Naoko Takeuchi

Sailor Moon Crystal: Infinity 6

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The inner and outers senshi finally ally– kind of.  When Pluto’s Dead Scream stops the enemy attack, Neptune and Uranus show up.  Sailor Moon transforms into Princess Serenity before their eyes, and the three outer senshi bow down before her.  It’s not that they’re ready to join the inners, but at least we know they’re all on the same team.

Side note: I was totally wrong about Pluto.  She still remembers her Small Lady, reborn and everything.

Speaking of Chibiusa, she goes to hang out with her friend Hotaru only to discover the secret of Hotaru’s science-ified body.  She runs away in fear, but immediately regrets it, knowing she’s hurt her friend.  Hotaru’s father is revealed to be the bad guy, if you couldn’t tell already.

Kaorinite calls on Cyprine to do what the other Witches 5 could not.  When hit by a Moon Spiral Heat Attack, she splits into herself and Ptiol.  Prepare for trouble; make it double.

We know that the outer senshi have greater power than the inner, and it’s definitely time for some upgrades.  While all the senshi are brainwashed, Sailor Moon, Chibi Moon, and Tuxedo Mask remain.  Sailor Moon asks them to lend her their power, and the holy grail appears.  It’s time for something major!

Thoughts?!

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Sailor Moon Crystal: Infinity 5

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I happen to think this was an amazing episode of Sailor Moon Crystal!  We’ve got the whole cast of characters in play here– and all but Sailor Saturn awakened!

Usagi still is troubled by Haruka and Michiru aka Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune not fighting alongside the inner senshi.  This is one of the reasons why I love Usagi– to her, it’s simple: they are our allies and we should fight together.  Haruka and Michiru have their reasons, but it seems Haruka is struggling with them.  When the senshi are in trouble, even Michiru is quick to recognize their allies are in trouble.  Perhaps a union is not far off.

Sailor Chibi Moon had a wonderful episode.  She is finally given power for a Pink Sugar Heart Attack!  I love that move.  Too bad it, along with all of the inner senshi’s attacks, did nothing to stop the Little Shop of Horrors-esque Tellu.

What did stop Tellu?  DEAD SCREAM.  That’s right, Sailor Pluto!  So happy to see her.  It’s been nice to see Setsuna instead of Sailor Pluto.  This week, Chibiusa noticed Setsuna in passing.  Since Chibiusa and Pluto are close in the future, this must be odd– a newly awakened Sailor Pluto and Setsuna probably don’t know the little princess.

We got satisfyingly abbreviated transformation sequences from everyone who is currently a sailor senshi.  We got a lot of attacks that need upgrading, so that means more soon!  I missed Deep Submerge & World Shaking, but can I just say again how much I loved that Dead Scream?!

Thoughts?!

Sailor Moon Crystal: Infinity 4

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Act 31 brought a lot of new things, including a new ending song!  Chibiusa is adorable in this new end theme, and she was actually pretty great in Act 31 as well.  It was absolutely delightful to watch Usagi and Mamoru do her little art project for her and she was sweet pretending to be asleep so they could make up.  Usagi & Mamoru are a forever favorite pairing– I don’t love that Mamo-chan calls her Usa instead of Usako in this anime, though.  Also, I do think it’s weird that Mamoru, Usagi, and Chibiusa all sleep in his bed…

We (okay, actually, the sailor senshi) finally learn that Haruka and Michiru are Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune.  We see their transformation sequences which are very true to the original if you ask me.  I think we’ve also cleared up the question that Haruka is indeed female.  We now know of two talismans– Michiru’s mirror and Haruka’s sword.

We also meet Setsuna!  She looks familiar, huh guys?!  I can’t wait to see more sailor senshi in action…  Thoughts?!

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 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 16

This image of Ami actually reminds me of Michiru.  Michiru♥♥♥♥

This image of Ami actually reminds me of Michiru. Ah, Michiru♥

I’ve been loving these senshi-centric episodes, and Act 16 was all about Ami-chan!

There was no lack of our main girl, Usagi, but it was a tough episode for her.  Her relationship with Chibiusa at first is so hard to watch.  It’s hard to see Usagi so upset, and even Mamoru can’t cheer her up.  We do learn a bit more of Chibiusa’s reason for showing up.  We also learn that Mamoru has a little Tuxedo Mask puppet.  Hilarious.

The third oldest Spectre Sister shows up, Berthier.  When Ami uses her connection with water to find a leak in some pipes, Berthier gets in her head, saying dowsing without a crystal is a sign of evil.  She then shows up on TV, pantsless, to challenge Ami to a chess match.  Seriously, the third-ranked chess champion challenges a random school girl to a chess match?  In a bathing suit and a coat?  Good disguise, Berthier.

Keep your eyes on that chess board.  Did anyone else notice that Ami was black and Berthier was white when they shook hands?  When the game started, though, Berthier was black and Ami was white.  Also, in the freeze frame after Ami drops her white pawn… we see her in front of black again.  Oops!

The battle was quick.  Ami got a cool new move, Shine Snow Illusion, to get rid of Berthier’s baddies.  Berthier traps her in a water sphere, like the fire sphere Mars was captured in.  A quick Venus Love-Me Chain and Moon Princess Halation from Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon who step in to the rescue take care of Berthier.  (Hey, where’s Jupiter?)  Rubeus, though, captures Ami in the water sphere.

The girls didn’t seem too torn up about poor Mars being taken, but down two senshi, they’ve got to be worried.  Although I hate to see these girls get captured, I love the character-specific episodes!  Jupiter’s up next!

What did you all think of Act 16?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10: Thoughts

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Act 10 – Moon, was a visually lovely episode that did a lot to advance the storyline!  With the inner senshi assembled and mysteries starting to unfurl, Sailor Moon Crystal is finally establishing itself as a distinct piece of the Sailor Moon collective.  I’m in.  I was in before, but I think I’m taking it a lot more seriously now.  Let’s talk about Act 10.

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Okay, remember what I was complaining about last episode?  I guess someone was listening to me, because we finally got to see the girls in logical street clothes.  This is a classic Usagi outfit too.  I appreciated this.

Venus is still acting like a know-it-all if you ask me, but that’ll fade now that the rest of the senshi have past life memories.

This was my favorite scene simply because it reminded me of the original Sailor Moon anime and the beginning notes of Moonlight Densetsu played in my head...

This was my favorite scene simply because it reminded me of the original Sailor Moon anime and the beginning notes of Moonlight Densetsu played in my head…

A trip to the moon poses many logistical questions that were not lost on resident brain, Ami-chan.  You’ve got to love how they at least addressed that this is semi-scientific, but whatever they went there by magic.  I was pleased with holographic Queen Serenity’s explanation of their past lives taking place before the Earth cycle started over.  What begs questioning is:

  • Why is Queen Serenity’s daughter’s name Princess Serenity?  Why would she name her that?  Who does she think she is, Lorelai Gilmore?
  • Why have no scientists discovered remains of civilization on the moon?  For the record, completely LOVED that they were directed to land in Mare Serenitatis, the Sea of Serenity.  This is an actual moon location.  Don’t you think this show is brilliant?!
  • What does it mean when Queen Serenity says that they were reborn as human females this time?  I guess that’s the big takeaway of the episode, the purpose of their rebirth.

The most interesting reveal to me in this episode was the Four Kings of Heaven.  The four generals that serve Queen Beryl and terrorize the Sailor Senshi are brainwashed versions of the four guardians of Prince Endymion.  Oh, and also, in past lives these four were in love with the four inner senshi.  (Does this make it canon, guys?!)

  • Jadeite, the knight of patience and harmony, was previously in love with Sailor Mars.
  • Nephrite, the knight of intelligence and comfort, was previously in love with Sailor Jupiter.
  • Zoisite, the knight of purification and healing, was previously in love with Sailor Mercury.
  • Kunzite, the knight of purity and affection, was previously in love with Sailor Venus.

I could talk about this all day.  I’m so interested in these pairings and if anymore is to come of them in Sailor Moon Crystal.

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As for attacks, Sailor Moon’s Moon Healing Escalation came from SPACE in this episode, which was pretty neat.  This is also the first time we’ve seen a Sailor Planet Attack and it was awesome.

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Actual important things that come from this episode include the Legendary Silver Crystal, now a handy dandy necklace thanks to Usagi’s dad, is just that at the moment.  It’s power resides in Mamoru.  Speaking of Mamoru, he’s returning to Earth a brainwashed Beryl supported.  This is going to be complicated.

I don’t think I can wait until December for a new episode!

What did you guys think of Act 10?