Moon Pride: Thoughts on Sailor Moon Crystal from a Lifelong Fan

Posted August 28, 2017 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 8 Comments

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!

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8 responses to “Moon Pride: Thoughts on Sailor Moon Crystal from a Lifelong Fan

  1. I only watched the first couple of episodes of Crystal and I didn’t have a strong opinion on it either way but my husband is an artist and the animation drove him nuts! I’m glad to hear that it’s gotten better- I’ve picked up the limited edition blu-rays as well because I would love to get back into it. We recently rewatched Sailor Moon L and R and we’re going to be making our way through S soon. I would love to tackle the new stuff once we’ve finished the old!

    • Yes, I am thinking of rewatching the old season of S to prepare myself for the new Crystal release of S (I think it’s coming out this winter!) Honestly ever since watching Cystal I have been completely Sailor Moon OBSESSED again, so I want to pick up the Viz DVDs of the original anime too!

    • I think it’s funny, so many people own Crystal and haven’t worked up the nerve to watch it yet (myself included! It took me months to finally watch it!) I think if you go into it accepting that it’s NOT going to be the 90’s anime, you’ll really like it! I’ve also been reading the mangas at the same time and following along with Crystal, so it’s nice to see how similar they are! I think your childhood memories will still be intact after watching, since it feels different enough to not replace your memories of the old show, but good enough to still fill the Sailor Moon voice in your life!

  2. I was a hardcore Sailor Moon in the 90’s too! But I think I kinda forgot about it when I couldn’t watch it on TV anymore. I’ve been wanting to rewatch the original series and I think your post just convinced me to do that!
    I don’t think I would appreciate Crystal as much because I love all the filler and silly parts! Haha. Those are also part of my childhood!

    • The silly parts are really endearing! I am hoping to pick up the Viz editions of the english dub of the original 90s anime (though they don’t use the original American dub music) because Crystal has just made me crave all things Sailor Moon again!

  3. Look at this Sailor Moon collection! I remember watching the show when I was younger and kind of wish I had kept some memorabilia. I haven’t heard of this reboot but think it’s hard for anything to live up to our childhood memories. Do you have a favorite scout? I always loved Sailor Mars.

    • Sailor Saturn was always my favorite- her story was so dark and tragic and I loved that she was the Sailor Scout of the apocalypse! I also love Sailor Moon and always felt that the other scouts were a bit hard on her in the original anime- they have a lot more respect for her in the Crystal reboot, which I’m enjoying!

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