Sailor Moon S

Sailor Moon SType: TV Series
Episode Count: 38
Genre: Magical Girl / Drama
Vintage: 1994

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 26 Oct 2005

Grade: B

This is the third season of Sailor Moon, and my favorite.

Plot Summary
In this installment of Sailor Moon, a new enemy known as the Death Busters has come to Tokyo. By using Daimohn Eggs to possess everyday objects and change them into monsters, they attempt to steal the pure hearts of innocent people in order to feed and awaken their Messiah of Darkness. This would be trouble enough for our five heroines, but it seems there are another pair after the Pure Heart Crystals… and they are also Sailor Soldiers, but are they friend or foe? Meanwhile, Chibi-Usa has finally found a true friend: the frail yet mysterious Hotaru…

The Review
While at its heart, Sailor Moon is shoujo, this is the story arc that pushes the envelope the most when it comes to conventions as far as Sailor Moon is concerned. When you consider that Kunihiko Ikuhara – who would later go on to direct Revolutionary Girl Utena – is behind the director’s chair for this series, that should come as little surprise.

S is almost certainly the darkest of all five seasons. (At this writing, I have only seen not quite half of Sailor Stars.) It is unmistakably Sailor Moon, but it is the little touches under the surface that bring it to another level. Events carry that extra sense of urgency that past seasons only hinted at. In fact, the series opens with an apocalyptic scene of a distraught Rei helplessly watching as her friends, turned to stone, are obliterated around her in an atmosphere of complete destruction. As it turns out, this is a strong vision that Rei has had during one of the group’s usual study sessions at the shrine.

As time passes, two new characters come into the mix: Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune. These two are also after the Pure Heart Crystals, but while Usagi and company are doing their best to return them to their rightful owners after defeating the monsters, Uranus and Neptune show up in time to intercept the return, trying to collect the Crystals for their own purpose. The presence of Uranus and Neptune brings a new dynamic to the process of saving the innocent victims, furthered by Uranus’s assertion that this time, people will have to die in order for the world to be saved from destruction. It seems Rei is not the only one who has had a vision…

Being the third season, it is assumed the viewer is already aware of the characters’ history, so the story begins right away from the opening scene. Each character does receive a few episodes in the span of the series for further development, so if you’ve got a favorite character, they’ll get an episode or two in the spotlight.

Sailor Moon S seems to carry much more weight than the other seasons, and is not the usual bright and cheery fare one typically expects from a magical girl show, especially in the later episodes. If someone were not usually a fan of shoujo or magical girl shows, this may be a good series to break the ice with. It has all of the magical girl trappings, but with twice the sense of urgency.

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