Title: Sailor Moon Crystal
Studio: Toei Animation
I’m not going to provide a summary of this show. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the story. Magical school girls fight bad guys with makeup. As we probably all know, Sailor Moon was one of, if not the biggest, animes in the 90s. It completely changed the magical girl anime, so much that the show became the template for the whole genre. It, in tandem with Dragonball Z, Pokemon, and Digimon, sparked otaku culture here in the US. Of all anime fandoms, Moonies had and still retain the position of most loyal, most dedicated, and most obsessed anime fandom EVER. Part of what made this particular anime so special was its celebration of the variety of forms of femininity without ever compromising the innate power of each character. You don’t have to be a tomboy to be a strong girl, a common archetype in the more progressive 90s toons. Girls all over the world found themselves captivated by the beauty, color, and power of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. You can go shopping for cute things while talking about boys and still kick major ass. You want girl power? This is your one-stop shop. For a show this big, I’ll start with an overall review, then do the individual seasons.
In addition to becoming a kind of shrine to femininity, this fandom was also a haven for us queers. We not only had coded gay characters, villains Kunzite and Zoisite and anti-heroes Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, but they were more than just queer stereotypes (see Jafar from Aladdin). They were complicated, delicate individuals. Even for gay villains, the tenderness between Kunzite and Zoisite was pure enough to touch the hearts of many. The Sailor Scouts shaped a significant portion of my life, giving me the courage to date my first love; a girl in my piano class (more on this later). So when in 2014 the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, the anime reboot, premiered at Anime Expo, I geeked right out of my socks. So how does Crystal stand up to the legacy of Sailor Moon R and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon, such important cultural artifacts?
The way that Crystal handles the Sailor Soldier legacy is by sticking closer to the source material, the manga written by Naoko Takeuchi. The 90s anime was a retelling of the story, changing many story elements from the original. For instance, aliens Ail and Ann were created for a filler arc that would let the manga get far ahead enough of the anime. Crystal sticks with the manga’s storyline.
The Moon rod is created by Usagi and Tuxedo Mask’s love instead of just being given to her, people die, and Mini Moon lacks power instead of holding too much. Also sex. By sticking to the original story, we are given a fresh look at a story we love. We’re allowed to see the reasons behind each character’s personalities and add a layer of depth to Sailor Moon R. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the power of love in action since it was such an essential element of the manga that disappointingly was left out.
The pace of Crystal is just right. It knows you know the characters and doesn’t spend too much time setting up. The first two story arcs are compacted into 12 and 14 episode seasons, each episode a summary of the manga’s books. So efficient! And it’s so great not to have the awkward Sailor Moon Says segments that were ham-fistedly shoved into the 90s dubs. Ugh.
I hate the combination of 2d and 3d animation in anime. The fact they use this only for the transformation sequences feels quite cheap. I get it conceptually, but it’s still just not working for me. Also, all of the art in episode 3 is just horrid.
Speaking of art, Crystal’s animation style is divisive amongst Moonies, particularly season 1. Some feel the animation is cheap, some hate the 3d pieces, while others feel it is a bridge between the anime and manga. It alternates between the loose watercolor feel of the manga, the 2d animation of the 90s, and the all-its-own 3d animation.I personally feel it doesn’t work together. It’s just too eclectic for my tastes. Again, I get it conceptually, but for an anime this important, I feel the animation should have been on the levels of Kill la Kill (see my previous Toon Takeaway). The art was so divisive that Toei Animation had to step up their art game between seasons because the fandom was in such a mess. Moonies have since calmed the frick down. See manga, Sailor Moon R, and Sailor Moon Crystal comparison below.
In addition to the incongruity of styles, the animation can sometimes fall into wtf anime. Eyes look awkward, proportions get bizarre, and weird expressions can destroy moods. There’s even a tumblr dedicated to the weird art; well, that and fangirl complaining. Just take a look at some of these screenshots.
But it’s not all bad. Ignoring the stylistic approaches, the transformation and combat choreography is on point. All great. Fantastic backgrounds! Motions developed for each Sailor Guardian’s personality and element. And so kawaii! Take a look at these transformations! Paired with the excellent soundtrack, these magical girls give me life!
To be continued:
When I return, I’ll write about the first arc, Dark Kingdom. That’s where you’ll start to understand how this anime landed in the B range, despite the art. But until then, what do you think about Crystal, or Sailor Moon in general. Which Sailor Soldier/Scout/Guardian has the best transformation sequence? Let us know in the comments.
Links and other opinions:
Ladies Geeking Out celebrated love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. To finish our Valentine's Day countdown, here's themed-wedding ideas for couples that wish to celebrate multiple fandoms! Can't decide on one single theme? Do them all!!
1. Let guests know from the beginning that this is going to be a geek wedding!
2. Name the tables after some of your favorite fandoms and characters! Decorate it accordingly!
3. Find little ways to show appreciation for your favorite fandoms with your wardrobe!
4. In fact, show appreciation for your favorite fandoms everywhere!
5. Your wedding cake can also be a good way to merge both of your fandoms!
Always remember, no matter what you do, it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
Ladies Geeking Out is celebrating love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. We continue our Valentine's Day countdown with the next themed-wedding idea: Science! Are you a doctor, physicist, mathematician, engineer, tech geek, or just love everything related to science? Check out these awesome ideas!
1. It doesn't matter what science background you have, you can make your invitation reflect the science topic you love!
2. Use science to your advantage! Make demonstrations! Do an experiment! Mix chemicals!
3. Use beakers and test tubes as decorations and center pieces!
4. Or use chemical and mathematical equations, books, or additional scientific equipment to decorate!
5. Use chemical and mathematical equations on your wedding cake too! Or find other creative ways to represent your favorite science topic!
Just remember, no matter what you do, it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
Ladies Geeking Out is celebrating love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. We continue our Valentine's Day countdown with the next themed-wedding idea: Gaming! This includes video games, board games, RPG, LARP, and so on! If you are a gamer, these wedding ideas are for you!
1. You can show your guests what type of gamer you are with the invitations! From Magic The Gathering cards to video game cartridges, don't be afraid to get creative!
2. Dress like your favorite video game characters! Or use gaming props!
3. You can also show your love of gaming with your bouquet or boutonniere!
4. Introduce your guests to gaming! Have video games or board games around for them to play with!
5. Table arrangements can also give you a chance to introduce guests to gaming. Just have fun with it!
6. CAKESSSSS!!!! Gaming CAAAKESSS!!!
7. Use game characters or a couple playing together as cake toppers!
8. There are many creative ways you can show your love for gaming!
Just remember, no matter what you do, it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
Ladies Geeking Out is celebrating love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. We continue our Valentine's Day countdown with the next themed-wedding ideas: Harry Potter! Add some... or A LOT of magic to your wedding!
1. Use magic from the beginning... with your invitations!
2. "After all this time? Always..." Use quotes from the book or wordplay to bring your Harry Potter love to life!
3. Act like a true wizard! Bring your wand!
4. Show off your house colors with pride in your wardrobe!
5. Wingardium Leviosa! Make your table arrangements levitate! Use potions! Use a sorting hat for the center of the table!
6. You can have a simple cake with a subtle Harry Potter reference or let your geek flag fly!
And as always remember that it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
Ladies Geeking Out is celebrating love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. We continue our Valentine's Day countdown with the next themed-wedding idea: Superheroes!!! Get ready for some kick-ass wedding ideas that will make you and your significant other feel like real superheroes!
1. Turn your wedding invitations into comic books!
2. Have fun with your wardrobe! You can fully dress as a superhero or find creative ways to show your love for a specific character.
3. You can also get creative with your bouquet! Use comic books or use colors that represent your favorite superhero!
4. You can have a really fun and colorful wedding cake or one with a "secret identity"...
5. Use superheroes as cake toppers!
6. Use comic books as table arrangements to turn all your guests into superhero fans!
7. Have superhero-inspired drinks and food!
Just remember, no matter what you do, it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
Ladies Geeking Out is celebrating love all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. We continue our Valentine's Day countdown with the next themed-wedding idea: DOCTOR WHO!!!
1. Make a TARDIS!
2. Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey CAKES!!!
3. Cake Toppers
4. Gorgeous Sci-fi Table Arrangements
5. Something blue... WARDROBE!
7. Fish Fingers and Custard or something more delicious? FOOD!
There's no doubt that you will have something blue at this wedding! Always remember that it is YOUR wedding, make it fun for YOU!
"Mawwiage.... Mawwiage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam wifin a dweam..." That's right! With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, Ladies Geeking Out, will be celebrating all week by taking a look at how geeks express their love for each other and for their own awesome geekiness. Hey! Maybe you can find some ideas for your own weeding! Or you can use these same ideas for a theme-party, birthday, or even for Galentine's Day (Leslie Knope fans woot! woot!). So, with love and friendship in mind, let's take a look at our first themed-wedding idea: STAR WARS!!!
1. Lightsabers for everything!
2. Aisle runner
3. Cake, cake, CAKE!!!!
4. Cake Toppers
5. Table arrangements
8. Food and drinks
Are you inspired? One thing is for sure...The force is definitely strong with these ideas! It doesn't matter if you or your guests join the dark side or the light side, because with these wedding ideas, you will be having an absolute blast!
I was 25 years old when I decided to get my first tattoo. I've always seen tattoos as an amazing art form and I absolutely love the idea of having a piece of art forever on my skin. Once I got my first tattoo, it changed my life. It took almost 5 hours and during that time I had to mentally and physically take control of my body in order to take the pain. The fact that I could do that made me feel strong. I quickly realized that getting a tattoo was a spiritual and calming experience, at least for me. Now at 30 years old, I have four tattoos and plan to keep getting more. But as I joined the millions of human beings that have tattoos, I quickly realized that even though tattoos and piercing are becoming more and more accepted, people will still judge or comment on not only your tattoos but also your decision for getting them. Therefore, based on my personal experiences and those of my tattooed friends, I've decided to create a small guide on how to interact with tattooed people.
1. Not everyone has the same opinion about tattoos as you do.
The first thing you need to know is that tattoos are usually not about pleasing other people. Tattoos are important to the wearer only. When meeting someone with tattoos, do not start a long monologue with them on why you would never get a tattoo and what is your opinion about them. We don't care. We don't look at you and tell you why we would never wear the clothes you have on or what is our opinion about your fashion sense. Be respectful. You don't HAVE to comment on someone's tattoos. If you don't like tattoos or have a strong opinion against them, just don't get one. That's it.
2. Yes, tattoos hurt. Don't ask if they hurt.
Although I wish getting a tattoo felt like a thousand feathers touching my skin while sitting on a rainbow, it is common knowledge that tattoos hurt. Asking someone if it hurts is pointless. Of course, pain tolerance varies amongst people but at the very least getting a tattoo can cause discomfort and unpleasantness. In addition, do not assume that people with tattoos have incredible pain thresholds or that we enjoy pain. We work through the pain in order to get an amazing piece of art in our skin.
3. Ask before touching someone's tattoo.
We get it, sometimes people are curious to see what we have on our skin, but having a visible tattoo doesn't mean it is ok for you to touch it without our consent. This should be common sense but I've lost count on how many strangers randomly touch my tattoos while asking me about them. It is disrespectful and invasive. Most tattooed people are ok with showing you their tattoos and talking about them. But you need to be respectful. In fact, there's absolutely no reason to touch someone's tattoo.
4. Don't tell us that we will regret our tattoos.
We all have things we will eventually regret or already regret in our lives. That's how we learn and grown as human beings. Just because you see a tattoo as a mistake or a bad decision it doesn't mean it is for us. Yes, a small percentage of people do get tattoos spontaneously, but for most of us it is a long process. I spent months deciding what I wanted and where I wanted my tattoos. The only people who really regret their tattoos are the ones who rush the process, get them while drunk or go to a bad artist. That is why research before committing is important.
5. Having a tattoo doesn't mean we are a bad influence to others.
Some of the most caring, loyal, and nicest people I know have tattoos and piercings. Don't let your preconceived judgements prevent you from knowing someone. In fact, having tattoos and knowing people that have tattoos teaches you to not place value on appearances and instead spend more time getting to know new people. There are mean and dangerous people in this world that don't have tattoos. Instead of judging people by just their appearance, get to know them first.
6. You religion doesn't allow tattoos? Cool, leave us out of it.
If your religion doesn't allow you to have tattoos or has negative views on tattoos, good for you, don't get a tattoo. But do not lecture us about it, especially when most of us don't follow your religion. Remember that you are the one following it, not us. Tattooed people do not push their views regarding tattoos on others so why should you push your views on us? If you want people to respect your views and choices, you have to similarly respect theirs. Live and let live.
7. Tattoos cost money. Don't judge how much we spend on them.
Good tattoos are expensive and people who don’t realize that usually ask “Why would you spend that much on a tattoo?”. Most of us don't mind spending lots of money on them because we want to have a good piece of art on our skin, especially if it will be there for the rest of our life. This doesn't mean that we are swimming in money or that we are rich. A lot of people spend months, even years, saving money in order to get a tattoo. Remember that you have no right to judge how someone spends their money.
8. We do not owe you an explanation or reasoning behind our tattoos.
A lot of people get tattoos because they like a certain symbol, color, or pattern. For others, tattoos can have a personal meaning and some have stories behind them that are very special. No matter what the reason is, what you should always keep in mind is that tattoos are an artistic expression of who that person is and what is important to them. Because of this, criticizing someone's tattoos can sometimes feel like a personal attack. Remember that just because a tattoo design doesn't mean anything to you, it doesn't mean that you can judge whoever has it and tell them it was a lame idea or that you would never put that permanently on your skin. Every person molds their own ideas, experiences and memories into their tattoos and what they represent. To judge someone based off of what you think their tattoo means is unnecessary. On the other hand, it’s also pointless to just assume that every tattoo a person has means something amazingly unique. Not everything needs an universal purpose to exist.
Hopefully this quick tips can help you interact with tattooed people better. But remember, when in doubt just follow Will Wheaton's advice: