laceblade: Sailor Uranus performing World Shaking attack (animated) (Sailor Moon: World Shaking)
Yesterday's poll was a dud, AND I LOVE POLLS if you have not noticed.

I don't always listen to the poll, but sometimes I do!

Anyway, since the Sailor Moon manga has started to be re-released in the US, retailers have started carrying Sailor Moon merchandise again. I've seen it at Hot Topic and RightStuf.com.

Hot Topic just started carrying some outer senshi t-shirts: Here's Sailor Uranus and here's Sailor Saturn. (There is also a Sailor Pluto t-shirt but I don't like it very much.)

Hot Topic t-shirts are expensive to me! BUT I rarely buy new clothes anyway, and the idea of being so excited to get dressed on weekends is appealing to me.
I also....already own two Sailor Moon t-shirts from Hot Topic (the black one with all 5 inner senshi and the purple one with Sailor Moon and Chibi-Usa holding Luna-P).


Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11


Which Sailor Moon outer senshi t-shirt should I get?!

View Answers

Sailor Uranus
2 (18.2%)

Sailor Saturn
3 (27.3%)

BOTH
5 (45.5%)

Why does the Pluto shirt suck so much?
1 (9.1%)

Where's Neptune?
0 (0.0%)





Maybe some day I'll actually post about my personal life again. MAYBE NOT.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Buffy title)
The blog Manga Bookshelf regularly hosts what they call, "Manga Moveable Feasts," which are essentially blog carnivals for specific series.

This week, people who blog about manga have been writing about Sailor Moon. You can find link round-ups of the various posts here. I especially enjoyed Sailor Moon and Femininity.

In this roundtable post, while discussing the likeability of Usagi (Sailor Moon)'s character at the onset of the series, David says the following:

[Sailor V]’s excited that she can become glamorous and powerful and, to a lesser extent, help people. If Usagi had something compelling going on in her life, the added responsibilities might actually seem like a burden, but she seems put out because it’s cutting into her nap time. It reminds me of how right Joss Whedon got this dynamic so right with Buffy, whose destiny was really gruesome and dangerous, and Cordelia, who went from being very shallow to really enjoying making a difference. Usagi is a very “Math is hard!” type. I’m looking forward when manga Usagi catches up with anime Usagi, who was a lot more likable and credible.

There is this thesis I've had for a while, that all Joss Whedon TV shows* are based on anime series.
Dollhouse can be mapped pretty easily to Gunslinger Girl.
Firefly has a very similar premise to Cowboy Bebop.
(In both cases, I would argue that the anime is better.)

Although less obvious at first blush, I'd postulate that the premise & some characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer map on to Sailor Moon.
(In this case, I would argue that Buffy takes Sailor Moon and makes it into an overall better show.)

Usagi Tsukino/Buffy Summers is a blonde school girl who has special powers. Usagi/Buffy's friends have special powers, too, but Usagi/Buffy's powers are The Most Special and instrumental in saving the world multiple times.

Usagi/Buffy have a love interests in a tall/dark/handsome man, Tuxedo Mask/Angel. This love interest is forbidden in both series (Angel is a vampire; Tuxedo Mask is after the Imperium Crystal - JUST LIKE THE ENEMY), and the man is marked as suspicious by Usagi/Buffy's narrative-dumping mentor with a British accent, Luna/Giles. [I should note that Luna's accent is only British in the English dub, but if Whedon did watch Sailor Moon in the mid-nineties, he probably watched the dub.]

Usagi/Buffy fight against a never-ending horde of demons. Their friends help them! I view Willow as a combination of Sailor Mercury (girl genius with an IQ of 300) and Sailor Mars (a spiritual & mature person, with a temper).
Xander is a little more narratively useful because he doesn't have any special powers. But he's much more fleshed out than Usagi's power-less friend Naru, who is mostly forgotten after the first arc of the manga.

The cross-series relationship that interests me the most is the fusion of Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn into Buffy's younger sister, Dawn.
Spoilers for Buffy season 5 and the 2nd/3rd story arcs of Sailor Moon, if you care. )

In the TV show, Buffy's receipt of her ultimate power through the vehicle of a scythe (never referenced in any previous season) seems kind of out of place, but it could be a nod to shoujo anime in general, or Sailor Moon specifically. Sailor Moon has a crescent wand when she first transforms. Overtime, as her power grows, the wand changes and develops into a staff.

Overall, I think that Buffy is a better-developed show. Sometimes the shows explore the same themes - what would happen if Buffy/Usagi lost their powers? What would happen if Angel/Tuxedo Mask's personality changed and they were evil? What happens to Usagi/Buffy when he leaves? but I think Buffy does a better job of examining power and responsibility. It also has a lot more dudes, so depending on your preference, YMMV.

It's my head-canon that Whedon came up with Buffy after watching the Sailor Moon anime, and possibly reading the manga. I can pretty clearly imagine him watching it, and tearing his hair out, thinking, "This premise has so much potential! I can make it so much better if I just do this here, and that there...." etc.

*Due to Angel's status as a spinoff of Buffy, I leave this out of the postulation.


ETA: As this is the type of post to generate discussion, I just want to point out that there are comments on both the DW and the LJ version of the post. DW people, the link to LJ is below.

LJ people, the DW link is here: http://laceblade.dreamwidth.org/545960.html



Daughter of ETA:
After spending some time on Google, I wanted to link to some things I found.

1) A discussion in the comments at Whedonesque. Comments also compare Ann & Alan to Drusilla & Spike. Someone calls Sailor Moon porn there, though, so I'm not really sure what that's about.

2) This blog post purports that one of the movie producers, Fran Rubel Kuzui, was a Sailor Moon fan. It's well-known that the Kazuis had no creative input on the TV series, though.

There's an interview here with Fran Rubel Kuzui, that talks about bringing some of Sailor Moon's traits to Buffy.
Kuzui wanted to bring Sailor Moon’s traits and martial arts skills to the character. "The writer, Joss Whedon, loved the idea, so we set out to rewrite the script." The movie was picked up by a studio within three weeks of the revised script’s completion.

Kuzui was married to a Japanese man, Kaz Kuzui, the third executive producer of Buffy.

3) There are at least 13 crossover fics..
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Venus manga)
I don't really have anything to say, except that I keep uploading Sailor Moon icons and I can't stop!


I was thinking yesterday that my favorite characters in Sailor Moon vary, depending on the source.

Sailor Moon is a rich fandom in that there are multiple iterations of the story that are widely consumed by fandom - there are different canons that are all canon!

The main three are the manga, the anime, and the live-action.
There are also a whole bunch of musicals, which I'll be watching once I'm finished with the anime.


In the manga, my favorites are Mars, Venus, Saturn, and usually Moon.

In the anime, I find Venus heinous but not likeable. I find Mars less irritating than Venus, but do not love her nearly as much as I do in the manga.
In the anime, I like Uranus and Moon, and Chibi Moon. I think Jupiter and Mercury are pretty likeable, too.

I've only watched PGSM (live-action) once, but I kind of like everyone in it. The options are more limited here - there are no Outer Senshi. Mercury was totally sweet, but I found all of the characters likeable. Unlike the manga, which focuses characterization on Usagi, and the anime, which inexplicably focuses characterization on the enemies, PGSM does a fantastic job of fleshing out everyone.


I want to write about favorite pairings, but I think I'll wait until I get through Stars, to see if I favor Usagi/Seiya, or not.


I think my favorite thing about each iteration is that it passes the Bechdel Test without batting an eye. This is because THE ENTIRE CAST is almost always women, except for brief/useless appearances by Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru Chiba.
laceblade: fanart of Sailor Venus, smiling at the viewer, looking like a BAMF (Sailor Venus)
OMG the Stars season of Sailor Moon is so good!

But in heinous news, Sailor Star Maker's attack is, "Star Gentle Uterus!!"

LOLWAHT.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Sailor Uranus)
So I was going to write a long post about Sailor Uranus and why she's awesome, but I decided to go with a YouTube video of hers/Neptune's transformation sequences and attacks instead.

After they transform, Uranus and Neptune say something like,
"Heralded by the New Age, I am Sailor Uranus, acting gorgeously." (Neptune's is 'gracefully.')


Other relevant points:
--In civilian!clothing, Haruka (Uranus) dresses in pants and suit coats. In fact, she actually cross-dresses (she wears the "boys'" student uniform for her high school). When Usagi (Sailor Moon) first meets her, she assumes that Haruka is a man, and follows her around because she and Mina (Sailor Venus) have crushes on her. Hilarity ensues.

--Sailors Uranus and Neptune (both subjects of the YouTube video) are canonically in love, both in the manga and the anime. Two women, who love each other, and don't die. In a series made for children in the mid-nineties!

--Haruka (Uranus) drives race cars and pilots helicopters. She also plays piano and is basically good at everything.

--Not only are Uranus and Neptune totally in love, but they have a Special Secret Mission that is different from that of Sailor Moon & friends. It means that they talk to each other dramatically, in low voices.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Sailor Uranus)
Yesterday, I bought a couch. It is the most expensive thing I've ever bought with my own money, aside from rent. It will be delivered some time tomorrow. YAY, COUCH!
My apartment is beginning to feel like a home; I suspect this will only improve as I continue to furnish it (a rug for the living room, a for reals coffee table, etc.)



I am still in the middle of my Sailor Moon S re-watch (which comes in the middle of an entire series!watching project). AGGGH, how did I not love Uranus & Neptune this much before?! I think Sailor Uranus is one of my favorite scouts. In the future, I will make a post about Their Lesbian Love and why fangirls of the Internets should try Sailor Moon.



Last night, I watched "Up" for the first time. THAT MOVIE DESTROYED MY SOUL, INTERNET. I mean, I loved the dogs and KEVIN and RUSSELL, but I could barely enjoy it because I cried so much. Boyfriend and I wibbled on the couch together.



I read Del Rey's Zuko's Story. The character designs are based on the actors who appeared in Failbender, but as this manga-esque comic was a prequel, the story wasn't altered and I actually enjoyed it. Most people look about the same, except for Iroh.

Del Rey also released a version of the Failbender movie, again based on character designs of the actors. I'm not sure I could stomach it the same way I did the Zuko Story though, so I probably won't do it.



I finished reading the High School Debut manga. I found this series enjoyable enough, although I wish Haruna would have resisted stereotypical gender norms a little bit more (or at all). That said, this series was overall adorable but not something I'd want to reread. I think the middle lagged a little bit; I really hated Yoh's sister. For a manga series especially, I thought that the final volume was a great ending.



I still think about Inception ALL THE TIME after seeing it last Sunday. I am a shameless Joseph Gordon-Levitt admirer. He follows Jay Smooth on Twitter! He has this website called HitRecord.org, on which people collaborate with their own original material to make awesome things. He also appears to like fanart, or will at least re-blog it.

Also watch this video advertising a benefit for the website! His voice-acting is awesome! I WANT HIM TO BE CAST IN A GHIBLI MOVIE.

If anyone has any Arthur/Ariadne fic recs, please point me to them.
The Internet is infested with Arthur/Eames. I might post my Thoughts on Fanfic in the future....I just don't get as excited by it as other people, I don't think. I don't know why, because I love the IDEA of it. Possibly it's because I don't find enjoyment in reading pornographic fic. I want emotional fulfillment! Sex just makes it weird for me.



Lastly....Can somebody please stop the Evangelion spin-offs?! Every time one comes out, I HAVE TO READ IT. It is very upsetting.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Rei)
Staying home sick means an icon post.

If you like the art used in the icons, please visit the artists' websites:
Here and here.

Preview:



The rest lie under the cut. )

For those unfamiliar with Sailor Moon....the femslash potential is basically endless.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
--Viz editor Pancha Diaz shares thoughts on Ooku, after it won the Tiptree Award.

--A site with neat Sailor Moon fanart! [Yes, I am still on my Sailor Moon kick. Expect a post on Season R in the near future.]

--Legally Blonde and How It is Awesome

--30 Rock Meta! Which explains some of the complicated feelings I also have toward 30 Rock. (The conclusion being....I love Liz Lemon! Most of the time.)

--Dear Manga, You are Broken. I'm not sure if I agree with *everything* here (for example, aren't manga prices in the U.S. similar to those in Japan? There is only so much that a publisher can do, although I agree that prices can be expensive. I am very grateful that the place I live has a pretty healthy used-book market that includes manga.
At any rate, it is a pretty inclusive summary of issues in the world of manga publishing, whether you are an outsider to the fandom or not.



I just made it through the first disc of Spice & Wolf from Netflix, which contains episodes 1-7.
I didn't expect to like this series because I was afraid it would be a bit moe.

However, it is so not. I love it so much!

A merchant and a wolf-god of the harvest travel together in a European-ish world. It is about economics and Autumn and what it means for people to lose faith. Also, apples.

I love the ending sequence. The lyrics are pretty non-sensical, but it makes me want to sing along: I want to dance with the peanut butterflies!



For a more sensible preview, read [livejournal.com profile] etrangere's write-up in this post.
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
I am no stranger to Sailor Moon, although this is the first time I'm attempting to write about the show in any great detail.

I collected the manga in volumes as it was released by MIXX/Tokyopop. Sailor Moon was my first anime, although I didn't grow up watching it on TV when I was a little kid. My best friend showed me the R movie when I was a freshman in high school, and at that time, SuperS was airing on TV after school.
My Sailor Moon history is pretty extensive, but it's also an extensive fandom.
--I have read and reread the entire manga many, many times.
--I have seen S and SuperS (seasons 3 and 4) a fair number of times in English dub, S once in sub.
--I have seen the entire live-action series.

This is the first time I've seen Season 1; my goal is to watch the rest of the series, and then I might try watching fansubbed copies of the Myus (Sailor Moon live-action stage musicals).

When dubbed and edited for American broadcast, DiC made a lot of alterations that changed the tone of the show. I feel that this is best shown (concisely) by the different opening sequences. The Japanese OP focuses a lot on duality (Sailor Moon v. Usagi), and is very flowery and twirly. The American OP focuses on action, speeds up a lot of the animation, and adds gaudy frames and electric guitar. [Note that the Japanese Season 1 gets a new OP after Jupiter and Venus join the team.]

Japanese opening:

American opening:

I really like Serena's voice in the first few episodes of the dub, before they change it. She actually sounds like a 14-year-old girl.

After about 20 episodes, Serena's best friend Molly (before she met the other Sailor Senshi) accidentally falls in love with one of the enemy! Serena tries to tell her not to love Nephlite, but Molly doesn't listen. She knows that deep down inside, he has a good soul. Too bad that in the English dub, Nephlite sounds like a total pedophile, and her trying to save him just ends up being confusing and WTF. "MOLLY, HE'S EVIL," doesn't hold sway with Molly.


After Nephlite bites the dust, Queen Beryl asks Zoisite to attack the Sailor Senshi. Zoisite does so, while fellow Minor Big Bad Malachite watches on.
At times, Zoisite can be a little effeminate - crossing his legs and holding his fingertips to his lips when laughing.

It is soon apparent that Kunzite and Malachite are totally in love. Kunzite dies in Malachite's arms, and later Malachite angsts over a photograph of himself and Kunzite. So of course, in the DiC dub, Kunzite is made female. (This becomes more disturbing in Season S, when the lesbian pair Sailors Uranus and Neptune are referred to as "cousins" in the English dub.)


While I didn't mind Mamoru in the manga, I basically hate Darien in Season 1 of the anime. He's so mean and useless! The dramatic plot is stupid too - he already has amnesia, so then when he's captured, he gets amnesia AGAIN.

I won't spend a lot of time on it because so many other people have elsewhere on the Internet, but Sailor Mars is my favorite sailor senshi (although it is really hard to choose....I love everyone except for Mercury). And in the anime, she's boy-crazy and constantly nagging/arguing with Usagi. In the manga, she's arguably the most mature of the Inner Senshi, and ends up taking a chastity vow for Sailor Moon. She has absolutely no interest in men (and Naoko Takeuchi loves to draw her provocatively with Sailor Venus).


DiC edited the series pretty heavily throughout. While the write-ups at this site are irritating to me this site comprehensively describes the changes made to every episode of Sailor Moon. None of the editing was as extensive as the editing done to the last two episodes of Season 1 (at least, not yet).
The ending is much more dramatic in the Japanese version; Sailors Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, and Mars all die, in addition to Tuxedo Mask. After Sailor Jupiter dies and Sailor Moon wants to capitulate to Queen Beryl to end the death, Sailor Mercury actually slaps her. All of this was deleted from the dubbed version.

The sacrifice of each Senshi is so moving! And I love how Usagi is so naive, and how the other girls are all in silent agreement that this is necessary. After Sailor Mercury volunteers to stay behind, Sailor Mars leads the way forward while Sailor Venus literally pushes Sailor Moon away so that they leave Mercury behind, taking advantage of her sacrifice in getting farther away.

Hearing their death screams is also a lot more dramatic than DiC's dub, in which the girls always give quips about the "Negaverse" (apparently "Dark Kingdom" wasn't a badass enough title) being "Negatrash," etc.

I take personal satisfaction in that Sailor Mars' death was the most dramatic - her screams were most nightmare-inducing, and I LOVED her grabbing the tail of the second youma after the youma and Sailor Moon both thought she was dead, and yelling, "I'm not done yet!" and then killing the youma with Fire Soul.

It's also way more dramatic when she faces the mind-controlled Endymion (/Darien/Tuxedo Mask) - he holds her up by the neck while she screams.


It's probably because I just re-watched all of Buffy, but there are a lot of parallels. Buffy as a whole is a better-developed show, and Buffy is not so whiny as Usagi, but it's relatively the same: a blonde chosen one who experiences a lot of growth over the course of the series as she is helped by her friends (oftentimes much more mature than she) to defeat supernatural enemies. When Endymion gets mind-controlled, there are many overtones of Angelus. And I'll probably revisit the parallels when I write about the S Season, specifically between Dawn and Hotaru.

Pioneer used to own the license to distribute Sailor Moon in the U.S., but they have gone out of business. Currently, nobody holds the license. Because the DVDs/etc. are out of print, it is possible to watch them online at YouTube. I highly recommend using Wikipedia to keep track of episodes (Japanese and U.S. numbering are different, as the US cut some episodes).

Reward for making it to the end: a fan-made version of the OP, in which Japanese fanboys make a live-action version. American fans who are unfamiliar with Japanese fandom: YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT HEINOUS IS. [My favorite part is the man in the cat-suit.]

laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
x-posted in [livejournal.com profile] halfamoon


Sailor Moon is a manga series created by Naoko Taekuchi. It ran from 1992 to 1997, and has spawned a 5-season anime series, three movies, a musical, and most recently a live-action retelling of the story.

Many people are familiar with the anime version of Sailor Moon, as it aired on Cartoon Network for a number of years.

What many people don't know is that the original manga version of Sailor Moon, crafted by Naoko Takeuchi, is a fantastic and mature manga series. In the English dub version of the story especially, many things are "dumbed down" from the original source material. For example, the homosexual relationship between Sailors Neptune and Uranus is erased in the English dub. Instead, they are referred to as "cousins."

Usagi Tsukino is a lazy middle school student who loves video games. One day, she finds a talking cat, who tells her that she is actually a champion of justice, Sailor Moon. Usagi is incredulous, but when her best friend is attacked, she does not hesitate to save her. Throughout the course of the series, Usagi finds other girls who are Sailor Senshi just like her. While fighting various incarnations of evil, they also deal with school, entrance exams, families, and boys.

Sailor Moon is one of few manga series to highlight a lesbian relationship without making it into a huge deal. Normally, for a manga or anime series to have a homosexual relationship, the story focuses exclusively on the relationship. In the case of Sailor Moon, the genre is very clearly "magical school girl," but Takeuchi allows her characters to interact naturally without detracting from the main plot.

Also, Takeuchi's art books sometimes contain slash-tastic drawings of her characters. She seems to love paring Sailors Mars and Venus together, with their arms around each other, etc. There are some examples of this in the icons below!

Art styles used by manga-ka (people who write/draw manga) are always evolving, but it is difficult to find consistent quality artwork from the mid-1990s. Takeuchi's artwork is a massive exception, and to this day, I think that this series' artwork is the most beautiful I've seen.
Also, Takeuchi makes adorably cute chibi versions of all her characters.

As for the [livejournal.com profile] halfamoon angle, almost the entire main cast is female, as well as the supporting cast. Girls are everywhere, and they save each other and kick ass.



38 Icons! I apologize for not being very good at making icons. )

In the U.S., licenses have lapsed on both the anime series and on the manga series. The anime is still relatively easy to find on DVD, but the manga series is becoming increasingly rare. It was published by Mixx (which later became TokyoPop), but I would love to see a re-issuing here, much like they are currently releasing in Japan. Mixx did not do a very good job at binding the pages together. I own all 18 volumes, but many of them are falling apart!
laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
That's right. Herein lies a list of everything (I think!) I read and watched over winter break. I guess there's not as much as I thought there was. Oh well. I'm in the midst of the novel Snow Crash right now, which is pretty awesome. Also, I'll be reading a crapload this semester for all of my awesome classes. Anyway, here we go:

Things I Read )

Things I Watched )

Profile

laceblade: Mitsuki of Kyoukai no Kanata anime, in school uniform, looking at viewer, uneasy (Default)
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