Meanwhile Galaxia’s regretting bringing that whip out if this is what’s going to happen.
OKAY THERE’S A LOT TO GO OVER HERE KIDS LET’S GET STARTED
First, the truly divine level of “innuendo in the face of danger” we have going on here, because oh my god. This is something unique between Haruka and Michiru that Stars has cultivated over the course of the season, and I really can’t say enough wonderful things about it. S was such a powder keg of tension between the two of them, all these EMOTIONS that neither Haruka nor Michiru were able (or willing) to express. I’m reminded of times in that season where they faced imminent death, and yet weren’t able to draw strength from each other. Remember when Michiru tried to take Haruka’s hand and Haruka pulled away? (BECAUSE FUCKING HANDS, RIGHT??) It’s such a quiet and sad moment, particularly because it’s Michiru putting herself in a vulnerable position, and Haruka refusing what’s being offered.
Now here we are in Stars. From the first episode of the season, we learn how different things are between them, and gods know I WORDS all over everything at the time. What’s so fantastic though is IT’S KEPT GOING. That wasn’t a one-off, it wasn’t an isolated joke, IT’S WHAT HARUKA AND MICHIRU DO NOW. They’ve gone from “oh no we can’t allow ourselves this tiny moment of barest physical comfort” to “three seconds from making out in front of the ‘queen’s throne’”.
I love that this is their reaction to looming death and fear. I love it for a bunch of reasons I”m going to talk about, but I don’t want to let that idea pass without comment. Because make no mistake, Haruka and Michiru are FREAKING THE FUCK OUT. Galaxia is killing this planet as effortless as she killed countless planets before. She’s already killed the Inners. Michiru’s attacks were brushed aside. Haruka’s sword was caught one-handed, cracked, and tossed away effortlessly. They’ve just been hit directly with Galaxia’s power and I’m going to take a guess that it didn’t feel great. But not only is is a logical conclusion that they’re worried, the creators went so far as to give us visual proof.
Like I’ve said repeatedly, details are everything. This is particularly true when it comes to something visual in animation (especially in this time period when everything was done by hand and so required a substantially higher investment). Basically, characters don’t sweat without reason. We’ve seen Haruka and Michiru get their ass handed to them in a myriad of exciting ways. They’ve looked scraped and bloody and beaten and disheveled, but they never sweat. Sweat isn’t a shorthand for “hurt”. It’s shorthand for “nervous”.
Haruka and Michiru look fine and they sound completely relaxed and so not bothered with what’s going on around them, but it’s all a front. Galaxia may or may not be picking that up, but WE do, and that’s the point. It was vitally important that we know two things here:
Haruka and Michiru are seriously concerned.
When they’re seriously concerned, they turn to each other.
This isn’t just breaking the tension by dropping a high energy sex-fueled bomb on the unsuspecting populace, ALTHOUGH THAT ALSO. It’s about Haruka trying to disguise her fear with bravado, and verbally reaching out to Michiru for reassurance. (Note, by the way, that this time it’s HARUKA opening that door.) And Michiru responds immediately. Their banter is charged, but easy. It’s comforting, but intimate. They’re turning this moment of fear that’s outside of themselves into something personal ONLY about themselves. It’s a reminder of all the other times they’ve done this, and survived. It’s a promise for all the things waiting for them when they survive this, too. (”Later, when we’re alone.”) It’s an affirmation of all the truly personal things they’ve shared that are only for them, just in case this time they don’t get to walk away.
This moment is so many things, in so many ways, and it’s wrapped up in nothing but filthy innuendo between two loving and committed badass ladies and it’s beautiful.