“Transformation” is a new story inserted in the story-what happened in “Theatrical Version Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R”? [Nostalgic Anime Memoir 88th]

“Transformation” is a new story inserted in the story-what happened in “Theatrical Version Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R”? [Nostalgic Anime Memoir 88th]
March 20, 2022 11:000
Anime column planning article Nostalgic anime memoirs of middle-aged anime writers

“Transformation” is a new story inserted in the story-what happened in “Theatrical Version Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R”? [Nostalgic Anime Memoir 88th]
The first part of “RE: cycle of the PENGUINDRUM”, the movie version of “Penguindrum”, will be released next month. Speaking of director Kunihiko Ikuhara’s success story, it is probably the “Sailor Moon” series. Director Ikuhara’s theatrical animation debut was also “Theatrical Version Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R” (1993).

Sailor warriors who shed tears in the same order from the same angle

“Sailor Moon R the Movie” is an extra story in which the main character, Usagi Tsukino’s boyfriend, and Mamoru Chiba’s boyhood friend, Fiore, appear as villains.
Fiore tries to drop an asteroid on Earth, but the rabbit transformed into Sailor Moon stops it with the power of the silver crystal hidden in her chest. The other four Sailor Warriors join the rabbit, but everyone may find that their emotional depictions are extremely stylized.

A scene is inserted in which sailor warriors watching a rabbit (Sailor Moon) being hurt by Fiore were bothered by being slandered by their classmates in the past. The order is Ami Mizuno (Sailor Mercury), Makoto Kino (Sailor Jupiter), Minako Aino (Sailor Venus), and Rei Hino (Sailor Mars). Sailor Moon had been suffering from Fiore all the time they were recollecting.
After recovering from the damage done to Fiore, Sailor Moon releases the power of the silver crystal to stop the asteroid. Behind her deadly Sailor Moon, the Sailor Warriors hold her hands together to support her. The warriors recall conversations they had with rabbits in the past. Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus in that order, almost 8-10 seconds each. When the camera approaches the face, the focus becomes blurry and it becomes a flashback scene (always one-cut), and when it becomes out of focus again and the face is up, tears burst.
Four people recall the past in turn, and all four shed tears at the same timing. Although lacking in reality, it is the most efficient production to describe the individuality and emotions of the four people, and it seems to match the style. Because the stylized flashbacks at the climax would have been inspired by the transformation scenes that accompany heroes.

The difference in emotions stands out because the transformation scene is patterned.

In the first half of the movie, in the town where the rabbits live, people lose their souls and attack like zombies. Sailor warriors transform and defeat the demons (enemy characters like monsters in this work) who are manipulating people, but once they fall into a pinch. Let’s take a closer look.
The demon catches Ami and Rei before the transformation in both hands and sucks their energy. To help Ami and Rei, Minako first transforms into Sailor Venus. The background becomes an abstract pattern such as stars and light, and it takes 24 seconds to decide the pose to finish the transformation. Then, Makoto transforms into Sailor Jupiter. The effect has been replaced by transmitted light that depicts lightning, but it is still a background like a different space. 19 seconds to decide the pose. In other words, Ami and Rei remained sucked energy during the transformation scene for a total of 43 seconds.

After that, it took 19 seconds for Ray to transform into Sailor Mars and 17 seconds for Ami to transform into Sailor Mercury. Camera work is common, starting with a hand-up and grabbing a makeover stick (because makeover goods are on sale for children, it may be necessary to show the product to the audience for as long as possible).
And because the video is patterned like a commercial, the icons that are differentiated for each character such as water and flame stand out. The fact that the flashback scene was stylized at the climax may be the same structure as the transformation scene. Because the same production is repeated with exactly the same cutting, it is possible to express the difference in emotions of each person in a short number of seconds.

Only Chibiusa witnessed the back view transforming into Sailor Moon.

By the way, it takes 47 seconds for the main character, Rabbit, to transform into Sailor Moon. It’s longer than the other members, probably because it uses the new transformation item that appeared in the 5th episode of the TV version.
However, because Rabbit helped the character “Chibiusa” who cannot transform, she collapsed in a restaurant in the town. She transforms from that state, so when she poses with the slogan “Moon Crystal Power …”, the rabbit turns her back to the audience.
Not only that, Chibiusa stops her transforming rabbit, interrupting her transformation process. Chibiusa cheers, “Thank you for your help. Good luck.” From there, a new transformation scene begins. Rabbit’s back is not the usual abstract background, but the restaurant where she was lying down.
In other words, another time axis called “transformation scene” is interrupted by the time axis of the story. Only Chibiusa, who is always watching the battle nearby, knows its structure. It doesn’t erode the time of the story, even if it takes tens of seconds to transform. The transformation scenes and flashback scenes that start anew and are completed in just a few tens of seconds may actually be trying to draw a subjective concept such as “the significance of the event.” When the rabbit poses in a makeover pose with her back in the background of her daily life, I feel that she has a glimpse of a cross section of a mysterious expression that is more than “I want to sell makeover goods” of her related parties. It feels like another dimension of story and story collided unintentionally, but how about it?

(Sentence / Keisuke Hirota)

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