Previously, Act IV: Masquerade Dance Party
Photo Credits: Sailor Moon Crystal
This episode introduces us to Makoto Kino, a transfer student who is tall, powerful, and standoffish. So, it’s almost natural that she runs into Usagi, saving her life a couple of times in the process. Whereas everyone in school is afraid of her because she’s so tall and powerful, Usagi is drawn to her, because that’s who Usagi is. The two become fast friends as they bond over Makoto’s lunch, her lunchbox, and her love for arcade games. Usagi even dubs her “Mako-chan,” and the name sticks. Mako-chan also meets Motoki, and falls head over heels for him. Meanwhile, Nephrite is ordered by Queen Beryl to gain more energy for their great ruler, and Nephrite chooses to prey on the human emotion of love. He instructs his monster to take over a bridal shop and steal away all of the grooms that come in. One of the monsters take Motoki hostage and he preys on Makoto herself.
Tuxedo Mask comes and awakens Usagi from her sleep (more on him later) and warns her that something is wrong with her friend. She gets Rei and Ami together and they go to confront the new monster. They transform and do battle with some of the minions, but the man monster takes Makoto hostage, and Nephrite belittles not only her love, but the love of all humans. This angers Makoto, as she remembers how she suffered through a bout of unrequited love. This – along with the transformation pen that Luna gives her – awakens her own powers, and she is able to transform into the Sailor Guardian of Strong Kickassness, Sailor Jupiter. She uses her powers to defeat the monster and send Nephrite packing, but not before he recognizes Sailor Jupiter from his past. This is called foreshadowing, folks. The four Sailor Guardians bond and Luna dubs Usagi the leader.
Here are my five standout moments of the episode.
1. Usagi could make friends with a bag of potato chips. If you’re a loner, you can guarantee that Usagi will be your friend. Ami even lampshades this fact in the arcade.
2. Maktoto and Ami would make excellent tag team partners when it comes to video games. Both of them are crazy good at it, and it’s a good thing the Sailor V video game isn’t 2 player co-op.
3. Makoto has always been the tallest of the Sailor Guardians, but it is incredibly pronounced in this episode. She appears to be six feet tall in this incarnation.
4. So…neither Naru’s cousin or her fiancé couldn’t make it to the wedding gown fitting. So, they ask Naru to do it instead? That seems a bit odd to me.
5. Out of all of the Sailor Guardians we’ve seen, Makoto was the only one who needed absolutely no prompting. No one told her how to transform, no one told her how to use her attacks, no one told her anything about her abilities. She was just that good.
Now, I said I was going to lay into Tuxedo Mask, and I am a man of my word. Maybe it’s because I have a daughter, and I’m incredibly protective of her, but I don’t know if I’d want some creepy guy in a tuxedo and a domino mask coming into my daughter’s window. That begs a more important question: how the hell does he know where she lives?! If memory serves, he’s never seen her home before! Is he stalking her or something? Listen, I get it; I’m a fan of the show and of the series proper, but this…this dude is a little smog in the noggin. If he keeps on, he’s gonna have to be introduced to the Goodie Mob song “Cell Therapy”.
That moment notwithstanding, I absolutely adored this episode. Makoto was always fun to watch in the dub, as Susan Roman gave her a distinctive voice that fit her personality. Yes…even her “talents”. I felt Makoto’s pain in this episode, and I felt so bad for her. If this is what we’re going to get with her, then bring on the rest of the episodes! No, really…bring on the rest of the episodes, Toei!