The first arc for Sailor Moon ended a couple of weeks ago and so before the new arc starts up, I thought I should reflect on how the show is going so far.
Short Answer – not that well. The animation, plot, and characters are all lacking in the basic qualities that make for a good story.
Long Answer – *sigh* this may take awhile, so let’s break it up into a few sections to fully explain my problems with the anime so far.
I don’t mind the new art style, because it’s more in line with the manga. While others complained about the long bodies and overly shoujo look of the show, I was fine with it.
And for the most part, I’m fine with the look. My problem comes with the lazy animation that happens. For example, in numerous scenes in episode 14 we see a character and then the camera slowly pan towards them while their faces and body don’t move.
We still get to hear some voiceovers while this is happening, but it there’s no animation happening. If it was once or twice, then that would be fine, but this happens multiple times in the first half of the show.
Along with that, there’s shading issues, shoddy art, and a slew of other things that make the animation look sloppy. If this was a week to week anime, then I think I would be more forgiven, but since this isn’t it’s hard to look past these inconsistencies in the animation.
Usagi and Mamoru have tons of depth and personality. Their love story and journeys are actually developed nicely. Luna
Sadly, that’s pretty much the extent any character development on this show. Gone are the awesome Sailor Scouts who had spunk and welcome the one dimensional girls whose only purpose is to say “Usagi-chan” a bunch of times. As someone who grew up loving the Sailor Scouts more than Sailor Moon, this revelation was a huge blow to me.
At least Minako, Ami, and Mako are in line with how they were before, but with Rei…I don’t know what happened to her. It’s like her original personality was lobotomized and instead of the fiery girl we’re use to we get an empty shell.
It’s disappointing. Bad animation is one thing, but if the characters are not properly developed and remain one dimensional through the series, then that’s a problem. Everything else has to be even better because the art isn’t up to par.
Along with the love story, Sailor Moon is very much about friendship too and it failed on the latter part because I never understood why Minako, Ami, Rei, and Mako all loved Usagi to the point that they’d die for her. Instead of it being for friendship and love, it seemed more out of obligation to their past life and their duty to protect the princess.
The voice acting is quite good though.
I never thought I would every utter these words, but…this show needed fillers. The plot, in itself, wasn’t too bad and remained coherent during the first fourteen episodes. There are some changes from the original, but it’s not too big that it ever deters from the main focus of the story.
That being said, some scenes did feel watered down. The biggest one would be the fight between Sailor Moon vs. Queen Metalia. This was my favourite moment in the original series and here it was kind of like ho hum. The entire fight was almost anti-climatic really.
So the plot was okay, but because we only got the bare bones of everything it lacked that emotional connection that we’re meant to have for the series. It’s still not that bad though and it’s pretty much the only good thing about the show. I haven’t read the manga and all I know is that the live action was closer to the original source material than the first run of the anime, so some of the changes are interesting to see. It makes me want to read the manga to see just how close everything was.
Sadly, my hype levels for Sailor Moon Crystal were over the moon. As a huge fan of the original series and a fan of the live action drama that came out a few years ago, I was down and ready for this. I didn’t mind that the animation looked different. I didn’t mind the season spanning an entire year. Even though I sometimes forget about it here and there, I’ll still watch it.
My problem is it feels like the studio is banking more on nostalgia than anything else. Almost like fans of the original will watch this even if we don’t put in a lot of effort for the show…which, in my case, is true. I’ll watch this all the way to the bitter end, because I loved the original.
I’m not sure how the second arc will go, but with each episode that passes I’m left feeling more disappointed by this series than anything else. I don’t even think it was possible to screw up such a beloved series, but it happened.
I still love the title cards though. Those are gorgeous!
Edit: I know I sound very harsh here, but I think it’s because I love the series. This, along with Dragonball Z, was the show that really got me into anime. So when I heard of a 20th anniversary anime for it, my nostalgic heart was happy. Lack of funding and people really dented the remake of Sailor Moon though. It almost makes me wish it was delayed so more time and effort could be properly applied here.
Oh well, what can you do? I’m still going to watch it even if it goes downhill, because that’s how much I love Sailor Moon.