Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa with the symbol of the Black Moon Clan

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Sailor Moon is kidnapped by Prince Demande and we get tons of exposition from him about the Black Moon Clan and from Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Black Lady

One of the first images of the episode has Sailor Moon seeing what appears to be Chibiusa, but a bit older. This is a glimpse of a character we will be seeing a lot more of in a couple of episodes. The episode touches on how old Chibiusa is and it turns out she’s 900! This is not something that was ever dealt with in the Anime but that happens in the Manga. Chibiusa is born when Usagi is relatively young, she just never ages. This is an odd plot point which takes away some of the sympathy the viewers may have for her. She still outwardly appears to be a child but then how much of our ways of thinking are determined by the amount of life experiences we’ve had and how much are based on the biological state of our brains, which change quite a bit throughout life. A true 900 year old child would likely be extremely mature and intelligent in some ways but still frustratingly immature in others. Chibiusa doesn’t seem to be a well thought out and well researched example of how such a person would turn out, but rather she is simply portrayed as a child.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Prince Demande kisses Neo Queen Serenity

Prince Demande kidnapped Sailor Moon, but why? It seems this is a good strategic move on his part, but it turns out it’s quite personal. Demande is completely infatuated with the future Neo Queen Serenity but since she’s unobtainable (surrounded by a Crystal) he’s settling for going back in time and getting her younger self! Prince Demande is completely terrible and uses mind control to rape kiss Usagi. Usagi seems to have bad luck since this is pretty much what Mamoru did for their first kiss at the masquerade dance party. In that case she was asleep, not being mind controlled, but she was unable to consent in both cases. When she thinks about Mamoru the image that comes to her mind is of him naked and hovering above her. This is likely from when they had sex a few episodes ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Naked Mamoru

We learn a lot more about the Black Moon Clan’s backstory. They seem to not like that people aren’t able to die, so they agree with a lot of sci fi movies and people who aren’t that old in feeling that people shouldn’t live really long. It’s a bit of the naturalistic fallacy. Since we never see much about the day to day lives of the people of Crystal Tokyo it’s a bit hard for us to really determine whether or not there has been any negative impact to living for 1000 years. We can imagine perhaps some level of complacency setting in or perhaps some problems with population growth but none of this is demonstrated so it’s very hard for us to have any sort of sympathy for Prince Demande and his cohorts.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - The weird island that is Crystal Tokyo

We get a better look at the future city of Crystal Tokyo as we see images of the Evil Black Crystal landing in Tokyo. First when seen from the side we see that the edges of the main island that the Crystal Palace is on get thinner towards the bottom, which is the opposite of how a real island would form. It looks from this point of view that this island is perhaps not naturally forming or even moved as a chunk of earth from elsewhere. When seen from above we see an image of the city in which is clearly Tokyo Bay. When comparing it to current satellite photos of Tokyo the shape of the coast somewhat matches to the point where we can make out some landmarks. The location of the island does not match that of Azuba Juban from present day Tokyo where most of the series takes place. It’s unclear whether the main island is completely new here or somewhat carved out of existing land. It exists in a part of the bay which is largely built up over the water. One reader suggested global warming melted ice caps causing some of Tokyo to sink and that this build up was the result. I would suggest that perhaps a chunk of the Moon which housed the Crystal Palace was moved to the Earth to create this island, though no specific evidence of this is given.

Tokyo in the 21st Century vs. 30th Century Crystal Tokyo

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Ami, Makoto and Rei

We see where Ami, Makoto and Rei have been, though we don’t see much in the way of detail. They’re in this room that unlike its manga equivalent is not filled with a bunch of decaying bodies. That would probably have been a bit gross. We’ll see more of what they’re up to next time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa gets bullied for not looking exactly like her mother

Chibiusa goes through the events we didn’t see of her adventure to date. This reveals to us that she took the Silver Crystal in a smash and grab and seems to believe that this is why the Black Moon Clan attacked. We see some nice scenes of her with her father, King Endymion. There is this recurring theme that she is somehow overshadowed by her parents and that no one really cares about Chibiusa. Of course, because people generally don’t have any interest when royalty has children. Children make fun of Chibiusa because she doesn’t look like her parents. Is that why she copies her mother’s hair style? Who’s her pink haired mother? Jem? Pinkie Pie?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Not Chibiusa

Apparently pink hair isn’t unique in Crystal Tokyo as we see Prince Demande try to kill a young Chibiusa clone who herself has pink hair. Who is this girl? In the manga she doesn’t look much like Chibiusa and is quickly killed. Here it almost seems as if either Prince Demande or Neo Queen Serenity mistakes this girl for Chibiusa, causing them to come into contact with each other.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa sees Usagi fail a test

Chibiusa flashes back to seeing Usagi getting scolded by her mother for getting a 30 on her test. Wait what? That was the first episode which was a long time before Chibiusa appeared. Does she just consistently get grades of 30% on her tests? Did Ami’s influence do nothing to improve her grades? Upon close examination the test is not actually the same one. Compare the test images below to see the differences. Her original Act 1 test is on the left and her new test is on the right.

Usagi's tests Act 1 vs. Act 21

When Chibiusa is seen on her first visits to Sailor Pluto she is completely cool with it because all members of Silver Millennium are welcome at the Space-Time Door! So why exactly did she try to kill Sailor Moon a few episodes ago? Perhaps it’s because she’s in love with King Endymion and is trying to eliminate the competition! Chibiusa seems somewhat traumatized to see Sailor Pluto showing affection for him. No she isn’t upset because of what this means for King Endymion and her mother, but because she is jealous of Sailor Pluto’s affections.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Sailor Pluto and King Endymion

Finally, Chibiusa loses her Key of Space-Time and ends up in Wise Man’s hands! We see Chibiusa with a Black Moon Clan symbol on her forehead, which is usually something we only ever see on her head once she’s transformed into Black Lady. In the manga when she meets Wise Man she has the symbol of the White Moon on her forehead. Chibiusa is wearing her white school uniform with short sleeves when she takes Wise Man’s hand. This makes perfect sense!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

Next time is Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis. Somehow now Chibiusa is back in her dark blue school uniform! This show can’t seem to keep these uniform colours straight! It’s very simple. Chibiusa has a dark blue long sleeved uniform which she wears in the future and when she first arrives in the past. Once Chibiusa enrols in school she gets a white short sleeved uniform which, multiple animation mistakes aside, she wears from then on. She has the short sleeved uniform on when she meets Wise Man but now we see her taking his hand, a scene we just saw in the episode we were watching minutes ago, but somehow she has her long sleeved blue uniform on again. Will this be corrected before the next episode? We hope so!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

The next episode will be available on May 16th. We won’t actually get to see what happens with Chibiusa in this episode as it will instead focus on what Sailor Moon and the rest of the Sailor Guardians are up to. We will get a good look at Black Lady next month!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Hidden Agenda - Nemesis

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Prince Demande Kidnaps Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Black Lady

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - The Cutie Moon Rod is damaged

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Wise Man recruits the Black Moon Clan

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Neo Queen Serenity

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Neo Queen Serenity fighting Death Phantom

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Neo Queen Serenity vs. Death Phantom

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Crystal Tokyo as seen from the sky

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - The criminal that became the death phantom

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa and King Endymion in the future

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa watching her parents

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - King Endymion and Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Smash and grab!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa steals the Silver Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Usagi gets another 30

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Sailor Pluto loves King Endymion

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Sailor Pluto and Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa sees Wise Man

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Tuxedo Mask and King Endymion

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Saphir

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Prince Demande

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - The Sailor Guardians return

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13 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, Review

  1. Is this the act where Saphir has his “big role”? I can’t remember.

    I’ve always rolled my eyes at the 900 year old Chibi Usa.
    You mean to tell me that she is 900 years old and still attending school? What a nightmare!
    I’m pretty sure that even if she had a child’s body and a child-like mind she would have matured somewhat after that much time.

    Is it possible that the White Moon clan exists outside of time, at least the time that has passed in the rest of the world?
    That might explain why she’s so youthful…of course it would also contradict a few things.

    The Chibi Usa sleeve thing is getting ridiculous. I don’t know why it’s such a daunting task to remember the difference between blue sleeves (long) and white sleeves shirt. It’s like that blasted dress from awhile back has blown everyone’s mind when it comes to the difference in white and blue. ;)

    • It would be like groundhog day with grade school. Would her grades just keep improving? Screw you teacher! I know my tables of 3, thank you very much!!

  2. I think my problem with this episode had to be the Chibi-Usa lookalike. When I found out that wasn’t Chibi-Usa, I was like, “Whuuuuut?” It’s what the Nostalgia Critic calls a “Big-Lipped Alligator Moment”, something that has no overall bearing on the story and is never brought up again in the story. Made no sense. And wasn’t Chibi-Usa supposed to be outside when the Black Moon clan attacked? Where’s the consistency? I swear the animators have to be better at getting these details right.

    As for the 900 year old thing, Chibi-Usa has self-esteem issues. Maybe because of her magical nature, those issues caused her growth–physical or otherwise–to slow down? Maybe in a society of long-lived beings it could be a common ailment. After all, depression can do a number of things to you, so why can’t self-esteem issues slow down growth in a magical world?

  3. Thanks for giving the shoutout to my comment about global warming! Aside from the issue of Chibi-usa’s dress, it seemed like the animation quality really improved drastically this episode. There was just so much more detail and smoothness to the quality than what we had been getting lately. Is this increase to the animation quality a result from all the funding they’re probably getting from the Japanese and international TV broadcasts? I hope the animation quality will only continue to look this impressive for the rest of the show. If it can maintain this quality, Crystal might just be able to turn itself around before the end.

    • Thanks for pointing it out!

      Could be money or they could just be getting used to the tools and the process. Still there are episodes that are worse than others. Maybe there are just different teams working from one episode to another.

  4. I loved this episode. The animation was great and it was awesome to get some closer looks at the life of Chibii-usa’s life and relationship with Pluto and her Dad. Pluto was so awesome in this episode and I loved the moment when she told Chibi-usa about the spell.

    It makes since that Pluto didn’t try and kill Chibi-usa but that she did try and kill Sailor Moon though. Chibi-usa came through the spacetime door which only members of the sliver kingdom could so Pluto know exactly who it was when she came through. Sailor Moon, on the other hand, came from outside of space and not through the space time door. Therefore, Sailor Moon was a threat from outside of spacetime trying to break the taboo of time travel and had to be killed. It could have been anything or anyone…even something designed as Sailor Moon….so that part of the story makes sense.

    The whole 900 year old thing though seems weird still though. Unless they really just expand lives out. So like if you live to be 1000….maybe that’s the equlivient of 100 years in our time? So like each century is actually like a decade for our timeline? Doesn’t solve anything to do with Chibi-usa though lol and exactly…they would make her stay in the same grade for 900 years? LIke that’s a major plot hole in Sailor Moon that never made sense.

    I don’t get why she always wears a school uniform either. If she is the Princess, wouldn’t she wear a princess gown? And it looks like the people of Crystal Tokyo wear some sort of ancient mid evil type clothes….such as the boys that were teasing her wearing old looking robes, yet there Chibi-usa is wearing a modern day school uniform. Wish they would have cleaned up the timeline and plot holes from the manga in Crystal better….

  5. I completely agree with Rami’s theory about Chibiusa not growing up. To me it makes sense ! Chibiusa has glorious parents who seem very busy with governing their kingdom. So she feels very lonely, and might think that she is clueless and doesn’t deserve to be loved, since her parents don’t care for her. There begins the vicious circle for her…

    We could also guess that Chibiusa has some kind of an unknown and undiagnosed disease that prevents her from growing. Maybe this disease could also prevent her from developing the magical skill she was expected to develop ? Or maybe this undiagnosed disease makes her so depressed that she unconsciously blocks the development of her magical skills ?

    Like some of us, the fact that she is an adult princess trapped in a child body and wearing a school uniform annoys me a lot… It’s completely absurd and ridiculous.

    About the Black Moon clan (before they were found by Phantom) : I think their causes were noble : indeed, to make humans beings almost live as long as the original Moon people may be seen like a transgression of the natural order of cosmos and fate.
    See what the Ancient Greeks called “hubris”, which is a very important word and notion in Ancient Greece (and in AG, even the gods cannot master the “fate” itself… It is the supreme completion of cosmos, and it’s a completion well beyond the gods’ powers…). Hubris is considered to be the highest form of crime ; it’s founding principle is pride, arrogance, lust and violence… On the paper, living for a thousand of years seems beautiful, but isn’t it unnatural for the Earthlings, that were originally granted by the cosmos the possibility to live for about a hundred of years ? Isn’t it a spoiled kid and immature desire to live for more with the help of magic ? Imagine a lady from the Moon descend on Earth and gives you and the whole planet the possibility to live for a thousand of years… would you accept or would you militate against it ?

    Maybe the 4 guys of the BM clan were good and serious souls that were forced to become brutal activists in order to be heard by the royal family and it’s people… But then, they were found by Phantom (an avatar of Chaos) who manipulated them, and they became the very villains we know, eventually falling themselves into the highest form of hubris !

    My theory may be easily broken when we know that Sailor Moon/NQS is an avatar of Cosmos… But I wish it can explain a little the original motivations of the BM clan.

    The quality of the animation was very very good. I think this is the first time we have such an animation in the story of SMC !

    And if I were Sailor Moon, I would considered myself to be lucky… Demande is far way hotter than Endymion ! Can’t wait to see Saphir too *_* .

  6. I gotta say I was much happier with the animation, finally. I’m so overly strict since they tried to adapt the manga style from my childhood I loved so much.

    My understanding on the 900 year Chibiusa has always been, since I read the manga like 10 years ago haha, that since she is half Moon decedent and half Earth decedent, they don’t understand exactly how long it will take her to grow or develop because she is the first of her kind. It seemed to make the most sense considering her family is confused as well.

    The boys at her school look significantly bigger than her, there is a chance that she didn’t start school 800 years ago because she hasn’t been growing at a normal pace. Now that she is in school, everyone is bigger than her possibly because she still isn’t growing even though she has actually moved up the grades in school.

    As for the uniform, Japan LOVES the sailor suit and I don’t think, no matter how much time shifts or how many years pass or even if fashion reverts to medieval clothing, they will ever drop the sailor suit girls school uniforms. Just my opinion after living there and talking to students and teacher on how much they love them lol. Also uniforms are really strict so it’s no surprise to me that even a princess would have to wear one. Maybe she doesn’t like to dress like a princess outside of school since she feels so insecure and like she isn’t a princess at all. It’s also super common for girls to stay in uniform even way after school ends because changing into new clothes is wasteful (more laundry to do) and time consuming.

    So there’s my spew :D

  7. I think chibiusa grows as she becomes mature, so as long as she has the mind of a child she will be a child… And why only happens to her? Maybe as Serenity said the moon princess and earth prince was a forbidden love, and that’s because their children won’t be normal… but It’s just a theory, a game theo… wrong…. a mooonie theory

    • I agree completely!
      The fact that her physical body isn’t growing means that her brain isn’t growing either. She still doesn’t comprehend adult feelings because they aren’t mentally developed. Also, what makes us adults is the experiences we face as we grow up (mainly during adolescence & pubirty). She hasn’t experienced those hormones yet for her to lose her childish innocence.

      About the fact that she’s stuck in her age, there’s also the possibility that she lacked the resolution to grow. She have magic inside her; it is possible that she unconsciously willed herself to stop growing because she doesn’t feel confident about herself as the next ruler of the galaxy (imagine the pressure!!!!!!!!). She sees her mom as this majestic queen whome she can never succeed, which is reflected in the scene between Chibi-usa and her dad.
      It all signifies the importance of Chibi-usa’s observation of her teenage mom as the first step towards her resolve, where she finally gains the ability and power (power of confidence, that is!) to break the binds that also kept her from using the Legendary Silver Crystal.

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