Monday, August 2, 2010
Sailor Moon Legacy
The anime has been cited as reinvigorating the magical girl genre by adding dynamic heroines and action-oriented plots. After its success, many similar titles immediately followed. Magic Knight Rayearth, Wedding Peach, Nurse Angel Ririka and Revolutionary Girl Utena all owe much of their basis to the popularity of Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon has been called "the biggest breakthrough" in English dubbed anime up until 1995, when it premiered on YTV, and "the pinnacle of little kid shojo anime". Matt Thorn notes that soon after Sailor Moon, shōjo manga began to be featured in book shops, as opposed to fandom-dominated comic shops. It is credited as the beginning of a wider movement of girls taking up shōjo manga. Gilles Poitras defines a "generation" of anime fans as those who were introduced to anime by Sailor Moon in the 1990s, noting that they were both much younger than the other fans and also mostly girls. Poitras credits Sailor Moon as laying the ground for other shōjo series such as Fushigi Yuugi, Vision of Escaflowne and Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Fred Patten credits Takeuchi with popularizing the concept of a Super Sentai-like team of magical girls, and Paul Gravett credits the series with "revitalizing" the magical girl genre itself. The series is credited with changing the genre of magical girls—its heroine must use her powers to fight evil, not simply to have fun as previous magical girls had done.
In the West, people sometimes associated Sailor Moon with the feminist or Girl Power movements and with empowering its viewers, especially regarding the "credible, charismatic and independent" characterizations of the Sailor Senshi, which were "interpreted in France as an unambiguously feminist position." As such, it has been compared with Barbie, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. Its characters have also been described as "catty stereotypes", with Sailor Moon's character in particular being singled out as less-than-feminist because her favorite class is home economics and her least favorite is math, although Japanese audiences viewed her character as tomboyish. The series creator has said she based Usagi on herself, and is meant to reflect her reality.
In English-speaking countries, Sailor Moon developed a cult following amongst members of the "Save Our Sailors" campaign and male university students, and Drazen considers that the Internet was a new medium that fans used to communicate and played a role in the popularity of Sailor Moon. Fans could use the Internet to communicate about the series, using it to organize the "Save Our Sailors" campaign to return Sailor Moon to U.S. broadcast, and to share information about episodes that had not yet aired. In 2004, one study suggested there were 3,335,000 sites about Sailor Moon, compared to 491,000 forMickey Mouse. NEO magazine suggested that part of Sailor Moon's allure was that fans communicated, via the Internet, about the differences between the dub and the original version. The Sailor Moonfandom was described in 1997 as being "small and dispersed". In a United States study, children paid rapt attention to the fighting scenes in Sailor Moon, although when questioned if Sailor Moon was "violent" only two would say yes, the other ten preferring to describe the episodes as "soft" or "cute".