Anime reboot wrapped up its third arc in 2016, but it’s still got stories to tell.
While it’d be unfairly harsh to call Sailor Moon Crystal a failure, many fans of anime’s most famous magical girl franchise were initially hoping for a bit more out of the highly anticipated reboot. Still, Crystal did a lot to redeem itself in its third season.
Whether due to its reworked character designs, new director, or more conventional distribution of showing a new episode every week on TV (as opposed to releasing one new episode every other week through Japanese video streaming sight Niconico, as was done for Seasons One and Two), the third arc of Sailor Moon Crystal seemed to meet with a warmer response from audiences. Now, following a lengthy hiatus since it last episode in June of 2016, Sailor Moon Crystal is rousing from its slumber, as a fourth season has been officially announced.
Although the Sailor Moon manga debuted at the tail end of 1991, the franchise’s handlers have designated 2017 as its 25th anniversary. A number of projects and collaborations, including a stage musical, fashion items, and partnership with Japanese professional baseball’s Golden Eagles, are planned. The one of greatest interest to anime enthusiasts, though, is the continuation of Sailor Moon Crystal’s faithful adaptation of series creator Naoko Takeuchi’s original comic. Seeing as how Crystal’s third season covered the story’s “Death Busters” arc, the next stop in the narrative is the manga’s “Dream” segment, which previously served as the basis for the original 1990s anime’s Sailor Moon SuperS portion.
Unfortunately for fans hungry for new Sailor Moon content, no information has yet been released regarding the start date for Crystal’s fourth season. Japan’s winter TV season already underway, though, and with the marketing effort still so low key, even a spring release seems unlikely. Given that Crytsal’s first three seasons were released in 2014, 2015, and 2016, though, hopefully its producers will chose to keep the pattern going and start airing new episodes sometime in 2017.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s keeping his fingers crossed that Season Four’s scriptwriters will veer sharply away from the manga by making Sailor Jupiter the protagonist of the arc.