relativity pudding

Pinch, and then Determination
Pinch, and then Determination

If you’ve watched Sailor Moon S, you’ll remember episode 108. It’s a gem of an episode— Usagi gets drunk at a ball, speaks some hilarious Engrish, and gives her “pudding of relativity” soliloquy.

It’s also the episode in which Professor Tomoe plays a recording of a piece of music: a “waltz” entitled “Hope for the Future,” which he claims to have composed. It’s a truly bizarre moment; not only is this the first and only time Tomoe comes out as a composer, but “Hope for the Future” is nothing like a waltz. It’s ominous, eerie, and oddly familiar as well.

That’s because we’ve heard it once before. Officially titled “Pinchi… Shoshite Ketsui” (“Pinch, and then Determination”), this piece of original scoring debuts in ep. 34, during that pivotal sequence in which Usagi, trapped in a burning elevator shaft by Zoisite, is forced to reveal her identity to Mamoru.

It’s a fantastic piece of music, tense and foreboding, and as far as I can tell, it’s only played these two times in all 200 episodes of the original anime. This is highly unusual, considering how stingy the show was in its scoring and how gratuitously certain pieces of music were recycled. I forever associate it with the “Zoisite elevator scene,” so hearing Professor Tomoe play it on his gramophone and call it “Hope for the Future” is… uncanny, to say the least.