Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal began streaming on July 5, 2014. It airs (with English subtitles) every other Saturday on Hulu Plus, Crunchyroll, and Neon Alley. Since we already had the subscription, I have been watching it on Hulu.
For those that don't know, I am a pretty big fan of Sailor Moon. The original series aired here in the United States when I was in high school. I watched every episode voraciously. I loved that the girls were the main characters with the powers to destroy the bad guys, who were also led by a female. Even though it has been 20 years since Sailor Moon first aired, there still aren't that many "Girl Power" shows where females lead the way. I think the closest we come is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and, while that is a very awesome show, it doesn't quite fall under the same category as magical girls or female superheroes. More Wonder Woman, less Avengers.
Anyway, I did start watching the new series as soon as it premiered. There have been three episodes so far and I am very happy with the way it has turned out. Some people have issues with a few things and I would like to address them:
1. I don't like the artwork.
Those fans that are only familiar with the original Sailor Moon anime may find the new artwork unappealing. However, the new series is more closely based off the manga. While the new visuals may look a little odd to most people, they are definitely closer to the original visuals in the manga. Personally, I like the new looks a bit better but I have always been partial to the artbooks over the anime series.
2. I liked the old filler episodes.
Since the new series is following the manga storyling, a lot of the filler episodes have been removed. For example - In the original series, Luna discovers Sailor Moon in the first episode but doesn't discover the second scout, Sailor Mercury, until episode 5 in the English dub. (It is episode 8 in the original Japanese series.) In Crystal, Sailor Mercury is discovered in the second episode. This follows the exact timeline of the manga. While some of the old filler episodes will be missed (goodbye Alan and Ann!), the story does not suffer from removing them. I think the story will be better and stronger since we can focus more on the girls and less on the misogynistic episodes like "Slim City," where Usagi thinks she is too fat and starts heading toward an eating disorder.
Thankfully, these two issues are the only major complaints I have seen about the new show. Everyone seems to agree that, overall, it is pretty awesome. I am excited to see where the series is going to go. Supposedly, it is set up for a 26-episode arc. If they follow the manga the way they have so far, this will take them through to the end of the Black Moon storyline. I really hope that we will be able to take the story all the way through Stars as well.
Long live Sailor Moon!