The voices of the Sailor Animamates from Viz’s new Sailor Stars dub have been revealed

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Sailor Iron Mouse and her phone booth

This past weekend was Anime Central in Rosemont, near Chicago. The convention included a Moon Panel on Saturday which included the announcement of the voice actors for the Sailor Animamates in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray starting June 18th. The newly announced voice actors are Katie Leigh as Sailor Iron Mouse, Andi Rich as Sailor Lead Crow, Faye Mata as Sailor Aluminum Siren and Corina Boettger as Sailor Tin Nyanko. This follows an earlier announcement of the voices of the Sailor Starlights, Chibi Chibi and Sailor Galaxia.

Katie Leigh, who will be playing Sailor Iron Mouse, is a veteran voice actor who has voiced many famous characters that some fans who grew up in the 80s are probably familiar with including Sunni in the Gummi Bears and Rowlf in Muppet Babies. Faye Mata, who plays Sailor Aluminum Siren, has appeared in a number of recent video games and anime series including roles such as Yukako in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Lene in Fire Emblem Heroes. Corina Boettger, who plays Sailor Tin Nyanko, has a background in both live action and voice acting work such as Marshtato Mary in Trolls: The Beats Goes and Anju Yuuki in Love Live: School Idol Project. She also streams video games on Twitch. I couldn’t find much information about Andi Rich. I don’t know if this is because this is a voice actor with little experience or perhaps it’s a pseudonym of someone who has worked under another name. This is sometimes done because of rules relating to union work as was likely the case with Barbara Goodson using the alias Janis Carrol when voicing Ziriconia in Sailor Moon SuperS. If any fans have details on Andi Rich’s prior work feel free to leave a comment to let us know about it.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 182 - Sailor Lead Crow and Sailor Aluminum Siren

Since Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 will only include the first half of the season, that being episode 167 to 183, we won’t be hearing all of these voice actors in the first set. We will be getting all of Sailor Iron Mouse’s episodes but Sailor Aluminum Siren and Sailor Lead Crow will only appear in episode 182, along with Chibi Chibi. Sailor Tin Nyanko will not be introduced until episode 188 which will be on the second set. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for that one!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 188 - Sailor Tin Nyanko

What to you think of this cast? Are you a fan of any of these voice actors’ prior work? Which of the Sailor Animamates is your favourite? I must admit I’ve always had a preference for Sailor Iron Mouse!

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The English voices from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars have been announced

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Dub Voice Actors

Earlier this week Viz Media announced the new English dub cast for their dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which will be coming to home video on June 18th. Though I’m used to calling this Viz’s “new” English dub this is the first time the final season is being dubbed in English and so these characters have not had English voices before! The voice cast includes Stephanie Sheh as Chibi Chibi, Sailor Chibi Chibi, Melissa Hutchison as Seiya Kou, Sailor Star Fighter, Erika Harlacher as Taiki Kou, Sailor Star Maker, Sarah Williams as Yaten You, Sailor Star Hearler, and Carrie Keranen as Sailor Galaxia.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 187 - Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon

Fans will probably notice that Stephanie Sheh is also the voice of Usagi Tsukino, Sailor Moon, in Viz’s dub. Her being cast as Chibi Chibi follows with the Japanese casting where Kotono Mitsuishi, the Japanese voice of Sailor Moon, also played Chibi Chibi. Why is this casting important? In the manga it certainly makes sense for Chibi Chibi to have the same voice as Sailor Moon! Her true identity turns out to be a future version of Sailor Moon so they should share a voice. In the anime however that identity is not kept and aside from the visual resemblance, due to the characters resembling each other in the manga, they are not the same person or even related in any way. The end of the anime was written before the manga was completed and the casting was likely done before the identity of the character was known or decided. So much to say it isn’t really necessary to have Chibi Chibi voiced by Sailor Moon’s voice actor.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

The rest of the voice actors have experience in other anime. The three Sailor Starlights are voiced by women, as was the case in the Japanese version. These characters are men while they are in the civilian disguises as The Three Lights and transform into women when they are Sailor Guardians, their genuine selves. In the manga it’s insinuated these are simply disguises but in the anime they actually transform their bodies. Melissa Hutchison who plays Seiya, the more prominent of the Sailor Starlights, is best known for playing Clementine in the Walking Dead video games. Erika Harlacher who plays Taiki has voiced many anime characters including Kurapika in Hunter x Hunter. Sarah Williams who plays Yaten has voiced many video game and anime characters including Sayaka Miki in Madoka Magica and Jinx in League of Legends. Carrie Keranen who plays Sailor Galaxia has previously voiced a number of single episode character in Sailor Moon including Kazuko Tadashita, one of the animator from episode 21, Saeko Yamamoto and Blizzar, the skier and monster from episode 38, Utonberino, a cardian
from Sailor Moon R episode 55, Amanju, a cardian who was chosen by Ail in Sailor Moon R episode 57, Avogadora, the Droid in Dark Fruit in Sailor Moon R episode 66, as well as the Xenian Flower from the Sailor Moon R movie.

Sailor Galaxia

Source: @VIZMedia on Twitter

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Dyskami Publishing is teaming up with Japanime Games to distribute new Sailor Moon Crystal tabletop games

Dyskami Publishing and Japanime Games

Dyskami Publishing, who have released the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game and will soon be releasing an expansion and a Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff game, have teamed up with Japanime Games. What does this mean? It seems like they will be distributing Truth or Bluff with Japanime Games and that they are working on a new game as well.

Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff - Contents

The press release announcing the partnership can be seen on the Dyskami Publishing web site’s news section. They mention that this is a distribution partnership, which seems to indicate that Dyskami will continue to be the ones to design the actual games but that distribution will be done with the help of Japanime Games. The purpose would be to bring those games to a wider audience. Having newer seen a copy of Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge in a store, this seems like a good idea. Sailor Moon products are very popular and I’ve seen the Sailor Moon Monopoly games in a number of stores in Ontario and Quebec where I live, so the audience is certainly there.

The press release also mentions that in addition to the Dice Challenge expansion and the Truth or Bluff game that “Additional games in the Sailor Moon Crystal line are under development for release later in 2019 and throughout 2020.”. This is a bit vague but it does seem as if more Sailor Moon Crystal games are coming! We certainly look forward to seeing what else Dyskami is working on. For now Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge’s expansion as well as the Truth or Bluff game can be pre-ordered from Dyskami Publishing’s store.

The Sailor Moon Role-Playing Game and Resource Book and the Complete Book of Yoma

Dyskami Publishing has also recently announced that they would be releasing the 4th version of their popular BESM or Big Eyes, Small Mouth pen and paper role playing game. Why would Sailor Moon fans be interested in this? The BESM role playing system was designed by Dyskami Publishing’s Mark C. MacKinnon back in 1997 just a year before he released the Sailor Moon pen and paper role playing game and later the Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game. Though the BESM game has evolved quite a bit over the years, meaning a player should not expect any compatibility between the games, fans of the Sailor Moon role playing game would be wise to check out BESM!

Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game

Have you picked up Dyskami Publishing’s Dice Challenge game? Will you also be getting Truth or Bluff and their future releases?

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Here’s a tiny amount of new Sailor Moon Crystal information from an interview with the Dream arc’s animation director Kazuko Tadano

Kazuko Tadano Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club interview

The official Sailor Moon Fan Club did an interview with Kazuko Tadano, the animation director for the upcoming new season of Sailor Moon Crystal. What did we learn? Unfortunately not much. Fans have been hoping for new information about this series, which will be taking place in the form of two movies released in theatres, for what seems like forever. It has been nearly 3 years since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired.

The entire interview has been translated by Tuxedo Unmasked. I suggest checking out the full translation for some nice insight into Kazuko Tadono’s involvement in the original Sailor Moon anime. Tuxedo Unmasked is a great resource providing in depth insight into all things Sailor Moon which all fans should check out.

Kazuko Tadano from the Sailor Moon anime

So what was mentioned about Sailor Moon Crystal? A few things, just perhaps not what we’d been waiting for. First she discusses how she was picked for the role, and she mentions that she auditioned. This seems a bit bizarre to me. Did Kotono Mitsuishi audition for the role of Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal? Why would someone with Kazuko Tadano’s cred from the vastly better looking original series need to audition for Sailor Moon Crystal? I won’t pretend to understand how this industry works. She also mentioned that it was interesting to work on the beginning and the end of Sailor Moon. Does this mean that after the Dream arc she also expects to work on a Stars arc or perhaps that she doesn’t think a Stars arc will ever happen? Beyond Sailor Moon Crystal can anyone really know when the end of Sailor Moon will really occur? We could very well be looking at a new series for the 40th Anniversary, assuming Sailor Moon Crystal has wrapped up by then!

Kazuko Tadano Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus sketch from 2013

Next she was asked how she is approaching the series which is potentially relevant! She says she will be faithful to the past but also to the manga and something modern. Well that’s all well and good but until we see what it looks like we won’t really know how much of the old, the new and the manga made it into the new design. We’ve seen what her newer art style looks like with the 2013 sketch included above but we don’t know how much her designs for Crystal will resemble this. Interestingly she doesn’t actually mention trying to make it look like other seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal, unless that’s what she meant by modern. Not looking like Sailor Moon Crystal might be a move in the right direction, though a lack of continuity might be odd.

All said this is something, it’s just not really what fans may have been hoping for. A release date would be nice, though too early and the date may not stick. Some sort of art would be really amazing! I suppose it’s just good to get confirmation that the project appears to still be proceeding, though we don’t have any indication as to how far along the films are, if any work has even been done at this point.

As always if we get anything resembling new information about Sailor Moon Crystal it will be posted to this site! Be patient fans!

How much does the Galaxy Cauldron from Sailor Moon resemble the recently imaged supermassive black hole?

An image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 Galaxy

Earlier this week Nasa released the first ever image of a black hole. I’m referring to it as an image and not a photograph due to the technique used. For more on the specifics check out this special mini episode of The Reality Check featuring Exposing Pseudoastronomy’s Stuart Robbins. This is an image of the supermassive black hole which is located at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy which is about 55 million light year away. This of course makes one immediately think of Sailor Moon! The final conflict between Sailor Moon and Galaxia takes place at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. In this case it’s at the Galaxy Cauldron, the birthplace of all of the Milky Way’s heavenly bodies. What, if any, basis does this location have in reality? Most, possibly all, galaxies have a supermassive black hole at the centre and so the imaged black hole in Messier 87 is likely quite similar to the one in the Milky Way.

Sagittarius Zero Star

The Stars arc of the manga mentions a number of times that the location in the centre of the galaxy where Galaxia finds what she is looking for and ultimately where Sailor Moon follows, is Sagittarius Zero Star. This is a fictional place however it is mentioned that it is located within Sagittarius Alpha Star. This is based on a real astronomical area which, in the real world like in the manga, is located at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, our galaxy. The actual of the area is “Sagittarius A*“, pronounced “Sagittarius A Star”, which is quite close in spelling to the fictional “Sagittarius Alpha Star”. No Galaxy Cauldron or Galaxia’s castle exists at Sagittarius A* which describes the entire supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy!

So what, if anything, is the black hole meant to be? Is all of Sagittarius Alpha Star the supermassive black hole in Sailor Moon? It isn’t really clear. As Sagittarius Zero Star is located at the centre of Sagittarius Alpha Star it seems like this itself isn’t in the black hole. One can wonder how much of this area Naoko Takeuchi chose to base on black holes.

Sailor Moon enters the Galaxy Cauldron

One feature of a black hole is the loss of any information which enters it. This doesn’t mean that a book entering a black hole comes out empty, but rather than any information, such the way matter is arranged or a signal that enters it, would be lost. What does eventually escape a black hole is known as Hawking Radiation and this does not preserve the information of what originally went into the black hole. When entering Sagittarius Alpha Star, traveling to meet Sailor Galaxia, Sailor Moon travels down the River of Forgetfulness where Sailor Lethe causes her to lose her memory. It may be a bit of a stretch but there’s a comparison to be made here. The information in a person’s mind is lost when entering a black hole and that is manifested as a magical process in which memory is lost. The counterpart to Sailor Lethe is Sailor Mnemosyne and the River of Memory. I can’t say I can think of a black hole equivalent to this!

Further there’s the idea that nothing escapes the event horizon of a black hole. When Sailor Moon enters the Galaxy Cauldron there is an expectation that she could not come out or remain intact. Guardian Cosmo mentions that she is powerful to maintain her appearance inside the Cauldron. Is this a reference to things being stuck in a black hole or the loss of information? Clearly we have things in Sailor Moon which do actually get preserved after entering the black hole and subsequently escape it, but this is presented as being exceptional. This is a magical series where hard rules are often broken. How many times has the Silver Crystal been used and not resulted in Sailor Moon’s death or had her somehow cheat that rule after all?

Galaxy Cauldron

Besides this the Galaxy Cauldron exhibits a number of properties which don’t really fit with black holes or more specifically the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. It is said to be the birthplace of all heavenly bodies in the Milky Way. This would include all stars, planets and moons. Pretty much anything which has a Sailor Guardian! This isn’t really how the galaxy works to be sure. Solar systems, with their stars, planets, moons and other celestial bodies, are formed as matter from dust and gasses groups together thanks to gravity in the vastness of space. This does not require a black hole and quite to the contrary, if any of this matter does go into a black hole, it generally doesn’t come out. A star which explodes certainly can eventually be reformed as new stars, planets and such, but a black hole is not included in this life cycle. This also plays around Sailor Crystals which go in and out of the Galaxy Cauldron. This behaviour certainly makes sense as an in universe explanation of things but it doesn’t fit with how black holes work. A supermassive black hole will grow in mass and size as other stars and celestial bodies enter them, but this is a one way trip.

Considering that the Milky Way is only one of the countless galaxies in our Universe, what happens in other galaxies? Does the Messier 87 galaxy, along with its supermassive black hole, also contain a Galaxy Cauldron which is the birthplace of all heavenly bodies in that galaxy? Does every celestial body have a Sailor Guardian? Would Galaxia and Chaos have moved on to another galaxy when they were done with the Milky Way or are the distances between galaxies too vast to bridge? When two galaxies collide, as happens frequently in the cosmos, do the various Sailor Guardians from those galaxies fight each other? Does everyone else also look like a human for some reason? These questions almost certainly don’t have answers!

The Black Dream Hole

Besides this reference to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, we also have a black hole featured in the movie Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. This black hole has only some similarities to real black holes. It is black! That’s a similarity! Things get absorbed by it and seemingly can’t escape it, though again Sailor Moon goes in and is able to get out, by destroying it, but again she’s full of magic and such. The way in which it is very unlike a real black hole is its enormous size! A black hole with the mass of the entire Earth would have a radius of less than a centimetre. As the Black Dream Hole is attempting to absorb the Earth its size grows and grows to a size which is suggested to be even bigger than the planet. This is a pretty standard way to misinterpret a black hole as it is hard to conceive of something being massive, in this case the mass of the Earth, but not being large. Since Naoko Takeuchi didn’t write the SuperS film, we can’t really expect any consistency here with what we see in the manga.

Sailor Moon enters the Black Dream Hole

I hope you’ve enjoyed this random musing about black holes. Do you think any parallels were actually intended by the author, or am I just grasping at passing similarities?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 is now available to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray from Amazon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

Following last week’s news about Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on June 18th fans can now pre-order the set from Amazon. This includes the less expensive DVD version, selling for just $28.26, as well as the standard Blu-Ray version, which is selling for $61.12 and the Limited Edition Blu-Ray which is $71.73. This is slightly less expensive than pre-ordering from RightStuf, which currently costs $71.99, though users ordering from RightStuf will be able to get the exclusive coin. If you pre-order from Amazon using the links below, or any other Amazon links such as the ones on the left sidebar on the main page, this will support this site.

This set includes episodes 167 to 183. This includes the short six episode Nehelenia arc, which is a sort of bridge between the SuperS season and Sailor Stars, and the introduction of the Sailor Starlights and their alternate identities, the Three Lights! The set will end with the introduction of the mysterious Chibi Chibi! These will be available for the first time with English audio, featuring Viz’s new English dub of the series, as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles. We never got a straight answer as to why Sailor Stars wasn’t originally dubbed but some fans believe that it was because the content would have been considered inappropriate for some viewers. If that was ever true it seems like this is no longer the case!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

Do you ship Seiya and Usagi? Will you be getting this release? I’m certainly looking forward to watching it in English for the first time. Though I’ve imported the Japanese DVDs and laserdiscs of Sailor Stars over the years the copies I’ve watched the most were VHS fan subs and a bootleg DVD, both of which used the VKLL subtitle scripts.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 182 - Chibi Chibi

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten - The Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 is coming to home video June 18th

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray contents

We were promised Sailor Stars in the Spring and Viz Media delivered with less than a week to spare! June 18th, a whole 3 days before the first day of summer, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 will be released DVD and Blu-Ray! This will include episodes 167 to 183 which will be available with English dialogue for the first time ever! Sailor Stars was never released along with the original dub and now that we’ve gotten all of the movies and specials with Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub, Sailor Stars is the only thing left!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars pre-order coin

The set is available to pre-order from RightStuf. This will include a special collectible coin, as has been the case with releases in the past.

Sailor Moon StarS vol. 1

RightStuf is doing a very bizarre thing and naming it “Sailor Moon StarS” in their item description. I had never seen this term before but it was mentioned by @fredjfrancis on Twitter that this was the naming convention previously used by Tokypop with their original release of the manga. Having originally read the manga in French I had no need for Tokyopop’s release so this wasn’t something I’d ever noticed. I can only imagine that this is meant to match somewhat with how SuperS was written for the previous season, but this StarS naming convention is not one based on anything done in Japan. Sailor Moon S is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Super” when spoken during the commercial bumpers. Sailor Moon SuperS is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Supers” (Su-pa-su) when pronounced, though in my brain I always read it as “Super Ess”. The last S in Stars, however, is never capitalized in any Japanese sources.

Tokyopop Sailor Moon Stars vol. 1 Sailor Moon Manga - Stars

This started with Tokyopop’s manga release but in this case the final three volumes, rebranded as Stars 1, 2 and 3, did not have those titles in Japan. The manga compilations were simply volumes 16, 17 and 18, as no separate titles were ever used for the manga covers. Individual chapters were titled Stars 1, 2 and so forth, following with the naming conventions from the Infinity and Dream arcs, these are written in Japanese Katakana characters and not in English, as we saw with SuperS in the anime.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 Laserdisc

The Anime series was not even called Sailor Moon Stars. It was called Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. There are different ways to write this out! In Japan the series is generally written as one word “Sailormoon”. This fifth season title was usually written in Katakana but when it was written in English it was usually spelled as “Sailormoon Sailorstars”. No specific emphasis on the final S was ever made as can be seen from the laserdisc and DVD box art. I tend to spell it “Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” on this site as all four of those are separate words in English. Viz is doing the same, although the word “Sailor” is written in a much smaller font size than “Stars”, as was the case with graphics used for the sub on Hulu, which may lead to some confusion.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 DVD

Calling it “StarS” is an odd and awkward choice on RightStuf’s part which seems to be a mistake. Perhaps this will be corrected in time! Regardless, I’m looking forward to finally watching Sailor Stars in English. Do you plan on picking this one up?

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The soundtrack for the Sailor Moon The Super Live musical is now available worldwide on iTunes and Apple Music

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live

As the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live musical was being performed in the United States the soundtrack from the musical was released on iTunes and Apple Music around the globe! While Sailor Moon soundtracks are often just released in Japan this time the album is available on iTunes stores worldwide! The announcement on the official Sailor Moon site included direct links to the Japanese and US iTunes stores. I was also able to find it in the Canadian iTunes store with a little searching. If you have trouble finding the album in your store try searching for “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” as there are a lot of results for “Sailor Moon”. I’ve never used Apple Music but I assume a similar search would get you what you need.

Something important to note is that these are only the instrumental versions of the songs in the musical, meaning there are no vocals included! I’m not sure why they wouldn’t include the complete versions of the tracks but a couple of fans on Twitter mentioned that all but a handful of the songs in the musical didn’t have lyrics. It seems like this album isn’t missing much by omitting the vocals.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live

Pricing is a bit inconsistent! The Japanese price is 2400 yen, which is about $22.50 US. The US price on the other hand is $15.99 US! Good deal. The Canadian price is $15.99 Canadian which is an even better deal since that’s the equivalent of about $12 US. I’m so used to paying $80 Canadian for a game that costs $60 in the US so this was a nice surprise. I’m used to import CDs and DVDs in Japan being absurdly expensive so being able to pay almost half of the Japanese price is a nice change.

As I haven’t seen this musical yet, it’s hard for me to comment much on these tracks! The songs are quite good from what I can tell with a fun electronic sound and some nice throwbacks to music from the original anime, but this is a musical that’s meant to be seen and heard so I’m really only getting a part of the experience!

Sailor Moon The Super Live - Team America cast

The track titles are either hilarious or terrible, depending on how you choose to look at such a thing. It’s a mix of romanized Japanese, actual English words and romanized versions of Japanese translations of English words. This makes for things like “Seeraa Gaadianzu” instead of “Sailor Guardians”. I’ve included two track lists below. The one on the left is the better version from the official site which uses English words when the words are English and otherwise uses romanized Japanese. The listing on the right is the mess we get on iTunes! With a little effort one should be able to update their own track title info in iTunes.

1. GeneiⅠ
2. Joou Kunrin
3. Good Morning! (Sorry,I’m late…)
4. Moonlight Legend (Short ver.)
5. Matenrou no yoru
6. Ecole!School Gakkou Gakkou
7. Metamorphosis
8. Barairo no Tatakai
9. Koisuru Usagi
10. BestFriends
11. HARAJUKU KAWAII
12. Go to the Arcade!!
13. Ordinary days
14. 「OI,ODANGO!」
15. 「KOKOKARA DASE!」
16. Electro Go Round
17. We are Sailor Guardians
18. Tousouchu
19. Otome no Policy (ballade ver.)
20. Shinshoku
21. GeneiⅡ
22. Welcome to Dark Kingdom
23. Strike Back
24. GeneiⅢ
25. Aijou
26. Omoi, Soshite
27. La prière
28. On the Moon
29. Moon Crisis Re;Make Up
30. Dance De Medley
31. Otome no Policy
32. Everlasting Light of the Dark Kingdom
33. A Single Rose
34. La soldier
35. We are Sailor Guardians

[Album bonus track]
36. Moonlight Legend

1 Genei I
2 Joou Kunrin
3 Good Morning! (Sorry, I’m late…)
4 Muunraito Densetsu (Short Ver.)
5 Matenrou No Yoru
6 Ecole! School Gakkou Gakkou
7 Metamorphosis
8 Barairo No Tatakai
9 Koisuru Usagi
10 BestFriends
11 Harajuku Kawaii
12 Go to the Arcade!!
13 Ordinary Days
14 “Oi, Odango!”
15 “Kokokara Dase!”
16 Electro Go Round
17 Watashitachi Seeraa Gaadianzu (Battle Ver.)
18 Tousouchu
19 Otomeno Porishii (Ballade Ver.)
20 Shinshoku
21 Genei II
22 Welcome to Dark Kingdom
23 Strike Back
24 Genei III
25 Aijou
26 Omoi, Soshite
27 La Prière
28 On the Moon
29 Moon Crisis Re; Make Up
30 Dance De Medley
31 Otomeno Porishii
32 Tokoyami No Daaku Kingudamu
33 Ichirin No Bara
34 La Soldier
35 Watashitachi Seeraa Gaadianzu

36 Muunraito Densetsu

With the difficulty that often comes with importing expensive Sailor Moon media internationally it certainly is nice to see a release like this being worldwide. With the recent musicals having more and more showings outside of Japan this really is a move in the right direction for fans across the globe. Supporting releases like this is likely to have more visibility to those who are marketing Sailor Moon than simply importing goods. We can only hope that future Sailor Moon soundtracks will get a similar release. Some day I would certainly like to see a Sailor Moon musical released on video outside of Japan! Who knows what the future will bring? A lot could happen in the decades to come before Sailor Moon Crystal is wrapped up!

Is it appropriate for Sailor Moon to be partnering with weight loss shake Slim Up Slim?

Sailor Moon x Slim Up Slim

We’ve seen some odd things associated with the Sailor Moon brand over the past few years including condoms and tampons but this latest partnership with Slim Up Slim weight loss shakes seems inappropriate to me. The image above shows Usagi and Mamoru promoting the shakes with an image accentuating her unrealistically long and slender legs. This just makes me wonder if it’s really appropriate for a 14 year old character from a children’s manga and anime to be used to sell weight loss shakes.

What exactly is Slim Up Slim? It’s a weight loss shake. It’s marketed not just as a diet or weight loss shake but also as a “beauty diet” shake. The purpose of this product does not seem to be weight loss for the sake of health but rather weight loss for the sake of beauty. Many of these products contain collagen, which is not there to help with healthy weight loss but with skin beauty, though there is no evidence that ingesting collagen actually does anything. While calorie reduction will surely result in weight loss, these shakes containing collagen and lactic acid bacteria share many qualities with the type of scam weight loss products such as those promoted by snake oil salesmen like Doctor Oz.

This collaboration strikes me as something which could encourage unrealistic standards for women and girls and potentially lead to eating disorders, something which may be more of a concern to western audiences. Certainly I am aware that I am putting a North American lens on these things. As a Canadian I understand that we have certain body image ideas displayed in the media but also that most people are sensitive to these and ultimately encourage the idea that girls should not be told that they need to be thin to be beautiful as such pressures can be damaging. The other consideration of course is that there is an obesity epidemic in North America, which includes child obesity, and that this is a health concern. Encouraging healthy eating and exercise habits at all stages of life is genially positive, as long as it doesn’t get to the extent of shaming. Obesity is a factor in a large number of health risks, the most obvious ones being heart disease and diabetes, but also many others. That said programs asking children to eat healthy and exercise generally don’t tell them they should do so to be pretty, even if media, advertisement and other pressures may at the same time present a different image.

So much to say, I don’t think the same can be said about Japan or Asia in general. There seem to be strong pressures to be thin in many countries and this campaign as well as what we’ve seen in the series seems to reflect this. Sailor Moon gives many positive messages to girls but the characters in the series are slender, pretty and all fitting to a very similar, albeit not terribly realistic, body type. We expect some liberties in things that are drawn, after all people don’t actually have eyes that big and noses that small, but still this is what we see.

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Usagi worries about getting big

There have been many times in the Sailor Moon anime and manga in which weight gain was stigmatized. In the original Sailor Moon anime the main episode in which this comes up in is episode 4 “Learn How to be Skinny From Usagi” in which Usagi is worried she’s gaining weight and instead of telling her that as a thin 14 year old who shouldn’t worry about this, her family and Luna all agree that this is bad and encourage her to go on a diet. The Dark Kingdom opens up a gym, Shapely, which includes these pods which cause weight loss by draining energy. I found some of this troubling even when I watched this back in 1995, but the episode does have some redeeming ideas. Excessive exercise, starving and binging are generally presented as being bad, and so a reasonable diet seems to be what is argued in the end, but still Usagi’s is repeatedly teased about her weight by pretty much all characters and the takeaway message really is that it’s good to be thin. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to skip dubbing this one and giving us episode 5 or 6 instead!

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Chubby Usagi drawing

That episode originally aired in March of 1992. It’s funny that in the episode Usagi comments, while walking by a Sailor V poster, that Sailor V probably never has to diet. She’d actually been through almost the exact same situation in the manga! Canonically the Sailor V manga takes place before the Sailor Moon manga, though many of the stories were actually written later. Two years after episode 4 aired, in March of 1994, Naoko Takeuchi would write Codename Sailor V Volume 9 – Sailor V vs. deVleene!, which has such striking similarities to this episode that there must have been some inspiration.


Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight

In the Sailor V story the Dark Agency plots to gather energy in a slightly more elaborate way. They sell cheap and delicious Rainbow Chocolate around the time of Valentine’s Day which causes rates of obesity amongst young girls to rise. Minako is included as those affected by this weight gain and Artemis criticizes her for this. All of the girls who are gaining weight are concerned and look for a solution. The two pronged strategy of the Dark Agency also includes the spa deVleene which includes the same sort of energy draining pods that we saw in episode 4 of the Sailor Moon anime. Compare the images below to see just how similar these were. The story takes an even worse turn when the Dark Agency’s deVleene is defeated leaving the girls of town obese. Kaitou Ace comes in to save them from their weight gain by raining diet candy from the skies as well as giving them flyers promoting weight loss tea (a scam product which doesn’t work in the real world) as well as tips on exercising and dieting. While the anime left us with a somewhat ambiguous takeaway the Sailor V manga certainly does not. The salvation for the girls affected is to lose the weight.


Sailor Moon episode 4 - Energy draining pods at Shapely Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Energy draining pods

There are other one off mentions of weight in the series and they’re usually the same. For example in Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 “Become a Prima: Usagi’s Ballet” there are a number of comments about Usagi’s weight gain, as a small bulge is shown protruding from her tutu. This is similar to what we see in Sailor V. Throughout the episode of course Usagi and Sailor Moon keep their normal character designs of a very thin 15 year old. Another minor mention is in the first episode of the live action series where Usagi and Naru show envious attention to a model commenting on how she has a thin waist.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 - Chibiusa calls Usagi fat

I guess my views on this must be fairly obvious at this point. I’m not terribly pleased with this promotion. Ultimately I think it’s just indicative of a culture which is different from the one I am used to. I don’t say this to defend it but simply to explain it. The other examples from Sailor Moon which similarly push this idea are not directly tied to this campaign. TOEI or Naoko Takeuchi likely aren’t outliers in Japanese culture to push the idea that it’s good to be thin, but both are likely simply reflective of what has been going on in the country for at least the past 27 years. No doubt these kinds of products and pressures exist around the globe, but I’m not seeing them promoted with children’s cartoons here in North America. Obesity is a big problem here but I don’t think the solution is a culture of fat shaming and telling children that being thin is beautiful. For better or for worse pressures to be thin and beautiful do still exist here and they have not managed to reverse the obesity epidemic. I think the trend is mostly related to access to cheap, habit forming high reward value foods. Last year I read a book about this topic, The Hungry Brain by Stephane Guyenet, and found it very enlightening. It discusses the various things which make us wired to gain weight in an environment full of the kinds of food we have around us. You’re probably better off checking out the book than buying some pseudoscience inspired “beauty diet” shakes.

What do you think?

Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Sailor V loses a button

A new Sailor Moon 4-D attraction, Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D – Moon Palace Edition, is coming to Universal Studios Japan starting May 31st

Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Moon Palace Edition

Following the success of last year’s Sailor Moon 4-D attraction Universal Studios Japan will be having yet another Sailor Moon 4-D ride starting May 31st 2019! This isn’t just a repeat of what was there last year but instead a whole new story! While I’m not fluent in Japanese it seems like this one is called Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Moon Palace Edition. Where the first event featured Sailor Moon fighting Morga and the Dark Kingdom from the first story arc this new attraction will feature Super Sailor Moon as well as all 10 Sailor Guardians, that being Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Pluto, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn and Chibi Moon. We can see an image of the CG versions of these characters above.

Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Moon Palace Edition

The inclusion of all of these characters makes me wonder when this attraction will take place in the story. These ten characters are first brought together in the Infinity arc of the Manga. While only the core group continue into Sailor Moon SuperS in the anime, all of them return in the Dream and Stars arc in the manga. Sailor Moon eventually upgrades to Eternal Sailor Moon in Stars so it would likely take place prior to that. We also don’t see any of the other Sailor Guardians upgraded to their Super forms and Saturn isn’t a baby so it probably makes the most sense for this to to be taking place around the end of the Infinity arc before Hotaru becomes a baby and Haruka, Michiru and Setsuna take off for a while. The most telling clue is that Sailor Moon’s Cosmic Heart Compact is the transformation item being used for merchandise. This was her transformation item used in the Infinity arc, so that is probably where this takes place. All that said there’s no Moon Palace featured in the Infinity arc. The palace is mentioned in the title and in the description of the plot.

Cosmic Moon Compacts from the Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D - Moon Palace Edition

As with the last attraction there will be a bunch of exclusive merchandise sold at this event. We have Cosmic Heart Compacts in different colours. Are these supposed to represent the various Sailor Guardians? This would be nonsense since only Sailor Moon uses a Cosmic Heart Compact to transform. In the Infinity arc of the manga the other Sailor Guardians don’t use any transformation items while in Sailor Moon S the others continue to use their Star Power Sticks which they received in Sailor Moon R. Sailor Chibi Moon uses the Prism Heart Compact to transform during the Infinity arc or Sailor Moon S and this doesn’t much resemble the Cosmic Heart Compact. Even Sailor Moon’s actual Cosmic Heart Contact is red, of which only one of these Compacts is, and it isn’t clear that this one is tied to Sailor Moon. In all there are 11, not 10 of these, so I don’t even know that there are meant to represent individual Sailor Guardians. They’re just different coloured Cosmic Heart Compacts which to me seems to be a very odd piece of merchandise.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - The Cosmic Heart Compact

Did any of you get a chance to visit this attraction last year? Do you expect to be able to go to Japan while this new event is on?