Sailor Moon: The Mysterious Sleeping Sickness: Protect the Girls in Love review
Usagi finally sees what she's up against in episode three of Sailor Moon! Here's our review.
Jadeite takes a stab at being a radio personality and sapping the energy of desperate girls and young women. When Usagi has trouble getting into the studio to check things out, Luna provides her with a new magical item, a pen that allows her to assume any disguise. With it, she sashays right into the studio and takes down the youma in charge, but not before meeting Jadeite and finally seeing who she’s up against.
This is the first time Sailor Moon meets anyone from that high up in the Dark Kingdom, and she does pretty well for her first time out. She uses some ingenuity in the use of her tiara and puts up a pretty good fight, considering she’s on her own and profoundly outmatched. Nice job standing around, Tuxedo Mask. You look like you really broke a sweat there.
This episode is also the most we’ve seen so far of Jadeite. We see him interact with his superior (Beryl), his subordinate (Furau), his enemy (Sailor Moon). It’s not much, but considering Jadeite is the least developed of the Generals, it’s nice to get whatever scraps of characterization we’re thrown.
Okay, this is the second time in three episodes that Naru-chan has been targeted and attacked. Shall we keep a running tally? Also, notice how the energy drain animation is totally recycled from Haruna for Naru-chan? You can still see the outline of Haruna’s hair. Not shocking. At this stage in the game, the animation is pretty shoddy. They were likely saving their budget for important episodes that come later.
More magic kitty turds! Ah, the Disguise Pen. Who wouldn’t love to have one of these? While it is a handy item for a superhero to have (and so much simpler than going to a salon), it does play into a lot of the themes of Sailor Moon. Commonly cited and criticized are impractical accessories like Sailor Mars’ high heels. Who the fuck would wear high heels into battle? Well, combat and heroism are only part of the Sailor Moon fantasy.
According to creator Naoko Takeuchi, that element of girls fantasizing about the glamor of womanhood is all part and parcel of the whole Sailor Moon experience. That’s why there is a noticeable difference in their bodies between the civilian and sailor forms. They’re taller and curvier, they wear high heels. Hence “Moon Prism Power Makeup!” Because makeup is a mundane form of disguise, it makes a girl into an exaggerated, more sexually potent version of herself. And so, while it may seem silly, there is a direct metaphorical correlation in Sailor Moon between makeup and power. It is nice that the Disguise Pen only affects appearance; Usagi is still a klutz. It’s nice way of saying all the makeup in the world can’t make you into an adult if you aren’t one already.
Incidentally, how long did it take the 80’s to get to Japan? It’s 1992, and the soundtrack is still rather disco-heavy. Not that I’m complaining.
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