Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nerdy Witch: Sailor Moon Crystal Premiere Party

Everyone, pagan and non-pagan alike, has their obsessions - the few things that really make their inner fangirl (or guy) squeal.  The one thing I've probably been looking forward to the very most this year was the release of the 20th anniversary reboot of my favorite cartoon growing up: Sailor Moon.

Imagine for a moment, if you will, an eight-year-old girl with long golden hair and giant bug-eyed glasses standing in front of a TV yelling "MOON PRISM POWER!" and spinning in circles until she fell back into her chair just in time to watch the fight.

I really wasn't kidding about the bug-eyed glasses.
My NES obsession is a story for a different day.
Growing up, I loved all things super hero, from the Power Rangers to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Batman.  But Sailor Moon struck a cord in me.  Part of the Girl Power movement, Sailor Moon and her fellow guardians were female superheros.  They didn't have big muscles or act unlady-like yet they could still kick some serious villain booty (in high heels and a miniskirt might I add).  I was a bit of a tomboy, but I relished in all things girly.  My favorite color was (and still is) pink, and I'll never forget my giant canopy bed wrapped in lace.  And while other heroines existed, Sailor Moon managed to keep the glitz and glamour I enjoyed about being a girl while still empowering me.

Probably helps that they had all these elemental and planetary references.  You know, as a forever-pagan.
While some of my friends found Sailor Moon to be their gateway drug to anime and manga, I actually went a different direction.  All of that time spent sketching the characters from the folders I'd picked up at a local Osco provided the basis for my future career as a full time illustrator:

I've been looking forward to the 20th anniversary reboot since they announced it in 2012.  It's been two long years of waiting with a lot of frustration and lack of patience on my half.  I sated my desire for SM Crystal with the re-release of the comic book.  I now own both the original release and the new release in full.  Exciting!

Why yes, that is a mock Silver Crystal down there between the balloons.
But nothing prepared me for the yelp of happiness I let out when they announced the official premiere date for Sailor Moon Crystal: July 5th.  I immediately created an event and invited people I knew loved SM as much as I did.  And thus, over this past weekend, I had a Sailor Moon Crystal Premiere Party!

Not unlike the rituals I plan, I went all out for the party.  A veggie tray and Honeycrisp apples were the easy additions.  The harder ones including picking all of the blue stars out of a red (pink), white and blue star marshmallow bag for toasting.  

And, while I'm not the best in the kitchen, I purchased vanilla and strawberry cupcakes, found a cupcake stand, added star candles to each one, and placed them on top of glitter and star marshmallows.  I'm pretty darn proud of this display.

I'd like to think they were a pretty big hit, too!

Before beginning the watching festivities, we shortly discussed how we came to find out about Sailor Moon and what it meant to us.  Answers ranged from "I've never seen it before." (Hi Nic!) to "It resonated with me," and "I really could relate to Makoto/Sailor Jupiter."

We then watched the first episode of the original 90's cartoon, with select commentary while we ate.  Afterward, we went straight to the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal.  For the better part, SMC was a hit!

While opinions in the fandom are either love it or hate it, as expected, I personally give the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal a 4.5/5.  It was really, spectacularly good!  Of course, as previously stated, I've been following the 20th anniversary reboot since they announced it two years ago.  Given this, I've been aware that, from the beginning, it was meant to be a closer adaptation of the original comic.  I didn't walk into the first episode expecting a different story by any means.  If you're an SM fan, you know what to expect plot-wise.  What I wanted to see was how close to Naoko Takeuchi's work they could get.  With that in mind, I absolutely felt like they nailed it!  There's already been side-by-side cartoon and comic comparisons that point out just how closely the followed the first act.  The similarities are astounding!   In the preview of the next episode, we already get to see Ami/Sailor Mercury, so it seems the new cartoon is going to have the same pacing.  That's fantastic, given that the original 90s cartoon had filler episodes (and even an entire filler season) while they waited for the release of the comic. So, overall, A+ for getting all of that right!

I thought the music, particularly in the opening, really connected with my excitement about the new series becoming a reality.  I initially had some reservations about the style when the character designs were released, but now that I've seen it in motion, it's got such high quality and flare!  The most critical I can be of it is the use of 3D animation for the transformation and a portion of the intro. The 3D models instantly drop the viewer back into reality and even disfigure the faces at times.  However, it serves a purpose of making it more dynamic and, after the third or fourth watch-through, isn't as noticeable as I thought it'd be.

I'm certainly excited to see where the series is going!  To see some of my favorite characters and scenes that never got screen time in the original cartoon?  Swoon!

Question for my readers:
What are some of your favorite non-pagan obsessions?


  1. My BFF and I used to have a Sailor Moon RPG book that let you create your own Sailor Scouts and gave you different possible plots to play out... I need to go looking through that thing again. We used to use it ALL the time, not just to make Sailor Moon characters, but to build characters for the other fandoms we loved. It was a really useful character building book.

    Non-pagan obsessions... Gee... I don't know...! Most my obsessions can relate back to being pagan in some way... Like my obsession with music and rocks. Maybe clothes...but even then...maybe not! *laughs*

    1. Oh my, that would be amazing! We should totally do something like that if we make the SM Crystal meets a regular thing!

      Technically, I think you could relate Sailor Moon back to being pagan given the astrological and elemental references. :)

  2. One of my best friends from middle school was just as crazy as you are about Sailor Moon. I wonder if she threw a party too. Lol! Looks like you guys had a great time! Anytime to get together with friends is a good time.

    1. Agreed! It was a ton of fun. We're even thinking about potentially making it a biweekly event each time a new episode releases. Haven't confirmed on that one, but we'll certainly see!

  3. It was super-fun! Happy I was there!

  4. That's funny you posted this article, as I watched it too earlier this week ! It's one of my childhood friend on facebook who posted this and she was kinda addicted to SM like you are. I remember playing hours as Sailor Saturn with her ! I've read the manga too and listen to some SM songs on my ipod so I guess I'm still a fan ;). The other animes that I liked the most are Card Captor Sakura and Pokemon.
    I think one of my non-pagan obsession is playing videogames. I love playing mmorpg or game like The Sims on the computer!

    1. I'm not sure why but, despite loving Sailor Moon, I never really got on the anime bandwagon. When I first got into it, DiC had edited it so heavily, even writing English words over signs and flipping streets so that cars drove down the right side instead of the left, that I had no clue it was a foreign cartoon. Not to say that I don't prefer the Japanese version - it's way, way better than the dub. But no other anime has peeked my interest quite like Sailor Moon did.

      A friend of mine suggested Madoka Magica. I LOVED it. But it's only a season, of course. Maybe I just like magical girl stuff. But not Wedding Peach. God, not Wedding Peach.

      The Sims! I so miss that game! I remember begging my parents for it when the first incarnations came out.

  5. I grew up with Sailor Moon! And was so excited about this new release. I wasnt too impressed with their transformations. It looks too......game like I guess. But I like the storyline better. While Usagi was still a crybaby, I like that she grew up just a bit faster.

    Sailor Moon actually lead me to astrology, and myths. I think that is also where I get my fascination from with colors.