Okay, whatever. I'll live. Anyway, some more recent details and artwork on the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime from Anime News Network: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-04-27/kotono-mitsuishi-leads-sailor-moon-crystal-cast
- Kotono Mitsuishi will be reprising her role as Sailor Moon.
- Other confirmed voice actresses are as follows: Hisaka Kanemoto as Sailor Mercury, Rina Satou as Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu as Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Itou as Sailor Venus. Congratulations on landing your parts, you guys. :)
- Also discussed in the article are the cast of the new Sailor Moon stage musical. (Wow, another Sailor Moon musical already?)
- The new anime will stream online on NicoNico; starting July 5, 2014 it will run at 7:00pm (6am ET) on the first and third Saturdays of each month.
Also, plenty of production sketches were included. At least, I hope they are production sketches (pretty sure they're only sketches) because I have mixed feelings with the artwork presented here if they were meant to represent the actual animation. The spacing between the eyes is inconsistent; the lines are drawn thickly in pencil, also in inconsistent thicknesses; and the legs look awkward. It looks as though whoever drew them tried too hard to make them appear the same as Takeuchi's artwork, neglecting to smooth out the lines and equalize the proportions a little better. The way her artwork appears in the manga fits for the manga, but duplicating it exactly will not make a good fit for the animation.
Understand that I am neither advocating a preference for the old animation style (which had its good points), nor am I bashing Takeuchi's artwork (which I love and find to be inspirational). I simply believe that Takeuchi's manga art style had its best fit in her manga where there was such a dynamic variety in the sizes, proportions, and spacing of characters due to the dynamic sizes, proportions, and spacing of manga panels, not to mention the fact that her manga pages were filled with screen tones, rather than colored.
The possibility that these sketches were in fact drawn by Naoko Takeuchi herself is a pretty strong one. What I find interesting, though, is that if it this is her art, she seems to have changed some of her habits. I won't go over every detail I know about her art, but among other things, in her usual style, the trunks are usually drawn perfectly straight, but in these images there are definite curves (which is a good thing). And aside from the coloring style, the only other major difference I'm seeing is in the thickness and fullness of the hair, which in her manga has always had that signature whispy/ dreamy look of hers.
The more I look at it, the more it seems to be her artwork, and I have made the argument elsewhere online that this wouldn't be the first time she changed her art style in an attempt to fit the anime theme while submitting production sketches. I think the best example may be found in the image of Sailor Mars (http://cdn01.animenewsnetwork.com/thumbnails/max700x700/cms/news/73983/mars_2.png) where you may notice a distinct lack of butt in this picture. (The legs are spaced too far apart at the thighs.) This tends to be fairly typical in her manga art, and while she has improved her artwork in many ways over the years, it seems this one trait seems to continue following her. (I know how she feels. There are some traits about my artwork that, no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to change. And let's be honest-- even my art isn't half as elegant and controlled as hers.)
The final detail, aside from the squared-off finger knuckles and thinly proportioned necks, that convinces me that this is her artwork is in the tips of the hair. The lines in the hair in general look like her style, but also there is a distinct mark, almost like a check mark, that occurs at the tips just as she lifts the pencil from the paper.
What is interesting is that the face images of each look much less like Takeuchi's artwork than the full-figure images. The picture of Makoto (http://cdn01.animenewsnetwork.com/thumbnails/max700x700/cms/news/73983/jupiter_1.png)nearly looks like it was scanned straight out of the manga and then colored, but the face, and especially the eyes look much different, though the general facial structure remains. I suppose this is another example of how she is attempting to alter her style to accommodate the animation style, and in truth, it works really well. So long as the proportions and lines are smoothed out, I think the artwork used for these images will make for some really amazing animation. The images of Rei's face in particular are the most impressive to me, especially in profile.
The coloring job is fantastic. I love the shades chosen for Sailor Moon and Venus's hair. I must admit that I'm not 100% satisfied with the shade of Sailor Mercury's hair, only because it appears to lighten from Ami's, and that seems a little odd. It was probably unintentional, though. Makoto's hair is the exact shade as used in the manga, as opposed to the really dark shade that was used in the old anime, and of course I see this as an improvement.
Overall, as I have already mentioned, I'm positive that these images are Takeuchi's sketches, and not finalized artwork. (Those faces sure threw me, though; look at the closeups of Minako and Ami's faces!) So in the end, it still remains to be seen how exactly the animation style will look. I get the feeling no one is going to find out until July 5. :/
As long as it doesn't get pushed back one more time, I'm fine with that.
And now I have to look into the matter of a lawsuit. "Sailor Cronus: Crystal" was gonna be MY thing! XP