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Sailor Moon Crystal Act XII: Enemy (Queen Metalia)

Warning: Spoilers

Be sure to check out the Sailor Moon Crystal Page for reviews of Acts I through XI in case you missed them!

This is the way the world ends.

This is the way the world ends.

This is the way the world ends.

Not with a bang but a whimper. 

T.S. Eliot’s poem is the only thing that came to mind when the end credits started rolling for Act XII. I did not see the murder suicide coming. The fact that it had happened in the past did not change the impact of its tragic repetition. However, I know that those who have read all of the manga feel very differently  and were expecting much more from this episode. For discussion of the ways this episode failed, see the r/Sailormoon subreddit thread for Act XII.

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In my no-manga-to-compare-it-to opinion, this episode was pretty good. A lot of the push back I’ve read about is along the lines of thinking that Sailor Moon and the Sailor Senshi were weak and getting pushed around a lot. Yes, they do suffer some losses, but I don’t think it’s because they are weak. It’s that Queen Metalia is so powerful, and seemingly unbeatable. By writing the show this way it makes us as viewers feel uncertain how the episode will end. Even though I’m familiar with the old anime, I started to waver in my belief that Metalia would be defeated.

The show has already told us and shown us the strength of the characters, but any story worth it’s salt is going to make us worry about their ability to defeat the villain. I don’t know about you guys, but I want to be on the edge of my seat when I’m watching a show like this!

And we did get a pretty cool fight scene when the Senshi work together to defeat Queen Beryl once and for all. I really liked how they each contributed to her demise. The small flashback we had into Queen Beryl’s past was poignant and Snape-like. It definitely made me sympathetic to her, and made me realize that Metalia warped Beryl into something far more malignant and vengeful that she would have been naturally.

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The Sailor Senshi wasted no time jumping into action to find Sailor Moon after she chases Endymion through the portal into the Dark Kingdom. The artwork as they fly through the arctic and locate the entrance was the best in the entire episode.

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Not soon after they entered the Dark Kingdom they are stopped by the Shitennou. After a skirmish the Shitennou finally have a long moment of clarity, flashing back to who they really are:

 Zoisite, the Knight of purification and healing. 

Kunzite, the Knight of purity and perfection.

Jadeite, the Knight of patience and harmony.

Nephrite, the Knight of intelligence and comfort. 

Yet so soon after we get to see their true selves, they are attacked by Queen Metalia. I actually did not think they died, so I was surprised to see many saying they thought they were dead now. I assumed (naively maybe) that they were able to translocate to somewhere else before being crushed. I figured this was how they were able to telepathically reassure the Sailor Senshi and encourage them to keep going. The fact that they are dead IS off-putting, and is a waste of including the Shitennou story arc to begin with! It had SO much more potential that that. *sigh* I’m sure a fanfic or 20 will re-write the ending appropriately (if they haven’t already).

Like many others, I was also flabbergasted at all four Sailor Senshi crying at the same time. It was very strange, and not at all in their characters to just blubber and not say anything in reaction to seeing the Shitennou crushed. Another missed opportunity to further develop the Sailor Senshi.

I did find the ongoing conflict between Endymion and Sailor Moon compelling. The flashbacks of Queen Serenity are well-timed, and helps Sailor Moon understand what she has to do. However, I did NOT realize what she had to do was kill Endymion! I figured she had to use her love to pull the silver crystal out of him, while simultaneously lifting Queen Metalia’s power over him, and then with the entire silver crystal follow the sword’s directions.

NOPE.

Totally different ending. Man oh man I can’t wait to see what happens in Act XIII: Decisive Battle (Reincarnation). At least there’s Christmas and New Years to keep us occupied until January 3rd.

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