Archive for July, 2014

Fighting evil by moonlight – Let’s Watch Sailor Moon Crystal, Ep1!

July 11, 2014

So, I realized that I actually quite like reviewing stuff (see the Fate/Zero posts), and being that Sailor Moon, the show that I’d always try to watch as a little kid but could never get home in time for just got a reboot, this is as good a show as any to start doing it again. I’ll be approaching this from the perspective of someone who knows the general idea of the original material, but am very fuzzy on the details beyond “five young teenage girls WITH ATTITUDE (and the main girl’s boyfriend, and her little sister or something?) fight the forces of evil!” So, let’s see how this holds up.

Let’s get this show on the road

We open with a shot of the solar system.

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

Cut to a sparkly queen woman floating into the arms of a sparkly bishounen man, about to liplock…but it was all just a dream, as Usagi Tsukino, 14-year-old schoolgirl, wakes up and is late for school.

7:00AM, waking up in the morning/Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs/Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal

In her hurry, she steps on a cat (a very resilient cat, if it can take the full weight of a person), removes the strange bandaid on its head to uncover a moon-shaped bald patch (nope, nothing strange about that at all), and then runs away when it tries to scratch the hell out of her face. Usagi finally makes it to school, but is like super late and has to stand outside.

Meanwhile, a wild ANTAGONIST appears! He calls up some kind of shadow demon woman and tells her to find a “Legendary Silver Crystal”.

Summon Minion

Cut back to school. Usagi is daydreaming about the princess from her dream. Test results are out and…holy crap, Usagi, how the hell did you get a 30!? BETCH ARE YOU EVEN ASIAN. Although, to be fair, it’s an English exam, and who cares about that, right? English is like hella useless anyway, it’s just lit crit that is rendered utterly redundant by tvtropes – oh, wait, they’re in Japan, this is the *language* class which is actually useful. Ah well, it’s okay Usagi, who needs English when you can just speak American instead?

Asian Grading Scale: A=Acceptable, B=Bad, C=Crap, D=Death, F=Fake your death and start a new life elsewhere

During the same time, we’re introduced to her muggle friends, a girl named Naru and this super nerdguy named Umino. Being that I know enough of the show to know that they’re not going to be Sailor Scouts later, we can safely write them off as unimportant, I think.

School lets out, and Usagi is talking to her friends. There’s been a rash of break-ins, apparently, but some vigilante named Sailor V caught them…wait, there’s already a Sailor V? This is somewhat new to me. I thought Moon was the first one, and then she finds all the other ones? Anyways, one of her friends then notes that she can totally relate to robbers – who wouldn’t want to steal jewelry? It’s so pretty!

…wimmenz, amirite? </trollface>

We learn that Naru’s mom owns a jewelry store, and they’re having a discount sale, so the girls go. Naru notes that this is actually the first time they’ve done this kind of thing, and now that she mentions it, her mom does bear a slight resemblance to the shadow woman that appeared earlier…and now she’s internally monologuing about feeding off the shoppers’ exuberant energy.

Hey, vuja de

Usagi left, because her test scores are unlikely …she has now bumped into Bishounen McDreamy (yes, I know it’s Tuxedo Mask/Darien/whatever his Japanese name is, but that’s just what I’m going to call him, as he appears with bishie sparkles and everything)

So…how long until they’re going on spaghetti dates while adorable stray animals serenade them in Italian?

Anyway, turns out this guy’s looking for the silver crystal too. Cut to Usagi walking around wishing she was Sailor V, then she wouldn’t have to put up with any of this. She ends up at the arcade, wherein she hits on this random other hawt guy who works as a part timer. Motoki is his name, but being that he too is a muggle, I think we can write him off as unimportant.

Welcome to the Friendzone. Please take off your shoes.

Usagi goes home, sees the cat again, and notices the moon mark on its head. More importantly, her mom notices her test score. Oh jeez, run for your life, Usagi! Tiger Mom up in this bitch!

Usagi gets kicked out of the house, while her younger brother gets back home – wait, she has a younger brother? I thought pink-hair chibi girl (forgot her name) was her only sibling? Anyway, cut to Tuxedo Mask, sneaking around, operating operationally. And then to Naru’s mom, who is absorbing life energy from everyone who bought jewelry using the jewels themselves as a conduit. Naru walks in on her…which she shouldn’t have done, because now Monster-Mom is going to silence her forever.

Cut to eye-catch…ok the pitch black on the skin is somewhat creepy. Seriously you start looking from the bottom up and it’s like…okay, she’s just got leggings on, whatevs, leggings are hot, and then you look up and HER FACE IS BLANK.


Cut to Usagi who has a dream of the princess again, only to be woken up by a scratch. It’s the cat, and HOLY FUCK the cat can talk. Its name is Luna, and it tells Usagi that there’s trouble in the city, but she can help! …but Usagi ignores her, thinking it’s just a dream. Fortunately, Luna knows how to get a girl’s attention…with shinies! Unfortunately, she didn’t count on Usagi being so focused on the shiny that she still is ignoring Luna. But soon enough, Usagi starts paying attention, and Luna teaches her to say the words. Cut transformation sequence!

In brightest day…in darkest night…no evil shall escape my sight…let those who worship evil’s might…beware my power, Green Lantern’s Light!

So she’s transformed…and apparently her hair buns are also evil-detecting radar!? This is new to me. Cut to Tuxedo Mask, about to dynamic entry into the jewelry store…but Usagi beats him to it. Naru’s Mom (who reveals that she’s not the real mom, just a replacement who’s tied up the real one in a basement somewhere) is all like, “who the heck are you?” Cue the time honored tradition of new superheroes realizing that they forgot to pick out a name…so Usagi decides on Sailor Moon. Demon Mom is unimpressed though, and calls up a bunch of mind controlled minions, for which Usagi is entirely unprepared, running around like a chicken with its head cut off while Luna facepalms.


Anyway, Usagi falls down and begins crying…but fortunately for her, she has Black Canary’s sonic scream which knocks out all the minions, leaving just Mother Monster (no, not that one). Luna teaches her another attack…and oh hey her tiara turns into a chakram that obliterates Monsters Of The Episode in one hit.

Normally I’d start referring to you as Xena, Warrior Princess at that point…but Rachel from Animorphs already laid claim to that title.

With the Monster defeated, Tuxedo Mask now formally introduces himself, before leaping into the night.

I must now flee…sexily.

Meanwhile, Sailor Moon is now being watched through an EVIL crystal ball. The next day, Naru only remembers passing out but seeing a Sailor Guardian come to save her. We end on Luna noticing a blue-haired girl walking around campus, one of a…mercurial disposition, as it were.


OK, so, not bad for an introductory episode. It follows a pretty standard origin story format. We meet our main character, our main love interest, a couple of unimportant muggles, and the bad guys are somewhat vague right now, but I’m sure they’ll start making more frequent appearances once Usagi gets her team together (dibs on Jupiter, btw).

On a technical front, animation is nice and crisp, and the CGI looks pretty good. Hidden villains are always good from where I stand, as long as the mains are making a decent effort to locate them.

Until next ep.