Sailor Moon Eternal Parts 1 and 2 are both currently streaming on Netflix. This is my review for the second film. You can also read my Part 1 review which was posted last month. I always used to put episode reviews for Sailor Moon Crystal up within a few days of their release but the nature of these movies means that reviewing them is a bit more work! I call this a review even though it’s really more of a vague recap with random commentary and a sprinkling of what might be considered a review.
Part 1 ended on a cliffhanger. Not literally. If it followed the manga more closely it would have ended on a literal cliffhanger as Minako was hanging off of a cliff but stories were moved around to make things fit into movies a bit better. The conclusion to the whole Minako and Human Artemis thing was moved into Part 1 instead of taking place after we get a look at what’s going on with Hotaru and her three moms, which is really where this movie starts off. For the most part, like all of Sailor Moon Crystal, this movie is fairly faithful to the manga source material which it was based on.
Last time we saw Hotaru she was a baby being whisked away by Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. We finally see what they’ve been up to, starting with Haruka and Michiru. If I can take issue with the dub for a moment! There’s a character which, referencing Haruka, says that “He’s such a hottie”. Now I know Japanese doesn’t tend to use gender specific pronouns so this is likely not a terribly literal translation. I also understand that there being some confusion over Haruka’s gender makes sense and is a common theme in the series but are we really going to just pretend that Haruka is not very clearly dressed unambiguously as a woman in this scene? I’m not sure what this was all about.
Back at the house Setsuna is using a left handed mouse. What’s this? Is she actually left handed? I didn’t know this! While looking into this I found an article from Tuxedo Unmasked which mentions that Sailor Pluto may be left handed as she usually holds her Garnet Rod in her left hand. This article also goes into some detail about whether or not Rei is left handed, something I mentioned in my Part 1 review. So she’s left handed? Not likely. The only reason we see her left hand on the mouse is because the movie wants to show us her ring which is on her left hand and this is a convenient way to do so. Have you ever tried to use a mouse with your off hand? It’s very awkward. What’s my evidence suggesting that Setsuna isn’t actually left handed? In a scene a bit later in the film she’s back to using a mouse with her right hand. Ambidextrous? Seems like her handedness is whatever suits the needs of the shot!
While Setsuna is browsing an article about the eclipse we see a date! 2016-03-28 or March 28th 2016. I will assume this isn’t the actual date of the eclipse but rather the date on which the article was published. This fits with the date seen in Part 1 where Chibiusa circles April 1st as her date to return to the 30th century. An article about the April 1st eclipse coming out some four days before makes perfect sense. Any problems with this? Well April 1st 2016 was a Friday in the real world and according to Chibiusa’s calendar it was a Thursday. There was also no solar eclipse on April 1st 2016. There was a total solar eclipse on March 9th of 2016 and Japan wasn’t the best place to see it from. So why would the story take place five years in the past? This would probably be because the last new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal we got was on June 27th 2016. Since the series started airing on July 5th 2014 this makes the first few seasons take place within a few years. A six month passage of time since the eclipse is suggested at one point during this film so most of it takes place in late 2016. Most manga arcs seem to take place over about year which could put the Dream arc around 2017 if the events of the first season really are to take place in 2014. If they take place in 2013, when the show was originally meant to start, things line up pretty well. So much to say with a five year gap between Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 and the Sailor Moon Eternal films we can hardly just say it’s 2021 and expect it to make sense that everyone’s just starting high school so the 2016 date seems to work.
The big thing for the start of the film is fast aging Hotaru. This is something we see at the start of SailorStars in the original Sailor Moon anime. All of this growth occurred over a six month period and we get a sense of how quick it has been when Haruka mistakenly thinks they need diapers for their fast aging daughter. Hotaru is spouting out odd poetry and making faithful models of the solar system where events up to those taking place in the present play out in super speed. This makes me wonder just how accurate these are. If individual people are recreated in this model do those people experience joy and pain? Does Hotaru recreate every act of suffering in the history of our planet on a whim in her living room? Does this include the death of her mother as well as her father’s painful memories of it? Alternatively if the exact same information patterns of someone’s life are run over and over again are those actual new experiences or just the one experience? Is there a subjective feeling experienced more than once? The whole thing might be very unethical depending on one’s perspective on these issues.
So! Hotaru gets old and gives everyone their Sailor Crystals avoiding the requirement of a handful more individual stories in which they learn something about themselves and get their shoulder pad upgrades. Hotaru basically gives them all the upgrades herself. How convenient. Most importantly… a Sailor Saturn transformation sequence! Sailor Saturn had a transformation sequence in season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal but it was a bit different. This one is shorter but a bit more consistent with other transformations. Since Sailor Saturn never did transform in the original Sailor Moon anime it’s always nice to see a transformation sequence. She did have an original anime style transformation sequence as part of a Sailor Saturn game but this was never seen in the TV series or movies.
Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn show up to save the day and everyone is back together again! This doesn’t last long, sadly. Later Zirconia dispatches the Amazoness Quartet and then traps Sailor Chibi Moon and Saturn into shards of a mirror. She then picks up one piece of the mirror and then somehow has two in her hands. What’s going on here? Infuriating! This scene is brief but it’s great seeing Sailor Saturn in action since she’s so neglected in the original Sailor Moon anime. The scene of her and Chibi Moon in the circus tent is similar to their scenes in the early part of Sailor Stars when they fight Nehelenia. In a way the first six episodes of Sailor Stars are a more faithful adaptation of the dream arc than all of Sailor Moon SuperS.
We see a young Usagi and Mamoru, which is odd since we sort of already got a fairly extensive look at young Usagi earlier. They turn young in real life and then have a dream where they’re both young which makes me wonder why their real selves needed to even be made young in the first place. How do their dream selves know that their bodies are young? Shouldn’t there be some dysmorphia going on? Regardless, seeing young Usagi and Mamoru in domestic bliss is incredibly cute. What I enjoy about this scene is how similar it is to a major plot point in the Sailor Moon SuperS film. Usagi is in a dream world with Mamoru and questions his unwavering devotion to her. While in the SuperS film this is what she uses to break out of The Matrix, here it’s just a curiosity. Basically Mamoru states that his dream is to live with Usagi and she questions his other dreams like being a doctor. It’s worth noting that many other elements from this arc, like the young versions of so many characters, are also seen in the Sailor Moon SuperS film at many points. While on the surface the movie has nearly nothing to do with the Dream arc of the manga and the SuperS season of the original anime, there are in fact many similarities. These are not likely all intended. Unless some advanced knowledge of one work or another was planned the timelines simply don’t add up. This particular manga story with young Usagi and Mamoru came out in Nakayoshi in December of 1995, the same month in which the SuperS film was released. Since both a manga and animated film take months or longer to go from story to release, these particular similarities seem to be coincidence.
Usagi and Mamoru are now with Helios in Elysion and the whole being young thing wasn’t any sort of lasting problem. What is this place? In mythology the similarly named Elysium is the afterlife. Here Elysion, which is a unique name in Sailor Moon, is another world that seems to be somewhat parallel to the Earth. An analog to it as Helios is himself tied to the Earth and the Golden Crystal. More specifically I wonder just where it is. It is suggested that Elysium is within the Earth somehow and there are references to “the surface”. I wonder if Elysium is compatible with the idea of The Hollow Earth. This is an idea of a world deep beneath the surface of the Earth. Though specifics vary the concept is that the Earth itself is a hollow shell and that within that shell there is a whole other ecosystem where “down” is actually towards the outside of the Earth. I tried hard to see indications that Elysion had a normal sky. We don’t see any stars from it. We don’t see the sun even though late in the story there is light coming from the sky. The Hollow Earth is often described as having a small sun at the center of the Earth. The Moon is seen in the sky in that we can see the eclipse from Elysion, but it isn’t clear if the Moon itself is actually visible. Keep in mind this is one of my own pet theories about Elysion and isn’t necessarily intended in either the manga or Sailor Moon Eternal films, but I wonder if this is a kind of pseudoscientific belief that Naoko Takeuchi was into along with all the weird stuff from the Black Moon arc.
We do this weird thing where we pretend that the maiden that Helios is looking for isn’t Chibiusa and it’s all very silly. He sees this image of a clearly pink haired woman who looks more or less like an older Chibiusa who asks him to find the Golden Crystal. She’s called “Princess Lady Serenity”. He acts as if this is Sailor Moon which makes Chibiusa quite upset, even though she clearly still has Helios’s affection.
All this time Mamoru is just walking around in his dress shirt. Why do we pretend these dress shirts are the most comfortable thing? He gives them out to all the ladies who sleep over. Chibiusa sleeps in one during Part 1 and when he’s sick in bed this seems to be his sleepwear of choice. I often wear shirts of this type for work but I’ll generally put a t-shirt on when I’m at home relaxing, especially if I’m sick and bedridden. This would be a believable “I was out doing stuff and then I came home and untucked my shirt so it’s my after hours casual mode” but he’s been bedridden for a while now and the last time he was out was for the eclipse, as far as we can tell, when he wasn’t wearing his tuxedo (which has a ruffled shirt) but a grey dress shirt and vest. Am I to believe that he took off his grey dress shirt and put on a white dress shirt to climb into bed? This really makes no sense and is probably the biggest plot whole in the movie.
The shrine in Elysion is guarded by the Maenads who have hair just like Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon which back in the day would have been like both Queen and Princess Serenity. I guess this really was the style at the time? What a strange coincidence that reincarnated Usagi happened to chose a very similar yet impractical and almost never seen hair style.
So there’s some fighting which is actually the bulk of the movie. I don’t have a ton to say about this. Almost all of the attacks are so similar to the original Sailor Moon anime that I wonder if they were traced. Helios dies in a non permanent death which is actually fairly common for Sailor Moon but I don’t for a moment think it’s a real thing. Does anyone cry for Helios? Of course he’ll be fine.
We then see an interesting scene which is the birth of Princess Serenity. This scene reminds me a lot of the birth of Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. In Sleeping Beauty we have Maleficent, the only one not invited, showing up to celebrate the Princess’s birth only to end up cursing the child to eternal sleep after pricking herself on a spinning wheel needle. Similarly Nehelenia was the only one not invited after Princess Serenity’s birth. Once she shows up an uncharacteristically unkind Queen Serenity, along with the Sailor Guardians, disparage her and tell her she isn’t welcome. She ends up cursing Silver Millennium saying it will fall. This of course does end up happening in the distant past. I wonder if any inspiration occurred between these. One noticeable thing here is that Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus are all significantly older than the newborn Princess Serenity. Though their ages aren’t specified they speak well, are fairly tall for children and seem ready to fight. I’d guess they are about 6 or 7 here. Princess Serenity appears to be an adolescent in the first story arc. She is arguably slightly older than the 14 year old Usagi who notices physical changes in herself when turning into the Princess. This would put the other Sailor Guardians at over 20 in those flashbacks, though they all appear to be more or less the same age. In the Amour Eternal musical when we see the birth of Princess Serenity the age difference is even greater as the Sailor Guardians are shown to be their fully adolescent ages at that point, similar to their ages in the modern times story of that musical. We know that in Crystal Tokyo adults done age, which include Sailor Moon eternally being in her early 20s, but is there a reason to have people frozen in adolescence in Silver Millennium?
I think if original anime Sailor Moon had been in her mother’s place when Nehelenia showed up she could have found a way to make peace or may even have invited her in the first place. The manga version of Sailor Moon does more killing of villains and less winning them over. Remember that anime Sailor Moon ended up having compassion for Nehelenia after all of the harm she did to her and her friends! Queen Serenity with her blank reflectionless eyes doesn’t seem to have any of that attitude when she seals away Queen Nehelenia.
Once the Moon Effect character song kicks in the movie is really reaching the climax! A lot of this was released in a very spoiler filled music video! This song features vocals by the actors playing all ten of the Sailor Guardians and is included on the “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Character Song Collection Eternal Collection” album. Though Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon are still afflicted with the disease which has black roses on their lungs it seems the resolution to this is… to kiss! Everything is fine now! Great!
Did you like Human Artemis? Did you enjoy Human Luna (in the first season)? Well how about human version of the whole cat family including Diana! This is a big deal as this is the first time we see all of the cats in human form in any anime series!
Next up is Eternal everybody! There’s a new Holy Grail and then Sailor Moon becomes Eternal Sailor Moon, hence the name of the movies, but beyond that all of the other Sailor Guardians also get upgraded to their Eternal forms which means those little bubble shoulder pad things which is something we never saw in the original Sailor Moon anime! Sailor Moon finally does her Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss and saves the day! The eclipse, which we can kind of see even though we’re kind of inside the earth, is finally over which is arguably the end of a very long period which only took place over the course of a few minutes, the length of time an eclipse usually lasts for. There isn’t any clear agreement of this but by that timeline the events of this film actually take place within the same day.
Turns out Helios isn’t dead and Sailor Chibi Moon (Eternal Sailor Chibi Moon) kisses him while he sleeps. Do we want to dig up the whole kissing a sleeping person lacks consent discourse again? In this particular case since Helios had previously expressed his interest in Chibiusa when he kissed her in the first film I think that makes this whole situation less of a concern than when Tuxedo Mask did it in the first story arc. The best kept secret of the films, that Chibiusa is actually the one Helios has been looking for, is revealed! She becomes Princess Lady Serenity and gets her Pink Moon Crystal!
Eternal Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask now becomes Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion for the first time without some influence from the future. Everyone gets their lovely princess dresses back and there was much rejoicing.
Sailor Saturn still has the Amazoness Quartet balls. When these four are revived they are the Sailor Quartet! Sailor Cere, Sailor Palas, Sailor Juno and Sailor Vesta are all named after the same celestial objects they had identified with originally but now it makes a bit more sense why! They are Sailor Guardians who’s duty it is to protect Eternal Sailor Chibi Moon or rather Princess Lady Serenity and not related directly to Sailor Moon or Neo Queen Serenity. It’s really fun to see the Sailor Quartet! Sadly they aren’t around for long as they claim that they should be asleep in the jungle so they take off. Why does this matter? You’re here! Let’s get the gang together! Chibiusa should only be a twinkle in Mamoru’s eye but she’s around and actively involved in the fight so who’s to say that the Amazoness Quartet are better off chilling in a jungle somewhere? My two dream concepts for new Sailor Moon series would be a Codename: Sailor V series and some sort of future Sailor Guardian series with Chibi Moon, the Sailor Quartet and maybe Helios fighting some evil and perhaps traveling through time to do it! I won’t hold my breath for that.
Now Helios is there with Pegasus which makes me wonder how this is even possible! Aren’t they kind of the same being? In the original Sailor Moon anime they certainly were, with Pegasus being his name rather than a descriptor of the kind of horse he is, but it seems they are different entities. Kind of weird!
Well the movie pretty much wraps up with a bunch of people going on their way. What we don’t see in the Netflix version is a message saying “To be continued” but this is on the Japanese Blu-ray and it seems like it was in the version shown in theatres in Japan. Why remove this from the Netflix version? No idea! I hope we don’t have to wait quite as many years to get a Stars arc of Sailor Moon Crystal as we did for Sailor Moon Eternal!
The credits are fairly unremarkable. I can’t read any of that! We have a couple of songs here. The first is Moon Color Chainon, the theme song for the Sailor Moon Eternal films. This is actually the first time we hear it in this movie since it doesn’t have an intro like the 90s films did! After this we have the new version of “Rashiku” Ikumasho (I’ll Go As Myself) by Anza! Anza was the first actress to portray Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon musicals and continued to do so for five years. This song was originally the second ending theme for Sailor Moon SuperS, the original adaptation of the Dreams arc of the Sailor Moon manga, which makes it a fitting song to end the final movie with.
All in all I found Part 2 to be a good movie. It wasn’t as obviously episodic as Part 1 where you could easily see the breaks between manga chapters. That said there isn’t really as much going on with this film which mostly centers on the big battles with Zirconia and Nehelenia.
More generally the Sailor Moon Eternal films just look fantastic. The designs are great and since these movies are shorter than full seasons the animation is better and there seems to have been more time and money dedicated to every minute of this film compared to earlier seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal. We can only hope the Stars arc will look as good, though I’m hoping for a return to a series for that season or that if it will be movies that they make three of them! We shall see.
What did you think of this second film? Let us know in the comments!
Keep reading for more screenshots of the film.