Moon power makeup!

Today I began watching Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, which is the ambitious live-action version of the I'm-pretty-sure-you've-at-least-heard-of-it manga/anime. Sailor Moon was not my first brush with anime (many of the cartoons I watched growing up in the 80s were anime, but people didn't call it "anime" back then -- or even "Japanimation"), nor is it by any stretch of the imagination my favorite anime. But I feel a nostalgic fondness for it anyway as something I enjoyed when I was twelve. I love Power Rangers, too; whatever it is about nonsensical senshi series, I apparently like them!

A heavily butchered dubbed version of Sailor Moon, a notorious atrocity which nevertheless was many girls' first exposure (and gateway drug) to anime, aired in the mid-to-late '90s here in the USA. Even though almost everything was changed, from character names and relationships... and genders... to background music, somehow it retained a certain beauty and mystique. The transformation sequences, both in the strange watered-down English version and in the original Japanese, are mesmerizing to watch. I still like to go to YouTube and watch compilation videos of them to this day.

Still, when I saw pictures from and clips of the live-action version many years ago, I was like, "This looks totally ridiculous. I don't even love Sailor Moon but that looks like a rip-off." So I am not entirely sure what moved me to watch it today, other than seeing a playlist of it on YouTube and really wanting something to watch while I made Blythe hats. But I'm actually really really enjoying it! It really is ridiculous, but in a delicious way. It's bright and colorful and yet the quality is so cheap (I feel this way about many jdramas -- they are not very cinematic in comparison to a lot of British or American TV) that it feels very popcorny and entertaining. Regardless, I feel like this version, which is in some odd way even more cartoony than the actual anime, does the characters and their relationships justice in a way the anime somehow didn't. It differs in some key ways from the plot I remember and somehow has less of the cats and less of the bad guys so far, but I find myself actually liking the characters in PGSM more than in the anime. It's quite a strange feeling to like Sailor Moon herself, who is very, very endearing in this version.

Conclusion: PGSM is better than you think!


  1. I have a friend that burned those to DVD for me ages ago and I haven't gotten around to watching them yet; maybe it's time I did.

    I find it interesting that you also like Power Rangers; that was the series that inspired Ms. Takeuchi to create Sailor V and then Sailor Moon. :)

  2. I can tell -- senshi series are such a Japanese staple, and Ms. Takeuchi took the "magical girl" concept and applied it to the senshi concept and what awesome results! Sailor Moon endures to this day and is still so popular! If you do watch PGSM I hope you enjoy it! You get accustomed to the cheesiness of it fairly quickly IMO :)