Act.7 – MAMORU CHIBA – TUXEDO MASK
First Aired: 4th October 2014
With the revelation that long-time agitator is her beloved Tuxedo Kamen, Usagi is hesitant to inform her fellow Senshi, and is falling deeper in love with him. After Zoisite brainwashes a large number of people to hunt for Sailor Moon, and the Silver Crystal, the Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen are seemingly overwhelmed, until a familiar figure steps in…
The first part of this review is spoiler-free.
It’s been the case thus far in the series that if the episode hasn’t revolved around a new Senshi, it’s been a little less interesting. So it is with this episode. It’s not bad, there are certainly plenty of well-handled revelations and interesting character and relationship developments, but the second half came off a little flat.
The artwork in Sailor Moon Crystal has been a contentious point: it’s fluctuated quite a bit in quality, and today, again, there were a few moments where there wasn’t enough attention paid. With the studio apparently re-drawing a whole heap of scenes for the Blu-Ray release, it’s evident that the studio knows this to be true also.
I really liked the hesitancy, the excitement, the awkwardness of Usagi and Mamoru in the first half of this episode. These are scenes we never really got in the first anime adaptation, so they do come off fresh and fascinating.
While Usagi’s deepening love holds no surprises, it being perfectly fitting with her romantic character, Mamoru has a couple of really great moments where it’s obvious that, although stoic, he’s as in love with Usagi as she is with him. Nice to see him showing emotion.
We also got a little more of Queen Beryl’s motivations, as well as that of the true ruler of the Dark Kingdom Queen Metalia. Intriguing stuff, but definitely mere set-up for later in the series.
The latter half of the episode was less successful. Zoisite’s plan to identify Sailor Moon and find the Silver Crystal was ludicrous and anachronistic, and Sailor Moon’s response to his attack, squeal, complain and wait to be rescued, seemed almost insulting. Where is her strength of will? I don’t mind seeing Sailor Moon defeated, but at least give me evidence that she’s trying not to be.
The best moment for me actually came right at the end of the episode as a cliffhanger for the next. With what I know from the manga, and my affection for the character being introduced, I suspect next episode will be a little more charged than this.
I’m about to discuss a couple of points from the episode, so look away if you don’t want to know!
I loved the opening scene of Usagi slowly getting up, picking up Tuxedo Kamen’s eye mask and, as though in a daze, holding it up in front of his face. Right on the money with that hesitancy, and I laughed at how ridiculous it is that a piece of shaped paper could have concealed his identity.
Mamoru’s past, losing his memory as a 6 year old, is as generally pointless but mildly interesting as it was in the original anime.
While his amnesia does explain his motivation for finding the Silver Crystal, when he explains that this is why he dresses up in a tuxedo and top hat and runs around Tokyo at night… I laughed. Definite step missing in his logic.
When Mamoru first calls her “Usako”, I got a real thrill of nostalgia. That name brings back all sorts of reminiscences from the old series. Turning that into a joke about her forgetting her bag made me laugh yet again.
I got the same nostalgic feeling when Usagi called Mamoru “Mamo-chan” in her head. Really cute seeing them use these names of the first time, sometime yet again unique to the reboot.
The scene between Queen Beryl and Metalia was rather interesting. I think showing what Metalia looks like is a bit of a misstep at this point, though – there’s no mystery to her. She’s just some smelly smoke stuff. Beryl’s plans to betray Metalia for the Silver Crystal captures the attention, but it really depends how they develop this plot.
iPad in Sailor Moon. Never thought I’d see the day.
Usagi covered in ketchup was silly and hilarious, even more so when she becomes maudlin and love-sick thinking about Mamoru… while still covered in ketchup. The longing between the two went on juuust a little too long…
The entirety of the plot by Zoisite was boring and made no sense, I’m afraid. Brainwash people to walk around and talk loudly about wanting to capture Sailor Moon? What? None of this clicked for me.
Zoisite’s plan was to take over a DVD rental shop, take control over, like, 50 people and then… put Sailor Moon in a headlock to force her to hand over the Silver Crytsal? What? What? What?
I disliked this entire scenario. Sailor Moon did nothing to fight back, to save her comrades. She just weakly hoped that Tuxedo Kamen would show up… which he does. A bit eye-rolling. Was sweet when he said that his motivating factor was no longer the allure of his lost memories, but that of “Usako”.
Yaaay! Artemis! The episode picks up right at the end. Seeing Sailor Moon being repeatedly strong-armed in a worryingly “masculine” way was not working for me.
…and Sailor V’s big entrance! She has a shit-ton of hair in her face. I imagine this is not as heroic as she was going for.
There! Much better place to end an episode on.