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Sailor Moon Retrospective Review Part 1: Moon Reviewing Power
*Insert awesome electric guitar solo here*. Writing reviews by moonlight. Playing games by daylight. Never running from a real job, he is the one named Paul W. Hmm, that doesn’t work. So if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m going to start a retrospective review series on an old classic anime from the golden age that was Toonami on Cartoon Network. That’s right, it has been in the planning for some time, and now I am going to take a retrospective look and review Sailor Moon. With the new Sailor Moon anime starting sometime early next year, I figured now was a good time to get started. I will continue reviewing Pokemon and Madoka Magica later next week, but until then let’s get started with Sailor Moon.
Sailor Moon is the dictionary definition of a magic girl anime. You have a bunch of teenage girls fighting evil monsters while trying to live normal lives as well. The first episode introduces viewers to the main character of the show, the girl who will become Sailor Moon. Serena, or Usagi in the manga/Japanese version of the show. For these reviews I’ll be calling her Serena. So what is there to say about Serena? Well she has a tendency to be late to school, she is terrible at academics due to a lack of motivation and never studying, and tends to whine and cry a lot. No seriously. She cries more than Madoka in Madoka Magica. You could make a drinking game out of Sailor Moon, not that I’d recommend it though.
So the first episode introduces viewers to the setting and characters, foreshadowing the plot and things that will be addressed later like the whole Moon Kingdom back story. Serena is late to school, bombs a test, gets made fun of by the enigmatic Darien, and is then told by a talking cat that it is her destiny to become Sailor Moon. So yeah, bit of an odd day. Meanwhile, we are then introduced to the main villains of the first season of Sailor Moon, the Negaverse (also known as the Dark Kingdom). The Negaverse is commanded by Queen Beryl, who is surrounded by hordes of her minions that seem to just stand around and do nothing all day. In short, Queen Beryl wants to unleash her forces upon the world, but can only do it by stealing the energy of human beings. She and her minions are essentially Saturday morning cartoon villains that you can’t take seriously, and the English dub of the show doesn’t help.
While Serena comes to terms with the fact that she is Sailor Moon, Queen Beryl sends Jedite on a campaign to collect energy from humans by means of harebrained schemes that shouldn’t work as well as they do at times. Through what I can only guess is telepathy granted by her hairdo, Sailor Moon hears the panicked cries for help coming from her friend Molly. A monster under the command of Jedite has taken the appearance of Molly’s mother and is stealing energy from humans through magical jewelry that siphons energy off of the wearer. So this is Sailor Moon’s time to shine, right? Well no, not exactly. Not entirely onboard with her new lot in life, Sailor Moon just dodges the monster’s attacks and whines and cries.
Enter a recurring theme in the series. Sailor Moon is saved in the nick of time by the not-so-mysterious-yet-charismatic Tuxedo Mask, who throws roses as his signature attack. If the voice didn’t make it obvious over the series, it becomes clear that Darien from earlier is Tuxedo Mask. With his encouragement, Sailor Moon kills the monster with her tiara. Apparently it is really sharp, or something.
As far as a first episode goes, Sailor Moon is off to a good start. Although I don’t know how they expected viewers to find Serena likeable at first. I can get why they went with the reluctant protagonist archetype that Serena portrays early on in the series, but the constant whining and crying gets a little irritating. At the very least, it provides comedy relief when used appropriately. There are many times over the series where you have to wonder why on earth any of the Sailor Scouts would see Sailor Moon as their leader, especially with how she acts all the time. Sure, Sailor Moon will have her moments of being a badass, but they are very rare.
So stay tuned, the review will continue soon. Sometimes, I’ll cover more than one episode in each review, and it will depend on what is going on in the story. I’m planning on doing the same for the Pokemon reviews, as more often than not if you see one episode of Pokemon, you have seen them all. In the mean time, I’m going to try and figure out the lyrics for a Sailor Moon theme song parody.