Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 8 – “Act.8 MINAKO – SAILOR V -“

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 Eight sees Sailor V appearing, along with the white cat, Artemis, to help Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Guardians take on Zoisite. After Zoisite retreats, there’s a good portion of time spent on some exposition about Sailor V, such as her real name being Minako Aino. We also get to see how Minako and Artemis had been working together before Luna found the others. They’re also currently under the belief that Minako is actually Princess Serenity. Later in the episode, though, Usagi gets the impression that Minako is hiding something from them.

As a viewer who’s already read the manga, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated that everyone is under the mistaken impression about Minako’s identity. It just bugged me the whole time I was watching it. If I’d watched this series without having the previous exposure to the manga and knowing how the story goes, I would have had an easier time with this aspect of the episode.

There’s also a strong focus on Mamoru and Usagi’s developing relationship in this episode. Mamoru feels guilty for not being able to save her in Episode Seven, and this guilt starts to bother him immensely. And during the course of the episode, both Mamoru and Usagi have dreams that appear to be snippets of memories of Princess Serenity and Endymion. After her dream, Usagi seems to start wondering if perhaps she might really be the princess. However, she doesn’t voice this idea to anyone else.

Because of the mistaken belief about Minako being Princess Serenity, Queen Beryl sends Kunzite to trap Minako into giving them the “Legendary Silver Crystal.” Minako tries to hide this from the others, but they come to help out. When Sailor Moon is in trouble, Tuxedo Mask comes to her rescue, which leads to Sailor Moon giving him a kiss. This must have been an incredible moment for the fans of the Mamoru and Usagi relationship, and I could help but think, “Awww…” But when Sailor Moon finds herself in trouble a second time, Tuxedo Mask’s guilt leads him to try to save her and putting his own life at risk…

From the preview for Episode Nine, it looks like the truth will finally be revealed about everything. Finally! At this point, I believe that the twice a month airings for Sailor Moon Crystal does hurt the storytelling, because the immediacy a viewer would have if it was a weekly series just isn’t there. Also, by only being twice a month, it makes the story feel like it’s taking longer than it really is. I hadn’t noticed this with the first two or three episodes, but it’s much more obvious now.

Of the eight episodes that I’ve seen of Sailor Moon Crystal, this was probably one of the best ones. Hopefully now that everything is starting to come into place, the episodes will be at least as strong as Episode Seven had been.

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