Forget flashy comic heroines like BatGirl, The Black Widow and Wonder Woman. Magical girls like Sailor Moon have been taking over the world for the last decade, and if you haven’t heard of Sailor Moon before, then it’s about time that you do.
Dubbed as the ‘biggest breakthrough’ in dubbed anime until 1995, Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon is known as the first manga series to revitalise the ‘magical girl’ genre. Believe it or not, Sailor Moon first aired in 1992 and it then became one of the longest running magical girl series in history with over 200 episodes.
With its array of lively magical girls using their powers to fight evil in action/fantasy-oriented plots, the show became an instant hit amongst girls and boys, setting the standard archetype for predecessors of the magical girl genre from the 90s onwards. This is evident with the explosion of similar series featuring badass girls defending the world such as Magic Knight Rayearth, Cardcaptor Sakura, Madoka Magica and Revolutionary Girl Utena.
While popular vintage anime series trace back to classics such as Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion, Sailor Moon’s dub success was the one that catapulted the world of anime into the Western world, ultimately paving a pathway for fellow dubbed anime to hit the market as well.
But what is it that makes Sailor Moon attractive to its audience? Was it because the sailor scouts were simply ordinary students? How each of them had unique coloured sailor outfits, magical tiaras and wands? How they continuously saved the world from Queen Beryl and her minions? How it made us daydream of becoming princesses?Perhaps it was the flawless teamwork and girlpower that the sailor scouts brought to our screens? And of course, let’s not forget Darien — aka Tuxedo Mask — the mysterious yet charming hero who helps the sailor scouts from behind the scenes.
With the Sailor Moon reboot set to be released in 2014, it has reignited the fandom alive with enthusiasm, proving the show’s major impact on our childhood and our love for anime — and magical girls.