Sunday, December 27, 2009

I Should Also Cast the Sailor Moon Movie

Reasons Why I Should Write the Sailor Moon Movie #2: The Kids are Alright

Another thing that PGSM got right-- and I say this with all seriousness-- was in casting actual, 14-16 year old kids in the roles of the Senshi. To explain what I mean, I first have to summarize, in brief, the basic story arc of every previous incarnation of Sailor Moon.

In essence, it goes something like this. We start off Usagi (and her friends in later series), who can be described as a person whose imagination and capacity for love is dominated by a childish attitude. She is impatient, which leads to laziness, which in turn leads to a habit of just scraping by in her endeavours, academic or otherwise. She also suffers from a sort of behavioural myopia which, for all of her good intentions, often manifests itself in the form of selfishness, impulsiveness, and gluttony. She's easily frightened, which leads, in combination with her impatience, to her easily breaking down and turning into a crybaby. Add to this an incapacity for subtlety and a flow of psychological energy with precisely two settings-- "Off" and "Turn it Off! For the Love of God Turn it Off!"-- and you have. . . well, a kid.

Out of the blue, this kid is then told that she is basically responsible for saving Tokyo the entire world from energy sucking monsters. Given how well she responds to the duties of ordinary life, you can imagine how well she takes to this news. She gets scared-- terrified-- during battle. The fact that she often makes stupid mistakes (a consequence of inexperience) only adds to her insecurities. She resents the impact her new responsibilities have on her life, and often reneges on her duties. She uses her powers for selfish ends. Yet, gradually, as she acquires new and similarly superpowered friends (one of whom, Sailor Venus, is more experienced than any other), and learns more about her and her friends' shared past (literally a past life), and eventually finds true love, she matures. This maturity does not lead to the squelching of emotions, or to Usagi giving up her hopes and dreams. Instead, it leads to the realization that these things are the ultimate source of her power-- they need only the proper focus. Understanding this allows her to defeat her, and humankind's, enemies. Add a slew monsters of the week, recurring miniboss underlings of gradually increasing difficulty level, friends captured/"killed", a huge power-up that saves Sailor Moon just in the nick of time, a loved one possessed by ultimate evil only to be brought back by the power of love, and a scary big bad destroyed/redeemed by the very same, and you have Sailor Moon in a nutshell (except perhaps the live action series, but that would be spoiling, as well as weakening my argument).

The various incarnations of Sailor Moon all followed this same arc, albeit differing in the details. The Usagi of the manga matured relatively quickly, which is one of the things I like about the manga. The anime had childish Usagi dominate the majority of each season, mature, rise to power, defeat the supreme enemy, and then inexplicably revert to her earlier immature self. All the while, she and her only slightly more mature friends friends were all depicted as, well, definitely not girls in their early teens. Combine this with the fact that they are always being saved by a glorified jewel thief with no superpowers and. . . well, let's say that I can sympathize with the critics of Sailor Moon who insist that the show is sexist. This is why PGSM did the right thing in casting real teens. These actresses, despite being professional models, never once looked a day older than the characters they were portraying. While the anime kept saying that these are kids, PGSM showed it.

So where am I going with this? There are two points I wanted to make in this post. The first was in outlining the basic arc of Sailor Moon. I'll explain in later posts how that arc can be implemented in a Sailor Moon movie. Indeed, that's pretty much one of the main points of this entire exercise.

The other? To suggest my ideal choice of actress to play the role of Sailor Moon.

Abigail Breslin.

Yeah, you heard me, Abigail Breslin! And just to show that I haven't made some horrible typo:

Abigail Breslin, pictured above.

Okay, I won't lose any sleep if Breslin isn't in my movie, because quite frankly this entire film is almost certainly never going to happen anyway. But if it were up to me, Sailor Moon would be played by Breslin, or at least another actress in the same mould.

Why? First and most obviously, she's a kid, just as Sawai was when she first accepted the role back in 2003. Second, while she may be pretty, she's not some kind of J-Barbie nymph. This was true of Sawai as well. While she may have grown into a beautiful woman, Sawai was gawky and awkward as hell, in both her mannerisms and, to some extent, her acting (though her talent matured, throughout the series and afterward). Third, on a related topic, Breslin was nominated for an Academy Award. Sawai. . . wasn't.

So that's the actress who plays Usagi. But what about the other senshi, and Mamoru, Usagi's one true love? Who'll play them? What will their characters' role in the film be? And what about the villain? You'll find out, in future installments of Reasons Why I Should Write the Sailor Moon Movie.

Sailor Moon Says! Hee hee-- ow, ow! Oh God, oh God! Stop hitting me-- ow! Ow! Goddammit! Ow! Okay! Okay! I'll never say that again! I promise.


Cait said...

Abigail Breslin would never have been a name that would cross my mind if I were casting the Sailor Moon movie, but after reading your argument for casting her or someone similar I think that you're right. Realistically, I think that Sailor Moon/Usagi will be played by a tall blonde in her twenties, which is a shame because I think that your vision of Usagi is better and would make some of the messages of Sailor Moon hit harder. :)

Jeremy K. said...


Thanks for the feedback! It's both exciting and a little terrifying that my crazy ideas are actually being read by someone out there. I should (hopefully) have the next installment up this week.

Cait said...

Awesome! I can't wait to hear more of your ideas and to see who else you would cast! :)

Locations of visitors to this page