With ‘Sailor Moon Crystal‘ coming out July 5th (we’ll be there, will you?), I think it’s high time we pay tribute to ‘Sailor Moon’ for Throwback Thursday, ScienceFiction.com’s ongoing column dedicated to the great science fiction of the past.
Okay, I know some of you are saying… ‘Sailor Moon’? Really? Science Fiction?
To that I say, “She’s literally from the moon, guys.” Now, how she, and all her fellow sailor scouts were able to breath there, and why we have never discovered the ruins of the Moon Kingdom despite putting Neil Armstrong on the moon is just for nitpickers. You don’t want to be a nitpicker, do you?
Because, really, nitpicking is far to easy with ‘Sailor Moon.’ It’s like taking candy from a baby. We may never know why the monsters never attack the Sailor Scouts while they take thirty seconds to change into their outfits, or why the antagonists insist on being so greedy with stealing human energy that it inevitably draws the Sailor Scouts’ attention. It just is, and if you look too critically, you’ll never really understand the full glory that is ‘Sailor Moon.’
In any case, ‘Sailor Moon’ is a Japanese cartoon from the early 90s, based on a comic by Naoko Takeuchi. It follows Usagi Tsukino (name means “rabbit of the moon”), a scatter-brained crybaby with boys on the mind, and her mission is to find the moon princess and defend humanity in the guise of a beautiful soldier (“senshi”) named Sailor Moon (why no one thought she was the moon princess in the beginning is a mystery… you know… seeing as her real name, and her super hero name both of the word “moon” in it). She picks up other sailor scouts along the way (all the way out to Pluto, though the jury is still out on whether Pluto can still be a senshi since her planet status was revoked), and defeats enemies, all of which are followed by another more power enemy. In later seasons there is some time travel, but largely Sailor Moon just defends the earth from alien invaders.
‘Sailor Moon’ may sound silly, but it’s really all in good fun. It provides excellent role models for girls, focuses on character development, and features a whole host of LGBTQ characters in positive and interesting lights. While the episodes are formulaic, (i.e Usagi makes friend, friend gets attacked by monster, Usagi tries to save friend and fails, Tuxedo Mask saves her, Usagi defeats the monster) they all have their own charm that is well worth watching. When VIZ started putting old ‘Sailor Moon’ episodes up on Hulu (two every Monday!), I was worried that a show that I loved so much as a kid wouldn’t stand the test of the time. But I can say that Usagi, though whiny, constantly charms me, and I get upset when I finish the episodes VIZ releases for the week. (Seriously, I have to wait until Monday?!)
Don’t believe me? In Japan, ‘Sailor Moon’ has spawned best-selling musicals, several live action dramas, comic reprints, millions of products ranging from shoes to erasers, 200 animated episodes, 3 full-length feature movies, and so much more. The show has been released in 23 different countries, and is so beloved that there is hardly a geek convention that doesn’t at least have ten ‘Sailor Moon’ cosplayers walking around.
The proof is in the internationally popular pudding.
So, if you’re at all curious, be sure to check out Hulu. If that gets you hooked, stay tuned for our reviews of ‘Sailor Moon Crystal.’