This morning, July 28th, episodes 23 and 24 of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. These episodes, subbed by Viz, will be included in the subbed and dubbed DVD and Blu-Ray sets which will be released starting November 11th, though season 1 part 1 will stop at episode 23. Both episodes this week are all about Nephrite and Naru.
Episode 23, Wish Upon a Star: Naru’s First Love, has Nephrite intrigued by Naru, who’s producing some sort of interesting energy that he isn’t familiar with. That energy turns out to be her love for him, a concept he’s simply not familiar with. Naru steals a jewel from her mother, assuming this is the crystal Nephrite is searching for, and puts herself in danger by getting close to Nephrite who she still thinks is Masato Sanjoin. When Sailor Moon attacks Nephrite with her Tiara Naru sacrifices herself to protect him. The tables soon turn unexpectedly as a monster attacks Naru and Nephrite defends her, attacking the monster.
Episoe 24, Naru’s Tears: Nephrite Dies for Love, has quite a spoiler of a title! This is one of the most heart wrenching episodes of the series, as we are brought to actually care about Nephrite just long enough for him to be killed. Naru is completely in love with Nephrite at this point, and Nephrite is starting to feel the same way. Zoisite exploits this by having Naru kidnapped and Nephrite fights to rescue her, getting injured in the process. Naru and Nephrite enjoy a peaceful time together as they make plans to share chocolate parfaits. This is short lived though, as Nephrite is soon attacked and fatally wounded in the process. Ultimately Nephrite dies in Naru’s arms, leaving nothing but a torn piece of her pyjama she used to bandage him.
Episode 23 is part of the first half of season 1 which is currently available for digital download and in the upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray set which can be ordered below. Episode 24 and the later half of the season will be released at a later date, so for now the only way to watch the newer episodes is on Hulu and Neon Alley.
Some fans have accomplished a pretty amazing undertaking, reanimating an entire episode of Sailor Moon. This group effort was made by 250 different animators each doing a short piece of an episodes. The result is nothing short of remarkable as the entire episode can be viewed with this showcase of a wide variety of different animation styles. You can view it below.
The episode which was used is episode 38 of the original Sailor Moon anime “Fracticious Friends”. The audio included, and video which was used as inspiration, was that of the DIC English dub. It even includes special effect transitions and the Sailor Says segment that accompanies the episode. This corresponds to episode 43 in the Japanese ordering of the series. The plot for this episode has the Sailor Scouts faking a rivalry in order to infiltrate the Negaverse. To put it in context, for those what haven’t seen the series in a while, these events take place while Tuxedo Mask has been brainwashed and kept captive by the Negaverse and so the plot is done so that Sailor Moon can get access to him and break him out.
This is a truly fantastic accomplishment. Everyone involved with this project should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished. Keep reading for a few more examples of the animation, but you really should just take the time to watch the whole thing to get an idea of what this is really about. To read more about this project check out their Facebook page or Tumblr.
The Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical was released on DVD July 9th. What’s that? DVD and not Blu-Ray? Indeed, this is a DVD only release for a musical which was recorded in 2013. The quality of the release is not great. It’s 480i interlaced video though it is in a 16×9 wide screen aspect ratio. It appear to either have been shot on low quality video cameras or simply converted to low quality standard definition video. If a higher quality source existed, there does not seem to be any reason to downgrade it to interlaced video. Whatever the reason for this may be, this seems like something that was released in the 90s and is not fit for release in 2014.
The first disc is just the main feature, the Sailor Moon La Reconquista musical which played in Tokyo last fall. A number of screenshots are included at the end of the post to get an idea of the video quality. This is a Japanese only release so don’t expect to be seeing any subtitles. As it’s a region 2 release it will not play in a North American DVD player so be sure you have the proper equipment to play it if you are thinking of purchasing it.
The second disk includes all of the special features. We begin with an interview with Satomi Ookubo, the actress who plays Sailor Moon, and Yuga Yamato, the actress who plays Tuxedo Mask. This is followed by some behind the scenes footage of rehearsals. There are some Q&As including a press event and some questions following one of the performances of the musical. Footage of the girls at Karaoke gives us a look at them singing Moonlight Densetsu, the theme song from the original Sailor Moon anime. We see footage from a live promotional performance. A few clips featuring Momoiro Clover Z are included. They are first seen performing Moonlight Densetsu following one of the musical performances and then there’s this weird skit where they are characters in a cell phone game which is just all around bizarre.
The packaging is fairly standard and also includes a program which I’ve included photos of below. This has a number of images of the cast of the musical, bios and other information.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend picking up this release since the quality is fairly low, but it is the best legal way you may have to support this musical and watch it legally. I am happy to have paid money for this after having resorted to watching a free fansubbed version of the musical when it was first released. You can order the DVD from Amazon Japan or CD Japan. Keep reading for screenshots of the main feature, behind the scenes featurettes, DVD menus and photos of the packaging, insert and program.
Jill Frappier, the actress best known to Sailor Moon fans as the voice of Luna in the English dub of the Sailor Moon anime, is currently performining in The Importance of Being Earnest. This production of the Oscar Wilde play has been running since July 17th and will continue until August 10th at the Guild Festival Theatre in Toronto. The play runs Wednesday to Sunday at 7:30pm with a matinee at 2:00pm on Sundays. It has gotten glowing reviews from Inside Toronto.
Jill Frappier portrays Lady Augusta Bracknell, an imposing upper class Victorian woman and the mother of Gwendolen Fairfax. Jill shared this news on her Twitter page earlier. You can buy tickets for the show at CTP ticketing.
From now until tomorrow, July 24th 2014, you can pick up this cool Love and Justice shirt featuring the Sailor Guardians and Batman from Tee Turtle. The shirt is just $12 but after tomorrow the sale is over forever.
Here’s something cool that a fan whipped up. It’s the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal edited to fit with dialog from the first episode of the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. It actually fits quite well though the episode is shorter than the full version as some scenes did not exist in both version. In a few instances a short clip from the original anime is included but for the most part it’s video from Sailor Moon Crystal and audio from the old Sailor Moon anime. She even included a Sailor Says segment! Watch the episode in the embedded clip below.
Since both the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal and the original Sailor Moon anime followed the manga closely this fits very well. Only in a few scenes did things not really work, such as Molly talking to Serena who isn’t actually in the room, but it mostly worked. A similar exercise would probably work decently for act 2 and potentially act 3 as the episodes where Ami and Rei are introduced in the original Sailor Moon anime followed the manga quite well. I spoke to Jessica who created this clip about the possibility of more episodes but there are currently no plans to do so as this would become impossible as the series progresses and deviates greatly from the source material.
Source: Jessica aka Time Machine on YouTube.
As of this morning, July 21st 2014, episodes 21 and 22 of the original Sailor Moon anime have been added to Hulu and Neon Alley. These subbed episodes by Viz will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 11th along with their new English dub. For now two new episodes are released every Monday.
Episode 21, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime, takes place at an animation studio working on the Sailor V anime. This episodes provides a meta look at the making of Sailor Moon, as many characters included are based on those who worked on the Sailor Moon anime. The two main characters Hiromi and Kazuko are themselves inspired by two of Sailor Moon’s animation directors Hiromi Matsushita and Kazuko Tadano. Though both characters are female, Hiromi Matushita is actually a man. I had the priveledge of meeting these two at Otakon 2008 and they had fond memories of this episode and mentioned that the designs of those characters were loosely based on themselves. When Nephrite targets Hiromi it tears her and Kazuko apart. Their friendship is put to the test as they are both tempted by the power of magic pencils!
Episode 22, Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss, has everyone who’s anyone crashing a ball to try to steal what they think is the Silver Crystal. Princess Diamond is holding an event to show off her jewels and that attracts everyone including Nephrite, Naru, Usagi and Tuxedo Mask. It turns out Princess Diamond is a dead ringer for Naru, which Nephrite takes advantage of in order to try to steal the jewel. This episode furthers Naru and Nephrite’s completely dysfunctional relationship, but that’s not the only terrible behaviour that happens between future lovers! Usagi, who crashes the party more to have a good time than to do her duty in searching for the crystal, gets drunk and is found passed out by Tuxedo Mask who takes advantage of the situation to kiss her. Is this romantic, assault or a little of both? Ultimately the jewel was only pricessless, so everyone went home empty handed. This episode follows an act of the manga fairly closely, which has become pretty rare at this point in the series.
Episode 1 through 23 had previously been released for digital download. Next week with episodes 23 and 24 we’ll start to get into new episodes which are not currently available.
Check out this music video for Moon Pride, the theme song to Sailor Moon Crystal by Momoiro Clover Z. The music video shows a decent look at Silver Millennium, the ancient kingdom on the Moon where Princess Serenity and Endymion fell in love. We also have a good look at the Sailor Guardians, including transformation footage of Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus which we hadn’t seen yet.
This video is an advertisement for the CD and Blu-Ray release of Moon Pride to be released on June 30th. Both the CD and Blu-Ray release include Moon Pride, the opening theme, and Gekkou, the ending theme. Both are performed by Momoiro Clover Z. The CD and Blu-Ray combo pack version includes this music video. The CD only version includes a cover of Moon Revenge, the theme song from the Sailor Moon R movie, as performed by Momoiro Clover Z. Check out the cover art for both releases:
Pre-order the CD only version (CD Japan, Amazon Japan) or the CD and Blu-Ray combo pack (CD Japan, Amazon Japan).
Keep reading for more screen shots from the music video.
Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury, premiered July 19th in Japan and worldwide. It’s available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode marked the introduction of Ami Mizuno who we soon discover is actually Sailor Mercury. As with the first episode, this story follows the manga very closely. The episode where Sailor Mercury appeared in the original Sailor Moon anime was also fairly faithful to the manga, so fans of the old show may see some similarities there.
It would be easier to list the differences to the manga than the similarities. The main ones that come to mind are Ami seeing an image of Silver Millennium when she touches Usagi and Sailor Moon attempting to reuse her Supersonic Waves attack. Once again we see that this adaptation follows the newer version of the Sailor Moon Manga as the Crystal Disk is actually a CD Rom and not a 3.5″ floppy disk as it had been in the original publication of the manga and 1992 Sailor Moon anime. We can conclude by this that the series does not take place in the early 90s, but either some time later or in the present time.
The episode starts out with our introduction to the genius girl Ami, who’s scoring perfect in her tests, getting the best grades in her class. Her genius is in part attributed to the Crystal Seminar, a new cram school she and other students are attending. Luna is looking into Ami which leads her to have suspicions about the Crystal Seminar, which is actually a plot by the enemy to brainwash smart students into helping them find the Silver Crystal. Usagi befriends Ami who turns out to be a whiz at video games. Once her true identity as Sailor Mercury is revealed their new friendship moves to a whole new level.
This episode also includes the introduction of the Disguise Pen which Usagi gets by tilting the Sailor V arcade game. She uses it to transform into a doctor in order to sneak into the Crystal Seminar. In one scene where Luna is investigating Ami with her computer we can see that she’s also looking into Tuxedo Mask. There’s also a silhouette of Rei with little info about her but her name is visible in the reflection of the screen seen in Luna’s eyes.
The final scene shows us our first look at the Hikawa Shrine and Rei Hino, who will soon become Sailor Mars. The Niconico feed gives us a next episode preview for Act. 3, Rei – Sailor Mars which will be playing in two weeks, on August 2nd at 7pm JST, 6am EST and 3am PST. Once again we are following the manga with a story of the cursed 6 o’clock bus which introduces us to Sailor Mars. The preview shows us our first look at Zoisite who didn’t show up until much later in the original Sailor Moon anime. Will Sailor Mars kill Jadeite in the next episode like she does in the manga?
Keep reading for more screen caps of the episode and next episode preview.
The second episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act.2 Ami – Sailor Mercury, will be available tomorrow at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is equivalent to 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. Check out our instructions for watching Sailor Moon Crystal to see how to check it out on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. As the title suggests this episode will mark the introduction of Ami Mizuno, Sailor Mercury. Watch the next episode preview as a teaser for what’s to come.