Tsukino Usagi is a 14-year-old girl in junior high. She's ditzy, whiny, and a crybaby. She often flunks her tests, and she is always scolded by her family. However after a bad day, Usagi is surprised to encounter a black cat that can talk! The cat, Luna, grants Usagi the power to transform into Sailor Moon, a fighter who is to save the world against the Dark Kingdom and its evil ruler, Queen Beryl.
Of course, Usagi can't do it alone, and there are others who will help her on the way...
It is often true that things experienced in your childhood never seem to live up to the wonderful memories you had of them when experiencing them again as an adult. It was with this state of mind that I entered my viewing of Sailor Moon, mostly from a desire to relive some nostalgia from my youth. I can truly say that it exceeded my expectations and left all those fond memories intact. As with most anime fans my age, Sailor Moon was one of the first series that I watched. It is one of those titles that many people know outside the anime fan base. Though it’s probably not the first "magical girl" anime it does in my opinion define the entire genre.
The first thing that is going to come to many people’s attention is going to be the artwork and sound quality. When compared to today’s standards it looks primitive and plain. The music is particularly uninspired and I doubt it was all that interesting when this show was new. The background music and sound effects feel like they are drawn out of a 80s B action movie. This show could really use a complete remastering of the audio. The voice acting though is strong and I felt the actors did a good job in portraying their characters though some of the performances, particularly from the villains are pretty campy.
Animation wise, the colors and styles are typical of what you expect from this era. The colors feel plain and washed out a little and we don’t have a lot of the detail that many modern shows have. This is not to say it’s bad, because it’s really not fair to compare it to newer shows because the technology has changed so much, but I still think it is relevant. I gained an appreciation for it as the series unfolded and I think most people will as well.
The overall story is something Sailor Moon does exceptionally well. From the start we get a sampling of a bigger danger to come and it moves along fairly slowly in the beginning. We get introduced to Usagi right away who quickly becomes Sailor Moon and starts fighting the enemy. Over the course of the first half of the series the other Sailor Warriors start to appear as we learn more about them and their pasts and building the friendships amongst each other. The plot does a great job of telling the origins of the Sailor Warriors and the reasons for the villain’s attacks. The last half in particular was very interesting and exciting. As a romance there is a lot to like about Sailor Moon. It treats the viewer to a serious and realistic feeling relationship that really puts its modern counterparts to shame. I found it to be the most compelling and rewarding part of the show.
The action is something that just isn’t that interesting however. It feels to simplistic and formulaic. The enemies change but after a while they all seem like they are the same. They get defeated in the same ways and the action itself never gets to be that exciting. Most of the shows battles are very short as well and the Sailor Warriors various special abilities take up most of them. They got a little long and boring as well after the 20th time seeing them. Anyone who is expecting or desiring intense magical action and special effects will be disappointed.
It wouldn't be a magical girl show without the famous transformation cut scene. Sailor Moon has plenty of these, and they get to be a bit unwieldy at times as the cast grows. Sailor Moons is the longest but the other Sailor Warriors are pretty short, which is good. Plus while we have to watch Usagi transform every time we often don’t have to watch all of the others or we get a shortened version. This is good because it takes away from the story.
The real shining light of Sailor Moon is the characters. Usagi as the lead is one of my favorite characters in anime. She starts off as a bit annoying with her crying and silliness but she really shines as a comedic character. She manages to grow during the course of the series and become stronger and more courageous. She has several love interests, or crushes would be more accurate. Eventually this grows into a serious relationship which I found very satisfying. Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask is the main love interest and both are completely oblivious of each other’s alter egos. I always found it amusing that he couldn’t tell Usagi was Sailor Moon when they look and act exactly alike.
Of the Sailor Warriors, Ami and Rei get the most screen time since they are brought in pretty early in the series. The conflict between Usagi-Rei was pretty amusing most of the time though it did seem to wear on me over time. My personal favorite of the girls was Makoto/Sailor Jupiter. I liked her the most from my childhood and that continued to today. She is one of the funnier characters, especially when she finds someone new who reminds her of her sempai who broke her heart. Minako is the last of the girls to be brought in and was probably the least interesting. Since she was bought in near the end there wasn’t enough time to really bring out her personality or give us much information on her past. The cast has a number of supporting characters which are pretty fun. Usagi's school friends are constantly getting into danger and a nice little side romance develops there. Luna serves as the advisor to the group and serves as the resident cute animal that must accompany magic girls on their adventures.
Overall I can’t recommend this series enough. Every fan of anime should see this show at least once. I would love to give it a 10 rating but the lackluster action and sound bring it down from being perfect. read more
Note: This review encompasses the entire series, rather than just the first season. Keep that in mind while reading. Thanks!!
When anime fans start talking about shows that began their interest in japanese animation, many people point to the fact that their first experience with anime (whether they knew it or not at the time) is Sailor Moon. It's one of those anime shows that people fondly remember as the basis of "how to do anime right" for future shows of its kind. Even when comparing it with today's new trends, plots, characters and animation, it is easy to notice why Sailor Moon is fondly accepted into the hearts of anime fans around the world.
In my eyes, you could not have picked a better anime to become immersed into the anime world than with Sailor Moon. And a big reason for that is the intricate and well-developed plot, arguably the strongest feature Sailor Moon presents. At the surface, you can say that it's your typical "children rising up to save the world" theme. However, this magic girl anime show presented unbelievable twists to the plot that included five different main story arcs with amazing depth to each of them and somehow, it always able to weave itself flawlessly back to the central theme that encompassed Sailor Moon. To top it all of, when you watched Sailor Moon, it was able to emotionally draw you into the show with ease, where you undoubtedly had your favorite sailor scouts and actually cared about each and every character and what happened to them. Very few anime shows back in the day (early 90's) were able to do that, and though we see it more often nowadays, its still a special skill that is needed.
Again, because of its 1992 creation, the art obviiously seems old-fashioned and not as crisp as what you watch nowadays. But if you really think about, each character was drawn well, each given different physical characteristics that separated each one from another and the backdrops used were well detailed to an extent. Sure, there were a ton of repeated frames (namely during transformation), but what anime nowadays doesn't have them? In all, it still holds up very well, even in today's times.
Depending on what version (English or Japanese) you are most familiar with and most vividly remember, the sound preference of the show could go either way. While I personally did not have a problem with the English cast, the Japanese cast also voiced each character pretty well. The voices of each character gave of enough feeling and emotion, which helped draw the viewer into the show even further. The music was so good that there have been hundreds of performances, many musicals and an ample amount of released soundtracks that have been much appreciated by the public.
Again, one can also argue that the strongest point in Sailor Moon was the plethora of characters they introduced, each one of them having a significant part in the grand scheme of things. As I stated before, everyone picks their favorite sailor scout, and to me, each scout's character personality seemed to fit their represented planet quite well. They took their time with introductions of characters and the development was amazing, with new powers, techniques and relationships acquired throughout the entire series. The one downside people may bring up is that they may have been *too* many characters and with that, the focus is turned away from the main ones. On rare occasions did that occur in Sailor Moon.
Weaving all of this together, Sailor Moon is easily one of the more enjoyable "old-school" anime shows out there. Almost every episode had some kind of meaning towards the overall plot and a lot of the battles can't be called anything short of epic. However, a big question mark on whether or not people enjoyed Sailor Moon was their views towards romance. Love was one of the bigger themes of this show, seen strongly epitomized between the characters of Usagi (Serena) and Mamoru (Damien). If that was something you loved, chances are you favored this series more so than people who didn't find that factor appealing.
All in all, Sailor Moon is one of the shows that started the anime trend outside of Japan and they could not have picked a better show to showcase than the Sailor Moon franchise. With a great cast of characters, a lengthy, emotional series involving epic clashes between good vs. evil and a highly well-developed plot, Sailor Moon is a show that if any younger anime fans out there haven't seen, or if the older ones thought was too "mushy," you should give it another try. Who knows, it just may be right up your alley.read more
I strongly dislike the original Sailor Moon series for many reasons. Let's get the biggest problem out of the way, it's a pretty predictable and repetitive show.For example, Sailor Moon likes to make twists, about things it already showed in the first episode, which is pretty pathetic and lazy writing.Do you want to know the most predictable and annoying part about Sailor Moon is?The filler, which extends to almost 25 episodes.In other words, nothing important happens for more than half of the time.
When something actually happens, it's a bunch of cliches pandering to the time period. Not that I have a problem with pandering, but doing it based on the time period is an awful choice. For several of reasons one of the biggest being that over time it will be seen as cheesy garbage.Think about it the Nostalgia Critic himself made fun of Sailor Moon because of how dated it is.On top of that has anyone else noticed the slowly building hate crowd Sailor Moon is starting to have?Don't get me wrong it's still popular because nostalgia, but how long would that last when the next generation kicks around?
Not only that, it also has tons of other problems surrounding the idea of pandering to a decade.The show is cheesy, has a bad romance, it was predictable and repetitive, Gradus-Ex-Machina was pretty much everywhere, and forced morals to top it all off. The romance just like most romances at the time was needlessly slow-paced until they finally got together and became a forgettable and bland couple. The show in question forces both cheesy morals and Gradus-Ex-Machina(in other words good luck) at the exact same time, whenever a villain is killed off by the power of "love" or whatever.I'll get to the stereotype thing later,for now I need to talk about the few decent things about the story.
First of all the universe was very well explained!The origins of the sailor scouts were actually kinda cool.Same can be said for the fight against the Dark kingdom and the Moon Kingdom.I also kinda of like how slow-paced the show is.So it didn't seem like you were missing something.Overall, the story was pretty weak. There was a good amount of flaws in it, with only a little bit things that were actually enjoyable. 3.2/10
As a person who watched the dub, I honestly enjoyed it a bit.It's a bit below then what I'm used to with anime dubs, but it's alright. Serena's voice actors Tracey Moore and Terri Hawkes's did a fair job.I also liked Katie Griffin's voice as well(she's the voice for Ray). The rest of the cast weren't bad per say, I was just highly indifferent about them.The only one that did slightly bother me was Liza Balkan's voice for Mercury's because..sometimes ..she..would..talk..like,this.I guess Jill Flapper's
(Luna's voice) voice was little hard to get used to at first, but I did open up to it over time.
As for the background art. It's actually too plain in my opinion. Especially when the transformations were present.The character design was unique that's for sure, but eh...it looks awful.Sailor Moon herself looks weird because of the bangs were small and the lack of details and highlights makes her look kinda of weird and easier to draw.Same can be said for the rest of the characters.I also wasn't too fond of the eyes.They weren't bad, they just needed to be a lot darker and have more of a curve along the sides of the eyelashes.Some more shading wouldn't have hurt either.
I guess the animation is fluid.Just not amazing enough to save the designs.Overall, the voice acting was pretty average, and the character designs were just weird. Along with some bland and simple background designs.Art:2.5/10, Sound:5/10
Another weak point that Sailor Moon has is the characters.As I mentioned earlier most of the character are very bland stereotypes.The villains who are evil because plot.(Jadeite, Queen Beryl, etc), a nerd character who isn't very good at making friends(Amy), a marry-sue(Mina), the everyday girl(Serena), etc. To be fair though the sailor scouts aren't horrible characters with no development.They just aren't very well done characters with a generic development and depth.Too bad I can't say the same about the other characters.
First of all the villains are just so generic.You have the as mentioned before villain is evil for the sake of being evil or the villains that start out in one, but later turn good because eh..love.Then they die or loose a good chunk of personality(This also can be said for the rest of the original 4 seasons of SM).
The character relationships between the Sailor Scouts are developed.Just not very well presented or believable or at the very least it doesn't feel natural.Maybe because the characters themselves were bland and unnatural. You also have Daren's and Serena's relationship which I kinda of went over.Just like pretty much everything in the show, it's outdated.To be fair though later in the series they do become a more tolerable couple, but in the first season, they were awful together.Serena just didn't seem naturally fit with Daren.Who is, by the way, a pretty generic character and like I said before the relationship itself drags on forever. Overall, the characters are just so outdated and stupid that there's little to no silver lining to it.2.8/10
Honestly, I didn't really enjoy Sailor Moon at all, it was outdated and just plain awful at times.There weren't many things noteworthy or enjoyable about Sailor Moon.Especially since how replaceable it is now.Just skip it, there is really nothing else to say.....3.5/10read more
Back in the 1990s, Sailor Moon was the queen bee of popular shoujo titles by helping to popularize the magical girl genre to international fans and being the first series within the genre to feature a magical girl fighting against the forces of evil instead of using her magic to do fun and mundane things that older titles like Creamy Mami did. I was a sucker for the series when I was a kid during that period as I watched the butchered American syndicated version of the series released by Dic during the mid-90s. Our heroine of focus here is klutzy and book-dumb middle schooler Usagi Tsukino, who is tasked by a talking cat named Luna to become the magical girl known as Sailor Moon to thwart the evil activity of the witch Queen Beryl and her forces among the Dark Kingdom. Along the way, Usagi gains several additional allies to assist her with four other middle school girls who can become Sailor Senshi and a mysterious tuxedo-clad man named Tuxedo Mask who often pops up as a walking plot device to save Usagi whenever she gets in trouble against the "monster of the day".
Taking off the nostalgia goggles of watching this baby nearly 20 years later, I'd hate to say that Sailor Moon hasn't really aged all that well. All the character types and plot tropes that were milked by Sailor Moon during its heyday are a common part of many modern magical girl titles, many of whom offering more fleshing out of their plot and character elements than Sailor Moon does. Here, many of the characters are rather lacking in depth and have one-dimensional personalities with the good guys fighting for "love and justice" to save the world and the bad guys being evil for the sake of being evil. As a lead character, Usagi was rather obnoxious at many points in the series with her being ridiculously clueless, clumsy and crying incessantly if she ran into some sort of problem, which makes it kind of questionable why this would make her a character relateable to younger female audiences. Even with the romance Sailor Moon dabbles into at points, the relationship developments are either not convincing or are too underdeveloped to get seriously invested in thanks to the rather shallow character depth.
The plot mostly follows a "monster of the day" format that takes up much of the show's run with Usagi stumbling upon the monster's plot, transforming to combat them, often getting herself in trouble, having Tuxedo Mask save her in the nick of time and then uses her powers to finish off the monster. Later episodes do slightly pick up in quality when revelations concerning the origins of Usagi and her friends come to light and the stakes are raised with Beryl trying to further her plans. But the series still resorts to monster of the day plots for many of its episodes and milks enough deus ex machina in thwarting perilous situations that Usagi and the other Sailor Senshi get themselves into. Pretty much, the series is very predictable with its plot developments if you've seen your fair share of anime.
Visually, Toei was obviously running Sailor Moon on a limited budget with the reused animated frames, underwhelming action scenes, minimal detail on scenery and plain-looking character designs. The soundtrack isn't much better as much of it consists of bland and low-key tracks that don't do too well at effectively capturing the mood and tension within Sailor Moon's key scenes. I might get quite a bit of flak for this from purists, but I much preferred DIC's soundtrack to Sailor Moon since it at least attempted to capture some sort of mood during key scenes in spite of how cheesy it is nowadays.
Overall, I suppose I don't get what makes Sailor Moon all that popular with fans. Sure it popularized magical girl titles. But the character archetypes and storytelling tropes within it haven't aged well and are a common occurrence in many modern magical girl titles, a number of whom offering better fleshing out of their premise and characters than Sailor Moon, like Cardcaptor Sakura and Princess Tutu. I would sooner recommend those titles and a number of other modern magical girl titles than Sailor Moon and I don't feel pressed to dig into the later seasons of the franchise anytime soon. read more
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