Concrete Revolutio ~A Superhuman Fantasy~ (Choujin Gensou)

(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

It’s like half a dozen superhero shows mixed together into a single one.


Kikko, our heroine, is a teenage waitress who’s suddenly told a spy drama is about to unfold in her restaurant, and is thus asked to stop this scientist for leaking state secrets to this very shady-looking guy in a suit that does scream “spy”. Actually, he’s an alien spy, and the exchange is about something else entirely. But nevermind ! We also learn that Kikko is a magical girl, complete with cute talking mascot hidden in her cleavage. Her powers are a massive help in the ensuing chase scene.

Jiro, the guy with the bizarre haircut who asked for her help to bust the spy, is from a secret agency to monitor and protect superheroes. Cue sudden flashforwards to five years later where he’s on the run and she’s the one leading an agency taskforce to chase him down. Er, sure, whatever.

The actual point of the whole spy-busting thing, besides preventing whatever the aliens’ nefarious plan is, was to draw out Grosse Augen, a super-famous sentai-style superhero who’s been helping humanity out for a while. However, the agency deems him to dangerous to exist, so he has to go. (Much to Kikko’s dismay, as she’s a fan.)

Presumably a side benefit was to bring Kikko into the fold, as her wildly versatile magical girl powers should be a tremendous help.

Production Values

Gorgeous ! This looks really neat, with wildly unnaturalistic colour work that makes everything pop. There’s also tons of creativity around Kikko’s powers, such as the time she manifested a giant arrow to point out where the giant-size Gross Augen & alien spy were fighting, as normal human Jiro couldn’t see them while they were out of phase. And then he transformed his car into a giant mecha and threw the arrow at the spy.

Overall Impression

If the above summaries sounded wildly disjointed and completely insane, well, I’m trying to convey what watching the show is like. It’s a crazy mashup of at least four different superhero shows (the alien spy ring, Kikko’s magical girl thing, Grosse Augen’s sentai trappings, and the paranoid dystopia flashforwards), all gleefully colliding together into utter chaos.

It’s more than a bit disorientating, and I can understand being irritated by this scattershot approach. But it’s so gloriously bonkers that I can’t help getting caught into its kitchen-sink universe, trying to find a method to the madness.

I’m hooked.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2015 – Page 2

Summer 2015 capsules

Out first show of the season is My Wife is the Student Council President (Okusama ga Seitokaichou!), a series of 8-minute shorts adapted from an erotic comedy manga series. I have to say I feared the worst from the title. An underage wife ?

The good news is that the premise doesn’t involve any actual marriage yet and merely involves the student council president being, er, very “sex-liberated” (condoms for everyone !), and aggressively pursuing her vice-president. So far, he’s not receptive at all to her stalker ways ; which anyone would be even without the huge stick in his ass.

The bad news is that it isn’t really funny. I just can’t laugh with the show, as I find the title character more horrific than cute. And the boring, by-the-numbers point-of-view character doesn’t help matters.

Don’t bother with looking this one up.


Wakaba Girl is a typical adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga as a series of 8-minute-long shorts (extended OP sequence included). It’s basically a “cute girls being cute” affair, with the central gimmick of its heroine Wakaba coming from a very high-class family and being delighted to attend a normal high school where she can make normal friends. Cue many jokes from her being more than a bit sheltered.

It’s cute, reasonably well-paced and funny, and doesn’t overstay its welcome. That’s plenty enough reasons for me to keep watching.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015


Wakako-zake is a series of 2-minute (OP included) shorts about a woman who eats out at restaurants, with the constant in her menu being alcohol. And, er, that’s it. Not much in the way of jokes or story (aside from a couple of dudes trying to pick her up), just some food porn. Pass along, nothing to see here.


Sequel Watch !
Dragonball Super picks up a few months after the Majin Buu arc, which means we’re ignoring Z’s epilogue with Uub and its timeskip. (To say nothing of GT.) The good news is that no knowledge from the recent movies seems to be required ; the new antagonists are introduced properly and seem to be heading towards their first meetings with the heroes. The bad news is that it’s a very slow start, reintroducing the dozens of members of the supporting cast and what they’re up to now. Even then, I think we missed Krillin & family, as well as most of the minor useless members of the Z-fighters ; we’re mostly focused on the extended Son/Briefs/Satan households for now. There’s little in the way of actual plot right now, aside from the Supreme Kais worrying about new villains showing up anytime now. But then they always do. Since I actually like the more slice-of-life comedy segments of Dragonball, I’m not complaining. (Although less Goten/Trunks screentime would be a relief.)

– Speaking of reintroducing dozens of supporting characters, Durarara!!x2 (Middle Part) feels it was the time to introduce more new characters. And hey, it does makes who comes to try and finish Izaya off in his hospital room a genuine surprise. A nice callback to his introduction, but still unexpected. Aside from that, it’s mostly a matter of positioning all the pieces back in place.

Symphogear GX – Determination to Fist has a positively metal opening action sequence that’s going to be hard to top. It does unfortunately show again that Aoi Yuuki is miles behind Nana Mizuki & Ayahi Takagaki in singing talent, but them’s the breaks. At least we get another Nana Mizuki/Yoko Hikasa duet. Not feeling the new antagonists yet, but I’ll give them time.

Gatchaman CROWDS Insight… I have no clue where they’re going with this new team member and the alien. But it’s certainly very energetic and colourful as usual, and Hajime is still very fun. (“Berg, shut up-su!”)

– As for Working!!!, I’m fearing the ship may have sailed. I quite enjoyed the first two seasons, but this reintroduction episode left me quite cold. Maybe it’ll pick up steam later on, but this wasn’t a good start.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015 – Page 3


I’m sure that, like me, you rolled your eyes when Bikini Warriors showed up on the schedule, especially as an adaptation of a line of “sexy” figurines. The good news is that this series of comedy shorts makes its tired cliché of a premise the central joke. Yes, those bikini-style armours are ridiculous and can’t protect much ; let’s have fun with that ! And frankly, the few chuckles it raises are enough to overcome the rudimentary animation and the obnoxious fanservice. It just about gets away with it, and that’s the best it could have ever hoped for.

Million Doll is an adaptation of a web manga series as 8-minute shorts. It’s an exploration of idol fandom culture that just rubs me the wrong way. I think that’s because it seems to lionize its shut-in protagonist and agree with her contempt of the more dilettante fans who are quick to move on from an idol group to the next… never mind that she’s already much creepier and unhealthy than all of them combined. It’s a show that requires you to adhere unconditionally to the glamour of the idol subculture (and dismisses its unpleasantness as coming from a few icky fans), and that’s not something I can get into. It doesn’t help that it’s barely animated, and suffers from a downright ugly CG-animated dancing opening sequence. Avoid like the plague.
SuzakiNishi the Animation is a weird beast. It’s notionally an adaptation of voice-actresses Aya Suzaki & Asuka Nishi’s radio program, where they discuss business models. In practive, this is a series of “comedy” shorts depicting them as new transfer students in high school. The gags are trite and there’s just nothing here that builds upon its name characters or the original premise. Really don’t bother with this.
Kurayami Santa is a bizarre oddity : a series of horror shorts set in the 60s that’s half animation looking like it came from that period, and half actual vintage live-action footage from then. It features a demon looking like a creepy child who punishes evidoers, but in cruel and circuitous ways that make you shudder more than applaud. While I’m intrigued at how this came into being, there’s a gap between that and actually finding it entertaining ; it’s just too weird for me.
Danchigai is an adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga about five siblings rough-housing each other. (Well, they mostly all gang up against the one boy, second oldest of the lot.) It’s very mildly funny, but nothing to go out of your way for.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2015 – Page 5

#46 : Android Kikaider – The Animation (Jinzou Ningen Kikaider – The Animation)

(13 episodes + a few OVAs)

What’s it about ?

Remake of a manga/tokutatsu show by the creator of Kamen Rider. 70s nostagia ahoy !


Dr Komyoji is the kind of robotics engineer who has a laboratory in the middle of woodlands and lives estranged from the scientific community. Admittedly, the main representative of those is an obviously evil rival who try badgering him into selling his research. Cue totally not suspicious fire in said laboratory leading to the death of the old professor.

Mitsuko, his adult daughter, is trying to uncover why her father died. (Also, taking care of her little brother.) The hidden blueprints she’s discovered (and is savvy enough to interpret) hint that he was working on an android far more advanced than anything else currently available… Did he actually build the thing ?

Jiro, a guy who wakes up as a amnesiac nearby with a guitar on his back… oh, come on, this is totally the title android. Which is confirmed soon after when he transforms to face the baddies hunting him down.

Production Values

Wow, retro character designs ! Most of those people wouldn’t feel out of place in the Star System. Fortunately, we’ve got modern animation quality ; this looks quite good and has some decent atmosphere.

Overall Impression

Nice ! We’re dealing with well-worn archetypes here, with actual explicit references to Pinocchio just to drive the point home… but it’s actually quite fun ; both Jiro and Mitsuko turn out to be pleasant characters to follow. It’s clearly a nostalgia piece, but with enough heart to be watchable by people without much knowledge of the original.

I’m strongly considering coming back to it at a later point.

Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000 – Page 12


(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a smartphone rhythm videogame (with some raising sim elements).


Cyan, our highschool protagonist, spends the first five minutes of the show thinking she’s in a K-ON! clone : so shy she agonizes for ages over joining the light-music club, and moping over her guitar every evening that she couldn’t find her nerve. Sorry, girl, that’s the wrong show : so witness your phone suddenly crapping out and suddenly transporting you into a psychedelic digital world. As a gothic lolita catgirl, of course.

She lands in the middle of a concert by super-star band Trichronika, who were completely rocking it out until some monster showed up and shifted them to a parallel combat world. Apparently that’s a thing that often happens ; at least bystanders are safe, since only people with musical ability are affected… How, wait, Cyan was also standing there, right ?

… And that’s a good thing, as Trichronika were completely overpowered and she totally saved their bacon.

Amazingly, Cyan is then recruited not by Trichronika (who are grateful), but by the far less successful band Plasmagica, who nabbed her first after the battle. They’ve got a bunny girl, a dog girl and a sheep girl. Their manager is an egg.

So Cyan’s lost in bizarre world she has no clue about… but hey, she’s in a band now ! Score !

(There’s also a stinger another rival band showing up, and another with a mastermind plotting evilly and cryptically.)

Production Values

It should be pointed out that for the battle sequences, the musician characters are shrunk in size and rendered in CG ; it looks all the more weird as they have no mouths. They return to more humanoid designs for the more mundane scenes… well, aside from the egg with a moustache.

Overall Impression

What is this I don’t even…

Well, I have to give it to this show : it fooled me completely over what genre it was going to be, and it’s a well-executed swerve. It’s also bursting at the seams with weird ideas and designs. That Cyan’s character arc doesn’t get lost in the shuffle is a near miracle.

… But there’s only so far energy and sheer weirdness can carry it ; I fear it’s going to collapse into a unholy mess very quickly. I’m pretty sure I won’t stick with it, but I suppose I’ll at least give it a second episode just to be sure. It’s at least earned that.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Spring 2015 – Page 2.

Yatterman of the Night (Yoru no Yatterman)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

History lesson time !

40 years ago, studio Tatsunoko started producing what would become known as “the Time Bokkan series” (named after the first installment) : sentai-ish comedy shows with highly referenced humour. Most of them were released in the 70s and 80s, with a few revivals into the 90s and 00s. Most famous of them was Yatterman, the second Time Bokkan series, which got to last for a very respectable 108 episodes.

Now the one other big thing the Time Bokkan have in common, despite being mostly unrelated plot-wise, were a trio of ineffectual villains with highly distinctive character designs (the blonde vixen “leader”, the tall gadgeteer with a big nose, and the big dumb muscle) who were recycled from series to series, to the point that by 2000’s Kaitou Kiramekiman they got more screentime than the titular leads of the show. It wouldn’t be wholly inaccurate to think of them as the Team Rocket Trio of their time.

Now, the last time Tatsunoko made a modern revamp of a beloved property of their back catalogue, we got Gatchaman CROWDS.

This series is completely unlike Gatchaman CROWDS in nearly every respect.


This is set long after the sentai heroes, Yatterman, won. We’re generations away from the original Dorombo trio, and there was a conclusive end to the war several decades ago. (It looks like the moon got destroyed in the process or something.) As a result, the Dorombo (and their eventual family) got exiled to a hellhole, away from the idyllic new Yatter Kingdom.

Leopard, our protagonist, is the grand-(…)-daughter of Doronjo, the original leader of Dorombo. Now, she initially didn’t know this ; she was brought up to romanced tales of Yatterman being paragons of Justice, and only learned of her legacy by happenstance about when she turned 9. Obviously, she rejected it ; Dorombo where thieves, and stealing is bad. And it’s not like her loving mother has been anything but laudative of the heroes.

Voltkaze, genius gadgeteer and heir of Boyacky, & Elephantus, big strong guy and heir of Tonzura, are basically part of this happy family ; their ancestors have always served this family, and it’s clear they’re enjoying taking care of the young Leopard. (They also have a pet pig called Sir Oda.)

Unfortunately, Leopard’s mom gets a dire case of the cough of death, and requires medicine that can’t be found here. So Leopard decides to take a small boat to try and reach Yatter Kingdom, with Voltkaze & Elephantus helping her. Unfortunately, even at sea there’s this big giant wall encircling the exile zone and preventing them from leaving. But hey, the Yatterman are showing up ! Maybe they’ll help ?

The Yatterman are jerks. (And it’s interesting that they don’t even look human here.) They start shooting before Leopard can explain, with radically more firepower than strictly necessary. Our trio (+ pig) barely escape with their lives, and can only bury Leopard’s mother. The girl is herself completely shaken up : does this mean Yatterman were always the bad guys ? And Dorombo the real heroes trying to bring them down.

Well, fudge this : Leopard, Voltkaze, Elephantus & Sir Oda are going to put on makeshift costumes homaging their predecessors, and bring the fight to Yatterman. They may be hopelessly outmatched, but they’ve got Justice on their side.

Production Values

Very lovely. Tons of fun little slapstick background events, and the character designs contribute a lot to make Leopard look like an adorable little girl, selling very well the loving family atmosphere.

The complete change of tone when things get more serious is well-handled, too, with some interesting deformation of the Yatterman’s traditional sentai designs to make them look more menacing.

Overall Impression

Well, this is the classic deconstruction of a superhero show : what if the villains were right all along ? But this series starts off more cleverly than that ; there’s a very real possibility that Leopard is mistaken and the real problem is merely whoever’s in charge of Yatter Kingdom right now. It’s not like her mom looks like she’s got any bitterness or wishes of revenge, even with the strong indication her own sister was collateral damage to the final battle when they were just kids.

What this show does right, though, is selling out trio (+ pig) as genuinely good people who all love each other and have an actually good point against the “heroes”. The sins of their ancestors really shouldn’t be still weigh on them, and yet they do. As such, they’re the underdogs we really want to see win. It’s not subtle, but it’s got enough heart to work.

This looks like the fun (and accessible) romp I wanted this show to be ; I’m glad my hopes were fulfilled.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2015 – Page 2.

The Rolling☆Girls

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

This really feels like saw the weirdness of last year’s KILL la KILL & Zvezda as a challenge : yup, we can top that !

So here’s a post-apocalyptic setting where the Earth’s actually mostly fine now that the upper crust have left, and normal people are cleaning up. Sure, Japan is now a mess of independent prefecture-states, but we’re more at the level of inter-youth gang squabbles than actual war. It looks more like sentai battles than anything else, with champions called “the Best” and squads of underlings called “the Rest”.


Nozomi, our kinda viewpoint character, really wants to join her area’s defense squad… and she’s finally been accepted as a trainee. Not that she’s supposed to go anywhere near where the fighting is happening, but she’s too enthusiastic to care.

Masami, the squad captain, has been the one pulling the brakes ; she’s a close friend of Nozomi’s family and doesn’t want her hurt. Anyway, she’s pretty good at coordinating the local defense with…

Maccha Green, the local Best (on loan from what looks like a bigger organisation). This masked hero wears a super-suite that lets her pull incredible moves, but her chief weapon is obfuscation, abusing sentai mystique to make it look like she can call on Maccha teammates of other colors, as well as on a full-blown mecha (actually a decoy balloon). Oh, who are we kidding, she’s totally Masami, and I’m amazed nobody on her team has noticed. (Or maybe they’re just humouring her.)

Shigyo, the Best from the rival neighbouring area, has challenged Maccha Green in their latest effort to make a move on her territory. She wields an array of bizarre weapons (a giant safety pin ?), and wants to had Maccha Green’s suit to her collection (which doesn’t sound creepy at all). She’s pushed back once, but like all good sentai villain she’s already preparing her next plan. Also, she’s totally made Masami, not that she really cares.

Yukina, a girl from nearby who comes with an urgent message to the squad HQ… and never gets to deliver it, as everyone mistakes her for a new trainee and take her with them on their next mission. Not only does she have a pour presence, but she’s got an even worse sense of direction (three days to cover a few kilometers by bike ?).

There’s also a blonde girl wearing a gas mask hanging around. Normally I’d say such a striking character design marks her as a major character, but the squad members include a dude randomly wearing a lizard head mask, so maybe it’s just a fashion statement.

Production Values

Impressive. This is a very colourful post-apocalypse, as it looks like the rich took all the greys with them. And the fight scenes look incredible, however improbable it is for human beings to pull these moves. (Let’s jump dozens of feet in the air !) There’s always something happening in the background, too.

Overall Impression

I’m not sure I understand yet what’s going on (especially all the stuff with the rival factions), and I’m surely missing most of the context for political satire… but I don’t care. Everything happening on screen is so hilariously bonkers that context doesn’t matter. Seriously, the baddies invite the whole squad to an amusement park, and it’s a trap where they’ve removed the tracks of the rollercoaster ! How can you not love this ?

It helps that the show is brimming with life from all corners. It hints at tons of little side stories that give depth to its background. Maybe they’ll be told, maybe not, and that’s fine. (Also, the advertised synopsis sounds like this is just scene-setting and the Maccha Green/Shigyo feud is merely an appetizer for a bigger story.)

This is so charmingly kooky I can’t help being on board.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2015 – Page 2.

Gonna be the Twin-Tails!! (Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu.)

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a series of comedy light novels.


Souji, our protagonist, is a high-school student with a very strong twintails fetish. That’s all he ever thinks about. He evaluates each every girl around him according to their twintails quality (or potential, if they don’t wear their hair that way). He tries to stay quiet about it as much as possible, as he knows it’s not exactly socially-acceptable, but he doesn’t always succeed.

Aika, his childhood friend, does happen to have magnificent twintails, which I’m sure has no link to her obvious crush on him… but she’s so tsundere and, well, familiar that she’s been effectively friend-zoned. He just seems to used to her being around to really care about her twintails. (Also, she’s highly trained in martial arts, because of course she is.)

Twoearle, a mysterious woman (without twintails !) who shows up out of the blue and starts stalking Souji clumsily. Absolutely unable to speak in without double entendres. She eventually gives him a magic bracelet and explains : he’s the only hope against the Elemerians, invaders from a parallel dimension who have started a war against twintails. (They feed off “twintail energy”, or something like that.) Only him can beat them !

Lizardgildy, the captain of the invasion force, is a true sentai villain. He’s even got hordes of identical small-fry footsoldiers ! And a machine that captures twintailed girls and then extracts energy out of them, undoing their hair in the process…

But then, this is really a sentai show : when Souji activates the bracelet, he transforms into TAIL RED, a warrior who can use twintail energy to beat the baddies up… and happens to be a petite twintailed girl.

(The ED sequence suggests he’s going to be joined in by Aika and the Student Council President, who’s one of the victims of the week.)

Production Values

Rather less fanservice than you’d expect, really ; the camera is a bit perverted at times, but most of the time it tries to sell this as a SERIOUS and TOTALLY NORMAL sentai show. So does the bombastic music.

Overall Impression

Well, this was ever going to be dumb fun, or an unwatchable trainwreck. The good news : the joke works. It’s a very stupid premise, but the direction plays it entirely straight (well, as straight as a sentai show can be), and the contrast between the deadpan exposition and the plot’s complete insanity is hilarious.

I’m not sure it’s a joke that can carry a full series, but I’m willing to give it a try.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2014 – Page 5.

GARO THE ANIMATION (Garo: Honoo no Kokuin)

What’s it about ?

This is the latest spin-off from a (live-action) heroic-fantasy tokusatsu franchise. By all accounts, it seems to be stand-alone in its own continuity.


17 years ago, the Valiante kingdom, represented by its ailing king, its kid prince, and its totally-not-treacherous chief advisor, started a witch hunt. Anybody who looked like a mage or a witch was hunted down. They weren’t above invading neighbouring cities, either. Hundreds fell, but their main target evaded them : the just-born baby of the first witch burnt at the stake, rescued by a knight in a wolf-like armour.

Herman Lewis is now telling this tale to the prostitute he’s in bed with, and she rightfully protests that it isn’t much of a story if the kid was never found. But you see, Herman knows the real story : the actual mission of witches and mages is to fight off and seal Horrors, shapeshifting abominations who prey on human beings. It’s obvious they’re pulling the strings behind the witch hunt. It’s probable many of them have infiltrated society and are replacing key people. Like, for example, this very whorehouse, fraught with rumours of clients never coming back…

Leon Lewis, Herman’s adoptive son who just happens to be 17, proves that he can hold his own when he’s attacked by a bunch of Valiante soldiers (covertly led by a Horror) while Dad is busy at the whorehouse. Which was the point : Herman is now convinced Leon is ready to come back to Valiante’s capital city and put an end to the witch hunt.

Production Values

Quite good, if maybe a bit too darkly lit. The CG wolf armours are a bit jarring, but you get used to them, and they are meant to be a striking contrast from everything else.

Overall Impression

Well, this is a decent start for a dark heroic-fantasy show. The tokusatsu elements are subdued enough to fit in relatively smoothly. The main characters have decent charisma, and the show as a whole does look good.

Still, I’m not entirely sure I’m in the mood for this. There’s no nuance to the baddies whatsoever, and the violence can get pretty gruesome at times. (Hey, let’s quickly imply the captured witches get raped !) I wouldn’t accuse the show of misogyny, but it does feature a lot of violence against women. And it’s just a very dark and gloomy premise.

I’m giving it another episode, but I’m doubtful I’ll stick with it.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2014 – Page 4.

World Trigger

What’s it about ?

Adaptation of a sentai-ish shonen manga series.

The plot involves invaders from another dimension (mostly giant monsters) wreaking havoc in town until the Border organization shows up out of nowhere to contain the threat, through their “Trigger” powers.


Mikumo, our point-of-view character, is an ordinary and slightly nerdish middle-school kid. He does have enough charisma (or so the script claims) to intimidate the bullies, and he makes a point of going out of his way to help the weak out. (Not that this always works out well for him.) Anyway, he’s on the lookout for any Border activity.

Kuga is a weird transfer student (who even transfers into such a disaster zone ?) who barely makes any attempt to hide his Trigger powers. (They’re linked to his “ring” helper who offers constant discreet help.) The big obvious twist is that he has no direct link to Border ; he comes from the other dimension !

The OP sequence heavily features two other kids : an older dude and Border agent who briefly shows up early on and leaves a big impression on Mikumo, and a girl in another class. Presumably the four of them are going to team up.

Production Values

Quite good-looking indeed ; the battle scenes are clear and fun to look at. Also, the constant succession of Kuga’s funny faces is a hoot.

The Kenji Kawai scores does a lot to give the show some well-needed atmosphere.

Overall Impression

That’s much better than I expected. It’s got some clever writing, as well as a rare narrative infodump that actually works and doesn’t overstay its welcome. The characters’ interplay is already fun, despite half of them barely being around.

I’m not sure how long it can keep the momentum up, but so far, so good. Looks like a fun ride.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Fall 2014 – Page 2.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal

(26 episodes, fortnightly)

What’s it about ?

20 years (and change) later, a remake of Sailor Moon as an anime, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood style.

For those who have been living under a rock, the 1992 series (and its continuations) was a gateway anime for many, and had a strong influence on the magical girl genre as a whole (kickstarting the transition from the “cute witch” subgenre to the now more prevalent “magical warrior” version). It took many liberties from the original manga, including a lot of padding to allow its source material to be produced. This is supposed to be much closer to the original, with some benefit of hindsight (as it left a lot of room for improvement).


Usagi, our book-dumb crybaby of a protagonist. But hey, she’s only in middle school ; she’s got time to grow out of it. Also, she’s got weird dreams of a moon princess or something.

Luna, a talking cat she stumbles on (litterally) on her way to school. Later on, she reveals Usagi has a destiny to battle evil and protect the princess ! Take this magical trinket, utter the bizarre Engrish catchphrase, and bam! you’re “Sailor Moon”. (Which is totally not copyright infringment on the “Sailor V” superheroine who’s been making the news lately.)

“Monster-bait” Naru is the one member of Usagi’s circle of friends who matters to the plot in this episode : her mother gets replaced by a creepy monster who takes over their jewelry store and uses the lure of insanely huge discounts to gather mindless drones. Our heroine, to the rescue !

Tuxedo Mask is a mysterious dude wearing a mask and a tuxedo who shows up during the battle and lends a hand when she’s in trouble. He’s apparently looking for the “Legendary Silver Crystal”, a macguffin the baddies also seem to be after. Oh, and he’s totally this tall, dark-haired dude Usagi bumped into as he was casing the joint. (Wearing a tuxedo !)

Four other Sailor soldiers are shown in the OP sequence, but only one of them barely makes a cameo at the very end of the episode.

Production Values

The artstyle takes a while to get used to ; it’s a weird mix of Naoko Takeuchi’s idiosyncratic style, more classic shoujo elements, and modern shading techniques. As a result, character designs appear very busy, but they still can move around not too stiffly. And more importantly, Usagi can still handle the broad physical comedy and weird faces the script throws at her, without looking out of place.

The backgrounds are beautiful, with similar watercolours to the original anime. The roses patterns showing up whenever Usagi pauses to introduce a new character are a bit clunky, though.

The OP song doesn’t quite work yet ; maybe it’ll grow on me. The ED song fits in much better.

Overall Impression

First, a disclaimer : I’m a hardcore fan of the franchise. I’m going to watch this to the end, regardless of actual quality.

What’s really striking about this first episode is that it’s not striking at all. Nothing here feels like a mission statement of its own identity. It follows the manga’s first chapter very closely, down to including nearly every original line of dialogue. Even when that’s obviously a terrible idea. (Why the heck is Mamoru wearing a tuxedo in broad daylight ?) And while no previous adaptation (either the first anime or the live-action series) messed with this first chapter much, that’s clearly not gonna fly in the long-term. If only because this is set to be 26 episodes long, and the manga barely has 14 chapters (and that’s including “Petite Etrangère”, most of which is devoted to setting up the second arc this series is explicity not covering). This series is going to have to stray a bit from the manga’s framework at some point, and the sooner the better. (After all, the manga’s breakneck pace obeyed more to real-life publishing constraints than to narrative necessity.)

There are a few early hints on how this is going to happen. The most obvious is the heavy emphasis on Usagi’s dreams of the princess, which are happening quite earlier this time around. But it’s going to take more episodes until we have a full picture.

via [In Which I Review] New anime, Summer 2014 – Page 3.