Surprising absolutely no one (probably), I’m back for another round of reaction posts for Sailor Moon Crystal! The third season has just aired its first two episodes, has many changes from the first two seasons and promises us explicit confirmation that Haruka and Michiru are a couple. (And not, as some dubs insist, cousins.)
Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 (which I will henceforth probably stubbornly refer to as SMC: Infinity) will consist of 13 episodes (I gather) and subtitled episodes are simulcasting on Hulu, Neon Alley and Crunchyroll. Sadly, they’re only available in the US (and, on Crunchyroll, in various other areas I do not at present reside in). I am equal parts feeling guilty and annoyed about having to resort to streaming to get to view the show at all. (I imagine keeping up as many translations as they did for the first two seasons was a nightmare, but was it really impossible to simulcast the English subs in other regions? Really? It’s not like there’s a massive international following or anything.)
Anyway! So there you are. I will stop grumbling about it now. It is what it is.
This season around, I’m tackling the reaction posts a little differently. They’ll take much longer to finish, but it’s only one a week so it should be fine. I’m not sure when, exactly, the posts will appear yet, but starting episode 3, I aim to have posts up at some point during the week after the episode first aired. You get 1 and 2 later this week in preparation. Given that it’s technically a single Act split across two episodes that’s probably a nice way to start the posts.
So what changes can you expect?
No more plot recaps above the cut. Or anywhere. I was never entirely happy with including them, but I felt like I ought to for people who’d accidentally missed an episode. No, okay. If necessary I may add plot recaps below the read-more cut occasionally.
Screencaps. Yes, I’m going to experiment with doing reaction posts that include screencaps, so it’s easier for people to know where I am in an episode and what I’m responding to. I haven’t done them originally because I was worried they’d take masses of time that I didn’t have. They do take masses of time, so this season is going to be an experiment in including them. (A good chunk of the time investment is making sure the images all have useful alt text, so please let me know whether they work and how I could improve on them.) I won’t be screencapping everything I comment on or respond to, but it should be more than enough to follow along more easily. (The first post has, what, 28 images not counting the title card?
I think that’s about it as far as changes are concerned?
Other things of note are…
1) My reactions to the first two episodes are not actually my very first reactions. I’ve seen both episodes at least once before deciding that yes, yes I do want to do reaction posts for this season as it airs. I’ve left some time between viewings to allow me to forget the details, but I have seen them before. (My memory is a sieve, though, so you might not even have noticed if I hadn’t told you.)
2) Out of all the narrative arcs Sailor Moon has, this is actually the one I know least well. I know the general outline of the arc in the first anime, but that’s about it. I’ve only read the manga once or twice and remember absolutely nothing about it. (I find reading manga, or any graphic novel/comic, incredibly difficult, so combined with having, say, a collander for a memory I forget a lot. It’s a wonder I retained so much information on the first arc in the manga.) So I suspect there’s going to be a lot of things in this arc that will be a complete surprise to me. There are some things I hope for regarding Haruka/Michiru and Chibi-Usa/Hotaru, but I think that’s about it in terms of what I’d expect and like to see?
3) I may fail at not diving for the manga to have some clue about what’s going to come up in this arc, but so far I’ve managed to refrain.
And that covers everything I can think of! Welcome back to the reaction posts for Sailor Moon Crystal! Welcome back to a new and exciting season. A lot of fans absolutely love and adore this season (with good reason) and the first two seasons left many a bit, well, soured on the whole experience of Crystal. Issues with release dates changes, art style issues, 3D animation, lack of personality, pacing issues, a biweekly schedule, bad and stilted translations, a sense of… misunderstanding about what made Sailor Moon so beloved to so many… But mostly from what I’ve seen it was just a feeling that the source material was handled poorly and sometimes even fairly disrespectfully. (I am looking at you, episode 12!)
The trailer and preview event for season 3 showed us the show has tried to address some of those issues and offered us reassurance that the show will do right by Haruka and Michiru, so we’ll see what’s in store!
If you’re interested in watching the season, remember to check whether it’s available to you on Hulu, Neon Alley or Crunchyroll!