Sailor Moon Crystal Act 1: Thoughts

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Let me start by saying that Sailor Moon Crystal in concept initially made me nervous. Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon is one of my favorite shows ever, period. It is hands-down my favorite anime. Although I grew up with the English dub which I now despise, I caught on to the original Japanese at a rather young age. (Thanks, internet!) The anime in its original Japanese (subtitled, as my foreign language skills are limited) is the story that I am used to, accepting of, and love. For some reason, my initial fear was that a new anime series would somehow take away from that. Reading that it would be truer to the manga, I realized my fears were completely without base. I’ve watched the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon and had no problem keeping that as a separate entity. With a newfound sense of relief, I was so excited to watch the new anime, Sailor Moon Crystal.

Now I haven’t watched the first episode of the original anime terribly recently. Whenever I watch Sailor Moon, I tend to skip to a time when all the senshi are assembled— at very least, the inners. However, I suspect it was within the last year or so, and I remember that episode very well. As soon as I started watching SMC Act 1, I felt good. Usagi was late for school, and she fell down the stairs. That’s my girl! She meets Luna, gets scratched, and removes the bandages, as expected. She’s sent out into the hallway for being late, and (I held my breath through the unfamiliar princess Serenity vision waiting for what did indeed come next!) takes out her lunch because she’s hungry. Love her. She gets a 30 on her test. These are things we know (and in my case, completely love) about Usagi.

The Usagi of Sailor Moon Crystal shows much more composure than the original anime Usagi. She’s almost nicer? The exaggerated movements of the original anime are not here— it is a more graceful show. We have seen her fall once, but she’s already less clumsy than her previous anime incarnation. Even though Kotono Mitsuishi reprises her role (and seriously, thank the lord for that!) giving voice to our heroine, it sounds different, at times, because this Usagi is different. She’s not as… excitable? She’s not, like, yelling as much.

Aside from the overt Serenity foreshadowing, my first big difference comes when Usagi meets Mamoru. Though the meeting is basically the same, the attire is obviously different— he’s standing in a freaking tuxedo when she meets him! Oh you fancy, huh Mamoru? I love that Usagi says “Who wears a tuxedo in the afternoon?” and gives us that moment to laugh, but we’ve kind of only seen Mamoru as Tuxedo Mask in this episode. He was actually better disguised as Mamoru, on the street in sunglasses, than as Tuxedo Kamen-sama with open-eyed mask. The real problem: NO ROSE. Y’all, if I don’t get Tuxedo Mask theme music I don’t know what to do.

Oh, let’s talk music now that I’ve gone there— I love the new theme, but of course I miss Moonlight Densetsu! I think Moon Pride has the intensity of the Sailor Stars theme, so it definitely works. In fact, it’s already stuck in my head.  What was the first closer, Heart Moving? Moonbow invokes more of a Tuxedo Mirage vibe, and I much prefer Tuxedo Mirage to Heart Moving. As a closer, I think it’s perfect. The transformation music is different too, isn’t it? It’s not bad, just different… The new transformation sequence also really highlights the new art style; people kind of look rubbery in it.

Overall, didn’t it feel quick? The battle was just one Moon Tiara Action (I mean, Boomerang, which I’m not on board with) and done! However, as I flip through my copy of the manga, everything seems very true to form— even the word “boomerang,” as mine is a “new cover” version— except the Ami-chan foreshadowing in the end of Act 1. Ah, I love this elemental tie in with the rain! Here, I think the quick pace this series is building to is working to its advantage.

So guys, you can watch new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal every other Saturday— yep, twice per month. I’m not loving this long wait, but I am loving SMC so far! What did you all think?!

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