Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27

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I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t realize Sailor Moon Crystal was starting up again.  Thankfully, Twitter came through for me yesterday morning, and starting season 3 was the first thing I did when I got home from work.

There was very little division between seasons 1 and 2, and the break has absolutely helped this show.  I sort of disparaged Sailor Moon Crystal in comparison to my beloved Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.  Season 3 seems to fix everything I hated about the previous seasons.  The what I refer to as “noodle-y” look to the characters, especially evident in the transformation sequences, has been mitigated.  The characters feel more like themselves– I love Usagi waking up late and panicking; this is a given for Sailor Moon.  This is my favorite arc now, so I think I’m going to like a lot of things!

What maybe didn’t work for me is that I don’t love the way my favorite character looks.  I’m a biiiig fan of Michiru, but her eyelashes were weird so I felt like she just wasn’t herself.  I’m going to have to ease into the Michiru and Haruka of this universe– the helicopters threw me off!  Also, I’m confused about the pronoun used for Haruka.  I watched on Hulu and Haruka was consistently referred to as “he.”  Is this a preference thing, a poor translation, or does everyone just assume she’s a guy?

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I guess we haven’t quite met Hotaru yet.  I’m so excited for this season– this anime is already  so much better AND we’re dealing with my favorite arc.

What did you guys think?!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26

It’s never weird for people to just start disappearing in Sailor Moon, and after a big attack from Sailor Moon, I’m not surprised that both she and Nemesis are no where to be seen.  The inner senshi are surprised, though, because Sailor Moon Crystal hasn’t been kind enough to grant them the ability to think for themselves.  Then Tuxedo Mask’s hands start glowing and he disappears too.

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Neo Queen Serenity awakens, kisses her king and brings him back to his body.  This is a twist on a classic I can get on board with!  Little Chibiusa is so pumped to see her mom, who promptly reveals that the Nemesis they saw was just an illusion and Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask got sucked toward the real planet.  She also reveals that she has no guardian powers and sends her child to fight alongside Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask.  No one sees a problem with this.  Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter stay behind because they don’t get to do anything.  Oh, and Pluto is apparently really dead.

understatement of the year, NQS.

understatement of the year, NQS.

There’s got to be a balance between with Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask love fest… as much as it’s always worked for me in the original anime, I don’t see Crystal’s Sailor Moon as the same one I knew.  She says she can only access her power in Tuxedo Mask’s presence and I’m just not okay with this.  As they charge toward the planet Nemesis, which threatens to consume the solar system, (but is Nemesis even in our solar system?) Sailor Chibi Moon appears.  Moon and Chibi Moon hurl a double Moon Princess Halation and destroy Nemesis.

It’s pretty quick.  Neo Queen Serenity dubs Sailor Moon the Guardian of Mystery, which I really love.  She grants her cosmic power and a new compact and scepter.  She says she can’t meet her past self because it will change history, then decides to anyway.  I’ve never seen anyone so pumped to see their self!  Chibiusa leaves, but then comes back to be trained.  And that’s the end of Act 26.

The big question, begged further by à bientôt, is: Is Sailor Moon Crystal over?  If so, was it worth it?  We’ll never get to see Haruka or Michiru (or really Setsuna since we’ve only seen her as Pluto), or Hotaru.  We’ll never see what Sailor Moon’s cosmic powers can do.  From a manga perspective, I was looking forward to a more adherent story (guess I’ll just have to crack my manga open!) to see the Amazoness Quartet revealed as Chibi Moon’s team of senshi– this is one detail that I always wish was carried into the previous anime!

If anything, I’m glad Sailor Moon is back on people’s minds.  Thoughts?!  News?!  Leave me some comments!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25

Hey guys!  I hope you all had lovely holiday weekends.  I am playing a lot of catch up with work, sleep, and my shows.  I finally got around to watching this weekend’s Sailor Moon Crystal and FINALLY a great episode!

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In this, the penultimate episode of the arc, we got to witness the first transformation of Sailor Chibi Moon!  Though we haven’t named her yet… anyone notice that Crystal is a lot more fluid with names than the original anime ever was?  Sailor Moon can be Usagi transformed or not– this never happened before.

Anyway, let’s talk about Pluto.  Last we saw her, she left Diana to guard the door of space-time to join the fight.  With Demande poised to destroy the world by touching the past Legendary Silver Crystal to the present, Pluto seemed to take issue more than most.  Actually, all the other senshi are, characteristically, passed out.  Pluto demonstrates that not only does she have power, but that it’s a freaking cool one– she stops time!  It was awesome.  Everything freezes including Nemesis, then important people start to unfreeze– Usagi, Rei, Ami, Minako, Makoto, Mamoru, the King… the cats, Black Lady… wait, what’s even frozen anymore?  Anyway, Usagi goes and snatches the silver crystals from the one still frozen in time, Demande.  Don’t try to keep track of these two crystals, though, ’cause you really won’t see them again in the episode.

The scene unfreezes and turns sour when Pluto remembers the words of Neo Queen Serenity for performing this taboo– she will, and I quote, “probably destroy herself.”  Probably?!  She apparently destroyed her lungs, because her death involves a lot of cuoffing, Pluto plays dead for the rest of the episode, but I’m honestly not convinced.  Witnessing this scene snaps Chibiusa out of her state of temporary evil and awakens her as Sailor Chibi Moon– a third and future Legendary Silver Crystal is born from her tears.

Sailor Moon transforms again presumably with one of the crystals secure in her brooch and the senshi participate (finally!) in defeating Wiseman/Nemesis.  Only they don’t because there’s one act left.  Demande is finally destroyed and the senshi (except Pluto who is still dead) are enveloped in the malefic black crystal’s warping energy.  Wiseman is revealed to be Death Phantom… I’m sorry, didn’t we know this already?  And now we’re ready for a real end to this battle.

I happened to love this episode.  What did you all think?!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 24

I knew this was going to be one of those annoying episode in which we return to a battle already in progress but do no finish the battle before the episode is out.  There is a reason I binge-stream TV and it is to avoid these such episodes!  Regardless, I was pretty involved waiting for the oncoming arc resolution.  Here’s where we are:

Black Lady is creepily kissing her father and literally no one has a problem with it.  In fact, it kind of calms Sailor Moon into tapping into her power.  All joking aside, this is the great thing about Usagi/Sailor Moon as a character: she is capable of such empathy.  In Black Lady’s attempts to destroy the world, Sailor Moon sees a loved one in pain.  She sees the errors of her own ways.  She sees someone who needs her help.  She activates her Legendary Silver Crystal that isn’t supposed to work in the future by way of the Legendary Silver Crystal of the future and she fights.  The same can’t be said for her friends.  The inner senshi, have been quickly subdued by the evil eye Wiseman lent Demande.

This evil eye also lets Demande see through Wiseman’s hypnotic suggestions.  He quells his brother Saphir by, I believe, killing him.  He tries to unmask Wiseman.  Turns out the cloaked figure is just a corpse prop; the real Wiseman is fused with the planet of Nemesis itself and it crushing the Crystal Palace.  Sailor Moon is holding steady, though.

Meanwhile, at the door of space-time, Pluto is in turmoil.  She knows the senshi need her help and so badly wishes to fight beside them.  Her oath to always guard the door keeps her in place.  What a sweetheart, but come on girl, just go!  Diana arrives to do one of the only useful things the felines have done in SMC and relieves Pluto of her duties at the door.  Diana stands guard while Pluto joins the fight.

kitten cuddles and a killer top knot.  could Pluto be any cooler?

kitten cuddles and a killer top knot. could Pluto be any cooler?

Only Sailor Moon can’t hold out much longer.  Demande might be convinced of the power of the Legendary Silver Crystal, but Sailor Moon doesn’t think she can stave off Nemesis.  She just wants Chibiusa back and doesn’t want to live in a world without her.  She tells Black Lady her life is hers if she wants it; the Silver Crystals are hers.  Tuxedo Mask snatches her Silver Crystal from her and kind of whacks her with the Cutie Moon Rod.  Something has changed within him, though… the hypnosis is wearing off?

Black Lady gets her hands on both Legendary Silver Crystals only briefly, as Demande snatches them from her.  In a sudden, but admittedly predictable, utterance, Pluto reveals that touching the two crystals together will destroy the world.

Cool.  So, with high stakes, I’m expecting something heroic from the senshi!  What do you all think?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23

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This weekend’s Sailor Moon Crystal was really one of those building episodes.  The whole space/time/warped dimensions thing is giving me a great Doctor Who feel, but I feel like it’s time to get on to wrapping up the arc.  Act 23 did have one big reveal, though, in the form of Black Lady.

I’m pleased to finally see her, because Sailor Moon fans from way back knew she was coming.  I thought we’d go the whole episode without having her introduced to us, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that wasn’t the case!  We know there is a fair amount of nonsense in the world of Sailor Moon– a lot of suspension of of disbelief on the fact that transformed or untransformed, these people look exactly the same.  I think most of us realized this older (evil) version of Small Lady was indeed a warped Chibiusa.  There was a little ooh she looks so familiar, but mostly they got to the point.  That’s progress!

One MAJOR problem I’m having is with the blatant Electra Complex Black Lady is displaying.  Too much!

For plot progression, Wise Man has clearly imparted his will on Black Lady and his old play things are even concerned.  Demande and Saphir are dubious of both Wise Man and Black Lady, especially since their brother Rubeus met his demise.  These two are also against the total destruction of earth, which is more than can be said for Wise Man and Black Lady.  You know things are really bad when the original bad guys think it’s too much.

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I’m still so happy to see the senshi back together and even Pluto joining in to support Usagi.  Usagi, of course, thinks it’s a great idea to go into the storm that swallowed Chibiusa and Tuxedo Mask but promptly passes out.  She has a few nice moments back home with her friends, but soon thoughts of Chibiusa and Mamoru disturb her happiness– she needs them back for the picture to be complete.  Is it just me, or is she hallucinating these lovely memories of Chibiusa?  We literally never saw them peaceful together.  Either a lot happened behind the scenes– which seems unlikely due to the pace of this show– or Usagi is imagining a future rather than remembering a past.

I hate to complain (more), but why did we watch 5 full transformation scenes back-to-back in this episode?  As my impatience grows, my nostalgia keeps me clinging to Crystal.  The end of the Arc stretches on, but promises a big finish with Neo Queen Serenity.  I can’t say I’m not intrigued there!

What are your thoughts, Sailor Moon fans?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21

I must admit, I was quite impatient watching this episode.  The pacing of Crystal has just never quite agreed with me… which is completely weird, because the original anime which holds such a special place in my heart has filler after filler episode of little battles.  Different time, though!  Maybe now that I’m already in love with Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, I’m always going to be critical of the reboot.

Truthfully, Act 21 had a lot of plot advancing points.  Let’s talk about some things!

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So, Usagi gets captured leaving Venus as the last senshi standing.  I happen to think it’s hilarious that she spends the rest of the episode hanging out with three cats and two Tuxedo Masks.

Prince Demande (whose name is the French word to ask) is Usagi‘s captor.  She wakes up to find herself dressed in a gown with gossamer wings.  She sees a hologram of Neo Queen Serenity and nearly recognizes it as herself.  Prince Demande basically tells her his backstory and reveals that he’s creepily into Neo Queen Serenity/her.  He kisses her.  She pushes him away and tries to transform as a defense mechanism.  She can’t, though, as the malefic black crystal permeates there.

She has a little revelation then, that perhaps her doubts about herself and Mamoru hindered her use of the legendary silver crystal.  She recognizes that she is the future Neo Queen Serenity and that she isn’t alone.

AmiRei, and Makoto awaken in the darkness.  They try to transform too, but are paralyzed by the power of the malefic black crystal.

Venus knows they need the legendary silver crystal’s power to rejoin the senshi and defeat the back moon, but without Usagi or Serenity to use it, they’re at al loss for what to do.  Luna is the only one who has an idea: Chibiusa.  Alas, Small Lady has not power according to Endymion.  The King goes to Sailor Pluto for help!  Yeah, girl, gettin’ off the bench!

Chibiusa feels that everything that happened is all her fault.  She goes to see her only friend, Pluto, to witness her father enlisting her help.  She loses her key to the space-time door and comes face to face with the Wiseman, who hypnotically recruits her…

So, Black Lady soon!  I’m so looking forward to the next Arc after this, so I’m eager to get on with this one.

What did you guys think of the latest Sailor Moon Crystal?

SMC: Crystal Tokyo

When we last left out senshi, we were in 30th Century Crystal Tokyo about to unravel some major truths.  In this Act, King Endymion spills all.

King Endymion, Chibiusa’s papa, introduces himself and explains away his spectral state merely by saying his body is unconscious in another room.  Add astral projection to cool tricks Tuxedo Mask can pull!  And yes, he unveils that he is future Tuxedo Mask and future Usagi, Neo Queen Serenity, is in the crystal unconscious, and finally that Chibiusa is their future daughter.  Everyone is thoroughly embarrassed.  Usako/Mamo-chan is still a rather new relationship and they are now completely aware that they marry and have a child.  That’s either a lot of pressure or a lot of pressure off.

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Little Diana is also revealed to be the daughter of Luna and Artemis.  The cats are also adorably embarrassed.

Then things go all Back to the Future and Usagi and Mamoru start to fade out because they can’t be in two places at once, so King Endymion hurries them all back to the past.

Relations are strengthened with Sailor Pluto.

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There’s a fantastic comedic moment with Sailor Venus, that really reminds me of the original anime.  I mean, I miss the other senshi, but their absence has really allowed Venus to shine!

There are a few battles… only one physical.  Tuxedo Mask pledged to his future self to protect Chibiusa with his life, but Usagi feels slighted in his treatment of her.  She kind of snaps, and I don’t blame her!  She’s still a more self-aware Usagi, but she deserves this moment in my opinion.  The physical battle comes back in the future, where Usagi remembers her Moon Princess Halation won’t work, as her past silver crystal doesn’t work in the future.  It’s about time for Usagi and Mamoru to make up and a new attack to be born out of their love, if you ask me!  We’ll see if that happens in a couple weeks, though.

You know what I’m thinking… what are you?!

Sailor Moon Crystal: Act 19

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Let’s do the time warp again!

Okay, love the title of this episode but only because it makes me think of Rocky Horror. The thing about Crystal and the pacing is that throwing time travel at you is not necessarily disarming. Sailor Pluto is unique among the senshi. She’s technically the first of the outer senshi we’ve seen. So, because I’m coming at this having all of the original anime under my belt, I’m warning you all right now: spoilers abound!

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Sailor Pluto at this point is not much of a character.  I have always been concerned about her in a post-Pluto world, being that it’s sadly been de-planetized.  Does is actually make more sense now?  Guys, Sailor Moon is so smart.

We know she’s the solitary guard of the Door of Space-Time. We know she wears an awesome belt of keys around her waist. We cannot fully appreciate Setsuna, because we have yet to even meet Setsuna. We do know that Pluto has a soft spot for Chibiusa.

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Dead Scream seemed way more aggressive in Crystal than it ever was in the original anime, and yet completely not as badass.

We learn Chibiusa is the princess of 30th century Crystal Tokyo. I feel like important things, like Pluto’s introduction, happen so fast in this anime, but some things happen so painfully slowly. This has been my experience with Chibiusa. We literally just learned she’s from the future. We still don’t know for sure who her parents are, but you’d have to be blind and stupid not to know by now. Chibiusa’s been so scared for so long that everyone’s been captured and no one’s been helped. It’s been annoying.

Speaking of annoying, let’s briefly touch on the relationship between Chibiusa and Mamoru. This annoyed me in the original anime (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) as well, but in different ways.

  • Crystal’s Usagi is more mature and self-aware. She can express to Mamoru that she feels jealous and insecure. I love this. I’ve never seen Usagi like this before!
  • Crystal’s Chibiusa is a baby. She’s not malicious, but she’s not mischievous like BSSM’s Chibiusa either. Because she’s not playing up, it feels weirder that she’s so drawn to Mamoru.
  • Crystal’s Mamoru is not inappropriate, by any standards, but he plays to her more than BSSM’s Mamoru. He buys into her immaturity. In a lot of ways, BSSM’s Mamoru is an innocent bystander, while Crystal’s is an active participant.

Okay, we meet a couple of one-off baddies that even Sailor Moon’s not concerned about. We’re left on the moon in the Crystal Palace with a couple new characters: adorable Diana and a Tuxedo Mask look alike. I’m pleased to see Diana worked into the story finally— she goes hand-in-hand with Chibiusa for me. I’m also pleased to see that we should finally find out who Chibiusa’s parents are soon.  And who does fairy tale allusions better than Sailor Moon?  Love that Sleeping Beauty-esque scene.

I had severely mixed feelings about this episode, though. Thoughts?!

Sailor Moon Crystal: Act 18

I feel like the senshi fly more in Crystal than they ever did in the original anime.

I feel like the senshi fly more in Crystal than they ever did in the original anime.

Act 18 was a bit slow to get rolling for me.  It’s hard to believe Chibiusa’s been around for so long and her big reveal just happened at the end of this episode.  I’m really missing Ami and Rei… it’s been an awful long time without them!  I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about Mako-chan by next week too.  Even though it’s basically just Usagi and Minako holding down the fort right now, I liked so many characters in this episode.  So, let’s talk about them this time.

Usagi/Sailor Moon

Not remarkable this episode.  She cried; she saved the day.

Calaveras

Ah, the second eldest Spectre sister finally makes an appearance.  She’s a medium– a channeler, and the premise of the episode is that channelling has become a world craze.  She hypnotizes everyone to embrace the black moon.  Calaveras also channels her sisters so they may all attack together.  This, I loved.  I also loved that she was defeated before capturing Venus.

Minako/Venus

Her traits as a leader were very evident in this episode.  She takes the loss of Jupiter hard, but her reactions are not emotional like Usagi.  She feels responsible for letting Jupiter get captured and steps up as a leader to get to the bottom of the situation.  It’s Minako who decides they need to confront Chibiusa straight up, after all this useless back and forth they’ve had about it.  As I said before, she doesn’t get captured!  She also gets a nifty new attack, Rolling Heart Vibration.  And finally, she gets this hilarious line:

Slayyyy, Minako.

Slayyyy, Minako.

Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask

Not useless in this episode!  He’s still a bit too sympathetic to Chibiusa, if you ask me, but he remains firmly on Usagi’s side.  We find out that he can do a little channelling of his own, and he gets some advice from Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite.  He also gets an attack–  Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber!

Two senshi down, but this hero network is strong.

Two senshi down, but this hero network is strong.

Naru

Naru surprised me this time around.  I never put a lot of stock in her, but really her friendship with Usagi is completely usurped by Sailor Moon’s responsibilities.  Naru was sweet, recognizing that Usagi has things going on that she may not understand. Even still, she tried to be there for her.

Chibiusa

Ta-da!  She’s from the future!  Did anybody honestly not know that?  She was a brat this episode, though, let’s be honest.

Alright guys, let me know what you thought of Act 18!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 – Secret

Though the full title of this weekend’s Sailor Moon Crystal is “Secret – Jupiter,” I think the secret part is more about Chibiusa.  She shared the spotlight for this episode and maybe even over-shadowed Makoto.  For such a fast-paced first arc, this one is taking a long time to unfold.  The girls just can’t figure Chibiusa out!

Mamoru knows she is not an enemy.  In this episode, she and Usagi had some nice moments amongst their competitive ones. Chibiusa sent Luna-P and her Tuxedo Mask doll to try to make Usagi feel better in the wake of losing two of her friends.  In addition, though their time in the arcade was a lot of one-upping each other, it also revealed their shared interests and personality traits.

It’s increasingly obvious, especially through the flashes of destruction we see through Chibiusa’s eyes, that she’s struggling and needs help from the senshi.  They seem to be realizing this too.

The girls conclude that Chibiusa is the key to this Black Moon mystery.  Kind of spot on, eh?

The girls conclude that Chibiusa is the key to this Black Moon mystery. Kind of spot on, eh?

We get to see some of Luna-P’s features and Chibiusa’s umbrella magic.  Asanuma (Mamoru and Makoto’s friend) sees some of Luna-P’s tricks and overhears parts of Usagi and Mamoru’s conversation including Luna speaking.  He runs into Makoto afterward.

Sailor Moon Crystal Makoto really makes me love Makoto.  I appreciate what a well-rounded person she is more– her love of homemaking especially.

This rose tea is so perfectly Makoto!

This rose tea is so perfectly Makoto!

Anyway, Asanuma finds it odd that Makoto, who is suffering from a cold (of sorts, thanks to the Black Moon), is statically charged.  He blurts out the other stuff he over heard and Makoto tells him the truth– they are destined to fight for good. He wants to protect her, and she gives him a weird forehead kiss which I’m not sure is supposed to be romantic… or like, motherly?  He promises not to repeat any of what he heard.

Then Petz attacks with droid people taking over the city while a typhoon rages outside.  I remember Petz better than any of the Spectre sisters from the original anime, but she really doesn’t make an impression here.  Jupiter hurls both a Flower Hurricane and a Sparkling Wide Pressure at her before she meets her end with Sailor Moon’s Moon Princess Halation.  Jupiter is caught in an electric bubble and captured, though.

And then there were two.

I’m dying to hear what you guys thought of this episode, and the arc in general so far!  Leave me some comments, Sailor Moon fans!