I’ve been seeing a lot of negativity around the new Sailor Moon Crystal series, primarily from Western Viewers and I really need to say my peace about this. I think a big part of this negativity is coming from people who literally grew up in the 1990s watching the original dubbed version of Sailor Moon, having no idea about the original Japanese version, which had a total of 5 seasons (not 4). I think many honestly never had any idea that the Norther American version of the Anime was as horridly edited as it was, nor that there was even a Manga (or even what Manga is).
Now that this new Sailor Moon series is out, I’m not sure what exactly they were expecting, but it’s clear that much of their disappointment stems from the fact that this new series doesn’t live up to their expectations, based on the original Anime.
Here are some of the most common critiques I’ve seen:
- It’s moving too fast
This new Anime was created by the request of the original Manga creator of Sailor Moon, Naoko Takeuchi. She was personally disappointed in the original Anime because it added so much filler to her series, and steered a lot of things off course from her original vision of the story. This time around, she wanted the series to remain as faithful to the Manga as possible, while perhaps throwing in a few extra things here and there that she had also wished she could have done differently in the Manga.Each episode of Crystal is following each act (chapter) in the Manga, one-for-one, right down to the title of each act/episode. For those of us who are Manga fans, we are noticing some of the changes, but naturally I feel they are understandable, simply because of changing the format from Manga to Anime, along with some changes that Naoko-sensei herself has wanted to add to the series (like the presumed romance between the Shittenou and the Sailor Senshi).
- The animation isn’t very good
Honestly, I’ve never seen so many people get so much in a huff about the animation. The overall style is much closer to the Manga, and I’ve seen the fact that they are making huge animation improvements for the DVD release of the episodes. Why? As an incentive to buy them, of course. You get the “rough” cut animation simulcast worldwide, which gets everyone a free view of the storyline as it unfolds. Then if you want the good, final renderings of the animation, you have to buy the DVD or BluRay (makes sense, Toei Animation does want to earn some money from this series).Here’s a sample of what I’m talking about. The top image is what we’ve seen in the series so far. The bottom comes from the DVD version. Makes you want to buy it now, don’t it?
- It’s not following the original Anime / Manga right!
Everyone seems to have an opinion about how this series is *supposed* to be, based on certain expectations. Many complaints, as I mentioned earlier, are coming from the folks who were kids growing up watching the original Anime. This version isn’t going to have all the filler “monster-of-the-week” crap (sorry but Toei was really stretching for episodes with that, and most of the fillers didn’t add a thing to the storyline). So for Sailor Moon fans wanting an updated version of the original Anime, so sorry, that’s not Naoko-sensei’s vision. For those who are familiar with/fans of the Manga criticizing the changes between the Manga and Crystal, give it a chance to play out before you decry things like “they took away Venus’ big moment!’ They may be building up to something bigger later, or tie it in, in a different way, or maybe Naoko-sensei has decided she has a different vision or direction she wants to go in with a specific character. Regardless, nitpicking every nuance of each episode, instead of letting the entire story arc come to completion and then viewing it all in it’s over arching context is basically not seeing the forest for the trees (so to speak).
I guess my main point with this posts is, I really love Crystal. I want them to complete all 60 acts, and not stop at 26 (which I am afraid will happen if people complain it out of existence).
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