Tom (Webmaster)

Based on:  Vol 1 - 4 (anime)

UK Distributor:  MVM (DVD & VHS)

Edited?  Yes, this is my review of the edited version of Sailor Moon (SM) – the Western version that was greatly changed from its original Japanese incarnation.  Us Westerners never got the whole of the moon, but at least we got something that was good.

SM begins by introducing us to schoolgirl Serena, who is a typical teen that is interested in boys, food, boys, video games and boys.  Suffice to say she is not a great achiever at school and is more then a little surprised when a black cat named Luna informs her that she (Serena) is in fact ‘Sailor Moon’ and that she is destined to save the Earth from the evil ‘Negaverse’ and that this will be done using her powers along with fellow ‘Sailor Scouts’.  These scouts will reveal themselves in time and as a team they can rid the world of evil by laying waste to the demons of the Negaverse.  Serena accepts this role but her personality does not change and she decides to take this whole coming of age cliché with less angst then you would expect from your usual anime hero.   The only trouble is that Serena doesn’t take easily to saving the world stuff and is more then pleased when the hunky Tuxedo Mask decides to lend a hand.  Tuxedo Mask is a strip-o-gram look-alike hero who is everything a teenage girl could dream of – he’s suave, sexy, sophisticated and saves her ass everytime she is in trouble.  But Serena had better come of age pretty soon as she can’t rely on others forever.  Thus begins the saga of Sailor Moon.

Ok, the above paragraph does make SM seem like a horrible cliché of a show that doesn’t deserve it’s status as an anime classic, but please bear with me as SM is worthy of your attention.

Firstly SM is great fun for either sex as it contains loads of girly romance and tonnes of boyish action.  Male otaku may even be happy that a show has been edited for once as a lot of the dragging romantic storylines have been cut to make way for the action, which means more ass-kicking babes which all guys like.  Female otaku will love the Buffy-esque girl power action and will love the suave Tuxedo Mask and the hunky bad guys of the Negaverse.

Secondly SM does actually have a surprisingly ok plot which leads to several cliffhanger episodes and not the same formulaic episodes which are repeated ad nauseum.  Although many of the plot twists you can see coming an absolute mile off, they can still surprise as I found whilst watching it.  Many of the plot twists happened far sooner then I expected they would and left me genuinely bewildered as to what could happen next.

But now for the inevitable problem of the edit, which is continuity.  Many of the cuts made to SM, such as Melvin’s voyeurism and homosexual relationships, are understandable as SM was aimed at pre-teenagers when it was released in the west during the early 90’s.  Several other cuts have been made, however, which are simply designed to reduce the running time of an episode and often cause confusion.  In every episode character conversation will cut before a certain character can retort for the whole conversation to make sense.  Also when many of the scouts transform for the very first time, the tools they use for transformation appear with no explanation.  Someone just shouts ‘use this!’ and the tool is there!  Where did it come from?  We’ll never know.

Despite this obvious flaw of the edit, SM is still tremendous fun that is highly enjoyable from start to finish.  The plot is so easy to follow that small bits that the edit misses out really do not matter and their exclusion makes the show move much faster and keeps it action-packed.  Yes, I know that it is criminal to interfere with an artist’s vision and present in way they never intended, but that does not mean that cannot enjoy SM.  Try to think of the edited series as a completely different show to the original and treat them differently.  Where as the original version contains more story and romance, the edited version concentrates more on action and keeps the romance to a necessary minimum.  Decide which suits you more and go for it as either will not disappoint you.


Back To Reviews Archive