Story - 6/10
There are two things that make me want to puke when watching shoujo anime, this is how awkward moments are in it. I don't know about you, but I personally grab the hood of my dressing gown, shove it over my head, put earplugs in my ears and sit there calmly until the awkward moment is over; I'm happy to say that Sailor Moon does not have many of these moments in it. The other, however, it has plenty of. Let's give a cheer for cliché anime!
It makes me want to cry whenever something so cliché such as the stereo-typical Tuxedo Mask jumps into the save the day with his red rose. Let's face it; he might as well be the main character with the amount of time he's saved the girls. But despite my criticisms of this show, there is something so charming about Sailor Moon that you've simply got to love it.
Anime fans my age may be familiar with the anime, Mew Mew Power, or in the Japanese version, Tokyo Mew Mew, which was on the television while I was growing up. Sailor Moon is like a slightly better, less hyper and more co-ordinated story of that. It tells the story of a girl called Usagi, nicknamed by her love interest Mamoru who poorly disguises himself as Tuxedo Mask, as “Odango atama” which literally translates as Dumpling Head. Wonderful isn’t it? To cut things short, Usagi discovers that she is a warrior called Sailor Moon who in the first episode must fight to save her friend. Other than in the first episode, she has no reason to fight, she inexplicably does, and the talking cat Luna expects her to also; I found this incredibly frustrating. Not only does she fight without a reason, only later on in the series is it in fact revealed, but each episode introduces a different enemy who they must fight for unexplained reasons. There’s no, “why am I fighting?” crap, it’s straight into the “MOON PRISM POWER MAKE-UP!” and the god awful transformations that come with it.
Sailor Moon is primarily targeted at a younger audience, therefore, if you're expecting depth and detail from this anime, look somewhere else; it's aimed to be simple and easy for kids to remember which is why it ends up being so repetitive.
Animation - 7/10
I've had friends say to me, "I won't watch that! The animation is terrible!" Let me tell you, there are far worse animated series out there, and Sailor Moon is not in that category. Okay, so it's a little bad, but the animation remains colourful and bright which is exactly what was expected of it. Although backgrounds are repeated to no end, the same can be said for ever popular series such as Naruto and Bleach, and the backgrounds are soft and subtle.
Additionally, this animation style delivers the huge eyes aspect of characters which you often see in anime, as well as the cute little marks under them which evidently make a "cute anime character". This completes the shoujoness overload of Sailor Moon.
Sound - 7/10
This anime delivers exactly what you expect - light, bubbly background music, with songs titled things like "Scatterbrained by Nature" and "Falling in Love: a Girls Feelings". The anime does not try to stray away from the shoujo norm, and in fact delivers a more than average performance on the opening song, "Moonlight Densetsu" which is perfect in every way for the anime. Lyrics such as "the twinkling of the constellations, foretells love's whereabouts" accompany the dramatic, yet oddly catchy opening and you soon find yourself singing along! The fact remains that everyone falls in love with this opening over the course of the series and to this day, remains my third most played song on iTunes.
Characters - 8/10
You should all be familiar by now with the term Sailor Moon, however there's not just one, there's five! Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter ready to save the day whenever an enemy shows up. Quite possibly, I might have seen the same episode on repeat 46 times, and you get the idea of how repetitive these characters and their transformations can be. However, this is what makes the anime so lovable.
Usagi, the protagonist and main character of this story is a typical shoujo character; if she were a food, she would be bread. Very stereo-typical, can be found in all homes and everyone eats it, however, who’s to say that’s a bad thing? I love bread. And you can put whatever you want on it, there’s jam, marmalade, chocolate spread, butter, cheese, ham, pickles, you name it! Anything can go with it and voila! You have your anime sandwich!
Comparing the main characters to foods, then Tuxedo Mask would be the yeast which gives rise to this typical character bread which we have. BUT TOO MUCH! Too much, and you will ruin the bread. Tuxedo Mask only brings out the clichés of Usagi’s character for example, how “love-struck she is” or how much she hates him when she meets him as Mamoru. Not only this, but she’s dumb, clumsy and a cry baby. But like mentioned above, I personally love bread, some may hate it, but to me, Usagi still remains one of my favourite characters, and is a likeable character to me.
The other sailor warriors are not much to mention. Again, they are cliché to the point that I feel like I’ve experienced this all before, you have the bookworm, the feisty one, the “bishoujo” one and the one nobody really cares about. But the important thing to remember when evaluating this is that the characters can’t afford to have much depth if this is a children’s anime. They must be memorable, which is probably why they are so cliché, beyond all the transformations.
Another thing to mention is that the characters have literally not difference between them whatsoever when they transform into sailor warriors. I’ve had friends point it out to me by saying, “why don’t they recognise her?” and “aren’t the a bit stupid?” this seriously made me want to bang my head against the wall, but REMEMBER!! This is partly why Sailor Moon is so memorable and is why kids everywhere love it!
Overall - 7/10
Although a considerably flawed and a very childish anime, Sailor Moon still remains a well loved series, and is a well recognised animated series in the Family-Friendly and Shoujo genres. It's a loveable anime, and I must say, for a Naruto-lover like myself, it definitely surprised me that I loved this series so much!