Thursday, May 6, 2010


Reasons Why I Should Write the Sailor Moon Movie #16: Quadrophenia-- a great album AND a great analogy!

I know it's over six minutes long. . . but just listen to this shit!

"I've Had Enough", from The Who's 1973 double album Quadrophenia. Why am I playing this? Because there is no such thing as a bad reason for playing The Who! . . . That's why!

. . . Okay, okay, I guess I'd better connect this to Sailor Moon somehow.

Quadrophenia is The Who's second rock opera, the first being their far more popular (but, to me, inferior) Tommy. It tells the story of Jimmy Cooper, a teenage Mod living in England in the mid-sixties. . . but that's not important. What's important is the concept of Quadrophenia itself, as described by the Word of God:
The name is a variation on the popular usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder to reflect the four distinct personalities of Jimmy, the opera's protagonist. . . [guitarist and songwriter Pete Townshend] chose the personalities of each member to illustrate each of Jimmy’s four personalities, or “personality extremes” or mood swings.
So what does this have to do with Sailor Moon, and with Part #15 in particular? For your consideration. . .

Friendship. Love. The strength that these two things give to those willing to open their heart to them. This is the main theme of Sailor Moon. . . which makes the fact that a cynical loner like myself would want to adapt it into a movie seem more than a little odd. (What is this "friendship" and "love" you humans speak of. . . ?) Still, the question of just what kind of strength friendship and love bestow-- besides the pop-Darwinian tropes of strength in numbers, reciprocity, etc.-- is an important one, and the answer typically provided by the anime was. . . emotional support. Now, this is okay in the metaphorical sense; it's hard to find that much fault with the message that friends, true friends, will help each other through the most of the pain that life can and will bring (though it is naive to take it too far-- sorry, the cynic in me had to get that out). In a way, it's also good literal sense, given that Princess Serenity is a being whose virtually god-like power is derived from the strength of her emotions. But. . . that can't be all there is to it. If that's the case then, as I said waay back in Part #3, Naru and Umino could serve the purpose just as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto, and Minako. But of course, they can't. So what else is there?

Speaking as a virtual loner, one whose only social connections are the result of his far more socially adept mother and sister, one who is literally writing this blog in a basement. . . of course I feel perfectly qualified to philosophize on the nature of human relationships, at least as far as this movie goes. I think that our best and strongest bonds, the kind that result in loving families, lasting friendships, and edifying tutelage, result when another person brings out a strength in us that we never knew or believed we had, or helps us confront a weakness we were always too willing to ignore. Moreover, while sometimes this is done deliberately, more often it is done through example, through the simple act of someone being who they are. It's one thing to meet someone whose company you enjoy; it's another thing when you are a better, fuller human being for having known them.

(I'll breifly mention, and then ignore, the complementary argument-- that an adversary, whether a mere rival or blood enemy, can also bring out the best in us; for example, nearly all the world was ultimately united in opposition to Hitler.)

That's where the stuff about Quadrophenia, the Breakfast Club metaphor from way back, and all the pretentious crap I was talking about in Part #15 all come in. Before Usagi can become Sailor Moon, her friends must awaken the parts of Usagi's soul that will allow her to finally make that transformation. Likewise, before her friends can make their own transformations, they must first bring out the best in each other.

The process by which Sailor Moon is awakened will be more complex then that by which the other senshi are awakened, owing both to the fact that Sailor Moon is the leader of the senshi and the fact that Usagi is the main character of the movie and thus can be afforded more character development. As I metioned in another earlier post, I'm basing the senshi (and Mamoru) more closely off of the Chinese elemental system than did previous incarnations. So, for example, Ami is associated with water, Rei with fire, Makoto with wood, etc., and their characters are based on the characteristics traditionally associated with each of these elements. But more than that, their relationships (with some neccessary narrative license) will be modelled on the traditional relationships between these elements, specifically the "generating" and "overcoming/destroying" cycles:

So, for example, "water nourishes wood," which in terms of character means that Makoto(Wood) is inspired to help Ami(Water) find her courage.

As for the rest. . . well, I'll leave that for the script. Suffice it to say that while everything I've mentioned above is important, it isn't all that's involved in Usagi's awakening-- I don't want to spoil everything. The next part of the script isn't anywhere close to being finished, but rest assured, it's coming.

'Till next time.


Naomi said...

Josh made me turn off the who song because he didn't like it.

Jeremy K. said...

I can't blame him, really. I mean, how could The Who possible compare to Kings of Leon or Lady Gaga?

Jim Beam said...

Hey Lady Gaga is actually a very incredible songstress. Look up old videos of her when she would play piano and wear pants.

Naomi said...

You probably already know all this, but some of it was news to me!

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