SuperS centers heavily on Chibi-usa and the Sailor Team. A new enemy, the Dead Moon Circus, has now appeared. Their motive is to find the Golden Dream Mirror that would be used to rule the world. To do this, the enemy attacks innocent victims for their Dream Mirrors and test their energy. Chibi-usa also has a new ally on her side, Pegasus. This season also sees the Sailor Senshi obtaining new powers.
I am about to give a positive review to the least-liked season of Sailor Moon. No, I am not smoking anything and I did not just escape from a mental facility. I truly love this arc, and watch it frequently.
Story: The story is, I'll grant not as involved as the other arcs. And the fact that we know Chibi Usa has Pegasus right off the bat kills some of the suspense. SuperS is often criticized for being too light and cutesy. But even though most of the episodes are filler, as with the rest of Sailor Moon, they are rarely boring. It is lighter,
but we just had S, arguably the darkest season in the series, and we're about to get into Stars, which is also very heavy on the angst. SuperS is a welcome intermission. Some of the episodes are very funny, such as when Usagi stalks Rei and Mamoru as the red ninja of love, or when Minako dates two of the villains simultaneously. I also like that it focuses on Chibi Usa, she really comes into her own. She also gets her own romance with Helios, which I think is the sweetest relationship in all of Sailor Moon.
Art: I'm not a big art person. The art is I think better than the earlier seasons, but it's Sailor Moon. You don't watch it for it's animation merit.
Sound: The Japanese voices are wonderful as always. The English is...yeah. Though I will say Helios' dub voice is really sexy. The score is top-notch, I think SuperS has the best music. Lots of new pieces.
Character: The Inners all develop a bit, Usagi really doesn't but oh well. Chibi Usa is the one who goes through the most change, SuperS for her is like what Classic was for Usagi. And um, there's Helios, who is awesome!
Enjoyment: It's fun to watch, really. I swear.
Overall: I wish this season wasn't written off so much. It has some wonderful qualities. I never tire of it. I highly recommend you at least give it a try!
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor S is with little argument, the worst season of Sailormoon. Some may point to the Doom Tree (Season R, part I) as the worst, but we must all remember that the anime was an unexpected hit. The Doom Tree season was a placeholder while they made the actual serialization of the manga arcs. So, its forgivable. SuperS however cannot be forgiven because its had all the resources of a popular anime and still let down fans.
While the manga of the SuperS arc gave Chiba Mamoru his due spotlight, the anime version utterly refuses him of this. Chiba Mamoru is once again left
to linger in the background of every story (virtually absent in the Star season to come) while Chibi-Usa is given yet again way too much screen time.
The SuperS anime focuses on Chibi-Usa, as if an entire S season of her friendship with Tomoe Hotaru wasn't enough. Unless you love Chibi-Usa (to DEATH) this may not bother you. Just warning, almost every episode has Chibi-Usa piping in it.
The art value changes randomly throughout this series. Some episodes are of excellent quality but many of them revert back to the cheap animation of Sailormoon R (part I, Doom Tree).
As for sound, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon is consistant in its good soundtrack, but this season offers almost nothing new.
When it comes to Character Development, an Inner Senshi may have one episode them seems to be about them (namely, when Tiger-eye, Hawk-eye or Fish-eye persues them) but otherwise such expectations go unfulfilled.
The Enjoyment level is Poor due to all the reasons listed above. I for one hate Chibi-Usa and find the entire series grating, frustrating and poor quality. Overall, however, there is some goodness to be gleaned, like the progression of Sailormoon's powers as well as the Inner Senshi and the knowledge that we won't have to put up with Chibi-usa anymore in Stars.
I've done a lot of reviews online over the years. Most have been anime but I've also looked at comics like Civil War, live action TV shows like the First Doctor from Doctor Who, Films like DEBS, cartoons like Spectacular Spider-man and even video games like Miitopia. I've reviewed some of the worst anime out there, some of the most generic and some of the best. All from a wide variety of genres. And now, I'm reviewing anime number 400. With every hundredth review, I've had a tradition of looking at the next instalment of the Sailor Moon franchise. We've looked at the first series,
R, S and, now it's time for a look at SuperS. Who knows, maybe I'll be going long enough to get to the controversial Crystal series. But we'll worry about that when we get to it.
We open with our pretty sailor-suited soldiers observing an eclipse. Unbeknownst to them, but knownst to us, a group of villains called the Dead Moon Circus use the eclipse to enter their lovely Japanese town. Their mission is to find the person with a beautiful dream that Pegasus is hiding inside. From there, we get the usual Sailor Moon formula. Ordinary people are threatened by monsters, the soldiers power up and drive the menaces back all while getting steadily closer to the mastermind behind it all.
I don't have any real issues with the Sailor Moon formula. Having a monster of the weak set up works when you've got media aimed for younger audiences, which this is. It's not like they're stupid enough to put monster of the weak episodes in something for older teenagers or adults. Only someone truly brain dead would do that. That being said, there is one element to the narrative I have a serious problem with. And that is the attempted romance betwixt Chibi-Usa and Pegasus. And it's not just that he spends most of the series as an alicorn. That is part of it, but the bigger issue is that he's thousands of years old and she's a grade school kid. It would be like if the esteemed Princess Celestia was trying to put the moves on Pumpkin Cake. It's beyond creepy and no one ever acknowledges it. Mamoru will speak out when he thinks she's interested in a significantly older human, but is surprisingly taciturn when it comes to the paedophile Pegasus. I mean, yes he's also older than Usagi to a degree where he should not be dating her but at least they have the whole reincarnated ongoing love story thing to somewhat excuse it. As opposed to Pegasus who is just a wannabe child molester.
That whole really terrible romance aside, the series does have a lot to like. There are some really strong episodes that let the other soldiers besides Usagi and Chibi-Usa have a taste of the spotlight. The series is also pretty good about giving the victim characters a sense of personality. There are exceptions, particularly towards the end where entire groups are getting checked. But it is mostly a strong point for the series. The handling of the dream motif is also quite interesting. They explore the dreams of our heroines and they use the villains to illustrate what happens with corrupted dreams, how lost people get without dreams and the danger of having a selfish, impossible dream. The series also has a pretty strong sense of humour, like the rest of the franchise.
Our main heroines all get their chances to shine and exploring their dreams does help flesh out and further their characters. Then we have the antagonists. That's another strength of the series, the way the antagonists are fleshed out. Some of them are quite sympathetic even the big bad Nehelenia who's pretty pitiable when it comes right down to it. Honestly, I think these are the best antagonists we've seen in the franchise thus far. Finally, we have Helios or as I like to call him, the worst part of this entire franchise. No, seriously. There's nothing in any of the other series we've looked at that's worse than mister ancient but young looking paedophile. And, sorry to spoil it, but I know there's nothing in Stars that's worse than him. The interactions that don't involve him are pretty strong. I like the way the series develops the familial bond betwixt Usagi and Chibi-Usa and I like the way the sailor soldiers interact with the Amazoness Quartet. Those are the two strongest interactions in the series.
Yeah, the artwork continues to be rather dated but fine looking. One thing I really like in this series are the monster designs and the whole atmosphere you get in the Dead Moon Circus. The performers have interesting and varied looks. But, like every part of the franchise, you can expect a lot of stock footage and long transformation sequences. You can also expect the occasionally bizarre facial expression.
Our all star cast returns. We get strong performances from Mitsuishi Kotono, Fukami Rica, Tomizawa Michie, Shinohara Emi, Hisakawa Aya & Araki Kae. We also get some great acting from our secondary cast. One in particular I want to talk about is Ishida Akira. Almost three years ago I reviewed the OVA, Ice. In that series Ishida Akira voiced a woman and gave a terrible performance,sounding completely masculine. This series lets us confirm for absolute certain that that was the director's fault. In SuperS, Ishida voices the trans-woman Fish Eye and he sounds really feminine doing it. They don't even use the shitty old joke where his voice turns super masculine at times. It's feminine throughout. Arisawa Takanori's soundtrack is nicely done. Even if the franchise has been using the same opening theme tune for every series.
This one dials back the les-yay quite a bit. There's an episode where a young girl starts admiring Rei in a way that comes across as more than friendly. We also get to see Ami dance with Makoto. That's something.
Honestly, I seriously considered going as low as a 6 for this one. Solely because of Pegasus. Like I said, worst thing in this entire franchise. However, I'm going to go a bit higher because the antagonists are really well done and there are plenty of other strong factors in the series. It's still the weakest instalment of the franchise thus far but I would still say it's enjoyable and pretty good. So, my final rating is going to be a 7/10. Next week, Uchuu Kaizoku Mito no Daibouken.
A big thank you to everyone who's been a regular reader. I appreciate all of you whether you generally agree with my assessments or not.
If you're a Mini Moon/ Chibi-Usa fan, you'll absoutly love this season
Story: One thing that annoyed me of this season, is something similar that the anime did to the first, and Stars season. They left out alot of important manga plot elements. It would have been a much worthy season if they'd done it differently. Eitherway though it was a cute season plot.
Art: I absoutly love how they made Pegasus look artisticly. Every one of his appearences had a magical essence to it, so art-wise this season was pretty good.
Sound: No big deal in sound either in this season. No outbreaking music, alot of soft
melodies were played throughout most of it, so it had a serene feel to it. Not horrible but not outbreaking either. The voices though of Pegasus, and Nehenlenia were top notch.
Character: Although I don't like Mini Moon that much, the new character and romance of Pegasus/Helios was a great addition, and actually made me like Mini Moon a bit more. Mask and Moon were hilarous acting as parents. Other then that the main leads weren't main in this season. It's all about Mini Moon this time.
Enjoyment: I can't say I wasn't dissapointed. I would have loved if this season were more like the manga story-line instead of just focusing on Mini. Mask's back origin story was supposed to be pretty prominent, and it was only refrenced in this the anime season. Asides from that the second trio of villains outcome and origins were completly different as well; which also was a major dissapointment. It makes you care less for them in the anime.
Overall: This season wasn't the absolute best season, but still it's worth watching for it's cute scenes, and romance.