State of the Sailor Moon Fandom: 2020 Edition
After having spent the past 23+ years as a semi-active member of the community, I like to think I have a fairly good finger on the pulse of the Sailor Moon fandom. But as we’ve learned countless times in the past, “gut instinct” tends to fall short of the actual facts.
To commemorate Tuxedo Unmasked‘s fifth anniversary, I figured now was as good a time as ever to poll the fans about their favorite characters, seasons, and version of the Sailor Moon franchise! 1,299 responses later and I think we’re in a place to start identifying some interesting trends.
If you’ve ever wondered who the most popular Senshi is in the English speaking world, how unloved Mamoru is, and how many people still prefer Scouts over Guardians, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re going to dive deep into the fans that have kept Sailor Moon alive even when the franchise lay dormant.
Sailor Moon SuperS: What Went Wrong?
In all my years of writing about Sailor Moon, I’ve found that Sailor Moon SuperS seems to be the odd duck of the series. Some fans swear by it as peak Sailor Moon while others recommend skipping it entirely. And yet I hear none of these complaints levied against the manga. In fact, it’s generally well-loved among fans — which I suppose bodes well for the upcoming movies!
The reason for all this, of course, is due to the peculiar decision to take an extreme departure from Ms. Takeuchi’s storyline and try new things with the anime.
But that’s not good enough for me. I want… nay, need answers! Why did the anime production staff decide to deviate from the manga story? Why did they cut so many characters? And why did the story take such a comical turn?
Today we’re going to take a look into what the anime staff were thinking and the reasoning behind their changes. Sit back, grab a coffee, and read on — things are about to get Super!
A sketch penned and signed by Naoko Takeuchi
Naoko Takeuchi: a name — for readers of this blog at least — synonymous with love, justice, and unparalleled stories.
But have you ever taken the time to actually look at her name? At the way she composes the individual letters and expresses herself through them?
I know I never had. At least not until a few days ago, when I found myself faced with the challenge of trying to determine if a manga purportedly signed by the legendary author herself was legitimate or not. And from there I fell down the rabbit hole of analyzing every aspect of her signature.
If you’re as interested in learning everything there is to know about Naoko Takeuchi as I am, stick around! We’ve got a lot to talk about today, as well as some tips and tricks to make sure you don’t end up buying a counterfeit signature someday!
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.
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!
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!
Doesn’t this make you want to buy one??
The story, at least according to Moonie lore, 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 hole and see whether Sailor Moon’s most iconic wand was really a money grab in disguise!
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!