Review: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 23: Covert Maneuvers -Wiseman-

Review:

With the Malefic Black Crystal reactor going haywire, and with Sailor Moon gone, Black Lady leads Demande and Saphir into another dimension, where Wiseman has set up his own “castle”. It is here that Wiseman ultimately begins to make his move to use the Black Moon brothers for his own ends, and where the plan is put into motion to use the Malefic Black Crystal’s power to once again attack Earth. Meanwhile, Sailor Moon and the other Senshi set out into the dimensional storm in hopes of finding Tuxedo Mask and Chibi-usa, which turns out to be too much for Sailor Moon. While she is ultimately granted a reprieve to return to her own dimension, this doesn’t last long. Shortly after, the girls return to the future and prepare to battle what was once a friendly face.

In all honesty, this episode may have had a better build up if it wasn’t for the amount of time in between episodes. It’s already bad enough that new releases are typically spaced two weeks apart, but since May had five weeks (and new episodes are only released on the first and third Saturdays of the month), there was a three week gap in between the previous episode and this one. Unless you are a die-hard Sailor Moon fan (or unless Sailor Moon is the only show you’re following), it is easy to lose whatever anticipation you had for the next episode. Granted, that is no fault of the show or its story, but with such a regular gap of time (and with other anime in between) it becomes easy to forget plot details and lose the sense of excitement sparked by the evens of an episode. With that little criticism out of the way, lets take a look at the episode itself.

The fact that Wiseman was a snake wasn’t very well hidden from everyone except Demande. In this episode, Wiseman finally makes his move and shows that the Black Moon were ultimately just pawns; otherwise, why would he possess Demande and Saphir and rob them of their own will? As a villain, Wiseman has mainly lurked in the shadows and only played a supporting role, so perhaps we’ll get to see his true character in these final episodes. These reviews have previously applauded the much heavier and darker atmosphere of the Black Moon arc (not because “darker” is better, but because it feels like a better representation of the threats the Senshi face by battling the forces of evil), so hopefully that will continue as the final battle escalates. Of course, we all hope for (and can pretty much expect) a happy ending, but an ending that the characters have to work for is always more satisfying.

One thing that was weird in this episode (and that has happened previously) was how the Senshi all took on something of a carefree attitude during the brief return to the present. Once Usagi wakes up, the girls spend a few moments just chit-chatting and laughing. This felt kind of odd and out of place, considering the fact that Chibi-usa and Tuxedo Mask were still missing, on top of the situation with their enemies still being kind of urgent. Certainly it would not have been realistic for Usagi to just jump out of bed and get right back to action, but replacing the laughter with a serious discussion of how to proceed would have seemed more natural. At least the writers found it pertinent to draw Usagi’s mood back to the situation rather quickly by stilling her laughter with the realization that Chibi-usa was not around.

Overall, the episode did a decent job of setting the story up for what may be the final battle (or at least, one of the final battles). Dark Lady has finally been fully revealed, instead of just being a shadow lurking in the darkness, and the Senshi are fully aware that she is now their enemy. How this will play out is yet to be seen, and is certainly something to be anticipated for any fan of the series. It is just unfortunate that we will now have to wait another two weeks, which may serve to kill some of said anticipation.

A Christian Perspective:

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

In this episode, comments are made about Wiseman’s will being absolute. This reminded me of the “man of lawlessness” that Paul speaks of in the above passage of Scripture. We know from Scripture that the only absolute will is that of God, and that ultimately nothing will prevail except what God has decided (and if you need proof, just take a read through the book of Revelation… or just the whole Bible). The man of lawlessness, however, will exalt himself over God and anything else that is worshiped and proclaim that he himself is God. This, presumably, means that he will claim to have attributes of God, similar to how Wiseman’s will is claimed to be absolute, even though there is no absolute will apart from that of the one true God.

Content Guide:

Spiritual Content: Wiseman seems to take control of Demande and Saphir with a dark attack; a flashback shows Neo Queen Serenity possessing(?) Sailor Moon; King Endymion mentions that he is a spirit

Language: 1 “h*ll”, 1 “j**z”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Dark Lady’s dress shows cleavage; Sailor Senshi transformation sequences

Violence: Wiseman hits Demande and Saphir with an attack

Blood/Gore: None

Other: Usagi accuses God of playing a trick on her; Wiseman is shown with his crystal ball; Dark Lady professes her love for Mamoru and kisses him (creepy since Mamoru is her father in the future)

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One thought on “Review: Sailor Moon Crystal, Episode 23: Covert Maneuvers -Wiseman-

  1. Pingback: Something More: Noragami Religion, Hopeless Black Butler, and Persecuting Naruto |

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