Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Review :: Serenity, Princess
Welcome back to our ongoing episode reviews of Sailor Moon Crystal! Lots of drama here in episode 9, so you know we’re filled with awkward close-up facial shots! But boy oh boy, does Kotono Mitsuishi ever deliver with some fantastic voice acting. Let’s get right to it, fellow otakus. But be sure to watch the episode first; this recap will be full of spoilers.
After taking a hit of debatable strength from Kunzite in the last episode, Tuxedo Mask is knocked unconscious. Before succumbing to the blackness, Mamoru recalls his past life as Endymion, prince of Earth. He also finally puts two and two together that the mystery girl from his dreams is, in fact, Sailor Moon. Because, hey, anyone could be wearing their hair in odangos, right? We also start a trend of recreating panels from the manga, like this one of Endymion and Mamoru.
After Tuxedo Mask’s revelation, we cut back to a teary-eyed Sailor Moon, and OH MY GOSH WHERE HAS THIS ANIMATION BEEN ALL SEASON?! We have expressive eyes people! EXPRESSIVE EYES!!
Anyway. Tuxedo Mask passes out, and in her distress, Sailor Moon awakens as the Moon Princess. As it happened; Venus was just a decoy. With the aid of Mamoru’s broken pocket watch, she recalls her life as Princess Serenity and tragic love affair with Endymion.
Desperate to not allow the past to repeat itself, Serenity calls forward the Legendary Silver Crystal and passes on its power to save Tuxedo Mask. Also, she apparently makes flowers bloom all over town.
Beryl notices the surge of power and arrives on scene to order Kunzite to take the Legendary Silver Crystal. Apparently to Kunzite this means: steal Tuxedo Mask. Serenity loses her shit and tries to go after him, but the assault by Beryl keeps the senshi back. Here, Kotono Mitsuishi does a some truly fantastic work; Serentity’s desperate cries are completely, and totally heart-wrenching and depressing. Seriously, I wanted to die it was so perfect.
Things deteriorate rapidly after the break. Back in the control room, Serenity mourns the loss of Endymion while Artemis recants the history of the moon kingdom and its destruction. For some reason, Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter’s memories have yet to return, and it takes Artemis telling the story for them to remember. The senshi speculate as to whether Beryl was the one to break the seal placed on the great evil that destroyed their kingdom, and Serenity faints as she’s really had too much to deal with in the last few hours.
Back in another stolen panel from the manga, Tuxedo Mask is still unconscious in the dark Kingdom’s lair. Seriously? Why the need to just re-draw the same scene? Especially this scene, because really, what are those wires supposed to be connected to? That weird dark energy coffin from the original anime made more sense.
What I assume the wires are supposed to do is detect the shikon fragment… err… piece of the Legendary Silver Crystal that went into his body. However, Beryl and Kunzite can’t find any trace of it, but resolve to keep him alive until they do.
Jadeite, Nephrite, and Zoisite gather to remark on the fact that Tuxedo Mask looks familiar to them. Considering they’re all supposed to have turned to crystal at this point, I’m still excited to see what happens with a senshi/shitennou showdown.
Back on Earth, Usagi awakes from a nightmare where Beryl destroys Tuxedo Mask. Not as good as the manga version where his face melts off, but still creepy enough for a magical girl anime. Still wish we got a bit more gore, though. I’m not asking for Akame ga Kill levels of blood, just something more than rose petals when a person is stabbed.
In a showing of solidarity, Luna mopes around the control room – depressed that she didn’t trust Usagi enough and caused her to experience such trauma. Artemis arrives with the other girls, who are going to check on Usagi. After 10 seconds of close-up kitty faces, the gang departs.
Upon arriving at Usagi’s, we have yet another copied manga panel. At this point I think the animators spent too much time making the opening amazing and needed to fill time with stills to compensate. It’s a small matter, really, and I’ll take it if it means the quality of animation we saw at the start of the episode.
The girls immediately set to work in helping Usagi shed her Rapunzel-look. Though the warm & fuzzy friend moment quickly returns to the dramatic as Usagi remembers Mamoru’s current state. The girls try to calm her and offer their support, but Usagi wails that she doesn’t know what to do. Rei’s comment makes for my second favorite moment of the episode: telling Usagi that she is not the princess and that there was a reason she was reborn the way she was. Yay Rei for making sense!
Luna then suggests they travel to the moon to find leads on the location of the Dark Kingdom. The group resolves to go, stand up, and stare at the moon. Because maybe if they stare at the moon long enough, it’ll come to them.
We close the episode with a series of dramatic close-up facial shots, because that’s how we roll here on Sailor Moon Crystal. Next episode, the gang goes to the moon, where we’ll get to meet the wee Queen Serenity. Though really, if there’s one thing Sailor Moon Crystal is doing well, it’s the Silver Millennium coverage. So an entire episode focused on the Moon Kingdom? Can’t freakin’ wait. Check out the preview below!