Sailor Moon R
This season debuted on June 26, 1993 and lasted until March 12, 1994.
It was announced as part of the previous Sailor Moon R season. By itself, it's 30 episodes. Sandwiched with the previous R Arc, it's 43 episodes.
The "R" in this half of the arc stands for "Romance" since the romance of Usagi and Mamoru is ripped apart, put back together, and finally solidified with the knowledge that they are supposed to marry in the future and have Chibiusa.
Toei's animators had previously discussed killing off Mamoru once and for all in season one, but when Naoko Takeuchi produced sketches of his future daughter Chibiusa, they knew he had to stay alive. The animators did not like adding him to the episodes, and they hated Chibiusa more, specifically when it came to figuring out how to draw all that pink hair. In retaliation, from this point forward, most episodes involving Chibiusa featured her being abused far more than she is in the manga.
Chibiusa at first was not a well liked character among fans, but after she became Black Lady, her popularity soared. When Toei and Kodansha both saw her popularity rise up, they began putting together a new merchandise line for young girls, specifically around Chibiusa, in an attempt to hook families with younger viewers. However they still kept strong with mature subject matter. As of 2011, all products for Chibiusa are aimed only at an adult and teen market in Japan and in North America.
At the end of the Black Moon Arc of the manga, Sailor Pluto dies, but comes back during the following Arc. Here however, her role is reduced to just a few scenes, and she is never seen in combat or in harm's way. And while this season pulled a few concepts from the manga, it did omit an important character. Diana originally debuts during this Arc, but she is wholly omitted from the anime without explanation. Also missing are Kotono and Asanuma, who played minor roles early in the manga. Another change saw King Endymion force Mamoru to break up with Usagi, in order to test their bond. In the manga, King Endymion is not nearly this much of a jerk.
In the manga, Sailor Moon gets the Cutie Moon Rod, when her power joins with Tuxedo Mask's power, creating it. Here, Usagi has had the weapon since the Hell Tree Arc, as Queen Serenity dropped it on her.
Probably the biggest change involves the Black Moon/Four Specter Sisters. In the manga and in Crystal, the ladies are pure evil, and are killed in the order of Koan, Beruche, Petz and Calaveras. Calaveras in the manga seems to have a slight romantic past with Rubeus, who playfully kisses her shoulder. Here however, Koan is the only one showing romantic interest in Rubeus, but is shot down by his horrible attitude. Rubeus also tries to make Koan commit suicide, something he never did in the manga. Koan, Beruche, Calaveras and Petz are all healed by Sailor Moon in this order, and the four sisters open up a makeup boutique and live normal lives. They are last seen in episode 86, when Saphir spends the night at their apartment. It's here that we learn Petz is Saphir's ex-girlfriend, who Saphir dumped shortly before the takeover of Crystal Tokyo. Aside from this episode, where Petz begs Saphir to stay with her, Petz spends the whole season despising all men.
Another change was around Saphir and Demande. In the manga, the two have little love for each other, and Demande is never compassionate, he is responsible for Saphir's death. While here, Demande is more sensitive and Saphir looks up to him. Wiseman kills Saphir, and in a twisted scene in episode 87, Toei's writers actually makes Sailor Moon feel compassion for Demande and try to reconcile with him, just three episodes after he kidnapped her, redressed her and tried his best at sexually assaulting her. In the manga, Sailor Moon has no feelings at all for the very rapey Demande.
Another change is about Crystal Tokyo itself. In the Manga, King Endymion states that Usagi became Neo Queen Serenity around the same time she gave birth to Chibiusa at age 22. Crystal Tokyo was built around this time as well, sometime around the year 2002, though the exact year wasn't printed. In this anime however, King Endymion states that the world just went to an ice sleep for a long, long time, and then Sailor Moon became Neo Queen Serenity and magically woke everybody up.
One point of controversy was around Chibiusa's age, as Toei's writers and animators could not decide on what to do with her. In the manga, Chibiusa is over 900 years old, as stated by her father, King Endymion, but she is trapped in the body of a six year old, because her growth, both physically and Sailor Senshi wise, is stunted. Chibiusa's age ranges from 900 to 901 in all Sera Myu plays about this season. However, Toei Animation never gave her an age at any point during the 1990's. Adding to the controversy, Chibiusa is said to be in kindergarten in some merchandise and in first grade everywhere else. More confusing is that Toei never decided on a size for her, so in some episodes, she looks five or six years old, and in others she looks like a toddler. In her debut episode, she is seen turning Luna-P into a baby bottle full of milk that was tainted with a sleeping potion. Even at the end of this arc, Chibiusa's age is still in question. In the R movie, she is shown briefly dressed like a four or five year old, and then in her usual blue uniform. But in episode 88, she is seen in her uniform and as Princess Lady Serenity, both in the body of a six year old. Yet in the manga, as she returns to a more childlike state from being Black Lady, her body does not go all the way back to her six year old stage. She instead has the body of an eight year old, but with developed breasts. This is the same form Kousagi takes in Parallel Sailormoon, showing that everyone develops early in Sailormoon.
The ending to this arc is a little different from the manga. In the manga, Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon defeat Wiseman in the future, while in this anime, Wiseman is defeated by Neo Queen Serenity and Princess Lady Serenity in the 20th century.
Disney, DiC's parent company, had originally thought of doing a live action movie, which would have incorporated both Queen Beryl and Chibiusa. Chibiusa would have been retconned as Usagi's sister or cousin, and would have been cast as a blonde, while Ami would have been cast with black hair, as Disney felt the Technicolor hair colors of blue and pink were inappropriate and imitative behavior. They were also uncomfortable showing a child actress with pink hair. But by the time the episodes hit syndication, Disney dropped all plans for a movie. By this point, only Gina Davis had been cast as Queen Beryl. The original script and all related material are currently listed as "lost" with little else known.
While the Disney movie fell through, one fragment of "what might have been" still exists. In 1997, 3VR produced it's only Sailor Moon game, known as The 3D Adventures of Sailor Moon. In the game, you play as a "Sailor Scout" in training, who is trying to recover the transformational items of Sailor Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter, and the Crescent Moon Wand/Moon Stick, which have all been stolen by Queen Beryl. In this universe, Chibiusa is already a part of your team, however instead of being 901 years old as she is in the manga, she appears at age 6. The concept of Chibiusa/Rini being that young was actually one of the ideas floating around at Disney during the time the movie was in the conceptual stage. It was the very first game released in North America to tie together the first and second season, and the only one released in the US in the 90's to feature Chibiusa.
Out of this season, DiC only skipped episode 67. Some have said Toei never sent the episode along. Some say it was skipped because it's a filler episode. Most know DiC had issues with a few of the scenes with Chibiusa and the dinosaur and Chibiusa being inside of an active volcano. While DiC edited this season slightly less, some edits were made due to violence and nudity. This was the final season to use Sailor SayS segments, and by the final episodes of R, DiC would either recycle SayS segments from the previous season, or omit the segment altogether.
Some names were Americanized this season. Esmeraude became Emerald. Saphir became Sapphire. Demande became Prince Diamond. These three names were based off of their costume jewelry. Rubeus retained his name, however it was often misspelled on merchandise. Koan became Catzy, due to her cat like hair. Beruche became Birdy. Petz became Prisma, after the staff she uses before she turns good. Calaveras became Avery. Momoko became Melissa, and would end up changing names each season. Luna-P became Luna Ball in the first batch of episodes, and then Luna Sphere. The Black Moon was lumped together with the previous two seasons' villains as "The Negaverse" likely because in the manga, Wiseman and Metallia are technically siblings and hail from Chaos. Kyusuke was almost totally edited out, save for one scene, and was not named.
The Cutie Moon Rod became the Moon Scepter. Moon Princess Halation became Moon Scepter Activation until the final 18 episodes, when it became Moon Scepter Elimination. Shine Aqua Illusion would not be heard until late in the season. Until then, it became Mercury Ice Storm Blast. Burning Mandala became Mars Celestial Fire Surround. Sparkling Wide Pressure would not be used until just before the Scouts head to the future. Until this point, it was Jupiter Thunderclap Zap. Venus Love-Me Chain became Venus Love Chain Encircle. Between the show and the movie, several more, very odd name changes took place. "Fire Soul" which was "Mars Fire Ignite" in the DiC show became "Mars Fireballs Flash". "Supreme Thunder" which was "Jupiter Thunder Crash" in the DiC show became "Supreme Thunder Crash". "Moon Princess Halation" which had been "Moon Scepter Activation" and "Moon Scepter Elimination" in the DiC dub became "Moon Princess Elimination" in the R movie.
The biggest name change involves Chibiusa. When she debuts, her name was Rini, which is both short for Serena, in turn short for Serenity, but like Chibiusa is also Japanese for Small or Little Bunny. When she transforms into Black Lady however, DiC changed the name to Wicked Lady. This was done to avoid a scandal with the NAACP.
DiC originally produced 65 episodes, spanning season one through the first part of this Arc. But by the time the last episode had hit syndication, Disney had started to cut funding to DiC. The Program Exchange later funded the dubbing and editing of the last 18 episodes, however, until 1999, only one episode out of the remaining 18 had made it to syndication.
Cartoon Network picked up the rights to the original 65 episode package, and had begun airing the show on it's Toonami block on June 4, 1997. The following year, Cartoon Network ran ads, touting that 17 "lost" episodes would air on Toonami. During that first run, all 18 episodes aired on Toonami, with the 18th episode being shown silently. The last episode was never advertised, because it's largely a clip show, but it's also the very first time Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, Professor Tomoe and Kaolinite are shown, along with the Daimon eggs.
This was the final season DiC was a part of, excluding the movies. Cloverway would later dub S and SuperS, while both DiC and Cloverway did utilize Optimum Productions to handle the dubbing and sound of each episode. Episode 89 would be the final episode aimed at a 2-11 year old crowd in the US, as Cloverway aimed their edits at ages 11-16.
While the girls were still being called Sailor Scouts for most of the dub, occasionally Tuxedo Mask would call them Sailor Soldiers. This stems from their original title as Sailor Senshi, which can be translated as Sailor Warriors, Soldiers or Guardians.
This is the only season ADV ever dropped a subtitled episode in. ADV had gotten the rights to release SD prints of the first and second seasons onto DVD in an uncensored, Japanese only format. But when Toei sent over Sailormoon R, episode 67 was missing. For years, it was thought of as either an oversight, or because the episode was the lowest rated of the entire series, and Toei did not want to release it. Very few Sailormoon fans had seen it LEGALLY, until December 29, 2014, when Viz Media released the lost episode to Hulu and Neon Alley, for the first time ever in HD.
This is the first season to include more than five Sailor Senshi/Guardians. Chibiusa does not transform in this season, but she later becomes Sailor Chibi Moon. Sailor Pluto appears several times in this season, while Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are shown briefly in the shadows in episode 89. Tuxedo Mask/Sir Moonlight Knight is counted as two Sailor Senshi in one by Naoko Takeuchi, who has gone on record to say he counts as Sailor Earth and Sailor Sun. Adding Tuxedo Mask, Chibiusa and the three shown Outer Sailor Senshi, the official Guardian count for this season is 10. If we are looking at Sailor Suited transformed Guardians only, then the count is 8, since Tuxedo Mask is never shown in a Sailor suit, and Chibiusa did not transform this season.
The R movie in Japan was preceded by a 25 minute short. In the short, Chibiusa and Usagi are listening to a couple of girls on their lunch, talk about which Sailor Senshi is their favorite. Usagi and Chibiusa then go over clips from the first and second seasons, with Chibiusa teasing Usagi about being a klutz. The short was cut out of the Pioneer release of the uncut, subtitled and edited-dubbed version of the R movie. The short takes place sometime before the R movie, but after the Black Moon Arc.
The R movie is somewhat seen as a way to tie both R Arcs together as one season, since it takes place right after Chibiusa has stopped being Black Lady, but before she returns home for good, and because Fiore is rumored to be the long lost brother of Ali and En. The film would take place sometime before the final 10 minutes of episode 88.
Some have speculated that Fiore could possibly be from the future via a rip in space, and may be Ali and En's son as well, but since the movie is only one hour long, there was never enough time to explore this or the brother idea, so Fiore exists solely as a wandering alien without a home. The brother theory holds up more, due to the timing the Hell Tree gave when talking about the loss of her other children.
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