I am sad to report that Chris Wiggins, a voice actor from the original English dub of the Sailor Moon anime, has died at age 87. He passed away on February 19th after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The provided the voice of Mr. Baxter from the episode “An Unnatural Phenomenon”. Mr. Baxter was a mild mannered gardener turned ecoterrorist thanks to Nephlite’s influence. He also voiced the narration included at the beginning of the first episode and episode 41. This first narration, added for the dubbed English version, provided excessive spoilers for the upcoming season including the identity of the Moon Princess and Prince Darien as well as the specific fate of the Moon Kingdom.
Aside from his brief work on Sailor Moon Chris Wiggins also had a lengthy resume. As a fellow Canadian the roles I knew him best for were Chief Quimby from Inspector Gadget and No Heart from Care Bears. His obituary can be found in The Toronto Star. He will be missed by fans around the world.
The first ever North American performance of a Sailor Moon musical will be taking place in Houston Texas during the Anime Matsuri convention in April. The news of this special performance of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical was posted on the official Sailor Moon site and Anime Matsuri site last month. The specific date of the musical performance has not yet been announced but it will be during the convention weekend which takes place from April 7th to the 9th at the George R. Brown convention centre in downtown Houston, Texas. This may be a slightly modified version of the musical as the entire cast will not be present. At this time only the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, with the exclusion of Chibiusa, will be in attendance. Notice that the poster specifically made for this event features all regular cast members but Airi Kanda who plays Chibiusa.
In addition to the musical there will be many Sailor Moon themed guests. This includes Fumio Osano, Osabu, who is best known as the editor of the Sailor Moon manga. Also appearing are voice actors from the English versions of Sailor Moon Crystal and Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime Cristina Vee, who plays Sailor Mars, and Christine Cabanos, who plays Sailor Saturn.
Confirmed guests for the musical are Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus,
Syu Shiotsuki, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii, Sailor Pluto, Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, and Yuga Yamato, Tuxedo Mask. Also attending are dancers Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa and Ayumi Sagisaka.
Great news for Canadian Sailor Moon fans! We’ve gotten confirmation that Sailor Moon R The Movie will be playing in Cineplex theatres on March 1st at 7pm in theatres across the country. At this point there are showings in Ottawa, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Halifax, Sydney, Winnipeg, Calgary and Burnaby. You can search to see if your city is playing the film by checking out the Cineplex site.
I had a bit of trouble finding listings for all of Canada so I just messed with the search URL to include every theatre within 5000 km of my city which seems to easily cover the entire country. It is possible that more theatres get listed as March 1st approaches. I can’t find any indication of whether these presentations will be dubbed or subbed, but I think it is likely these will all be English dubbed showings of the film.
I’ve included a list of theatres planning to show the film as of February 6th for your convenience.
Update: Many more cities have been added since I originally posted this list. Check out the Cineplex site to see if your city has showings.
Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas
Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP
Cineplex Cinemas Vaughan
Cineplex Cinemas Queensway and VIP
Niagara Falls, Ontario:
Cineplex Odeon Niagara Square Cinemas
Halifax, Nova Scotia:
Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane
Sydney, Nova Scotia:
Cineplex Cinemas Sydney
SilverCity St. Vital Cinemas
Cineplex Odeon Sunridge Spectrum Cinemas
Burnaby, British Columbia:
Cineplex Cinemas Metropolis
Looks like I’m going to be putting my wallet in my front pocket and taking a trip to South Keys! Is the film playing in your town? How far do you plan to travel to see it?
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.
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.
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.
On July 6th 2012 there was a live show to celebrate Sailor Moon’s 20th Anniversary. This celebration continued for the following 4 and half years as we continued to celebrate this seemingly never ending anniversary. The Sailor Moon manga was first published on December 28th 1991 with the anime starting on March 7th 1992, which puts us squarely into Sailor Moon’s 25th Anniversary. Last night the Sailor Moon official site, which had been using the 20th Anniversary name and logo on it’s projects up until yesterday, finally embraced the 25th Anniversary. Sorry Anniversaries 21 through 24! You’re never going to happen.
Old and busted
The Sailor Moon franchise is worse off than an unfortunate child born on February 29th who’s parents are too cheap to buy streamers and presents on anything but a leap year. How long will the 25th Anniversary celebration last? If the past is any indication it will be until about 2022 when we celebrate the 30th Anniversary perhaps with the final arc of the still ongoing Sailor Moon Crystal anime and some Sailor Moon themed suppositories. Farewell Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary! It was a good five years!
According to this listing for Sailor Moon R The Movie on the Cineplex site we will be getting Sailor Moon R: The Movie in Canada on March 1st. Since the film was first announced I’ve been anxiously searching for the it on the Cineplex site as they are a major Canadian film distributor who have played anime films in the past. The movie opens in theatres across the US today. You can check out the many cities with showings on the Eleven Arts web site.
This is great news for Canadian fans hoping to see the film in theatres prior to it’s April 18th home video release. We don’t have a list of theatres in Canada which will be playing the film at this time but I will be sure to update you with details as we learn them.
The listing includes the following summary:
Stephanie Sheh, Robbie Daymond, Ben Diskin
Sailor Moon comes to the big screen in her first dazzling movie! Uncut and for the first time in theaters, Join Sailor Moon on an adventure to save not only the world, but also her true love! This limited engagement also includes the North American debut of the original theatrical short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians and exclusive extras. English dubbed.
Will you be watching the film in theatres if it plays in your city? For those of you living in the US, have you already seen it?
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 R: The Movie is being screened for the first time in North America tonight. The film’s premiere is in Los Angeles at the Theatre at Ace Hotel. Many more cities will be showing the movie starting next weekend with the first showings on Thursday January 19th. We originally posted a list of theatres which were showing the film. More cities and theatres have since been added to the list which can be found at the Eleven Arts web site. Last time I included a full list in the post but since this is a dynamic list with cities being added every week I would encourage you to visit to page to see if your city has been added.
Sadly there are still no Canadian cities which have announced screenings of the film. I hope this changes soon!
Viz and Eleven Arts have released a list of cities and theatres which will be playing Sailor Moon R: The Movie early in 2017! Some show times are still to be determined, though most are in January with a few in February. The list is available at the Eleven Arts web site. I’ve included it at the end of this post for those who are too lazy to click on that link. Viz has confirmed that more cities will be added later! There are currently no Canadian cities on this list but I remain hopeful that some will be added as we get closer to the release date!
The movie will be screened either in English or in Japanese with English subtitles. Some showing are marked “DUB” or “SUB” to reflect this. When not specified as a note the dubbed version will be shown.
Is your city in the list? If it isn’t, don’t be discouraged! There’s still time for yours to be added.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.