Meet Usagi Tsukino, a 14-year-old klutzy crybaby from the Juban district of Tokyo. Oh, and possible savior of the universe. NBD.
Usagi Tsukino wakes up late for school, caught in a dream where she dances in the moonlight with a man in a tuxedo. As she runs to school, Usagi trips over a black cat with a crescent moon on its forehead. The girl and the cat make eye contact, but Usagi has to get to school. Once there, she receives her latest test score: 30%. After trying to cheer herself up at the arcade1, Usagi runs into a man who looks an awful lot like the tuxedo dude from the dream. Like the cat before, Usagi and this stranger have an instant connection. Meanwhile, evil is afoot. A mysterious general-looking fellow sends a monster to a jewelry store in Tokyo to steal energy. It turns out the store is owned by the family of Usagi’s friend Naru. After the girls check out the jewelry store and notice some deep discounts, Usagi heads home. Rather than doing homework, Usagi takes a nap only to be awakened by the cat she encountered earlier. The cat tells Usagi of her destiny and gives her a nifty brooch. The cat, Luna, instructs Usagi to call out “Moon Prism Power, Make Up” to transform into Sailor Moon. Once the transformation is complete, Usagi can hear Naru calling for help. Sailor Moon heads to the jewelry store to deal with the monster. Well, Usagi as Sailor Moon heads to the store, because she starts freaking out immediately. The monster, with the help of her enslaved customers, surround our hero, who starts shrieking in a Run, Lola, Run fashion.2 The odango jewels—the red orbs in the buns on Usagi’s head—amplify the sound, subduing her attackers. Also, an ally named Tuxedo Kamen 3 pops in to distract the approaching horde. This allows Sailor Moon to use her Moon Tiara Boomerang to destroy her enemy.
How Did This Match the Original Sailor Moon?
This episode is almost a beat-for-beat remake of the first episode of the original series. The settings are the same, the threat is the same, and Usagi’s test scores have not improved.
Usagi and her connection with the mysterious man in the tuxedo is not instantly adversarial, which may indicate eschewing the “will they or won’t they” dynamic, which never really worked. The man who sent the monster is not named, nor is his boss revealed or mentioned. I’ll be curious to see how/when that reveal is executed.
If you are watching the original series on Hulu, you may be wondering how far you can go without entering into spoiler territory. This episode ended with a hint of the next major character who will be introduced. You can watch the first seven episodes of the Japanese series4 without advancing past the plot of the current series.