We’re back with another episode of The Saturn Seal! When we last left our heroes, they had just managed to get one over on Mistress 9 due to the fact that Chibi Moon has now become SUPER Chibi Moon with the help of Hotaru’s ghost! Still, there’s the matter of General Zod on the planet below trying to break free of the barrier put up by the Outer Senshi so that he can finally take over the world for reasons that I’m sure make perfect sense to him, so that’s something they’ll have to deal with eventually though I’m still convinced this guy is kind of a pushover. I mean, a puddle? Just get some giant paper towels or a Moon Powered blow dryer! So will the Scouts’ new found source of ULTIMATE POWER be enough to stop the space tyrants once and for all? Let’s find out!!
The episode begins with the Monstrous Mistress 9 barreling towards the Scouts with everything she’s got left, though it may not be enough as Sailor Moon AND Chibi-Moon have both gone Super Sailor Guardian and are preparing to stop her in her tracks; firing off one last blast together as mother and daughter in the hopes of saving the world from certain doom. Kind of reminds me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…
The attack seems to have taken its toll on Mistress 9, but as luck would have it this is the ONE TIME where a single attack does not completely obliterate the enemy. The writing is on the wall for Ms. Bad Guy though, so the only option left for her is to be absorbed by Master Pharaoh 90 whose plan is still basically that of General Zod, but is now starting to resemble The Smooze.
With the absorption of Mistress 9 in progress, General Smooze’s power continues to grow which is doing nothing to help the Outer Senshi maintain their Bell Jar of Evil Containment which is the only thing keeping him from wreaking havoc on the planet. The Inner Senshi have had enough of this bullshit, and all of them (along with Tuxedo Mask) start blasting their own variations of the Kamehameha while Super Sailor Moon and Super Chibi Moon prepare another one of the combo blasts. Unfortunately, it seems that the Inner Senshi and Tuxedo Mask have been depowered to the point of being the Krillins of this show (name ONE thing they’ve done that was useful since the appearance of Super Sailor Moon), so while I’m sure their token efforts are appreciated, they aren’t what’s gonna change this battle in their favor.
Well considering the same attack probably wasn’t gonna work twice in a row, the Super Sailor Dual Blast fails to stop General Smooze from reaching his own version of ULTIMATE POWER and he manages to break apart the barrier that the Outer Senshi have placed up. Not only that, but a mere thirty seconds of firing their attacks leaves the Inner Senshi so drained that they collapse on the spot. Okay, Super Chibi Moon does too, but she’s blasting the enemy with WAY more power than they are and she’s at least half their age! I’m willing to cut the eight year old some slack; what’s their excuse!?
General Smooze, having destroyed the barrier and defeated the other Scouts, then proceeds to cover the world in his toxic mass which doesn’t seem to do much damage (a flood would have at least knocked a few buildings down) but we can assume that whatever their doing is not good for the people of Earth… all of whom are conspicuously absent from the streets where the waves of evil are cascading, but whatever. While this is happening, a wormhole opens up in the sky that leads directly to the remnants of Krypton… I mean The Tau Star System which is the home of General Smooze and we can only assume there is gonna be an Avengers style invasion happening any minute now. The aliens aren’t coming through YET (what, were they not ready or something?) but considering all but one of the Scouts has been exhausted, I guess they can invade the planet at their leisure. On the brink of losing all hope, Super Sailor Moon (shouldn’t she back to REGULAR Sailor Moon since the other Scouts seem to have been tapped out?) is given a sign as the clouds part and the moon is staring right back at her; giving her the strength to move forward and kick some intergalactic tyrant ass! She summons forth the Holy Grail again, and dive bombs directly into the muck below which I guess is supposed to read as a sacrificial gesture considering we get agape reaction shots of all the Scouts, but I’m ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that she’ll be fine.
I get what they’re doing here and I think it’s done well, except that I don’t buy that the plan here is supposed to be her willing to die to save the world. Maybe if they had explained what she was doing by diving into the mass (which we haven’t had any indication is deadly to the touch) or if this is some technique that was brought up at an earlier time so that it’s clearer that what we’re seeing is her doing something that she thinks she’s not going to walk away from. Just a line or something from a previous episode where one of the Outer Senshi tells her not to ever summon the Holy Grail after becoming Super Sailor Moon as she would grow stronger momentarily, but then it would eat her away from the inside. You can’t have the PAYOFF if you don’t PLANT the idea first.
Everyone has their sad moment here as they begin to mourn the loss of Sailor Moon, but then the Outer Senshi’s talismans start to glow and shoot energy beams into the sky. The energy beams seem to be having a reaction on General Smooze as a ball of light starts rising from the mass within. The light dissipates to NOT reveal Sailor Moon, but to instead reveal none other than Sailor Saturn, which is impressive considering that not only was her body torn to shreds, I’m also pretty sure her ghost died as well in the last episode.
So I guess the Outer Senshi involuntarily summoned her and therefore have brought about the apocalypse on this world. I mean… it’s not like the Scouts have a BETTER plan. Usagi hasn’t come up for air yet, and General Smooze has managed to engulf the entire planet in his dark energy already. Then again, it’s very clear that Sailor Saturn can kick this goop’s ass with barely a second thought, as she proceeds to do just that while monologuing to herself about how crappy Hotaru’s life was and how she should have died all those years ago, and blah blah blah, which begs the question of why do they even NEED an apocalypse if she’s already got the situation in hand?
The monologue by the way isn’t all that great. She seems particularly peeved at the idea that Daddy Frankenstein spared both hers and Hotaru’s life (Saturn so far seems to be the Scout with the biggest disconnect between her human self and the released guardian spirit) due to the MAD SCIENCE OF ROBOTICS! Okay, quiz time. How many vital organs are in the limbs? The answer is NONE!! What part of giving her robo arms and legs is cheating death then? Maybe she had more extensive pieces thrown into her that we can’t see like a steam powered heart or a cyborg pancreas. Well if we’re going down THAT route, why don’t we start ripping pace makers out of peoples’ chests, or banning open heart surgery? If the Moon God wanted them to live, they wouldn’t have given them a heart attack in the first place! Yeah, Sailor Saturn is just a straight up drama queen, which I guess is to be expected considering her one job is to kill everything, but that doesn’t make her any more likable.
Anyway, Sailor Saturn is about to nuke the planet along with General Smooze with her Scythe of Doom or whatever, and the other Scouts are powerless to stop her… or at least assume they are. I think Uranus yells at her one time but that’s about all the resistance they can muster when faced with certain doom. Okay, I don’t KNOW if its certain doom as she wouldn’t have been summoned without a reason (plus Silver Millennium is already on the path of reviving itself), but the Scouts all seem to think its certain doom. If that’s the case though, then why don’t they do something about it!?
The plea for mercy from Uranus falls on deaf ears sadly enough, and Saturn begins to power up her weapon for the final attack which will save the planet from General Smooze by wiping out everything (seems a bit counter-intuitive, but whatever) and the episode ends just as she’s about to unleash the full power of the apocalypse yet again… which you’d think would be redundant. I mean, how many apocalypses can you have before the term becomes meaningless?
This is the episode I though the last episode was going to be which sadly means that this one is not as good. While the last one had an interesting conflict sandwiched in the middle of it between Mistress 9 and Phantom Hotaru, this one doesn’t seem to have that much interest in making Master Pharaoh 90 nearly as compelling. All the Big Bads in this show so far have ended up as non-corporeal masses of pure evil, which as we learned from Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer and Green Lantern is rarely an effective form for a compelling villain. Hell, the we’ve already managed to make fun of this trope and bury it for good back in The Fifth Element, yet people haven’t seemed to have learned that lesson yet! True, the source material this show is drawing from was written in the nineties (before The Fifth Element), but this is the kind of risk you run when you try to make a note for note faithful adaptation. On top of that, it’s a pretty light episode all the way through with not a lot happening but all of it done with a large amount of reverence and import; Sailor Moon’s sacrificial gesture which will presumably pay off in the next episode and Sailor Saturn’s awakening with minutes long aside to the audience about stuff we already knew being the two biggest examples of that. Scenes like this may have been executed fine, but what led up to these scenes and the content within them isn’t exactly enthralling. I already mentioned that Sailor Moon’s sacrifice felt rushed and unceremonious which is still true, and the fact that Hotaru doesn’t talk to anyone but herself for the entire time she’s on screen only distances herself further from the rest of the characters and made it that much harder to care about what she was doing and why she was doing it. We’ll have to wait until next time to find out what her plan is, but I’m guessing there’s a Beerus loophole in here somewhere (she’ll destroy Earth, just not very much of it). That, or sailor Moon is gonna grab that Scythe of hers and bonk her on the head with it for being such a jerk. Either way, we’ll have to wait until next week to find out! As for this episode, it’s still a solid entry as plenty of stuff is happening and the show isn’t spinning its wheels like it did for long stretches of the rest of the season, but it’s disappointing that the surprisingly good episode we got last time turned out to be an aberration than the start of a trend.
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Sailor Moon “Crystal” Set 1 Standard (BD/DVD combo pack) [Blu-ray]