Rising Sun: Sailor Moon Crystal Carries on a Legacy

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Rising Sun: Sailor Moon Crystal Carries on a Legacy

Photo by Jacob Cox

Photo by Jacob Cox

Photo by Jacob Cox

Noah Meyer, Blogger

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Good morning, everyone. It’s time for a new Rising Sun. This time, we’re going to talk about a series that carries on a legacy but stands out on it’s own: Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal is a reboot of Sailor Moon created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Naoko Takeuchi’s manga. This time, the pacing and storyline are much closer to the manga original (with one exception). The basic storyline is the same: A ordinary schoolgirl named Usagi Tsukino discovers that she is one of the chosen Sailor Guardians that must protect the Earth from many threats.

In this version, the filler episodes of the original series, entertaining as they were, are long gone, but the remaining storyline (the manga) receives a polishing. The show relies more on drama and character development. Usagi’s heart starts pounding when she encounters Mamoru in the first episode, setting up the big reveal in episode nine spectacularly. Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako get impressive character development in the second arc that fits within the original pacing. And you know that artwork Takeuchi drew that depicted pairings of the Sailor Guardians and the Four Kings of the Dark Kingdom? Guess what, it’s part of Crystal. That’s part of the one deviation that I mentioned earlier, and it makes the Guardians feel more relatable.

Turning to the animation, the animators at Toei originally used their own style to bring the Guardians to television twenty years ago, but Crystal emulates the manga almost to the letter in the artwork, which makes Sailor Moon even more sensational. Some fans complain that the series sometimes screws up the anatomy, but keep in mind that the studios revise their works for Blu-Ray. Madoka Magica fans have seen that already, so don’t worry about it.  And now for the music, Crystal‘s strongest point. Yasuhara Takanashi is the series composer, having done work for Toei’s Pretty Cure franchise, and his style in PreCure definitely gives Sailor Moon Crystal a cinematic edge that brings drama to the series more effectively than the score for the original series would. Idol group Momoiro Clover Z also brings their energetic style to the opening theme Moon Pride, which is a girl power song that shows that the Sailor Guardians can stand on their own. They also change their pace spectacularly for the ending theme Moonbow, written by Naoko Takeuchi herself, a soft love ballad that captures the tragedy of Princess Serenity effectively while still showing Usagi’s hope for the future.

Regardless of whether you’re a returning fan or looking for something new, Sailor Moon Crystal has recently completed its first Japanese season on Crunchyroll, and with the English version now available on Hulu, it’s a must-see series.

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