Sailor Moon R Movie Anime Review
Bishoujo Senshi Seeraa Muun R
Beautiful Girl Warrior Sailor Moon R
US Release By
Magical Girl Action-Drama-Romance
An asteroid is approaching the Earth. Meanwhile, strange enemies are appearing in Tokyo. At the same time, Mamoru's long-lost childhood friend returns out of nowhere. Can these all be somehow linked?
Due to the overwhelming success of the Sailormoon TV series this first movie was made. It doesn't have any real title, only known as "Sailormoon R." Like Dragonball Z, this movie has nothing to do with the actual TV series (except characters, of course). This is great, because it gives the viewers a whole new story, instead of just a continuation of the series.
Like the series the movie takes place in, this movie is more romance-centered than usual in Sailormoon. There is enough action, however, to still keep other viewers interested. Expect at least one mushy love scene, though. Out of the three movies, this one is considered the best. I will go over my opinion in the following review:
It's Sailormoon, so if anybody has seen the series, the presentation is basically the same. Only this time, it's a whole other medium. This is a movie, not a TV show. Fortunately, the movie is presented fine. The story doesn't seem too compact for only an hour-long movie, and the new character is presented and developed nicely.
The only quark I really have is it's just too short, only spanning one hour. This is common for a movie based on a series, though. In this one hour, though, is a story that would work well spanning over a whole series. That is basically what the movie is, actually: a whole series compressed into an hour-long movie. Thankfully, this turned out great, and is a great movie all on its own.
Presentation - 8/10 (Too short, and there are a FEW times where things seemed a bit too compressed. Otherwise, this movie is presented fine with few hitches.)
Usually, Sailormoon has fairly good plots. The only downfall is, the plot seems too simple for such a long series as Sailormoon is. This leads to many fillers and just meaningless battles, with significance in between. This is an often-used concept, but is not often liked among all anime fans.
The "R" movie, however, fits just as good of a plot into only one hour. While this may make the movie seem a bit compressed, it works well, and makes the whole movie enjoyable.
Basically what happens is: long ago, Mamoru gave his only friend (an alien by the name of Fiore) a flower as a going-away present. Fiore decides to pay Mamoru back by giving him the perfect flower in return. Now over a decade later, he has returned, but the flower he brought possesses anyone who touches it.
Fiore, now thinking that Usagi is trying to steal Mamoru from him, decides to keep Mamoru for himself only, and kill Usagi. As you can see, the plot is pretty good, and leaves a lot of room open for conflict between characters, and this definitely happens in this movie.
Thankfully, there is nothing confusing about this movie, being pretty straightforward. One would think that a viewer could be easily confused by a slightly more complex-than-usual (for a TV movie) plot, crammed into one hour. Sailormoon R pulls it off with barely a hitch, however.
Fiore is characterized well, through a series of well-presented flashbacks. Also, as I mentioned earlier, this movie is centered more towards the romance portion of Sailormoon, other than the action part. This shouldn't bother some, but those who hate mushy romance stuff should stay away from this movie. Otherwise, the story is quite well thought out and told.
Story - 8/10 (Seems too compressed at times. Some mushy scenes will not please some viewers. Otherwise, very good.)
This is where Sailormoon always excelled. As usual, the BGM of this movie is great, and a majority of it is composed just for this movie. There are some returning songs from the TV series, but they are all remade exclusively for the movie. Pretty good job!
On top of the BGM, the traditional intro music has returned (Moonlight Densetsu). Also, there is a new song, "Moon Revenge," played during the end. This song is very well done, and should please Sailormoon fans and J-pop fans alike. The music also is all mostly fitting for every scene of the movie. This is where this movie shines its brightest.
Music - 9/10 (All well done! Only problem was there are a few old songs here, but they are redone just for the movie, so it's forgivable. Very well done!)
On the contrary, this is where Sailormoon delivered its worse. Obviously, the visuals are far beyond those of the TV series, but this is still not movie quality. This movie is more high-grade TV/low-grade OVA quality. This is a department that definitely could have used some improvement.
Otherwise, the characters are all drawn well (as usual). My only problem with this is Fiore (in his alien form) looks way too much like Ail from the Ail and Ann (Allen and Ann) saga. This can be easily shrugged off, but gives the impression that this character was not well thought-out visually. The frame rate is slightly above the TV series, but is still only around OVA quality.
The visuals are not easily excusable, seeing that it is a movie, and more could have been given to detail. This (fortunately) does not ruin the movie, however. Also, the transformations are the same from the TV series, only slightly more polished.
Visuals - 5/10 (Definitely not movie quality art/animation. Fiore does not look at all original, and the same transformations are used. It's the normal character art and better-than-TV series quality that saves this, however.)
Overall, Sailormoon R is a well-done movie is a well-done movie is most departments. Unfortunately, the visuals suffered in this movie, but it's only natural seeing that this is Sailormoon. Besides the visuals, however, Sailormoon R is a great movie, and if you are a fan of the series, or just want a good anime to watch, pick it up.
Have something to say about this anime? Join our newly-resurrected forums and speak your mind.
Notes and Trivia
Follows the Sailor Moon R TV series.
US DVD Review
Pioneer's DVD is bilingual, and includes an image gallery and character profiles.
About a 10-up, maybe 13-up depending on your standards.
Violence: 1 - Some pretty intense fighting near the beginning. Otherwise, it's Sailormoon!
Nudity: 2 - Usagi is shown in the nude for a bit near the end. No details are shown, however.
Sex/Mature Themes: 1 - Some kissing and a few sex jokes, as well as hinted homosexuality. Nothing much!
Language: 1 - Nothing of note.