Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Berthier playing chess

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is now available to view for free on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week’s episode is tons of fun with the Tuxedo Mask puppet, some fan service in the form of swimsuits, young Ami and her daddy issues and of course Berthier who may or may not have been an inspiration for Elsa from Frozen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Sailor Mercury and her visor

This episode had a number of differences from it’s original manga version, in changes, omitted scenes and in added content. That said, it also had a lot in common and like the rest of Sailor Moon Crystal is a very faithful adaptation.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Sailor Moon mad at Chibiusa

In the opening scene of the episode Usagi gets upset at Chibiusa but what she doesn’t do is raise her hand threatening to hit her as she did in the manga. This sort of changes the tone of the next scene where Usagi feels a sense of guilt but not about raising a hand at Chibiusa but instead about not protecting Sailor Mars who is now kidnapped.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Tuxedo Mask Puppet and ventriloquist Luna who Chibiusa already knows

Chibiusa runs off and, as usual, hides in the park. Mamoru takes her home and talks to her with his Tuxedo Mask puppet. This puppet has been in the original manga, original anime and even in the latest musical, Petite Étrangère. All of a sudden I wonder just where he go that thing. Is Mamoru such a megalomaniac that he built a puppet of himself? Maybe he found it in a store and finds it so bizarre that products of his alter ego exist that he had to buy one. He uses his ventriloquism to make the puppet talk and also makes the excuse that this is why Luna seems to talk. But why doesn’t Chibiusa expect Luna to talk? We will later learn that one of Chibiusa’s good friends in the future is Diana, a talking cat herself and daughter of Luna and Artemis. Chibiusa also travels with Luna P which looks just like Luna who she must surely know in the future. While Chibiusa has trouble recognizing her mother and father why would she also have trouble with this cat that looks so much like her ball and why would she be at all surprised to hear one talk?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier of the Ayakashi Sisters

Enter Berthier! She uses dowsing to find water and help with her chess game. Dowsing is not real. This whole arc is riddled with pseudoscience. I understand that within the context of the story these people can use magic but just like UFOs and to a greater fortune telling were the nonsense in the last show dowsing is the nonsense this week. Historically it’s just something that used to be used to find water or minerals underground using items such as a divining rod but when there are modern dowsing products which claim to do things like detect bombs, directly contributing to a loss of lives in war zones, I feel people can do with being reminded that dowsing has no basis in reality.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Usagi, Naru and Ami in swimsuits

Those who read the comments on this blog will note that one particular commenter has been asking since the beginning just when we will be getting a beach episode, particularly desiring that we see some of the characters in two piece suits. Well his day has come. This week we see Ami, Naru and Usagi in swimsuits at the pool. In the original manga version we see these three only wearing simple one piece suits but they have been updated a bit for the show. Ami’s suit as seen from the pool seems like a simple one piece, though when seen from behind the design doesn’t appear to be that consistent. This is fitting with how she is usually portrayed in the original anime as well. Naru’s suit is the most interesting as it looks quite a bit like the bikini she wore in episode 23 of the original anime. While Sailor Moon Crystal is frequently manga based it only occasionally takes cues from the original 1992 Sailor Moon anime. This suit also bears a bit of a resemblance to the dress that Naru wears to the ball. Finally we have Usagi’s suit which goes from a one piece in the manga to a two piece bikini here in Sailor Moon Crystal. This seems like blatant fan service as Usagi wears her towel on her head. An awkward thing to do when your goal is anything but exposing your bare midriff to your fans. Apologies for speaking entirely too much about such a silly thing, but if the comments are any indication there are people who consider such things to be quite important.

Sailor Moon episode 23 - Naru's swimsuit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Naru swimming

Another anime original thing which makes it into this episode is Usagi’s inappropriate cheering at a chess tournament. In both the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal she makes a spectacle while cheering for Ami and is told to be quiet. One background character in this scene looks a bit like Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho, written by the husband of Sailor Moon’s creator Naoko Takeuchi.

Sailor Moon R episode 71 - Usagi's inappropriate cheering

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Usagi cheering inappropriately and Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho

Berthier is shown to be the the 3rd ranked chess player in the world. Later in the episode Ami beats her. Does this make Ami the 3rd ranked chess player in the world? You would think someone with such a skill would do more than just occasionally play on their iPad! I guess she does have world saving to do. Berthier’s clothing is ridiculous. It’s a full on super villain costume. That’s cool for fighting the forces of good and all but the way she just wears these clothes to a chess tournament like it was nothing is a bit silly.

Berthier from Sailor Moon and Elsa from Frozen

Speaking of the way Berthier dresses, some have mentioned similarities between her and Elsa from Frozen. See the image included above that explains the parallels between the two. This seems a bit far fetched to me. The controlling of the power and similarities in her relationship to Koan aren’t really the same. She does not encase herself in an ice tower. The similarities are mostly cosmetic and even that could be a coincidence. Elsa and Berthier both have ice powers, and so they dress in blue, a colour associated with cold. They also have white hair or light hair which is also natural for someone with ice powers. The braid is really the biggest similarity going on here. All considered I think Elsa bares more of a passing resemblance to Rosalina from Super Mario Galaxy. Why not just get the Elsa Disney Infinity figure instead of the Rosalina Amiibo which has been so hard to find?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Young Ami with a chess board

This is a fairly Ami centric episode, as she is the one to get kidnapped this time around. One big addition to the story not in the manga was the inclusion of young Ami and showing more of her father. Young Ami is quite cute and shown being abandoned by her father who is a painter. She is also shown having an interest in playing chess. Sailor Mercury uses a new ability Shine Snow Illusion. This isn’t enough to save her from getting kidnapped. Who will be next?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Shine Snow Illusion

The next episode is Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter. The episode preview shows some shipping between Makoto and Ittou Asanuma. His scenes were cut from episode 16 but we’ll be seeing more of him next time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 -Ittou Asanuma

A couple of visually interesting things are seen in the next episode preview. Usagi has no nose in one shot and Chibiusa is wearing a short sleeved version of her blue school uniform. This seemed off to me and a post on the Facebook page made me realize what is what. Chibiusa’s white school uniform is normally the one that has short sleeves while her blue school uniform has long sleeves.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Usagi has no nose

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa in her incorrect coloured uniform with Luna-P

Keep reading for more images from this episode and the next episode preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Usagi upset about not thinking of hitting Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Chibiusa always hides in the park

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Neo Queen Serenity's arm

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Chibiusa in 30th century Crystal Tokyo

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Chibiusa with the Silver Crystal and the Key of Space-Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Sailor Mars

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Wise Man and Prince Demande

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami finding a leak in a pipe

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier is not dressed for chess

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Young Ami being deserted by her father

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami's father leaving

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami's father

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Secret - Sailor Jupiter

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Makoto Kino

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Chibiusa and Luna-P

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Usagi in bed

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39 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, Review

  1. No nose Usagi doesn’t really bother me much, mostly because I think they did a decent job with the lighting in that shot. Too skinny Chibiusa bugs me a whole lot more to be honest.

    Are you enjoying the Black Moon Arc more than the Dark Kingdom Arc overall?

    • I sure am! So far Black Moon has had better pacing. But then, the manga counterpart did too, at least early on.

      I can’t tell if Usagi is missing her nose or if that’s just the way she’s animated at that angle.

      Skinny Chibi Usa annoys me since that takes away from the end of this season when…


      She ages when she becomes senshi and matures.

      • Yeah I’ve read the manga a few times :) The pacing gets better as the series progresses.

        I know she matures, but right now she’s supposed to be chubby and young :(

  2. Yeah, I wondered about Berthier’s dress. Also, how is she the 3rd-ranked chess player in the world? I mean I can get Zoisite cross-dressing and faking being a professor, this was just in one city, but an international chess player? This anime takes place in the Internet age, so Berthier would have to have done a lot of work to make that work, weird costume and all.

    By the way, why is Chibiusa wearing Mamoru’s shirt? Seems a little weird for a man and a child who have yet to realize they’re father and daughter.

    • Chibi Usa’s clothes were wet, and I’m relieved that Mamoru isn’t storing any little girl clothes in his apartment, so that’s all he had for her to wear.

      That aside, where the hell did the Tuxedo Mask puppet come from? Does Mamoru just own a puppet of his secret identity? Does he talk to it when no one else is there? Is it involved in weird love games between him and Usagi? I MUST KNOW!

      • I’m guessing there are places where you can get custom made or custom-dressed dolls, like Build-a-Bear. All he’d need is a generic doll with dark hair, and if there’s a tuxedo, top hat and mask around, he’s set. He probably got it as a joke though. I might, if I were in his position. Either that or it was a joke gift for Mamoru from Usagi, who probably thought he’d enjoy a doll that looked like him.

        • Rami that’s the best explanation I’ve seen for the Tux puppet!

          That being said, I love that scene and I’m not afraid to admit it :)

    • I have an hypothesis about Berthier being the 3rd-ranked chess player in the world. It was shown that the crowd assisting the tournament was, in fact, made of Black Moon’s puppet soldiers. So when Berthier challenged Ami through the TV screen at the swimming pool, we can guess that Berthier’s interviewer was also a BM soldier, and that the channel on which the interview was aired didn’t really exist : a ghost channel targeting only Ami wherever she is. From this point of view, the tournament itself was some kind of a clandestine tournament, a perfect trap that wouldn’t have worked if “normal people” had heard of it.

      With that hypothesis, Berthier remains unknown to the world, and the fact that she is said to be one of the best chess player in the world is only a lie that only Mercury and the other Senshi can hear. That also makes Berthier’s minimalistic clothing looking less outrageous ;p …

      I’m weary tonight, so I hope my English is not too bad and that you can understand what I mean ;) .

  3. That Bethier/Elsa thing is stretching waaaay too much to try and make a point. There’s zero indication that Bethier’s gloves do anything other than compliment her outfit, and I hope this doesn’t inspire a glut of Sailor Moon/Frozen crossover fanfic.

    • I don’t know why anyone is getting so offended and huffy. If anything it’s called out Frozen for being unoriginal, not Sailor Moon.

      And if it is true it’s a cute homage to Sailor Moon and I accept the crossovers.

  4. I think the chess match itself also owes more to the 90s anime and the manga. Berthier does challenge Ami to a match in the manga but it moves more quickly to the Sailor Mercury showdown than it does here in Crystal. I’m glad to be seeing some influences from the 90s anime and I’m glad you’re also catching all these cameos of other anime characters. But why did Crystal change the scene where Mamoru tries to kiss Usagi to cheer her up? In the manga it’s a very tender romantic scene and Usagi is clearly letting Mamoru kiss her. Crystal randomly changes it so that Usagi is actively resisting Mamoru kissing yet they have Mamoru kiss Usagi against her will anyway which makes Mamoru seem a bit creepy.

    • Crystal has made Mamoru out to be a bit of a different kind of jerk than the 90’s Mamo. He’s a bit selfish and though he isn’t mean to Usagi, he is almost cold towards her in my opinion. Maybe it’s a difference in culture?
      Still, I don’t think a kiss on the forehead is that and, even if he did do it against her will, he knew she needed comfort and that her pulling away was trying to escape being comforted. If he’d pulled her in against her struggles and kissed her lips, then I’d think he’d gone too far, into treating her like property. I’ve had friends who needed a good hug even when they thought they didn’t.
      I think the main issue was that her struggles seemed more like “Let go of me, pervert!” than “Let go of me, I don’t deserve affection for losing Mars.” and it made the whole scene awkward.

      Mamoru: “I’m not a bad guy! I’m just drawn that way!” *puckers lips*

      • Agreed; I think Mamoru gets a bad wrap in Crystal.

        Personally, I’ve had times where my husband has pulled me into a hug when I thought I didn’t want it, so that wasn’t weird to me. It happens, particularly when emotions are running high.

      • Honestly he was cold in the manga. Remember in Supers when Usagi has her dream she’s confused because Mamoru is being so sweet and she said the Mamoru she knows is cold? He changes after that, but he IS pretty cold in the manga. [But I hate Classic!Mamoru]

        And honestly, I agree, people are freaking out unnecessarily about the whole kiss thing. I’ve done the exact same thing. I’m the type of person who freaks out easily and pushes people away. So my boyfriend just tries to push down the walls I put up. That’s not wrong as long as he’s not trying to do anything sexual when I’m like that.

  5. At long last I finally see two piece bikinis. One is Molly, and the other is Serena. But, not poor Amy. I’m sorry. Maybe next time if there will ever be another anime Sailor Moon. But, nonetheless, I like bare midriffs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  6. People who are trying to force the Elsa/Berthier thing really need to just let it go. ;)

    Also…I actually have a doll of my alter ego that I keep in my bedroom. A friend made it for me. So I stand by Mamoru having a Tuxedo Mask doll.

    This was a really good episode, I wish they’d spent more time with Rei last episode and fill her character out some more. Ami got more character development in this episode than all of the others combined in the last arc!

  7. To everyone one who keeps bashing on the characters, especially mamoru. I get it, when he tried to hug usagi, it looked really weird, like she didn’t want his hug. But I prefer this mamoru in Crystal than the original anime. He’s way cooler and awesome in Crystal than all of the other shows so please stop bashing on him, you wouldn’t like if someone had correct ur favorite character. Not to rude, it’s just mamoru is my favorite and I hate it when people tell me they don’t like him,I already know that. I admit it, that scene was really weird but hey I enjoyed it nonetheless . It was a good episode!!!!

  8. Why are you making such a big deal over the fact that Tuxedo Mask has a puppet of himself? You make it seem like he shoves his dong in their at night or something, its just a damn puppet relax!

  9. shipping my ass… he looks like a younger brother to makoto. Makoto is tall 5’6, and this guy is pretty small for her. shut yer trap. he has less appearance after this incident.

  10. you just wanted to distract people who are a fan of shitennou/senshi. it aint gonna happen buster. it all says in your review. naoko support the shitennou senshi. this dude is like a younger brother to her. and her a big sister. ship your face. ship means supporting the characters to another.
    posting an extra, hahahaha…. and noticing her bathing suit? why is she some kind of an main character? hahahaha

  11. Am I the only one who put my attention on Berthier? I couldn’t care less on Ami or whatever swimming suit they are wearing. From a more mature audience, these villains has more unique characteristic! I find Berthier was truly amazing. Combat and raw power wise, base on her cool Water Prison and that gigantic Tsunami… she clearly outrank all of the Dark Kingdom enemies plus her younger sister Koan. Compare back to the old 90’s episode, she even puts her old dark water attack and Mercury’s Shine Aqua Mirage or any of Neptune’s powers to shame!

    She also use her wits with good choice of wording to interrupt Ami in the chest match, that dowsing (although fake science in real life) was absolutely impressive as well. She has such a unique characteristic plus good sense of fashion (in a RPG/anime standard). Its almost unacceptable she serve as monster of the day. Seriously, a high school cry baby, lack of real battle training, hold a “death ray” scepter who can kill just about anything is really over-powered and make other senshi and villains seem useless. I know the main storyline are leaning toward manga (and I personally find manga suck!), but the storyline writer obviously was too lazy to come out with something more convincing.

    New Berthier was perfect, the voice actress… not as good as the original one, but it somewhat give her a more…villian/powerful theme. Too bad such nice rebirth has to be eliminated and wasted in one episode.

  12. To me, this was the worst episode. This chess thing was cute and stuff, but to me there were to many anime references (like putting emphasis on the actual game) and too much manga content blatantly left out (Motoki scolding the girls for not telling them that their hideout was in his game center, Mamoru’s super powers)

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