Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: 90s Girl Power Galore!

A Review By: Amelia
If you were born in the 1990s, you’ve seen Sailor Moon (or at the very least heard of it). It was the first anime that I, and a lot of other kids, were exposed too, and it was definitely the first time I had ever seen a group of girls with such badass powers and attitudes! I mean, she fights evil in the moonlight and finds love in the daylight! What’s not to love about that?

Now, for those of you who don’t know, the story of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon follows the adventures of the reborn defenders of a kingdom that once spanned the solar system and the evil forces that they battle to defend the entire universe from annihilation. The series is a fantasy and are heavily symbolic and often based on mythology.

The writer and illustrator of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is Naoko Takeuchi who is a Japanese manga and anime writer/artist. She started at age 19 and her works include Chocolate Christmas, Maria, and The Cherry Project, and other course Sailor Moon which has risen to one of the most popular and recognizable manga/anime characters!

As mentioned above, the series surrounds the exploits of guardians that defend the universe from annihilation. These super-powered protectors are a group of teenage girls called the Sailor Scouts that go to school, deal with their personal lives, and fight their enemies ruthlessly from day to day. There’s a Sailor Scout for every planet (including the no longer classified as a planet Pluto!) and there’s even a few Sailor Scouts that make an appearance through time travel, inter-dimensional travel, etc. Unfortunately, through the twelve volumes of the series you don’t really get much character development – at least from anyone but Sailor Moon herself. In fact, the other Sailor Scouts don’t even have that many speaking lines and I’d say that the villains that they fight got to say more than any one Sailor Scout!

The art style in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is a very exaggerated style. The characters all have long and fantastic hair, long and fantastic legs, and short and fantastically revealing skirts! Everyone is meant to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but I actually found myself unable to get by the facial design of the characters: it was the mouths. They were too small and way high up the face and apparently, that’s just not something my brain is able to see, accept, and move on from! Other than that though, everything was incredibly beautiful–especially the panels that showed landscapes and the outer space shots. The Sailor Scouts hair and bodies were beautiful, landscapes were breathtaking, and the action sequences (though very short) were all nicely done. Really, what I’m getting at is that everything but their little mouths was great!

All in all, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon was a great manga. I would have been happier with a different facial design and I definitely could have done with a little more character development from the Sailor Scouts–especially the badass Sailor Mars!–but other than that, this manga series was such a fabulous blast from the past! It took me back to when I was six and ran around the house pretending to be Sailor Mars! And more importantly than nostalgia, this manga/anime gave me confidence in being a girl! Here’s a group of teenage girls that kick more ass than anyone else I’ve yet to know about and I think that’s something that’s still very needed in the media!

My final thoughts on Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon are that it’s pretty great. I, personally, am not a big fan of the way the faces are drawn, but the stories are so ridiculously over the top and, more often than not, almost too strange to follow cohesively, but my god what a trip down memory lane! It’s a girl powered romp through amazingness and if you watched the Sailor Moon anime as a child I suggest you look into the manga series for nostalgia–you won’t be disappointed!

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