In the third story arc, we meet two new Senshi, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. Just as the second story arc had a background of Plutonian overtones, the third story arc has a background of Uranian and Neptunian overtones. The plot of this arc is incredibly complicated. Even after watching it several times, I still am not sure that I completely understand all of the twists and turns. If we let them, Uranus and Neptune can greatly complicate our lives.
A full explanation of the plot is not necessary to discuss the astrological principles involved, so I will just give a synopsis of the relevant cast of characters.
Cast of Characters
In this story arc, we have characters that we have had from the first story arc, Princess Serenity/Sailor Moon/Usagi Tsukino, Tuxedo Kamen (Tuxedo Mask in English)/Mamoru Chiba, and the regular Sailor Senshi, Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mars/Rei Hino, Sailor Jupiter/Makato Kino, and Sailor Venus/Minako Aino. There are also the cat companions, Luna and Artemis. In addition, this story arc features:
Chibi Sailor Moon/Chibi Usagi Tsukino (Chibi Usa)
After the completion of the second story arc, Chibi Usa returns from the future. Apparently, her parents sent her back to train under Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Senshi. Her cat companion, Diana, who was the daughter of Luna and Artemis, also comes.
Sailor Uranus/Haruka Tenou and Sailor Neptune/Michiru Kaiou
Haruka-san and Michiru-san are students of Mugen Academy, a school for very gifted students that we discover is being controlled by the villains, the Death Busters. Haruka-san is androgynous to the extent that the Inner Planet Senshi originally mistake her for a boy. Michiru-san is very feminine and is an accomplished swimmer and violin player. The two of them have a very close relationship and spend a great deal of time together.
Sailor Pluto/Setsuna Meiou
It appears that after her sacrifice in the future, Sailor Pluto somehow appears/incarnates in the present as the scientist, Setsuna-san. I am not sure of the details of how this happened were ever explained, and if they were, I did not fully understand them. In this incarnation, Sailor Pluto is able to fight along with the other Senshi.
Hotaru-chan is also a student at Mugen Academy, and she is also the daughter of the Headmaster there. She is tormented by seizures, but also has mysterious healing abilities. Chibi-Usa becomes her close friend.
The Outer Planet Senshi
The portrayal of the Outer Planet Senshi in Sailor Moon is quite interesting, and it suggests a way of understanding them that is largely in line with Traditional principles.
Allies or Enemies?
At the beginning of this story arc, it is unclear as to whether Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune are allies or enemies. They do seem to help with fighting the monsters, but they refuse to join the other Sailor Senshi. This is quite upsetting to Sailor Moon, who thinks that as they are all Sailor Senshi, they should fight together.
In their civilian identities, Haruka-san seems to flirt with Usagi-chan and Michiru-san seems to flirt with Mamoru-san, even though they both know that Mamoru-san and Usagi-chan are a couple. The flirting gets so obvious that it causes a rift between Usagi-chan and Mamoru-san when he sees Haruka-san kiss Usagi-chan. This is in line with how the Outer Planets tend to behave if we let them. They violate the accepted social order and can cause strife and chaos.
Later in this story arc, the enemies pit the regular Senshi and all of the Outer Senshi against each other. Astrologically, the Outer Planets do seem to work at odds with the Traditional Planets.
The powers of all three Outer Planet Senshi seem to be stronger than those of the original Senshi. They certainly act as if they think that they are superior to the regular Senshi. The Outer Senshi are all older than the regular Senshi, and Haruka-san and Michiru-san attend Mugen Academy, a school for prodigies.
In Modern Astrology, the Outer Planets are sometimes treated as if they were more important than the Traditional Planets. Indeed, there are those that think that the Outer Planets represent “Higher Octaves” of the Traditional Planets. The Outer Planets, especially Pluto, are given special significance in the modern branch of astrology known as Evolutionary Astrology.
Yet, in spite of their greater powers, the Outer Planet Senshi seem less pure and less good than the regular Senshi. Even the names of their powers sound ominous. Sailor Uranus’ power is “World Shaking,” Sailor Neptune’s is “Deep Submerge,” and Sailor Pluto’s is “Dead Scream.”
The Role of the Outer Planet Senshi
After the appearance of Sailor Pluto, we learn that the role of the Outer Planet Senshi is to protect the Solar System from outside enemies. Apparently, they have appeared on the scene to deal with invaders from the Tau Planetary System. They kneel in allegiance to Sailor Moon in her role as Princess Serenity. Despite this, they insist that the regular Senshi stay out of the fight, and the Outer Planet Senshi handle the problem. They claim that the regular Senshi will get in their way.
This seems consistent with the way the Outer Planets are often used in Modern Astrology. Astrologers tend to see them as more important and more useful than the Traditional Planets, and strip associations from the Traditional Planets and give them to the Outers.
The regular Senshi are unwilling to stay in the background, and Princess Serenity does not understand why they can not all be allies. When pressed, the Outer Planet Senshi confess that their true mission is to consign the ultimate enemy, the God of Destruction, to oblivion.
The God of Destruction
As the story progresses, we learn the identity of the person the Outer Planet Senshi think is the God of Destruction. It turns out that they believe that the ultimate enemy is inside of Chibi Usa’s friend Hotaru-chan. According to them, she is Sailor Saturn, the guardian associated with the Planet of Destruction, the Senshi of Silence.
They explain that after the end of the Silver Millenium in the past, the three of them woke up, which allowed Sailor Saturn to appear. It was her that completed the destruction of this world long ago. They believe that the end of the current world is coming, and that in order to prevent it, they need to kill Hotaru-chan before she can manifest as Sailor Saturn.
Naturally, the regular Sailor Senshi disagree with this plan and insist that there must be another way. This is the real reason that the Outer Planet Senshi refused to ally with the others. They suspected that Sailor Moon and the others would oppose their plan.
In the original anime series, this conflict was even more pronounced as the Outer Planet Senshi continued to want to kill Hotaru-chan for many episodes until the very end of the story arc.
The animosity between the Outer Planet Senshi and Sailor Saturn seems to represent some of the conflict between Modern Astrology and the earlier astrological tradition. The Saturn principle can be extremely harsh, and there seems to be a belief that the Outer Planetary principles can be used to get beyond the Saturnian principle, or even get rid of it all together. The reality is, though, that even though the Saturn principle is generally malefic, it serves an important and indispensable purpose.
But, that is an article for another day.
To Be Continued