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Sailor Moon Is Darker Than You Think




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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 445
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:38 pm Reply with quote
Genuinely surprised at the lack of villain discussion. I guess Mistress 9 and Black Lady technically, but I was really expecting to see a bit about villains that aren't alternate versions of or sharing bodies with main characters. More like the Amazon Trio's existential crisis or the Animamates' forced death march across the cosmos. Or even the sad and weird life of Naru the Perpetual Victim. Or that apparently vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and sea monsters actually exist on top of all the aliens and time travelers trying to destroy the Earth all the time. There's a lot of weird and dark stuff in there.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 964
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:35 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, there really isn't such a thing as a totally light-hearted magical girl series. Even Precure wondered into the realm of the nightmarish and distressing fairly often. But yeah, it's not a thing that stated with Madoka unlike what some newer fans might think.

In Sailor Moon's case, it was built in right there from the very beginning. Naoko Takeuchi wanted all the Sailor Senshi to die in her original ending after all before being stopped by her editor.
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
Posts: 597
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:12 pm Reply with quote
Sadly most people's first (and only) exposure to Sailor Moon was through the DiC dub, so I'm not surprised the majority don't realize just how weird or dark it can truly get. It is a shame though, especially when people mistakenly credit a lot of more recent magical girl series for the being the ~first~ to do something dark.
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Gem-Bug



Joined: 10 Nov 2018
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:42 pm Reply with quote
Even in the Dic version, seeing the Senshi get picked off one by one at age 9/10 was pretty traumatic. I think they were "holding off" each minion, but it was pretty clear they were each dying horribly, even if they all got reincarnated/revived next episode. Also Nephrite's death, goofy green blood or not, was something I had just never seen in a cartoon before.
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Adv193



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 142
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:32 am Reply with quote
Having spent years understanding the whole difference in the American anime censorship, I thoroughly enjoyed be exposed to the changes that were made and using my experiences with Sailor Moon to help with the information posting throughout the internet. Some of my recent work included helping update IMDB's coverage (note the Sailor Moon 1992-1997 area is the one to cover both the original Japanese and faithful VIZ dub and the other is for the previous English dubs)

Heck I even did some editing at the Hero and Villain wiki at Fandom as well as I like to help contribute. Generally information seekers like myself are open to looking at different versions of things which also included Dragon Ball Z back in the days of the Ocean Group, or how strongly Saban made changes in Digimon for their English dub with their corny jokes.

Also FYI the current Eternal Editions for the Sailor Moon Manga does not stop at Vol. 10. Coming this September Sailor V will bring out two of their own which will be the completion of the Eternal Editions (for anyone wanting to know about the material from the previous Short Story releases, I have already confirmed that they are included in the current Eternal Editions alongside the main chapters).

To also note on the darkness of the series, I agree completely with the way how the manga did it, whereas the first anime took a lighter approach so they could attract younger audiences which I could tell from the material used and while some of the darker aspects from the manga were either toned down or removed.
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
Posts: 597
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:52 am Reply with quote
Gem-Bug wrote:
Even in the Dic version, seeing the Senshi get picked off one by one at age 9/10 was pretty traumatic. I think they were "holding off" each minion, but it was pretty clear they were each dying horribly, even if they all got reincarnated/revived next episode. Also Nephrite's death, goofy green blood or not, was something I had just never seen in a cartoon before.

I saw Day of Destiny in kindergarten. I initially fell for their "kidnapped by the Negaverse!!!1" lie, until I noticed that the Inners surrounding the Princess looked suspiciously incorporeal. Got me a little emotional, but it wasn't until I watched the original two-parter that I had a strong emotional reaction to it. The Japanese version of episode 45 is one of those things you can never forget.

I will give DiC props for the Nephrite two-parter though. It's shockingly faithful in a way few DiC episodes are, and manages to be just as emotional as the Japanese version was.
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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 710
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:14 pm Reply with quote
This conversation reminds me of similar concepts people can have of iconic works they haven't engaged with, ie. "Unlike other mecha shows, THIS one is about the people!" or "Unlike other lame shonen shows, the 'power of friendship' won't save the day!"

People can have a habit of putting down stuff they haven't seen in order to raise up the stuff they like, especially if all they know are the parodies or reputation of the original (which i think applies very much to Sailor Moon). I remember basically every stock 'nerdy anime con' joke in a comedy skit or show would have the overweight middle-aged guy in a Sailor uniform, and for a long time that was my main knowledge of the series! It's unfortunate that Crystal isn't a good entry point, as it's hard for me to devote the time to a longer show like the original anime. I'll try and see if i can pick up the manga
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 445
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:38 am Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
It's unfortunate that Crystal isn't a good entry point, as it's hard for me to devote the time to a longer show like the original anime. I'll try and see if i can pick up the manga


The manga is definitely a more than adequate entry point. If you're interested in just sampling the original anime version without having to dedicate the time for all 200 episodes in order, I can provide a suggestion. Any of the seasons (original, R, S, SuperS, and StarS) have their own storyline. They do build on each other, but at the start of each new season the directors always get new viewers up to speed with developments to set the stage for the new story so you shouldn't be lost starting at the beginning of one of them. I wouldn't start with StarS, but any of the others would be fine.

I'd recommend the fan favorite S season as a pretty good start, actually (episodes 90-127 overall). If you like what you see, you can always fill in with previous seasons. It worked for me. I didn't see the original or R in their entirety until probably 10 years after I watched S on its own.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 3352
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:05 pm Reply with quote
If you're going for the 90s anime, the movies might be the best entry point as they're self-contained filler in stories and not too complicated to follow and they give you a good idea of what the themes of the series are. The BDDVD for the R movie also comes with a recap special that introduces all the characters but you can also watch the R movie free on Crunchyroll. The live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon TV series is also good to check out as it contains the best mix of elements of the 90s anime and the manga and you don't need to have any experience with other entries to watch it, but it's not officially available outside Japan.
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MauValmont



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2021 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Adv193 wrote:
Having spent years understanding the whole difference in the American anime censorship, I thoroughly enjoyed be exposed to the changes that were made and using my experiences with Sailor Moon to help with the information posting throughout the internet. Some of my recent work included helping update IMDB's coverage (note the Sailor Moon 1992-1997 area is the one to cover both the original Japanese and faithful VIZ dub and the other is for the previous English dubs)

Heck I even did some editing at the Hero and Villain wiki at Fandom as well as I like to help contribute. Generally information seekers like myself are open to looking at different versions of things which also included Dragon Ball Z back in the days of the Ocean Group, or how strongly Saban made changes in Digimon for their English dub with their corny jokes.

Also FYI the current Eternal Editions for the Sailor Moon Manga does not stop at Vol. 10. Coming this September Sailor V will bring out two of their own which will be the completion of the Eternal Editions (for anyone wanting to know about the material from the previous Short Story releases, I have already confirmed that they are included in the current Eternal Editions alongside the main chapters).

To also note on the darkness of the series, I agree completely with the way how the manga did it, whereas the first anime took a lighter approach so they could attract younger audiences which I could tell from the material used and while some of the darker aspects from the manga were either toned down or removed.


I bought the entire Kodansha manga (the one released 7 years ago - do you know if that one was also flawed in some way? I read it and seemed pretty OK based on my general knowledge of Sailor Moon, but now I'm curious about what differences there might be with the Eternal release...
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VerQuality



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 120
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:51 am Reply with quote
I have seen exactly one episode of Sailor Moon, back when I was 8 or 9. My family has never had cable, so I only ever caught the odd glance when visiting relatives. Up until that point I'd always thought of Sailor Moon as some "for girls" thing that could be safely ignored as being of no interest to me (being a boy). I still remember being vividly captivated by it - it upended my expectations completely, and I think it was one of the impressions that would eventually turn me into the full-on otaku I am today (I think there was a bus caught in some kind of black void? It's been literally decades, and it was one episode). I remember being immediately curious about the series, but in those days, finding anime on vhs was near impossible, it was expensive and bulky even if you could find it, and rental shops had slim pickings of anime (later, yugioh and FMA found their way into my local blockbuster, so that was nice, but it was quite a bit after Moon).

It's been a lingering curiosity over my whole life as an anime fan, but the releases were always a nightmare, and I didn't really get into the manga - something I attribute at least partially to the lack of filler - it never felt like I really got enough of a chance to get to know the characters. At some point, maybe during a slow season, when I'm out of Kamen Rider to watch, I'll probably just give in and pirate the full series, but until then, it's a permanent fixture on my 'someday' list - although articles like this always remind me that I WILL get to watching it someday.
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1dbad



Joined: 12 Jul 2015
Posts: 597
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:08 pm Reply with quote
VerQuality wrote:
(I think there was a bus caught in some kind of black void? It's been literally decades, and it was one episode).

That's episode 10 of the Japanese/Viz dub, or episode 7 of the old DiC Sailor Moon dub!
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VerQuality



Joined: 01 Oct 2016
Posts: 120
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:46 pm Reply with quote
1dbad wrote:
That's episode 10 of the Japanese/Viz dub, or episode 7 of the old DiC Sailor Moon dub!

That's a lot earlier in than I thought! Maybe I'll use that as an excuse to finally start watching. I'm honestly kind of amazed it's stuck in my memory for as long as it has.
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NeoStrayCat



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 526
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:09 pm Reply with quote
While yeah, Sailor Moon does get dark at times, at least there's moments where it got better, here and there.

And from some of the comments here, yeah, the DIC dub was my first exposure to the series too, and at least it has its charm here and there. Despite content changes back in the day until the uncut Viz Re-Dub. But I still like them both regardless, along with the manga that Kodansha USA has put out, up to the retranslated Eternal Editions.

Either way, just noticed in the column/article, the embedded vid got copyright claimed by Toei.
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