A fan of the series since 1995, Koriander runs the popular Moon Sisters fan site and studies the Sailor Moon franchise closely.
Who Will Win the Heart of This Crown Princess?
Chibiusa Tsukino is a sassy, courageous girl with a world of potential ahead of her. She's a crime and monster-fighting superheroine as Sailor Chibi Moon, she's the crown princess of Crystal Tokyo in the 30th century as Princess Lady Serenity, she's next in line to rule over both the Earth and the Moon simultaneously, she's a time traveler, a space explorer, a great student in school, and she has served her fellow teammates by spying on deadly enemies and using her stunted—yet still impressive—super powers to save the Earth in more than one timeline.
Despite her deceptively young appearance, Chibiusa has curiously found herself with multiple potential love prospects, well beyond her questionable feelings for her future father Mamoru and an unspoken, never explored gesture between her villain self as Black Lady and the evil Prince Demande in Sailor Moon R.
It should be noted that in the 90s anime, Chibiusa briefly had a crush on a few "victims of the day," including Tamasaburo in episode 104 and Masanori in episode 107. She was also the unrequited crush of victim-of-the-day Robert in episode 143, but this article will shine a spotlight on the love interests that endured for more than just inside of a 24-minute episode.
While the 90s anime for Sailor Moon and the preceding manga only show the two girls as super close best friends, there were a few colorized pictures promoting the manga that made it seem like there was the potential for something more.
Many fans of the series pined for something more and found themselves in tears in episode 37 of Sailor Moon Crystal, when during Hotaru's second of three deaths for the season, she confessed to Chibiusa that she does indeed love her.
Whether that was a friendship love or sisterly love seemed to be up for debate, but with Hotaru confirming to Chibiusa in Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2 that she used her abilities to rapidly age herself specifically so she could stand alongside her in battle, many fans dreamed that this was confirmation that these two were an item.
In the final story of the manga Parallel Sailor Moon, we see the version of Chibiusa gave birth to, rather than her 30th Century counterpart, and even here, the two girls are never seen apart, adding to the speculation of a romance.
On the surface, this seems like a natural choice. After all, both girls have returned from the dead more than once, both have had an evil, adult alter ego, and both have had questionable interactions with their fathers, so aside from being Sailor Guardians, they have plenty in common, but there is a problematic age issue.
When Chibiusa and Hotaru first meet, Hotaru is 12 years old and in the 6th grade, while Chibiusa is in the 2nd grade and has a body age of a 7 then 8 year old. This would mean that a tween was potentially having a crush on a very small child.
However, Chibiusa was 901 years old when she met Hotaru, making her legally an adult hanging around a tween girl. This is a major reason why the opening animation for Sailor Moon Crystal Season Three was incredibly creepy, when the two girls are seen inappropriately in their birthday suits surrounded by roses, and again in select, official art pieces for the 3rd Sailor Moon art book where again, they are seen together sans outfits.
In Parallel Sailor Moon, this version of Chibiusa is 15 in a 15 year old's body, while Hotaru poses as a 15 year old, but is chronologically 28.
The age gap has turned some off to the concept, while others just refuse to accept the idea that two girls can just be friends.
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Pearle is a dream fairy of a never revealed, potentially eternal chronological age. It is never said how old he and his older brother Poupelin really are, only that he was watching over the dreams of children for ages. This may imply that he is somewhere near Helios in age, which could mean that he could be just a few centuries off of the by this point 902 year old Sailor Guardian.
His body age is around 10-12, not far away from the Dream Arc/SuperS version of Chibiusa, who by now was being drawn like a 9 or a 10 year old. With a shorter visual age gap between them, fans took to Pearle fairly quickly.
Similar to Hotaru, Pearle is shy, patient and only raises his voice when someone he cares for is in immediate danger. Like Chibiusa, his power is a little stunted at first, but he tries to help the Sailor Guardians with whatever he can.
Chibiusa and Pearle have a strong crush on each other, and Chibiusa even gives him an innocent kiss on the cheek, with the promise that they will meet again.
Without knowing certainly his real age, it's hard to gage how appropriate their relationship is, but if they are close in age, then every chaste moment they spent on screen remains just as sweet as the cookies they talked about.
Perhaps the strongest choice for Chibiusa is Helios, the priest of Elysion, albiet with a few issues.
Helios has been alive since the Silver Millenium, making him well over 1000 years old when he debuts. With Chibiusa being from the 30th Century and 902 years old by this point, this puts their age gap at a few centuries shy of 2000 years.
Even more problematic is Helios's body age being somewhere around 13, though he seems even older in the SuperS anime.
When he first meets Chibiusa, her body age is only 9. In SuperS, she only ages slightly, while in Sailor Moon Eternal, she only appears a little bit older when she becomes Eternal Sailor Chibi Moon and looks 9 for the rest of the two films.
In the manga, she and Hotaru both appear even older, almost catching up to Helios, yet are only in the 3rd grade by the start of the StarS arc. A teenager with a 3rd grader certainly looks creepy, but fans seem to look past this because they are centuries old, and therefore over 18.
Another issue is how Helios treats Chibiusa in SuperS.
For most of the season, he has her keeping secrets from her friends and family, withholds vital information from her and toys with her in all the ways a groomer would. Even seemingly sweet scenes where she confides in him are tempered with the notion that he is quietly nudging her towards romance and manipulating her emotions. There are even disturbing scenes where she is seen with questionably missing, clear or shortened attire.
Fortunately, none of this happens in Sailor Moon Eternal or in the manga, where Helios is much more thoughtful and open with Chibiusa and eventually her parents, but it's still shocking to see their kissing scenes.
They do have a few things in common. A desire to protect their worlds, stunted physical growth, stunted yet surprisingly strong powers and a regal presence gives them an "It-couple" vibe.
They are centuries beyond being 18, and the moments where they work together and share their thoughts are the types of scenes that inspire dreamy-eyed fans, with most eagerly dreaming of the day they are reunited, since it seems as though theirs was a destined meeting.
© 2021 Koriander Bullard