|Casablanca Memory |
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"Casablanca Memory" is a side story originally published in the September 1993 edition of RunRun magazine. It went on to be published in Volume 11 of the original manga and then later re-released in the 2nd volume of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Short Stories.
On April 17, Rei's birthday, she is given a bouquet by a boy as she's walking down the street. Usagi sees a note on them and grabs it first and begins reading it, meanwhile Ami comments on how she didn't know it was her birthday. Rei doesn't seem to care about the flowers and forces them onto Usagi. Rei says she isn't interested in boys or flowers and leaves. As she leaves, Ami and Usagi realize because they go to different schools they don't know much about Rei.
Rei shows up at the Hikawa Shrine and Grandpa Hino talks to her, telling her she has a present from her father. Inside the gift, she finds a white dress and more flowers, she mentions that it's the same present as before. Usagi and Ami show up and give Rei a music box and Rei thanks them. Rei tells them the flowers she got are Casablanca Lilies, which are her favorite. A car then arrives for Rei and her grandfather tells Usagi and Ami that Rei has dinner with her father every year on her birthday. He also mentions her father is a politician and that he and Rei haven't gotten along since her mother passed away.
Rei arrives at the Rain Tree restaurant and when she arrives at her table finds her father's secretary, Kaidou, and her father. They talk for a bit and Rei sees a music box like the gift from Ami and Usagi. A waiter tells her the song from the box has the same name as the restaurant "Rain Tree."
After her father asks if she's ever been to the restaurant with Kaidou before and Rei agrees she thinks about all the time she's spent with Kaidou. She thinks about when she and Kaidou saw a display of Casablanca Lilies and receiving the same flowers along with a white dress later for her birthday. After that, she realized her father hadn't been picking out her gifts, that it was Kaidou all along. The year before, the birthday she spent with Kaidou, she told him she wouldn't be able to depend on anyone other than herself. She continued to say she never wanted to be married and Kaidou agreed with her, noting how similar they were.
Later, back at the shrine, Rei is in bed thinking over the past and looks to the music box. She then leaves to go meditate over the fire and has a hard time concentrating.
Later on, in June, some of Rei's classmates are looking out of the window and sees a Rain Tree music box and say she has one as well.
At home, Usagi is looking out of her window and mentions the rainy season is depressing. Behind her, Ami is doing homework and only comments on the amount of homework they have, she adds that the Rain Tree music boxes are perfect for this weather, because of the song they play. Ikuko agrees with her, saying the music makes you remember the past. Luna begins to wonders if the rain is what's making everyone so glum lately.
Rei walks down the street with an umbrella and runs into Makoto who is coming out of a flower shop. Makoto tells her the rain is making it hard on her plants at home and that she came to the shop to get fertilizer. She mentions how all the people around on the street look sad and says she's been hearing the Rain Tree song a lot lately. Rei agrees with her and they decide to find someplace to talk.
The two of them head to the Rain Tree restaurant and Rei is greeted by the waiter and Makoto seems uncomfortable. After they're seated, Rei mentions that Makoto said something about her heart being broken in the past. Makoto replies that she and a friend both liked the same person, but he didn't choose her. Rei says that they are kindred spirits, but Makoto looks confused at the comment.
Rei then remembers her time with Kaidou and watching him becoming affectionate with a woman. She felt betrayed at the time so she ran away, she called her father and was told that Kaidou would succeed him one day. She was also told the girl she saw him with was the daughter of the head of Democratic Liberal Party (a reference to the Liberal Democratic Party, a capitalist, in other words economically liberal, and pro-America party near monolithic in Japanese politics) which makes them a perfect couple.
She snaps out of her daydream and heads over to the piano in the restaurant and begins to play the theme song to the movie Casablanca. When she gets up and leaves, a woman sits down and begins to play and Rei gets a weird feeling from her. She doesn't stop thinking about it, only noting she feels that something about the woman is making her feel sentimental. Rei heads back to Makoto who she finds is asleep and after waking her up, they leave. Outside Rei is relieved to be in the fresh air and wonders why it felt so different inside.
At Usagi's house, Luna is reading about heavy downpours that are causing floods and Usagi tells her because so many people were absent because of the weather the school had to close.
Rei walks through the rain, carrying a vase of flowers she's bringing to Makoto. When she passes a display of Rain Tree music boxes, she begins to get annoyed with hearing the same song all the time. When she gets to Makoto's no one answers the door, but because it's unlocked she goes in anyway. Inside she finds Makoto staring at the Rain Tree music box and whispering something about her senpai. Rei takes the box away and smashing it and Makoto wakes up from her daze. From the remains of the box, an evil spirit emerges and Rei realizes the spirit is the reason for the gloomy mood. She then transforms into Sailor Mars.
Once she transforms the memory of when she was at the Shrine and Kaidou appeared comes to her mind. At the time, Kaidou was coming to give her a book about lilies, saying her father asked him to bring it to her. Rei became irritated at this and asked why he treated her like a child, lying to her that the gifts were always from her father. She then wants to know if he is getting married. Kaidou tells her he had to lie to her because her father told him to. She remembers thinking they were kindred spirits and accusing him of being a liar, and added she wanted to marry him and he kissed her. Back in Makoto's apartment, Sailor Mars cries and the Rain Tree music boxes break. Soon, the woman from the restaurant appears with a translucent Rain Tree. She says she was using the boxes and the rain to collect energy from humans.
In her mind, Sailor Mars sees Kaidou, her mother and Jadeite, whose face merges with Kaidou's in her mind to create an evil-looking figure. Sailor Mars decides not to focus on the past, she then calls her crows. Phobos and Deimos to help her. She attacks with Akuryo Taisan and the woman is revealed to be Zoisite in disguise, trying to avenge Jadeite's death.
Makoto, who has now transformed into Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Mercury, hurry up to Sailor Mars who is lost in her thoughts. Telling herself she won't fall in love and that she doesn't need it because she has friends with the same goals.
That August, Rei is relaxing in a beach chair and Makoto mentions the rain seems like a dream now. Usagi asks Rei to come swimming but Rei declines and the waiter comes and brings her a drink paid for by a couple of boys. Rei smiles, mentioning that it's the fifth drink and says she's happy to stay here and drink all day long.
- This story takes place after the 3rd chapter and the other part takes place after the 5th chapter.
- In the preface to this short story, Naoko Takeuchi reveals the inspiration for the story that came after a visit to a restaurant with the voice actresses of the 90s anime and Sailor Mars's voice actress, Michie Tomizawa, identified the flowers outside the restaurant as Casablanca lilies.