(A New Formidable Enemy! Nephrite's Evil Crest)
Original Air Date: 06-13-1992
Director: Junichi Satou
Animation Director: Hisashi Kagawa
Writer: Shigeru Yanagawa
What's In This Episode?
Game Center Crown, Hikawa Jinja, Jewelry Osa-P, Martina Navratilova, Masato Sanjoin, Naru Osaka, Nephrite, Rui Saionji, Tesunii, Zoisite,
In the Dark Kingdom's lair, Nephrite explains his plan to Queen Beryl. "Jadeite randomly stole energy from anybody. Ha! If you ask me, that is a ridiculous way to take care of business. I will not go after big groups of people like Jadeite did. I will show you that I can get enough energy from one individual. All humans are controlled by the movement of the stars, and every one of them has their own fate. The same is true of their energy. Each human has a moment in their life when their energy level peaks. In short, I will read the movement of the stars and go after the humans when their energy level has peaked."
Zoisite appears, laughing, and tells Nephrite that he seems very confident; overconfidence can be his downfall. Nephrite tells Zoisite to go away, and then continues talking about his plan. "I will infiltrate the human world and take advantage of their weaknesses. I do not need advice from you!" Zoisite says, "I can pictur eyou throwing yourself at Queen Beryl's mercy. Oh, how scary." He then disappears in a flurry of rose petals. Queen Beryl says she'll leave this in Nephrite's hands.
Outside Juuban Junior High School, a large group of reporters approaches the famous tennis player Rui Saionji, asking her tennis questions. She manages to run away to practice. Meanwhile, in a large mansion deep in a mysterious forest, Nephrite consults the stars to determine that his target will be Rui Saionji.
Later, Naru and Usagi watch Rui playing tennis against another girl. Naru calls Rui her "big sister," and Usagi thinks that she means this literally, and Naru is keeping secrets from her. Naru explains that she is an only child, and that the two even have different surnames. This confuses Usagi even more. Naru continues explaining that Rui's mother has been a loyal customer to her family's Jewelry Osa-P store for a long time, and that the girls have been playing together since they were very small. Rui is only a year older than Naru, but Naru considers her to be like a big sister. Usagi finally understands.
A red sports car suddenly parks near the tennis courts, and a handsome man walks towards the courts. The man is Nephrite, but he is dressed as a successful businessman. The students speculate about who he is; some have heard that he is the president of a company that was recently established nearby. Usagi and Naru are quite impressed by him. He suddenly leaps into the air and jumps completely over the fence around the court. Rui's opponent asks him not to enter the courts without permission, but he ignores her and addresses Rui, telling her to use her weight more when she hits the ball.
He asks the opponent for her racket, and tells Rui to hit the ball at him. She does so, and he hits it back to her very hard. When she tries to hit it, she drops her racket and hurts her wrist. The man says that "a fly could land on a serve like that." He introduces himself as Masato Sanjoin, a tennis coach. He picks up her racket, and when he does, he places his evil crest on it so that it will be possessed by a youma. This will cause Rui to reach her peak energy faster, so that he can steal it. As if nothing happened, he hands the racket to Rui and tells her to think about putting her weight behind the ball.
The racket instantly affects Rui. Masato asks someone to come receive Rui's serve, and a young teen aged boy enthusiastically volunteers. Rui concentrates very hard and serves the ball to him. The ball zooms past the boy and knock him over. It was hit with such force that it sinks into the court, leaving a hole there! Everyone is amazed, but Masato has disappeared. He is really looking on from a hidden spot high above.
Rui continues to hit the ball very hard, knocking over several of the young men. They cower in fear (and pain!), and Rui thinks that this feels good. Usagi is very impressed, but Naru senses that something is wrong.
Later that night, at Game Center Crown, Luna sits at the Sailor V game which serves as a contact to "headquarters." She gives her password, the person at "headquarters" tells her that he's discovered that the enemy is an organization called the Dark Kingdom. They are trying to gather human energy.
The next day, at Hikawa Jinja, Luna tells Usagi, Rei, and Ami about the Dark Kingdom. Rei is ready to go after them, but Ami says they aren't capable of that yet. Luna says that they need to study more and make themselves fit. Usagi suggests that they play tennis to make themselves more fit. She tells them about the tennis coach, Masato Sanjoin. Rei asks if she's going to give up on Tuxedo Kamen now, but Usagi says she didn't think about it like that.
Luna sighs and says, "I'm glad I have Ami and Rei. If Usagi was all I had, the Dark Kingdom would have stolen all of mankind's energy by now." Rei says, "Maybe it's some kind of mistake that Usagi is a member of our group." Usagi cries and says that Ami is the only one who understands her. She invites Ami to play tennis with her, but Ami can't because has to go to cram school.
Meanwhile, Rui is playing extremely hard against her opponents. She even manages to break another girl's racket, which she steps on and kicks to the side. Naru looks on from the fence, thinking that Rui wasn't like this before.
[ Commercial Break ]
At Naru's house, an apartment above the Jewelry Osa-P store, Naru has invited Usagi to visit her. Naru tells her friend that she's worried about Rui, who has been misusing equipment, and who just seems like a different person. Usagi suggests that maybe Rui is just tense about an upcoming tournament, but Naru says that's not it. She remembers back to how much fun the girls had when they were younger. She then remembers confronting Rui earlier... she asked if there was anything wrong, and anything she could do to help, but Rui said it's none of Naru's business.
Naru is very upset; she thinks that something terrible has happened to her friend, because Rui won't say anything to her. Usagi suggests that they investigate what happened together.
The two girls go to the tennis school where Rui goes to practice each day. Usagi has a bad feeling about it, and thinks that it may be the work of a youma. She thinks to herself that if she does a good job on this, she can get back at Rei and Luna.
Meanwhile, Rui serves balls to her opponents harder and faster than ever. They are unable to keep up with her, and the tennis balls are breaking. Rui is about to serve another ball when Usagi and Naru appear to ask her to stop acting this way. The opponents run away. Rui refuses to stop, and screams at the girls to get out of her way. She then attacks both girls with a blast of energy from her tennis racket.
Her energy has reached its peak. The youma Tesunii emerges from the crest Nephrite placed on Rui's racket, and Rui falls to the ground, unconscious. Naru is also unconscious behind a bush after she was attacked by Rui. Once Usagi see the youma, she quickly transforms into Sailor Moon. She then tells the villain that misusing tennis for evil deeds would probably even make Czechoslovakian tennis champion Martina Navratilova cry.
Tesunii uses energy to form a tennis racket, and begins "serving" short bursts of energy at Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon runs away, but is hit. She is then trapped inside a giant tennis ball, with only her arms, legs, and head outside. Tesunii then causes Sailor Moon to bounce all over the court. Suddenly, a rose flies through the air and cuts the youma's face. Sailor Moon stops bouncing, and Tesunii tells Tuxedo Kamen that if he doesn't watch out, he might end up like Sailor Moon. She serves a burst of energy at him, but he leaps out of the way. He then extends his cane and knocks the youma over. Sailor Moon cheers him on, and the tennis ball surrounding her disappears.
Sailor Moon thanks Tuxedo Kamen, and he says that she shouldn't let her guard down. She's happy to be fighting with him. Tesunii then stands up and serves multiple bursts of energy at the two. Sailor Moon falls to the ground, and Tuxedo Kamen pulls her out of the way just as one of the energy bursts is about to hit her. He then throws a rose at Tesunii, which hits her in the face, distracting her. He falls to the ground, and Sailor Moon runs to him... but he tells her to use her tiara quickly.
Sailor Moon uses her "Moon Tiara Action" attack to destroy Tesunii. Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars arrive at the scene just in time to see the youma killed. Luna says that Sailor Moon must be growing up a little. When Sailor Moon looks for Tuxedo Kamen, he has vanished. She wonders if he's ok.
The next day, at Juuban Junior High School, Usagi and Naru stand near the tennis courts watching Rui practice. Naru says that Rui doesn't remember anything she did. Usagi says that at least she's doing fine now. Rui suddenly runs up and asks Naru if she's like to play for a while; Naru agrees and goes to join her friend. Usagi sighs and thinks to herself that it would be fun to play tennis with Tuxedo Kamen. Suddenly, a tennis ball hits her in the head!!