NOTE: We have an updated article about the Sailor Moon Crystal movies here.
It was announced around this time last year that the fourth season of Sailor Moon Crystal would not be an episodic season, but instead two movies. Little information has since been released on where the movies stand. When the new films premiere, we can expect another great adventure in the epic franchise, including certain story arcs being animated for the first time ever!
The movies will cover the Dream Arc of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon manga, which takes place in volumes 8-10 of the recent Kodansha releases. This arc corresponds with the Super S season of the original anime, to a point.
In general, anime movies have better animation quality than episodic releases. This is true of even the best franchises, though Sailor Moon Crystal raised skepticism among fans when the first two seasons featured some absurdly poor animation at times. Season three, which took longer to produce, was much cleaner. With a much longer timeframe to produce less content, expectations are high for quality animation in season four. It was also announced that season three’s director would be returning for the movies, so hopefully that is still the case.
The Outers are still around
In the original anime, the Outer Senshi left after the third season, not to return until the fifth season began. This deprived the show of half of its interesting characters. If the movie remains as faithful to the manga as the first three seasons have been, the Outers will not be far away. Though it would spoil too much to get into how their appearances figure into events, they have a major impact.
It’s not just about Chibiusa
While Chibiusa is important to the plotline and has a starring role, the story does not focus in on her as much as it did in the original anime. She is vital to how things go down, but it doesn’t feel like she is stealing time away from the other characters. The Inner Senshi get their spotlights and without filler there will be more balanced time for everyone. Also, Chibiusa’s plotline in the manga, and by extension Crystal, is far better than the anime plot and will be far more satisfying. Additionally, her storyline comes with some major developments once the arc concludes.
The manga eliminates most of the evil Amazon Trio’s stalking behavior that was found in the anime to be so unnerving. The three in the original show seemed as interested in seducing young, and often too young, people in a problematic fashion as they were in accomplishing their evil task. This is largely not the case in the manga and presumably the new movies. The Trio, in fact, are not in it as much as fellow villains the Amazoness Quartet are. The Amazoness Quartet, however, are presented in the manga, as they are in the anime, as very scantily clad young girls, which is questionable. It will be curious as to what the animation staff does with the source material.
The first three seasons of the original and the first three seasons of Crystal are in essence very similar plot wise. One could switch back and forth between the two series and basically have an understanding of what is going on throughout with little difficulty. The fourth season will end that parallel nature. While the villains are the same, the plot differs and starts the split that will continue into the Stars arc from the manga. The original anime kept some parts of the manga intact but went in different directions for the final two seasons.
The final battle should be amazing
Volume 10 of the manga is one giant battle and if the animators capture that spirit, then it should be a fantastic result as the Senshi face the big bads and find some unexpected help. In the original anime, the battle actually carried on into the early Stars season in an odd development, but one would expect the two movies to keep the arc together.
Now, we just need to know when they’re going to finish the movies so we can go watch and enjoy them! What are you looking forward to about the Sailor Moon Crystal movies? Let us know!
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Featured image credit: Toei Animation