Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal is the 2014 Animated Adaptation of Naoko Takeuchi's seminal Magical Girl Warrior manga Sailor Moon, which follows the plot of the manga more closely than the 1990s anime. The show simulcasts worldwide on a twice-monthly basis (the first and third Saturdays of each month) via streaming services Nico Nico Douga, Crunchyroll, and Hulu's Neon Alley channel. Viz Media owns the North American license to the series and plans to produce an English dub.Note: Only tropes unique to Sailor Moon Crystal should be placed here.
Sailor Moon Crystal contains examples of the following tropes:
Adaptation Dye-Job: Downplayed. Generally, secondary and tertiary characters have had their hair and eye colors mildly to moderately desaturated as compared to the 90s anime, (and sometimes colorized manga art) in keeping with the series tendency towards a pastel, watercolor-influenced palette.
Oddly though, the brief glimpses of Queen Serenity we've seen have shown her as blonde, as opposed to the Mystical White Hair of the manga. Funnily enough, her first appearance in the anime accidentally made her blonde as well. Corrected in the opening of Act 6.
Art Shifted Sequel: Improvements in animation technology allow for better animation than 1992. Toei also put deliberate effort into making the show resemble the manga more than the original anime; as a result, all the characters look taller and thinner than their '90s anime versions.
Breaking Speech: Nephrite almost gets Makoto with one in Act 5, mocking her for being fooled by appearances and for believing in love. Unfortunately for Nephrite, Sailor Moon saves the day with a well-timed counter-argument that inspires Makoto to fight back.
Call Back: During the music video for "Moon Pride" as the Senshi are doing their Power Walk, Mars is the first Senshi to be featured walking alongside Sailor Moon before the others appear, as if in accordance to the bond the two had in the first anime. Mercury is added next, and it is these three walking together before both Jupiter and Venus are included. The shot of the three Senshi together also appears to refer to the first anime, when it was just Moon, Mars, and Mercury for the first half of the Dark Kingdom arc up to episode 25. Said walk is also similar to the one made by the aforementioned first three senshi in the first opening.
The beginning of Act 5 has a small nod to a subplot from the 90s anime where Nephrite seduces Naru. Nephrite explains to Beryl that his plan for this episode involves taking advantage of "humanity's greatest weakness" - love. The plan doesn't involve Naru at all, but the scene does cut over to a picture of Naru in a wedding dress that Usagi and her friends are fawning over immediately after he's done talking.
Contrived Coincidence: But few, given the way the senshi all meet, but there is a conspicuous aversion in Act 5 when Nephrite attacks Motoki and Makoto. None of the others are aware of this except for Tuxedo Kamen, who then has to run to get Moon and bring her to the scene of the fight.
Creative Closing Credits: The scenes during Ending Theme "Gekkou" (Moonbow) are a fully animated depiction of the romance between Usagi's dream prince and princess, as they wander out to an ocean shoreline Holding Hands, against a Scenery Porn vista of waterfalls, a moonbow and a shooting star, with the moon and starry night sky reflected in the water as they walk. The credits end as they kiss.
Custom Uniform: Ami wears a grey sweater over her school uniform, which serves to make her look slightly more modest and reserved as compared to her classmates.
Each of the Shitennou has a different color lining his uniform. Kunzite also is the only one with an open collar, cape, earrings, and shoes as opposed to tall boots.
Dangerously Short Skirt: While the girls don't technically wear tight skirts, the shortness of the skirts in general makes one wonder how they never manage to show anything underneath (they wear leotards, so technically there still wouldn't be any Panty Shots).
Magic Skirt: This is more in line with the original manga (where there were no upskirt shots) than the original anime (where it was more common).
Does Not Like Men: Unlike the 90s anime adaption, Rei's open distrust of men carries over from the manga into Crystal.
Early-Bird Cameo: The end of episode one shows Ami's fleeing the rain away from the camera and the end of episode two finds us with Rei and her candles.note Although, that could just be an adaptation of the tail beginning of Act 3. Episode 4 ends with an appearance of Makoto.
Elaborate Underground Base: Shown off by Luna in episode 6. It's located under the arcade and the entrance is under one of the Sailor V game machines.
Enhanced on DVD: The trailer for the Blu-Ray releases of the first two episodes show that a lot of the Off Model shots are to be fixed.
Episode Title Card: Crystal's card has a reverse painted silhouette of Usagi accented by pastel roses, (two of which are in her hair) and pink ben-day dot ribbons. Her long pigtails frame the episode number and title at right.
Ethereal Choir: A mixed-gender choir wordlessly sets the mood during dramatic or heroic scenes, ominous during villainous activity, grandiose and sweeping during Sailor Moon's transformation and attack sequences.
Evil Is Deathly Cold: Snow is periodically shown flurrying in through the Dark Kingdom's colonnades, and none of its denizens seem remotely bothered by the wind or cold, despite being generally underdressed. This may be in touch with the manga. Whereas in the 90's anime the Dark Kingdom is located in a different dimension whose portal is located near the North Pole, in the manga said Kingdom is an actual castle located in the Arctic in the same dimension where the story takes place.
The pre-break eyecatch has the series logo against a baby blue starry sky, with the earth below it. At right, in pastels, a reverse painted silhouette of Sailor Moon is tangled in draped ribbons, along with the moon and inner planets.
The post-break eyecatch has silhouettes of Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon beneath a large roman column, accented by red rose petals, as the Earth hangs in a white sky with the series logo at right.
Feminist Fantasy: The quintessential Magical Girl series returns, and even the theme song references the celebration of feminine strength. This is emphasized in the first episode with the fact that this time Tuxedo Mask doesn't rush to Sailor Moon's aid like in the Nineties anime, and only tells her to stop crying and fight.
Heroic BSOD: Makoto's heart was broken by her sempai, and when she feels it's happened again with Motoki she emotionally collapses and stops fighting.
Holding Hands: The Closing Credits, which detail a romantic rendezvous, open with a close-up on Serenity and Endymion's clasped hands as they walk to the ocean shoreline, while the Ending Theme's first lyric is "Let's hold hands"
Kissing Discretion Shot: The very end of the Closing Credits shows Serenity and Endymion clearly reflected in shallow water as they lean in for a kiss, only for luminescent water ripples to disrupt the image.
Lucky Charms Title: The font used in the word Crystal has two ornamental typographic quirks. The "C" is a stylized, overextended crescent moon, while the "t" is oversized and pointed at both ends of the vertical, with a curving flourish on the bar, suggesting the crossguard of a sword.
Melancholy Moon: In a variation, Crystal's Creative Closing Credits have ED "Gekkou", (Moonbow) where a princess muses on the her romance with a prince, and her sudden sadness at the sight of a moonbow, making her regret that they must soon part, though she hopes to see him again. Since moonbows can only happen during a full or nearly full moon, an oversized, bright moon is reflected in the shallow waters where they walk, set to lyrics that speak of how dreams are delicate and fleeting.
Milestone Celebration: The initial announcement for Crystal happened during 2012's twentieth anniversary celebration of the franchise. Some Crystal merchandise also bears the 20th anniversary logo, despite being released two years later.
Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Inverted. When Usagi starts spending time with Makoto she is extraordinarily complimentary of all the things Makoto is usually uncertain about—including both her strength and her femininity. So it’s more like Oblivious Confidence Building.
Off Model: In general, the series suffers from many bouts of off-model moments where characters are drawn in strange fashion. These are often easy to spot due to the level of detail in the characters' faces (which makes differences between frames that much more jarring) and the already elongated limbs and bodies of the characters themselves.
Orbital Shot: Crystal has a fairly elaborate and protracted one in its Transformation Sequence, where the spinning is paired with dizzying zooms and zoom-outs that give a three-dimensional view of the sparkly, prismatic CGI void the heroine transforms in.
Orcus on His Throne: Averted in episode 6. When Zoicite starts having some trouble in his fight against three of the senshi, Queen Beryl shows up in person to stomp them flat.
Pietà Plagiarism: A villainous version occurs in Act 6 when Beryl carries Zoisite away pieta-style after he's hit by Moon Healing Escalation.
Scenery Porn: The Creative Closing Credits feature a particularly scenic nightime vista, panning over painterly cliffs with multiple waterfalls, a moonbow and a shooting star. A detailed skyscape is likewise featured as a reflection in water, with a gigantic full moon, sparkling stars, and even a few nebulae.
Setting Update: Crystal is set in present-day 2014, compared to the manga and original anime's 1992, and features updated tech. Though a cellphone is seen in Act 1, it's much more noticeable in Act 2, where the computers are much more modern than those in the manga and 90s anime (in particular, Usagi has a pink laptop with a bunny decal on it). Crystal does retain the original Game Center Crown, (2003's tokusatsu version updated it to a karaoke bar) but though the industry is contracting, arcades remain relatively popular in Japan, unlike the west. However, the actual Sailor V video game is something of an aversion, looking like an early '90s platformer, which is somewhat odd considering the reasonthe game was created.
Spoiler Opening: Not as coy as its anime predecessor's Evolving Credits, Crystal'sTitle Sequence shows all of Usagi/Sailor Moon's superheroic supporting cast both in-costume and out, as well as Queen Beryl, her generals and Big Bad Metaria. Queen Serenity is also briefly shown at her Moon Castle.
ED "Gekkou", while a typical romantic ballad, fits Princess Serenity thinking on her romance with Endymion, scenes from which play as the credits roll.
To Be Continued: The intertitle that closes out each act has Gratuitous French phrase A Suivre at left, and a painted silhouette of an Alphonse Mucha-inspired princess at right, haloed with an outer ring of planetary signs and inner painting of the Moon Castle, accented by white lilies and stenciled doilies.
Truer To The Text: Crystal is stated to be a more direct adaptation of the original manga than the 90's anime or live-action show, albeit with a Setting Update from 1992 to 2014. To this end, character designs have been Art Shifted closer to Naoko Takeuchi's Noodle People aesthetic, and the plotting and pacing follow the manga's structure closely, recreating some panels scene for scene. As with the manga's chapters, episodes are called "acts", and each episode takes its title from the chapter it adapts. There are some minor changes, for example, in the manga we don't see Sailor Mercury until after the fog from her Mercury Aqua Mist attack fades away.
In Act 4, the series makes its first notable divergence from the manga when it's confirmed that Jadeite survived Mars' fire attack in the previous episode. This and a later scene in which all four of the Heavenly Kings reveal themselves to the Sailor Senshi confirm that Crystal's storyline will not follow the manga exactly, although it is still closer to the original text than previous adaptations have been.
Weird Moon: While it tends to follow the lead of its predecessors, in particular the series logo features a yellow, stylized crescent as a background element, and a white one as the "C" in "Crystal". Photorealistic but massively oversized moons also feature prominently in the Title Sequence and Closing Credits.