I want to point this out before I forget but the new Sailor girl introduced here is voiced by Ami Koshimizu– might know her roles which include Kill La Kill‘s Ryuuko Matoi. Continuing with what the first three episodes did we are introduced to another Sailor Guardian– Kino Makoto. Sailor Jupiter as she is known by the three girls that are in search of the legendary silver crystal are brought together here by fate. This may not have been as good as the last but we did get another look at how Usagi is able to establish friendships.
Thought of by her peers as a tough and scary young girl, Matoko is considered a kept-to-herself person, and the event where she is rescuing Usagi from the oncoming car towards the beginning here played a large part in Usagi developing an interest in her. This is probably one of the best parts of the show in how silly it can be at times– the lunchbox scene between the two of them and the arcade scenes reflect Usagi’s innate ability to bring some of the most unlikely of people– a shrine maiden, a book-worm, a fighter and a clumsy girl together. As great as the characters are throughout this, I wish the plot could have been more solid– too many likely parallels happen here.
However keeping in mind that this is a long running shojo series we’re talking about, Sailor Moon Crystal does well at developing a formula to follow as it knows exactly what its intentions are when the plot brings in another character. Depict them in a beginning segment that is integral to the main character Usagi and put them into a situation that causes danger to the other Sailor Guardians.
We’ve got tons of tropes that are tossed around here– the breaking speech moment where Makoto is snapped into fighting back by Sailor Moon’s counter argument about love. The biggest issue though that I have found with this episode is the large contrived coincidence played in the second half here. So Furu is attacked by Nephrite’s minion bride into to being hypnotized into sucking the energy out of Makoto– and this was being seen by Tuxedo Mask? Too convenient for him to be there and put things in motion for the Sailor Guardians to act against Nephrite and save Makoto.
Nonetheless, this was an entertaining episode for fans of the series that have wanted a revival for quite some time– the artwork is nicely drawn with fluid animation, a faithful soundtrack reminiscent of the 90’s anime series and a relatively good start to a wonderful mahou shojo series.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 5/10