The 7th volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released in a Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray on April 8th. This release has Princess Serenity on the cover and wraps up the Dark Kingdom story arc. This is a Japanese language release with no English audio or subtitles. Those looking for an English version of Sailor Moon Crystal can continue to watch the streaming version with English subtitles. You can order this disk from Amazon Japan or CD Japan for as low as 5046 yen, about $42 US. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD will be released on May 13th at the same time as volume 8 is released on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray.
As with other releases, this comes in a special collectible box and includes a charm and full colour 20 page special booklet. The charm included in this release is Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod, which is the attack item she uses in the second story arc. The Cutie Moon Rod does not appear on the episodes included in this release.
The special booklet follows the same format as the previous booklets did. It includes episode summaries, interviews, character designs and a special page by Fumio Osana, also known as Osabu. The interviews are with producer Junichiro Tsuchiya and the voice actors for the Shitennou, Daisuke Kishio, Kosuke Toriumi, Masaya Matsukaze and Eiji Takemoto. The character designs included are of Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Shitennou, Queen Beryl and Queen Serenity.
There are only 2 episodes included on this disk. Included are Act 13, Final Battle – Reincarnation, and Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Etrangère. This has the Sailor Guardians vanquishing Queen Beryl and Queen Metalia and concludes with the appearance of Chibiusa.
All home video releases include some minor updating to the animation, and this release is no different. Some of the changes however were no just cosmetic. The major change which I found a bit upsetting was the modification to young Queen Serenity’s dress. In a scene in Act 13 we see a flashback to a young Queen Serenity petting a kitten Luna. In the original streaming version Queen Serenity is seen wearing a dress that is similar to Princess Serenity’s, and quite unlike the dress that adult Queen Serenity wears throughout the series. This seemed like a neat side reference, reminding us that Queen Serenity was young herself once, and perhaps also the Princess at the time. In this updated episode her dress is modified to look like it does when she is an adult.
Other changes to the episodes included the removal of white eyes when the Sailor Guardians are wounded. Seeing zombie Sailor Guardian eyes was a bit off putting but kind of cool. Now they have pupils again. There was also some amount of injury added to the various girls after they had been beat up. Even the preview image for Act 13 in the special booklet shows the Sailor Guardians with dirt on their faces that does not appear in the streaming version.
A great resource to comparing the streaming version to the home video releases is Crystal Comparisons. This site has a thorough comparison of both versions of the show with many screenshots broken down by episode. Check out all the changes in Act 13 and Act 14 to see what was modified for this release.
The audio commentary for both episodes on this disk is provided by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Fumio Osana, the editor for the Sailor Moon manga, and another voice which I was unable to identify. I do not speak Japanese so I don’t have anything to add about the content of the commentary.
As usual I can only recommend this release to hardcore fans. With only two episodes and no English audio or subtitles most fans are better off just watching the streaming version or waiting for the inevitable domestic dubbed and subbed release which is yet to be announced.
Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the special booklet.