Ami-chan no Hatsukoi

August 19, 2007

I’ve been rewatching Sailormoon lately. Lately as in on and off for the past two years. When I’m done with it (and my being done dependent on when the group doing the new digisubs of Stars is done), I’ll write about my experience in more detail. For the time being though, I just watched “Ami-chan no Hatsukoi”, the short that ran along with the SuperS movie.

“Ami-chan no Hatsukoi” (Ami’s First Love) is an animated adaptation of Ami’s Exam Battle omake from the manga. It is the only one which was animated (unfortunately). It boasts beefed up animation compared to the TV series, original music, and is the only time an attack from part 3 of the manga is used in the anime (Mercury Aqua Mirage).

All that aside though, “Ami-chan no Hatsukoi” is a delightful, cute and hysterical short story which shows off everything good about the Sailormoon metaseries. It opens with Ami going through her morning routine while narrating a description of herself. Apparently she even reads while bathing and eating. Afterward, Ami receives a love letter in her locker and proceeds to have an allergic reaction to it. Later, she describes the situation to the other girls while making the climb up Hikawa Shrine’s stairs. The other girls agree that receiving a love letter sounds like a nice problem to have, and Minako (in classic Minako fasion) butchers a proverb. Ami, however, has no time to deal with the letter as she has a bigger problem – somebody is actually matching her perfect scores on the mock high school entrance exams. Ami makes her declaration of war and the others react in a string of the deadpan jokes and visual gags that make the show so timelessly funny.

While Ami furiously studies to defeat “Mercurius”, Usagi attempts to discover his secret identity. This is easily accomplished by manhandling Umino in one of his and Naru’s rare post-season 1 appearances. Mercurius is apparently Umino’s friend. Meanwhile, Ami is possessed by a spirit who feeds upon romantic desire, and eventually attacks her. First with love letters, then by sucking out all the things she’d studied because love makes people stupid. Usagi, Mamoru and Chibi-Usa show up just in time for Ami to decide that the spirit is Mercurius and it had all been a plot against her. Ami transforms and defeats the spirit, then passes out. Usagi spent this time flailing around and being not terribly helpful (in classic Usagi fashion).

Later, at the usual hangout, the girls reveal that they had met the real Mercurius. Not wanting to crush Ami’s vision of the man she’d spent all this time thinking about by revealing he looks exactly like Umino, they lie and say he looks like the model in a magazine. Ami is delighted, commenting he looks just like a young Einstein. Facefaults all around, cue end music “‘Rashiku’ Ikimasho”.

Ranking in at only a few minutes long, “Ami-chan no Hatsukoi” is something anybody can take in and enjoy. Constant laughs, great interaction among the characters, and some of the best animation the series has to offer. I recommend it to anyone looking to laugh for a couple minutes, Sailormoon fan or not.

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