What is this, I don’t even.
Okay so I saw someone say that this should be done… So here.
Jadeite, what is your next plan to steal energy from humans?
People seem to spend a significant amount of time and energy posting random images and words about shows, comics and celebrities they like, a subset of the population called “fangirls” seems to be particularly susceptible. I call it “Tumblr”
The original Big Bad of Sailor Moon, Queen of Evil who was actually the puppet of the real Queen of Evil and dictator who ruled a kingdom with a black crystalised fist.
But let’s, just for a moment, look beneath the abundance of red wavy hair, bizarre ear anatomy that has had every Sailor Moon fan puzzled since they saw her and questionable choice in jewelry and see what we’ve really got on our hands here.
Of the factors of Sailor Moon, as a series, that originally set it apart from other manga or anime at the time was its occasion to give the monster of the day or boss bad deeper layers to make it human. And Beryl by no means was ever an exception to this.
At first glance to the reader/watcher who had/has their first taste of the series usually interprets her as a power hungry villain who wanted to RULE THE WORLD. And that’s fair enough, despite a pretty generic view to have of a villain, it’s not without reason.
But to people who’ve actually researched and studied this series (yes, studied) and paid attention to every tiny detail that they’re given, we see that behind that blood thirsty desire to rule was a core of human traits that raw to the point they personally made me uncomfortable to come to terms with.
First off, and please correct me if I’m wrong on this one, but Beryl was the only Boss Bad of Sailor Moon who was actually originally human, we’ve seen snippets of her back story. This alone obviously sets her apart. And it’s from this we begin to understand her motives when she goes all hell crazy with dark energy, and no more so than her main motivation that actually acted as a catalyst for her descent into becoming tainted with evil: Love.
We learn that Beryl, in her human life, was deeply in love with Endymion. More or less to the point of obsession (I don’t want to get into a ‘can obsession really be considered as love?’ debate, so just roll with me here) that was initially the aspect of her being that Metallia used as a gateway into fucking with her head and subsequently, after being fed darkness, was maximised on a deeply disturbing level.
Her love was unrequited and it tore her up (an aspect of Sailor Moon that actually some of the Senshi even share behind the bows and devotion to duty), her only option to get away from it all was isolation which, in a painful twist of irony, was where she came into contact with the thing that just made it all the more worse for her. And, as a result, worlds fell apart and crumbled through the sheer force of her will, all with the pain of romantic rejection acting as the driving force behind this.
And I can’t help but think but this acts as such a powerful metaphor for the state of human nature when one is not given the reciprocation of their feelings and come to the cold hard realisation that there’s nothing they can do about it.
Sailor Moon continuously explores the theme of unrequited love in its arcs and we also see other depictions of human behaviours in the way other characters deal with their situations. e.g. initially Minako jumping from crush to crush when the last would never come to fruition. Ace showing a different aspect of destructiveness to contrast Beryl’s by being, arguably crueller, and divulging in mental and emotional sadism. Rei swearing off love in fear of ruining the other person. Makoto still holding onto old feelings and, of course, the harshest one being Setsuna forced to dwell on her lonliness and inability to confess her feelings to Endymion for a plethora of reasons. Beryl’s was just the most extreme case of what could happen if your feelings aren’t handled properly.
At some point, most people come face to face with this same situation and unfortunately, repeatedly. This makes Beryl all the more human to me, oddly enough she’s actually relatable.
By no means am I saying that she’s likable, she’s definitely not, we were never shown any directly positive traits of her and she was never depicted as redeeming herself in anyway. But what I am saying is that she’s a sympathetic character, she’s raw, we were shown this intense, unnerving vulnerability.
I MUCH prefer Beryl’s manga/PGSM characterization of her anime one.
In the anime, all we see is a power-hungry monster who will stop at nothing to take over the world. Where’s the interest in THAT? She’s basically a cookie cutter villain who’s not very remarkable (I apologize to people who disagree with me on this point, but bear with me)
However, in the manga, we see that Beryl truly has some hidden depths to her character. Like the OP said, her love of Prince Endymion is a focal point in her character. He’s even the very last thing she thinks about before she dies.
I think that her jealously of Princess Serenity was also a huge motivation for her. In episode 44, right before she was about to attack Serenity, she says this line.
This implies that not only was she driven by her love/lust/obsession with Endymion, she also desired to crush her rival beneath her, to either kill Serenity or make her so ugly Endymion wouldn’t want her anymore. She may have also been so jealous of Serenity she wanted to destroy the beauty she held, which Beryl might have felt she lacked (I may just be reading too far into this but whatever)
Furthermore, her PGSM incarnation provides us another alternative look at Beryl. What’s very fascinating to me is that, in this storyline, Beryl is not the final enemy: Princess Sailor Moon is. Princess Sailor Moon is another example of what happens when love goes bad; PSM was so devastated by the loss of Endymion she unintentionally destroyed the Moon Kingdom herself and later repeatedly states she has no problem destroying a world where she cannot be together with Endymion.
Beryl picks up on this and calls the Princess out on her hypocrisy. In the very last episode, right after Sailor Moon has stabbed Endymion (who had Metalia inside of him), Beryl, sadly looks at Endymion’s body and wonders why the Princess has to take everything away from her. In a choked voice, she exclaims “YOU are the true evil!”
I would even go so far as to say that Beryl is not the big bad in PGSM, but rather Princess Serenity herself.
Anyways, the manga and PGSM gave me much more of an appreciation for Beryl than the anime ever did!
AKiko and Ado (X)
Backstage Kakyuu-Ouhi Kourin
I really like the first picture.
I don’t care if that’s just backstage stuff…
That is all.
JUST HANGING OUT IN HER CHECKERED SHIRT
I haven’t seen this discussed often, but the tale of the Legendary Lovers from episode 40 seems to be a direct parallel to the story of Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, and Queen Beryl.
The parallels are pretty obvious. The maiden of the Heavens is…
and we’ll never be royals
The start of a loving relationship.