Usagi Tsukino was a normal school girl until a stuffed cat named Luna literally fell into her life. Next thing she knows, she's the Sailor Senshi known as Sailor Moon and is destined to find the Moon Princess and defeat all evil that comes in her way. But she's not alone though; Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Tuxedo Kamen will help her throughout her battles. This is a live-action series re-telling of the Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon manga and anime series and doesn't follow exactly to the original. (i.e: Minako actually is an idol, CROWN Gaming Center has been changed to a karaoke center, Luna is a stuffed animal.) Written by
Pop-idol Minako Aino (known secretly as Sailor V and Sailorvenus) sings the hit "C'est la Vie", which sounds very much like "Sailor V". Her other songs include "Romance" (a reference to the goddess Venus), "Kinsei ni Katagoshi" (which translates as "Venus over the Shoulder") and her album is entitled "Venus", all tongue-in-cheek hints to her secret identity. Minako Aino is Usagi Tsukino's favorite singer. See more »
In Act 20, when Venus and Mars are cartwheeling in the chapel to avoid the Youma's attack, their shoes are flats instead of heels. See more »
First let me say that I am a great fan of the anime; in fact, my wife and I have been re-watching it recently. But somehow depicting characters in three dimensions makes them more "real" to the viewers.
Everyone in the show is perfectly cast, even if the characters are not portrayed in ways that newcomers who have only seen the anime might expect!
Usagi Tsukino is much the same, actually, except that she doesn't cry at the drop of a hat. She whines and gripes, but she only really turns on the waterworks when there's a good reason to. Miyuu Sawai, who plays her, does an excellent job of portraying the many moods of Usagi/Sailor Moon, the sweetness and naiveté of Princess Serenity, and the coldness of the porcelain-faced Princess Sailor Moon, an uncomfortable and ultra-powerful amalgamation of Serenity and Sailor Moon.
Contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, Chisaki Hama is the perfect Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury; quiet, shy, insecure, but full of love and compassion, and, once transformed into her Sailor self, bold and confident in battle. Miss Hama also is quite chilling in the story arc which shows Mercury being turned into an agent of evil. Her former sweet smile becomes a frightening leer, and it's quite a relief when she is brought back from the "dark side."
Keiko Kitagawa is the toughest, sternest, most pouty-lipped Rei Hino/Sailor Mars ever seen, and where the Reis of the manga and the anime had a burning ambition to be a pop idol, their live-action counterpart claims vehemently that she even hates karaoke. An amusing love-hate relationship grows up between her and Minako when Mina hoodwinks Rei into becoming-- a pop idol!
Mew Azama IS Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter. Of all the girls, she is undoubtedly the best cast. She's tall, built, brown-haired, and pretty. Her character underwent very few changes from the original version; she's strong, loyal, and brave, and also has a very soft, feminine side. It's hilarious when she's revealed to be just as ga-ga over getting to meet Minako as Usagi is-- mind you, she's a little cooler about it.
The person most different from her anime/manga depiction is Minako Aino/Sailor V/Sailor Venus, portrayed by Ayaka Komatsu, who, with her big round eyes, tiny mouth, and slim frame looks just like an anime character brought to life. In the manga and the anime, Minako can be serene and wise, but most often she's a happy, laughing, carefree klutz who can even surpass Usagi in ditziness. In the live-action series, she's a dead serious character who smiles very infrequently, and until very much later in the series, she stands apart from the other Sailors.
Of course, the fact that she has a fatal illness in this version of the story would make her a very different person. A little of the sillier Minako shows through, however, when she plays the occasional joke on her cat guardian Artemis and when she and the other girls take part in a wacky game show which finishes up with them hitting each other with padded clubs and finally falling into a laughing heap of arms, legs, and smiling faces.
The only shortcomings this show has are some of the sillier monster costumes and the seemingly limited availability of locations; certain areas of Tokyo, one office building in particular, crop up a lot as battle sites.
But overall, it's well-produced, brilliantly acted, and tugs very effectively at the heartstrings, the most heartbreaking episode being the one in which Minako finally succumbs to her illness and dies. But of course, in the Sailor Moon-iverse, no good person ever stays dead.
In summation, I believe that "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" is one of the best examples of a live-action superhero show ever made.
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