This week on Hulu and Neon Alley‘s new episodes of Sailor Stars everyone’s secret identities are revealed! Episode 188 and 189, which seem to directly follow each other, span a time period of over 9 months if tickets are to be believed!
Episode 188, Invitation to Terror: Usagi’s Night Flight, centres on a very impractical movie premier. The Three Lights movie which was filmed earlier in the season has somehow now been edited and is being released! The special preview, available only to fan club members, is taking place on an airplane in flight. This seems like a really terrible idea. The expense alone would be considerable. Where is the plane going? Is it flying in circles for 2 hours or more? What does a ticket cost? How is there possibly enough room on this plane for all of these fans? Rei is fan club number 2906. This is a big plane with three rows and a second level but it is still tiny compared to even a small movie theatre. Usagi receives a ticket from Sailor Aluminum Siren saying that there is a special seat saved for her. That seat is 12A. The date on the ticket appears to say January something. How does this make any sense? Throughout the season dates have generally closely followed release dates of the episodes, but this episode released October 12th 1996 is nowhere close. Usagi arrives at the airport and tells them to abort the takeoff. In this naive pre 9-11 time the flight attendant responds by showing her to her seat. Seat 12A. I had to do a bit of research into Japanese planes but it seems that they, like planes I’ve been on, have the letter for the seats starting from the left, or port, side. In this case 12A should be a window seat with her window on the left. Usagi boards the plane and is sitting in first class with the Three Lights but once sitting the window is on her right! Scandal! In all likelihood Usagi could have moved, but it looks like nothing on this ticket makes any sense. So everyone is on the plane and Sailor Aluminum Siren makes the flight attendants into Phages, in this case Sailor Stewardesses. Things are tighter than Usagi’s dining room in first class so there is no choice but for everyone to transform in front of each other. First Seiya transforms into Sailor Star Fighter and then the rest of the Three Lights follow suit. Next Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon and Sailor Star Fighter is shocked. Wait a minute didn’t she put all of this together a bunch of episodes ago when Sailor Moon knew the little toy bear belonged to Seiya? I guess not! Basically everyone transforms and that will make for great drama next episode but at this point they just take care of the monster. Sailor Aluminum Siren, so close to getting some True Star Seeds, is naturally killed by Sailor Galaxia. Her semi replacement is Sailor Tin Nyanko, though Sailor Lead Crow is still around. So many villains at a time in this season.
Episode 189, Duty or Friendship: Conflict Between the Sailor Guardians, is all about brooding! Last episode everyone figured out who everyone was and now Usagi and Seiya are kind of upset at each other but not for any good reason, just a bit of drama. Rei is working as a fortune teller and happens to have Seiya and Usagi come in asking about advise for the same problem. Yo just talk it out it will be fine! Rei gives Usagi a ticket to a Three Lights event at good old FM No. 10, the radio station that keeps coming up. We first saw this radio station in episode 3 when it had a different looking sign. The date on the ticket is September 28th at 7:30pm. Yes it seems like the better part of year has passed since last episode’s mid January Three Lights plane based movie premiere! The Three Lights are doing a live thing and Seiya and Usagi stare longingly at each other both during and after the show. The target this episode is DJ Jack of FM No. 10 who turns into Sailor DJ. Seiya is injured which causes Usagi to hold him in her arms, and there is some tension from the other Sailor Starlights because the story would progress too easily if we could all be friends.
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The latest English dubbed episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, is all about chess. Ami faces off against Berthier of the Spectre Sisters, who’s not really dressed appropriately for a chess tournament, in this wonderfully animated episode. Amongst other things we see a Sailor Moon Crystal exclusive look at young Ami.
Fans of the original Sailor Moon anime will note many similarities to Sailor Moon R episode 71, For Friendship: Ami vs. Berthier, which was itself based on Act 16 of the Sailor Moon manga. There are however some resemblances to the original anime that aren’t from the manga, such as Usagi’s inappropriate cheering during the tournament. Also of note is that this is a swimsuit episode! Usagi, Naru and Ami are all seen in swimsuits, which seems to be a really big deal for some people. Though not a ton of detail is seen Naru’s swimsuit is based on the one she wears in the first season of the original Sailor Moon anime.
Who wore it best?
Next week is Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter, where Makoto confides in Ittou Asanuma.
The next English dubbed episode of Sailor moon Crystal will be available on Hulu and Neon Alley this Friday. Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury, has Ami facing off against Berthier of the Ayakashi Sisters or the Spectre Sisters as we’re referring to them in the dub. The conflict this week is over a game of chess! There are some interesting references to the original anime this week. On its surface this episode closely resembles Sailor Moon R episode 71, For Friendship: Ami vs. Berthier. Another similarity is Naru’s swimsuit which looks a lot like the one seen in the first season of the original Sailor Moon anime.
This episode includes young Ami, who is seen in one scene interacting with her dead beat father. He’s an artist who likes chess and doesn’t seem to care much about his daughter. Ami gets her love of chess from him but she wants to be a doctor like her mother, so it sounds like she chose the right role model when it counts!
Who loves Donald Trump? Anybody? A Donald Trump rally seems like the last place to find a Sailor Moon Cosplayer, but that’s what just happened this past Sunday in Atlanta. Artist and comedian Zack Fox, known as bootymath, stripped off his street clothes to reveal a Sailor Moon costume! He was chearing “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” and I assume he would have completed it to “U.S.A.G.I.” had he not been escorted out by police. The incident didn’t seem to be all that alarming. There was no ensuing chaos. bootymath seemed almost out of place absent of some sort of intense backlash by the masses that should have been shocked by his display. You can watch a video of the event below.
Sailor Moon stands for love and justice. Donald Trump stands for hate and corruption. What would Sailor Moon have done in this situation? She would probably have healed Trump and his followers with the Silver Crystal, leaving nothing but confused peace loving hippies, dramatically impacting the outcome of the upcoming primaries and presidential election. This didn’t happen of course, because Usagi isn’t even a registered US voter and if she was real she would be Queen of Crytal Tokyo by now, and so the circus that is the Republican Party presidential primary continues.
This week is all about Chibi Chibi with the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars added to Hulu and Neon Alley. First in episode 186 Chibi Chibi found the world of sweets or rather some old dude’s mansion and she gets into all kinds of trouble and next she transforms into a Sailor Guardian, Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon!
Episode 186, Chibi-Chibi’s Mystery: The Big Noisy Chase, is all about Chibi Chibi getting into mischief. Chibi Chibi is so mysterious! She’s got a nice fancy looking doll and she’s always got treats. Usagi suspects she might be traveling to the world of sweets which we can all laugh at but is it all that weird? I mean is the world of sweets more weird than Chibi Chibi’s actual origin story? In this world of magic and superheroes maybe she’s been hanging out at Marzipan Castle with the Bonbon Babies! Anyway Chibi Chibi keeps almost dying but being perfectly fine, getting into a confrontation with a dog that is nice and similar such things. She ends up at a mansion, cue the mansion music because that’s how many mansions there are in Sailor Moon. She has been befriending this old dude Jotaro Kiriyama that has a bunch of antiques. You guessed it! He’s the target this week and he turns into Sailor Antique because he has antiques! He calls a horse, just like Chibiusa calling Pegasus, and that has hilarious consequences. Throughout the fight all of these priceless antiques get wrecked which is all fun and games.
Episode 187, The Shining Power of a Star: Chibi-Chibi’s Transformation, is all about Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon! But first we learn all about the Three Lights Fan Club and its immense power. We’ve learned before about this club, which all of the girls are part of. Ami is member 25! A shocking revelation which tells us what a super fan she is. Who’s member #1? Well it’s Sonoko Ijuuin, a student at Juuban High School, where the Three Lights happen to go to school. Sonoko does not approve of Seiya and Usagi’s friendship. She thinks Usagi is beneath Seiya and does not want them to associate with each other. She suggests a bet, over a baseball game. If she wins, Seiya stops seeing Usagi. If Seiya and Usagi win, they can continue to have a relationship. I don’t really understand where she gets the ability to demand this. Can’t Seiya just tell this lady to screw off? These guys are the Three Lights. They will get along just fine without a handful of ungrateful disrespectful fans! I’m pretty sure the #2 member of the fan club would be perfectly happy to be the new #1. If not then maybe #3 and so forth because I’m pretty sure #25 is cool with Usagi! Whatever they agree to this charade because they literally hate freedom. Sonoko is the target and becomes Sailor Leaguer. In the fight Usagi drops her Eternal Tiare. Chibi Chibi picks it up and transforms into Sailor Chibi Chibi Moon, a pint sized Sailor Guardian! Well that sure is weird! She also upgrades Sailor Moon’s item to the Moon Power Tiare. This new weapon uses Silver Moon Crystal Power Kiss as an attack, which has the exact same effect as her last attack, healing Phages. So they beat the bad guy and then they win the baseball game which means two people who had no valid reason not to be friends are allowed to be friends again.
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An upcoming Sailor Moon inspired video game is looking for funding on Kickstarter. Pretty Kitty Fuzzy is a 2D shooter starring a cat which is based on magical girl anime like Sailor Moon and a real life house cat named Fuzzy. This is a retro style game inspired heavily by SNES era 16 shooters. Pledges as low as $5 can get the game, though pledging more will lead to special incentives. The game will be made for Windows, Mac and Linux if $2000 is reached, though there are stretch goals if more funds are collected. Incentives include a manga, poster, t-shirt and soundtrack. Stretch goals include an animated opening, an extra mini game and possible ports to other systems.
The first full episode from the Black Moon Clan story arc is now available to view in English on Hulu and Neon Alley. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, introduces us to a bunch of character from the Black Moon Clan including Rubeus, Demande, Esmeraude, Saphir and the Ayakashi Sisters. This episode focuses mainly on the rivalry between Sailor Mars and Koan. Many new voice actors are showing up this week, who are all reprising their roles from the new English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. Those actors are:
This week also gives us a better look at Chibiusa who first showed up at the end of Act 14. Amongst some background character we see a boy who looks an awful lot like Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing. What do you think?
An image was posted on the SailorMoonWorld.it Facebook Page which announced a special March 6th event which would screen the first new episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, likely to be named Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition, if the naming convention used for the first 26 episodes continues. This was confirmed on the Evil Line web site and Sailor Moon Official Site. This does not mean that the first episode will be available to fans on March 6th. We have only heard that the series will be released in “April” with no more specifics. This event, which takes place in Japan, will have very limited space, so I don’t expect many readers will be lucky enough to attend.
The event will take place on March 6th and include two screenings, one at 5pm and the other at 7pm, both in Japan Standard Time. This corresponds to 3am and 5am Eastern Time, if anyone cares to know the exact time something is happening on the other side of the planet they aren’t able to take part in. The event is meant to coincide with Sailor Neptune’s birthday, as Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn will be seen in the upcoming episodes.
If you would like to try your luck at attending, and are in the area, you can fill out the form on the Evil Line site for information on how to attend. I put my name, age and e-mail address in the form but did not receive an immediate response. If I get anything worthwhile I will share it on the site.
The DVD for Sailor Moon Un Nouveau Voyage will be released on February 24th. Those interested in shelling out 6,233 yen, about $55 US, can preorder the DVD from Amazon Japan. Two clips have been released on the official Sailor Moon site to promote this release. They are embedded below.
While I thoroughly enjoyed this musical, which I realize I never wrote a proper review for, I am already disappointed with this DVD release. I am once again asking myself, “Why DVD and not Blu-Ray?”. The last two musical DVDs have had terrible video quality, with interlaced 480i video. This musical deserves better than VHS era resolution. An HD version does not seem possible as footage from these clips show video artifacts normally seen with interlaced video.
Without getting into too many technical specifics an interlaced video is when one field is shown at a time, something we dealt with in the days of standard definition video because of the way a TV signal worked. We don’t need to deal with this anymore in the era of HD terminals. DVD supports progressive scan video, which is usually what is used for movies. Some older TV shows and the occasional low budget film will be shot on video and only have interlaced source material. This musical, which took place in 2015, really should have been shot on some modern cameras but it looks like either the cameras are cheap or there is some really poor video editing going on once again. In contrast Star Trek is 50 years old and was released on Blu-Ray in beautiful 1080p HD years ago.
So buy this thing like I am because you like to support Sailor Moon. It will have some cool features no doubt and it is the only legal way of watching this musical on home video. The less than totally legal way to watch this musical, with English subtitles, would be to download the fansub from Miss Dream.
The Black Moon Clan will be joining the English version of Sailor Moon Crystal this Friday as, Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, is released on Hulu and Neon Alley. We’ll see a lot more of Chibiusa, who we saw briefly at the end of last week’s episode, as well as the Black Moon Clan which includes Rubeus, Demande, Esmeraude and the Ayakashi sisters.
This episode focuses more heavily on Koan and Sailor Mars. We’ll go through this formula for the next handful of episodes the as Ayakashi Sisters face off against Sailor Guardians. One scene features a guy who looks a lot like Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing. What do you think?