By: Meg Humphrey
Sailor Moon wasn’t my first taste of anime (it was Ranma ½, if you’re curious), but looking back I think it might have been the most important one. I was lucky enough to be able to watch all five seasons in their original Japanese with subtitles due to being in an anime club that would happily make you copies of fansubs for free as long as you provided the VHS tapes (did I just date myself?). Coming out this year is Sailor Moon Crystal, a reboot series that will closely follow the manga in both story and art. The first trailer was released the other day and the excitement from it got me thinking about why Sailor Moon has stuck with me for so long. Here are the reasons why I think it’s one of the best anime for women and girls to watch.
Friendships between women aren’t all superficial or drama filled. Usagi and Rei are practically always at each other’s throats and sometimes it’s hard to tell if they even like each other. Between having conflicting personalities and liking the same guy, the two are outwardly the least compatible out of the group. In episode 43: “Is Usagi Going it Alone? The Sailor Warriors Get Into a Big Fight,” the girls hash a scheme to have a minion of Kunzite’s show them the way to the Negaverse. Eventually, Usagi is left hanging going up against the baddie alone and, of course, she isn’t doing too well. Usagi left the Crystal Moon Wand in Rei’s care, which surprises Ami, Makoto, and Minako. The three girls question Rei’s feelings toward Usagi, but it’s obvious by the end of the scene that Rei cares deeply for her. Even if it doesn’t always show, the love the girls have for each is strong.
Everyone has weaknesses, but those don’t outweigh your strengths. It’s easy to focus on the negative about yourself. Almost all of us will want to be more or different in some way. We have to remember that even with any perceived flaws, there are things we are good at and things that we should be proud of. Usagi may be clumsy and oblivious, but her sincerity and deep caring for others is what has allowed her to save the world multiple times. The reason why the senshi make a great team is because they all have skills and experiences that are different from one another.
It’s okay to have many interests that don’t necessarily “go with” each other. When the super dreamy pop group the Starlights first come to Tokyo, it’s no surprise that Minako, Rei, and Makoto – the more trendy and boy crazy of the bunch – try their best to meet them. What shocks everyone is that serious and quiet Ami is not only part of their fan club, but became a member well before any of the other girls. Makoto is an excellent hand to hand fighter, cook, and she’s constantly lapping into romantic daydreams about every cute boy she sees. Each cast member may have predominate traits, but they they also have interests and skills beyond that to make them well rounded individuals.
Inner beauty is emphasized. All of the villains of Sailor Moon try to steal pure feelings, remarkable hearts, and righteous souls. By having these be what the villains crave, it reinforces the importance of being beautiful inside and having these features. Even in the episodes that focus on physical appearances, they end up learning the lesson that it’s who you are that matters rather than what you look like. If that’s not a lesson that needs to be drilled into every person’s head, then I don’t know what is.
Like most of the shoujo genre, Sailor Moon is a pretty ridiculous anime. It’s a funny, cute, and entertaining story that doesn’t necessarily aim to deeply impact the lives of it’s viewers, but it has. Fans see themselves in the characters and have internalized the lessons that Sailor Moon has taught us. I’m so happy that we’ll be able to experience it all again (new!) and that a new generation will be able to learn from it as well.