Original Sailor Moon: Season 1 Review
Sailor Moon is an iconic series still popular despite originating in the 90's. The first season introduces the main character, Usagi Tsukino. She's a clumsy, ditzy high school girl who cries and whines a lot and never seems to do anything right. She gets poor grades, and is often criticized for being sloppy, unpunctual, and for eating too many sweets.
But her life changes when she runs into talking cat Luna who tells her that she's capable of turning into a hero called Sailor Moon. Along the way, various girls she meets become her friends and fellow Sailor Scouts. Sailor Mercury is a smart girl named Ami Mizuno in Usagi's class. Rei Hino, a local shrine maiden, becomes Sailor Mars. Sailors Jupiter and Venus round out the cast eventually. Sailor Jupiter is Makoto, a transfer student at Usagi's school who was bullied at her old school. She's a caring person who likes cooking, ice skating, and martial arts. Sailor Venus is Minako, a spirited, confident girl who wants to become famous. Of course, there are bad guys, with the main villain being Queen Beryl. Queen Beryl looks and acts cool, but her underlings suck, so the later replacement villains in later seasons are, for this reviewer at least, a welcome change.
Though the anime originally had numerous flaws, many of these were due to failures of the dub. Some of the problems of the first season include a lot of recycled animation, a slowly developing and overly complicated plot, an obsession with beauty, and villains dumb enough to let the heroines go on and on about friendship and love without putting a bullet in them mid-sentence.
But despite all these flaws, Sailor Moon is still a story that's cheerful, heartwarming, and captivating all the same. In the cast, girls of very different personality types are represented and treated with respect. The show represents a diverse range of personalities and interests for girls, and it shows that while love and friendship aren't easy, they are worth it. It also shows that there's more to girlhood than sparkly dresses, Sailor Moon is about a princess who really cares about being a true hero in every sense of the word. And so I believe that these strengths make up for the weaknesses of the show.
The start of the series is a bit rocky. It definitely gets better as the show goes on. New characters are added, new villains replace Queen Beryl's band of incompetents, and the show's tone gets more serious as the characters themselves become more mature and rational, growing into their roles as super heroines. I'll talk about these changes when I talk about later seasons, R, S, Supers, and Stars. Mostly, I remember this show as just comedy fodder for Sailor Moon Abridged, which is worth checking out on YouTube. But as-is, Sailor Moon's first season is an exemplary magical girl anime, showing that a girl can be feminine and still be a strong hero. The first season is flawed, but gets better as new characters are introduced and the plot thickens. It's overall very fun to watch, a show that's good for an afternoon marathon now and then. Just don't get the DiC dub! Sailor Says Friends Don't Let Friends Watch Badly Dubbed Anime! In the name of the moon, I'll punish them!