Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Venus Rolling Heart Vibration

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Saturday March 21st on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we have Act 18, Invasion – Sailor Venus, which as the title suggests focuses on Sailor Venus as she faces off against Calaveras, the final remaining Ayakashi Sister.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Rubeus kisses Calaveras

Things are getting pretty bad at this point! Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter have all been kidnapped in standard character order so we focus on Minako, Sailor Venus this week! The Ayakashi Sisters have mostly been killed as well leaving only Calaveras. In her first scene we get a hint at a relationship between Rubeus and herself as he kisses her on the neck. She’s obviously upset over the death of her sisters as she summons their ghosts, doing channeling which is kind of her shtick. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from readers who don’t like my criticism of pseudoscience in my reviews. Indeed I’m not about to discount the magic and time travel aspects of the show but when the characters present pseudoscientific beliefs such as this week’s channelling as being true, I feel I must point out that such things are not legit. This is especially true this season as there is an obvious recurring theme with the Black Moon Clan reveling in pseudoscience which some believe to be true, as opposed to the general fantastic nature of the show which is obviously science fiction.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Ayakashi Sisters' ghosts

Calaveras does a public channeling of Rubeus, showing the future, but does she even need to do this? We see that she does actually have channelling powers but the people of Tokyo don’t really know this. She claims to have knowledge of the future because of this but that’s simply because she is from the future. Much like Koan’s ability to see the future could have been made up, so could have Calaveras. But the point of the show is not that the enemy is pretending to have great powers. They happen to actually have some and convince the world as such, while still relying on subterfuge.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Momoko and Ikuko Tsukino

Chibiusa’s friend Momoko is introduced this week. Her hair colour in the original anime was first brown and later purple. Here we see her with bright red almost pink hair. Though the manga is mostly black and white Momoko is shown to have bright red hair when presented in colour making this her correct hair colour. The rest of her image is a bit odd. She is given a thin waist and breasts, which is not fitting with a character that is meant to be Chibiusa’s class mate.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Umino with a DVD

Naru and Umino appear in this act. While the original manga had a “video” mentioned it was not actually shown. It is assumed this was a VHS tape or less likely a laser disk as DVD did not exist in the early 90s. A DVD is seen once again in Sailor Moon Crystal, updating the technology of the show for 2015 standards but still not embracing Blu-Ray for whatever reason. Naru reveals that she knows that something is up with Usagi and her friends, hinting that she either suspects she is Sailor Moon or is otherwise involved. It’s nice to see this friendship continue despite Usagi spending so much time with her more super powered friends and her new boyfriend.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Windows operating system

When watching the DVD we get a look at the computers at the school. These are clearly Windows PC type computers. In the past in the series it was all macs, with the tablets having what appeared to be a mix between iOS, Apple’s handheld OS, and Mac OS, the full fledge OS for Mac desktops and laptops. This does not have any of the Apple look to it. The desktop folders look like Windows folders, the S shaped icon is similar to the Internet Explorer E. There are icons matching the My Computer, My Network Places and Recycle Bin icons. The Media Player app showing the video looks like Windows Media Player, complete with the menu options, controls and window borders. The only thing which is out of place is the Opera icon on the task bar. Who uses Opera anymore? Just like with the DVDs the Opera web browser is something that is still around but certainly obsolete by anyone who cares about technology!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - The Shitennou as ghosts

The Shitennou finally reappear in this episode! Fans of the original Anime would expect them to be confined to the first season but like with the manga Sailor Moon Crystal is not done with them. Mamoru still has the stones that represent the four Shitennou and he uses them to channel their ghosts, similar to the way Calaveras does with her sisters. He consults them about what’s going on as they are once again shown to be sympathetic heroes, loyal to Mamoru, not the villains they were when working for the Dark Kingdom.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Moon Tiara Boomerang

Sailor Venus uses her Rolling Heart Vibration attack in this episode. In the manga she used this against Tuxedo Mask but in Sailor Moon Crystal this is the first time she uses it. Sailor Moon also uses her Moon Tiara Boomerang attack again. This did not occur in the manga. Artemis also gets some action this week as he is seen taking out a cameraman!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber

Tuxedo Mask is the one to get a new power in this episode as he gets his first attack Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber. As he does this he shoots a kind of energy from his hands. Why not smoke? The term smoking here does not refer to actual smoke. It’s a reference “smoking”, the French term for Tuxedo. As a French Canadian this term is not one I would use but I was exposed to it reading the French translations of the Sailor Moon manga which was my first exposure to the books. One thing to note about Tuxedo Mask in this episode is that he is no longer wearing his hat. If the manga is any indication he will not be bringing his hat to the future and so we won’t be seeing it again in the series. Tuxedo Mask in the original anime wore his hat consistently when in costume but in the Manga he wears it less and eventually stops wearing it altogether.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 - Chibiusa steals Usagi's transformation broach the Crystal Star

Chibiusa is a bit of a brat in this one. She steals Sailor Moon’s transformation item, the Crystal Star, because she wants the Silver Crystal. Usagi is mad at her naturally but when Chibiusa is in danger she is quick to defend her. This is a perfect illustration of Usagi and Chibiusa’s relationship. They get on each other’s nerves and are usually at odds with each other but when it really counts they do care for each other. Chibiusa returns Usagi’s broach, allowing her to transform. She then mentions that she took it because she want to take it to the future to save her mother. She mentions that she knows that a Silver Crystal out of it’s time period will not work but she still needs to try. Why does she think this? Clearly the Silver Crystal of the future works in the past or there would be no Sailor Chibi Moon! But that’s a story for another day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto

Next time on April 4th is Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto. Indeed, we will be seeing Sailor Pluto for the first time! We will have the team heading to 30th century Crystal Tokyo in the hopes of helping out Chibiusa’s mother.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Time Warp - Sailor Pluto

Chibiusa’s shirt gate continues! In the next episode preview we see Chibiusa in both her blue uniform, which she brought from the future, and her white uniform, which she gets in the past. The scene with the white uniform looks like some of the flashbacks we’ve seen. Chibiusa didn’t have her white uniform back in 30th century Crystal Tokyo so what is going on here? This doesn’t necessarily need to be a problem. The blue uniform could be a flashback to Chibiusa arriving and the white could be what she’s wearing when she arrives in the 30th century as it’s the uniform she wears to the future in the manga, and what she is wearing at the end of act 18.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chibiusa in the future with a white outfit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chibiusa falling - Blue uniform

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

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

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

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing Queen Beryl

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

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

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - The Shitennou

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Sailor Moon killing herself

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 12 - Enemy - Queen Metaria

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


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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - The Sailor Team defeating Metalia

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

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 13 - Final Battle - Reincarnation

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

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