Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The 10 Sailor Guardians

The entire Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to view online. The final episode we’ll see for a while, Act 38, Infinity 12 – Infinite – Journey aired on Japanese television on Monday June 27th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Immediately afterwards it was available to view on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time. This week is a bit of a mixed bag as we wrap up the story of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn and then move on for a teaser of the upcoming Dream arc. We still have no official confirmation that this new arc will be adapted. This episode is just doing exactly what the equivalent manga chapter did. While it seems likely at this point that we will be seeing more episodes this would certainly not be the first show to have a really awesome cliffhanger final episode which we never saw a follow up to.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Title Screen with Sailor Saturn

As always we start with an unreasonably long flashback! This week’s spans 3 minutes and 13 seconds which covers half of the last episode! At least we see a lot of Sailor Saturn. The opening theme, In Love With the New Moon, is the first version sung by Etsuko Yakushimaru. The full length version of this song is also heard in the episode itself. This is my favourite version of the opening so it was nice to hear. The ending theme used is Eternal Eternity sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus, Junko Minagawa and Sailor Neptune, Sayaka Ohara.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon blasts out of the Pharaoh 90/Mistress 9 monster juice thing and in doing so causes some damage. She gives everyone super transformations! Well almost everyone. How come Tuxedo Mask doesn’t get an upgrade? He’d look great in some transparent shoulder pads! Poor guy. At least he has his male privilege to fall back on.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Sailor Saturn smiles Sailor Moon Crystal Act 37 - Super Sailor Moon going to her death

Sailor Saturn, who was supposed to be destroying the world at the end of the last episode, decides to attack Pharaoh 90 and go to her death. She turns and smiles to her friends just like Sailor Moon had last week. This was a nice touch, as both seem willing to sacrifice themselves to save others.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Three Women and a Baby

Unfortunately Sailor Saturn has to die. Sailor Pluto is the one to do this. She’s upset about it, although this was kind of the plan all along. Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were ready to kill Hotaru in order to save the world. The solution now is to lock her, Pharaoh 90 and the Tau Star System away forever. Sailor Pluto does this with the Dark Dome Close attack. Her penance for killing Sailor Saturn? Her and her friends have to raise the reincarnated baby version of her! There’s some sort of odd justice here. This will be a tough conversation when she gets a bit older and asks why she has three moms! This is basically a genderbend version of Three Men and a Baby, a mediocre 80s comedy movie by Leonard Nimoy. “Well you see we helped killed your Dad and then killed you, so you’re adopted. Sorry not sorry.”

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - The Messiah

Sailor Moon becomes Neo Queen Serenity. OMG she was the one we saw in the visions. This isn’t the future version of Neo Queen Serenity possessing Sailor Moon in some way. This is Usagi in full control of her faculties. There’s no other consciousness in there. So I wonder why she doesn’t seem to remember what happens. Sailor Moon asks where this baby came from, and Sailor Uranus basically says it’s “From precious you”, which no doubt is a terrible translation, but basically she believes that Neo Queen Serenity caused Sailor Saturn to reincarnate as baby Hotaru. Sure. The original Queen Serenity is the one that sent everyone to reincarnate in the present time after they were all killed. Future Neo Queen Serenity is the one who sent Sailor Pluto back in time to reincarnate as Setsuna. It stands to reason that Sailor Moon, the present version, is the one that did this. There’s no other consciousness which is doing stuff here. It’s not insinuated that old lady uploaded consciousness computer simulated Queen Serenity on the Moon has any real power here. Why doesn’t Sailor Moon have full memory of doing this? It doesn’t really add up to me.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Super Sailor Chibi Moon

Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn leave and then we have a commercial break. There’s meant to be a massive passage of time here but I don’t feel that this is well conveyed at all. In the original manga the Infinity arc concludes here which is the end of a chapter. Following this we get The Lover of Princess Kaguya side story which is a full manga book which is the equivalent of the Sailor Moon S movie, which then has a side story about Rei. There are a bunch of other side stories published later which are understood to take place during this break which is basically the time when the girls are preparing for their high school entrance exams. Ami’s First Love, which was adapted in an anime special, falls into this period as well. The first three story arcs all follow one another directly, but the Dream arc was never meant to do so. When the manga was rereleased in 2003 the chapters were broken up differently so they ended up breaking this particular Act up very poorly so that this passage of time isn’t properly demonstrated and happens between pages of the same story. I think Sailor Moon Crystal had a good chance to pace things out a bit differently and have the season end here, but they didn’t do that and instead, it’s time to go to high school.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - High school girls

This episode is kind of like the first episode of Sailor Stars from the original Sailor Moon anime. Those first 6 episodes of Sailor Stars basically fix the problems that the SuperS season skipped, including some characters which will be returning later in the Dream arc. The girls are supposed to be in high school before meeting Pegasus as we see here. Most of the girls have Juban High School Uniforms. Rei does not, as she goes to her own school which does not use high school entrance exams. We don’t really have an equivalent to these in the West. I suppose maybe the SATs are something similar but as a Canadian this is also something I only know of through TV and movies. I’ve never had a test so important in my schooling that it required me getting addicted to caffeine pills like Jessie Spano. So much to say Japanese high school entrance exams are a big deal and the source of a lot of stress, and the girls are meant to have been preparing for this during the long period covered by the commercial break which we don’t even get in the streaming version.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Solar Eclipse

Chibiusa says she’s going to leave on April 1st, at the time of a Solar Eclipse. The next Solar eclipse that will occur on April 1st is in 2098 and there certainly wasn’t one in the 90s when the manga was written, but this is pretty nitpicky even for me. She mentions in her letter to her mother “Please come to pick me up”. How exactly does this work? Is Neo Queen Serenity from the future going to travel to the 30th century to come pick up Chibiusa? Who’s guardian the Space-Time Door with future Sailor Pluto dead and Diana in the past?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Artemis and Luna cry for Diana

Speaking of Diana! Usagi says to Luna, who isn’t present when this is said, that she will see Diana “very soon”. What does this mean? From the frame of reference of Diana then she would see her parents soon, in the future. From Luna and Artemis’s point of view they won’t see her soon at all. Diana is a kitten. Chibiusa, who is born in less than a decade, is 900 years old in the 30th century. Is Diana a permakitten born in the 20th or 21st century and never aging? Permakittens would revolutionize the pet industry! Kittens are most of the reason people have adult cats!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Usagi and Chibiusa see Pegasus

So the gang are watching the eclipse and they hear a bell. They turn around to see… Pegasus! Well we don’t see Pegasus but in the manga version of Act 38, the final image has Usagi and Chibiusa seeing Pegasus. There’s no preview for another episode, but we will likely at some point be seeing Act 39, Dream 1 – Eclipse Dream. This will be part of the 4th story arc which, if current trends continue, will likely be referred to as Season 4 or Season IV in Japan. I’ve still been calling them arcs or phases but I may start using the term season if that becomes well established. We have no specifics on if and when we might get new episodes but perhaps we will learn something tomorrow at the live event to celebrate Usagi’s birthday.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth 2, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru in thorns

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal premiered on Japanese TV on Monday June 6th at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Shortly afterwards, starting at around 10:30am, it was available to stream first on Crunchyroll and later on Neon Alley and Hulu. Act 35, Infinity 9 – Infinite Labyrinth, mostly takes place inside of Mistress 9 and in an elevator.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Chibiusa and her Crystal

Mistress 9 ate the Silver Crystal of the future. This is the one Chibiusa stole from her mother in the 30th century and has been using to fight as Sailor Chibi Moon. More importantly, Chibiusa’s soul is now fundamentally tied to this Crystal which causes all sort of problems, mainly that she’ll die if it’s apart from her body and consumed by an evil entity. How exactly does this work? Sailor Moon’s Silver Crystal of the present is similarly tied to her soul. It’s her Star Seed and all that fun stuff. What’s Neo Queen Serenity doing in the future? In the last story arc Neo Queen Serenity still seems bound to the Silver Crystal of the future so what happened to her when her daughter went gallivanting around time with it? Sure she was dormant for most of the last season but now that her daughter is gone on her training is Crystal Tokyo defenseless? Did Neo Queen Serenity need to somehow disassociate herself from the Crystal? If I take a powerful Crystal and keep it in my pocket for too long will my soul get tied to it like Golum being bound to the one ring?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

My favourite part of this episode takes place within Mistress 9. Chibiusa, bound to her Crystal, is lost inside of Mistress 9 who basically ate her. Hotaru goes out of her way to protect her and her Crystal. These are two sort of ghosts or spirits stuck inside of this body which has been controlled by this evil entity. Hotaru hasn’t known Chibiusa that long, but she has strong feelings for her and is protecting her with everything she has. It seems like Mistress 9 won’t be getting full access to that Crystal just yet, which is unfortunate since she immediately destroys the Taioron Crystal once she gets something better. This is kind of like getting a new phone, deciding you don’t need your older out of date phone, and destroying it only to realise there’s some software problem with the new one and you can’t use it but oops I obliterated the iPhone 4s. Too bad so sad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - A terrible directory

A lot of this episode takes place in an elevator which somehow leads to a bunch of weird mistakes. Let’s see what we know. The gang starts on the 56th floor, obvious from the sign we see and what is mentioned, and Sailor Venus decides to take one group and go down floor by floor while Sailor Moon and the people who want to kill Hotaru are going to take the elevator to the basement. Look at this chart. How terrible is this thing? It has a column with floor numbers, a column with descriptions, a second column with floor numbers and … that’s it. There are no descriptions for the second column! What’s on floors 31 to 60? The manga equivalent pages show an extra column there with descriptions of what’s on those floors, but there’s nothing here. Minor nitpick but that’s how it is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Elevator

Sailor Moon gets in an elevator with Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and in doing so they go down. All indications from shots in the elevator shaft seem to indicate that it is going down at incredible speeds. A line in the manga, omitted from this version, speaks about the effect of the acceleration that Sailor Moon is feeling. Watching the floor numbers we seem to go from 50 to 40 in a number of seconds. Then we go from 30 to 20 in nearly a minute. It’s a few minutes more until we get to 6. Following this things get weird, we go into this weird other dimension, and then we arrive at floor zero. Or is it? There is clearly space for two digits on the display however when we are in single digit floors, like 6, we don’t have a preceding zero. It’s “6” not “06”. Also the numbers take up the full height of the display while the display on the final floor takes up half. The manga chapter has the gang travel down to floor negative infinity. With the infinity symbol, ∞, being like a horizontal 8. The manga has them mostly travel through basement floors to get there though. Here the floor indicator, which looks like “oo” could be taken to mean infinity. There is no negative floor indicator on the display. The reason for which those two os aren’t touching could be an artifact of the display. The show have easily avoided ambiguity by just putting another row of dots between the two numbers and having oo display as ∞. Also notable is that there are 60 buttons shown and 60 floors in the directory, so any basement floors don’t seem to be listed. If there really are on the minus infinity floor what does this even mean? If they go down infinity floors they would go through the earth, outside of our solar system and galaxy and beyond the reaches of the known universe.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Floor infinity and Professor Tomoe

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Hotaru has a messed up face

There is a flashback to when the Death Busters arrived. We see the accident once again and Hotaru’s face is real messed up in one shot! Koalinite is called Kaori, as she appears to have been a normal human woman working for Professor Tomoe before this incident. She was infected by an egg and then Professor Tomoe decided to infect himself with one. We also learn that Mistress 9, who was placed inside of Hotaru, was once Pharaoh 90’s partner. This seems to be new to Sailor Moon Crystal. The other Witches 5 however were created artificially.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Sailor Uranus on Uranus

For the second time we see Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on their home planets. Uranus seems tiny. We can actually see the curvature of the planet. Uranus has a diameter of about 4 times that of the Earth. That means its surface is much flatter than the Earth’s surface. Do you ever find yourself gazing out at the horizon and actually noticing the curvature of the Earth? Probably not. Based on the curve we see here Uranus should be roughly the size of The Little Prince’s asteroid. Just imagine tracing out a circle from that thumbnail image and it wouldn’t even be larger than your computer screen. Alternatively if Uranus is the right size Sailor Uranus could be huge. She’d probably be about the size of the Earth’s Moon for this to work. Sailor Pluto appears to actually be on Pluto. Previously we saw her guarding the Space-Time Door but it wasn’t clear exactly where it was. What’s the deal with this thing? In Crystal Tokyo when there was this door at the end of a long hall which led to the Space-Time Corridor, were people traveling to Pluto as an intermediate before going back in time? Did the door itself move at some point? Who’s even protecting this door in the 30th century now that Sailor Pluto is dead, Diana went back in time and Neo Queen Serenity has no Crystal? Maybe it’s that pink haired kid who isn’t Chibiusa. How rare would children be in a world where humans live 1000 years? Pretty rare.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Princess and Queen Serenity

We learn that when they were bored and alone Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto would look at Queen Serenity and Princess Serenity. For some reason Princess Serenity is pointing to her bracelet in this image. It must have been new at the time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 35 - Professor Tomoe

Bad news for Professor Tomoe, who turns into this big monster thing. Sailor Moon hesitates to kill him because he was Hotaru’s father a few minutes earlier. Realistically he hasn’t been Hotaru’s father for some time, though I wonder if Kaolinite and Professor Tomoe have little spirits of themselves wrapped up in thorns inside their minds somewhere. Oh well. He gets killed.

Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are attacked and Super Sailor Moon transforms back into normal Sailor Moon. She seems to think this is because something happened to her friends. Not a great omen.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Next week is Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere. There’s more of Hotaru’s ghost resisting Mistress 9 and being all bad ass. With only three more episodes the story arc will be done soon. These next three episodes were originally one massive manga chapter!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 36.

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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 25, Showdown – Death Phantom, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Sailor Chibi Moon

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 25, Showdown – Death Phantom, premiered this weekend on July 4th. It is available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. As of now it is currently the second last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, as there are none planned beyond episode 26. This week Chibiusa becomes Sailor Chibi Moon but this happens just moments too late, as tragedy has struck Sailor Pluto!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Sailor Pluto stops time

As we left off last time Prince Demande was about to stick two versions of the Silver Crystal together which is a bad idea and likely to destroy the whole world. Sailor Pluto, who sees this as being likely to cause certain death to herself and everyone she cares about, decides to stop time to avoid this catastrophe. Too bad stopping time is the ultimate taboo! Even though Sailor Pluto is totally capable of doing it, she totally never should and that means that she will have to die as a result. The physics of this are a bit odd. Everything is still with nothing moving, but clearly there is still air flowing enough to allow the show’s main characters to breathe. The distinction between who and what are not frozen in time seems to be completely decided by Sailor Pluto, though how this is done is not clear. So Sailor Pluto had 3 taboos not to break and she sort of broke all of them, but everyone would have died otherwise so no fault can really be given in this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Diana floats in a bubble

Sailor Pluto thanks Diana for protecting the Space-Time Door. So does this mean no one is guarding it anyone? I mean, Sailor Pluto spent a life of solitude simply so that she could endlessly protect the door but now that no one is around to do it… maybe let’s just get an alarm system set up?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Chibiusa transforms into Sailor Chibi Moon

Black Lady is saddened by seeing Sailor Pluto dying. She is reminded in this that she is not really alone and so Chibiusa is finally able to break free of Nemesis’s control and, thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal from the future, is able to transform into Sailor Chibi Moon. The name Sailor Chibi Moon is not said in this episode, but that is who she becomes. King Endymion mentions that this is the Sailor Guardian who will succeed Sailor Moon. Indeed this is Chibiusa’s destiny, to become the Sailor Guardian to protect to the world once Sailor Moon is retired though we have a younger unretired version of Sailor Moon from the past to do that right now. This wasn’t a huge surprise, as art showing Sailor Chibi Moon surfaced through official sources before we even got a look at Chibiusa, and of course Sailor Chibi Moon has appeared in other continuities for over 20 years.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Chibiusa transforms into Sailor Chibi Moon

A transformation sequence accompanies this change. It wasn’t really clear if this would happen at this point. In the original Sailor Moon anime Chibiusa does not transform into Sailor Chibi Moon during Sailor Moon R. She does so only during Sailor Moon S and even then she has no transformation sequence until Sailor Moon SuperS. It is nice to see her actually have one animated, though at this point this may be the final time we see it, as there may not be a next season of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Sailor Chibi Moon cries for Pluto

It is unfortunately that the catalyst for Chibiusa’s change was Sailor Pluto’s death, although her changing prior to this may have been enough to have Sailor Pluto avoid that fate. She is naturally heartbroken at the death of her good friend, and just wanted Pluto to see her make her long awaited transformation.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Mamoru apologizes for making out with his daughter

Oh wait we still have to fight with Nemesis! Mamoru is now unbrainwashed and apologizes to Sailor Moon, supposedly for making out with their daughter and attacking her, and she says it’s okay as if he was apologizing for leaving his dirty laundry on the floor or something. A funny exchange though in seriousness he had no control over his actions, and this is really why Sailor Moon is so easy to forgive him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Prince Demande fights Nemesis

Prince Demande tries to attack Nemesis. This doesn’t work and he dies. So everyone tries to attack him and this doesn’t really work. We then go into Nemesis and learn that the true identity of Nemesis who was Death Phantom was Wise Man is actually Death Phantom, so we’re back to calling him that for now. This can get a little confusing. He is indeed the criminal that was kicked out of Crystal Tokyo for killing a bunch of people. He slowly made Nemesis full of evil energy and acquired the power he has today. He’ll probably be getting what he deserves… next time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 25 - Death Phantom

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Neo Queen Serenity

Next, on July 17th, is Act 26, Replay – Neverending. This final Black Moon story will wrap up anything related to Crystal Tokyo, the Black Moon Clan, Nemesis and Chibiusa, though Chibiusa continues to be present in the Infinity story arc which follows. This will, as far as we know, be the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. There have been no episodes confirmed as following Act 26. This past weekend at Anime Expo at Viz’s official Sailor Moon panel it was stated that Act 26 was the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. If there are any plans for additional episodes, not even Viz who is releasing the show domestically has any knowledge of such plans.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Replay - Never Ending

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview for Act 26.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa with the symbol of the Black Moon Clan

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Sailor Moon is kidnapped by Prince Demande and we get tons of exposition from him about the Black Moon Clan and from Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Black Lady

One of the first images of the episode has Sailor Moon seeing what appears to be Chibiusa, but a bit older. This is a glimpse of a character we will be seeing a lot more of in a couple of episodes. The episode touches on how old Chibiusa is and it turns out she’s 900! This is not something that was ever dealt with in the Anime but that happens in the Manga. Chibiusa is born when Usagi is relatively young, she just never ages. This is an odd plot point which takes away some of the sympathy the viewers may have for her. She still outwardly appears to be a child but then how much of our ways of thinking are determined by the amount of life experiences we’ve had and how much are based on the biological state of our brains, which change quite a bit throughout life. A true 900 year old child would likely be extremely mature and intelligent in some ways but still frustratingly immature in others. Chibiusa doesn’t seem to be a well thought out and well researched example of how such a person would turn out, but rather she is simply portrayed as a child.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Prince Demande kisses Neo Queen Serenity

Prince Demande kidnapped Sailor Moon, but why? It seems this is a good strategic move on his part, but it turns out it’s quite personal. Demande is completely infatuated with the future Neo Queen Serenity but since she’s unobtainable (surrounded by a Crystal) he’s settling for going back in time and getting her younger self! Prince Demande is completely terrible and uses mind control to rape kiss Usagi. Usagi seems to have bad luck since this is pretty much what Mamoru did for their first kiss at the masquerade dance party. In that case she was asleep, not being mind controlled, but she was unable to consent in both cases. When she thinks about Mamoru the image that comes to her mind is of him naked and hovering above her. This is likely from when they had sex a few episodes ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Naked Mamoru

We learn a lot more about the Black Moon Clan’s backstory. They seem to not like that people aren’t able to die, so they agree with a lot of sci fi movies and people who aren’t that old in feeling that people shouldn’t live really long. It’s a bit of the naturalistic fallacy. Since we never see much about the day to day lives of the people of Crystal Tokyo it’s a bit hard for us to really determine whether or not there has been any negative impact to living for 1000 years. We can imagine perhaps some level of complacency setting in or perhaps some problems with population growth but none of this is demonstrated so it’s very hard for us to have any sort of sympathy for Prince Demande and his cohorts.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - The weird island that is Crystal Tokyo

We get a better look at the future city of Crystal Tokyo as we see images of the Evil Black Crystal landing in Tokyo. First when seen from the side we see that the edges of the main island that the Crystal Palace is on get thinner towards the bottom, which is the opposite of how a real island would form. It looks from this point of view that this island is perhaps not naturally forming or even moved as a chunk of earth from elsewhere. When seen from above we see an image of the city in which is clearly Tokyo Bay. When comparing it to current satellite photos of Tokyo the shape of the coast somewhat matches to the point where we can make out some landmarks. The location of the island does not match that of Azuba Juban from present day Tokyo where most of the series takes place. It’s unclear whether the main island is completely new here or somewhat carved out of existing land. It exists in a part of the bay which is largely built up over the water. One reader suggested global warming melted ice caps causing some of Tokyo to sink and that this build up was the result. I would suggest that perhaps a chunk of the Moon which housed the Crystal Palace was moved to the Earth to create this island, though no specific evidence of this is given.

Tokyo in the 21st Century vs. 30th Century Crystal Tokyo

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Ami, Makoto and Rei

We see where Ami, Makoto and Rei have been, though we don’t see much in the way of detail. They’re in this room that unlike its manga equivalent is not filled with a bunch of decaying bodies. That would probably have been a bit gross. We’ll see more of what they’re up to next time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa gets bullied for not looking exactly like her mother

Chibiusa goes through the events we didn’t see of her adventure to date. This reveals to us that she took the Silver Crystal in a smash and grab and seems to believe that this is why the Black Moon Clan attacked. We see some nice scenes of her with her father, King Endymion. There is this recurring theme that she is somehow overshadowed by her parents and that no one really cares about Chibiusa. Of course, because people generally don’t have any interest when royalty has children. Children make fun of Chibiusa because she doesn’t look like her parents. Is that why she copies her mother’s hair style? Who’s her pink haired mother? Jem? Pinkie Pie?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Not Chibiusa

Apparently pink hair isn’t unique in Crystal Tokyo as we see Prince Demande try to kill a young Chibiusa clone who herself has pink hair. Who is this girl? In the manga she doesn’t look much like Chibiusa and is quickly killed. Here it almost seems as if either Prince Demande or Neo Queen Serenity mistakes this girl for Chibiusa, causing them to come into contact with each other.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa sees Usagi fail a test

Chibiusa flashes back to seeing Usagi getting scolded by her mother for getting a 30 on her test. Wait what? That was the first episode which was a long time before Chibiusa appeared. Does she just consistently get grades of 30% on her tests? Did Ami’s influence do nothing to improve her grades? Upon close examination the test is not actually the same one. Compare the test images below to see the differences. Her original Act 1 test is on the left and her new test is on the right.

Usagi's tests Act 1 vs. Act 21

When Chibiusa is seen on her first visits to Sailor Pluto she is completely cool with it because all members of Silver Millennium are welcome at the Space-Time Door! So why exactly did she try to kill Sailor Moon a few episodes ago? Perhaps it’s because she’s in love with King Endymion and is trying to eliminate the competition! Chibiusa seems somewhat traumatized to see Sailor Pluto showing affection for him. No she isn’t upset because of what this means for King Endymion and her mother, but because she is jealous of Sailor Pluto’s affections.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Sailor Pluto and King Endymion

Finally, Chibiusa loses her Key of Space-Time and ends up in Wise Man’s hands! We see Chibiusa with a Black Moon Clan symbol on her forehead, which is usually something we only ever see on her head once she’s transformed into Black Lady. In the manga when she meets Wise Man she has the symbol of the White Moon on her forehead. Chibiusa is wearing her white school uniform with short sleeves when she takes Wise Man’s hand. This makes perfect sense!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

Next time is Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis. Somehow now Chibiusa is back in her dark blue school uniform! This show can’t seem to keep these uniform colours straight! It’s very simple. Chibiusa has a dark blue long sleeved uniform which she wears in the future and when she first arrives in the past. Once Chibiusa enrols in school she gets a white short sleeved uniform which, multiple animation mistakes aside, she wears from then on. She has the short sleeved uniform on when she meets Wise Man but now we see her taking his hand, a scene we just saw in the episode we were watching minutes ago, but somehow she has her long sleeved blue uniform on again. Will this be corrected before the next episode? We hope so!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

The next episode will be available on May 16th. We won’t actually get to see what happens with Chibiusa in this episode as it will instead focus on what Sailor Moon and the rest of the Sailor Guardians are up to. We will get a good look at Black Lady next month!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Hidden Agenda - Nemesis

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week is Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto. The gang travels to the future and are confronted by Sailor Pluto, but not after Mamoru and Usagi spend the night together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Artemis wants to save the Sailor Guardians

As the episode opens Chibiusa is pleading for Sailor Moon to come to the future to help her mother. Artemis doesn’t care much about that, but has the idea that if the Black Moon Clan is the one that attacked her future city, that might be where Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter are waiting. It would be nice to think that the gang goes to the future to rescue Chibiusa’s family, but in reality they have the ulterior motive of rescuing their friends. Regardless they decide to go, but not before a sleepover!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Usagi and Mamoru having sex

Chibiusa wants to sleep at Mamoru’s, but she’s not alone! Mamoru tucks her into bed with Luna-P which is kind of funny because it looks like Luna-P is a full sized human and that the ball is just a head. Following this Usagi and Mamoru share a tender moment in which Usagi expresses her jealousy for Chibiusa and then they have sex. This happens in the manga as well. It’s fairly obvious what happens but here it’s even less ambiguous. They kiss, they lie down, they hold each other’s hands and they sleep together. We later see them the morning after where Mamoru puts a white shirt on Usagi. He’s wearing one, Chibiusa is wearing one and Usagi is wearing one. It looks like Mamoru has nothing but white dress shirts in his closet and that he loves putting them on women. I’m not sure why anyone finds this comfortable. These aren’t the shirts that Mamoru wears under his tuxedo. Those have little folds on the collar and frills along the front. These are white dress shirts Mamoru keeps seemingly exclusively for putting on women who don’t fit in them. Not sure I see the appeal of this comfort but it seems to work for him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - This is not how time travel works

In the pre-sex conversation Mamoru sees Usagi almost disappear. What is this? Is Usagi meant to be disappearing because of all this time travel? This is really not how time travel works. If past Usagi was affected I can understand the time travel plot of having future Usagi disappear, as silly as this concept is. But here it’s future Usagi that is in danger while past Usagi is fading a bit. How odd. Perhaps that’s not what this is meant to be at all though. Perhaps this is an omen Mamoru has about the future dangers to Usagi.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - You had one job

We decide to go to the future! Everyone has one job and one job only to ensure this is a success! Hold on to Chibiusa’s hand and don’t let go! They do this and as soon as the time travel starts everyone lets go! Well done folks. This leads to some confusion in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto uses Dead Scream on Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Venus, Luna and Artemis are the first to arrive at the Space-Time Door. Sailor Pluto is there and she doesn’t seem to care that they are Sailor Guardians! She uses her lethal Dead Scream attack on the whole lot of them. Time travel is sort of frowned upon and Sailor Pluto’s job is to kill people that do this. She’s pretty soft on Chibiusa though as she does nothing to punish her for traveling through time to save her mother. Sailor Pluto makes a comment which I’ve seen translated differently so it’s hard to interpret. In the English translation of the manga and of Sailor Moon Crystal she mentions that “You guys” have always caused trouble for her, which one would assume means Chibiusa and Sailor Moon. This insinuates that she knows fully well who Sailor Moon is and who she has become in the future but is still willing to kill her! The other translation I’ve seen in the French version of the comic simply says that Chibiusa is causing her trouble, or in another French translation that Sailor Moon treats Chibiusa like Sailor Pluto has. If Sailor Pluto really does know who Sailor Moon is murdering her seems like a pretty extreme reaction to running into her in the Space-Time Corridor. While the true identity of Sailor Moon is a mystery to the viewers and inhabitants of the 20th century it doesn’t seem like it’s something she keeps secret from the future inhabitants of Crystal Tokyo.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Princess Chibiusa

We learn that Chibiusa is a Princess! Boy I wonder who her parents are then? We see an image of her in a princess dress that is very similar to the one Princess Serenity and the young Queen Serenity wore. Perhaps this is simply the style in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chiral and Achiral - White and whiter

The villains this week are Chiral and Achiral of the Black Moon Clan. In the original anime they were Droids but in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal they are human. In the manga Chiral is white and Achiral has darker skin. In Sailor Moon Crystal they are white and whiter. What’s next. A white Sailor Pluto? In the manga Sailor Pluto has darker skin. She isn’t black but she is certainly more tanned than the other Sailor Guardians. In Sailor Moon Crystal she’s not much darker than most of the other characters.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Animation mistake - Miscoloured Cutie Moon Rod

While being attacked Sailor Moon tries to use her Cutie Moon Rod but is unable to. We see it partially in black and white but it’s handle is still in colour. An obvious animation error which I expect to be fixed in the Blu-Ray release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - So many dead people in fancy clothes that look nothing like Chibiusa's

We get to Crystal Tokyo. It’s really bad here. We get a look at what it was like before the “explosion” and it looked quite nice but we also see an image of Chibiusa amongst a lot of bodies of what appear to be normal inhabitants of the city. Their clothes are completely ancient looking. They seem to match closely to what we saw in Silver Millennium on the Moon back in the day or even on Earth during this undetermined time period. Surely it’s not that far fetched that society would revert to some classic looking styles in the distant future. Some formal wear resemble very old clothing in many ways, such as the Tuxedo that King Endymion wears or the dress that Neo Queen Serenity wears. Why then does Chibiusa have a 20th century style school uniform? Her 20th century clothes stick out amongst these other examples of clothes which appear to some 1000 years older, all of this being set 1000 years in our future. But what do I know about style?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Queen Serenity's tomb

We get a nice look at Neo Queen Serenity. She’s lying on what looks like a tomb. It has an inscription on it that says “< <>>”. What’s that about? It looks like Roman Numerals to me, but what do they mean? I wondered at first if perhaps this was Neo Queen Serenity’s birth and death dates. She would be born around 1978 and would have died some time in the 30th Century, that being the year 2900 to 2999. MDC is 1600. CXXXIII is 133. I can’t make any sense of this. Anyone have any thoughts on that? One notable thing is that Neo Queen Serenity’s hair appears to be white, not the blonde that it should be. This could just be an artifact of the Crystal which is enveloping her.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Diana

Next up is Diana the cat! We learned earlier this week that she would be voiced by Shoko Nakagawa but we don’t actually hear her say anything in this episode. Her presence is overshadowed by the appearance of a familiar face. Sailor Moon immediately recognizes him as being the future version of Tuxedo Mask. Only this man is not dressed in a black Tuxedo but instead all in white. Why not lavendar? King Endymion in the original anime has a lavendar Tuxedo but is this not the case in the manga? Indeed he is almost always seen in black and white and wearing a very light coloured outfit but it is mentioned as being lavender and is shown in the opening colour pages of Act 20 as being of a lavender colour.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Chibiusa and King Endymion

Sailor Moon Manga Act 19 - King Endymion

A cool effect exists for this episode. Whenever a character had an extreme emotional reaction, surprise, anger, shock, they showed a funny expression with a comical border. Fans can’t help but notice the similarity between these borders and those used in the original English dub by DiC. These borders were used at the beginning in the episode previews and again at the end during the “Sailor Says” segments. The one included below for comparison is from the episode preview for the second episode.

DiC Border vs. Sailor Moon Crystal border

Next up is Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion. The next episode preview drops of bit of a spoiler. It’s already been stated that King Endymion is the future version of Tuxedo Mask. The preview has Chibiusa calling him “Papa”. We now know, as if we couldn’t guess it, that Mamoru is Chibiusa’s father. It’s not much of a stretch to figure that her mother, Neo Queen Serenity, is actually Usagi. The series has not done a terribly good job of trying to hide this from us but I feel like by now we are expected to have figured this out a while ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Crystal Tokyo - Endymion

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Sailor Moon R episodes 81 and 82 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 81 - Momoko and Kyuusuke

The latest episodes of Sailor Moon R have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we very slowly make the decision to go to the future as Chibiusa decides to go back to Crystal Tokyo and then we take an entire episode to chill in limbo trying to get there.

Sailor Moon R episode 81 - Droid Chiral and Achiral

Episode 81, The Dark Gate Is Completed? the Targeted Elementary School, introduces us to Chibiusa’s school friends Momoko and Kyuusuke. Momoko is presented as Chibiusa’s good friend, as she will be later in the series. Kyuusuke is kind of along for the ride and will later be seen as having a crush on Momoko. We haven’t gotten much of a look at her circle of friends outside of the main characters from the show but it would seem that part of Chibiusa’s plan to get the Silver Crystal and save the future involves enrolling in the local school and attending each day. We learn in a bit of a flashback to Chibiusa’s first day at school that Kyuusuke gave her the nickname of Chibiusa while teasing her for being small. Chibi is a slang term to mean small person or small child in Japan, so this fits. The Usa part is simply short for Usagi, the name which she got from her mother, whoever that will turn out to be. Esmeraude has filled Chibiusa’s school with evil energy, causing children to hilariously attack each other. This brings us to our villains Chiral and Achiral. These two appear as members of the Black Moon Clan in the manga. Sailor Moon kills them with her Moon Princess Halation which would, if they are humans, be the only people she kills in the entire season. While Sailor Moon kills many Droids she has a great record when it comes to humans this season. She heals the Ayakashi Sisters one by one. For liability purposes it is fire and less so Esmeraude that kills Rubeus. Without getting into spoilers Esmeraude is not technically killed as a human and then Saphir and Demande do not die by Sailor Moon’s hand. So what are these characters? They have gems on them which indicates that they may be Droids, but are not clearly referred to as such in the episode and we do not see them created or get turned into a pile of ash like other Droids. I pondered this question for years until finally I saw the Sailor Moon R Memorial. The Memorials are single season summaries narrated by Luna which were released on video. In the Sailor Moon R Memorial all of the season’s Droids are listed including, as the caption in the image below shows, Droid Chiral and Achiral. Indeed, Sailor Moon’s hands remain unsullied by murder for the Sailor Moon R season! As the episode wraps up Chibiusa decides it’s time to go back to the future and save her family.

Sailor Moon R Memorial - Droid Chiral and Achiral

Sailor Moon R episode 82 - The Space-Time Door

Episode 82, Journey to the Future: Battle in the Space-Time Corridor, covers our long trip to the future! I remember how excited I was, back in the 90s, having waited so long for new episodes and watching VHS fan subs of Sailor Moon R. I just wanted to see them get to the future already! How exciting that we are finally going, and we spend a whole damned episode just traveling through time! Chibiusa has finally decided to bring the Sailor Team and Tuxedo Mask to the future with her to rescue her mother with the help of the Key of Space-Time. This doesn’t go as smoothly as one would hope. First things first, we see Sailor Pluto! While she had a decent part in the Black Moon arc of the manga Sailor Pluto doesn’t get much attention during this season of the anime, as her appearance is limited to what we saw in a dream and her protecting the Space-Time Door. She tries to attack Sailor Moon, not recognizing her, but stops when Chibiusa interjects. Sailor Pluto sort of exists outside of time so it’s not really clear how old she is or just what time she comes from or goes to, but it doesn’t really matter in this season’s context as she just exists in this vortex which is between time. What follows is a lengthy walk through the Space-Time Corridor where it’s terribly important not to let go of your partner’s hand, only that is exactly what happens. Chibiusa sees a familiar looking face in her mother who turns out to be a Droid. The monster is killed and everything is great until they get to the other side of the corridor. It turns out that really terrible view of Crystal Tokyo we saw in Chibiusa’s dream was actually incredibly accurate. The future really sucks and everything is really wrecked. More on that next week when we actually get to spend a little time in the future!

Sailor Moon R episode 82 - Sailor Pluto and Chibiusa

Sailor Moon R episode 82 - Crystal Tokyo destroyed

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Chibiusa and Sailor Pluto revealed in this Sailor Moon Crystal second season trailer

Sailor Moon Crystal season 2 trailer - Chibiusa pointing a gun at Usagi

A trailer for the second story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, set to begin on January 17th, has been added to the official Sailor Moon web site. This trailer features scenes with Chibiusa and Sailor Pluto. Check it out below.

This was shown at an event in Japan today where Misato Fukuen was revealed to be the voice of Chibiusa and Ai Maeda was revealed as the voice of Sailor Pluto.

Sailor Moon Crystal event revealing the voice of Chibiusa

Clips in this trailer cover many events from the second story arc, which though technically part of Sailor Moon Crystal’s first year and therefore first season, is being referred to by many as the second season of the series. This second story arc is also being referred as the second phase. The main thing shown is Chibiusa, who appears from the future to threaten Usagi with a gun. More clips show her with Luna P and jump ahead quite a bit to show us the Space-Time Door, Sailor Pluto, Crystal Tokyo, Nemesis and the Evil Black Crystal. Also pictured are new transformation items for the Sailor Guardians including Sailor Moon’s Star Pendant.

Sailor Moon Crystal season 2 trailer - Sailor Pluto

The note at the end of the trailer mentions the next episode showing on January 3rd though it does not seem likely that any of these clips will be appearing in act 13 which will be released on that date. Chibiusa will be appearing in act 14, An Ending and Then a Beginning – Petite Étrangère, along with the Black Moon Clan who are not shown in this trailer. The banner in the image shown from today’s event mentions January 17th when act 14 will be available. This will mark the end of the Dark Kingdom arc and the beginning of the Black Moon arc.

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