The Dark Kingdom arc has concluded with Act 14 and Sailor Moon Crystal is moving full force into the Black Moon arc. The reception of the first arc has been mixed. The animation has never been prettier, but the flaws never more obvious. We’re getting the manga plot line, but all its flaws as well. I’m not sure if I would describe myself as an optimist, but in times of mixed reviews, let’s all do our hearts a favor and spend some time dewelling on the positive. So without any further ado, ten reasons to love Sailor Moon Crystal!
10. The Pretty Art Style
While fans have some quibbles with the new art, (never ending legs, vacant eyes), but overall, I say, the art is lovely. Makoto, Rei, Ami and Minako have never looked better (unless you are drawn by Ikuko Itoh that is!). I love, love, love the colors. As for Usagi, I love the flow of her hair, although her extra perky odango still throw me for a loop.
9. The Manga Details
I’m a HUGE fan of the manga, so I’m absolutely thrilled that some many elements from the manga are finally getting animated. Sailor Moon’s second tiara, Beryl’s backstory, Mamoru’s watch–heck, Mamoru being a high school student instead of a college student–all details I’m so excited to see!
8. Manga Rei
And speaking about the manga, let’s pour one out for manga Rei! The 90s anime drastically changed Rei’s personality–she went from a chaste young woman who distrusts men to a boy crazy teen who dates Mamoru. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Sailor Moon Crystal will take the time to explain why Rei distrusts men, but the return of manga Rei is exciting.
7. Real Time Attacks
When Sailor Moon Crystal was first announced, I hoped and prayed that we would get real time attacks instead of stock footage. And eureka! They delivered! This attack by Sailor Mars is my favorite; it sent shivers up my spine. Sailor Moon’s epic Moon Healing Escalation in Act 10 ranks among the top attacks as well.
6. The Romance
Let’s be honest–the 90s anime was all about action and comedy. It spends the better part of three seasons (Classic, R and Stars) keeping Usagi and Mamoru apart. Most of the time, it’s Usagi fangirling over Tuxedo Mask, not deeply romantic moments between two long lost lovers. One might wonder why Usagi and Mamoru are together in the first place! Not so with Crystal. It’s all about the romance (no matter how much its OP song sings about not needing a prince. ^_^;;)
5. The Merch
The motivation behind making any anime or cartoon is simple: to make money. Sailor Moon Crystal is no different. And not only are we getting Sailor Moon Crystal merch, but we’re getting high end merch from the 90s anime that’s targeted adults. When I was kid, merch like the Moon Stick (Crescent Moon Wand) or the Cutie Moon Rod (Moon Scepter) were unavailable to me. Now, as an adult, I can easily purchase these beautiful items from Amazon or my local Barnes & Noble. From RP props, to stationary to gashapon capsules, there’s something for everyone.
4. Kotono Mitsuishi’s Performance
Fans around the world were thrilled to hear that Kotono Mitsushi, the original Japanese voice of Sailor Moon, would return to the role in Sailor Moon Crystal. However, even for Kotono, this would not be an easy task. Her comedic style fit perfectly in the 90s anime, but how would it work for the new romantic and beautiful Sailor Moon Crystal? Thankfully, Kotono’s performance has brought a much need comedic effect for the show. However, Kotono’s strongest performance hasn’t been a comedic one, but a dramatic one. I’m sure everyone can agree that her performance in Act 9–when it’s discovered that Sailor Moon is Princess Serenity–is incredibly powerful.
3. The Music
I LOVE the opening song, the closing song, the transformation music, the title cards–EVERYTHING! Moon Pride is the perfect empowerment anthem while Gekkou nails the theme of eternal love. I love the whimsical chimes during the title cards and the wind instruments during the commercial bumpers. Some fans think the music is forgettable, but honestly, choral music + electric guitars is everything I could have asked for.
2. Act 1–Perfection
Sailor Moon Crystal started strong with the first episode. While it adheres closely to the original manga, this episode had a few new additions that strengthened an already strong episode. Unlike the 90s anime, Sailor Moon Crystal knows where the story is going to go, so they were able to add Usagi’s mysterious dream of the Moon Princess. This episode was absolutely perfect.
1. Act 5–Amazing
While Act 1 stuck to the manga storyline with minor additions, Act 5 took Sailor Moon Crystal to a whole new level. For the first time on screen, Makoto’s backstory was explored much more than it had been before. We actually see Makoto’s distress from these painful memories. Most importantly, we get to see Sailor Moon stand up for Makoto–showing how Sailor Moon isn’t just her princess, but a supportive friend as well.
Well, those are my top ten reasons to watch Sailor Moon Crystal. What’s yours?