The determined frowny faces of justice!
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal, Episode 32, “Setsuna Meioh.” Toei Animation, May 2016. Approx. 24 minutes. Available on Crunchyroll.
I’m way behind on these. But oh well.
This is, on the whole, a pretty good episode, if slow-paced. The story continues to hew closely to the comic, though I notice in this case that it improves on it considerably. Throughout this chapter, the comic book version has a lot of unnecessary internal dialogue that announces the obvious, but the show simply cuts most of it out and allows the audience to read the mood. Though this series sometimes looks like a panel-by-panel presentation of the comic, in this episode, it alters the imagery for the better without altering the story.
The overarching plot of the season advances only a little here. Previously, Chibi-Usa, Sailor Moon’s annoying miniature double, enlisted Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask to help her make a clay replica of the “Holy Grail,” a magical artifact she remembered from the future, and which will become important later in the season.
In this episode, Chibi-Usa tries to give the Holy Grail to Hotaru as a gift, but Hotaru demures. We see a few more hints of what’s up with Hotaru, though they add little to the hints that have been dropped before: she’s not only sickly, but also has super-strength. And she’s probably under the control of the arch-villain Pharaoh 90.
Sailor Moon also has another confrontation with Sailor Uranus, but it doesn’t amount to much.
For the most part, the episode follows the standard monster-of-the-week format typical of Sailor Moon, in which the villains, in spite of their terrible intentions and allegedly impressive origins, hatch a nefarious plot that shows them to be small-timers.
They don’t send an invading army against Tokyo, nor infiltrate the government. No, they open a flower shop … except it’s an evil flower shop. The villain for this week is Tellu, another member of the Witches 5, who creates a magical plant that can suck out people’s life-force.
Sailor Jupiter discovers the plot, and that leads to the usual confrontation and battle, with plenty of magical attacks.
Chibi Sailor Moon finally gets to launch her Pink Sugar Heart Attack, though the result is disappointingly anticlimactic.
Most importantly, this episode reintroduces Sailor Pluto, who first appeared (and got killed off) in the previous story arc.