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.
 
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

Lapis Lunaris
Feb 20, 2021
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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
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#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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Outer Space
www.facebook.com
#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...