Welcome back to the live commentary delayed by a couple of days) of Sailor Moon Crystal. We’ve arrived at episode 20 and we’re in the final stretch now. There has been word of a renewal for another season which is exciting! I know I gripe about the show a lot, but I really do enjoy it.
Below the cut, as always, lie spoilers.
Episode 20: Crystal Tokyo, King Endymion
Animation! :O Okay, no, that needs some explanation. I spent the past few days watching a good ten episodes of Pretty Guardian Sailormoon (almost halfway through!) in quick succession and the animation startled me as a result. Plot revelations are afoot in Crystal!
Usagi, you just saw Chibi-Usa run right through him, why would you expect him to have a reflection?
Nope. No, that revelation is still amusing to me. It’s actually a lot more fun now that we’re not dealing with the affection rivalry we saw in Classic too, perhaps not necessarily in a good way. Usagi and Mamoru are both shocked, but for Usagi there’s going to be a barb of how she treated Chibi-Usa as well and… We won’t see that so much here, I don’t think, but it could well be one of the defining moments for the person she grows into being. You never know when the rude person you meet may turn out to be someone very important to you later on, for whatever reason. And if we’re sticking with the alternate timeline theory then it should affect how Usagi treats her daughter the second time around since she’ll have more knowledge of what Chibi-Usa is like and why she is the way she is. She’ll (presumably) do a better job at combining motherhood with being a queen and find a better balance between the two.
And we get the Diana revelation too. Hee!
Numbers. Hurting my brain. Also exposition. So much exposition. So far we’ve had nine minutes of nothing but exposition and we’re promised yet more. Granted, I don’t mind. We’re about half-way through the story and desperately need some answers and… this is actually a pretty well-integrated way of handling it. Long exposition scenes work better in film and tv, I think, because they’re visual. Your eye’s got other things to look at, the pacing is fixed, and breaks are fairly easy to introduce like they did with Chibi-Usa’s proper introduction.
I’m not entirely sure you really want to be locking up criminals without supervision like that. Didn’t they learn from the first time the Moon Kingdom was destroyed?
Guys, why are you so surprised to learn the Black Moon is using that crystal to invade the past? Their doing that is why you’re here and you learned about it in, uh, like the first episode of this arc? Maybe the second. Pretty early on, anyway, so why are you all acting like this is somehow new information instead of what you just told King Endymion? (Okay, fine. They didn’t tell King Endymion, but it was part of what they were saying.)
USAGI VANISHING! Someone interrupted the exposition! Or, well, time paradoxes are doing that. As a question, though, why aren’t Venus, Artemis and Luna going transparent? Well, the implication there is that they’re dead rather than unconscious, but. Actually, I hope they’re not dead. That’d be one heck of a thing to realise for Venus.
Oh, more exposition! This time on Pluto. Apparently we’re watching the Exposition Episode today.
And as much as I’m going to sigh at Usagi’s outburst there, I do like the follow-up scene where she’s thinking over what happened and what she did and Chibi-Usa’s decision to go home because she’s so unhappy. Poor girl.
And 18 minutes or so into the episode we finally have the Black Moon showing up again. For about two minutes. Esmeraude doesn’t make the best of villains, does she? All the shitennou stuck around a lot longer and did a lot more damage, if I recall. And Tuxedo Kamen saves the day with his newfound attack. I have no idea how I feel about that, I’m sorry. I really don’t. Do I like it because it makes him a part of the team and it’s a much better sense of equality than I’m used to seeing? Do I dislike it because it doesn’t completely flip expected gender roles? I don’t know. A little of both, perhaps. I guess.
And then Demande with his psychic powers paralyses Usagi as he realises she’s the same person as Neo Queen Serenity, whom he likes. Yay we get to keep the “I am obsessed with you” stalker plot. Although I’m impressed by how little the preview actually gives away. And that’s it. I seem to have very little to say about this episode, apologies. It’s just mostly been exposition and some plot progression near the end, so it’s all stuff to mull over and consider.
Here’s a question: if people from the Moon Kingdom stop aging when they’re adults and age as regular humans before that point and if Chibi-Usa is about 700 years old (Which we now know conclusively she is because King Endymion went “Usagi gave birth when she was 22 in the 21st century and stopped aging” at us earlier in the episode, how is Chibi-Usa still a toddler? Shouldn’t she, by the rules set out by the story itself, be an adult by now?
I’m usually pretty happy to ignore numbers in general and with Chibi-Usa specifically, but since the episode itself brought it up the way that it did… I am confused. More so than I already was, I mean. And since we also saw the bodies of everyone lying around unconscious, we can assume that Venus and everyone are not dead, so why weren’t they fading out of existence? Or, perhaps a more accurate question, why did Endymion’s spirit mean Mamoru was fading too? And how did they get onto those slabs in the first place? I assume that was Pluto’s doing somehow, possibly magic on Endymion’s spirit part, but how?
And with those questions, I think I shall leave you all for the week! Hard to believe there are only six episodes left.