Short Version: Sailor Moon Crystal can be best described as a reincarnation of the original Sailor Moon series. It’s basically the same except with newer, better looking animation. Wait… hold up. I know some of you Sailor Moon purist are ready to have my head for that statement, but please consider that for a non fan. The classic style looks unappealing, but with this new look some new fans might be brought into you fold.
Long Version: Before we begin, I feel it should be noted that I did not watch the original Sailor Moon series before watching Sailor Moon Crystal. It may come as a shock to some, but when I was younger, and really at my peak of anime interest. I just didn’t view Sailor Moon as my cup of tea. It seemed too romantic, too “girly”. That was a version of me that didn’t appreciate the romantical stuff. A version that liked kung-fu movies and Pokemon.
Fast forward to today and you have the me that you now know. The bloke that is addicted to romance and ecchi content. Content like Sailor Moon. When we were presented with the opportunity to review the new Sailor Moon Anime, I took it upon myself to get the job done.
So what is Sailor Moon Crystal about?
Plot: Though a little clumsy and easily brought to tears, Usagi Tsukino is a typical 14-year-old girl in her second year of junior high. However, all of that changes when an encounter with Luna, a mysterious talking black cat, whose head bears the mark of a crescent moon, results in the animal bestowing a magical brooch upon her. Now Usagi can transform into Sailor Moon, a magical girl in a sailor uniform who protects love and peace!
Yup… pulled that straight from it's myanimelist page.
Anywho, that is the basic breakdown of the plot. It’s the tried and true coming of age story with a bit of magic, and some princess fantasies tossed in for good measure. I can’t say I fancied this plot as much as I have others I’ve seen recently, but it’s not the worst thing out there. I can see how some may like it, but I just didn’t fancy the constant crying of Usagi and the basic manor in which it progressed. It reminded me of shows like Pokemon and Power Rangers. In that the villain sends out an enemy to do the same thing over and over, but are stopped by a hero who pretty much does the same thing all the time to stop them, with some moral building message tied into each episode. A plot like this simply doesn’t hold up to modern storytelling standards, because we’ve all seen these types of stories before; however, that being said, I didn’t hate my time with the anime. It was, how can I say…. Relaxing. Relaxing, because of its simplicity. While watching the anime I didn’t feel the pressing need to focus on everything going on, onscreen. I was on my phone a couple more times than usual while watching this anime, but I was still able to completely follow the plot as it progressed. It’s lack of complexity makes it the perfect anime to watch with a younger sibling, cousin, niece, nephew, etc…They’ll get enjoyment out of it and you’ll be able to keep up while doing other important things like googling the new power levels of Vegito in Dragon Ball Super.
I also felt that the English dub wasn’t bad, or maybe it’s just me getting old and becoming too lazy to read subs when the option of a dub is available, maybe. To me all the characters sounded bearable enough for me to watch the entire show with full English dub, with subs on just for reading signs and songs. For the version we used for review. It came with both sub and dub so if you’re considering getting the DVD or Blu-Ray, you will have the option to watching it both ways no matter your preference. Also keep in mind that the second Disc comes with a couple Trailers, and clean opening/ending, so don’t panic when you don’t see them when you pop in Disc 1.
Story elements and voice acting aside, the animation is very pretty, especially when compared to the original Sailor Moon’s animations. Crystal took pretty much all the artistic elements of the original and upgrades them to appeal to a much more modern crowd. I found this to be one of the best parts about this anime. Though the version we received for review was the 480p DVD version, I didn’t find it diminish much of the spectacle that this new Sailor Moon offers. I’m sure it looks even better as a Blu-ray version, but the the DVD is a good alternative if you don’t have a Blu-ray player or streaming options to watch the anime.
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal is the kind of anime that I’d say is primarily for the fans of the original Sailor Moon anime series. It’s an anime without a convoluted plot that should keep the attention of younger viewers and fans of the original more so than those of us that have been spoiled by the complexities of modern anime. If that sounds like the kind of anime that you would enjoy then I recommend streaming it unless you’re a collector of sorts. If so getting either the DVD or Blu-Ray sets should easily satisfy your desires.
The Sailor Moon Crystal Standard DVD Set 1 used for this review was provided by VIZ Media.