Sailor Moon. Everyone knows her. The series, originally a manga by Naoko Takeuchi released in 1991 and adapted to anime-form a year later, proved to be the single most popular bishoujo (Pretty Girl) anime in history. Sailor Moon is credited with turning many young girls and quite a few guys into fans of anime. The originally translated anime, while a cult classic, struggled in the initial ratings in America due to poor marketing support and mismanagement. This spawned a fervent fan petition group to try and save their beloved show, and their efforts succeeded. Sailor Moon couldn’t die…she would live on in the hearts of anime fans forever. And now the titular hero and her Sailor Senshi have returned in a brand new anime production!
Originally announced in 2012, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal made its debut yesterday. To all the legions of her fans it was a day they all have been eagerly awaiting (including me). Sailor Moon Crystal is a retelling of the original Sailor Moon story, but promises to stay closer in flavor to the original manga, similar to the way Dragon Ball Kai did for the Dragonball series. The story follows Tsukino Usagi (voiced by original VA Kotono Mitsuishi), a ditzy, crybaby 14 year old 8th grader who likes to eat, sleep and apparently get bad grades in school. She dreams of a beautiful princess being romanced by a handsome prince and happens upon a black cat (BAD LUCK!!!!) who’s forehead is covered by bandages. Upon removing said bandages, she discovers a crescent moon shaped emblem to which she seems mesmerized. Later in the day, the cat comes to her window and speaks to her, revealing her name as Luna. Luna gifts the bewildered Usagi a brooch that starts to glow when she puts it on her clothes. From there, Luna instructs Usagi to recite the words to magically transform herself into Sailor Moon, the sailor-suited fighter of love and justice! Magic powers can’t cure Usagi’s clumsiness however, as she retains all of her crybaby tendencies and bumbles her way into saving the day initially.
Fans of the show’s initial run will be delighted to know that the very familiar cast of characters return, including the mysterious Tuxedo Kamen (Mask), who appears to lend Sailor Moon a hand. The charm of the show is still quite apparent 22 years later. In the current state of anime, there is an endless amount of fanservice (T&A) and cheap, crude humor and excessive violence. You’ll find none of those things here in Sailor Moon Crystal. Despite having some of the longest, shapely legs in anime history, Sailor Moon never ups the cheap cheescake factor even to the seemingly tame levels (by today’s standards) of Ranma 1/2. The virtues of this show should be readily apparent to any viewer. It’s a sweet reminder that not all entertainment need to be balls-to-the-wall excess and it’s a show you’d be glad to watch with your young daughters whether they were 5 or 15.
The series is slated to run 26 episodes and is streaming weekly on Hulu, Crunchyroll and Neon Alley. If the level of excitement on the comments are any indication, Sailor Moon may be extending her rebirth! Reviews coming at the mid-way and finale points!