By Antonin Kořenek / July 28th, 2014
Episode 1: USAGI – SAILOR MOON –
How Usagi Got Her Groove Back (Sorta)
When I first saw the episode, it was in a dark basement with a bunch of friends. The projector spit out the entire show in beautiful HD against a large screen. Half of us were excited; the other half started watching ironically because they were waiting for their MMA fight to start.
My first impressions were great. The show was visually stunning, and the voice work was close enough to what I remembered to keep me happy, which is good, considering they’re using the original voice actor for Usagi, Kotono Mitsuishi. It’d be rather embarrassing if it didn’t. I was hit with all sorts of feels as I realized I was rewatching a show from my childhood in a brand-new form. That opening song was pretty sweet, and I loved that power metal guitar riff. I think it really added some freshness to the whole thing, since I can’t remember the last time I heard an anime opening with power metal in it.
The whole experience felt as if I had run into an old friend after years of being apart, and they had a complete makeover or two, possibly some cosmetic surgery. Or a really fancy tux. [He’s technically wearing white tie, not a tux, but “White Tie Mask” or “Tailcoat Mask” wouldn’t sound as catchy.—Ed.]
And I’ll admit, the new art style kinda threw me off at first glance. Sure, it was “closer” to the original manga, but I wasn’t sure I liked it or even knew what that meant. At the time, I was sure I would come to like it eventually. While the skinniness of the girls is a bit strange, it fits the manga style very well…where the girls had impossibly long legs. So there’s that.
Then, of course, I noticed all those comparisons on Tumblr (NSFW Warning: Language) pointing out that Usagi makes a lot fewer dynamic facial expressions in Sailor Moon Crystal than in either the original anime or the manga. Is this one of those trends I knew would happen? What the heck does that say about the current state of anime, then? I’m still willing to sit things out and see if that changes over time. After all, we have a whole year of Sailor Moon Crystal to watch. Maybe the producers will pick up on that.
Admittedly minor note—Usagi didn’t eat that piece of toast at the beginning. Way to teach kids it’s okay to skip the most important meal of the day, Usagi. Remember, this is a kid’s show, and kids need good freaking role models!
Sitting down and thinking about the show afterwards made me come to terms with what was bothering me just underneath those feels I experienced. The show is polished. Like, really polished. Like I’m looking at the world’s most expensive diamond with lights shining on it in such a way that I can’t actually see the thing causing the shine. The use of CG just kinda adds to this. While the transformation scene was really cool, the use of CG just felt weird to me. I think it’ll take some getting used to. Oh, sure, there are numerous errors people have spotted, but as someone who isn’t trained in the visual arts, I can’t spot them 98% of the time.
Regarding the lack of facial expressions, Usagi just appeared vapid and lifeless. Sailor Moon was about real girls kicking ass, not dolls. You bought dolls; you experienced the show. Part of what made the original Sailor Moon so damn good was how real and authentic the characters were. Oh, sure, they’re from the freaking moon and kill bad guys by throwing tiara-turned-laser-beams at them, but their personalities were legit. I fear the loss of the facial expressions will kill Usagi and the Scouts’ personalities.
Either way, it’s just the first episode. Things could get better. Or worse. Besides, we have a whole year ahead of us… Maybe the producers will notice what we keep complaining about and fix them.
|Sailor Moon Crystal DVDs/Blu-rays|
|DVD 01 | Blu-ray 01 | LE Blu-ray 01||DVD 02 | Blu-ray 02 | LE Blu-ray 02|
|DVD 03 | Blu-ray 03 | LE Blu-ray 03||DVD 04 | Blu-ray 04 | LE Blu-ray 04|
|DVD 05 | Blu-ray 05 | LE Blu-ray 05||DVD 06 | Blu-ray 06 | LE Blu-ray 06|
|DVD 07 | Blu-ray 07 | LE Blu-ray 07||DVD 08 | Blu-ray 08 | LE Blu-ray 08|
|DVD 09 | Blu-ray 09 | LE Blu-ray 09||DVD 10 | Blu-ray 10 | LE Blu-ray 10|
|DVD 11 | Blu-ray 11 | LE Blu-ray 11||DVD 12 | Blu-ray 12 | LE Blu-ray 12|
|DVD 13 | Blu-ray 13 | LE Blu-ray 13|
|Sailor Moon Crystal CDs|
|Moon Pride [Momoclo Ver.]|
|Moon Pride [Sailor Moon Ver.] [CD+Blu-ray]|
|Sailor Moon Crystal Books|
|Sailor Moon Crystal Official First Visual Book|
Sailor MoonSailor Moon Crystal