Sailor Moon has several adaptations. There is the 90’s anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, several musicals, a live action series, and of course, the original manga!
I love Sailor Moon and grew up with the original English dub. Although the series does have its flaws throughout different adaptations that I do discuss, it has introduced me to many of my good friends and is special to me. Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon, is a kind character who tries to fight with love rather than violence. She is one of my favorite characters because no matter the adaptation, she sees the good in others.
Each adaptation does have its own strengths and weaknesses. The original 90’s anime is a whopping 200 episodes and features dozens of filler episodes. There are even guides which claim that around half of the episodes of the anime are filler, meaning that they do not contribute to the main plot or story. However, the filler episodes do give the viewer an opportunity to see the main characters become close friends over time and really get to know the various characters and personalities. The animation also improves subtly as the seasons progress and in my opinion, reaches the point where it has a very recognizable style in the final few seasons.
The manga is very fast-paced. In just one volume of the newly released Eternal Edition, (the equivalent of about three volumes), we are introduced to all of the inner senshi and reach the climax of the first arc.
Sailor Moon Crystal, the newer anime, has tried to stay loyal to the manga. The seasons are roughly 13 episodes each. But this anime really lacks consistency, to the extent where different seasons look as if they are different shows altogether. The art style was changed three times throughout production. The transformation scenes also were in CGI in the first two seasons and changed into 2-D animation in the third season. In regards to pacing, the series is fast-paced, to the extent where viewers do not get to know the characters and their relationships as much. The artwork in the first two seasons also had…its moments. Many animation errors also exist on the final blu-ray addition.
In my opinion, the perfect adaptation of Sailor Moon would need to show a balance between plot and character development, with even episodes that may seem to be filler contributing to the overall story. It would also need to be consistent in its art style or direction. I would be interested to see an adaptation stray a bit away from the manga, adding additional episodes that give the characters a chance to interact, show their personalities, and also grow. Yet at the same time, the main ideas of original stories should be followed, whether it be the final battle with Beryl during the first arc, or the very last battle the characters face in Sailor Moon Stars.
We know the story is about Sailor Moon, who discovers she is a princess, but it is also a story about how she builds a close bond with her friends and teammates. This is the type of story I would like to see.