I have a history with Sailor Moon. One of my aunts owns a box set of a bunch of Sailor Moon VHS tapes, having been a fan of the series herself. As a result, when I was a wee little lad, I watched a fair amount of the show. Over ten years later, I remember absolutely nothing of it. Yet, as you can see, online I have dubbed myself “Sailor”, and I did so as an intentional homage to Sailor Moon. Not because the show had a particularly profound effect on my life, but it was simply the first thing that came to my head. However, now, as an adult, I have access to Hulu and thus, access to Sailor Moon. So I figure I should probably start watching.
First things first, as I said, I remember absolutely nothing about this show. Most of the little knowledge I have of it comes more from pop culture osmosis than actual memory, and even then, I didn’t remember the main character had like…an actual name. Sorry Usagi. Thus, I’d like to request that you please bear with me if I say anything obviously wrong. Then again, maybe me saying obviously wrong things will be part of the appeal.
Secondly, I’m watching it with a dub. As I understand it, the dub that’s on Hulu is different than the original, and I imagine there might be some division about that. I’m watching with the dub because I’m taking notes while watching this show, and I want to be able to do that while also still hearing what the characters are saying. Also, having listened to it for three episodes, I quite like the dub. I don’t know if there’s a huge dub vs sub battle in the Sailor Moon fandom or if people don’t care or what. Just wanted to establish that. Anyway, enough with the preamble. What did I actually think of the first three episodes of Sailor Moon?
Yep. This show’s preeeeeetty good so far. It seems like there’s over 40 episodes in “Season One” alone, so I don’t know if it’ll stay good, get worse, or get even better, but for now the show has an easygoing breezy sort of charm. For those of you who perhaps don’t know, Sailor Moon is about a 14 year old girl named Usagi Tsukino. Usagi is just your Average Ordinary Everyday Young Adult Protagonist. She is also an overly emotional mess of a human being, an airhead, and seems to be fundamentally incapable of not screwing up in every aspect of her life. Now, this type of character could easily be shrill and annoying, but I personally found Usagi to be funny.
This Average Ordinary Everyday Young Adult Protagonist one day stumbles upon a strange black cat who later becomes their guide in the use of their powers. Something something Persona 5 something something. Usagi learns she’s been burdened with the task of using her newfound superpowers to like, be a superhero and yadda yadda. Fairly standard stuff there (though it’s not actually clear who or what has tasked her with doing these things, so that can be an interesting mystery later).
The fun in this show, so far at least, doesn’t come from the superhero action or anything. It comes from being funny. This show has a sense of humor and I found myself genuinely laughing at many of Usagi’s interactions with her supporting cast. Said supporting cast includes:
Her seemingly normal father-
Her best friend Naru-
And MOST IMPORTANTLY Gurio Umino-
Now, the plot has barely had time to actually start so I can’t judge it really, but if this was just, like, a slice of life show it’d still be pretty good. The character dynamics aren’t anything extraordinary so far, but they’re entertaining. As far as the action goes, it’s just monster of the week stuff for now. This shadowy lady with a crystal ball and her partner Jadeite want to harvest energy to do An Evil Thing, and they employ a variety of circuitous strategies from selling people energy sapping jewels, to posing as fortune tellers, to staging fake radio shows. Sailor Moon’s friends usually become involved and Usagi is forced to jump in and save the day. Usagi is, of course, very very not good at that.
And she always winds up requiring the assistance of a certain someone…
I love this guy. Now, I was well aware of the meme that Tuxedo Mask never actually does anything. I didn’t doubt it per se, but I assumed there might be at least a degree of hyperbole, as there often is with memes. But no. This guy enters the scene, gives a pep talk, is very satisfied with himself, then leaves like he did anything at all in pretty much every episode so far. It’s very funny. Maybe one day he’ll actually do something cool but part of me hopes he’ll just continue to be totally inconsequential yet utterly self satisfied throughout the entire show.
The altercations with the villains have thus far always been resolved with Usagi throwing her magic tiara at them. I imagine as the villains become more powerful and the other Sailors get added the fights will become more complex. Thus far they’re probably the least interesting part of the show.
Now, seeing as this show was made in the 90’s and is about a 14 year old Japanese girl, I, a 19 year old black dude, living in the US, in the modern day, was a little concerned that perhaps this show just would not be for me. Luckily, the cultural barrier was not too much to overcome. I honestly, don’t even really have a lot to say (despite the fact that I’m nearly 1000 words into this article) beyond the fact that I just like it. I will say I’m a bit wary of the romance plot. Not that it’s been bad so far, but y’know. Tuxedo Mask doesn’t seem to be middle school aged. Also, in his civilian identity (I don’t actually remember if they’ve said his real name yet), he’s kind of a douche, who seems to conveniently be wherever Usagi is, and delights in haranguing her for minor slights. Every girl’s dream, I’m sure.
But, by and large, I think the show is off to a good start, and I look forward to writing more about it next month…
What are you doing here…
Hey there. If you enjoyed this post feel free to check out our others. We post every Friday (or at least we try). I’d appreciate any feedback you have to give, and make sure to stick around for next month where I review…however many episodes of Sailor Moon I manage to watch before then. Thanks for reading.