Friday, 9 September 2016

Sailor Moon Crystal: Season 1

Ni Hao

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I've never made it secret that my all time favourite manga and anime series is in fact Sailor Moon, it was a show I grew up watching on a Saturday morning and I've even posted about it before back in April 2015, there's no better love story than Sailor Moon. I mentioned in my previous Sailor Moon post there was an anime reboot and I'm surprised it's took me so long to post about it as it started 2 years ago, well without waiting any longer shall we get started?

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Sailor Moon Crystal is a 2014 anime adaptation of the re-released manga series which is written and illustrated by Naoko Takeuchi. The new series was created for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original series, the series was produced by Toei Animation and directed by both Munehisa Sakai and Chiaki Kon. The first season was streamed WORLDWIDE on the NicoNico website from July 5th 2014 till January 17th 2015. Season 1 contains 14 episodes which follow the first 14 chapters of the manga series.

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On July 6th 2012 Kodansha and Toei Animation announced that it would begin the production of a new anime adaptation of Sailor Moon for a simultaneous worldwide release set for 2013, as part of the series' 20th anniversary celebrations. Then in April 2013 it was announced that the new anime had been delayed and would air late in the year. By 2014 there was still no news on the new anime until January 9th 2014 it was announced that the anime would premiere in July, a poster was eventually released along with a countdown, revealing the anime would be named Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, and reprising her role as Usagi Tsukino aka Sailor Moon would be voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi. 
The 1st season aired every 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, with the first episode earning a viewership of over 1 million on NicoNico during the first 2 days of streaming. Sadly the 1st season also saw mixed reviews from both critics and fans with the series being criticised for the animation, writing and pacing.

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So far there are 3 seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal with the first season being known as the Dark Kingdom Arc.

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Season 1 follows 14 year old Usagi Tsukino as she meets Luna, a talking black cat, following this Usagi becomes Sailor Moon. A long her journey of fighting crime Usagi meets new friends who are also Sailor Guardians: Ami-Sailor Mercury, Rei-Sailor Mars, Makoto-Sailor Jupiter and Minako-Sailor Jupiter. The guardians are told their main mission is to find and protect the princess of the moon kingdom as well as the legendary silver crystal. Sailor Moon also meets a mysterious masked man named Tuxedo Mask, it is revealed to Usagi that Tuxedo Mask is high school student Mamoru Chiba, a guy she seems to bump into often. Both Usagi and Mamoru are attracted to one another and share the feeling that they've met somewhere before. Mamoru has reoccurring dreams of a woman telling him to find the legendary silver crystal as well as the the princess, on arrival Sailor Venus is introduced as Sailor V and that she is princess Serenity, the princess they've been searching for to protect, Mamoru seems to feel odd about this as his gut instinct is to always protect Usagi. The truth comes to light when Tuxedo Mask is abducted by the dark kingdom, and it's revealed that in fact Usagi is the moon kingdom princess Serenity, and that she and Mamoru then known as Prince Endymion were lovers in a past life. The met a sad ending when Endymion was killed protecting Serenity, to which the sailor scouts watched Serenity end her own life not being able to live without him and thus watching the moon kingdom fall to ruin. With the reveal that Usagi is Serenity all the sailor scouts regain their memories of their past lives, living as part of the moon kingdom. Tuxedo Mask is sent back brainwashed to get the silver crystal and fight and destroy the sailor scouts.
Can Usagi fight and end the man she loves?
Are the scouts watching their past become the present?
What is the fate of the earth, Sailor Moon and the rest of the Sailor Guardians?
Guess you will have to watch the 1 season to find out.

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Personally I had no criticism for the 1st season, it followed the manga which is what I loved most about it. I loved that Kotono Mitsuishi was back as Usagi, I don't think it would have been as good if someone else was voicing her. Sailor Moon Crystal is one of the anime's that I can watch over and over again, Usagi maybe a crybaby at times but what I love about the series is the whole moral of the story which is that they are 5 strong, independent girls that show that to overcome anything you don't always need a man, in the words of the Spice Girls it's basically all about Girl Power. It's also a show I can share with Skye and watch her react to it all the same way I did growing up. I can't wait for the 4th season and I'm hoping we will get to meet the Sailor Star Lights too something which was removed entirely for the English release. I loved all the colours throughout the season and I loved that we saw more interaction romantically with Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus with Zoisite, Kunzite, Jadeite and Nephrite. I love both the opening and ending themes too which are both performed by Momoiro Clover Z.

Opening - Moon Pride By Momoiro Clover Z

Ending - Gekkou(Moonbow) By Momoiro Clover Z

Moon Pride Full Song

Gekkou(Moonbow) Full Song

One of the last things I want to share with you was the trailer that was released that definitely for me had me squealing with excitement that my favourite heroine would be making a return and I'm sure like many other hardcore Sailor Moon fans also had me crying that I was happy for her return, I'm also not ashamed to say that when the first episode aired I spent a majority of it crying at how amazing it was to have her back, something I never thought I'd get to see or even share with the younger generation. I think from start to finish this trailer is breathtaking from the colours to the music and hearing that iconic phrase MOON PRISM POWER MAKE UP! as well as Ai to seigi no, serafuku Bishoujo Senshi..... Sailor Moon! Tsukini kawatte, oshioki yo! if your not familiar with the subbed version of the show(I prefer the subbed) then you will know this famous phrase as For Love and Justice, the pretty sailor suited soldier Sailor Moon! In the name of the moon I will punish you!

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I could go on forever with how much I love this series I even have a pair of custom Converse that I've had for the past 2 year, if you're wanting any custom Converse I HIGHLY recommend Bubblegum Fusion.

What did you think to the Dark Kingdom Arc?
Let me know in the comments below.

See you soon!

Zai Jian

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