Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal, returned to voice acting after a year studying abroad and missed no Sailor Moon Crystal

Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon Crystal

Earlier this month on March 1st 2019 Hisako Kanemoto, who voices Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal, returned to voice acting after a nearly year long hiatus while she was studying abroad. Her lengthy absence from voice acting had no impact on the recording of Sailor Moon Crystal which had it’s last episode airing nearly three years ago on June 27th 2016. She left Japan to study abroad last summer around the last time that we heard any news about Sailor Moon Crystal’s fourth season. At the time we learned that Kazuko Tadano would return as animation director during an event on Usagi’s birthday, June 30th 2018.

Will Sailor Moon be this old when the new anime airs?

Were Sailor Moon Crystal adhering to a schedule similar to other anime series or even any other TV series airing elsewhere around the globe such a lengthy absence would surely have had an impact on the recording of the series. As an example of this when Phylicia Rashad was pregnant during filming of The Cosby Show they had to shoot around it, having her mostly appear in bed or sitting behind furniture. Even during the original Sailor Moon anime Kotono Mitsuishi was unable to voice Sailor Moon for the first season finale and some episodes of Sailor Moon R due to a relatively short illness, having her dialogue recorded instead by Kae Araki, who would later voice Chibiusa. Luckily for fans of Sailor Moon Crystal we have years to wait between seasons allowing voice actors to spend a couple of semesters studying abroad with no impact to the recording schedule. By the time we get the two movies that will be the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal perhaps some of the voice actors will have had time to raise a large family or go to medical school and do a residency. On the flip side there is a growing chance that some of these voice actors, who were quite young when Sailor Moon Crystal was first announced and children when the original Sailor Moon first aired, may be retired or worse may have passed away of natural causes by the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal. We certainly hope this is not the case but the ever patient fans know better than to set their expectations to a specific timeline at this point!

Sailor Moon R episode 62 - Ami, Chibiusa and Mamoru at the airport

Ultimately I find the fact that Sailor Mercury’s voice actor went to study abroad to be quite fitting as it was Ami who, in episode 62 of Sailor Moon R, nearly did the same. In this case Ami stayed behind in Japan as the Sailor Guardians would not be able to get by without her during the lengthy time she planned on studying out of the country! Luckily Sailor Moon Crystal’s schedule is much more forgiving than the life of a Sailor Guardian allowing for such lengthy absences.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 133 - Chibiusa is an old lonely cat lady watching Sailor Moon

Will we get more Sailor Moon Crystal before the heat death of the universe? I certainly am remaining optimistic that this is the case! As I have conceived and become father to two children and built a house since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired I’d say a lot might still happen before we see those movies! What sort of time consuming life accomplishments have you made since June 2016? What else do you hope to happen before we see Pegasus in Sailor Moon Crystal?

Source: Crunchyroll

The Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff party game is now available for pre-order from Dyskami Publishing

Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff

The second Sailor Moon Crystal game made and released by Dyskami Publishing is finally available for pre-order. The game will be released this Spring. Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff was first announced in 2017 and we’ve since gotten Sailor Moon Crystal: Dice Challenge. As the title suggests the game is all about trying to tell the truth or bluff your way and tell what other players are doing in what’s described as a party game. The main idea is that you pass a tile to another player and state what it is. They can believe that you are telling the truth or call out a bluff. Accurately calling something out is good, but being fooled is not! All the fun of bluffing at poker without all the pesky poker! A video on the game’s web site, which is embedded below, explains the rules in more detail:

The game comes with some nice looking tiles featuring a number of Sailor Moon characters. Check out this image of all of the box’s contents.

Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff - Contents

The game is now available to pre-order for $35 US. Fans can also order the expansion for Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge which includes characters from Season 3, the Infinity arc. The original game included characters from the first two seasons. The expansion costs $25 US. No specific date is given but both will be out at in the Spring of this year. Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff and the Season 3 expansion of Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge can be pre-ordered from the Dyskami Publishing store. Once released the game will be available in stores in the US and Canada.

Do you plan on getting this game? Did you enjoy the Dice Challenge game also released by Dyskami?

Check out the cover art for the upcoming Sailor Stars DVD and Blu-Ray release

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

We’ve got our first look at Viz’s upcoming home video release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray later this year. It was previously announced that this set would be out in the Spring, but we have not received any specifics about a release date beyond this. The box art features Eternal Sailor Moon with her Eternal Tiare. This was shared in an article on the Kodansha Comics web site discussing Sailor Moon. It is mentioned that the first 17 episodes of the season will be included in this first set which will also contain behind the scenes interviews. This is the English release by Viz which will include the first ever English dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Osabu

The article includes a humourous interview with Sailor Moon editor Fumio Osano, commonly referred to as Osabu, in which he seems to suggest that North American readers may be interested in the Eternal Editions of the manga because of their large hands. Perhaps he has been baffled by the size of American comics since seeing an Xbox controller years ago! He also discusses his involvement with the manga over the years and more specifically his work as it relates to the North American audience.

Source: @fredjfrancis on Twitter

The Eternal Editions of the manga which are mentioned really do look great. They feature new translations, larger glossier pages and all colour pages which originally appeared in Nakayoshi. Order the first two volumes and pre-order others using the links below:


Though Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is not yet available to pre-order you can support the site by buying previous releases using the links below:



The Sailor Moon SuperS Japanese Blu-Ray sets are coming starting in May

Sailor Moon SuperS Vol. 1 Blu-Ray

The next season of Sailor Moon will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan as Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 and 2 are scheduled to be released. Part 1 will cost 19,800 yen, about $180 US, and be released on May 8th while Part 2 will cost 14,800 yen, about $135 US, and will be out on July 10th. These prices are probably a bit higher than what it will ultimately cost. Both sets are up for pre-order from Amazon for a bit less. There are two versions listed there, as is the case with other retailers, where the one with the vendor exclusive incentives cost significantly more. Note that these are Japanese releases with no English audio or subtitles. If the other seasons are any indicators they are of decent quality compared to the North American releases but still a software upscaled version of standard definition sources. Japan, like North America, is region A so these will play in a North American off the shelf Blu-Ray player or PlayStation system.

Sailor Moon SuperS Vol. 2 Blu-Ray

According to the TOEI web site each of the sets includes 22 episodes which is almost certainly incorrect. Sailor Moon SuperS is episode 128 to 166, a total of 39 episodes. The price discrepancy between the sets likely indicates that there are more episodes on volume 1 than volume 2, which has been the case with past sets. It’s likely that volume 1 includes 22 episodes, plus the Sailor Moon SuperS Special, while volume 2 includes the remaining 17 episodes. This would actually split the sets up quite well into the 22 episodes featuring the Amazon Trio and the 17 episodes featuring the Amazoness Quartet. The Amazon Japan listing states the length of volume 1 to be 573 minutes, which accounts for 22 episodes plus the hour long special, while volume 2 is stated to be 405 minutes, which would account for 17 episodes. This assumes roughly 24 minutes per episode without commercials.

Other special features are sparse as always. We have the 15 second commercials for each episode as well as the lower quality (non super) creditless opening and ending credits. Since Sailor Moon SuperS has two ending themes one would assume that each set will have one of the end credits.

Sailor Moon SuperS Blu-Ray - Bonuses

As always there are a bunch of vendor exclusive incentives. These include posters, stickers and other little knick knacks. In some cases these will come with each volume but with others you have to buy each. This is an annoyance for me as I do not live in Japan and the exclusives needing both volumes aren’t shipped with either order but need to be ordered separately. There are individual images of all of the exclusives below.

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An English translation for Sailor Moon S for Sega Game Gear is now available

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon S for Sega Game Gear

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who also appreciate classic video games! The 1995 Sailor Moon S video game for the Sega Game Gear has been translated into English! This seems like a somewhat odd choice of a game to translate as it’s not an RPG or something with a bunch of text, but a fairly simple side scroller. Still the translation is a useful one as it adds English to the title screen, multiple menus and even subtitles to some spoken cut scenes. This is not an official translation of a 24 year old game but rather a fan translation.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon S for Sega Game Gear - Title screen - English

Does this mean you’ll need to dust off your Sega Game Gear to play this? Not likely. The translation file supplied is in the form of a patch, an ips, which can be applied to a rom dump of the original game in order to make the English version. Fans would likely play this on some sort of video game emulator. Which you would want to use depends on what platform you like to play it on. Details and a download link are included on the Romhacking.net web site. This file alone will not allow you to play the game. You will need the original rom, the patch and software to patch it as well as an emulator. For legal purposes the original rom file, which is copyright, is not hosted on the site. The file name mentioned is “Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S (Japan).gg”. I had an old file named “Sailor Moon S(jp).gg” and was able to patch it. I’ve also seen it called “Sailor Moon S (J).gg” on a site which hosted the rom. You’ll need software to patch the file. It’s not terribly complicated, but depending on your operating system it might require a bit of work. Since I use a Mac I needed to dig a little to find platform independent software to patch the game. I ultimately used a Pearl application ips.pl which can run in a Unix terminal but there are probably easier ways to do this on Windows.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon S for Sega Game Gear - Sailor Moon

I personally enjoy video game emulation on my Raspberry Pi equipped with RetroPie as well as a hacked 3DS I use for portable classic gaming. I tried out this game on my Raspberry Pi. It seemed to play well although I had trouble with the Rei’s Fortune Teller mini game. It just booted back to the menu instead of giving me my fortune. Speaking of that mini game! The game suffers from the Y2K bug as it is unable to take a date beyond 1999 for today’s date. This game is so old that it doesn’t even work right if played almost 20 years ago!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon S for Sega Game Gear - Rei's Fortune Teller - English

I originally played this game years ago as I bought the Game Gear game and a second hand Game Gear for the express purpose of playing it. The Game Gear has no restriction on playing international games. Since there’s very little Japanese text outside of the menus it was easy enough to play. As Sailor Moon games go this isn’t really the best. It’s a side scrolling sort of platformer sort of beat ‘em up game but there are much better Sailor Moon games of this type on the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo in North America). Most fans would probably tell you that the Sailor Moon Another Story RPG is the most worthwhile of the many Sailor Moon video games released on a number of systems throughout the 1990s. I certainly have enjoyed many hours with the game, though I find it has a very inconsistent difficulty curve. That game is also available in English along with the Sailor Moon R Super Famicom game. The Sailor Moon S and SuperS fighting games are also pretty fun and easy games to pick up.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Another Story - Title screen

Have you played any classic Sailor Moon games? Which is your favourite?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon R - Title screen

Source: Silicon Era

Keep reading for more screenshots of the game.

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Sailor Moon Monopoly game review

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Board

The Sailor Moon Monopoly game is now out in stores and online. I got my copy from an EB Games store in Ottawa (the Canadian equivalent to GameStop) a while back and it seems like many fans have done the same. With the game in hand we can get a good look at exactly what’s going on with the various pieces! As we’d discussed earlier this seems to be Sailor Moon S the game for reasons which I can’t really fathom. The various characters are mostly all from Sailor Moon S, mainly the villains being the Witches 5, Professor Tomoe and Mistress 9 as well as the inclusion of all Sailor Guardians including Sailor Moon S’s new additional Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn. With the Viz video releases now having reached the end of Sailor Moon SuperS this seems an odd way to do it. Perhaps the game was simply in development for too long or this may have been an intentional choice as many of the Sailor Guardians introduced in this season would not appear in Sailor Moon SuperS and a Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Monopoly game would not be as recognisable to fans. For whatever the reasons, it’s Sailor Moon S Monopoly!

As with many other versions of Monopoly this really is the same old game we’ve seen time and time again with a different esthetic. This was immediately obvious to me as I’ve played countless hours of the game in my youth and I even spent quite some time programming a Monopoly computer game in Turbo Pascal when I was a child (the game mostly worked well but lacked houses, hotels, Chance and Community Chest cards). This is good for purists who want to have the same game experience as normal Monopoly. One thing which I think is fairly odd however is the completely random grouping of characters for most of the properties. Allow me to rant a bit about each one.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Mortgaged Properties

First we have Luna and Artemis, as a single property, bundled with Mimette of the Witches 5. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just use this, one of the only two pairs of properties, as Luna and Artemis? Mimette does not fit with Luna and Artemis at all. The characters don’t ever actually interact.

Next we have Eudial, Viluy and Tellu. This actually works! They are 3 of the Witches 5 and since there are no sets of five properties (most are groups of three) this sort of works!

Then there’s Cyprene/Ptilol with Kaolinite and … Sailor Chibi Moon! Kaolinite does have a brief interaction with Chibiusa at some point and the two characters do show up together in succession in the later versions of the Sailor Moon S credits. Cyprene and Ptilol fit only with Kaolinite. It would have made more sense to have put Mimette with her fellow Witches and then put Chibiusa with either her parents or maybe with Sailor Saturn!

Next is Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter. There are all Sailor Guardians so this works decently. Aside from Sailor Moon they do spend some time together before Sailor Venus joins the show so I’ll say this is one of the three less terrible one.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Next is Sailor Venus, Professor Tomoe and Sailor Pluto. None of these characters have much to do with each other, except perhaps for a brief interaction between Sailor Venus and Pluto in one episode of Sailor Stars. Sailor Venus belongs with the Sailor Guardians from the first season while Sailor Pluto fits in better with Sailor Uranus and Neptune or even with Sailor Chibi Moon. I would personally have put her with King Endymion but that’s because I like trolling people. Professor Tomoe is a villain and if he’s going to be paired with anyone but his fellow villains from the season it should probably be his daughter, and not the Sailor Guardians who steals his baby from him in Sailor Stars.

Next is Sailor Uranus and Neptune with … Tuxedo Mask! Naturally Sailor Pluto would have worked better here. There’s nothing these two lesbians love more than the show’s male love interest! At least Sailor Uranus and Neptune are together where they belong.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Board

On the last side we have Sailor Moon with Sailor Saturn and Mistress 9. This sort of works since Sailor Moon fights Mistress 9 and sort of saves Sailor Saturn but these characters would fit so much better elsewhere. Saturn should be with her father or her friend Chibiusa and Mistress 9 could easily fit with the villains! It does of course work that two versions of Hotaru be grouped together.

Finally we have the only grouping that works well, and that is Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion. The only issue here is that they don’t really appear in Sailor Moon S so they don’t fit with the game at all.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 9 - Makoto the cop

Other groupings make some sense! The railroads are all items, either Talismans or Sailor Saturn’s Silence Glaive. The utilities are replaced by Sailor Moon’s items, that being her broach and rod. Jail and Free Parking are unchanged. It seems like there’s an opportunity here to use something a bit more Sailor Moon themed for these. Maybe Pharaon 90 sends you to the Tau Star System or something like that. A missed opportunity which leaves art which ultimately clashes with the rest of the game.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Tokens

When it comes to the game pieces they are nice! These are the three Talismans, Sailor Moon’s Cosmic Heart Compact and Spiral Heart Moon Rod, and the Holy Grail. They’re all things and not characters but then aside from the dog most Monopoly game pieces are just things anyway.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Money

The money is a bit odd. The colours and values are more or less kept from real Monopoly with different characters appearing on each bill. The money is all shown with an M with a slash through it. Moon dollars or something of the sort. It’s not like Sailor Moon takes place in a universe they don’t use normal currency. We frequently see prices and money in the series being yen. Is there some rule that a themed Monopoly came have some weird non existent currency?

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Love Cards

Finally we have the Love and Friendship Cards. These seem to basically be Chance and Community Chest cards with the flavour language changed and the same dollar amounts and consequences. The descriptions of what is occurring are just random events occurring during Sailor Moon S.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Friendship Cards

Should you buy this game? If you wanted to I imagine you already would have! It’s just one of a very, very, very long series of Monopoly games with images based on many franchises. The specific decisions made in adapting this game seem to be pretty poor as someone with a minor amount of effort would likely have been able to put together property groupings and other aspects of the game which work much better. It seems like someone with next to no knowledge of the franchise was given a list of characters, art and perhaps episode summaries of Sailor Moon S and that they threw together a version of Monopoly that superficially seemed to have made sense. For my money the Sailor Moon games by Dyskami Publishing are a much better way to play a Sailor Moon game.

Keep reading for more photos of this game.

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Check out Rika Izumi, live action Sailor Mercury, as Nami from One Piece

Rika Izumi as Nami from One Piece

Anime fans who’ve kept up with new stuff since the turn of the millennium will be happy to see Rika Izumi, who played Ami Mizuno in the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, as Nami from One Piece in a commercial for Indeed. Rika Izumi, who went by the name Hama Chisaki back when the live action series was airing, appears in the commercial as the scantily clad Nami. I can’t say I know much about One Piece but it would seem Nami is one of the main characters from the very fact that she’s in this commercial. You can view the entire thing embedded below.

Rika Izumi as Nami from One Piece

Indeed is a job searching web site. They claim that they are the #1 job search site in the world though this is the first I hear of them. In fairness I’m not looking for work and as you may be able to tell I’ve never even watched One Piece. I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of anything beyond the 90s.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 3 - Ami doesn't want to have lunch with Usagi

Source: Natalie.mu via Crunchyroll

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 21 - Dark Mercury

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray February 12th

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie

The 3rd and final Sailor Moon film, Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole, will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray February 12th. This film was released in theatres earlier this year along with the Ami’s First Love Special which is also available with this video release. Though this is the only Sailor Moon film with a lengthy title the name “Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie” is being used for this release for simplicity’s sake. The film is available for pre-order from Viz.com as well as on the Right Stuf web site (DVD only and Blu-Ray combo pack) and Amazon, though the product is incorrectly included on the same page as the S movie. This release will include Viz’s new english dub of the film as well as the original Japanese dialogue with English subtitles and a few extras such as an English cast interview. The cover art features cookies and candy, no doubt a reference to the many sweets playing a role in the film’s plot including special cookies made by Chibiusa to give great power and the Bonbon Baddies (Babies?), candy which attacks the Sailor Guardians.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Back

The movie has the villains’ main plot to enslave the world’s children and lock them into a dream like simulation in order to collect their energy. I have argued in the past my fan theory that this plot is very close to that of The Matrix.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and The Matrix - Dream coffins are basically The Matrix

Also included is the Ami’s First Love special. This short film was originally released in Japan along with the SuperS movie. It focuses on Ami and her aversion to love letters as she tracks down a rival who she believes to be a monster, with hilarious consequences.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

The R and S movies which were previously released were all of very high quality, similar to those released in Japan, as can be seen by my review of the R movie and of the Japanese set. The video quality of the SuperS film shown in theatres was quite good, and a likely indicator that this release will be the same. At this price point I think any fan should seriously consider buying this and the other Sailor Moon films. Do you plan on picking it up?

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Sailor Moon escapes The Matrix (Black Dream Hole)

Official Sailor Moon products for pets are coming to Japan in March

Sailor Moon products for dogs and cats

Do you like Sailor Moon and like to dress up your pets? Who doesn’t? Good news! This March official Sailor Moon products by Petio for cats and dogs will be released in Japan. These include Sailor Guardian costumes for dogs and scarves for cats. Why not full on costumes for cats? Anyone who’s tried to put a cat in a costume should know the answer to that question.

Sailor Moon products for cats

The above image shows all of the products which are coming. This includes pet pillows, houses, collars, bags and a variety of toys. Do you plan on picking any of these up?