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Recap / Sailor Moon Dark Kingdom Arc

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The Dark Kingdom (Negaverse in the DiC adaptation) arc is the first arc of the Sailor Moon manga as well as the first arc in the Sailor Moon TV adaptation and the Sailor Moon Crystal adaptation.

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List of Episodes

    Sailor Moon (1992) 

  1. "The Crybaby: Usagi's Beautiful Transformation"note 
  2. "Punishment Awaits: The House of Fortune is the Monster Mansion"
  3. "The Mysterious Sleeping Sickness: Protect the Girls in Love"note 
  4. "Learn How to Be Skinny from Usagi" note 
  5. "Scent of a Monster: Chanela Will Steal Your Love"
  6. "Protect the Melody of Love: Usagi Plays Cupid"
  7. "Usagi Learns her Lesson: Becoming a Star is Hard Work" note 
  8. "The Girl Genius is a Monster: The Brainwashing Cram School of Horror" note 
  9. "Usagi’s Disaster: Beware of the Clock of Confusion" note 
  10. "The Cursed Bus: Enter Mars, the Guardian of Fire" note 
  11. "Usagi vs. Rei: Nightmare in Dream Land" note 
  12. "I Want a Boyfriend: The Luxury Cruise Ship is a Trap"note 
  13. "Girls Unite: The End of Jadeite"note 
  14. "A New Enemy Appears: Nephrite’s Evil Crest"note 
  15. "Usagi’s Panic: Rei’s First Date"note 
  16. "A Girl’s Dream: Usagi Becomes a Bride"note 
  17. "Usagi’s a Model: The Flash of the Monster Camera"note 
  18. "Shingo's Love: The Grieving Doll"note 
  19. "Usagi's Joy: A Love Letter from Tuxedo Mask"note 
  20. "The Summer, the Beach, Youth and Ghosts"
  21. "Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime"note 
  22. "Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss"note 
  23. "Wish Upon a Star: Naru’s First Love"note 
  24. "Naru’s Tears: Nephrite Dies for Love"note 
  25. "Jupiter, the Powerful Girl in Love"note 
  26. "Restore Naru’s Smile: Usagi’s Friendship"note 
  27. "Crushing On Ami: The Boy Who Can See the Future"note 
  28. "The Painting of Love: Usagi and Mamoru Get Closer"note 
  29. "Total Chaos: The Messy Love Rectangle"note 
  30. "Grandpa Loses Control: Rei in Danger"note 
  31. "Loved and Chased: Luna's Worst Day Ever"note 
  32. "Umino's Resolve: I'll Protect Naru"note 
  33. "Enter Venus, the Last Sailor Guardian"note 
  34. "The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears"note 
  35. "Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamoru’s Past"note 
  36. "Usagi's Confusion: Is Tuxedo Mask Evil?"note 
  37. "Let's Become a Princess: Usagi's Bizarre Training"note 
  38. "The Snow, the Mountains, Friendship and Monsters"note 
  39. "Paired with a Monster: Mako, the Ice Skating Queen"note 
  40. "The Legendary Lake Yokai: The Bond of Usagi’s Family"note 
  41. "I Won't Run Away from Love Anymore: Ami vs. Mamoru"note 
  42. "Sailor Venus' Past: Minako's Tragic Love"
  43. "Usagi Abandoned: The Falling-Out of the Sailor Guardians"note 
  44. "Usagi's Awakening: A Message From the Distant Past"note 
  45. "Death of the Sailor Guardians: The Tragic Final Battle"note 
  46. "Usagi's Eternal Wish: A Brand New Life"note 

    Sailor Moon Crystal (2014) 

Short Summary

In Tokyo, clumsy and underachieving schoolgirl Usagi Tsukino encounters a cat named Luna. After a regular day at Juban Middle School, Usagi discovers that she's actually a Sailor Guardian who goes by the name of Sailor Moon. Meanwhile, the Dark Kingdom, headed by Queen Beryl, seeks to use monsters to retrieve the Silver Crystal.

Usagi befriends four other girls who are also Sailor Guardians: Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury, Rei Hino/Sailor Mars, Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter and Minako Aino/Sailor Venus. Shortly after the fights with Beryl's henchmen Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite, Usagi discovers that she's actually Princess Serenity, the long-lost princess of the Moon Kingdom who possesses the Silver Crystal. Long ago, her mother, Queen Serenity, was killed after she sealed the Dark Kingdom towards the end of the Silver Millennium.

With their combined efforts, the Sailor Guardians defeat Queen Beryl and Queen Metalia, foiling the Dark Kingdom's plans.

The Dark Kingdom arc contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • Morga in the manga seriously thought she could find the silver crystal in an ordinary jewelry shop. In the anime, she's focused purely on getting energy for Jadeite.
    • Anime Nephrite notices that a lot of youma get attracted to Naru and try to steal her energy; he even uses that to brainwash her or use her at several points when concluding she isn't Sailor Moon. Eventually, he figures out that she activates his black crystal because she's friends with Sailor Moon, by listening in on Naru's tearful phone call to Usagi. In the manga, he merely went after Makoto and got killed for his efforts.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: Zoicite, instead of being a flamboyant guy, was made a girl in the DIC version, to make him the only "female" villain of Beryl's squad.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Nephrite tried to kill the Senshi, drain energy from their friends and acquaintances, and found out Sailor Moon's secret identity. Usagi still mourned him as he died after rescuing Naru from Zoicite's youma, knowing how much he meant to her best friend. Even a few episodes later, she feels sad about it.
  • Back from the Dead: In the first season finale, all the heroes and villains are dead as a result of their confrontation. Thanks to Usagi's final wish, her friends and love interest are resurrected thanks to her turning time back a year.
  • Bad Boss: Queen Beryl isn't particularly kind to her subordinates. She hade Jadeite put into Eternal Sleep, Sends Zoicite to murder Nephrite, Then kills Zoicite herself.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Zoicite could be counted on this for various episodes:
    • Successfully assassinated Nephrite when he suspected the latter of turning traitor. Usagi had not yet learned she had the healing silver crystal, so all she could do was comfort Naru as Nephrite died and faded away.
    • Later he got four of the seven rainbow crystals and successfully bargained with Sailor Moon for the one that she managed to grab from Urawa. In one case, he fought through an army of rats to get a crystal.
    • In the climax of his arc, managed to trick Mamoru into giving up his crystals after asking for an honor duel. Plus he had figured out the latter's secret identity and implicitly threatened to go after him anyway if Mamoru refused. Then when Tuxedo Kamen prepared to fight, managed to stab him while aiming for Sailor Moon who insisted on coming along when she saw Mamoru bleeding. The only reason that plan failed is that Sailor Moon's grief activated the rainbow crystals, revealing she was the Princess, and she curbstomped a baffled Zoicite.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The original opening showed Tuxedo Mask with a red and white smiling mask, something he never wore in the show.
  • Bound and Gagged: In the Viz dub, Morga tells Naru that her mother is locked up in the basement. We only see this in the manga and in Sailor Moon Crystal.
  • Bowdlerize: The DiC dub was notorious for this. Some highlights:
    • Usagi's mother kicks her out of the house as punishment for bringing a failing grade. Serena's mother, in contrast, sends her to the library to study.
    • The Senshi are brutally murdered in the season finale. This is changed to the DD girls capturing them. Regardless, Sailor Moon is devastated.
    • Queen Beryl is "banished" in the finale despite all versions of the episode clearly showing her being completely disintegrated while screaming. Though a few lines in later episodes seem to contradict that by saying she was destroyed.
    • Episodes 45 and 46 were chopped in half and the remnants aired as one episode.
    • The South Korean dub was also famous for this. Thanks to issues showing Japanese culture, Rei's introductory episode had to be combined with the following episode since a lot of scenes were cut.
  • Capture and Replicate: Jadeite's youma tend to do this. They find real people to impersonate — Marumi, the idol — and then revert to their true form when they think they've won. The real individuals aren't freed until Sailor Moon destroys the youma.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A handful of youma are this. Morga sets an army of brainwashed people on Sailor Moon before planning to deliver the finishing blow.
  • Complexity Addiction: In the 90s anime adaptation, the Dark Kingdom is completely reliant on sending one monster at a time to deal with Sailor Moon and her friends. This despite the fact that the Guardians consistently kill each monster with ease. This is a problem that extends to the rest of the anime's villains, who rely on the Monster of the Week trope. Notably in the manga, it takes Jadeite losing only two monsters for him to decide to personally go after the Guardians, while the rest of the Dark Kingdom's generals personally fight them from the get-go.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Umino proves to be tougher than he looks. When Naru confronts Zoicite for killing Nephrite, he tackles her in a Diving Save to help her evade the wrestling youma's attacks. He later cosplays as Tuxedo Kamen and actually proves to be a Curb Stomp Cushion against a Dark Kingdom general. Zoicite is genuinely befuddled by the latter one.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first season finale, where the girls barely get a chance to fend off the DD girls in the North Pole. It ends with all of them, the youma, Mamoru and Beryl killed and Usagi literally wiping the whole event away, as well as one year.
  • Doppelgänger: Morga takes the form of Naru's mother, Mayumi. Downplayed, since she hadn't killed her, instead knocking her out and hiding her somewhere. Though she does tell Naru that she plans to kill them both after her job is done.
  • Dub Name Change: The DIC version has the following for the Dark Kingdom:
    • The Dark Kingdom is called "The Negaverse" in the DIC dub
    • Youma are called "Negamonsters".
    • Kunzite is named "Malachite".
    • The Seven Great Youma are called the "Seven Shadows".
    • The DD Girls are called the "Doom And Gloom Girls".
    • Queen Metallia is never referred to by name. Instead she's called "The Negaforce".
  • Dwindling Party: Queen Beryl has her generals eliminated one by one until none are left by the end of the season.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Queen Metallia has a name and a voice, but her true form isn't seen and any features she has is completely unknowable and alien. The DIC version takes this to the next level, not referring to Metallia by name and referring to her as "The Negaforce".
  • Establishing Character Moment: Usagi has one in the '90s anime where she gets up late for school, runs off in a rush, but stops to save a cat from a group of bullies. Her removing Luna's bandaid ends up cluing in the cat that Usagi is Sailor Moon due to her kind spirit.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Nephrite in the anime. Even the original version used green blood to tone down the violence a bit, but being impaled by thorns and hurt by burn marks was pretty gruesome. Amazingly, this was one of the more faithfully dubbed versions in the DIC version.
    • In the first season finale, the five Senshi are electrocuted, and most of it is shown onscreen. Rei's death is the only one where it's a Gory Discretion Shot, and so she uses the last of her strength to burn up the two DD girls.
  • Fan Edit: Fans have come together to re-dub and add the missing episodes of the DIC run as well as de-bowdlerise the season finale.
  • The Heavy: Among the four Generals, Zoicite does the most consistent damage until he is executed at the hands of Beryl.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: After transforming for the first time, Usagi has no idea how to use her powers as Sailor Moon and needs help from Luna.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Sailor Moon delivers her famous "In the name of the Moon!" speech for the very first time before fighting Morga.
  • Karmic Death: Zoicite gets this; he sicced some assassin youma on Nephrite who mocked that he would die in front of Naru, someone he loved. Nephrite died a traitor in Beryl's eyes for trying to save a human. A season later, Beryl would deem Zoicite a traitor for trying to kill Tuxedo Kamen against her wishes to capture him alive. She executed Zoicite, making him die slowly in Kunzite's arms.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Morga uses enchanted jewelry to control a crowd of women and sic them on Sailor Moon during the latter's first battle.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Upon her first transformation, the cover of Sailor Moon's hair buns can light up and tune into people calling for help.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: At the end of the first episode, Naru tells Usagi all about the "dream" she had about being saved from a monster by a beautiful warrior.
  • Powers in the First Episode: In the first episode, Usagi/Serena transforms into Sailor Moon for the first time.
  • Save the Villain: Subverted; the Senshi come to rescue Nephrite and Naru after Zoicite's youma corner the pair. All they can do is defeat the youma so that Naru isn't killed as well, however; the barbs in his chest are too deep to pull out, and Sailor Moon didn't have her healing powers yet. Nephrite nevertheless thanks Sailor Moon with his dying breath by saying that her secret identity will remain a secret.
  • She's a Man in Japan: The DIC version changed Zoicite's gender to female, in a case of Bowdlerization and to make him an Affirmative Action Girl among the villains.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 8 of the Viz dub, Umino claims that Ami has an IQ of over 9000.
  • Spell My Name With An S: In the DIC version, where any character name not changed has their spelling changed. For Instance, Ami becomes "Amy", while Rei becomes "Raye". Jadeite is spelled "Jedite", Nephrite becomes "Nephlite", and Zoicite is spelled as "Zoycite".
  • Stealth Pun: In episode 6, Usagi meets a composer called Amade Yusuke.
  • Super-Scream: Distressed at being in mortal danger in the first chapter, Sailor Moon starts to cry, causing the red covers over her hair buns to glow and turn her cries into supersonic waves.
  • Too Good to Be True: Mentioned by Naru in the first episode; her mother is oddly into selling the store's expensive jewelry at high discounts. Good for business but odd. It turns out that Morga replaced her mother and the real jewels with clever fakes that steal the customers' energy.
  • Worthy Opponent: Nephrite was the only one of the Shittenou who respected Sailor Moon; Jadeite was condescending, Zoicite went straight for murder, and Kunzite wanted revenge for Zoicite's death. In fact, he investigated how she was protective of Naru and how the latter seemed to activate his black crystal; Nephrite was a loner but he could appreciate Sailor Moon's big heart. He also respected that he figured out her secret identity and tried to kill her, but she still came to save him and Naru afterward. With his dying breath, he promised her that no one would find out her identity.
  • You Have Failed Me: In the anime, Queen Beryl freezes Jadeite alive inside a crystal for his failures.

Alternative Title(s): Sailor Moon Ep 02 Punish Them The House Of Fortune Is The Youma Mansion, Sailor Moon Ep 01 Crybaby Usagis Magnificent Transformation