The first film of the beloved series, Sailor Moon celebrates its silver anniversary on December 5th. With performances of one of the musicals taking place in New York, the release of a special edition of the manga, and the announcement of the final season: Sailor Moon Stars to finally get an American release, it has never been a better time to be a fan. Now it’s time to see how the film Sailor Moon R: The Movie stack up compared to the rest of the franchise.
Fiore, an alien and childhood friend of Mamoru has returned to Earth, intent on taking revenge on the planet for hurting the two of them. It’s up to Sailor Moon and her friends to stop Fiore and his army of monster plants from destroying the planet.
What helps this film stand out above the other two films for the franchise is how it is a film with a purpose. The movie helps to dive deep into the power of love which come from the relationship between Sailor Moon/Usagi and Tuxedo Mask/Mamoru. Now some may argue this is the point of the entire series, but keep in mind the entire Sailor Moon R season wasn’t exactly brimming with positive moments for the couple. The first arc had Mamoru suffering from amnesia, forgetting his love for Usagi. The second arc featured the couple breaking up thanks to cryptic messages from the future intent on making them stronger individuals. A movie, with the expressed purpose of reminding the audience of the strength of their love was a joy to behold.
The film also takes the time to show the effect Usagi’s intervention had on her friends. Much like how she changed Mamoru’s life for the better, flashbacks are utilized to showcase how the lives all of the Sailor Senshi were improved thanks to Usagi’s presence. It’s a film which never forget the message it’s trying to convey: A single act of kindness goes a long way in the world.
The studio made sure to showcase the visuals were a cut above what the audience had come to expect from the show. Clips from the television series (such as the transformation sequences) are used sparingly and updated with improved quality. The enhanced budget allows for the animation to sway the feelings of the audience thanks to the attention to color which comes into play, especially during the flashbacks.
The moment which truly stands out from Sailor Moon R: The Movie is the final battle. From the second the Sailor Senshi get to the battleground, exhibit variations of their powers, and are forced to push themselves to their limits against Fiore and his forces, the animation is intense and on point. Considering this event takes up the better part of the movie proves how much time went into the film’s graphics.
With all of the fantastic aspects which come from this film, you would think the music would be the weak link of the entire presentation. Luckily, you would be wrong as the soundtrack is just as well made part of the feature.
The instrumental moments help to shape the emotional beats of the film. Though these are entertaining on their own, attention must be paid to the song “Moon Revenge.” The song is an intense anthem helping to keep the energy strong as the battle reaches its climax. Much like “The Touch” From Transformers: The Movie, “Moon Revenge” is the kind of song which still has the power to move others even years after its release.
Sailor Moon R: The Movie is not only the best film of the trilogy but it also finds a way to be entertaining even after all these years. Fans should take the time to pick up the new blu-ray which just came out and remember why it is such a joy to behold. Perhaps it will help persuade many out there to charter a trip to New York to take in a certain musical.