Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 21

Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 21

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**SPOILERS**

Episode 21: Complication – Nemesis
Prince Diamond had just kidnapped Sailor Moon, a.k.a. Shit just got real.

Usagi is in a dark place. She hears a noise and turns around to see a man and a woman walking away from her – the man looks like Mamoru, and the woman has bunny-like buns and long pink hair.

sailormooncrystal21_1

Usagi recognizes her as a grown-up Chibi-Usa, which I take major issue with because – although it is a grown-up version of Chibi-Usa – Usagi has proven in previous episodes to be really slow in recognizing people she knows in very obvious disguises *cough* Tuxedo Kamen *cough* so ultimately, this made me laugh.

Also, seeing the grown-up Chibi-Usa is huge foreshadowing – so huge that I was pretty surprised to see it. But also very happy because I loooove grown-up Chibi-Usa!

This vision turns out to be a dream – Usagi wakes up on a bed wearing an extremely Alphonse Mucha-inspired dress!

Three images comparing the dress.
Mucha’s Reverie (1897), manga, and Crystal

Of course she is wearing this dress because Prince Diamond has a major creepy thing for her – or rather, her future self, Neo Queen Serenity, of whom he made that sexy hologram… and she’s in the sexy hologram room. Uh-oh.

Using the power of the Malefic Black Crystal, he compels her to sit down in a chair to listen to him explain the motivations of the Black Moon Clan. They come from the 30th century, where they watched the peaceful and long-lived inhabitants of Earth and hated them for being “slothful”. Also, the queen and king apparently never left the palace.

Wiseman conveniently appeared to them and told them to go to Nemesis, where they plotted “Operation Re-play” – sending Droid soldiers (and themselves) back in time to prevent Crystal Tokyo from ever being established.

(Diamond doesn’t explain exactly what he is – obviously he and the Black Moon Clan aren’t human. They could be aliens – who knows.)

Via flashback, we get to see how Neo Queen Serenity became encased by the Silver Crystal, which is actually a bit different from what we saw in the previous episode.

The explosion had already hit Crystal Tokyo, and Neo Queen Serenity had run out from the Palace, searching for Chibi-Usa. A girl who looked a lot like Chibi-Usa was crying over the body of a woman, and Diamond prepared to kill her.

Image of a pink-haired girl with pigtails, but not Chibi-Usa.
Not Chibi-Usa!

Neo Queen stopped him (by showing up and being gorgeous) and he tried to attack her, but the Crystal grew around her to protect her. In episode 20, it was implied that the Crystal grew around her in response to the explosion itself, and also, the Scouts and King Endymion had also been with her at the time – just noting the disparity.

But my question is, what happened to the little girl who looked like Chibi-Usa?? Where is she??

Back in the sexy hologram room, Diamond goes super creep and kisses Usagi! This poor girl – she hardly gets to kiss anyone in a nice situation.

Image of Diamond force-kissing Usagi.
Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww whyyyyyyyyyy

Usagi pushes him away and tries to transform with her brooch, but the Black Malefic Crystal absorbs all energy (which is why Diamond let her keep it in the first place).

Meanwhile, on Earth (future Earth), our remaining heroines and heroes try to form a plan to reclaim Sailor Moon – this is Sailor Venus, Luna, Artemis, Tuxedo Kamen, and King Endymion. Luna suggests that Chibi-Usa use the Silver Crystal to do… something – anything would help at this point! – but King Endymion says that Chibi-Usa wouldn’t be able to.

Chibi-Usa is, in fact, 900 years old. Yup. But she stopped growing physically at about six years old, and has no magical powers whatsoever. So you can understand why she has some problems, especially when it comes to being able to help people, because she is pretty limited in what she can do.

King Endymion also expands on the history of the planet Nemesis. Centuries ago, a bad dude named Phantom attacked Crystal Tokyo. Neo Queen Serenity sent him packing to Nemesis. The Black Moon Clan may be his descendants, but the king doesn’t know.

sailormooncrystal21_5

Back in the creepy hologram room, Usagi cries about fighting with Mamoru, being imprisoned, and Diamond forcing a kiss on her.

But then something cool happens. Usually, someone else brings her out of these hopeless episodes. But she does it herself! She thinks to herself – “I am the next queen, Neo Queen Serenity.” And then she decides to find her kidnapped friends.

sailormooncrystal21_6

Speaking of which, the kidnapped Scouts are in the Chamber of Darkness, which looks like a cave. They wake up and try to transform, but they can’t. They feel the energy-absorbing effects of the Malefic Crystal and pass out. But at least we know they’re alive! …Although they might not stay that way, as Diamond comments to Wiseman that he doesn’t need them anymore now that he has Usagi.

Now the episode turns to Chibi-Usa, and if you’re thinking, “Gee, King Endymion and Prince Diamond got to have flashbacks today, but I need more flashbacks!” get ready to be super happy. Chibi-Usa remembers feeling bad about not having any magical powers and being a crybaby, but King Endymion told her that her mother, the Queen, used to be a crybaby too (and in the present, Chibi-Usa saw it for herself).

But some mean kids made fun of her, saying that she couldn’t be the princess if she didn’t have any power. Distressed, Chibi-Usa went to a room where the Silver Crystal was, broke its display case, and stole it – and not one second later, the big explosion hit. So that’s why she feels so guilty about everything – she thinks she caused the city to explode.

So now I have two questions:
1.) Were those bratty kids actual kids or were they the Black Moon Clan? (Or influenced by them?)
2.) If Chibi-Usa had the Silver Crystal, and she wasn’t near Neo Queen Serenity, then how did the Crystal encase the Queen? Is it so powerful that it can just manifest anywhere in Crystal Tokyo? (Maybe.)

Anyway, in another flashback, Chibi-Usa remembers meeting Sailor Pluto for the first time, and so (in the present – or rather, the 30th century), she goes over to the Space-Time Door to find King Endymion telling Pluto to lend her support to Tuxedo Kamen and Venus. In this conversation, Pluto says that “Small Lady [Chibi-Usa] is sturdier than you realize.”

Besides complimenting Chibi-Usa, Pluto is just happy to be talking with someone, since all she does, day after day, is stand by that forbidden door. How has this poor woman not totally snapped?

But here is how you know Chibi-Usa is Usagi’s daughter – instead of being happy for Pluto to finally be getting some social interaction and joining the fight, Chibi-Usa gets super jealous and is depressed that Pluto is longer “smiling just for me”. WTF, girl?? Are you kidding me? Woe upon anyone who is nice to this jealous weirdo – you’re not allowed to be nice to anyone else but her! You’d think after 900 years she would have grown out of this phase.

So, filled with despair that people she likes are nice to other people, Chibi-Usa runs off, accidentally leaving her Time Key behind. She gets lost and wanders into darkness.

Waiting for her there is Wiseman. He offers her what she wants more than anything – “Someone that truly needs you.” And she takes his hand.

Image of a scary, clawed hand reaching out to Chibi-Usa, who has glazed eyes and a black moon on her forehead.
Wiseman says, “I will satisfy your pathological need for people to pay attention to you exclusively.”

Yup.

I’m looking forward to

  • Grown-up Chibi-Usa yeah yeah!
  • More Pluto more Pluto!
  • The kidnapped Scouts getting more screen time

Some notes:

There was an unexpected Mucha reference during Diamond’s flashback:
sailormooncrystal21_8

And, a “satellite” view of Crystal Tokyo shows that it’s really just the city that’s an island – I thought there were a bunch of islands:
sailormooncrystal21_9

So, although Diamond may be exaggerating about how reclusive Neo Queen Serenity was, there is a feeling of isolation when you look at that aerial shot.

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