October 20th, 2012

Why Sailor Moon is better than the other mahou shoujo

I want to like the new mahou shoujo anime but… watching Sailor Moon.. it’s VERY hard for me to like it…

A show from 1991 is still far more feminist and more progressive that shows here in 2012. First of all, Sailor Moon isn’t PIIIINK!

She’s red, white and blue. Overall her color is white and then we have blue, red, green and orange (with bluer, aqua, dark purple and black). The only pink one is Chibi Moon. Later she adds more yellow with the only pink bits being on the shoulders and only in the LAST season/series of the anime when it seems that the times are getting less progressive (1995).  The only other main mahou shoujo that doesn’t have pink on her outfit is Momoko (from Wedding Peach)…. BUUUUT her hair is pink, thus rendering her “The pink one”.

So here we have the good old “Girls are pink and boys are every other color under the rainbow, sometimes pink but never the main character”. Even the original Pretty Cure had pink on the outfits. It’s like they can’t escape pink hell.

Next after we’ve added even a dash of pink to the outfit if it isn’t completely pink, the transformation items and/or the communicators etc are going to be pink. It’s like if they sort of escape being completely in pink hell, well the cosmos has dictated that mahou shoujo items will be pink. Sailor Moon however, has all the senshi have same colored sticks (until the final series) where Sailor Moons weapons are usually white and reddish, with only some being pink in color. Other shows seem to have all the items as being pink save for a crystal or gem or such and since the main hero is always pink… her weapons are always pink.

Also Sailor Moon was dark, very dark when you think about it. Skipping the filler the enemies always seemed to be a threat. The now mahou shoujo… not so much. Always silly with a less serious tone to everything. If Sailor Moon lost the world would be lost, the newer series.. eh not so much. It’s about collecting “deco”, or musical notes, and it’s usually about conquering this OTHER world.

Another thing Sailor Moon had going for it than the rest is giving the enemy character. Instead of being this big faceless blob (sometimes literally), we got to see the enemy interactions and their lives. Sometimes we empathized with them. The new anime… we rarely see enemy interaction, it’s usually them searching for the next target or coming up with the next plan. The enemies seem to rarely look human anymore (unless they are female), where Sailor moon hardly had any fully inhuman enemies. Also when things are done and said, in Sailor Moon, collateral damage is permanent (unless the world gets a reboot via the silver crystal), this is even lampshaded in one episode where a note is placed next to a bent pole.
Newer anime? They either create a fighting space, or there doesn’t seem to be any collateral damage. If there is… it’s never really shown to be resolved. Sailor Moon had a whole episode about collateral damage where she had to fight in her own home. Even her outfit became detrimental.

Overall Sailor Moon seems to be about the relationship between the characters, while these other shows seem to be about “special character of the day!” with a few episodes of main character stories. They just don’t feel as dark and certainly don’t involve backstory about “Sailor Wars” where the mahou shoujo battle each other in the distant universe, with people even DYING. (I’m talking SHOUJO mahou shoujo, the seinen stuff doesn’t count because it’s for a male audience). The backstories seem to be less thought out and more We have X enemy doing Y thing with Z theme of the year.

A final note, Sailor Moon often had the senshi and other women doing jobs that are considered “men’s work” like the woman that was fixing up the car. Today’s mahou shoujo seems to avoid that like the plague and instead focuses on beauty, singing, and being good enough for marriage. Though the other senshi fretted about boys, it seemed they had bigger interests than fashion, pretty, “be an object!”. Ami Mizuno even wanted to be a doctor and didn’t care much about that stuff. Today’s anime.. yeah they’d drag her off all the time to be made up. Haruka anyone? The only time she wore a skirt was when she was Sailor Uranus. At NO time was she ever drug off and forced into a dress to “clean up nicely”. She dressed like a man and acted like a man and nobody ever tore her down for it. She didn’t have a secretly pink room either. (I don’t even think Michiru had a pink room.)

You can see the degression of even Sailor Moon in the US logo, it was a light yellow “Sailor Moon” with a yellow shiny crescent moon. Then it went to PIIINK! The original Japanese logo was a rainbow color. It seems even now we are trying to pinkify Sailor Moon when she doesn’t need to be pink.

AnimeMisogynySailor MoonSexism

3 responses to “Why Sailor Moon is better than the other mahou shoujo”

  1. KA101 says:

    Well, that’s useful information. Thanks much.

  2. Llamaentity says:

    Nice write-up. You’ve convinced me to at least watch the first season of Sailor Moon, instead of waiting for the remake XD