Ever see people with bloodshot eyes stumbling through campus? No, they weren't writing their honors theses at 3AM; they were watching Sailor Moon at 6:30 in the morning. Or at least some of us are. That's right: those of us crazy otakus with no private TV and/or VCR have actually been getting up (or in some cases, staying up) to watch this show featuring long-legged heroines battling evil for the past two months. And it is a very well-done show. It may have been conceived for pre-teen girls, but as it usually is in anime, the themes still apply to older viewers, the jokes are hilarious, and it looks beautiful. There's even a large group of loyal fans who are college-aged guys in Japan. It's also hailed as a good role model for women's lib.: in this series, it's the men who the heroines have to protect. To top it off, it has been translated and dubbed excellently. I've really been impressed (not to mention sleep-deprived)! That is, until Friday.
Friday was the last episode of part 1, where Serena and her friends finally defeated Queen Beryl and the Mega-verse. The problem is, in the original series, the Sailor Scouts died (but later got reincarnated). To circumvent this potentially oh-so traumatizing event, the producers for the American version chopped up the two-episode final and made it into one. Sound familiar? Try Robotech. True, some children in Japan were "a bit concerned," and I thought it was clever of US SM to just say that the girls were "sucked into the Mega-verse." But they didn't stop there. What happened to Serena's despair and almost-suicidal determination after her friends and the prince she loved were gone? Cut. The emotional battle between Beryl's cynical, pessimistic-adult view on the evils of humanity and Serena's innocent trust and faith in the love within everyone? That was what was supposed to have wrapped up the major theme of the whole series!
Gone. In the original, Sailor Moon, in her last dying breath, wished that everyone could just return to their normal, happy lives; in US SM, she was only prattling on about the final battle and how she won. They had been portraying Serena as more of a ditz than she is - less sensitive and less reflective. But please, in the last episode?? Why do they avoid the emotional issues?! What is wrong with being emotional in anime??!! I'd noticed that dubbed anime tend to contain more unnecessary dialogue that don't exist in the original. It really ruins the tense, silent mood when someone just keeps explaining away how they're feeling. Anime, when well done, is supposed to convey that without words! Aargh! We should petition to the producers or something to stop doing that. When will the US learn how great anime is??
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, I was a bit disappointed and miffed, but it's still a great series that will (hopefully) continue in part 2 on Monday. So please check it out, so that maybe we can even petition to get the time slot changed, too! (I mean, not getting Voyager is bad enough!)