Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Five Things I Want to See in the Sailor Moon Reboot

If you're an anime nerd like me you know that the anime world has been abuzz for the past year with the news that the Sailor Moon series is being rebooted. If you've had any sort of in depth conversation with me, then you'd know that I am ridiculously excited about the new series. Sailor Moon was my first anime, way back when I was a wee little Nubianrose in woah. I think I was in kindergarten the first time I was introduced to the Sailor Senshi (though, it was the American version, so they were Sailor Soldiers). A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the ENTIRE SERIES IN IT'S ORIGINAL JAPANESE!!!! Let me tell you that, though the English dubbed version will forever have a special place in my heart, the original version was SOOO much better! The plot line was more compelling, the characterizations made more sense, and there was a lot more foreshadowing of future events. It was also a lot darker than the English dubbed version, but that was because the show was originally meant for teens and not kids. I say all this to say that I love Sailor Moon- the manga, the anime, the fandom- and I could not be more delighted that they are rebooting the series. I know that it's a concept that really easy to get wrong, but Naoko Takeuchi- the creator of the series- is supposed to be heavily involved, and I trust her.

Another reason why I'm so excited about the reboot is because although I loved the original series, it had some flaws, especially compared to the manga, so in no particular order here are 5 things I want to see in the new series.

1. TUXEDO KAMEN/ MAMORU CHIBA'S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.: A lot of people complain that Mamo-chan wasn't a strong enough character (developmentally) and I have to agree with them here. I mean don't get me wrong, I liked him, but he was basically only there to be the romantic interest. In the manga he was a lot more important. He wasn't just Usagi's boo, he was the last heir of the Terran Kingdom. The guardian of Earth. Sure he wasn't a Senshi (they have to be female). He had his own powers that weren't limited to throwing roses. The manga also delves deeper into Mamoru's backstory. It was tragic, and I hope they don't gloss over it in the new series.

2. THE SENSHI BACKSTORIES: Again, this is something that was handled better in the manga. In particular I want to see Rei Hino and Makoto Kino's stories. Rei has an estranged father! What? That is never brought up in the anime series. In the manga, it influences her character a lot. In the anime, I just assumed she was an orphan, like Mamoru and Makoto. Speaking of Makoto, yeah, she's an orphan. An orphan who lives on her own. Did I mention that the girls are all around 15? I know that Japanese culture is different, and it's entirely possible that it is normal for 15 year old orphans with the financial capability can live on their own over there (I really can't confirm or deny this), but that isn't normal, regardless! And it was mentioned in the show, but it was just glossed over! Can we get some details? I want to hear that story! None of the girls have the background development that Usagi (the titular Sailor Moon) has. Don't get me wrong, I still want them to go into Usagi's backstory, but give some to the other girls too, please!

3. REASONABLE OUTFITS Yeah, this one is kind of a nit pick, and female superhero costumes are notoriously impractical and ridiculously skimpy, but come on. Who thought it was a good idea to let them fight in mini skirts? If I can use another anime hero as a template, Sango from Inuyasha had a much more fight worthy outfit. It looked like the uniforms from the X-Men movies. I'm sure it was more comfortable to run and tumble and jump in than a mini-skirt. And it didn't come with high heels. To all aspiring anime/comic book artists, STOP PUTTING SUPER HEROINES IN HEELS!!! It's stupid!

4. THE EFFECTS OF CRIME FIGHTING ON THE TEAM'S LIVES: They are 15 year old girls with curfews and school. Don't tell me battles at all hours of the day and night don't have an effect on their school and home lives. I want to see consequences, darn it!!! But then, anime has a history of glossing over details like that. Seriously, what's up with that?

5.MORE MYTHOS I think this is something that was lacking in the anime and the manga. There's apparently a Senshi protector for each planet in the solar system with the royal Lunarian family being the ruling family of everyone except Earth. Fine, I can accept that. What bugs me is that in the final season, new Senshi showed up out of no where from other galaxies. I have no problems with this except it's never mention in the series that it's a possibility that other Senshi from other star systems exist. Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe a more knowledgeable fan can tell me if I missed something, but that seems like kind of important information. Do the other Senshi know about the Senshi in this system? Is it like DC's Green Lantern Corps and they at one point had contact with each other? Was there travel between star systems before the fall of the Silver Millennium (the kingdom that was originally ruled by the Lunarian family)? Could the Senshi have called on other Senshi to help when the Metallia was trying to take over the World? I know they were bad guys when they showed up in the series, but they weren't always bad, and they didn't stay bad. What is their history? I want to know!!!!

The fact that Sailor Moon still has such a strong fanbase after 20 years of existence is proof that they've done something right. None of the things that I mentioned in this list took away from my enjoyment of the series, and I have no idea what direction the creators are taking the new series in, but these are just a few things that I had always wanted addressed in the original series. I still recommend the series to anyone who wants to get into anime or manga. It's a great intro into the world of Japanese comics and cartoons.
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