It’s Sailor Moon Saturday! Ever Saturday, our wonderful CNF editor Soleil Ho will review a new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal (watch it now on Hulu, Crunchyroll, and other reputable online entertainment hubs). We’re making sure to keep a few episodes behind, giving you plenty of time to catch up and allow for spoiler-free watching.


Appropriately enough for the characters’ obligatory introductory arcs, rumor-mongering plays a big role in the next few episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal. Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako are all freaks on their own way, dwelling in their exceptional solitude until the magnetic Usagi pulls them out of it. In the pre-title section of episode 2, “Ami,” the titular character is shown to us through the casually judgmental eyes of her peers: though she’s a hot topic at school, her reputation as a “Genius Girl” makes her seem unapproachable.This episode establishes a pattern where, through a killer combo of temerity and naiveté, Usagi  pushes through the Sailor Senshi’s ego defenses to help them get over the personal bullshit that keeps them from realizing their idealized superheroine forms. Usually this involves arcade games and ice cream.For the super genius Ami, the monster she needs to tackle takes the form of a megalomaniacal cram school instructor who manipulates students’ drive to succeed for eeeevil. This demon in heels and a skirt suit is armed with sinister talons and an endless barrage of paperwork, which Sailor Mercury is able to counter with a mist attack! When I was a kid, I thought that was pretty bogus, but it does make a kind of sense here: her powers of obfuscation work against the highly regimented, there-is-only-one-right-answer world of academic achievement.

It’s pretty telling that Crystal’s take on the issue of academic pressure still feels resonant, even after the original anime’s equivalent episode brought up similar questions. In her banter with Jadeite, old school Queen Beryl even comments that achievement-focused parents “can be even harder on their children than our monsters would be.” What lies beyond school for the booksmart kids of the world? Well, I’m still figuring that one out.

Next time, Rei’s personality swap, Usagi being a stalker, and kid stuff.

1455981_591794204224678_571490983_nSoleil Ho is a freelance writer, and chef living in New Orleans. Her essays have appeared in Mason’s Road, Bitch Magazine, The Heavy Table, Interrupt Mag, Impreachable, CLAP zine, the Twin Cities Runoff, and Art Review & Preview. Whenever she visits her grandmother, there always seems to be a big bowl of chicken curry on the table, just for her. You can find a bunch of her writing at soleilho.tumblr.com.

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