Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.
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There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.
As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.
I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.
Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.
The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.
There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.
The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.
The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.
Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.
If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:
Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.
I’m still hoping my local library will buy copies.
“Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much”
This is a load a bowl the Australian cents and the French stats are perfect and guess what Viz owns KAZE so I want to know what they’re holding back not to mention on Twitter they lied to their fans out right saying they promised a better jump in quality next set the set was delayed a year I honestly think that either don’t care or their gouging their fans S is my season and I used to own the pioneer DVDs with stupid Linda Ballantyne I do not miss the CW why cast they were awful last time I checked Sailor Moon does not sound like a 45-year-old woman I like the new job with the video quality is trash and they promised an improvement on their quality I’m beginning to not like the way they’re treating Sailor Moon being lazy and delivering trash for such expensive prices but what do I know I’m gonna continue buying these because I sold my pioneer DVDs in 2009 because I couldn’t stand the Canadian cast and I don’t know why people love them so much the DIC Cass is better than CWI
Aw, I like Linda’s voice, in fact, she went from getting on my nerves to being maybe my favorite English Sailor Moon. She’s got a great voice, it’s just early on they tried to make her sound like Terri Hawkes, which was a disaster, and the CWI script was just badly and awkwardly written.
To be honest, I think Linda’s voice came closest to Usagi’s Japanese voice for having a grating quality that was also endearing, and her Serenity voice was near perfect, and no where near as fake as Terri’s princess voice.
Terry actually came closer to Sailor Moon that’s your personal preference Linda was always screeching Sailor Moon never screeched she was high-pitched and wind but you never sound like she was breaking any car going to hundred miles an hour
I wonder when Sailor Moon S part 2 will be released?
Neveruary the 32nd.!
Just kidding. Probably spring next year. I’m most excited to hear news about the Dream Arc of the anime and the dub of the Infinity Arc.
How about you?
“Spring 2017″ is the word!!
Spring of this year.
I’m sad to hear that the quality is as bad as I’d feared.
Also…it’s 2016 Viz, give us codes for digital versions instead of DVDs in the box sets. Or both! I’d definitely get it if it had all three.
Do the digital versions come with both English and Japanese dubs?
I just want a good quality copy with accurate Japanese subtitles.. The Viz dub is okay; however I prefer the Japanese voices. Once the DIC Sailor Moon dub wasn’t going to continue with the remaining episodes, and since it was also prior to Cloverway producing the dub (and Toonami on Cartoon Network) I bought many of the fan subs from VKLL and learned to love the Japanese voices. Although the DIC voices bring me back to childhood, Japanese is where it’s at for me.. Anyone remember the Save Our Sailors website?
I think you just keep having bad luck with the sets you buy. Or it’s your TV that’s the issue. I watched it and my set didn’t have any of the issues you talk about. The picture was real bright and colorful on mine and looked awesome.
I’ve compared the Viz set to other releases and it’s really lacking in both the video department and the general presentation.
Seriously, Viz continues to disappoint me. I wanted to like it. And I’d love it if you checked this comparison out, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSKcycd9_I0 I feel like the best way to realize how bad the Viz set is is to put it side by side with the other releases.
i still cant belive how bad the upscale looks on what could be honestly look like vhs taping, plus the fact that in the op song they are still lazy with doing the subs, for a company with very good dubs and subs out there they are really being lazy at a cult classic like this, here is hoping that the 2nd half comes sooner then later and that super s and stars will be following very closely too, I cant wait to hear how they go with the starlights if they make them male voices to turn female or just female to boot, plus hope crystal s dub will be here sooner then later and if they are continuing with dream and star arcs
I think the Starlights will have voice actresses who will change the pitch of their voices. I don’t think they’ll do any major changes.
would love it to be like other regions where they are guys then transform into full blown female, keep the tranny feel of them that you get in the original fan dubs and even the official translation it give it that too, but I cant wait to get the official dub to that season which is so much better then super s
I sure wish the video was much better on these Blu-Rays (hey, who doesn’t?), but I’m well past the point of no return.
When will viz release the episodes on their website? http://www.viz.com/watch/streaming/sailor-moon-episode-90/7343/sub
As people have mentioned the diminished quality, I’ve honestly not noticed it being THAT bad through season one and two. As it was animated in the early/mid 90’s, maybe my expectations also aren’t set sky high.
CUT TO: I just received my season 3 blu ray box set for Christmas and am getting around to watching it. As I watched the first few episodes, the horrible quality was unavoidably noticeable. (THAT said, I remember thinking the overall animation of season three was sloppy from time to time when I first saw it in my youth, especially in the faces, and the arms/legs).
Then, I put in the second blu ray disc (first episode on it being ‘The Labyrinth of Water: Ami Targeted’) and the quality is WORLD’S BETTER. Is it maybe the first blu ray disc? I am not sure yet. I will continue watching and we will see….
Do we know when part two will be released?
February 21st according to amazon but no official announcement yet.