Episode 1 Impressions: Sailor Moon Crystal

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Sailor Moon is back! Yes that meatball headed whiney girl that transforms into a crime fighting sailor star returns in a fantastic retelling of a classic. But will this makeover win our hearts once again?

e1sailormooncrystal8Synopsis
Usagi seems to be having a recurring dream where she spots a beautiful princess meeting her dashing prince. Though life in reality isn’t so grand as she awakens to yet another late departure for school. Rushing out of her house and tripping over a black cat.

Upon inspecting the now injured cat, she finds a bandage over its forehead. Kindly she removes the bandage to find an odd mark of a crescent moon on its forehead. The cat flees, but since she’s already late, Usagi rushes off to school.

After getting quite a lashing from her teacher for being late, as well as a flunking score on her test, Usagi joins with her friends to hear some usual conversation about a local legend named Sailor V that is fighting crime. She also learns about the mother of her best friend Naru having a big sale at her jewelry store.

e1sailormooncrystal7Naturally the group of friends rush to check out the sale, however Usagi quickly leaves due to her lack of money. While walking out of the store, she accidentally throws her crumpled up test at a man wearing a tuxedo. While Usagi is stricken by his handsome looks, his insulting comments cause her to charge away in frustration.

Later that night, Usagi is confronted by the black cat that she tripped over that morning. When the cat begins to talk and calls herself Luna, Usagi rushes back to sleep assuming it’s only a dream. Though after Luna gives her a locket and tells her a command, the locket powers up and transforms her into a magical sailor scout.

From her hair buns, she hears the cries of help from her friend Naru and rushes to the jewelry store to find a deformed women. The women summons mind controlled customers to her aid. Turns out Naru’s mother was abducted and the jewelry that was on sale contained an energy draining magic.

e1sailormooncrystal11After being chased around the store, Usagi begins crying for help. Though for some reason, her cries are amplified by her powers and it stuns everyone around her as well as shattering glass. Just then, a masked man in a tuxedo calls for Usagi to deal the final blow. Then Luna tells Usagi how to use her Moon Tiara Boomerang which defeats the women and saves the day.

Thoughts
I have to say that Sailor Moon was definitely one of my first anime I had ever enjoyed. However to claim I could stomach it today is quite a different story. As a kid, episodic Power Ranger like shows are like candy and easily consumed. So in the story sense, I can’t say I’m gaining much here.

Let’s be honest though, this isn’t so much for old fans than for new ones.  They aren’t adapting this with gripping story for older viewers, but rather capturing a new audience of kids to fall in love with this crime fighting magical girl.  So I’d warn people not to go in expecting too much.

Visually, Sailor Moon Crystal is a huge step up to its original.  Matching to the style of the manga more than anything else.  Characters are frilly and Usagi’s hair is fully animated.  A much-needed upgrade and a great one at that.  But I guess we expected as much.

e1sailormooncrystal4That said, the airbrushed touch doesn’t really suit my taste at all. Not to mention the absolutely atrocious CG use in the transformation and intro video. Robo Sailor is here! I’d honestly had preferred them to reuse the old transformation clip than this CG garbage.  It just looks robotic and jarring.

I have to mention that I’m so overjoyed that they went for a different voice style for Usagi. For those that don’t know, Usagi’s original voice work was murder to the ears. While the new voicing is still a bit annoying, it’s passing.

I’m going to enjoy watching through my childhood all over again. Sailor Moon just has something about it that I can’t turn away from. I just hope it isn’t really bi-weekly as the episode turned out to be a 24 minute length, and not a 1 hour deal.

Episode 1: Usagi – Sailor Moon –

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good!  (If you’re a fan)

Pros:

  • Great remake of classic
  • True to the original
  • New voicing style

Cons:

  • Terrible CG
  • May be too similar for some

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.