Nostalgia is one of my favorite feelings. It’s the warm rush of happiness and serotonin that just puts a smile on my face. This is why my little heart has been so excited for Netflix’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie parts one and two. Chiaki Kon serves as the director with a score by Yasuharu Takanashi and character designs by Kazuko Tadano. TOEI Animation and Studio DEEN are responsible for animation production. The Sailor Moon Crystal series was the rebirth we needed. This has been such an iconic and influential series that touched viewers’ hearts. And this newest installment continues the series overall goal to remind us how powerful friendship and belief in ourselves can be.
DISCLAIMER: This review will continue possible spoilers for Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie. I highly suggest checking it out here and coming back once you are done!
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie begins after the events of season three. Chibiusa (Misato Fukuen/Sandy Fox) is getting ready to head back to the future when a lunar eclipse occurs. Along with it comes the Dead Moon Circus and a slew of enemies for the Sailor Scouts to take on. Part one takes us on a wild ride. We see Usagi (Kotono Mitsuishi/Stephanie Sheh), Chibiusa, Ami (Hisako Kanemoto/Kate Higgins), Rei (Rina Satō/Cristina Vee), Makoto (Ami Koshimizu/Amanda C. Miller) and Minako (Shizuka Itō/Cherami Leigh) overcome their nightmares and obtain new powers.
It’s in these moments that we learn the Scouts’ insecurities and get to watch as they lean on their inner strengths and those around them to overcome the Dead Moon Circus’ traps. But this isn’t the main focus of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie. Instead, for the first time in what seems like forever, we are getting a look into the past life of Mamoru (Kenji Nojima/Robbie Daymond). For the most part, he has been the additional support that helps guide the Scouts forward but with little character growth/backstory.
The second part dives into the mysterious realm of Elysium, home to the mysterious Pegasus and Mamoru in his past life. Again, we get to see a bit more of the lore on the Earthside and how it has affected Usagi on the Moon. We also get the learn more about the past lives of Usagi and the Sailor Scouts and how Queen Nehelenia (Nanao/Laura Post) and the Dead Moon Circus play into everything. And with part two, we also see the return of Setsuna (Ai Maeda/Veronica Taylor), Haruka (Junko Minagawa/Erica Mendez), Michiru (Sayaka Ohara/Lauren Landa) and Hotaru (Yukiyo Fujii/Christine Marie Cabanos).
So how does this style fair against a traditional episodic series? One particular thing that can happen with ongoing series (most prominently in Japanese animation) is that we get filler content. These are episodes, or even entire seasons, of stories that don’t appear in the manga. They are just used to fill air time while waiting for the next manga arc to release. By shrinking this entire story arc into two films, we don’t have to worry about those.
But what we do have to worry about is rushing through certain bits of the story. And Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie has a few of these moments. Most particularly when it comes to the Scouts and their individual battles against the Dead Moon Circus. Before, these were entire episodes that the movie shrunk down to under 10-minute segments. I just wish we had a bit more of their struggles and battles before moving onto the next one.
This also led to a bit of a pacing issue with the two films. Each felt like it was trying to squeeze as much content into them as possible and in the end, the final battle and wrap-up afterward felt rushed and a bit under-explained. If you have read the manga/watched the previous series, then you are going to be okay. But for first-time viewers of the franchise, I suggest doing a bit more digging into the characters to learn more.
Overall though, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie parts one and two was a delightful watch. Fans of the franchise will find more than enough moments to fall in love with. Plus the nostalgia rushes around every corner. It also does a great job of setting up the next step in the story. I hope they choose to go back to the episodic style. But, I will take this franchise however I can get it. In the end, this delivers on girl strength, power of friendship and hits all of the iconic notes we know and love.
Have you watched Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal the Movie? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!
- Saturday Morning Webtoons: LAVENDER JACK and URBAN ANIMAL - September 18, 2021
- TWISTED METAL Finds Its John Doe in Anthony Mackie - September 15, 2021
- I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER Gets Chilling Trailer Prior to Release - September 15, 2021