Previously: Act I – Usagi, Sailor Moon
We begin this episode at Juban Public Middle School in the Second Year, Class 5 classroom. We see a blue haired girl working out a large equation on an equally large chalkboard while her classmates look on in shock. Upon completion of the equation, her teacher presents her paper with a perfect 100 score; this is our introduction to Ami Mizuno. As mentioned by some of her classmates in passing, Ami has a 300 IQ, and she’s constantly studying; so much so, that she has no time for friends. As she walks away forlorn after hearing her classmates talk, she sees Usagi and Naru chatting about her latest failed exam. She watches them leave with an almost wistful look in her eyes, and we then leave the cold open and roll opening credits.
We are then introduced to Queen Beryl as she is chastising her general Jadeite for failing to find the Legendary Silver Crystal, as well as not gathering enough energy for their ruler. Jadeite confidently says he’ll find that crystal, but as he leaves, his face changes from one of confidence to one of consternation, as he realizes early on that failures won’t be tolerated. He summons his next monster, and orders her to go find the Crystal. Usagi returns home after a long day of doing…something…and flops on the bed, only to get lectured by Luna. Luna orders her to go find her allies and search for the legendary princess. Usagi daydreams about Tuxedo Mask and Sailor V being allies, but Luna lets her know she has her eye on someone already. That someone? Ami Mizuno. We also get a few blinks and you’ll miss them of the other allies Usagi will be searching out in the near future.
The next day, we see everyone looking at the grades in the hallway, and Ami has aced all of her classes. Usagi is wistful about trying to get that good, but Naru tells her point blank that she’d never be so lucky (which is true). Umino mentions that Ami goes to Crystal Seminar after school; Crystal Seminar is an elite academy for the smartest of smart students. Naru mentions to one of her friends that she never sees Ami around any friends, and Usagi gives a look that basically says “That’s gonna change.”
Ami is seen walking towards Crystal Seminar, before Luna hops out of a tree and starts cozying up to her. Instead of being frightened, Ami is delighted to see Luna, and she pets and plays with her. Usagi – who was on her way to the arcade – sees them and introduces herself. She makes mention that Luna is her cat, and Ami makes the move to give her back. Their hands touch, and Ami is immediately bombarded with memories of a past life. Usagi begins daydreaming about Ami teaching her how to study, but immediately switches to asking her to go to the arcade with her. Usagi plays the Sailor V game – quite horribly, before asking if Ami wants to give it a shot. As befits her character, Ami does spectacular at it, and wins a prize: a blue pen with a gold top. Usagi gets insanely jealous and begins shaking the game while demanding a prize as well, which she gets in the form of a pink pen with a crystal globe on top. In her excitement, Usagi calls Ami “Ami-chan” instead of the more formal “Mizuno-san,” and tells Ami that she can call her by Usagi instead. They share a warm smile before Ami notices the time and sprints off to Crystal Seminar, but not before mentioning that all she’s good at is studying, and that she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps and become a doctor. At Crystal Seminar, Ami is given a disc by her proctor that she says will help her achieve her goal of being a doctor; while she’s studying, her eyes turn from their usual blue to a sickening version of green.
The next day, Usagi and Naru are getting ready to grab some ice cream until they notice one of their friend Kuri walking away while reciting a series of numbers under her breath. Turns out she is attending Crystal Seminar as well, and the school itself is becoming very popular. Later, Usagi runs into Ami in the library, and they chat for a moment before Usagi invites her to go have ice cream as well. Ami agrees, but she remembers that she has to go study at Crystal Seminar and hurriedly leaves. Usagi looks away in confusion, but not before she realizes that Ami left her disc behind. Luna mentions that Ami looked strange as she left, and Usagi asks her to keep an eye on her.
Usagi and Luna are walking towards the ice cream parlor when they are given a flyer by Ami’s proctor at Crystal Seminar; she is trying to get more people to come to the school by offering free tuition. Usagi takes a look at the flyer, crumples it up, and – much to Luna’s chagrin for littering – tosses it away…which flies straight into Mamoru’s face. Mamoru lectures her on treating him like a trash can – again – before asking her if her cat was talking. Flabbergasted, Usagi tells him she wasn’t before picking Luna up and sprinting away. As an aside, I realize that Mamoru dressed like this in the manga, but I think he’s gonna have to change out of that bloody tuxedo eventually. That evening, Usagi and Luna are looking at the disc Ami left behind and are trying to figure out what’s so special about it, as it only contains normal questions. Usagi begins pressing keys at random before inadvertently activating a subroutine in the disc; a subroutine with a rather ominous message: “Get me…Legendary… Sacrifice yourself for our great ruler and collect information about the “Legendary Silver Crystal”. Usagi recognizes that Ami is in trouble, and the two heroines sprint off for Crystal Seminar.
Once there, Usagi realizes pretty quickly that she has no plan; instead, Luna tells her to use the pen she won and transform herself into someone else by saying “Moon Power Change;” she uses this to become a doctor. Usagi uses her power to rush into the school to save her friend; meanwhile, her friend is being pushed by her proctor who mentions in thought that Ami’s intelligence will help them take over not only Tokyo, but Japan as well, and allow them to get the “Legendary Silver Crystal”. The proctor then notices Ami’s pen from earlier; she gives it a look of disgust before casting it aside, calling it a distraction. Ami gets up to retrieve it, but the proctor grabs her arm and tries to force her back down to her seat. Usagi and Luna come in just in the nick of time to save her; Luna attacks the proctor, and Usagi calls the proctor out on her nefarious schemes. The proctor then transforms to her true form, and Usagi transforms to Sailor Moon to fight her.
This fight goes about as well as expected, with Sailor Moon wailing away, but her usual ultasonic crying doesn’t help at all. The monster then begins pelting her with weaponized paper and plasters her to the wall. Sailor Moon begins to struggle, but the monster is determined to slice her to bits. Ami shouts in protest, and this activates the planetary symbol for Mercury on her forehead, and her pen begins to light up. Luna tells her that she is the only person who can save Usagi now, and implores her to transform into Sailor Mercury by shouting “Mercury Power, Make Up!” Another absolutely gorgeous transformation sequence later, and we are given our proper introduction to Sailor Mercury.
Sailor Mercury uses her Mercury Aqua Mist attack to cloud the room, the monster strikes to attack, but misses; however, she succeeds in setting Sailor Moon free. Tuxedo Mask arrives at the scene and wills Sailor Moon on to defeat the monster; using her Moon Tiara Boomerang attack, she defeats the monster and ends the latest scheme of the Dark Kingdom. We then see Jadeite looking at Crystal Seminar in disgust, lamenting the appearance of yet another Sailor Guardian.
That evening, Usagi, Ami, and Luna are walking away discussing the events of the afternoon; Luna says she gave her that pen at the arcade because she knew it was her destiny. Usagi and Ami become instant friends at that point, and they rush off to discuss more about their mission. The final shot of the episode centers around a darkly lit room filled with candles, and a raven-haired priestess sitting among them deep in thought. The priestess slowly opens her eyes, and we roll end credits.
I can’t even pretend to be fair and balanced with this episode; Ami Mizuno has always been my favorite character in all of anime, and I was thrilled that she was to be featured in the second episode. I am glad that they did her justice in her introduction, and I can’t help but look forward to the triumvirate with Ami, Usagi, and the newcomer next week. That being said, the episode did have some fine points that made you sit up and take notice; in the original anime, they talked about harming the Senshi, but not actually causing any mortal injury. In this one? They straight up say they’re gonna kill you and send you to heaven soon. That’s gangsta right there, and I can appreciate that. The score wasn’t overbearing, and the animation style was beautiful – as usual.
I would also like to take the time to thank the wonderful people at the Sailor Moon Crystal Facebook page for allowing me to use their screencaps; this will help me make the articles more pleasing to all of us involved.
Until next time…