Season III’s ninth episode begins with a very upsetting scene: Chibi-Usa dies in the Hospital. Usagi is devastated as we learn that along with her Crystal was stolen Chibi-Usa’s very soul. The Outer Senshi at the same time elaborate that Hotaru has awakened into something completely different: a vessel for the Death Busters. The only way to expel this invader would be to awaken Sailor Saturn, something none of them are willing to do lest the Earth be destroyed. What this means is Hotaru must be killed, but even when the cost might be her own daughter’s life, Usagi cannot simply agree to end the life of someone else.
Ugh, I read the entire arc of the original manga in order to finally compare them. I thought I’d finally have something to complain about this week because there is one point I have of contention, but nope! How does one complain about something that is so beautifully done? This week focuses so heavily on Usagi’s heart, her connection with Mamoru, and her genuine love of people by showing such fluid and beautiful animation that I have a hard time justifying hatred on any level. Seriously, Usagi is in such a beautifully displayed scene of sadness I have a hard time doing anything but going ‘I absolutely understand.’ Before in Crystal she cried, but now we see her tears so vividly it’s hard not to want to hug her. Maybe she and Mamoru are too in love, maybe she pities people and loves too much- but that’s because Usagi IS that love. Usagi will always love all things too much. If anything, I think the world prospers so much under her rule that she simply gives the entire world long life spans through her sheer love of life.
I just want to remind everyone that, once again, I liked Crystal before it was cool and you’re all scrubs. This is still the same Usagi from season one of Crystal, she is still always emotional, and if somehow that is different to you because the animation is different I laugh at you. I for one am happy to see it become such a beautiful perfect rendition of what it always was, and I appreciate all the work that had to go into it to become what it is now. Neener neener, I am clearly a better fan /snooty critic sarcasm. In all seriousness, what I actually mean is this season of Crystal makes the other seasons better. Somehow, it goes back in time and fixes the issues with it. How? I don’t know, I suspect crack cocaine. Or rather, a good team of writers, more funding, more dedicated animators, funding, and did I mention funding?
There were derp moments in the animation but those were. . . so incredibly minute. If anything, seeing Mistress 9 more in this episode cemented she is best waifu. She is fucking creepy, sneaky, underhanded, and condescending. I love her. I also love how clearly Hotaru is still inside, fighting to save Chibi-Usa who has been swallowed by Mistress 9. Oh Mistress 9 you gorgeous fool, Chibi-Usa is the future ruler of the world in tiny form, her soul with Hotaru’s is bad news for you. That being said, please keep being the most fabulous villain ever and I’ll keep fawning over you licking your lips.
This episode also features the most wonderful thing about Crystal the original anime never had: The Senshi truly unite and become one, working together and showing they all love Usagi. This episode made me want to cry because the ominous 3 who really seemed to stay aloof in the original anime now so clearly love Usagi it feels absolutely right. I have critiques about this anime but they mostly revolve around Professor Tomoe: I LOVED that the original Tomoe in the first anime was genuinely a good father and became a victim in order to save his daughter after an accident. In this version, he is an irredeemable asshole jerkface who used Hotaru and put the daimon egg inside of her after the accident. It makes me sad that the arc most focused on redemption in the original makes most of the villains bad guys, but given that the outer senshi are redeemed and I suspect Saturn will be too, I can’t say there is no redemption or that we lose it completely.
But come on, Tomoe was such a lovable dork dad in the original! Now we’ll never get to see him play with Hotaru! Well, if the original anime didn’t have some things going for it it wouldn’t be special, so I guess I can deal. I’m also very happy to see all the Witches 5 come back, as if they heard my bitching they didn’t get enough screentime from beyond the grave.
But seriously, can we get a Saturn transformation up in here?