The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 23, Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we are finally introduced to Black Lady, who is Chibiusa aged and made somewhat evil by Wise Man. Black Lady is all about being evil and making out with her younger father from the past, Tuxedo Mask.
The episode starts out with Sailor Pluto warning the Sailor Guardians about not wandering around in the limbo and getting lost in the storm in the Space Time Corridor. Sailor Moon wants to go anyway, and Sailor Pluto caves. Then they find Luna-p and nothing really changed about the severity of the situation, but Sailor Pluto tells them they can’t go on and since Sailor Moon passes out, they give up.
We get a better look at Nemesis this week. Previously I postulated about the state of the surface of Nemesis, which is never very clearly described. Here we see that there are a large number of volcanic eruptions on the surface, so it does at least have a solid rock like surface. Most of the time there seems to be spent somewhere underground. Traveling deep into its core there is a kind of alternate dimension. Black Lady talks about this Castle of Darkness at the bottom, but it’s really just a slab of rock. Supposedly someone would build a castle here but there’s really nothing going on. Nemesis is kind of lame, all things considered. No wonder they want to conquer Earth!
This episode marks the first real introduction of Black Lady. Seems like this was a long time coming. Chibiusa is taken away by Wise Man during Act 21. We see Black Lady a number of times throughout Act 22 be we never get a clear look at her. Finally seeing her it doesn’t feel like a huge surprise, especially since she’s been shown in the anime and manga for some 20 years. As always her appearance here matches that of the manga more than the original anime were she had very little exposition. Physically she seems about the same, though I can’t help but notice she has disproportionately large breasts. Compared to the rest of the Sailor Guardians the proportions seems a bit off. This establishes a contrast between Black Lady and child Chibiusa, though it seems innapropriate to sexualize such a character.
Black Lady’s first order of business is to capture and brainwash Tuxedo Mask in order to seduce him. Naturally this a bit odd as she is his daughter. While a lot of her bad behaviour is motivated by Wise Man’s corruption, there’s no indication that this is. This incestuous relationship will not help Wise Man achieve his goals. Chibiusa is a young girl who is infatuated with her father. This in itself is not that odd for a child. She gets thrown into an adult’s body and she deals with her conflicting feelings as it makes sense to her, by trying to hook up with her father. Let’s remember of course that Chibiusa is over 900 years old while Mamoru is about 19 years old at this point. It may seem creepy for such a young girl to be with such an old guy, but she’s much older than the teenagers he’s usually hanging around with, she just lacks the maturity which comes with a regular transition through adolescence and adulthood. This relationship is a result of a young girl’s emotions expressing themselves through the actions of someone who seems to be in adult, but in many ways is not.
We first see Chibiusa kissing Tuxedo Mask while he is in his full Tuxedo. In the scene immediately afterwards Mamoru is seen only wearing his white shirt. These are the shirts usually reserved for the girls that sleep over at his place. Are we to believe something happened between this original kiss and the time where Mamoru is somewhat dressed down?
The gang travels back to the present day. Why do we keep doing this? Naturally this stay does not last very long but while there we learn that they used Luna-P to erase Usagi’s mother’s memories. This seems a bit drastic. I realize Chibiusa put some of those memories there but she’s been gone for what, a day? Maybe a few hours? Oh well the time storm thingy was too much let’s forget about ever getting Mamoru and Chibiusa back. Should we also go around brainwashing Motoki, Asanuma and anyone else Mamoru knows to avoid any hard questions about his disappearance? We didn’t do so last arc when he died or in this arc when the other girls were kidnapped for much longer times! Usagi mentions that she’s happy to be home but then is sad because her boyfriend and future daughter are lost to time. She feels guilty for being upset about this and everyone finds her impossible to please. In the grand scheme of problems this seems like a pretty huge one and regardless of the relative comfort of sleeping in one’s own bed this kind of problem seems like a legitimate reason to be a bit bummed. All considered, Usagi takes it quite well!
Back in the future King Endymion has a chat with Diana the kitten. He then pets her. Wait a minute! How is this possible? We don’t know much about King Endymion’s ghost like maybe a hologram maybe a sort of astral projection type representation but we do know that he does not have an actual physical form. Chibiusa walks right through him in Act 20 but now that a kitten needs petting he’s able to muster some sort of ability to be solid which he was not able to do to hug his own daughter who’s been traveling through time to save him and his family. No wonder this girl has daddy issues.
Finally Black Lady confronts her actual father in the Crystal Palace. She seems to want to make out with him too but since she’s not a kitten that doesn’t seem possible. She gets kicked out of the Crystal Palace by Neo Queen Serenity. I know she’s being kind of evil here and kicking her out makes some sense but still this is being done by her own mother. It was probably the making out with Tuxedo Mask part that set her off.
Next time, on June 20th is Act 24, Attack – Black Lady. The battle continues as everyone sees more of Black Lady and she introduces everyone to her new boyfriend, Endymion, which naturally turns some heads. We’ll get to see Endymion wielding the Cutie Moon Rod.
With Act 24 coming in a couple of weeks there has still not been any confirmation of any episodes past Act 26. The first episode of the third story arc, should such a thing be announced, should be playing the first Saturday of August but for now we have had no official confirmation that this will happen. As always if we learn any news about the new series and new episodes we’ll post it to the site right away.
Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 23 and the next episode preview for Act 24.
I hope they don’t take Sailor Moon’s brooch in the next episode.
Maybe Chibiusa has trouble associating young Mamoru with her father. I mean, nobody looks like they did at 19 when they get much older. Imagine what happens in about 1000 years. Plus if my theory about alternate timelines in Sailor Moon is right, we’re technically dealing with Chibiusa having a relationship with an alternate timeline Mamoru.
Yeah, there are a lot of inconsistencies with Sailor Moon. They work more in the manga, but it’s different for anime where you have to make interpretations. Still, I think the whole thing with the time vortex and erasing Mrs. Tsukino’s memories make sense. Things are funky in the time vortex. Perhaps they got home, and about a couple of days have passed. Perhaps Shingo, Mr. Tsukino, and a few others got their memories modified too, there just wasn’t time to say anything.
Also, perhaps Diana was just reacting to movements from the hologram because she’s a good kitty and wasn’t actually being pet by King Endymion. And perhaps the castle name is symbolic or it’s hollow or bigger on the inside. This is a dimension on the edge of time-space. Anything’s possible there. You never know. You can only fill in the blanks.
Since there is a castle on Nemesis it makes me think of the castles around the other planets (Miranda, Magellan, Triton etc.) If it was that sort of castle, does that mean Nemesis could also have a Sailor Senshi? That’s something nevre explored sadly. I guess we could have Sailor Black Lady or the Sailor Ayakashi Quartet. ;p
The episode in the original anime where they erased Ikuko’s memories had much more of an impact (at least for me.) The scene where she brings an extra cup for the girls, with Chibi Usa’s name on it was very emotional and sad. Especially during a time when fans in North America didn’t know that Chibi Usa returns eventually from the future. I remember Rei cheering Usagi up in that episode showing a rare moment of affection. I love that scene, here it’s just glossed over and we get zero character development from them.
Maybe in spite of being a hologram/spirit thing, Endymion can be felt? Like his energy, I mean, maybe that’s why Diana, who is a cat after all, and cats are like psychics or whatever, could feel it?
I actually enjoyed this episode way more than I thought I would. I’m a bit nervous about the next few episodes… instead of getting better animation when there’s a big episode coming up, it seems to be the reverse I really, really hope I’m wrong.
As far as the Black Lady/Mamoru/Endymion thing… yeah it is just creepy all the way around, but he at least wasn’t into it like it seemed in the 90s anime.
I did like seeing Usagi kind of come to terms with how crazy she’d been acting, etc., which is the only reason that little interlude back in present day worked for me.
I am still holding out hope for the Infinity Arc though!
If I had been stuck in a 7 year olds body for 900 years and had they power to look however I wanted now, I’d give myself pornstar boobs too. Just sayin’ haha.
Also I agree that she can’t associate past Mamoru with her dad, just as she doesn’t seem to love (or even like) Usagi who is her future mom. Kids tend to only think one person is one person and if shes still thinking like a kid, association with the past versions of her parents just wont click.
Petpeev of this episode, WHY ARE BLACK LADY’S EYES LINED IN GREY/BLUE!? It looks so weird and threw me off the whole episode…..She would look much more fierce with black lined eyes, it’s like they are trying to soften her up even though shes supposed to be hard set and “evil” right now.
Also, I have no idea how to edit, but the going from kissing scene to that scene where Mamoru is in his “white shirt of sketchyness”, that’s a flash back to the premonition Usagi saw in a dream whilst prisoner in the Nemisis castle a few episodes back. I don’t think they were hinting at anything questionable, they just poorly made clear it was a flashback.
Premonition shot from episode 21 – http://tinyurl.com/pxl5of4
Also she has a shirt on this time so it’s probably just an inconsistency, they are awful with Chibiusas clothing consistency.
Black Lady should have been wearing the shirt! Haha. I don’t seriously think anything that bad is going on but I thought it was funny and felt a compulsion to point it out.
I remember the 90s anime transformation of Chibiusa into Black Lady and you see huge breasts and a very generous behind, like you mentioned somewhere along the post this is to sexualize a 900 year old child stuck in the same body (I think Naoko never thought about the ramifications of Chibiusa being so young for 900 years, one is surprised that she didn’t drift into madness. Also, because I reread the Dream Arc this weekend, I remember Takeuchi doing something similar when Usagi and Chibiusa swap ages and the girl’s reaction thinking she’s Black Lady and I also remember very generous hips although I don’t think Takeuchi is known for her skill at body proportions.
I have this say this was an incredibly funny (while accurate review) I giggled through it, well done.