Who Is the Real Princess Kaguya in the Sailor Moon S Movie?

Won't the real Kaguya please stand up?

Won’t the real Kaguya please stand up?

The nice thing about writing a blog covering a series that went off the air over 20 years ago is that it’s not like there’s any chance that I’m going to be spoiling the story for anyone. Even with the recent U.S. screenings of the Sailor Moon movies, I’d be willing to bet that the majority of those in the audience had already seen the movie, or at least knew what it was about.

So with that said, I really don’t feel too bad about dissecting story of the Sailor Moon S movie, or peeling back the layers to take a deeper look at the Japanese folktale Ms. Takeuchi based her story on.

If you’ve ever stayed up late at night wondering who the heck Princess Kaguya is, this one’s for you!

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What Were Director Shibata’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon S Movie (Part 2)?

Closing out the story on Sailor Moon S

Closing out the story on Sailor Moon S

Whether you love the Sailor Moon S movie or think that it is a lackluster performance in an otherwise excellent brand, I probably won’t be changing your mind through this series. But regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, I think it can be immensely helpful — and even entertaining — to get a little insight into just what the creative minds behind a movie were thinking as they made it.

Today we’re going to continue our journey through Hiroki Shibata’s1 commentary regarding his directorial debut in Sailor Moon‘s theatrical universe. If we’re really lucky, we might even learn something new by the time we’re done!

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What Were Director Shibata’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon S Movie (Part 1)?

Aww, it's okay Luna!

Aww, it’s okay Luna!

Asking a Sailor Moon fan which of the three movies is their favorite is akin to walking into a crowded room of strangers and asking them all what they think about the latest political hot-button issue: it’s not going to end well.

While I personally prefer the Sailor Moon R movie, all three of the movies are definitely worth watching, and I can understand why they have their fans.

Today we’re going to try to get a little more insight behind the story of the Sailor Moon S movie by looking at some of the director’s notes provided with the Laser Disc release of the Sailor Moon S movie. If anyone can help win my heart over with a deeper interpretation of the movie — putting aside for a second Naoko’s amazing manga version on which it’s based — I’d say the director is probably out best bet!

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What Were Ikuhara’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon R Movie? (Part 3)

Ikuhara (left) trying the "zero-fashion-sense Mamoru" look

Ikuhara (left) trying the “zero-fashion-sense Mamoru” look

It’s been a long road here, but we’ve finally made it to the end of our three part special, where we review Director Ikuhara’s notes explaining his thoughts on the story of the Sailor Moon R movie. You can find Part 1 and Part 2 here, respectively.

If you’re new to this series, a little background: Kunihiko Ikuhara1 was the director and major creative force behind the Sailor Moon R movie. Included with the LaserDisc release of the movie was a six page summary of his “interpretation” – basically, his thoughts and inspirations – of the story, separated by chapter.

Today, I’ll be finishing up with comments 17 through 22! Why don’t you join along?

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What Were Ikuhara’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon R Movie? (Part 2)

Fiore and his flower minions

Fiore and his flower minions

After finishing the first half of my review of Ikuhara’s director’s notes for the Sailor Moon R movie, I have to admit that I feel like I have a bit of a better understanding of what story he intended to tell.

And you know, I think I like the movie even more. Knowing that there’s actual meaning behind scenes I just glossed over adds a new depth to the movie for me, and it’s definitely moved up on my “to watch” list.

That said, join me as I continue on with Director Ikuhara’s notes for chapters 11 through 16!

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What Were Ikuhara’s Inspirations for the Sailor Moon R Movie? (Part 1)

Flower Garden in the Sailor Moon R Movie

Flower Garden in the Sailor Moon R Movie

Love him or hate him, Director Kunihiko Ikuhara had a huge impact on the direction that the Sailor Moon anime took and, by extension, could arguably be said to be one of the more influential forces behind the series – especially for those fans who have only seen the anime.

One of his more well-known achievements in terms of Sailor Moon, though, is his work on the Sailor Moon R movie. I’ve written about his thoughts on the movie before, with regard to Usagi and the conflicting representations of motherhood, but today we’re going to take a deeper dive into his thoughts on the imagery of the movie. Come along!

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Did Mamoru Meet Usagi In the Hospital As a Child?

Did this actually happen?

Did this actually happen?

Ever since starting this blog, I’m always very careful to try to avoid ever saying something stated or depicted within the anime or manga is either a lie or didn’t happen, at least not without compelling proof to the contrary. Once you start going down the rabbit hole of saying that “Maybe Usagi was lying when she said she was 150cm!” or that “Makoto is probably just estranged from her family,” you really can’t say anything definitive about the series since all of your proof is suspect.

But sometimes, the situation can justify a deeper analysis. Such as, for example, Usagi and Mamoru’s purported “first meeting” in the Sailor Moon R movie. So, did they really meet as kids?

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