Sailor Moon S
Rei has been getting premonitions of everyone being slathered by an unknown entity. At the same time, Sailor Moon finds herself confronted by the arrival of two new Sailor Soldiers - Sailor Uranus and Neptune - who both it quite clear that they don't want to partner up with Sailor Moon and her "weak" friends.
At the same time, an evil, insane scientist named Professor Tomoe has been attacking the town with his monsters named daimons. His assistant Kaorinite is the first to go out, soon replaced by a new group of girls called the Witches 5.
Is the third time the charm for Sailor Moon? Well...
Let's start with the good first. The art is even better than Sailor Moon R's. Everything looks and flows much better than before. There's also new Sailor Soldiers introduced this season, proving that Moon and co. aren't alone on this planet.
New villain Professor Tomoe is hilarious, and easily one of the best villains in the series' history. He's not an intergalactic alien or monster from the future or whatever; he's just an insane human being with glowing white glasses. His interactions with the Witches 5 are the only time Eudial or Mimette are even kind of amusing, and I really do wish he had more screen presence.
Sailor Moon S's non-monster of the day fights feature some of the best fights in the entire series. And although the level of peril in the finale isn't as high as the first two seasons, it's still there. When the series finally stops playing with the kiddie gloves, it results in some of the most intense moments in the franchise.
With that said; I'm not a huge fan of Sailor Moon S, sorry.
One of my biggest problems of the season - and one that rubbed me even back in the day - concerns new Sailor Soldiers Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. We first see them in shadow in the first couple of episodes before they reveal themselves to be looking for what they call talismans, which reside in people's bodies that the monsters of the day suck out of their victims. In their civilian forms, Haruka (Uranus) and Michiru (Neptune) are popular high school students.
So what rubs me about these two? How absurdly perfect a light the series casts them in. Haruka and Michiru are loved by everyone in the cast, seen as beautiful, perfect people who do no wrong. They know how to sit properly on their knees. They won a love contest in one episode without breaking a sweat. Michiru can perfectly play the violin and piano, and Haruka is good at riding a motorbike. Also, near every Inner Sailor at one point blushes at Haruka (Ami the sole exception), and every one of the Sailors is paired up with them at some point in the season. In addition, their Sailor powers are also greater than everyone's but Sailor Moon herself, and they constantly look down at everyone else for being "weak".
I will admit I did like a few scenes with Haruka and Michiru (who can forget the famous hold handing scene?), but as a whole I found them Mary Sue-ish. I give credit for the show wrapping up their story lines by the end of the season and not extend them out another season (I'm looking at YOU, Sailor Moon SuperS), but it seemed a bit rushed.
I still like Haruka and Michiru better than Tomoe's henchmen this season, though. The first, Kaorinite, is super-bland. After she leaves she is replaced by the Witches 5, a group of five lab-coat wearing girls. Chief among these two are Mimette and Eudial, whose main character traits are being loud hams who choose targets for Tomoe mostly based on attractive guys. As a result, we get a lot of episodes about celebrities, and this doesn't leave much in terms of variety in the series.
I did like how the Witches 5 weren't afraid to one-up each other in the name of their boss, but aside from the occasionally funny scene with Tomoe (like a game of Twister in one episode), I couldn't help but feel that there were just a retread of Sailor Moon R's female henchmen. It also doesn't help that three of the Witches 5 members only get one episode each for themselves, despite their having more unique powers than Eudial and Mimette.
On the new monsters of the days, or daimon - they are just as eccentric as the man who has his hencemen send them out. A cat-woman in a polka-dot dress made out of a jigsaw puzzle is just one of many weird monsters one will see this season. Others include: a monster woman who doubles as a race car, another who uses life preservers to trap people, and yet another who tries to trap the Sailors with books. Oh yeah, and most of them fire beams to steal pure hearts from an area that is often around their breasts, because this season is directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara.
And lastly, Chibi-Usa returns this season, even getting a new transformation sequence and attack - the incredible power of...Pink Sugar Heart Attack.
Chibi-Usa manages to strike up a friendship with newcomer Hotaru, who just happens to be Professor Tomoe's daughter. And with it we see Chibi-Usa finally opening up a bit and making new friends. Honestly, she was one of my favorite parts of Sailor Moon S. The bratty little girl of Sailor Moon R has grown up a lot, and her relationship with Hotaru is pretty sweet. A later episode, which has Sailor Moon and the others investigate Hotaru's house and wind up in a strange alternate dimension, is one of the highlights of the season. It also features one of the more amusing monsters of the day - U-Ikasaman, who plays games instead of fighting the Sailor Soldiers head-on.
So where do I stand overall on Sailor Moon S? Honestly, I don't find it as gripping as the first two seasons. But I still enjoyed at face value, and when I re-watched it a few years ago with my friend Stig, I had a fun time.
Like in the last two seasons, Stig has kindly added once again his own thoughts on this season as well:
And then, there's S, quite possibly the angstiest of Sailor Moon seasons. (Even despite the whole "Mamoru breaks up with Usagi in R" side plot.) Tim mentioned how much our newest scouts piled on the cynicism, but trust me; the former two seasons doesn't show even remotely just how deep the rabbit hole goes. Chibi-Usa also returns, and thanks to our new jackasses, she can step down and be a normal child (for the most part, at least) for once. Curiously enough, they de-angsted the villains in this one compared to the original manga, so that's something. Bottom line, Sailor Moon is still quite digestible. It's only going to get worse from here.
The series is beginning to wear itself a bit thin, but still fun. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Seven and over, for both the American and Japanese versions. Yes, the Japanese version had nudity, but never in a gratuitous or sexually-oriented way, and never detailed at that. The fight scenes are standard, as the enemies turn to dust, with a few exceptions, which are handled tastefully.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (38/38)
Sailor Moon S © 1994 Naoko Takeuchi / Kodansha / TV Asahi / Toei
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