Today I want to talk about one of my ultimate nerd-doms.
I have been obsessed with Sailor Moon since I was a kid. My dad used to work in a comic book store and I would often go to work with him during the summer when I didn’t have any school/activities to do. Those were the days I looked forward to the most. We always started off the day by going to the party store and getting some snacks to last for the couple hours we were there. As I got older, he also bought me a couple scratch off lottery tickets (and let me keep the winnings!). We usually got pizza and funyuns and a pop to last us the day.
Then we’d head on over, open up the store, and sit. And wait. And wait some more. Not many people came in, but when they did it was always fun. I also met a lot of the regulars and they all knew me. Most of the days we just sat and watched Jeopardy and other game shows on the TV. Well, until I got to be old enough to understand what I was in and fall totally in love with everything in the shop. I started to explore every nook and cranny (except for the adult section!) And that’s where I found Sailor Moon. I instantly fell in love with the manga, and not long after I started watching it on TV. I still have some first edition prints of the comics. One of my most prized collections. ^^
My Dad helped to feed my addiction. He would often let me look through the ordering catalog comic book stores get, and if I saw something I had to have, he would talk to the owner and get it ordered. I discovered many fun things in that comic book store, but none quite as great as Sailor Moon. This is also where my love of Japan started and what would eventually bring me here now.
Now, if you don’t know, Sailor Moon is about magical girls protecting Tokyo. Many dark and evil creatures threaten Tokyo most looking for energy to feed their evil masters so they can take over the world. It’s split into 5 different arcs and it is actually quite short. The manga is very concise and to the point (and sometimes I even think a bit too short!) but also very beautifully drawn and worth the read. I highly recommend picking it up (it was just re-printed for the 20th anniversary).
Which brings me to my point! This year we celebrate 20 years with Sailor Moon. And to help commemorate that mile stone they decided to totally redo the anime. There are some similarities between the original and the new one. The old one was great and I’ll always remember it fondly, but it was way too long (in my opinion). Sailor Moon Crystal (the new one) very closely follows the manga (it’s not exact, but I’d give it a 90% similarity rate) and because of this, in Episode 6 we’re already getting some great development and major plot points revealed.
I think I’ll like the new one more because it so closely follows the manga. Each chapter in the manga should equal one episode in the anime. That means we’re going to speed through the storyline pretty quickly, but also that we’re going to get to more fun characters even quicker (Sailor Saturn!). Also, my biggest gripe between the first anime and the manga was that they made Usagi such a crybaby. In the manga, she cries and she is a bit lazy and slow, but it’s not as bad as the anime makes it. And as the manga advances and she finds out some things (no spoilers!) she really grows up and embraces her duty. In the first anime she too grows up, but the process takes a LOT longer. And it’s kind of unbearable.
As for the new anime, there are a lot of good things, but some not so great things. The first and worst is that for their transformations it’s a lot of ugly CGI. I understand the need/desire to use CGI for it, but man… it looks rough. If they wanted to do it like that I think they should’ve spent a bit more time on it. I’ve seen some great CGI and this… this is not one of those. Other than that, I don’t really have any major complaints (just a few miniscule ones that I won’t bother to talk about here).
When I was growing up, my favorite character was always Sailor Jupiter. She was strong and beautiful, but also sensitive and emotional. She really reminded me of myself and what I wanted to be like when I got older. It also helped that she has brown hair and always wears it in a pony tail. But as I got further into the series and met more characters, I gradually switched to Sailor Saturn. We don’t see her much and her storyline is pretty depressing, but she will always be my favorite, because she is the Scout of Silence. There’s a lot of pain there and I really think it’s a storyline that could be explored further. Maybe one day I’ll visit it. ^^
My all-time favorite quote also comes from Sailor Saturn. A lot is happening, and the world is ending, and she looks up and says, ‘Beautiful, this suffering at the moment of destruction.’ (Take a peek here!: http://www.mangahere.co/manga/sailor_moon/v10/c002/22.html – But please, buy the manga and support the artist!)
Ahh, I just re-read it. I still get chills. A very powerful moment. If you haven’t read or watched it, I really suggest you do. It’s one of the best out there… the art is beautiful, the storyline is good, it’s well-paced and doesn’t drag on for 600+ chapters. It’s quick and to the point. Check it out. (Watch it to!)
You can watch Sailor Moon Crystal on CrunchyRoll and Hulu (you have to have HuluPlus, but it’s worth it!) It comes out every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.