Sailor Moon Crystal Episode 14 [Midseason Impression]
Sailor Moon Crystal reached episode 14 today and the big clincher here is that this marks the end of the first arc in the new adaptation of Sailor Moon, so that means I felt I really needed to add my thoughts on this whole season thus far so you’d get an idea of how it holds up. How does the brand new adaptation of Sailor Moon, largely produced out of love and with little funding, stand up to the age old nostalgia favorite?
I think it’s important we note some things here: The Sailor Moon fanbase is extraordinarily split. I spent years thinking no one liked the original anime because it wasn’t close enough to the manga, and come to find out now many fans are displeased it doesn’t live up to that ‘idea’ at all. Many people came in expecting one of two things: A remake of the classic series, or a true to the manga remake. Those expecting the latter were much more fond of this season than other’s, and typically received it well. I myself? I knew it was going to be like the manga but I knew nothing about it, my entire knowledge was in the original anime.
The episode begins with the fight against Metallia coming to an end. The battle is highly impressive and Sailor Moon has to call on all of her powers and pray to the Crystal in order to win, and I definitely feel she had the power to do so by the end. Her impressive wand wielding Crystal holding powers are nothing to scoff at! One way this definitely differed from the original is I always felt the power she emitted was capable of actually winning when it was shown. In the original anime there were times it was as simple as, if my one single attack misses we’re screwed. Not so here, Usagi prays and uses the strength of her heart to reach new heights, a theme that we didn’t see as much in the original.
When it all boils down to it, the episode contained some great reactions. I stand by a statement about the frustration of last episode’s ending because in truth, the last half of episode 13 and the first half of episode 14 should have been their own episode. There was a lack of tension in the show when the happy feelings quickly got washed into the next big thing, and in the original there was definitely a more bleak moment. While Usagi’s chances until late into 13 of Crystal were bad, the original did the opposite and made the girls all easily capable of dispatching the monster of the week until the final set came and killed off all the scouts. The original ended with a season finale of everyone dying and being restored by the crystal! Yet the implication of death for everyone in Crystal remains- Usagi breaks her broach and the Scouts use their ‘lives’ to help Usagi, with Mamoru’s kiss restoring Usagi and Usagi restoring the Scouts.
So how does it feel? Crystal felt beautiful, don’t get me wrong. The OST really kicks you with it’s beautiful high notes and whimsical moments, Mamoru’s searching for the scouts and using his powers was very interesting. Usagi showed herself to be the legitimate badass this episode and the crowning moment was when she said she wanted to go back to Earth and live a normal life on the planet she loved. We definitely see her adoration for everything she respects and also we see that she has grown as a fighter. Before the girl was reluctant even until the end, where it felt here she simply lacked confidence. Once the Usagi of Crystal realized she was the last hope, she knew what she had to do and did it with the power of friendship and love. Usagi in the original had to see everyone die in front of her to get the message, and even see Mamoru once again destroyed. The opposite is true of Crystal – she and Mamoru together fought to defeat Metalia.
Which is better? Jeez. I couldn’t tell you. There are some pacing problems in Crystal but none of it felt ‘bad’. I enjoyed watching it, cried at most scenes, and felt interested in every conflict that came up. When the Sailor Senshi of Crystal fought, I never knew if it would be too little or not. They got their asses beat plenty, but they were fucking juggernauts. No one can say the Sailor Senshi in Crystal weren’t badasses, and given how many the Senshi in the original anime fought it’s a bit sad they could do little more than call out one attack and get wrecked if it didn’t connect. The original suffers in that their limited powers never really represent their actual abilities, and even in later seasons they all seem to get their humps busted. I believe the girls in Crystal are powerhouses meant to protect the princess of the freaking moon, because they are.
If you come into this anime expecting it to be something it’s not, you will be disappointed. But I don’t think anyone should come into this anime expecting that! No one should think to themselves, remember the original? I love what it did, can we see it again? No one should just want to see a rehash. Crystal is a rare and beautiful opportunity few anime fans get, even Dragon Ball Z fans getting a re edit with revisions on art and not an outright new anime. The Sailor Moon fans were lucky to experience such a rare treat, and I think it did what it did well. Usagi and Mamoru, a romance heavily implied but never properly developed originally, is now very apparent and clear. The two love each other and for once we can actually see why, their love is developed! This is new, and it was a wonderful thing to see in Crystal.
As a die hard original fangirl, I have to say Sailor Moon Crystal part 1 cannot possibly be more than what it is at the moment. I have every bit of faith that the animation can improve, and perhaps now that it’s supposed to air in Japan it will get funding to do so. The blue rays have done nothing but enhance former episodes and make them stunning, and if all the episodes can be improved upon the anime will have little faults. It didn’t take more than one episode for me to be completely invested in the characters, the music, the plot, the villains, the acting- everything. Nothing about Sailor Moon Crystal is worth missing and nothing demands more to be seen than this anime. In the end, love AND friendship triumphed and Usagi showed that every single person in her life matters. The beauty behind the series stands strong 14 episodes in, and I think I can safely recommend this anime as an 8.5 out of 10 for 1-14.
However, the episode ended on the introduction of a very important new character- and with her appearance, the new arc begins. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the Sailor Moon Crystal retelling of the Black Moon arc. And let me join all of you in going OMFGWTFTHISANIMEGIVEMEMORECANITBEONDVDIMREADYFORADUBHASHTAGSDONTWORKHERE. PS: The 3d transformations still suck. Please undo.