I use the term Senshi interchangeably with “Scouts” – Senshi just means “guardian(s)”.
Episode 5: Makoto – Sailor Jupiter –
I was surprised that I liked this episode so much – there were just many small things that added up to a really good episode.
I never realized that Makoto is sort of the “bad transfer student” character – I’ve seen enough of them since my first viewing of Sailor Moon to recognize the trope. They show up at school looking distinctive somehow – they’re not wearing a uniform, they have dyed hair – and everyone whispers about how they had to transfer because they got in fights at their old school. But then they meet a nice girl or boy, become friends, and calm down.
Makoto is very tall, can throw a mean baseball, and has kind of a tough-sounding voice. She has a fierce expression and everyone is intimidated by her. Except for Usagi, that is, when she discovers Makoto eating her adorable bento lunch.
I also realized that Usagi is basically the embodiment of Being Nice To Social Outcasts – and beyond that, she quite naturally sees past what everyone else is afraid of. When she interacts with Ami, Rei, and Makoto, she makes them feel valued, and then they feel comfortable enough to be friendly too.
Then, their transformations are triggered by a threat to their new-found friend(s). Speaking of which, Jupiter’s is awe-some! I’ve always liked her spunky ending pose.
And – alert the presses – I actually liked her “I’ll punish you” trash-talking sequence! She punches her palm, has a pose that someone could actually hold for longer than 2 seconds, and then points to herself like “I’m the best”.
Her “Flower Hurricane” attack wasn’t very exciting, but boy did “Jupiter Thunderbolt” make up for it!
Truly, Makoto is badass. She saves Usagi from getting hit by a car at the beginning, is ready to take on the bad guys with her bare hands even though she doesn’t yet know she’s Sailor Jupiter, and her transformation and lightning attack are sweet.
In non-Makoto news, I found it interesting that a.) Tuxedo Kamen actually does know Usagi is Sailor Moon, since he showed up at her house b.) he led her to Makoto-in-danger rather that taking on the bad guy himself.
Nephrite recognized Sailor Jupiter. This makes me wonder if this anime will touch upon the shared past of the Senshi and Queen Beryl’s generals.
Makoto, having had her heart broken by a former classmate, goes to a bad mental place pretty fast when Nephrite shows up – she totally despairs of finding someone to love. Sailor Moon makes an impassioned speech about how she believes everyone is destined to find a special someone – which, whether you think that’s naive or not, does bring Makoto back to herself.
And at the end of the episode, Luna shows up with a new weapon for Sailor Moon – a sceptre, you could say – and says that Sailor Moon must be the leader of the Scouts. That is cool, and let me tell you why.
Because look – if the Senshi are a Five-man Band, then Usagi is definitely The Chick. And you know that, in American media, The Chick is not all that important except when the leader of the five-man band is interested in her, or she comes between two guys (who are actually important characters).
But in Sailor Moon, the traits of The Chick – uniting the team, keeping the team balanced, mediating conflict, perking people up, embodying the idea of Love – are the most important ones. The Chick is important and heroic. And it’s the best.
I’m looking forward to
- Meeting Sailor V – I can’t even remember how that happens
- Usagi figuring out who Tuxedo Kamen really is (I forget that too!)