In the aftermath of the previous battle, Hotaru heals Chibi-usa’s injury, but does not receive the rejection that she expects for her strange powers and instead finds herself with a new friend. Afterwards, they go their separate ways, although we see that everything isn’t well off for Hotaru, as she returns home and collapses in pain, rejecting the help that her father’s assistant offers her. Worse off is the fact that her father doesn’t exactly seem normal. Elsewhere, the Senshi investigate Mugen Academy and reflect on the appearance of two new Senshi. Mamoru encounters Michiru in town, and Usagi stumbles across the two of them, feeling a tinge of jealousy. Usagi encounters Haruka at the game center, but the other Senshi step up and demand that “he” leave Usagi alone. Despite all of this, the girls still find themselves in a pleasant mood as they discuss having a party for Rei’s 15th birthday, though it turns out that Rei has gone to the mountains to train. Of course, this means the others set off into the mountains to find her, where they also find that Mugen Academy is having some sort of retreat. They encounter Haruka there during the day, where Makoto faces off against “him” in a judo match, and at night both Rei and Makoto notice something weird happening in the Mugen camp. Upon investigating, they find a member of the Witches 5 possessing the students. They launch into battle and are almost defeated until Sailor Moon and the others appear to aid them. They successfully dispatch their enemy, and Sailor Moon takes off after one of the new Senshi who again appears at the conclusion of their battle.
This was a much more satisfying episode than the previous one, with a much deeper and more drawn out episode story. We’re introduced to a little more of Hotaru’s backstory, which will become more important as the series progresses. Meanwhile, we begin to uncover more about Mugen Academy’s secrets (although did any of us not see that it was an evil organization?), and we get an actual excursion into the personal lives of the five main Senshi. Having more time spent watching the Senshi in their normal lives makes the show feel a bit deeper, as we get to see that the girls are more than just warriors.
My main criticism is how quickly the member of the Witches 5 was dispatched. Perhaps it’s because of my primary Sailor Moon experience being from the original anime, but I would expect the evil masterminds to pose a greater challenge than the throw-away, one-off monsters of the week. Then again, since I have very little knowledge of the manga, this may be the way things were originally designed. Still, having the enemies pose a greater challenge (and perhaps having multi-episode fights, a la shonen anime) would give a greater sense of tension to the show. Still, this episode did a much better job of deepening the mystery behind Mugen Academy, Haruka, and Michiru, so the episode managed to serve a greater purpose than its predecessor.
A Christian Perspective:
Ephesians 4:14 – Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
This time I’m reaching way out of the box to make an abstract point, possibly to the point of stretching. If so, please forgive me, but this idea occurred to me, and it was better than the “pride comes before a fall” application I originally had in relation to Mikoto’s match with Haruka.
As for the application of Ephesians 4:14, my inspiration came from Usagi’s decision to chase after the mysterious Senshi at the end of this episode (although her insistence upon investigating everything as commented on by Michiru in the previous episode can also be raised here). Without applying any sort of discernment, Usagi races ahead, hoping to catch the mysterious girl, without any consideration for the fact that she could very well be an enemy. Such a decision could, of course, be dangerous or fatal to her, but her actions are undisciplined and therefore not thought out. This seems like a good metaphor to what Paul mentions as our ultimate goal as Christians in Ephesians 4:14. Without discernment as Christians, we can be blown about by various teachings, chasing after things that are ultimately dangerous to us and our spiritual growth; however, as we mature, we become capable of telling truth from fiction, and won’t be moved by people who wish to harm us with their lies.
Spiritual Content: Hotaru has healing powers; magical nature of Senshi powers
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Female enemies show cleavage; Sailors Mars and Jupiter transform
Violence: Mars and Jupiter battle an enemy; Sailor Moon destroys an enemy
Other: Haruka embraces Michiru; Usagi and Chibi-usa are shown sleeping at Mamoru’s place; Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon