Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10, Moon, was released November 15th on Crunchyroll,
Hulu and Niconico at 7pm Japan Standard Time. The episode was available an hour early to fans who observe daylight savings time due to the fact that the Japanese don’t roll back their clocks. This will be the same for the next 6 months worth of episodes. Lots happens this week as the Sailor Guardians go to the Moon to learn about their past!
The episode starts out with a fun scene of Usagi and her family at home. This lets us see Kenji Papa doing his oh so famous “What? You have a BOYFRIEND?!” face. The original manga chapter of this story has Shingo and Usagi playing with a game system which appears to be a Super Famicom (Japanese Super Nintendo), which would fit with the technology of the time. What is this updated to in 2014? Shingo is playing with what appears to be an original model Gameboy Advance, released in Japan in March of 2001. This seems seriously dated as the GBA SP was released in 2003 and the next generation Nintendo DS was released nearly 10 years ago in 2004. The style choice may have been made because the Gameboy Advance form factor is more generic, vaguely resembling the PSP or or less so the Vite, Wonderswan or Sega Game Gear. Do kids these days even think this thing looks like a game system?
The girls go to the Moon and this is decently done, but I took a few astronomical issues with how this was portrayed which I will touch on at the end of the post for those who are interested. Once on the Moon there is a sword set in stone, which is called various things including the Holy Sword or the Sword of the Silver Crystal. Venus is the only one that is able to pull it, though the other girls working together were able to budge it. This sword is seen as the T in the word Crystal in the show’s logo, so it’s no big surprise when we see it.
Queen Serenity appears as a computer simulation recreated from her memories. This sets the technological level of Silver Millennium well past that of Earth in 2014, let alone 1992 or the ancient past when all this occurred. We’re nowhere close to the kind of whole brain emulation or mind uploading that would be required to do something like this. Sailor Moon’s attacks and transformation always seem like magic but an advanced civilization like this would be capable of machine level super intelligence so advanced that such things may very well be possible through technological progress rather than anything mystical, but that’s hardly hinted at in the rest of the series. It would be more internally consistent to assume that their magical abilities helped them achieve technological progress, or that the simulation is a mix of both.
We learn about the tragic events on the Moon. Endymion was killed and so Serenity, in grief, took her own life. In the manga it appears that the sword Sailor Moon uses on herself is the one Sailor Venus later removes from the stone. Sailor Moon Crystal clearly shows her using Endymion’s sword for this.
The biggest deal with this episode are the Shitennou couplings! We knew we kept them all around for a reason. Kunzite snoops on Beryl and Metalia much as he did in the Manga however this time he has Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite with him. Venus has full memories of them in the past, when they all had capes like Kunzite’s, and the Sailor Guardians went to Earth to fall in love with them. This was never shown in the manga, except in a single image. The couplings are consistent with that image as Sailor Mercury is in love with Zoisite, Sailor Mars is in love with Jadeite, Sailor Jupiter is in love with Nephrite and Sailor Venus is in love with Kunzite. Sailor Venus and Kunzite’s relationship is hinted at in both the Sailor Moon and Sailor V manga.
A new attack is used as the Sailor Guardians use their Sailor Planet Attack. Kunzite is meant to be killed at this point, but we didn’t keep the rest of the Shitennou around just to have them killed off now! They will be alive for some new scenes in coming episodes!
Queen Beryl revives Tuxedo Mask who is now under her control. She is clearly in love with him and in order to keep other girls from stealing him away she dresses him up in the most ridiculously terrible beige sweater. This hurts my brain less than the checker pattern Endo wears in the manga, but it is considerably less stylish. This is something an 80 year old might decide to wear, which isn’t too far off considering just how old Mamoru is if his reincarnation is considered.
Update: Alita from the Facebook page has pointed out that this is a common sweater type that is worn with a school uniform in Japan. I had no idea this Mr. Rogers style was so common but it is. I always appreciate it when readers who are more familiar with Japanese culture than me for point things like this out.
Next time in Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, Tuxedo Mask is evil. He’s about town with mixed memories calling himself Endo, a short form of Endymion. This episode will not be available until December 6th which is three weeks from now, since Sailor Moon Crystal is only released on the first and third Saturday of every month. Hang in there Sailor Moon fans!
Now, on to the somewhat nitpick astronomical issues I took with this episode. I am not trying to point these out in an attempt to mock the show, but in the interest of education for those who may be interested. It is mentioned that they travel to the Earth during a full Moon. Knowing the phase of the Moon tells us a lot about what we should expect to see as far as illumination of the Earth goes. Ami mentions that the Moon is right above them, indicating it is roughly the middle of the night at the time, and that the Sun is pretty much on the complete other side of the Earth. While they are flying from the Earth to the Moon, located somewhere between the two, they gaze back at the Earth and it is more than half illuminated by the Sun. This is not possible while the Moon is full. For the Sun to fully illuminate the Moon, almost none of the Earth would be illuminated from the vantage point of the Moon or somewhere in between. The Earth should actually appear like a New Moon, with just a sliver of illumination at most.
Luna mentions that they are traveling to the Sea of Serenity also known as “Mare Serenitatis”. This is located on the surface of the Moon far from the edges, as seen from the Earth. If you find the rabbit on the Moon, it’s near the ball that makes up the body. When landing in this area the Earth should be seen high in the sky, however the Earth is seen in the horizon from this vantage point. Because the Moon is tidally locked to the Earth, the same part is always facing us which means that from the Moon the Earth would always occupy roughly the same spot in the sky, and unless you are located on what we see as the edges of the Moon, the Earth would never be anywhere near the horizon.
Finally as they are leaving Luna mentions that the Sun is about to rise on Earth. We see the Earth with the Sun completely covered, only starting to appear from behind it. This would be a rare astronomical event which we on Earth would observe as a full or partial Lunar eclipse, as can be seen in this post I made about the recent Lunar eclipse. If the Sun, as seen from the Moon, is obscured by the Earth that means the Earth is casting it’s shadow on the Moon. Surely this happens during a full Moon, but no ellipse was mentioned as happening during the episode. It should also be mentioned that were the Sun actually behind the Earth as is seen here an observer would not be able to see any details on the surface, as it would not be illuminated at all.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview for Act 11, Reunion – Endymion.
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