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Sailor Moon

From Academic Kids

This page is about the full Sailor Moon franchise. For more detailed information on the title character, see Usagi Tsukino.

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Sailor Moon (in full, 美少女戦士セーラームーン, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn, literally Beautiful young girl soldier Sailor Moon) is the name of a famous 18-volume shōjo manga by Naoko Takeuchi serialized in Kodansha's Nakayoshi in Japan, and of many of the spinoff series — in multiple media, including anime, musical theatre, video games and recently tokusatsu (live action with special effects) — which have been based on it. The story of the metaseries revolves around the reincarnated defenders of a destroyed kingdom that spanned the Solar System, and the evil forces they battle.

At 200 episodes, aired in Japan on a first-run basis between March 1992 and February 1997, the Sailor Moon anime is the longest magical girl anime metaseries and generally credited with popularizing the concept of a sentai (team) of magical girls rather than ones working alone. Although many shows have followed the same formula, most are generally considered to be relatively uninspired and none have ever been the marketing giant this anime has become. Because of its adapations in numerous countries, Sailor Moon was arguably one of the most famous anime in the world.

The anime's first two series contain stories that vaguely revolve around the backdrop of the Silver Millennium (an ancient kingdom on the moon) and the superficially-related kingdom in the future. The third series is quite dark in comparison, while the fourth is sometimes considered overly light and silly. The metaseries enjoyed renewed interest in its final fifth series, although its reuse of many plot devices bothered some fans.

The most-recently-produced tokusatsu series is known officially as Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (usually abbreviated by fans to simply PGSM), and it is the first series in the franchise to have an official English title. Allowing for deviations, it more closely followed the original manga than the animated metaseries in its first few episodes, but proceeded to follow a significantly different storyline than those of the manga and anime later in the show. The first episode of the series aired on October 4, 2003, with its 49th and final episode airing on September 25, 2004. Two movies of the tokusatsu are scheduled; the first, Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Special Act, due for Region-2 DVD and VHS release in Japan on November 26, 2004, and Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon Act Zero, due for DVD and VHS release in Japan on March 25, 2005.

Although many concepts in the manga, anime and tokusatsu show overlap, there are many notable divergences. Fans caution viewers not to always use information from either source to explain the other.

Contents

Story background

Naoko Takeuchi amalgamated many seemingly disparate themes in the creation of Sailor Moon. Combining her love of space with Greek myth, Roman myth, Japanese elemental themes, and Meiji Era sailor-fuku school uniforms, she managed to fuse the popular magical girl and sentai genres and create a completely new and original idea.

The premise is as follows: 14-year-old junior high student Usagi Tsukino discovers that she is the reincarnation of Princess Serenity, the princess of an ancient Moon kingdom. Her role as defender of the Solar System has been reissued to her in light of the reemergence of the evil force that originally destroyed her kingdom, the Silver Millennium. (Note: in the original Japanese versions, Silver Millennium is the name of the moon kingdom. In the English dub, "Silver Millennium" seems to refer to the kingdom and the time when it existed.) She fights using the identity of Sailormoon ("Sailor Moon" is used in the English dub, while both "Sailormoon" and "Sailor Moon" appear in the Japanese manga and anime-related sources). As the series progresses, Sailormoon is reunited with other reincarnated defenders—the princess's guardian soldiers. She is also reunited with her lover, the prince of Earth, who serves equally as romantic interest and primary protector.

The Japanese Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) anime metaseries is composed of five separate series:

  • Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon) (usually referred to by fans as the "Classic" series, to avoid confusion with the entire metaseries)
  • Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn R (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R), which is actually two series. According to the Memorial Song Box booklet, "R" stands for "Romance," "Rondo," "Return," etc.; the R for the first series is usually said to stand for "Return" and the R for the second series is said to stand for "Romance."
  • Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn S (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S) ("S" stands for "Super")
  • Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn SuperS (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon SuperS) (The "S" after the "Super" does make it plural as you can tell in the way that it is pronounced (suupazu).)
  • Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn Sailor Stars (Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Sailor Stars)

There are three Sailor Moon movies, and these have independent stories that are separate from the series. The movies fall in the general timeline of each of the three middle series (R, S, and SuperS).

There are a few specials as well: Sailor Moon SuperS Special, and Sailor Moon SuperS Plus: Ami-chan no Hatsukoi (Ami's First Love), both of which take place around the SuperS series. Additionally, there are several Sailor Moon soundtracks available.

Musical adaptations

Main article: Seramyu

The musicals, usually referred to collectively as Seramyu, are a series of live theatre productions that have played over 800 performances in some 26 musicals since 1993. The producers generally follow and expand upon plot concepts presented in the anime and manga, however there are several original plot lines.

The series generally runs twice a year, in the winter and in the summer. In the summer the only venue for the musicals is the Sunshine Theatre in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo; however in the winter it does also tour to the larger cities in Japan.

The lastest incarnation of the series, "The New Legend of Kaguya Island" [Revised Edition] (新・かぐや島伝説 <改訂版>, Shin Kaguyashima Densetsu (kaiteban)), will be staged in January of 2005. After the January 2005 show, the series will then go on a "short hiatus," according to the current producer, BMO.

English adaptations

English-dubbed anime

Main Article: English Adaption of Sailor Moon Anime

On August 28, 1995, a dubbed North American version of the anime began its run in Canada on YTV, and on September 11 of the same year, Cartoon Network in the United States began airing the program. Many changes were made to the basic storyline; it was rewritten to conform to the much tighter regulations of American television to young children. Purist Sailor Moon and many anime fans familiar with the Japanese original disliked it, although may grudgingly admit it introduced them into anime.

English-language manga

The manga was translated into English by TOKYOPOP (then Mixx). The manga was initially syndicated in MixxZine but was later pulled out of that magazine and put in a monthly comic book format. Sailor Moon later made an appearance in SMILE magazine. Both MixxZine (which later became TOKYOPOP magazine) and SMILE have been discontinued.

By and large, the TokyoPop names match the Cloverway names with a smattering of the original Japanese names, to avoid confusion for American audiences (with the exception of Usagi Tsukino, given the nickname "Bunny"). The manga is flipped to read left to right. As Sailor Moon was Mixx's first title, the series is considered to be the most poorly translated of all of Mixx's manga.

The manga was released as three series based on the story arcs, Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Moon StarS. The original version of the manga published by MixxZine was in comic book form (approx. 10 by 6.5 inches) and also held the Chix Comix logo. These comics range from acts 1 through 35 (discontinued) and had color covers but black and white pages. The current graphic novels sold by TokyoPop range from 1 - 11 (Sailor Moon), 1 - 4 (SuperS), and 1 - 3 (StarS) and also have color covers and black and white pages.

TOKYOPOP has expressed interest in re-releasing the Sailor Moon manga, but for licensing problems, it cannot do so as of December 2004.

English-language reference

Possibly due to the large number of variances in the localizations, the original Japanese names are more commonly used in the U.S. The poor quality of the early dub and the somewhat bad first impressions TokyoPop (then Mixx) left on fans at first may also have contributed to a general disdain for the American names.

Characters


Missing image
Smlogo.gif
This logo was used for the Sailor Moon anime.

Sailor Moon Characters
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Pgsm.jpg
This logo was used for the live-action Sailor Moon series.

Protagonists Usagi Tsukino | Ami Mizuno | Rei Hino | Makoto Kino | Minako Aino | Setsuna Meioh | Michiru Kaioh | Haruka Tenoh | Hotaru Tomoe
Mamoru Chiba | Chibiusa | Chibi Chibi | Sailor Starlights | Princess Kakyuu | Luna | Artemis | Diana | Queen Serenity

Manga and Anime Villains "Dark Kingdom" Sailormoon/ Sailormoon: Queen Metallia | Queen Beryl | Shitennou ("Four Kings")
"Doom Tree" (Does Not Appear/R (Return)) : Ail (Alan) | En (Ann) | Makaiju (Doom Tree)

"Black Moon" (Black Moon/ R(Romance)): Death Phantom | Demande | Saphir | Esmeraude | Rubeus | Ayakashi Sisters

"Death Busters" (Infinity Arc/ Super): Pharaoh 90 | Mistress 9 | Professor Tomoe | Germatoid | Kaolinite | Witches 5
"Dead Moon Circus" (Dream Arc/ SuperS): Nehelenia | Zirconia | Zircon | Amazon Trio | Amazoness Quartet
"Shadow Galactica" (Stars Arc/ Sailorstars): Chaos | Sailor Galaxia | Iron Mouse | Aluminum Siren | Lead Crow | Tin Nyanko | Heavy Metal Papillon | Sailor Lethe | Sailor Mnemosyne | Sailor Phi | Sailor Chi | Sailor Chaos

Live Action and Myuu Villains "Sera Myuu" (Musicals) : | Pewter Fox | Titan Kerokko
"Pretty Guardian Sailormoon" (Live Action Sailormoon): | Mio Kuroki

Support Cast Shingo Tsukino | Ikuko Tsukino | Kenji Tsukino | Naru Osaka | Gurio Umino | Haruna Sakurada | Motoki Furuhata | Unazuki Furuhata | Yūichirō Kumada

Major protagonists

The names shown after the Japanese names are those used in the North American translations. See the individual articles and the article on the Sailor Senshi for more detail.

  • Usagi Tsukino (月野うさぎ) / Serena Tsukino - The main character of the series, Usagi is a ditzy schoolgirl with a heart of gold. She transforms into Sailor Moon. (Her nickname in the English manga is Bunny.)
  • Mamoru Chiba (地場 衛) / Darien Shields - Usagi's boyfriend and destined true love reincarnate. He transforms into Tuxedo Mask.
  • Ami Mizuno (水野 亜美) / Amy Mizuno - The genius best friend of Usagi. She transforms into Sailor Mercury.
  • Rei Hino (火野 レイ) / Raye Hino - A miko who attends a Catholic private school, although she is Shinto. She transforms into Sailor Mars.
  • Makoto Kino (木野 まこと) / Lita Kino - The very tall tomboy who lives alone because her parents died in an airplane crash. She transforms into Sailor Jupiter.
  • Minako Aino (愛野 美奈子) / Mina Aino - She acted on her own as Sailor V before joining the other Sailor Senshi. She transforms into Sailor Venus.

Notes on antagonists

In the North American dub, all of the different groups of antagonists are lumped together under the generic term "Negaverse", without really differentiating between them. This changes somewhat by the S and SuperS series, where the antagonists are seen in their proper (if renamed) groups.


External links

  • Sailormoon Channel (http://sailormoon.channel.or.jp/): The official homepage
  • The Manga of Naoko Takeuchi (http://www.kurozuki.com/takeuchi/): Translations of the original Sailormoon manga, with new translations of the shinzoubon (New Volumes).
  • Usagi and Mamoru Dot Com (http://www.usagiandmamoru.com): Information about the manga, as well as the complete collection of the original translations.
  • Hitoshi Doi's Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon online encyclopedia (http://www.tcp.com/doi/smoon/smoon.html): Information and synopses from the anime.
  • The Sailormoon FAQ (http://www.sailormoon.org/faq/): Covering all character and episode information, including dubbed versions.
  • The Moon Garden (http://ilsevet.tripod.com/main.html): Information on the Sailor Moon manga
  • DIES GAUDII (http://www.absoludicrous.net/antares7/): Contains articles on etymologies of Sailor Moon words and fact checking on plot points.
  • Sailor Moon la Saban: Debunked (http://www.animefringe.com/magazine/01.06/feature/2/index.php3): An interview with the president of Toon Makers, who contracted with Saban to produce their pilot
  • A Sailor Moon Romance (http://www.moonromance.net/portal.php): A forum and archive for Sailor Moon and anime fan fiction
  • TV-Nihon (http://tvnihon.com/): Fansub group for PGSM
  • Average Chat (irc://irc.anime-chat.com/): An IRC network relating to anime and Sailor Moon
  • The Sailor Senshi Page (http://www.eternalsailormoon.org/) - Has information and current news on the series.
  • Warriors of Legend (http://www.warriorsoflegend.com/) - the website for Genvid L.L.C's Warriors of Legend books series, in which Warriors of Legend: Reflections of Japan in Sailor Moon is the first book.
  • Genvid (http://www.genvid.com/): English-language PGSM blog and discussion site.de:Sailor Moon

es:Sailor Moon fi:Sailor Moon fr:Sailor Moon it:Sailor Moon ja:美少女戦士セーラームーン nl:Sailor Moon pl:Czarodziejka z księżyca simple:Sailor Moon sv:Sailor Moon zh:美少女战士

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