Just last week an image and some minor details about the upcoming reboot of the Sailor Moon anime has been released. According to Anime News Network, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal will debut in Japan sometime in July and will be available to stream worldwide through the Niconico website. Toei Animation, the same studio that did the first anime series, is behind the new anime. It has been emphasized by producer Atsutoshi Umezawa that this anime is not a remake of the first one, but a completely brand new series that will closely follow Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga series.
It may seem strange to get a whole new reboot of Sailor Moon after all these years, but when it was first announced back in 2012 that Sailor Moon will be getting a revival and it’ll closely adapt the manga series, as it should have been originally, I was ecstatic by the news.
Having read the manga and being able to see most of the original anime series (the U.S. aired episodes on Cartoon Network up until Super S but none of the final season, which is Sailor Stars) as well as the standalone movies that released afterwards, it’s not surprising that I would love the manga much more. The original anime doesn’t come close to following the manga and most of the personalities of every character is altered or changed in some way. For example, manga Rei, or Sailor Mars, is more of a distant, quiet, and independent woman who has no interest in pursuing men. In fact, manga Rei almost dislikes men in general, which is explained in a brief back story of how she came to be this way. Anime Rei is the opposite of what her manga counterpart is like. While both have fiery tempers, anime Rei is loud, bossy, and boy crazy.
Usagi’s love interest Mamoru is a senior in high school in the manga, while anime Mamoru is a college student. Manga Mamoru does tease Usagi, but maybe not as much as his anime counterpart does. Manga Mamoru is much more encouraging and gentle with Usagi. Anime Mamoru, while still very much supportive of Usagi, does come off as colder and harsher with Usagi in certain episodes. When I used to frequent the Sailor Moon fan forums back in the day, fans have complained how anime Mamoru is just too much of a jerk compared to how he’s originally written in the manga. Changes like these, from manga to anime, can make a world of difference in the interpretation of the original source material.
Changes like the ones I’ve described above isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I personally think it gives fans of the series a different way to enjoy it, even if it veers off from the original story. When the Japanese studios decided to breathe new life into Sailor Moon and they’re going to be much more faithful to the manga, this became an opportunity for lifelong fans of this most beloved and popular series to see the story come to life as it’s originally meant to be. More Sailor Moon? Hell yeah, sign me up!
Takeuchi’s manga is quite intelligent, mature, and has a great message for girls and young women alike about what it is to be a strong and capable woman. It’s one of those series that isn’t your typical damsel in distress type romance fantasies. Oftentimes, it’s Usagi who comes to Mamoru’s rescue more than he does for her in the manga. It also portrays different women with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. When they all come together to fight the good fight against the forces of evil, they prove that they’re stronger together and have something to contribute to beat the enemy every single time. A manga as richly layered and well-written as Sailor Moon deserves to be properly adapted to screen.
The Sailor Moon reboot will also bring in new fans who have not grown up with the anime when it first aired in North America in 1995. Prior to the announcement of Sailor Moon getting a new anime, publisher Kodansha announced in 2011 that the manga would be re-released with better translations, new cover art, color pages, and would be titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. If the release of the new anime becomes as popular as it was in the ’90s, we can count on a surge in sales for the manga series and possibly a renewed passion and interest in the fandom once more. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an American dubbed version of the new Sailor Moon anime hitting DVD and Blu-Ray in the U.S. in the near future. It’s an exciting time to be a Sailor Moon fan and July can’t come fast enough!
Are you a Sailor Moon fan? What are your thoughts on the upcoming Sailor Moon reboot? Love it or hate it?