First thing’s first – I love Sailor Moon. I remember watching it and DBZ early in the morning when I was little, before going to my grandparents’ house. It was my gateway drug into anime. Unfortunately ,it went off whatever channel we had it on not too much later, so I missed pretty much all of the storyline of the first dubbed season after the Sailor Scouts were introduced. If I remember right, Comedy Central or Cartoon Network started showing the movies in the early 2000’s. We didn’t have cable or satellite, so I had a friend tape all them for me. I’m also lucky enough to have an uncle who’s big into comic books, who got me a good amount of the comic versions. They are gorgeous, by the way.
Viz.com has been showing (also producing/writing?) a whole new Sailor Moon series, called Sailor Moon Crystal. Here’s a rapid review of the first arc. Arc 1 consists of the Sailor Scouts getting together, Queen Beryl’s search for the Legendary Silver Crystal, and the big bad showdown.
If you haven’t seen it yet, be warned that I AM posting spoilers. This is your only warning.
Verdict – disappointed. Rating – 2.5
- the female empowerment built up through the first 3/4 of the arc is dismantled and beat bloody against Tokyo after Endymion (Prince Darien) is kidnapped and brainwashed
- the storyline of the arc follows the manga pretty closely – this turns Beryl into a woman motivated by jealousy instead of just power in general, or wrapping Earth in darkness
- the animation style or model design (a.k.a. super long legs and arms, weirdly designed scenes) becomes super noticeable at the end when Serena has her meltdown
- Serena and Darien’s “deaths” that were prevented by the transformation locket and the knights’ stones, respectively
- the Moon Kingdom’s reawakening or return, without any real reason why
- there is no transformation of Serena into Princess Serenity at the end battle
The few highlights:
- Sailor Venus acting as the princess until Luna is ready to awaken that part of Serena. This is the only good deviation from the original series (or at least the dubbed version that aired in the USA in the 90’s).
- the glimpse of Luna’s human form (“Princess Kaguya” in the Sailor Moon S movie)
- the love between Serena and Darien is, FOR ONCE, realized and shown early on
- the story of Darien’s knights, and their relationship with the Sailor Scouts
- in the end, it’s still Sailor Moon
There you have it! Arc 2 has already started, and brings in Chibi Usagi to the storyline. I honestly don’t know what that storyline will entail, since the only things I watched with Chibi Moon were the movies. When it’s over, I’ll be sure to give you another rapid review!
What did YOU think of Sailor Moon Crystal Arc 1? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!