Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, Monday June 6th starting at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Usagi

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV on Monday June 6th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it will start to be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. In Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, the gang continue to fight against the Death Busters and work their way down Infinity floors under Mugen Academy which should take them out of the other side of the earth, outside of our galaxy and beyond the end of the known universe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Mistress 9 has eaten the Silver Crystal which contains Chibiusa’s soul. Inside of Mistress 9 she’ll meet Hotaru’s soul and they’ll get up to all sorts of fun.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Mistress 9

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Witches 6

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 30th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, it was available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth, has Chibiusa dead and the gang reluctantly fighting to save her.

First off we have a new opening theme. Once again it’s In Love With the New Moon but this time sung by Momoiro Clover Z. They sang Moon Pride, the opening theme for the first two story arcs. This version is fine but I prefer the first version by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Not sure I have much else to say about that. Momoiro Clover Z seems like a perfectly mediocre J-Pop band.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa is dead

Chibiusa is dead. The day fans have been waiting for since the 90s is here! With her soul ripped out, Chibiusa’s body dies. The doctor announces quite clearly that she went through cardiac arrest and then passed away. All hope is not lost though, as Mamoru is able to keep her alive through some sort of healing touch. It’s as if he’s able to keep her blood pulsing with his heart which only makes sense considering he has magic healing powers. In the manga he mentions that her body is so small that supporting her is easy, but in Sailor Moon Crystal we get the impression that this is draining on him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Usagi and Chibiusa

Usagi is heartbroken by this, and really feels as if Chibiusa is dead. What option is there to save her? Well they just need to kill Hotaru! Actually they don’t have to kill anyone, they just need need to defeat Mistress 9. Not every enemy needs to be killed when they’re defeated! Oh right this is the manga version where Sailor Moon kills pretty much anyone. Original anime Sailor Moon seems to win over and heal more villains. Anyway the trolley problem is a bit different now. Instead of kill Hotaru vs. the world it’s Hotaru vs. Chibiusa vs. the world. And now the trolley has run over Chibiusa and is heading towards the world and pulling the lever will make it roll back in time, bringing Chibiusa back to life and then killing Hotaru. I’m not sure I want to attempt to illustrate that. So much to say despite hesitation everyone, including Mamoru, supports the idea of moving forward and trying to get Chibiusa’s soul back.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Hotaru stuck in some vines

The whole thorn thing seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. There are thorns around the building at Mugen Academy which makes it seem something like when the Makaiju grew all over the apartment building in Sailor Moon R. There are thorns and roses all around the lobby. What’s more Hotaru’s soul, which we see occasionally inside of Mistress 9, is held down by thorns. The manga doesn’t have this level of thorniness, and Hotaru is just seen sort of floating around in nothingness. This is a sort of physical visualization of the way she’s restricted inside of Mistress 9. All this really means is that Hotaru is still alive, so there’s still hope.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Eudial seduces Sailor Mars

The Witches 5 return and now there are 6. Everyone seems to be getting a dream of something they would like. Sailor Mars sees a version of Eudial which pretty much just want to make out with her. She pins her down holding her hand and seems to want to kiss her. Did I ever mention that Eudial is my favourite of the Witches 5 and that Sailor Mars is my favourite Sailor Guardian? I’m totally shipping these two. The rest of the gang are presented with predictable things. Sailor Mercury sees a powerful artificial intelligence supercomputer, which is cool but probably nothing compared to the supercomputer on the Moon which has the consciousness of Queen Serenity uploaded to it. Sailor Venus holds a microphone for a while but doesn’t actually sing, which is disappointing. Sailor Jupiter likes flowers. The recurring theme is making them all want to quit being Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Chibiusa tries to kill Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon gets a whopper of a dream. Chibiusa tries to choke and kill her! This is fake, unlike the time Chibiusa tried to shoot her in the head! This really is a great episode for Chibiusa haters! Sailor Moon doesn’t buy it though.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - Kaolinite is a monster

Turns out Kaolinite is actually a monster! This is not in the manga and new to Sailor Moon Crystal. She transforms into this weird kind of Daimon who the Sailor Guardians quickly dispose of. We see a couple of new attacks with Sailor Neptune’s Submarine Reflection, which is awesome, and Sailor Pluto’s Chronos Typhoon, which is completely disappointing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 - The Silver Crystal of the future

To wrap up the episode Mistress 9 eats the Chibiusa’s Silver Crystal! How terrible! Does she even know that Chibiusa’s soul is in there? Good news for Hotaru though. She’ll have some company inside of Mistress 9.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme - Mamoru in a wet shirt

Next is the new ending theme, Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. This ending theme contains wet shirt Mamoru which I find looks like something out Yaoi fan art. I guess some readers will appreciate this!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 Preview - Hotaru protecting Chibiusa

Next week is Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2. Mistress 9 has reunited Chibiusa and Hotaru inside her being. Isn’t that great! Even in death these two good friends can hang around together! We’ll also see naked Usagi in this episode if that’s something that interests you.

Keep reading for more images of this episode and the next episode preview for Act 35.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 23rd at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Following this it was available to stream first on Crunchyroll and then on Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at around 10:30am. Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, introduces us to Sailor Saturn as well as to Sailor Moon’s new powered up form.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Infinity 7 - Transformation - Super Sailor Moon

Everything before the opening credits is repeated footage. We had some of this in earlier episodes too. This is a way to recap but also a cost savings tactic. Not only is this all footage we’ve seen but this repeated footage itself has flashbacks in it, so there’s stuff in here that we’re seeing for a third time at least!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Super Sailor Moon

The episode starts out with Sailor Moon powering up to Super Sailor Moon. This is probably a deal to some people. I don’t really care about power ups. This is Sailor Moon, not Dragonball Z! The power level of our heroes and their attacks or those of their enemies are largely irrelevant. So Super Sailor Moon beats a level 999 Witch. The struggle between hero and villain is never about power in Sailor Moon. One thing stands out to me here. Who names Super Sailor Moon? Sailor Chibi Moon recalls the name from her past, Usagi’s future. She is the first to say the name and the rest of the gang catch on and use it. Sailor Moon’s new uniform doesn’t come with a name tag. If Usagi learned the name from Chibiusa and in turn tells her the name in the future, then where did it even come from? Basic paradox. The name Super Sailor Moon is Kyle Reese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Neo Queen Serenity creates a paradox

Speaking of Neo Queen Serenity, what’s up with that hair? Usagi, Princess Serenity and Sailor Moon are blonde however the Neo Queen Serenity we’ve seen in 30th century Crystal Tokyo has always had white or silver hair up to now. The Neo Queen Serenity we see here is from beyond what we saw in the Black Moon story arc, because Chibiusa speaks to her about Sailor Moon having saved the future and has her uniform she got at school in the past. This newer Neo Queen Serenity has blonde hair. Is this a mistake, a new look for Queen Serenity going forward or does she also, like she did in the past, go through transformations between her civilian look and her more formal look as queen? The manga, being black and white, is no help here!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - What's a patron?

Sailor Uranus is upset at the damage to the windows in her apartment. I’d be surprised that the building wasn’t evacuated due to concerns of structural integrity! She admits that her rent is a million yen a month, which is about $9000 US. I’ve paid rent for a year that cost about that! When asked how they afford it Sailor Uranus says that they have patrons so they don’t have to worry about money. Sailor Moon asks what a patron is and we don’t get an answer. So what does this mean? It’s not a word that is commonly used in this sense in English. I originally read the manga in French where they used to French word “patron” which, in Canada, means boss. I thought maybe this was some kind of joke about prostitution. A little research tells me this is hardly the meaning they were going for. As far as I can figure it’s a reference to some sort of financial backer for artistic ventures, which in this case might be Michiru’s violin playing or perhaps Haruka’s race car driving. This does not explain the embarrassment in the statement. Surely there’s something more to this story, but I don’t understand it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

Finally we get to see Sailor Saturn in this episode! Doesn’t she look great? We learn of the last time she appeared, and get to see Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in their native environments. Sailor Neptune appears to be on a rocky planet, which doesn’t really mesh with what I know about the surface of Neptune. The three are then transported to Saturn, which also seems a lot more solid than I would expect, and there they summon Sailor Saturn who shows up and kills them. As Silver Millennium was falling, Sailor Saturn seems to have picked up all the bits and pieces by conveniently killing the rest of the Sailor Guardians. Why? I guess it would be boring for them to keep living for a really long time? We then learn that the three of them were reincarnated on Earth, although we know of course that Sailor Pluto was reincarnated from her future self, unless there are two that is.

The trolley problem Sailor Moon variant

Once again we have a trolley problem as we weigh the morality of killing Hotaru to save the world. It’s simple really. If Hotaru becomes Sailor Saturn, she will destroy the world. This will kill everyone including Sailor Saturn. Alternatively if Hotaru is killed, everyone else survives! Also Hotaru is dying anyway. The only way to cure her is to let her become Sailor Saturn which means everyone dies. This is sort of like the trolley problem. In this thought experiment a trolley is flying out of control down a track which will kill five people. You can pull a lever which sends the trolley onto another track which saves those five and kills one person. Do you pull the lever? I feel like my experience with Sailor Moon has taught me that I should not pull the lever. Utilitarian ethics dictates one should go for the greater good, and should feel morally obligated to pull the lever. Similarly, the morally correct solution to the Sailor Saturn problem, prioritising the needs of the many over the needs of the few, means that Hotaru should be killed. Sailor Moon doesn’t go for this and neither does Chibiusa. They are convinced there is a better way in which everyone can be saved. They refuse to sacrifice one life at any cost, but Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are more practical about the issue, opting for child murder to save the world. Would you pull the lever?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Saturn

Sailor Pluto makes the argument that because the future exists Sailor Saturn must have been killed. This is a really odd comment, and reminds me of seeing a later episode of a TV show and then going back, knowing they are going to get to a certain point and trying to figure out how. It makes me wonder of course whether or not Sailor Pluto lived through these years already, in the past of the future self which died and was reincarnated in the present. If she did then she would remember the world not ending and possibly some serious stuff going on in Tokyo around this time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Flying Sailor Guardians

I don’t think I’ve addressed the issue of flying before. In the old anime, there was usually no flying, but in the manga the characters seem to fly around a lot. They do it a lot in Crystal too, and because it’s animated it’s more obvious than seeing static people floating in manga pages. This week we see the Sailor Guardians fly right into the broken window of the apartment building but more specifically this includes everyone but Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Are they unable to fly? They show up a bit afterwards and then when Sailor Chibi Moon runs off she literally runs away, through the elevator and then jumping from rooftop to rooftop, at a height of over 20 feet with every jump. When she gets to Hotaru’s place, Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto beat her there, but were nice enough to not murder her friend. It certainly would make sense that Sailor Chibi Moon be less powerful than the rest. I imagine Tuxedo Mask can fly but was being a nice guy accompanying his daughter who can not.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Mistress 9

Hotaru may not turn into Sailor Saturn this week but she does transform into Mistress 9. She basically kills Sailor Chibi Moon by stealing her Silver Crystal and then turns into this older eviler version of Hotaru. In the manga she doesn’t appear with the dress and everything in this chapter, but here she does. Chibiusa is essentially killed in the process. This is Sailor Moon though so she’s only mostly dead.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 - Sailor Chibi Moon dies

Next week is Act 34, Infinity 8 – Infinite Labyrinth 1. Chibiusa’s dying, Mistress 9 is running amuck and we’re still debating whether or not it’s cool to kill Hotaru who isn’t all that innocent any more. I believe we will be seeing the third opening and ending songs with Act 34, though I’m not sure. The second themes appeared for the 5th episode following the first CD release. The second CD came out today, May 25th, and the next episode is the 9th of this story arc with 5 remaining. The new intro will still be In Love With the New Moon but this time performed by Momoiro Clover Z. The new ending theme will be Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 34 Preview - Usagi cries

Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 33 and the preview for Act 34.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, May 23rd at 10:30am

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Super Sailor Moon

The next new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV this coming Monday, May 23rd, at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Following this, at 10:30am Eastern Time, the show will being to be available to stream in North America. The show is generally first available on Crunchyroll, though the stream for devices may not show up during the first bit. For example when I used to get up early on Saturday mornings to watch the show I couldn’t watch it on my PS3/PS4 app, but needed to watch it on my computer instead, though after a few hours this was not a problem anymore. Neon Alley usually has the stream available a bit before Hulu, which is at first restricted to Hulu Plus users.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

This week we are getting Act 33, Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. Good to see someone’s getting a transformation during this story arc! I don’t care about Super Sailor Moon though. I care about Sailor Saturn! Based on the preview and manga we should see her this week, but it’s in the form of a flashback to the fall of Silver Millennium when Sailor Saturn showed up to murder a bunch of people. We won’t be seeing Hotaru transform into Sailor Saturn but she will turn into something!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

The original manga version of Act 33 features a comment about how Harukua and Michiru have patrons. I never quite understood the meaning of this comment and wonder if it will be included in Crystal so that we can speculate about it all over again.

Sailor Moon Manga Act 33 - Haruka and Michiru have patrons

“Ho ho ho! We’ve got patrons, so we never lack for money!”

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Young Hotaru

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV Monday May 16th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Afterwards it was streamed on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu starting at about 10:30am Eastern Time. This week we get Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Guardians. The gang is mostly all together and we get a ton of back story about Sailor Pluto and Hotaru. We also face off against the last of the Witches 5. Things are advancing quite a bit now as we’re over half way done the Infinity story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Pluto

First things first. Sailor Pluto is back, and we get a bit of an explanation as to how. Pluto immediately recognizes Sailor Chibi Moon and knows her as both Small Lady and Sailor Chibi Moon. This means that the Sailor Pluto we see here has the same memories as the one we saw in 30th century Crystal Tokyo. She mentions that she was reincarnated by Neo Queen Serenity, the future version of Usagi, not Queen Serenity, the mother of Princess Serenity from Silver Millennium. This means that this is not the reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto that died in Silver Millennium, but the reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto which we saw die at the end of the Black Moon story arc. She reincarnated back in time, which may seem silly but in a series in which both reincarnation and time travel exist, it is not unreasonable to assume this to be possible. Later it is stated that Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were reincarnated in the present. But Sailor Uranus and Neptune did not die in the future. We will later learn the specifics but so much to say everyone died when Silver Millennium fell. So where did future Sailor Pluto who protects the Space-Time Door in Crystal Tokyo come from originally? She is not the future version of this character but rather the past version. Sailor Pluto in Silver Millennium can’t be the future version of this Sailor Pluto as we see her as a child talking to the original Queen Serenity. Is there a second Sailor Pluto kicking around somewhere right now which was the original reincarnation of the Sailor Pluto which died when Silver Millennium fell, who will live out her long life protecting the Space-Time Door? Sailor Pluto has died twice but as far as we have seen, has been reincarnated only once. She seems to exist outside of time but she is not beyond the causality of life and death. Something just doesn’t add up here. Does anyone have plausible theories as to what is going on?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Diana on the table

Act 27

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Diana and Chibiusa have breakfast thanks to recycled animation

Act 32

As we’ve seen this new story arc is rich on stock footage but there’s even more recycled animation going on here. As you can see by the above screenshots, one from the first episode of the Infinity story arc, Act 27 Part 1, and the other from this week’s episode, there’s some reuse happening. While Chibiusa’s pose may not be identical in this exact frame look at Diana if you need proof that this is the same. The toast toping and clothes have changes but the rest of the shot is nearly identical right down to Chibiusa’s hands and the furniture. In addition to reused animation this story arc is full of flashbacks to earlier episodes. We even get flashbacks to scenes earlier in the same episode, sometimes only a few minutes apart. Every second of animation costs quite a bit of money. If this process can be tweaked to avoid a few minutes of animation per episode that is an immense cost savings. The animation this season has been terrific but you can’t get something from nothing. It seems that one cost saving measure that has been done is to try to reuse as much animation as possible in a number of ways. It’s important not to be too negative about this. The alternative is a show every second week or poorer quality animation.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - The gang

You know all that drama where we can’t work together? Well everyone is friends now. Yay! The reason for the drama was not ignorance but it seems like Sailor Uranus and Neptune knew what was going on all along! Since they protect the solar system from outside invaders they consider it their job to protect against the Death Busters, a threat from another dimension. So everyone’s cool now? Not quite. The new guys still don’t want Sailor Moon and her friends to help, and it seems to boil down to not putting her in harm’s way. The drama must continue!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Usagi reading Nakayoshi

In one scene we see Usagi reading a comic with Sailor V on the cover. The title reads “Nakayoshi”. Codename: Sailor V mostly ran in RunRun but the first issue did appear in Nakayoshi, the magazine which would later run the Sailor Moon comic.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Hotaru the cyborg

Tons of back story on Hotaru this week. Chibiusa is supposed to meet her for a movie but she can’t make it because she’s undergoing surgery. As excuses to miss a date go, having surgery is a pretty rock solid one. Hotaru is pretty much a cyborg, with all sorts of artificial parts inside her arms and legs. This goes back to an accident which occurred years ago in which Hotaru’s mother died and Hotaru was left at the brink of death, seeming to have been saved only thanks to this surgery. When Chibiusa wants to call Hotaru, she uses a phone number which goes right to her room. Once again we’re adapting something from the 90s which doesn’t fit the world today. I remember having a “kid’s line” which had a different ring at my house. Do people still do this in 2016? I think most people just have cell phones. The eternal struggle of faithful adaptation vs. adapting to fit with the times. Once again Sailor Moon Crystal goes for the faithful adaptation, which I respect, but it creates an inconsistent universe in which these characters live.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Cyprine and Ptilol of the Witches 5

With four of the Witches 5 down that only leaves Cyprine … or does it? Cyprine of the Witches 5 somehow separates herself into Cyprine and Ptilol, which always makes me wonder why they aren’t called the Witches 6. They go on to say that they are one Witch, something which seems to be an attempt to have their name make some sort of sense.

The fight starts with Haruka and so she transforms into Sailor Uranus. Unfortunately we don’t see Sailor Neptune or Pluto transform, making it increasingly unlikely that we will see a Sailor Pluto transformation sequence in this story arc. We should not abandon all hope though! I’m still hoping to see a Sailor Saturn transformation sequence in my lifetime!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - Sailor Jupiter attacks Sailor Uranus

The Sailor Guardians get sort of brainwashed and start fighting each other. They’re not fully controlled but rather their existing negative feelings for each other are amplified and so it’s the Sailor Moon version of Civil War. Nothing like an excuse to have the good guys fight each other! Things get pretty intense in the ensuing fight as the two teams really dish it out against each other in a fairly impressive display.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 - The Holy Grail

Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon fail to stop the fighting on their own, which causes Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask to unite and create the Holy Grail. It looks a lot like the clay one which they made not long ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Super Sailor Moon

Next week is Act 33, Transformation – Super Sailor Moon, in which the Holy Grail is used to well… have Sailor Moon transform into Super Sailor Moon. More importantly, as seen from the clips in the preview, we will be getting our first look at Sailor Saturn. Don’t get too excited though. Sailor Saturn will not be appearing in the present. As we can see by the slightly grainy quality to the clips in which we see her bow and boots, this is actually a flashback. This scene is where Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto remember their fateful encounter with Sailor Saturn as Silver Millennium fell.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 33 Preview - Sailor Saturn

Keep reading for more screenshots from Act 32 and the next episode preview for Act 33.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31, Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Setsuna

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired on Japanese TV on Monday May 9th and is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. This week Sailor Pluto returns as Setsuna Meioh while Makoto faces off against an evil plant lady! Overall I thought this was a really great episode with fantastic animation, though I found some of the subtitles a bit distracting. There seemed to be some fairly basic grammatical errors or just sentences that weren’t written like people really talk.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Setsuna Meioh

The big thing this week of course is the return of Sailor Pluto. Throughout most of the episode Setsuna Meioh, Sailor Pluto’s civilian identity, doesn’t have any memory of being a Sailor Guardian. What exactly is going on here? The Sailor Pluto we saw in the future did not come from the present. While the Space-Time Corridor can be considered to exist outside of time in some sense, I always assumed that Sailor Pluto guarded it throughout time. So there should be a Sailor Pluto in the past, present and future, living through time. Which Sailor Pluto is this? We will get a bit of an explanation next week which really only raises more questions. I have a lot of thoughts on this but I will get into them in my Act 32 review.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Reika and Motoki argue

Reika and Motoki show up again, as they’re going to school with Setsuna. The two are bickering and fighting a bit as Motoki has mentioned Makoto, one of the many young girls that comes into his arcade, and Reika doesn’t really appreciate this. Imagine how she’d feel if she watched the live action series! While on the train Motoki suggests going to have dinner near the Mugen Academy. Reika doesn’t want to because of the ominous clouds! Oddly when we see the buildings in the distance there does not appear to be any more clouds there than over the train the two are on, where it’s also raining. What?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Chibiusa's hot teacher Sailor Moon SuperS episode 135 - Kyuusuke, Chibiusa and Momoko badmouth Morino

Back at Chibiusa’s school we make an important discovery. Chibiusa and her friends have a hot teacher! Where did she come from? She looks nothing like this in the manga. In the anime we see their teacher in the Sailor Moon SuperS season, but this does not appear to be that same character. That character was struggling with aging while being single and Kyuusuke teased her for not being able to get a man. This teacher shouldn’t have any such problems! Meanwhile Kyuusuke is not subtle about his attraction to Chibiusa. As the class is encouraged to give the items they made to someone special, Kyuusuke choses to give his Sailor Moon pencil holder to Chibiusa. She misses the point obviously. Shouldn’t she be totally into this guy because he looks just like her father?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - A Brock looking guy who's into Makoto Sailor Moon Crystal Act 17 - Makoto's father was Brock from Pokémon

Speaking of guys who look like fathers, who’s this guy who’s hitting on Makoto in the botanical gardens? He kind of looks like Brock from Pokémon. You know who else looks like Brock from Pokémon? Makoto’s Dad! If Chibiusa is any indication girls really dig guys who look just like their Dad so Makoto should be all over this dude! Instead she daydreams about her Sempai, who we learn is named Nichogi. This episode, and the manga equivalent, are the only time we hear his name which was never mentioned in the original Sailor Moon anime. He doesn’t look like Brock from Pokémon which just doesn’t make sense if Chibiusa, Freud and Jung are to be trusted and all things considered I don’t think they should be.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Makoto and Nichogi Sempai

This week’s villain is Tellu of the Witches 5 who is posing as Ruru Teruno. She’s in charge of phys ed and the botanical gardens. What an odd combination of interests that also overlap with Makoto’s very specific mix of girly and tom boy tendencies. Her power level is 404, double that of last week’s villain, but because this manga is from the mid 90s it’s unlike it’s a reference to http code 404, page not found. Tellu has created the Tellun flower which is this evil flower which drains people’s energy, a plot not unlike that of the Sailor Moon R movie. The Tellun plant in bloom blankets the floor with pink flowers which looks a lot like the asteroid which was blanketed in Kissenian flowers in the film.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Tellu

Lots of Hotaru going on this week as we see that girls are terrible to each other sometimes. The other students at her school comment about how weak she seems and that she wears long sleeves even in summer. A change that we saw last week was that Mugen Academy students were starting to wear different uniforms with short puffy sleeves over the longer sleeve versions we’d seen earlier, and that Hotaru continues to wear. Next week we will see just why it is that Hotaru wears long sleeves and stockings. She’s not just hiding scars but also something kind of evil as she gets upset at her classmates and crushes a metal pencil box in a frightening display.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Hotaru might be kind of evil

Usagi starts to suspect Hotaru, as she’s the daughter of Professor Tomoe, and so she comes along with Chibiusa to visit her. If only Chibiusa had been honest and shared Hotaru’s secret that her father makes monsters we would be able to avoid a lot of this stuff but whatever. Usagi snoops around Hotaru’s house while Chibiusa helps her friend get her Silver Crystal fix at which point she once again shows signs of being some sort of evil being stuck inside the body of an innocent looking young girl.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Pink Sugar Heart Attack

Sailor Chibi Moon steps it up this week by finally getting her Moon Rod. She pleads to her mother to get a weapon and then Luna P turns into this item. I’m not sure her mother did this because I thought Luna P was more related to Sailor Pluto. So she uses this device to do her ridiculously sweet Pink Sugar Heart Attack move which is animated nearly identically to how it was in the manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 31 - Sailor Pluto is not dead

Finally Sailor Pluto shows up with her Dead Screen attack killing Tellu, who somehow turned into a big monster, and saving the day. Unfortunately this appearance is not preceded by a transformation sequence. Based on what happens in the manga it is entirely possible that we won’t be seeing Sailor Pluto or Saturn transforming in this particular story arc, though we can hope that a minor change will allow them to transform on screen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 Preview - Sailor Chibi Moon reunited with Sailor Pluto

Next week Act 32, Infinity 6 – Three Soldiers. will give a bit of an explanation as to where and when Sailor Pluto came from. We’ll get some back story on the new Sailor Guardians and face off against the final members of the Witches 5.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 32 Preview - Cyrpine

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 32.

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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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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