All spoilers for Sailor Moon Crystal will remain unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie is the two-part film sequel to Sailor Moon Crystal and the first canonical film in Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon franchise as well as the fourth overall Sailor Moon film. Eternal is directed by Chiaki Kon, who returns after having directed the third season of Crystal and written by franchise newcomer Kazuyuki Fudeyasu. In a first for the franchise, Eternal is a co-production between Toei Animation and Studio DEEN. It also marks the return of character designer Kazuko Tadano to a Sailor Moon entry, coming 17 years after the conclusion of Sailor Moon R.
Six months after the events of Crystal, a solar eclipse blocks out the sun and a Pegasus known as Helios (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) appears to Usagi Tsukino (Kotono Mitsuishi) and Chibi-Usa (Misato Fukuen), seeking out a chosen maiden who can help break the seal of the Golden Crystal and use it to save the land of Elysion. Meanwhile, a group known as the Dead Moon Circus, led by Queen Nehellenia (Nanao), make an uncanny appearance in Juban. Their goal is to scatter the nightmare Lemures across the world and obtain the Legendary Silver Crystal so they can rule the Earth and the Moon.
Most of the cast from Crystal returns, including Hisako Kanemoto as Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato as Rei Hino/Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu as Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter, Shizuka Itō as Minako Aino/Sailor Venus, Junko Minagawa as Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara as Michiru Kaioh/Sailor Neptune, Ai Maeda as Setsuna Meioh/Sailor Pluto, Yukiyo Fujii as Hotaru Tomoe/Sailor Saturn Mami Koyama as Queen Serenity, Ryō Hirohashi as Luna, and Shoko Nakagawa as Diana. New additions to the cast include Taishi Murata as Artemis, Naomi Watanabe as Zirconia, Satoshi Hino as Tiger's Eye, Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Hawk's Eye, Shouta Aoi as Fish's Eye, Reina Ueda as CereCere, Sumire Morohoshi as PallaPalla, Yuko Hara as JunJun, and Rie Takahashi as VesVes.
The first part of the Eternal duology was released on January 8, 2021, with the second part following on February 11. The films exclusively premiered worldwide on Netflix on June 3.
A two-part direct sequel, Sailor Moon Cosmos, will be released in 2023.
Eternal contains examples of:
- Adaptational Nice Guy: When compared to the original manga, Hawk's Eye is somewhat nicer this time around, rather than simply being blasted to death, Eternal has them smile, telling Makoto that they got to live their dream, even if it wasn't for very long, then telling Makoto to go live her dreams before they die.
- Adapted Out:
- The ghosts of the Four Heavenly Kings (Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite) don't appear at all in this film while they had a minor appearance in the original manga and Crystal.
- In the manga, Nehellenia told the Amazoness Quartet that she was the true queen of the Moon and that the Silver Crystal belonged to her. In Eternal, this doesn't happen: the Quartet are awakened and simply believe they've always lived on Dead Moon.
- Alas, Poor Villain: After defeating Hawk's Eye, Sailor Jupiter's shown to feel remorse for them when they state they were at least happy to live their dream before they died.
- Art Shift: Eternal further changes the art style◊ from its predecessor, with Kazuko Tadano, the original character designer from the 90's anime, once again returning to do designs.
- Bittersweet Ending: By the end of it all, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask break their curse, Nehellenia is permanently destroyed, the Amazoness Quartet regain their true forms as Sailor Guardians and Chibi-usa herself finally becomes an official Sailor Guardian. But Helios has to leave Earth for his native Elysion.
- Bloodier and Gorier: As with the original manga, Eternal has Mamoru coughing up blood due to Nehellenia's spells harming the planet, and also Artemis's blood is seen when he is nearly crushed by a boulder. Before this film, the only blood seen in Crystal was when Beryl killed Endymion in the past.
- Bowdlerise: The deaths of the Amazon Trio are less violent than in the manga.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Amazoness Quartet. They are actually the Sailor Quartet and had been placed in a deep sleep somewhere within the Amazon Jungle, awaiting the time when they could become the future protectors of Sailor Chibi Moon. Queen Nehellenia woke them prematurely and forced them to work for her.
- Towards the end of Part 1, Artemis scratches Minako's face to snap her out of her trance, much like Luna did when she scratched Usagi for stepping on and kissing her at the beginning of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal.
- In Part 2, Sailor Saturn mentions the Dark Kingdom's destruction of the Moon Kingdom, which happened in the backstory to the original manga and its adaptations including Crystal.
- Nehellenia visibly ages when Queen Serenity seals her inside her mirror and when Sailor Moon finally uses her Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss on her.
- The Cameo:
- Kanami Taguchi and Aya Yamane make a brief appearance as the human forms of Phobos and Deimos, respectively.
- In flashbacks, Mami Koyama once again appears as the voice of Queen Serenity.
- Casting Gag:
- The Cavalry: At the beginning of Part 2, the Outer Guardians rescue the Inner Guardians from the Amazoness Quartet's trap.
- Continuity Reboot: Like Crystal before it, Eternal is a Truer to the Text adaptation of the manga's Dream arc and thus has no connection to the fourth season of the 1990s Sailor Moon anime.
- Cover Version: Two new renditions of the SuperS ending themes are used for the ending credits.
- Part 1 features Miwako Fujitani's "Watashi-tachi ni narukete" as performed by Yoko Ishida. Ishida previously sang "Otome no Policy" for R.
- Part 2 features Meu's "Rashiku ikimashou" as performed by Anza Ohyama. Ohyama portrayed Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon in the stage musicals from 1993 to 1998 and sang "Moonlight Densetsu" for S and SuperS.
- For Want of a Nail: If Nehellenia didn't go to Princess Serenity's birth, Queen Serenity wouldn't have sealed her away and the Silver Millennium wouldn't have been cursed to their fate.
- Fountain of Youth:
- As in the manga, PallaPalla swaps Usagi and Chibi-usa's ages, but they eventually transform back into their regular ages.
- By the time of Part 2, Zirconia turns Mamoru and Usagi into children, as in the original, but Helios transports them to his native Elysion to undo the de-aging.
- Gender Flip: While Hawk's Eye's feminine-coded gender presentation doesn't change through the original and adaptations, in previous English Sailor Moon properties the character uses he/him pronouns. The subtitles and dub for Eternal uses they/them pronouns, explicitly marking Hawk's Eye as nonbinary.
- Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: Queen Serenity represents the light of the moon while Queen Nehellenia represents the darkness of the new moon. Nehellenia also remarks how light always attracts darkness and neither can exist without the other.
- Literally Shattered Lives: How Fish's Eye dies when hit by Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon's Moon Gorgeous Meditation.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Towards the end of Part 2, Nehellenia is killed by Sailor Moon's Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss technique, which turns her mirror into dust.
- Multi-Part Episode: Eternal is split up into a two-part film.
- Mythology Gag: As with the third season of Crystal, Eternal uses the same sound effects for the symbols and the attacks of the Sailor Guardians from the 90s anime.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: As in the original manga, Queen Serenity sealing Nehellenia away led the latter to curse the Silver Millenium to their doom.
- No Body Left Behind: When shot with an arrow, Tiger's Eye fades away, and after being mortally wounded, Hawk's Eye disintegrates into dark particles. Hawk's Eye dissolves into Lemures.
- Shout-Out: In Fish's Eye's fish store, two fish who bear a striking resemblance to Dory and Marlin swim by Ami.
- The Stinger: Part 1 ends with a post credits scene of Hotaru saying that the second coming is at hand.
- Time Skip: As with the manga, the duology picks up six months after the events of Sailor Moon Crystal. As such, Usagi and her friends have begun their high school life, the Sailor Guardians have the ability to transform into their Super Sailor forms, and so on.
- Too Long; Didn't Dub: All of the Western-language dubs for the Netflix release, including the English one, feature Japanese honorifics. This is especially baffling, considering all the respective dubs of Sailor Moon Crystal avoided this trope like a plague, especially in countries where this trope is extremely discouraged, like in Latin American countries and France.
- Truer to the Text: As with Crystal, the movies are much closer to the manga's Dream arc unlike SuperS. Some notable instances are the Amazon Trio being one-off Monsters of the Week, the inclusion of the Outers, the appearance of the Sailor Quartet, the true forms of the Amazoness Quartet, and Mamoru being affected by the curse on the Earth, and holding the Golden Crystal, which is actually his version of a Sailor Crystal, not to mention how the final fight with Nehellenia goes down.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Queen Serenity unknowingly sows the seeds for the Silver Millennium's destruction when she seals Nehellenia inside her mirror, causing the latter to curse the Silver Millennium. The Dark Kingdom eventually unleashes the doom when they launch a full-scale assault. Thus, Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion are killed and the Silver Millennium is utterly destroyed.