「思惑 –Nemesis–」 (Omowaku –Nemesis–)
“Hidden Agenda –Nemesis–”
「暗躍 -Wiseman-」 (An’yaku -Wiseman-)
“Covert Maneuvers –Wiseman–”
Apologies for the delayed absence that is Sailor Moon Crystal on RandomC. I’ve been celebrating wedding after wedding with a vacation thrown in there somewhere and now I’m back to work. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 weeks since episode 22 so I feel like a lot should’ve happened – luckily there were 5 weeks in May. Anyway, my brief mention of episode 22 in my May Impressions should already give a good indication of how I feel about the direction of Sailor Moon Crystal. There’s a lot more focus on Chibi Usa now that she’s on “the dark side” but I like how they make good use of her characters for development. I think her time as Black Lady is going to be short-lived but at least it’s not repeated episodes of Usagi being beaten up and then powering up. For someone on the “good side” to be converted over the “the dark side”, that’s a twist I never expected when I was little so this might be great for younger audiences. I have to keep in mind that while I’m a lot older now, Sailor Moon Crystal is aimed at a younger version of myself that doesn’t know the full story and wants to know what’s going to happen.
Episode 23 was both a hit and miss for me. While it did give more screen time to Black Lady, I didn’t like how they took away from Usagi’s screen time and took her back to “the present day”. I didn’t see a purpose for removing Usagi from that setting to let her sleep and relax in the comfort of her own bed. While I can admire her friends for caring about her so deeply, the Sailor Scouts are beginning to lose their own sense of individuality as well since they don’t shine as separate characters anymore. They sort of just blend together as one posse and I had the same issues with them at the end of the first arc. The show has a difficult time balancing equal focus on the characters that should matter. The attention has shifted towards the Dark Moon and I still lack sympathy towards the Wiseman and Black Lady nor do I care for their cause. Villains will be villains, but the story isn’t saying much when I feel the same towards the Dark Moon and the Sailor Scouts (or maybe I’m just empty hearted…). At least Black Lady has a clear motive and argument for turning against her family. Of course, kissing her father (romantically?!) is definitely not on the list of children-safe scenes. There’s all kinds of messed up fatherly-love implications there.
Since the new OP aired, I’ve always thought that Toei’s animation dropped; especially for Sailor Pluto. Sailor Pluto is supposed to have this elegant look in my mind and she just doesn’t look that way in this remake. This goes back to my complaints about the quality in Toei’s animation. While I’ve gotten used to their… lowered budget for this series and the girls’ awkward faces, I can’t help but notice there are still some shots here that are decent. There is still quality animation (sometimes not in the most obvious scenes) where you can tell there’s a clear difference between one frame to the next. I wanted just to point that out, especially in the latest episode since we’re nearing the end. Maybe this is a good sign for what’s to come because the finale is coming up as well.