Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal The Movie is available to stream on Netflix.
It’s hard to overestimate the impact of Sailor Moon. Naoko Takeuchi’s groundbreaking magical girl manga and the anime series it inspired shaped generations of viewers and creators. Your favorite shows from Steven Universe to Teen Titans go, Adventure Time to Craig of the Creek, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and even South Park are all influenced by the iconic anime. Nearly 30 years since the original series debuted in Japan, Sailor Moon has debuted not one but two new movies on Netflix. Released to theaters in Japan earlier this year, the streamer is bringing the latest additions to Sailor Moon canon to US shores much earlier than expected. And it was worth the – admittedly – short wait.
Picking up where the recent remake Sailor Moon Crystal left off, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal acts as a fourth season of the popular reinvention and also works as a standalone pair of films adapting the famous Dream arc from the original comics. And with stunning animation that manages to blend the art style of Takeuchi’s original manga with the beloved ’90s cartoon, this is a must-see for anime fans, animation buffs, and anyone who enjoys magical pastel adventures.
If you’re not familiar with Sailor Moon, it follows a young girl named Usagi Tsukino who – thanks to her friendship with a cat named Luna – gains the power to transform into the titular hero. Her goal? To save the world from evil forces along with her fellow Sailor Guardians: Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The series is best known for its transformation sequences where the teenage girls turn into their super-powered alter egos, as well as a hilarious English dub that accompanied the ’90s reruns. That’s the most basic setup, but Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal is a lot more complex. Still, even if you’re not a huge fan and haven’t seen any of the other adaptations or read the manga, you can probably find something to enjoy in this entertaining, if sometimes chunky, double bill.
Things begin, like all good ghostly things, with a solar eclipse. This is where everything starts to go wrong as the Dead Moon Circus shows up and starts infecting each of the Guardians with their worst nightmares. It’s a classic sci-fi genre that will be familiar to anyone who’s seen series like Star Trek, Buffy, and even Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. But Takeuchi came up with this decades ago and it’s still one of the most effective versions of the trope. Sailor Moon has always been known for its outrageous villains, and we’re getting plenty when the Dead Moon Circus starts attacking the Guardians both mentally and physically. However, one of the best aspects of the dream arc is its use of the nightmare trope to explore that period between teen and adulthood, and the way the desperation of leaving childish things — and friends — behind can leave us vulnerable and vulnerable. . only. There’s a nice message here about friendship, togetherness and loyalty, but it’s all embedded in technicolor kickass action.
While new fans may find it a bit difficult to keep up with the lore and character dynamics, diehard fans may feel this is a bit too compressed. If you take a whole arc and translate it into two movies that together last less than three hours, it means that this is a very shortened version of the dream arc. That said, however, it works for what it is. This is a distillation of what makes Sailor Moon so special. While kids of ’90s Usagi might miss the comfort food or those quieter character moments, there’s still plenty to love, especially when it comes to the depiction of the outer Guardians Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Saturn, all of which here shine in their very sapphic glory . Plus, the fashion is of course to die for.
The two new Netflix Sailor Moon movies offer killer fight scenes, plenty of great transformations — including what might be a series-best in the final act — and a whole host of fun character moments. It’s fun to think of kids (and grown kids) who have never discovered the joys of Sailor Moon finding them through this utterly delightful and visually stunning addition to the series. There is so much experimental cartoon magic here that Western animation is still lacking to this day: lengthy atmospheric moments, costume and character designs that are too weird to be true, minute-long metamorphosis sequences with nothing but beautiful backgrounds and stunning character designs.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal’s glittering spectacle is the kind of escapist entertainment we can use right now, too. So if you want to lose yourself for a while, put this on and get ready to feel inspired to kick, love your friends and wear a lot more color.