“That’s no moon, it’s a…” Sailor Soldier
Remember that time that Usagi sang about beautiful corpses, painful tattoos, and wanting to control your lover until every little breath of theirs belongs to you? Of course you do, because how could you possibly forget Moon Revenge, the bizarre ending theme to the Sailor Moon R movie.
But like most things that get lost in translation, these sort of thing can make at least a little more sense when looked at in the proper context. And today, that’s what we’re going to talk about!
If you’ve ever been up late at night fretting over lovely corpses and engraved tattoos, this one’s for you!
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 Ikuhara 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?
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!
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!
… I’m not sure how I’d feel about seeing this
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned on many different occasions, I absolutely adore the Cardian story arc from the first half of Sailor Moon R. It’s not so much to do with the fact that the story itself is particularly interesting or that I’m a huge fan of Moonlight Knight, but rather it’s precisely because the story itself is less epic in nature. The whole storyline felt like a series of “slice of life” episodes where you actually got a know a little more about the day-to-day lives of the characters.
And today, we’re going to talk about one such episode.
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?
To reject a mother
Though Sailor Moon fans are a pretty diverse lot when it come to the subject of a “favorite” — be in favorite character, season, manga vs. anime, or anything else — I find that the Sailor Moon R movie tends to fare pretty well among fans. Going by sales figures alone, it was definitely the most popular of all three of the movies, grossing nearly 30% more than the Sailor Moon S movie and over double that of ticket sales for Sailor Moon SuperS. It’s no wonder that it’s managed to stand the test of time.
However, one thing that I never really got when I was younger is what is the movie trying to say? It’s only recently that I started to think about ChibiUsa’s famous line to Luna and Artemis: “It’ll be okay, Sailor Moon is everyone’s mom!”
But what did she actually mean by that?