a.k.a. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Company: Toei Douga
Format: 200 episodes
Dates: 3/7/1992 to 2/8/1997
Usagi loves video games (especially Sailor V) and boys. She’s also a crybaby, klutz and a poor student. Seems like the perfect candidate to lead a group of magical female warriors, right? Or how about as a princess of a long-forgotten moon kingdom? In any case, Sailor Moon and the other Sailor Senshi must fend off an evil presence that destroyed their world in the past and threatens the one in the present.
summary by Kain
Reviewed: 07/11/2006 by
Highs: Some incredible music & songs; funny interaction between characters at times
Lows: “Monster of the Week”; poor animation; premise done much better in other anime
When asked to name a mahou shoujo (magic girl) anime, the first name that comes up is Sailor Moon. By far the most popular of the genre, this anime has an enormous fan base worldwide. Beats me as to why.
Watching Sailor Moon is like watching Power Rangers; each episode is a new monster or plot to take over the world, otherwise known as “Monster of the Week”. Is it me, or does nearly every episode end like this: the Sailor Senshi undergo their henshin (transformations, which only seem to change once a season), perform their usual attacks, get beaten to the brink of defeat, Tuxedo Kamen turns the tide and Sailor Moon vanquishes the Monster of the Week.
Other than the repetitive fight scenes, there are sometimes uproarious scenes between the girls when they are acting like, well, regular girls. And the jokes are usually told at Usagi’s expense. However, its one real redeeming factor is the music. I can’t go a day without listening to a few of the vocals, which are simply fabulous.
Could thousands upon thousands of fans be wrong? I guess it depends on your tolerance for unsophisticated anime. The mahou shoujo theme has been done better in Card Captor Sakura and Cutey Honey. My advice is to buy the soundtrack and skip the anime.
Highs: Defined mahou shoujo; chemistry between voice actors
Lows: Repetition and dragged-out storylines; varying animation quality
A favorite of fans worldwide, this series touts the principles of love, justice and friendship. Unfortunately, it contains so much filler and few story-driven episodes that it often loses focus. Not even the chemistry of the seiyuu, including the incredible Mitsuishi Kotono, can salvage a show of varying animation quality comprised of 70% filler and 30% story… if even that much.
The five seasons of the show, even though they are separately named, follow the exact same formula time and time again. The best moments of Sailor Moon occur when there is no predictable “Monster of the Week” putting in an appearance and the plot actually advances. The actual story and resolution could probably be resolved in 13 or, at the most, 26 episodes per season, yet each season drags on and on.
With so many episodes, at least Usagi as a character grows and develops noticeably with each phase of the story. The rest of the Senshi, however, have little chance to develop beyond gaining new attacks. The voice actresses themselves have an undeniable chemistry that gives a real sense of friendship between them and provide a few moments of genuine comedy. Mitsuishi Kotono, as always, nails her character perfectly as Usagi matures and changes.
All of the seasons tend to suffer distinctly from varying degrees of animation quality. It often seems that even the character designs change every other episode because there are obviously different animators assigned. On the whole though, Sailor Moon provides some moments of romance, comedy and story that make some episodes worthwhile. If I had to recommend just one season, it would be the last (Sailor Stars). Still want to spend the time on Sailor Moon? Learn to fast-forward through the ten minutes of transformations and attacks for every episode if you want to stay sane.