Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Human Luna

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, was released on January 17th on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This season finale of sorts wraps up the Dark Kingdom story arc and teases us about the upcoming second story arc with the appearance of the mysterious Chibiusa! Like many episodes this one was very faithful to the source material, with one major exception which I hope isn’t too much of a spoiler at this point as I’ve included it in the banner image.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Artemis

Some funny stuff to start out the episode. Sailor Moon is all about praying and remembering her allies! She goes through the whole lot! Luna, Ami, Rei, Makoto, Minako. Yep. That’s everyone, right? What is Artemis doing exactly? No respect. Meanwhile he’s doing a very good job of keeping Luna company on the Moon!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Luna praying

This episode is all about Luna. Sailor Moon saves the day? Luna saves the day! They both pray. They are both responsible for restoring the Moon to it’s original splendour and as a special surprise we get a brief glimpse at human Luna! As Metalia is defeated and Luna is praying on the Moon, Artemis gets a short look at her as a full on human. Luna somehow doesn’t notice her wearing clothes, not having fur, having hair, being taller, being in a totally different position, but whatever, it’s still very cool. Anime fans would recognize human Luna from the Sailor Moon S movie. This corresponds fairly faithfully to a manga side story Princess Kaguya’s Lover which centres on Luna and has her turning human. She and the rest of the cats, Artemis and Diana, spend time in their human forms later in the Dream arc of the manga which we may see if Sailor Moon Crystal gets renewed for a second season.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Human Luna

Following the fight with Metalia there is a bit of a goof as Sailor Moon picks the Moon Stick off of the ground. We see the Silver Crystal clearly in the Moon stick on the ground, then it’s gone when she picks it up, then in the next shot it’s visible again. I’m sure they’ll fix that up for the Blu-Ray release!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - The Silver Crystal is missing

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - The Silver Crystal reappeared

Great news! The palace on the Moon is restored! Everyone on Earth is dead, but hey Sailor Moon is the new Serenity so she can rule over her Kingdom! Of course that Kingdom isn’t much at this point. She would rule over what, two cats and a computer simulation of who I guess is now the Queen Mother of Silver Millennium? Not a great deal. Usagi decides she wants to live on Earth, which has roughly 7 billion people on it who are all dead but that is easily resolved thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal. I wonder if Usagi would have been able to instead resurrect the long dead inhabitants of the Moon instead of or in addition to fixing the Earth.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Queen Serenity, Usagi and Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon’s brooch was damaged in the fight with Queen Metalia. Too bad. But it’s okay! There are more toys to sell and so the Crystal Star Brooch makes an appearance! And on it is a small hole just big enough for the Silver Crystal. But the Silver Crystal is all big with that sort of lily flower thing around it. This big version of the Silver Crystal is not meant to fit in the Crystal Star! But lazy animation makes it work! We see Usagi take this huge Silver Crystal and with a simple finger she shrinks it and stuffs it in that hole. Pretty cheap and terrible looking!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - That won't fit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Perfect fit

We have a new brooch. What does it do? Pretty much exactly what the old locket did. Sailor Moon transforms yet again however her transformation sequence is essentially identical to her original one. This is a bit of a disappointment. The only real change is that the new brooch replaces her old one in the clip. With her powers back she heals the people of Earth including her friends and all is good. Minako and Artemis has a nice tender moment as they’re reunited. I’m so shipping these two. The moment of peace is heartwarming.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Minako and Artemis

Rei has a glimpse of the new villain Rubeus. She prays that peace will remain. Sorry Rei! Your Shinto prayers are useless! If this episode has taught us anything it’s that the only way to get your prayers answered is to make them to the Moon! We’ll soon see that Rei’s prayers were indeed not answered as she’s first on the chopping block.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Rubeus

This peaceful normal live is rudely interrupted as Chibiusa show up! We had seen a lot of these clips in the trailer for the second story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. Chibiusa kisses her future father and threatens Usagi asking for the Silver Crystal. Good call, as she actually has it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Chibiusa kissing her future Dad

I really enjoyed this episode. A nice end to the first story arc and it was just really good to see some of these things animated. With this behind us, we now move on to the second story arc and what some are calling the second season of the show. As it’s still part of the first year of Sailor Moon Crystal I’ve decided to refer to it as the second phase or second story arc until such a time when a term gets officially adopted.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa and Luna-P

The next episode, Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, will be released in three weeks on February 7th. A lot of stuff will be happening here. Chibiusa infiltrates the Tsukino family, we see the Black Moon Clan, new transformation items for the Sailor Guardians, the Cutie Moon Rod and much more!

sailor_moon_crystal_act_15_infiltration_sailor_mars

Keep reading to see more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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Sailor Moon R episodes 73 and 74 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 73 - Chibiusa steals Sailor Moon's Crystal Star Brooch

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get episodes 73 and 74 which may be memorable to many fans from the 90s as the first new episodes of Sailor Moon seen in years. Following the show’s original run of 65 episodes in North America back in 1995 there was a lengthy hiatus before the second half of Sailor Moon R was finally released. The final 17 episodes of Sailor Moon R played on YTV here in Canada starting in September of 1997 and in the US starting in November of 1998, billed as “Lost Episodes” by Cartoon Network’s Toonami.

Sailor Moon R episode 73 - Puppet Tuxedo Mask

Episode 73, A UFO Appears: The Sailor Guardians Abducted, introduces us to Esmeraude who will be the new villain for the next chunk of episodes, but before we start out with her we need to warp up things with Rubeus! More importantly, Chibiusa now knows that Usagi is Sailor Moon and has seen that her transformation brooch, the Crystal Star, contains the Silver Crystal. Naturally, she steals it. Conflicted at first she uses cognitive dissonance to convince herself that Usagi is a bad person and that this is the right thing to do. She ends up visiting Mamoru who shows her the very awesome Tuxedo Mask puppet, reminding us that despite her somewhat evil actions this is really just a young frightened girl we’re dealing with. Since Usagi doesn’t have her brooch she can’t transform which in the end means that the rest of the Sailor Guardians get abducted by Rubeus’s UFO. Usagi is upset and tries to slap Chibiusa at this point, but Mamoru stops her.

Sailor Moon R episode 73 - Tuxedo Mask stops Usagi from slapping Chibiusa

À suivre! Right away. Having two episodes at a time sure is convenient for two parters like this!

Sailor Moon R episode 74 - Chibiusa parachuting

Episode 74, Defeat Rubeus: The Battle in Space, will be the end of a most hatable character! The Sailor Guardians have been kidnapped but it’s okay as Usagi finally has her brooch back. Rubeus wants the rabbit, known to viewers as Chibiusa, but giving up a (somewhat) innocent kid isn’t what Sailor Moon is all about. What are our heroes to do? Luna and Artemis have a plan! They’ll dress up like Chibiusa and try to trick Rubeus! On second thought that’s a terrible plan. Chibiusa proceeds to jump out of a window and turns herself in. Usagi follows, a big fight ensues and hooray the terrible Rubeus is defeated. But Sailor Moon is being pretty good at this point and not killing a ton of villains so for liability purposes they just kind of leave Rubeus on his spaceship which is blowing up. Esmeraude is more responsible for leaving him to die. Is this horrible? She doesn’t do it because he’s a terrible horrible man. She does it because she’s terrible and just wants him out of the picture. What a dragon! Spaceship explodes, let’s have some pancakes, have a nice day.

Sailor Moon R episode 74 - Luna and Artemis dressed as Chibiusa

Back in 1997 when these episodes first aired on YTV I was all about making a really terrible Sailor Moon site. I guess some things never changed! I like to think my Internet skills have improved since then. For historical purposes, check out The Sailor Moon Page of Funk!, my very old ad ridden Sailor Moon web site which features reviews of dub episodes 66 (episode 73) (cached version) and 67 (episode 74) (cached version) complete with my somewhat thorough list of all of the differences I spotted between the original Japanese version and the dub. The pages are full of broken links and images. The cached version on the Internet Archive has a few less ads and some of those images preserved.

The Sailor Moon Page of Funk!

Sailor Moon R episode 74 - Rubeus dying

Support the site by buying the first season of Sailor Moon on DVD and Blu-Ray. Isn’t this non intrusive Amazon ad better than the assault on your senses that is Angelfire?

Sailor Moon R episode 74 - Subtle religious imagery

Sailor Moon R episodes 69 and 70 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 69 - Usagi sees Mamoru with Unazuki

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get episodes 69 and 70, both of which deal with unhealthy relationships and how not to treat your partner!

Sailor Moon R episode 69 - Luna jumping on Mamoru's penis

Episode 69, Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress, gives us a better look at what’s been keeping Mamoru and Usagi apart. We once again see a flash forward to Usagi and Mamoru’s wedding but this time we see what has Mamoru concerned. It’s actually a prediction of doom! Dump her or she’ll die, basically. A tough situation. What’s a good guy to do? Sort of forced conflict which if there’s a good reason for it, makes a lot of sense, but we’ll learn later on just how stupid the reasons really are. So Mamoru knows just how to make Usagi know it’s over, that’s to make her think he’s with another girl! Enter Motoki’s younger sister Unazuki. When Usagi sees them on a bike together she is pissed, which sends her into an eating binge. This is some pretty real stuff, dealing with your problems by crying into an open fridge. The monster, who by chance comes along at the right time in Usagi’s life, plunges her into a dream where she is all chibi. Luna, who is all over it, figures that Mamoru’s kiss might get her out of this for some reason, as she can tell that Usagi is upset about something he’s done. She then jumps into his apartment and jumps onto his penis to wake him up (animated gif included below). He kisses her, she’s fine, everyone’s happy. Well not really at all. Mamoru and Usagi are still split up until further notice, so that’s kind of crappy.

Luna pouncing on Mamoru's crotch

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Koan attacking Rei and Yuuichirou

Episode 70, Battle of the Flames of Love! Mars vs. Koan, covers two abusive relationships. The first is Koan and the horrible Rubeus. He’s completely terrible to Koan, threatening her and ultimately tossing her life away as if it were nothing. Rubeus isn’t terrible because he’s evil and wants to destroy Crystal Tokyo. It’s because of the way he treats women. This is very real horrible behaviour that is a real problem in our society, not some fantastical caricature of what a bad person might be. The other abusive relationship is Rei and Yuuichirou! At the beginning of the episode he’s carrying around her bags like a lap dog. She generally mistreats him for most of the episode, and it’s played up as a bit of a joke. It’s funny but this is kind of terrible. Rei isn’t all bad in this episode, as her behaviour with Koan shows the real strength of the show. Koan is trying to do evil at the Hikawa Shrine, again. It’s a Crystal Point after all. When the fighting starts Rei realizes that there’s good in Koan, and while the Sailor Guardians are attacking her she comes to her defense, putting herself in harm’s way to protect her, getting hit by Sailor Jupiter’s knee. Ultimately when Koan had all but given up and was ready to give her own life and killing her off seemed like an easy option, Sailor Mars wouldn’t have it. The real strength of Sailor Moon and it’s characters is not in their ability to harm someone, but in their compassion and willingness to help even an enemy. Koan is then healed by Sailor Moon’s crystal and is able to return to a normal life, all thanks to Rei. Similar transformations will be seen with the rest of the Ayakashi sisters in the coming episodes, but Rei really set the precedent for this behaviour. With all this considered, we can forgive her mistreatment of Yuuichirou.

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Sailor Mars defending Koan from Sailor Jupiter's kick

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Zoisite's final appearance

There are a couple of odd references in this episode. This is actually the final appearance of Zoisite, who actually died back in episode 35. He is seen in a single frame of animation as Koan snatches her bag back from Yuuichirou. Later at Rei’s, Usagi is seen reading reading what looks a lot like a Run Run magazine featuring Sailor V and Artemis on the cover. This isn’t that odd since it’s well established that Sailor V is an anime, manga and video game in the Sailor Moon universe, but seeing a real world manga in the anime is a bit weird.

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Usagi reading a Sailor V manga

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Sailor Moon attacks Metalia

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This is the last full episode to cover the Dark Moon story arc so in a sense it can be considered the season finale, but the story will not conclude until the beginning of next week’s episode which will also serve as a season finale. Last week’s episode had some rather disappointing deviations from the original manga source material. Fans will be happy to see that this week’s episode is fairly faithful, with a number of minor changes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

First, a comment on the title which, like with the manga, does little to describe what is actually going on here. We’re promised the “Final Battle” but no such thing happens. There is a sort of battle with Metelia but there is no conclusion here. The battle does not finish as the final blows are not taken. Secondly the title mentions reincarnation, which does not actually happen in the strictest sense. The end of the last episode has Sailor Moon killing Tuxedo Mask and herself but they aren’t actually reincarnated because neither actually died. More on that and the 1990 hit film which inspired both scenes later. But that’s just me being nitpicky. And speaking of nitpicky, this episode has some pretty messed up looking animation in it. This is nothing new to the series but I wasn’t this bothered by some of the less consistent animation quality since act 7 so I think it needs mentioning.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Queen Serenity and Kitten Luna

Luna continues to kick a lot of ass in this episode. She’s pretty scrappy in Sailor Moon Crystal and that doesn’t stop here. She attacks Metalia, this massive unstoppable evil energy. This fails, naturally, and eventually Luna asks Artemis to bring her to the Moon to consult with Queen Serenity and to beg her to seal Metalia away. In a flashback we get a look at Luna when she was a young kitten along with a much younger Queen Serenity, though still one with white hair. The Queen’s dress matches Princess Serenity’s quite a bit. I wonder is she was even Queen yet at this point, though we don’t really know much about Queen Serenity’s background or her parents. Once Usagi becomes Neo Queen Serenity she continues to keep the dress style she had as Princess. Similarly Chibiusa has that type of dress when she appears as a Princess.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Zombie Sailor Mars

Some minor changes occurred in the Sailor Guardians’ actions in the this episode. They first try to use Sailor Planet attack, which fails. This results in an odd bit of imagery showing them all with white eyes looking like zombies. Then instead of being transported back to their headquarters like they did in the manga they simply stay in the North Pole to attack again, giving up their transformation items and their lives. This is coupled with a number of inspirational flashbacks where Usagi is shown encouraging or befriending each of them, which helps them find the strength they need to keep fighting. This is very similar to a scene from the Sailor Moon R movie in which each of the Sailor Guardians has a similar flashback to encourage them to help Usagi on the asteroid.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Guardians dead

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Orgel protects Sailor Moon from suicide

While all of this goes on Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are trapped inside the Silver Crystal which itself gets consumed by Queen Metalia. While they originally appear to be dead, they are both revealed to be alive. They are not resurrected in any way. Both escaped death by the same convenient plot twist, inspired by the 1990 hit film Problem Child. In this film John Ritter’s character is shot by Michael Richards but the bullet is deflected by a lucky dried prune which is in his pocket. Similarly Sailor Moon escapes death by having the sword deflected on the Orgel watch that Tuxedo Mask gave her. Tuxedo Mask escapes death by using the exact same Problem Child inspired trick of having the sword hitting the gems that he has symbolizing the Shitennou.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Shitennou

The scene with the Shitennou again shows a small change from the manga. As Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite appear as ghosts, now with their full memories and loyal to Mamoru, the gems they are linked to shatter. Originally in the manga these gems take some of the force but only chip a little. Tuxedo Mask keeps them as they make another appearance during the Black Moon Clan story arc. How this change will affect the next arc remains to be seen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Moon Stick and the Silver Crystal

Another change is that Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask manage to escape from inside of Queen Metalia before the final attack. This is different even from the next episode preview at the end of Act 12 which shows Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick growing into a full staff with the sky filled with Queen Metalia, which is no longer the case with the clear view of the moon seen in the final version of the episode. The final battle itself is yet to come.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Conclusion and Commencement - Petite Étrangère

Next time on January 17th we’ll see act 14, Conclusion and Commencement, Petite Étrangère. The episode title as shown here has the spelling “Petite Étrangére”. This is incorrect, as the second E in étrangère has an “accent grave”, towards the back not towards the front. French titles also only capitalize the first letter of the first word but we’ll let that one slide. This is still an improvement over the manga title “Petit Etranger” which omits the accent for the first E (the correct spelling is Étranger), a practice which is generally discouraged and lazy for upper case letters, but it is also wrong because it uses the masculine form of both words which are incorrectly used as it’s a reference to Chibiusa who is by all indications very much female. I don’t mean to harp on spelling too much but this is an episode title so it would have been nice for them to have done a bit of research on this one, especially in light of them having properly spelled the title of last year’s musical “Petite Étrangère”. The spelling of “Materia” for act 12 seems more likely to be a mistake when this case is considered.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask fight Queen Metalia

This next episode will have the real end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the beginning of the Black Moon Clan arc. Some are referring to this as season 2. This will mark the appearance of Chibiusa, though nothing in the preview mentions anything but the conclusion of the battle with Queen Metalia and the aftermath.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and the Moon Stick

I’ll be traveling on the weekend of the 17th so my review may be a bit late but I will be sure to have something posted sooner or later.

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

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Hello Kitty/Sailor Moon inspired t-shirts on sale today at TeeFury

Hello Senshi and Hello Serenity shirts at TeeFury

Today and today only these cool looking Sailor Moon and Hello Kitty inspired shirts area available at TeeFury. These shirts are Hello Senshi, featuring Sailor Moon, and Hello Serenity, featuring Neo Queen Serenity. As with all TeeFury shirts these are available for $11 but only for one day so you can only pick these up until 11pm Easter Time on December 29th.

Hello Senshi t-shirt at TeeFury

The shirt’s artist is Gilles Bone who has done a lot of other Sailor Moon inspired designs we’ve posted about on this site. For more of his work check out his personal web site, Red Bubble store, Facebook, Twitter, deviantART or tumblr pages.

Hello Serenity t-shirt at TeeFury

Sailor Moon R episodes 65 and 66 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 65 - Calaveras and Petz

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week for episodes 65 and 66 we have the Sailor Guardians face off against Petz and Calaveras … twice.

Episode 65, Dispute Over Love: Minako and Makoto’s Conflict, has Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus sharing an episode! We recently saw Ami and Rei get their own episodes but I guess Makoto and Minako weren’t able to hold their own! Instead they fight with each other for a while, which is mimicked by Calaveras and Petz’s bickering and fighting in this same episode. Sailor Jupiter uses Sparkling Wide Pressure for the first time in the ensuing fight while Sailor Venus uses her Venus Love Me Chain for the first time. The Droid in this episode is made out of wine which is kind of cool!

Sailor Moon R episode 66 - Usagi, Chibiusa and Mamoru

Episode 66, Usagi’s Parental Love: the Curry Romance Triangle is all about making curry! We get a good look at the future version of Usagi and Mamoru in this episode. Normally when we see Crystal Tokyo in other episodes we see Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion all decked out in their royal garb. Here we seem to be seeing them in civilian clothes, though those are fairly fancy clothes. Chibiusa thinks a lot about her parents as she gets close to Usagi and Mamoru. So right. Curry. Chibiusa needs to make curry for a school curry party. Is this a thing in Japan? In North America we do pot lucks but diversity is the key. Having a pot luck where everyone brings the same food is a bit of a waste of time. Whatever. Usagi, Chibiusa and Mamoru go to Juban Super, the supermarket in Azuba Juban, to get some meat. Too bad Calaveras and Petz took over the supermarket and turned all of the patrons into zombies! Unfortunately the zombies’ black skin makes it look a bit like all of the zombies are really just dark skinned minorities.

Sailor Moon R episode 66 - Dark Fruit turns people in to black zombies

Finally Chibiusa and Mamoru ditch Usagi and run into Rei. Rei reluctantly agrees to help them make curry, but ultimately Chibiusa decides to go back to Usagi. This makes us wonder what the Curry Romance Triangle mentioned in the title actually is. Is it Chibiusa/Mamoru/Usagi? This love triangle is always a problem and at the heart of the Sailor Moon R series, culminating in some rather incestual behaviour between Black Lady and Tuxedo Mask. The other love triangle here is the Usagi/Mamoru/Rei combo. Rei and Mamoru were a legitimate couple in the first season, something which ended abruptly when Mamoru was mortally wounded, regained memories of a past life and then was turned evil. The Moonlight Knight only recently gave Mamoru his memories of him and Rei’s relationship back at which point there was an assumed romance between him and Usagi, but the choice was never really presented to him. We can see Rei’s obvious hesitation at getting in the middle of existing relationships. Where does this hesitation come from? Does she not want to take Usagi’s place in her relationship with Chibiusa or is is that she’s worried she may rekindle some old feeling between herself and Mamoru? Luckily Mamoru is wearing the absolute worst shirt so there’s no risk of a hot girl like Rei falling for that!

Sailor Moon R episode 66 - Rei, Chibiusa and Mamoru

This is supposed to be one of those mosquito repellent things, right?

Next week is episode 67, The Beach, the Island and a Vacation: The Guardians’ Break, which was not previously dubbed into English or released in Viz’s subbed only set.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Evil Tuxedo Mask threatening Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria, began streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico on December 20th. Endo, the guy who looked just like Mamoru, was revealed to actually be Mamoru! Shock! We’re really ramping up to the end of the Dark Kingdom story arc this week as a lot of important plot develops. This episodes deviated more from the original Manga equivalent story than any other episode to date. We’ll look at some of those differences.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing Queen Beryl

We begin with the final battle with Queen Beryl. This is where everything changes. In the manga Queen Beryl ties up Sailor Moon with her hair and Sailor Venus uses her Venus Love Me Chain to cut her hair and free her. In Sailor Moon Crystal Queen Beryl ties up all five of the Sailor Guardians with her hair. Sailor Venus uses her sword to cut them all loose. The battle quickly ends in the Manga as Sailor Venus runs her sword through Queen Beryl but Sailor Moon Crystal has Beryl defending herself with a sort of force field. Sailor Mercury identifies Queen Beryl’s necklace as controlling Queen Beryl and it’s Sailor Moon who then takes the sword to break the necklace, which causes her to wither away and die. This change bothered me a bit, even as someone who’s always excited for deviations from the original story. For a show that’s otherwise been so faithful what does this change accomplish? No “good guy” actively kills the enemy for one, which keeps their hands clean, but if it’s just about toning down the violence later events in the episode are not consistent with that. The idea is that Beryl is being controlled by Metalia and has no choice in the matter, just like Mamoru and the Shitennou. So where are the necklaces controlling them? They all seem to be able to have their minds be cleared up through other means.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Ancient Moon language on the Holy Sword

Another less important change occurs as a side effect of this changed scene. When the words appear on the sword in the manga Sailor Venus is still holding it and read them easily. Here the sword is in Sailor Moon’s hands, and the words appear facing her, while Sailor Venus who is on the other side of the sword manages to read them. Sailor Venus’s contribution to the story continues to be marginalized as Tuxedo Mask leaves alone, with Sailor Moon in pursuit as opposed to the original story where Tuxedo Mask takes Sailor Venus and is pursued by Sailor Moon. This is sort of necessary because of the next scene.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - The Shitennou

We finally have the Shitennou’s surviving this long play out in a somewhat brief exchange between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. As we have mentioned before the Shitennou used to be good and there was insinuation in the manga that they were coupled with the Sailor Guardians. This was confirmed in an earlier episode. This week we have a brief fight between them and the Sailor Guardians followed by them being healed by Sailor Planet Attack. We learn that each was a knight that represented something. Zoisite was the Knight of purification and healing, Kunzite was the Knight of purity and affection, Jadeite was the Knight of patience and harmony and Nephrite was the Knight of intelligence and comfort. Unfortunately their moment of clarity was short lived as Queen Metalia quickly killed them. While I very much appreciated the addition and inclusion of this scene I was a bit upset that it was so brief. There really wasn’t room for a much longer scene without cutting anything else out. Perhaps if a full episode had been added we would have had a chance to get more in depth with this story but then we wouldn’t have been able to included two entire story arcs in a year of 26 Sailor Moon Crystal episodes. This was the end of the bigger changes with this episode.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing herself

The interaction between Sailor Moon and evil Tuxedo Mask is largely unchanged. By the very fact that they are together alone for a while makes for a more intimate scene. Sailor Moon tries to win over Mamoru by showing him his watch, a symbol of their love for each other, which mirrors a similar scene from the original anime. Because they are alone we don’t get to see Sailor Venus’s new attack, Venus Rolling Heart Vibration. When things get hopeless Sailor Moon’s last resort is to kill Tuxedo Mask and then, devastated by losing him, she takes her own life. This very violent scene is sort of integral to telling the story but it’s inclusion makes one wonder why they would be cutting the earlier much less violent killing of Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Enemy - Queen Metaria

Note on the spelling of Metalia. The title of this episode has her referenced as Queen Metaria but she is referenced as Queen Metalia in the subtitles throughout the episode. The English version of the manga similarly referred to her as Metaria in the act 12 title but as Metalia within the translated pages of the story. This is due to the fact that in the Japanese title for both the words “Queen Metaria” were spelled out in English letters and translating them would have looked quite odd. The spelling of this word is highly debated amongst fans, as the meaning of the name is also subject to some interpretation. As the Dark Kingdom villains are named after gems one idea is that Metalia’s name comes from “Metal”. I do not pretend to know all of the absolute answers explaining all names but I have decided to use Metalia as the spelling. I think this looks more like the word is pronounced and makes more sense. As for the choice to spell it Metaria as the manga title, I simply attribute this to someone writing a Japanese word phonetically which does not necessarily conform with English spelling. There are tons of similar examples of this in Sailor Moon. If you’re not sure, just as Singo.

Singo

Once Sailor Stars gets a new dub I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities to debate the translation and spelling of words once again.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Team defeating Metalia

Next up on January 3rd is Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation. Are Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask dead or did they learn a lesson from 1990 the hit film Problem Child? The episode, despite it’s title, will not likely include the Final Battle but it should include all of the build up to it! This will be the last full episode covering the Dark Kingdom story arc as Chibiusa is expected to arrive at the end of act 14, premiering on January 17th.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Final Battle - Reincarnation

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

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Sailor Moon R episodes 61 and 62 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 61 and 62 which continues the story of Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan.

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Usagi crying

Episode 61, Usagi Devastated: Mamoru Declares a Break-Up, is a pretty sad episode. Now that Usagi and Mamoru have finally had their moment of happiness they are quickly torn apart. Mamoru is behaving strangely and decides to break it off with Usagi. Usagi is naturally confused by this sudden change in attitude, but when she learns that he is serious about this she is heartbroken. As Usagi breaks down crying in a phone booth we can really get a feeling for her pain. The Black Moon Clan then try to make her forget her trouble with makeup, which naturally doesn’t work.

Sailor Moon R episode 62 - Ami, Chibiusa and Mamoru at the airport

Episode 61, A Guardian’s Friendship: Goodbye, Ami, has Ami leaving! When I first watched this episode back in the day I really had no idea how this series would play out so I didn’t know if Ami really would go or not! The episode also features new transformation items for the girls. Ami’s friends are not able to meet her at the airport because they’re busy fighting evil, but when she gets their gift and letter she realizes she can’t go. And how could she? Who would be able to just leave the country while evil is threatening the city and the world? Who would give up on such a sacred duty? Mamoru does! But that’s over 100 episodes away and it’s a bit more complicated than that.

Sailor Moon R episode 62 - Sailor Mercury's new transformation item

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo and Mamoru are good friends

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available. Act 11, Reunion – Endymion, can be streamed on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. This week a mysterious familiar looking fellow named Endo shows up in Tokyo.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo is absolutely no Mamoru

So who is this Endo who looks exactly like Mamoru but has no costume? Everyone seems to very quickly notice that he is Mamoru but for some reason quickly discounts it because his eyes seem to look a bit different. It’s hard enough to accept the show’s basic concept that a tiny mask or tiara completely hides one’s identity. Indeed Sailor Moon Crystal, like the Manga, does a great job of not falling for this too much as people are pretty quick to recognize the true identities of other despite their costumes. Why is is that all of a sudden no costume and simply telling people your name is Endo is a perfect disguise? Then there’s of course the fact that the name Endo is clearly short for Endymion, but also the name of Motoki’s effeminate friend. I guess this is supposed to be a colossal coincidence since Evil Mamoru takes Endo’s name?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Endo brainwashes Motoki

Endo instantly bonds with Motoki. His reason for targeting the arcade actually makes some sense. He senses something about the Sailor V video game, which is over the Sailor Guardians’ headquarters, and so he infiltrates the place by befriending Motoki. Endo and Motoki’s relationship in the Manga is a bit gay, most noticeably in a reach around arcade stick grab panel that is seen at one point, but generally in the way they hang off of each other. Brad from Moonkitty make an interesting observation on Twitter that it’s trouble to associate homosexuality with evil. Indeed the examples of homosexuality in the first arc of the manga and subsequently the first season of the anime, are amongst villains. Sailor Moon is fairly good about portraying their heroes as being gay or lesbian once Sailor Neptune and Uranus show up, as well as hinting at some same sex attractions amongst other characters earlier in the series. I like to think this early connection between evil and homosexuality was not intended as a correlation, but all things considered it’s nice to see it toned down.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 11 - Reunion, Endymion - Endo's suggestive reach around arcade stick grab

Motoki’s heterosexuality is also present in this episode as we get a better look at Reika, Motoki’s love interest. We originally saw a brief glimpse of her in act 3 but this is the first time she is fully present. She seems a bit miffed at Endo and Motoki’s affections for each other.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Reika

This week we get a look at Ami’s apartment, which we are supposed to be really impressed with because it is fancy looking. Perhaps this is a cultural difference but I find the fact that Usagi’s family lives in a full on house in crowded Tokyo to be more impressive and desirable than Ami’s apartment living. Minako humorously asks if her carrying around a sword in an apartment lobby is conspicuous and everyone thinks it is. The sword’s strength is demonstrated as Minako then uses it to destroy one of Ami’s mother’s diamonds.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Does this sword make me look sketchy?

As things develop the headquarters is infiltrated by Makoto who is herself brainwashed into stealing the Silver Crystal. When things get serious I guess there wasn’t much to fill the episode as we painstakingly watch every character’s transformation sequence. There is a lot from the original anime that I miss but excessive stock footage is not one of those things! In the original manga publication this act and the next were actually a single story but they were split for later publications. This is why they likely needed to fill a bit of time. During the ensuing battle Venus uses her “Venus Love Me Chain” attack for the first time and Rei kicks evil Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Sailor Mars kicks Tuxedo Mask

Beryl shows up and it’s revealed that Endo is actually Mamoru, and for some reason people are surprised by this. Does anyone actually ship Beryl and Mamoru? I mean, I love to ship all kinds of people and relish in how much it annoys fans but this coupling just doesn’t work for me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 11 - Sailor Moon comforts an injured Luna

Luna and Usagi’s relationship has some attention this week. She console’s Usagi at the beginning of the episode and later, after being attacked by a very evil Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Moon hugs her once more. Their complex relationship is obviously much more than owner/cat dynamic and closer to one of mentoring and close friendship.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 Preview - Evil Tuxedo Mask and Queen Beryl

Next time is act 12, Enemy – Queen Metaria. As I mentioned this next story was originally part of act 11 in the first manga publication. During the 2003 rerelease of the manga the story was split in two. Sailor Moon Crystal is following those chapter breaks for episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Enemy - Queen Metaria

On December 20th we’ll be seeing more of evil Tuxedo Mask, some Mamoru/Queen Beryl shipping and some pretty violent shocking events.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 Preview -

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

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Sailor Moon R episodes 59 and 60 are now on Hulu

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - Ail and An

This week’s new episodes of Sailor Moon R on Hulu and Neon Alley end one arc and start another. We see the last of Ail, An, the Makaiju and the Moonlight Knight in episode 59 and we see the introduction of Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan in episode 60. As with every week these two new episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz.

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - Ail and An as children

Episode 59, True Love Awakens: The Makai Tree’s Secret, wraps up the story of the Ail and An. The seemingly evil tree has trashed a building and is attacking everything. It kills An, causing her and Ail to realise how much they love each other, but is then cut short of killing Ail too when it hears Sailor Moon’s call to stop. The Makaiju communicates and tells us it’s origin story. Ail and An were part of a species of aliens born from the tree on a distant planet. They are seen coming from the same pod, which means they are not only siblings but in a way twins. What a scandalous Luke and Leia twincest affair they have! The aliens fought for the tree but it turned out it was love that nourished it! What a hilarious misunderstanding that resulted in many deaths and injuries. We then learn the true identity of the Moonlight Knight. Who knew he was actually Mamoru? But wait… how are they always seen together? The Moonlight Knight is just a spirit born from Mamoru’s desire to protect Usagi despite his blocked memories. Sailor Moon heals the tree, leaving nothing but a little sprout. An is revived and her and Ail go off to live in the lonely depths of space. This concludes the Makaiju story arc. Fans have mixed feelings on these episodes but I always thought they were fantastic.

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - The Moonlight Knight is Mamoru

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Chibiusa crashing Usagi and Mamoru's date

Episode 60, Angel or Devil? the Mysterious Girl from the Sky, introduces us to Chibiusa! Usagi and Mamoru are very briefly happy in this episode as they share their first consensual kiss! The only time they actually kissed in the first season was when Mamoru took advantage of an unconscious Sailor Moon who was unable to consent. Once their past lives were revealed Tuxedo Mask was injured and wisked away to be made evil. Since Usagi didn’t kiss his dead body and didn’t get any action while his memories were blocked, this is the first kiss they actually exchange. Not content to keep them together their happiness is soon thwarted by Chibiusa who literally falls from the sky kissing Mamoru. She then pulls a gun on Usagi in a hilarious scene. Chibiusa proceeds to brainwash everyone into thinking she’s Usagi’s cousin after which Usagi gets her revenge by spanking her. So what is this girl’s secret? Surely by now most people know the full story but unlike the secret identity of Princess Serenity or The Moonlight Knight, this one isn’t terribly obvious from the beginning. The Black Moon Clan also show up this week but they aren’t interesting for another few episodes.

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Chibiusa pointing a gun at Usagi

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Usagi slapping Chibiusa

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