I have plenty of old shames when it comes to my anime watching career. One of them is never watching Naruto, so I know the bare minimum about it. This is my attempted running gag at AMQ meetings. Another is related to this post, which is checking out the infamous and well-loved series, Sailor Moon. I don’t have the excuse for it honestly other then I didn’t turn the channel to it when it was airing back in the day?
It’s also really long and I have some struggles watching longer series in a shorter amount of time now. See my Saint Seiya posts which are split apart quite a bit in terms of time distance. Maybe I will make a project out of it eventually. I’ll have to think about how Since some really cool people on anitwitter mentioned that R: The Movie would be a good way to get a taste of the franchise, I watched it.
Researching this one was interesting. The main thing of note in Sailor Moon R: The Movie is that it was directed by the wonderful Kunihiko Ikuhara in 1993. Years before he became a larger voice in the industry Something that you can tell from the amount of roses and the queer story line/backstory. For instance, in the backstory to this film, our certain lead man Mamoru Chiba as a kid gave a young boy a flower before he disappeared. A thing that eventually leads to the current conflict at hand. Mamoru is the boyfriend of Usagi, known as Sailor Moon. She and her friends are the sailor guardian magical girls that protect Earth, and so on. Classic teens put into mortal peril for some reason.
Then the grown up mystery boy makes an appearance and shakes the entire world and dynamic of the current world. It turns out the boy Mamoru met was an alien named Fiore and he’s here to attempt to split the main Sailor Moon couple. Fiore wants to protect Mamoru and doom the entire Earth with Xenian flowers to absorb humanities life force thus ending the Earth. Quite a bit to do out of jealousy, don’t you think? The only people who can stop him and his flower-based monsters are the Sailor Senshi. So, Usagi has a rival for Mamoru’s love and must save the Earth at the same time. A pretty classic scenario flipped around in terms of gender roles and I like it.
For an hour film, it’s pretty well written. Considering the amount of time the film has and it’s cool effects, the main story is simple enough to do a lot in a short amount of time. Mamoru is one focus point, so we see how kind and understanding he is in person from his interactions with Usagi and as Tuxedo Mask. Fiore’s love struggle and the possibility of him being under control from the Xenian flowers is a lot to think about too. To me, the main vocal point is Usagi who is involved with everything in the story. The other Sailor Senshi (Rei, Ami, Minako, and Makoto) don’t get as much focus, but they have group scenes which allow them to feel like teenagers and give a suggestion of their personality which is fair enough. There is a Chibi Usagi here as well and she’s cool, but Ijust don’t understand…
All of these factors lead R: The Movie as Usagi’s movie. The reason why the film is set into motion is because of her and the reason why it’s resolved is also because of her. This is mainly from how effective and yet ineffective the other Sailor Senshi’s abilities are in this story, so our main girl has to do a little more. She’s the titular character, so go off and do your best. Usagi is that person Fiore doubted could exist. An endlessly self-less teenager who cares about Mamoru more than Fiore could admit. A teenager, but a much purer one then ever was possible. It’s Usgai’s kindness that rescues Fiore from the spell and that self-sacrificing nature on top of everything that leads to the safety of the Earth. All very powerful things.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie is also a very beautiful film. An hour of some very solid 90’s art, character designs, and animation. The Sailor designs are very wonderful distinct and variable in their own right. I love the 90’s clothes they were then the great change into the sailor uniforms with really cool abilities. Yeah, I can say the same thing for Mamoru and Fiore as well. I love 90’s character designs honestly. The flower monster designs and the use of the Xenian flowers all over the place. It’s just a beautiful film that flows and moves very well. Highly recommend watching the highest quality version of this film as possible.
For a taste test, I think Sailor Moon R: The Movie worked pretty well. I think it’s a good film, not an absolutely solid film, but I enjoyed the hour that I spent watching it. I may look into shifting some of my plans around in 2021 to at least watch a season or two of Sailor Moon because I think it might be worth to check out. Once again, I’ll have to think about this.