It’s not stalking if it’s true love. Probably.
|I thought I would never get around to this! At first I was letting the episodes go by so I could talk about all of the Sailor Senshi in one post, but then
The team is finally all together, and the plot has been revealed. …And pretty much all of the backstory behind the plot seems cliche. The whole past lives of Usagi and the others, evil influencing the Earth to create war, and Serenity and Endymion’s forbidden love are all plot points that have all been done so many times before. Though again, this is pretty much the mahou shoujo series that started the other ones, so of course the tropes seem familiar. Or even in general, the shoujo genre seems to work with these tropes a lot. What kind of separated Sailor Moon was the darker storyline, which is still kind of there in the planet being potentially destroyed, evil existing just for the sake of evil, and having Serenity and Endymion die in the past. But Crystal is still not quite the same as the manga. They’ve taken out a few of the darker aspects, since there are a lot less innocent citizen deaths (or even villain deaths, but more on that later). Usagi’s nightmare after Mamoru was taken didn’t involve a close up of his face all skeleton-ized either, but the anime did do a pretty good job at showing how shaken Usagi was after the dream.
On to more cheery things though, yep, Usagi is the princess. But that’s pretty much to be expected given all of the hints the plot dropped and of course, “moon” is right in Sailor Moon’s name. Though besides plot obviousness, Usagi has always been the one to see the true sides to the other characters, and unite everyone together. She made friends with Ami, despite people calling her stuck up. Or maybe the best example was how Usagi saw Makoto’s inner femininity while everyone else was stuck on how tall and strong she was. Sure Usagi seemed kind of shallow at first, but she’s also consistently capable of ignoring vicious rumours and seeing how people really are, which is a good quality for rulers. Even before she knew she was the princess too, Usagi was ready to give her all to help Minako/ be a good leader. Speaking of that part of the plot, Minako pretending to be the princess was definitely in the manga, but the scene where Kunzite called the princess out wasn’t. They probably added that little bit in there to make Minako being Usagi’s bodyguard/double actually mean something. The manga made it feel like they just threw Minako pretending the princess in there to put off revealing who the real princess was, but here, it probably protected Usagi. Plus this way, Minako had a little moment of loneliness like everyone else before Usagi (and the power of friendship) united the team. It keeps the show more consistent that way.
Something the original anime did that Crystal is kind of lacking in is giving the rest of the Senshi a personality (and even the manga did this if you take out the side stories). Everything so far has been pretty much about Usagi or Mamoru, while the rest of the Senshi had their episode, and then they just fell back into being Usagi’s encouragement entourage. Of course, Crystal has been adding a few bits in here and there that weren’t in the manga to try and give the rest of the characters a bit more of something to them (like Minako trying to solve everything by herself before Usagi awakened or the pep talk the girls gave Usagi in episode 9), but they’re still kind of coming off a bit flat. I guess on the bright side, Usagi’s development has come along nicely. Hell, even her parents have kind of noticed it. She’s definitely grown up since the beginning, and while she experiences self doubt, she now has the ability to pull herself through it. That’s a much better solution than just crying.
The romance plot has taken off a lot since the beginning of the series. Or at least, Mamoru and Usagi have developed a lot. Sure, he kind of stalked her in the beginning of the series, but I guess he was just infatuated. Usagi seemed to fall in love pretty fast too, but they provided a sort of reasonable explanation with the whole “past life” thing, so it’s probably best not to dwell on that for too long. They were fated to be together, and that’s just how things worked out. Mamoru’s amnesia is kind of unfortunate for his character and made him more mysterious in a sense. But really, it seems like it was in there just for the cliche. His memory loss doesn’t have a lot to do with the plot, since pretty much every character had a kind of amnesia in regards to their past life in the moon kingdom, but I guess it made him more sympathetic at the time and gave him a good reason to look for the crystal. Though it didn’t matter since Usagi believed in him anyways (because of course she did).
*insert joke of your choice about Asian drivers here*
Actually, the rest of the Senshi might actually get a chance at actual romance too, since the anime hasn’t killed any of the Shitennou off like the manga did. I was expecting Jadeite to be killed off in episode 3, and none of the other 3 members were supposed to live long past their first encounter with Usagi and the team, let alone learn that they actually were on the good side of things originally. This definitely makes the anime a bit less dark, since actually having the main characters murder others was a part of what made the manga more gritty and kind of depressing (especially once the Senshi learned that they basically killed their past lovers). Who knows if they’ll continue to be alive past this arc, since they’re kind of not around in later arcs (or at least, as humans), but there’s hope. It always seemed kind of unfair that Usagi’s love worked out while no one else’s did. The perks of being the main heroine, I guess.
One thing I never really picked up watching (and eventually reading) Sailor Moon as a kid was the bits of role reversal that happen. Like Mamoru being in the typical “damsel in distress” situation with him being kidnapped/brainwashed, or having him pretty much swoon over Usagi after that kiss she gave him. There was also that nice moment where that he noted her inner strength and whatnot. Though of course it’s not like he’s entirely helpless, since he’s done a lot for her over the series and even punched Zoisite in that one episode, which was pretty badass. Usagi and Mamoru are like equals who can count on each other. Kind of. I guess Usagi kind of has the upper hand since she uses magic, but despite what Mamoru says about being totally ordinary, I wouldn’t call being able to jump like that “normal”. …Though that’s more the show expecting a suspension of disbelief than him lying about having secret powers. If anything, they’re just plot powers.
Another thing that I don’t remember is how Usagi kind of swooned at all of her team mates before she befriended them too, which is interesting. Naoko Takeguchi (the author of the Sailor Moon manga) is actually married to Yoshihiro Togashi, who is the author behind the
never ending hiatus that is Hunter x Hunter. The latter series gave the main characters Gon and Killua some uh, pretty intense friendship moments. So maybe the spouses influenced each other in writing friendship development? Or maybe it has nothing to do with anything, since they didn’t even meet until 1997 and both noted manga were written before that. I just thought it was an interesting connection.
I feel like a lot of the hype around this remake has died down by now. They’re going to be animating the Black Moon arc (they might make it to the arc with the Death Busters~!) which means that this must be doing pretty good. Hell, they have so much merchandise for sale now
some of which I’ve been tempted to buy myself, despite the fact that I have absolutely no use for a plastic wand, it would be weird if the franchise wasn’t doing well. Nostalgia sells, I guess. However, between some of the quality animation the anime is experiencing and the fact that Sailor Moon is going to be airing for quite a while seems to have calmed people down a lot. I’m still enjoying it though. I always thought the manga moved pretty quickly and barely stopped to dwell on things, so having the anime add a few things in or give the characters extra lines is nice. The anime is also helping to connect a few events too, in that sense.
They mentioned Minako’s adventures as Sailor V, which is a different manga by the same author. Since Sailor Moon is pretty trendy right now, maybe they’ll finally give Sailor V an OVA or something. I’ve never read that story (though I probably should at some point), but it’s probably not too important to the plot right now, aside from maybe developing Minako a bit more. So just hearing about it briefly is probably all we’ll learn about that. In Sailor V (as far as I’m aware of), she just kind of fought crime, had some romance subplot that didn’t work out for her, and waited around for Luna to find everyone, so the plot is long past that and probably isn’t coming back.