And we are back with Anime Discovery and it is with……..more Sailor Moon.
*AW COME ON!!*
Yes, we’re going back with Sailor Moon but this is the second series of the classic franchise, Sailor Moon R. In case the subtitle didn’t make this evident, the R in here stands for ‘Romance’ and it serves as a major theme throughout the season. This review covers the first half of the second season with episodes 47-68.
The first half covers the Makaiju Arc with Usagi Tsukino and her friends are reborn on Earth, after defeating the Dark Kingdom, which caused their memories of their lives as the Sailor Senshi begin to disappear. Two new transfer students, Seijuro Ginga and Natsumi Ginga, join Usagi’s class at Juuban Junior high school. Around the same time, two new enemies appear, calling themselves Ail and An. While the Black Moon Arc clan does cover the rest of the season with the character Chibiusa being most of the central focus of being hunted down by the Black Moon Clan, discovering who she really is and protecting her at all costs.
So on the Makaiju Arc, aside from bringing the memory back to the girls and Mamoru back into being the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, this is just an inane filler arc that has a pointless side-story of those two aliens that obviously love each other because every time when one of them flirts with any character, they get into a jealous rage and send some monster of the week to do some damage. Not to mention, they both masquerade as brother and sister and thankfully, that didn’t cross into incest territory because there has been too many anime I’ve seen into that.
Honestly, I find both Ail and An annoying during their whole romantic plot because it goes on like an amateur Shakespeare story that you really wish those characters would get killed off quick. If there was anything salvageable in this arc, I still like the individual episodes involving around the Sailor Guardians as I believe some of them do retain what makes them likable characters and as much as Usagi constantly whines about various things, at least it’s not as annoying as Ail and An’s bullshit.
Now for the Black Moon Clan up to episode 68, this is just a taste of what’s about to do down as this is pretty much the rest of the season. Chibiusa is basically a brat and as annoying as she is, she’s 2nd fiddle. Her taking to Mamoru does get a bit creepy when she’s infatuated with him as…..well, [SPOILER!!!] because as you think about that with them, it gets a little [SPOILER!!] knowing about that. Oh and the whole Mamoru breaking up with Usagi because he wants to protect her…..yeah, that felt so cliché that I know where this is going to end up.
The animation is still on par with the first series with some new transformation magical girl animation sequences that’s actually one of the better sequences I saw in the series. The rest is their standard animation from the fights to the ones played out for gags and exaggerated expressions that serves for some of the comedy.
The music……well, of course, you’ll get the iconic theme, “Moonlight Legend” and then you got the ending theme, “A Maiden’s Policy” is performed by Yoko Ishida and this is just not as good as the first two ending themes and not to mention that the animation is bland as well with just Usagi walking cycles.
The English dub got some new additions to its cast. First, it’s with Brian Beacock and Johanna Luis as Ail and An, respectively and while I don’t like the characters, I can say that they were decent in their performances. Not my favorite but manageable performances in there and then you got a veteran voice actor voicing Chibiusa and that is Sandy Fox and she is known for having this little girl cute voice and guess what? She fits the character of Chibiusa and she does great with that performance. Everybody else was fine as usual, still think the best out of those main girls is Amanda Miller and Kate Higgins voicing Jupiter and Mercury (both of whom are my favorite characters) and another highlight, you’ll hear Cassandra Lee Morris as Calaveras for a short time in her first Studiopolis dub.
FINAL VERDICT (for now): Yeah…….looking back at the first half of this, this is really not that promising and I can see why that Makaiju arc was forgotten in SMC (hell, I might give that show a point for getting rid of that arc as dull as that show is). This was really a weak start with R along with some been-there-done-that elements with the Mamoru/Usagi thing and bothersome side characters (Ail and An) that do nothing of value for the show. I think it does slightly better from here but I’m not hoping for much.
As usual, I’m not going to give it a rating until I watch the second half of R but so far, it’s tittering between a VANILLA OR a Low OKAY
The first set of SAILOR MOON R is being released on Blu-ray and DVD July 2015. It is now available for streaming on Hulu through Neon Alley.
And that it is for me. I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, and in the name of the Moon, I’m glad those two morons Ail and An are gone.
SAILOR MOON R – animated by TOEI ANIMATION / distributed by VIZ MEDIA