It’s been quite a few years since the Sailor Moon Crystal series started, and the hype for the series reboot has died down quite a bit. It’s still going strong though, and is actually getting prettier to look at. I did watch season 1 and 2 back when they aired, but found it harder to find new episodes, probably because of anime sites being taken down left and right, which I actually think is okay, because piracy isn’t a good thing, but then Japan should make it easier for foreigners to access their newest series. The Sailor Moon Eternal series is one such case, since it’s available on Netflix. As far as I have read, the first 3 seasons should also be available, but seeing as they are nowhere to be found on my account, I guess it’s only a US thing for now. Anyway, I watched the 2 part movie series, and here’s what I have to say about it, without having watched season 3… yet.
Sailor Moon Eternal covers the entire Dead Moon arc, where the Dead Moon Circus arrive on Earth during an eclipse, led by the dark queen Nehellenia and her servant Zirconia, who use the powers of the Amazoness Quartet to cause nightmares for the humans all over the world, and drain them of their energy. They need the energy to free Nehellenia from her imprisonment in a mirror, and to steal the Golden Crystal to rule over Earth, as has been their dream for a long time.
While the Dead Moon Circus feeds on the humans’ dreams and turns them into nightmares, the sailor scouts struggle with not being able to transform due to barriers erected by the circus, but also with their own dreams and goals, as the circus infiltrate their pure dreams. As they regain their powers one by one, while also being helped by a mystical Pegasus named Helios, they not only fight against evil once again, but also learn more about their past lives, as well as the origins of Dead Moon.
Now, Sailor Moon Eternal is incredibly pretty, and such a huge leap from the awful 3D transformations in the first season. I really like how the story is set in modern times, and you’d never know how old this series really is, if you’d never experienced the first TV animation or manga. Being updated like this really favors the franchise! The transformations and attacks also lean heavily on the old animations, which triggers my nostalgia, while the story is a mix of the manga and the old show, topped off with some new elements and twists. It works. It just works.
I do have something to complain about though, and I will do it without spoiling. Everything is being served! And I don’t mean the story being served for the viewer without us having to think, I mean everything is being served for the sailor scouts. Their struggles seem rather meaningless, when a solution to their problem literally pops up out of nowhere. Yes, literally. Everything is being handed to them, so they just kind of skate through the battles, and there is no feeling of real danger. Ever.
So I’m leaving this 2 part movie behind with mixed feelings. Because I really like it, but the only times I felt something was during nostalgic scenes. I miss the tension that the old series gave me, where the scouts had to struggle to actually get stronger, and not just had everything handed to them. Granted, it’s kind of what Crystal is, and the manga wasn’t that much better in this regard, but this is a reboot with new elements, so I expect something more.