, although this may be the episode with the most changes so far. But either way, they’re still only minor alterations to some of the dialogue and tweaks to the pacing. In other words, completely acceptable changes.
Anyway, next week we’re gonna learn a whole tidal wave of information about what’s going on story-wise, so prepare yourselves! Thanks for reading!
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