Did the Witches 5 deserve a redemption arc?

  • This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
Mar 8, 2012
4,996
4,101
1,665
#1
It's no secret that I love the Ayakashi Sisters and consider their redemption arc a highlight of the original anime. But I also love the Witches 5 and find the lack of a redemption arc for them a bit strange and disappointing.

Obviously Naoko didn't meticulously plot out the manga in advance, and since the anime was produced simultaneously and its staff couldn't know what Naoko was going to do before she knew herself, they couldn't exactly plan ahead. Thus, they couldn't have known that for the third story arc, Naoko was going to devise a group of five (or six) female antagonists with alter egos who (it's still unclear to me) were either completely artificial beings created by Professor Tomoe, or once normal humans who had simply been vesselized, but who either way would seem a more logical choice for redemption than the four sisters who otherwise lacked any kind of back story or inner life (apart, perhaps, from their love of late twentieth century haute couture).

But hindsight is 20/20, so I put it to you: should the Witches 5 have been given a redemption arc in the 90s anime? Should a future adaptation of the Infinity arc redeem them? And, if you had to choose between them, which group deserved redemption more: the Ayakashi Sisters or the Witches 5?

(To be clear, I'm not saying the 90s anime Witches 5 deserved a redemption arc as is: Tellu, Viluy, and Cyprine/Ptilol got almost no screen time to speak of and Eudial had basically no redeeming qualities, so Mimete was the only one who even potentially merited redemption. What I'm asking is should the Witches 5 have been written in such a way as to support/conclude in their redemption as with the Ayakashi Sisters?)
 
Mar 8, 2012
4,996
4,101
1,665
#4
Another question: If the Witches 5 were redeemed, do you think Cyprine and Ptilol should be "healed" as two separate people, or should "they" become one person again?
 
Apr 20, 2012
2,236
132
165
27
Texas
skelenator-rainbow.tumblr.com
#5
I'm fine with the 90s anime as it is. I wouldn't have minded a Mimete redemption, but I think all of the Witches 5 getting redeemed after R would've felt repetitive. But I am open to a future adaptation redeeming them. (Missed opportunity, Crystal!) As for which group deserved it more, depends on canon. The Specter Sisters are the clear answer in the 90s anime, and the Witches 5 deserve it more in manga canon.

Another question: If the Witches 5 were redeemed, do you think Cyprine and Ptilol should be "healed" as two separate people, or should "they" become one person again?
There's a third possibility: One could die while the other gets healed. :mischief: But regardless of their fate, I'd hope they'd remain separate.
 
Apr 1, 2020
706
497
165
38
#6
Eudial: No! I CANNOT forgive what she did to Michriu, NO.
Mimate: The only one with some redeem quality, if Eudial didn't fall off to die probably.
Tellu and Viluy: They tried to kill many ppl, even if they do, they need to pay a dear price and atone for their crimes.
Cyprine and Ptilol: They also caused many ppl losing their lives for once, and they didn't show any quality, No.

Another question: If the Witches 5 were redeemed, do you think Cyprine and Ptilol should be "healed" as two separate people, or should "they" become one person again?
I believe they are one person in the beginning, so yeah.
 
Jun 30, 2010
1,445
650
665
www.smcx.me
#7
These are just my thoughts:
  1. As much as I am a sucker for redemption stories, they shouldn't have gotten a completed redemption arc, at least in the direction the anime chose to go. Everything about Sailor Moon S, aside from the goofy monster design and gaudiness of Sailor Moon's finisher, is at least ostensibly being more mature and about making about tough choices. For these villainous characters to get redeemed takes away from the tension as to whether Sailor Moon can have a peaceful resolution, and with the Outers present as semi-antagonistic forces, the villains have to be more flatly evil as a result, and there's the built-in fanon (which was never confirmed) that the Witches are literally heartless or soulless.
  2. I don't think think they should get one unless Infinity is heavily redone. The central problem is that whether they are artificial humans or converted ones, it's unlikely they even possess souls and one can argue that the monstrous forms taken in the manga are their true selves. Being soulless is not like having one's mind clouded by desperation or negative energy/influence; it's a permanent condition. Unlike in SuperS which did have a dream guardian, there is no similar figure for the souls (in spite of S initially hinting that the Messiah would be that). I'm not saying it can't work; one of my favorite fanfics is actually seemingly working towards a redemption for the girls. However, again Infinity has to be completely reworked.
  3. Despite this, the Witches 5 definitely deserved a redemption arc more, even from what was presented. These girls are much more clearer foils for our heroes, being (or at least posing as) school students themselves, and it can be inferred they're around the mental age of our cast. The Sisters, by contrast, are grown women Let me be clear, I don't hate that the Sisters got redeemed (I love it!), but it did come out of nowhere starting with Koan. It's easier to swallow the Witches 5 being redeemed because they are...magical girls, or techno-magical girls, at least.
What I would find most interesting if there were a Nephrite-like arc where the villains started showing signs of changing allegiance and make it clear that they are acting because they are bound with their deal with the devil. It could be revealed that the Holy Grail has the power restore the souls of those who were taken, which would give them an additional reason for them as individuals to want it (so they're working with the enemy with the hopes of freeing themselves). However, in a cruel twist, just as one of the Witches does legitimately try to reform or at least work with the Inners, her action is misinterpreted and she is killed by the Outers, which further puts the two teams at odds. This would make Sailor Moon's decision to trust "Hotaru" later in the arc all the more heartbreaking, as she'd have a very strong reason not to listen to the Outers (since they would have actual blood on their hands due to their distrust), only for this time for them to be right. I wouldn't mind after the arc is completed for a magic restoration through the power of the veil where the girls would be restored to life with souls in tact - even if it would be a cheap deus ex machina, at least the Witches would have earned a happy ending through their attempts to turn a new leaf and dying for it.

But again, that means redoing the entire arc.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Onuzim Ima
Apr 1, 2020
706
497
165
38
#8
These are just my thoughts:
  1. As much as I am a sucker for redemption stories, they shouldn't have gotten a completed redemption arc, at least in the direction the anime chose to go. Everything about Sailor Moon S, aside from the goofy monster design and gaudiness of Sailor Moon's finisher, is at least ostensibly being more mature and about making about tough choices. For these villainous characters to get redeemed takes away from the tension as to whether Sailor Moon can have a peaceful resolution, and with the Outers present as semi-antagonistic forces, the villains have to be more flatly evil as a result, and there's the built-in fanon (which was never confirmed) that the Witches are literally heartless or soulless.
  2. I don't think think they should get one unless Infinity is heavily redone. The central problem is that whether they are artificial humans or converted ones, it's unlikely they even possess souls and one can argue that the monstrous forms taken in the manga are their true selves. Being soulless is not like having one's mind clouded by desperation or negative energy/influence; it's a permanent condition. Unlike in SuperS which did have a dream guardian, there is no similar figure for the souls (in spite of S initially hinting that the Messiah would be that). I'm not saying it can't work; one of my favorite fanfics is actually seemingly working towards a redemption for the girls. However, again Infinity has to be completely reworked.
  3. Despite this, the Witches 5 definitely deserved a redemption arc more, even from what was presented. These girls are much more clearer foils for our heroes, being (or at least posing as) school students themselves, and it can be inferred they're around the mental age of our cast. The Sisters, by contrast, are grown women Let me be clear, I don't hate that the Sisters got redeemed (I love it!), but it did come out of nowhere starting with Koan. It's easier to swallow the Witches 5 being redeemed because they are...magical girls, or techno-magical girls, at least.
What I would find most interesting if there were a Nephrite-like arc where the villains started showing signs of changing allegiance and make it clear that they are acting because they are bound with their deal with the devil. It could be revealed that the Holy Grail has the power restore the souls of those who were taken, which would give them an additional reason for them as individuals to want it (so they're working with the enemy with the hopes of freeing themselves). However, in a cruel twist, just as one of the Witches does legitimately try to reform or at least work with the Inners, her action is misinterpreted and she is killed by the Outers, which further puts the two teams at odds. This would make Sailor Moon's decision to trust "Hotaru" later in the arc all the more heartbreaking, as she'd have a very strong reason not to listen to the Outers (since they would have actual blood on their hands due to their distrust), only for this time for them to be right. I wouldn't mind after the arc is completed for a magic restoration through the power of the veil where the girls would be restored to life with souls tact - even if it would be a cheap deus ex machina, at least the Witches would have earned a happy ending through their attempts to turn a new leaf and dying for it.

But again, that means redoing the entire arc.
The true conflict of S was not about the villains' plan, but the conflict between the Inners and the Outers over their idea of how to solve it. So the villains didn't get much focus. Mimate even became the show's main comic relief for a while.

I feel that the writers seems to favor the Outers a bit too much, which is why the Inner 4 were kept out in the final fight and they let Usagi get deceived, this has been a bigger problem in SuperS, where the main heroines were not written well enough compare to the villains and victim of the day.