Sailor Moon Crystal Act III – Rei-chan!
Moon Pride あな ~た の 力 に なりたい ~ !!
Has anyone memorized the theme song yet? I’m still working on it. Guess I haven’t been doing my Sailor Senshi homework enough.
Sailor Moon Crystal Act III introduces us to Rei-chan in a pure reboot of Sailor Moon Episode 10 “Cursed Buses! Fire Senshi Mars Appears“. Episode 10 was never really my favorite, and of all the “meet a new Sailor Senshi” episodes I liked it the least. However, this reboot version was well done and I didn’t even mind that they brought back the 6:00 pm Demon Bus.
Before I get into the nitty gritty details of the episode, let’s all take a moment to appreciate how vibrantly purple Rei-chan’s eyes are now.
I did notice the animation was a bit awkward during parts of this episode. Until now I had been trying to ignore the new animation haters, but they are on to something. My main complaint is with the animation of Luna, who seems to change oddly between scenes. The body proportions of Usagi also change suddenly at times, most noticeable when she is clinging to the back of the demon bus in her flight attendant outfit. Similarly, Rei’s stance after transforming was very… splayed.
On a better note, the music and sound effects were improved in this episode, with delightfully ominous tones helping to increase the affect of growing fear of the Demon Bus. The rock music during Rei’s transformation was cool and nostalgia inducing, striking chords that are a bit dated in a good way.
For me there are three scenes in this episode that really made it worth watching.
The first is when Usagi sees Rei for the first time. Usagi literally has hearts in her eyes when she sees how beautiful Rei-chan is. Given that Usagi blushed when she met Ami, it is not a stretch to say that she is attracted to women in more than just an appreciative way. Usagi has such a big and caring heart, it is easy to imagine she could fall in love with anyone, regardless of biological sex. Blurring our puritan concept of sexuality has always been an undertone of Sailor Moon. In fact, I think as a teenager both Sailor Moon and Xena’s LGBTQ undertones taught me a lot about all the different forms love and sexuality can take.
The second scene is when Usagi once again runs into Mamoru. These too just can’t stay away from each other! *clutches chest* They thankfully returned Mamoru to being a high school student. He was portrayed as a college student in the anime and I’m not sure why they deviated from the manga in such a creepy way to begin with. I absolutely LOVE how she tried to hide her discomfort by holding Luna over her head. “My heart is beating fast again.” Me too Usagi!
The third scene is when Usagi sees that Rei has been captured by the demon bus. The animation transitions are smooth, fast, and aesthetically pleasing. Usagi transforms in to a flight attendant before leaping onto the back of the bus, because “My mission is to ensure the safety of passengers”. OK Usagi, at least you can rationalize your seemingly odd choices! Now, here is a re-enactment of how I reacted to what happened next:
Chokes on cereal, spraying milk and Wheaties onto iPad. Say whaaa~aat! Tuxedo Kamen-sama actually witnessed Usagi’s transformation? Faints. My cats sit on my face until I wake up. Replay episode. Say whaaa~at!
Why must they pull my heartstrings this way?! For anyone who is watching Sailor Moon for the first time, I don’t know if you would have as strong a reaction. But in the original Sailor Moon anime they were such a tease, and they really dragged out Usagi and Mamoru disovering each other as Sailor Moon and Tuxedo-kamen. I think the memory of my heartache has sprung back to life.
And by the way, I am super freakin’ excited that Act IV will be “Masquerade Dance Party”. We all know what that means!
Haha, that cracks me up every time. Given the title and the closing shots of paparazzi going crazy over a group of men protecting a small box, it is safe to say this next episode will be a reboot of Sailor Moon Episode 22 “Romance Under the Moon! Usagi’s First Kiss“. This is a huge leap forward compared to the first three episodes, skipping over 11 of the “filler” episodes from the original anime. It also tells us that we will be taking a break from introducing new Sailor Senshi. I’m hoping the episode will give us more insight into Usagi/Princess Serenity and Mamoru/Prince Endymion. I also think I can safely predict that Sailor Moon Crystal Act V will be the introduction of Sailor Jupiter, who originally first appeared in Sailor Moon Episode 25 “Jupiter, the Brawny Girl in Love“. It’s been a long, long time since I read the manga though, so I could be wrong!
What do you hope to see in Act IV two weeks from now?