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Sandbox / Broken Base Sailor Moon Crystal

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  • The designs for Crystal have fans divided: some hate the Noodle People character designs, while others love them for being artistically Truer to the Text. The only person involved with the original series in any capacity to speak on this has been John Stocker, who handled portions of the original 90s English dub and felt the skinny designs made them look spider-like and unrealistic. Notably, none of the actual creators or animators from the original show have said anything on it.
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  • Some fans are unhappy with aspects of the animation itself, like lower frame rates, the lack of comedic Art Shifts (which limits Usagi's range of expression) or frequently poorly drawn characters. The Conspicuous CG transition in the Transformation Sequence, though Cel Shaded, is also proving similarly divisive, even amongst fans who are fine with the character designs and the animation quality otherwise. For a not insignificant number of fans these animation issues, as well as the iconic Sailor Moon returning as a web-only series, make Crystal appear as more of an afterthought. The fact that it looks so low budget despite two years of delay and being on a bi-weekly schedule doesn’t help either.
  • Likewise, new VAs: Some are happy Kotono Mitsuishi is back, others wish that the title role had been recast; or, by contrast, that the entire classic cast had Role Reprisals.note 
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  • The music. While Yasuharu Takanashi is certainly a brilliant composer, many fans feel disappointed in how the Sailor Moon Crystal soundtrack sounds very similar to some of his earlier Pretty Cure works, especially Usagi's transformation theme, which is very reminiscent of PreCure! Smile Charge!.
  • Ami being introduced in episode 2, and in general the adherence to the manga's pacing with one episode per manga chapter. Some like the return to the manga's pacing for cutting the fat from the story, while others say that Usagi's time as a solo hero was an important part of her Character Development in the previous anime and that the faster pace robs the series of needed opportunities to flesh out the non-Moon Senshi.
  • Jadeite, Nephrite, and Zoisite's survival past the points of their respective manga deaths, as well as the indications of expanded roles for the Shitennou, have touched off what may be the largest split yet. Half the show's fans are excited about the chance for greater characterization for the four antagonists and the possibility of having them each paired with one of the four Inner Senshi; the other half are appalled by the same possibility, feeling it will take screen time away from the girls and detract from the show's girl-power message.
    • The confirmation in Episode 10 that there were romances between the Senshi and the Shitennou in the past only widened the schism. Some fans loved it, some hated it, and some were open to the idea but feel that its execution was just very poorly-handled.
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    • Related to this is the fact that Usagi ultimately ends up being the only Senshi in a romantic relationship. Some point out that this is exactly what happens in the manga, and blame Crystal's attempt at 'shipping the other four Senshi with the Shitennou for subverting the voluntary choice of duty over personal happiness; some find this unfair and point out that the girls' romantic experiences in the 90's anime made them more human without diminishing their own strength; some agree with the latter point of view but disagree with Crystal's specific choice of pairings.
  • The kiss in Act 4. Due to a new law in Japan it's been changed from Kissing Under the Influence (Usagi was tipsy after accidentally drinking some booze) to Dude, She's Like, in a Coma! (she was too tired after fighting so she just fell asleep). Some fans feel Mamoru shouldn't have taken advantage of Usagi either way, some are more okay with her being asleep, and some don't see what the big deal is.
    • There are also those who feel that either situation would have been equally unacceptable, if it weren't for the fact that in this version Luna interrupts and calls him out on it, thus preventing the scene from sending the wrong message.
    • Some would be happy with this if it weren't for the wording making it seem like Luna was more concerned about it being wrong because he was a potential enemy, not because Usagi was asleep. Granted this could be another case of the translation being wonky again, but it's not helping the situation.
  • The pacing. Either it's fine as is or it's moving too fast. This wasn't helped by the fact that the information released about the series initially only mentioned the Dark Kingdom arc, leaving it unclear whether the show would spend its full 26 episodes on that storyline or maintain an adaptation ratio of one episode per manga chapter; fans who felt that the first arc of the manga was rushed and hoped to see Crystal take more time to develop it were disappointed to realize that it would be covered in only 13 episodes and the other 13 would be devoted to the Black Moon storyline.
  • The characters' amount of screen time. People are either happy Mamoru is getting as much as in the manga, or worried that the Senshi aren't getting enough even with some of the changes.
  • In relation to this, someone posted an article detailing just how much time the Senshi actually spent in active battle during the first 13 episodes: 9 minutes and 41 seconds. How much time did they spend knocked out or otherwise incapacitated? 21 minutes and 54 seconds - approximately 75% of their total screentime. As the author of the post says, this is equivalent to an entire episode. It gets worse as the series goes on, with the Senshi often taken out of the fight effortlessly within the first few seconds.
  • The changes in Episode 12, including Sailor Venus' killing of Beryl being re-assigned to Sailor Moon and the abrupt deaths of the Shitennou, and the subsequent reactions of the Senshi have pretty much splintered the fanbase. And while one of the aforementioned twists has been debated over trivializing the lyric in "Moon Pride", the ending cliffhanger in the episode where Usagi attempts to kill herself has lead to much mockery and arguments over whether or not the show had lied.
  • The removal of some character moments for the Sailor Senshi has lead to arguments over whether or not they're flat characters, along with their newly-added lines and moments essentially being interchangeable. Usagi herself has become a Base-Breaking Character, with very vocal arguments about her being selfish and neglectful of her team and claims that the other characters seem to exist only to prop her up and add to her character.
  • The release of a Black Moon arc promotional video and the character design for Sailor Pluto created a whole new argument over Pluto's skin tone, with some fans complaining that she should be darker-skinned and accusing Crystal of performing a Race Lift, while others argue that her skin tone was never consistent in the manga and that her Crystal design's skin does match some of the manga's color artwork.
  • The removal of some of the manga's humor, such as the joke about Usagi's name made when the Senshi arrive on the Moon, or occasional sight gags. Some chalk it up to the Dark Kingdom arc of the manga being in the Early Installment Weirdness territory, as the story becomes progressively darker afterwards; some argue that one of the problems with Crystal is that it takes itself way too seriously.
  • The death of Koan, who was redeemed in the 90s anime, has lead to accusations of misogyny and the show writers inherently hating women, as well as accusations of there being a double standard due to the Shitennou having received some form of redemption before their deaths. Due to Crystal being Truer to the Text of the manga, none of the four sisters got any redemption.
  • The Sexy Discretion Shot in Act 19. While the manga counterpart of this scene has been interpreted as Their First Time for ages, Crystal arguably managed to make it less ambiguous. Fans who hated Crystal's portrayal of Usagi and Mamoru's relationship and preferred its more chaste and slow-paced version from the 90s anime cited it as yet another proof that Crystal puts way too much emphasis on romance. Fans of the manga pointed out that 1) the scene existed in the source material, and 2) in both versions it was presented as Mamoru's response to Usagi's baseless jealousy towards Chibiusa (meaning that Mamoru, the poster child for the Die for Our Ship trope, faced with his girlfriend's childish doubts, went and proved that yes, she is the one he truly has feelings for).
  • The fact that Sailor Moon Crystal has been green-lit for a third season, specifically the Death Busters story arc which is very much a fan favorite. Some of course are thrilled that the beloved Death Busters arc will finally be remade, while others think Crystal will ruin it based on their treatment of the two previous arcs. It just boils down to whether you're a fan of Crystal or not as a whole, really.
  • The first promo art for the new season has people divided over the new art style. Some think that the art style is a step back, looking too marshmallow-y and more like the 90s anime and prefer the original artwork, which they felt was closer to Takeuchi's style. Many others feel that this was a step up, that the original artwork looked horrible compared to the manga or the original anime.
  • Haruka kissing Usagi at the end of Act 28 set off arguments between fans who remember the moment fondly from the manga and are ecstatic to see it animated (or are just pleased that a female/female kiss wasn't swept under the rug in adaptation), and fans who are up in arms about what they see as a sexual assault on Haruka's part (and the possible unfortunate Psycho Lesbian implications that could be read into it).
  • The usage of minor characters. In the 90s anime, many civilians and secondary villains became fleshed-out Ascended Extras, but Crystal averts this and limits their usage and development as much as the manga does. Some fans are fine with that because the story's not about those characters, while others like them and miss their days in the limelight and Character Development from the 90s anime.

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