I think it’s very interesting that in Crystal, the term ‘Mask’ is sometimes used, as opposed to ‘Kamen,’ which I thought meant the same thing. I don’t know much Japanese, (more to the point: I don’t really know any Japanese, save for a few words here and there) but sometimes I hear the voice actors/actresses saying ‘mask’ instead of ‘kamen.’ The villains seem to use ‘kamen’ more than ‘mask’ for some reason. During this episode, everyone seemed to use ‘kamen;’ this is interesting to me, even if it doesn’t mean anything, nor does it make any difference. Just wanted to point that out.
After several somewhat lackluster episodes, I am finally happy to announce that episode 5 of Sailor Moon Crystal was a rousing success. The only reason why I took so long in writing this review is that I have had some technical difficulties going on with my site and didn’t get around to getting everything sorted out until recently. Anyway, without further ado: here’s my long delayed review! (Oh, that even rhymes.)
So, much like the previous episodes that were right before the introduction of a new Guardian, the end of episode 4 teased the viewers about the newest addition to the team, Sailor Jupiter. I was nervous about this, only due to the low production value of episodes 2 and 3, which were the other Guardian introduction episodes. However, I assumed (probably naively) that the three week gap between episodes 4 and 5 would allow for the production team to tidy up any loose strands, so to speak. I was pleasantly surprised to see how nice the episode looked as a whole.
I suppose I should begin by saying that I was nervous about this episode, not because of the chapter in the manga and whether or not I’d believe Crystal would be able to convey the story, but because of the sour taste Act 3 left in my mouth. Looking back at my review for 3, I have discovered that even though I was ultimately very negative about the animation, I wasn’t necessarily ‘wrong.’ The screenshots I posted still look so weird to me, and it’s gotten to the point where I really don’t even want to re-watch that episode. Luckily, I don’t have to, since this is a review for 4.
NOTE: I’m trying out a new format for my reviews, since I think I delved too far into ‘summarizing’ territory during my previous two. Hope you like! (Apologies for the awkward formatting for the images. I’m still learning how to work the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.)
Allow me to preface this review by stating that Sailor Mars has always been my favorite of the Sailor Guardians. I can go on as to why that is, but this isn’t the place, nor the time to do so. I may make a post later all about her, but this post is for the episode in specific.
I have been looking forward to this episode for a long time, pretty much since the anime was announced. So, it goes without saying that I held this episode in high anticipation and high standards, and lo and behold, some of these standards were not met. Don’t get me wrong, the episode itself was fine; the story was fine, the pacing was fine – it was (relatively) true to the chapter in the manga. What was not fine, you ask? The animation quality. This episode, in comparison to the two before it, had a significant decline in quality. I asked myself as I watched, “what the hell happened?” I also hoped very much that succeeding episodes did not follow this trend, as Sailor Moon Crystal should have a decent budget thanks to its popularity, and episodes are not released in a weekly format.
This episode starts off showing a blue haired girl receiving a graded test from her teacher wherein she passed with flying colors. (Presumably this girl is the only person with blue hair in the Juban district, but that’s apparently not an issue in regards to her superhero identity. I’ve always found that pretty odd.)
This girl, now known as Ami Mizuno, is reserved and dedicated to studying. Passersby comment on how solitary she is, and she seems to pay no mind to this, even though there are a few scenes where she stares at Usagi and her friends, perhaps wishing she had friends as well. Thing is, Ami is so busy studying to become a doctor that she hadn’t really socialized with anyone else, and the plot of the episode begins to unfold; there’s a mysterious program being offered by a group of people (namely, one unnamed professor) in the evenings, which requires a disk and a computer. The name of this program is the Crystal Seminar, which isn’t sketchy at all. It’s not like the people running this seminar are looking for the Legendary Silver Crystal or anything, right? This program consists of a group of lessons all via the computer, and the students don’t learn from the professor, they just complete problems/equations on their computers via the disk.
I’ve been a pretty die-hard fan of Sailor Moon for as long as I can remember. I mean, I can try to guess the age I began watching it on TV, but it’ll just be a guess, and ultimately that number isn’t too important. All I know for sure is that I’ve loved the series since then, and so upon hearing the news well over a year ago that there would be a new anime, I was elated. Of course, this elation wavered a bit when the premiere date continually got pushed back, but it returned with gusto when Sailor Moon Crystal finally aired.
Long story short, I’ve decided to review each episode of the series; this will obviously be a lengthy project, as it airs every first and third Saturday of the month, as opposed to once a week as most anime does, but I think it’ll be worth it. Remember, though, that I am new to writing reviews, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, and know that unless you’ve read the manga, there will be spoilers. (If you’ve watched the old anime, there won’t be many spoilers for you, if any, since it was true to the manga to a point – it just had a habit of stretching things out and adding unnecessary (yet often enjoyable) villains and plot points.)
Anyway, here is my first review of Sailor Moon Crystal, for its first episode: Act 1: USAGI – SAILOR MOON.