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!
All you need is love! ♪
With all of the exciting adventures the Sailor Soldiers embark on and the resulting epic battles against the forces of evil, it’s often easy to forget that, at its core, Sailor Moon is a story of teenage romance.
Today, I’d like to take a closer look at the softer side of our sailor-suited heroines and see how their approaches to love and life differed.
So without further ado, let’s get this started!
… 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.
Who’s in Charge?
Before you get all excited and start commenting that Sailor Venus was the leader of the Inner Senshi and that this is clearly spelled out in the manga, I’ll stop you right there and point out that I know this. However, outside of one or two mentions in the manga, Sailor Venus never functionally performs any leadership roles, and in the anime I’d say it’s up to debate whether she’s actually leader at all. When you consider that the the battles against the Monsters of the Day end with someone shouting to the effect of “Now, Sailor Moon!” it’s pretty hard to view anyone else but our titular character as the leader. Or… is it?
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?