It’s been over 20 years years since the premiere of Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie, but it recently had the chance to shine all over again thanks to a new theatrical release. Hot on the heels of screenings for the Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S movies, we had a chance to see how SuperS holds up alongside the never-before-screened-in-theaters short, “Ami’s First Love.”
Hear that sound? That faint droning melody in the middle of the night? If you’re not a kid you probably haven’t noticed it, but children throughout town find it irresistible. Yep, we have a real pied piper of the youth on our hands in the Sailor Moon SuperS movie, and the reality of the situation is going to hit home hard when Chibiusa gets caught up in the march toward captivity.
What follows is an hour of battles between the Sailor Guardians and Poupelin, whose child-luring actions are all part of a much grander scheme the vile Queen Badiane has been cooking. She aims to strengthen a Black Dream Hole that will eventually engulf the entire planet. This is accomplished, naturally, through the power of children who dream away in their… Dream Coffins! These kids (and some adults) may be asleep through it all, but it’s going to lead to the ultimate nightmare if Sailor Moon and the rest can’t put an end to it before the Black Dream Hole becomes too powerful.
The vanishing kids premise is even more reminiscent of your typical Super Sentai setup than usual, and with such a brisk running time, there isn’t much room for messing around in Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie. Other than some baking fun at the beginning—which eventually plays into the plot near its climax—SuperS is heavily-focused on action, from battling bouncing Bonbon Babies atop decorative dirigibles to teaming up with a former minion of Badiane in a last-ditch effort to return all the dreaming children to earth.
Usagi and the Inner Senshi don’t have to wage this dream war on their own; Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune, and Sailor Pluto eventually join the battle, making SuperS a real treat for fans. Toei’s entire production looks especially sharp in this new transfer, and the theatrical release was accompanied by lighter fare in the form of the “Ami’s First Love” short. This 16-minute anime finds Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuno having trouble focusing on her studies amidst numerous distracting circumstances, including a strange love letter and an exam score-tying rival known as Mercurius. It’s a brief but enjoyable addition to the feature, and it even manages to throw a new transformation sequence and an enhanced attack into the mix.
If you missed your chance to catch Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie and its predecessors in theaters, hopefully we’ll be treated to similar opportunities in the future. Like theatrical event movies from other popular shonen and shoujo series, SuperS delivers exactly what you want from what would add up to the length of a two- or three-chapter saga in the TV anime proper.