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The brand new Sailor Moon Crystal, which just premiered on July 5, is being billed as a more faithful adaptation of creator Naoko Takeuchi’s manga than the previous anime from 1992. That doesn’t mean the two animated versions won’t have anything in common, though. As she was before, Usagi Tsukino is still the main character, with a black cat mentor and a mission to fight against evil monsters that threaten mankind.

And in order to carry out her magical duties, Usagi still has to go through a glamorous costume change, as shown in this side-by-side comparison video of the old and new Sailor Moon transformation sequences.

As shown in the video created by YouTube user Matthew Pearl, the new scene doesn’t mix things up too much. Just like before, Usagi starts by stretching out her hand and shouting “Moon prism power, make up!”

Crystal’s version does add a few more sparkly flourishes.

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The new anime also adheres to the anime tradition that stipulates nudity when a heroine transforms into a powered-up state.

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If anything, Crystal’s camera seems to spend even more time lingering on Usagi’s figure.

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The difficulty in remaking a popular franchise is that elements and imagery which were fresh and exciting the first time around gradually lose their impact on the audience. For Crystal to achieve the same level of success as its predecessor, it has to deliver more drama, more romance, more action.

▼ And more ribbons

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Like most modern anime, Sailor Moon Crystal’s art is produced digitally. There’s also some pretty liberal use of CG in the new transformation, and while it’s high quality, it is pretty conspicuous and a little jarring at times, particularly during the close-ups of the titular character’s skirt.

However, that same use of technology has also allowed the production staff to create shots that wouldn’t have been practical before, such as fully animating Usagi’s luxuriously long twin ponytails.

▼ In 1992, the animators made their job a little easier with a tight angle that put most of Usagi’s flowing hair out of frame.

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The original Sailor Moon’s appearance never really meshed with her stated status as an eighth-grader, but the contours of Usagi’s face in Crystal make her look even more mature, not to mentioned doe-eyed, than she did before.

▼ Clockwise from top left: Design for Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Crystal, and Sailor Moon Crystal Season 2 (RocketNews24 staff prediction)

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But while the visuals aren’t so far apart in style, aurally the new transformation sets itself apart from the old. Original Sailor Moon voice actress Kotono Mitsuishi may be reprising her role, but whereas the 1992 version was half ‘80s guitar riffs and half ’70s strings and vocals, Crystal features less dated arrangement and choral chanting.

The overall effect is far more reverent, and some might argue it’s a bit over the top, for longtime fans who’ve been waiting two decades for Sailor Moon to return, plus younger viewers who’re seeing the fabled heroine for the first time, we can’t say it feels entirely out of place.

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Source: YouTube
Top image: YouTube
Screenshots: YouTube, Power Animals Unleashed