51 "Atarashiki henshin! Usagi power up"
(Renewed Transformation: Usagi's Powerup)
45 "Cherry Blossom Time" 95-11-28

It's the season for cherry blossoms to bloom. The girls, Naru, Natsumi, and Sakurada-sensei were missing school to attend the festival. There they met Umino who had saved a spot for them over night, and they all enjoyed a nice lunch together. After lunch some of them went their separate ways. Ail and An summoned a cardian when this happened that first drained naru and Umino's energy, followed by Sakurada-sensei after she discovered the two. The three were taken to the park office, who mentioned this made ten people now with the same condition. As Usagi and Luna were leaving, the other senshi were already looking for something suspicious but were captured by the cardian. Usagi transformed into Sailor Moon and caught up with them. She tried to use her tiara attack again but it was still ineffective. The cardian attacked her and broke her brooch, causing her to detransform and be sucked into the ground. Luna tried to pull her out, but got sucked in as well. As they fell, Luna informed Usagi that her wish to be a normal teenage girl was the reason her attacks no longer had any power, making Usagi wonder just how she can be there for her friends. The two ended up floating in a strange place, where Queen Serenity appeared revealing they were in Usagi's heart. After a flash they were in the Moon Palace, where the queen gave Usagi a new brooch that held the ginzuishou inside. She informed her the ginzuishou didn't have the same power as before, but since she was thinking of her friends, it would become strong again. She bid her daughter farewell, telling her to use the phrase, "Moon Crystal Power, Make Up." She transformed and appeared back in the real world to battle the cardian. She initially struggled and was given an opening by the Moonlight Knight. In this opening, an image of Queen Serenity appeared and gave Sailor Moon the Cutie Moon Rod. With this new rod came the attack, "Moon Princess Halation" which defeated the cardian.

This episode is a surprising episode in a lot of ways. We get to see some great character development in Usagi here, as it's figured out that the reason she is having trouble with her attacks powering down, is that her wish to be normal is actually interfering. Great moment right there. While the dub didn't outright ruin it, I was very unhappy with how they handled that scene with her and Luna falling down as you'll see below. Another surprising thing about this episode to me is that I figured this would probably get a lower score than it did, but when I put it through my normal scoring process, it ended up faring better than I thought. Even though they loved adding some effects and some time in this one, there were barely any cuts save for the lunch scene. Speaking of which, if any of you haven't seen that scene in its intended glory yet, I highly recommend it. Just the part where Rei is breathing flames screaming "Fire" with her passing out saying "Soul" is well worth a watch.

The script for this episode is meh. It wasn't good enough to say it was good, it didn't go through my theoretical second translation so I can't say bad. I would say lower middle here. While the main stuff was left, there was a just a tad too many liberties taken in the translation for my personal taste.

The MotD for the episode was named Reci, changed to Racy in the dub, so no big change here. Just phonetics. Much like most of the episodes in this story arc thus far, there is no episode specific VotD.

This episode was where Sailor Moon started using her new transformation and attacks. Her transformation call, "Moon Crystal Power, Make Up!" stayed the same dropping the "make up" as in all transformations. Sailor Moon obtains the Cutie Moon Rod, which is renamed to simply the Moon Scepter. Her new attack is called "Moon Princess Halation." The dub names this attack (at least in these 1995 dubbed episodes) "Moon Scepter Elimination."

The pre-episode continues to be given a special frame for the dub.

(20 seconds) In a cute scene, after Umino explains how he stayed warm in his sleeping bag, Naru zips it shut and proceeds to invite everyone to sit down. Which everyone does, not one of them concerned of Umino being stuck in his bag. Poor Umino.

(1 minute 56 seconds) The scene with everyone eating lunch together was originally MUCH longer. It was a cute scene, where we saw the background stay the same and shots of people popping up for quick lines. I'm not going to list out every little thing they took out, but here are some of the highlights:

* Naru apologizing to Umino, stating she only zipped him up as a little joke. She later gave him a homemade lunch which he thought was amazing.
* Rei giving Usagi a hard time about how poor her rice balls came out, with Usagi shooting right back stating at least she made her own lunch, in which we see a bag of fast food appear on the screen.
* My favorite, to get back at Rei, Usagi puts some hot mustard in a sandwich and offers it to Rei, who accepts it surprised by her generosity, and takes a bite. After a few seconds, she jumps up screaming "Fire!" while running around with fire breathing out of her mouth. When she ran out of energy, she fell while softly saying "Soul." Hilarious, and so sad to see get taken out.

What was left of the lunch scene in the last box was given a special frame surrounding the scene.

There is a whole block of conversation with everyone talking about how Serena thinks that Alan might be following her around. In actuality, Seijuro was just watching in the distance unseen by everyone except Natsumi. The actual conversation was about Usagi finding a dumpling shop nearby.

All the lightning effects when the camera zoomed out as the cardian collected energy were added in by DiC.

Though no time was lost to them, this section of the episode had a lot of digital wipes and bumps. It felt like there was more than normal.

(7 seconds) There's snippets in the scene of the girls noticing the cardian before being attacked. The biggest cuts in this moment are a shot of the tree and a camera pan of the girls. Them falling to their knees was also cut.

The Moon Prism Power transformation was fully added in by DiC. In the original, after she called out her transformation, as her hand was risen it cut to commercial.

This episode shows another rare exception to the untold rule of the dub's first commercial break lining up with the original's only one. To add to the list, when the dub returned from the break, it recapped the previous 5 seconds, something we normally see after the second dub commercial break.

When Sailor Moon uses her "Moon Tiara Action" here, I would venture a guess and assume some people might think that DiC shortened the attack sequence. This would be false, as the original shortened this as well. Perfect side-by-side actually.

(1 second) Snippets as Usagi is sucked into the ground.

(7 seconds added) After Usagi is sucked in the ground, DiC decided to recycle the shots of the girls calling to her.

In the Doom Tree segment, DiC added purple lightning bolts. And this is where it all clicked. So many digital wipes and bumps, at least three lightning bolts, with one of them a different color, the video department must've had a bigger budget that day. It makes perfect sense. It's too bad this bigger budget likely actually came from not paying the good writer to write the script today. -_-

Which leads to this box. By now, we're used to Raye being a bit meaner than Rei and other annoying things to that degree. However, in this scene, Luna is essentially just a huge bitch to Serena for the dub.

Originally, as the two were falling, Luna mentioned that the reason Usagi was having trouble lately is because even though she was awakened, she still wishes to lead a normal life. This was the first sign of Usagi's struggle of wanting to live a normal life actually directly affecting her ability to fight. This is also where she becomes aware of it. In this version, Luna realized it and nicely told Usagi.

In the dub, Luna just berates her. "You just didn't feel like being Sailor Moon today, did you?" "Well then, that's your problem." Here's my problem with this. Obviously the tone was changed. Yeah, she's always wanted to be normal, but this entire season she's actually initiated attacks on her own with no one there. It's not like she hasn't been trying, and that's why I feel the attitude dub Luna has here completely out of line.

The whole scene with nude Usagi in her soul was actually mostly untouched. No digital effects were added whatsoever. There was a side view of Usagi that was almost cut out. I say almost because it was still on the screen for a second or two. When that shot started to zoom out, DiC replaced it with an earlier shot of Usagi's face and then a still of Queen Serenity. There were snippets in this scene, and the flash to the Moon palace was quicker in the dub. Yet a half second was added in. This was quite the interesting scene comparison-wise, more interesting that I had anticipated.

While the original used new music for Sailor Moon's new transformation, the dub did not, using the same tried out music. Video-wise, this was untouched.

(6 seconds added) After the new transformation, DiC added Alan and Anne back in to command the cardian for whatever reason. I have no theory as to why they've decided to add time to this second half.

(1 second) Snippets during Sailor Moon's speech.

"And that means you" also means the theory is correct in this episode.

While they changed the name of the new attack, they did not touch the animation. Likewise, they did not change the music they normally use for Moon's attacks either.

To end the episode, Dic continues their obsession with the pink background with moons and stars. While the original just had a normal fade to black, DiC had a curtain effect to their favorite ending image.

This episode's Sailor Says segment features some cut footage from not one, but TWO episodes. The lunch scene where maybe a third of it was still in the dub? Yep, parts of Usagi and Rei arguing that were cut from that scene made it to Sailor Says. No, sadly dub viewers will not be able to see Rei shoot fire out of her mouth. The real kicker in this Sailor Says is a small section came from episode 42. Yep, one of the cut episodes. Great job staying consistent with your own damn cuts, even more so using footage from an episode that you never even touched. Fail.

Total Retained 73%

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