In the world of Sailor Moon Crystal, many fans have awaited the arrival of a certain green-wearing senshi. And finally, this weekend, the moment arrived – and it truly was glorious. So grab your rose stud earrings and your thunder bolts, and let’s get this Jupiter party started.
First off, I think it is finally time to give the team over at Toei some credit. Sure, we had to wait almost three weeks for this chapter, and had to go through a handful of prior episodes with questionable animation, but it resulted in one of the best episodes of this new series thus far. The lines of the character’s faces were crisp, fresh and treated with care. Though not every shot was perfect (as is the case with most series pre-BluRay release) it was pretty close to what I was hoping this series could always look like.
We start with seeing Usagi being her usual wacky self, getting into trouble. This time though, rather than her precious Tuxedo Mask saving her, it’s new transfer student Makoto Kino. Tall, slightly tough, but caring, Makoto truly shines here. We learn her worries, her struggles transferring to a new school, and the issues she faces as a misfit in such an environment. The same can be said for the majority of the senshi’s back stories, but Makoto’s tale is the strongest in my mind, especially in this incarnation.
As has been the case with Crystal, we also get more scenes of Usagi secretly developing a crush on every single one of her senshi friends. One of the funniest scenes of the new series also perfectly showcases this aspect, when Usagi spies on Makoto eating her lunch. The comedy is done effortlessly here, visually and in the dialog. We even got to see the stereotypical item shown in every anime bento box scene: Kawaii Red Octopus. Truly, no anime is complete unless you have this small ocean creature in one of the shots.
As the episode went on, my fandom heart raced to hear if the show would, indeed, bring up one of my favorite inside jokes. If you’re a Sailor “Moonie,” as I assume many of you are, you might remember a specific trait about Makoto: She’s a bit boy crazy. A fact that the original series, and specifically the movies, liked to bring up on a frequent basis, usually slipping in the line “He reminds me of _____ (or last boyfriend)” into the scene. So when the time came for our green eyed lady to encounter arcade hottie, Motoki, my heart shined the most “doki-doki” beam ever, and my dreams were realized.
Of course, this is what leads Matoko down a bad road when it comes to our main conflict of the episode, this time involving a monster who takes on the form of a bride dress shop mannequin. This leads to the series finally giving us a fantastic example of Usagi fulfilling her leadership role, especially when it comes to her control of the senshi team and giving truly precious motivational speeches.
But what could possibly top all of these incredible moments, one right after the other? Simple: Sailor Jupiter kicking some Dark Kingdom butt. From the lead up of Makoto taking charge of the situation, to the mark appearing on her forehead, ending with her presenting not one BUT TWO awesome attacks, this will easily go on my top 5 moments of Sailor Moon Crystal, and if not Luna would probably smack me on the face.
Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I’m in love with this episode. It was as close to perfection as the series has gotten, and it made me instantly return to my childhood. The amount of girl power and heart pounding moments really give me hope that future episodes will live up to this caliber of excitement. Even with Sailor Jupiter not being anywhere close to my favorite member of the team, this chapter really made me fall in love with her character more than my prior 20 years of Sailor Moon fandom ever could. So bravo, Toei, and here’s to hoping you provide this many “feels” in the Sailor Venus episode!
PS, special shout out to the other star of this episode: Makoto’s super precious winter gloves…
Oooooh girl, get me a pair, please!
…..and this moment
….Oh and this thing appeared:
Yeah, this show is getting down to some serious business.
Sailor Moon: Crystal airs every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, airing on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Nico Nico.