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Recap / Sailor Moon Crystal Ep 01 Usagi Sailor Moon

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Usagi Tsukino is a slightly below-average schoolgirl: consistently late, really hungry and a bit lazy. However, she finds her life turned around dramatically when she rescues a talking cat, Luna. Luna tells Usagi she is destined to become Sailor Moon, one of the Sailor Senshi who guard the Moon Princess. Her goal? To find her allies, find the Moon Princess, and defeat the enemy!

Tropes used in this episode:


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: While still monstrous, Morga is far less horrifying than she was in the manga or first anime and looks more like a villain from an 80s Saturday morning cartoon. Here, she has gray skin, pink hair, pointed teeth, large light red eyes with purple irises, and most strangely, offscreen Clothing Damage that grants full view of her cleavage. In the first anime she looked like a corpse with shriveled brown skin, Black Eyes with yellow irises, and had a tendency to twist her head around 180 degrees like Linda Blair, while the manga made her similarly cadaverous.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The first episode, which covers the events of Act 1 of the manga, ends with a brief appearance from Ami Mizuno as she runs to get out of the rain. In the original Sailor Moon manga, she doesn't appear until Act 2, and the original anime decompresses the plot enough that she doesn't appear until episode 8.
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  • Almost Kiss/Kissing Discretion Shot: In the Cold Open, Usagi's Dreaming of Times Gone By is interrupted by a wakeful Fade to White and her alarm clock, right as the music swells and the dream prince and princess lean in for a kiss.
  • Amusing Injuries: Realistically, Usagi should have broken Luna's spine, stepping on her like that. Luna's scratches on Usagi's face also seem to disappear awfully fast.
  • Audible Gleam: Chimes accompany the Bishie Sparkle that Sailor Moon sees on a departing Tuxedo Mask.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Sailor Moon sees these and a preponderance of Love Bubbles framing Tuxedo Mask, as he introduces himself while making his exit.
  • Blank White Eyes: Usagi exhibits these briefly while suffering Agony of the Feet, after her "Sailor V Kick" meant for her Annoying Younger Sibling Shingo instead hits their shutting front door.
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  • Chiaroscuro: In the Cold Open when Usagi is Dreaming of Times Gone By, the prince and princess move to embrace and kiss, and their bodies and background are bright, but their facial features are so shadowed as to be just barely visible.
  • Clark Kenting: As per usual for Mamoru, who wears sunglasses when Usagi first encounters him as himself and his traditional domino mask as Tuxedo Mask. On the other hand, he also wears full evening dress in the middle of the afternoon for no apparent reason, which Usagi lampshades.
  • Clothing Damage: Before Sailor Moon even arrives, Monster of the Day Morga has somehow managed to tear her dress bodice down the middle offscreen in such a way that the audience gets a view of her inexplicably braless cleavage; quite the visual since she's also got her Game Face on.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: A thick red set show up on an angry, nonverbal Luna as she rapidly scratches Usagi's face in retaliation for her upsetting apology kiss.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Usagi's mother tells her not to bother coming home if she gets low test scores, and kicks her out of the house. (Granted, she's let back in later.)
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By:
    • The Cold Open depicts Usagi's Dream Sequence watching a princess running to meet her prince, that unbeknownst to Usagi, is a memory of a former life.
    • When Usagi falls asleep in the evening, she begins to dream of being the princess, Holding Hands with the prince charging to battle, until the dream narrative suddenly becomes muddled with Sailor V videogame imagery.
  • Fade to White: In the Cold Open, Usagi's Dreaming of Times Gone By is interrupted by this as she wakes up, right as the music swells and the dream prince and princess Almost Kiss.
  • Gaussian Girl: When Usagi and Mamoru first really look at each other, it suddenly becomes a mutual Held Gaze in soft focus, with a few Love Bubbles appearing as they stare at each other. The filter dissipates as Usagi realizes the moment's awkwardness.
  • Girly Run: In Sailor Moon's public debut, she yells at Monster of the Day Morga assertively, but then enters the scene with arms upraised and unsteady gait, along with the Slo Mo effect usually reserved for an Unflinching Walk. It underscores that, while Usagi's heart's in the right place, she's really green at the Magical Girl Warrior thing.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The jewelry store customers under the thrall of the Monster of the Day Morga's Hypno Trinkets have glowing Red Mind-Control Eyes when she summons them as a Brainwashed and Crazy army to attack Sailor Moon
  • Held Gaze: After sniping at each other without really meeting eyes, Usagi pulls her test paper away from her face to further chastise Mamoru for mocking her low score, only to gasp as they both stare open mouthed, the scene turns mutually Gaussian and Love Bubbles appear. Usagi breaks the gaze and makes an awkward retreat, acutely aware that she finds the nameless boy attractive.
  • Holding Hands: In Usagi's second recurring dream of a romance between a prince and princess, her view of the dream princess changes to a first-person perspective, in which she sees herself running while holding tight to the sword-wielding prince.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Even more prominent in this version. Usagi fumbles into the fight scene completely unprepared. She doesn't even know how to introduce herself, and, (as in the manga) needs some prompting from Luna meowing at the moon to establish her Line-of-Sight Name. When she transforms her tiara into the Moon Tiara Boomerang, for the next few seconds she just stands dumbfounded as it floats above her hand, unsure what to do with it. Her first battle, also, is portrayed less comically than the Nineties anime.
  • I Was Having Such a Nice Dream: In the Cold Open, both Usagi and the audience are cheated out her dream's romantic climax, as a prince and princess embrace, the music swells, they lean in for a kiss, and...Fade to White as Usagi's alarm clock goes off.
  • I'm Okay!: Subverted, after Usagi's extended Pratfall Staircase Tumble down her household stairs and an Off Screen Crash
    Usagi's Mother: Are you alright?
    Usagi: *yelling offscreen* I'm not alright! *Enters rubbing rear.* Ouuuuuch.
  • In the Name of the Moon: In a mild deviation from the manga, (but in line with The '90s anime) Sailor Moon premieres her trademark challenge/catchphrase here. In the manga, she doesn't get beyond her on-the-fly self-introduction, and perfects the speech in Act 2.
  • Love Bubbles:
    • Appear in frame with Usagi along with a Gaussian filter as she and Mamoru share a sudden, lengthy Held Gaze on first meeting. After awkwardly breaking eye contact, she mentally notes her heart is still pounding.
    • As Sailor Moon, she sees many Love Bubbles and Bishie Sparkle framing Tuxedo Mask, as he introduces himself while making his exit...but does not make the connection to her prior encounter with a boy in white-tie and tails.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Usagi has always been a crybaby. As Sailor Moon, her crying is now weaponized.
  • Mass Hypnosis: The Monster of the Week uses enchanted jewelry to control a crowd of women and sic them on Sailor Moon.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: After she transforms, Usagi's iconic hair buns can light up and tune into people calling for help.
  • Off Screen Crash: Marks Usagi's impact at the foot of the stairs after an extended pratfall Staircase Tumble, accompanied by a Screen Shake while her mother winces.
  • The Pratfall: Usagi's status as The Klutz is cemented when she manages to take a Staircase Tumble by losing her footing and falling on her rear down the last eight steps to her house's first floor, finishing with an Off Screen Crash.
  • Reality Ensues: Usagi gets kicked out of her house by Ikuko after showing her the test grades.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Monster of the Day Morga has light red sclera, and her Brainwashed and Crazy human minions have red glowing Mind-Control Eyes until knocked unconscious.
  • Screen Shake: The scene of Usagi's mother Ikuko at the table shudders in a False Camera Effect during Usagi's Off Screen Crash after a protracted Staircase Tumble.
  • Staircase Tumble: Played for Laughs as Usagi, frantic at being Late for School, loses her footing halfway down and performs an extended Pratfall the rest of the way, finishing with an Offscreen Crash.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: While the manga's panel blocking is ambiguous, Crystal has Tuxedo Mask fully introducing himself and assuring Sailor Moon he'll remember her in mid jump, while looking over his shoulder at her, almost suggesting full power of Flight.


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