PGSM Community Re-Watch Thread (2018-2019)

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John

Luna Crescens
Dec 20, 2011
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#1
It's finally here! Everyone seemed really interested in the initial thread, so let's jump right into it. :mrgreen:

Every week, we will be watching two episodes of PGSM, the live-action Sailor Moon show from 2003. I'm using Miss Dream's fansubs because they're of the highest visual quality (still not great though), but I would also recommend Sea of Serenity's fansubs if you want a better translation. I personally wouldn't recommend TV-Nihon's fansubs for video quality and translation issues, but feel free to use whatever version you'd like. I don't know where to find the show on stream sites, so if anyone else has more information on that, feel free to share.

Please do not discuss elements of the show in detail beyond the episodes we're currently watching. Of course people are free to continue to discuss earlier episodes, especially as they relate to later episodes -- but I want to keep a sense of momentum in this thread, so we're going to take it by the two-episodes-a-week pace.

Today is Sunday, August 19, 2018 -- for this week, we will be discussing the first two episodes of PGSM, Acts 1 and 2.



I'll have to edit the pictures to make them smaller in a little bit, but for now, I figured it'd be nice to at least include them. :)

So these are really basic Sailor Moon episodes. Most of the story beats come directly from the first two chapters of the manga, with a few differences here and there of course. Since most of us are familiar with the story elements, I'm just gonna focus on the differences.

I love that the first episode actually starts with Sailor V and Tuxedo Mask. It really highlights the fact that Tuxedo Mask is technically a thief. Meanwhile, having Minako already debut as an idol really adds a feeling of unity to the entire show. It's like she's there from the beginning, watching over the entire cast. And speaking of Tuxedo Mask, I love how Sailor Moon actually finishes off the monster of the day and Tuxedo Mask only saves her from a direct attack afterwards. It's a small tweak but it really changes the vibe from the first episode of the 90s anime. I don't remember exactly how it went down in the manga, it's been too long lmao. I also really liked Naru in this version.

As for episode two, I feel like everything with Ami was done very well and it really hints at things to come for her character later on in the show. Ami may not be my favorite Inner, but that doesn't mean I dislike her. I think she's really compelling in this version -- the shots of her on the escalator, the box of two pudding cups in the foreground while she's studying on the roof...all of these things really added a cool cinematographic element that wasn't always present in the anime.

The ballet-fu is ever present...lmao. Oh man. I love this show but sometimes it just looks so tacky and cheap. That said, you can tell they put a lot of love into it.

I've definitely glossed over/skipped a lot of things but I'm pressed for time and I just wanted to get this thread out ASAP. I'll continue commenting and talking about these two episodes as the week goes on, especially in response to what you all have to say about them (or about PGSM in general, since it's the first week of our re-watch). What do you all think about these first two episodes?
 

Newplayer

Lapis Lunaris
Aug 6, 2018
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#2
The PGSM series certainly has alot of memorable scenes that are far better than alot of teen and children fantasy movies from Hollywood that I won't name here. Another important point that I love and would like to emphasize is the fact that the Sailor Senshi are all from well to do families, unlike alot of characters from other children's fiction, such as Oliver Twist. This is important as it breaks the mold of the stereotypical poverty-stricken background and demonstrates that hero(ines) can come from rich families. :thumbsup:

One of my favorite scenes is in the beginning is Sailor V cutting Tuxedo Mask's bag, letting the stolen jewels and valuables fall out. If this was a movie scene shown in the cinema, it would certainly have been hell of a funny for the audience :happy:.

My favorite Senshi in PGSM are Usagi and Ami, and Ami's transformation scene is my favorite as it is the most stylish, as I like her making the water spiral with her hand and also the large drop of water in the background at the end :cool:.
 
Last edited:
Mar 8, 2012
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#3
Act 1.

I really think they did a great job of updating and reinterpreting the story from the manga. I love so many things about this episode: the opening scene, the theme song, famous idol Minako, Usagi being her #1 stan, Usagi's outfits and personality, Ami's brief cameo, the show's version of Naru's mother (finally named), Naru herself, plush toy Luna, Sailor Moon's transformation locket/necklace and transformation cell phone, that she has the Moon Stick from the jump, the show's version of Mama Ikuko, etc. The only things I don't really care for are the youma (it's at such odds with every other youma from a design/aesthetic perspective that it feels completely out of place in the series as a whole) and Mamoru's/Tuxedo Mask's mullet. :lol:

Act 2.

Another great job of updating/reinterpreting the manga chapter. Ami is so shy and sweet; I like her in this series more than in any other incarnation. I love how there's no stupid "Luna mistakenly suspects Ami of being an enemy" subplot; instead she recognizes her as Sailor Mercury pretty much immediately. I also love the bright shades of blue they used for Mercury's wig and costume. Other than that, I don't really have much to say about this episode other than I really enjoyed it. (Though turtle otaku Motoki is still such a random character choice :lol:)
 

sapphire91

Lumen Cinereum
Jul 6, 2018
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#4
Let's start with things that I like with the first two episodes. First thing - Ikuko mama - she is so different, beaming with personality. I really like the way she was portrayed. Usagi is as adorable as ever, Shingo is as bratty as he should be. Then comes Ami-chan. They really did a great job with her, you can feel her loneliness, her struggles, her excitement to have a friend, her crave for some love and friendship. Lovely job adapting the content.
Now the thing I don't like - everything related to technology and the karaoke craze. I understand they wanted to make it cool by portraying characters using new for the time technology, but it was too much in our faces. They put accent to it - probably for possible merchandize, but this product placement cheapens the show and made it age very badly. While other incarnations of the story used contemporary technology it was never so noticeable and they ended up being more timeless and look a lot less retro. Second - plushy Luna. I understand they couldn't do much else with her, as they had a lot of budget restriction and the technology was not so advanced at the time, so it is a very small grain I have with the show. Same goes with the effects with the transformation - for the time and budget they were ok, but I cannot get the need of CG hair for Usagi as well. Also the costumes and especially Sailor Moon wig looks very fake and cheap. They make the wigs in the new generation musicals a lot better. But all this things are to be expected. The show is old now, and life action stuff age way worse than anything animated. Despite that I loved the first two episodes and they had everything I love from the franchise intact. The characterization is also very strong in the life action.
 
May 1, 2015
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Pikari-gaoka
sparklyheartsdiana.tumblr.com
#7
I have plenty of thoughts, so I'll try to keep them within the first two episodes/acts.

Act 1:
  • It was nice to see Shingo waking Usagi up.
  • Usagi's adorable as always, like 90's Usa! :wow:
  • Loved the brief cameo of Ami. Also liked that she and Usagi are in the same class.
  • Haruna/Ms. Hard and Ikuko-mama weren't as strict as their manga/90's/Crystal counterparts. I LOVE it!
  • The fight between Sailor V and Tuxedo Mask was EPIC! :clap:
  • Sad there was no Umino, oh well. We have Motoki as comedic relief, with his love of turtles. Kamekichi!
  • I liked how Usagi's first meeting with Mamoru was changed to prep for a fashion show.
  • IDOL Minako! 8)
  • Luna falling onto Usagi's head. LOL! :lol:

Act 2:
  • I really like Ami, she's my favorite in this version. I can truly relate to her a smidge.
  • Mamoru calling Usagi a "wannabe model" instead the of usual "bun head". Interesting. :oh my:
  • Ami saying "Mercury Power" as falls from edge of the cram school was AWESOME! :happy:

I can't for next week's episodes! :)
 

BlueMoon

Lumen Cinereum
Sep 6, 2014
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#9
Since we’re only doing 2 episodes a week I decided just watch the first episode and then I’ll watch episode 2 later this week


Act 1
Although each version of Sailor Moon does something different. The first adventure relatively follows the same story beats across the board. Ordinary schoolgirl Usagi Tsukino wakes up late to school, meets a cat Luna who tells her she’s the Soldier of Justice who must find the Moon Princess. Uncovers that her best friend Naru’s mom jewelry store is being used as a front for the villains of the dark kingdom. Saves the day. Meets a mysterious man known as Tuxedo Mask and becomes smitten.

The Tokusatsu does some interesting changes though. Tuxedo Mask as a gentleman thief is played up more with Sailor V foiling a jewelry robbery by him (that was actually a clever change in the manga and the anime we just hear she stopped some robbery and no connection is made to Tuxedo Mask) rather than being a talking cat Luna is a sentient plushie (whose switch between cgi and actual toy becomes obvious) Mama Ikuko is less education mama and more Usagi sr. The arcade is replaced by a karoake parlor and instead of a jewelry store having a sale its a fashion show for the newest jewelry line by Mayumi Osaka (the only time Naru’s mom gets a first name I think?) and Usagi isn’t just a Sailor V fan she’s an even bigger fan of pop idol Minako Aink

The toyetic nature of the series becomes pretty obvious. Not just making Luna a plushie but other things like giving Sailor Moon her moon stick now rather than when Jupiter shows up, the lipstick and heart brooch, the cellphone (which hilariously dates the show to the early 2000s)

That’s not to say the episode isn’t any good. I like this Usagi a lot. She’s less exaggerated than her anime counterpart and seems more normal. I like having Ami as already a classmate than conveniently the new transfer girl. I like that Sailor Moon defeats the youma without any Tuxedo Mask help and when he saves her its only because Jadeite went for a cheap shot when she wasn’t looking. It makes her look less like a useless female who needs a man to remind her how awesome she is.

A promising start
 

sapphire91

Lumen Cinereum
Jul 6, 2018
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#13
I think it is quite the opposite - Usagi issoo silly in the life action... She was so silly as the princess as well. For me manga/ Crystal Usagi is just as awkward as every 14 year-old and the suicidal tendencies an jealous drama actually paint her een more realistically. Old/ life action Usagi is very cartoony and crazily clumsy, but it is endearing and adorable.
 

John

Luna Crescens
Dec 20, 2011
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#15
Have stickied this thread. :)
Thank you, Rika! :)

Wow, I'm really glad that this has been a relatively active thread so far! I'm sorry that I didn't get a chance to keep the conversation going myself -- I ended up having a really busy week -- but it looks like you all took care of that. :) Basically, since the first two episodes are so close to their manga counterparts (and even their 90s anime counterparts), I don't feel the need to comment much more on them, but I did want to reply to some thoughts expressed earlier:

Another important point that I love and would like to emphasize is the fact that the Sailor Senshi are all from well to do families, unlike alot of characters from other children's fiction, such as Oliver Twist. This is important as it breaks the mold of the stereotypical poverty-stricken background and demonstrates that hero(ines) can come from rich families. :thumbsup:
Yeah, I suppose most if not all of the Sailor Senshi come from well-off families, but I wouldn't say it's necessarily a stereotype that heroes are usually underdogs in terms of finance. Batman, for example, is probably one of most famous fictional superheroes in the entire world and he's a billionaire. Aside from that, it's definitely true that Takeuchi likes to write about "rich" characters -- this really culminates with Haruka and Michiru later on, sadly we won't see them in PGSM though. :(

Another great job of updating/reinterpreting the manga chapter. Ami is so shy and sweet; I like her in this series more than in any other incarnation. I love how there's no stupid "Luna mistakenly suspects Ami of being an enemy" subplot; instead she recognizes her as Sailor Mercury pretty much immediately.
Yeah, this was a welcome change. It never really made sense to me that Luna could immediately sense that Usagi was a Senshi but make a mistake about Ami.

Now the thing I don't like - everything related to technology and the karaoke craze. I understand they wanted to make it cool by portraying characters using new for the time technology, but it was too much in our faces. They put accent to it - probably for possible merchandize, but this product placement cheapens the show and made it age very badly. While other incarnations of the story used contemporary technology it was never so noticeable and they ended up being more timeless and look a lot less retro.
I don't mind the karaoke stuff. Having the girls hang out strictly in a video game arcade would feel a bit archaic to me -- those are even more dated than karaoke places, at least here in the West. I think the only thing that makes PGSM look or feel really dated is the flip phones. It was a brilliant idea for its time -- using the camera feature to take photos of and transform into disguises -- but cellular technology has come so far in just a few years, so it was bound to age out rather quickly. I actually feel like the 90s anime comes across as more dated than PGSM. Floppy disks and 90s-style fashion are older than the 03-04 style seen in PGSM. But I guess it all depends on how these elements are used and portrayed in the stories themselves. We also have to remember that PGSM takes place in a different culture and, unlike in drawn mediums, was actually filmed in Japan at the time. I believe karaoke places are still big in Japan.

I really think the costume breast plates and shoulder pads should have been more of a hockey gear material rather than foam looking.
Maybe you can draw something like this soon? :)

There were many times in the show that the girls did cartwheels and somersaults. Did they really do it themselves ?
I'm not sure. I wouldn't be surprised if they had stunt doubles working on the set.

And moving right along...

Today is Sunday, August 26, 2018 -- for this week, we will be discussing PGSM Acts 3 and 4. :)




Act 3 still seems close to the original counterpart, but we can see that PGSM is getting more comfortable doing its own thing. I love that Usagi "rescues" Rei from the crowd of angry schoolgirls when she tries to return the bracelet. At the same time, though, I'm not sure what exactly was going on -- the girls took something from Rei and were accusing her of doing magic to make the other miko girls disappear, and when Usagi explained the mix-up, she told Rei not to use her powers for a while until things calm down. Maybe the subs I'm watching were just vague or weird, but it felt like the writers forgot a line somewhere.

Also, it was really cool to see Phobos and Deimos in PGSM...but the CGI was so bad! :P:P^_^'

I like Rei in PGSM. She's not as abrasive and loud as her 90s anime counterpart, but I feel like she's not the same as her manga counterpart, either. This Rei feels like a more thought-out character right from the start. Her life experiences taught her to be distant from others, and even when she finds her purpose in life (being Sailor Mars), she still needs to retain this distance from Ami and Usagi for a while. That makes sense and it's good to know that Rei won't be an angry, distant ally for very long. Also, seeing the Hikawa Shrine realized in an actual set is just fantastic for me.

Others have mentioned Usagi's mother and she's great in this episode, too. I really feel like the Usagi and Ami friendship is a key focal point of PGSM and we see things really early on that cement the events to come. In this episode, Usagi's mother interacts with both Ami and Usagi and it just feels like a fun, lighthearted moment. It really makes me wonder about the many people out there who feel PGSM is too "serious" or "dramatic" -- yes, the show absolutely has melodrama later on, but Ikuko wrestling down Usagi after she makes a snide remark and encouraging Ami to quickly drink her coffee was bizarre, zany, and the furthest thing from the show taking itself too seriously. :wave:

As for Act 4...this is where we're starting to see PGSM go off in its own direction. Yes, the events are still directly lifted from the manga, but PGSM is really putting its own spin on things. As a big Halloween fan, I love the fact that the crystal birthday party is a Halloween party, and Usagi wearing that huge teddy bear suit is very in-character for her. This episode acts to really bind the Usagi/Ami/Rei friendship, but it also gives us the masquerade balcony scene. I think it would've looked better if they shot at night, but tokusatsu shows rarely seem to use night shots. They absolutely happen, but it must be easier for them to shoot during the day.

When I say that Act 4 is when the show starts doing its own thing, I'm also referring to Nephrite. Jadeite looks nearly identical to his manga and anime counterpart, but Nephrite (and, eventually, the other generals) is a completely different interpretation. Ultimately he didn't do a lot in this episode, but it's interesting that Queen Beryl kept Jadeite around. It's gonna be interesting to see how these relationships all develop.

The ballet-fu is extra strong in this episode...to be honest, I'm not sure what exactly was different about the last time the Senshi coordinated their attacks. The timing was exactly the same as every other time. XD They just stood in a line and then encircled the monsters instead of attacking them head-on. Regardless, it was good to see Tuxedo Mask show up not to take care of the problem, but rather to serve his own needs.

From this point on, PGSM will start to wildly deviate from the original story in many ways while at the same time retaining an unmistakable Sailor Moon presence. What did you guys think of acts 3 and 4?
 

sapphire91

Lumen Cinereum
Jul 6, 2018
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#17
Rei is probably the character with most character development, back story and has the best characters arcs, at least for me. Something nice, considering that the 90s anime tried a little bit too hard to point her negative traits and although she had her times to shy, she was a bit extreme, while Crystal robbed her from any individuality - she is the character that had zero personality. The manga fleshed out with small bits and extra chapters, but the life action has the best Rei. Plus Reiko Kitagawa is, again personal opinion, the best actor. I really like and respect her, knowing she is still respectable and decent human being, because some of the actresses went astray from the right path.
 
May 1, 2015
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Pikari-gaoka
sparklyheartsdiana.tumblr.com
#19
Rei is probably the character with most character development, back story and has the best characters arcs, at least for me. Something nice, considering that the 90s anime tried a little bit too hard to point her negative traits and although she had her times to shy, she was a bit extreme, while Crystal robbed her from any individuality - she is the character that had zero personality. The manga fleshed out with small bits and extra chapters, but the life action has the best Rei.

Rei's my favorite Sailor in PGSM, and I agree with the character development.
 

Zyvik

Luna Nova
Oct 26, 2014
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#20
I luv how PGSM developed Rei's hesitation to be a senshi from act 4 of the manga into a legit character arc. That's one of the manga's biggest flaws for me: interesting ideas are introduced, but rarely properly fleshed out. Too bad there was no hair flip. And of course Crystal just ignored that scene completely, because the senshi aren't allowed to have any individuality in that show. Oh well, at least we have our glorious PGSM for that.