Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7- Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask
Takeuchi has fused tragic back stories, mysterious calls to action, betrayal and love into the pleasing piece that is SMC Act 7. Dynamic is the one word I would use to describe Sailor Moon Crystal since I started watching it only a few months ago. The almost entirely female cast may contribute to the intense level of energy I perceive in the show. That may seem odd at first, but given that most everything else I watch is mostly male populated and my day job has 10 men to every 1 woman, it is a little jarring to see a world that almost feels empty for the lack of men, and yet filled with female presence even when only one or two women are shown on screen. It’s off-putting but I like it. Even though the core material, Takeuchi’s manga is over 20 years old, I think this kind of shake up is really necessary and I hope Sailor Moon has resurgence in popularity and reaches new fans in the West; we could use some Moon healing Escalation.
The principal cast is a set of high school girls and a magical talking cat, all of whom are powerful, but unique. Tuxedo Mask, the only good male with any agency regarding the struggle between the Moon and Dark Kingdoms has been seen as an unknown quantity up until this point. Even his declaration to Usagi doesn’t feel immutable. His ambitions could potentially cause him to work against the other Sailor Guardians to obtain the Legendary Silver Crystal. I think the return of repressed memories may compel him further despite his current change of heart, just as it compelled each Sailor Guardian to step out of her comfort zone. Queen Beryl, or whoever she was before she answered Queen Metalia’s call, might be a closer analog to Mamoru, in that she is outside the circle of sailor Guardians and seeks the Legendary Silver Crystal for herself, just as he had and may yet. Beryl is willing to betray Queen Metalia, so does that mean that one of the Four Kings might be out for himself as well? Could we see a divide between the Dark Kingdom, even as Usagi and Mamoru drift away from the Sailor Guardians? Maybe. That is just a fraction the dynamism I have been enjoying in watching this show and most of that is encapsulated in this one episode. While this story is 2o years old and has some cliches (it certainly seem to have set some) it is still surprising. I don’t feel like it is predictable. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
For executing the feat of being a standalone that picks up from the last episode and leads into the next, I give this episode 4 out of 5.