In Volume 9 of Sailor Moon, the Dead Moon Circus is starting to have a terrible effect on the city and the Inner Senshi can’t transform! Well, until they can. And the reason they can now transform is that advice and guidance they received from the formidable Outer Senshi helps them get in touch with their inner strengths. Phew!
But…what about the Outer Senshi? After the defeat of Pharoah 90 and the Witches 5, they retired from the public eye and lost touch with the Inners. Unbeknownst to the younger Guardians, Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna have moved in together in a large suburban house to raise the baby Hotaru. And, unbeknownst to the younger women, the older also cannot transform. As the power of the Dead Moon threat is growing, the Outers are powerless.
But what is important to us is the quiet repose with which the former Outer Senshi have created a family life together. Haruka and Michiru, still together, watch over Hotaru Hotaru, who is rapidly aging, appears quoting Yeats’ The Second Coming, which I think is well worth reproducing in whole here – imagine it spoken by a child of about 5 years:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
This is the poem Hotaru quotes. Probably few of the children readers of Nakayoshi magazine understood the words they were reading, but the power in these words would resonate with the knowledge that that child speaking them is, in truth, the Senshi of Death.
I want give to the translation an “attaboy” on this volume, Transitions are always hard and the move from one translator to a new one was, IMHO, seamless here. It wasn’t an easy volume, with intense poetry, herbal and stone lore (and some good cautionary science in the notes!) Nice job, Mari. ^_^
But most importantly, we see that Haruka and Michiru make as dashing a married couple as they did a bon vivant pair of young celebrities. And when they, and the Inners, get to transform again, it feels kinda good. ^_^
Art – 8
Story – 7
Characters – 9
Yuri – 6
Service – 2
Overall – 8