The original Sailor Moon anime is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan starting this summer

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection vol. 1

Great news for completists who want to have Sailor Moon in the best possible quality! The original 90s Sailor Moon anime is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan with the first half of season 1 coming out on June 14th 2017 and the rest of season 1 coming August 9th. These are Japanese language releases with no English audio or subtitles. Following the release of the first season Sailor Moon R and then the 3 movies will be released. These sets won’t be cheap! This first volume, containing episodes 1 to 23, is being sold by Amazon Japan for 15,903 yen, about $140 US. Set 1 and set 2 are also available from CD Japan for $175 US a piece. This is also listed on the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary page. Why, you might ask, would I buy this set when Viz already released a less expensive Blu-Ray set of the Sailor Moon anime and I can watch these episodes for free in HD on Yahoo! View? Quality! The Viz release didn’t look great and to this date the Japanese region 2 DVD releases remain the gold standard of video quality. Some other international releases have been comparable in quality but nothing released in North America has really been close.

Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection vol. 2

The HD version of the original Sailor Moon series has been aired on Japanese TV since April 6th 2015. Unfortunately we shouldn’t expect anything too mind blowing in the way of quality. This won’t look like Sailor Moon Crystal or any other recently made anime series on Blu-Ray. The product description on the Amazon Japan listing and the official site clearly state that the HD video source was upconverted from SD source material, that being a standard definition of 480 lines of horizontal resolution. What this means is that this isn’t a high definition transfer of some analog film source but instead a software upgrade of the source material which had DVD equivalent resolution. This may be a practical consideration. I don’t know if Sailor Moon ever existed on film or if the cels were recorded directly to standard definition video. You can’t get something from nothing. While the software scaling to improve the video will likely appear nicer than anything else we’ve seen, it’s still just software tricks to resize, resample and smooth out the picture, something that TVs and Blu-Ray players are also able to do with a good quality DVD. I don’t expect this video quality to be a significant improvement to the Japanese DVDs that are already on the market, but this is always a bit subjective.

It should be noted that up until now only the first season of Sailor Moon and the movies were ever released in progressive scan (480p). Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS and SailorStars were only ever released in lower quality interlaced video (480i). These releases will almost certainly have gone through a software deinterlacing process which will make them appear nicer on a more modern flat panel display instead of the CRT TVs that were common in the 90s when Sailor Moon was originally produced. The movies may also be of a higher quality if the original film source is used. When the region 2 Japanese DVD releases of the films were released they went back to the film source to create anamorphic widescreen releases rather than using the matted standard definition source material. I’m hopeful that this release, and perhaps even the Sailor Moon R movie Viz will be releasing in April, will have a legitimate high definition transfer.

Sailor Moon episode 1 and Sailor Moon R episode 47 on YouTube

To advertise this, as part of TOEI’s 60th Annivesary, the official Sailor Moon site has announced that fans in Japan can watch the first episodes of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R on TOIE’s YouTube channel. These videos, however, are not available to view outside of Japan.

These discs appear to be free of region restrictions, meaning that they will play in any country’s Blu-Ray players. Note that Japanese Blu-Ray coding is a non issue for North Americans who share region A with Japan. The lack of English, however, may be more concerning.

Do any of you moneybags have enough disposable income to justify this purchase? By this summer I’ll be knee deep in diaper and formula bills but I’ll likely still scrounge up the many hundreds needed to buy these sets.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie will be released on video April 18th

Sailor Moon R The Movie on DVD

As Sailor Moon R: The Movie premiered in Los Angeles tonight anime retailer Right Stuf added the film to their online store. The listing, currently only including a DVD option priced at $17.98, lists a release date of April 18th 2017! The film will include Japanese and English audio tracks with English subtitles. For now we only have a promotional image for the cover. (Update: a Blu-Ray DVD combo option has been added to Right Stuf’s web site for $26.98)

The film will be playing in theatres starting next weekend. A full list of theatres can be found on the Eleven Arts web site. If you’re not lucky enough to have the film showing in your city you will still have a chance to see it when it’s released on video in April. Do you plan on picking this release up?

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray February 21st

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 Limited Edition Blu-Ray

It’s been a while since the first story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on home video back in August. Fans have been waiting for news about Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2, including the Black Moon story arc, being released on home video. Amazon and the Right Stuf have listed the product for a February 21st release. Amazon has listing for the regular and limited edition with box art included. The Right Stuf also has the limited edition Blu-Ray, regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD listed with prices. They’re selling the limited edition Blu-Ray for $62.99, the regular edition Blu-Ray for $54.59 and the DVD for $31.22. Who sets a price ending in 22 cents? Mind boggling.

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 Limited Edition Blu-Ray

North American Blu-Ray cover for Set 2’s Limited Edition


Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 13 cover

Japanese Blu-Ray cover for Volume 13

The box art seems consistent with the first release. The limited edition cover features Sailor Moon’s third transformation brooch, the Cosmic Heart Compact, which only shows up at the end of the second story arc. This is because this is the cover from the final volume from the original Japanese Sailor Moon Crystal releases. I’ve included a picture of that cover above for comparison. I’d uploaded this picture to a post that I never actually finished reviewing that set. This set will include the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal which we’ve already heard for these episodes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 Standard Edition Blu-Ray

The regular edition box art will also likely be that shown on the case which is included inside the special edition set. Details of the release are included on the packaging. We see that this will include episodes 15 to 26. A special feature mentioned is an interview with Momoiro Clover Z, the band which performed Moon Pride, the Sailor Moon Crystal theme. The set is rated TV 14 in the US and PG in Canada. Maybe it’s the whole making out with her dad thing. The set includes art of the original Japanese covers and a full colour special booklet.

Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2 Standard Edition Blu-Ray

For now you can’t actually preorder the set using the links below, but at some point in the future you should be able to. The set is coming out next month after all!

Sailor Uranus and Neptune Figuarts Zero figures are coming in 2017

Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune Figuarts ZERO figures

Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune will be the next two Figuarts ZERO figures released by Bandai. These figures, which are high quality statues, are part of the Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts ZERO series, which have a slightly different look than statues based on the original anime. The new figures were announced on the official Sailor Moon site and the Tamashii Nations site. Sailor Uranus will be the first to be released, coming in May 2017 for a price of 5000 yen, about $42 US. The Sailor Neptune figure was also shown in an image on a shared pedestal, though we have no details about this figure except that it will be released some time in 2017.

Sailor Uranus Figuarts ZERO figure

Sailor Uranus is holding her Space Sword while Sailor Uranus has her Deep Aqua Mirror. Do you plan on getting these? Have you been buying any of the other Figuarts ZERO figures?

Sailor Uranus Figuarts ZERO figure



A new iPhone case, sold with or without crystals, is available exclusively to official Sailor Moon Fan Club members

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

A new item is now available for pre-order from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club. If you’re not already a Fan Club member, you’re pretty much out of luck as the period to sign up has long since passed. The latest item is a cell phone case for Apple iPhones featuring an image of Princess Serenity by Naoko Takeuchi which was made for the Sailor Moon Exhibit. It comes in a somewhat affordable “Normal Version”, only $20.99 US, or a “Crystal Version” which is a significantly less affordable $140.99 US. Preorders can be done until January 27th and the item will be released in March.

Sailor Moon Fan Club Exclusive Cell Phone case

What kind of gems account for this difference in price? Any actual precious stones would likely drive up the price much more than $100. These are Swarovski crystals which are basically cut glass. Actually that’s not completely accurate. These are lead glass which is a kind of glass that has a high refractive index which basically means it’s more shiny than normal glass! The case is available for iPhones only and at that it’s only for 6, 6s and 7 models. I’m out of luck to get one to fit my iPhone 6+ but maybe I’ll just buy another Sailor Moon case and stick some rhinestones on it.

What do you think of this case? Will you be picking one up?

Source: Sailor Moon Fan Club Newsletter, Otaku Mode Shop

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray Review

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.

Support the site by buying the set with the links below. This could be a nice Christmas gift for a Sailor Moon fan in your life!

There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Cover unwrapped

As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Discs

I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.

Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.

The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 - Interlacing artifacts in Makoto's tiara

There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.

The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Limited Edition Book - Rei bio

The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.

Sailor Moon S Part 1 Blu-Ray - Ad for Sailor Moon S Part 2

Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.

If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:

Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.

Continue reading

Sailor Moon themed condoms, pamphlets and posters will be used as part of a new Japanese sexual education campaign

Sailor Moon condoms

Sailor Moon may fight evil by moonlight and win love by daylight but for those who like to do their loving by moonlight, there is a risk of STIs! The Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is using Sailor Moon to promote responsible sexual health. She is featured on posters and even on the packaging of condoms which will be distributed in Japan.

Sailor Moon sex ed campaign

Do you like this poster? Do you want to print it out and put it on the side of a building or make it into a massive high resolution crop circle? Well that’s great because you can actually download a ridiculously high quality 32mb PDF of this poster from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare web site! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Sailor Moon in quite this much detail.

Sailor Says - Sailor Moon Says wear a condom

Remember kids! If you don’t want to get an STI, wear a condom! Sailor Moon Says!

Japan's Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare promoting Sailor Moon's sex ed campaign

Source: Sailor Moon Official Site, Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Anime News Network

The first batch of Sailor Moon Fan Club exclusive merchandise is an art print, the recent art book and a lottery to buy a night gown or a bath towel

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Manga Print

Members who signed up for the official Sailor Moon Fan Club should have received an e-mail this morning informing them of the merchandise which they are able to order. You can check out an online copy of this e-mail using this link. These Fan Club items are available to members worldwide, but only if they previously signed up for the club.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Manga Print

There are two exclusive items which fans can order. The main item is a Sailor Moon Primo Art Print. It’s manga art by Naoko Takeuchi which was featured in the April 1993 issue of Nakayoshi. The print is A4 sized, which is roughly the size of a standard 8.5×11″ sheet of paper. It’s a nice looking print, ideal for framing. It’s $230.99 US. A bit more than I’d be willing to shell out for something like this. It’s a limited edition item meaning they will only print those that are bought through the fan club but they will make as many as are ordered. The print will be released in March 2017.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book Exclusive Sticker

The other item isn’t really an exclusive at all. It’s the recently released Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Art Book which I’ve already reviewed on this site. The exclusive that comes with it is a sticker of the cover art. At $27.99 the price is comparable to what you could pay to order it online so this seems as fine a place as any to order the book if you’re interested in getting it but haven’t yet and don’t mind waiting until next month to get your hands on it.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Princess Serenity Series Princess Room Dress and Hairband

The other two items are only available through a lottery. They are a Princess Serenity Series Princess Room Dress with Hairband and Bath Towel. A room dress seems to be a sort of pyjama or night gown and it costs $94.99. The bath towel is $77.99. If you are interested in ordering either you will have to fill out this form which enters you into a lottery for a chance to pay a bunch of money for these.

Sailor Moon Fan Club - Princess Serenity Series Princess Bath Towel

All in all these items seem fairly expensive. This is pretty much what fans were expecting considering the Japanese Fan Club items. If you haven’t signed up for the Fan Club yet membership is closed so you won’t actually be able to order these. To put in an order you’ll need to sign in with an account which has purchased a Fan Club membership. If you don’t have one you will be told you need to first buy the membership which is out of stock.

It seems unlikely there will be any dubbed Sailor Moon S episodes available during November 11th’s Moonlight Party 6

Moonlight Party 6 - November 11th 2016

This Friday there is yet another Moonlight Party planned. These events, hosted by Viz, are a sort of online pyjama party to celebrate all things Sailor Moon. In the past most of these have been accompanied by the release of some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu. This is done as advertisement for an upcoming home video release. Well now we are getting a Moonlight Party ahead of next week’s release of Sailor Moon S on home video and it doesn’t look like there is any plan to have any dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S released online at this time. Details for the Moonlight Party have been posted to the Facebook Page for the event and the YouTube video of the event itself. Nothing in either of these mentions that we should expect any episodes. In the past when episodes were released along with a Moonlight Party this was always announced ahead of time. There will be dub clips from the new episodes, supposedly something more than what we’ve already seen, as well as trivia questions, prizes and all the usual fun we get with these Moonlight Parties.

I don’t post this to discourage you from joining in! The event should still be a lot of fun. I had speculated when this event was first announced that it could come with some free to watch dubbed episodes and it seems like, all things considered, this is unlikely to be the case. You can watch the event using the embedded video below. It will be at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time.

Want to see some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S? Well then you really should order Sailor Moon S part 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray using the links below. The set comes out next Tuesday, November 15th and will contain the first half of Sailor Moon S.

Super Sailor Mercury’s S. H. Figuarts figure will come with a harp used for her Mercury Aqua Rhapsody attack

Super Sailor Mercury S. H. Figuarts with harp

The Super Sailor Mercury figure was revealed last July at the Wonder Festival 2015 Summer. Now over a year later we have some details and a release date. The figure will come with a harp accessory which Sailor Mercury uses during her Mercury Aqua Rhapsody attack. It will be released in April 2017.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 151 - Sailor Mercury and Ami

Since a standard Sailor Mercury S. H. Figuarts figure is already out the appeal of this figure seems a bit questionable. This line of figures is of a great quality and I’ve happily purchased most of them but I just can’t see myself double dipping and getting the “Super” variants of every character for another 4860 yen, about $47, a piece. Since a Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Moon is coming in January it seems a bit much to buy three or more versions of each character. Will we be seeing Super Sailor Mars, Jupiter, Venus and the rest soon? I thought we would learn about them last summer but at this rate who knows what they’re doing.

It should be noted that this figure looks a bit different than the prototype we saw in July 2015 alongside the now released S. H. Figuarts Super Sailor Moon. This is normal as prototypes are always subject to change as release gets closer.

Super Sailor Mercury and Super Sailor Moon S. H. Figuarts

Take out a line of credit and buy some of these S. H. Figuarts figures using the link below.