Usagi was a ninja who didn’t get the color scheme waaay before that other kid.
In this episode, Mamoru ends up having to overnight at Rei’s place when a panic over smoke during a study session leads to his apartment being trashed. Although allegedly fully trusting of Mamoru, Usagi is wildly jealous about the situation, and spends the bulk of the episode dressed as a ninja, crawling around the Hikawa Temple grounds. Meanwhile, Yuichirou is seething with jealousy himself, as he views Mamoru as a threat to his own designs on Rei. Rei evinces a definite disinterest in both, although we are reminded that she’d originally dated Mamoru before Usagi did. Diana swears to serve as a chaperone for the whole set-up, while the Amazon Trio schemes away, and Tiger’s Eye decides to go after Rei. When Rei ignores him, he immediately attacks, but the latest Lemures is dispatched by the other senshi, and the proper balance of the group’s inter-relationships is restored.
Ugh, what a terrible episode. There are some very brief jokes that work (when Mamoru, getting into the bath, hears the door sliding open, he very hurriedly leaps into the bath, and it did elicit a smile), but as a whole it’s rotten. Watching Usagi get unreasonably jealous over Mamoru’s interactions with others of the Inner Senshi over the course of the episode is tiresome, as she looks immature and like she doesn’t have any faith in her alleged friends. One wonders why the writer’s room hated her so damn much at moments like these. And while this is the first time this season that one of our heroines has been directly targeted, there’s a distinct lack of oomph to it. Tiger’s Eye barely spends any time on actually devising an approach or using that approach, and the Lemures is taken out in a pretty pedestrian fight scene that seems to exist solely to recycle the other Inner’s standard attacks. In keeping with the show’s themes, Tiger’s Eye becomes violently angry when Rei doesn’t give him any attention, but this is his eighth appearance in this role (we’ve only seen Hawk’s Eye go after Usagi’s mother at this point).
Like one of the earlier stinkers (the episode where everyone’s beating up Artemis over his alleged infidelities), this episode was written by Megumi Sugihara. She also wrote the earlier episode involving Reika and Motoki having issues since Reika was considering a ten-year program of study in Europe; it wasn’t a bad episode, but the problem at the center of the episode itself was *really* stupid. It’s impossible to say if the specific detail about TEN YEARS OF SEPARATION was Sugihara’s idea, but suffice to say I’m not looking forward to the other episodes she penned in the remainder of the season. (Her next episode apparently involves a woman who is bitter over having been abandoned by her boyfriend, which does not bode well.)
What else to say about this one? Well, Rei victim-blames when Usagi gets really angry at her for catching a glimpse of Mamoru’s bare back in the bath, saying its Mamoru’s fault she saw it. Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon are irritatingly incompetent initially with the Lemures, shrieking for Mamoru’s help (this may be a good time to remind everyone that anime!Tuxedo Mask doesn’t have any attacks unlike his manga counterpart). Just a lot of shredding of prior character development all around in this one.
For this episode, by the way, I decided to try out the Viz release that’s currently on Hulu; I had been watching the old Geneon DVDs, but I was curious about Viz’s. I genuinely don’t know if their stream is the remaster, but compared to the Geneon DVDs, it does look like it might be. However, it suffered from graininess for brighter colors at several points (Hawk’s Eye’s hair looked pretty bad), and I found the subtitles harder on the eyes than the ones in the Geneon release. Both are done in the customary yellow font, but the black outlines seemed to be narrower than Geneon’s, which for me made it harder to differentiate from the background. (For the record, I personally prefer green or blue subtitling as it’s easier on my eyes.) I’m going to stick to my old DVDs for the remainder of the show.
Next episode, we finally get some Fish Eye! But he seems to be crossdressing. Yikes.