Evgenia Medvedeva’s performance at the 2017 ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo recreates the first episode of Sailor Moon

Evgenia Medvedeva's Sailor Moon Figure Skating Routine

Two time World champion Russian figure skater Evegnia Medvedeva has given us another great Sailor Moon themed performance! She originally did a Sailor Moon themed routine last year and she’s updated it to reflect many of the events of the first episode of Sailor Moon. This was done this past weekend at the 2017 ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo. A fitting location for a Sailor Moon themed performance! The soundtrack used for her piece includes a number of audio clips from the first episode as Usagi sleeps in, rushes off to school, meets Luna and ultimately transforms into Sailor Moon. As with the last routine it includes the original version of Moonlight Densetsu by DALI. You can watch the full clip below.

She did quite well at the competition setting records for Short Program, Free Skate and Total Score. Evegnia Medvedeva is a huge anime and Sailor Moon fan as we continue to see with her fun performances.

Evgenia Medvedeva's Sailor Moon Figure Skating Routine - Usagi meets Luna

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Luna freaking out with a bandage on her head

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Viz’s Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray looks fantastic and is well worth buying despite the unpopular cover art

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Sailor Moon R The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray April 18th and it looks amazing. I’m not talking about the lacklustre cover art which everyone seems fixated on but rather the video quality of the actual Blu-Ray. This is a top quality release which seems to come from the film source. The level of detail is absolutely not something which could have simply been gotten from software upscaling, which is what has been used for all of the home video releases we’ve seen for the Sailor Moon TV series to date. But don’t take my word for it! Look at these screenshots to see the difference. Prior to this release I watched the Japanese DVD as my gold standard. The French DVD release which came out in 2014 looks great too, but is still in the same ball park. It has a slightly cleaned up image and a higher resolution due to them having different TV standards. The old DVD we got from Pioneer in 1999 is borderline VHS quality, but it is an unmated full screen so there’s a bit more to the picture. This new Blu-Ray is in a league of its own. View the full sized versions of these pictures to see the difference. There’s a small amount of loss of quality from the JPEG compression on these uploads but it should give you a good idea of the difference.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - French DVD - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

French DVD (2014)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

Pay attention to small details in the image like Fiore’s nose or the lines on Mamoru’s face. This new Blu-Ray image is not something which could have been extrapolated through software from any of the standard definition masters. This is a high quality HD transfer from film source and it looks as good as we could hope for! Fans who were lucky enough to have seen the film in theatres probably noticed that they could see a lot of detail in the image and we see that in this release as well. Look at another comparison between a wide shot of the street which gives us a lot of small details of individual characters.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Wide shot of the street

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Wide shot of the street

Japanese DVD (2002)

It’s really refreshing to see such a nice quality release from Viz considering some of the earlier stuff we’ve gotten from them. I’ve always said that they’re doing the best that they can with low quality masters and this seems to confirm that idea. They’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using too much post processing and such but at the end of the day if you start off with a low quality master there’s really only so much you can do to try to make it look nice. The minor differences between the different releases of the original anime don’t add up to much but this release is on another level. This is a great movie, part of the best of what Sailor Moon has to offer, and at the relatively low price it’s being sold for it’s a no brainer to pick it up.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray  - Cover

But wait, you’re all thinking, what about this terrible box art??? Indeed, the cover art isn’t the best. For weeks fans have been criticizing it. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best box art compared to their other releases but is that what’s most important? We’ve gotten a lot of really nice looking boxes with great little booklets and the video content always looked kind of terrible. Here we have the opposite, a box which isn’t that nice and a top quality release inside! All things considered I’d rather we get a release with a cover drawn by 3 year old with crayons if we could somehow keep getting quality releases like this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon returns to life

Let’s look at what else is in this release. First off is the feature, which is only 1 hour long. This is the first of the Sailor Moon movies and it includes both a new English dub by Viz and a Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Sailor Moon R The Movie is one of my all time favourite films and my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies. It includes some of the best animation seen in the series. I watched the film in Japanese with English subtitles as I’d already heard the dub in theatres and found it to be good. Having seen a number of different versions of the film countless times I didn’t notice anything amiss with the translation, but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on it more than that.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Also included is the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special. This originally aired with Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres in Japan. It was also included in North American theatres when it played here. This is a fun little extra, running at only 16 minutes, with some new animation but mostly recycled clips from the TV series. This extra feature also looks great. This makes me wonder what kind of masters TOEI had access to when they put it together! This release was obviously mastered from a film source but the TV clips included also seem to come from a higher quality source even than we’ve seen with the Japanese DVD releases. With the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the original Sailor Moon anime in Japan being advertised as being software upscaled from standard definition sources I wish they had access to the same source material they used in 1993 when this special was put together. Just look at this shot of Ami from her first appearance early in the first season with the fine detail in the lines. It isn’t the best but it’s nothing like what we’ve gotten in any other TV release of the series. Let’s hope the Japanese release we get in June looks something close to this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians - Ami from the TV series

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Cast Interview

There are a few extras on this disc. When Sailor Moon R The Movie played in theatres it was introduced by an interview with the cast. This included Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Ben Diskin, Fiore and Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask. When I saw this in theatres I thought it was a bit silly to have it before the main feature. I was there to watch the movie, not see something which wasn’t more thrilling than your run of the mill DVD extra. Having it as an extra like this however is totally reasonable. This feature is about 10 minutes.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - LA Premiere Q & A

Also included is an interview which followed the LA Premiere. This included nearly all of the voice actors from the film, Viz’s Charlene Ingram and the ADR voice director for the film, Suzanne Goldish. The cast present included Carrie Keranen, the Xenian flower, Ben Diskin, Fiore, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff, Luna, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon. The only main actors not present were Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, and Johnny Yong Bosh, Artemis. The interview included your standard kind of banter about how mind blowing it is to see Sailor Moon the big screen and the fan reaction. Suzanne Goldish, ADR director, tells a humours story about how her notes had her flip flopping from calling the villain Fiole, which means nothing, and Fiore, the objectively correct character’s name and the Italian word for flower. This explains why the voice actors refer to him as Fiole in the pre-movie interview. ADR directors don’t have the star power of the voice actors but they usually have some good insight into the production which makes for interesting stories.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Character art

Note that this book is not included with the film.

There is also some character art on the disc itself. I wanted to grab some screenshots but this feature wasn’t included on the DVD and the tool I used to get Blu-Ray screenshots doesn’t support menus. I’ll spare you photos of my TV and assure you these are character designs for the film similar to those seen in the above photo from the Japanese art book. It would have been nice to see a booklet with some character bios and maybe some of this kind of art but there’s nothing in the way of inserts with this release. The Japanese Sailor Moon R The Movie art book includes over 100 pages of content. It would have been easy for Viz to put together 20 or so pages to accompany this film!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Discs

We also get the standard trailers which are included in all Viz releases. If you haven’t been convinced to buy the remastered uncropped Ranma 1/2 Blu-Ray release at this point it’s just not going to happen.

So what’s my final verdict? Isn’t it obvious? Just buy the movie! Don’t bother with the DVD as it doesn’t showcase the high quality video of the HD transfer. Buy the Blu-Ray which includes the DVD if you somehow don’t have a Blu-Ray player in 2017. I got mine on Amazon. You can also get it from other retailers like Right Stuf. If you don’t want a physical copy you can save a few bucks by getting it digitally on iTunes or Amazon Video, but be warned that the digital version is currently only available in English. This is a high quality release of a great movie which every fan should own. Go get it!

Now that we’ve agreed that it’s worth getting whether you have another copy of the film or not a practical question is whether or not it supersedes any other release. Should you just throw your old copy out? The old Pioneer release has some advantages, mainly the old dub which some people have nostalgia for an the unmated full frame image. For most people in 2017 with widescreen displays this has limited appeal, but to this day the English release is the only way to get this full pictured version. Even the original Japanese laserdisc version was presented in widescreen. As for the Japanese release it still has some special features which are nice. A rare DVD feature that all of the Japanese Sailor Moon movies have is an isolated music only track which is a nice addition which isn’t on this release.

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Did Doctor Who’s season 10 premiere draw inspiration from Sailor Moon?

Mamoru from Sailor Moon and Heather from Doctor Who obsessed with mirrors with a star in one eye

A number of similarities occur between a recent episode of Doctor Who and a story arc in Sailor Moon Sailor Stars! More specifically both stories revolve around obsessions with gazing at mirrors which actually house some sort of monster by people with a yellow reflecting star in one eye. The episode of Doctor Who in question is the season premiere of season 10, The Pilot, which aired this past weekend. In this episode a character, Heather, has a defect in her eye which causes it to have a yellow shine in it. The Doctor’s new companion Bill refers to it as a star and the episode’s original title was “A Star In Her Eye”. In the episode Heather is obsessed with staring at her reflection in a puddle as she gazes at it and invites Bill to do so too. Ultimately the reflection is actually an alien which sucks her into the mirror and then attacks others through reflections. Sound familiar?

Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 01 - Heather looking at her reflection

I was struck by a surprising similarity to a few episodes of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. In the first 6 episodes of this season, with the similarities more specifically being during episodes 167 through 169, there was a brief story arc where Mamoru got a shooting star in his eye which was actually a piece of mirror from space. This caused him, and a number of other people, to become obsessed with mirrors gazing at them day and night. The bit of star in their eye caused a yellow shimmer which looks just like that seen in Heather’s eye in Doctor Who. Ultimately Nehelenia was in the mirror, as the shooting star was actually a bit of the Mirror of Dreams which had been confining her and the reflection pulls Mamoru in just like we’d seen in Doctor Who.

Sailor Moon SailorStars episode 168 - Mamoru and Nehelenia

Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 01 - Heather's alien hijacked reflection

Coincidence? I like to joke about these similarities being intended but I’m not convinced anything more than coincidence is really necessary at this point given the countless hours of TV produced every week. It is possible that Steven Moffat, who wrote the episode, had seen the episodes of Sailor Moon in which this took place and used it more for a visual inspiration. The specific story details beyond the superficial don’t really add up.

Sailor Moon SailorStars episode 169 - Usagi's classmate gazing at a mirror

Looking for more of a Doctor Who/Sailor Moon link? Sailor Iron Mouse, also appearing in Sailor Stars, travels around in a phone booth. Doctor Who travels around in a TARDIS which is disguised as a Police Box which is a specialized kind of phone booth/panic room that a person can use to call the police. This is similar to Bill and Ted’s phone booth which was itself likely inspired by Doctor Who. Whether Sailor Iron Mouse’s phone booth was directly inspired by the TARDIS or through the intermediate of Bill and Ted’s phone booth isn’t something I can definitively determine. Regardless it’s nice to see Doctor Who finally has a Bill in their phone booth. Let’s get a Ted in there too!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 175 - Sailor Iron Mouse and her phone booth

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Sailor Moon S Part 2 will be released on home video June 20th

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray

We finally have a specific release date for Sailor Moon S Part 2 and it just squeaks in to Spring on June 20th! The DVD and Blu-Ray sets are up for preorder on Right Stuf and these include a June 20th release date. The DVD set has an MSRP of $39.99 while the Blu-Ray is priced at $69.99. Right Stuf has them for $35.99 and $62.99. We also have a good look at the box art including the back which has details about the release.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray - Back

We’d previously learned from Viz’s Moon Panel at Anime Boston that we’d be getting the sets in June but we didn’t have a specific release date until now. Sailor Moon S Part 2 includes… well the second half of Sailor Moon S. This covers episodes 109 to 127 which concludes the story of Hotaru, the Death Busters and all that fun stuff. It includes Japanese audio as well as Viz’s new English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. This will be the first time these episodes are heard in English as Viz has no longer been releasing episodes in an effort to promote their home video releases as they’d done in the past.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 Blu-Ray

This Fall’s musical will be called Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final

Sailor Moon Le Movement Final

An update posted to the Official Sailor Moon site this morning revealed that the name of the upcoming musical, taking place in Japan this fall, will be called Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final. The above logo was included with the post. No other details were included.

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical DVD - Taking a bow

We have previously learned that almost all of the cast will be reprising their roles with the exception of Karin Takahashi who will not be returning as Sailor Saturn. That role will be played by Mirai. Though we’ve received no official confirmation of the subject of the musical it seems logical that this will focus on the Stars arc of the manga. The wings in the logo suggest we will be seeing Eternal Sailor Moon, who appears at the end of the Amour Eternal musical. The title, French for “final movement”, suggests that this final arc of the manga will somehow finalize the story of these musicals. I had been hoping that after this 5th musical we would somehow continue the story of Sailor Moon with some kind of original musical that takes place after the story of the manga. Perhaps this will still be the case!

Update: I misreported the title as “Movement Final” and not “Mouvement Final”. This is the correct French word for Movement.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray in June

Sailor Moon S Part 2 on DVD and Blu-Ray in June 2017

We finally have confirmation from Viz Media that the second part of Sailor Moon S will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in June. We previously had only learned, based on an insert included in the Sailor Moon S Part 1 release, that it would be out in Spring 2017. The first day of Summer is June 21st so if the release is out before the 21st it will technically count as Spring! All of this was announced by Viz Media at Anime Boston’s Moon Panel which was held this past Saturday April 1st.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 coming in Spring 2017

Twitter user Absolute Zero Now was live tweeting the panel and snapped a couple of relevant photos. The first is of a slide stating the release would be out in May but the second stating it would be out in June. This was confirmed by Viz Media as being the updated and correct date at the panel and on Twitter.

Sailor Moon S Part 2 is not out in May

This release will include episode 109 to 127, concluding the Sailor Moon S season with the battle with Mistress 9 and the appearance of Sailor Saturn. The set will include the new English dub by Viz which has not previously been heard. Bonus features will include interviews with the cast, production art and more. This release still does not have a listing on the stores of online retailers such as Amazon and Right Stuf. These should be up in the coming months as a specific release date is determined.

Check out the box art for Sailor Moon R The Movie on home video

Sailor Moon R The Movie DVD

We previously announced that Sailor Moon R The Movie, recently released to theatres in North America, was coming out on home video April 18th. We now have a look at the box art for this release! The above image showing the cover art and the image showing a bit of the spine are on Right Stuf’s listing for the DVD. This is new art likely made by artist Marco Albiero who did cover art for many international releases of the original Sailor Moon anime. (Update: Marco Albiero has confirmed that he did not in fact make this cover) It includes Tuxedo Mask, Fiore and the Sailor Guardians. Some fans have some not terribly wonderful things to say about this art. What do you think?

Sailor Moon R The Movie DVD

The Blu-Ray version is also posted on Right Stuf’s web site but the cover art isn’t included. It seems likely that the image used will be similar.

Sailor Moon R The Movie poster

Some fans have said that they’d prefer to have seen the original Japanese poster for Sailor Moon R The Movie used. An image of that poster is included above. This poster has the distinction of being included in the liner notes of a U2 CD.

U2 in front of a Sailor Moon R The Movie poster

The first episode of Sailor Moon aired 25 years ago today

Sailor Moon episode 01 Screenshot - Japanese DVD

It’s time to party like it’s 1992! 25 years ago today, on March 7th 1992, the first episode of the Sailor Moon anime “The Crybaby: Usagi’s Beautiful Transformation” aired on Japanese TV. At this time last year we were still celebrating Sailor Moon’s 20th anniversary in Japan but that has finally been replaced with the ongoing 25th anniversary. The Sailor Moon manga predates the anime series by a few months, with its first story being published in Nakayoshi December 28th 1991. Codename: Sailor V, the series which inspired Sailor Moon and which Sailor Venus comes from, was published earlier that year in RunRun starting on August 3rd 1991.

Sailor Moon episode 1 - Usagi runs into Mamoru

I can’t really be nostalgic about what I was doing in March 1992, listening to Kris Kross and being full of teenage angst! I certainly wasn’t watching Sailor Moon, which wouldn’t be seen here in Canada for another 3 years. I wrote articles about the 15th and 20th anniversaries on Powet.tv and at the time nothing was going on with the franchise. Now, with Sailor Moon Crystal in full swing, a new series of musicals in production, a movie in theatres and mountains of merchandise Sailor Moon is an international sensation once again!

Sailor Moon Episode 1 - Silhouette

Are you doing anything today to commemorate the 25 year anniversary of this great show? If you’re looking to watch the first episode again you can stream it on Yahoo! View with subtitles or dubbed by Viz. Canadians can watch the first episode of TubiTV.


Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie has the same plot as The Matrix

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and The Matrix - Dream coffins are basically The Matrix

A few weeks ago I was rewatching the 1999 hit film “The Matrix” and I came to a realization that I somehow hadn’t before. The Matrix and the 1995 animated film Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie have basically the same story. Both movies’ villains have a massive farm of humans stuck in a simulated reality for the purpose of enslaving them and draining their energy for their own purpose.

The Matrix - Pods of humans

In The Matrix a bunch of robots which have captured all of the people of Earth to have them living in pods which plug them into a complex computer simulation, called the Matrix, which exists just to keep people occupied while they are used as a power source to keep the machines running. I’m still not sure why they didn’t populate it with cows.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Children in Dream Coffins

In Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie the villain Badiane kidnaps the world’s children by the boatload and puts them into these pod like Dream Coffins where they sleep forever in a simulated reality, their dreams. Marzipan Castle appears to be a futuristic spaceship with metallic walls which look like large computer circuit boards. Badiane uses the children as a power source for her Black Dream Hole by extracting their Sugar Energy, which grows inside of children’s dreams, from them. Her plan is to envelop the Earth into her Black Dream Hole, placing all of the humans into Dream Coffins. In the case of this movie it seems likely that cow and calf dreams do not generate Sugar Energy.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Marzipan Castle

Elements of choice and happiness come into both films. In The Matrix we learn from Agent Smith that an original incarnation of The Matrix simulation was a paradise but that this didn’t work. Humans rejected this reality and kept trying to wake up from it.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Usagi choses reality

In Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie, when Sailor Moon enters the Black Dream Hole she goes into a seemingly perfect dream world where she can be alone with Mamoru. When things appear too good to be true she asks him if she is more important to him than Chibiusa. When he chooses her she knows that it’s an illusion and, like Neo being freed from the Matrix, breaks out of her Dream Coffin. Sailor Moon does the equivalent of choosing the Red Pill, a symbol of the truth, to escape her simulated reality, rather than remaining blissfully ignorant like Cypher eating his delicious simulated steak. For her like those early crops of humans a paradise may seem like what she wants but she just doesn’t believe it.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and The Matrix - Usagi and Neo escape The Matrix

The similarities seems obvious with a little thought, but is it just a coincidence or is there some inspiration at play? The Matrix, released in 1999, was a tremendous influence on decades of movies which followed it to the point where what was groundbreaking at the time seems standard upon repeated viewings since this is what so many films look like these days. But Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie was released in 1995, a whole 4 years before the Matrix. The Wachowskis are huge anime fans with Ghost in the Shell, released in 1996, being their most obvious influence. There was certainly enough time for them to have seen and drawn inspiration from the film. Though the English dubbed version of the film wasn’t out until years later many anime fans had seen the film not long after its Japanese release.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - The Sailor Guardians in a simulated reality

While I’m sure one could splice together clips of the film and present a compelling conspiracy theory for why The Wachowskis absolutely ripped off this movie, I don’t think this one is guaranteed. It’s possible and the timeline would work out, but given we don’t have any specific indication that either Lana or Lilly Wachowski were Sailor Moon fans I’m willing to accept that this may be a coincidence. Stories of simulated realities had existed before in science fiction stories and I don’t pretend that everything that was similar to something which came before it was necessarily an homage or rip off.

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Badiane

The Matrix and Sailor Moon SuperS The Nine Sailor Soldiers Gather! The Miracle of The Black Dream Hole are both great films with a great science concept at their core. Do you think the similarities are more than chance?

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie - Agents

Agents Banane, Poupelin and Orangeat?

Sailor Moon R The Movie screening impressions

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Envelope and contents

This past Wednesday, March 1st 2017, I was lucky enough to see Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres. I consider myself lucky for many reasons! For one I was lucky enough to live in a city in which the film was playing but more importantly to me because this was something I’d wanted to do for decades. I always hoped I would be able to see this, one of my all time favourite movies, on the big screen but as a Sailor Moon fan in the 90s this never seemed realistic. Because of this I am thankful that Viz Media and Eleven Arts brought this movie to select theatres for these special screenings. A lot of additional showtimes have been added for many Canadian cities. Fans should check out the Cineplex site for more information if they’re looking to watch it or watch it again.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Envelope

I saw the film at South Keys movie theatre in Ottawa. This was the theatre I spent the most time at as a teenager, in the years when I first watched Sailor Moon, as I would see one or two movies a week here for a number of years. There was no end to my nostalgia last night! As I entered the theatre I was given a gift of an envelope with a postcard sized card inside. Mine featured Sailor Moon, though there were also some featuring Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. This was a nice touch as fans could be heard chatting about who they’d gotten, who they wanted and looking for people to trade. My girlfriend and myself both got Sailor Moon, as did many people around us, which makes me suspect that perhaps these weren’t shuffled or randomized terribly well. The envelope also contained a few ads. The ad for the manga featured an image of volume 12 of the recent manga release. The ad for the Sailor Moon R The Movie home video release also had an ad for the TV series Blu-Ray and DVD releases on the back.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Sailor Moon Card

The event itself was billed at being 90 minutes long, which didn’t ad up for an hour long movie and short special, but a bonus featurette filled out the time. Before the film the audience was presented with an interview with three of the actors from the film. Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Sailor Moon, Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask, and Ben Diskin, the voice of Fiore, answered questions about the film. One oddity about the interview was that the voice actors called Fiore “Fiole” despite it clearly being pronounced Fiore throughout this English dubbed version of the film. Sure the R and L sound are interchangeable in Japanese but Fiore is the Italian word for flower which seems to be its meaning. Though I’ve seen this film some 50 times the occasional spoilers from this interview didn’t bother me, but I wondered if everyone else in the theatre felt the same. Audience reactions from some twists in the film made me think some of them may not have seen it before. Sailor Moon played on TV a lot back in the 90s here in Canada but the films were released a few years after the theatrical run. Though I’ve seen them play on TV they would have been more readily available to viewers on home video, so it seems likely that more casual fans or those that didn’t follow the show much after it was on TV may not have gone out of their way to see this film before last night. Overall the interview was nice and had some decent insight, but I’m not sure playing it before the feature was the best idea.

Make Up! Sailor Senshi - Chibiusa and Usagi at the Dam Dam Hamburger and Coffee Restaurant

Next was the “Make Up! Sailor Guardians” special which originally played with Sailor Moon R The Movie in Japan. This had not previously been released domestically so it is likely that many fans hadn’t seen it before. I’d seen it on the Japanese DVD release and fan subs so I was familiar with the dialogue and it seemed to be mostly accurate to the dub. This special is a series of clips from the series featuring the various Sailor Guardians inter spliced with footage of two girls at a cafe who are chatting near Chibiusa and Usagi. It’s funny because Chibiusa is on a poster behind them and they don’t really seem to notice. The quality of this film was great, despite using visuals from the TV series which were never intended to be seen on the big screen.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie - Mamoru and Fiore

Finally there was the main feature, Sailor Moon R The Movie. The film itself is fantastic, a story of Mamoru’s childhood friend who’s being manipulated by a magical and evil flower into doing all sorts of terrible thing. It’s full of action and drama and to me represents the Sailor Moon anime at its finest, keying in on elements which make the show what it is. It showcases Usagi’s strength, which is her ability to be a true friend and to save those around her from loneliness. I wasn’t sure what to expect as video quality goes. The video releases of the original Sailor Moon series have pretty marginal quality, but this film is nothing like that. The presentation was likely using some sort of HD video projector, likely with a 1080p Blu-Ray equivalent source. I’ve seen this movie a number of times on the Japanese DVD release, which had previously been the best quality transfer of this film, and the level of detail I could see on the screen was far beyond anything I’d seen before of Sailor Moon. The quality of the lines and small bits of animation showed me detail that was drastically better than the DVD version. It seems like this was an HD transfer of the original film source that had likely gone through some remastering work as opposed to a software upscale of a standard definition source like we’ve seen for the TV series. This is promising for the Blu-Ray release which is currently planned for April 18th.

Tuxedo Mask Kisses a dead Sailor Moon in the Sailor Moon R Movie

All in all seeing a Sailor Moon movie in theatres was a wonderful experience for a Sailor Moon fan and aside from the volume being a bit loud I though the whole event was handled quite well. I sincerely hope that there was enough fan interest that Viz and Eleven Arts are planning to do something similar with the Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies. Considering the turn out and extra showings which were added I am optimistic that we will be seeing Human Luna and Perle (Peruru?) on the big screen over the next couple of years.

What was your experience like watching the film?

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