Luna finds herself chased through Tokyo by half the feline population. The only cat that seems to be one her side is an obese, chivalrous tomcat named Rhett Butler. Seriously. Luna’s not too sweet on ol’ Rhett, but if hanging out with him for a few hours means dodging a few hundred barbed cat penises, she’ll give it a shot. Meanwhile, Zoisite closes in on the final Rainbow Crystal carrier, whose identity turns out to be a surprise to everyone.
Finally, Luna gets a spotlight episode, which you’d think would have come earlier in the show, especially before all the other Senshi started showing up and the cast was still kind of bare. This is, after all, the only episode in the first season that is specifically Luna-centric and the last to come along for quite a while. It’s always been interesting to me how little we know about Luna and Artemis, considering what a pivotal role they play in the series. What were their lives like in the Silver Millennium? How long had they been awake in our era, searching for the Senshi before they found them? And how they hell did they set up all this sophisticated communications and analysis equipment? I guess we’ll never know.
While at first glance it looks like Luna might just be in heat, this is quickly jossed by her explaining that she somehow got caught up in some kind of turf war between stray cats. I do, I should note, appreciate the cats’ synchronized mewing. It never ceases to be funny. Nor does Rhett Butler. Funnily enough, the family name of his owners is Ohara, thus continuing the “Gone With The Wind” joke.
And here we have the final twist in the revelation of the Rainbow Crystal carriers, the two-shot if Rhett Butler and the little girl who owns him. Just one more reason the Rainbow Crystal saga rules. They keep mixing it up! And yet, there is some consistency between Bakene and Bunbou in that love seems to be the only force by which the Great Youma’s host can reassert his own will to some degree. Bakene is a great monster of the week, his character design runs a close second to Binah for my favorite of the Great Youma.
The balance of the ensemble really shows in this episode. Mercury and Mars had to drop out of the story for the writers to break Jupiter in, but they are slowly coming back into the foreground in small ways. Giving Sailor Mars the first stab at tackling Bakene, with Jupiter joining soon after so that those two could have some fight time alone together, was a very smart move. And it continues the thread of her crush on Mamoru, though it shows that she’s not without any interest in Yuuichirou, an interest in Yuuichirou is being built very slowly and casually so that once Mamoru proves to be unavailable on every level, the foundations of that other relationship have already been laid. And of course it’s always nice to see that Rei’s not above doing the exact same things for which she chides Usagi.
Also, all hail Zoisite. Could he be more perfect? Even his flaws (his vanity and hot-headedness) are perfect, always consistent and in character. I never question his behavior, no matter what he does. His characterization is just that good. He’s the most efficient thus far of the Shitennou, but also the only one of them to be genuinely suited to comedy when the situation calls for it. The wall of rats gag? Priceless. In any language. And it’s not just Zoisite. This is one of the straight up funniest episodes of the entire first season. Back on the subject of his effectiveness, though, the guy deserves props. First Rainbow Crystal? He nabbed it. And after he lost the second and third to Tuxedo Mask and the Senshi, respectively, he upped his game and scored three consecutive victories. This is his first loss since then, and he makes up for it in fairly short order, but we’ll talk about that next time.
I don’t know if his was meant to be funny or what, since it never happens with Luna or Artemis, but did anyone else find themselves distracted by Rhett Butler’s pucker? I mean, think about it. The animators went out their way to draw a kitty’s asshole. In multiple shots. Why? I don’t want to think about it. You know what was funny? Seeing the Senshi’s attacks depicted outside of stock footage, especially in a case like this where they screw them up. “Bubble Spr—ohh!” That whole scene was fantastic.
A quick note to Mr. and Mrs. Ohara? You’re the worst parents ever! Not only do you leave your kindergarten age daughter at home by herself, but you don’t even each her about stranger danger? I know Japan is seriously lax when it comes to the Child Protection Services, but fuck! These assholes need an evaluation stat.
So, his was the Luna episode. It was pretty good. While I’d have preferred that it delved into Luna’s backstory (or at least as much of it as she currently remembers), I can’t dislike this episode. It’s hella-cute and pretty damn funny, takes some great twists and turns, even forward some character development, and it features the last of the Great Youma designs that don’t suck. Well done.