Okay, while I don’t want to keep making comparisons to the original anime (especially since my own memory of it isn’t the most accurate at this point), I will say that the introduction of Sailor Mercury happens a lot sooner than the original. Of course, I believe that is also in keeping with the pace of the manga which, as I understand it, is the purpose of Sailor Moon Crystal. That’s all well and fine, anyway, as Sailor Mercury was my favorite Sailor Senshi back in the day. Why? You got me, especially since green is my favorite color. All I know is I had one of those creepy otaku crushes for a long time, but, you know, that was before being saved and… I’m going to stop talking about this now.
So, for the most part, this episode plays out more-or-less like I remember it. As I said, it’s been quite some time since I’ve watched the original series, and I haven’t read the manga in some time, either, so there may be details that I’m forgetting, but the general essence is there: Ami is introduced as the smart girl in school, she goes to a special school in the evenings, said school is actually a ploy by the bad guys, Sailor Moon goes in to save Ami, Ami becomes Sailor Mercury, everyone goes home happy. One detail that has clearly been changed, though, is the technology used in the show. I can’t take credit for noticing this, as it was pointed out elsewhere, but in the original series the program that Ami uses is on a floppy disk (makes since, as it took place in the 90’s). In Crystal, though, the program is on a CD. Add to that the fact that Usagi has a laptop running what appears to be Windows 7 (again, an observation I gleaned from someone else), and you can definitely see the change. Granted, this certainly isn’t a major change, but it does break from faithfulness to the source material, albeit in a minor and insubstantial way. The only awkward thing will be if everything else stays the same and the setting is supposed to still be in the 90’s…
I still think one of the biggest transitions for me is the new art style. While I’ve read some of the manga, I am much more familiar with the original anime, so it’s kind of a stark contrast in appearances. Not that the art style is bad—my only complaint would be the characters’ lips in Crystal; for some reason, the emphasized lips just don’t appeal to me. Outside of that, I really can’t criticize the art work, as it is beautiful.
Really, I don’t know what to say here. Again, if you are a fan of the original series then this should scratch your nostalgia itch without necessarily making you feel like you’re just re-watching something you’ve seen time and again. If you’re new to Sailor Moon, then this is a good place to start, and if you feel like the magical girl thing is cliched, just remember that Sailor Moon was one of—if not the—original magical girl series.
A Christian Perspective:
Well, we can learn a lot about how we should interact with people from Usagi. On the one hand, she approaches Ami to befriend her when everyone else seems to be keeping their distance. That’s good. That’s the kind of thing we should be doing as Christians: reaching across lines and befriending those who others avoid, for whatever reasons. It’s our job to bring the love of Christ to everyone, not just those we think deserve it or those whom society esteems.
On the other hand, Usagi certainly seems to have ulterior motives, as she thinks to herself that she could get Ami to help her study and improve her grades. This… is not what we should do. We should help others out of love and a desire to serve Christ, not for what they can do for us. (Luke 6: 34 – 35: And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (NIV))
Language: 1 “h*ll”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Queen Beryl’s dress is designed in such a way that part of her breasts are shown… I can’t really think of how to explain it, but it’s not really anything worse than if it was cleavage, I guess; Sailor Moon and Sailor Mercury go through the transformation scene (I won’t mention this in every episode, since it’s basically a staple and likely to be in every episode… all you really see is an outline of their bodies because of how it’s done, but I guess we’re meant to assume that they are technically naked as they transform)
Violence: Sailor Moon is attacked with magical paper… (Yeah); Moon Tiara Boomerang