Good news for fans of the original Sailor Moon anime who for some reason didn’t actually buy the Blu-Ray sets that came out eight years ago. Viz has a cheap season 1 set which collects all 46 episodes in Japanese and in English on six discs coming June 14th 2022. Previously Viz had released half season sets for the entire Sailor Moon series. This meant five seasons across ten sets. This new set has a more affordable price tag of $49.99, less than even half a season used to cost! Amazon has the set listed for that full MSRP while Right Stuf has it for $44.99. You can support this site by pre-ordering the set from Amazon using the links in this post.
Viz’s Blu-Ray sets aren’t the best but they’re the best we’ve got. All Sailor Moon TV series Blu-Ray discs released anywhere in the world are basically upconverted to high definition from a standard definition source using software. This means the show will never look like something which is actually an HD remaster from the film source, as many anime series have done. Viz’s release, mostly in the early seasons, didn’t look that good. I compared Viz’s Blu-Ray release to the Japanese Blu-Rays and DVDs in my review of the first Japanese Blu-Ray set. The Japanese set isn’t perfect either, but it’s nicer than Viz’s set. As the years went on the quality of Viz’s Blu-Ray sets got marginally better until the Stars set which was actually pretty good. This was probably due to a number of factors including the quality of the video masters they had available and the techniques they used in order to clear up the video. This of course raises the question of what, exactly, this set will look like.
My prediction is that this set will just be exact copies of the Blu-Ray discs which were including in Viz’s first season Part 1 and Part 2 sets. Same menus. Same special features. Same marginal video quality. If that’s the case it’s a decent deal if you don’t have these already. It’s evidently a great series and this is your best way to watch it in English or in Japanese with English subtitles. When I watch my Star Trek The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine full series sets whenever I pop in the first disc of a season I get ads for the previous season set, which was included with the set I already bought. This happens because they didn’t author new Blu-Ray discs. They just reproduced more of the discs they had already authored and put them in a bigger box. We don’t know for sure that this is the approach that will be taken here, but that would be my guess. That’s common for rereleased movies and series. There is one bit of evidence which suggests that we may actually be getting reauthored discs. The Right Stuf listing mentions an interview with Katsuyuki Sumisawa as a special feature. As this wasn’t on the original release this would mean at least one disc, potentially all of them, is potentially going to be new.
It’s possible that Viz will go back to their source material and redo the video in better quality. It’s also possible that they’ll use other masters like the higher quality Japanese Blu-Ray releases or some of the other Blu-Ray releases which have been coming out around the world since 2014. They might also take some high quality masters and use newer technology like AstroRes to get the best possible HD version software algorithms can give! This is possible. I think it’s somewhat unlikely. If this were the case then there would be good reason for a fan to want to repurchase these sets in better quality. Personally I’ll be waiting until confirmation of what these sets are like before I decide whether or not to purchase the series again. Getting the same discs in different boxes isn’t enough of an incentive to me, if that’s what this set is. Getting new discs with similar video quality would also not be a terribly enticing release.
Here are some details about this release from the Right Stuf web site:
About Sailor Moon Season 1 Blu-Ray
Sailor Moon Season 1 contains episodes 1-46 of the anime directed by Junichi Sato and Kunihiko Ikuhara.
Usagi Tsukino is a cheerful schoolgirl who often finds herself in unwanted trouble. One day, she saves a talking cat named Luna who gives Usagi a brooch that transforms her into Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice!
Special Features: Clean Opening and Ending, Trailers, Art Gallery, Announcement Panel & Fan Reactions, Dub Recording Behind the Scenes, Official Announcement, Trailer Moonlight Memories Pt. 1, AX Sailor Moon Panel, Official Cosplay Team Interview, Sailor Moon Day Highlights, An Interview with Katsuyuki Sumisawa
Spoken Language: English, Japanese
Subtitle Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Themes: Battles, Magical Girl
Age Rating: 14+
Run Time: 1060
Year Created: 1992
Release Date: 6/14/2022
Dimensional Weight: 1
Region Code: A
The special features listed are more consistent with what we got in the older sets except for the Katsuyuki Sumisawa interview.
Will you be picking up this set?