Like many of my generation, I grew up watching the original Sailor Moon anime, in all of it’s censored, terrible English dub glory. This is a series that I have a lot of nostalgia for, so I was excited when I heard that a new anime was being made. I watched the first couple of episodes on crunchyroll.com and enjoyed them enough that I decided to pick up the DVD (note that I am reviewing the regular DVD release of the first season, not the special edition).
The story of Sailor Moon Crystal closely follows the manga, so viewers who are only familiar with the original anime are in for some surprises. The plot centers around Usagi, a junior high school girl who discovers that she is really Sailor Moon, a magical warrior destined to find and protect the moon princess. She is joined by a talking cat named Luna and four other girls representing other planets. Together they battle the forces of evil and discover the truth about their past lives as denizens of the Moon Kingdom.
I never found Usagi to be a likeable main character in the old show, but here I feel that her strengths are properly show cased. She might still be a bit of a cry baby, but she is also shown to be someone who is capable of seeing people for who they really are, rather then pre-judging them based on outward appearances. The kindness that Usagi shows towards the other Sailor Scouts, who are all outsiders when she first meets them, is quite touching and I found Sailor Moon to be a more convincing choice as leader as a result.
Usagi isn’t the only character who came off as more likeable in this version. Sailor Mars is much nicer and doesn’t have a confrontational relationship with Sailor Moon in this series. Tuxedo Mask is less of a jerk and the stupid love triangle with him, Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars is thankfully absent.
The animation for the Sailor Moon Crystal is lovely and there are a number parts that seem influenced by the original anime. The style of the backgrounds has a similar feel to them and the sailor scouts transformation sequences are clearly referencing the original transformations, which was a nice touch. One thing about the animation that I’m not crazy about though, is the fact that these transformation sequences feature computer generated animation. This works for some of the Scouts, for example, the flames in Sailor Mars’ transformation look fantastic, however, I think Sailor Moon’s transformation looks a little odd and at times I wish they’d just stuck with the same animation style throughout the whole thing.
So, as a fan of the original anime, how did I enjoy this new take on this classic series? Overall I really enjoyed it! The story moves along at a fast pace, but still manages to be poignant when it needs to be. The action scenes are exciting and the ending left me wanting more. There will always be things from the original anime that I love, but this new anime is a faithful and fun adaptation of the manga and I would recommend that any fan of the original anime check this series out.
Final Grade: A-
For more information on Sailor Moon Crystal Season 1check out Viz Media’s website: http://www.viz.com/watch/dvd/sailor-moon-video/12051