In April, we wrote a brief article on Moon Animate, Make Up!, one of the most ambitious fan projects in anime fandom to date. Moon Animate, Make Up! is a collaborative effort, that saw over 250 passionate, creative fans coming together to re-animate a full episode of the 1990s dubbed version of Sailor Moon. Each segment, which ranges from one to ten seconds, is animated by one of these volunteers in his or her own personal style.
The participants on the project span the entire skill spectrum, from hobbyists to industry professionals that worked on shows like Bob’s Burgers. At the time, we mentioned that the project looked to be a perfect storm of artistry and affection, that blends the absolute adoration of Sailor Moon, with the sheer dedication to recreate a part of it for something that will become far more than the sum of its parts.
And, really, I’m pleased to say that the final project managed to become that and so much more. While the animation quality varies greatly from cut to cut, it’s clear that there was a lot of care packed into every shot. Each cut is packed with little flourishes and details that really seem to sell not only the style of the artists, but their very personalities. Whether it’s a brief moment where Sailor Mercury looks like Sexy Squidward, or the gigantic group pose where Sailor Mars rips off a pair of Aviator shades, there are definitely a lot of personal touches that are greatly appreciated.
Each cut oozes affection, and every shot seems like it’s packed with the utmost of care for Sailor Moon, as a whole. The entire work is simply an amazingly produced, yet incredibly personal love letter to the franchise, from the many artists that contributed. At times, it’s almost impossible to believe that the entire project was completed in a mere ten months
It has been a Herculean effort, for sure, and one that certainly wouldn’t have been able to come to fruition as recently as a couple of years ago. “I think the biggest take-away is how far we’ve come in terms of technology and communicating,” notes project head Kaitlin Sullivan. “The tools and software used to create animation have become a lot more accessible in recent years and we’ve been able to create a quality full length parody episode of Sailor Moon with over two hundred and fifty artists from around the world. I think this really opens up the potential to create animation through crowdsourcing and working from remote locations, and with the huge number of artists involved in this, you get to see a huge array of styles to show how many different ways you can artistically interpret this show.”
And, really, one can only hope that this is the first of many projects of its ilk. The fact that so many talented individuals come together, to create something so personal, so special speaks volumes of how far we’ve progressed both as a subculture, and a society. No longer are we divided by the boundaries of geography, nor are we hamstrung by the limits of what our abilities as individuals can bring. We live in a world where we can collaborate and join, where the only real limit is our collective imaginations, and the will to do something so ambitious and amazing. It’s a project that instills great pride in the subculture, as a whole.
To everyone that participated in Moon Animate, Make Up!, I salute you.
When we reached out to Sullivan for comment, she gave us one final message to you, dear readers:
To Anime Herald’s readers and everyone who’s been following this, I am so moved by your support and enthusiasm, and I can’t thank you enough! Even in the rare times something got difficult, producing this project has always been so much fun for me. I’m floored by the number of animators who made time in their schedules to contribute a few seconds of work because it’s hugely time consuming work. I think everyone’s passion and work ethic to create something this fun really comes through and I hope you enjoy it!
I’d like to take a moment to thank Ms. Sullivan for her comments, and once more to the entire collection of contributors to Moon Animate, Make Up! for their months of hard work.