In the next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Rei who is Sailor Mars was introduced and I was surprised to discover just how much I liked this new, more mellow and likable Rei. In the original anime, her fiery, no BS cocky attitude was always entertaining, but the way she was always jealous and antagonistic towards Usagi always put me off. This time, Rei has a certain elegance and beauty about her, yet she is fiery and fierce when it comes to enemies.
It was great to see the manga translation of her character here as a vulnerable, mysterious, passionate and strong girl who discovers her place in the inner senshi. She is absolutely beautiful, which catches Usagi’s eye and hilariously chases Rei off a bus. As an outsider with mysterious powers, Rei feels like an outcast and has been shunned for her whole life. Being subject to Usagi’s infectious kindness and inducted as the next Sailor Scout showed her that she had a place in the world. You can really see how Usagi brings all of them together and brings light to their lives, especially since both Rei and Ami have been outcasts for their whole lives.
Rei’s transformation was awesome, with heaps of CG fire surrounding her and an introduction that shows just how passionate and confident she became as Sailor Mars. I was impressed with how she wanted to fight off Jadeite with her fire powers alone, even before she knew she was a Sailor Senshi. She’s totally BADASS with her psychic and fire powers and the episode showcased her new characterisation perfectly.
There were also some swoony moments with Mamoru, and the surprise when we discover he’s actually a high school student this time around. It was great to finally see him out of his tuxedo and in a school uniform which was a bit different. There’s a cute, romantic moment between him and Usagi as they sit with each other at the back of the bus, and it was hilarious seeing her completely freak out with Luna.
Episode 3 also took on a surprisingly darker tone, with Rei’s feelings of alienation along with the Queen Beryl and her soldiers unveiling themselves. My favourite soldier was Nephirite and seeing him and Zoisite was a treat. Zoisite was actually a female in the dubbed version of the 90s anime so seeing him with a male voice was surprising. Queen Beryl also has a surprisingly creepy voice, and it’d be interesting to see whether this darker tone continues throughout the series.
Did you prefer the different version of Rei? What did you think of the darker tones in this episode?