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Dancing In The Moonlight: SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Premiere Recap

It’s finally here, the premiere episode of Sailor Moon Crystal! While I will try to contain my excitement with this recap of the highly anticipated anime, I can’t make promises that my words won’t get all sorts cheesy and poetic.

You have been warned.

The episode begins with a look into the night’s sky and the stars and galaxies it’s filled with. As we are getting a visual astronomy lesson, we start to hear what I can only compare to the theme song of the Halo games, though not as much chanting. As we pan over the planets in our own solar system and zoom into Earth and its moon, the vocals are replaced with string instruments whose tune becomes more defiant and uplifting. We then see two figures, faces obscured, come together to kiss.

That’s when the dream sequence ends and that moment is interrupted by an alarm clock and Usagi’s mom telling her to wake up. Usagi realizes the time, screams, dresses herself, falls down some stairs, all before bolting out the front door late for school again.

After the girl power infused theme song, we see Usagi running and introducing herself. She’s in the 8th grade, 14 years old, and a little clumsy and a crybaby. Of course that’s when she trips over a black cat with a band-aid over its forehead. Usagi removes it to reveal a crescent shape bald spot. As she stares at the cat, bells ring and Usagi remembers that little thing called school.

Jump to a blond fellow in a dark and gloomy building creating a being in the same fashion as the Putty Patrols are made in the Power Rangers.

As Usagi is told to wait outside the classroom as punishment for being late to class again, she daydreams about the beautiful princess in her dream, wishing she was one, before her stomach grumbles. As she’s about to eat her lunch for breakfast, her English teacher comes out with Usagi’s test, revealing she’s got a bad grade. We’re then introduced to her best friend, Naru, and the annoying nerd Umino who scored much better.

We’re also introduced to Sailor V, the famous heroine in a sailor suit who stops crime; crime such as the string of robberies hitting jewelry stores; jewelry stores like the one Naru’s mother owns who happens to have a sale going on right now. Yeah, that’s a lot of coincidences.

As ladies are fawning over the jewelry, the audience realizes that Naru’s mother is the monster that the blond-haired dude created earlier.

Usagi, knowing she couldn’t possibly ask her mom for anything because of her failing test score, walks out, crumples up the test, and throws it behind her as it hits the guy standing way too close to her. The guy, sporting some fancy shades, teases Usagi, calling her Miss Bun-Head before telling her she needs to study more. As Usagi yells at him to mind his own business,  their eyes meet. Cue soft lovey piano tunes.

Though fans already know who that unnamed man is (it’s pretty obvious even to newcomers), you can’t deny that the “first encounter” made your heart race as much as Usagi’s. The moment ended when Usagi started to walk away from the dreamy stranger, before returning to pick up her school briefcase, which helped to just add to the adorableness of the scene.

She then exclaims that he’s a show off for wearing a tuxedo in the daytime as it is revealed that he’s searching for the “Legendary Silver Crystal.”

Usagi makes her way to an arcade with the new Sailor V game and Motoki, the guy she has a crush on. As they’re celebrating the defeat of an enemy, the black cat from the beginning purrs, staring into Usagi’s eyes.

Usagi returns home to the dismay of her mother who finds out the score she received on the English test. Her mom kicks her out and while that’s happening, cut to the man in the tuxedo now sporting a mask entering the jewelry store from earlier.

As the monster is harnessing the energy within a canister, Naru walks in on her “mother” and yells.

Usagi, meanwhile, falls onto her bed to sleep and starts to dream about the princess. This time, instead of a sweet moment, she and her knight are running away from a monster that turns into the same beast from the Sailor V video game she played earlier. But this time, she has to save the cat with the bald spot.

Her dream is interrupted when the  black cat wakes her up, exclaming it’s not a bald spot. Her name is Luna and she’s been looking for Usagi for a long time. Usagi believes she’s still dreaming and lays back down in bed. Luna then offers Usagi a broach to help her understand that she’s one of the chosen guardians to help protect the Princess.

Luna then tells Usagi to yell “Moon Prism Power, Make Up!” which she does. As Usagi cannot believe the transformation that has just taken place, her hair buns, now acting as an alarm of some sort, starts beeping and flashing. She hears Naru’s voice and senses the danger she’s in. When Usagi arrives to her aid, the monster asks who she is. Usagi stops in her tracks and even wonders who her new persona is before Luna meows at the moon and Sailor Moon, and her famed lines of love and justice, are born.

While the monster reveals its true form and evil minions make their way to attack Sailor Moon, Usagi becomes overwhelmed and begins to cry, which ends up turning into ultrasonic waves that shatter the glass around them. Cue Tuxedo Mask yelling for her to stop crying and to attack. Luna then tells Sailor Moon to take a hold of her tiara and scream “Moon Tiara Boomerang,” which she does as she flings at the monster, turning the creature to dust.

Sailor Moon has saved the day.

She catches Tuxedo Mask who introduces himself before running off. As she lingers where he once stood, we go back to the evil blond guy who created the monster and proclaims that he needs to find the Legendary Silver Crystal as well.

The next day at school, Naru is telling her friends about being saved last night while Usagi, in another hallway, realizes last night wasn’t a dream. The episode ends with a blue-haired girl getting caught in the rain and running.

And so ends the premiere episode with a love ballad during the end credits.

Overall the fangirl in me was screaming at how great the premiere episode was, but the critic in me couldn’t help spot some issues. While I know it is a reintroduction to the characters of the series, I wanted the story to progress a bit more. Plus the coincidences in the initial episode were a tad bit too much. Then again, it is just a cartoon (a super awesome cartoon that will have me awake at the dead of night every Saturday!).

What do you think of the return of Sailor Moon? Let us know in the comments below or rant with me on Twitter.

A new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal airs every first and third Saturday of every month on Hulu and Neon Alley.

Missed the premiere? Watch it here on

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  1. Alex says:

    They go to a video arcade? Does this take place in the early nineties?

    • Armi Dimaranan says:

      Basically, yeah. They’re following closely to the manga and that arcade plays a big role since it’s basically the thing that all the cool kids did to hang out and stuff. 🙂

    • SumSum says:

      Arcades still exist in Japan.

  2. Erik says:

    So wait, Sailor Moon killed Naru’s mom?

    • RS says:

      No, her mom was tied up in the basement.  They cut to her briefly during the episode.

  3. sunny says:

    I loved the first episode. It was everything I was hoping for. I am glad they are following the Manga almost exactly and yes  that first encounter did made my heart race lol. I hope that the rest of the episodes are as good or better than the first one.

    • Armi Dimaranan says:

      That first encounter, gosh!!! So much swooning! Felt like it was a moment that lasted forever and I absolutely loved it! I’ve rewatched the episode so many times and that moment still made me squeal so hard!

  4. belle says:

    I loved it a lot it made me feel 13 all over again. I too will be with you late night watching every episode.

  5. Becca says:

    it’s a direct adaptation of Act 1 of the manga. almost exact. I think they progressed a perfect amount