SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL Act 1: “Usagi, Sailor Moon” Recap
I’ve been excited about Sailor Moon Crystal since the moment it was announced two years ago – so naturally I stayed up all night to watch it at six AM the moment it aired. After the episode, I saw mixed responses on tumblr and Twitter, but I was not disappointed.
As more and more information about Sailor Moon Crystal was released, it was revealed that it would stay closer to the original manga by Naoko Takeuchi than the 1990’s anime did. When the art style for the new anime was leaked, a lot of people were upset by how far off it was from the old anime style but it is like they said, exactly like the manga. The animation in the trailer and the first episode is so much cleaner and more detailed than the original anime – the original anime although iconic, could be horrible at times with the lack of effort in the animation. This first episode was exactly as beautiful as I expected and it was amazing to see something I’ve loved so much for so long reach it’s full potential.
SPOILERS beyond this point!
Act 1: Usagi, Sailor Moon was extremely similar to the first episode of the original anime and almost word-for-word to the original manga, the only differences being a few words changed here and there. It starts out with love-able, clumsy Usagi being love-able, clumsy Usagi. She’s running late for school, getting bad grades, and being the same average teenager we all love. In the beginning of the episode, Usagi’s mom is seen reading about Sailor V- which was the first thing that reminded me of the original manga. Although they stated that it would stay very close to the manga, I didn’t really know what to expect from this episode. I realized pretty quickly that it was exactly like the manga, which is really exciting and not only is it something old Sailor Moon fans can enjoy but it gives potential new viewers a chance to start at the beginning without worrying about catching up to the intimidating amount of episodes the older anime has.
I was worried they’d leave some old characters behind – but they didn’t. Everyone that should have been in the episode was there, including Usagi’s little brother that I forgot about and I’m 90% sure the original anime forgot about, too. Naru Osaka (Molly in the original anime) was one of the first characters to appear and I’m happy about that because she was always one of my favorites and very important to the original storyline. Another character I’m glad didn’t disappear is Motoki Furuhata (Andy). Motoki Furuhata is a worker at the Arcade and is one of Usagi’s friends.
Is Tuxedo Mask here? Yes he is, and he’s 100% cooler than he looked in the 1990’s. Outside of the jewelry store where he first runs into Usagi in Crystal, he implies that he is looking for something but the episode doesn’t give away what. The manga comes right out and says it: The Silver Imperium Crystal.
After the episode explains characters and shows that Usagi is still the same Usagi, the story begins. Osaka’s mother is held captive and a monster disguised as her is using their family-owned jewelry store to steal energy from teens. Luna tells unlikely hero Usagi that now is the time, she is the chosen warrior. She has to find her team, defeat the enemy and then search for a Queen. Usagi is distracted by how beautiful the brooch Luna gave her is, and seems to be paying no attention the the talking cat in the room. Luna finally convinces her by telling her to say these words aloud: “MOON PRISM POWER, MAKE UP!” The transformation sequence begins, and it is beautiful and definitely more exciting than the last. I wonder if they’ll play the entire sequence repetitively in every episode like the older anime did. That was one thing that annoyed ten-year-old-me.
When they arrive on the scene, Usagi seems clueless and worried. A new attack is revealed when Usagi is crying because she is afraid. The shrieks seem to be hurting enemies, and gosh, that’s adorable. Luna tells her to throw her Tiara and destroy the enemy, which is a very familiar attack from both the original anime and manga. Tuxedo Mask was also on the scene, cute and useless as always.
The episode ends back at Usugi’s high school, with Osaka talking to friends about Sailor V’s partner saving her. Usagi realizes that the entire incident wasn’t a dream, and worries about what’s going to happen to her. A mysterious blue haired girl is shown at the end, but we all know who she is. 😉 A new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal airs once every two weeks and it’s available on Crunchyroll, which is where I watched it. I can’t wait to see if the rest of the episodes are as good as the first.