This Saturday, October 18th, the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time. Set your alarm clocks because this is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. This week’s episode is Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. Despite the title Sailor V will indeed by Sailor Venus in this episode. We continue to attempt to keep the worst kept secret in Tokyo as everyone believes Sailor Venus to be Princess Serenity! This is nonsense of course because she doesn’t have pig tails in her silhouette like a certain other character in the series.
This episode includes a scene where Kunzite talks to the dead bodies of Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite. Since they are still alive, how will this scene play out? Also this week Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask share their first consensual kiss!
Until now the manga acts have followed the anime acts in a 1 to 1 ratio, even preserving the titles. How long will this last? Many speculate, and I’m starting to think this is correct, that this trend will continue right into the Black Moon story arc beginning with act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère. The original expectation was that the 26 episode Sailor Moon Crystal series would be a retelling of the Dark Kingdom arc, but at this rate they will be done telling that story in half of those episodes wrapping up the Black Moon story arc with episode 26. Should there be filler episodes, a reasonable time to start with that would be after all five of the Sailor Guardians are together, so after this week. Should the next episode preview list Act 9 as Serenity – Princess, we know that the trend of sticking with manga titles will continue. Should it have another title, all bets are off and we may not be getting to the Black Moon story arc during Sailor Moon Crystal’s first year.
This morning, September 15th, the two latest episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. Every Monday two new episodes, subbed by Viz, will be added. This week we have episodes 37 and 38 which are all about the Dark Kingdom’s terrible attempts to uncover Sailor Moon’s identity.
In episode 37, Let’s Become a Princess: Usagi’s Bizarre Training, the Dark Kingdom is running a Princess Seminar in the hopes of capturing Sailor Moon. The logic is pretty simple. Sailor Moon is Princess Serenity so by running a seminar that looks for certain Princess like innate abilities, they will be able to find Sailor Moon! The first thing they look for, the ability to throw a discus, is a decent test. Usagi does great at this as it’s nearly identical to her Moon Tiara Action which she used consistently until she got the Moon Stick and didn’t need to any more. Unfortunately the other tests, how to drink soup, how to politely serve tea and how to dance, are things that Usagi was terrible at and disqualified her from being considered to be Sailor Moon. Turns out Kunzite totally missed the boat on this one as he had no idea Sailor Moon was completely awkward, which calls the logic of this trap into question. One discovery that is made in this episode is that the person Luna has been communicating with through her computer at the arcade is actually Artemis who for reasons unknown continued this deception instead of simply coming clean. Also Artemis eats cat food right out of the can. How does he use the can opener?
In episode 38, The Snow, the Mountains, Friendship and Monsters, the plot of the week assumes that Sailor Moon is a good skier. The Dark Kingdom has a ski contest going off of the assumption that Sailor Moon would be the winner. Usagi is in fact a completely terrible skier. It’s only because she had no control over herself that she awkwardly and ineptly flew to the front of the pack and into the enemy’s trap. There is no indication as to why the Dark Kingdom would think Sailor Moon was good at skiing, but we can chalk this up to another failure on Kunzite’s part. Meanwhile this episode gives Usagi and Rei a chance to have a heart to heart about Mamoru. Rei comes to terms with the fact that Usagi stole her boyfriend and gives her blessing to the relationship.
Episode 35, Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamoru’s Past, takes off where we left with Mamoru mortally wounded and Usagi transformed into Princess Serenity. We get a pretty good look at the events of Silver Millennium in which Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion fell in love. Unfortunately with some memories revealed Mamoru is taken away by the Dark Kingdom for as of yet unknown purposes. Most of the episode deals with the Sailor Team trying to get out of the Starlight Tower. One interesting exchange occurs when Sailor Mars slaps Sailor Moon in the face. She’s upset that Mamoru sacrificed himself for a crybaby like Usagi and is probably a bit upset that she stole her boyfriend. Zoisite dies in this episode, killed by Queen Beryl for ignoring her order and trying to kill Tuxedo Mask. Kunzite is upset about this but not enough to actually do anything about it! Finally at the end of the episode Sailor Moon uses her Moon Stick to destroy a massive building. No big deal.
Episode 36, Usagi’s Confusion: Is Tuxedo Mask Evil?, has us introduced to Minako while there isn’t anyone getting killed. Sailor Venus’s first appearance was amidst a battle after which she just ran off. Usagi doesn’t actually get to meet Minako as a civilian until after the excitement which ended in the last episode. Usagi is depressed after having lost Mamoru to the Dark Kingdom and Minako has the solution to this problem. Makeover! Minako and Usagi head over to a local salon which is having a sale which as always is a plot by the Dark Kingdom to find Sailor Moon. Oh yes, that’s their new plan. Now that the Rainbow Crystal thing is all played out they’re trying to find out who Sailor Moon is so that they can steal her Crystal. This week it’s all about DNA testing! They find a blonde hair at the site of the last battle and, assuming it’s Sailor Moon’s, they use it to cross reference against everyone who comes in to the salon. Minako sets off the machine and they assume she’s Sailor Moon. It turns out she got one of Usagi’s hairs on hers when brushing her. Wouldn’t it also make sense that the hair that was found by the Dark Kingdom was actually from Sailor Venus and that this is what set off the false positive? Anyway, Tuxedo Mask comes back and he’s evil. Not really evil but kind of evil and without much of a memory. This is all very distressing but Usagi is in better spirits just knowing he’s alive.
Tune in next week to see how else Kunzite can try to find out who Sailor Moon is.
The two latest episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday Viz adds two new episodes of the series with English subtitles. This week we have episodes 29 and 30 as the search for all of the Rainbow Crystals continues. The major theme for these episodes is relationships!
In episode 29, Total Chaos: the Messy Love Rectangle, Usagi and Makoto are devastated to learn that Motoki has a girlfriend, Reika. Since it’s still early in the series Usagi hasn’t figured out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask so she’s still fawning over Motoki while Makoto is reminded of her old boyfriend. The Makoto/Motoki coupling in the anime continues throughout the first season as he’s used by the DD Girls to try to trick her when they go to the North Pole. In the live action series this relationship is more important as it’s ultimately insinuated that they are to be married after Usagi and Mamoru tie the knot. This episode also features a nice romantic scene between Kunzite and Zoisite. These lovers were a male/female couple in the dub as Zoisite’s gender was swapped while here in the original subtitled version we see their relationship as it was intended, a strong love between two men. The art in this episode is particularly interesting, as there are many cool animation tricks showing super deformed characters and hidden frames that aren’t always that obvious, including the kind of racist portrayal of Usagi shown below.
In episode 30, Grandpa Loses Control: Rei in Danger, we are introduced to Yuuichirou who shows up at Rei’s shrine and is immediately smitten with her. Though Rei and Mamoru’s relationship is well established at this point the end of that is near, thanks to pesky destiny, so a romantic interest for her is found in Yuuchirou. He’s a bit of a bumbling idiot but has a good heart and cares about her. We also see Rei’s Grandpa showcased in this episode as he plays host to another of the Rainbow Crystals. Rei’s Grandpa is romantically linked with every young girl to visit the Hikawa Shrine because he’s a pervert!
Enjoy the romances this week because next week is pure comedy with two of the funniest episodes of the series.