Box art for the Sailor Moon Crystal vol. 2 Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

The box art for the second volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Deluxe Limited Edition has been released. This set looks a lot like the first set which we recently reviewed. The episodes included on this disk are act 3, Rei – Sailor Mars, and act 4, Masquerade Dance Party. Sailor Mercury appears on the cover despite first appearing in act 2. We will likely see Sailor Mars on the next set.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury's transformation item charm

This set also includes a charm to go with the charm bracelet included in the volume 1 Blu-Ray box. This charm is of Sailor Mercury’s transformation item. Another 24 page colour booklet will be included with this set. The animation will be cleaned up to fix mistakes or awkwardly drawn scenes from the streaming version, and will include audio commentaries. This Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray will be released on November 12th and can be preordered from Amazon Japan, CD Japan, JList and YesAsia. If you are patient, don’t care about swag and want to save a bit of money you can wait until December 10th to get the regular edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia) or the DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia). These is a Japanese release with no English audio or subtitles. The Blu-Ray disk will play in North American region A Blu-Ray players or PlayStation 3s though the DVDs are region 2 which will not play in a North American region 1 DVD player.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury'

Source: The official Sailor Moon site and Moonkitty.net

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 and 48, on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The first two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Two new episodes are added every week and now that we’ve worked through the first season Viz is starting to post episodes from Sailor Moon R. For the first 13 episodes of the series, including these two, we deal with what fans call the Makaiju arc as the enemies are Ail and An, aliens who steal human energy to feed their tree the Makaiju. Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan will not be showing up until episode 60. Until then is this short “filler” story arc which was not in the manga which fans have mixed feelings about. I personally loved this story line and am not adverse to parts of the anime that aren’t in the manga. From a technical point of view seeing Sailor Moon R in HD is a treat. The R2 Japanese DVDs were progressive scan for the first season but beginning with Sailor Moon R the episodes were interlaced, as they had been in their original broadcast. This was not an issue back in the 90s when everyone watched Sailor Moon on their CRT TVs, but in the age of HDTVs and watching things on computer screens it’s certainly nice to see a show in progressive scan. Ultimately this show doesn’t look like newer shows animated in HD, it’s still an old master from the 90s with some processing done to it to make it look as good as it can. That said I still feel like the quality looks better on the Japanese DVDs than the Hulu feed, interlacing issues aside.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Natsumi and Seijuurou

Episode 47, Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear, is the start of something new. Sailor Moon is just a normal girl again, with Luna and Artemis alone remembering the events of all that happened. Two aliens arrive on Earth, along with a big tree! Ail and An, joke names for “alien”, are the new villains who use Cardians, monsters born from cards, to drain human energy. Their relationship is strong at first as Ail and An speak kindly of their love for each other, but this won’t last long. They disguise themselves as teenagers and enrol in the local school because… well I’m not sure why they bother to do this. It would be easy enough to just hide in their apartment and go out at night draining energy. There doesn’t seem to be much of an end game to integrating in to the local culture. As luck would have it they go to the same school as a bunch of superheroes, Usagi, Ami and Makoto’s school. Ail poses as Seijuurou and An poses as Natsumi, because An isn’t really a good Japanese name. When a monster attacks Naru, who is a magnet for monsters, Usagi comes to her defence. Luna has no choice but to restore her memories! This seems shocking as Usagi has memories of everyone including herself dying a horrible death. She transforms into Sailor Moon and saves the day.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Luna giving Usagi her memories back

Episode 48, For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again, deals with the rest of the Sailor Guardians not having their memories. Usagi is Sailor Moon again but can she fight the Cardians on her own? Auditions for a movie are a convenient excuse to get Naru, the monster magnet, as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako in a room together. A monster comes by and so Luna gives all the girls their memories back as well! Poor Naru. At least the first time around Usagi’s abandoning of her friend was gradual as the rest of the Sailor Guardians appeared one by one. This time around they all show up at once and she’s dropped like a bad habit.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Rei is ready for a fight

The real conflict doesn’t come from any monsters at all, but from Natsumi and Seijuurou’s interfering with Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship! Mamoru doesn’t get his memory back in this episode. In fact he won’t be getting it for a while. Natsumi is instantly infatuated with him, wanting to make him hers. What is Usagi to do to stop her? She has no relationship with Mamoru to fall back on and is unable to convince him to be with her without all those past memories to help. Let’s not forget that Mamoru was in quite a happy relationship with Rei before that pesky destiny put a stop to it. Beyond that, Seijuurou is into Usagi, trying to win her over. This naturally creates some friction between Ail and An who’s jealously only pushes them more towards the humans they are falling for.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Natsumi loves Mamoru

Also check out Hulu’s new banner which they’ve added for Sailor Moon R. It would have been nice to see Chibiusa or some other new characters on here but since there are no new Sailor Guardians in this season, except for a very brief appearance by Sailor Pluto, we will have to contend with this.

Hulu's Sailor Moon R banner image

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako winking

Sailor Venus is here! In the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Minako – Sailor V, we are introduced to Minako Aino, Sailor Venus and her trusty “partner” Artemis. I put “partner” in quotes because I’m totally shipping these two. The episode is available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. The main theme of this episode? Winking! Minako just loves winking, and it’s getting contagious! Artemis winks twice and Mamoru winks at Usagi in this episode. It’s a winking epidemic!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako petting Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Artemis winking

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Mamoru winking

This episode is a big lie! Princess Serenity is revealed to be Sailor Venus which is complete nonsense. The identity of Princess Serenity is the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon! All flashbacks of her clearly show her to have very Sailor Moon like hair. Sailor Moon gets a new tiara this week with a crescent moon like Princess Serenity’s on her forehead and of course there’s the simple fact that the Moon Princess is from the Moon, which is what Sailor Moon is named after. Somehow we continue to act as if it’s a legitimate mystery. Usagi has dreams where she’s called Serenity by Endymion who’s face is also obscured. So who is Endymion supposed to be if not Mamoru? Shingo? Motoki? Kenji Papa? There aren’t many contenders here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Endymion, the mysterious unidentified man

Things with the Shitennou continue to deviate from the manga. Zoisite is still alive and escapes. The original manga story has Kunzite talking to Zoisite’s decomposing body and eventually has him die as well, but none of this happens. In the next act the Shitennou are supposed to be brought back to life thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal, and then turned into gems. Perhaps they will just be turned directly into gems, or perhaps things will progress differently. We shall see! The past association between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou continues to be alluded to as Sailor Venus makes mention of Kunzite’s true past. This is likely something that will be revisited in a future episode. Kunzite kisses Beryl’s hand in this episode. How will Minako feel about this, assuming they get all hooked up like they should.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Kunzite kissing Beryl

Kunzite uses Tokyo tower to essentially kill everyone in town, only in this anime version the people are seemingly alive and just having their energy drained, not partially decomposed corpses. Jupiter is meant to sense the effects of the blackout, due to her association with lightning and electricity, but instead Sailor Venus approaches Kunzite alone. This makes sense given she is basically a shield for the true Princess. When the rest of the Sailor Guardians come in, Jupiter is flying while carrying the rest of the girls. Cool trick!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Jupiter flying with everyone in tow

Minako uses her transformation pen to transform. This is what she used to transform into Sailor V and Sailor Venus in the manga. Her transformation is full of ribbons. She uses her Crescent Boomerang attack in this episode, which is the attack she also used as Sailor V in the Codename Sailor V manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Venus's transformation pen

As the battle progresses we take a brief moment to share Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask’s first consensual kiss. This is important since the last kiss we got had Tuxedo Mask taking advantage of an unconscious Sailor Moon. Good thing they got this in, as Tuxedo Mask is then wounded defending Sailor Moon, as seen in the episode preview. Yes, the very last moment of the episode was in last week’s preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon's first consensual kiss

Next week is Act 9, Serenity – Princess. For all the stagnating deceptions of this week’s episode, the next episode will be jammed packed. Tuxedo Mask is severely wounded and kidnapped by the Dark Kingdom. The past events of Silver Millennium are revealed. Princess Serenity and Endymion are revealed. The Silver Crystal is revealed. All this an more coming Saturday November 1st.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Preview - Sailor Moon freaking out

Keep reading for more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1

The first volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray was released on October 15th. There are a few versions of this release at different price points. I ordered the Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray version. This release only contains two episodes of the series, act 1 and 2, showing us the introduction of Usagi and Ami. You can order the volume 1 deluxe limited edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), regular edition Blu-ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan). The deluxe limited edition has a lot included, but at 5994 yen (about $53 US) it’s a hefty price tag for only two episodes. These are Japanese discs. The Blu-Rays are region A meaning they will play in a North American Blu-Ray player or PS3, but there are no English subtitle or audio tracks.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Moon Stick charm and bracelet

The packaging is impressive. The first thing you will notice when opening to box is that it plays the Moon Pride theme song. Inside are the Moon Stick charm and charm bracelet. Should you choose to continue to spend large amounts of money on the limited edition Blu-Rays you will be able to collect the other 12 charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Booklet cover

Also included are two books. The first includes art from the show, episode summaries and interviews with Munehisa Sakai, director, and Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon. The second is a book of storyboards of the opening and ending themes for the series.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Opening storyboards

There is not a ton to the Blu-Ray itself. As mentioned there are only two episodes, which auto play when the Blu-Ray is started. As we previously mentioned there are some scenes which have been reanimated since the original streaming version was released. This includes the changes to the intro. For example, Queen Serenity has white hair in the intro instead of being blonde like in the intro for the first two streaming episodes. These changes are minor and cosmetic. It doesn`t fundamentally change the experience of watching the show. Overall the video quality is quite good, which is not surprising as the Crunchyroll HD feeds were comparable. The disc has some special features. Mainly the textless opening and ending themes. There are also two audio commentaries, though as they are in Japanese I did not find much use in listening to them.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Overall this set is expensive and while there are a decent amount of cool knick knacks, only including two episodes lowers the value. If you’re a collector or completist, it may be worth picking up, but if you’re just looking to watch the show, the streaming versions are perfectly acceptable. It’s quite likely there will be an eventual North American Blu-Ray release with English audio and subtitles. Fans who don’t like to watch their anime raw may prefer to wait for such a release. If you’re looking to watch the updated animation with English subtitles, you can download them from Sailor Moon Center. As of posting this article only episode 1 has been released (720p, 1080p), but episode two should follow shortly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Keep reading for more photos of the set.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, starting October 18th at 6am EST

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

This Saturday, October 18th, the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time. Set your alarm clocks because this is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. This week’s episode is Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. Despite the title Sailor V will indeed by Sailor Venus in this episode. We continue to attempt to keep the worst kept secret in Tokyo as everyone believes Sailor Venus to be Princess Serenity! This is nonsense of course because she doesn’t have pig tails in her silhouette like a certain other character in the series.

Sailor Moon manga Act 8 - It's still only 6am

This episode includes a scene where Kunzite talks to the dead bodies of Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite. Since they are still alive, how will this scene play out? Also this week Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask share their first consensual kiss!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako, Sailor V

Until now the manga acts have followed the anime acts in a 1 to 1 ratio, even preserving the titles. How long will this last? Many speculate, and I’m starting to think this is correct, that this trend will continue right into the Black Moon story arc beginning with act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère. The original expectation was that the 26 episode Sailor Moon Crystal series would be a retelling of the Dark Kingdom arc, but at this rate they will be done telling that story in half of those episodes wrapping up the Black Moon story arc with episode 26. Should there be filler episodes, a reasonable time to start with that would be after all five of the Sailor Guardians are together, so after this week. Should the next episode preview list Act 9 as Serenity – Princess, we know that the trend of sticking with manga titles will continue. Should it have another title, all bets are off and we may not be getting to the Black Moon story arc during Sailor Moon Crystal’s first year.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Tuxedo Mask being killed

The entire first season of Sailor Moon is now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Mars and Sailor Moon

This morning, October 13th, the final two episodes of the first season of Sailor Moon were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. With the addition of episodes 45 and 46 the entire first season is now available to stream in Japanese with English subtitles. This two part story concludes the battle with the Dark Kingdom and Queen Beryl, wrapping up the first story arc for the Sailor Moon anime. These are a couple of the better episodes of the series. These two episodes were heavily edited and reduced to a single episode, Day of Destiny, in the DiC English dub. If that’s the only version you’ve seen these episodes should not be missed.

Sailor Moon episode 45 - Sailor Moon mourns the death of her friends and is touched by the ghost of Sailor Jupiter

Episode 45, Death of the Sailor Guardians: The Tragic Final Battle, has, as the title suggests, everyone dying! The Sailor Guardians head to the D Point in the North Pole to fight the Dark Kingdom but are intercepted by the DD Girls who basically kill everyone but Sailor Moon. It’s not all in vain as the Sailor Guardians manage to kill all of the DD Girls, leaving Sailor Moon to move on. Naturally she’s a bit shaken by the death of her friends, and can’t find the strength within herself to move on but their ghosts appear to give her the words of encouragements she needs to move on and face Tuxedo Mask and Queen Beryl.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - Sailor Moon presents her locket to Tuxedo Mask

Episode 46, Usagi’s Eternal Wish: a Brand New Life, has Usagi left alone with all of her friends killed. When she finally meets Queen Beryl she is shocked to see that Tuxedo Mask is evil and loyal to her. In an excruciating and violent fight he beats her up quite a bit while she avoids fighting back until the last moment where she attacks him with her tiara. After restoring his memories thanks to the power of her locket he is in turn killed by Queen Beryl. Sailor Moon is now truly alone, having lost all her friends and now her lover, and must face off against Super Beryl, which is Queen Beryl amalgamated with Queen Metalia. The battle is won, thanks to the ghosts of her friends, but since this is still the first season using the Silver Crystal kills Sailor Moon. Her last wish is to make things like they were, and so the world is transformed. The Sailor Guardians are alive again but have no memory of what happened or even knowing each other, but the Dark Kingdom has now been defeated.

Sailor Moon episode 46 - The Sailor Team face off against Beryl

Next week we start with Sailor Moon R! But the story of the Black Moon Clan won’t begin right away. First we will begin with a short set of episodes surrounding Ail and An, two aliens who use cards and a big tree to drain people’s energy.

Princess Serenity Pullip doll announced

Princess Serenity Pullip doll

Yet another Sailor Moon Pullip doll has been announced on the official Sailor Moon site. This doll is Princess Serenity, Usagi’s past self from her days in Silver Millennium, the Kingdom on the Moon. Princess Serenity joins the growing collection of dolls which now also includes Sailor Moon, Mercury and Venus. Still no indication as to when Sailor Mars and Jupiter will be released.

Pullip dolls are high quality somewhat realistic and somewhat creepy dolls with disproportionally large heads and facial features. While no price is listed on the site this doll is expected to sell for about $150 US with a special Bandai exclusive edition selling for close to $180. The exclusive Sailor Moon came with Luna, Sailor Mercury came with Ami’s school uniform and Sailor Venus came with Minako’s school uniform. What do you think the Bandai exclusive Princess Serenity will come with?

Buy or preorder other Sailor Moon Pullip dolls using the links below to support the site.

Sailor Moon Crystal sanitary napkins to be released in Japan November 1st

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

In an effort to monetize anything and everything, we are now getting Sailor Moon Crystal branded feminine hygiene products! These sanitary napkins, by Elle Air, will be on sale in stores across Japan starting November 1st. Sailor Moon characters will be featured on the Elis Ultra Guard pad packaging. A total of six designs are available in both nighttime and daytime versions. Characters paired on the boxes are Sailor Moon with Luna, Sailor Mercury with Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter with Sailor Venus. Check out the designs featuring various character logos in different colours that are shown in the circles in the images above and below.

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

Source: Official Sailor Moon site, Elle Air site

What would tomorrow’s Lunar eclipse look like from the Moon?

Princess Serenity staring at the Earth during a Lunar eclipse

Tomorrow, October 8th 2014, there will be a Lunar eclipse. Here on Earth we will see the Moon obscured by the shadow of the Earth, but what would this look like to the people living on the Moon in Silver Millennium? Princess Serenity spent a good deal of time staring out at the Earth. If she happened to do so during what we call a Lunar eclipse, what would she see? Included above is a rough estimate done in a rush.

Lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon

A Lunar eclipse seen from the Moon would be somewhat like a solar eclipse seen from Earth. The Earth, located between the Moon and the Sun, would cover the Sun from view causing the Moon’s surface to be plunged in darkness. With the Earth occupying more space in the Moon’s sky than the Moon does in ours, Lunar eclipses seen from the Moon would generally cover more of the sun and for more time than a Solar eclipse observes from Earth. Inhabitants of the Moon would be used to seeing the Sun up in the sky for 14 Earth days of light followed by 14 Earth days of darkness. This eclipse would occur 7 Earth days into their period of light right at the middle of the day, when the Moon is at it’s fullest.

Lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon

The Kaguya space probe from Japan had a look at just what it this looks like in February of 2009. This view had the Earth covering all but a small part of the sun, leaving a small ring in the sky. The Kaguya space probe viewed the Earth from near the Moon’s North pole, which is why it was partially covered by the Moon’s surface in the horizon. Since Silver Millennium was located in the Sea of Tranquility the Earth would actually be located quite high in the sky, staying mostly stationary throughout the day. Years ago I did some math based on the size and location of the Earth in the Moon’s sky and in all cases this representation was incompatible with what it would look like if it was observed from the Sea of Tranquility.

Tomorrow’s Lunar eclipse will begin at 4:17am EST with the full eclipse happening at 6:27am EST shortly before sunrise here in Ottawa. Check this page out to see if and when it will be visible for you.

Sailor Moon episodes 43 and 44 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 43 - Sailor Mars yelling at Sailor Moon

Episode 43 and 44 of the original Sailor Moon anime were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning, October 6th. As with every Monday two new episodes in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz are added to these streaming services. This week the first season is starting to wrap up as the gang tries to get into the Dark Kingdom to free Tuxedo Mask and have a flashback to their past.

Sailor Moon episode 43 - Sailor Mars with the Moon Stick

Episode 43, Usagi Abandoned: The Falling-Out of the Sailor Guardians, centers around the girls having a mutiny against Sailor Moon! But things aren’t as they seem. The mutiny is nothing more than a ruse to try to get Sailor Moon into the Dark Kingdom to rescue Tuxedo Mask. In this process Sailor Mars steals the Moon Stick from Usagi! Seems fitting after Usagi stole her boyfriend! This is the episode which was recently reanimated, scene by scene, by a team of over 250 different animators. If you haven’t already watched Moon Animate Make-Up! I would suggest watching that version of the episode instead of watching this.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Princess Serenity gazing at the Earth

Episode 44, Usagi’s Awakening: A Message from the Distant Past, is all about the flash back. Other stuff happens, mainly Kunzite dying and the discovery of a portal to the artic but really we are all about the flash back sequence. Kunzite attempts to randomly send the Sailor Guardians through time but thanks to a little meddling from the Moon Stick they are sent to the Moon where they get a lovely lesson in history from the ghost of Queen Serenity, Usagi’s mom from her past life. The Moon used to be a great place to live back in the days of the Silver Millennium, and Princess Serenity fell in love with a man from Earth, Prince Endymion. Too bad an army from Earth led by Queen Beryl destroyed the kingdom on the moon and killed everyone. Queen Serenity uses her last bit of strength to send everyone into the future to be reincarnated, including some generic Sailor Guardians! Indeed we see Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus in this episode but we also see some other Sailor Guardians in these bubbles that are going to the future. Some have speculated that one is Sailor Neptune due to her hair but as this episode was made before even Sailor Pluto has made an appearance in the manga any resemblance to future characters is purely coincidental. It’s unclear what the exact timeline of this past is, though based on the Earth technology it seems medieval. The DiC English dub stated this time period to be “1000 years ago” and this seems like a decent approximation. The name Silver Millennium does not actually refer to any particular period of time, but rather the kingdom itself which is located in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Not Sailor Neptune

Differences from the manga in the events of the past are numerous. Beryl’s jealousy isn’t really touched upon. The Shitennou are present but there’s no mention of them being Endymion’s generals. Princess Serenity is killed instead of taking her life after Endymion dies. Queen Serenity seems to be a ghost rather than a hologram generated by a supercomputer which she uploaded her consciousness to. We’ll see all that before long in Sailor Moon Crystal. This episode also marks the first appearance by Kae Araki as the voice of Usagi and Princess Serenity. Kotono Mitsuishi was off due to an illness and missed 7 episodes. Kae Araki later returned to voice Chibiusa and Black Lady.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion dying

Also Queen Serenity is Jesus.

Sailor Moon episode 44 - Queen Serenity is Jesus