Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sailor Moon: a review

I think most of us have at least heard of this show and a good number of people watched it.
I had a friend who loved the series and we used to hang out after school. So for me it was a choice of either watching the show with her, or starting my homework early. I was never a fan of homework, so I caught nearly every episode of the show. Here's my take on it:

Series: Sailor Moon (1993)
Foxy's rating:
Expectations: was hoping for less repetition
mostly repetitive and predictable
Animation: plenty of corner cutting. Apart from that, not too bad. Nicely detailed backgrounds.
Action: You've seen one fight - you've seen them all
Drama: More than you'd expect from a "kids' show"
Humour: Hard to describe in one word. Despite the show not being a comedy, the humour is definitely there and it  mostly lies in personality clashes as characters play off one another.
Worth watching: Yes, if you like magical girl anime or want to know what the genre's all about.

The cast:

Like in most shows for girls, we've got a cast of characters, each with a personality of their own (at least that's what most shows for girls are supposed to do). We've got Usagi (Sailor Moon) who doesn't seem very clever, but is funny and nice; Amy (Sailor Mercury) - the shy and geeky girl; Rei (Sailor Mars) - a tough girl, a bit of a diva and quite temperamental; Makoto (Sailor Jupiter) - another tough girl, keeps falling in love with every guy in sight, is good at cooking; Minako (Sailor Venus) - the diva.
It's rare that all of them get along and when something goes wrong, funny things start to happen.  There's quite a lot going on romance-wise in the show and sometimes such stories get surprisingly complicated. I would dare say that this series has considerably more to offer as a soap opera than as a superhero cartoon.

The story:
The overall story line for all seasons is shockingly predictable to a point of "I can't believe someone got paid for writing this!". But considering how fast it was produced due to a high demand, I guess that's understandable.
Basically at the start of each season we have bad guys that are looking for magical artefacts that lie inside humans with a pure heart, normally to harness their energy and use it to awaken the ultimate baddie they pretty much work for. They start to attack humans one by one (or shall I say "one per episode") and are stopped and defeated by the Sailor girls. Normally it's a minor bad guy looking for the artefacts and there is a boss. After a few failures, the boss kills the minor bad guy and we see a few other minions, who do the same: attempt to collect artefacts, fight the Sailors, fail, get killed and replaced after a few failures. Normally the next minion is a bit more powerful than the last, so the Sailor girls get an upgrade of their pretty accessories/weapons. Eventually the boss baddie gets the needed artefacts, awakens the ultimate evil (sometimes gets killed by it) and now the Sailors have to get together for an ultimate battle, during which they sometimes die one by one. But that's all fine - everyone gets brought back to life for next season. In next season... repeat!
The monsters:
Well... if the show lacks imagination in places, I'm guessing the monsters are meant to compensate for it. And boy are they messed up! Normally it's a female "fused together" with a random object, so to say. I'm not sure if they're meant to be funny. Some combinations are rather ridiculous. For example, vacuum girl!
I have to say though that in the first season some of the monsters were actually scary. Just look at Morga or Dream Dolly, for example.

Gay romance:
Ee-yep! This anime is most certainly gay-friendly! You might know the most famous love birds in the show: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. But did you know this? In the original anime Zoycite is a gay guy in love with Malachite. It seems the Americans didn't like that and they've decided to change Zoy's gender in the dub.

The best episode:
In my humble opinion, that would be "Kitty Chaos" / "Loved and Chased! Luna's Worst Day Ever"
It's nice to see an episode at least somewhat centred around Luna. And she's had a day to remember! First she's chased by alley cats, then a morbidly obese derpy cat has a crush on her... At a point a demon glamour boy ends up in a sewer full of rats, which was rather hilarious, if you ask me.
 Afterwards the fat cat gets turned into a rather awesome monster. I found it seriously refreshing to see a demon that wasn't a half-naked psychedelic pin-up inspired by some kind of an everyday object.

Fan Love
The show still gets plenty of fanart on a regular basis! There's loads out there. I'm just gonna briefly point out some personal picks:
A Cute Plushie
 A Neat Prop
The neat little comic I've used was done by this girl.

Make your own Sailor Scout!
Check out this extremely well-made doll maker

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