In Disk 2 of Sailor Moon Season 2 (known as Sailor Moon R), the interminable intro arc with Ail and Ann wraps up and a new, more critical, interminable arc begins.
Before I get into that arc and just what it means, I need to point an unfortunate bit of quality control failure. So far, Viz’s Sailor Moon release has been pretty top notch, especially given the age and quality of the original. The single episode that defines the second season is episode 54, during which Usagi and Mamoru are kissing romantically and a small child falls out of the sky onto their heads. For whatever reason(s) episode 54’s subtitles are riddled with errors including, but not limited to, spelling Tokyo as Tokio. If this kind of thing had happened in just about any previous episode, it wouldn’t have been as a big a deal, but in the single most iconic episode of the series? I spent the rest of the disk scanning the subtitles obsessively for errors, instead of just watching the story. Not really good, considering the story was finally actually happening.
At last Chibi-Usa has arrived and we can’t stand her. Of course, we are not meant to. She is violent, she lies, she is manipulative, and worst of all, she’s mean to Usagi. And yet, we might forgive her some of this but she becomes intolerable not because of her own behavior but because Mamoru plays along with her. Could he be an bigger asshole to Usagi than he is in “R”? I do not think so. While I’ve never liked him all that much, he basically spends all of R being a jerk after that one romantic moment.
As I’ve said several times, Sailor Moon Crystal was kind to Chibi-Usa, removing almost all of the endless monsters of the day that will wear us down to our last nerve, and emphasizing her emotional trauma, her fear and hopelessness. Here, we’re just going to have to buckle down and wait it all out while she and Usagi become increasingly strident and Mamoru is an asshat. Whee.
So, that having been said, the first thing we do, in the time-honored tradition of new arcs, is run through a series of “Senshi go through a crisis, then power up” episodes! First up, Ami, in she which gets one of her two best attacks, Shine Aqua Illusion.
Art – 8
Story – 5
Characters – 8
Yuri – 0
Service – 1 on principle
Overall – 6
Disk 2 is infuriating in a dozen different ways, both in regards to content and technical quality, but we’ve still got many disks to go before we see the end. Onward!