Happy Friday everyone! This is a bit overdue, but I finally got around to going through the 5 seasons of Sailor Moon since they have a new English dub on Hulu. Currently, the new dub might only be available in the U.S. with Hulu but I’m sure you can find it on DVD and Blu-ray as well. But I haven’t really watched this since I was a kid and I knew that I just had to talk about Sailor Moon again. Thoughts have changed, some minor revelations and also talking about the new dub. Time for memory lane 🙂
I first watched Sailor Moon in the mid 90’s and I was OBSESSED with this anime for 10 years! I’m talking about having: dolls, comics, manga, costumes made, a mini trash can, a lunch box, the Crescent moon wand toy…I wanted all the things. I also remember watching it when it was apart of Toonami on Cartoon Network. I think that shows my age a little lol. But yeah growing up, anime wasn’t considered cool like it is now. I did get made fun of because I liked stuff like anime. Luckily, nerds rule the world and hopefully the haters have learned the errors of their ways lol. But this show was really influential in my creativity as a person and also making the way for finding more anime favorites.
Sailor Moon Season 1 as a Kid
When I was young, I thought Sailor Moon was the best thing ever! I loved all their outfits, their attacks and of course having a HUGE crush on Tuxedo Mask! I loved that it was young girls fighting evil and it just appealed to my creative brain. I thought that Queen Beryl was an EPIC looking bad guy and I liked the Rainbow Crystal story line with finding the Moon Princess. My favorite episodes were the one where Sailor Jupiter was introduced and the story arc with the Moon Princess revealed. Of course, being a silly kid, I loved Serena and Darien’s romance (I still use their English names from the old dub), especially with their star crossed story line from the past.
Things I Notice as an Adult
So now a lot of time has passed and I notice a lot of things! I didn’t learn until my adult years that there things changed for the original English dub in the 90’s!
- Zoisite is actually a dude?! In the original dub, he is ACTUALLY a female. Due to his more feminine appearance, the original English dub made him a female since same sex relationships weren’t well received back then. So with the new dub, hearing Zoisite being narrated by a man and realizing that Zoisite was a guy blew my mind! I know he was in a couple of the comics I owned but I totally forgot he was actually a guy and he was in a relationship with Kunzite. (Kunzite’s name in the old dub was Malachite) Luckily, the new dub completely shows the male/male relationship and shows it, making it more faithful to the original manga.
2. The other thing I realized is how much I don’t like Usagi in season 1! LOL! When I was young, I didn’t mind that she was a crybaby and a klutz. As a younger girl, I remember being a bit emotional over things which is understandable. But OH MAN as an adult, SHE is insufferable at times. She doesn’t care about studying, she’s selfish at times, too distracted by boys to notice evil things and also way too trusting at times. But mostly what bugs me now is how lazy and unmotivated she is! Things have to really hit the fan before she wakes up and tries to fight. Even a lot of the time, she’s too chicken to fight until it’s up to her. Even while watching the earlier episodes, my husband heard a lot of the episodes I watched and he complained at how annoying Usagi/Serena is. While she does grow a little bit in later seasons, she drives me crazy as an adult lol.
3. While Sailor Mercury is smart, she really doesn’t do a lot in season 1. While she’s an ace student and likes studying, I was surprised that she doesn’t really stragetize or use her handy visor to analyze enemies much. She uses it closer to the end of the first season. She doesn’t use her smarts enough to think of ways to help fight the bad guys. She is the wise one of the group, but sadly, she just uses her Bubble Spray to help the scouts rescue someone or get away. Her power isn’t even that good until later seasons. I feel like she’s very underused in season one compared to other scouts.
4. I actually like that Tuxedo Mask has his own reasons for why he fights! So I realize now that I didn’t watch as much of season 1 as I remembered! And a lot of that came from how Tuxedo Mask isn’t always on the Sailor Scout’s side. He says in some of the episodes of the Rainbow Crystal arc that he has his own reasons for obtaining them. While he does save Usagi from the bad guys, he doesn’t let them keep the crystals they find. He will swipe them and he tries to fight Zoisite many times who has more of the crystals. Tuxedo Mask/Mamrou needs answers to his past and with a recurring vision he has, he’s determined to find answers. But during this search for answers, he’s not a total ally of the scouts and I like that. He’s not sure why he’s drawn to Sailor Moon but a lot of the time, he doesn’t let that get in the way of his mission. The girls ask him a few times if he is an enemy or not and even he doesn’t know. He has more character depth to him and I’m glad I saw more of this first season.
5. While I do admit that when we’re young and some of us have lots of crushes, the overwhelming amount of focus on wanting a boy and romance is a tiny bit questionable now. I especially noticed it in the small story arc where Usagi’s friend Naru “falls in love” with Nephrite, one of Queen Beryl’s lackeys. This man kills people and doesn’t really value life, so it’s a bit surprising that a young girl like Naru can impress him that much. I think Naru is kinda stupid for falling for a guy who clearly tries to kill Sailor Moon and harm people to get what he wants. She refuses to see that dangerous part of him. While we do need to be there for people, I think in this anime, Naru and Nephrite’s questionable romance is weird to watch as an adult. Nephrite himself isn’t creepy though. It’s mostly how pushy and plainly obsessed Naru is with Neprhite and nearly dies trying to save him. Her wanting to “die” for him reminds me of Twilight and that’s a bit of a no. So there are small episode arcs here and there that make you scratch your head now. Plus, Usagi’s blatant boy crazy attitude can make her vulnerable enough to make her childish, not think ANYTHING through and not think realistically. Her obsession with Tuxedo Mask is slightly questionable, when at times he clearly isn’t on their side and doesn’t return her feelings. Plus let’s be real and say that their romance isn’t very endearing or swoon worthy. It’s just there for a lot of the show and doesn’t build a lot from the memory I have.
6. The new dub is both good and meh at times. Since I was young, I’ve always watched the dubs of anime. I hardly ever watched it in the original Japanese with subtitles. I think that’s because the English dub is both what my friends owned and what was on TV so I’m used to the dubs. But since I LOVED a lot about the old English dub, I was initially skeptical about the new dub when it was announced a few years back. The best parts of the new dub is that it does match the mouth movements of the characters and some of the voice actors are better. Some of the standouts for the new dub are the voices for Luna, Makoto (Jupiter), Kunzite, Tuxedo Mask, Naru (Molly in the old dub) and Ami (Mercury). These newer voice actors bring a more youthful interpretation of the characters and don’t make them sound old like the original dub. The original voice actress for Ami in the original dub gave her a WEIRD accent and made her sound like a middle aged woman. But the negatives/more questionable choices of the dub is the voice actress for Usagi and some of the dialogue is WORSE than the original dub! The original dub actresses were Tracey Moore, Terri Hawkes and Linda Ballantyne were fantastic in their own right. But it’s Terri Hawkes’s voice work is what I remember most. But I think the actress for the new dub just sounds like she’s trying too hard. Her crying and whiny voice doesn’t sound quite genuine enough and it doesn’t have that youthful voice like the other voice actresses did. Plus, some of the new dialogue is more of the bad cringy anime dialogue that you tend to find annoying. The old dub actually had better lines which really says something, even though the old dub didn’t have the mouth movements sync with the voice actors well. I’m going to link some videos down below that includes clips of the new and old dub to compare them. You can see for yourselves and judge to see if you like the new dub. While there are good changes in the new one, there’s aspects that either got worse or voice actors that don’t quite fit.
In the first season, there are 46 episodes which sounds like a lot. But since these episodes into 30 minute TV segments, they go by quickly. While there are A LOT of filler episodes, here are some episodes that are better plotted, fun fights, humor etc.
The Girl Genius is a Monster (Sailor Mercury appears)
The Cursed Bus (Sailor Mars appears)
I Want a Boyfriend: The Luxury Cruise is a Trap
Jupiter, the Powerful Girl in Love (Sailor Jupiter appears)
Crushing on Ami: The Boy Who Can See the Future
Love and Chased: Luna’s Worst Day Ever
Enter Venus, The Last Sailor Guradian
The Shining Silver Crystal: The Moon Princess Appears
Returning Memories: Usagi and Mamrou’s Past
Usagi Abandoned: The Falling-Out of the Sailor Guardians
Now that I’ve season the full first season, I have to say that it’s not quite as fun as I thought as a kid. Usagi’s insufferable whining, how most the Sailor Guardians don’t even get to fight as much, some very weak filler episodes and not loving the new dub actress for Usagi, I am glad though that I watched the episodes I missed when I was young. While I acknowledge that some stuff is kinda questionable today, this show still means a lot to me like it did back then. But while some episodes are good, this is a weak first season. I’m curious to see how the later seasons go, since the final season never aired on TV in the U.S. back in the day. So for Season 1, it’s a 7.5/10 for me. This anime was such an influence to me as a young girl, so the nostalgia really brings this up for me, in addition to seeing stuff like Tuxedo Mask’s conflict of being an ally, more of the Rainbow Crystal episodes as well as Usagi and Mamoru having their past identities revealed. It’s not the best first season ever, but it’s what got me into anime.
TELL ME your thoughts about Sailor Moon! Do you agree with my thoughts? Did you also grow up watching it? Let me know in the comments!