Sailor Moon SuperS
This season debuted on March 4, 1995 and ran until March 2, 1996.
"SuperS" stands for Super Sailors or Super Senshi, as this is the first anime to feature six Super transformed Sailor Guardians.
This is the first season to not focus too heavily on Usagi. Instead, Chibiusa and her relationship with Pegasus/Helios serves as the focal point of the season. Initially, this led to lower ratings, as fans in 1995 felt that Chibiusa was stealing the show, but starting in 2000 this season has become a beloved hit with internet Sailormoon fans.
Toei initially pushed for a wider toy line, despite the fact that the show was starting to feature more adult content and more nudity than previous seasons, as it picked up from the last season's "edge". Toei felt that despite the more mature stories surrounding the cast, Chibiusa being the focal point would lead to more children watching with their families. Not only did the number of children not increase, it alienated many longtime fans. Some felt Chibiusa was a 'Cousin Oliver" character, and not as important as her mother. Others felt turned off by the fact that some of the sexual innuendo was being moved away from Usagi, at this point 15 years old, and was being pushed on Chibiusa, who looks about 10 years old here.
In contrast to the previous season, SuperS features sugary, bright colors.
This is the final season for Umino and Naru. They appear early in the series and in both SuperS specials. They do not appear in the manga at this point, but Naru did get one more appearance in the StarS arc of the manga.
Also in contrast to the earlier seasons, SuperS pulls very little from the manga, wholly becoming it's own entity. Plots were either omitted or changed, and with the exception of the SuperS special and movie, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are absent, and Saturn is not mentioned. In the manga, Helios is fused with his pet Pegasus by Nepherenia. Here, he turns into a Pegasus, even after he is freed. Diana is introduced here, whereas in the manga, she had been present since the end of the Black Moon Arc. Luna, Artemis and Diana never turn into humans in this anime, while they do in the manga. Phobos and Deimos are seen briefly, but unlike the manga never turn human, nor reveal themselves as twins, selected by Sailor Mars before the fall of the Silver Millennium, to be her guardians.
Also different is the story of Queen Nepherenia. In the manga, she first appears through a mirror as Queen Serenity is celebrating the birth of Princess Serenity. When the inner Sailor Senshi as children cast her out with Queen Serenity, she places a curse on the princess's head, that she will die young. This curse eventually led to the fall of the Silver Millennium, Princess Serenity's suicide when Queen Beryl killed Prince Endymion, and Sailor Saturn dropping the glaive. Sometime after this, she kidnaps Helios and Pegasus, fusing the two into one creature, holding him hostage until he is able to get help from Chibiusa centuries later. Instead, the backstory shows Queen Nepherenia living alone on the dark side of the Moon, until she finds Priest Helios on Earth. She kidnaps him just before Prince Endymion meets Princess Serenity for the first time, and wants to take the Golden Crystal from his head. How Helios is detained changes too. In the manga, he is turned into a Pegasus and held inside a human-sized birdcage. In the anime, his body is held by a web, upside down and naked, and his soul escapes on occasion, to visit Chibiusa. Her backstory changes again later on, where we find she was once a beautiful queen with her own castle on the dark side of the Moon, and had a court that adored her. But one day, Zirconia appeared from a mirror, pushed herself into Nepherenia's body, and enslaved her court, turning them all into Remliss and Lemures. By this definition, the Sailor Senshi kill off an entire group of possessed Moon people.
Another change is that initially, Nepherenia wants Helios, crystal, soul and body. Yet in the manga, she's only using him, with hopes that she will eventually marry Prince Endymion.
More radical changes involve the plot surrounding the Amazon Trio and Amazoness Quartet/Quartetto. In the manga, Ves Ves, Cere Cere, Jun Jun and Palla Palla own a tiger, fish and hawk as pets. Using Palla Palla's magic, their pets become the Amazon Trio, and serve the young girls. The girls in turn care for their pets, and are deeply enraged when they are killed. Once the Outer Sailor Senshi arrive, Sailor Saturn discovers that the girls are not evil just possessed, and at the end of the Arc, the girls become Sailor Vesta, Sailor Pallas, Sailor Juno and Sailor Ceres, and exist to follow Sailor Chibi Moon the same was Mars, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are to follow Sailor Moon. In this anime however, the girls do not know the Amazon Trio. The Trio is only briefly killed, but are resurrected by Pegasus, and brought to Elysion to live out their days as lights. The Quartet takes over for the Trio as Zirconia's minions, but while they are eventually turned good, the four never become Sailor Guardians. Another change saw Fish-eye become a homosexual man while Hawk-eye became interested in older women. In the manga, Fish-eye is straight and it isn't revealed if Hawk-eye is ever into anybody, but he does dress as a woman. Tiger-eye remains unchanged as a pedophile into young girls.
Another radical change involves transformations and what everyone is searching for. In the manga, Helios is trying to find the maiden who can unlock the seal of the Golden Crystal in himself and in Mamoru. Chibiusa is that maiden, but since his vision was of an adult Princess Lady Serenity, he erroneously thinks her mother is the maiden. As the story progresses, all of the Sailor Senshi gain Super transformations, and then an Eternal transformation, and Tuxedo Mask finds the power to use his crystal just as Usagi and Chibiusa use theirs. During this time, both Helios and Mamoru are suffering from a deadly black rose in their chests, one that won't go away until Nepherenia is defeated and the seal is broken. In this anime however, only six Sailor Senshi are shown getting Super transformations, nobody turns Eternal, and while Mamoru does end up with a black rose in his chest, his illness only lasts a few episodes. Also unlike the manga, nobody uses their princess forms except for Usagi and Chibiusa, while in the manga, all of the girls can access their original form.
Also, while Usagi and Chibiusa did swap ages because of Palla Palla, the story and art changed. In the manga, it lasts two days, and Chibiusa looks the same as she did as Black lady, though she can't remember being Black Lady at all. Yet here, the change only lasts a few hours, and Chibiusa just has slightly longer hair. It's puffy, a hybrid of her normal hair and her Black Lady hair, sort of as a tribute to Naoko Takeuchi's original design of Black Lady, which saw her with shorter hair, mid puff.
Chibiusa's age again comes into question here. In the manga by this point, she's entering the 3rd grade, but her body age is around 10, and it's just before her 903rd birthday. By the end of this arc, her body age has shot up to 13, as she's looking similar to when Minako was Codename Sailor V, again at 13. In this anime, Chibiusa spends the first few episodes looking 8-9 years old, most of the season looking 10, and then as Pegasus leaves, her body age shrinks down again to about 8.
This is the only season to have more than one special make air.
There is an hour long SuperS special, which features three different stories. One story has Usagi, Luna and Artemis run through clips of the previous seasons, as Usagi educates Chibiusa about the past. In a huge continuity error, Chibiusa does not recall ever being Black Lady and does not recall ever being told about the first season. Yet Chibiusa and Usagi went through those events together in the R Movie Special, and at that time, Chibiusa had a full recollection of being Black Lady. Another story sees Sailor Uranus battling a cold and flirting with the new maid, while Sailor Neptune gets jealous. They both end up dealing with Lemures, but ultimately decide not to tell the other girls about it. The third story is pulled from the manga's very first Chibiusa's Diary story, where Chibiusa gains a vampire classmate named Lyrica/Ririka/Lilica. In the manga, this story takes place while Chibiusa is in first grade, while here, she and her friends are in the 3rd or 4th grade. In the manga, Lyrica's mother is also a vampire, and the two are killed by Sailor Moon and Codename Sailor V. Here, it's just Lyrica being possessed by a Lemure, and she battles with Tuxedo Mask and all of the Inners, who combat her with bad breath from eating garlic. Lyrica is saved.
The second special preceded the SuperS movie, and follows the manga short story "Ami's First Love". Only a few slight changes were made.
The SuperS movie features an all original story, with new characters that were not in the manga but were created by Naoko Takeuchi.
When Pioneer/Geneon released the SuperS movie, they omitted the Ami's First Love special. Neither DiC nor Cloverway got the rights to the SuperS special, with many speculating that Toei just never sent the tape.
DiC and Optimum Productions edited the movie, using the Sailormoon R cast. It was the final venture for that team, as the same year the movies came out, Cloverway took over production for the S and SuperS seasons. Only a few of the original voice actors from the DiC era made it over to Cloverway. Due to DiC editing the film, many attack and transformation names were changed, and do not match the SuperS TV edits.
Peruru's name came up in a debate. It's pronounced "Peruru" very clearly in the film, but fans argue it should be "Pelulu" or "Pearl" since his name and costume are based on pearls.
The SuperS movie takes place immediately after Pegasus returns to Elysion, but just before Sailor StarS starts. However in the background, girls from the Mugen school appear. Mugen was destroyed at the end of S. Another continuity error sees a completely alive Sailor Pluto appear without explanation. Sailor Uranus and Neptune also arrive, but the three are not able to Super transform yet.
Ikuhara, who worked on Sailormoon through SuperS once recalled how the movie
almost turned out, and how a lost script for SuperS became the entire premise
A: That was a real plot I had thought up. 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 independent to the TV series and this was going to be the first appearance of Uranus and Neptune. And Sailor Neptune was going to be in a 1000-year sleep at a place called "The End of the World". And Sailor Uranus was needed to steal the talisman from the Sailor Scouts and use that to awaken Sailor Neptune. And Uranus was going to be riding the black Pegasus. And the story was going to be that Sailor Moon would ride Pegasus to chase Sailor Uranus riding the Black Pegasus to the "End of the World". And the climax of the story would've been the rodeo scene between Sailor Moon on white Pegasus and Sailor Uranus on Black Pegasus. And so this was kind of story I had in mind. But before production began, the producer walked off Sailor Moon. It would've been possible for me to make the story still, but since I came up with the story with the producer, I also walked off. But I had an attraction to the idea of "The End of the World" which I thought up for this plot. So the same thing in Utena comes from the Sailor Moon plot.
This was the final season Cloverway worked on, and while the dialogue had been vastly changed, much of the content was left alone, except for one episode with Ami naked, and the gender identities of Zirconia and Fish-eye. Because Fish-eye was homosexual in the anime, Cloverway turned Fish-eye into a girl, though the gender swap wasn't officially announced until six episodes into the season. Zirconia was changed to a man, but no reason was ever given as to why. The change made no sense, as Zirconia wears lipstick, never hits on anybody, and is later shown to be living inside of Nepherenia.
One episode was dropped, but later re-edited and shown silently on Cartoon Network during the second run of SuperS.
SuperS was aired on Cartoon Network without fanfare. When the second run of S ended, Cartoon Network re-edited the first S trailer commercial, and said there were all new episodes starting the day after. This was the only acknowledgement SuperS was given outside of ads for the movie, so most fans had no idea SuperS had even been dubbed. This makes SuperS the only season to air without it's own ads on Toonami.
Some names were altered. Due to an issue with translation, Palla Palla became Para Para. Ves Ves was Besu Besu. Cere Cere was Cerle Cerle. Tiger-eye became Tiger's Eye. Fish-eye and Hawk-eye would alternate some episodes as Hawk's Eye and Fish's Eye. Nepherenia became Nehellenia. Momoko, who was previously Melissa in the DiC dub and Katy the previous season became Melanie. Kyusuke became Kelly.
To make up for this, Diana, Helios and Ikuko all retained their names.
Irwin toys made prototypes for a series of action figures/dolls based on the Amazoness Quartet, but they went bankrupt before they could produce anything more. They also had plans for Pegasus and Helios merchandise, but nothing came to fruition. Curiously enough, DiC released a SuperS calendar with shots from the actual season, even though they never had the rights to dub this season beyond the movie, and they also had a few episode screenshots used for their trading cards.
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Ami's First Love SuperS Special Movie