Previously, Act 8: Minako, Sailor V
Photo credits: Sailor Moon Crystal
Before I begin, I would like to offer an apology to my fellow Moonies; in my previous episode, I referred to Kunzite as Malachite. For those who never saw it dubbed, Malachite was the DiC name given to Kunzite for…whatever reason. Old habits die hard, and I kept calling him Malachite throughout the write-up. I correctly got taken to task for that, and for that, I apologize. Now, on with the recap!
We begin this episode immediately after the last, where Tuxedo Mask is taking an attack from Kunzite that was meant for Sailor Moon. In his fleeting moments, he remembers that he is a reincarnation of Prince Endymion. He reaches for Sailor Moon’s face, but can’t quite reach it before succumbing to his injuries. In her enormous grief, she begins to shriek uncontrollably; this has the unintended effect of reawakening her own memories. She then transforms into Princess Serenity, complete with the crescent moon logo on her forehead. She flashes back to another time and place: people from the Moon Kingdom and the Earth Kingdom were forbidden by God to fall in love, but Serenity and Endymion did anyway. This caused a great war between the two kingdoms, and Endymion gave his life to protect his love. Back in the present day, Serenity!Usagi’s grief is so powerful that it creates the “Legendary Silver Crystal” from her very own tears. Light from the crystal enters Endymion’s body, but before anything else can happen, Queen Beryl appears and orders Kunzite to kill them all and take the crystal. He fails after attacks from Jupiter, Mercury, and Mars, but Beryl has another trick up her sleeve: along with Kunzite, she takes Endymion and returns to the Dark Kingdom.
Later, Serenity! Usagi is filled with grief and sorrow after losing her beloved, and Sailor Venus outs herself as the true leader of the Sailor Guardians. Artemis explains to the Guardians that they were protectors of the Moon Kingdom and Guardians of the Princess. He also explains that Mamoru is the reincarnation of Prince Endymion. The Guardians sealed off the evil presence that destroyed the Moon Kingdom, but at a terrible cost. Sailor Venus also explains that her love for Mamoru is what broke the seal on her own memories. Utterly exhausted, she collapses. Meanwhile, Mamoru is being held in the Dark Kingdom, and he’s being watched over by the Four Kings (Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite). Kunzite appears to have some flashes of past memories, but he pushes them down to focus more on getting the “Legendary Silver Crystal” from him…or from whoever has it. Elsewhere, Luna is suffering through sadness of her own; she didn’t trust in Usagi’s strength, and she feels as if she’s let her down. The other Guardians convince her that she hasn’t let her down at all, and they go to see her again. When they go to see her, they see that Usagi’s hair has grown exponentially since they last saw her. Minako tells her that her changes are from her remembering everything. Usagi then has a breakdown as she remembers what happened to Mamoru, and she has to find a way to save her. The Guardians help to give her strength, and they decide to go to the remains of the Moon Kingdom. Together.
Here are my five standout moments from the episode.
There was some very touching animation in the flashback scenes; especially when Serenity and Endymion are framed by the moon. I think that’s going to be my new desktop wallpaper.
You could feel the PTSD that Usagi was going through in this episode. When she seized up when her memories came rushing back near the end of the episode, I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her.
That Sailor Venus…she is one part loving, and one part stoic. I’m not too keen on her bedside manner, but she’s a leader; she’s just doing her job. Ami is proving to be the heart of the five. She loves Usagi unconditionally, and it looks like she is willing to go to great lengths to protect her friend.
Nice shoutout to Sailor Moon R: The Movie with Usagi’s reveal with the “Legendary Silver Crystal!” The camera angles sealed the deal on that one.
Another shot of the Four Kings! I’m so glad they left them alive, because we’re finally getting to see them interact a lot with each other. It’s clear that they all look to Kunzite for guidance, and I can agree with that choice.
Wow! Just…WOW! This was the episode I had been waiting for since day one; this was the episode that made me genuinely feel an emotional bond with the characters, and I was engrossed in the story they were telling from the second the episode began. And, big kudos to Kotono Mitsuishi! She brought her A-game…and my A-game…and YOUR A-game to this episode, and it was exceptional! If the wait was unbearable at first, it’s reached a fever pitch this time!