Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 9 – “Act.9 SERENITY – PRINCESS -“

Sailor Moon Crystal is a remake of the original Sailor Moon television 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 Nine sees Tuxedo Mask knocked unconscious as he tries to protect Sailor Moon. While he’s unconscious, he realizes that he is a reincarnation of Prince Endymion. Sailor Moon becomes distraught, and a light suddenly envelops her. She undergoes a transformation into Princess Serenity and starts remembering her past. Also, she manages to break the seal of the “Legendary Silver Crystal.”

Serenity and Endymion’s reunion is short-lived when Queen Beryl arrives and helps Kunzite capture Tuxedo Mask, thinking that the “Legendary Silver Crystal” ended up inside of him after light from it entered his body. Later, we see that being around Tuxedo Mask appears to start jogging memories for Kunzite and the others.

A lot of this episode ends up focusing on exposition to finally provide the real explanations for the origin of the Sailor Guardians and their identities in their previous life. Because of this, there’s not much action that takes place in the episode after Tuxedo Mask is captured.

To me, the best part of the episode was the identity struggle that Usagi deals with after learning that she’s the reincarnation of Princess Serenity. We see that she’s in denial that she’s a princess, and honestly, I think this a very realistic reaction. The other Sailor Guardians, Luna, and Artemis try to help Usagi through her confusion. The episode ends with Luna suggesting that they go to the moon to try to get some answers. From the preview for Episode 10, it appears that this will be the focus of the next episode.

For viewers who don’t have familiarity with the manga before watching this series, the exposition that’s prevalent in this episode will be helpful for finally piecing everything together. But for viewers who have already read the manga, the exposition can feel rather boring since they already know the information that’s being presented. At least Usagi’s identity crisis adds something to an otherwise boring episode.

At this point, I think only having Sailor Moon Crystal air twice a month is its biggest weakness. If it was a series airing every week, an exposition heavy episode like this one wouldn’t drag down the series as much as it does. I have to admit that it’s harder for me to keep my interest in Sailor Moon Crystal since it’s not airing on a weekly basis, because any immediacy that’s built up by the end of an episode is lost due to having to wait at least two weeks between episodes. It’s even worse when a month has five Saturdays in it, because then there’s a three week wait from the second episode of the month until the first episode of the next month. Because of the longer wait between episodes, momentum is lost and it makes the series feel like it’s dragging more than it really is.

With Episode 10 appearing to focus on learning information on the moon, I’m afraid it’s going to be another exposition heavy episode like this one was.

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