Sailor Moon Crystal: A Moon Chaser’s editorial


2014 was definitely the year for Sailor Moon, not only did our favorite anime got a American distributor for dubbing and distribution rights via Viz Media and got redubbed for everyone’s viewing pleasure (depending on your view of the new dub), but also we got treated to the highly anticipated viewing of the announced new Sailor Moon Series; Sailor Moon Crystal. The anime made its highly anticipated debut back in July and would be released every first and third Saturday of every month via Neon Alley and Hulu here in the United States and the fanbase has been mixed of sorts of this new Sailor Moon from the transformations, the animation, show being too short etc. Well Moonies, here is my view on the new show.

I happen to love Sailor Moon Crystal.

This is something that Sailor Moon should’ve been like back in the day, but we all know what occurred that led to us having a 200 episode series that led 90’s kids loving anime and setting a bar for Magical Girl Anime in its day. This show is based more on the original manga following the trend Full Metal Alchemist before it did with Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood being based on its original manga. Crystal follows it to where each episode is based on each chapter of the manga (As of this writing, Sailor Moon’s next episode is based on Chapter 12 of the manga). So relax, this is the reason why the show happens to be shorter than the original manga. If you read the manga that was recently released, you’ll be in for a treat.

The controversial part that people either love or hate is the transformations in this show. In my view this adds a modern feel to the famous sequences we all know from the original show. Sure its in 3-D, but the way its animated makes the sequences seamless rather than blocky and not in tuned with the shows animation that some anime have done.

The new theme to the show is “Moon Pride” by Momoiro Clover Z follows the overall feel of the show rather being a random J-pop song. I personally didn’t like it at first because I was expecting a newer take on the classic theme “Moonlight Densetsu”. However, once you hear time and time again, it becomes a theme all its own for this new series and it follows the overall feel of the show.

Overall, I really love Sailor Moon Crystal and I am personally interested in seeing how they’ll cover all the stories of the show from the R, S, Super S and Sailor Stars series in this format and I am supporting this show as long as it keeps bringing more content. Moonies, at least give this show a shot including the new redub of the original too. Because, any support to Sailor Moon will show Toei that the American anime fans still love and direly missed Sailor Moon and wish it remains in the US for years to come and they made the wise choice of giving Viz the rights to Sailor Moon. My esteemed kudos for Viz Media for giving us our favorite Magical Girl to the states once again, and hopefully this time Sailor Moon will be here to stay as long we continue to support the anime.


Moon Chase Mother’s Day Special: Thanks Again, Naoko!

Today is Mother’s Day, and to our readers who are mothers, and the mothers of our readers, the staff wishes you a very Happy Mother’s Day! We also can’t forget about Sailor Moon’s “mother” (and mother of two herself), Naoko Takeuchi. Naoko, we also wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day, and will wait as long as it takes for a complete release of the Sailor Moon anime. For those of you in Japan, once again the orange Sailor Moon Carnations are in high demand for Mother’s Day despite a decrease in their supply! You can spot them in this photo from the Chunichi Shimbun in the back, being packed by a florist.

On this Mother’s Day, we have a couple short Naoko updates to share. One is that last week, Sailor Moon Channel was updated to feature character profiles of all the Senshi (except for the Starlights), as well as a story page. The art on these pages is all from the manga. If there is enough demand from the fans, we may translate these pages beginning later this week (though we will always translate anything she posts on her front page, news, and photo sections).

The second update is that there was a small mention of Naoko Takeuchi in the Shenzhen Daily about a month ago. The article is a reaction to the Earthquake and how at the time it was unknown if many mangaka had survived (as well as rumors of their perish). It then took a happier tone and spoke of how anime in China is as popular as Chinese, South Korean, American, and Taiwanese dramas. The author also writes that anime is second-to-none compared to animation from the rest of the world. There is some mention of Naoko’s husband, Yoshihiro Togashi and the new animated adaptation of Level E, and his ongoing manga series Hunter x Hunter. His work will continue and never be forgotten. We’ll spare you of the descriptions of the other two paragraphs which are gossipy in tone, and lash out at him for taking the fans for granted. Naoko Takeuchi is named by this author as the greatest contributor to girls’ manga (which began in 1963), and was the mangaka who opened the door for Chinese girls to love anime featuring girl superheroes and romance (despite her limited repertoire of work). At first, girls 8-16 years old would be the only ones reading these comics, but slowly men and women now appreciate them. The author even goes on to say that the girls’ anime industry in Japan is the most widely used class!

Fans can check out our most recent translations of Naoko’s updates here, here, and here.

Editorial: Sailor Moon as a Brave Dame

This essay was written for a college level course called “Women in Film.” Fans on our Facebook page indicated they would be interested in reading this type of post since news is kind of slow right now. We hope you enjoy it!

Terms used that you may be unfamiliar with are “brave dame” and “wimpette.” An explanation of these terms is included here for reference.

Brave Dame

“Women who are self-sufficient, active, dynamic, three-dimensional heroes who see past the picket fence.”

  1. She is passionate about something besides passion.
  2. Even in the worst of times, she does not give up; she is resilient.
  3. She is competent.
  4. She is willing to face moral and physical challenges.
  5. She has high ethical standards.
  6. She stands up to injustice.
  7. She is a true friend.

“A woman who is weak or ineffectual because she gives in, without a real fight, to the limits imposed on her by virtue of her gender.”

  1. All men are really little boys at heart.
  2. Your worth rises in direct proportion to your masochism.
  3. She always opts for indirection and subterfuge.
  4. Men are strong and women are weak.
  5. She has low ethical standards. She is a moral lightweight except, occasionally, in sexual matters (and even then her abstinence has to do with her perceived value to a man rather than her deeply held belief.)
  6. She betrays other women, including her friends.
  7. She does not take responsibility for her own actions and blames her lack of actions on others.
  8. She looks to a man to give her an identity.

From: Isaacs, Susan. Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women are Really Doing on Page and Screen. New York: Random House, ©1999.

The following essay contains spoilers for Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie. Please read at your own discretion.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon is a popular “magical girls” animated Japanese television show that began airing in 1992 after the success of the comic book seriesPretty Soldier Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi. Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie was the first Sailor Moon movie to be released, based heavily on the story lines of the second season of the Sailor Moon television show. In late 1995, the Sailor Moon television show was first introduced to North American audiences. English subtitled versions of the movies, created by fans, were available by 1997. The series is about Usagi Tsukino, who, on the surface, is often construed as an average fourteen-year-old girl and a wimpette. She complains about school, loves to play video games, is a bit of a crybaby, and often quite clumsy. Not your typical super heroine, Usagi even goes so far as to complain about her duties as Sailor Moon, the sailor-suited pretty soldier of justice. In Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie it is proven time and again that Usagi is, in fact, a brave dame; as characterized by her resilience, her self-sufficiency, her willingness to face challenges, her ability to stand up to injustice, and by always being a true friend.

In the direst of situations, Usagi refuses to give up; never sacrificing what she believes in and what she values most. Usagi’s boyfriend, Mamoru, is mortally wounded trying to protect her and then taken away by Fiole, appearing to have died. Usagi cries and blames herself for Mamoru’s injuries, but she never quits the team. Although she may want to, she refuses to give up because she knows that they need her, as she is the most powerful. Also, she wants to end Fiole’s plan to turn the world into a “beautiful garden,” saving and protecting the people of earth. Later, when her friends, the Sailor Senshi (Sailor Soldiers), are captured and tortured by Fiole, Sailor Moon drops her “cutie moon rod” at his request. Despite appearances, she does not truly surrender as what she wants most is for her friends to be safe, regardless of whatever negative repercussions she, herself, may be forced to endure. She offers herself to Fiole as a victim, in exchange for the safety of her friends, never asking for mercy. Later, with all of the flower youma (monsters) destroyed, the Senshi realize that they don’t have enough power to Sailor Teleport in order to return to earth. With the asteroid set on a collision course with the earth, Usagi refuses to give up and let her friends die. She chooses to use the power of the Silver Crystal to save her friends; despite their incessant protests to the contrary and the knowledge that the use of the crystal will probably result in her own death. And when Fiole returns again, trying to defeat her; Usagi remains determined to heal him – despite his advances on her boyfriend and his many attempts to physically harm or even kill her.

Usagi is extremely self-sufficient, and highly capable of defeating evil on her own. It is she alone who defeats the Kisenian and manages to heal Fiole. On the surface, as a regular girl, Usagi seems like a flighty wimp. Yet, in Jupiter’s flashback, Usagi is shown as being unafraid of approaching the tough Mako alone – despite Makoto’s reputation for fighting and bullying fellow students; leaving Makoto genuinely touched by Usagi’s actions. Usagi is more concerned with helping others than asking for others to help her. Even as a very young child, Usagi comforts Mamoru and cheers him up when he cries about Fiole’s leaving. On the asteroid, she uses the Silver Crystal to save the Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen (Tuxedo Mask), determined to save them on her own. As strong as she is, Usagi is fully capable of defeating evil on her own. But when the people she cares about are in trouble, she becomes very emotional; and can be driven to take extreme risks in order to protect them.

As is characteristic of a brave dame, Usagi is more than willing to face both moral as well as physical challenges. She goes above and beyond the call of duty as Sailor Moon, willing to endure any punishment in order to protect the people she loves. Sailor Moon offers herself as a victim to Fiole, in exchange for her friends, as she cannot bear to see them being hurt; she endures tremendous pain, as is evident by her tortured screams, as Fiole drains her energy; but she never once asks for mercy, not even when he tries to kill her. After Fiole sets the asteroid on a collision course with the earth, the exhausted Sailor Moon rises to use the Silver Crystal in order to save the lives of her friends, despite the knowledge that it will most likely kill her to do so. During her transformation from Sailor Moon to Princess Serenity, Fiole grabs her brooch, digging his fingers into her breasts, trying to hurt her. Although she winces initially, Usagi is determined to help him; long past when the other Senshi gave up trying to defeat him as well as the Kisenian.

Above all, Usagi is a true friend. She offered herself as a victim to Fiole in exchange for the safety of her friends, the Sailor Senshi. She also uses the Silver Crystal to save her friends, risking her own life in the process. When Fiole taunts her before trying to kill her, the true nature of Usagi’s relationships with her friends is revealed. For instance, Sailor Moon has great respect for Mercury and her intellect. Through Mercury’s flashback, Usagi is shown persuading Ami that she doesn’t have to work all the time, she deserves to enjoy herself just like everyone else. Although it doesn’t always seem like it, Sailors Moon and Mars are very close friends. They bicker a lot, but they also trust each other completely. Usagi admires Rei, and seems to idolize her for being hard-working. As Sailor Mars, Rei is always the one to save Usagi at the last minute; such as when she throws Sailor Moon out of the path of the wave of flowers. Usagi is never afraid of or intimidated by Makoto and appears to view Makoto like a big sister. She admires Mako’s physical strength, and absolutely loves her cooking. When it comes to Venus, there’s no question that Sailor Moon idolizes her for being the great Sailor V, but she also likes Minako for who she is when she isn’t Sailor V. Despite what other people’s opinions may be about the girls – that Ami tries to show off her intelligence, that Rei is weird for her spiritual talents, that Makoto is a scary bully, or that Minako is a snob because modeling for the Sailor V animators has “gone to her head” – Usagi doesn’t believe any of it. She forms her own opinions about the girls and loves each of them for whom they really are. Most importantly, Usagi brings the entire group together. She brought new meaning to their lives, as they did to hers, and Usagi never forgets how much they mean to her.

Obviously, Usagi Tsukino, or Sailor Moon, is a brave dame. On the surface, she is often construed as an average teenaged girl and wimpette. She is also an atypical super heroine, who complains about her duties as Sailor Moon. However, when it really counts – she is resilient, self-sufficient, willing to face challenges, stands up to injustice, and is – above all – a true friend. It is no small wonder then, that the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon series created by Naoko Takeuchi is still fairly popular. The subtitled version of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie really allows one to get the full effect of the first released Sailor Moon movie. Unfortunately, the English language version of the movie, like the television show, is not completely true to the story or the characters. Sailor Moon’s great strength of character and qualities as a brave dame are presented with a greater poignancy in the original (subtitled) movie, and this film can truly dispel the myth that Sailor Moon is a wimpette. Because she really is much braver than some people think she is.

Random Monday Moonbit – Is There a Generation Gap When it Comes to Sailor Moon and PGSM?

So, we don’t know what surprises this week is going to bring in terms of licensing news. Maybe there will be nothing? Sailor Moon news of this kind tends to come in short bursts for a few weeks and then it disappears for a while. We came across an editorial in the Japanese news over the weekend that featured a very interesting thought about the Sailor Moon anime in comparison to PGSM. The article is called “Is Sailor Moon = Drama? How Do 20-Year-Olds Feel The Generation Gap To Their Juniors?” and is written by blogger Yae Onoda. She asked various people in their 20s about the fads of today that are popular with youth, and if they felt that things were any different for them when they were that age. A 26-year old was asked about Sailor Moon, and she definitely felt a generation gap. She watched the cartoon as a child, but her little sister was in high school when PGSM was broadcast. She thought that the drama was definitely a departure from the anime, and wanted to “punish it in the name of the Moon!” She likened PGSM to the Sailor Moon anime as new artists covering old songs that were popular. She felt that those fans who were attached to the anime, would likely be frustrated with PGSM. Fans, do you agree that there is a generation gap between PGSM and the Sailor Moon anime? Leave your thoughts below!

Sailor Moon Producer Moves to The Web With New "Celeb-Toons"

When possible, we here at Moon Chase try to keep fans updated with where the staff behind Sailor Moon is today. This update focuses on Andy Heyward, the former CEO and founder of DiC Entertainment, which was the production company responsible for the first two seasons. Back in the 80s and 90s, DiC was the name in hit cartoons for children, with big shows like Inspector Gadget, Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, The Real Ghostbusters, the Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Brothers Super Show, and countless others. So, with such a legend in children’s broadcasting, to studios back during the time that Sailor Moon first came along it looked like if DiC had a show, it would be a hit. Of course though, poor Sailor Moon did not have such a smooth run the first time – and fans can check out our first survey results which show how much the fans appreciated the work Andy did for the series. He only got 15% of the fans’ votes! In 2008, the company was folded into Canada’s Cookie Jar Entertainment, and Andy Heyward was left with (supposedly) nothing to do (as the article suggests).

Last year, a press release we came across during the early stages of our campaign told us that Andy was back in action with a brand new company creating webtoons cetnered around celebrities for kids. A few of our staff members questioned some of the ideas that were being tossed around (Gisele Bundchen will never come close to Captain Planet, and we would have gone crazy watching perfect Martha Stewart and her perfect crafts in cartoon form). In this weekend’s USA Today, he is featured once again now that some of his cartoons have come to life. The article has the bit of an air of a “puff piece” to it, and we find it interesting that it drops the name Sailor Moon twice, without really mentioning how and why DiC didn’t produce the movies or the 3rd & 4th seasons of the show. The video has a tiny glimpse of Sailor Moon as well – can you spot it in our shot above? We’re pretty sure that while it was one of DiC’s biggest successes, it was also one of it’s biggest failures due to mismanagement. In the video on the USA Today site, he talks about how there is an opportunity for a strong girl’s property in the wake of the imminent “death” of Barbie and Bratz. How many Moonies are with me that Sailor Moon could kick Gisele’s butt any day? Who would you rather watch?

His new cartoons are cross-platform making apperances on the web, TV (on The Hub) as well as comics. While we admire Andy for choosing to start fresh, it’s our opinion that the shows he’s workin’ on today don’t have the same kind of appeal as the shows he worked on for DiC. Yes, we are in a recession but do kids really need to be learning lessons from Warren Buffet at an early age, or should we let their imaginations run through a world of fantasy for a few years while they still can?

(So the article sort of sanitized something with regards to the sale of DiC: there are many rumors swirling around Hollywood that his divorce to Evelyn Heyward as a result of an extramarital affair had something to do with it. One doesn’t have to look too far on the web to learn about it. We also don’t buy the comment about him never having worked so hard in his life – the cartoons he is working on now are only a fraction of what he did 20 years ago. We’ve known about this for a few years now but kept it in our Moon Chase files for pondering…Oh Sailor Moon, so many scandals behind your scenes…)