anime

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 3: Sailor Mars

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It’s been awhile, but I am back with another review!

Episode three is known for it’s rather…interesting animation and I came into this with preconceptions of the initial web release. But what I’ve noticed after my first two reviews, is that the animation from the first episode appears to be the Bluray version, (at least  to my knowledge), while the episodes after have the original web animation. I noticed this after looking at some comparisons of this episode.

I am not sure if I noted this on previous reviews, but I do write them as I go through the episodes to make sure my memory of them is clear during my second and third watch.

Queen Beryl, one of the main antagonists, is furious with her subordinate for failing twice to kill the two sailor senshi.

He gets one more opportunity. In comes a psychic girl named Rei Hino, who has a premonition: a threat is on the way. She helps a little girl get to a bus stop and the girl mysteriously vanishes.  It then cuts to a scene where Usagi’s classmates  talk about a haunted bus that disappears at a certain time each day.

Like with Ami in the previous episode,I noticed that Rei feels alone and ostracized by others. There are women in the episode who think Rei is strange for her supernatural abilities and even blame her for the missing child. Usagi goes to help Rei, but Rei does not want Usagi getting involved. Rei brings up that she has been judged her abilities since she was a child. After watching the episode a second time, I wanted to hear a bit more about Rei’s past. I was curious about her childhood and how it shaped her character.

Although we did not get to see flashbacks, I loved this side of Rei. I am more familar with the original 90’s anime than the manga. But I noticed that  Rei was a much more gentle and mature character, closer to the manga and very different from her fiery and argumentative 90’s counterpart. I love her personality much more in this adaptation and find that she gives of a very elegant vibe.

Rei predicts that Usagi is going to be in danger and runs to save her. In the process, she gets kidnapped by Jaedite, Beryl’s subordinate. I found it funny that Usagi disguised herself as a flight attendant while ran towards the haunted bus. Sailor Mercury and Sailor Moon have a hard time holding themselves up while fighting Jaedite. Rei transforms into Sailor Mars for the very first time and helps finish off the fight.

The animation during this episode was…rather spotty, low quality and off model at some points, and gorgeous in others., such as the framed image above. Although the animation did improve below in the blu ray release (with images below via Crystal Comparisons ), it did get to the point where it was a tad distracting and took away from the impact of the scenes. The images in the web release are on the left and there is a big difference in the Bluray release.

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Regardless, I see a reoccurring theme here, through one of Usagi’s greatest strengths, and that is her charisma and ability to bring out the best in others. Animation aside, Usagi’s character is a factor in what helped me stick through the first few seasons during my first watch. Usagi does not judge others and if she sees someone is alone or let out, she reaches out and makes them feel welcome.

In the next episode, it looks like there will be a bit of a break from introducing main characters.  Usagi is going to a ball where there is going to be a treasure put on display.  I remember this being a fun episode and look forward to re-watching it.

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