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Top Ten Reasons to Love Sailor Moon Crystal

The five inner senshi stand under the Sailor Moon Crystal Logo

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!

A screenshot from Sailor Moon Crystal with Usagi staring at Rei with hearts in her eyes. The subtitle reads "She's so beautiful..."

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.

Close up of Sailor Moon's forehead. It's her second tiara.

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!

Rei stands at the entrance of the shrine with the words "I don't trust men."

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.

Fire fills the screen as Sailor Mars attacks

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.

Three screenshots: Usagi naming Mamoru "Mamo-chan", Usagi kissing his watch and Mamoru kissing her handkerchief

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. ^_^;;)

A Sailor Moon merchandise collection with the Cutie Moon rod, pointers and Figuarts

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.

Tuxedo Mask lays in Princess Serenity's lap as the Silver Crystal shines

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.

Title Card of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 1

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.

Upper body shot of Crystal Sailor Jupiter

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?

Images: Toei Animation via hulu.com / sailormoonnews.com / rebloggy.com / Sketch by Sketch / operationrainfall.com / natsume / toybox
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Jackie January 28, 2015, 18:23

    Thank you for this! I feel like there has been so much negativity around Sailor Moon Crystal that people haven’t stopped to appreciate what it is! Although I like the 90s anime, it didn’t follow Naoko’s vision, which is why I fell in love with Sailor Moon in the first place! I’m so glad that Crystal is hewing to the original manga so closely. Also, I agree that it is beautifully done 🙂

  • CCTakato February 7, 2015, 08:45

    My top ten reasons for loving Crystal
    10.The music-While the animation has been controversial, I love everything about Crystal’s music. From the catchy and addicting and empowering Moon Pride song, to the beautiful and emotional ending, Gekko. I love how the BGM combines the orchestrated score style of the original with a more modernized techno feel and the transformation music gets me excited everything.

    9-The Transformations-I know a lot of fans hate the CGI in the transformations and it took me awhile to get used to them, but I actually quite love the transformation scenes, especially Usagi’s and Minako’s. Their transformations were so lovely and beautiful and I loved how they kept the spirit of the 90s transformation scenes while putting their own spin on them. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, my heart always starts pounding when Usagi starts to transform in the first episode.

    8-Sailor Venus is more accurate-You mentioned Rei being more accurate to the manga which I love a lot too as a Mars fan but I also love that Minako was more accurate here to the manga. I loved that they kept her expanded subplot from the manga like PGSM did and she was portrayed more as a serious leader but she still kept some of her goofy charm in some scenes.

    7-The Shittennou Pairings-I’ve loved the Shittenou/Soldier pairings since I’ve seen that famous image of them from Naoko’s artwork and seeing them explored in the musicals, so I was really excited they made them canon in Crystal. Even though I wish we could have gotten more scenes of them together, I was all together glad they made it official.

    6-The Darker Storyline-I love the comedy in the original anime and the 90s show had lots of tragic moments too, but I always loved that the manga was more darker and dramatic and serious. I’m glad Crystal didn’t disappoint in this area and showed us the full horror of the tragedy of the Moon Kingdom.

    5. Tuxedo Mask Is Not A Jerk-Although I don’t hate Tuxedo Mask in the original anime, I love him to death in the manga and he’s one of my favorite characters in it. I was so excited they kept his personality closer to the manga. He still teased Usagi but it wasn’t as over the top like the original show did and I felt like Mamoru showed Usagi more affection in Crystal. I also loved that we got to see more scenes of them having their relationship develop before the big reveal about them happens as opposed to the original show which made it seem like their relationship happened only because of fate.

    4-Everything With Luna-I think the part that surprised me most about Crystal was how well done Luna was in this show. I loved Luna in the old series and the manga but other than the S movie, she was always more of a minor character to me that I didn’t pay much attention to. Here in Crystal every scene Luna is in is amazing and touching and it just makes me love her so much. I feel like I’ve never seen Usagi and Luna’s relationship this close before in Sailor Moon and it’s just so beautiful and precious and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

    3-Sailor Jupiter’s episode-I’ve got to agree that I absolutely love Jup’s intro episode. I loved that they not only told the manga story but they expanded on her past and what happened between Makoto and her sempai. It was all handled so well and it was very touching and I loved it to death.

    2-The Sailor Soldiers Powers Being Stronger-It seemed like the original anime always tried to make the Sailor Soldiers’ powers weaker so they were more dependent on Tuxedo Mask to save him but I love that their powers were much more stronger in Crystal and closer to their power level in the manga. Like in the original anime, Moon Healing Escalation can only heal individual monsters but in Crystal she can use her powers to heal the entire planet and the other Soldiers are able to defeat their enemies without Tuxedo Mask always using his roses to save them.

    1-Just having new Sailor Moon-Sailor Moon was my first anime and it’s still my favorite show, so just having some new Sailor Moon material out there to watch and talk about with my friends has been a lot of fun for me and I love having a new episode to look forward to when they come out.

    • Anne Lee February 11, 2015, 01:58

      Those are really good points! And you’re right, Minako is a lot more similar to the manga as well.

  • Erin June 12, 2015, 21:38

    Thank you! I don’t understand why so many people have been so harsh about Crystal. I’ll always cherish the original anime, but I love this version and it’s more mature tone. At times the artwork may not be perfect, but overall I think it’s lovely and captures Naoko’s spirit. I truly love how the magnetism created between Usagi and Mamoru from the beginning; the teasing in the original anime was too much at times. I also adore this version of Rei and Minako, and I think the transformation scenes are powerful. Every morning that Crystal’s released, I’m giddy with excitement. Also, being an adult now, I can bing watch Crystal a lot easier than the original anime. 😉 I’m praying they’ll finish every arc and that they’ll be able to expand upon the other storylines a tad more, given they have less acts.

  • Holly Dolly June 15, 2015, 13:50

    You forgot reason # 1 – SM Crystal gets directly to the point. Fans don’t have to suffer through seemingly endless formulaic episodes of monster fighting/victory to see the over all plot movement. Also, Usagi and Mamo sleep with each other, which is something real lovers do! This realism makes it better than the 90s version.

  • Caralonica October 11, 2016, 08:48

    Thank You. I saw Sailor Moon when it first came out on toonami, and it was one of my favorite animes at the time, but there were some things that annoyed me. One, Sailor Moons super childish personality. I know her character is supposed to be a bit like that, but I thought it was way over the top! Two Darien age and attitude, I didnt hate him, but I didn’t like him nearly as much until he became nicer. Three, the complete lack of romance between the two until they found out each others alter egos. Four, the recycled episode material, five, the filler episodes that added nothing to the main plot whatsoever, six, Rei and Mamorou, seven, Minako, eight, chibi-usas take over, nine, naru and nephrite, and ten, usagi mooning over tuxedo max when he clearly wanted to do with her.

    I have to admit however, that I did love the girl’s chemistry, youthful spirit and the fight between usagi and Beryl a bit more in the classic version. It was fluid and did not seem to come out of the blue. As a whole, the anime was funny, interesting and addicting, but there was some things that really grated my nerves and as I got older it just seemed dumb. Then I came across some Manga pics on the Internet and decided to check it out.

    I absolutely loved it. All the girls were more mature, Mamoru was not a borderline pedophile, the fights did not drag on using the same formula. You could see Usagi get stronger, and that her and Mamoru actually liked each other. Minako was actually very cool and mature. Rei was serious and mystical, and usagi cared more about others than half.
    I just came across SMC images a few days ago, and was really captivated by the art style. I wanted to know more about it. When I saw the first episode, I was thrilled. It followed the manga line, and you could see that instant attraction between mamoru and usagi. I wanted to see more, and I have to say, I don’t get why people dislike it so much. The first season does seem a little short to me, and I feel that they should have put in two or three transitional episodes for Usagi before the Kunzite battle, to help it flow better, but overall it was well done. This is some of the reasons why:

    1. The art style is gorgeous
    2. You can see that Usagi and Mamoru actually care deeply for one another in the present, instead of just the past. (season one)
    3. The fights are not the same formalic set up with different characters
    4. Usagi is not as nearly as selfish, gluttonous, clumsy or babyish. In fact, she’s much closer to her princess self. (Yay)
    5. The girls are stronger with more attacks
    6. Minako is not chasing boys all the time, ditzy and annoying. Instead, she is a strong and independent leader who learns to rely on others.
    7. Mamoru is not a jerk.
    8. We get a little glimpse of who jadeite, nephrite, Kunzite and Zoicite REALLY were. (Double Yay)
    9. Luna
    10. The story gets straight to the point.

    And more…

    As an adult, I can hardly even sit through a few episodes of the original sailor moon. It’s either, corny, stupid or wierd. However, I actually want to see more of sailor moon crystal. Though its still corny, it’s more serious and soothing, and I like that.

  • SailorJulia December 9, 2018, 12:31

    I totally agree! I actually read the manga first before I ever watched either of the shows. The, I watched the original Sailor Moon, and I went crazy. I said stuff like, “Why so many fillers?” “This is not like the manga at all!” Then, Sailor Moon Crystal popped up. I FELL IN LOVE WITH THAT VERSION. For these reasons:

    1. The music is awesome! (It’s the only song I listen to on the airplane.)
    2. Tuxedo Mask is not a jerk.
    3. Despite a few little animation quirks, it’s still better than the original’s animation.
    4. Usagi is less food-focused and more mature.
    5. Rei is make like the manga! Hooray!
    6. In general, it follows the manga better.
    7. In the original, they changed the look of Usagi’s first brooch. In Crystal, the brooch has the look from the manga. (For some reason, that kind of thing really annoys me.)
    8. Transformation sequence is WAY better.
    9. Minako is more serious.
    10. Less filler episodes!
    11. They don’t recycle monster ideas.
    12. More Usagi/Mamoru romance scenes. (Yayyyy! Go romance!)
    13. A darker and more tragic storyline.

    • Anne Lee December 10, 2018, 21:50

      Yay! Another manga fan! I love all your reasons!

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