Welcome back to another episode of the most critically panned revival of a beloved nineties anime until the new Dragon Ball show gets released! What? Am I the only one expecting that? Anyway, the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal was pretty shaky but ended up going out on a high note and leaving us with a lot of expectations of where this episode will go. With Chibi-Usa going full villain last time around, will we get the epic punch up between mother and daughter that we’ve all been waiting for, or will we be let down again by one of the most uneven anime in history!? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with everyone gathering in the middle of the wasteland to discover that this new adversary is none other than an all grown up Chibi-Usa (calling herself Black Lady) with a massive chip on her shoulder.
While everyone is still reeling from this revelation, Black Lady summons the brainwashed Prince Demande and Saphir (if they’re brothers, shouldn’t Saphir be a prince too?) to take care of the Sailor Scouts. Needless to say that they’re brilliant strategy is to stand in front of Sailor Moon and take the blows without any resistance. COME ON!! We can’t get ONE moment of awesomeness from these four!? They couldn’t even put up a FIGHT against the now dis-empowered villains of this story? The Black Moon Clan has no relevance to this story at this point other than to be cannon fodder now that Wiseman has played his hand. It’s just frustrating that we still can’t have them act as a team in this and it always ends up being Sailor Moon getting emotionally battered and then using her main character source of infinite power to win out in the end. Anyway, the scouts are dispatched rather quickly which just leaves Sailor Moon and Holo-Mamoru to try and talk Black Lady from the brink of madness. Their task isn’t helped though when she straight up tongue wrestle’s her own father right in front of them (who you may recall she captured and brainwashed in the previous episode).
Oh it gets even better. Just to prove that she’s got total control over Tuxedo Mask, she orders him to go over there and bonk Sailor moon on the head with a stick.
Can this dude do ANYTHING besides get brainwashed? Granted he’s not nearly as powerful as the scouts (unless you count his random Kamehameha attack), but reusing the brainwashed angle for him again just feels cheap. There wasn’t enough there with trying to save Black Lady or this damn planet? We had to dust this trope off to up the angst factor and throw in a creepy incest angle? At least Black Lady is still fantastic as a villain. Despite the silly subplot of her trying to steal her own father away from Sailor Moon, she’s been very menacing and has actual motivation for what she’s doing. Instead of some vague bullshit like “kill everyone because fuck it, why not?” she has a legitimate axe to grind against those who she felt wronged her and Wiseman was able to exploit that.
Not only that, but she’s noticeably more animated than the other characters and has a much wider range of facial features which really gives her some personality in this. I’m guessing this is the ONLY time we’ll see an adult Chibi-Usa which is a shame considering how much they’ve been able to get out of this character in such a short amount of time, though in fairness there was about ten episodes of characterization to form this character before she appeared. Sailor Moon still tries to get through to Black Lady which is the final straw for her and she decides to throw ANOTHER Malefic Black Crystal right into this already fragile planet.
The impact of the third spear of unspeakable evil reverberates through Sailor Pluto’s dimension which gets her even more anxious to leave and help them despite knowing that she can’t. If it’s any consolation, you PROBABLY wouldn’t last too long out there. Just look at how quickly they took out the other scouts. As expected, it’s all up to Sailor Moon to save the day and I think she starts to radiate good vibes in order to keep the planet together under such duress. Wiseman’s BRILLIANT plan to stop Sailor Moon is to go for quadruple penetration and launch yet another Malefic Black Crystal at the Earth. Where the hell is he getting these things, and why does he wait until NOW to start shoving them into the planet!? The utter insanity of this plan (which will most likely kill everyone) is enough to get Prince Demande to finally turn against Wiseman (I think he was faking the brainwashing from the last episode) and try to assert himself as the baddest bad guy in this story. Sadly though, Wiseman’s grip on his brother Saphir is not nearly as tenuous and Black Lady orders him to attack. Prince Demande ends up having to kill his own brother which he does in one blast of his evil eye thing.
Uh… not to undercut the tragedy of this moment, but if it was THAT easy to completely vaporize the dude, wouldn’t it be just as easy to knock him instead? Did it have to jump straight to murder? Either way, Prince Demande isn’t about to let his brother’s death be in vain and actually manages to land a hit on Wiseman. Of course, that’s when we find out the shocking truth! The cloaked figure we’ve seen in since the beginning was merely a corpse used as a puppet by the REAL Wiseman! So just who is the real Wiseman? Well…
Gotta admit, I did not see that coming. Wiseman is a fucking PLANET! After he was sent to the planet Nemesis as punishment for his crimes (great plan by the way) his consciousness ended up fusing with the dark world and basically turned into that evil moon thingy from Majora’s Mask. That’s certainly a pretty good twist, even if it does mean the big bad is another somewhat amorphous being of pure power instead of a character (a la Queen Metalia). It works a lot better her though because the show hasn’t discarded all the other major villains by the time the big bad begins their attack. We’ve still got Black Lady who’s infinitely watchable and has enough solid characterization to go around, and we also still have Prince Demande who’s feeling a bit inadequate at this point now that he’s been upstaged by a glowing red orb of death. After the startling revelation, we cut to Sailor Pluto who’s still trying to fight the urge to leave her post and we get a flashback to how she got the job in the first place.
So wait, the Moon Queen (Usagi’s previous life mom) just locked a kid in the space time continuum just so she can stand there for all eternity!? What the hell did Sailor Pluto do to deserve this!? The flashback just comes off as pointless because the scene we flashback to has almost no context and only raises further questions about what the hell is going on! The show revealed what was behind the curtain, and it was another fucking curtain!! The only thing this scene seems to accomplish is that we find out that she has three rules that she has to follow; don’t travel through time, don’t leave your post, and a last one that’s left as a mystery but I’m like ninety-five percent certain it’s “don’t fall in love” or something like that. We’ve already established she’s got a thing for the holo-Mamoru so why the hell not make that romance oh so much more forbidden? Anyway, we cut back to the action where I believe Wiseman is collecting the remaining power from the three Malefic Black Crystals and begins to descend towards the Crystal palace. Hey, how are the Sailor Scouts handling this new threat by the way?
Once again, Sailor Moon starts emitting her nondescript main character power (let’s call it Silver Crystal radiation) to repel the planet from getting any closer to the Crystal Palace and the sleeping Neo-Queen Serenity inside it.
Despite her valiant efforts, Sailor Moon’s battle is definitely an uphill one and is most likely going to end in defeat. As a last ditch effort, Diana (the future child of Artemis and Luna) runs straight to the time dimension thingy and tries to convince her to fight alongside them.
Pluto is still unable to leave her post then Diana suggests that she stay while Pluto goes. Now considering that she’s a talking kitten with absolutely no combat skills, I can’t imagine that Sailor Pluto takes this consideration seriously and instead decides to leave because she feels it’s the right thing to do. Still, Diana does stay behind, so maybe she IS good enough to protect the space time continuum? If that’s the case, then what the hell does it say about Sailor Pluto if her job could be replaced so easily? Couldn’t she get an intern to watch the place most of the time so she can go out and see a movie or eat a pizza or something? Unfortunately for Pluto, Diana probably took a half hour to reach the door of time (she’s so tiny!!) and since then Usagi’s strength has begun to falter. In a last ditch effort to convince Black Lady to stop her attack, she agrees to hand over the Silver Crystal and her own life as a gesture of good will that might just get through to Chibi-Usa. No such luck though, because Chibi-Usaa takes the crystal without a second thought.
Now if you recall, Chibi-Usa was already in possession of the FUTURE Silver Crystal and for some reason needs the power of the PAST Silver Crystal as well. I don’t know why they BOTH of them (isn’t there an infinite number of Silver Crystals in the past that they could have nabbed instead of just this one?) but either way Black Lady and Wiseman have now achieved their goal and are completely unstoppable! Their reign of terror across the universe is now completely unopposed! All living things, past present, and future, will KNEEL before their new overloads and GODS!!!!! Oh no wait, Prince Demande just snatches the crystals right out of her hands.
Are you kidding me!? That’s amazing. I absolutely LOVE this!! NO ONE was paying attention to Prince Demande! They had ALL written him off as a non-threat at this point and he took that opportunity to pull a strong arm robbery and grab the two most powerful sources of energy in the universe!! Everyone is shocked by this including Sailor Pluto who just arrived. We find out through her internal monologue that if the two crystals touch, the world will be destroyed.
I’m sorry, WHAT!?!?!?
WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM!? I mean, I guess it’s a well-known trope of time travel stories that you can’t meet yourself or else bad things will happen, but why throw that out this late in the game!?!? Not only that, but it seems that Prince Demande is AWARE of the danger and is planning to put the crystals together just so he can take everyone else with him!! HOW DOES HE KNOW ABOUT THIS!?!? And so, the episode ends with every last member of the cast doing a double take and Prince Demande holding the crystals very close together!!
I actually REALLY liked this episode. I think what helped this one immensely is the fact that there was almost no fat to trim. The episode takes place more or less in real time and there are lots of things going on throughout to keep your interests up. At this point in the story arc, it’s all about the payoff. We’ve sat through a dozen episodes with enough exposition to fill an encyclopedia set and it’s finally time to see what it’s all been leading to. So far it’s been pretty great (especially with this episode) and is LEAGUES better than the terrible ending to the first story arc. The final fight in Silver Millennium was confusing and had character moments that made no fucking sense at all. While everything in this episode is silly as hell, it’s not the least bit confusing and is genuinely entertaining. We’ve got a mother fucking planet trying to crush all life on Earth for crying out loud! Even THIS show can’t manage to screw that up!! I still don’t like the incest angle with Black Lady and Sailor Pluto still hasn’t managed to be all that interesting, but this is still a great episode and a highlight for this part of the season. Sailor Moon Crystal has always been a bumpy show and while the Black Moon Clan story arc did indeed have a dip in quality for a couple of episodes, it’s still been a total improvement of the Silver Millennium arc and it gives me hope for whatever happens next in this series. The season is coming to a close after the twenty sixth episode and I’m not sure when the next season is coming out. I’m hearing vague suggestions that it will come out in summer, which it ALREADY IS, so there might be little to no break between the first and second season. I’m definitely hoping that is the case considering how much I love doing these recaps but if we are going to be without Sailor Moon for a while, at least it looks like it will end on a high note!
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Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]