Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from Magical Girls

I ran across this amusing meme while looking up stuff for some of my earlier posts over the weekend.

Back in the day, it used to be standard for Saturday morning cartoons to present some kind of heavy-handed life lesson, usually in a segment at the end where the characters would break the fourth wall and preach at the audience. On occasion, these segments could take on a life of their own, as anyone who has heard the phrase, “And knowing is half the battle,” can attest.

The DiC dub back the mid-90s added such a segment to the first two seasons of Sailor Moon, even after it had gone out of style, but the above image aptly explains why that was a bad idea. Sailor Moon is a wish-fulfillment fantasy, but Sailor Moon is not a role model. If you want the stuff Usagi has, acting like Usagi is the last thing you should do: for the most obvious example, you don’t get the Sailor Moon bod by following the Sailor Moon diet, but other examples could be multiplied.

The manga’s worse. There’s actually a chapter in there in which she’s on the phone, lying to her parents that she’s having a sleepover at Makoto’s apartment … when she’s actually sleeping with her boyfriend.

And this was a comic ostensibly aimed at twelve-year-old girls. I wouldn’t let my daughter read it. She might get ideas.

My Job Here Is Done

I noticed the traffic ticking up mysteriously last night and into today, so I said to myself, “You guys really like all that hard work I put in on the review of Sailor Moon S, eh?”

No, it actually turns out that there’s a Reddit called “AskWomen,” where someone posed the question, “What childhood crush did you have that you still cringe about today?” The answers are kind of hilarious, and include the following:

The link labeled “white tie” goes to my essay on Tuxedo Mask’s fashion faux pas. I see now that my labor in the name of men’s formalwear was not in vain.

It so happens I was thinking of writing a sequel on Haruka Tenou’s fashion faux pas. Maybe I’ll get on that.

Anime Review: ‘Sailor Moon S,’ Part 1

Better than it has any right to be.

Sailor Moon S: Part 1 (Season 3). Directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara et al. Written by Sukehiro Tomita et al. Story by Naoko Takeuchi. Starring Kotono Mitsuishi, Michie Tomizawa, and Aya Hisakawa. Toei Animation, 1994-1995. North American re-release by Viz Media and Warner Bros., 2016. 19 episodes of 25 minutes (approx. 475 minutes). Rated TV-14.

Long have I desired to discuss Sailor Moon S with you, mostly because I get to write the word “Uranus” over and over again. I highly recommend that you take every sentence in this essay containing the word “Uranus” and read it aloud, preferably in the presence of someone who doesn’t know the context. Continue reading “Anime Review: ‘Sailor Moon S,’ Part 1”

Sailor Moon S!

All right, this review is taking me more time than I expected, and it’s getting pretty long. It’s like I’m writing another frickin’ novel over here. But I’m not done: there are a lot more things I want to say about Uranus. A lot more.

(Adolescent snigger.)

I didn’t get this done on time, and I got stuff to do tomorrow, so I’ve got to call it quits. Expect a discussion of Sailor Moon S to go up tomorrow night.

Jake and the Dynamo Update

Featured image: “A Magical Girl” by AngusBurgers, which he describes as “a magical skeletal with correct anime proportions.”

I know activity’s sporadic here, but my free time is limited. I did finally make it all the way through the recently released, uncensored first half of Sailor Moon S, and I have a lot I want to say about it, so look for that in the near future. Since I approached the Sailor Moon franchise first through the manga and then through Crystal and then through the Nineties anime, all in rapid succession, I’ve been enjoying making comparisons between the three. It’s particularly interesting to see how Sailor Moon S diverges from its source material more completely than Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon R did. As usual, I sometimes like the changes and sometimes don’t. Uranus is way less annoying in the animated version, mostly because they found a way to give her an internal conflict that isn’t stupid like the manga’s version.

Speaking of crossdressers in magical girl stories, the rough of chapter 25 of Jake and the Dynamo is complete. That’s what I’ve been dedicating my spare time to. It’s got a scene in it I’ve been looking forward to writing for quite a while now, and we’ll see the return of a character that some readers have asked about.

Is ‘Sailor Moon R: The Movie’ Too Gay?

Featured image: Totally a real screenshot from the film and not some crazy cosplaying by GeshaPetrovich.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie, directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. Screenplay by Sukehiro Tomita. Starring Kotono Mitsuishi, Aya Hisakawa, and Michie Tomizawa. Toei Animation, 1993. In limited release from Viz Media, 2017. Dubbed. Runtime 78 minutes. Rated PG.

We’ll get to the meaning of the deliberately provocative clickbait title of this review in a moment. But first, let’s cover the preliminaries.

So, I just saw Sailor Moon R: The Movie, the first North American theatrical release of a Sailor Moon film, courtesy of Viz Media, which now owns the North American distribution rights. The film originally came out in 1993 and runs a mere hour and eighteen minutes. I hope some other showings around the country are more successful than the one I attended, or Viz Media is going to go broke, and I don’t want them to go broke until they finish releasing the series. Continue reading “Is ‘Sailor Moon R: The Movie’ Too Gay?”

‘Sailor Moon R: The Movie’ Update 2

I’ve been extremely busy, and I’m running on about five hours of sleep a night, so I apologize for the sporadic posting.

Anyway, I found out in the middle of the day today, Friday, that I have to work on Saturday. That means my movie ticket for Sailor Moon R: The Movie Reloaded just got worthless.

I’m crushed, of course. This would have been my first in-theater magical girl experience. I was looking forward to driving three hours just to see an animated one-and-a-half-hour film. I was looking forward to having an excuse to wear a Sailor Moon T-shirt. I was looking forward to hanging out with soccer moms trying desperately to recapture their childhoods, and college-aged special snowflakes who’ve never left theirs. Now I don’t get to.

… But wait. It seems there’s another theater with a showing on Sunday. If I set out early enough on this epic journey to see a cartoon, and drop more money for yet another ticket, I think I can swing this.

It looks like it’s one of those fancy theaters where they’ll serve you dinner during the movie, too, and that means I should be able to drink beer.

Anyway, if I can actually move heaven and earth to make it to a screening, I will review this movie. If I can’t, I won’t. Watch this space.

 

‘Sailor Moon R: The Movie’ Update

I have successfully purchased my theater ticket for the first American theatrical release of a Sailor Moon film, which runs under the impressive title of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie: The Promise of the Rose: Really Long Name for a Cartoon: It Just Keep Going: Holy Friggin’ Cow: How Many Colons Is That?

Okay, I’m kidding. I think they’re just calling it Sailor Moon R: The Movie for this release, but “The Promise of the Rose” was slapped onto the American release the first time around. This theatrical presentation will also include the first-ever American showing of the short film Make Up! Sailor Soldier, which according to Infogalactic is basically a recap episode for anyone who might be seeing the movie without having watched any of the TV series first.

Except instead of “soldier,” I think the official translation is “guardian” now, which I kind of hate. Admittedly, “sailor soldier” sounds dumb in English, but still.

And while we’re on the subject, it is ironic that, according to Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.,* sailors view soldiers with contempt and even use “soldier” as an insult meaning “lazy good-for-nothing.” To mimic the sailors’ slangy speech, Dana renders the word soldier as “soger.” According to him, the captain of a sailing vessel might even punish an especially lazy crewman by making him march up and down on the deck, holding a marlin spike as if it were a rifle. Such a humiliation is sufficient to break some men.

… And that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. Anyway, speaking of laziness, it’s kind of an epic journey to the theater from where I am, but barring some unforeseen contingency, I should be able to make it. I will put in every effort to do so, as I wouldn’t want to be seen as lazy like a soldier. Or sailor. Or sailor soldier. Or whatever.

It will no doubt be a great thrill at last to see a magical girl in the theater … and for that matter, to hear the new dub for the first time.  I’ve been watching Sailor Moon in the Japanese with subtitles. I don’t really like to indulge in the perpetual play-fighting of otaku over sub vs. dub (if anyone really cares that much, let him take the time to learn Japanese), but switching from one to the other will no doubt be jarring.

I’m really looking forward to this. It is supposed to be the best of the Sailor Moon movies.

*And no, Dana Volt is not named after Richard Henry Dana.

Merry Christmas (reprise)

Burning through Sailor Moon Crystal as I did in my last post meant spending much of my Christmas break with Sailor Moon … which sounds like pretty good company for Christmas, really.

So to keep the season merry, I pass on this little video I found, by means of which you too may spend Christmas with Sailor Moon. Sort of.