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!
This episode doesn't start with Beryl or the Kings of the Dark Kingdom, instead most of the first half of the episode is from Luna's point of view and recaps over who Serena, Ami and Rei are, also Rei seems to have a bit of a crush on Ami... Queer Senchi Love triangle much? :D.
This episode follows the same storyline as "Worth a Princess's Ransom" in SMO, although with a few key differences, by this point in SMO Jedite is well and truly gone, and has been for ages, Nephrite and Zoisite were going through their brief phase of working together and Malachite hadn't yet sprung up, also Darien had already been revealed as Tuxedo Mask, still the placement of this episode here instead of later in the series, still flows pretty well, as I believe that it did in the manga.
This is another episode I had a bit of a soft spot for the SMO version of, as I was starting to wonder if perhaps Nephrite was savable, because though he did seem very evil, he also seemed to be starting to care somewhat for Molly by this point (although looking back on the SMO episode as an adult it's hard to tell sometimes if this is part of his history as one of the Earth Prince's generals coming through and hinting he wasn't always a bad guy, or if it's an abuser grooming poor Molly with false promises of love).
The episode centers around the visit of a foreign princess (who resembles Melvin in a dress), who Luna suspects of being the Moon Princess, and Serena's wish to meet her, which causes her to sneak into her dinner party disgused as a princess using the disguise pen.
When Beryl and the four Kings finally do make an appearance, it seems like less of an impacting scene than some of the others so far, though it does finally introduce us to Malachite.
Meanwhile, with the other scouts disguised and in tow Serena enters the ball, only to find she can't bring Luna! Oh no! Serena runs off on her own looking to dance while Ami and Rei go off investigating. Serena, ever the klutz ends up with a spilled drink on her dress and drops her handkerchief, which is picked up by none other than Darien *le swoon*.
The other girls catch sight of Princess D heading into her treasure room with a very suspicious woman.
Meanwhile Serena feels lonely after being unable to find anybody to dance with, when who should turn up and take her hand but Mr Dreamy himself, Tuxedo Mask!
They dance for a while before he runs off and Serena has teenage girl feels whilst being scolded by Luna (who snuck in through the balcony) for trusting a strange man.
Meanwhile the suspicious lady, who turns out to be Nephrite in disguise attacks the princess and possesses her... SUDDENLY SAILOR SCOUTS!
The Princess runs through the ballroom with the silver crystal where Serena is still gawping before running after the princess to try and stop her, however she is thrown from the balcony, but saved by Tuxedo Mask, and the disguise pen, which can apparently transform into an umbrella, or a plot device or something!
Serena has a bit of an existential crisis mid-transformation into Sailor Moon when she remembers that her tiara was destroyed in the last episode, and then starts having teenage girl feels about Tuxedo Mask again, when suddenly!
Snazzy new tiara!
I wonder if that would work for me?
*fantasizes about being part of a mid-90's Brian Molko and Princess Donna sandwich*
Why did no new shoes appear?
Sailor Moon uses the new tiara to reflect the light of the moon onto Princess D (who I should explain to anybody not familiar with the aforementioned Princess Donna is not the same person at all, and unless you like canes you probably shouldn't google without safe search on) saving her from the forces of the Negaverse!
At which point the four Kings finally show up and introduce themselves to the Senchi.
About fucking time guys.
They vanish, the Princess loses her glasses and the scouts run away. Mercury muses on weather Melvin would look as pretty without glasses (this version of Sailor Moon mostly pleases my social justice paladin side but dude can we please not do the whole "everybody with glasses looks fug" thing?), and Serena falls asleep and has TEENAGE GIRL FEELS dreams about Tuxedo Mask, who finds her sleeping and decides to kiss her (dude, WTF? That's kind of creepy), at which point she sees a shadowy outline of Prince Darien in her dream), Luna spots Tuxedo Mask looking like some kind of intergalactic rapist hovering over the sleeping Serena, yells at him and challenges him over his identity.
And then a glimpse of Jupiter before the episode ends!
This episode is very different to the SMO one, they only seem to loosely have the same plot and if I'm honest I prefer the SMO version. Don't get me wrong, I found the SMC one enjoyable, I just miss the whole Molly/ Maxfield Stanton thing, but I can totally see why they might not want to use that storyline in 2014.