June 6, 2014

In only a minute and a half.

Alright. Here I go:

I'm gonna get crucified and attacked with my own words for this, so I will just have to brace myself. Now that I've slept on it and my thoughts are clearer, I'm just gonna come out and say it: Not really feeling Sailor Moon Crystal. THERE, I SAID IT.

Yesterday is already a blur to me. I think the adrenaline and excitement soaked into my system really fast, but this morning I woke up with a cooler head and just stayed there laying in bed thinking about the very few animated scenes we saw and wanted to tweet out my thoughts, but they ultimately proved to be too many to summarize in 140 characters. Before you call me a fake Moonie, a bad fan or a fucking negative party pooper, a hater, etc, I suggest you either read the entire thing or just walk away now.

It's been two whole years from the initial announcement. We've waited and speculated like crazy to see what  Sailor Moon Crystal would look like. I'm not going to go into explaining the history of Sailor Moon and why this revival is so damn important. Rather I'm going to focus on the very little stuff we know so far. Let me just preface this by saying I just got off the epic amazingness that is Kill la Kill.

After having watched the minute and a half of the Sailor Moon Crystal trailer, I think it's more than obvious that the animation quality is lacking, big time. In only in a minute and a half we already notice how cheap and wonky the faces and movements are (as if we didn't have a previous history of mediocre animators who ruined a bunch of episodes in the classic anime). True, I could never do what the SMC animators have done so far, but neither am I a multi-million, 50 year-old international animation company with vast resources and access to an infinite list of skilled and seasoned artists. I expect Toei to treat Sailor Moon with the quality and respect they treat their Pretty Cure Series, specially after the same series keeps selling like crazy off of the old anime. Again, I know we've only seen a preview thus far, but in one minute and a half it's necessary to introduce as much PUNCH and WOW to attract viewers.

The following example of Pre-Cure is obviously way longer (4 mins or so), but you could take ANY 30 seconds from this video and the quality is impeccable. Even the damn logo.



Whenever a new anime is introduced, usually they bring in the biggest and best of their animation teams to start with a POW! Episode one will mark the look, color, tone, pace and feel for the entire series so it's a pretty big deal. Even more so for a preview where they should choose the best scenes to promote it. However, in only a minute and a half we see some very important moments of episode 1( Luna and Usagi meeting for the first time) and already it's looking very unsettling.
 
How is it possible that lesser known anime companies like Gainax (Evangelion), Kyoto Animation (Free!) or Trigger (Kill la Kill) that are relatively new to the game have way more impressive graphics and were able to create iconic series with limited budgets? I mean, for fuck's sake, 30 seconds of Kyoto Animation's GORGEOUS GORGEOUS commercial to promote themselves caused enough hype to push the creation of the "Free!" anime. THAT'S how perfect the animation is:



And also just look at the minute and a half of Kill la Kill's episode 3 fight scene between the two main characters (it's not even episode1which is freaking BREATHTAKING). The camera angles, hair movements, fighting poses, facial expression, pace, body language, mood, even the very characteristic distortion is handled so skillfully! I am so impressed with the series I can't stop talking about it and admiring the mastery behind it.



This is what I was expecting from Toei after waiting two years for Crystal and pretty much what I expect from any other anime worth my time. There are so many unknown low-budget shelf-filler animes that have better animation than SMC. This trailer was supposed to knock me off my freaking feet! This trailer was supposed to blow all other anime out of the water. This trailer was supposed to make non-Moonie otakus and maybe even non-otakus wanna watch the anime they've been hearing about all these years. This was supossed to go FREAKING MAINSTREAM. And what do we get? ABSOLUTE WONK FEST. Blank expressions and insipid animation. Never in my 18 years as a fan did I expect to feel disappointed by Sailor Moon, but the sad truth is that I AM. I hoped to share my fandom with a whole new generation of fans but instead, all I got were a bunch of "eeeh" in return.

A trailer should be powerful enough to speak for itself and bring in the viewers all on its own. I never-ever expected to have to make excuses, apologies and explanations for it. "Their legs are too long" Their faces are weird" "The eyes look so crooked", "they look so stiff", "Why is the hair ignoring all the rules of gravity?" "What's with those big feet?", "They look so derpy", "Her head is so huge!". I wanted to say "No! no! You don't GET the style", but the truth is that I'm neither blind or stupid. Of course I see the flaws.

THREE WONKY EYES in only a minute and a half:
 



You don't have to come back at me and say "Well this is a manga adaptation, the anime is based on Naoko's style, it doesn't translate well, the animators have trouble capturing the feel of Naoko's flowy artwork" etc. I KNOW. I KNOW SAILOR MOON. I KNOW Naoko's artwork, I KNOW why the decisions were made and why the new anime was very very necesssary. This is the SAILOR MOON OBSESSION BLOG. I've been OBSESSED with Sailor Moon for almost two decades, and it's not just a hobby. It takes up about 80% of my online time, about 80% of my paycheck and 70% of my entire life. Every day of my life I'm thinking, talking, Tweeting, Tumblring and YouTubing Sailor Moon. I'm one of the first ones out there reporting news and interesting finds in the Moonieverse.

If you're going to come and say to me "you can't judge the whole anime based on a few seconds of preview", the truth is I CAN. I know the story, I know the characters and thier personalities, I know the essence and most importantly, I know the history of the franchise. All I needed was to see Toei's "GRAND INTRODUCTION of Sailor Moon Crystal, featuring the greatest scenes of episode one!" and in only one and a half minutes, all my dreams and hopes are gone. I WANT to feel excited again, I WANT to be consumed and enraptured by the magical beauty of Sailor Moon, it's just not doing it for me.

I will never understand why Toei gave Sailor Moon such a tiny budget. It's NOT just a niche market. Sailor Moon was aired in like 30 countries in many different languages. A MILLION and a half hits in 24 hours speaks of how popular it is. This isn't a straight-to-discount-DVD anime. There no real money investing or risk taking here. They needed to fuking pull all fucking guns on this one and they didn't.

In only one minute and a half, my life has changed.

Of course I will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS love and support Sailor Moon. No matter what, I'm in it for life. I will watch all previews, download all the music, but all the toys and watch all the episodes. Yes, I do think many many of  other things hit the spot perfectly. I love the detail, I love the styling, I loooooove the way her fuku looks, and I'm way excited to see her new weapons and attacks, but I just needed to get off my chest that Im not as excited as I was yesterday anymore and it fucking sucks. I really really hope I am all kinds of wrong here. I hope Toei shuts my stupid mouth with an amazing anime with amazing storytelling. It is my greatest wish that I am wrong. Please Toei... PLEASE. Don't let my Sailor Moon down.

June 6, 2014

In only a minute and a half.

Alright. Here I go:

I'm gonna get crucified and attacked with my own words for this, so I will just have to brace myself. Now that I've slept on it and my thoughts are clearer, I'm just gonna come out and say it: Not really feeling Sailor Moon Crystal. THERE, I SAID IT.

Yesterday is already a blur to me. I think the adrenaline and excitement soaked into my system really fast, but this morning I woke up with a cooler head and just stayed there laying in bed thinking about the very few animated scenes we saw and wanted to tweet out my thoughts, but they ultimately proved to be too many to summarize in 140 characters. Before you call me a fake Moonie, a bad fan or a fucking negative party pooper, a hater, etc, I suggest you either read the entire thing or just walk away now.

It's been two whole years from the initial announcement. We've waited and speculated like crazy to see what  Sailor Moon Crystal would look like. I'm not going to go into explaining the history of Sailor Moon and why this revival is so damn important. Rather I'm going to focus on the very little stuff we know so far. Let me just preface this by saying I just got off the epic amazingness that is Kill la Kill.

After having watched the minute and a half of the Sailor Moon Crystal trailer, I think it's more than obvious that the animation quality is lacking, big time. In only in a minute and a half we already notice how cheap and wonky the faces and movements are (as if we didn't have a previous history of mediocre animators who ruined a bunch of episodes in the classic anime). True, I could never do what the SMC animators have done so far, but neither am I a multi-million, 50 year-old international animation company with vast resources and access to an infinite list of skilled and seasoned artists. I expect Toei to treat Sailor Moon with the quality and respect they treat their Pretty Cure Series, specially after the same series keeps selling like crazy off of the old anime. Again, I know we've only seen a preview thus far, but in one minute and a half it's necessary to introduce as much PUNCH and WOW to attract viewers.

The following example of Pre-Cure is obviously way longer (4 mins or so), but you could take ANY 30 seconds from this video and the quality is impeccable. Even the damn logo.



Whenever a new anime is introduced, usually they bring in the biggest and best of their animation teams to start with a POW! Episode one will mark the look, color, tone, pace and feel for the entire series so it's a pretty big deal. Even more so for a preview where they should choose the best scenes to promote it. However, in only a minute and a half we see some very important moments of episode 1( Luna and Usagi meeting for the first time) and already it's looking very unsettling.
 
How is it possible that lesser known anime companies like Gainax (Evangelion), Kyoto Animation (Free!) or Trigger (Kill la Kill) that are relatively new to the game have way more impressive graphics and were able to create iconic series with limited budgets? I mean, for fuck's sake, 30 seconds of Kyoto Animation's GORGEOUS GORGEOUS commercial to promote themselves caused enough hype to push the creation of the "Free!" anime. THAT'S how perfect the animation is:



And also just look at the minute and a half of Kill la Kill's episode 3 fight scene between the two main characters (it's not even episode1which is freaking BREATHTAKING). The camera angles, hair movements, fighting poses, facial expression, pace, body language, mood, even the very characteristic distortion is handled so skillfully! I am so impressed with the series I can't stop talking about it and admiring the mastery behind it.



This is what I was expecting from Toei after waiting two years for Crystal and pretty much what I expect from any other anime worth my time. There are so many unknown low-budget shelf-filler animes that have better animation than SMC. This trailer was supposed to knock me off my freaking feet! This trailer was supposed to blow all other anime out of the water. This trailer was supposed to make non-Moonie otakus and maybe even non-otakus wanna watch the anime they've been hearing about all these years. This was supossed to go FREAKING MAINSTREAM. And what do we get? ABSOLUTE WONK FEST. Blank expressions and insipid animation. Never in my 18 years as a fan did I expect to feel disappointed by Sailor Moon, but the sad truth is that I AM. I hoped to share my fandom with a whole new generation of fans but instead, all I got were a bunch of "eeeh" in return.

A trailer should be powerful enough to speak for itself and bring in the viewers all on its own. I never-ever expected to have to make excuses, apologies and explanations for it. "Their legs are too long" Their faces are weird" "The eyes look so crooked", "they look so stiff", "Why is the hair ignoring all the rules of gravity?" "What's with those big feet?", "They look so derpy", "Her head is so huge!". I wanted to say "No! no! You don't GET the style", but the truth is that I'm neither blind or stupid. Of course I see the flaws.

THREE WONKY EYES in only a minute and a half:
 



You don't have to come back at me and say "Well this is a manga adaptation, the anime is based on Naoko's style, it doesn't translate well, the animators have trouble capturing the feel of Naoko's flowy artwork" etc. I KNOW. I KNOW SAILOR MOON. I KNOW Naoko's artwork, I KNOW why the decisions were made and why the new anime was very very necesssary. This is the SAILOR MOON OBSESSION BLOG. I've been OBSESSED with Sailor Moon for almost two decades, and it's not just a hobby. It takes up about 80% of my online time, about 80% of my paycheck and 70% of my entire life. Every day of my life I'm thinking, talking, Tweeting, Tumblring and YouTubing Sailor Moon. I'm one of the first ones out there reporting news and interesting finds in the Moonieverse.

If you're going to come and say to me "you can't judge the whole anime based on a few seconds of preview", the truth is I CAN. I know the story, I know the characters and thier personalities, I know the essence and most importantly, I know the history of the franchise. All I needed was to see Toei's "GRAND INTRODUCTION of Sailor Moon Crystal, featuring the greatest scenes of episode one!" and in only one and a half minutes, all my dreams and hopes are gone. I WANT to feel excited again, I WANT to be consumed and enraptured by the magical beauty of Sailor Moon, it's just not doing it for me.

I will never understand why Toei gave Sailor Moon such a tiny budget. It's NOT just a niche market. Sailor Moon was aired in like 30 countries in many different languages. A MILLION and a half hits in 24 hours speaks of how popular it is. This isn't a straight-to-discount-DVD anime. There no real money investing or risk taking here. They needed to fuking pull all fucking guns on this one and they didn't.

In only one minute and a half, my life has changed.

Of course I will ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS love and support Sailor Moon. No matter what, I'm in it for life. I will watch all previews, download all the music, but all the toys and watch all the episodes. Yes, I do think many many of  other things hit the spot perfectly. I love the detail, I love the styling, I loooooove the way her fuku looks, and I'm way excited to see her new weapons and attacks, but I just needed to get off my chest that Im not as excited as I was yesterday anymore and it fucking sucks. I really really hope I am all kinds of wrong here. I hope Toei shuts my stupid mouth with an amazing anime with amazing storytelling. It is my greatest wish that I am wrong. Please Toei... PLEASE. Don't let my Sailor Moon down.