Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary: Why I’m Still A Magical Girl

Hello! My name is Sophie, if you listen to The Lying Cat Cast you’ll know me as one of the co-hosts. I’ll be occasionally writing for Panels And Pixels from now on. For my first post here’s a short piece about why the Sailor Moon anime is so important to me and why I’m looking forward to the 20th Anniversary. 

When I was a kid I had a great love of animated TV shows. Some of my favourites were Spider-Man and X-Men, of course, but there was one that I always remained obsessively loyal to: Sailor Moon. It was the first time I had been presented with an animated character I could actually relate to. I wanted to be this grown up girl fighting evil. I was a tomboy yet I loved the Sailor Scouts. The idea that I could transform into this pretty but tough superhero was amazing and that feminist image far surpassed any comic superwoman I had seen before. So to me, Sailor Moon is my one true feminist icon. She is feminine but strong, ditzy but brave, she was surely very influential to many young women in my generation.

Many may have noticed there’s been a massive boom of Sailor Moon merchandise and news lately for the 20th anniversary. There are all sorts of new goodies, from clothes to manga, a tribute album to events and toys. The biggest news (apart from the new series coming our way this summer) is a remastered, uncut stream of the original series. Hulu and Neon Alley will be releasing the episodes across the next few months, fully remastered and re-subbed, with dubs coming soon. They will be presented as they were originally written in Japan, completely fresh but still keeping the classic magical girl vibe.

As well as the new series, there's also a brand new tribute album.

As well as the new series, there’s also a brand new tribute album.

One of the most interesting things about this news is what it means for the characters and story. There have been a lot of different versions of Sailor Moon released, dubbed and translated across dozens of different countries but a lot of things got lost in translation. For example, I didn’t know until Matt told me the other day (Ed. note: Thanks to a great article on The Mary Sue), that Michiru and Haruka are not meant to be cousins but lovers! I always suspected they were in love but the translated anime made it clear they were actually related instead. Now having the ladies as they were meant to be presented and later helping raise Sailor Saturn together, it just proves how brilliant and relevant Sailor Moon still is after all these years. The whole cast is made up of strong girls, not defined by the men they date, making friends, studying hard and kicking evil ass. They love who they want, dream what they want and ultimately are a brilliant role model for today’s tweens and adolescents alike.

I know that through this faithful translation I’ll learn all sorts of new things and fall in love with the series all over again.

Author: Sophie

Sophie is a budding writer and novelist. You will usually find her in a small corner, giggling over goofy fantasy novels and comic books. Her other interests include gaming, archery and cuddling her fluffy dog a lot. @Gee4Arika on Twitter and Tumblr.

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