The two Sailor Moon Eternal films are now streaming on Netflix and promises a new, closer-to-the-manga story. Steve and Nicky check out the latest installment and mull over the love triangle of future daughter-future dad-and-his faithful steed.
Both movies are streaming on Netflix
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Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead.
Nicky, I hope you saved your appetite, because we’ve got two heaping helpings of meatball head on our plate this week.
Look out, Steve! In the name of the moon, they’ll punish you! (for that bad joke)
What can we say about this new moon? Since the 90s, Sailor Moon has remained an essential part of anime’s current cultural DNA. While the original anime is an all time trendsetter even for most of us who didn’t even know what anime WAS, including myself, many people still yearned for an anime closer to its manga counterpart, especially some of the later arcs, that drifted significantly storywise.
For better or worse, that’s how we got Crystal. Arguably for worse, too, because Crystal ended up being pretty bad. But I should note that I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone with a ton of fondness and nostalgia for the ’90s series. It used to air at like 6am, and I remember waking up extra early before school to watch it lol. I also marathoned the whole sailor shebang several years back, so manga faithfulness aside, I think it holds up!
However, in light of being fair, I’ll also say that I tried to rekindle my love when Crystal’s first season launched and felt utterly disappointed with the overall quality. It felt like a total rush job by Toei. And Many fans felt the same.
And I should also note that I mostly bring up Crystal so I can say that this pair of Eternal films is an appreciable step up.
The first movie has plenty of quick-timed gags that made me feel at home with the characters even if I hadn’t seen them in a while. Although this pretty much directly picks up after the last season of Crystal, I didn’t have too many problems following the plot, and the way the first movie is structured around the aspirations of the Inner Guardians, it actually gave a really good idea of their characters after so long.
Ah, yes, the eternal enemy of anime (and this column) is still CLOWNS!
Naoko Takeuchi was oddly prescient!
It’s more of a direct adaption of the manga so this makes sense, but I think it would make the first film in particular lack a little weight if you were just gonna watch it on its own, as a movie.
me, slapping the top of these movies like a used car dealer We can fit so many transformation sequences in here.
And the girls’ mini-arcs are also the closest these films get to communicating actual character development, which is nice, even if they’re facilitated by bonkers stuff like tiny talking Guardians doubles.
If we were to gif all of these, we’d be here all night trying to recreate what’s actually quite a meaty chunk of the two films.
Yeah they’re all flashy to the nines. Not quite what I’d consider virtuosic animation or anything, but they definitely inject the Sailor Moon into Sailor Moon Eternal.
Also why do half of the Guardians have like, dead or somewhat neglectful parents?
Also, also, these movies have a lot of hot animal gijinkas…EVEN THE CROWS HAVE HUMAN FORMS
Look, I did watch that one movie where Luna had the hots for a scientist dude for Christmas, so I somewhat expected this.
Unfortunately, they have about 15 minutes of runtime divided between the three of them, which is a darn shame. ESPECIALLY considering Shouta Aoi was literally born to voice Fish Eye.
The dream to be a queer secret animal running an “herbal” shop. Bless.
Meanwhile, here’s Shouta Aoi in full costume, a spitting image of Fish Eye.
— 蒼井翔太 (@shouta0811aoi) January 7, 2021
Yet he gets like 10 lines of dialogue. It’s criminal.
I may have said this before but it bears, repeating. Like some other famous figures in anime, I’m convinced Shouta Aoi isn’t a human, but a fairy with a twitter account. Able to grant all your 2.5D wishes.
It goes about as well as you’d expect.
I don’t know what kind of Fancy Feast Artemis has been chowing down on, but that is one diesel kitty cat.
Also this arc let me discover that her cat thinks it’s hot to watch her in the shower, which was pretty weird.
We can’t really talk about the overall plot without addressing the insane jealously and competition Chibiusa feels towards the younger version of her mom, Usagi, though.
This is on top of the fact that it’s already weird that Mamoru is entering med school while still dating a fourteen year old.
I still like their little family but any part of it just feels very weird and awkward whenever you start to think about it.
It doesn’t really go anywhere, but it is funny.
And then they teach him out to give kisses, and OF COURSE HE HAS A HOT HUMAN FORM TOO!
I mean I guess it’s nice he redirects Chibiusa’s puppy love away from her future dad and towards him. That’s better? Maybe?
Normal family of three lesbian moms and their daughter who was their friend reborn baby and grew up into a child very quickly, like a few months quickly.
The answer is “the most married.”
Though, it’s also a bit sad because after the last arc the Outer Guardians basically went their separate ways, and everyone misses them. For a second, I thought they were dead, but actually they’re just being a happy family.
Even if, again, this involves Hotaru aging like 10 years in a week or whatever. Sailor Moon is not a place for logic.
He even passes it to Usagi, which is not very cool of him.
Mamoru, for reasons of having to be damseled, again, gets sick for reasons related to blah blah darkness magic, and pushes Usagi away, cuz he’s afraid that being sick and all would only bring her down, and it does!
This is only, like, the fifth time Mamoru has done this exact thing and learned absolutely nothing from it. Alongside the extremely ill-advised incestuousness, it’s another one of Sailor Moon‘s Greatest Hits.
That said, it’s a very good thing the rest of the Guardians are also there, because nothing would ever get done otherwise.
Especially cuz Mamoru and Usagi get taken out of commission, like twice. A lot happens in a very short span of time that the pacing of the second film is a bit much. Also on top of a lot of lore being dumped on the audience about Elysian, Mamoru’s former home, a lot of talk about crystals, and so on and so forth.
Oh yeah and I guess Nehelenia’s whole thing is being the dark equivalent to Serenity’s light side of the moon or something like that. I actually forget what her whole deal in SuperS was, but I wanna say it was at least a little more compelling than pretty much nothing.
In general, though, I think the cronies in Sailor Moon tend to be a lot more fun than the main villains, and that holds fast here as well.
Cursing babies with their prophesied death is a move that’s always in vogue.
Which means: EVERYONE GETS A NEW DRESS!
You bet I’m hollering every time Sailor Moon gets a slightly modified Sailor Moon uniform.
Also, I have a big soft spot for MomoClo’s rockin’ girl power songs. Really helps sell that glittery final sequence.
Oh yeah! And speaking of songs, the end credits for both films include covers of the two original ending songs from SuperS. A nice little treat for us older fans out there.
But yeah, if I wasn’t already sold on Sailor Moon, I don’t think this movie would’ve changed my mind. Some of the weird hang-ups still come up, it’s really truncated, and overall it’s still the same formula. However, it’s really, really pretty and still fun to watch those big transformation sequences.
Like Crystal before it, there’s still no way I enjoy any of this more than I enjoyed the ’90s series, however “unfaithful” an adaptation it was. On the other hand, though, I did have a good time with these films, which is more than I can say for the bits of Crystal I saw. So I’m glad this reboot finally found its footing…even if there is only one more arc left to adapt now lol.
Instead, thankfully, we can end on a positive note, like looking at pictures of cats using a computer.
Don’t you mean, paws-itive?