With the destruction of all life as we know it imminent, Sailor Pluto breaks the third and final taboo of her position and stops time, providing the opportunity the Senshi need to stop the threat at great cost to herself. Pluto’s sacrifice is enough to finally break through Black Lady’s hard shell, restoring her to her original form and awakening a new power within her. While that threat is dispatched, the Senshi still have to deal with the threat of Nemesis looming overhead once the time freeze ends, and while their combined powers seem to initially end the battle it quickly becomes clear that Nemesis will not be dealt with so easily. While the Senshi seem to briefly find an ally in the form of an enemy, it doesn’t last long, and they are plunged into darkness, where the stage is set for the true final battle.
In terms of storytelling, this may have been one of Sailor Moon Crystal’s stronger episodes. Pluto’s final taboo is actually explained, and more of her backstory with Chibi-usa is explored. Unlike some of Sailor Moon’s previous solutions, this actually provides a strong and believable catalyst for Dark Lady’s return to Chibi-usa, as it confronts her with the fact that there was someone who truly cared for her, and how the hatred and anger within her were so ill-placed. The episode also does a good job of tying up loose ends (namely, Demande) by giving him a scene that is almost redeeming, were it not for the comments that he makes. It was also a nice change of pace to see all of the Senshi working together to take down Nemesis, instead of having the Senshi knocked out and Sailor Moon taking on the final boss alone.
It probably isn’t surprising that the final battle does not end here, and really it is better that way, as the Senshi haven’t really dealt with Nemesis directly up until this point. To have such a great threat dealt with in only a few minutes would have been anti-climactic at best, and would have undermined all the danger that has been previously presented. Instead, the episode focuses on tying up the other plot lines that have been introduced before leading into the climax of the series. While I have had a lot of negative things to say about Sailor Moon Crystal throughout its tenure, I can honestly say that this was a completely enjoyable episode, and I have no real criticisms to offer.
A Christian Perspective:
John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Be honest and raise your hand if you saw this one coming. Yeah, I thought so.
Sailor Pluto’s sacrifice in this episode was a perfect example of the above verse, as she knew exactly what would happen to her when she chose to stop time. Her desire to help her friends was greater than her desire for self-preservation (although she would have died had Demande touched the Crystals together), which lead to her decision. That’s pretty much cut-and-dry laying one’s life down for one’s friends.
It gets a little trickier, though, because in order to do this she had to break a taboo. While it’s not clear what (or who) makes the three taboos “taboo”, the question that I have is whether these things amount to sin, which brings up a discussion about how the above verse plays out if you sin in the process. To be fair, I don’t have an adequate real life example, but if Pluto essentially sinned in her methods, then was her sacrifice truly godly? It’s not my intention to say if she did or didn’t, but to rather present an alternate thought that occurred based on the fact that she broke a “taboo” in order to protect her friends.
Whatever your take on the taboo stance, we can at least take this at the surface level as an example of someone laying their life down for their friends. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we would be ready and willing to do the same.
Spiritual Content: None
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Black Lady shows cleavage; Neo Queen Serenity shows cleavage; Chibi-usa is shown naked (but clothed in light, so nothing worse than a transformation sequence); Sailor Moon transforms
Violence: Sailor Moon and the Senshi attack Wiseman; Wiseman attacks the Senshi; Demande is engulfed in dark energy; Demande is blown up
Other: Magical girl powers; Demande’s third eye