The new season of anime has begun this week and so many shows are already out with lots more still coming out very soon. However, one of the most anticipated shows this season, if not this year, is Sailor Moon Crystal. With the scheduling that they’re going to have (roughly two episodes released every month) it’s going to be around for a long time. Here’s a first look at Sailor Moon Crystal.
The first thing you notice is that everyone in the show is really pretty. All of the characters in Sailor Moon Crystal look so pretty it’s like the anime is reminding the viewer that the original source material was a shoujo manga. Every character is introduced with either a flower border around the screen or enough sparkly bubbles that could make Kimi ni Todoke fans feel right at home. The girls are pretty, the guys are pretty, even Luna the cat looks much prettier than she did in the original run of the show. It’s almost like everyone in the show is a porcelain doll with the only exception being the evil monster that appears in this episode.
All things considered, Sailor Moon Crystal is much closer to th e original source material than the original 90’s show. While the first series took some liberties and changed a few things around mainly for the sake of animation and cost, the entire first episode of Crystal was like the whole first chapter of the manga. It wasn’t exactly frame by frame and shot for shot like a couple of recent anime adaptations have done before (see Future Diary and High School of the Dead) but it was still an impressive transition from manga to anime.
Once the show makes it to Sailor Moon’s transformation, the animation actually changes to a 3D CGI sequence. More and more shows have been using this; one moment it is normal animation until it reaches a scene where they insert 3D CG sprites into the scene. The reason for that is meant for either scenes where there might be a lot of movement all at the same time (such as certain scenes in Love Live) to just having it look cool and have a manga feel when you are viewing it (see the current run of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure). The scenes themselves look great, however the transitions from the regular animation to the CGI and then back into the regular animation again makes each style look a little awkward. Once your eyes get used to seeing the transition, it is almost unnoticeable.
It’s going to be another couple of weeks before we see the next episode, where the next Sailor Scout will be introduced. Unlike the original anime, which took scores of episodes before just the first five Sailor Scouts were all on screen together, the show seems to be moving at the same speed as the manga – meaning that it shouldn’t take anywhere near as long before that happens with Sailor Moon Crystal. Which is good since the show is currently slated for 26 episodes, giving more screen time for every character. Still, we’re looking at about a year of Sailor Moon at this rate which is good and bad. Good because we get a whole year of new Sailor Moon, even if it is only twice a month. Sailor Moon Crystal is most definitely a watch this season.