Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 14 – “Act.14 CONCLUSION AND COMMENCEMENT -PETITE ETRANGERE-“

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 14 spends most of its runtime bringing about the conclusion to the Dark Kingdom arc. I’m sorry, but the promotion saying that Episode 13 concluded this arc and Episode 14 begins the Black Moon arc is a little misleading. Yes, the Black Moon arc technically begins during this episode, but it’s only within the last 2-5 minutes.

So Episode 14 sees Sailor Moon thinking she’s defeated Queen Metalia at first, but it turns out she doesn’t quite have enough power. Through Mamoru’s guidance, she realizes what she needs to do and is able to defeat Queen Metalia; she also receives help from Luna, who is on the moon. One of the things that really caught my attention during the scenes leading up to Queen Metalia’s defeat was the music, and I have to say that it’s probably some of the best music I’ve heard in the series up to this point.

So, it looks like where Episode 13 ended wasn’t as bad of ending point as I had thought. I had forgotten that the attack Sailor Moon was about to launch at the end of Episode 13 wasn’t the final blow. Now being reminded of that, it was probably the best spot for that particular episode to stop.

It should also be mentioned that with the defeat of Queen Metalia, Sailor Moon gets a new transformation sequence because she has a new brooch that has the Legendary Silver Crystal inside of it. To be honest, I didn’t see a whole lot of differences between the two transformation sequences; the main thing I noticed was a little more in the way of flowers in the background near the end of it. Other than that, any other changes were either minor or much more subtle.

After Sailor Moon, Mamoru, Luna, Artemis, and the other Sailor Guardians are reunited, we briefly get to see everyone back in their everyday life. But we get a hint that something’s going to happen when Rei has a vision in the flames while she’s at the temple. And right at the very end of the episode, Chibi-Usa falls out of the sky onto Mamoru and demands that Usagi give her the Legendary Silver Crystal. While I understand from reading the manga that Chibi-Usa is ultimately an important character, I found her to be on the annoying side. But at least I know what to expect from her when watching this arc in Sailor Moon Crystal, so she shouldn’t annoy me nearly as much.

Admittedly, Chibi-Usa looks like she’s got a bit of a bobble head going on in comparison to her small body. Hopefully, as the animators get more used to animating this character, they find ways to make her head look less big on her than it currently does.

There were a couple of noticeable changes between this episode of Sailor Moon Crystal and the part of the manga that it was adapting. In the episode, Artemis and the audience sees Luna’s human form as she’s praying at the Crystal Tower; however, Luna’s human form was seen later in the manga. Also, the episode doesn’t show Rei calling the Tsukino household to see if Usagi is up; instead, we see Usagi’s mother calling out and Usagi coming into the kitchen, already awake and dressed. While neither change is really that major, the first one is definitely more noticeable to readers of the manga than the second one is. I thought it was kind of interesting to see Luna’s human form alluded to earlier on in the story; however, whether or not this will play any kind of important role in the second arc remains to be seen.

Now that the first arc is officially over, we now have to wait three weeks for the second story arc to truly get going. The whole streaming twice-a-month business is still one of the weakest aspects of Sailor Moon Crystal for me. At least that can be rectified when the series is released on home video, and I’m hoping that the story will come across a little stronger once it’s possible to watch all of the episodes in a much shorter time frame.

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