The Dark Themes in Sailor Moon

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#81
The only reason why I put Classic above S in my seasons ranking is because it's finale is superior and it works better as a self-contained story. S is definitely, objectively, at least the 2nd best season though for all the reasons you mentioned and more.



I mean the fact that all the girls and even Mamoru were brutally murdered wasn't dark enough for you? XD Not even just the murdering itself, but the way they were murdered as well. I feel it was the first and only time the 90's anime ever played around with the "Being a Magical Girl is Suffering" concept. (Hence Usagi's wish at the end)



I mean, Nehellenia's story doesn't really get fleshed out until Stars, does that little mini-arc still count as being part of the SuperS season itself?

Disagree with you on Chibiusa & Helios relationship though, while it definitely got more development and time spent on it in SuperS, they ruined it by making it unnessarily creepy with the way they had Chibs fall for Helios before she found out about his human form (I'm sure there was some deeper, metaphorical symbolism going on here that Ikuhara was trying to make for but it still came off weird) plus turning Helios into a secretive, gaslighting asshole.

I thought the Golden Crystal did turn out to be useful in the end of Dream/Eternal though? Mamoru awakening to the Senshi power within him was the only way to power up Sailor Moon enough to defeat Nehellenia since it's considered to be the Silver Crystal's other half.
The only reason why I put Classic above S in my seasons ranking is because it's finale is superior and it works better as a self-contained story. S is definitely, objectively, at least the 2nd best season though for all the reasons you mentioned and more.


I mean the fact that all the girls and even Mamoru were brutally murdered wasn't dark enough for you? XD Not even just the murdering itself, but the way they were murdered as well. I feel it was the first and only time the 90's anime ever played around with the "Being a Magical Girl is Suffering" concept. (Hence Usagi's wish at the end)


I mean, Nehellenia's story doesn't really get fleshed out until Stars, does that little mini-arc still count as being part of the SuperS season itself?

Disagree with you on Chibiusa & Helios relationship though, while it definitely got more development and time spent on it in SuperS, they ruined it by making it unnessarily creepy with the way they had Chibs fall for Helios before she found out about his human form (I'm sure there was some deeper, metaphorical symbolism going on here that Ikuhara was trying to make for but it still came off weird) plus turning Helios into a secretive, gaslighting asshole.

I thought the Golden Crystal did turn out to be useful in the end of Dream/Eternal though? Mamoru awakening to the Senshi power within him was the only way to power up Sailor Moon enough to defeat Nehellenia since it's considered to be the Silver Crystal's other half.
I fully agree with your long statement.
 
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#82
I mean, Nehellenia's story doesn't really get fleshed out until Stars, does that little mini-arc still count as being part of the SuperS season itself?
The Nehellenia Arc was planned to be part of the 5th season when Ikuhara was there, it was implied when he was talking about the Super S movie in his interview, 172 onwards was a mess.

Ikuhara took ideas from Stars to Utena as well...
 
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#83
I mean the fact that all the girls and even Mamoru were brutally murdered wasn't dark enough for you? XD Not even just the murdering itself, but the way they were murdered as well. I feel it was the first and only time the 90's anime ever played around with the "Being a Magical Girl is Suffering" concept. (Hence Usagi's wish at the end)
Ok, yeah, considering that I'd see it as dark. Good point. :)

I mean, Nehellenia's story doesn't really get fleshed out until Stars, does that little mini-arc still count as being part of the SuperS season itself?
I was referring to her backstory in episode 166. Though I could add her expanded story in Sailor Stars too.

Disagree with you on Chibiusa & Helios relationship though, while it definitely got more development and time spent on it in SuperS, they ruined it by making it unnessarily creepy with the way they had Chibs fall for Helios before she found out about his human form (I'm sure there was some deeper, metaphorical symbolism going on here that Ikuhara was trying to make for but it still came off weird) plus turning Helios into a secretive, gaslighting asshole.
That's the point. Maybe this is something cultural. I'm european and don't have an american outlook (I've seen most of this sort of 'complaints' from americans). It doesn't bother me at all. I see it as a fairy tale or like stories from greek mythology, it's not real. Beautiful like Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi. XD Actually I perceive it very romantic because of its platonic dreamy effect.

I thought the Golden Crystal did turn out to be useful in the end of Dream/Eternal though? Mamoru awakening to the Senshi power within him was the only way to power up Sailor Moon enough to defeat Nehellenia since it's considered to be the Silver Crystal's other half.
And I agree, but I think Naoko should've kept the focus on the Golden Crystal like Ikuhara & Enokido did in the anime. Let's say the flashbacks, the princesses, their palaces, their fairies, the new (again) transformations, the new rods, the new silver crystal, etc put the Golden Crystal in the shade. It was really relevant in the story and then it's reduced to almost nothing.
 

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#84
OThat's the point. Maybe this is something cultural. I'm european and don't have an american outlook (I've seen most of this sort of 'complaints' from americans). It doesn't bother me at all. I see it as a fairy tale or like stories from greek mythology, it's not real. Beautiful like Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi. XD Actually I perceive it very romantic because of its platonic dreamy effect.
One thing is quite certain: those plot elements which turn out to be perceived as "creepy" by some fans in some parts of the world weren't meant to be creepy at all when they're written. :)
 
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#85
That's the point. Maybe this is something cultural. I'm european and don't have an american outlook (I've seen most of this sort of 'complaints' from americans). It doesn't bother me at all. I see it as a fairy tale or like stories from greek mythology, it's not real. Beautiful like Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi. XD Actually I perceive it very romantic because of its platonic dreamy effect.
Point taken, I suppose the whole "falling in love with a horse" aspect shouldn't be taken as seriously/literally as the fandom tends to make it out to be. It's just another one of those fariy-tale elements inherent to the franchise as a whole, and especially inherent to Ikuhara's esoteric tendencies regarding symbolism and metaphors in paricular. Like I said before though, it isn't just the whole "horse" element that turns me off of Chibiusa/Helios in the 90's, but his whole secretive, gaslighting attitude as well - that you can't chalk up to just to the use of fairytale tropes because that's not a common fairytale trope to begin with. He comes off as low-key manipulative of Chibi-Usa and displays all the red flags of a predator/abuser. I understand full well that's not how either Toei or Ikuhara intended him to look, but just like with Mamoru's drunken kiss at the ball it's done in poor taste regardless and leaves me vastly preferring their relationship in the Manga/Eternal.

Pretty much the one thing their relationship in the anime has over Dream - as with most Manga elements vs it's 90's counterpart - is that it's given more time to develop and for them to get to know each other, but I'm not sure I see the point if Helios's attitude to begin with and the execution leaves alot to be desired.

And I agree, but I think Naoko should've kept the focus on the Golden Crystal like Ikuhara & Enokido did in the anime. Let's say the flashbacks, the princesses, their palaces, their fairies, the new (again) transformations, the new rods, the new silver crystal, etc put the Golden Crystal in the shade. It was really relevant in the story and then it's reduced to almost nothing.
One thing in Dream's favor for it's handling of the Golden Crystal over SuperS is that at least the Golden Crystal is made to be Mamoru's own personal Sailor Crystal and keeps him and the Miracle Romance relevant and front-and center of the lore and plot, as opposed to SuperS's take of the Golden Crystal... belonging to everybody? Granted this is very much a YMMV sort of thing depending on how much you prefer Mamoru to remain a focus vs the 90's anime approach of sidelining him into a background character for the girls (and random one-off COTD/VOTD) and the theme of friendship to take center stage. But I would argue that tying in the Golden Crystal with Endymion and his bond with Serenity at least keeps the lore consistent within it's own story while SuperS's approach is very much all over place. (Okay, so if the Golden Crystal is ultimately the Crystal that Helios guards that's fueled by people's beautiful dreams, why did he need to hide in Chibi-Usa specifically? What makes her dream so much more beautiful than everyone else's? He never seemed to even suspect she was Endymion's future daughter sooo...? Also how is it that the Golden Crystal isn't a Sailor Crystal but just a general Crystal that anyone can use yet Usagi's Silver Crystal is her own Star Seed? Granted it's been a while since I watched SuperS all the way through including the finale so I could be wayy off with me remembering the exact details of the lore here so feel free to correct me if I got any of this wrong. I distinctly remember the whole lore and plot being a Mess when compared to it's Manga counterpart however (Zirconia's existence nonwithstanding) )
 
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#86
Point taken, I suppose the whole "falling in love with a horse" aspect shouldn't be taken as seriously/literally as the fandom tends to make it out to be. It's just another one of those fariy-tale elements inherent to the franchise as a whole, and especially inherent to Ikuhara's esoteric tendencies regarding symbolism and metaphors in paricular. Like I said before though, it isn't just the whole "horse" element that turns me off of Chibiusa/Helios in the 90's, but his whole secretive, gaslighting attitude as well - that you can't chalk up to just to the use of fairytale tropes because that's not a common fairytale trope to begin with. He comes off as low-key manipulative of Chibi-Usa and displays all the red flags of a predator/abuser. I understand full well that's not how either Toei or Ikuhara intended him to look, but just like with Mamoru's drunken kiss at the ball it's done in poor taste regardless and leaves me vastly preferring their relationship in the Manga/Eternal.
I read it as Ikuhara trying to do something brilliant and the new producers/executives holding his ideas back resulting in some weird situations and misunderstandings.

One thing in Dream's favor for it's handling of the Golden Crystal over SuperS is that at least the Golden Crystal is made to be Mamoru's own personal Sailor Crystal and keeps him and the Miracle Romance relevant and front-and center of the lore and plot, as opposed to SuperS's take of the Golden Crystal... belonging to everybody? Granted this is very much a YMMV sort of thing depending on how much you prefer Mamoru to remain a focus vs the 90's anime approach of sidelining him into a background character for the girls (and random one-off COTD/VOTD) and the theme of friendship to take center stage. But I would argue that tying in the Golden Crystal with Endymion and his bond with Serenity at least keeps the lore consistent within it's own story while SuperS's approach is very much all over place. (Okay, so if the Golden Crystal is ultimately the Crystal that Helios guards that's fueled by people's beautiful dreams, why did he need to hide in Chibi-Usa specifically? What makes her dream so much more beautiful than everyone else's? He never seemed to even suspect she was Endymion's future daughter sooo...? Also how is it that the Golden Crystal isn't a Sailor Crystal but just a general Crystal that anyone can use yet Usagi's Silver Crystal is her own Star Seed? Granted it's been a while since I watched SuperS all the way through including the finale so I could be wayy off with me remembering the exact details of the lore here so feel free to correct me if I got any of this wrong. I distinctly remember the whole lore and plot being a Mess when compared to it's Manga counterpart however (Zirconia's existence nonwithstanding) )
I agree. My complaint is the Golden Crystal in the manga loses relevance at the end of the arc. I'd rather see Usagi and Mamoru defeating Nehellenia together by using both crystals than the golden crystal being "another regular crystal" along with the Senshis's being activated like simple batteries to charge Eternal Sailor Moon's rod. That would've been fantastic to close Mamoru's character arc before dying. From being a lonely guy with no memories, no powers and no identity to be a powerful king waging a big battle beside his future wife.

I'm not a fan of the 90's Golden Crystal, but as I said it's present till the end. It comes across as a strong and important element from the beginning to the end.
 
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#88
I agree. My complaint is the Golden Crystal in the manga loses relevance at the end of the arc. I'd rather see Usagi and Mamoru defeating Nehellenia together by using both crystals than the golden crystal being "another regular crystal" along with the Senshis's being activated like simple batteries to charge Eternal Sailor Moon's rod. That would've been fantastic to close Mamoru's character arc before dying. From being a lonely guy with no memories, no powers and no identity to be a powerful king waging a big battle beside his future wife.
If I recall correctly, even though Naoko meant for Dream to be the final arc like all the previous arcs before it, Stars was already in the planning/drafting stages in the middle of it. Hence the foreshadowing at the end there with Queen Serenity concerning the Galaxy Cauldron, Star Seeds and Darkness/Chaos. If this is true, perhaps the reason why the Golden Crystal loses slight plot relevance at the end was also meant to be foreshadowing of Sailor Cosmos, in that it's not just Mamoru that's needed for Sailor Moon to unleash her full potential but all the Solar System Senshi combined. Note that when you combine them into one by joining all their powers together like that you get "the Cosmos." This could also be indicated by the colors of Cosmos's fuku,, if you notice each stripe corresponds to the individual Senshi's signature color.

As it stands however, even with his Sailor Crystal's reduced relevance at the end there, I'd still say the Manga did far more justice in giving Mamoru character development and an arc compared to the 90's anime shoddy handling of him. (Especially Post-Classic)

There are just too many neighsayers to the Chibiusa/Helios ship. They're both kids so it's just horsing around.
Not the horse puns! XD
 
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#90
Stars was already in the planning/drafting stages in the middle of it. Hence the foreshadowing at the end there with Queen Serenity concerning the Galaxy Cauldron, Star Seeds and Darkness/Chaos.

Ikuhara was hinting about Sailor Stars and Neherenia arc when he was talking about his SuperS movie in this interview.

I was once up to directing the Sailor Moon Super S Movie. It was going to be a story in which Uranus and Neptune were the main characters. It was going to be a story independant to the TV series and this was going to be the first appearance of Uranus and Neptune.
Interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara
 
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#92
The only reason why I put Classic above S in my seasons ranking is because it's finale is superior and it works better as a self-contained story. S is definitely, objectively, at least the 2nd best season though for all the reasons you mentioned and more.
My problem with S is it set the victim of the day formula into stone. Classic only really used it for the Nephrite and Rainbow Crystal
arcs. R pretty much avoided it. But from S onward it became the set formula. But at least it was downplayed in the back half. SuperS was nothing but victim of the day episodes until the finale.

I enjoyed the “Who has the talisman?” stuff when I was 8 because it was the only time Sailor Moon had an honest mystery unlike the audience insulting “Who is the Moon Princess?” Or “Who is Chibi Usa’s mom?” or SuperS where you know right away who has Pegasus in their dreams. But it hasn’t aged well for me and I wish S was more like the Infinity arc and focused more on the School of Cosmic Horror aspect and the mysterious ill girl. Hotaru’s story was probably the best thing about S.


I mean, Nehellenia's story doesn't really get fleshed out until Stars, does that little mini-arc still count as being part of the SuperS season itself?
I liked that Nehelenia was just some vain bitch who wanted to stay beautiful forever. Her arc in Sailor Stars was only worthwhile for breaking in elements from the Dream arc that SuperS should have done in the first place (The girls starting high school, the Outers returning in the second half, and Eternal Sailor Moon) but it did nothing for her character. And I prefer the unconventional resolution to her story in SuperS. She wins but she also loses. She gets to stay beautiful forever but at the cost of total isolation and loneliness. That was a lot more powerful to me than “Here’s your second chance at life and happiness “
 
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#94
He is hinting that the two are planned to return.
He didn't. It was just Ikuhara being whimsical. Wanted to leave and didn't care about Stars at all.

Having Ikuhara in Stars the season wouldn't have been much different than what it was. Only the direction and the metaphors highlighting the process to adulthood, themes like sex in a very subtle way, :quagmire: so maybe it could've been 'darker' but still different from the manga.
 
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#95
He didn't. It was just Ikuhara being whimsical. Wanted to leave and didn't care about Stars at all.

Having Ikuhara in Stars the season wouldn't have been much different than what it was. Only the direction and the metaphors highlighting the process to adulthood, themes like sex in a very subtle way, :quagmire: so maybe it could've been 'darker' but still different from the manga.
But at least he knew Stars in the planning stages.
 
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#96
My problem with S is it set the victim of the day formula into stone. Classic only really used it for the Nephrite and Rainbow Crystal
arcs. R pretty much avoided it. But from S onward it became the set formula. But at least it was downplayed in the back half. SuperS was nothing but victim of the day episodes until the finale.

I enjoyed the “Who has the talisman?” stuff when I was 8 because it was the only time Sailor Moon had an honest mystery unlike the audience insulting “Who is the Moon Princess?” Or “Who is Chibi Usa’s mom?” or SuperS where you know right away who has Pegasus in their dreams. But it hasn’t aged well for me and I wish S was more like the Infinity arc and focused more on the School of Cosmic Horror aspect and the mysterious ill girl. Hotaru’s story was probably the best thing about S.
It's either VOTD or "Usagi and the girls get lured in by some hot new business/fad that turns out to be a mass energy sucking scheme" - pick your poison. These are the consequences of the more episodic structure of the 90's anime that only feature light plot elements somewhere in between or in the last few episodes of the season.


I liked that Nehelenia was just some vain bitch who wanted to stay beautiful forever. Her arc in Sailor Stars was only worthwhile for breaking in elements from the Dream arc that SuperS should have done in the first place (The girls starting high school, the Outers returning in the second half, and Eternal Sailor Moon) but it did nothing for her character. And I prefer the unconventional resolution to her story in SuperS. She wins but she also loses. She gets to stay beautiful forever but at the cost of total isolation and loneliness. That was a lot more powerful to me than “Here’s your second chance at life and happiness “
I do have to admit that by the time the Nehellenia arc rolled around the redemption angle was getting old, and even though I do feel her story was executed well, the very concept was tired. Would've been nice to have another "completely irredeemable" Beryl-like villain, if only to shake up the formula a tad - Galaxia's backstory and redemption I feel was when the anime reached it's lowest point with this concept.
 
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#97
I do have to admit that by the time the Nehellenia arc rolled around the redemption angle was getting old, and even though I do feel her story was executed well, the very concept was tired. Would've been nice to have another "completely irredeemable" Beryl-like villain, if only to shake up the formula a tad - Galaxia's backstory and redemption I feel was when the anime reached it's lowest point with this concept.
If the Materials Collection story was not scrapped for both the anime and manga meaning Galaxia and Chaos are not separate, Neherenia would be redeemed in the anime, and Galaxia is sealed in both versions just like Chaos was in the manga.
 

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#98
Hotaru’s story was probably the best thing about S.
I always think it can be produced as a self-contained, pretty dark movie story watchable/comprehensible even for those who've never been exposed to Sailor Moon before. :cool:
 
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#99
It's either VOTD or "Usagi and the girls get lured in by some hot new business/fad that turns out to be a mass energy sucking scheme" - pick your poison. These are the consequences of the more episodic structure of the 90's anime that only feature light plot elements somewhere in between or in the last few episodes of the season.
“The new business/fad is an energy sucking scheme” really only happened in The Jadeite arc.
And that was the thing Classic and R had the good sense to switch things up

Classic
Jadeite arc-Beware the new fad/shop is an energy sucking scheme
Nephrite and Rainbow Crystal arc- Victim of the day plots
Endymion arc- Kunzite tries to find out Sailor Moon’s secret identity using something girls are stereotypically into, the monster gets the wrong girl who is ironically one of the other Senshi, Tuxedo Mask hinders Kunzite’s plan

R
Ail/En arc: Ail and En need energy it somehow always involves something the girls are invested in

Rubeus and Esmeraude arcs: Rubeus and Esmeraude go after different locations and sends an evil plague that makes the patrons either mean or weak. Also the girls happen to go there.

It’s nothing but victim of the day plots in S-Sailor Stars. But again kudos for S for downplaying it by the Mimette arc.

Galaxia's backstory and redemption I feel was when the anime reached it's lowest point with this concept.
By the time of Galaxia it just got to the point of self-parody.
 
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“The new business/fad is an energy sucking scheme” really only happened in The Jadeite arc.
And that was the thing Classic and R had the good sense to switch things up

Classic
Jadeite arc-Beware the new fad/shop is an energy sucking scheme
Nephrite and Rainbow Crystal arc- Victim of the day plots
Endymion arc- Kunzite tries to find out Sailor Moon’s secret identity using something girls are stereotypically into, the monster gets the wrong girl who is ironically one of the other Senshi, Tuxedo Mask hinders Kunzite’s plan

R
Ail/En arc: Ail and En need energy it somehow always involves something the girls are invested in

Rubeus and Esmeraude arcs: Rubeus and Esmeraude go after different locations and sends an evil plague that makes the patrons either mean or weak. Also the girls happen to go there.

It’s nothing but victim of the day plots in S-Sailor Stars. But again kudos for S for downplaying it by the Mimette arc.


By the time of Galaxia it just got to the point of self-parody.
yes it looks like galaxia know who have the star seed, and send her sailor animates to do it and even gets angry when they didnt get it, she could tell them or go her herself, she could go for mamoru star seed
well for her apply the if you want to something done right do it yourself