**SPOILERS SO BAD** I am not even kidding
Episode 12: Enemy – Queen Metalia
This is another INTENSE, heartbreaking episode. You’ve been warned.
Beryl had just informed everyone that Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen is Prince Endymion reincarnated. His attacks are destroying the Command Center, so Sailor Mercury uses a (likely one-time) trick – she creates a “Hyperspatial Sphere” so that they can fight in another dimension and not destroy anything.
Beryl immobilizes everyone with her evil hair, but Venus is SO BADASS – she calls out for the sword from the Moon and her extreme level of badassery causes it to materialize in her hand.
Venus frees everyone from Beryl’s hair, and after some fighting, Sailor Moon gets the sword and they all rush at Beryl. Mercury figures out that Beryl’s necklace is the object that connects her to Queen Metalia, so Sailor Moon attacks the necklace; however, the sword – having been turned to stone a millennia ago – can’t break it. But Sailor Moon sees Evil Tuxedo and wishes that he would not be evil any more, and this desire restores the sword to metal and thus Beryl’s necklace is broken.
Despite the havoc Beryl has wreaked during the past twelve episodes, I felt sad during the next scene. Her power gone, Beryl starts disintegrating. Her mind turns to a centuries-old memory of seeing Prince Endymion and Princess Serenity in a castle garden; Beryl had wanted to be with Endymion too, which had allowed Queen Metalia to corrupt her.
Reaching out to Evil Tuxedo Kamen, her body disappears into dust. It was a great decision to end her life in such a way – acknowledging that even Queen Beryl was once able to love.
Sailor Moon discovers that the newly-healed Moon sword has writing on it! And it is such cool writing too. I’m a sucker for made-up writing systems (looking at you, Tolkien Elvish), and this writing looks so Moon-like with all the arcs and circles. I love it!
Metalia, who must now work through Tuxedo Kamen, orders him to take the sword, so he steals it and runs away through a portal. Sailor Moon follows him, but the other Senshi don’t get there in time. Sailor Moon is on her own.
She chases Evil Tuxedo to Metalia’s lair in the North Pole, and tries to remind him of who he is. He’s confused, but it’s going to take more than saying their names to snap him out of this. He wants to know why the Legendary Silver Crystal won’t glow and promptly starts fighting with Sailor Moon.
In the meantime, the remaining Scouts travel to the North Pole in an energy bubble and encounter Beryl’s generals, which I probably should have been calling the “Four Kings” this entire time (sorry). They attack the girls, so now we have brainwashed evil guys beating up their former girlfriends – it’s pretty bad news.
Sailor Moon is about to give up when Luna (via a communicator) tells her that the sword has instructions for binding Queen Metalia – Sailor Moon needs to use the Silver Crystal. However, a shard of the Crystal went into Tuxedo Kamen’s body in episode 9 to keep him alive, so… you guessed it – Sailor Moon has to recover that shard. Somehow.
Sailor Moon sees a flash of Queen Serenity, who tells her that the Crystal “depends on the power of your heart”. Evil Tuxedo Kamen points the Moon sword at Sailor Moon, and she’s scared, but she holds out his broken pocketwatch that she had picked up in episode 4 and reminds him that she was going to exchange it for her handkerchief that he’d found. He stumbles back in confusion, which gives her time to release a Moon Healing Escalation.
Elsewhere in the North Pole, the other Scouts are getting tossed around by the Four Kings. They refuse to give up, though, and each declares her desire to protect Sailor Moon. Venus addresses the Four Kings, asking them to remember the person they are destined to protect – Prince Endymion. The girls combine their energies in a Planetary Attack, but unlike last time (in episode 10), they finally succeed in breaking the brainwashing.
The Four Kings finally remember their past lives as Endymion’s bodyguards. Kunzite looks at Venus and says “Venus” because now he knows, and she looks at him with a smile and says “Kunzite” – and then the MOST HEARTBREAKING MOMENT EVER HAPPENS.
Metalia unleashes a torrent of energy and KILLS THE BOYS! Stunned, the Scouts look at the crater left behind and start crying, and I was just as shocked. Even though I knew the boys don’t survive the manga, this came out of nowhere for me and it was beyond tragic for the Four Kings to remember and then be killed. I’m writing this review a week after I saw the episode and I’m still broken up about it.
The spirits of the boys tell the girls that they can’t cry now – they have to save their princess.
And then I think, “So much heartache has happened in this episode. Nothing worse can happen, right?”
Evil Tuxedo Kamen is still evil, and Sailor Moon can’t bear to see him like this any more. Knowing too that she must take back the shard of the Legendary Crystal inside him, she grasps the Moon sword and slices him across the chest.
Then she turns the sword on herself. The girls arrive just in time to see this, screaming “Usagi-chan!!!”
And that’s the end of episode 12.
Not remembering hardly any of the manga, I was shocked at everything, even though I should have seen most of it coming. Sailor Moon even asks, as Tuxedo Mask falls towards her, if it is always their destiny to die tragically together.
It was a fantastic episode and so heart-rending. I suppose the original storyline was too adult to animate it back in the 1990s – I don’t suppose parents would like their ten-year-old daughters to see Sailor Moon commit suicide (twice). I honestly don’t remember what happened in the first anime, either, but I assure you it was not this compelling.