Monday, June 9, 2014

Daytime Heroes: Sailor Moon (1992)

Japan has imported a number of anime series to the US since the 60's. While today's audience is accustomed to the likes of Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and so on, there have been others that have come before them that remain in the pop culture fabric to this day.

One of those series is Sailor Moon, which ran for five seasons in Japan, starting in 1992, adapted from a manga series. DIC (now part of Cookie Jar) was the first studio to be licensed to produce an English language version of the series, but now the rights belong to Viz Media, which is streaming episodes on Hulu, mostly the original Japanese versions.

Sailor Moon did enjoy a network run, albeit briefly, on Fox a number of years back, but it did not last very long, due likely to the network's unpleasant habit of shuffling its lineup every few weeks. If you hadn't been following the series in weekday syndication before Fox picked up the rights, you were, in effect, S.O.L.. It can be suggested that Sailor Moon, while being the most successful girl-centric action cartoon ever, it did touch off the modern era's interest in creating new series with female protagonists.

Most of you know this intro, albeit with original Japanese logo graphics:

For American audiences, at least in one translation, two of the Sailor Scouts (Wikipedia refers to them as the Sailor Soldiers) were rebooted as cousins, rather than depict them as being gay, the better to avoid the protests of certain watchdog groups from the South. The series was also immortalized in the lyrics to the Barenaked Ladies' mid-90's hit, "One Week", in which vocalist Ed Robertson raps that the Sailor Scouts are "boom anime babes that make me think the wrong thing". Can't see how, since I think they're all underage.

Rating: B.

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