Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 22

Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 22

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**SPOILERS**

Episode 22: Hidden Agenda – Nemesis

At the end of episode 21, Chibi Usa had taken Wiseman’s hand because she has a pathological need for people to be friends with only her. We then hear a heartbeat sound from Neo Queen Serenity, encased in crystal – she must know on some level that something very bad has happened to her daughter.

Chibi Usa’s decision also causes a storm to brew in Space-Time, knocking Pluto out as she guards the Space-Time Door. Tuxedo Kamen finds her there, and when she wakes up, Pluto tells him that Chibi Usa had been wandering around without a Time Key – this mistake has somehow caused the storm. So Tuxedo Kamen goes straight into it in search of his future daughter.

Usagi wanders around the evil castle to try to find Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. She overhears Sapphir and Rubeus chat about the three Scouts dying in the Chamber of Darkness, and Sapphir says ominously that he feels that the planet itself is “acting with a will of its own.”

In an odd sequence, Diamond appears right behind her, knocks her out with a glance (not even the Scary Red Eyeball, just his regular eyes), and then whisks her away to a stone bench. He leans over and tries to touch her, but yellow lighting strikes between them; this was probably caused by Usagi, but she had a brief vision of Tuxedo Kamen in the storm… I dunno. But hey, no forced kissing, so I’m happy with that. Usagi runs away and stumbles upon Sapphir.

Animation of Diamond reaching out to touch Usagi and then lightning strikes between them.
Yeah that’s what happens

Sapphir had just made two droids, which apparently takes a lot of power. He explains to Usagi that Nemesis has a planetary reactor (whatever that means) that they have forced to work faster than it should, which I think means that it produces a lot of evil energy, but is unstable. He works with the Malefic Black Crystal and the planet Nemesis to do evil stuff, and compares Nemesis to Diamond… his brother. I don’t think that was made clear until this point, but they’re brothers.

Sapphir explains that Wiseman had convinced Diamond to go after the Silver Crystal, which was a detour from Sapphir, Rubeus, and Esmeraude’s plans to go back in time and kill Sailor Moon, thus preventing the peaceful future of the Silver Millennium. He asks Usagi’s forgiveness for Diamond’s rash actions.

Image of Usagi looking dumbfounded.
That was my reaction, too.

So… right after he asks her forgiveness, Sapphir gets himself a big crystal shard and tries to stab Usagi! The two droids hold her down while he calls her a “dreadful woman” and blames her/Neo Queen Serenity for causing Diamond to obsess over her.

I’mma stop you right there, Sapphir – you are being sooooo typical! How about a.) you recognize that Usagi is not Neo Queen Serenity and b.) go slap your brother around for being an obsessive jerkface.

But it’s actually a good thing he said Usagi was a “dreadful woman”, because she gets really sad – she asks, “Is this all because I exist?” And even though we, the viewers, know this is all because Diamond is a bad guy, it’s still heartbreaking to hear her ask that question.

A vision of Neo Queen Serenity appears above Usagi and there’s lots of glowy light – oh you know something’s gonna happen! Usagi still has her brooch, since Diamond assured her she wouldn’t be able to use it… but now she uses it! To transform!

Oh and she is pissed.

Remember Mamo Vision in episode 14 when Tuxedo Kamen touched the ground and could see/feel where the Scouts were? This time Sailor Moon does it and finds the girls.

She lends them some of her own power so they can transform, and they literally explode through the floor and the badassery was beheld by all.

sailormooncrystal22_5

Then the badassery level goes up a notch when Neo Queen Serenity speaks through Sailor Moon to the Black Moon Clan. She admonishes them for their evil deeds and tells them they’re “using the Black Crystal all wrong”.

Image of Sailor Moon with glowing eyes, with a transparent Neo Queen Serenity behind her.
“Evil Crystal: Ur Doin’ It Wrong”

Rubeus runs away because all of this badass Moon power is causing the planetary reactor to malfunction, but Wiseman and a new mysterious (not really) sidekick show up and kill him. Who is this sidekick? We all know it’s Evil Grown Up Chibi-Usa. I can’t wait to see her for real instead of this ghostly, fuzzy image. You’re not fooling anyone, animators – we all know it’s her!

Sailor Moon calls out to Sailor Pluto and asks her to guide them – a key appears in her hand and the four scouts escape in a blaze of white light. They appear near the Space-Time Door, where Pluto had been using her staff to aid them, and there is a happy reunion between all the Scouts.

However, Tuxedo Kamen is still out in the Space-Time storm, searching for Chibi-Usa. And she finds him.

I noticed something interesting in this episode. In the first story arc, Usagi had trouble adjusting to the knowledge that she was a princess in her past life. She just wanted to be a normal girl, but she adjusted to her new powers and forged a new identity, becoming empowered by her past. In this story arc, Diamond commits all these terrible acts because he obsesses over her future self – but Usagi also takes courage from the fact that one day, she will be a powerful queen. Knowing about her past and her future makes her strong.

So there is this trinity of Usagis, with the present-day, non-royal Usagi being “our” Usagi. I like it.

I’m looking forward to

  • Evil Chibi-Usa cuz she’s coooool
  • epic levels of badassery
  • more Sailor Pluto!

Artistic note
Anyone notice the cool textures the animators use for Wiseman?

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4 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Crystal review: episode 22

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