In geekdom, we see a lot of teasers. Sometimes it’s just an image or the name of a creator, other times it’s a trailer or a simple tag line. Whatever it is, it’s meant to get a reaction from you and start a discussion. Inspired by the anticipation and buzz caused by these teasers, we at Fantastic Fangirls present Skipping to Conclusions in which we speculate about the comics, movies, TV shows, or whatever we’re excited about but hasn’t come out yet.
There is nothing quite like hearing an echo from the past, especially an echo from childhood.
It is the closest thing we have to time travel—for now, at least. The moment may not last for more than a few seconds, but it’s enough to carry us off to a more innocent time. A time before we learned self-doubt, and “uncertainty” and “limitations” were specters that only haunted the world of adults.
It was a time where magic was a matter of fact, not fiction. And the act of believing that you could do anything was as easy as taking a breathful of air. But even as we grew older, we hung on to these moments like keepsakes. And every once in a while, we hear an echo. Then we take these moments out of their locked drawers to remind ourselves of where we have been and who we once were.
This is exactly this kind of “time travel” that I believe makes people excited about reboots, regardless of the franchise. Cynics would say that the film and television industry capitalize on this nostalgia. After all, reboots have built-in audience who are ready and willing to spend their dollars to see what new interpretation their studios came up with—regardless of quality or respect to the original.
And yes, there is a certain degree of truth in this. There are many franchises that I could name off the top of my head that seemed to be solely motivated by money. But then, there are those franchises that are motivated by so much more than that.
Last year, The Mary Sue reported on the reboot of the Sailor Moon franchise. You can read the details here. The premier of the new series is slated for 2013. No new details have been released since then, but you can imagine the fan speculation that has been circulating the Internet ever since.
Now before you start singing the theme song (and I will probably join you), I want to take a few moments to share just what this means to fans like myself.
One summer, almost 15 years ago, I saw the English-dubbed debut of Sailor Moon and felt for the first time what it meant to be a fan. The feeling went beyond just “liking a show.” No, it was much deeper than that. In cases like these, I hate to fall back on clichés like “capturing my heart” but that is exactly what this series did. You know that you’ve become a fan when you hold the characters as close to your heart as you would your actual friends. And if you think this counts as borderline obsession (and admittedly, that borderline is very thin), I’d like to present you with this passage from author Nancy Kress’ Dynamic Characters:
“There are characters in fiction so real, so palpable, that we can reach out and touch them our whole lives…They have a solidity and a humanity that calls up answering emotions in us, and we know we could have been much poorer if we’d never met them.”
Recently, I wrote a post on Magical Girl manga. For anyone whose seen Sailor Moon, it is quite obvious how iconic this series was to the genre. In truth, it was a series that pioneered a lot of what makes the Magical Girl genre so compelling. Although Magical Girl manga existed prior to Sailor Moon (there’s a slew of titles that date back as early as the 1960’s), the series creator Naoko Takeuchi took the genre a step further by emphasizing two elements:
- Magical Girls working together as part of a team.
- Magical Girls using their special abilities for a common good, usually to fight evil.
The series thrived during a time of “Girl Power” in the West. If that rouses any unpleasant memories from the girl bands/boy bands era, I will only say that given the times we live in now—where reasonably well-educated politicians are still unable to understand rape—a little “Girl Power” wouldn’t hurt.
In any case, the series itself touched on themes that I feel are as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. Themes like friendship, courage, perseverance in the face of impossible odds, and the importance of staying true to oneself. In that vein, I feel that Sailor Moon had a very formulative influence on many young girls in its prime, and it’s my hope that the reboot will inherit that same endearing quality.
Since there is little to no news on the reboot, there is only so much that I could go on to speculate. That being said, the following is a list of things that aren’t so much as what’s likely to happen, but what I would like to happen:
1. A Prequel Arc
Many fans know that Sailor Moon and Co. once lived on the Moon Kingdom, but for some many spoilerific reasons were kicked out and reincarnated on Earth—without any memories of their past lives. A prequel arc could show what life was like in the Royal Court (which if the picture below is to be believed, is something like living in Disney World). It could also show how the Scouts became defenders of the galaxy. After all, did they earn their titles via some kind of proving, as with a tournament? Were their superhuman powers inherited or bestowed?
Supposedly, the other Scouts were princesses of their own respective planets. It would be interesting to see what other outer-space kingdoms existed, whether there were any political intrigues, and what the laws and customs were for those times. It would be like Game of Thrones, except in outer space and with more glitter.
2.More Love Interests.
If you’ve ever seen the anime, you’ll know that the love between Usagi and Mamoru (or Serena and Darien in the English dub) straight up dominated the series. Their relationship has been put to the test multiple times under varying circumstances, the most notable of which was when they encountered their future selves.
But in my opinion, the other Scouts needed some lovin’ too. There were a few episodes here and there where they may have had crushes, but those usually went no farther than a season. It would be nice if they each could find the love of their lives, or at least form a meaningful relationship outside their circle of friends that could act as a nice foil or provide an interesting complication.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that I would like the show to be saturated with boy drama—but I feel that if a nice balance could be found, it would be another way to add dimension to the other Scouts’ characters.
3. More of the Outer Sailor Scouts
We don’t really get to meet the Outer Sailor Scouts until later arcs and that’s a shame. In case you didn’t know, they are: Sailor Pluto, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Saturn (pictured below). Really, these characters are interesting in that they form a secondary, almost rogue, faction. But while they follow the same code of honor, what their goals are and how they operate are not always aligned with the Inner Sailor Scouts.
I feel this tension could not only be more explored, but also amplified—perhaps even in an arc of its own where they meet even more Sailor Scouts from the farthest reaches of the universe. It would show what it truly means to be a Sailor Scout and can clarify what vision or ideals they stand for.
4. Finally, a post-arc.
Or at least a re-imagining of the Stars arc. It had differentiated from the manga to a point that even Naoko Takeuchi was disappointed. For example, the Sailor Stars were originally minor characters but played principle roles in the anime. They also did not switch from male to female, but I am okay with this even if the creator isn’t because I am all for more positive transgender representation in the media.
If a re-imagining is out of the question, then at the very least a post-arc could take place where series left off. Here, Usagi and the rest of her friends could be trying to balance their alter egos with the more demanding rigors and restrictions of college. Or, it could be the arc that shows the beginning of how Usagi later comes into power. I mean c’mon, at one point, she becomes Queen of the Earth. That could present a whole host of interesting conflicts such as Usagi finally revealing her identity to the world at large.
But really, even if NONE of these things happen—I would still tune in to watch the reboot, if not out of passion then out of loyalty (or both). I can honestly say that the show has had such a positive impact on my childhood, and for that I will always be grateful.
I can only hope the same from other fans.