If it wasn’t readily apparent, I fucking LOVE when the Senshi fight in civilian forms.
That these are badass reincarnated magical planetary warrior ladies is a given. Their abilities come from them, but also from who they’ve been again and again and again. There’s a line that becomes blurred when they’re in their Senshi forms until it’s tough to genuinely say which parts of their battles are the girls specifically, which parts are their avatars, and which part are their unique blend of the two.
When they’re fighting in civilian form though, there is no doubt. This is PURELY the girl. She doesn’t back down. She’s not transformed, but she’s far from helpless. What’s more, we get to see how she fights without any powers in the mix (something which I believe the Senshi do all the time, but animation practicalities leave out).
The battle starts with an attack on Rei, and she’s surprised by the speed of this thing. It looks like a big slow tub of blue lard, so I can’t blame her here. The thing divebombs, and Rei ducks out of the way.
WHICH IS AWESOME.
Surprising perhaps for a girl whose hobby it is to fling herself in front of shit, but Rei has tremendous agility. She tends to perform some of the more interesting jumps and rolls to avoid attacks, and it’s clear that in her personal style, avoidance is key:
Even against punching bags. (I will never not love her little fakeout bob and weave, by the way.)
So she ducks and the thing swings around for another attack, but this time Rei is ready for it. Now comes the second part of what makes Rei such an effective fighter: her physicality.
When the monster comes back for another attack, Rei squares herself and throws her elbow into its chewy nougat center. What’s so fantastic is HOW she does this though. She uses her other hand to propel her elbow forward and brace it to do the maximum amount of damage.
These two together highlight for me how I see Rei as the strongest overall fighter of the Inner Senshi. She’s a balance between Minako’s agility and Mako’s strength, and she excels in both. She can dodge to avoid damage, but she’ll get right up in there to deliver it. In your fighting archetypes, Rei’s your scrapper.
She gets taken down by the surprising resilience of the thing, but this is a hell of a showing. So many insights into Rei’s styles and strengths in just a few seconds. So awesome.
Rei Hino: Grade A BAMF.
(Edited 26 November 2013 to replace static images with gifs)