Review: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 19: Time Warp -Sailor Pluto-

Review:

Well that was an interesting episode. I don’t know if they use different directors or something for each episode, but this one featured several visual elements that I don’t recall seeing in previous episodes. One such element was the use of what I’ll call “reaction boxes”, where the screen would be reduced to a small rectangle (with a decorative background on the rest of the screen) showcasing a particular character’s reaction. Another element was a particular look Luna gets on her face as she begins to fall through a hole. That’s not to say this is a bad thing—I actually quite enjoyed the reaction boxes, as they just “felt” like something that belonged in Sailor Moon.

Moving on, the plot for this episode was entertaining, although nothing particularly mind-blowing. Perhaps the most amusing part was seeing Usagi get jealous over Mamoru showing attention and affection towards Chibi-usa. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, as this is similar to the Usagi from the original anime. Regardless, it made for some humor amidst the current plot line, and brought a bit of comic relief prior to the dive into time travel that (briefly) brings Sailor Pluto into the picture. While the eventual arrival of Sailor Moon and Company into the 30th Century certainly presented a bleak picture, it didn’t really do anything different from previous episodes—the enemy of the week showed up, the Senshi were victorious, and we were left with just enough new plot to carry into the next episode. Honestly, what would have been a shocking revelation was ruined by the fact that it was given away from the very beginning, meaning the ending of the episode lacked the impact it otherwise could have been.

One particularly questionable part of this episode is that Mamoru and Usagi are shown to kiss at one point, with them eventually falling down together, Mamoru on top of Usagi. They are fully clothed, but then are shown to be still together the following morning when Chibi-usa wakes up. While nothing sexual is ever shown, there is a lot of blushing during that morning scene, and one can only wonder what the implications of all of this are meant to be. Perhaps it’s nothing, and I’m just reading too much into some vague things, or perhaps what I suspect happened actually happened. The fact is that we will probably never know for sure, and I prefer it that way. I’d prefer for there not to have even been the suggestion of it, but as the old song says, “You can’t always get what you want.”

A Christian Perspective:

This one is going to be similar, yet different, to the Perspective from the previous episode. We find out in this episode that time travel is a taboo, one that Chibi-usa has clearly broken (and which Sailor Moon and Co. ultimately break, as well). From the conversations that are had, it doesn’t appear that there are “exceptions” to the rule—time travel is bad, and people are to stay away from it. It’s a good parallel to the fact that God has ruled out certain things, and they are ruled out no matter the circumstances. The best example I can think of off-hand is that of King Saul when he stopped waiting for the prophet Samuel and instead made a sacrifice to God himself. When Samuel shows up, he rebukes Saul for this behavior, and Saul ends up facing severe repercussions. It could be argued that Saul had good intentions—his men were beginning to scatter, and he didn’t want the army to fall apart and lose the victory, but in the end he disobeyed God’s command and did what he wasn’t supposed to do. In the end, he failed to trust God (oh, how often that is the case for many of us!).

Now, here is the beauty in this Perspective, which was missing from last episode’s: when Sailor Pluto encounters Chibi-usa and discovers that Chibi had stolen the time key, she doesn’t get mad at her or threaten her. She could—she would certainly have every right to—but she doesn’t. Instead, she embraces Chibi-usa and is thankful that she is okay. Pluto even turns her wrath away from the Sailor Moon party, instead thanking them for caring for Chibi-usa before helping them on their journey. Though not entirely perfect, this is a good image of grace—Chibi-usa deserved punishment, but instead received love, and isn’t this what God offers us through Jesus? We have disobeyed God in countless ways, yet He offers to forgive us if we will repent of our sins and trust in Jesus. Another way to look at the Sailor Pluto/Chibi-usa interaction is through the lens of the Prodigal Son—Pluto had every right to be mad at Chibi-usa, just like the father had every right to be mad at the prodigal, yet in both scenarios the transgressor is instead embraced and forgiven.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “j**z”, 1 “h*ck”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Usagi wears a dress that shows cleavage; Usagi and Mamoru kiss and then fall down together, with Mamoru on top of Usagi; Usagi appears to have spent the night at Mamoru’s place

Violence: Sailor Pluto attacks Sailor Moon and Co.; two Black Moon enemies encase the Sailor team in crystal; Venus binds two enemies with her chain, and Tuxedo Mask blows them away with La Smoking Bomber

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Chibi-usa says an incantation where she calls upon the “god” Chronos; Wiseman is shown with his crystal ball

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