Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail art project

The most recent episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week’s title is the longest to date as we get Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. But is this the title? That is what the original manga chapter is called and from the title card appears to be the proper Japanese title but the Crunchyroll and Hulu subs and page titles call it “Episode 31 – Act.30 INFINITY 4 Haruka Tenoh, Michiru Kaioh – SAILOR URANUS, SAILOR NEPTUNE”. Why change the name like this? Seems an odd choice! This week we continue to deal with drama related to our new friends and Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Infinity 4 - Sailor Uranus - Haruka Tenoh - Sailor Neptune - Michiru Kaioh

First things first, we have a new opening theme song. Somehow I didn’t realize we were getting it this week. This story arc will actually have three opening and three ending themes. These are the second batch. The opening theme song, In Love With the New Moon, is now sung by Mitsuko Horie who is best known as the voice of Sailor Galaxia. She also covered the Sailor Stars Song as part of the 20th Anniversary Album. It’s a bit odd to hear a slightly changed version of the theme song we’d just started to get used to. I tend to prefer the first version but I wonder if my feelings would change had I heard this one first. I guess we will be getting this version for another few weeks before it is replaced with the Momoiro Clover Z version of the song. They sang Moon Pride for the first two story arcs of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Ending - Chibiusa and Luna P

The new ending theme is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The ending theme is full of pink and Luna Ps as far as the eye can see. A big change from the last ending theme we had. This will eventually be replaced by Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. A CD single with the current opening and ending themes will be released on May 25th, after which I suspect we will be getting the third opening and closing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibusa is bad at keeping secrets

As the episode begins it is immediately obvious that these new Sailor Guardians can’t be our friends. Prelude to drama! Sailor Uranus and Neptune straight up attack Sailor Moon and her friends because we sort of have the same mission but we aren’t friends so we just aren’t. In the process Chibiusa immediately betrays her promise to Haruka and Michiru by revealing that Sailor Neptune’s Mirror is a Talisman. Too bad she doesn’t share Hotaru’s secret and tell us who the big bad guy is but whatever we needed to make Ami work a bit this week anyway.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Messiah

Another shared dream. This one shared by Mamoru and Usagi, who see the “Deity of Destruction”. The Messiah? Looks like Princess Serenity with a staff, maybe a glaive, to me. The two seem surprised to share a dream, even though this has been happening consistently for the past few episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Haruka surprises Usagi

Usagi is chilling in the park and someone comes by from behind covering her eyes with a sort of “guess who” thing. I hate this game, especially when the person who plays it isn’t someone you play it with a lot. Guess right and it’s not a big deal. Guess wrong and it’s drama drama drama. So Usagi guesses Mamoru, which is odd since she recognizes that Haruka smells like Sailor Uranus. I guess she’s bad at this game too. At this point everyone seems to know who’s who and when Haruka gets close… Mamoru shows up!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Chibiusa interrupts an awkward moment

The drama continues at Mamoru’s apartment and while things are tense Chibiusa crashes the party! She appears to be oblivious to the problem but we eventually learn that her and Diana are actually trying to get them to make up. Chibiusa’s makeup attempt includes making the Holy Grail! This is an odd thing. Chibiusa remembers seeing this item, which Sailor Moon used back in the day aka the future, in a painting in her mother’s room. So the Holy Grail that is made in this episode actually doesn’t exist yet! Mamoru looks up the Holy Grail in “An Encyclopedia of World History”. I don’t really think of the Holy Grail as being a historical object what with it in all likelihood never having actually existed, but whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Diana and Chibiusa

Finally once Chibiusa and Diana are asleep Mamoru and Usagi have a little moment where they both admit to being jealous and then they probably have sex. But Chibiusa and Diana aren’t really sleeping so Chibiusa maybe sees her parents having sex. I guess it’s in Chibiusa’s best interest to encourage her parents to have sex because that’s how she’ll be made some day, unless human sexuality changes drastically in the next seven or so years.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Tau Star System

On to part two which has almost nothing to do with the first half of the episode. Ami enrolls at Mugen Preparatory School, which is a sort of high school exam preraration school given at Mugen Academy but with a ton of students from others schools, hence the variety of uniforms. Ami is a genius, so it makes sense that she goes here, but she’s actually investigating too! She goes up to the 13th floor and sees a scale model of a galaxy. I say galaxy of course because I know that’s what it looks like. Yui Bido, actually Viluy of the Witches 5, refers to it as a scaled down universe, and states that it’s the Tau Star System. Let’s correct some confusing terminology here. The Universe is vast and contains at least a hundred billion galaxies. This model contains a single galaxy. This is hardly a scale model of any Universe as we know it. It’s also referred to as the Tau Star System. What exactly does this mean? A solar system is a star with planets and such around it. A star system can mean a few stars orbiting each other, such as a binary star system, but when you get to galaxy scale, containing hundreds of billions of stars, you don’t call things a star system anymore. So much to say, what we see about this thing contradicts the wildly varying things it’s called. It’s not that hard to get these things accurately, especially given Naoko Takeuchi’s interest in space. I’m sure this won’t get better as the story arc proceed and we learn more about the Tau Star System. Everything we know about physics also tells us that you can’t just scale something down like this. Is this galaxy made up of tiny stars with tiny planets around them filled with tiny people made up of tiny cells and tiny molecules made up of tiny atoms? Whatever. It’s a show about magical girls.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Ami jumping out of a window

Ami starts to poke around. She throws a pen into a camera which is bad ass. She’s on the 13th floor. She sees a door that is labeled “Underground laboratory”. She’s on the 13th floor and sees a door that leads to a lab which is under the ground, generally accepted to be at floor one. In there she finds Daimons and the enemy shows up. She’s underground at this point. She runs to the nearest window and … she’s back on the 13th floor! What exactly is going on here with a dedicated stairwell that goes down 13 floors but doesn’t open up to any other floor? Is there some sort of portal through space that leads from one floor to another? Anyway Ami is totally bad ass again by jumping out the windows, diving into a pool and transforming while diving, emerging as Sailor Mercury. Pretty awesome. Reminds me a bit of Ami’s first transformation in the live action series which is done while she’s falling.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Viluy of the Witches 5

Sailor Mercury fights Viluy who fights with nano robots. Advanced technology which is basically a swarm of tiny robots all working in unison for something. For whatever reason the cloud of nanobots appears as formulae over Sailor Mercury. Why not? Sailor Uranus and Neptune appear and transform for the first time. The transformation sequences are brief and similar to those from the original Sailor Moon anime. After a few attacks magic beats technology yet again. Viluy’s power level was 202. I’m not sure how accurate this scale really is, but they keep using it. The page of the book which the Holy Grail appears on happens to be 202. What an odd reference.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - The Holy Grail

Finally we see an old friend. Reika and Motoki are at the University and we see a new first year student, Setsuna Meioh. If the resemblance was not immediately obvious this is the civilian identity of Sailor Pluto, who died last season in the distant future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 - Setsuna Meioh

Next week is Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, in which we will see Sailor Pluto once again.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 Preview - Setsuna Meioh

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the preview for Act 31.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Monday May 2nd at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 Preview - Usagi and Haruka

The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal airs on Japanese TV Monday May 2nd at 11pm Japan Standard Time and will be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu immediately afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. Episodes are sometimes limited to Hulu Plus users at first but should be viewable on Neon Alley right away. I always watch the episodes on Crunchyroll myself because I’m Canadian and find the feed is of a better quality. Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh has got to be the longest Sailor Moon Crystal episode title to date! The new Sailor Guardians have introduced themselves but we’re about to see that they’re not quite as friendly as we might have hoped.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 Preview - Mamoru and Usagi

As Mamoru and Usagi struggle with their relationship troubles we’ll be getting our first look at the Holy Grail, an item which is first seen as Chibiusa creates a replica of it based on what she’s seen in the future, even though it doesn’t exist yet. We’ll also be seeing an old friend we thought was dead!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 Preview - Diana and Chibiusa

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Genderbent Minako

The latest episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese television on April 25th at 11pm Japan Standard Time and was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu following that around 10:30am Eastern Time that same morning. I watch the show on Crunchyroll due to the quality of their feed and the fact that as a Canadian it’s my legal option. This week’s episode, Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, has Usagi struggling with the kiss she shared with Haruka.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Sailor Moon blushing

The kiss is meant to occur early in Act 29 of the manga but, like most of this story arc’s episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, the last episode ended with a scene from the next act. The clip before the bumper however shows us the kiss again and we see this time that Sailor Moon has a blushing reaction to it. This insinuates that she liked it and Usagi will be dealing with these feelings throughout this episode and the rest of the season. Is Usagi gay? Classifying her as such doesn’t seem to be terribly helpful. Sexuality is fairly fluid amongst the characters in Sailor Moon, which reflects real people’s feelings quite well. Usagi loves Mamoru and her dedication to him doesn’t really waver. She has also been shown to find other girls in the series attractive, most prominently Rei when she first showed up, and here she is clearly attracted to Haruka as well. Beyond this other girls in the series have feelings of attraction to other girls. Haruka seems to exclusively like girls. Michiru loves Haruka but also seems attracted to other men. While many of the women in the series are attracted to men, they are comfortable in also being attracted to women. This really is a great way to portray characters as they aren’t terribly bogged down by labels or preconceptions. No doubt viewers and readers dealing with similar feelings appreciate seeing such things portrayed in a series they watch.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka in Usagi's dreamSailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka in Usagi's dream

Everyone is sharing the same dream in this episode. Last week we had a few people having a shared dream, voiced by Hotaru, but it was somewhat limited. Here all of the main Sailor Guardians are getting the same dream this time voiced by Haruka. Things are so different in an anime series than in a manga. If we see a statement made on the pages of a comic we don’t really know who is saying them. In a series with voice actors there’s a bit more revealed. The dreams are all about talismans, and no one seems to know if they are good or bad, or what they should do about them. Not really useful. The real prophetic dream which we see is Usagi’s vision of Haruka. She’s dreaming about her kiss and seems to have a good idea that Haruka is the Sailor Guardian who kissed her. She sees here as male and female but the female version she sees has a scarf and vest which aren’t actually seen until later in the episode. Sounds like some magic dreaming prediction! Of course in a series full of magic with dreams already predicting the future in this episode, this explanation doesn’t seem to be terribly out of place.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Haruka kissing Usagi

While discussing Mugen Academy the cats mention the Tokyo Bay reclamation project. I didn’t really understand what this term meant at first so I looked it up and in this context it’s referring to filling up the Bay with some sort of fill to make new land and building that up. This certainly makes sense in the context of what is going on. We’re in downtown Tokyo which is space which has been inhabited in some form or another for hundreds of years. It doesn’t make sense that there would be room for all of these new constructions but if Tokyo Bay was filled in to do this, we understand where all of these buildings are coming from. There is a lot of precedent for this in the real world as a lot of Tokyo Bay is reclaimed land, which has changed the shape of the shore line over time. About 250 square km (100 square miles) have been reclaimed from Tokyo Bay.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Chibiusa and Hotaru make a promise

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita make a promise in the Sailor Moon anime

Chibiusa is all about secrets this week! Hotaru totally knows her secret and then Hotaru basically tells her that her father is making monsters. This should be a big deal and if Chibiusa acts on this it’s game over for the season but she doesn’t. When she seals the promise with Hotaru they lock their pinkies. This reminds me of Kazuko and Hiromi from episode 21 of the original anime, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime. When Chibiusa goes on a helicopter ride she promises not to divulge what she discusses with Haruka or Michiru. Why are these two even taking this gamble? We will see next week how well she hides this. Chibiusa seems really impressed with flying in a helicopter. Normally I would agree that this is a big deal but let’s not forget that Chibiusa literally flies through time, so I’m thinking a helicopter ride to her would be like me going for a horse pulled wagon ride through an overgrown pumpkin patch. The helicopter drops Chibiusa off in the middle of the street and the townspeople are rightfully disturbed by this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Won't this cause noise problems?

There’s a concert. Actually there are two concerts. These are in the same building on different floors at the same time. How practical is this? You know when you’re in a movie theatre watching a quiet drama and in the next theatre there are a bunch of Autobots killing Decepticons and you can hear the vibrations from the explosions coming through? I imagine Mimete’s loud pop music in a massive auditorium might have some bleeding out onto the classical violin performance that Michiru is doing. Anyway there’s a bunch of drama over tickets here! Haruka gives Usagi a bunch, which she shares with her friends, but in comes Mamoru who got tickets from Michiru. He was going to share them with his girlfriend, but she’s already going so he takes Chibiusa. Rather than communicate, which good couples should do in order to avoid misunderstandings and conflict, he just doesn’t say anything and runs into her at the event. Good plan bro! There are all sorts of concerns going on now with Usagi having been kissed by a girl and Mamoru maybe doing something with Michiru.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Minako's Sailor V compact

While everyone but the cats seemed covered with tickets for Michiru’s concert, the real show that Minako wants to see if Mimete’s. This is a concert which is offered free to Mugen Academy students and in order to prove your attendance to that school you seem to only be required to wear a school uniform. Minako has a plan which involves using her old compact from her Sailor V days. The Sailor Moon manga follows the Sailor V manga, but Sailor Moon Crystal hasn’t really touched on this much. In Codename: Sailor V Minako would use this to transform into various things much like Usagi does with her transformation pen. In the original Sailor Moon anime Minako does not have access to such an item as when she disguises herself as Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon S she states that she borrowed Usagi’s pen to do so, which she should not need to do if she had the ability to do so with her compact. This makes one wonder where old transformation items end up. The ones that aren’t hurled into masses of evil energy or dropped in alternate dimensions before the world is recreated I mean.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Minako as a boy from Mugen Academy

Anyway Minako decides to transform into a boy. An odd decision since there are a lot of female fans at the concert, but this is something she choses to do. It was nice to see this scene actually remain in Sailor Moon Crystal. Back in Act 5, when Sailor Jupiter first appeared, the manga had Usagi transforming into a man at the bridal shop. For whatever reason this transformation was not included in Sailor Moon Crystal and some fans speculated that it was because it had a character changing their gender. Whether or not this was truly the reason this does not seem to have been a problem with this episode. While posing as a boy Minako is clearly attracted to Mimete, complete with the hearts all around. Mimete of course is evil and part of the Witches 5. They don’t mention her power level but it’s 40. Why are we sending the weakest one second? This is a messed up RPG strategy.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Mimete of the Witches 5

Finally the two new Sailor Guardians reveal themselves to be Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Did anyone not know these names at this point? They also use their attacks which is cool enough.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 - Sailor Neptune

Next week is Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh. In it Sailor Mercury faces off against Viluy of the Witches 5. She’s power level 202 if that seemed important to you.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 30 Preview - Mamoru and Usagi

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 30.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Sorry for the late review but I was in Italy last week. Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, aired on Japanese TV on Monday April 18th and is available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Actually Act 29 is out at this point too. This episode has the gang heading out to the woods and facing off against the first of the Witches 5. It’s really all about the final scene where Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon, but we’ll get to that.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Chibi Moon blushing

There’s a lot of Hotaru this week as we see that Chibiusa seems to have a bit of a crush on her. She’s not about to use magic and time travel to make out with her or anything like she did with her last crush though. They’re mostly good friends, but as we see this season the show is all about girls liking girls. We learn a bit about Hotaru’s relationship with Kaolonite and her father. There’s a bit a “you’re not my real mom” kind of scene going on. Professor Tomoe sounds sort of like a zombie. This isn’t an unfair assessment of his state but, given his portrayal in the manga has no voice and that he’s more crazy than zombie in the original anime, I feel like this portrayal is showing what’s to come a bit too much. Also I’m staring to wonder if Professor Tomoe lives in his lab coat. He’s a Professor, but he’s not always in the lab with beakers. The only Professor I know that wears a lab coat this much is Professor Oak from Pokémon. Who would you cast as the voice of Professor Tomoak in the Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover? Professor Tomoe is an Academic professor and he owns a school so he really should be wearing something else while performing some of those duties. We actually see a clock showing 1am while he’s at home and still in his lab coat. Take a second to unplug! While Sailor Moon has outfit changes galore for some of the girls, including pyjamas and judo outfits this week alone, the men don’t get so lucky.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Professor Tomoe

Though largely faithful to the manga as always, there are minor changes which bear mentioning. In the manga version of Act 29 Minako comments that they seem to be Sailor Guardians because they flew through the sky. Upon reading this I wondered did Sailor Guardians really fly? They generally did not in the original anime and though they are often seen in the sky in the manga since it’s not animated we don’t really think of them as floating. In Sailor Moon Crystal however they are often seen just chilling in the sky, pretty much flying, but for whatever reason the reference to flying was removed from this episode.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus and Neptune flying

Identities, as usual, are not well hidden in Sailor Moon Crystal. The similarity between the new Sailor Guardians and the mysterious Haruka and Michiru are immediately noted by Usagi. This bypasses an obvious problem with many superheroes comics, which is something that is seen in the original Sailor Moon anime, which is that these costumes should not by any reasonable logic be hiding these people’s identities. This just makes it a bit inconvenient as we need to ignore the fact that Usagi’s parents and friends don’t ever seem to see any really good photos of Sailor Moon that would allow them to tell what’s going on. All in all the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal actually do a decent job of this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Michiru and Mamoru

Mamoru and Michiru have a bit of a thing. They meet in a book store and have a nice chat after which Michiru gives Mamoru tickets to her concert. Usagi sees all this and is totally jealous. More on this next episode, which you probably already saw.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Rei

Rei is chilling in the mountains to purify herself for her 15th birthday. That’s right! Rei’s birthday is April 17th. Coincidentally this episode aired on April 18th, incredibly close to her birthday. I say coincidentally because this date was not chosen to fit with the release date. The Sailor Guardians’ birthdays were determined back in the 90s and they have astrological significance. It’s very doubtful that the Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 schedule was intentionally delayed to make this birthday, which is mentioned in the manga, fit closely enough.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Haruka and Makoto doing Judo

As the gang head out to the mountains some may find similarities between this episode and Sailor Moon S episode 105, I Want Power: Mako Lost in Doubt, in which Makoto goes to the mountains to train. Here Rei goes to the mountain but Makoto also has a prominent part. Mugen Acamedy, not content to fill in Tokyo Bay and build stuff there, also seems to own property here including a gym where we find Haruka practicing Judo. I did Judo for a short time when I was really young and I got my yellow belt. I didn’t do any terribly elaborate moves so I’m wondering how these two still have their white belts! When Haruka beats up Makoto it’s mentioned that it’s wrong for a man to use all his strength against a woman, and Haruka states that there should be no difference and Makoto agrees. There’s a good point to be made in here somewhere but one needs to tread carefully in supporting it rather than encouraging men to physically assault women. These girls are fighting for a good reason of course and they can’t expect their opponents to pull any punches, regardless of what their gender might be.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Eudial

This week’s enemy is Eudial of the Witches 5, who is posing as a Mugen Academy official and brainwashing students into serving Pharaon 90. She mentions that she’s level 78 and hoping to raise her level by beating the girls. Sounds like a fun RPG. How exactly does this levelling system work? Why didn’t we start with Mimete who has a lower level? There’s a nice little fight and then when it’s done the new Sailor Guardians show up. Sailor Moon chases them and …

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Sailor Uranus kisses Sailor Moon! This is a big thing in the manga which actually doesn’t happen until Act 29. I foolishly made my blog post about Act 29 ahead of time, as I was traveling last week, mentioning this event as being the big deal in Act 29 but it already happened. We can get into conversations about consent here. Sailor Uranus surprises Sailor Moon who doesn’t actively avoid the kiss, but still doesn’t seem to expect or endorse it. Her not minding it isn’t really relevant since Sailor Uranus doesn’t ask. There’s blushing that will occur but we don’t see that until Act 29. All that said, the importance of having the show’s hero involved in a lesbian kiss generally overshadows other concerns so I’ll try not to get too bogged down in that. Let’s not forget that the first time Tuxedo Mask kissed Sailor Moon she was unconscious and unable to consent. I could write all day about this kiss, which we never saw in the original Sailor Moon anime, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 Preview - Haruka kissing Usagi

The consequences of the kiss will be seen next week with Act 29, Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers, which has actually already aired and I already watched it so I’ll be working on that review next.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 29 Preview - Minako loves Mimete

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, April 18th at 10:30am

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Michiru kissing Haruka

The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available this Monday, April 18th. Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, will air on Japanese TV at 11pm Japan Standard Time and be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu immediately afterwards starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, 7:30am Pacific Time. This episode has the students of Mugen Academy attending a retreat in the woods as Rei faces off against Eudial of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Kaolinite and Professor Tomoe

We’ll see more of Haruka and Michiru, but not much more of Sailor Uranus and Neptune than we did last week. Not that one has to do with the other!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Hotaru

I’ll be traveling in Italy all throughout next week so I won’t have my review up until at least a week after this episode airs. I hope everyone enjoys it!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – Second Part, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Sailor Neptune and Uranus

Well isn’t this just confusing. The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, the 28th episode, is also called Act 27. Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – Second Part, is now available on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This episode covers the second part of the manga chapter which is Act 27, and so in order to keep the numbering for future episodes, Act 27 is used for both parts. This will be a bit confusing in the future as the Act number for every episode will not accurately reflect how many episodes have been released to date. Crunchyroll, Hulu and Neon Alley all refer to it as Episode 28 – Act 27 … I will continue to refer to episodes as “Act XX” so it will be Act 28 next week, even though this is the 29th episode and some services may use 29 to refer to it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Chibiusa and Usagi fighting

Since this episode covers half an Act of the manga, the pacing is a bit off, but with two monster attacks in that original story it actually works decently. Overall this was another great episode full of lovely animation. I enjoy all of the cute animation things they’ve included which have super deformed characters and silly little things. These are often unrealistic such as Usagi pulling a hammer out of hammer space or Sailor Chibi Moon breaking the forth wall by blowing away a balloon which Sailor Moon pops up in.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon breaks the 4th wall

There’s a massive Luna book in the Tsukino living room. What’s that about? I guess if I saw a book with a picture of a cat that looked just like mine on it I might buy it but I have a sort of generic looking black cat who is also named Luna. Coincidence? Of course not I named the cat after the Sailor Moon character.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - What is that Luna book about?

A big change this week is this new fancy communicator that Mamoru has but absolutely refuses to use. First we see Mamoru on this ancient assed phone talking about his communicator, but not using it. It’s odd enough to see a man of Mamoru’s age and lack of family attachments not using a cell phone, but having him use a land line to refer to his communicator is absolutely absurd. Are there limited minutes on this thing? I don’t think it’s using the cell service of Tokyo. Pretty sure it’s being relayed through the massive super computer hidden under the arcade. Pretty sure these things can be used to do point to point or conference type calls as much as needed. Mamoru has no one in his home and given his willingness to divulge secret identities last week, it’s hardly a security concern to use the communicator which he’s openly wearing on his wrist as it’s designed for. In reality in 2016 he should have a cell phone and the communicators are not really something that needs to exist, but with this being such a faithful adaptation of the manga it’s not simply a case of upgrading a disk to a CD and a tape to a DVD when things are so closely tied into the story. This isn’t the live action series which beautifully adapted period relevant cell phone technology to suit the story after all. So Mamoru uses a lame phone and doesn’t really use his communicator like he should.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Mamoru not using his communicator

We get a decent look at the Witches 5 this week. They aren’t really supposed to be in it as much as they are. In the manga they don’t show up at the battle but then they needed to stretch out the battle with something. They’re supposed to show up one at a time starting with Eudial in the next Act. That seems to still be happening. Cyprine is shown but Ptilol is not. This may be because there are 6 members of the Witches 5 and showing them all makes their name seem stupid.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - The Witches 5

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Asanuma crushing on Mamoru <3

Chibiusa heads to the amusement park with her friends. Mamoru accompanies her and brings Asanuma along and how in love is this guy with Mamoru? Also in attendance are Chibiusa’s friends who are all basically slightly younger versions of characters we’ve seen elsewhere in the series. Kyuusuke, who we’ve seen before, is basically a small version of Mamoru. Chibiusa’s relationship with him isn’t that weird considering she’s totally made out with the fully adult version of her actual father. The Umino looking kid is Sorano. He also looks like Amano from the Sailor V comic. Speaking of originality, his name, Sorano, is like Hikaru Sorano, Minako’s Ami looking friend from Sailor V. I’m not sure what that other kid’s name is but he looks like a tiny Asanuma. Maybe he’s totally in love with Kyuusuke. Why not? I’m shipping those two.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Chibiusa's friends

Chibiusa loses her hat. This is a big deal because Ikuko Mama, who’s pretty much her 3rd most important mom, gave it to her. This hat travels really far, behind a massive building, and so far that Mamoru can’t follow. Chibiusa runs after it and Mamoru leaves immediately afterwards, but never quite manages to catch up. More than anyone needs to say about that later.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Chibiusa's very important hat

Usagi transforms into a student from Mugen Academy. Great plan! This school is huge, having student from all levels and with 60 floors! Somehow though she gets called out by a student that doesn’t recognize her. She must be really good with faces. Mugen Academy is a new school, but somehow one that has produced a great number of celebrities. I expect it didn’t actually spring up between seasons but I feel it can’t have produced that many important graduates in such a short time. The Daimon this week is a cat that really doesn’t seem to care about being turned into a monster. Classic cat!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Usagi as a Mugen Academy student

Cue the transformation sequences. We did this last week. Stock footage has its cost savings purpose and when used properly it can look good and not be annoying. This week’s purely stock footage transformations, most of which we saw last week, ran from 13:55 to 18:22. That’s four and a half minutes of transforming and posing. The show is 24 minutes long with a minute long opening and ending. We don’t have time for this. This is excessive. I like what the new episodes are doing and the love improved animation but this is one aspect which I did not appreciate and I hope it is improved in the future. New here is only Sailor Chibi Moon’s transformation sequence which is cool if not kind of like the rest. She does a somewhat humorous “you have a small penis” pose with her fingers which I find funny but, given the wide variety of perversion on the Internet, I’m sure will actually be appreciated by someone out there.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon thinks you have a small penis

Sailor Neptune and Uranus appear in this episode as cardboard cutouts. I felt like I was looking at frames of the manga. I get that they don’t really do much in this fight but they are so briefly shown in flashes that it’s a bit disappointing. Sailor Uranus in a mask and cape is cool though. Her gender is still ambiguous and Usagi seems to recognize her.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Tuxedo Uranus

Hotaru is all over this episode. She doesn’t do a ton but it’s nice to see her and her wicked new hair cut. She seems to have changed the most of the new characters with just this. She seems to immediately discover everyone’s secret identities by asking “Who the hell are you?” and then Sailor Chibi Moon seems to think there’s no more reason to hide things. A funny exchange. Naturally we’ll be seeing a lot more of her as this season goes on because it’s not the original anime which downplayed everything about this character.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Hotaru

Enter Mamoru. Remember this guy? Yeah he just fails on every level in this episode. He ran after Chibiusa and her hat. Chibiusa is a child. He’s a grown man! He jogged in the original anime. This guy can’t keep up with a child and the wind. He even had an extra four and a half minutes to catch up while everyone was transforming and posing for the cat Daimon that didn’t really care about anything. If only Mamoru had some way to find out where everyone was! Oh right, he very specifically mentioned his communicator as a tool to keep in touch with Usagi at this exact time and he’s just not using it! Does this fossil from the 90s need a land line to stay in touch with his girlfriend? Maybe the girls should have started a fire and sent out some smoke signals so that Mamoru can keep up!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 Part 2 - Mamoru is so late

Next week is Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, which is a confusing name for the 29th episode and 3rd part of the Infinity Arc but here we are. This episode will air next Monday, April 18th, and be available to stream at 10:30am Easter Time. The gang head out to a sort of school retreat by students of Mugen Academy where Eudial of the Witches 5, posing as a student, gets up to no good. She’s the paired Rei villain of this story arc, so it becomes a Rei episode! Since Act 27 Part 2 actually went a bit into the story of Act 28 it’s hard to tell where exactly this one will end. It should be easy enough to just wrap up the episode where the manga chapter does.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Michiru kissing Haruka

Good job if you made it this far. My review seems a bit more unhinged than usual this week. Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 28.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28, Infinity 1 – Premonition – The 2nd Part, will be available April 11th at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 Preview - Usagi in a Mugen Academy uniform

Update: The episode will actually be referred to as Act 27 – Infinity 1 – Premonition – Second Part. Such a confusing title.

The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV tomorrow at 11pm Japan Standard Time. This will be 10am Eastern Time, 7am Pacific Time, and the stream should be available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Neon Alley shortly afterwards. Last week the episode was available around 10:45am Eastern Time, some 15 minutes after the episode would have concluded on Japanese TV. There’s a countdown on the Act 28 page at Crunchyroll which is counting down to 10:30am Eastern Time. I would recommend watching it on Crunchyroll which has a free and paid commercial free option as well as apps to watch those episodes on, though some of you who live in a country which Hulu doesn’t hate may already have a subscription with them. Last week Hulu restricted the episode to Hulu Plus only for a while, thought it was immediately available to watch on Viz’s web site Neon Alley which is a different way of watching Hulu content. Free users watching on Hulu should go to the Neon Alley page if they can’t find the episode right away.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 Preview - Hotaru

This week we get Act 28, Infinity 1 – Premonition – The 2nd Part. This is the direct continuation of the half episode we got last week as the manga chapter for Act 27 has now been split in two in order to make this story arc 13 episodes long. The gang will travel to an amusement park where Chibiusa will meet Hotaru for the first time. We only briefly saw Hotaru last week. She’ll be wearing a Mugen Academy school uniform, which Usagi will also have thanks to her Disguise Pen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 Preview - Daimon

This episode will also feature our first look at Sailor Uranus and Neptune. Last week we saw Haruka and Michiru but we haven’t yet seen them transformed. Of course promotional material, the opening and ending themes and the commercial break bumpers have featured these two prominently so we won’t be too surprised to see them.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 Preview - Haruka

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Haruka and Michiru

Sailor Moon Crystal is finally back! Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part, aired on Japanese TV April 4th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly after this, around 10:45am Eastern Time, the show was available to stream for free on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Neon Alley. It seems that the show was only available to Hulu Plus users at first but could be viewed right away with commercials on the Viz web site Neon Alley. Keep this in mind in the future if you for whatever reason don’t like watching it on Crunchryroll.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Infinity 1 - Premonition - First Part

I guess we finally know what the episode title will be. Act 27 is split into two parts, aptly named “First Part” and “The 2nd Part”. Yes the subtitles do indeed inconsistently spell out first but write 2nd with a number. Hulu calls the episode “Part 1″ but the subtitle for the title is consistently “First Part”. As mentioned previously the season will have 13 episodes. Sailor Moon Crystal follows the later chapter break up of the manga which has the Infinity arc covering 12 manga chapters, meaning this is likely going to be the only episode which is split in two.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - The Sailor Team

The first thing which strikes me about this episode is the change in animation. Like it or not, it’s different. This seems like a totally different show. I personally think this new animation is fantastic as I’m going to appreciate anything that’s novel at this point. Not only is the style different but I all around get a sense that there has been a significant improvement in the quality of the animation. Perhaps more time and money have gone into these episodes. We should be happy for the delay if it means getting something that looks this good. There is also a lot of funny animation, which we’ve seen off and on earlier in the series. I hope this kind of thing keeps up. As always the show continues to be a faithful adaptation of the manga, so no big change there.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Haruka

Act 27 starts the new Infinity story arc which is all about Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and the Death Busters. We see only a glimpse of Hotaru and Kaolinite this week, but we do see quite a bit of Haruka and Michiru. Haruka is such a fascinating character. She is described using male gender specific pronouns in the subtitles. This is a bit of a complicated issue. Haruka is female, but at this point in the manga all characters, including the reader, are meant to assume that she is male. She’s not trans but is probably more accurately described as gender fluid. I have mentioned before that I don’t speak Japanese, but my understanding is simply that gender specific pronouns aren’t commonly used in the Japanese language. This leads to common situations in Japanese fiction, like anime and manga, where a character’s identity is confused but the person can still be openly spoken of without it leading to confusion like it might in English when a gender specific pronoun like he or she would come up to clear things up. And so Haruka wears men’s clothes and is fawned after by girls, including Usagi, Minako and Makoto who assume she is a man. Some of them of course will continue to be attracted to her when they learn she is a woman, which is just part of what makes this series great.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Diana on the table

Diana returns! She came to the present with Chibiusa from the 30th century, something which occurs in the manga but does not happen in the original Sailor Moon anime until late in the next story arc. Diana has a red collar in the original anime but her collar is grey in Sailor Moon Crystal. I only noticed this watching this episode but her collar was grey in the last story arc as well. Chibiusa seems to have no problems letting Diana sit on the dining room table. This isn’t something that bothers me much but I keep expecting my girlfriend to pop on to the screen and push her down.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Artemis and Luna

Speaking of cats, check out how much Luna and Artemis have changed. Their faces are shaped a lot differently that what we’re used to. One of the many changes in character designs.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Racing

The gang play a fake video game called Battle Lap. Or is it Speed Racer? It says Speed Racer on the side of the machine but it is clearly referred to as Battle Lap in conversation, which is the name of the game in the manga. I don’t know much about car racing but apparently in the Sailor Moon world being good at real car racing translates to being good at video game car racing! I am personally a terrible driver and I am also very bad at Mario Kart, so perhaps this is legit! Usagi mentions that she can’t tell how fast she’s going because of her helmet which Haruka seems to think is the sign of a good racer. I guess I will have to wear a helmet when I play Mario Kart from now on. This helmet peripheral doesn’t actually seem to have any in game functionality, unless it beats you up when you virtually crash.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Daimon

Fighting ensues! A Daimon comes out of a girl from Mugen Acamdemy, the school where all the scary stuff is going on, and this fight is much more than the few pages we get in the manga. This is probably why the chapter is split in two. We needed to reintroduce all characters and give everyone a full transformation sequence. These new transformation sequences look great, and are nearly identical to those from the original Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Sailor Mars

We get some cool attacks. Sailor Venus uses her Wink Chain Sword which now features an actual sword! How cool is that? I mean she doesn’t actually hit the enemy with her sword but there is a sword in there. You know like the one she used to kill Queen Beryl. Oh that’s right…

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Venus Chain Wink Sword

Next week is Act 28, Infinity 1 – Premonition – The 2nd Part. No really, we’re not calling it Infinity 2? How confusing. At least we will be able to easily follow the manga titles even though the Act numbers will change. The preview has a border around it so I can’t be lazy and use these screenshots when the new episode comes out. Next week Usagi will disguise herself as a Mugen Academy student and try to sneak in. Looking forward to seeing if they draw all of Chibiusa’s friends like small version of the men of the series. Kyuusuke looks like a tiny Mamoru but in this coming story we have a tiny version of Asanuma and Umino. Or is it Amano? I guess Naoko Takeuchi got lazy! More importantly we will see Sailor Uranus and Neptune for the first time. Keep an eye out for Act 28 on Monday April 11th some time around 10:45am Eastern Time on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 Preview - Hotaru

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

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episodes 198 and 199 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 198 - Galaxia

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is almost complete! This week we get episodes 198 and 199 on Hulu and Neon Alley which leaves us with only one episode left for next week. As we left things Sailor Uranus and Neptune were evil for some reason and we’re slowly building up to the final confrontation between Galaxia and Sailor Moon. Episode 199 comes with a warning on Hulu stating “The following is intended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.”. Why? There’s a ton of nudity in episode 200 which we will see next week but nothing about this particular episode some any more “mature” than the last few. I guess there’s so much nudity in episode 200 that the warning spills over into other episodes!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 198 - Sailor Uranus slaps Sailor Moon

Episode 198, Dying Stars: Uranus and Neptune’s Last Stand, starts off with these two being evil. They kind of killed their good friends Sailor Saturn and Pluto last time which was not cool at all. Sailor Uranus attacks Sailor Moon with World Shaking, which good old Sailor Star Fighter attempts to block with Star Serious laser. This causes a sort of uncounscious semi dead Usagi who wakes up in a world of pastels where everyone is nice. All her friends are there and Haruka and Michiru are cool again. They were just faking it and we can all be friends again. Oh and guess what it’s Mamoru and Chibiusa. Remember them? They used to be in this show before the Three Lights showed up. Cool dream! All fake. Anyway Sailor Uranus and Neptune are still evil and when they’re just about to take the Sailor Starlights’ Star Seeds they … turn on Galaxia. So it really was a trick. Works decently too only when Galaxia is shot with those little spikey light things that look like something from a ramen bowl her Star Seed doesn’t come out. It’s like she doesn’t have one. We’ll find out why soon enough. Galaxia take her bracelets back and, as she’s already taken these two’s Star Seeds, they die. How sad.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 198 - Sailor Uranus and Neptune

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 199 - Sailor Galaxia seals Chaos

Episode 199, The Light of Hope: the Final Battle for the Galaxy, begins the confrontation with Galaxia. We start with a little background! Choas, this great evil thing in the universe, was sealed within the most powerful Sailor Guardian … Sailor Galaxia. Oh damn. Seemed like a good idea at the time I guess but it sort of made her evil and now she’s totally destroying the Universe and collecting Star Seeds. Sailor Moon, always looking for a solution that centers around love and friendship and such, wonders if there wasn’t a better way in which everyone worked together and did great things. We can finally have some sympathy for this seemingly terrible person. Evil Sailor Galaxia of course is totally happy with the arrangement since she likes being evil and collecting Star Seeds. There’s a bit of a chase and Sailor Moon tries to heal Galaxia which seems to work just a bit, but Galaxia shakes it off and destroys Sailor Moon’s Eternal Tiare weapon. Sailor Galaxia tries to kill the Sailor Starlights but Sailor Moon jumps in with her Star Seed in front of her. This seems like a good plan. What could go wrong? Oh no Sailor Galaxia took the Star Seed! Sailor Moon does that pink ribbon thing she is known to do. More backstory. As Chaos took over Galaxia’s body she removed her Star Seed and sent it away where Chaos couldn’t find her. The Light of Hope is Galaxia’s Star Seed. Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon cries and irradiates a light which Sailor Galaxia recognises as the Light of Hope. So… Chibi Chibi has the Light of Hope or is the Light of Hope?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 199 - Sailor Galaxia's Star Seed

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition, will be released Monday April 4th!

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity Arc trailer - Michiru and Haruka

After months of waiting the new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal are about to start. Act 27, which I expect will be called Infinity 1 – Premonition, airs on Japanese TV tomorrow at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Since Japan is in the future, this is 10am Eastern Time, 7am Pacific Time. It will be streamed on Crunchyroll and Hulu at some point Monday. As always just click on the Crunchyroll and Hulu links to get to the Sailor Moon Crystal page for that service to view new episodes. I expect it could be as early as 10am, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow. Both services have free viewing options and pay options to reduce commercials. Crunchyroll is available in the US and Canada but Hulu is restricted to viewing in the United States. Viewers elsewhere who have trouble getting to either service may require a proxy service to stay up to date.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Haruka

Some who have already seen Act 27 have commented that it only covers half of the equivalent manga chapter, which would be a departure from what the rest of the series has done. The Infinity arc of the manga spans 11 manga chapters but is said to be 13 episodes. It’s unclear exactly how that breakdown should happen. Based on what we’ve seen and what we’ve heard from those that have seen the episode we should be seeing Haruka and Michiru however we won’t be seeing their counterparts Sailor Uranus and Neptune until the next episode. We will also not be seeing Hotaru, Kaolinite or the Witches 5 until next week, though they will feature prominently in the rest of the season. The episode should end following a quick battle with a Daimon that comes out of a student from Mugen Academy leaving quite a bit of the story of that manga chapter remaining. I’m only assuming that the episode will be titled Infinity 1 – Premonition, but since this chapter will likely span two episodes, we may be seeing a different title.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity Arc trailer - Students from Mugen Academy

I’m looking forward to finally seeing more Sailor Moon Crystal! I’ll have my review posted to the site a few days after I see the episode.