Sailor Moon Crystal (complete series 1) [2016]

Sailor Moon Crystal is the latest offering in the beloved Japanese animated series, based on the original storyline that many fans may have grown up with. This anime collection is released on DVD and BluRay in Australia by Madman Entertainment.

This series has a strong story, retelling the original Sailor Moon storyline, but in a far more concise manner than the original cartoon series. In my opinion this makes it much more enjoyable.

Usagi’s character benefits from the condensed fourteen-episode storytelling, maker her seem a little less pathetic than the extended series did. The strength of the other sailors bolsters her and makes her development even stronger as she finds her identity and her hidden power.

The almost slapstick humour adds to the fun, so you still get some of the over-the-top gags that you expect from Usagi’s misadventures. This is handled particularly well as part of the genre that the Japanese seiyū (voice artist) are familiar with. It sounds a little less natural from the American voice cast, but they still do a great job, clearly having fun in their roles.

Not being able to stick with the original anime too long, I quickly fell for this retelling as it seemed tighter and stronger. Thye production is strong, yet still evokes the feel of the original but with some smoother and updated animation and SFX. And I dare anyone not to have the phrase “moon pride” jump into their head forever after – damn the Japanese power of creating addicting theme songs!

Collecting all fourteen episodes of the first series, this is a great collection, which also includes clean opening and ending credits as bonus features. Again, a handy feature for when the theme is stuck in your head.

Given that this is a retelling, it is a great jump-on point for any viewers who have not seen Sailor Moon before or who haven’t seen the origin of the tale. Being more compact it can be a far easier watch than trying to get through the original to see if you like it. For those who are already fans I believe it can be enjoyed just as much, especially for Western fans who had to sit through the ‘bastardised’ version of years past. Now you can see the tale done more true to the original manga and learn the real names of the characters.

Being a short series there are no other extras on these ‘lite’ DVD sets which seems like a bit of a let-down, especially on a release for a series as popular as Sailor Moon.

3.5 out of 5 moon cats.

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