Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I know that this post is quite delayed, but I felt that it should be shared regardless (and, to be quickly fitted in before the end of the month!). As the title has perhaps already hinted on, Sailor Moon is making her comeback (finally!!!) and she is back better than ever! Sailor Moon was my childhood, and it will remain in my memories as one of the most happiest times of my life. Kyaaaaa~~~ Fangirling time!!!
Ahem, so today’s first impressions will be on the first two episodes of the series, which were broadcasted on both the 5th and 19th of this month! It is sad that the anime will only release an episode every fortnight (I know, the shock, the horror!) but honestly, hardcore fans (such as myself *cough cough*) probably will wait patiently.
So, let us begin!!
Name: Sailor Moon Crystal
Number of Episodes: 26 (May change in coming future)
Running Time: 5th July 2014 – ongoing (episodes are released twice per month)
For those who do not have a clue who or what “Sailor Moon” is (and jeez, where the hell have you been if you haven’t heard of her before?! ), Sailor Moon was originally a manga that eventually was adapted into a anime talking about a young teenage girl by the name of Usagi Tsukino, who is in actual fact a warrior who is a protector from enemies and threats on Earth, and goes by the name of Sailor Moon. Along with her Sailor Soldiers: Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, and her future lover (whoops, spoiler hehe) Tuxedo Kamen, they all join forced to defeat the enemies and protect what is left of the Moon Kingdom.
So, this particular adaptation is presumed to be the more accurate version of how the original story went – it follows the original manga series much more closely than its predecessor, “Sailor Moon” Original anime series. Being a person who has read the original manga series, I can say that yes, this anime certainly follows the manga much more closely than the original anime series. But, with that being said, I will not go ahead and say that this reboot version of Sailor Moon is better than the original; both versions have their own particular aspects that make them special in their own ways.
Alrighty then, let’s jump in and start talking about “Sailor Moon Crystal”!
First off, I do believe that this anime version does more justice for the manga than the original anime series. Through the animation, it is clear that it is closely replicating the art style of Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga. It is as many have said, that the anime feels like the “manga coming to life” – it is truly stunning at times. Though the opening episode still plays out like the original Sailor Moon anime (and manga of course), there is already a huge change in the characterisation of Usagi-chan. We are introduced to a less whiny and klutzy Usagi, rather than the goofy crybaby that we had all become accustomed to – a move that certainly follows the manga more than the original anime. Already, we as the audience sense a tinge of maturity that the previous Usagi didn’t have early on. Whether that’s a good thing or not, it is truly up to you how you would debate about it. For me personally, Usagi’s lack of maturity in the beginning (from the original anime) allowed the whole series to become a journey for her to discover and develop that maturity in which she would need for her future. “Sailor Moon Crystal” takes the approach of how the manga introduces Usagi, and based on how the story goes in the manga, I would assume that perhaps that journey may be slightly lacking in comparison to the original anime. But regardless, it should still be enjoyable to watch how Usagi’s pre-existing amount of maturity should continue to grow.
Voice-acting wise, there is no fail there. It is truly amazing how Kotono Mitsushi’s voice has not aged or changed even though it has been almost two decades since she last voiced Usagi – she still sounds exactly the same! Other supporting cast roles all sound great, except for this one awkward voice I found during the first episode, which was this lady right here. I swear, when I first saw her, I did not expect that particular voice to be flowing out of her mouth…super awkward~
But, apart from her, everyone else sounds great. Even Luna is rocking a great voice that seems to suit her (I really like her voice ^o^)
Perhaps the only thing that I can pick on about the anime (and trust me, I didn’t really wanna do it too!) is…the animation. I know what you are thinking, “But Hyunnie, you just said that the animation was, and I quote ‘truly stunning’”. Yeah, I did say that, but that referred to the majority of the episode(s). What I am referring to in particular, is the transformation sequence.
It was really disappointing to see that our Sailor Soldiers’ transformations would be CGI-ed. Initially, I believed that by watching the entire episode, that the transformations would be in the same art style/animation style. Maybe it was due to a budget cut, or maybe a lack of time to create the entire transformation; who knows. Regardless of the reason, I was really disappointed because despite the ‘pretty’ flashes and moving background of the transformation, I really despised that “plastic” look on both Usagi and Ami during the transformations – it made them seem more like ‘Barbie dolls’ than soldiers (I know I know, I am probably making a huge deal out of nothing ><). It look slightly unappealing, and in a way, it didn’t feel as if it followed the rest of the episode. Thank goodness the attacks were not CGI-ed and kept truly to the original manga-art style. Otherwise, I would be freaking out!
Oh, and maybe just one last tini-tiny thing that has been bothering me slightly. Alongside with the transformation sequence, there was also something else that I caught on about the animation, particularly when I was watching the second episode. The animation, somehow, began to look slightly rough and rushed. There was a particular scene (shown below) where for some darn reason, Ami somehow seemed to look like the crappy anime drawings that I make when I “try” to draw faces (yet still fail in the end haha). She did not look like herself, literally!
Perhaps it was a rush for the artists to meet a certain deadline, or they just began to become tired after countless drawings of the same person over and over again – I can imagine it must be absolute torture by one point. But in the end, your one job is to animate, and to animate it the way that you have animated your scenes previous. But anyway, what can I say? I probably don’t have the right to say all of this. I mean, what do I know, right?
Hehe, regardless of the minor things that I have picked on about the anime, “Sailor Moon Crystal” is still an amazing anime to check out for over the next coming months. I believe that the anime is off to a great start, with its stunning art, great and nostalgic voice acting and its enjoyable character development. I certainly will be checking out the anime in the future but, I will probably wait until they release a couple more episodes so that I am not left with this ‘hanging’ feeling every fortnight! ><
Anyway, thank you all for tuning in and I will be catching up with you all very very soon~
❤ Yami Hyunnie ^^~
P.S. I do hope that they follow Rei’s story as it goes in the manga – it is super special awesome!