Fanart Friday returns, delving into alien territory--literally. Last week, we went through all fourteen Final Fantasy titles (along with a few spin-offs and follow-ups), but this week it's all about the Pretty Soldier, Sailor Moon! The Sailor Senshi (or Scouts) may not be the original magical girls, but there's no denying how important they are to anime and manga as a whole.
This Fanart Friday marks the first time I'm doing a column on something I know very little about. I mean, sure, I know each of the Senshi from certain doujinshi that we won't talk about friends and my old anime club, but I never really watched Sailor Moon, when I lived in Japan or when it started airing here in the US. My faithful assistant Hanachan (who helps with every Fanart Friday!) is pretty much my living Sailor Moon encyclopedia (original manga, not the very different anime), so you don't get a whole article full of comments about how hot Sailor Mars and Sailor Venus are holy crap I had no idea they were in middle school. I totally meant Sailor Pluto. Let's get this show on the road!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
So here are our leading ladies, all ready to fight the good fight. See, I'm somewhat familiar with Sailor Moon's hilariously long and padded anime, but the manga--which I haven't read much of--is only 18 volumes. That's not exactly 200 episodes' (and 3 movies!) worth of content. Any takers on how long the upcoming anime is going to be? Is it basically going to be Sailor Moon Kai? Yes, I'll actually be watching this one.
I just sat through like a ten-minute explanation of who Sailor Galaxia is, and that is some hardcore stuff! Sure, she has the same motives as many anime/manga villains (and the real villains of Sailor Moon tend to be "force of nature" type villains like Chaos), but the way she was described to me... she seems very human for a magical girl villain.
Here's kind of a disturbing question: which Sailor Scout has the highest percentage of creepy fanart? Surprisingly, it's Ami--Sailor Mercury--who is the super-smart daughter of a doctor and a famous artist. So basically, she got that Velma Dinkley thang goin' on. Makes sense.
The last time we saw shideh's incredible Sailor Moon fanart, it was her fan-freakin'-tastic Sailor Mars in Cool as a Cucumber Edition. Actually, on that note, you really should just marvel at her entire gallery. As for Sailor Venus here, she's the original Sailor Scout--Codename wa Sailor V was published before Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.
"Serena" kinda makes sense, at least for Usagi's dub name. I mean, it's a very princess-sounding name, and she eventually becomes Princess Serenity (and later Neo Queen Serenity), so it works.
There's actually no "Sailor Earth," but Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask counts... more or less. His other title is "Prince Endymion" (later King Endymion), which means that Tuxedo Mask has about as many new titles and nicknames as Puff Daddy. Or P. Diddy. Or P. Diddy Dirty Money. Or whatever he's calling himself now. Actually, that kind of applies to the whole cast.
At first, I thought Chibiusa (Rini in the dub) was just a typical mascot-type character. Turns out she's really, really important to the story! Like, tons of arcs and character development revolve around her!
Sailor Mars is kind of a conundrum for me. On the one hand, she's totally the kind of character I love. On the other hand, she's a tremendous bitch. Maybe it comes from going to a super-elite academy?
Even though she's a leggy schoolgirl, it's surprising to hear that Jupiter is basically the "big guy" of the group. She'll break somebody in half if she has to, but otherwise, she sounds like an incredibly sensitive and caring character.
Sailor Saturn did not have a surprise launch with no good exclusives, and she is not made of a unique flexible plastic. (canned laughter goes here) From what I'm hearing, she's... a cyborg? But in the anime, she's not a cyborg and has seizures? I don't think an Epi-Pen can cure cybernetic implants. With all the horrible, dark stuff in her life, it's no wonder that her element is basically death itself.
How the hell does a sixteen-year-old become a race car driver? Sailor Uranus is sporty, flirty (sorry, only with the ladies), and is not at all related to...
...Sailor Neptune! We'll talk about that in a minute. While Uranus is a rough-and-tumble sporty chick, Neptune is refined like you wouldn't believe, with her violin expertise. Opposites do attract, after all.
The scientific community has determined that Pluto isn't a planet any more, it's a dwarf planet... so where does that leave Sailor Pluto?
Saint Seiya isn't the only series that throws Amazons at its heroes. The Amazon Quartet--part of the Dead Moon Circus--are technically good guys, but a bunch of stuff happened and Queen Nehelennia turned them into her pawns.
From what I'm hearing, Sailor Moon revolves as much around time travel as Dragonball Z. When Chibiusa goes back to the future, she gets brainwashed and becomes Black Lady (who for some reason was renamed the much-less sassy-sounding "Wicked Lady" in the dub). The anime apparently really changed the ending to this arc, too.
So back on this subject--in the US dub, Michiru and Haruka (or Amara and Michelle) weren't in a relationship. They were cousins. Yeah, because I give longing looks and back rubs to my freakin' cousins.
Like Zangief the Red Cyclone says in the Wreck-It Ralph trailer, everybody here but Serenity are bad guys... but the aren't bad guys, at least for the most part. You just feel kinda bad for Beryl--she was just in love--but the rest of 'em? They wanted to take over the universe. Okay, so maybe they were actual bad guys.
Usagi doesn't really have motherly feelings toward her future daughter, Chibiusa, so she gets all bent out of shape when Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask turns into the doting father type. The fandom sounds divided on this--there are people who wonder why Usagi's so mean to Chibiusa, but Chibiusa sounds like a total monster.
So let me get this straight--in the manga, each of the cats (Artemis, Diana, and Luna) regularly appear in both their human and feline forms, but in the anime they're almost always cats except for Luna?
Usagi has a pretty low-key "super mode." Goku transforms from a burly Chinese guy to a burlier white guy, Naruto turns into a glowy dude, and Usagi... gets a new dress and more power? Well, technically she's "reverting back to her original self," since Usagi is a reincarnation of Princess Serenity. That works.
Our only request for this week was for Sailor Aluminum Seiren (Sailor Aluminum Siren in the US release), a minor villain in the manga who ended up getting a lot more screen time in the anime. Bravo, obscure request guy who really likes the word "obvious!"
Words cannot easily express how much I love this piece of fanart. Great detail, awesome use of color for the Inner and Outer Senshi, and really cool, chunky outlines for Usagi and Chibiusa! Holy crap, this is beautiful.
Another major part of Sailor Moon's story deals with Chibi-Chibi and Princess Kakyuu--which again, I initially thought Chibi-Chibi was some irritating add-on, but reading what happened in her story (the final arc!) is really, really heartbreaking. Usagi doesn't really get to take it easy, does she?
Speaking of the final arc, the Sailor Starlights are... different. See, in the manga they're girls who dress like guys (and masquerade as an all-male pop group), but in the anime, they're actually dudes who magically transform into women when they need to protect Princess Kakyuu. Riiiight.
Now time for another "holy crap" moment--well, a familiar "holy crap" moment, since it showed up in Victoria's look back at Sailor Moon for the series' anniversary in March. But for real, nako-75's art is amazing, and this piece captures every major hero, along with a few villains from the series' run!
Now, for one last one...
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh so it's the three cats--Luna, Diana, and Artemis--in their human forms (okay), but now as mermaids (okay...), and with the killer whale Spot from The Little Mermaid (4wtr8 asl;sdaf). I need an adult. My brain hurt.
And that's all for this installment! Next week, we'll be doing something a little different--Fanart Friday is celebrating its first anniversary! The first Crunchyroll Fanart Friday was last year on September 23 (sadly a Sunday this year), so next week we'll be looking through every installment so far (even the one Scott wrote which had like 270,000 pictures) and picking my favorites. It'll be another all-star recap edition!
Of course, I'd love nothing more than to include your work, regardless of your skill level or experience. Draw your favorite characters and send me a link to 'em by this coming Thursday, September 27 if you want to be a part of the celebration!
Thanks again for checking out Fanart Friday, and thank you so much for helping us with all your suggestions and contributions this past year! Have a great weekend, everybody, we'll see you next week!