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Act 40 - Minako VS Rei, What Will Be the Battle’s Outcome?
美奈子VSレイドバトルの行方は?
Act40 Preview
Japanese: 美奈子VSレイドバトルの行方は?
Romanji: Minako VS Rei Dobatoru no Yukue wa?
Airing Information
Writer: Yasuko Kobayashi
Director: Kenzo Maihara
Airdate: July 17, 2004
Episode Guide
Previous: Act 39 - Usagi's Mother's Challenge as a Reporter!
Next: Act 41 - The Truth is, I’m a Guardian!

Act 40 - Minako VS Rei, What Will Be the Battle’s Outcome? is the 40th episode of the live-action series, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. It first aired in Japan on July 17, 2004.

Summary

Just when Minako decides to quit her idol career, she discovers that she has a new rival - Reiko Mars.

Plot

Continuing from the previous episode, Minako tells Artemis that she has decided to stop singing. She says that she only has a small amount of time left and she doesn't want to waste it. Artemis gets upset and says that she needs to have time as Minako and not just Sailor Venus but Minako insists that she has to fulfill her mission and there is no longer any room in her life for anything but Sailor Venus.

Meanwhile, in the Secret Base, Usagi tells her friends about Mamoru's plans and expresses concern because she still sometimes uses the Silver Crystal's power without meaning to. Her friends express their support for her.

Jadeite arrives before Queen Beryl and she congratulates him on his unwavering loyalty. She adds that he is the only one she can trust to deal with Endymion.

Minako meets her manager in a restaurant but before she can tell him about her decision, he immediately launches into a discussion of her career and before she knows it, she has agreed to do a commercial and a photobook. She sighs.

Rei is sitting in her room at the Hikawa Shrine when Artemis shows up to talk to her.

As Minako is getting ready in her dressing room, her manager arrives to tell her that her photoshoot has been canceled. Instead, a new idol, Reiko Mars, will be doing it, as well as Minako's scheduled commercial. Minako watches the photoshoot with annoyance, telling herself that it doesn't matter because she was going to quit anyway. She can't help being jealous, though, as her manager enthusiastically praises Reiko.

Mamoru arrives at Karaoke Crown to talk to Motoki but finds a new employee there. Nephrite in human form, whom Motoki has dubbed "Nefukichi." When Nefukichi gets annoyed at him, Motoki retreats, leaving Mamoru behind. Nefukichi wants to return to Queen Beryl but Mamoru refuses to take him, saying that it's better this way. He also advises the former Shitennou to ask Motoki if he needs anything because he's a good person.

As the staff at the photoshoot takes a break, Minako confronts her manager about why her photoshoot was canceled. He suggests that he should maybe give the new song to Reiko because Minako hasn't seemed to want to sing lately. Minako strongly disagrees and her manager is pleased to see her competitive side again. Reiko challenges Minako to a match to determine who will get the song.

Usagi receives a call on her cell phone inviting her to the match and she rushes off. Her mother hardly seems to notice her go, as she's wondering if there was something wrong with Sugao's video since she didn't get the reporter job.

At the TV studio, the girls go on a game show-style competition, with Minako's manager as the host. Minako, Usagi, and Luna are one team, while Rei, Makoto, and Ami form the other. The team captains, Minako and Rei, are placed into special booths while their teams compete in various games against each other. When one team scores a point, a balloon over the head of the opposing captain inflates a little more. Minako's team ends up falling behind, and her balloon pops, showering her in flour. Rei teases her, but she looks determined and says that the game isn't over yet.

In the final game, the two team captains are given foam swords and told to pop paper balloons attached to their opponent's clothing. When the rest of the team members join in the game, it becomes a chaotic free-for-all, and the girls all laughing together. As they play around, Sugao unobtrusively shoos the camera crew out of the studio and watches the scene, observing that he will not allow Minako to stop singing. The girls finally collapse in an exhausted heap on the floor, still giggling.

Makoto, Luna, Usagi, and Ami walk home together, talking about how much fun they had; they have never before acted like friends with Minako. Ami pauses, wondering if that is why Rei did what she did.

Minako records her new song, "Kiss!² Bang!²," and as she sings she looks as though she is finally having fun. Outside of the booth, her manager watches with a pleased smile.

As the girls walk home, Luna detects the aura of a Youma and when they investigate, they discover a group of Queen Metalia's Youma. Using the teamwork they just practiced on the game show, the Sailor Senshi quickly defeat the group of Youma and excitedly exchange high-fives.

Minako confronts Rei about her actions and Rei says that it annoys her that Minako focuses completely on her past life. They argue about it and Rei declares that Minako's problem is that she is afraid of the present. In Minako's situation, if there were any hope at all, she would have the surgery. Minako becomes angry and storms off.

As Minako walks angrily across an open plaza, she finds Artemis waiting for her, looking concerned. Minako pauses and thinks about the game show and the fun she had with the other girls. She discovers that she has begun to cry only when the tears drip onto her hands. She crosses her arms across her chest, looking upset and uncertain.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Nobuhiro Suzumura, the director for several episodes (minus this one), plays Suzuyan in this episode.
  • -kichi is a cute name suffix, the same ending as in "Kamekichi" meaning "lucky", it is a bit too cute for a person like Nephrite and comes off as a bit demeaning.
  • Butt Bump is a Japanese game called "donketsu" (meaning bottom) usually played in a pool.
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