**SPOILERS** and also brief violence against a cat
Episode 11: Reunion: Endymion
Is it bad that I like evil Mamoru?
I think I just like his evil facial expressions and how campy his evil laughter is.
In the last episode, Mamoru had been brainwashed by Queen Beryl and sent back to Tokyo to kill Sailor Moon and retrieve the Legendary Silver Crystal. So his move is to brainwash Furuhata, the sandy-haired guy who works there, into believing they are best friends. This way he can hang around the arcade to wait for Usagi to show up.
Meanwhile, the girls have a sleepover in which Minako uses the sword from the Moon to shatter a diamond (per Ami’s request – it was an experiment). Ami hypothesizes that the stone sword used to be metal, but was turned into “poisonous stone” along with the rest of the Moon Castle by Beryl. She further speculates that the entire Moon was turned into this stone, because it used to “shine brighter” in the past. (How she would know this, I have no idea.) So Beryl basically killed the entire Moon. Good job, jerkface.
When Usagi wakes up after the sleepover, she sneaks out of Ami’s place to go to the arcade because she was “drawn” there. And there is Evil Mamo-chan!
Understandably, Usagi freaks out a tad. I made this gif to demonstrate the jerky effect the animators used to show her shock; however, I made it from screencaps, so the jerkiness wasn’t this pronounced in the actual scene. In other words, it was done well.
When Luna confronts Usagi about Evil Mamoru to convince her to stay away from him, Usagi replies that she knows that he’s not really Mamo-chan. But it’s obvious she misses him so much that she wants to be around him anyway, no matter what his state of evilness is.
However, it’s not clear what information Evil Mamoru remembers/knows. He sees a book about crystals and says out load the names of the generals (Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, Kunzite) as if he semi-remembers them; he tells Usagi that her hairstyle reminds him of Sailor Moon, and in a later scene, they talk about Sailor V and Sailor Moon again – so whether this is confusion or manipulation (or both), I couldn’t quite tell. He does try to hypnotize Usagi, though, but it has no effect on her.
However, it does have an effect on Makoto, who shows up at the arcade at night to confront Evil Mamoru. In previous episodes it’s been made clear that the Scouts acting alone is a bad idea, both strategically and emotionally, so I think it was somewhat cheap of the writers to make her do this; on the other hand, she is the one who is most likely to act brashly.
An emergency call to the arcade brings the four Scouts and Luna to the command center – Evil Mamo-chan, who has transformed into Evil Tuxedo Kamen, had hypnotized Makoto to lure the girls there. So the situation is: Evil Tux, hypnotized Furuhata, and hypnotized Makoto against Sailor Mercury, Mars, and Venus. Usagi watches in horror as the Senshi fight Evil Tux – juggling the Crystal back and forth between them (which was well done).
Evil Tuxedo eventually snags it. Luna, recognizing that Usagi is torn, attacks him to prove just how bad he is. He tosses her aside easily.
Usagi rushes to brave Luna’s side, her tears activating the Crystal again (see a pattern here?). She transforms, heals Luna, and lifts the hypnosis from Makoto and Furuhata – but Tuxedo Kamen is still evil, and he has the Crystal.
Beryl appears and reveals that Tuxedo Kamen used to be Prince Endymion – which it appears no one realized, even though we, the audience, have known since the very beginning. I just assumed everyone found out during all the flashbacks from episodes 9 and 10, but I guess not.
So I would say this episode is pretty good – some intense moments, and the plot is definitely moving along. I appreciated Usagi’s confusion and the need to snap her out of it (similar to the other Scouts having to fight their past-life boyfriends in the last episode), but I didn’t like throwing Makoto under the bus.
Two other things:
I am 99% sure that this episode is the first time we see Venus’s transformation sequence, and I quite like it.
Her trash-talking and weird gestures were dumb, but at least they didn’t involve uncomfortable poses. I think it’s funny that her hands are showing the Sign Language arrangement for “I love you”, so it’s like she’s very angrily telling enemies that she loves them? Twice? It still looks badass, though.
Anyway, I don’t think I mentioned before that Mars’s final trash-talking pose cracks me up – just her face and that pointing finger, like she’s saying “I’ll your mom what you did!”
I’m looking forward to
- Sailors kicking some evil Tuxedo ass
- Where ever this is going – I’m excited!