Usagi finally starts to prove herself.
What They Say:
Act 8: “Minako – Sailor V”
The one who saved Sailor Moon was actually Sailor V. Sailor V aka Minako Aino heads to the Tokyo Tower to settle things with Kunzite but…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Sailor V has arrived to save the day! Not only that, she claims that she is the Moon Princess they are looking for, and with her own guardian cat why wouldn’t they believe her. Suddenly the rest of the guardians rally and Zoisite suddenly realizes that he’s dangerously outnumbered and retreats.
You know who else retreats? A disgusted with himself Tuxedo Mask. Facing the horror of his own failure as a knight in shining armor he takes off. The girls don’t notice because hey, they have a new team member and a very good one at that! Minako Aino introduces herself and retransforms back into her civilian attire before the group returns to the secret base for explanations.
Anyone who is familiar with the story knows that Minako is keep secrets from the rest of the group about what her role really is. Minako has been watching Usagi and the rest and knows what they are capable of, or in this case incapable of. Minako is too nice to come out and say this to the others, and being the only one who knows the truth she sticks with her plan to take out the Dark Kingdom as fast as possible. She doesn’t entirely trust the the team to get the job done, and having worked on her own for so long she takes matters into her own hands when Kunzite makes his move to lure her out.
Artemis, who has a much deeper voice than I expected in this version, doesn’t like that Minako is trying to do everything herself. Yet he’s kept Luna in the dark about some things and even sealed off portions of her memory in order to protect the moon princess. So, in other words, the team’s all here but not a team yet.
Meanwhile, Usagi runs into Mamoru out in the real world and stops to have a chat with him. The awkwardness is starting to wear off, and it’s probably one of the first interactions between the two that doesn’t seem weird. Still, Usagi can’t figure out why she’s being called the princess in her dreams, writing it off as dream logic. Then again, she’s not the brightest character in this cast.
Then the blackout strikes. Kunzite very blatantly calls out Sailor V by floating near Tokyo Tower. Minako knows this is a trap but is convinced she can take Kunzite on by herself. Luckily, she doesn’t get a chance to get her butt kicked because the others show up to help. They clearly tell her not to worry because they’re all in this together and all launch attacks which bounce pointlessly off of Kunzite’s magic shield.
Tuxedo Mask intercepts a failing Sailor Moon after her attack fails and she’s thrilled. He’s all apologies about not being able to do much else, but Usagi doesn’t care and takes the initiative to land a kiss of her own on him. She bounds back into action, and suddenly she doesn’t seem so hopeless as a heroine anymore. Of course the continued attacks still do nothing and when Kunzite finally launches an attack of his own Tuxedo Mask takes the blow.
This is definitely one of the stronger episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal yet, with logical action and good character moments for Usagi and Minako. Sure, the animation is still subpar but at least it’s not getting any worse. There are hints that the pasts of the Dark Kings will be touched upon, and I hope we get to see a bit of Minako’s fun side in the near future because right now we’re getting the serious part. From here on out the storyline should be more interesting as it diverges even more from what many non-manga fans would remember.
Episode Grade: B
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Hulu
Review Equipment: 27” iMac running OS 10.9.4, via Safari 7.0.6, FIOS 15/5 Mbps connection. Your milage may vary.