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Nephrite was the second Shitennou.


In the manga

Nephrite was the second of the four Shitennou (heavenly king) to appear in the manga succeeding his fallen comrade Jadeite. He is the commander of the North American division of the Dark Kingdom. After Jadeite's death and subsequent preservation/burial in a glass coffin Nephrite appeared in Queen Beryl's throne room, asking to be allowed to take over the mission to gather energy and locate the Silver Crystal. Upon her approval Nephrite vows to avenge his death and begins his mission appearing in the third act of the manga. Thinking that the "magnificent treasure of the D Kingdom" was the Imperium Silver Crystal, Nephrite plots to steal the jewel from its owner Princess Diamond who was visiting Tokyo. He used his shadow to possess Princess Diamond at a party. Princess Diamond grabbed the jewel and ran off with it as well as draining the energy of her party's guest at the same time. Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars confront Princess Diamond, but Nephrite 's shadow leaves her and is then destroyed by Sailor Moon's Moon Twilight Flash attack.

In Nephrite's final attack (act 5 of the manga), he again makes use of his shadow, but this time possessing a mannequin that comes to life as a “ghost bride” kidnapping men and stealing their energy. The “ghost bride” manages to manipulate Motoki Furuhata through brainwashing, who in turn tried to drain Makoto (Lita) Kino of her energy. When Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars arrive to investigate, Makoto (Lita) Kino snaps out of her trance and realises that she has been tricked. She is infuriated by the trickery and transforms for the first time into Sailor Jupiter after having a transformation pen thrown at her by Luna. Nephrite reveals his presence to the four girls and is incapacitated by Sailor Jupiter's Flower Hurricane attack. He is finally eliminated with a lightning blast from her tiara. After Nephrite died, he transformed into a hard type of jade that is dark green in colour. That type of jade by coincidence is also called Nephrite [1][2]!

In the anime

After Jadeite was condemned to Eternal Sleep by Queen Beryl, Nephrite was sent to replace Jadeite.

Unlike his predecessor Jadeite and fellow Shitennou (Zocyite and Kunzite), Nephrite did not believe that the indiscriminate attacks against human beings as the most efficient way of gathering the vast amount of energy required in order to revive Queen Metallia (the Negaforce), but rather hypothesises in targeting specific people as a more effective method. A firm believer that human destiny is guided by the movements of the stars in the heavens, Nephrite used astrology to perform inside his operations base (a large mansion located in a wooded area of the vicinity of Tokyo) intonation with the star's and its constellations to help him concentrate his energy in locating individuals within the region of Tokyo that were approaching major turning points in their lives where their "energy potential" would be at its maximum before attacking them. By seeking out such a person and marking an object which epitomises his or her greatest talent with a special symbol - his own personal crest - he could place a youma inside of that object which would hasten their interest with the object (to the point of obsession) as they devote more and more energy towards using their object until that person reaches their maximum energy potential. Once this point was reached, he would unleash the youma from that object and drain that person of his or her energy leaving that person in a coma-like state[3]. Nephrite would seek out that person under his established disguise: the human identity of that of a millionaire entrepreneur and socialite - Masato Sanjouin.

To match his monogrammed belongings, he was given the pseudonym Maxfield Stanton in the dubbed Northern American version of the anime, which author Patrick Drazen describes as "ridiculously soap-opera"[4]. As Masato Sanjouin (Maxfield Stanton) it wasn't long before he found his first victim: a young girl named Rui Saionji (Katy Sandler), a gifted tennis player and close friend of Naru Osaka's (Molly Baker). Posing as a professional tennis coach, Nephrite, offered her some basic advice before implanting a youma inside her tennis racket via his evil crest. Upon peaking in her energy potential, he released the youma Tensie who despite stealing her energy was defeated by Sailor Moon with a lot of help from Tuxedo Mask.

Nephrite managed to locate his next victim, Mr. Kunitachi (Baxter), who was a gardener for a park. Mr. Kunitachi (Baxter) was perhaps the only victim he indiscriminately attacked where he was able to exploit his emotions over the destruction over his beloved park by intensifying his strong feelings. Not only did Nephrite steal his energy but also the energy of the park’s animals through his evil crest which was implanted on his hat and the subsequent release of the youma Petasos. However, in typical fashion, Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars with assistance from Tuxedo Mask disposes of Petasos. Similarly the youma Black Widow who was implanted via Nephrite’s evil crest in a piece of material belonging to Usagi (Serena) Tsukino's sewing class teacher Miss Higure Akiyama (Helen Lambert) and Cameran who was implanted via Nephrite’s evil crest inside the camera of the award winning photographer Kijin Shibakawa (Peter Fisher) were also disposed of by Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara.

With the destruction of his three youma's, more is learned about his character as a curious Queen Beryl asks of his progress in dealing with Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars in episode #18. His determination in pursuing tasks individually reveal his great sense of pride; a tool which is used to defy and irritate Queen Beryl as well as an asset that a jealous Zoicite exploits while she subtly tries to ruin his reputation and ultimately eliminate Nephrite. The subsequent failure of his next youma Jumeau greatly helped Zoicite[5] for it allowed her to continue to patronize him of his shortcomings as Queen Beryl, who by this time lost confidence in Nephrite, reprimanding him for his inadequate collection of human energy and even threatening him with the same ultimatum as his predecessor Jadeite: the death of Sailor Moon or share in his punishment of "Eternal Sleep".

Through the intonation of the stars in his hideout, Nephrite learns that Tuxedo Mask is Sailor Moon's greatest weakness. With some persuasion, Queen Beryl allows Nephrite to disguise himself and impersonate Tuxedo Mask so he can exploit Sailor Moon's “foolish love" by trapping and learning of her identity before killing her. As part of his plan, Nephrite’s mails bogus love letters to junior high school students within certain areas of Tokyo (including Usagi (Serena) Tsukino and Rei (Raye) Hino). Unfortunately, his plan fails when one of the high school student's, Naru Osaka (Molly Baker) correctly deduces that he was behind the distribution of bogus love letters to the female students. Suspecting that she was Sailor Moon, Nephrite “led her on” to test if she would walk into his trap at the Shinjuku MS Department Store. His suspicions were seemingly confirmed when she was naive enough to attend the Shinjuku MS Department Store earlier than expected and recognize Nephrite’s alter ego inside the Tuxedo Mask disguise. After confronting her in his Tuxedo Mask outfit demanding that she “reveals herself”, he drained all of her love energy despite the latter pleading that she was not Sailor Moon. "When the masquerade was exposed after he was discovered draining Naru Osaka (Molly Baker) of her energy by her best friend Usagi (Serena) Tsukino, she quickly changed into Sailor Moon to confront Nephrite[6]", "at which point the two long-time adversaries finally met face to face [7]"! Once Nephrite fully revealed his true identity to Sailor Moon, he scares her with an illusion of his clones before creating an illusion of the star Regulus to whom he calls upon its power. The illusion of the star transforms into the constellation of Leo within which the youma of the same name leaps out and begins chasing after Sailor Moon. Had it not been for Tuxedo Mask striking Leo the lion on his face, Sailor Moon would have been fatally wounded. Returning his favor, Sailor Moon helps Tuxedo Mask battle Leo the lion with her Moon Tiara Magic attack, only for it to fail her as it merely stuns the youma. "Upon recovering, the youma continued his pursuit " of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. He is recalled by Nephrite after he successfully traps the retreating Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask inside an elevator rigged by Nephrite. However, both Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask escape from Nephrite's trap and certain death with the help of Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars.

Although Nephrite failed to kill Sailor Moon, Queen Beryl becomes very impressed with the amount of love energy drained from Naru Osaka (Molly Baker) and as such, waivers Nephrite’s punishment. “But this was not the only means by which he had unwittingly profited from this scheme, for it also brought to his attention the fact that Naru Osaka (Molly Baker)[8]” was fawning over his alter ego Masato Sanjoin (Maxfield Stanton). Through the intonation with the stars in his hideout, Nephrite decided to continue pursuing her[9] and exploit this valuable commodity for his own personal gain.

Having avoided Queen Beryl’s punishment of “Eternal Sleep”, Nephrite was allowed to continue in his energy gathering efforts in reawakening Queen Metallia (Negaforce). After performing inside his operation’s base intonation with the stars regarding his next target, Nephrite decided that the time was right for him to use his two powerful youmas Castor and Pollux. Though seemingly unbeatable by the power of their friendship (as symbolised by their bound tails) and their ability to mimic both Sailor Mars's and Sailor Mercury's attack, the bound from which they drew their strength from weakened as they argued over how who should defeat their opponents. The distraction created from their bickering gave Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars the opportunity to eliminate them once and for all. “It was after this defeat that Nephrite finally realized how much he had underestimated the strength of Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars as well as in just how desperate a situation he was in, and that the only possible way he had left of redeeming himself was to find the Imperium Silver Crystal. It was an obsession that would ultimately prove to be his undoing[10].

When Queen Beryl learned that the Diamond Kingdom possessed a secret treasure, she designated Zoisite to investigate as to whether or not it was the legendary Imperium Silver Crystal. However, her assignment was snatched from Nephrite as Queen Beryl believed that Nephrite's desperation after his recent string of failures would be the best motivation into working harder and succeeding. Regrettably, this was not the cast as this venture proved to be both a waste of time and resources for Nephrite. "After going through all the trouble of[11]" implanting his last youma Soul Shadow inside the body of Naru Osaka's (Molly Baker) and using her as a "middleman" to "pass" Soul Shadow onto Princess (Dia)mond, so the latter could steal the treasure. Not only was Soul Shadow destroyed by Sailor Moon's Moon Tiara, but the legendary secret treasure was nothing more than a priceless 2000 carat diamond statue of the Diamond Kingdom's first princess.

Nephrite and Zoisite disliked each other very much, and Zoisite enjoyed every time Nephrite's plans were foiled, in the hopes that he would be punished with “Eternal Sleep” and he would not have to compete with Nephrite in searching for the Imperium Silver Crystal.

While he was pretending to be Maxfield Stanton, Usagi (Serena) Tsukino friend, Naru, fell in love with Nephrite, amd his Star Crystal kept reacting to her. In Episode 20, A Friend in Wolf's Clothing, he asked Naru who Sailor Moon's true identity was, saying he wanted to fight alongside the Sailor Senshi against Queen Beryl. Hearing this, Zoisite had three monsters called the Plant Sisters kidnap Naru Osaka's (Molly Baker), but not before she called Usagi, whom Nephrite assumed (correctly) was Sailor Moon. He set a trap for her and watched her transform, now able to attack her whenever he wants. Tuxedo Mask arrives at the scene, but at that moment Nephrite senses that Naru is in danger, and goes to the warehouse to save her from the three monsters, nearly killing one of them with his sword. He receives a cut in the process. They think they got away, but the monsters return and one of them, Housenka, stabs Nephrite with thorns that, according to her, "will suck his energy and shrink his body to Negadust." The three Sailor Senshi arrive and kill the monsters. Nephrite dies and dissolves into dust, leaving only the bandage Naru Osaka's (Molly Baker) put around the cut on his arm.

  • Nephrite receiving his promotion
  • Nephrite's operations base (a large mansion located in a wooded area of the vicinity of Tokyo)
  • Inside his operations base
  • Nephrite employing astrology to perform intonation inside his operations base with the stars and its constellation
  • Nephrite disguised as Tuxedo Mask
  • Nephrite's evil crest
  • Nephrite disguised as Masato Sanjouin (Maxfield Stanton)
  • Nephrite creating the black crystal (kurozuishou)
  • 301(2).jpg Nephrite's black crystal (kurozuishou) reacting
  • Nephrite is killed by Zoisite's monster Housenka


Starlight Attack

The starlight attack (スターライト アタック)was an ad-hoc offensive attack performed by Nephrite against Sailor Moon in episode #23 of the anime. The starlight attack would consist of three variations.

The first variation of the attack emitted a large force of energy which originated from the palm of Nephrite’s hand and was used to knock Sailor Moon to the ground and save the life of Naru Osaka (Molly Baker) by splitting the mask of youma Yasha into two. The second variation of the attack was formed as he clasped his hands together and called upon the stars to give him power, then fired blasts of power at Sailor Moon to again incapacitate her. The last variation of the attack saw him cross his arms to form multiple balls of light, which orbited in circles similar to a planet's rotation. Upon gaining enough energy would he fire the projectiles at her.

Both the second and third attacks missed Sailor Moon although it is obvious that it can do quite a bit of physical damage to whatever it hit. Nephrite uses this attack while disguised as Masato Sanjouin (Maxfield Stanton), but he can probably perform this attack in his true form. The name of the attack seems to be a reference to the astrological means Nephrite uses to perform intonation with the stars and its constellation. In the original anime, Nephrite would yell "Starlight Attack” before he would attack his target [12].

CS023-319

Nephrite's first variation of the "Starlight Attack"

CS023-257

Nephrite's second variation of the "Starlight Attack"

CS023-268.5

Nephrite's third variation of the "Starlight Attack"

In Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

P nephrite

Nephrite poster in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Nephrite is the second of the Shitennou to appear. He enters in Act 4, when Queen Beryl realizes that if the senshi find the princess, they might also find the Silver Crystal also. Nephrite's task is to find the crystal before the senshi do - a task that he will stop at nothing to accomplish. He competes with the other Shitennou for Queen Beryl's affection, and often sucks up to her. He sees the other Shitennou as a threat. Nephrite is played by Hiroyuki Matsumoto.

Trivia

  • Nephrite is named after a variety of jade known as nephrite.
  • Nephrite was seen driving a Ferrari Testarossa 512 TR in some of the episodes in which he appeared.
  • A cryptic reference to Nephrite appeared in episode 119, when Professor Tomoe repeated Nephrite's anime catchphrase, "The stars know everything."

References

  1. - SweetUsagi (Shitennou)
  2. - Eternal-moon (Nephrite)
  3. - SweetUsagi (Shitennou)
  4. {{{author}}}. (2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation, Stone Bridge Press.
  5. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopaedia (Nephrite)
  6. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopedia (Leo the Lion)
  7. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopaedia (Nephrite)
  8. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopaedia (Nephrite)
  9. - Wikimoon (Usagi is Thrilled! Tuxedo Mask's Love Letter
  10. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopaedia (Nephrite)
  11. - The Ultimate Sailor Moon Encyclopaedia (Nephrite)
  12. - Wikimoon (Starlight Attack)
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