Well, it’s been a little while since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired. Apparently (and, granted, this is from a comment on Crunchyroll), the episodes are set to air on the first and third Saturdays of each month, meaning that when there’s a fifth Saturday in a month, there will be an extra week between episodes. Oh boy.
So with this episode, Sailor Jupiter is introduced. No surprise there, as the previews made it pretty clear. Makoto, aka Sailor Jupiter, transfers into Usagi’s school, and is seemingly ostracized due to rumors that have spread about her. Usagi, of course, ends up being the one person who seeks Makoto out despite the rumors. While this could be a depressing episode, it really isn’t. Instead of focusing on the potential breakdown of Makoto’s emtions due to the rumors, the episode focuses more on Usagi embracing and getting to know Makoto.
The other side of the episode deals with a bridal shop that is supposedly “haunted”. Rumor has it (hey, lots of rumors in this episode) that at night a bride appears and seduces men. It shouldn’t be any surprise, of course, that this is a ploy by the enemy. It is also used to open up some of Makoto’s backstory, and to bring her to the revelation of her power as a Sailor Guardian. As usual, the actual confrontation with the enemy feels rather brief in comparison to the rest of the episode. I think the series would probably benefit from character-based episodes and fight-based episodes, rather than the “enemy of the week” style that it’s done in. However, this was the style of the original anime and, I suspect, the style of the manga, so expecting something otherwise is unrealistic.
One benefit to the faster-paced, manga-oriented approach to this series is that there are some fluid plotlines that run through each of the episodes, despite each episode sort of standing on its own (new characters notwithstanding). Right now it’s mainly the mystery behind Tuxedo Mask, who continues to be a mostly uknown figure to the Guardians. I’m sure this was probably a recurring theme in the original, but the condensed number of episodes makes for a much easier continuity, in my opinion (after all, a handful of episodes before exposing a mystery is much more enjoyable than 20-30 episodes of the same… after a while, that would just get old).
So, Sailor Moon continues to be what it is. The good news is, it’s consistent, so if you liked what you saw before, then you will continue to like the series. If you didn’t like it before, you’re not likely to like it now. As you already know, I was a fan of the original, and the new series is doing fine as far as I’m concerned.
A Christian Perspective:
Proverbs 18:8 (NIV): The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts.
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV): But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Yeah, you know where this is going. Makoto is gossiped about during the early parts of the episode, and it’s clear that this has a negative effect on her. It’s probably also safe to say that people judge her by her outward appearance alone–just look at the scene where a teacher asks her why she isn’t wearing the school’s uniform and she leans in to inform him that it didn’t fit. Regardless, though, the overall theme is that people judge her without knowing her. Perhaps the verses above aren’t perfect fits to her situation, but the fact remains that none of these people actually know Makoto–they only judge by what they hear. Enter Usagi.
While not nearly a perfect example, Usagi could be equated to the Christian allegory of this series, at least in some respects. Unlike the naysayers, she seems to see the good in people, or to at least be curious enough to look past what everyone has to say. It’s no different with Makoto. She approaches her, mooches some food, gets acquainted, and then acknowledges Makoto as a “lovely girl”. This new approach has an instantaneous effect on Makoto, as her face brightens and she becomes a lot more cheerful.
As Christians, we should be like Usagi. Instead of taking the words of gossips and strangers to heart, we should get to know people and learn their personalities first hand. Much like Jesse’s eldest son, people may appear to be great on the outside, but not be internally acceptable (I don’t think the Bible explicitly says why God rejected the eldest). On the other hand, the person who appears to be the social outcast may be the most genuine, loving, and caring person that you could ever hope to meet. David was the youngest son, and I suppose no one expected much of him, yet he was the one God chose to be king, and we see David’s devotion to God throughout his story in the Old Testament. Similarly, Makoto is written off as “scary” because she’s believed to have “superhuman strength”. She is avoided because of rumors, yet when someone finally moves through the lies to get to know her, they find a lovely person. Now, is Makoto without her flaws? Of course not, no one is. Granted, we are not given enough of an objective look at her character to see all of her intricacies, but we’re shown enough to know that she was wrongfully judged. As Christians, lets ignore the gossips and the slanderers, and instead take the time to get to know people before forming an opinion about them.
Language: 1 “h*ll”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Just Sailor Jupiter’s transformation sequence (as usual, you don’t actually see anything, but I’m still fairly certain the characters are supposed to be naked when they’re all sparkly and colorized)
Violence: The Sailor Guardians engage utilize their powers in a fight; a character flips an enemy
Other: Tuxedo Mask is able to see an evil aura around a person; Rei uses Japanese talismans as part of one of her attacks; the enemy has some sort of aura/magical attack; a man is possessed by an enemy