Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6- Tuxedo Mask
Ambiguity, threat escalation and wide ranging impact make this episode an exciting answer to my previous complaints. By the end of the episode more questions about Mamorou Chiba remain, even as Usagi finally realizes he is Tuxedo Mask. He is a desperate person, who is willing to take desperate measures. His kindness and care for Usagi are a mix of self-motivated interest and genuine care for her, but what does he want? The preview lets us in on that, but we’ll leave the particulars to next week, because what is important is how things unfolded in the episode proper. He and Usagi are connected by their dreams of the Moon Kingdom; even new viewers I am sure, have seen the similarities between the princess and soldier in Usagi’s dream and her and her and Mamorou. The story is telling us, quite openly, that they are deeply connected to each other and the Moon Kingdom. We have seen that the other Sailor Guardians are also connected to the Moon Kingdom because they have glimpsed the palace at different times during their introductions. The revelation that Luna’s base is under Crown Arcade and is accessed by the Sailor V machine and the glimpse of Sailor V at the end of the episode with a white cat connect Usagi’s world in a very satisfying way. How everything is connected is still nebulous, but there is a plan and some solid structure upon which this story is all being hung. Queen Beryl’s appearance alongside Soizite also made the Dark Kingdom feel more real and a lot scarier, especially when Soizite had cast a pall over thousands of people in his plot to find the Legendary Silver Crystal and absorb human energy for their master. The doubt and uncertainty which stymie Usagi seem so realistic given the threats she and her friends face. The way she wavers is handled in just the right way too, where the viewer can have sympathy for her, cheer her on to step up and be proud of the team for doing what they must with or without her. Watching Usagi struggle to grow and change has been extremely satisfying and I am so excited to see more.
A return to form that has me really excited for the next episode gets this episode 4 out of 5.