Sorry for the late review but I was in Italy last week. Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, aired on Japanese TV on Monday April 18th and is available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Actually Act 29 is out at this point too. This episode has the gang heading out to the woods and facing off against the first of the Witches 5. It’s really all about the final scene where Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon, but we’ll get to that.
There’s a lot of Hotaru this week as we see that Chibiusa seems to have a bit of a crush on her. She’s not about to use magic and time travel to make out with her or anything like she did with her last crush though. They’re mostly good friends, but as we see this season the show is all about girls liking girls. We learn a bit about Hotaru’s relationship with Kaolonite and her father. There’s a bit a “you’re not my real mom” kind of scene going on. Professor Tomoe sounds sort of like a zombie. This isn’t an unfair assessment of his state but, given his portrayal in the manga has no voice and that he’s more crazy than zombie in the original anime, I feel like this portrayal is showing what’s to come a bit too much. Also I’m staring to wonder if Professor Tomoe lives in his lab coat. He’s a Professor, but he’s not always in the lab with beakers. The only Professor I know that wears a lab coat this much is Professor Oak from Pokémon. Who would you cast as the voice of Professor Tomoak in the Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover? Professor Tomoe is an Academic professor and he owns a school so he really should be wearing something else while performing some of those duties. We actually see a clock showing 1am while he’s at home and still in his lab coat. Take a second to unplug! While Sailor Moon has outfit changes galore for some of the girls, including pyjamas and judo outfits this week alone, the men don’t get so lucky.
Though largely faithful to the manga as always, there are minor changes which bear mentioning. In the manga version of Act 29 Minako comments that they seem to be Sailor Guardians because they flew through the sky. Upon reading this I wondered did Sailor Guardians really fly? They generally did not in the original anime and though they are often seen in the sky in the manga since it’s not animated we don’t really think of them as floating. In Sailor Moon Crystal however they are often seen just chilling in the sky, pretty much flying, but for whatever reason the reference to flying was removed from this episode.
Identities, as usual, are not well hidden in Sailor Moon Crystal. The similarity between the new Sailor Guardians and the mysterious Haruka and Michiru are immediately noted by Usagi. This bypasses an obvious problem with many superheroes comics, which is something that is seen in the original Sailor Moon anime, which is that these costumes should not by any reasonable logic be hiding these people’s identities. This just makes it a bit inconvenient as we need to ignore the fact that Usagi’s parents and friends don’t ever seem to see any really good photos of Sailor Moon that would allow them to tell what’s going on. All in all the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal actually do a decent job of this.
Mamoru and Michiru have a bit of a thing. They meet in a book store and have a nice chat after which Michiru gives Mamoru tickets to her concert. Usagi sees all this and is totally jealous. More on this next episode, which you probably already saw.
Rei is chilling in the mountains to purify herself for her 15th birthday. That’s right! Rei’s birthday is April 17th. Coincidentally this episode aired on April 18th, incredibly close to her birthday. I say coincidentally because this date was not chosen to fit with the release date. The Sailor Guardians’ birthdays were determined back in the 90s and they have astrological significance. It’s very doubtful that the Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 schedule was intentionally delayed to make this birthday, which is mentioned in the manga, fit closely enough.
As the gang head out to the mountains some may find similarities between this episode and Sailor Moon S episode 105, I Want Power: Mako Lost in Doubt, in which Makoto goes to the mountains to train. Here Rei goes to the mountain but Makoto also has a prominent part. Mugen Acamedy, not content to fill in Tokyo Bay and build stuff there, also seems to own property here including a gym where we find Haruka practicing Judo. I did Judo for a short time when I was really young and I got my yellow belt. I didn’t do any terribly elaborate moves so I’m wondering how these two still have their white belts! When Haruka beats up Makoto it’s mentioned that it’s wrong for a man to use all his strength against a woman, and Haruka states that there should be no difference and Makoto agrees. There’s a good point to be made in here somewhere but one needs to tread carefully in supporting it rather than encouraging men to physically assault women. These girls are fighting for a good reason of course and they can’t expect their opponents to pull any punches, regardless of what their gender might be.
This week’s enemy is Eudial of the Witches 5, who is posing as a Mugen Academy official and brainwashing students into serving Pharaon 90. She mentions that she’s level 78 and hoping to raise her level by beating the girls. Sounds like a fun RPG. How exactly does this levelling system work? Why didn’t we start with Mimete who has a lower level? There’s a nice little fight and then when it’s done the new Sailor Guardians show up. Sailor Moon chases them and …
Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon! This is a big thing in the manga which actually doesn’t happen until Act 29. I foolishly made my blog post about Act 29 ahead of time, as I was traveling last week, mentioning this event as being the big deal in Act 29 but it already happened. We can get into conversations about consent here. Sailor Uranus surprises Sailor Moon who doesn’t actively avoid the kiss, but still doesn’t seem to expect or endorse it. Her not minding it isn’t really relevant since Sailor Uranus doesn’t ask. There’s blushing that will occur but we don’t see that until Act 29. All that said, the importance of having the show’s hero involved in a lesbian kiss generally overshadows other concerns so I’ll try not to get too bogged down in that. Let’s not forget that the first time Tuxedo Mask kissed Sailor Moon she was unconscious and unable to consent. I could write all day about this kiss, which we never saw in the original Sailor Moon anime, but I’ll leave it at that for now.
The consequences of the kiss will be seen next week with Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, which has actually already aired and I already watched it so I’ll be working on that review next.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.