Like many people who watched the “Sailor Moon” dub in the 1990s, I’ve been re-watching the series on Hulu. It’s been fun to see the show as it was meant to be seen, complete with subtitles and the many episodes that the American syndication skipped. While there certainly is way too much filler in each episode, nostalgia is generally enough to keep me watching some of the more cringe-worthy episodes. Unfortunately, the fourth season, “Sailor Moon Super S”, has been a challenge to watch for a number of reasons:
1. No One Cares about the Enemy
In previous seasons, the Sailor Senshi actually investigated and talked about their foes. In this series, they don’t care. They don’t even compare notes or discuss what the enemy is doing. Occasionally, one of the cats will try to bring up the conversation, but it’s quickly forgotten. Obviously Chibiusa knows something about Pegasus, but after the first couple of episodes, no one bothers to question her.
2. Pointless Setup for Each Episode
For the majority of the season, the Amazon Trio are the main enemies and are searching for Pegasus by looking into people’s “dream mirrors”. In most episodes, for reasons that are never explained, they go through an extensive setup to corner their victim. In some cases, it takes days for the trio to get things just right, and it usually involves attempts to get the victim to fall in love with their future attacker. And yet, other times, they simply walk up to the victim and yank out their “dream mirror.” Why bother with the big setup at all?
3. Characterization is All Over the Map
The characters themselves, which usually are one of the best parts of the show, are inconsistent in this season. Usagi, for example, is painfully obnoxious in this season. Look, Usagi, it’s pretty obvious that you and Mamoru will get married. You’ve got Chibiusa standing next to you to prove that. So stop whining every time a girl looks at Mamoru, especially when it’s your own daughter! Ami, obviously accepted as the smartest of the group, doesn’t really seem like herself in this season. Rei only seems to exist just to get into endless fights with Usagi. Minako and Makoto are just sort of there in the background.
4. No One Recognizes Anyone or Anything
Throughout the entire season, the Senshi repeatedly see the Amazon Trio, but they never recognize them without their costumes. Fine, maybe it’s because of magic. But why can’t the Senshi at least recognize a pattern? Every single time an older strange guy walks up to them, the end result is an attack by the Amazon Trio. Why are they not the least bit suspicious when they run into this situation over and over again? Even when everyone realizes that there is a giant circus floating above Tokyo, the Senshi still can’t figure out what’s going on.
Fortunately, “Sailor Moon Super S” has only about 14 episodes left before Hulu finally makes it to the last and far better season of the show: Sailor Stars.