Biggest Takeaway From Unearthed Western ‘Sailor Moon’ Pilot Is We Missed Out on Disability Representation
When YouTuber Raven “Ray Mona” Simone shared, on her docuseries Tales of the Lost, her journey to find the lost pilot of the ’90s Western live-action/animated Sailor Moon adaptation (and her success in showing it to the world), viewers rediscovered the hidden history of the failed project. Toon Makers and Renaissance-Atlantic put together a pilot episode of the concept, which is now on Simone’s Youtube Account.
As a nearly lifelong Sailor Moon fan, the video is both cringe and interesting because of the choices made. I think almost every Sailor Moon fan growing up in the West has thought about how they would choose to Americanize the Scouts. Jupiter being Black and Mars remaining Asian are almost exactly what I would have expected. Usagi/Sailor Moon being Westernized to Victoria is … different.
All that being said, the character of Sailor Mercury is played in the animated and live-action worlds by a girl in a wheelchair. This is something I didn’t expect, but I found it to be one of the actually promising and interesting things about the pilot. We so rarely get disability representation in superhero stories that don’t find ways to make their power “make up” for their disability. The fact that Sailor Mercury not only uses a wheelchair as a human but as a Scout is a piece of positive representation that I think would have been nice in the ’90s.
There isn’t much positive to say about this Sailor Moon Saban pilot other than … an attempt was made. I’m glad this is not what any of us ended up with because it is ultimately not good in terms of animation, acting, and casting, overall. (Sorry, the Scouts are not white, and I will just never accept a white Usagi. She’s Japanese). Well, actually, the use of the Treasure Planet space surfboard things is cool, too. Would I have watched this as a kid? Absolutely. But that is not an indicator of taste.
Most importantly, Ray Mona’s channel is really cool, and I’m glad this brought her some more exposure.
(featured image: Saban/Screenshot/Toei)
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