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Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon ( 美少女戦士セーラームーン ) CBC/CAZBE/Dentsu/TBS/Toei Co. Ltd/Bandai Visual, 2003-2004 As if this will ever see a U.S. release... Directed by Ryuta Tazaki (Kamen Rider 555) Based on the bestselling manga by Naoko Takeuchi Running Time: 25 minutes per episode Not Rated (Suggested TV-PG). Contains some violence and mild language. Cast Miyuu Sawai as Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon/Princess Serenity Rika Izumi (formerly Chisaki Hama) as Ami Mizuno/Sailor Mercury Keiko Kitagawa as Rei Hino/Sailor Mars Mew Azama as Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter Ayaka Komatsu as Minako Aino/Sailor Venus/Sailor V Jouji Shibue as Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Kamen/Prince Endymion Keiko Han (Lalah in Mobile Suit Gundam) as Luna (reprising her original anime role) Rina Koike as Sailor Luna Kappei Yamaguchi (Ranma 1/2, Inu-Yasha) as Artemis Aya Sugimoto as Queen Beryl Hiroyuki Matsumoto as Nephrite Jun Masuo as Jadeite Yoshito Endou as Zoicite Akira Kubodera as Kunzite Chieko Kawabe as Naru Osaka Masaya Kikawada as Motoki Furuhata Kaori Moriwaka as Ikuko Tsukino Naoki Takeshi as Shingo Tsukino Moeco Matsushita as Hina Kusaka Alisa Yuriko Durbrow as Mio Kuroki "Moon Prism Power...Make-Up!" Synopsis Middle school student Usagi Tsukino is having her typical late run for school when a plush cat doll named Luna falls out of the sky and lands on her face. That night, she is revisited by Luna, who tells her that she is one of the Sailor Guardians. Using her special makeup, Usagi transforms herself into Sailor Moon, champion of love and justice. With the aid of her new friends Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury), Rei Hino (Sailor Mars) and Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter), along with idol singer/vigilante-at-night Minako Aino (Sailor Venus, a.k.a. Sailor V) and the mysterious masked man known as Tuxedo Kamen, Sailor Moon strives to find the Moon Princess and the Mystical Silver Crystal, and protect them from Queen Beryl and the Dark Kingdom. Lowdown In a time where anime fans fear the possibility of their favorite titles going live-action, this comes to a surprise. I expected this live-action adaptation of the popular Sailor Moon manga and anime series to bomb big-time, but I was wrong. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon features some of the most kawaii actresses in Japanese TV today, and they do a very impressive job with their roles. The special effects are mostly computer-generated. Since the production team opted to make Luna a plush doll instead of a real cat, it's a lot easier for the CG animators to render her. Sure, the movements may look a bit cheesy, but it's better than the stuffed animal pretending to be a real cat in Sabrina the Teen Witch. The senshi transformation sequences are pretty average - minimal camera work and a lot of CG effects. Despite not having the official anthem "Moonlight Densetsu," the new series has an equally catchy theme in the form of "Kirari Sailor Dream," written by creator Naoko Takeuchi and performed by Sae. The BGM is standard J-Pop/orchestra that's equal to the anime's soundtrack. Overall, I'm very impressed with the franchise's transition from manga to anime to live-action. I definitely will be following this series on a regular basis. Rating: B+ Special thanks to #TV-Nihon for making this review possible. Links Toei's Official Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Homepage (Japanese) CBC's Official Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Homepage (Japanese) Reference Anime News Network Wikipedia