|The Cursed Mirror: Mamoru Caught in a Nightmare|
Noroi no makyou! Akumu ni torawareta Mamoru
|Episode:||EP 169, Season 5|
|Air Date (JP):||April 13, 1996|
|Written by:||Genki Yoshimura|
|Directed by:||Noriyo Sasaki|
|North American Dub|
Saturn Awakens: the Ten Sailor Guardians Unite
Night of Destiny: The Sailor Guardians’ Ordeals
A strange new disease starts making everyone in the city lose their motivation to keep on their daily routine, spending the whole day staring at mirrors. As she discusses this with her friends, Usagi realizes that Mamoru 's recent behavior matches the infected citizens' symptoms. Setsuna and Hotaru meet them, warning them about an unknown event that is the end of an event that will change into utter ruin.
Across the town, several girls are shown staring at her own mirrors. They also say "Who is the most beautiful in the world?", replying themselves "It's you". Shadows resembling Queen Nehellenia appear, but those don't disturb the young women; they limit to gaze at their reflections and smile.
Michiru is watching the news and Haruka, who had just finished taking a shower, joins her along with Hotaru and Setsuna. It announces a new, unusual disease that is spreading mainly among young women, it is caused by mental stress. This causes the infected people to lose motivation after awakening. Hearing about this reminds Hotaru of her vision of Usagi threatened by an, still, unknown enemy, although neither her nor her partners know if it has some connection with that strange illness. Michiru seems more concerned about mirrors, however: recent monsters look like made of glass. As she looks at hers, an image of a woman appears but it vanishes quickly, so she isn't able to identify it.
It's 8:35 in the morning and, as usual, both Minako and Usagi are running late for school. On their way upstairs, Usagi sees a boy looking at his glass reflection, so she reprends him for relaxing at such inappropriate time, but her friend interrupts her pushing her to keep running. Once in the classroom Makoto and Ami tells them that the first hour is for self-study because of a teachers' last-minute meeting caused by the high amount of absentees, mainly girls. The four girls head to the bathroom, where they continue their talk about the recently discovered disease and as they leave, Makoto notices that a schoolmate is standing in the middle of the corridor, looking at her compact mirror. Usagi decides to approach her, then she asks her what is so fun about it, but she doesn't receive any response at all, which infuriates Usagi who snatches the little mirror to, maybe, find something that explains the schoolgirl's strange behavior. The mirror is just like any other one, so she keeps looking at it very intrigued about it when a dark aura starts to surround it. The aura forms a little cloud, that all of
of a sudden releases a dark beam towards Usagi's right eye. Fortunately, Makoto had been seeing the evil aura over the mirror and with a strong slap, she tosses it to the floor causing its surface to crack. Its owner gets down on her knees, very upset about her loss, saying "How can I keep on living?", which amazes and worries the four girls at the same time, who can not understand the girl's sadness. Usagi then remembers Mamoru's recent behavior: It is similar enough to that girl's to concern her, so she opts to meet him in his home, just to see if he is well. Once on Mamoru's front door, she sees a young man calling at it, who not receiving any answer eventually leaves the building. Usagi tries by herself ringing the bell but it seems that the apartment is empty. However, she has a spare key, so she is able to enter his residence without many troubles.
Inside it, the lights are off, and several mirrors have been disposed of around the living room. Usagi calls out his name and although she still receives no answer, she finds Mamoru in his bedroom. It is full of mirrors, like the rest of the apartment, and he's looking at a big one of them. Despite all the noise she has made, he doesn't seem to perceive her, being fully concentrated on his own reflection. As she walks towards him, his left eye starts shining and a mysterious silhouette takes form in the mirror. She runs to his side, but accidentally steps on one and breaks it. Mamoru reacts now, but he only cares about the cracked glass, as the schoolgirl did, being sorry for it, touching it very softly as it was a big loss. He cuts a finger touching it and Usagi tries to aid the hurt finger, but he yells at her for doing that. Immediately, as if he would've regained sense, he excuses his girlfriend for his manners, telling her that he has been sick lately, and he wants to rest. Usagi agrees, tells her about a lunch that her mom prepared for him and leaves the apartment. However, before leaving, she takes a final look at the bedroom: Mamoru is not resting as he promised, but gazing at the mirror again, completely relaxed.
At the Hikawa Shrine, Usagi finally reveals to her friends the strange behaviour of Mamoru and her worries about him being one more infected of the new disease that has spread across the town. Alike Michiru, Rei also feels that mirrors are an important part of this mystery: the shrine holy mirror had been possessed a few days ago (although she purified it later with one of her ofudas) and the latest enemies seem to be made of glass. Suddenly, Hotaru's voice is heard. She is with Setsuna and her purpose is to reveal that the Usagi will be victim of evil wishes. The upcoming danger will mark the end of something and the beginning of something else but they only know that the Princess is the main target and that mirrors are, as Rei guessed, a crucial part of it: A mysterious woman who sneaked in from the darkness is the source of their dark power. Setsuna says that the Prince is in danger, as he's one of Usagi's beloved ones, and asks her to protect him. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are at his home already, but they will need the assistance of the rest of the Sailor Senshi, so they all head to Mamoru's apartment, ready to protect him.
Uranus and Neptune, as Setsuna said, are on the front street of the building, trying to past their way through severals Mirror Paredris, however, although Space Sword Blaster and Submarine Reflection destroy the monsters, these keep on growing from their own remains, which makes the task almost impossible. Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn come to their help, along with the Inner Sailor Senshi. Using Dead Scream, it stops the monsters temporarily, which gives the opportunity to Sailor Moon and her partners to go to her boyfriend's apartment. The Outer Sailor Senshi decide to stay outside the building to block the entrance, so the Mirror Paredris can't get in.
As they enter the building, lots of monsters start coming out of every mirror-like surface but Sailor Jupiter strikes them with Jupiter Oak Evolution. Sailor Moon starts running upstairs, as the lift was one of the places the monsters were coming from, and of a sudden, she realizes who the enemy is: Queen Nehellenia. The voice she has heard, the monsters' body shape and the shadow in Mamoru's mirror matches with the Queen, but none of the Sailor Senshi can believe it because, as far as they know, she was sealed inside the dark moon.
Once they get to Mamoru's apartment, they discover him in the exact same position said he was, but now all the mirrors shine with dark-red light. Sailor Moon tries to speak to him, but he pushes her away. Sailor Chibi Moon is aiding her to stand up when another shadow takes place inside the mirror. However, this one is not an ordinary enemy. As the body finishes forming itself, Sailor Moon terrified realizes that it is in fact the Dark Queen herself; Nehellenia.
She soon starts blaming the Sailor Guardians for her imprisonment in Dead moon, and how lonely and sad she was there, in that deep darkness, as they were happily living on Earth, making fun of her fate. Sailor Moon tells her that she has never done such thing, but Nehellenia doesn't listen: Now it's time for the "White Moon Princess" (Usagi) to live what she has lived too. She grabs Mamoru, slowly trapping him inside the mirror. Sailor Moon, desperate, requests for her friends' power to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. The Queen orders Mirror Paredri to attack her, but they are destroyed by Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss. However, after the technique is executed, she is no longer able to keep on her upgraded form, so Nehellenia is free to take away Mamoru with her, but before leaving, she gives Usagi a final warning: He is now at complete mercy of her will, and he will be but only until next dawn. If Sailor Moon can't rescue him from her castle before that, he will be destroyed by her own nightmares.
She walks away with Mamoru, who is now incapable of hearing Usagi's call, as Sailor Moon watches from the other side of the mirror, weakened by her transformation and unable to help him.
Changes From the Manga
None of these scenes were in the manga, however, a few changes can be noted:
- Super Sailor Moon needed only for the first time her comrades' power to transform into Eternal. After that, she was able to take that form by herself.
- She didn't detransform after performing the "finishing" attack.
- Usagi knew who the boy knocking at Mamoru's door was. In his appearance in the Stars arc, she asked him for help to contact Mamoru in America.
- Nehellenia is cursed into a hideous form and sealed away by Sailor Moon shortly after Sailor Moon gained her eternal form.
- Uranus and Neptune first used Submarine Reflection and Space Sword Blaster in the Infinity arc of the manga, and the attacks were never used in the Stars arc.
(*) First time in one of the anime main episodes.
Saturn without her weapon
- This is the first episode that showed Sailor Saturn without her main weapon, the Silence Glaive.
- Technically, both Uranus and Neptune's new attacks had already appeared in the anime: In the SuperS movie (which aired 3 months before Sailor Stars) they used these techniques to defeat two fairy enemies. However, when exactly these film's events take place (following the anime timeline) is not clear.
- Ittou Asanuma made his first and only anime appearance in this episode and although he wasn't named, his name appeared in the credits.
- This was the last time Sailor Neptune use Submarine Reflection.