My fellow Moonies, rejoice! We are truly in the Neo Golden Age of Sailor Moon. What with the current revival of the anime and anime-themed merchandise worldwide, the re-printing of the manga in English with the direct intent of being more accurate to the original (whether it actually is or not is an argument for another time; the intent was good), and the production of a new series being in the works we are getting more Sailor Moon goodies than we’ve seen since she first took the world by storm.
In the midst of all this official media and merchandise, we are also seeing wild numbers of fan films and fan series being produced! I talked about one already and now it’s time to share another one. I was hoping to wait until the second part of the film was uploaded to talk about it but I’m impatient and want to share it now, so enjoy part one and look forward to the conclusion to come! This film comes from an Australian group of fans and is titled Dead Moon Circus:
Review under the cut:
In case you’ve forgotten (and I wouldn’t blame you if you have) The Dead Moon Circus was the villain group of the SuperS (fourth) season of the anime and the corresponding Yume (Dream) arc of the manga. It was not a well-liked season in Japan or the US, and the reasons for this vary but I think one of the main complaints were the huge focus on Chibiusa (Rini) and the complete exclusion of the Outer Senshi (Sailors Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn) who made the previous season so dramatic. I for one found the Dead Moon Circus a sub-par group of villains who were flighty and non-threatening. I was also bored by their plans of seeking out goal-oriented people and stealing their Pure Dream Mirror which was awfully similar (read: exactly the same) as the villains from the previous season seeking out nice people to steal their Pure Heart Crystals.
Since I wasn’t very attached to the villains or story lines from this season of the anime I wasn’t at all opposed to seeing them re-imagined and actually love the versions of these characters which appear in the musicals. As such, I was excited to see a fan film take them on and put their own twist on them and this film does not disappoint. The Dead Moon Circus villains keep their mission and general personality traits but are much more threatening in this movie, especially the Amazon Trio. The Amazoness Quartet is fairly similar to their anime incarnation but their personalities were more enjoyable than the Trio’s so I don’t mind that fact.
One thing I’m not really thrilled about is Fisheye’s character. Fisheye was always kind of a joke on the show for being an effeminate homosexual and while he’s been made a bit more intimidating in this movie there are still some problematic bits of characterization with him where he seems to fit the stereotype of gay men wanting to sleep with any man in sight and needing to be rescued by their tougher heterosexual friends. I don’t think this is a huge problem in the movie and I do give them credit for not making him a joke as he was in the anime, but the problem is there and makes me a little unhappy.
The acting in the movie is nothing spectacular, but of course we must keep in mind that these are amateur actors and directors, and there are some really great performances. I think my favorites are the girls playing Serena, Lita, and Mina (who isn’t a great actress per se, so much as she just feels right in the role). Raye’s actress is also really great but her performance is perhaps a little overdone and really stands out against the others who tend to be understated to a fault. Also, the actress playing Lita totally looks like Inayoshi Takako from the SuperS musical which is really cool.
So far this movie looks great. The effects, wigs, and costumes are all great considering the shoestring budget and the script works pretty well without any horrible plotholes. I definitely recommend watching this and subscribing to the channel so you can see part 2 when it’s released!