Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 27 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 27 Review

 INFINITY 1 – Premonition – First Part

Much like JoJo, Sailor Moon Crystal has started up again! Unlike JoJo, though, Sailor Moon Crystal‘s schedule wasn’t the clearest. Up until the day it aired, I had no idea what time it was going to start. Was it going to be in the morning, the afternoon, or what? How often were episodes going to be released? Twice a month again? I read from some sources that the episodes were to be weekly, unlike the first two seasons, but I wasn’t sure if that was true or not. (This is why I said they were probably using the ‘first and third Saturday’ a month schedule again when I reviewed the trailer. Turns out I was wrong! Oops!)

Apparently Sailor Moon Crystal will be airing every Monday for 13 weeks. Good to know!

Anyway, I was hesitant about this episode because of how inconsistent Crystal was before. I mean, just how much could Toei improve?

The OP is interesting, to say the least. The animation and flow is nice, much nicer than the first OP was. We even get to see a preview of the Sailor Guardians’ attacks from this arc, including Sailor Moon’s Moon Spiral Heart Attack:

Moon Spiral Heart Attack
Moon Spiral Heart Attack
Classic Moon Spiral Heart Attack
Classic Moon Spiral Heart Attack

This looks good. So much so that it’s fairly interchangeable from the Classic version of the 90s. I like it! (And hey, Sailor Moon is actually holding the wand!)

The interesting part of the OP for Crystal is the song. It’s not very OP-like; in fact, it’s very mellow. Now, sometimes I like mellow; this is not one of those times, though. The animation is too fast paced for such a slow song, and to be completely honest with you, I don’t like the vocals that much either. But hey, if the OP’s song is my only solid complaint, I’ll take it.

The episode begins with a brief introduction to the villains of this arc and three ‘new’ Sailor Guardians. This is all brief, but intentionally so. There isn’t much to say about it; Hotaru (still to be officially introduced), Mamoru, and Rei all sense that something bad is going to happen, and after Usagi has a dream about marrying Mamoru she wakes up and we see that the news is talking about monster sightings. No big deal!

Let me just state now that I noticed some immediate changes in character designs from the first two seasons: the cats being the biggest.

Cats looking like ... cats?
Cats looking like … cats?

They aren’t perfect, but they look like cats now! I can’t BELIEVE how long this took; I also can’t believe that the initial designs ever passed QC. These are much, much better than before.

Usagi’s Mom and Dad look a little different too, but the change is subtle enough to me that unless I go back and look through the old episodes, I can’t really tell you what’s different. In other words, the change doesn’t matter.

Chibiusa no longer has lipstick on! This is another change like the cats, where I am completely for it. I don’t mind the other Guardians wearing lipstick, but I think it’s super unnecessary on Chibiusa.

I’m honestly just glad that Toei seemed to listen to complaints and fixed some stuff.

Since this episode is pretty short in original story content, I’ll talk about Usagi’s new design for a minute:

Usagi's design is a little different than before.
Usagi’s design is a little different than before.
Classic Sailor Moon's design
Classic Sailor Moon’s design

She looks different. After looking over this screenshot from the episode for a bit, I really think that she looks more lively than she did before. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Toei changed, but something’s definitely not the same as before. I’d like to think that they took inspiration from the classic anime and gave it a more modern look, somehow.

I like it. She looks happy!

Anyway, the episode then goes on to introduce Haruka and Michiru, who are going to be revealed as Sailor Uranus and Neptune later on. They look good, much like I said in the trailer review. I also think that Toei did a great job with casting voice actresses for them, but that’s not a surprise since I like the cast as a whole.

Haruka and Michiru both comment that the winds and oceans are rough today, which is their way of saying they sense something bad is going to happen, much like Hotaru, Mamoru, and Rei did earlier. Basically, half of the group of Guardians know something’s going on.

Haruka and Michiru
Haruka and Michiru

After this introduction, the episode changes back to Usagi’s group, where Usagi reintroduces them to the viewer. Their designs changed a little, too, but in the same way Usagi’s did, so I don’t think it’s necessary to really analyze each one separately.

Usagi and Minako play a racing game after Usagi’s introduction, and they get their asses kicked by Haruka, who is a professional racer. (I know, video game racing is not the same as real racing, and therefore their skill level is different, but this scene happened in the manga and the classic anime too, so there’s no need to nitpick it. It’s a funny scene, anyway.)

I should note that there’s plenty of banter between the girls in the arcade. Rei is smart towards Usagi, much like in the manga, and Minako and Makoto fangirl for a little bit. I love this! Crystal desperately needed these moments. It seems like a small thing, but it really adds characterization to everyone.

While Haruka beats Usagi and Minako at racing, Mamoru runs into Michiru, and he senses something odd. This episode is full of sensing stuff, can’t even deny it.

When everyone leaves the arcade, though, they notice a monster absorbing a civilian, and shit goes down. (If I made that sound brief, well, that’s because it is. Trust me, this episode was short on content.)

Minako tells everyone to transform, and…

Transformations without CG!
Transformations without CG!

THERE ISN’T ANY CG!

Yeah, that’s right! Toei dropped the CG from the transformations! No more pointy as all heck chins! This makes me so happy!

The transformations are still weird at times (noodly legs) but they’re 1,000x better than before. Each one looks as if Toei took the classic anime’s themes and translated them into Crystal. This is what they should have done from the beginning, and watching the new transformations makes me mad that they used CG in the original Crystal ones.

Now, as much as I enjoyed the new transformations, it was annoying having to sit through 4+ minutes of them. Considering Toei decided not to show the full transformations in every episode of Crystal before, I’d assume that this is a one time thing and that the next episode won’t have as long of a collective sequence. I could be wrong though.

After everyone transforms and gives their speeches, Mars tries to cleanse the monster, but it doesn’t work, and Venus and Jupiter destroy it with their attacks.

Coconut Cyclone
Coconut Cyclone

Jupiter’s Coconut Cyclone is particularly badass.

The monster dies as soon as it arrives, and that’s about it!

Haruka and Michiru can be seen hanging out nearby; this means they saw everything, including the 4+ minutes of transformations. Hope they weren’t bored!

The final scene of the episode consists of Luna and Artemis explaining that, well, something bad is going on. Which we already knew, but whatever.

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The ED is nothing short of amazing, unlike the OP. I think that the song would have worked better as the OP than the OP’s song did, but it’s still nice as the ED.

I love how Toei knows that Neptune and Uranus are fan favorites, and dedicated the entire ED to them. I think it shows that they are actually putting more love into the series now than they did before.

Unfortunately, for some people, it’s too little, too late. I love all of the changes that Crystal went through for this season, but I understand why some fans don’t want to watch it after the first two. If you’re open to give the show another chance, I’d recommend doing so and just ignoring the previous episodes, honestly. Yes, I enjoyed some of them, but I can tell that this season will be MILES better.

Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 27 can be viewed on Crunchyroll now if you’re a premium member, or on April 11th at 10:35am EDT if you’re not.