Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Venus Rolling Heart Vibration

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Saturday March 21st on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we have Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, which as the title suggests focuses on Sailor Venus as she faces off against Calaveras, the final remaining Ayakashi Sister.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Rubeus kisses Calaveras

Things are getting pretty bad at this point! Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter have all been kidnapped in standard character order so we focus on Minako, Sailor Venus this week! The Ayakashi Sisters have mostly been killed as well leaving only Calaveras. In her first scene we get a hint at a relationship between Rubeus and herself as he kisses her on the neck. She’s obviously upset over the death of her sisters as she summons their ghosts, doing channeling which is kind of her shtick. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers who don’t like my criticism of pseudoscience in my reviews. Indeed I’m not about to discount the magic and time travel aspects of the show but when the characters present pseudoscientific beliefs such as this week’s channelling as being true, I feel I must point out that such things are not legit. This is especially true this season as there is an obvious recurring theme with the Black Moon Clan reveling in pseudoscience which some believe to be true, as opposed to the general fantastic nature of the show which is obviously science fiction.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Ayakashi Sisters' ghosts

Calaveras does a public channeling of Rubeus, showing the future, but does she even need to do this? We see that she does actually have channelling powers but the people of Tokyo don’t really know this. She claims to have knowledge of the future because of this but that’s simply because she is from the future. Much like Koan’s ability to see the future could have been made up, so could have Calaveras. But the point of the show is not that the enemy is pretending to have great powers. They happen to actually have some and convince the world as such, while still relying on subterfuge.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Momoko and Ikuko Tsukino

Chibiusa’s friend Momoko is introduced this week. Her hair colour in the original anime was first brown and later purple. Here we see her with bright red almost pink hair. Though the manga is mostly black and white Momoko is shown to have bright red hair when presented in colour making this her correct hair colour. The rest of her image is a bit odd. She is given a thin waist and breasts, which is not fitting with a character that is meant to be Chibiusa’s class mate.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Umino with a DVD

Naru and Umino appear in this act. While the original manga had a “video” mentioned it was not actually shown. It is assumed this was a VHS tape or less likely a laser disk as DVD did not exist in the early 90s. A DVD is seen once again in Sailor Moon Crystal, updating the technology of the show for 2015 standards but still not embracing Blu-Ray for whatever reason. Naru reveals that she knows that something is up with Usagi and her friends, hinting that she either suspects she is Sailor Moon or is otherwise involved. It’s nice to see this friendship continue despite Usagi spending so much time with her more super powered friends and her new boyfriend.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Windows operating system

When watching the DVD we get a look at the computers at the school. These are clearly Windows PC type computers. In the past in the series it was all macs, with the tablets having what appeared to be a mix between iOS, Apple’s handheld OS, and Mac OS, the full fledge OS for Mac desktops and laptops. This does not have any of the Apple look to it. The desktop folders look like Windows folders, the S shaped icon is similar to the Internet Explorer E. There are icons matching the My Computer, My Network Places and Recycle Bin icons. The Media Player app showing the video looks like Windows Media Player, complete with the menu options, controls and window borders. The only thing which is out of place is the Opera icon on the task bar. Who uses Opera anymore? Just like with the DVDs the Opera web browser is something that is still around but certainly obsolete by anyone who cares about technology!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Shitennou as ghosts

The Shitennou finally reappear in this episode! Fans of the original Anime would expect them to be confined to the first season but like with the manga Sailor Moon Crystal is not done with them. Mamoru still has the stones that represent the four Shitennou and he uses them to channel their ghosts, similar to the way Calaveras does with her sisters. He consults them about what’s going on as they are once again shown to be sympathetic heroes, loyal to Mamoru, not the villains they were when working for the Dark Kingdom.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Moon Tiara Boomerang

Sailor Venus uses her Rolling Heart Vibration attack in this episode. In the manga she used this against Tuxedo Mask but in Sailor Moon Crystal this is the first time she uses it. Sailor Moon also uses her Moon Tiara Boomerang attack again. This did not occur in the manga. Artemis also gets some action this week as he is seen taking out a cameraman!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber

Tuxedo Mask is the one to get a new power in this episode as he gets his first attack Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber. As he does this he shoots a kind of energy from his hands. Why not smoke? The term smoking here does not refer to actual smoke. It’s a reference “smoking”, the French term for Tuxedo. As a French Canadian this term is not one I would use but I was exposed to it reading the French translations of the Sailor Moon manga which was my first exposure to the books. One thing to note about Tuxedo Mask in this episode is that he is no longer wearing his hat. If the manga is any indication he will not be bringing his hat to the future and so we won’t be seeing it again in the series. Tuxedo Mask in the original anime wore his hat consistently when in costume but in the Manga he wears it less and eventually stops wearing it altogether.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Chibiusa steals Usagi's transformation broach the Crystal Star

Chibiusa is a bit of a brat in this one. She steals Sailor Moon’s transformation item, the Crystal Star, because she wants the Silver Crystal. Usagi is mad at her naturally but when Chibiusa is in danger she is quick to defend her. This is a perfect illustration of Usagi and Chibiusa’s relationship. They get on each other’s nerves and are usually at odds with each other but when it really counts they do care for each other. Chibiusa returns Usagi’s broach, allowing her to transform. She then mentions that she took it because she want to take it to the future to save her mother. She mentions that she knows that a Silver Crystal out of it’s time period will not work but she still needs to try. Why does she think this? Clearly the Silver Crystal of the future works in the past or there would be no Sailor Chibi Moon! But that’s a story for another day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto

Next time on April 4th is Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto. Indeed, we will be seeing Sailor Pluto for the first time! We will have the team heading to 30th century Crystal Tokyo in the hopes of helping out Chibiusa’s mother.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Time Warp - Sailor Pluto

Chibiusa’s shirt gate continues! In the next episode preview we see Chibiusa in both her blue uniform, which she brought from the future, and her white uniform, which she gets in the past. The scene with the white uniform looks like some of the flashbacks we’ve seen. Chibiusa didn’t have her white uniform back in 30th century Crystal Tokyo so what is going on here? This doesn’t necessarily need to be a problem. The blue uniform could be a flashback to Chibiusa arriving and the white could be what she’s wearing when she arrives in the 30th century as it’s the uniform she wears to the future in the manga, and what she is wearing at the end of act 18.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chibiusa in the future with a white outfit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chibiusa falling - Blue uniform

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 -

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Shifty Minako

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Chibiusa is afraid

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Usagi and Naru

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Naru Osaka

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Asanuma in front of a blurred sign

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Mamoru's gems

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Artemis knocks over a cameraman

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Usagi protects Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Calaveras

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Moon cracking

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - The Space-Time Door

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Crystal palace

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Usagi crying

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15 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, Review

  1. I liked this episode a lot. Chibiusa acts like a little kid would, they don’t necessarily understand right and wrong like adults do and they can convince themselves of things that aren’t necessarily logical because they have such active imaginations and because it helps them get through the day. I thought Venus’s Rolling Heart Vibration seemed useless as it didn’t cause any damage, but then that would make the story a bit too easy if it killed Calaveras (whose name is Spanish for skull, by the way. That can’t be a coincidence). The La Smoking Bomber was pretty cool though.

    I’m also a little concerned about Momo’s dress. In addition to the chest and waist, she’s wearing one of those dresses you see Chinese waitresses wear and that are a little bit fetishized. Can you say, inappropriate?

    I do wonder about the way Calaveras roped in her victims. If she used the DVDs, that would be a form of control in roping in her victims, but the Jumbo-tron! That’s public, that’s not a ghost channel! It’s a surprise more people didn’t show up to the viewing. There’s two possibilities: one is that the broadcast could only be seen by select people, which accounts for the small crowd. From there it would be simple to manipulate a larger broadcast, which is what we got. Either that or Calaveras traveled to different times to establish herself as a psychic, which is how she got the broadcast, but then manipulated the broadcast so that only certain people were interested in going to the broadcast. Explains the numbers

    Though the people there didn’t really do anything after being hypnotized, so what’s the point? They don’t attack Venus or anything.

    Still, despite its plot holes and the questions about Momo, the episode was pretty good. I look forward to next week.

    • Since Momoko’s parents own a Chinese restaurant I think it fits. The way it fits is a bit inappropriate in my mind. Reminds me of the Amazoness Quartet. They were ridiculously animated in SuperS.

  2. Did Venus use Rolling Heart Vibration before? She used Crescent Boomerang and Venus Love Me Chain but I don’t recall her using this attack in the show before and I was anxiously waiting to see it finally included in Crystal, even though it had already been included in the manga way back in the Dark Kingdom arc. I wonder why Toei waited so long to finally include it.

    • This is the first time she’s used it. It should have been used earlier (I think against Kunzite) but that part was left out for whatever reason.

    • I think they waited until now, because they want a new attack for all the senshi on every arc and make it debut on a episode called after a senshi… maybe?

      • That’s what I was thinking back when they cut out Venus attacking evil Endymion, that they might be saving it for this arc since Venus didn’t get a new attack in the manga.
        I’m sure you’re right.

    • I think that the reason is simple enough, the changed the part of the story where she uses it in the dark kingdom arc. In the manga she follows sailor moon through the portal to the north pole while in crystal she stays with the other senshi to to confront the shitenou. Since none of them use any attacks during the confrontation they naturally didn’t show Venus using rolling heart vibration.

      Another thing that I’ve always found weird about this arc is that they actually don’t follow the natural order for the personal episodes. For some reason mars is first and then mercury. I guess it could be that mars is suposed to be the one to first notice the threat with her supernatural powers.

  3. About the Shitennou, what happened with Zoisite’s voice actor ? Is he dead, was he sick ? Because Zoi clearly was the only King to say anything to Mamo-chan.
    Maybe he has been traumatized by the fact of becoming a stone and the result is that his ghost is now unable to speak XD .

    Otherwise that was a good episode. Not as good to me as acts 15 & 16 however, but can we really compare ? I guess not.

    Venus’ action was rather minimalistic, from that point of view it’s not really following the act title and it’s a little disappointing. I think she would have deserved better.

    Rolling Heart Vibration is a beautiful attack, as well as La Tuxedo Smoking Bomber (Mamo-chan having powers is great to see), but to me they both lacked intensity here :”( .

    And I feel sympathy for Chibiusa, whereas I used to hate her in the former anime. That’s a good point for me, since I was afraid to dislike her again in Crystal.

    I was happy to see Calaveras at least, and those tragic Kings again.

    • I felt the same about the Venus focus. We didn’t really learn anything new about her as a person or even as a senshi, whereas the other girls got some character development in their episodes.

      • Thanks Ashley for your contribution ;) .

        Venus was the last Senshi to reveal, and as you answered to saintfighteraqua, she didn’t even have the chance to destroy Beryl with the holy sword… However she did it in the manga, and it was clearly stated that she was the only Senshi to be able to lift and use it… so what was the point giving that honor to Sailor Moon in Crystal ?

        I feel sorry for her, in a way. In fact, I feel sorry for the four girls. (Especially for Mercury since I like her a lot, I think she has always been shown as the weakest Senshi in terms of power and ruthlessness, just because she is an introvert… but that’s another subject of course)

  4. I enjoyed the episode, but wow this series makes the senshi feel so weak! They blast off useless attack after useless attack
    How many effective attacks have they even had so far?
    Mars burned Jadeite but he survived. (the attack was lethal in the manga!)
    Jupiter blew up the dress dummy.
    Venus KO’d Motoki, but he’s just a regular guy.
    They had a few fight scenes against the kings but they really didn’t accomplish much besides getting hair wet.
    I can’t wait until the next two arcs when we get to see the senshi and the outers get to do some actual damage. (Please let us get that far!)

    • I agree, and it’s very disappointing. I was looking forward to a series that didn’t need Sailor Moon to finish off every enemy, and while this series has otherwise done well in the battles, we haven’t really seen the other girls finish up anything on their own.

      I was very, very disappointed that we didn’t get to see Venus shove that sword through Beryl.

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