The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week with episodes 176 and 177 we get episodes featuring on Rei and Seiya and then Ami and Taiki. Don’t be fooled! These really are more episodes about the Sailor Starlights than they are about the Sailor Guardians. This is consistent with the rest of the Sailor Stars season which focuses a lot on the newer characters.
Episode 176, Fighter’s Secret Identity: the Shocking Super Transformation, isn’t all that shocking. As always we are expected to be surprised by the revelation of a character being a Sailor Guardian. More on that later. The target this week is Akane Gushiken, who Rei knows as Sister Angela, one of the nuns from her school. She is pushing Seiya real hard and he’s getting pretty pissed about it. Standard story where she pushes him because of his potential and she’s not really evil and stuff. Not that anyone in this season is actually evil but that’s another story. Seiya, and the other Three Lights, are performing in a musical The East 42 Storyt. This would presumably be a joke on West Side Story. Once her Star Seed is taken Sister Angela turns into Sailor Director, with humourous results. Next comes the reveal! Seiya is Sailor Star Fighter! I wasn’t really sure this was something the audience wasn’t supposed to have queued in on but the title suggests it is. No character is privy to this revalation so the “Shocking” aspect of the transformation would have to be on the part of the viewer. I suppose with the Three Lights being male and the Sailor Starlights being female there may be some people who didn’t see this coming. What this episode does do is answers questions about the gender of the Three Lights. Seiya is seen in a very revealing outfit while rehearsing for the musical. This shows him to have a male physique, with abs and pecks, but without breast. During the transformation sequence we see Seiya, with no shirt, having a torso resembling a shirtless male transforming into Sailor Star Fighter who clearly has breasts. While most characters throughout the series transform only their clothes, there seems to be a more physical transformation amongst the Sailor Starlights. This is not the same as in the manga, where the Sailor Starlights are women who disguise themselves as men in their civilian identities. Because the best way to hide is by being members of a super popular pop group. The episode wraps up with a shot of Princess Kakyuu, which is who Seiya is waiting for, but this fades into an image of Eternal Sailor Moon. There is some confusion in Seiya’s heart.
Episode 177, A Star of Dreams and Wishes: Taiki’s Transformation, is all about Ami clashing with Taiki! One of Ami’s teachers is Wataru Amanogawa. He discovered a comet 15 years ago, which he called Françoise, and it is due to return! Amadagawa and Taiki participate in a television show together which focuses on the comet. While doing it a child mentions that his grandfather told him that people turned into stars after they died, and asks if this is true. Amadagawa, a hopeless romantic, assures the child it may be possible if some believe it. Taiki chastises him for this! This seems like a cold and rude thing for Taiki to do but he’s totally in the right here. People don’t turn into stars when they die. This is nonsense. Stars are massive balls of burning gas, undergoing nuclear fusion. Perhaps more tact can be used against young impressionable children though. Sailor Iron Mouse shows up and no surprise Amadagawa is the target. This leads to Taiki transforming into Sailor Star Maker, which shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. If you somehow made it to episode 176 before realising the Three Lights are the Sailor Starlights, it should be fairly obvious who Sailor Star Maker and Healer are once we learn that Seiya is Sailor Star Fighter. So this is great because we get to see the amazing Star Gentle Uterus. It looks like rain will get in the way of the comet, but luckily that clears up just in time. How fantastic. Nothing worse than bad weather interfering with stargazing!
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One thing you just can’t unnotice once you realize it is how gender stereotyped the Starlights’ transformations are. Notice that when they’re in their male forms, the background colors are blue but when they transform into women, their background colors are pink. I still think the Starlights have some of the coolest transformation music in the show though. I’m all for teaching accurate science to kids but Taiki’s explanation that stars are created by the power of human belief doesn’t make much sense either. I’ve always thought Taiki was the rudest out of the Starlights. Their conversation reminds me of this clip from The Lion Knig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9vIK2_l22U
Ha. Good point. Taiki is my least favourite of the Three Lights.
Noticed the blue and pink thing while taking my screenshots. An odd way to highlight the “boy” vs. “girl” sides.
Is the scientist Amanogawa or Amadagawa? If it’s the first then maybe he’s related to Amanogawa Kirara from PuriPuri? She’s the Princess of Stars, Cure Twinkle