Last year, I decided that it was about time that I actually took time to sit down and watch what seems to be a lot of people’s favorite childhood anime – Sailor Moon. This was mostly because, despite how much I appreciated cosplays, merchandise and fan art, I actually hadn’t seen the show myself. Ever.
My expectations, realistically, were all over the place. On the one hand, I was expecting great things. A lot of people in the anime community praise Sailor Moon so much, even as adults, and there weren’t many people I knew who slated it, so I was certainly creating some sort mini hype-train in my mind. However, on the other side, I didn’t really know if this self-created hype was a good thing. After all, the majority of the people who were praising Sailor Moon watched it or read it as children. Were they not just using their nostalgia to create their opinions?
It turns out, no. They weren’t. Having very recently finished Sailor Moon, I can say that it was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and that it is actually a good show. A show that, despite a lot of people watching it as children, is actually quite dark. However, I’m not going to make this a typical review post. Sailor Moon is a show that, quite frankly, needs no introduction. It’s everywhere. If you want my opinion, and you’re one of the seemingly rare people who has never watched it, I will say that it is definitely worth checking out. However, what I’m doing today is something that hasn’t really happened on A Girl & Her Anime in a while. I’m going to be talking about what Sailor Moon has taught me. Even as a 22-year-old, I think the series is definitely one filled with important lessons.
I got the inspiration to do this from an old guest post that was published a couple of years ago. My friend, Johnny, wrote a post on what Kiznaiver taught him and I thought that this was something that suited what I wanted to write about Sailor Moon as well. So, without further ado, let’s see what the Sailor Guardians taught me, shall we?
Please note that there may be some spoilers below. If you haven’t seen the original series of Sailor Moon, please be cautious of this!
Everyone Should Be Loved
If there’s one prominent message in Sailor Moon, I firmly believe that it’s that everyone should be loved. Ultimately, it’s what occurs the most in the series. Being high school students, naturally, each of the Guardians has a crush on a boy, whether that’s Mamoru, Motoki or somebody else. Naru, Usagi’s best friend, falls in love with Nephrite and although he’s from the Dark Kingdom and trying to kill the Sailor Guardians, he does earn their respect when he sacrifices his own life in order to protect Naru. So, hey, everyone should be loved, even those from the Dark Kingdom.
Expect the Unexpected – it’s not always a bad thing!
Sailor Moon definitely had a lot of twists and turns, but I think the ultimate “expect the unexpected” moment was definitely when it all turns out that Sailor Moon herself is the Moon Princess that she and the other Guardians have been looking for for the past thirty-odd episodes prior to that. Who would have thought that the clumsy, crybaby Usagi Tsukino would turn out to be the elegant Moon Princess? And we can’t forget the fact that she was in love with Tuxedo Mask…who was Mamoru all along? What?! Crazy!
After Suffering Comes Happiness
Personally, this is a very important message that I definitely needed. Regardless of personal situations, though, it’s very clear that this happens in Sailor Moon. The girls (and boys!) go through so much suffering in order to help eradicate the evil in the world. Suffocation, strangulation, being frozen on the spot… There just seems to be no end to it for them! However, once they save the day, the girls go back to their usual lives and have as much fun as they can!
Never Give Up!
We’ve all been in situations where we just wanted to give up, right? I know I certainly have, especially over the past 12 months. Usagi is no different. Towards the end of the series, she even declares that she doesn’t want to fight anymore, that she’s fed up of all the fighting… If I’m completely honest, I didn’t exactly blame her. However, the other four Guardians brought her to her senses, encouraged her and from then on, we saw a new Usagi – an Usagi that was more confident in herself, in her friends and in their mission. It was definitely some nice character development, but it certainly carries an important message.
Eat What You Want, When You Want!
Now, as a complete lover of food myself, I can’t help but relate to Usagi who always wants to be stuffing her face with some sort of delicious treat. I really can’t blame her. However, with that, there is always someone in the show who calls her out on this. Whether that’s Mamoru, one of the other Guardians or, heck, even Luna the talking cat, Usagi always seems to get some sort of negativity thrown in her face. Despite this, apart from a brief bout of anger in her defense, Usagi doesn’t seem to mind and I absolutely love this mentality. Don’t let anyone judge you for eating good food! And hey, why should you judge people for eating anyway?
Everyone Is Perfect In Their Own Way
This message is particularly evident in the earlier episodes of Sailor Moon, however, it is also a message that continues to be shared throughout the show. Usagi herself is introduced as an extremely klutzy crybaby and these qualities are emphasized on a lot in the early episodes. As annoying it sometimes was to watch, I can completely understand why they did this. Yes, Usagi is a crybaby and yes, she’s clumsy, but if they didn’t emphasize so much on this, Usagi’s character development wouldn’t have been as good. Not only that, but it makes the viewer accept the characters for what they are. It happens for every single character within the show, but it certainly gets the message across that everyone is different. It doesn’t matter if you’re clumsy or a bookworm or if you’re hot-headed, you are perfect in your own way and that’s all that matters. You’re unique – there’s only one you.
Never Underestimate What Girls Can Do!
This is probably going to be the last lesson/message from the series that I’m going to highlight here, but this is one that I absolutely love. I firmly believe that I would have loved Sailor Moon as a child (the closest I got was W.I.T.C.H) and I think that this message would have resonated with me so much more if I watched it then. Throughout the series, the Guardians are always looked down on. Admittedly, it’s mostly by the bad guys, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are being underestimated for what they can do. I think it’s so important that we consider that girls and women can do whatever they want. Gender doesn’t matter, nor does age. I just love the fact that a lot of young girls had this message told to them as they grew up, and with Sailor Moon‘s popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if more young girls have this message told them by the Sailor Guardians in the future.
For some, the lessons that I’ve mentioned here may seem stereotypical, but they are still important messages even now in 2019. The lessons presented in Sailor Moon are timeless and not only are they important to the typical shoujo audience demographic, but they’re important, in my opinion, for everyone. Taking the time to watch this as 21/22-year-old actually did wonders for my self-esteem and my self-confidence and I believe that the franchise will continue to hold a dear place in my heart for a long time to come.
Now, I have only just seen the first season, but I can certainly guarantee that I’ll be watching the sequels and everything else, especially considering how the first series ends! I doubt it’s going to take me long to plunge into the world of Sailor Moon again, either…
Author’s Note: I got pretty lazy for this post. I don’t own any of the pictures used here. I found them all on Bing.