FAN FILM FRIDAY: Sailor Moon the Movie

Church's picture

If you grew up in the US in the nineties, you probably saw Sailor Moon at some point. Take a look at this trailer for a live action fan film based on the series, and then join me after the jump for the full installment.


Sailor Moon is the story of Usagi (Serena in the English version,) a rather ditzy schoolgirl who encounters a talking cat named Luna and gradually discovers her true identity. It was created in the nineties as a manga (comic book) series by Naoko Takeuchi, and was almost immediately turned into an anime (animated series) that spanned five major story arcs. A translated version was imported into the US soon after and, in a pattern that should be familiar to Republibot readers, gained a following that included young men.

Sailor Moon The Movie is a fan imagining of an Americanized live action version (a Japanese live action series ran several years ago.) While this adaptation is recognizeable to fans of the anime, it's very much its own creature. The story loosely follows the original, but a lot has been changed or moved about. The American setting means that the schoolgirls don't wear sailor-style uniforms, for example. Conversely, some changes call back the original Japanese version, such as our protagonist's name ("Bunny" is an almost literal translation of the Japanese name "Usagi.") You can see the full production below.

The changes are largely good ones. Bunny's ditziness is toned down quite a bit, and they don't try to recreate the stylized posing of Sailor Moon as she unleashes her powers. I was wondering if the effects were too minimal; if you haven't seen the original series it's not clear exactly what she's doing when she dispatches the monster. I ultimately decided that those details aren't important for this story.

The acting is mostly good, with Avery Danielle providing a believable Bunny. The soundtrack is a real strength here, with contributions by multiple artists. The costumes are also very good. The cinematography and lighting is very uneven, which is a common problem with fan productions. Unfortunately, it's at its worst during the encounter scene, and actually undermines the creature makeup.

Although presented as the first episode in a season, they haven't decided if they're going to continue the story. I hope they do, as I found myself quite enjoying this slightly darker take on the Sailor Moon story and wanting to see where they would take it.

You can follow this project on Facebook and Tumblr. Be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes videos on their YouTube channel.


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Republibot 3.0's picture

If I complained that their skirts weren't short enough, would that make me a shallow man?

The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0

All signs point to yes

Church's picture

There's a bit in one of the 'making of' vids where the actress is complaining that she can't bend over in that costume, and they want her to do stunts.


neorandomizer's picture

>>Sailor moon's hair and costumes were never meant to be subjected to mundane things like inertia, gravity or even lack of dry cleaning.<<

kelloggs2066 is right Sailor Moon belongs in the special fantasy world of anime. Most Sailor Moon cosplay just looks ridiculousas as does the costumes in this film. I rarely like a live action rendering of an anime.

Short Skirts

kelloggs2066's picture

>>>There's a bit in one of the 'making of' vids where the actress is complaining that she can't bend over in that costume, and they want her to do stunts.<<<

If the actress is worried about her skirt being too short, she's the wrong actress for the part.

We are talking about Sailor MOON after all...

21st Century Fox
The Future's So Bright You Gotta Wear Shades

Charlize Therone

Republibot 3.0's picture

>If the actress is worried about her skirt being too short, she's the wrong actress for the part.<

Reminds me of Charlize Therone, who played Aeon Flux in the live action movie. During the press junket someone showed her what the character dressed like in the cartoons, and she was *visibly* shocked and disgusted. Which I thought odd since she's not at all shy about being nekked.

The Artist Formerly Known As Republibot 3.0