Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The 10 Sailor Guardians

The entire Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view online. The final episode we’ll see for a while, Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey aired on Japanese television on Monday June 27th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it was available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. This week is a bit of a mixed bag as we wrap up the story of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn and then move on for a teaser of the upcoming Dream arc. We still have no official confirmation that this new arc will be adapted. This episode is just doing exactly what the equivalent manga chapter did. While it seems likely at this point that we will be seeing more episodes this would certainly not be the first show to have a really awesome cliffhanger final episode which we never saw a follow up to.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Title Screen with Sailor Saturn

As always we start with an unreasonably long flashback! This week’s spans 3 minutes and 13 seconds which covers half of the last episode! At least we see a lot of Sailor Saturn. The opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, is the first version sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. The full length version of this song is also heard in the episode itself. This is my favourite version of the opening so it was nice to hear. The ending theme used is Eternal Eternity sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus, Junko Minagawa and Sailor Neptune, Sayaka Ohara.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon blasts out of the Pharaoh 90/Mistress 9 monster juice thing and in doing so causes some damage. She gives everyone super transformations! Well almost everyone. How come Tuxedo Mask doesn’t get an upgrade? He’d look great in some transparent shoulder pads! Poor guy. At least he has his male privilege to fall back on.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Saturn smiles Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 - Super Sailor Moon going to her death

Sailor Saturn, who was supposed to be destroying the world at the end of the last episode, decides to attack Pharaoh 90 and go to her death. She turns and smiles to her friends just like Sailor Moon had last week. This was a nice touch, as both seem willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Three Women and a Baby

Unfortunately Sailor Saturn has to die. Sailor Pluto is the one to do this. She’s upset about it, although this was kind of the plan all along. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were ready to kill Hotaru in order to save the world. The solution now is to lock her, Pharaoh 90 and the Tau Star System away forever. Sailor Pluto does this with the Dark Dome Close attack. Her penance for killing Sailor Saturn? Her and her friends have to raise the reincarnated baby version of her! There’s some sort of odd justice here. This will be a tough conversation when she gets a bit older and asks why she has three moms! This is basically a genderbend version of Three Men and a Baby, a mediocre 80s comedy movie by Leonard Nimoy. “Well you see we helped killed your Dad and then killed you, so you’re adopted. Sorry not sorry.”

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The Messiah

Sailor Moon becomes Neo Queen Serenity. OMG she was the one we saw in the visions. This isn’t the future version of Neo Queen Serenity possessing Sailor Moon in some way. This is Usagi in full control of her faculties. There’s no other consciousness in there. So I wonder why she doesn’t seem to remember what happens. Sailor Moon asks where this baby came from, and Sailor Uranus basically says it’s “From precious you”, which no doubt is a terrible translation, but basically she believes that Neo Queen Serenity caused Sailor Saturn to reincarnate as baby Hotaru. Sure. The original Queen Serenity is the one that sent everyone to reincarnate in the present time after they were all killed. Future Neo Queen Serenity is the one who sent Sailor Pluto back in time to reincarnate as Setsuna. It stands to reason that Sailor Moon, the present version, is the one that did this. There’s no other consciousness which is doing stuff here. It’s not insinuated that old lady uploaded consciousness computer simulated Queen Serenity on the Moon has any real power here. Why doesn’t Sailor Moon have full memory of doing this? It doesn’t really add up to me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn leave and then we have a commercial break. There’s meant to be a massive passage of time here but I don’t feel that this is well conveyed at all. In the original manga the Infinity arc concludes here which is the end of a chapter. Following this we get The Lover of Princess Kaguya side story which is a full manga book which is the equivalent of the Sailor Moon S movie, which then has a side story about Rei. There are a bunch of other side stories published later which are understood to take place during this break which is basically the time when the girls are preparing for their high school entrance exams. Ami’s First Love, which was adapted in an anime special, falls into this period as well. The first three story arcs all follow one another directly, but the Dream arc was never meant to do so. When the manga was rereleased in 2003 the chapters were broken up differently so they ended up breaking this particular Act up very poorly so that this passage of time isn’t properly demonstrated and happens between pages of the same story. I think Sailor Moon Crystal had a good chance to pace things out a bit differently and have the season end here, but they didn’t do that and instead, it’s time to go to high school.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - High school girls

This episode is kind of like the first episode of Sailor Stars from the original Sailor Moon anime. Those first 6 episodes of Sailor Stars basically fix the problems that the SuperS season skipped, including some characters which will be returning later in the Dream arc. The girls are supposed to be in high school before meeting Pegasus as we see here. Most of the girls have Juban High School Uniforms. Rei does not, as she goes to her own school which does not use high school entrance exams. We don’t really have an equivalent to these in the West. I suppose maybe the SATs are something similar but as a Canadian this is also something I only know of through TV and movies. I’ve never had a test so important in my schooling that it required me getting addicted to caffeine pills like Jessie Spano. So much to say Japanese high school entrance exams are a big deal and the source of a lot of stress, and the girls are meant to have been preparing for this during the long period covered by the commercial break which we don’t even get in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Solar Eclipse

Chibiusa says she’s going to leave on April 1st, at the time of a Solar Eclipse. The next Solar eclipse that will occur on April 1st is in 2098 and there certainly wasn’t one in the 90s when the manga was written, but this is pretty nitpicky even for me. She mentions in her letter to her mother “Please come to pick me up”. How exactly does this work? Is Neo Queen Serenity from the future going to travel to the 30th century to come pick up Chibiusa? Who’s guardian the Space-Time Door with future Sailor Pluto dead and Diana in the past?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Artemis and Luna cry for Diana

Speaking of Diana! Usagi says to Luna, who isn’t present when this is said, that she will see Diana “very soon”. What does this mean? From the frame of reference of Diana then she would see her parents soon, in the future. From Luna and Artemis’s point of view they won’t see her soon at all. Diana is a kitten. Chibiusa, who is born in less than a decade, is 900 years old in the 30th century. Is Diana a permakitten born in the 20th or 21st century and never aging? Permakittens would revolutionize the pet industry! Kittens are most of the reason people have adult cats!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Usagi and Chibiusa see Pegasus

So the gang are watching the eclipse and they hear a bell. They turn around to see… Pegasus! Well we don’t see Pegasus but in the manga version of Act 38, the final image has Usagi and Chibiusa seeing Pegasus. There’s no preview for another episode, but we will likely at some point be seeing Act 39, Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream. This will be part of the 4th story arc which, if current trends continue, will likely be referred to as Season 4 or Season IV in Japan. I’ve still been calling them arcs or phases but I may start using the term season if that becomes well established. We have no specifics on if and when we might get new episodes but perhaps we will learn something tomorrow at the live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday.

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Infinity 12 - Infinite - Journey

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Saturn

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Pluto kills Sailor Saturn

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Pluto seals Sailor Saturn

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Usagi in her high school uniform

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Rei disses Usagi

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The Happy Family

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Viewing the eclipse

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28 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey, review

  1. You’re nitpicking Adam LOL. But I am always excited to read your review.

    I believe the translations are just bad. The translation made by missdream regarding the baby is this:

    Usagi: “That baby is…”

    It is clear that Usagi already has an idea that the baby is Hotaru but she was not able to say it out loud.

  2. I liked this episode quite a bit. The first flashback suuuuuucked and honestly I’d prefer they expand the ending of Infinity instead of start the Dream, so this episode would feel like a proper finale and not a continuing story, but that’s nitpicking.

    I have to say I LOVED the scene in which Chibiusa screams for Sailor Moon and she awakens and activates the Silver Crystal and Grail. It was so, so much better then in the manga, in which Saturn vaguely says that Sailor Moon helped but we don’t clearly see it. Here she very obviously is what saves the day.

    As for the implication that Saturn simply decided to attack Pharaoh 90 and not end the world, I think its more that Saturn, in order to kill Pharaoh 90, HAD to destroy the world as part of her power. Sailor Moon was able to stop this side effect by unleashing her full power. It was a lot clearer in Crystal and the most recent musical then in the manga, but I think that was definitely the case.

  3. I personally enjoyed this episode. I thought it wrapped up the arc very well, and I’m not too upset about the changes it made.

    I just hope we get confirmation of a Dream arc adaptation soon. That, and news about Sailor Moon S.

    Also, Sailor Moon didn’t hold anyone in her arms. You kind of predicted that, Adam, but it didn’t happen. And I can think of someone who’s probably very upset about that.

  4. I’m going to miss the show! Of course I will miss these reviews! On the quality of this episode the animation quality dropped back down a bit and the character models were off from the previous episode. They had some good moments, but overall they missed the mark for the final episode of the season. The things that standout the most this season which was also true of season 1 and 2 is the bad profile drawings. Neptune and Uranus always have their gloves too long they should have stuck to 3-5 cm above the wrist. The pacing was not the greatest this episode. The reused footage and use of the animation from the opening. Very lazy. Overall it was a strong conclusion though.

    I hated the long recap at the beginning of the episode. They could have used that time to flesh out some more of the story instead. To be honest it seemed to make genuine sense, but also seem somewhat odd that they cared about Saturn. I don’t know if it is a good or bad thing, but I am happy it gave at least Pluto a sort of emotional scene. It just felt a bit out of place considering they never showed the Outers changing their minds about killing her. I also never understood why Saturn decided not to end the world. I guess because the world can be saved this time she no longer needs to end it.

    The queen serenity thing is confusing. It never really says that she is being possessed. I don’t think she is. Although, she does seem to be in a trance. I like that scene when they are in the park. I don’t care for the time jump due to their bad sense of pacing, but since they did not have another 13 episodes to work with I guess they did not have the ability to pace things out. The scene at the end I feel is a summary for why the first 2 seasons were not as strong. While I enjoyed the art one thing season 3 did very well is not overdoing the transformation and attacks. Well, for the most part. The did overuse it on certain occasions, but they never used it like season 1 and 2 almost every episode. I haven’t read all of the manga so I don’t know did they take those scenes directly from the manga of the first 2 story arcs. However, in this season they kept most of the material from the manga or at least fixed some things that made sense. Although, I will have to admit I wish they added Pluto’s transformation and made Chronos Typhoon look half decent. But there wasn’t an excessive amount of transformation and speeches. The best part though is that they brought back the personality/characterization of the soldiers. I saw those panels from the first 2 story arcs and Mars is some what mean. I read that Naoko thought she was mean to Usagi in the 90s anime. I don’t know if that’s why they decided to mellow her out. However, she is not one to keep her opinions to herself so I enjoyed that they brought out the manga character who was oddly similar to her 90s character. Just a little more mature. I enjoyed that season 3 brought to life Sailor Moon’s comedy panels which were dropped in season 1 and 2. Not to mention their personalities were definitely missing. The manga had somewhat different personalities from the 90s anime, but not completely different.

    I agree about the pacing although I guess they are following her updated manga which seems to have Dream arc at the end of the infinity arc. I think they could have really made the battle either longer or more interesting than what they manga showed. Speaking of which the end of that was terrible. I never liked that the manga just had the outers go away to raise Hotaru. I feel that was the original reason Toei decided not to add the Outers since it would be a lot of characters to animate. Naoko letting them leave at the end of the infinity arc just made it make sense to have the Outers leave. I would have preferred they stayed. Besides the infinity arc was too short to explore Pluto, Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. The manga really should have explored the Outers a little more before they decide to have them leave. Even better they should not leave and should have a chapter of their own each in the Dream arc. The Infinity arc’s Outer introduction episodes did not explore the characters at all. We learn nothing about Pluto, Uranus or Neptune. I prefer the 3rd opening vocals, but I like the music of the first version of the opening.

    I can’t wait for season 4 if they are going to have it, but I wish they extended the story of the final battle instead and not had that long recap. I wish the manga fleshed out the Outers more in the infinity and dream arc. I wish Naoko didn’t have them leave at the end of the infinity arc or at least gave each Outer some more story. Even in the Dream arc their story is very limited. The worst to me is the Stars Arc of the manga. The focus is completely not on the soldiers, but too many other people like the starlights and their princess and the other soldiers of the universe. The concept was nice, but too many soldiers and not a long enough arc to tell the stories of all of those people.

    Overall I think they did the best of what they could do with their limited episode order. If they had more episode I think the story would have been much better or at least more fleshed out. I think part of the problem is that 13 was the order for each season so they couldn’t just give us more than 13 episodes. If the first two seasons were 26 episodes each that would be another story.

  5. The animation was underwhelming at points–the repetitive reaction shots that showed us nothing (blank expressions of shock all around!) When the music started and SSM awakened, I got excited and wish there had been something more spectactular–seeing Saturn and Usagi swirling around each other in the vortex sharing cryptic dialogue, for instance. They certainly could have further explained how the two of them coming into concert unlocked Saturn’s potential for healing, not just destroying. It was amazing to see Saturn call out to Pluto to seal the door, and hear her call out to Chronos (and she said ‘our father’ not just ‘my father’ which is interesting–could Saturn be her half-sister?) I guess if Pluto can operate the time-door remotely, then she doesn’t have to actually be there in person. It’s great that unlike in the 90’s anime, we actually get to see how this is totally the Outer Senshi’s mission.

    Seeing Neptune, Pluto, and Uranus with baby Hotaru was amazing. It would have been nice if it was more romantic between Uranus/Neptune, though it would have made Pluto seem like a third wheel I guess. And there was so much symbolism in Neptune giving her mirror to Chibi-Usa as a promise, especailly considering how important mirrors are in the coming dream arc. I can’t imagine she would actually plan to take it with her to the 30th century, though I imagine if Neptune transformed and really needed it, her power could summon it forth.

    • I think Neptune and Uranus save most of the romance for behind closed doors. Not saying there is anything wrong with public displays of affection, but they both seem very mature and classy, and all love isn’t in your face all the time. I did think it was odd they barely share a look through most of this and if we didn’t have prior context, no one would think they were anything more than teammates in this episode. :( So I can see what you mean on that front.

      • My understanding is that in Japan it’s considered rude to kiss in public. We see this in a number of episodes where Usagi and Mamoru only reluctantly kiss when no one is around. Their kissing at the airport in Stars is an exception to this and it’s because they really have no other choice.

  6. Just as a note, part of the whole high school thing is that, high school in Japan (grades 10-12) is not compulsory. Nor are even public Japanese high schools free. There are also a lot of standards and reputation and specifics that go along with moving on to higher education as far as it relates to the school itself (even if you’re just going to high school for vocational-style education and have no aims to go to college), which is why the entrance exams are a big deal. Getting into a choice high school, especially for a person who is going into even higher education, is a big deal.

    Many private schools (like Rei’s), the high school courses are typically automatically entered. As Rei’s is a catholic school, likely it functions on different standards than the normal Japanese secondary education model.

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