After a long delay the next Japanese Blu-Rays of the original Sailor Moon anime are being released. Following a fairly aggressive schedule for the first season and Sailor Moon R, which saw the second volume released in December 2017, the Sailor Moon S releases didn’t continue with the same schedule. We now have details of those releases, included box art, release dates and vendor exclusives. Volume 1, including episodes 90 to 111, will be released November 14th 2018 while volume 2, covering episodes 112 to 127, will be out on January 9th 2019. This is an odd way to separate the volumes with 21 episodes on four discs in the first set and only 16 over 3 discs in the second. The price reflects this unevenness as well with vol. 1 starting at 15,892 yen, about $144 US, and vol. 2 starting at only 11,880 yen, about $107 US. In both cases there is a more expensive versions which, as far as I can gather, only has to do with the vendor exclusive which may prove difficult to get outside of Japan. I paid the premium for the first Blu-Ray but with my Canadian shipping address I wasn’t able to take advantage of the Amazon exclusive so opted not to bother with later sets.
The first set has Sailor Moon on the cover with the inside cover including Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon, who first transforms into a Sailor Guardian in the first half of Sailor Moon S. The second set has Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on the cover and Sailor Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and Saturn on the inner cover. Hotaru, who eventually becomes Sailor Saturn, first appears in episode 112 making all of her appearances on the second set. All of these have repurposed laserdisc cover art. Since I’m in the middle of a move all of my laserdiscs are in boxes so I don’t have any photos on hand for comparison!
Both volume 1 and volume 2 are currently available to pre-order from sites like Amazon Japan. We can see a number of the special incentives that come with ordering these from certain retailers. Ordering from the Japanese Sailor Moon Fan Club will include a sticker sheet while ordering both will include a laserdisc type of poster. Ordering volume 1 from Seven Net will include an acrylic plate and volume 2 will include a tapestry. Ordering both sets from Amazon Japan will include a box to store both sets. Animate orders will include an acrylic key holder for each set. Finally ordering from Neowing will include a cloth poster.
As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of these Blu-Rays, the quality isn’t great. While the original Sailor Moon anime was animated on cels and then converted to film before being put on standard definition video these HD versions were not authored from that film source. Instead the standard definition (480i/p) video source used for television, VHS, laserdisc and DVD, is used as a source and converted to high definition using software filters to extrapolate those extra pixels. Think of taking a small image and stretching it out so that it’s a bit fuzzy. The image this produces is certainly decent compared to the Viz Blu-Ray releases we’ve gotten but certainly nothing close to the movie releases which are authored from film source.
Note that these are Japanese Blu-Ray sets with no English dialogue or subtitles. These might have little use to many English speaking fans. Those looking for a similar quality Blu-Ray set with English audio might be interested in checking out Madman’s release of season 1, Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S and Sailor Moon SuperS part 1. These releases have comparable video quality to the Japanese releases which are quite a bit nicer looking than what Viz has released in North America. The problem is that these Blu-Ray discs are region B while North American and Japanese Blu-Rays are region A. This is good news for those in Australia as well as other regions covered by the Blu-Ray B region including Europe, Africa and the Middle East but bad news for those of us in region A such as North and South America and South East Asia. Not sure where you live? Check out this handy Blu-Ray region map. As with DVD players there are region free Blu-Ray players! Something I haven’t gotten around to getting yet.
Interested in getting these? Have you gotten any other sets?
Check out images of the Fan Club exclusives below.
I always loved the art they used for the S season… I even remember as a kid thinking they nailed it
I can’t help but find these releases particularly lazy. They are upscaled, the box art, despite being gorgeous, is same old. They could have at least payed Ikuko Itou to draw new covers, to compensate a bit for the subpar quality.
Completely agree with u
Is anyone else splurging on the liprod proplicas? They’re available for preorder now on amazon. I wonder if they’re going to be super hard to get a hold of once released (see: all uranus/neptune merch) or if bandai is going to manufacture the hell out of them.
Wasn’t anything revealed for Usagi’s Birthday?
Sailor Moon? How did you know blue and green are my favorite colors?
Oops! That post of mine was meant to be separate. My bad, Stephanie. But since I’m here, I’ll say something about your question! Not that I’m aware of, no. Though fans referenced it in some posts I read.
There will be official celebration. Kotono will be there as well as Chiaki Kon
Tickets are given through lottery. For some reason theywill screen Sailor Moon S episodes. Nothing has been mentioned about Crystal sofar.
Oops! My mistake. I thought her Birthday was on June 20th. But it’s actually June 30th.
Happy Usagi Birthday, everyone! The event will be partially screened, so let’s hope for big announcments. Im too excited, so i will most likely be disappointed, ending up breaking it up with the franchaise.
OK I AM SORRY FOR THE CAPS BUT I AM DISGUSTED. ALL THIS WAIT AND ALL THEY HAVE REVEALED IS THAT KAZUKO TADANO IS GOING TO DO THE CHARACTER DESIGNS!!! WHICH MEANS THEY HAVEN’T STARTED ANIMATING YET, TWO YEARS AFTER THEY ANNOUNCED IT.
Are you talking of Crystal Season 4?
Yes, all they revealed was that Kazuko Tadano has been chosen to do Crystal movie.
The character designs, not that she has done it even. Who knows when and after that who knows how much time will it take them to actually animate two movies to cover a single story arc I will be probably in my 40s when they reveal a trailer. The only silver lining is that Kazuko Tadano has done the character designs for Sailor Moon Classic and R as well as Sailor Moon R The Movie. So she is going to do lovely job, but why, oh, why haven’t they chose her an year ago?! This is spitting on fans big time, first Crystal delays are nothing in comparison.
That is Toei for you mate. 2 years they have been vhosinga character designer. So the movie is not even on production stage.
Okay, thank you for this information, Justme. It’s true that it is Usagi’s birthday today. Kazuko Tadano knows the characters of Sailor Moon then, we can hope that she will be free in her work and that she will do something great.
Agreed with Garet, Toei’s the worst and this is no surprise, HOWEVER, I’d prefer to see some movement made on this rather than a cancellation announcement. But it’s a big shame for sure…. Some people fantasize about winning the lottery and buying a giant mansion/boat/(insert over indulgent Americanized thing here). I fantasize about purchasing SM rights from Toei, publicly shaming the hell out of them, and doing it all over, consistently, the right way.
And if they wanted old 90s Sailor Moon, why didn’t they hire Kazuko Tadano at the beginning, why are we getting another designs again… No consistency, delays, horrendous animation…
Often, the fans do a better job when it comes to bring their favourites characters/universe to real life than producers. For instance, some cosplayers do fantastic things when an official movie just ruins the characters with shitty costumes or wrong body features… That’s why we should all play the lottery here. If we ever win, we’ll purchase SM rights from Toei and, as fans, we will create the seasons 4 and 5 of our dreams.
Yes, would have been fine. It might turn out to ne good news. If they have at least showed the designs would have been fine. But after two years they tell character designer has been chosen. They could have at least show designs, key visual, anything. I agree with Justme – it is disgusting.
@Aurelia, It’s a deal! Make the whole series of our dreams, Sailor V series, and commission Kotono to create a 6th arc.
That is a odd way to divide the episodes. I don’t know why it took them this long especially when it is not even a real HD remaster. I hope they hurry up with the rest. Unless they do a real HD remaster, there is nothing that makes me want to buy it.
The design of the cover art is one of the best, but that is not enough to make people want to buy.