I just don't know. I wanted to love this. I spent two years hyped for Crystal, ecstatic when it was announced and terrified it wouldn't actually happen every time it got pushed back. After all the excitement and the biblically-proportioned flood of 20th anniversary merchandise, I'm left feeling a little bitter. What went wrong here? Well... pretty much everything.
Let's address the biggest, pinkest elephant in the room from the start: the artwork. I think what happened here was an ambitious idea (trying to mimic Naoko Takeuchi's elaborate manga style in animation) with poor planning and sloppy execution. They missed the mark with the visual style;
something about the girls is just off. Granted, the first episode looks mostly fine-- not amazing, but ok- and then it's like they animators gave up. The artwork flipflops between pretty and cringeworthy. I've seen plenty of cheap animation in my life, but this is unforgivable. The bad artwork is especially tragic because it's clear that this series could have been beautiful. Seriously, go watch the Moon Pride music video and compare it to, I don't know, any scene in the anime. It could have all looked that good, if someone had cared.
But the animators seem uninterested at best; things move, but the only thing that really gets loving animation is Sailor Moon's hair. Nobody's walk cycles look quite right, ever, and a lot of the time, no one seems grounded in the environments. A lot of "animation" is accomplished by having still images pan across the screen or stretch/shrink, to unintentional comedic effect. Fight scenes show a bit more effort than the classic anime's JRPG-style "stock attack footage, villain reaction, rinse and repeat" fights, but still seem to cut away at moments that would be inconvenient to animate.
The excuses for Crystal's moldy potato quality are thin. The old series was low-budget, rush-it-in-a-week animation from the 90's. The manga was yet unfinished, and they pumped out filler episodes to compensate. Physical, painted cels would have to be completely redone to correct any errors. By contrast, Sailor Moon Crystal episodes were produced in two weeks instead of one. The source material is complete. The animation is digital, which allows for much quicker and easier corrections. Technology has given us better, more efficient ways to animate in the last 20 years. If the animators actually cared, they could still do a lot more than this with the little they've been given-- like at the very least, draw eyes that line up correctly. Even a lot of the art "fixes" for the Blu-Ray are mediocre at best. I feel like a decade down the road we might hear horror stories about animating on Sailor Moon Crystal, like that they were paid in ketchup packets and forced to work 23-hour shifts and every misshapen face is a scream of protest.
Also, the CG henshin sequences use these weird, rubbery 3D models of the senshi that look like they belong in a cheap video game. They don't quite look like their 2D selves, their faces are creepy and doll-like, and transformations are just low-effort rehashes of the transformation scenes from the first anime. They aren't fun. It's just not fun to watch Sailor Spaghetti twirl around like a plastic bag in a breeze with mediocre special effects. Sailor Moon's henshin sequences are an icon-- of the series, of the genre, and of anime in general. I'd wager almost anyone that saw Sailor Moon, even if it was ages ago and they haven't thought about it since they were a child, probably remembers the henshin sequences. That Crystal fails to deliver even here-- where the 90's show dumped a ton of its effort, because if you're going to re-use something every episode it's gotta be some good eye candy-- it's pretty ironic, and a clear indicator that nobody took any pride in this mess.
Unfortunately, the story is as unsalvageable as the visuals. The 90's anime was notorious for its filler. Sailor Moon Crystal ran too far in the opposite direction, deciding to squeeze two story arcs into one 26-episode season. It's extremely condensed, to the point that it sounds like a summary of itself. One manga chapter can not always equal one anime episode. Say it with me: manga and anime are different mediums. While it's true that the manga, which Crystal is heavily based on, is pretty fast-paced, the manga has a fairy-tale feel to it and still manages to be engaging and emotional though its much more expressive artwork. Meanwhile, most every character drawn in Crystal has the emotional depth and subtlety of an emoticon. The story itself is so excited to get to its next nostalgic plot destination and say, "Look how we did it THIS time!" that it forgets the journey, and the journey is the most important part.
Crystal takes no time to linger or to build its characters. Everyone but Usagi is a cardboard stand-up, pared down to their most basic traits. The inner senshi, after their introductions, are flattened so badly their dialogue becomes interchangeable, and by the climax of the first arc, they are literally just finishing every sentence together. It's like the writers wrote dialogue for one person and cut it up into little pieces so the poor things would all have lines, like a grade school play for a class with too many children. The senshi exist as little more than cheerleaders for Usagi, and any moments of personal achievement they were given in the manga are handed off to Sailor Moon. (Forget about this series as an adaptation of the manga: it diverges, pointlessly, all the time. Anyone who says it's "accurate to the manga" didn't read the manga.)
Because Crystal makes its characters strangers to us, drama comes off as melodrama, and any moment meant to be meaningful or touching flops. It lacks any emotional truth; it gives you no reason to care about what's happening. It's a series that sort of spoon feeds you what you're supposed to feel about the characters and the story, but never actually goes out of its way to create those feelings. Humor is almost absent, and feels forced or out of place when it happens. Characters pass the idiot ball around, with plot threads hinging mostly on their cluelessness-- especially Usagi, who we are meant to adore, and who the senshi praise mindlessly at every turn, even though this incarnation of her is annoying, selfish, and pathetic.
That's really one of the worst parts; Sailor Moon herself is no longer a good role model. The Sailor Moon I knew was a ditzy, clumsy, silly girl with a heart of gold and the capacity for infinite love and bravery, a person who lifted others up, drew them together, and still fought for them even when she was all alone. She started out childish and selfish, but she always came through for her friends and grew immensely over the course of the series. Crystal!Usagi is obsessed with Mamoru and frequently forgets about or outright ignores her friends while they get tossed around by baddies. The most she seems to be able to say about them is that they're beautiful. And while she's still an airheaded klutz, it's not cute or charming anymore, because she's so thoroughly unlikable. She doesn't seem to care about anything other than her own desires. She's just a bratty child that never grows up and gets exactly what she wants anyway. The senshi's unthinking devotion to her comes off as eerie, like they've been brainwashed to worship her. Even Rei, critical of Usagi and at first suspicious of the whole sailor senshi thing in every previous incarnation, doesn't seem to have a single doubt about Usagi as their leader. Sailor Moon Crystal successfully made me hate a character that I previously loved and would have defended until blue in the face.
Incidentally: there is also a hackneyed, half-assed romance subplot involving all of the senshi, executed poorly of course because Crystal doesn't have the time or the dexterity to handle 8 not-Usagi characters' subplots. The theme song claims they don't need princes to save them, but the senshi are more dependent on men than they have ever been. I don't think Sailor Moon has ever been the perfect flawless feminist holy grail that some people make it out to be, but this version is a step backwards in comparison to the others. For a specific example, a panel with a consensual kiss between Usagi and Mamoru is converted into an animated scene where Mamoru forces a kiss on a depressed Usagi while she tries to push him away. Miracle romance!
The main plot itself is ass pull after ass pull after deus ex machina. Admittedly, this is a staple of Sailor Moon, but with a rushed story, cardboard characters, downright ugly animation and basically nothing likable or exciting to hold on to, it's kind of the final nail in the coffin. There's no charm left to save it. The story itself hasn't aged that well-- it needed some updating that just didn't happen. Imagine Crystal under a different name, and you get a shabby imitation of the classic anime and a weak contender in a genre that it revolutionized. And that's terrible.
Also, other than the catchy OP/ED, the music is forgettable. Having heard some of the other soundtracks Yasuharu Takanashi has worked on, it sounds phoned-in. The music never strongly ties itself to any scenes, even the transformation sequences. Most of my music collection is anime soundtracks, and I can't say I even remember most of Crystal's.
I've spent a lot of time being patient and forgiving with this series. I managed to convince myself I was enjoying it for about seven episodes. There are good moments that have made me smile or laugh, and I genuinely do try to shove aside the critical part of my brain and just enjoy it, but this thing is just so lifeless, so lazily written. It makes me sad that this shallow adaptation of the manga is how a lot of people are going to get introduced to Sailor Moon. The original manga story is a gem that could be easily polished, but nobody bothered.
Crystal seems to exist to prey on nostalgia and sell hilariously overpriced copies of itself, and the 20th anniversary was just a convenient excuse. This series was not given the respect or care that it deserves. Those two years of secrecy and delays were frustrating, but not nearly as frustrating as the result: a soulless, slapdash mess, a totally transparent cash grab (as clearly indicated by the ridiculous price gouging on the BDs). It's the anime equivalent of a cheap bath gift set-- presented like it's luxurious and classy, but it's just glorified hand soap. As a long-time Sailor Moon fan, it's hard for me to evaluate Crystal without comparing it to other incarnations, but as a reboot for such a popular, long-lived franchise, it's a massive letdown. Toei played us for chumps.
I waited 14 episodes (~6 months, thanks to the ridiculously spaced out episode releases) for this thing to get better. I don't see how it possibly could now. The best I can hope for at this point is that people will watch it, realize it's terrible, and check out the classic anime or the manga or PGSM. Maybe in another 20 years, someone will take an honest shot at this, and hopefully, Naoko won't let Toei touch it again.
Edit: I have since watched Season III (I skipped the second arc-- couldn't stomach it) and reviewed that as well. In short: it's better, but still not great.
I've given up on Sailor Moon Crystal. As a former avid Sailor Moon fan I made it to episode 17 of this series before just completely giving up. It is downright terrible. The art is ugly and everything is so static it reminds me of a low budget flash animation cartoon. Storywise the pacing is dreadful and you'd think that was because there was too much to fit into this condensed manga-esque chapter structure.. but no, 75% of an episode is Usagi crying or dramatic name shouting.
The characters seem braindead. For dramatic purposes in storytelling you often have to have the characters miss a
seemingly obvious bit of information, be a bit oblivious if you will, so that they can get into dramatic situations. I can accept that. I cannot accept an important plot point being divulged blatantly by a nemesis during a battle.. and then later when the group talks about the situation one person brings up what the big-bad said and everyone else has their jaw drop and react as if that's the first time and most shocking of news. The way the show is presented it's not even "the next scene" but sometimes they do something stupid like go to an arcade or have ice cream between the battle and the recap "stunning revelation" scene. What'd you all do? Turn your brains off and enjoy some cake for a while and suddenly snap back into reality at the pep rally?
For decades now. Sailor Moon has been the legendary all mighty queen of anime, who has launched a million girls (And lots of boys, and hentai artists) fantasies. Sailor Moon finally returns to her awaited throne with the release of Sailor Moon Crystal. However.....question is. Will she fall off her rightful throne? Let's get to it then........
Basically Sailor Moon goes through the same story it has been going through since its own first release during the 1990's. This time around it follows the story from the manga as close as possible. The best thing about Crystal is that. Crystal finally opens
that much wanted window into some of the characters souls (The main villains) that the 90's anime almost closed off completely. Crystal finally shows that much needed side to Queen Beryl, and her cohorts that was illustrated in the original manga. This new reincarnation also answers many questions that many fans have faced ever since they heard that there will be a new Sailor Moon anime. Is this show funny like the 90's anime? Well.....there are light hearted moments to be had in Crystal, however things are completely different in that department along with many other areas. Is Chibiusa in Crystal? Not yet, but unfortunately she will arrive soon...........
There is a huge problem with this anime, and it feels like a lingering tumor that just won't go away. The problem is the animation/production. The facial expressions are almost beyond horrid at times. Sailor Moon, and her bevy of sexy power rangers all look very beautiful. However they sometimes look like blank dolls who are deeply yearning to escape their new prison of CGI, and internet fan boy fantasies. Sure. The animation in this show looks really wonderful at times, and stunning (Especially during the opening credits). It's just that sometimes it feels like that the animators have no clue what they are doing here. One moment everything is superbly gorgeous. The next moment everybody in the show seems like they have bells palsy. Eventually this problem gets solved...... and then it comes back yet again. Unfortunately Crystal does not cut it when it tries to give its characters the much needed body language, and emotion that the manga fully expressed flawlessly. Awkward poses, and a limited range of facial emotion really set this show way back.
There are some upsides. The story eventually becomes gripping, and emotional (During at least two episodes that is). It strikes the much needed heartfelt cord that Sailor Moon is well known for. And there's Tuxedo Kamen..... being Tuxedo Kamen from the manga version, and not the jerk from the old anime (That's not really a thing, but it's something). The background sounds, and the music is all done greatly. The main theme feels more like a really good heavy metal song. While the ending theme is soothing, and enjoyable to watch. Many fans do not have to wait 5,000 episodes this time around for Jupiter, and Venus to finally show up. Every sailor scout gets introduced during the first few episodes. Plus Sailor Moon evolves/matures just like she does in the manga throughout.
On A Personal Note: Listen, this show has to be taken with a grain of salt. Yes, it is Sailor Moon. However that does not automatically label this relaunch "Amazing". Hardcore moonies (Including myself) will surely get a big mixed bag of emotions. Some will feel like wanting to like it, but hating it at the same time. Others will just force liking it because they want another season that involves the outer sailor scouts. A lot of fans will be pleased though, because this show follows the context of the manga. While some will just feel like that the wait wasn't worth it. I have read the entire manga series, and watched the old Sailor Moon show. I felt pretty crushed a little when I started watching Crystal. When the opening animation sequence started for the first time in my room, I was extremely excited. I was gushing with joy because the sailor scouts look really awesome fighting the forces of evil. Then later on when I saw episodes where Sailor Moon, and then Sailor Mars having the weirdest anime eyes that I have ever seen in my whole life........I then lost hope. The animation is fluid during only fight scenes, but not throughout everything else like the old 90's anime was. Even the manga had more facial expressions than this show does, honestly. This show will truly succeed if it can somehow manage to make it to the end of the series. Where Sailor Moon, the character becomes truly amazing. For now this is my review for Crystal, maybe I will change my mind when the next season comes on. Crystal is basically going to be two parts. The first couple of episodes will cover the Dark Kingdom arc (Which is now complete, and which I have now reviewed), and next up will be the Black Moon arc. Hopefully things will turn around during the Black Moon arc, since I really like Sailor Pluto (Come on, don't make fun of her.....Pluto will always be a planet in my heart).
The only ones who will truly enjoy this anime, are the ones who are new to the Sailor Moon franchise.
Personally, I was a bit on the edge when watching the trailers. The first couple of episodes really put me off as I am a big fan of the older series and manga, a remake was music to my ears.
The artwork takes a load of time getting used to. Not to mention the 100% CG transformations making the characters look like rubber dolls being stretched to fit their costumes properly.
There was really little effort put into every frame in terms of animation that I felt sick to my stomach just watching it, but... as a loyal fan, I swallowed that and continued anyway.
As it progresses,
they improved on the artwork which was a huge relief for me, after all, this IS a remake no? And then here comes the big punch.
Yes, they are trying to do justice and provide as much fan service possible for the blockbuster series but I feel that it's rushed and they focused more on Usagi and Mamoru compared to the rest. Every other character deemed pretty much useless. It's all 80% UsaMamo 15% Random story 5% on the other sailor scouts.
Overall, it's quite enjoyable. You get to see many scenes and fan service from the manga and the music is amazing, hands down on that.
If you are going to compare this to the older series AND manga, please do yourself the favour and do NOT watch it. But if you would love to relive your childhood, please do!
Plus, this is only the first season. I am DEFINITELY looking forward to the following seasons, especially the final Sailor Stars season; that's IF it reaches that.
I'm a big fan of the original series and the manga. This was a huge let down. The animation quality is dreadful, lazy, sloppy and ugly. I think this is best illustrated by Usagi's buns, they are consistently drawn on top of her hair when clearly they should be behind her hair and peaking out over the top; this looks so ugly. Considering major details of the main character are so badly drawn you know what to expect from the rest of the art.
The story in the original anime and manga also came across as very kitsch, I think this was a huge part of
its charm. The remake comes across as overbearing and too serious, 0% kitsch.
The art tries to emulate the manga style somewhat, but the manga designs where a lot cuter, Takeuchi had a very unique scribbling style of drawing. When these were adapted for the original anime big changes were made but the new designs worked really well in the context. The new designs emulate the manga designs too closely but lacking the charm, they come off almost as bad as modern American CGI.
Some things I can't blame on the remake, the manga character development was never a strong point. Everyone but Usagi/Chibi/Marmora are quickly discarded ending up as carbon clones, only there to support the main characters. If anything the original anime managed to improve on this, in spite of major story rewrites being made to target the show at a younger audience than the manga was aimed at.
I was really hoping to recapture some of the magic of when I was younger and watched the anime (the german version because it wasn't on UK TV) and read the manga. Rewatching the anime 15 years later in Japanese was still a really joyful experience. Watching this anime is something I'd rather forget about. It doesn't change how I feel about the first two works but it's definitely a huge disappointment.
Some spoilers As a child I watched sailor moon on toonami with my other string of shows and it was a childhood favorite so I was really looking forward to this remake but Man this anime was a bumpy ride. I watched the original Sailor Moon series over as I was watching the 1st half of crystal and was comparing them. I had to step back and think of them as 2 separate works so I didn't let my nostalgia ruin what could possibly be a good series.
After I stopped comparing them and just look at this as a stand alone I still had one
conclusion that didn't change. Outside of Sailor Moon Tuxedo Mask and Chibi-Usa the remaining characters were extremely bland, and the "friendships" weren't well developed at all. You tell me all this sacrificing for one another and that random bs pairing between the 4 original bad guys and the sailor senshi ever make sense? Outside of their introduction episodes what other moments did you see these relationships growing. Last I checked for people to become great friends it has to grow and I'm sorry random fights here and there over a course of a few weeks and some memories of your past self isn't a good way to explain the development.
Now on to Usagi and Mamo. Had its moments when it felt a little rushed but in the amount of time they had to work with I felt it was the highlight of the show. Love at 1st sight is a real thing many people just don't want to see it that way. The progression of how their feelings grew more and more and the interactions after each battle made the connection clear and smooth. Sailor Moon has always been some what of an annoying character with how useless she can be when it comes to mamoru but that's a realistic love struck teen. (Speaking from my own experience) Young love makes you kind of stupid any adult understands that.
Finally Chibi, she's a bratty little girl who feels like no one understands her and meets her parents in their childhood days. She went through a traumatic experience and is very closed off to people but you see how she opens up to Usagai and Mamoru. Her opening up to mamo quickly makes sense just from the daddy daughter perspective. I personally didn't like the chibi and Usagi relationship developed just cause it didn't seem smooth more random and abrupt.
Now the art I'll say this much hated watching the transformation scenes and besides the last episode the art overall wasn't impressive it was average and that might be generous.
The actual story itself was good the sub plots they kept throwing in kinda messed it up though. Like I said in the stuff about the characters the lack of deveoplemnet and growth killed the possibility of having good sub plots in this remake.
All in all I enjoyed it just cause it's sailor moon and I can't help but be caught up in my feelings from the past. Hoping if the continue this they invest more time into the other sailor senshi too but for this 6/10
I tried not to mind it. I tried to overlook the always-changing faces, the weird camera angles, the god-awful direction. I tried to stay optimistic, and episode after episode I just told myself I'm overreacting. But no more lies. Time to say it - this anime is bad.
Before anybody get's angry - don't get me wrong. Sailor Moon Crystal isn't bad because of the new look, CGI transformations, new voices or new theme music so many people are angry about. These things really don't matter, regardless whether you watched the original 90 version or not.
Sailor Moon Crystal is bad because, to put it plainly,
it's very poorly made. VERY. As I mentioned at the beginning, the faces just can't stay consistent. Very often they look weird and out of style, like they were drawn in few seconds just to push the work through. Maybe the very subtle, delicate designs based on the manga are hard to present in motion within the tight budget and strict deadlines the series has (I assume). Maybe they've only have interns working on this. Maybe they thought nobody would notice. Or maybe they don't care.
In general the animation is very low quality - sometimes during the fights we can see some actual, nicely done moves, but other than that it's mostly static shots, moving mouths, some jagged running, little gesticulation... you get my point. This also hurts characters emotions, as they mostly look like they are half-surprised, half-curious all the time with half-opened mouths.
But that's not the worst of it. The absolute, most horrid aspect of Sailor Moon Crystal is the direction. Jesus. It's so bad. Sometimes you don't even know what's going on due to the confusing and cheap camera angles. Even the important scenes, and I mean really important scenes are done so poorly it's sad. Nothing about the camera angles and montage to highlight them. Nothing.There are so many mouth shots - and for what? It's not like they show any amazing expressions. No, they just don't really have to be animated so they chose them over anything else. Hell, sometimes I'm not even 100% sure where the characters are standing because I only saw shots of faces, hair an mouths. Oh so many mouths.
It's really sad - both for dedicated Sailor Moon fans from the 90' and the new viewers. This could have been something good. I don't know what happened. Is it really the budget? If so, why was it so low for a series so highly-anticipated? Is it because it's distributed online? Does Toei think that if they release a show for free it can basically be crap? I jut don't get it.
I tried... I honestly tried - and that's how I managed to get through 16 episodes of this show. The problem however... is that there was nothing to encourage me to continue forward.
The bottom line with me is that I focus primarily on characters and story line when dealing with fiction. Good characters will not excuse a poor story line, and a good story or plot will not excuse weak characters. Crystal had both poor characters and a fairly weak story line.
The thing about the original Sailormoon anime is that the characters were solid enough that they could decently affect how the story was presented.
This made what could have been forgettable a lot more interesting in nature. But then again ... that brings up the biggest flaw with Crystal (besides animation... like honestly guys).
It's like nobody cared enough about anything related to it - there is no consistency in terms of animation, in terms of quality, in terms of music, in terms of character and plot - nothing seemed to matter to the showrunners. And it shows... and that more than nostalgia is what has given Crystal it's Hatedom.
Honestly, at it's best Crystal is average to okay - and that's damning by faint praise. At it's worst Crystal is more a homage to soulless cash grabs than to "a warrior winning love by daylight". If you want a sweet klutz watch the old series or check out Steven Universe instead.
I can only imagine, that relatively low score for this show is either earned by those, who grew up watching the old show - like yours truly - or from those, who are fans of the manga and not so much of the anime, OR from those, who are just thrown away by this "new-age art style a la CGI"- animation, and think it as a canser of the art-form that so many of us love, and admire - like yours truly! Either way, I'm with them, since the original Sailor Moon is actually one of my favourite animes of all
time, and this clumsy, empty, clunky mess of two whole seasons, compressed - do not laugh - only in 26 episodes, really really REALLY pissed me off! In so many levels of estrogen, that you don't even know!!
Oh boy, where to start?! Okay... first, the good news! The openin song was nice. Yeah! I'm not even kidding right now! The opening song is indeed nice... if I don't need to see the actual animation - such a horror of cheap CGI! The song was catchy, powerful, and managed to embrace the themes and the story of Sailor Moon itself relatively well - just a little bit too pushy with that "not all girls need a man to help them"- kinda propaganda, if you know the original show, but... I'm just gonna let that stand, for now! In fact, the soundtarck as a whole, can be described as decent, at WORST! It's not so peppy and up-going, like its 90's grandmummy was, with happy flutes, sad violines and dramatic drums, but instead, really mellow, sooth and really... orchestra-like, with all the high vocals and... dear I even say... epic overtone. It was a change, indeed, but a nice one, and I have no problems with that.
Secondly, if I have to mention this, for not to sound a total douchebag for not liking this show, those little segments between the halfs of the episodes, with those pastel-colored pictures and those little melodies, were absolutely beautiful, and I just loved them! Marvelous, period! Nothing more to say about that!
Okay, so... that was the good part. Now comes the bad! To those, who are yet not familiar with my style of reviewing the shows, I usually never ever touch the subjects of art, nor sounds, since those two are to me two the most least... important aspects in any show. In this case, however... I'm gonna keep my ground on this one, too. At least, on the art department! Those transformations with that horrible CGI were by no means awful, but except for that, I have no bigger quarrels against the art overall over here! It's new, and it takes things differently, than the original did in it's time, and it's style, and I get it. The times change! No sins here for me! The sound, however... Yeah. I really did miss the music of the original show! The old music! The good music! The music, that was happy, and sad, and lively, and dangerous, and epic, and... and had a soul! The old soundtrack had a soul! This one... didn't! I can't remember not even one soundtrack from the Crystal, and it's sad, because... the opening was so nice! What went wrong, you guys?! This is just... no! No!
Secondly, the story. Yeah... this is going to be tedious! The story itself was... well, it was compressed, to say the least. Details were lost and the corners were cut... heavily! And then, it was compressed, yet again! And then, it was edited, and then edited again, and again, so that what was eventually left, was just some really sad, and bare-boned core of a story, that in the original show, used to have a character, humor, sadness, some hardships and seriousness in it as well, without forgeting some teny tiny horror elements as well, and a romance! Don't forget the romance!
This story however, had... well... It had Usagi in it. And.. she's the main heroine, so... not much else needed, I guess. Right... yay? Blah...!
Okay, so... the story sucks! I admit, its sounds really, really weird to me to say this, since I so loved the story in the original, but... hey, when I eat the apple, I want the juicy, succulant meat, and not the seedy core! The story, in the Crystal, has absolutely nothing going on for it's own, and without all of those elements from the original show, I'm actually legitimately surprised that they didn't bother to edit the rest of the story into the oblivion too, while they were at it! Everything, that was about anything, was heavily centered around Usagi, and since the story is so rushed, and empty, with no important or outsanding key-elements - unlike it's predecessor - even Usagi's character feels like empty and boring shell of a character, that I used to even like, in the original show!
Everything in the story, is without almost any conflict, or drama, and if something needs to get done... it gets done, just like that! Everything is so quick, and easy, that it's almost insulting, and not earned, or engrossing at all! I remember, when Queen Beryl used to be - or at least used to feel like - this big and threathening obsticle, that took absolutely everyhting there was to give to overcome, same with those four Generals, four evil sisters, prince Diamond, Black Lady and the Wiseman, since the Crystal decided to take both two seasons into one! In here, there are little to no time for the villains to interract, and so, I couldn't really care any less, wheter or not they lived or died... which is something, that I used to live through, with a certain other franchise as well - ten points to anyone, who guesses, which one! There was no drama, no connection, and no... no epicness, no emotion, that the original show had, that we got to see through the relationships and the emotions between all the characters, and I really missed that! When the villains got defeated - or in some cases, turned into good side - it felt like something. When the inner senshi died one by one, in order to protect their dear friend, that I myself saw and knew being their good friend, it was truly sad, and meaningful. In here, if someone was killed, or if someone was defeated, it felt like nothing, and it really hurt, since the story was already so bare-boned, and empty, that it at least needed something to happen!
The only thing, that I can give any credit for, was the romance between Serenity and Endymion... and even that felt worsed, and undeserved! It didn't feel like Usagi and Mamoru were in love, but like Serenity and Endymion just stole their bodies for their own in a time of convenience, and thus forced them to love each other... because of whatever! That's an identity theft, and somehow even worse, that what prince Diamond tried to do!
And lastly, it all comes down to the characters! Or like... what characters, since the only big character, that I can even think off of ever having any actual meaning, or interaction with the events of the story, was Usagi, and even she was a total bore! The original Usagi, was childis, clumsy, quirky, weird and funny, with her caring, loyal and sweet side, and most importantly... she was a total scaredy cat and a cry-baby! In the original show, she wasted the whole first season about whining, that she didn't want to be a soldier, and that she just wanted to be a normal girl, but in here, it's all said an done, in about... well, never! There's nothing to overcome, and no inner turmoils to rebel against, like any person would normally do, in the situation given her here! She just accepts her being this reincarnation of agient princess of the Moon and magical worrier, and that's it! She doesn't whine, she doesn't cry nor protest against the fact, that her whole life is now changed forever, without even her own say-so... she's not even that scared about anything, that isn't reasonable! She just does, what is needed, and nothing else... literally! Even lesser can be said, about the other inner senshi! They have absolutely no personalities of their own, no ambitions and I swear... no connection with each other, other than this totally bogus aspect of a past life that they shared together, and are now stuck with, yet again, in the second lifetime - this is not loyalty, nor friendship, but more like a bisnes contract, or a simple responsibility... like cleaning your room every monday!
All the time, that was given to flesh-out the characters in the original show, was cut-down and edited to the absolute minimun, so that what we got in the end, was nothing less, than some pretty faces in sexy costumes, and not much else! Did you know, that Amy wants to be a doctor, just like her mother? No, because there's no time for that - no one likes Amy that much! Or did you know, that Rei wants to be a bisnes-woman, and is truly passionate about love, but only in her own terms? No, because there's no time for that! Makoto wants to open up her own shop one day and loves cooking, and Minako wants to be a famous superstar, but who cares, since they're not that important anyway, to the continuity of the story! Usagi's literaly the only one, that's given any amount of time to grow and develope, and even that - what ever little there was - was done so poorly, and hastely, that it almost felt like cheating! It's not emergive, it's not fun, and it's not... it's not deserved! What ever the original Usagi was, she deserved, through tears and hardships, and this Usagi... she does nothing! She deserves nothing! But, unlike her team mates, at least she's given even just some of her own personal lines to deliver, and not just some filler-lines and meaningless bantering - since all the inner senshi has exact same personalities, it's all the same, what they say, because Usagi can't be talking all the time! And... about those four generals, and the inner senshi... I didn't buy that. Not once. No. No shipping from me, gals. Sorry.
Overall, this was really poor take! I mean... really poor! And still, I somehow ended up watching it through, and not thinking so badly about it. It was pretty - for some parts! - and some aspects were done atleast decently, and whatever new it brought on the table, that the original show didn't, was fascinating, and kept me going, even if the heavy cuts on the editing table were both seen, and felt, at the same time! It wasn't that awful, but it defenately wasn't good either! I will propably see this again, but only because I've already seen, and loved the original series to the bone!
I wouldn't never ever NEVER recommend this show to those, who haven't yet seen the original show, and are wondering, wheter or not to even start watching it at all. This is not that famous short cut to the fame and glory, that seems like an easy and fun way to go, but only ends to the disaster! Go for the original... watch this at your own leisure.
The video review is up, but here is the written review.
A remake of well-beloved series with more homage to the plot than the original, but animation slows it down.
Story - 6/10
Usagi Tsukino is just your normal average clumsy, whiny and happy middle schooler girl. Who runs into a cat with crescent shaped moon on her forehead, named Luna. Now this cat magically turns Usagi into Sailor Moon to fight evil. At first Usagi is more shocked and disinterested in fighting, because she is whiny, however becomes use to it eventually. Sailor Moon’s mission is find the other Sailor Guardians, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus, assemble
them to find the Legendary Silver Crystal which has immense power, while also protecting the princess. That is what the first half is about, the second half focuses more on the future of Sailor Moon and the Guardians themselves. The story is simple, yet interesting considering the time it was made. However there a times in the anime where the plot just doesn’t make sense or is disturbing, for the type of show it is. However Sailor Moon is not only an adventure, it’s also a romance, there is a lot of romance involved between two of the main characters, where is feels very forced and unrealistic. I don’t mind it particular, but sometimes it just really gets in the way of the main plot and drags out.
I never read the original source material, but from what I heard the story follows more closely to the manga. So that’s a good thing if you’re a Sailor Moon fan. However the plot is very repetitive, keep in my mind this was made in the 90s. What I mean by repetitive is the structure of the anime, like here’s a new sailor guardian, help her. Oh here’s a new villain, defeat them. The show gets really repetitive and it doesn’t help that the anime does take a while to develop, as the overall story really gets dragged a lot. And because of the repetitive nature of the show, the story can be predictable, with plot twists you can predict miles away.
Characters - 7/10
Usagi Tsukino, aka, Sailor Moon is the main protagonist. At first she is a clumsy and whiny little girl, who just wants to be a Sailor scout superhero because it sounded fun at the time, however she comes to realise it’s not all fun and games, and she really needs to start getting her act together in order to become the hero, that everyone around her is looking for. Now Usagi gets the most development in the whole series, as we see her going through some teen phases throughout the show. She starts off as a spoiled whiny brat, turns into the girl who just wants the guy, then the one who gets jealous and finally starts to realise her importance to everyone and matures. At the same time, Sailor Moon’s story is kind of a coming of age journey. One thing I don’t like about Sailor Moon, is her powers, which seems to make everyone else useless, as she seems to one shot everyone, when her comrades don’t.
Luna is the cat who originally turns Usagi into Sailor Moon. She plays the role as the mentor and adviser to everyone, as she pretty much debriefs the Sailor scouts on what to do.
As for the other Sailor scouts, there is, Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury, who is the brains of the group and uses water elemental based attacks, she is also the first Sailor Scout Usagi runs into. Rei Hino, Sailor Mars, is very serious person compared to the rest of the team, she is a Shrine maiden and possesses power to sense evil, while also fighting with the use of fire spells. Makoto Kino, Sailor Jupiter is physically the strongest in the group, due to her size, she uses electricity based powers. And finally, Minako Aino, Sailor Venus who is the last Sailor Scout to be introduced and officially serves as the leader of group, she knows what the whole situation is about and reveals it later on. She’s got the most experience as a Sailor Scout and is the most confident in her powers.
My biggest gripes with the other Sailor guardians are that they only have around 1 to 2 episodes to shine. The episode they’re initially introduced in and sometime later down the track in the second half. Because after their initial appearance we rarely see any other development from them. And for some reason, despite being made Sailor Guardians later than Usagi, they have already discovered and know how to use their powers, yet they are not always the most effective at the same time, because Sailor Moon usually beats everyone with one shot later in the fight. And I really hate that, because it felt like the other Sailor Scouts were just used to extend the story and make it really repetitive.
One of the other main characters is Mamoru Chiba, also known as Tuxedo Mask. Although they tried to hide his identity initially, it’s blatantly obvious who he is. His role in the anime is Sailor Moon’s primary love interest, and eye candy for the ladies. Considering everyone has powers of some sort, he doesn’t possess any until towards the end. He is just trying to do his job by finding the Crystals, same as the Sailor Gaurdians, but first we don’t know why. He gets some development as the series progress, starting off mysterious figure to a reliable lead character.
Animation and Sound - 4/10, 6/10
The animation for Sailor Moon Crystal, is decent at first, but then it gets to the point where it starts looking bad. Like everything was good for the first episode, but then there are animation mistakes afterwards. Such as some eyes and body not being in proportion. A completely wrong animation for the move that was being said. There’s no consistency in the animation and considering how the show was aired, every 3 weeks or so, you would expect decent animation, but that is not the case, I don’t know what they spent their extra weeks doing in the studio. The action scenes are a hit or miss, some of them look fine, but some don’t. My biggest gripe with the animation is the repetitiveness of the animation. Not kidding you, they can spend literally ¼ of an episode transforming. And it’s the same animation over and over, and you get sick and tired of it, it looks good the first couple of times, but after that, it gets boring. However I do think the 3D transformation is not bad, even I’m not a huge fan of 3D, but it looks obvious they put a lot of effort in the transformation.
For the soundtrack of Sailor Moon Crystal, it has a very typical pop princess sort of soundtrack. During the light-hearted moments to the action scenes when the Sailor Guardians are winning, there’s usually a triumph pop track playing. And when it gets eerie and dark, the music caters towards that as well and gets dark with it with sometimes a choir in it, which sounds good. The transformation music is probably the most recognizable in the show. It’s an upbeat track with a choir singing, and sounds good. The opening is track catchy and good, but not as fun as the original Sailor Moon Opening. The Ending is a much slower paced and caters towards the more romance side of the show.
Enjoyment - 6/10
Even though I used to love Sailor Moon back in the 90s, this reboot of the franchise doesn’t really do it any more justice. Sure it may pay more homage to the manga and that’s fine, but compared to today anime, is it as original. At point it is, and sometimes it’s not great, the story can becoming really exciting tense action and drama, then you get to the romance which feels completely forced and over exaggerated. The biggest thing that stopped my enjoyment in for this anime, which won’t affect you if, you were planning to watch it, is the airing of this anime. Sailor Moon Crystal, had a weird airing time, as it was aired every 3 weeks. So I had to wait 3 weeks to watch a new episode, plus a lengthy break somewhere in the middle. And by the time it got to the half-way point, I thought it was too much and hoping it would end. And seriously if you take 3 weeks to release an episode, I expect great animation, but that is not what I got, what were those extra weeks for. Like I said this won’t affect you if you haven’t seen it yet, and plan to, as all episodes are out now, and you can go watch it all in one sitting, if you want to. However I do enjoy just for the fact it’s Sailor Moon, and we get to see these characters again on screen. Even though the pacing is somewhat slow, I did enjoy some of the action and drama here and there.
Verdict - 6/10
For the story of Sailor Moon Crystal, I give it a 6, as the story is interesting and exciting in the first half, but gets confusing and somewhat disturbing in the second half. The plot gets repetitive, but makes enough progression to hook you onto the next episode.
For the animation and sound I give it a 4 and 6. Because the animation is just sometimes bad, even though it’s an improvement from the original, it doesn’t hold to the same standard to today anime. Although the transformation and some of action is completely fine, it gets really repetitive and makes you wonder what the extra weeks were used for, if it wasn’t used to polish the animation. The soundtrack is good, but nothing really speaks epicenes in the soundtrack, it speaks typical for the genre.
For the characters this gets a 7 from. The development of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask gets really deep and intense and interesting and its really great to see their chemistry improve over time. However the other Sailor Guardians are unfortunately left out to make room for more Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask, and they don’t get their fair share of screen time.
For my personal enjoyment, it’s a 6 from, keep in mind this would be a higher score if I watched normally aired, but the airing just made it frustrating to me waiting for a new episode, however since all episodes are out now, this shouldn’t affect you. Although I enjoy the story and some of characters, I felt the pacing of the show was kind of slow especially during the times when they would spend forever transforming. However it is Sailor Moon, so there is nostalgia in there.
So for the overall score of Sailor Moon: Crystal, I give it a 6/10. If they polished the animation it would’ve been so much better, considering the story and characters are good enough to make it enjoyable. I recommend this anime to old Sailor Moon fans, if they’re looking for a nostalgia trip, or fans of the magical girl genre and romance genre. If you didn’t like Sailor Moon before, this won’t change your mind, although if you’re looking for the original story, go check it out if you want to.
One thing that's good about this anime is that there's a story, but although things can be mixed, it turns out well in the end. I watched the whole series and it seems to be a good way of seeing off the past and start making plans for the future. That's one sentence for the story that I liked most.
I hope others watch this, and I don't mind if others would have a lot of comments no matter what side. The anime can have its own great moments and its flaws.
Anyway, let's get to the story itself. First off, it's outstanding. The originality of
the timeline is always there and should remain there as usual. Since there's a small interference from another dimension in the anime series, it turns out as a good timing, I guess. The main characters definitely had an adventure.
The art is not so much appealing, but it's still catchy no matter what angle you look at it. The thing I thought was good with the characters were their eyes over the rest of their bodies and it seemed to catch the attention of the rest of the Crystal fans. And it caught my attention, although there's not much to it, though.
The sound is modern and it used good theme songs my way too. I can't say anything else and they've nailed it. Nice.
The character edition was interesting. Seeing the main characters joined by completely new ones on this series makes a new excitement. So... for this kind of anime series, there are two sets of stories. That's why I made sure the story was indeed outstanding in my rate, but characters seemed to be only a few, though.
The enjoyment in my case was based on the story and the sounds of the anime itself, but what I look at more are the physics in the anime combined with fantasy. THAT is new. Although there's a comparison to what science and magic does to a person (which I think was illogical at first), I think it paid off. Because I actually saw in the series that science and magic in my case was made possible. That's something to kick off the whole series and brings smiles to me.
And for the overall, I must treat this anime as one of the most memorable animes I have watched. Why? Although the story and enjoyment seemed to be there the most, let's not forget the minor factors, which can bring both positive and negative reviews. Although it may bring some negative vibes to others... my variety can kick off as to how I look at it, included with its content.
If the animators read this, keep it up. For the fans, make fiction, read manga... don't care. In my personal opinion it deserves a sequel.
So Sailor Moon Crystal just ended today so here's a review on it :3 (I won't give a summary this time bc SMC had two seasons in one) (maybe minor spoilers)
When I heard there was going to be another Sailor Moon celebrating the 20th Anniversary, I was so excited but then I saw the voice actresses and the transformations and it reminded me way to much of Pretty Cure. But when it was actually started airing I was super excited and I couldn't wait till the next episode! Sadly they made us wait 2 or 3 weeks for the next episode which completely killed
it bc after the two weeks past it felt like it has been 20 or 30 years! I was really impressed with Chibiusa's appearance and transformation and being able to watch Neo Queen Serenity and past Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion was so amazing and wonderful and beautiful!
Ok, as several people noticed, there were a lot of crucial errors during SMC including the opening, positioning of the eyes and characterization etc. For having two or three weeks to revise it they could have done a much better job instead of fixing it on the Blu Ray addition. This doesn't mean that the animation wasn't good at all because there were some beautiful work and emotion in the animation. Another thing that personally bugged me were the transformations because it looked different from the characters.
The opening song and ending song were great even though I missed the original opening and in the second opening there was Usagi with the moon stick which isn't used in that arc and was lost so why is she using the moon stick in the different arc? I liked the second version of the first opening so much better because they fixed all the mistakes and it made such a huge difference. Other than the animation of the openings, the music was great!!
Plot: 9/10 (Mamoru stop being brainwashed ._.)
I loved every little detail of this new remake. For me it was very faithful to the original resource the manga. As a very big fan of Sailor Moon, I can truly say I enjoyed this new series, I really loved that the manga is brought to life. Now Usagi may finally get her wedding in the anime. Stars in the manga is my favourite season.
The art is very beautiful, the character are not bland like some others say, it's just that the original story focus is Usagi and Mamoru. But it gets better when the next season mugen arc comes and later on.
I love to see the new technology the senshi use like laptops and new devices. It's like Sailor Moon grow up just as me.
The story is the original one with no fillers. You could say it's part of the Sailor Moon universe. I give this series a 10
I'm a big fan of Sailor Moon who's been into the series for years now as it was my gateway intro to anime. I've seen all of the original anime in both Japanese and English, read all of the manga, seen the live action musicals and live action TV show, and I have all of the Sailor V manga. I know there's a lot of cynicism towards Sailor Moon Crystal, but I honestly think it's actually very good and probably my favorite adaptation of the manga. I had always anted an accurate adaptation of the manga as that was always my favorite
version of the story and Crystal succeeds in giving us the most faithful adaptation yet. It follows the manga almost scene for scene and word for word, with the only real changes being some additions like making the relationship between the Sailor Soldiers and the Four Kings canon. This was something only hinted at in the manga and explored in some of the musicals but it had never been made official in a TV adaptation before, not even in the live action version they made for the 10th anniversary, so I was really excited they made it canon for Crystal.
Other additions I loved were how they gave us more details about Makoto's past and what happened to her and her sempai and actually showing us what Ami's father looks like. I love that Crystal is more faster paced and that the characters and relationships are much more faithful to Naoko Takeuchi's vision. Rei is her more serious and elegant feminist warrior as opposed to her more Betty and Veronica type personality she had in the original anime. Minako is more of a hardened leader with a serious mission rather than her stereotypical bubbly dumb blonde stereotype in the original anime. Mamoru is also not a total jerk to Usagi and actually respects and supports her and Chibiusa is much more sympathetic and not as bratty. The music in Crystal is beautiful from start to finish. The opening theme, Moon Pride, perfectly captures the feminist message of Sailor Moon and I love how the ending theme portrays the tragic fate of the Moon Princess. The background music is also very catchy and has this grandiose epic feeling I love.
Probably the most controversial aspect of Crystal is the animation quality. There are unfortunately some episodes where the the animation budget does suffer some, with characters going off model and some episodes where there are some obvious animation errors. Having said that, I do think some critics are over-exaggerating the animation issues and for all the problems it had, there were plenty of beautiful moments in the show too. Most notably there's the episode where Makoto is introduced, the episode where Ami confronts Berthier, and and episode 21 were probably the most beautifully animated episodes and I feel like the animation quality in general improves a lot in the Black Moon arc. The ending to the Black Moon arc was very emotionally powerful and moving and overall I feel like the positives of Crystal far outweigh the negatives. Besides, most of the animation errors are being fixed on the Blu Ray releases and the original anime had far worse animation errors and inconsistent art styles but it seems to get far more praise than Crystal does even though it has all the same problem.s. If you're a big fan of the manga and always wanted an accurate adaptation of it, I say give Crystal a chance but I can see how fans who prefer a looser adaptation like the original anime might be disappointed. Still I really enjoy Crystal and I can't wait until the Infinity arc is adapted as that is my favorite arc of Sailor Moon and I'm so glad we're getting more of it made.
"It's like we had a very long dream. A dream that felt like riding on a roller-coaster."
Usagi Tsukino, Episode 26, Sailor Moon Crystal
Now I truly understand why people take such a strong stance against remakes of classic anythings unless it is done near-perfectly.
Let us break this down.
Sailor Moon Crystal covers two major arcs, arc one dealing with the Dark Kingdom and the various minions it has. This arc lasts about 13.5 episodes. Arc two deals with the Black Moon Clan and a few of it's minions also, and lasts about 12.5 episodes. Arc one also deals with a blossoming romance between the
main heroine named Usagi Tsukino (the titular Sailor Moon herself) and the main man Marmoru Chiba (Tuxedo Mask, or as I like to affectionately call him, Zoro). Arc two also deals with the interaction between those two dealing with the straining addition of Chibi-Usa.
The story overall for this is not that special. There are no Metal Gear Solid-like reveals, there are no half-written Evangelion endings, and it stays mostly straightforward. However, even the various individual episode plots are never that special either. To put it in Trope-speak: "It's so Ok, it's Average."
Let me just say this here, when you are going to do a remake of an anime, take at least this one page from SMC. Go all out. (Edit: Put more work into the model's animation, and less into the model's look) The art style is remniscent of the long-legged and pointy-chin style that we've seen in other series such as Code Geass, but in all reality it actually hearkens back to the designs in the original manga. It is sharp and stunning in the action scenes, and smooth and enjoyable in any slower-paced scenes.
Art section edit: After rewatching some scenes, there were a few things I noticed. Unlike the Manga and the original series, the range of facial expressions is actually pretty flat. If not for the voice-work, I would have a difficult time understanding what emotions the characters are expressing. It still looks beautiful, but the beauty is tarnished by the lack of change within it. It reminds me a bit of some modern AAA video games, with great graphics but lacking in the animation department.
Further edit: The backgrounds are actually alot more dull then I first recall. This is excusable in the last 6 or so episodes, which take place primarily in empty space-areas. But alot of the earlier episodes are in places that should be busy and bustling, or vivid and imaginative. This almost never happens. Crowds of people never show up despite it being Tokyo, ya know, the most populated city in the world. All the buildings are generic save for the good ole' Tokyo Tower. Even the Arctic Circle looks more barren then real life makes it! The headquarters for the Dark Kingdom and Black Moon both are lacking, but they try to get around their own dullness by shoving excessive amounts of pillars into every room (That goes off about as well as you think).
The sound is amazing. Every voice (except one, Wiseman's from the Second Arc) fits marvelously. The sound effects are perfectly placed and used. And the music, OH GOD the music is wonderful! I can not think of one scene during the show where the music was not amazing. The only reason this gets a 9 rather then a 10 is for one simple reason. The main theme and closing theme. The closing theme is actually pretty skippable, and the opening is good, but does not match the series. While the series puts an intense focus on the relationship between Usagi and Marmoru, the main theme puts the focus on the 'independence' of the Sailor Senshi, and females as a whole. In all reality, the classic Moonlight Densetsu would have fit better for this version of the anime then the original 90's one, as it focuses on romance rather then female friendship and fighting. This contrast, and the forgettable closing theme, drops it one point.
This is where the series suffers the most. For starters, the characterization for the majority of the cast stagnates shortly after their initial introduction, the only real exception being for Usagi, Marmoru, and Chibi-Usa.
I didn't really want to compare SMC to the original Sailor Moon anime, but for the sake of explanation I will. Each character in the original Sailor Moon had a life and a strong friendship with the main character. Sailor Mercury/Ami Mizuino was an shy, intelligent female that struggled to fit in with her piers, even after gaining the abilities of the Senshi. Sailor Mars/Rei Hino was a fiery Shinto priest, who was very quick to snap at any opportunity for fame or a nice guy, and despite her rivalry with Sailor Moon was fiercely loyal to her. Sailor Jupiter/Makoto Kino was a strong fighter that had a repressed 'housewife-y' feminine side to her, and had trouble letting go of her past. etc. We learned these things (and more) about these characters over meeting and interacting with them time and time again. Even between the Senshi, their would be rivalries, understandings, and more. It made the characters alive, relatable, and memorable.
In SMC, outside of their introduction episodes, the characters rarely get to showcase themselves as people independent of their duties in battle. With a slight exception from Sailor Jupiter (Who gains a romantic interest and is most willing to do things), all 4 supporting senshi have mostly generic lines of support and encouragement toward the main character, all which could be mostly swapped between them. Each one never is her own person, and unless the plot demands they find out information, they never do their own thing beyond their introductory episode. Furthermore, in the second arc they almost never do anything with Usagi to showcase any sort of friendship with her, or between eachother. Personality wise, they all feel almost the same.
If that is not enough, they progressively become more and more useless. All four of them burst onto the scene with abilities and fight alongside Sailor Moon, acting like a true team. By about episode 11 though, this teamwork gradually evaporates, and all four go through a bad case of 'Badass Decay' which leaves them all unable to put up any fight (Slight exception again to Jupiter). This is even more egregious when the final episodes of the second arc actively forces the four of them to stay behind during the final climax.
(Special exception to Sailor Pluto, who actually becomes a very interesting fleshed out character. She ended up being the best thing of the second half of the second arc.)
This problem also encompasses the villains. A highlight of the original first season of Sailor Moon was the amazing development given to the villains. Here? Nothing of the sort at all. All four of the major underlings are god-forsaken cookie-cutter enemies in the first arc, and said arc's two Big Bads have a generic 1 minute backstory and no backstory, respectively. This is not as bad in the Second arc, but they also stay mostly shallow despite having a very interesting backstory.
Lastly for this section, I must say that I didn't like the way Sailor Moon was portrayed here. She is not an everygirl with limited abilities that fights through with will and friendship all while being an emotional crybaby, which is what she was in the original anime even after being revealed as royalty. In SMC, she starts out similar to this but halfway through the first arc morphs into a bland, angsty character that repeatedly tries to Suicide and cries without ever attempting to do anything except escape the situation as fast as she can. SMC's Sailor Moon is NOT a fighter unless her back is to a wall. Granted, she is nowhere near the level of Shinji Ikari (Evangelion franchise), but she is no longer a strong female lead roll.
The original anime series took a generic story and made it amazing with great characters, which is why it is so fondly recalled. It was enjoyed greatly primarily for the characters, something that even filtered through the extensive cuts and edits in the old English dubs. Sailor Moon Crystal takes the same concept and reduces character depth and screentime in favor of primarily working on the romantic angle whenever it did want to work on characterization and character interaction. This leaves much to be desired.
Each arc started out great, as the situation was established and the team would fight off mooks. But as the arc would come toward the conclusion, everything would fall apart. Scenes would be dragged out for the sake of drama, rules that were established one episode would be overcome in the next one due to 'power of love', and all they would turn into is a drawn out energy battle until the main two characters got together and power-of-loved the enemy into non-existence. While this is often a trope of this genre, the leadup to the final battle was dull, with the Senshi exchanging generic supporting lines and Sailor Moon typically angsting until Tuxedo Mask shows up. There was nothing to give it spice or flavor, and the last third of both arcs were merely going through the motions to finish themselves up.
In the end, it's just a an average anime. By no means is it terrible, despite what many fans of the franchise like to claim. It is a visually a beautiful work (Edit: Kinda beautiful, see above), and the official soundtrack for this would be something I would highly recommend to everyone. Yet that aside, it takes a typical magical girl story and puts three good characters with it, along with a host of two-dimensional ones. SMC lacks the charm for it to be a well-loved classic, but for any fan of the Sailor Moon franchise, casual or diehard, it is something worth checking out. That said, I wouldn't recommend this to someone interested in looking into the franchise for the first time.
As someone who grew up watching the original Sailor Moon anime, I was hesitant to watch Sailor Moon Crystal. A huge fan of the series, I heard nothing but awful reviews from friends, YouTube critics, and fellow MAL reviewers. I expected SMC to be a mediocre to poor series. I was, however, surprised.
SMC contrasts with the 1990s anime series as it attempts to more closely the original manga series. The story is therefore more of a translation than an adaptation. As a translation, SMC feels like much closer to its source material than the original anime series. Unnecessary filler and "villain of the week"
characters are removed and instead gets into the meat of the series efficiently.
Admittedly, it took time for me to get used to the new art style, especially the full CGI transformations. The transformations are pretty awful, taking up a lot of time each episode, and the CG characters look as lifeless as the plastic models of the Sailor Senshi I have sitting on my bookshelf. However, the regular animation on a whole is pretty decent, and after a few episodes, appreciated the crisper look that the "pretty guardians" had
Like the art, it took a while to get into the new sound. A sucker for the original OP, I hated "Moon Pride" and its fully CG characters for the first 20 episodes, until I warmed up to it. I still, however, prefer the original English theme. It also took time to get used to the new voices. Usagi's voice for me will always be Tracey Moore and Terri Hawkes. The new voices are fine, but where SMC shines is the OST. The choral music played during the transformations and epic moments is simply beautiful, and enhances the story and enjoyment.
The characters are familiar to longtime fans of both the manga and older anime. True, because a lot of filler is trimmed we see less of each Senshi and the focus is clearly on Usagi, Mamoru, and Chubiusa, but Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter are clearly defined and have their moments of greatness. SMC also made me feel much more for Sailor Pluto than I ever had before, who as a lesser character is an achievement in my book.
I enjoyed every moment of Crystal, beginning to end. The original will always have a place in my heart, but as a 21st century update, I enjoyed SMC much more than I thought I would. I'm definitely looking forward to Season III when it's finished dubbing
SMC isn't perfect, but it isn't the awful anime many reviews seem to think it is either. For newcomers, I think Crystal is a great introduction to a wonderful creative universe, and for old fans coming back, Crystal is fresh and crisp.
My two cents includes nothing that hasn't been said already, at least to my knowledge.
Crystal was super hyped but failed to live up to it. While I enjoy the faster pace of the series and the fact that they generally abandoned the Youma of the Day model, the animation is increasingly hard to ignore. The magic-oriented sequences make the Senshi look as if they're made of rubber, and the overt CGI in the transformations make me think of early Pixar rather than something we'd use in 2015.
My lukewarm reception to this series is truly a heartbreak for me, as Sailor Moon was my gateway to
the anime world (my first hunted-down sub, no less). Part of me wants them to drop the project completely, but the upcoming Infinity arc - known as Sailor Moon S in the original anime - is my favorite, and I'm a tad intrigued to see what they do with the Death Busters.
However, I should note the writers for Crystal seem slightly more - for lack of a better term - ballsy than those who participated in the original anime. Killing off Pluto in the second season was a big deal, and I think it was handled gracefully in terms of dialogue and timing. Of course, she will return in the Infinity arc unless they divert completely from the original plot, but actually acknowledging death in a major way is a good change, as the 1990s anime often glossed over it.
First of all, I understand why I dropped it in the first place. HUGE dissapointment for someone who grew both reading and watching the original Sailor Moon.
I started to watch the Crystal series when it came out in 2014 and I remembered being super hyped about it. I watched 14 episodes before I dropped it out of boredom. Years later I decided to pick it up again and watch the rest since I was fairly surprised to find out it had two more seasons.
I tried my very best to overlook my nostalgia and compare it the original 90's series since it's bound to
be different. I knew the art was different, the music was new and the plot had been slightly altered from the earlier series. I accepted that. But the art in the manga is so extremly detailed and carefully done it's practically impossible to copy it to a weekly series with a fairly low budget.
The art is different in a bad way. It's poorly done and I can't tell if it's because of lack of money, tight schedule or just because they couldn't care less about the final product. Nonetheless, it was really bad.
And what happened to the old clumsy, food loving Usagi? What happened to the hot tempered Rei and the stupidly love struck Makoto? I hate to say it but most of the characters were so OOC it didn't even make sense anymore. The only change in character I liked was Chibi-Usa's change of attitude. I couldn't help but really hate her original bratty attitude and found her really annoying in the original series. Even though I found the Crystal series overall very rushed and especially the established relationships I did find relief in that Chibi-Usa behaved decent.
The music was fairly good though. I've been a fan of Yasuharu Takahashi for a long time and he never cease to surprise me with his music.
So my ratings overall:
Story - 3 (It was too rushed and everything happened without any foundation to it. You need to have seen the 90's version or read the the manga to understand the basics)
Art - 4 (It was a nice try to try and copy such carefully layed out art but in the end it failed miserably)
Sound - 6 (The music scores replayed a fair amount of times throughout the series which leads me to think that not many scores were written for this series)
Character - 5 (No basics whatsoever and very OOC most of the time)
Enjoyment - 4 (I am a sucker for Sailor Moon but it was a huge dissapointment)
Overall - 5
But as I do love Sailor Moon, I will probably try and watch the second season as well even though I really disliked this season.
Sailor Moon has won fans all over the world, and everybody loved both the anime and the manga. Love for this eponymous magical girl series festered on decades after its inception. When a reboot of the original anime was announced, fans were excited. Two years later, we finally got Sailor Moon Crystal...unfortunately, nowadays, Crystal is seen as spoiled goods, a blemish on what made Sailor Moon great, and nowadays, people hail the 90s anime as being the better adaptation despite it having just as many problems, if not more. Despite it being a straight adaptation of the manga, people have lambasted it left and right,
fans and haters alike, for a variety of problems: bad animation, static characters, brisk pacing, no filler in order to give the characters screentime, etc. Despite the show still having just as many fans, you can't go anywhere without seeing hate for Sailor Moon Crystal, with some saying its the absolute worst anime ever.
Now, it's okay to not like something. As long as one expresses their dislike of something in a rational manner that doesn't hurt others, that's okay. However, on places like Tumblr, the hatred for SMC has grown to downright ridiculous levels, and people are hating it for less than rational reasons. I've heard people accuse it of being ableist, harming queer women (HOW?!), promoting anorexia, endorsing selfish behavior, rape culture, gay erasure, misogyny, etc. Worse than that, they even use their hatred to attack other people who happen to like it for what it is and don't mind its many problems! Good lord! It's one thing to not like a show, but its another thing to bump said hatred to irrational levels and attack people for even so much as acknowledging its existence. I don't like ecchi shows or porn, and you don't see me attacking other people for liking them! Heck, my friend Paul LOVES Ranma 1/2 and I don't, but we respect each other's preferences and are still friends! My friend Sami LOVES Levi from Attack on Titan and I don't, but do you see me attacking her and calling her names and making up lies about her for loving him? NO!
After seeing all the completely weird hatred being bombarded on SMC, I decided to watch it again. I tried to watch it when it came out, but had to drop it due to other obligations. Honestly, I don't hate it, but I don't necessarily like it either. Rather...I kinda pity it. It knows what it wants to be, and I would much rather watch SMC than most other anime that have been saturating the industry at the moment, especially the stupid ecchi/harem anime that have been diluting the industry for the past few years. It has a lot of potential, and while it's definitely not a masterpiece considering how many problems it has, there's still a lot to like about it. I'm pretty sure a lot of modern kids today would love seeing a show like SMC.
The story's about the same as the manga. A lazy, clumsy girl named Usagi Tsukino just wants to be normal. She doesn't do well in school, she prefers to hang out with her friends or go to the arcade to hang out with one of the cute employees, and she wants to eat, read manga, and laze around, like most girls her age would. One day, a cat named Luna appears before her, giving her a magical brooch that turns her into a warrior named Sailor Moon, who has to fight the evil Dark Kingdom, who intends to steal something called the Legendary Silver Crystal and use it to destroy the world. Joining her are Sailors Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter, and the mysterious Tuxedo Mask, and while she is reluctant at first, she decides to fight the Dark Kingdom and save the world, knowing all of life is at stake.
I'm kind of torn on the animation. On one hand, I won't deny that Toei's lack of budget really shows throughout the show. Some body parts like eyes and mouths are out of place, the girls are designed in ways that make them look like plastic barbie dolls with unrealistic anatomy, and the CGI is definitely very cringeworthy. I've seen far worse CGI so I'm personally not bothered by it, but the transformation sequences do make the girls look like plastic barbie dolls that don't have much life to them. On the other hand, the artwork is for the most part very faithful to the manga. The character designs are sleek and the hair movement can be downright beautiful when it wants to be, the senshis attacks are a lot better animated (I really like how Sailor Mars' Burning Mandala looks. I think it looks better here), and the costume designs are luscious. The whole show, especially when the girls go to Crystal Tokyo, has this mystical, ethereal quality about it that I think was present in the manga as well. I think Crystal managed to capture it perfectly. Plus, I love the detail the animators put into things in the background, like how Usagi's bedroom looks or Mamoru's bedrooms. The decor says a lot about their overall characters.
When I heard that Yasuharu Takanashi was composing the music for this series, I was convinced to watch SMC. He's one of my favorite modern day composers, and worked on a lot of anime I like, such as Pretty Cure, Konnichiwa Anne, etc. No surprise here, as the soundtrack is very good and solid. The 90s soundtrack was very dated, so hearing more fitting music for the series really made SMC work musically. The opening theme is okay, rather J-poppy and not nearly as iconic as Moonlight Densetsu is. But it's not bad. Hearing the same theme song for over 100 episodes can be boring, so Moon Pride was refreshing. The ending theme is the best though.
I won't lie, the characters and characterization is where Crystal really suffers. The manga was no different, but it really stands out here. Usagi does mature throughout the show, which is fine, but as much as I like the other characters, the other senshi seem to come off as props to make Usagi look good. Their lack of characterization really detriments the show, especially since the arcs are being adapted into 12-14 episodes, leaving little room for fleshing them out and showing the girls' lives when they're not fighting evil. I will say this though: Mamoru actually has a personality in this version! He doesn't come off as annoyingly prickish like he does in the 90s anime, though I still think his live-action version is the best. The villains also suffer in the characterization department, as they're just reduced to their being evil for the sake of being evil, or random mooks who get killed after one episode. The 90s anime definitely did better in fleshing out the villains and making them come off as more than just petty villains. Really, the only character who even has a good character arc is Chibiusa, and trust me, she is NOWHERE NEAR as bratty as she was in the 90s anime, so rest assured, she's MUCH more tolerable here. Usagi and Chibiusa are okay characterization-wise, but the rest of them are woefully underdeveloped, making any emotional moments lack any meaningful impact.
Honestly, I think SMC's problems with storytelling and characterization would be rectified had the creators been given the chance to make each arc 24-26 episodes long rather than 12-14. If they did that, it would allow for some filler to fill up space between the important parts and give the girls a chance to develop and show what they're like outside of saving the world. The live-action version is beloved because it made optimal use of its long episode count, focused only on one arc, and gave the girls episodes that just allowed them to develop, flesh themselves out, and show what they're like when they're not saving the world. Because all the arcs are 12-14 episodes, everything is extremely compressed, not allowing for much breathing room. I think this is SMC's greatest flaw: the short length of each arc. The story SMC wants to tell is grand, epic, and compelling, and it knows what it wants to be. It's ambitious, but because of time constraints, the show is unable to realize its full potential and tell the story it wants to, characterization included.
Even so, I don't hate SMC. I don't LOVE it, as SM's live-action adaptation will always be my favorite. But I do like SMC a lot more than I do the 90s anime, and if you gave me a choice to either watch this or some stupid ecchi anime like Ro-Kyu-Bu, Nakaimo, or Kanokon, or basically every incest anime ever (I'm looking at you, Kiss x Sis!!!), I'd take SMC any day. It's not a perfect show. Let's face it, no media art form will EVER be perfect, and we shouldn't expect SMC to be either. At the same time, I really don't think SMC deserves all the bile that it gets. I don't watch anime in order to look for representation or accuse it of endorsing bad things or any of that stuff. I watch anime because it gives me what most American cartoons nowadays don't: substance. Serious, compelling storylines. Characters who we can care about who don't do nothing but talk about make-up or boys or are super hot and sexy. That's why I loved shows like Pokemon, Digimon, and Yu-Gi-Oh as a kid, because they were bold, daring, serious, didn't try to hide unpleasant things like death or family problems from us, and didn't talk down to their audience. SMC is the same. It takes its audience seriously and wants to be something that can appeal to all ages in spite of its problems. I think, had SMC come out when I was a kid, I probably would have loved it.
Sailor Moon Crystal isn't the best adaptation of the manga, but if you manage to look past its flaws and appreciate it for its merits, it's still a serviceable show that I think will really appeal to kids. Come on, let's be honest. It could have been a heck of a lot worse. At least it's not Breadwinners or The Nutshack or even every ecchi anime ever!
I'm just gonna say it right now. I hate Sailor Moon Crystal and don't get me started on just simply saying, "Well, probably because you've only seen the original anime and didn't read the manga." Let me make one thing perfectly clear. I have ZERO interest in the manga. In fact, I barely; even read any manga's, except Monster Musume since that's a slice of life manga and I'm very well enjoying it. In fact, I just pre-ordered the next volume that came out this week but we're not here to talk about that. My point is, is that I have no interest in the
manga because most manga's that have anime adaptations are not that very good. Sailor Moon is probably the worst given how these first two seasons went and yes. I have seen the original anime because I was a big fan of it. It is overall; one of my top ten favorite anime's of all time and I am both; honest and fair. When I heard that they were doing a reboot on Sailor Moon for the 20th anniversary, (even though it took two years for them to finally; get it out the door), I was excited as to see what we would get for its anniversary, but sadly; we got one of the lowest forms of crap of an insult to one of the most popular, and memorable anime's of all time. Wouldn't it had been better to get a team together who really cared for the series and go beyond Stars as to see what the scouts were up to after their high school days and everything else? I mean, that would have been even better for the anniversary even if there wasn't a manga for that, but oh no. We had to get a lazy, half-assed, cash in just so someone could make a quick buck. Also, I should point out that most of my hatred for this reboot comes from the Black Moon Arc which is my most favorite arc in the franchise and I'll explain why when we get to that part. This review and more or less, rant is long overdue in my book. I've been wanting to get this out for a long time now but at that time just didn't have the stamina to do so since this so called; reboot took a lot out of me. I had to literally; force myself through every episode to finish this and yes. I am aware that the Infinity Arc or Death Busters, the third season of Sailor Moon is coming to Crystal sometime this year and right now. I'm not looking forward to it, but enough of my rambling. Let's get into this already.
The story in both arc's are dreadful, especially; in Black Moon, but let's start with Dark Kingdom. Now, to its credit it does flow very well at least unlike Black Moon. The Dark Kingdom Arc is where everything began and introduces us to Queen Baryl and here generals. Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite, and Kunzite, as well as the intro to Queen Metaria. Their plans are to find the Imperium Silver Crystal, a.k.a. the Heart of the Moon so that they can take over the world and the universe. (Of course)! It also introduces our main characters Usagi as Sailor Moon, Mamoru as Tuxedo Mask, Ami as Sailor Mercury, Rei as Sailor Mars, Makoto as Sailor Jupiter, and Minako as Sailor Venus and that they are the reincarnated sailor scouts from the Millienium Age before it was destroyed.
The story well it does have a good flow to it has some serious problems. For one thing, it is rushed. There are only 13 episodes per season. Just simply trying to cram everything in together at once and that is not a good thing and I don't care what anybody says by simply saying, "but the 13 episodes follow's the story exactly from the manga." That doesn't mean that, that makes for a good anime guys. It might be good for a manga or comic book but not for an anime. The purpose of adapting a manga into an anime is to give it something more. Like more character development, developing the plot more, expanding the story, and giving the villians a more and better approach. Simply cramming everything together just to get it done and over with is right away the mark of a bad anime. It's the same philosophy for a video game, especially; a movie video game that throws everything at you at once in the kitchen sink at the end shares the same principle.
However; though, I will say that Dark Kingdom did have some good ideas in it that actually did come from the manga but were poorly executed. They either lasted for about just that one episode and got struck down right away. It was because of most of these ideas why we needed to have these seasons expanded, especially; for newer audiences that were coming into this show, but again, didn't give a damn. In fact, I'll just simply call it as it presented itself, lazy. Pure laziness. Despite these poorly; executed ideas though, the story did flow well in Dark Kingdom.
However; the king of the turd lay with the story in Black Moon. By the nine, the story in Black Moon is bad. It's pure lazy, repetitive, tedious, and just plain boring and the major problem with it of all is that the ending fights with the main villians in this one are anti-climatic. Black Moon is my favorite arc in this show because in my personal opinion there was a lot more at stake here and this is the season that I literally; had to force myself through every episode because it was that bad. Every time when one of the new villians, except Rubias, came in for a battle with the scouts got axed right away. The story also made no sense in this reboot. Why was the final battle in the future and not the past like it was in the original and why did the scouts spend so much time in the future in this one? Ugh! Another problem with this series, actually; for both; is that there is no drama. Ok, the drama was built up well for Pluto but that was it. Beyond or before that, there's absolutely no drama, and furthermore; not only is it filled with plot holes but also in my opinion. It has one of the biggest plot holes at the beginning that I've ever seen. I won't mention it on here because that would be a spoiler.
Much like the story for Dark Kingdom the art work is overall; not that bad either. At least, again, for the first season. They decided to go back to a water color paint style for the backgrounds which I really like. I've always found water color paint to by one of the best styles to be used in anime's like these because it really brings out the texture for Japanese life styles and housing and was very well done. The animation while having some major problems in it was at the very least ok to get through the first season. Even the transformation scenes didn't look that bad at first. The transformation flowed pretty well and even the element attacks looked pretty good, but again, ONLY, for one season.
For the second season they didn't even try to improve on anything. The animation was perfectly the same. It still had the same flaws that were presented in the first season and just simply gave the middle finger to fans that actually; gave a damn about the animation. Again, lazy! Hell, they actually; had to correct the color in the opening sequence because of you know, laziness. I have never seen such poorly developed animation for a reboot from a classic like Sailor Moon in my entire life. There's no life to it, no energy, and barely any effort put into it for the second season. Ugh!
Once again, we have lazy editorial for this crap for not giving a damn since once again. We have the same repetitive and tedious sounds and music for both seasons. However; with that said, the sound and music is actually; pretty good, especially; the opening and ending themes. I freaking love these two songs. Moon Pride for the opening and Heart Moving for the ending. Heart Moving in my opinion is one of the most beautiful ending themes that I have ever heard in anime. It's heartwarming, it's romantic, and kind of tragic when you think about it. Moon Pride is a great way to open up the show because it's energetic, it's loud, and kind of has a rock theme to it. The background music is pretty good too but once again nothing changes for the second season and I'm gonna leave it at that.
Where do I even begin with this segment? For me personally; this is what KILLED, Sailor Moon Crystal for me and the reason why is because all the characters except Sailor Moon and Endymion are basically; stripped of their personalities. It was their personalities that made a lot of people fall in love with this show to begin with. Amy was the brains of the group and always analyzing the situation and how to get out of tough situations. Rei was the psychic and used those powers in order to either; help out those whom were possessed and could actually sense when something was wrong and evil was nearby. Lita or Makoto was the warrior of the group, (as well as my favorite character until Saturn came out), and could fight outside of her Jupiter form. Minako was the beauty of the group and was the first to become a sailor scout before the others. Actually; in retrospect, she's probably the only scout in this series that has somewhat of a personality while the others don't and it doesn't stop there.
Hell, even Mini Moon or Chibi I think is her actual name feels somewhat stripped of her personality. Yes, she does act sad and does feel distress but I didn't feel the exact impact of her feeling guilty when she took the crystal like we did in the original and hell. When she became Wicked or Black Lady. She was somewhat a little bit diabolical even though she was brainwashed but you actually felt that she was now kind of evil.
It gets better though. Even the villians feel like they don't have a personality, especially; the main villians like Baryl and of course, Wiseman. Wiseman was this big manipulative, diabolical, entity who could easily twist and turn someone with just simply his words but they feel empty here. Even his voice doesn't help. His voice in the original was big and loud and helped give him a personality and he barely does anything in this series. Hell, not only do nearly all the villians feel like they have no personality but also feel like that they are doing absolutely; NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Their just damn dissapointing and underplayed, just like the main characters.
Futhermore; it doesn't help either that the scouts don't really fight off the villians together most of the time. It feels like Sailor Moon is the one doing all the work hence why she's probably the only scout that actually has a personality. Ugh!
I'm gonna keep this one simple and short. Did I enjoy this reboot? Hell no, but to its credit, (what little it deserves). At least for the first season there were some good ideas but again, poorly executed and there was nothing for the second season. It was mainly flawed, repetitive, tedious, boring, and the fact that nearly every character was stripped of their personality didn't help much either. Again, pure laziness!
My overall score for both seasons of this rebooted anime of Sailor Moon Crystal is a 3/10. It would be a 1 or 2/10 if not for some of the effort that actually showed in the Dark Kingdom reboot. I would strongly recommend that if you're just coming into Sailor Moon to NOT watch these two series as a starting point. Go and watch something else because there are better stuff out there. Hell, go and watch the 90's original anime. It is a classic and is the perfect intro if you're just coming into this franchise. If you liked this reboot, more power to you, but I didn't and I will not return to it again, but. I have heard that for the third arc, Infinity or Death Busters that they have a new director and art team for it. So, since I am fair I am going to give that series one chance but one chance only, but mark my words. If they screw up the intro to my favorite scout in this one. There will be hell to pay.