IT’S BACK! Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 1 Review

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Finally, the time has arrived! About ten million years after it was first announced, Sailor Moon has returned to our screens! For me, it was a dusty Toshiba laptop screen but I’d like to think that some of y’all splurged and hooked this shit up to the teevee. LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

I wrote about my excitement back in 2012 when the reboot was first announced (back when us poor fools thought it would premiere a year ago, such innocent times they were) and honestly this excitement didn’t cease. After watching the first episode, I still feel excited. That’s a good sign, I think! I should probably begin this with a disclaimer disclosing the fact that Sailor Moon essentially dominated my tween and teen years and I still have a special moon shaped space for it in my heart. Okay, consider yourself disclaimered and let’s move swiftly on.

To coincide with my excitement I’m planning on writing one of these review/recap type dealies after each episode airs. I haven’t done this before so I’ll probably play around with formats and see what I find comfortable. So look forward to lots of fangirl squealing possibly alongside a consistently changing and erratic layout. What’s not to love? I think comparison with the original series is inevitable, but I’m going to try judge it on its own merits as much as possible. Ever since the new character designs were released there seems to have been a prevalent attitude of HOW DARE U RUIN SAILOR MOON towards the new anime, which I think is a little extreme. At least watch a few episodes before completely writing it off.

In case you aren’t in the know, Sailor Moon tells the story of Usagi Tsukino, a lazy, gluttonous, easily distracted, not so clever crybaby of a 14 year old girl – much like a lot of us at that age, I would be willing to bet. Unlike other 14 year olds, Usagi actually has an alter ego called Sailor Moon, whose duty is to fight evil energy sapping monsters, all the while trying to find others like her and also find the moon princess whom she must protect. No pressure! Now that we have that out of the way, here’s what I thought of the episode!

Stuff I Liked:

The first episode plays out much like the first episode of the original series, with some minor differences that make it a little more faithful to the original manga. Usagi’s late for school, bumps into a weird talking cat with a crescent moon bald patch on her forehead who basically tells Usagi that it’s her job to save the world, her best friend Naru’s mother has gone absolutely cray with generosity and jewels etc. So, if you’ve seen the original you probably have a good idea of what to expect. If not, get to watching it so I won’t spoil anything!

The Soundtrack:

The theme song is magic and if you don’t think so you’re wrong.

I like how overtly feminist it seems to be already, probably to pander to people like me. Just look at these lyrics:

“We will fight on our own, without leaving our destiny to the prince.”

(honestly, if Tuxedo Mask’s role is anything to go by, it’s not like they have any credible prince around to even depend on.)

and

“We are not helpless girls who need men’s protection.”

YEAHH! Please keep the Girl Power overtones coming!

Hints About the Past

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS COULD POSSIBLY BE

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THIS COULD POSSIBLY BE

The Transformation Scene

I’m really digging the transformation scene, I like how it’s less naked and perhaps a little less fanservicey. Is that an odd thing to like? I just think it’s more age appropriate and takes into consideration the target audience slightly more.  I’m not so sure about that 3D animation though, bleh.

Usagi and Mamoru

I feel like usagi is a little more brave in this one. Of course, she’s still a bit cowardly – she wouldn’t be Sailor Moon without that cowardly edge and she wouldn’t have half as much growth to go through. Still, she seems a lot more excited about the actual ass-kicking aspect of the job this time round.

Just look at that knowing smile of hers, she secretly LOVES saving the day

Just look at that knowing smile of hers, she secretly LOVES saving the day

When she’s faced with danger she’s immediately reduced to tears (which is completely understandable. I don’t understand people who get so outraged about how cowardly she is, she’s 14 and some weird jewel obsessed monster is trying to kill her, WHO WOULDN’T BE SCARED?!) Luckily, Tuxedo Mask snaps her out of it and she gets the job done (which, true to form, is literally all he does in this episode.)

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Speaking of Tuxedo Mask, he is still amazingly weird and pointless, bless him. Usagi begs a pertinent question right after their first meeting – why exactly IS he wearing a tuxedo during the day?? Usagi and Mamoru’s attraction to each other is immediate and apparent. We didn’t get to see much of him, but I’m hoping it means he’ll be closer to manga Mamoru’s personality and isn’t so mean to Usagi, like he is in the 1992 anime (the english dub especially, yeesh.) Also, could he always fly? I think he flies now.

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“BLAH BLAH BLAH SILVER CRYSTAL”

 More Sailor V!

Because we could always do with a little more Sailor V

Because we could always do with a little more Sailor V

Ami Possibly Being in the Next Episode

Last but not least, the hints of Ami being in the next episode, yaaassss!! It seems like they’re not going to be beating around the bush when it comes to plot of development, but hopefully this won’t make the series seem rushed. They could potentially pack a lot into the 26 episodes, it will be interesting to see what they decide to include.

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omg rain WHAT COULD IT POSSIBLE MEAN??

Honourable Mention:

This is neither a like or dislike but I didn’t want to not mention the fact that Jadeite looks about five years old. I’m hoping and praying this leads to zany subplot where Queen Beryl has to confront and come to terms with her chronic abuse of child labour laws.

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WHAT YEAR IS IT

Stuff I Didn’t Like:

I don’t have much to add here really, there was literally nothing to dislike. Well maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, if magical girls aren’t your thing then this probably isn’t for you… But why are you even here?? My issues mainly lie with the appearance of the show rather than anything to do with the plot. I’m still getting used to the character designs, though I’m not as offended by them as a lot of fans seem to be. The random use of shitty CGI is a little off-putting (see Sailor Moon’s transformation above). It’s just jarring to see; it looks cheap and really stands out next to the hand drawn animation. Hopefully they don’t plan on using it too liberally throughout the 26 episodes.

General Thoughts:

I think episode 1 of Sailor Moon Crystal sets up the plot pretty well for someone who may be unfamiliar with the franchise, though the nature of the story might be a little silly if your judgment hasn’t already been influenced by the sweet nectar of childhood nostalgia. I really liked the hints of Usagi and Mamoru’s past that were thrown in there. While the original quickly established itself as a monster of the week type show where it seemed like not a lot was going to happen beyond our heroes fighting specifically themed enemies who wanted to get ALL OF THE ENERGY for Queen beryl’s weird swirly thing, Sailor Moon Crystal immediately hints that there is far more interesting things to come, which makes it a little more intriguing right off the bat.

I have high hopes! Just another two weeks to see if the second episode is just as good!

2 thoughts on “IT’S BACK! Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 1 Review

  1. I honestly think this reboot is terrible. Stylistically it’s generic as all hell it’s too much like any modern shojo and horribly proportioned. Like you may say aww but it’s still girl power~! Not when the proportions are this terrible that it could trigger eating disorders and that they really went out of their way to add lovey dovey eyes for Darien and take out very subtle but important character revealing traits that paint a noble yet regular girl (look at the original ep and you will know what I am talking about with the whole Luna introduction). Now you may think that the nakedness is fanservicey from the original series but the way it was portrayed was anything but that. If anything it emphasized the girl hood to woman hood in a totally tasteful manor. Besides are we as women should be totally ok with our bodies and like totally be helping younger girls be ok with their changing bodies?

    The way that you talked about the anime just comes off as ill informed and basically casual crappy taste. Without google searching I doubt you can list off 3 animation Japanese animation studios that doesn’t include Ghibli.

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    • Well, I’m not denying that the proportions aren’t plain ridiculous but, like you said, look at any other modern shojo anime (and er, the original Sailor Moon anime and manga) and you could very much make the same criticism. Fanservice is par for the course with a LOT of anime, and if you really think that the original Sailor Moon anime was devoid of it, you should probably think again. As for the rest of that disjointed paragraph, sorry, I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say here so I don’t know how to respond…

      Okay then. If you even looked through the rest of my anime posts on this site (and elsewhere) you would find that this is clearly not the case, nice try though. Not that my opinion on the new Sailor Moon anime would be any less valid even if I were just a casual anime fan with a love for Studio Ghibli because what the hell is wrong with Studio Ghibli??

      Liked by 1 person

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