Sailor Moon MMF: Final Day Links

It’s the end! Thank you all so much for your participation!

Just one link today: Jason Yadao examines his history with the series, and reminds us of that half-dubbed Mixx translation once more. :)

Again, special thanks to everyone who participated and promoted this MMF! It was a blast hosting it. And don’t forget the next MMF, hosted by Experiments in Manga, focusing on Usamaru Furuya. Details are here. I’ll be writing about Short Cuts!

Sailor Moon MMF: Day 6 Links

We are getting near the end of the Feast! What will today bring?

Animemiz gives us two more articles on Sailor Moon, the first talking about the gorgeous Sailor Moon artbooks, and the second discussing her dislike of Chibi-Usa, and how she compares with the final arc’s Chibi-Chibi.

Zoe Alexander reviews the first Sailor V manga, and also gives us a look at her Top 10 favorite manga moments from Sailor Moon.

Lastly, I also did a list of my favorite moments.

Tomorrow will be the final post! Will there be more amazing stuff?

MMF: Top Five Sailor Moon Moments

(There are obviously spoilers here for the anime and manga.)

These are my own personal top five, of course; if you asked ten different Sailor Moon fans you’d get ten lists. But these five are good examples of why I keep coming back to this manga/anime again and again. Three manga moments, and two from the anime.

5) Sailor Moon Super S manga – Dream 6: New Guardian Dream. I chose this chapter for many reasons. First of all, it’s fantastic to see the Outer senshi at rest, as it were. For all that they tend to be seen as the driven and pragmatic counterparts to the more emotional and caring senshi, they’re still meant to be high school girls, after all. (Well, mostly. Setsuna is debatable, see my previous post.) Here we see them all living as a family, celebrating their six month anniversary of having done so, since the end of S when Hotaru became an infant. They’ve also been unable to transform, so it’s been a bit of an idyllic rest for the three of them. However, Hotaru (who has gone from baby to 4-year-old in 6 months, and ages here to approximately 13 or so) is also there to remind them of their duties as senshi, and notes it’s time to get involved. This chapter, showing a different side of Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna, was so much fun that the anime, which had removed the Outers from the Super S story, went back and redid it as a prelude to Stars, just so they could show off how cool it was. I love the Outers, and this chapter is basically just seeing them all relax, then seeing them all kick ass. It’s great.

4) Sailor Moon Super S manga side-story – Rei and Minako’s Girl School Battle. Sailor Moon is a very funny series. However, I’ve noticed that a lot of the people talking about how funny it is tend to focus only on the anime. Now, it’s true that the anime has some side-splittingly funny episodes – I could easily have picked Nurse Minako from R or Minako’s Heart Crystal from S here as well, and debated it. But I went instead with this small chapter as I think it showed that Takeuchi’s characters are still her characters, and that they don’t need the expansion/exaggeration the anime sometimes gives them in order to be funny. The Rei we see here is definitely the manga version – the cool beauty and queen of her school – but we see how she gets driven to be just as angry as her anime counterpart. And Minako is simply fantastic – her drive to find out about Rei’s private school, completely being unable to fit in, and accidentally releasing the monster of the chapter through her own foolishness. And, of course, there’s the part that *everyone* remembers, which is Minako asking Rei if she has ever farted. Leaving aside that it’s Minako’s own way of trying to get Rei to admit that she’s just another girl like the rest of them, it is gloriously in character. What’s more, the punchline to the chapter – where Rei angrily says she has never farted, and that she’s nothing like Minako at all, makes me laugh hysterically – because of Takeuchi’s little side comment of an arrow pointing to a blushing Minako saying “has farted before”. Glorious.

3) Sailor Moon R – The Movie (climax). Sailor Moon had 3 movies made for the theater while it was running. But in general, when people talk about Sailor Moon movies, they mean *this* one – the first, and the best. Towards the end of the movie we see the other inner senshi watching Sailor Moon get throttled by the villain of the piece, and they all have little flashbacks to their lives before Usagi. And they’re all *incredibly depressing* – each one shows the girls being ostracized for being different or strange. Ami the intellectual, Rei the shrine maiden, Makoto the supposed “thug”, and Minako “always leaving” but unable to say she’s Sailor V. It’s beautifully done, and heartbreaking. Then later on Sailor Moon has defeated the villain, but there’s still the small matter of an asteroid headed for the Earth. Everyone teams up to stop it, and we see the Inner Senshi having another set of flashbacks – these showing Usagi coming into their lives, and her honest kindness and friendship being more than anyone could ask for. It shows how closely linked these five girls are, and it’s simply brilliant.

2) Sailor Moon R manga – Never Ending. This is the first of two to deal with the deaths of a sailor senshi. It’s a credit to both Takeuchi and the anime that even after we know about the senshi’s tendency to be resurrected and reincarnated, death is still a horrible, tear-jerking thing. This is the final chapter of the second arc, and all seems completely lost. Chibi-Usa is possessed as “Black Lady”, and Prince Diamond is about to cause a time paradox that will destroy not only Crystal Tokyo but causality. This leads Sailor Pluto to do the unthinkable – she stops time, allowing Sailor Moon to resolve things. As this happens, though, we see a much younger Pluto talking with Queen Serenity in a flashback, and she is told point blank that stopping time is forbidden, and that if she ever does it she will die. And that’s what happens, with Pluto barely getting time to say farewell before passing away. That’s not, however, why this is here. This is #2 because of Black Lady, who is startled to find tears streaming down her cheeks, becoming unpossessed and reverting to Chibi-Usa again. What’s more, Chibi-Usa has finally become able to unlock her powers – she transforms, and is now Sailor Chibi-Moon! Delighted, she turns to Pluto (who previous chapters have shown is essentially her only friend) and remarks on her transformation – only to become hysterical as she sees Pluto’s corpse, and begs her to open her eyes. I don’t think anyone can read this chapter and not be affected – it’s been over ten years since I read it, and I’m still tearing up just typing this.

1) Sailor Moon anime, episode 45. Yeah, there really wasn’t any question what number one would be. If the climax of R is, in my opinion, the manga’s finest hour, the climax of the first arc is where the anime surpassed it, both in dramatic tension and in heartbreaking loss. It should be noted that the anime does not exactly make this a big secret – the episode is TITLED “The Sailor Senshi Die!”. And sure enough, that’s what happens, as the senshi travel to the North Pole to take on Beryl. Now, there is a manga equivalent here – the senshi die there as well, though in a completely different situation – but the tension and agony are just incredible in the anime, where first Jupiter, then Mercury, then Venus and finally Mars sacrifice themselves so that the others can continue, each showing off just how powerful and badass they are even as they are killed. And Sailor Moon, her despair growing with each death, is left alone at the end – except that the spirits of the four fallen girls appear once more, telling her that they will always be with her and giving her the strength to go on. The anime came close to hitting these highs later on (Episode 125 comes closest), but never quite topped it – an episode that shows that even a magical girl may need to pay the ultimate price in order to save the world.

So those are my five favorites. If you think I missed something, let me know in a comment!