End of America in the Sailor Moon Timeline

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Dec 2, 2023
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#1
America doesn't seem to exist in the future in the Sailor Moon timeline. The manga is more interesting here than the anime since in the anime, you could say that it froze over in the "great freeze", but that doesn't happen in the manga. I've written an in-universe essay on theories on its downfall and the rise of Crystal Tokyo/The New Silver Millennium.

(Sailor Moon © Naoko Takeuchi. All Rights Reserved).
(The following is a Sailor Moon project. Distortions from real history will happen.)

Ever since World War II, the United States of America has been the foremost superpower for over a half-century. It briefly became the only superpower after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The 2000s saw the rise of the New Silver Millennium and its capital Crystal Tokyo due to Neo-Queen Serenity and the Sailor Guardians. While the United States of America would not know at the time, this new rising power would mark the beginning of the end of American dominance, and lead to an era where the USA is struggling for its own survival. Some even claim the submission or collapse of the United States of America will occur in the next few years, depending on the will of the American people and their politicians.

In many ways, the New Silver Millennium is a counterpart to the United States of America. The former is founded by champions who have surpassed baseline humanity: Neo-Queen Serenity, King Endymion, and the Sailor Guardians. On the other hand, the United States was founded on the belief that all men and women are created equal. The New Silver Millennium does not fully subscribe to the representative democracy structure held in countries like the USA; while an elected legislature exists and a charter guarantees high levels of civil rights, said legislature has comparably little power. Neo-Queen Serenity and her advisors call the final shots. This also means that her country can take decisive action far quicker than countries like the USA, something useful in the various crises that would befall 21st-century Earth. As can be seen later, these differences would have severe consequences.

To beat your opponent, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, and art. The New Silver Millennium solved many world crises since its formation in 2000: the 2008 Financial Crisis, the 2009 H1N1 Swine Flu Pandemic, the COVID-19 Pandemic, and many wars around the globe. Its leader Neo-Queen Serenity is perhaps rightfully seen as the “pretty guardian of love and justice” and easily captured the hearts and minds of people everywhere due to this worldwide problem solving. In addition, she has run her country extremely well, some say better than any baseline human ever. Perhaps more important than crisis intervention was the technological developments spawned by the scientists of the New Silver Millennium. Some were partially spawned from the space technology of the precursor Silver Millennium (which historians have dated as an ancient civilization many tens of thousands of years ago to hundreds of thousands of years ago). Others originated from new crystal developments. Regardless of their origin, they were often far more efficient than existing machines, leading to an economic boom. It was on that economic success that a pop culture flowering occurred, and this was leveraged into soft power projection. So it was on masterful leadership, masterful technology, and masterful culture that Crystal Tokyo launched its foreign policy. It comes to little surprise that most countries willingly joined her.


Neo-Queen Serenity acted with “malice towards none and charity towards all”. Yet, the decline of the United States of America continued to the point where it teeters on the edge. Much of the blame can be placed at the feet of the U.S. government and its failure to respond to the new epoch. The response of Washington concerning Crystal Tokyo was mixed. At first, American politicians and diplomats did not take this nascent country seriously, thinking this was a flash in the pan and would collapse because of a lack of political experience. After the rapid recovery of the world from the 2008 Financial Crisis, opinions on the role of America in the world economy changed rapidly. Many countries blamed the Lehman Brothers collapse in the US for starting the whole fiasco, while others blamed the American government for not doing enough to prevent such a recession. This financial crisis pushed the American economy into temporary peril while the government worked to stem the recession. While progress was made, the middle class took a very long time to recover. Many families lost much of their wealth, while income inequality increased since some corporations were barely affected. Historically, every time the middle class of a country erodes, this has broad negative repercussions in a country since the middle class often is the segment that believes in the ideals of a country the most. But what of the rest of the world? The 2008 Financial Crisis did affect everyone else, so how did they fare? Well, they had someone to help them get back up. Neo-Queen Serenity was hailed as a hero because her country provided ample technological and economic assistance to help countries get back up. Sure, the truly overpowered equipment and direct economic advising came at the cost of some political freedom, but this was a price many countries would easily pay. American policymakers respected her for this, but this respect often grew into paranoia once America started losing its foreign allies.

When technological developments from abroad arose, some scientists were interested, but the general American public remained unmoved. Many American lawmakers questioned the safety of these inventions, less out of fact, and more out of how unusual they were. Others were suspicious because “Crystal Tokyo gadgets threaten valuable American jobs”. This was prevalent amongst many American corporations, especially those who saw their profit margins threatened. Suspicion of technology for supposedly taking jobs is not new, but this came at a particularly bad time for the United States of America, making it harder to adopt the bleeding edge of mechanical development. To its credit, the American government initially tried to put more money into scientific research and development to keep apace, but this unfortunately was not enough. Department of Science Director Ami Mizuno was very capable at drawing American scientists away from their home country through a series of grant initiatives and friendly conditions. With many scientists leaving America especially in the 2020s onwards, there would be a need to replace them and keep up with the technology gap.

Keeping apace with the New Silver Millennium in terms of technology and science would require an educational overhaul. While America had become the most prestigious or one of the most prestigious countries in terms of education, this was changing for the worse. The story of Mamoru Chiba (who would become King Endymion) studying in the United States at Harvard University was now inverted with many American students preferring to study abroad in New Silver Millennium universities, primarily due to lesser costs and greater educational outcomes.
Since the late 1970s, the average cost of college has steadily increased, doubling from around $8,070 in 1987 to 1998 to more than double that in 2017 to 2018 for public colleges. Private ones see on average a five-fold cost increase.

Some of this cost inflation can be placed at the hands of college organizations like the College Board and in private universities, which seemed to be more interested in making money off the university system rather than educating the American populace. It is not just in higher education where America lost ground. While “trickle-down economics” was discredited by both New Silver Millennium and American economic theorists of the 2010s, “trickle-down education” remains a problem for the United States. High school and below started having worse educational outcomes as time went on. Supposedly in 2021, only 30% of eighth graders and 40% of eleventh graders were proficient in mathematics. Compared to the 85-90% benchmarks set abroad, this was an ill omen.

Perhaps America had worse soft power, but it may compensate through hard power–-military force and sanctions? Military might is no longer the game-changer it was in previous eras. The US military support of developing nations took a big hit due to failures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just because force can be used does not mean it is the best option. Images of American bombers leveling the Afghan countryside had counterproductive effects in the hearts and minds of many people across the developing world. As for sanctions, they are often ineffective at best, and counterproductive at worst. This can be seen in the leadup to the Second Russian Civil War, where Western sanctions were not effective at stopping Russian aggression, and it was more Western and Eastern arms and aid supplies to the defenders combined with “pirate” networks to show Russians the horrors of war (a Crystal Tokyo idea) that made a bigger difference. An emphasis on hard power due to a rise in American nationalism may have also been counterproductive, seeing the world as a zero-sum game and making an unnecessary rivalry with who many considered as “The Messiah of Hope”.

The New Silver Millennium enjoys a moral, economic, scientific, and educational advantage over the USA, and has relative civil rights parity. The only fields where the United States maintains a lead are military might and political freedoms. Being behind in most fields is relatively new for Americans. Historically, the United States of America has always tried to gain the moral high ground over its rivals and opponents. This has been seen in the American Civil War (with the slavery issue), the World Wars, the Cold War, and the present. (Admittedly, many of its opponents/rivals set a low bar). Failing that, America has tried to out-technology, out-produce, or just plain out-power its opponents. This has been seen in the industrial capacity and economics arguments for World War II and the Cold War (where the USA’s much higher economic size is a huge advantage). What happens if the United States of America cannot do this? When its opponent is both more skilled and more moral than it? Then it ran into big problems, and that is exactly what happened.


It is not just abroad that the USA failed: problems at home exacerbated the hollowing out of America. Rot occurred within the American government. Lobbying became a major problem for the United States of America. A lack of congressional response due to special interest groups paying off representatives and senators caused muted responses to problems like climate change and gun violence. This had down-ballot repercussions too, with many people becoming disillusioned with Congress and the President. More pressingly for America, the same issues were being handled extremely effectively across the Pacific. In contrast, issues like insider trading (a common problem in American halls of power) and corporate lobbying were banned or heavily restricted within months of the formation of the New Silver Millennium, whose management of the stock market is well-monitored to minimize financial crimes.

Corporate lobbying became worse after the American government welcomed corporations that were fleeing Crystal Tokyo regulations. Many of these were mining companies facing problems with the heightened ethical and climate standards imposed over there. While a short-term boost for the American economy, this migration would cause more problems than benefits over time, as corporate issues almost strangled the democratic system. It was said that “At one point, the Presidency went to the highest bidder”; while not a literal auction like the “Auction of the Roman Empire”, important corporations could play “President-maker”. Populist concern finally caused the bar to move, but by that time, America had lost almost all its teammates abroad.

The Beltway became synonymous with corporate corruption and useless gridlock especially when contrasted abroad. Neo-Queen Serenity is not one of those Beltway politicians. She broke Queen Metalia in half with her Moon Stick during the Dark Kingdom crisis. The image of American politicians bickering endlessly in Washington D.C. to no avail and the inconclusive American interventions contrasted badly with the model of efficiency seen in Crystal Tokyo. Therefore, it was the New Silver Millennium which became a societal model to be championed.


It was not just corporations that caused issues in the American government at this time, or special interest lobbying in Congress. A general wave of incompetence seemed to have plagued all three branches of government. Dubious Supreme Court decisions caused large segments of the American population to become suspicious of the nine justices. Many of the U.S. Presidents were barely competent, while others tried to reverse the efforts of their predecessors to prove their differences to their voting base. The military lost power because of the shift away from military force, while the intelligence services took a big hit when the CIA had the Hino fiasco. This was an international incident where the CIA tried to recruit defectors from Crystal Tokyo to gather intelligence. The only one they succeeded at was Dr. Hino, father of Rei Hino. This came at great expense for little results, for he knew very little useful information and was in it primarily for his own personal power. Little was gathered, and when the New Silver Millennium found out about the operation, it damaged national ties. Doubt about the viability of the American system of government perhaps came at the worst possible time: if its own citizens were questioning the American system, imagine how people of other countries thought of it. And it was that suspicion that Crystal Tokyo policymakers took advantage of, and more and more countries fell into their orbit.

Even political freedoms came into question. In the late 2010s and onwards, many Americans started to question the usefulness of their political freedoms. To them, it seemed like this was “a right to fail” or “a right to choose poorly”. Such sentiments arose from the chronic ineffectiveness of American elected representatives, and were shared by many across the Pacific. The idealized sovereign as seen in political works like The Republic by Plato now existed. Many Americans expressed respect and favor for the well-run New Silver Millennium, and preferred a similar structure of government. While America has often grappled with the founding principle of “all men and women are created equal” (See the long history of racism and the march of civil rights progress throughout American history), this has come under greater threat recently. America needed to become a champion of truth and justice to continue spreading its American way. Unfortunately, that did not happen. In fact, there was American disillusionment with the changes occurring to the world, and the pretty guardians of love and justice were able to supplant Uncle Sam in that regard. At home, rising partisanship due to stark divides on once-common issues exacerbated the gridlock problem and prevented the rise of a truly beloved figure who could unify the American people. Some had hoped Crystal Tokyo could be a threat to American dominance that would unify the citizenry against it, but that would not come to pass.

Does hope still exist? Could America recover? Looking at New Silver Millennium for inspiration is a first start. While technology commerce and research symposiums between both nations already exist, America needs to invest more in these efforts to keep up technologically, and the “job-stealing” excuses should no longer be tolerated. More cooperation is also a good idea–Crystal Tokyo does not think of Washington as a rival, so Washington should not try to rehash a Cold War-era relic of a zero-sum game for modern times. Looking at the educational and economic systems to figure out what is failing is also required since failing education fails American students–who will be required to lift their country out of its rut. Perhaps the greatest issues can be placed at the feet of the politicians: they need to support scientists more and stem the anti-intellectual problem, as well as spend more attention on the public good rather than corporate coffers. The electorate could definitely be better, as elected politicians are usually a function of their voters. A common complaint is that Americans are unwilling to make the necessary life changes to adapt properly. If higher taxation rates are needed, so be it–as long as they are spent properly. All this could help restore the viability of the American model based on political freedom and democracy.

Like the crescent moon right before the new moon, America is waning. The hubris of its policymakers and the inability to adapt to the changing geopolitical situation have led to the dissolution of the American-led globalization system. In the name of the moon, America has been punished for its arrogance. Its government must act quickly, or risk falling entirely.

(Spoiler: they did not act, and America seems to have vanished). What do you think?
 
Apr 3, 2023
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#5
Interesting!

I remember the first wave back in the 90s. A friend said do you think Sailor Moon took over the world for its own good and I vehemently said, no way! But America and the old system had to have gone somewhere....

My fan fic theories... America does die and this is why. if you have two Americans you have three different opinions. After the Great Disaster, America balkanized because 1) nothing like this had ever happened before, and 2) Americans spent so much time arguing that they couldn't get anything to work. Each factions declared itself the "real" America but after the last civil war, the biggest factions all signed a peace treaty that said that none of them could speak for all America only itself... thus stating that there was no America.

Some such as the West Coast faction (California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska) rushed to swear allegiance to Crystal Tokyo... but Endymion and NQS turned it down. But why? Why when it would turn all the Pacific into a Japanese lake? Endymion said, "Out of respect for the memory of America I cannot accept this. Not yet, its too soon."

They eventually do accept the loyalty of the West Coast though. The other American factions, go their own ways
 
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MariaTenebre

Systema Solare
Jul 22, 2009
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#6
I think the US exists in that the people still exist but we are no longer a nation in our own right but a part of Neo Queen Serenity's world government. So while America might exist as a province of the new Silver Millennium with probably America still having it's own culture it is now absorbed into Neo Queen Serenity's Empire.
 
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Jul 29, 2012
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#7
King Endymion graduated with honors from Harvard … the mighty and wealthy from Neo-Crystal Tokyo send their kids to U.S. colleges to complete their degrees, thanks to a program managed by :ami:

King Endymion also sent :chibiusa: to an American school to learn English. She graduated with honors.

Only :usagi: doesn’t speak English yet.
 
Dec 2, 2023
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#8
King Endymion graduated with honors from Harvard … the mighty and wealthy from Neo-Crystal Tokyo send their kids to U.S. colleges to complete their degrees, thanks to a program managed by :ami:

King Endymion also sent :chibiusa: to an American school to learn English. She graduated with honors.

Only :usagi: doesn’t speak English yet.
Those are some interesting ideas you have! Thanks for sharing them.
 

Rika-Chicchi

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#9
The unimaginably uber rich Crystal Tokyo has generously paid all the debts of America & will continue to do so forever, hence wiping out its astronomical federal deficit for good. In return, it's agreed to join Crystal Tokyo as a constituent republic, a la those w/i the Soviet Union back then. :)
 
Jun 12, 2023
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#10
I don’t think I thought to much of it. Just that the queen had brought about world peace and everyone lived happily for the most part.
 
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Jul 29, 2012
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#11
Just that the queen had brought about world peace and everyone lived happily for the most part.
My interpretation of the story is that all the countries of the world unite as in “all become one” and what follows is a long period of happiness, peace and cooperation.

And then Sailor Chaos arrives. :(
 

Rika-Chicchi

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#12
My interpretation of the story is that all the countries of the world unite as in “all become one” and what follows is a long period of happiness, peace and cooperation.

And then Sailor Chaos arrives. :(
Sounds like Chaos were actually a protagonist to liberate mankind. :P
 
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Maraviollantes

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#14
My interpretation of the story is that all the countries of the world unite as in “all become one” and what follows is a long period of happiness, peace and cooperation.
Just that the queen had brought about world peace and everyone lived happily for the most part.
Mostly long and mostly peaceful period. Those reporters working on state TV during Crystal Tokyo times probably had hard times sugar coating all the news coverage to fit the official narrative. P-:

 
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Rika-Chicchi

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#17
Is there any more interest in me to expand this? I can make news articles set in this period, if you'd like.
You might make a chronological table 1st, highlighting all the dated major events leading to the rise of Crystal Tokyo, & then write news articles about each of those events, in the same order. :)
 

Maraviollantes

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#18
Is there any more interest in me to expand this? I can make news articles set in this period, if you'd like.
Can you write an article about Trump wowing to restore America's independence from Crystal Tokyo, and imposing tariffs on all imports of crystal glass from Japan?
 
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Dec 2, 2023
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Uncle Sam’s Retirement Home: The United States of America In Decline

Here's a news article from this world...

Wave of protests in the United States over new technologies (USA Today) (Not Real Obviously)

-1/27/40, Washington D.C.
Numerous protests and demonstrations about the new technologies coming from the New Silver Millennium have occurred throughout the United States of America. These protests are led not just by large corporations, but also by normal workers fearful of being outcompeted or edged out by the new technologies. While some outside observers have described this as “America choosing not to keep up technologically”, or fearmongering (fears about “they will outcompete your gas stove” exist), to many people, the protests speak to the hearts of many of them.

Bob Roberts, an iron worker from West Virginia, states, “The new drilling methods for iron and more efficient foundry methods have led to corporations employing mass layoffs in those industries. Obviously union protections mitigate much of this, but the federal government can do much more.” Perhaps thousands of people in multiple venues are urging Congress to set up more labor and technology regulations concerning the new inventions from the New Silver Millennium.

Not all corporations are using the new technologies. While many like DuPont de Nemours Inc. have switched over to using New Silver Millennium procedures in the name of efficiency, some corporations have listened to the masses of protests from masses of people. Orange Caesar, a fruit and vegetable company, has pledged to use 80% American-grown vegetables for its salads, which would be welcome for American farmers.

Lawmakers are starting to pick up on these efforts, too. Senator Bass Armstrong (TX), states, “Perhaps thousands of American jobs are at risk from technological developments from abroad. I have seen miles of Texas oil fields deserted due to crashing prices, and no doubt this applies to other industries across our nation. We must act to make labor-protecting bills into laws, to protect the employment of our people. Exacerbating unemployment issues would further worsen the already crashing American economy. I know some people would want to copy the pretty guardians, but that is not feasible for American culture.” It does seem like America will follow this path, even at the cost of some competitive advantage. While some have criticized Armstrong for being “a shill for fossil-fuel interests”, many senators and representatives agree with him, if only because the electorate going out in demonstrations to this degree poses a serious threat for re-elections.

The Crystal Tokyo/New Silver Millennium authorities were unavailable for comment, except for Director Rei Hino. Her response to the whole situation: “Crystal Tokyo is not responsible for the idiocy of foreign governments.”
 
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