When Wiseman joined forces with Black Moon, it gave Black Moon great power to achieve their goals. But at what price did that come?
Previously on Sailor Moon Crystal: Feeling alone, Chibiusa wanders into the far reaches of Time, and a storm is left in her wake. Meanwhile, Usagi has been captured by Prince Demande and unable to transform.
THE LADY IN CRYSTAL
Left powerless on the planet Nemesis, Usagi is given free reign to wander around Black Moon’s palace. And though every step is a struggle, she will not stop trying to gather any sort of intel that will help her and her friends escape, or maybe to help them later in the fight.
It is only because of Demade’s lust for her that she is still alive, but she does not let this stop her from letting her know what she really feels. After finding out some information and a chance encounter with Saphir, Usagi is able to transform into Sailor Moon with the help of Neo Queen Serenity.
This episode is heartbreaking by the end, but this is not a surprise to those who closely follow the manga.
There weren’t really any changes between the original manga and this episode, but seeing it animated helped make a few scenes clearer than they had been in the manga. This is a fairly common reality of transitioning from comics to animation, and isn’t exclusive to Crystal. For a diehard fan like myself, this is enough reason to watch Crystal at least once, despite the animation issues.
THE LADY IN SHADOWS
And the animation issues just don’t stop. Plenty of my previous complaints still hold true here, focusing on stills or stills that only have the mouth moving, but there are two examples here of bad animation that I haven’t been able to address before.
There was a moment with Sailor Venus, expressing some exasperation with the current situation, which does something similar that a previous episode did that I didn’t happen to review. The screen pulls away to look a little “silly,” and doesn’t work at all in the style of Sailor Moon Crystal. I think that it tries to harken back to the original anime, as well as moments in the manga. But the difference is that Crystal hasn’t really nailed down its own style of “silly” that fits. The result is jarring, but it gratefully only happened once in this episode.
But the most egregious animation sin of this episode was when the Sailor Guardians reunited. They are running to each other… and there is literally no animation happening. It’s two stills moving towards each other with mouths moving, like someone is moving multiple layers of an image. This is absolutely ridiculous.
On an art note, the black crescents of Black Moon are inconsistent to a laughable degree on the villains. The money just isn’t there in the budget to have someone go through and catch these inconsistencies, or they do know they’re there and can’t pay to fix them.
BOTTOM LINE: …REALLY?
I am starting to wonder how effective doing a reboot of Sailor Moon is, if the animation is so terrible. Many of the story elements that I have appreciated from Sailor Moon Crystal has been partially because I am a huge fan of the series, and know the manga story backwards and forwards. But what significance is Sailor Moon Crystal going to have for the causal Sailor Moon fan, or someone new to it? So, while I enjoyed it, I’m also growing more irritated at the animation failures.
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