Sailor Moon R: The Movie (initially released in North America with the subtitle, The Promise of the Rose) is the first Sailor Moon film. It was originally released in Japan on December 5, 1993, between episodes 75 and 76, with it being released along with a film based on the Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai series. It was then dubbed into English by the Canadian company Optimum Productions in 2000 for Pioneer Entertainment, using most of the cast from their dub of the TV series. By late 2016, Viz Media re-dubbed the film using their own cast and premiered it in North American theaters in January 2017.
The story focuses on Fiore, an alien and Childhood Friend of Mamoru's who returns to Earth to reunite with Mamoru and give him a flower worthy of the one that Mamoru gave him. However, the Xenian Flower decides to bring about Earths destruction and to do this, shes using Fiore as an Unwitting Pawn. The Sailor Guardians must stop Fiore's plans before it's too late.
This film provides examples of:
- All Your Powers Combined: The Sailor Guardians combine their powers with Sailor Moon to divert the meteor away from the Earth.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: The climax of the film takes place on top of an asteroid hanging above the Earth's surface and yet no one seems bothered at all about being in the vacuum of space.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Fiore's negative emotions, such as his loneliness as well as his hatred of Usagi for "stealing" Mamoru, are manipulated by the Xenian Flower in order to use him to absorb the Earth's energy. According to Artemis and Luna this is the Xenian Flower's M.O. since it can't directly move or attack creatures itself it manipulates it's hosts hatred until they eventually destroy the planet they are on.
- Big Bad: Fiore serves as the film's main antagonist.
- Bowdlerise: When the film was released in edited form by Pioneer, the nudity scenes were edited out.
- Childhood Friend: Fiore and Mamoru were friends in childhood.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One flower monster in the beginning? It takes all the soldiers to defeat it. A whole army of them in the end? Each Soldier attack wipes them out by the hundreds. The singluar flower had absorbed all the energy of a Tokyo city block at rush hour, so was considerably pumped up compared to the ones on the asteroid.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When the flower monster attacks Tokyo, Sailor Moon defeats it with her "Moon Princess Halation" assisted by the other Sailor Guardians. And during the Final Battle on Fiore's meteor, the Sailor Guardians easily destroy the flower monsters with their usual attacks.
- Disney Death: Usagi suffers from one at the very end of the film. After using the Silver Crystal as a focus for her powers as Princess Serenity, Mamoru's power as Endiymon and powers of the other four Senshi, the Silver Crystal shatters and melts away, killing Usagi much like it killed Queen Serenity. It doesn't last as Fiore (or more likely his spirit) hands Mamoru a flower that has the power to revive her, fulfilling his promise. Mamoru sucks the sap from the flower in Fiore's hand then kisses Sailor Moon, passing it to her, which revives her
- Dramatic Irony: When Fiore tortures and attempts to murder Sailor Moon he angrily rants to the other Sailor Senshi that they have no idea what it's like to be alone and to lose the person who gave your life meaning to someone else. The Senshi are quire aware of what loneliness is like and by killing Sailor Moon Fiore is about to kill the one that freed them from their loneliness.Sailor Mars: You don't understand at all! Without Usagi... we all would have been alone!
- Forgotten First Meeting: As revealed in the climax of the film long before they became lovers Usagi and Mamoru meet when they were children. Usagi was visiting her mother in the hospital, who was there to give birth to Shingo, while Mamorou was recovering from the car crash that killed is parents. Fiore was also in the hospital in a human disguise but decided he had to leave Earth due to it making him sick. Mamoru and Usagi cross paths and the latter comforted a crying Mamoru, upset his only friend had to leave, and handed him his famous red rose from a bouquet intended for her mother, that he would then give to Fiore.
- Forgotten Friend, New Foe: The plot of the movie kicks in with the introduction of Fiore an alien who befriended Mamoru not long after he lost his parents and needed some comfort. While Mamoru does eventually remember Fiore it is after some prompting and Fiore is less then pleased to discover that Mamoru has seemingly moved on without him.
- The Heart: The movie goes a long way in showing Usagi's importance to everyone in her life, how grateful the Sailor Senshi are to have meet her, how Mamoru considers Usagi his new family, and how Usagi's compassionate heart are able to free Fiore from the Xenian Flower's control. Chibiusa even lampshades this by pointing out that Sailor Moon is like a mother to everyone.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: When it looks like Usagi has died from overusing the Silver Crystal Rei angrily berates Usagi and calls her a liar since she promised she wouldn't die. Naturally once Usagi is brought back to life Rei tearfully hugs her.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Usagi was instrumental in giving Mamoru a new family after he lost his original one and she helped each of her Senshi find love and acceptance for the first time giving them a group of friends they can rely on. Therefore everyone nearly shuts down completely when Usagi dies after overusing the Silver Crystal. When Usagi does come back to life all everyone can to is tearfully hug each other in relief.
- Memento Macguffin: One of Mamoru's famous roses is revealed to be a treasured memory of Fiore's as Mamoru gave him the flower to remember him when Fiore had to leave Earth. In turn Fiore searched the cosmos to find a flower worthy of the one that Mamoru bestowed upon him which eventually lead to him finding the Xenian Flower. And in a huge twist it turns out that the original rose that Mamoru gave Fiore was in turn a gift that Usagi gave Mamoru who was upset that his friend was leaving. Fiore is stunned when he finds out. Interstingly, the rose is shown fully bloomed in Mamoru and Usgai's memories, but in Fiore's it's still closed.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Fiore's hatred for Usagi has shades of this since he believes that she is tricking Mamoru and that she has turned him against her. He even tries to murder her when she interferes with his plan.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Fiore shuts down after he finds out that the woman he has hated for the majority of the movie was the original source of the flower he loves so much. All he can to process this revelation is cry and even the Xenian Flower can't snap him out of it.
- Poisonous Friend: Fiore... though in his defense, he's also being possessed by a psychotic plant.
- Redemption Equals Death: After Sailor Moon dies from using the full power of the Silver Crystal to steer the asteroid away from Earth Fiore returns and gives Mamoru the flower he promised; one made of his own life force that restores the crystal and brings Usagi back to life.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: The Inner Senshi beg Fiore to spare Usagi's life after she offers herself up to him in exchange for their lives. When Fiore is unmoved, stubbornly insisting Usagi is a selfish, deceitful bitch who uses everyone around her, Rei finally tells him where to stick it.Sailor Mars: You don't get it at ALL! If it hadn't been for Usagi... (lifts her head up to reveal she's crying) we ALL would have been alone!
- Soft Glass: Usagi tackles Chibi-Usa out of the way of the flower monster, and both crash through the window of a diner. Neither sustain any injuries or clothing damage, but Usagi is knocked unconscious.
- Unwitting Pawn: Fiore is being used by the Xenian Flower to cause The End of the World as We Know It.
- Voiceover Translation: Averted in Poland, where it didn't have the dub version of the series back in the 1990s. Notably, this film was the first of the Sailor Moon franchise to be released with a Polish dub in 2015.
- Wham Shot: Usagi giving Mamoru the rose that he would in turn give to Fiore before he left, completely turning Fiore's entire worldview upside down after loathing Usagi with every fiber of being. All Fiore can do when he learns this is ask who, or rather, what Usagi is.Fiore: Sailor Moon gave Mamoru a flower...? The flower Mamoru gave me came from Sailor Moon?!
- The Man Behind the Man: Well, she's a woman, but it still counts: The feminine Xenian Flower is the one behind Fiores evil schemes and directly influences him when he starts showing doubts.