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Sailor Moon R: The Movie is the first of three theatrically-released Sailor Moon films. Its full name in Japanese, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R The Movie (劇場版 美少女戦士セーラームーンR Gekijōban Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Āru?), became Sailor Moon R the Movie: Promise of the Rose in the English-language dub. The film debuted in Japanese theaters on December 5, 1993 and Pioneer Entertainment released it in the United States for VHS and DVD on February 8, 2000, and for TV on November 2, 2001.[1] It takes its name from the second arc of the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon R, as Toei distributed it around the same time. The events portrayed seem to take place somewhere in the middle of the second part of the series, as Chibiusa knows about the identities of the senshi and can still be seen, the characters are still in the present rather than the future, and Mamoru and Usagi are back together.

Plot

The movie opens with an introduction by Usagi and the other Senshi. After the movie's introduction, a young Mamoru appears on the roof of a hospital: he hands another small boy a rose. The little boy thanks him and says, "No one has ever given me a gift before". He then dissolves into thin air as he vows to bring Mamoru a flower. The movie flashes forward to the present day, with Mamoru, Usagi, and the rest of the four "Inner" Senshi at a botanical garden. Usagi tries to steal a kiss from Mamoru, but when he suspects that he is being spied on by the other senshi, he walks off outside alone, which gives the other Senshi a chance to play a prank on Usagi.

While outside, the fountain a few feet from Mamoru suddenly goes silent and a pink rose-petal floats past him. The sky goes dark and thousands of flower-petals fall out of the sky as the girls come outside; Usagi and Chibiusa laughing and giggling. A young man about Mamoru's age appears and the flower petals vanish. Usagi runs up to Mamoru, asking him if he saw the flower petals, but the young man interrupts her and takes Mamoru's hand. Mamoru has no idea as to the identity of the young man, and these events terrify Usagi. She tries to remove the man's hand from Mamoru, but the man gets angry and forcefully pushes Usagi down. He vows that no one will prevent him from keeping his promise. He shoots flower petals at the group and then vanishes in a flurry of them. While the girls question the identity of the young man, Mamoru mutters "Fiore... it can't be."

Later, back at Rei's temple, the group (without Mamoru) discuss an asteroid which has started to approach Earth and on which Luna and Artemis have discovered traces of vegetal life. The talk turns into gossip about Mamoru's and Fiore's possible relationship, while Usagi thinks about how Mamoru had told her that he had no family and was alone, and how she had promised him she would be his family from now on.

Fiore sends a flower-monster, Glycina, to Tokyo, where the next morning, it begins draining the life energy from the populace. The Guardian Senshi, who were walking to school that morning when Rei sensed danger nearby, free the people. The senshi transform, and destroy the monster. Just then, Fiore appears to the senshi, and reveals that he is responsible for the attack. It then emerges that Fiore uses a Xenian flower. He then uses great force to injure the senshi by slamming them into walls. Sailor Jupiter tries to fight Fiore, but he slams her into a telephone booth. Just as he was about to kill Sailor Moon by impaling her on his claw-like fingernails, Tuxedo Mask jumps into the scene, and tries to talk Fiore out of fighting. But, the Xenian flower controls Fiore's mind, and he tries to attack Sailor Moon. Fiore then launches his nails towards Sailor Moon, but then, Tuxedo Mask jumps in front of her and takes the hit himself. Mortified, Fiore takes Mamoru's limp body back aboard an asteroid rapidly approaching Earth and begins to revive him in a crystal filled with liquid, while Sailor Moon, stunned by Tuxedo Mask's heroic action, cries over him being taken away.

While in the crystal, Mamoru remembers a young Fiore, who had made friends with him just after his parents died in a car accident. Mamoru had previously assumed that that he had made up the boy as an imaginary friend. Fiore explains that he had had to leave Mamoru because the Earth's atmosphere did not suit him, but before they parted Mamoru gave Fiore a rose. After that, Fiore wandered the galaxy, searching for a worthy flower for Mamoru, and found the Xenian flower, which began to rule him. He then returns to Earth, seeking revenge on the humans who had made Mamoru lonely.

Meanwhile, Luna and Artemis tell the senshi of an old legend about the Xenian flower and how it destroyed planets by using weak-hearted people. Afterwards, Sailor Mercury finds out that the energy from the asteroid matches the evil energy of the flower-monster, and conclude that Fiore has hidden there and that he holds Mamoru as a prisoner. They decide to go after Mamoru, but Sailor Moon orders the senshi not to, or they would've suffered the same as Mamoru. She then thinks that his disappearance is her fault, and says that Fiore took him because he shielded her from Fiore's attack. Furious, Chibiusa tells her that if she acts like that, she won't be able to rescue Mamoru. Encouraged by the other senshi, Sailor Moon changes her mind, and the Senshi teleport to the asteroid to battle Fiore and rescue Mamoru.

Hundreds of flowers cover the asteroid. Fiore confronts the Senshi and tells them of his plan to scatter flower-seeds all over the planet, draining humanity's energy. The Senshi then fight hundreds of flower-monsters. The monsters combine into one and ensnare the Guardian Senshi; Mars tosses Moon aside before it can get her too. Fiore orders Moon to drop her weapon, the Cutie Moon Rod, and to surrender, or her friends will suffer. They urge her to fight, but she drops the weapon and begins to cry. Xenian's control over Fiore weakens with the display of emotion and the flower monsters disappear. But then, the Xenian blossom possesses Fiore, in which thereafter, he grabs hold of Sailor Moon, and drains her life-force energy to the flower-monsters.

Mamoru breaks free of his chamber as Fiore continues draining Sailor Moon's life-force energy. Fiore accuses Usagi of inability to understand his loneliness, causing the four inner Guardian Senshi to remember their own loneliness. The Guardian Senshi tell Fiore that without Usagi, they all would have been left alone, and beg him not to kill her. Fiore goes to stab Usagi, and Mamoru throws a rose at Fiore and collapses. Usagi is safe. The rose embedded in Fiore's chest blooms and causes the Xenian's possession of Fiore to break.

Fiore feels betrayed by Mamoru, and all the flowers on the asteroid vanish. However, the asteroid continues to hurtle towards Earth. Usagi wakes up, and despite her friends' warnings, uses the Silver Crystal to try to change the course of the asteroid. However, Fiore suddenly grabs Usagi's Crystal Star brooch in an attempt to stop her, which then forces Usagi's transformation to fade to ribbons. Usagi grabs Fiore, who suddenly sees a vision. Fiore realizes that Usagi had given Mamoru the rose that Mamoru gave to Fiore. Fiore becomes overcome with emotion, and the Xenian is destroyed by the immense power and energy from the Silver Crystal. Fiore vanishes, and Mamoru and the Guardian Senshi lend Princess Serenity their powers and abilities to sustain the Silver Crystal as the asteroid descends towards Earth. The Silver Crystal shatters, the asteroid breaks up, and Usagi dies. Meanwhile on Earth, Luna and Artemis express concern over why the senshi are taking too long. Chibiusa then assures them both that the Sailor Senshi are alright, but Luna remains concerned.

Meanwhile, on the unstable asteroid, now dissolved, the girls and Mamoru cry over Usagi, but Fiore reappears and thanks Mamoru. He gives Mamoru a nectar-filled flower with Fiore's life-energy. Mamoru wets his lips with the nectar and kisses Usagi, reviving her and repowering the Silver Crystal. As she returns to life, Fiore, reduced to the form of a child again, returns to space to live in peace.

New characters

Fiore

File:Fiore.JPG

Fiore (フィオレ Fiore?, literally "flower" in Italian) emerges as one of the main antagonists in Sailor Moon R: The Movie. A lonely alien, he takes great strength from his friendship with Mamoru Chiba, spending many years searching for a worthy flower for Mamoru. The film heavily implies that he possesses an unrequited love for Mamoru, but never specifically confirms or denies this. He had arrived on Earth at around the same time that Mamoru's parents had died. The two boys became close friends at this time, but Fiore found Earth's atmosphere unsuitable for breathing, so he had to leave the planet. Mamoru gives him the gift of a rose, and Fiore resolves to return some day with a worthy flower for Mamoru. This quest for a flower puts him in the path of the Xenian flower.

Fiore in the Italian language means "flower". According to the Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn R Movie Memorial Album, director Kunihiko Ikuhara noted that Fiore's full name appears in written Japanese script as Fiorieiru (フィオリエイル Lit. Fiore (フィオレ) + alien (エイリアン)?)[2]

Fiore and the Xenian Flower are intended as homages to Ail and Ann, the Makaiju children from the first arc of Sailor Moon R.[3]

In the Japanese version, Hikaru Midorikawa voices Fiore as an adult; Tomoko Maruo voices him as a child. In the English version Steven Bednarski provides the adult voice and Mary Long that of the child.

Xenian Flower

File:Kisenian.JPG

The Xenian (キセニアン Kisenian?) Flower plays the role of one of the main antagonists in Sailor Moon R: The Movie. The English dub presents her as "the Kisenian Blossom". The name reflects the botanical term "xenia", which according to the OED is a term for a specific action of hybridization which refers to "direct action or influence of foreign pollen upon the seed or fruit which is pollinated". The word itself is based on the Greek concept for hospitality.[4]

The Xenian Flower has to destroy stars and planets in order to survive. Alone, she holds no power. Thus she needs a host: preferably someone with a "vulnerable heart" (like Fiore). Luna calls the Xenian the "most dangerous flower in the universe", and Artemis says that hundreds of planets have been destroyed in this galaxy due to a Xenian Flower.

Once she has picked her prospective victims, the Xenian Flower begins pouring "hatred" into their weak hearts, causing them to fall under her spell and carry out her every whim. Eventually, through her subject, she will have grown powerful enough to destroy the entire planet along with the unfortunate individual whom she had deceived. After the flower has destroyed any star or planet, she sits and waits once more for the next unsuspecting person to come along and succumb to her allure.

Yumi Tōma voices the Xenian Flower in the original Japanese. Susan Aceron voices the Kisenian blossom in the English dubbed version.

Flower Youma

A race of plant-like Youma of unknown origins that are known to feed off energy. They are spawned from the seeds of the Xenian Flower and come in different types. They are in no relation to the Youma from the Dark Kingdom.

Dahlian

The Dahlians are the weakest variety of the Flower Youma. Though they make up for it by attacking in numbers. Their lower bodies were snake-like and they were highly agile, displaying the ability to move as a single mass when required. The Dahlians seems to remain connected to a source-flower while the independent is the flower itself. Most of them were destroyed by each of the Sailor Senshi's attacks.

Dahlian appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game.

Glycina

The Glycina are a power variety of the Flower Youma and often work alone. In their dormant form, only their lower bodies were visible, consisting of six legs that were almost insectoid in nature. When necessary, they could grow to full size and reveal their humanoid upper bodies. Their arms could transform into energy-draining vines, and the energy they collected was stored in a large flower on their backs. One fought the Sailor Scouts after Rei exoricized it's control vines off it's victims. Glycina tried to absorb the energy of the other Sailor Scouts until Sailor Moon freed them with her Moon Tiara Action. It dodged the attacks of the Sailor Scouts before being destroyed by Sailor Moon's Moon Princess Halation.

Glycina appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story" video game.

Voiced in the Japanese version by Wakana Yamazaki.

Campanula

The Campanula are dragonfly-like Flower Youma that bare a close resemblance to humans of all known varieties. They were able to fly at great speeds, and could extend blades from their arms for defensive purposes. The Campanulas are never seen with or as its flower so it's unknown what its design is in relation to its original flower. It attacked the Sailor Senshi upon their arrival on Fiore's asteroid before being destroyed by the Senshi's Sailor Planet Attack.

Campanula appears as one of the monster types in the "Sailor Moon: Another Story video game.

Voiced in the Japanese version by Hiromi Nishikawa

Reception

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Script error Some viewers adjudge the Sailor Moon R movie an ideal introduction to Sailor Moon,[1] and the best of the three Sailor Moon films plot-wise,[2] although one critic saw it as essentially "a solid long episode", rather than a movie.[3] Another critic disagrees, saying that although the movie stays true to the Sailor Moon formula, it has "real drama and emotion".[4] Ikuhara's direction has also been praised, and the artwork in the film is superior to that of the series, although it has deteriorated slightly, and that the pacing is good.[5][6] Drazen considers the opening flashback to be "reminiscent of François Truffaut".[7]

Make Up! Sailor Senshi

Japanese theaters showed a trailer before the Sailor Moon R movie: a 15-minute short named Make Up! Sailor Senshi.[8] Usagi and Chibiusa overhear two girls talking about the Sailor Senshi after they see a poster. As the girls debate over the smartest, most elegant, strongest, and the leader of the Senshi, Usagi grandly claims those titles for herself. Chibiusa shakes her head at Usagi's delusion. Clips appear from the debut of each Sailor Senshi, and that girl's image song plays in the background. When even Tuxedo Mask has been mentioned, and the girls are about to leave, Usagi butts in on their conversation and asks them directly about Sailor Moon. The girls give a series of glowing compliments about Sailor Moon, but unlike they did for the other Senshi, they also list her faults. After the girls leave, Usagi sarcastically apologizes for being a clumsy cry-baby and then bursts into exaggerated tears.

The poster the girls see uses artwork from the R movie advertisements, with a new background and sans logo.

References

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  8. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=3832 at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

External links

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