Sailor Moon was a one of a kind show for me when I grew up. Hurrying home from school just to catch it on TV was big. Friendship and love was the focus of the show. Love will find a way to prevail together with your friends.
Having watched the 200 episodes of the old show together with all the specials and even movies I guess one could say I´m a veteran. I even indulged in the original books and loved browsing the net for Naoko Takeuchi artwork. So yeah I loved the show when I was a kid. I´ve even revisited it a couple years ago when I was older. The show still had that special place in my heart.
Hearing about it getting a remake I wondered how they would screw it up since nothing could make the show better. It´s taken them a couple years but hey, here we go. The new rendition of Sailor Moon with a bigger focus on the manga´s storyline is here and after the first episode I guess I´m ready to give some impressions.
Needless to say, the first impressions will also contain comparison to the original show as well yeah, it has that special place in my heart.
“Moon Pride” is the title and well it mixes a bit of things. Having the senshis sing on their own and then make it into a song is something I tend to dislike. Singing together troughout the whole song? Yes please. Mixing in different combinations of the senshis singing together (like Mars and Venus or Moon and Jupiter) could create something interesting. But to clear the rythm of one voice to bring in another one in this fast pace just makes me wonder what they are doing.
Lyrics are fine. Music is alright. I´ve got an sensitive ear so the instrumental play is usually what I hear most of. Here though the singing breakes trough and while it is alright the music and vocals should create a unity. I miss this from this opening.
Espacially when compared to the original Moonlight Densetsu.
The tempo is well mixed and the singing does not steal the focus of the instrumental play or vice versa. Lyrics are all about love and well it just goes along better. A good song to sum it all up.
Just by watching the two movies above you should see a distinct difference in the style of the animation and artwork. Around the internet the new design and look of Sailor Moon has been ridiculed and spoken ill off. I will not do so. Why you ask? Simply because this is something that is up to each and their own. The design and artwork is not flawed, some coloring choices make me twist my eyebrow and wonder what happend. Shingo´s hair being that blond for one thing. Usagi´s mom should have a more blueish haircolor if I remember correctly and not purple.
What I really liked with this new design is that you are given a higher chance to see their reactions. As classic as the old style was it rarely managed to show subtle changes in the faces and had to throw the whole head into a “love struck” way of showing it. Blushes and makeup were almost impossible to see. In Crystal these finer details are much more promt and easy to see, which I like.
On the topic of this new design being closer to the original design of Naoko? Well I´d say nah. Not really. It is hard to completely make something drawn in manga appear the same way when you animate it like this.
Usagi meeting Mamoru for the first time changed way way much in Crystal. Everything from her not throwing her exam paper but simply banging it right into his head from them standing starring at each other just feels weird. The show is already spoiling parts of the later areas in the very first episode. I liked the normal clothing Mamoru wore in the previous show. Usagi is 100% right, who wears a tuxedo in bright daylight?
What is even more disturbing is that Mamoru is wearing the same tuxedo in his “normal” attire as he wears as Tuxedo Kamen. Which makes his “normal” attire only difference in 1 hat, 1 cape and 1 pair of glasses. Other everything is the same. And he calls that a disguise? Man he really needs some fashion sense. At least Usagi changes her sailor uniform to another design when she transforms.
Which brings me to the transformation sequence. Already before the show aired people were doing transformation sequence comparisons.
A longer transformation and while watching the last part something feels off for me. I might be because the hand just magically jumps from being fully stretched to doing her signature pose. It just goes to fast for me to notice that the arm changes angle and placement. Her not “knowing” what to say looked a bit weird as well. To spoil things she was indeed the Princess Serenity on the Moon Kingdom. But I don´t remember her fighting when she grew up on the Moon. So where does the inspiration come from? Surely not her previous life.
In the original show we had a couple episodes before Usagi was joined by Ami Mizuno. In Crystal it looks like we will jump straight into Ami joining in the second episode. It feels weird to see this happen so fast. Sure most viewers of Crystal will be older fans so they know what is going to happen but still. If this is the pace of Crystal then we will have finished the show in under 10 episodes. I mean 1 episode for each Senshi joining, then 1 for revealing the truth and then we end the show basically on the next few episodes.
Thus I think the pace is to high.
While the show has some design flaws and a high pacing I intend to keep on watching. The more subtle changes in expressions and some scene changes are bound to give me enough time to get used to the new design.
It´s good to have Sailor Moon back on the screen.