Sailor Moon: The Girl Genius Is A Monster, The Brainwashing Cram School of Horror review

An incredibly strong episode of Sailor Moon that takes the series in a new direction!

Usagi buddies up to Ami Mizuno, the smartest girl in school, in the hopes that Ami can help her pull her grades up. Luna senses a strange energy surrounding the girl and suspects she may be an agent of the Dark Kingdom, but she’s only half right. Ami’s cram school is ground zero of Jadeite’s latest scheme, but she’s not in league with him. That strange energy Luna senses is the latent power of Sailor Mercury.

So, we have the introduction of Ami, whom we know is smart because she outdid Umino scholastically. Again we get totally realistic junior high behavior, because what is the first thing everyone does when Ami transfers in? They start gossiping and talking shit about someone they don’t even know for the sole reason that… they don’t know her. That is some stone cold junior high bullshit right there.

It’s surprising that in a culture that is so aggressively “parents know best,” a show aimed at younger viewers would call out the borderline abusive nature of a lot of Japanese parents when it comes to their kids’ academic performance. This is possibly handwaved by the fact that the ones condeming those parents’ behavior as messed up are the villains.

Ah, classic mainstream misunderstanding of how geekdom works. The idea that someone who is smart and good with computers would automatically be good at video games (or vice versa) is just the kind of complete bullshit that only someone with little to no firsthand experience with either of those interests would write. They are completely different skills whose only common denominator is a screen.

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Ahhhh! The Sign of Mercury. Time for some magical kitty turds! And holy shit, does Ami-chan jump in with both feet. Did you see that face? Mercury Power Make Up, bitches! Now, while I do take issue with Sailor Moon almost always delivering the finishing move no matter how unnecessary it is, this is an instance where I can support it as “Shabon Spray” is essentially a defensive maneuver.

It’s worth noting that this is the first episode where we see Luna communicating with her superior through the Sailor V video game. How they set up this system is anyone’s guess.

This is an incredibly strong episode that takes the show in a new direction, but it’s not quite what it could have been. The plot was interesting, fun, and full of twists… or at least would have been if Mercury and Mars weren’t already in the opening theme, but suspense doesn’t seem to be a really chief concern for the writers when they slap on episode titles that tell you exactly what’s going to happen, including character deaths and major plot twists. The fuck? I suppose the writers were banking on most of the viewers having read the manga anyway. Still, the negative impact this has is minimal. It’s a smart episode that’s enjoyable in its own right in addition to the added value of being the debut for an important new character. And as far as character intros go, this one is pretty damn solid.

Lastly… holy shit! 3 ½ inch floppy disks. Remember 3 ½ inch floppy disks?!?

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3.5 out of 5