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'Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2'

The Outer Senshi get characterization and some stellar moments in the second part of the Eternal movie duo.

As we gear up for the release of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Cosmos The Movie this fall 2023, we review part 2 of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal featuring the outer sailor senshi and the revelation of the true enemy.

If Part 1 was a showcase for the Inner Sailor Senshi, Part 2 tries to showcase the Outer Sailor Senshi in a new light. Taking them from powerful, mysterious warriors to fleshed-out characters operating as a modern family of four women. They are not quite a throuple as Sailor Pluto is not romantically involved with the main couple, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. However, she functions like a close aunt or cousin to Sailor Saturn, the child they are all raising together. The Sailor Moon franchise has always been progressive and only added to this nature with the Crystal franchise.

From L to R on the Video Still: Hotaru/Super Sailor Saturn, Haruka/Super Sailor Uranus, Michiru/Super Sailor Neptune, and Setsuna (Super Sailor Pluto).

Super Sailor Uranus

Super Sailor Uranus gets things rocking right away with an upgraded attack animation for World Shaking that clearly took priority in the budget (perhaps with only Super Sailor Mars’ Flame Sniper getting similar animation upgrades). Uranus has been interesting to watch in the Crystal adaptation. There is the amazing decision to have her state that she was given traits of both men and women to make her the ultimate warrior. Perhaps, even more interesting, she does not specify what side of the binary gives her what attributes, leaving herself a mirror to your own conceptions.

Despite how masculine she presents in civilian garb and generally as far as her personality, she shows no qualms with the increasingly feminine Sailor Senshi battle gear replete with skirts, heels, earrings, lipstick, nail polish, and anything else traditionally feminine that you can think of. This version of Uranus is far more interesting than the 90s loose adaptation, she isn’t just some meathead lusting for battle, but rather is a passionate guardian willing to do whatever it takes to protect the kingdom from threats beyond the solar system as is her mission. It is no wonder that she and Michiru are often favorites of many queer women, men, and trans people.

Super Sailor Neptune

Michiru/Super Sailor Neptune remains thoughtful and fierce despite her refined, elegant nature. Like Uranus, Neptune is shown in a more believable way in the Crystal adaptation. I always found it baffling in the 90s adaptation that Neptune and Uranus were so openly hostile to the inner senshi who literally represented the future Queen they were supposed to protect and her royal guard. I always felt the storytellers sacrificed believability for manufactured tension between the inner and outer senshi.

In Crystal, Uranus and Neptune explain upon meeting that it was their job in Silver Millennium (the old kingdom they were all reincarnated from) to protect the kingdom from threats from beyond the solar system. They were both lone sentries who barely could communicate with one another, let alone had no communication with the others. They were used to fighting alone, not group teamwork. Beyond that, the outer senshi were willing to take drastic measures to protect the world that the inner senshi weren’t capable of, like destroying Sailor Saturn when she was corrupted by Mistress 9. It made their decision not to initially work with the inner senshi more understandable as they had different warrior philosophies.

Ultimately, you still see creator Naoko Takeuchi’s vision, the outer senshi are professional women scrubbed of their idealism and ready to be cut-throat in a cut-throat world. The inner senshi were to her like newly minted college grads who were sparkling with optimism at their first job. Instead, chiefly due to the 90s adaptation, many came away with the false belief that the outer senshi were leagues more powerful than the inner senshi when the difference was supposed to be experience and philosophy. Neptune show this when she uses her psychic awareness to explain to the inner senshi that they needed to stay focused and see the enemy for who they really are.

Super Sailor Saturn

Hotaru/Super Sailor Saturn has perhaps had the most character development, chiefly due to the fact that she was just a mysterious figure in the 90s adaptation. She had no transformation sequence and was pretty much there to show how the threats in the latter half of the story were world-ending level. She did very little else it seemed.

In Crystal, Super Sailor Saturn and Super Sailor Chibi Moon’s friendship is developed into something special. When Hotaru uses magic to force her body to grow from a baby to a preteen, she admits to Chibi Moon that part of the reason she did it was to fight alongside her and the other sailor senshi. Saturn becomes slightly less mysterious and more fleshed out. She even gets a small transformation sequence in the Crystal adaptation.

Super Sailor Pluto

Super Sailor Pluto gets some much-needed characterization in Crystal. Like Saturn, Setsuna/Super Sailor Pluto was a mysterious warrior who wielded amazing powers and a strict sense of duty. We are introduced to her as a lonely Keeper of Time bound to the Space-Time Door as its eternal guardian. Pluto moves beyond this as we find out that she is lonely, has a secret crush on King Endymion, and an unknown friendship with Chibi Moon. Sailor Pluto becomes a character with her own motivations and desires within the Sailor Senshi.

We even learn that Super Sailor Pluto has always desired to actually fight alongside the other Sailor Senshi. This is a recurring theme among the Outer Senshi. Isolation and loneliness are born from their duties as defenders against threats from outside the solar system. Their posts placed them in faraway planets (Uranus, Neptune), in between time and space (Pluto), and dormant as a fail-safe self-destruct (Saturn). Watching the Outer Senshi form their own family unit as three women raising a young Sailor Saturn is heartwarming. It is also a joy to watch the Outer Senshi learn to accept the idealistic Inner Senshi. We finally see all the Sailor Senshi fighting as one. This event culminates with most of the Outer Senshi mentoring an Inner Senshi that reflects a special relationship.

Sailor Moon Cosmos was released in Japan in June 2023. We are still awaiting a US release date at this time. Hold on a bit longer, Moonies or watch it subbed.