Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal (Episode 26) Season one Finale!!

Just over a year since its premiere, Sailor Moon Crystal’s first season is coming to a close.  There’s been much discussion around this show and its obvious flaws since its release, which is to be expected for a remake of a franchise that meant so much to a lot of people.   Now that we’re at the end of this series (at least until season two comes out), does it go out with a bang and a strong closing for the Black Moon Clan story arc, or are we going to get yet another disappointing ending such as the one we got to the Silver Millennium story arc, which many would see as fitting for a series that has been plagued with so many glaring issues?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with Sailor Moon and her entourage falling through an endless abyss of some sort towards the disembodied skull of Wiseman or Death Phantom or Nemesis, or whatever the hell it is.  The point is that Sailor Moon has nice big target to aim her magic wand at and she does just that.

“Feel the power of love and friendship!”     “I COULDN’T BE IN MORE PAIN!!!!”

“Feel the power of love and friendship!”     “I COULDN’T BE IN MORE PAIN!!!!”


Once her Kamehameha of friendship connects with the source of all evil, a white light flashes and her posse finds themselves back on Earth, minus one blonde haired savoir.

“She truly was the daughter of the Moon.”

“She truly was the daughter of the Moon.”

Naturally everyone begins to panic because they have to carry the show by themselves now which is when Mamoru’s hands start to glow and then he disappears to who knows where.  So wait, his magic hands give him teleportation powers too?  We don’t have long to ponder on this though because inside the Crystal Palace, Neo-Queen Serenity has finally woken up.  I’ve got to say that they do a pretty excellent job here with her awakening considering how much of a divine presence she’s been in the show up until this point.  Despite being more or less completely out of commission since the beginning of the story arc, almost everything has revolved around her and how much the world is in need of power.  Now that she’s awake, what will she do?  How will she save the world from the brink of annihilation!?  Well first things first.  She needs to wake up her hubby!

That’s how she wakes him up?  Well at least it might be interesting to see her wake the other scouts!  Oh, and the cats too.

That’s how she wakes him up?  Well at least it might be interesting to see her wake the other scouts!  Oh, and the cats too.

So after Ghost Dad goes back into his body, she leaves the mausoleum thingy without waking anyone else!  What the hell!?  You don’t think the other Scouts might provide some assistance!?  No wait, they’re younger selves haven’t done a single useful thing since arriving in the future so maybe she SHOULDN’T waste her power on them just yet.  That or the show still doesn’t give a damn about the Scouts.  Still, once Neo-Queen Serenity makes it outside and sees her daughter, the show starts throwing some serious feels around!

“That’s great!  So can I be an adult now?  I AM over 900 years old.”     “Oh don’t be ridiculous sweetie.”

“That’s great!  So can I be an adult now?  I AM over 900 years old.”     “Oh don’t be ridiculous sweetie.”

Once again, Chibi-Usa’s story to find her place in the world is the heart of this entire story arc.  Neo-Queen Serenity’s reconciliation with her daughter (who’s made some PRETTY big mistakes recently) is quite heartfelt and Chibi-Usa’s relief at not only getting her mother back but finally finding what power lied within her is palpable.  She’s come through hell and back, but came out the other side okay.  After their moment to make up, the Queen goes over to Sailor Pluto and transports her remains to… the castle’s grave yard?  I joked about the room where the King and the Scouts were resting as being a mausoleum, but I didn’t think there was literally one in there!  Still, this is not the time for a funeral or even to process the grief.  Neo-Queen Serenity informs everyone that Nemesis is still alive and whatever the hell it was that was trying to smash its way into earth was actually an illusion.  While I’m not a fan of the “it was all a dream” style hand wave, I AM happy they acknowledge how insane it would be for a planet to travel all the way to Earth’s Atmosphere and shrink itself small enough to destroy just an island.  More than likely, Sailor Moon (and Tuxedo mask soon after) were taken to Nemesis in order to have their final confrontation with Death Phantom.  According to Neo-Queen Serenity, the only one who can aid her in this final battle is Chibi-Usa.  NOT the other Scouts!  JUST Chibi-Usa.

“Shouldn’t I take the other Scouts with me?  Adult supervision and all that?”     “Oh don’t be silly!  You’ve got Main Character blood in you!  Your practically immortal!!”

“Shouldn’t I take the other Scouts with me?  Adult supervision and all that?”     “Oh don’t be silly!  You’ve got Main Character blood in you!  Your practically immortal!!”

Look, I know that this is ultimately a story about the Royal Family, but the fact that the Scouts are SO tertiary THIS early into a series is one of the most unforgivable things about Sailor Moon Crystal.  Now I have no idea if the manga does a better job with these character being sidelined (Crystal follows it to an almost overbearing degree from what I hear with occasional RADICAL changes out of nowhere) or if the fact that the original anime had filler meant that these problems were less prominent (more episodes means more chances for character development), but having seen or read NONE of it before, I can say that Sailor Moon Crystal on its own has done a terrible job with the making the other Scouts feel like important participants of this story.  It started to turn around in the beginning of this season with an episode dedicated to each of the Scouts, but it ultimately led to them being kidnapped and removed from the story entirely for so many episodes.  Even Sailor Venus who DIDN’T get kidnapped was pushed to the background once they got the future, so much so that they called attention to it in episode 22.  The fact that there are at least three more scouts that I’m aware of who will have to show up in season two should perk my interests, but if the show is struggling to handle four or five Scouts right now, I’m unconvinced they can handle any more.  Then again, maybe I’ve been looking at this show the wrong way.  Maybe the fact that it’s called Sailor Moon and not Sailor Scouts should have been a bit of an indication that this is about Usagi.  They COULD have made the team aspect strong without losing much of Usagi’s prominence, but would it still be the same show they wanted to make?  Is asking for a stronger presence of the team asking the creators to make the show I want instead of actually critiquing the show we have?  I’m still leaning on the side of no because teamwork and friendship has LOTS of lip service in the show, so when those aspects are underwritten it ends up feeling like cut corners rather than a creative decision.  Still though, it’s something to think about.

“Let me just stop you right there.  Did they rename the show to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts?  No!?  I DIDN’T THINK SO!!”

“Let me just stop you right there.  Did they rename the show to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts?  No!?  I DIDN’T THINK SO!!”

Chibi Usa is given Neo-Queen Serenity’s Moon Stick Thingy and is teleported away, leaving the Scouts and the Royal couple on Earth to either wait for them to succeed or for their own annihilation from an angry planet.  We cut to the depths of deep space where Usagi is just waking up and appears to be in an air filled bubble that’s slowly approaching Nemesis. With her inside the bubble is a reassuring Mamoru who’s there to give her the strength needed to stop Nemesis once and for all.  I’ve got to say that I really like Tuxedo’s Mask’s evolution in this series and his relationship with Sailor Moon.  Maybe not so much Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship (not enough with them just being themselves and what we’ve seen can be a bit… questionable) but when Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are working together, it’s done perfectly.  Sailor Moon probably has more power than probably anyone in the galaxy, yet she’s still a human being with the fears, flaws, and doubts that come with that.  When Tuxedo Mask is there though, it all falls away and she can stop up to the plate with confidence and do what needs to be done.  This isn’t some dude coming in to save the weak hero, this is EMOTIONAL SUPPORT!

“Wait, THIS is the first time you were you?  What about when you defeated the giant cloud tyrant?”

“Wait, THIS is the first time you were you?  What about when you defeated the giant cloud tyrant?”

Now she DOES have a line in here which KINDA goes back to the other thing where she says that the power of the Silver Crystal only activates in his presence, but I’m willing to let that go as either her own view of her experience instead of an actual facet of her powers or maybe even a translation error.  If it DOES bug people more then I understand, but I still think their relationship overall is very well handled.  Sailor Moon now has the resolve to fight Nemesis once again, but still may not have the power to defeat them.  That’s when Chibi-Usa floats her way into the scene and declares her determination to kick some planetary ass!

Wait a minute.  What ABOUT the moon!?  Where the hell has the moon been in this story!?

Wait a minute.  What ABOUT the moon!?  Where the hell has the moon been in this story!?

And so the two Princesses of the Moon (I think Sailor Moon is still considered a Princess at this point her life) aim their sticks at the planet and blow it the fuck up!  The effects can be felt all the way on Earth and it causes the three Malefic Black Crystals to disintegrate.  Because of this, Neo-Queen Serenity is able to hold aloft her mighty stick and COMPLETELY HEAL THE ENTIRE PLANET INCLUDING ALL THE BUILDINGS AND PEOPLE!!!

Well that was easy!

Well that was easy!

Um… okay.  I mean, I guess the show can’t end with the future being a Mad Max hell scape, but that seems PRETTY convenient.  Oh well, Neo-Queen Serenity is in a very good mood and decides to give the other Scouts some buffs so that they can hopefully be effective members of the team in the future instead of just standing around waiting for Usagi to solve everything… right?

“So we can fight alongside Sailor Moon now!?”     “Whoa whoa whoa!  Let’s not get HASTY here!”

“So we can fight alongside Sailor Moon now!?”     “Whoa whoa whoa!  Let’s not get HASTY here!”

On top their power boost, Sailor Moon gets a new compact that increases her power as well.  She just beat up a planet, how much more power does she need!?  The queen informs the other Scouts that Sailor Moon will reappear at the door of time (because magic or something) and that they should greet her there so that they can return to their own time.  The Scouts are confused that the queen won’t go there herself to see Sailor Moon off, but she says that doing so is not a part of history and could cause a paradox or whatever.  I don’t know why the paradox didn’t happen when Mamoru met his future hologram self, but I guess holograms don’t count.  Maybe Usagi and Neo-Queen Serenity can have a phone call, or can talk to each other from behind a door.  Oh well.  They may not get to express their gratidute to each other face to face, but I’m sure they both understand how much the other appreciates them and don’t have to risk the universe to confirm it.  Oh never mind.  Neo-Queen Serenity says fuck it.

“Screw the laws of time travel; I have omniscient God Character powers!!”

“Screw the laws of time travel; I have omniscient God Character powers!!”

To be clear, I’m NOT criticizing the meeting between these characters.  What I’m taking issue with is that they gave us about thirty seconds of misdirection for seemingly no purpose.  WE CAN’T MEET OR ELSE IT MIGHT RIP A HOLE IN THE UNIVERSE!!  Oh wait, no it won’t.  So they have their little goodbye (along with the other Scouts whose doppelgangers have since woken up) and they head back to the present.  The scene fades to white and Usagi wakes up to find herself in her own bed at her house in the present and it seems that her long journey is finally at an end.  Well… there’s still ONE loose thread.

Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Usagi?”     *canned applause*

Wha’choo talkin’ ‘bout, Usagi?”     *canned applause*

Chibi Usa has returned to the past but her time here is all too brief as Usagi soon realizes.  She has to return to her own time and live her life there, leaving just as they were starting to get along.  Needless to say they don’t take it too well.

SHUT UP!  I’m NOT crying!     …     I’M NOT!!!!

SHUT UP!  I’m NOT crying!     …     I’M NOT!!!!

Once they let out all their feelings, they finally have the strength to say goodbye and the two of them (along with Mamoru) head for the park to see Chibi-Usa off.  After giving Usagi a new Moon Stick Thingy as a gift from Neo-Queen Serenity, Chibi-Usa heads back to the future, presumably to not be seen for another hundred years.

“And now we don’t need to worry about coming up with baby names!”

“And now we don’t need to worry about coming up with baby names!”

Once she is gone, the two of them sit on a nearby bench and think about what has happened in the last couple of weeks.  They’ve been through a lot and have been pushed to the limits several times, but they’ve grown stronger because of it and will face whatever challenges the future may hold together.  To cement their bond, Usagi goes in for a kiss from the love of her life.  Then this happens.

“SURPRISE MO FOS!!!  YOU AIN’T GETTING RID OF ME!!!”     “My spine!”

“SURPRISE MO FOS!!!  YOU AIN’T GETTING RID OF ME!!!”     “My spine!”

Well of course they weren’t going to get rid of her!  She’s been the best part of this series and had JUST turned into a Sailor Scout herself!  They’re gonna milk this for all its worth, and that’s definitely not a bad thing!  But what is her excuse for coming back?

“So what, I’m your tutor now?  What the hell is keeping HER from teaching you!?  I’m seriously gonna kick my ass when I get to her age.”

“So what, I’m your tutor now?  What the hell is keeping HER from teaching you!?  I’m seriously gonna kick my ass when I get to her age.”

And so the episode (and the season) ends with Usagi’s tearful reunion with her not yet daughter and they all lived happily ever after until the next crisis rears its ugly head!

You know what?  I’m not doing a joke here.  Good for Usagi!  ALL THE FEELS!!!

You know what?  I’m not doing a joke here.  Good for Usagi!  ALL THE FEELS!!!

So this is it.  After a year of ups and downs and lots of justified hate (and secret enjoyment), Sailor Moon Crystal’s first season is at its end.  So what have learned from this experience?  As someone who’s never had much exposure to this franchise until this series, what can I take away from it?  Despite its glaring flaws, I very much enjoyed this series, even when it has some startling low points (especially in the first arc).  No matter how many problems this series has, either in execution (choosing to follow the manga as closely as it did) or production (the startlingly bad animation at points) the core of what this series is and the mythology it develops shines through.  We’ve seen instances where a reboot or a remake or a new adaptation of something beloved has really lost the heart and soul of what the original was trying to accomplish and while this show is incredibly frustrating at points (the team is swept under the rug and the pacing is all over the place), I always felt that the good aspects of the series, and what made this franchise special in the first place, still managed to shine through.  Now I can’t speak for fans of the other iterations who may find so much more to object to when they have something concrete to compare it with.  Because of this, I do plan on using the Season one and two break to try and recap the first two story arcs in the original anime and see if Sailor Moon Crystal really does miss a lot of what great about this franchise and its characters.  Until then though, I did enjoy my time with this show and look forward to seeing how they handle things in season two!

SMC26-18

.

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]

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Super Recaps: Sailor Moon Crystal (Episode 26) Season one Finale!!

  1. lololelelolo

    I think is awesome that you recap the 90s anime’s episodes. That way you can see the differences, knowing that Crystal is almost 99% a copy translation of the manga.
    Although I recommend you to recap a bunch of episodes at a time. I mean, there are 46 episodes in season 1 (covering the Dark Kingdom Arc -Queen Metalia-) and 43 other episodes in season 2 (also called Sailor Moon R, telling the story of the Black Moon Clan -Death Phantom-).
    It would be easier to recap from 10 to 10. Or maybe grouping them until they reach its Crystal counterpart (example: classic episode 1 matches crystal episode 1… classic episode 8 matches crystal’s 2… classic 10 is crystal’s 3… classic 25 matches crystal’s 5). You will know how to do it, but I think it will be a lot of work to recap all of the 89 episodes (but I admit it would be great for us to read those 89 reviews)

    Like

    Reply
    1. SuperDude Post author

      Wow. That’s uh… that’s a lot of episodes. PROBABLY should have looked into it beforehand, but I was planning on doing this almost from the beginning so that probably wouldn’t have deterred me then either. Still… wow. Is there a list of which episodes are filler and which are not? Maybe the filler episodes can be combined.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Bell Lectar

        Actually, you may not even need such a list, just the list of episodes from wikipedia may serve as well.
        Like many animes, it suffers from blatant episode titles that as well serve as episode summary.
        I figure this originates from using the next episode preview as a commercial to the series, and that’s where the title is first shown.
        Sort of like an unsaid pathetic plea “please don’t drop our series, look what happens next ep, please get interested”.
        So with spoiler-heaven episode titles like “The soldier of fire appears”, “The priness awakening”, “The tragic final battle” and so on, there is no way to get lost since you already know the plot.
        But the hardest thing is that there is no east list on what episodes are ok to skip.
        They intended to make that anime their biggest hit, so they involved the best staff they could, the kind of people that become big names in the industry.
        And the main thing these people tried to do was to minimize the number of worthless episodes.
        The result is that every episode will have at least a scene or a line that’s an absolute waste to never see, yet often its not enough to warrant seeing a whole episode for.
        Basically the episodes are of varying importance/
        Some are the key episodes that makes the series what it is
        Some are overall ok but not overwhelming.
        And the worst episodes you lose nothing out of skipping are the absolute minimal.
        So if you intend to skip, you must decide skipping how much useful content is ok with you.
        Because in the first 2 arcs there are only like less than 10 eps out of 89 that have no useful content, while all other eps are more like half is moderately useful, half is the eps that make the series.
        And they often do things like introducing plot elements gradually, so skipping an ep may result in not knowing what’s going on for the anime-only plotlines.
        And so you don’t get discouraged at the beginnig, the most difficult stretch of episodes is 2-7, that was them still trying to get the series started, and it doesn’t get as uneventful ever again.
        But even that stretch of bad episodes has smaller plot elements, character interaction and good scenes, as well as a good ep or 2 mixed in.

        Like

      2. SuperDude Post author

        Clearly I’m gonna have my work cut out for me, but it’s not like we know when season 2 of Crystal is coming out. 89 episodes with an average length of 2000 words a recap is… a lot.

        Like

      3. lololelelolo

        I didn’t said it before because I thought it was something obvious, but since you are new to this anime: stay away from any dubs (you have many many languages voicing the 90s anime). The original japanese with subs is the perfect way to watch this. Every other dub is censored. The English dub is the worst in that aspect. They even deleted 3 episodes from season 1, just because they were too violent (and those were not filler at all). This English dub has also changed the original background music, and the original japanese soundtrack of Sailor Moon is a masterpiece that you will be not knowing if you watch that dubbed version.

        Like

      4. SuperDude Post author

        I was planning on watching the dub because that’s how most Sailor Moon fans experienced it for the first time. Still, if it’s cutting out episodes, that might be an issue. Maybe I’ll do the dubs but then have a bit at the end where I point out any noticeable differences. Still figuring this out, but I hope to have something up this weekend or Monday.

        Like

      5. lololelelolo

        I know you will do it the way you want, but I have to say that I didn’t experience Sailor Moon for the first time based on the English dub, because I am Argentinian and that means that I watched it under the Latin American Spanish dub.
        This Spanish dub didn’t delete any episodes and was consisten all through Sailor Moon’s 5 seasons. But it did censore something. For example, they made Zoicite a woman.
        When I saw Sailor Moon in its original language, I could not believe how much more awesome it was… and Zoicite was a MAN? Great!
        The English dub also transformed Zoicite into a woman, but it’s censorship goes deeper by deleting 3 episodes, and Queen Metallia as well (you now know how that changes this story), the main antagonist of season 1 was just Beryl.
        The other problem with English dub is that it’s not consistent. Season 2 changed the company, and with that, the voice actors. And, of course it is not going to be a problem for you right now, but Sailor Moon was dubbed in English until season 4 only, season 5 has never been dubbed into English.

        Like

    2. Bell Lectar

      “89 episodes with an average length of 2000 words a recap is… a lot.”
      I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, because the old tv series were much more plot-lite compared to the manga that SMC used as a storyboard. So there isn’t as much to comment on per single episode, but when several episodes slowly build a lead-up that pays off in an episode that focuses on what was lead-up to, and there becomes plenty to comment on a block of episodes as a whole.
      And *because* the tv series were more plot-lite compared to the manga, *then* the english dub also censored some random things off, this may lead to a situation where you remember something that happened in SMC, but aren’t sure why you never saw it in the old anime, did they not include it in the first place, or did the dub cut it.
      I heard there’s a new english dub being made right now, but they change nothing except inserting random gags in translation, so it’s not different from subs, only the language changed, and with lower tier voice acting direction.
      But that’s not what you’re looking for if you specifically want to experience it the same way the fans from the US did for the first time.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Bell Lectar

    First of all, thank you so much for reviewing these series, your review were the most fun to read of all, with how much thought you put in noticing things old fans are too used to to pay attention to, with your first-time experience.
    Seeing how good you reacted to any scenes where the girls pretened to bond and had a line or 2 where they don’t talk about the plot alone, I suppose the original anime should be enjoyable to you, as it focuses less on romance and more on friendship.
    But while your memory is still fresh, there may even be worth to start with the actual manga first, to see what Crystal altered and omitted.
    Crystal started to make this weird sense of adaptational failure where they treat the manga as a storyboard yet cut the juiciest scenes out, or take a good scene and turn it into lameness with a skillful rewrite, since as soon as episode 2.
    And even without that, just the element of “the characters are capable of making facial expressions that reflect their feelings and personalities (which they were intended to have a presense of)”, and lack or presense of this element alone makes it 2 different stories.
    “Is asking for a stronger presence of the team asking the creators to make the show I want instead of actually critiquing the show we have?”
    I’m voting no, because of the number of the unwanted in the show members in said team.
    With only Venus seeming to be of any importance occasionally, and 3 characters that serve same purpose as some furniture in background, with there being 3 of them, means just as well as there they may have shortened the number to just 1 with nothing else changing, just as well they may have INCREASED the number to as much as may want to prolong the show.
    Like, why only 5 team members? Why not 10 or 20? There are enough colors and hairstyles, if that’s the only difference between them.
    If they the only purpose they serve is provide 1 episode each at the begining of the arc where the plot is stilled, so they themselves are FILLER to make the story a bit longer than otherwise.
    Having characters with no purpose is a objective flaw in a story, because they could have made it better by removing the unwanted and spending a bit extra time on the characters that matter.
    So they have an obligation to do something with every character involved, otherwise why involve them at all.
    That’s why team-centered shows exist in the first place, so they can have any more variety than just to focus on the main character exclusively. Otherwise why include a team at all?
    So for a manga about a team to be super-rushed to the point where these people barely matter, is already a half-baked product.
    And then to base a show on this where instead of expanding, they try to cut and omit as much as they can, was an obvious failed series before they even started it.
    Because expansion was neccessary and cuts can’t be afforded.
    If manga is as lacking as a skeleton with no flesh, then crystal with its omits also took out a limb or 2 off it.

    Like

    Reply
  3. SuperDude Post author

    Bit of an update: It seems that the version of Sailor Moon on Hulu (my source for all things Sailor Moon) is the NEW dub for the show, presumably made for that HD version they released on Blu Ray. On the plus side, it might fix some of the problems that the original dub has and fans may not be as familiar with this one so there’s something new to discuss there. On the minus side, I won’t get the cheesy 90’s effects, the morals at the end, and Luna doesn’t sound like an old lady.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s