I’m a little late with my posts this month! I’m really sorry. I’ve been incredibly busy with a lot of things and I’ve been out on the days the episodes aired and completely wiped out when I did see them. But here I am at last.
As always, spoilers lie below the cut. And I am not a happy little lynnetbird, so expect all-caps as well. Lots of them. Unhappy Lynn is terribly unhappy. WHY!?
Episode 5: Makoto, Sailor Jupiter
I watched this episode when I was utterly and entirely wiped out, and then subsequently didn’t have time to rewatch it before it got pulled. Boo. I had the impression that the artwork looked better this time around. It’s an interesting episode since it focuses so much on marriage and how all girls think about relationships and marriage. (Hint: Not every girl does this.) It’s an interesting one for me since I think the broader scope also ends up reflection some of Makoto’s characterisation.
We once again see Usagi reach out to someone and connect with them. It’s been a staple of the series, but it’s worth noting anew how much Usagi’s leadership is tied up with her ability to empathise with people and to make a connection with them. I’m impressed by how little prompting Jupiter needed to figure out what to do.
And… mostly this episode passed me by completely.
Episode 6: Tuxedo Mask
I officially kind-of miss the Monster of the Day approach now. I should really rewatch this episode, but the pacing felt off and I mostly remember wanting to shout “WHY DIDN’T YOU SHOW ME THIS BEFORE WHERE WAS THIS INFORMATION DID I MISS AN EPISODE?!” at my computer screen. That is… kind of not the reaction I want to be having to a show, especially not this one. Would it really have been so hard to make a few monster of the day episodes (or just monster-free episodes) which explore Usagi’s issues with leadership in more detail? I know why she’s saying the things she’s saying (and, really, she has a point), but would it have been so bad to just give us one or two episodes which focus on it so her speech actually has a decent amount of emotional impact?
I mean, I like what the show (and Tuxedo Mask) says about leadership and the qualities a leader needs and all, but WOULD IT HAVE BEEN SO HARD TO SHOW USAGI STRUGGLING WITH THIS LEADERSHIP FOR JUST ONE EPISODE BEFORE THIS ONE? Really? Would it have been? I like reading between the lines as much as the next person and perhaps more, but this is the kind of thing I like to be shown. You’ve got a great opportunity to show someone struggling with leadership because they think the approach is/should be X before discussing how their approach of Y also works because Z. WHY DID YOU TOSS OUT THAT OPPORTUNITY, SMC?! WHY?! It would have been so awesome and powerful and it would’ve opened up SO MANY opportunities to expand on something fascinating.
Also, who is she talking to after her transformation? Considering the very next frame sees her still having to get up to where Beryl and Zoisite are and she’s clearly not yelling it out as she’s moving.
Also also, Tuxedo Mask, did you just kiss her while she was unconscious again? WOULD YOU STOP DOING THAT ALREADY? Please? Just. Stop. (Yes, I know she’s talking to herself in her head afterwards and she’s not entirely unconscious. STILL. She’s clearly not in any shape to protest if that’s what she wanted to do. And hello blatant foreshadowing. Can I stop holding off on the rest of the story arc spoilers because it’s been laid on so thick now?)
One of the things that’s interesting to me about this episode, despite the shouting I’m inclined to do, is that I actually like how quiet the identity reveals have been. The original anime put it in the middle of the season, but right at the climax of the first half. It was tense and dramatic and even though by that point the viewer (or at least I) already knew, that had impact. It punched in the gut.
Crystal has revealed them far more quietly and I like that too. It’s a different dynamic and it shows more trust between Usagi and Mamoru at least from Mamoru’s side. Usagi didn’t willingly share her identity as Sailormoon with him, but he’s offering up his alter because he trusts her. It’s sweet.
I’m sad we’re not getting quite as much of the Dark Kingdom dynamics as I was hoping. It makes sense, but it’s going so fast. It could stand to slow down a touch for the anime. I’m not suggesting we return to 40-episode long series with a new monster every day necessarily, but a little MotD to build up to the key scenes more strongly? Yes, please.
*ahem* Anyway. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone if I start summing my reaction up with “I am not impressed”. I am so not impressed. I’ve just finished rewatching it to be sure my brain wasn’t playing tricks on me and… No. No, not really. I like parts of this episode. I like the first half. I would’ve appreciating seeing Tuxedo Mask try to rob more places to remind us that’s what he does (and build up more reasons for Luna to distrust him), but it works for me the way it stands. I liked the final scenes between Usagi and Mamoru. I liked Usagi getting up earlier and bonding with her friends. They’re small scenes, but they matter to me. They’re the heart of the show for me.
But that meeting with Tuxedo Mask on the road? Could’ve been so much better. It really makes me want to reread the manga up to this point to see whether they’re still just carefully going through the acts in order (Wikipedia suggests they are) and… I don’t even know how they’re going to get to 26 episodes with just the first arc anymore.
Here’s to hoping that the next episode will pick up the ball again!