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Wolf Kanno's Crazy Ramblings and Incoherent Statements

Fighting Evil by Moonlight...

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So tonight I finally broke out a Christmas present I received several years ago that I never watched. Partly because for the first time in a long time, I felt ready for it. I acquired a DVD set that featured the entire DiC dub of the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, so basically the original dub, not the new one. Original Western score, Sailor Says, and the whole "Serena and Darien" name changes.
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It was glorious.
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For those who don't know, I was a huge Sailor Moon fan when I was in Middle/High School and I even recorded the series on my VCR. This show came into my life at a very defining part of my life, and a point I still strongly associate with better times. I will even freely admit I had a mad crush on Lita (Sailor Jupiter) when I watched it, though Serena/Usagi is also close to my heart for other reasons.

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I think part of the issue of why I've avoided indulging for so long was partly out of fear that so much time had passed, and I would see the series for the shoddy butchering many SM fans claim it to be; yet its this version that I fell in love with. For all the cheesy dialogue, VA missteps, terrible censorship, and dumbing down the show received; it was just as magical as when little fourteen-year-old WK discovered the show and discovered his romantic nature.

Click image for larger version. 

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I'm not ashamed to say I was blushing while watching the show, as my mind raced back to those days I originally watched the show, and to a young love I still treasure in my heart. For the first time in a long while, I felt like my old self again.

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I remember a conversation I had with a friend who is ten years my junior, who tried and failed to watch Sailor Moon. She just didn't get the appeal of the series, and as I thought about it I knew she probably wouldn't since she wasn't far too young to know how U.S. television rolled back in the 90s. As corny as the series is now, it was pretty ahead of its time compared to other children's programming of the time, with only the X-Men and Batman cartoon series giving any kind of substance. It starts off goofy but the series eventually went to some really powerful moments like Nephrite and his relationship with Molly, the revelation about their past lives, the struggle of fighting a brainwashed Tuxedo Mask, the Scouts sacrifices, and so forth. You didn't get this kind of stuff from Animaniacs, Disney Afternoon, and Nickelodeon.

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More importantly for me though, this series sort of jump started my need for romance. I don't feel like it was coincidence that I fell truly in love for the first time shortly after discovering this show. Perhaps it opened up a need within myself to open my heart to someone else? Even now my heart feels a flush with emotion as I think back to those days of choir competitions, passing notes in class, making mix tapes, and writing stories I hoped to share one day.

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This evening has been such a pleasant nostalgic experience for me, it will be sad when the euphoria of the moment ends and I come crashing back down to reality, but I would like to believe that it won't really go away and I'll still be dreaming of full moon nights with the one I love.

I love this show and I'm not afraid to admit it. Now I'm going to make a new playlist for my music while I write something mushy.


Comments

  1. Ayen's Avatar
    Sailor Moon is my childhood. I relate to Usagi so much it's not even funny. I can still watch the dub even to this day, and honestly prefer it mainly because I hate reading subtitles. I still have the soundtrack, myself.
  2. Fynn's Avatar
    I get this so much, Wolf! Granted, we didn't have the dub here in Poland, and I was in kindergarten, but still! Our version actually had the original music and all the original names (with Usagi called Bunny, for some reason, as in the actual English word, not the Polish translation) and none of the censorship, so we had gay Zoicite and lesbian cousin outer senshi. In 1990s, post-communist Poland. Let that sink in. People don't want to acknowledge gender is a thing now and yet it seems gays and lesbians in a kids' show back then were a-okay, but I digress.

    I also liked Makoto a lot, though I wouldn't say she was a crush since I was much too young, but I did kind of relate to her a lot for some reason. For that reason, it wasn't really the need for romance that this show stirred in me, but rather drama and darkness. Like you mentioned, it was pretty similar in here in that it was the only kids' show that had actual stakes and danger and the characters often had to face absolute hopelessness to be victorious, and sometimes you can't get that happy ending even (Nephlite), so there being a continuity and so much serious stuff going on was a big thing, though the characters were still fun and incredibly relatable. The art direction was also incredibly haunting, sticking with me all the way until now, influencing all my creative thoughts.

    I don't care if it was corny or if the manga is actually objectively better, my whole childhood was spent obsessing over Sailor Moon and it's the reason I got into drawing, writing, and anime in general, so I don't think there is a single work of fiction that has influenced me quite as much as this thing
  3. Ayen's Avatar
    I'd argue with anyone who tried to say the manga is objectively better because the pacing is horrible and a lot of characters don't get fleshed out because of it. A serious flaw that shows in the anime adaptation of Sailor Moon Crystal. Maybe the overall arcs and everything are better, but I thought the anime did a better job of fleshing out the other Senshi and a lot of the villains.
  4. Fynn's Avatar
    I disagree. I think the manga is much better because of the fact that it's paced in a more original fashion. It disregards traditional chapters for a more flowing narrative, which I think worked great and added a lot of magic to the atmosphere of the whole. Plus, where the manga played up the deconstructive (or rather unbuilt? it is one of the first examples, after all) elements of the story, the show had more focus on the action with tons of filler that was just there for it to be more marketable.

    Plus, what the anime adaptation did to Venus was downright criminal.
  5. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Both versions have their issues. The anime drags things out too long with filler and tended to make the villains goofier as the series went on, with Sailor Moon S being the first victim of this phenomena, Mamoru loses most of his character development and importance in the anime due to the director allegedly hating him and purposely sidelining him more and more with each season, and SuperS and Stars are barely recognizable to the darker and better written manga chapters of the same arcs.

    The manga does have a breakneck pace at times, and largely focuses on Usagi, Mamoru, and Chibi-Usa to the detriment of the rest of the cast. While the main villains get better character sometimes (it largely depends on which arc) the subordinate characters are reduced to monster-of-the-week status and become flat and generically evil.

    I love both versions for different reasons, and I think I like the anime adaption of the first two seasons the best because it strikes a nice chord between what makes both versions great.
  6. Fynn's Avatar
    Oh yeah, Mamoru is just so much more of a character in the manga
  7. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Yeah, I like him, so watching him reduced to "token arm candy" by S was a bit annoying (not that he did much in the manga adaption of S anyway) but I definitely missed the fact that his four bodyguards still make cameos in the manga, whereas this whole angle is gone in the anime.
  8. Fynn's Avatar
    Looking at your profile pic, I alos vastly prefer the art style of the manga to the anime. I used to have this big calendar with all the artwork from it and it was gorgeous
  9. Midgar Mist's Avatar
    It was the same for me and The Simpsons when little fourteen year old Midgar Mist and all....., when I was 16, i started recording episodes on my own VCR. Some are broken now but in all, I recorded 9 full tapes of Simpsons episodes. The amount of lines I can quote at random :-)

    Sailor Moon is new to me, I'm interested but....it will never be a romantic teen thing for me, that horse has bolted.

    And Kanno, you're such an old romantic at heart. Its nice to have a true love, in fact my own true love was the first to comment on your blog :-)
  10. Pumpkin's Avatar
    I love the DiC dub too because like you I watched that first. Back before I knew about translations and localization and whatever. Some of it was around the time I was learning English too!
  11. Ayen's Avatar
    Eh, PGSM is the better version, anyway. In no small part due to Naoko Takeuchi's being more involved than she ever was with the anime. Usagi and Mamoru's relationship in that is actually on par with Haruka and Michiru, and everyone is awesome if you can get past the Power Rangers like effects and puppet cats. They follow the manga characterizations more closely too and deconstruct a lot of the Magical Girl tropes. It's worth checking out for any SM fan who hasn't already.

    Sailor Luna is weird, though.
  12. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    PGSM was trippy. Also was it me, or did it seem like many of the monster-of-the-week design featured more tentacles than usual...

    Course nothing is trippier than the Toon Maker Sailor Moon show, which thankfully was cancelled when someone came to their damn senses.

  13. Ayen's Avatar
    Oh Japan. I think the monsters were also designed by the same people who worked on Super Sentai. Though I don't remember as much tentacles on those shows.

    Dear god, that video. I only ever saw that once and once was enough.

    Then there's the Sailor Moon musicals, which is another aspect of the fandom I didn't think I'd enjoy, and yet, I enjoyed quite a few of them. It's somewhat spoiling being a Moonie because you have four (now five, though still technically four since SMC stays close to the manga storyline despite some minor differences) different retellings of the same overall story.

    I'm still holding out for a Sailor V OVA.
  14. Fynn's Avatar
    Idk about PGSM. To be honest, I don't think I can get over the cringe of these Japanese live action dramas. Heck, even Devil Summoner had one and it looked pretty down to earth, and STILL way too cringey for me.
  15. Wolf Kanno's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn
    Idk about PGSM. To be honest, I don't think I can get over the cringe of these Japanese live action dramas. Heck, even Devil Summoner had one and it looked pretty down to earth, and STILL way too cringey for me.
    Greenwood wasn't so bad...
  16. Ayen's Avatar
    That's a shame, though I can't really fault anyone for being turned off by the crust, if you would.

    Yes, I just compared Sailor Moon to a sandwich.