Well, it’s pretty much impossible for me not to watch this through the lens of MADOKA MAGICA. Now that I’m finally seeing the show that inspired the deconstruction, it’s actually very easy to imagine how Urobuchi’s thought process probably charted out when he was looking for gaps IN WHICH to infer darker implications. Hell, I’m even seeing menacing undertones to Usagi’s whimsical encounter with Luna, now that I’ve met that magical cat’s evil analog, Kyubey.
(Speaking of which, it’s highly amusing that the ‘save the cat’ moment to build sympathy sees Sailor Moon literally saving a cat. Suppose you can’t fault an anime for cutting straight to the point…)
Going into this, I expected to learn I’d held plenty of misconceptions about SAILOR MOON over the years. Obviously, I’ve been aware of the show since I was a kid, but I never actually watched it (it was so girly. Ewwww…!) However, I definitely wasn’t expecting this first episode to remind me more of an eight-page origin story from a Golden Age superhero comic. there’s a very specific texture to the suspension of disbelief here. The way Usagi just becomes Sailor Moon with no apprehension (she’s only emulating this other heroine, who’s always been there), the way Luna offers no explanation of her role and the way Tuxedo Mask just appears as if we’ve already been introduced to him… there are just all these delightful leaps.
It’s as if the creators were purposely leaving plenty of room open for somebody to come along later and reexamine the basic set-up they’d put together. Hell, even the powerful witch’s scheme (she’s taking over a jewelry store?) seems so incongruously beneath her power level, it’s like threads are being left dangling by design.
What say you, lunatics? As we count down to this new iteration of SAILOR MOON, can you go back to the O.G. Magical Girl after your brain’s been reassembled by Madoka?
Watch "The Crybaby: Usagi's Beautiful Transformation" and decide for yourself.