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[IWIW] Walkin' on Sailor Moon (thread 3 of a continuing series)

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Jhiday

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... And it goes without saying that this page is off-limits for Shadowjack, as the very first screen mentions two major characters that have yet to appear. ;)
 

Shadowjack

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... And it goes without saying that this page is off-limits for Shadowjack, as the very first screen mentions two major characters that have yet to appear. ;)
I noticed that. :D


I skimmed very quickly, just reading titles, and found myself WITHOUT ANY CLUE AS TO WHAT THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT. Yes, are Sailor Quaoar and Sailor Sedna actually time-travelling versions of each other from alternate universes, and does this then give an entirely terrifying meaning to the entire Dark Pirate Mamoru Saga, especially when you consider the thing with the bird and the dog and the magic oxcart? I don't fucking know!

So practically none of what little I saw sank in.



I must say, however, that but a single line mention of the theory is too little! There are many concrete and inconvertible proofs that Beryl is Naru's Mom:

  • They're both attractive, single redheads.
  • You never see them in the same place together. Indeed, Naru's Mom is often conspicuously absent. That's a hell of a commute.
  • When you're looking for magic gems, posing as a jeweler is a perfect cover.
  • Naru attracts trouble like, well, a magically-attuned heir to a royal throne would.
  • Beryl didn't permit Zoisite to kill Nephrite until after she learned of the Naru relationship.
  • Naru displays occasional flashes of Evil Muahahahaha Sparkiness, as in this next episode I haven't written up yet.
 
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Shadowjack

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Sailor Moon R Episode #51: A New Transformation! Usagi Powers Up.

13th FLOOR, AUDREY'S CHAMBER
Ali: "A 'cherry blossom viewing festival?' You mean, they—?"
En: "Have a festival to watch flowers blossom, yes. Apparently, it's one of this planet's major holidays."
Ali: "…Why?"
En: "Apparently, they believe it to be symbolic of life itself, bright and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral. Typical Earthling sentimentality, right?"
Ali: "…You know, that reminds me for some reason… when I was young… I remember being told about the beautiful flowers that used to bloom on the Doom Tree, when our people were in power…"
En: "…yes, yes… when the Tree's roots encircled a world, and the star petals shone ever in the twilight…"
Ali: "…yes…"
En: "…and I remember…"
Ali: "…I…"
En: "…"

Silence.

Ali /heartily. "Ha ha! Foolish Earthlings."
En /heartily. "Yes! Ha ha! Nostalgia. What nonsense!"
Ali: "There'll be a lot of people there! Lots of energy!"
En: "My thoughts exactly! Plenty and to spare!"

The Doom Tree looms above them.



CUT TO: ANOTHER THING THAT LOOMS
Our faithful source of energy, the Tokyo Radio Tower, gives its blessing to the annual sakura festival. Picnicking families fill the park…

Enter a new party: The Five (plus Two); Naru; a pretty red-headed teacher we don't know, one Ms. Sakurada; and En (as 'Natsumi').

Some rapid fire exposition establishes that Ms. Sakurada pulled considerable strings to arrange a little cherry blossom viewing time for her students during what would be school hours—and even went so far as to swing invitations for Minako and Rei, who go to entirely different schools. It's not even an official school field trip or anything! All of which makes her notably clever, resourceful, generous, and perceptive. We'll probably never see her again.

En seems a little overwhelmed, strange to say, and hangs at the back of the pack.



HELLO, IS THAT UMINO SAVING US A SPOT?
Umino: "Yes indeed!"
Naru: "…This is a very good spot, and the park is packed. How long have you been out here?"
Umino: "Since last night."
General shock and consternation.
Ami: "There was frost last night!"
Usagi: "Come on, the guy's the übergeek. He probably camps out overnight for computer releases and stuff all the time."
Umino: "Yep! I brought my secret otaku weapon! Permit me to demonstrate…"

The secret weapon is an arctic sleeping bag, fleece lined and everything. Zipped up, he's snug as a bug.

Usagi: "You're nuts, you know that? Not that I mind benefitting from it."
Umino: "Hey, I just wanted Naru to have a good spot for the picnic."
Naru: "You went to all this effort… for me?"
Umino: "Yep."
Naru /blushes.
Naru /reaches her hand out, and gently, lovingly…
Naru /…zips up the bag all the way, completely trapping Umino inside.

Beat.

Naru: "All right, folks, time for lunch!"
Everyone sits and breaks out the bento, and pretends to not notice the wriggling, struggling bag that Naru has placed behind her.



TIME PASSES, MUCH FOOD IS CONSUMED
Umino /finally has been released. "Why'd you do that?!"
Naru: "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I had this sudden, instinctive urge to lock you away from everyone else so that no one else could ever have you. Ever. They laughed at me at the elementary school, BUT SOON, SOON, I SHALL SHOW TH—"
Usagi: "Easy there!"
Naru: "Heh. Whoops. :eek: Mom gets like that sometimes, I guess it runs in the family."
Usagi: "Seems like it practically gallops!"

Usagi: "Everyone's lunch looks so good!"
Rei: "¡And yours looks like shi—!"
Ms. Sakurada: "Rei!"
Rei: "I'm just talkin' about Usagi's lunch."
Usagi: "I put my heart and soul into making it!"
Rei: "Which tells us something about the nature of your soul."
Usagi: "Yes, that I try. Unlike certain people who just went and bought a Happy Meal. So much for tradition."
Rei /clutches her lunch protectively. "¡McDonald's is as Japanese as curry rice!"
Usagi: "So what toy did you get?"
Rei: "None of your business."

While no one else is looking, Naru presents Umino with a bento box she cooked and wrapped herself. He weeps tears of joy, and she is absurdly pleased with herself. DAAAWWWWWWWW. :)

Usagi: "O my friends! May I please prevail upon our long friendship to partake of your lunches, which look a lot better than mine."
Mako: "Why do you think I made extra? And Mina brought subs."
Usagi: "Oh, boy, sammiches!"
Ami: "'Sandwiches.'"
Mina, Mako, Usagi: "Sammiches."
Usagi: "By the way, V, you've been awful quiet the last couple of weeks. Anything up? Boys? Girls? School? Or cosmic stuff?"
Mina: "I guess cosmic stuff."
Usagi: "I hear ya."
V: "Yeah."
Usagi: "And what about our other quiet girl? …Earth to Natsumi. Hello?"
En: "Huh? What?"
Usagi: "I know we're rivals and all, but picnics are a truce! Where's your lunch? You want some of mine? I, er, can spare some."
En: "No, that's all right, I have delicious energy waiting for me."
Usagi: "Oh, that's good, I was worri— wait, what?"
En: "Erm, nothing!"
Usagi: "…Aha! You were counting on sponging off of others, too!"
Rei: "Only Usagi would stoop so low."
Mako: "Do you want some more of mine, Rei?"
Rei: "¡Stop helping me!"
Usagi: "Busted."
Rei: "¡Dude, shut up! ¡Go eat your ugly rice balls!"
Usagi: "…"

Usagi /surreptitiously puts hot mustard and wasabi into a sandwich.
Usagi: "Hey, Rei. Let's not fight. Here, you can have my sammich."
Rei: "¡My! So considerate. Gracias." /OM NOM NOM
Rei /NOM
Rei /nom
Rei /um
Rei: "…"
Rei /spontaneously combusts.
<< Rei : Cast > Fire1 : Usagi >>
Rei: "DIEEEEEEEEEE!"
Usagi: "I REGRET NOTHING!"
Luna: "Sigh. In this month's installment of 'Spy vs. Spy'…"



AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN SEPARATED
Rei: "And what would you do if my appendix exploded?"
Usagi: "Laugh! Twice!"
Ms. Sakurada: "Okay, stop."
The fight ends.
Ms. Sakurada: "Now, then, everyone! You have one hour of free activities, and then—"
Usagi: "You said this wasn't an official school trip. No teachers or students or planned activities."
Ms. Sakurada: "—I, uh… oh, right. So I did. Uh… whoops. Well, then, what should we do, ladies?"
Rei: "Psst. Usagi. The Enterprise is a garbage scow."
Usagi /kills Rei with a dumpling.
Rei /kills Usagi with mustard fire.
The fight resumes.
Ms. Sakurada: "…"



MEANWHILE: ALI IS STALKING USAGI
Ali, as 'Seijuro': "Beautiful."
En /materializes behind him. "Is she really?"
Ali /glibly. "I was talking about the cherry blossoms. It's quite an interesting tradition, perhaps we should adopt it in our own household, to—"
En: "Uh-huh."
En /knowing she has his full attention, lithely slinks around a tree, and shifts back into space-elf form. "Let's do it. Right here. Right now."
Ali: "I was just thinking the same thing."



PICK A CARD, ANY CARD!
Some sort of serpentine ghostly dryad.



NARU AND UMINO, SITTING 'NEATH THE TREES
Umino: "I like the cherry blossoms, but you're prettier."
Naru /blushes, then tries to cover by getting angry. "Don't you ever feel embarrassed by what you say?"
Umino: "No, because I never say anything that isn't true."
Naru: "Heh. But, look, there's tact, and propriety, and public appearance. There's a time to talk of love, and there's a time to talk of TREE!"
Umino: "Tree?"

An evil cherry tree ambushes them and sucks them into a pool of light.



NEXT!
Ms. Sakurada: "What was that bright flash of light? OMG OMG OMG THEY'RE PASSED OUT! Hey, you! The lady who looks like a traditional Japanese ghost! Quick, call 119!"

The ghostly dryad of the evil cherry tree ambushes her and sucks her into a pool of light.



A SHORT TIME LATER, AT A NEARBY CLINIC
Paramedic: "It looks like they'll make a full recovery soon, but that makes ten so far. What the hell is going on? It's still too early for sunstroke season."
Artemis and Luna /significant glance.
Usagi: "Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?"
Paramedic: "What?"
Usagi: "Sorry, I was talking to my cats. I'll be outside for a little while."



MEANWHILE, AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME
Mako and Ami are debating whether or not they're in the right place, and whether or not they can read the tracks or not. Mina's all serious-like, on overwatch. And Rei…

Rei: "I SENSE EVIL."
Mina: "…Would it be from that tree over there, upon which no sunlight seems to fall, and whose branches seem to move separately from the wind?"
Rei: "Perhaps—"



CUT BACK TO USAGI AND THE CATS
Usagi: "What was that flash of light?"
Artemis: "I'd know those screams anywhere."
Luna: "Hurry!"
Usagi: "On it."



STARKLY CORUSCANT TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE COUNTER
Usagi into Sailor Moon: 43
Usagi into Princess Serenity: 1
Usagi into Disguise Form: 8
Ami into Sailor Mercury: 12
Rei into Sailor Mars: 11
Makoto into Sailor Jupiter: 5
Minako into Sailor Venus: 5
Mamoru into Tuxedo Mask: 2



USAGI FINDS A DOUBLEPLUSUNGOOD SITUATION
The Other Four are each mired in pools of blinding light, abraded by a blizzard of cherry blossoms. Unlike the civilians earlier, they are resisting mightily—but are immobilized, unable to fight back further. At the center of it all, the Evil Cherry Tree chuckles darkly.

Ami /despite great distress. "Sailor Moon! Be wary!"
Usagi: "Hokey smokes! We've gotta—"
<< Dryad RotoRush! >>
The dryad lunges out at Usagi so forcefully that it rips a furrow in the earth, two feet deep and a hundred long.
Usagi: "Yipe!"

Several minutes of shouting and dodging ensue.

Usagi: "Well, at least the park won't have to be rototilled this year!"
Luna: "Sailor Moon, you have to fight back!"
Usagi: "HOW?"
<< Usagi : Cast > Moon2 : CherryDryad >>
< …plink. >
Usagi: "See?! What am I supposed to do, call it filthy names?"
Rei /despite great distress. "Moon, don't look into her eyes!"
Usagi: "What?"
<< Dryad RotoRush! >>
< Usagi is tackled! >
< …and made eye contact! >
Usagi: "Shit!"



USAGI'S BROOCH BREAKS!!!
Usagi: "Ack! No!"
< Sailor Moon reverts to Usagi. >
Usagi: "…it's not s'posed to just break… noooooo…"
Dryad /immures Usagi in a deep pool of blinding light, and abrades her with—
Usagi: "…must… keep… fighting…" /tries to G.I. crawl to safety, to a weapon, anything.
The Other Four /stare in horror, silently urging her onward.
Usagi feels something grab her leg and start to drag her under.
Usagi: "Frelllllllllllllll…" /scrabble scrabble fingernails
Luna: "NO!" /dashes forward.
Artemis: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU STUPID MOLLY?!"
Luna /tugs at Usagi's jacket and tries to pull her free…
Usagi and Luna are dragged in deeper…
Usagi: "…before I go, I just want to apologize to everyone for wasting their time. I'm sorry, everyone." :(

Usagi and Luna are dragged into the "Sea of Fermi" and disappear.

Artemis /disbelief
Ami /shock
Mako /horror
Mina /grim
Rei: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"



SOMEWHERE NEARBY
Audrey is getting a charge.
Ali: "Sweet."
En: "Let's keep it up."



USAGI'S ADVENTURES IN INNERSPACE
Usagi finds herself drifting, dreaming, naked and alone in a limbo of red hues. Alone, except for Luna, and then only briefly.

Usagi: "…where did I go wrong? And what do I do now?"
Luna: "This is just an educated guess, but I think our problems of the past few weeks are best summed up in this image…"



Usagi: "I know. Deep down, I still really want to just be an ordinary girl."
Luna: "Ah, but you do see that there are two sides to the reflection, don't you? On your left hand, you crave the excitement, the responsibility, the power, that being Sailor Moon provides. I've seen how your face lights up when you make your entrance, and when you triumph over our foes. But on your right hand, you are all too aware of the dangers, the costs, and the weight of those cares, and wish to remain simply Usagi. This kind of magic is all about determination and pure expression of feelings, so this vacillation is… well, is really killing you. Until you figure out what you really want, the powers of Sailor Moon will not function."
Usagi: "Then how can I save everyone?"

Silence. Luna is fading, fast.

Usagi /hugs her, tenderly. "You're so small, Luna, but you're always trying so hard, and I always give you such a hard time… I'm sorry for dragging you into this."

Usagi drifts and fades…

Usagi: "…I wonder if we're dead."
The Ghost of Queen Serenity: "Not quite, Princess."
Usagi /!
The Ghost of Queen Serenity: "We are inside your soul. Thank you for still needing me." :)
Usagi: "Queen Serenity! I have to save everyone! What do I do?"



AND JUST LIKE THAT…
They stand in a dream of the old palace, Queen and Princess, with the Silver Crystal floating between them, and loyal Luna by the Princess's side.

Queen Serenity: "I think you've just declared what it is you really want."
Usagi: "Heaven help me, yes."
Queen Serenity: "Had you thought the Silver Crystal lost?"
Usagi: "I know it was. None of us could have brought the Wand back from the ice, and I spent the last of its power on that final wish to save everyone;"
Queen Serenity: "It was your desire to preserve your friends that preserved the Silver Crystal as well." /she gestures, and the Silver Crystal floats to Usagi's brooch, repairing it and re-empowering it.
Usagi /awed. "…and with this power, I can help."
Queen Serenity: "It is much spent… but in time, who can say? It may yet grow in power."
Usagi: "But, wait, the Silver Crystal was inside me originally, wasn't it? So, wouldn't that mean, that all along…?"
Queen Serenity /smiles.
Usagi: "Heh." :)
Queen Serenity: "Good to see you again, Luna, even if it is only like this."
Luna: "A cat sees dream meetings differently. Until next time, milady."
Usagi /turns to depart…
Usagi /doubles back for a quick hug, even if it's not in the script. "Because, damn it, I don't get to do this often enough. I love you, Mother."
Queen Serenity: "And I, you."
Usagi /turns to depart, this time for real.
Usagi /just one more question. "Oh, yeah, by the way, how—?"
Queen Serenity: "'Moon Crystal Power Makeup.'"
Usagi: "Thank you!"



STARKLY CORUSCANT TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE COUNTER
Usagi into Sailor Moon, Level Two: 1
Usagi into Sailor Moon: 43
Usagi into Princess Serenity: 1
Usagi into Disguise Form: 8
Ami into Sailor Mercury: 12
Rei into Sailor Mars: 11
Makoto into Sailor Jupiter: 5
Minako into Sailor Venus: 5
Mamoru into Tuxedo Mask: 2

New music! The brooch flashes and pulses, like it has to get up to speed, then… WHAM! Angel wings! Feathers! Stripes and flashes and ribbons, oh my!



MEANWHILE, NIGHT OVER THE CHERRY TREES
The Other Four, by now only semi-conscious, are being physically absorbed by the cherry tree. Artemis has clearly been trying to fight the dryad on his own, and although he has kept the battle going through nightfall and moonrise, he has not been able to gain any ground.

Suddenly! The moon stands still in the heavens. It shines bright as the sun, then eclipses, then runs through its four phases.

Artemis: "What in the name of all gods is happening?"

A voice calls from beneath the trees:

Hey dol! Merry dol! Here's a merry maiden!
Blue skirt and boots of red, and her pigtails, golden!
None has ever caught her yet, for Moon, she is the master:
Her songs are stronger songs, and her feet are faster!
So, hey, come, merry dol! Can you hear me singing?
They cheated Moon of her dessert—

Usagi /bursts in, dramatically. "—SO NOW BEGINS THE BEATING!"
Artemis: "You're ALIVE?! You're alive!"
Luna: "Thanks for taking up the slack while we stepped out."
Artemis /gratefully faints.
Usagi: "You let them out, again, Old Hag Cherry! What be you a-thinking of? You should not be waking! Eat earth! Dig deep! Drink water! Go to sleep! Sailor Moon is talking!"
<< Dryad SUPER RotoRush! >>
Usagi: "Oh, no FAIR!"
< Usagi is slammed into a tree. >

Several minutes of shouting and dodging ensue.

Usagi /backed up against a different tree. "I ask you, what was the goddamn point?!"
Luna: "Pull yourself together and whoop some ass, girl!"
Usagi: "I'm try—"
<< Dryad uses Scary Claws! >>
Usagi /scared. "Yeep!"



SUDDENLY!
Enter Moonlight Knight, dramatically, armed with +3 blessed throwing roses.

Moonlight Knight: "It is a perfect night to enjoy the—"
Dryad /?!
Usagi /squirms away and around the tree.
Moonlight Knight: "—beauty of flowers. The life of—"
Dryad: "GRAAAUUURGH!" /lunges against the tree.
Usagi /eludes her and crashes through the bushes on the other side.
Moonlight Knight: "—cherry blossoms is fleeting."
Usagi /suddenly realizes that she's got something new in her pocket.
Dryad /uproots the tree and flings it aside.
Moonlight Knight: "It is unforgivable to—"
Usagi /pulls out an enormous bejewelled mace from her pocket.
Usagi: "Now THAT'S what I'm talking about."
Moonlight Knight: "—scatter them with filthy—"
Dryad /leaps into the bushes after Usagi.
Usagi /promptly brains the Dryad with the mace, two-handed!
BONG!
Moonlight Knight: "—hands. Sailor Moon, you—"
BONG! BONG! BONG!
Usagi: "Cool! It plays music."
Dryad: "Wuuuooorrrgh?!"
Moonlight Knight: "—are the only one who—"
Usagi: "Oo! Let's try this feature."
<< Usagi : Cast > Ultimoon : Dryad >>
Usagi: "MOON PRINCESS ELIMINATION!"
< Dryad is eliminated! >
Moonlight Knight: "—can save everyone. The beauty of—"
Dryad: "CLEANSING!"
Usagi: "YEAH! CLEANSING! WHATEVER THE HELL THAT MEANS!"
Moonlight Knight: "—cherry blossoms cannot compare to a—"
Usagi /leans on the mace. "I'm sorry, what were you saying, sweetie?"



CUT TO: ALI AND EN
Ali: "Oooooo… darn them."
En /stomps around in cute little circles. "ARRGH!"



CUT BACK TO THE AFTERMATH
Mako: "…Unnnh… Are we alive?"
Ami: "Being dead doesn't hurt this much."
Rei: "¿You're alive? ¡She's alive! ¡I told you she'd do it!"
Mina: "Did I argue? Not so loud, please, ow."

Usagi: "Thanks for sticking around to help me with the first aid and stuff, instead of disappearing mysteriously. Would this now be 'the opportunity for meaningful conversation' you spoke of?"
Moonlight Knight: "I must away."
Usagi: "Yeah, I was afraid you'd say that, shy guy. Thanks anyway."
Moonlight Knight /bows. "Adieu." /disappears.
Usagi: "And yet, he still makes me blush. I guess that's charisma. Or pheromones."

Usagi: "Whose McDonald's 'Sailor Bunny' collectible figure is this? Anyone? Anyone? I found it on the ground back there. No? Oh, well, mine now. (I didn't even know they made—)"
Luna: "Well, Sailor Moon, you've moved to the next level!"
Usagi: "Have I?"
<< Usagi has levelled up! >>
<< New weapon acquired! >>
<< Usagi has mastered Moon3! >>
Usagi: "Oh, hey!"
Ami: "Gratz! And thanks for the save."
Rei: "¡Ditto!"
Mako: "Likewise!"
Mina: "I'd bow, but I'd fall over, so: thank you!"
Usagi /blushing. "No. Thank you."
Artemis: "I hope to see you keep up this good work!"
Rei: "…"
Ami: "Uh-oh. Stop her, quick!"
Mako: "Stop who? What?"
Rei: "But I don't know if it was that good. I mean, she sure took her sweet time rescuing us."
Usagi: "WELL MAYBE IF YOU HADN'T GOTTEN YOURSELF AMBUSHED!"
Rei: "¿OH YEAH?"
Usagi: "YEAH!"
Rei: "¿OH YEAH?"
Usagi: "YEAH!"
Artemis: "I have a headache."
Rei: "¿OH YEAH?"
Usagi: "You know what? I'm cool with it. I had a good night."
Rei: "¿OH— Que?"
Usagi: "I saved you guys, I hugged my mom (the other one, and astrally, but still), I got an awesome late birthday present, and I found this cool little toy. Check it out, it lights up!" /click click
Rei: "Yeah, I know."
Usagi: "So, yeah, I'm feeling good."



PARTING THOUGHTS
Mina: "Gee, if Usagi came back from the dead, does that mean we have to worship her now?"
Rei: "Perish the thought."
Usagi: "I'm siding with Rei on this one. Besides, I was only mostly dead."
Mina: "What was it like?"
Usagi: "Pink."
 

Shadowjack

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I was quite amused that, upon discovering the hot sandwich, Rei shouts "FIRE!!! …soul…" But I couldn't work it exactly into this format.
 

Q99

Genderpunk
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I *like* Moonlight Knight :) His timing was way too late (arguably good, as now Usagi has a new weapon and attack), but he stuck around.
 

Blazing Bat

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Re: Sailor Moon R Episode #51: A New Transformation! Usagi Powers Up.

Hah, nice way to include the Naru/Umino/Beryl thing there.

Also, is Usagi's new attack called 'moon pricess elimination' or 'moon princess halation'? I have seen both used in subtitles, and it sounds more like the latter IMO.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
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Re: Sailor Moon R Episode #51: A New Transformation! Usagi Powers Up.

So practically none of what little I saw sank in.
Thank heavens. Fortunately, you should have enough time to forget about all this before it becomes relevant (and those characters actually start showing up).

Random bit of trivia about Episode #50 I had forgotten to mention : the monster of the week ("Hell Ant", sigh) is voiced by Sanae Takagi, whose main role in the show is... Ikuko Tsukino, Usagi's mother.

Now THAT puts that final bandages scene in a completely different light...


But on to EPISODE #51 : A New Transformation! Usagi Powers Up !

(Well, that was a big spoiler about what happens in this episode...)

Enter a new party: The Five (plus Two); Naru; a pretty red-headed teacher we don't know, one Ms. Sakurada; and En (as 'Natsumi').
Er, what ? I only see 8 of them in the tracking overhead shot : the Five, Naru, Ms. Haruna, and "Natsumi".

Some rapid fire exposition establishes that Ms. Sakurada pulled considerable strings to arrange a little cherry blossom viewing time for her students during what would be school hours—and even went so far as to swing invitations for Minako and Rei, who go to entirely different schools.
That's... a bit more than my suspension of disbelief can take. This is such a random and awfully convenient collection of characters that it feels more than a bit contrived. I mean, Ami and Makoto aren't even in Ms. Haruna's class, are they ?


All of which makes her notably clever, resourceful, generous, and perceptive. We'll probably never see her again.
Oh, come on. Everyone focuses their snark on Naru "youma-bait" Osaka, but Ms. Haruna has got nearly as bad a track record of being ambushed by the Monster of the Week whenever she appears (case in point...). That alone ensures she'll continue showing up for a while.

(Besides, the school setting of the Doomtree arc more or less guarantees more appearances for her.)

My previous comments about the rapidly shrinking supporting cast are a bit of an exageration : the Doomtree arc, which is basically a coda for the first season, is pretty kind on them. Naru, Umino and Ms. Haruna are still safe for a while.

(On the other hand, all those random, barely-named classmates of Usagi's we kept seeing throughout the first half of the first season ? Definitely gone. The series obviously doesn't need them anymore.)

Spoiler: Show
I have to note, though, that there is one character for whom this episode is the last appearance ever : Queen Serenity.


Naru /…zips up the bag all the way, completely trapping Umino inside.
Beat.
Naru: "All right, folks, time for lunch!"
I love this scene. It's nice to see that, apart from Minako's failing running gag, the writers have gotten pretty good at their comedic timing. The Naru/Umino duo, in particular, is firing on all cylinders whenever they show up.

Usagi: "Yes, that I try. Unlike certain people who just went and bought a Happy Meal. So much for tradition."
Rei /clutches her lunch protectively. "¡McDonald's is as Japanese as curry rice!"
Eh, look, they're trying new running gags for everyone ! Though I do have a lot of time for Rei's fondness for takeout and microwaved food. It compliments her character nicely.

Usagi: "By the way, V, you've been awful quiet the last couple of weeks. Anything up? Boys? Girls? School? Or cosmic stuff?"
Mina: "I guess cosmic stuff."
Usagi: "I hear ya."
V: "Yeah."
Good news, everyone ! In the next episode, the writers finally find out what to do with Minako. At last.

"Let's do it. Right here. Right now."
Kinky !

USAGI'S BROOCH BREAKS!!!
Usagi: "Ack! No!"
< Sailor Moon reverts to Usagi. >
Usagi: "…it's not s'posed to just break… noooooo…"
That's... an interesting development, to say the least. First indication that the thing can be damaged, and by a run-of-the-mill Monster of the Week at that.

Usagi /turns to depart, this time for real.
This might be the best place to mention that Kotono Mitsuishi is back this episode as Usagi/Sailor Moon. And it just happens that it involves Usagi mysteriously disappearing for a while, having a wild dreaming sequence, and returning with improved powers and a re-melded Silver Crystal.

I can't be the only one speculating that maybe someone has pulled a very nice switcheroo here.

Usagi /suddenly realizes that she's got something new in her pocket.
WHAT pocket ? Considering the size of the thing, where does she hide it ?

Forget it, I don't want to know. (I've alas read far too many hentai doujinshi with their opinion on the question.)

I got an awesome late birthday present
Or maybe an advance one. According to the data I can find, the Hanami festival is supposed to happen between the 15th of March and the 15th of April, while Usagi's birthday is on June 30th.

Anyway, nice episode. It's a bit annoying for the other Sailor soldiers to get Worf-ed off-screen, but the plot required it. And I like that they didn't drag out the "Usagi's powers are failing" subplot too much, giving it just the right space. Now we can get back to our regular plot...

Oh, dear, scratch that. It's too early for the plot to get around to being resolved yet : time for more filler ! I'm sure Shadowjack will catch on to the formula quickly...
 
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