Sailor Moon R episodes 79 and 80 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 79 - Artemis getting stepped on

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 79 and 80, where bullying is a recurring theme that both Artemis and Ami have to deal with.

Sailor Moon R episode 79 - Evil cats

Episode 79, Artemis’s Adventure: the Monster Animal Kingdom, is an Artemis episode. Hey we haven’t done one of those yet, so why not? I can’t actually think of any earlier episode which so heavily centred on a male character, a rare enough event for Sailor Moon. Artemis is being mistreated by pretty much everyone. He gets a bit annoyed with Minako, he get stepped on by Usagi and then her and Luna laugh at him. He’s had enough! He runs off and falls upon an adorable box of kittens, which leads him to discover the latest Black Moon Clan plot to hypnotize animals in order to attack people. Artemis wants to show he can do things on his own and faces off against the Droid Dogma and her legion of animals. This does not go well, as we see that Artemis as a cat is not actually capable of saving the day without super powers. Luna shows up to help, but gets attacked herself. Artemis does his best to defend her long enough to allow Sailor Venus to show up and save him. Ultimately no one learns anything as Artemis is later hurt, this time by Chibiusa’s bag, and everyone mocks him. There isn’t really a good story to learn here about bullying, but the next episode will do a bit better.

Sailor Moon R episode 80 - Ami getting teased

Episode 80, The Terrifying Illusion: Ami All Alone, has the students of Ami’s class accusing her of cheating. She does well on tests, as she usually does, but a student finds a cheat sheet and the class seems to turn on her. Something seems up though, as the classmates are darker skinned than usual, a somewhat racist sign of their being controlled by the enemy. The Droid Giwak uses illusions to convince Sailor Mercury that she’s being targeted not only by her classmates but also by her friends. This shows a very real kind of harassment which can occur amongst teenagers that is a real problem. Lucky for Sailor Mercury it’s just a monster causing this and she can just fight her way out of the problem. Real kids being bullied like this by their peers don’t always have super powers to save the day. An important lesson can be shown here as kids watching would known that such behaviour can seriously hurt a person and should not be tolerated. Meanwhile Esmeraude takes a thorough bath. Seems a bit too much like fan service to me.

Sailor Moon R episode 80 - Ami getting bullied by her friends

Read all about the changes from the original dubbed version of these episodes and others on the Sailor Moon Page of Funk! (cached version)

Sailor Moon R episode 80 - Esmeraude in the tub

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Koan the fortune teller

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, gives us a better look at the mysterious Chibiusa and then pits Koan of the Black Moon Clan’s Ayakashi Sisters against Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - The Black Moon Clan

The first thing to note this week are the changes to the intro. Despite a few minor cosmetic changes the scenes specific to the first story arc, that being Queen Serenity and the Dark Kingdom, have been replaced with images of the Black Moon Clan, Chibiusa and Sailor Pluto. This is actually a very short part of the intro, as most of it is fairly generic not having anything season specific. That said if you look closely at Sailor Moon’s brooch you will see that it is still the one she had in the first story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Ayakashi Sisters

The Black Moon Clan are finally here! We get a good first look at pretty much all of the characters on their home planet of Nemesis (which Rubeus mistakenly refers to as a star, which may be a subtitle issue). We see Demande, Esmeraude, Saphir, Rubeus and Wise Man. We also get a look at the Ayakashi Sisters though this episode heavily features Koan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa shooting Usagi

Chibiusa’s gun wasn’t real! It just had a flower in it. She decides to follow Usagi around, a good instinct as she has the Silver Crystal and is Sailor Moon, so she brainwashes the Tsukino family into thinking she belongs there. This causes Luna to hit Usagi and Mamoru in order to avoid them being brainwashed. Nice to see Luna hitting Mamoru right in the face. It’s also nice to see Shingo again! He is dropped so quickly in the original anime that it’s good to see that he’s still around.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Tsukino family being hypnotized while Luna hits Mamoru in the face

The girls receive new transformation items and communicators in this episode. These transformation pens are called the Star Power Sticks and the girls mention that they feel more powerful after transforming with them, which explains Sailor Mars’s new power Burning Mandala and Sailor Mercury’s new power Shine Aqua Illusion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - New transformation items and communicators

Arcades are so 1992! The Crown Arcade has been replaced with the Crown Fruit Parlor as the main hang out place of our characters. I’m not sure if this was meant to reflect the dwindling popularity of arcades when the manga was first published, the aging interests of the characters in the series or just a way to make it easier to tell the story. It’s easier to have exposition happen as the girls drink some juice rather than amongst noisy arcade games. A new character, Asanuma, is introduced at the Fruit Parlor. A scene from the manga has him commenting that he thinks that a beautiful girl like Rei is more fitting as a girlfriend to Mamoru than Usagi. Indeed, I support this manga shipping of Mamoru and Rei but unfortunately Sailor Moon Crystal chose not to include this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Crown Fruit Parlor

The main plot develops at Rei’s school, T. A. Academy. It’s an all girl’s school. All kinds of pseudoscience surround this episode’s plot as students investigate UFOs, spontaneous combustion and fortune telling! One character that is seen in the hall of T. A. Academy looks suspiciously like Heero Yuy from the 1995 anime series Gundam Wing. I find the other characters in this scene look a bit like they could be from other anime series, but no specific ones come to mind besides a girl showing a passing resemblance to Miki from Marmalade Boy.

Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at T. A. Academy in Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at Rei's school

One student of T. A. Academy is the white haired Kotono Sarashina. She is investigating all these pseudoscientific things that in the context of this completely fictional story happen to be real. Her white hair is a bit odd to see. I suppose she’s simply meant to have very light blonde hair, but she looks a bit like a ghost or a really old person! She is just one of the many characters who isn’t given any colour in the manga, so the artists behind Sailor Moon Crystal are free to give her any hair colour they chose.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Kotono Sarashina

Rei is spending her time at the festival reading fortunes, which in the real world is nonsense but is a thing she can really do in the fictional world in which this story takes place. She has competition with Koan who is using her fortune telling powers to predict when people will die in the hopes that they will decide to join the Black Moon Clan with their remaining years. Not a terribly great plan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Rei the fortune teller

The other plan the Black Moon Clan has in this episode involves burning people alive! Originally in the Manga Rei has a vision of a young girl being burned alive by Koan. This is not quite as terrible in Sailor Moon Crystal as the young girl is replaced by an adult man. The Black Moon Clan has a number of drones who originally pose as nuns and then run around making sounds very similar to those made by the Snow Dancers in the Sailor Moon S movie.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nunsSailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nuns

Once the combat starts, Koan and Sailor Mars face off. Sailor Mars gets frozen by Koan’s fire. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask summon the new attack item the Cutie Moon Rod which uses Moon Princess Halation to kill Koan. A pity, really, that she has to die. Indeed, this is how it was originally written in the manga. I always came to appreciate how the anime played out with Rei befriending Koan and sacrificing herself to protect her, ultimately making her abandon her evil ways to open up a makeup business which her sisters join her in. It shows a side of Sailor Moon that is more about forgiveness and friendship and less about power.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Cutie Moon Rod

Sailor Mars is kidnapped. That’s it. She’s gone for a bunch of episodes now. How terrible!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Burning Mandala

Next week is Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury. This will be an Ami heavy episode as she faces off against Berthier. The episode will also feature puppet Tuxedo Mask!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

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

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Was Gundam Wing’s Heero Yuy in the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal?

Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at T. A. Academy in Sailor Moon Crystal

In the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, a familiar looking character appeared to fans of 90s anime. As a scene shows the halls of T. A. Academy, the private all girls’ school which Rei attends, a young man with black hair, a green tank top and black pants is seen. To me he bears a striking resemblance to Heero Yuy, the main character from the 1995 giant fighting robot series Gundam Wing. Does this reference seem intentional or do you think this is just a coincidence?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at Rei's school

Looking at the rest of this scene above there are a number of characters who are wearing very specific uniforms, not those from the T. A. Academy which are mostly seen throughout the episode. I am not an expert on all things anime but the only other one which looks a bit familiar to me is the girl in pink who looks like Miki Koishikawa from from the excellent 90s anime series Marlade Boy. This matches one of her tennis outfits which is seen frequently throughout the series. The guy with her bears only a passing resemblance to Yuu Matsura from the same series, so I expect he or perhaps both of them may be from another series.

Miki Koishikawa - Marmalade Boy

Obviously I’m at a loss for anything that’s not 90s anime related. Do you recognize any others? Let us know in the comments and I’ll put anything that looks feasible in the full writeup for the episode that will be coming soon.

Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing

An HD remastered version of the original Sailor Moon anime will be airing on TV in Japan starting April 6th

Sailor Moon original anime rebroadcast in HD

Soon in Japan the Sailor Moon anime will be airing in an HD remastered version. It will be airing starting on April 6th 2015 at 6:30pm Japan Standard Time on NHK BS Premium, a satellite channel by NHK, the Japanese Broadcasting Corporation.

Nothing official about the remastering process has been revealed at this time. A high quality image of Sailor Moon from the original anime is included on the Sailor Moon official site along with news of this broadcast. This image is of great quality, though at 670×447 resolution this does not appear to be an actual screenshot from an HD version of the show given it’s low resolution and improper aspect ratio. An HD screenshot would need to have 1080 or 720 lines of vertical resolution and the aspect ratio would need to be 4:3 or 16:9 if it were cropped for a widescreen display, not the 1.2:1 that this image has. If it is a screenshot, it’s been scaled and cropped to look best on the web to the point where not much can be told about the state of the remastering. Perhaps this will simply be an upconverted version of the standard definition video. Hopefully they will be going back to the film source to get better quality footage. Although this method is more difficult and sometimes impossible depending on what source material is available, it will result in the best quality HD version. With the Japanese DVD release of the series the first season of the anime was remastered in progressive scan though this was not done for later seasons.

With a new HD version of the anime being made, a Blu-Ray release in Japan may be coming as well, though no such announcement has been made at this time.

Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, February 7th at 5am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa and Luna-P

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available this coming Saturday February 7th. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, will start streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 5am Eastern Time and 2am Pacific Time. With the first full episode covering the second story arc we will be seeing a lot of new characters from the Black Moon Clan.

Sailor Moon Crystal - Black Moon Clan character art - Diamond, Saphire, Rubeus and Esmeraude

The main villain we’ll be seeing this week is Koan of the Ayakashi sisters. We will also likely be seeing her 3 sisters who appeared mostly in the background in the manga. We will also be seeing other Black Moon Clan villains Demande, Rubeus, Esmeraude, Saphir and Wise Man. Chibiusa is integrating herself into the Tsukino family while Rei is looking into UFOs which she thinks could related to a new enemy. Tune in Saturday to see how that turns out!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 -Infiltration - Sailor Mars

Sailor Moon R episodes 77 and 78 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 77 - Usagi about to get killed on her wedding day

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R have been posted to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we get episodes 77 and 78. Everything is on the table about Mamoru and Usagi’s relationship and then while everyone is sick nurse Minako tries to help them get better.

Sailor Moon R episode 77 - Mamoru and Usagi make up

Episode 77, Shared Feelings: Usagi and Mamoru in Love Once Again, somewhat but incompletely wraps up a pretty terrible storyline. As we have seen since the beginning of the Black Moon story arc, Mamoru is being haunted by dreams that show Usagi dying as a result of their being together. Though it’s never said how this could happen or why they should stay apart, Mamoru won’t take the risk and so he breaks up with Usagi. This logic on his part makes sense and is similar to that seen by other fictional series time and time again. What changes this week is that Usagi finally sees the same vision. The result of this is that she confronts Mamoru about the dream and makes the decision for both of them that it really doesn’t matter. This really does nothing to wrap up this story arc as we don’t actually learn where these visions are coming from. This will be learned in a later episode in an even less satisfying conclusion to this ridiculous story arc. The main story of the episode revolves around promise rings that aren’t really rings. They are bracelets that are exchanged between lovers. When I was a kid it was all about gimp bracelets. I guess this kind of bracelet made of string was big in the 90s in Japan. These days it’s all about those little elastics. Usagi and Chibiusa try to use these to get Mamoru to get over his love troubles. It doesn’t really work. The most important part of this episode however is not about Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship. It’s about Minako and Artemis’s relationship! When things get serious and Chibiusa is attacked by her “promise ring” all of the Sailor Guardians are called in. We see Minako receive the call on her communicator while wearing nothing more than a towel. She then, still in the towel, tells Artemis that it’s time to go as he is right in front of her. Scandal! Minako is completely comfortable letting Artemis see her get out of the shower or bath wearing nothing but a towel. Perhaps he was around for the shower as well!

Sailor Moon R episode 77 - Minako in a towel talking to Artemis

Sailor Moon R episode 78 - Nurse Chibiusa and Minako

Episode 78, Venus: Minako’s Nurse Mayhem, is a great comedy episode. Everyone is sick with the flu and while the people of Tokyo are walking around wearing face masks as they do when they are sick Minako is in great shape! She travels from home to home with Artemis and Chibiusa offering to help everyone try to get better! Hilarity ensues as she does a terrible job of doing so, serving food that is too salty or hot, messing with people’s stereos and generally not helping when she is trying to. In one scene we see Rei breathe fire for the second time in the series. She last had flames spew from her mouth when Usagi put hot sauce on her hamburger while they were watching the cherry blossoms in episode 51. Ultimately we learn that the flu is actually a plot by Esmeraude. Sailor Venus defeats her only to fall ill herself! In a perfect act of revenge Usagi shows up to help her get better.

Sailor Moon R episode 78 - Rei breathes fire

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Sailor Moon R episode 78 - Nurse Usagi