Usagi Tsukino is still struggling to balance her home life with the duties of being Sailor Moon, the guardian of love and justice. Along with the other Sailor Guardians and her boyfriend Mamoru Chiba, they begin investigating cases of students from Mugen Academy, a school for the most elite students, who are being transformed into monsters. During the investigation, they meet three strange individuals: Haruka Tenou, a handsome racecar driver; Michiru Kaiou, a talented violinist; and Hotaru Tomoe, a mysterious girl with a weak constitution.
As more incidents occur, the Sailor Guardians are met with another surprise—the appearance of two new planetary protectors with motives of their own. Despite the newcomers' questionable allegiance to Usagi and her comrades, they all face a threat from a common enemy: an evil entity who calls himself Pharaoh 90.
#1: "New Moon ni Koishite (ニュームーンに恋して)" by Etsuko Yakushimaru (eps 1-4, 13) #2: "New Moon ni Koishite (ニュームーンに恋して)" by Mitsuko Horie (eps 5-8) #3: "New Moon ni Koishite (ニュームーンに恋して)" by Momoiro Clover Z (eps 9-12)
Sailor Moon is a rare example of a story that benefits greatly from filler and a meandering pace. The original series from the 90s may not have followed the manga as closely as the new hotness, but in a weird twist, that actually greatly improved the quality of the show.
Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 blasts through the manga faithfully, but loses much of the charm in the process. Whereas the original series gave ample time to develop each Sailor Scout's quirks and personality, SMC has only a hint of that charm. Season 3 is an improvement on the first two seasons, thanks in part
to the pretty character designs of Akira Takahashi. It also makes token attempts at adding individuality to the characters, but sets that aside in favor of plot progression. We miss the klutzy Usagi, the bookwormy Michiru, the temperamental Rei, the boisterous Makoto, and the goofy Minako. Instead we are left with stoic fighters in different colored skirts.
While this series does a competent job at hitting plot points, the real magic of the Sailor Moon series comes from its lovable characters. Unfortunately, Crystal did not deliver enough in that area.
Sailor Moon S3 shows itself as an improvement from its previous seasons (Both art and music were certainly something to work with, CGI was ruining everything this thing stands for) and a remake of its classic 90s counterpart. Working with such a classic as Sailor Moon will get high expectations from everybody, and it did keep us hype about possibilities.
So, it's quite disappointing to find that Crystal S3 couldnt handle that hype properly. Instead, S3 seems a lot rushed (It's only 13 episodes, so of course pace will be faster), even though it had a really nice arc to
work with that could be delivered in a better way, by properly developing characterization and wrapping up all the previous events from S1 and S2. Instead, we are faced to just getting little pieces from everyone and forced to like it in order to find any emotional sense. And plot holes, big stupid plot holes that basically ruined S2.
It also fell into turning each and every Sailor senshi into, basically, cannon fodder. Something quite repetitive in S1 and S2; and it was a fresh feeling that they finally served a purpose for themselves, rather than doing it for plot advancing. But then it happened, and it's like they thought the Sailor Senshis were just there to make some filler. Characterization was a high point in the classic 90s series, and I understand that you can't get that done in 13 episodes per arc. It actually forces you to make the best writting ever so you can get to exploit the best of this. It's quite obvious they didnt do it.
While animation got improved, there is still room for improvement: Minako's transformation sequence and animation after episode 35 is pretty much a good example. Even though, it still shows us better animation than S1 and S2. Music is something I cannot complain, specially the last 2 episodes; but it was quite irrelevant and there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Overall, Sailor Moon S3 feels like a clickbait article, that you find useful initially; but the more you keep reading, the more you notice it's voided of any good content. While it's good that they try to be faithful to manga (A change from that cartoonish and lightheart tone from the 90s), it's quite sad that they couldn't exploit the vast and rich characters this franchise offers.
I hope any other sequel, remake or reboot will notice how important are these characters in order to get something worth of watching.
I told myself I was giving up on Crystal after the conclusion of the first arc. But after seeing the new art, the previews and the revisited character designs for the Infinity Arc, I decided to give it one more chance, and have been catching up with it every few weeks.
We'll start with the good: The art has improved pretty drastically. The animators had the good sense to ditch those awful CG henshin sequences and make some nicer hand drawn ones. Fight scenes are punchier and the artwork is overall more expressive. The portrayal of the Outer Senshi is about the best you could ask
for from a direct manga adaptation. In fact, most everyone's characterization has improved, including Usagi; they have personalities and actual lines now that aren't just repeating what someone else has said or collaborating on a single sentence together. Some of the humor is back, at least at the beginning, and I feel like even the music has improved by a few notches. Also, all the gay is dialed up to eleven, and that warms my little bi heart.
Here are my complaints: Someone on the animation team really needs to Google "what do cats look like?" The writing is still pretty lazy; I always thought a straight adaptation of the manga was a bad idea, and I stand firm on that. It makes for bad pacing and stifles character development. There's still some Art Weird. Episode 35 in particular looks like nobody cared much about it, and there's an ongoing problem with Usagi and Chibiusa's heads being drawn with giant, misshapen craniums in every profile view. Late in the season as we move into the final conflict, I'm definitely noticing that we're falling back into that pit where it's constant drama with almost no emotional resonance, which I think is a consequence of the rushed pace.
In conclusion, the Infinity Arc of Crystal is... okay, in that it is easy on the eyes and not a catastrophic destruction of everything that made Sailor Moon good [insert pointed look at seasons 1 and 2 here]. There are some parts that are worth watching for, but it can't at all rival the 90's anime for soul and charm. It's definitely still not the Sailor Moon we deserved from the 2010s. It's not really doing anything particularly new or exciting with the IP. I would call it ornamental, for the most part. It's a nice, pretty thing to look at for a while if you like Sailor Moon, and if you're particularly attached to the manga you'll probably enjoy it a lot more than me.
Sailor Mars Crystal Season 3 is much more than our sailor scouts fighting evil by moonlight or winning love by daylight.
This show offers enjoyment beyond pressing your face against your mousepad trying to peak up a sailor skirt, as though it were a VR anime. The "Death Buster" arc is without a doubt one of the most entertaining arcs in the iconic series. It is pretty obvious that Toei cared more about this season compared to previous seasons of Sailor Mars Crystal.
This arc is one of the favorites of any fan. I remember watching Sailor Moon S and welcoming the new scouts into
my dorky little heart. Crystal Season 3 makes me relive all those feelings from long ago. Uranus and Neptune are the newest stars in this part of the story. They had their planet blown up many years ago and they are lesbian lovers. They are as close as they can get. They share the same burden and want their princess Usagi to live in peace. The outer planet scouts want to help the main scouts, but they would rather front all the work and do things their own way. They have a strong determination and work well together because they are strong. Pluto works with Uranus and Neptune because she is a fellow outer planet scout. Pluto agrees with using the same stern methods and she is one who wants to get the job done as efficiently as possible, even if there are innocent lives taken. The main scouts want to work with the outer planets and have no unnecessary deaths. The two ideologies could not coalesce and there became an underlying hate towards the two factions. The depth of the two factions is predominantly over the treatment of Sailor Saturn. The Deity of Destruction (Dave Mustaine of Megadeath would be pleased with her nickname) has the power to destroy planets and she was the one who destroyed the home of Uranus and Neptune. Sailor Saturn is a martyr character done correctly. She is more than the "I'm going to sit here and whine" martyr. She gets work done. She fights the beast that takes over her body. She handles the way her father experimented on her in a good way. She smiled very little, but it was always at emotional parts. It is awesome that more people will be exposed to these characters in Crystal Season 3.
Thank you Toei for caring about this season. Do not get me wrong, Toei is still Toei. I am convinced not a single person at the entire studio can draw ankles. My favorite pair of ankles belongs to Sailor Venus while she is posing after her transformation. Chickens would ask her if she skipped leg day. Then there is a funny part at the end where Sailor Moon repairs the city and Tuxedo Mask says something like "She is repairing the city" while the city behind him is in shambles. Thank you Toei for having the watercolor-style backgrounds that we were used to seeing in the original series. I love seeing Usagi's house look like it did in the first couple season of the show. I love the absence of CG. The girls had no respect for bones in the first 2 seasons of Crystal and they were not only flexible like rubber, they had the same luminosity. This eyesore has been remedied and redone with 2-D drawings and they do the show justice. When you are watching repeated scenes, you need to have those scenes be the best they can. Toei delivered on the repeating scenes and every single move was beautiful to watch. The attacks were taken to a new level. Yeah, Sailor Mars is always the best. The snake-eyes along with the black jagged lines scene is awesome every time. They did such a great job on making the attacks look good that Sailor Mercury looks like a badass. Yeah, mission accomplished on that one.
I am happy to see this show get love and attention. I plan on reading work by Naoko Takeuchi because I am a fan of the Sailor Moon series. I am happy to be getting teased for a next season.