- Rini: "Why is it do you think we fight for you?"
- Serena: "Mental void?"
- —Serena and Rini, The Promise of the Rose
Sailor Moon R: The Movie: The Promise of the Rose (美少女戦士セーラームーンR Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Āru?, lit. Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R) is the first of the three films produced for the Sailor Moon franchise. The Promise of the Rose, originally known only as Sailor Moon R: The Movie, was originally released in Japan, December 5, 1993 and was directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. The English dub of the film was produced in 1999 and later released February 8, 2000 on VHS and DVD with the subtitle The Promise of the Rose. The following year, The Promise of the Rose was re-released and included in the Sailor Moon: The Movies: Dream Set edition, October 9, 2001. The film aired on Toonami's "In-flight movie" block, November 6, 2001.
Darien Shields's childhood friend, Fiore returns with the promise of giving him "beautiful flowers" to rekindle their friendship, the Sailor Scouts learn that he behind the appearance the Kisenian Blossom: an energy draining entity who plans on destroying the plant with Kisenian Blossoms. When Darien is kidnapped by Fiore, the Sailor Scouts attempt to save him and prevent the Kisenian's hollow planet from spreading her blossoms on Earth.
In his youth, Darien hands a mysterious boy a rose before he disappears, vowing to bring Darien a flower. In the present day, Darien meets up with Serena and the other girls at the Jindai Botanical Garden. Serena tries to kiss Darien, but when he suspects that he is being spied on by the other girls, he walks off outside alone.
The stranger appears from the garden's fountain. Serena tries to break the man's grasp from Darien, but is knocked down. The man vows that no one will prevent him from keeping his promise before disappearing again. Darien tells a confused Serena that the stranger's name is Fiore. At Raye's temple, the girls discuss an asteroid which has started to approach Earth and on which Luna and Artemis have discovered traces of vegetative life. The talk turns into gossip about Darien and Fiore's possible relationship, while Serena thinks about how Darien had told her that he had no family and was alone, and how she had promised him she would be his family from now on.
Fiore sends a flower-monster, Glycina, to Tokyo in order to drain the population's life energy, but the Sailor Scouts free them and destroy the monster. Fiore appears, revealing that he is responsible for the attack and uses a Kisenian flower before severely injuring the other scouts. Tuxedo Mask saves Sailor Moon from being killed, and tries to talk Fiore out of fighting. However, the Kisenian flower controls Fiore's mind and has him attack Sailor Moon. Tuxedo Mask is stabbed by Fiore after protecting her, and Fiore takes Darien to an asteroid rapidly approaching Earth and begins to revive him in a crystal filled with liquid.
While in the crystal, Darien remembers meeting Fiore after his parents died in a car accident. Darien had previously assumed that he had made up the boy as an imaginary friend. Fiore explains that he had to leave Darien because of the Earth's unsuitable atmosphere; Darien gave Fiore a rose before disappearing. Fiore searched the galaxy to find a flower for Darien, finding the Kisenian flower in the process. Seeking revenge on the humans for his loneliness, Fiore returns to Earth.
Meanwhile, Luna and Artemis tell the scouts that the Kisenian flower can destroy planets using weak-hearted people. Sailor Mercury realizes that the energy from the asteroid matches the flower-monster's evil energy, deducing that Fiore has hidden there. The scouts decide to rescue Darien; Sailor Moon is reluctant to do so, but the other scouts and Rini convince her to save Darien and confront Fiore.
After the Sailor Scouts fly to the asteroid, Fiore reveals that he will scatter flower-seeds to drain humanity's energy on Earth. The Scouts then fight hundreds of flower-monsters, but the four scouts are captured. After Fiore orders Sailor Moon to surrender, Sailor Moon is unable to feel his loneliness; Fiore begins to drain her life-force. Darien escapes and saves Sailor Moon by throwing a rose at Fiore. The rose embedded in Fiore's chest blossoms, freeing him from the Kisenian's control. The flowers on the asteroid disappear, but it continues to hurtle towards Earth.
Salior Moon uses the Imperium Silver Crystal to transform into Princess Serenity in order to change the course of the asteroid. Fiore tries to stop Serena's transformation, but he soon realizes that Serena had given Darien the rose that was once given to him. Fiore and the Kisenian are obliterated by the immense power and energy from the Silver Crystal.
Darien and the other scouts lend Princess Serenity their powers and abilities to sustain the Silver Crystal as the asteroid descends towards Earth. The Silver Crystal shatters, the asteroid disintegrates and Serena dies. On Earth, despite Luna and Artemis' concern over why the scouts are taking too long, Rini assures them that the scouts are all right.
Meanwhile, on the disintegrated asteroid, the scouts and Tuxedo Mask cry over Sailor Moon, but Fiore reappears and thanks Tuxedo Mask. Using a nectar-filled flower with Fiore's life-energy, Darien wets his lips with the nectar and kisses Serena, reviving her and restoring the Silver Crystal. Fiore, reduced to the form of a child again, returns to space to live in peace.
Differences between home video releases
The DVD and VHS subtitled release of The Promise of the Rose differs from the English dubbed VHS release of the film in several ways:
- The DVD release of the film contains the original Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon score composed by the late Takanori Arisawa.
- The English VHS release uses the original score from the DiC Entertainment dub composed by Bob Summers.
- The DVD release is the uncensored version of the film whereas any instances of explicit violence is is censored from the film and replaced with white flashes to indicate when a character was harmed.
- "Moon Revenge", the theme song in the Japanese dub, remains in the uncut version of the DVD, while the English Dubbed VHS release uses a remixed version of the original theme "The Power of Love", performed by Jennifer Cihi.
- ↑ Rini acknowledges Serena both as Sailor Moon and her mother.