Sailor Moon is a well-loved 90’s anime with many fans and followers. Though such an old series it still remains popular. Sailor Moon R (Season 2) Part 1 has recently been released to revive this classic series. Not being an original fan I am eager to see if it is a truly great series that can withstand the test of time.
Part 1 does not start out strong. It has us see the Sailor Guardians leave their powers and memories of each other behind in order to live normal lives. Sadly, for them, but not so much the viewer, a new threat arises requiring the Sailor Guardiansto return.
A magical cat named Luna, despite her bestefforts to let the girls live as they wanted, is forced to bring back Yusagi’s memories and power as Sailor Moon. As things get direr all the Sailor Guardians memories and powers are restored to them.
This is the beginning of the ‘Hell Tree’story arc and it isn’t a terribly exciting one. Within the arc we see the sailor guardians grow in strength but this isn’t enough to carry the very repetitive and incredibly predictable occurrences and outcomes of each episode.Other anime, such as Pokemon, are also incredibly predictable and repetitive but do still manage to be amusing and entertaining. Unfortunately, the first arc in Sailor Moon R Part 1 is not one that manages to do so.
The first arc lacks luster and enjoyment, thankfully it finishes and a new one begins within Part 1. The ‘Black Moon Clan’ story arc is more engaging and incorporates a more entertaining and interesting atmosphere. With the introduction of a new character, Chibi-Usa, a pink haired troublesome little girl, things get both more mysterious and lively.
Both story arcs feature a lot of romance drama for Yusagi and her love Mamoru. I found the fact that she is 14 years old and Mamorua likely adult, with work and living in his own apartment, it made the whole thing just a bit too weird to really find or want to find any interest in her love life. There are numerous other ups and downs in the relationships around Sailor Moon but I never found it very engaging. It didn’t really tug on any heart strings or leave me with any attachment to the characters involved.
Sailor Moon or Yusagi is a very immature and clumsy character. While she means the best it doesn’t always work out that way. Though not the most lovable character she does eventually grow on you. With a jealous and selfish personality, incredible ineptness and no inclination to study, it is nice to see a main character with so many flaws. It becomes a likeable aspect in that despite her faults she still tries her best for those around her.
One aspect I found slightly irritating is out of a group of five stellar powered girls, they always seemed to need saving by a male hero character. There are five of them. I can appreciate that Sailor Moon is meant to be an immature and clumsy character. So she is generally in need of assistance but this is why there are the other guardians. They however all do a bang up job and collectively require assistance from one guy on a regular basis. This makes them all seem weak and useless as they are always in need of rescuing. It takes away from the idea these are special guardians here to protect the citizens of Tokyo.
The series definitely screams 90’s, from the cartoon style to the general look and soundtrack. This isn’t a bad thing but it does make the show feel old. Along with some odd ideas it is obvious it belongs to a different decade.
The first arc unfortunately is not great but if you stick around for the start of the second arc, well things get considerably better. With a new mysterious character and more interesting villains the second arc definitely picks things up for the series. The first arc is more a cause for the Sailor Guardians becoming stronger and ready for the next story arc. Though the show is childish in nature I did still enjoy some aspects. It can be valued by a wider audience but I feel it is more aimed at a younger generation.
I can appreciate how long standing fans of the series may greatly appreciate this revival but as a new comer, well it’s alright.
Year: 2016 (Bluray / DVD)
Running Time: 23 MIN (per Episode)
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Animated
Director: Junichi Sato
Studio: Toei Animation
Distributor: Madman Entertainment