Why Was ChibiUsa Sad About Returning to the Future?
This is yet another one of those odd questions that at first glance sounds completely obvious, but makes a lot less sense when you stop and actually start to think about it. I mean, of course ChibiUsa is sad to leave Usagi, Mamoru, and the Sailor Team to go back to the future. After all, she has to go all the way back to the future to be with… Usagi, Mamoru, and the Sailor Team? This is unfortunately one of those situations where there is no proper answer to the question, but it’s at least worth taking a look at it in a little further detail!
Obviously from a plot development standpoint, it was necessary to have a heart-wrenching scene play out where ChibiUsa is separated from Usagi and the rest of her newfound friends, so I can’t really blame the animation staff for that.
From the point of the Usagi, Mamoru, and the Inner Sailor Soldiers, it makes a lot of sense that they’d be sad to see ChibiUsa go of course. For all they know, they won’t see her again (at this age, at least) for nearly 1,000 years! Of course, Usagi is a mere seven years away from giving birth to ChibiUsa at this point in the story, but that’s neither here nor there.
When you look at it from ChibiUsa’s point of view, though, it’s a little harder to understand how emotional she gets over the situation. Though you can understand that she’s developed a different relationship with Usagi than with her mother, Neo Queen Serenity, her relationship with Mamoru (after the Black Moon Arc, at least) is a pretty close to that of a father and daughter. As for Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako? Unless they changed extraordinarily (and the manga implies that this is definitely not the case!) and she doesn’t particularly want to meet with them, it’s hard to see why she’d miss them simply because they’re younger.
The most obvious answer is probably that, well, she’s a kid. But unfortunately that’s not strictly true, since ChibiUsa is 900 years old. The anime and manga seemed to forget about this little fact from time to time, but we should at least assume that ChibiUsa is mentally old enough to understand that in just a few moments she’ll be back and laughing with all her friends, just in the future. If she were to be missing anyone, you’d think it would be Momoko, Kyuusuke, and especially Hotaru (whose existence in the future, at this point in time, is still unconfirmed).
Now, while we’re nitpicking, there’s one thing about this scene in the anime that’s always struck me as odd: some of the gifts that they give to ChibiUsa are actually pretty useless, when you stop and think about it. I don’t mean to be rude, but when you consider that she comes from 1,000 years in the future, it might help to consider technology a bit. For example:
- Makoto: She gives ChibiUsa some food that she made. That’s a nice gift, actually, though her advice to “heat it in the microwave” may or may not work so well depending on if there are microwaves in the future. But hey, I consider this a win!
- Ami: This is where things get weird. Ami programmed an original game for ChibiUsa in which everyone appears. The problem with this? Well, for one, the game is on a 3.5″ floppy disk,1 which are so rare nowadays in 2016 that even some readers of this blog might not have used them! Overlooking for format issue, have to consider that this episode aired on February 25, 1995.2 That means that Windows 95, released on November 23, 1995,3 wasn’t even out yet! Getting Windows 3.1 or MS-DOS software to run on a PC today even nowadays takes a lot of work, so I’d say this is probably not going to work for ChibiUsa.
- Rei: Another gift for the thoughtful-yet-unusable category, Rei gives ChibiUsa a cassette tape with a recording of some original songs. Though not completely phased out even today, it’s incredibly rare to find compact cassette4 players nowadays, so I’m not sure I’d hold out much hope for her having a listen in the future. It’s the thought that counts, though!
- Minako: Fortunately, we have a homerun from Minako, who gives ChibiUsa an album of all the photos they took together. Great job!
- Mamoru: A red rosebud isn’t necessary a bad gift (especially when you consider who it’s from!), but his tries to play it off that it symbolizes purity and cuteness. While I’m no expert on roses and their various colors, I’m pretty sure it’s well-known to stand for love, passion, and romantic attachment.5
- Usagi: In a rather touching move, Usagi had hand-sewn a pink rabbit backpack for ChibiUsa. Like Minako, this is actually a really great gift, so I don’t really have much to say about it!
And there you have it! Though the best answer we can really offer to this question is that, well, ChibiUsa probably had bonded with the Sailor Soldiers in the past as something closer to friends, while in the future they probably act a little something like family to her, it’s still hard to say for sure why it is that she would be so broken up to be leaving them only to see them all again in the future.
It does make for a tear-jerking and emotional end to Sailor Moon S, though nowhere near as harsh as the death of the Sailor Soldiers in the original season. Obviously the animation staff couldn’t have guessed how fast technology would advance in just twenty short years, but it’s still funny to see just how quickly these things become dated, even in the real world!