Sailor Moon Sailor StarS
This six episode arc counts as the first six of the Sailor StarS season, and as it's own mini-series. Many fans count this as the final "true" six of SuperS, as the episodes focus on Queen Nepherenia, making her the only main villain with a link to the Chaos family tree to exist beyond one season. At just six episodes, it's not considered long enough to be it's own season. If it was, it would be the shortest. The mini series ran from March 9, 1996 to May 4, 1996.
Picking up from SuperS, Nepherenia breaks her own Dream Mirror when she sees that Usagi and Chibiusa survived the fall. This flies in the face of the Dream Mirror mythos, as a broken Dream Mirror usually means it's holder dies. Here, Nepherenia does just fine.
Asanuma appears briefly, trying to get Mamoru out of his apartment. This is his only appearance in the 1990's anime. Asanuma was featured quite a bit in the manga, and debuted early into the Black Moon arc of Sailor Moon Crystal.
Nepherenia's story changes here. Now instead of Helios, she does want to marry Prince Endymion after all, because she realizes that if Mamoru is not with Usagi at a certain time, Chibiusa will cease to be. The time for Chibiusa to be created must be coming up, because she fades in and out of existence for all six episodes. This plays into how the manga ends with Usagi getting pregnant with Chibiusa just before her wedding. Keep in mind, the future world by this point has changed drastically, as Mamoru and Usagi are brought closer together than their future selves were. When King Endymion first tells the story in the manga, he claims he married Usagi at 21, and Chibiusa was born when Usagi was 22. But in the manga, Usagi marries at 16. Even in the anime, Usagi is ecstatic to turn 16, because she's now at the legal age to marry Mamoru, and it's brought up in the first episode of this mini series.
Nepherenia is not killed here. Instead she is healed, and somehow returned as a child to her kingdom, miraculously restored. In the manga, she becomes Zirconia and is killed violently.
This miniseries marks the first time the Outer Sailor Senshi were seen together since S, while Uranus and Neptune did appear in one special together, and Pluto had joined them for the SuperS movie. Picking up from the manga, Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna have adopted Hotaru as their daughter, however the reasons why have changed. In the Death Busters Arc of the manga, right after Hotaru is reborn, the trio automatically adopt her, because her father has been killed, and she has no other family to go to. They vow to raise her to be a proper Sailor Senshi this time. In this anime however, Setsuna kidnaps Hotaru from her father, who is living at a mental ward. He is never seen nor heard from again, and there is never an explanation given for why Setsuna is alive again after the events from S. Setsuna was also alive for the SuperS movie, again without explanation. The trio again adopt Hotaru, and they are raising her to be a regular girl. Just like in the manga, Hotaru ends up awakening their Super transformations, so they can go save Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon.
This is the first time Usagi becomes Eternal Sailor Moon in the anime, while in the manga, she became Eternal Sailor Moon during the end fight for the Dream Arc. No other Sailor Senshi becomes Eternal in the anime, though the whole team did in the manga.
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 the girls look 10 for most scenes, although when Hotaru gets her tween body back, she is shown briefly with developed breasts, like a 13 or 14 year old.
Viz Media is the only company to gain the US rights to these episodes. Cloverway did try to obtain the rights to them, but Toei refused due to not being happy with their handling of S and SuperS, despite the fact that Cloverway/CWI was in fact a subsidiary of Toei. The company was folded not long after losing the deal. While negotiations were ongoing, Cartoon Network had already decided to skip Sailor StarS due to it's sexual and graphic content. Even in this block of six episodes, there is an excess amount of nudity when compared to previous installments.
Curiously, during the second and third airing of SuperS on Cartoon Network, part of the first episode in this arc was silently spliced into the final SuperS episode, with a voice for Galaxia already chosen. This spliced episode does not appear on official Pioneer/Geneon DVD or VHS releases, and neither Cloverway nor Cartoon Network ever commented on the lost splice.
Also curious, while DiC never got the rights to this season, a screenshot of Chibiusa and Diana when they try to leave for the 30th Century was used for DiC's trading cards. Diana was not named on the card, despite retaining her name for the DiC dub of the SuperS movie.
Irwin toys did have a section of their website saved for Sailor StarS, but went bankrupt before they could produce a prototype.
With Sailor Saturn, there are 10 Sailor Senshi officially featured. Adding Tuxedo Mask makes 11. Adding Galaxia as an unofficial Sailor Senshi makes 12.
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