The Sailor Moon Eternal films are coming to theatres in Japan on September 11th 2020. We don’t have a ton of information about these films but a recent mock interview shared with Japanese members of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club gives us some morsels of information about the films. We could have inferred most of this information already, but it’s nice to get some confirmation about some of these things.
I am not currently a member of the Sailor Moon Fan Club so I did not receive this newsletter however I read about it on the Tuxedo Unmasked web site. If you don’t already follow that site I suggest you do as there’s a ton of research that goes into those articles which I always enjoy reading. If you can read Japanese you can check out this scanned version of the Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Members Only Special Issue volume 13. I do not, so I will be referencing Tuxedo Unmasked’s translation.
The interview isn’t with an actual person who exists in the real world. Instead it’s a fake conversation between Luna and Usagi in which they destroy the fourth wall and talk somewhat in character about the upcoming films. This reminds me a bit of the Sailor Moon Memorial laserdiscs which are season recaps hosted by Usagi and Luna. So what does the interview tell us?
First there’s a reminder that the movies will come out “After the Olympics” which is a bit vague. The 2020 Summer Olympics, which will take place in Tokyo, will run from July 24th to August 9th. The film has already been announced to be released on September 11th so this bit of dialogue is less precise than what we already know. The actual release date appears on the page and later in the interview.
Then Usagi asks Luna what actually happened in Act 4 of the manga. We already knew that these two films will cover the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga which is the story which was adapted as the Sailor Moon SuperS season of the original Sailor Moon anime. This means it will include the Dark Moon Circus, Pegasus, the Amazon Trio, the Amazoness Quartet, Zirconia and Queen Nehelenia. Despite the similar characters the actual stories of the manga and anime differ quite a bit though, so Sailor Moon Eternal will be new to fans of the original Sailor Moon anime!
We learn that the new movie will be about the Dead Moon Circus who break free of a mirror during an eclipse. That eclipse was is seen at the end of the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal’s third season many, many eclipses ago. We will see Usagi and Chibiusa switch bodies, which is something that also happened in the original Sailor Moon anime though this was a minor story contained to one episode. It is also mentioned that this is a very Chibiusa intensive story! This arc is basically a romance between Chibiusa and Pegasus/Helios so there’s no ignoring that she will feature heavily.
More importantly they ask where the visuals for Sailor Uranus, Neptune and the other Sailor Guardians representing the outer planets are. Luna muses that this must mean that Hotaru’s awakening will be in the second film. This fits with what I had been assuming about the films. These characters only appear in the second half of the manga’s arc and it seems like a good split of the films would be to include them only in Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2, or whatever it is we will be calling it. This would start with us seeing what Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru have been up to for the past while and having them join the rest of the team. In the original Sailor Moon anime this never happens during Sailor Moon SuperS and the short six episode arc which starts off Sailor Moon Sailor Stars does its own quick version of these events. If this information is to be trusted it seems unlikely we’ll be seeing any designs for these characters for the first film, though I still think it may be possible they will appear briefly as an end of movie teaser.
Following this exchange we get some quotes from Chiaki Kon, the film’s director, Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, the film’s writer, Kazuko Tadano, the animation director, Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. These are some nice little comments but they don’t really tell us anything new about the films. Misato Fukuen comments that she will finally get to see “an important character” who we can only assume is Pegasus. It seems they’re all being very careful not to tell us anything!
This all makes me wonder if the person that wrote this fictional exchange actually knows anything we don’t or if they instead are just inferring all of this from what we already know? I can’t say for sure. For now we are all anxiously waiting until September and wondering just when we’ll be getting the movies outside of Japan! I’m hopeful for some sort of limited North American theatrical run around the same time as the film will be released in Japan but that may be too optimistic of me! We may instead only get the film some while later, possibly not until 2021, and it’s not really guaranteed that it will be out theatrically here at all. I’ll be sure to share anything conclusive as that information becomes available!
Source: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Mailer Vol. 13 translated by Tuxedo Unmasked
Keep reading for the full interview translation.
The Usagi and Luna interview:
Usagi: The release date for the Sailor Moon Eternal movie has finally been announced. It’ll hit theaters right after the Olympics finish up.
Luna: Hopefully everyone won’t get too wrapped up in the games and fall behind on their work!
Usagi: So what happens in Act 4 of the manga, anyway?
Luna: You’ve already forgot? You’ve got the memory of a goldfish, Usagi. It’s the story of a group calling itself the Dead Moon Circus that had been locked away inside a mirror breaking free during a solar eclipse.
Usagi: Oh, yeah, that! ChibiUsa and I switch bodies and a lot of other weird stuff happens. And when I couldn’t go back home, I got to stay over at Mamo-chan’s place…
Luna: Well I guess you remember that part, at least. Anyway, ChibiUsa plays a big part in the story, about as big as her part in the Black Moon arc. Since the movie will be following along the manga’s storyline, there connection between ChibiUsa and Helios will be a big part of it.
Usagi: I saw the imagery released with the earlier announcement and it looks like Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako are also going to be in it. But what about Haruka, Michiru, and the other Outer Senshi?
Luna: Well, this is just the first half of the story, so… I guess which half Hotaru’s reawakening appears in will be a bit part of the overall story.
Usagi: Hmm, I’m really curious. I guess we could just ask the director and screenwriter about it?
Luna: You need to wait until the movie comes out, Usagi! But I think everyone has a lot to look forward to when it comes to which stories [from the manga] will be featured.
Usagi: Aww, now I’m too excited thinking about the movie to sleep!
Luna: I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Usagi. You’ll just make it up through one of your afternoon naps. Anyway, the movie will be opening up to audiences across Japan on September 11, 2020. I hope to see you there!
Usagi: In the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you!
Quotes from the film’s staff:
Chiaki Kon: I think we all, including myself, have been long time fans of Sailor Moon and I’m incredibly honored to continue my work from [Sailor Moon Crystal] season 3 on into season 4 (the Sailor Moon Eternal movie). I really hope to bring all the fine detail in the manga to the big screen.
Kazuyuki Fudeyasu: A long time ago, a young girl once taught me that a star burns brightly in the hearts of us all. It is with great joy that I’ve been offered the chance to write Usagi’s story and I can’t wait to see it come to life on the big screen. My only hope is that the happiness I’ve been granted in this role is somehow conveyed to all of you who see it. I hope a star burns in the hearts of all you as well!
Kazuko Tadano: The first visual I worked on for this, and which was ultimately used for the movie’s announcement, as done in reference to a beautiful pose done by Ms. Takeuchi. It’s incredibly difficult work to bring the adorable features presented in both the 90s anime and the manga together into one work and I went through several mis-starts. I felt worried every time a new character was announced, but I’m always comforted to see all the lovely messages posted online [about the designs]. This is my second time working on the Sailor Moon series, but there are so many characters that are new to me that I feel like I’m starting fresh. I’ll do my best, and thanks for cheering me on!
Kotono Mitsuishi: I’m really glad to have the opportunity to get all the cast together and see each other once again. You can really tell the love that the anime team has put into this movie. I’m looking forward to seeing the Sailor Soldiers running around up on the big screen once again!
Misato Fukuen: It continues! And as a movie! I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I first heard about it. Plus, since this will be the Dead Moon arc, that means that an character important to ChibiUsa will make an appearance. I’m really looking forward to playing out her character as she deals with her first flitterings of love and starting to mature into an adult. I hope you’re also excited to see the beautiful, adorable, and strong Sailor Soldiers [as they come to the big screen]!