Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 5 – “Act.5 MAKOTO – SAILOR JUPITER”

Sailor Moon Crystal is a remake of the original Sailor Moon television 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 Five introduces Makoto Kino, a tall girl with superhuman strength who has just transferred to Juban Middle School. Usagi and Makoto have a couple of run-ins before they get to know each other.

One of the driving things in this episode is a rumor that Makoto was kicked out of a previous school because she had a fight with another student, and on how the rumor is causing most people to ignore her. So when Usagi finally talks with Makoto and refers to her as a lovely girl, it means a lot to Makoto.

The theme of this episode seems to focus on how people shouldn’t rely on rumors since they usually turn out to be wrong. As it’s revealed later in the episode, Makoto changed schools because a guy she liked at her old school broke her heart. She wasn’t kicked out due to getting into a fight like the rumor tries to claim. The episode also shows how the subject of a rumor can be affected emotionally and mentally, and Makoto’s feelings come into play during a very important scene.

There’s also been a rumor that a mannequin at a bridal shop comes to life at night and apparently all the men who have visited the shop have gone missing. Makoto plays an important role in this part of the episode when she sees the senpai who broke her heart after he’s been taken in by the “bride ghost.”

By the end of the episode, Sailor Jupiter has been introduced and Luna declares that Sailor Moon is the leader of the Sailor Guardians.

We got a couple of brief scenes with Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask in this episode. His basic purpose in this story was to see what was going on with Makoto and her senpai and to lead Usagi to that location. Quick question: How does Mamoru know where she lives? Has he been stalking her? And fortunately for him, Usagi has the type of personality she does, since a lot of girls would freak out over a guy suddenly appearing in her window, whether she knows him or not!

When it comes to the animation at this point, I do like the look of the backgrounds, but the character animation just doesn’t look as “natural” as it could. While I kind of noticed this in the first episode, it’s become more evident with each passing episode that this style of animation for the characters almost makes them look a little on the “plastic” side.

Animation aside, I’m still finding Sailor Moon Crystal to be a series that’s an enjoyable enough viewing experience. And from the preview, it looks like Episode Six is going to focus on Tuxedo Mask, so he’ll finally have more of a major role to play in the story.

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