OP3 Sequence

OP3: 「ニュームーンに恋して」 (New Moon ni Koishite) by やくしまるえつこ (Yakushimaru Etsuko)

「無限1-予感・前編 –」 (Mugen 1 -Yokan Zenpen–)
“Infinity 1 –Premonition Part 1–”

The hype for Sailor Moon Crystal crash and burned the moment that the first few episodes were released almost 2 years ago and I’m not even going to sugarcoat it. That’s the honest truth and as someone that watched (and blogged) the entire year of it, I can honestly say that, it wasn’t that great. There were some highs but mainly lows and as an adult watching it for the “first” time, it didn’t make me reminiscent of my childhood at all. They changed virtually the entire series so it felt like I was watching these characters for the first time – with some similarities in looks. It wasn’t necessarily the plot that killed the series for so many fans, I think it was more so the poor production value. However! Be disappointed no more! If you’re still with me on this new season, give yourself a pat on the back. It’s like getting through initiation – you’ve made it and now you’re going to be rewarded.

I’m only half-joking when I say that because I do feel a huge accomplishment by finishing such a long series that had excruciating humps along the way. I took a deep breath, watched a few other anime in-between and now I’m back at it. But I’m pleasantly surprised this time! Sailor Moon Crystal isn’t horrible! In fact, asides from Usagi’s (Mitsuishi Kotono) continuously annoying voice, I couldn’t find too many faults with it that had me instantly regretting my decision to blog this introduction. Maybe it’s because my expectations were so rock bottom that anything would’ve been an improvement, but I’d like to give Toei the benefit of the doubt since they’ve actually decided to make this a weekly anime now rather than a bi-weekly ONA. You can clearly see the updated character designs and animations right off the bat; coupled with the new staff working on it and it’s pretty much an entirely new anime! I’m excited for this and it’s rare to say that a sequel is better than its original. Sailor Moon Crystal is going places now and I’m going along for the ride.

This cour of Sailor Moon Crystal should correlate to the Sailor Moon S series which featured the Death Busters as the primarily villains. It also introduces a few new Sailor Scouts to our group, and I’m biased, Sailor Neptune is probably my favorite (along with Venus) so it only makes me more excited for this arc. If anyone doesn’t remember who the Death Busters are, let me refresh your memory with an image of the crazy scientist! He’s the one that stands out the most in this series for me and if you still don’t remember what happens, then you get to watch this with a fresh pair of eyes! I love the involvement from all the Sailor Scouts this season, especially as Tenou Haruka (Minagawa Juno) and Kaiou Michiru (Ohara Sayaka) are further integrated into the story. Junko did a phenomenal job as Haruka by the way. She would’ve had me fooled 😉 Chibi Usa (Fukuen Misato) returns as well with a new friend of her own so there’s plenty to look forward to. Once again, the plot isn’t extremely complex or hard to understand but it’s definitely better than our past two arcs. Hopefully the writers aren’t going to drag anything out and the quality doesn’t decline over time. I’m actually optimistic that this will end up as a decently remade classic mahou shoujo.

That’s a lot of words on the page so let me simplify it by saying – watch this sequel! – if you’re a Sailor Moon fan. Sailor Moon Crystal has come back rejuvenated and with a great arc coming up, I can’t be more hopeful. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still weary of what Toei is going to deliver us, but somehow I have a bit more faith this time. Trust me, if you dropped the first two arcs for whatever reason – watch this new episode and you’ll see what a great improvement they’ve made.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #SailorMoonCrystal returns today with its 3rd season… and once again, I feel like the only person in the world following it =( BUT! #SailorMoonCrystal returns with better character designs! X_X #nowai And they redid all the transformations! Even tho the plot has changed, I’m liking this season’s start much more than season 1. Keep it up! The thing I wasn’t too keen on was the OP/ED but animation quality went up & that’s a bigger win!


ED3 Sequence

ED3: 「eternal eternity」 by 皆川純子 (Minagawa Junko) and 大原さやか (Ohara Sayaka)



  1. See, Toei? You could have had it this great since the beginning.

    Man oh man, I loved this episode. It reminded me of all of the reasons why I originally loved Sailor Moon. Between Usagi’s optimism when she knows her happiness is going to go away soon, to the transformations… just ugh. I loved it. This episode felt way too short, and I’m so glad it’s airing weekly now.

    So far, they haven’t messed up my waifu (Neptune), so I am content.

    1. I’m extremely happy to see that this episode was so well-reserved (it’s like I’m the writer or something LOL!) – not to mention that people actually gave it a shot after how horribly the first season went. I actually went in with no expectations and came out completely satisfied with the way it was done. It’s not perfect but compared to what we had before, this is a huge improvement.
      YAY! Team NEPTUNE <3

      1. So far there hasn’t been too much backlash toward the new season. The only complaints I’ve read so far is they changed it to PreCure, which I don’t see it. Especially since the first season all had people who worked on PreCure as well. I’d rather have it “look like PreCure” than have what we originally had. This is just infinitely better, and I guess the director is a fan of the series. I have some confidence that she can direct this show toward the light it needs.

        I spoiled myself slightly by watching the eleven minute leak that popped up, and was quite pleased with that. This has definitely exceeded what little expectations I had.

        Michiru has always been my fav, fam. We need more people in our squad! <3

  2. I’ve been hyped about the possibility of this arc since the original SMC. While the original SMC was far from the ideal adaptation (animation issues aside), it also didn’t help that it was going over a lot of territory that’d already been covered to death. Considering how different the manga goes in the later arcs, I was really hoping the series would continue onto that.

    With all the changes done so far with the first episode of this, really hoping they stick the landing, especially since Death Busters was one of my fav arcs in both the original anime and manga.

      1. It’s funny that someone cares enough about Toei animation to fake someone else’s name so they feel better about their terrible animation.

        The profiles is where they struggle the most. Most people look at pictures and don’t understand why they don’t really look “right”. If you want to know the technical reason for why their profiles look off, it’s basically because the bottom half of the face is often tilted incorrectly for the angle of the top half of the face. Also, the lips swap between being convex and concave. Do you know that you can often tell the race of an individual simply by looking at pictures of their lips? It is one of the key points of facial expression in animation as well as our aesthetic judgement of people in real life.

        Here is about the best they do on profiles. The angle of the lips are correct and the bottom half of the face is on the correct axis/tilt. In contrast, the nose on this screenshot of Haruka protrudes longer than it should (for the art style) and the axis angles up at the base (angling at the tip is normal, but where it attaches at the lips is not… this is an ethnic trait in the real world). The base of the nose is nowhere near the skull line as a consequence. This makes the top lip at a very obvious bad angle. From there, it seems like they tried to recover by pushing the bottom half more towards where the skull should be but they didn’t quite make it there and the result is a fat upper lip and a lower lip that is almost where it should be.

        Basically, the entire lower half of the face is a trainwreck because the nose was drawn at the incorrect angle to the skull and everything else connects to that. It’s a common issue with beginning artists but it’s shameful to see it so often in animation

      2. There is one fatal flaw in your arguement, is that you are comparing a cartoon character to a real person. For example, is Doraemon anatomically correct compared to a cat?

      3. Dalicht is right. Moreover, Haruka’s proportions are wrong, she has a tiny face compared to gigantic skull. It’s really noticeable with her short hair.

        As for “it’s just a cartoon” argument… Cartoon stylization always needs a solid base in proper anatomy. This frame doesn’t look like a conscious stylistic choice (compare it to Hotaru profile above, or Michiru), it looks like a mistake or oversight.

        Maybe I’m nitpicking, but it’s just sad to see something like this in such an important character’s introduction.

    1. To say that Haruka’s profile should be more like Hotaru’s is also incorrect. Hotaru is a child and has a smaller and rounder head, whereas Haruka is almost an adult and has more developed facial features.

  3. I know they remaster… pretty much reanimated the first two seasons (Holy crap that would be a lot of work)! I’m sure sales helped them to budget properly but the fact it’s weekly also helps them getting there footing on this series.

    And yes thank you Junko for playing Tenou Haruka. More convincing then most of the effeminate intentionally grown man voices I’ve heard. But I could almost bet she will soften that voice slightly later one.

  4. I’ve said this before, but I find it so interesting how different everything is from the first series. The new girls ALREADY have their artifacts, and they also look very different. The villains seem to be different too, and, if I remember correctly, the new senshi were from the future in the original weren’t they? though they don’t seem to be this time.

    1. Spoilers for people who haven’t read the manga.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      The 90’s anime generally had more lighthearted and wacky monster-of-the-day, but in the manga the villains don’t joke around, and some of the stuff that goes down is genuinely frightening.

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Also, Haruka seems to actually be living as a man in Crystal (like in the manga IIRC), unlike in the original series, where everyone (well, everyone except Usagi) knew she was a tomboyish woman, which I actually preferred because her and Michiru’s relationship was NBD for everyone around them despite them both being (openly) female.
      Still, good start. Sailor Moon S was the best damn season of the old show, and the best arc in the manga, so the Crystal team better not screw it up.

    1. They do seem to be using cartoony wild takes more and more in this episode at least. “Hey! I realized something! WE CAN DO CARTOONY EXPRESSIONS! Woah we can make them more expressive and fun! Who knew!?”

  5. Thank jebus they went back to fully animated transformations. I literally jumped up from my chair when I saw it.
    The only complaint I have so far is Haruka’s voice……makes me miss the original.

    1. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember what Haruka used to sound like =X Had to look it up. I don’t think Junko does a bad job though, she has played other male characters in the past so she has experience at least.

  6. I was waiting for this pretty much solely for the appearance of the Outer Senshi. I just love Haruka and Michiru though, so that ending sequence and song was also awesome, lol.

  7. Its actually baffling that some of the fans actually don’t like the new artstyle (including transformations). Its like….they would have had a good argument if seasons 1 & 2 didn’t have crappy quality control and blatant CGI. Its like I see some people saying Venus’s transformation now sucks compared to Crystal 1 and the original 90s….well….considering all Venus did in the 90s was spin 2 times and stand still while stars fell on her; and in Crystal there were too many ribbons blocking out what was going on….THIS is actually the one with better quality and choreography. I swear people and their nostalgia glasses. Ironic thing is, most issues I hear are coming from Americans while I go on a Chinese site like Weibo and there’s barely any complaints about the new artstyle. Sometimes I wonder if Americans really like to nitpick/hold these weird standards when it comes to anime. Like sorry, you can have a preference to the CGI stuff in the other seasons, but to say that the new transformations are crappy looking and suck is just an uneducated opinion.

    1. Also, I miss Megumi Ogata playing Haruka. Her voice is more mature and cool sounding. Minagawa Junko makes Haruka sound a bit like a brat, mainly because I’m reminded of Echizen Ryouma from Prince of Tennis. Hopefully, I’ll get used to it, her singing voice is quite nice.

  8. Genuinely surprised. I am so glad they got it right this time, the last two seasons were godawful. This arc is easily the one I’m most nostalgic for, and the memory of a particular episode I saw when I was a kid was what led me to rewatch and love the entire series all over again. I’m so glad they managed to make the character designs look good, they are a really excellent representation of what the characters would look like if adapted today, rather than an ugly imitation of manga character designs that quite frankly, were dated and weren’t that good looking to begin with.

    The score is better, I’m glad they got rid of Momoiro Clover Z, as great as they are, they kind of just make everything seem significantly more tacky.

    Just about everything from what I’ve seen with this first episode has been excellent, it feels inherently Sailor Moon, and in that regard, quite similar to PreCure at it’s best. *which is something PreCure itself only just remembered how to do after three years of decent, godawful and pretty ok* It’s also nice because Dragon Ball Super is also finally hitting a stride, something it took 2 seasons to do as well…

    It’s the 90’s all over again.

  9. Fully-animated transformation sequences instead of conspicuous CG? Check. Expressive super-deformed faces during light-hearted/comedic scenes? Check.

    While there were still a few off-model moments, it looks like there’s still hope for this remake/reboot after all.

    Anyway, time to say hello to the OG “bokukko.” The fact that Haruka is a woman (and in lesbians with Michiru) is already in “It was his sled” territory, but feeling like a first-time viewer all over again, Haruka really does look (and sound) like a young man.

    Also, if you haven’t already, you guys might want to watch this short documentary from VICE:

  10. @Pikachu_trainer I was only using the “real life” example because I was trying to give a concrete example for one of the reasons why it looks wrong for people who aren’t artists themselves. Most people don’t think about “why”, they just look at it and know that something is off. There are other profile pictures of Haruka that look quite nice. It’s not an issue of artistic license, it’s an issue of artistic inconsistency. It’s not only incorrect in terms of real world counterparts, but it’s incorrect according to their own art style.

    It’s just laziness, it’s not intentional. I’m not saying that every shot is bad or that the art direction in general is bad. I actually really like the designs this season. The issue is purely in animation where there seems to be no quality control whatsoever.

  11. Some Toei fanboys losing their minds in this comment section. You can like the series. I like the series. The animation is better from last season but being slightly better than shit isn’t really that impressive.

    At least we have non-CG henshins back.

  12. Yes this it the animation I wanted to see, especially for the transformations sequences (3D just didn’t cut it). This was great…
    and this was great…
    and I’m liking this sword compared to that Space Sword back then.

    random viewer
  13. Why can’t Mahou shoujo narratives go back to this storytelling? Where the main character or characters have personalities instead of being a perfectly perfect at everything after they get their powers. (Nanoha looking at you), the suffering thing is getting really old really fast. What made the 80’s and 90s Era of Mahou shoujo interesting is while it had the basic formula it also had it own sets of rules and themes on how magic worked. Please don’t ship chibiusa and hotaru we already have one lesbian couple we don’t need every girl falling for each other besides chibiusa falls for helios in the next chapter anyway.

  14. Will go in more depth next week but all the animation problems last season was that everyone reviewing it hear missed the fact that they were watching a unfinished beta product released online before the complete much better version was released as broadcast in Japan.


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