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Favorite Usagi & Rei Moments
001. You’re A Coward
I want to talk a little about the special friendship between Usagi and Rei in the anime, which is one of the many things that are exclusive to the anime in a good way. This was perhaps their first real dramatic moment, and where Rei first showed how much she cares about Usagi. A funny way to show it? Well, Rei has always been about tough love. She started out as someone who heavily criticized Usagi and probably didn’t consider her good for anything, yet she’s the one who also grew to become Usagi’s closest friend among all the Senshi.
Here, what must not be forgotten is that up until this episode where they got their memories of their past lives back, Rei was dating Mamoru. So this was the point where she realized that he never belonged to her at all. I think it would be silly to say that she wasn’t heartbroken. It would be normal for her to resent Usagi even a little for this whole thing, even though it isn’t anybody’s fault. She could’ve watched Usagi self-destruct here, but no. She can’t let that happen. She has to snap Usagi out of it. Rei’s used to being the bad guy anyway - she doesn’t mind it. Who else is going to do it? The others might try to comfort or confront Usagi with words, but someone needs to literally knock some sense into her.
Ami’s not going to do it because she’s too sweet. Minako is the newest to the group and while she understands responsibility better than all of them given that she’s been doing this the longest, she also has that little bit of distance still between her and the others, and she respects Usagi’s role as the Princess too much. Mako is tough but she’s also fiercely protective of Usagi - almost like a big sister - and there’s no way she’d ever lay a hand on her, probably especially because of her tough reputation. So… Rei it is.
A part of this speech definitely shows her hurt talking. Mamoru - the guy she’s in love with - just risked his life to save Usagi’s. And now Usagi’s going to give up on their mission, wasting his sacrifice. There is bitterness in what Rei is saying, but I believe deep down she’s saying these things with Usagi’s best interests at heart.
An interesting thing about Rei’s clothes is that, early on, the animation staff don’t seem to have had much of a grasp on her style. Her personality came out strong and clear from the beginning, but she was initially often dressed in outfits that would have looked exactly right on Usagi.
Look at the outfit she wore to the Dreamland theme park:
That is exactly Usagi’s colour palette. She and Rei look almost like they’re trying for a co-ordinating couples outfit thing. I think Rei’s outfit, with pink skinny jeans and canvas slip-on sneakers, has actually come back round into style.
And then there are the magnificent rolled-up pink dungarees with sleeveless white teeshirt. This is such an Usagi outfit. All it needs is for the pin on the pocket to be a bunny face instead of a flower. I think those are the socks Usagi wears with her denim-jacket-and-pink-skirt combo.
So I don’t think those early outfits are really representative of Rei Style. The key to Rei’s fashion style is that she can dress in a much more mature, sophisticated and sexy way than the other girls and have it look right - not like a younger girl trying to look older, not like she’s trying too hard. She just has an edge that they don’t. Her sleek black hair and slightly angled eyes (you know what I mean, the outer corners are tilted up, the opposite look from Ami’s) have a lot to do with that.
I really dig a lot of her clothes, so that it’s hard to pick a favourite. Rei-watching is very rewarding.
For example, here’s what she wore for her crap date with Mamoru, to a porcelain doll exhibition.
- The date was crap, but I love her outfit - the hoop earrings with beads are delicately balanced between simple and glamorous, and the combination of stone-coloured blazer, sweetheart-neck black top and smart brown shorts is really chic. This is an outfit I would expect to see on a reasonably sophisticated woman in her early twenties, and Rei is making it work at fourteen.
- Rei’s choice of clothes makes it clear that she considers her legs a good feature, and she’s finished this outfit with her favourite red heels. I suspect her of actually wearing the shoes from her superhero uniform with a date outfit, because they boost her confidence and make her legs look aweome.
- Speaking of co-ordinating couples outfits, while she was dating Mamoru Rei wore a lot of blazers, and I absolutely believe that was strategic.
- The colours here are quite muted. It’s not that Rei never wears brights or pastels, but when she does, I don’t find the look as ‘classic Rei.’
Rei will sometimes do something really bold and fashion forward. For a Beverly Hills 90210 value of fashion forward.
BRENDA WALSH TOTALLY WORE THIS OUTFIT YOU GUYS. I JUST CAN”T FIND A FULL-LENGTH PHOTO OF IT FOR THE LIFE OF ME.
So what kind of outfit would I pick as quintessential Rei Style and a favourite of mine? Well, I think Rei’s best fashion season is winter (I have no idea if she’s a Winter in that whole getting-your-colours-done way). She looks great in sleek layers of warm fabrics, particularly in deep red, grey and black. If there’s some leather in there, so much the better.
With that in mind, I declare it a tie between this outfit (with bonus Makoto, you’re welcome):
and this one:
(jeez I wish I could find a bigger version of that - there’s this one but it’s not as clear)
It’s no accident that both outfits look expensive. Rei has that Ronnie Lodge haughty rich-girl thing going on. She also has her own WHOA HOT DAMN thing going on. Accents of gold (her earrings, the zipper tabs, her belt buckle) add to the impression of luxury. The upper outfit features shiny black leather boots, while for the SuperS movie she evidently decided ‘the more leather, the better’ and decided to make the libido of every susceptible person in the vicinity go THWOMP. I am sincerely trying not to be gross about the fact that a character who’s fifteen at the time is wearing VERY SEXY PANTS but this is obviously difficult.
Next time: Makoto!
If you ever think “man, anime hair makes NO sense”; remember Naoko Takeuchi, creator of Sailor Moon, wrote that when Bandai made a doll of her character Chibi-Usa, she stared at it, turning it around repeatedly saying “I can’t believe this can exist in 3D”. Even the authors don’t know what the fuck it’s doing
i had a good run chibi-usa
i don’t think my love for this page can be overstated
Remember that time you went evil and grew up and fell in love with your dad
Chibi-Usa’s Little Rhapsody of Love