Dalin’s Simulcast Corner – Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 20 Review

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Welcome back to Simulcast Corner. This week, we’re gonna travel back in our time traveling, moon kitty-approved mobiles and discover the secrets of Neo-Crystal Tokyo. Yes, it’s time again for another Sailor Moon Crystal adventure. Will our senshi discover who Chibiusa’s parents are? Maybe even find out the meaning of life? Let’s discover all this and more for ourselves! So grab your Cutie Moon Rods, and let’s get this Moon show on the road.

SPOILERS AHEAD

This episode continues onward from our last encounter with the Senshi Scoody-Doo Gang, where they are attempting to uncover the mystery of Chibiusa and her frozen parents. And yeah, we find out they are actually Usagi and Mamoru in the future, which if you’re a newcomer I suppose that is some sort of spoiler. But considering the majority of the people watching this series are old school Moonies or very intelligent individuals that could gather based on certain hair styles who could be who, then none of this should really be that shocking. But, regardless of whether this moment was that mind crushing to you or not, it gave us the greatest Mamoru reaction image from this series thus far:

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And then there is Diana. Though some will say, like Chibiusa, Diana is a character who is a bit on the annoying side, I will always be a fan for the simple reason that she is the cutest thing to ever be cute in the world of cute. Look at those eyes, the color scheme, she is true perfection (and no, I am not making that word a pun, thank you.) And similar to our lead couple, Luna and Artemis also make a similar discovery as to whom Diana’s parents are, and also give the best reaction image. If I ever seen another episode of the Murray Show, I will definitely think of this specific frame of animation.

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Past this point, much of the episode is flashbacks to get us back to the current mission. Lots of exposition fills in the gaps, and gives all the necessary details that most Sailor Moon fans know and respect. But there are some creative moments, or at least aspects that have escaped my memory completely and thus seem new to yours truly. When King Endymion gives a whole speech about Sailor Pluto, there are a couple of shots that give me the feeling that Pluto has been crushing on Endymion for some time now. Queue the fan art, Tumblr! I expect it by next week!

This episode also expands upon that really annoying aspect of Usagi that we touched upon last week. Yeah, girlfriend is still jealous of the fact that Mamoru is affectionate towards Chibiusa. Though the specifics of said emotion change from episode to episode, this time is about how Mamoru said he would risk his life protecting Chibiusa, but didn’t mention Usagi’s involvement. Maybe it is because I’m an older fan, but the amount of time Usagi focuses on this issue is getting really old, especially considering that much of said issues could have been solved by Usagi just standing up for herself and agreeing to what Mamoru promised. But instead, we get to watch another episode with the “WAAAAAH – mbulance” on constant alarm, and thus the silly jealousy factor Usagi has seems to never be going away.

Now, some of you might have noticed that I have been pretty quiet when it comes to discussing the animation in these recent episodes. That is due to the fact that they’ve, for the most part, been on point. There have been a few moments that haven’t been perfect, but nothing that noticeable. Unfortunately, it seems that Episode 20 was not given the same sort of “quality” effort. Though there were some beautiful close ups, almost every single full body shot of the leads looked as if it was drawn by a 3 year old with no concept of body proportions. The worst was when Usagi and the gang return from time traveling, in which I slowly wanted die with each passing, scribbled frame.

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After a lot of back and forth travel time, pretty shots of sleeping senshi within the palace, and the most epic La Smoking Bomber to ever La Smoking Bomb, we get to the moment we’ve all been waiting for–Prince Diamond makes his true grand entrance. And you know what that means? Creepy obsession episode is next! Yes, if you know your Sailor Moon history, this is the point in which our lead bishonen baddie Prince Diamond captures Usagi because he wants to play dress up with her. What does that mean exactly? All in good time my friends, all in good time.

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Was this a bad episode? Not exactly. The major failure here, which is a constant complaint with this series, is the pacing. The greatest moments of the episode all occur within the last 3 minutes. The team clearly is taking their sweet, sweet time showing the pretty things, instead of taking that same sort of love and affection and putting it into the true meat of the “story sandwich.” Yes, Toei, we love seeing the attacks in all their glittery glory. Heck, I never thought I’d see La Smoking Bomber animated, let alone once per every episode for the past 3 installments. But that doesn’t mean the story itself should be sidelined, especially for those that have yet to experience the magic shown in the 90’s. Look at your life, Toei….

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Sailor Moon Crystal airs every other Saturday on Nico Nico, Crunchyroll, Neon Alley, and Hulu. 

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