Sailor Moon R: The Movie

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Sailor Moon R: The Movie
Sailor moon dvd cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara
Produced by Iriya Azuma
Screenplay by Sukehiro Tomita
Based on Sailor Moon 
by Naoko Takeuchi
Starring Kotono Mitsuishi
Aya Hisakawa
Michie Tomizawa
Emi Shinohara
Rika Fukami
Tōru Furuya
Hikaru Midorikawa
Music by Takanori Arisawa
Cinematography Motoi Takahashi
Edited by Yasuhiro Yoshikawa
Production
  company
Toei Animation
Distributed by Toei Company
Release date(s)
  • December 5, 1993 (1993-12-05)
Running time 62 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Sailor Moon R: The Movie is the first of three theatrically released Sailor Moon films. Its full name in Japanese, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R The Movie (劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンR Gekijōban Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Āru?), became Sailor Moon R the Movie: The Promise of the Rose in the English-language dub. The film debuted in Japanese theaters on December 5, 1993 and Pioneer Entertainment released it in the United States on February 8, 2000.[1] It takes its name from the second arc of the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon R, as Toei Company distributed it around the same time. The events portrayed seem to take place somewhere in the very end of the series, as Chibiusa knows about the identities of the Sailor Soldiers, the characters are in the present rather than the future, and Mamoru and Usagi are back together.

Plot[edit]

A young Mamoru Chiba hands a mysterious boy a rose before he disappears, vowing to bring Mamoru a flower. In the present, Mamoru meets up with Usagi Tsukino and the Sailor Soldiers at the Jindai Botanical Garden. Usagi attempts to kiss Mamoru, but when he suspects the other girls of spying on him, he walks off outside alone.

The stranger appears from the garden's fountain and takes Mamoru's hands into his own, which makes Usagi uncomfortable. Usagi tries to break the man's grasp from Mamoru, but is knocked down. The man vows that no one will prevent him from keeping his promise before disappearing again. Mamoru tells Usagi that the stranger's name is Fiore. At Rei Hino's temple, the Sailor Soldiers discuss an asteroid which has started to approach Earth and on which Luna and Artemis have discovered traces of vegetal life. The talk turns into rumors about Mamoru's and Fiore's possible relationship, while Usagi thinks about how Mamoru had told her that he had no family and was alone, and how she had promised him she would be his family from now on.

Fiore sends a flower-monster, Glycina, to Tokyo in order to drain the population's life-energy, but the Sailor Soldiers free them and destroy the monster. Fiore appears, revealing his responsibility for the attack, and uses a Xenian flower before severely injuring the Sailor Soldiers. Mamoru attempts to talk Fiore out of fighting but the Xenian flower controls Fiore's mind. After Mamoru saves Usagi from certain death by intercepting his attack, Fiore takes Mamoru to an asteroid rapidly approaching Earth and begins to revive him in a crystal filled with liquid. While in the crystal, Mamoru remembers meeting Fiore after his parents died in a car accident. Mamoru had previously assumed that he had made up the boy as an imaginary friend. Fiore explains that he had to leave Mamoru because of the Earth's unsuitable atmosphere; Mamoru gave Fiore a rose before disappearing. Fiore searched the galaxy to find a flower for Mamoru, finding the Xenian flower in the process. Seeking revenge on the humans for his loneliness, Fiore returns to Earth.

Meanwhile, Luna and Artemis tell the Sailor Soldiers that the Xenian flower can destroy planets using weak-hearted people. Ami Mizuno realizes that the energy from the asteroid matches the flower-monster's evil energy, deducing that Fiore has hidden there. The Sailor Soldiers decide to rescue Mamoru. Despite her initial reluctance, the Sailors and Chibiusa convince Usagi to save Mamoru and confront Fiore.

After the Sailor Soldiers fly to the asteroid, Fiore reveals that he will scatter flower-seeds to drain humanity's energy on Earth. The Sailors Soldiers then fight hundreds of flower-monsters, but they end up captured. When Fiore orders Usagi to surrender, she is unable to feel his loneliness; Fiore begins to drain her life-force. Mamoru escapes and saves Sailor Moon by throwing a rose at Fiore. The rose embedded in Fiore's chest blossoms, freeing him from the Xenian's control. The flowers on the asteroid disappear, but it continues to hurtle towards Earth. Usagi uses the Silver Crystal to transform into Princess Serenity to change the course of the asteroid. Fiore tries to stop Usagi's transformation, but he soon realizes that when Usagi and Mamoru were children, she had given Mamoru the rose that was once given to him after Fiore had left. Fiore and the Xenian are obliterated by the Silver Crystal. Mamoru and the Sailor Soldiers combine powers with Usagi to sustain the Silver Crystal as the asteroid descends towards Earth. The Silver Crystal shatters, the asteroid disintegrates and Usagi dies of exhaustion. On Earth, despite Luna and Artemis' concern over why the Sailor Soldiers are taking too long, Chibiusa assures them that the girls are all right.

Meanwhile, on the disintegrated asteroid, the Soldiers and Mamoru are devastated by the death of Usagi, but Fiore reappears and thanks Mamoru. Using a nectar-filled flower with Fiore's life-energy, Mamoru wets his lips with the nectar and kisses Usagi, reviving her and repowering the Silver Crystal. Fiore, reduced to the form of a child again, returns to space to live in peace.

Cast[edit]

New characters[edit]

Fiore[edit]

Fiore in his adult alien form

Fiore (フィオレ Fiore?, literally "flower" in Italian) is a lonely alien who takes great strength from his friendship with Mamoru Chiba, spending many years searching for a worthy flower for Mamoru. The film heavily implies that he possesses an unrequited love for Mamoru, but never specifically confirms or denies this. He had arrived on Earth at around the same time that Mamoru's parents had died. The two boys became close friends at this time, but Fiore found Earth's atmosphere unsuitable for breathing, so he had to leave the planet. Mamoru gives him the gift of a rose, and Fiore resolves to return some day with a worthy flower for Mamoru. This quest for a flower puts him in the path of the Xenian flower.

Fiore in the Italian language means "flower". According to the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R Movie Memorial Album, director Kunihiko Ikuhara noted that Fiore's full name appears in written Japanese script as Fiorieiru (フィオリエイル Lit. Fiore (フィオレ) + alien (エイリアン)?)[2]

Fiore and the Xenian Flower are intended as homages to Al and En, the Makaiju children from the first arc of Sailor Moon R.[3]

Fiore appears in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game. He has been restored by Apsu and guards the Gates of Time. Tuxedo Mask states to Fiore that Apsu has deceived him which Fiore doesn't believe. This causes Tuxedo Mask to end up dueling Fiore.

In the original Japanese version, Hikaru Midorikawa voices Fiore as an adult, and Tomoko Maruo voices him as a child. In the English dub, Joel Feeney voices him as an adult, and Mary Long voices him as a child[citation needed].

Xenian Flower[edit]

The Xenian Flower.

The Xenian (キセニアン Kisenian?) Flower, known as the "Kisenian Blossom" in the English dub is a flower used by Fiore. The name reflects the botanical term "xenia", which according to the OED is a term for a specific action of hybridization which refers to "direct action or influence of foreign pollen upon the seed or fruit which is pollinated". The word itself is based on the Greek concept for hospitality.[4]

The Xenian Flower has to destroy stars and planets in order to survive. Alone, she holds no power. Thus she needs a host: preferably someone with a "vulnerable heart" (like Fiore). Luna calls the Xenian the "most dangerous flower in the universe," and Artemis says that hundreds of planets have been destroyed in this galaxy due to a Xenian Flower.

Once she has picked her prospective victims, the Xenian Flower begins pouring "hatred" into their weak hearts, causing them to fall under her spell and carry out her every whim. Eventually, through her subject, she will have grown powerful enough to destroy the entire planet along with the unfortunate individual whom she had deceived. After the flower has destroyed any star or planet, she sits and waits once more for the next unsuspecting person to come along and succumb to her allure.

Yumi Tōma voices the Xenian Flower in the original Japanese. Susan Aceron voices the Kisenian blossom in the English dubbed version[citation needed].

Flower Monster[edit]

A race of plant-like monsters of unknown origins that are known to feed off energy. They are spawned from the seeds of the Xenian Flower and come in different types. They are in no relation to the monsters from the Dark Kingdom.

Dahlian[edit]

The Dahlians are the weakest variety of the Flower Monsters. Though they make up for it by attacking in numbers. Their lower bodies were snake-like and they were highly agile, displaying the ability to move as a single mass when required. The Dahlians seems to remain connected to a source-flower while the independent is the flower itself. Most of them were destroyed by each of the Sailor Soldiers' attacks.

Dahlian appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game.

Glycina[edit]

The Glycina are a power variety of the Flower Monsters and often work alone. In their dormant form, only their lower bodies were visible, consisting of six legs that were almost insectoid in nature. When necessary, they could grow to full size and reveal their humanoid upper bodies. Their arms could transform into energy-draining vines, and the energy they collected was stored in a large flower on their backs. One fought the Sailor Soldiers after Rei exorcized its control vines off its victims. Glycina tried to absorb the energy of the other Sailor Soldiers until Sailor Moon freed them with her Moon Tiara Action. It dodged the Sailor Soldiers' attacks before being destroyed by Sailor Moon's Moon Princess Halation.

Glycina appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game.

Voiced in the Japanese version by Wakana Yamazaki.

Campanula[edit]

The Campanula are dragonfly-like Flower Monsters that bear a close resemblance to humans of all known varieties. They were able to fly at great speeds, and could extend blades from their arms for defensive purposes. The Campanulas are never seen with or as its flower so it's unknown what its design is in relation to its original flower. It attacked the Sailor Soldiers upon their arrival on Fiore's asteroid before being destroyed by the Sailors' Sailor Planet Attack.

Campanula appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game.

Voiced in the Japanese version by Hiromi Nishikawa

English Release[edit]

This movie's English adaptation produced by Pioneer and Optimum Productions was released both edited and unedited. The cut version, seen in the VHS and television formats, used the original DIC music from the series, and had the transformation sequences airbrushed to remove bodylines that were tracing the characters' breasts. During the beginning of the end song "The Power of Love," Serenity is completely nude with ribbons flowing around her. When viewed completely from the front the shot is lowered to remove any signs of her lower half below the naval area.[1] The uncut version, only seen in the DVD release, kept the original Japanese music and bodylines as well as the original format during the end song with Serenity complete nude scene untouched.[5] A special uncut subtitled version of the movie had earlier been released on VHS on August 31, 1999.[6] On May 16, 2014, the film was re-licensed for an updated English-language release by Viz Media.

Reception[edit]

Alison Hynes of Anime News Network said the Sailor Moon R film is an ideal introduction to the series.[7] Chris Beveridge of Mania said the film was essentially "a solid long episode".[8] Rob Lineberger of DVD Verdict said the film stays true to the Sailor Moon formula and also said that the film contains "real drama and emotion".[9] Ikuhara's direction has also been praised, and the artwork in the film is superior to that of the series, although it has deteriorated slightly, and that the pacing is good.[10][11] Patrick Drazen considers the opening flashback to be "reminiscent of François Truffaut".[12]

Make Up! Sailor Soldier[edit]

Japanese theaters showed a trailer before the Sailor Moon R movie: a 15-minute short named Make Up! Sailor Soldier. Usagi and Chibiusa overhear two girls talking about the Sailor Soldiers after they see a poster. As the girls debate over the smartest, most elegant, strongest, and the leader of the Sailor Saldiers, Usagi grandly claims those titles for herself. Chibiusa shakes her head at Usagi's delusion. Clips appear from the debut of each Sailor Soldier, and that girl's image song plays in the background. When even Tuxedo Mask has been mentioned, and the girls are about to leave, Usagi butts in on their conversation and asks them directly about Sailor Moon. The girls give a series of glowing compliments about Sailor Moon, but unlike they did for the other Sailor Soldiers, they also list her faults. After the girls leave, Usagi sarcastically apologizes for being a clumsy cry-baby and then bursts into exaggerated tears.

The poster the girls see uses artwork from the R movie advertisements, with a new background and sans logo.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sailor Moon R The Movie - Promise of the Rose [VHS] (2000)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  2. ^ Etymology Information from Dies Gaudii by Ian Andreas Miller.
  3. ^ "Animerica: The Sailor Moon Movies". Animerica. Viz Media. Archived from the original on 2004-04-07. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  4. ^ OED Online (subscriber license required to access) See also: Xenia on Dictionary.com
  5. ^ "Sailor Moon R - The Movie". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  6. ^ "Sailor Moon R [VHS]". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  7. ^ Hynes, Alison. "Sailor Moon R: Promise of the Rose DVD Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ Beveridge, Chris (February 8, 2000). "Sailor Moon R Movie: The Promise of the Rose". Mania Entertainment. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ Lineberger, Rob (March 20, 2004). "Sailor Moon R: The Movie: The Promise Of The Rose". DVD Verdict. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  10. ^ Anime Jump:: We put the 'dumb' in anime fandom!
  11. ^ The Anime Critic - Sailor Moon R: The Movie Review
  12. ^ Drazen, Patrick (October 2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation. Berkeley, California: Stone Bridge Press. p. 285. ISBN 1-880656-72-8. OCLC 50898281. 

External links[edit]