How Has the Sailor Moon Fandom Changed Since 2000?

You're the 352 Moonie to visit Tuxedo Unmasked!

You’re the 352 Moonie to visit Tuxedo Unmasked!

Over the past 20+ of my life that I’ve been following the franchise, I’ve always found myself in awe of the fact about just how great of a time it is to be a Sailor Moon fan right now. However, I can think of few years as pivotal as 2000 was.

After all, it wasn’t every day that you finally got a brand new season of your favorite show after a three year hiatus. Sailor Moon S hit North American shores with such immense force that it wouldn’t soon be forgotten… for better or for worse.1

Today I’d like to take you back through time for a glimpse into the Sailor Moon fandom back in the year 2000 as we analyze just how much it has — and hasn’t! — changed in the past two decades. Stick around, read along, and don’t forget to sign my guestbook!

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Who Rebranded Sailor Moon from Soldiers to Pretty Guardians?

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon 10th Anniversary

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon 10th Anniversary

When a series has been around for as long as Sailor Moon has, any change to the lore, artwork, or even terminology will invariably give rise to arguments among its fans. “Back in my day…” is probably a refrain many in the Sailor Moon fandom are quite familiar with.

The global rebranding from “Sailor Soldiers” to “Sailor Guardians” was, and continues to be, one such contentious topic among fans. What makes this even more interesting, however, is that at this point our favorite Sailor Senshi have actually been known as “Guardians” for far longer than they ever were branded as “Soldiers.”1

So what gives? Was it simply a change of heart, a retroactive change to the story, or just a matter of legal wrangling?

Today we’re going to take a deeper dive into the Sailor Guardian title and see what we can learn! Grab a cup of coffee and maybe a snack, because we might be here for awhile!

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What Went Into Producing a Sailor Moon Episode?

The Sailor Moon voice cast (left to right: Michie Tomizawa (Rei); Rica Fukami (Minako); Kotono Mitsuishi (Usagi); Aya Hisakawa (Ami); Emi Shinohara (Makoto))

One thing I absolutely love about Sailor Moon is the multitude of reasons why fans love the series and the different routes that brought them into our shared fandom.

Probably like many of you, I was drawn in by the fantastic story, beautiful art, and relatable characters. Sounds familiar, right?

But what kept me sticking around over the past 20+ years was something a little deeper: a fascination with how this story came to be and a passion to learn everything I could about the Sailor Moon universe.

Today we’re going to take a “look behind the curtain,” if you will, and see exactly what went into creating a Sailor Moon episode from start to finish. If you’ve ever wanted to know how all these amazingly talented people came together to create perfection, read on!

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Was Sailor Moon’s Moon Stick Created Just to Sell Toys?

Doesn't this make you want to buy one??

Doesn’t this make you want to buy one??

The story, at least according to Moonie lore,1 is that Sailor Moon’s licensed toys weren’t meeting Bandai’s sales targets. As one of the series’ major sponsors, they put the screws to politely asked Ms. Takeuchi to create something a little more toyetic to boost their profit margins, to which she responded with the beloved-yet-awkwardly-named Moon Stick.

Though a tad scandalous, it all sounds pretty par for the course when money-making enterprises are involved. What’s the problem?

Well, like many of the Sailor Moon facts we take for granted, the story isn’t quite as cut and dry as we’ve been led to believe. So today we’re going to travel down the rabbit hole2 and see whether Sailor Moon’s most iconic wand was really a money grab in disguise!

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6 Sailor Moon Seiyuu Alumni That Came Back for Crystal

Two faces, one voice

Two faces, one voice

Ever since the initial announcement of Kotono’s triumphant return as Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal, there’s been one question that I haven’t quite been able to shake: Why is she the only cast member to come back?

Be it scheduling conflicts, concerns over whether the other cast members still “fit” their characters, or simply the belief that fans would be unwilling to accept anyone else as Usagi, there are a lot of different directions to attack this question from.

What I learned through the course of my research, though, is that Kotono isn’t the only cast member to come back from the 90s anime at all — in fact, she was just one of six 90s Sailor Moon alumni to come back to Crystal.

Today we’re going into the recording booth to introduce some of the unsung heroes and heroines that voiced our favorite characters not once, but twice!

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Why Were Rules So Loose at Usagi’s School in Sailor Moon?

Makoto's Juban Junior High ID card

Makoto’s Juban Junior High ID card

Pop quiz! When you hear about Japanese schools, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

  1. A warm and inviting place to freely express yourself.
  2. A totalitarian environment that makes Joseph Stalin look like a softie.
  3. An environment centered around nurturing your unique strengths.

While technically none of those are true across the board, I think we can generally agree that 2 is a lot closer to the image of Japanese schools portrayed in most anime and video games.

And yet with all of Miss Sakurada’s throwing Usagi out of her classroom for the mere transgression of eating lunch early, I can’t help but find that Juban Junior High seems to give their students a lot of free reign.

Today we’re going to take a look at the ins and outs of Juban Junior High and see what we can find out. Be sure to comb your hair and tuck your shirt in, kids! We’re playing purely by the rules here.

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What’s the Current Status of the Sailor Moon Eternal Movie?

Sailor Moon Eternal (September 11, 2020)

Sailor Moon Eternal (September 11, 2020)

In spite of all the different anime, manga, musicals, live action TV dramas, and even novelizations that retell the same story, it’s probably safe to say that Sailor Moon Crystai is probably the most divisive adaptation within the Sailor Moon franchise.

But regardless of which side of the fence you sit on in this never-ending debate,1 I think we can all agree that it’s been way too long since the story left off a full three and a half years ago.

Fortunately, that wait is almost over.

Today we’re going to see what the cast and crew behind the Sailor Moon: Eternal movie have to say about the upcoming release and see what we can uncover! You may want to grab some popcorn, because it’s going to be a long ride ahead!

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