Anime Vice News

SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL #1 -- Special Review

What was revealed about this reboot from the Anime Expo screening?

Sam and I actually caught this during the SAILOR MOON panel at AX: watching it up on the big screen beside hundreds of die-hard fans. Since 99% of my anime experience happens while I’m alone at home, it’s always a sharp contrast, seeing how that same material plays in front of a live audience. In this case, it was an entire auditorium, oo-ing and ah-ing together over almost every single beat in this pilot. I’ve got no nostalgic attachment to SAILOR MOON, myself, but it’s impossible for good vibes like that not to rub off on you…

Anyway, I never got around to actually watching any of SAILOR MOON CLASSIC until last month and, with that pilot still so fresh in mind, I think I can compare the two without any nostalgic bias. So, that said, even though this hits pretty much all the same story beats as the first pilot, I think CRYSTAL still plays better. And I’d say that even if the animation upgrade weren’t polished-unto-sparkly as it is.

What struck me most about the classic pilot was that were literally no scenes where Usagi questioned her transformation. Sure, nobody’s shooting for verisimilitude with any of this, but still, you really need at least one scene where your normal teenager questions her new and fantastical predicament.

Why is this cat talking to me?

Why am I suddenly dressed like a super heroine?

How do I use my powers?

You know, basic questions. And CRYSTAL feels like a fuller narrative for including even just a handful of short scenes addressing them. Stuff like that makes this feel more substantial as a reboot – more so than making SAILOR V a video game character, or accelerating the witch’s zombie jewelry plot.

I can’t help but feel like that’s somewhat in response MADOKA MAGICA scrutinizing this concept a bit more. I’m curious to see if further episodes will squint harder at other elements of the mythos.

Watch "Act 1 Usagi - Sailor Moon" and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the first episode of the original series.

Destinyheroknighton July 8, 2014 at 3:22 p.m.

Tom, it wasn't a response to Madoka Magica. This is basically what happen in the first chapter of the Manga

I always did wonder why Serena (sorry, the English name is stuck in my head) never question the power. If Kyubey was in this world it would have a field day. That why at so do love Madoka Magica

metalsnakezeroon July 8, 2014 at 4:06 p.m.

This reboot will follow the manga much more than how the original anime series went and isn't really going after Madoka. There are some good things about following the manga as I heard, in the mange all of the sailor scouts had a chance to kill the enemy and not have Sailor moon have the finishing blow. The big thing about this reboot is the art style as everyone are a lot thinner. Just looking at screenshots makes them look weird but in motions it works a lot better.

takashichea moderator on July 8, 2014 at 5:49 p.m.

I got into Sailor Moon when HULU announced it was streaming the original series, 2 episodes every Monday. I wanted to see why this magical girl series was so popular and also, how did it jump start the magical girl genre.

Having watched the new anime series on Crunchyroll, I say the original anime series had its charm. I couldn't get used to the new anime style. The characters had little expressions compared to the original anime series. There was no Manga Iconography I think with this the new series.

Lurkeroon July 8, 2014 at 6:50 p.m.

Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention, but it didn't seem like Usago had substantial questions in the new version either. She pretty much went straight to saving her friend right after a cat talked to her and gave her powers. Of course it is a cartoon and I am not going to pay that much attention to the setup as long as its an enjoyable watch.

Kino88on July 9, 2014 at 4:53 a.m.
Yay, I miss the scouts!,
Halberdierv2on July 9, 2014 at 8:47 a.m.

well, its a slow season for me, so its this and Gun Gale Online for me this quarter.

as to why she wasn't questioning much, she did think it was a dream for most of the fight, and only when she realized it was real, she was kind of too busy fighting to stop and question.

hitsusatsu11on July 9, 2014 at 7:28 p.m.

Seems to be a bit of a slow season for me to after consecutive good ones.

Episode 1 here was meh, I feel Toei should have higher quality animation, they of all ppl can afford it. Some of the cg looked straight out of a vn. Dont have to much of a problem with the new art style except Usagis eyes arent quite right imo.

Dig Deeper into Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon must find the Illusionary Silver Crystal alongside the other guardians in order to keep a princess safe. However, Queen Beryl sends in minions hoping to rectify that and snatch the crystal from the guardian's clutches.

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