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?