Review: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 22: Hidden Agenda -Nemesis-

Review:

Chibi-usa’s kidnapping at the end of the previous episode has kicked off some kind of dimensional storm in Sailor Pluto’s realm. Meanwhile, Usagi bravely begins to explore the Dark Moon castle where she is being held captive, in hopes of locating her friends. During her searching, she stumbles across a conversation not meant for her ears and later discovers Demande’s brother, who is kind enough to shed some light on more of the Dark Moon’s backstory. We find out that the Dark Moon’s current objective only came about because of Wiseman’s involvement, although that doesn’t mean that they had wholesome intentions to begin with. As Usagi finds herself in yet another battle aided by a new power, Tuxedo Mask journeys through the storm in hopes of finding Chibi-usa. Throughout all of this, a mysterious figure hovers behind Wiseman, a figure that looks somewhat familiar….

The previous episode’s plot holes continue in this episode. Despite prolonged exposure to his future self, Tuxedo Mask still shows no signs of the adverse effects he initially experienced. This may seem like a minor issue—or even a non-issue, if you forget about it—but it’s a simple point of continuity that shouldn’t be that hard to incorporate, not to mention the fact that it would add an extra layer of tension to the current plot line. I’m also curious as to whether different episodes have different directors, as this episode features the return of the “reaction box” (for lack of a better term) when Venus is left by herself. This feature isn’t bad in and of itself, although Venus’ reaction seemed out of character, at least to this reviewer.

Usagi’s situation on Nemesis is probably the more interesting of the two storylines, since it ultimately leads to a deeper understanding of the Dark Moon’s motivations and intentions. It also reinforces the darker tone that the Dark Moon’s presence has given to this arc of the show, with stories of how Demande was tempted away from their (equally as dubious) original goal, not to mention the obvious abduction of Chibi-usa. Add to this a literal attempt on Usagi’s life by Saphir, and you continue to have antagonists that actually feel evil. Oh, and lets not forget the fact that Wiseman kills one of the Dark Moon’s own number. That’s pretty sinister, too.

If you’re going to enjoy Sailor Moon Crystal, then the one thing you will need to get used to is a pretty regular use of Deus Ex Machina, and this episode is no exception. We already know that Usagi is trapped on Nemesis, unable to transform, with no seeming manner of escape. In addition, Sailors Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter are shown to pretty much be in a hopeless situation. Suddenly, Usagi develops a new power. It’s not the first time we’ve seen something like this happen, and it probably won’t be the last (at least, if they continue animating the series beyond this season).

With all that said, Sailor Moon Crystal’s latest installment will undoubtedly be a hit with fans, as they have likely made their peace with the shows weaknesses while embracing its strengths. Unfortunately, while the show is near its finale, it will take more than a month to actually reach that point thanks to the show’s release schedule. With other shows airing weekly episodes, it may not be easy for fans to maintain their anticipation for the upcoming conclusion.

A Christian Perspective:

1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

In this passage, Peter is warning his readers to beware of the devil. As we all know, the devil can and, if allowed, will lead us astray into sin. As our enemy, he will ultimately do whatever he possibly can to make us fall or deviate from the path that God has laid out for us, and as Peter tells us we must be alert so that we do not get lead astray.

We see a similar situation in today’s episode, when Saphir reveals that Demande’s current mission is no longer the original mission of the Dark Moon, and that the reason Demande deviated in the first place was because of Wiseman. It would seem that Wiseman managed to manipulate the Dark Moon into serving his purposes, much like the devil would like to manipulate Christians into going against God’s will. The obvious difference, of course, is that the Dark Moon was set on evil in the first place, while God’s will is good, and the devil would trick us into evil. What these situations have in common is that of a sinister force that wants to deviate its targets from their intended purpose. Let’s focus on doing God’s will while avoiding the “Wisemen” of the world.

John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Yep, today is a two for one. This is a pretty quick point, but in this episode Usagi is overcome with a new power (remember the deus ex machina?), which shows her radiating a bright light that literally cuts through darkness and confusion (the confusion, namely, is the storm that Tuxedo Mask has walked into). This made me think of the verse in John 1:5, as Sailor Moon’s light cut through the darkness and could not be defeated, much like Jesus (the light described in the Scripture) cannot be defeated by the darkness, but is the ultimate Light that can lead us out of the darkness and into eternal life.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: Saphir is shown making droids, which look like two spirits; Wiseman is shown with his crystal ball; a series of events seems to allow Usagi to shine a light that penetrates space and time; in general, Usagi gains some kind of super power that allows her to locate her friends and call to them; Neo Queen Serenity seems to possess Sailor Moon; Demande has a third eye

Language: None

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Both Usagi and Neo Queen Serenity’s dresses show cleavage; Sailors Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Jupiter are shown transforming; slight shot of Dark Lady’s cleavage in the preview

Violence: Demande tries to touch Usagi, and is almost hit with a bolt of lightning; Saphir’s droids hold Usagi down; Usagi is surrounded by a powerful light that destroys the droids; Usagi sends Saphir; flying back; Usagi cracks a floor; the Sailor Senshi attack with their powers; Wiseman kills a man; Sailor Moon hits Demande with her tiara

Blood/Gore: None

Other:The Senshi use their powers

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