TV Party Tonight! #143

TV Party Tonight! #143

Friday, 10 May 2024

Sailor Moon R
Complete Second Season
[Blu-ray: Viz Media]

We seldom get second chances in life. I’m not talking about the big stuff, I’m talking about the stuff that matters: the little things. As an anime fan in general, I always dismissed Sailor Moon as being silly, for children, or just simply embarrassing (having established the short skirts and speed lines trope which prevails judgement of the anime genre). However, it’s presence (read: ubiquity) in Japanese pop culture is inescapable, and as more and more people whose opinions I respect lauded the series, I couldn’t help but give it a shot. My eyes are now wide open. A wrong has been righted.

It’s not just that Sailor Moon exceeded my expectations, it’s that it has damn near blown me away. The key for me, of course, is to watch it with certain eyes. This might not be a popular opinion, but the main plots and battles in Sailor Moon are almost unimportant to the enjoyment of the series. It’s really everything else that’s worth watching. Throughout its run, the show has followed a very specific formula. The sailor scouts are faced with a new seemingly-unbeatable enemy who preys on the general population for its power, and the scouts become aware of, and slowly make their way to, the final conflict by fighting a new minion every episode. That formula never changes, and honestly, is quite tired. What is endlessly exciting, enjoyable, and compelling is the social commentary Sailor Moon makes along the way, about the distinction between good and evil, about our daily struggles in society, about friendships and happiness. This show takes risks (trailblazing in many instances), makes deeps cuts and holds a mirror to society and, in the best cases, gets at the heart of the evil habits we get into. This second season (also known as Sailor Moon R), introduces the characters of Ail and Ann and Chibi Usa, who would go on to mostly annoy us for the remained of the show’s history.

Of course, there is much more to enjoy in this series, like the incredible animation, the hilarious dialogue and events, the original character designs, all of which constantly surprise us. The scouts have their own personality and flaws, and their commitment to their friendship (and proclivity for enjoying life) make this a wonderful world to inhabit.

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