There are some pre-release images about as well as some more cast details via ANN. I'll add them to the database under "Pre-Release Screencaps".
- Misa Watanabe as Queen Beryl
- Daisuke Kishio as Jadeite
- Kousuke Toriumi as Nephrite
- Masaya Matsukaze as Zoisite
- Eiji Takemoto as Kunzite
I enjoyed the solar system opening, showing all the planets (alluding to all the different Sailor girls yet to be introduced, then zeroing in on the Moon and Earth). Had a nice Space Brothers vibe to it!
I'm glad they kept some of the clumsy school girl charm, but I still think the art feels a little angular and the girls are too skinny..
Haha, I can't watch these types of hero shows without Samurai Flamenco in the back of my head. I find myself questioning what exactly is being portrayed as "good" or "evil", and how characters are being represented etc. Some people say Sailor Moon is feminist since it shows girls taking care of themselves and fighting evil (among other reasons), even the OP had a line saying "we don't need men to protect us". But I'm not sure it's so simple.
For example, grades and jewellry. Usagi gets bad grades, but she stopped some evil homunculus from siphoning power off women, so that makes her good right? The homunculus took advantage of women's desire for fancy jewelry in the first place. But wasn't able to snag Usagi because of her poor grades and Usagi feeling guilty about getting bad grades and thus not rewarding herself. *eek* capitalism!
At the same time we have the media portrayal of "Sailor V" in the news and video games. I guess part of the reason this genre is so popular is seeing those heroes turn out to be ordinary humans.. ahh the power of slice of life. Then it's a matter of finding a balance between comedy, action and serious time.
Anyways... I enjoyed Luna, she feels cuter somehow. Also, since I watched the english dub of Sailor Moon as a child, I kind of miss the "meatball head" joke. It went well with her clumsiness, but I'm not sure if japanese has a good equivalent. The transformation sequence and the boomerang was alright, but it's not the same as the original! (no duh). Haha, for those interested, here is the english dub of Sailor Moon for comparison, feels more whimsical to me, also watch for the meatball head joke at around 9:40:
"This CD will definitely let you become a doctor!" 10 minutes later.. "make up, make me a Doctor!"
I am still not completely used to how skinny and tall the girls are. And were the skirts for the sailor transformation always that short? Maybe I'm imagining things, but I just can't shake the feeling that the characters just don't feel right.. the eyes, mouth, the body proportions just seem a little off.
Also grades aren't everything, lead a balanced lifestyle with good friends, yup yup. Like in ep1 when Queen Beryl took advantage of women's desire for fancy jewelry, in this episode Queen Beryl takes advantage of teenagers' desire for good grades. Haha, it occurred to me that these might be comments on real world jewelry scams or tutoring/plagiarism scams. I've heard the sayings "if it's too good to be true, it probably is," and similarly for food "if it tastes good, it is probably unhealthy for you". Of course those are just guidelines, but the underlying lesson is basically "don't cheat, because in the end you're only cheating yourself or will get taken advantage of, which will put you in a bad situation, effectively cheating yourself into that situation".
It was interesting that even before Ami was brainwashed by the special CD, she still had a one track mind of "I'm only good at studying, I will study to be a Doctor like my mom." But then when she went to the arcade with Usagi, she actually had fun, but reinforced herself saying "I'm only good at studying". I guess sometimes it takes a little shaking up to realize how stuck one really is.
Ep3: Didn't really enjoy this episode that much. What did they do to Rei's hair? It's supposed to be black, not whatever faded purple they gave her! Usagi's voice actor is coming off as really annoying. Again my reference point is the English dub, and I remember the English VA being much more down-to-Earth, friendly and amicable. This Japanese VA just sounds hyper-active and exaggerated with all the kawai klutz stereotypes. Also I still have weird feelings about the face and body proportions.
Well anyways in terms of story, Queen Beryl has more henchmen, and the "Crystal" is revealed as a possible weapon of mass destruction if it falls into the wrong hands. It's not clear exactly what Jadite's power is (ice manipulation and teleporting of some sort?), the previous guy could make homunculi out of clay, and also some sort of brainwashing powers (with the tutoring CD in ep2 and the jewelry in ep1). It's also not clear how the Sailors' powers differ from Queen Beryl and her henchmens' powers. Perhaps they are from similar sources, but what is different is what they use their powers for... just like in real life. Hooray for fiction allowing us to invent various supernatural powers to then give us a slightly different perspective on our own human powers and their capabilities/limitations!
Maybe I'm just really tired. I'll go take a nap.