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The Silver Millennium, a fictional kingdom in the Sailor Moon metaseries, lies on the moon. It provides a setting for the past lives and future selves of most of the series' major characters, and functions as a major driving force behind both plot and characterization.

The series first shows the original Silver Millennium during what it portrays as an ancient Golden Age, marked by peace, prosperity, and good relations between the people of Earth and Moon. The English dub states that the Moon Kingdom existed one thousand years ago, but the original manga made it prehistoric.[1] Despite its name, the Silver Millennium appears to have lasted much longer than a thousand years. The Moon Kingdom itself, ruled by Queen Serenity, centered in Mare Serenitatis (The Sea of Serenity). It was also home to Princess Serenity and her four guardians, later to be known as the Guardian Senshi. According to the Sailor Moon R series, a second Silver Millennium is built on Earth some time between the 20th and 30th centuries, this time known specifically as Crystal Tokyo.

The royal family of the Silver Millennium bear on their foreheads special markings shaped like small crescent moons. These appear on Queen Serenity, Princess/Neo-Queen Serenity, and Small Lady, as well as Sailor Venus when disguised as the princess, and the moon cats - Luna, Artemis and Diana. In the anime, non-royal civilians of the Moon Kingdom lack the symbol on their foreheads.

Silver Millennium kingdoms

The Moon Kingdom

File:MoonKingdom.jpg

The Silver Millennium, though it had a fairy-tale appearance, demonstrated an advanced technology. It existed within a dome which produced an artificial climate, and had an advanced computer called the "Eternity Main System".[1] According to Artemis, ice skating was very popular there.[2] Those who lived in the Silver Millennium had very long life spans and had two specific duties: First, they were to protect the Silver Crystal, an extremely powerful "holy stone" which had been handed down through the generations. Second, they were to watch over the evolution of Earth and protect it from any negative influence.[1]

During this era Endymion, flanked by his four guardians, held the position of Crown Prince of Earth. Despite a prohibition on relations between people of the Earth and the Moon, he and Princess Serenity fell in love. Out of jealousy and under the influence of the evil Queen Metalia, a peasant woman named Beryl raised up the citizens of Earth in a war against the Moon. Warfare completely wiped out both kingdoms, so the evolution of life had to restart from the beginning.[1]

Before dying, the Queen sent her daughter and Endymion for rebirth on Earth during the 20th century. They become Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba and even before they recover their memories, they succeed in finding each other once again. The Sailor Senshi also undergo rebirth, becoming close friends; through their efforts, the reinstated Dark Kingdom and even Metalia herself are destroyed. In the manga, the Moon Kingdom and its castle are "resurrected" at the end of this conflict, but Usagi decides to continue living on Earth, with her parents and with Mamoru.[3]

Crystal Tokyo

File:CrystalTokyo.jpg

Both the anime and the manga reveal that a new Silver Millennium will exist in the 30th century, centered in the city of Crystal Tokyo. Usagi and Mamoru will rule it under the names of Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion, and they will have a daughter named Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity.

The Guardian Senshi protect not only Neo-Queen Serenity, but the entire royal family. However, the story makes no mention of the location of the Outer Senshi, other than Sailor Pluto. After their awakening in the manga, the Sailor Quartet also act as guards, but to Small Lady. Luna, Artemis, and Diana live in the palace as well.[4] The Black Lady Musicals (but no other canon) show that the Outer Senshi are around during this time and help the Senshi of the present fight the Black Moon Clan.

At the center of the kingdom stands the Crystal Palace, where the Royal Family and the Guardian Senshi live. The manga depicts it over water, while in the anime it has another palace, Serenity Palace,[5] located at the top middle spire. It is particularly shown in the beginning credits for the second opening sequence of Sailor Moon R, and is seen in a flashback where Chibiusa thinks that the Guardian Senshi and her parents have forgotten her birthday.[6] Later, the interior is shown, indicating that this is the part of the Crystal Palace where the Royal Family and their protectors live.

Exposure to the Silver Crystal renders all of Crystal Tokyo's inhabitants functionally immortal. Anyone not born there becomes essentially locked at their current physical age, as shown by the Queen and King and their court, who all appear as if aged in their early twenties. Anyone born in Crystal Tokyo has a slow growth-rate – Small Lady, for example, is stated in the manga to be over 900 years old, yet has the body and mind of a child. According to her parents, such an extremely slow growth is irregular,[7] and Chibiusa's extended childhood is an important part of the fourth plot arc.

The series depicts the Sailor Senshi of the 30th century in their original uniforms, without any of the enhancements or powerups they gained in the latter part of the series.[8] At the time of drawing the plot arc, Takeuchi had not yet introduced the idea of enhancing the Senshi uniforms. However the series shows that one can alter the future, as in the manga Chibi-Usa brings back one of her mother's weapons to fight alongside Sailor Moon in the second arc and the present breaks in the final battle. She then takes a new weapon back for Sailor Moon, and Neo-Queen Serenity acquires a new scepter when it appears in her hands.

Though Serenity has taken her place as Queen on Earth, Takeuchi leaves it unclear whether she returns to the Moon as Neo-Queen Serenity to re-establish herself as the new monarch of the Moon Kingdom itself.

Key figures

Queen Serenity

File:QueenSerenity6.jpg

Queen Serenity (クィーン・セレニティ Kuīn Sereniti?) is the mother of Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon) and maternal grandmother of ChibiUsa (Small Lady). Queen Serenity occasionally appears as a guide to help the Sailor Senshi remember who they are through Luna. She states in the manga that the ancients knew her as the goddess Selene,[1] and because of this her name is sometimes romanized as Queen Serenity. In the original anime, her voice is provided by Mika Doi. In the English dub, she is voiced by Barbara Radecki and Wendy Lyon. She is portrayed as having been a "good ruler".[9] Her husband, the Moon King (and Princess Serenity's father), never appears in any version of the metaseries.

In the anime, Queen Serenity makes her first appearance as a silhouette in episode 35. A more formal introduction comes in episode 44, when the Senshi travel to the moon. (In the English dub, some footage of her talking with Artemis is shown at the beginning of the first episode.)[10] Having sacrificed her own life long ago, she appears only in spirit, as a sort of hologram. It is she who tells the Senshi about their past lives, and about the history of the Moon Kingdom. In flashback, she is shown speaking the name of the Crystal (or, in the dub, "Cosmic Moon Power") to send her daughter and the others to be reborn in the future; she also uses Moon Healing Escalation, a power inherited by Sailor Moon.[11] After this encounter, she appears just once more to give Sailor Moon a new transformation brooch and rod,[12] and is mentioned again during the fourth story arc, in connection with Queen Nehellenia.Script error

In the manga, Queen Serenity first appears in Act 10.[1] As in the anime, she appears as a hologram, and specifically mentions having saved her spirit within the computer in order to preserve her will. She tells the Senshi of their past lives, which they begin to remember as she describes them, and tells them that they must find Metalia, who has escaped the seal placed on her and gone into hiding on Earth. Early on, Queen Serenity's spirit appears in the reconstructed Moon Kingdom, telling her daughter to find happiness with the one she loves.[13] She appears three times more, all in flashback: once in Sailor Pluto's memories;[14] after the birth of Princess Serenity, confronted by Queen Nehellenia;[15] and visiting the Galaxy Cauldron.[16]

Queen Serenity does not appear in the live-action series, but does appear in its "Special Act". Miyuu Sawai plays the Queen as well as her daughter, though Youko Soumi (who narrated a book in Act 9) provides her voice.

Sailor Princesses

Act 41 of the manga reveals the Sailor Team as princesses of the Solar System. Each one had her own castle, which she can call upon late in the series for power. This act first enables Sailor Moon to transform into Eternal Sailor Moon. The castles are named after moons, except for Mercury's and Venus'. Venus' castle is introduced long before the others', in the Sailor V manga,[17] but she never mentions this to them.

File:SenshiPrincesses.jpg

In Act 45, Sailors Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto actually visit their castles — huge structures orbiting around their respective planets. Each castle features viewscreens, forcefields, comm systems, and other forms of high technology; each comes under the protection of a Power Guardian, who appears as a miniature version of the Senshi she serves. Sailor Pluto states that she remembers her castle, and that they were given to all the Senshi by Queen Serenity at the time of their birth.[18]

Takeuchi's Materials Collection artbook shows the detailed design of each princess's unique gown. The Senshi wear the gowns at key moments in the Stars manga, and also in the Original Picture Collection Volume IV. Flashbacks to the Silver Millennium, however, always show them dressed in their ordinary uniforms.

Sailor Power Guardians

In the manga only, the Sailor Power Guardians look like sprites — tiny versions of the Guardian and Outer Sailor Senshi who live in their respective castles. The series shows only the Guardian and Outer Senshi as having Power Guardians, and although all eight are shown, only three of them are referred to by name: Guardian Uranus, Guardian Neptune and Guardian Pluto[19] The rest of their names appear in cast drawing in one of the artbooks. The Sailor Power Guardians are responsible for keeping the Castles safe while the Senshi are on Earth, and provide some of the Senshi with their Sailor Crystals during the Dream arc.

Each Power Guardian communicates with her respective Senshi by calling on the power of that Senshi's Sailor Crystal. The Power Guardians can help the Sailor Princesses call on the power of their Castles to produce a new transformation. Thus they upgraded to new forms and poured this power into the Rainbow Moon Chálice, which in turn allowed Usagi to become Eternal Sailor Moon for the first time.

The Sailor Power Guardians disappear in the Stars arc around the time of the killing of the Senshi they protect.[20] The exact nature of their fate remains unclear, although the Senshi themselves later undergo rebirth.

Silver Crystal

The Silver Crystal (銀水晶 Ginzuishō?) functions as one of the most important items in the Sailor Moon metaseries. Its full name translates as "Illusion Silver Crystal" (幻の銀水晶 Maboroshi no Ginzuishō?), "Phantom Silver Crystal", or other names, but the series frequently refers to it by its shortened title. The English-dubbed anime sometimes calls it the "Imperium Silver Crystal" — as well as various other names.

The Silver Crystal possesses tremendous power, capable of reviving an entire world from ruin, but the strain of using such power often costs the user her life - as the power actually derives from the life force of the Moon dynasty, the members of which alone can actually use it. The anime shows this happening three times. The first time is in a flashback with Queen Serenity, and the second time is Usagi defeats Queen Metalia at the end of season one and finally, in the R movie. It is shown as the source of Queen Serenity's power during the Silver Millennium; Usagi Tsukino and Chibiusa each go on to inherit the Crystal in some form.

Both the anime and manga commonly portray the Silver Crystal as possibly the single most powerful artifact in the universe, able to focus the energy of its wielder to perform magnificent feats. However, several artifacts rival it in strength, including the Black Crystal of the Death Phantom in Sailor Moon R and the Saffer Crystal of Sailor Galaxia. In the fifth series of the anime, the crystal also appears to double as the Star Seed of Sailor Moon, which was hinted at in the R movie, and the manga implies that it is her Sailor Crystal. It takes on a multitude of shapes, including round, diamond, rose, heart, star, and lotus, and it turns pink while stored within the brooches of both Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon.

Because Chibiusa comes from the future and will eventually inherit the Silver Crystal from Usagi, two versions of it exist in the series. After the first and second story-arcs, the owners of the crystals keep them in their respective transformation brooches and only remove them in times of urgent need. In the final Last Dracul musical, a third Silver Crystal appears when Usagi's crystal resonates with a past version of itself, owned by Princess Serenity. This allows Serenity to briefly come to the present with her crystal and aid her future self. Before leaving, she states that the Silver Crystal cannot be used by just anyone. Vulcan later states that it will always find itself when it needs to.[21]

Although some critics[who?] of Sailor Moon have noted that her powers derive from her "consumerist" external baubles, Emily Ravenwood argues that the Silver Crystal, which "saves the day", comes forth from Usagi's tear, and therefore represents internal attributes.[22]

Use in the manga

Characters make use of the Silver Crystal several times in the manga — often in battle to defeat the final "boss villain". The crystal has two primary powers: the ability to generate a powerful magical attack and the power to rejuvenate (both physically and mentally). The crystal seems to have both more control and more focused power when attached to Sailor Moon's Moon Stick, though Usagi eventually becomes so in-tune with her power that she no longer needs the extra help of the Moon Stick. One might infer that the reason why her mother needed it was because the Silver Crystal's true form as Usagi's Star Seed, and thus she's the only one that can make full use of its potential. But to use all of it would kill her as it would use up all her life force. However her love for others and desire to help them appears to be strong enough could extend that life force interminably.

Queen Serenity first initiates use of the Silver Crystal to remove negative influences from the Earth and also to send Princess Serenity and her court to Earth. It was also used to send the souls of her fallen subjects into the future to be reincarnated, which cost the queen her life. It also extends the life of the user and those around them if they do not use it to its limit.

The Crystal eventually evolves into the next form: a Sailor Crystal. For Sailor Moon, it evolved into the Silver Moon Crystal. For Chibiusa it evolved into the Pink Moon Crystal. (This supports the theory which sees the Silver Crystal as a Star Seed that evolves throughout the generations.)

The Silver Crystal is also considered[by whom?] the most powerful crystal next to its evolved forms.

Use in the anime

The anime adds a few extra powers to the Silver Crystal, for instance, the Sailor Moon R movie showed that it could be used to construct a shield, as in the first season when Princess Serenity battled Queen Beryl with the Moon Stick. In conjunction with the Moon Stick it is also used to heal people back to their normal forms. Most of the other properties of the Silver Crystal are the same of the manga. It is used in the anime far more than the manga. The anime also emphasises love as the key to using the full powers of the Silver Crystal. In the anime, specifically in Episode 83 of Sailor Moon R, the Crystal was not only powerful enough to restore the Earth and its people to life after the planet was devastated by some unspecified ecological catastrophe (specified in the manga as the next ice age), it also created the metropolis of Crystal Tokyo.[23]

The Silver Crystal in the anime also has the unique ability to borrow the powers of the other Senshi to further amplify its own powers. The last episode of the first season demonstrates this for the first time: as Usagi battles with Queen Beryl and seems about to lose, the other Senshi lend their powers to Usagi by calling out their Henshin phrases. Their powers then visibly get absorbed into the Crystal and concentrated directly at Beryl, leaving her in ashes. Usagi performs this feat once again in the Sailor Moon R movie Promise of the Rose just before the Silver Crystal shatters leaving Usagi in a temporary state of death. Finally, the Sailor Moon S movie shows Usagi doing this with the Silver Crystal: for the first and last time, both the inner and outer Senshi (with the exception of Sailor Saturn, who does not appear in the movie) lend their powers to the Silver Crystal. As a result, Usagi's and the other Senshi's fuku turn to the purest white light, exerting enough power not only to defeat the Snow Queen, but to transform Luna into Princess Kaguya (referring to the old tale of the Bamboo Cutter) of the moon.

When Usagi uses the Silver Crystal in the Sailor Moon R movie, the other senshi fear for her life. The film implies that Usagi's life force connects directly with the Silver Crystal, and exerting too much of that power will kill her. This fear is also brought up again when Usagi uses the Silver Crystal to battle the Snow Queen in the Sailor Moon S movie. This theory is further supported in the Sailor Stars anime when Usagi's Star Seed is revealed to be the Silver Crystal itself, and removing a Star Seed from a true Senshi causes their "Starlight" to vanish, and leads to their inevitable death. However in the Sailor Stars series, when Usagi draws an unprecedented amount of power from the Silver Crystal and heals Sailor Galaxia without threatening her life. It often blooms into a lotus shape, which indicates a more powerful version of the same crystal - indicating a more direct link to her life force and the amount of energy she can expend from it.

Rainbow Crystals

The anime features seven rainbow crystals that had the Seven Great Youma (Daiyōma, Seven Shadows in the English dub) sealed into them. They are the most powerful youma in the Dark Kingdom. Thanks to the power of Queen Serenity, they were sealed within seven separate shards of the Silver Crystal and carried to Earth where they were reincarnated centuries later, with no memories of their prior existences. All seven rainbow crystals (and, as in the manga, one of Usagi's tears) are needed to recombine into the Silver Crystal.

Seven carriers of the Rainbow Crystals exist:

  1. Gacen (ゲーセーン Gēsēn?), episode 25: the keeper of the red Rainbow Crystal, a cyber-youma reborn as Crane Joe, a pro at prize-grabber games due to his ability to make small objects levitate. His name is short for "game center".
  2. Boxy (ボクシー Bokushī?), episode 26: the keeper of the orange Rainbow Crystal, a winged, boxing youma reborn as a priest who Naru was with at a cemetery. His name is a pun on bokushi, meaning "minister" in Japanese, and bokushingu, meaning "boxing".
  3. Bumbo (ブンボー Bunbō?), episode 27: the keeper of the yellow Rainbow Crystal, a reptilian youma reborn as Ryo Urawa, who developed a crush on Ami. Though the beast awakened, Urawa attempted to retain control over himself and attacked Zoisite, only to end up completely under his control.
  4. Beana (ビーナ Bīna?), episode 28: the keeper of the green Rainbow Crystal, an angelic plant youma reborn as local artist Yumeni Yumeno. Her attacks are art-based.
  5. Rikocader (リコケイダー Rikokeidā?), episode 29: the keeper of the blue Rainbow Crystal, a youma reborn as Motoki's girlfriend, Reika Nishimura.
  6. Jiji (ジジ?), episode 30: the keeper of the indigo Rainbow Crystal, an Oni-like youma who is reincarnated as Rei's grandfather.
  7. Bakane (バケーネ Bakēne?), episode 31: the keeper of the violet Rainbow Crystal, a beastly youma reborn as the cat Rhett Butler, who had a thing for Luna, even in youma form. (He and his owner, Ohara, share names with the main characters of Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara.)

Use in the live-action series

As in the manga, the Silver Crystal originally remains concealed within Usagi's body. But the Crystal has a double-edged power: even in the possession of Sailor Moon, its excess power could not only energize Metalia but, if enough is exerted through it, could destroy the entire planet. It is shattered in the series finale, causing all of the Senshi's transformation devices to vanish.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Naoko Takeuchi. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon manga, Act 10. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved 2006-09-09. 
  2. Anime episode 39.
  3. Naoko Takeuchi. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon manga, Act 14. "The Manga of Takeuchi Naoko". Retrieved 2006-09-10. 
  4. Takeuchi, Naoko (November 6, 1993, July 5, 1995). "Act 19". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 5. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178764-0.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. Anime artbook, Sailor Moon R.
  6. Episode 85.
  7. Takeuchi, Naoko (April 5, 1994). "Act 20". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 6. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178772-1. 
  8. Manga Act 23, anime Episode 88.
  9. Emily Ravenwood, More About Gender Dynamics, Etc.
  10. Wheeler, Robert; Bednarski, Dan; Wood, Tiffany. "Sailor Moon Uncensored". Retrieved 2006-10-27.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) Full list of changes made for English dub
  11. Episode 44.
  12. Episode 51.
  13. Act 12.
  14. Act 22.
  15. Act 41.
  16. Act 52.
  17. Takeuchi, Naoko (December 18, 1993). "Vol. 1". Codename: Sailor V Book 1. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-322801-0. 
  18. Takeuchi, Naoko (September 6, 1996). "Act 45". Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Volume 16. Kodansha. ISBN 4-06-178841-8. 
  19. Act 47.
  20. Acts 45 and 47.
  21. 2001 Spring Special musical, Chou Wakusei Death Vulcan no Fuuin.
  22. Ravenwood, Emily Informal Responses to Essays Published on Sailor Moon
  23. http://www.usagi.org/doi/smoon/episodes/smr083.html
it:Silver Millennium

pl:Królowa Serenity

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