「再生 –Never Ending–」 (Saisei –Never Ending–)
“Replay –Never Ending–”

I’ve been waiting and waiting for this day for so long. Finally Sailor Moon Crystal wraps up its second arc with the defeat of Nemesis and destruction of this evil planet. Honestly speaking, it felt a little anticlimactic. Compared to the first arc which dragged on and on, Nemesis was taken down very easily with the help of Chibi Usa and Neo Queen Serenity. I’m not complaining because I hate fight scenes that take forever to finish, but there was also no real struggle. Given that it’s an anime targeted towards kids though, I should have expected things to finish off this way. Things happen and as conveniently coincidental as some things are, I just roll with it now. Overall, they tied up the story very well and they even left Sailor Pluto dead (which is a pretty big deal as a child watching this show). I much prefer the second arc to the first and the added layers of complexity with time travel, multiply villains and Black Lady really made this feel less childish. At the same time, you really can’t ask too many questions because once you do, you discover at a lot of plot holes that may bother you.

The epilogue and final scenes with Chibi Usa were bittersweet. I’ve never liked her much in the original series because they really empathized how bratty she was, but in this original series, I think she’s matured quite a bit. Was I sad to see her go? Not really… maybe I’m just not as attached to Sailor Moon Crystal as I was with Sailor Moon R but I do like her a lot more now. Usagi’s final scenes with Mamoru were sweet because I do like the romance piece of this show. Just a few kisses here and there are cute… seeing them together all the time in the first arc got annoying, but it’s quite a pleasant reminder that after all that’s happened, they’re still together in the future with a kid. Mamoru definitely took a back seat to Chibi Usa in these final moments, but it’s a different type of love that Usagi has towards her daughter so I like that they empathized that.

Finally – Usagi meeting Neo Queen Serenity? Anyone else think that was… awkward? They want to meet and then they can’t because of the whole “two of the same beings in the same timeline” thing and yet they still do? I’m conflicted as to what I got out of that moment other than, a thank you and some appreciation. I’m also confused as to how Neo Queen Serenity even woke up and why she can’t go and kill Nemesis if she’s all powerful. Instead, sending your daughter and leaving it up to your younger self is a lot of trust that you’re putting into two young girls’ hands. If you believe that time travel is liner though, I guess Neo Queen Serenity would’ve already lived this era and knew that everything was going to be okay in the end. I’ll leave things at that because like I said, if I think too much into it – I get more confused and I won’t get answers.

Animation had some struggles in this final episode which was a shame. I’ll never get used to the pointy chins and the awkward faces but they did put more effort into getting Chibi Usa’s final scenes which was a plus. I’ve seen some footage of the Blu-ray releases and thank God, they do look better (with shadows!). It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t see these better episodes air. For a series that gets a good two weeks to complete a half-hour episode, you’d think that Sailor Moon Crystal is getting more time and focus, but it’s almost the exact opposite. It airs every other week because Toei doesn’t have time for it. And that’s okay – but I’d advise people (especially those that have high animation standards) that the quality of the animation is not up to par. You’re better off waiting for the Blu-ray releases.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Finally managed to finish up #SailorMoonCrystal… is there anyone still watching this one? O_o Ending was very abrupt but it didn’t drag on and on like the first arc. I’m glad it’s over though. #SailorMoonCrystal was overdue to end.


Final Impressions

It’s been a while old friend… the longest stride of blogging I’ve ever completed and it’s taken me just over a year. I feel quite triumphant that I managed it because I never thought it’d be such a struggle to blog Sailor Moon Crystal. It’s unfair to say that it’s completely the anime’s fault for that, but the lack of interest that I held for the series in the latter half definitely made it harder for me to keep on top of my schedule. I’d love to hear what other people thought of the series as a whole as well and if you never finished it, where did you stop and why.

This is going to be a long final impressions because I think there’s three ways you can view this series – a) as a remake of the original; b) as a standalone series; or c) as a kid (which is the intended audience of Sailor Moon Crystal). I’ll start with the easiest one… which is watching this series as a young child or tween. Most anime airs really late at night (midnight to the wee-hours before sunrise) but Sailor Moon Crystal airs during dinnertime on a Saturday which I think is well-suited for younger audiences. Toei clearly still understands that this show is made for younger generations that may not have seen the original series but wants to watch magical girl series about defeating evil and love conquering all. Sailor Moon Crystal delivers on all those points – it’s easy to understand, repetitive but still interesting enough for kids to be engrossed. No doubt, there’s not a lot here that I think kids would nitpick on and say they don’t like about it; other than the fact that it airs only every other week and they might not remember by the time a new episode comes out. So for a reboot for the younger girls (or guys) these days, I think Sailor Moon Crystal nailed it.

It’s when you start talking to other people that have seen the original Sailor Moon series or older audiences that are watching it for the first time or manga readers, that you begin to get into debates of whether or not Sailor Moon Crystal is a good representation of Sailor Moon in general. I’m not going to get into that controversial discussion because I can see it both ways – but I’ll tell you that as a standalone series, it’s probably not for everyone. If you haven’t seen the original Sailor Moon but hear good things and want to see what the hype is about… I don’t think you’ll completely get the same feelings as someone that grew up watching the original Sailor Moon. There’s definitely plot holes, some repetition and it’s not what you would expect from “magical girl” anime today. When I think of “magical girl” anime these days, I imagine shows like Houkago no Pleiades, Shugo Chara! or Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illyam that feel like there’s more substance, or cute girls that do cute things. Sailor Moon Crystal doesn’t give off that vibe because magical girl manga was different back in the day. That’s not to say one or other is better, they’re just different because people’s taste in anime change over time.

Now as someone that has seen the original series (and loved it – even when I rewatch it today), I went into the first episode very biased and hoping that it would be like reliving my childhood and bring waves of nostalgia. And what I have to say about that is, don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t watch Sailor Moon Crystal like it’s a remake of the original – think of it as its own separate adaptation of the manga. I know it’s hard not to compare the two (I do it all the time), but you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you watch it without any biased or assumptions of what it’ll be like. Where Sailor Moon Crystal succeeds is how condensed and quickly everything escalates in terms of plot. The characters are not the same as what you’ve probably come to know them as because they’re given different development points. Where Sailor Moon Crystal fails is that, as a fan of the original, I liked all the added fillers and fluff that gave the characters (villains or heroes alike) that extra time to make an impression. Since a lot of these episodes in the original series were “fillers”, the characters got some background story, and personality added to them. Sailor Moon Crystal lacks a lot of these moments because it follows the fast-paced manga point to point and misses the pauses in between. However, there are people that might like the fact that this the original story that was meant to be told. What people might not know is that the original Sailor Moon series altered some arcs so much that they make it impossible to compare it to the manga. It’s like playing a VN, you can go down one route or the other and depending on which, your endings change.

So would I recommend watching Sailor Moon Crystal? I have some friends that don’t watch anime but love Sailor Moon because want to simply relive their Saturday morning cartoon days. In that sense, I would recommend it because they wouldn’t care for animation quality, or seiyuus and they probably don’t even remember what “exactly” happened in Sailor Moon. As someone that had a lot of expectations for Sailor Moon Crystal, I thought it was going to be a condensed version of the original and bring back the old anime design styles…but it wasn’t and I was disappointed. However, I only have myself to blame and I would not want to deter anyone from giving it a shot. No doubt, Sailor Moon Crystal is predictable, and extremely straightforward, but it’s aimed towards younger audiences and for that reason, I can’t assume everyone will see it the way I do. Yes – the animation is horrendous – but, I’m also someone that watches 10+ shows a week with years of anime history and little kids? Well, they might not care. If they do, the Blu-ray version will fix that right up. Some of the lack of enjoyment for me might have also stemmed from the release schedule. If you can watch it more regularly or back-to-back, Sailor Moon Crystal might be a pleasant surprise.


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    1. There are plenty of inconsistencies to pick from in animation quality here, but Chibi Usa actually gets taller when she transforms in all iterations of the series. In the manga, it is more noticeable but she also gets taller in the original anime. It doesn’t really comment on the why, but Chibi Usa wants most to grow up and become like her mother so perhaps it is simply her will. She stops becoming noticeably taller than her civilian self around the Stars arc where there is a height difference mostly because of her heels but otherwise she looks the same.

    2. King Endymion mentions that Chibiusa is actually 900 years old but still hasn’t aged properly because her powers as a member of the Silver Millennium haven’t developed. Since she awakened her powers as a senshi and is able to use the Silver Crystal, she’s now aging to physically and mentally catch up.

      1. That’s what I never understood. Since Chibi Usa’s powers as a member of the Silver Millennium have never developed, she doesn’t get the protection of everlasting youth, right? So shouldn’t she be very much dead after aging normally?

        Petit Orenji
      2. If my memory serves me right it’s not her powers as member of Silver Millenium that didn’t develope but her power as Senshi.So she gets long lifespan and youth but her own powers as Senshi are stalled. Personally I always thought it was result of her being insecure about her position and feeling inadequate.

        Just like Silver Crystal of 20th century reacts to Usagi’s state of heart and mind, in 30th century it reacts to Chibiusa…something like that -_-

  2. I thought Tuxedo Mask was getting new powers or something.
    She really is a pretty guardian.
    I’m still grieving here…
    It’s great to see everyone getting everlasting youth in the future.
    If you were to ask me, I still love the first broadcasted series of Sailormoon. SM Crystal to me is like the abridged form of the original anime series. There are some nice visuals, new action sequences, and OST that can pass as being good, but overall it’s just the HD restoration of the characters that pleases me over the anime’s drama. It gives you the nostalgic feeling from the good old days you know. Maybe once this gets dubbed then it might be better for me? Anyways, I don’t think this was a waste of time to watch since it is still enjoyable and I could give it that much credit.

    random viewer
    1. Now that’s just rude man.

      While I am not a fan of sailor moon despite being forced to watch it so many years ago (gundam wing was right after sailormoon’s time slot), I have enough tact to not insult it.

      Everyone has his/her own preference. Let us just keep our opinions to ourselves and accept the fact that we’ll never understand Sailor Moons appeal.

    2. That was not OK. You should be able to give constructive criticism on Crystal. Your comment was inappropriate. Instead of saying this show was garbage, you could list reasons as to why didn’t like it. Criticism does not equal hate.

  3. I’ll be honest, I only kept watching this series because you kept reviewing it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it myself. It wasn’t even the animation, although it honestly amazes me how they can manage to draw eyes slightly off-axis so consistently. It’s just the fact that there is no heart to this series. Everything about it feels completely methodical and manufactured to appeal to nostalgia in all the wrong ways.

    I’ll still probably pick up the blu-ray and see how far the animation quality is fixed, but ultimately that is only a knotch on a long list of issues stemming from poor production values by one of the most notorious companies in the animation industry.

    1. It definitely felt very mono-toned… if it had a tone, you know what I mean? The series was so on point with the manga that it felt like a really unenthusiastic person just reading through it.
      I’m glad that you followed along with me… I honestly did not even expect a single person on RC to care but the fact that they were some people still watching means that it wasn’t for nothing =)

      1. You and many here missed that this was a uncompleted bata release and the the official TV release correct a lot of the animation problems. Some thing was missed in translation and people here thought they were watching a official final release instead of unfinished release.

  4. To paraphrase Jim “Fucking” Sterling, “Son”

    “The Only problem is that I get so annoyed at Toei that I try to vocalise my feelings, just end up clutching my face, screaming and headbutting a concrete floor until my brain bleeds … fuck Toei, [inhuman screaming fresh from the NetherHell].”

    Sailor Moon as a franchise did not deserve this. Fans of Sailor Moon since any one of the entry points; the Japanese airing, the DiC dub, it airing on YTV (or Toonami, RTL2, Fox Kids UK, it’s a list) didn’t deserve this. Takeouchi herself didn’t deserve this.

    What should have been a celebration of a keystone of anime history has been made a complete farce and, frankly, has made Toei’s name mud to me.

    I look on to Digimon Tri not with anticipation, but with fear of how badly they are going to treat that given they went from TV Series to Movie Series (That will be an arse to watch outside of Japan just like how Garden of Sinners was)

    I look at any Shonen Jump manga I like (so, really, only Hero Academia) and fear for it’s anime adaptation for it could be felt up by Uncle Toei’s pedrest digits.

    Toei have time and again shown themselves up to be Charlatans, Brutes and Ne’er-do-wells.

    They are to Anime what EA is to Video Games and they deserve just about the same level of respect.

    1. Unfortunately your stating the author does not have the right to release a manga faithful version the author preferred. The did not ruin it. They released the version you should have seen. You can prefer the adaptation but it would not have existed without the manga. They did not do this to mess with older anime fans they did this for older manga fans who were not happy with the version you like and more over a version they thought would sell to Japanese kids today. I have heard the succeed.

      1. “The author does not have the right to release a manga faithful version the author preferred”

        That’s not what I said; I said she did not deserve this version, intended to be a faithful adaptation, to be as much of a technical mess as it was.

        And lots of “shit” is successful, why else do we get Fifa and CoD year on year?

        This still doesn’t stay Toei from getting in the Sea where they belong.

  5. “Finally – Usagi meeting Neo Queen Serenity? Anyone else think that was… awkward? They want to meet and then they can’t because of the whole “two of the same beings in the same timeline” thing and yet they still do?”

    I also thought that was strange. Aren’t they actually the same person? What youngster would actually yearn to see their future selves? What???
    The Dark Moon was better written than in the original anime, but a little more commitment from the production team would have made me love this series and they should either improve on their 3D animation or ditch it completely.

    1. As a kid, I assume that everyone wants to grow up and see what their future holds… but then Neo Queen Serenity didn’t really have to run back to see herself. It wasn’t like they hugged it out and cried or something, it was literally like “Oh, thank you, bye!” =S

  6. Personally, I’m taking Sailor Moon Crystal as vindication of something I’ve been saying for years (without finding many to agree with me) – that the reason Sailor Moon ever became a major global franchise was entirely down to the old anime, not the manga.

    I’ve actually rewatched the first season of the old anime during the last few months, via the new blu-ray release. It’s sharply written, the characters are a lot of fun and it has a lot of content to amuse people outside of its core “little girls” demographic. The manga, by contrast, was always a narrow shoujo genre-piece. Indeed, the weakest episodes of the first season of the old anime are the ones that most faithfully adapt manga chapters.

    Sad to say, but Sailor Moon Crystal was probably doomed to mediocrity from the moment they decided it would be a more faithful adaptation of the manga.

    1. The original anime allowed for all the characters to be developed. I think pacing also didn’t always translate properly in this adaptation. I mean when you reading a manga you just have frames to go by but a difference of less than a seconded can make ore break a moment or joke. 😉

  7. Despite the quality I still would love to see an adaption of the further story especially the Sailor Stars chapters because if I remember correctly there were strong differences between the original anime and the manga

    Das Waltzerchen
  8. Crystal only did what many asked for years: a more faithful adaptation of the manga, and in that field, it delivered. We’re not overwhelmed with unnecessary and tiresome fillers as the original run. With a more or less 45ep for season in the previous attempt, this 25ep series that completes the “R” act, is way more agile.
    It is a mediocre series? Yes, but not so mediocre as the first one. It has way better animation and less glitches on it than the first one (the artwork for the original felt way too cheap and some jokes were used ad-nauseabundum that you wanted to punch the TV), and most of the cast is way less useless (I’m seeing you, Tuxedo Kamen). It show it’s age in comparison with the more complex magical girl series of today, but it’s still fun. In a way, Crystal feels less than a PG13 series than almost 95% of the original.

    Why did NQ Serenity didn’t went to finish Nemesis? First of all, the series is about Sailor Moon, and the MC usually finishes the enemy. Then again, after everything that Usagi had lived to become NQ Serenity (and I’ll not spoiler that manga moment), finishing an “old and busted enemy” didn’t require a complete overkill.

  9. I might finish this one after finished my backlog.
    I stopped around the 5th episode, thinking it would probably be around 100+ episodes like the original one so here’s to hoping i don’t get bored or something when trying to finish this. ^_^
    So far though, i still like the original anime better though ^^”

  10. I have a question for those who watch this new adaption of the manga sailor moon series?

    – How much does the story cover in from the manga? (from chap 1 to which chap?)
    – If it does not cover all the content of the manga, are they going to animate the rest or is that it for Sailor Moon Crystal?

    1. Don’t remember one but for number two there’s been rumors for a while they were going to be doing a season 2. Supposedly ANN article brought up the fact the European localizer mentioned a season 2 but wouldn’t say if they were referring to the R arc or a new season of Crystal period, while the final message looks like a fair nod.

  11. Good riddance. I can only pray it stops here, before they taint the legacy of “S” as well. Anyway, as far as I’m aware, the TV ratings haven’t been good at all, so perhaps we’re safe from any more.

  12. I don’t want this to be seen as an insult but I think Sailor Moon’s voice actress should have turned down this role; she is simply too old to play this part. I had an extremely hard time getting past her voice while watching this show.
    It seems nitpicky, and I cannot think of another anime I have felt this way about but it bothered me.

  13. Having done a rewatch of the original series, it’s hard not to make comparisons but I do agree it’s much better to view them as stand-alones from each other for a better experience. They’re a completely different beast and if Crystal gets a season 2 (which they might, based on the final message) they’re only going to further drastically diverge, especially if they cover Dream and Stars.

    The original anime isn’t perfect (animation botches, panty shots on characters like Chibi Usagi, mind numbing filler, and villains with very stupid plans at times, especially most of Malachite’s towards the end of Black Kingdom) but it still has a much longer period to stretch out development. It feels less glaring when certain characters take a backseat for long stretches of time because a later filler episode can always bring them back in. Plus, longer time for building up stuff in general. I think the only way it could potentially be improved is if they did a Sailor Moon Kai.

    Crystal’s basically a double edged sword, animation errors aside (and I agree, go with Blu-ray if you want to watch the series and not get distracted by animation fail) it brings back nuances to certain characters like Mamoru and Chibi Ursa but you don’t get the fuller development of the rest of the scouts. Plot moves a lot faster but there’s less “breather” episodes or room for slow build. There’s some changes from the manga (such as Venus being the one to kill Beryl and the fact the scouts all shanked the four generals in each of their first appearances) but I don’t think remaining completely loyal would have changed much opinions.

    Despite some of my issues with Crystal, I’d love to see it adapt the rest of the manga just because there of the giant divergences later on between the original anime and manga. It’s not really a matter of ‘nooo I want to see it as close to the manga as possible’ as much as there was a bunch of material the original anime didn’t touch that was actually fairly interesting and it’d be cool to see. With hopefully improved animation.

  14. While the original will always hold a place in my heart, I feel the same way about it, that I feel about DBZ. That is, that it’s too long, and takes too long, which are very much different things, mind you. It was very episodic, and dragged on at many times. That is understandable for what it was intended to be, but leaves it lacking as a “story” type. Crystal is more succinct. I was never able to get myself to buy all the DVDs for a series as long as DBZ, or Sailor Moon, but like with Kai, I might be able to buy this.

    I won’t call it an “improvement” over the first series, as it was intended for a different purpose, but rather a “re-imagining,” and I see no reason why fans of all ages cannot enjoy both.

    1. Also, they still had “a biento” or “see you soon” at the end of the episode, so I’ll give it a little while, before I decide that there is no hope for a sequel.

  15. “Finally – Usagi meeting Neo Queen Serenity? Anyone else think that was… awkward?”

    Yeah, I kinda expected a time paradox of world-ending (or universe-ending) proportions to ensue.

    Well, there are two things I’ve learned while watching this remake:
    – Never be blinded by nostalgia.
    – Never set your remake standards too high. (With the “remake standard” in this case being Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199.)

    (Spoiler for TL;DR impressions.)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyway, good job on finishing Sailor Moon Crystal, Cherrie. Now go get yourself some R&R… You earned it.

    1. Agree with all your points. I should’ve written off nostalgia as soon as the second episode aired because it wasn’t like it brought back happy feelings of Sailor Moon at all… it was just another anime I was watching. Then halfway through, it really started becoming a chore for me to watch and blog =S
      Thanks for reading along though, appreciate it and all the thoughts =)

  16. I want mahou shoujo to go back to this type of narrative again(we kinda got that with houkago no pleidiaes) back when girls in anime could still be close and no one screameed” yuri yuri everywhere” and when it was perfectly fine for the main female character to a have male love interest, rival, or friend. To me post otaku mahou shoujos like pretear corrector yui cardcaptor sakura moldiver, and mai hime were great because they knew how to make female characters diverse and realistic. shows like nanoha, madoka and illya don’t have that same effect because instead of trying to tell girls that being feminine is ok
    its turning them into fantasies not based on realism but on what the author has seen in other shows.

  17. I stopped watching somewhere at the end of first arc but I did check some episodes to see how it looks. That said I do plan to rewatch Crystal from beginning and would like it to adapt the rest of manga.

    I still believe the main problem sticking to literally to manga, like you replied to someone ‘ unenthusiastic person reading’

    Even if I didn’t watch episode I still read your review so thanks, it was easier to find good points and it will be more enjoyable when I rewatch it 🙂

    About Chibiusa, the version that I watched ( german uncesored, just dubbed to my language) never really felt too bratty. I didn’t really like episodes centered on her (but was just my bias cause I was young and felt she was stealing Usagi’s time XD), but not to that measure that episodes were unenjoyable and they were moments that were heartwarming and cute 🙂
    I could overlook faults, even understand them because the situation she was in.

  18. I liked it. But I never saw the original anime. It was very frustrating coming here and elsewhere and where I wanted to discuss what happened everyone here was in a the original version comparison discussion I could not participate in.

    Secondly I was really bugged and amused after learning people were raging about bad animation in a uncompleted preview version when they should have known that the broadcast version was the official release with most of the animation problems fixed.


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