Fan art by Nardak
I have seen the original anime in both it's dubbed version and subtitled several times through, although I'm really bad at remembering the Japanese character names so I'll be referring characters as their westernised names within this post, I have also read a few of the mangas but not all because I've never had the cash to be able to justify completing my collection when I have so many other things I want or need to get first. I have unfortunately never managed to find a dubbed or subtitled version of the live action Sailor Moon. from what I've read Sailor Moon Crystal is a lot closer to the manga than the original anime is.
In order to compare the episodes respectively I watched both the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal ( you can watch SMC on Hulu in some countries, I couldn't get that to play here in the UK so I googled and found a stream of it on another site, however I'm not sure how legal the stream is so I'm not going to link to it).
From this point onwards THAR BE SPOILERS!
Firstly SMC seems to be rushing to unite the scouts a lot quicker than SMO did. In SMO it took until episode 8 for Serena and Ami to meet, part of me quite likes this because Serena did a lot of whinnying on her own and needed bailing out by Tuxedo Mask quite a lot, whereas SMC seems to hint quite strongly in the theme song that there is going to be a lot less emphasis on Tuxedo Mask swooping in and saving everybody and more on the Sailor Scouts helping themselves out, but part of me is sad about the omission of "Talk Radio" where Serena first uses the disguise pen and "Slim City" which has a very body positive message to it.
We get our first glimpse of Queen Beryl in this episode (in contrast to SMO where almost every episode opens on her scolding Jedite), explaining Jedite's position and hinting at the purpose of the Negaverse, slightly disappointed at the lack of random shadow-y monsters all over the place, but well can't win 'em all. Jedite explains that he is one of four Kings, the other presumably being Nephrite, Zoisite and Malachite.
SMC didn't go down the same route of assuming that Ami is an agent of the Negaverse like SMO did, and I actually really like that because I didn't really think that was too strong a storyline, when if you watch the opening titles it's fairly obvious that Ami is Sailor Mercury, I find that it flows a lot better in SMC because of this. I also prefer that Mercury's transformation pen and the disguise pen (I loved Serena's tantrum at the machine by the way) were prizes in the Sailor V video game machine, it makes the sequence of Ami playing the game a lot more of a plot point rather than a seaway for her to be late for her computer class as in SMO.
I also really like the sequence where Serena hits Darien in the face with the flyer for the computer class as you get slightly more of a hint as to how he knows where to show up as Tuxedo Mask, although I find it pretty irritating that he walks around in his tux all day... Who does that? I miss his green jumper!
I vastly prefer the fight in SMC to the one in SMO, it's obvious that Serena is still frightened and unsure, but Ami leaps in to help her new friend out in a much more natural way, and I like that while Tuxedo Mask helps out, he doesn't just take over and save the day like he used to in SMO.
And the glimpse of Rei at the end?
In all I like this episode much, much more than the first and I am looking forward to episode 3!