The first time anyone sees the Sailor Moon R movie, I’m pretty sure one of the things to pop into their head is that, you know, the villain of the movie looks an awful lot like those villains, Ail and An, who appeared in the Cardian Arc of the anime. Surprisingly, though, despite the fact that it’s pretty obvious and seems like a consistency issue you’d like to address, absolutely none of the Sailor Soldiers (or even Fiore himself) address this issue. As silly as it sounds, this has been nagging at me for years and I finally decided to take a look into it.
One of the things that makes it much more difficult to use the Sailor Moon anime as a source when trying to pin down its various mysteries is the fact that you can never quite be sure what parts of the story are meant to be canon (i.e., fit into the larger context of the story and “actually happened”) and what events are meant to be side stories. Making matters worse, the anime wasn’t even too concerned about internal consistency for events that were clearly canon, like Sailor Pluto’s death at the end of Sailor Moon S and her casual reappearance in the SuperS movie and in the Stars anime, as if nothing had happened.
Typically, though, I think it’s safe to say that the Sailor Moon movies are non-canon, especially since the Sailor Team doesn’t seem too particularly concerned with other enemies at the time (the Black Moon Family is never mentioned in the R movie, etc.) and at the beginning of each season and the arrival of the next threat, it seems pretty clear that they haven’t been fighting any other enemies in the mean-time. That said, the Cardian Arc itself could be considered non-canon, which leaves us with a possible double-non-canon interesting plot issue.
Researching this issue lead me to a source I’ve gone to before to answer series canon questions; the December 1993 edition of Animage magazine1 which featured an interview on page 28 with the Sailor Moon R series (and movie) director, Kunihiro Ikuhara2 as a part of the promotion machine for the then-upcoming Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie.3 Much to my surprise, he actually addresses this question head on:
“As you can tell by looking at the enemy, this story is a renewal of the Ail and An arc. Of course, the angle we’re telling [the story from] is completely different.”
“Renewal,” when used like this in Japanese, would be akin to a remake in the West, with the implication that something has been updated and redone better than before, as with a shop being renewed, or the re-release shinsouban manga which was referred to as the “Renewal Edition.”4
So after all these years of wondering if they’re from the same planet, if they were siblings, or if maybe all aliens outside of the Sol system looked that way (though this was disproved in Stars), it turns out the answer is really quite simple: the movie is taking the basic premise of the Cardian Arc and is a retelling, using story elements from the Black Moon Family (primarily ChibiUsa’s existence) to flesh out the story.
I’m happy to have this mystery finally put to rest, though to be honest a part of me does wish that there was a bit more to the story. I’ve always been a fan of the Cardian Arc and the characters appearing therein, so it would have been nice to see the story expanded upon rather than re-written. But it is good to know that Mr. Ikuhara did address the issue!
- A Japanese magazine for fans of anime and manga; see Animage (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Kunihiro Ikuhara (Wikipedia) ↩
- Released on December 4, 1993; see Sailor Moon R: The Movie (Wikipedia) ↩
- See Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Shinsouban ↩
15 thoughts on “Why Does Fiore Look So Much Like Ail and An?”
Excellent article as always! I figured this was the case. Fiore’s backstory is pretty vague, so fans *could* interpret that he was possibly a descendant of the Makaiju.
This does prove once again, the movies are not cannon! Thank you!
Thanks! Another interesting bit of trivia connecting their story lines that, sadly, I couldn’t find any place to fit into this article was that the voice actress who played An in the Sailor Moon R anime, Yumi Touma, also played the voice of the Xenian in the Sailor Moon R movie. At the same time, Hikaru Midorikawa (the voice actor for Ail) also played Fiore, so they were a team in both the anime and the movie!
Whoa that is crazy!
Thanks for clearing this up! I am actually sad to learn that they aren’t related at all, though. But this makes sense.
I know! I was hoping there was originally more planned with this alien race that just never went anywhere, but I guess the re-write makes sense too, in its own way.
It’s nice that they brought back the same voice artists, though!
Big Eyes Small Mouth – Sailor Moon RPG game. Page 140.
“Are there any other Three of Life children still alive? In the first sailor moon theatrical movie, an alien named Fiore bears a striking resemblance to Alan.”
He looks SO much like him, one could even say he’s a reimagining. =D
The RPG suggested that it could be a plot-point for another villain to fight – like a nation of Doom Tree Aliens, the GM to use as a plot-line of save the other children from evil villian XYZ, and partially confirms a relationship.
I absolutely loved that RPG book. I really wish it gained more traction… =(
There was an old collective of ambitious fanfic writers who made an expanded universe for the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon anime to come up with new adventures and tie any loose ends they weren’t satisfied with, sticking as well as they could with the anime canon (not always successful; some of it was obviously informed by the Dic dub supplemented with information on the original from online guides; of course, I did the same back then). Anyway, they came up with an interesting explanation for the similarities between Al, En and Fiore; Fiore’s people visited the lonely Makaiju long ago, and the Makaiju based its progeny off them.
Thanks for sharing this! I just took a look through the website last night and WOW, the dedication that so many fans put into this is quite fascinating, even going so far as to make alphabets and languages for the Youma.
It’s too bad that the original canon never bothered to go this far!
All of this work is especially admirable when you consider that it was all done in the early days of the internet — no wikis, few English translations of Sailor Moon materials, and no ready access to a lot of the original Japanese books or movies.
Way back 90’s, I even bought the Original VCR of the Movie R, after so many years after reading this issue, it was cleared that villain characters was only Rewritten for the Movie R.. Maybe it would have been better if they expanded some Stories linking Fiore to Ail and An of the Cardian Arc. Or used Fiore in the Movie R but not look alike Ail and An that confused viewers..
I agree, I think they lost out on a lot of potential of just building on the story that Ail & An started in the Makaiju arc. They didn’t even need to go too far into the connection, but it would’ve been nice to not just throw that all away.
Interesting theory, my theory is this: Fiore was born around the time when the Makaiju tree was facing it’s crisis. Resulting in Fiore to be transferred to the flower planet!
in my own world, this is it. he is anothe alien lost after having spawned as a single child and drifting into space. where ail and an were lucky to have been together, he was alone, was found (like the little prince’s rose) by the flower, who was his only friend until mamorou.