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Dated 31 March 2011: I've started watching Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon (not quite comparing and contrasting magikal girl shows again)

Sailor Moon
Nice boots, Moon.

For some reason, I've never watched a single episode of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon until now—not even dubbed. Long heralded as a mahou shoujo classic, Sailor Moon ran for hundreds of episodes spread out over numerous season, although Pretty Cure has since surpassed it in terms of episode count. I'm passably familiar with some of the basic Sailor Moon elements such as the talking cat, the "punish you" catchphrase, and the A-list voice cast.

Usagi
Mahou shoujo faceplant in the making.

After two episodes, I've learned a few things I did not expect: I love Mitsuishi Kotono, but her Usagi voice is horrifying. It's closer to her Ebichu or her Suite Precure Hummy animal voices than her Misato or Mireille voices. Usagi doesn't even have Excel's charm, so this is going to make for a long batch of episodes if things don't improve. Second, the show is not as good as I had hoped so far. Granted, I've not even seen the tip of the iceberg yet, but so far it sits pretty low in my "Also Watching" queue. Finally, I understand Pretty Cure is unique for its heavy focus on combat, but I was under the impression Sailor Moon was a bit of a departure from the standard magikal girl party line for having a relatively higher emphasis on fighting than traditional mahou shoujo shows. So far that is not the case.

Cure Dream
Get some, Cure Dream.

Speaking of which, if pressed to choose Usagi's closest Pretty Cure analogue, I'd say so far she and Nozomi have the most in common. Usagi is a self-described clumsy girl, but thankfully I've yet to see her in full-on dojikko mode. There's one important difference between Nozomi and Usagi, though: Cure Dream would beat the living daylights out of Sailor Moon in a fight. Cure Dream doesn't play.

Dated 11 August 2011: Sailor Moon could learn a thing or two from Cure Dream

Sailor Moon and Mamoru
Nice try, Moon.

I was much less impressed with Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon than I thought I would be. Being so iconic, I expected more from it. Compared to truly great mahou shoujo fare like Cardcaptor Sakura or Princess Tutu, Sailor Moon is really disappointing. In fact, contrary to critics who dismiss Yes! Precure 5 as a Sailor Moon ripoff, I can now counter that what I've seen of Yes! Precure 5 is better than the 46-episode first season of Sailor Moon.

Cutie Honey
This usually means someone's about to get fucked.

Most of my problems with Sailor Moon relate to its poor fight sequences which mostly consisted of Usagi shrieking until each Bishoujo Senshi used her ONE canned attack or relied on Tuxedo Kamen to subdue the opponent. Before anyone responds by claiming I'm not giving Sailor Moon a fair shake because of its age, Cutie Honey predates Sailor Moon by more than 20 years and Honey certainly has no problems finding new ways of smoking Panther Claw deadbeats. Unfortunately, it's not just that the fights don't change; Usagi doesn't change either.

Luna
Get pissed, Luna.

Hopefully things will be much better in the later Sailor Moon seasons, but when a mahou shoujo series can't muster enough emotional resonance to get me to care about the characters' lives, it had better have some bitchin' moves. I don't want to dwell on comparisons with Pretty Cure, the modern iteration of the Sailor Moon fighting-magikal-girl genre, but there are obvious similarities, such as the ages of the characters (14), the talking mascots, the transformation sequences, and magic weapons. (Granted, these are elements common to many mahou shoujo shows in general.) Curiously, the modern form is much more chaste. In Pretty Cure, romantic love is almost always unrequited, and there is never any fan service (unless you really want to see it). In Sailor Moon, however, panty shots are uncommon, but still overt when present. And one episode involved making out with an underage girl after getting her drunk. P.S. Spoilers.

Unfortunately, @byglu warns:

@Evirus And the first thirteen episodes of the second are the worst in the franchise. Enjoy.

Oh, balls. If I'm lucky, I'll start caring in the later seasons whether these Bishoujo Senshi live, die, get date raped, or find true love, but I guess I'll have to power through the next 13 episodes at a minimum first.

Dated 23 September 2012: Sailor Moon R is kinda terrible

Usagi
Even Usagi needs to get loaded just to make it through an episode.

In anticipation of the new Sailor Moon series slated for 2013, I've been grinding through my backlog of unwatched episodes. That is, every single episode following the first season's 46-episode run. I was warned about the early episodes of Sailor Moon R, but the rest don't seem very good either. Perhaps I don't have the right mindset, but the relentless shrieking and wailing aren't especially endearing. And then they introduced Chibi-Usa. Sigh.

Ami, Minako, and Rei
The Sailor Senshi find themselves in another fine mess.

I'd be more willing to put up with this if the fights were better, but every battle seems to include the exact same canned attacks and the same last minute rescue by an oddly familiar mysterious masked man. I still have well over a hundred episodes to go, but I'd be more enthusiastic about them if I knew they would be more like the Codename: Sailor V manga which is basically about a vigilante working above the law to kick deadbeats in the neck. It's okay; they have it coming. Man, I need to re-watch First Precure again. Cure Ikaruga don't play.

Dated 5 November 2012: Sailor Moon R is still mostly terrible

Sailor Venus
Sailor Venus died for our sins.

I'm still slowly grinding my way through Sailor Moon R. For the most part, it just isn't very good, mostly because it hasn't done anything to make me care about the characters. The addition of Chibi-Usa to the anime was even worse than her addition to the manga. At this rate, I'm never going to finish all of Sailor Moon before the new 2013 series starts.

Dated 20 August 2014: I'm basically only watching Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Bullshit out of general principle

Sailor V
Sailor V is here to chase ikemen and kick crooks in the neck.
And she's all out of ikemen.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is one of those franchises that I sort of want to like but can't genuinely enjoy most of the time. This is reflected in my halfhearted efforts to watch the original series (stalled at episode 93 for years). I'm also mostly unimpressed with the original manga, with the exception of Codename Sailor V. I'm totally down with Sailor V, mostly because (as I am wont to attest on The Twitter), she's sort of fascist. I also find Aino Minako (at least in her garish Sailor V form) a more engaging protagonist than Tsukino Usagi. Sailor Venus isn't as good, but is still okay providing she's kicking crooks in the neck instead of thrashing dudes with her "Love Me" chain (which, incidentally, has been redesigned to look like a long string of, um, round beads, at least in the Crystal Marital Aids promo art). Also, Artemis > Luna.

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Dated 30 September 2014: Summer 2014 season conclusion

Slaine
Slaine has seen some shit.

Aldnoah.Zero was far and away the best show from Summer 2014. I know a lot of viewers disagree with this opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of its episodes. I've written a lot about it. Probably too much, considering I don't like it thaaat much even though it did almost get a perfect score on my little chart jobbie.

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Dated 23 November 2014: Anime triage

Conan and Sera
As if there is any chance in Hell of Sera turning out to be bad.

Because of "circumstances," I find myself dropping about half the shows I was following this season. Well, perhaps not so much dropping as putting on hiatus for the time being. Maybe I'll catch back up during a particularly lousy season that coincides with greater anime-watching opportunities. (Won't be next season, because next season looks pretty sweet.)

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