Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 7 – “Act.7 MAMORU CHIBA – TUXEDO MASK -“

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 1990s look as it possibly can.

Episode Seven opens with Usagi learning Tuxedo Mask’s true identity and the reason why Mamoru is trying to get his hands on the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” We get to see a flashback sequence of Mamoru losing his parents and his memories on his sixth birthday, and it was interesting to see that the flashback was done to almost look like watercolor paintings instead of the animation that’s usually used in Sailor Moon Crystal. I was glad to see that it was done this way, because I don’t think the typical animation style for the series would have worked as well and wouldn’t have had the impact that the watercolor look had.

Speaking of the animation, it appears that overall, the animators are trying to mute the look of the characters a little, which helps to make them look a little less “plastic” than they had been. The only time I could say I truly saw the “plastic” look was when Usagi transformed into Sailor Moon and the scene where Sailor Moon is in the conflict with Zoisite.

The main plot of the story, though, has to do with the Dark Kingdom opening up a video rental store and renting out videos with subliminal messages to capture Sailor Moon. At this point in the series, it’s expected that the Dark Kingdom is going to try to find some way to trick humans into giving their energy, tracking down the “Legendary Silver Crystal,” or capturing Sailor Moon.

And I think this story was updated to modernize things a little; in this episode, people are renting DVDs, but I seem to recall in the manga that they were renting out videotapes. I’m not complaining about that, though; it’s just interesting to see that while this is meant to be a more faithful adaptation of the manga, they’re still willing to make minor changes to modernize the story for contemporary audiences.

It was kind of creepy seeing Umino fall victim to one of the Dark Kingdom’s schemes, since he’s usually a logical and level-headed character. I do believe that this would mark the first time that we’ve ever seen this happen to him. I guess using something like video rentals would make this more likely. While the Dark Kingdom has used television before, I don’t think he watched the program that had the subliminal message in it.

And right at the end of this episode, Sailor Moon finally comes face-to-face with Sailor V. From the preview, it appears that Sailor V will be playing an important role in Episode Eight.

Sailor Moon Crystal continues to be an interesting viewing experience for me, especially since I didn’t watch the original anime series and only read the manga after Kodansha started reissuing the series in North America in 2011. I don’t have the nostalgia lens to look through, so for me, it’s more like I’m getting to see the manga I read for the first time within the past few years coming to life. I’m very interested in seeing where in the manga this series will leave off when it’s done; there’s only going to be 26 episodes, and there’s no way they’ll cover the entire manga at the rate the story is going.

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