Sailor Moon Crystal: Thoughts

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By now, anyone who reads my blog, which is few people, should know that I enjoy Japanese animation (anime for short) and manga (Japanese comics). My introduction into that world was Sailor Moon, and the fanaticism has never left me.

Sailor Moon Crystal has definitely been a wild ride…and divisive.

Today, I’m here to offer a little…critique…of sorts.

You should know that I’m the sort of person interested in abstract things- I like to understand and embrace the underlying principles and theories that make or break everything else. It’s not just a matter of knowing how to cook something; it’s a matter of knowing why heating something slowly will cause different reactions than heating it quickly. That sort of thing.

So here we are: what’s the real issue with Sailor Moon Crystal? Some people have complained about virtually everything they can, in a way that bewilders me.

First, let me state the issue of the classic Sailor Moon anime of the 90s: it had way, WAY too much filler- that was useful for characterization, but we have virtually no character development for anyone throughout the series. The classic series also left out important aspects of characters in the manga- Queen Beryl has no motivation for being evil. She’s just evil.

And so we come to the mirror problem found in Sailor Moon Crystal: instead of taking the manga and filling it out a bit, adding more characterization and much-needed character development, we’re left with the manga basically being a storyboard for Crystal. The backstories of the characters could be filled out. The romance with the Kings…well…that, too, was handled poorly.

The first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal left us with a set of not-quite-finished-but-also-seemingly-overdone transformations for several characters and mostly bland attacks. Yes, the real-time attacks were pretty cool…in a way…but I missed the stock footage from the 90s anime.  Moon Princess Halation is one of the sadder attacks in its treatment. I would say most of the attacks looked pretty stiff compared to the smoothness of the transformations.

Yes, I love the manga more than anything, and I feel like the chance to really polish Sailor Moon and set her off with a final flare was lost.

So there you have it.

Steve

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