Sailor Moon Eternal: How the Inner Sailor Guardians Unlock Their Full Power

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie, now available on Netflix.

Sailor Moon Eternal cuts deep into the hearts of each Sailor Guardian, forcing every single one to confront their greatest fears, darkest emotions and, especially, the truth of how they feel about their destinies as Guardians. No one Guardian is the same -- they each have different ambitions informed by their differing personalities and the different paths they've walked in life.

While the Inner Guardians are perfectly comfortable sharing their dreams amongst themselves, the Amazoness Quartet of the Dead Moon Circus are more interested in unearthing what lurks underneath instead. What deep dark secrets are the Inner Guardians hiding and how do those same secrets awaken their full power as Guardians in Sailor Moon Eternal: The Movie?

Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Eternal

The first Sailor Guardian to have her heart tested is Ami Mizuno, the Guardian known as Sailor Mercury. As a genius student who is top of her class, Ami has largely enjoyed a privileged lifestyle. Her mother is a successful doctor and is financially stable. Despite being well provided for, however, Ami is also living in a single-parent home and is particularly traumatized by her parents' divorce. While Ami loves both of her parents, her father felt ignored by both his wife and daughter and left them both.

Her father's abandonment left a profound emotional scar in Ami's heart and she found herself questioning if she was loveable. She even questioned if her friends -- the Sailor Guardians -- truly loved her as a person or if they only valued her contribution to the team. It wasn't until Fish's Eye of the Amazon Trio unearthed this unhealed trauma that Ami came to realize how far she'd come since becoming friends with Usagi, Minako, Makoto and Rei. The Sailor Guardians don't just value her as a team member, they also spend time with her out-of-costume and take interest in her life. They are the first real friends she's ever had and she is proud to fight alongside them as Sailor Mercury. Realizing she'll do anything to protect the people she loves is what awakens Mercury into her super form.

Sailor Mars

Sailor Moon Eternal

Rei Hino is another Guardian who is traumatized by childhood abandonment. Her mother died when she was still a child and her father left her with her grandfather in order to pursue a career in politics. Her father's abandonment produced feelings of anger and resentment towards him and it made Rei profoundly distrustful of men. Unlike Ami, however, Rei doesn't question her self-worth; instead, she strongly values her independence. For a long time, she told herself she didn't need anyone, which is challenged by Tiger's Eye of the Amazon Trio.

Unlike Fish's Eye who exploited an unhealed trauma in Ami's heart, Tiger's Eye attempted to gaslight Rei into thinking she does want a man's love because that's the real reason she can't come to terms with her father's abandonment. While Rei does, for a moment, question if this is really true, the moment she sees a reflection of herself that doesn't embody her true feelings, Tiger's Eye's stranglehold on her begins to weaken. When her ravens, Phobos and Deimos, remind Rei of the commitment she willingly made to protect her friends, Tiger's Eye's spell breaks completely and her full power as Super Sailor Mars is awakened.

Sailor Jupiter

Sailor Moon Eternal

Makoto Kino shares a similar tragic history to Ami and Rei. She lost both of her parents when she was young and has lived alone ever since. As such, she's already developed adult skills such as paying her own rent, cooking her own food and providing for herself. She, therefore, has an idea of the adult life she wants to lead. Specifically, she wants to marry and raise her own family, as well as open her own shop. Since her life goals conflict with her commitments as a Sailor Guardian, Makoto finds herself questioning if being a Sailor Guardian is the right path for her, which draws her to Hawk's Eye of the Amazon Trio.

Hawk's Eye shares the same life ambitions as Makoto and even opens his own herbal shop that he plans to expand globally. Makoto, at first, looks up to him as a role model and almost shares her doubts about her life as a Sailor Guardian with him. When he learns she is Sailor Jupiter, he actually invites her to join the Dead Moon Circus, feeling that they could work well together. Makoto rejects the offer, realizing that while she does have her life ambitions, she actually loves her friends more than anything else. This awakens her full power as Super Sailor Jupiter.

Sailor Venus

Sailor Moon Eternal

Minako Aino is the last Sailor Guardian to awaken into her super form, but not under the same circumstances as her teammates. Unlike Ami, Makoto and Rei, Minako's life is not marked by any tragic event and she leads a similar life to Usagi Tsukino. Despite the lack of adverse life experiences, Minako still suffers from feelings of inadequacy, especially since she is the leader of the Sailor Guardians. Without being able to unlock her full power as Sailor Venus, Minako feels as though she has failed her team and sets out to prove to herself that she can still fight with or without powers. As such, she willingly walks into a trap set up by the Dead Moon Circus.

While her teammates are not pleased with her reckless decision to fight without the protection of her Sailor Crystal, Minako shows her determination to fulfill her Guardian responsibilities all the same. This causes her guardian cat Artemis to realize he's the one who failed Minako by not being the partner she needed him to be. It's only after Minako falls into the enemy's trap that he finally unlocks her full power as Super Sailor Venus and she is able to fight alongside her friends on equal footing.

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