Sailor Moon Crystal Act 5- Makoto – Sailor Jupiter
This introduction was nice, but I think it would have been better served by happening later. I know that the original anime spaced things further apart because Takeuchi was still working and while that arrangement typically bothers me, I can see the good in it. Masquerade provided a break from the pattern of introduce new girl, put her in danger, see her transform and save herself or the others. Patterns and formulas are not anathema to good storytelling, but they can become tiring, as is the case here for me. This may seem like a strange criticism, but if the formula had been hidden better or the details were flipped around I wouldn’t have this complaint; it is just so obvious that it risks losing my attention. I sense that the Sailor Guardian’s ranks will stay at four for some time, but I fear that we’ll be seeing the fifth girl join in one month and I’ll be similarly less than thrilled to see the repetition. The pacing of Luna adding three girls to her cause consecutively felt good because everything was new. Perhaps the break from that accompanying the first experience of both/all sides acknowledging each other (Whose side are you on Mamouru Chiba?) along with the engaging musings of Usagi’s young heart created such a charming experience that this return to the normal flow of the show weakened the experience.
Makoto is a neat character. Whether or not she is stronger than the average girl is irrelevant because she has guts and resolve. The friendship Usagi forms with Makoto and the encouragement she gives her when she realizes her heart had been a plaything to some jerk guy is empowering and heroic. I’m interested to see more of Makoto and her interactions with the rest of the team as they actually do something in the next episode.
Stymied by a modicum of formula fatigue, I give this episode a 3 out of 5.