The various parts and points of Crystal Tokyo can be a bit confusing at times, so I decided to make a terminology post clarifying which term applies to what!
This is the capital of Earth in the 30th Century, where Neo-Queen Serenity and King Endymion rule over the Earth. It…
Imagine the teaser trailer. Peeks at the iconic costume, a villain’s growled one-liner, the title looming suddenly out of the darkness with THIS CHRISTMAS or SUMMER 2014 beneath it. Imagine the interviews in Entertainment Weekly: the costume design chief noting how they “went with the more…
Today’s featured hairstyle is Chibiusa’s “grownup” hair. We see two different versions of this in the anime. The first is seen when she transforms into Black Lady in episode 85, The Birth of Black Lady, The Queen of Darkness. The second is seen when PallaPalla switches Chibiusa and Usagi’s physical ages in episode 158, The Secret of Pegasus! The Handsome Guardian of the Dream World.
In both instances, Chibiusa’s hair becomes much longer in order to suggest that time has passed (or has been sped up). However, the despite having similar lengths the two hairstyles seem quite different. Black Lady’s hair is thinner and seems to have the texture of Usagi or Neo Queen Serenity’s hair. In contrast, the older Chibiusa from episode 158 has thicker hair that seems to curl more, resembling how her hair sticks out to the sides when she is a child and her hair is shorter.
There might be a reason for the difference in the hairstyles. Black Lady is not necessarily a true image of Chibiusa as she gets older. Rather, she is a distorted image formed in Chibiusa’s childish mind when she grabs hold of the idea that she should be a “proper lady” like her mother, and essentially wishes to take Neo Queen Serenity’s place as ruler. So instead of actually being an older version of Chibiusa, Black Lady is Chibiusa’s mental picture of herself in the place of her mother, and thus is formed in Neo Queen Serenity’s image.
In episode 158, Chibiusa’s “dream” is not to become Usagi, but to be older. PallaPalla perhaps temporarily sped up the aging process in Chibiusa’s body rather than changing her appearance based on her mental image. Thus, we get the thicker hair that looks to match more Chibiusa’s natural hair texture.
Things you never think about >.> I really liked this! It definitely makes sense!
So enter Minako and her first meeting, of a sort, with Usagi.
There’s a lot to consider here.
In the next episode, the others don’t recognize Minako when she comes to the Shrine. They don’t explain why, but let’s go with magic that clouds their identities, at least until they know the truth, since that’s a pretty easy answer. But how far does that go? Is it working for Minako too? When she goes to the Shrine, does she recognize the others, or is she just using logic/process of elimination? (“I know Rei Hino is Sailor Mars. I know Rei Hino is a miko of this shrine. So the one in the robes with the broom must be Sailor Mars, even if I don’t recognize her.”)
She and Artemis have the advantage of Luna having been reporting to them this whole time, so they must by now know, intellectually, who the Senshi are and their real identities. But is the knowing enough, if its just a name and maybe a photograph or two? Would Minako need to actually have that revealed to her directly for the magic to no longer work?
Basically, as Minako is standing here, watching Usagi cry, does she know who she’s looking at?
Her expression is so hard to read. She’s obviously surprised, but it could be for any one of a dozen different reasons, and they’re all fascinating.
I think that this is the moment the magic lifted for her. Like it takes SOMETHING to break through it. Just the knowledge isn’t enough, it has to come with some sort of MOMENT, some flash of inspiration or acceptance, where it all comes together.
Up to this point, Minako’s been following Usagi. Again, intellectually, she knows that Usagi is Sailor Moon, but she still can’t really see it. Then she sees Usagi’s reaction to Zoicite, and it clicks. And then this rush. Maybe a few scattered memories. Emotions she doesn’t quite understand. Standing there, in the street, watching this girl cry helplessly, and just for that moment, Minako’s completely stunned and overwhelmed by everything. It’s all coming together so fast now.
And not even thinking poorly of how Usagi’s reacting either. It’s so real and so genuine. Minako’s about to get her teammates, potentially friends if she dares allow herself to hope. She’ll remain detached for a long time yet, and it won’t be easy for her. But just for this moment, none of that matters. Usagi’s a crybaby and doesn’t know what to do, and has maybe never needed someone like Minako more. And all of what Minako’s been through now has context. That’s what her face in that second panel says to me. Not shock at Usagi’s reaction. Shock at the realization that she’s going to have people like Usagi at all. Real people with real feelings who aren’t always brave and who don’t have all the answers. Minako doesn’t have to be alone anymore. She sees Usagi now, she’s real, and Minako will never fight alone again.
The watercolor of the inner senshi