The Cast of the Sailor Moon The Super Live musical will perform at the Washington D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival March 23rd

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live - Poster

Good news for Sailor Moon musical fans in the US Capital area! As reported on the Official Sailor Moon site, songs from the Sailor Moon The Super Live musical will be performed at the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington D.C. on March 23rd! The specifics of the performance aren’t given yet though it is mentioned that the cast will be involved with the opening ceremonies which will take place from 5 to 6:30pm on March 23rd. It seems unlikely the entire musical will be part of these opening ceremonies. Perhaps only some key songs will be featured with a full performance taking place at a later time. We don’t have such details at this time. We can see from this Tweet from Evan MacIsaac indicates that the director has stated that they are hoping to perform the entire musical.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

Also in attendance at the opening ceremonies is JPop artist T.M.Revolution who has performed a number of anime themes including Heart of Sword, the third ending theme for Rurouni Kenshin, and six songs for the series Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny. (Update: It seems as if T.M.Revolution was at last year’s opening ceremonies. Though his presence is mentioned on the Crunchyroll site this may be a mistake based on photos of him at least year’s event being on the festival’s site. He may not be appearing this year.)

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Do you live in the area? Do you plan on traveling to Washington D.C. to see this performance?

Japanese DVD screenshot - Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Natsumi and Usagi

As Kristen Bell raises concerns about consent and kissing sleeping people, let’s examine the many inappropriate sleeping kisses in Sailor Moon!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask kissing Sailor Moon without consent

In a recent interview with Parents Magazine Kristen Bell made some comments about Snow White which have been making headlines. Basically she talked about how, while reading stories to her children, she asks them to think about the implications of certain actions in fairy tales and what they mean. One particular example which is relevant to Sailor Moon, as I’ll get to shortly, is Snow White. She asks her children to consider if it’s wise to take an apple from a stranger and if it’s okay to kiss a sleeping person. Various media outlets picked up on this by saying that she is calling out older Disney films, which is surely helped by the Parents Magazine article headline “Kristen Bell Worries Disney Princesses Teach Her Daughters Bad Lessons”. In reality she is specifically speaking to fairy tales in books, many of which happen to have been adapted as Disney films. Though Snow White includes a few questionable life choices the fairy tales of the likes of Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm are ancient tales full of gruesome violence as they are products of an older and much more violent period in human history. Modern versions such as the story books we may see in stores and the Disney films we enjoy will often sanitize these to appeal to our modern sensibilities. Kristen Bell is herself the voice of Anna in Frozen, a film which sets itself apart from other Disney films by calling out tropes like marrying someone you just met, the evil queen and acts of true love coming from a newly acquainted love interest. I’ve probably watched Frozen with my daughter roughly 50 times in the past year so I’ll just stop myself from elaborating on my many thoughts on this film and its relation to other Disney classics. So much to say Kristen Bell has the privilege of having worked on a Disney film which questions the status quo of films that came before it and has a number of positive progressive messages.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - Natsumi and Mamoru

All of this brings us to Sailor Moon! I’ve mentioned this time and time again and it always seems to be divisive amongst fans. The idea is that a number of non consensual kisses given to sleeping people in the series are inappropriate due to the sleeping person’s inability to give consent. I am aware of the risk of applying a modern lens to an older work as these weren’t things I thought of in the 90s but I don’t think there’s much harm in discussing these. I am certainly not calling to ban or boycott Sailor Moon but instead, as with the conversations Kristen Bell has with her children, use it as a reason to discuss issues.

Ultimately I think it may be a little simple to give a blanket statement like saying kissing someone who is sleeping is wrong. If I kiss my baby daughter or wife while they sleep this isn’t the same as kissing a stranger. People generally kiss babies when they are too young to give overt consent, though not on the mouth. There’s nothing terribly dangerous about this. That said if I try to kiss my daughter and she says no, I will respect that request and stop. The Snow White example is perhaps not such and open and shut case. It’s not that kissing a sleeping person you’ve never met without consent is okay, however, if there is a good expectation that this will cause the person to be brought out of a comma, one could easily argue that it is morally justifiable. Similarly it may be completely inappropriate to rip a stranger’s shirt off because they are attractive however in an emergency situation it is certainly justifiable to touch someone and remove a piece of their clothing in order to perform life saving intervention. An EMT of course shouldn’t be groping a patient for sexual gratification or go around kissing people they are treating. The motivation behind these actions are the important distinction here. Most adults appreciate this nuance though children may not, hence the value in talking about the stories and media you share with them.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Drunk Usagi

There are two examples in Sailor Moon where a sleeping person is kissed and, to me, it does not seem appropriate. The first falls into a bit of a grey area because of reincarnation and that is the kiss following the Masquerande in the Dark Kingdom story arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal which also takes place in episode 22 of the original anime, “Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss”. In this case Usagi accidentally drinks alcohol thinking it is juice. She passes out drunk after which Tuxedo Mask kisses her. This looks particularly creepy in the original anime as the animation in this particular episode is a bit cheap. The issue here is, as the title of the anime episode title suggests, this is Usagi’s first kiss. Had Mamoru and Usagi been in an established relationship in which this kind of exchange was commonplace enough to be considered normal and he kissed her while she slept, this would not have been the same kind of breach of etiquette however in this case no such relationship existed… well not in this lifetime. The complication of course is that Mamoru and Usagi are reincarnated versions of Endymion and Princess Serenity. They had a relationship in the past and are dealing with fragments of memories of that. In the real world if someone used this as a defense for kissing a person who was passed out drunk they would rightfully be chastised for it as reincarnation isn’t real however in Sailor Moon it’s a real thing so it’s a bit more complicated. That Usagi is herself infatuated with Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really clear him of any wrongdoing as one can’t just assume someone else’s feelings though I think this may be why people feel more comfortable about this exchange. The fact that Usagi and Mamoru ultimately do end up in a relationship makes this seem okay in but this logic only works in retrospect. Mamoru and Rei were actually in a relationship at this time, though that infidelity isn’t even factoring into my objections to this. If you’re not convinced that this is a problem then instead consider if Umino, or anyone else, had found a drunk Usagi and done the same.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi

This seems to have been a concern for someone at DiC when the original Sailor Moon anime was first dubbed. Episode 22 was heavily edited for a number of reasons, including adding some backwards footage to make it appear as if Serena went back and took the stairs instead of falling off the balcony. In this particular there is no alcoholic punch, Serena never gets drunk and never passes out. The “first kiss” between her and Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really take place. The scene is shown but a voice over by Tuxedo Mask states that it’s simply his dream. So much to say it’s generally considered okay to kiss pretty much anyone in your dream. As a result of this the first on screen kiss for the Sailor Moon English dub takes place in Sailor Moon R right before Rini drops in from the future. This momentous occasion is spoiled by an awkward joke about Darien tasting peanut butter and getting stuck.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Luna kisses Kakeru

Next we have a series of kisses from Sailor Moon S The Movie. These are fresh in my mind having just watched the recently released Blu-Ray release of the film. Many fans would have seen the film in theatres this summer. In this film Luna falls in love with a human. After asking Usagi what a kiss tastes like she takes advantage of Kakeru, the source of her affection, by kissing him while he is asleep. There is no past life relationship between Luna and Kakeru. In fact Kakeru himself has a love interest in Himeko. This isn’t cool! Kakeru does not consent to the act and is in no state to do so. The situation is a bit complicated by the fact that Luna is a cat. I have cats and I have been known to kiss them on occasion. Dogs enjoy licking people’s faces and this is generally not considered to be some violation or assault, but then dogs are animals without human intelligence. Luna is a cat, yes, but a cat who essentially has a human equivalent mind. As an aside there is very little that resembles consent in the animal kingdom as most sexual interactions are forced. This is more or less true of humans until recent history as well, but we’ve come a long way and we should all be glad to live in a world where a person’s autonomy is respected. This isn’t the only kiss in the film as Luna later kisses Kakeru while she is in human form and the two fly around space for a while. Kakeru may believe this surreal experience to be a dream but it is real and Luna doesn’t ask if it is okay to kiss him, but he is awake and he doesn’t back away. This is probably similar to how a lot of human on human kisses take place so I won’t harp on that one too much. In the 90s I don’t think anyone would bat an eye at this but in 2018 some people might take issue with such behaviour.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Tuxedo Mask kisses a dead Sailor Moon

There are a few Snow White style kisses in the series. The first takes place during Sailor Moon R episode 69 “Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress” in which Sailor Moon is very much trapped in a Snow White style sleep which Mamoru wakes her up of with a kiss. Something similar occurs in Sailor Moon R The Movie when Sailor Moon literally dies, again, but can be healed through the nectar of the Kisesian Flower. Mamoru sucks up the nectar and gives it to Sailor Moon in a kiss. In both cases this resembles Snow White in that it is a necessary life saving intervention but, unlike in the story of Snow White, Mamoru and Usagi have an established relationship when this happens.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - An, as Snow White, tries to kiss Mamoru, as Prince Charming

Snow White style kiss that never quite happened however is the kiss between An and Mamoru in Sailor Moon R episode 56 “Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An’s Project Snow White”. In this episode An orchestrates things so that she will play Snow White in a play and get a chance to kiss Mamoru, who is playing Prince Charming. Things don’t go as planned however as her attempt to kiss him during rehearsal fails and the play is cut short by an attack by a Cardian summoned by none other than her brother lover.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Finally we have the kiss between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Moon in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. This a sort of surprise kiss that Sailor Moon doesn’t expect and doesn’t have time to consent to one way or another. This in turn opens up the story to all sorts of interesting questions about sexuality which are quite worthwhile but it’s something I felt was worth pointing out.

All said I think Kristen Bell’s attitude of simply wanting to discuss what she’s reading with her children to be completely reasonable. She’s hardly arguing that Snow White is responsible for all of the ills of society and banning them in her household but rather finding a way to allow her children to consume media which she might not be totally okay with all while using it as a way to start a conversation about a serious topic. This isn’t quite the same attitude that Keira Knightley has, as her recent appearance on Ellen illustrated. She bans certain movies in her house, even some she quite enjoys, such as the Little Mermaid, because she’s concerned they might present a negative message. Far be it for me to tell someone else how to raise their kids! If this works for her than so be it. When I watch The Little Mermaid with my daughter I keep in mind the simple lesson this movie teaches. Don’t make a deal with a Sea Witch to get something you can get from your daddy for free if you’d just learn to communicate. I don’t think Disney is too upset about this either. If it bothers them they can wipe away their tears with some of that Pirates money.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe some of these kisses are inappropriate? Am I just overreacting and applying a modern lens to a harmless story? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

How accurate is the Tuxedo Mask “My job here is done” meme?

"My Job Here Is Done" "But You Didn't Do Anything" meme

You have probably seen this meme somewhere on the Internet! Tuxedo Mask states “My job here is done” to which Sailor Moon replies “But you didn’t do anything”. This lends itself well to a variety of humourous situations in which a person claims to have done something and really did nothing at all. Very funny, but just how accurate is this meme in the first place?

Sailor Moon episode 1 - My job here is done

There are really two things to ask ourselves here. The first is whether or not anything close to this exchange ever took place in the show and the other, more general idea, is whether Tuxedo Mask does indeed do anything with his interventions. Let us first look at the scene in question. The images we see in this meme are from the first episode of Sailor Moon “The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation”. Tuxedo Mask says something to Sailor Moon after her battle with Morga and then departs. Contrary to what the meme states he does not actually say anything which resembles “My job here is done” or “My work here is done”. This can be a bit tricky as there are so many versions of Sailor Moon and its dubs, so let’s look at a few. With Sailor Moon first coming into popularity in North America in 1995 the version most Internet users and casual fans are likely to be familiar with is the DiC English dub. In this version he states “You have done well Sailor Moon and now Molly’s mother and all the other women are free. Others will test you. Do not be afraid. I will fight with you.” to which Sailor Moon responds, after he’s gone, “What a hunky guy”. Note that the response isn’t from the image used in the meme but is said when she has hearts in here eyes moments later.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Sailor Moon is very impressed with Tuxedo Mask

Sure, you may be saying, but that’s the horrible butchered DiC dub which committed various atrocities to my childhood and humanity! Let’s look at the original line then. This scene appears in the manga, in the original Japanese anime and in Sailor Moon Crystal. It has been translated more or less faithfully a number of times and always gives roughly the same idea. The recent more accurate Viz dub has Tuxedo Mask saying “Well done Sailor Moon. I won’t soon forget what happened here tonight.” to which Sailor Moon responds “He’s so cute”. The subbed version is essentially the same. The manga version is a bit different as there was no rose thrown and Tuxedo Mask actually didn’t do anything, though again there is no dialog which resembles the meme at all. In no version does Tuxedo Mask actually say “My job here is done” or anything like it. Sailor Moon similarly doesn’t respond that he didn’t do anything but this is hardly a surprise as this unexpected response is more meant to be a mocking of what he did rather than what she actually said.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Morga nearly kills Sailor Moon

Next then we should look at whether in this episode in question and the series as a whole, Tuxedo Mask actually does anything! In this particular scene the dialogue follows Sailor Moon’s fight with Morga. While Sailor Moon is fighting she is backed against a wall with a bunch of brainwashed jewelry store clients marching against her. Morga extends her claws to Sailor Moon, ready to strike her with a deadly blow. All hope seems lost when … a single rose flies in front of her distracting the enemy. Sailor Moon then cries which causes this amplified sonic attack which is not used again until Sailor Moon SuperS. Luna then tells Sailor Moon to use her tiara which defeats the enemy. Would Sailor Moon still have had the time to use her sonic attack without Tuxedo Mask intervening? It seems very unlikely. The image of Morga reacting to the rose shows that her hand was just in front of Sailor Moon and it seemed unlikely she would have had time to launch her sonic attack. It isn’t terribly fair to say that Tuxedo Mask didn’t do anything in this scenario. He caused a momentary distraction which allowed Sailor Moon to get the upper hand and use her own power to save the day and this is close to how that interaction usually occurs. Had he not been here would Sailor Moon have been killed by Morga? Who knows. Perhaps Sailor Moon would have died and then reincarnated through some plot device. Perhaps she would have cried which caused the light of the Silver Crystal to scare off Morga (though the Crystal in this continuity is split up into seven Rainbow Crystals with Sailor Moon’s tear being the catalyst to bring them together). Perhaps Luna would have sacrificed herself by putting her body between Sailor Moon and the attack, as she does when Fiore tries to kill Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon R The Movie. Lots of options but, generally speaking, it seems like his intervention did in some sense save Sailor Moon here.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - A rose appears

In general Tuxedo Mask usually does about the same thing. The monster shows up and things start to get a little tense when a well timed rose shakes things up enough for Sailor Moon and her friends to get their footing and deal a finishing blow to the enemy. Without Tuxedo Mask perhaps some of these close calls would have gone the other way leading to Sailor Moon losing instead of winning some of these close fights. Still Tuxedo Mask has no attacks in the original anime. He fights with roses and a cane which are not terribly lethal and at best helps to give the upper hand rather than actually defeating the monster of the week.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Sailor Moon not saying he didn't do anything

All said this is Sailor Moon’s show. She is the strong capable superhero and is not your typical damsel in distress in constant need of saving. Tuxedo Mask comes in with a quick assist from time to time but he’s not scoring the game winning goal. It’s an odd state where he is made to be protecting Sailor Moon and saving her without doing most of the heavy lifting. This is a tough line to walk and likely an intentional one. Sailor Moon is a role model and inspiration to viewers. She has strength and power of her own and is not helpless next to the man who protects her. Still Tuxedo Mask is the valiant and courageous love interest who protects and helps her because that is a sort of archetype which is appealing to the viewer. Sailor Moon herself is impressed with how he wants to protect her. Tuxedo Mask’s name Mamoru even means “protect” in Japanese. The manga and anime really do try to have it both ways by having Tuxedo Mask protect and rescue Sailor Moon but also have her be strong on her own. This is a hard balance to get. I have certainly heard criticism that Sailor Moon is a damsel in distress but I don’t think this is accurate. She really is strong and really does fight her own battles and Tuxedo Mask does the minimum needed to be the dashing protector and saviour while still making Sailor Moon’s victories her own well earned accomplishment, not to mention Sailor Moon getting along just fine when Tuxedo Mask is busy being evil, a bad boyfriend, injured or dead.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru sees something on the wing

With that I’d say the meme is certainly funny and I understand how in some fundamental way it strikes a cord but ultimately I don’t think it accurately reflects the dynamic between the two. Tuxedo Mask does something. He doesn’t do much and he doesn’t do enough to take away Sailor Moon’s spotlight but he’s a worthwhile low powered sidekick who provides well timed distractions and words of support when they are needed. Beyond that he doesn’t take credit for being the victor in battles which he isn’t actually winning.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Tuxedo Mask leaves

What do you think? Is Tuxedo Mask a useless blowhard who takes credit when nothing is done? Is he a harmful stereotype teaching girls they’re damsels in distress who can’t do anything on their own? Am I overthinking this harmless joke?

Karyn Dwyer, the voice of BesuBesu of the Amazoness Quartet, dies at age 43

Karyn Dwyer

Actress Karyn Dwyer who provided the voice of BesuBesu or VesVes of the Amazoness Quartet in the original English dub of Sailor Moon, died last week on September 25th. Born in Newfoundland Karyn Dwyer starred in many TV series and movies which were filmed in Canada. She lived in Toronto where she worked on Sailor Moon. She is well known for her starring role in the 1999 film Better Than Chocolate.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 160 - The Amazoness Quartet

VesVes, named after the asteroid Vesta, went by the name BesuBesu in the English dub which Karyn Dwyer voiced the character in. My deepest condolences to Karyn Dwyer’s friends and family. Her contribution to Sailor Moon will be remembered with fondness by her fans.

Source: Pop Goes The News

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 163 - The Amazoness Quartet stuck in mirrors

Hinamatsuri Petit Chara figures of Usagi, Mamoru, Haruka and Michiru are coming in January

Hinamatsuri Petit Chara - Mamoru and Usagi

Four new Sailor Moon Petit Chara figures have been announced on the official Sailor Moon site. These ones are Hinamatsuri themed, showing Usagi, Mamoru, Haruka and Michiru in traditional Japanese dress. What, you may ask, is Hinamatsuri? Some of you may already be familiar with this but I certainly wasn’t before seeing these. Hinamatsuri, also known as Doll’s Day or Girl’s Day, is a holiday in Japan celebrated on March 3rd of each year. On this day ornamental dolls, which these figures are meant to resemble, are displayed.

Hinamatsuri Petit Chara - Haruka and Michiru

There are two sets of figures available. One is on Mamoru and Usagi and the other is of Haruka and Michiru. As these dolls traditionally show a wedding or an Emperor and Empress it seems fitting to use Sailor Moon’s two most iconic couples for these sets. The figures are available for pre-order on certain online sites now and will be released online and in stores in Japan in January 2019. Though prices vary slightly each set of two figures will sell for roughly 3000 yen, about $26.50.

Hinamatsuri Petit Chara - Mamoru and Usagi, Haruka and Michiru

Do you plan on picking up these sets? There are a lot of photos of the figures so keep reading for more images.

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Check out the board and pieces for the upcoming Sailor Moon Monopoly game

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Board

A Sailor Moon Monopoly game is coming! A listing for this game has been up with many retailers for a while now but we can now see, from the GameStop listing for the product, what the game’s board will look like! The game will retail for $39.99 US and will be released November 9th according to GameStop’s site. With the release of this version of Monopoly there will be as many different types of Monopoly games as there are Funko Pop toys at GameStop! The box and board feature all characters from the Sailor Moon S season including all 10 Sailor Guardians as well as other villains from that season such as Professor Tomoe, the Witches 5 and Mistress 9. Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion are also on the game though those characters don’t make a proper appearance in the S season. As a long time Monopoly player it seems obvious that the values on most of the board match what people would be used to only all spaces are replaced with Sailor Moon themed characters and items. Properties are all characters with other characters and items making up others squares. I’ve listed a breakdown of what characters are replacing for every original Monopoly space:

Mediteranian Avenue – Luna and Artemis
Baltic Avenue – Mimete

Oriental Avenue – Eudial
Vermont Avenue – Viluy
Connecticut Avenue – Tellu

St. Charles Place – Cyprine/Ptilol
States Avenue – Sailor Chibi Moon
Virginia Avenue – Kaolinite

St. James Place – Sailor Mercury
Tennessee Avenue – Sailor Mars
New York Avenue – Sailor Jupiter

Kentucky Avenue – Sailor Venus
Indiana Avenue – Professor Tomoe
Illinois Avenue – Sailor Pluto

Atlantic Avenue – Tuxedo Mask
Ventor Avenue – Sailor Neptune
Marvin Gardens – Sailor Uranus

Pacific Avenue – Mistress 9
North Carolina Avenue – Sailor Saturn
Pennsylvania Avenue – Sailor Moon

Park Place – King Endymion
Boardwalk – Neo Queen Serenity

Reading Railroad – Garnet Rod
Pennsylvania Railroad – Deep Aqua Mirror
B. & O. Railroad – Space Sword
Short Line – Silence Glaive

Electric Company – Cosmic Heart Compact
Water Works – Spiral Moon Heart Rod

Community Chest – Love
Chance – Friendship

Income Tax and Luxury Tax – Something with the Witches 5?

The following spaces are unchanged:
Go
In Jail/Just Visiting
Free Parking
Go To Jail

In addition we can get a bit of a look at the “Sailor Moon Money” in this image and we see the following denominations on bills:

$1 – Sailor Moon
$5 – Sailor Chibi Moon
$10 – Sailor Mercury
$20 – Sailor Mars
$50 – Sailor Jupiter
$100 – Sailor Venus
$500 – Sailor Moon

Why Sailor Moon is on both the $1 and $500 isn’t clear! I may be mistaken as it’s hard to see exactly what it says on the $1 bill but it seems to have a crescent moon and the “Sailor” part is clear and the second 4 letter word appears to be Moon from the top of the letters we see. I’m not sure the $ is the appropriate symbol to be using in this case as there seems to be an M symbol to reference Sailor Moon Money when dollars are mentioned but it is a bit hard to make out. Sailor Moon Money has no basis in canon. Throughout most of the series the character live in Tokyo and would use Japanese Yen as currency. I don’t know what currency would be used in Crystal Tokyo but it seems unlikely that it would be called Sailor Moon Money as Sailor Moon is no longer an active superhero at the time, what with being the Queen of that city.

Sailor Moon Monopoly - Box

We also see what the tokens for the game will be. These are also listed on the GameStop site. These are the Cosmic Heart Compact, Moon Chalice, Spiral Heart Moon Rod, Garnet Orb, Deep Aqua Mirror and Space Sword. These are again all items appearing in Sailor Moon S.

Why Sailor Moon S? Why now? Sailor Moon SuperS has now been released in its entirety in North America on home video. Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is out subtitled on streaming services. When it comes to Sailor Moon Crystal we’ve only gotten up to the Infinity Arc, telling the equivalent of the Sailor Moon S story, but these are clearly original Sailor Moon anime based designs and not Sailor Moon Crystal designs like we’ve seen with the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game. Surely there is the convenience of having all of the Sailor Guardians appearing in Sailor Moon S allowing for more properties with those characters in it. If we had a first season based game we might be seeing Queen Beryl and the Shitennou alongside Naru and Umino instead. There are certainly reasons for which Sailor Moon S makes sense for the game’s setting, but it still seems odd and a bit arbitrary to me.

Do you plan on picking this game up? How many versions of Monopoly do you own?

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray March 20th

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Sayuri Inoue and Mizuki Yamashita as Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon in Weekly Shonen Magazine

Good news for musical fans who have TVs that were made after 1992! It has been announced on the official Sailor Moon site that the recent Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will be released not only on low resolution DVD but also on high definition Blu-Ray! This 3 disk set will include two version of the musical, that being both the Team Moon and Team Star versions, as well as bonus features! This is great news given the last 5 musicals, all released long after Blu-Rays and high definition televisions were commonplace, were only released on a low quality 480i DVD. I’ve complained about this time and time again as the past musical releases are really not in keeping with where the rest of the video industry is. This has become particularly frustrating in light of the fact that streaming and digital versions of the musical, uniquely available in Japan, are available in significantly higher resolutions than the DVD releases. I had previously suspected that the reason for the low quality releases was that older style video cameras had been used for the recordings, but this does not appear to be the case.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - The entire cast

This is particularly useful for North American fans who would normally not be able to play Japanese DVDs but are able to play Japanese Blu-Rays. Japan is in DVD region 2, while North America is in DVD region 1, requiring a region free DVD player to be able to watch a Japanese DVD. When it comes to Blu-Ray discs however a different system based on letters is used and both North America and Japan are part of Blu-Ray region A. I play all of my imported Japanese Blu-Rays on my off the shelf Canadian PlayStation 3 and 4 systems without issue. Keep in mind that these Japanese releases do not have any subtitles so fans will only be able to watch them in Japanese.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical - Sailor Mercury, Mars and Moon

These releases unfortunately will not be cheap! The Blu-Ray release is 9504 yen, about $84 US, and the DVD at a modest 8424 yen, about $75. There’s certainly a good deal of content at that price but this still seems quite expensive! Bonus features on the third disc will include rehearsal footage, backstage video and more.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

I certainly hope that this means we will be getting Blu-Ray releases of musicals in the future. While that may be the case this release may also be given more attention due to the fact that it involves members of the band Nogizaka46 and will appeal to a new audience. We don’t have any box art yet but I think a reversible cover with Team Moon and Team Star would be fun. Do you plan on picking up this release?

Sailor Moon S and SuperS Movie showings were plagued by technical issues and suffered from poor attendance

Sailor Moon S Dish Network playback issues

Last month Sailor Moon S The Movie and Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie played in theatres here in North America. Unfortunately many fans who attended showings of these films had negative experiences, mostly due to technical issues. One of the more common complaints was that the wrong movies were played. The first weekend was meant to show an encore showing of Sailor Moon R The Movie, originally shown in theatres in January of 2017, along with a first time presentation of Sailor Moon S The Movie. Many theatres instead played Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie as well as the Ami’s First Love special, which should have been a week later. This may not seem like a big deal but amongst many fans Sailor Moon S holds a special place, being the only one which is based directly on a manga story. Others had issues with the sound in the theatre being far too loud. In some cases the movie failed to play. One user got the photo which I posted above showing an error with the satellite connection which appeared to be streaming the film. In another case the screen’s subtitles were too low making them hard to read. Others who planned to watch it dubbed instead got a subbed version.

Some have asked why the film wasn’t simply played on film or some other kind of physical media to avoid this kind of problem. This was likely a cost savings measure. For a wide release movie it makes sense to send hard drives or film reels across the country but for a one time only or weekend long release like this such a thing isn’t feasible. Traditionally smaller release movies would have reels going from city to city with those showings happening at different times in different places. Digital technology allows us to have these kinds of releases taking place across the country simultaneously. In this case there were some issues doing so. I’m not an insider in the world of movie theatres so it’s hard to say if these problems are due to a new system that some places aren’t experienced with, limitations of the technology or something completely different such as inadequately labeled movie titles. It’s very difficult for me to get a feel for just how widespread these problems are. I don’t have specific metrics on who had a great experience and who didn’t, though when I asked about it on Twitter and Facebook and got a number of responses just from my own followers, this seemed to me to be an indication that the problems were fairly widespread. To be clear I saw a showing of the SuperS film with Ami’s First Love and did not experience any technical issues.

An empty theatre at a Sailor Moon SuperS screening

Many fans also commented on how few people attended their showings compared to the better turnouts for Sailor Moon R The Movie last year. I was excited to attend the R Movie with a packed theatre and was a bit surprised to see that there was only myself and one other group of fans in attendance to see Sailor Moon SuperS and Ami’s First Love. The fact that I went to a late addition evening showing may have been a factor but from what most fans are saying, there wasn’t the same kind of turn out anywhere for these. It’s hard to say exactly why this might be but many seem to feel that this was not marketed as well as the R Movie had been. Again I don’t have any specific metrics for this. Box Office Mojo has numbers indicating that last year’s showings of Sailor Moon R The Movie grossed $452,053. They unfortunately don’t have any numbers listed for the S and SuperS films and I was not able to find specific numbers elsewhere.

Did you have issues seeing the film?

Source: @lambdapower, @itsmoonrevenge, @BailliePuckett, @Meiruechan, @_MegumiAi_, @Internetcanunot

As the new Eternal Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are released in English a smaller Bunkobon version is coming to Japan September 28th

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 1 cover - Sailor Moon

As a new even bigger version of the Sailor Moon manga, the Eternal Edition, is being released in English tomorrow an even smaller version will soon be released in Japan! Japanese readers will be getting a Bunkobon version of the Sailor Moon manga which is a smaller and cheaper version of the manga. At only 842 yen, about $7.50 US, this is about half the price of the Complete Editions which were released a few years ago. These are Bunkobon or Bunkoban Editions which are a size which is referred to in Japan as A6, which is roughly 4.13″ x 5.83″. In contrast the new Eternal Editions which are coming out in North America are even bigger than the large Complete Edition Japanese versions and measure a whopping 7.1″ x 9.98″, a bit smaller than a standard 8.5″ x 11″ letter sheet of paper. This is almost double the height and width of the new Bunkobon Japanese versions and roughly 3 times the surface area! Of course the larger English version is also over three times the cost so you really do get what you’re paying for! The Japanese Complete Editions were A5 size which is between the two at 5.83″ × 8.27″. Check out this Tweet by @thesailorbook to see the difference between the new English version and the Japanese Complete Edition. The Bunkobon Edition is not included in this size comparison.

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 2 cover - Sailor Mercury

The first two volumes of the Bunkobon editions will be released on September 28th. The covers are similar to the Complete Editions and Eternal Editions showing art of Sailor Moon on volume 1 and Sailor Mercury on volume 2. Both volumes 1 and 2 are available for pre-order from Amazon Japan. If you’re more interested in buying an English version, with high quality paper and some colour pages, you can order those using the Amazon.com links below. Only volume 1 is released on September 11th while volume 2 won’t be out until November 13th with later volumes coming out in 2019. Since there were delays with volume 1 coming out there may be more delays to that schedule.

Will you be picking either of these up? How many versions of the Sailor Moon manga are you up to now? I think I’ll be up to 9 if I get both of these but I’m starting to lose count. My Sailor Moon books are still in boxes as I’m moving into my new place.

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will air on Japanese television September 29th and 30th which may lead to a fan subbed version being produced

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - The entire cast

News has been posted to the Official Sailor Moon Site stating that at the end of September the Nogizaka x Sailor Moon musical will be airing on Japanese TV. The showings, on TBS channel 2 in Japan, will be held on two days to showcase both Team Star, September 29th, and Team Moon, September 30th. Each showing is at 5pm Japan Standard Time. What does this mean for us fans out here on the other side of the globe far from being basked in the radio waves of Tokyo Tower? In the past when a streaming version of the musical was made available this meant that some fan would record the broadcast and eventually create an English fan subbed version of the musical. I have been watching the releases from Miss Dream for the past many years but a takedown notice by King Records has lead to them removing their hosted files for the Petite Étrangère, Un Nouveau Voyage, Amour Eternal and Le Mouvement Final musicals. What does this mean for the new musical? I can’t say for sure.

Last week Miss Dream content manager Sailor Busters posted to her Twitter account stating her intention to record and upload the musical for the site.


It seems like the fan subbing group intends to share the musical. They may of course decide not to rather than risk another takedown notice after all the hard work that goes into translating and subtitling a musical. If it does get subbed and King Records sends another takedown notice they would likely comply and remove the content. I can’t predict the future but it seems like a subbed version of the musical is a possibility.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Team Star

I’m always hesitant to advocate flat out piracy on this site. In this case fan subs are thought to occupy a grey area where they aren’t legal but in cases such as this they seem to do little or nothing to negatively affect any legal product sales in Japan. Because of this most fan sub groups will be removed once there is a legal release of that content. I always encourage fans to support the official releases when possible. In this case the musicals have generally been released on video in Japan only. These releases are region coded with DVD region 2 which will not play in North America. These have not included any English audio or subtitles. Further the digital versions are usually restricted to users in Japan. That said things are getting more complicated as we have started to see performances and even theatrical showings of recent musicals here in North America.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Team Moon

Could the takedown notices by King Records be an indication of plans for a North American release of the musicals? I can only speculate as to what this means. It may simply be the case that they are trying to avoid having Japanese fans, who might otherwise pay for their legal releases, from downloading these English fan subbed releases and disabling the soft subtitles to watch them without any English text. The Internet, after all, has no borders. These sort of things didn’t happen back in the days of tape swapping and were less relevant with hard subbed videos which would be that much less appealing to a Japanese viewer. Similarly North American releases of Japanese anime on DVD and Blu-Ray could be imported by Japanese viewers often at a fraction of the cost of expensive Japanese releases. In the case of Sailor Moon this hasn’t been much of an issue with the massive difference in quality between Japanese and domestic releases.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Sayuri Inoue and Mizuki Yamashita as Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon in Weekly Shonen Magazine

What do you think? Have you been watching the Miss Dream subs of the musicals like many others in the fan community? Are you hoping to have a chance to watch the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical as well? What do you think about the morality of sharing fan subs of releases not legally available in a country?