Let’s get down to business, to defeat…. the Rabbit!? Yes, it is that time again to visit the ultra dramatic and somewhat hilarious antics of Sailor Moon Crystal, where we guess based on the episode title which senshi will get some focus, and then be stolen, and ultimately ignored, at that point in the series. But maybe something different is in store for everyone’s favorite 90’s magical girl? Or maybe we’re just in for another snoozer of an episode…. let’s take a look.
Episode 18 begins where we left off, with our precious thunder goddess Jupiter yet again another victim of the Black Moon Clan’s evil scheme. This now leaves Sailor Moon and Venus to save the day…. but, first, let us take a moment to appreciate a character that has seemed to get the short end of the stick from the beginning: Mamoru. I’ll be honest in that this guy has never been the end-all-be-all for me in terms of anime hotties/male leads, but I do still respect him as a character, specifically one that is a cheerleader throughout an entire first season and gets little to no kick-butt moments of his own. Yes, this is Sailor Moon’s show, of course, but I think Mamoru deserves his moment in that spotlight just as much as the other senshi do. So when an episode that seemed like it would be heavily focused on Sailor Venus, turns out to have absolutely no focus on her what-so-ever, and instead on a certain Earth Prince, I was a bit shocked.
Yeah, sure, you probably all counted Mamoru out as any sort of important member of the team, other than being the eye-candy for the viewers or the romantic plot device for our leading lady. But, you know what, you were wrong. That’s right, every single one of you was dead wrong. You wanna know why? Huh punk, you wanna know? Well I’ll tell you: it was all leading up to this moment, the one segment that would define Mamoru’s epicness, the one that would solidify him not only as a nostalgic animated-crush of your youth, but as the single most random, yet ultimately awesome, tuxedo-wearing warrior to exist. And with that, I give you…..
Oh yeah, that’s right – Mamoru gets his own attack. Is the name of it stupid? Yep, and it always has been. But was the lead up to it full of all the emotional win we wanted? Duh! Of course it was! With the voices of his fallen friends giving him the confidence to save Usagi and Chibi-Usa, it was the moment that Mamoru deserved. Will he ever get to shout a silly attack name and have a big powerful light pop out of his gloved hand? Probably not. But knowing it happened once, in animated form, was enough for my inner 5 year old to be ultimately pleased.
Oh…. yeah…. I guess I should bring up that other forgotten character, who happens to be my favorite Inner Senshi member. At this point, I think we can all agree that Venus has been restricted to the “Golden, Super Serious, Retriever” role among the girls in the series. Though my inner kick-butt chick loves seeing Venus be focused and in charge of her destiny, I do miss the sweet girl with a bright and pure heart, that developed slowly over time in the original series. Where is the Minako who became kind and bubbly? What about the Minako who loved being a go-getter in her social life just as much as in her senshi life? Unfortunately, the Venus I feel in love with in the past is yet another victim of the short running time of this series. And yes, even though this is all technically closer to the manga, I still miss the slightly more optimistic, orange wearing, blonde hero of my youth. Though, on a side note, her sassy one-liners towards Sailor Moon are always refreshing.
Once the main battle of this episode ended in the typical fashion they always do, we finally begin to get an explanation from Chibi-Usa about her reasons for coming to Sailor Moon in the first place. Now, from the perspective of someone that knows Chibi-Usa’s backstory, none of these statements were anything new to yours truly – but to the select few that have never ever seen anything Sailor Moon related in their life, I can’t help but think they probably heard Chibi-Usa’s speech sort of like this….
Overall, Episode 18 definitely had some good moments, enough to make it one of the better episodes in the past couple of weeks. And even though I might be disappointed in the Venus moments thus far, at least I know a certain strong, wise and long green haired lady is waiting for me to fangirl scream about her in the future.
Sailor Moon Crystal airs every other Saturday on Nico-Nico, Hulu, Crunchyroll and Neon Alley.