Chibiusa always viewed her mother as this perfect, graceful, intelligent and powerful woman. And then she saw herself, someone that was eternally a child, clumsy, and powerless. And she felt that she was somehow a failure, that she didn’t measure up.
When she returns to the past, she gets to see that she is not so different from her mom after all. It’s easy to forget that Neo Queen Serenity has had centuries upon centuries of practice by the time we see her. And to forget that she really is Usagi. This was something that was crucial to Chibiusa being able to grow into her own and be comfortable with herself as she is.
Feels aside, I’ve noticed some confusion about this. So just to be clear: this is Pluto reborn. This is not the past form of the Pluto we met at the Time Gates. This Pluto’s past self died in Crystal Tokyo, then was brought back to life by Neo Queen Serenity. And presumably, NQS sent her to the past to be reborn 19 years ago, so that she would be around to awaken today.
And if you had any doubts before about whether Neo Queen Serenity is still Usagi, that should lay them to rest.
It was Queen Serenity who stuck Pluto at the Time Gate. Who made her live out an eternity in absolute solitude. Who made sure nobody, not even Luna, would know she was there.
It was Neo Queen Serenity who took the opportunity of Pluto’s revival to give her a life. To take her completely out of that isolated role and put her somewhere where she could have friends and family.
And she could have sent Pluto to any time and place. But she sent her here. To the time and place when Usagi and the others are forming their own friendships.
She’s a little older than they are, of course. Pluto wouldn’t be Pluto if she were not older and wiser than everybody, and so Neo Queen Serenity cannot imagine sending her to be reborn at the same time as herself (a 14-year-old Pluto? Unthinkable!). Older she is, but not by much. Not so much that she’s detached from them, as she once was. Not so much that it’s like an insurmountable gulf between them.
And so she’s Pluto, but she’s Setsuna too. She’s had 19 years to live a life of her own, that had nothing to do with magical duty. And that was Neo Queen Serenity’s gift to her.
oKAY I JUST WANNA TALK ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I’M SOOOO HAPPY THIS IS NOT LIKE THE ORIGINAL ANIME AT ALL!!!!!!!
Because we’ve all KNOW that Ami is kinda shy and quiet. That’s a given. But people forget (thanks to the original anime) that Rei never really had friends or a social life at all before Usagi EITHER. So she’s awkward and unsure of herself too!!!!
AND SO WITH THAT I LOOOOVELOVELOVELOVE Ami kinda taking her by the hand and leading her through this new concept of ~~friendship~~ because AMI KNOWS HOW SHE FEELS, SHE’S BEEN THERE!!! AND USAGI SHOWED HER HOW TO “FRIEND” SO NOW SHE’S SHOWING REI AND AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH ;-;
Not to step out of my lane (which I’m probably doing by saying this and I’m sorry) but this is what it means to be strong, a girl and a character.
It’s not being the emotionless. man-blood thirsty hollowed-out-shell that Antis were demanding back in the first two seasons. Usagi’s going through a painful time, having met people who she just knows are supposed to be her allies who are actively trying to avoid her. She can’t understand it, and they won’t even talk to her about it, so she’s just left to wonder, and to be hurt.
But regardless, she doesn’t wallow in those negative feelings. She has a duty, and in the face of it, she decides to put those things aside because she knows she needs to be strong to protect herself, those who she loves and her planet.
It’s not being solely focused on her friends rather than her lover, it’s not about dismissing the traumatic memories from another life hitting her all at once while once again she’s a witness to the murder of her lover, and it’s definitely not about girls murdering innocent men just because you didn’t get your expectations met and decided a show was misogynistic for it.
One thing I have always loved about the manga, and love to see Crystal carrying on, is the sheer scope of the universe it portrays.
And what nobody is saying, but Haruka and Michiru are very heavily implying with their tone of reverence, is that the Serenitys were more than just royalty. And I don’t think they mean ‘ray of light’ metaphorically, here. We know that in the future, the power of the ginzuishou fills all of the people of Earth, extending their lives. But it seems the ginzuishou’s scope reached well beyond the Moon in the past, stretching even as far as Pluto.
But even beyond the ginzuishou’s power itself, Queen Serenity was more or less a goddess, and they speak about her as such. They weren’t just serving a ruler. They were following the will of a goddess.
And that is important to know about the Outers. Because following a queen’s orders ceases to be important after that queen is long dead. But a goddess, even a dead goddess, cannot be crossed. The laws that she created still bind them, even today. They are still tied to their talismans, and their talismans still operate under the conditions that will soon create Saturn, whether they wish to or not.
And no matter how much the three of them fight to subvert the roles they have been given, not one of them curses Serenity’s name. Because she was their light. Even as she doomed them to darkness.