Is this CG image a look at what’s in store for the Universal Studios Japan’s Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D attraction?

CG Sailor Moon and the Sailor Team - Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Attraction

The Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D attraction is coming to Universal Studios Japan in March of this year. The latest update on the Sailor Moon official site, as well as the attraction’s official site, includes details on merchandise available at the event but also has some CG art to go along with the announcement. Could this be the kind of visuals we could be expecting from the event? The original announcement was accompanied with some unique looking art which seemed quite similar to the original Sailor Moon anime but had designs including details unique to the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. With this being a 4-D event, meaning that it will be in 3D with some added effects, it would seem fitting if the animation was done in CG which lends itself well to 3D video. We certainly haven’t gotten any confirmation about what the footage will look like but if these visuals in the banner are any indication we could be looking forward to 1990s quality computer animation for this event.

We also have a bit of detail about the story of the footage. Apparently, now brace yourself for this, there are monsters targeting people’s energy and the Sailor Guardians need to stop them! Seems pretty standard but we are assured that this is actually going to be an original story, so it’s unlikely we will be seeing existing footage augmented to make use of 4-D technology.

Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Attraction - Cutie Universal Rod

We also have some details about merchandise which will be available at the event, including an Instagram page dedicated solely to posting pictures of merchandise that will be sold at the attraction. The main draw seems to be the Cutie – Universal – Rod, a Universal branded version of Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod which she uses in the second story arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal which corresponds to the Sailor Moon R season of the original anime. Also available are a pin set of Sailor Moon’s attack items, a Luna P container and more. The photos you can get at the event will include one of 7 backgrounds with one available each day of the week. Will some fans be willing to go every day to get a complete set? I would assume so!

Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D Attraction - Tuxedo Mask

There is also going to be a chance to meet “Tuxedo Mask”. This sounds a bit like the chances to meet Disney Princesses and such at Disney theme parks and cruises. You won’t be meeting any actor or actress who’s ever portrayed Tuxedo Mask in any fiction you care about but more likely just someone who’s wearing the costume. Good for kids who have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality but hardly compelling to adult fans who have different kinds of complex relationships with the line between fantasy and reality.

All of this starts on March 16th in Japan! If you’re planning to attend I suggest checking out some of the links above for details on how to get tickets. Will any of you be in Japan to see this show? Let us know in the comments!

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Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD was released in Japan on December 6th. This sells for 3500 yen which is about $31 US. Media in Japan is usually more expensive than in North America so this price is actually pretty reasonable. This CD includes the entire performance of the Sailor Moon Classic Concert which was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan this past August. Now that I’ve given the CD a few listens I felt like sharing some thoughts on it. You can pick up the CD from Japanese retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Back

All around the album is great. It’s a real mixed back of very classical sounding renditions while others have a more modern feel. It’s not simply the case that all songs are performed in the same style as we’ve seen with the Sailor Moon SuperS Orgel Fantasia album which makes everything sound like it’s played by a music box. The selection of music is also quite varied. While it is mostly renditions of popular opening and ending themes from the original Sailor Moon anime there is also a bit of background music as well as music from musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal. Sadly nothing from the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series has made the cut!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet 1 - Makoto Yoshida and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

The CD comes with your standard sort of insert booklet that’s only a handful of pages. It includes a full track listing and information on the many people who worked on the music and this concert in particular.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Track listing

I’ll give a few thoughts on each of the tracks. This won’t be anything thorough! I’m not really a music buff and I know even less about actual concert music. I took the trumpet in school for 3 years pretty much because it was part of the curriculum and after the end of the 3rd when some of my classmates who had started that same year had surpassed me in skill it was evident that it wasn’t happening for me so I concentrated on drawing and messing around with computers. One of those paid off. The set comes in two discs with a total of 21 tracks.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 1

Disc 1 track 1 is background music from the introduction to episodes.

Track 2 is Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend), the iconic Sailor Moon opening theme! This has been done in a variety of styles over the years and here is yet another! A fairly faithful adaptation.

Track 3 is Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), a song which was featured in Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S and that has been redone a few times. This is one of my favourite songs from Sailor Moon and it’s very well done on this CD. It has an epic quality that fits it quite well.

Track 4 is Heart Moving, the first ending theme for the first season. This is a decent instrumental version of the song but not the greatest. While I don’t have any strong feeling about this song as an ending theme there are a number of instrumental versions which feature in important and emotional scenes in the first season including when Sailor Moon is discouraged after the death of her friends and finds the motivation to continue fighting. This version doesn’t evoke the same emotional reaction in me than that particular version does.

Track 5 is Princess Moon, the second ending theme for the first season. This track reminds me of something out of ballet which I think suits it. It starts to show the range that this concert can offer.

Track 6 is Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) which is the first ending theme for Sailor Moon SuperS. Why do we jump ahead so far instead of staying somewhat chronological? No clue. This is similar to the TV version and is a good track.

Track 7 is Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) which is the Sailor Moon R ending theme. This is a punched up version which isn’t really classic as many of the tracks leading up to this have been. It includes vocals by Yoko Ishida who originally performed the song back in the 90s. I prefer the version on the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album personally.

Track 8 is “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) which is the second ending theme for the Sailor Moon SuperS season. It has a sort of big bang feel and includes vocals once again from Yoko Ishida though she did not perform this song in the original anime.

Track 9 is background music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune. This is a variety of music used in the anime mostly when the characters are introduced or transform. It features a lot of violin as the music in the original Sailor Moon anime did, with Michiru being a violinist. This is quite a good track for fans of those characters! They always did have great theme music.

Track 10 switches gears and gives us a song from Sailor Moon Crystal. Eternal Eternity is the first ending theme for the 3rd season, which is also all about Sailor Uranus and Neptune. All versions of this song just remind me of the Utena opening theme.

Track 11 is short and just gives us the music for the commercial break bumper for the first season. It sounds so much like the original version that I was expecting the weird “chirp” sound which can be heard on the laserdiscs of the first season.

I guess there was an intermission at this point? On to disc 2…

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 2

Track 1 has Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, speaking over some background music and then transforming to Sailor Moon’s first season transformation music. A fairly faithful version of this music.

Track 2 is Moon Revenge, the theme song from Sailor Moon R The Movie. This is one of the better songs from the original anime. This version is great as well. It’s a more classical rendition lacking the more upbeat tone of the original song but it works quite well. Some portions remind me of the instrumental version featured in the film.

Track 3 is Tuxedo Mirage, the ending theme for Sailor Moon S. The version here is very similar to what we heard on TV, without the vocals. A good track but it just doesn’t give us anything new.

Track 4 is La Soldier which is a song which was used in a number of the early Sailor Moon musicals as well as the final episode of Sailor Moon R (Let’s pretend episode 89 doesn’t exist because I hate it!). This is a good rendition but not as good as the original and nothing could top the Tommy heavenly6 version from the Tribute Album for me.

Track 5 is a Three Light Medley which merges two songs which the Three Lights performed during Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars). When this one started I was a bit worried because the Three Lights are a pop group and their music doesn’t translate to classical music. Still the orchestra manages to give these songs a disco kind of 70s pop sound which I think works really well. The track lacks vocals I think because the concert hall didn’t have enough place to include Taiki’s forehead.

Track 6 takes a song from the recent Sailor Moon musicals with Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) from the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical. Again we go with a somewhat modern sound almost fitting to an 80s TV drama theme song if that makes any sense. I appreciate the unique take on the song and that an orchestra can have such an atypical sound.

Track 7 is Moon Pride, the first Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme. It’s performed with a big band sort of sound. Enjoyable.

Track 8 is Gekkou (Moonbow), the first Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme. Again this track is quite similar to the original version which had a very orchestral sound. Decent but nothing new here.

Track 9 is New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon), the Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme. It has what I believe is a lot of saxophone and other brass instruments. A fun track.

The final track is an encore which is the Sailor Stars Song, the opening theme for the Sailor Stars season of the original anime. Yoko Ishida performs the vocals for this version, though again she was not the one to contribute the original vocals. She does a decent job. She attempt to rouse the crowd and get them to sing along which doesn’t seem to work all that well. I’m not sure if this is because the crowd isn’t participating much or simply because they didn’t bother to put a mic in the crowd to properly pick up the audio. I don’t know how popular the Sailor Stars Song is in Japan but I wonder if this was really the best track to try to get people to sing along to. If they’d done this with Moonlight Densetsu, the iconic opening theme used for the first four seasons, no doubt a ton of people would know the words. Does the average Japanese casual fan know the words to the intro of the final season which had significantly poorer ratings?

All considered I quite enjoyed this CD and recommend fans import it if they’re interested.

Keep reading for more pictures of this CD including photos of all remaining pages of the booklet.

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What is the Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D attraction which is coming to Universal Studios Japan in March?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D

It has been announced on the Official Sailor Moon site and the Universal Studios Japan site that a new attraction, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D, will be taking place from March 16th to June 24th. This made me wonder … what the hell does 4-D even mean? 3D, as we all know, refers to movies which appear to have depth into the “3rd dimension”. This technology has been around for a long time but it is common in modern films such as the recently released Star Wars films and James Cameron’s Avatar. No doubt this will have at least 3D but what is the 4th? Time? Well a video, that is not a single static image, generally exists across the dimension of time so that’s probably not it. The announcements don’t really give that detail, but we can infer based on past events using the 4D name exactly what this might mean. It seems unlikely that such an event will include a tesseract or anything which is actually in 4 dimensional space.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D

As this is a Universal Studios event so there is precedent for this such as the Shrek 4-D ride which appeared at Universal Studios locations across the globe including Japan. 4D is a marketing term used to describe physical effects that coincide with the film. I once saw an undersea film which sprayed air at my feet and poked the back of my seat when snakes appeared to make it seems more immersive which I think was at the Vancouver Aquarium. Other effects could be moving or vibrating seats or even smell. Years ago I also saw a Spongebob 4D film about Krabby Patties at Canada’s Wonderland though I don’t recall what 4D effects that had besides some moving seats.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D - Photo op

So what would a Sailor Moon 4D ride have? It seems likely it would be a 3D film with some added effects like moving and vibrating seats and perhaps some gushes of air. The specific “4D” effects would depend on the on screen action. The art used in the press releases resembles that from the original Sailor Moon anime rather than Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon is seen with her Crystal Star Brooch which she wears during Sailor Moon R. A photo op sample has one of the girls pictured holding Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod which replaces the Moon Stick which Sailor Moon loses in the fight with Queen Beryl and that Sailor Moon has throughout Sailor Moon R. Sailor Moon also has those weird white things in her hair which only show up for Super Sailor Moon during Sailor Moon S although she does have these with her original costume in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. Though we don’t have any specifics it seems likely that we’ll get some new animation for this rather than it being just modified existing animation but we can’t be sure at this time.

The Universal Studios Japan site mentions that you need to follow their Twitter account and retweet certain messages to be eligible for a lottery to see the event but since this is at an amusement park there’s no doubt that it will be opened to the public. No news at this time if there’s any chance that this attraction will be held anywhere else. Certainly there are a lot of fans who would love to visit such an event in North America but are there enough to fill those seats and make it worthwhile? I’m sure some accountant will figure that out.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D - Food

There is also some food which will be available at this event. The above photo shows a crescent bread, Luna corn soup, a shrimp salad, a strawberry cheese, a berry, pistachio and pine cake and a non alcoholic strawberry and lemon soda.

Japanese Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volume 1 review

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volumes 1 and 2 have now been released in Japan. These are my thoughts on volume 1, which was released on October 4th. I delayed getting this review up so long that volume 2 was since released on December 6th. Some of you expressed interest in seeing the quality, given some issues with the Viz Blu-Ray releases of Sailor Moon R, so I’ve included a lot of screenshots within the post and at the end of it. This collection includes Sailor Moon R episodes 47 to 68 in Japanese and Japanese only! There is no dub and no subtitle track on this release so it may have limited value to English speaking fans. Be warned!

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Viz Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Japanese Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese DVD - Young Ail and An

Japanese DVD

The video quality in this release is what I would again call good but not great. To see examples just click through on the images and then on the 1920×1080 link to see the full picture. There is a bit of loss from JPEG compression but it should give a decent idea of the relatively quality of the releases. Basically, as with the first season, what we have is an upscalled or upconverted and cleaned up version of existing standard definition masters. So while the video here is 1080p, Blu-Ray resolution, this was not obtained from going back to the film source (film is used as an intermediate in animation from this era) but instead the old video sources were used and with various filters these were extrapolated into high definition video. I’m not a fan of this technique. I’d just as soon see a good quality standard definition release than pretend this is “really” HD, but your mileage may vary. The techniques used to upscale these is fairly impressive and the image we get is probably the best we’ve seen for the original Sailor Moon anime, but it still isn’t what we’ve seen for things like the Sailor Moon R Movie which was released on Blu-Ray earlier this year.

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Viz Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Japanese Blu-Ray

All that said Viz used a similar technique when they released their Blu-Rays a few years ago but they seem to have had significantly inferior quality master video sources to work with. The actual techniques they used to convert the video to high definition were likely different as well, as we’ve seen minor differences in the various releases they had as the series was, and continues to be, released. I don’t think it’s fair to put the blame solely on Viz for the poor quality release we got from them, as they have done great work with high quality source material as we’ve seen with their Sailor Moon Crystal releases and their release of Sailor Moon R The Movie on Blu-Ray which is considerably nicer looking than the Japanese DVD. That said their releases of the Sailor Moon TV series are so bad that the Japanese DVD release and many other international releases are of much nicer video quality.

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi - Interlacing artefacts

Japanese DVD screenshot with visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese DVD screenshot without any visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Viz Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese Blu-Ray

One reason for which I was more excited for the Sailor Moon R release than the first season was that the Japanese DVDs for Sailor Moon R and beyond had interlaced video. What does this mean? A standard TV signal is interlaced, meaning the signal is sent one field at a time. Every second scan line is refreshed every 30th of a second but only one field is sent every 60th of a second. This means when you look at a still you’ll often see these lines in it looking like saw teeth or a comb. The images above illustrate this by looking at the interlaced DVD image. This isn’t really noticeable on older TVs or even modern HDTVs but if you’re watching video on a computer screen, pausing, getting screenshots or trying to convert the files for download, like many fan subs you may have downloaded, this can be a problem. You probably noticed this back in the VHS days when you’d pause a film and sometimes there would appear to be a double image while other times there would not. For a show which was at some point on film, like Sailor Moon, this isn’t visible in all frames. For shows that were shot on video, like the live action series and the musicals, there’s no getting around the fact that every frame will have visible interlacing. Because of this I often need to find scenes with little motion for my live action screenshots or to use a filter to remove odd or even lines. The DVD standard supports progressive scan, which does away with this interlacing problem, and the first season DVDs were converted to progressive scan which made them look a bit nicer on an HDTV. The deinterlacing process does not negatively affect picture quality because all of the information is there. For whatever reason, probably cost related, this was not done for Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS or Sailor Stars on DVD. Now that the video is going through all kinds of post processing to upconvert to HD resolutions, removing any interlacing artifacts was the first thing that was done. So much to say this is one way in which these Blu-Rays are objectively better than the Japanese DVD release. The upconverting is a bit of smoke and mirrors but the deinterlacing is one aspect which is a real noticeable improvement.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Easy to read credits!

As an indication of the quality of the video in this release we can finally read the text in the Sailor Moon R credits with some success! If you’re like me you pass the time listening to “Otome no Policy” while trying to read some of this text. I’ve always been able to make out some words on the laserdisc and DVD releases but it seems like much more is visible now. Note that the quality changes as the season goes on and while it was harder to see the words in the early episodes this becomes easier with some of the later episodes. So what does this text say? It’s mostly nonsense. These are sentences which are grammatically correct english which seems to have some meaning but the text has no bearing on Sailor Moon. “CONVERSATION is impossible as the open topped rail diesel car clatters into the 3/4 mile Trebelica tunnel” … “For Bedimir the Trebelica tunnel is a masterwork, three years in building”. Web searches for terms like “trebelica” and “bedimir” don’t identify this text as being anything important or even references to real people or places. Others, however, like Stari Bar in Montenegro, appears to be references to a real things. This could be an actual magazine or newspaper clipping but the exact source isn’t something that is terribly obvious, even when the text is mostly legible. Often in movies and TV shows fake newspapers are used and this could be an example of such a thing. This is not Lorem ipsum, which is a sort of real looking but totally nonsensical pseudo latin text which is often used for fake newspapers and such in films.

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - The Moonlight Knight

Japanese Blu-Ray

As for the content on these Blu-Rays we have pretty much the first half of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 to 68. These are episodes I have some fondness and nostalgia for! I got into Sailor Moon when there were only 65 dubbed episodes which included the first half of Sailor Moon R and I didn’t see the second half until I got some fansubs some time later, before they were eventually dubbed. It’s probably due to this that I have a greater level of nostalgia for those episodes which include only the first half of Sailor Moon R. My bias makes me want to argue that they are somehow of better quality but I simply can’t trust my own opinion on this issue to be unclouded. The first half of this release is the Makaiju story arc, known as the Doom Tree saga in the original English dub. I really enjoy these episodes even if they aren’t based on any manga story like the rest of the season. Ail and An, the villains, are compelling characters and these episodes tie in nicely to Sailor Moon R The Movie, though no one present seems to notice the similarity between these nearly identical looking enemies. The rest of the episodes introduce us to Chibiusa, the time traveling girl lost in time, and some of the Black Moon Clan. This set includes episode 67, the swimsuit episode where Chibiusa somehow befriends a plesiosaur, which for a long time was not available to English speaking fans but this episode has since been released to stream and on Viz’s release so its inclusion is less exclusive than it once was.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Disc 4 menu

Not much in the way of special features here! Aside from the episodes themselves we have the same usual extra. “Clean” opening and closing credits which means the opening and ending theme animations without the actual credits. The picture quality for these is not too great, and not as good as the rest of the Blu-Ray. Also included are the 15 second commercials! These originally played on Japanese TV to advertise the next episode and they are not the same as the next episode previews, though they are quite similar. These weren’t included in the Sailor Moon R laserdisc release, as the only special features in those releases were on the first season discs, but they were included in the Sailor Moon R memorial. These aren’t terribly exciting but it’s better than nothing as features go! I’m including the disc 4 menu above, which includes those extras. The rest are available at the bottom of the post. The menus are basic. Links to the episode with an image showing the disc art in nice quality.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Episode guide episodes 58 to 60

Also included is a booklet with episode descriptions. Each description includes a bit of production art for that episode which is a nice touch!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 1 art comparison Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 2 art comparison

The cover art for this release and the included discs is mostly reused from the laserdiscs which were again reused for the DVDs. I’ve included a lot of images showing what art was reused for what. One exception is the image of Chibiusa on the cover which is a bit awkwardly out of place as it’s not from any laserdisc art for Sailor Moon R. The main thing which I liked about this release was the inclusion of Ail and An as well as the Moonlight Knight. These characters, unique only to the first 13 episodes of Sailor Moon R, dominated three of the laserdisc covers but were completely absent from the DVD cover art. Similarly they are generally absent from other home video releases as it seems like most people would rather just treat Sailor Moon R as “Chibiusa and Black Lady”. Though they aren’t featured on the cover art itself we see them on the disc art which is quite a nice inclusion! These are characters featured in a quarter of the season after all! It’s half of this set!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Back Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus's shoe mistake on the Blu-Ray
Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus shoe mistake laserdisc Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Venus's show fixed on the DVD

Also of note is the return of a Sailor Venus shoe error on the image on the back of the box. This error dates back to the laserdisc days but it was corrected with the Japanese DVD release. For whatever reason this error creeped back up! It’s clear that the DVD art wasn’t actually reused here but that we’re seeing laser disc art. The DVD art had modified colours that aren’t seen here. Basically the shoe problem, as discovered by Twitter user Sailor Mikey, is that Sailor Venus should have an open shoe with the top of her foot exposed but in this image it’s orange across the top of the foot.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inner back art comparison

Also notable is the art on the back of the box itself, inside the sleeve, which is actually an amalgam of two laserdisc covers. The individual art is used for the discs, which you can still see, but this image is a new composite of the two. We have Sailor Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter put together but the Ayakashi Sisters are removed. Again we don’t want the outside box art to actually represent characters restricted to these episodes! This was mostly seamlessly done as the Sailor Guardians were in front of the Ayakashi Sisters for the most part however if you pay close attention there is a bit of an odd point at the end of Sailor Jupiter’s hair as this was previously covered by Calaveras’s neck.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inside back

All in all I’m not sure this set would appeal to most English speaking fans however if you’re a real completist and want the series in its best possible quality, and don’t have the Japanese DVDs or some other comparably nice looking international release, this might be worth picking up. It’s not cheap! Both collection 1 and collection 2 can be ordered from sites such as Amazon Japan. These will set you back about $150 US dollars plus shipping a piece! I’ve already gotten my second set in the mail though I haven’t had much of a look at it yet besides taking a few photos of the box art. It stands to reason that it’s more of the same but I’ll put together a nice review if I have a bit of time.

Keep reading for more screenshot comparisons, photos of the box art, the included booklet and the menus.

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Janis Carrol, also known as Barbara Goodson, will voice Zirconia in Sailor Moon SuperS

Janis Carrol as Zirconia

Yesterday was Sailor Moon Day at Anime NYC. This included Viz’s Moon Panel, as is often the case with conventions Viz attends. The main thing announced at this panel was that Sailor Moon SuperS would be released on April 10th but we also learned about a new voice acting credit! Janis Carrol would voice Zirconia! That’s great! So who exactly is Janis Carrol? I saw some fans saying how happy they were to see her get the role as she had the perfect voice. This wasn’t a name I was familiar with but I actually was familiar with the actress. Janis Carrol is an alias for veteran screen and voice actor Barbara Goodson known best to many fans as the voice of Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Note that she only provided the English voice for that character. The actress who portrayed Witch Bandora in Zyurangers, which was adapted as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, was Machiko Soga who sadly passed away in 2006.

Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

IMDB redirects searches for Janis Carrol to Barbara Goodson’s page. Why? Browsing through her credits we see the name Janis Carrol listed for a number of other Viz Media titles including Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. IMDB recognizes that this is another name she uses and redirects users to the appropriate page. Why, then, use this alias which isn’t all that well hidden for anyone trying to investigate? I don’t know for sure but some fans have speculated that this might have to do with union work. Some actors will have their name tied to a union and will use an alias for non union work. I don’t know if this is true in this particular case as I don’t know the specifics of how Viz hires their actors. There are many reasons for which a person may use an alias for certain jobs.

Barbara Goodson previously voiced a few single episode roles in Viz Media’s dub of Sailor Moon R. This includes the monster Falion, a lion Cardian who attacked Sailor Jupiter and her friend in episode 49, as well as the kindergarden teacher, from episode 52 when Minako was protecting a bunch of school children. IMDB lists both of these on their Sailor Moon SuperS page which has a Sailor Moon S Movie image because they’re a bit of a mess. This site used to have a different page for the English dub and it’s generally very difficult to distinguish casts from various dubs on the site.

Barbara Goodson has also provided the voice of a number of other anime characters throughout the years. I remember her mostly from the English version of the anime series Teknoman, originally called Tekkaman Blade, where she played Star as well as the voices of Doris in Vampire Hunter D and some voices in Akira. These were things I was watching around the time Power Rangers was on and I was amazed at how little she sounded like Rita Repulsa in these roles.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 150 - Nehelenia

We still have not gotten any voice actor information for Queen Nehellenia who first appears in episode 148. Since Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 only goes up to episode 146 that means we won’t actually be hearing Queen Nehellenia or the Amazoness Quartet in this release, which is likely why we have no voice actor information for them. Since Zirconia and Queen Nehellenia are similar characters, with Zirconia being interpreted as some sort of reflection or alternate version of Queen Nehellenia by some, it is possible that they will have the same voice actors. Since Barbara Goodson is able to portray a range of characters, having her do both roles would work quite well. This is certainly not guaranteed however as different voice actors have portrayed these two characters in other versions.

Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD on April 10th

Sailor Moon SuperS Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD

Yesterday was Sailor Moon Day at Anime NYC in Manhattan. Viz Media held a Moon Panel with the cast of the English dub of Sailor Moon at which they revealed long awaited details about Sailor Moon SuperS on home video! The Blu-Ray and DVD release will be out April 10th and is currently available for pre-order from Right Stuf for $71.99. A Right Stuf exclusive coin is included for the Limited Edition. Though the release isn’t named “Part 1″ the episodes listed are only episodes 128 to 146, the first 19 episodes of the season, even though Sailor Moon SuperS runs up to episode 166, leaving 20 episodes for the eventual second part.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Haruka and Michiru during SuperS

Fans who attended the panel mentioned that the set would also include the Sailor Moon SuperS Special though this isn’t specified on the product listing. This special has never seen a release in English before. The Sailor Moon SuperS Special originally aired on Japanese TV between Sailor Moon SuperS episodes 131 and 132. Since it’s not standard episode length and doesn’t have an episode number it isn’t really considered to be part of the show proper. It also doesn’t continue the story of the Dead Moon Circus but instead involves a few flashbacks and some side stories. The first side story shows us what Sailor Uranus and Neptune were up to during this season and the other tells the story of a Vampire girl Lilica who is one of Chibiusa’s classmates. This story is an adaptation of the first of Chibiusa’s Picture Diary from the manga. It makes sense to include these with the TV series if that is indeed what is going on here. The Japanese DVD release included the SuperS Special along with the first SuperS DVD. One would expect they will be doing the same when Sailor Moon SuperS gets its upcoming Blu-Ray release in Japan.

Back of poster with confirmation that the Sailor Moon SuperS Special will be included

Update: A poster handed out at the event confirms that the “Never-before-seen TV Special” will be included in the set. This would be the Sailor Moon SuperS Special. This can be seen in photos of the pamphlet on Twitter. Thanks to Liza from our Facebook page for finding this confirmation.

Sailor Moon SuperS Special - Lilica Hubert

https://www.rightstufanime.com/Sailor-Moon-Super-S-Limited-Edition-Blu-ray-DVD

Anime NYC will include Sailor Moon Day on November 18th!

Sailor Moon Day at Anime NYC

Next weekend, November 17th to the 19th, is Anime NYC in at the Javits Center in Manhattan. This event will include an entire day dedicated to Sailor Moon on Sailor Moon Day November 18th! Attending will be the English cast of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. This includes Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Celine Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Erica Mendez, Sailor Uranus, Lauren Landa, Sailor Neptune, Christine Marie Cabanos, Sailor Saturn, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Chris Niosi, Pegasus. Viz Media will also be in attendance. This convention is sponsored by many leading companies in North American anime including many who are associated with Sailor Moon, so it seems likely that they will also be involved with the event. Sponsors include Crunchyroll, who stream Sailor Moon Crystal, Viz Media, who licenses and releases Sailor Moon in North America, Kodansha Comics, who are releasing the English Sailor Moon Manga, and Tokyo Otaku Mode, who run the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Yoko Ishida

Also attending as a musical guest is Yoko Ishida who performed a number of songs for the original Sailor Moon anime! She sang Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy), the ending theme for Sailor Moon R, Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), and Suki to Itte (Say You Love Me).

Are any of you planning to attend this convention? Unfortunately at this point Saturday and weekend tickets are already sold out. Friday and Sunday tickets are still available but those attendees will be missing Sailor Moon Day.

A Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album is coming December 6th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album cover

A CD collecting music from the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert is coming December 6th! This concert, where the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra performed songs from various Sailor Moon series, took place in Japan on August 2nd and 3rd at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre. This album will be released in Japan but is available to order online from sites such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan. The price is 3500 yen which is about $33 US.

The album collects mostly opening and ending themes from all five seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, a couple of songs from the musicals, a few songs from Sailor Moon Crystal and a bit of instrumental background music. Some songs are instrumental while others include vocals. A track listing is available on the Official Sailor Moon site. I’ve translated it and included it, and a description of where the songs are from, below for your convenience.

Disc 1:

1. Background Music
2. Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend) – Opening theme for the original Sailor Moon anime
3. Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love) – Song featured in Sailor Moon R episode 68 and Sailor Moon S episode 102
4. Heart Moving – Season 1 ending theme #1
5. Princess Moon – Season 1 ending theme #2
6. Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #1
7. Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) – Sailor Moon R ending theme
8. “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) – Sailor Moon SuperS ending theme #2
9. Background Music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune
10. Eternal Eternity – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 ending theme #1
11. Commercial Break Bumper Background Music

Disc 2:

1. Moon Prism Power Make Up! Background Music (Although the title is similar to that of a song from the original Sailor Moon anime this is the background music which plays when Usagi transforms into Sailor Moon)
2. Moon Revenge – Sailor Moon R The Movie theme
3. Tuxedo Mirage – Sailor Moon S ending theme
4. La Soldier – Song from many early Sailor Moon Musicals
5. Three Lights Medley: Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars) – Two songs from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars
6. Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) – From the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical
7. Moon Pride – First Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme
8. Gekkou (Moonbow) – First Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme
9. New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon) – Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme
Encore. Sailor Stars Song – Sailor Moon Sailor Stars opening theme

In order to promote this release a four minute video of the concert has been released. You can watch it embedded below.

I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this album once it’s released.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary Classic Concert Album vendor exclusive items

Fans in Japan can get special exclusive incentives from various retailers. Amazon Japan and CD Japan are not included. One of the incentives is from the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club however this item does not appear to be available from the international Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection set 2 review

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover

The second Japanese Blu-Ray set of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on August 9th. This includes the second half of the first season of Sailor Moon remastered in HD for Blu-Ray. This is a Japanese only release, meaning no English dub or subtitles. I got a copy and wanted to provide some thoughts on it. I previously did a more thorough review of the first set, which includes screenshot comparisons between various versions. I would recommend checking out that post to get an idea of the quality if you are interested in picking up this release. The set is available through online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan but beware that the cheapest you’ll find it for is about $150 US. This is considerably more expensive than the North American Blu-Ray releases from Viz.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 46 - Princess Serenity attacks Queen Beryl

So why would someone want to get this set instead of buying the English version? It really comes down to minor improvements in video quality. I don’t have many nice things to say about the Viz Blu-Ray releases. The picture quality in these is pretty low due to being authored from some pretty bad masters. This Japanese version has better source material which leads to a better final product. The catch? No matter how much software they throw at it, this is still an upscaled version of a standard definition source. What this means is that a DVD equivalent 480p quality source was used and using software algorithms it was extrapolated into a 1080p HD video which is used for the Blu-Ray. Does this look better than a DVD? That’s a somewhat subjective question but it certainly doesn’t look like it would if the original film source was used to get an HD version, as has been done with the recently released Sailor Moon R movie. Still, this is pretty much the best quality version of Sailor Moon you’ll find. If you’re such a perfectionist that you absolutely need to have the original Sailor Moon anime in the best quality possible, then you’ll want to buy this set. Most people won’t find this to be necessary.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Rhett Butler

I’ve included a few screenshots in this post, with more at the end if you scroll down, to give an idea of the quality. Again, check out my first volume review for specific comparisons. This second half of the first season contains some great episodes with some fantastic animation. Seeing them in good quality is a real treat. The episodes included start with episode 24, Nephlite’s final episode, and continue until episode 46, the season finale for the first season. It begins and ends with people dying and there’s a bunch of dying in between as well! This is indeed a heart wrenching half season to watch but to me it’s anime at its best.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover art comparison

As with the first set, and pretty much all releases of the original Sailor Moon anime, the box art used on the cover art and discs is reused from the first video releases of Sailor Moon on VHS and laserdisc back in the 1990s. This is great iconic art which continues to hold up with this release. There seems to be no need to replace it. Featured in this art are Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, both of whom first appear in this set, as well as group shots and images of Serenity and Endymion, two characters who are especially relevant in these episodes.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Disc 1 art comparison

There isn’t a ton in the way of special features in this release. We have creditless opening and ending credits and the 15 second commercials which were shown on TV when this originally aired. This is something which has been included time and time again with Japanese releases of the Sailor Moon anime. While there were many, many other special video features included in the first season laserdisc video releases none of these appear in this or the previous set. This seems like it would have been something fairly easy to include in this set but there seems to be little interest in resurrecting this old footage.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Booklet episodes 29 to 31

A nice looking booklet of episode descriptions is included. These short descriptions include a single screenshot per episode as well as pieces of production art that pertain to characters introduced in those particular episodes. I’ve included a sample page above and will include a few more later in the post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter look at Sailor Mercury's butt

All considered I stand by my assessment of the last set that the quality is “good but not great” and it won’t be worth buying for most fans who are either really picky about quality or don’t like having money. While the available English versions don’t have terribly good video quality this is not a huge improvement over the original Japanese DVD releases and many other international releases of the series. It would have been really great to see a better quality release for these Blu-Ray sets but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem feasible at this time.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

Sailor Moon R part 1 will be released next month. It can be preordered from Amazon Japan and CD Japan. Since this season was originally only released in interlaced video quality on the original Japanese DVD I anticipate a more significant video quality improvement with this set.

Keep reading for more screenshots, as well as photos of the box art and the included booklet.

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