The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 25, Showdown – Death Phantom, premiered this weekend on July 4th. It is available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. As of now it is currently the second last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, as there are none planned beyond episode 26. This week Chibiusa becomes Sailor Chibi Moon but this happens just moments too late, as tragedy has struck Sailor Pluto!
As we left off last time Prince Demande was about to stick two versions of the Silver Crystal together which is a bad idea and likely to destroy the whole world. Sailor Pluto, who sees this as being likely to cause certain death to herself and everyone she cares about, decides to stop time to avoid this catastrophe. Too bad stopping time is the ultimate taboo! Even though Sailor Pluto is totally capable of doing it, she totally never should and that means that she will have to die as a result. The physics of this are a bit odd. Everything is still with nothing moving, but clearly there is still air flowing enough to allow the show’s main characters to breathe. The distinction between who and what are not frozen in time seems to be completely decided by Sailor Pluto, though how this is done is not clear. So Sailor Pluto had 3 taboos not to break and she sort of broke all of them, but everyone would have died otherwise so no fault can really be given in this.
Sailor Pluto thanks Diana for protecting the Space-Time Door. So does this mean no one is guarding it anyone? I mean, Sailor Pluto spent a life of solitude simply so that she could endlessly protect the door but now that no one is around to do it… maybe let’s just get an alarm system set up?
Black Lady is saddened by seeing Sailor Pluto dying. She is reminded in this that she is not really alone and so Chibiusa is finally able to break free of Nemesis’s control and, thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal from the future, is able to transform into Sailor Chibi Moon. The name Sailor Chibi Moon is not said in this episode, but that is who she becomes. King Endymion mentions that this is the Sailor Guardian who will succeed Sailor Moon. Indeed this is Chibiusa’s destiny, to become the Sailor Guardian to protect to the world once Sailor Moon is retired though we have a younger unretired version of Sailor Moon from the past to do that right now. This wasn’t a huge surprise, as art showing Sailor Chibi Moon surfaced through official sources before we even got a look at Chibiusa, and of course Sailor Chibi Moon has appeared in other continuities for over 20 years.
A transformation sequence accompanies this change. It wasn’t really clear if this would happen at this point. In the original Sailor Moon anime Chibiusa does not transform into Sailor Chibi Moon during Sailor Moon R. She does so only during Sailor Moon S and even then she has no transformation sequence until Sailor Moon SuperS. It is nice to see her actually have one animated, though at this point this may be the final time we see it, as there may not be a next season of Sailor Moon Crystal.
It is unfortunately that the catalyst for Chibiusa’s change was Sailor Pluto’s death, although her changing prior to this may have been enough to have Sailor Pluto avoid that fate. She is naturally heartbroken at the death of her good friend, and just wanted Pluto to see her make her long awaited transformation.
Oh wait we still have to fight with Nemesis! Mamoru is now unbrainwashed and apologizes to Sailor Moon, supposedly for making out with their daughter and attacking her, and she says it’s okay as if he was apologizing for leaving his dirty laundry on the floor or something. A funny exchange though in seriousness he had no control over his actions, and this is really why Sailor Moon is so easy to forgive him.
Prince Demande tries to attack Nemesis. This doesn’t work and he dies. So everyone tries to attack him and this doesn’t really work. We then go into Nemesis and learn that the true identity of Nemesis who was Death Phantom was Wise Man is actually Death Phantom, so we’re back to calling him that for now. This can get a little confusing. He is indeed the criminal that was kicked out of Crystal Tokyo for killing a bunch of people. He slowly made Nemesis full of evil energy and acquired the power he has today. He’ll probably be getting what he deserves… next time.
Next, on July 17th, is Act 26, Replay – Neverending. This final Black Moon story will wrap up anything related to Crystal Tokyo, the Black Moon Clan, Nemesis and Chibiusa, though Chibiusa continues to be present in the Infinity story arc which follows. This will, as far as we know, be the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. There have been no episodes confirmed as following Act 26. This past weekend at Anime Expo at Viz’s official Sailor Moon panel it was stated that Act 26 was the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. If there are any plans for additional episodes, not even Viz who is releasing the show domestically has any knowledge of such plans.
Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 26.