Saturday, July 5, 2014

Sailor Moon Crystal - Act 1 Usagi -Sailor Moon - Episode Review

UPDATED 7/7/14

Most diehard Sailor Moon fans in North America woke up early to watch Sailor Moon Crystal, available on Hulu and Neon Alley on Sunday. Crunchyroll had live streaming. Niconico is for Japanese fans. Hulu, Neon Alley and Crunchyroll has English subtitles. At one point they will dub the episodes. They will be release bi-weekly meaning every two weeks. Meaning Act 2 will come out July 19.
Basic plot summary of the first episode:
Usagi has brief dreams of the Moon Princess and her prince. She wakes up late and heads off to school. She accidently steps on Luna and pulls off a bandage on her crescent moon spot. Luna scratches her and leaps off. Elsewhere, Jeadite calls upon a Youma to do his bidding. At school, Usagi is forced to stand outside her class room, has a vision of the princess and wishes she was. Her teacher is mad she got a 30%. Usagi introduces us to her mom, her brother Shingo, Miss Haruna (who has lighter coloring than before), Naru, Umino, and her Crown Arcade crush Motoki. Her friends talk about jewelry crimes and Sailor V fighting bad guys. Naru invites her friends to the jewelry store her mom owns. Usagi goes to her friend Naru's mom's jewelry store where there is a frenzy for a sale.

 She throws her test at Mamoru who calls her a 'bun head' and he is wearing a tuxedo. She leaves and Mamoru wonders if the jewelry shop has the Illusionary Crystal. Usagi wishes she could be Sailor V and then plays the game at Crown Arcade. She spots the cat she saw before, Motoki says its been wandering around for a while. Back at home, Usagi is kicked out of her house for her bad grades. Her brother arrives and makes fun of her. Elsewhere at the Jewelry shop, Tuexedo Kamen arrives outside. The Youma has gathered energy from the jewelry she sold. Naru finds out that her real mom is locked in the basement. Usagi takes a nap and has a strange dream (princess running with prince, then mixed with Sailor V fighting a dinosaur and Luna locked up) and wakes up to Luna, who gives her a brooch and it glows. Luna tells her about her mission, find her allies, fight evil and find the princess.

She is told to transform, which she does and hears Naru calling for help. She runs to where the monster is. She presents herself as the moon glows. The Youma calls for the women with jewelry as zombies. They arrive and freak out Sailor Moon. She falls and scrapes herself, seeing blood. Luna tell her to fight. She starts crying, which stuns the Youma and the zombies. Glass breaks. Tuxedo Kamen arrives and tells Sailor Moon to straighten up. Luna tells her to use her Tiara, she does Moon Tiara Boomerang.  She makes the Youma into moon dust and the women faint. Moon runs outside to see Tuxedo Kamen who says he is Tuxedo Kamen. Jeadite sees her through his crystal ball. Next day Naru tells her friends of a Sailor Heronie. Usagi is quiet. Luna asks her what is wrong. She is upset it wasn't a dream. We see Ami. To Be Continued... The ending theme is fully animated unlike the first season's.

 We all seen this story before, in Manga, the original Anime and the 2003 live-action version, but this one doesn't really add anything new. Sure, it has Ami at the end. It does have some subtle changes. The Animation is really beautiful and it is years ahead of the original 1992 Anime animation. Re-watching the original Japanese series on Hulu, this new background soundtrack is much more a feast for the ears. It's haunting and epic. I am disappointed that the mom didn't offer her breakfast but wished she was more like vigilante Sailor V. The mother and brother are exactly the same as the original anime and not like the live-action version where the mom was hyperactive while the brother is almost depressed. I did find it off that Miss Haruna and her mother are lighter colors than the original anime.

Also I didn't like Mamoru in a tuxedo outside of being Tuxedo Kamen (It has been brought to my attention that this was in the manga but I still don't like it). But these are minor things. The opening sequence, transformation sequence and ending sequence are stunning and epic. The opening theme song is very catchy. Talking about catchy, the eye catcher bumpers and title card art are beautiful. The episode was very beautiful and animation was great, also I liked the design of the villain and especially her being destroyed, much more detailed than in the original. The voice acting was perfect, given that Usagi has the same actress but I liked the new Mamoru and Luna.
 And if anyone complains that I am doing a post on Sailor Moon and not Live-action Tokusatsu hero show, then you have no soul!


Anonymous said...

Actually I was waiting for a review of your own.

I don't know if you read the manga, but I must say is pretty closer to it and I love it, even Mamoru with a tuxedo on daylight, because it was that way.

The only thing I was expecting and didn't happend, was Sailor Moon with a mask, just like the manga, oh well C'est la Vie

Look forward for your next reviews :)

Lavender Ranger said...

Thanks, J. I knew it was going to be closer to the manga. I haven't read the first act in a long time. I forgot.

Unknown said...

I have to say as an original fan who has seen the entire show and has both versions of the manga i was really pleased. I love the animation style better, and the transformation gave me a feeling of Pretty Cure which airs during the same block as Super Sentai and Kamen Rider right now in Japan. So keep doing reviews if you can I'll keep checking your reviews like i always do