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Sailor Moon: The Explainer
July 2, 2014 12:58 PM   Subscribe

On July 5, 2014, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal will premiere on Japanese streaming site Nico Nico Douga and on Hulu Plus 17 years, 4 months, and 27 days after the final episode of Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars aired in 1997. No disrespect to J.J. Abrams, but this is the most important resurrected franchise of the decade. Any questions? The opening and transformation sequence have been leaked and can be seen here.
posted by leesh (39 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Please please please please please be good please be good please be good please don't ruin it!

I'm actually not all that impressed with the opening sequence. It matches the original's cheese, but not its punch. I'm going to wait to judge the series, though. I'm trying so hard not to feel all "get off my lawn" about it. Every generation deserves a Sailor Moon.

I'm really, really curious about how the reboot will "update" the series. (And really, really holding out hope that it doesn't mean trashing anything I liked about the original.)
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:13 PM on July 2 [4 favorites]


Although never being that into Sailor Moon I just can't really get into what I've seen of the new show. The show to me is synonymous with 90s fashion and great pratfall expressions and the new look is a little weird and stiff and ghostly.

Plus the transformation sequence uses a cel-shaded 3DCGI Usagi instead of just putting in the pencil mileage. Disappointing but to be expected with the dwindling hand-animators in Japan.
posted by whittaker at 1:13 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


So this is kinda like when Space Battleship Yamato 2199 was released for me, then. I can relate.
posted by linux at 1:25 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Her body shape is even more unrealistic in the new one. But what do I know, I only watched the dub.
posted by chaiminda at 1:44 PM on July 2


Well, and the live-action PGSM, which has a very efficient transformation sequence due to the lack of special effects budget.
posted by chaiminda at 1:52 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


So she still gets the magical manicure before almost immediately getting a pair of magic gloves.

A wizard did it.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:55 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


linux: "So this is kinda like when Space Battleship Yamato 2199 was released for me, then. I can relate."

I JUST THOUGHT "man this makes me want a star blazers reboot" AND HERE YOU COME INTO MY LIFE TELLING ME IT'S ALREADY THERE.
posted by boo_radley at 1:57 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


Space Coyote, that always bothered me too!
posted by chaiminda at 1:57 PM on July 2


Her body shape is even more unrealistic in the new one.

Do you remember when we were all snarking about CLAMP's noodle people designs? Well, the same :/
posted by sukeban at 2:14 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I JUST THOUGHT "man this makes me want a star blazers reboot" AND HERE YOU COME INTO MY LIFE TELLING ME IT'S ALREADY THERE.

Where have you been?! It is a fantastic reboot. It even has more than one female character, making that weird Yuki/Nova is the nurse + Uhura thing go away (though she is still the prominent female character, there are several others with their own storylines).
posted by linux at 2:16 PM on July 2


Also, the OP is nowhere near Moonlight Densetsu.
posted by sukeban at 2:16 PM on July 2


Rumor is that it's going to stick closer to the manga, which means it's going to be darker.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:17 PM on July 2 [2 favorites]


If it disappoints me, then in the name of the Moon, I will punish you!
posted by SPrintF at 2:18 PM on July 2


You have a point, Chocolate Pickle. Years ago, I ran a Call of Cthulhu/Sailormoon crossover RPG and it was so easy! All that Dark Kingdom/emotional corruption/life force sucking stuff just fit like tentacle in glove.
posted by SPrintF at 2:20 PM on July 2


The eyes at least seem to be more manga-style, which I like. I dunno, I don't watch my anime for its realistic depictions of human bodies (come on, my favorite series is Utena). I'm really looking forward to this.
posted by olinerd at 2:38 PM on July 2


I'm in the middle of watching Sailor Moon in anticipation! (It's also on Hulu -- two episodes a week.) I don't really like the new character design or the transformation sequence, though -- hoping the new series hasn't let me down before it's even aired.
posted by supermassive at 2:44 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


I've never watched Sailor Moon, but I'm going to give it a go, mostly because I've had Moonlight Densetsu stuck in my head for a couple of days thanks to this cover.
posted by robcorr at 3:43 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


> Her body shape is even more unrealistic in the new one.

Nothing is unrealistic for a magical girl. Let alone a toon magical girl.
posted by jfuller at 3:50 PM on July 2


My favorite transformation sequence of recent memory - a common reaction was "It's Sailor Apollon!" (Kamigami no Asobi was a visual novel turned into anime, and the result was rather like a magical girl anime, except if you had magical boys instead of magical girls, and the magical boys were gods from the Greek, Norse, and Japanese pantheons).
posted by needled at 3:59 PM on July 2


No disrespect to J.J. Abrams

Oh hell, pile on the disrespect. After the atrocity that was ST: Into Darkness there is not enough heaping steaming piles of dung high enough to dump on him and his writing team.

Sorry for the disrail. As you were.
posted by Ber at 4:14 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


The even more noodly arms and legs wouldn't bother me as much if her hand gestures in the transformation sequence weren't also so... delicate? They are very ballet dancer+Vanna White weird and passive and dainty.
posted by misskaz at 4:44 PM on July 2


That sounds dumb.

I know! And it kind of is! It’s also the best!

Yup. We'll see how this goes.
posted by absalom at 4:46 PM on July 2


Not a fan of the new one. Watching the side by side, two reasons:

1. The original is one cut that moves around and zooms in and out as needed in one fluid take. The new one is a lot of jump cuts that I find kind of jarring.

2. The new one is like 20% longer. This is something I'm going to start fast-forwarding through almost immediately. There is no sense in having it be that long.
posted by absalom at 4:52 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


So she still gets the magical manicure before almost immediately getting a pair of magic gloves.

Yes! Of course! She wouldn't be Sailor Moon without Magic Nail Art. The legs look terrible, but I am still ridiculously excited about this. The only (non-leg) part that looked strange to me was Mamoru - he looks like CLAMP's Seishirou, which is not a good thing.
posted by betweenthebars at 5:02 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


From this interview:
Q: There is some controversy over the character Haruka. Was she a man who transformed into a woman when she became Sailor Uranus?

The subtle art of the double entendre was apparently lost in Japan many centuries ago ...
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:38 PM on July 2


OMG! Kotono Mitsuishi is returning as the voice of Usagi! Skaaa-WEEEE!
posted by SPrintF at 6:40 PM on July 2


The new Usagi is less powerful looking - her eyes and her stance less strong. She used to have relatively fierce eyes (for a Japanese female heroine). The new one has soft, slightly cow like eyes that remind me of the Rose bride from Utena (Utena was cool, much less fond of Anthy).

But all I care about is whether the new series has Sailor Uranus. If so, I'm watching. The world needs more butch lesbian cartoon characters.
posted by jb at 7:05 PM on July 2 [3 favorites]


I had never read the manga before, so I started the first few volumes to prepare for the new anime. It was startling! I hadn't realized how much the anime dragged things out: baddies who took fifteen episodes to be defeated were often introduced and dispatched within a single manga act! But I found myself missing some of the quieter friendship moments between the scouts that the anime and the live-action series added. Hopefully those will still exist in the new series.

I was also shocked and dismayed to discover that the Moonlight Knight was purely an anime invention, and thus will not likely return to any future series. I treasured his hilarious uselessness.
posted by brookedel at 9:29 PM on July 2 [1 favorite]


Amazing to see this on Grantland. What next, an Explainer for Madoka Magica?
posted by gen at 10:33 PM on July 2


2. The new one is like 20% longer. This is something I'm going to start fast-forwarding through almost immediately. There is no sense in having it be that long.

Maybe I'm misremembering, but wasn't the first time a character transformed always a little bit longer and more elaborate. Is it possible they'll use a long one for the first episode, then an edited down or more streamlined version for later episodes?
posted by heathkit at 12:36 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


In addition to the magic manicure and gloves, I'd never noticed that Sailor Moon doesn't appear to wear socks under her boots. Her feet must be either super magical or super blistery and sweaty.

Incidentally, I blame Sailor Moon for my love of glitter nail polish and my insistence on completely covering every millimeter of my nails in glitter, no matter how many coats it takes or how much acetone I need to get it off.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:47 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


BIZARRO BACK ISSUES: SAILOR VENUS KICKS MISOGYNY INTO A COMA AT HER LOCAL ARCADE (1992)
posted by supermassive at 8:33 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


I love Sailor Moon. It started out as an ironic thing when I was in high school, but... sure enough, I got hooked on it for real. I'm catching up with the uncut episodes on Hulu (which I'd never seen, so it's kinda funny seeing which episodes they just cut up for parts and which ones made it... and I still think of Tuxedo Mask as "Darren", not "Mamoru" and Usagi's friend as "Molly" and Umino as "Melvin" but whatever.

One thing I didn't remember is how CARTOONY the design is. And I LOVE that. I hope the new one keeps that cartooniness.
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 11:21 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


Amazing to see this on Grantland. What next, an Explainer for Madoka Magica?

Man, I'd love to see how Explainer would tackle Magica Madoka. That gets dark *really* fast, and the twists come early and often.

I have no idea how they'd be able to approach it humorously or largely spoiler-free.
posted by qcubed at 11:44 AM on July 3 [1 favorite]


The first episode is here! The English sub is up on Hulu! Huzzah!
posted by brookedel at 3:58 AM on July 5


PINK SUGAR HEART ATTACK. STAR GENTLE UTERUS. I forgot this reboot was happening, thank you for the post. Although I spent my (early) teen years chatting with fellow Sailor Moon fans and obsessively reading fanfiction, seems I've forgotten a lot of basic knowledge about this series. All I remember is that I loved it.
posted by one teak forest at 6:50 AM on July 5


New Sailor Moon = Flying Spaghetti Monster

Has the meatballs and noodley appendages.

In the new transformation, you can clearly see her arms turn into noodles as well.
posted by tofu_crouton at 12:35 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


> In the new transformation, you can clearly see her arms turn into noodles as well.

Wait, how are noodles fanservice?
posted by jfuller at 8:06 AM on July 6


Found that the first episode was available on Crunchyroll without a subscription or login so I let it unspool in the background on my AppleTV while checking out scenes from time to time.

Seeing the design and animation layouts in context didn't really change my opinion. It just feels like stiff fan art, animation leeched of dynamism. A side by side scene comparison with the '92 show here really sums it up for me.*

* It also shows the different approach to animating her hair. The new version really is stiff and tendril-like in an off-putting way.
posted by whittaker at 11:49 AM on July 6


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