Today’s featured location is Nehellenia’s nightmare world, seen from episode 170, The Fateful Night! The Agony of the Sailor Senshi, to episode 172, Moon Love Power! The End of the Nightmare.
Usagi and the others end up entering Nehellenia’s nightmare in order to retrieve Mamoru, who has been trapped under Nehellenia’s spell. Usagi is so anxious to find Mamoru that she does not wait for the others and leaves by herself, and once she enters the nightmare she loses her transformation and is forced to walk barefoot through a harsh winter terrain to reach Nehellenia’s castle, which is also surrounded by thorns. The other girls all teleport together, but end up separated into different areas in unusual pairs by Nehellenia’s powers.
The locations each group finds themselves in are significant. Haruka and Ami find themselves in an area that looks like ancient Roman or Greek ruins, but in which time and space is distorted, resulting in them unable to progress— teaching Haruka that running fast won’t solve any problem, and teaching Ami to trust in her skills even if they don’t seem as fast or flashy. Rei and Michiru are stuck in a dark forest, causing the pair to disagree over whose intuition is better, and eventually teaching them to trust both in themselves and others. Minako and Setsuna must run across an old bridge to escape the Mirror Paredri, and Setsuna offers Minako the chance to go ahead and leave Setsuna behind, cutting the bridge once she gets across. Ultimately, Minako decides that to be a real leader as Setsuna insists she is, she needs to make sure that everyone is safe, and helps Setsuna— teaching both of them that while self-sacrifice is noble, teamwork is very important and can save everyone. Unfortunately, despite each of their respective successes, the girls all end up trapped in Nehellenia’s mirrors.
Meanwhile, Usagi begins to lose her memory, confused by some talking flowers that Nehellenia has set in her path, and almost gives in to the nightmare. Makoto finds herself before Usagi, and tries to wake her, but fails. She protects Usagi from Nehellenia’s attacks and ends up getting caught in one of the mirrors, just like the others. However, having lost one of her earrings in the fight, Usagi notices the rose earring before her and regains her memory— therefore Makoto was able to indirectly rescue Usagi from the nightmare.
Finally, Chibiusa and Hotaru end up right at the centre of Nehellenia’s castle, and Chibiusa struggles to maintain corporeality as Mamoru gets lost further and further into the curse. Hotaru encourages her to keep faith in her family, and almost sacrifices herself to defeat Nehellenia but is stopped by Chibiusa who does not want to see her best friend die again.
Nehellenia’s nightmare world is interesting because it preys on people’s weaknesses rather than what would seem to be their obvious fears. For many of the Senshi, this weakness is pride and not wanting to really team up with the other Senshi (Outers not wanting to work with the Inners and vice versa). However, going through her tests actually had the opposite effect on each of the girls, helping them to become stronger and learn how to overcome these weaknesses and cooperate.