Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

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.

Rei, Ami, and Usagi
I can't tell if they have giant heads or just small faces.

In addition to my disinterest in the franchise itself, watching the Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon Crystal remake also leads me to believe the series hasn't aged well. Toei has tried to update the series by removing all the panty shots (and gratuitous cleavage peeks), changing most of the voice cast1 (probably unnecessarily), and adding fancy CGI transformations, but it still seems off somehow. And not just because Toei also gave all the girls rather bulbous heads for some reason.

Sailor Moon
Well, there is this ass shot in the transformation sequence.

I can't claim to know whether Sailor Moon still speaks to the same demographics the original anime did (or even if the original manga did), but perhaps it still feels dated despite the modern touches because I've been influenced by 10 years of Pretty Cure beatdowns. Efforts to paradoxically modernize the series while remaining true to the original manga also seem clumsy. (For example, the changes to ol' Moon's relationship with Tuxedo Kamen.) The following contains spoilers,2 so avert your eyes or something.

Usagi and Mamoru
The medallion is excessive.

Sailor Moon gets saved by Tuxedo Mask a lot. At least, in the original anime, it seems like he has to bail her sorry ass out ALL THE TIME. Usagi sort of sucks at pretty much everything. It's quite a blow to female empowerment, but I guess it was more okay in the '90s? Tuxedo Mask's "heroics" seem less pronounced in the remake, but maybe I'm just remembering it wrong. I'm also pretty sure they made the Crystal Cradle Robber Tuxedo Mask younger. I could have sworn Mamoru was a university student originally. Did Toei retcon him into a high school student to make him a more palatable love interest for "modern sensibilities"? Usagi also doesn't get plastered in the Crystal Roofies remake of what I half-jokingly referred to previously as the date rape episode. She still doesn't consent, and tall amnesic men wearing masks can get away with basically whatever they want, but I'd appreciate it if someone would check Tumblr for me to see if people are spazzing. I can't wait for Crystal Implied Sex to get to the parts in the manga where Usagi allegedly has the pre-marital, underaged, (possibly magically powered) intercourse between the panels. At least it won't be a university student adding a middle-school notch on his headboard in this version, right?

Note 1: In re Sailor Moon voices: Despite clearing out the old voice cast, Toei retained the original voice for Usagi/Moon. I'm not sure this was a good idea. I love Mitsuishi Kotono, but Usagi is probably my least favorite role of hers. She also appears to struggle at times now replicating the original sound of Usagi's plaintive cries and yammering. I appreciate the desire to retain ties with the original anime, but apparently this desire wasn't important enough to also keep Hisakawa Aya or the other active seiyuu who were released.

Note 2: In re Sailor Moon spoilers: More accurately, they contain likely inaccurate spoilers derived from misconceptions I have of the series due to my deteriorating memory and unwillingness the fact-check assertions—as if ardent fans of the series weren't going to be angry enough at me for this blog entry already.

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