Another two weeks, another episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! After last week’s excursion to the fancy ball, we’re back on track with the main story of gathering all the Sailor Scouts. Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into the tale of Sailor Brunette!
I’m convinced that there has to be a Moon Goddess in this show because the only explanation for Usagi not having died yet is divine intervention. Not only that, but near brushes with death usually coincide with plot points hence the fact that she’s saved by Sailor Brunette.
I’m hoping they tie this aspect of her character into the story at some point. It’s yet another indication that despite her flaws, she really is the leader of this team and is able to spot one of her own through some sort of connection she has to them. After her near encounter with death, we go to the opening credits.
After the bitchin guitar solo and poses from the CG Scouts, we cut to the bad guy’s lair, which for some reason is being covered in snow.
The yet to be seen Queen Beyrl is giving one of her minions another chance to prove his incompetence at… something. I still don’t know what the hell any of these schemes are supposed to accomplish, outside of giving the Scouts a chance to hone their skills.
I wonder why they feel the need to conceal Queen Beryl’s appearance within the show. I guess it’s possible they didn’t know she was going to be in the opening, but even so. It’s not like her appearance is anything shocking or revealing. At school, it turns out that Sailor Brunette (Makoto) is a new student who might have been kicked out of her old school for getting into a fight. She’s also supposed to be super strong, which means that everyone in the school fears and avoids her. Wait, what?
Sometimes I’m able to buy the whole “tough guy has no friends” plot point, but it just doesn’t sell here. I have a hard time believing that Usagi is the only one in the school willing to give her a chance because she’s strong. The rumors say she got in a fight. ONE fight! They’re not saying she was part of a gang, nor was a bully, yet they treat her like she Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho, or Ichigo from Bleach. At least those two got into fights on a regular basis! Hell, Yusuke was a straight up street punk who would take lunch money from other students.
Despite the school being full of assholes, Usagi is around to provide some sunshine to Makoto’s life when she finds her by herself at lunchtime.
I love the way the show looks, but without fail there is always something weird in each episode’s animation that really should have been caught. I mean, COME ON!! While Usagi is running around the school grounds, she comes across Makoto who’s all alone on a bench. That’s not the thing that catches her eye though; it’s the badass lunch she’s got! Usagi sees an opening, and moves in for the kill.
While trying to steal food from someone else, the world conspires to show Usagi the error of her ways by putting a baseball on a collision course with her face. Makoto however, the ultimate badass that she is, grabs it with her bare hand and shows the universe who’s not to be fucked with.
Makoto has no idea what forces she has just unleashed, because saving Usagi twice means nothing short of a lifetime attachment to her.
The two of them get along, and end up sharing lunch (by which I mean Usagi mooches off of Makoto). Of course, I wouldn’t want to eat whatever the heck is on Makoto’s fork right here.
I really like Usagi in this scene because we see that she’s able to make anyone happier just by being there. Just being there for Makoto as a friend when no one else is willing to give her a chance speaks volumes for how important Usagi is to the team.
Now that she has her adorable claws firmly within Makoto, Usagi takes Makoto to the arcade where once again, someone else is so much better at the Sailor V game than she is.
I’m pretty sure this is very intentional, and the game is used as a metaphor for the team’s dynamics. None of the scouts would’ve played that game if it wasn’t for Usagi, but they’re much more skilled at it than she is. I feel Usagi still has a ways to go to becoming an effective scout (she’s easily distracted and scared) but once again, it’s her that keeps everything together. While out on the town, they come across a bridal store as well as another oddity in the animation.
We also learn what the monster of the week is going to be.
I scoffed at the idea at first, but this is probably the coolest villain we’ve gotten so far.
I do like it when the show tries to base its villains around people’s insecurities (I gotta have nice jewelry and I gotta do well in school being the obvious ones from the first two episodes), and being obsessed with marriage is as good as any to base your villain on. That said, those two attracted people to their trap, while this one is just some living monster in a dress that kidnaps guys. I’m not even sure if all the guys are supposed to be fiancés. While I do love the design of this character and how well they portray her menace in these scenes, her gimmick doesn’t have too much bearing on her actions and just seems like an interesting coat of paint on a typical bad guy.
Naturally this is the work of one of the bad guys (the one with long brown hair), and he also seems to be aware that Makoto might be a scout, because he sets up a trap specifically for her.
This guy works at the arcade, and Makoto seemed to be smitten with him almost immediately… which the bad guy (Nephrite) seems to have been aware of, I guess. Anyway, Tuxedo Mask sees this happening, and once again proves that he’s probably the most unintentionally uncomfortable character in this entire show.
So let me get this straight. You see someone getting seduced by a person possessed by a bad guy, and instead of breaking them up yourself; you leave them to their own devices and break into a teenage girl’s bedroom. Okay. Whatever. I’m sure Usagi doesn’t have a problem with the fact that you’ve already deduced her secret identity and can invade her privacy at will. While she’s getting taken to the scene of the crime, Luna calls up the others and follows after them.
They eventually reach Makoto, but the bad guys seem to have been expecting them. Maybe they saw Tuxedo Mask bolt in the opposite direction when he saw the evil aura.
So what does this have to do with finding the Silver Crystal? What exactly are the bad guys hoping to accomplish until they get the crystal? Do these non-crystal related missions help they get closer to the crystal? I’m hoping that we’ll find out about this once the main storyline kicks in after getting all the scouts. Hell, even Usagi has no idea what the hell is going on.
Anyway, the bad guys have Makoto and they start berating her for believing in love. This is a very effective scene where we learn that Makoto left her old school because she got her heart broken by someone she had a crush on for a long time. It also turns out that the guy from the arcade that Nephrite possessed looked like the guy who broke her heart, so she feels even worse about not being able to get over him. Nephrite just keeps chipping away at her sense of self-worth and it’s working distressingly well against her. That said, there was one thing in this scene that demanded my immediate attention, and while I wouldn’t call it another animation mistake, it was still a very noticeable.
She’s basically a statue. Doesn’t blink, doesn’t make a sound, and doesn’t even sneer at Makoto’s sad story. I guess she is technically a mannequin, so it’s not all that surprising she doesn’t have reactions like a human would, but it’s pretty distracting. All is not lost for our newest scout however, because Usagi has a clichéd motivational speech!
Maybe this was in the original, but I think this “one and only one” mentality should have really been updated. You say that there’s someone out there for her, but what if she still believed it was the other guy and that she lost her chance forever? Shouldn’t you let her know that she’s a wonderful person with or without a counterpart, and that true love isn’t something being held hostage by one person in the entire world, but can be created and shared with those you hold dear? Just saying. Anyway, the pep talk is enough to motivate Makoto into doing a judo throw on the evil mannequin and declaring that love isn’t a sign of weakness, but one of strength! This newfound resolve causes her to awaken or whatever (there’s now a symbol on her head) and Luna springs into action, tossing here one of those transforming pen thingies.
Thus we get to see her transform into Sailor Jupiter, in what is probably my favorite transformation so far.
After transforming, she immediately shoots out a bolt of lightning that completely destroys the mannequin in a surprisingly gory fashion.
I’m pretty sure this is the third villain that the scouts have killed. Is anyone going to call attention to that? Murder’s okay as long as it’s the bad guy? Oh well, Nephrite GTFOs before he ends up a charred corpse, and the spell is lifted. All the men are now free to return to their significant others!
Now that everyone is safe, Tuxedo Mask ALSO GTFOs without saying a word.
The episode ends with Sailor Jupiter explaining that she feels that it was fate that brought her to this new school, and that she’ll gladly become an official member of the team.
Surprisingly there’s no foreshadowing of the next episode before the credits roll. Instead, they decide to end with Luna informing Sailor Moon that she will be their leader.
Okay! So episode 5 of Sailor Moon Crystal is probably my favorite so far! I think Jupiter is going to be my favorite scout because she’s really tough, yet not to the point of being one dimensional. There’s more to her than just her brawn, and the episode goes a great distance to show us that. I liked the ghost bride as a concept, though she didn’t do much to prevent her own death and I still don’t see how these little schemes help the bad guys in the long run. Great new character, interesting villain, and Usagi is REALLY showing us why she’s the one to lead them. Just one more scout to go (Sailor Other Blonde) and then the plot will finally kick in!
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Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]
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