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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sailor Moon Crystal is a Japanese anime series (available in a subtitled version online) that centers on an ongoing battle over a powerful mythical crystal. The story's heroes are teen girls who've discovered that they have powers to use against an evil presence, so overt themes of girl power and embracing one's destiny stand out. The Sailor Guardians are decent role models, given their willingness to put themselves in danger's path to keep mankind safe from evil, but their physical appearance and attire (very short skirts, rail-thin bodies, and clingy tops) raise issues about what some TV characters teach girls about body image. Expect many confrontations that feature traditional fighting as well as the use of magical powers; and expect the occasional kiss.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL is a Japanese series whose central figure is 14-year-old Usagi Tsukino (voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi). One day Usagi encounters a talking cat who introduces herself as Luna (Jill Frappier) and reveals that Usagi is a Sailor Guardian, the leader of a group of guardians tasked with protecting the powerful Legendary Silver Crystal from the evil Queen Beryl (Misa Watanabe). Luna presents her with a jewel that transforms her into her powerful alter ego and tasks her with finding allies who will help her in the fight.
Is it any good?
A reboot of the original Sailor Moon series from the '90s, this is an engaging show with strong themes about girl power and fighting for what's right. The core group of heroines not only prove they're capable of waging their own battles, they even sing about it in the theme song: "We are not helpless girls who need men's protection ... We will fight on our own." Men (or teen boys, rather) do have roles in the story, including one who seems allegiant to the girls' cause, but it's the ladies who steal the show and, in the process, realize strengths they never had.
That's why it's a pity they couldn't do their thing in something other than cheerleading-length skirts and form-fitting tops that draw attention to their impossibly slim, leggy physiques. Sure, guardians of the universe can be pretty, too, but is it really necessary that they fight evil in what amounts to a swimsuit with sleeves and high heels? Body-image concerns aside, though, Sailor Moon Crystal is a decent action series that will appeal to both girls and boys.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what drives the Guardians' efforts in Sailor Moon Crystal. Do they gain anything personally by shouldering the fight against Queen Beryl? Is it always necessary to get credit for doing the right thing? Why is it important to do the right thing even when no one notices?
Tweens: What does this show intend to say about girls' capabilities? Do they face any challenges they can't manage without the help of a boy? Is this a positive message?
Why do you think the Guardians are drawn the way they are, with minimal clothing and very thin bodies? Are they realistic body types? Does seeing pictures like this make you feel differently about how you look? Why, or why not?
- Premiere date: July 5, 2014
- Cast: Kotono Mitsuishi, Misa Watanabe, Jill Frappier
- Networks: Hulu, Online
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models
- Character strengths: Courage, Teamwork
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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