Sailor Moon Crystal- Act 4 – Masquerade Dance Party
The character layering and interaction are back of course, and I imagine that technically it could become rote for the group to grow and adjust to new members as the Sailor Guardians increase their numbers, but it is still fun to watch. The first half of the episode feels expository, but not tediously so. The fact that this episode was likely to lead nowhere in getting the McGuffin doesn’t help and the fact that everyone was taking seriously the idea that here is a “Country D” was hard to swallow. Really not much was accomplished besides formalizing the status quo, but charm and fun were certainly not lacking.
This episode was a little bit filler and a little bit romance. But the romantic aspect shone so brightly as to dazzle the critical eye. The warmth and beauty of Usagi’s blossoming feelings for Tuxedo Mask is well executed on at least two levels, it adds to them as characters and served a mechanical function for Takeuchi to work in an upgrade to Sailor Moon’s powers. Additionally the growing connection between Usagi and Tuxedo Mask raises the stakes for her, given his ambiguous statement to Luna that he could be an enemy. Not only do the Sailor Guardians actually know that the Four Kings are actively working against their interests, but now he is this unknown quantity. The stage is set for a lot of drama. Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon could find themselves in love and on different sides of a battle. How will that affect the Sailor Guardians and their mission? The show has hooked me by raising these questions.
I give this episode 3.5 out of 5 for being flawed, but so charming and engaging that I want to see more. Bonus points not included in this review for the new Moon Tiara’s beam canon that blasts moonlight – it’s spectacular!