Friday, January 1, 1999

Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon

Genre: Shoujo / Magical Girl
General Audience
Credits: 1992-1997. Naoko Takeuchi. Kunihiko Ikuhara (director). Koudansha, TV Asahi, Toei Douga.

Sailormoon DVDs
Sailormoon Art and Manga
Sailormoon Games
Sailormoon Toys
Sailormoon Original Soundtrack
Sailormoon Fashion
Sailormoon Shop
Firesenshi's Description:
Usagi is a klutzy, crybaby 14 year-old schoolgirl who performs averagely in school. That is until she meets Luna, a talking cat who gives her a special brooch. With it, she can transform into Sailormoon, a soldier for love and justice. Tasked by Luna to find the Ginzuishou (Silver Crystal) and the four reawakened soldiers, she must also fight the evil Queen Beryl and her generals to save the Earth. Divided into 4 seasons, each seasons presents a new group of villains that the senshi must face to save the Earth.

Sailormoon (episodes 1 to 46)
Sailormoon R (episodes 47 to 89)
Sailor Moon S (episodes 90 - 127)
Sailor Moon SuperS (episodes 128 - 166)
Sailor Moon Sailor Stars (episodes 167 - 200)

NOTE: Some of the reviews were written sometime in 1999 and was recorded in the classic Otaku Fridge as ??.??.1999. Unfortunately the database would not accept non-numerical values, so this review is now dated January 01, 1999 by default.

The magical girl disease >>> by skysenshi (??.??.1999)
Everyone who isn't in the Bishoujo Senshi SM biz might be wondering how on earth did this series get to the top. There must be a certain charisma to it. I for one, though still aghast at BSSM's success, have created shrines to my favorite characters who had starred in this show.

Perhaps that's just it. The characters, especially the supporting Senshi, have been created so well that they have inspired countless of shrines dedicated to them. The author, Naoko Takeuchi, herself has claimed that her very own attributes were embedded in the Senshi.

As for the other aspects of the show...BSSM started out really good. The first season's plot was so endearing, especially when the origin of the leader SailorMoon unfolded. Her past form, Princess Serenity, had such a tragic love story that fanfics were written in awe of it. The story of the Moon Princess and the Earth's Prince was really something to be told.

After the first season, new parts of SailorMoon's story were told. But then everything became redundant as the seasons progressed. The villains were always looking for stuff inside their victims' bodies, i.e. colored crystals, heart crystals and talismans, dream mirrors, star seeds. Then they'd be looking for a certain powerful person and it always turns out to be SailorMoon, like when they were looking for the Moon Princess, the Messiah, and the Light of Hope (in the manga). The last season was a rehash of the first and the third season, except that instead of the Outer Senshi in the third season, the new Senshi were the Starlights, and instead of Mamoru and the infamous tango music on the first season, it was Seiya and the same tango music on the last season.

Overkill is the term that I would use to describe SailorMoon. She's the main character, but she's also the Moon Princess, the Messiah, the Queen of Crystal Tokyo, the manga's Light of Hope, and even though she's just teeny weeny earth's moon's Senshi, she's supposed to be one of the most powerful Senshi throughout the universe. She's also the only one with a solid love life that has a definite future.

The excellent supporting characters all dwelt completely on the shadow of the main character. While this is supposed to be the case, it shouldn't have been overly done. Such a pity that the rest of the characters didn't get much of the spotlight. After SailorMoon had gotten her powers from some of her friends, especially the Outer Senshi, you don't see them in the next season, except for one special episode. The same is true with the case of Princess Serenity's mother. After SailorMoon has gotten all the help she needed from Queen Serenity, you never see her again in the anime.

The story flow isn't all that good either. Almost half of each season, are filler-ridden, with "Monster of the Day" themes. Plus there are a lot of inconsistensies, not only in the anime, but especially in the manga. The concept of time travel in this story is vague and has a lot of loopholes that should have been examined first before it was published.

The anime artwork is nice and clean looking. There are some anime artworks, though, that definitely need to be fixed, like in the episodes where the characters look either too pointy (flat-face) or too chubby (fat-face). Those episode artists should have praciticed their drawing skills first before airing their works like that. Other than those two types, there are no problems with the art. The manga art, however, is truly exceptional. Naoko's strokes are light and feathery. Very feminine touch.

All in all, I would say that Bishoujo Senshi SailorMoon is probably okay, but its quality falls short of the hype that it's getting. The whole SailorMoon craze is like a viral disease of some sort that couldn't be easily explained or cured unless you've overdosed on it for the last four years.

Everyone's Rating Averaged: Art/Animation 8; Story 6; Characters 10; Sounds 9

There's one for everybody >>> by icesenshi (??.??.1999)
Reviewing this anime only after my cousin Skysenshi did, I can't help but be influenced by her opinions after having read her piece. Although I agree with her on some points of her review, I cannot say that I share all her opinions.

I have to admit that Bishoujo Senshi SailorMoon is quite original, but not in all aspects. The first time I got to see an SM episode, I was kinda amazed at the unlikely combination of leggy teeners in shortened sailor school uniforms. I found that amusingly original. There was also the presence of other characters that intrigued me and made me laugh at the same time because they were so unimaginable. A prime example of this is the ever-present hero Tuxedo Mask who always saves the day--even in his coattails. I have to admit that I would never have continued watching the series were it not for these oddities that I initially found hilarious, but eventually found cute and unique.

But the story itself, which deals on love and how it conquers the darkest of villains in any scenario, is something I've heard many times before. All shows like SM that are intended for very young girls all seem to carry this theme. (Don't get me wrong, though. The values of this show are a big plus!)

And the artwork, although exquisite on rare occasions, is quite plain compared to other anime. The artists are somewhat inconsistent as well; their styles are too different from each other for them to work harmoniously in one anime.

Sadly, I have to agree with cousin Skysenshi on this one--the seasons are quite repetitive and predictable. there's no suspense because you know that they will always beat the enemy at the end of the episode. The next day, voila! There's another enemy waiting to take them on. Boring.

I guess the only redeeming factor of the series is the artful creation of the characters. One can easily say that it is this attribute that gives SailorMoon its universality. I would never have continued to watch this series had I not seen a kindred soul in it. There's a character in this series to fit everyone... perhaps this is why people like myself keep watching it. Familiar emotional issues and real-life teen-age crises (such as love and identity crises) are woven into the big story of it all, and the viewers see people like themselves, complete with their own inefficiencies and talents, handling it then succeeding in the end.

And that's not all. More often than not, fans find themselves identifying with not only one of the characters but with all of them, because they have different sides to themselves. For example, even if my favorite is SailorMercury, I find a similarity between me and SailorVenus because she caters to my fun and rambunctious side, as different as these two senshi are. My quiet and dutiful side identifies with SailorPluto, while my restless side identifies with SailorUranus. I even find my mischievous side in some of the villains!

Also, I think there's this charm about ordinary people (who are much like a lot of SM fans) becoming magical and saving the world that fuels viewers' imaginations and fantasies. As common as these are, people still keep watching them because they find all the magic of time warps and elemental powers fascinating and cool. It's probably another big plus for SailorMoon.

It is probably the viewer's familiarity with the people of SailorMoon that makes it such a hit. I guess I could say that I watch SailorMoon because I want to see people like me succeed over insurmountable odds. It makes me feel good, you know what I mean?

Oh, and the music is wonderful, too! (But that's something you'll find only after you get hooked on the series in a really bad way.)

Everyone's Rating Averaged: Art/Animation 8; Story 6; Characters 10; Sounds 9

A bold new genre >>> by jen (??.??.1999)
I have to say that I am one of those "moonies" who have been hooked on Sailor Moon the ever since it began airing in the English dub format. However having only seen the English dub and read the manga, I may not have seen all there is to see in this series.

I give Sailormoon a 10 for originality because I do not know of a series which has taken average's school girls and given so many roles in there lives and other people's. For example, they're ordinary school girls, superheros, aliens and princesses. It also inspired a whole new genre of anime [e.g. Magic Knight Rayearth]

I give Sailromoon an 8 for plot because it had lots of interesting plot twists [e.g. Endymon turning evil, Sailormoon being the Moon Princess, the senshi meeting their future selves, Chibi-Usa being Usagi and Mamoru's daughter].

I give Sailor Moon a 7 for story flow because it continues to make sure that it it remains true to it's original concept. For example, Haruka is a tomboy one minute and then girlie the next. Haruka and Michiru are gay one minute and straight the next. However this does become slightly annoying at times.

I give Sailormoon a 10 out of 10 for characters because each character has their own personality. Takeuchi-sama did an excellent job at creating her characters so that they do not all have the same idea's or opinions. She also made her characters extremely realistic. There are lots of Usagi's and Ami's around. People that fit the Usagi mold are most likely considered people that will never amount to anything. Too lazy, too flakey, when in truth they just a little afraid of things, even though they have a generous heart.

How many of us have been penalized like poor Ami. Called too nerdy or geeky for trying to do our best in school.

I give Sailormoon a 6 for artwork because even though it's aproach to drawing is original, I feel that the manga was drawn with more originality and that the charecters looked better drawn in the manga style. Look at any volume of the manga and you'll see what I mean.

Jen's Rating: Art/Animation 6; Story 8; Characters 10

I 'm not ashamed to admit that I loved the BSSM series! >>> by firesenshi (08.18.2001)
The screenshots would tell you first why people of all ages were drawn to the series. Like most series I love, the main strength of this anime is its characterization. Takeuchi-san has created characters of different specialties and personalities with varying degrees of coolness. For sure, there is one character you will love and relate to. If after having seen this and you are a real shoujo fan, should you not admit that even for a moment in your life you were not awed by the henshin (transform) sequences and elegant senshi poses, I think there's something quite wrong with you.

Flaws? Sure. Let me count the ways: For one, there are too many good characters but the limelight is constantly hogged by the klutzy, crybaby who matures a bit by the end of the series. Or by a little pink brat who has a major Oedipus complex. The storyline is repetitive with monster-of the day aspects under a big boss behind it.

But surely, if one is looking for "depth" in plotlines, you've got the wrong anime. This isn't it. But it can entertain you. The "Minako heart crystal" episode made me think that this anime has a most hilarious script! And though the artwork varies sometimes per episode, there's still a lot of the eyecandy I told you about. To enjoy this, you can get by Sailormoon herself. For me there's Rei Hino. For my sister, it's Minako. There are 8 other reasons.

Everyone's Rating Averaged: Art/Animation 8; Story 6; Characters 10; Sounds 9

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