By Jess Bazaldua
KTSW Guest Journalist
My relationship with “Sailor Moon” goes way back to my childhood where my only worry was whether I was going to get home in time to watch the latest episode. Times have changed since then, but I take comfort in knowing that I can binge the entire series whenever.
Since both the original Japanese episodes and the recent English dub are on Hulu, I have my weekend planned out. If you’re looking for a nostalgic throwback or would like to see what all the hype is about, take this summer to give “Sailor Moon” a chance.
For those who didn’t grow up with the show or would like a refresher, “Sailor Moon” is a 1992 anime about middle-schooler Usagi Tsukino. One day, a black cat crosses her path and tells her that she must protect Earth alongside other guardians.
As if public speaking and puberty aren’t bad enough, the Sailor Guardians (also formerly known as Sailor Scouts) must locate the silver crystal and Princess Serenity. However, their mission is thrown off course by agents of the dark kingdom, who wishes to find the crystal for themselves.
The show, adapted from a Japanese manga by the same name, spanned five seasons, before it was given a reboot in 2013. With different adaptations and modes of storytelling, this franchise remains a classic for many.
Magic of Friendship
If you’re a fan of Sabrina Spellman or the coven from American Horror Story, consider the world of magical girls. Although more lighthearted and fluffier, the ideology remains the same: groups of girls come together to support one another and fight against evil forces. At the end of the day, love and friendship can overcome possession, malevolent spirits, and even death.
Beautiful friendships formed amongst people with different backgrounds and interests show that the loves of your life are closer than you think. From the sparkly incantations to the mystical silver crystal, the magic is apparent to anyone with the intrigue of all things witchy.
Also, the magical familiars come in the form of the two talking cats, Luna and Artemis. Is there anything cooler than that?
We wouldn’t have a magical girl anime if there wasn’t some sort of romantic pairing to look forward to. The first episode will leave you wondering if anything will happen between our lovely heroine and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask.
Still, some might be swayed by the rival for Usagi’s affections who appears in the form of boyband member Kou Seiya. Others will be delighted when the infamous guardian couple, Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, appear during the Infinity Arc. Whether you’re partnered or single and ready to mingle, you’ll be able to relate to the love lives of these characters.
Something for Everyone
Like most things we know and love, “Sailor Moon” was given the reboot treatment. However, that’s not to say it was bad. The classic anime recently evolved into “Sailor Moon Crystal,” which applied new animation and a closer adaptation of the original manga. A few darker themes are explored, but there’s nothing to shield from younger watchers.
Additionally, the franchise also spawned a series of musicals, including some which will premiere in the United States. For even more live-action fun, the 2003 Japanese television series, “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon,” portrays the beloved characters into a sentai-esque (think “Power Rangers”) format with a little bit of Japanese television drama mixed in.
Regardless of how you choose to watch the show, know that the characters are close to the hearts of many. The themes of inadequacy, imposter syndrome and the impending future are all apparent in addition to the running themes of female-empowerment and sacrifice.
“Sailor Moon” isn’t just a kid’s show; it is a show that I, and many others, enjoy. Whether we’re feeling down or mad at the world, we can all take comfort in the idea that hope is on the horizon.
Follow Jess on Instagram!
Featured image by Jess Bazaldua.