Is the Silver Crystal the Philosophers' Stone?

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Mar 8, 2012
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#1
Probably every ultra-powerful magical gem in a fantasy story is inspired by the philosophers' stone to some extent, so I'm sure it was in Naoko's mind when she came up with the idea for the Silver Crystal. The question is how much of an inspiration did it serve? Or, put another way, is the Silver Crystal the philosophers' stone?

The philosophers' stone - also known as the elixir of life - is best known for its purported ability to change base metals like lead into gold or silver. It's also believed to have the ability to cure all illnesses, prolong life (possibly granting immortality), revive dead plants, and create clones or homunculi, among other things.

1. Usagi Tsukino's very name, obviously, is a pun on tsuki no usagi - the rabbit of the moon, who, in many versions of the story, spends his time making the elixir of life.

2. It is said that the people of the Moon were all exceptionally long-lived, and that the people of Crystal Tokyo also became exceptionally long-lived from exposure to the Silver Crystal.

3. In the manga, we see the Silver Crystal revive dead plants and heal sick and injured people.

4. It is perhaps the most popular fan theory that Queen Serenity created Princess Serenity as a clone or some sort of homunculus, thus explaining away the lack of a father character.

It's also notable that there are said to be two philosphers' stones - a white one that turns things to silver, and a red one that turns things to gold. This would seem to fit fairly well with Sailor Moon's Silver Moon Crystal, and Chibiusa's (the daughter of the holder of the Golden Crystal) Pink Moon Crystal.

Furthermore, the magnum opus - the process of creating the philosophers' stone - involves at least four stages, each associated with a color (black, white, yellow, and red; sometimes other stages involving green, hyacinth blue, or the rainbow colors of a peacock's tail, are also mentioned). This is fairly suggestive of the anime's Rainbow Crystals arc.

Based on the evidence, I'd say the philosophers' stone was probably a pretty big influence on the creation of the Silver Crystal, and that in-universe they may be one and the same. (Naoko did put the Holy Grail in the story, or at least a lunar version of it, so putting in another "real world" legendary item would be entirely on trend for her.)
 
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Neo Moonlight

Lumen Cinereum
Dec 7, 2009
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#2
This is such a cool analysis x3 I'm not as well versed on the deets of the series to put anything meaningful into a discussion, but just wanted to say I love this.

It could very well be that in the Sailor Moom universe, all the stories about the philosophers stone they would have were really about the silver crystal, but so much time went by its proper name was forgotten.
 
#3
For me, it depends on what rules the Philosopher's Stone follows. Was the Silver Crystal created via the sacrifice of the souls of an entire kingdom? Probably not. It would be like the Philosopher's Stone embedded in Kamen Rider Black (manga version) only much more powerful.
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#5
*bump*

I've been reading up on lodestones lately, and I wonder if they might also have served as inspiration for the Silver Crystal:

Lodestones are naturally occurring magnets: they're lumps of magnetized magnetite, sometimes also containing traces of gold, silver, aluminum, titanium, and/or manganese. As natural magnets, they were used to make the first compasses, and thus have a long history of being important to sailors.

Starting around the 1600s, the leading scientific theory was that lodestones had souls, that they and the planets possessed an "astral magnetic mind." The popularity of William Gilbert's highly influential book on the subject, De Magnete, inspired an absolute mania for magnets: lodestones quickly became one of the most expensive, highly sought after precious stones of the time. People became obsessed with finding the most powerful lodestones they could get, and then making them even stronger. Lodestones were also believed to have incredible healing powers. Some lodestones, like the one owned by Isaac Newton, even became quite famous.

The Silver Crystal may not have a soul or an intelligence per se, but it reacts to danger and, as a Sailor Crystal, is either Usagi's soul or deeply connected with her soul. The Silver Crystal may not have any magnetic powers (that we know of), but it obviously has healing powers. As lodestones were connected with the Earth, the Silver Crystal is connected with the Moon. And, like lodestones, the Silver Crystal certainly inspires mania and greed for power, as shown several times throughout the manga.
 

SnowWolf

Luna Crescens
May 17, 2012
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#9
According to the 3rd eternal edition, the Beguiling Black Crystal has a connection to the Philosophers stone.

- Wiseman is a translation of the word "kenja" in Japanese and "kenja no ishi" is Japanese for the Philosophers Stone.
- Also, one of the latin names for the Philosophers Stone is the "Atramentum" which means "Black Instrument".