Meet Rei Hino, a Shinto priestess who has visions of dark kingdoms and moon princesses. Is she a friend or foe of Sailor Moon?
Queen Beryl has a three strikes policy for the Kings of the Dark Kingdom. Jadeite has already failed twice to locate and extract the Legendary Silver Crystal and his co-workers are starting to move in on his potential vacancy. We learn that the Crystal has the power to allow the holder to rule the universe, so it might not be in the universe’s best interest for Beryl and company to get their hands on it. As the meeting adjourns, we see a Shinto priestess has had a vision which pretty much matches the meeting that just transpired.
Over at the school, Umino is telling everyone about a bus (Route 66) that seems to vanish at 6pm every day, taking its passengers to Hell.1 Usagi and Luna hear the story, but don’t think much of it. They meet up with Ami at the arcade. While Ami and Luna talk shop about their divine mission, Usagi plays the Sailor V video game and wins a pair of watches. She gives one to Ami and they hop on the bus to Ami’s cram school.
While on the bus, the two girls see the priestess (in her school uniform). Usagi is transfixed by the girl’s beauty. The girl notices Usagi staring, but when she makes eye contact she has a vision of the same kingdom from Usagi’s dreams. Usagi follows the girl off the bus to the temple. After getting attacked by Rei’s pet birds2, the girl—Rei—explains she felt a demonic presence when Usagi arrived. As Usagi leaves the temple, she runs into the mother of a girl who used to play at the temple. The girl was last seen by Rei boarding the Route 66 bus. Luna thinks Rei could be involved with their mission, but is she a friend or foe?
On the bus ride home, Luna explains that the watches Usagi won are communication devices. Before Usagi can try it out, the guy in the tuxedo—this time in a school uniform—sits next to Ms. Bun-head. Usagi learns his name is Mamoru Chiba and that he is a high school student. She proceeds to freak out.
Back at the temple, the parents of missing children demand that Rei use her powers to locate their kids. Rei explains that her powers aren’t a GPS and they might be better served contacting the police. For some reason Usagi has returned and demands that the parents leave Rei alone. The parents leave and Rei laments her powers: why does she have them and why are they not as useful as they could be? Usagi leaves, but then Rei has a vision that she gets grabbed by the demon bus driver. Rei follows the Route 66 bus and sees that Jadeite, dressed as the good humor man is the driver. He captures Rei. Usagi runs after the bus as it crosses dimensions. She uses her disguise power to transform into…a flight attendant? “It is my mission to protect passengers!” she screams as Luna tries to keep up. Tuxedo Kamen swoops in to try to intercept Usagi, but she and the bus have crossed over. TK saw the transformation happen, so he now has some new information.
All the passengers try to stave off boredom/fear in the Dark Kingdom bus depot. Jadeite explains his goal is to lure the Sailor Soldiers here to dispatch them.3 Meanwhile, Usagi is freaking out about her new surroundings. The communicator on her wrist beeps. Ami and Luna have tracked her energy pattern, but they need her to transform so they can lock in on her. This will also allow Ami/Mercury to transport to her location4, so both soldiers transform.
Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury confront Jadeite and the battle begins. Mercury uses her aqua mist, not realizing Jadeite’s elemental is ice. He brings down the room temperature and manages to freeze the girls’ arms. Rei runs over and grabs Jadeite’s arm before he can attack again. He attempts to freeze Rei, but she awakens as Sailor Mars and is able to use her innate heat to counter the ice. Luna tosses Rei the Henshin Stick and she transforms into Sailor Mars. In the name of Mars, she will chastise you. At this point, Sailors Moon and Mercury have thawed, so Sailor Moon uses her boomerang to ensnare Jadeite. Rei uses her exorcism powers to eliminate the first king of the Dark Kingdom.
Back home, the children have returned to their parents and it is safe to ride the bus again. Over at the airport, the paparazzi have surrounded a man carrying a locked box. What could be inside?
How Did This Match the Original Sailor Moon?
The main plot of the demon bus matches the story of when Rei/Sailor Mars entered the picture.5 However, Jadeite did not exit the story in the original series until Episode 13/10. He met his demise at the airport in the original version, so perhaps that will be intertwined with the action at the airport in the next Sailor Moon Crystal episode.
Also, Rei and Usagi do not have an acrimonious relationship in this episode. That’s not to say the two won’t become bickering besties as the series progresses, but this version of Rei does not appear to be a hothead.
You can definitely get up to episode 10 of the Japanese series without progressing beyond Sailor Moon Crystal. Episodes 11 and 12 are filler, but there may be some items in episode 13 that could tip off events in the next episode of the new series. Also, Usagi did not learn Mamoru’s name until episode 15, so there may be some hopping around in terms of continuity for the next episode or two. The next major event in the original series didn’t happen until episode 25, so we have some time to fill.