First, the bad news: Yesterday, Comic Natalie reported that the upcoming Sailor Moon anime would be delayed again, this time pushed back until July 2014. Originally announced in spring 2013, this will be the second delay. I’m nether surprised nor upset by this. It was obvious that they were trying to squeeze in the thing for the 20th anniversary year and it wasn’t working.
Then came the good news: Umezawa Atsutoshi, the producer for the new series, went on record with news that the anime will not be a remake, but a reboot. (Like, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood.)
Here’s the ambiguous: We still haven’t heard anything about voice actresses. It is absolutely possible that the delay is to accommodate the schedule of actresses we’d like to see return to their roles, it’s equally as possible that with a reboot, they’ll just choose new voice actresses…especially as some of them have retired or semi-retired, while others were always working.
More importantly, those of us around in the late 1990’s remember Takeuchi-sensei saying that she was never really happy with the anime. The staff was mostly male, they rewrote a lot, and just generally dragged her story out into an even more formulaic kiddy series than it was in the manga. The one thing that bothered her most and, admittedly, a lot of fans as well, was the treatment of the Starlights. (Of course, most western fans will have only seen them if they have watched fansubs.) She insisted they were women cross-dressing and the anime shifted that to them being gender switching. Either way they choose for the news series, someone is bound to be upset.
Our initial gut feeling is that the reboot will be more faithful to the manga – which is, in itself, a double-edged sword. We spend less time with the bad guys in the manga, and are subsequently less like to know about Lead Crow and Aluminum Siren (and that magical moment when they saw the rose petals swirl around Haruka and Michiru.) The manga has some serious problems, including a very messy ending. And the anime has some good elements, so a stricter manga adaptation might not be what we expect or desire.
It’s probably safe to say that Okazu readers are also concerned that Haruka and Michiru might not be at least as couple-y as they were, much less the more we’d like to see. (Although, in interviews, Takeuchi-sensei did say they were a couple and things have changed for the better in regards to LGBTQ representation in anime, so there’s always a slim possibility that we’ll see them more overtly a couple.)
Here’s what I think. If you are already a fan of Sailor Moon, right now, take all your expectations and dreams and desires for the series, carefully tuck them away in a little box in your heart where they cannot be destroyed. Then, watch whatever it is we get, with no expectation or desires and enjoy it or not for what it is, rather than what it isn’t. Manage your expectations and you won’t be disappointed. ^_^
At the moment we know they are still working on an anime that is going to be a clean reboot of the story. Right now they are focusing on the launch of the 美少女戦士セーラームーン THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL TRIBUTE album, with a live event in February.
It’s good, it’s bad, it’s ambiguous and the rumor mill churns on. Here’s to July 2014.