Previously: Act II: Ami, Sailor Mercury
This episode begins with Queen Beryl chastising Jadeite for his repeated failures and asking him how he’s going to make up for them. We then get our first glimpses at both Nephrite and Zoisite, as well as the rivalry between the three. Jadeite then asks for more information on the “Legendary Silver Crystal,” with Queen Beryl being rather vague in its example, but basically telling them that it’s not important, and their only job is to eliminate their enemies. Meanwhile, a priestess is praying over fire and sensing that something outrageous is about to happen. We then exit the cold open and roll the opening credits.
We return to the episode with a little girl named Mii bidding someone named Rei goodbye and hopping on a bus. We find out that this bus is dubbed the Demon 6:00 pm bus in Sendai-Zaka that is rumored to be bound for hell. Luna tries to coax Usagi into going to a meeting with Ami, but Usagi wants nothing to do with it, preferring to sleep instead. Luna tells her that they’ll meet at the arcade, and that perks Usagi right up. At the arcade, Ami and Luna strategize about their current mission, while Usagi plays the Sailor V video game. After she is done, two bracelets pop out of the console; this will be important later.
The two then board a bus heading to one of Ami’s cram schools where they run into a mysterious girl with long black hair. Ami makes mention that she is on the bus quite often, and when Usagi sees her…she becomes immediately smitten. In fact, Usagi can barely keep her eyes off of her. She makes up her mind right then and there that she’s going to follow this girl when she gets off the bus, leaving Ami to head to the cram school by herself. Luna is attempting to explain something to Usagi about this girl, but she is still smitten about how beautiful she is. She then chastises Luna for making her lose sight of the beautiful girl, until Luna points out that maybe she went into the shrine. In the shrine, the girl has changed into her priestess robes and is beginning to sense an evil spirit nearby, coupled with her crows (Phobos and Deimos) attacking someone. She runs outside and throws a talisman at the evil presence – which happens to be Usagi coming by for a visit.
The priestess – who is named Rei Hino – apologizes for her crows, saying they’ve never attacked an actual person before. They then see three people praying at the shrine; Rei approaches her and finds out it’s Mii’s mother; her daughter has been missing for four days, and she was last seen at the shrine. They are suspicious of Rei, saying that things began to change when the shrine became active again, as well as the fact that Rei can sense the supernatural. With her feelings (understandably) hurt, Rei dismisses Usagi, but not before explaining that Mii would chat with her while waiting on the bus…the aforementioned Demon 6:00 PM Bus.
The next day, Usagi is hearing more and more rumors about the bus, and she talks it over with Ami and Luna. Ami is excitedly talking about their matching bracelets (this is what we call Chekhov’s Gun, folks) before Usagi decides she wants to see Rei again. On the way to the shrine, Usagi and Luna are discussing the bracelets – which are actually communicators – before Luna suddenly clams up and begins acting like a cat again. Perplexed, Usagi tries her best to figure out what’s going on before a voice asks her, “Are you talking to yourself?” It turns out the two were sitting next to Mamoru, who not only is formally introduced as “Mamoru Chiba, second year of Moto-Azabu Private High School” but is also not wearing a bloody tuxedo! The two ride in silence before Usagi becomes too smitten for words and begins hiding behind Luna…it’s actually funnier than I’m describing.
Back at the shrine, Mii’s mother is all but demanding that Rei use her powers to find her daughter, but Rei explains that her powers aren’t as strong as they think they are, recommending that they call the police instead. This doesn’t go over well with one of her friends, and she begins berating Rei for not helping out and accusing her of kidnapping the girl. Usagi comes in just in time to defend her, but can’t answer the questions when they’re turned on her. After loudly dismissing the adults, Rei goes on to explain that everyone looks at her differently because she has supernatural powers. Usagi offers to help Rei find her friend, but she politely refuses, saying that Usagi shouldn’t be involved with her anymore. Once she’s alone, Rei goes and prays to the fire to find out what’s really going on; she sees Jadeite grabbing a terrified Usagi and runs after her. Unfortunately, the next bus she sees is driven by Jadeite – turns out that he is behind the Demon 6:00 PM Bus! She gets kidnapped for her troubles, and he drives away.
Usagi and Luna are walking along when Usagi sees Rei slumped over in one of the bus seats. Usagi uses her transformation pen to change into a flight attendant (I have no idea why, either) and jumps onto the back of the bus…which is driving through a portal disguised as a building. Unfortunately, Luna gets left behind, but saved by Tuxedo Mask – who actually saw Usagi change into someone else. He looks blankly at the building while wondering who exactly she is. While in cram school, Ami gets called by Luna who tells her that Usagi is in big trouble. Meanwhile, Jadeite is confronted by Nephrite, who basically calls him soft. Jadeite tells him that he’s using the hostages as bait to draw out the Sailor Guardians. Usagi is wandering around lamenting that no one can save her when she gets a call from Ami and Luna; they tell her to transform so they can find her. Two neat transformations later, Sailor Mercury and Luna are able to teleport to her location. Jadeite is looking over Rei, commenting on how beautiful she is when he is confronted by Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury.
After introducing himself to the two Guardians, Sailor Mercury attacks him with her Mercury Aqua Mist. Sailor Moon then goes to rescue the children when she realizes that Mercury’s attack pretty much failed. Jadeite then begins to freeze the two in preparation to take them to Queen Beryl. Rei wakes up and recognizes Sailor Moon as Usagi and she goes to save her friend. She grabs Jadeite by the arm and orders him to stop; Jadeite laughs saying that no ordinary human can stop him. She tells him that she’s no ordinary human and awakens the dormant power of fire within her to break the ice spell he tried to cast on her. Luna tosses Rei a transformation pen and tells her to shout “Mars Power, Make Up!”. One completely gorgeous fire transformation later, Rei Hino is now Sailor Mars.
Sailor Mars realizes that she was granted her supernatural powers from birth to be a Sailor Guardian and recognizes her purpose true purpose. Sailor Moon uses her Moon Tiara Boomerang attack to bind Jadeite while Sailor Mars uses a flaming talisman attack to light him on fire and banish him from their realm. Later, Mii wakes up and sees that Rei is watching over her. She wonders where she is before her mom comes and gets her. Usagi and Ami welcome Rei into the fold and they set off to find the princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” As the episode ends, we see a man carrying a box walking through the airport being protected by several police officers and other armed men. He seems to be carrying something special in that box, and the episode ends on that box.
This was a very fun episode, and it pointed out something I hadn’t noticed otherwise; they are doing a great job of making all of the Sailor Guardians distinctive. Usagi has her own look, and it doesn’t look anything like Ami; same with Ami who doesn’t look anything like Rei. The animation in this episode is silky smooth, and it seems that they are getting better and better with each episode. Also, the transformation sequences are getting more and more elaborate. It looks like they’re taking cues from the transformations from the original anime and sprucing them up for the current generation, and I love it. On another note, I’m also glad that Hulu Plus has started including the previews for the next episode; they were sorely missed on the first two.
As usual, I want to thank the fine people at the Sailor Moon Crystal fanpage on Facebook for providing the screenaps you see here; the article wouldn’t look as good without them.
Until next time…