“Tsuki ni kawatte, oshiokiyo!”
Sailor Moon is one of the most recognizable and beloved Japanese franchises worldwide with over 35 million copies of manga sold, 8 seasons of anime, a successful live action series, as well as multiple stage musicals dedicated to the magical girl story.
For those who aren’t familiar with the franchise, the story follows young Usagi Tsukino (Serena in the original American dub) and her female companions as they discover magical abilities that can help defend the world from an onslaught of evil forces focused on destruction and world domination. The series has 5 main story arcs: Sailor Moon, R, S, Super S, and Sailor Stars. Each chapter follows new villains, characters, and struggles.
Celebrating it’s 25th anniversary, CineLife Entertainment has brought the widely popular stage musical to the US through a special screening event in theaters across the country. Following the final story arc of the manga, the performance is the first time American audiences have had the opportunity to see any form of the stage show. The performances began back in 2013, and each year since, Japanese audiences have seen every story arc transformed into a fully packed musical extravaganza.
For this performance, Le Mouvement Final, Usagi (Sailor Moon), must say goodbye to her boyfriend and companion, Mamoru Chiba, as he goes to study in America. As he leaves, the world is invaded by Shadow Galaxia and her minions, hellbent on devouring the world and consuming the Sailor Guardians “Sailor Crystals”, which will give them the power to shape the galaxy to their will. At the same time, three mysterious figures appear, who introduce themselves as a new sensational band named “Three Lights”. Usagi must transform and fight to save her love, family, and new friends in the toughest battle she has ever faced.
The show runs for an impressive 165 minutes, which condenses the entire manga arc into one show along with musical numbers, special effects, and a full female ensemble. After the story ends, the characters come out and perform multiple song numbers, focusing mostly on Mamoru Chiba’s alter ego, Tuxedo Mask. It’s a fun filled performance for all ages and a unique opportunity to share in the fun that was exclusive to Japan up to this point.
Each song is unique to the show, and every character has an opportunity to shine on stage. Lyrics are provided with the dialogue throughout the show with full translation. The set pieces are simple, with the production relying on the actresses on stage rather than flashy set changes. Though very cheesy and over the top, there are so many fantastic performances that showcase a wide array of emotions that fit perfectly in sync with what you’d expect from the anime or manga series. It’s a must see for any hardcore anime fan and only here for a very limited time.
While the screening only highlights the end of the 5 year run in Japan, it is still significant since it shows the long lasting demand for Sailor Moon across the globe. Similar to Power Rangers, Pokemon, and Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon is a household name that continues to awe new generations rather than fading into yesteryear. The musical also showcases a story arc that is not widely known outside of Japan.
The anime, which aired in the US from 1995 to 2000, only dubbed and showcased four of the five story arcs. Sailor Stars, which was never dubbed in the US, was just released to US audiences through Hulu in 2015. Though the stage play is a super condensed version of that story, it’s still something that is very fresh and new, providing more content for rabid fans waiting for anything they can get their hands on.
For those interested in learning more about the film and where they can see it, please visit the official page below:
There will be a variety of showings available across the LA area until March 21st.