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THE BLACK CAT'S CAULDRON: ANIME: BISHOUJO SENSHI SAILOR MOON: ARTICLE

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon

Kristen Long


 


"A thousand years ago, our moon was home to a great civilization ruled by Queen Serenity. Everything was peaceful until the arrival of the evil Queen Beryl. To conquer the moon, Queen Beryl unleashed the awesome power of the Negaforce. Although her world was destroyed, Queen Serenity’s last hope was the power of the Emporium Silver Crystal and the Crescent Moon Wand. Trapped in moon beam crystals, the Queen sent the princess, Princess Serena, and the children of the moon to the future on Earth. Their memories lost to them all, the queen’s cat advisors Luna and Artemis must find the princess so she will at last be safe. And so our story begins..." (Narrator, Episode 1: A Moon Star is Born)

…with Naoko Takeuchi’s sudden decision to create a series that young girls would want to read. It was to be a “Power Rangers" for girls, in which the principal roles would be held by members of the same sex. In February of 1992 Takeuchi’s dream was introduced to the pre-teen citizens of the island of Japan with the release of the sailor-suited, super-hero, Sailor V. The manga, or graphic novel, series appeared in an issue of Nakayoshi and was an instant success. A few months later, building on the success of her pervious work, the ideas behind Sailor V expanded into a whole team of schoolgirls. Its name Sailor Moon.

More than often people are always telling you to be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. That was the case of the underachiever schoolgirl Tsukino Usagi (Serena). Usagi wished that her life was "as exciting as Sailor V’s". How was Usagi supposed to know that her wish would saturate into her home in the form of a black cat named Luna, a talking cat with a crescent moon on her forehead? A feline that was claiming that Usagi was “destined to be Sailor Moon". With those fate changing words the worlds of Tsukino Usagi, Mizuno Ami (Amy), Hino Rei (Raye), Kino Makoto (Lita), and Aino Minako (Mina) were changed. Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Venus are Earth’s five sailor suited defenders against the Nega-Force.

It may be a simple plot to follow, but it was not an easy to transform this plot from an intense graphic novel into an amusing television animation series. Great deals of modifications were made to the plot and characters. Many of which Takeuchi was not happy with. Amongst them talk of changing the genders of the characters Ten’ou Haruka, Kou Seiya, Kou Taiki, and Kou Yaten, and Zoisite. Talk that resulted in the character Haruka remaining a high school girl, under the conditions that her lover because a family member which whom she was raised. Takeuchi did not disagree with all the modifications that her creation under went.

In 1995, three years after its release in Japan, Sailor Moon traveled across the Pacific Ocean to the shores of North America. The series was another instant success with Canada’s youth population. However, the same could not be said for the series in United States. DiC entertainment had bought the rights to translate and air the hit television series. It is theorized that the failure of Sailor Moon in the United States in part to the fact that broadcasting stations, such as the Warner Brothers, aired the series in the early hours of the morning between five and six when the majority of the nations youth were still sleep. As a result DiC ceased translation of the series after the sixty-fifth episode and it ceased to air. In 1997, prompted by the success of Sailor Moon in Canada and high sales of Sailor Moon dolls, Irwin Toys of Canada sponsored translation of a further seventeen episodes, finally completing the Sailor Moon "R" series for U.S. and other English-speaking viewers.

That same year, Mixx Entertainment obtained permission to release English translated Sailor Moon comic books. In 1999 Pioneer Entertainment released English-language home videos of the three Sailor Moon motion pictures. During the years in which Sailor Moon was receiving low rating in the United States a new television station, Cartoon Network, was discussing by the rights to air the series. On June 12, 2000 Sailor Moon returned the air ways with an additional seventy-seven newly translated episodes. And, this time the series was aired at four-o’clock Eastern Standard Time in the afternoon. A factor that helped to bust Sailor Moon’s popularity in the United States and in Canada. Taking note of Sailor Moon’s raise in popularity and at the demands of the fan Pioneer Entertainment began to release the series on home video and DVD. Cartoon Network's English translation of Sailor Moon S series began airing June 12, 2000

Five years, eighteen manga volumes, two-hundred television program episodes, three movies, and countless specials later, the Sailor Moon story ended due to disagreements between its creator and its publishers. It could easily be believed, that when Takeuchi had started out twelve years ago, that no one could had anticipated the successfulness and the raise in popularity of Takeuchi’s dream the world over.