Don’t let the episode title fool you. It may be the final battle, but it’s certainly not over yet.
Sailor Moon and Mamoru, now “dead” because they can’t be reincarnated without reliving the same life of their past selves, are absorbed into Queen Metalia, who spreads her dark power across the planet, choking its denizens on ash and… some sort of purple miasma. The Sailor Scouts attempt to defeat Metalia, lose, attempt again, and lose again. Then they get a better idea: wake up the totally not dead Sailor Moon inside of Metalia by sacrificing themselves and their transformation pens.
It works, and Sailor Moon and Mamoru wake up, escape and use the Silver Millennium Crystal to defeat Queen Metalia.
That is literally everything that happens in the episode (with the exception of the revelation that Endymion’s four generals protected him from Sailor Moon’s initial sword strike, or the fact the Sailor Scouts think Usagi is still alive because they all have memories of her telling them how beautiful they are because apparently Usagi is just that shallow). For the most part, this episode is just 24-minutes of pained narration of what’s happening: “Oh, we’re hurt. We can’t let this happen. We have to defeat Metalia. Oh god, she’s too strong” and “I’ve absorbed the Silver Millennium Crystal, nothing can stop me. Pitiful scouts stop trying to defeat me. I’m powerful now. I’m POWERFUL!”
Frankly, it makes me feel a bit like I watching a be-skirted ‘Dragon Ball Z.’
Now, ‘Sailor Moon’ has never been as bad as ‘Dragon Ball Z,’ but it’s starting to feel that way with two weeks between several episodes of nothing. I wonder why I had never felt this way with the manga, and the only conclusion I can come to is that I started ‘Sailor Moon’ long after all of it had been released. Therefore I could flit from chapter to chapter quickly, and skip over all the scenes where it’s just the Sailor Scouts trying the same thing and expecting different results. But this definitely feels like the interminable battles on the planet Namek, where Goku sits and charges himself up for eight episodes, and Krillin is still looking for a dragon ball. Admittedly, it’s not that bad with ‘Sailor Moon.’ We know the next episode is the end of the season, but the two week breaks in between the airing of each show makes the wait feel like forever. You sort of just want to scream at the screen “We know the power of love will save the day, so get on with it already!”
Perhaps I’m jaded with adulthood, but the love story between Mamoru and Usagi doesn’t feel established enough for the sort of drama that ‘Sailor Moon’ employs. It doesn’t need to be five episodes of trying to save one from evil, and then deciding to go the Romeo and Juliet route. Though the show has been true to the manga, perhaps it should have fixed the pacing issues of the final battle for the sake of twenty four episodes of watching each Sailor Scout gasp in their own special pain just because they don’t know how else to fill the twenty-four minutes.
As much as I love ‘Sailor Moon’, and as much as I’m excited to see the next series animated, I have to give this episode of practically nothing a