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

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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 -

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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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Sailor Moon R episodes 57 and 58 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 57 - Natsumi and Usagi in class

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R, episode 57 and 58, were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. This week we get a better look at Natsumi and Seijirou as we build up to the end of the Makaiju story arc. These episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles. If dubbed episodes are more up your alley be sure to check out episodes 25 through 36 which were added to Hulu’s Sailor Moon dubbed page for a limited time.

Sailor Moon R episode 57 - An gets a pencil in the nose

Episode 57, After-School Trouble: Usagi Is a Target, gives us a nice and funny look at the relationship between Natsumi and Usagi who are constantly fighting over Mamoru’s love. Both Usagi and Natsumi get in trouble in class and are punished by their unprofessional and spiteful teacher Haruna. She is upset after her date canceled on her and takes it out on her students. While the students are kept after school she receives a call, which is her date who is able to make plans again. Since this was 1993, the pre cell phone era, this call is taken in the office. She then forgets about her students and leaves! Usagi and Natsumi make a little bet over Mamoru, as if such a thing was binding, over who will finish their assignment first. Natsumi ends up with a pencil in the nose but then drains Usagi’s energy so it’s all even. Meanwhile we learn that Ail is not really capable of choosing a Cardian without An. His Cardian won’t listen to him, attacks a bunch of ducks and generally makes a mess for him. Ultimately Usagi and Natsumi get along quite well despite the injuries and we get to see a kinder side to Natsumi than we have in the past.

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Sailor Moon stage show with Jadeite, Morga, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Luna

Episode 58, Disconnecting Love: the Raging Makai Tree, is where things really start to come together. In this episode we see some interesting things. When Usagi, Umino and Naru go to a Sailor Moon show we can see Jadeite, Morga, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Luna recreated in large headed costumes. I suppose it makes sense that the public would have this knowledge. Morga was present in a jewellery store full of shoppers in the first episode. Jadeite, despite his many convincing disguises, chose to appear as a large hologram over the city threatening to set it on fire in his final episode. Usagi and her friends head over to visit Natsumi and Seijirou, which leads nosy Usagi to poke around in their secret room which is actually a massive open area housing the Makaiju, Ail and An’s evil energy sucking tree. Or is it? One wonders how many units in this apartment building were cleared out to make room for this humungous tree, or if this room is bigger on the inside like a bag of holding. After bringing back a piece of the tree and having Artemis nearly killed touching it, Usagi knows something is up and must confront Natsumi and Seijirou. She conveniently meets Mamoru on the way so they all have a nice time before Usagi is fed to the Cardian and tree, causing the Makaiju to freak out and wreck up the building. To be continued!

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Usagi and the Makaiju

Next week is the epic conclusion to the Makaiju story arc as well as the first appearance of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Artemis getting his energy drained

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Sailor Moon R episodes 53 and 54 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 53 - Usagi stealing Manami's bottle

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Every Monday two new episodes in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week we have episodes 53 and 54 which focus on Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon R episode 53 - Manami peeing in Natsumi's face

Episode 53, Mamoru and Usagi’s Babysitting Mayhem, is technically a Sailor Mercury episode in that she gets a new attack but it’s not really about her. Ail and An have a Cardian that attacks babies, because the one that attacked children from last week wasn’t bad enough. I know we eventually find out that vampire tree isn’t really evil, but these Cardians are just jerks. Baby Manami’s mother is hospitalized while protecting her son and the completely irresponsible and unprofessional hospital choses to entrust the safety of the baby to Mamoru, who is a complete and total stranger. Oh but Mamoru must have known the baby a little, right? Not at all. Mamoru and Usagi are so unfamiliar with this baby that they are actually surprised to learn that Manami is a boy when they see his penis! Manami’s penis eventually proceeds to urinate all over Natsumi’s face when she drops by to visit. Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship strengthens throughout this episode as they care for Manami together, witnessing both his first steps and first words! This is in sharp contrast to their relationship with their future child who’s already very capable of walking and talking when they first encounter her! It doesn’t really matter that Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship improves throughout this episode as that will all become irrelevant when his memories return anyway, but it seems like progress. Ami’s involvement is pretty loose, but she gets mad at the Cardian and uses a Shabon Spray Freezing attack.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Usagi and Rei tolerating each other for a change

Episode 54, The School Festival Is for Me?! Queen Rei’s Song, is a legit Sailor Mars episode. There’s a festival at Rei’s school which she is super controlling and bossy about. Rei works really hard to write songs she will perform at the festival, which goes super well until it is attacked by a monster. Rei gets all upset and uses a new attack, Fire Soul Bird. Also at the festival are Natsumi and Seijuro’s fashion show where they dress in all sorts of strange costumes. They do this for completely selfish reasons as it builds up the crowd’s energy level, which they drain to feed their vampire of a tree. As the episode closes Rei and Usagi share a brief pleasant moment with each other which is quite nice.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Natsumi and Seijuro dressed as squids

Rei performs the song Eien no Melody (Eternal Melody) in this episode, which was translated into English in the DiC version as Oh Starry Night.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Rei singing

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Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts, Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero and more figures revealed at Tamashi Nations 2014

Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts

A ton of new Sailor Moon figures were revealed at this past weekend’s Tamashii Nations 2014 event in Tokyo. We have Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures, a new line of Figuarts Zero figures in a Sailor Moon Crystal style and super deformed Tamashii Buddies for the main five Sailor Guardians.

Original anime colour Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures

We already knew we were expecting to see a Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figure so that was no real surprise, but Sailor Chibi Moon was news! Also on display is the original anime colours Sailor Moon. The S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure had a slightly different colour palette, including a more pink colour than her original red, but this one is more what fans of the 1992 Sailor Moon anime are used to. S. H. Figuarts figures are high quality highly posable figures. These new S. H. Figuarts figures will likely cost about the same as the other ones that have been released, about $40 to $50 US. What kind of accessories will be included with these figures? We can only speculate, so here we go. The Tuxedo Mask shown has neither a cape or a rose, which would be obvious additions. Sailor Chibi Moon may include her Pink Moon Stick and Luna P. Sailor Pluto remains the only Sailor Guardian not to get an S. H. Figuarts figure as we’re now moving on to other characters. Should we expect to get Chibi Chibi, Ikuko Mama, Shingo and Red Buttler S. H. Figuarts before we see her?

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero

The other big revelation was the new line of Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero figures. The original Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero line is from Sailor Moon R but these ones are from the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, and have a whole other level of detail to them. I wasn’t terribly impressed with what the Sailor Moon R Figuarts Zero figures had to offer at their price point, but I find these new ones to be quite nice. The Figuarts Zero line are not posable. They are stationary small statuettes. If pricing is similar to the other Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero figures they should cost somewhere in the range of $80 to $90 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Mercury Figuarts Zero

Also revealed were more Tamashii Buddies, small non posable super deformed figures. These tiny figures are just 9 cm tall, about 3.5″. Announced to date are Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. Though no prices are given these slightly more affordable figures tend to sell for about $15 US.

Sailor Moon Tamashii Buddies - Sailor Moon

Source: Sailor Moon Collectibles and HOBBY maniax

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Sailor Moon R episodes 51 and 52 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Sailor Moon receives the Cutie Moon Rod

This morning, November 3rd, the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 51 and 52 as Sailor Moon upgrades her transformation and attack item and we get a better look at Minako.

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Rei breathing fire

In episode 51, A New Transformation: Usagi’s Power-Up, the gang go watch the Cherry Blossoms. This seems a bit like a school trip but for convoluted reasons all of the Sailor Guardians, who are not in Usagi’s class, come along. Naru chokes Umino in a sleeping bag and everyone has a good time eating while watching the cherry trees bloom. An interesting animation technique is used in this episode as character are animated as talking to each other while a zoomed out version of the group appears in the background. During this interaction we see that Usagi is lazy and makes bad lunches but Rei is even lazier and brought fast food burgers. Usagi feeds Rei a sandwich covered in a spicy sauce causing her to breather fire, one of the last times she’ll use her Fire Soul technique and the only time it’s used while she is not transformed into Sailor Mars. A monster shows up, breaks Sailor Moon’s transformation broach and then she falls into a hole which takes her to visit Queen Serenity who upgrades her broach to the Crystal Star, returns the Silver Crystal to her and gives her the Cutie Moon Rod! Where was this weird subspace type world she visited? It’s never really revealed but it looks a bit like Silver Millennium.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako hugging Artemis

Episode 52, The Targeted Kindergarteners: Venus to the Rescue, is a Minako episode which is all about shipping Minako and Artemis. The episode opens with Minako hugging Artemis in bed then she accuses him of peeping on her while she’s changing. Ultimately Minako runs into a young girl who is getting bullied and helps her out. The monster of the week is attacking kindergarten children and so Minako has decided to protect them. The young girl she befriends is a fan of Sailor Moon but, much to her chagrin, has never heard of Sailor Venus! This changes of course when Sailor Venus saves her life. Minako gets a new attack in this episode, her Crescent Beam Shower. The rest of the gang will eventually also be getting new infrequently used attacks in upcoming episodes.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako talking to a young girl

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 -  Princess Serenity and her Guardians with Luna and Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, went online yesterday, November 1st, on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode is full of revelations as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Silver Crystal and tons of details about the past are finally revealed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

Did anyone really think Minako was the Moon Princess? That was all a bit silly with the last episode. Minako was the ruse and now we are finally shown the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon history, the true identity of Princess Serenity. But not content to have super obvious things finally revealed we are now being really secretive about the true identity of the woman from the past who killed Prince Endymion. Boy I wonder who the evil woman might be? Her face is obscured so I have no idea who this is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Queen Beryl

Indeed, the big thing in this episode is this great flashback to Silver Millennium, the kingdom on the Moon from some time in the distant past. The English dub mentioned this time to be 1000 years ago which seems about right but an exact timeline is not ever given. Looking at the technology and architecture of Earth at the time it would seem that a Midlevel setting is what we’re seeing. This isn’t a flashback to when Prince Endymion was on Earth in the 1950s. The places on Earth also appear to be European rather than Asian, despite the people clearly speaking Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Usagi with her friends

Usagi is revealed to be the Princess and so the proper pecking order is well established. The other girls are her guardians, and this is shown both in their willingness to protect her in battle but also in the way they all come together to support her as friend now that she’s pretty down thinking Mamoru is kidnapped and likely dead. One concern she expresses is that they need to get him before his body deteriorates. No wonder she wants to return to a worry free teenage life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite

The Shitennou are all still around which didn’t really go anywhere. In the manga version of this story we get a nice flashback showing they were Endymion’s generals back in the day and we see Jadeite’s body undo decomposition but all of this is skipped. Changes are expected to this story seeing as they are all still alive, rather than having been killed like in the manga, but I expected more rather than less to occur this week. For now we will continue to wait to see what is in store for those characters in the coming episodes. Kunzite recognized the name Endymion when it was mentioned so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

Next time we go to the Moon! Everyone is kind of waiting around but the girls want some answers and Luna suggests they may be found on the Moon. November 15th episode is Act 10, Moon. We’ll see more flash backs and a look at Queen Serenity, Princess Serenity’s mother from back in the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

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Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 and 48, on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The first two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Two new episodes are added every week and now that we’ve worked through the first season Viz is starting to post episodes from Sailor Moon R. For the first 13 episodes of the series, including these two, we deal with what fans call the Makaiju arc as the enemies are Ail and An, aliens who steal human energy to feed their tree the Makaiju. Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan will not be showing up until episode 60. Until then is this short “filler” story arc which was not in the manga which fans have mixed feelings about. I personally loved this story line and am not adverse to parts of the anime that aren’t in the manga. From a technical point of view seeing Sailor Moon R in HD is a treat. The R2 Japanese DVDs were progressive scan for the first season but beginning with Sailor Moon R the episodes were interlaced, as they had been in their original broadcast. This was not an issue back in the 90s when everyone watched Sailor Moon on their CRT TVs, but in the age of HDTVs and watching things on computer screens it’s certainly nice to see a show in progressive scan. Ultimately this show doesn’t look like newer shows animated in HD, it’s still an old master from the 90s with some processing done to it to make it look as good as it can. That said I still feel like the quality looks better on the Japanese DVDs than the Hulu feed, interlacing issues aside.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Natsumi and Seijuurou

Episode 47, Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear, is the start of something new. Sailor Moon is just a normal girl again, with Luna and Artemis alone remembering the events of all that happened. Two aliens arrive on Earth, along with a big tree! Ail and An, joke names for “alien”, are the new villains who use Cardians, monsters born from cards, to drain human energy. Their relationship is strong at first as Ail and An speak kindly of their love for each other, but this won’t last long. They disguise themselves as teenagers and enrol in the local school because… well I’m not sure why they bother to do this. It would be easy enough to just hide in their apartment and go out at night draining energy. There doesn’t seem to be much of an end game to integrating in to the local culture. As luck would have it they go to the same school as a bunch of superheroes, Usagi, Ami and Makoto’s school. Ail poses as Seijuurou and An poses as Natsumi, because An isn’t really a good Japanese name. When a monster attacks Naru, who is a magnet for monsters, Usagi comes to her defence. Luna has no choice but to restore her memories! This seems shocking as Usagi has memories of everyone including herself dying a horrible death. She transforms into Sailor Moon and saves the day.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Luna giving Usagi her memories back

Episode 48, For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again, deals with the rest of the Sailor Guardians not having their memories. Usagi is Sailor Moon again but can she fight the Cardians on her own? Auditions for a movie are a convenient excuse to get Naru, the monster magnet, as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako in a room together. A monster comes by and so Luna gives all the girls their memories back as well! Poor Naru. At least the first time around Usagi’s abandoning of her friend was gradual as the rest of the Sailor Guardians appeared one by one. This time around they all show up at once and she’s dropped like a bad habit.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Rei is ready for a fight

The real conflict doesn’t come from any monsters at all, but from Natsumi and Seijuurou’s interfering with Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship! Mamoru doesn’t get his memory back in this episode. In fact he won’t be getting it for a while. Natsumi is instantly infatuated with him, wanting to make him hers. What is Usagi to do to stop her? She has no relationship with Mamoru to fall back on and is unable to convince him to be with her without all those past memories to help. Let’s not forget that Mamoru was in quite a happy relationship with Rei before that pesky destiny put a stop to it. Beyond that, Seijuurou is into Usagi, trying to win her over. This naturally creates some friction between Ail and An who’s jealously only pushes them more towards the humans they are falling for.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Natsumi loves Mamoru

Also check out Hulu’s new banner which they’ve added for Sailor Moon R. It would have been nice to see Chibiusa or some other new characters on here but since there are no new Sailor Guardians in this season, except for a very brief appearance by Sailor Pluto, we will have to contend with this.

Hulu's Sailor Moon R banner image