Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray contents

Over 23 years since Sailor Stars first started airing in Japan and nearly 19 years after the final episode of Sailor Moon SuperS was dubbed into English Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is finally available to watch in English in North America! This new dub by Viz Media includes the same actors that dubbed the first four seasons of their new dub of the Sailor Moon anime as well as Sailor Moon Crystal. Many fans have already had a chance to hear the dub as the episodes were released digitally two weeks ago. With the physical sets being released today some fans have already gotten theirs early!

The set is available to buy both in physical stores and through online retailers. As always if you order the set through the Amazon links on this page, such as those below, you will be supporting the site. A lot of copies of this release have already been pre-ordered by fans using these links. Thank you to all of you for helping to cover this site’s operating costs.

What does everyone think of this new set and the new dub? Was it worth the long wait? Although I’ve been posting about this release quite a bit a part of me is still in disbelief that this is finally happening after all of these years! We didn’t even have to buy any Pop Tarts to make it happen! Are any of you watching Sailor Stars for the first time with this release? If so, what do you think? Is Seiya a worthwhile substitute for Mamoru or clearly a better choice? Is Sailor Iron Mouse the greatest of the Animamates or your favourite Sailor Iron Mouse?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 181 - Usagi and Seiya

Check out these Sailor Moon socks from Everything Legwear

Luna, Artemis and Diana socks from Everything Legwear

There’s certainly been no shortage of Sailor Moon products in or out of Japan lately and this even includes socks! I was recently contacted by the folks at Everything Legwear to let us know about some of their Sailor Moon products. There are a ton of Sailor Moon socks that you can find on their Sailor Moon store on Amazon. The prices seem reasonable for sets of 2 to 5 socks for $13 to $20 with designs featuring many characters and symbols from the series. The ads below show a few of what I’m told are the more popular items. Though Sailor Moon News does not have a business relationship with Everything Legwear we do use Amazon ads so if you buy products through links in this post this site will get a commission.

We had previously heard that Everything Legwear had the Sailor Moon sock license in 2017 when License Global made an announcement about a large number of companies who had made merchandising deals with TOEI to distribute Sailor Moon product. These, and many other products, have shown up in stores online and in the real world.

Sailor Moon socks from Everything Legwear

I once bought some Sailor Moon socks at EB Games and I’ll be honest, none of them fit! Keep an eye on the sizes as a lot of these are women’s socks which seems to indicate that this adult size 12 shoe wearing man isn’t exactly the target demographic! Hopefully you have better luck!

Have any of you bought socks from Everything Legwear? What do you think of them? Do you plan on picking any of these up?

An updated English translation of the Sailor Moon: Another Story RPG has been released

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - New translation - Title screen

An updated English translation for the Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Another Story RPG has been released on romhacking.net. This game, a Japanese Role Playing Game from 1995, was only ever released in Japan on the Super Famicom. Since there was never an English language release on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the overseas equivalent of the Super Famicom, fans looking to play the game have been able to do so thanks to an English fan translation released nearly 20 years ago back in 1999 by Bishoujo Senshi Translation. So what does this new one have to offer that the original translation didn’t? The new team built on the work of BST but improved the translation with over 400 changes. If we look at some comparison screenshots we can see that basic elements such as fonts are based on the original patch and the script is similar but with a lot of small changes to the language. There were also some programming changes to bugs in the game. The text files included with the patch also have some new built in cheat codes for those looking to have a different game experience.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - Japanese version - Opening Scene

Japanese Version

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - Original translation - Shingo

Original Translation – Glitched on some Emulators

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - New translation - Opening Scene

New Translation – Fixed

So! How can fans play this game? Video game emulators require a rom (read only memory) file which is basically a dump of the video game’s data to play. The Sailor Moon: Another Story rom file itself is not included on the romhacking.net web site for copyright reasons. Only a patch file is hosted there which can be applied using a patching tool to the original Japanese rom file. Patching tools are easy enough to find. I use a pearl script because there are less tools available on Mac than on Windows PCs. If you’re looking for the rom file there are some disreputable sites on the Internet which host such files including Sailor Moon Another Story.

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - Japanese version - Hell Story

Japanese version

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - Original translation - Her Destiny

Original Translation

Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon: Another Story - New translation - Hell Destiny

New Translation

Have you played this game? Do you plan on checking out this new translation as a way to experience this game for the first time or yet again? I’ve restarted playing this game at least 3 times previously! The first time I played a Japanese rom before a translation was available and didn’t get too far. A few years later I emulated the English version on my Sega Dreamcast and gave up at some point in the North Pole when I found the random encounters time consuming. I later bought a copy of the Super Famicom game and played that in Japanese, giving up after a tough boss fight during Sailor Mercury’s side quest. This might be a good time to try the game out again! I enjoy doing game emulation on my Raspberry Pi and my hacked 3DS. What do you emulate games on?

Thanks to Dan Bednarsky on Twitter for the heads up.

Keep reading for more comparison screenshots.

Continue reading

The Sailor Stars English dub is now available as a digital download from services such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, the PlayStation Store and the Microsoft Store

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars on iTunes

With over a week to go until the June 18th release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars part 1 on DVD and Blu-Ray it seems the dubbed episodes are already available as digital downloads from many retailers. Though I don’t see any specific dates for when these were posted it stands to reason that they popped up last Tuesday which would be two weeks before the video release. It’s standard practice for most movies to be released as digital downloads and on demand two weeks prior to the physical release. I can only assume this is because the industry is actively trying to subvert physical releases for whatever reason. I’m surprised Viz hasn’t made any effort to publicize this.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 196 - Galaxia takes over TV

So, where can you get this? Though I don’t have links for all of these services, as some of them can only be searched through their own applications or devices, episodes are available on iTunes (Canada, US, search your own country and it may be there), the PlayStation Store, the Microsoft Store, Google Play and, as mentioned in yesterday’s post, Amazon Prime Video. There may certainly be other retailers who offer the episodes. If you’re aware of any others feel free to leave a comment with a link!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

The 17 episode half season in HD costs $39.99 US. As a Canadian I was happy to see that most stores are also selling the season for $39.99 Canadian as we are usually charged significantly more in Canadian dollars due to an unfavourable exchange rate.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Sailor Iron Mouse and her phone booth

Keep in mind that this is only for the English dubbed versions of these episodes. While some retailers are more than happy to take your hard earned money for the subtitled version of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars this hardly seems like a wise choice for a consumer who can watch the series for free! As I originally posted episode summaries for two episodes a week over two years as they were originally released on Hulu, the entire series including Sailor Stars has been available to view on the platform since then. Since Hulu isn’t as free as it used to be the series is also available to watch on Yahoo! View. Canadian fans will find they can’t access those sites but they can watch the series on TubiTV. I have the TubiTV app installed on my PlayStation 4 which seems to work well.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 181 - Usagi and Seiya

Do any of you plan on getting this series digitally and watching it right away? If so, what do you think of the dub? Sailor Moon News uses Amazon ads so if you’re looking to get the series on Amazon Prime Video or in a physical release from the site you can do so using the links below.

The English dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 is now available on Amazon Prime Video

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru meets Seiya

Although the first half of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will only be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 18th those same episodes, with English dialogue for the first time in an official release, can now be purchased from Amazon Prime Video. This includes the first 17 episodes of the 5th and final season of Sailor Moon. Individual episodes cost $2.99 while the entire season costs $39.99. This is less expensive than even the standard edition Blu-Ray which is currently listed for $59.99 on Amazon. If you’re interested in purchasing it you can support the site but buying it using the link below.

It seems that these episodes are only available for purchase and not part of the Amazon Prime streaming service. If you’re more interested in getting a physical copy of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which will also include the original Japanese audio with optional English subtitles than you can pre-order that from Amazon using the links below.

Thanks to moonkitty.net for the heads up.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray review

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Cover

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan on March 20th and I’ve been working on this post since around then. The musical was originally performed in Japan last summer but I’d never gotten around to seeing any version of it until now. As such this will be a review of the Blu-Ray itself as well as my thoughts on the musical. If you’re looking to pick it up there are three version up on Amazon Japan. The limited edition Amazon Blu-Ray, now sold out, includes two folders. The regular Blu-Ray seems to be the same without the folders. Finally the DVD is a bit less expensive but of much worse quality. Keep in mind that as is often the case with Japanese Sailor Moon releases this set includes no English audio or subtitle options.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Back

Right off I have to say that I’m very happy to see that this release is on Blu-Ray and not just on DVD. I have not hidden my contempt for the sub par DVD releases we’ve gotten for the recent musicals, always featuring horrible looking 480i standard definition video. This release finally gives us a Sailor Moon in high definition! Looking at the fine print on the back of the box we see that it’s technically 1080i and not 1080p as you might see for most Blu-Ray releases. I guess they just love that interlaced video! What’s the difference? It’s nothing major! 1080i mean it’s interlaced instead of the 1080p progressive scan. Interlaced video works with scan lines where odd and then even lines are updated one at a time instead of the entire image being loaded one complete frame at a time. If you pause an old VHS tape you have probably noticed how there are often two images overlaid on the screen at a time which is the side effect of this. It can also affect the quality of screenshots. At such a high resolution it’s harder to notice and in motion it’s even less obvious. Most television is broadcast at 1080i and still of very high quality, so it’s really not a big problem as far as I’m concerned. Screenshots included in this post have not been modified to eliminate the scan lines and they still look decent.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Luna and Usagi

Overall the image quality is quite good! This musical looks great in high definition and after seeing so many standard definition releases, this really is a pleasure. The musical features a lot of fun special effects which are projected onto the stage and these are all captured beautifully in high definition. The sets, actors and costumes all appear clearly like only those who attend these shows in person have been able to see in the past! The camera work on the musical is good, following the important action when needed and letting us see the full musical. All special features included are also in high definition and those look great as well.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Zoisite, Kunzite and Jadeite

The musical itself is quite enjoyable. This is the Nogizaka46 musical meaning it features members of the band Nogizaka46 as the main cast. They make up two teams, Team Moon and Team Star, and this three disc set includes the full musical in both Team Moon and Team Star versions! From what I could tell both of these musicals were essentially the same, with the main cast of Sailor Guardians differing between teams. All other characters were played by the same actors in both versions. As this covers the Dark Kingdom story arc the extended cast includes Tuxedo Mask, Queen Beryl, the Shitennou, Queen Serenity as well as Umino and Naru. It’s great to see Usagi’s friends included in this musical.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Naru and Umino

The story of the musical follows that of the manga quite closely, which also follows quite well with the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. This is more faithful than most other musicals. Although there is no English dub or subtitles on this set fans familiar with the series should still be able to follow easily enough. We start out with the first story, introducing us to Usagi, Umino, Naru and even Haruna as well as Luna and Morga. We then move on to the second with the introduction of Mercury and then Mars, all somewhat following their introductions from the manga. Next we start to combine stories by having Sailor Jupiter introduced during the Masquerade Dance Party and things start to deviate.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - The Shitennou with the Sailor Guardians in the past

The main difference in this version, which we start to see at the party, are the pairings between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. This was originally hinted at in some art in the Sailor Moon manga though those relationships, aside from a bit of Minako and Kunzite’s, were not really fleshed out. These were brought back in Sailor Moon Crystal which was a nice addition, though the series was so closely based on the manga that there wasn’t room for much deviation. They were kept alive to dwell on the pairing only to be killed off later before it really went anywhere.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Tuxedo Mask attacks Usagi

The rest of the musical goes through the story of the manga which has been touched upon in previous musicals. The gang go to the Moon and talk to a hologram of Queen Serenity. We get a series of deaths and suicides and evil Mamoru trying to kill Usagi and ultimately the world is saved.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Chibiusa arrives

Finally the musical ends with an interesting scene! The gang are hanging around and Usagi sees something falling from the sky. Is this meant to be Chibiusa? If so, why are we including this scene? The first story arc of the manga does indeed end with the arrival of Chibiusa to set up the Black Moon story arc but in that case there was the intention to have it continue! The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is, as far as I understand it, only meant to be a one time thing. Could this really be setting up a Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical 2? Not sure about that!

Nogizaka 46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Puppet Luna

Technically the musical looks great. The puppet work on Luna was particularly impressive. There was an actor who can very clearly be seen controlling Luna, which can be a bit distracting, but the actual cat’s movements were something which would not have been possible by other means. Beyond Luna there were also Phobos and Deimos puppets. These two crows were also controlled by human puppeteers which can be seen on the stage. Luna even gets a chance to ride on one of the crows!

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star - Q and A

The musical is followed by the now expected seemingly never ending series of encores which includes an enjoyable rendition of La Soldier, a classic from the first Sailor Moon musicals, and a version of Moonlight Densetsu sung by the entire cast. We then have each cast member sharing a few words and crying, which has become another staple of the final performances of the musicals.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star - Happy Birthday

Aside from the Team Moon and Team Star discs there is a third disc which includes bonus features. Each feature has both a Team Moon and Team star version. The first feature is a “cast cam” which is a bunch of behind the scenes footage of rehearsal and the performance of the musical. One moment includes the cast of Team Star singing happy birthday to Ranze Terada who plays Sailor Mars in Team Star. This was funny to me as it was, in September 2018, her 20th birthday which reminds us that she, and many others in this musical, are so young that they were no only born after Sailor Moon started airing but even after the original Sailor Moon manga and anime were done.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star Game

Next there is a game! I should remind everyone at this point that I do not speak Japanese so it was a bit hard to tell exactly what was going on. In each case they pitted the Sailor Guardians, who were a different group between the Team Moon and Team Star games, against the Dark Kingdom, who are the same actors in both versions and therefore both games. As far as I can tell Team Moon did a game of charades and Team Star did a Pictionary or Win Lose or Draw style game where one sketches something and the others have to guess it. Both seem entertaining but it’s hard to get much from these features when you don’t speak the language.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Sailor Mars

Finally we have a series of clips to highlight the various characters. These are all clips from the musical but often the camera angle is changed to focus on that particular character. This sort of features seems mostly useless to me.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star Disc and Extras

The packaging is good. This is a nice looking set with photos of both casts on the front. The art of the discs themselves is quite nice. There’s an insert with a few pages again showing both casts.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive folders

Since I ordered the Amazon Japan limited edition version my copy also came with two mini folders. One features Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask and the other features the Sailor Guardians.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Minako and Rei

All in all I would say this set is quite worth it. Yes it is expensive compared to buying a movie in North America but it’s not much more than the other musical releases and it really is a much higher quality release. After so many sub part standard definition DVDs it’s a real treat to get this Blu-Ray. The image quality is fantastic. The set includes two full versions of the musical and numerous extras. The lack of English audio or subtitles is of course a problem for English speaking fans. This set was made for a Japanese audience but other fans should enjoy it.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Q and A

Ultimately fans may find that this istheir best chance at seeing this musical. Like many others I enjoyed watching the fan subbed versions of the musicals supplied by Miss Dream. After they received a takedown notice for four recent musicals, it seems that they will not be subtitling any of the newer musicals. (June 8th update: Miss Dream’s Dan Bednarksi has clarified in a comment on this post that the issue had to do with the trouble getting a translator for this musical. The two teams added complication to this issue as it would potentially double some of the work needed.) As a result importing the musicals on video may be the only way some fans will be able to see them! I certainly hope that some time soon we will be seeing international releases of these musicals with subtitles for fans to enjoy. Perhaps this will happen around the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal!

Keep reading for a lot more photos of the set and screenshots from the musical.

Continue reading