How Were the Sailor Soldiers Reborn After the Fight With Queen Beryl?

The Tragic Passing of the Sailor Soldiers

The Tragic Passing of the Sailor Soldiers

Talking about the Sailor Moon timeline is a bit of a grey area right out of the gate, simply because the anime and the manga obviously differ, and pretty greatly at that. Obviously this is a fictional universe so we can’t hold out a lot of hope for things to be 100% accurate, nor should it be. If we were concerned with absolute accuracy, I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be talking about junior high school girls fighting the forces of evil to begin with! But to the extent that we can recreate the timeline and make some sense of it, I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor.

We talked in-depth before regarding how long the fight against the Dark Kingdom and Queen Beryl would have taken and ultimately came up with thirty-three days, with a lot of caveats of course. Though I haven’t checked the anime – and with 46 episodes which need to be watched, I’m afraid it would take an incredibly long time to do a thorough analysis – but my gut instinct is that there the battle against the forces of the Dark Kingdom took a little under a year, though seems to be fair to assume that the series followed along close to real time.1 These timeline issues actually are pretty helpful in answering the above question, regarding how the Sailor Soldiers came back to life after their untimely demise in their battle against the D-Girls in the anime. That’s right! Today, we’ll be talking about the anime timeline, though we’ll turn back and tie this into the manga where we can.

And yet, they still came back to help their princess...

And yet, they still came back to help their princess…

One of the popular theories was that when the rest of the Sailors were revived, they were brought back with no memories of the events of their lives as sailor-suited soldiers of justice while Usagi and the rest of the world had their memory wiped. The Cardian arc, at the opening of Sailor Moon R, definitely supports this theory. As it turns out, that is close to what actually happened according to the anime canon, but not quite the whole story.

The December 1993 edition of Animage magazine2 featured a “100 Secrets Revealed” special together with an interview with the Sailor Moon R series (including the movie) director, Kunihiro Ikuhara3 as a lead-in to the then-upcoming Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie. Question number 304 asks the following:

Q30/100 in Animage's "Secrets Revealed"

Q30/100 in Animage’s “Secrets Revealed”

Why isn’t Usagi a third year in junior high school yet?

To which the following answer is given:

Normally, she would have definitely moved up a grade, but since she was once again reincarnated prior to April, she’s re-doing her second year of junior high. She didn’t flunk out, really!

While the Japanese uses the term “reincarnated” (転生), considering it then states that she is repeating her year as a second-year student, it would likely be more correct to interpret this as the world having been reset. After all, if it was just her who had been given a new body and reborn, then the rest of the world wouldn’t change with her (and thus she would have naturally gone to the next grade in school). Now, while it seems safe to say that this here is enough of an open-and-shut case, do we have any other evidence to go by?

We do actually have at least one other interesting fact to support this theory that the world had been reset: the cram school which Ami attends in the first season is called the “OK Cram School” (OK進学塾) while in Sailor Moon R, she attends “Absolute Success Cram School” (絶対合格塾). This could be chalked up to a slip-up by the writers of the anime, however, but it is worth mentioning especially when you consider how well they’ve done at keeping consistency throughout much of the series (which is quite a feat across 200 episodes, though they definitely were far from perfect!).

And what about the manga? Well, without any direct statements made on the matter (and without the wiping of everyone’s memory like what happened in the Cardian arc in the anime in Sailor Moon R), there’s not much to go on. But if you look out into the future of the series, it makes sense that there was a repeat year in there. If Usagi starts in 1992 as a second-year junior high school student and enters high school in the Dead Moon arc (SuperS in the anime) in 1995, that means there’s one missing year.5 Assuming that Ms. Takeuchi didn’t just have the characters enter high school at a random time (which – to be fair – the anime did), that means we have one extra year that needs to be dealt with, which could be explained away by the “reset” between the Dark Kingdom and the Black Moon, as was done in the anime.

Of course, this is just a manga and anime and there are more than a few inconsistencies throughout the series, so we can’t get hung up too much on the details like exact dates and times, but this definitely puts forth a pretty strong argument for what happened to the Sailor Team and how they came back to life by the time Sailor Moon R rolled around!

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  1. For example, there was a beach episode in the Summer (ep. 20, August 1992) and skiing/ice-skating episodes in the Winter (eps. 38 and 39, December 1992 and January 1993, respectively)
  2. A Japanese magazine for fans of anime and manga; see Animage (Wikipedia)
  3. See Kunihiro Ikuhara (Wikipedia)
  4. On p. 22 of the December 1993 edition of Animage
  5. Japanese schools are 6 years for elementary, 3 years for junior high school, and 3 years for high school

12 thoughts on “How Were the Sailor Soldiers Reborn After the Fight With Queen Beryl?

  1. Evidence definitely points to time being reset but when you consider that the Cardian arc starts and Naru and Umino already in a relationship — something that only occurred because of her involvement with Nephrite which has now been erased — then things get muddy. Probably just an oversight though.

    What drives me absolutely nuts is SuperS. An entire year clearly passes. You see seasons change. But yet they didn’t enter high school despite spending the entirety of S preparing for it. They aren’t seen going to school at all. Yet Chibiusa does go to school. And then the SuperS special puts them back to the entrance exams. It’s all a gigantic cluster.

    • I really wish this is something that Naoko would have directly addressed in the manga since it runs into at least a similar time paradox with a “missing year” between the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon Family arcs, but it’s just kind of not really mentioned.

      You’re absolutely right about the Naru and Umino dating thing! Also, the fact that Makoto is still attending Azabu-Juban junior high is a definite inconsistency. But the anime doesn’t seem like it was too concerned about consistency in the timeline, especially when you consider that they clearly show the characters in various spring, summer, fall, and winter settings. I guess, re: SuperS, you could just argue that Usagi and go are all such massive geniuses that they didn’t need to bother studying? =p I mean, Usagi may be smarter than she appears!

  2. There’s also the question of how Luna is able to give them back their memories of the previous battle if time has been rolled back…

    • Well, considering that Usagi still had her memories, I don’t think it’s TOO far out of the realm of possibilities that Luna would have retained all of that.

      • Actually, I think it’s more of the matter of the fact that Usagi’s wish on Silver Crystal to wake up in a normal life couldn’t actually directly contradict Queen Serenity wish on Silver Crystal which was already in effect – after all being a Princess Serenity or a Sailor Senshi is NOT an example of normal life. So it made a reset so Darik Kingdom NEVER attacked, but let Artemis and Luna keep memories and ability to restore memories of the Senshi, so they can actually be able to guide them.

  3. I never really tried to make a timeline using the actual years, but your explanation makes so much sense!

  4. So…if time reset to BEFORE the Dark Kingdom attacked, does this mean Beryl, Metalia and the Shitenou are still out there plotting in the anime universe? Or maybe they were reborn too…or maybe I’m thinking about this too much.

    Poor Pluto! No wonder she says dealing with Sailor Moon is always trouble!

  5. To be honest, it still bothers me, up to this day, the whole 30th Century plot and how come they had to become king and queen–away from everyone–when they were supposed to be reborn to live their lives freely.

  6. I appreciate this article/blog which I just found. I’ve only seen the anime through the middle of R so far. I have not read the manga.

    At first I assumed there was no time reset, but looking through your writeup and some comments here, that seems to be unavoidable. I think there was a time reset, but it was not a total reboot.

    After everyone dies, the world is indeed reset to Spring 1993 and everyone is revived. Or, as the show puts it, “reincarnated.” Reincarnation is a stronger concept than simply being revived, and it gives credence to a messy timeline.

    The world is reset to Spring 1993. For now, Luna and Artemis alone retain all their memories of the “true” 1993 and the beginning of the “true” ’94, if they got that far. Usagi was 13 at this time; she was lying about being 14 both at the beginning and end of season 1. Or perhaps Usagi’s narration should be considered as a retrospective from a later date. Usagi never actually says she is 14 in universe during those first 20 episodes. The narrator Usagi does, but the narrator is just a construct for the audience (not canon per se) and is the weakest link. This makes Usagi 13 and 14 during eighth grade, which is normal, instead of 14 and 15, which would imply she was held back.

    After two months of retreading Spring 1993 with minimal dejavu, Usagi and the Sailor Senshi regain their memories of the lost year. Since the reboot was pegged to Princess Serenity’s wish, and at this point, Luna and Artemis have reversed part of the wish by restoring Usagi’s memory, it follows that other parts of the reset can to unravel as well, even completely.

    It is unravelable because it was never a fool-proof or totally consistent reset in the first place. Minako, in addition to being sent back to spring 1993, had to have had false memories planted in her head about the previous year, so that she was ignorant of Sailor V and Artemis. Mamoru also had some weird things happen during the reset, since his involvement in season 1 was not entirely dependent on the Sailor Senshi, and he needed to be prevented from going down a path where he might discover his identity.

    Here’s a good case: The second time around, Makoto transfers to Juban Public Middle School during the April term instead of the September term. What could have caused this discrepancy? Applying themes from the story itself, I’d say some kind of fate or predestination was working against Usagi’s wish. By whatever mechanism the heroes were revived and time was reset, the forces of destiny were stronger, and caused certain things from the original 1993 to repeat themselves, especially things concerning characters closely associated with the protagonists, like Umino, Naru, Juichiro, Motoki, etc.

    By the time Mamoru’s memories are totally restored, I think the people of the world’s memories have been restored as well. So they recognize that in reality a whole year has been lost. They remember the Sailor Senshi and anything important they did in that lost year. It’s up to each of them to choose to affirm or reject decisions made in that year, since they’ve been given an unprecedented second chance. Anyone who died after the reset date is presumably also revived and reset. It’s not absolutely necessary that anyone besides the heroes recognize that a time reset happened, but I think it is more fitting if they do. This way, the Sailor Senshi didn’t just save a canceled future; they saved everyone in the whole world, and people remember what they were saved from. In this case, the world’s memories would be completely restored by the time Mamoru’s were, since the suppression of everyone’s memories was done in order to not disturb Usagi and her friends from normal lives. Once Mamoru was finally so “disturbed,” nothing remained of Princess Serenity’s wish; it’d been totally undone.

    During the ~three months between the reset day and Mamoru’s memories returning, though all have become aware that a year has somehow been lost, enough ground has been retrodden in the new 1993 that the world cannot simply all agree to increase the year to 1994. Likewise, the Sailor Senshi and their colleagues (and all students everywhere) continue to go through 8th grade, even once it occurs to them that they’ve already done most of eighth grade in the lost year.

    Besides what grade a person is in or what year the calendar says, he or she is free to acknowledge things that really did happen to him or her, like Umino and Naru getting together, or Yuichiro working at the shrine. Of course, even before the world’s memories were restored, some things slipped through the cracks guided by fate, and this also can be used to explain things like Yuichiro and Umino.

    In short: During Sailor Moon R proper (post Ail An arc), everyone remembers the first attempt at 1993 as fully well as they remember any other year of their lives. Everyone’s physiological nature has been reset a year, but everyone accepts the time anomaly, and it doesn’t bother anyone too much.

    It is true that memories are somehow physiological phenomena, and it is not clear how scientifically legitimate it is to say that 13 year old Usagi could have memories (including recollections of the five senses) of something 14 year old Usagi experienced. But as they say “a wizard did it.” If time can be reset, then it can work.

  7. You mentioned above that Usagi starts the 8th grade in 1992. I would still say it should be 1991. Since the manga was released in December 28, 1991, the school year would have to be set that previous April while Naoko Takeuchi was putting together the manga.

    On that note, I really enjoy your pieces! They raise great questions for this landmark series enjoyed by everyone young, old, male and female! 🙂

  8. You mentioned above that Asuga was in her 2nd year of Jr high in 1992. At least with the manga, I would put her in her 2nd year of Jr high in 1991.

    If the manga was released in December 28, 1991, it would make sense that Naoko Takeuchi was working on it during Japan’s April 1991 school year.  In that case, if you look at the production period she would entered 8th grade in April 1991as she was writing it.

    I enjoy your in-depth articles. They are really interesting! Keep up the thorough work!

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