Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru dies

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired Japanese TV Monday June 13th 11pm. Immediately afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, the show became available to stream first on Crunchyroll and then on Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 36 is the first of a three part finale for the Infinity arc, as this was once a single long chapter of the manga. The episode is all about Hotaru freeing herself from Mistress 9 and the consequences of that as well as a power up for Sailor Chibi Moon.

Phanto from Super Mario Bros. 2 Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Pharaoh 90 happy face

We get an idea of the Death Busters’ end game here. Pharaoh 90 wants to vesselize the planet. How odd! Up until now we’ve only seen the vesselization of living being but he wants to do it to the planet. What will this look like? Literally a comical smiley face on planet earth. No this isn’t a bad photoshop but rather a screenshot from the episode! Looks like Phanto from Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic to me! They seek to make the Earth a second Tau Star System with this. Wait a minute how do you make a planet a star system which is shown as a galaxy? I don’t really understand the scope of the astronomical references of this arc.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 36 - Mistress 9 with elf ears Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Mistress 9 has elf ears

Mistress 9 is some weird looking in this episode. What’s with the elf ears? This could be a reflection of the monster inside. She does have a more monstrous looking face as time goes on in the manga. I think, however, that those ears are inspired but a misinterpretation of some art in the manga. Only one panel shows Mistress 9 with pointy ears and I don’t think it was meant to be elf ears at all. She has all sorts of things sticking out of her in this one image and the sharp things near her ears just happen to look like pointy ears. She has normal small round ears in all other panels in the manga. She’s also got bulging Total Recall dying on the surface of Mars eyes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru protects the Sailor Guardians' souls

Mistress 9 is chowing down on hostes or souls. She eats Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus’s but this doesn’t last long. Hotaru protects them, along with Chibiusa’s soul and Crystal, and decides it’s time to GTFO. She leaves Mistress 9’s body, which is actually her body, and is able to take those souls with her. Great news? Actually it means she’s going to have to die.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

Hotaru uses her last bit of life to bring Chibiusa’s soul back to her, along with her Crystal. What follows is a tearful and heart wrenching farewell. She mentions that she feels like her encounter with Chibiusa was destiny, pointing out that this seems odd because they’re both girls. The obvious interpretation of this is that destiny is usually something that would connect lovers. In Japan there is an idea, shared amongst other Asian cultures, that a red thread connects lovers together through fate or destiny. Why does Hotaru think this is odd? Because they aren’t lovers, or because their relationship is not heterosexual and therefore not fitting with her expectation? This story arc, and the show as a whole, has precedent dealing with same sex relationships. Ultimately the romantic aspects of Hotaru and Chibiusa’s relationship are subject to interpretation. There’s nothing overt about this relationship, but this is one of the many insinuations that it has romantic undertones. In case you were wondering, of course I’m shipping these two!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Sailor Chibi Moon flies

Mamoru encourages Chibiusa to go out in fight. You can see this is hard for him, but he pushes her for it anyway. Chibiusa is totally bad ass here. She digs deep and finds the will to fight to save the world. A lot of fans may not have liked her portrayal in the original anime but it’s hard not to like Chibiusa now. She seems to have immediately increased in power and she jumps out the window and flies to where she’s going. We previously saw that Chibiusa appeared to be the only member of the team that was not able to fly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Tuxedo Mask transforms

I was really hoping that this episode would have an amazing transformation sequence for Tuxedo Mask. In the manga we see him transform and get a look at his nakedness. Sadly this doesn’t occur here. I was hoping for a full on elaborate stock footage calibre transformation for Tuxedo Mask. Instead we see him glow and quickly transform behind his cape. I blame the patriarchy.

Ryuk from Death Note Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Mistress 9's Daimon

When Hotaru left Mistress 9’s body, it meant that Mistress 9 was also no longer bound to that body. The Daimon inside escaped, destroying the body, which killed Hotaru. This Daimon kind of looks like Ryuk from Death Note. I don’t know much about this series, and only ever saw the terrible live action movie adaptation, but this guy from that show immediately came to mind when I saw it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon

What’s the gang to do? Sailor Chibi Moon does an effective Pink Sugar Heart Attack for a change but that isn’t enough. We need Super Sailor Moon … but wait! Chibiusa gets a grail too and she becomes Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Unfortunately we don’t get a full transformation sequence for Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Oh well.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Next time is Act 37, Infinity 11 – Infinite – Judge. Sailor Saturn. That’s all. Who cares what else happens in this episode because it’s Sailor Saturn! We’ve been waiting for this for like… ever! Finally we will start seeing a proper representation of Sailor Saturn in an animated series after she got totally shafted in the original Sailor Moon anime. I can’t wait!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 37.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Infinity 10 - Infinite - Upper Atmosphere

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Barrier

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Mistress 9

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Hotaru escapes from Mistress 9's body

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Cats

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Sailor Saturn

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Double Holy Grails

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 - Super Sailor Moon and Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 Preview - Sailor Saturn

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33 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, review

  1. I also got a headache trying to figure out what Mistress 9 was talking about when she said: “This planet will change into the second Tau Star System. This land [a small chunk of the earth?] will be our mother planet.” Both sentences seem to contradict each other. A ‘star system’ is when multiple (usually three) stars orbit each other, it’s not a generic term for a galaxy, planetary or solar system. So they’re going to turn the earth into a star which will orbit the sun, and they’re also going to live on the star? Clarifying this language could have given the story a bit of depth, especially since we’re not likely going to see it happen. Maybe one of the 8 mistresses who came before her would have been able to explain it better.

    Mamorou’s transformation was beautiful and elegant, despite it’s brevity. It would have been nice to get the full transformation, but generally I’d prefer less transformation stock footage per episode.

    This episode provided much-need character development for Hotaru and Chibi-usa, who is now likeable (!) and shows us that the true heart of Sailor Saturn is not dedicated to destruction. I can’t wait for next weeks episode!

    • I think you’re putting too much thought into Naoko’s rather shoddy and senseless writing. Logic dictates that they’re trying to turn Earth into whatever planet in the Tau System they used to live on, but I have zero idea why it is consistently said that they live in an entire System in the manga or Crystal. Its just… Bizarre. Heck, we don’t even really know what Pharoah 90 IS in the manga/Crystal. Was he the king of the planet, was he some kind of God? An evil spirit? Was he sentient energy that the Taorion Crystal thrived on? Its just completely unexplained.
      This is a problem that I have with the entirety of the Sailor Moon manga. There’s great tidbits of story-telling and world building, but they’re left completely unexplored and unexplained. I definitely think that the Infinity Arc is BY FAR the most well written and understandable arc of the manga, but even it has massive logic lapses.

      Speaking of logic, I want everybody to make note the sequence of events of this arc. Pluto has been around for one of maybe two days, absolute tops and the Outers and Inners have had ZERO meaningful dialogue between each other. Setsuna especially has not been in contact with the Inners outside of being Sailor Pluto. Next Arc all the Inners will be remembering things that NEVER could have happened in the timeframe given and start acting like they were dependent on the Outers when they barely communicated. Ugh.

      • I think you’re actually “putting too much thought” into this. Takeuchi had very few pages in which to tell the story. It’s ridiculous to assume that we saw “everything” that happened. (What about “Lover of Princess Kaguya?”) It’s also silly to base an entire argument on the premise that “Pluto has been around for one of maybe two days, absolute tops” when we have no way of knowing that. ;-)

        And lastly, it’s silly to talk about Takeuchi’s “rather shoddy and senseless writing” unless you’ve read the original Japanese. Have you?

        • Yes we do know that Pluto has only been around that long. Read the freaking story. The whole sequence from Tellu attaching to them entering Mugen Academy is on page. The relationship between the characters is super shaky as well- they only come together after breaking Infinity Labrynth. The events that are “remembered” in the Dream Arc by the Inners in regards to the Outers simply could not have logically happened.
          Plus the “The Lover of Princess Kaguya” is a non-canon side story written specifically to be adapted into a movie. There is no logical place for it to fit into the story nor is there supposed to be. Heck, they even say during that story that its events occurs over a WEEKS. Are you seriously going to try and say that they ignored the Death Busters for a week or two in between fighting Cyprine and going to the Academy?

          As for the notion that these plot holes are just due to translation: Considering that there’s at least four translations out there, two official, which all include the same bad writing, it’s safe to say it IS like that in the Japanese versions

          • Umm… I can read the original Japanese and have noticed the English speaking audience does often miss the point, so do the official translations. I don’t personally have an issue with Takeuchi’s style…. but I actually also know the astronomy references and puns that are made that the English speaking audience always misses.
            I don’t know how many people have read H.P. Lovecraft, but Takeuchi has a thing for his cosmic horrors. In this case of Pharoh 90 is a friendly reference to:

            and of course:

            On a side note this is based on the “Complete Edition” of the manga, which I do own. There are a few differences between it and the previous two manga editions. I’m not sure if these reprints will ever get translated but I do check them after an episode.

          • If Toei was smart they would have spent some time having the characters interact even if just for a few seconds to mention those things to the inners.
            One of my favorite lines from the Dream Arc is Michiru telling Rei to release her power like an arrow…which she has never had time to say to her as far as the manga shows.

      • I agree with the terms you use to describe Naoko’s writing, and that many of the most interesting parts of her mythology are just vaguely stated, rather then being explained or explored to any satisfaction. Pharoah 90 did have a lot of ominous dialogue about creating purity in his sacred omega area, but no we don’t really know his backstory or why he has to create a second “Tau Star System” in the first place. Of the many nebulous evil clouds, wiseman was certainly the best developed thus far in crystal.

  2. i think that they are saving the transformation of Super Sailor Chibi Moon for the Dream arc,cuz like if you have her transformation in this arc then there wont be nothing exciting for the next arc cuz its like the manga so a lot of people know what is gonna happen(btw,dream arc/super s is my favorite season of all so it better be good).LOL,some faces that Mistress 9 makes remind me of some faces that Haru from “The Secret World of Arrietty” makes.I personaly liked the decision of making Mistress 9 face weird,disgusting,creepy and scary cuz it shows the darknes of this season and how evil these villians can be.Also when Pharaon 90(hes not my master so i dont need to call him master) vesselized the planet,it remminded me of a pokemon called gastly.

  3. loved the mistress 9 faces she made they were total nightmare inducing looks, and im glad I wasn’t the only one who took the hotaru/chibi usa exchange near the end as loves instead of friends, wish it was Monday already so we can see them wrap this arc up and see all the super forms and then pray that the dreams arc will be starting after this, or better yet some official word on season 3 to blu ray for the original series or even better yet a English dubbing of this arc as well as the dreams arc

  4. I love the drama! I hope the English dub will be able to capture the emotions that the original Japanese voice actors conveyed because if not, the scene’s overall feel will not be the same.

      • One scene for me that greatly changed was when Black Lady realized that Sailor Pluto died. Misato Fukuen really expressed a very deep anguish in her tone, it really hit me to the core. Her screams are really gut-wrenching. I did not feel the same with Sandy Fox’s version.

  5. This episode was still not great in terms of animation quality or character model design. What was decent most of the execution. Partially because of the manga, but many instances added to the episode not part of the manga helped elevate the show. However, there were times when they probably should have changed some things to make the episode better and they didn’t. For example this episode had a lot of dialogue that was obvious like sailor moon constantly calling out the soldiers/senshi’s names. We get it. They are named Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. Also did Sailor moon have to say that don’t tell me she took their souls. I mean she saw it, but she is acting as if she doesn’t know what happened. Then she uses her moon spiral heart attack which didn’t do anything to tellu who is lower ranking than mistress 9 yet she is shocked it didn’t work. Also I wish we didn’t see the stock footage for that since she has used that many times already and it’s the same as rainbow moon heart ache’s animation.

    That time they wasted using the stock footage could have been used for giving tuxedo mask his own transformation sequence since we didn’t get a Pluto transformation sequence. The wasted time showing super sailor moon transform in full could have been cut short and let super sailor Chibi moon get her full holy grail transformation. Those things would have elevated or made the episode better. We didn’t need to see the stock footage. I wish Mercury and the rest could have used older attacks especially Mercury with shine aqua illusion or something else. Not a fan of aqua mist.

    I am shocked, but happy they kept the scene where mistress 9 rips out of hotaru’s body from the manga. I mean it was less gruesome, but I didn’t think they would actually keep it. The eyes of mistress 9 spinning around was weird also I wish she actually attacked sailor moon and the others more before she became her true form, but even then there wasn’t enough battling.

        • They were revived by Pegasus in the 90s anime, remember?

          But you have to remember, there are no villains in the manga that get true personalities outside of maybe Demande and Saphir. The manga used what were actual characters in the anime in lieu of monsters of the day. The Amazon Trio are no exception, they came in, had a simple episode-of-the-day plan and then got killed and never mentioned again. Think of the Four Kings, Spectre Sisters and Witches 5.

  6. Wonder what Naoko Takeuchi has in her sleeve for SEASON FIVE
    Can’t wait to see Sailor Chaos and Starlights!!!!

  7. Nice review, Adam!

    I definitely thought Master Pharaoh 90 looked ridiculous in a bad way, but didn’t cross my mind about Super Mario 2 lol I hate those enemies.

    Also, now that you mention it, Manstress 9 does look a bit like that guy from Death Note…maybe same artists? Definitely inspiration.

  8. I was TOTALLY weirded out by Mistress 9, especially the cross-eyed thing, and they nailed that really hideously creepy smile.

    But I kinda loved it lmao

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