Sailor Moon Crystal Official Art

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Talentless Fool

Aurorae Lunares
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Her designs were always very simple and shined the most on young girls. She never got praised for her rendition of Mamoru. I highly doubt Haruka and Michiru would be that iconic if Itoh didn't take over.
Sure, some of her current settei are ugly ass and seem half-baked, but the fact is: her designs were never super elaborated. They are iconic for the age they were created, but other than the Sailor Moon R movie, a cinematographic anime movie with actual cinema budget, no Sailor Moon entry with her animation direction actually entered the pantheon of Sailor Moon aesthetic social media pages love to post and repost. Even some early Hisashi Kagawa episodes managed to achieve that, but hers did not.
She was never that exceptional, and the apparent request to moefy her original designs while modernizing them sure doesn't help.
However, she actually managed to make the Starlights look beautiful and that's... not an easy task. She still has something going for her.
I would say some of her Classic episodes still hold up today.
Episodes such as the Usagi model and Princess Serenity are truly gorgeous and even if her setteis are... let's be real... BUTT-UGLY, she proves she still has a great touch via Ami's extended design sketches.
https://flic.kr/p/2oEVesU https://flic.kr/p/2oEXckT https://flic.kr/p/2oEVeoL https://flic.kr/p/2oEVeoW https://flic.kr/p/2oEXcfC
Personally, when I see Kagawa's modern rendition of Sailor Moon, I find it as bland as Tadano's just more acceptable. All of the sassiness, agressivity and expressions of the 90s are lost for a dead-pan, tatemae, perfect lady face (barf...)

Tadano's skill seems to fluctuate depending on her mood (I wonder if that's why Takeuchi 'connects' more with her rather than Itoh, who hasn't had even the slightest mention from her at all :P ).
By R, her level had definitely fell and I wonder if it's because the workload was just too much for her - the R movie, from the looks of it she did the Mercury Aqua Illusion & Sparkling Wide Pressure and supervised the Love-Me Chain etc.
She did do a Saint Seiya episode - well before she worked on Sailor Moon - and that episode is well animated, has nice fight scenes, good passages and effects and decent art.

I don't know if it's a thing in the industry for veteran animators/character designers to produce lack-luster/redundant content, I wonder if it's the sort of work that's expected of them - the 'dated' feel?

An another example is veteran animator & character designer Michie Himeno (who should be well into her 60s now) and while her recent work (be it on Saint Seiya or original art) is beautiful, it does have this sort of 'deja-vu' and sort of clunky/stiff characters - though in her case, she has perfected her style to give a genuine retro shoujo aesthetic to her Art, in the likes of that perfect manga and anime blend art the Sailor Moon marriage certificate used.
 

JunoDX

Solaris Luna
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I would say some of her Classic episodes still hold up today.
Episodes such as the Usagi model and Princess Serenity are truly gorgeous and even if her setteis are... let's be real... BUTT-UGLY, she proves she still has a great touch via Ami's extended design sketches.
https://flic.kr/p/2oEVesU https://flic.kr/p/2oEXckT https://flic.kr/p/2oEVeoL https://flic.kr/p/2oEVeoW https://flic.kr/p/2oEXcfC
Personally, when I see Kagawa's modern rendition of Sailor Moon, I find it as bland as Tadano's just more acceptable. All of the sassiness, agressivity and expressions of the 90s are lost for a dead-pan, tatemae, perfect lady face (barf...)

Tadano's skill seems to fluctuate depending on her mood (I wonder if that's why Takeuchi 'connects' more with her rather than Itoh, who hasn't had even the slightest mention from her at all :P ).
By R, her level had definitely fell and I wonder if it's because the workload was just too much for her - the R movie, from the looks of it she did the Mercury Aqua Illusion & Sparkling Wide Pressure and supervised the Love-Me Chain etc.
She did do a Saint Seiya episode - well before she worked on Sailor Moon - and that episode is well animated, has nice fight scenes, good passages and effects and decent art.

I don't know if it's a thing in the industry for veteran animators/character designers to produce lack-luster/redundant content, I wonder if it's the sort of work that's expected of them - the 'dated' feel?

An another example is veteran animator & character designer Michie Himeno (who should be well into her 60s now) and while her recent work (be it on Saint Seiya or original art) is beautiful, it does have this sort of 'deja-vu' and sort of clunky/stiff characters - though in her case, she has perfected her style to give a genuine retro shoujo aesthetic to her Art, in the likes of that perfect manga and anime blend art the Sailor Moon marriage certificate used.
Wow, I love all the frames you posted. So strong! I think she did a great job with Mamoru in the 90s. He was a complex character and I find him the most attractive in the OG season. Tadano also made many poster art, simple and beautiful.
 

Talentless Fool

Aurorae Lunares
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sapphire91

Stella Nova
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I always find men in old anime are more sensual (Mamoru, Jadeite, Kunzite...). Maybe because of the wider shoulders, or the crisp pencil lines.
same xan be said for the ladies. In general hand drawn anime was combined with mature elegant designs. Todаъwe have moe, flat, round and simple across the board.
 
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JunoDX

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Talentless Fool

Aurorae Lunares
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All of them are so expressive. you can read enotions from their (melancholic) faces.

I would really love to see Toei reproducing this style one day. You can imitate this look for sure digitally. Imagine a short special for the 35th anniversary with the original seiyuu in this vintage design!
I honestly don't know why people think 'digital' work is lower quality than when it was full-on analog.
In animation schools, students are still required to be able to work on both analog AND digital - some may have a preference but they are still educated to be able to work on both.
Moreover, on digital, today, there are several brushes/pen that are able to replicate real-life pens and nibs.

The main problem comes with the colors in my opinion. Most of the times, it's so dull and boring unlike when they were painted by hand and had all of those different shades and vibrant colors.

Kindaichi is a main victim in that - when you go back and take a look when Toei transitioned from celluloid to digital paint, it's atrocious on the colors, looking at times as bad as on a very old version of MS Paint.

Studios also tend to use a 'light' filter on the finish product to replicate the sun-light/interior lights feel and in turn it really gums all the crispness of the lines.
You can see we lose quite an amount of detail on the line-art because of the filter.

The shading style has also regressed considerably. Shading helps elevate a drawing by giving it depth and consistence via it's shadows but if it's done in a lackluster way, it comes out looking very flat.

This was produced in 2022 yet it looks like it could come right out of the 80s

The Gran Blue Fantasy anime adaptation too had this stroke and depth in the lines that imitated a pure 80s look to it.
 
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JunoDX

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Thanks for those examples. Some effects and filters destroy the illusion of the 80s/90s look, especially when there are color gradings or blur and special effects. They should be consequent and check how they artistically solved things back then, (usually by abstraction).
 
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Talentless Fool

Aurorae Lunares
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Thanks for those examples. Some effects and filters destroy the illusion of the 80s/90s look, especially when there are color gradings or blur and special effects. They should be consequent and check how they artistically solved things back then, (usually by abstraction).
I guess they want to go for the 'polish' look with those filters :|
But it does seem that for the last 5 years, studios have been going back for the celluloid look, at the very least, they are going for higher contrast in the colors.

Toei did go the retro aesthetic with the Broly movie and it was a very refreshing design to experience. Moreover, as you can see even on a simpler and 'blander' design, the roughness and unevenness of the lines + the hard colors help give more meat to the art itself.

Another example of another anime that is going for the 90s anime feel/character design.

They could have gone the same route for Cosmos but... :P
I thank the Gods that they gave up on their blur paint tool that looked disgusting on Crystal 1-2 :supercry:
They were ganging up to get the 'sparkly Walmart Disney Princess' look to it and it was atrocious.
It's not like modern Sailor Moon art hasn't been subjected to the atrocity that is the overuse of the blur brush.
https://flic.kr/p/2oEYgvp
 
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Another example of another anime that is going for the 90s anime feel/character design.

They could have gone the same route for Cosmos but... :P
I thank the Gods that they gave up on their blur paint tool that looked disgusting on Crystal 1-2 :supercry:
They were ganging up to get the 'sparkly Walmart Disney Princess' look to it and it was atrocious.
It's not like modern Sailor Moon art hasn't been subjected to the atrocity that is the overuse of the blur brush.
https://flic.kr/p/2oEYgvp
That’s the main problem I have with all Sailor Moon World era arts, it has this same overuse of blur effect on colors and really looks like all these Disney VHS covers (I was never able to know what they would make me think of but you’re right, it’s as blurred as these Disney cheap art they use for beauty and the best part 4 or Little Mermaid 19). The lineart is usually fine albeit very generic and it’s a shame they used the same coloring method for Crystal S1-2.
Loving that Lupin animation by the way, it’s so good ! And that red hair character in Bucchigiri really looks like a Clamp character !
 

Talentless Fool

Aurorae Lunares
Jan 23, 2023
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That’s the main problem I have with all Sailor Moon World era arts, it has this same overuse of blur effect on colors and really looks like all these Disney VHS covers (I was never able to know what they would make me think of but you’re right, it’s as blurred as these Disney cheap art they use for beauty and the best part 4 or Little Mermaid 19). The lineart is usually fine albeit very generic and it’s a shame they used the same coloring method for Crystal S1-2.
Loving that Lupin animation by the way, it’s so good ! And that red hair character in Bucchigiri really looks like a Clamp character !
The blur brush was overused in the very early beginnings of digital art. I remember that on Deviant-Art, everyone would be using it lol
Some very talented artists DID manage to make some very cool drawings though. I fondly remember the artist hen-tie's super cool OCs. :P
With Saint Seiya, they cleverly used the airbrush tool instead of the blur brush :wow:
https://flic.kr/p/2oEYCBs https://flic.kr/p/2oEWFAP
But you know the apocalypse is near when they even manage to butcher Itoh's gorgeous Art with their Disney Princess Brush :|
https://flic.kr/p/2oEYXv7 https://flic.kr/p/2oEYAhc
The black hair protag' in Bucchigiri makes me think of Yu Yu Hakusho lol
 
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Clow

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I always find men in old anime are more sensual (Mamoru, Jadeite, Kunzite...). Maybe because of the wider shoulders, or the crisp pencil lines.
The male characters Naoko drew in “Maria“ and “The Cherry Project” fit into that category. The male protagonist of “Maria” looks like an older Mamoru.