By Antonin Kořenek / October 10th, 2014
WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS for Sailor Moon Crystal Act.6 & 7. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
Act.6: Tuxedo Mask
Act.7: Mamoru Chiba
Where have all the roses gone?
In our last two episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal we got a large amount of Tuxedo Mask time. We also got some teasers of Sailor Venus, but we’ll get to that later.
The two episodes have more in common with each other than I think any of us want to admit. We have some silly actions that left me scratching my head, useless (in battle) Sailor Guardians, and the whole city rioting.
And as cool as I am with the idea of the whole city being put under mind control… twice? Really? These people were actively breaking windows. You’d figure after the first time, the Japanese version of the CDC would have the place quarantined to make sure there’s no strange illness going around. Even more so if it was the whole country. What about insurance rates? Those poor shop owners.
In both episodes, the city Usagi lives in has most of the population turned into mindless drones. The first time she sees this she’s too scared to transform or, ya know, help her friends out. They are in the process of getting their butts kicked too. That alone bothered me because, unlike Matoko kicking ass without Sailor powers before, they hardly put up a fight. The Sailor Guardians are supposed to be badass and not (usually) have to wait around for their fearless leader.
Did I mention that Usagi is also scared of transforming in front of Tuxedo Mask? Hello! He went to your bedroom to alert you of stuff. Your secret identity isn’t that secret.
The next episode’s handling of this situation fared a little better. Well, the Sailor Guardians still got their asses handed to them, but at least Usagi was proactive this time around and transformed to distract the angry mob looking for her. Yay for courage!
A great deal of time on episode seven was spent on Mamoru’s past and his feelings for Usagi. It was cute and all but I felt it was a little rushed. With the pace that the show has been going, however, I feel like I should have seen this coming. The final moments the two have in his room, where Mamoru gives Usagi the nickname Usako, kinda made up for the whole thing. Despite the rushed feeling I got from the whole thing, that part felt incredibly genuine.
But man, is it me or did the animation start getting weird again?
Anyway, it concerns me a little that in the sixth episode Usagi doesn’t really leap in to save her friends. That was never the case in the original anime or the manga, but here she just stands there. The Usagi from the manga and original anime wouldn’t have hesitated to save her friends. Sailor Moon Crystal, what are you doing? A main theme of this show is friendship. It’s supposed to be magic or something. Don’t ruin it for the love story. That balance, which is a good lesson to teach, is part of what made the original show and manga great.
Okay. I think I’m done complaining. For now.
One of the moments I really enjoyed was episode seven’s confrontation with Sailor Moon and Zoisite. In it, our heroine begins to prepare her forehead laser beam, but Zoisite doesn’t feel like waiting around for it to charge up and gets her in a headlock. So there goes the trope of the villains always waiting for transformation scenes and such. The stakes are raised really quickly and in comes a punch to the face from Tuxedo Mask. This punching instance is not in the manga, but it is pretty cool.
(Also, whatever happened to all the roses he used to throw? I loved that about him.)
Either way, Zoisite stops fooling around and captures Usagi again. There’s a cute speech from Mamoru that is also not in the manga about not caring about the Silver Crystal and just wanting to be by his Usako-chan. Yet, while insanely adorable, I’m getting miffed by his huge amount of screen time. I do think this will change soon enough…
Because then Sailor Venus shows up! An interesting change from the manga here is that Artemis is a bit more involved. While before all he did is distract Zoisite, now he smashes this giant ice stabby thing to dust. It really emphasizes just how much experience on the battlefield that he and Venus have. They are a team, probably closer than Luna and Usagi ever become.
Huh. I’m going to have to keep an eye out for that.
It amuses me that we got two teasers for Sailor Venus. Well, okay, one as Sailor V, but you get the idea. It definitely broke up the flow in a good way. I had expected Sailor Venus to be a big part of episode seven. I guess she was important, just not what they focused on. I’m willing to bet we’ll get that soon enough though.
The other awesome moment was where Usagi, Rei, and Makoto just hang out at school chatting. It also shows how crappy of a liar Luna is.
One thing I noticed people talking about was the “creepiness” of Mamoru smelling Usagi’s handkerchief. If you are one of those people: um, have you ever been in love? Pheromones are a real thing you know. It explains why you enjoy the scent of your partner. It’s actually part of your immune system telling you whose genes you’re compatible with.
From Psychology Today,
It was found, by Wedekind and his team, that how women rate a man’s body odor pleasantness and sexiness depends upon how much of their MHC profile is shared. Overall, women prefer those scents exuded by men whose MHC profiles varied the most from their own. Hence, any given man’s odor could be pleasingly alluring to one woman, yet an offensive turnoff to another.
So yeah, totally normal. Thank you, science! (And it’s not like Usagi didn’t nab Mamoru’s pocket watch for similar motivations).
One other cool thing I wanted to point out: It appears that, as of episode six, Queen Serenity now officially looks more like she’s supposed to. Before she had Usagi’s color and now she’s gone back to silver. Why wasn’t it like this before? I mean, it’s great that it’s right now… and that it was a silly thing to complain about before… but I just wanna know what happened.
That’s it for this week. I’m rather pumped for some Sailor Venus action. Maybe we’ll get some overdo girl-time with the Sailor Guardians hanging out and being awesome. The first season of the original anime covered only two books of the manga (and that’s also the only amount that was intended to be published). So we’re almost done with the first major arc. My brain is having a hard time thinking of the direction the show is going to go in.
What did you think of these episodes? Annoyed at the sudden downturn of animation? Excited for the Sailor Venus reveal? Too busy caring about the Usagi x Mamoru relationship? Let us know in the comments!
Sailor Moon CrystalToei Animation