Sailor Moon – Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime, Review

It's a strong, yet forgettable outing in this episode of Sailor Moon.

Nephrite decides to use a young animator’s insecurities as fodder for his latest plan. While she expends all her energy working on the Sailor V anime, she alienates her closest friend. Luckily, a chance encounter with Ami brings the Sailor Senshi into the mix to fight a pair of twin youma who fight in tandem. For our power trio to defeat them, they’ll have to work together like never before.

Let us all take a moment to say amen and praise Ami-chan! Girl is on top of shit this week. Gold star for Sailor Mercury taking care of business! This really is one of the strongest Mercury appearances to date, which is refreshing because she’s generally such a reactive, defensive character. When that girl is proactive, she kicks ass! She even totally schools Rei without saying anything. “Rei, we’re going to be in ninth grade next year. That’s all I wanted to say.” Bitch is on her game this week! Go, girl.

In the characterization department, Rei also gets some nice dimension. Much like in Episode 15, we get to see her sillier side. She’s never reduced to a butt monkey or a clown, but she’s not above getting a little starstruck, being a bit of an otaku. This is one of the reasons I prefer anime Rei to her manga counterpart. She’s still a strong, focused girl, but she’s not above the occasional moment of weakness, be it shallowness, pride, or whatever. It’s not a side of her that shows up in every episode, just enough to pepper her characterization with a little variety.

Zoisite is surprisingly not as antagonistic here. He’s still ultimately a bitch, but he actually engages Nephrite in some rather civil conversation about the scam of the week, and they even watch it unfold together. The scene on Nephrite’s patio is one of my favorite between them. Makes me wonder if they could be friends if not for Zoisite’s cutthroat ambition. Nah, probably not.

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This episode is kind of a sleeper success; it’s rather forgettable, but when you watch it you realize just how strong it is. It’s got a good, solid premise with interesting guest characters, the youma are great, the fight (the only instance I can think of offhand where Moon, Mercury, and Mars do this combo attack) is entertaining, Mercury is a fucking pimp, and everything sticks pretty close to the theme. My only complaint is that Castor and Pollux’s bond is underlined so heavily, but the heroes didn’t even have to trick them into fighting with each other. If they’ve got such a solid and harmonious connection, their exchange shouldn’t have devolved into bickering with each other so easily. The breaking of heir bond should have been a goal the heroes had to achieve rather than an advantage that was just handed to them.

SIDE NOTE: I totally remember listening to “Tsuki ni Kawatte Oshioki yo!”, the song that plays under the final battle, all the freakin’ time in high school. It’s excellent — and I mean excellent — driving music. Most Sailor Moon music is, but nothing holds a candle to “Ai no Senshi” and “Moon Revenge.” Those songs are just pure, distilled bad-assery.

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2.5 out of 5