Sailor Moon Crystal: "Episode 16 - Abduction, Sailor Mercury" Review
So reads the most famous line of Samuel Taylor Coleridge\'s "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", a line that perfectly summarizes this week\'s Sailor Moon: Crystal. There
water everywhere, thanks to an epic showdown between Sailor Mercury and Berthier, the "third eldest Spectre Sister."
Let me just say how much I loved the fact that Sailor Mercury was the star of this episode. We rarely get to see her be anything more than background decoration, so it was great she got the opportunity to shine. And shine she did! Her new Shine Snow Illusion spell looked awesome, and I loved watching Mercury use her dazzling intellect to dismantle Berthier in a game of chess. Unfortunately, she still ended up inside Berthier\'s water prison and getting kidnapped by Rubeus (boo!), but thumbs up for not going down without a fight.
Sailor Moon Crystal: First Season Wrap Up
Ami is one smart, tough cookie, but we learned that she\'s also very lonely. Deep down, she\'s afraid of losing the people she loves. This vulnerablity was masterfully exploited by Bertheir during their chess match, which gave the episode a delicious dollop of suspense. I honestly thought Ami was going to lose, since she kept getting distracted by Berthier\'s snide comments about being all alone in the world. But, lo! Usagi appeared and saved Ami by HOLLERING encouragement at the top of her lungs, allowing her friend to regain her concentration and win. It was a strange moment, but you know what? I LOVED it. Behold the power of friendship, people!
Come to think of it, maybe the reason I loved this episode so much was because there were so many great moments between friends. Mamoru cheering up Chibi Usa with a puppet show, Naru dragging a reluctant Usagi to the pool, Mamoru cuddling with Usagi in the park...friendship has always been at the heart of Sailor Moon: Crystal, and this episode really made that clear.
It was wonderfully ooey-gooey stuff, which nicely contrasted with the Dark Moon Kingdom\'s cold, dysfunctional alliance. I got chills watching Prince Diamond manipulate his brother using hypnosis, and I physically cringed when Rubeus used yet another Spectre Sister as cannon fodder. It\'s clear these guys aren\'t messing around; they\'ll do whatever it takes to get what they want. Which, by the way, includes kidnapping (and torturing?) the Sailor Guardians just to find out where Chibi Usa and the Silver Crystal are located. Yikes!
Why We\'re in Love With Sailor Moon Crystal
Episode 16 had some good stuff, but I do have a couple of nits to pick. The first involves Berthier\'s scene transitions. Talk about abrupt! One minute she\'s lecturing Ami on the dangers of dowsing, then she\'s on TV challenging Ami to a chess match, then the next thing you know they\'re playing chess in a packed auditorium. I know time passed between each event, but Toei did a pretty poor job of showing that.
I\'m also disappointed by how little screen time Berthier got. Yes, I know. The show is just following the manga, but her dowsing and water powers were really interesting, and it would have been nice to see her use these unique powers in future episodes.
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Despite a tiny hiccup or two, Abduction, Sailor Mercury was a strong episode. There were lots of heartfelt moments between friends, some wonderfully tense moments between Sailor Mercury and Berthier, and some intriguing tidbits involving the Dark Kingdom.
Sailor Mercury takes on the Dark Kingdom in the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal. RT