Take 3: Sailor Moon S: The Movie Review

When Gill, from Realweegiemidget Reviews, invited me to join the Wilhelm Scream Blogathon, I had no idea the “Wilhelm Scream” was even a thing. However, I was determined to find the perfect selection for the event! After searching high and low on the internet, it was down to two choices: F9 and Sailor Moon S: The Movie. I ultimately selected the latter because it’s been some time since I last reviewed an animated movie. As a matter of fact, the most recent animated film reviewed on 18 Cinema Lane was 1990’s The Nutcracker Prince back in December of 2021. I was also surprised to discover the “Wilhelm Scream” was featured in Sailor Moon S: The Movie! Even though this is my first time writing about anything Sailor Moon related, I have watched the English dub version of the show years ago. With that said, it has been years since I’ve seen anything Sailor Moon related. To avoid confusion for my readers, I will refer to the characters by their Japanese and Americanized names, if applicable. The version of Sailor Moon S: The Movie I watched is the English dub version. So, “in the name of the moon”, let’s start this review!

Sailor Moon S: The Movie (English dub) poster created by Viz Media, Pioneer Entertainment, Optimum Productions, and Studiopolis

Things I liked about the film:

The animation: Despite Sailor Moon being released in the ‘90s and 2000s, the animation quality still holds up! One consistent element was the use of color! Princess Snow Kaguya, the film’s villain, wants to blanket the world in an infinite layer of snow and ice. Even though wintery environments typically don’t feature an expansive color palette, Kaguya was presented in hues of blue, green, and purple. The wardrobe of the Sailor Guardians/Sailor Scouts boasted bright hues; from Makoto’s/Lita’s orange sweatshirt to Usagi’s/Serena’s pale green sweater. This showed the creative team’s incentive to use as much color as possible. In some scenes, sparkles were added to provide a layer of dimension to a specific piece of animation. One example is when Luna is looking out at the ocean, as the sparkles give the illusion of the water moving. Another example involving Luna is when she is crying, with the sparkles emphasizing Luna’s emotions. Though the sparkles don’t make the animation 3-D, they do bring depth, in varying degrees, to the film. The fluidity of the animation’s movements also showcase the impressiveness of the movie! In some scenes, snow falls from the sky. The snowflakes fall in a steady progression, to the point where you forget it was likely added as an extra layer of animation. The fluid movement of these snowflakes brought realism to a given scene as well as the world of Sailor Moon!

Interconnected stories: Sailor Moon S: The Movie contains three plots. But it never felt like these plots were clashing or in competition with one another. Instead, they were interconnected, woven together by a strong thread! Two of the plots, Luna’s growing feelings for Kakeru and Himeko’s space journey were heavily affected by Kaguya’s attempts to cover Earth in snow and ice. While Kaguya’s plans provided the tenser moments of the movie, the other two plots served gentler moments, where the scripts messages of selflessness, dreams, and doing the right thing are instilled on the audience. The Sailor Guardians/Sailor Scouts are the glue that keeps the stories together, as they have some connection to each one. All of these components help the script move in a cycle.

Differing views on astronomy: In the Diagnosis Murder episode, “An Education in Murder”, Dr. Mark Sloan explains to his class how medicine is both an art and a science. This statement, though applying to astronomy this time, is brought to life in Sailor Moon S: The Movie! As I just mentioned, Himeko, a local astronaut, is preparing to make a journey to space. Her approach to astronomy is more scientific, as she chooses to think logically and “by the book”. Her friend, Kakeru, is also an astronomer. But his approach to the subject is more artistic. This is because he uses his knowledge and skills to prove the existence of a moon princess. These characters don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to their respective scientific field. However, they not only care about one another, but they also recognize the importance of space exploration. Himeko and Kakeru’s story shows the audience how everyone can come to any subject differently.

The Wilhelm Scream Blogathon banner created by Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews

What I didn’t like about the film:

Not feeling cinematic: When I choose to watch a movie, I expect that production to feel cinematic in some capacity. However, that wasn’t really the case for Sailor Moon S: The Movie. Most of the story was episodic, as these plots could have also been featured on the show. As good as the animation was, it looked like it came straight from one of the show’s episodes. The moment that truly felt cinematic was the final battle, with the Sailor Guardians/Sailor Scouts going up against Kaguya. Every member of the Sailor Guardians/Sailor Scouts present and the high energy excitement serve as two reasons for the cinematic feel. Even Usagi’s/Serena’s monologue about protecting life made that scene feel larger in scale. But outside that moment, Sailor Moon S: The Movie feels more like an extended episode.

The limited presence of Haruka/Amara, Michiru/Michelle, and Setsuna/Trista: The Sailor Guardians/Sailor Scouts from the Outer Planets, Haruka/Amara, Michiru/Michelle, and Setsuna/Trista make an appearance in Sailor Moon S: The Movie. But outside of their transformations as Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto, they only appeared in the film twice. Their limited presence was a missed opportunity to learn more about Haruka/Amara, Michiru/Michelle, and Setsuna/Trista. It also prevented these characters from having a stronger connection to the three aforementioned plots. If anything, the presence of Haruka/Amara, Michiru/Michelle, and Setsuna/Trista make it feel like they were there for plot convenience.

Confusion over the moon princess: As I mentioned earlier, Kakeru uses his knowledge and skills to prove the existence of a moon princess. While this part of the movie was easy to understand, I was confused over the true identity of who this princess was. Based on what some of the characters said, it seemed like Kaguya claimed to be the moon princess. Her place of origin happened to be the moon itself. But Luna planned on pretending to be the moon princess, in order to make Kakeru’s dream come true. When everything was said and done, I don’t feel like I received a definitive answer of who the moon princess was meant to be.

Many years ago, I purchased these Sailor Moon S VHS tapes at a video store sale. However, I’d like to call them relics. Screenshots taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

My overall impression:

One of my reasons for reviewing Sailor Moon S: The Movie was the inclusion of the “Wilhelm Scream”. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear this scream while watching the film. Then again, I was so engrossed in the story that I must have missed it. As I said in the introduction, it has been years since I’ve seen anything Sailor Moon related. However, it was nice to revisit the series, even for an hour! The animation still holds up, maintaining its color, depth, and fluidity over twenty years later. Like the show, Sailor Moon S: The Movie features important messages and themes. But it also contained differing views on astronomy, a topic that wouldn’t typically be found in the Sailor Moon series. Despite all these strengths, I wish the movie felt like a movie, instead of an extended tv episode. I also wish Haruka/Amara, Michiru/Michelle, and Setsuna/Trista had more appearances in the story. If you are a fan of Sailor Moon, ‘90s entertainment, or animation in general, then this is worth an hour of your time!

Overall score: 7.5 out of 10

Have you watched Sailor Moon? Do you prefer the Japanese version or the English dubbed version? Let me know in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Fifth Golden Sunshine Blogger Award!

Last month, 18 Cinema Lane was nominated for a fifth Sunshine Blogger Award! Because the nomination was given to me around the start of The Legends of Western Cinema Week, I postponed my award post until that week had passed. Now that I found some time to write and publish this post, it’s time to accept another award! This nomination comes from animegoodreads from the blog, animegoodreads! Their award-winning site covers various anime titles and discusses non-anime topics from time to time. If you’re interested, you can check out animegoodreads’ blog at this link:

https://animegoodreads.wordpress.com/

Thank you animegoodreads for my fifth Sunshine Blogger Award, as I appreciate your thoughtfulness! Before the award post officially begins, I need to list the rules, which are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

  1. As a blogger, what is more important to you other than just writing blog posts?

Something I have always strived to do is give recognition to those who don’t often receive it. This is why you’ll see me talk about lesser known subjects from time to time. I hope by addressing these people, films, and topics, they can finally achieve recognition.

2. If you were to create your own anime, then explain how would the “protagonist” would look and behave like?

An anime that I like is Sailor Moon. Throughout the series, the audience gets to see Serena/Usagi grow as a person and hero over time. For my anime, I would create a character that grows and adapts as the series went on. This would be a relatable concept, as people can change throughout the journey of life. As for the look, the protagonist would have more realistic looking features. They would also dress in age-appropriate attire.

3. Any best moment or scene from an anime/movie/drama show that you would like to share with us?

A scene I’ll choose for this question comes from the best movie I’ve seen this year so far, The Boy Who Could Fly. The scene features the protagonist, Milly, watching home videos with her mother and brother. Milly’s friend, Eric, also watches these videos, as he was invited to her house for dinner. These videos cause an emotional reaction from the family, as they feature the family’s father who had died prior to the film’s events. Eric also experiences an emotional reaction, even though he had never met Milly’s father. This is an important moment for Eric because he made a personal breakthrough, as it shows Eric is capable of forming connections with others.

4. Are you a gamer? If yes, then which types of games do you prefer to play the most?

I don’t play many video games, so I wouldn’t consider myself a “gamer”. In terms of board games, however, I’ve enjoyed playing the Blockbuster party game!

5. What is more important to you, sports or academics?

I’d say academics. Sports offer no guarantee for longevity, as many different factors can come into play. I have heard of athletes experiencing injuries that have ended their careers. For every superstar in the world of sports, there are probably five athletes who don’t enjoy success or fame. Once you receive an education, no one can take that knowledge away from you. You can apply it to any area of your life and can even create a career of your choosing.

6. Any thrilling childhood experience that you had with your friends or family, maybe an adventure or a memorable trip? If yes, then please share!

As I’ve mentioned before in an award post, I’ve ridden on an elephant! This happened many years ago while I attended the circus. I haven’t been to the circus for a long time, so I would like to attend one (after the Coronavirus passes) if there are any around. If given the opportunity, I’d also like to ride on an elephant again!

Happy sun image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

7. Your thoughts on the current “COVID” scenario. (Very Odd Question)

I’m not one to be envious of other people. But when I see posts on the internet of fellow movie-goers returning to the cinema, I can’t help feeling a little jealous. This is because, where I live, the theaters are not open or the drive-ins aren’t showing many new titles. I know I can wait until newer films are available for rent. However, if I were to summarize my feelings in a nutshell, it would be frustration.

8. Some skillful dreams that you want to accomplish (Ex. Riding a horse, Mountain Climbing etc)?

As I’ve said in a previous award post, I’d like to improve my swimming skills. I also want to become a better roller-skater. I hope to focus on these skills after 2020.

9. Any countries or places where you want to visit just to relax and chill?

For years, I’ve wanted to travel to Hawaii. I knew someone that decided to take a vacation there and they ended up having a good experience. Hawaii seems like one of those places where pictures and videos don’t do it justice!

10. Arrange the following points based upon the priority (high to low) that you consider the most while watching an anime. The points are : Story, Characters, Animation, Music and Dialogues.

I’ll admit I don’t watch a lot of anime. But if I did choose to watch an anime, here are how I’d arrange these points:

  • Story
  • Dialogue
  • Characters
  • Animation
  • Music

11. In the future, will you change the ‘prime niche’ of your blog or continue to write on the same topic?

For now, I don’t plan on changing 18 Cinema Lane’s ‘prime niche’. However, I will continue to publish content that is different from the niche, such as re-caps of When Calls the Heart and Chesapeake Shores. This will be done in an attempt to create a sense of variety on my blog.

Fancy jewelry image created by Freepic.diller at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/wedding”>Wedding photo created by freepic.diller – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Nominees

Asra Anime from key of knowledge

Irina from I drink and watch anime

Lacie from Building The Love Shack

Sofia from Live Sofiabulous

Anketsu from Anketsu

Paul from Paul’s Pages Too

Ania Juzak from Holiday Royal Way

Kristen from KN Winiarski Writes

Jessica from Comet Over Hollywood

MovieCritic from Movies Meet Their Match

Little Miss Traveler from Love Travelling Blog

During The Legends of Western Cinema Week, I won Heidi’s, from Along the Brandywine, giveaway, where I won the John Wayne playing cards in the photo above. This is honestly the nicest set of cards I’ve ever received! The gnome in the picture was not included.
  1. What is the most creative blog post idea you’ve ever thought of?
  2. When was the last time you left a comment on someone else’s blog?
  3. Is there a movie or tv show other people like that you don’t? If so, what is it?
  4. Do you like reading? If so, what book are you currently reading?
  5. What is a movie related opinion you and your friend see eye-to-eye on?
  6. Is there any advice your family has given you that has be applicable to your blog?
  7. Has Coronavirus affected your blog in any way? How?
  8. What was the most recent gift you purchased for a loved one?
  9. Have you come across a character from media that you found relatable? Who and why?
  10. If given the opportunity, which movie scene would you re-do?
  11. What are your thoughts on time travel?

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen