Sailor Moon Crystal – 01
OP: 「MOON PRIDE」 by ももいろクローバーZ (Momoiro Clover Z)
「うさぎ -SAILOR MOON-」 (Usagi -SAILOR MOON-)
“Usagi -Sailor Moon-”
I don’t think there’s a single person out that watches anime that doesn’t know the name Sailor Moon. Even if you don’t watch anime, the phenomena that’s occurred around this single manga is renown. It’s not surprising that after 20+ years, this series is finally getting a reboot for the new generation of anime viewers. A lot of people speak about their first experiences with anime being Sailor Moon, so you’ll understand when I say that this was my childhood growing up. Not only was it something that I watched after school as child, but it was a show I was very anxious to revisit after I started fully enjoying anime in my early teens. Even though the final season stopped airing in early 1997, I was still able to appreciate this long-running series in 2006 when I re-watched it. I think this demonstrates the strong impact that Sailor Moon has had over the years and how so many individuals can relate to this shoujo anime. Like it or hate it, you can’t deny that it’s an icon for the shoujo-magical girl genre.
Everyone can probably easily guess the plot of Sailor Moon without even having seen it before. It’s about a young girl named Tsukino Usagi (Mitsuishi Kotono) who seems to be your average-not-so-bright teenager. A mysterious talking cat named Luna (Hirohashi Ryou) finds her one day and gives her a brooch – and with it, the ability to turn into a Sailor Solider. From here on out, Sailor Moon uses her powers (mainly her tiara) to stop Queen Beryl from sapping the energy away from Earth’s civilians. Queen Beryl sends henchmen in her place to create further drones that fight Sailor Moon every episode. Along the way, Sailor Moon makes friends with the other Sailor Soldiers that help her combat evil. In fact, we get a sneak peak of who’s to come already…
Sounds simple enough and it is. Sailor Moon Crystal isn’t meant to be super insightful and deep since its target market is young females. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some complexities along the way. Sailor Moon does offer a great romance story; obviously featuring Tuxedo Mask/Chiba Mamoru (Nojima Kenji) who is probably every young girl’s first crush and great dynamics between the main cast. The side stories that involve the secondary characters also start to develop which makes the world that Usagi exists in very real and relatable – this includes star-crossed lovers, family issues and the coming of age dilemmas that all girls go through. I can’t guarantee that Sailor Moon Crystal won’t be repetitive or episodic, but I can promise that there is continuity and genuine development that comes through in the end. Fans of the dubbed version should definitely be following this reboot because it’ll amaze you by how much the American version altered it. Fans of the original, well… it’s like a walk through memory lane and even though it’s not the same thing, you can’t expect it to be. It’s not meant to be a regurgitation of what you’ve already seen, but introduce the new world to what made Sailor Moon so iconic… and hopefully bring back that magical girl genre.
It was great watching scenes come to life the way that I remembered them. When Osaka Naru’s (Sato Satomi) mother turned out to be evil, I definitely recalled that without even flinching. And Furuhata Motoki (Okamoto Hiroshi) who works at the arcade? Well he’s Usagi’s man-crush. Even watching the opening sequence and the transformations were so reminiscent of what the core of Sailor Moon was. You can see where the budget for this anime went because these are the scenes that have to be reused each and every time Usagi transforms and attacks. The character designs are also different – I mainly notice that the characters look elongated and the details in their eyes are more prominent. It’s nothing that bothers me too much, but stays more true to the original manga art. The show obviously has some turnoffs though. Mainly Usagi’s seiyuu – who happens to be the only returning cast member too! I remember Usagi sounding “annoying” but I’m sorry, Kotono’s voice sounded quite strained this time around. Almost too forced since she has to play the part of a 14-year-old. It’s off-putting, but I’ll hold off judgment to see how the rest of the episodes pan out – the rest of the cast is definitely on the A-list.
I have a ton more to say but I’ll hold my tongue until the next episode airs. So far, I’d say that Sailor Moon Crystal has probably met my expectations as a whole and only slightly disappointed me in terms of keeping aspects of the original anime. The anime is only going to air once every two weeks though! Don’t know why, but don’t go looking for it next week and realize that it’s also going to run for the next full year. I’m sad to hear that my childhood is short-lived but hopefully it still encourages others who haven’t seen the original, to give it a chance. Nothing beats getting up early for Saturday morning cartoons!
Bottom Line: @RCCherrie – Getting up early on a Saturday to watch #SailorMoonCrystal! It’s like my childhood all over again =) Wow… I’m surprised by how much I actually remember from #sailormoon_20th. Her seiyuu is more annoying than I thought though…
ED: 「月虹」 (Gekkou) by ももいろクローバーZ (Momoiro Clover Z)