Meet Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and more at Fan Expo Vancouver November 11th to the 13th

Usagi trying to kiss Makoto

This weekend, Novemeber 11th to the 13th, Sailor Moon fans will be able to meet voice actors from the original and new dubs of Sailor Moon at Fan Expo Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center. In attendance from the English dub of the original Sailor Moon anime will be Linda Ballantyne, the voice of Sailor Moon, and Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. Fans will also be able to meet Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus from the new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime and Sailor Moon Crystal.

Cherami Leigh - The voice of Sailor Venus

Though not one of the main cast fans will also be able to meet Ryo Horikawa from the original Japanese version of Sailor Moon. He is best known as the voice of Vegeta from Dragonball Z but he also provided the voice of some guest characters in the original Sailor Moon anime. In Sailor Moon S episode 119 he voiced Thomas Harris, a DJ who was targeted by Mimete of the Witches 5 . In Sailor Moon SuperS episode 140 he played Yoshiki Usui, a fashion designer who was targeted by Fish Eye.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 140 - Yoshiki Usui and his partner

The main panel to catch is “Sailor Moon Celebration Panel with Stars Linda Ballantyne & Susan Roman” on Saturday at 12pm. You’ll be able to see Cherami Leigh at the “Q&A Session with the Stars of Fairy Tail: Cherami Leigh, Chris Sabat, Jamie Marchi & Eric Vale” Sunday at 11:30am. Ryo Horikawa has three panels. Friday at 5pm is “E-manga Promotion with Ryo Horikawa”, Saturday at 4:30pm is “Dragon Ball Z with Ryo Horikawa & Chris Sabat & Eric Vale” and finally Sunday at 12:30pm is “Anime Q&A with Dragon Ball Super’s Ryo Horikawa”.

Will any you be at this convention? Who are you most looking forward to meeting?

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 impressions

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 - Contents

The first North American release of Sailor Moon Crystal is out on DVD and Blu-Ray! This came out on August 16th and is available in stores as well as online retailers such as Amazon. Yes I know this review is long overdue. I started it months ago and then just never got around to posting it. I’ll be talking specifically about the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set though the standard Blu-Ray and DVD versions are both out and since those are contained within this set you can get an idea of what they are with this review. The set contains the first 14 episodes of the series, spanning the entire Dark Kingdom story arc. I had pre-ordered the set from Amazon Canada but when it didn’t ship after release I canceled my order and bought it from HMV. I haven’t rewatched the entire set but have watched it a bit to see the quality.

The quality looks really good. This is probably the issue most people, or at least myself, had with the original series release. The old masters from the 90s weren’t great. The Japanese DVDs looked decent but every release we’ve gotten in North America has had significant issues. I don’t blame Viz for that. I think they did the best with what they had to work with. This is a whole other ball game. Sailor Moon Crystal is new. Viz has access to great masters and the quality of the release reflects that. I didn’t do frame by frame comparisons but the show looks generally good. The Blu-Ray looks like a Blu-Ray of a recent show should and the DVD is limited only by the format. Note that this is the same video as the Japanese home video release which had minor changes from the original streaming version. That was the same source that was used for the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal which is included on this set.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 - Extras menu

There aren’t a ton of extras in this release. There are art galleries which include a handful of character art from various characters. There’s also a “clean” version of the opening and end credits, meaning they don’t have any credits included, just the original visuals. There’s an English trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal which you may have seen before. There are also trailers for other Viz releases such as their release of the original Sailor Moon anime and some other anime shows.

The set also comes with an 88 page booklet. Since the Japanese releases of the first story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal covered 7 different releases, including a 24 page booklet each, it wasn’t practical to include these as a massive 168 page book, but this booklet is close enough. It includes episode summaries and character art from those included in the Japanese release. Not everything is included or translated word for word. Interviews are included but instead of featuring Japanese voice actors and staff who’d worked on the show these are replaced with interviews with actors from the English dub.

As you can see the character art included is nearly identical.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 3 Deluxe Edition - Booklet - Rei

Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 3 booklet

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 - Booklet - Character designs - Rei and Sailor Mars

North American booklet

While interview content is completely different the layout is very similar.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Booklet interview with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon

Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 booklet

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 - Booklet - Interview with Stephanie Sheh

North American Blu-Ray booklet

The packaging looks great. Since there was so much art for the various Japanese releases a series of art cards are included in this. There are seven cards in total which reflect the art included with each of the seven Japanese releases for the first story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Set 1 - Character art

If you have been enjoying Sailor Moon Crystal then you should probably pick up this release. It isn’t necessary if you just want to watch the show, as the streaming version remains available on a number of services, but as more of those require users to pay to view content free of ads or at all we can’t know what the future may bring. Physical media continues to be less and less relevant but if you want to have this series and have it forever this is an affordable way to do it. The Limited Edition Blu-Ray may seem expensive for 14 episodes but a single two episode Japanese release cost about the same. It’s a bargain all thing considered. If you’re a completist and you need a reason to get this when you can still watch the streaming version consider that this set is the only way to watch the series in Japanese with English subtitles including the updated animation.

Keep reading for more photos of this set and the included special book.

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Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Art Book review

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Cover

An art book released to celebrate the nearly 5 year old 20th anniversary of Sailor Moon was released yesterday, October 20th, in Japan. I received my copy yesterday and was very pleased with the contents. From the initial description of the product it wasn’t terribly clear what would be involved. Some were claiming it would just be a review of the Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Exhibit at Roppongi Hills and others that it would just a product catalogue. It is both those things but so much more. It is packed full of information and images from products offered throughout the years as well as details and interviews from the original anime and musicals. This 160 page art book is packed densely full of 25 years of Sailor Moon goodness that fans will all surely get a kick out of. You can buy the book online from sources like Amazon Japan and CD Japan for 2480 yen, about $24 US plus shipping.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Jacket

Overall the book is of a great quality. I was concerned when the official site referred to it as a Mook, short for Magazine Book, that it might be cheap. It is soft cover but the jacket and pages are of good quality. The book if 160 pages of full colour with a good layout. I’ll break up the contents by section to give an idea of what’s involved. I can’t easily include photos of every page, but I’ll include a lot of samples within the post and at the end to give a good idea.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Table of Contents & Return of The Sailor Moon

The first section, encompassing about 30 pages, is named “Return of the Sailor Moon”. Getting past this ridiculous Donald Trumpesque superfluous usage of “The”, this is an overview of the Roppongi Hills Sailor Moon Exhibit which was held in Tokyo from April 16th to June 19th of this year. This includes an in depth look at the exposition which includes in itself a general overview of Sailor Moon since 1991. This spans the manga, anime, merchandise and musicals. Included in this event was a special shop with tons of Sailor Moon goods. A catalogue of all of that merchandise is included as well. A Sailor Moon Cafe was also set up the event. Details on the menu and photos of some of these beautiful food options are included.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Roppongi Hills Exhibit

Next is the “Sailor Moon Goods CompleteWorks” which is about 40 pages full of merchandise which has been released since Sailor Moon’s 20th Anniversary revival. This doesn’t cover older merchandise, which is included in some of the exhibit photos and later in the book, but is a thorough catalogue of everything that has been out since Sailor Moon Crystal was announced. This includes toys, clothes, food, media like Blu-Rays and CDs, and jewellery released since 2013. A lot of this stuff is still available to purchase in Japan.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Goods

The next 46 pages are about the original Sailor Moon anime. This is referred to as the Sailor Moon 1992-1997 Animation Characters Encyclopedia which sums it up pretty well. We start out with biographies on all of our favourite characters. Sailor Moon gets four pages, Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus and Chibi Moon get two a piece, Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Pluto and Tuxedo Mask get a page each and then the Sailor Starlights and other characters get less than a page. These are all accompanied by a number of screenshots and character art from the series. We then get an overview of the films and a season by season breakdown of all episodes. Also included at the end of this section is a full page interview with Shoko Nakagawa, the voice of Diana from Sailor Moon Crystal who sang a song on the 20th Anniversary Tribute Album. Since she doesn’t have anything to do with the original Sailor Moon anime this interview is separate from that chapter.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Sailor Mars

The next section, which is the rest of the book, is dubbed the “Sailor Moon Movement Graffiti”. I won’t pretend this name makes sense. I can’t even try to understand what this is meant to mean and it is itself divided into a few sections which I will treat as being separate. The section begins with a timelines of events occurring since the 20th Anniversary. This is mostly Sailor Moon Crystal and Sailor Moon Musical related events though there are merchandise details included as well.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Shoko Nakagawa Interview

The next 10 pages or so are all about Sailor Moon Crystal. We have general information about the series, some character art and interviews with all of the main cast. This includes the voices of Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Chibi Moon and Pluto.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Sailor Moon Crystal Interviews

Then we have information about the musicals, both new and old, packed full of photos and interviews. This includes interviews with all of the cast of the first three Sailor Moon Musicals. There is a lengthy interview with Anza, who played Sailor Moon in 13 of the older musicals, as well as some other lady who I don’t recognize. (Update: The other woman is Akiko Kosaka, a composer who wrote many songs from the original anime, the musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal)

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Anza

The next few pages are a mixed bag. We have a world map showing products from around the world. What does North America have? The Sailor Moon RPG book and a children’s Play-a-Sound book that has little buttons that you push so that it makes noise. Both points of the map are in Canada. The RPG book is somewhere in the sparsely populated North West Territories or Nunavut and the Play-a-Sound book is somewhere in Manitoba.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - World Map

Am I that Canadian for owning both of these?

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Canada

There’s a map of Tokyo which shows many Sailor Moon locations with photos of where they are now! There is then a timeline which covers the manga and anime years and some of the products released over that time. As a very small footnote in the corner of the last page covering this time is a blurb about the live action Sailor Moon series which was released in 2003 and 2004. I was hoping to have better coverage of that series in this book but unfortunately that was not the case.

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - Live Action Sailor Moon series

The final 6 pages are all of older merchandise from back in the 1990s. Most of the toys shown are now incredibly rare and very expensive if you’re lucky enough to find them. Let’s be glad we have all of this new merchandise which is only somewhat unaffordable!

Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary Book - 90s goods

Overall I thought this was a great book. It has an overview of so many different facets of the series! While there isn’t a ton on the manga or live action series the book makes up for it by going into great details on merchandise, the anime and the musicals. I recommend that any fans who were on the fence about buying this book get it! You won’t be disappointed.

Keep reading for more photos of the book. To see the rest, buy it for yourself!

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A Sailor Moon Crystal S. H. Figuarts figure is coming in January

Sailor Moon Crystal S. H. Figuarts

A new Sailor Moon Crystal S. H. Figuarts figure has been posted to the Tamashii Nations official site. This is Sailor Moon, once again, but this time it is a Sailor Moon Crystal version of Sailor Moon. We had previously gotten some Figuarts Zero statues in Sailor Moon Crystal versions but this is the first Sailor Moon Crystal S. H. Figuarts figure. S. H. Figuarts figures are high quality very posable figures with many extra faces and hands so that you can make them do pretty much anything you can imagine.

Sailor Moon Crystal S. H. Figuarts

This version of Sailor Moon has the Cosmic Heart Compact on her chest, from the Infinity Arc. Will more of the Sailor Guardians be released next? An S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Mercury would be the obvious next release. Who would you most like to see in this style of figure?

The figure will be released this January. No price has been announced yet but they usually sell for about $50 when first released domestically.



Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 2 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Contents

The latest Blu-Ray release for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity Arc was released on July 27th in Japan. This is the second of three releases covering this story arc and includes episodes 30 through 33. The set also includes a 24 page booklet with episode descriptions, interviews and character art. This is a Japanese only release with no English subtitles. You can order it from online retailers such as Amazon Japan for 6516 yen, about $65 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Front

The packaging for this release highlights Sailor Uranus and Neptune with a great cover image on the Blu-Ray itself. The colours on the box match Sailor Uranus’s Sailor Fuku with a yellow bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Disc

Episodes included in this release are Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Act 31 – Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, Act 32 – Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, and Act 33 – Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. These cover the Witches 5’s Viluy, Tellu, Cyprine and Ptitlol, the appearance of Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as well as the origins of the Holy Grail and Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon. Also included is the first appearance of Sailor Saturn, but only in flashback form, and a brief appearance by Mistress 9.

I watched all four episodes and didn’t notice any changes in animation from the original streaming release as had been done with the first 26 episodes. As there were no changes to the last release either I suspect we won’t be seeing any changes to the episodes of this story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Special Booklet 2 - Pages 12 and 13 - Interview with Yukiyo Fujii, the voice of Sailor Saturn

The packaging advertises a 28 page booklet. Funny I only counted 24. I suppose we could be really creative and count the cover page and back cover as “pages”? Like with other booklets this includes episode summaries, interviews and character art. This one includes interviews with five voice actors Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Yukiyo Fujii, Sailor Saturn and Ai Maeda, Sailor Pluto.

Some audio commentaries are also included with the episodes themselves. The same voice actors appear for all four of the commentaries. This includes Hisako Kanemoto, Ami, Rina Sato, Rei, Misato Fukuen, Chibiusa and Yukiyo Fujii, Hotaru. I don’t speak Japanese so I don’t know what they talk about.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray - Vol. 2 - Blu-Ray

It’s a bit hard to justify buying this Japanese only release at this price which is close to what you’d pay for the entire 14 episode Dark Kingdom story arc in Japanese and English. Surely the four episodes per disc is a better deal than with earlier releases but since there are no changes to the animation this time around you can still watch the streaming version for free instead of buying this.

The third volume, including the final five episodes of this story arc, will be released on Blu-Ray on August 31st. You can preorder it online from sites like Amazon Japan. It costs a bit more, with an MSRP of 10,584 yen, about $105 US dollars. This post on the Sailor Moon official site indicates that the version will include a box to store all three volumes in, which seems to justify this roughly 50% increase from the previous volumes.

Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the included special booklet.

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The first 14 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD Tuesday August 16th

Sailor Moon Crystal set 1 limited edition Blu-Ray

The first English home video release of Sailor Moon Crystal is coming this Tuesday, August 16th, in stores and online. This set will include the first 14 episodes of the series, which covers the Dark Kingdom story arc, in Japanese with English subtitles and with the English dub of the show. Since the Japanese release had only two episodes per release this is quite a bargain. The set will be available for a prerelease sale at Viz’s booth at Otakon this weekend for only $65. You can order the limited edition from sites like Right Stuf, which includes a bonus sun catcher for some pre-orders, and Amazon for an MSRP of $80. The regular Blu-Ray version is a bit cheaper with an MSRP of $60. Order this from Right Stuf or Amazon if you don’t care about the booklet, sun catcher and art cards. If you hate life and want to watch the show in a lower quality than you can with the free streaming version you can also get the DVD version from Right Stuf and Amazon for a bit less. Don’t do this. Even if you are a time traveler who can’t bring a Blu-Ray player with you to the past because old TVs don’t have HDMI you get the DVD with the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack so just get that.

Viz has put together an unboxing video which can be viewed on their site or in the embedded clip below.

The packaging looks good. The art cards included are the cover art for all of the Japanese releases. The included special book looks a lot like the ones that came with the Japanese releases only with interviews with the English cast. The sun catcher catches sun. You really don’t have any reason not to buy this set. With the quality of the show there’s no reason to expect this release to be plagued by the video quality issues the releases of the original Sailor Moon anime were.

Hulu is becoming a paid service but you can watch Sailor Moon for free on many other sites

Sailor Moon on Yahoo! View

A number of sources such as Variety and The Hollywood Reported have reported that Hulu plans to end their free service. This hasn’t happened quite yet so fans are still free to watch Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal for free on the service. What is one to do when this switch happens? Hulu will continue to host the show on their pay service but will also be hosting a lot of their free content on Yahoo! View. Use this link to watch Sailor Moon on Yahoo! View. You can also watch Sailor Moon Crystal on Yahoo! View. The site seems to be identical to Hulu in most ways. It seems that Sailor Moon will continue to be available on Viz.com’s anime streaming service Neon Alley after Hulu moves to a subscription only service. Sailor Moon Crystal continues to be available on Crunchyroll though they are limiting their back catalogue to paid users.

Canadians are still out of luck with Yahoo! View which just like Hulu and Neon Alley is region blocked in Canada, but that doesn’t really matter anymore. As we reported earlier Canadians can now watch the entire original Sailor Moon anime in Japanese with English subtitles on TubiTV, which is also free. You can also watch Sailor Moon Crystal on TubiTV.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II review

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II

The second full Sailor Moon Crystal soundtrack was released on July 27th in Japan. This features music which is mostly from the Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, referred to as Season III in Japan. This is a 2 CD set which is mostly instrumental music though TV sized versions of the season’s opening and closing themes are also included. The CD can be purchased online through sites like Amazon Japan for 3,240 yen, which is about $32 US. This may seem expensive for a CD soundtrack but this is a pretty standard price in Japan. The first soundtrack was released on iTunes for only $18. No indication yet as to if and when this might happen for this release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II

The packaging looks great. As with the last release we have a stained glass window style art piece. This one features Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn, four of the central characters of the season. The discs themselves feature images of their guardian planets. Disc 1 shows what I deduce must be Uranus and Neptune and disc 2 shows Pluto and Saturn. Note of course that since the early 90s when the Sailor Guardians were originally created Pluto is no longer a planet so it’s really a planet and a dwarf planet on the second disc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Booklet - Page 1 and 2 - Track listing

Included is a short booklet which appears to have a track listing and some interviews. Have I mentioned I don’t speak Japanese? That means I also don’t read Japanese. Looks nice enough! I’ve included photos below for anyone who can read that.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Disc 1

The CDs themselves contain music you’ve likely already heard in the series. While it is advertised as music from “Season III” that does not mean that this is only new music. A lot of the tracks seem to be repeats of music we’ve heard before in the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal and thus would have already been released in the first Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks. There’s still a lot of new music, mostly that related to the new characters such as Haruka, Michiru, Setsuna and Hotaru as well as their super powered counterparts and the villains the Death Busters and Witches 5. Yasuharu Takanashi has been the music composer for the entire series so the new music sounds like the old music. The music in this series is great, as it has always been. I feel that the animation this season was a vast improvement and the solid soundtrack complements it nicely.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks II - Disc 2

The TV sized versions of the opening and closing themes are a nice addition. This includes three versions of the new opening theme In Love With the New Moon and the three ending themes. The first, Eternal Eternity, is sung by the voices of Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune, Junko Minagawa and Sayaka Ohara. The second is Maiden’s Advice, sung by Misato Fukuen, the voice of Chibiusa. The third is Only Eternity Brings the Two Together, sung by Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask. We’ve already gotten full length versions of all of these in the individual CD singles so these are not repeated on this release.

I would recommend fans pick up this release if they have the means and interest to import it. It’s a good way to support the show and these kinds of releases. If it comes out on iTunes later that would be a good alternative way to purchase it, avoiding import costs and having a generally lower price tag. If you just don’t want to pay for it I’m sure you can find it online somewhere.

Keep reading for more pictures of the packaging including photos of all pages of the included booklet.

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Canadians can now stream all 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime on Tubi TV

Sailor Moon on Tubi TV

Canadians finally have a free legal way to watch all 200 episodes of the original Sailor Moon anime thanks to Tubi TV. Over two years ago when Sailor Moon was announced to be returning to Hulu many fans rejoiced but here in Canada, the birthplace of the English dub of Sailor Moon, this was not a good day. We don’t get Hulu up here. It’s only accessible via legally questionable proxy services and we can’t get Viz’s streaming web site Neon Alley either. All this has changed now that the entire Sailor Moon anime has been released on streaming service Tubi TV. This means that Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is officially available in Canada for the first time. Also available are the first 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal but those were already available on Crunchyroll which is available in Canada. None of the dubbed episodes are available on Tubi TV, though Canadians still have the option of buying the home video release of the first two seasons which is currently all that is available in English.

Tubi TV can be viewed through a web browser or by downloading the Tubi TV app on a number of supported devices including iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Samgsung TVs. I usually watch stuff on my PS4 and PS3 so this isn’t totally convenient, but I do have the option of using some of these devices or a web browser on my laptop connected to my TV.

Sailor Moon episode 1 on Tubi TV - Usagi brushing her teeth

I had a few technical challenges trying to watch the first episode as a test of the service. After updating my Flash Player I finally got the first episode to load after a number of attempts and watching an ad for a Keira Knightley period piece where she has to choose between a life of status and money with a man she doesn’t love and slightly less status and money with a man she loves. Subtitles didn’t show up. I downloaded the app on my iPhone and things looked good but the subtitles appear close to the middle of the screen which is a bit annoying. The timing was off too as the subtitles loaded a bit earlier than the actual lines. The quality looks about equivalent to what we’ve gotten on Hulu and the home video release. Excessively post processed video of a not so great source. Perhaps this isn’t the best streaming service but it’s free and available in Canada so let’s be happy for that.

Sailor Moon Crystal on Tubi TV

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III volume 1 Japanese Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Contents

The first of three volumes of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is now available on Blu-Ray. Volume 1 was released on June 29th in Japan. This is a Japanese language release so there is no English audio or English subtitles. You can import it from sites like Amazon Japan for 6909 yen, about $67 US. This release features four episodes, where the first 26 episodes of the series were only released on disks containing two episodes a piece. This time we get Act 27 parts 1 and 2 as well as Acts 28 and 29. The set comes in a smaller package than the earlier releases, which should fit more conveniently on your shelf. It also includes a 24 page special booklet with interviews and art.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The episodes included are Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part and Second Part, Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, and Act 29 – Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers. This covers the introduction to the Death Busters, the Sailor Guardians facing off against Eudial and Mimete, meeting Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru as well as Sailor Uranus and Neptune. With the first 26 episodes, plagued by sloppy inconsistent animation, a number of minor improvements and changes were done to the animation for the Blu-Ray release. None of this is present here. If you’ve seen the streaming version you’ve seen the version which is presented on this release. It seems they put a bit more time and money into the animation the first time so there was no need for updates.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - DVD

The episodes include an optional audio commentary. These four episodes all feature commentary by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Cover

As with earlier releases a 24 page special booklet is included. The contents are somewhat like what we’ve seen before. There are episode summaries, interviews and character designs. Osabu’s page is not present in this booklet. There are a total of five interviews included. These are with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisaka 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.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season III Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Special Booklet - Pages 18 and 19 - Rei and Makoto designs

All in all this set is a more worthwhile purchase than the previous sets were. The cost is about the same and there are twice as many episodes. Without any changes in animation though, there isn’t much to get from collecting these when the streaming version is subtitled and free, though not quite at Blu-Ray quailty. Further now that we know that English Blu-Ray sets are coming with entire story arcs costing close to what a single Japanese disc does, it seems a little pointless for an English speaking North American fan to buy these Japanese only releases. All said we haven’t seen the English release yet. It seems unlikely that it will be plagued with terrible video quality like all North American releases of the original series have been, but that’s still a possibility. We may find that this is the better quality set to have when all is said and done. The French DVD and Blu-Ray came out last week and seems to be of exceptional quality though, so it seems likely the English release will be the same.

The next set will be released on July 27th and can be pre-ordered from sites like Amazon Japan. It is similarly priced at 6909 yen. It will include four episodes, Acts 30 to 33, bringing us to Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon and the first flashback look at Sailor Saturn.

Keep reading for more photos of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.

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