Anime Vice News

Toei Redraws SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL?

They heard the fans!

CRYSTAL was distinguished among SAILOR MOON iterations, and magical girl shows in general, for the more… expressionistic approach its art team took to rendering anatomy. Indeed, the show was so distinguished for this that a website actually popped up with the expressed purpose of… documenting the show’s style on a regular basis.

Now that CRYSTAL’s come to home video, Crystal Companions has a new and somewhat-unexpected purpose -- cataloging the extensive animation changes that’ve been made after the show’s initial airing.

Weekly production schedules can be grinding, obviously, and more frequently, anime companies are treating the first-run TV episodes as drafts which can still be tweaked and tuned until the product is totally and truly “finished.” Indeed, you might call these Blu-Ray releases “Special Editions” then.

While GARGANTIA ON THE VERDUROUS PLANET was a recent and memorable example of this, the changes weren’t nearly as extensive as the ones Toei’s made to CRYSTAL. Head over to Crystal Companions and you’ll see that some characters have been almost totally redrawn (and throughout the entirety of the show, no less). Clearly, Toei listened to detractors like this site, and the irony is that the same fans who were initially pointing out these… flourishes are now documenting the response to it, like some sort of fan service oroboros.

How many of you Vicers were distracted by all of this initially? Do you think the changes are improvements? What other show might benefit from this sort of re-drafting?

FoxxFireArt moderator on Dec. 17, 2014 at 8:44 p.m.

This sort of thing happens in anime all the time. You should look at examples of CODE GEASS TV to DVD comparisons. It can be rather shocking to see just how much things are changed. They even make strange additions. I remember one scene where they added a jacket on Kallen.

Lurkeroon Dec. 17, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.

I think no matter what animation will change between airing and DVD release, but it would still be nice to know that animators are working on comfortable schedules.

Kino88on Dec. 17, 2014 at 10:08 p.m.
Holy shit!, it's like night and day!, I mean geez.... next to those improved shots The old art work might as well be crappy Amateur fan drawings,
takashichea moderator on Dec. 17, 2014 at 10:48 p.m.

I agree with Foxx because these shows are often overworked and pressured to meet demands and get aired in time. That's why BDs and DVDs cost more in Japan because they spend more money fixing things. Fans buy them to support because it's a cultural thing. It's not like in America. We don't have this relationship with our industry imbued with altruism like the Japanese do.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 18, 2014 at 7:34 a.m.

@takashichea: Spending more money to fix things is extremely far down on the list of reasons why anime costs more in Japan than it does in the US.

katmicon Dec. 18, 2014 at 12:44 p.m.

I have never come across an anime that makes enough corrections to justify purchasing the blu-ray version. i don't think the experience changes that greatly.

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 19, 2014 at 5:10 p.m.

@sickVisionz: Serious question.. why does it cost more in Japan?

My silly guess is quality as in you get what you pay for.

sickVisionz moderator on Dec. 20, 2014 at 2:33 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Japanese releases are definitely of a higher technical spec than US ones, although most of that isn't noticeable. With only 2 episodes per disc, much of that bitrate is just there to fill up a disc and is literally making no visible or audible difference from a US release... but technically it's higher quality. They also tend to come with more goodies, but it's not a 1:1 ratio like the goodies cost the exact price difference between the US and JP release.

There's a bunch of reason's and I typed up a long winded response but decided to erase it and just point you here instead: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2012-03-07

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 20, 2014 at 10:22 p.m.

@sickVisionz: Thanks! Was curious my self about this for a while. Did not want to chalk it all up to graft or poor business practice. It always seemed they got a little more but payed way more for it. Like ya said not a 1 to 1 ratio. People will pay more to get more state side. As a good example Amazons Cowboy Bebop exclusive has already sold out an now has a huge collectors price on it.

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