It is now that we arrive at the heart of the second story arc of Sailor Moon. In Part I of this series, I discussed the Plutonian overtones and continued with them in Part II. In Part II, we also encountered Sailor Pluto for the first time. In Part III, we arrived in Crystal Tokyo of the 30th Century and learned about Planet Nemesis. Now we are ready to learn Chibi Usa’s story and to discover what happened in the 30th Century.
Before we begin with that, at the end of Part III, we left with the abduction of Sailor Moon. I will briefly state that with the help of the spirit of Neo Queen Serenity and her own determination, Sailor Moon is able to free herself and Sailors Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter. While this is an interesting and dramatic part of the plot, there is not much astrology involved, so please forgive me for this cursory description.
While all of these events were taking place, Chibi Usa, seemingly upset by Usagi-chan’s jealousy and coldness towards her, runs away to Crystal Tokyo, and we learn her backstory.
Chibi Usa/Small Lady
Chibi Usa is the central character in this story arc from an astrological point of view. Her full name is Usagi “Small Lady” Serenity, and she is first born Princess of Crystal Tokyo. As discussed in Part III, in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal, despite her appearance, she is approximately 900 years old. She is the Heir Presumptive and the hope for the future for Crystal Tokyo. There is one serious difficulty, however. She is unable to transform.
It seems that Chibi Usa’s inability to transform led to her being ridiculed by other children. They accused her of being a nisemono Princess, or a pretend or fake Princess. Upset with the ridicule which likely echoed her own insecurities, Chibi Usa ran off and found the forbidden door guarded by Sailor Pluto. Sailor Pluto befriended her and taught her ways to cheer herself when she was sad and upset. It is often our fears and pain that lead us into Plutonian territory.
Later Chibi Usa went to the Crystal Chamber where the Maboroshi no Ginsuishou was housed and she stole it. The Maboroshi no Ginsuishou was the item that Sailor Moon used to transform, so presumably, Chibi Usa was trying again to see if she could transform. Immediately afterward, the villains from Planet Nemesis appeared and destroyed Crystal Tokyo. Her father, King Endymion, had told her that Sailor Moon from the past was muteki, which literally means, without rival, but is often translated as invincible. It was for this reason that Chibi Usa stole one of Sailor Pluto’s time keys and returned to the past to find Sailor Moon, which is where the second story arc began.
Toxic Shame, Guilt, and Trauma
It was toxic shame that led Chibi Usa to find the forbidden door and Sailor Pluto in the first place. She was ashamed that she was not yet able to transform. I think that what made this shame toxic was that there was nothing that she could do about this inability. There was not a training course she could take; it had nothing to do with anything that she had any control over. She believed that being the daughter of Sailor Moon and the Heir Presumptive to Crystal Tokyo “should” have given her the ability to transform, but at that point of time, it did not. Yes, other children ridiculed her, but I do not believe that this ridicule would have affected her had it not echoed her own internal shame.
The villains from Planet Nemesis arrived and destroyed Crystal Tokyo immediately after Chibi Usa stole the Maboroshi no Ginsuishou, which led her to believe that she was responsible for this destruction.
Returning to the present storyline, when Chibi Usa runs off, she is captured by Wiseman, who is the leader of the villain group. In the older anime, Wiseman manipulates her memories, planting two traumas in her mind. The first trauma was of her falling and her parents refusing to help her get up, and the second trauma was everyone refusing to acknowledge or celebrating her birthday.
In this story, the memories were altered and twisted. When Chibi Usa’s parents would not help her up, it was because they were trying to teach her to get up on her own when she fell, and the reason that everyone ignored her birthday was that they were planning a surprise party for her. Wiseman used true memories and manipulated them so Chibi Usa saw them in the worst possible light. This made Chibi Usa believe that her parents did not love her.
The toxic shame, guilt, and in the earlier anime, the trauma planted in her memory, all led Chibi Usa to be vulnerable to being recruited by the side of Evil. Toxic shame, guilt, and trauma, real or imagined, are all dangers of Plutonian forces. Chibi Usa literal found the door to the Dark by entering into forbidden territory and finding Sailor Pluto, and the villains seized the opportunity and completed her journey into Darkness.
After being taken over by the side of Evil, Chibi Usa does transform, but not in the way everyone had hoped for. She became an adult instantaneously and called herself Black Lady. As Black Lady, she became one of the villains, and indeed, became one of the most powerful of the villains. She managed to also turn Tuxedo Kamen, her future father, into an automaton under her complete control and began to engage in what appeared to be a romantic relationship with him.
I think that this dark transformation is one of the real dangers of the Plutonian principle. In our day and age, children seem to grow up very fast. They engage in many adult behaviors at a very early age and thus grow up warped and skewed.
The metal of Pluto is the radioactive plutonium, which is used for nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Plutonium is inherently unstable, and in a sense allows us to “grow up” or gain power very quickly, but the consequences of this are obvious. In Modern Astrology, Pluto is often considered the planet of transformation, and all of this does represent “transformation” of a sort, but I do not think that it is quite a dangerous one, not one to be celebrated.
The story climaxes as Black Lady and Prince Demando, who was the leader of the villains before Wiseman, and who brought the villains to Wiseman, go back to Crystal Tokyo to complete their destruction. During the battle that ensued, Prince Demando came into possession of Sailor Moon’s Maborishi no Ginsuishou and the one from the future. We learned earlier that if both of these Crystals come into contact with each other it will destroy everything everywhere, Good and Evil alike.
In the midst of all of this, we return to Sailor Pluto, who senses the danger and is told what is happening by Diana, the kitten we met much earlier. Sailor Pluto knows it is forbidden for her to leave her post, but she wants to do something to help. The kitten Diana offers to guard in her place, and she goes through the door to fight with the other Sailor Senshi. We also get a flashback to a conversation between a younger Sailor Pluto and Queen Serenity from the Silver Millennium. In this conversation, we learn about three taboos. It appears that Sailor Pluto has the ability to stop time, but that it is forbidden for her to use this ability, and if she does it will destroy her.
When Sailor Pluto enters the scene, she sees Prince Demando bringing the two Maboroshi no Ginsuishou together, and she uses her power of stopping time, which enables Sailor Moon to take back the crystals. As per the taboo, using this power does destroy Sailor Pluto. Black Lady is moved by the destruction of her dear friend and goes towards her crying. Through her tears over love for her friend, she reverts back to her true child state, and she then transforms into Chibi Sailor Moon.
I think that the destruction of her friend does lead Chibi Usa towards a feeling of true shame and remorse, which is very different from the toxic shame and guilt that led her to the side of Darkness. Chibi Usa had turned away from the Light, and feeling shame for this led her to tears of repentance. She was also able to then tell her mother, Neo Queen Serenity of her belief that her theft had led to the original destruction, and her mother was able to tell her the original destruction was not her fault.
After this, Chibi Sailor Moon chose to assist Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Kamen in the final destruction of Wiseman, who we learn is actually Planet Nemesis. All is restored, and there is a happy ending.
Pluto and Transformation
I think that in this story, Sailor Pluto does not represent the Plutonian principle, but instead represents the guardian protecting us from this principle. She is the keeper of the forbidden door. Chibi Usa ventured into this forbidden territory, which led her to a Plutonian transformation into Black Lady, which was marked by an unnatural growth into adulthood and a turning to the side of Evil. Sailor Pluto protected her and the world from the consequences of this “transformation” through her own self-sacrifice. This, in turn, enabled Black Lady to shed cleansing tears of repentance, which led to a true transformation into Chibi Sailor Moon.
Did the Plutonian principle enable Chibi Usa’s eventual true transformation? Perhaps. An argument can be made for this. On the other hand, all of the previous Sailor Senshi had gained their transformation abilities without ever venturing into Plutonian territory. The common thread to the transformations of all of the Senshi was the willingness and courage to resist the Dark and stay strong in the Light. The difference is that Chibi Usa needed a longer and more complicated journey than the former Senshi.