as i’ve watched crystal a couple more times, i’m really starting to pinpoint what’s bothering me about the way they draw usagi’s face.
1) the dark lines around the sides of her eyes. it makes her whole face feel heavy and her eyes like they’re sagging. take them away, and she immediately looks younger and bright.
2) how small her mouth is. because they don’t change her eye size much when expressing something, her mouth becomes incredibly important for giving us information about her mood. because it is so tiny and light, it’s very hard to easily gain information from it. also, the ratio between her eye size and her mouth size feels quite lopsided for me. i also enlarged her pupils slightly, and darkened and changed the angle of her eyebrows a bit.
if you compensate for the little eye animation we get by putting more emphasis on the eyebrows and mouth, you can still get very usagi expressions. i also think these are reasonable, simple changes the animators could make that still keep with the style they’re going for.