Celebrate Sailor Moon’s 30th Anniversary with a five minute slideshow of ads for upcoming merchandise

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 30th Anniversary Logo

As we posted about a couple of weeks ago, the Sailor Moon manga is 30 years old, as it was first published on December 28th 1991. The Sailor Moon anime will be 30 years old this year with the first episode airing March 7th 1992. As the Sailor Moon official site and franchise in general made a big deal about the 20th and 25th anniversaries it was only a matter of time until we started the five year long celebration of the 30th anniversary, and that time is now! The 30th Anniversary Logo is here! It’s pretty. Full of colours. It features Eternal Sailor Moon!

What big announcement came with this new logo? New Sailor Moon Crystal? A new musical? Merchandise that people will buy? Not really but they released a “movie” and by movie I mean a slideshow showing merchandise announcements for five minutes which you can watch embedded above. Most of this isn’t that special it just seems like they saved up a few weeks worth of normal stuff they post to the official site and then just dropped them all at once on the day they released the new logo and some intern made this little video about it. I think the only one of these things which is worth even mentioning is that a Sailor Moon museum will be opening for a short time. There aren’t really any details but it’s likely similar to what took place in 2016. Come look at some interesting Sailor Moon things and please buy this exclusive merchandise!

Are you excited about anything that was announced as part of this 30th Anniversary?

A new board game, Sailor Moon Imposterous, is coming from Dyskami Publishing in January

Sailor Moon Imposterous board gameSailor Moon Imposterous board game

Update 2021-12-15: Dyskami Publishing has mentioned via Twitter that the game has been delayed a few months due to supply chain issues so we should not expect it by January 31st. They have also mentioned that the game play is similar to that of Hive Mind by Calliope Games.

A new Sailor Moon Crystal board game is coming from Dyskami Publishing. The game, called Sailor Moon Imposterous, is listed on the Right Stuf web site with a release date of January 31st 2022. Despite this listing which includes box art the game has not yet been announced on the Dyskami web site or any of their social media pages.

MSRP for the game appears to be $39.95 US. From the description and box we can see that this game is based on Sailor Moon Crystal Season III, even though the Sailor Moon Eternal films have been released since Dyskami last released a Sailor Moon game. The following details are available from the manufacturer:

About Sailor Moon Imposterous Game
Sailor Moon Imposterous is a game for 3-12 players with approximately 30-60 minutes of game play per round.

The Deathbusters have captured someone from the Sailor Guardians team and replaced them with a Daimon imposter! Fortunately, Luna and Artemis discovered their evil plot and now everyone must work together to identify the pretender. By asking the characters a series of questions and then comparing the answers for ones that don’t align with the rest of the group, the cats can unmask the imposter and direct the rescue of the captured team-mate before it’s too late.

Details
Publisher: JAPANIME GAMES
Media: RPG/Board Games
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Themes: Battles, Magical Girl
Age Rating: 10+
Release Date: 1/31/2022
Dimensional Weight: 4

It’s hard to tell any specifics about the gameplay from that summary. Let’s hope that Dyskami Publishing releases more details about this game prior to its release.

Dyskami previously released the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game in 2018 and the Sailor Moon Crystal Truth or Bluff game in 2019. I was quite happy with both of those releases from the company and look forward to getting this new game. As the company is based in Canada I hope to be able to order directly from them as was an option in the past.

Do you plan on picking this game up? What did you think of the other Sailor Moon Crystal games by Dyskami?

Source: Right Stuf via Sailor Moon Fan Network

A Sailor Moon Eternal magazine is being released in Japan on December 24th

Sailor Moon Eternal Magazine - In store variant

A Sailor Moon Eternal magazine is coming out in Japan tomorrow which is actually soon because tomorrow in Japan is actually a bit later today! This 32 page full colour magazine will be sold in stores in Japan and online. The catch? There’s a different cover for the in store version and the online version! The magazine is fairly inexpensive, costing only 550 yen which is a bit over $5 US however ordering it online and shipping it outside of Japan will likely cost significantly more than that in shipping! I went ahead and ordered two copies from Amazon Japan because I was a bit annoyed at the prospect of spending almost three times more on shipping than on the cost of the item itself!

Sailor Moon Eternal Magazine - Online variant

The in store cover features Super Sailor Moon on the front and Super Sailor Venus, Jupiter, Mercury and Mars on the back. The online exclusive cover features Super Sailor Saturn, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune on the front and Super Sailor Chibi Moon on the back.

Sailor Moon Eternal Magazine - Index

We can see from the index what is included. I can’t really read any of that, but here’s a decent estimate at what it says.

Pages 2 to 5 – Special interview with Nanasho & Naomi Watanabe
Pages 6 to 8 – Character introductions
Page 9 – Theatrical version story
Pages 10 and 11 – Interview with Kotono Mitsuishi & Momoiro & production staff
Pages 12 and 13 – Usa-ko and Mamo-Chan’s Miracle Romance
Pages 15 and 18 – Side story: Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon’s history
Pages 20 and 21 – I’ll show you all! The new manga cover collection
Page 23 – Solved on behalf of the Moon (?) Q&A
Page 25 – The Four Choice King special Sailor Moon quiz
Page 28 – Present
Page 30 – Coloring book for adults

Thanks to saintfighteraqua from the comments for providing more detail on some of these!

Sailor Moon Eternal Magazine - In store variant

Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 will be released in theatres in Japan on January 8th with Part 2 following shortly afterwards on February 11th. Though there has been no confirmation of a release outside of Japan there is evidence which suggests the movies will be streaming on Netflix at an undetermined date.

New art showing the Sailor Moon Eternal designs for all Sailor Guardians is included in a product ad for Ichiban Kuji

Sailor Moon Eternal -  Let's Party - Usagi and Chibiusa

The Sailor Moon official site has been updated with an ad for some upcoming products from the Ichiban Kuji line which includes some new art! The images used in the advertisement include a look at all of the Sailor Guardians using the art style of the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal films, which is the two part movie adaptation of Sailor Moon’s Dream Arc, the continuation of the Sailor Moon Crystal series. The theme is “Let’s Party” so we mostly see the characters in party dresses.

Sailor Moon Eternal -  Let's Party - Makoto, Rei, Usagi, Minako, Ami, Chibiusa, Michiru, Haruka, Setsuna and Hotaru

The main banner shows us Usagi and Chibiusa, though we’ve seen those two before in this art style so it’s nothing too shocking. What’s more interesting are the first official depictions of Michiru, Haruka, Setsuna and Hotaru. Though we don’t know exactly at what point in the story the first Sailor Moon Eternal film will end it is unlikely these characters will have a prominent part in the film as their roles are mostly contained in the later half of the manga’s Dream arc. I suspect we could be ending the movie with a brief appearance by them, but we shall see in September, assuming the film is released as it was originally anticipated.

Sailor Moon Eternal -  Let's Party - Products

We also see everyone in their Sailor Guardian forms which all appear to be their Super outfits, though it’s a bit hard to see from the photos! You’ll need to look closely to try to make out details. For the above image just click on the thumbnail and then the image size (670×1030) to view it in full size.

Sailor Moon Eternal -  Let's Party - Usagi and Chibiusa

What do you think of these designs? Do you think we’ll be getting Sailor Moon Eternal by September 11th 2020 are it is currently planned?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD a couple of months ago, on June 18th. Fans who haven’t already picked it up can get from stores locally or from online retailers such as Amazon. Since it’s been out a while I’ve had the time to watch the entire set and so I wanted to give some general impressions about it. Though the video quality of these releases has generally not been great, this series looks better than sets in the past have. The new English dub is pretty good, as it has been for the rest of the series, and the script remains mostly unchanged.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Seiya

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Seiya Kou

Japanese DVD

First let’s look at the video. The quality certainly does not compare with that of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets which have been released more recently, but it’s fairly good. To be sure this won’t look like a newer anime series such as Sailor Moon Crystal does on Blu-Ray. This Blu-Ray was mastered from older standard definition video which was put through software to upscale it to high definition. What that gives is something that I wouldn’t really say looks any better than the Japanese DVD releases which came out well over a decade ago. That said I’m not sure that comparison really matters. We’ve never gotten Sailor Stars in North America before. The subbed version was out on Hulu a few years ago but there was no dub and that release used similar source material as this. When it comes to comparisons, we don’t have an old North American release to compare it to. This release certainly looks better than nothing, which is the baseline!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Professor Tomoe and Baby Hotaru

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Japanese DVD

In this post I have provided comparisons to the Japanese DVD release. Since the Japanese Blu-Ray releases have not gotten to Sailor Stars yet I don’t have that for comparison. It’s pretty difficult to conclusively say if one is better than the other. The Viz Blu-Ray is certainly HD, in that it is 1080p, but that HD image lacks detail that would be there if it had been mastered from a film source. Anime of the time was drawn on cels and shot onto a film intermediate which was then transferred to video before broadcast. We have been told that this higher quality film version of Sailor Moon is lost. It is fairly evident from close examination of screenshots, or even upon viewing the video itself, that this is an upscaled version of standard definition video. There has also been some amount of post processing done in order to clean up the image. This means the colours will look more solid and have less noise on them, but potentially at the cost of detail, but is it detail that matters? Sailor Moon, like most traditional animation, is largely chunks of solid colour separated by solid black lines. The filters used seem to be optimized to this, giving a consistent colour and clear lines. Had this been a live action series with actors with pores and hair as well as other textured things, a different type of upscaling filter would likely have been used. While we shouldn’t necessarily mourn the loss of some grain there is a loss of detail in the backgrounds which aren’t as much just solid colours as we can see from the example of the cherry blossom tree behind Professor Tomoe in the above pictured image. Had we gone back to the film source for these, something which we’ve been told is impossible, then the image would likely look much better. If you check out my review of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets and look at the samples of the Make Up! Sailor Guardians on Blu-Ray you’ll see what that could have looked like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Young Queen Nehelenia

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

Japanese DVD

With earlier releases by Viz we had more ghosting, which means a double image or shadow near some lines, as well as some interlacing artifacts. I didn’t notice any such problems in this set. No doubt the quality has improved likely due to the fact that these episodes were made four years after the first season so the quality of the masters available get a little better with each year. This is likely also why the ADV releases of Sailor Moon seasons 1 and R were the worst while the Pioneer releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS looked much better. Don’t take my word for it though! Check out the many comparison images here and later in the post to judge for yourself. There’s no objectively correct answer to how much post processing looks best, sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preference. While there has been some change in quality with these screenshots due to jpg compression it should give a good idea of what each looks like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Viz Blu-Ray

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

Japanese DVD

Moving on from the video quality to the content. This is the first time we’re getting an English dub of Sailor Stars which is quite a treat. For years people considered this season to be impossible to market to the North American public, though I never really understood why. Is it really all that scandalous to have men who transform into women and vice versa? Sure, the Sailor Starlights’ outfits are fairly revealing but as far as anime goes this isn’t terribly shocking. It’s a joy to finally hear Sailor Stars in English. This is a cast we’ve heard for the past four seasons and three films as well as for Sailor Moon Crystal so even though it’s a departure from the DiC/Cloverway dub of most of our youth, for me there was still enough familiarity with the cast that it feels like Sailor Moon. The new actors for the Sailor Starlights do a great job. Having women play them as both men and women works well. This was the same approach which was used for the Japanese dub many years ago. The alternatives, either having two actors per character or having men do the voices would likely not have worked as well. For those who don’t appreciate the English version they also have the option of listening in Japanese with English subtitles.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Saturn

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Sailor Saturn

Japanese DVD

The episodes included are the first half of Sailor Stars. This includes the amazing six episode Nehelenia arc in which she is given a very different ending as she got in Sailor Moon SuperS. The rest of the episodes are about Usagi getting to know The Three Lights, more specifically Seiya, as she grows further and further out of touch with Mamoru who is away and somehow completely out of touch. This parallels the Sailor Starlights who have appeared and who fight Sailor Galaxia’s Sailor Animamates. My feelings on Sailor Stars have changed over the years. I originally found Seiya sort of annoying as he was just a distraction from Usagi’s true relationship which she never waivers from. This is generally true but I find the story much more appealing. She is hurting and though there is no infidelity he fills a need she has for companionship. His interests in her are not reciprocated which is more tragic than anything. I’ve given more thoughts on all of the episodes in my individual reviews which you can find by searching the episode numbers in the search field on the site if you are interested. So much to say it is a very good half season and I’m glad that everyone can see it now, assuming some fans haven’t already seen it some other way!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Special features

There aren’t a ton of special features included. Each disc has an Art Gallery which doesn’t seem to be Japanese concept art but more likely something by Italian artist Marco Albiero who does a remarkable job of duplicating the original anime style. For whatever reason the Blu-Ray viewing software I use to take screenshots couldn’t load the Art Galleries so you can take my word for that.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Lauren post, the voice of Nehelenia

Also included are three voice actor interviews. The first is with Laura Post, the voice of Nehelenia. Having also been in SuperS it’s a bit odd to see this interview here but she mostly talks about her appearance in those first 6 episodes which fits.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi

Next we have an interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi. This is the longer of the interviews. She does the whole thing with her dog! A few things stood out to me. First she mentions that the season was pretty long. This is objectively untrue as Sailor Stars is the shortest Sailor Moon season with only 34 episodes. One can hardly blame her for thinking this though as Usagi and Sailor Moon dominate this season like no other. It would be difficult to count but it seems likely that Usagi had more lines in Sailor Stars than any other seasons except perhaps the first one. There was much less focus on other Sailor Guardians. Chibiusa who dominated SuperS is gone, along with her father, for most of the season. Stephanie Sheh also makes a joke that it was lucky that Usagi didn’t have a cell phone because if Mamoru didn’t respond to a few texts this would be a sign of trouble. More generally she is lucky that this occurred at the dawn of the Internet age where it would be believable that Usagi would not have access to e-mail or chat software. I consider myself an early adopter of the Internet and I had no Internet access at home while Sailor Stars was airing. Ami is shown to communicate with some people through the Internet, but she is clearly an outlier amongst her friends. She also mentions that she ships Usagi and Mamoru and thinks her relationship with Seiya is inappropriate. This is probably best as such a view reflects her character’s! There’s also a funny bit where she wonders what’s up with the Starlights, asking similar questions that many fans have like if they’re men who turn into women, women who turn into men, women dressing as men or what? All around I found the interview very humourous. It’s obvious that Stephanie Sheh has spent a lot of time with the Sailor Moon character throughout the years and has many thoughts about the series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Chibi Chibi

Finally we have “A Chibi Interview with Stephanie Sheh”, the voice of Chibi Chibi. It’s a short interview where she talks about that character. She mentions being happy to play Chibi Chibi and points out that in the Japanese version the voice of Usagi played Chibi Chibi as well, but it wasn’t clear why. This is funny because in the manga there is a clear connection between the characters which doesn’t actually exist in the anime. It might make more sense for Chibi Chibi to share voice actors with another character, but I’ll avoid the specifics for now. Fans who are familiar with the end of the series will understand why.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - The non super credit less opening

Beyond the interviews we have a “Clean Opening” and “Clean Ending” which basically means the intro and ending without Japanese credits overlayed. These are of a very poor quality! The Japanese releases humourously refer to these as being “Non Super” meaning they aren’t HD. While they are technically HD in that they are encoded on the disk as 1080p, they are clearly taken from something of roughly the same quality as a VHS tape. A nice extra to have though one we’ve seen on every Japanese release ever.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Blu-Ray opened

As for the packaging this set continues to look quite nice, as have other released to date. This is all new art, whereas the Japanese releases have continued to reuse the original laserdisc box art for decades. The special booklet that is included with the Limited Edition is quite nice, including episode summaries and art of a number of characters. I believe all of this art is once again done by Italian artist Marco Albiero. The booklet also includes a relationship chart which has been the source of some controversy which I posted about closer to it’s release as well as an ad which refers to the first three seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal as the entire series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Booklet - Final message

Since this booklet is meant to cover the entire series it has cast information and summaries for the entire season. It also includes a nice goodbye message to the fans which I will quote below.

To all the longtime fans and those who joined us during this journey: This previously unreleased season is here because of you. Your support makes the stars twinkle brighter and we couldn’t have done this without you!

Starlight Honeymoon… THERAPY KISS!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Eternal Sailor Moon

All considered I think this set it worth getting. The video quality is not the best possible but it is quite good. While the Japanese Blu-Ray which is coming in November will probably look marginally better, it won’t even have English subtitles, let alone English audio, so it’s of little use to most fans. If you’re only looking to watch the Japanese series with subtitles you can of course always stream these episodes, but buying this set or digital downloads of the episodes is the only way to get Viz’s English dub. I look forward to seeing part two of Sailor Stars and rewatching the final episodes. For those of you who are interested in this set but have not gotten it yet, you can support the site but buying it using the Amazon links below.

Keep reading for more images of the box art and comparisons of the video quality between this Blu-Ray and the Japanese DVD release.

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will be released on Japanese Blu-Ray starting in November

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 1

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who are really picky about video quality and don’t like having money! The final season of the original Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan with volume 1 coming November 13th and volume 2 coming January 8th 2020. This follows decent but expensive releases for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime. While the quality of these has generally been better than what was released by Viz, these are still HD upscaled versions of standard definition source material. By this I mean to say that TOEI did not go back to the film source to get these HD versions but has done post processing on the same masters used for their DVD releases many years ago.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 2

The cost of these is certainly not cheap! MSRP for each volume is 14,800 yen, about $136 US. You can already pre-order the standard or vendor exclusive versions of volume 1 from Amazon Japan. Having just watched the first Sailor Stars set released by Viz and been fairly happy with the video quality it gets harder and harder to justify getting these sets, which only include Japanese audio and no subtitles! Certainly the video quality of the earlier seasons is the worst of the Viz releases and every season the sets look a little better. It’s easy to assume this is due to Viz doing a better job, which is certainly part of what’s going on, but I also think it’s just a matter of the masters for the series looking better for the later seasons. The ADV DVD releases of Sailor Moon’s first season and Sailor Moon R were horrendous but the Pioneer DVD releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS were much better looking for the same reasons.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 1 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 6

The art which we’ve seen looks quite good. As with previous releases this is box art which was originally used for the initial VHS and laserdisc releases. This art is done by Katsumi Tamegai who was an animation director for many episodes throughout the Sailor Moon series, including the final episode. This art was also used for the Japanese DVD release. Volume 1 has an image of Eternal Sailor Moon on the outside and Usagi with Chibi Chibi on the inside, though she’ll only show up for the last two episodes of the set. I’ve included images of the laserdiscs for reference throughout this post.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volumes 3, 4 and 5 - The Sailor Starlights and the Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 9

The outer cover for volume 2 is an amalgamation of three different laserdisc covers showing each of the Sailor Starlights and their civilian Three Lights counterparts. The inside shows Princess Serenity and a less evil Galaxia which I suppose is a bit of a spoiler!

Included in volume 1 are episodes 167 to 183 while volume 2 will have episodes 184 to 200. This is the same breakdown Viz used with their release as it splits the season evenly with 17 episodes per set. The special features are much like what we’ve gotten with other releases. This includes low quality (non super) creditless versions of the opening and ending credits and 15 second commercials for each episode. A booklet with episode descriptions will also be included.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Vendor exclusives

As always we have vendor exclusives for a number of retailers. You can see them shown in the image above. It isn’t always obvious what these are! Members of the official Sailor Moon fan club who order the set through the club will get A4 sized sticker sheets with each volume as well as a laserdisc jacket sized poster for buying both volumes. We don’t know what images those will include at this time. A4 size is roughly equivalent to a standard 8.5×11″ letter piece of paper. A laserdisc jacket is roughly the size of a vinyl record jacket.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive box

The Amazon exclusive which is available to customers buying both volumes is a box to house both sets which has art similar to the laserdisc box which housed all of Sailor Stars.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box

The Animate exclusive, which is available only to those ordering both volumes, is a set of three acrylic key rings. Each features an image of one of the Sailor Starlights with their Three Lights alter ego from the box art.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box back

The Seven Net exclusive for volume 1 is an acrylic plate, which I believe is what is sometimes called a pencil board, showing an image of Eternal Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians. The exclusive for volume 2 is a B2 sized tapestry featuring an image of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn which was originally on the back of the Sailor Stars laserdisc box. B2 size is about 20″x28″.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn

Finally the Neo Wing exclusives are a separate A2 sized cloth poster which comes with each volume. These are images of the first two laserdisc covers, that being Eternal Sailor Moon for volume 1 and Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon for volume 2. A2 size is about 16.5″x22″.

Have any of you been buying these sets?

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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