Fandom Reactions to Sailor Moon Crystal

by Elly, August 4th, 2014

Whether they love it or hate it, fans have been extremely vocal about their opinions of Sailor Moon Crystal. Although everyone probably falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, there are two camps of thought. There are people who dislike Sailor Moon Crystal because they are critical of the art style or some other technical aspect. And then there are people who love it because it appeals to their nostalgia, and/or simply because it is yet another incarnation of Sailor Moon. Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I have close friends who love Sailor Moon Crystal, and close friends who hate it. Everyone I talk to has a valid opinion, and I can understand their points of view. But let’s recap what folks are saying, just to paint a picture of what the discussion is like these days:

Art Problems with Sailor Moon Crystal

The most vocal critics of Sailor Moon Crystal are people who are upset by the technical aspects of its production. They are upset that a franchise which has grossed billions in sales1 has faced significant release delays only for the art work and animation techniques to be shoddy.

from tumblr user tokomon

More often than not these critics are professional artists and animators. I could sit here and link tons and tons and tons of blogs who are pointing out all of the art style and animation flaws of Sailor Moon Crystal, but you get the point.

I’m no artist, but even I can’t ignore some of the mangled-looking stills from Sailor Moon Crystal. I would imagine that anyone watching the show who is a professional artist or animator cringes every time they see the same flaws. At least part of that frustration is coming from the fact that they are watching their peers get away with being lazy. Many of the professional artists commenting on Sailor Moon Crystal are likely to have worked under stricter deadlines with less budget. And they’re familiar with the ever-looming threat an artist faces for producing shoddy work; in other words, being fired. Seeing your peers produce shoddy work for such an iconic series – one that you love – must be very difficult to handle. I think it is natural under those circumstances to be outraged.

Translation Problems with Sailor Moon Crystal

I’ve been gritting my teeth through the episodes of Crystal but for an entirely different reason. I usually watch the show on Nico Nico Douga along with my buddy @marioknight who doesn’t speak any Japanese. So as I’m watching the show, I’m following along with Toei Animation’s Engish translations. I’m not the only one who has noticed the problems in Toei’s translation, and I’ve contemplated writing up detailed translation reviews for each episode. But due to my lack of enthusiasm and time constraints, I don’t think it’ll happen. Perhaps after Crystal’s first season has finished airing (and if it gets a second season) I’ll go back and release fansubs of the whole thing. It would take less time to simply re-translate the episodes than to point out all the mistakes.

Many fans have informed me that Toei is notoriously bad at producing English translations. That certainly matches my experience. But just because it is a known-fact does not mean that their lack of professionalism is acceptable. As someone who does translations between Japanese and English professionally, I am aware of the difficulties involved in the craft. I’m familiar with working under tight deadlines for customers who are not always super kind or appreciative of the hard work it takes to make an intuitive translation. I think I can speak for all translators when I say that we’re all constantly overworked and underpaid. And there’s no such thing as a perfect translation. But boy, it could be better.

The team at Toei certainly has room for improvement in their translation department, and not just with English. Fans have been reporting that the Sailor Moon Crystal translations in Spanish, German, and French are as badly stilted and incorrect. This is not a problem limited to only one aspect of the series translation; it’s rampant in all of their localization departments. To see the problem so widespread at Toei points to a lack of leadership in translation project management. This is really sad to see, especially given the enormous profits Toei has made from Sailor Moon. You’d think they’d treat this iconic franchise with more care.

The Death of Expertise

Not every critic of Sailor Moon Crystal is a professional artist or translator, of course. But what I am seeing over and over again in the fan dialogue about Sailor Moon Crystal’s problems is the death of expertise phenomenon. In short, what I see are fans becoming egregiously hostile when anyone dares to criticize Sailor Moon Crystal. There seems to be no concern about the credentials of the critic in question. Who cares about someone’s professional degree or their years of industry experience? When it comes to discussing something as sacred as Sailor Moon, none of those things make a difference. In fact, it’s better not to mention if you’re a professional artist when you critique Sailor Moon Crystal’s art style. Because then you’re being an “elitist” and surely, there is nothing worse in civilized discourse than the oft-dreaded intellectual.

As Tom Nichols so elegantly put it, “To disagree is to insult. To correct another is to be a hater.” I keep reading about how everyone is tired to death of “haters” complaining about Sailor Moon Crystal as I read through the multitude of Sailor Moon social media spaces and blogs. But I don’t see any haters. What I see are people who love Sailor Moon so much that they are bothered by watching it being done a disservice by so-called professional companies. What I see are professionals who work in art and animation whose opinions are being tossed in the trash merely because what they have to say about Sailor Moon Crystal isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. What I see in the Sailor Moon fandom is a culture that entirely rejects the notion that you can love something while acknowledging its faults.

I am a Sailor Moon fan. I’ve loved the series since I was about 12 years old; for more than half of my life. I’ve spent years translating every incarnation of the story. I’ve invested countless hours and more money than I care to think about to share my love of Sailor Moon with folks on the internet. The very idea that I’m “just a hater” because I do not blindly ignore all of the flaws that exist in the various incarnations of Sailor Moon is frankly, insulting. Especially as I’m reading it come from people whose blogs are composed primarily of materials they’ve lifted from Miss Dream.

Despite its flaws, I still love Sailor Moon Crystal. And I’m sure that the vast majority of people who document the flaws in its technical production are fans of the series; else why would they care? The bottom line is, we should be concerned less about labelling someone a “hater” and more interested in learning why professionals in the arts aren’t thrilled with some of the more technical aspects. Do I like that Sailor Moon Crystal is less than perfect? Of course not. But I see no reason to come after a professional artist with a pitch fork for the crime of saying, “Hey, these proportions are really messed up, even for this medium. Here’s why. Let me share with you something I learned while studying / working in this same industry.”

I think it is more valuable to learn from one another rather than fling insults when we disagree. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve been learning a heck of a lot about animation techniques and human proportions by reading the blogs of folks who are critical of Sailor Moon Crystal. And that’s information I likely would have never come across; so I look at it as an educational opportunity and a good experience.

What Do You Think?

Are you someone who is critical of Sailor Moon Crystal? If so, what are your gripes?
Are you someone who thinks the criticisms of Crystal are flawed? If so, tell us why. I’d like to read an argument as to why the current criticisms are invalid that doesn’t begin with, “This isn’t what Sailor Moon taught us!” or “I’m tired of haters.” I’d love to read some counter-arguments about Sailor Moon Crystal’s art style or translation quality. Comment below!


51 Responses to “Fandom Reactions to Sailor Moon Crystal”

  1. Rei

    I think I fall in the middle too. I’m happy to have another incarnation of Sailor Moon, but I think that’s all it’s ever going to be to me now… I can try look past all the flaws and still love it, but I’m honestly starting to feel offended now. I never expected Sailor Moon Crystal to push the limits of animation and be some godly thing, but I thought that, unlike the original anime, this would at the bare minimum have a consistent, nicely-drawn animation. I just wish for once Sailor Moon would receive the quality treatment it deserves. I already accepted that, unless I learn Japanese, I’ll never own a physical Sailor Moon manga volume and be able to read it because of how unprofessional the new translation is. Sometimes I wish I was passionate about another anime because of how poorly this franchise is treated. I think it’s reasonable to say that they BETTER damn well fix everything for the Bluray’s. This is their chance to give Sailor Moon the justification that it deserves, and they cannot blow it.

  2. ruthie

    I fall in the middle as well. I was disappointed with the art in EP 2 mainly…I mean, come on! There were many different art styles in like 5 minutes alone! While I tend not to dwell on things in this franchise, it is difficult NOT to notice these errors. I give the show my time only because I love Sailor Moon to death and will watch what ever is thrown to me from Toei. As for the translations, yeah there are some problems, but seeing how I don’t understand Japanese all that much, my brain tends to fix the English translations to something that I understand (and I don’t notice these errors until someone else points them out, hahahaha). I am hoping that the episodes are fixed come time the release of the Blu-Ray/DVDs, but I’m not holding my breath. I got other things to worry about…like not going broke supporting the show left and right. xD

  3. Missu

    Great article! Do you have any idea of what the response from the Japanese audience is? are they equally divided like the western fandom?

    • Selkie

      I would also be interested in hearing about the reactions of the Japanese fans!

      I did a quick search, and the Japanese fans definitely ARE noticing the skewed animation. (Though I’m afraid that anything more detailed – including whether or not there is a divide between Japanese fans – is a bit beyond my abilities.)

    • Elly

      The Japanese boards I follow also note the animation flaws, and complain about CGI. Naturally, they’ve got nothing to say on the topic of translation since they don’t need it. Overall it seems like most Japanese fans are happy, just like how most English-speaking fans like it.

  4. Claudia

    OHHH U JUST DIND’T POST THIS?!!! YOU RASCAL!!!!! sorry i couldnt help my self LOL
    Well, jokes aside, im pretty much in the middle i like the art style but the problem for me is the inconsistency on quiality, its like in a minute we get this gorgeus images well drawn, pretty, etc, and in the next minute we get weird unproportional everything, is just to much of a contrast so maybe that is why so hard to watch sometimes, but i look past it, because i really like the series, and looking in comparition to others animes running now SMC its actually really good and i believe if the drawing quality was the same all the time it would be AN AMAZING ANIME , but i guess u cant ask for perfection, but i really hope like many that the blue ray and dvd release will fix this problem. I also dont agree when many fans dont like this art style when they comparing it to the 90’s one saying that one was better, because it simply wasnt it had a lot flaws even more than Crysta does, and specially dont like when they say that the eyes look death or unexpresive in SMC its like i keep telling my self is this ppl watching the same anime as i do?, cus the eyes look really shiny and vivd to me, they show the emotion they are suppose to, sometimes nostalgia can make u not see the good parts in crystal. The other aspect that u mention its the translation issues and I agree, I speak spanish and its pretty much the same problems with the english translation, for example in this past episode when Rei mention ppl being “spirited away” we got in our translation the word “secuestrado ” which literally means Kidnapped, i understand there ir no word in spanish for “kamikakushi” but at least some closer meaning would have been nice because kidnaping doesnt imply anything supernatural like the japanese word does, i dont speak japanese but i watch anime a lot, and even I can tell that in several parts the subs are way off.
    And finally pllllllllllllllllleaaaaaaaaaaaaase make a translation for the episodes!!!!

  5. Rina

    While I will say some of the animation at parts in Crystal is awkward or sometimes the CGI looks laggy or shoddy, SMC looks absolutely gorgeous for me! I love laughing at all the little in-frame mess ups (like the “big ol’ eyes” one linked in the post, I DIED at that one), but most of all I love that we just have another Sailor Moon to love! I’m a super chill person and only a Critic under a full moon, so I don’t tend to look too into things. I’m just gonna enjoy Crystal and what’s to come!

  6. Stephanie

    I agree with pretty much this whole thing, although I didn’t really notice any egregiously bad art until the Sailor Mars episode, and then I felt like (1) it was all I could see and (2) it could not be unseen. I understand very little Japanese, but the subtitles don’t really feel very natural to me, so that’s not a shocker either.

  7. Mooncello

    I definitely fall in the middle as well. I love Sailor Moon way too much. As I watched the episodes I did notice some awkward scenes and proportions. I looked past them until I started reading negative comments about the animation. I have had a hard time accepting many things people say about SMC, but they are right. It does sadden me to see how some scenes are treated so poorly :( Sailor Moon is so sacred to many, an it is unacceptable. But there are many things behind the scenes going on that we don’t know of, so I think we should wait and see what happens. Maybe it will all be fixed with the DVD’s…hopefully. But so far, the story, the plot pace, character’s charm, music, voice actresses and funny scenes makes it worth watching. If the animation is corrected later on, it would be a perfect anime.

  8. Maggie

    So having seen the three episodes that are available so far, I’m going to start with the GOOD.
    1A. YAY, Sailor Moon’s Tiara is NOT stock footage in the same vein as “showing the same strangely vague green background with pink bubbles” or whatever it was. It’s shorter to be sure, but one of the things I didn’t care for in the original anime was just how ridiculously long some attacks and transformations ended up being.

    I actually clocked Eternal Sailor Moon’s longest transformation at something like 45 seconds. And 52 for “Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss” and 50 for “Silver Moon Crystal Therapy Kiss” That’s a LONG time in animation terms. Especially since they usually happen pretty close to each other in the animation. You’re looking at almost two minutes possibly closer to 2 minutes 30 seconds to watch a transformation, a monster freaking out, an attack, and then a monster dying.
    1B. The sweetly shortened musical bit that goes in concert with her Tiara attack. Again, can’t say enough good things about that.

    2. The extra details in Sailor Moon’s earrings, brooch, and hair barrettes. Can’t say enough good things about THAT.
    3. The extra details in the backgrounds! Seriously, being able to actually see names on buildings and items in windows in shops, and even the items on Usagi’s desk? That’s like a whole ‘nother ball park of GOOD animation. Props to the background animators. In fact, can we have more of the background animators working on the main chars?
    4. When the animators are on their game, the faces and eyes are BEAUTIFUL, some of the first frames we see of Usagi’s face are really just wonderful work. Or another example is in Episode 3 when she’s holding her hand in front of her face in her “Stewardess” outfit at 15 mins and 18 seconds – That’s a BEAUTIFUL face even if she’s crying.
    5. The colors. OMG the colors. No more “LOOK AT ME I’M FUSHIA! NO LOOK HERE LIMMMMMMEEEEE GREEEEEEEEN!” Simply stated, elegant palete that still appeals to the inner “girly” that is part and parcel to the series. Look, Mamoru, no strangely lavender pants with weird moss green jacket! Aren’t you a happy guy now?

    Those are the main things off the top of my head.

    Now onto the…NOT as good.
    1. I haven’t been particularly “wow”ed yet with ANY of the transformations, though it does seem to follow the pattern that the transformations are getting more unique and interesting as we go from each senshi to the next. Can’t wait to see how Minako’s looks. In the original series, I always thought hers was the best transformation out of the inners until Moon finally got her first Crisis Make Up with the end pose with the butterfly background. Until that point Venus had the best transformation, in my opinion, until Uranus and Neptune came along. Starlights had the best music ;)
    2. Moon’s tiara actually had a LOT of details in the manga, especially when she got her “mini power ups” that changed how the tiara looked. Even the very first version of the tiara actually had crescents on either side of her gemstone in the center. I ain’t seein’ no crescents in Crystal’s anime so far yet. And doesn’t look like the tiara will change shapes either. If you’re curious as to what I’m talking about, please review the manga images from and
    3. Okay, so Moon got her fancy earrings and her barrettes, so where’s Mar’s brooch that she has near her tummy? Or Mercury’s three stud blue earrings (her visor hasn’t shown up yet)? Sure Moon is the main protagonist but don’t neglect the other small details that make the other senshi’s outfits beautiful and unique.
    4. Sometimes the animator’s seem to have had some really OFF moments. So much so that even on my first watch through with “virgin eyes” as it were I could see certain things that just DO NOT jive proportionally. Great example? Look at Mar’s arms during her “punish you” speech (episode 3), her arms are stretched out and has her right hand crossed over the left. The next few frames her arm looks rubbery. (20 mins and 14/15/16 seconds) As does Moon’s arms when she’s pointing at Jaedite earlier at 17:29 seconds – observe her left arm that’s at her side. I know it’s a horrible nitpick, but that sort of animation mistake is pretty noticable. My husband even noticed it when I said “watch a second time, right here at this moment.” His exact words were ” Yeah…that’s pretty bad actually…something was kind of bothering me while I watched it but now that you point it out…yeah….”
    5. This is more of a personal opinion than anything, but why does Ami have to have a sweater that’s three times her size? :( I hope that Naoko wouldn’t mind my saying but Ami is pretty logical, I’m not entirely sure that she would NOT be so shy that it would over come her logic that wearing properly sized clothing is the correct thing to do.

    That’s the main things that I can think of right now, more I might have more things. But as it stands right now, I don’t HATE Crystal. I don’t LOVE Crystal as much as I loved Season 3 of the original series or of the “Dream Arc” in the manga (which I honestly think was the absolute Pièce de résistance of the entire manga series). But…all that being said? I think that so far the series is trying to ease everyone into the new “formula” as it were. It maybe have a couple of “hiccups” but that’s true with anything. I hope that we get to see Haruka and Michiru in the new series at a later point as well. :)

    • Tammy

      Mercury has three blue stud earrings in her left ear and one on her right. This is true to some (but not all) of her depictions in the manga, as Naoko was not consistent with it.

      Mars skirt gem was omitted from the Kanzenban cover, and the character designer has stated she based her designs off those. Naoko has probably changed her mind on that accessory, as nice as it is. It didn’t appear in Casablanca Memories and is not featured in many of the coloured artworks.

  9. Kasumi

    It would be nice if it were as you describe here: people who love Sailor Moon who’re emmitting valid, constructive criticism. What I see everyday is far from that: just negativity everywhere, so called “fans” who won’t put a penny in the franchise anyways (I mean, if we can’t even get them to pick the legal streams, come on) giving just gratuitous criticism here and there. Issues with the pace! (being that it’s strictly following the manga so far, wasn’t that what everybody was asking for?) Issues with the art style! (being that it’s meant to be closer to the manga. And those who find it old-fashioned or awkward for today’s animation, I wonder what they were expecting from this reboot to begin, a Precure look? Personally, I dreaded this idea). Issues with the music! Issues with the voices! Is there anything that isn’t an issue about SMC?

    I’m going to admit that I’ve never been fond of the CGI (though I’m slowly warming up to it), and the shoddy animation is painfully obvious, yes. But looking back, I guess I should have never expected any better, not with knowing that Toei’s in charge, not with knowing that it was going to be a webseries (a hint of low budget to begin). Toei never wanted Sailor Moon, if you ask me. So Sailor Moon’s getting all of the “respect” that Toei seems to think it deserves.

    I don’t LOVE Crystal but then, I’ve never LOVED the manga either; I’ve always liked the original anime better overall. But I wanted to see the manga being given a chance, and to get to see some favorite scenes animated. I’ll take what I can. And so far, I’m enjoying what I’m getting. But I’m done with the fandom at this point; I just want to keep enjoying SMC without getting the feeling that I should feel BAD for it.

    • Elly

      Anybody who judges another for not being a “true fan” is an asshole, regardless of what they think about SMC. I’ve seen what you’re describing too – people who are just discontent no matter what. And generally speaking, their personality is like that about every topic, it’s not just limited to Sailor Moon. Maybe it’s just that I follow people who are typically a little more mature, or something, but I do see many fans with valid criticisms being told to “stop being haters” and “stop bitching” because they point out some of the larger flaws with the animation or translation or whatever. Maybe it’s a difference of crowds. TL;DR though – anime isn’t worth insulting one another over. My point is, you should be able to give constructive criticm of anything without being bullied for your opinion.

    • Maggie

      I just wanna point out that I actually did list GOOD AND BAD points to my opinion. And you’ll notice that I closed it with “I think that so far the series is trying to ease everyone into the new “formula” as it were. It maybe have a couple of “hiccups” but that’s true with anything.” Meaning that I am not going to “dwell” on the BAD, because there is a LOT of good in the show so far. I can’t imagine how I could have made my opinion more constructive and more well thought out as I wrote it, than how I already have done it.

    • Rose

      “I don’t LOVE Crystal but then, I’ve never LOVED the manga either; I’ve always liked the original anime better overall.”
      Well, I can say almost the same, except I like (not love) the manga. I save that L word only for the original / old anime.
      Okay, I am with those ‘hater’ fellows of PGSM Crystal.
      Initially, I had such a HUGE and GREAT expectation for Crystal. But as I saw each episode the expectation was less and less and less and less and finally, I decided that it was a HUGE disappointment.
      Sure, the animation was pretty, as I heard the animation team intended it to be. I am aware of some bad drawing and animation, but I can ignore it and still enjoy Crystal if only there were no MAJOR issues with the beliavability (logic), plothole, character development, etc. Even the old animation had episodes which the drawing were really bad (like some episodes before the Starlight Tower, when Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask found each other identity) but no other significant issues that made me love it less.
      Sure I like how pretty the drawing/animation, but I definitely dislike how thin their body was drawn. The same feeling I felt everytime I read the manga.
      I also read that the team who work in Crystal intended Crystal for more mature audience. That isn’t work, nope.
      You see, I am an adult who watch Crystal because I love Sailor Moon very much as a child, and still do now.
      Crystal will work for those who are still teenagers, they’ll love it. But not adult, or at least … me.
      I can’t stand the stupidity/lack of logic moments, character’s actions and behavior in Crystal.
      There are a lot of people who love the fast pace of manga and Crystal, but I don’t think it was fast, it was RUSHING. Thus there were many things felt awkward, made the audience puzzled : huh, how the heck that’s happen? It didn’t make any sense!
      Should there only one or two ‘screw logic’ situations, I can forgive and perhaps wouldn’t have aware of it. But there were so many and too noticable so I scoffed.
      Toei should have using Crystal to amend this. I like the manga, but it was not perfect, damn it! The manga also had so many flaws, and instead fix them in Crystal, they chose to be blind of them and followed the manga almost perfectly.
      They could do better, still follow manga’s story line but use some episode as filler to explain things and fix some logic problems. But no, the didn’t do it. I wonder why, is there no one in the team who blessed with decend logic or what?
      Took a scene as an example, when Venus appeared for the first time. How the hell Sailor Moon could see the crescent mark on Venus’ forehead from such a distance? Did Sailor Moon have super sight too? Don’t tell me because it was glowing, no … from that distance, you will not see its shape, you only see the glow.
      I don’t think normal human can see a small spot on someone’s forehead on the top of eight level building even if he/she is standing right below the building. Then from a great distance? Wow … too hard to believe.
      There were many others, find them yourself.
      So, screw logic, huh?
      Let’s move to character issues. Crystal’s charactes have artificial personalities. Don’t speak of character’s development, please no …
      I LOVE Usagi’s personality in original anime so much. The original anime team had a superb efforts to give the characters real personalities.
      I saw Usagi in the old anime and I knew her personality, she was klutz, lazy, crybaby, eat so much, really cheerfull (she was like a sunshine, bright and vibrant, simply: she was a girl who loves life and live it with joy), cared her friend so much and she was really brave when needed, so despite her many flaws I can see her as a leader. I didn’t need someone or any characters in the anime to tell me Usagi’s virtues and flaws, I could see it myself and I believe.
      Usagi’s personality in Crystal was nothing compare to the original. I could not see her lives those personality she was described by other characters. So little I see that I don’t felt or agree with the description.
      If the main character’s personality was so plain, how you can expect more for the supporting characters? So let’s not talk about them. Pity, huh?
      Some said the old anime was goofy, but it was much better than crystal, especially in characters’ personalities and logic.
      More about Usagi.
      In Crystal, she said she won’t be a helpless princess anymore (watch the episode before they went to the moon). But after, she always protected and act only after the situation got worse, when her friends already defeated, she always need to be pushed (better push her to the cliff and die).
      I wanted slapped Usagi in the face for more than three times (original anime Mars should have be in Crystal to do it for me, oh how I wish it happened).
      I was so irritated to saw how she acted. My reaction when she screamed when Tuxedo Mask hurt after protect her : God! Does she need to be so overreacted and hyper histeric? Someone please gag her, muffled her and stop that annoying exagerating sreams!
      I agree with one who said in one forum, this anime is trying too hard.
      They tried too hard to impress and to make us felt heartwreck with the ‘drama’ they served us with. But failed misserably (for me of course).
      Old anime Usagi was silly, but not stupid.
      Crystal Usagi was stupid. See the episode when she ‘admit’ she was sailor moon in front of Tuxedo Mask (the epidode when senshi fought Zoisite and Beryl appeared) and she repeated it on 11th eps in the Crown Arcade. She was stupid and ignorant.
      She was selfish too. Let’s compare this scene between old anime and Crystal : sailor moon confront evil tuxedo mask.
      In original, she attacked evil tuxedo mask, awared that if she died, she wasted her friends efforts and sacrifices and lost the earth to Beryl. Brave, strong and she was willing to put her personal wish aside for a greater good.
      In crystal? She kill herself even before she fought metaria. Gosh, wasn’t she stupid, weak and selfish? She already knew Metaria was the great boss and saw her. But instead thought about earth safety and her responsibility of enormous power she posessed, she only wept her luv ? Booo … such a great heroine, right? And kill herself after she recalled Queen Serenity words to be proud and confidence? I think some of my brain cells damaged while fathom the absurb suicide.
      I had an expectation too seeing the shitenou didn’t die early like in the manga. I hoped to see some their past live (not only a glimpe of they were kneeling before Endymion, darn it) but then they instantly died on 12th eps? What a pointless attempt to hold their life longer if they died without any significant actions to make the episode satisfier to watch. Geez … really Naoko?
      So, apparently it will ended in next episode and we’ll have the black moon eps after.
      Of course I have complaints about it too. Since Crystal hasn’t reach black moon yet, I talk about the manga.
      I hate Chibiusa in both original anime and manga. She was such a brat, rude, pain in the ass.
      Again, the original anime team proved that they have brain to make the earth sleep until 30th century.
      That was more beliavable intead of the manga and open some speculation of how that happen to earth.
      Here, let me explain.
      In manga, Chibiusa’s age was 900 years. 900 years, mind you. Do you see the absurd here? No? Poor you.
      900 years, she was more than adult, SHE WAS ANCIENT, for God sake!
      Yet how she was still play with children (she was mocked by other children) and felt insecure because of the mockery?
      What did she do and experience in that 900 years of her life so she still had inteligence level of a brat?
      She was literally an ancient trapped in a child body, unless somehow the Sylver Crystal also slowed down the people’s mental progress, I can accept Chibiusa behaviour. But no, it never explained so.
      And how she was still sane when she saw every friend she met grew into adult but she left behind, again and again? Normal people would at least suffer a mental breakdown if experience that.
      Do you see my point now?
      Screw the logic, right?
      Well, I said screw Toei to think their audience is stupid and ignorance to notice the problems.


  10. Juno

    Thank you so much for this article! Finally someone explained that you can love Sailor Moon (Crystal) but still criticising the things you don’t like without being a so-called “hater”. My personal opinion is: In general, i mostly prefer the look of 80s/90s anime compared to 2000s and 2010s, just because you see/feel the materiality of the handcraft. The anime of the past 10 years are digitalized, too clean and sharp for my personal taste. But hey, it’s the natural evolution and technical progress, so i’ll get used to it. So the same goes for Sailor Moon Crystal. I already got used to it looks and i’m very optimistic since i saw the “Moon Pride” music video, which is flawless in my opinion. The things i don’t like is the use of the CGI transformations. I don’t understand WHY they used 3D. Do they simply think it’s an upgrade because it’s 3D-CGI? Because to me, they have the skills to animate them beautifully in 2D. Anyway. The other thing is – they must have an artist in their team who’s not capable to draw in a certain quality. The weird faces always look the same. They should get rid off that staff member. I repeat, i still love Sailor Moon Crystal and i have high hopes the quality will increase after a while. TOEI for sure notices the critique on the internet.

    • Kathy

      Juno, I am SO with you on this! Why do they have to be so cheap and lazy? ’93 Sailor Moon had less budget in the first season but the transformations were a hand-drawn work of art; the new transformations are just a cheap crappy CG copy :(

  11. Kathy

    You have no idea how much I appreciate this article. For one, I am an artist, and one that particularly likes to draw in manga style so I study extensively the ins and outs of proportion and story, and Crystal, though it looked gorgeous in the previews, has been nothing but a disappointment for me. I appreciate that you pointed out that aspect. I also do casual Japanese translating, and having taken a few classes plus learning on my own, I know enough that when hearing something and then seeing the translation on the screen, things seem ‘off’. I love Sailor Moon, I really do, and it’s frustrating to have to see, exactly as you said ‘professionals’ just being completely lazy on something that isn’t new and should clearly have a solid budget be treated worse than the lowest budget hack anime. I suppose those of us who do not think Crystal is all sunshine and rainbows are thought to be over-dramatic, but I stand by my opinions and by the similar opinions of others; they are not incorrect, and I only hope that Toei will pull their heads out of their butts for more than 5 seconds to realize that they need to clean up their sloppy act.

    I’m definitely going to spread this article around so that people can know the truth as well as to help articulate my own opinion. <3

  12. Dawn

    I have got to say that I love SMC. I have not noticed these mistakes while watching it. But I do notice it in the stills that I see. But that might be that most of my att. is on the subs that I don’t notice little things like that. I am one of those people that realize that there are mistakes but I love it anyways. I do understand others opinions, but I’m not one to be nit-picky about it. They really didn’t have to make this re-boot but they have listened to the fans who wanted it. Including myself. The only reason I can think that the animators where lazy is because this is not on TV. It’s online. If it was on TV i don’t think they would be that lazy. But hey I look forward to every 1st and 3rd Sat of the month. I just enjoy it. Period.

  13. Tammy

    I find that educating myself on why SMC is so technically awful ruins the experience for me. Every time I watch an episode, I thoroughly enjoy it on first impression. Then, I visit Tumblr/Youtube to see what others think and learn what an apparent horror it was in terms of animation and translation. I can’t help but have all the supposed errors in the back of my mind when I re-watch the episode. But the fact is, I didn’t notice many of these on first watch – I don’t possess super visionary powers that enable me to see every in-between frame whilst watching a video, like some others do.

    So basically, I’m choosing to stay focussed on the positive. If they managed to entertain me on first watch, then they’re doing something right.

  14. Nyxity

    I’m disappointed with the bland expressions and how the transformations lack in clarity – particularly Mercury’s. Finding visual flaws in art has never been a strong suit of mine, so I cannot nitpick on that, but when it comes to definition, clarity and color… Well, I have somehow gained a “status” in being amazing in that from my peers strangely.
    Starting from the very first episode, the blending of backgrounds with animation is very poorly executed. The water colors don’t mesh well with the animation and the 3-D is just as terrible, I find. Sometimes it works, but I find it ultimately isn’t very visually appealing.
    Mercury’s transformation scene was very disappointing in that her figure blended too much with the background and the water/bubbles lacked enough definition to be a visual wonder. The entire thing lacked decent contrast. If they had followed a similar coloring scheme as the original it would have been clearer. The water could have been given more shine to outline and give it more form. Her ending ending pose after her speech is awkward looking to me… it really… looks odd.
    Rei’s episode was what gave me most trouble when it came to facial expressions. In the manga she looks very mysterious, wise and sometimes ethereal… In Crystal… she made me think of a gently smiling doll with bright eyes. I felt nothing mysterious about her. The smile she flashed when making the comment of being spirited away was a great disappointment to me. It felt so wrong give the context.
    Despite these things, plus a few disappointments that have nothing to do with the animation, I greatly enjoy being able to watch it. It IS very nostalgic and I like to do comparisons between it and the manga – though it has really been breaking my heart that many of Luna’s scenes have been skipped or altered terribly. (I love Luna!!! T-T) I love being able to see an official revamp of their looks and really hope to see them in more recent fashions soon. Being able to “rediscover” each character again, see their powers redone and dealing with the anticipation is refreshing. Even with only having seen three episodes I sorely hope they will continue on to the next four arcs.

  15. Nina

    Well, having seen comments from one of the animators on Tumblr, apparently a huge chunk of this series is being outsourced to China, and the ToeiCN department is, um . . . . . how can I say this nicely . . . . lacking?

    I’m excited to see the girls live on my screen again, no doubt about it! But I’d be happier if the animation was consistent. Like, it doesn’t need to be stellar. I did a huge masterpost today of just some of the errors in SM92 (including a Black Moon Serenity and the infamous six-fingered Crane Machine Troll shot), and with the exception of some of the more anatomy-bending errors that bent my brain in the process, none of them have diminished my enjoyment or love of SM92 one bit. I’d be perfectly happy with solid, consistent, middle-of-the-road animation. But if you’re going to tease me with things like that freaking GORGEOUS first “I am a pretty soldier of love and justice!” sequence, with the wind and the moonlight and that knowing little smile, don’t then give me things like a Zoisite entrance with five different model errors in his face alone, or Lord Frogmouth, Also Known As Sir Pointy Chin, His Lord Jadeite of the Shitennou.

    I’m not a professional (although I have friends who are); mild off-model stuff like slightly too large eyes doesn’t irk me the way it does some people, and there are some errors in some series that actually amuse me quite a bit. But when I see multiple errors in a small area (Zoisite’s entrance that made me so angry? Eyes out of line with each other, crooked mouth, mouth in the wrong place, ear too small and no cheekbone/face line, AND IT’S NOT LIKE HIS FACE IS THAT BIG TO START WITH), or when I see some of the more egregious problems like doll-eye Usagi in the first episode, then it gets to me.

    Just some good, solid, middle-of-the-road animation. That’s all I want.

  16. Kathleen

    I am a die-hard first generation fan (I’m 37 years old) and the Sailor Moon franchise has been with me since over 20 years.

    I would go against all odds to defend the franchise (original anime, SeraMyu, PGSM…) but it has been hard for me to enjoy Crystal.
    When I am watching the current popular animes, I just can’t help but see the huge gap in quality between these animes and Crystal – and it makes me sad, almost depressed.
    That they couldn’t come up with something up to today’s standards in anime is just dishearting.
    If they didn’t have the budget, the right sponsors or whatever, may be they shouldn’t have produced it.

    I am also concerned that by following the manga “to the line” they are rushing through the story. There is no momentum build up – nor chance for character development.

    I don’t like to think this way but I am ressenting Naoko Takeuchi for being such a control-freak over her franchise and not letting go (I recall the overall joy when George Lucas let the rights to STARWARS go, finally waking up to the idea that he may not be the best person to bring the franchise to the next level – but that’s a whole different discussion :P).

    I am still gonna watch it (just like I keep watching the animes I like) but I am not losing my sleep on Friday night anymore or stay up at night to watch a special on NicoNico.


  17. GG

    I know a lot of people are up in arms about the animation on Sailor Moon Crystal. I take it all in stride even when I watched the original ’92 anime. We all have our favorite episodes that were animated by our favorite animators and those episodes we hated simply because of the animation.

    I’ve never been a big fan of Masahiro Ando’s animation (save his Venus Love Me Chain and Sparkling Wide Pressure attacks) nor have I been a fan of Taichi Nakamura (He did that episode when the Senshi powered up into their super forms). But we continued to watch simply for Sailor Moon’s sake!

    As psyched as I was about Act 3 – REI, I did not like the animation but as a Sailor Moon fan I still liked the animation. We should be grateful that we are getting another Sailor Moon series (How long has it been since PGSM aired?)

    Just my humble opinion! Let’s keep the negativity to a minimum and revel in the fact that Sailor Moon is still popular and that we will continue to be able to watch, read, and enjoy it!

    Arigatou minna-san!


  18. Lau

    I think I don’t understand enough English to understand everything and review about this post..damm! ;(

  19. Peripes

    Quite a long post. I think we are all pretty grateful because Sailor Moon got a revival these last years. While everyone would like to have a 100% perfect anime series, but one is still unable to not notice these small flaws, because I mean, they’ve had like 3 or so years (don’t know how much time, just supposing). I’m happy with Crystal, even though It’s not perfect, I think I can die happy now.

  20. Rebochan

    So my problem with the “criticisms” of Crystal are that most of it is ridiculously nitpicky or can be summed up in one phrase: “New thing is not old thing.”

    All of those tumblrs you linked are so frickin’ whiny. I mean, did these people not watch the old show? Hey, I am literally watching the old show at the same time as the new one, I damn well know what it looks like from more than just my nostalgia-clouded memories. There’s literally whining about animation techniques in Crystal that are IDENTICAL to those used in the 90s show. And I’m not even going to get into pointing out that at least Crystal has a CONSISTANT animation style, as opposed to the classic series which couldn’t be bothered by such things as “consistant character designs” (lookin’ at you Ando, lord of the panty shot.)

    And for that matter, that “weird Mars eyes” still is so freaking misleading as to be laughable. Hey, did you know that Usagi has *six fingers* in her original henshin in the classic series? Oh no, that must mean the animation was totally crappy and we should nitpick the hell out of it! Oh right, the original show IS our nostalgia, we don’t have anything to compare it to. Also, we apparently aren’t familiar with the idea that, I dunno, maybe you might deliberately make an anatomy “error” like that when you’re trying to create the illusion of motion. You know, the whole point of animation?

    Sigh. I’d just like it if criticisms of Crystal were separated from the usual unpleasant aspects of fandom as a whole.

    • Elly

      The old animation is a whole other topic, and I am not discounting the fact that it had its flaws in the animation and translation department too. It’s certainly true that not *everyone* criticizing Crystal is giving the series a fair shake, and yes, people can be whiny and entitled in horrible in our fandom. But the overall point I’m making is, there’s a tendency in our fandom to intentionally ignore serious flaws “because it’s Sailor Moon”. What bothers me more than whiny people on tumblr are folks who clench up at the idea of Sailor Moon being scrutinized like any other artistic creation. It smacks of anti-intellectualism, you know what I mean?

      • Rebochan

        Yea, no, nobody “intentionally ignores flaws” because it’s Sailor Moon and I sure as heck don’t. Frankly, the people I’ve seen get the angriest on tumblr on the people that start a billion different tumblrs documenting their unfiltered hatred of Crystal. Such as all the tumblrs linked in this OP, one of which is actually a tumblr that calls out the numerous animation issues in the 90s series and has nothing to do with the point the editorial is attempting to use it to support.

        Then again, using TUMBLR as a way to gauge fandom is a mistake, because you are going straight to the most reactionary form of social media on the internet and attempting to declare a tiny sampling of it as representative of fandom as a whole.

        For what it’s worth, I’ve written reviews of the first three episodes AND criticized it in an analytical matter instead of focusing on “OMG THIS ONE FRAME IS SO WEIRD”. Nobody’s given me an ounce of flack for it, from either camp. I only get the crazy stupid fan hate when I venture into tumblr land.

        • Elly

          I’m just happy someone actually bothered to click through all those links I posted. Thank you. The one you are mentioning about the 90s animation is run by one of our staff members, Yen-sama. And it’s meant to be a parody. Thought I’d sneak that in there to see if anybody noticed. :)

          I linked to the tumblrs that post about SMC flaws, to point out that for the most part people aren’t making stuff up to be upset about. They do actually go through and screen cap the derpier moments. Do some of the blogs overreact in their criticisms? Absolutely. But I could link to tumblrs and twitters and other blogs where it is nothing but a bitch-fest about the “complainers and haters” of SMC, and how we should all get along and just be happy and how Usagi would never approve of anyone nitpicking the series, etc. And they are just as annoying as the folks who refuse to watch SMC because of its flaws.

          For what it’s worth, I’m intentionally not linking to tumblr blogs who are pretty much dedicated to hating on “haters” of SMC, because it’s just tiresome. Most of them are run by people I consider friends, who have zero problem reposting stuff from Miss Dream w/o credit, who also have the collosal nerve to police everybody on the SMC tag for “not tagging their hate” when folks post their legitimate concerns about the series. I am sure if you’ve gone into the SMC tag on tumblr you’ll find exactly what I’m talking about. There are plenty of angry folks to go around on both sides, and it’s asinine.

          What I’d like to see more of are blogs like yours – blogs that take the time to do a thorough, in-depth analysis of the series. I think we can both agree that intellectual analysis of Sailor Moon Crystal is a *good* thing, regardless of if a bloger determines that they like SMC or that they don’t like it. What should be important is that someone has logical reasons for holding an opinion. What I’ve noticed is that people are pretty loyal to their pro or anti SMC “camps”, mainly because they don’t wish to offend their friends.

      • Tammy

        But why does it bother you that they “intentionally ignore” the “serious” flaws in Sailor Moon Crystal?

        At the end of the day, they are fans who are simply watching the show and are enjoying it for what it is. It’s entertainment, a tv show, not brain surgery. There are no real life consequences to fans who are not happy with SMC if some fans are happy with it, and don’t acknowledge all the “serious” technical issues.

        Not everyone is going to be receptive to a “Let’s all learn why SMC is so technically horrible- from the experts” lecture. If anything, people are likely to walk away with less appreciation for the show, they will notice that bad frame or incorrect grammar next time.

        Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss. Watch the show, don’t analyse it. And if the people blindly defending the show are loving SMC, I say let them. The show is doing it’s purpose for some at least- entertaining them.

        • Elly

          Hey, if someone wants to blindly ignore the flaws in SMC – power to them. But to get angry and attack those who do take the time to analyze the flaws and write about them is a pretty crappy way to be. Not everybody has to want to be educated about SMC. But certainly wanting to remain ignorant about the more technical aspects of the production doesn’t give anyone the right to attack someone else who presents such technical flaws via documentation on their blogs with personal insults.

          • Tammy

            True, there is no excuse rudeness and insults. That’s the internet for you, and it appears in every fandom.

            There are those who love SM to the point where criticism is personalised, and seen to be an attack on themselves.

            People just need to learn to stay a away from negativity, whatever camp they’re in.

  21. Neon Genesis

    While I mostly agree with this article, the big problem I have with the criticism of Crystal is that it seems like some of the complaints are borderline sexist and objectifying to me. Like back when they released the first character designs and before we even saw the final animation, there were people complaining about the Senshi’s weight or complaining about the size of Rei’s skirt or stuff like that. I also get annoyed with the people who complain about how annoying Kotono Mitsuishi is for Usagi as if she isn’t an amazing seiyuu who’s voiced many prolific roles in anime, never mind that Kotono is playing Usagi pretty much the same way she did in the original. When did so many Sailor Moon fans start hating Usagi so much anyway?

    • Rose

      “When did so many Sailor Moon fans start hating Usagi so much anyway?”
      I tell you, because her lack of loveable personality.
      Please read my review/rant above.

  22. Anon

    Your article is very well written! I actually bookmarked this page because you did such a good job. One thing I wish you included was a picture of sailor moon with six fingers. Many fans have mentioned it on Sailor Moon Crystal’s Moonlight Densetsu, but I just don’t see it. I explained all the reasons on one video why I didn’t care for the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, if you’d like you can read my experience.

    The first time I watched Sailor Moon Crystal, I was amazed by how it was started off; the scenery was beautiful paired with the music. The art was lovely, but after those scenes, when Usagi/Serena is lying in bed, I instantly noticed the the art looked blurred. I even rubbed my eyes. When it showed her mom, I was instantly disappointed. If you compare the new mom with the old, it’s like she isn’t the same person. Her eyes and hair are different colors and she’s wearing what seems to be caked on make-up. She just isn’t as motherly looking. When the opening came up for the first episode, it’s wasn’t the beloved Moonlight Densetsu, and unfortunately, the song didn’t compare. When she is pushed out of the door for getting a low score on her test, the animation flickers. When she transforms, it looks like they made it with MMD.

    In Crystal, Serena is literally as skinny as a barbie doll and wears barbie-like makeup ( When Serena runs out the door, she isn’t hilariously running out the door with toast in her mouth. She decides to skip breakfast, which is fitting to match her new body. Not only is the mom and Serena wearing makeup, almost every female is. Serena’s mom, the sailor scouts, the English teacher, Naru, Naru’s mom, the black-haired friend, the brown-haired friend, another brown-haired friend, all girls at the jewelry counter. The first appearance of a girl not caking on make-up is the green eyed girl at the jewelry counter. She doesn’t stand out as much due to the little shine in her eyes and her hair is a bit dull compared to others, but she is close to something I’d prefer to see.

    I understand Naru’s mom wearing makeup. She’s an owner of a jewelry store, so she wears makeup to ensure she looks tidy, elegant and professional, but it isn’t normal for every female to wear makeup, especially 14 year old girls. I know they are considered ‘pretty guardians’, but makeup is not the definition of pretty and it never will be. It’s unfortunate it appears in the manga too. It’s not that I think makeup isn’t pretty, it can be, but in this case it is really a shame.

    In the old series, Serena was a heavy sleeper and it wasn’t uncommon for her to be late. She used to wear flat shoes to school, but in Crystal she is wearing heels. It’s silly that she would purposely wear heels when she knew she had to run to school. She could have broken her ankle. At Serena’s school, they wear uniforms. You’d think they’d have rules against heels. What does she do when she’s in gym class? Take them off? Sit out? Heels also tend to be for special occasions. This situation is just nonsense.

    Sorry for writing so much, these are just a bunch of faults I’ve noticed. I’m sorry if this felt like a rant, I just wanted to get this out in the open.

    • Rebochan

      Serena is not a character in Sailor Moon Crystal and there are no “Sailor Scouts.”

      All the body shaming you’re doing is really annoying too. And frankly, the way you flip out over women having what appears to be lipstick (and that’s it) – it’s disturbing. Stop freaking out like they’re caking on make up like they’re about to start street walking, for cripes sake. Did you even read the manga, this is how the characters were drawn by the creator of the franchise.

      As for the picture: – she actually has SEVEN fingers.

      It’s always fun in reading Crystal criticism by people who swear they read the manga but pretty quickly reveal they didn’t by flunking the basics (like not knowing what a character looks like.) Even more so on this site, where you could have read the entire manga already.

    • RTsukino

      It’s strange. Your criticisms are mainly about the way the scenes were designed in the new season and not so much the animation style or canon details in sets and clothing. Keep in mind that this is a more modern anime, and the one that you are so accustomed to is very old. The style of the original anime was less detailed and more flat, which made the franchise lose most of that beauty and aesthetic the manga had.

      Let me remind you that this series is not a remake of the original series, it’s a new interpretation of Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon, more closely related to the manga. It will never be the same as the original series, because the original series was so wrong to begin with. In the manga, she has the thin body and long legs, and she is always pretty with full lips. Wearing a little bit of makeup doesn’t make things bad, and it never looked caked on to me. Her shoes have always had a little heel, this time they took care of the detail of her shoes clicking in the floor as she walks.

      By the way, schools in Japan make you change your shoes to flats. They are all the same shoes and everyone wears them (I believe they change them when starting school and when leaving, and they put them in their locker). When she gets kicked out of class she’s wearing those flats. So if you’re wondering what she’ll be wearing to gym, there it is.

      To me it just seems like you’re dissapointed because SMC is not the funny and silly series of the early 90’s. No, make up doesn’t mean pretty in every case, and not everyone needs to have a thin body and long legs to be pretty soildiers, but this is the way Naoko Takeuchi made them. I’m sure she never meant for the senshi to be the ultimate representation of beauty. That’s just how she designed them and I respect that.

    • Angela

      I’ve just got to ask though, is it really make up or are they just being more realistic? I mean lips aren’t usually the same skin tone as the rest of our face right? I personally think they were simply aiming for that more natural look, it’s just going to seem a bit strange since it’s not usually done in anime. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a “love it or leave it” fan, I’ve had my share of disappointments with the animation (perfect example is in Ep.2 when Luna is telling Ami to transform *face-palm*) but I can see the logic in their decision to actually show the lips.

  23. Angela

    I have really been enjoying Sailor Moon Crystal, it has it’s moments where it can be a bit odd but also moments where it really shines. I won’t comment on the animation quality here since I know they’re going to fix a lot of it, I’ve seen comparison screencaps of episode 2 and I have faith that it’ll be alright. I agree that the subtitles need a lot of work though. I usually notice more of the problems on the second or third viewing so at least it’s usually minor enough to be able to intuitively fill in the errors. Anyone know if Viz is going to redo the subtitles when they release it here? I haven’t found any information on that yet.

    Also I know it may be a bit off topic but if you could indulge me for a moment, I don’t understand why people tend to criticize the new Queen Beryl so much. People tend to say that she made herself “less of a villain” by her actions in episode 6. I personally believe it was the opposite. In the original anime we had a Beryl who would sit on her throne and complain to her minions about their incompetence, she would kill off her own warriors and underestimate their enemies repeatedly. Over-all I found her to be quite ridiculous. Now we have a Beryl who acts. She knows the Senshi are a threat and does not underestimate them. She wants to be supreme ruler so she waits until the Senshi are incapacitated to show up to finish them off so she wouldn’t place herself in danger. When Zoicite is injured by Sailor Moon the expression on Beryl’s face told me that she recognized something about the attack, she then decides to make a strategic retreat. This is the part where people complain about how she “ran away”. I see her retreat as intelligence, an opinion which is confirmed the very next episode when she reports to Metallia and says that she believes the Senshi may already be in possession of the Ginzuishou. From her perspective, if Sailor Moon really does have the Ginzuishou then continuing her attack as it was would have been down right foolish. She also values the Shitennou at least to an extent based on her comment to Zoicite in episode 7. I don’t know how her character will continue to develop in Crystal but I must say that for now at least it seems that she will be a very dangerous enemy. Anyone else have any opinions to share on this?

  24. Linda Bernard

    I Actually like the sailor moon crystal. It doesn’t drag on like the original. the characters are nicer to one another. All the sailor scouts actually have someone to love. And I like the way they look. My Only problem with it, is that it takes too long for them to come out with the next episode. ;) . If There was a way to get the whole set, and I was able to do so. I would pick it up so i didn’t have to wait so long to see the next episode. :) Have a nice Day everyone.

  25. TenshiHime13

    While I am late to this discussion I will say thank you for writing an article that brings to light my biggest concern with the Sailor Moon fandom.

    I’ll be frank, SMC’s art has always bothered me. When it was first revealed I was appalled, my only big criticism of the aesthetic of Sailor Moon has been the thinness of the characters. I grew up watching shojo anime and I grew up to hate my body. I’m 5’8″, 160lbs. That’s by no means obese but through the media I’ve consumed since childhood I’ve always been told I’m overweight and need to diet or exercise. The original Sailor Moon anime is still thin as heck but at least it is a feasible (and common) design for shojo shows, the character’s necks and ankles aren’t going to snap like twigs.

    I managed to overlook my initial frustration and watch the first episode, I was not impressed but maybe, just maybe, the problems with the first episode were a fluke? Maybe once they get into the swing of things we’ll see more expressive animation? Yes the original anime has many errors and flaws but I could tell when a character was swooning comically or when Usagi’s mother was furious. I will not argue about the pacing as that is a flaw of the manga being followed.

    I will however say I am very disappointed in Toei as a company for giving us such a sub-par product. I was excited for SMC, I was planning to spend large sums of money on getting merchandise and buying the series when it was released but due to the poor quality and exorbitant pricing of the Blu-rays (which I don’t even OWN a blu-ray player) I have decided that Premium Bandai in their irritating exclusivity deserves my money more. I don’t think its fair to the fans to only have the animation be decent on the blu-ray releases. I’m also disappointed in the poor quality of the new manga translations. Each character sounds exactly the same and honestly, its worse than Tokyopop’s translation of Trinity Blood (where they repeatedly mix up names and genders of characters).

    I wanted to throw money at this franchise but now I’ll just get a proplica here or there and hope for a good fan translation of the SMC Blu-rays.

  26. Juju

    Hi Miss Dream,

    first, i’d like to thank you for your great website.

    On the issue you raised, I’m pretty much in the middle, yet leaning toward being a defender of Sailor Moon Crystal. Here is my point of view.

    Quality really is about the relation between the expectation of the consumer and the product itself. For any diehard fan of Sailor Moon, the final product, regardless of how it is, will never have enough quality. I totally recognize that SMC has issues (and the last 2 episodes, 11 and 12 magnified them) but I’m getting tired of the bashing and boycott groups, especially coming from people who have not read the manga, or have idealized the 90s anime. I loved the 90s anime, but we should keep in mind that from a narrative point of view, it was at least 60% filler episodes, some of which featured the most terrible artwork and animation possible (some examples: ep 13, 22, 26, 52, 57, 93, 107 just to name a few). A direct comparison between episode 22 of the 90s anime and episode 4 of SMC, which are the exact same stories and plot goes totally against the points of those saying the art of SMC is dreadful. Sure, the most beautiful episodes of the 90s are uncomparable, but the least beautiful ones are way below SMC. And I don’t think the “20 years old” point is valid, since budgets are lower today, leadtimes shorter, etc…

    Furthermore, the bluray version has a lot of fixes for bad frames, even though this does not seem to alter the animation quality for some scenes, it does cater for better quality overall. Nevertheless, some scenes have terrible animation in SMC and it really is a pity, since SMC made the effort of disengaging from the stock material attack scenes and moving into unique attack sequences for each episode (except for moon tiara and moon healing escalation that was used twice). I still wish the attack scenes (well some of them) had benefited from a more elaborate treatment, even though i’m glad I won’t see the same sequence 30 times.

    On the music and voices, I have little to say. I think both shows are tremendous (the Japanese dubbing I mean) and the new music provides a more mature and subtle atmosphere, while the old one had that typical magical girl and epic vibes.

    Actually, my major issue with Crystal is linked to the narrative and how Toei is altering some elements from the manga, even though Crystal was supposed to be a truthful adaptation into anime of the work of Naoko Takeuchi, unlike the 90s series which kept violating every plotline. Overall, SMC has some great points to it. The Usagi-Mamoru relationship evolution is tremendous (reminds me of Angel/buffy actually) and Tuxedo Kamen is a great character, unlike the rose-throwing patronizing idiot from the 90s. Beryl’s character has more depth and interest after 12 episodes than in the 90s anime after 46. Her competition with Metallia and the very human reasons motivating it are making her so much more interesting.

    However, I’m very irritated by some of the liberties Toei is taking, especially since most of them are confusing, rather than briging any added value. I can overlook some things that disappeared (like Sailor Moon kick, Rolling heart vibration, or Usagi’s drag moment when she show up as a groom in episode 5, or the moon rabbit reference in chapter 10), but the whole rewriting around the shitenno and the inner senshi is a major disappointment after how it turned out. In my opinion, the 90s anime sucked at how the inner senshi (and even the outer senshi to a lesser degree) were handled. Somehow, in the first season, the episode 45 kind of made up for that, with Mars, Jupiter and Venus ACTUALLY killing some monsters without the help of Sailor Moon (ok Mars had killed a few earlier in the show). I was expecting Crystal to position them as strong fighters as they are in the manga. Once I realized the shitenno would be kept alive, I was hoping for a great final battle between them and the senshi and actually, the love thing between them would have worked just fine if the senshi had picked their current mission OVER their past love and killed the shitenno. Instead, they were all kept alive for nothing, so in that respect, it would have been better to let them die as they did in the manga, that would have given Mars, Jupiter and Venus the same stature as in the manga, vs being useless sidekicks. Somehow, even without the fillers, Toei reproduces the flaws of the 90s anime in that respect, not letting the main characters kill major opponents, and I’m really worried about the second part of the first season which will cover arc 2. I don’t want to see the akayashi sisters dragging around like in the old anime. They should be defeated like in the manga. The same goes for Mars’ Mercury’s and Jupiter’s abductions. Will these really happen or will they find a way around that will totally render these episodes (and Venus’ position as the leader) useless? Venus is by far the strongest senshi in the manga, and has a lot of kills to her name (second to Sailor Moon), why is Toei not sticking with these plotlines…? Why doesn’t she kill Beryl like in the manga, and why would the sword break her necklace (which BTW reappears on the frame where she is decomposing) rather than pierce her chest. If blood is the issue, the sword could have generated a bolt going through her, like some sort of cleansing energy…

    That’s it in a nutshell, nevertheless, I like SMC very much and I’m glad to see my heroes back onscreen. Maybe we’ll get “Sailor Moon Perfect” in 20 years with an anime that will be the exact adaptation of the manga ahah ;) In the meatime, toei has a chance of making the second half of the season much better. The format of the chapters will also be easier to adapt onscreen as these are more “formatted” than the ones between 9 and 13, with more fight scenes and more content (new characters as well). I’m very eager to see how this turns out.

  27. Andreia

    This comment is for the agressive haters of Sailor Moon Crystal. Not for the educated ones like you Ellie. Is the first time that I really respect a hated comment towards Sailor Moon Crystal and believe me that I´m one of those persons who became disappointed with the animation´s quality. Anyway, I still like it, because of the colors´s beauty, specially those which circulate Usagi´s body, her new beautiful blond hair and her new beautiful blue eyes. The same way that is because of the old anime that I see Crystal´s serie, if it isn´t the major reason.

    But, is in a lamentable way that, in my opinion, the major haters of Crystal versions, specially those who hate Usagi, are the most immature and ignorant people. And is not because of the animation´s critics that I´m saying this but because of their comments towards Usagi, which my admiration for her, even in Crystal I never lost. And some of those haters seems really blind, when they criticize her.
    Many talk about the differences between the old anime and the new anime, and the lack of interaction between Usagi and her senshi´s friends, so like the less showing of her emotions and devotion to her friends. Well, guys. The answer for this things to happen is easy. I´m pretty sure that many of you read the manga and that all of you saw that crystal version is a copy of the manga. And thats why I´ll ask you this. If many of you saw the manga, and never complain about what it happen in there, so why are you complaining now when you are seeing the exact animated version of the manga? All we knew that the manga was showing more the relation between Usagi and Mamoru. That the interaction between Usagi and the senshi was less, and all of you had saw that Crystal´s anime show much more of Usagi´s interaction with the senshi than the manga. But even if was less in the manga, we could see in the same way how much she cared for her friends and the sense of sacrifice that she has for them, just like when all the senshi though that Venus was the princess and she was decided to get Kunzite shot instead of Venus and her friends, when Dark Endymion kinapped Venus and she run after them without thinking twice, when she saved Chibiusa from Rubeus attack, When she killed herself to bring Saturn back, and I could numerate many other moments, specially for Mamoru. In crystal, we could see how much she supports her friends, Ami, Rey, Makoto and Minako. Even if their interaction is less than in the old anime, we could see that she cares and supports them a lot. And her loveable personality that Rose misses in Usagi crystal´s version, well it is still there, but is not so showed because since Crystal is a copy of the manga and the manga showes more her evolution as a senshi and her romance with Mamoru, so I think is normal that it doesn´t show that much in Crystal. Believe me. I was a little disappointed with the to much following of Crystal anime´s with the manga. They could have done a more faithful anime to the manga, but with more episodes and more evolution of the senshi, not just as soldiers but also their personalities, just like a better evolution of Usagi and Mamoru´s romance. I was really expecting that of the new Sailor Moon´s anime before it came out. Really. But, this was Toei´s choice and since I like it too, I will respect it. And lets be honest. Even if I love the old Sailor Moon´s anime to death, it had to many episodes. It could have been less.

    Anyway, Usagi is a very smart girl in manga or in Crystal and is that what shows more. When she say that she hadn´t the same powers has their friends, she wasn´t being coward. She was being humble, believing that the others were better than her. But when she gains reason, she turns into a brave person, without underestimate her friends

    The only negative sides that I find in Usagi in manga and in Crystal is when she commited suicide because of Endymion´s condition and her behavior towards Chibiusa. Really, I don´t know what was Naoko´s point with those acts, because, clearly Usagi´s suicide in that moment wasn´t one of her strongest and racional moments. The same way I don´t understhand Usagi´s hostily towards Chibiusa. The jealously scenes I understhand. Usagi is still a child and she still has so many things to learn. But, of course, she could have more initiative to help the little girl. Even in the old anime she had a jealous of death of the interaction between Mamoru and Chibiusa and she still wanted to protected her with all her life. But this mistake in Crystal´s version is Naoko´s fault for make the senshis being kinapped and make Sailor Moon and Venus became more worried with their friends safety instead of help Chibiusa. And so Crystal´s has it own fault for following the manga so deeply. But we could see some reason in Usagi´s reaction towards Chibiusa. She came from somewhere, nobody nows from where she came and then she arrives to Usagi´s house just like that and accommodates herself without asking permission. And we could see that Chibiusa didn´t began her appearance with the good attitudes towards Usagi. So, I think this could justify a “little” Usagi´s hostility. But I confess that the part when they go to the future with Chibiusa, I prefer it much more in the old manga than in the manga and in Crystal, with all the senshi together. I think it was more fair and emotive that way. Anyway, in my opinion, all the good points of Usagi in manga, from that moment on and even before, they compensate all her mistakes.

    Another thing that I payed attention was to Mamoru´s comments. Many people are so disappointed with his romance with Usagi in Crystal and I don´t understhand why. All of you were complaining of his cold attitudes towards Usagi in the old anime, saying that he was a cold and distant, now that he is romantic just like in manga, just like you wanted and admired, now he is a pedophile and indecent. Jesus. Mamoru can´t please anyone not matter what he does? Are you so dissatisfied? This maybe will shock all of you but, Mamoru is my favourite character, in both animes and in manga. Yes, that cold hearted man that many of you hated in the old anime, was my favourite character all this time. Why? Because I always finded that coldness charming and misterious. He was more of that in manga, but he always had he´s own charm in the old manga.

    And now the point that many of you will not like to discuss but since all of you have the right to gave your opinions, I have mine too. The poin is Sailor Venus. She is my 3º favourite character, since Usagi is my 2º. She was the amazing Sailor V, which manga I love and I find more humorous than Sailor Moon´s manga. But both stories are differents so I think is a mistake compare them. Sailor V manga is more adventurous and Sailor Moon manga is more romantic and fighter. Just love them like they are. Is the best. But Minako is a character that annoys me a little. Well, I like her as a normal girl, I like her as a senshi, I love her beauty, but I don´t apreciate her as a leader, just like many of you defend her or just like Naoko made her. Shocking? Well, is just a different opinion of yours. Why I don´t apreciate her leadership? Because I find her to much authoritarian and militar to the senshi when she leads them, like if they were her submissives and not her friends. Honestly, I don´t find the senshi with so much will to follow Venus leadership more when they follow Sailor Moon. All of you say so good things about Venus and forgive her mistakes so much easily than Usagi´s and sometimes I thing is because Usagi is in her place as protagonist and you find it outrageous. But, even in Sailor V manga, I find Minako much more insensitive than Usagi even towards Artemis. When she kicked brutally Makoto when she was hypnotized, or when she fought with Tuxedo Mask, attacking Motoki too in that brutal way, well, even if I found it brave, I found it also to much brutal. In Crystal was Rey who hit Makoto, and thank godness that wasn´t Minako having all the merits in that battle, but at least, Rey showed more preocupation towards Makoto than Minako in manga. And when she contradicted the senshi about the other´s senshi intensions? If it wasn´t for Usagi heart and faith in others goodness, I´m sure that Minako would have done something that she would regret later to the other´s senshis. If I had someone leading me like Venus leads the senshi, giving me orders like that, I would arrive to a point when I would ask her ” Who the hell do you think you are?”, Answer: “I was the biggest Sailor V so I´m a better fighter than you”. Next answer: ” That is true, but that makes us your submissives?”. Well, of course not. They are all brave and they have their unique speciality and that is a point that I always though that Naoko could have shown more in manga. The biggest moment that I dislike Venus authoritarianism is when she orders the senshi to sacrifice their pens ( lifes ) to bring Sailor Moon back to life. Of course this was Sailor Moon fault for commited suicide but, why didn´t Sailor Venus decided to sacrificed just herself and let the others live? I thing Venus makes to many decisions for the others and puts to much pressure on them.

    And the biggest point of all. The difference between Beryl´s death in manga and Crystal. The biggest debate. Well. I confess that with the following of Crystal´s episodes I was expecting and with excitement to see Venus killing Beryl with the sword. But I didn´t became disappointed seeing Sailor Moon doing it. Why? Well, I admit that this was a very disrespectful act towards Venus. Its was a very irractional and impulsive way to take the merit of a character. All of you and me wanted to see the old Sailor V and a non-protagonist character to kill a major enemy. But, lets think a little more about all this. Sailor Venus had her OWN manga where she acted completely alone with all the attentions centered in her. Everything was just for her. She had lots of moments of glory all for her, without sharing it with others, so, may I ask, why she had to have another moment of glory like that in a story where the protagonist was another? Why Sailor Moon has to share so much her protagonism with the others? Because she isn´t alone? Well if its because of that reason, why the others senshi didn´t had the same attention that Sailor Moon and Venus had? Why Naoko didn´t centered more and with firmness the other senshi qualities like the old anime did in the episodes where they were the protagonists, what I think was fair? Is true that they missed to convert Venus the leader, but I think it was fair that they turned them more equal. And even in Venus episodes we can see her bravery, a bravery that I don´t see in the others. The same way that wasn´t fair that the Mercury, Mars and Jupiter were kidnapped by the blackmoon gang, leaving Venus with Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. After all, it was because of that that chibiusa didn´t received the attention that she deserved in manga and in crystal. All the senshi were needed and in that way, they could have centered the travel to the future with their true mission, save Chibiusa´s mother. So, thinking in all this? It was so that unfair that was Usagi the one who killed Beryl? Because there are other moments were we can see Venus leader´s skills, and believe me that I prefer her as a leader in Crystal than in the manga for being more humble. And the moment that I most loved that moment, was when she asked to Chibiusa to take them to the future. In manga I didn´t apreciated that part so much. Why? Because I found it to much humiliating to Sailor Moon, and is funny because it seems that many of you like to see that, but I don´t find it fair. Not that I didn´t found Usagi smarter all the time, because she is and very much, just like when she looked to the glasses to see Jupiter attackers, when she was kinapped. When she understhood that Calaveras was lying in that video, because she became shocked with what she listened, when she felt Rubeus presence when he was about to attack Chibiusa… Usagi is very smart and brave in manga. And I love her developmente in both animes. But I think that Venus interfiers to much in Usagi´s protagonism. I would have killed Toei if they would take Venus moment when she decided that they needed to go to the future but, the way she did it in the manga like, ” I´m the leader, let me pass, I´m smarter and you are not “, well, bravery is needed but underestimate the others´s intelligence it isn´t. So thats why I prefer that moment in Crystal and not in manga.

    And I think that Sailor Moon deserved more to use the Holy sword than Venus. Why? Because I find her a better leader than her. Because while I find Sailor Venus to much authoritarian, Sailor Moon treats her friends in an equal way. All of them are important to her. When I saw Usagi holding that sword, asking for the others help, seeing them following her without complain, completely devoted to her, not just like when they questioned Venus when she ordered them to sacrificed their pens, believing in cause, in that moment I saw a real leader. A leader as a soldier, as princess and as a queen. Sorry guys but, for me, Sailor Moon is the leader, no matter what you say about Venus. I respect your opinions when you trust in her but, I really don´t apreciate Venus as a leader.

    Many of you would say that Venus deserved to shine for a moment because she is the leader and after her manga had suffered a big injustice when it was supposed to create a Sailor V anime and that failed, but, Naoko had the opportunity to create another Sailor V manga or continue Minako jorney as protagonist as Sailor Venus by her own, but she compromised with another protagonist, a protagonist that I always admired my all life. So, I think it wasn´t so unfair to be Usagi the one to use the sword instead of Venus. Of course it wasn´t fair at all but, if was a balance that was required, then the other senshi deserved the same balance.

    Don´t get me wrong, guys. I love Venus, I really do. She is my 3º favourite character. I love her as Venus and V. Is just I think she interfiers to much with Usagi protagonism and is to much privileged compared to the others. Maybe I´m being unfair, maybe I´m complaining of the developtment of a story that isn´t mind, but I really thing that Venus needed to soften her authoritarianism a little. But, like I said before, even If I don´t agreed, I´ve to respect the manga just like it is.

    And thats why I´m planning to create a fanfiction of a remake of Sailor Moon Crystal to do a story that I like. And believe me, Sailor moon, Tuxedo Mask, Venus and the others will have justice for them in equal way. SomedayI´ll show you the site.

  28. Apples

    I don’t know if I am an outlier, but The 90s sailor moon didn’t sit well with me. What I didn’t like were
    1) the over the top comedic reactions (especially during fights) & deviation from the inner senshi’s true characters (esp Rei’s)
    2)villain of the week theme
    3)perpetually weak and ineffective inner senshi attacks
    4) the art style ( there were some screen shots that were nice. And the stickers were very pretty. Other than that, i was disappointed. Really, I couldn’t fantom how people could see usagi as an elegant princess when most of her princessy designs were… not elegant looking. The characters looked really pretty in the stickers, but somehow, that does not translate into the character art in the anime.)
    5) The overly fluffy theme – I get that it is a magical girl show but at times, the fluffiness made their attacks or their enemy’s attacks look somewhat like a joke.

    When I was ten, I gave up the series in the first season and was happily addicted to Digimon season 1 and Card Captor Sakura (season 2) instead. I read the sailor moon manga when I was 14 and fell in love with the manga. It encompassed everything that I wanted from sailor moon, which consequently made me face palm at the 90s sailormoon even more.

    Sailormoon crystal came and to me, it was a HUGE step up. I have to agree that Crystal’s season 1 and 2 character designs look weird (especially in season 1). The bodies are out of proportion, the facial features look scrambled at times and gosh, the mouths and eyes were a problem. The CGI during Sailormoon’s transformation scene was… for lack of better word, terrible. There were times that I had to literally cover their eyes or mouths with my finger on the screen (lol). It was somewhat better in season 2 and I could largely ignore the occasional weird art in season 2. That’s probably also because I wasn’t impressed with a lot of the character designs in the 90s anime, so Crystal (season 2) was an improvement for me.

    People complained about the inner senshi’s lack of character. I disagreed. It was refreshing to see no over the top comedy and I really liked it that everything was more serious. As a result, some of the fight scenes were gripping and blew me away. Finally, FINALLY, Sailor Mercury’s attacks actually works! The other inner senshis’ attacks pack a punch too! Most importantly, Sailor Moon was powerful.The way she blew apart the floor to save the inner senshis from Prince Diamond’s lair, the way Neo Queen Serenity spoke via Sailor Moon’s medium… it was made of pure win.

    Undeniably, Princess Serenity and Neo Queen looks a lot more elegant too (except for the last episode of season 2 when the Queen was awoken – both Sailor Moon and the Queen’s character designs were not great. Urgh. The queen’s dress looked weird too. The colour combination between her dress and that bright pink staff of hers kills my eyes). And I could tell there was a conscious effort to inject a lot more elegance and class into Crystal as compared to the 90s anime. The pacing was largely appropriate to me – that’s because the 90’s anime moved at the speed of Jurassic.

    Crystal season 3 came along. I was totally blown away but the art and OST. It was really, really pretty. Haruka and Michiru looked devastatingly gorgeous. The transformation scenes were awesome too. I was pretty sure the elegance and dark theme will persist. Then came along the comedic moment in episode 2 [ and that overly fluffy Sailormoon attack] during a fight and my anticipation and tension for the fight just dissipated :/ I am fine with comedic moments at any time but fights. If the fights are not serious enough, the character image will weaken. I really hope Sailor Moon will be more powerful after this episode. But other than that, Cystal season 3 exceed expectations.

  29. Sailor Sedna

    I’m sorry if I’m late to the party here, but I need to state my mind here.

    Unfortunately I’m one of those people who hated the first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal, and though season 3 of it is decent, I still am not a fan of it overall. The reason I hated the first two seasons was the godawful art/animation (didn’t look like the manga at all) and the , the way the characters were handled, the Inner Senshi were so weak and useless in Crystal (I have to disagree with the above commenter Apples, in the original anime the Inners’ attacks were not perpetually weak nor ineffective, there were plenty of times they proved to be competent and strong, unlike here, in Crystal they’re a joke), had no personalities, could have been cut out without affecting the story, Usagi came off like she only cared about Mamoru and not about the Inners (why people think she does care for the Inners in Crystal, I can’t see why or understand), the romance wasn’t done too well compared to the 90’s anime and manga, the battles were too short and felt too fast, and the music wasn’t that good.

    Season III only made the Inners slightly better, Moon more tolerable too, and though it was more closer and faithful to the manga, it still suffered from the same flaws the first two seasons have and sucks compared to S.

    • Sailor Sedna

      Plus, Mercury’s attacks worked a good amount of time in the original anime. Crystal…not so much.

    • Andreia

      If you pay more attention, you´ll see moments where Usagi cares for her friends. But, like you said before, the show is to much short and you don´t see many moments like that. The reason is only that.
      Jesus! Or you complain about Usagi and Mamoru lack of romance or because there is to much romance. Really, you are never satisfied.

  30. Shizuko

    Honestly… I haven´t had a chance to watch much…but I can already tell I don´t like it. It really hurt when I started the episode(I use crunchyroll) and the first thing I hear is that Moonlight Densetsu is all wrong. I can notice if there´s a change in anything, and there were MAJOR changes. In my opinion, if your´re gonna remake an anime, at least try to make the opening as close as you can to the original. Another thing is that in the first episode, Usagi does´nt have her toast. She only carries a suitcase(where´d that come from?). Another thing, if you compare pictures of Usagi in her Sailor form, you´ll see that her bangs COMPLETELY cover her forehead. They also got rid of the Senshi´s poses.


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