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Sailor Moon is back and remains as important as ever

sailor-moon-crystal
(Viz Media)

In the name of the Moon, she’s back to punish you!

That’s right, Sailor Moon is back in two new forms for everyone to enjoy. One of them is a re-dubbing of the original 1992 anime which is going to stay faithful to the original dialogue and keep the LGBT themes intact. The other is a brand new anime series called Sailor Moon: Crystal, which will be a more faithful adaption of the original manga series rather than a remake of the original anime series.

Hey, we’re not the only ones who are pumped. Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen could barely contain herself with excitement in our recent interview with her.

Now, for those of you who might not already know I was a huge fan of Sailor Moon when I was a kid. Laugh it up, insert [and you didn’t always know you were gay] jokes here, but Sailor Moon was an animated show that I really looked forward to watching. It had all the action and drama that I enjoyed, but it also had a full cast of strong females that kicked ass and saved the day/world/universe.

I really got into Sailor  Moon when I was old enough to want to watch it subtitled rather than dubbed. It was like watching an entirely different show and it made me love it even more, realizing there were darker themes of love, loss and acceptance that got lost in translation when North America decided to dub it over and re-write most of the dialogue (as well as change some of the characters genders and relationships to avoid the LGBT themes).

Who or what is Sailor Moon?

Sailor Moon tells the story of average, klutzy 14 year old student Tsukino Usagi who, on her way to school, helps out a black cat who has a bandage on its forehead. After removing the bandage, the cat, a talking cat named Luna no less, visits Usagi at her home to thank her and reveals that Usagi is a “Pretty Soldier of Love and Justice” who needs to awaken her fellow soldiers, find the Moon Princess, and stop the evil forces that threaten the Earth from finding the Legendary Silver Crystal, a powerful artifact that has the power to destroy planets if used by the wrong person.

Throughout the series Sailor Moon teams up with Tuxedo Mask, a mysterious stranger that in the beginning has his own agenda but is drawn to Sailor Moon and finds himself aiding her whenever possible, and fellow Sailor Soldiers Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. Together they use their incredible power to vanquish the evil forces that threaten their home and their future.

Why is Sailor Moon important?

I think that Sailor Moon Crystal and the re-dub of the original series are incredibly important works of pop culture. In my opinion, the original raised the bar for the treatment and depiction of women in media. Being a Japanese anime released in the 90s, it did a very good job at showing women in very strong and powerful roles. For the most part all of the heroes were female (save Tuxedo Kamen/Mask) and most of the important villains were also female (one of the more terrifying villains of the show is found in the final “series,” Sailor Galaxia). While it can be argued that Sailor Moon needs the guidance of Tuxedo Kamen to successfully defeat her foes, it has nothing to do with Sailor Moon.

With the re-dubbing and the new series the new generation will be able to experience and enjoy both the original Sailor Moon as well as the new incarnation of Sailor Moon, giving the series more exposure. With the new anime promising to be more faithful to the manga, I think it will provide more female strength, power and courage that is still missing from some shows/genres/films today. It will also provide LGBT storylines that were missing from the original series as well as a more complex and darker plot line that culminates in an ending that ties every “season/volume” together.

sailor-moon
(Viz Media)

Shows like Sailor Moon /Sailor Moon Crystal continue to show us that women can be strong and powerful and that strength and courage are genderless. Even in 2014 we still have women who think that they need to stay a step behind men in order to get by, which is absolutely untrue. Women are just as capable and shows like Sailor Moon show the younger generation that it’s okay to be powerful, to be yourself and to take charge without waiting for someone to rescue you. When all is said and done you have the power to save yourself, chart your future and succeed.

Where can I watch it?

The original series (subtitled) as well as the new series (subtitled) can be watched on CrunchyRoll.com, HULU.com as well as a few other websites. Viz Media will also be releasing a brand new Blu Ray set of the newly re-dubbed original series in November 2014.

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About Anthony Comella

Anthony Comella
Welding feminist theory with horror film criticism, Anthony seeks to help empower women's voices... all the better to scream louder with!