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Worth a Princess' Ransom
Jap.22 "Romance Under the Moon! Usagi's First Kiss"
This is a rather important episode within the overall story of the first season. Things really begin to start moving as a potential Silver Crystal and Moon Princess are spotted, Darien is revealed to have been having dreams about a mysterious princess asking for help, the fourth General Malachite makes his first appearance and Serena begins to think that she may possibly know more about what's going on than she previously thought.
The episode starts off with a quick scene of Molly and Serena walking to work. It seems that Molly has a feeling something went on with Mr Stanton (Nephlite) back in Episode 16 but thanks to Nephlite's magic she can't fully remember it and shrugs off her feelings as simply the result of a dream.
When they arrive at school, Melvin begins to fill them both in on the latest gossip. Turns out there's a real life princess visiting town and that she has a famous crystal. Molly says that she got an invitation via her mum (you know, because jewellery shop owners are really in with royal families) but she's not really interested in going. Serena wants to go however so as soon as she gets home after school she tells Luna all about it.
Luna suspects that the princess may be the Moon Princess that they're looking for and her crystal may be the Imperial Silver Crystal. Serena is thrilled and uses Disguise Power to transform herself into a pretty guest for the party.
In the Negaverse, Queen Beryl is furious at Nephlite for once more being unable to find the Moon Princess or the Silver Crystal. Zoicite materialises and demands to know why Beryl still trusts Nephlite with all these missions when she is much more capable. Nephlite fires an insult back at Zoicite and leaves. Beryl then tells Zoicite that she has a lot to learn and that desperation will make Nephlite try all the more harder.
Later, Zoicite seeks comfort in the arms of her lover, Kunzite who makes his very first appearance with this scene!
Meanwhile, Darien is having a mysterious dream of a palace covered in fog and a mysterious woman asking him for help. He wakes up suddenly and laments on how he keeps having the same dream over and over.
The night of the party arrives and Serena rocks up in her princess guise thanks to Disguise Power and manages to get into the building despite her name not being on the list by playing it cool and throwing a phoney name at the check-in desk.
Once inside, Serena sees that the party is like a masquerade ball as all the men are wearing masks (just like Tuxedo Mask!). She's in Heaven!
Molly, who has also arrived has become bored out of her mind but is saved by the sexy Maxfield Stanton (Nephlite) who asks her if they can talk alone.
Back on the dance floor two happy ladies accidentally spill a glass of wine all over Serena's dress! Serena immediately exits the room in search of the bathroom so she can clean up and unknowingly wanders past Tuxedo Mask who has been eyeing Princess Diamond's bedroom which is being guarded by two men. Tuxedo Mask sees Serena in her disguise and notices that she looks just like the woman in his dream.
Out on the balcony, Nephlite forces his will upon Molly and completely takes control of her mind and body. He immediately sets her off to get the crystal from Princess Diamond.
Having cleaned her dress up rather well, Serena tries to give the dance floor another go, hoping that someone will ask her to dance and someone does, Tuxedo Mask! Serena thinks he looks like Tuxedo Mask but doesn't actually think it's him as everyone looks like him at the party. While they're dancing, Serena gets a serious sense of deja vu and begins to wonder why simply dancing with this man at a masquerade ball feels so familiar.
They don't have time to dance any more as Molly has currently possessed the princess who has now stolen her own diamond and done a runner. Everyone at the party panics as the obviously very strange acting princess forces her way through the crowd in an attempt to escape the building. Serena and Darien, after being informed by Luna, follow her out onto the balcony in an attempt to stop her but the princess pushes Serena over the edge!
The princess suddenly surrounds herself in a black magic swirl and floats down to the ground. Darien tells Serena to take the stairs down as he jumps after the princess. Sailor Mars and Mercury who had sensed that something was wrong prevent the princess from escaping and Sailor Mars uses her Mars Fireball Charge to stop her in her tracks.
All of a sudden, Nephlite's will removes itself from the princess who faints as a result and tells everyone that he can't be stopped. Sailor Mercury notices that that face belongs to Nephlite so Sailor Moon immediately uses her Moon Tiara Magic attack which destroys Nephlite's manifestation of his will.
Tuxedo Mask comments on how he doesn't really know who he is and that he wants the crystal for himself, not for the sake of helping the Sailor Scouts and leaves.
Serena, who despite all the action had had a wonderful evening, fantasises about Tuxedo Mask and her kissing and how one day they may be able to kiss for real.
Monster of the Day
The Monster of the Day in this episode was very different from what we're used to as it wasn't a monster, but a manifestation of Nephlite's will which he used to possess both Molly and Princess Diamond while still allowing himself to function separately from what the two possessed girls were up to.
Interesting to note that several clips of this manifestation were used in the English opening for the first two seasons, most obvious clip being it's defeat at the hands of Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara Magic attack.
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