Review: Sailor Moon Cosmos

It's been over two years since the last double feature for the Sailor Moon Crystal anime series, which covered the second to last arc of the original anime and manga. Closing the gap between the two anime versions of Sailor Moon, a two-part theatrical release premiered in Japan last summer called Sailor Moon Cosmos, which covered the final arc of the story, Sailor Stars. The film was released in two parts, which is barely enough time to cover the expansive story and is probably confusing to people watching it if they aren't already familiar with the source material. Although there is no English release of the film planned at this time, I was able to watch a fansub that allowed me to experience the thrilling conclusion to the newest iteration of this popular Magical Girl franchise.


Sailor Moon Cosmos has the same plot as the controversial final season of the original Sailor Moon anime, but covers it in a much shorter time span. It introduces the trans-friendly Sailor Stars, three boys who form a pop band on Earth seeking their lost Princess Kakyuu and transform into female sailor senshi when it's time for battle. The two films introduce an enormous number of new sailor senshi at an accelerated rate. Some are good, some are evil, and chances are you will only remember a few of them after a single viewing. The most important of the bunch is Sailor Galaxia, the golden-clad villain of this arc. In a brief time, Galaxia and her lackeys manage to kill and destroy everyone that Usagi holds dear. Fortunately, death has little meaning for a sailor senshi as each of them possesses a crystal in her heart that allows her to be reborn again and again.

The most thought-provoking part of this two-part behemoth is its climax, which successfully wields the scope of a good anime movie, challenging viewers to recognize that we are all just tiny bits of stardust living our lives as an insignificant part of something much bigger. However, paying too much attention to the smaller details of the film causes the cosmic waters to get a little murky. There are so many characters being thrown at us at once and so many deaths and rebirths that it's hard to feel the full impact of them. Although I thought the early seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal were more enjoyable than the original '90s anime, this is one arc that works better as a full season that allows it to breathe rather than two heavily condensed movies.

Fortunately, Sailor Moon Cosmos is aware of the nostalgia that has carried its fanbase for the past thirty years and is packed with tributes and Easter eggs to the original anime, giving its long-time fans something to look forward to. Both films begin with memorable theme songs from the original series, forsaking the more forgettable songs of Sailor Moon Crystal. Usagi's transformation into Eternal Sailor Moon is nearly identical to the original transformation sequence from the '90s with updated graphics. The movies also painstakingly include just about every character that was introduced in the Sailor Stars season of the original show with little regard to how bloated it made the plot.

While Sailor Moon Cosmos condenses the expansive Sailor Stars arc into two action-packed films, it might be overwhelming for newcomers due to the sheer number of characters and plot twists. However, for longtime fans, the movies are a nostalgic treat packed with references and callbacks to the original series. If you're looking for a more streamlined Sailor Moon experience with a unique twist, consider checking out the 2003 live-action adaptation, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. This series features fewer characters and takes more creative liberties with the plot, offering a fresh take on the beloved story. So, whether you're a seasoned Sailor Moon fan or just curious about the franchise, there's a moon princess adventure out there waiting for you!

Comments

Thompson said…
These movies where a load of Overhyped rushed garbage. Blatent shallow cashgrabs .

Good riddance.

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