We already meet a new Sailor Senshi in the second episode, Ami Mizuno, also known as Sailor Mercury! We briefly saw a preview of her in the first episode and during my first watch, I was surprised to see her come in so early, especially in comparison to the first anime, where she did not make an appearance until about seven episodes later.
Both the enemies and Usagi are on their own similar missions. Queen Beryl, one of the main villains of this season, is getting frustrated with her henchman, Jadeite. Their ruler needs energy to become more powerful–and can do so through a silver crystal. At around the same time, Usagi is being her typical adorable, but also lazy self, while Luna tells her to find more allies, as well as the princess.
Usagi comes across Ami on the street, who smiles and is friendly towards Luna. Usagi shows one of her strongest traits here: she is open to talking to Ami, who does not have friends at the time and does not judge her. Though at the same time, she thinks being friends with Ami will help her get good grades. The animation during this scene is a little bit off to me, in particular the part where Usagi goes to get Luna. There’s also a little bit of a off shot during the arcade scene of Ami. Either way, the plot thickens! Usagi and Ami get special prizes from the arcade machines that’ll become important later on.
Ami attends a cram school called Crystal Seminar. A teacher hands Ami a disc and claims that it’ll help her learn more. In actuality, the program on the disc is used to recruit people to join the villains. Ami is in a bit of a trance as a result of the program, but Usagi’s kindness throughout the episode, snaps her out of it. Ami transforms into Sailor Mercury and helps Sailor Moon get out of a bind. Tuxedo Mask also makes another appearance and helps Sailor Moon finish up the battle. Sailor Moon/Usagi adores Tuxedo Mask but does not know his true identity. From the perspective of someone who may be a new viewer, is not clear at this point whether or not Tuxedo Mask is entirely on Sailor Moon’s side but so far, it appears he wants to keep Sailor Moon safe. Sailor Moon however, has a definite ally in Sailor Mercury. This episode ends with a preview of a new, fiery ally named Sailor Mars.
Although the animation and art work in this episode was not as consistent or smooth as the first (even with the updated blurary animation, there are multiple glaring issues), it is interesting to have Sailor Mercury introduced early on and have the plot progress at a faster pace in comparison to the original 90’s anime.