A two day concert, Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians, is coming to Tokyo November 9th and 10th

Anza and Akiko Kosaka from the Sailor Moon Crystal visual book

A two day concert named “Akiko Kosaka’s 45th Anniversary Sailor Moon Music History Supported by Pretty Guardians” will be taking place in Tokyo on November 9th and 10th. This two days concert will actually include two different performances with completely different artists on each day. November 9th will be a relaxed piano concert with some conversations and the 10th will have a band performance. So what exactly is this? Akiko Kosaka is well known for having written many songs for the original Sailor Moon anime as well as Sailor Moon Crystal but in this case it is likely her involvement writing many songs for the Sailor Moon musicals which is the basis for this concert. We can tell from the other artists appearing at this event that this will almost certainly involve performances of a number of Sailor Moon musical songs as this will involve performers from the musicals. Across the two days actresses who portrayed almost all of the Sailor Guardians in the musicals, that being everyone but Sailor Pluto, as well as others will be performing. Sailor Pluto is likely only absent because Yuuko Hosaka, who originally played Sailor Pluto in some musicals, was originally scheduled to be involved with the event but had to cancel.

With this year’s Sailor Moon musical being delayed until 2020 this concert may serve as a nice alternative for some fans. I can only speculate as to the specific format but with there being performers to represent each characters with no duplicates it seems likely that some effort to have someone take the part of the Sailor Guardian they previously portrayed is likely. Will they wear some sort of costume or just sing some classic songs? Who knows! Here’s a breakdown of who’s going to be involved and when.

Anza as Usagi from the first Sailor Moon musical

Not everyone is going to be involved with both days, but here’s a list of the actors which are going to be there for both November 9th and 10th. Akiko Kosaka, who’s career is being celebrated with this concert, will evidently be there for both days. Anza, the first actress to play Sailor Moon in a musical from 1993 to 1998, will likely be performing as Sailor Moon. Hisano Akamine, the third actress to play Sailor Mercury from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Mercury. Misako Kotani, the second actress to play Sailor Mars from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Mars. Emi Kuriyama, the seventh actress to play Sailor Jupiter from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Jupiter. Akiko Miyazawa, the fourth actress to play Sailor Venus also played Queen Beryl and musical exclusive characters Bilhah Emerald and Elizabeth Bathory, a vampire. She will likely be performing as Sailor Venus. Sanae Kimura, the first actress to play Sailor Uranus from 1994 to 1997, will likely be performing as Sailor Uranus.

Yuuta Mochizuki, the second actor to play Tuxedo Mask, also played Kunzite in the very first musical and later the musical exclusive character Count Dracul. He is also well known for playing the Red Power Ranger in Zyuurangers, the series which was adapted in North America as the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. He will likely be performing as Tuxedo Mask. Hikari Ono has played Hawk’s Eye, Sailor Star Maker, Loof Merrow, a musical exclusive pirate, Bloody Dracul Vampir, a musical exclusive vampire who is Dracula’s daughter, and Prince Demande. It isn’t clear who she would be portraying in this concert as there doesn’t seem to be an actress to represent each of the Sailor Starlights.

The only person who will only be at the first day performance is Sakoto Yoshioka who played Princess Kakyuu in a musical in 1997. While it’s possible that she could be reprising her role as Princess Kakyuu, there is currently only one Sailor Starlight scheduled to be present on the first day so it doesn’t really add up.

There are a more performers who will only be there on the second day. This is when the full cast was originally planned to be together all at once. Yuuka Asami, the sixth actress to play Sailor Neptune from 1999 to 2002, later returned to play Jadeite in 2003. She will likely be performing as Sailor Neptune. Mao Mita, the fourth actress to play Sailor Saturn from 1999 to 2000, will likely be performing as Sailor Saturn. Tamaki Dia Shirai, the third actress to play Chibiusa from 1995 to 1996, will likely be performing as Sailor Chibi Moon. Ryuuji Kasahara played a number of characters including Kunzite, Death Ra, a musical exclusive member of the Death Busters, Tiger’s Eye, MC Fly, a musical exclusive minion of Galaxia, Chaos, Professor Tomoe, Baron Gilles de Rais, a musical exclusive vampire, and Dark Nibiru, a musical exclusive character. It’s not clear who he will be portraying. Momoko Okuyama, the first actress to play Sailor Star Healer in musicals from 1996 to 1998, may be reprising her role but once again as there is no Sailor Star Fighter actress involved we can’t be sure what role she will be playing.

Akiko Kosaka 45th Anniversary Music history

With this event only taking place on a single day it may prove more difficult to get tickets than other musicals. Do any of you hope to be able to make it to this concert? I’m certainly hoping a CD or video release will be made available for fans who aren’t likely to attend.

Source: Sailor Moon official site Original Story with an Update.

Is Sailor Moon Crystal finished? The new Sailor Moon Eternal film is not using the Sailor Moon Crystal name

Sailor Moon Eternal - Logo

Let me preface this article by saying I absolutely don’t think that Sailor Moon Crystal is done and I think that Sailor Moon Eternal is the first half of what could be considered the fourth season of Sailor Moon Crystal. That said there are a few hints which suggest other and I think it’s only fair to share them with some analysis. As I reported on the other day, a new film called Sailor Moon Eternal is coming in 2020. What I did not notice at the time and didn’t notice until I saw it mentioned on Twitter by Moonkitty, was that “Crystal” isn’t found anywhere in the title. What does this mean? Is Sailor Moon Eternal even technically a Sailor Moon Crystal film? The full title is simply “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal”. The use of the original anime’s opening theme Moonlight Densetsu in the trailer could similarly be an attempt to distance the film from the Sailor Moon Crystal series, though there has not been a single theme song used throughout all three seasons so this doesn’t tell us much.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Booklet - Sailor Moon Crystal ad referring to seasons 1 to 3 as the entire series

Own The Entire Series Today!

This brings me to something else I noticed in the booklet included with Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Limited Edition Blu-Ray. There is an ad for Sailor Moon Crystal seasons 1 to 3 on home video which includes the caption “Own The Entire Series Today!”. When I first saw it I simply laughed a bit, as fans had been waiting nearly three years for new Sailor Moon Crystal and here this ad was referring to everything we had previously gotten as the “Entire Series”. Perhaps “The Entire Series To Date” would have been a more accurate caption! Could it be that Viz had already gotten word that the new film would not be using the Sailor Moon Crystal brand and that the series really was over?

I do still feel that this film is in every sense meant to be a continuation of the Sailor Moon Crystal story, and there hasn’t been much to the contrary. Looking at the Sailor Moon Eternal announcement on the official site the first sentence refers to this as the movie version of Sailor Moon Crystal. The Dream arc was always advertised as a continuation to Sailor Moon Crystal, it was clearly indicated that it would be delivered as movies and that Kazuko Tadano would be working on the project, all of which are consistent with the news of this film. The official web site doesn’t actually have “Sailor Moon Crystal” as one of the buttons in the header anymore. Instead there is one that says “Anime” in Japanese with the English word “Animation” underneath it. This link leads to information about Sailor Moon Crystal. It seems Sailor Moon Crystals seasons 1 to 3 as well as the Eternal film are all considered part of this Anime franchise which may not be as tied to the Crystal title as it was.

Sailor Moon Eternal -

Why then are they not using the name Sailor Moon Crystal in the title? I can only speculate but I can think of a few reasons. The title “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal” works well as is. Calling it something like “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Eternal” is not at all the same and keeping the full series titles could result in something very awkward like “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Moon Eternal” or every worse “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal”. Try jamming all of that into a title! It would make the “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” title seem short in comparison!

Another reason for not using the Sailor Moon Crystal name may simple be to reach a broader audience with the film. The original Sailor Moon anime was a massive phenomenon and having the Sailor Moon films attached to that series was just good business sense. I don’t think Sailor Moon Crystal is anywhere near as popular in Japan or internationally. Tying the movie’s branding too much to the Crystal title may attract the fans of the series who are almost guaranteed to see the film anyway, but what about the hordes of other Sailor Moon fans who spend massive amounts of money on merchandise and events but don’t really care much about Sailor Moon Crystal? You tell them there’s a new movie called Sailor Moon Eternal in theatres and they may be more likely to check it out than if it was clearly tied in to the Sailor Moon Crystal series.

Finally there’s the fact that it’s been over three years since we saw any episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal and this could be four by the time this movie is released in theatres. Some fans may be moving on from the franchise with new ones coming in, especially if the goal is to target a younger demographic.

As I said, this is all a lot of speculation on my part. I can’t say for sure why they aren’t using “Sailor Moon Crystal” anymore. I don’t really think the series is over, as my intentionally alarming title might suggest, but this is certainly a conclusion some of you may feel the need to jump to! What do you think?

Buy the entire Sailor Moon Crystal series using the links below! You can also stream Sailor Moon Crystal on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Neon Alley.

Here’s our first look at Sailor Moon Eternal, a Sailor Moon Crystal movie covering part of the Dream arc of the manga, will be released in 2020

Sailor Moon Eternal -

Today is June 30th, Usagi’s birthday, and to celebrate this there was a birthday party event held in Japan. We often get Sailor Moon news at such events and this year was no different! We finally have our first look at the designs for the upcoming new season of Sailor Moon Crystal which will be taking place as two theatrically released films. It was announced that the first of these movies will be called Sailor Moon Eternal and will be released in 2020. This could be anywhere from 6 to 18 months from now, so we will have to be patient to see when this finally happens! Also keep in mind the original release of Sailor Moon Crystal was planned for 2013 but that it actually first aired in 2014, so delays at this stage are certainly still possible, but things are finally coming together.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Moon

Along with the news was the revelation of a number of character designs for the series. The first was the poster featuring Super Sailor Chibi Moon and Super Sailor Moon. A teaser trailer which was posted to the newly redesigned Official Sailor Moon Site also included images of Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Chibi Moon all of whom have those little transparent shoulder pad things to show that they’re Super. You can watch that trailer embedded below.

The music used in the trailer in Moonlight Legend, the opening theme for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate that this music will be used in the film. While this is possible it may simply be that the new music for the new Sailor Moon Eternal film is either not ready or that they otherwise don’t wish to release it at this time.

Kazuko Tadano Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus sketch from 2013

A sketch by Kazuko Tadano from 2013

Now that we’ve gotten a first look at the designs for this film we finally see what Kazuko Tadano, character designer for the first two seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, chose to do for Sailor Moon Crystal. A lot of fans have commented about how similar the designs look to the 90s anime, which certainly makes sense if we consider this! What we’re seeing is a bit of a mix of the aesthetic of Sailor Moon Crystal’s 3rd season designs, the original anime designs and a little something new. When Kazuko Tadano was announced as the Dream Arc’s character designer Sailor Moon sketches she made in 2013 (above) were used as a baseline for what we might be seeing. Though the designs aren’t identical we can certainly see some similarities to what we’re seeing now.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mercury

Sailor Moon Eternal will cover the first half of the Dream arc of the Sailor Moon manga. This is the same story which was the basis for the Sailor Moon SuperS season of the anime, though in this case the manga and anime had some significant differences. Though we don’t know exactly where the two movies will split, it is likely this will include the introduction of Pegasus as well as the villains the Amazon Trio, the Amazoness Quartet and Zirconia of the Dead Moon Circus. It will probably include early appearances by Helios and Queen Nehelenia, though they will feature more prominently in the second film. Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn may not show up in this one as they are not present for the first few chapters, though they could show up at the end of Sailor Moon Eternal. Since they were completely neglected from Sailor Moon SuperS it will be nice to see them included in Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Mars

What do you think of the new designs? I’m really liking them. While the animation in the first two seasons wasn’t stellar, I thought season 3 was a great improvement. I can’t say I’m so attached to any Sailor Moon Crystal designs to be too bothered by this change. As long as these new films continue to be a faithful adaptation of the manga storyline, as the first three seasons have been, then the core of what makes Sailor Moon Crystal what it is should remain, even if there isn’t a consistent visual style. As always it’s a bit difficult to get a full feeling of what’s in store with just a few images. To see this animation style in action will be something. For now we’ll have to wait a while longer but at this stage we can at least confidently say that Sailor Moon Eternal is real and after more than 3 years we are finally getting more Sailor Moon Crystal! It remains to be seen how or when the film will be released here in North America.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Jupiter

PS: Not to rub it in but I was totally right and this art looks nothing like the Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike designs we saw last fall.

Sailor Moon Eternal - Sailor Venus

Get caught up with Sailor Moon Crystal before the movie comes out by buying the first three seasons using the Amazon links below, or save your money by streaming it on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Neon Alley.

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Here’s a tiny amount of new Sailor Moon Crystal information from an interview with the Dream arc’s animation director Kazuko Tadano

Kazuko Tadano Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club interview

The official Sailor Moon Fan Club did an interview with Kazuko Tadano, the animation director for the upcoming new season of Sailor Moon Crystal. What did we learn? Unfortunately not much. Fans have been hoping for new information about this series, which will be taking place in the form of two movies released in theatres, for what seems like forever. It has been nearly 3 years since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired.

The entire interview has been translated by Tuxedo Unmasked. I suggest checking out the full translation for some nice insight into Kazuko Tadono’s involvement in the original Sailor Moon anime. Tuxedo Unmasked is a great resource providing in depth insight into all things Sailor Moon which all fans should check out.

Kazuko Tadano from the Sailor Moon anime

So what was mentioned about Sailor Moon Crystal? A few things, just perhaps not what we’d been waiting for. First she discusses how she was picked for the role, and she mentions that she auditioned. This seems a bit bizarre to me. Did Kotono Mitsuishi audition for the role of Usagi in Sailor Moon Crystal? Why would someone with Kazuko Tadano’s cred from the vastly better looking original series need to audition for Sailor Moon Crystal? I won’t pretend to understand how this industry works. She also mentioned that it was interesting to work on the beginning and the end of Sailor Moon. Does this mean that after the Dream arc she also expects to work on a Stars arc or perhaps that she doesn’t think a Stars arc will ever happen? Beyond Sailor Moon Crystal can anyone really know when the end of Sailor Moon will really occur? We could very well be looking at a new series for the 40th Anniversary, assuming Sailor Moon Crystal has wrapped up by then!

Kazuko Tadano Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus sketch from 2013

Next she was asked how she is approaching the series which is potentially relevant! She says she will be faithful to the past but also to the manga and something modern. Well that’s all well and good but until we see what it looks like we won’t really know how much of the old, the new and the manga made it into the new design. We’ve seen what her newer art style looks like with the 2013 sketch included above but we don’t know how much her designs for Crystal will resemble this. Interestingly she doesn’t actually mention trying to make it look like other seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal, unless that’s what she meant by modern. Not looking like Sailor Moon Crystal might be a move in the right direction, though a lack of continuity might be odd.

All said this is something, it’s just not really what fans may have been hoping for. A release date would be nice, though too early and the date may not stick. Some sort of art would be really amazing! I suppose it’s just good to get confirmation that the project appears to still be proceeding, though we don’t have any indication as to how far along the films are, if any work has even been done at this point.

As always if we get anything resembling new information about Sailor Moon Crystal it will be posted to this site! Be patient fans!

Meet Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Keiko Han, the voice of Luna, and Katsuji Mori, the voice of Nephrite, at the Animazement convention in Raleigh, North Carolina May 24th to the 26th

Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

Great news for Sailor Moon fans in North Carolina! They will have a chance to meet the Japanese voices of Sailor Moon, Luna and Nephrite at the upcoming Animazement convention in Raleigh May 24th to the 26th! This includes Kotono Mitsuishi, the original voice of Sailor Moon as well as her voice in Sailor Moon Crystal! She has also done a number of other roles in other popular anime series such as Misato in Evangelion. Returning to Animazement is Keiko Han, the voice of Luna from the original Sailor Moon anime as well as the plush and CG Luna from the fantastic live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series. Finally there is also Katsuji Mori, who voiced Nephrite in the original Sailor Moon anime. When not drinking chocolate parfaits Katsuji Mori is an anime voice acting veteran and the main star of many classic series having played Ken the Eagle in Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets), Tekkaman in the original Tekkaman series and Go Mifune (Speed Racer) in Mach GoGoGo.

Keiko Han, the voice of Luna in Sailor Moon

A specific schedule doesn’t seem to be available quite yet but it stands to reason that they would be available for autographs and potentially some panels. Be sure to check out the full schedule when the event approaches. Are any of you in the area and planning to attend this convention? Let us know in the comments!

Katsuji Mori, the voice of Nephrite

Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal, returned to voice acting after a year studying abroad and missed no Sailor Moon Crystal

Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury from Sailor Moon Crystal

Earlier this month on March 1st 2019 Hisako Kanemoto, who voices Sailor Mercury in Sailor Moon Crystal, returned to voice acting after a nearly year long hiatus while she was studying abroad. Her lengthy absence from voice acting had no impact on the recording of Sailor Moon Crystal which had it’s last episode airing nearly three years ago on June 27th 2016. She left Japan to study abroad last summer around the last time that we heard any news about Sailor Moon Crystal’s fourth season. At the time we learned that Kazuko Tadano would return as animation director during an event on Usagi’s birthday, June 30th 2018.

Will Sailor Moon be this old when the new anime airs?

Were Sailor Moon Crystal adhering to a schedule similar to other anime series or even any other TV series airing elsewhere around the globe such a lengthy absence would surely have had an impact on the recording of the series. As an example of this when Phylicia Rashad was pregnant during filming of The Cosby Show they had to shoot around it, having her mostly appear in bed or sitting behind furniture. Even during the original Sailor Moon anime Kotono Mitsuishi was unable to voice Sailor Moon for the first season finale and some episodes of Sailor Moon R due to a relatively short illness, having her dialogue recorded instead by Kae Araki, who would later voice Chibiusa. Luckily for fans of Sailor Moon Crystal we have years to wait between seasons allowing voice actors to spend a couple of semesters studying abroad with no impact to the recording schedule. By the time we get the two movies that will be the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal perhaps some of the voice actors will have had time to raise a large family or go to medical school and do a residency. On the flip side there is a growing chance that some of these voice actors, who were quite young when Sailor Moon Crystal was first announced and children when the original Sailor Moon first aired, may be retired or worse may have passed away of natural causes by the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal. We certainly hope this is not the case but the ever patient fans know better than to set their expectations to a specific timeline at this point!

Sailor Moon R episode 62 - Ami, Chibiusa and Mamoru at the airport

Ultimately I find the fact that Sailor Mercury’s voice actor went to study abroad to be quite fitting as it was Ami who, in episode 62 of Sailor Moon R, nearly did the same. In this case Ami stayed behind in Japan as the Sailor Guardians would not be able to get by without her during the lengthy time she planned on studying out of the country! Luckily Sailor Moon Crystal’s schedule is much more forgiving than the life of a Sailor Guardian allowing for such lengthy absences.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 133 - Chibiusa is an old lonely cat lady watching Sailor Moon

Will we get more Sailor Moon Crystal before the heat death of the universe? I certainly am remaining optimistic that this is the case! As I have conceived and become father to two children and built a house since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired I’d say a lot might still happen before we see those movies! What sort of time consuming life accomplishments have you made since June 2016? What else do you hope to happen before we see Pegasus in Sailor Moon Crystal?

Source: Crunchyroll

Is the art for the Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike collaboration based on upcoming season 4 character designs?

Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike

Characters from Sailor Moon Crystal will soon be appearing in the popular Japanese mobile game Monster Strike. What is Monster Strike? It seems a bit like StreetSmash, the Street Pass mini game in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS where you smash round pieces into others on a board. The characters will be appearing in the game shortly, meaning no specific date has been given. A number of images, available on the Official Sailor Moon site and Monster Strike web site, show that this will include Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus, Tuxedo Mask, Queen Beryl, Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite. Some fans believe this art may be a first look at the designs of the upcoming fourth season of Sailor Moon Crystal. I’m not convinced.

Kazuko Tadano Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus sketch from 2013

We have previously learned that Kazuko Tadano, who was a character designer and animation director for the first two seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime, would be doing the designs for the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. What her take on the series is remains to be seen however she did a sketch of Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus back in 2013 which gives us an idea of what her art style is like more recently. If you’re looking to see how she drew Sailor Moon back in the 90s note that she did all of the laser disc cover art, which has been used for home video releases over the last 25 years. So much to say the image of Sailor Moon most people think of matches her style.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Comparison between Laserdisc and Blu-Ray

Usagi Tsukino in Monster Strike

I frankly don’t see the resemblance here. The art style and almost comically large heads in the Monster Striker images just don’t seem to fit with either anything that Kazuko Tadano has put out or what Sailor Moon Crystal was doing. If I had to venture a guess I would say this art is made by one of the artists who has done other Monster Strike art over the years. Further by the very fact that we only have characters from the Dark Kingdom story arc shown here I don’t think it’s likely that these are new Sailor Moon Crystal designs. We similarly never saw any of the characters unique to the first two story arcs done in the style of Sailor Moon Crystal’s 3rd season. There is plenty of art from the Dark Kingdom arc which could be used for purposes such as these if that was the desire here. Instead this appears to be Sailor Moon Crystal in the style of Monster Strike. The super deformed or chibi versions with very large heads seem to fit with in game graphics of other characters. This is only my own personal assessment of the art of course! You are free to make your own determinations about what you think and these will be confirmed in 2065 when we get the two Sailor Moon Crystal Dream Arc films.

Alice Sailor Moon in Monster Strike

Further to the art shown on the web sites there was a video stream which showed the Sailor Moon content. Start watching the video embedded below at 11 minutes for the relevant content. This included a number of images of mash ups between Monster Strike characters and Sailor Moon characters. The only name I could decipher was Alice who is Sailor Moon. The other Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask have gotten a similar treatment.

In addition to being featured in this game there will be a number of Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike products sold at the XFLAG store in Shibuya. This includes a number of food items.

Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike food

Do you play Monster Striker? Do you plan on playing the game when these characters are out? What do you think of the designs? Do you believe these are Sailor Moon Crystal Season 4 designs, Monster Strike style designs or something else?

Sailor Moon Crystal x Monster Strike products

Keep reading for more art which will be used in the game.

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As Kristen Bell raises concerns about consent and kissing sleeping people, let’s examine the many inappropriate sleeping kisses in Sailor Moon!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask kissing Sailor Moon without consent

In a recent interview with Parents Magazine Kristen Bell made some comments about Snow White which have been making headlines. Basically she talked about how, while reading stories to her children, she asks them to think about the implications of certain actions in fairy tales and what they mean. One particular example which is relevant to Sailor Moon, as I’ll get to shortly, is Snow White. She asks her children to consider if it’s wise to take an apple from a stranger and if it’s okay to kiss a sleeping person. Various media outlets picked up on this by saying that she is calling out older Disney films, which is surely helped by the Parents Magazine article headline “Kristen Bell Worries Disney Princesses Teach Her Daughters Bad Lessons”. In reality she is specifically speaking to fairy tales in books, many of which happen to have been adapted as Disney films. Though Snow White includes a few questionable life choices the fairy tales of the likes of Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm are ancient tales full of gruesome violence as they are products of an older and much more violent period in human history. Modern versions such as the story books we may see in stores and the Disney films we enjoy will often sanitize these to appeal to our modern sensibilities. Kristen Bell is herself the voice of Anna in Frozen, a film which sets itself apart from other Disney films by calling out tropes like marrying someone you just met, the evil queen and acts of true love coming from a newly acquainted love interest. I’ve probably watched Frozen with my daughter roughly 50 times in the past year so I’ll just stop myself from elaborating on my many thoughts on this film and its relation to other Disney classics. So much to say Kristen Bell has the privilege of having worked on a Disney film which questions the status quo of films that came before it and has a number of positive progressive messages.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - Natsumi and Mamoru

All of this brings us to Sailor Moon! I’ve mentioned this time and time again and it always seems to be divisive amongst fans. The idea is that a number of non consensual kisses given to sleeping people in the series are inappropriate due to the sleeping person’s inability to give consent. I am aware of the risk of applying a modern lens to an older work as these weren’t things I thought of in the 90s but I don’t think there’s much harm in discussing these. I am certainly not calling to ban or boycott Sailor Moon but instead, as with the conversations Kristen Bell has with her children, use it as a reason to discuss issues.

Ultimately I think it may be a little simple to give a blanket statement like saying kissing someone who is sleeping is wrong. If I kiss my baby daughter or wife while they sleep this isn’t the same as kissing a stranger. People generally kiss babies when they are too young to give overt consent, though not on the mouth. There’s nothing terribly dangerous about this. That said if I try to kiss my daughter and she says no, I will respect that request and stop. The Snow White example is perhaps not such and open and shut case. It’s not that kissing a sleeping person you’ve never met without consent is okay, however, if there is a good expectation that this will cause the person to be brought out of a comma, one could easily argue that it is morally justifiable. Similarly it may be completely inappropriate to rip a stranger’s shirt off because they are attractive however in an emergency situation it is certainly justifiable to touch someone and remove a piece of their clothing in order to perform life saving intervention. An EMT of course shouldn’t be groping a patient for sexual gratification or go around kissing people they are treating. The motivation behind these actions are the important distinction here. Most adults appreciate this nuance though children may not, hence the value in talking about the stories and media you share with them.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Drunk Usagi

There are two examples in Sailor Moon where a sleeping person is kissed and, to me, it does not seem appropriate. The first falls into a bit of a grey area because of reincarnation and that is the kiss following the Masquerande in the Dark Kingdom story arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal which also takes place in episode 22 of the original anime, “Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss”. In this case Usagi accidentally drinks alcohol thinking it is juice. She passes out drunk after which Tuxedo Mask kisses her. This looks particularly creepy in the original anime as the animation in this particular episode is a bit cheap. The issue here is, as the title of the anime episode title suggests, this is Usagi’s first kiss. Had Mamoru and Usagi been in an established relationship in which this kind of exchange was commonplace enough to be considered normal and he kissed her while she slept, this would not have been the same kind of breach of etiquette however in this case no such relationship existed… well not in this lifetime. The complication of course is that Mamoru and Usagi are reincarnated versions of Endymion and Princess Serenity. They had a relationship in the past and are dealing with fragments of memories of that. In the real world if someone used this as a defense for kissing a person who was passed out drunk they would rightfully be chastised for it as reincarnation isn’t real however in Sailor Moon it’s a real thing so it’s a bit more complicated. That Usagi is herself infatuated with Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really clear him of any wrongdoing as one can’t just assume someone else’s feelings though I think this may be why people feel more comfortable about this exchange. The fact that Usagi and Mamoru ultimately do end up in a relationship makes this seem okay in but this logic only works in retrospect. Mamoru and Rei were actually in a relationship at this time, though that infidelity isn’t even factoring into my objections to this. If you’re not convinced that this is a problem then instead consider if Umino, or anyone else, had found a drunk Usagi and done the same.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi

This seems to have been a concern for someone at DiC when the original Sailor Moon anime was first dubbed. Episode 22 was heavily edited for a number of reasons, including adding some backwards footage to make it appear as if Serena went back and took the stairs instead of falling off the balcony. In this particular there is no alcoholic punch, Serena never gets drunk and never passes out. The “first kiss” between her and Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really take place. The scene is shown but a voice over by Tuxedo Mask states that it’s simply his dream. So much to say it’s generally considered okay to kiss pretty much anyone in your dream. As a result of this the first on screen kiss for the Sailor Moon English dub takes place in Sailor Moon R right before Rini drops in from the future. This momentous occasion is spoiled by an awkward joke about Darien tasting peanut butter and getting stuck.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Luna kisses Kakeru

Next we have a series of kisses from Sailor Moon S The Movie. These are fresh in my mind having just watched the recently released Blu-Ray release of the film. Many fans would have seen the film in theatres this summer. In this film Luna falls in love with a human. After asking Usagi what a kiss tastes like she takes advantage of Kakeru, the source of her affection, by kissing him while he is asleep. There is no past life relationship between Luna and Kakeru. In fact Kakeru himself has a love interest in Himeko. This isn’t cool! Kakeru does not consent to the act and is in no state to do so. The situation is a bit complicated by the fact that Luna is a cat. I have cats and I have been known to kiss them on occasion. Dogs enjoy licking people’s faces and this is generally not considered to be some violation or assault, but then dogs are animals without human intelligence. Luna is a cat, yes, but a cat who essentially has a human equivalent mind. As an aside there is very little that resembles consent in the animal kingdom as most sexual interactions are forced. This is more or less true of humans until recent history as well, but we’ve come a long way and we should all be glad to live in a world where a person’s autonomy is respected. This isn’t the only kiss in the film as Luna later kisses Kakeru while she is in human form and the two fly around space for a while. Kakeru may believe this surreal experience to be a dream but it is real and Luna doesn’t ask if it is okay to kiss him, but he is awake and he doesn’t back away. This is probably similar to how a lot of human on human kisses take place so I won’t harp on that one too much. In the 90s I don’t think anyone would bat an eye at this but in 2018 some people might take issue with such behaviour.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Tuxedo Mask kisses a dead Sailor Moon

There are a few Snow White style kisses in the series. The first takes place during Sailor Moon R episode 69 “Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress” in which Sailor Moon is very much trapped in a Snow White style sleep which Mamoru wakes her up of with a kiss. Something similar occurs in Sailor Moon R The Movie when Sailor Moon literally dies, again, but can be healed through the nectar of the Kisesian Flower. Mamoru sucks up the nectar and gives it to Sailor Moon in a kiss. In both cases this resembles Snow White in that it is a necessary life saving intervention but, unlike in the story of Snow White, Mamoru and Usagi have an established relationship when this happens.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - An, as Snow White, tries to kiss Mamoru, as Prince Charming

Snow White style kiss that never quite happened however is the kiss between An and Mamoru in Sailor Moon R episode 56 “Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An’s Project Snow White”. In this episode An orchestrates things so that she will play Snow White in a play and get a chance to kiss Mamoru, who is playing Prince Charming. Things don’t go as planned however as her attempt to kiss him during rehearsal fails and the play is cut short by an attack by a Cardian summoned by none other than her brother lover.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Finally we have the kiss between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Moon in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. This a sort of surprise kiss that Sailor Moon doesn’t expect and doesn’t have time to consent to one way or another. This in turn opens up the story to all sorts of interesting questions about sexuality which are quite worthwhile but it’s something I felt was worth pointing out.

All said I think Kristen Bell’s attitude of simply wanting to discuss what she’s reading with her children to be completely reasonable. She’s hardly arguing that Snow White is responsible for all of the ills of society and banning them in her household but rather finding a way to allow her children to consume media which she might not be totally okay with all while using it as a way to start a conversation about a serious topic. This isn’t quite the same attitude that Keira Knightley has, as her recent appearance on Ellen illustrated. She bans certain movies in her house, even some she quite enjoys, such as the Little Mermaid, because she’s concerned they might present a negative message. Far be it for me to tell someone else how to raise their kids! If this works for her than so be it. When I watch The Little Mermaid with my daughter I keep in mind the simple lesson this movie teaches. Don’t make a deal with a Sea Witch to get something you can get from your daddy for free if you’d just learn to communicate. I don’t think Disney is too upset about this either. If it bothers them they can wipe away their tears with some of that Pirates money.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe some of these kisses are inappropriate? Am I just overreacting and applying a modern lens to a harmless story? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

A Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge expansion will include characters from season III

Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge Season III Expansion

Now that the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game has been released Dyskami Publishing has announced that it will release a Sailor Moon Crystal Season III expansion in October or November of this year. This will cover Sailor Moon Crystal’s third season which tells the story of the Infinity arc of the manga. The original game included characters from the first two story arcs which had Dark Kingdom and Black Moon heroes and villains. The season III expansion will include the new Sailor Guardians Sailor Pluto, Uranus, Neptune and Saturn. Sailor Pluto was originally included as a pre-order incentive with the original set. The villains in this expansion will include the the Death Busters’ Witches 5 and Mistress 9. Since this is being sold as an expansion it seems likely you will need the original set in order to play it so be sure to order Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge from Dyskami Publishing’s online store.

Have any of you tried out the Sailor Moon Crystal Dice Challenge game? What did you think of it?

Kazuko Tadano returns to Sailor Moon after nearly 25 years as the animation director of Sailor Moon Crystal

Kazuko Tadano from the Sailor Moon anime

Today, June 30th, is Usagi’s birthday! As is often the case this meant a special live event was held in Japan. Many fans were hopeful to get some small tidbit of information about the upcoming two Sailor Moon Crystal films and we sure did get the smallest tidbit. Kazuko Tadano, character designer and animation director from the first two seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime as well as the Sailor Moon R movie, will be returning to be the animation director for the 4th story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal! As we have previously learned the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal won’t be individual episodes as we had in the past but it will instead be two theatrically released movies. Not much else of interest seems to have been revealed today. This news was confirmed on the official Sailor Moon site.

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita from the Sailor Moon anime

Kazuko Tadano does fantastic work. The box art she did for the Sailor Moon laserdiscs is still used in releases in Japan to this day. Her designs from the first two seasons of the anime are the image of Sailor Moon that most people remember and certainly the one I have the most nostalgia for. The episodes she was animation director for are some of the best looking episodes of the series. I am looking forward to seeing what this new season will look like! I just wish we had a better idea of just when this would finally be released! Until then, we will just have to be patient. If nothing else this is some indication that things are progressing on the series. All indications seem to be that this is happening and fans should be used to waiting at this point. It has been over two years since the last episode of Sailor Moon Crystal aired. Let’s hope we don’t make it to three!

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Vol. 1 - Comparison between Laserdisc and Blu-Ray

Fans interesting in watching the live event for Usagi’s birthday can check out this stream from the official Sailor Moon Twitter account. It includes a number of song performances, information presented by Fumio Osano and a teaser for the upcoming Sailor Moon Super Live musical.

Kazuko Tadano and Hiromi Matsushita as students from the Sailor Moon anime

Kazuko Tadano and her husband Hiromi Matsushita were both animation directors during the early episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime. They both worked on episode 21, Protect the Children’s Dreams: Friendship Through Anime, in which a version of them appeared as the two primary characters in that episode, named Kazuko and Hiromi. I was lucky enough to meet them when they made an appearance at Otakon in 2008! I asked them a question about the episode but unfortunately due to technical issues with the video camera I used at the time, I lost the footage of that panel. When I asked the two to sign my Volume Infinity Art Book they were surprised I had such a thing. When I told Hiromi Matsushita what I’d paid for it he called me “rich man”. This is of course not true as a substantial portion of my income goes to Sailor Moon merchandise!