Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 4 – “Act.4 MASQUERADE DANCE PARTY”

Sailor Moon Crystal is a remake of the original Sailor Moon anime series that began airing in Japan in 1992. Unlike the original anime series, Sailor Moon Crystal aims to remain as faithful to the original manga source material as much as possible. While this new series utilizes more modern animation techniques, the character designs try to retain as much of the early 1990’s look as it possibly can.

Episode Four reveals that Princess D from the Kingdom of D is coming to Japan to visit their embassy. As part of her visit, she will be unveiling her kingdom’s secret treasure at a dinner party. When Luna hears this, she wonders if this could be the princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal” that they’re looking for.

Ami, Rei, and Luna meet at the arcade and wait for Usagi, who had to go to detention for sleeping during class. When Usagi finally shows up, Luna talks to the girls about having to find the princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” When Luna finishes her spiel, they realize Usagi was playing the Sailor V videogame and wasn’t paying a whit of attention to what was being said. Luna jumps on Usagi’s head and scolds her.

I have to say that when I watched this scene in the arcade, it felt like a major “info dump,” and that a lot of the information being presented was simply a retread of what had already been mentioned in previous episodes about the princess and the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” About the only new pieces of information to be revealed are that the princess’ power has been sealed and that when all of the Sailor Guardians are awake the princess’ seal will be broken. When the seal’s broken, they’ll know where the “Legendary Silver Crystal” is. With how much information is repeated in this scene, I really can’t blame Usagi for playing the Sailor V videogame instead of listening to information that she and the audience already know! If I were in her shoes, I’d probably do the same thing!

When Usagi returns home, she finds her father dressed up in a tuxedo and learns that he’s going to the dinner party at the embassy in order to do an interview for his magazine. Usagi wants to go with him, but he says no. After her father leaves, Usagi transforms herself into a princess in order to attend the party.

Usagi is joined by Ami and Rei, who have also disguised themselves. They don’t have an invitation, so they sidle up behind another group that’s going in. When the doorman calls out to them, the girls believe they’ve been caught. Psyche! It turns out he saw Luna and he says that pets are not allowed inside. The doorman takes Luna, and the girls get into the party. If I hadn’t already read the manga prior to seeing this episode, I would’ve believed, as the girls did, that they’d been caught trying to sneak in without an invitation.

While they’re at the party, Usagi encounters Tuxedo Mask, who asks her to dance. They dance together, and Usagi wishes she could dance with him forever. Luna manages to escape the doorman and makes it into the party. When Tuxedo Mask sees her, he suddenly runs off in the middle of his and Usagi’s dance.

Ami and Rei, meanwhile, see the princess and stumble across the fact that her attendant is actually Nephrite, one of Queen Beryl’s henchmen, in disguise. He casts a spell that causes a demon to possess the princess, and it’s up to the Sailor Guardians to save the day…

In a lot of respects, the only reason for this story to exist in both the manga and in Sailor Moon Crystal is to build up Usagi’s attraction to Tuxedo Mask. This building up of this relationship is important to the overall story, but it was attached to a story that really does nothing to advance the overarching story. In the end, the princess and her legendary treasure end up being a false lead, so the actual storyline that this episode runs with ends up being a waste of time. I wish there had been a way in the original manga for Takeuchi to have progressed the Usagi and Tuxedo Mask relationship and tied it in with a story that actually helped to propel the story forward.

But the next episode preview shows that Episode Five will continue the overarching story with the introduction of another Sailor Guardian!

Additional posts about Sailor Moon Crystal:

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