I’ve been re-watching the old DiC-dubbed episodes of “Sailor Moon” as well as reading the re-release of the manga and both are at the Crystal Tokyo part of the story, which has gotten me thinking about the concept of 30th century earth as Naoko Takeuchi envisioned.
If you don’t know Sailor Moon shame on you Crystal Tokyo is the future Kingdom ruled by Neo Queen Serenity (Sailor Moon’s future self) and King Endymion (Tuxedo Mask’s future self). The Kingdom rules not only Japan but the entire earth.
Back when I first watched the show something rubbed me wrong about the whole idea of Crystal Tokyo. Even as a kid (I was in fifth grade so I’m guessing I was around eleven years old) something seemed wrong to me; it seemed like going backwards to go from individual democratic societies to a monarchy, living in a crystal palace of all bizarre things, ruling not only an individual country but the entire world. When I got the subtitled DVDs and was watching them during my senior year of college last year, my roommate in particular had very strong opinions opposing Crystal Tokyo and Neo Queen Serenity declaring sovereign reign for herself over all the earth.
The fact that she’s a kind and generous ruler who brings peace (and also magic!) doesn’t really make up for her unilateral ascension to the throne.
But as I listened to DiC’s King of the Earth describe the situation in which she rose to power I think I finally understood and accepted the idea of Crystal Tokyo and Neo Queen Serenity.
Something I’ve found interesting for a few years is the way that the smaller the area of concern, the smaller subsets we, as people, divide ourselves into. Let me use examples, because I feel I’m not putting it into words very well:
Within a school, there is typically class-to-class rivalry. Within a town, there is typically school-to-school rivalry in which case class rivalries disappear and support for the school binds classes together under one team. Going larger, within a state there is city-to-city rivalry (Pirates vs. Phillies, Cowboys vs. Longhorns, etc.) and within the country there are state-to-state rivalries (raise your hand if you know that you can’t be a Steelers fan AND a Browns fan), but when the Olympics come around it doesn’t matter which state our Olympians come from because we’re all just rooting for our U.S. athletes because the area of concern has grown large enough to include other nations.
I hope you understand the concept despite my possibly inaccurate examples (I know nothing about sports apart from what I’ve heard tossed around by family and friends, but they were the most appropriate illustration I could think of) because the whole point of my post hinges on it.
When Neo Queen Serenity set herself up as the ruler of the earth (going by DiC’s version of the anime because I haven’t gotten quite there yet in the manga and I can’t remember how closely DiC’s version follows Toei’s in this case) she did so during a time when the earth was being attacked by other worlds.
When the battle becomes so large that it’s world-to-world, it doesn’t matter what country anyone comes from because we’re going to be fighting for the survival of our species. In that situation we’re going to rally around whoever can lead the battle, and in the case of Sailor Moon it’s Neo Queen Serenity and her Silver Crystal. It would do no good for there to be divisions from country to country fighting amongst themselves and resisting Serenity’s authority when she was the only one with the power to defend the world.
You know the expression “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”? Well putting our support behind anything but the Silver Crystal would be like bringing a toothpick to an atom bomb fight. Realizing this, humanity was likely happy to see Serenity take charge in battle and gladly supported her afterward as she brought peace to the earth and continued to defend it from attackers who threatened its existence.
Looking at the storyline this way I can appreciate why Neo Queen Serenity came to power. I can see it as a logical progression of events, rather than Naoko thinking to herself “Well, what’s better than being a moon princess in the past? I know, an earth queen in the future!” which was kinda what I thought when I first learned of Crystal Tokyo. I can see how this individual leader of the world would not only be the logical step, but the necessary one when the world at large is threatened.