Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13

Now where did we leave off?  Oh yes, a casual murder suicide.  Usagi sliced evil Mamoru on the way to falling on her own sword, but of course, it’s not that morbid in Sailor Moon.  We get a lovely montage of Serenity and Endymion falling in love through lifetimes.  I know we will meet again and fall in love.

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Here’s a run down of the episode, Reincarnation:

Nobody Has a Body

The Legendary Silver Crystal activates where Usagi and Mamoru lay, presumably dead, and grows into a giant lotus blossom which is consumed by Queen Metalia.  She grows, but just into a bigger blob.  Side note: I totally didn’t really we were on Earth!  I thought we were on the North Pole of the moon… but apparently it’s Earth, and Metalia’s evil spreads to cover the earth.

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People become dark, limp, energy-suckers.  Think Hyrule’s Castle Town post Ganondorf takeover.

Even at full power, Metalia is just an amorphous mass?  Threatening… not really.

Luna gets hurt trying to protect Usagi and we get a flashback to Queen Serenity entrusting Luna with Usagi as a charge.  In this flashback, Luna is still a cat.  You all know Luna hasn’t always been a cat, right?  Where’s Luna people body?

Meanwhile…

The senshi, horrified at Usagi’s apparent suicide and Metalia’s shadows spreading throughout the world, do the best they can to fight.  Repeatedly beaten down, flecks of light fall from the sky and give each girl a vision of Usagi.  They hear her voice, draw power from her, and decide to get up and keep on fighting.  This is what this show is all about: love (in this case, in the form of friendship) giving power.

The senshi are convinced Usagi is alive, albeit within Metalia’s blob body.  Venus reached up to an apparition of Usagi’s hand and grabs the holy sword.  (It was left behind when it was a murder weapon.)  To draw Usagi out of Metalia, they like, chuck their transformation pens at her?  I actually love this idea, as silly as it sounds, because these girls need an upgrade.  Venus’s is still different, and that still bothers me.

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I Can’t Do It Alone

Usagi wakes up inside Metalia, Mamoru’s watch having saved her from the sword.  She uses the power of the Legendary Crystal to transport herself and Mamoru out.  Mamoru wakes up too.  Grasping his chest, four gems fall: kunzite, jadeite, nephrite, and zoisite (better known as tanzanite).  Apparitions of his moonlight knights appear to him, confessing that they sacrificed themselves saving him from the sword.

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With an awesome new moon scepter, Usagi attempts to seal Metalia for good.  She can’t do it alone, she admits tearily, and wonders where her friends are.  Mamoru gives her strength, though, saying if her power is not enough, he will support her.  As much as I’ve enjoyed the miracle romance of this episode, I really wanted the senshi to come to her side and do this is true Sailor Moon fashion…

But maybe they will!  After all, the battle’s not over yet.

What did you guys think of Act 13?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8: Thoughts

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FINALLY all of the inner senshi have gathered!  Well, kinda.  It is beyond me why they can’t make the jump from V to Venus, especially when the others seem to be named after planets.  Since this episode is Minako’s, I’ve got lots of thoughts on her.  Let’s get onto it, shall we?

 

Again, masks rule everything

It is so funny how the senshi can look upon Sailor V[enus] in costume and be like, oh hey that’s probably Sailor V?  She’s wearing a slightly different costume though, so we’re not quite sure.  Minako can pull a thin mask out of her pocket and place it around her eyes and suddenly the vision clicks into place.  Sailor Moon Crystal is seemingly full of this– the mask (and even the Sailor Senshi Make-up) clearly doesn’t magically disguise her as I always kind of assumed it did.  Like Tuxedo Mask’s mask, this disguises are just thin veils that seemingly anyone can see through if they really try.

 

On Minako

Well, she’s not the Minako I remember from the original anime.  I love that Minako, because her outgoing, energetic personality really compliments Usagi’s.  The two of them serve as a great foil for the more serious personalities in the friend group.  Now, if you can’t tell by the title of the anime or the series thus far, *spoiler alert: Minako is not actually Princess Serenity.*  Thinking back to Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, the live action series, they fundamentally changed Minako so much that I loved this plot point in that series.  In this representation, I feel that Minako is very confident, but also overly entitled.  I hated hearing everyone call her Princess.  The fact that Artemis knows what’s going on more than Luna does bothered me as well… I always remember Luna being the more authoritative of the two.  Anyway, Minako’s intro story is far from over.  In fact, this episode felt a bit abrupt.  I’m hoping the personality I loved comes out, and I’m looking forward to the real Princess Serenity’s reveal.

I've always thought her Venus Love-Me Chain looked vaguely sex toy-like.  I'm so sorry.

I’ve always thought her Venus Love-Me Chain looked vaguely sex toy-like. I’m so sorry.

We did see a transformation sequence, but without the “Venus Power, Make-Up!” or any kind of summoning call.  Her transformation pen is missing it’s topper as well.  I can’t wait until her tiara arrives instead of the crescent mark which does not belong to her.

 

Speaking of tiaras

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Are we kidding with Sailor Moon’s new tiara transformation?  She looks like she has horns.  Or like, a giant horned bindi.  I hate this one.  When’s the next tiara transformation please?

 

Now let’s talk about these two

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Usako and Mamo-chan!  The relationship between the two of them is really taking off.  Usagi tries to give back the pocket watch she stole accidentally carried off from his apartment, and he reveals that he has something of hers as well.  He tells her to keep it and they will make the exchange next time… meaning, they will be seeing each other again.  Cuteness!

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As Tuxedo Mask (okay, I don’t know much about the rules of honorifics, but why no Tuxedo Kamen-sama in Crystal?) and Sailor Moon, their feelings for each other continue to empower.  Tuxedo Mask is in anguish that he couldn’t save her, and thus jumps in front of her to take the big blast on which the episode ends.  Sailor Moon continues to get braver, more courageous, and righteous in his presence.  She is a better version of herself because of him– isn’t that what love truly is?  She find strength to fight, and tells him to flee, planting this kiss smack on his lips, much to his surprise!

 

Well, with dreams of Endymion and Serenity in both of their heads, I’m sure the details that are bugging me will work their way out soon.  I’m looking forward to seeing V become Venus, though.

What did you guys this of Minako’s official introduction?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6: Thoughts

Every time I watch the opening theme, I see Usagi turn around in the rain and see, from under her umbrella, Mamoru. Every time I see her lock eyes on him, I’m reminded how obsessed I am with this couple. Act 6: Tuxedo Mask really brought this relationship as we know if from the old anime to the new. And of course, some other stuff happened.

 

Everybody Wants to be A Cat

And this cat commands attention!

And this cat commands attention!

I liked watching the moment where Usagi’s mom is shaking the cat toy at Luna, and Luna is totally digging it. The cat life is pretty good, and it’s easy to separate Luna from that… seeing as she’s built a secret base in the arcade without arousing any human suspicion. That place is pretty high tech too… are those stairs floating? Anyway, Luna reveals that she’s from the moon (although I’m not entirely sure why no one’s picked up on that yet) and that the Senshi are going to have to locate the moon princess and the Legendary Silver Crystal. She also announces that she believes Tuxedo Mask is the enemy, which sends Usagi in to such a hissy fit that she flees, and literally passes out.

 

But let’s go back to Mamoru… 

sexy kinda?

sexy kinda?

Who was there to catch Usagi when she fainted, and was there to encourage her to be the best she can be. Guys, isn’t this what love is?!

But like, is Usagi really that dense? See, she says to Tuxedo Mask that she’s the leader, and what I don’t realize is that she’s not revealing that she’s Sailor Moon by saying this. I think it’s obvious, but she doesn’t, and she doesn’t think Tuxedo Mask totally already knows this. When she thinks she can’t transform in front of him, I’m like really? He says he knows. What’s shocking is that she doesn’t realize she’s talking to freaking Mamoru! Only waking up in his bed after the battle has her make the connection.

 

Surrender Now, Or Prepare to Fight

Is this Team Rocket HQ?  Is this the Silph Co. building?  Or is this what helicopter landing pads look like in Japan?

Is this Team Rocket HQ? Is this the Silph Co. building? Or is this what helicopter landing pads look like in Japan?

I found the battle itself very compelling. Jupiter’s green lightening strikes, Mars’s great red flames, and Mercury’s blue gushes of water clashed in a powerful display. Nephrite was hell bent on revenge, though, and he had them right where he wanted in time for Queen Beryl to come down from a vortex in the sky. Despite that, the three attacks were looking badass to me! Usagi thought her powers paled in comparison and if you read my last couple of Sailor Moon Crystal posts, so did I. With a little encouragement from Mamoru, (and a video game hallucination,) Sailor Moon found her desire to protect others was all the power she needed.

 

Moon Healing Escalation

that ain't tinker bell.

tinker bell?

It was SO nice to see Sailor Moon attack without taking her freakin’ tiara off! The animation for the attack was smooth into the battle, which honestly, was kind of a disappointment for me. I must admit; I’m used to the pose-y sequences. Still, the discovery of this attack, and really the episode in general is a good summation of what this series is all about!

 

Venus & Artemis

Luna will get her some new duds, because this is a hipster nightmare right now.

Luna will get her some new duds, because this is a hipster nightmare right now.

Oh hey, Sailor V! We’ve only seen you in a video game before. I hope that means she’ll be joining us next time around…

 

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from this episode because I’m impatient to get the Inner Senshi united, but I absolutely loved it!  It felt the most like the old anime to me so far.  What did you guys think of Act 6: Tuxedo Mask?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 1: Thoughts

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Let me start by saying that Sailor Moon Crystal in concept initially made me nervous. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is one of my favorite shows ever, period. It is hands-down my favorite anime. Although I grew up with the English dub which I now despise, I caught on to the original Japanese at a rather young age. (Thanks, internet!) The anime in its original Japanese (subtitled, as my foreign language skills are limited) is the story that I am used to, accepting of, and love. For some reason, my initial fear was that a new anime series would somehow take away from that. Reading that it would be truer to the manga, I realized my fears were completely without base. I’ve watched the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and had no problem keeping that as a separate entity. With a newfound sense of relief, I was so excited to watch the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal.

Now I haven’t watched the first episode of the original anime terribly recently. Whenever I watch Sailor Moon, I tend to skip to a time when all the senshi are assembled— at very least, the inners. However, I suspect it was within the last year or so, and I remember that episode very well. As soon as I started watching SMC Act 1, I felt good. Usagi was late for school, and she fell down the stairs. That’s my girl! She meets Luna, gets scratched, and removes the bandages, as expected. She’s sent out into the hallway for being late, and (I held my breath through the unfamiliar princess Serenity vision waiting for what did indeed come next!) takes out her lunch because she’s hungry. Love her. She gets a 30 on her test. These are things we know (and in my case, completely love) about Usagi.

The Usagi of Sailor Moon Crystal shows much more composure than the original anime Usagi. She’s almost nicer? The exaggerated movements of the original anime are not here— it is a more graceful show. We have seen her fall once, but she’s already less clumsy than her previous anime incarnation. Even though Kotono Mitsuishi reprises her role (and seriously, thank the lord for that!) giving voice to our heroine, it sounds different, at times, because this Usagi is different. She’s not as… excitable? She’s not, like, yelling as much.

Aside from the overt Serenity foreshadowing, my first big difference comes when Usagi meets Mamoru. Though the meeting is basically the same, the attire is obviously different— he’s standing in a freaking tuxedo when she meets him! Oh you fancy, huh Mamoru? I love that Usagi says “Who wears a tuxedo in the afternoon?” and gives us that moment to laugh, but we’ve kind of only seen Mamoru as Tuxedo Mask in this episode. He was actually better disguised as Mamoru, on the street in sunglasses, than as Tuxedo Kamen-sama with open-eyed mask. The real problem: NO ROSE. Y’all, if I don’t get Tuxedo Mask theme music I don’t know what to do.

Oh, let’s talk music now that I’ve gone there— I love the new theme, but of course I miss Moonlight Densetsu! I think Moon Pride has the intensity of the Sailor Stars theme, so it definitely works. In fact, it’s already stuck in my head.  What was the first closer, Heart Moving? Moonbow invokes more of a Tuxedo Mirage vibe, and I much prefer Tuxedo Mirage to Heart Moving. As a closer, I think it’s perfect. The transformation music is different too, isn’t it? It’s not bad, just different… The new transformation sequence also really highlights the new art style; people kind of look rubbery in it.

Overall, didn’t it feel quick? The battle was just one Moon Tiara Action (I mean, Boomerang, which I’m not on board with) and done! However, as I flip through my copy of the manga, everything seems very true to form— even the word “boomerang,” as mine is a “new cover” version— except the Ami-chan foreshadowing in the end of Act 1. Ah, I love this elemental tie in with the rain! Here, I think the quick pace this series is building to is working to its advantage.

So guys, you can watch new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal every other Saturday— yep, twice per month. I’m not loving this long wait, but I am loving SMC so far! What did you all think?!