Otaku USA Magazine
Sailor Moon Crystal: Season One DVD Review

Sailor Moon CrystalSailor Moon is an iconic franchise to the point that it’s become a household name, and it’s been getting increased attention lately in part thanks to VIZ’s new and more accurate dub. But the franchise also got a reboot in the form of Sailor Moon Crystal, and after initially making it available to stream in both Japanese and English (as it becomes available) VIZ released the first season on DVD.

It follows the same basic story, with Sailor Moon starting out as a clumsy, continually late 14-year-old who can’t get good grades in school. Everything changes when she meets the cat Luna, and before long our young Usagi is finding Sailor Scouts, remembering her previous life on the moon, and having multiple run-ins with the Is-He-A-Good-Guy-Or-Bad-Guy character Tuxedo Mask. The Scouts basically get an episode each to introduce them, but Tuxedo Mask, being the important (and romantic) character he is, has several episodes pretty much dedicated to him. 

Some things are totally revamped, like the artwork. Along with having CG transformation sequences, everything is more colorful and sparkly. All the Sailor Scouts have enormous, bursting-with-color eyes and look as if they’re wearing gleaming lip gloss. It almost feels as if they got a makeover since the previous series, to make them seem more feminine and more in line with the shojo fanbase. The galaxy shots are beautiful, and all the new colors really make the images pop on the screen. 

Sometimes it feels as if the new series is trying a little too hard, because it knows what a massive fanbase it has and it wants to push parts that it knows fans like. Because of that, some scenes go on a little longer than necessary, which has the opposite effect and makes them less interesting. This is especially apparent in the first few episodes, as the characters are being found and introduced.

Season one consists of 14 episodes, and after the character introductions things start becoming much faster and heart-pounding and the drawn-out scenes mostly disappear. It’s not easy to reboot something like Sailor Moon, and while it has some issues, overall I think season one is a good, fun watch. I wouldn’t replace the original Sailor Moon with it, but it’s a colorful, vibrant addition to the franchise, like taking a look at the story through new eyes. It’s not going to please everyone, but I think the majority of Sailor Moon fans will find definite enjoyment watching Sailor Moon Crystal

Distributor: VIZ Media
Available: Now
Rating: TV-14

Danica Davidson’s book Manga Art For Beginners is being released March 29 and is available for pre-order. With more than 200 pages and hundreds of drawings, it takes a thorough look at each step for drawing your favorite manga character types, including ninja, butlers, chibi, bishonen, schoolgirls and schoolboys.