Okay before I begin this, please, please just know that I come in peace and right now I’m just sharing my own views and opinions about this topic as best I can. I’m not here to say that anyone is wrong for feeling a certain way about the animation in Sailor Moon Crystal. I am just sharing why I think what I think.
I’ll admit the animation in the last two episodes of SMC hasn’t been as good as the first episode’s animation was. It’s a flaw and I understand that it is one.
But seriously though, unless I’ve been hearing it wrong and please do correct me if I am, SMC isn’t being funded the same way most animes are because it’s web-based (rather than being broadcasted on TV) and has a pretty tight animation schedule and budget for the time being. So yes, the initial release may look a bit odd at times. I admit some of the animation in episodes two and three bothered me but I think more of the initial animation budget and time may be going on to later moments in the series, like codenamesailorb says in this post.
Keep in mind I say INITIAL animation on INITIAL release.
There are quite a few animes that have different looking animation stills/moments for the initial release.
(left is TV/initial release, right is DVD/Bluray release)
The first frame is clearly quite a drastic change, with the background, shading, and even the initial look of the character. The second is a bit more subtle, but one can definitely tell the difference. (image source)
A more popular example of wonky animation stills on initial release is also coincidentally from a magical girl show: Madoka Magica.
This post, made pretty recently, pokes fun at the fact that yes, Madoka Magica had some bad stills too
This page shows a few different comparison photosets in regards to initial release vs Bluray/DVD release, but here’s one example for the sake of the post.
Also, Meduka Meguca. Nuff said.
Even Attack on Titan which for the most part had amazing animation had it’s wonky moments pre-Bluray/DVD release.
I’m sure most if not all of the wonky parts will be touched up when the SMC Blurays are released and more details can be put into the work. But for now, we may have to see some wonky animation.
Do I wish we had to see the wonky animation? No. But I’m still thrilled that we actually got a reboot AND the content in itself is awesome. I am not saying we should all be grateful for a reboot despite the wonky animation. I am just saying that up until two years ago, I never dreamed that Sailor Moon would ever get any kind of thing like this. So with that said, I myself am okay with waiting for Bluray quality animation. If you’re not, that’s cool. If you are, that’s cool. If you don’t give a single speck of moondust about it, that’s cool.
Do I wish the initial animation was better? Absolutely. I honestly think it should be and that it will get better. Again, I agree with codenamesailorb on this. Also, according to another friend’s theory, perhaps Toei was wary to set the animation budget “too high” on the first few episodes, so that should the reboot be a bust, the studio doesn’t lose as much money. Do I agree with Toei’s idea if that theory is true? Not really, but I do see where they are coming from with not wanting to lose money. Sailor Moon is pretty huge though and it disappoints me that they wouldn’t put more into it at this point in time. But the animators are working with the time and budget they are being given. So in this respect I understand why there are wonky parts in the animation.
Feel however you want to feel about it, this is just what I think is up and how I justify all of this.