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Hi there,


Following the recent resurgence and interest in the Sailor Moon franchise - as championed through the new series Sailor Moon Crystal - I have been considering the advent of this latest iteration of Naoko Takeuchi's masterpiece; my approach considering the institution of the fandom, the historical context and the complexion of the emerging series.


My previous articles concerning this singular interest can be found here Well Met by Moonlight? (Part One)Well Met by Moonlight? (Part Two); the respective parts written before and after viewing the first episode of SMC, and my emerging opinion on the matter.


Writing now, sometime after the viewing of the ninth episode, the opportunity for more holistic and critical reflection opens up, just as the story consolidates its essential elements; not to mention some other intriguing developments, which if proven true, could be another fascinating twist in how SMC unfolds.


Silver Crystals and Black Moons?



As opposed to the previous installments, written around the very beginning of the series, I write now having watched and reflected on SMC in its ninth episode; the story having progressed at a pace, and marking a critical point as the architecture of the bigger narrative comes together - marking a vital step forward, though also opening important questions along with it.


In all, as the episode concludes, we have the effective formalization of what has been alluded to and implied previously: battle lines are drawn, forces rallied, stakes understood and ambitions openly proclaimed. For Usagi and co, it's fair to say that, at last, "the gang's all here" - the point echoed as Usagi/Sailor Moon herself awakens to another aspect of her identity; one very much entangled with Mamoru Chiba and a common, though tragic past. The road to this point has been interesting, and has painted varying impressions of Sailor Moon's classic first era before setting the characters on a course for collision: the past, now understood, being a legacy that must now be settled in the present, with so much to fight for. 




The Complete Inner Senshi: Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter & Venus



Of particular note, and salient in this rendition, we find Mina Aino (Sailor Venus) absorbing the continuity of her previous heroic personas to again become captain of the senshi; Usagi, almost overwhelmed by the revelation of so long ago, must now also consider her restored identity as Crown Princess Serenity, and keeper of that exciting artifact known as the silver crystal. More too, Mamoru faces his past as the former Prince Endymion; though this revelation is somewhat muted as the skirmish that prompted the singular revelation allowed him to be taken captive. Here we find some further light shone on the enigmatic Queen of the Dark Kingdom, and some of the origin of her vindictive designs. It must also be mentioned that the still living four general kings who serve her all feel a strange link with the unconscious captive, though they cannot say from where or when...


SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL - Queen Beryl by JackoWcastillo

A Millennium of Anger: Queen Beryl, Monarch of the Dark Kingdom



With these events in mind, and with the plot advancing come episode ten, a number of voices have turned their attention to the more technical and thematic aspects of the series; elements that have come under noted scrutiny before as episodes have collected over the past few months since the summer. I can include myself among them, and it would seem that a common concern - one that I articulated in the previous articles of WMbM - is that pacing seems to be a critical factor by which this series will be judged, and it's an element which seems sometimes frustratingly tenuous to hold.


Episodes up to this one have leveled some experimentation with the established narrative; affording some interesting nuance and inflection where the earlier series and manga could not, and energizing other aspects to give the story a more stirring traction; of note being act six and the tantalizing allusions afforded in act nine. Though, it remains to be said, that some earlier reservations about this series have become more salient; possibly to become a latent problem, depending upon how and when they are addressed.


Pacing, in this series especially, is significant; the essence being that this rendition is a modern 26 episode model series which is dealing with not only the conventions of the brisk manga, but also the well padded 46 episode series, now known as "Sailor Moon Classic". The pace thus far has had room to experiment, and has so often realized the possibilities of this series over its predecessors, though problematic elements seem to be becoming a little more systemic, and if this should remain it could very well scupper future possibilities for exploration, along with the narrative platform the series has built already. This tendency has become evident, though I believe there's still time to contain the problem, if it grows to be a bigger one.


A more passionate, extended analysis of this problem, using the singular evidence of episode 9, can be found here with Michael Mammano at Den of Geek www.denofgeek.us/tv/sailor-moo… .


Extrapolating on this, perhaps with some qualification, this issue may impact upon some new, very interesting information which has arisen recently.


In this, it would seem that SMC is not simply the narrative of Sailor Moon Classic, but also the successor series known as Sailor Moon R. Evidence presents itself from sundry sources, though seemingly also found with a talented, invested blogger by the name of "Code Name: Sailor B".


codenamesailorb.tumblr.com/pos…


Here, it would seem that SMC will cover the popular "Black Moon" arc, which would potentially conclude the series if SMC divides its narrative efforts, with 13 episodes apiece.


The "Black Moon" arc, following sharply on the heels of its predecessor, proposes a new threat for the reformed survivors of the fabled Moon Kingdom: not from the distant past, but the far reaches of the future. In this, a future Tokyo is decimated by a faction of rebels, the "Black Moon Clan", seemingly descended from renegades and exiles who founded a new civilization on the mysterious planet of Nemesis. In accordance with a new strategy, their efforts become increasingly invested in overthrowing the 21st century, as opposed to their native 30th. Their attack in both future and present not quite what it may seem, this dark, time travelling era in Sailor Moon finds ever invested and powerful foes for the senshi to be tested against.


Conspicuous among these are the royal brothers of Nemesis. The white clad Prince Diamond an absolute monarch who pursues many agendas - so embodied in the mysterious queen he yearns for - and his more reserved, sometimes prescient brother clad in a blue tunic, Sapphire.




Royal Brothers: blue clad Sapphire and his crowned brother, Prince Diamond



More so, the members of their court they send Earth's way are far less simple agents, and more great powers unto themselves; among the most principle being the four Ayakashi Sisters in the thundering Petz, whip wielding Calaveras, hydrokinetic Berthier and the fiery Coan.


Ayakashi Sisters by Ze-RoFruits

Nemesis Born: Petz, Calaveras, Berthier & Coan - The Ayakashi Sisters



In these sisters, invested with power and great will, the senshi confront a threat both collective and personal as they find a dark reflection of their own powers tossed back at them with abandon. Of course, the mystery of why the sisters have been invested with their task is just one of the first problems Sailor Moon and her senshi will have to face as the arc gets into full swing.


The issues seemingly emerging in SMC are important and will certainly color how the series, and its narratives, are perceived, though it can be said that even with this question, SMC has surprised before and may yet surprise again, in good ways. Considering the singular task of the series and the world it proposes for fans and new comers alike, I think I will continue to recommend the series; and more so too if the "Black Moon Clan" arc does actually emerge in the near future, dependent upon the conclusions reached by the end of SMC's first arc.


In conclusion, there is still much to invest in and it remains intriguing as to which way this series will ultimately proceed, come time, and what it will proffer from its already rich world.


Thanks again,


Mercury-Pentacle.

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Mercury-Pentacle
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werewolfgirl-90 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Arrigato for the fave ^^
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Thanks for the fav!
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thanks for fav my work! :la:
Commission OC Caroline by fradarlin  
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Thanks for the fave on Kasumi =)
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(  *-*)/ Sankyuu for the fav ! 
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Thanks for the fav.  :)
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Thank you for the fave, Mercury-Pentacle!:)
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thank you for the favs ^_^
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Thank you for the Watch!
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Thanks for the :+fav: on Madam Hyde. :thanks:
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