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The Biggest Difference Between Sailor Moon & Sailor Moon Crystal

"Sailor Moon" has seen all sorts of adaptations over the years. There have been several anime versions, multiple long-form films, a live-action adaptation called "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon," and a stage musical. But what makes "Sailor Moon Crystal" so different from the original, iconic "Sailor Moon" anime? The answer is all in the source material.

The original 1992 anime went afield from its manga origin point, changing costume designs, removing some of the Sailor Scouts' abilities, and changing the origin of Chibi-Chibi, among other plot deviations. Meanwhile, "Sailor Moon Crystal" is much more faithful when it comes to the character motivation and personality on display in the manga, as well as the general plot.

To wit, the three seasons and two movies that thus far make up the "Sailor Moon Crystal" adaptation are each based on a volume and story arc of the manga. The third season finale leads into "Sailor Moon Eternal," a full-length film that accurately depicts the Dead Moon arc from the manga. "Sailor Moon Eternal" in turn hints toward 2023's "Sailor Moon Cosmos," which sees Usagi (Kotono Mitsuishi) and the team do battle with Sailor Galaxia (Megumi Hayashibara). All of this generally follows the thrust of the manga's story arc progression, a big change from the 1992 "Sailor Moon" anime's approach.

These Sailor Scouts found themselves lost in translation

Even before excising the manga's original ending — which actually features the Sailor Scouts turning on Usagi, forcing her to kill all of them to protect the universe in an enormous, world-shaking betrayal that breaks Usagi's heart — the 1992 version of "Sailor Moon" had already diverged from the original manga. Further English dubs and fan-created subs ended up creating other differences between it and "Sailor Moon Crystal" that are even more pronounced.

Infamously, the DiC dub of the anime, which aired in American syndication during the 1990s and on Toonami, censors the romance between Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, turning them into cousins. It also turns Naru into Molly, who inexplicably has a heavy Brooklyn accent. The dub radically alters pieces of dialogue from the original manga and anime adaptations (No, "Go bleach your roots, creep!" was not a correct translation of the original source material), and it also completely alters the anime's soundtrack. The end result is a show that's quite different from the one Japanese audiences became familiar with. But while this goes to show that a little change in an adaptation can definitely change the intent and aim of any story, it's also a dub that many anime fans are fond of, having been the one they grew up with.