Does ChibiUsa Come From an Alternate Timeline in Sailor Moon?

There can only be one!

There can only be one!

ChibiUsa has always interested me not only for her character — which is certainly enough to win you over in its own right! — but also for what she represents in the series. Her very existence proves that Usagi and Mamoru’s magical romance works out, the Sailor Soldiers will ultimately win, and if your parents leave you crying in the rain, you’re justified in turning evil.

Except for one small, tiny, little catch:

Her existence may not actually prove any of those things.

How’s that? Well, dear reader, I’m glad you asked! Today we’re going to be exploring the possibility that the ChibiUsa we know and love may not be one, but several different ChibiUsas coming from several different timelines.

I hope you have a pen and paper handy, because things are gonna get a complicated!

She's just a kid, guys, geez...

She’s just a kid, guys, geez…

Just for the sake of avoiding any confusion, I want to be clear that what I’m discussing below is nothing other than a theory based on my own observations, and may not be — in fact, it likely isn’t! — what Ms. Takeuchi intended to be canonical fact within the series.

That being said, however, I still think it’s interesting enough to warrant a discussion, so let’s move on!

First up, let’s get what we do know out of the way: we know that ChibiUsa most definitively comes from the future, that she comes from Crystal Tokyo, and that she’s the daughter of Usagi and Mamoru, even if she does have cotton-candy-colored hair.

Actually, I’d like to amend that. We know that ChibiUsa comes from the a future. The question is whether or not each ChibiUsa we encounter comes from the same future.

Dragon Ball... and Sailor Moon...? NO, NOT THAT!!!

Dragon Ball… and Sailor Moon…? NO, NOT THAT!!!

What do I mean? Well, why don’t we ask our good friend Future Trunks,1 who was another popular time-traveling anime/manga character in the early 90s.

One interesting thing about the plight of the so-called “Future” Trunks is that, essentially, absolutely nothing he does in the past has any impact on the future (i.e., his “present”). Despite him helping Goku and the rest destroy Cell and the other Androids before they’re able to carry out their plans of conquest, everyone is still dead when he returns to his own proper timeline. Essentially all he was able to do was create an alternate universe for those in the “past” by changing the trajectory of their timeline.

Before we try to figure out if that’s what’s going on with ChibiUsa, let’s first take a look at a few other pop culture depictions of how time travel works.2

Terminator model T-9001

Terminator model T-9001

The Future Is Set (Fixed Timeline)

The most common example given for this type of time travel is Terminator, since one way or another, the timeline always finds a way of playing out exactly the same way — at least in terms of all the major details. Minor details can change, such as who did what, but ultimately the what will still be done, even if it’s a different who that’s doing it.3

Read also:  Why Do Usagi and ChibiUsa Have the Same Birthday?

The Future Is Set… But the Past Is Not (Multiverse)

It would be easy to mistake the story of Future Trunks with the method of time travel we just discussed above, but what we see in his story differs in one significant way: he is able to change the past, but that past is no longer connected to his future, creating a parallel universe and alternate story line.

Let's just do ourselves a favor and not discuss Bill and Ted

Let’s just do ourselves a favor and not discuss Bill and Ted

Change the Past, Change the Future (Dynamic Timeline)

The best and easiest way to summarize this is to just say Back to the Future and end the conversation there, but indulge me for a bit as I explain.

Essentially any actions a time traveler takes in the past can directly impact the future. Say, for example, that you go back into the past and let the captain of the Titanic know that there are icebergs out there, thus saving countless lives… and depriving future generations of Celine Dion’s overplayed song that defined teens of the 90s.

This concept of time travel, however, introduces an interesting little issue known as the Grandfather Paradox:4

If you went back in time and killed your grandfather as a child, your parents wouldn’t have been conceived, and you never would have been born. If you weren’t born, you couldn’t go back in time and kill your grandfather. And round and round we go.

Sorry, back to ChibiUsa!

Sorry, back to ChibiUsa!

That’s all well and good, but what’s going on with ChibiUsa?

Well, it’s obvious that we’re not working with a fixed timeline for two reasons. First off, there’s the fact that the Sailor Soldiers in the future weren’t able to beat the Black Moon clan, and yet after some powering up, their past selves were able to do it upon coming to the future. Second, when the cats die in the Sailor Stars arc, this leads to them disappearing in the future.

What about a dynamic timeline, then? That would help explain away most of the differences, right?

It would… to an extent.

Sailor Pluto’s multiple appearances throughout the series call this possibility into doubt, as do the events of the Black Moon and Sailor Stars arcs. The moment that the Black Moon clan come back into the past and start killing the Sailor Soldiers off, for example, this should have had a dramatic impact on the future… and possibly even affected her ability to even come back into the past in the first place.

Then there’s also the fact that ChibiUsa continues to exist in the future, and even has an opportunity to come back to the past to fight, despite the fact that Mamoru has long since been murdered by Sailor Galaxia.

This is what ChibiUsa thinks of you and your plot continuity!

This is what ChibiUsa thinks of you and your plot continuity!

The best explanation, in my opinion, is that we’re dealing with a series of different futures in Sailor Moon, and each ChibiUsa that we see comes from a slightly different one.

Read also:  Why Did Usagi Become Queen of Crystal Tokyo at 22?

Assuming this is true, the “future” that we see in the Black Moon arc comes from a time line in which the Sailor Soldiers fought against the Dark Kingdom and… that’s pretty much where their adventures stopped. Crystal Tokyo came about, the Black Moon revolt happened, and the story unfolds from there.

One major tip-off for this is that there are no Outer Soldiers in sight. While their job functions obviously differ, the planet Nemesis should technically be an extra-solar threat, so there’s no excuse for them to sit idly by and let things happen.

Once the Black Moon arc wraps up and ChibiUsa goes back to the future, I’d argue that the next ChibiUsa we see (ChibiUsa S?), in the Infinity arc, comes from a different universe than the one who faced off against the Black Moon.

Sailor ChibiMoon, ready for action!

Sailor ChibiMoon, ready for action!

ChibiUsa S likely comes from a future where, much like before, only the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon arcs happened, but the Sailor Soldiers have otherwise lived in relative peace. You’ll note that she doesn’t know about Sailors Uranus or Saturn, and certainly doesn’t know who Hotaru is.

Finally, that brings us to the ChibiUsa we see in the Dream and Sailor Stars arc (ChibiUsa SuperS?). The biggest knowledge gap that we see here is that she knows nothing about the Golden Crystal, even though that whole ordeal is a large part of her father’s identity.

Even more importantly, though, is the letter that she brings back from the future from her mother: in contrast to the playful-but-queenly tone of ChibiUsa S’s mother, ChibiUsa SuperS’s mother writes in a scrawled handwriting and is the same comical Usagi we know and love. It’s pretty hard to believe that these were written by the same Neo Queen Serenity that we saw in the Black Moon arc.

A watched Holy Grail never boils

A watched Holy Grail never boils

Of course, all of this is nothing but some wild and crazy theory, and I can’t really speak to its canon… osity… ness. It’s also a bit sad to think that each ChibiUsa we encounter throughout the series is a slightly different one from the preceding season, but I think it also adds a certain excitement to the series by reminding us that the future is not yet defined.

But I think I’ve rambled on about this topic long enough! What do you think about all of this? Is there any merit to the idea of ChibiUsa’s from parallel dimensions, or is this (yet another) overly-analytical look at the world of Sailor Moon? Let me know your thoughts!


References:

22 thoughts on “Does ChibiUsa Come From an Alternate Timeline in Sailor Moon?

  1. Oh my god!! I didn’t know I needed this post until I read it!
    I feel the same way! I feel like the Crystal Tokyo we got to see in R (or, Black Moon Arc, in the manga) happened right after the Dark Kingdom invasion. To me, this makes so much sense, also, the senshi’s uniforms are the first, basic ones–so, clearly, they didn’t evolve as they did in the Dream or Stars arc. Holy crap! Thanks so much for this ♥ it really calms my sailor moon obsessed heart ♥

  2. Hmm, I don´t think that Nemesis would be considered an extra-solar threat, since it supposedly was a part of the Solar System (the tenth planet).
    The thing about her knowing ´bout Uranus+Neptune, though…
    Her mother told her about Super Sailor Moon, so why wouldn´t she know about those two?

  3. Is it too late to chime in? I’ve always thought something like this to a degree. Have you read Parallel Sailor Moon? That mini story confirms that there are parallel futures. So let me dive into my theory.

    I’ve never really thought that each Chibiusa we see is different (you might be onto something). I don’t think that’s the case because why would Neo-Queen Serenity send her daughter back in time to this set group of people if they hadn’t already been involved with each other? Chibiusa is still a child, so her gaps of knowledge could he explained by “We’ll tell you when you’re older” logic on her parents’ behalf (unless I missed a point you were making). Plus, our present-day Usagi can be serious and playful within frames of each other too. That’s her personality.

    BUT I have always thought this Chibiusa is different from the one our Usagi and Mamoru will eventually have. Like Kiki said, the tip off was their uniforms and lack of Outer Senshi. Pluto wouldn’t let Chibiusa go back in time because it would alter history/create a new timeline. Which she did, so Pluto ultimately failed at her one job (but I see advantages to this lol). So everything that followed was a product of that change. The queen could give the team power ups and so forth.

    At the end of Stars, it’s assumed the ultimate evil is defeated so the team can live normal lives. Here’s where Parallel Sailor Moon comes in. Based on my previous statement, WE are the parallel universe. Small Lady’s universe was the original. That title actually means this is “our” group. Hence why the now adult soldiers have normal jobs, and Kousagi has no idea until her awakening that she is a moon princess.

    So here’s my crazy theory. Sailor Cosmos is confirmed (I believe) to be from a parallel universe. As far as we know, only two universes exist (not astrophysically correct, but I digress lol). Well, judging by the chain of events you mentioned after Black Moon, the lack of power ups (there was no need after all), and so forth, Small Lady’s universe never faced off with Nemesis. Neo-Queen Serenity didn’t have the powers to fight her and lost everything. She became Sailor Cosmos. And maybe that’s why she went back in time to our crew. They saved her before. Maybe they’d save her now.

    So the sad implication here is the Chibiusa we know and love (as opposed to the one eventually to come from our timeline I also reference) is dead. With everyone else in that doomed universe. But her ignoring Pluto’s rules ultimately saved the universe because another timeline was created! And who knows, maybe Sailor Cosmos did save everyone in her universe. We’ve seen people brought back from the dead multiple times.

      • I read your article about the “canonness” of Parallel Sailor Moon, and I must say I’m devastated at how right you are lol
        Maria, you make a good point about Cosmos. I will say, even though it seems evident that Chibiusa’s return to the past altered history (Usagi and Mamoru get married and pregnant much sooner, for one), the characters seem to ignore that. Their attitudes towards the King, Queen, and Chibiusa take for granted that this is future them. Some events may be fixed. For example, Mamoru’s death in StarS threatens Chibiusa’s existence. Maybe the Galaxy Cauldron resulting in Cosmos’ timeline is one of those events.

    • No Sailor Cosmos is not from a Parallel Universe. She wanted Sailor Moon to destroy the Cauldron so the events in her future will not happen which means that the events with Sailor Cosmos will happen since she didn’t destroy the Cauldron.

  4. I am of the opinion that the timeline is fixed. As for the notion that the future Sailor Senshi weren’t able to beat the Black Moon Clan but the past ones were well if you remember one of the reasons why the Black Moon Clan was able to defeat them in the future was because of the fact that Chibiusa who was trying to prove to the bullies picking on her that she was the Queen’s child went to the room where it was stored however it basically merged with her. In the end they were only able to defeat Death Phantom with the Silver Crystal of the past and future. Also you are wrong that Mamoru’s death in Sailor Stars dosen’t make Sailor Chibi Moon disappear. It dosen’t at first but then again Mamoru was probably brought back as Sailor Galaxia’s thrall however once Sailor Galaxia pushes Tuxedo Mask into the Galaxy Cauldron effectively killing him then Sailor Chibi Moon vanishes. It has been shown in both the 90s anime and the manga that if something happens to her parents she will vanish. This was shown for instance in the Nehellenia arc of the 90s anime and Chibiusa states in I believe both the 90s anime and manga that if Usagi and Mamoru do not get together IE the Usagi and Mamoru she is with at the moment then Chibiusa will cease to exist. Also the S Chibiusa in the manga couldn’t be from an alternate timeline where the Black Moon Clan were defeated because she retains all of her memories from her time in Sailor Moon R. As for the Golden Crystal maybe she didn’t know what it was because her father didn’t mention it. For one she is the heir to the Moon Kingdom and the next Sailor Moon she is not a Sailor Earth therefore the Golden Crystal dosen’t really pertain to her. If King Endymion did have an heir then the Golden Crystal would probably have gone to him or her. Of course since it is confirmed in most series that Chibiusa are Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion’s only child this heir would probably not be related to him that we know of. I definitely think the timeline is fixed. For one it is basically said in nearly all canons that if Usagi and Mamoru do not get together then Chibiusa will not exist. Chibiusa is shown to vanish if there is a definite death of either of her two parents. Chibiusa has all of the memories of her past and further more Chibiusa says in the last book of the Sailor Stars arc that she will be waiting in the 30th century for them IE she will be waiting the same Chibiusa talking to them not an alternate Chibiusa. So I imagine that again the Black Moon Clan invasion happened in all timelines as did Chibiusa’s time travel to the past and that the timeline is firmly fixed.

    • Just one note:

      For one she is the heir to the Moon Kingdom and the next Sailor Moon she is not a Sailor Earth therefore the Golden Crystal dosen’t really pertain to her. If King Endymion did have an heir then the Golden Crystal would probably have gone to him or her. Of course since it is confirmed in most series that Chibiusa are Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion’s only child this heir would probably not be related to him that we know of.

      ChibiUsa is the heir to both the Moon and Golden Kingdom. When two kingdoms come together, it’s not a “one or the other” kind of ordeal, but rather “both.” Also, since the Moon Kingdom is no more, basically Crystal Tokyo should be seen as a new reign that took over both the Moon and Golden Kingdoms.

      • Yes the Silver Millennium and Golden Kingdom did merge but still Chibiusa is the heir of the Moon Matriarchy. She is the next in line of the Moon Dynasty as she is the next Sailor Moon. She is not Sailor Earth so as such the Silver Crystal is more associated with her then the Golden Crystal is. If there was a heir for the Earth powers then they would have probably been given the Golden Crystal but again Sailor Chibi Moon may be in line to rule both Kingdoms but she is the next Sailor Moon not Sailor Earth. I would also add that I disagree with the notion that Neo Queen Serenity being shown as having a goofy side in S means that she is not the same Neo Queen Serenity in R. Usagi probably still has that goofy side even when she becomes Neo Queen Serenity albeit she has become more mature. Another point I forgot to bring up is another evidence that Sailor Chibi Moon in S is from the same timeline in R and the timeline is fixed is that as I mentioned before that Chibiusa has all of her memories from Sailor Moon R. Also if this was a Chibiusa from another timeline as opposed to the Chibiusa from R she would have no knowledge of who Sailor Moon is or the other Senshi and this would be her first time meeting their past selves but she acts like she knows them all before and said that after the Black Moon Clan attack that her mom and dad sent her into the past to train. I forgot to elaborate on that point.

        • I’m not sure I understand the following point:

          Also if this was a Chibiusa from another timeline as opposed to the Chibiusa from R she would have no knowledge of who Sailor Moon is or the other Senshi and this would be her first time meeting their past selves but she acts like she knows them all before and said that after the Black Moon Clan attack that her mom and dad sent her into the past to train.

          The “ChibiUsa from Infinity/Sailor Moon S” theory pre-supposes that Black Moon happened. So that means that ChibiUsa R (the first ChibiUsa we see) came to the past once, then lived her life in the future happily ever after.
          ChibiUsa S (the second ChibiUsa) came back in the Black Moon arc, went back to the future, and then came back to the past again.

          So of course it makes sense that she recognizes them when she comes back in Infinity/Sailor Moon S.

  5. Oh and one more thing with regards to Sailor Chibi Moon not knowing who Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Saturn are. That could be because Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune went back to their posts guarding the Solar System from outside invaders. As for Sailor Saturn I actually read a fanfiction that had an interesting idea where post Crystal Tokyo’s formation Hotaru went into a deep sleep on her planet and awakened when Chibiusa came back to Crystal Tokyo for the final time. Maybe something like that occured.

    • I have an almost identical theory for the same reasons.
      Also, I think that she would need to have the golden Crystal come from inside her, just like the silver one did. Crystal Tokyo is a matrachary though, and is combined with the golden kingdom, so Sailor Chibi Moon, by being Sailor Chibi Moon, is the senshi of earth as well as the moon.
      Also, the senshi had to let the events of the black moon arc happen to preserve their pasts. . .

  6. I still believe there’s at least two timelines. There’s all the details but the main argument for me is: Would Usagi let the entire world, including her own daughter, suffer for ‘fate’?

    Sailor Moon S / Infinity is all about defying destiny and fate. The team is actively fighting against their fate for the duration of the story arc. Sailor Moon refuses to believe the planet’s only future is destruction or that Sailor Saturn’s fate is to die. The Dream arc also has the team fighting against fate, although this time it’s a curse rather than a prophecy. Ultimately, both stories have a theme of changing fate.

    I understand the Sailor Cosmos argument for a fixed timeline. If the cauldron was destroyed, Chaos would be destroyed but also prevent new lives from being born. Usagi doesn’t want people to suffer but she also believes that good will prevail over evil. She believes in those yet-to-be-born people and their future. By destroying the cauldron, she would be taking that future away from those people. It’s not her decision to make.

    With the black moon, Usagi is literally standing right in front of that evil and deciding to let it win for awhile because…reasons? Usagi regularly does everything in her power including sacrificing herself to save others. To stand idly by while others suffer seems so completely out of character that I cannot agree with a fixed timeline.

  7. I am late, but here is one interesting little detail. In Stars, after Mamo is killed by Galaxia, Chibiusa DISAPPEARS from Usagi’s photo. She is no longer in the photo, the same photo that Mamoru was looking at before Galaxia killed him.

    Usagi, for whatever reason, doesn’t notice. But I think it was a big hint, by the animators, that Mamoru was dead and the pink haired menace ceased to exist. Which is odd, if we go by the multi time line idea (which I think makes the most sense) as Chibiusa in a different timeline wouldn’t be effected by Mamoru’s death in this one.

  8. Spontaniously generated crack theory (debunk it to your hearts content! This has zero precognition to it, it just popped into my head part way through your article.)
    So the idea is this: what if time was not fluxuating? Or, not as much as we think it is? In other words, what if Stars happened in Chibi-Usa’s past as well but didn’t alter the appearance of the future senshi because those future senshi were not the same senshi as the past senshi? What if Kousagi WAS Chibi-Usa?

    Okay, so picture this: the senshi battle Galaxia and take down the bad guys. The Starlights go home, peace is restored to the universe, Usagi and Mamoru get married. The other inner senshi get married too, and all have kids. Ami, Mina, Mako, and Rei from the Parallel line are their daughters, they look almost identical to their mothers, but definately not at the same power. And Usagi and Mamoru had a daughter they named Usagi as well, or nicknamed Chibi-Usa to keep things from getting confusing. But Chibi-Usa stopped aging at one point. That was a big reason why she was so lonely, everyone else around her grew up but she was stuck for 900+ years as a little kid. So the 5 senshi you see, who lived their entire lives in the peaceful Crystal Tokyo where no danger ever existed are not the inner senshi that fought along side Sailor Moon, reborn from the Moon Kingdom, but are actually their daughters who inherited the positions, making their mothers unable to transform any longer just like Neo-Queen can’t, but don’t have the battle experience or power required to win… They never faced any bad guys before, and only were really senshi in name. Then Chibi-Usa runs away back in time, becomes Sailor Chibi Moon, has adventures like she was supposed to in the past, but for some reason keeps coming back (to be with her friend Hotaru? To be with Helios?) and so when Usagi gives birth to a daughter that she also names Usagi, instead of calling her Chibi-Usa (as there is already an older version of Chibi-Usa running around) they go with “Child Rabbit” aka Kousagi instead. Then, Kousagi will stop aging, everyone else will continue, Chibi-Usa will go home, and Kousagi will eventually come to be called Chibi-Usa after a few decades. Her memories of her previous self will fade over the 900+ years as the senshi who would have been her agemates and guardians grow up and become the five inner senshi. Then bad guys start causing trouble, get exiled, become the Dark Moon on Nemisis and the whole loop starts again.

  9. Starting this with a disclaimer that I haven’t read the manga yet, so my theory is based on the original anime and Crystal.
    I think it’s the same timeline and to preserve the events that happened in super s and stars Neo-Queen Serenity allowed the events to happen and her, Endymion, and Pluto told the outer senshi to let nemesis through and kept Saturn, who had her own job to do, From the younger Chibiusa. We know that Usagi has sacrificed herself before for the good of the universe and has the ability to bring everyone back. They wouldn’t tell Chibiusa stuff like the golden crystal or of events that might keep her from going into the past. And let’s be real, Pluto *could* have stopped her from going into the past but was probably told not to to preserve the events. As for the loss of power ups, they were at peace for 100’s of years prior to the black moon uprising and probably weren’t in fighting form anymore. We see that at least Sailor moon can de power earlier when she starts using the grail, they may have thought they no longer needed to be in the powered up state, or they all decided to not use their powered up forms again, so Chibiusa has a reason to “disobey” Pluto. As for her disobeying Pluto, she told Chibiusa about the keys and what they did, which I don’t think she would have done if she really didn’t want here going back in time, and unless chaos was defeated Crystal Tokyo wouldn’t have existed. I also believe that the end of chaos didn’t happen in stars, but with the defeat of the black moon clan, and that after chaos was defeated by Sailor moon at the end of stars, it became nemisis and traveled in time to when it thought the senshi were not expecting it, because if chaos was in the future, why would it, knowing it was defeated for good, go back to a time it can be defeated. We already know nemisis/chaos can travel through time, so this would make sense. And yes, I prepose that chaos wasn’t completely gone at the end of stars, but at the end R and that is the real end. But it’s just my theory and what I would do as a writer, especially when she intended it to end after the first season, and probably wanted R to be the actual end, which I honestly think it was. If I missed anything or you find any plot holes, let me know.

    • Also, Chibiusa is a headstrong brat, which is why she went into the past. Also, at least in the original anime Pluto, via LunaP, stops her from returning to Crystal Tokyo when she wanted to go home. I think that happens in Crystal too, but I have to re watch it as I have only watched it 3 times verses the 30+ times I have watched most of the original anime, thanks Toonami. . .

  10. I think the “diffrent Chibiusa every trip” theory holds water (or a very bendy cat, i.e. same thing) however I’ll thow another cat into the glass fruit bowl.

    The Chibiusa of R is one constant. Where in the events of her future stay static, where the “present”/IE her past is still molding/unfolding. The reason I think this is thus:

    Her memory is pretty much Dark Kindom -> Nothing else, and she just relays things to her mother.

    Pluto’s reincarnation is [??] at that point, but my thory is a bit… “I shoot magic missile into the darkness” at best. Neo Queen Serenity should have no real power to send Pluto into the past, and have her start over (My head hurts.)

    Ok back to cat glass fruit bowl fight:

    Pretty simple: “present = mutable / changing “future” for Chibiusa = static / fixed.

    This is wrapped in an oddly nice but overtly-open and way-too-debatable bow at the end of the manga, where I ASSUME (because some headcannoner will fight me naked on the moor at dawn and go home dissapointed I never showed), that 1.) Usagi is pregnant with Chibiusa (IE her “birth of a new star) and 2.) Crystal Tokyo has been formed / is being or has finished building.

    That in-and-of-itself leads me to multiveres thory but ehh.

    No one likes me because I calmly use logic, not scream stubbornly.

    Sidenote: If Chibi-Usa was born the same day as Usagi i.e. June 30th, She need to be conceved at least 3 or so months after Usagi’s 21st birthday. Not taking into account Early or delayed Birth. (Looks judgementally at the man who tried to name his daughter Usagi.)

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