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?

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.

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.

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Dyskami Publishing is teaming up with Japanime Games to distribute new Sailor Moon Crystal tabletop games

Dyskami Publishing and Japanime Games

Dyskami Publishing, who have released the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game and will soon be releasing an expansion and a Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff game, have teamed up with Japanime Games. What does this mean? It seems like they will be distributing Truth or Bluff with Japanime Games and that they are working on a new game as well.

Sailor Moon Crystal: Truth or Bluff - Contents

The press release announcing the partnership can be seen on the Dyskami Publishing web site’s news section. They mention that this is a distribution partnership, which seems to indicate that Dyskami will continue to be the ones to design the actual games but that distribution will be done with the help of Japanime Games. The purpose would be to bring those games to a wider audience. Having newer seen a copy of Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge in a store, this seems like a good idea. Sailor Moon products are very popular and I’ve seen the Sailor Moon Monopoly games in a number of stores in Ontario and Quebec where I live, so the audience is certainly there.

The press release also mentions that in addition to the Dice Challenge expansion and the Truth or Bluff game that “Additional games in the Sailor Moon Crystal line are under development for release later in 2019 and throughout 2020.”. This is a bit vague but it does seem as if more Sailor Moon Crystal games are coming! We certainly look forward to seeing what else Dyskami is working on. For now Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge’s expansion as well as the Truth or Bluff game can be pre-ordered from Dyskami Publishing’s store.

The Sailor Moon Role-Playing Game and Resource Book and the Complete Book of Yoma

Dyskami Publishing has also recently announced that they would be releasing the 4th version of their popular BESM or Big Eyes, Small Mouth pen and paper role playing game. Why would Sailor Moon fans be interested in this? The BESM role playing system was designed by Dyskami Publishing’s Mark C. MacKinnon back in 1997 just a year before he released the Sailor Moon pen and paper role playing game and later the Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game. Though the BESM game has evolved quite a bit over the years, meaning a player should not expect any compatibility between the games, fans of the Sailor Moon role playing game would be wise to check out BESM!

Sailor Moon Collectible Card Game

Have you picked up Dyskami Publishing’s Dice Challenge game? Will you also be getting Truth or Bluff and their future releases?

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 is now available to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray from Amazon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

Following last week’s news about Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on June 18th fans can now pre-order the set from Amazon. This includes the less expensive DVD version, selling for just $28.26, as well as the standard Blu-Ray version, which is selling for $61.12 and the Limited Edition Blu-Ray which is $71.73. This is slightly less expensive than pre-ordering from RightStuf, which currently costs $71.99, though users ordering from RightStuf will be able to get the exclusive coin. If you pre-order from Amazon using the links below, or any other Amazon links such as the ones on the left sidebar on the main page, this will support this site.

This set includes episodes 167 to 183. This includes the short six episode Nehelenia arc, which is a sort of bridge between the SuperS season and Sailor Stars, and the introduction of the Sailor Starlights and their alternate identities, the Three Lights! The set will end with the introduction of the mysterious Chibi Chibi! These will be available for the first time with English audio, featuring Viz’s new English dub of the series, as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles. We never got a straight answer as to why Sailor Stars wasn’t originally dubbed but some fans believe that it was because the content would have been considered inappropriate for some viewers. If that was ever true it seems like this is no longer the case!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

Do you ship Seiya and Usagi? Will you be getting this release? I’m certainly looking forward to watching it in English for the first time. Though I’ve imported the Japanese DVDs and laserdiscs of Sailor Stars over the years the copies I’ve watched the most were VHS fan subs and a bootleg DVD, both of which used the VKLL subtitle scripts.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 182 - Chibi Chibi

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten - The Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 is coming to home video June 18th

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray contents

We were promised Sailor Stars in the Spring and Viz Media delivered with less than a week to spare! June 18th, a whole 3 days before the first day of summer, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 will be released DVD and Blu-Ray! This will include episodes 167 to 183 which will be available with English dialogue for the first time ever! Sailor Stars was never released along with the original dub and now that we’ve gotten all of the movies and specials with Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub, Sailor Stars is the only thing left!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars pre-order coin

The set is available to pre-order from RightStuf. This will include a special collectible coin, as has been the case with releases in the past.

Sailor Moon StarS vol. 1

RightStuf is doing a very bizarre thing and naming it “Sailor Moon StarS” in their item description. I had never seen this term before but it was mentioned by @fredjfrancis on Twitter that this was the naming convention previously used by Tokypop with their original release of the manga. Having originally read the manga in French I had no need for Tokyopop’s release so this wasn’t something I’d ever noticed. I can only imagine that this is meant to match somewhat with how SuperS was written for the previous season, but this StarS naming convention is not one based on anything done in Japan. Sailor Moon S is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Super” when spoken during the commercial bumpers. Sailor Moon SuperS is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Supers” (Su-pa-su) when pronounced, though in my brain I always read it as “Super Ess”. The last S in Stars, however, is never capitalized in any Japanese sources.

Tokyopop Sailor Moon Stars vol. 1 Sailor Moon Manga - Stars

This started with Tokyopop’s manga release but in this case the final three volumes, rebranded as Stars 1, 2 and 3, did not have those titles in Japan. The manga compilations were simply volumes 16, 17 and 18, as no separate titles were ever used for the manga covers. Individual chapters were titled Stars 1, 2 and so forth, following with the naming conventions from the Infinity and Dream arcs, these are written in Japanese Katakana characters and not in English, as we saw with SuperS in the anime.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 Laserdisc

The Anime series was not even called Sailor Moon Stars. It was called Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. There are different ways to write this out! In Japan the series is generally written as one word “Sailormoon”. This fifth season title was usually written in Katakana but when it was written in English it was usually spelled as “Sailormoon Sailorstars”. No specific emphasis on the final S was ever made as can be seen from the laserdisc and DVD box art. I tend to spell it “Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” on this site as all four of those are separate words in English. Viz is doing the same, although the word “Sailor” is written in a much smaller font size than “Stars”, as was the case with graphics used for the sub on Hulu, which may lead to some confusion.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 DVD

Calling it “StarS” is an odd and awkward choice on RightStuf’s part which seems to be a mistake. Perhaps this will be corrected in time! Regardless, I’m looking forward to finally watching Sailor Stars in English. Do you plan on picking this one up?

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The soundtrack for the Sailor Moon The Super Live musical is now available worldwide on iTunes and Apple Music

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live

As the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live musical was being performed in the United States the soundtrack from the musical was released on iTunes and Apple Music around the globe! While Sailor Moon soundtracks are often just released in Japan this time the album is available on iTunes stores worldwide! The announcement on the official Sailor Moon site included direct links to the Japanese and US iTunes stores. I was also able to find it in the Canadian iTunes store with a little searching. If you have trouble finding the album in your store try searching for “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” as there are a lot of results for “Sailor Moon”. I’ve never used Apple Music but I assume a similar search would get you what you need.

Something important to note is that these are only the instrumental versions of the songs in the musical, meaning there are no vocals included! I’m not sure why they wouldn’t include the complete versions of the tracks but a couple of fans on Twitter mentioned that all but a handful of the songs in the musical didn’t have lyrics. It seems like this album isn’t missing much by omitting the vocals.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Super Live

Pricing is a bit inconsistent! The Japanese price is 2400 yen, which is about $22.50 US. The US price on the other hand is $15.99 US! Good deal. The Canadian price is $15.99 Canadian which is an even better deal since that’s the equivalent of about $12 US. I’m so used to paying $80 Canadian for a game that costs $60 in the US so this was a nice surprise. I’m used to import CDs and DVDs in Japan being absurdly expensive so being able to pay almost half of the Japanese price is a nice change.

As I haven’t seen this musical yet, it’s hard for me to comment much on these tracks! The songs are quite good from what I can tell with a fun electronic sound and some nice throwbacks to music from the original anime, but this is a musical that’s meant to be seen and heard so I’m really only getting a part of the experience!

Sailor Moon The Super Live - Team America cast

The track titles are either hilarious or terrible, depending on how you choose to look at such a thing. It’s a mix of romanized Japanese, actual English words and romanized versions of Japanese translations of English words. This makes for things like “Seeraa Gaadianzu” instead of “Sailor Guardians”. I’ve included two track lists below. The one on the left is the better version from the official site which uses English words when the words are English and otherwise uses romanized Japanese. The listing on the right is the mess we get on iTunes! With a little effort one should be able to update their own track title info in iTunes.

1. GeneiⅠ
2. Joou Kunrin
3. Good Morning! (Sorry,I’m late…)
4. Moonlight Legend (Short ver.)
5. Matenrou no yoru
6. Ecole!School Gakkou Gakkou
7. Metamorphosis
8. Barairo no Tatakai
9. Koisuru Usagi
10. BestFriends
11. HARAJUKU KAWAII
12. Go to the Arcade!!
13. Ordinary days
14. 「OI,ODANGO!」
15. 「KOKOKARA DASE!」
16. Electro Go Round
17. We are Sailor Guardians
18. Tousouchu
19. Otome no Policy (ballade ver.)
20. Shinshoku
21. GeneiⅡ
22. Welcome to Dark Kingdom
23. Strike Back
24. GeneiⅢ
25. Aijou
26. Omoi, Soshite
27. La prière
28. On the Moon
29. Moon Crisis Re;Make Up
30. Dance De Medley
31. Otome no Policy
32. Everlasting Light of the Dark Kingdom
33. A Single Rose
34. La soldier
35. We are Sailor Guardians

[Album bonus track]
36. Moonlight Legend

1 Genei I
2 Joou Kunrin
3 Good Morning! (Sorry, I’m late…)
4 Muunraito Densetsu (Short Ver.)
5 Matenrou No Yoru
6 Ecole! School Gakkou Gakkou
7 Metamorphosis
8 Barairo No Tatakai
9 Koisuru Usagi
10 BestFriends
11 Harajuku Kawaii
12 Go to the Arcade!!
13 Ordinary Days
14 “Oi, Odango!”
15 “Kokokara Dase!”
16 Electro Go Round
17 Watashitachi Seeraa Gaadianzu (Battle Ver.)
18 Tousouchu
19 Otomeno Porishii (Ballade Ver.)
20 Shinshoku
21 Genei II
22 Welcome to Dark Kingdom
23 Strike Back
24 Genei III
25 Aijou
26 Omoi, Soshite
27 La Prière
28 On the Moon
29 Moon Crisis Re; Make Up
30 Dance De Medley
31 Otomeno Porishii
32 Tokoyami No Daaku Kingudamu
33 Ichirin No Bara
34 La Soldier
35 Watashitachi Seeraa Gaadianzu

36 Muunraito Densetsu

With the difficulty that often comes with importing expensive Sailor Moon media internationally it certainly is nice to see a release like this being worldwide. With the recent musicals having more and more showings outside of Japan this really is a move in the right direction for fans across the globe. Supporting releases like this is likely to have more visibility to those who are marketing Sailor Moon than simply importing goods. We can only hope that future Sailor Moon soundtracks will get a similar release. Some day I would certainly like to see a Sailor Moon musical released on video outside of Japan! Who knows what the future will bring? A lot could happen in the decades to come before Sailor Moon Crystal is wrapped up!

Is it appropriate for Sailor Moon to be partnering with weight loss shake Slim Up Slim?

Sailor Moon x Slim Up Slim

We’ve seen some odd things associated with the Sailor Moon brand over the past few years including condoms and tampons but this latest partnership with Slim Up Slim weight loss shakes seems inappropriate to me. The image above shows Usagi and Mamoru promoting the shakes with an image accentuating her unrealistically long and slender legs. This just makes me wonder if it’s really appropriate for a 14 year old character from a children’s manga and anime to be used to sell weight loss shakes.

What exactly is Slim Up Slim? It’s a weight loss shake. It’s marketed not just as a diet or weight loss shake but also as a “beauty diet” shake. The purpose of this product does not seem to be weight loss for the sake of health but rather weight loss for the sake of beauty. Many of these products contain collagen, which is not there to help with healthy weight loss but with skin beauty, though there is no evidence that ingesting collagen actually does anything. While calorie reduction will surely result in weight loss, these shakes containing collagen and lactic acid bacteria share many qualities with the type of scam weight loss products such as those promoted by snake oil salesmen like Doctor Oz.

This collaboration strikes me as something which could encourage unrealistic standards for women and girls and potentially lead to eating disorders, something which may be more of a concern to western audiences. Certainly I am aware that I am putting a North American lens on these things. As a Canadian I understand that we have certain body image ideas displayed in the media but also that most people are sensitive to these and ultimately encourage the idea that girls should not be told that they need to be thin to be beautiful as such pressures can be damaging. The other consideration of course is that there is an obesity epidemic in North America, which includes child obesity, and that this is a health concern. Encouraging healthy eating and exercise habits at all stages of life is genially positive, as long as it doesn’t get to the extent of shaming. Obesity is a factor in a large number of health risks, the most obvious ones being heart disease and diabetes, but also many others. That said programs asking children to eat healthy and exercise generally don’t tell them they should do so to be pretty, even if media, advertisement and other pressures may at the same time present a different image.

So much to say, I don’t think the same can be said about Japan or Asia in general. There seem to be strong pressures to be thin in many countries and this campaign as well as what we’ve seen in the series seems to reflect this. Sailor Moon gives many positive messages to girls but the characters in the series are slender, pretty and all fitting to a very similar, albeit not terribly realistic, body type. We expect some liberties in things that are drawn, after all people don’t actually have eyes that big and noses that small, but still this is what we see.

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Usagi worries about getting big

There have been many times in the Sailor Moon anime and manga in which weight gain was stigmatized. In the original Sailor Moon anime the main episode in which this comes up in is episode 4 “Learn How to be Skinny From Usagi” in which Usagi is worried she’s gaining weight and instead of telling her that as a thin 14 year old who shouldn’t worry about this, her family and Luna all agree that this is bad and encourage her to go on a diet. The Dark Kingdom opens up a gym, Shapely, which includes these pods which cause weight loss by draining energy. I found some of this troubling even when I watched this back in 1995, but the episode does have some redeeming ideas. Excessive exercise, starving and binging are generally presented as being bad, and so a reasonable diet seems to be what is argued in the end, but still Usagi’s is repeatedly teased about her weight by pretty much all characters and the takeaway message really is that it’s good to be thin. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to skip dubbing this one and giving us episode 5 or 6 instead!

Sailor Moon episode 4 - Chubby Usagi drawing

That episode originally aired in March of 1992. It’s funny that in the episode Usagi comments, while walking by a Sailor V poster, that Sailor V probably never has to diet. She’d actually been through almost the exact same situation in the manga! Canonically the Sailor V manga takes place before the Sailor Moon manga, though many of the stories were actually written later. Two years after episode 4 aired, in March of 1994, Naoko Takeuchi would write Codename Sailor V Volume 9 – Sailor V vs. deVleene!, which has such striking similarities to this episode that there must have been some inspiration.


Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Minako gains weight

In the Sailor V story the Dark Agency plots to gather energy in a slightly more elaborate way. They sell cheap and delicious Rainbow Chocolate around the time of Valentine’s Day which causes rates of obesity amongst young girls to rise. Minako is included as those affected by this weight gain and Artemis criticizes her for this. All of the girls who are gaining weight are concerned and look for a solution. The two pronged strategy of the Dark Agency also includes the spa deVleene which includes the same sort of energy draining pods that we saw in episode 4 of the Sailor Moon anime. Compare the images below to see just how similar these were. The story takes an even worse turn when the Dark Agency’s deVleene is defeated leaving the girls of town obese. Kaitou Ace comes in to save them from their weight gain by raining diet candy from the skies as well as giving them flyers promoting weight loss tea (a scam product which doesn’t work in the real world) as well as tips on exercising and dieting. While the anime left us with a somewhat ambiguous takeaway the Sailor V manga certainly does not. The salvation for the girls affected is to lose the weight.


Sailor Moon episode 4 - Energy draining pods at Shapely Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Energy draining pods

There are other one off mentions of weight in the series and they’re usually the same. For example in Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 “Become a Prima: Usagi’s Ballet” there are a number of comments about Usagi’s weight gain, as a small bulge is shown protruding from her tutu. This is similar to what we see in Sailor V. Throughout the episode of course Usagi and Sailor Moon keep their normal character designs of a very thin 15 year old. Another minor mention is in the first episode of the live action series where Usagi and Naru show envious attention to a model commenting on how she has a thin waist.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 - Chibiusa calls Usagi fat

I guess my views on this must be fairly obvious at this point. I’m not terribly pleased with this promotion. Ultimately I think it’s just indicative of a culture which is different from the one I am used to. I don’t say this to defend it but simply to explain it. The other examples from Sailor Moon which similarly push this idea are not directly tied to this campaign. TOEI or Naoko Takeuchi likely aren’t outliers in Japanese culture to push the idea that it’s good to be thin, but both are likely simply reflective of what has been going on in the country for at least the past 27 years. No doubt these kinds of products and pressures exist around the globe, but I’m not seeing them promoted with children’s cartoons here in North America. Obesity is a big problem here but I don’t think the solution is a culture of fat shaming and telling children that being thin is beautiful. For better or for worse pressures to be thin and beautiful do still exist here and they have not managed to reverse the obesity epidemic. I think the trend is mostly related to access to cheap, habit forming high reward value foods. Last year I read a book about this topic, The Hungry Brain by Stephane Guyenet, and found it very enlightening. It discusses the various things which make us wired to gain weight in an environment full of the kinds of food we have around us. You’re probably better off checking out the book than buying some pseudoscience inspired “beauty diet” shakes.

What do you think?

Codename Sailor V Volume 9 - Sailor V loses a button

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: