Previously, Act 15: Infiltration: Sailor Mars
Photo Credit: Sailor Moon Crystal
We begin this episode with the aftermath of Act 15; Sailor Mars has been kidnapped by the Black Moon Clan, and Sailor Moon notices that Chibi-Usa followed her to the battle. Sailor Moon angrily accosts her, but Luna steps in to intervene. As the two friends are debating back and forth, Chibi-Usa takes this as her chance to escape. Luna finally talks her down, and she takes her own actions very hard. After the open, Mamoru hears his doorbell ring and thinks it’s his beloved Usako; instead, he finds Luna waiting for him.
Turns out Luna has found Chibi-Usa hiding in the park in the rain. He brought her home and kept her safe, even chatting with her using a Tuxedo Mask puppet (more on that later). Luna introduces herself as well, and Chibi-Usa shows her her Luna-P doll. While they’re talking, Mamoru notices she’s wearing a necklace with a crystal and a key dangling from it; Chibi-Usa is very protective of it and avoids any questions about it when asked. Yeah, that’s not gonna wind up being important or anything. Back at their HQ, Luna tells Makoto, Minako, and Ami what they know so far. They agree to let Mamoru handle Chibi-Usa while they focus on rescuing Rei from the Black Moon Clan. Afterwards, they focus on Ami playing a challenging game of chess, relating the strategies of the game to the strategies of the Black Moon Clan.
The next day, Mamoru and Luna bring Chibi-Usa home, and Usagi is crestfallen. Mamo-chan tries to cheer her up, but his usual charms don’t work on her this time. Meanwhile, Saphir questions Prince Demande about their interrogation of Sailor Mars, and Demande is not having any of those transgressions at all. Rubeus joins the two and tells his Prince in no certain terms that Sailor Mars isn’t giving up any information about the crystal. They send Berthier to find the “Rabbit,” and she is focusing on removing the Sailor Guardian with the power of water.
The next day, Ami is at school and overhears some students complaining about the water not working. She uses her emotional connection to water to find a leak in the water main. Ami is then confronted by a strange woman in a unitard who tells her that dowsing without a pendulum equals bad juju before vanishing when she’s distracted. Later, Ami is swimming in the pool when she’s interrupted by Naru and a still-sulking Usagi. They finish up their swim and nonchalantly talk about Ami’s past: her father is a Japanese-style painter who got divorced from her mom. She credits her father for teaching her how to play chess and swim, and she uses both methods to keep herself calm. As they’re heading to the locker room, Ami sees a TV broadcast showing the very same woman she saw earlier; the woman, who is calling herself Miss Berthier, uses the TV show to challenge Ami to a game of chess.
During the televised game, Berthier uses her dowsing gem to get into Ami’s head and she talks her out of her game. She questions Ami about the “Rabbit,” and Ami deduces that she’s actually referring to Chibi-Usa. Berthier also uses her pendulum – which is made out of something called the “Malefic Black Crystal” – to get into Ami’s innermost thoughts. She sees Ami’s fear of always being alone due to her parent’s divorce, the abduction of Mars, and the destruction of the Silver Millennium. Ami begins to second guess her actions, and she completely loses focus. She is almost resigned to her fate until she hears Usagi cheering her on, much to the consternation of both her friends and the audience around her. She defeats Berthier and in retaliation, Berthier summons her minion Droids from the Black Moon Clan to do battle.
She deduces that Droids aren’t alive, and the Guardians are able to attack with more menace, including Sailor Moon defeating Berthier once and for all. However, Sailor Mercury is captured and kidnapped by Rubeus and the Black Moon Clan. During all of this, Chibi-Usa is hiding in the background watching these events with a large dose of concern; according to her dad and Mamoru, Sailor Moon is supposed to be invincible. It ain’t looking too good for them right now, though.
Here are my five standout moments from the episode:
Why does Mamoru have a puppet of himself? Why is that a thing, and where can I get one? It was nice to see a rose show up, though; that made me smile.
While we’re on the subject of Mamoru, his trying to force a kiss on Usagi was a bit creepy. She was in no mood to reciprocate, but he kept trying anyway. Come on, man; no means no.
So…Prince Demande has a third eye hiding in his Black Moon emblem, huh? There’s no way that’s not gonna come back and bite him in the ass.
Speaking of things returning, it was nice to see Sailor Mercury’s version of Google Glass make a return appearance as well; it was sorely missed.
As I mentioned way back in Act 2, Sailor Mercury is my favorite of the Sailor Guardians. In fact, she is one of my favorite anime characters of all time. So, to see her get a standalone episode that delved more into what made her tick was satisfying, although depressing to see the ending. Just like the Guardians aren’t playing around anymore when it comes to handling their enemies, neither are the Black Moon Clan. They get them in a bout of weakness, then they take them out for interrogation. This is a far cry from the Dark Kingdom episodes, where they would send minions to do their dirty work, then act amazed when everything went downhill. I’m looking forward to next week’s episode when we get another showdown between a distressed Guardian and an overconfident Spectre Sister. This can only end in excitement for us.