What’s the Current Status of the Sailor Moon Eternal Movie?

Sailor Moon Eternal (September 11, 2020)

Sailor Moon Eternal (September 11, 2020)

In spite of all the different anime, manga, musicals, live action TV dramas, and even novelizations that retell the same story, it’s probably safe to say that Sailor Moon Crystai is probably the most divisive adaptation within the Sailor Moon franchise.

But regardless of which side of the fence you sit on in this never-ending debate,1 I think we can all agree that it’s been way too long since the story left off a full three and a half years ago.

Fortunately, that wait is almost over.

Today we’re going to see what the cast and crew behind the Sailor Moon: Eternal movie have to say about the upcoming release and see what we can uncover! You may want to grab some popcorn, because it’s going to be a long ride ahead!

Sailor Moon Eternal logo

Sailor Moon Eternal logo

Fortunately for those of us who have been starved for information, the latest issue of the Pretty Guardian Fanclub newsletter came with a quick little Q & A between Luna and Usagi (a cute FAQ device Sailor Moon has been using for years) along with a few passages from the cast and crew working on the Sailor Moon Eternal movie.2

The Q & A is rather simple and bare bones in that it provides the reader with a little reminder on what the Sailor Moon manga’s Dream story arc is about, but it does provide some interesting hints as to what the movie will focus on and how the story will be split up.

Usagi: The release date for the Sailor Moon Eternal movie has finally been announced. It’ll hit theaters right after the Olympics finish up.

Luna: Hopefully everyone won’t get too wrapped up in the games and fall behind on their work!

Nothing particularly new here, but then they go on to provide a little more information on the story, likely for the fans that grew up only with the anime.

Usagi: So what happens in Act 4 of the manga, anyway?

Luna: You’ve already forgot? You’ve got the memory of a goldfish, Usagi. It’s the story of a group calling itself the Dead Moon Circus that had been locked away inside a mirror breaking free during a solar eclipse.

Usagi: Oh, yeah, that! ChibiUsa and I switch bodies and a lot of other weird stuff happens. And when I couldn’t go back home, I got to stay over at Mamo-chan’s place…

Luna: Well I guess you remember that part, at least. Anyway, ChibiUsa plays a big part in the story, about as big as her part in the Black Moon arc. Since the movie will be following along the manga’s storyline, there connection between ChibiUsa and Helios will be a big part of it.

I hate to be pedantic,3 but technically Usagi also spent the night at Mamoru’s place several times in the manga at this point. But hey, who’s counting?4

Usagi: I saw the imagery released with the earlier announcement and it looks like Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako are also going to be in it. But what about Haruka, Michiru, and the other Outer Senshi?

Luna: Well, this is just the first half of the story, so… I guess which half Hotaru’s reawakening appears in will be a bit part of the overall story.

Usagi: Hmm, I’m really curious. I guess we could just ask the director and screenwriter about it?

Luna: You need to wait until the movie comes out, Usagi! But I think everyone has a lot to look forward to when it comes to which stories [from the manga] will be featured.

There goes Usagi, breaking the fourth wall again. But they do raise an interesting point here regarding how the movie will be broken up. Honestly, I can’t think of a good “halfway” point in the Dream manga, so I’m curious how they plan on pacing the story.

Usagi: Aww, now I’m too excited thinking about the movie to sleep!

Luna: I wouldn’t worry too much about that, Usagi. You’ll just make it up through one of your afternoon naps. Anyway, the movie will be opening up to audiences across Japan on September 11, 2020. I hope to see you there!

Usagi: In the name of the Moon, I’ll punish you!

Kazuko Tadano (1993)

Kazuko Tadano (1993)

Next up we have some comments from movie director Chiaki Kon,5, screenwriter Kazuyuki Fudeyasu,6, and long-time Sailor Moon alumni and animation director Kazuko Tadano.7

Chiaki Kon: I think we all, including myself, have been long time fans of Sailor Moon and I’m incredibly honored to continue my work from [Sailor Moon Crystal] season 3 on into season 4 (the Sailor Moon Eternal movie). I really hope to bring all the fine detail in the manga to the big screen.

Kazuyuki Fudeyasu: A long time ago, a young girl once taught me that a star burns brightly in the hearts of us all. It is with great joy that I’ve been offered the chance to write Usagi’s story and I can’t wait to see it come to life on the big screen. My only hope is that the happiness I’ve been granted in this role is somehow conveyed to all of you who see it. I hope a star burns in the hearts of all you as well!

Kazuko Tadano: The first visual I worked on for this, and which was ultimately used for the movie’s announcement, as done in reference to a beautiful pose done by Ms. Takeuchi. It’s incredibly difficult work to bring the adorable features presented in both the 90s anime and the manga together into one work and I went through several mis-starts. I felt worried every time a new character was announced, but I’m always comforted to see all the lovely messages posted online [about the designs]. This is my second time working on the Sailor Moon series, but there are so many characters that are new to me that I feel like I’m starting fresh. I’ll do my best, and thanks for cheering me on!

Kotono Mitsuishi - The Voice of Sailor Moon

Kotono Mitsuishi – The Voice of Sailor Moon

Finally, we have some brief thoughts from Kotono Mitsuishi8 and Misato Fukuen,9 voices of Usagi and ChibiUsa respectively.

Kotono Mitsuishi: I’m really glad to have the opportunity to get all the cast together and see each other once again. You can really tell the love that the anime team has put into this movie. I’m looking forward to seeing the Sailor Soldiers running around up on the big screen once again!

Misato Fukuen: It continues! And as a movie! I’ve been looking forward to this ever since I first heard about it. Plus, since this will be the Dead Moon arc, that means that an character important to ChibiUsa will make an appearance. I’m really looking forward to playing out her character as she deals with her first flitterings of love and starting to mature into an adult. I hope you’re also excited to see the beautiful, adorable, and strong Sailor Soldiers [as they come to the big screen]!

So what did we learn from all this?

So what did we learn from all this?

Admittedly the information could be charitably described as “sparse” at best, but I think it does a good job of getting across what we can look forward to and what they intend to focus on. It’s clear from the multiple mentions that the relationship between ChibiUsa and Helios will be an important part of the story.

Read also:  What Other Anime Have the Sailor Moon Cast Worked on Together?

I may be reading too much into it, but the lack of committing to Haruka, Michiru, Hotaru, and Setsuna seems to suggest to me that part one will focus almost exclusively on the Inner Senshi. That could just be me, though.

So what do you think? What parts of the Dream manga would you consider are absolutely indispensable to the telling of the story and which ones do you think will get glossed over? Will you see the movie in theaters? Let me know down below!


References:

  1. To be fair, I personally find it ridiculous that there even are “debates” over a subjective matter of opinion, but that’s neither here nor there.
  2. See Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Mailer Vol. 13
  3. Actually, no, I enjoy it…
  4. Me.
  5.  See Chiaki Kon (Wikipedia)
  6.  See Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Wikipedia)
  7.  See Kazuko Tadano (Wikipedia)
  8.  See Kotono Mitsuishi (Wikipedia)
  9.  See Misato Fukuen (Wikipedia)

28 thoughts on “What’s the Current Status of the Sailor Moon Eternal Movie?

  1. i dont think that the other four will appear untill the second movie they might get talked about for a second in the first part but i think that will be it it might even be how they open the second movie with the other four and seeing how there new lifes are going but the first movie will be about ChibiUsa and Helio with a little bit about Usagi and Mamoru and just a little bit with the others but i think that ChibiUsa and Helio will be steeling the show

  2. I want to see a lot of Pegasus and Chibiusa together. Oh add me in it Sailor Sun!

  3. Usagi mentions the thing about her and Chibiusa switching ages. But wasn’t that only in the old anime? In that episode when Palla-Palla switched their ages. I don’t remember that being in the manga too. (I only bring it up because Crystal follows the manga storyline).

    The uncertainty about the Outers’ appearance makes me think they won’t show up till Part 2 (I doubt they’ll write them out of the Dream Arc entirely, like they did in the 90s anime [minus the special with Haruka and Michiru and the SuperS movie]). They don’t show up till the second half of Venus’s Crystal Power awakening story in the manga anyway. Depending on how long the movie is, it might just focus on establishing the Dead Moon Circus, the Inners getting new powers, and starting Chibiusa and Helios’s lpve story. Then the second movie will bring in the Outers and carry the story to its conclusion. That’s my theory anyway.

    • The age switch absolutely WAS in the manga, at the end of the first Dream chapter. Actually, I’ve been wondering why the anime even bothered with that plot by the point it happened there. Maybe the manga readers liked it?

      I think they might have the Outers appear briefly at the end of Part 1. Or just Hotaru, at least. Would be a nice teaser for Part 2, and in line with how the previous Crystal seasons ended on cliffhangers. (But wait, doesn’t Minako’s chapter end on a literal cliffhanger? Hmmm… My main complaint about the two-part movie format was that it was bound to ruin some of those, particularly the one a bit later into the story. You know, when the nightmare starts? That was a mean one.)

        • Thanks you two. I just checked my copies of the manga and you’re totally right. Guess it’s been a while since I read it!

          Yeah maybe the Outers will appear briefly at the end of Part 1. Or maybe there will just be hints. Flashbacks of Setsuna, Michiru, and Haruka appear in the Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter Dream chapters respectively, plus their actual debut chapter mentions how they sensed the eclipse that the Dead Moon used to get to Earth. So there’s ways of making it work.

    • It was part of an episode in the nineties, yes. But it is also plays a bigger part in the manga. I would be a little disappointed if its again solely focused on ChibiUsa. I got nothing against the girl, Crystal (yes, I am part of that 2% that loved Crystal more than the 90’s version) did a good job in clearing her bratty image but still, dream holds more to just the focus on her. It also shows miscommunications can also affect a relationship. So I am reaaally hoping they even things out well.

      • Yeah I think the 90s anime version made that arc too much about Chibiusa. The Dream Arc in the manga DOES have some focus on Chibiusa, in terms of her romance with Helios and helping her mature. (Also Helios doesn’t act all weird when she switches ages like he does in the 90s anime). But the arc is just as much about Mamoru coming into his own and awakening the Golden Crystal. It is also an arc that really brings all 10 Senshi together as a team for the first time, and has everyone reaffirm their duty as Senshi even as they’re growing up and developing other dreams. (I do have an issue with the implication that their dreams as humans somehow don’t matter at all in light of their Senshi duties, though. Their whole lives can’t be about saving the world, right? I like to think that even in Crystal Tokyo they’re not doing Senshi business all the time. I mean, if that other article on TU is right and Usagi had time to go to college and stuff before taking the throne, maybe the others did too. But I digress).

        • I am totally on board with your opinion. I even dare to believe in my mind that they are not supposed to be at that castle all the time because it breaks all the speech Usagi does in the first season when Luna tells her that shes the new ruler of the rebuilt silver millenium. To give up everything just to be senshi doesn’t suit (to me) the whole point of the series. There has to be a balance.

        • I completely agree that the original anime focused way too much on ChibiUsa in the Dream Arc! To be honest, I got a bit bored with that anime arc, because it sidelined the other Senshi. (Although, when the anime was made, I guess from a marketing standpoint, the ChibiUsa focus makes sense, if merchandising, etc., was trying to target a younger audience).

        • Well, none of the inner senshi seems to be married, not to mention with children, in the Crystal Tokyo. And considering how angry Japanese parents were a few years back when a teacher chose her only son’s entrance ceremony instead of her own, the notion to give up oneself for one’s duty totally fits even contemporary Japanese sentiment. Living one’s dream would be so much more unnatural.

          That, however, makes the question of the next generation even more interesting. Since there is no sailor offspring apparently, the only way would be some Dalai Lama’ing. But that would mean sailors in crutches fighting until they are killed. Or suicides to rejuvenate themselves.

    • The switch in the manga is also more significant than the anime that plays it up mostly as a gimmick. The switch continues Chibiusa’s progression from the stunted child before the Black Moon attack to a girl on the cusp of becoming a maiden. It demonstrates her earned maturity. If animated well, it could be a strong moment in the show.

      Usagi’s half is less impactful, but still important for a point future in the storyline where she needs to decide if she still wants to fight.

      Ending the first movie with Haruka going into the store to meet Michiru and emphasizing the promise rings would be perfect. Open the next movie at that scene and finish it because that entire chapter is a great mix of humor and one of the few times we see the Outers as people instead of impossibly cool soldiers.

  4. If I was to guess, they’ll either end it as a cliff hanger with Minako dangling off the edge of a cliff… or they’ll briefly show the outers as they arrive to save the rest of the inners, with the second movie starting off showing their home life and the events leading up to that point.

  5. Thank you so much for the scoop!

    If they get to Minako’s cliff-hanger in the 1st film, it would be cool if they included the part where Artemis appears to her in human form. If I remember correctly, the anime didn’t show him in human form, which was a shame, since it adds more depth to Minako’s connection with Artemis and also gives the cats more of a spotlight, since they are just as important a part of the team.

    I also wonder if at some point, they would turn some of the Exam War Chapters where Mako-chan procrastinates studying and Minako gets into shenanigans at Rei’s school into short features similar to the Ami’s Love Letter adaptation from the 90’s. It would be a nice chance to show them as students who still have a real life outside of battling the villains.

  6. Well, that’s interesting- so they’re gonna shorten the “Dream Arc” into two movies then? Did I read that right? I know the manga chapters are more easily distilled into smaller form than the anime’s story was, but that does seem rather quick.

      • Frankly I’m not happy with the idea of the story being even more rushed than it is already. They go from 26 episodes, down to 13 and now 2 movies. Never mind that the writing and characterisation for Crystal is bad enough already. Or that the fact that the Dream Arc (which I have always found tediously overated) just straight up ruins Minako and Artemis’s relationship by injecting a completely creepy and pointless romantic angle into it…

  7. How I wish we got these mailers (in English) as “Overseas” members of the Sailor Moon Fan Club!

    I just now got my 4th year membership gifts that I paid for almost a year ago!

  8. Pingback: "Sailor Moon Eternal" - Alles was du zum neuen Kinofilm wissen musst!

  9. Pingback: Here’s the latest news on the Sailor Moon Eternal films from the Sailor Moon Fan Club newsletter | Sailor Moon News

    • Less filler? The Sailor Moon manga is the antithesis of filler. Half the reason its fandom is so robust is due to half explained or dropped plot points casually thrown around over the five story arcs. There’s almost nothing to cut out. If anything, I think a lot of fans were hoping Crystal would elaborate on some of those points. It’s not like Crystal doesn’t have the luxury of hindsight to clean up the unplanned mess that the manga unfortunately is.

  10. I can’t believe it’s been 3.5 years… where has the time gone…

    I also can’t believe you’ve produced so much content to keep this site so active over the years! You’ve done incredible work.

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