Gee, I wonder what this show’s about?
Quick! Name another anime besides Sailor Moon that began airing in 1992!
Pretty tough, huh? Well, that’s probably because out of the forty anime series to debut in 1992, only six of them lasted more than a year — many surviving only a few months.
While we all know Sailor Moon today as a global phenomenon, it’s easy to forget that the series was by no means a guaranteed hit. In fact, many of the parties involved in the series’ creation were so caught off guard by its success that they didn’t even have products lined up to capitalize on it!
So how did Ms. Takeuchi and co. manage to draw so many fans to Sailor Moon? And, possibly even more importantly, how did the critics react to the series?
Today we’re going to travel back to late 1991 to see what the manga/anime landscape looked like through the eyes of a budding shojo fan. Spoiler: even before the series aired, people were making fun of Tuxedo Mask’s name!
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!
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.”
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!
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!
Sailor Moon: The Next Generation
In this third and final installment, Ms. Takeuchi’s friend, editor, and partner-in-crime Fumio “Osabu” Osano goes deep and discusses the inspiration behind some of Sailor Moon‘s most pivotal scenes and the impact the series has had on society as a whole!
Don’t miss out on this rare behind-the-scenes look into the history of our favorite series!