Sailor Moon R’s Return, and My Never Ending Love of it

Sailor Moon fans in the US  got yet another treat from on high. Not only has our childhood hero been rescued and given a decent dub, but her very first film is due to be screened in over 300 U.S theaters. Sailor Moon R: The Movie; Promise of a Rose will screen in both English and original Japanese for a limited time for its anniversary. The event will also premiere a new short, Make-Up Sailor Guardians. Admittedly the title makes it sound like the girls are gonna get into a huge hissy fight, but you can be sure I’ll  be there.

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Excited?… Yeah, just a little.

This news is especially wonderful to me, hitting me right in the nostalgia. It takes me back to those dark ages of technology, with those boxy tapes that had to fit inside clunkier boxes to put the grainy pictures on the screen. I can still recall taking a trip to the local Blockbuster (And there’s my age). My brother was babysitting me and a friend at his new house, and he said we could each pick up one video to keep us occupied before bed. He went straight to the horror movies and me for the cartoons. Nothing really stood out to me until I stumbled across a familiar set of meatball pigtails. I snatched it up and watched it three times that night.

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Pioneer? Oh, that’s some delicious old school.

The movie’s bare-bones plot is pretty straightforward no matter which way you slice it. An alien Mamoru befriended when he was a child, Fiore, returns to earth to fulfill a promise: to bring Mamoru the best flower in the universe. Sadly, the flower he brings is the evil Kisenian Blossom, a naked, Godiva-haired monster-lady that wants to destroy the earth with plant monsters. Furthermore, Fiore is jealous of Mamoru’s relationship with Usagi and has him kidnapped on a giant asteroid above the world. Fans postulate he has romantic feelings for Mamoru, though the dub says they’re more akin to brothers. The Japanese version is less sure of this fact, so I encourage people to go for what feels natural to them.

The plan is simple: rescue James Bondage, pull the weed out of Fiore’s chest, save the world. But things get complicated when Fiore pins Usagi down and berates her for not understanding how it feels to be truly alone. And I believe this is why the film is so well loved. Its central themes of friendship and isolation are not only universal but make for a powerful message of reaching out to those who need us.

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Strap in, we’re about to get serious

In the movie, each of the girls is forced relive their worst moments of total isolation, be it because of their hobbies, appearance, anything really. Fiore is the anger to this isolation, the need to lash out at a world that refused to accept you. The other scouts were saved before they got to that point by Usagi, and she represents the glue that holds all of them together. As such, it’s only natural that they’d not only defend her but help her save the planet.

It is not hyperbole when I saw that this movie changed my life. I refuse to be dramatic about it, but  I saw the film around the same time I was being bullied in high school. I was lucky mine never escalated to physical violence, but it did last from elementary school to high school. These days I have thicker skin, but relentless teasing does wear a teenager down. So here I am, feeling pretty bad about myself, when I stumble upon a movie about isolation and friendship. I’m sitting there, misty eyed, and I hear Sailor Moon cry out the best line of the film: I won’t let anyone be lonely again.

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Not even Fiore.

And she’s kept that promise. For several like myself, Usagi was a hero. She taught us not only that anyone could be a hero, but that everyone deserved a friend no matter how strange they were. Now I won’t be super dramatic and say she saved my life, but she made me feel better, and that’s more than enough.

Fans don’t love this movie because of the romance or even the flowers; they love it because it’s powerful. This movie will speak to anyone who’s ever been shunned for being different, labeled a misfit, or just never found a friend. It lets its fans know that there will always be someone out there who will reach out to you. It might not be the bubbly moon princess with awesome pigtails, but they’ll be just as awesome.

Pictured below: Awesome, and Spoilers. Just a warning.

And that’s my serious quota for the week. We’ll be back with your normal programming next week.

Why do you love Sailor Moon R? Do you hate the film? Chat with me about any of it in the comments below. Don’t forget to like and follow for more content like this, and I hope you have an awesome day.

 

 

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