Good Grief – Sailor Moon Crystal 18 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 18 Invasion – Sailor Venus

The Black Moon’s power comes from the planet Nemesis, which is the corniest thing since the name “Princess D.” The silliness and obviousness of such an expository gem is countered by the subtleties that were seen in the interactions between the Black Moon’s forces. Calaveras’ sadness for her sisters’ deaths running parallel to the sadness felt by those who care for Rei, Ami and Makoto served to humanize her and the rest of Black Moon to some extent.

We’ve seen Usagi and the others distressed over the sudden spiriting away of their friends. A typical reaction in a hero show for, hero or villain would be a bitter cry followed by steely resolve for vengeance or to mete out justice, but Takeuchi lets the girls flounder a bit even as they have to keep living. Calaveras is shown as bereft. It doesn’t characterize or consume her, but it is a part of her current character and appropriately effects how she acts. When we first see Calaveras, she is channeling her sisters through drones. She promises her sisters, she will avenge them. When Rubeus comes to Calaveras and kisses her, she blushes and her concentration shifts from her sisters, whose apparitions vanish, to the present. She appears to be actively grieving. Evil characters don’t commonly mourn their lost loves, whether familial or not. There is something more to these Black Moon characters.

Calaveras is missing her soul sisters.
Calaveras is missing her soul sisters.

The communion with the dead is not restricted to the Black Moon. Mamoru has a posthumous encounter with Endymion’s Knights that leaves me very uncertain about his future role in Sailor Moon Crystal. Mamoru has a bit of existential crisis while his dead friends are trying to cheer him up and then a voice I can’t quite identify helped him to tap into a power he shouldn’t have. Mamoru seemed as shocked as me to have blasted Rubeus the way he did. Because of the Black Moon discussion of Wiseman earlier in the episode, I can’t help but feel, that perhaps he was somehow involved.

Wiseman is this mysterious figure not only to the audience, but even to Prince Demande and his court. Rubeus is suspicious of Wiseman, who is foreign to the core Black Moon group. Rubeus’ concern makes me curious to see what may develop between them and learn what Wiseman’s true agenda is.

For pushing forward the narrative, introducing new plot elements, calling back to relationships that matter outside of the Sailor Guardian circle and breaking the abduction trend that had been set up thus far, I give this episode a 4 out of 5.

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