It's been a while since I found a voice talent worth remembering, but the time has come to update that list. The voice actress for Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon, Kotono Mitsuishi, has completely floored me on just her first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal.
Kotono is the main character of a long-running good series. That's generally enough to get in my voice talent list right there. In addition, she plays a variety of important roles in many other series. That also can get someone onto my voice talent list. Lastly, her performance in Sailor Moon Crystal's first episode, all on its own, could get her onto my voice talent list. In this case, three strikes and you're in.
In addition to her role as Usagi, Kotono also is the seiyuu for Misato Katsuragi in Evangelion, Mai Shiranui in Fatal Fury, Kagero in Flame of Recca, Hummy in Suite Precure, Boa Hancock in One Piece, and many other roles. She's been at this job for a long time, and I suppose it's about time I recognized her.
Meanwhile, Sailor Moon Crystal was far better than I could have imagined. The art style is absolutely beautiful. The CGI is lacking, but that's readily forgettable in the face of such fantastic hand drawn segments. The voice acting, as I've said before, is phenomenal. Not just for Sailor Moon, but all the Sailor Scouts have god like voice actresses this time around. The plot is perfect in its simplicity and sincerity. Finally, the characterization is deep and charming. I doubt I've ever fallen for a girl as quickly as I did with this clumsy but well-meaning Usagi. In just one episode, I found myself rooting for her in everything. The more she contradicted herself, the more I affirmed her in entirety. I actually had to check the clock on the episode to make sure this episode was the standard 24 minutes in length. So much happened, so much characterization of Usagi occurred in just one episode, that I was sure it was a double length special or suchlike.
This is a big if, but if Sailor Moon is remade from start to finish full of episodes like these, I'm going to have to airlift it up into my top ten anime rankings of all time. Right now, only the first arc is confirmed for a remake. But I have to believe that after this first arc is successful, a year from now, they'll readily announce a second arc, and then a third, and so on, until the whole thing is done, this time following the manga strictly from beginning to end, including the manga's wonderful art style. What I'm looking for in good anime is a story with tight plot continuity, a set ending that is actually reached, enormous length, lovable, memorable characters and serious decisions made by the characters I can relate to and learn from. Sailor Moon Crystal doesn't have all of that yet, but it looks like it will have all of those things in the future. So moving its ranking up now isn't even that bold of a move. What on Earth would keep Toei from animating the whole story? It's so obviously good, and the fans will so obviously empty their pockets in appreciation of it, that I just can't see how this project will ever founder, now that it's begun.
Until Sailor Moon is confirmed not to have sequels after Crystal, I'm moving up the rank from 53 to 5. Sailor Moon seems to have far more likelihood of getting a remake all the way to the end than Bleach has of getting an adaption all the way to the end, so Sailor Moon gets to move into the top 10 while Bleach idles away at 50th. So it goes. Long stories are always the best, but only when they're treated right.