After saving the world, it means that the Sailor Guardians should have some time for peace and quiet, right? They should, but that’s not going to happen as a new enemy moves in.
Previously on Sailor Moon Crystal: Sailor Moon, with the either direct or indirect help of the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, defeated Queen Metalia and everything to do with the Dark Kingdom. With the world restored, they go about their lives as humans on Earth, only for a little girl with pink hair to fall out of the sky and demand the Silver Crystal.
THE ENEMY MIGHT ALREADY BE HERE
With the world saved, it’s time to enjoy peace. We don’t know how much time passes between saving the world and Chibi-Usa dropping out of the sky onto Usagi’s head, but it’s suggested that it hasn’t been long at all.
For someone who was introduced to anime through the heavily censored Sailor Moon dubs by DiC, it’s surprising and refreshing to see them not pulling any punches. Chibi-Usa still has her gun (even if it’s a toy, although incredibly realistic-looking). It’s also really easy to sympathise with Usagi as this kid comes out of nowhere and acts like she owns the place.
I always enjoy a chance to see the lives of anyone connected to Usagi outside that circle of reference. Because that’s how life is for everyone – as much as you love someone there are probably social circles that they aren’t in or rarely are. It was great to see Rei at her school, interacting with her classmates. And even though she did invite her friends to the school’s festival, we got a chance to see her on her own for a bit.
I am going to admit my biases right now – when it comes to the anime, Sailor Moon R, aka the arc with Black Moon, is my favorite. The main reason for this are the members of Black Moon itself, and how the anime gave them the opportunity to be fleshed out so much more.
There’s a weird dissonance that happens between the original anime and the manga, with each of the enemy groups. In the anime we see them so often being conniving and trying to backstab one another, but then we also see them become more fleshed out. In the manga, most are introduced and then almost immediately taken away, but it is obvious from the reactions of their compatriots that this had an emotional impact on them. They care about each other, and they want to get revenge when one of them falls. I want to see a marriage of both – of strong, fleshed-out characters that have emotional impact on the audience when something happens to them.
With more added to the background of the Four Kings in the previous arc, I was hoping that the audience might get something more here too. Instead, the adaptation to the manga is so close that it’s also showing some of the weaknesses of the original story.
THE FIRE THAT BURNED TOO BRIGHTLY
I had a realization when watching the show a second time to screencap an image for the banner. There are a lot of animation flaws that slip by my attention the first time because I had to focus on the subtitles. I wonder how many I would catch the first time around if I understood Japanese, or watched this as an English dub.
With as popular as Sailor Moon already is, I would be highly surprised if the series didn’t get a dub treatment in multiple languages. And without getting into a sub/dub discussion, I want people to consider the possibility of what this series is looking like to people who aren’t seeing subtitles on their screen.
It’s only looking decent.
The series might be suffering from it’s popularity in this respect, but it becomes painfully clear so often that the budget just isn’t there. I feel like a remake of Sailor Moon, of all things, can’t just be ‘decent.’ It needs to be knock-your-socks-off.
This episode isn’t the worst in terms of animation so far in the series, but it isn’t the best. There are plenty of still images that look fine, but a big problems is that many times I feel like I’m looking at still images. And in the big fight at the end of the episode, everything felt like it was happening way too slow.
As much as a criticize the animation, they really do some things well. Using a few more seconds to show Usagi and Mamoru looking for Chibi-Usa after she runs off really helped to drive home her loneliness. They also do an amazing job with setting tone for more domestic scenes, and that’s when the adaptation really shines.
BOTTOM LINE: EEEH, OKAY
This episode was faithful to the manga, and while it is a fairly strong start, I still wished they had taken more risks with the plot. The art is only ok, and some of the transitions are awkward. But if you’re already watching the show, don’t stop here. If you haven’t started, this is a great time to jump in.
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