Sailor Moon Saturday: Eps 47-80

Sailor Moon R

For the first of our “Sailor Moon Saturdays,” I have chosen to dig up all my past reviews of Sailor Moon R episodes and paste them here. I reviewed these episodes on my previous blog, “Anime Bowl,” which, as you probably already know, got taken down thanks to an overzealous bot. Instead of just starting back where I left off and throwing you all for a loop, I’m pasting my reviews of the previous episodes of this season of Sailor Moon (season R) right here. They may not make as much sense out of context, but it’s the best I can do. At least this way, my reviews are back out there for people to read if they ever want to.

Warning: This is a long post.

Before I get to the review, I want to mention how weird it is for Ichigo, Rukia & Orihime to all be in the same room together under the guise of Artemis, Luna & Usagi. The same voice actors from Bleach are doing these voices here, and it’s a real throwback for a Bleach fan such as myself. Stephanie Sheh has completely changed her voice for Usagi from Orihime, while Michelle Ruff and Johnny Yong Bosch have purposely altered theirs to be on the comedic side, to match the tone of Sailor Moon. But even so, it still seems so strange.

On to Sailor Moon R! The new series starts out with Usagi and the other girls having no memory of being Sailor Guardians. Then two bad guys show up at school named Ail and An. They cause problems and end up doing the same thing as all the other enemies in the series to Naru, Usagi’s friend. In order for Usagi to save her, Luna has to give back Usagi her powers and memories of being a Sailor Guardian. She then is able to fight off the Monster of the Week and save Naru.

Episode 48 is pretty much the same thing, albeit with enough comedy thrown in there so that it doesn’t seem repetitive. This time, it’s the other Sailor Guardians who get their memories back in order to save Usagi, who was in turn trying to save them. Luna gives them their powers and memories back, and they are able to use their powers to defeat the new Monster of the Week and rescue Usagi. There are some pretty funny scenes in this one such as Usagi acting as if she needed no help, then getting hit in the face with her own ball that she threw.

Overall, it’s a good introduction to Sailor Moon R. I look forward to seeing where this series takes us, as we head toward the 50th episode of Sailor Moon.

Episode 47 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 48 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 49 is the episode from which the English dub song “Rainy Day Man” came from. That was in the original dub; now we get the actual Japanese song for this episode. Basically it’s about Makoto’s childhood friend who gets attacked by a monster, so Makoto goes out and gets revenge on the bad guy. Captain Ahab has to hunt his whale! A mysterious character named “Moonlight Knight” shows up to save the day, and he looks and sounds a lot like Tuxedo Mask.

In the following episode, shenanigans occur as Usagi goes along with others to a virtual reality game where you can shoot virtual bad guys. Mamoru and Usagi’s brother Shingo all get caught up in the situation, where a real bad guy shows up, and it’s up to Usagi to save them. But she can’t – her tiara won’t work. So Moonlight Knight shows up to save the day once more.

Overall, a couple of run-of-the-mill episodes, neither of which was bad by any means, but neither of which was great either.

Episode 49 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 50 rating (out of four stars): **

In episode 51, Sailor Moon receives a power-up. No, really; it’s in the title! And her power-up gives her the ability to call out the now-famous “Moon Crystal Power” in order to “make up” into Sailor Moon. She then uses this power to save her friends from the Monster of the Week. Moonlight Knight – aka the new Tuxedo Mask – also shows up, because we couldn’t possibly have Sailor Moon do it on her own.

The next episode focuses on the currently neglected Sailor Venus. She gets her second episode of some actual focus, but it comes in an embarrassing episode where she helps a bus of kindergartners against the Monster of the Week. Sailor Moon also shows up, and so does Moonlight Knight. While Moonlight Knight stays out of it, Sailor Moon makes sure that Sailor Venus doesn’t get to be the hero – instead, they’re joint heroes. In the end, the kindergartners are saved, and they now believe that Sailor Moon exists (and Sailor Venus).

 

Neither episode is particularly bad, but the second one is a bit embarrassing because of the kindergartners who chant out a really campy cheer for Sailor Moon and Sailor Venus and repeat said chant over and over again. It’s a bit cringe-worthy.

Episode 51 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 52 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 53 is a half-hour of hijinx with Usagi and Mamoru trying to raise a baby whose mother got attacked by a monster. It’s as funny as you’d think. Then the Monster of the Week shows up and uses babies as its shield. Sailor Mercury gets really angry and obtains a new power, but it’s up to Moonlight Knight to show up and save the Sailor Guardians again. Despite the predictability of the battle, it’s still quite a funny episode.

It’s Rei’s turn to shine in Episode 54, the episode from which the dub song “Oh Starry Night” came. She’s bossy and b****y as ever in this episode. Then, once the Monster of the Week attacks, she gains a new power. Since Makoto seems to be featured in the next episode, it seems to be a pattern with each Sailor Guardian getting their own episode to be featured (Minako was last week). The episode was good, but I miss “Oh Starry Night.”

Episode 53 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 54 rating (out of four stars): ***

Both of these episodes were entertaining, though right now I’m having a hard time coming up with an equally entertaining way of describing them. The first had Sailor Jupiter learn a new power skill. I think Sailor Venus got a new one too. These are all irrelevant, however, because like in every case, Moonlight Knight has to show up and save the Sailor Guardians. This is a frustrating thing that stops Sailor Moon from ever reaching its potential.

The second episode of the two is the infamous “most talent” episode. The girls are all arguing over who should play Snow White, and Makoto says that it should be her because she has the biggest boobs. Wait, that’s not right! No, in the original dub, she said it’s because she had the most “talent.” But of course we know what she meant. In truth, I had hoped she would still say “talent” as that was more humorous. The rest of the episode is irrelevant; the scene with the girls fighting over being Snow White was entertaining enough to make the episode worthwhile.

Episode 55 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 56 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 57 is a bunch of tomfoolery. (From now on, that word – since it’s my catch phrase – will be bolded along with our other catch phrase – “not much happened.”) And in this episode, not much happened. Ail and An are still up to no good, and to be honest, I’m confused over which one’s Ail and which one’s An. In any case, Usagi basically fools around for half an episode – not in that way – and eventually she and the other Sailor Guardians have to fight off another Monster of the Week, known as a “cardian.” But they don’t do much until Moonlight Knight shows up to SAVE them again. (Which also gets bolded since it’s also a catch phrase of mine.) Typical boring tired old plot.

Episode 58 ends on a cliffhanger, so it’s tough to determine exactly what is going on here. Ail and An are using the Makai Tree to steal people’s energy. They attempt to steal Usagi’s energy, but when they do, the tree backfires on them and causes big problems. Now it’s up to the other Sailor Guardians to rescue Usagi. But that will have to wait until next week!

Episode 57 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 58 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 59 finishes up the “Ail and An” arc. The two villains, who have been terrorizing our five-pack of heroes for so long, get Usagi and Mamoru wrapped up in the Makai Tree. Then the other Sailor Guardians try to save them, but can’t. Eventually Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon, and then Moonlight Knight comes along to rescue them. Hold it right there! Moonlight Knight? Yes. Apparently there are TWO Mamorus. There’s the clueless one who is currently wrapped up by the Makai Tree, and then there’s the one who is Moonlight Knight. Eventually, the Makai Tree sucks in Ail and An as well as Usagi and Mamoru, then teaches Ail and An what true love is, and then everything turns out okay. The arc is wrapped up with the two Mamorus merging together, which means that now Mamoru has all his memories back.

Episode 60 starts a new arc with the introduction of Chibi-Usa. Her name isn’t revealed in this first episode, actually; I’m going with what I’ve been told her name is. The pink-haired ball of energy shows up and demands to have the silver crystal off Usagi. She then drugs the tea of all the Sailor Guardians (except Usagi) and causes them to pass out, then Usagi confronts her over the silver crystal. Eventually, a real bad guy shows up, and this female villain attacks Chibi-Usa. Tuxedo Mask makes his triumphant return to the series, and helps fight off this villain for a temporary reprieve.

Both were good episodes, and I look forward to seeing what this new arc has to offer.

Episode 59 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 60 rating (out of four stars): ***

The first episode of the two reviewed today is so forgettable that you wonder why they even made it. It is so formulaic and just a waste of time. Basically an enemy wants to give Usagi a makeover, but it’s really an evil plan, so Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon and fights her off. In the episode, Mamoru breaks up with Usagi for no good reason whatsoever, and while this is a big development, it makes zero sense logically. Usagi’s “too weak”? What kind of man breaks up with a girl for being “too weak”? What a joke.

The second episode of the two features “Only a Memory Away.” Actually, it doesn’t; that song was only in the original dub. This dub fails to give us that song, instead giving us the Japanese song, but playing it so softly in the background that you can’t even hear it. Ami waffles on her decision to either go to Germany to become a doctor or stay with the Sailor Guardians. Guess which one she chose. An okay episode, but not great.

Episode 61 rating (out of four stars): *

Episode 62 rating (out of four stars): **½

I am not exaggerating when I say that episode 63 may be the worst episode in Sailor Moon history. The entire plot revolves around Rei’s grandfather trying to get together a bunch of girls because he’s perverted. He even goes after Chibi-Usa. I don’t know how the voice actresses were able to take themselves seriously when recording for this episode. And if you thought that was bad, the plot line is worse – the villains get energy from the girls beating each other up in a boxing ring. To top things off, Tuxedo Mask SAVES everyone in the most boring way possible.

But if you thought episode 64 would improve off that, you’d be wrong. This episode consists mainly of Chibi-Usa screaming and not much else. Chibi-Usa gets lost, then she uses her powers to screw things up for everybody else. Eventually, the villains attack Sailor Moon, and guess who comes to SAVE them? You got it.

I don’t think I realized what I got myself into when I signed up to review these episodes. They were good for a while there, but I do remember once Chibi-Usa shows up, things get annoying. She’s here to stay, unfortunately.

Episode 63 rating (out of four stars): *

Episode 64 rating (out of four stars): *½

Can you believe I’ve kept up these reviews for this long? This pair of episodes was pretty good. First, episode 65 produced a fight between Minako and Makoto, before they fell into the trap set by their enemies. However, these enemies are so forgettable that I have no idea who any of them even are. It’s not like the very memorable enemies of the first arc. Basically, the bad guys get the Sailor Guardians to buy jewels that end up stealing their energy. They get all gooped up before Sailor Moon comes to the rescue. And this time, there’s no Tuxedo Mask bailing them out.

Unfortunately, Tuxedo Mask has to play hero in episode 66. The good news is that there’s a lot of humor in the episode. Hearing Tuxedo Mask repeat Sailor Moon’s exact speech about why supermarkets are important was just hilarious. And you have to admit, you probably never thought up the plot line of bad guys spoiling all the meat in a supermarket as their big bad deed. Usagi makes some curry, and despite the way it looks, it ends up tasting pretty good.

A couple of solid episodes, which keeps me optimistic for what is to come.

Episode 65 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 66 rating (out of four stars): **½

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Sailor Moon gets a lot worse once Chibi-Usa comes along. In reality, episode 67 is actually a good episode, and not just because it’s the swimsuit episode of Sailor Moon. It’s entertaining because of Rei, who is really the only one of the Sailor Guardians outside Sailor Moon herself to get any meaningful character development. Unfortunately, Chibi-Usa’s whining drags down the episode from potentially being better. I know that’s her personality, but still. She’s annoying as heck.

While episode 67 was still pretty good despite Chibi-Usa, episode 68 could not be saved from Chibi-Usa’s whining. It baffles me to think this is going to go on indefinitely. Who thought having a 6-year-old girl whining and crying all the time was a good idea? There’s no time to hear any of the other girls, because all you hear is Chibi-Usa and how nobody likes her, everybody hates her, whine, whine, whine. This episode, featuring the Black Moon Clan, turns out to be a complete waste.

Episode 67 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 68 rating (out of four stars): *

A bit late with this, so let’s make this short and sweet. Episode 69 was definitely one of the worst of the series. Half of the episode is Usagi whining and crying that Mamoru won’t go out with her. Then all the action occurs because, inexplicably, Chibi-Usa decides to go out at midnight in the middle of the street and almost gets hit by a truck. Eventually, Sailor Moon goes to save her, but the enemy attacks her and puts her into Sleeping Beauty mode, only to be awakened by Tuxedo Mask’s kiss. It’s totally cliche and nonsensical at the same time.

Episode 70 was a bit better. The character in the pic above, whose name I think is Kaon, attacks Sailor Mars, and the two have a battle, before Kaon gets rejected by one of the fellow Black Moon Clan members. Sailor Moon purifies her and allows her to live a normal life. It’s not a bad episode, though nothing great about it either.

Episode 69 rating (out of four stars): ½

Episode 70 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 71 is all about chess. Ami beats Usagi easily in chess (as does Chibi-Usa), and then Ami enters a chess tournament. But the Black Moon Clan also enters it, and ends up freezing Sailor Mercury to her chair so she’s forced to play chess while they torment the other Sailor Senshi. Can you guess how they get out of this one? Yep, Tuxedo Mask SAVES them. Typical.

A couple of the Black Moon Clan become “good” after that encounter, so the others are looking to take revenge on the traitors. So in episode 72, an epic showdown goes down between the Sailor Senshi and the Black Moon Clan, and eventually the Sailor Senshi win and get the other sisters of the Black Moon Clan to become “good.” It’s actually better than it sounds, as is the prior episode, with the exception of Tuxedo Mask always having to save the women. Can’t we have some girl power in a shoujo series?

Episode 71 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 72 rating (out of four stars): **½

If Dragon Ball Z is the “Kings of Unintentional Comedy,” then surely episode 73 makes Sailor Moon the queen. Where to start? How about the part where Chibi-Usa runs right in front of two cars, causing said cars to come to screeching halts while the drivers yell out the window at her? That part was hilarious, and maybe it was supposed to be. But then Chibi-Usa jumps off a high building with a parachute, and it’s in a moment where we’re supposed to feel afraid for her, but I rather laughed.

Then the villain actually uses the exact phrase “resistance is futile,” which obviously had to be added in as a bone to Star Trek fans. Add to that a part in the next episode where Chibi-Usa “figures out” who Tuxedo Mask really is, and he just readily owns up to it. You’ve made a big deal about keeping your identities secret for so long, and now you just laugh about it.

There were some other funny parts I missed, because my memory is so short these days that I can’t remember a show within 15 minutes of seeing it. But the episodes were pretty entertaining. That’s all that matters, right?

Episode 73 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 74 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 75 proves exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time – Chibi-Usa absolutely ruins Sailor Moon. I’m not pretending that Sailor Moon has been a masterpiece, but let’s face it, it doesn’t get any worse than the constant whining and crying from Chibi-Usa all throughout this episode. And just think, she’s going to be around a long, long time. The Sailor Guardians meet Sailor Pluto, who really has nothing more than a cameo. The rest of the episode is a fight against an enemy which goes pretty much as you’d expect.

As for episode 76, it’s one of those episodes that some people (hint: left-leaners) complain about being “fat-shaming.” I’m not sure if it actually qualifies as such, but as for the episode itself, it’s back to classic Sailor Moon. All the Sailor Guardians get turned into pastries, then Tuxedo Mask comes out of nowhere to SAVE them. It’s mindless fun. The woman in the gif above is Esmerauld, the character who is behind the attacks against the Sailor Guardians. She has an awesome laugh. That laugh is enough for me to give this episode a positive rating.

Episode 75 rating (out of four stars): **

Episode 76 rating (out of four stars): **½

Episode 77 is forgettable, despite its important plot point. Basically everyone in Usagi’s school puts on “friendship bracelets” which really are a big ploy to steal people’s energy, blah blah blah. What’s important is that at the end of the episode, once Tuxedo Mask SAVES everyone, Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask) and Usako (Usagi) make up and become an item again. So everything’s going to be happy between them the rest of the way.

Episode 78, on the other hand, is rather funny. Everyone gets the flu except for Minako, so she decides to be a “nurse” and try to get Rei back to health, but she fails miserably. Her porridge is hazardous, and she manages to blow up a stereo. After Rei kicks her out of her house, she then tries doing the same thing for Usagi, but she’s stopped by her cat Artemis. Later on there’s some actual battling and the typical Tuxedo Mask rescue, but most of it was pretty entertaining. I prefer episodes like this; I like these episodes that feature the side characters more.

Episode 77 rating (out of four stars): *½

Episode 78 rating (out of four stars): ***

Both of these episodes were extremely effective in expressing what they meant to: humor (in episode 79), and betrayal (in episode 80). Episode 79 starts out with Artemis getting into trouble in some funny scenes, and then Usagi stepping on him while Luna laughs her fur off. Then Artemis mistakenly thinks a man bringing pets to a shelter is doing something evil, and he follows him into even more trouble. Esmerauld shows up and causes chaos, including a bizarre scene where the Monster of the Week puts all the Sailor Guardians on leashes, but Artemis scratches back, and he helps Sailor Moon defeat this week’s opponent. No Tuxedo Mask this time around.

Episode 80 is very good. After a monster hypnotizes a bunch of people in Ami’s school, a group of students (led by Umino) accuses Ami of cheating on her tests. This grows worse when Sailor Mercury goes to figure out the problem, and she gets hypnotized into hearing all of her friends insulting her and saying nasty things about her. Eventually, she breaks out of it, because she believes in her friends, and then she, Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon all finish off the bad guy. It was actually a pretty well-written episode.

Episode 79 rating (out of four stars): ***

Episode 80 rating (out of four stars): ***½

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