In this Moon Speak, Sono and Ammit look at the latest Sailor Moon Crystal and its message of love conquering all, but in a much different way than in the Dark Kingdom arc.
This episode we forgo our usual structure of breaking down Crystal into two linear blocks of discussion we call the Meat and Veggies and the Frills
Does love really conquer all, can it? Is Takeuchi going back to the well too directly in setting up a conflict between Usagi and someone she holds dear in order to save Mamoru and the world again? What does it mean for Usagi to realize that she loves Chibi-Usa so profoundly?
Setting Up the Conflict
Dark Kingdom 2.0
Death Phantom/Wiseman is almost his own Metalia and Queen Beryl pairing except for the fact that he is more the Metalia to Demande’s Beryl. Demande is like Queen Beryl and one of the four Knights wrapped up in one while Esmeraude, Rubeus and Saphir correspond fairly well to the other Knights. The differences become more pronounced trying to show how similar they are and it become more accurate to state that they feel similar, more than they actually are.
At the End of the World… Again
Usagi and those closest to her are once again at the epicenter of global annihilation and a conflict between someone she loves who is under the control of another is holding fast the final seal that will unleash total destruction.
At the end of the Dark Kingdom arc Usagi’s attempted slaying suicide set the stage for her to destroy Queen Metalia and restore the Earth. Mamoru and Usagi don’t die like they had in the Silver Millennium, instead love saves them, by blocking the mortal blows and allowing them to reunite. Once they are together, Mamoru is able to encourage Usagi, the Guardians give up their lives and Usagi is able to destroy Metalia as well as heal the Earth and resurrect her friends -all because of the great love of this small group of people and her fervent prayer.
But What about Love?
Where else in this arc is love a powerful force?
Usagi’s Imperfect Love –
In comparison to Dark Kingdom, we see a lot of flaws in Usagi’s love for Mamoru. Usagi gets jealous and possessive. Usagi and Mamoru in the Dark Kingdom arc and the future Serenity and Endymion are presented to us as this idyllic and perfect couple. But the present Usagi and Mamoru have ups and downs and struggle through rough patches to find happy moments and even though I’ve been pretty critical of her being jealous of Chibi-Usa, the fact that personal, non-magical struggles are present at all adds some realism to their relationship.
Chibi-Usa, Black Lady, & Different Kinds of Love –
There are three major sources of love in relation to Chibi-Usa. The love she has for her mother, which centers mostly on how Chibi-Usa idolizes her, the love she has for her father, which centers on Chibi-Usa taking personal comfort, and the love she has for Pluto, which is easily the closest personal relationship that we see her have.
These all affect Chibi-Usa in different ways and we see a lot of what those relationships mean to her when Chibi-Usa becomes Black Lady and her perceptions of who she is and what she wants become twisted. She idolizes Serenity, and that love warps into wanting to overpower her. Her father gives her a sense of security, and she takes him as a symbol of her strength.
The missing piece now is Pluto, who is the one stepping in at the end of this episode to join the fight, and in the episode preview we see flashes of what Pluto means to Chibi-Usa. Pluto has repeatedly been shown as Chibi-Usa’s closest friend. (Diana is likely also very close to Chibi-Usa, but seems to be around the same age and can’t quite impart the same wisdom and comfort that Pluto can.)
Pluto’s Love –
The feelings Sailor Pluto has for the people around her are a really fascinating thing, especially in parallel to Chibi-Usa. Pluto’s feelings for Queen Serenity have a parallel to Chibi-Usa’s for Serenity. Both are isolated (Pluto physically and Chibi-Usa socially), and are given responsibility from this perfect, serene goddess. Both look to that figure with absolute awe. Pluto sees a lot of herself in Chibi-Usa and steps in to fill the role of “Mother” where Neo-Serenity fails at it, both for Chibi-Usa’s sake and for her own. Pluto took Queen Serenity’s words to heart. But for Chibi-Usa’s sake we see Pluto break every taboo she had spent thousands of years to protect. Pluto, who is deeply and fully devoted to her duty, casts every rule aside for Chibi-Usa’s sake.
Is there any one kind of love that is superior to the others?
Ammit’s Favorite Line
“You think I’ll hand them to you? I’ll defend them.”
-Sailor Moon to Wiseman after the threatened to kill her lover and child unless she gave him the Crystal Palace and the Legendary Silver Crystal
Sono’s Favorite Line
“I’ll stay here as the guardian. I don’t have power like you, and I’m so tiny… But leave it to me. Please save our precious Small Lady. Go through that door, Pluto. The time for you to step through that door is now.”
- Diana, to Pluto.
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The awesome closing was adapted and performed by 18moptop who does lots of English language anime covers
Check out text reviews every Monday after Crystal airs and hear new Moon Speak the Monday after that. That’s four Sailor Monday every MONTH!