Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal (Episode 8)

We once again find ourselves with a brand new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal!  Will Sailor V finally become a member of the team!?  Will Usagi learn that she can still throw a punch if someone grabs one of her arms?  WILL LUNA STILL HIDE STUFF FROM THE SCOUTS FOR NO REASON!?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins where the last one left off, namely with Sailor V about to kick some Dark Kingdom white boy ass!  Everyone is shocked to see her pop up including Beryl who’s watching the whole thing go down on her Wicked Witch of the West Crystal Ball (Limited Edition of course).

Uh… seriously?  I mean, there are already four of them.  Is it SO hard to believe the fifth one would show up at some point?

Uh… seriously?  I mean, there are already four of them.  Is it SO hard to believe the fifth one would show up at some point?

Not only that, but Sailor V’s talking cat (Artemis) informs us all that she is in fact the Moon Princess they’ve been kinda sorta looking for this whole time.

“Oh please. Just call me Your Highness!”

“Oh please. Just call me Your Highness!”

Once again, my knowledge of this franchise is pretty limited but I would have guess that Usagi was actually the moon princess.  I mean she’s the one who’s called Sailor MOON!  I don’t know, this is probably just some misdirection to keep the bad guys away from the real princess, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Usagi is stunned into a gaping mouth stupor and then we cut to the opening.  The change this time around is that Artemis in it (either that, or I’m just noticing it for the first time).

“Is that a cat on your shoulder!?  Wow!  That’s so original!  Usagi, are you seeing this?”     “Oh COME ON!! I’ve been doing it for 7 episodes already!!”

“Is that a cat on your shoulder!?  Wow!  That’s so original!  Usagi, are you seeing this?”     “Oh COME ON!! I’ve been doing it for 7 episodes already!!”

We return from the opening and Usagi still hasn’t recovered from this revelation.

“Usagi!  Close your mouth or you’ll catch flies!”

“Usagi!  Close your mouth or you’ll catch flies!”

Not only that, but for some reason her tiara changes into something that is most certainly NOT a tiara, and it apparently comes along with an incomplete memory of something.  I’m guessing it has to do with the moon.  Zoisite sees that he’s clearly outnumbered, and runs off screaming about how close he was to completing his mission.  Close to what exactly?  Wasn’t you’re plan to find the princess?  Well mission fucking accomplished dude!!  Also, Tuxedo Mask runs off and starts admonishing himself for not being able to protect Usagi.  This better not turn into some angsty bullshit where he won’t allow himself to see her because HE’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!!  Usagi doesn’t seem to mind though because she has a huge crush on Sailor V.

“hamina hamina hamina hamina.”

“hamina hamina hamina hamina.”

There’s something about Sailor V that just seems kind of off though.  She’s polite and all, but she’s also coming across as distant and not being forthright.  She gives some pretty bland and insincere sounding thanks to all the scouts (even though three of them haven’t done shit since episode 5), and explains that she’s basically been watching them for a while now.  She transforms back into her human disguise, which is a teenager called Minako Aino, and they all head to Luna’s badass command center in the bottom of the arcade.  Luna is also weird in this scene (though it could be the translation) who clearly KNOWS Sailor V is the princess, but then still asks where she’s been all this time.  So you two were chatting over skype for a while now, but you never actually met?  She never came to you in person until now?  Furthermore, if you KNEW who the princess was, but also knew she DIDN’T want to be found yet, then why the hell did you tell the scouts to look for her!?  If you wanted them to find her anyway, why didn’t you at least tell the scouts who the princess was or what she looked like!?  Maybe that’s what’s throwing me off about this scene.  At no point do the scouts actually say anything more than bland acknowledgement, declarations of loyalty, and endless praises for their new savior.

“Show us the way to true happiness Mrs. Moon Savior!”

“Show us the way to true happiness Mrs. Moon Savior!”

Sailor V goes on to explain Dark Kingdom’s plan, which is to steal human energies and the Crystal in order to resurrect their Big Baddie and take over the Earth.  She also says that the Big Baddie they’re trying to bring back destroyed Moon Kingdom (I think it’s called Silver Millennium) long ago and that the Sailor Guardians of that time were able to seal her away.  The mission now is to find a way to seal her once and for all so that she can never come back. Questions like “Where do we start?”, “How did they do it last time?”, “Why didn’t you reveal yourself to us until now?”, and “Why the hell is there another talking cat?” seem to slip the scouts’ mind and they just blindly accept all this as fact.  Sailor V parts ways with the group, but then she gets all dark and brooding about running out of time for something. Artemis tries to convince her to trust the Scouts, but the lady ain’t having it.  She works alone!  We cut to Usagi who’s having yet another dream about the Moon Kingdom where she’s being led through a battlefield by Tuxedo Mask who looks a hell of a lot like Marth for some reason.

“My name is Inigo MOON-toya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die!”

“My name is Inigo MOON-toya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die!”

So wait, did Dark Kingdom actually have an army, or is this some sort of revolution against the monarchy?  Also, the guy calls Usagi Princess Serenity, so there’s NO FREAKING WAY Sailor ‘Cold Shoulder’ is the actual princess of the Moon.  While walking to school, Usagi ponders on the revelations from last night and wonders out loud the very things I have been screaming at you about for the last few hundred words.

“Maybe I should have asked some questions instead of sucking up to her.”

“Maybe I should have asked some questions instead of sucking up to her.”

During her stroll she runs into Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask) who’s reading books about crystals which I find hilarious.  There’s OBVIOUSLY going to be something about a magic moon rock in one of those books!!!  Seriously dude?  The princess revealed herself last night!  FIND HER AND ASK HER!!!  Despite that, I actually do like this scene because he doesn’t turn into Edward from Twilight and completely avoids her because he’s afraid he can’t protect her.  Instead, he just apologizes and the two of them move on from that!  AWESOME!!  It’s pretty cool how one of the weakest parts of the show when it first started is actually turning into one of the best.  It’s still sweet between them, and there’s yet to be any forced conflict which can really get annoying in subpar romances.  Luna though (who’s walking with Usagi) isn’t all that happy about it and instead of confronting Tuxedo Mask, she just kind of sulks off.  Then out of nowhere Artemis shows up and tries to console Luna.  Okay, is Sailor V watching them from somewhere right now!?  Then he says probably the scariest and most fucked up thing in this entire series so far.

“Let US worry about what you need to know.”

“Let US worry about what you need to know.”

WHAT!?!?  Okay, so it’s not just that the scouts have no memories of their past lives, but that they’re intentionally being brainwashed by Sailor V?  I’ve really had it with this series continually stalling with the fucking plot of this thing.  Now they’re throwing in MIND CONTROL to keep us at bay for even longer!?  It’s like every time this series pulls back the curtain, there’s another fucking curtain behind it!!  Okay, we know that Sailor V may or may not be the princess, but what the hell have we gained from that knowledge?  Everyone who knows something is still being tight lipped about the details, and now we know that the scouts (as well as Luna who SHOULD be the one to know things) are being manipulated in order to keep them in the dark!  Is it too late to join up with Queen Beryl?  I could ROCK one of those white jumpsuits!   I wouldn’t mind so much if the show didn’t keep trying to tell me how fucking important all of this was, and sacrificed character development in order to do so!  We haven’t learned a damn thing about any of the other scouts since they awakened their powers and it’s really starting to hurt this series.  I normally hate episodes where the characters start to fight over something pointless before making up at the end, but this show really needs something like that to at least give the other scouts some freaking screen time!!  ANYWAY, Artemis tells Luna that he’ll tell her everything (defeating the purpose of the mind wipe) but the audience doesn’t get to hear that conversation because we cut to the Dark Kingdom.  Queen Beryl is informing Queen Metalia (the Big Baddie Sailor V was talking about) that the princess has been found.  Kunzite (the guy with white hair) volunteers to come up with a plan to capture her.  What’s the plan?  GET YOU’RE ASS OVER HERE WITH THE SILVER CRYSTAL OR ELSE I KILL EVERY LAST MOTHER FUCKER IN THE CITY!!

“And you must also be blindfolded with your hands behind your back.”

“And you must also be blindfolded with your hands behind your back.”

This guy isn’t messing around!  I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s a bluff but still.  None of this ‘cursed rental tapes’ or ‘zombified mannequins’ crap.  Just a straight up hostage negotiation!  Artemis tries to point out to her that this is a pretty obvious trap, but she won’t listen.  On her way there though, she runs right into the rest of the scouts (they have no idea what’s going on and want to invite her to dinner) whom she immediately brushes off instead of asking them for help.  Kunzite then causes a blackout somehow, and then people around town start collapsing.  So why exactly does a power outage cause people to go unconscious?

“NO!!!  MY CROPS WILL WILT IF I DON’T WATER THEM!!”

“NO!!!  MY CROPS WILL WILT IF I DON’T WATER THEM!!”

This was a pretty poor move on Kunzite’s part, considering that Sailor V was already heading towards his location (top of Tokyo Tower), but now that he’s pulled some dark magic shit, he’s lighting up like a Christmas tree on Luna’s super computer.  Naturally the scouts realize that something must be going on and head towards the tower as well.  I think the blackout also alerted Tuxedo Mask who just woke up from dreaming about the Moon Princess again (who has Usagi’s hair and not Sailor V’s).  Wait, he was asleep?  It’s like 7:30 dude.

“WHO DARES DISTURB MY BEAUTY SLEEP!?”

“WHO DARES DISTURB MY BEAUTY SLEEP!?”

Sailor V gets to the tower first and we get to see her (oddly wordless) transformation sequence.

The animation is still really good, but I don’t know why she doesn’t have to shout “MOON PRISM POWER MAKEUP!!!!”  Does this mean none of them have to!?

The animation is still really good, but I don’t know why she doesn’t have to shout “MOON PRISM POWER MAKEUP!!!!”  Does this mean none of them have to!?

So Sailor V gets to the top of the tower and confronts Kunzite.  She then proceeds to mercilessly beat the crap out of him without even breaking a sweat because that’s the kind of badass she is!  No wait, her attack gets deflected and she’s hit with some sort of beam attack.  Huh.  I guess the cat did most of the work in the last battle.  Speaking of which, where the hell did he go!?  She tries to plead with Kunzite because they used to know each other or something.  Hold on, what?  Did they just sneak in ANOTHER vague subplot into this!?

“Tune in next time to hear the end of that sentence!!”

“Tune in next time to hear the end of that sentence!!”

Queen Beryl must have heard the plea through her magic crystal ball, so she telekinetically tells Kunzite to finish Sailor V off quickly.  Things look bad for our badass until the scouts fly their way up the tower and enter the fray.

WHAT!?!?

“HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY!!!”

“HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY!!!”

Sailor Jupiter can fly apparently.  Yeah, I’m sure that’s how electricity works (her specific element is electricity).  The other scouts leap to their positions and Usagi begins her speech to try and shame Kunzite, ending with this awesome shot!!

“Good thing tonight is a full moon or else this wouldn’t look nearly as cool!”

“Good thing tonight is a full moon or else this wouldn’t look nearly as cool!”

See, it’s the little things that keep me into the show.  Just give me some power ranger poses here and there, and I’ll probably stick through all the rough patches.  Sailor V tries to get them to leave so she can handle it herself, but the rest of the scouts are all nice and understanding and say all the ‘GO TEAMWORK’ clichés we’ve heard a million times.  It still feels kind of hollow though because they still don’t feel like a real team yet, and none of them seem to care that Sailor V is really trying to keep her distance from the rest of them.  Oh well; Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter do their usual attacks, but they don’t have any impact on Kunzite.  That was the plan though because Usagi snuck up from behind and used her healing stick attack thingy!  AH HA!!!  Oh no, the guy dodges it and hits her in the face with a dark energy blast attack.  Usagi begins tumbling down the side of the Tokyo Tower, and none of the other scouts are in a position to rescue her!  IS THIS THE END OF SAILOR MOON!?  Of course not.  Tuxedo Mask comes out of nowhere and catches her!!  WOO!!  And what follows may be the greatest scene in this entire series so far.

LIKE A BOSS!

LIKE A BOSS!

Did you see that!?  Usagi thanks him for saving her life, gets him to stay back so that she can finish what she started, and steals a kiss before returning to the field of battle!!  HOLY SHIT!!!  That really makes up for the lousy way they used her in the last episode (Help!  He’s got my arm!!) and shows that she doesn’t have to depend on Tuxedo Mask to fight all her battles for her.  That’s not to say she’s an unkillable badass who doesn’t need a man to keep her down (she almost fell to her death seconds ago) but that she’s still able to hold her own and get things done even if she needs some help every once in a while.  Of course… they have to really undercut the power of this moment by what they do next.  So Usagi makes it back to the battle and instead of doing something like attacking again, she just gets right in between Kunzite and the rest of the scouts.  Kunzite then shoots a blast right at her which she clearly wasn’t expecting.  At the last second, Tuxedo Mask jumps right in front of her to take the impact, and the episode ends with a TO BE CONTINUED…

“I THOUGHT YOU HAD A PLAN USAGI!!”     “I was winging it!”

“I THOUGHT YOU HAD A PLAN USAGI!!”     “I was winging it!”

This one was pretty disappointing.  The biggest problem so far are the characters who are just underdeveloped and don’t act in any way that I can relate to.  None of the scouts besides Usagi have had a chance to shine for a while now, and even when the DO get the spotlight, they never say anything of consequence.  The show is moving along way too fast for me to really care about anything it’s trying to cram into each of these episodes, and unless they start to slow down to show us more of the scouts (who are far more interesting than whatever the hell is going on with the moon), it’s just gonna get harder and harder to sit through each week.  Also, the fighting was never really consistent with who can do what, but it’s really starting to get obnoxious.  The show hasn’t told us who’s good at what, which characters are stronger than others, and how much strength the bad guys have.  I mean, if Kunzite can just casually take out a huge metropolitan area, than what the hell chances do the scouts have?  If Sailor V has been kicking ass and taking names for months now, why is it that in THIS fight with Kunzite that she starts to struggle?  HOW AND WHEN DID SAILOR JUPITER LEARN TO FLY!?!?  I don’t know, and it’s starting to annoy me.  It undercuts the tension that each battle has when we have no idea of the relative strengths of the characters that are fighting.  I’m still gonna keep watching, but I really hope they pull up the slack in terms of character development and go a bit more in depth about where their power comes from.  Still, Usagi was a freaking BOSS in that one scene, am I right!?

.

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]

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