A Review of “Sailor Moon Crystal” Season 3 (It ain’t pretty.)

A Review of “Sailor Moon Crystal” Season 3

Since I had such a hard time watching the first two seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal, I decided I didn’t want to go through the pain of episode blogging the series. As such, I’m opting for the season review. Boy did I make a good call.

Sailor Moon Crystal 27

*MILD SPOILERS*

Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 continues the same pattern from the first two series. A new mega villain named Pharaoh 90. Like the mega villains before him, Pharaoh 90 is sealed/weakened. He recruits some humans on Earth to be his henchmen (Death Busters). Their goal is to free Pharaoh 90 and take over the Earth. Naturally, only Sailor Moon and her her Sailor Senshi crew can stop them.

Sailor Moon Crystal 28

Pharaoh 90 tells Kaolinite, the Magus of Pharaoh 90, he needs more power to get free. Since the five Sailor Senshi stand in her way, Kaolinite summons the weakest member of her Witches 5 team. Said girl then battles the Sailor Senshi, but is ultimately killed. Pharaoh 90 tells Kaolinite he needs more power, so the cycle continues. Lather, rinse, repeat frequently.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

In a desperate attempt to not be a pure retread of what has come before, the story for season 3 has the introduction (and retconning in) of three new Sailor Senshi and the return of a deceased Sailor Senshi. However, because this might not be enough, we’ll have two of these new Sailor Babes be implied lesbians. After all, what’s better than a hot babe with legs that go all the way up than TWO babes with legs that go all the way up. 😉

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

No matter how you slice it, Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 is simply a retread and there’s no getting around that. Sailor Venus, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, and Sailor Mercury are all just as worthless as they’ve been before. That allows Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune to have a couple of deus ex machina moments and save the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

However, things are mostly geared so that Sailor Moon remains the ultimate dues ex machina force. This too follows the pattern of the previous seasons, only now, Sailor Moon becomes Super Sailor Moon for periods of time. And she even briefly takes on the look and appearance of Neo Queen Serenity, her future persona.

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All of this is mostly laughably bad and boring. I really wonder how in the world Sailor Moon became so popular in such a wide fashion. I understand lonely otaku looking for hot, young waifu-types going for the series when it came out back in the day. Beyond that, I just don’t see the appeal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

The only element of the story I found mildly of interest is that of Hotaru. It came as no surprise to me that she would be yet another Sailor Senshi character. It was more interesting that as Sailor Saturn, she was feared by Sailor Pluto, Sailor Uranus, and Sailor Neptune. Naturally, she can’t be feared by Sailor Moon nor her four Sailor Guardians because retcon characters are retcon.

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Sadly, Sailor Saturn is simply the ultimate deus ex machina member of the Sailor Senshi group. As Hotaru, she’s a sympathetic character. As Sailor Saturn, she just has one task – kill Pharaoh 90. Well, I shouldn’t complain too much about this. After all, I think Hotaru has more character development than the other Sailor Senshi.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

Finally, there’s Sailor Pluto. Yeah, I get the whole reincarnation thing that is at the heart of Sailor Moon. However, Sailor Pluto is from the future. Further, based on the stuff in season 2, Sailor Pluto was not allowed to leave her post at the Time Gate. She did there and she died. That means that in the present time, Sailor Pluto should be still at the Time Gate, not running around on Earth.

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Don’t get me wrong. I like Sailor Pluto’s character. However, no matter how I look at it, Sailor Pluto has been retconned into the story because Takeuchi-sensei liked the character. In the process of doing so, I found Sailor Pluto less interesting this time around.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3

In the end, Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 is more of the same, boring storytelling from the first two seasons.

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20 Responses to “A Review of “Sailor Moon Crystal” Season 3 (It ain’t pretty.)”

  1. OverMaster says:

    You know, your constant repeating of the term ‘Sailor Babes’ actually offends me more than anything in the show itself.

    Also, honestly, I think you’ve been far more lenient on far worse shows and franchises more than once. I’m not saying Sailor Moon is high art, but it doesn’t pretend to either.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      You know, your constant repeating of the term ‘Sailor Babes’ actually offends me more than anything in the show itself.

      I’ve used other terms too. ^_^; I’m curious to know why that offends you, if you don’t mind answering.

      Also, honestly, I think you’ve been far more lenient on far worse shows and franchises more than once.

      Maybe. Usually though, with bad shows, I go off on them, which ends up irritating some fans. That happened somewhat with UQ Holder as an example. With Sailor Moon, I felt like my intelligence circuits were melting half the time. To be honest, the only reason I watch the series is because it is considered to be a classic franchise. So I’m trying to understand why it has such a high regard among fans.

  2. NullApostle says:

    Just dropping by to inform you of a new Spotted Flower chapter. Only two pages again this time. A bathing scene!

  3. Inspuck says:

    Dude you should start reviewing the nantsu no taizai manga, it’s not only really good but you can also make a lot of theories and speculations on it

  4. Ochan30 says:

    If I had to be honest I do find the nature of the reviews a bit on the condescending side but it seems like the first mistake was starting with Crystal as your first exposure to the Sailor Moon series. Unlike remakes like FMA: Brotherhood and Hellsing Ultimate in Sailor Moon’s instance by sticking to the source material it actually brought the flaws of the manga to the forefront.

    Sailor Moon’s initial popularity was a combination of the original anime taking the manga story in broad strokes and adapting it into a 30-40 something episode seasonal plotline with more of a Sentai form of storytelling. As an end result the characters are given much more time to develop organically throughout the course of the yearly seasons. The manga had a darker storyline and a little more logic to specific developments (Chibi-Usa’s development in a Guardian, Pluto’s reasons for leaving the Time Space Door) but most of the Inner Guardians become cannon fodder for the majority of the manga. Despite saying this I feel this franchise just isn’t for you. There’s an increased negativity and cynicism in these reviews that lack the open minded objectivity you tend to approach most things with. It’s kind of like if I set a threshold on what I consider “good writing” and after hearing the Dragonball franchise is nothing but poop and tit jokes then just a bunch of people standing around screaming and I approach the show seeing only it’s flaws. No matter how heralded it is I’m going to view it as something “beneath my standards” therefore it doesn’t deserve to be judged from another perspective. In the end we are all entitled to our opinions and we can’t “make” someone see value in something that they tried to watch and it just rubs them the wrong way.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      it seems like the first mistake was starting with Crystal as your first exposure to the Sailor Moon series.

      Actually, I started with the Sailor V manga, then went through the first story arc of the Sailor Moon manga. I wasn’t impressed with either, so I stopped buying the manga. I was curious to see how things would progress from there, but thus far, I’ve not been impressed with any of it.

      No matter how heralded it is I’m going to view it as something “beneath my standards” therefore it doesn’t deserve to be judged from another perspective.

      I think I’ve tried to be fair with the series. I think that it is poorly written for a start. Long henshin (transformation) sequences are long and boring. A villain that doesn’t attack then is stupid. A villain that not only doesn’t attack a transforming magic girl, but then stands around while said magic girl slowly (and loudly) spouts some incantation in order to take the full brunt of an attack is a villain that is beyond stupid. A villain leader that only sends out their henchmen one at a time, starting with the weakest one, rather than sending all of their henchmen out to destroy their enemy deserves to die and is boring and tedious.

      I think the Sailor Senshi are mainly there as eye candy for horny boys or guys wanting a waifu. Yeah, I know it is a shoujo series, but in my mind, the only reason you have underage girls looking older than they are (jail bait) in outfits showing that they have legs that go ALL the way up is for a male audience.

      I know I’ve been hard on Sailor Moon Crystal, but I have been very hard on Macross Delta too of late.

      You’re right in that we all have our own tastes. I guess most folks tend to be OK with Sailor Moon Crystal.

  5. nette says:

    Season 3 was poorly drawn. A reboot is a good opportunity to make the series BETTER not worse. TOEI failed on the art and animation department. Be it CGI or not, epic fail. Again, I’m just talking about the art.

    I grew up in the 90s so my expectations as a fan was high (and it was not met with SMC).

    If you want to compare the quality of another 90s anime, just look at the art quality of Fushigi Yugi. It’s not perfect, but for the most part, it was well-drawn.

  6. Robert says:

    For me, season three of the original Sailor Moon series was the best season. For Season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal, it was simply too short. The original series had one episode for each of the Sailor Scouts. As a series, one of Crystal’s main weaknesses is the fact that the seasons were too short.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      So other than it being too short for your tastes, what about it made it superior to what had come before? I’m just curious to know. 🙂

  7. Bell of Doom says:

    Believe me (sorry for the lateness) I do understand where you’re coming from. And very much agree for the most part.

    Sailor Moon like any show isn’t for everyone, and is very much a product of it’s time. And I’ve no intention of trying to convert you or change your views. I also apologise for anyone giving you grief over it.
    But a lot of what made the original appealing and enjoyable is unfortunately not present in Crystal. Which only provides what amounts to a glorified rough draft, rather then the polished product it should be.

    The Inner Senshi for one thing, weren’t the complete jokes they’ve been made to look in this. And possessed better defined, individual and vibrant personalities (particularly Rei and Makoto).
    True, hot girls in short skirts and gratuitous yuri bait is admittedly part of the appeal for a good number. But beyond that a lot of the cast were very down to earth and relatable, as well as entertaining.
    It also had a richer variety of antagonists, rather then just bland interchangeable mannequins, ad nauseum. There was just significantly more substance to it.
    To a newcomer not familiar with the material or has no prior attachment to these characters, it is going to look painfully superficial, and ultimately difficult to invest in.

    This frankly is a series that’s had very little effort put into it, and doesn’t really do the franchise full justice.
    The primary reason it even got made in the first place was so Toei could get the licensing rights back in order to release merchandise aimed at the older fans.
    Indeed, it very much relies heavily on people’s nostalgia, and in certain cases bias to carry it past any shortcomings.
    And then there are the purists who tend to value faithfulness over quality. And believe me, they can turn very nasty at any kind of criticism. Even the most valid.
    Because much of Crystal’s problems come from the fact that Naoko wasn’t really the best of writers. Something she herself has admitted.
    The entire story was being made up on the fly, as it was never intended to go past the Dark Kingdom. Hence a lot of clumsy retconning later on.
    And the tight deadlines and pacing meant that a lot of errors ended up being left in the narrative, and are now being replicated two decades later. Sadly Crystal’s writers have proven themselves too lazy to even bother trying to fix them.

    If I could offer some free advice. It might be best not to continue with it, as things aren’t really going to get that much better. The fifth arc is especially terrible in my book.
    If you think it’s bad now, everyone other then Usagi is completely worthless in that.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Believe me (sorry for the lateness) I do understand where you’re coming from. And very much agree for the most part.

      No worries on the lateness. I’m of the school that says that conversations are always welcome, no matter how old the topic. This isn’t a forum, so the issues that may cause forum moderators to discourage old topic discussions doesn’t apply here, thankfully.

      If I could offer some free advice. It might be best not to continue with it, as things aren’t really going to get that much better. The fifth arc is especially terrible in my book.

      I’ll keep that in mind.

      If you think it’s bad now, everyone other then Usagi is completely worthless in that.

      Ugh.

      I do have the old anime series, which I should take the time to watch sometime.

  8. alexpotterweb says:

    I just read the review and I do not agree, but I understand it and in a way I share it. Although the story is so because it is attached to the manga, which I only have arcs 4 and 5. So the good thing about this season is that the drawing is better done and better animated than in the previous 26 chapters.

    And if you want to know, why I like the story, it’s because of the 90’s anime or so I think, since the transformations was more cool, the story had more details and therefore treated each character better, even several villains and to make matters worse, the scenes were more dramatic and there were some that darker than in the current season of crystal

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Folks keep telling me to watch the first anime series. I should, but I haven’t had the time. It is on my list though.

  9. Katie G. says:

    Honestly, don’t bother with the original series. Without the nostalgia and childhood feels, you won’t connect with it. Hell, I wouldn’t connect with it, but 10-year-old Katie did, so here we are.

    Also, most of your problems with Sailor Moon make me wonder if you’ve ever watched a sentai show. You get that there’s a formula, right? The villain sends in his weakest underlings first to test the powers of the good guys, and holds on to his/her better cards until he/she is forced to play them. I mean, shit, that’s how CHESS works, too. It’s dumb to criticize that because 90% of anime series (maybe higher) with a big bad do that. They just might not be as blatant about it as Sailor Moon Crystal S3 (with the whole “your witch level is low; yours is high”).

    In summation, Sailor Moon was a cultural phenomenon that you had to be there for. Watching it as an adult with a critical mind is a waste of time. I appreciate you trying, but also, I don’t need you to tell me the franchise that got me into anime isn’t storytelling at its finest. It’s the same reason I LOVED the first Harry Potter book (I was 11) and then found the last one to be rather meh (I was in my 20s). You lack the imagination of a child.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      In summation, Sailor Moon was a cultural phenomenon that you had to be there for.

      So was Knight Rider. I loved it as a teenager. I find it unwatchable as an adult.

      I appreciate you trying, but also, I don’t need you to tell me the franchise that got me into anime isn’t storytelling at its finest.

      This isn’t meant as an attack on you, but from an objective standpoint, this isn’t storytelling at its finest. I look at something like Doctor Who. Even the modern incarnation is still regarded as a kids show in Great Britain. Certainly, there are episodes from the original series and the modern series which are meh for any number of reasons, including being too kiddie. However, the great episodes are the ones that appealed to both adults AND kids. That’s the mark of good storytelling.

      For Harry Potter, I didn’t start reading them until I was an adult. For the most part, I thought they were great books, well thought out from the beginning. I could see why kids got into them, but I could also see why adults got into them. That’s what made the franchise such a massive success. The series wasn’t written for the lowest common denominator. It was smartly written so that kids could appreciate it, but adults could also appreciate it. Again, that’s a mark of good writing to me.

      Thanks for commenting. 🙂

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