Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Koan the fortune teller

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, gives us a better look at the mysterious Chibiusa and then pits Koan of the Black Moon Clan’s Ayakashi Sisters against Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - The Black Moon Clan

The first thing to note this week are the changes to the intro. Despite a few minor cosmetic changes the scenes specific to the first story arc, that being Queen Serenity and the Dark Kingdom, have been replaced with images of the Black Moon Clan, Chibiusa and Sailor Pluto. This is actually a very short part of the intro, as most of it is fairly generic not having anything season specific. That said if you look closely at Sailor Moon’s brooch you will see that it is still the one she had in the first story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Ayakashi Sisters

The Black Moon Clan are finally here! We get a good first look at pretty much all of the characters on their home planet of Nemesis (which Rubeus mistakenly refers to as a star, which may be a subtitle issue). We see Demande, Esmeraude, Saphir, Rubeus and Wise Man. We also get a look at the Ayakashi Sisters though this episode heavily features Koan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa shooting Usagi

Chibiusa’s gun wasn’t real! It just had a flower in it. She decides to follow Usagi around, a good instinct as she has the Silver Crystal and is Sailor Moon, so she brainwashes the Tsukino family into thinking she belongs there. This causes Luna to hit Usagi and Mamoru in order to avoid them being brainwashed. Nice to see Luna hitting Mamoru right in the face. It’s also nice to see Shingo again! He is dropped so quickly in the original anime that it’s good to see that he’s still around.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Tsukino family being hypnotized while Luna hits Mamoru in the face

The girls receive new transformation items and communicators in this episode. These transformation pens are called the Star Power Sticks and the girls mention that they feel more powerful after transforming with them, which explains Sailor Mars’s new power Burning Mandala and Sailor Mercury’s new power Shine Aqua Illusion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - New transformation items and communicators

Arcades are so 1992! The Crown Arcade has been replaced with the Crown Fruit Parlor as the main hang out place of our characters. I’m not sure if this was meant to reflect the dwindling popularity of arcades when the manga was first published, the aging interests of the characters in the series or just a way to make it easier to tell the story. It’s easier to have exposition happen as the girls drink some juice rather than amongst noisy arcade games. A new character, Asanuma, is introduced at the Fruit Parlor. A scene from the manga has him commenting that he thinks that a beautiful girl like Rei is more fitting as a girlfriend to Mamoru than Usagi. Indeed, I support this manga shipping of Mamoru and Rei but unfortunately Sailor Moon Crystal chose not to include this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Crown Fruit Parlor

The main plot develops at Rei’s school, T. A. Academy. It’s an all girl’s school. All kinds of pseudoscience surround this episode’s plot as students investigate UFOs, spontaneous combustion and fortune telling! One character that is seen in the hall of T. A. Academy looks suspiciously like Heero Yuy from the 1995 anime series Gundam Wing. I find the other characters in this scene look a bit like they could be from other anime series, but no specific ones come to mind besides a girl showing a passing resemblance to Miki from Marmalade Boy.

Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at T. A. Academy in Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at Rei's school

One student of T. A. Academy is the white haired Kotono Sarashina. She is investigating all these pseudoscientific things that in the context of this completely fictional story happen to be real. Her white hair is a bit odd to see. I suppose she’s simply meant to have very light blonde hair, but she looks a bit like a ghost or a really old person! She is just one of the many characters who isn’t given any colour in the manga, so the artists behind Sailor Moon Crystal are free to give her any hair colour they chose.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Kotono Sarashina

Rei is spending her time at the festival reading fortunes, which in the real world is nonsense but is a thing she can really do in the fictional world in which this story takes place. She has competition with Koan who is using her fortune telling powers to predict when people will die in the hopes that they will decide to join the Black Moon Clan with their remaining years. Not a terribly great plan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Rei the fortune teller

The other plan the Black Moon Clan has in this episode involves burning people alive! Originally in the Manga Rei has a vision of a young girl being burned alive by Koan. This is not quite as terrible in Sailor Moon Crystal as the young girl is replaced by an adult man. The Black Moon Clan has a number of drones who originally pose as nuns and then run around making sounds very similar to those made by the Snow Dancers in the Sailor Moon S movie.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nunsSailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nuns

Once the combat starts, Koan and Sailor Mars face off. Sailor Mars gets frozen by Koan’s fire. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask summon the new attack item the Cutie Moon Rod which uses Moon Princess Halation to kill Koan. A pity, really, that she has to die. Indeed, this is how it was originally written in the manga. I always came to appreciate how the anime played out with Rei befriending Koan and sacrificing herself to protect her, ultimately making her abandon her evil ways to open up a makeup business which her sisters join her in. It shows a side of Sailor Moon that is more about forgiveness and friendship and less about power.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Cutie Moon Rod

Sailor Mars is kidnapped. That’s it. She’s gone for a bunch of episodes now. How terrible!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Burning Mandala

Next week is Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury. This will be an Ami heavy episode as she faces off against Berthier. The episode will also feature puppet Tuxedo Mask!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Keep reading for more screenshots from the updated intro, this episode and the next episode preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - Prince Demande

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - The Black Moon Clan

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - Sailor Pluto

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Planet Nemesis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Esmeraude

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Saphir

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Rubeus

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Demande

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Crystal Tokyo

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Tsukino family

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Usagi conspicuously talking to Luna in front of her family

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Makoto and Asanuma

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Rei the fortune teller

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - A nun burning

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Burning Mandala

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Abduction - Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - A chess piece

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami sitting intensely

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Chibiusa in the dark

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Chibiusa with Endymion

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22 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, review

  1. I kind of felt that this episode’s fight scene was a bit anticlimactic, at least compared to previous episodes. And I was hoping for a bit more character development for Chibiusa and the Black Moon clan. Well, maybe the next episode will be more what I’m looking for.

    Do you think Asanuma has a thing for Makoto? I always thought they had something going on between them, possibly because he looks like a cross between Motoki and an older Shingo. And do we see Sarashina again? I think we do in the manga and she has some knowledge of Sailor Mars’ identity, but it’s been a while since I read the manga.

  2. Ayakashi Sisters were my most favorite villains. (Next would be Witches 5 and Amazon Trio). I tend to like Villains more. It pain me to see the anime producer decide to follow the boring manga storyline and wasted Koan in first fight. Seriously that’s dumb. Nowadays kids won’t be able to recognized Ayakashi sisters. (They are more like those one time monsters now).

    I hate to see Berthier fate in next episode, she’s my most favorite SailorMoon Villain among all series. Her dark water attack look much better then Mercury’s. She also has the best personality among all sisters. Sigh~ Sailormoon fans should protest lol!

    • One thing the anime was certainly able to do was spend more time on the villains. Each villain, which spans many episodes and has their own monsters in the anime, will themselves usually occupy only a single story and be disposed of just as quickly in the manga. It’s a natural consequence of a quicker story.

    • This series is meant to stay true to the manga, so it doesn’t surprise me in the least that Koan didn’t get more than one episode. If you don’t like the manga storyline, you’re already not going to like Crystal very much.

      Personally, I’m a bigger fan of the manga than the original anime.

  3. I had forgotten about that bit with Asanuma and Rei! That would have been pretty funny… oh well :(

    I haven’t re-read the manga recently, but I think they bounce between crown arcade and Fruits as the arcs go on. I remember them being two distinct locations.

    As far as the opening goes… I’m a little disappointed. I also can’t for the life of me figure out why they changed the clothes for Mako, Ami and Minako but left the original broach.

    • You’re correct, the Crown Fruit Parlor is a separate place in both the new and original anime and manga. Starting with R they stopped hanging out at the arcade as often…maybe because the base was there at one time?

    • If it’s following the manga, we most likely won’t see Mars again for like another two months as we don’t see Mars again in the manga until they make a rescue attempt.

  4. Crown Fruits Parlor has always been there, manga and original anime. It’s where Unazuki Furuhata (Motoki’s little sister) works.

  5. I feel disappointed with the series. No new opening scene, no new ending scene and no new transformation CGI. Still it’s a great anime. I love Sailor Moon, but they need to make more effort.

  6. I completely agree with Tomiko2014. New opening and ending sequences were always something to look forward to in the original anime and while I still like Crystal, I think it’s pretty clear that there is a serious lack of effort going into this series on the part of Toei. There are tons of very obvious animation problems, no changes in Sailor Moon’s transformation, anticlimactic battles (particularly in the final episode in the original arc), etc.

    I understand that unlike the original anime, it follows the manga VERY closely (almost to a fault), but Crystal had the opportunity to bring together the best of both worlds here and they really missed that opportunity. It’s really too bad that another animation studio couldn’t have headed the new series given some of the care and detail going into some currently airing/recently aired anime.

    Overall, I think Toei is far more interested in selling merchandise and the actual anime it’s based on becomes almost an afterthought.

  7. I was disappointed about no new opening, ending or transformation and then I remembered, Classic had two openings, but there were 46 episodes and until episode 24 we only had Usagi, Ami and Rei in the opening, so if I really think about it 2 versions of the same opening in 26 episodes is enough, i mean, One Piece, the most important franchise of Toei right now, gets horrible animation and a new opening every ~60 episodes… So we’ll probably/hopefully get new opening every ~26 episodes, so maybe, next arc? Or maybe Crystal will be sorted like: Crystal, Infinity, Dream and Stars, so 4 completely new opening sequences (with different versions) … I would love 2 versions for Infinity, where mystery shadow girls turns out to be th outer senshi, I loved that mystery in the old openings

    • Toei is such a lazy company. I’m so grateful to be getting Crystal…and streaming for free! But they are so lazy and cheap.

  8. I very liked this new episode, and I’m waiting for the next ones.

    As I discovered Sailor Moon by watching the original anime, I felt sad to see Koan killed since the beginning. But I knew that was going to happen after reading the manga. Anyway, as a kid I was very attached to the Ayakashi Sisters of the old anime, not only as villains, but later as good and redeemed characters. I believe SMC makes me being melodramatic, lol.

    Though, I noticed the bad quality of some drawings and animations in this episode, so it hasn’t changed compared to the first arc… It’s such a pity to see that Toei keeps being lazy regarding this point.

    Yeah, I know SMC is closely following the manga, but I wish we could get more good/evil characters development, and I’m missing a little the “filler episodes stuff” we had in the old anime.

    But I feel like I’m gonna like this new arc, more than the first one :) .

    • “Though, I noticed the bad quality of some drawings and animations in this episode, so it hasn’t changed compared to the first arc… It’s such a pity to see that Toei keeps being lazy regarding this point.”

      When I wrote this, I forgot to add that these animation fails don’t really bother me. On the contrary, they make me laugh hard. Yes Toei is lazy, but since a lot of us complain for the fact that the funny and crazy faces of the old anime have been removed in SMC, I think we can take these SMC’s animation fails for unintentional funny moments, offered to us by Toei.

      So, thank you Toei for these great akward moments ^^ .

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