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Archive for the ‘Sailor Moon’ Category

Quick note: I meant to publish this some time ago, but apparently I never did. Here is my review of Sailor Moon Crystal season 3.

What to say about this season? First, a disclaimer. In the manga, this is the story arc that may be my favorite. It is tied with the Dead Moon Circus story arc for that position. Also, while I have seen the sub of Sailor Moon SI have never seen the dub version.

Animation wise, this season is vastly improved, especially the CGI. It may not be perfect, but compared to the first two seasons it only took me out of the story once or twice overall as opposed to all the time.

Story wise, it again sticks close to the manga, which is both it’s strength and weakness. In the earlier sailor moon adaptation, was the story drawn out a little too much? Arguably yes. And yet, it sure gave lots of time to fun Sailor Scout interaction and development. On the other hand, I found Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune’s story more subtly done in the Crystal version as they didn’t have as much time to angst over the situation they found themselves in.

If your introduction to Sailor Moon was the earlier seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal and you enjoyed them, you will probably love this season. If you enjoy the manga, this season is also worth checking out. Is this season better than  Sailor Moon S, the original anime? That one is harder to say. If you like more character interaction, Sailor Moon S is probably the way to go. If you want a more streamlined story, however, this is an enjoyable version of the story.

Now here’s hoping we finally get a decent animated version of Sailor Moon Super S…

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So Sailor Moon Crystal finally ended. It has been an interesting ride. There are a few changes from the manga (a bit more with the four generals in the first half, etc.), but mostly it follows very closely its source material. The good news – no filler. The bad news – a bit less room for extended character development. Your mileage may vary depending on how much you like the manga compared to the first anime series.

I miss the old music, but the new theme keeps coming into my head, so I guess it works.

Animation wise, it is gorgeous and much better than the original anime series. The bad news – the CGI doesn’t always work as well.

I think in some ways the ending of the first arc works better here. Usagi pining for Mamoru is minimized and I think the overall impact may be greater. Chibi-Usa actually comes out better in this series than the original. Less in that case is more – focusing on her desperate situation rather than comedic scenes with Usagi. Speaking of Usagi, I know she loves Mamoru, but she seems a bit too dependent on him. Still, with fewer comedic scenes it is easier to see her grow up and why the other Sailor Scouts follow her. Also, why did you not let the Sailor Scouts go help in the last episode Neo Queen Serenity? Doesn’t make sense.

Do I want another season of Sailor Moon Crystal? If it means getting through Super S, then yes since even in the original Japanese that season doesn’t work nearly as well as the manga. And though the original Japanese season of Super works well enough, I could see it working even better in trimmed form with the comedic parts left out.

Still, as cheesy as some of the filler was, especially in English, I admit I do miss more of the character work. Still, there is a lot to like in this new version. If you like the manga, you should give this series a try.

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Yep, they have taken the original anime Sailor Moon, given it to us uncut and re-dubbed. I have watched the first episode and the episode where Ami is introduced, plus a few sample clips. Haven’t gotten to Lyta and Mina yet (or rather back to Makoto and Minako) yet, but here are my thoughts based on what I have seen. One disclaimer: yes I saw the US release back in the 1990s, but I have also seen the original Japanese version.

The good: It is completely uncut! The names are all the original Japanese! Excluding the natural vagaries of translation, this is quite a faithful adaptation. All the voice actors are decent, and Usagi if anything is even better. While I haven’t actually watched these specific episodes, all the ones completely cut from the US release have been included.

The bad: I miss the old voice actors, and I miss the Americanization of the original US release. Unlike Cardcaptors, the cutting the original US version of Sailor Moon underwent generally did not harm the stories or characters. 

If you want to see the complete, original version (or at least as close as an English version can get) of Sailor Moon but don’t like subtitles, or if you love Sailor Moon and want any excuse to watch a new version of it, or if you have never seen Sailor Moon but are interested, or if you are a purist, this is a good version to watch. If you fell in love with the original English dub, be warned this version is different. Not really worse, just different.

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I’ve only been saying I would get around to this for a year, and now that the first two episodes have aired I can^^;

So the first thing to say is that while there are minor differences, so far these episodes follow the original manga very closely. No filler episodes so far at least. on one level, this is a bit of a pity since some of the filler episodes had their charms. Purists will probably rejoice. One result of this is the Dark Kingdom is more sinister from the beginning. This also will, I suspect, in the long run give things a slightly darker feel. I like how often glimpses from the silver millennium are shown. No complaints so far about the voice actors. One nice touch is the same person who voiced Usagi/Sailor Moon in the original version in Japan is back in the same role. She does a credible job both as the crybaby Usagi and grows into the brave Sailor Moon.

Next point, the animation. The bad news is that the CGI transformation sequences are a bit weird, though I found Sailor Mercury’s a bit less weird. The good news is most of the show is much more traditional looking. Although, there were a few scenes where the animation looked off for some reason in the second episode. Hopefully, this will be cleared up because CGI aside, Sailor Moon Crystal looks gorgeous.

The new opening song is good enough I don’t miss “Moonlight Densetsu”. Overall, the music fits well.

For those wondering if the new version is anachronistic, fear not. Ami is given a CD or DVD in the second episode, not a floppy disk. The computer screens are flat screens, and Usagi has a laptop in her room. I expect to see cell phones at some point.

So a few bumps, but so far the show is off to a good start. Maybe this is nostalgia talking, but if Toei can keep this up, they will have quite a decent series on their hands. And I do hope they are able to keep this up. Sailor Moon R and S were fine, though the manga had more of a bite. But Sailor Moon SS was not the best edition of the anime series, though in the manga it is one of my favorites. If you were a fan of Sailor Moon back in the day or if you like magical girls this show is for you.

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Sailor Moon Manga #1 Reissue

There are several things of note about this new version by Kodancha Comics USA. First is the size. Back when Mixx and Tokyopop came out with Sailor Moon over a decade ago they were pocket versions – smaller. The size we now have is what is standard these days, which makes it easier to read and to enjoy the art. No author or publisher comments. There are cultural notes in the back and we get a few color pages! The cover is different. This version is also based on the Japanese reissue. This means several things – it is more up to date. For example, in the original Ami studies from a disk. Now she studies from a CD. Instead of five chapters this volume has six. Which brings me to another wonderful point – all the Japanese names are used, instead of their American counterparts from the English-dub! The Japanese cultural references are kept. The American ones, unless there is a direct correlation in English, are kept out. Finally, this book is in the original Japanese form of right-to-left, unlike the first English version which was left-to right. In short, if you have been wanting the complete set of Sailor Moon manga in English but have not been able to find all of the Mixx/Tokyopop ones for a decent price or like Sailor Moon but didn’t like the first English version, weep not! This is the version to get and this is the time to get it! And while I won’t be getting them myself, if you have ever wanted Code Name Sailor-V, Kodancha Comics USA is also releasing this series as well for the first time in English!

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Oh, Ami, Ami . . . ^^;

The girls are in the midst of studying for high school entrance exams. Ami is always a whip-cracker for studying, but she starts to get especially worried when someone who signs themselves Mercurious (Ami naturally signs herself as Mercury) starts getting perfect scores consistently – just like Ami does. Ami decides to study her heart out and beat him (she’s decided it’s a guy) at his own game. She studies and studies, goes to cram school and extra classes, and studies some more. The other scouts think this must be Ami’s first love for her to be reacting this way. They start to worry when even by Ami’s standards she starts overdoing things. So I guess it’s no surprise that Ami is susceptible to a monster named Bonnone who punishes the unstudious who are distracted by love, sending love notes (to which Ami is allergic) and sucking out information from the brain. Little does this monster realize who she’s dealing with^^; No one studies harder than Ami and she shows her love through her study. She manages to pull herself together, transform, and with Usagi, Chibi-Usa and Mamoru watching, she destroys the monster who she decides is Mercurious (she’s not). Later, Ami is dismayed yet energized to see that Mercurious is still around, pulling perfect scores. The other Scouts did some investigating and through Umino Usagi found that Mercurious is practically a Umino clone. Not like the young Einstein Ami was envisioning^^; The Scouts decide to keep the truth about Mercurious’ identity a secret^^;

What a fun way to end my Sailor Moon watching. Next up, Cross Game! Let’s finally finish this series! Look forward to it!

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There is a legend about sugar fairies coming at the three o’clock hour.

Makoto is helping the other Inner Scouts learn how to make cookies. Usagi and Chibi-Usa have naturally turned this into a competition. In the end, Usagi’s cookies end up looking better, but Chibi-Usa’s cookies taste better. Chibi-Usa is on her way to give some to Mamoru when she runs into a boy named Peruru. He and Chibi-Usa become friends and Chibi-Usa gives him the cookies instead. Usagi gives her cookies to Mamoru. The poor guy, torn between Usagi and Chibi-Usa. Note to Usagi, asking Mamoru which of the two of you he likes best is not a fair question. That night, Diana comes and wakes Usagi – Chibi-Usa has gone off, ignoring Diana. Usagi goes after her and runs into the Inner Scouts. It turns out that lots of children are out of bed this night. They hear a flute. A guy is playing it, leading the children into his ship like the Pied Piper. Usagi brings Chibi-Usa at least to her senses, but the guy isn’t happy. He turns candy into monsters that attack the Inner Scouts. They are able to hold them off for a bit, especially after transforming. Tuxedo Kamen gets into the mix as well, which is just as well since the guy had managed to ensnare the Scouts in an illusion. Peruru shows up. It is clear that he is the same type as the guy playing the Pied Piper, but he doesn’t want to work for their boss anymore, Queen Badiyanu. He was told the children were being taken to a safe place where they will always be in a sweet dream, but after meeting Chibi-Usa he doesn’t see the necessity of this anymore. Queen Badiyanu orders Chibi-Usa captured. Mamoru is injured trying to prevent this and the guy escapes. Mamoru will be okay, but he is out of commission for the moment. Peruru agrees to take the Inner Scouts to Queen Badiyanu’s place in his dream boat. It turns out there are three guys besides Peruru gathering children. They attack the Inner Scouts. Fortunately, the Outer Scouts show up to help. Neptune’s mirror shows how to defeat the guys, and Uranus’ sword quickly finishes them. However, there is still Queen Badiyanu to deal with. She is actually gathering energy from the children’s dreams to crate a darkness to cover the earth and bring it under control, and Chibi-Usa has exceptional power to add to this. Usagi and Peruru try to get to the Queen, who goes into her dark dream whole which is actually an extension of herself with Chibi-Usa. Usagi follows and gets to Chibi-Usa but then finds herself in a dream. Fortunately, Usagi figures this out since Mamoru says things he would never say in real life. Usagi manages to get out of the Black Dream Hole with Chibi-Usa and calls on all the other Scouts’ power. With this, she is able to revive Chibi-Usa and together they manage to destroy Queen Badiyanu. Peruru gets the children onto dream ships before everything is destroyed. Peruru promises Chibi-Usa this won’t be the last time she sees him, and she kisses him.

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