Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 18

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Episode 18: Invasion – Sailor Venus

Things are looking serious now that three Scouts have been kidnapped by the Black Moon Clan. One of Petz’s earrings was left behind from the last abduction, which will come up later; for now, the cats want to analyze it.

At the Command Center, Mamoru, Usagi, Minako, and the cats discuss their formidable enemy – and let’s remember that they’ve only encountered Rubeus and his henchwomen, the Ayakashi Sisters. They have no idea about Saphir, Esmeraude, Prince Diamond, and Wiseman.

So, the Scouts think that the Black Moon Clan are probably aliens. Mamoru, who has special feely powers, feels that the three kidnapped Senshi are still alive. (Actually, I really dig that Mamoru has receptive/empathic, rather than projective, psychic powers.)

Minako is adamant that they interrogate Chibi-Usa about the Black Moon Clan, since she seems to be connected to them somehow. So, at Usagi’s house, they’re all ready to confront her, but she’s so happy to see them that they hesitate. And then she sees Mamoru holding Petz’s earring and totally freaks out.

By the way, Chibi-Usa has a friend, Momoko, over from school… elementary school. Now, here’s when I just want to take Naoko Takeuchi to therapy, because she has a major problem drawing girls. There is no way a kid has boobs when they’re in elementary school! Have you ever been in elementary school??

On the Black Moon Clan’s planet, which is called Nemesis (coooooool), the bad guys and girl discuss the loss of three of Rubeus’s Ayakashi Sisters and their reliance on the Malefic Black Crystal, which comes from Nemesis itself. Sapphir points out that as long as they have their Crystal, they’ll be fine, so why bother with all these kidnappings?

Diamond responds that he wants “the ruler of Earth dead first”. Eep! (It’s not clear who exactly he means – he could mean Sailor Moon, perhaps, but he could also be talking about Mamoru, who is known by fans to be a sort of Sailor Earth, since he had been a prince of Earth in his previous life.)

Wiseman disagrees with Sapphir and asserts that as long as the Legendary Silver Crystal exists, the Malefic Black Crystal is not completely invincible. So this arc is shaping up to be a battle of the Crystals.

After Diamond and Wiseman leave, the remaining bad people give some exposition – Wiseman just showed up one day and started to bend Diamond’s ear to his wishes, which obviously center around destroying the Silver Crystal. He also caused Diamond to acquire the weirdo red eyeball on his forehead. Rubeus, Sapphir, and Esmeraude don’t trust him.

The last Ayakashi Sister, Calaveras, has been practicing evoking the spirits of her sisters, using droids as proxies. She tells Rubeus that she’ll borrow her sisters’ powers to attack Sailor Venus. Also, apparently they are dating, because Rubeus kissed her shoulder.

Back on Earth, Mamoru comforts Chibi-Usa, who had been scared of Petz’s earring, which we can assume is made from the Malefic Black Crystal. Usagi and Minako barrage her with questions, which she refuses to answer. Finally, Usagi says she won’t be able to be friends with the little girl if she won’t talk, which was probably not the best thing to say.

At school, Umino – that guy with the crazy glasses – mentions that he has a DVD of a medium channeling spirits. He shows it to Usagi and her friend Naru, and the medium is Calaveras. Because, like Berthier suddenly being the third-best chess player in the world, Calaveras is a super-famous medium, and “channeling” is so hot right now.

In the video, Calaveras pretends to channel a spirit named Rubeus (uh-oh), and announces she’ll have a public channeling event soon. Usagi, upset, leaves Naru and Umino behind. Naru reflects on how stressed Usagi is lately and wants to help her, even though Naru knows that she’s not part of “that world” – Usagi’s mysterious other life.

Similarly, Rei’s class president sees Calaveras’s announcement and reflects on the drama in episode 15, in which Rei had confronted Bad Girl Koan at the school festival.

Lastly, the boy Makoto had bonded with in episode 17, Asanuma, wonders where she is.

I like whenever this show focuses on the ‘normal’ people in the Sailors’ lives, however briefly.

Then, Mamoru does a cool, but completely unexpected thing (to me) in his apartment. Remember in the first story arc, when the Four Kings had crystals on their foreheads? Mamoru had saved the crystals and through them, calls upon the spirits of his subjects. Nephrite (the brunette) says he’s had a bad premonition: the enemy’s plan is much larger than anyone can imagine.

Image of four ghostly men standing in front of Mamoru.
It’s nice to see the Four Kings again

Petz’s earring is in Mamoru’s apartment, and Nephrite senses space-time distortions around it, leading Mamoru to suspect that the Black Moon Clan may be time travelers.

He asks the Four Kings why he’s been reincarnated in this era when he doesn’t have enough power to help Sailor Moon (which I would disagree with – he’s pretty important). Nephrite doesn’t really address that worry, but says that the process has begun for Mamoru and Usagi to become King and Queen. Ooh, exciting! But probably pretty stressful for a pair of teenagers.

At Usagi’s house, someone sneaks into her room while she’s sleeping and steals her brooch! It’s probably Chibi-Usa. I mean, who else, come on.

The day of the ‘public channeling’ arrives, and it’s a mass-brainwashing event. Calaveras tells the crowd that people with a White Moon mark “will bring about disaster” and that her own people want to lead Earth “down the proper path” – sounds like a cult to me! Usagi, Minako, Luna, and Artemis are immune, of course. Usagi, knowing she’s of no use without her brooch, goes in search of Chibi-Usa.

Artemis notices a man videotaping/broadcasting the brainwashing and – these kitties never cease to amaze me – slams into him, knocking the camera over.

Image of Artemis, a cat, slamming into the camera guy.
Body slam!

The three normal friends from earlier – Naru, Rei’s class president, and Asanuma – have attended the channeling and Calaveras uses them to bring out her sisters’ spirits. (You’ll notice that Makoto’s friend is a proxy for her enemy, Petz, and Rei’s friend is a proxy for her enemy, Koan.)

Combining their powers, Calaveras immobilizes Venus while elsewhere, Rubeus attacks Usagi and Chibi-Usa (because finding a little girl in Tokyo is so easy, haha).

But! Tuxedo Mask saves them. And, listening to an unidentified voice, Tuxedo Mask discovers a new attack! It’s called Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber, which sounds kind of dumb but was actually really cool! It sends out a blast of energy to block Rubeus’s flame attack.

Animation of Tuxedo Kamen letting loose a blast of energy.
Some Kamehameha up in this!
*GIF from Sailor Moon Wiki

Chibi-Usa gives Usagi her brooch back and then Sailor Moon kills Calaveras. But unlike the other Scouts, Venus is alright. Perhaps it’s because the majority of Calaveras’s attack was using spirit energy instead of alive-people energy? Either way, this episode only proves how badass Venus is – the combined powers of four enemies wasn’t enough to keep her down!

Now, we get some tantalizing information about Chibi-Usa’s backstory. She explains that she thought she could use the two Silver Crystals together to “help”. Help who, you ask?

Chibi-Usa begs Sailor Moon: “Save the 30th Century Future Earth!”

I’m sure you already suspected this, but it was a powerful moment nonetheless. This girl is from the future – quite a lot into the future. The 30th century would be the 2900s – even Star Trek: The Next Generation takes place in the 2300s, the 24th century. So you can expect that even though there are still monarchs (rather archaic, if you ask me), technology and/or magic has advanced to the point that there are probably ways to time travel.

Two random notes:
Usagi’s last name is Tsukino, which has the kanji for “moon” in it. This picture is the entrance to her house.

Venus used a new attack called “Rolling Heart Vibration”. It wasn’t effective, but it looked neat.

I am looking forward to!

  • Chibi-Usa spilling her info – spill, girl!
  • Whose henchmen are up next?
  • Sailor Pluto Sailor Pluto! When are you gonna show up?


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