There has been a lot of talk with the release of the first image from the new Sailor Moon reboot. And by “talk” perhaps what I really mean to say is excited squeals coming from the direction of my house. The thing is that no matter how excited I am to see Serena and her crew again, there is a nagging concern I’ve been having. Now that I am a grown woman, perhaps my tolerance for the girly, glittery splendor of Sailor Moon will not be what it was.
We’ve mentioned quite a few times on this blog that we try to look at things from a female perspective. In other words, as women, how are we experiencing the world around us in ways that are different from men? What makes us feel empowered? What doesn’t? And now, many years later, where does Sailor Moon fall on this spectrum?
I don’t think this article is going to give a straight answer because there is no way to know exactly what the new series will be like. Instead, I am hoping to get a better insight on the issue by trying to remember what it was that I loved so much about the show. And who better to ask about the appeal of something I loved during my early high school years than 15 year old me ?
30-something: Hey Little Smalerie. How are things?
15: SHUT UP! NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME!!! *sobs
30-something: Perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea… I suppose I could just ask the internet about Sailor Moon.
15: Sailor Moon?
30-something: Yes, I’m writing an article trying to figure out if Sailor Moon was a good influence on me as a young girl.
15: Duh. She’s awesome. She’s super powerful. And her hair is practically sentient…
30-something: Really? Her hair?
15: Well it seems to have a mind of its own. It’s super flouncy and no matter how many cherry blossoms float around in the background, nothing ever sticks to it.
30-something: Speaking of sticking. Can we stick to the point? Why do you like the show so much?
15: Well, they are all girls and they all have powers. You remember She-Ra, right? Think like that, only each girl has her own personality. Like, one is really smart, another acts tough all the time to hide that she really is insecure, and Serena is a whiny brat!
30-something: Right! I remember. When she isn’t Sailor Moon, Serena spends her time whining, falling over things, and obsessing over boys. And why is this good?
15: Huh? Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. I was thinking about that time I tripped in gym class in front of that boy I liked. Waaaahhhhh, that was so awful. Why is my life SO HARD?!
30-something: I think I’m starting to get it.
15: Well, it’s more than that. You see, Serena just wants to be a regular girl. She wants to eat sweets, date a good-looking guy, and hang out with her friends. Then one morning she wakes up and her cat is talking to her. She learns that she has this huge responsibility to save everyone. And she does it, all the time. Not because she is born this perfect noble spirit, but because she finds that deep down she is more than she knew. More than she has even given herself credit for.
30-something: So in a lot of ways like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
15: That terrible movie?
30-something: Give it a few years… But wait, about Sailor Moon, doesn’t it bother you that it portrays unrealistic standards of beauty? I mean, no woman can look like that!
15: I don’t see her as that much worse than a lot of Disney princesses, or Barbie. Yeah, it sucks, but I am choosing to focus on the good stuff like what good friends she is with the other members of her team. They know that they will always come through for each other. Oh, and then there’s Serena’s romance with Darien. She knows it will end in loss, but she still hopes for the best. She still chooses love. That’s serious drama! And hilarious!
15: Well, he’s got this wicked awful Canadian accent and the whole thing is just so over the top. Really though, you shouldn’t be afraid to watch it again. You might have some new insight, but maybe that’s a good thing?
30-something: I’m sure all the sparkles and pretty ribbons won’t hurt either.
15: Well, Sailor Moon gets to be strong AND a pretty pretty princess. You can still be for girl power and like pink ribbons and rainbow glitter stars. Sheesh, even I know that much. Give me some credit.
30-something: Fair enough. I think you’ve made some pretty good points. It’s not perfect, but it was exciting to see strong feminine heroes who had distinct and somewhat relatable personalities while maintaining strong bonds of friendship. Sounds like almost 20 years later, I am so gonna watch the heck out of that new series. So, before we end this, is there anything you would like to ask your older and wiser self?
15: How does it feel to be so old? Knowing that you are going to die soon?
30-something: *eye twitches* I think we are done here.
Alright my fellow Sailor Moon enthusiasts, I know you are out there. Are you planning on watching the new series? You excited or worried? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.