Everyone loves comic book trivia, but with over 75 years of superhero comics behind us right now, there’s always some new obscure fact to learn. That’s why ComicsAlliance is going deep into the minutiae of your favorite names in comics in our continuing video series. You think you know comics? Well, here’s a few things you might not know!
This week we're taking a look at the magical-est magical girls of them all, Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts. Since the '90s, Sailor Moon has been one of the most popular manga and anime series of all time, and this video takes a look at the history of the series, from its inspiration and creation to its production and success to the wide variety of media to which it has been adapted, including a truly shocking number of live action stage musicals.
Usagi Tsukino and her friends and enemies are not short on fans. Originally coming onto the scene back in 1991 as a manga series, Sailor Moon has been adapted, re-adapted, re-imagined and relaunched in numerous graphic novels, TV shows, and movies, and gained acclaim and praise across the world. It pretty much established the magical girl formula with its use of lavish transformation scenes turning common everyday people into champion of justice.
On a global scale, manga and anime wouldn't be what they are today without the contribution of Naoko Takeuchi. The Japanese writer/artist created Sailor Moon, one of most popular manga and anime properties of all time. Takeuchi revived and reimagined the Magical Girl genre, and more than two decades later her influence is evident far outside the realm of manga.
The comics world is full of questions, from, “Who would win in a fight?” to, “Who came up with that weird idea?” Here at ComicsAlliance, we spend a lot of time thinking about all of it, from the big questions that matter a lot to the small ones that probably don’t matter at all but are still kinda fascinating. With The Question, we’re going to give our writers the opportunity to answer some of these brain-ticklers, because if we’re thinking about these things, you might be thinking about them too.
This time we asked our writers; what's your favorite comic by women about women? This year's Ignatz and Eisner wins suggest that women in comics are beginning to get the recognition they deserve, both as creators and as an audience. But there have always been great comics by women and great comics about women, and some comics that are both, and they exist across genres, borders, and cultures.
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.
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