Sailor Moon is the first tv show I ever remember watching as a child. At the age of 3, my 5 year old cousin introduced me to the 90’s English dubbed anime and there was no turning back- I WAS Sailor Moon, and it was my first and most formative fandom. Over the years the availability and accessibility to Sailor Moon has ebbed and flowed, yet my love for the series has remained consistent. When the announced the relaunch of the manga and a new anime a few years ago, I was ecstatic and promptly started purchasing the newly available merchandise, thrilled that the senshi were back. However, I hesitated on watching Sailor Moon Crystal, the new anime, because it had evoked such a negative reaction from so many other Sailor Moon fans that I knew. I finally caved and purchased Crystal when I saw the beautiful limited edition Blu-Ray set available on Amazon, and promptly binge watched the first two seasons with Max. While there are definitely differences between Crystal and the original ’90s anime, I have found myself smitten with the new show and have had the title song, “Moon Pride” stuck in my head ever since.
Cristina’s Thoughts on Sailor Moon Crystal
- Crystal is WAY shorter than the original anime. There’s only about 14 episodes per season, so there’s none of the filler or (somewhat silly) character development that the anime has. Crystal pretty much follows the manga (the new Pretty Guardian ones, at least) act for act.
- Crystal is also darker than the original anime, which had more moments of levity and it’s characters (especially Serena) were much sillier. Crystal is definitely darker.
- Tuxedo Mask, while still getting kidnapped at every available opportunity, also has his (hilarious) attack from the manga, “Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber.”
- The scouts/guardians/senshi have an underground lair/batcave to meet in and strategize which is pretty badass.
- I’ve heard from many that the animation is a little wonky in the beginning, but I honestly didn’t notice it too much. I also have the Blu-Ray discs and the transformations look pretty amazing.
- The scout’s attacks are much more varied than in the original anime (likely due to the fact that they don’t have to used the same canned animation). Some of the scouts use their original attacks and some have completely different ones (which I have mixed feelings on, TBH).
- I really wasn’t expecting them to use the same music in Crystal as they did in the original anime, but I still found the lack of some of the CLASSIC music really hard to get past (especially the locket theme that is used throughout the series in varying tempos whether for sad, happy, dramatic or silly moments). I also miss the OG transformation music.
- Rei’s character has been WAY toned down and changed. Gone is the constant bickering and one-uppping between her an Usagi- instead she’s a super mystical, magical psychic.
- The scout’s catchphrases have changed, and some of them are a bit ridiculous (Mercury’s is “Douse yourself in water and repent!” which I find somewhat cringe-worthy and also confusing because I thought Neptune was water and Mercury was ice???)
- There seems to be more continuity between the seasons. Things that happened in previous seasons are referenced and threads are pulled from old stories into the new ones (unlike in the original anime when they all lost their memories after the Dark Kingdom arc).
- Max is convinced that Pluto is in love with Prince Endymion from Crystal Tokyo. I think it’s more of a “being in awe of your king” situation but he is convinced her interactions with him were based in unrequited love.
- Something that HASN’T changed is how annoying Chibi-Usa is, and how manipulative and mean to Usagi she is. Max is fond of referring to her as “Chibi-Useless” and “Chibi-Usuck” lol.
- Venus is officially the general in charge of the inner scouts and functions much more as a leader, tasked with protecting Usagi.
- Usagi/Serena overall is a much more competent character. Yes, she has her moments, but the scouts have a lot more respect for her and treat her like the princess/Neo Queen she is.
Overall Sailor Moon Crystal has some large differences when compared against the original anime, but it’s incredibly faithful to the manga. Once I adjusted to some of the changes, I found myself captivated by being back in the scout’s world again, seeing their stories come to life in stunning new graphics and reliving my childhood in a completely new yet nostalgic way.
Have you watched Sailor Moon Crystal? How do you feel it compares to the original anime? Are you a diehard fan that can’t get on board with the new Sailor Moon series, or are you thrilled to have Sailor Moon accessible again? Let me know in the comments!