The upcoming Blu-Ray and DVD release of Sailor Moon Crystal, coming October 15th in Japan, will include some touched up scenes. A lot of fans had issues with the quality of some of the animation in Sailor Moon Crystal when it was first streamed and now some of these scenes have been reanimated. A video has been released on the official Sailor Moon YouTube Channel showing new scenes.
This video on it’s own doesn’t show anything obvious but when we compare these clips to the original version we see the difference. Screenshots included in this post show that some scenes seem to have been completely redrawn though many others have not been modified at all. The footage only contains scenes from the first two episodes as there are only two episodes included in each volume of the DVD and Blu-Ray release. There has not been any announcement about a North American video release. Pre-order the volume 1 deluxe limited edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), regular edition Blu-ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan).
How do you feel about these changes? Many fans are happy with them though this brings up an age old debate amongst fans of all things about the state of a work of art as either a fixed event in time or a constantly growing and evolving work. Certainly many movies will have a “director’s cut” or include a few new scenes in a video release, often including the original version. The extreme example of this would be something like the Star Wars Special Editions including drastic often unwelcome changes and who’s director is openly hostile towards fans of the original unaltered versions. Somewhere in between are things like the Final Fantasy Advent Children Complete Edition. I consider myself a bit of purist, as can be inferred from my less than kind reviews of these Star Wars DVDs or the Ghost in the Shell 2.0 Blu-Ray. That said, I understand these changes to be minor and generally positive without any major change to the original work. All redrawn scenes have the same poses as the originals, just with slightly more polish. No guns replaced with walkie-talkies here!
One has to wonder what motivates this change? Why not just do it right the first time? It’s no secret that the show’s production was quite rushed, including a number of delays. With a twice monthly release schedule there are obvious time constraints with making this show. Perhaps there was just a shortage of time with the first few episodes. It’s also possible that the show’s success was underestimated and with a higher budget it’s now possible to go back and put more polish on some of the more sloppily done scenes. It remains to be seen if such changes will continue for many of the later episodes or if the higher quality of animation will simply become commonplace in the future. Act 3 had some pretty questionable scenes but the latest episode looked quite good.