The latest and final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Never Ending, is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. For now this is the final episode. No next episode preview exists and a message stating “À bientôt” or “See you soon” appears at the end of the episode. I’ve already written another blog post about this and will discuss it later in this post. An obvious interpretation of this is that there will be more episodes some time in the future, but nothing of the sort has been confirmed to date. With that, there is a lot to discuss about this episode, so let’s focus on the present, or rather the 30th century, for one last time.
I never really noticed this in the past but Chibiusa is really small! In one particular shot she seems especially small. She usually seems to be about half the size of most adults in the show, which would put her under 3′, something closer to 2’6″ in this shot where she doesn’t even reach the bottom of Sailor Jupiter’s skirt. This is typical of a 3 or 4 year old. Her age isn’t really known with her actually being 900 but given her level of language, maturity and schooling she really shouldn’t be this short. This sort of reminded me of Shippo from Inuyasha who’s size varied wildly from shot to shot.
Neo Queen Serenity awakes and everything is cool between her and Chibiusa. She seems proud of the Sailor Guardian she’s become and sends her off to help her friends. But wait doesn’t she already know this because she fought alongside her for years when she was a teenager?
Sailor Chibi Moon is given Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre which becomes the Cutie Moon Rod. The idea seems to be that Sailor Moon of the past has the Cutie Moon Rod. In the future it becomes Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre, and then it is given back to Sailor Chibi Moon. This is why both Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon have matching rods. Like with the two Silver Crystals, they are the same items from different times. They fight Death Phantom, use a double Moon Princess Halation and then Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod is destroyed. So where does Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre come from? How does Sailor Chibi Moon’s future version continue to exist? The future as seen in this story arc is the future of this arc, because later in the mange there are item, uniform and cast changes which are not reflected in the future but as the Cutie Moon Rod is replaced even within this same arc, the timeline is already in question.
The time travel is really a mess. So the Death Phamtom is beaten, yay, and everything is great again. Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity want to meet but it’s forgiven because, as Neo Queen Serenity states, it is not a part of history. Well is any of this a part of history? Does Neo Queen Serenity remember spending years of time with her future daughter as a kid, and traveling through time, and saving the future or any of this crazy stuff? If she does, then it’s all a predestination paradox. If she doesn’t, then what fundamental difference does it make if two people actually meet each other? Tuxedo Mask and the ghost of King Endymion are BFFs at this point, but their physical bodies didn’t occupy the same space so it doesn’t matter? Influence can happen through any sort of transmission of information. Simply being able to see the future would have the ability to drastically change the course of history, yet somehow a lot of importance is put on the actual meeting of people.
So what do we do? Oh forget the timeline I want to meet you so they just go see each other. Is this really wise? I mean I know we completely ignore all rules of time travel as we’ve seen by Sailor Pluto never doing her job but what are the implications here? If we actually did somehow change the flow of time by having Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity meeting the main thing that would happen is that Chibiusa would never be born, which is kind of serious business. But nothing seems to happen and so everyone from the future thinks it’s a great idea to just go meet their past selves as the Queen, King, all of the Sailor Guardians and even the cats come and say hi to their past selves. Only Diana is not guilty of tainting her timeline and she may never be born if this is allowed!
There’s so much kissing in this episode. Neo Queen Serenity wakes up King Endymion with a kiss. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask kiss while wandering in space. Usagi and Mamoru kiss back and earth and of course Chibiusa and Mamoru kiss when she returns! It should make a lot of the fans of romance happy seeing so much smooching.
Sailor Moon gets her brooch updated. Now she has the Cosmic Heart Compact. Oddly though Chibiusa is also seen with a Cosmic Heart Compact. In the anime the transformation item she has for Sailor Moon S is the Prism Heart Compact, though it is unnamed in the manga. It is not usually drawn in details but it does not seem like it was ever meant to closely resemble Sailor Moon’s brooch as it does here.
Chibiusa leaves, somewhat. The clock says 7:20am. How early to be time traveling, but Chibiusa is doing this on a morning before school so that makes some sense. After a teary farewell she leaves only to return moments afterwards. Classic time travel! It’s not clear how long she was gone for but obviously more than a few seconds passed in the future for Chibiusa to be sent back for training. The letter Neo Queen Serenity sends references Usagi having offered to train Chibiusa, though no such agreement ever seems to have taken place. But then Neo Queen Serenity is from the future so perhaps she knows that Usagi was fine with it, having been her in the past, assuming this isn’t part of some abandoned timeline since she met herself and ruined the universe. It seems that Neo Queen Serenity is being a bit lazy here by sending Chibiusa away in order to be rid of her for a while, but this makes no real sense. If time travel is at play she could just have sent her to the future. Chibiusa may very well return to the time she left once her training is complete. There’s no reason to look at this as a normal non time traveler’s sending a child to boarding school. Let’s not forget that Chibiusa is 900 years old so Neo Queen Serenity has had her around for quite a while and does not appear to have tried to sent her to time travel boarding school before.
So Chibiusa is back. Sailor Moon has a new brooch and attack item. Why do all this if this is the last episode? Because that’s what happens in the manga. Sailor Moon Crystal has not simply been a somewhat faithful manga adaptation. It has been a nearly exact retelling of the manga story. New episodes or not they wouldn’t have removed these scenes.
Will the show return for season 2? The final scene of the episodes carries a message, “À bientôt”. This is French and is accurately translated as “See you soon”. We do not know with any certainly what this means. The default assumption here, which I believe is the intended meaning, is that there will be more episodes. This is the closest thing we’ve had to any official confirmation. There are no details and it’s hard to get any specifics. We are, as far as I interpret this statement, being led to believe that the series will continue at some time. When, we can’t say. Will something happen between now and then that will interfere with this plan to bring us new episodes? That is certainly possible and so even if this message is meant to tell us new episodes are coming, these plans may not come to fruition.
There are other possibilities for the meaning of these statements. The live action series ended with the words “See you again”, a less accurate translation of “À bientôt”, which was only meant as a reference to the at the time already announced Special Act, a single episode straight to video special which was itself followed up with a prequel. With other things happening in the Sailor Moon world it could simply be a reference to some other project which fans may care about to varying degrees.
Sailor Moon Crystal was originally announced in summer 2012 for the summer of 2013, but it was delayed a full year before it finally began in July 2014. Episodes were obviously animated at the last minute as next episode previews often had changes by the time the episodes came around, and the next episode preview for Act 26 was all reused clips from earlier episodes. There were also all of the changes done for the Blu-Ray releases. If some time is needed to catch up on the backlog and get a bit of a buffer for new episodes, that is great. There may be a ton of other financial and planning decisions being made in Japan right now that we aren’t and won’t be made aware of. With the series now airing on TV in Japan there may be some desire to have new episodes released either on TV first or simulcast on TV and online. We really don’t know any details. Now is the time to be patient, and hope that new episodes will come at some point. The sooner the better, but in this case late is always better than never.
Like with the premier of Sailor Moon Crystal we must be weary of rumours and pay attention to official sources. There was a ton of speculation based on international sources or subtle mentions which had us assuming all sorts of premiere dates for Sailor Moon Crystal which didn’t pan out until the official release date finally came from an official source, a live event. There were also delays to timelines layed out by official sources, and news with specifics of those delays again came from similar places. A lot of rumours continue as dates such as Winter 2016 are now being spoken of with regards to new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, but the only official news we’ve had is “À bientôt”. We will be keeping an eye on the official web site and Twitter account, reporting any promising rumours as they come up but always keeping in mind the strength of various evidence. We will be sharing anything we find to be relevant on this site as we learn it.
Be patient friends. We waited a long time for this series. For a lot of us that wait paid off. Do not mistake my snarky negativity for a dislike of the series. I’ve greatly enjoyed Sailor Moon Crystal and sincerely hope there is more in store for us some day.
Keep reading for more screenshots from what we hope is not the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal.