Sailor Moon Crystal: Episode 4 [The Princess and the Crystal]

Luna is examining the identities of the Sailor Scouts. . . .only to reveal at the beginning of this episode she knows who Tuxedo Kamen is, and she wonders if he is a friend. . .or a foe.

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Usagi is once again waking up late, now with a candid shoujo manga lying under her as she freaks out at her alarm. Have I mentioned how genuinely endearing this goofball is? As usual while watching this show I get tears in my eyes. Oops, nostalgia and tears breaking out. Usagi actually makes it to school on time and has a moment to talk to Naru, who tells her of a Princess from an illustrious land of rare gems that has come to exhibit a priceless treasure.

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Rei and Ami meet up at the arcade only to learn Usagi was given detention for sleeping in class. The two hang out at the arcade and manage to beat the boss together, and it’s really touching to finally see some of the Senshi interact WITHOUT Usagi. It’s actually hard for me to recall, thinking on it, when the Senshi were developed as girls outside of Usagi and their sordid romance stories.

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Usagi finally makes it to the Arcade and Luna explains that there are three of them now. Rei wonders who the Youma are that attack, but Luna points out to them their most important mission is to protect the Princess. No one knows who she is because her powers were sealed away so no one could find her. WOW. Thanks for that Crystal, the one fucking line of exposition needed to make all their bickering and searching in the original actually make sense. To protect the Princess, her power and likely the memories of her, were sealed away. This makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW!

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Luna explains that once all the Senshi are awakened the location of the Silver Crystal, the ultimate power of the Moon Kingdom, will be revealed. They are all the key and due to this must all be awakened. Usagi however lets this fly through one ear and out the other, to the disappointment of Luna and her team mates. Usagi becomes more interested in the conversation that went on between Umino and Motoki, about the Princess of D and the ball that Usagi would love to go to.

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Rei says she has a bad feeling about this party, and we cut to the Four Kings as Beryl commands them to find and use the Crystal to revive their Great Ruler. Usagi can’t leave well enough alone and decides she’ll be going to the dinner party as well! The rest of them worry about getting in but thanks to the Disguise pen the only thing security can find wrong with them is their pet, which they’ll of course take care of.

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I have to say that while they look nice, this is the first time age has shown on this series. None of these outfits would be considered in style, and are a little dated.  Usagi slips in and gets something on her dress, and frantically searches for her handkerchief. It’s none other than a familiar Tuxedo clad man that picks up her embroidered-with-her-name handkerchief, and meanwhile Rei and Ami notice something strange about one of the Princess of D’s companions.

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Usagi feels lonely standing out on the balcony until a man who is quite clearly Tuxedo Mask asks her to dance. The next few minutes are a gratuitous display on the behalf of the love story of Mamoru and Usagi. Most of you watching know the story, so it’s very easy to explain. But picture this, a man driven by an unknown desire for something he doesn’t understand. It drives him to fight even those he is interested in to be the one person to obtain this mystery treasure. The truth behind it he doesn’t even realize is he wants to find one woman, the woman he loves above all else, and be with her again. His only drive is leading him to find the woman he loves that he cannot even recall.

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Usagi is only fourteen, but even she can’t explain the warmth she feels around him and the draw he has on her heart. Luna interrupts their dance and Tuxedo Mask disappears as we see the Princess’ companion is truly Nephrite, another of the four kings, come to take the treasure. At least Jaedite didn’t like. . . scare young girls before getting what he wanted, he had the sense to knock them out first?? He summons a monster to possess her and while Rei and Ami transform, they aren’t quite fast enough to catch her. Usagi catches her before she jumps off the building with the treasure only to be knocked over. She however is caught. . . by Tuxedo Kamen! The two of them fall only for Usagi to use her pen and save them both.

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The second screenshot. . . might be my first big issue with the 2-d animation of this series. There were some derp moments before, but this is a big budget scene. There is NO excuse for an anime that only comes out EVERY TWO WEEKS to have such a poor quality shot. Honestly? The animator keying this scene should be ashamed for doing such a shoddy job on Tuxedo Mask’s face. I have a lot of sympathy when a show comes out every week and animators are pushed to the brink, but if it comes out every two weeks to ensure quality and consistency then they sure let the ball drop on this and the dance scene. They made up for it in some shots but I feel since I have to wait two weeks for one episode this is a ridiculous error. He goes from looking his age to looking 12. Ugh.

this shots good though. humma humma
this shots good though. humma humma

Mid transformation Usagi remembers her tiara was burnt up in the last battle, until her entire body glows and warms up from her pendant. She remarks that the warm feeling she felt when she and Tuxedo Mask danced embraces her, and she gets a new tiara! THE CONSISTENCY OF THIS SHOW!

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Nephrite holds an immense power over Princess D, and none of the Sailor Scouts seem to be able to do anything. Tuxedo Mask calls out and declares only a powerful light can stop the darkness, and Luna tells Usagi she must use her new tiara to reflect the moonlight onto her!

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Holy shit SHE REALLY REFLECTS THE MOONLIGHT! Oh my God, this anime definitely does something different. The Sailor Senshi have a variety of abilities and seem to learn to use a multitude of things. I no longer feel as if they’ll do the same thing every episode and I really like that, it highlights how genuinely powerful the Senshi is. Also, Nephrite actually doing things because this anime adaptation is much more fond of showing the powers of the Four Kings. That being said, the Four Kings appear as soon as he loses his grip.

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Wow. Uhm. Kunzite is. . . .very. . .attractive…now. . .uhm. coughs uncomfortably. . . Have I ever mentioned I like silver haired bishounens? Each of the Four Kings introduce themselves and tell the Senshi they will have the Crystal at any cost, and make the world bow before their great ruler. Princess D recovers and reveals the secret treasure, a very beautiful pure diamond carving of herself. The Senshi realize this isn’t what they’re looking for, but Usagi is nowhere to be found. Instead. . . she is sleeping on the balcony as Tuxedo Kamen observes her.

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As he observes her, he remembers the dance they had together. He looks at her face in the moonlight, and pulls her in for a kiss. In the soft moonlight, she recalls this is a familiar feeling to her. Sweet lips…a warm feeling.

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But as he embraces her in the moonlight, Luna stops him. She demands to know why he is always appearing before them. He admits he is looking for the Silver Crystal as well. Luna asks if they are enemies. He admits, if they are looking for the same thing, they might be. He disappears into the night. Meanwhile a storm approaches. . . and a certain girl is caught in it.

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Is Tuxedo Mask an enemy, despite the shared connection between he and Usagi? Who is this girl, and could she help lead them to the Princess? We’ll find out next time, on Sailor Moon Crystal episode 5 – Makoto, …Sailor Jupiter!  As we reach my favorite Sailor Scout all I can think is that, this anime has some flaws. The animation has no excuse to be as subpar as it can be. But I feel like crying when I watch it, in a good way. Few things make me tear up as badly as this anime, as it plays on my heart strings. If you loved Sailor Moon as a little girl and it changed your life like it did mine, you know how this feels. Even if the English dub were to be abysmal and the box sets 100 dollars, I’d want this. Because this anime made my life what it is today. It’s why I’m here and why I write today. For all of it’s issues, this anime lives up to the feelings all little girls held in their hearts when the original aired. See you next time.

Oki

Oki

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Wanderer
Guest
Wanderer

Looking at this without the nostalgia-filter-lense, I see a girl with nothing between her ears but air who can’t concentrate on anything important for more than half a second before getting distracted to look at that pretty thing over there. And I see a weird stalker in a mask who molests girls in their sleep. That’s kind of not cool.

Tigercrane (@ashveridian)
Guest

Yeah Im with you on this one. Daydreaming over a guy does not, in any way, resemble consent to be kissed. The fundamental truth is that she CANT consent to a kiss while sleeping, even if she would normally consent to it while awake. Add in the fact that she’s a middle schooler (not legal by Japan’s standards) and he in high school adds a level of skeeze to it all that Im just not comfortable with. Maybe its just differing cultural standards here, but that part really soured the episode for me. Meanwhile I disagree with you whole heartedly… Read more »

Tigercrane (@ashveridian)
Guest

I actually like that screenshot. Its literally the first time I’ve seen Mamoru look like he’s close to Usagi’s age. Hell, the whole reason they made him a college student (and Usagi a high schooler as a result) in the old 90’s dub is because they didnt think they could sell the idea of him being a high schooler because he looks like a grown man. Plus there’s the whole comedic value of “I can’t believe this Mary Poppins shit worked!” expression he seems to have. I also feel like I have to defend the animators here a bit, too.… Read more »

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