After being wowed by the production values in episodes 1 and 2, I noticed a few weird animation moments in episode 3 – anime fans are used to them. A mouth looks too wide, eyes don’t quite match up, distorted angles. It’s not usually a problem but it can be distracting. And the CGI during the transformation scenes, while not a big deal, is something I have to get used to, I guess.
Episode 3: Rei – Sailor Mars –
Like Ami, Rei is an outsider; while Ami is super-smart, Rei is a temple priestess and has spiritual powers that have set her apart from others her whole life. I really enjoy seeing the Scouts come together and bond with Usagi, who is naturally friendly, and with each other. Friendship between girls is a focal point for the series and something I think is generally important in real life.
A cultural thing in Japan is that girls are expected to get crushes on each other – which would be nice except that it’s supposed to be something you grow out of. Lesbians, grow up already!
Anyway, this reboot of Sailor Moon emphasizes the crushing. Usagi has blushed when she first sees the other girls, especially Rei, who is supposed to be the prettiest, most sophisticated, and most regal of all the girls.
Rei’s transformation into Sailor Mars was cool, and her standing over Mars with Phobos and Deimos in orbit was sweet.
However, Rei’s “I will punish you” lines involve some distorted animation that made me feel weird. It reminded me of those Samurai Champloo episodes at the end that were just all over the place.
And at the end of that sequence, we have ANOTHER HORRIBLE POSE like WHAT IS THIS these girls are FOURTEEN YEARS OLD and they are NOT PLAYBOY BUNNIES I don’t even.
There’s no way those mile-long skinny legs can hold that pose; also, her torso? What?
But her exorcism attack on Jaedite was awesome. I loved it.
I really liked the awkward silence between Mamorou and Usagi on the bus. It was cute and I suppose anyone crushing on someone can think to themselves, “Well, at least I don’t try to hide behind a cat when I’m around my crush.”
I know I gave Usagi a hard time for not realizing Mamoru is Tuxedo Kamen, but it also seems that he doesn’t realize she is Sailor Moon. I think that’s way worse, because at least his face is covered by a mask. Usagi’s face is not obscured and her hairstyle is ridiculously distinctive – he even calls her “dumpling head” when they meet as regular people. Rei recognized her right away!
I will end this episode’s review with a tiny point – when the Scouts transform, the first thing that happens is their nails get nail polished. But then they get gloves over top of their nails, so…
Foreshadowing: Phobos and Deimos as crows, but far later on they are not crows.
Episode 4: Masquerade – Dance Party –
The Sailor V video game at the arcade is like the restaurant in Seinfeld – if the girls aren’t at school or at home, they’re there. Previously, Usagi had taught Ami how to play, and then Ami teaches Rei how to play.
I had a revelation while they were at the arcade. When Luna talks to Ami and Rei about the Sailor Guardians becoming “awake”, I suddenly realized that a great deal of this first season is the story of teenage girls awakening to powers they’ve always had, and using it to protect the ones they love and save the world. How cool is that? I should have realized it sooner – it’s pretty obvious.
The whole masquerade party was weird. Tuxedo Kamen just whips Usagi around the dance floor like a doll…
And there’s also… the kiss. I distictly remember in the manga that Usagi was drunk on champagne when Tuxedo Kamen kissed her – which I didn’t like then, because it’s not cool to kiss drunk 14-year olds. But the rebooted kiss is even worse.
Sailor Moon is sleeping on a bench on the balcony and Tuxedo Kamen comes out and sees her. Then he goes over, bends down, and kisses her unconscious lips like a total creeper. As soon as I saw him going over to her, I was like, “Oh no. Please don’t tell me — yup, that just happened.” I was as mad as Luna was when she came across them.
If I want to see that bullshit, I’ll go watch Twilight. The kiss was a bad decision in the manga and it was a bad decision in this anime. I am disappoint.
I’m also a little puzzled by the decision to keep Jaedite alive. As another reviewer pointed out (I totally forgot), when Mars exorcized him in Episode 3, he died.
However, there was the cute scene when Sailor Moon saves Tuxedo Kamen with her umbrella, although it was cuter in the manga.
Foreshadowing: Makoto in the rain.
I’m looking forward to:
- Makoto coming into her powers
- Sailor V should show up sometime soon
- Seeing how still-alive-Jaedite figures into the plot