The Animation Art of Sailor Moon: Ikuko Itoh – Episode 45

Episode 45: The Sailor Senshi Die! The Tragic Final Battle

       

    Observations:

  • Sheesh, spoil everything in the title why don’t you.
  • I went way over my limit of 150 screenshots. Mostly because it’s that episode.
  • There’s a lot of detail in Usagi’s disastrous curry. Looks like she threw carrots, potatoes and calamari(??) in there.
  • This final meal with her family is very poignant despite its comedic mood. It’s as if Usagi knew she wasn’t going to see them again.
  • The first 10 minutes of the episode are deceptively lighthearted. Probably necessary considering what goes down in this episode.
  • I love Jupiter’s exasperated expression at the Tuxedo Mask illusion.
  • Check out the body language in the two shots of the DD Girls attacking through the illusions. In the first one, Jupiter is doing everything she can to protect Moon physically with her body. In the second one, Mars is grabbing Moon by the collar as if she’s a badly behaved child. It’s pretty funny.
  • Moon, Jupiter and Mercury are shown illusions of Tuxedo Mask, Motoki and Urawa as men they have a romantic attachment to and thus would want to save. What would they have shown Venus and Mars? Presumably Venus would have seen Allan, but would Mars have seen Yuuchirou…or maybe Mamoru?
  • The short scenes following the Senshi’s deaths where we see their civilian forms smiling in front of a glowing background are interesting. Is this what Usagi is visualizing, or is this a vision of their spirits saying goodbye?
  • Not only does Mercury slap Sailor Moon for the first time, she tells a straight up lie here. There’s no way she actually believes she’ll survive a duel with the DD Girls when she has no offensive capabilities.
  • Each Guardian Senshi in turn takes up the role of physically pushing Sailor Moon along and keeping her going.
  • When they separate from Mercury, Mars is unable to look behind her as she walks away, and ultimately Venus forces herself to turn away as well. Sailor Moon never stops looking behind her.
  • Mercury finds two further practical uses for her abilities – her Bubble Spray technique partially shields her from the illusion heat, and her computer ultimately becomes a useful weapon when she uses it to destroy the DD Girls’ illusory powers.
  • Sailor Moon seems to have an extrasensory ability to sense when her friends have died.
  • Mars tells Moon off for crying every time one of their comrades dies, but since there are tears in her eyes, she’s saying this as much to herself as she is to Moon.
  • When Venus screams at Sailor Moon that she’ll never forgive her if she gives up the Silver Crystal in exchange for Venus’ life, it adds a tremendous amount of character development. Minako may be silly in her civilian form, but she takes her Senshi responsibilities incredibly seriously.
  • The tender expression Mars has when Moon clings to her makes my heart hurt.
  • When Sailor Moon thinks Mars has died, her mind completely snaps. Her eyes are blank, and she does nothing to defend herself. It is why Mars, even while dying, will give everything she has to keep Sailor Moon safe.
  • The Senshi are beautiful even in death, but Mars especially so, with her hair fanned out around her body.
  • It is significant that it is Jupiter’s spirit who comfortingly touches Sailor Moon’s shoulder. She has always been the most affectionate of the Senshi.
  • Mars’ final words to Sailor Moon, “We’ll always be together!” stick with me. Those four words define this series more than anything else.
  • Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask/Endymion does nothing again in this episode, but at least there’s a plot reason for that.
  • I often wonder how it would have sounded if Kotono Mitsuishi had voiced Usagi in these last few episodes. Kae Araki did a great job, but all I hear is Chibiusa in her words, I don’t hear Usagi.
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