Episode 26: Replay – Neverending
When we last left our heroines and heroes, Sailor Moon was about to open up a can of whoop-ass on the giant Death Phantom mummy head. When she attacks, the group is transported to the surface, except Sailor Moon. And then Tuxedo Kamen just pop! disappears!
The crystal surrounding the Palace glows and Neo Queen Serenity finally wakes up! She goes to King Endymion’s body, kisses him, and he wakes up too.
When they go outside, the queen says that Chibi-Usa’s transformation into a Sailor Scout woke her up. The two have a tearful reunion in which Chibi-Usa apologizes for all the hell she’s wrought, and the queen reassures her that she loves her. There are lots of tears.
She tells the group that she “lost nearly all [my] ability to fight as a guardian” when she became queen – say what? That sucks.
On the subject of the missing Sailor Moon, she says that the Nemesis planet that was going to collide with Earth was an illusion. Sailor Moon got sucked out to where Nemesis actually is – the far reaches of the solar system. Because of his bond with her, Tuxedo Kamen just (pop!) got sucked out there too. Is getting randomly transported to a burning hell planet because you love a girl romantic? I don’t think so.
Anyway, Sailor Chibi-Usa (Sailor Chibi-Moon, actually, although no one says it in this episode) is the only person who can find her parents-from-the-past, so the queen gives her a Space-Time key and a stubby version of the Moon Rod and sends her on her merry way.
Far away from Earth, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen float in space, protected by a yellow energy bubble. (Again, best and cheapest form of space travel.) The Nemesis planet/Death Phantom plans on enveloping the entire solar system with his evilness.
Tuxedo Kamen gives Sailor Moon a pep talk, and she happily tells him that she can only use her power in the presence of his power. If this was a podcast, I’d play the record-scratch sound effect, because that’s plain ridiculous. Maybe she means she can only reach her most powerful state (Super Sailor Saiya-jin, if you will) when he’s around – I’d buy that, I guess. Anyway, they are totes meant to be together you guys.
Chibi-Usa appears right after this romantic-ish moment, and she gets to do some trash-talking to Nemesis, aw yeah!
Nemesis can’t handle the power of two Moon Princess Halations.
But, like in the last story arc, their brooches break from expending so much power. I think this is a good symbol of rebirth and moving on, though – something has to end or be destroyed for a new thing to happen/be created. Last time, Queen Serenity (from the past) gave Sailor Moon a new brooch, and this time, her own future self gives her a new brooch, recalling the theme I noticed in episode 22, that Sailor Moon is empowered by both her past and future lives.
On (future) Earth, Neo Queen Serenity’s Moon Rod reappears and she heals Crystal Tokyo. I love the design of the city – it has interesting futuristic architecture and lots of pretty green spaces, like the future should.
She also gives the Scouts new powers. When they ask her about Sailor Moon, she says that “Meeting my past self is not part of history.” So, from Earth, she grants Sailor Moon a new brooch. Interestingly, she calls Sailor Moon the “Guardian of Mystery”, which gave me the shivers, man. “Mystery” can have pretty deep spiritual meanings (like the Eleusinian Mysteries, for example), and with all the time travel, transformations, and waking up that took place in this story arc, I think “mystery” does take on a deeper level of meaning than usual.
Meanwhile, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Kamen, and Sailor Mini Moon are at the Time-Space Door, and Sailor Moon is sad that she can’t be in the same place as the queen, since being in close proximity to one’s future self messes things up (as we saw in episode 20). The rest of the group is there too, as they are all prepared to go back to the present day.
But Sailor Moon hesitates, because she really wants to see her future self, and Neo Queen Serenity hesitates too because she wants to see her past self! So they do meet, and thank each other for doing all the stuff they did. (I would say Sailor Moon did most of the heavy lifting on this one, haha.) The future Scouts, King Endymion, and the cats join them, and Sailor Moon thinks, “Someday I’ll meet this future.” It’s a nice moment.
At home in the present, Usagi and Chibi-Usa are sad because Chibi-Usa can’t stay in the present time anymore. She, Mamoru, and Usagi go to their special fountain and Chibi-Usa gives Usagi a new Heart Moon Rod “from Mom” – which also looks like a plastic toy, but hey, that’s what they look like.
She leaves, but comes right back! – interrupting a kiss between Usagi and Mamoru much like the very beginning of this story arc. She presents a letter from Neo Queen Serenity thanking Usagi and Mamoru for “training” Chibi Usa in the arts of Sailor Scouting. So she’s back to stay.
The episode ends with “À bientôt!” which means “See you soon” – so I’m sure there will be another story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. And it will be the best one! (The Super arc is my favorite, obviously.)
Overall, this has been a stellar series. With a few caveats – Tuxedo Kamen kissing Sailor Moon while she’s unconscious, the ridiculous trash-talking poses – I’ve enjoyed every episode. Visually, the series is a vast improvement over the 1990s anime and employed space imagery to stunning effect. Writing-wise, I was happy to see themes of female friendship, female empowerment, coming to terms with one’s identity, destruction and rebirth, drawing strength from love and emotions, and the fact that these girls get stuff done as girls.
If/when Sailor Moon S – or whatever they choose to call it – comes out, I will be there!