The episode opens with a mysterious voice discussing light and how it is the enemy to their darkness. A partial shot of a woman’s face is shown before the “camera” shifts to a young girl dreaming of the Senshi being killed. Mamoru seems to share her dream. We then shift to Usagi, who is dreaming of marrying Mamoru before being abruptly awakened. As she scrambles to get ready, Chibi-usa catches a glimpse of the news, where the reporters are talking about a monster attack and theorizing that it may be “reversion”–humans reverting back to a primal state. Usagi and Mamoru meet up, but before they can kiss, they are interrupted by Chibi-usa who ultimately joins her friends. As they finally begin to kiss, the scene from earlier replays, giving them both pause. As they part ways, Usagi theorizes that her peace won’t last long.
The focus shifts to a swimming girl, and then to a “boy” who is driving a race car. These two, named Michiru and Haruka respectively, are briefly touched upon as being members of Mugen Academy, as well as boyfriend and girlfriend, before the focus shifts back to our main cast, reintroducing us to each one. Usagi and company have a brief encounter with Haruka in the game center, while Mamoru briefly encounters Michiru outside the game center, with an enemy encounter following shortly thereafter. The girls defeat their foe, and begin to draw a connection to the attacks and Mugen Academy.
So begins the arc known as “Sailor Moon S.” Despite the controversial content in this arc (more on that in a moment), this is by far my favorite arc of Sailor Moon (though, admittedly, I’ve never read or seen StarS) because of how dark it is. I’m sure that won’t sit well with some, but I believe I’ve said in the past that, in reality, a magical girl’s life would not be sunshine and rainbows—they are battling forces of evil and putting their lives on the line, after all. As such, a certain level of darkness is appropriate for the setting. Although the new players are barely touched upon in this episode (we only see brief shots of Hotaru, and Haruka and Michiru’s identities are not revealed yet), they will ultimately play key roles in why this arc is so dark.
I mentioned controversy, and I mean that more in the sense that I am obviously writing for a Christian audience. Let’s just be blunt: Sailors Uranus and Neptune are in a lesbian relationship with each other. This isn’t explicitly spelled out in this episode (people believe Haruka is a boy at this point), but the ending credits kind of give it away (if 20+ years of Sailor Moon’s existence hasn’t already). It’s not something I approve of as a Christian, but I also don’t feel it is enough to throw the show away as a whole, especially because Sailor Moon Crystal is its own incarnation of the story, so seeing how everything will play out in relation to past incarnations will be interesting.
The show does take the time to reintroduce the main characters, presumably in case you are jumping into the series at the beginning of season three. While such approach is not recommended, you will at least get a crash course in who’s who if you have chosen to do so. Each of the five Senshi’s transformations is also shown, and the animators seem to have listened; gone are the awkward, CGI transformations, replaced with transformation artwork that matches the rest of the artwork in the show. In fact, the artwork as a whole received a complete overhaul, it seems, and while that will make for some awkward transitions if you watch straight from season 2 into 3, the new artwork does certainly feel more appealing.
Other than that, there’s not much to say for this episode, except that it was a good one. It was clearly meant to be more of an introduction (or reintroduction) than anything, and it serves that purpose well while simultaneously laying the groundwork for the new plot that will most certainly begin to unfold in the next episode. Ladies and Gentlemen, Sailor Moon Crystal is back, so let’s see how it delivers!
A Christian Perspective:
John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Okay, okay, I know, this isn’t really the most insightful or groundbreaking connection, but I honestly didn’t have anything else come to mind, while this concept (if not this particular verse) came to mind during the unknown villain’s opening monologue. While there’s not a whole lot I can expound upon (it’s a pretty clear comparison—the villain mentioned how the darkness could not thrive because of the light), it is still interesting to see how biblical concepts make their ways into stories from cultures that certainly aren’t inspired by the Bible. The number of Christians in Japan is small, and Sailor Moon is not exactly a Christian allegory (though I have made plenty of connections in the previous two seasons), yet this concept of the darkness not overcoming the light pops up right at the beginning of season three. It’s like its a natural concept or something, a reality embedded in our very subconscious by a power greater than us…
Spiritual Content: Mars uses talismans in an attempt to exorcise an enemy
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Chibi Usa and Hotaru are shown lying down naked in the intro—their limbs cover their private areas; a bust shot of a naked Usagi is shown in the intro—her hands cover her breasts; Usagi dreams that she is wearing a cleavage-revealing wedding dress; Michiru is shown in a one-piece bathing suit; the five main Senshi all go through their transformation sequences
Violence: The Senshi engage an enemy in combat
Other: Haruka plays herself off to be male; Sailors Neptune and Uranus are in a lesbian relationship – neither of these things is explicitly shown in this episode, but this is common Sailor Moon knowledge. The ending theme song features Neptune and Uranus exclusively, and includes scenes of them holding hands and lying down, embracing each other.
The Bottom Line