We’re back with another episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! Now last episode was a pretty big stumbling block, but this episode definitely had a chance to make up for it. Considering the last episode left off with us being introduced to King Mamrou, this episode will most likely have a lot of information for us which is good considering we’re now at least halfway through the current story arc. Will we finally get the answers we’ve been looking for, or will this turn into a completely incomprehensible mess!? After all, we ARE dealing with time travel here! Let’s find out!!
Last time around, our heroes traveled to the future in the hopes of answering the questions that having been weighing on their minds since Chibi-Usa and the Black Moon started to screw things up in their time. Now that they’ve finally made it to the Crystal Palace of the 30th century, they find that Chibi-Usa’s father is standing watch over their fallen queen. We get to see Chibi-Usa finally reunite with him. EXCEPT NOT REALLY! MOON SHOCK!!
Hold on a damn minute. Wasn’t this dude JUST petting a cat!? NOW he’s a hologram without tactile feedback!?!? The Ghost King here explains that he is the “future” Tuxedo Mask rather than a descendent of Tuxedo Mask. He also points out that that means Chibi-Usa is their offspring.
Holo-Mamoru spends the next fifteen minutes explaining everything to us. Once he and Usagi tied the knot, they basically became immortal beings and brought peace, harmony, and everlasting youth to the entirety of Earth. Well at least this explains why the King and Queen look EXACTLY like Usagi and Mamoru, but then it also takes away one of the benefits of doing a time travel story and that’s to give your story a grander scope as events happen throughout generations as things change in ways that we can’t even begin to comprehend. If it’s the same mother fuckers a THOUSANDS years from now, then what the hell is even the point of setting it that far in the future!? It feels like such a wasted opportunity to give us something unique and instead just regurgitates characters we’ve already become accustom too. Anyway, one day there was a giant explosion which (presumably) killed everyone on Earth except for the Royal family and their cats. I’m not sure if the other Scouts or Mamoru are REALLY dead, but they seem to be out of commission at least (hence the hologram). The Silver Crystal protected Neo-Queen Serenity, but she hasn’t woken up since the explosion and things have only gotten worse sense then. Oh, and we also find out that Diana the cat can not only talk, but is the daughter of Luna and Artemis.
After the explosion the giant black and purple crystal thingy grew out of the ground right across from the Crystal Palace and… is doing something.
The Black Malefic Crystal appears to be a weapon generated by some evil planet called Nemesis that is ACTUALLY a prison planet for one of Earth’s most detestable villains. Wait a minute, ARE WE REENACTING WRATH OF KHAN!? Okay, so the Black Moon clan are a bunch of radical mercenaries or something that took up base on Nemesis and presumably sided with the one evil guy who has yet to be named (my guess is Wise Man). From there they… launched? Something like that. They launched their Black Malefic Crystal to wipeout all life on planet Earth (pretty much what Genesis would do only without the reconstruction afterwards) and now they’re just trying to find a way to capture the Silver Crystal which Queen Neo Serenity is currently encased in. Okay then.
Chibi-Usa went back in time to find help, but that doesn’t explain how the Black Moon Clan was able to go back there as well. Wait a minute, we’ve seen LOT’S of establishing shots of Nemesis since this series began. Did the planet go back in time too, or do they just have the ability to constantly move between time? Also, if time travel is such a big crime, then why the hell isn’t Sailor Pluto doing anything about it!? She was willing to kill the good guys without a second thought, so why isn’t she hunting down these mother fuckers who’ve either been traversing the space time continuum on a regular basis, or SHOVED AN ENTIRE PLANET THROUGH THE TIME STREAM!! I know time travel stories aren’t easy, but they are fucking this up at almost every turn! Before my brain can begin eating itself in frustration, Usagi and Mamrou start to fade away ala Marty McFly and the king informs them that two copies of the same person can’t exist at the same time for too long.
I don’t see Minako fading though, so maybe Sailor Venus and the other scouts really DID die during the attack. The king tells them that they have to GTFO before it’s too late and escorts them to the time dimension where his holographic technology or whatever still somehow works. He appeals to Sailor Pluto to grant them free access to time travel for the time being while this crisis is being handled and she agrees right away, giving them their own key to use. It seems that she has a thing for Mamoru so maybe this is foreshadowing for some greater conflict in the future. They go back to the past and land on a giant pile of shtick that falls about as flat as you’d expect.
Once again, Mamoru decides to take Chibi-Usa with him and Usgai has yet another freak out about it. How many times are we going to go through this song and dance?
This scene actually does give us a BIT more of a reason why she’s acting the way she does (she’s not so much jealous of Chibi-USa as she is upset that Mamoru isn’t spending any time with her) but it’s just not that interesting of a conflict. It doesn’t feel like it has any meaning outside of filling up time and throwing in some random drama. Usagi’s issues with Mamoru’s behavior don’t manifest into, for example, mistrust in the battlefield or maybe making rash decisions to prove she doesn’t NEED his help. We never get a sense that these conflicts matter in the greater plot about saving the world from space invaders, so judging them separately makes it hard to justify its existence when we could be focusing on the more important story. Back at Mamrou’s place, Chibi-Usa is having trouble sleeping and ends up leaving in the middle of the night. She heads back to the time vortex place where she and Sailor Pluto have a nice moment before she heads back to her time.
I like that Sailor Pluto seems to have a soft spot for this girl and would really like to see that explored later on. Also, the following scene where Chibi-Usa is wandering the graveyard of a palace is actually pretty great. Unlike Usagi’s angstiness, Chibi-Usa’s feels a lot more deserved AND has relevance to the current story. Everything that’s happened so far has circled around Chibi-Usa’s decisions in the face of the overwhelming tragedy that befell her and everyone else she knows, and while every decision may not have been the right one, all the scenes with her has given us more reasons to believe those decisions. That said; this scene DOES throw in a bit of a continuity issue.
Not only are all the Scouts still alive(ish), so are the cats. If this is the case, then why were Mamrou and Usagi the only ones who were disappearing!? Also, we get this little gem which I THINK is an animation mistake.
We cut from there to the planet Nemesis where Prince Demande is idolizing his creepy hologram statue thingy of Neo Queen Serenity. Oh, now THIS might be a really interesting angle to explore! “I LOVED HER SO MUCH THAT I HAD DTO KILL HER!” or something like that. Esmeraude, who got her ass handed to her last time, begs Demande to give her another chance now that she has new powers from Wise Man.
She gets her shot and corners Chibi-Usa as she makes her way to the time vortex thingy. Luckily for her, the remaining Scouts JUST SO HAPPENED to heading their way to the future and stumble across this battle. That, or they KNEW Chibi-Usa was in trouble (somehow) and booked their asses to the future in less than 30 seconds. AND BEFORE ANYONE BRINGS UP THE FACT THAT THEY ARE TIME TRAVELING, it seems clear that they are going by Bill and Ted rules where you can travel to different points in time, but time STILL has moved forward since you were last there. The battle once again is really lame, what with Esmeraude having stretchy arms as her trump card, and Usagi’s moon stick thingy not working once again. Also like last time, the key to victory is for Tuxedo Mask to use his Kamehameha to blow away the enemy.
Once the battle is over, Usagi finally realizes why her stick hasn’t worked whenever she’s in the future. Chibi-Usa established earlier that the Silver Crystal that she brought from the future (wait, I thought it was encasing Neo-Princess Serenity?) didn’t work in the past which means that Usagi’s crystal won’t work in the future. It seems that Prince Demande and Wise Man have become aware of this, so they finally show themselves before our heroes to gloat about how awesome he is. Usagi starts to yell at him, but he’s not paying attention because all he thinks about is that she looks just like Neo Queen Serenity.
The episode ends with Prince Demande revealing one of his powers, which is apparently that he can grow a Sharingan on his forehead, and captures Sailor Moon in one of those ball thingies that the Gaga Sisterhood used to capture the other scouts.
You know, I think I’m starting to notice a pattern here. The first half of each story is arc is good because we’re setting up the bigger story and spending time with the characters we actually like, while the second episode pushes everything to the background except for Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, and whatever stupid bullshit that the story arc (which had A LOT of potential) eventually became. The mythology they provided to us in this episode is unbelievably lame and kills a lot of the excitement I had for this story arc. IT doesn’t even feel like a time travel story if everything is exactly the same after all this time. NO ONE seems to be even a hair different a thousand years from now than they were in the past and characters who couldn’t even muster a slight change after all that time are boring characters. Mamoru has a BIT more leadership skills and air of authority than he does now, but it’s still not a whole lot considering he’s now king of earth or whatever. So with the mythology being a complete mess, that leaves us with characters we like. Unfortunately, the series once again backpedals in a big way which is infuriating to watch. Usagi has become a huge stick in the mud about everything, and while I don’t have a problem with her being upset about things, I DO have a problem with what they choose to handle it. Like I said, her issues with Mamoru have no relevance to the ongoing story, and it’s SURPRISNG considering how many issues can be minded from this premise that they go with one that has NOTHING to do with it. Hell, how about the fact that you’ll become an immortal queen and will one day end up in that crystal (presumably if this whole time travel story doesn’t prevent that from happening)? How about maybe just a small existential crisis about your role to play in the coming centuries and that fact that you have an insight into what your future will be like? Is she OKAY with this information? Is she happy knowing EXACTLY how her kid is going to turn out when she decides to have her? I have no idea, but I know she’s real mopey about Mamoru’s (admittedly odd and distant) behavior. Oh, and Sailor Venus? What the hell is she even doing here? She doesn’t even get a moment to see HER future self, it’s all about Usagi and Mamoru once again. The only saving grace in this show is Chibi-Usa who is a REALLY compelling character, and I hope to see more of Sailor Pluto to see if she can become just as interesting. It’s too late for me to stop watching the series at this point, but I’ll be REALLY pissed if we have to go through this cycle every single story arc. PLEASE GET BETTER!! I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT!!!
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Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]