The Animation Art of Sailor Moon: Ikuko Itoh – Episode 37

Episode 37: Aim to be a Princess? Usagi’s Weird Training

    

Observations:

  • Parallel from the first and last shot of the episode with Usagi late for school and running with a piece of toast in her mouth.
  • The scene of Naru and Usagi talking and high-fiving was cut from the English dub, which instead opened with the Princess Seminar students exiting their limo.
  • Last episode was “Luna makes every silly expression ever.” This episode is “Usagi makes every silly expression ever.”
  • Itoh clearly had a LOT of fun designing the Princess Seminar outfits.
  • The Princess Seminar attendees stay consistent throughout the episode – it’s always the same group of girls. Nice to see, since most of the students at Usagi’s school are interchangeable.
  • The Christmas tree in Usagi’s daydream is appropriately timed, as this episode premiered right near Christmas.
  • In the daydream, Usagi is wearing the same dress she was wearing to the masquerade ball.
  • She’s a far more graceful dancer in her dream than she is in reality. Interestingly enough, she was a far more graceful dancer as Princess Serenity than she is as Usagi. This suggests to me that while they may have the same soul, they’re not the same person.
  • Default villain expression: Smug
  • I have to credit JetWolf for pointing this trait out, but I think this might be the first sighting of Artemis’s tiny little fork for his can of tuna!
  • Countess Rose’s mansion reminds me a lot of the school in Princess Tutu. (Flowers and fountains everywhere!)
  • The shot with Usagi visualizing a skull & crossbones flashes by super quickly. Usagi’s split-second reactions are a specialty of Ikuko Itoh’s.
  • Was Usagi naturally good at throwing the discus, or had she become talented at it because she got a lot of practice while using “Moon Tiara Action?”
  • I find it quite interesting that it was Minako who wondered why Usagi needed to change to be a better Princess. It hadn’t yet been established in the anime that Minako and Usagi have similar personalities.
  • Usagi’s dress being too tight for her might be a subtle nod to her supposedly being slightly on the chubby side.
  • The standards for the Princess Seminar appear to be rather high. Just because Rei and Minako can’t dance, they automatically fail? Both of them mention that they can do everything else BUT dance. If Countess Rose is looking for the clumsiest possible student, surely their competency at the other Seminar lessons eliminates them from being suspected of being Sailor Moon.
  • Why was there no alarm raised about all the previous students who had gone missing? How long have they been statues?
  • The shot of Luna freaking out in the 6th set was an accidental screenshot I had to keep. Normally, the monster Shakoukai throws the cats off her so quickly you can’t see their expressions. I happened to hit the pause button at just the right time.
  • Mars and Venus get newly animated poses/boasts/speeches rather than using the stock footage. They look way nicer than the stock footage, in my opinion.
  • I can’t verify this, but I am starting to suspect that Sailor Mars is Ikuko Itoh’s favourite character. She’s always animated just slightly more beautiful and expressive than the others. Look at her expressions in the 7th set. Most of the last quarter of the season focuses on Usagi’s pain from losing Mamoru, but Itoh doesn’t forget that Mars lost a boyfriend too. Look at the pain in her eyes.
  • Venus’ emotional reaction to Tuxedo Mask’s betrayal is, for obvious reasons, not explored.
  • Tuxedo Mask actually gets stuff to do in this episode! His eyes are deliberately obscured to make him look colder. I also kind of love that sassy head toss he gives Kunzite.
  • Where did that cup of coffee in the 8th screenshot set come from? Maybe the same place Sailor Moon keeps her magic doohickeys. 😛
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