In the name of the moon, “Whoa!”

Earlier today, Toei Animation posted their first image for the upcoming Sailor Moon anime series. The new series, which will be titled Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal, will begin airing in July, followed by a global simulcast on NicoNico.

Sailor Moon Crystal 001

The image includes a staff list for the show, as well as the following synopsis:

Usagi Tsukino is a second-year middle school girl who is a little clumsy and a crybaby, but she is full of energy. One day, she meets Luna, a black cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, and she transforms into Sailor Moon, a sailor-uniformed pretty guardian of love and justice! As a chosen guardian of justice, Usagi seems to have a mission to find the Illusionary Silver Crystal with the other guardians and to protect the princess.

Meanwhile, the queen of the Dark Kingdom, Queen Beryl, also sends minions to the town where Usagi lives to obtain the Illusionary Silver Crystal, which has immense power. This causes strange events to unfold….

Can Sailor Moon really find the Illusionary Silver Crystal with the other Sailor guardians, and protect the princess…!?

To see information finally surfacing is refreshing, to say the least. Since the show was announced in 2012, information has been scant. In October 2013, we learned that Momoiro Clover Z would provide the opening and ending themes to the series. In January, producer Atsutoshi Umezawa confirmed that the show wouldn’t be a remake of the original anime series.

And, really, that’s about it. And, to be honest, the synopsis only confirms what we knew already: This is a reboot of the series, starting from the very basics. The tale of Queen Beryl will be the primary antagonist of the early season.

The interesting note is the explicit mention of the Illusionary Silver Crystal, and “the princess”, who I can only guess is Princess Serenity. I won’t post spoilers, but the Silver Crystal is an important artifact in Salior Moon lore, as it originally belonged to Queen Serenity, and is a key artifact through early parts of the original manga series.

Otherwise, we’re unfortunately at the mercy of the drip-feed of news that is sure to come. We can’t exactly guess how close to the manga the new series will be, as the synopsis could easily be placed onto any of the existing Sailor Moon works. Likewise, we can’t speak of how certain elements will play out without a proper context.

Visually, the piece inspires a lot of hope. The character designs are, to be frank, gorgeous. The intricate line work and amazing use of color combine with wonderful shading to create a style that feels like Takeuchi’s original manga designs, while being something unique and fresh at the same time.

At this point, I’m sure many of us will agree: The wait til July just got so much more difficult!