Sailor Moon is inescapable. There’s the new anime of course, and the new musicals, the merchandise, and the retranslation of the manga. But it’s the emblem of a wider renaissance as well, a resurgence of love for mahou shoujo, or magical girl anime and manga — a movement led by women well out of their childhood years. A quick stroll through Tumblr reveals Sailor Moon cupcakes, punky Sailor Moon jackets, heartfelt essays about what the portrayal of lesbianism in Sailor Moon meant to the reader, dozens of artists working together to reanimate an episode of the anime, Sailor Moon nail art tutorials, cats named Luna, Beryl, Haruka and everything in between, hand-sculpted figurines, ornate embroidery projects, and an endless avalanche of fanart. Sailor Moon as an Adventure Time character. Sailor Moon cheekily clutching a Hitachi Magic Wand. Sailor Moon as a vicious biker chick. Sailor Moon protesting the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling.
Sailor Moon fans have not so much rediscovered their love for Naoko Takeuchi’s sword-and-sparkle epic as they have elected her queen mother of their imaginations and ultimate aspirational self. She is, simultaneously, symbol, cause, and leader.
This resurgence is animated by more than typical fannish passion. This is a need to return to a world where young women are in charge. This is an anger at the pabulum of Good Role Models for Girls, at boob windows and “fridging" and “tits or gtfo.” This is 15-year-olds covering their notebooks in “MERMAIDS AGAINST MISOGYNY” stickers, yet also gravely serious grad students applying bell hooks to Takeuchi’s use of Greco-Roman myth. This is a collective invoking of spirits, made more potent in their absence — Usagi Tsukino and all her friends as saints and saviors, carrying the light of childhood optimism to an adulthood in sore need of it. This is nostalgia as a weapon. “Pretty soldiers” indeed.
I'm not even close to kidding when I say that one of the most exciting things about life in 2014 is that we're experiencing an amazing renaissance of Sailor Moon. Not only has the manga been reissued in its entirety from Kodansha, and not only is the classic series being released uncut with two episodes every Monday on Hulu, but Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, a new series based on Naoko Takeuchi's original series, made its worldwide premiere last weekend.
This is, for someone who loves Sailor Moon as much as I do, a pretty big deal, and Crystal's first episode lived up to the hype by being an absolutely gorgeous new version of Usagi's first outing as Sailor Moon. The thing is, Crystal was designed to be a far more strict adaptation of the source material, and while it definitely succeeds on that front, that's also its biggest problem.
We're only a few weeks away from the debut of a brand-new Sailor Moon Crystal animated series, and folks, I could not be more excited. I love Sailor Moon, ever since I saw the original anime during its run on Cartoon Network when I was a kid, and I've been looking forward to the debut of Crystal from the moment it was announced. In fact, in order to prepare for the debut, I've even gone back and started reading through the manga.
The thing is, while I've read a lot of Sailor Moon, there's one piece of the franchise that I've never been all that familair with: Naoko Takeuchi's Codename: Sailor V, which I only picked up recently. And it is fantastic, if only for the story where Sailor Venus beats the living crap out of some MRA gamer dork at the local arcade.
I don't think that there's ever been a better time to be a fain of Sailor Moon. Not only is Viz releasing the classic 1992 animated series on Hulu -- uncut, with new subtitles and a new dub on the way -- but there's a new animated series set to debut next month, simulcast around the world as it airs in Japan. The show's called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, and now, there's a trailer for it.
Unfortunately, the trailer lacks what I would consider to be the single most iconic image of not just Sailor Moon, but the entirety of anime. While Usagi does in fact run out of her house late for school there is no toast in her mouth. Other than that, though, it's pretty fantastic.
After some delays that set it back for a year, a new Sailor Moon anime series will finally debut premiere this July, according to the franchise's 20th anniversary project website.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon from Toei animiation, the same company responsible for the mid-1990s anime series, will be available worldwide, subtitled in 10 different languages, streaming on the Niconico service. Munehisa Sakai, who has worked on the One Piece TV series and the One Piece: Strong World, Suite Precure movie is the new series' director and the theme music is by pop group Momoiro Clover Z.
Kodansha USA announced last week the return of Sailor Moon to the American market in September. Created by Naoko Takeuchi, the manga has been out of print in the United States for six years. Sailor Moon will be remastered with new cover artwork and
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