Act 28 INFINITY 1 – Premonition – Second Part
First Aired: 11th April 2016
As the Senshi investigate Mugen Academy, Chibi-Usa visits an amusement park nearby… and ends up meeting a strange girl in pain outside of the monolithic school. Usagi, meanwhile, sneaks into the academy, but it isn’t long before the new enemy sends the Witches 5 to test the Sailor Senshi with a strange beast once again.
I’m sorry! I have no excuse for the lateness of my Season III reviews. I’ve been a bit distracted with the old podcast I’m afraid. Transformation Sequence has just been signed onto the wonderful network Geekly Inc, and the transition took a bit of work. Hopefully I can bust out reviews of all the episodes out in the next couple of days.
Anyway, on with the spoiler-free review! Which I’m sure you’ve all seen by now, seeing as it was out 2 weeks ago.
This episode wasn’t bad at all, which is not to say it’s brilliant. It’s an decent adaptation of what is a rather exposition-heavy and awkward act in the manga that doesn’t quite manage to get around the weaknesses in the plot… but I liked it nevertheless. We’ve continued to see the same goofy humour as set up in Act 27, and it really does bring more of a fresh and accessible atmosphere to everything.
It’s also nice to see the inclusion of the other Senshi more than the previous season. They don’t get to have much fun here (again, the manga offers limited material to work on here), but they opted instead for a full transformation sequence two episodes in a row, with each Senshi getting an arrival speech too… in the opening episode of the series I understand, but I here I really feel like they were using them to eat up time, which could have been better spent on character moments. Give me more humanity please.
While I appreciate the goofyness of Usagi, I’m also not quite at home with her portrayal. For some reason, maybe it’s the age, or the innocence, or the direction and writing, I found Original Series Usagi a lot less grating when she whined. They were able to make it charming, you were laughing along with Usagi. Her, I must admit, when she’s having spats with Chibi-Usa, I’m just a tiny bit unimpressed.
It may be simply that her actress, Kotono Mitsuishi, has gone a different direction in this iteration of Usagi.
Meanwhile, I absolutely love Kaorinite. She seems mysterious, capable, malevolent and beautiful, in a way that Queen Beryl last season rather lacked. This is the opposite to the Witches 5 here, whom did not get enough to really sink my teeth into. Eugeal (I just can’t call her Eudial, feels too weird), my favourite of the Witches in the original series, just seems like a basic bad guy. In 12 episodes we’re unlikely to get much character out of any of these guys, which is a real shame since they have the potential of being such interesting characters.
I sound like I’m being overly critical of the episode aren’t I? I suppose I’m just a pessimist at heart.
On the upside, I really enjoyed the introduction of Hotaru, as coincidental as it was delivered, and the brief appearance of the new Senshi has me very excited for where this season will be headed. I loved Mamoru running around in a panic like a shitty dad after Chibi-Usa went AWOL, I liked Sailor Moon’s horror at Chibi-Moon’s cavalier attitude to her secret identity, I love that all the Senshi got their part to play in battle.
The Moon Spiral Heart Attack in Crystal lacks, of course, the majesty of Sailor Moon S, but it’s a welcome throwback and gave me a huge grin when it came on.
I’d like to consider this episode as the second half of a single opening, as the name implies. That way it works better. As a stand alone act, this was never going to be an amazing episode thanks to the manga chapter, but I’m satisfied, if not blown away.
Let’s see if Eugeal can swing a home run in the next episode.
The spoiler section begins here.
Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to get a blow-by-blow analysis!
Still here? Glad you could join me.
This whole opening felt a weeeee bit perfunctory. The dialogue between Usagi and Chibi-Usa has definitely improved from last season, but their whole fight seemed a bit less charming than, say, in Sailor Moon S. I still thought it was fine, and appreciated Usagi being silly and fun again.
Mamoru’s stupid watch lol
Kaorinite is super badass here. This is the best part of the episode for me, just watching her hold court. What she’s saying is utter rubbish of course, never liked the weird power levels stuff from the manga, although I always suspected this was Naoko Takeuchi having a laugh at stupid Dragon Ball Z obsessions with power levels. I suppose my gripe is that, while I get the joke, I’m not sure it’s needed.
The Witches 5 weren’t explored much here… but no one really stood out for me here. They all just looked and acted identically. Not much flavour if you get my drift. There also lacks the superiority and condescension that was palpable with them in the original series, they seem confused and disbelieving most of the episode. The result is that they really aren’t threatening on the same level as Kaorinite. I expect they’ll all last 1 episode again, just like the Phantom Sisters.
WHY ASANUMA WHYYYYY
I rather enjoyed the Transformation Pen scene, although I thought it genius of Usagi to have thought of it. Quite why the other Senshi were so exasperated wasn’t obvious to me, but hey, if I were Usagi’s friend in Crystal I imagine most things she did would illicit some form of criticism from me. Either way, always fun seeing Usagi in disguise.
Michiru’s violin scene was rather brilliantly done. I liked the moodiness, I liked the sense of destiny, I liked the cold-ass look she gave Usagi when she stopped. The music itself was unremarkable, lacking something of the dramatic beauty of Sailor Moon S, but it was still effective and I really must stop comparing everything to the original series.
YOU AS COLD AS ICE
Hotaru! I actually rather loved her voice actor. Really decent job. Not a lot to do just yet, but give it time. I appreciated how she was flat-out hostile to Chibi-Usa at first, slapping her hand away, so afraid at any level of intimacy or connection. She seems like a cursed child from the start here. I’ll say that I never really liked how Chibi-Usa first met her – the hat and the following fight are just a bit… cheap for me, but Naoko Takeuchi was never great at getting characters where they needed to be in a natural fashion.
Ok here the lips don’t look so bad… still not sure why she’s fucking about with a cat and a Daimon Egg though. How about, like, a RHINO or something.
As in the previous episode, I don’t think much of the Daimons in Crystal. They’re just ill-defined purple shit-lords that, while menacing, really could have played on the body-horror more. I’m pretty sure the manga had like tentacles and a tragic backstory about how it was an alcoholic and walked out on its family or something, I can’t remember.
Cue a third of the episode being taken up with stock footage. If they do this next time then we know for damn sure they’re just trying to put as little content in as their budget demands. Still, Chibi-Moon got her own transformation sequence and it was… pink. Very pink. With weird sound effects. I liked it… but her and Sailor Moon’s limbs seem a little… twitchy in Crystal. Kinda like they don’t have complete control over them.
The fight is… well, you know, it’s Crystal so it’s just fine. But but BUT I was so damn happy with Burning Mandala for the simple reason that it’s almost identical to the original series’ version, with the wood block sound effects at just the right time and everything!
Aaaaaand Moon Spiral Heart Attack. Again, massive fan service to the original series. I must say it looks lovely, although of course my preference will always be the classic version. They even have the Moon Kingdom background and the ridiculous pose! But sadly not the absurdly funky music.
I also really liked Sailor Moon’s reaction following the fight to Chibi-Moon telling Hotaru exactly who and what she is. Like a resigned horror. It worked well! I also liked Hotaru’s wide-eyed wonder at them all, and her healing powers too, which looked rather nice. It’s not going to win any awards for writing but hey, it’s just fine.
All of that goes out the window as we see Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus run away from the scene like the bad-ass Senshi they are. SHE’S SO SHINY. These guys will be the turning point of the series for me. Get them right and I think the series will be gold. If not… ehhhhh we’ll see.