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[In Which I Watch] Sailor Moon

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Cartoon Poet
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Damn it! I got all excited over a new book.
Sorry, I've got a B.A. and I still remember how to use it. :p

Same editor as the Annals of the Society for the Examination of Non-Existent Film and New Media, by the way. I'm a lifetime member.
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Registered User
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Oddly enough, this has inspired me to order the first three volumes of the manga.
I've heard some high praise for the manga from people who consider it vastly superior to the anime.
Personally, I thought the manga was amazingly boring. The humor, the charm, the character development of the anime...all of it, missing. Not to mention, the villains were utterly flat and one-dimensional.
Give me the anime any time of the day (even if it does use and abuse filler and everyplot).


Unrepentant Froggie
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I agree. This thread has been inspiring me to re-read the manga for comparison (I got it a decade ago), and it's very bland.

The villains have no personality (since they have a lot less face time : three chapters against 13 episodes for Jadeite, for example), and their plans aren't any better (they thankfully scrapped the one with the bridal mannequins kidnapping random people in both the anime and live-action).

Moreover, the whole atmosphere feels... off. I love the idea in the anime of our heroines twiddling their thumbs waiting for the bad guys to attack, and the bad guys being mostly incompetent screw-ups. This is absolutely not the case in the manga, where there is a strong sense of menace and impending doom. People die, and they die quickly and brutally (the fight scenes are much quicker in this medium). The Sailor soldiers kill themselves most of the minibosses without an afterthought (the corpses of the Generals are a grueling sight).

The main problem with this : it's very repetitive (even more than the anime). Every manga arc follows more or less the same plot structure (which I won't spoil here), which becomes very numbing after a while.

Which is a shame, because there are lots of interesting ideas in there. But they're not very well developped, the nuggets of good characterization being steamrolled by the oppressive plot.

My main problem with the manga, though, is the artwork. It just isn't very good. The characters all look the same, without the advantage of colour to distinguish between them. Worse : they're drawn in half a dozen different styles... But when they're drawn in the same style, they look identical. It's a bit bizarre. The fights scenes are often unclear, and the backgrounds often completely missing.

No-Brand Hero

Heroicus Genericus
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Yeah, my impression of the manga when I tried to read it was that it was deeply surreal and kinda hard to follow. Also a lot darker than the anime. Not only do the Senshi pretty much slaughter the Shittenou (the four generals) out of hand, they then turn around and reveal that the Shittenou
Spoiler: Show
were mind-controlled heroes rather than true villains.


Unrepentant Froggie
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I was very pleased when the live-action series took that particular (spoilered) plot point and completely ran with it, making it a major plot thread that drives the characterization of at least six characters.

In contrast, the manga never did anything much with it, and the anime completely ignored it.


Cartoon Poet
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"Lemon curry?"

• LENG: This shit just got real.
Queen Beryl: "No excuses, no promises, no 'cunning plans.' You've gathered us a lot of energy, and I'm tolerably grateful for that, but you've also permitted not just one but three teenaged humans to walk all over our plans, repeatedly. I'll use short words: You kill them or I kill you. Dismissed."

• TSUKINO RESIDENCE: Usagi and Luna are watching the stars.
Usagi: (singing) "True love can be whispered from heart to heart / When lovers are parted, they say / But I must depend on a wish and a star / As long as my heart doesn't know who you are / Sweet dreams, be yours, dear, if dreams there be / Sweet dreams to carry you close to me / I wish they may and I wish they might / Now goodnight, my someone, goodnight…"
Usagi: "Sigh. Wouldn't it be convenient if Motoki and Tuxedo Mask were the same guy?"
Luna: "Usagi's love is like the foam of the sea."
Usagi: "Beautiful and delicate?"
Luna: "Impermanent and salty."

• SUDDENLY: Jadeite's face appears in the sky.
Usagi /!

All Tokyo listens as Jadeite issues a challenge to the Sailors: "Haneda Airport, Runway F, 0100 hours tomorrow night. Be there, or I'll burn Tokyo to the ground!" *snap snap snap!*

Usagi: "Oh no he didn't!"

• AND SO: Planning session at the temple grounds.
Rei: "¡We've been called out! Let's burn his ass."
Ami: "Why play his game and walk into his trap? If we take him, let's take him on our terms."
Rei: "I'd rather not see Tokyo nuked thankyouverymuch."
Ami: "Frankly, I doubt he actually has that kind of power. He's bluffing."
Luna: "Usagi, what's your vote?"
Usagi: "…I vote for the one where we get to stay home where it's safe!"
Rei: "And here I thought you liked me."

"…Tokyo Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident as a harmless prank, perhaps by university students, but due to concerns about terrorism, police have been despatched to protect the airport."

Umino: "It's an alien invasion!"
Naru: "I don't think it's aliens. Trust me on this one."
Student #1: "Hey, let's go there and watch tonight!"
Student #2: "Great idea! What could possibly go wrong?"
Usagi: "Of all the stupid– It'll be dangerous! Do you want to get caught in the crossfire?!"
Umino: "Crossfire of what?"
Usagi: "Of the– er– um–"
Umino "What do you know that I don't?"
Usagi /Subject Changing Prana. "Besides, it's a school night, and we should be studying!"
Umino /dies.
Naru: "Who are you, and where have you tied up the real Usagi?"
Ms. Haruna /checks Usagi's temperature.
Usagi: "I try to actually be serious like everyone wants me to be, and you people make fun of it!"
Usagi /cries.
Ms. Haruna: "Oh, thank goodness, she's back to normal!"

• LATER: The Video Game Arcade
Usagi: "–and everyone makes fun of it!"
Motoki: "But saying crazed things is part of your endearing charm! It's one reason why I like you."
Usagi: "Really?" /floats out of the arcade.
…and trips over Mamoru!
Mamoru: "Again with the shoe throwing? You're out to get me, you strange little person."
Usagi: "Some guys like strange! So there!"
Mamoru: "Some guys are losers with no taste."
Usagi: "…"
Mamoru /suddenly realizes he went too far.
Usagi: "YOU'RE MEAN." /cries
Usagi /and cries
Usagi /and cries
Everyone in earshot sees a mean man making a younger schoolgirl cry.
Mamoru /stammers an apology and flees.

• THAT NIGHT: Haneda Airport.
Uniformed police and counter-sniper teams are on duty, and have the area fenced off to prevent curious onlookers. There's probably a news crew roaming about with telephoto lenses hoping for a scoop.

Enter Jadeite, illuminated by spotlights. "Sleep, my pretties! BWAHAHAHA!" /casts spell.

• CUT TO: Hamamatsuchô Station, Tokyo Monorail Platform.
[The author would take to extend his grateful thanks to the Wikipedia Foundation for making researching these locations simple.]

Enter our heroes, bickering as usual.
Usagi: "…oh, darn, the train isn't running."
Ami: "I told you, it's after hours and it'll be closed. And you know, I don't think there even is a Runway F at Tokyo International."
Rei: "¿We could take a taxi?"

Suddenly, the Monorail powers up and the doors slide open. There is no one in sight.

Rei: "…I think we've been offered an invitation." /leads the way.

• A LONG TRIP OUT: They watch the lights of the city and consider the battle to come.
Luna: "…oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit…"
Usagi: "Are you okay?"
Luna /thinks: "They're gonna screw up. They're gonna screw up."
Luna /says out loud: "I've got a bad feeling about this one, but you'll do fine."

Usagi: "Well, there's the police. Looks like nothing's happening."
Ami: "There should be several members of the Tokyo Special Assault Team somewhere around. It's a wonder we haven't been spot–"

Out of nowhere, police officers try to attack the kids with fists and bludgeons. Rei counterattacks with a few karate moves—and I assume it really <i>is</i> karate, and not some other striking art—which throws them off balance for a moment.

Usagi: "Again with the zombiefied minions?"
Rei: "Run like hell!"

The kids are running out of breath, and the mob of policemen is gaining.
Ami /gets that Rock Okajima look. "…I'm not running away any more."
Rei: "I'm with you."
Usagi: "What? Oh, yeah, powers."

This time with new music!
Usagi into Sailor Moon: 13
Usagi into Disguise Form: 5
Ami into Sailor Mercury: 4
Rei into Sailor Mars: 3

Usagi: "I hate fighting zombies. Hate it! Hate it! It's so bloody tedious!"
Rei simply fireballs the fuck out of the mob of policemen. Flaming bits rain down everywhere.
Rei /¿?
Ami /putting aside her tricorder. "It's a good thing those weren't real humans."
Rei: "…"
Rei: "…Yes. Yes. It's a good thing they weren't real humans, as they clearly were not."
Rei: "Eh-heh."
Luna: "…"
Jadeite /suddenly reveals himself. "GOTCHA! I saw you transform! Now I know your secret identities!"
All: "Frell!"
Jadeite: "Not that it matters. 'The life of a flower is short and full of suffering.'"
Usagi: "They say, 'Beauty and good fortune seldom go hand in hand.'"
Rei: "¿Just what part of you is beautiful?"
Usagi: "Well, at least I'll die prettier than you."
Rei: "¿Seriously, which part? Name one."
Usagi: "My… nose." /cutely beeps.
Rei: "¡Ha! A monkey has—"
Jadeite: "Don't mind me, I'm finding all this quite amusing."
Ami: "Let's get on with it, please."
Jadeite: "If you insist. Behold!"

Empty jet planes begin spinning up—and start homing in on the Senshi.
Usagi: "Luna! Come up with a plan!"
Luna: "RUN!"
Ami: "Cute! Cute plan!"

Rei /rolls up sleeves. "One Dragon Slave, coming up—"
Luna: "Do you have any idea how much a jet plane costs?!"
Rei: "They can bill me."
Ami: "I'm sorry, Mars, but I do not want to be covered in flaming jet fuel before I'm eighteen. There's a blast radius on those things, you know."
Usagi: "Well, think of something, because we're running out of runway."

Enter Tuxedo Mask, dramatically, armed with +3 blessed throwing roses.
Tuxedo Mask: "Having fun making little girls cry?"
Jadeite: "Yes. Yes, I am."
Tuxedo Mask can fly!
So can Jadeite!
They have a manly fist-fight in mid-air!
And then crash-land in the Bay, because they can't do two things at once.

Only Jadeite emerges from the water.
Jadeite: "Yes—he's dead, so cry and fail! Can you do nothing without the help of a man?! Women are such foolish creatures in the end!"

Shocked pause.

Rei /starts laughing and can't stop.
Ami: "I believe the 'gentleman' is under the mistaken impression that this is the Eighteen-Nineties."
Usagi: "Let's show this prehistoric son-of-a-bitch how we do things downtown."

Ami /creates fog.
Usagi /sprints out of the fogbank, drawing the planes off.
Usagi /waves arms. "Look! I'm a decoy!"
Jadeite /stands his ground. "Yes, I see that. Where are—?"
Ami /does the tap on the shoulder and fake away trick.
Jadeite /throws a plane at her.
Rei /slaps a "KICK ME" prayer strip on Jadeite's back while he's distracted.
Jadeite /spins around and claws at his back. "What—?"
Usagi: "Say 'what' again, I dare you!"
Jadeite: "What?"
Usagi: "Japanese, kono-yaro! Do. You. Speak. It?"
Jadeite /runs free of the fog, finally locating the Senshi.

Jadeite /stumbles in, clothes ripped and scorched, hair mussed, tire marks up his back.
Jadeite /gasping. "Milady, at tremendous personal cost, I have discovered the identities of—"
Queen Beryl: "You have failed me for the last time, Jadeite."
Queen Beryl /sends Jadeite to the cornfield.
Queen Beryl: "You are in command now, Admiral Nephrite."

Luna: "Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… feline. Okay, let's go."
Usagi /sniffs, sobs. "But–"
Enter Tuxedo Mask, dripping.
Tuxedo Mask: "Thank you for worrying about me! But I do not die so easily. You may each ask one question."
Ami: "Why do you always come to our rescue?"
Rei: "¿Who are you, really?"
Usagi: "Do you like like me, or just like me?"
Tuxedo Mask: "And that's all the time we have! Believe in yourselves! Hi-yo, Silver, away!"
And Tuxedo Mask flies into the setting moon.
Ami: "…Wow, he's cute."
Usagi: "Not you, too?!"
Luna /didn't get to ask a question.

I felt I should do something special for the end of the story arc.

We are rapidly approaching my personal Sailor Moon Experiential Horizon, i.e. the point beyond which I haven't seen any episodes. I've only seen the first handful of episodes of the second story arc.

Here's hoping Nephrite gets a chance to file a sexual harassment suit against what's-his-name.


Emo hair power!
Validated User
Refresh my memory - is Nephrite the guy the bowdlerised localisation re-dubs as a woman?
No, that's the clearly effeminate looking Generel. Though at least having him(and much later in season 4 with Fish Eye who also was dude-looks-like-a-lady gay) be a girl works, unlike some of the more.. qestionable censorships(Though one of those takes a mildly dirty comment from the japanese version and turns it into a /hilarious/ double entendre.:D).

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