Sailor Senshi spending summer with fans as part of run-up to the newest installments in the Sailor Moon anime franchise.
There’s a whole bunch of Sailor Moon anime out there, but when a lot of people think of the series, they’re primarily thinking of its first three segments. 1992’s anime starting point Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon introduces “ordinary junior high school girl” Usagi Tsukino as she awakens to her powers and builds a team of Sailor Senshi, 1993’s Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R brought the youngest and oldest Sailors into the mix with Chibiusa and Pluto, and 1994’s Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S completed the collection of heroines by adding Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn.
While they’re not without their supporters, in the later SuperS and Sailor Stars arcs of the anime arguably feel like the franchise is losing steam, so it’s the run from plain Sailor Moon to S for which the fandom flame burns brightest, and as luck would have it those are also the same arcs which are going to be absolutely free to watch online over the next several months!
The reason for the burst of lunar generosity is the upcoming release of the paired Sailor Moon Eternal theatrical features. Part of the continuing Sailor Moon Crystal anime reboot, Eternal will cover the franchise’s Dead Moon arc, which was originally adapted into 1995’s Sailor Moon SuperS, and so in order to get new viewers up to speed, and jog the memory of pre-existing fans, all 127 episodes that comprise Sailor Moon, R, and S will be free to watch on the sailormoon-official YouTube channel.
▼ Teaser for Sailor Moon Eternal
This does raise a question though: If Eternal is part of the Crystal continuity, why is it the classic ‘90s anime episodes that are going to be free to watch online? The answer might have something to do with Eternal bringing back character designer Kazuko Tadano, who designed the characters for the first Sailor Moon and R arcs. Given the lukewarm reception Crystal has received from viewers, plus the four-year gap since the last Sailor Moon Crystal TV episode aired, it’s looks like the producers are hoping to position Eternal as a new start with a nostalgic touch for the franchise, and under that logic a look back at the anime episodes that made the series such a hit in the first place seems appropriate.
The first episodes will become available on the sailormoon-official YouTube channel (found here) on April 24, with more being added in a staggered schedule for viewing through July 23. The first Sailor Moon Eternal is currently scheduled to debut in Japan on September 11, and while just about any movie release dates these days seem like they should be taken with a grain of salt (look at what just happened with Evangelion), at lest we can be sure of spending most of the summer with the Sailor Senshi.
Follow Casey on Twitter as he hopes in vain that Sailor Moon Eternal pulls the twist of suddenly making Sailor Jupiter the franchise’s new protagonist.