Crystal's Characterization Is Subtle, But Not Lacking

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CrystalBard

Lumen Cinererum
Nov 19, 2020
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#1
Getting tired of this criticism. The '90's and Crystal have about equal characterization, the '90's just had more episodes thus more opportunity. Let me give you an example. After Mako blasts the living crap out of Nephrite and starts to explain about her past, there's an interesting moment where Rei nods and says it's good Mako had more reason to come to Juban than getting over a lost love since life is too short to waste on moping over some guy. It's a great moment between Rei and Mako as both have had disappointments in love (if they had just animated Cassablanca Memories...) There's more with Mako, like how both Mako and Rei chime in to tell Mina that yes, of course she'll look suspicious carrying around a giant sword.
 

Tsundereshipper

Lumen Cinererum
Jun 17, 2019
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#2
Getting tired of this criticism. The '90's and Crystal have about equal characterization, the '90's just had more episodes thus more opportunity. Let me give you an example. After Mako blasts the living crap out of Nephrite and starts to explain about her past, there's an interesting moment where Rei nods and says it's good Mako had more reason to come to Juban than getting over a lost love since life is too short to waste on moping over some guy. It's a great moment between Rei and Mako as both have had disappointments in love (if they had just animated Cassablanca Memories...) There's more with Mako, like how both Mako and Rei chime in to tell Mina that yes, of course she'll look suspicious carrying around a giant sword.
I've always said this, I never understood the claims that the 90's anime has better fleshed out/developed characters to me that only really applies to the villains (and not even all of them mind when villains like Beryl, Galaxia & Rubeus were much better done in the manga) but when it comes to our main core cast of the girls, the actual characterizations are about equal and even some objectively better in the manga. (You can't tell me with a straight face that characters like Minako & Chibiusa were done better in the 90's anime, especially Minako in the first 2 seasons of the anime)

I think when people say that the 90's anime has better characterization what they're really talking about is that it has better interactions, which yes that's true but that's only because the 90's anime is longer and has more time to get into the day-to-day lives of the girls and play them off one another (and even that's not a given, the 90's anime axed the incredibly enjoyable Reinako dynamic from the manga) This doesn't mean the manga automatically doesn't have characterization or anything, it's just as you said sparse and more subtle since it's moving at such a fast pace.

I've also found that the characterization we do get to see in the manga is often more nuanced and deeper than alot of the filler episodes in the 90's combined, the 90's anime barely makes any mention of any of the girls backgrounds or home lives, and what little development that does occur is frequently reset just to maintain the status quo while in the manga the girls genuinely do grow. (Compare Minako's Sailor V self to the one of her in Stars where she confidently tells Yaten "she doesn't need men.")
 

Mathiwn

Luna Nova
Feb 20, 2021
30
61
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#4
I agree, definitely. To me, Crystal didn't even feel too "fast paced", the problem was that the pace was very uneven inbetween and in episodes themselves, and that affected how much access we had to the characters' distinct personalities. It cut from cutesy slice-of-life scenes to really heavy battle scenes with those choral pieces, and some of Kotono's voice acting was overacted a lot in it (probably from the director's instrunctions), and that's a very big difference from Season 3.

I recently re-watched all of Crystal in anticipation for Eternal and was surprised by how annoying was Sailor Moon's screaming in act 9 and how melodramatic (not in a good way) was she whispering "moon... crystal... power... make up..." in act 25, they were really forcing that Madoka vibe in there. Then act 27 comes along and all this gets touched up.
 

MikeMasters05

Luna Crescens
Jul 7, 2014
136
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Mexico
#5
I have to disagree in this one, Crystal had the chance to characterize the girls as Takeuchi intended and distance itself from the 90’s anime.

But it did not, crystal seems to depend on viewers previous knowledge of the manga or 90’s anime to tell its story. Examples are: Rei’s hatred of men, why does she hate them? Answer that question by only using Crystal as a reference. There’s no answer... and therefore your example of Mars saying you should trust men comes out of nowhere to new viewers.

Why was Crystal 1st season, panned by even the people who love Crystal, due to weak characterization. Girls fighting one moment, crying the next over guys they barely new, claiming that Usagi changed their life when they had barely interacted, etc.

When you read the manga you feel it! By small comedic moments, small interactions between the characters, monologues that Crystal removed and said “the fans already know this” or worse “this is not important”

Unfortunately this is a reboot and if you depend on previous knowledge of characters or work you’re doing something wrong.

Season three on the other hand brought nods and small character moments from the 90’s to give characters better “characterization” or pandering as you wish.

Why a serious Minako from the previous seasons is now gushing at guys like crazy? Why is Reí being mean when she lived Usagi? Why is Usagi so useless in battle in episode 2?

Doing this just created an inconsistency in characterization for new comers and again you have to judge a product on its own, it’s not a sequel.

So, Crystal has weak characterization because the screenwriter of seasons 1-3 did a por job of individualizing and giving unique characteristics to the girls. Some times they just finished each other sentences like a hive mind (a thing which of course doesn’t happen anywhere other than Crystal).

And you don’t need thousands of episodes to create good characters, you just need small interactions, visual cues, dialogue to make them feel real.

No one is blaming the manga here, because Naomi did give the girls different traits and personalities. Here I’m judging a product that couldn’t do it on its own and had to rely on other media to do it.

The 90’s anime, live-action (which in few espouses manage to include plot lines of a lot of the manga in just one season), musicals, have done different takes on the girls have been accepted, and appreciated on their own.

Here the only ones to blame are the screenwriter and director of the first two seasons. Even with 90’s pandering Chiaki Akon has managed to improve Crystal was.

And a big proof the issue was in the writing is that the old guy is nowhere to be seen in the films.
 
Jul 31, 2012
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#6
Of course Crystal has characterization. You can clearly see that in Sailor Moon/Usagi most definitely but for the Inners....compared to the 90's it is quite lacking but that's not to say it's nonexistent.

The 90's just had more episodes to explore the Inners (Classic and R seasons).

A part of the charm is that the 90's characters are the "fun" and I think that's what a lot of people like about them. They aren't cardboard or cookie cutter....at least not in the first two seasons so we get to know what they are good at (or what they aren't good at..lol) through specific episodes.


Ami & Mako (waltzing)
Rei (skiing)
Minako (Volleyball)
Usagi (Being a klutz)

You don't get any of that in Crystal because there is no such kind of filler. Not saying that's bad but some folks still want that.

Ami struggling between being a senshi and leaving for school.

Rei organizing an entire event almost by herself,, includingnher being able to write music and sing.

Makoto being a formidable ice skater, waltzer, martial artists..etc

I can take it either way though I prefer the slice-of-life approach. Also, Manga Rei is refined but a bit boring and the fact Crystal doesn't go more into her makes her just there like the others. Each Senshi should have at least got one follow up filler episode but Crystal is really just a closer adaptation of the manga so there was no room for that I suppose.

I see the characterization in Crystal though but it's certain not enough to please everyone who feel in love with these characters because of the 90's show not the manga.

I honestly don't know what they were going for here, an exact manga copy word for word or something...I dont know...
 

Tsundereshipper

Lumen Cinererum
Jun 17, 2019
334
374
165
29
#7
I have to disagree in this one, Crystal had the chance to characterize the girls as Takeuchi intended and distance itself from the 90’s anime.

But it did not, crystal seems to depend on viewers previous knowledge of the manga or 90’s anime to tell its story. Examples are: Rei’s hatred of men, why does she hate them? Answer that question by only using Crystal as a reference. There’s no answer... and therefore your example of Mars saying you should trust men comes out of nowhere to new viewers.

Why was Crystal 1st season, panned by even the people who love Crystal, due to weak characterization. Girls fighting one moment, crying the next over guys they barely new, claiming that Usagi changed their life when they had barely interacted, etc.

When you read the manga you feel it! By small comedic moments, small interactions between the characters, monologues that Crystal removed and said “the fans already know this” or worse “this is not important”

Unfortunately this is a reboot and if you depend on previous knowledge of characters or work you’re doing something wrong.

Season three on the other hand brought nods and small character moments from the 90’s to give characters better “characterization” or pandering as you wish.

Why a serious Minako from the previous seasons is now gushing at guys like crazy? Why is Reí being mean when she lived Usagi? Why is Usagi so useless in battle in episode 2?

Doing this just created an inconsistency in characterization for new comers and again you have to judge a product on its own, it’s not a sequel.

So, Crystal has weak characterization because the screenwriter of seasons 1-3 did a por job of individualizing and giving unique characteristics to the girls. Some times they just finished each other sentences like a hive mind (a thing which of course doesn’t happen anywhere other than Crystal).

And you don’t need thousands of episodes to create good characters, you just need small interactions, visual cues, dialogue to make them feel real.

No one is blaming the manga here, because Naomi did give the girls different traits and personalities. Here I’m judging a product that couldn’t do it on its own and had to rely on other media to do it.

The 90’s anime, live-action (which in few espouses manage to include plot lines of a lot of the manga in just one season), musicals, have done different takes on the girls have been accepted, and appreciated on their own.

Here the only ones to blame are the screenwriter and director of the first two seasons. Even with 90’s pandering Chiaki Akon has managed to improve Crystal was.

And a big proof the issue was in the writing is that the old guy is nowhere to be seen in the films.
Of course Crystal has characterization. You can clearly see that in Sailor Moon/Usagi most definitely but for the Inners....compared to the 90's it is quite lacking but that's not to say it's nonexistent.

The 90's just had more episodes to explore the Inners (Classic and R seasons).

A part of the charm is that the 90's characters are the "fun" and I think that's what a lot of people like about them. They aren't cardboard or cookie cutter....at least not in the first two seasons so we get to know what they are good at (or what they aren't good at..lol) through specific episodes.


Ami & Mako (waltzing)
Rei (skiing)
Minako (Volleyball)
Usagi (Being a klutz)

You don't get any of that in Crystal because there is no such kind of filler. Not saying that's bad but some folks still want that.

Ami struggling between being a senshi and leaving for school.

Rei organizing an entire event almost by herself,, includingnher being able to write music and sing.

Makoto being a formidable ice skater, waltzer, martial artists..etc

I can take it either way though I prefer the slice-of-life approach. Also, Manga Rei is refined but a bit boring and the fact Crystal doesn't go more into her makes her just there like the others. Each Senshi should have at least got one follow up filler episode but Crystal is really just a closer adaptation of the manga so there was no room for that I suppose.

I see the characterization in Crystal though but it's certain not enough to please everyone who feel in love with these characters because of the 90's show not the manga.

I honestly don't know what they were going for here, an exact manga copy word for word or something...I dont know...
The problem is that Crystal (at least before Eternal and maybe season 3) actively omitted and changed what little characterization the manga did have. Those few panels where the Inners are joking around or are making funny faces, or some off-hand information about them is being revealed might not seem like a lot to cut, but in a manga as short and fast-paced as SM is every little panel counts and helps add to the characterization so it really can be felt when these types of cuts are made.

They also didn’t do a good job of animating expressiveness with the first 2 seasons like the manga did, which also goes a long way in properly characterizing your characters. Body language and the expressions a character makes can say a lot about their personality if you don’t have time to convey it through dialogue.

Then there’s the outright toning down of certain characters. Rei is much less feisty and stuck up in Crystal than she is in the manga, they replaced her scene where she’s giving lip to Luna and questioning her about the Mission to blushing slightly when Ami took her hands playfully when playing an arcade game.

Minako I think they really toned down her toughness and assertiveness from the manga, I can’t imagine Manga Minako would’ve ever been so forgiving of Kunzite even if he was brainwashed, plus in the manga she was much more take-charge and leader like with how she reacts in being the last Inner standing in Black Moon by aggressively questioning Chibi-Usa.

Then there’s the issue of giving what was supposed to be specific moments for the girls to Usagi instead, such as Venus killing Beryl and Jupiter explaining to Usagi why Mamoru cares so much for Chibi-Usa.

And of course there’s the outright OOCness where they made all the Inners refuse to fight against the Shittenou just because they were their “former loves” and sob over their deaths even though they barely knew them, (Man-hating Rei crying over a guy she barely knows when she didn’t even cry over Kaidou? Venus, self-proclaimed “girl who never cries” crying more over Kunzite than Ace, the guy she had to slay with her own two hands, what?) which further helped add to the “hivemind” vibes the Inners had going on during Crystal.

Combine this with the fact that the Sailor V manga and short stories have yet to be animated (which also did wonders for the girls characterization) and all together it’s safe to say that Crystal probably has the weakest characterization of the Senshi out of any other version so far.

The manga itself is much stronger in it’s characterization than the job Crystal did, other than a few standout moments.

Sometimes I wonder that when people claim the manga has bad characterization of the girls, they’re misremembering Crystal and are conflating the two in their minds.
 
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CrystalBard

Lumen Cinererum
Nov 19, 2020
356
266
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#8
The problem is that Crystal (at least before Efernal and maybe season 3) actively omitted and changed what little characterization the manga did have. Those few panels where the Inners are joking around or are making funny faces, or some off-hand information about them is being revealed might not seem like a lot to cut, but in a manga as short and fast-paced as SM is every little panel counts and helps add to the characterization so it really can be felt when these types of cuts are made.

They also didn’t do a good job of animating expressiveness with the first 2 seasons like the manga did, which also goes a long way in properly characterizing your characters. Body language and the expressions a character makes can say a lot about their personality if you don’t have time to convey it through dialogue.

Then there’s the outright toning down of certain characters. Rei is much less feisty and stuck up in Crystal than she is in the manga, they replaced her scene where she’s giving lip to Luna and questioning her about the Mission to blushing slightly when Ami took her hands playfully when playing an arcade game.

Minako I think they really toned down her toughness and assertiveness from the manga, I can’t imagine Manga Minako would’ve ever been so forgiving of Kunzite even if he was brainwashed, plus even in the manga she was much more take-charge and leader like with how she reacts in being the last Inner standing in R by aggressively questioning Chibi-Usa.

Then there’s the issue of giving what was supposed to be specific moments for the girls to Usagi instead, such as Venus killing Beryl and Jupiter explaining to Usagi why Mamoru cares so much for Chibi-Usa.

And of course there’s the outright OOCness where they made all the Inners refuse to fight against the Shittenou just because they were their “former loves” and sob over their deaths even though they barely knew them, (Man-hating Rei crying over a guy she barely knows when she didn’t even cry over Kaidou? Venus, self-proclaimed “girl who never cries” crying more over Ace, the guy she had to slay with her own two hands, what?) which further helped add to the “hivemind” vibes the Inners had going on during Crystal.

Combine this with the fact that the Sailor V manga and short stories have yet to be animated (which also did wonders for the girls characterization) and all together it’s safe to say that Crystal probably has the weakest characterization of the Senshi out of any other version so far.

The manga itself is much stronger in it’s characterization than the job Crystal did, other than a few standout moments.

Sometimes I wonder that when people claim the manga has bad characterization for the girls, they’re misremembering Crystal and are conflating the two within their minds.
Yeahhh, I didn't care for the Senshi/Shitenou subplot. Mainly cause I wanted to see the scene in the manga where Venus slices Kunzite to ribbons animated.
 
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