Is the Dream arc overrated?

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Mar 12, 2021
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#1
Hi guys!

I've been reading the manga lately for the first time. Haven't watched the Anime yet. I will, I swear. I've always wanted to know this franchise and understand why it's so famous and why it has caught a lot of hearts around the world. So I decided to start with the original comic.

Before I began reading the manga I got info about it and read some opinions from the fandom. Many of them have something in common: The Dream saga is the best out of the rest of the series and far better than its animated adaptation (again, I don't know, I haven't seen it).

While it's true that the manga gets better with each passing saga (Dark Kingdom arc was a potential cult magical girls manga with a chaotic final battle, Black Moon arc was a mess and Infinity arc got a solid story and structure), I found the fourth arc disappointing.
Maybe it's because I barely know this franchise and I'm missing something but:

1. Why did Ami, Makoto and Rei remember a conversation with Setsuna, Haruka and Michiru respectively that never took place? The pace of the Infinity arc story never gave space for these conversations and interactions to happen.

2. One of the praises of this saga is the great character development of the supporting cast. But what I saw was how the bad psychological depiction kept going. The Inner Senshi dreamt about being a soldier, protecting their princess and saving the world rather than dreaming as human beings. The author kept treating these characters as a piece or a tool to move the story, like something disposable, also maintaining that cold Princess - slave relationship forged in their previous lives.

3. Another aspect that gets a lot of praise is the human forms of Rei's crows and the cats. It's fine. But why now? I mean, the author had 3 previous arcs to do so. As a reader I need an explanation.
Again, they've got the ability to turn into humans, but why now? Because potatoes? To move the story? A convenient plot device? It's ok... but not good, and doesn't benefit the narrative.

4. Who's Zirconia? Suddenly she disappeared and in the final battle Nehellenia turned into her? Nehellenia is Zirconia? It's not clear.

5. The enemy is boring. I know, almost all the enemies in Sailor Moon are boring. But at least former antagonists like Tomoe or Demande had different motivations than being a Beryl rip-off. Nehellenia just came from the dark side, therefore she is evil. That's all.

6. The final battle. It is not better than the previous ones. It's confusing like the others. The author cannot draw, she's not a good manga artist and the battles and actions scenes are her weak point. But the thing is she filled pages and pages showing us the Senshis becoming princesses all of a sudden? Why now? Why do they have castles now? I'm reading the Stars arc and they don't use them, apart from Uranus team. They've suddenly got little guardians to..... fill blank pages and panels. There's no reason or an explanation to be princesses and have palaces and guardians. Why? To be simple batteries and recharge Sailor Moon with new powers? Not good writing. And Mamoru... why could Mamoru get his crystal out of his body at will? There was no a painful process like Sailor Moon o Chibi Moon had to go through to obtain the silver crystal. He found out the golden crystal was in his body and in the final pages got it out easily.

Do everybody love this arc in response to the extreme hate towards Sailor Moon SuperS (thanks Wikipedia!)?

I think, as a reader, it's as simple as the rest of the arcs. Not the worst, Stars arc deserves that category, but I reckon it is inferior to Infinity. I may be wrong!
 

Ale6

Luna Crescens
Jan 10, 2018
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#2
I'm not really a manga person, although I've read it before, but all the manga people I know don't have a particular affection for the Dream arc.
It usually floats around mid tier for most people, I think the dark imagery and the main villain do a lot of the heavy lifting for this, also is where the amazon quartet is revealed and some people really like them.
 
Likes: Starlight
Feb 8, 2021
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#4
For me, the Stars arc in the Manga has potential if Naoko did not rush working on Stars, the most popular part of Sailor Stars in the anime is technically still part of the Dream Arc so Sailor Stars gets the fame and reputation supposed to be for Super S but TOEI planned the return of the Outer Senshi in the 5th and last season during the planning and Ikuhara even hinted at this when talking about his scrapped Super S movie about Uranus and Neptune.

I suspect Stars and that scrapped Super S movie would have had the reputation that Utena has had things gone differently.
 
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#5
I think it has to be well known for it to be overrated and the manga just wasn't very well known overall.
That's all i'll add before this inevitably turns into yet another manga bashing thread.
And a Naoko bashing thread.
 
Likes: SILVER

snowgeisha

Luna Crescens
Jun 9, 2009
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#6
I personally like the fairy tale influence that the Dream arc has. Nehelennia as a villain was my favorite. I hate how Naoko’s other “big bads” are all just huge masses of dark energy. It was a nice change to have a concrete villain in this arc.

That said, I completely agree about the cats having human forms. It just creates a huge dumb plot hole- why didn’t they just transform and help out against the dark kingdom etc? Not to mention, it completely invalidates the Princess Kaguya story if Luna could take a human form all along.

Not to bash Naoko, but I feel she was making it up as she went along.. which lead to plot holes throughout the whole manga. It’s just something I’ve stopped trying to make sense of at this point I guess.
 

julayla

Luna Crescens
Feb 9, 2018
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#12
Yeah that's true...until the next arc has him killed by Galaxia anyway before he could use more of his powers. But I digress, at least he got to shine in Dreams Arc at least while all the other senshi were basically becoming less human when they gave up their dreams and human desires to be immortal guardians to Serenity
 

POKIWOKI

Luna Crescens
May 23, 2016
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#14
I don't think the Inner Senshi gave up their dreams. We know that there are 1000 years of peace after Usagi's coronation and the appearance of Black moon. Enough time for them to become a doctor, open a shop etc.
 
Likes: kasumigenx
Apr 1, 2020
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#15
I think that in the Dream Arc/SuperS, they obviously tried to make Chibiusa a central role, giving her a lover and her own guardians possibly to start a new generation to continue the franchise, but it failed so Stars/Galaxia arc was all about Usagi again.
 
Mar 12, 2021
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#16
Why don't you like the Stars arc? In my opinion it was the most ambitious arc of the manga.
It is ambitious indeed, the problem is the execution as always. I’ve just finished reading it and from my point of view the last arc emphasises in the worst sense the manga flaws. Naoko Takeuchi, through Sailor Galaxia, destroys Usagi’s world so that Usagi can get it back afterwards as a reward for saving the day by using the silver crystal.

Usagi is too perfect, except Luna earlier in the story, nobody scolds the main character for her actions, either good or bad choices because she’s the princess. She’s got loyal friends that cannot be allowed to grow up and they sacrifice themselves for her (sometimes Usagi doesn’t care), a handsome prince, a royal background, a future (she holds onto it too much to face some menaces), a daughter, a magical gem that does wonders… and when somebody takes all that away from her or Usagi doesn’t get away with something, she becomes depressed or gets in a paddy! She doesn’t experience arguments with her friends (and among the Inners there isn’t any either), doesn’t undergo a rupture, and so on. She’s selfish, focused on herself and always justified by everyone for what she does, even when she’s wrong. To top it all Usagi speaks to Galaxia as if she knew everything about life, giving lessons she hasn’t experienced.

I conclude that the Sailor Moon manga transpires the Naoko’s immaturity as an artist. After checking her biography I saw she’d done a handful of romance stories before Sailor Moon, 80’s shoujo short stories, where the absolute protagonist is a teen girl and it seems even in those stories the main character is not well developed. Sailor Moon is too big, colossal, ambitious for an author that lacked maturity in her profession.

I hardly believe a work like Sailor Moon (manga) caught the hearts of everybody around the world back then. So I’m looking forward to see the Anime, everyone says it’s different and checking the staff info there are many recognised writers and directors involved in the production.

I don't think the Inner Senshi gave up their dreams. We know that there are 1000 years of peace after Usagi's coronation and the appearance of Black moon. Enough time for them to become a doctor, open a shop etc.
What I read in the final chapter was that Usagi gets married, we can see the palace, her crown, she achieves her dream in comparison, she’s happy, she’s pretty, and the others just get dressed as brides and are happy for her. Hotaru is still a child, so it hasn’t been so long since their reincarnations. I think that says it all.
 
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Apr 1, 2020
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#17
Why don't you like the Stars arc? In my opinion it was the most ambitious arc of the manga.

I think Stars has a very shocking and cool ending, its theme was also very good.

Just that the big twist of Chaos kinda lacks of setup, at least would have been better if there is. And most of the senshi were just like nobody, got killed easily then used as tool to fight her. It's all about Usagi and Galaxia.
 
Likes: kasumigenx
Apr 1, 2020
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#18
It is ambitious indeed, the problem is the execution as always. I’ve just finished reading it and from my point of view the last arc emphasises in the worst sense the manga flaws. Naoko Takeuchi, through Sailor Galaxia, destroys Usagi’s world so that Usagi can get it back afterwards as a reward for saving the day by using the silver crystal.

Usagi is too perfect, except Luna earlier in the story, nobody scolds the main character for her actions, either good or bad choices because she’s the princess. She’s got loyal friends that cannot be allowed to grow up and they sacrifice themselves for her (sometimes Usagi doesn’t care), a handsome prince, a royal background, a future (she holds onto it too much to face some menaces), a daughter, a magical gem that does wonders… and when somebody takes all that away from her or Usagi doesn’t get away with something, she becomes depressed or gets in a paddy! She doesn’t experience arguments with her friends (and among the Inners there isn’t any either), doesn’t undergo a rupture, and so on. She’s selfish, focused on herself and always justified by everyone for what she does, even when she’s wrong. To top it all Usagi speaks to Galaxia as if she knew everything about life, giving lessons she hasn’t experienced.

I conclude that the Sailor Moon manga transpires the Naoko’s immaturity as an artist. After checking her biography I saw she’d done a handful of romance stories before Sailor Moon, 80’s shoujo short stories, where the absolute protagonist is a teen girl and it seems even in those stories the main character is not well developed. Sailor Moon is too big, colossal, ambitious for an author that lacked maturity in her profession.

I hardly believe a work like Sailor Moon (manga) caught the hearts of everybody around the world back then. So I’m looking forward to see the Anime, everyone says it’s different and checking the staff info there are many recognised writers and directors involved in the production.
Well the manga did focus too much on Usagi, the anime gave the other senshi and most of the villains more characterization.
 
Feb 8, 2021
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#19
I think Stars has a very shocking and cool ending, its theme was also very good.

Just that the big twist of Chaos kinda lacks of setup, at least would have been better if there is. And most of the senshi were just like nobody, got killed easily then used as tool to fight her. It's all about Usagi and Galaxia.
That is because Naoko Takeuchi changed the plot outline of the Manga, I think she changed the plot outline and modified from 52 onwards, I suspect she changed the plot outline for her to finish the manga sooner and she made sure she can finish it sooner, however, the plot requires a few more chapters or one more volume to detail it even if she changed it.
 
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snowgeisha

Luna Crescens
Jun 9, 2009
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#20
That is because Naoko Takeuchi changed the plot outline of the Manga, I think she changed the plot outline and modified from 52 onwards, I suspect she changed the plot outline for her to finish the manga sooner and she made sure she can finish it sooner, however, the plot requires a few more chapters or one more volume to detail it even if she changed it.
You‘ve mentioned this a lot but there’s really no basis for your claims other than a loose description of Galaxia becoming Sailor Chaos in the Material Collections.

The thing is, the Materials Collection just includes various ideas she was toying with from the start. It’s just brainstorming- that doesn’t mean they were ever the actual plot she wanted to go with, it was just her process to get to the final plot that she settled on.

She also included her ideas for fairy Diana, which doesn’t mean that’s how she really wanted her DK plot to go. It was just at one point an idea, she drew some designs, and then discarded it. I fail to even see a design for Sailor Chaos Galaxia, which tells me she didn’t even keep that idea up for long.

On the other hand, the Material Collection also features art that she designed for the anime- the SuperS movie designs mainly. Who’s to say that she wasn’t referring to the Sailor Chaos as part of the anime design instead?

If I’m wrong, please let me know, but I haven’t seen any other hint that she was forced to cut her Stars arc short. If they wanted her to end the manga sooner, then she wouldn’t have kept going with Sailor V (which was less popular than Moon) after Stars concluded.