I know this version of Sailor Moon is supposed to be more adherent to the manga, but seeing as I haven’t read the manga and cut my anime teeth on the original series I have a serious bias against the way the reboot has been executed. I haven’t finished watching all the new episodes yet, but I thought I would give some first impressions on the Sailor Moon Crystal. My opinion of the reboot in a word: meh.
I’ll try to keep my complaints succinct, but my problems with the show ranged from the character interactions to the general artistic character design of the reboot. I’m going to keep this post short, but here goes.
So let’s talk about the character design. Compare the above picture to a picture of the original sailor scouts.
Now which of these girls actually look the right age. (The sailor scouts are supposed to be about 14.) The new rendition of the sailor scouts look way more mature and bordering on adulthood, which takes away a large part of the show’s charm. Sure you can dress them in cute school girl uniforms and say that they’re about 14, but if you look at the artwork I’m not necessarily buying it. This probably sounds weird, but Usagi is way too pretty–it makes her awkward clumsiness less awkward and clumsy, which ruins the character to a certain extent. She’s supposed to be an awkward pubescent girl who’s falls and general bumblings aren’t tempered by beauty or other qualities. This is a change in all the sailor scouts to this very pristine and almost unnatural beauty that makes me somewhat uncomfortable. They lose some of their humanness in this way. Because of their mature appearances and somewhat perfect bodies, you miss out on some of the more charming and hilarious scenes in the iconic ‘weight loss episode’ where Usagi decides to temporarily give up on her life of eating sweets all the time and get in shape.
I think the original show was a lot more creative in some of the attempts to get energy from humans to give to Queen Beryl. Of course there were a lot more episodes in the original, which gave a lot more freedom for these different arcs, but the new show feels like it’s trying to rush through everything instead of giving the characters and the story enough time to develop. I feel like they also tried to tone down everyone’s personality, which is what made the original so great. Usagi is a little bit less whiny and more composed and the other sailor scouts really aren’t that interesting, at least from what I’ve seen so far in the show.
Then there’s the missing antagonistic relationship between Usagi and Rei. As well as the lack of love rivalry for Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask. Rei was a great character in the original series because she always said exactly what the audience was thinking–even if she could be a bit harsh at times–about Usagi and her ridiculous antics.
I seriously miss this! It added an extra dimension to the sailor scouts instead of having them all be super supportive and loving of each other all the time. A little drama now and again isn’t the worst thing in the world (as long as it doesn’t reach Toradora heights XD).
Then of course there’s the issue of the romance. Damn this went fast. Part of the charm of the original romance was the fact that it took so long for Usagi and Mamoru to finally acknowledge their feelings for each other and their relationship. Sure I like some nice romance as much as the next smushy girl (read my post on shoujo if you want more on that), but this moved a lot faster than I would have liked. If this were a book I was reading I probably would have put it down and been like “nope”. Sometimes wham bam thank you ma’am romance is nice, but I liked the relationship much better when it had more of a history. Then there’s also the arc where Mamoru and Rei have a short thing going on–essentially there are some love rivals, it isn’t just starry-eyed Usagi and Mamoru falling for each other after a few encounters. Plus Mamoru used to wear the most wonderfully hideous outfits ever–made my day every time XD.
Anyway, am I going to continue watching the reboot? Yes, I probably will since I’ll be bored out of my mind over break. Am I going to like it? Eh. Not sure. Let me know what you guys think! Have you watched it? How do you think it compares?