Live Action or 2D?

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Do you think Sailor Moon works best in live action or 2D?

  • Live Action

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • 2D

    Votes: 15 75.0%

  • Total voters
    20
Mar 8, 2012
4,584
3,097
1,665
#1
Sailor Moon has obviously been successful in 2D: the manga is a perennial best-seller all over the world and now on its fifth or sixth re-release, the '90s anime is/was an iconic smash hit that's probably the reason most of us are fans in the first place, and Crystal is a great way of reminding us how great the '90s anime was.

And then there's the live action series. Most fans who have seen it agree it's the best version of the series (or at least of the Dark Kingdom arc). Naoko herself was heavily involved with the production, which was praised for its wonderful characterization and original take on the story, daring to take lots of creative risks.

The most successful iteration of Sailor Moon, however, is arguably the musicals: they have a devoted fanbase, and their original run outlasted the anime and the live action series both. Naoko is probably not as hands-on with them, but she's definitely a big fan, attending, I believe, both opening and closing performances of each show. The pre-hiatus musicals featured original stories and original takes on the established arcs and characters, taking huge creative risks. Post-hiatus, the musicals have innovated in other ways: using all-female casts, collaborating with idols, etc. A restaurant show and the upcoming ice show are extensions of the musicals.

So my question is: does the franchise work better in 2D or live action? Naoko seems fairly partial to the live action adaptations (though she refused to let Hollywood do a live action film, and we have no clue how she felt about the Toon Maker project) which seem to be the most reliable source of the innovation fans want (even if they're in a bit of a Dark Kingdom Groundhog Day at the moment). On the other hand, the live action iterations are perhaps a bit more camp than some fans are willing to tolerate, and many of the iconic elements of the series perhaps don't translate well into live action, and need to be drawn or animated to work.

What do you guys think?
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#2
2D no doubt.

I don't think Live action of the DK arc is better than the anime, it just got more development on a few characters like Mamoru, Ami and Minako. But some of them were handled better in the anime, Nephrite being the best example.

Also all of live action's advantage came from the script, not the way it present to ppl.
 

Seira Hazuki

Aurorae Lunares
Jan 17, 2007
2,152
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#3
So my question is: does the franchise work better in 2D or live action? Naoko seems fairly partial to the live action adaptations (though she refused to let Hollywood do a live action film, and we have no clue how she felt about the Toon Maker project) which seem to be the most reliable source of the innovation fans want (even if they're in a bit of a Dark Kingdom Groundhog Day at the moment). On the other hand, the live action iterations are perhaps a bit more camp than some fans are willing to tolerate, and many of the iconic elements of the series perhaps don't translate well into live action, and need to be drawn or animated to work.
To be fair, this framing is going to lead everyone to answer 2D because unfortunately the majority of WESTERN Sailor Moon fans think that a live action adaptation of a bunch of miniskirt wearing superheroes is too camp. But also I think Sailor Moon can work in any medium, the issue is that when it comes to animation there seems to be a lot of strings attached.

The musicals have succeeded, for whatever reason, in that they were given more creative freedom from the start. From the first musical, which while based on the Dark Kingdom, was actually a sequel, to the completely brand new story lines of the Last Dracul and Kaguya Island musicals. Even when the musicals adapted the manga arcs more faithfully, they either mashed it up with other arcs or added new characters, story lines or twists. Same with the tokusatsu, which while being way more faithful to the Dark Kingdom arc in the manga compared to the '90s anime, still put its own stamp to the story.

Maybe because the musicals have had the chance to breathe and not be put in a stranglehold by Toei, Naoko (she is 100% more lax when it comes to the musicals diverting from the material than the anime) and/or Kodansha, that it's survived. Maybe because the audiences go into the musicals and not come in expecting photocopies of the '90s anime or manga and embrace that it's going to be its own unique experience warts and all, that they continue to thrive. I don't really know. I'm just happy to know that even if Crystal / Eternal ends with the Stars arc, the musicals will probably continue and add new twists and turns to the story (and maybe hopefully new stories down the line).
 
Mar 8, 2012
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#4
(Just to be clear, I think the idea that any version of a series featuring not only talking cats, but talking kaleidoscopes too, can be "too camp" absurd.)

There's no reason why animated or new comic book interpretations of the series shouldn't have the creative freedom afforded the live action adaptations, but seeing as that's the case for now......
 

Seira Hazuki

Aurorae Lunares
Jan 17, 2007
2,152
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#5
There's no reason why animated or new comic book interpretations of the series shouldn't have the creative freedom afforded the live action adaptations, but seeing as that's the case for now......
I totally agree. And to be fair, Crystal Season 1 did take some creative liberties and seemed to have some freedom compared to the seasons that came after. But I think the backlash from quite a few poor creative choices has kind of stained the series, so until Crystal / Eternal is done and we eventually get a new anime reboot many years from now, we're kind of stuck. =/

(I'm also curious if Naoko would ever let another mangaka touch her manga even as a retelling. My gut tells me NO. But I wonder if it's ever even been a discussion?)
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#6
The muscials are like the live actions, it is successful, it has a good fanbase, but it's not that mainstream like the 2Ds.
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#7
To be fair, this framing is going to lead everyone to answer 2D because unfortunately the majority of WESTERN Sailor Moon fans think that a live action adaptation of a bunch of miniskirt wearing superheroes is too camp. But also I think Sailor Moon can work in any medium, the issue is that when it comes to animation there seems to be a lot of strings attached.
Not just Western, the majority of the Chinese fanbase cannot take the live action series for thinking it's too campy.

As much as I enjoy it, I agree that some of the actions, costume and monsters are quite difficult for non big fans to accept and take a closer look to the plot/characterization. It's also difficult to present the anime's last battle that well without a huge budget.
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#9
Also I don't think the sailor costume is the main problem, no.

It's the action scenes and monster/villains' costume that makes it campy. Also it's very difficult to find the perfect cast. The Manga/Anime characters can have the age set as 14-16 and have a perfect body + mature looks. The main cast of PGSM was overall good but it cannot please many ppl for this reason.
 
Mar 8, 2012
4,584
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#10
(I'm also curious if Naoko would ever let another mangaka touch her manga even as a retelling. My gut tells me NO. But I wonder if it's ever even been a discussion?)
I think it's a little too early for that to happen yet. They need to finish squeezing money out of Naoko's manga first. But since she okayed those novelizations, I don't see why she'd object to another mangaka retelling the story.
 
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Neo King Rose

Usagi's Rose
Staff member
Site Admin
Sep 13, 2008
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in my aesthetic
#11
2D as the default style if you ask me however stuff like the musicals work well too
also note even something in live action can be cartoony if you have stuff like talking cats so don't expect citizen kane or the Dark Knight in terms of seriousness tone on the Live side lol
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#12
2D as the default style if you ask me however stuff like the musicals work well too
also note even something in live action can be cartoony if you have stuff like talking cats so don't expect citizen kane or the Dark Knight in terms of seriousness tone on the Live side lol
I don't think it's the problem, it's all about how you present it with budget. But overall, 2D is best way no doubt.
 
Likes: Neo King Rose
Jun 30, 2010
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#14
To be fair, this framing is going to lead everyone to answer 2D because unfortunately the majority of WESTERN Sailor Moon fans think that a live action adaptation of a bunch of miniskirt wearing superheroes is too camp. But also I think Sailor Moon can work in any medium, the issue is that when it comes to animation there seems to be a lot of strings attached.
While I agree the framing does lead people to answer 2D, I disagree with the idea that Western audiences won't be into live action Sailor Moon because of the costumes. If the superhero movie explosion has shown anything (and the mainstream popularity of pro-wrestling before that), Western fans can accept brightly colored skirts as well as capes and tights. Thanks to other franchises mixing magic with semi-modern dress, a tuxedo-throwing sidekick wouldn't even be campy (and even if it were, camp doesn't necessarily prevent popularity). It's all in the presentation.

Plus the designs aren't just iconic, but they would still resonate with kids, which would be the target audience. So if Sailor Moon were popular, it could have live musicals in the US like Marvel Universe Live or Sesame Street Live.

The problem is actually the opposite - Sailor Moon in live action takes itself too seriously -- at least in terms of Western humor -- despite the camp production values. If you want to have a live action Sailor Moon that works from a Western perspective, and not in a fan-effort way but one to reach out to people who aren't Sailor Moon fans, it needs an injection of humor that is a Western-style. The smart-aleck comments, the puns, the comedic putdowns. It doesn't have to be the "Marvel" way or a raunchy Deadpool-style knock on all things superheroic, but putting a tongue firmly into cheek has a way of selling the story to an audience.
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#15
While I agree the framing does lead people to answer 2D, I disagree with the idea that Western audiences won't be into live action Sailor Moon because of the costumes. If the superhero movie explosion has shown anything (and the mainstream popularity of pro-wrestling before that), Western fans can accept brightly colored skirts as well as capes and tights. Thanks to other franchises mixing magic with semi-modern dress, a tuxedo-throwing sidekick wouldn't even be campy (and even if it were, camp doesn't necessarily prevent popularity). It's all in the presentation.

Plus the designs aren't just iconic, but they would still resonate with kids, which would be the target audience. So if Sailor Moon were popular, it could have live musicals in the US like Marvel Universe Live or Sesame Street Live.

The problem is actually the opposite - Sailor Moon in live action takes itself too seriously -- at least in terms of Western humor -- despite the camp production values. If you want to have a live action Sailor Moon that works from a Western perspective, and not in a fan-effort way but one to reach out to people who aren't Sailor Moon fans, it needs an injection of humor that is a Western-style. The smart-aleck comments, the puns, the comedic putdowns. It doesn't have to be the "Marvel" way or a raunchy Deadpool-style knock on all things superheroic, but putting a tongue firmly into cheek has a way of selling the story to an audience.
I will say seriousness is not the problem, but its campy costume/effects+serious story tone makes it a bit off.
 

DREWdesu

Luna Crescens
Sep 24, 2008
3,689
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#16
I think Sailor Moon can work on any medium. The only thing that separates a series that works and a series that doesn't work is how it's handled. PGSM was handled well with good writing by Yasuko Kobyashi who has good experience writing dramatic plots in tokusatsu. She was able to twist a well-known story and make it it's own while keeping elements to their roots or turning it up a few notches (ie: Princess Sailor Moon, the neutrality of the silver crystal, Sailor Venus being the lone wolf of the crew). If people can get over the cheesy Toei CGI, and pay attention to the plot they would probably understand why PGSM is considered one of the best Dark Kingdom adaptations.

Animation aside, the first arc of SMC would have worked well if they were more flexible with how to manage this adaptation but allow it to flow. 2 episodes covering a chapter could work in order for the characters to grow and show more personality. However, as we know, the series went down a deep slope plotwise by the last two or three episodes (i.e: Shittenou dying right after they were knocked out of their second brainwashing, Queen Beryl's death, Mamoru somehow having possession of the four stones, the 4 Inners completing each other's sentences).
 

Slowpokeking

Lumen Cinereum
Apr 1, 2020
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#17
I think Sailor Moon can work on any medium. The only thing that separates a series that works and a series that doesn't work is how it's handled. PGSM was handled well with good writing by Yasuko Kobyashi who has good experience writing dramatic plots in tokusatsu. She was able to twist a well-known story and make it it's own while keeping elements to their roots or turning it up a few notches (ie: Princess Sailor Moon, the neutrality of the silver crystal, Sailor Venus being the lone wolf of the crew). If people can get over the cheesy Toei CGI, and pay attention to the plot they would probably understand why PGSM is considered one of the best Dark Kingdom adaptations.

Animation aside, the first arc of SMC would have worked well if they were more flexible with how to manage this adaptation but allow it to flow. 2 episodes covering a chapter could work in order for the characters to grow and show more personality. However, as we know, the series went down a deep slope plotwise by the last two or three episodes (i.e: Shittenou dying right after they were knocked out of their second brainwashing, Queen Beryl's death, Mamoru somehow having possession of the four stones, the 4 Inners completing each other's sentences).
SMC's writer isn't really good, they try to insert elements but sometimes failed to bend it well with the original story together.

Shittenou and Inner Four's romance just doesn't work well. They were lovers only in the past life, and there was too little room to show it.
 

sapphire91

Solaris Luna
Jul 6, 2018
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#18
My main problem with a live action version is the appearance of the girls - they have to either look nothing like the manga, or to wear ridiculous wigs. Then all the costumes and props look great in 2d, but in real life they would look weird and the weapons would look like toys. CGI Luna and Artemis might work, but you know they either look too uncanny valley like the new photorealistic Lion King or age super fast. Musicals work great because every musical relays on your suspention of disbelief, but when it comes to movies and tv shows, it is a bit different.
 

Rika-Chicchi

Staff member
Site Admin
May 7, 2009
37,485
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#19
Then all the costumes and props look great in 2d, but in real life they would look weird and the weapons would look like toys.
The Sailor Star Tambourines seen in the show are even the actual toys made by Bandai XD - the more the props look like (or in the case of the Tambourines, they're even identical) the actual toys, the more they can sell. lol
 

sapphire91

Solaris Luna
Jul 6, 2018
2,275
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#20
The Sailor Star Tambourines seen in the show are even the actual toys made by Bandai XD - the more the props look like (or in the case of the Tambourines, they're even identical) the actual toys, the more they can sell. lol
And the more it will make me personally watching it uncomfortable. I love the live action, but still oh wasn't it so cringy at times... I avoided it for many reason as I thought of it as parody. It took me a lot of time to stop being so judging and try it.
 
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