Review: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 20: Crystal Tokyo -King Endymion-

Review:

After Sailor Moon and company hop in their DeLorean and reach a speed of 88 MPH, they find themselves in the future and…. oh wait, wrong movie.

Anyway, picking up where the previous episode left off, Sailors Moon and Venus, along with Tuxedo Mask, Luna, and Artemis share a long dialogue with the spirit of King Endymion, who is revealed (more to the shock and surprise of the characters than to the viewers) to be Mamoru in the future. A good portion of the episode involves the characters learning about the future, what it’s like, and how they have all managed to live for some eight or nine centuries. The origin of the Black Moon is also explained, and their attack on planet Earth is detailed along with its destructive results. Eventually, the group has to return to the present, only to shortly again head into the future for the episode’s brief battle scene before we are left with a cliffhanger ending.

Much of the episode is devoted to the dissemination of information. This doesn’t mean it is a particularly boring episode, but don’t expect the actual plot to advance too much. Some of the revelations are things that we viewers have long figured out—such as the fact that Queen Serenity and King Endymion are Usagi and Mamoru, respectively. Those veterans of the series and, perhaps, most newcomers, also probably figured out that Chibi-usa was the daughter of Usagi and Mamoru. It was still humorous to see their reactions to finding out that they would have a daughter, though. Other characters are shown to have a daughter, as well, and their reactions are also amusing. While a lot of the background information is already known—the Black Moon invaded, attacked Crystal Tokyo, and destroyed it—more details are filled in, such as who the Black Moon is, and why the palace and its inhabitants are in their current state.

One thing I found myself wondering was if there was any consequence to the group being in the future and, as it turns out, there was. One oversight, though, seems to be the fact that only Mamoru and Usagi experienced the negative side effects of being in the future. This may be explained by the fact that they were closer to their future counterparts than the other characters were, it is still suspect since Mamoru was only close to an image of himself, and Usagi was the first to experience problems, despite King Endymion’s spirit being in the same room with Mamoru versus Usagi who was in a separate room from her future body. Obviously this is a minor thing that doesn’t really detract from the episode, but it is a thought that occurred while writing this review. Another questionable point is that, later in the episode, Chibi-usa and the rest of the group return to the future at separate times. From what happens in the episode, it would appear that they need a particular key from Pluto in order to time travel, so how they were able to time travel at different points without Chibi-usa first returning to the past creates a bit of a plot hole.

A high point for the episode was Usagi having a particularly childish outburt at one point, followed by a scene where she openly acknowledges that she made no sense. Her thoughts literally echoed what I was thinking as I watched the events unfold. It’s nice to see that she can be something akin to a self-reflective character, instead of a selfish character who tries to justify her inappropriate behavior. While it’s true that she doesn’t completely recant her bitterness, she at least realizes that it is nonsensical. Perhaps this is a testament to the growth that Usagi has undergone throughout the series. Whatever the case, the show quickly moves on, for better or for worse.

Honestly, the remainder of the show goes by pretty quickly once the group returns to the present time. Of course there is the ever-present episodic battle, which may be one of the shortest ones yet. If nothing else, it does at least set up a deficiency in the group’s ability to do battle in the future world, and it serves to create a particular point of conflict that will carry into the next episode. Overall, this was a decent episode, plot holes aside, as it managed to dump a lot of information on the viewer without being dull and boring in the process.

A Christian Perspective:

Once the group returns from the past, Mamoru states that he will keep Chibi-usa at his place so that Usagi can rest. This results in Usagi having an angry outburst before running away. She is then shown lying in her bed, questioning why she reacted that way, especially knowing that Usagi is her daughter. In the same way, we Christians sometimes do this with sin. We do something that we know we shouldn’t do, and then later find ourselves asking why we did it in the first place. Worst of all, we sometimes find ourselves stuck in this cycle—we do something we shouldn’t, regret it, repent, and then some time later make the same mistake again, repeating the previous parts. Like Usagi, it can depress us, and make us sad. Thankfully, there is forgiveness.

While there is no scene showing Usagi and Mamoru making up over the incident, we can almost be sure that they do. After all, their love is shown to be genuine, so it only stands to reason that Mamoru would forgive Usagi for her outburst. In the same way, we have a Father in heaven who loves us and is willing to forgive us for our trespasses if we are willing to confess them to Him and repent of them. Repentance is a key term there, as turning from the sin is kind of the proof that you are truly sorry for what you’ve done. If we slip up and make that mistake again, He still loves us, and will still forgive us, provided we still meet the previous criteria. Some people may argue that if you were truly repentant then you would never make the same mistake again, but let’s be real here: we’re humans. We say a lot of thing with the best of intentions, only to mess it up later on. We can say that we won’t ever do something again until we’re blue in the face, but we can’t guarantee that, at least not in our own power. Certainly God can give us the strength we need to resist temptation and stay away from sinning (1 Corinthians 10:13), but if we stupidly persist in our ways and ignore the way out God has provided, then chances are we’re going to make that mistake.

This doesn’t mean we should abuse God’s grace. Having the attitude of, “Oh well, who cares if I sin. God will forgive me anyway,” is an irresponsible one to take, and one that kind of puts God to the test, which we are told not to do (Deuteronomy 6:16). Besides, if we don’t care about sinning, then how can we truly be sorry when we do sin. The confidence we can have here is that, should we make a mistake while trying to honestly live for God, all hope is not lost. We still have access to His forgiveness through the atonement of Christ on the cross, which was done because of God’s love for us in the first place.

Content Guide:

Language: 1 “d**n”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Neo Queen Serenity’s dress shows cleavage; Mamoru is shown with his shirt unbuttoned

Violence: Chibi-usa is choked by an enemy; Venus attacks an enemy with her chain; Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon, and Tuxed Mask are choked by an enemy; Tuxedo Mask destroys an enemy with La Smoking Bomber

Blood/Gore: None

Other: A character says to think of him as a spirit that has left its body; the Legendary Silver Crystal is said to grant long life to the Millenium family and to the whole Earth; there is mention of a god of time named Chronos; Sailor Moon is told to pray to a key; Wiseman is shown with his crystal ball; a character opens a third eye on his forehead

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