The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This is the last full episode to cover the Dark Moon story arc so in a sense it can be considered the season finale, but the story will not conclude until the beginning of next week’s episode which will also serve as a season finale. Last week’s episode had some rather disappointing deviations from the original manga source material. Fans will be happy to see that this week’s episode is fairly faithful, with a number of minor changes.
First, a comment on the title which, like with the manga, does little to describe what is actually going on here. We’re promised the “Final Battle” but no such thing happens. There is a sort of battle with Metelia but there is no conclusion here. The battle does not finish as the final blows are not taken. Secondly the title mentions reincarnation, which does not actually happen in the strictest sense. The end of the last episode has Sailor Moon killing Tuxedo Mask and herself but they aren’t actually reincarnated because neither actually died. More on that and the 1990 hit film which inspired both scenes later. But that’s just me being nitpicky. And speaking of nitpicky, this episode has some pretty messed up looking animation in it. This is nothing new to the series but I wasn’t this bothered by some of the less consistent animation quality since act 7 so I think it needs mentioning.
Luna continues to kick a lot of ass in this episode. She’s pretty scrappy in Sailor Moon Crystal and that doesn’t stop here. She attacks Metalia, this massive unstoppable evil energy. This fails, naturally, and eventually Luna asks Artemis to bring her to the Moon to consult with Queen Serenity and to beg her to seal Metalia away. In a flashback we get a look at Luna when she was a young kitten along with a much younger Queen Serenity, though still one with white hair. The Queen’s dress matches Princess Serenity’s quite a bit. I wonder is she was even Queen yet at this point, though we don’t really know much about Queen Serenity’s background or her parents. Once Usagi becomes Neo Queen Serenity she continues to keep the dress style she had as Princess. Similarly Chibiusa has that type of dress when she appears as a Princess.
Some minor changes occurred in the Sailor Guardians’ actions in the this episode. They first try to use Sailor Planet attack, which fails. This results in an odd bit of imagery showing them all with white eyes looking like zombies. Then instead of being transported back to their headquarters like they did in the manga they simply stay in the North Pole to attack again, giving up their transformation items and their lives. This is coupled with a number of inspirational flashbacks where Usagi is shown encouraging or befriending each of them, which helps them find the strength they need to keep fighting. This is very similar to a scene from the Sailor Moon R movie in which each of the Sailor Guardians has a similar flashback to encourage them to help Usagi on the asteroid.
While all of this goes on Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are trapped inside the Silver Crystal which itself gets consumed by Queen Metalia. While they originally appear to be dead, they are both revealed to be alive. They are not resurrected in any way. Both escaped death by the same convenient plot twist, inspired by the 1990 hit film Problem Child. In this film John Ritter’s character is shot by Michael Richards but the bullet is deflected by a lucky dried prune which is in his pocket. Similarly Sailor Moon escapes death by having the sword deflected on the Orgel watch that Tuxedo Mask gave her. Tuxedo Mask escapes death by using the exact same Problem Child inspired trick of having the sword hitting the gems that he has symbolizing the Shitennou.
The scene with the Shitennou again shows a small change from the manga. As Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite appear as ghosts, now with their full memories and loyal to Mamoru, the gems they are linked to shatter. Originally in the manga these gems take some of the force but only chip a little. Tuxedo Mask keeps them as they make another appearance during the Black Moon Clan story arc. How this change will affect the next arc remains to be seen.
Another change is that Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask manage to escape from inside of Queen Metalia before the final attack. This is different even from the next episode preview at the end of Act 12 which shows Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick growing into a full staff with the sky filled with Queen Metalia, which is no longer the case with the clear view of the moon seen in the final version of the episode. The final battle itself is yet to come.
Next time on January 17th we’ll see act 14, Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangère. The episode title as shown here has the spelling “Petite Étrangére”. This is incorrect, as the second E in étrangère has an “accent grave”, towards the back not towards the front. French titles also only capitalize the first letter of the first word but we’ll let that one slide. This is still an improvement over the manga title “Petit Etranger” which omits the accent for the first E (the correct spelling is Étranger), a practice which is generally discouraged and lazy for upper case letters, but it is also wrong because it uses the masculine form of both words which are incorrectly used as it’s a reference to Chibiusa who is by all indications very much female. I don’t mean to harp on spelling too much but this is an episode title so it would have been nice for them to have done a bit of research on this one, especially in light of them having properly spelled the title of last year’s musical “Petite Étrangère”. The spelling of “Materia” for act 12 seems more likely to be a mistake when this case is considered.
This next episode will have the real end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the beginning of the Black Moon Clan arc. Some are referring to this as season 2. This will mark the appearance of Chibiusa, though nothing in the preview mentions anything but the conclusion of the battle with Queen Metalia and the aftermath.
I’ll be traveling on the weekend of the 17th so my review may be a bit late but I will be sure to have something posted sooner or later.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.
I’m betting that we won’t see Chibiusa until the second half of Act 14. The first half and most of the second will be most likely be devoted to ending the Dark Kingdom arc. After that we’ll see Chibiusa and maybe a hint of the Black Moon clan. That’s my guess, anyway.
Of course, I’ve been wrong before. I’ve been upfront about that.
That’s how it was in the 2003 re-print, which Crystal is following
Well, I am very dissappointed with this ep. To me, it was tooo cheesy and I couldn’t stand the part “Right, I’m Sailor Moon”- like we could forget that and like she couldn’t even function without Mamoru, which she confirmed with the “Mamo-chan always gives me strenght”part… Come on! Where’s the warrior she is? This wasn’t half painful that was in the anime -where she saw her friends die and yet was attacked by the love of his life and had to attack him back (ok, this last part was similar)- and she still gave an awsome fight instead of all that screaming and “I can’t” stuff, which is definetely not the spirit of the Sailor Moon who inspired an entire generation… *sighs* Anyway, I haven’t read the manga, so I only talk from the anime part understanding that the story has more sides, so I will calm down and wait for the disappointment to disappear, because today I had all the intention of leave Crystal, but I’m curious about what’s next, so, let’s wait…
And, by the way, wonderful blog, I don’t miss any review. Thanks!
SMC Crystal Usagi is too suicidal. She gives up before trying. In short, the Character development of all the Characters we loved so much since our childhood is pretty messed up.
As from ep 8, I watch SMC just curious to see how bad it can get. And for a 2014 Animated series, it is very poor IMO
Yes, you’re totally right: now, instead of enjoy, I sit to watch waiting for the next mistake, and there are a lot, so yes, it’s sad. Fortunately, there’s the anime and the manga, with tons of Character Development and waaay better than Crystal.
Wow SMC hit a new low with the “quality” of animation in this episode. It never really bothered me before, but the two frames baton swirl, and the pink ribbons…. I’ve seen fan art with better quality than this. It was painful to watch.
At the beginning when it showed Sailor Moon and Endymion “dead”, the shadows over their eyes looked like someone had put blindfolds on them.
I thought it was a beautiful episode. A wand twirl pained you, but it does not discount the fact that almost all of the episode was beautifully drawn.
I’m not familiar with the source material, but, in the first anime, I still remember vividly the “The Sailor Senshi Die! The Tragic Final Battle” as a tearjerker. It was a powerful, poignant and tragic episode. Is this “Act 13 Reincarnation” supposed to be the same thing history speaking ?
unfortunately yes. the anime is completely different that the anime. the anime prevailed in this episode. i think if they had done it EXACTLY to the manga, it would’ve been better. like mamoru goes blind in the manga. the manga kills the sailor senshi but its more graphic with blood and everything.
I’ve just realized that the Moon Sword is able to destroy a diamond by a simple touch. We saw that a few episodes ago.
Now we are supposed to believe that a non-diamond pocket watch and 4 non-diamond stones are enough to stop this blade’s attack?
I didn’t relize this back then when I was reading the manga, but it is something that calls my attention now (of course, that would be a manga mistake, not a Crystal one)
Maybe the sword has a mind of its own. Either that, or this is just one of those inconsistencies that if we think about it too much, we’ll like the story a little less.
A watch would never stop a sword to begin with, whatever the respective pieces were made of. I think it’s more that the love of Mamoru for Usagi… that deep, last symbol… is the force that stopped the sword from penetrating Usagi (or the watch, for that matter. Just broke the glass further).
The same applies to the stones of the Shittenou getting in the way. Kunzite, Zoicite, Nephrite and Jadite are certainly not stronger than diamonds, no stronger than any other crystal really. There’s no way they’d deflect a blow from a sword like that. The Shittenou themselves, their love for Endmyion, is what stopped the blow.
It’s not hard to believe at all. The story of Sailormoon is very magical. The Holy Sword could have been stopped by the watch because of what it stood for between them.
If we can believe in talking cats and special powers, why can’t we believe that the power of love (and a watch) stopped the sword.
Question 1: If Mamoru was under Metalia’s control and he was never really struck with the sword as the gems took the blow – then how was he ever released from Metalia’s control? Shouldn’t he still be possessed? Also since he wasn’t cut, he should have still been awake.
Question 2: I agree with others, if the Watch took the blow, it’s unlikely the sword would not have penetrated the watch, but even assuming it did, why would sailor moon have been unconscious? If she was never punctured than she should have been still awake.
Question 3: If Mamoru’s body was not struck and he was protected by the gems than how was the piece of the silver crystal in him ever merged back with the main crystal?
This episode lacked the emotional resonance that it should have had… the Inner Senshi watched the failure of their mission, again… Sailor Moon killing herself right in front of them. They barely reacted. There should have been crying, the sense of terrible history repeating, The girls had more of a reaction to the deaths of the Shittenou than to the death of their best friend, princess, and ultimate loved one.
I’ve really enjoyed Crystal, warts and all, but I think it suffers from its quick pace and half hour episodes. There’s little enough time for the plot, let alone fleshing out these characters and making them into individuals. I don’t want to compare Crystal to the original Sailor Moon too much, but in the original we’d been with the girls for over 40 episodes by the time the final battle went down. We knew and loved them and what’s more, they knew and loved each other… enough to sacrifice themselves for their Princess. Crystal fails in that, as pretty and neat as it is.
Hopefully it will improve with time. I’ll be watching every episode until the very end, so we’ll see. Even if it never hits that proper groove, hopefully we’ll get movies, OVAs, and various specials out of this series.
Thank god you mentioned the animation because they are just getting sloppy. I think it’s like how they did in the original anime and just would switch off animators every episode. It also felt like the past two episodes the animation is decent the first half and then it’s like stick figures the last half.
For the beautiful artwork that Naoko created in the manga, you’d think she’d be like “we are not releasing this episode until it’s done right.” I mean she has to review it before it airs… right??
In reference to the title to next weeks episode – the probably used the male version because it is more generic. We aren’t supposed to know it’s referring to Chibi-Usa yet.
I suppose this is possible though this wouldn’t really be the same as using a vague “they” instead of saying “him” or “her”. More like saying “a mysterious boy!”. There is no assumption of no or unmentioned gender by using the masculine wording.
4 sailor rookies Luna and Artemis are failed to stop usagi for killing momoru chiba with a sword in cold blood’ usagi got a first kill