The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Berthier playing chess

The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is all about chess. Ami faces off against Berthier of the Spectre Sisters, who’s not really dressed appropriately for a chess tournament, in this wonderfully animated episode. Amongst other things we see a Sailor Moon Crystal exclusive look at young Ami.

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

Fans of the original Sailor Moon anime will note many similarities to Sailor Moon R episode 71, For Friendship: Ami vs. Berthier, which was itself based on Act 16 of the Sailor Moon manga. There are however some resemblances to the original anime that aren’t from the manga, such as Usagi’s inappropriate cheering during the tournament. Also of note is that this is a swimsuit episode! Usagi, Naru and Ami are all seen in swimsuits, which seems to be a really big deal for some people. Though not a ton of detail is seen Naru’s swimsuit is based on the one she wears in the first season of the original Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Ami and Naru swimming

Sailor Moon episode 23 - Naru's swimsuit

Who wore it best?

Next week is Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter, where Makoto confides in Ittou Asanuma.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction - Sailor Mercury

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26 thoughts on “The English version of Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is now available on Hulu

    • Such a thing may remain one of the great unanswered mysteries of Sailor Moon Crystal. If we are to assume that the suit, beyond what we see it, resembles that worn in the original anime than there is some indication that it is indeed a two piece swimsuit. This is what I tend to believe but there is no definitive proof of this.

    • It’s two-piece. There’s a split second before the news piece with Berthier on the TV where we see Naru and Usagi’s bikini bottoms. I just barely noticed it myself, but if you go back you should be able to see it.

  1. While not one of the best episodes of SMC, it’s still pretty good. And I think we were right in our original speculation that the broadcast Ami, Usagi, and Naru see after their swim is actually a fake message targeted specifically at Ami. If you look at the broadcaster’s eyes, there’s not much detail in them. Kind of makes me think he’s a Droid.

    • Yes, I remember we had some speculations back when the episode was first streamed on Hulu and Nico Nico… I had written a long post about the fact that the broadcast was surely a fake made to trap Ami. And as the audience of the chess tournament is made of droids, I think it makes no doubt that the announcement at the swimming pool was a pure trap.

      I believe that we had also talked about the fact that Berthier was too lightly clothed to appear in a real and official TV broadcast. I know it’s a weak argument because Berthier is a villain – so much that I guess she would not give a **** to look good to human beings -, but remember Zoisite dressed as a female university professor at the television news (and these ones were real news, if my memory is ok) : all the contrary of Berthier. He had made an effort to look good and to be credible. But who has already seen an university professor giving lectures in swimsuit :D ?

      I’m gonna have a look at the broadcaster’s eyes ;) .

      When I was a kid, “For Friendship: Ami vs. Berthier” was one of my favorite episodes of all the show. Both of them were great characters back then.

    • I had written in my previous comment that I would check the broadcaster’s empty eyes as you did recommend. I think Adam made a very interesting screenshot. Look at where the broadcaster has his eyes… no, you’re not dreaming. He fixes Berthier’s boobs, which are hardly hidden by the graceful and delicate synthetic tissue of a one-piece swimsuit. He is totally hypnotized by her attributes, like some others would be totally hypnotized by bare midriffs. So whether he is a Droid or not is not easy to determine, because he has the usual gaze of a man usually hypnotized by a pair of boobs. But I don’t think that Sapphire gave his Droids the ability and the right to have so intense hormonal reactions… The Droids are designed to be cold and ruthless, not to have the weakness of an average man when it comes to boobs.

      So is the broadcaster a Droid or not :D ?

  2. I can’t wait to watch. I might just watch it after all the episodes for this season/arc are released. I am going to miss these character designs though. The lip gloss I think oddly captured the look of the manga style and I think this style is more unique than the new one. The only odd thing is that they probably shouldn’t have applied the lip gloss to Chibiusa or not until she became Chibi moon but either way I guess children would be the only people that look odd with the lip gloss but I think that is actually how the manga design is. I like the wispier look of these character designs. Although I’m sure the manga’s story is probably done better than Crystal, it makes more sense for the style to be closer to the manga. The new style looks okay in the promo poster but every other promotional piece with new art since then has looked bad in comparison. The character designs and artwork since the promotional poster look like Pretty Cure with less effort than Pretty Cure itself.

  3. One stupid question about the Ayakashi Sisters : are they supposed to be human beings and to come from Earth like the rest of the Black Moon Clan ?

    Or are they humanoids created by Sapphire ?

    Thanks !

    • I’ve wondered that myself. I like to think they are humans.
      In the musicals there are also other members of the Black Moon Clan and I think adding the Ayakashi sisters to list of actual members makes sense. I’m pretty sure that Chiral and Achiral are also humans, just servants of Esmeraude.
      The two servants of Saphir are definitely not human though.

      • Thanks for giving your opinion :) .

        I think the question of their origins will forever remain unclear, though I tend to believe they are human.

        In the classic anime, they are purified by Sailor Moon and given the chance to live a normal life on Earth. My conclusion is that they were born as human beings, and came on Nemesis with the rest of the BM Clan or were later corrupted and/or called by Rubeus to serve the BMC plans.

        In Crystal (and also, I guess, in the manga. I’m not a manga reader…), they are very short-lived and don’t make any appearance on Earth with the rest of the clan during the flashbacks showing Crystal Tokyo.

        Their name, Ayakashi, means “phantom” in Japanese and they are servants to Rubeus (and in the classic anime, they had servants themselves, which were simple monsters of the day but were clearly Droids), just like Chiral and Achiral are to Esmeraude. But Chiral and Achiral are Droids ;) . As for the Sisters…

        • Were Chiral and Achiral droids in the new anime and manga? I know they were in the original…though there seems to be some argument even there, since they die different than the droid of the day types did and also appeared as human.

          I’m pretty sure in the new anime and manga they were meant to be humans, though I’m not sure.

          Yeah, the sisters were definitely human in the original anime. I imagine they just were not as prestigious as Demand and his main trio, though.
          Probably there were many people from the Black Moon clan who had died off.
          In the original anime it seems they had their own civilization even but their numbers had dwindled.

          In the manga and new anime, the sisters are most likely human since they can control droids…but…can droids control droids? Hmmm…maybe.

          In the musicals there are at least three others, Aaron and Manna, who do not have the black moon crescent and are rather like outcasts and Tilmun, who had only half a crescent and was looked down on by Esmeraude because of this.

          Besides dying rather easily, I don’t see anything in the materials collection or elsewhere that would indicate that the Ayakashi Sisters or the Boule Brothers would not be human. The sisters are all represented as individual characters in the Material Collection, but the Boule Brothers are just given a footnote on Esmeraude’s page, which does make them seem less important.
          Some wiki sites list them as droids while others seem to think of them as Black Moon people who serve the clan.

          I guess it isn’t important, but it’s fun to debate!

          • It’s not because something belongs to pop culture like Sailor Moon that’s it’s not important nor fun to debate on :D . And some members of the Black Moon Clan are a real mystery !

            The greatest mystery of it all surely concerns Chiral and Achiral. I like to think they are Droids, just like they were in the first anime. They are supposed to be twin brothers but one has a pale skin while the other has a darker skin, which is not very natural for human twins, even for false twins. Their hair color also differs, and they are named after the scientific principles of chirality and achirality. To me it’s obvious that Sapphire wanted to do an experiment. Maybe they die differently from the other Droids because they are upper tier Droids, created for the purpose of doing a scientific experiment (with the principles of chirality and achirality) and of serving Esmeraude. And we mustn’t forget that the basic Droids can change their apperance until they look like normal humans, just like in the episode 16 of Crystal.

            There is a mystery surrounding Chiral and Achiral’s origins, so I think everyone is free to consider them as humans or Droids under human shape. But you have solid arguments in favor of Chiral and Achiral’s humanity ;) .

            The Black Moon Clan being a whole civilization of Earthlings banished on Nemesis was quite a good idea. An idea more complex to develop than the one of a small group of rebels banished, though… The concept of civilization applied to the Black Moon Clan could then explain why Diamond is considered as a “prince” (the banished people becoming a civilization and turning their punishment into a real society with estates of the realm…). Being a Prince just because you are the head of a small clan accomplishing terrorist acts for political purposes is not a very coherent idea. But maybe Diamond is a prince because he was part of the Crystal Palace’s court and was granted this title of nobility back then. But why is he a prince and not his brother ? When you have a title of nobility, your brothers and sisters also have one. You may be a prince, but then your siblings may be dukes, counts, viscounts or barons… Another mystery to solve :D .

            I’ve never watched any Sailor Moon musicals but what you tell of Aaron, Manna and Tilmun is very interesting and rejoins the idea of a civilization or a rebels clan having strong hierarchic principles.

            As for the Ayakashi Sisters, no way, they are human beings :D . If one day N. Takeuchi had to reveal they were Droids, I would not believe it.

      • Yeah, good observation, thanks ! I had never thought of that before, whereas it is so obvious (that I must be dumb to have never thought of that before) . I think that’s a lethal argument in favor of the Sister’s humanity :D .

        (… but I still think that the Boule Brothers are Droids ^^ .)

        • Correct me if I am wrong Aurelia?
          “They are supposed to be twin brothers but one has a pale skin while the other has a darker skin, which is not very natural for human twins, even for false twins.”

          As far I know there is a big possibility that human twins will differ to each other, especially Fraternal Twins, who came from two fertilized eggs. There are also Fraternal Twins that look the same, specifically Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, people thought they are identical twins but they are not. :D

          • Oh, I see thanks to your post Viridian that I’ve made a vocabulary mistake. By “false twins” I wanted to say “fraternal twins” or “dizygotic twins”. False twins is the common term we use in French and I didn’t check if my translation was correct :/ .

            So when I wrote “They are supposed to be twin brothers but one has a pale skin while the other has a darker skin, which is not very natural for human twins, even for false twins.”, I wanted to say that I doubt that even fraternal twins can have diferent skin colors to such a point.

            Sorry for the mistake !

  4. well.. if Spectre Sisters are humans, so does the Boule Brothers… but imho they are all something like superior droids to deal with dirty stuff and fulfill orders of Black Moon Clan members, just as Witches 5 for Death Busters

  5. It should be pointed out that in one scene, you can see a guy in the audience who looks like Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho. Naoko’s husband was the manga author who created Yu Yu Hakusho.

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