「Masquerade 仮面舞踏会」 (Masquerade Kamen Budoukai)
“-Masquerade- Dance Party”
I feel bad for always expecting the worse out of Sailor Moon Crystal but sometimes it works out in the end because when the episode is not so terrible, I’m pleasantly surprised. This was not one of the those episodes… however, to be fair, it wasn’t horrible. The show still feels very episodic and repetitive, but I like how it’s segregated itself from the original Sailor Moon. Sailor Moon Crystal has really started going down its own path in terms of plot and revelation of events. I actually like how the villains are introduced and now we know who the Four Kings are and what their mission is. It’s also very easy to follow and for younger girls (who are the intended audience), the story is very liner and predictable. As a fan of the original anime, obviously I know what’s going to happen next, but I’d like to think that young girls watching this for the first time would find it suited to their tastes. There’s continuity between the episodes, a clear goal for the protagonists and if you’re still confused, hell – they even give a recap of who’s who at the beginning.
With all that said, Sailor Moon Crystal still doesn’t make me feel connected to the characters in any way. I don’t feel like Usagi, Ami or Rei are relatable for “supposedly” 14-year-old girls. In fact, if I didn’t know any better, they behave more like 17-year-olds with their fully grown bosom and their maturity levels. Tuxedo Mask/Chiba Mamoru also reminds me more of an university student rather than being only “slightly” older than Usagi. Their actions don’t really correspond to how they should behave as (pre)teens to me – except maybe Usagi (but that’s just her character). Which leads to my other point that Usagi’s relationship with Mamoru at this point is simply based off of some teenage crush/love-at-first-sight type of ordeal. Yes, I understand that she’s physically attracted to him and there’s so much blushing! But underneath all that, there’s still nothing that solidifies their relationship for me other than these random flashbacks and this “pull” that they have towards one another. Which, by the way, I can only “feel” because I know what’s going to happen. Otherwise, I would probably react with something like, “Why are strangers lips on her lips?! Is it normal to kiss random sleeping girls?! Must be them drugs…“. Honestly, it feels like the show is speeding through some moments where they should really capitalize on to build that connection between the characters and the audience. Otherwise, what you’re telling me is – you know it, I know it, let’s get through this quickly because we all know it’s inevitable!
I’m only so harsh on Sailor Moon Crystal because I’m expecting so much more out of it. I knew the story would be different, but I was hoping that it would remind me of why this show is so great and reinforce why it’s held so highly in the magical girl shoujo genre. Unfortunately, so far, it hasn’t done either of those things and I keep watching every week to give it an opportunity to prove itself. There’s no chance of me dropping the show (yet) but it’s disappointing when the animation is awkward, the characters are bland and the most enjoyment that I have is actually seeing the differences in the villains’ POV. The original anime actually had a lot of focus on the Four Kings and gave them distinct individual personalities. I don’t mind the way they’re portrayed now, but we’ll see next episode who’s going to face off against Sailor Jupiter.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #SailorMoonCrystal is trying way too hard to force Usagi’s relationship with Tuxedo Mask =S ugh.