In the aftermath of Pluto’s arrival, Usagi finds herself taking her Princess Serenity form, at which point the three Outer Senshi pledge their loyalty to her and explain their purpose; however, they blatantly refuse to work with the Inner Senshi and intend to conquer the enemy on their own. Mugen Academy is closed down due to Hotaru’s father’s connection to it and his past crimes. In an effort to spy on him, Chibi-usa reaches out to Hotaru to get together with her and see a movie; however, Hotaru is unable to make the meeting due to a sudden surgery that her father performs on her. Concerned, Chibi-usa visits Hotaru’s home and accidentally stumbles upon Hotaru post-surgery, at which point she becomes scared and flees.
Elsewhere Cyprine, the last of the Witches 5, is called into action, using hail to drain the Hostes of the people in the city and turn them violent. She also hunts down Haruka and engages her in battle. Neptune and Pluto arrive to help. Eventually, Usagi figures out that they are under attack, and she urges the rest of the Senshi to help. They arrive just in time to deflect an attack by Cyprine, who then unleashes a new move that turns the Inner and Outer Senshi against each other. As the only one unaffected, Sailor Moon attempts to defeat Cyprine; however, she only succeeds in revealing that Cyprine has a second “half” known as Ptilol. Tuxedo Mask and Chibi-usa arrive on the scene and, together with Sailor Moon, summon the holy grail.
This episode is another example of how the show manages to exude both good and bad storytelling at the same time. The plot points that have been developed over time are great: Chibi-usa’s friendship with Hotaru would understandably lead to her eventually discovering the darker parts of Hotaru’s life, as she did in this episode.
On the other hand, the show’s need for an episodic monster kind of drags the whole pacing down. True, Sailor Moon has always been about a “monster of the week,” but, generally speaking, there is usually some build-up. The monster is disguised as a seemingly normal person, and the audience is generally in on it. There is some sort of simplistic plot device revolving around the monster’s actions, the Senshi somehow get drawn into it, and then they defeat the monster. Simple, redundant, but fleshed-out. Cyprine, on the other hand, kind of just bursts into the scene out of nowhere (right after Chibi-usa sees Hotaru’s bionic arm, no less) and begins sapping people’s energy. Yes, I know, she was introduced in the little pool of water, but there was no build-up to her attack. It just happened.
Perhaps it would have been better if we didn’t have Cyprine attack this week. Chibi-usa could have stumbled upon Hotaru’s secret, run away, but then be noticed by Professor Tomoe or Kaolinite. Cyprine could have captured Chibi-usa and used her as bait. This is just a quick idea, but the point is it would have tied everything together a lot nicer. I get that Cyprine’s primary targets were the Outer Senshi (and specifically Neptune and Uranus, since they revealed their identities), but these aspects of the plot just don’t flow together well. More time could have been spent drawing out the tensions between the Inner and Outer Senshi (which would have made their clash all the more climatic) on top of the aforementioned possibility of fleshing out the scenes with Chibi-usa and Hotaru.
It just feels like the writers are insistent upon sticking to the age-old formula, and it feels really forced in this case. And, yes, I get it: this is all ultimately based on the original manga, but it’s not unheard of for an anime to take certain liberties or deviations from the source material. Certainly, this would be acceptable if it meant delivering a more solid, cohesive story. Alas, such is not the case. They don’t even give us the benefit of suspense until the next episode: the preview clearly shows Sailor Moon gaining new powers (and they add it to the next episode’s title, to boot), which I called in the previous episode’s review, so we pretty much know that things will quickly resolve themselves! Conflicts resolve themselves in this series as quickly as they present, and the show ultimately suffers for it.
A Christian Perspective:
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Let’s be blunt: the Outer Senshi are pretty prideful. They completely brush off any offer of help from the Inner Senshi and act as if they don’t need any assistance. These feelings are revealed when Cyprine’s powers draw out them out, which sets the Inner and Outer Senshi against each other. While it also reveals the hostility within the Inner Senshi, we know that the Inner Senshi wanted to help the Outer, but the Outer were the ones to refuse that help. The pride of the Outer Senshi not only put them in a bad place where they were attacked and overpowered by the enemy, but it also put them in a position to be susceptible to Cyprine’s powers. It caused hostilities that would not have otherwise been there. It goes to show that one little act of pride can have some pretty big consequences, so the next time you’re feeling prideful, ask yourself if it is worth it.
Language: 1 “h*ll”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Usagi’s dress shows cleavage; two enemies show cleavage; Hotaru is shown in her night clothes; Hotaru is shown on a hospital bed, seemingly only covered by a sheet (some slight cleavage is visible); Haruka’s top shows cleavage; Uranus transformation sequence
Violence: People attack each other in the streets and riot; the Senshi battle a member of Witches 5 and then each other
Blood/Gore: Hotaru is shown with a grotesque arm, and later all of her arms and legs are shown stripped to the muscle
Other: A flashback to Uranus kissing Sailor Moon; Uranus is said to be both a man and a woman; magic powers
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