Sunday, January 3, 2016

Anime Talk: Sailor Moon Crystal

On the first of the New Year, I finished up the final episodes of the first season of Sailor Moon Crystal. As a fan of the original series, I was psyched to hear that Sailor Moon would be remade but even more impressed with the fact that it would follow the original storyline as portrayed in the manga. Having never actually read the source material meant that I had not idea what kind of changes were about to take place and that made me more excited because it meant being able to see the Sailor Senshi not only as an adult, but from an entirely new perspective as well. 

Sailor Moon Crystal starts out just like the original Sailor Moon series. We have a girl named Usako who finds out that she is the reincarnation of a princess from the Silver Millennium - a race of people that once ruled the moon. When the Silver Millennium fell to the forces of evil, the princess, along with her four guardian warriors were sent to Earth to be reborn as humans. After learning about her destiny from a talking cat named Luna (also from the Silver Millennium), Sailor Moon meets and helps to awaken her guardians - Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, and Sailor Jupiter. Sailor Venus was the first awakened guardian, having been found by Artemis, another talking cat from the Silver Millennium, some time before Sailor Moon herself awakened. Joining our cast is a mysterious man who calls himself, "Tuxedo Mask" and appears to help Sailor Moon when she most needs it. 

For the first good chunk of episodes, I was engulfed in nostalgia. I watched the Sailor Senshi fight Queen Beryl - a villain I remembered too well and also face the four generals - Zoisite, Jadeite, Nephrite, and Kunzite. Speaking of the four generals, I really liked that we got to see a bit of Naoko Takeuchi's (the creator's) original intentions behind the relationship between the sailor guardians and the four generals. I personally think that it was well done and while I certainly would have liked the four generals to have stuck around longer, I really liked what was done with this part of the storyline. I did feel that certain parts of the storyline happened too quickly - like bam! we defeated that one already with 1-2 attacks and on to the next one. To be fair, that happened a lot in the original Sailor Moon anime as well - as soon as Sailor Moon brought out her scepter you knew the fight was over because NO ONE wins against the might of the silver crystal. Right? Well, yeah, but I mean, more build-up and a better climax in each battle would have been nice. Maybe I've been spoiled too much by the extensive battle sequences in shonen anime. Yeah, I probably have, especially seeing as Sailor Moon is meant to be first and foremost, a romance anime. 

Anyways, aside from less than stellar battle sequences, I was at first really annoyed with the art style. it's certainly different from the original anime and unfortunately for me, features far less realistic body proportions. I have a thing about realistic body proportions - like the more realistic, the better. So when the sailor scouts are super skinny and tall, unlike in the original where they're average height and more filled out, it irks me. Eventually I did get used to it and I focused much less on how weird the drawings are/were for me. 

So, to the most important aspect - did I like it? Yes. It was a bit fast-paced, but I really liked when this season ended off. I can see that my favorite parts are likely to come in the second season (ahem *neptune, uranus, and Saturn* ahem) and I of course, plan on watching it! For someone that was a fan as a child, getting new animated story lines is a pretty big deal. The quickness with which battles ended and the drawing style were just two minuses in an overall really cool show. Of course, when watching Sailor Moon as an adult, you realize how predictable everything was and you also realize that overall, it's not that amazing of a storyline, but it's still enjoyable and extremely nostalgic. And that was the whole point wasn't it? To give some of those kids that are now adults something to look forward to :) 

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