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.
The first half of Episode 10 focuses on Usagi and the others going to the moon with Luna and getting to see the ruins of the castle. After Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus work together to pull a rusted stone out of a sword, a holographic figure of Queen Serenity appears.
Through this figure of Queen Serenity, both the characters and the audience get the backstory on the Moon Kingdom’s downfall, as well as seeing a little more of Princess Serenity sneaking away to Earth in order to see Prince Endymion. Unlike previous flashbacks to Princess Serenity doing this, we get to see her returning to the castle and interacting with the Sailor Guardians. I thought this section helped to provide more of a complete backstory that explains what happened leading up to the destruction of the Moon Kingdom. One thing that struck me here was that in the visuals, the animators didn’t shy away from showing Princess Serenity killing herself in order to join Prince Endymion in death; it wasn’t graphic or anything, but it was obvious that she had thrust the sword into herself. I was glad to see that the animators didn’t feel like they had to try to hide this movement.
This episode also sees Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite becoming curious and following Queen Beryl to where Queen Metalia, the great ruler, resides. They overhear Queen Beryl talking about the Four Kings having forgotten memories, and this triggers them to remember that they were sworn to protect Prince Endymion. Unfortunately, they’re discovered by Queen Beryl, who is able to get the Four Kings back under her control. While I already knew from reading the manga that their freedom wouldn’t last at this point, I still couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed about the situation.
When the Four Kings try to get the Legendary Silver Crystal from Sailor Moon, Sailor Venus reveals the truth to the other Sailor Guardians about the Four Kings. They refuse to fight with the Four Kings and it’s up to Sailor Moon to save the ones who should be protecting her. This knowledge is going to change how the Sailor Guardians deal with the Four Kings going forward, so it adds a dynamic that hadn’t existed up to this point.
Right at the end, Queen Beryl awakens Tuxedo Mask and has him under her control; she tells him to kill the princess and acquire the Legendary Silver Crystal. Right at the end, we see Mamoru back on Earth, heading toward the arcade. So we end on a cliffhanger as to whether or not Mamoru will find Usagi at the game arcade to carry out his mission for Queen Beryl, and now we have to wait three weeks in order to find out what’s going to happen, since November has five Saturdays in it this year. The twice a month scheduling for Sailor Moon Crystal has become my biggest gripe about the series at this point.
But I do have a gripe about this particular episode: the subtitles were on the sloppy side. I found several instances of grammar issues in the subtitles; while some issues were as minor as not using a plural form of a word, other issues were major. There were at least two or three instances where the subtitles were written in a way where some of the dialogue came across as broken English, and there was one subtitle that ended up being garbled and I couldn’t entirely figure out what the dialogue was supposed to mean. Hopefully at such a point that VIZ Media releases Sailor Moon Crystal on home video, these subtitle issues will be corrected on this episode.
I started to watch the original Sailor Moon anime recently for the first time, and now that I’ve seen the first 19 episodes of that series, I can say that I’m finding the storytelling in Sailor Moon Crystal to be stronger and better than in the original anime.
While I may already know the story from reading the manga, I’m still a little frustrated about having to wait three weeks in order to find out how Sailor Moon Crystal will tell the next part of the story.
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