How about some Silver Millennium hints brought into your day?
WHY YES DON’T MIND IF I DO
Of all the things that Crystal is doing (or hinting that it may or may not do, I mean I’m seven and a half minutes into Episode 2 here, the fuck do we really know yet), that it’s putting the Silver Millennium front and center is the part that probably excites me most. However else I may come to feel about Crystal’s presentation and design choices, about its character and relationship portrayals, about its story focus and direction, THIS IS EXCITING. Unlike the manga and the original anime, which were running concurrently and breaking all the ground, Crystal has the advantage in that it knows where the story is going. It can utilize having a full map to chart its course into interesting places. We can take the long route to get to the same destination, we can foreshadow, we can have shit like this.
From the moment that they touch, Usagi’s presence alone is enough to spark something in Ami. There’s a flash, just a brief one, of the palace on the moon. Ami gasps, then jerks her head up to Usagi. Usagi, who just blinks and Ami and makes a little questioning noise while she and Luna look at her. The moment was for Ami and Ami alone.
All of this is fascinating.
First let’s consider the flash of the past. How literal do we take that? Did Ami actually see the image that we’re shown? Or was it meant to represent more of a feeling of a time and a place? My mind is whirring with the potential of us getting flashes for each of the Senshi as Usagi touches them and I hope — how I hope — that they’re different for each of our girls. How very badly do I want to dig in and find out WHY those images? Why that unique moment out of an entire lifetime? Whether it’s a literal image or the representation of a rush of emotions, that this is the image chosen to represent that is critical. (Or, rather, it COULD be critical. Come on, Crystal. This can be fascinating and prime ground for subtle character development. Don’t let me down.)
The other piece that’s fascinating to me is how this is one-sided. Ami gets the flash, but Usagi doesn’t. (Nor does Luna, but then assuming the same basic storyline, Luna also didn’t die and was reborn, so we’ll discount her for the moment.) We know Usagi HAS been having flashes of the past, but she lacks this moment of connection for Ami.
My feelings on that are a little mixed, though mostly positive.
For Ami, Usagi arrives and awakens something she never knew was there. It’s a direct parallel to what’s happening, or about to happen, all over Ami’s life. I like that line being drawn and I think it’s interesting, but at the same time it runs the risk of somewhat diminishing the pull of Usagi herself. One of the things (the many many things) I love so much about the original anime is how the idea of “destiny” is removed as a concept. Usagi would befriend her girls, past life ties or not; Crystal introduces it as a concept immediately.
But — and here’s where Crystal plays it smart — it then helps to refute that idea by having Usagi blatantly not be part of that moment.
We already know how desperately alone Ami is. The episode made that painfully PAINFULLY clear within the first few seconds. That she’ll invest herself in Usagi is completely understandable, past lives or no. For Usagi, though, this is ALL ABOUT AMI. She didn’t get that flash. She feels no pull toward Ami beyond “She looks sweet and I want to talk to her.” Wherever it goes from here, it’s all about Usagi wanting Ami as her friend, because she’s Ami.
Why, in-universe, does Usagi not have that moment, however? I’m not entirely sure, and it’s something I’ll be looking forward to thinking about. Because she’s already aware on some level that there’s some shit going on? Perhaps Ami is less SilMil Mercury than Usagi is Serenity, or that what Ami is responding to is the ginzuishou (she does, after all, remember a PLACE, not a PERSON). Or that Ami is MORE in tune with her past self or the warrior within than Usagi is the Princess she used to be. Or that Usagi has assumed a “Sailor Moon” persona which did not (I assume in Crystal) exist until now and so isn’t recognizing her Senshi as the friends and allies they will be now, rather than guardians they were in the past.
There are a dozen or more reasons why, and only more story can point the way.
But that’s EXCITING. There’s so much potential in this side of things, and every flash of the Silver Millennium, especially as we add more and more of our girls into the mix only makes me hungrier.