A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Sailor Moon series is available in both subtitled, uncut (and more mature) versions, as well as dubbed, edited versions more appropriate for tweens. Parents might want to determine which version they have access to before giving the OK to younger kids. Some villains in the series look like dried emaciated corpses or monsters that may be scary for some younger viewers, though the more intense imagery has been edited out of the dubbed versions. Also, there is some mild romance in the series and one of the main characters is a bit boy crazy. In later episodes there are a few characters in same-sex relationships, though the dubbed version cuts this out. Also, as is typical with many anime series, the female bodies are exaggerated with long thin legs and tiny waists.
What's the story?
Serena Tsukino (Terri Hawkes in the English dub) is a regular 14-year-old ditsy crybaby when she rescues a talking cat named Luna (Jill Frappier). Luna is a survivor from a long-lost kingdom of the moon whose queen sent her daughter as well as her daughter's guardians and advisors to the future to be reborn. Serena is revealed to be a reincarnation of Sailor Moon, a champion of justice. With Luna's help, Serena eventually uncovers ally "sailor scouts" who help her protect the earth and the princess of the moon from the forces of evil.
Is it any good?
SAILOR MOON is one of the most popular and influential anime franchises in the world and it is easy to see why. The series is full of the stuff that makes girls go crazy for Disney princesses, but with a twist. Sailor Moon has its own princesses (and a handsome prince), but these girls kick butt almost every episode. The girls start out each episode as regular school kids, but they each have a secret identity and a special purpose. What girl wouldn't find that appealing?
The dubbed American version is heavily edited from the original Japanese anime in order to make the series more appropriate for tweens and some of the original storyline and nuances are lost. In addition, some of the voice acting in the American version is downright cringe worthy. Thankfully, Sailor Moon's charm as well as the personalities of the other sailor scouts shine through. The love story between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask (Vince Corazza) as reincarnated lovers is the stuff of soap opera fun and not only provides some romantic fluff to the series, but helps drive part of the storyline later on. Since this is a series aimed at girls, it's refreshing that Sailor Moon isn't often a victim, and instead sometimes rescues her male paramour. Even though the English dub leaves something to be desired, this classic anime series offers appealing characters and lots of girl power.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lack of action-oriented animated series aimed at girls. What are your favorite female super heroes? What makes super heroes good role models for girls?
Families can talk about the different beliefs and views that different cultures have regarding life after death. If you could be reincarnated into anything, what would you be? If reincarnation were real, what do you think your last life might have been like?
Families can also talk about body image in the media. The sailor scout uniforms are very short and the scouts themselves are all thin with exaggerated figures. What types of images are girls shown in the media and does that affect what they view as attractive? Do the images that girls see affect how they view themselves?
Themes & Topics
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