Whilst I’m hardly the person to be questioning this since I barely watched the series in my youth and only saw a few episodes recently, I’ve been at this game long enough to realize that Crystal is not what Sailor Moon fans deserve, and the lukewarm reaction it’s gotten from the magical girl fans have all but confirmed this. I’ve raised complaints about Mario getting rehashed over and over again, starting with that terrible Mario Bros Wii game that just set the franchise back twenty years – but at least the graphics and such were updated for modern audiences. Imagine if that game had those rather outdated Mario 64 polygon graphics that look like someone ran Mario through a meat grinder. That’s Sailor Moon Crystal in a nutshell.
– Actually, come to think of it, the anime is more like Duke Nukem Forever in that after years of postponement, we end up getting a really half-assed project that we want to like, but we have to eventually admit that we set anime on fire when it had less problems than this.
But the problems go beyond Toei’s animation. The problem stems from the fact that I don’t understand why Crystal exists in general, beyond maybe a cash grab. But how many fans in Japan really care about Sailor Moon these days? Can’t be enough to the point that you couldn’t just simply re-release the show or rebroadcast it and get the same effect. In terms of rebroadcast, someone who actually cared about Sailor Moon could cut out all but the most essential episodes and maybe add a few fillers if you need to since the old stuff is pretty damn long. And if you’re introducing it to new fans…well then introduce the old Sailor Moon to new fans.
I can understand something like Hellsing Ultimate being made because even though I prefer the original, the latter didn’t really have a proper story. I can understand something like Rebuild of Evangelion or Gatchaman Crowds existing because it’s giving us a brand new view on their established formulas. I can understand the Clannad series existing because Toei and KyoAni pretty much released their products independent of each other around the same time. Jojo is self-explanatory, despite my own feelings on the franchise as of now. What I’ve seen and read of Sailor Moon doesn’t seem to fit any of those categories. The original series was long ago, it ended conclusively, and it’s just trying to do what worked years ago not realizing that unlike the harem genre, the magical girl formula has evolved since then – and even if your forget about Cardcaptor Sakura and such because they were a long time ago, it’s way too soon for anyone to forget about Madoka Magica and Kill la Kill (even in all its raunchy shonen-ness, the latter is still pretty magical girl-y) and what they brought to the genre itself.
I’ve heard from some people that the reason this Sailor Moon exists is because the anime deviated from the source material and this is supposed to be more faithful to it. Anyone who’s read this blog will know that I don’t understand that 1:1 adaptation mentality at all. It’s that sort of thinking that led to Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood despite the original Bones adaptation being just fine. And regardless if you think Brotherhood is good or not, you cannot deny that the production was good enough to satisfy the fans. By comparison, Crystal feels like some cheap college student project that somehow got widely distributed. And we’ve already got RWBY for that.
If you’ve got a good reason for Crystal existing, please tell me. Because whether it’s to revitalize a dying genre, invoke nostalgia, or whatever else it’s trying to do, I don’t see it working at all.