I’ve decided, since there are going to be new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal every other week, to start posting my reactions while watching it the following Wednesdays. Utena commentary will therefore be every other week until I finish.
So, here’s my complete knowledge of Sailor Moon:
- It’s really, really long.
- I have watched the first season of the Abridged Series, so I have a general idea of the premise and plot for that arc. Ish.
- There’s a short-haired blonde and a green-haired scout who are a lesbian couple. They were going to get a movie, but it got canned. Some of the ideas for it were recycled into Revolutionary Girl Utena, which I am on the record as calling the best anime series ever.
- It’s a seminal magical girl series for combining the standard chosen-by-the-other-world-to-wield-the-power-of-love stuff with sentai elements to create a team of girls that fight more directly and actively than was the previous norm.
- A LOT of people who worked on it ended up working on anime near the top of my favorites list.
Observations while watching:
The opening credits are interesting. The girls are fairly sexualized and described in stereotypically feminine terms, but also outright state in the song that they can fight for themselves and don’t need male protection. In other words, their gender and sexuality both are being tied directly into their power in a way that is the norm for male characters, but extremely rare for women. Also, wow is the art and animation on this seriously excellent. If only the song were up to previous standards—the show set a REALLY high bar for itself on that front in the 90s.
Ominous Usagi’s mom comment is ominous.
So… where DID Luna get those bandages? Why does she want them off?
Usagi gets bad grades because… she’s hungry? In seriousness, her clumsiness is a little too standard-issue Twilight/moe BS for my tastes, but hunger/appetite/gluttony makes a great flaw for a hero—see Ron Weasley, any hobbit, Ed Elric, and the queen of them all, Lina Inverse.
Wait, so Usagi’s mom knows about Sailor V, wants Usagi to learn from Sailor V… and has never mentioned it to Usagi? “Gee, I hope my daughter learns about this thing I consider important. Maybe I should tell her about it? Nah, let’s rely on cultural osmosis. Mom of the Year Award, here I come!”
Dundundun, Tuxedo Sunglasses is also looking for the Silver Moon Crystal! So… do he and Usagi know each other and he has Pseudo-Big Brother Figure Teasing Rights, or is he just an asshole who randomly insults girls on the street about their choice of hairstyle? Because I’m not really comfortable with what I know about their relationship-to-come if it’s the latter.
Usagi and Motoki, on the other hand, that’s really cute. I like how completely open she is. “Yep. I have sexual/romantic desires, I like this guy.” It’s neither romanticized or problematized by the text; she’s being a normal teenage girl.
Yep. Best mom ever. That’s totally a proportional response. What would should do if Usagi were caught shoplifting or joyriding or skinny-dipping or something? Hire assassins?
…why is there a tiny male Usagi?
SHE HAS A BROTHER?
No seriously, outside of the scouts, Tuxedo Mask, her mom, and the two classmates, I had NO idea there were any other characters. How tiny is her brother’s part that he’s never mentioned in anything ever?
Okay, from whatsername’s point of view, seeing your mom hunched over some weird red glowing thing, and then she looks at you with a grin full of pointy teeth? Pretty nightmarish image, yeah.
…is Luna implying that local kids have MAGIC BANDAIDS that suppress her powers?
Shingo is secretly the main villain, isn’t he? Leader of the super-powered cat-tormenting demon-children of the city?
Um… how did Luna produce that charm? Or hand it over? Where was she carrying it?
I like the new transformation sequence. The focus is much more on the costume than on nekkid!Usagi.
Wait. Waitwaitwaitwaitwait. Her hair-thingies have a FUNCTION? And blink? That’s HILARIOUS!
Either this is a change or I forgot, but the fact that she has to actually fight real people under the monster’s control is pretty heavy for a teen.
…are you fucking kidding me? One of her powers is LITERALLY being super-whiny? I call shenanigans!
Usagi has no idea that’s not really Naru’s mom. For all she knows, she has the power to turn people to stone and then crumble them. She’s taking that discovery pretty well in stride.
Oh no! Who could the mysterious Tuxedo Mask be? Could he be the tuxedo-clad jerk who’s his height and build and has his haircut? Maybe it’s that girl with the blue hair!
Maybe it’s USAGI HERSELF. (Spoooooooooooky twist!)
Ending credits are pretty boring, especially by comparison to the opening.
Overall… eh, this is okay, but a pretty by-the-numbers opening episode. Very pretty, though. I’ll give it the three episode test, but so far this isn’t grabbing me.