The classic and beloved series Sailor Moon has gotten a new coat of paint in the form of Sailor Moon Crystal. This series pays homage to the original manga by Naoko Takeuchi and cuts out a lot of the filler episodes and storylines offered by the original anime series.
With an updated animation style and new transformation sequences, Sailor Moon Crystal has worked hard to retain everything diehard Sailor Moon fans love about the series while justifying the need to do something new with the anime.
Premiering in 2016, the series has worked hard to cover each arc of the manga, with season three covering what was known as the “Super” arc of the original anime, season 4 and the upcoming films will cover the “SuperS” and “Stars” arc, effectively ending the series.
While the original naming convention will not apply to the series, the plot will stay largely the same if it follows the manga as it has done in the past. At this point in the series, the outer senshi sailors Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn have all been introduced and left after a catastrophic battle.
However, a new threat arises and threatens Earth once again. A white pegasus named Helios comes to visit Chibiusa in her dreams. Pegasus tells Chibiusa that she is the lady he needs in order to save his sacred land of Elysion from the Dead Moon Circus.
Doubting herself, and fearing Pegasus is truly in need of Usagi, Chibiusa must work to come into her own destiny over the course of the series. Fighting off the Amazoness Quartet, Queen Nehelenia, and the evil Zirconia, all while searching for Golden Crystal, each sailor scout finds themselves face to face with the opportunity to gain new powers and become stronger than ever before.
Sailor Moon Eternal
Interestingly, the studio behind Sailor Moon Crystal has planned on releasing a series of films in conjunction with season 4. It is unclear if these films will actually cover or begin the SuperS plotline, with season 4 either wrapping up that plot or beginning the StarS plotline, although it is speculated that it will perform the latter.
Season 4 as StarS
If the upcoming films do in fact cover the plot of the Dream Arc or the SuperS arc in the original anime, season 4 will likely wrap up the series and cover the final Stars arc.
In this arc, the sailor scouts are put to the test. With danger threatening them at every turn, Usagi is joined by ChibiChibi, who reveals herself to be a new sailor scout. This happens just in time as Sailor Galaxia seemingly destroys all eight of the other sailor guardians and Mamoru, stealing their sailor crystals.
Usagi must look for help in new places in order to restore her friends and her world. Princess Kakyuu, leader of the Sailor Starlights, emerges thanks to the help of ChibiChibi. Other scouts emerge along the way in order to help Usagi fight against the ultimate enemy, Chaos, who appears to have been behind all the foes sent at her in the past.
Usagi must be stronger than ever, and without the ones she loves by her side, in order to restore balance in the universe.
The release date of season 4 is currently unknown, given the current state of the animation industry and many others. The first of the series of four films bridging the gap between season 3 and season 4 of Crystal was set to release in late 2020.
However, it is likely that the studio’s animation has either halted or been delayed due to Covid-19. With production on the films having stopped, production of season 4 has likely been pushed even further back.
With the films nearly set to begin premiering, one might assume their original release to have been planned to be staggered over the next year or so, with Sailor Moon Crystal season 4 having a planned release of late 2021 or 2022 at the earliest.
Due to production stopping worldwide, it is likely these plans have been pushed back. It is also likely that when production begins again, animation studios will likely reevaluate their currently slated projects in order to prioritize what works best for their business as a result of the pandemic.
The known cast so far includes the voice actors from the previous seasons:
- Usagi Tsukino / Sailor Moon – Kotono Mitsuishi
- Ami Misuno / Sailor Mercury – Hisako Kanemoto
- Rei Hino / Sailor Mars – Rina Satou
- Makoto Kino / Sailor Jupiter – Ami Koshimizu
- Minako Aino / Sailor Venus – Shizuka Itou
- Chibiusa Tsukino / Sailor Chibi Moon – Misato Fukuen
- Helios / Pegasus – Yoshitsugu Matsuoka
With the core cast of the series’ voice actors remaining the same, the series will likely have to cast a large number of new voice actors in order to cover the large number of new characters introduced in this final story arc of the season.