What follows is a comparison of story decisions made in the original anime in the Nephrite arc with those made by Crystal in part of its Dark Kingdom arc. It will be critical of Crystal. If that’s not something you’re interested in reading, I completely respect that. Please scroll past this post. The tag I use for any less than positive discussion of Crystal (of which there is little since I stopped watching the show, but I’ll still bring it up when I feel I have something to say such as now) is #jet wolf versus crystal. Feel free to add that tag to your filters to block my content along these lines.
It’s been a while since I watched this arc, and when I did, it was really quite cursory, especially as compared to the detail level that would wind up being my default. So it’s interesting to see it now, turning it over and examining it, with some other context behind me. Nearly all the rest of the series, for one. Crystal for another.
As I watch this unfold, I keep finding myself drawing parallels between Naru’s reaction to Nephrite and Crystal Usagi’s reaction to Evil Mamoru. As I’ve said, I’ve not yet read the manga, so I don’t know how it plays out in that version. More importantly, I don’t know if that storyline would’ve even started yet in the manga to have had impact on the Naru/Nephrite storyline in the anime. It’s a chicken and the egg situation, I don’t know which came first. But I do think it’s extremely likely that one influenced the other.
I haven’t rewatched Episode 24 of the original anime so I can’t say yet if I think it will ultimately give the cautionary tale payoff that I’m wanting. Still, even through to Episode 23, I can say that it’s not afraid to at least be critical of the situation it’s portraying, perhaps feeling more freedom to do so given that one half of the characters involved is without question a villain rather than a brainwashed hero. Whatever the underlying reason(s), I think it’s at least interesting to consider the parallels between the two and how the narrative frames what are, essentially, the same ideas to create two very different supported viewpoints.