PRETTY GUARDIAN SAILOR MOON ETERNAL THE MOVIE
Directed by: Chiaki Kon
Written by: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, Naoko Taeuchi
Starring: Kotono Mitsuishi, Shiozuka Ito, Sayaka Ohara, Taishi Murata, Nanao, Hisako Kanemoto, Misato Fukuen, Ai Maeda
Following the ending of the 3rd season of Sailor Moon Crystal, Eternal picks up where it left off. The films are based on the Dream arc which follows the previous third season arc of Infinity. The English dub features the same voice actors from Sailor Moon Redub and Sailor Moon Crystal.
If you are not up to date with Sailor Moon either through the Manga or Anime, you will be a bit lost and confused. Also, there will be spoilers from those series in this review.
Following the events from season 3, Chibi-usa is ready to go back to the future until she, Usagi, and Mamoru stop to see the total solar eclipse and witness a strange ship fly out. After the ship disappears, the Pretty Guardians notice the sudden appearance of the Dead Moon Circus. Strange events keep happening around the city and are affecting each guardian’s ability to transform. After each member goes through their insecurities brought forth by the Dead Circus we see the true plot and villain behind the attacks on Earth and the Guardians.
The interesting part of the movie is the exploration of where Tuxedo Mask or Mamoru is from. With the introduction of the homeworld of Elysion and the guardian Helios, we see more exploration into the earth side and the Golden Key. This helps build the mythology of the Earth side that has been lacking.
Sailor Moon Eternal focused on the dreams and wants of the guardians. Having them realize their true desire gives each a human element that movies like this gloss over. The personal and emotional struggle gives it a unique theme as its part of the overall story and not a long episode. This practice is slowly becoming common for movies based on a series.
The movies suffered from uneven pacing and by speeding up the ending. Part 1 was great as it allowed for a natural flow of the story. When we got to part two after the outer guardians were introduced, it became a race to wrap up everything, introduce a new power and defeat the big baddie.
The voice acting is solid as it’s been the same cast since Sailor Moon Crystal. This consistency shows as each actor understands the characters feelings and knows how to express it. The downside is that the villains all sound like previous incarnations and bring nothing new to the series.
Sailor Moon Eternal is a standard Sailor Moon story that slowly moves closer to the manga’s ending and creator Naoko Takeuchi. Since the movie is being somewhat marketed as a new entry, a recap episode would help those unfamiliar with or remembered what happened in the previous 3 seasons.