Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Review

When I mentioned Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, I am surprised some people haven't seen it and I decided to write a little something about it, since I also was surprised that I hadn't done a post on it yet. I did a review for JapanHero but the site is down and I don't know where it is. Anyway, fans nickname the show "PGSM," it was more like the Manga than the Anime and then went its own way. It had 49 episodes and Final Act which was a movie that came out on DVD after the series ended. The series aired from 2003 to 2004, only lasted one year and only covered the first manga and had no Chibi-moon or Outer Senshi (Pluto, Saturn, etc.). It did feature Sailor Luna, which was the human form of the cat Luna, Dark Mercury--which was Mercury under an evil spell and Sailor Moon got a Princess Sailor Moon powerup, which was her past self incarnation that worked on her own motives. Some people can't believe it has been 20 years since Sailor Moon manga came out in 1992 but I can't believe its been almost 8 years since this series aired.

The girls had regular hair before they transformed and then donned wigs when in costumes. I think part of the reason the series only lasted one year was because the teenage actresses had to dress in these real costumes, and it was over-dealing for them to do it for five years. Plus, most Tokustasu casts only lasted for one year. So if you don't know the Sailor Moon story, this story is about a teenage girl Usagi who finds a stuffed kitty who can talk and gives her a magical locket to become Sailor Moon. She fights a monster that possesses her friend's mother and is helped by the mysterious Tuxedo Kamen. Ugly Betty-ish sweet smarty Ami is found out to be Sailor Mercury and Usagi wants to include her with her own friends but Ami is so used to rejection. They hang out at Crown Karaoke, instead of the Arcade in the Manga and Anime.

Usagi and Ami meet Rei, a young priestess whose father is absent and mother is dead and Sailor Mars is not for joining the team. New student Makoto/Sailor Jupiter later joins the team and they meet Queen Beryl, the one behind the monsters and find out their past lives was on the Moon. Sailor Venus makes her appearance (shedding her Sailor V form) and says she is the Moon Princess, but it is all a rouse. Teen Idol Minako, unlike her previous selves in the Manga and Anime, is not cheerful and remembers her past life and takes it seriously. There is four kings that work for Beryl and when most of them are defeated, the last one aims his eye on Mercury. They had all become great friends but the girls get distracted and Ami is left alone, victim to become Dark Mercury. Luna becomes Sailor Luna, a little girl, in order to fill the void. In a way, Sailor Luna is like the 'sixth ranger' but both Mars and Venus act more like the 'sixth ranger.' For a couple of episodes, Mars is like the loner rival and for the majority of the series, Venus doesn't join the team and is a lone entity.

Eventually it is found out that Usagi is the moon princess and Mamoru is Prince Endyimon, donning his prince outfit. It takes a long time for Usagi to figure out Mamoru, who she finds annoying is Tuxedo Kamen, but he found out her identity early on. Venus is against them being together, she blames their union on why they all died in the first place. It is then revealed that Queen Beryl wanted Endyimon and that's all she wanted and followed Queen Meteria, who needs human's energies. Mercury is eventually cured, Beryl creates a girl Mia that is like her and she makes the girls' normal lives hell. Mia is a teen idol rival of Minako. Usagi and Mamoru become a couple and Beryl kidnaps Mamoru, making the inner Princess Serenity come out of Usagi and become Princess Sailor Moon. Mia entertains Mamoru in the dark kingdom.

It is later found out that Minako is dying of a disease. Many believe that Dark Mercury was a replacement of Dark Endyimon from the manga and anime but Dark Endyimon does appear and Usagi is forced to defeat him. In the end, the big villain is believed to be Queen Meteria but in reality, it was Princess Serenity, whose crystal was feeding Meteria and making the end of the world. Princess Serenity's aim was to make the world end so she and Endyimon be back together. Venus dies and is reborn at the end. I was happy that Sailor V appeared more than once in this series (she got her own prequel in Act Zero---thanks Hat! for reminding me) when in the Anime, she appeared in a flashback of one episode. I was not crazy about Sailor Luna's inclusion, and the actress that played her, thought she was going to be Chibi-Moon. And the creator Naoko Takeuchi admitted she wished Uranus and the others would be in the series.

After Queen Metalia's power began to grow exponentially in reaction to the Silver Crystal's power, a new type of Youma began to emerge in Acts 31, 37-38, 40-41, 43 and 47. Like mentioned before, the Gorma Hei of Zyuranger appeared, possibly a Power Rangers reference, but they never had a name. I liked the monster designs, not the ones before but others. Anyway, in the final act--it took place four years later and no new Sailors and they hadn't used their powers in a while. Usagi and Mamoru got married and they fought Mia and defeated her. The special effects were kinda corny and not as great as the ones in Super Sentai. The PGSM series is not perfect but I liked it, you get sucked into it, it is immersing. It is worth watching. Hat! reminded me about Act Zero, I did think about it when I wrote this though, the prequel dealt more with Usagi than Minako and I felt the origin story was a bit rushed and a little too convenient.


Hat! said...

You forgot about act 0!

Douglas said...

pretty good job summerizing the whole show. unlike some people i actually went into it not expecting the source material or anime but a different take at the basic plot we all knew. the girls were perfect to me. loved the whole Henshin form since they didn't look the same sans Rei so it made hiding their identities much easier. loved the humor revolving around Luna and Artimes and thought Sailor Luna was cute.
when i got to the end i wished for more than 1 season.

Crystal said...

I came across PGSM by chance and was thrilled. I devoted my lonely nights in my dorm room to the series when I should have been doing homework. Wish it would have went on another season. Maybe we could have seen the outer senshi and chibi-moon, who knows. Overall I enjoyed what episodes I was able to see before I moved back home.

EZ8 said...

Great review article, much appreciated!

lol @ the Putties