Black Lady’s identity is now known to the Sailor Senshi, and despite their pleas she refuses to budge or turn from the path that she is now on. Joined by Demande, Saphir, and Wiseman, she presents an overwhelming force that the Senshi cannot stand against despite their intentions. Once again, Sailor Moon must watch as her friends are effortlessly beaten around her. To add insult to injury, she must also watch as the man she loves approaches her and beats her without a second thought. The odds are completely turned against the Senshi, even when Demande plays his trump card and appears to be a temporary ally. Though he attempts to kill Wiseman, he only serves to uncover the mysterious figure’s true identity, which is a power that even Sailor Moon cannot continuously resist. As she collapses, her crystal falls into evil hands, with the very fate of the world on the line. Meanwhile, Sailor Pluto struggles with her desire to leave her post and join the fight, knowing that it violates her responsibilities. Although she is finally given the opportunity to leave, it may be too late for her to offer any assistance.
As far as finales go, this is shaping up to be much better than the finale for Sailor Moon Crystal’s first arc. True, it still contains more dramatic talking than it does fighting, but the enemies here still manage to be fiercer than their counterparts from the first arc. One point of criticism, though, is how easily the Senshi are defeated, much like in the end of the last arc. These are supposed to be the strongest warriors who defend the Earth, yet they seem to be easily beaten. While the idea is most likely to show how much power the enemies possess, it would have been nice to see the Senshi actually put up a fight before being beaten, instead of them all being incapacitated in about thirty seconds. Once again, this leaves Sailor Moon to face the threat all on her own.
This episode contains perhaps one of the strongest characterizations in the form of Black Lady. Through her reactions to the pleadings of her former friends, we see how truly dark her heart and feelings are. While these have no doubt been played on and amplified by Wiseman in order to manipulate her into doing his will, we still get a pretty good idea of where these things started, and how far Black Lady is willing to go to get her way. The inclusion of Demande’s plot twist also adds to the episode, as it brings a wild card element to the story. While the conflict between the Senshi and Nemesis is pretty clear cut, where Demande stands once he turns against Wiseman is unclear. Although his betrayal of Wiseman would raise hopes that he is now an ally, the conclusion of the episode seems to betray that hope, leaving us instead with a cliffhanger that, for the first time in a while, is truly tense.
Of course, Sailor Moon manages to pull out another new power in order to resist the enemy’s attacks, but at least this time it makes a little more sense. Also noteworthy is that, despite the immense power she is able to draw, it still ends up not being enough. Perhaps one of the biggest annoyances with the Sailor Moon series is that, no matter what trouble the titular character finds herself in, she is always able to pull out some new power that quickly negates the advantage her enemies had. While there is no doubt that the Senshi will prevail in the end, it is a nice change of pace to see Sailor Moon struggle for her victory this time around.
Only two episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal remain, so we should get to see how things resolve themselves soon. Of course, “soon” in this case means about another month, given Crystal’s release schedule. Will Demande be stopped in time? Will Pluto’s arrival on the scene make a difference? Will Black Lady see the error of her ways? Let’s keep watching and find out.
A Christian Perspective:
2 Timothy 3:12-13 – “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
This verse seems applicable to Black Lady’s character in this episode. Despite Sailor Moon’s attempts to plead with her, reason with her, apologize to her, and relate to her, Black Lady refuses to hear it, and is instead stuck on following the path with Wiseman. Of course, we don’t know for sure if Black Lady is Small Lady consciously choosing to behave in this matter, or if she is actually being controlled by Wiseman in some way, but given Wiseman’s history it is likely that she is being controlled to a degree. Either way, she could be called an evildoer or an imposter depending on the situation (evildoer if she is acting of her own accord, imposter if she is Wiseman’s will masquerading in Small Lady’s adult body). She has already been guilty of deception in a way (she took control of Mamoru), and she continues to be deceived by Wiseman. Given Wiseman’s threat to crush both Black Lady and Tuxedo Mask, it would seem that Black Lady is more of a pawn rather than the queen she sees herself as.
As far as going from bad to worse, we see Black Lady continue to bring about greater and greater destruction throughout the episode as she calls down more Malefic Black Crystals and, eventually, Nemesis itself. She becomes intent on fully destroying the Earth and her enemies, going from being someone who was simply malcontent with the way she had been treated as Small Lady to what amounts to a genocidal maniac. If we need a lesson in how these things go, though, we get that at the end when her plans suddenly go awry once Demande gets his hands on both Legendary Silver Crystals. In other words, evil will always suffer the consequences, no matter how many benefits it seems to have or how much power it gives.
The lesson for Christians, I think, is to consider how we should handle situations in our own lives. While there may be times where it seems like a great option to take revenge or follow some other evil path, we have to ask ourselves if we are ready to suffer the consequences. Of course, if we truly have Christ in us, then we cannot possibly live continuously in unrepentant sin, but we could make one bad decision that leads to a string of bad decisions, which potentially wreck our lives or relationships. It may seem satisfying at first to abuse our power, take revenge, hurt our offenders, or any other number of malicious solutions, but we have to ask ourselves if the long-term effects will be worth it, both in this life and in eternity. (Spoiler: the answer no, it isn’t).
Spiritual Content: A character is revealed to have had his will merged with a planet
Language: 2 “d*mn”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Black Lady’s dress shows cleavage and has a long slit running up her leg
Violence: The Senshi are slammed around; Sailor Moon is struck on the shoulder; a character is potentially killed
Other: Demande has a third eye; magical attacks
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