Sailor Moon Sailor StarS
This was the final season of Sailormoon for the 1992-1997 series. By itself, this Arc makes 28 episodes. If you add in the previous six, you get 34. This season ran from May 11, 1996 to February 8, 1997.
This is the first season to completely run without Chibiusa or Luna-P. Chibiusa only appears in a dream sequence and in a picture Usagi gazes into, though the picture erases her sometime after Mamoru's plane explodes. Chibiusa, Diana and Luna-P return to the 30th Century off screen, prior to episode 173.
For the first time since Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Senshi are shown transformed in something other than a Sailor Fuku. The Starlights wear leather, dominatrix gear when transformed. If we add in the Animamates, most of them also wear sexy lingerie or short dresses, in place of the traditional costume. Even in the manga, the omitted from television Sailor Senshi also wear non-Sailor uniforms. Chi, Lethe and Mnemosyne wear Greek inspired dresses, while Phi wears a pantsuit. Heavy Metal Papillion wears sexy lingerie and Sailor Cosmos wears a Sailor dress and cape.
Chibiusa and Hotaru's age comes into question here. In the manga by this point, Hotaru looks like her old self at 12 or 13, albeit shorter now, as her original body had been surgically altered by her father to appear older. Chronologically, she should be roughly 13 going on 14. Chibiusa attends the 3rd grade with her. Chibiusa turns 903 years old, but has the body of a 13 year old. Here however, Toei has made Chibiusa look about 9 or 10, and Hotaru look about 8 or 9, depending on the scene. She only has a few scenes with her appropriate 12 year old face.
This season is so radically different from the manga, most fans consider it it's very own series. At this point, Toei Animation and Naoko Takeuchi had a falling out, and the company was impatient, and did not want to wait for Takeuchi-san to finish writing the story for this Arc. So, they decided to make up a new story without her input at all. The same time, they pulled the same stunt on Akira Toriyama, who had ended Dragonball Z in 1995. They were not happy with his decision to return to work on Dr. Slump and Dragon Quest, so they took the liberty of making their own series called Dragonball GT. Both manga-ka were enraged, but not as much as their fans, who felt Toei didn't care about them enough to stick to the original principals of either series. Initially, both shows had respectable ratings, but ratings on both nosedived as fans grew agitated with Toei's output.
Toei did however influence how Seiya, Taiki and Yaten would look. Originally, Takeuchi-san drew all three with short hair. Toei did not want this look, as they had already licensed Bandai to make dolls of the trio with long hair, hoping to win back female fans who had lost interest last season. As a compromise, Naoko added long rattails to all three. The horrendous rattail, which even in japan by this time was starting to go out in popularity, is seen by some fans as a middle finger to Toei, especially when it comes to Yaten, who now has the longest mullet in the series.
The manga did not end until March of 1997, one whole month after the final episode of Sailor StarS aired. As such, many story elements were dropped from the final anime.
Sailor Lethe, Mnemosyne, Heavy Metal Papillion, Phi, Chi, and the "true" Star Sailor Senshi of Sailor Chu, Mau, Mermaid and Coronis were all omitted. Also omitted was "Fatty Mask", Chibiusa's friend Ruruna, and Naru's baby sister Naruru, who until this point had not appeared before.
In this anime, Princess Kakyuu is only seen for a few episodes, and is physically weak. She is killed by Galaxia. In the manga however, she transforms into Sailor Kakyuu, and has several attacks. She is killed by Sailor Chi. She's only seen briefly as somewhat weak, because by the time Chibi Chibi finds her, she has just barely survived a fight with Galaxia, which resulted in her husband being killed and her planet destroyed.
One controversial change surrounds Chibi Chibi. In the manga, Chibi Chibi has disguised herself as a rambunctious two year old with a stunted vocabulary. Her true identity is Sailor Cosmos, an alternate, future universe form of Sailor Moon. She comes from an alternate universe, in which Usagi runs away from the final battle with Chaos, and as a result, watches everything except herself die. In this anime however, Chibi Chibi is the living embodiment of Sailor Galaxia's Starseed. She exists, because at one point, Sailor Galaxia was a true Sailor Senshi, who absorbed Chaos in a desperate attempt to seal him. As a result, she forced out her Starseed, which became Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon. The name Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon has a slightly different origin. In the manga, Eternal Sailor Moon at first addresses her as Sailor Chibi Chibi, then asks her if "Moon" should be added, because she does not know if Chibi Chibi is her daughter or granddaughter. In this anime however, Eternal Sailor Moon just blurts out "Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon" without thinking about who the kid really is. Sailor Cosmos is but isn't seen in episode 200. We see a silhouette of an adult Chibi Chibi, transformed. The costume is similar to Sailor Cosmos, but features different shoes.
The ending is drastically different as well. In the manga, everyone except for Sailor Moon, Chibi Chibi, Kakyuu and the Starlights is killed, so the team travels to the end of the universe to confront Sailor Galaxia. As they travel, the Starlights are killed, and Chibi Moon returns with the Amazoness Quartet to help. Kakyuu is killed by Sailor Chi. Once at Galaxia's castle, which is overlooking the Cauldron, the reanimated bodies of Tuxedo Mask and the Inner and Outer Senshi attack Sailor Moon and Chibi Moon, and Chibi Moon starts to figure out that Chibi Chibi is her mother, but before she can say anything, Tuxedo Mask falls into the Cauldron, and Chibiusa is put out of existence. Eventually, Galaxia dies when she tries to reach for Sailor Moon, but is disintegrated alive from Sailor Moon's natural, peaceful energy. Chibi Chibi reveals herself to be Sailor Cosmos. Sailor Moon falls into the Cauldron, taking Chaos with her. Sailor Ceres figures out that Usagi and Cosmos are the same person, and after telling her story, Cosmos sends the four girls back to the 30th Century. Inside the Cauldron, everyone is resurrected, and Chibiusa appears with wings, and says her final goodbyes before returning to the 30th Century. Cosmos's Starseed appears as guardian Cosmos, and tells of how Queen Serenity once appeared here, pregnant with Princess Serenity. Usagi chooses for everyone to pick up their lives where they left off and continue "as they were" and everyone is sent home. Usagi and Mamoru have sex, and Usagi can see an image of Crystal Tokyo being built. The two get married, and at the wedding, Usagi informs Mamoru that she's pregnant with Chibiusa. Mamoru remarks that new Sailor Senshi will be born, but Usagi will remain his shining star. In this anime however, the season ends where everyone dies except the Sailor Senshi, then one by one, the Inners are killed off. Uranus and Neptune join Galaxia's team and kill Pluto and Saturn, then Galaxia kills them when Uranus turns on Galaxia. Galaxia kills Usagi, but Chibi Chibi prays for Usagi, resulting in Usagi coming back to life as Princess Serenity. Chibi Chibi becomes a living sword (WHAT??) but is broken when Serenity refuses to fight Galaxia, who by now has fused with Chaos to become Sailor Chaos. (EXCUSE ME??) Chibi Chibi dies, and Usagi turns naked. (What the flying fuck??) Usagi still refuses to fight, and instead heals Galaxia, forcing Chaos to disperse. The two girls stand naked in the sky, and Galaxia promises to restore to life everyone whose Starseeds she took. After she leaves, Mamoru comes back to life as Prince Endymion, and is led back to Usagi by a resurrected Chibi Chibi, while the other Sailor Senshi also return to life. Kakyuu is restored, and the Starlights bid their farewells and return to outer space.
This season featured a strong array of nudity, violence, death and people wearing S&M costumes. Due to this, Cartoon Network wanted nothing to do with this season at all. When Cloverway tried to get the rights to the season, they did ask if Cartoon Network would at least air a slightly edited version on Toonami's Midnight Run, since Cloverway knew the run was going to turn into what is now Adult Swim. The network again refused, as they did not want to jeopardize putting a then edited for tweens show onto an adult block, for fear of backlash. This is ironic, as the same adult block has since aired Dragonball Z Kai, which is a re-edit of Dragonball Z, which originally aired censored after Sailor Moon on the same block. Other shows Cartoon Network originally aired for kids that they later put onto Adult Swim's block or Adult Swim's Toonami include Voltron, Dragonball Z, DragonBall GT, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, Big O and Gundam Wing, the latter three of which actually helped launch Toonami Midnight Run with a replay of season one of Sailor Moon, and eventually started Adult Swim, making Cartoon Network's argument moot and foolish. It didn't matter however, as Toei pulled the plug on Cloverway getting anymore episodes.
Irwin Toys planned to make a toyline for this season. On their website, they had bios available for Chibi Chibi and Princess Kakyuu, the latter of whom was renamed "Princess Fireball" but the company went bankrupt before producing a prototype.
Viz Media is the only company in the US to officially have the rights to this season, however fans and bootleggers alike have made their own "DiC style edits" to the show, as there was a rumor that after Cloverway lost the show, DiC would return to pick it up. This never came to be, as DiC had financial problems, and would eventually be bought out by Cookie Jar. DiC did however use a few screenshots from select episodes for a few trading cards. Doing an eBay search will occasionally produce a "RiRi" doll. These bootlegs stem from the rumor that if DiC or Cloverway had gotten the series, Chibi Chibi would become RiRi and Sailor Mini Mini Moon, in honor of Chibiusa.
Adding together Kakyuu, Tuxedo Mask, the Starlights and Chibi Chibi to the original cast, the total for official Guardians for this season is 16. If we throw in the Animamates that were shown for this season, the number goes up to 21. If we count adult Chibi Chibi/Sailor Cosmos and Sailor Chaos as two separate entities, then it jumps to 23. If the manga-only Animamates were added, this number goes to 28, and then if you add the Amazoness Quartet, the number goes to 32. Adding Mermaid, Coronis, Chu and Mau would have made this jump to a whopping 36 Sailor Guardians, the largest amount of Sailor Senshi in any given arc.
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