Sailor Moon Crystal and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Toei Animation and licensed by Viz Media
We’re back with another episode of New Moon! The season three retooling of the series has indeed brought about some positive changes, but after two episodes it seems clear that there are still some flaws that need to be addressed. Will they be addressed in this episode? Probably not as I’m guessing at least most of the season three episodes are done already, but we can always hope right? Anyway, let’s find out!!
The episode begins where the last one left off; with everyone staring in awe as the mystery Scouts (Uranus and Neptune) who are either flying away or jumping straight into the ocean. Either way it’s unlikely our heroes will be getting any answers from them tonight, but that’s alright because there’s still someone ELSE here who can provide some intrigue and ambiguous exposition!
The new girl here is Hotaru Tomoe who will PROBABLY end up being Sailor Saturn (I’ve mistakenly been referring to her as Sailor Pluto for a while now who was actually the time Scout from season two) and she just wanders back into the school as if this kerfuffle hadn’t just occurred. Why is she so eager to get back to the school anyway? Well considering he barely gets a few steps inside before she keels over, I can only guess she wanted to have a heart attack in private where no one can help her. Okay… Well that plan doesn’t work out considering a scientist lady (who looks suspiciously similar to someone we’ve seen before) finds her and tries to help. Hotaru doesn’t seem to like this newcomer too much as she’s the assistant of her father who I’m pretty sure is Ciel Phantomhive from Black Butler all grown up. That, or Snake Plissken after he finally went back to get his degree.
Alright, so it looks like we have a Kilgrave situation here where a kid has some horrible disease (Moon Poisoning?) and their parents (or in this case her dad and his assistant) try to help her in what seems to be PRETTY inhumane ways. I mean she seems to be living in the school’s basement and clearly doesn’t have any friends which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what ANY doctor will tell you about helping children with serious illnesses! Don’t isolate them from the rest of the world so that they feel like freaks! What the hell is this guy’s degree in!? Crypto-veterinary Medicine!?
Surprisingly, this amulet seems to be helping with her illness, so hopefully it doesn’t turn out to be pure evil (spoiler alert: it probably is). Back at the Moon Command Center under the arcade, everyone is trying to figure out just what the hell happened out there with the two mystery Scouts and the two students who JUST SO HAPPENED to be around at the same time. Oddly enough they seem completely oblivious to the possibility that these two things MIGHT be connected. Seriously? SERIOUSLY!? I know we’re not supposed to know that they look EXACTLY THE SAME when they’re in their outfit and when not, but this is literally putting two and two together!!
Hopefully they figure out this mystery sooner rather than later so that we can focus on something more interesting. Say… Chibi-Usa’s blossoming crush on Hotaru? Let’s get into THAT for a minute! While the Scouts and the cats are trying (and failing) to get this to all make sense, Usagi notices that Chibi-Usa is wistfully staring off into the distance. When asked about her lack of attention to the current situation (besides sheer boredom which I would have accepted), she reveals that she’s been thinking about Hotaru this whole time and it seems to be much more than friendship going on there.
I don’t know exactly where this is going or how far they plan to take it if they go down the romance path. I think there’s plenty of interesting material to mine there if they go down that route, but on the other hand I’m already a bit wary about Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship considering the age difference between them and just how young Usagi is supposed to be. We’ll have to see how it plays out in future episodes, though the season three opening shows them naked in a field for some reason which is a bit worrying. We cut back to General Zod’s base of operations where… words are said by Ursa (more vague bullshit about the end of the world and whatever) and it turns out that she’s the assistant to Hotaru’s dad and she’s also the one who gave him the healing amulet thingy which she powers up by dunking it in the fountain. Okay… is this water significant? Is this the fountain of youth, or does it have mind control powers? She also starts mentioning that she will try to take Sailor Moon’s power after witnessing it for herself and that it’s more powerful than a Taioron Crystal. What the hell is a Taioron Crystal? Didn’t we already have a scene last episode to justify the bad guys going after the Scouts? Also there’s some light she says that needs to be investigated, but I don’t think it’s the same light that starts talking to her from the fountain. Yeah, dots of light just appear in the water and start talking to her.
The water explodes by the way because Mamoru woke up and apparently Mamoru waking up is something VERY important… for reasons. We may be done with the Zod Gang for now, but that’s not even close to the end of the confusion here. About sixty percent of this episode is exposition and maybe half of it makes sense. For instance, we check up on Haruka and Michiru who are at their very nice apartment (presumably a shared one) where Michiru’s mirror thingy goes foggy. Oh no… what could that mean? No seriously, what does that mean for anyone watching? I don’t know. THEY seem to know and I guess it’s a sign of hopelessness or whatever, but we still don’t know what their planning, so maybe we WANT their plan to be hopeless! Oh wait! We find out that there are three talismans! What are those? No idea. What do they do? No idea. We DO know there are three though! Any more obnoxiously vague foreshadowing the show wants to throw at us? Well maybe later, but for now we’re back into full on exposition mode. The Scouts find out that the head of the whole Mugen District (So I guess he’s the principal AND the mayor?) is named Souichi Tomoe who you may remember as eye-patch dad from earlier. Well at least that explains why he’s been allowed to hide her daughter away in the basement of the school, but things get EVEN WEIRDER when Mamour is spotted by Michiru at a book store (who ends up giving him two tickets to her next concert because she’s a professional violinist which I’m sure is going to be important in the next episode) and then she starts expositing to HIM about the history the school. So first of all, “Professor” Tomoe is a name that is worthy of air-quotes as it turns out the guy was expelled from the academic world… whatever that means. The reason why? I guess because people got super jealous of Mugen Academy pumping out such fine upstanding and well educated citizens that rumors started circulating that the place was a school for witchcraft and wizardry. Yes, that is right. This school is a training ground for sorcerers.
Can we just pull the breaks on this for a minute? It feels like this show was careful not to cram too much into the first two episodes, but because of that they had then cram this one episode with everything they couldn’t get to before. The thing is though, that none of it feels like it MEANS anything! What’s the most interesting thing so far? That would be Hotaru and whatever is going on with her living situation. I’m interested to find out why she’s sick all the time, her dad could be an interesting character (even though he’s a shitty doctor) and having Ursa try to befriend Hotaru for her own personal gain means we have villain that might just be interesting, even if her character smacks a bit of step mother paranoia. Then again, this show is basically a dream like fairytale so I can forgive it for indulging in a cliché like that; though the isolation thing STILL bugs the hell out of me. What’s not working though is that they keep introducing new things without explanation and all it’s doing is cluttering the narrative and taking up time. We STILL don’t know what Uranus and Neputne’s deal is or why they’re being so coy with the Scouts. We STILL don’t know who the big bad guy is that I’ve been hilariously referring to as General Zod. On top of that, we now have to worry about talismans, magic schools, and exploding water. I’m losing all sense of what the hell I should be caring about!! Can we get to something that doesn’t require exposition and a Wikipedia article to decipher!?
You know what? I’ll take it! Birthdays are easy enough to understand! While the Scouts are out celebrating the fact that Chibi-Usa just became the class president (why didn’t we get to see that subplot play out!?) Makoto reminds them that Rei’s fifteenth birthday is coming up and that they should do something to celebrate it. Unfortunately, it’s going to be harder than simply hiding in her room and saying BOO because she’s gone to the mountains to meditate or something which means the four other Scouts will have to hike it there; something none of them are particularly prepared for except for Makoto who I will remind you is the best. Unfortunately, Rei’s meditation ties into all the wacky bullshit we saw before (couldn’t escape that plot for five minutes, could we?) because just like Mamoru waking up, Rei praying does… something to the bad guy’s fountain and the water explodes AGAIN!!
What I gather as significant about this scene is that Rei now knows that there are things called talismans, that there are three of them, and that they MAY end up being important. Hopefully she’ll figure out why soon enough so that she can explain it to me. That’s quite enough plot for now (finally!) as it’s time to PARTY DOWN MOTHER FUCKERS!!
Well that was fun for about three minutes! Is it time to get back to the plot? Unfortunately yes, though it does seem to have at least narrowed its focus now. The cabin that Rei had rented out for her meditation marathon is conveniently located within spitting distance of a facility owned and operated by Mugen Academy and the primary use of it is as an orientation camp of sorts for the new students coming in that year. Wait; are they at the beginning of the school year now? Eh, whatever. Either way, they now have something productive to do on this daytrip, so they start spying on the judo practice going on which JUST SO HAPPENS to have Haruka on hand to wipe the floor with everyone. The Scouts unfortunately have a lot to learn about stealth as Haruka spots them immediately and offers to take on their most powerful warrior! Naturally that’s Makoto who dons a gi, gets in a fighting stance, and crushes the puny bastard within an inch of their life! THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED! DON’T TRY TO TELL ME OTHERWISE!!
After… that thing that never happened and will never be spoken of again, they retreat back to their cabin and try to sleep off the rough night they just had. However, Rei and Makoto can’t seem to put the day behind them and end up staying up long enough to catch a secret midnight meeting that the new students are having and it turns out that all these students are being led by one of the five witches that were introduced last episode. I’m SURE there’s nothing nefarious going on there!
I’m not sure what the bad guys are after here, but I’m willing to go with it as a slightly more convoluted version of energy collection from the Dark Kingdom arc. Also, I’m guessing that’s a typo in the translation and it’s supposed to be HOSTESS, though I’m not sure who that’s supposed to be. Is General Zod gender ambiguous, or is she doing this for Ursa? Either way, Rei and Makoto know pure evil when they see it, so they transform and start wailing on the witch who reveals herself to the Scouts as Eudial of Witches 5 and a level seventy-eight Death Buster… whatever that means. It sounds like the evil counterparts to the Ghostbusters or something. The Scouts give her a run for her money, but she ends up getting the upper hand and almost finishes off Jupiter and Mars before Usagi and the others show up in the nick of time! Sailor Moon finishes off Eudial with another one of those spinning heart attacks which I feel is gonna be the go to attack to replace her Moon Tiara Action. Wait, did she even use that attack all that much in Crystal, or was that more of a thing in the original series?
And so the day is saved once again as the students who were under the witch’s spell are slowly coming to and hopefully not permanently damaged! The other witches (I guess the Witches 4 now) are off to the side snarking at her defeat because bad guys can’t actually care about one another and leave the scene to plan their next attack. Then all of a sudden, one of the Mystery Scouts (Uranus) just pops out of the bushes long enough to be seen and then bolts deep into the forest for no apparent reason. Usagi is the only one to give chase which seems to come to a dead end until Uranus sneaks up behind her and ends the episode on… this. Alright, I’ll give the episode points for that.
I HOPE this is the worst that the show gets because this was pretty insufferable. It’s slow, uninterested, portentous, and only occasionally figures out to make this episode interesting instead of just setting up future episodes. There are so many dangling plot threads and hints to future episodes that it’d hard to keep it straight your head even if half of it WASN’T completely ridiculous. I mean, exploding water? COME ON!! Still, they did manage to get SOME interesting plot points across (mostly pertaining to Sailor Saturn), and while I doubt the last shot of this episode is going to be all THAT significant in the grand scheme of things, it is admittedly a strong note to end it on as you don’t really see it coming and it gives us a slightly better idea of who Sailor Uranus really is and how she interacts with others. I’m hopeful for the next episode considering how much ground they ended up covering here which will hopefully mean the next one won’t have nearly as much exposition or nearly as many stupid plot points, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Until then… well I WOULD say skip this episode, but there’ so much information in it!!
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Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]