I’m a huge fan of the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon. I love it. It’s my favorite arc of the franchise and was my first exposure to the series. The soundtrack is amazing, the characters are lovable, and there are a slew of amazing scenes. It is just a wonderful addition to the lore of the Sailor Moon series. However, […]
I’m a huge fan of the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon. I love it. It’s my favorite arc of the franchise and was my first exposure to the series. The soundtrack is amazing, the characters are lovable, and there are a slew of amazing scenes. It is just a wonderful addition to the lore of the Sailor Moon series.
However, I think one thing that some people may have overlooked about this arc is the theatrical and narrative themes. I believe that if one were to analyze and break down the arc’s themes, they could gain a better appreciation for it.
Join me as I go in-depth in the themes of the Infinity Arc. I hope that after reading this article, you’ll gain greater love for arguably the best arc of the series.
Science and Technology
‘Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.’
Ian Malcom – “Jurassic Park”
The theme of science and technology is one of the best things of the arc. It’s a refreshing addition to the lore of the series. While prior villains Queen Beryl and Wiseman were versed in magical arts, Infinity Arc villain Professor Tomoe used science and technology to combat against the Sailor Scouts’.
From genetically engineering superhumans such as the Witches 5 (manga and Crystal anime), transforming his own daughter into a cyborg, implanting himself with an alien egg, and constantly performing experiments, Tomoe had various tools of in his arsenal in relation to science. I mean hell, the man was even blacklisted from the scientific community for his illegal and unethical experiments (manga and Crystal).
The brilliant Tomoe wasn’t alone in using science against the Scouts. His assistant, Eudial had her own tool set as well.
Eudial (of the Witches 5) fought the Scouts using her own tools such as poison gas, a shotgun that exacted a victim’s Pure Heart, a flame thrower that even surpass the strength of the Sailor Scouts, and perhaps her most dangerous tool; her wits and mind.
While she wasn’t a total genius like her superior, her wisdom could not be ignored. The woman even wrote a computer program that hunted down possible owners of pure hearts and the Holy Talismans. In addition, she built a super computer made from peach cans. Hell, she even worked on dimension transporter device in her downtime.
Granted, she did realize there were fatal flaws with the device. Something that her hater I mean partner Mimete learned the hard way. Boy did she learn the hard way.
I can’t forget the more science fiction elements of Sailor Moon S. The invasion of the Daimons felt like something out of sci-fi movie; strange aliens from a foreign galaxy attempting to take the world over, using humans as their host. Or whatever cheesy plot they thought of.
Even Mistress 9’s theme sounds like a track from a sci-fi film:
I wonder, was Naoko Takeuchi and the Toei writing staff were on a sci-fi kick during the development of the Infinity manga and anime arc? The sci-fi aesthesis are way obvious. Cyberpunk and sci-fi culture were dominating and influential in the anime and manga culture of the early 90s. I would not be shocked if Naoko and Toei were influenced by the cyberpunk culuture for the arc. In any case, the sci-fi elements were a breath of fresh air after compared to two anime season and manga arcs of magic and fantasy. It brought something new to the series.
Father and Daughter
Father, you left me but I never left you
I needed you, you didn’t need me
So I, I just gotta tell you
– John Lennon “Mother”
The father and daughter narrative isn’t anything new in the series. You have Usagi and her pops, Kenji. Then we have Chibi-Usa, and her dad, Mamoru (and of course, Chibi-Usa’s dark persona Black Lady with her Electra Complex with Mamoru).
Those examples of fathers-and-daughters are stable. However, with the introduction of Hotaru,it broke the mold of the stable father/daughter relationship in Sailor Moon (excluding Rei and her dad, but that’s for another alcohol fuled writing)
The manga and the original anime continuity depict Hotaru and Souichi’s relationship in polar opposites. To put it nicely, Souichi was a piece of shit to Hotaru in the manga. The selfish asshole viewed his daughter’s injuries resulted from a fire in his lab as a blessing. Taking advantage of the newfound “blessings”, Souichi fitted Hotaru with cybernetic implants, as well as genetically modified her by infusing the kid with the egg of Daimon Mistress 9 (given to him by Master Pharaoh 90). Souichi’s selfish actions, and his desire for revenge ruined not only Hotaru’s body, but her life as well.
Hotaru had some well… daddy issues. She went off on her dad, frustrated with him for allowing Kaorinite in their house. She also moped about her dad being consistently away, focused on his research rather than her. Thus, Hotaru felt lonely.
It doesn’t help Souichi’s case that he only cared about Hotaru to awaken Mistress 9. In addition, he only saw Hotaru as a science experiment, a perfect hybrid of cybernetic, genetic, and alien technology. Yea, the dude saved his daughter’s life. Yet, he only did it to make her into a living puppet.
Sometimes, family ain’t shit.
‘Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me’
When it comes to their relationship in the first anime, Hotaru and Souichi were close. The two loved each other dearly. Souichi gave up his freewill to Germatoid , in order to Hotaru’s life, who lost it in a lab explosion. Souichi was supportive of Hotaru, always there for her and made the girl his number one priority.
Despite not being his fault, Souichi regretted ruining Hotaru’s life. In his defenese, he wasn’t unaware that Germtoid made her a vessel for Mistress 9. Souichi even risked his own life to protect Hotaru, taking blows from Mistress 9 and attempted to restore his kid (Even though Mistress 9 used Hotaru’s voice to trick him and Sailor Moon).
While I’m on the subject on Mistress 9, I love the more sinister side of Hotaru and Souichi’s relationship; Germatoid and Mistress 9. Although indirect, they did have some interactions while under the possession of their alien overlords.
It’s strange to think how opposite their relationship were when comparing the anime and manga. Souichi was willing to save Hotaru, even if it meant becoming a servant to Germatoid. While he was noble for doing so, it did spite him, as Hotaru would become Mistress 9’s vessel. Souichi had enormous remorse for allowing Hotaru to be possessed, despite he knew it wasn’t his fault. Unfortunately his manga counterpart did not share that guilt. He felt prideful about his actions, thinking of Hotaru as just a project and not his daughter.
Conflict and Division
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
-WAR “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
Most fictional team up will have their time of division and conflict. The nWo splitting between the nWo Black/White and nWo Black/Red, the Avengers splitting up between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America, and Spider-Man and Venom’s team splitting during the events of Maximum Carnage. It’s bound to happen.
With the introduction of the Outer Scouts, and their goal of saving the world by any means, including sacrificing the wielders of the Pure Heart Crystal, the Inner Scouts will face their biggest problem yet: Inner conflict and division. It doesn’t help that the problem increased with Hotaru revealed as the Messiah of Destruction, but more on that later.
I love the clash between the two teams. Right from the jump, the Outers didn’t play with Usagi’s optimistic, idealistic views. Hell, they flat out told her to stop being childish and selfish; bigger things were at stake.
Episode 21 of Infinity arc, “The Death of Uranus Neptune?!” expands on this:
Usagi is desperately pleading Haruka and Michiru to join forces with the Inner Scouts. You can feel her emotions as she wants the pair to unite with her team. Usagi wants nothing more but to unify her friends. Despite Usagi positive attitude, Haruka snatches Usagi’s transformation brooch and gives the girl a chilling warning:
“Don’t ever show yourself in front of us ever again…Sailor Moon. Or else.”
Haruka and Michiru ain’t playing games, even if it meant threatening to kill Usagi to save the world.
Speaking of killing, The Outers had no issue with wanting to kill a sickly 12-year-old child, Hotaru Tomoe, whom was confirmed to be the Messiah of Silence, Sailor Saturn. The second Saturn awakens in Hotaru, the trio went on the attack, not caring if this was a damn kid. They wanted her dead, for the sake of the great good.
By the way, Hotaru is the best friend of Chibi-Usa, who just happens to be the future daughter of Usagi. One of the Outer Senshi is Setsuna/Pluto, who just happens to be a second mother to Chibi-Usa.
So this whole “Kill Hotaru” thing was going to be fun for all parties involved, right? Two group of allies and friends split into two opposing teams. You have one team aiming to save the person because it wasn’t their fault that they are a puppet for the bad guy. Then, you have the other team wanted to kill the person regardless.
Hell, even our heroes weren’t the only ones with team work issues. The Witches 5 (anime) weren’t too keen on sticking together. Mimete and Eudial had their beef with one another. In Eudial’s defense, Mimete was a complete and jealous idiot who wasn’t shit. Their beef escalated to life-ending heights, with Mimete destroying the break system in Eudial’s station wagon, leading her to a watery death.
Mimete’s petty shit starting would catch up to her, leading to her own death at the hands of another member of the Witches 5, Tellu. You see, Mimete thought she was slick, calling up Tellu and pretending to be Professor Tomoe (using a voice changer), reliving Tellu of her duties. All so she could could take Tellu’s spot in the upcoming mission.
Tellu wasn’t playing that shit. Boy, she wasn’t playing that shit.
Man, it’s such a damn shame that even the bad guys, who are supposed to work together in order to defeat the good guys, are beefing.
Teamwork makes the dream work but not with these fools…
‘The time has come
O Messiah. O Messiahs.’
– Dragon Ball Z Soundtrack “Day of Destiny – Spirit vs. Spirit”
Messiah of Creation. Messiah of Destruction. They’re like ying and yang; one can’t exist without the other. Sailor Moon is the fabled as the messiah; the one whom will bring hope and salvation against the taboo messiah of destruction and death; Sailor Saturn.
We are introduced to the Messiah of Destruction in Rei’s horrifying premonition. The world is frozen, painted in red. Rei, (the only person who isn’t frozen), spots a destruction force of light and energy approaching. It’s dreadful. As Rei is violently pushed back by the energy, a light shines behind her. She turns to it and in despair ask is it the Messiah.
The light ignores her cry. Rei can only watch as the darkness consumes her allies the world. Never get your hopes up, children.
As the series progress, additional information of the Messiah of Destruction are presented. In episode 30 of S, we are revisited by Rei’s nightmare. This time, there’s a feminine figure with a scythe (hmm…), standing on a cliff menacingly, illumined in a bright white light. Rei’s vision ends with the figure violently descending towards Rei, bringing her scythe down on the girl ending with blood splatter.
Rei awakens, recalling the dream. She notices the figure has a recognizable face, but quite can’t put her finger on who it is. It’s totally not Hotaru as Sailor Saturn who’s the malevolent messiah. Trust me; I have never misled people on the internet.
As for the true Messiah, she is hinted as Sailor Moon. After Neptune’s death, and the revelation of the two being the Talimans wielders, Uranus questions the Messiah. She asks their deaths were divine punishment for their crimes of their mission. In her despair, she envisioned the messiah, whom in actuality is an untransformed Usagi.
Usagi envisioned as the messiah is fitting. Time and time again, Usagi is willing to put her own life on the line for both the world, and her loved ones. Usagi even risked her life to save Uranus, the same person who threatened her earlier in the episode.
When the Outers tried to kill Hotaru, Usagi pushed the girl out of the way of a combine energy blast that may had otherwise killed her. Usagi defends her new friend, stating that it’s not her fault that she is Saturn, and that she shouldn’t have to die.
Usagi still had the drive to protect Hotaru, even after her transformation to Mistress 9. Usagi took an energy blast from Pharaoh 90 head on, (who attempted to kill Mistress 9). Before that, Usagi attempted to restore Hotaru back to normal by giving her the Holy Grail. Granted, it was a trick from Mistress 9 (who was using Hotaru’s voice) to manipulate Usagi into giving her the Grail.
Finally, Usagi tried to save Hotaru (as Saturn), who jumped into the core of Pharoh 90 to kill him and save the world. Despite being warned by Saturn that she may not survive inside Pharoh 90, Usagi still went in. While Usagi “failed” to save Hotaru, who had died using her destruction powers, Usagi managed to recover a reincarnated, newly born Hotaru.
By the way, did you notice that both Saturn and Moon were introduced as messiahs at right around the same time? It’s like both the Toei writing staff and Takeuchi knew how to directed these two to meet at the end of the arc. It gives a sense of duality with Saturn, being the Messiah of Destruction, the one who would end the world, and Sailor Moon, the Messiah of Creation, the one who will save it. Of course however, Sailor Saturn became the savoir of the world, sacrificing her life in the progress.
‘If you have feelings for other people…anyone can be a messiah.”
Sailor Moon S Episode 36
‘Logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one’
The narrative theme of sacrifice returns in Sailor Moon Infinity and boy, do they shove it down our throats. From Uranus and Neptune’s willingness to sacrifice the live of pure heart owners, to the two losing their own lives to ensure the world’s protection, to Profressor Tomoe surrendering his freewill to save Hotaru in the anime, to Hotaru herself giving up her life to save the world, sacrifice plays a huge role in Infinity.
As previously mentioned, Uranus and Neptune’s prime objective was to track down the Holy Talismans, sealed within three Pure Hearts. The Three Holy Talismans (The Mirror, The Sword, and The Garnet Orb) were tools to summoning The Holy Grail (or Sailor Saturn in the manga/Crystal anime). Once summoned, the true Messiah will use the Grail’s everlasting power to stop the threating silence and Messiah of Destruction. However, in order to unseal the Holy Talismans, the Pure Heart owners had to be sacrificed.
As time went on, Uranus and Neptune were revealed to be the wielders of two Talismans (by Eudial). Upon her death, Neptune ‘s Pure Heart transformed to the Deep Aqua Mirror. Once Uranus realized she too held a Pure Heart, she took her own life to exact it, in hopes that Usagi will use the Talismans to summon the Holy Grail and save the world.
(Of course Uranus and Neptune were brought back to life, so their sacrifices were somewhat meaningless.)
After concluding that Hotaru was Sailor Saturn, the Outer Scouts decided they needed to kill her in order to prevent the world’s destruction from Saturn. Take an innocent girl’s life to save countless others.
It’s heavy, isn’t it?
I do find this funny: the Outer Scouts wanted to sacrifice Hotaru life. The Inner Scouts were all gung-ho against it. Despite the conflicted groups’ back-and-forth aguring, Hotaru ‘s life was still sacrificed. Just not in the way anyone expected. After Hotaru accepts that she is Sailor Saturn, she jumps into the core of Pharaoh 90, and destroys him, killing herself in the progress, but saving the world and her friends (and of course her father in the first anime).
While sacrifice was always a theme prior and after, I love how it’s portrayed in the Infinity Arc. It wasn’t just about Usagi, or the other Scouts putting their own lives on the line. Others may have their own life sacrifice if needed be. Eventually, one life was taken to save the lives of countless others. This arc did brought up the ethics of sacrifice. It is like to to say is if really okay to (unwilling) sacrifice one person’s life to save the lives of others.
Sailor Moon S/Infinity is my most beloved and favorite of the series. The narrative themes oof this arc made it interesting and analyzing the themes makes it a renewing experience. The Science and Technology theme was refreshing in a magic based series. The paralles of the father-daughter relationship of Hotaru and Souichi from the anime and manga were conflciting, The Outer Senshi brought in something that the Inner Scouts never dealt with in the past: division and in-fighting. The Messiahs gave the arc a near religious side to the series. Finally, the sacrifice theme presented the issue of is it ethic to take a life of a person to others.
On the surface Sailor Moon S appears to be that of a simple shoujo magical girl series but once you dig into the narrative themes with an analytical mindset you’ll uncover that there are hidden meanings behind this excellent arc.
I hope with this in-depth look of the themes of S you have gained a better apperication for the season as much as I have. Thank you for taking the time out of your life to read this article.
Thanks to everyone who supported and believed in me. Thank you so much.