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Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon is a good example of how North American values are simply different from those of Japan.  The original series was about a 14-year-old schoolgirl named Tsukino Usagi who receives a quest to fight evil and uncover the Moon Princess by a mysterious talking cat named Luna.  In order to accomplish this, she’s granted the power to transform into the ”pretty soldier” Sailor Moon.  The transformed version of Tsukino is a scantly clad warrior girl who can cast spells to achieve ultimate victory.  As the story progresses, she meets other Sailor Scouts and Sailor Senshi who help out with her fight for the triumph of good over evil.

Later in the series she runs into Tuxedo Mask who appears as her mysterious savior whenever Sailor Moon runs into trouble.  Whenever they happen to be losing a battle against agents of the Dark Kingdom (their arch nemesis) Tuxedo Mask often swoops to the rescue.

The back-story of their struggles takes place about 1000 years earlier, when the universe was calm and peaceful.  At that time, the Dark Kingdom attempted to usurp Queen Serenity as ruler of the universe.  In order to prevent that from happening, the Queen sacrificed her life and sent her court and the powerful Silver Crystal into the future.

Once all these pieces fall into the puzzle, the viewer realizes that each of the Sailor warriors is a reincarnation of the original guardians of Queen Serenity, with Sailor Moon being the most powerful Princess Serenity.  To add some romance into the story, Tuxedo Mask is revealed as the reincarnation of Prince Darien, who was supposed to marry Princess Serenity.  To cap the original series off, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask must combine their forces to use the Silver Crystal in the final showdown against the Dark Kingdom.

While the Japanese version included a heavy dose of nudity and sexually suggestive scenes, the North American version is not only neutered but ultimately re-worked for the Western audience.

The first season here was really just 82 episodes picked out from the first two seasons: Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R.  Hardcore anime fans point out that this ’dub’ was actually a full adaptation of the work to re-edit and re-score the series.    The second and third seasons based on Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon Super S were done by another company for the North American release.

The final Japanese season, Sailor Moon SailorStars has not yet been released in North America.  If you can get your hands on the original series, I’d recommend it over the North American hodge-podge edit.  That’s because it’s simply for a more mature audience that can handle a flash of skin.  As it stands, the North American