Sailor Moon Pride: Celebrating the Old with the New

Image from SailorMoonCollectables.com

Season Three of Sailor Moon Crystal  is on the horizon, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Crystal officially released the teaser to season three on March 5th, and fans promptly lost themselves in the glee. This season is covering a much-beloved storyline that not only features some of the darker imagery but also showcases one of anime’s first high-profile lesbian couples: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. The animation looks amazing, and the tone looks to be both fun and exciting. Needless to say, fans like myself are going to be glued to either Crunchyroll or Hulu for months.

This kind of devotion is proof that a remake can be good. The best kind of remakes are the ones that celebrate the source material, and Sailor Moon Crystal is no exception.

For those who never saw the original show, here’s a crash course. Sailor Moon, based on the manga by Naoko Takeuchi, stars Usagi Tsukino: a 14-year-old schoolgirl known for being a clutz, a crybaby, and not the best at her studies. Her whole life changes when she meets Luna, a talking black with a fancy new broach. She’s given the power to transform into Sailor Moon, a sailor-suited warrior who must fight the forces of evil. She and her five Sailor Senshi (soldiers) must use their magical powers to fight off monsters in what was once modern day Tokyo.  

This show’s story may be simple, but it has several things to brag about.  One of the bigs ones is how the girls didn’t have to be any less “girly” to be proactive. Recent waves of feminism have found traditionally feminine things, be it long hair, jewels, or tiaras to be disempowering, tools of stereotypical “misogyny”. Sailor moon took a different approach, embracing these feminine icons and using them to destroy the forces of evil: The tiara is a monster killer, disintegrating enemies with a flick of a wrist; the jeweled wands give them super powers, ranging from transformations to healing magic; their short skirts and bows are their armor, their warriors garb when they save the planet. Sailor moon turns traditional feminity into a source of strength, empowering the girls who liked all those things in 1993.

Sailor moon turns traditional feminity into a source of strength. It shows that you don’t need to abandon anything “girly” to be strong, nor do you have to completely abandon your desire to be swept off your feet by some handsome prince. You just gotta embrace what you love and go find the prince yourself.

And along came Sailor Moon Crystal, and the game changed. Crystal was announced as a celebration of the anime’s 21st birthday, and it captures everything about the first show that fans loved. The supporting cast I loved is back, with one or two changes to their personalities. The animation is elegant and romantic, with lots of soft lines and bright colors. But, best of all, the girl power has been pumped up to 11. It’s the true that the show now has a bigger emphasis on the girls being proactive, fighting their own fights and all that, but it never goes out of its way to shame the old show either.

The only things that may throw off fans of the show are the changes to the story. Crystal is following the manga, this time, around, producing a tighter story line, less quick rescues by the love interest, and no more “monster of the day” feel to it. But these changes add a new layer of complexity to the story and focuses more on the actual plot than the monster fighting. It’ll be a new experience, but I encourage fans to give it a try.

Much like Star Wars Episode VII, this is what a franchise relaunch is supposed to be: a celebration of what made the original good while introducing new and exciting ideas to complement.  Viz Media isn’t aiming to replace the old show, nor does it try to assert Sailor Moon Crystal as the superior product. Instead, it offers something new that’s laced with nostalgia. With season three coming up, the show has another opportunity to impress, and it looks like it won’t disappoint.  

What are your thoughts on Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal? Are excited? Disappointed? Scared? Feel free to comment below. Also check out the new trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal by clicking the link above. And if you wanna see it for yourself, you can watch seasons one and two on Hulu.com. And don’t forget to like the post and share.

 

 

 

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