Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 12 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Cover

The last volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray last month, on September 9th. I’ve dragged my feet on this review so much that the next disk, volume 13, is released today in Japan. Volume 12 can be purchased from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $43 US. The next and final volume can also be ordered from Amazon Japan for 5994 yen, about $50 US. As always this release contains only two episodes, in this case Act 23 and 24, in Japanese only and the cover art included is of Black Lady, Chibiusa’s older and eviler self.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Contents

The charm included with this release is Sailor Moon’s Crystal Star, her transformation broach for this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Crystal Star Charm

Two episodes are included on this disk. Act 23 – Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman, and Act 24 – Attack – Black Lady. The video quality as always is great. As with other DVD and Blu-Ray releases some minor changes to the animation have taken place since the streaming version. Nothing of significance is included with these particular episodes. Nothing changes any of the scenes in any major way. The biggest change with Act 24 is the colour and brightness for certain scenes. As always you can check out Crystal Comparisons for screenshots which show the changes for any particular episode, including Acts 23 and 24.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Vol. 12 - Special booklet - Pages 14 and 15 - Character designs

A 20 page full colour booklet is included once again. Unfortunately I am unable to identify the subjects of the first interview. The names are Nozomi Matsuura and Yukiko Kariya. This web site indicates that they work for Bandai, but no other details are given. The second interview is with the voice actors playing the Black Moon Clan. This includes Mamoru Miyano, the voice of Prince Demande, Hiroki Takahashi, the voice of Rubeus, Tsubasa Yonaga, the voice of Saphir, and Houko Kawashima, the voice of Esmeraude. Also included in the booklet are the usual episode summaries for Act 23 and 24, character designs for Black Lady, Prince Demande and Saphir, backgrounds and screenshots from the episodes and a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu.

These episodes include an audio commentary featuring cast and crew from the show. This includes Munehisa Sakai, director of the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, Hisako Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.

Should you get this? Should you pay over $50 to buy and ship this set with only two episodes in a language you can’t speak when an English and Japanese version will eventually be released for much less and you can watch the series for free online in the mean time? That’s your call!

Keep reading for more images of this set’s packaging including images of all pages of the included special booklet.

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A new season of Sailor Moon Crystal has been announced and will feature Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn

Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 announcement

It’s official! Following the airing of the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal on Japanese TV a new set of episodes was announced. This was immediately confirmed on the Official Sailor Moon Site and Twitter account. The image included with this announcement shows Sailor Uranus’s Space Sword, Sailor Neptune’s Deep Aqua Mirror and symbols for all 10 Sailor Guardians. The Space Sword and Deep Aqua Mirror are two of the Talismans that have some importance in this next story arc. Missing is the third Talisman, Sailor Pluto’s Garnet Orb. I guess we’ve seen enough of it with the New Horizons photos of Pluto at this point.

Sailor Moon S episode 92 - Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus

As expected this will cover the Infinity story arc for the manga which introduces us to Sailor Uranus, Sailor Neptune and Sailor Saturn as well as the enemies the Death Busters which includes Professor Tomoe, Kaolinite and the Witches 5. This is the equivalent to the Sailor Moon S season of the original Anime. Not a lot of details are included about the actual release schedule of these episodes. It seems likely that these episodes will once again be available to stream on Nicinico and to air on TV in Japan. We don’t yet know which of these will come first. Will we continue with the model of releasing online first, with a more traditional model of releasing on TV first or perhaps have a simultaneous TV and online release? We will have to wait and see as new details will be coming on the official site.

Sailor Moon S episode 112 - Hotaru and Chibiusa

The Infinity arc of the Sailor Moon manga covers 12 acts by the new manga chapter numbering which was used for Crystal. This will likely mean 12 episodes in this story arc. The Dream arc, which is the equivalent of the Sailor Moon SuperS season of the original anime, covers an additional 11 episodes. If another year of the show was coming we would likely get both of these arcs. No such details were included in the press release which is no surprise as the Black Moon arc was not announced until late in the Dark Kingdom story arc of Crystal. At this point we don’t know how many more episodes are being planned. If we get that number we should be able to make a reasonable prediction about how many arcs that will cover.

Sailor Moon S episode 113 - Sailor Neptune, Pluto and Uranus

The Japanese announcements are breaking the story arcs into phases, with the Black Moon episodes being referred to as the second phase and this as the 3rd phase. Some also use the term season though with the first year of Sailor Moon Crystal covering two story arcs and arguably being considered one season this naming convention can be a bit confusing. Is this season 2, the second year of the show, or season 3, the third arc of the show? Is the term season even relevant to a show who’s primary method of distribution was online?

The press release also noted that a rebroadcast of Sailor Moon Crystal will begin next Monday starting with the Dark Kingdom arc.

Note that all but the first image in this post include art from the original Sailor Moon anime and not Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray Vol. 11 Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Cover

Late as usual here is my review of the 11th volume of Sailor Moon Crystal on Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray. This volume was released on August 12th and includes two episodes, Act 21 and 22, in a collectible set which includes a 20 page colour booklet and charm of Sailor Venus’s Star Power Stick. You can order this from Amazon Japan and other online retailers for about 5,194 yen, about $43 US, plus a ton of shipping. The next volume, volume 12, will be released next week on September 9th.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion

The art on the cover of this volume is of Neo Queen Serenity and King Endymion, the future versions of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. Since a lot of this second story arc takes place in the future these characters feature prominently in the episodes on this disk.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Sailor Venus Star Power Stick Charm

The charm included this time is Sailor Venus’s Star Power Stick. As with all of the other ones you can put them all together on a charm bracelet and be really cool.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 2 and 3 - Act 21 summary

Included are Act 21, Complication – Nemesis, and Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis. These two episode are based on two chapters of the manga from the versions which were released in 2003 however both episodes were originally a single manga chapter, Act 20, Complication – Nemsis. Because of this the pace may seem a bit slow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 6 and 7 - Act 22 summary

Like with other releases there are a number of mostly minor changes to the animation. These mostly result in touch ups which make the animation a bit nicer looking and very occasionally results in more significant changes to what appears on screen. I’m unable to take screenshots of Blu-Rays with my current AV setup but a great site for examining these differences is Crystal Comparisons.

Almost nothing of significance is changed for Act 21. In one scene a chair is added behind Usagi mostly to compensate for an earlier continuity issue where a chair disappeared and then reappeared behind her. Other than that the changes are mostly cosmetic.

The next episode previews remain unaltered. I’ve mentioned Chibiusa’s shirt gate time and time again. The next episode preview for Act 22 which appeared at the end of Act 21 originally included her blue long sleeved uniform, which was an error, and that uniform still appears in this version. This had been corrected in the streaming version of Act 22 and is still corrected on this release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

If you check out the changes for Act 22, you’ll note some changes for the appearance of Black Lady. In the original streaming episode Black Lady first appeared pretty much as a shadowy black figure with glowing eyes who later became more visible. The intention was, and still is, to obscure her identity. Now in the Blu-Ray we see her as being more transparent and smokey than previously in her first appearance and then darker in her later appearance. It seems to do the job better, but was anyone really still wondering what her true identity was at this point? There are a couple of other minor changes to this episode. When Usagi is possessed by Neo Queen Serenity her eyes glow and in the streaming version they are a bit darker. The reactor effects have been redone a bit to add some circles around the main column of energy. We also see the Sailor Guaridans standing behind Sailor Moon in one scene where we previously didn’t.

Both episodes include an audio commentary. These feature Munehisa Sakai, director of Sailor Moon Crystal, Kenji Nojima, the voice of Mamoru Chiba and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Cover

Also included is the 20 page full colour special book. This one features the usual episode summaries, character designs, backgrounds, page for Osabu and two interviews. The first interview is with Momoiro Clover Z, the musical group which performs the Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme, Moon Pride, and ending theme, Gekkou. The second interview is with the four voice actors who portrayed the Ayakashi Sister. Wasabi Mizuta provides the voice of Petz. Rumi Kasahara, who provides the voice of Berthier, had previously voiced many small roles in the original Sailor Moon anime including Ptilol of the Witches 5. Tomoe Hanba voices Calaveras and Satsuki Yukino provides the voice of Koan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 11 - Special Booklet - Pages 4 and 5 - Interview with Momoiro Clover Z

As always I recommend this only to hardcore fans. English speaking fans should contend with the streaming version until the eventual multi language Blu-Ray is released by Viz. This is a cool set with some cool stuff in it, but it’s hard to justify the price tag for two episodes.

Keep reading for more photos of the set including all 20 pages of the special book.

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Sailor Moon Crystal director Munehisa Sakai has completed his work on the series. Is anyone taking his place?

Sailor Moon series director Munehisa Sakai

Munehisa Sakai, the director of Sailor Moon Crystal, has ceased working on the series. He mentioned this in a tweet yesterday. The tweet, in Japanese, thanks all of the staff for their hard work and says that his work on Sailor Moon Crystal is complete.

As director of the series he is ultimately the person who is most responsible for how the show came together and the final product we saw, so if you liked Sailor Moon Crystal, you liked his work. Now we must wonder if this is a sign that Sailor Moon Crystal is truly over. It seems that he is not staying on as director for any additional episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, but is anyone taking his place? If so, this new show may be quite different from what we’ve seen. We haven’t heard anything about the series since the “À bientôt” message was left at the end of Act 26. That episode aired a month ago today, so it hasn’t been so long that we should panic after not hearing much else in this much time. If the creative talent behind the show is moving on the other projects, this could be an indication that “À bientôt” was a reference to something other than new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Thanks for all the good work to anyone who worked on the series that we’ve seen to date. Let’s hope that there is more to come, by however may be at the helm of the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Source: Munehisa Sakai’s Twitter page via Sailor Moon Portugal

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Cover

The latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on Blu-Ray July 8th. As always my review is so late that the next volume, volume 11, is about to be released on August 12th. Regardless, let’s talk about volume 10. This set, like many others, includes two episodes on Blu-Ray in Japanese only. You can order it from sites such as Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, which is about $42 US plus shipping.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Full cover

The art for this release features the often neglected but never forgotten Sailor Pluto! This is fitting since her character is featured prominently on the disk. We have Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto, and Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Sailor Jupiter's Star Power Stick

The charm is Sailor Jupiter’s Star Power Stick. This fits with the trend we’d been seeing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 10 - Special Book - Pages 16 and 17 - Backgrounds

Included as always is a 20 page full colour special book. This includes summaries for Act 19 and 20, art, character designs for Sailor Pluto and some of the Black Moon Clan, a page for Fumio Osano, Osabu, as well as two interviews. The first interview is with Akiko Kosaka, a composer who provided many songs for the original anime as well as Gekkou, the ending theme for Sailor Moon Crystal. The second is with Ai Maeda, the voice of Sailor Pluto.

Quality for this release is great, as always. The video is 1080p and looks better than the streaming releases. There are a lot of minor changes to the animation from the original version. Nothing from these episodes in particular jumped out as me as being significant. You can always check out Crystal Comparisons to see changes for any episodes, includes the acts 19 and 20 which are provided in this set.

The disk is Japanese only and also include a commentary track featuring Munehisa Sakai, the series director, as well as Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus, and Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. I can’t really comment on the content of these commentaries, as I don’t actually speak Japanese.

I can’t tell you whether or not it’s worth it to buy this set. Do what you did with the last 9. The video quality is great and it’s worth having for a hardcore collector but North American fans who like their money may find it makes sense to wait for the English dubbed and subbed release we will be getting at some point in the future.

Keep reading for more photos of this set including pictures of all pages of the included special book.

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There is no new Sailor Moon Crystal episode this week. Why not read the manga instead?

Luna reading vol. 12 of the Sailor Moon manga

Had Sailor Moon Crystal continued beyond episode 26 using its regular schedule, Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition, would be released this coming Saturday, August 1st. There will be no Act 27 this weekend. We don’t know when we will get it. The final episode’s closing scene left us with the words “À bientôt” which insinuates we may get it some day, but not right away. What is a fan to do? I would suggest you pick up the Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi.

I’ve mentioned in my reviews time and time again just how closely Sailor Moon Crystal resembled the manga. It was so close that mentioning the similarities was a waste of time. It made more sense to point out the occasional differences, of which there were few. I prepared myself for each new episode of the show by rereading the equivalent Manga chapter and after doing so the episodes always played out just as expected. If you’ve enjoyed Sailor Moon Crystal to date the easiest way to continue following that story is to pick up the manga where the show left off.

Sailor Moon R episode 70 - Usagi reading a Sailor V manga

For years reading the manga was not easy, as English releases of the manga released by Tokyo Pop were out of print, but the latest release of the manga by Kodansha is easy to find at many stores and online retailers. Feeling cheap? You can read the fan translations over at Miss Dream, but I would always recommend supporting the series by buying the manga. If you’re starting from the beginning, I don’t need to teach you how to count. If you’re starting where Sailor Moon Crystal takes off the first Kodansha comic you’ll want to pick up is volume 6 with Sailor Chibi Moon on the cover. This book starts the Infinity Arc which is where Sailor Moon Crystal would have, and hopefully someday will, continue with its next episode.

As always you can buy these books using these Amazon links to support the site.

A review of the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Never Ending

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Neo Queen Serenity

The latest and final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Never Ending, is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. For now this is the final episode. No next episode preview exists and a message stating “À bientôt” or “See you soon” appears at the end of the episode. I’ve already written another blog post about this and will discuss it later in this post. An obvious interpretation of this is that there will be more episodes some time in the future, but nothing of the sort has been confirmed to date. With that, there is a lot to discuss about this episode, so let’s focus on the present, or rather the 30th century, for one last time.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Chibiusa disproportionally small

I never really noticed this in the past but Chibiusa is really small! In one particular shot she seems especially small. She usually seems to be about half the size of most adults in the show, which would put her under 3′, something closer to 2’6″ in this shot where she doesn’t even reach the bottom of Sailor Jupiter’s skirt. This is typical of a 3 or 4 year old. Her age isn’t really known with her actually being 900 but given her level of language, maturity and schooling she really shouldn’t be this short. This sort of reminded me of Shippo from Inuyasha who’s size varied wildly from shot to shot.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Neo Queen Serenity kisses King Endymion

Neo Queen Serenity awakes and everything is cool between her and Chibiusa. She seems proud of the Sailor Guardian she’s become and sends her off to help her friends. But wait doesn’t she already know this because she fought alongside her for years when she was a teenager?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - The Cutie Moon Rod of the past is destroyed

Sailor Chibi Moon is given Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre which becomes the Cutie Moon Rod. The idea seems to be that Sailor Moon of the past has the Cutie Moon Rod. In the future it becomes Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre, and then it is given back to Sailor Chibi Moon. This is why both Sailor Moon and Sailor Chibi Moon have matching rods. Like with the two Silver Crystals, they are the same items from different times. They fight Death Phantom, use a double Moon Princess Halation and then Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod is destroyed. So where does Neo Queen Serenity’s sceptre come from? How does Sailor Chibi Moon’s future version continue to exist? The future as seen in this story arc is the future of this arc, because later in the mange there are item, uniform and cast changes which are not reflected in the future but as the Cutie Moon Rod is replaced even within this same arc, the timeline is already in question.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity meet

The time travel is really a mess. So the Death Phamtom is beaten, yay, and everything is great again. Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity want to meet but it’s forgiven because, as Neo Queen Serenity states, it is not a part of history. Well is any of this a part of history? Does Neo Queen Serenity remember spending years of time with her future daughter as a kid, and traveling through time, and saving the future or any of this crazy stuff? If she does, then it’s all a predestination paradox. If she doesn’t, then what fundamental difference does it make if two people actually meet each other? Tuxedo Mask and the ghost of King Endymion are BFFs at this point, but their physical bodies didn’t occupy the same space so it doesn’t matter? Influence can happen through any sort of transmission of information. Simply being able to see the future would have the ability to drastically change the course of history, yet somehow a lot of importance is put on the actual meeting of people.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Everyone loves creating time paradoxes

So what do we do? Oh forget the timeline I want to meet you so they just go see each other. Is this really wise? I mean I know we completely ignore all rules of time travel as we’ve seen by Sailor Pluto never doing her job but what are the implications here? If we actually did somehow change the flow of time by having Sailor Moon and Neo Queen Serenity meeting the main thing that would happen is that Chibiusa would never be born, which is kind of serious business. But nothing seems to happen and so everyone from the future thinks it’s a great idea to just go meet their past selves as the Queen, King, all of the Sailor Guardians and even the cats come and say hi to their past selves. Only Diana is not guilty of tainting her timeline and she may never be born if this is allowed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Chibiusa returns

There’s so much kissing in this episode. Neo Queen Serenity wakes up King Endymion with a kiss. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask kiss while wandering in space. Usagi and Mamoru kiss back and earth and of course Chibiusa and Mamoru kiss when she returns! It should make a lot of the fans of romance happy seeing so much smooching.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Chibiusa has a transformation brooch and a letter from her mother

Sailor Moon gets her brooch updated. Now she has the Cosmic Heart Compact. Oddly though Chibiusa is also seen with a Cosmic Heart Compact. In the anime the transformation item she has for Sailor Moon S is the Prism Heart Compact, though it is unnamed in the manga. It is not usually drawn in details but it does not seem like it was ever meant to closely resemble Sailor Moon’s brooch as it does here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Letter from Neo Queen Serenity

Chibiusa leaves, somewhat. The clock says 7:20am. How early to be time traveling, but Chibiusa is doing this on a morning before school so that makes some sense. After a teary farewell she leaves only to return moments afterwards. Classic time travel! It’s not clear how long she was gone for but obviously more than a few seconds passed in the future for Chibiusa to be sent back for training. The letter Neo Queen Serenity sends references Usagi having offered to train Chibiusa, though no such agreement ever seems to have taken place. But then Neo Queen Serenity is from the future so perhaps she knows that Usagi was fine with it, having been her in the past, assuming this isn’t part of some abandoned timeline since she met herself and ruined the universe. It seems that Neo Queen Serenity is being a bit lazy here by sending Chibiusa away in order to be rid of her for a while, but this makes no real sense. If time travel is at play she could just have sent her to the future. Chibiusa may very well return to the time she left once her training is complete. There’s no reason to look at this as a normal non time traveler’s sending a child to boarding school. Let’s not forget that Chibiusa is 900 years old so Neo Queen Serenity has had her around for quite a while and does not appear to have tried to sent her to time travel boarding school before.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Usagi with the Spiral Heart Moon Rod

So Chibiusa is back. Sailor Moon has a new brooch and attack item. Why do all this if this is the last episode? Because that’s what happens in the manga. Sailor Moon Crystal has not simply been a somewhat faithful manga adaptation. It has been a nearly exact retelling of the manga story. New episodes or not they wouldn’t have removed these scenes.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - "À bientôt" or "See you soon"

Will the show return for season 2? The final scene of the episodes carries a message, “À bientôt”. This is French and is accurately translated as “See you soon”. We do not know with any certainly what this means. The default assumption here, which I believe is the intended meaning, is that there will be more episodes. This is the closest thing we’ve had to any official confirmation. There are no details and it’s hard to get any specifics. We are, as far as I interpret this statement, being led to believe that the series will continue at some time. When, we can’t say. Will something happen between now and then that will interfere with this plan to bring us new episodes? That is certainly possible and so even if this message is meant to tell us new episodes are coming, these plans may not come to fruition.

There are other possibilities for the meaning of these statements. The live action series ended with the words “See you again”, a less accurate translation of “À bientôt”, which was only meant as a reference to the at the time already announced Special Act, a single episode straight to video special which was itself followed up with a prequel. With other things happening in the Sailor Moon world it could simply be a reference to some other project which fans may care about to varying degrees.

Sailor Moon Crystal was originally announced in summer 2012 for the summer of 2013, but it was delayed a full year before it finally began in July 2014. Episodes were obviously animated at the last minute as next episode previews often had changes by the time the episodes came around, and the next episode preview for Act 26 was all reused clips from earlier episodes. There were also all of the changes done for the Blu-Ray releases. If some time is needed to catch up on the backlog and get a bit of a buffer for new episodes, that is great. There may be a ton of other financial and planning decisions being made in Japan right now that we aren’t and won’t be made aware of. With the series now airing on TV in Japan there may be some desire to have new episodes released either on TV first or simulcast on TV and online. We really don’t know any details. Now is the time to be patient, and hope that new episodes will come at some point. The sooner the better, but in this case late is always better than never.

Like with the premier of Sailor Moon Crystal we must be weary of rumours and pay attention to official sources. There was a ton of speculation based on international sources or subtle mentions which had us assuming all sorts of premiere dates for Sailor Moon Crystal which didn’t pan out until the official release date finally came from an official source, a live event. There were also delays to timelines layed out by official sources, and news with specifics of those delays again came from similar places. A lot of rumours continue as dates such as Winter 2016 are now being spoken of with regards to new episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal, but the only official news we’ve had is “À bientôt”. We will be keeping an eye on the official web site and Twitter account, reporting any promising rumours as they come up but always keeping in mind the strength of various evidence. We will be sharing anything we find to be relevant on this site as we learn it.

Be patient friends. We waited a long time for this series. For a lot of us that wait paid off. Do not mistake my snarky negativity for a dislike of the series. I’ve greatly enjoyed Sailor Moon Crystal and sincerely hope there is more in store for us some day.

Keep reading for more screenshots from what we hope is not the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal.

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Will Sailor Moon Crystal return? What is the meaning behind the cryptic final message “See you soon”?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - "À bientôt" or "See you soon"

The final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Neverending, was available this morning on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. There has been no confirmation of any episodes beyond Act 26 to date as fans continue to hope for some kind of announcement of more episodes. No next episode preview appeared where it usually does and instead of the usual “À suivre” or “To be continued” message we instead saw “À bientôt”, French for “See you soon”.

It’s unclear exactly what this means. The ideal case of course would be that this means we will be seeing more episodes at some time in the future. It could also simply mean that we will be seeing more of Sailor Moon in various ways, through products, the musical and other ways which are already being released all the time. This may also be a reference to something new and unexpected. A new movie, special or something else we simply aren’t expecting.

There’s not much to go along with this. A tweet from this morning on the Sailor Moon official Twitter account simply mentions that the latest information will be announced at the official site. That is generally the main place we expect any big news to come from, as opposed to the smaller international sites and sources which are often referenced as evidence for a second season.

For now we wait and hope for some official announcement. What do you think this message means? Are you remaining optimistic?

Watch the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Neverending, July 18th at 6am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Neo Queen Serenity

This weekend is the final episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 26, Replay – Neverending. Though fans continue to hope for more episodes, we still have not had any confirmation of any episodes following the initial 26 episode run. This next episode will be available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico starting this Saturday, July 18th, at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 6am Eastern Time, 3am Pacific Time. This will be the final episode of the Dark Moon story arc as we wrap up the story of Crystal Tokyo and Nemesis.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Sailor Chibi Moon

This is it. Chibiusa has become Sailor Chibi Moon and Nemesis has been blasted away, but with it we also lost Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask! We will finally get to see Neo Queen Serenity return as the final battle with Death Phantom takes place. It’s unclear where exactly things will leave off with this being a finale. Will Chibiusa leave for the future and wrap things up perfectly? Will they still bother upgrading Sailor Moon’s transformation broach and giving her the Heart Moon Rod which she won’t ever get around to using? If another season is ever planned they probably will. Finally will we see the “À Suivre” (to be continued) message at the end of this one as we have with every other episode to date? If we don’t that will certainly be an indicator that there are no new episodes planned.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 26 - Replay - Never Ending

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9  - Packaging

I’m a little late with this review but the latest volume of Sailor Moon Crystal, volume 9, was released on Blu-Ray on June 10th. Like with other releases this only includes two episodes, in this case Act 17 and 18. These stories, part of the Black Moon story arc, focus on Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus. The cover for this release features all of the Sailor Guardians together in their civilian school uniforms. The volume 10 box art will feature the often neglected Sailor Pluto. You can buy volume 9 from Amazon Japan for 5194 yen, about $42 US, plus shipping. Pre-orders for volume 10 will be shipped out tomorrow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Charm - Sailor Mars's Star Power Stick

The charm included with this release is Sailor Mars’s Star Power Stick. We will likely be seeing Sailor Jupiter and Venus’s Star Power Sticks as the next two charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Cover art

The contents of the disk are pretty standard. Two episodes are included. Act 17, Secret – Sailor Jupiter and Act 18 – Invasion – Sailor Venus. Video quality is great, as always. There are animation changes from the original streaming versions which are mostly minor and cosmetic. Crystal Comparisons is a great site to check out to compare the two versions. A frame which had Chibiusa incorrectly wearing a short sleeved blue uniform has been corrected to have her with the white uniform she wears in the rest of the scene. A scene in Act 17 had Usagi using the Moon Stick instead of the Cutie Moon Rod to use Moon Princess Halation. This has not been corrected for the Blu-Ray version.

Commentary are included as always. On these episodes we have Munehisa Sakai, the director for the series, as well as Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus. As always I do not speak Japanese so I can’t really comment on the quality of the commentary itself.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Special Booklet - Pages 6 & 7 - Act 18 summary

Once again a 20 page full colour special booklet is included. This book includes episode summaries and art for the included episodes 17 and 18. The first interview is with Revo, the composer for Sailor Moon Crystal’s opening theme Moon Pride. The other interview is with Ryo Hirohashi, the voice of Luna, and Yohei Obayashi, the voice of Artemis. Character art included shows Luna, Calaveras, Petz, Asanuma and a bunch of items.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 9 - Special Booklet - Pages 8 and 9 - Screenshots

It’s hard to recommend buying this. Episodes are still available to stream for free online. This is a Japanese only release with no subtitles. It’s probably worth the wait to get the English version which Viz will be released at some undetermined time in the future. But you don’t need me to tell you whether or not to buy something.

Keep reading for more images from this set including photos of all pages of the included special book.

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