It’s almost like someone in Japan was scouring the reviews of random, nameless anime reviewers and found my critique of Sailor Moon before writing this episode. Okay, we all know that’s just fantasy, but for the first time an episode did not wrap up nice and neatly. We also get a look into the origins of our antagonists, and we find that things on that end of the spectrum aren’t as cut and dry as they seem.
So, while the previous episode was (supposedly) focused on the person of Tuxedo Mask, this episode was focused on the man behind the mask: Mamoru Chiba. At the very least, we get some more background information on him. The climax of this episode still revolves around Sailor Moon being in peril—this time their foes have managed to brainwash the entire city into looking for Sailor Moon. For what it’s worth, though, Usagi does show some character growth in how she deals with the situation. The revelation of Queen Beryl’s true motives was also a notable touch to the episode.
I guess the biggest critique I’d give this episode still comes with the ending fight. It feels like the writers are too afraid to put the girls in too much danger for too long. Again, their enemy clearly has them on the ropes when, suddenly, someone comes along and saves them. Granted, this serves as the introduction of the final Sailor Soldier, and the previews clearly show that the battle isn’t over. Would a true cliffhanger really be so bad? I know the show is supposed to follow the manga more closely, so that’s probably where most of it comes from.
A Christian Perspective:
“You used innocent people who were just trying to have fun… that’s an unforgivable sin!” – Sailor Moon
Here we have a pretty poor understanding of sin. Yes, it probably is fair to say that the abuse of innocent people is sinful, but to call it an unforgivable sin clearly shows a lack of understanding of God’s grace. Now, to be fair, the Japan has an abysmal population of Christians, so it should be no surprise that the Japanese don’t necessarily understand the forgiveness of sins. While it’s true that there is an unforgivable sin, it certainly isn’t the abuse of innocent people. According to Jesus, the only unforgivable sin is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:
Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.” – Mark 3: 28-29 (NIV)
Yes, perhaps it is a bit nit-picky to pick apart something said by an anime character, but the fact still remains that Sailor Moon effectively spoke on something about which she had no understanding. Also, I would be remiss to not offer some information for those curious, so please see the following link for information on the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit:
Language: 1 “j**z”, 1 “h*ck”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Queen Beryl is shown, although I don’t remember seeing any detailed cleavage this time; Sailor Moon transformation sequence; the episode preview shows Sailor Venus transforming
Violence: A man smashes a window with a bat; Sailor Moon is attacked; a character is put in a choke hold; the Sailor Senshi use their powers; a man is punched in the face; a character is hit with a blast of dark energy; a character is thrown to the ground; Zoisite is attacked by an initially unseen enemy; the episode preview shows a character about the bit hit with another blast of dark energy
Other: Queen Beryl is shown offering human energy to Queen Metalia, who is manifested as a giant blob of dark energy