Reviews: Sailor Moon Crystal Premiere

What does Michelle think of the Sailor Moon reboot. Find out here and now!

Just like many other young girls in the '90s, I grew up watching Sailor Moon in the early mornings before heading off to school. There is just something alluring about seeing girls who change into cool outfits and fight monsters with bad ass special attacks. I cannot be the only girl who had a crush on Tuxedo Mask; he was just so dreamy! Much later I found out that DIC Entertainment, the company who first localized the series for America, censored the story (Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune became “cousins” instead of lovers) and made other changes to the original anime. This led me to seek out the original Japanese release, as I was full swing into my obsession with anime by that point. I was able to watch the first four seasons of the original Japanese version through DVD releases but had to turn to fan subs for the controversial fifth season: Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars.

When I heard that Sailor Moon was getting a reboot this year I could hardly contain my excitement. Even better, they were doing a worldwide release so we could actually see the episodes as soon as they aired! Say what you will, but streaming media really is the future of entertainment. No more waiting months or even years to get an anime localized. Initially, I was worried that the new series wouldn’t measure up to my nostalgic love of the original. I re-watched all five seasons in anticipation and was happy to discover that I loved the show just as much at thirty-three as I did when I was twelve. So having seen the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, I can safely say that my fears were unfounded and they have done a wonderful job of revamping the series for a new audience.

The first thing you'll notice is a new opening song has replaced the iconic Moonlight Densetsu. To be honest, the new song MOON PRIDE isn’t bad; it just isn’t as catchy as the original song.  However, all the incidental and background music is exceptional; it’s very lush and orchestral sounding and much better than the soap opera style musical cues of the 1990's version. The animation is much improved as well; it appears they had a fairly high budget for the production. It’s all presented in widescreen and HD and everything looks crisp and smooth. The backgrounds still have a pastel, hand drawn look to them and the character designs have been streamlined and slimmed down to look closer to the original manga. One nit-pick I have is the use of CG in the transformation sequence. The new sequence is more dynamic and exciting, but I just can’t stand the way CG and 2D look when mixed together as it has a jarring effect. Luckily, that was the only place I saw CG being utilized.

Kotono Mitsuishi has returned to voice Usagi/Sailor Moon but all the other cast members have new voice actors. I don’t think anyone other than Mitsuishi can do Usagi justice.I'm glad she was able to reprise the role. The story is almost identical to the original anime as I'm sure they didn’t want to upset the fans by changing any of the continuity. Everything seems to move at a quicker pace though and it does feel slightly rushed. The “Monster of the Day” concept is still in full effect but that comes with the territory of Sailor Moon. They did veer away from it in later seasons but there were always filler episodes with the Sailor Senshi fighting various silly enemies; it’s part of the charm. Since Sailor Moon redefined the “magical girl” genre it can seem a bit cliché now, however, that is because every anime in that style since then has used elements from it.

Overall, I am very pleased with this reboot and I am excited to see what the rest of the series has to offer. Any fans of Sailor Moon shouldn’t miss watching this new show as they have taken what was awesome from the original series and given it a shiny new coat of paint for the newer generation.

Ai to seigi no serafuku Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon! Tsuki ni kawatte, oshioki yo!

-Michelle Kisner