Anime Review – Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal ReviewIt was instant betrayal. No longer was Sailor Moon fighting evil by moonlight but rather the opening theme now hinged on the idea of ‘moon pride’. That’s right. Before episode one had even started the series took a hit equivalent to being punched in the face by a seriously strong dude. And unfortunately it never quite recovered…

Coming as a remake to the original Sailor Moon there was as a lot of excitement that surrounded the series. What troubles me the most is my failure to understand how a series that had a guaranteed viewership could be done so poorly. From shallow character development to animation as clunky as pre 1980s computers. Sailor Moon Crystal simply failed.

While I understand the plot was condensed significantly to fit a much tighter time frame I don’t think it excuses the characters sudden loss of their personality. There was literally no depth to them. By episode five the dimwitted but hilariously lovable Serena was gone. The sassy fights between Rei and Serena were non-existent. There was no mention of meatball head, no teasing from Darien, and virtually no character development. They should of made every sailor scout dress in the same colour and given them the same name because lets face it, they were all essentially the same person with slightly different powers. They shared the same lines, served the same purpose and failed at almost everything they did. It’s like rather than being treated as fluid, interesting characters the creators could work with they were relegated to a nuisance that begrudgingly had to be included.

The good days. Where Sailor Moon had a personality, was funny, and still wished she was a cat. Source: Toei Animation
The good days. Where Sailor Moon had a personality, was funny, and still wished she was a cat.   Source: Toei Animation

Sailor Moon herself had become extra bratty and spent so much time crying out about Mamoru that it became incessantly annoying. Her reflections on friendship seemed insincere and overall it was just one big melodramatic mess. There was one part where she literally does a monologue proclaiming how she can’t meet her future self because it’s so dangerous it could change the world. Nek Minit she can’t help herself and runs to talk to her. Like Sailor Moon you selfish bitch what are you doing!?

This series was like a guy who was having a bad day before falling down the stairs 17 times and declaring it miserable. While I actually didn’t mind the art style it was painfully hard to look past the horrible animation. It was as if they’d drawn 15 frames and sat there working out how to pad out those 15 frames to last 20 minutes. To be fair there were moments that did look ok, but these were few and far between and simply became more and more sparse as the series progressed. It was like the animators just stopped giving a shit. To make matters worse every battle seemed to come down to one source of power locking with another for up to half an episode. It was like watching an arm wrestle over and over thirty times while being sober. And while I do understand this is a bit of a sailor moon staple, as a remake they could of at least attempted to make things a little more interesting – at least some of the time.

Sailor Venus. Guardian of love and light – and destroyer of families. Source: Toei Animation
Sailor Venus. Guardian of love and light – and destroyer of families.   Source: Toei Animation

Diverging back to plot. While it’s understandable that it would have been difficult to condense the plot to 26 episodes it doesn’t make up for them doing a horrid job. It still felt like it was padded with random superfluous scenes that simply didn’t need to be there. By the same token important aspects were thrown into the gutter and forgotten. The sound was decent, but really nothing special and quite simply for something produced in 2015 it was just plain bad. Like…really bad.

In short, if you don’t mind a “slow down there speed racer” plot that seems to crash on every corner then maybe you’ll find Sailor Moon Crystal bearable. But to be quite honest the story will be much more enjoyable if you just watch the original with the awesome Sailor Moon we know and love.

Thank you for reading my review!

Rating 3/10