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Sailor Moon newbie recaps

Life, The Mooniverse, and Everything: The Sailor Moon Newbie Retrospective

A two-year-long journey through a twenty-year-old classic.

Recapping Sailor Moon been a fun journey, but now that I'm sitting at the destination, I wanted to take a moment to look back, discuss the series as a whole, and maybe reminisce about the characters and moments that stuck with me the most. I, er... got a little carried away.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episode 200 (Finale)

My God, it's full of Sailor Stars!

And so we come at last to the end of things. As is tradition, I've got a Stars retrospective after the recap, with general commentary on the season as a whole. As for any overarching thoughts about the entire series and my two-year trip through the Mooniverse, I've decided to save those for a big ol' post going out next week. For now, though, we've got a finale to tackle!

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 198 & 199

When you wish upon a star seed...

The plot is everywhere, and its devices are right there with it. My ongoing struggles with Stars continue into its penultimate episode, alas, but overall I was far more invested this week than I thought I'd be, thanks to some heart-wrenching character beats and a surprisingly layered backstory for our previously 2-D antagonist. Compelling antiheroes and sympathetic villains? Yep. Some of the magic might be missing, but it's still Sailor Moon, all right.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 196 & 197

We interrupt this broadcast to bring you the apocalypse.

Season-long mysteries get devastating answers, our cast struggles to know who to trust, desperate times lead to desperate plans, and characters be droppin' like flies. Geez. Did I accidentally switch over to Game of Thrones: The Animated Series at some point?

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 194 & 195

Okay, Star Lights. I have good news and bad news.

The good news is: congratulations! you've finally found your princess! As for the bad news...well, let's not spoil the surprise, shall we?

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 192 & 193

We're Star Serious Laser-Focused on the main plot now.

Taiki and Yaten continue to be a broken record of unnecessary hostility, but the rest of the story has no interest in stewing with them. We've got auditions, minion deaths, shiny star seeds, black holes, and plot holes. And I thought my week was busy.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 190 & 191

*headbed* indeed, Usagi.

Our teams are still struggling to see eye-to-eye--and in some cases not "struggling" so much as "working very hard to NOT do that thing."

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 188 & 189

The moon and stars aren't breaking up—they just need a little space.

Nothing like secret identities to throw a wrench into the beginnings of bee-yoo-ti-ful friendships. We're making the shift from magical girl sitcom to superhero drama this week, as is our seasonal tradition, which means big reveals and even bigger angst. Although really, when it comes to end-of-season hardships, the heroes got nothin' on the villains. If you thought maintaining a personal relationship was tough as a good guy, try being a minion. Crow'll tell ya. It is rough.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 186 & 187

Fighting evil by moonlight, stalking toddlers by daylight ...

We're inching toward some kind of final confrontation, given the dropped plot crumbs and Galaxia's increasing impatience. With just a single cour left I'm a little concerned we'll be burning through story lines instead of stopping to smell the (probably literal) roses from time to time, but given all the new characters and murky motivations, I suspect it won't be a boring final cour, at least.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 184 & 185

Monster-of-the-week? More like monster-of-the-minute.

This is one of those times where I wish Sailor Moon didn't feel like it had to fit a battle into every episode. There are a lot of interesting (or at least potentially interesting) out-of-costume conflicts and interactions swirling around right now, but we don't get nearly enough time to explore them because they have to share 20-odd minutes with Seed Targets the series is clearly phoning in at this point.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 182 & 183

Usagi's Rolodex grows ever thicker.

When one minion falls, two shall rise up to take her place! Not too unexpected for Sailor Moon, and mostly a welcome change. Somewhat less expected is the arrival of another protagonist(?) in the wake of those minions, and just one more name to add to our already stuffed Stars cast. I am ... less than thrilled about this new development, although taken as  a whole these are still fun, solid episodes. Hit the jump to get acquainted.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 180 & 181

Like two peas in a space pod.

After hanging out with our cast in entertaining if not exactly novel ways for the past few weeks, we may have finally hit on a new topic for the show to tackle: Xenophobia! And here I thought Sailor Moon had run out of ideas.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 178 & 179

Luna gives the Star Lights a (Ya)ten out of ten! As for me, well ...

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 176 & 177

For the Moonies, "Don't stop believing" is more than just a song you belt drunkenly at parties.

I’m sensing some definite parallels between this season and Sailor Moon S, where some aggressive-minded realists (or perhaps cynicists) take up residence in Juuban and have their methods challenged by the local idealistic sailor team. The Star Lights aren’t quite as hostile toward the Moonies as Haruka and Michiru were (yet, anyway), but they’re having similar arguments and changing in similar […]

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 174 & 175

Show biz has got nothin' on high school.

These were fun episodes (Minako-centric stories usually are, these days) that helped establish our new trio, shed some light on our new villains, and forward Sailor Moon's ever-present coming-of-age narrative. They also featured some of the oddest attacks to date, including one that I just ... boy howdy, do I just.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 172 & 173

Do you wanna build a redemption arc?

Villains come and villains go. And sometimes villains come and friends go. And sometimes villains come and friends go and more villains come and maybe some new friends come, too, but we're not really sure yet because it's early in the arc?

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 170 & 171

Fairy tale retellings sure can lead to some thorny situations.

Our season-opening arc keeps blazing forward, building to a(nother) showdown against our Big Bad, but that doesn't mean Stars has no time for character growth. This week turns the focus to our Moon Defense Squad, integrating the outer guardians more thoroughly into the group and pushing the inner guardians into their roles as confident warriors with their own unique strengths. It's good stuff. Er, except when it isn't. But we'll talk particulars below the jump.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 167-169

Second Stars to the right and straight on 'til morning!

As I mentioned last week, thanks to Viz's awkward release schedule, I've got a whole trio of Stars episodes to cover this time around, and h'oh man, did this season waste no time in diving right into the fracas. Hit the jump to say hi to some old friends and some even older plot points.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: SuperS Finale

Now that's how you end a season!

Our old friend Ikuhara shows up for one last spin in the director's chair and makes damn sure to go out on a high note. As rough as SuperS has been at times, this is a visually stunning and thematically satisfying finale, tying up loose ends and setting the stage for potential future conflict. Say what you will about this season or its series director, but the guy knows his way around a tight narrative and striking imagery, and that's on full display here.

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Sailor Moon Newbie Recaps: Episodes 164 & 165

Walking the fine line between SuperSincere and Alicorny.

It's final battle week, more or less, which in Sailor Moon terms usually means things are going to happen SuperSwiftly, and these episodes do not disappoint. Villains rise and fall, characters learn when to let go and when to hang on, and the Power of Dreams! leads to a finale both heartfelt and cheesy. I'm still trying to decide how well it worked for me personally, so let's hit those recaps and see if we can't parse it out together.

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