With the whole Sailor Senshi team reunited once more, it’s time to finally take on the Dead Moon Circus. However with Usagi and Mamoru made ill by the Dead Moon’s power, the world of Elysion in danger and Helios growing weaker, can they defeat their latest foe?
Sailor Moon Volume 10 is the complete finale to the Dream Arc (or in anime terms SuperS arc) which works better for the book overall. In the previous arc ending the book was padded with the beginning chapters of the next arc, creating a disorientating experience where the characters went from proclaiming ‘peace has returned!’ to suddenly fearing the new enemy on the next page. Luckily we don’t have that here, we have the big battle, and it’ll be a good few months of rest for the senshi before the next book is out, beginning the final arc of Sailor Moon.
The big finale to the Dead Moon isn’t as epic as the previous final battle, but it was never going to be. The final battle of the Super/Infinity arc had the entire planet in danger, a huge enemy to defeat, and it was the first battle to involve all the Sailor Senshi working together, so of course any finale afterwards is going to lack in comparison. The Dream Arc finale however does a few things slightly differently to make it stand out from the other battles. They do tick some mandatory boxes along the way; for example Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask coming together for a tender moment when everything looks hopeless, all the Sailor Senshi receiving a power upgrade, and the enemy laughing annoyingly across most panels.
Where it does come into its own, however, is in the expansion of the characters’ backgrounds and mythology building. We learn more of Mamoru’s past life, including the beautiful scenery of Elysion and the importance of his Prince role. Plus his power upgrades combine with Sailor Moon’s, making his role a lot more essential to the big victory and a great addition to the whole teamwork dynamic that the manga thankfully celebrates, whereas sometimes the anime was lacking in this respect. Sailor Moon also gets a bit more depth to her with another flashback to her past life, including a scene with her mother and we learn more about the villain, Queen Nehelenia. Admittedly the villain’s motivation is clichéd but also calls to mind a well-known fairy tale that the right audience will enjoy. The other nice addition to the finale is the reveal of Sailor Chibi-Moon’s future, including additional senshi we are briefly introduced to, rounding off Chibi-Moon’s character arc rather nicely.
The Dream Arc might not have been Sailor Moon’s strongest storyline but the battle is well done, the character dynamics are nicely portrayed, and seeing the story wrapped up before the final arc makes for a great read. No Sailor Moon fan will want to miss it.