「決戦 -Reincarnation-」 (Kessen –Reincarnation-)
Final Battle –Reincarnation-

Predictable series be predictable. Is that a always a bad thing though?
I never blogged a more predictable series than Sailor Moon Crystal on RC and while I find it somewhat repetitive sometimes, it’s not necessarily bad. Being predictable doesn’t mean that the series is boring if it can still be told in an entertaining and impactful way. I don’t think that Sailor Moon Crystal is as bad as boring and cliché as it could be… but I do think it’s very flat sometimes. It lacks punch and good delivery with some of its key scenes; while the plot still holds my interest. I think that’s what I find so odd about the anime – it’s not that the story that’s the problem, but the way it’s being told.

This final battle against Queen Metalia… is getting dragged out longer than I anticipated. I wasn’t expecting it to take this long since the conclusion is rather straight-forward to me and the action sequences aren’t exactly making up for the long fights. This reminds me of older anime that used to spend episodes and episodes of heroes powering up or launching an attack and the end result is a bit, underwhelming. This is how I feel about Sailor Moon Crystal that has spent almost 3 episodes now defeating this ultimate evil. I also noticed that there’s not a lot of actual animated action sequences, but rather, a lot of close-ups and stills. This is one area that I wish Toei would put more of their budget into because these are the pivotal scenes that are meant to define each of the main characters. I was especially frustrated with the end that made it very hard for me to capture the unveil of a new weapon. You would think that the camera would actually pan higher or show a close-up of the Silver Crystal in action, but no. Maybe they’re saving it for next week…

Asides from that, I don’t really have any complaints with how the battle went down. We all knew that the Sailor Solders were going to put up a good fight and hopefully defend Sailor Moon somehow, someway. It’s a shame that we can’t see more of them as individuals because I only know them as a collective group right now. Mamoru and Usagi coming back to life… was somehow not as interesting as I would’ve liked. NOT being stabbed and thinking you were stabbed? Totally completely different sensations! So basically, Usagi just poked herself really hard and fainted. That’s not something that I will accept with ease but I’m still willing to look past it though because it’s better than Usagi and Mamoru being revived from the dead without any explanation at all. I was pleased to finally see Tuxedo Mask waking up to his “true” self – it’s gotten too repetitive with him beating on Usagi all the time. Now I actually can’t wait to see this arc end in two weeks since it’s time to move on. I’ve gotten over the introductions and never-ending battle scenes, let’s see some Chibi-Usa and new villains. Hopefully they won’t troll me some more and extend this fight longer than it has to be.

Full-length images: 34.

 

Preview

56 Comments

      1. I assure you that is not the case. I have watched the very first series of Sailor Moon back in the 90’s and numerous other animes (so numerous that I don’t think I have the space to name them all). Can I ask which part of my comment were you responding to, please? To me, the pea-sized mouths with the over-sized eyes makes their faces look overly huge, which was not apparent in the older series.

        WarriorsHeart
      2. @WarriorsHeart
        Can I ask which part of my comment were you responding to, please? To me, the pea-sized mouths with the over-sized eyes makes their faces look overly huge, which was not apparent in the older series.

        Big eyes and small mouth is the Shoujo style of manga, especially during the 90s.
        Why does it have to follow the style of the original series? It’s adapting from the manga.

        Haratio
      3. “Big eyes and small mouth is the Shoujo style of manga, especially during the 90s.”

        I can see that. Just to clarify myself, my problem with the pea-sized mouths is that they make the faces so odd looking. There are other animes with a similar style such as Ranma and Fushigi Yuugi, and they do not seem so out of place.

        “Why does it have to follow the style of the original series? It’s adapting from the manga.”

        By “original series”, do you mean the manga? Yes, you’re right, but so was the original anime series.

        WarriorsHeart
  1. I believe that what you said about story being good but execution bad is the core problem od Crystal. Even lousy animation (or better lack of animation) wouldn’t be problem and focus of many complaints if the story was being properly conveyed. Ironically, I think that one of the reasons for that is being to reliant on manga somewhat :/ Because things that work in manga coupled with Takeuchi’s distinct art style do not translate with anime as medium and even worse, are not being handled well.

    I read manga after watching anime and I remember thinking that tings were progressing awfully fast. I mean in 13 chapters (albeit with 30+ pages) 5 senshi were introduced, their personality and relationship with Usagi were established, romance between star crossed lovers was important story part, past life (+ identity crisis as result) on top enemies popping up (and brainwashing love of your life that may or may not be dead). Since Takeuchi originally planned only Dark Kingdom arc I can understand that but I could still feel joy and sorrow while story was progressing. I bawled so hard at happy and sad moments.
    In Crystal with all the love I feel for Sailor Moon and optimism most of the time I end up sighing and lamenting bad presentation.
    And as final stab to my heart Toei decides to spend time on romance that was only vaguely hinted between Senshi and Shitenou which is pointless if you want to stick to original idea (you can’t keep them alive in order not to mess story and you can’t develop them cause you don’t have time!) and drop little things like some flashbacks to Silver Milenium to show bonds between girls or the fact that Mamoru was blind at one point in this episode or properly explain why Usagi is relying on him.
    On positive note some stills are really beautiful and OST is amazing.

    Really sorry for so long rant XD I genuinely enjoy your reviews and was so happy when I saw that you are continuing to blog Crystal since that means that you as someone ”new” with all this problems that frustrate me really enjoy this and do not consider it chore to blog. Seriously, I come here every two weeks for dose of optimism about Crystal -.-
    (let’s hope upcoming Digimon and Toei don’t rip my poor heart to shreds -.-)

    Kaguya
    1. Thanks for the honest response. Whether or not people agree with my post, I still want to hear what other audience members are feeling when they’re watching it. Obviously as someone who hasn’t read the original manga, I only have the original anime to compare to so I like hearing about what manga-readers are thinking.

      I have a hard time understanding if the original source material is honestly this “bad” or if the anime is just not doing a good representation for it. I genuinely believe that the story must be good or at least decent because I don’t mind the direction that the plot is going… and I pretty know what to expect at this point. However, this “epic battle” for me is just not hitting the right notes and that might be because I don’t feel a connection with the characters or it’s just too much to process in too little time. That might be what the manga is like… but the anime can spend more time properly conveying the right emotions of characters so the audience feels how desperate or dire the situation is. I’m not in film or art direction, but I think that’s a key aspect of the show that is lacking (personally at least).

      I’m still blogging the show… and trust me, it’s not as bad as some anime that I’ve written about before =P Thanks for reading my posts and I appreciate how you can see my POV of why I’m frustrated with the series sometimes. I want to like it – trust me; I’m trying really hard =X

      1. I suggest, once this arc is over, watch it again from act 1 to 14. You will feel the pace and development more, like any other anime. The 2-3 weekly release might be messing with our minds.

        Bustrobot
      2. In my opinion, the story in the manga is quite difficult to follow. There is a lack of background, so it is difficult to know where the characters are and they seem to fly out of panels and fade away quite often. Overall, there is a lot going on on each page. I would commend the animators for trying to make sense of the original material.

        WarriorsHeart
      3. I don’t think the manga (story or anything else) is bad. I love it just as I love first anime adaptation. You could even say that I was just surprised when I read it first, since after getting all Senshi together, 3 chapters later already final battle came (no monster of the week, Rainbow crsytals and so on). I enjoyed re-discovering Sailor Moon again in a way 😀

        When I said it was being reliant on manga to much in some aspect, honestly it is more just my feel like they just copied story and character dialogue without adapting it properly to anime. That are two different mediums and things that work in one do not necessary work in another. All of bloggers here surely met more than once with this problem.
        Ultimately , for me , it boils to lousy presentation/execution and results in what you yourself said several times: no real impact where there should be and no real connection with characters (hopefully as we go further in story that ”connection” will click).

        I was actually planning to re – watch when they are done with this Arc, and along with that re-read the manga. Like Bustrobot said bi-weekly release might mess with us (like that sense of things getting dragged ).

        Kaguya
  2. If you remember the scene in which Minako poked Ami’s diamond lightly with the sword and it broke into a thousand pieces, then I guess you can – at least to some point – justify the fact that Usagi and Mamoru both dropped unconscious after being ‘poked’ by it too. Maybe the sword emits some kind of shockwave or something? Or at least that’s how I’m explaining this whole thing to myself. 😉

    And don’t worry, the fight with Metalia will end next week. Then there’ll be a little bit of an aftermath and then finally, Chibi Usa’s arrival.

    As for the girls seeming more as a collective group than individuals, it’s true, at least for now, but in the next arc each one will get her own episode again. If it doesn’t get cut out, you’ll find out what happened to Mako’s parents (something the first anime never bothered to explain).

    aisakat
    1. That’s pretty cool! I never expected to see more individual episodes about the Sailor Solders but that’s something I’m looking forward to now =) Definitely loving Mako (I like her more now than I did in the original series) but since her intro, she’s kind of faded into the background. I would love to see more of Minako too… she’s always been a fav.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Sailor%20Moon%20Crystal/Sailor%20Moon%20Crystal%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    Those shadows are the Sailor Moon whiners who have lost faith in the anime and complain about the animation.
    I’m so glad these last episodes are weeding them out, and separating the pretend-fans from the real fans of the show.
    Seriously, can you call yourself a Sailor Moon fan if you don’t like Naoko’s version of the story and saying that the butchered Toei’s version is more superior?

    Nako
    1. You can still be a “fan” of Sailor Moon without having read the original work or loving every season of it. I think Sailor Moon is such an icon out there (maybe not anymore but used to be) that people just admire her for the values that she stands for and how she’s a hero for many little girls (and boys!). I don’t need to love every rendition of the series to be considered a fan – does everyone like the live-dramas and movies? Not necessarily, but we still like Sailor Moon.

      What’s wrong with liking the original version of the series over the remake? I won’t bash people who like the original FMA over Brotherhood if they still like the series and I wouldn’t call them a “pretend-fan”. You don’t need to love everything of something to be considered a “true” fan and what does that differentiation get you anyway? It doesn’t make you special, it just makes you sound a bit pompous for putting everyone else down.

      1. Sailor Moon Crystal is Naoko’s version of Sailor Moon. It’s everything she ever wanted to put in the story Meaning it’s the true version.
        Liking others but not this one is like saying you just like imitations of it, but not the original story from the creator.
        If I like a cover of Madonna’s songs, but don’t like her singing it, am I a fan of Madonna?

        Nako
      2. My thoughts exactly.

        I am a huge fan of the original anime series and used to collect merchandise like collector’s cards and posters. I fell in love with the original anime series, because the artwork was beautiful, the music was good and the characters were sweet, even though they are all dated now. I have never read the manga properly and to be honest, I disliked the manga artwork very much when I first saw it. The bodies were elongated and ugly in my opinion. The narrative was choppy and difficult to follow, well, it did not help since I could not read Chinese. It was only years later when I started to appreciate the original artist’s work and I actually own some of her art books.

        What this adaption fails to do for me, like with other viewers, is making the right impact. The so-called “sacrifice” scene lacked the emotional punch compared to a similar scene in the original series. I do not mean to condemn this adaptation, but with the quality of the animation, I can honestly say I am glad that they did not reanimate the original series.

        WarriorsHeart
      3. @Nako “weeding them out”, huh? Nice choice of words you have there. Actually, let me say it: I like the imitation of Sailor Moon, but not the original story from the creator. Well its not that I dont like Crystal and the manga at all, I just think its completely rushed and inferior to the original anime.

        If I like a cover of Madonna’s songs, but not her singing, than Im the fan of Madonnas songs. Now it just so happens that the original anime is also called “Sailor Moon”, and not “The Imitation of Sailor Moon”. So I really have no problem with saying I like Sailor Moon without being a fan of the original work. So I completely agree with Cherry here.

        Libélula
      4. Sorry, my previous comment was in response to Cherrie’s.

        Actually I do wonder which version was more popular in Japan: the original anime or the manga? I know the original anime was really popular outside of Japan especially in Hong Kong, but not the manga, at least, most merchandises were based off the anime version.

        WarriorsHeart
      1. I’m watching this for nostalgia’s sake. Honestly, I was really excited when it started but, well, up to the current point nothing stands out to me. There are no memorable moments or images. Frankly, it’s not rewatchable. I should see it through to the end before I give my final judgement since I’m halfway through the series. I hope the second arc is better executed and I look forward to seeing Sailor Pluto.

        WarriorsHeart
  4. “Sailor Moon Crystal is Naoko’s version of Sailor Moon. It’s everything she ever wanted to put in the story Meaning it’s the true version.”

    According to some readers of the manga there are added concepts which were not in the original story, such as the Sailor Guardians and the Shittenou being lovers, therefore it is not the true version.

    “Liking others but not this one is like saying you just like imitations of it, but not the original story from the creator.”

    This one and the original series are adaptions of the manga not imitations. The concepts and the characters are the same. The story was edited to suit the TV viewers.

    CriticOne
    1. Just to add to my above comment, the artwork in the current anime is a far cry from that in the manga. If Takeuchi’s style, which is light and flowy, was to be represented in the animation medium, I imagined it to look like the animation in Princess Kaguya, where the artwork is flowy and transparent.

      CriticOne
  5. People in this fandom has some serious issues. This is one of the worst adaptions I’ve ever seen of anything ever. The only reason this has so many positive comments is because the fandom is completely delusional at times to the point of being rabid. OMG IT’S SO CLOSE TO THE MANGA IT’S SO GOOD I’M JUST HAVING A MASSIVE ORGASM ALL OVER MY COMPUTER YES

    I have never felt more grossed out by a fandom than reading along with this as its been airing. No, no one will be talking about this series in a few years because the production quality sucked and the scenes were poorly translated from print to animation.

    This episode did have slightly better animation. I guess they have to save extra peanuts to encourage their animators on the big episodes.

    Sletch
  6. Naoko never liked the original anime because of the changes Toei made to her story.
    If she saw all these comments saying her original story was rubbish, she be very sad,
    and still, people are insisting they are a fan of Sailor Moon.

    Haratio
    1. So what? Are people supposed to pretend this is good and go all “well done, Naoko”, when they are clearly being given a substandard, badly animated and directed product? Just because it caters to the childish whims of the author? Even if that author did herself and her series a gigantic disservice? Because she didn’t like listening to the honest and good advice of her editor?
      Because she didn’t like the changes industry professionals made to her work? Should people lie then, in your opinion, because they do not enjoy the authors so-claimed “true vision”?
      What if they just didn’t like what she had in mind, because they don’t think it is as good and were happy with the story as it was? Would she not be sad that people feel the need to mindlessly praise her work and can’t be honest with her?
      Do you think blind love of a flawed product somehow makes you special or a “true fan”? Whatever that is even meant to me, what a childish phrase. Honesty beats blind, mindless appreciation any day tbh.

      Isn’t it much sadder to refuse to see a show’s weaknesses out of blind and unwarranted loyalty to an author? How do YOU feel when people lie to you? Is it nice? No, it isn’t. So how do you figure Anyone else would be happy about it?
      The truth hurts, but it sure is better than dishonesty, no?

      Hakaze
      1. If you hate it so much, watch something else. There’s no need to let a show ruin your life. There’s plenty of anime out there to watch. It’d be a disservice to the author, staff and fans if this turned into a hate page.

        Haratio
    2. I never said her version of Sailor Moon was rubbish. On the contrary, I think her story is good, it’s just the way that it’s being executed that’s not ideal.

      There’s a difference between being a fan of Sailor Moon and being a fan of Naoko and I don’t think people need to be one and the same. Sailor Moon has become an icon on its own without being necessarily tied back to the original story and that’s because of the huge phenomena that it’s made for itself. The story can be irrelevant if the message that Sailor Moon is sending is a positive one and children look up to her. Sailor Moon has become more than what Naoko properly intended her to be and I think she should be proud of her accomplishments regardless of whether or not the original anime was exactly what she wrote in her manga. I don’t think Naoko would call people that look up to Sailor Moon growing up watching the original show “not fans” of Sailor Moon; however I would say that they probably don’t know enough about Naoko to be a fan of Naoko.

      It is okay to like one show more than the other and I don’t think it’s right that people that like Sailor Moon Crystal and the original manga bash on others who don’t like it. People are allowed different opinions. If you like Sailor Moon, you are a fan. If you don’t, then you’re not. I don’t understand why people need to differentiate themselves as fans and why they all have to like the same things.

      1. Cherrie, I think they are referring to the adjustments made in Crystal, in addition to the ineffective delivery you mentioned. It doesn’t really follow the manga as closely as some claim. There are a good number of changes, some are obvious, some more subtle ( yet noticeable).

        I enjoyed both the old anime and the manga tremendously, despite their flaws. The big problem with SMC, as you suspect is the execution. Yes, it sort of followed the manga, until it started making substantive changes at least (which, people assume were added on Naoko’s wishes, although no one has officially confirmed this in a recent interview, statement of anything. But it is a good possibility.) – but it does so by removing all charming bits, cherry-picking what it mentions and splicing up dialogue between the girls, with poor direction and all while taking itself wayyyyy too seriously- more so than the manga did. The manga had fun, some gags, was a bit more reasonable with adding charme and personality to the cast. It was super rushed, it had it’s flaws and plot holes , but it was likeable.
        SMC doesn’t have that. It chooses to focus on Usagi and Mamoru, at the expense of making Usagi look bad and leaving the other girls as blank cardboard cut outs.
        And why? To push Miracle romance and the importance of boyfriends. The ultimately completely pointless and plot hole-inducing change to the story of the four generals adds to this problem. It’s kind of looks like Sailor Moon, but the cast is barely recognisable.

        Of course it would’ve been nice to fix some of the more obvious plot problems, like the watch stopping the sword (it should have shattered it, along with going through Usagi like she is butter. Think about it. Usagi is not as hard as a diamond… Unless the watch is made of adamantium or something, it makes no sense)… But that’s not even necessary. It’s ok to leave it as is. But instead it actually went and created new holes by altering events without changing anything else. That’s problematic.

        It’s a soulless rendition of a source material that, while flawed, was very charming and appealing and thoroughly likeable. If that was what Naoko “truly” wanted for her story, then that is a huge disappointment. The story as she published it was lovely. There was no need at all to give it this treatment, I really hope this isn’t actually what she pushed for.
        This feels more like “sailor moon- as imagined by middle aged corporate men” than anything else.

        Hakaze
  7. For the animation mess-ups, Toei is doing it on purpose so they can make you buy the Blurays, which are absolutely flawless and full of epic beauty. The wand twirling was probably a rushed job, but they will fix it for the Blurays. Don’t forget, guys, this is just an internet anime so the quality of a standard show isn’t expected. Just be grateful that we got more Sailor Moon.

    pikadot
    1. By any chance, do you buy the Blurays? Are they really different from the TV broadcasts?

      “Just be grateful that we got more Sailor Moon.”

      Hmmmmmm….. I was, but I really wish Toei could have done a stellar job with this, because it is like an anniversary edition, is it not? Let’s just say, I am having similar problems with Sailor Moon Crystal as some people having problems with World Trigger and they are both made by Toei. Whilst I absolutely think World Trigger is fantastic, many others bash the hell out of that show, commenting that the animation is bad, pacing is slow and boring.

      As I mentioned before, because there is a lack of impact, Sailor Moon Crystal does not leave a lasting impression like its predecessor. There are some “WOW” moments, like the concept sketches before and after the break and the episode before last where Sailor Moon slashed down Tuxedo Mask, which was really satisfying. I hope the second arc would be a big improvement.

      WarriorsHeart
      1. @pikadot

        Unfortunately I don’t think it is on purpose but more like staff being incompetent. I understand that finished version are more polished or that studio may not have budget (which shouldn’t be problem for Sailor Moon) or time (though it was already delayed so much) or might have some other problems and so on…But in Crystal it is quite often that whole face/body is off, to put it mildly. Sometimes I wonder if professionals really did that and how the hell it got approved or not noticed or however process goes. It is one thing correct some scenes to look better (like shade better or add some details) but another when you need correct whole face or body.

        I feel like they are not putting effort in it…

        @WarriorsHeart

        There are plenty comparisons floating on internet and from what I saw at best it is shaded better or added more details to hair and so on..In worst case whole face or body parts were redrawn (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B4oWDomCYAAuFOc.png , http://crystalcomparisons.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Act2-2.jpg).

        For anyone interested it seems this website shows all changes (there are probably more sites out there) : http://crystalcomparisons.com/

        (I also love World Trigger and while animation isn’t so good it rarely interferes with me enjoying anime)

        Kaguya
    1. I’m sorry but… could she be any more delusional? ^^; Love it, even though it’s a substandard product, suppress your honest evaluation for the sake of nostalgia? Sorry, but no thank you. Why should anyone do that? o___O Why not see it for what it is? If you still enjoy it then, GREAT. That’s awesome.

      Toei served her a copyright notice, if that doesn’t tell you that Toei really doesn’t care, when even a blind, diehard defender isn’t appreciated…. then nothing will.

      Relena
      1. You make it sound like it’s OK to steal something as long as I support it. Copyright infringement is a crime and you’re trying to say it’s OK to do this? It is you who are delusional, and I find it amusing that you are still watching it even though you don’t like it. Why waste your time?

        Jesus
      2. @Pedobear: Try not to draw hasty conclusions about “stealing” will you?

        What, did she like, upload the episodes or part of them? Let’s just say I’m… well versed in copyright laws ^^’ Probably more than your average whiny internet troll like Jesus here… xD
        I assumed they were just fan reaction videos or vlogs with minimal use of assets… which are generally accepted by the industry as fine, as long as she isn’t monetizing them and using their protected assets to cash in. That’s usually when companies put their foot down on fan created content.
        Even with monetized content, companies sometimes let it slide, because free advertisement, and you do not shoot the hand that hands you the cash. It’s just basic stuff… which you seem oblivious about.
        I didn’t think she was monetizing though, as her channel seems tiny to the point of irrelevance. The more you know.
        If they served her a notice for mere vlog/reaction type videos(which again, I didn’t check, she’s so grating to watch), then that’s actually on the harsher side. But if she was showing like, the complete episodes or something and trying to cash in, then well. Just shows the pride side isn’t the brightest ^^’ Point is made either way.

        Sorry to burst the “hate the critics cos they don’t know what they’re saying” bubble.

        Relena
  8. Very interesting video, pedobear.

    Yeah, so sad. At first it seemed to be so good, new animation. Maybe missing the old music but oh well, new one was nice aswell.

    But then the pacing started to feel BAD… very bad, in fact. Just 1 chapter per episode, WTF?… What’s this?… Dragon Ball? Stupid slow pace, at least 2 or 2.5 chapters per episode, PLEASE. Learn how to make a good adaptation, TOEI.

    And then even the art and animation goes downhill… Oh, God.

    SM deserves a better adaptation, but oh well… This is what we have now. Let’s try to enjoy it a little bit at least.

    Nico
  9. for all of you “inner scouts have no personality” people you’ll get your wish in the black moon arc soon enough. also why so mad about inner scout getting love interests? look at fma half the female cast in that show has male love interests and I don’t see anyone complaining, besides I don’t want Sailor moon turning into a 70% yuri anime we already have enough of that in almost every season anyway.

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