No, I was not living under a rock. I just have not picked this show up during my childhood, shocking as one may call it. I did not wish to bother myself with it since it was too long for watch through, but now that there is news of a remake of this series come next summer, I thought to myself, “Now might be the best time than never to watch this series.” That said, here is my take on this series that should have been a part of my childhood.
The story revolves around Tsukino Usagi (Serena in the English Dub) as she happens to come across a mysterious cat with a bandage on her forehead. Removing it, not only does the cat somehow gained human speech, but also tells her that she is chosen to become the protector for the princess she is supposed to guard. From her transformation sequence to dealing with various scary demons, Usagi does not catch a break in dealing with whatever comes her way, even if she does not want to. It is this type of character archetype that I despise the most; those who have the power to help others but instead cower at the situation and not do anything about it, only to gain a sudden surge of power when they are calmed down or they realize something. However, I do sympathize with her, as she is just an eight-grade, middle school girl who just wanted to have a normal life full of her definition of happiness. This is a girl who will just about do anything to save her friends from danger, an important feature if one is dealing with the growing interest of anime in the United States for the younger generation (my generation).
Maybe it is because I am a college student and have a more developed hindsight of the world that shows like Sailor Moon simply do not pique my interest had I been much younger and watched it on TV on Toonami Jetstream and other affiliated channels. However, if there is one thing that I enjoyed much about this series, it is the slow and building character development of our little hero, Usagi. Throughout the beginning of the series, this girl would do nothing more but freeze due to fright and cry because she cannot believe that she can deal with things she finds scary, only to get her hopes up when Tuxedo Mask comes, saves her, and gives her words of encouragement to fight. As the series progresses, Usagi learns just what kind of a situation she is in and what she is going through. With such a serious calamity about to happen, the weight on her shoulders temporarily becomes much to heavy for her to handle. Her reaction is easily understood. To her, she is only a 14-year-old, how should be experiencing a apex of her middle school and teenage life. Fighting demons, going against a large evil organization, defeating the big bad boss – maybe someone who does not question their existence would not have any trouble with this, but not her. Over time, she accepts the challenge, knowing that if she does not do anything, the world is going to perish the same way that it did many years ago. Besides, she is not alone, as there are other sailor warriors who will be right by her side to help her with her troubles.
Probably my favorite character throughout the first series was Nephrite. Here was a guy who used to do anything to gain some attention from the queen and power to their great demon lord, only to be defeated every time by the Sailor Warriors. During one of his more successful attempts to get some energy, he falls in love with Usagi’s best friend Naru, who is also shown to have feelings for him. The interactions between him and Naru and the expressions and emotions that he gained as he talked to her made him much more human than any other main villain portrayed. Of course, as soon as he said that he would abandon this role and status in the demon world in order to stay by Naru’s side forever, his death flag was waving high in the air, almost asking someone to do something to him. Sadly, he died a heroic death, saving the girl who taught him not only what it means to be human, but also gain the affections of what a human heart should have. Sure, a relationship between a demon and a human may have some people raising their eyebrows, but it is hard to dislike someone who sacrificed his life to save the one he loves. Tragic villains are a plus in my books, and Nephrite takes that role well.
While this show has not done much for me, I can see how such things may have moved many people into rooting for the fellow girls back in the day. If anything, I may be able to use my experience with this show as a comparison to how the future adaptation of the show is going to turn out. While I am not an avid manga reader, I have heard that the manga for this was supposed to be much deeper and certainly darker than one meant to give girls the wish to be sailor warriors like these characters. In any case, with the sense of how the show looked like back then, I am looking forward to what next year may bring to this show.