We’re back once again to take a look at Sailor Moon Crystal! Will we finally get introduced to Sailor Other Blonde? Probably not, considering this episode is called “Tuxedo Mask.” Either way, let’s see what crazy adventure the Scouts find themselves in this time!
This episode picks up right where the last one left off with Usagi becoming the OFFICIAL leader of the Scouts, as well as getting a new weapon to fight against the forces of darkness!
We then go immediately to the credits which has something odd in it this time.
I have no idea if this is foreshadowing, or just another animation mistake. Considering this show’s track recorder with the former, I’m going to guess someone messed up. The episode begins with… I’m guessing the moon kingdom (I really don’t know much about this franchise outside this one show) being attacked by the slowest revolutionaries in the world.
It turns out to be another dream, but this time it was Tuxedo Mask who was granted visions of the Moon! Apparently he’s been having them for a while and feels that he needs the Legendary Silver Crystal to help whoever it was that he sees in his dreams.
I’m hoping they get around to explaining this “Moon Kingdom” stuff at some point. I’m guessing that Usagi is the Princess, and that’s the queen. That said, does this mean that Usagi was adopted? No answers yet, but for now we cut to Usagi who’s actually making it to school on time. What’s her secret? SHE’S HAVING HORRIFIC NIGHTMARES THAT FORCE HER AWAKE!!!
She’s actually having dreams about some guy on the moon who looks alot like Tuxedo Mask. Wait, she’s dreaming about him, and he’s having moon dreams? Does this mean he’s going to become a Sailor Scout!? While walking with Ami (Sailor Mercury) and Makoto (Sailor Jupiter), she bumps into Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask) but this time it’s in front of her friends so she gets really embarrassed about it. The guy splits while Makoto is making fun of Usagi for liking the guy, but then Ami draws their attention to a nearby television where they’re talking about Tuxedo Mask. Apparently the guy sent a manifesto to the station, letting them know that he’s been committing crimes and will continue to do so until the Legendary Silver Crystal is in his possession!!
His plan seems to be to get the public interested in the Crystal in order to draw it out from wherever it’s hiding. Unfortunately for him and everyone else, the bad guys get wind of this (apparently they watch as much TV as I do), and the long haired blonde (Zoisite) begs Queen Beryl for a chance to use this to their advantage.
I’m glad we won’t have to pretend we don’t see her in the opening anymore. Right off the bat, I like her a lot. The design is interesting, while still being menacing. What the hell is the boomerang on her forehead for? Why are spikes coming out of her shoulders? Whatever the reasons, I bet their awesome, and I hope the show spends some time to show us what her motivations are. We cut back to Earth (assuming the bad guys aren’t on Earth), where the Sailor Scouts are having a meeting in the arcade. Wait, what?
Whatever reason they have for congregating in the arcade, they’re there to listen to Luna FINALLY explain some stuff about who the Scouts are. Basically, the bad guys are looking for the Silver Crystal to wake up some evil creature. I’m not sure, but I think it’s a giant purple cloud. The Crystal is supposedly powerful enough to blow up entire planets (*cough* infinity gem *cough*) which is why they can’t let it fall into the enemy’s hands. They ALSO need to find the Moon Princess (*cough* Usagi *cough*) and protect her as well.
There are still a few questions the show has yet to answer. For instance, how did any of this get started? Why is the Princess of the Moon somewhere on Earth, as well as the Crystal? If the four of them were “awakened” as Luna put it, then they have to have some connection to the moon, right? What exactly is that connection? Once the find both the Princess and the Crystal, will they have to go on an all-out war with the bad guys? Do they have to return the two of them to the moon? Maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but these are some simple questions that I would like to be answered sooner rather than later. Also, how is it that the Scouts went this long before questioning the talking cat about why the hell they’re dressing up and kicking ass? They seem pretty willing to go along with all this considering it could get them killed at any point. Anyway, while the Scouts are letting this new information wash over them, Usagi looks over to the Sailor V game (which is on or some reason) and sees something strange.
No one else notices the game talking to her, so she tries to pretend it didn’t happen, and leaves the arcade with the rest of the team. The next day, there is a show on TV with an expert discussing the Legendary Silver Crystal. It’s pretty obvious that the woman who’s the “expert” is Zoisite in drag (because these guys really like to do that) and proceeds to hypnotize the entire town into looking for the Crystal. Wait, what?
I’m still not getting a sense of the enemy’s strength, or even the strength of the Scouts. Maybe I’m focusing too much on the action aspects of this show when it’s more about the teamwork and the romance. Still, it’d be nice to know why one of their plans involved evil jewelry that possesses people when they could have just gone on TV and done the same thing, only to a wider audience.
Seeing that this is clearly the work those assholes who keep pull crap like this, Luna calls everyone back to the arcade where we learn that that is where her secret computer lab is.
They go down to Luna’s bunker and check the computers to see where the hypnotizing signal is coming from. In case it wasn’t obvious already, it’s coming from the TV station.
Luna thinks that Tuxedo Mask is involved in the plot which causes Usagi to have an angry outburst and run away from the team who go to the TV station to do their jobs.
Yeah, they make to the tower and confront Zoisite on the roof, but only after stopping the signal off screen. Okay… the three of them transform and begin the fight with Zoisite while Usagi is just wandering around. Not only that, but for some reason she’s really dizzy and weakened.
Sensing that Usagi is weak and helpless, our masked hero rushes to save her. You know, Tuxedo Mask wouldn’t be so off-putting if he ever appeared when Usagi WASN’T in a state where she was helpless. The scene they have together is actually the best one so far because he doesn’t bolt the moment she’s back on her feet. He sticks around to assure her that he’s not the bad guy and that the team really does need her. It’s the first time I can recall they had a real conversation that either wasn’t under false pretenses or happening when Usagi was passed out or severely weakened. Tuxedo Mask basically tells her what I said in the last recap (she’s not the strongest, but she brings everybody together) and she finally realizes what she has to do.
While this is happening, we get to see the Sailor Scouts try to make short work of Zoisite.
Despite how much damage they’re able to cause, they still can’t seem to land a hit on Zoisite and end up being defeated by him.
Things get even worse for them because Queen Beryl comes from the sky to fuck shit up for our helpless heroes.
Seriously, her introduction to the Sailor Scouts includes a slow pan from her stomach to her face, with her boobs prominently displayed along the way. I’m not saying it wasn’t nice, but it was pretty gratuitous. Oh right, she was saying something during that scene. So she’s the ruler of the Dark kingdom which has four kings (Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite) and their goal is to create a new kingdom here on Earth, and to do that they need the Legendary Silver Crystal. Things look bad for the Scouts who are about to be destroyed by the queen of darkness (or something). We cut back to Usagi who sees that things are escalating and wants to transform, but can’t.
Tuxedo Mask is quick to remind her of that he knows all her secrets, which is enough to get her to transform in front of him.
After that, we cut to Usagi arriving at the studio and confronting Queen Beryl.
She uses her McGuffin of the week (the MOON STICK) and shoots a beam right at Beryl that’s intercepted by Zoisite which really messes him up. After that, Queen Beryl leaves. Wait, what!?
The episode’s almost over, so I guess they can’t have their climatic battle just yet. Usagi just kinda flies away and is severely weakened by her attack.
She lands right into the arms of Tuxedo mask (naturally) and is carried away while Sailor V looks on, seemingly impressed by what has happened.
The episode ends with Usagi waking up in Mamoru’s apartment, and realizing that he’s Tuxedo Mask.
Overall, I really did enjoy this episode, even though it had quite a few faults. What was good about this episode is that it wrapped up a lot of the lingering plothreads that were introduced over the last five episodes which makes this one sort of a capstone to a miniarc of the series. We learn a lot of new information (Luna’s info dump as well as Beryl’s reveal) while also enticing us with more mysteries (Tuxdeo Mask’s connection to the Moon Kingdom and the introduction of Sailor V). It’s also the first time we get a chance to see the other Sailor Scouts work together to take down a foe, and the animation during the fight scenes are quite impressive. Usagi finally steps up to the plate which is good to see, and I’m hoping she has a lot more confidence in future episodes. So that was what worked, but what didn’t? Usagi’s hissy fit towards the end of the episode was a bit off-putting considering how easily she was willing to abandon her friends when they needed her when Luna merely suggested Tuxedo Mask’s involvement. Luna was ultimately in the wrong, but it still felt rather bizarre of Usagi to not put that aside for at least as long as it would take to defeat the threat. Another problem is that while I understand the need for Usagi to be the one land the final blow, they went a bit far when it came to showing how helpless the other Scouts are without her. The three of them working together didn’t even stand a chance against Zoisite, let alone Beryl who showed up after they were utterly crushed. I’m sure the other Scouts will have their moments to shine in future episodes, but this one seemed to sell them very short. Maybe if they showed us HOW they stopped the signal, it would have been a chance to show off their skills without butting their way into Usagi’s spotlight. And finally, Tuxedo Mask. I honestly want to go along with it. I want the romance between them to be sweet and awesome, but they keep using him in ways that are just outdated and frankly unromantic. He’s only around to save her, and only makes moves on her when she’s unable to fight back. I’ll take scenes where he’s carrying her away after a hard fought battle, but does it have to be the ONLY way they interact? That said, the fact that Usagi now knows who he is might be enough of a revelation for her to change up their dynamic in future episodes.
So now that the show has completed what is essentially its first story arc, what do I think so far? Honestly, it’s been a BIT of a monkey’s paw for me, but I’m still very much enjoying it. The one reason I was never really into Sailor Moon is that I thought the art style was outdated and I didn’t want to sit through something that had THAT much repeated animation. If they were to make a Sailor Moon show with a lot more resources behind it, I’d definitely jump right in. Sure enough, that’s more or less exactly what happened. Maybe the source material isn’t something I’d love completely (with or without modern animation), but it still feels a bit outdated in certain areas that should have been improved along with the animation. I’m still totally into the show, but I’m hoping that the writing gets better once we delve more into the storyline proper. All that said, I’m still in love with this show (I especially like Jupiter and Beryl), and can’t wait to see what happens next!
If you like this recap and plan on buying the show, then use the Amazon link below! I’ll get a percentage of the order it helps keep things going for me here at The Reviewers Unite! In fact, you don’t even need to buy the item listed! Just use the link, shop normally, and when you check out it will still give us that sweet, sweet, percentage! You can even bookmark the link and use it every time you shop! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?
Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]