SAILOR MOON R- THE MOVIE:
Yes, they made three movies for the Sailor Moon franchise. The animation is of course glorious compared to anything you’d see in the cartoon, with bodies having both shading AND highlights, and the frame-rate going up a bit, too, with lots of glamorous shots and better posing than the “straight-on” stuff from a more mundane TV episode. The three middle seasons, Sailor Moon R, S and SuperS, all received a film. The continuity is pretty nil, as things don’t line up with what we see in the various seasons, so these don’t really “count”, not that much of note happens that would stick around for later.
So we start off with a clip of a very young Mamoru sharing a rose with a mysterious other boy, who then disappears in a puff of smoke. And then, in the modern day, the Sailors’ little day out at a botanical garden is interrupted by the same guy, who appears to be VERY touchy-feely with Mamoru. Finding out that Usagi is Mamo’s girlfriend, he shoves her in anger and then disappears. And in a very bizarre unspoken coincidence, this “Fiore” fellow has the EXACT same design as Ail from Sailor Moon R‘s first half, both the Alien Form and Human Form.
Fiore, in his true form.
The girls have a hilarious discussion about what this means- Sailor Mars teases Usagi about Mamo possibly being “friendly” with the stranger, and then even AMI goes “I guess Mamoru is popular with the guys, too…”, shocking even Rei. “Ami, you and your dirty little mind!” appears in the original dialogue, while the dub drops in a “not that there’s anything WRONG with that!”
We get a nice moment in a flashback between Usagi & Mamo, where he talks about his parents being dead, but confesses that “maybe I was meant to be along, so that I could meet you, Usako”. Craziness is soon afoot, though, as people have their energy drained by a mysterious flower, which then turns them into vine-controlled zombies. A brief struggle is ended by Sailor Mars doing a CRAZY ninja-jump, then whipping out dozens of “Evil Spirit Be Exorcised!” papers at once, dropping the entire crowd! Soon, the flower turns into a fanservicey Flower Centaur Chick, who just SLAMS Ami & Rei into the security gate of a closed store! Seriously, that damn impact shook the SCREEN! The Sailors all transform and fight the thing.
Sexy Flower Centaur here is our Disposable Mook, who follows all SORTS of anime laws (such as “As soon as you multiply into many, you are 1000 times easier to defeat”).
Sailor Moon arrives and they’re finally able to kill it after a HELL of a fight, at which point Fiore descends, transforms into an alien dude (Ail’s design, but with a new outfit), and reveals a “Xenian Flower” on his lapel- a sexy topless chick with Godiva Hair… about six inches high. Luna & Artemis seem to know what it is, too. He EASILY destroys the Sailors using deft dodging and Invisible Energy Blasts, but is confronted by Tuxedo Mask, recognizing him as his Mamo. Fiore gets angry and attacks with a sword, but Mamo saves Usagi… even leaping in the way of Death Fingernails, which deliver mortal wounds. Fiore, shocked at this sacrifice (he obviously doesn’t watch the TV show), teleports himself & Mamoru away.
Nudie Flower-Centaur here is Fiore’s “Bad Angel”.
Luna & Artemis are now able to do their “Now That It’s Important, We Remember Stuff” exposition, explaining that a Xenian Flower attaches itself to weak-minded people, filling them with an evil energy that eventually consumes entire worlds- “the number of planets the Xenian Flower has destroyed in this galaxy are too numerous to count”. Sailor Moon is too heartbroken to care, but Chibi-Usa and the others convince her to buck up. They do a “Sailor Teleport” to an asteroid floating in outer space, revealing that… Sailor Teleport can transport MILLIONS of miles, AND give them life support? Yikes.
Fiore’s Death Fingers.
Fiore of course begins monologuing, stating that his plot is to send Xenian seeds to Earth, at which point they will exterminate all life on the planet. And then he summons literally hundreds of Flower Monsters to attack the girls! At which point our heroines magically gain Area Attacks where none existed before, with Sailor Jupiter’s “Supreme Thunder!” killing over twenty monsters with a single arc, and the others act in kind. Mars in particular gets a CRAZY elaborate version of “Fire Soul!”, shooting fire between her hands and then doing a pirouette amidst a burning spiral. Even Sailor Moon does the “Shoots out a Line, then pivots to wipe out hundreds” thing. The monsters coalesce into a giant undulating tree-thing, crashing down on the Sailors just after Mars grabs Moon and throws her out of the way.
Sailor Moon tries to give up in order to save her friends (Mars screams at her, tears in her eyes, calling her a coward), but her sacrifice actually causes Fiore’s brainwashing to nearly break. The Xenian Flower re-takes control by wrapping herself around him like a furry stole made of arms, and nearly kills her, telling her that she’s a liar who just takes from everyone. The Sailors ultimately come to her defense, remembering all the time they spent alone before Usagi befriended them (even MARS- “If we’d never met her- we’d all be alone!”), and Tuxedo Mask throws a rose into his chest, nearly killing him.
His asteroid, now dead, prepares a suicide attack into earth (“If I can’t have you, then I’ll destroy the Earth with me”), but Sailor Moon unleashes her “Princess Serenity” form, meaning she’s doomed (because using the full power of the Silver Crystal is fatal to the wielder, remember). The other Sailors try to stop her, but she slows the descent and the asteroid breaks apart- Fiore (and his flower) is vaporized, realizing the error of his ways (witnessing that the flower Mamo gave him as a gift years ago was itself given to Mamoru by a toddler-aged Usagi, and that Usagi didn’t “steal him” away- she allows him to be happy). The Sailors & Mamo mourn their friend (grouchy Mars is, naturally, inconsolable and by far the most bereft- god this series is so good you guys), but Fiore’s last act is to give Mamoru the power to return Usagi to life. And everyone cries, as the day is saved.
But I’m not crying with them, you guys. Absolutely not. This show… it’s never made me cry… not ever… *sob*!
Very nice little movie. It’s only an hour long, preventing too much time-wasting, so the editing is sharp. The animation and fight scenes are PHENOMENAL, easily crushing that of the show. It’s basically out of continuity (nobody comments on Fiore’s familiar appearance, nor the Black Moon Clan that should be part of their lives at this point), but hits all of the marks of the show- grumpy Mars, bratty Chibi-Usa, the girls’ devotion to each other, True Love ™, a villain who learns the error of his ways (and dies in the process), and some Noble Sacrifices (actually, MULTIPLE ones!).
Also it ends with this song, which you can only see in YouTube, in the original dub. GOD DAMN do I love “You Can Do It!” rock: