We’re back with another episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! The last one ended with quite a bit of intrigue involving Tuxedo Mask and Usagi’s relationship, as well as the introduction of Sailor V as a character in the ongoing story. Let’s see how well they can work with these new elements as the story begins to expand in its cast as well as its scope!
The episode begins with Usagi waking up in Mamoru’s bed and realizing that he is Tuxedo Mask.
We cut to the opening which has been changed once again.
I actually like the idea of there being subtle changes to the opening every few episodes to show the series advancing. I’m sure there are plenty of examples of this (Cutie Honey: The Live and Tensou Sentai Goseiger come to mind for me), and there are also examples of more overt weekly changes (The Simpsons), but so far I’m enjoying the way their doing it in this that reflects how far the story and characters has come. After the credits, Usagi asks Mamoru how he became Tuxedo Mask and we get a flashback to his youth where his parents die in a car accident.
Mamoru survives and is left with amnesia, but is also plagued with dreams about the moon and one thing in particular.
That’s pretty much the end of his story. He just began wandering at night to see if he can find the Crystal. Okay, you explained the WHY but you failed to mention HOW you became Japanese Batman. He doesn’t have any powers (outside of standard anime physicality) and he was left an orphan. Were his parents rich and he went to other countries to train? Does he have a kindly old butler/caretaker nearby to give him advice when he gets in over his head? ANSWER ME MAMORU!!! We don’t get those answers because he turns the conversation back to Usagi and asks why SHE’S looking for the Crystal. She has a less… tragic answer.
Mamoru then asks her to keep his identity a secret (even from the Scouts and Luna) which puts Usagi in kind of an awkward position. On the one hand, it won’t end well if this guy DOES turn out to be shady and she kept this from her team mates. On the other, Luna’s paranoia will probably lead to her using this information against him at the first sign of trouble which would be unfair to Mamoru. That said, Mamoru shouldn’t have given her this information without letting her know she’d need to keep it a secret. I can’t really blame her for siding with Mamoru (he’s not the freaking bad guy) but it’s not what I would have done (or at least not without something in return). So the two of them now have something between them. Not really a ‘relationship’ or ‘friendship’ per se, but some level of trust and confidence has been established between them. There’s still some unevenness between them though, with Mamoru knowing vastly more about her than she does of him, as well as information on the other scouts and Luna, so the ball is in his court when it comes to being responsible with the information they have about each other. Basically, whatever ‘relationship’ they have right now, I think that Dan Savage’s campsite rule is in effect on his part. After Usagi leaves his apartment with a spring in her step and a song in her heart (Mamoru seemed pretty nonplused), we cut to Luna in the Sailor Scout Control Center (at least that’s what I’m calling it) where she’s talking to Sailor V over skype.
Sailor V wants… something, but Luna doesn’t feel that the scouts are ready yet. We cut to Queen Beryl who’s visiting Queen Metalia who turns out to be the purple cloud thingy in the opening. Beryl has brought an offering of human energies, but that’s not enough for Metalia.
At least the show has now told us why the hell the guys in white suits have to pull “villain of the week” schemes in order to get human energy. They feed and/or power up Queen Metalia who must be important if she’s able to get Queen Beryl to feed her. I’m guessing that Metalia was a ruler of Dark Kingdom long ago who got her ass kicked by ancient Sailor Scouts and is sort of still alive, but only as a cloud thingy. She needs the Crystal, as well as human energies, to become whole again and then take over Earth. We get some flash backs of Queen Beryl who seems to have been a normal human scientist who went to the North Pole and found the Dark Kingdom just sitting there next to Santa’s workshop and down the street from the Fortress of Solitude. She released Queen Metalia and I guess was given Dark powers to aide her in her quest to resurrect Metalia. Beryl though, has other plans and wants to use the Crystal for herself so SHE can be the one to take over Earth. She summons Zoisite (the one with long blonde hair) to go down to the one city all their enemies live in and try to pull some more shenanigans. What’s his big plan? To open an EVIL VIDEO RENTAL STORE!!!
It must be running on dark energy because that’s the only way you can get a rental store to stay open these days. Blockbuster tried to sacrifice goats to a dark god, but it only kept them solvent for a couple months. In all seriousness, I wonder if this is one of those things from the manga that they didn’t think to update. Then again, maybe video rental stores are still a thing in Japan, so for now I’ll keep my mouth shut. Usagi’s non-magical schoolmates are inside talking about how awesome it is, but it clearly has a dark side to it if you go by THIS guy’s demeanor.
Rei just so happens to be walking past the shop where she overhears some women talking about finding Sailor Moon, and realizes that something is up. We cut from there to the next day with Usagi enjoying the fruits of her ill-gotten gains (i.e. bumming lunch off of her friends).
Ami is looking up pictures of Sailor V on her not-Ipad and trying to call it research when Umino jumps out of the fucking bushes and claims that he will be the one to capture Sailor Moon (who is so much cooler than Sailor V apparently).
Luna was hiding nearby for some reason and comes out to confirm with everyone else that the dude was acting like a creeper. Ami takes this opportunity to ask Luna if the OTHER person running around the streets wearing a skirt and fighting crime with Sailor in their name (Sailor V) has anything to do with the Moon Kingdom. For some reason, Luna lies right to her face and tries to dissuade her from thinking that she could be involved. Usagi ain’t buying that shit though and strongly feels there has to be something between them and Sailor V.
Could this be Usagi’s natural ability to spot one of her own? Maybe, but it could be that Sailor V is doing a pretty poor job of hiding her link to the Moon Kingdom (SHE HAS A CRESCENT MOON ON HER FOREHEAD!) if she really doesn’t want them to know about her just yet, which I assume is the reason Luna lied to Ami. So far, the episode seems to be trying to get the audience to sympathies with Mamoru while making us dislike Luna because she isn’t being forthright with the other scouts. Maybe there’ll be some confrontation later? Anyway, Makoto points out that her face is a mess, so Usagi begins to frantically look for a handkerchief to wipe it off. Quick aside, but I NEVER understood the use of those. Okay, you clean something off your face, but then you put it in your pocket!? Wouldn’t whatever is now on the handkerchief now be coating the inside of your pocket!? JUST USE NAPKINS!!!! While looking for one, she finds a broken stopwatch that she apparently forgot she stole from Mamoru’s room. She then begins to ponder whether or not she should inform her team that she knows who Tuxedo Mask is. It’s… an odd situation to be in. If I was being really harsh about it, I’d say that she’s putting a lot on the line for a guy who will barely open up to her. What if Luna is right and he’s trying to play you? You’re not only risking yourself in this, but your also the leader of this group which means you’re team mates are at risk too. It’s pretty likely that there’s nothing particularly shady or sinister about Mamoru, but the amount of trust you’ve already put into him this early into… whatever it is you too have is not a sign of true love, but of desperation to be loved back. You can dictate to him your own terms for this relationship! If he says you can’t tell them his identity, then you tell him he has to meet with the scouts and plead his case to Luna and the others. Assuage their fears about him and his intentions, and THEN you two can date (or whatever it is you’re doing). All that said, she’s young, she’s in love, and she’s had A LOT thrown at her recently. Everyone expects her to be the one to lead the team, but she’s barely had any more experience than they’ve had. They’re all so sure she’s the best one because of divine right, but she’s still a teenager trying to figure things out about herself, let alone leading a crack team of magic wielding ladies to battle dark forces.
While Usagi is at school missing Mamoru and confused as to what to do, Mamoru is also thinking about Usagi (he stole her handkerchief), though without any voice over it’s not as clear what his intentions are. Usagi’s an open book to the audience, but Mamoru is still a mystery.
We cut back to after lunch where Usagi’s returning to class and finds that everyone is acting a little weird.
Luna notices that the students FOR SOME REASON have brought the same DVD from the DARK rental place to school. Now they all want to hunt down Sailor Moon, which begs the question as to why they’re sitting in a classroom chanting that as opposed to going and looking for her? Wait, why didn’t Usagi notice this earlier!? Did they JUST turn into zombies during the lunch break!? Whatever, Luna and Usagi grab a DVD and take it back to the arcade (they apparently grabbed Ami on the way there) and put the DVD into the Sailor V arcade machine. Wait, what?
Sure enough, the video turns out to be full of evil electricity, and then Sailor V comes on screen to tell Usagi to get her ass in gear!
Uh… Sailor V? If you REALLY want to what to do, then SHOW THE FUCK UP!!! I don’t know HOW you’re doing the arcade game messages, but I’m sure it’s a lot more effort than if you’d just introduce yourselves and help them!! Luna and Ami don’t seem to notice the game talking to Usagi because they are examining the DVD, and they tell her that they need to examine it. We cut to Mamoru who’s on a bus wondering whether or not he did the right thing in revealing himself to Usagi and telling her about his past. All of a sudden, the bus stops because the people on board apparently remembered that they were hypnotized and start to leave the bus to search for Sailor Moon. We cut back to Usagi who’s running around the town for no apparent reason. Wait, what?
WHY THE HELL ISN’T SHE WITH AMI AND LUNA!?!? Weren’t they supposed to investigate the DVD to find out who’s behind this!? Even if Usagi isn’t gonna be all that helpful at looking at the DVD’s encoding, there’s no fucking reason for her to be wandering the streets like this! At some point, Ami and Luna are gonna figure out what’s going on you’ll need to work together to fix it!! We cut back to Ami and Luna who find out that the Dark Kingdom is behind it (duh), but for some reason the DVD seems to be affecting Ami. I always figured they were immune to their hypnotic tricks but maybe not. The scene doesn’t really amount to anything because she, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter, transform and go to look for Usagi who might be in danger.
Usagi is hiding in an alley, talking to Mamoru’s stopwatch in order to get the strength to fight her enemies. She transforms, uses her non-stick stick to heal everyone (wait, didn’t this happen last time?) but when she does, Zoisite comes crashing down the sky.
Zoisite mocks Sailor Moon for revealing herself even though she knew they were looking for her, but Sailor Moon is ready to kick to some ass and take names. She begins to do her usual speech about punishing the wicked or whatever, but in the middle of it Zoisite gets behind her and puts her in a headlock.
Luckily, the other scouts arrive and start shooting giant fucking energy blasts right at Zoisite. WAIT! SAILOR MOON IS RIGHT FUCKING THERE!! YOU’LL KILL HER ALONG WITH HIM!!! WHAT THE HELL!?!?
Fortunately, they don’t murder they’re leader because Zoisite reflects the blasts back at them. Unfortunately, now that they’ve been hit once, they’re completely knocked out and are useless for the rest of the fight.
Running out of options, Sailor Moon starts begging for Tuxedo Mask to come to her rescue, which sure enough he does in an admittedly badass manner.
Tuxedo Mask’s sucker punch worked on Zoisite, and Sailor Moon is now safe in the arms of her OTP. Tuxedo Mask tries to punch Zoisite again, but this time he’s ready and it doesn’t go that well for Tuxedo.
And of course, the MOMENT he gets his ass knocked down, Zoisite takes this opportunity to grab Usagi again.
Zoisite mocks Tuxedo Mask for his hunt for the Crystal, but Sailor Moon pipes up to defend him, letting Zoisite know how super-duper important it is for him to get the Crystal and his memories. Mamoru though surprises her (and me frankly) by telling her that that is no longer the most important thing to him. Above all else, what he wants is Usagi and for her to be safe. I was genuinely surprised and delighted by his confession right here. Normally, when one girl has a crush on some guy in an anime, the guy usually acts like a petulant prepubescent jerk wad and tries to shake her off or keep his distance. They obviously feel the same way, but their MAN CODE prevents them from showing those GIRLY EMOTIONS!! I LIKE that Mamoru here is willing to open the fuck up and put his feelings out there. It really humanizes this character for me and I REALLY hope that this moment isn’t forgotten in the next episode. Zoisite can’t handle the schmaltziness of this scene, so he summons a giant ice cube to crush Usagi to death with.
Usagi is somehow helpless to do anything, and Tuxedo Mask is still injured from his ass whooping. It looks like it’s the end of Usagi, but not if Toei has anything to do with it. Seven episodes!? Hell no!! Instead, the ice cube is destroyed before it can hit Usagi. Who could have done it!? Did one of her team mates recover!? HA! Yeah right! No, it was Sailor V. The episode ends on a cliffhanger with Sailor V about to enter the fray and kick some blonde boy ass!
So that was episode 7, and I gotta say that despite a somewhat rocky start, it did end up succeeding as a very enjoyable episode, and the cliffhanger leaves me excited to see how Sailor V is gonna hand Zoisite his ass! The relationship between Usagi and Mamoru is finally making sense and will hopefully play out in an interesting way instead of being creepy as it occasionally was in the previous episodes. There are still some lingering problems that aren’t new to this episode, but are getting even more annoying to have to see. Luna is still lying to the scouts on a regular basis which is really starting to make her unlikable. I’m hoping that Sailor V finally meeting the scouts will give Luna a chance to put all the cards on the table and explain why she needed to keep secrets from the team this whole time. Speaking of the team, THEY DON’T DO A DAMN THING!!! Seriously, what the hell is this crap where the scouts are completely fucking useless!? In the last episode, the three non-Sailor Moon scouts got their asses handed to them by a low level boss who’s ass they’ve kicked before!! In this one, they get knocked out by a SINGLE BLAST!!! Fine, Sailor Moon has been the focus of the last two episodes, but you don’t have to throw everyone else under the bus in the process! By doing this, it almost feels like there are two separate teams here. The three scouts (Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter) are on one team, and Sailor Moon and her boyfriend are on the other. There’s no sense of comradery between the four of them, because they keep getting pushed out of the fights to focus on Sailor Moon. I’m REALLY hoping that once the Sailor Moon / Tuxedo Mask storyline gets eased into the background that the other scouts get a chance to shine. They also repeat the villainous plot from the previous episode (MIND CONTROL TO FIND SOMETHING!) but that might have been intentional because the goal this time wasn’t to steal energy or find the Crystal, but to drag Sailor Moon out into the open. All my complaining aside, the show did manage to pay off the romance angle, and there was enough action and comedy in here to keep me entertained. I’m looking forward to the next episode which will probably reveal that Sailor V is actually Sailor Other Blonde. Wait, Sailor V-enus? I JUST GOT THAT!!!
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]