Sailor Moon is as problematic as she is alluring. Her disguise power pen would be an awesome accessory for any occasion. The squad goals are everyone’s goals. Her man is tall, handsome. Also, he didn’t issue a restraining order when she pleaded with him they were meant to be together. But there is always a but.
Sailor Moon, at least the Sailor Moon in America, there are issues. Re-watching as an adult it is always frustrating. Specifically when Sailor Moon collapses into a phone booth crying because her ex-boyfriend won’t give her the time of day.
The example of a woman warrior reduced to a fetal position over a boy is jarring and obviously a horrible example for a younger female audience.
But, even I will admit there are aspects of the series that almost, almost makes up for the garden variety of issues.
A few weeks ago the Tea & Fiction crew headed out to San Francisco’s New People Cinema in Japan Town for a screening of the Sailor Moon film, Promise of the Rose. We sat in the second row among a hoard of other fans. Some wearing Sailor Scout leggings, pink bows, and t-shirts.
It was quite the event.
I’ve never even seen this movie before if you can believe it. I have an old comic book with images from the film. The text is all in Japanese so I never actually knew what they were saying.
Promise of the Rose is definitely very interesting edition. We are introduced to a man with a romantic interest in Tuxedo Mask. The Sailor Scouts (minus Sailor Mercury) seem utterly flabbergasted at the thought.
But that isn’t what struck me. What struck me was how much Tuxedo Mask gets abducted and rescued on a regular basis.
You almost don’t think about it because the whole point of the show is female warriors. But Sailor Moon time and time again inverts the trope that the princess has to be saved and puts the prince as the ‘damsel’. The franchise is so over top with what it does with the elongated transformation sequences that the subtle things don’t seem as important. But they are.
Yes, she sobbed in a phone booth over a guy. That will always be a sticking point of why I love/hate the show. But when I really think about what the show has taught me over the many, many years is that: yes, we can save our dudes. We can also have elaborate transformation sequences like the OGs that we are.
There was one major sticking point I had through the movie. A sticking point that made the three of us stare at each other in confusion.
“Sailor Venus has a back story?!” I mouthed.
In the American release of the series, Sailor Venus was a flat character. She came in at the very end of the Queen Beryl arc. We knew very little and thus she was quite uninteresting.
In the movie, we find out Sailor Venus went to Europe. Had a boyfriend. Found out her boyfriend and her best friend was in love. I mean, if there was a time machine in my head, the smaller version of me would be freakin’ out. Sure, it wasn’t the BEST back story by a long shot but it was still a back story. It was a back story that showed she was a little bit more worldly than her teammates and had experienced some legitimate heartache. As an American fan, it is sorely disappointing that this was omitted.
Overall, it was quite enjoyable to see the Sailor Scouts on the big screen. Even though it was just a giant ad to get us to buy the movie when it comes out on digital it was still a wonderful, nostalgic experience. If you get a chance it on the big screen wherever you are I highly recommend doing so.