‘Sailor Moon Crystal’ Season 3 Episode 2 Recap: Mugen Academy Mystery Date

  • Adventure
  • Anime
  • Romance
2014-07-05
Mugen Usagi
Usagi disguised as a Mugen Academy student. Toei Animation

The second episode of the new season of Sailor Moon Crystal continues to impress, with lovely animation and loads more personality from its central characters.

Officially named 'Episode 28 – Act. 27 INFINITY 1 Premonition - Second Part,' the episode is far less of a jumble than its title might suggest, essentially a straightforward continuation of the events of last week. It follows Usagi and the girls as they investigate Mugen Academy, and marks the (brief) first appearances of Sailors Neptune and Uranus.

In the opening scene, Usagi returns home from dinner at Mako-chan’s house to find Chibiusa getting off the phone with Mamoru. Turns out, he has volunteered to keep an eye on his future daughter and her pals the following day at a new amusement park. Usagi calls her boof in the jealous hope of tagging along, but he reminds her of her plans at Mugen, reassuring her he’ll be nearby if anything happens. We get a shot of Mamoru’s new black communicator watch, then a brief scene of Luna and Artemis doing some research at Crown.

Phone w mamo
"Sorry Usako, I've traded you in for the younger model." Photo: Toei Animation

Meanwhile, at Villain HQ, Kaolinite promises to “raise the level” of any member of the Witches 5 who take down a Sailor Senshi. She also promises her henchwomen direct access to Pharaoh 90 and the Taioron Crystal, which she describes as “the source of life.” Um, sure. Anyway, the Witches 5 look pretty great, even if they don’t have much to do yet, with slightly muted color palettes relative to their incarnations in the ‘90s anime.

Witches 5
Our fashionable and colorful villains. Photo: Toei Animation

After school, Usagi and the girls arrive at Mugen, where there’s a whole lot of foreshadowing that this is a bad, spooky place. Meanwhile, Mamoru and his pal Asanuma babysit at the amusement park; Mamoru acts like a real big spender / senpai and treats Chibiusa’s classmates to some juice. Chibiusa, meanwhile, loses her hat on the rollercoaster and runs after it – straight to the super ominous Mugen Academy! Oh noes!

Nearby, Usagi uses her transformation pen to give her the appearance of a Mugen student, and slips inside to gawp at the school’s posh facilities and indoor waterfall. She hears a violin in the distance and happens upon Michiru, who chides her for her habit of fearlessly barging into dangerous places. (Fair enough.) Simultaneously, Haruka quite literally drops in on the other girls and tells them to bugger off. Confronted by a school official, Usagi bolts for the entrance, wondering if Michiru could be an enemy.

Michiru playing
"I didn't order room service." Photo: Toei Animation

Darkness has fallen outside, and poor Chibiusa finally finds her hat. She then stumbles upon Hotaru: doubled over and struggling to breathe. Usagi arrives to help, but so does the enemy. The Witches 5 transform a nearby kitty into a daimon to do their evil bidding, and two mysterious warriors in sailor fuku appear in the shadows. Spoiler alert: it’s Neptune and Uranus!

Uranus and Neptune
Too cool for school. Photo: Toei Animation

The Inner Senshi transform. And transform. And transform some more. We noted in last week’s recap of episode 1 that the new sequences for this season look pretty darn polished. Still, the four-and-a-half minutes devoted here to all six girls’ transformation sequences and speeches kind of kills the momentum of an otherwise nicely paced episode.

Mars and Mercury lead the charge as Uranus and Neptune observe from a distance, but do not intervene. Chibi Moon leaps to Hotaru’s defense as Jupiter and Venus try their luck, but to no avail; Sailor Moon uses her rod to bring the battle to a close. Kitty emerges unscathed and cheekily flashes his behind at the girls in gratitude before scampering off.

cat butt
"Thanks for the rescue, ladies!" Photo: Toei Animation

Mamoru conveniently shows up after all the fightin’s done; it’s a good thing he’s pretty, because he sure can be useless sometimes. After wondering “who the hell” the girls are, Hotaru notices a scrape on Chibi Moon’s arm and heals her, using a mysterious power.

Hotaru helps
"It's okay, I'm a microwave." Photo: Toei Animation

The girls finally take note of Neptune and Uranus, who promptly bail. Uranus appears to have raided Tuxedo Mask’s closet for his cape and mask; it’s quite a striking look. The episode draws to a close as everyone puzzles over the identity of the mysterious strangers, and the preview for episode 3 hints at more Haruka and Michiru goodness to come:

H&M embrace
"So... we're not actually cousins?" Photo: Toei Animation

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 has started off very strong – despite our initial doubts. Virtually every frame looks polished and handled with care, and characters consistently stay on-model: no glaringly obvious noodle limbs or derpy faces in sight. While this episode gives a bit too much time to stock transformation sequences, that’s nothing fans of the series haven’t gotten used to by now. The ‘90s anime seems to have a greater influence on character development this season, which bodes well for the treatment of fan favorites Neptune and Uranus. If this level of quality stays consistent, we’re in for a real treat once the ‘Infinity’ storyline really picks up some steam.

New episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal debut every Monday on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Viz.com.

What did you think of the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal? Let us know in the comments!

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