I should probably start this with a warning: this is not going to be a long shrine (compared to most of my other shrines, that is). Quite frankly, Beryl doesn't do much in the anime; there's not much to say about her! But, anyway... here goes.
Beryl is the acting monarch of the Dark Kingdom, holding supreme power over all
except for her imprisoned demon mistress Metallia. Beryl is in most of the
episodes of the first season, though she rarely does anything except sit
in her throne, stroke her crystal ball, and order her kings around, telling why
they've done things wrong and making them give her the same old song-and-dance
about "Forgive me... I'll do better next time!"
Oh, and sometimes she
kills things. Particularly of mention: said kings. (why
else did I title this 'The Destroyer'? I mean, she's responsible for
deaths of people and deaths of relationships, after all...)
(why else did I title this 'The Destroyer'? I mean, she's responsible for deaths of people and deaths of relationships, after all...)
She's a temperamental,
bitchy woman, bitter at a woman who died a thousand years ago for defeating her
and jealous of a young girl for having the man that she desires.
Despite her large number of appearances, she has very little character development. The true villain of the season (not counting Metallia), the show's creators probably didn't want to develop her for fear of giving her any likability. Though it's considered okay to develop lesser characters like the Shitennou because they are not the true representatives of the dark, the main evildoer needs to be purely malicious, to ensure that the evil society is properly hated.
And Beryl does a pretty good job of that.
this idea isn't foolproof. Websites like this one show proof that it is possible
to like the Kingdom.
I even don't mind her... though if I had a choice of her or one of the
Shitennou, I'd take the prettyboy anytime.
I even don't mind her... though if I had a choice of her or one of the Shitennou, I'd take the prettyboy anytime.
Her Majesty's sole allowance of character development is her fetish for Tuxedo Kamen/Endymion. And even this was not played up to its full extent (as it is in the manga). While she does invite Endymion to switch sides in the battle on the Silver Millennium, and while she does obviously favor him and overlook his faults (she wouldn't take some of the things he does from her Shitennou), it's really not that clear that she even finds him attractive. I'm sure she does; it's just not stated outwardly.
(no, that's left up to Zoisite... my dear boy, what were you thinking when you said that? I mean, not to insult Mamo-chan or nothin', but he's got a Kunzite-sama! Why in the world would he be callin' Tuxedo Kamen handsome when he sees the hero without a mask? But I'm forgetting what I'm discussing.)
So, Beryl has a thing for Endymion. But that only begins when she realizes who Tuxedo Kamen is, and she doesn't find out till episode 33.
What else does she do?
Well, back in the past (a thousand years ago in the past, to be precise), she raised her earthen army, led by her Shitennou, to attack the kingdom on the moon. She caused the Silver Millennium to fall, but, to stop the impending reign of evil, Queen Serenity used the ginzuishou to seal Metallia away, tearing Beryl and her Shitennou to shreds. Whether or not they died and became reincarnated or were sealed off until the anime's beginning is never said, so Beryl's existence until her first anime appearance in episode one is a mystery.
All right. I think I'll take a moment to give a brief overview of her actions as seen in the anime.
She appears. She sits around and strokes that crystal ball. She ices Jadeite. She sits some more. She gets mad at Nephrite when he tells her off, then gets mad at him again when he doesn't appear when she summons him. But still, she sits some more. She revives Metallia with energy, then sets Zoisite out to get nijizuishou, while still sitting. She kills Zoisite after he wounds Tux. She sits some more. She watches Endymion and Kunzite bicker. Sitting. She sends the DD girls after the senshi. (and can you guess what she's doing?)
And finally, she stops sitting and stroking the crystal ball. (well, okay, she does stand up once or twice before that; I'm exaggerating a bit... but not much!) When Sailors Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are dead, she transports Sailormoon to her inner chamber and orders Endymion to kill the young heroine. When eventually True Love succeeds, Beryl gets stabbed with a rose, which ends up hurting her more than she'd ever expected, so she then retreats to Metallia, who takes over her body, which is subsequently destroyed by the combined power of the senshi.
Thus ends the reign of the Dark Kingdom and just about ends the first season of Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon. (there's a bit more for the senshi to do, but not much.)
And that makes me sad.
But I'm not too sad on Beryl's account. I personally am not super-fond of her because of the hell she put the kings through --I mean, I adore those guys, obviously -- but I think she is a good leader for the kingdom of darkness. She is nasty and ruthless. She threatens and yells a lot.
She's a tough lady, and that's what she needs to be.
Letting Endymion into her kingdom (and into
whatever other sick designs she had for him) was a mistake, though. He helped
cause the downfall -- she should have known that as a hero, he'd break
brainwashing and turn on her for his true love.
But, what can I say? Required villain blindness, and all that. I suppose it's not her fault.
Another thing I enjoy
about Beryl is that I think it's
wonderfully kinky having a woman in charge of four grown men. You don't see that
much in evil groups. And she is very much in charge -- none of the kings sleeps
with her or is related to her (or at least is stated; fanfics have, of course, decided differently, but the reason fanfiction is called such is 'cause it's fictional, right?), she is tall enough to at least match them in
height if not dominate them (she towers over Endymion, after all), she makes no empty threats (if she says she'll kill
someone for failure, she will), and she has the power of a demon behind
her. There is no way she would let the Shitennou hold any power over her. It was
only when she put too much trust in another -- Endymion -- that she relinquished
her absolute strength and enabled her downfall. After all, if she'd just taken
out Sailormoon herself, she'd have saved herself a lot of... well, death!
taken out Sailormoon herself, she'd have saved herself a lot of... well, death!
Again, required villain blindness. It's still pretty frustrating, though.
As ugly as Beryl so often ends up in descriptions and fanfics, she isn't completely revolting. For one thing, her voice was rather cute (hey, the same lady who voiced her voiced Sailormoon's adorable feline advisor Luna; that should tell you something right there, right? Even though the two characters didn't sound much alike, the cute undertones still remained...), even when she was yelling or threatening/murdering underlings or otherwise doing evil-queen-things.
She was pretty, too, to a point. And only in some episodes (under certain animators) I mean, the Shitennou are nice looking guys; why shouldn't their leader be a nice looking woman? Granted, her coloring is anything but normal; her skin's a more than a bit sallow, and the orange-and-yellow eyes are kind of freaky, but she has nice hair, a nice figure... she's kind of exotic in design. Her pointed ears and interesting mineral-like jewelry lend her some sort of elegance, and the fangs plus the spikes on her shoulders and wrist lend her some viciousness, some evilness. She looks much less human than the Shitennou do, but that doesn't make her hideous, by any means. Well, when she does some things she looks ugly, but then, so do the other characters. It's the problem with the first season's animation.
So, if it's not obvious, I can stand her in some respects. It's not her voice or her appearance that really bothers me about her (though I wouldn't call her my favorite/the best anything!). Rather, the issues I have with her concern that her attitude could use some work. Lots of it, in fact.
The problem with Beryl is that she just did things wrong. I think her worst mistake was letting/making her Shitennou die. getting rid of some of her most valuable and rare soldiers wasn’t much of a wise tactical move. The reason they are called the Shitennou (the four kings, roughly) is because there are only four of them. Supplies were very limited, but Beryl had trouble recognizing that until it was too late and there was no one left to save her.
It's not easy being leader of an evil group.
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