This Friday, August 22nd 2014, a Sailor Moon Crystal visual book will be released in Japan by Kodansha. This book will include information and images from the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, including voice actor and staff information as well as a number of bonuses. Included will be a sleeve for the previously released Moon Pride single by Momoiro Clover Z and a DVD featuring the TV sized version of Moon Pride and a trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal. This DVD will be region 2, viewable only on Japanese DVD players or for those who have a region free DVD player or drive.
The 4th episode of Sailor Moon Crystal became available on Saturday August 16th. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party, has everyone crashing a party put on by the D Kingdom in order to steal their jewels, hoping to find the Silver Crystal. While this is an early story in the manga it is somewhat similar to episode 22 of the Sailor Moon anime, Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss.
The episode largely follows act 4 of the original manga with one major exception, Jadeite is still alive. In the manga Sailor Mars kills Jadeite at the end of act 3 however in the last episode it was unclear if Jadeite actually died during the fight. Indeed Jadeite is still alive which is the biggest change to the story we’ve seen to date. Perhaps this change will lead to more differences down the line, as all of the Shitennou are still alive at this point leaving things open for different stories. In act 3 Jadeite made comments about how beautiful he thought Sailor Mars was, which may be related to a past and future relationship between the two of them. Manga art from the final Dark Kingdom story shows pairings between the Shintennou and Sailor Guardians during Silver Millennium. Sailor Mercury was with Zoisite, Sailor Mars is with Jadeite, Sailor Jupiter was with Nephrite and Sailor Venus was with Kunzite, a relationship which was also alluded to in the Sailor V manga. This may seem odd to anime fans who have only seen the Shintennou as villains however in the manga they were all friends of Endymion and good people from Earth prior to being corrupted by Queen Metalia. While we’ve followed the manga closely to date this may not last forever. By act 4 of the live action series we were still following the manga episode by episode but major changes were just around the corner.
Sailor Moon gets a new tiara and attack this week! Her last tiara was destroyed by Sailor Mars as she burned Jadeite and so she gets a new upgraded one and with that has a new attack which she uses to destroy Nephrite’s shadow. The attack she uses in the manga is Moon Twilight Flash, seen frequently in the live action series, though the attack is not named in this episode. Strangely enough an image of Sailor Moon using this attack is seen in the newspaper on the morning before she gets her tiara upgrade and is first able to use this attack.
Another fun moment has Umino acting like a total creeper when he reveals a photo of Princess D. Indeed Umino always having images of women at hand when needed is in itself creepy but something about the way he acts and speaks in this scene is particularly funny.
And speaking of creepy, the final scene of the episode needs to be addressed. Sailor Moon, after a long day at the party, passes out. In the manga she does this after consuming alcohol. While unconscious Tuxedo Mask approaches her and kisses her, causing fans to swoon at this romantic moment. She is unconscious and unable to consent to his advances. This behaviour is completely inappropriate. Luckily Luna shows up and comes to Sailor Moon’s defence.
Unfortunately we have to wait 3 weeks for the next episode! We’ve gotten used to seeing shows every two weeks but Sailor Moon Crystal is released on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month, not every two weeks. The next episode will be available on Saturday September 6th. Act 5, Makoto – Sailor Jupiter, will introduce us to Makoto Kino who becomes Sailor Jupiter. We see a shot of her at the end of the episode and more of her during the next episode preview. This again follows the manga schedule with Sailor Jupiter appearing in act 5.
Keep reading for more images from this episode and from the next episode preview.
Set your alarms! The 4th episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 4: Masquerade Dance Party, will be available online streaming starting August 16th at 7pm Japan Standard Time. This is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. You can watch the episode on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico.
This episode has the Sailor Guardians, Tuxedo Mask and the Dark Kingdom crashing a masquerade party in order to investigate a gem which may be the Silver Crystal. Once again we follow a story straight from the manga as was the case for the previous three episodes.
There’s a neat little easter egg in the third episode of Sailor Moon Crystal in the appearance of two characters who will likely show up later in the series. I would never have noticed it at first but it was pointed out to me by Yosenex of Go Robo Now. Check out his review of act 3 for his thoughts on the episode. What we can see in this screenshot are two girls standing on the sidewalk which bear a striking resemblance to Unazuki and Reika. Unazuki Furuhata is Motoki’s younger sister and Reika Nishimura is his girlfriend. Both appear in a number of episodes of the anime and throughout the manga.
Reika’s hair is fairly generic but Unazuki’s is more specific and recognizable which leads me to believe that this similarity was intended. What you you think?
Here is an undoctored screenshot of the scene which appears right before the commercial break, at about 11:27, right after Usagi and Mamoru’s encounter on the bus.
Source: Go Robo Now
This weekend in Sydney Australia Sailor Moon fans will be able to meet Kotono Mitsuishi at SMASH!, the Sydney Manga and Anime Show. Kotono Misuishi provided the voice of Sailor Moon in the Japanese version of the original Sailor Moon anime and is reprising her role in the new Sailor Moon anime Sailor Moon Crystal.
Kotono Mitsuishi will be holding three panels throughout the weekend. The main panels will be Saturday and Sunday at 11am with a mini panel on Saturday at 4pm.
The CD single for Momoiro Clover Z’s Moon Pride was released on July 30th. The single is also available for digital download on iTunes. The Japanese physical release comes in two versions. The CD only version includes a bonus track of Moon Revenge covered by Momoiro Clover Z which is also available in the iTunes release. The Blu-Ray combo pack includes a Blu-Ray of the music video. All versions contain the theme song to Sailor Moon Crystal, Moon Pride, and the ending theme, Gekkou. It was recently revealed that the lyrics to the Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme Gekkou were actually written by Sailor Moon creator Naoko Takeuchi. It is credited to Sumire Shirobara which is actually Naoko Takeuchi’s pseudonym. I guess Surikurume was taken.
I picked up both physical copies on Amazon Japan (CD only version, Blu-Ray combo pack). It’s unfortunate that buying both was necessary to get the Blu-Ray and bonus track! The Blu-Ray is pretty simple. It has no menu and plays the music video for Moon Pride by Momoiro Clover Z. This includes some scenes from the intro to Sailor Moon Crystal, a bit of footage from transformation scenes and the first episode and other footage of Silver Millennium which may or may not be from future episodes of the series. You can watch the full video in the embedded clip below or download a subbed version from Sailor Moon Center.
The Blu-Ray version does not include the overlaid text and CD box art. This combo version includes only the opening and ending themes on the CD, with bonus karaoke versions of each song. The art on the cover features the Sailor Guardians from Sailor Moon Crystal. This is the art that is included for the iTunes release, though the contents are the same as the CD only version.
Though the CD only version does not include the Blu-Ray it does have the bonus track of Moon Revenge by Momoiro Clover Z. Moon Revenge was originally the theme song for the Sailor Moon R movie and was at the time sung by Peach Hips, which means the vocals were comprised of the voice actors who played the Sailor Guardians in the original Sailor Moon anime. While it’s nice to see a cover of this song it is certainly much more fitting to hear the version as sung by our favourite voice actors. As it is played in the Sailor Moon R film the voices of certain characters are heard when they appear on screen, which complements the film perfectly. The CD only version features Momoiro Clover Z in Sailor Moon style uniforms on the box art.
So what is a North American fan to do? Well you can certainly import them from Amazon Japan (CD only version, Blu-Ray combo pack) or CD Japan (CD only version, Blu-ray combo pack). Both versions are relatively inexpensive but the shipping costs will be high. CDs are not region coded so fans throughout the world will have no problem listening to them. Japanese Blu-Ray discs are region A so they are viewable in North America, but not all over the world. Alternatively you can just buy the individual track or all three plus karaoke versions from iTunes. Brad at Moonkitty compiled a list of iTunes links for many countries so you can buy them if you’re in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan or Peru. Certainly, there are web sites where you can download rips of the CDs for free, but as Sailor Moon fans it would only be right to support the show by purchasing this CD if you plan on listening to it.
Keep reading to see photos of both CDs and their inserts.
Act 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Rei – Sailor Mars, was released on August 2nd. You can watch it on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. With this new episode we are introduced to the incomparable Sailor Mars! Many will debate whether or not Sailor Mars is the greatest of the Sailor Guardians and these people fall into two categories. Those that think Sailor Mars is the best, who are right, and those who disagree, who are wrong! Rei’s portrayal in this episode is closer to her personality in the manga, which may be a bit of a change to those who know her fiery attitude from the original anime adaptation.
As with the earlier episodes we once again see an incredibly faithful manga adaptation as Usagi, Ami and Luna investigate missing persons on a bus that stops near the Hikawa Shrine which introduces them to the the Priestess Rei Hino. Usagi is immediately attracted to Rei, calling her beautiful throughout the episode. Usagi isn’t sure if Rei is friend or foe, just like Rei is herself unsure if Usagi is an enemy or not. It turns out both are actually being confused by the evil energy of Jadeite, who is driving the evil bus.
The main change from the manga that is seen in this episode takes place when Usagi and Mamoru meet on the bus. In the manga Usagi notices that Mamoru looks like Tuxedo Mask and Mamoru notices that Usagi looks like Sailor Moon. Clearly this is quite a change from the original anime where the tiaras and mask do a great job of hiding one’s identity. Later in the episode Rei recognizes Sailor Moon as being Usagi which tells us these disguises aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
Finally we have the “death” of Jadeite which is pretty subtle. We don’t really see him die. It’s unclear if this is meant to be a change to the story or if his death was made less graphic to make the show more child friendly. I watched the episode with someone who was not familiar with the original story and they assumed he had simply escaped to return another day. We will know for sure in two weeks.
August 16th Act 4, Masquerade Dance Party, will have the Sailor Guardians, Tuxedo Mask and the Dark Kingdom searching for the Silver Crystal. This week we actually get the next episode preview on all feeds, rather than just on Niconico as we had been seeing in the past. We continue to follow the manga with this next act. By this schedule Sailor Jupiter should be arriving in the following episode, Act 5 which will be airing September 6th.
Keep reading for more screenshots from the episode.
The third episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Rei – Sailor Mars, will be available to stream online this Saturday August 2nd starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Stardard Time. Watch the episodes on Crunchyroll, Hulu or Niconico. The preview for this episode was only available on the Niconico version of Act 2. It can be viewed below.
Act 3 introduces us to Rei Hino, Sailor Mars, as the cursed 6 o’clock bus is causing people to dissapear and suspicions are thrown on Rei and the Hikawa Shrine. The first two episodes followed the manga quite closely and it looks like this next one will too.
Unfortunately I’ll be out of town and off the grid for the weekend for the introduction of the greatest character in the series but look forward to my thoughts on the episode early next week.
Here’s something cool that a fan whipped up. It’s the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal edited to fit with dialog from the first episode of the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime. It actually fits quite well though the episode is shorter than the full version as some scenes did not exist in both version. In a few instances a short clip from the original anime is included but for the most part it’s video from Sailor Moon Crystal and audio from the old Sailor Moon anime. She even included a Sailor Says segment! Watch the episode in the embedded clip below.
Since both the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal and the original Sailor Moon anime followed the manga closely this fits very well. Only in a few scenes did things not really work, such as Molly talking to Serena who isn’t actually in the room, but it mostly worked. A similar exercise would probably work decently for act 2 and potentially act 3 as the episodes where Ami and Rei are introduced in the original Sailor Moon anime followed the manga quite well. I spoke to Jessica who created this clip about the possibility of more episodes but there are currently no plans to do so as this would become impossible as the series progresses and deviates greatly from the source material.
Sailor Moon Crystal Act 2, Ami – Sailor Mercury, premiered July 19th in Japan and worldwide. It’s available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode marked the introduction of Ami Mizuno who we soon discover is actually Sailor Mercury. As with the first episode, this story follows the manga very closely. The episode where Sailor Mercury appeared in the original Sailor Moon anime was also fairly faithful to the manga, so fans of the old show may see some similarities there.
It would be easier to list the differences to the manga than the similarities. The main ones that come to mind are Ami seeing an image of Silver Millennium when she touches Usagi and Sailor Moon attempting to reuse her Supersonic Waves attack. Once again we see that this adaptation follows the newer version of the Sailor Moon Manga as the Crystal Disk is actually a CD Rom and not a 3.5″ floppy disk as it had been in the original publication of the manga and 1992 Sailor Moon anime. We can conclude by this that the series does not take place in the early 90s, but either some time later or in the present time.
The episode starts out with our introduction to the genius girl Ami, who’s scoring perfect in her tests, getting the best grades in her class. Her genius is in part attributed to the Crystal Seminar, a new cram school she and other students are attending. Luna is looking into Ami which leads her to have suspicions about the Crystal Seminar, which is actually a plot by the enemy to brainwash smart students into helping them find the Silver Crystal. Usagi befriends Ami who turns out to be a whiz at video games. Once her true identity as Sailor Mercury is revealed their new friendship moves to a whole new level.
This episode also includes the introduction of the Disguise Pen which Usagi gets by tilting the Sailor V arcade game. She uses it to transform into a doctor in order to sneak into the Crystal Seminar. In one scene where Luna is investigating Ami with her computer we can see that she’s also looking into Tuxedo Mask. There’s also a silhouette of Rei with little info about her but her name is visible in the reflection of the screen seen in Luna’s eyes.
The final scene shows us our first look at the Hikawa Shrine and Rei Hino, who will soon become Sailor Mars. The Niconico feed gives us a next episode preview for Act. 3, Rei – Sailor Mars which will be playing in two weeks, on August 2nd at 7pm JST, 6am EST and 3am PST. Once again we are following the manga with a story of the cursed 6 o’clock bus which introduces us to Sailor Mars. The preview shows us our first look at Zoisite who didn’t show up until much later in the original Sailor Moon anime. Will Sailor Mars kill Jadeite in the next episode like she does in the manga?
Keep reading for more screen caps of the episode and next episode preview.