Act 28 - Welcome Back, Ami!
The girls welcome their friend back
|Name (romaji):||Ami-chan Okaeri!|
|Name (translated):||Welcome Back Ami!|
|Air Date:||April 24, 2004|
|Previous Episode:||Act 27 - Luna Became a Sailor Senshi!|
|Next Episode:||Act 29 - Minako's Rival, Mio Kuroki, is a Transfer Student?|
Sailor Mercury, still wearing her Dark Mercury costume, kneels on the floor, cradling Sailor Moon's still form and staring blankly into space. Kunzite tries to drag her away but she stays limp; when he lets go she tries to crawl back toward her friend. Kunzite flips his cape around the three of them and they vanish in a swirl of black rose petals. Luna arrives on the scene, calling Usagi's name, but is too late to stop them.
Kunzite reappears in the Dark Kingdom, alone, and wonders where Mercury is.
Ami and Usagi are in an unfamiliar forest, near a waterfall. Usagi opens her eyes and is delighted to see Ami back to normal; Ami bursts into tears and embraces her friend so fiercely that Usagi protests that it hurts.
Kunzite locates the pair and is annoyed that Mercury has broken the spell, but comments that the forest they're in is the Dark Kingdom's garden and he is now free to amuse himself with them.
The girls wander through the forest, finding strange and overgrown statues. Usagi notices Ami is very quiet and tries to cheer her up, but to no avail - Ami is still upset about what she did. Although she admits that she doesn't remember any of it, Ami knows that she did very bad things and blames herself for it, even though Usagi does not hold a grudge and assures her that it was the enemy's fault.
Kunzite stands next to a glowing chessboard with two white pawns on it, then smiles evilly and adds a black piece in front of them.
A Youma suddenly confronts the girls in the forest, but when Usagi tries to transform she finds that she cannot. Ami hardly seems to realize what is happening, but Usagi grabs her friend's arm and drags her along as she runs off.
Kunzite watches as the two pawns move away from the black piece, and comments that he will forgive Mercury - if she manages to survive this.
Luna Tsukino arrives in the Secret Base and to talk to Rei and Makoto, but Makoto tries to brush her off. Rei stops her, though, realizing the girl's identity. After finding out what has happened, the two girls discuss what they can do next, and turn to Luna for advice - but she has fallen asleep and shortly reverts to cat form. Rei declares that they have no choice and must get help from Sailor Venus and Artemis, and when Makoto points out that they don't even know where she is, Rei reluctantly admits that she does.
Usagi and Ami continue to run from the Youma, and when they pause for breath, realize that they've been running in circles and are back where they started.
Kunzite, watching the pawns run from the black piece on the chessboard, adds another piece in front of them. Back in the forest, the ground shakes and crumbles beneath Usagi's feet, and the two girls fall down the slope.
Queen Beryl demands to know what Kunzite is up to, and Jadeite informs her that the other Shitennou is playing children's games with some Sailor Senshi. Queen Beryl does not care, just so long as someone brings her the Silver Crystal soon.
A crowd of fans stand outside a radio studio, watching through the window as Minako Aino appears in an interview with the DJ. Makoto and Rei watch, and Makoto expresses her shock that Minako is Sailor Venus. Rei grudgingly apologizes for keeping the secret, and though Makoto pretends to be annoyed, as Rei walks away she suddenly grins and notes that Luna isn't the only one who has changed. Minako sees the pair outside the studio window and nudges her bag, underneath the desk, and Artemis emerges.
Rei and Makoto race toward the building that was the site of Sailor Moon and Dark Mercury's last battle, as Artemis tells them that the gateway Kunzite used to travel through dimensions should still be open, and they can use it. Once inside the building, though, the girls find themselves in concrete room with machinery. The door leading out shows them a distorted hallway; Artemis says that the space is becoming distorted, and they need to check each door one by one to find the one that leads back to the lobby - and they need to hurry before the gateway closes.
Usagi and Ami roll down the incline and finally land in a clearing with statues, as well as Mercury's discarded Dark Jewelry Star Bracelet. Usagi gets up and starts to resume the search for a way out, but notices Ami is acting peculiar. When questioned, Ami says that she does not deserve to go back because of the horrible things she did. Usagi protests that it wasn't her fault and they are still friends, but Ami is not convinced. She tells Usagi to go on without her, but Usagi, upset, drags Ami to her feet and slaps her rear end, telling her not to be an idiot. Ami, shocked by this outburst, tells Usagi that she is being mean. Usagi retorts that Ami is the mean one, for saying they are no longer friends and not believing in them. After a moment, Ami closes her hand into a fist and raps Usagi on the head. She says that she cannot trust them, because they were all splitting up and going different directions and not acting like friends at all. Usagi stares at her, speechless. Before she can say anything, the Youma reappears and the two girls run away.
Kunzite observes that the girls are still persisting, and adds another black piece in front of the pawns. In the meantime, Nephrite watches him from a short distance away.
Usagi and Ami climb up a steep slope, while at the same time Makoto and Rei race through the building, checking each door one by one. As Usagi reaches a hand out to help Ami to the top, she thinks that they are all changing little by little, and even though they might not be quite so close as Ami was hoping, they all worked together with a real hope to get her back. Once at the top of the slope, Usagi and Ami are dismayed to find themselves back at the clearing with the statues. Usagi wails that if they got in, they should be able to get out, and Ami suddenly realizes that their way in is their way out. Although Usagi only looks confused, she follows as Ami hurries back to where they started.
Kunzite realizes that the girls have figured it out and turns away from the chessboard with a sweep of his cape.
Usagi and Ami race back toward the waterfall, pursued by the Youma, as Rei and Makoto run through the hallways of the building with Artemis urging them on. The two groups reach their respective targets and the gateway becomes visible. The four girls see each other and reach out their hands, and with a flash of golden light Usagi and Ami emerge back in the lobby. Their joyful reunion is cut short, however, as Kunzite and his Youma appear. Usagi, Rei, Makoto, and Ami all transform into Sailor Moon, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Mercury, respectively, and prepare for battle.
As they fight, they are joined by Sailor Venus, who orders the Senshi to combine the powers of their Sailor Star Tambourines around Sailor Moon. They nod and pull out their Tambourines, and Sailor Luna appears with one for Sailor Mercury. Sailor Moon calls up the Moonlight Stick and the Senshi form up around her to perform Moonlight Attractive Attack. The attack destroys the Youma, and Kunzite shields himself with his cape and vanishes.
As the Senshi lower their weapons, thinking themselves triumphant, Kunzite suddenly appears behind Mercury and attempts a sneak attack - but finds his blow blocked by Nephrite. The two Shitennou glare at each other, then vanish, but not before Nephrite gives a last long look in Mercury's direction. Sailor Mercury stares after him for a long moment before Sailor Moon calls her name.
Mercury pauses, then slowly turns to face the others. The three Senshi smile happily at her and welcome her back, and Luna chimes in. With her eyes full of tears, Mercury thanks them, declaring that she has returned home, and the four of them throw their arms around each other.
Sailor Venus and Artemis watch the others from a short distance away, smiling but not joining in.
- The opening sequence for this episode was different from the usual one; it included scenes of the five girls together in civilian forms, as well as more shots of the Senshi singing the opening song, "Kirari*Sailor Dream!". There was also a special short ending sequence featuring the Senshi actresses for this episode, which marked the ending of the Dark Mercury arc and preceded the beginning of the Mio Kuroki arc in the next episode.
- This episode was the first of only two episodes in which the main five Senshi actresses were credited at the end of the episode rather than in the opening, the second being the Final Act.
- This episode featured the first use of Moonlight Attractive Attack.
- In this episode, Usagi was dressed in light blue while Ami wore pink - a complete swap of their favorite (and Senshi) colors.
- Visible Equipment - in the opening scene in the lobby, as the camera panned around Sailor Mercury, the camera and crew were visible in a reflection on the window behind her.
- Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon - Miyuu Sawai
- Rei Hino/Sailor Mars - Keiko Kitagawa
- Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury - Chisaki Hama
- Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter - Mew Azama
- Minako Aino/Sailor Venus - Ayaka Komatsu
- Luna (voice) - Keiko Han
- Luna Tsukino/Sailor Luna - Rina Koike
- Artemis (voice) - Kappei Yamaguchi
- Queen Beryl - Aya Sugimoto
- Nephrite - Hiroyuki Matsumoto
- Kunzite - Akira Kubodera
- Jadeite - Jun Masuo
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