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YMMV / Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

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  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A major complaint of the original anime was that The Reveal Usagi was the Moon Princess wasn't really a twist (given that Tuxedo Mask had a dream of the princess and she had Usagi's exact hairstyle). This series gets much more mileage out of the storyline that Sailor Venus is pretending to be the princess.
    • The fact that the Senshi look no different in uniform than they do in civilian gear is a common source of criticism among fans (to the degree that Fanon says an enchantment prevents anyone from recognizing them). Here the girls all have normal hairstyles in their civvies, and then transform into the more colorful and elaborate anime styles. This makes it more plausible that they wouldn't be recognized in public. Even so, Minako recognizes Rei as Sailor Mars instantly upon seeing her out of her senshi mode, and Nephrite recognizes Ami as well, though she doesn't recognize him.
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    • Naru, Ikuko, Shingo and Motoki were base-breakers to some degree in the original anime. Most fans agree that the changes made to them in this series fixed those issues and made them much more interesting and likable characters.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Sailor Luna. She's the Ensemble Dark Horse for one side of the fan base for being the Senshi form of Luna the cat, but she's The Scrappy for the other side for her childish nature and felt her entire existence was made to pander to little kids, feeling her to be the Chibiusa of this adaptation. Ironically, the reverse might be true; Naoko Takeuchi described the premise of Luna turning into a small child was actually an early concept for the manga she ended up scrapping.
    • Luna and Artemis as plush cats. While it's sensible that teenage girls can bring along plushies compared to real cats, the aspect of having toys that talk and CGI scenes have been met with "demonic plush cat" derisions.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The warzone scene in Act 39.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Side characters with increased screentime tend to become quite popular with the fandom.
    • Naru: Despite being her usual "youma bait" role, she is very supportive of Usagi throughout the series. Being played by a Sera Myu alumna helped.
    • Ikuko: In the anime, she was more of an Education Mama who disciplines her children that is normal in the Far East (a controversial Values Dissonance in the West). In PGSM, she's a more hip, trendy and klutzy mom who's basically Usagi's adult version.
    • Shingo: From an annoying younger sibling in the anime into a very snarky only sane man in the Tsukino household.
    • Motoki: He combines the best of Umino (who was funny but annoying) and anime/manga Motoki (who was likeable but didn't have much of a personality).
  • Fanon: Minako's alias for Rei (Reiko Mars) is actually one of Rei's names in her past life, in an attempt to awaken her senshi powers as soon as possible. This implies that they were a Battle Couple in their previous lives, mirroring Haruka/Michiru's relationship and Rei/Minako's intimacy in the manga.
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  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Shittenou, because their uniforms in the manga and anime were rather drab. But especially Beryl and Mio in the special act.
  • Foe Yay / Ho Yay: And how! As opposed to the original anime/manga, Kunzite and Zoisite are at each other's throats in terms of their motives throughout the series. While Zoisite realizes early in the series that his true master is Endymion and continues to protect him from then on, Kunzite wishes to destroy Endymion and Princess Serenity alike for falling in love and leading to the destruction of their worlds. Needless to say, their conflicting motives cause sparks to fly, and Kunzite goes so far as to shove Zoisite into his piano with his sword to keep him down to make a point not to cross him.
    • Although some of it could be Shipping Goggles due to them being a canon couple in the anime (where they were quite loving and respectful of one another, there was no Foe Yay).
    • Zoisite and Minako have a temporary cease-fire and even work together in order to keep Usagi and Mamoru away from each other, because they know it can bring about the end of the world.
    • Zoisite's extreme devotion to Mamoru - much more so than any of the other Shittennou, even after they all regain their memories - certain suggests something on the Ho Yay front.
    • There's also a little bit of Zoisite/Jadeite Foe Yay near the end of the series due to Jadeite staying loyal to Queen Beryl.
    • Mercury and Nephrite have quite a bit of subtext, starting with her repairing his cape as Darkcury. Following that moment he prevents Kunzite from disposing of her once the brainwashing was broken and as Nefurin awkwardly tries to be nice to Mercury and gets flustered around her, implying he has a crush.
    • Before this, Kunzite states Mercury belongs to him before brainwashing her into his Dragon and goes to great lengths to keep her under his hold, even after he gains the information on the Moon Princess he initially desired. His You Have Outlived Your Usefulness moment after she breaks free can furthermore easily be seen as an If I Can't Have You... moment.
  • Growing the Beard: When attempting to introduce new people to the show, most fans find themselves insisting "It really does get better after the first five episodes!" Episode 6 is generally considered to be about the time when the show finds its groove and the overarching story starts to take off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A terminally ill pop idol releases an album (with a song of self-eulogy) and dies shortly after. It's very hard not to compare it to David Bowie who died from cancer shortly after the release of .
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The team-ups in the Reiko-Minako battle. For Minako's team (Minako, Usagi, Luna), their actresses post-PGSM had stints in the gravure idol genre.
    • Mamoru is often seen several times with his motorcycle. Several of the show's cast would later appear in roles as seen on the Trivia tab.
    • In one filler episode of S Minako auditions to be the leading along side a popular idol singer she's a fan of. At one point she's saying how amazing it'd be to be an idol and a senshi only for her to not pass to which she laments how it would have been cool. Come the live action and guess what she is?
    • When it first started any criticism of the show (especially those comparing it unfavorably to the anime) would be met with the rejoinder "at least it's more faithful to the manga".
  • Les Yay: This is Sailor Moon after all, there is a lot of deep, deep girl-girl friendship. The subtext fans go crazy with this show. Even the cast jokes how in love Ami is with Usagi. Rei and Minako's love/hate rivalry/friendship also count. Lots of feelings there.
    • It even carries over the cast in real life post-PGSM, where all five girls remain in constant contact for impromptu gatherings or birthday celebrations. Considering the relationship of Mars & Venus in Classical Mythology, Keiko (Mars) and Ayaka (Venus) are very close to each other. Mew (Jupiter) and Chisaki (Mercury) are also close friends after the show.
    • Mio could even be read as a Yuri Femme Fatale.
  • Memetic Molester: Kunzite has a penchant of capturing the senshi as his own minions.
  • Memetic Mutation: See here.
  • Method Acting: Ayaka (Minako's actress) had no idea about Sailor Moon when she got the part. Miyuu (Usagi) and Keiko (Rei) were avid fans of the manga and anime who tried convincing Ayaka to read the manga. Given that PGSM!Minako has significant deviations, Ayaka kept it that way and never read the manga throughout the course of shooting, allowing her to portray Minako's pained isolation much more effectively.
  • Narm:
    • It's hard to take some of the otherwise dramatic scenes seriously when the reaction shots include a stuffed cat with a glittery tear-shaped sticker affixed to his cheek.
    • The end of Episode 24 is either the most awesome dramatic scene to date, or really stretching the Suspension of Disbelief because of the way the actors are attempting to portray serious injuries (limping badly and grabbing one arm, respectively). It might have worked better if they hadn't dragged out the same limping run for like two whole minutes.
    • The flashback of Kunzite screaming as the corpses of the Shittenou lay around him.
    • Anything involving Mamoru's anguished or angry face.
    • A youma pushes Mamoru off a balcony in Act 15. The way it was shot looked like Mamoru turned into a prop body double who fell onto the concrete with a sickening splat, making the scene unintentionally hilarious.
    • When it seems the production team has finally learned how to make good special effects, comes the Special Act and gives us "Sailor Planet Attack", which is... a real turn down from "Moonlight Attractive Attack", to put it lightly.
    • The episodes constantly replaying the little argument between Ami and Naru can get like this. When it keeps happening, viewers are instead left rolling their eyes.
    • Any scene involving Nefurin involves a boatload of hamminess, overreaction, and Narm. But due to the nature of his Fish out of Water plot this is very likely an intended audience reaction.
  • Special Effects Failure: At the start (after episode one, of course), the effects (particularly in the transformation sequences) were awful. The team refined their craft over the course of the show's run, though.
  • Stoic Woobie: Minako, so very much. She first discovers she's a Sailor Guardian and at some point she also has a terminal illness. In between this she has to pretend to be the Moon Princess, act as a leader to the other guardians and keep her career as a pop star going. Not that you'd know; she never complains.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Usagi and Mamoru in the Special Act. Must Usagi act so immature?
  • Tear Jerker: Anytime a character dies. Except for Manipulative Bitch Mio, which is ironic since she's a clone of Beryl, and Beryl DOES get a sad send-off.
    • Special mention must go to Minako, who doesn't even die in battle. No matter what you thought of her character in this series and despite the Narm of Artemis' shot mentioned above, there's no denying it's devastatingly sad.
    • Also, Zoisite.
  • Unexpected Character: Ami's mother and Rei's father. In the manga, each only appeared once long after the end of the Dark Kingdom arc, making their appearances in this series a little unexpected.
  • Vindicated by History: As the current Sailor Moon Crystal garnered criticism due to its poor handling of the manga story and moments of glaring animation failures, PGSM became better regarded and recommended by the fandom due to its more evenly-distributed character-driven plot.
  • What an Idiot!: Ami of all people gets such a moment in episode 16. So she sees Naru about to drown in a sandpit. She clearly can't reach her, but it doesn't even occur to her to use her scarf, which can extend further down so Naru can grasp it, which would have saved her!
  • The Woobie: Nephrite. All of the other Senshi count as well, especially Sailor Moon in the latter half of the series.


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