I Finally Watched Sailor Moon And I Love It
Sailor Moon is one of the most recognizable and known anime series in the United States. As a kid, I watched a little bit of the English dub, but it was mostly when my parents weren’t home and I could catch it on TV. Oddly, a character skin from League of Legends inspired me to start watching the original subtitled anime from beginning to end. I didn’t even think that I would be interested in anime or manga much, but Sailor Moon has certainly opened my eyes to how much I could enjoy it as a whole, and also why it was (and is!) such a successful and popular series.
From what little I’d watched of the English dub, I had a less than ideal impression of the show. I thought that the characters would be shallow and Mary-Sue, it’d be very cliche’ “guy saves girl all the time”, and probably cheesy. After making it through only a portion of the series though, I’ve realized how wrong I was.
Sailor Moon was ahead of its time. The anime aired in Japan in 1992, and first aired in the U.S. in 1995, albeit with a lot of censorship. With the social issues we find ourselves embroiled in today, I appreciate being able to watch a show that shows homosexual relationships, healthy friendships between women, balanced heterosexual relationships, and young women who seriously kick ass. All of the aforementioned are treated as absolutely normal. Some of the above weren’t depicted in American television, animated or otherwise, until within the last ten years or so. I have also been surprised at how much the men in the series are either needing rescuing themselves, or rescue the women they love not because of some chivalrous act, but because it’s a selfless love that has nothing to do with whether the woman in question is capable of defending themselves or not. Obviously, the Sailor Guardians are more than capable and almost always are the ones to finish a conflict the victor. Women hold so much power in this series – whether it’s Queen Beryl, Princess Serenity, the Sailor Guardians themselves – they are the ones the story is about and they’re the ones that
have the power to save the Solar system from any evil that comes its way.
I didn’t expect to fall in love with the characters as much as I did. Each one has their unique personalities, good and bad traits. They’re normal middle-s
chool girls that have this huge mission on their shoulders, and they handle it well. It’s a great reminder that all of us were there at some point in our lives. I’m finding myself laughing with them, crying with them, cheering for their victories and rallying for them when they fall. You get to know them and then you watch them grow throughout the series, and sometimes you forget that they are in middle school and have to navigate all of the normal issues of growing
up and defend themselves and the world against forces determined to destroy everything.
The part that I least expected to enjoy was watching an entire series where I can’t understand any of the words that I’m hearing and have to rely entirely on subtitles. Although I doubt that watching it will make me understand or speak Japanese anytime soon, it feels like I’m actually being exposed to a facet of a culture completely different from my own. I’ve always been curious about others but slow to try something that may be uncomfortable such as a language barrier. I’m glad that I have now, especially with this series.
I’m almost done watching the second season (Sailor Moon R) and when I finish, I’m planning to start another anime series, maybe something like Cardcaptor Sakura or Hunter x Hunter. Do you have any recommendations for me?