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Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 1 First Impressions: New Is Good
After much hype and a delay or two, it’s finally here! Sailor Moon Crystal made its debut on July 5th, at 6:00 AM Eastern/3:00 AM Pacific. So was it worth the long wait? Absolutely! Is it any different from the original anime? Yes, given that so far it has been following the manga much more closely than the original did.
For those unfamiliar with Sailor Moon as a series, here’s a brief summary. Sailor Moon is about a a fourteen year old girl named Usagi. Usagi meets a talking cat named Luna, who gives Usagi a pendant that allows her to transform into Sailor Moon. It is Usagi’s mission to find the other Sailor Guardians, and find the Legendary Silver Crystal before the forces of the Dark Kingdom do.
After doing a side by side comparison with the first chapter of the manga, I noticed only a few differences between it and Sailor Moon Crystal. At the beginning of the episode, Usagi has a dream sequence that did not happen in the manga. Jadeite makes his entrance much earlier in the episode than he does in the manga in a scene where he creates the monster that will show up later in the episode. Aside from that, everything plays out more or less the same as it does in the manga. This even includes Mamoru running around in a tuxedo in the middle of the day, which kind of makes it even more painfully obvious who Tuxedo Mask is.
The animation and art style for Sailor Moon Crystal are absolutely gorgeous. The art style is much closer to the manga than it was in the original. When compared side by side with the original anime, it shows just how far animation and technology has come since 1992. Most of the characters looked fantastic and lifelike, although Usagi had some odd doll like features in her expressions from time to time.
While not as catchy as the English dub counterpart, the music in Sailor Moon Crystal fits the anime perfectly. Whether the situation is either calm, dark, or action packed, the music always adds something to the scene. I was never a fan of the music in the subbed version of the original anime, so this is a change I appreciate.
Of course, the lengthy transformation sequence made its return in Sailor Moon Crystal. I’m not surprised by this given that the transformation was instant in the manga and likely wouldn’t translate well when adapted to an anime. Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it seemed like Toei Animation was paying some serious homage to the original transformation given that there are a lot of similarities to it. At the same time, the sequence has its own modern flair through use of really nice motion blur and spectacular lighting effects. I do wonder if they will also have the transformation sequence in every single episode like they did in the original.
As I said earlier, Sailor Moon Crystal follows the manga almost word for word. The only question is if it will continue to do so. The first episode of the original anime was very similar to this one, but then after that there were at least two or three filler episodes before Sailor Mercury was awakened. Although, it is implied at the end of the episode that Sailor Mercury will be in the second one. If that is the case, then Sailor Moon Crystal will have a much faster pacing like the manga. Allegedly, Sailor Moon Crystal will have twenty six episodes. So I imagine that there won’t be enough room to have any filler episodes. That is fine with me as long as it doesn’t feel like the pace is being rushed.
Either way, Sailor Moon Crystal is off to a great start. Any and all problems with Sailor Moon Crystal are so minor that I’d consider them to be nitpicks. To be honest, the only problem I really have is the fact that Sailor Moon Crystal will only air on the first and third Saturday of every month. The first episode has left me wanting more, and waiting two weeks will feel like an eternity.