There’s a new magical girl in town and for some reason everyone is talking about how cool it is that her new music video is animated to look like Sailor Moon. There’s just one problem. It’s not.
It’s no secret that Dua Lipa is a bit of a nerd. In 2019 she released “Swan Song” for the soundtrack of ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ and in 2020 the official music video for ‘Hallucinate‘ was animated with clear inspiration from the Golden age of American animation. Now that we have a music video for ‘Levitating’ that is animated, it’s time to get excited and dig for the inspirations!
Music video in question below:
It was exciting to hear this video had a lot of references, and I had a lot of fun watching, trying to spot them all, but then the social media posts went from “this video has stuff clearly inspired by Sailor Moon” to “This video LOOKS like Sailor Moon!” …and I just can’t let that sit. That would be an injustice to the Magical Girls who came before her who are the clear inspiration for the animation style in this video.
If you really want to find the true inspiration of the animation style used for Levitation you need to look to 80’s anime and magical girls. There you will find a world of bright colours, pastels, rounded cute faces, thick chunky hair, and blue eye shadow. While ‘Magical Angel Creamy Mami‘ has remained fairly iconic (and the clear inspiration I know best), others like Magical Emi, and Minky Momo have quietly settled in the background, mostly only known in North America by magical girl fans who have dived into the history of the genre. You can also find similar styles in the animation of well known series like Dragon Ball, and Bubblegum Crisis.
When you really get down to it, the style of animation is simply out of the wrong era to resemble the animation of Sailor Moon. It’s so PERFECTLY 80’s.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t similarities, and references throughout. I would even argue that there might be some pull from iconic North American cartoons like ‘Barbie and the Rockers’, and ‘Jem and the Holograms’– also straight out of the 80’s. But the entire video is ABSOLUTELY overloaded in crescent and full moon imagery. Every time I re-watch or pause it I find something else I missed the previous watch around.
Edit: NOSTALOOK, who animated the music video, has commented saying they were inspired by 80’s anime!
Below are my favourite comparisons of potential references to Sailor Moon in the music video.
This eye catch inspired a great custom project, but in order to get to the end product we have to start WAAAAYYYY back at the start, with a damaged wand base that was donated by a friend. Hold on to your hats, friends. I’ve got a roller coaster for you. This wand was a TRIP.
Several months ago a friend contacted me and told me they had a Cutie Moon Rod in VERY poor condition. It belonged to an ex friend of ours that neither of us had contact with in years, and to be honest, it was one step away from a trash bag. He asked if I wanted it for a custom/restoration project, and I’m definitely not saying no to a challenge.
The wand looked like THIS:
It was dirty, sun damaged, worn, and no longer functioned. No big deal. If I could fix it I would, but I have plans to learn how to do that later. I will eventually come back to that.
When he dropped it off he commented that he had noticed it was dirty and had bleached it. Our conversation was a little uh… unsure, so I promised I’d wear gloves (and I did). My plan moving forward was to first, get that yellowed plastic back to as close to the original pink as I could. Clearly it wouldn’t stay pink as my intention was to paint it… uh… *checks notes* yellow, but I wanted to see how much Retro briting could benefit me. My tutorial was subtle in difference, but my friends, this changes EVERYTHING.
If you are unaware of how bad this wand is, the wand on top is my wand from my personal collection. It was in-box and new when I bought it. The wand on the bottom is our project wand. The top wand is also by Irwin, while the bottom is a Japanese Bandai wand, but they’re pretty identical inside and out.
In order to restore this wand I am going to pull it apart, clean it, retrobrite the handle, and then put it back together again.
The Tweet below links to a thread including a picture of the inside of the wand and a bit of the cleaning process. I warn you now. It is DISGUSTING. There’s a warning before the picture if you want to be cautious.
SOMEHOW I made it out of the hell hole that was disassembling this wand, and cleaning it. It took a week to crack open, and 24 hours to retro brite as far as I could push it. As a small assurance, this wand was sterilized in bleach, dish soap, and in the retro briting process. I wore gloves while handling it until I felt confident I wouldn’t get anything from it.
…And then I got a mysterious rash on my arm that no one could explain anyway, so LOL WHOOOPS. I contribute it to the wand because before I cleaned it and knew how disgusting it was inside I braced it under my arm while trying to remove a screw. Shortly after my arm in that exact area turned orange, began hurting when touched, and became textured in a way I’ve never seen before. Since no one knew what it was we left it for a while and it actually went away on it’s own. Somehow, my arm is still attached and no longer orange.
Fortunately, 24 hours of retro briting actually brought this wand a long way. Because it was sun bleached the final wand is lighter than the colour it should be. You can see in the top of the handle, where it was hidden behind the wings that it’s a little bit darker than where it was exposed. That shows me that the lighter handle is not from the RB process, but from the initial sun bleaching damage.
This was as far as I went in the restoration process. I wanted to see if I could at least fix the handle, and I definitely could to an extent. I couldn’t fix the reflective paint because there is a process to applying it that I don’t know yet, and actual reflective paints are hard to achieve. At this point my intention was to just paint over it.
On to the paint!
To paint this wand I took each piece, lightly sanded it with 1000 grit sand paper, and began layering. I regret not priming the handles. Every time I sanded down to the pink I had to work to cover it again. This happened a lot during sealing when I had some issues with the gloss coat cracking. But for a first custom wand I expect some mistakes.
I loved everything except how the gold looked on the blue bulbs. I bought a spray paint that matched the colour of the wand, but came out of the can a much darker gold. It’s actually kind of infuriating? The can says bright gold, the lid is similar to the wand, the colour sample in the picture looked like the yellow gold, but I still got THAT.
So I contemplated a fix, and decided to branch out and try something new.
Adding gold leaf was a great idea, but I decided quickly that I couldn’t just do those lines. Everything gold needed GOLD LEAF!
This was much easier than I expected it to be, and a little infuriating at times, but I think next time I’ll know what I’m doing a little better. I Did try to gold leaf the buttons, but it didn’t stick well.
The last picture shows when I tried to seal the paint and leafing in. The paint on the wings cracked down to the gold. I had to sand it all down and start over. To keep it from repeating I used a brushed on gloss sealant, and then I sprayed it again.
The final wand is not perfect, but it’s perfect enough for my shelf, and I LOVE how it came out. I took some artistic liberties, adding a gold ring above the buttons, and on the bottom piece. All of the buttons, lights, and gems have been polished. Overall I am very happy with how this came out.
Unfortunately, the wand does not work. If you saw the horror that was the inside of this wand, all of that gunk ate through the bottom battery terminal and wire. I need to learn some new skills to repair it first. That might actually be a goal for this summer.
It’s very likely I’ll accept a commission or two for these wands. Now that I know what I’m doing They’re going to be stunning.
These ROHTO Lycee eye drops are formulated for fatigued, tired eyes and treat redness. As far as I can tell this particular design released in early 2020, but it’s not the first time ROHTO has collaborated with Sailor Moon. There are lots of unique bottle designs available. Unfortunately they are disposable, and not refillable. This product also expires, so be sure it isn’t expired if you intend on using it (bottom of the box).
The box for these eye drops is quite pretty. It’s a really nice pink and orange-y tone, but it’s also covered in a holographic film. There is also a transparent sticker on top with Luna and the product bottle featured on it. It also comes with the info pamphlet below.
The bottle is one of their standards for this line, only printed with a Sailor Moon silhouette, with a crescent moon sticker behind her. I thought it might be darker than the items on the website I linked above, but it appears to be a trick of the eye as the product is darker to match Sailor Moon better, and the sticker in the background is red.
That’s right. These eye drops are PINK. That is NOT the bottle. The bottle is clear.
I absolutely questioned this initially, so I dropped 1 drop of the product onto some white paper and sure enough, it dried pink even. I am not sure how pink eye drops clear up red eyes… but I can’t imagine they don’t work if they have a whole product line geared towards women and a collaboration with TOEI for Sailor Moon.
But folks, hold on to your hat. That’s not the only non-traditional feature of these eye drops.
These eye drops are actually rose scented. I popped mine open and it definitely smells floral, but a little sweeter than your typical natural floral. It’s actually pretty pleasant, but it seems weird to me that eyedrops might be scented. My eyes don’t smell. If they did, maybe I could provide you with a sample. When I opened the bottle for the colour test that single drop was strong enough for me to smell a whole foot from my face. It’s now dry and if I put my nose to the paper it still has a slight scent.
While I am sure these eye drops are safe I did not test them on myself.
Because of the medical nature of this item bootlegs do not currently exist and will likely not be produced. (May 18, 2021)
Overall these eye drops are not a requirement in your collection, but if you collect cosmetic items it might be a nice unique addition. I particularly appreciate it for it’s box, but alone it’s mostly a nice space filler item on my cosmetic items shelf.
Over the years I’ve seen a lot of people hate on Chibi Usa for a lot of reasons. Most of them come down to her acting like a brat, or for one iconic scene that appears in every version of Sailor Moon where she appears.
The Black Lady x Tuxedo Mask kiss is one of controversy because, if you somehow missed it, Chibi Usa is the future daughter of Tuxedo Mask.
If you’re confused, Chibi Usa (Sailor Chibi Moon) is the future daughter of Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Mamoru (Tuxedo Mask). When their time comes under attack and her family is in danger, Chibi Usa travels back in time with the unwilling help of Sailor Pluto to seek the help of a past Sailor Moon without the knowledge that Usagi is both Sailor Moon and her mother. Cue chaos and trouble when her enemies follow her back to when her mom was just 14/15 years old.
Black Lady comes into play when a character called the Wise Man convinces Chibi Usa that no one loves her and uses his power to corrupt her motivations and sense of self. He brainwashes her. She grows into an age comparable to, or between, Usagi and Mamoru, and develops a romantic love for Mamoru while also trying her best to make Usagi jealous. This is where people tend to freak out and grow concerned for Naoko Takeuchi’s morality and wonder what the heck TOEI and Kodansha were publishing in the ’90s (this was not the weirdest).
…but I think people misread the entire situation.
While Black Lady is absolutely in love with Tuxedo Mask and trying to destroy her parent’s relationship, she is not just a grown-up representation of their daughter and friend. Black Lady is a perversion of Chibi Usa and a puppet for Wise Man to obtain his goals. He works hard to break down her confidence to gain control of her and brainwashes her into becoming a tool.
Chibi Usa absolutely loves Mamoru, but she’s 5 years old. Children are constantly learning about love and discovering how love works. It is not uncommon for children to be attached to a certain parent (Oedipus complex), or even misunderstand how we use certain traditions. In real life it is common for children to misunderstand marriage and think that it is a blanket statement on love. That if you love someone you marry them. Whether they’re a friend, family member, or parent. It isn’t perverted or negative. It’s a misunderstanding. A learning curve. I think Chibi Usa sits somewhere between this stage of growth, and, well, just wanting to annoy Usagi for fun.
Chibi Usa often exhibits similar behaviour, though the franchise doesn’t toy with her being that naive about relationship structures. What they DO show, is an obvious relationship switch of Usagi to a sister figure. With the two now much closer in age, and their relation unknown at the beginning, it’s easy to see why they might develop such a relationship, especially given how Chibi Usa moves into Usagi’s home, using Luna P to brainwash the other members of the family into believing she is a visiting cousin. Usagi is often left to care for her in a sisterly fashion, bringing her to events, having her tag along with friends, etc. Chibi Usa very quickly refuses to see Usagi as a mother figure after the discovery, especially given both their childish natures, but often views Mamoru as mature, even though he is still high school to college-aged, depending on what dub or version you are looking at.
Mamoru is often a shoulder to cry on for Chibi Usa. She runs to his apartment to get away from Usagi and overall likes spending time with him. He provides her with a respect that Usagi certainly does not, and recognizes her need for an adult with the ability to provide guidance. Something her grandparents cannot do as they are unaware of her full situation, and Usagi is still too rather immature to provide.
But I think what people forget most about Chibi Usa is that she’s just a 5-year-old child. Even if you refer to versions where Chibi Usa is 5 for 900 years she is halted in further development. She is a child whose parents and friends are in danger, so she illegally travels alone through time in an attempt to get help from her hero and escape the enemy. She knows no one, especially who she can trust, and she has been followed back nearly 1000 years into the past. Attitude is very nearly her only defence, except for Luna P… who often seems full of more tricks than defence.
In short, Chibi Usa is a child who is taken advantage of in a world she doesn’t know. Her actual love for Usagi and Mamoru is twisted from something sisterly and playful and the respect of a parent, into her own sabotage. Her child-like love for her parent is perverted into something romantic for manipulative purposes, and her lack of respect for Usagi could bring about her own demise in the future. Instead of teasing over the ridiculous childish jealousy of Usagi, Black Lady uses her pain to hurt Usagi by kissing a brainwashed Mamoru in front of her. She uses it to fuel the feeling that Usagi has lost him. If Usagi and Mamoru never continue their relationship it destroys the future of Crystal Tokyo, as well as the existence of Chibi Usa in general.
To say that Chibi Usa as her pure self without brainwashing loves Mamoru romantically is missing a lot of conversation and plot line in Sailor Moon. It misses the power Wise Man obtains over her, and her true feelings when she finally breaks free. Overall, Chibi Usa is just a scared child who wants to go home.
If you’re unsure how to get your Sailor Moon collection started, try with the links below! These are my favourite shops, or shops that are safe to purchase from.
I’d like to make this guide with zero need to acknowledge the elephant sized virus in the room, but due to Covid-19 some of these shops may not be able to ship to your location due to their access to shipping services delivering at the moment. Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted things should be different.
This post will be living and periodically updated.
I don’t typically purchase from other countries unless the shops are already shipping to Canada. It keeps me in-line LOL. If you want a good guide on how to get your hands on items from countries not typically shipping to whereever you are I highly recommend Ochibawolfs guide below.
These are some of my favourite artists to purchase Sailor Moon from! Check back for more later.
Some links contained on this site are Affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage of the sales. These links will not change the pricing of the item on the website. It’s just a small way you can help me keep my site running while still getting the items you’re looking for ❤
Turns out I was very busy while I was gone, and one of the hobbies I picked up was painting on clothing. I haven’t done a lot of it, but what I have done has lasted at least 2 years of very regular wear, and I consistently find myself reiterating the processes to friends and people on Facebook, so I figured… what the hell. Lets just write it down in a way that I can link it, and not explain the same thing 200 times. Of course, we know that now that I am doing this, no one will ever ask me again, and this post will never see the light of day.
THIS TUTORIAL DOES NOT APPLY TO PLEATHER AND OTHER SLICK FABRICS.
First, I suggest thumb-nailing several design ideas and then picking your best piece. I have 3 pages of designs in my sketch book that came out of this initial process and I’ve kept for future ideas, but for this jacket I settled on the design above. You can tell I hadn’t decided what text I wanted on the ribbons, and I actually battled with that until the very end. Once I settled on the design I drew a couple refined versions [I can’t find anymore] to better decide on the bow shape, ribbon placement, and placement of the transformation stick. Once that was settled it was time to prep the jacket for painting!
To prep and paint your jacket you’ll need:
A hard surface that fits inside your fabric Binder Clips White Pencil Crayon Paint (see below for type) Paint Brushes Your actual item you want to paint on
If you’re unsure what kind of paint to use you absolutely have options. The secret to painting on fabric is that it needs to adhere to the fabric, be opaque enough to be visible, and be flexible when it dries. My favourite two options for this are actual Fabric Paint and Acrylic Paint.
The clear starting point for anyone willing to spend the money is fabric paint. You can buy all sorts of different types: glossy, matte, satin, and even 3D or glowing paint! There are all sorts of metallics and pearls to choose from. All of these will come with their own instructions on use and how to bond it to the fabric, so if you go this route I recommend reading them carefully. It might also vary by brand.
If you’re cheap and broke AF like me I highly recommend using Acrylic paint. Acrylic paint on its own can dye fabric VERY well depending on the quality of the paint you’re buying, and there are options to help your paint last longer. You likely also already have some in your craft supplies. There are all sorts of price point options from dollar store paint, to craft store options, student grade, and professional grade paint. You will also find seemingly endless shelves of tubes in thousands of colours, textures, and finishes. Honestly, I’ve had to curb my paint buying.
My suggestion is to buy what suits you best at the time. If you can only afford the $2 craft paint that’s absolutely fine. You just might need to put in a little more elbow grease to get solid coverage. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’ll work just fine.
Regardless of what kind of Acrylic you buy I recommend you mix a Fabric Medium (sometimes called a textile medium) into any paint that makes contact with your actual fabric, the base layer. This is not required, but will help your project last longer with more wash and wear. The layer of paint that adheres to your fabric is the only one that “needs” fabric medium mixed in. Everything else on top of that will be adhering to the paint below it, just like it would on paper or canvas. Fabric Medium essentially turns your paint into a fabric paint, helping it become more flexible and fixed to your project.
Prep Your Canvas/Drawing
Secure your denim to the board so that your painting area is flat and has as few wrinkles as possible. I used an extra shelf for a wooden bookcase I have hanging around. If your board isn’t big enough to show the full piece you want to paint it’s okay to work on it section by section.
I wasn’t intending on writing a tutorial when I made this jacket, so these pictures come from social media updates. The base layer I mentioned above is the white layer of paint I’ve laid on my jacket. It serves as the adhesive layer, attaching the paint to the jacket, as well as a colour boosting layer, so that the paint goes down on white instead of dark blue. You can achieve different saturation and easier coverage using different base layers to prep the surface. It’s most common to see white, grey, or black depending on what effect you’re trying to achieve. Depending on your paint, sometimes it’s impossible to build up to a level where your paint is opaque, and the dark fabric does not affect how your colour looks on the fabric.
You can see how the base layers I used affected the paint on top of it in this shot. The ribbons that are folded back are much darker than the other ribbons. I did not make those sections solid white, so it aided me in creating a shadow in those areas.
For the bubbles I took advantage of the lack of base layer to create a transparent look. Using a diluted paint and fabric medium mix meant I had better control over how much of the bubbles showed up.
For the light blue I had added fabric medium as I hadn’t yet discovered that I didn’t particularly need it. It made the paint blend INCREDIBLY well. The gradients I managed on the bow made me really happy. So that might be something you want to play with.
Setting Your Art
Setting your art is sealing your art to the fabric you’re painting on. Most fabric paint will have instructions for this, but acrylic paint will not. Do NOT wash your art before following those instructions.
For paints with instructions I recommend following them. If you use multiple I recommend using the one with the most work (longest dryer time, highest temperature, etc.). This will ensure all of your paint is safe to wash later.
If you’ve put a top coat onto your art set it after that dries, or re-set your art if you add to it. Acrylic paint does not necessarily need that for protection, but is fine if you are looking for a certain look (gloss, matte, satin…).
This is my final jacket after about 2 years of wear. A close up will show some cracks in the paint, but nothing has flaked off. Slight cracking is to be expected on a fabric with some stretch. The fabric has many small gaps between fibers, whereas acrylic paint definitely does not. The less paint you need to use the better.
My only regret is my impatience with the text. It’s my own hand writing and I really don’t like my own writing. It’s also done in puffy paint, so extremely hard to paint over. PLAN THESE DETAILS OUT! I highly recommend penciling out your letters.
My hard work paid off though, because hot damn! Does it look good in person and worn. This picture is from a Super Heroes night at a hockey game. I dressed as a modern Sailor Mercury that was easy to “SailorMoonBound” last minute.
Title: Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Support: Nec PC Engine CD (TurboGrafx-CD) Format: Super CD-ROM² Publisher: Banpresto Genre: Adventure, Visual Novel Release: 1994 Status: Official Origin: Japan Original Price: 8,800 yen Paid: $20 CAD Purchased: NexWave Game Store; August 28, 2010 MFC:Here Fan Translation:Here
Warning. This entire post is going to have spoilers for the game.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is for a system I don’t own, and does not have an official English release, but a fan translation finally DOES exists! I owned this game for 10 years and had no idea what it was about, so I was super excited to sit down and watch a play through following Usagi. At the beginning of the game you can select a character to play through, and I expect the full run of events would be different at certain points as you see different perspectives and go different places, only to meet near the end, but for the sake of over an hour… I’m going to stick to the Usagi playthrough I watched below.
Please Note: All screenshots were taken from this video from NintendoComplete on Youtube.
Full honesty, I JUST finished this and I am HAPPY. So if you don’t want spoilers scroll down until the big letters happen. I’m talking about this story start to finish.
The game appears to take place between Season 1, and a point in Season 2 when the Senshi have their memories restored, and there are no enemies. So perhaps after defeating Ali and En, but before Chibi Usa appears (yea, that could probably get a little messy).
Usagi and the girls are trying to skip out on a training session when they discover Usagi has dipped a toe into Naru and Umino’s love life. After berating her for setting up Naru for an unexpected visit from Umino after school they send her to check on them. Usagi finds them awkwardly doing alright, and parting ways. As she spends a moment drooling over thoughts of Mamoru and disappointed she didn’t catch Naru and Umino flirting NEPHRITE unexpectedly appears on the sidewalk near Naru seemingly in a lot of pain. Which makes a lot of sense, SINCE HE SHOULD BE DEAD ALREADY.
Turns out Nephrite is there to warn Usagi, Mamoru, and the Senshi that Beryl and the four Kings are back, and their goal is to revive the Dark Kingdom, but their real concern is Past Wiseman, who used the Bloody Opal to bring them back from the dead. Nephrite has returned with all of his past memories, and not only of the modern day, but his memories of his time serving under Prince Endymion have begun to trickle back.
In true nature of Sailor Moon, Nephrite is kidnapped by his teammates and brought back to Beryl where he is made to stand at her side again, only suspecting that he simply couldn’t resist seeing Naru again. From the inside he works to help the Senshi win.
When Beryl challenges the Senshi to a rematch the Senshi are sent on a mission to the 4 pillars to destroy the Emerald Gate and the boundary keeping the city trapped. While separated, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask find themselves against Queen Beryl herself. While Tux fights, she concocts a plan to trick Beryl into leading her to Past Wiseman AND IT WORKS! At the same time, Jupiter is battling Nephrite, who reveals Past Wiseman is looking to resurrect Death Phantom.
After an epic Beryl and the Four Kings rematch you’re going to want to watch yourself we learn that Past Wiseman can reincarnate their souls from death in a painful, horrible way. Usagi speaks to Beryl with kindness, requesting that they be friends. She recalls their battle and regrets that she was not powerful enough to reincarnate them at the same time to live normal lives.
Tuxedo Mask makes his epic entrance in an effort to distract Beryl, Jadeite, Zoisite, and Kunzite, and allow the Senshi and Sailor Moon to escape.
Enter Nephrite with the Black Crystal, a Good replica of The Black Crystal which released Past Wiseman. He explains that like the Silver Crystal, the Black Crystal can be used for Good. That the crystal is meant for Tuxedo Mask in the same way the Silver Crystal is meant for Usagi. He calls upon the power of the Black Crystal to awaken the Four Kings memories of how they really came under Beryls control. The Black Crystal appears to Tuxedo Mask as the Kings call on him to defeat Past Wiseman and destroy the Bloody Opal. The Senshi call upon the power of their planets, paired with the help of their paired King, the entire group of 10 destroy Past Wiseman.
With only Queen Beryl left to defeat, Sailor Moon calls for friendship and is met with anger. During her attack though, Beryl collapses and dies in Usagi’s arms, ultimately while admitting she is afraid to like Usagi and forgive her for taking Endymion away from her.
Usagi uses her power to reincarnate Beryl and the Four Kings as regular humans with regular lives on Earth. A far better ending than the original Season 1.
The game ends with Naru teasing Usagi about Umino and owing her for being late again. She threatens to make Usagi split to buy him flowers to make up for it. Usagi closes it out teasing Naru for her feelings. Honestly… the cutest shit ever.
The story follows Usagi and the gang as they skip out on a training session just to goof around when an old friend warns them about Past Wiseman, a new enemy looking to steal the Silver Crystal. Usagi must figure out how to defeat the Bloody Opal and spark Naru and Umino’s relationship, all before supper time!
This game brought closure I didn’t know I needed, and a scary foreshadowing… or maybe an alternative timeline that avoids the main arc of Sailor Moon R entirely? Either way, it was new content (for me) that my soul NEEDED after not quite getting my fix on Crystal. I had forgotten how Sailor Moon made me feel. That I am not just a fan of the series because of the pretty art, and the wonderful collectibles. But because Usagi inspires the hope I need when things look tough.
Admittedly, I might be over selling it. Watching this game play out vs playing it out yourself will likely be a different experience, but aside from some choppy elements that come with playing a video game vs watching an episode I felt the story in this game nailed it as a part of the Sailor Moon franchise.
The packaging for this is really pretty and colourful. I had a lot of fun editing the scans. The pastel doily pattern is especially reminiscent of the manga art from Naoko Takeuchi.
Audio and Video
This game includes a mix of text, and voice clips. I’m no expert when it comes to audio quality, but for a game that’s nearly 30 years old I had zero issues with it. Honestly, I thought it sounded really good.
The graphics though, are beautiful. I’ve saved about 50 screenshots to edit into icons and graphics, and I won’t even pretend I’m not excited about it. I’ll provide a small gallery below, but first I want to talk about some of the character designs.
The game is so clearly well designed after the anime that I had moments in which I completely forgot I wasn’t watching an episode. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was also trying to follow along with the player and see what options they were provided I might have felt like it was an episode or a short movie.
The character screen shows the Senshi in a very stylized chibi design. Enjoy, becuase you’ll literally never see this character art again. I’m not sure why they made this choice, but the art is cute?
The save screen is yet another chibi art design that doesn’t appear anywhere else in the game. It also mimics the Sailor Moon R commercial bumpers (see here). Depending on who you play as a different Senshi appears in the spot light.
The colour palette is very colourful, nearly eliminating black from the story art. I really enjoyed this decision because it gives us a Rei/Sailor Mars with purple hair!
To be honest though, the best part of this game is that I could create an entire gallery of Usagi reaction faces.
Whoops! Guess I just did. XD
I love how simplistically the characters are drawn, but how true to the anime they are kept. As someone who did pixel art a lot in high school I’m mad at how simple this art is while executing the job near perfectly. Though there are some group scenes where I wish they had more space to work with better detail.
The real winner of Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon is Queen Beryl though. Her art is detailed and STUNNING. Some panels looked like full drawings it was so detailed.
Even when she’s angry she looks AMAZING.
It would be an absolute SHAME if I wrote this post and neglected to talk about scenes like this with limited colour palettes, yet are so striking, and beautifully created with so much texture. It’s the reflection of the sunrise in the store front, and the cold tones where there is shadow. The balance and technicality behind those details could have been skipped, but the artist took their knowledge of complimentary colours and nailed it.
Surprisingly the opening and ending sequences are original to the game and sung by the voice actresses for the game. The game itself features cute background music that was enjoyable, suited the moments they were featured in, and were wonderfully not horribly annoying given how much some of it repeated (in true fashion of these styles of games).
The opening is so good I’m looking to add it to my Sailor Moon library.
Given the exclusivity of the system this game is on, I would expect this translation to not get a physical release. Bootleg, official, or fan made.
This game is an excellent piece for the media collector. The casing displays well, if you can play it the story is great, the art is beautiful, and it really stays true to the original series. This translation and the work they put into fixing glitches and adding hidden content is amazing, even if I can’t access it myself at the moment.
And if you’re not a media collector, or at least, not media you simply can’t play, I at least highly recommend watching playthrough’s of this game. It filled a “new content” hole I’ve been feeling with the high expectations that came with Crystal, and the let downs that followed. I hope I can find the other Senshi play-throughs, or figure out how to work this myself.
Extra special thank you to the sources I linked above. Without them I wouldn’t have most of this post.
Published: H&S Media Release: 2000 Status: Unofficial Paid: $6
Pojo’s World, while once a published magazine, is now a website dedicated to card games. According to their website they’ve been around since 1998, but today they focus on the popular card game series, and their old skool message forum.
In 2000 they printed a Special Edition magazine dedicated to Sailor Moon. It features an overview of what Sailor Moon is, a look at some popular merchandise and the card sets, and an episode guide straight up to episode 120. It even mentions that there’s a 5th season titled “Sailor Moon Stars” but no hint towards whether they knew why the last season never made it here at the time.
Due to the size of the files I’ve uploaded scans on Google Drive to view. Click on the picture below to see them!
This post is “living” and will be updated as I purchase more pencil boards. When updates add up I’ll post an update summary letting you guys know what I’ve added.
Pencil boards, or Shitajiki are B4 sized boards used for writing on. They create a hard surface in note books or stacks of paper so that the writing doesn’t transfer below, or so that the surface is not too soft. They’re often made of thin plastic, or cardboard about 1-2mm thick, and printed with images from all sorts of locations, or for all sorts of media. Sailor Moon has a LOT of them and they’re highly collectable because quite a few of them are rare. As a useable item it wasn’t uncommon to accidentally destroy something like this, and then toss it, so that makes some designs rare to find. These are also more of a 90’s and early 00’s craze than they are today (2020).