A few weeks ago, an official trailer for next month’s Sailor Moon anime reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, debuted online. To say that the studio behind this new anime is pulling all the stops to make a faithful adaptation to Naoko Takeuchi’s original manga series would be an understatement. Clearly, there’s a move to set this newer anime of the beloved series apart from its classic ’90s counterpart.
When I first watched the trailer for Crystal, it took me some time to get used to the different animation style, considering I’ve grown up with and watched the dubbed Sailor Moon from the ’90s. The new Sailor Moon is literally Takeuchi’s manga in motion and it isn’t such a bad thing either.
Takeuchi’s illustrations in the manga, especially her color art, are absolutely beautiful to look at. Watching an anime that follows her original art style is a welcome change, just like watching the story, as the mangaka wrote it, is an exciting prospect. As much as I loved the classic Sailor Moon, even if it veered away from its original source material, I did prefer the manga much more. Manga Usagi, Mamoru, and the rest of the gang were world’s apart from their anime counterparts. I often wondered why their personalities were largely altered in the anime, compared to how they really are in the manga.
The classic anime certainly had a lot of humor mixed in with the much more serious moments, which I’ve enjoyed immensely. Yet, I do feel what we will get in Sailor Moon Crystal is more of the mature sophistication that’s present in the manga that the ’90s version of Sailor Moon kind of lacked. The characterizations of each Sailor Scout felt much richer and deeper in the manga and there will be more of an opportunity to see Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship as a relationship of equals.
Many fans have expressed their annoyance over how anime Mamoru is largely a jerk to Usagi, even after they get together. There are times when Mamoru’s relationship to Usagi in the classic anime feels more like a grownup trying to teach his child how to act and behave. It’s possible that the age difference in the anime compared to how it is in the manga might have something to do with it (anime Mamoru is about college aged, while manga Mamoru is a senior in high school when Usagi first meets him), but I don’t think that’s really an excuse.
Manga Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship feels like there’s an equal partnership with no imbalance of power when they’re together. Mamoru and Usagi take equal turns saving each other from tough binds and Mamoru doesn’t ever view Usagi as a girl who can’t take care of herself and make her own decisions. I do see how anime Mamoru might not have been widely popular with some fans, but for me personally, I do see some of the essence of his original manga counterpart, even if it means looking really hard to see it sometimes.
As I have expressed in a previous post, I’m really looking forward to seeing what this new anime has in store for fans. While I’m currently rewatching the classic series on Hulu, I’ll be basking in my fan hype for Sailor Moon all summer long.
Check out the official trailer below for Sailor Moon Crystal.