Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 18 – “Act.18 INVASION -SAILOR VENUS-“

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.

After Sailor Jupiter disappears, Luna and Tuxedo Mask discover Petz’s Malefic Black Crystal earring. Later, when Mamoru and Minako escort Usagi home and Chibi-Usa sees the crystal in Mamoru’s possession, she freaks out. Mamoru figures out she’s scared of it for some reason, but they can’t get her to open up about it. Instead of showing any sympathy, Usagi says that if Chibi-Usa won’t cooperate with them, then the two of them really can’t get along. Poor Usagi is so upset about losing three of her comrades that she wants to get answers to try to find out what’s happened to them, so it’s understandable that she’s not entirely trusting of Chibi-Usa because of her lack of cooperation. But she did run out of the room after that, so I believe that Usagi was feeling torn at that moment. I think a part of her wanted to be sympathetic toward Chibi-Usa, but the emotions over losing her comrades override anything else that she might feel about the situation.

Later, we see Mamoru summoning the spirits of Kunzite, Jadeite, Nephrite, and Zoisite. During their conversation, he admits that he doesn’t think he has any powers and wonders why he was reincarnated. The spirits give him some words to think about, and at that point, the audience realizes that Mamoru’s feelings about his lack of power will somehow become important later in the story. And I found Mamoru’s thoughts about how unworthy he seems to be due to his lack of power to be a very realistic reaction. When he’s surrounded by Usagi and the others, who have obviously manifested powers, it has to make him feel like he doesn’t entirely belong with them at times.

Calavares, the remaining Spectre Sister, launches a plan by claiming that she is “channeling” Rubeus of Black Moon and that they are there to help the Earth defeat the evil ones of the White Moon and their Legendary Silver Crystal. Minako and Usagi plan to go to Calavares’ public channeling, but Usagi is delayed when she discovers that her brooch has been taken from her room. Minako has to transform into Sailor Venus and take on Calavares while Usagi tries to track down Chibi-Usa, since Usagi is sure that she’s the one who took the brooch.

A very important scene takes place once Usagi tracks down Chibi-Usa, which includes a very important revelation for Mamoru. And by the end of the episode, Chibi-Usa begins talking to Sailor Moon and the others. And Chibi-Usa drops a major bombshell right at the end of Episode 18.

This episode marked big changes for both Mamoru and Chibi-Usa. Mamoru has a revelation about his own power, while Chibi-Usa is finally given a wake-up call to start telling Sailor Moon the truth about why she’s come. At least at this point, Chibi-Usa isn’t acting as bratty anymore and is slowly starting to become a more likable character.

And it was also interesting to see Umino finally make an appearance, since he seemed to have all but disappeared after the end of the Dark Kingdom arc. He’d been gone for so long I almost found myself wondering if he’d been written out. So while Umino is still around, he’s not as important of a character as he was in the first arc. And we also learn that Naru realizes that Usagi is part of something and that Naru is not part of that world. This seems to be laying a foundation for Naru having to deal with uncertainty about her friendship with Usagi and that that uncertainty could be used to manipulate her somehow.

Seeing the preview for Episode 19 made me happy, because it showed that Sailor Pluto will finally be making an appearance. It’s been a little frustrating knowing that she would be introduced in this arc, but having to wait for several episodes before finally getting to see her. Sailor Pluto’s arrival will mark an important step forward for not only the Black Moon arc, but for the overarching story of Sailor Moon Crystal as well.

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