What To Expect From ‘Sailor Moon Crystal’

After witnessing the leaked transformation sequence online, fans are literally counting down the hours until the premiere of Sailor Moon Crystal, an adaptation of the ever-so-popular Sailor Moon manga. Drawn by Naoko Takeuchi, the saga ran for just over five years in Nakayoshi, a monthly manga magazine anthology. As you likely recall, Sailor Moon was already adapted into a wildly successful anime back in the mid-90s, which captured the hearts of young girls worldwide, and in many cases, exposed them to a whole new world of foreign animation. It is now more than fifteen years after the conclusion of the original animated series, and times have certainly changed, so, barring differences between the Japanese and English dub of the original series, what new things can we expect out of this new series, Sailor Moon Crystal?

First and foremost are the different visuals — that’s to be expected. After all, the original series premiered in 1992, so one could only expect a series premiering over two decades later to look more modern. Though ironically enough, Sailor Moon Crystal is set to more closely resemble the original source material than the 90s anime ever did. With its detailed lines, the Sailor Moon manga was never primed for animation right off the bat, and the original anime had to cut back on the detail in order to make animation easier. Now in 2014, such detail is now possible without breaking the bank. You can compare the styles yourself in the image below.

Sailor Moon Old and New
The original anime vs. the manga and new animation

While animation is huge, the bigger story here is the content itself and how it will differ from the original Sailor Moon animation. As mentioned before, both the original series and the new one are based on the Sailor Moon manga, though unlike the original, Crystal will wholly pulled from the manga — in fact, that’s where the new series gets the Crystal in its title from, The Japan Times reports:

“‘[Crystal] symbolizes a magical return to one’s origins,’ according to ‘Sailor Moon Crystal’ producer Yu Kaminoki. “The aim of this new animation is a return to the origins of Sailor Moon — to the manga.'”

Unlike most American adaptations of comics, anime adaptations are renowned, for better or worse, for their strict adhesion to the source material, only straying off for filler when the canon material has been exhausted. The manga originally ran from December 1991 to February 1997, and the original Sailor Moon anime from March 1992 to February 1997, which is virtually simultaneous. As such, the original anime could only follow the manga in broad strokes. The new series is an opportunity to stay much closer to the source material, and as noted by the producer of the series Atsutoshi Umezawa (via Anime News Network), you can’t expect this to pull from the original anime, even in the slightest.

“This second anime adaptation of [‘Sailor Moon’] is not remaking the previous anime, but adapting Naoko Takeuchi original manga and starting from scratch again. It is quite a project. The entire staff has been working hard to show everyone an entirely new ‘Sailor Moon,’ so please look forward to it.”

Sailor Moon Crystal premieres July 5 on Hulu, and will be airing new episodes airing the first and third Saturdays of every month.