Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, February 7th at 5am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa and Luna-P

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available this coming Saturday February 7th. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, will start streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 5am Eastern Time and 2am Pacific Time. With the first full episode covering the second story arc we will be seeing a lot of new characters from the Black Moon Clan.

Sailor Moon Crystal - Black Moon Clan character art - Diamond, Saphire, Rubeus and Esmeraude

The main villain we’ll be seeing this week is Koan of the Ayakashi sisters. We will also likely be seeing her 3 sisters who appeared mostly in the background in the manga. We will also be seeing other Black Moon Clan villains Demande, Rubeus, Esmeraude, Saphir and Wise Man. Chibiusa is integrating herself into the Tsukino family while Rei is looking into UFOs which she thinks could related to a new enemy. Tune in Saturday to see how that turns out!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 -Infiltration - Sailor Mars

Sailor Moon Crystal will be broadcast on TV in Japan starting in April 2015

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 6 - Zoisite dressed as a woman

The Sailor Moon Crystal anime, which until now has only been available worldwide via online streaming services, will soon be broadcast on TV in Japan. This will not affect the show’s current streaming schedule. Little more information accompanied this news except that it would be airing starting in April of this year. No specifics about the time or channel have been announced. It is also unknown if this broadcast will include the original streaming version of the show or the home video version with small improvements to the art of many scenes.

A few weeks ago we shared news that Canal J in France had plans to begin airing Sailor Moon Crystal on their network starting in March. If there are no delays to these plans, France may be the first country to play Sailor Moon Crystal on TV.

Usagi watching TV

Source: Natalie.mu via Anime News Network

Check out the character designs for the Black Moon Clan in Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal - Black Moon Clan character art - Diamond, Saphire, Rubeus and Esmeraude

Character art featuring Prince Demande, Saphir, Rubeus and Esmeraude has been posted to the Sailor Moon Official Site. Not included are the Ayakashi sisters who will also be joining the show starting with the next episode.

Prince Demande, Saphire, Rubeus and Esmeraude will first appear in Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, which will be released on Saturday February 7th. They are part of the Black Moon Clan who will be the main villains for most of phase two of Sailor Moon Crystal covering the story of Chibiusa and Crystal Tokyo.

What do you think of these designs?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Rubeus

We previously saw a glimpse of Rubeus in one of Rei’s visions near the end of Act 14.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 4 review

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Box

The 4th volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray was released in Japan on January 14th. Because I’m irresponsible with my money I’ve purchased this, so here is my review. The set is Japanese audio and contains just two episodes, Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask and Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. It comes with a 24 page full colour booklet and a charm of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item in a decorative box.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Contents

As with other releases, minor changes to the animation are included. This one it no different, though some of the changes here are more considerable. One of my favourite parts of act 7 is the part where Umino drops in uninvited to a conversation between Usagi, Makoto and Ami to talk about Sailor V. He’s ultimately creepy and for some unexplained reason is a black shadowy figure with yellow eyes and a mouth, looking something like a Heartless from the Kingdom Hearts games. For whatever reason this has been fixed up for the Blu-Ray release so that he is just normal looking, though still intensely creepy, Umino. While changes in the past were largely cosmetic, this is one that is a little more intrusive and something I’m not very comfortable with.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Creepy Umino looks like a heartless

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Umino is less creepy than in the streaming version

Other changes in the episode were not as big a deal. Act 7 contains what I would consider to be the worst animation of the series to date. Some of those shots have been fixed up, but a lot of the really terrible looking shots remain. An error that occurred in the original streaming version of act 7 was that Sailor Venus was wearing Sailor V’s uniform when seen from behind but then Sailor Venus’s orange uniform when seen from the front. This has been fixed to correctly show Sailor Venus’s uniform for all angles. It was unclear it this had been intended or not, as the idea might have been that at first Sailor Venus looked like Sailor V, but upon closer investigation was actually wearing a different costume. This wasn’t really what the scene seemed to insinuate so it’s a decent thing to change. I didn’t notice anything but fairly cosmetic changes to act 8.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act. 7 Blu-Ray - Sailor Venus is no longer dressed as Sailor V

The rest of the content was pretty much as expected. The cover of this one includes an image of Sailor Jupiter. The charm included, to go with the charm bracelet included in the first volume, is of Sailor Jupiter’s transformation item and bow.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Sailor Jupiter charm

Also included as always is the full colour booklet. It includes interviews with Yukie Sako, animation director and character designer and Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There are also episode summaries, production art and a special page by Fumio Osano as always. Photos of all pages of the book are included at the bottom of this post.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Booklet - Page 12 and 13

The disk itself includes the two episodes, act 7 and 8, as well as and audio commentary for each. The commentary track is in Japanese with no subtitles so I can’t really comment on it. From a brief listen I can tell that voice actors Kenji Nojima, Tuxedo Mask, and Shizuka Ito, Sailor Venus, are on this one as well as some other Japanese people who worked on the show who’s names and jobs you will quickly figure out if you can understand the commentary.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 4 - Disk

You can import this disk from online stores such as Amazon Japan, CD Japan or YesAsia for as low as 5194 yen, which is about $45 US, though shipping can be considerable on some sites. The regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD versions will be released on February 11th if you’re feeling cheap. With only two episodes included as always I can’t really recommend buying these when a free an legal way to support the show always exists with the streaming options. If you’re hardcore about the show and video quality well you’ve probably bought other volumes so I don’t need to tell you what to do.

Keep reading for more images of the set and photos of all pages of the included booklet.

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Human Luna

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, was released on January 17th on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This season finale of sorts wraps up the Dark Kingdom story arc and teases us about the upcoming second story arc with the appearance of the mysterious Chibiusa! Like many episodes this one was very faithful to the source material, with one major exception which I hope isn’t too much of a spoiler at this point as I’ve included it in the banner image.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Artemis

Some funny stuff to start out the episode. Sailor Moon is all about praying and remembering her allies! She goes through the whole lot! Luna, Ami, Rei, Makoto, Minako. Yep. That’s everyone, right? What is Artemis doing exactly? No respect. Meanwhile he’s doing a very good job of keeping Luna company on the Moon!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Luna praying

This episode is all about Luna. Sailor Moon saves the day? Luna saves the day! They both pray. They are both responsible for restoring the Moon to it’s original splendour and as a special surprise we get a brief glimpse at human Luna! As Metalia is defeated and Luna is praying on the Moon, Artemis gets a short look at her as a full on human. Luna somehow doesn’t notice her wearing clothes, not having fur, having hair, being taller, being in a totally different position, but whatever, it’s still very cool. Anime fans would recognize human Luna from the Sailor Moon S movie. This corresponds fairly faithfully to a manga side story Princess Kaguya’s Lover which centres on Luna and has her turning human. She and the rest of the cats, Artemis and Diana, spend time in their human forms later in the Dream arc of the manga which we may see if Sailor Moon Crystal gets renewed for a second season.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Human Luna

Following the fight with Metalia there is a bit of a goof as Sailor Moon picks the Moon Stick off of the ground. We see the Silver Crystal clearly in the Moon stick on the ground, then it’s gone when she picks it up, then in the next shot it’s visible again. I’m sure they’ll fix that up for the Blu-Ray release!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - The Silver Crystal is missing

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - The Silver Crystal reappeared

Great news! The palace on the Moon is restored! Everyone on Earth is dead, but hey Sailor Moon is the new Serenity so she can rule over her Kingdom! Of course that Kingdom isn’t much at this point. She would rule over what, two cats and a computer simulation of who I guess is now the Queen Mother of Silver Millennium? Not a great deal. Usagi decides she wants to live on Earth, which has roughly 7 billion people on it who are all dead but that is easily resolved thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal. I wonder if Usagi would have been able to instead resurrect the long dead inhabitants of the Moon instead of or in addition to fixing the Earth.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Queen Serenity, Usagi and Tuxedo Mask

Sailor Moon’s brooch was damaged in the fight with Queen Metalia. Too bad. But it’s okay! There are more toys to sell and so the Crystal Star Brooch makes an appearance! And on it is a small hole just big enough for the Silver Crystal. But the Silver Crystal is all big with that sort of lily flower thing around it. This big version of the Silver Crystal is not meant to fit in the Crystal Star! But lazy animation makes it work! We see Usagi take this huge Silver Crystal and with a simple finger she shrinks it and stuffs it in that hole. Pretty cheap and terrible looking!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - That won't fit

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Perfect fit

We have a new brooch. What does it do? Pretty much exactly what the old locket did. Sailor Moon transforms yet again however her transformation sequence is essentially identical to her original one. This is a bit of a disappointment. The only real change is that the new brooch replaces her old one in the clip. With her powers back she heals the people of Earth including her friends and all is good. Minako and Artemis has a nice tender moment as they’re reunited. I’m so shipping these two. The moment of peace is heartwarming.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Minako and Artemis

Rei has a glimpse of the new villain Rubeus. She prays that peace will remain. Sorry Rei! Your Shinto prayers are useless! If this episode has taught us anything it’s that the only way to get your prayers answered is to make them to the Moon! We’ll soon see that Rei’s prayers were indeed not answered as she’s first on the chopping block.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Rubeus

This peaceful normal live is rudely interrupted as Chibiusa show up! We had seen a lot of these clips in the trailer for the second story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal. Chibiusa kisses her future father and threatens Usagi asking for the Silver Crystal. Good call, as she actually has it.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Chibiusa kissing her future Dad

I really enjoyed this episode. A nice end to the first story arc and it was just really good to see some of these things animated. With this behind us, we now move on to the second story arc and what some are calling the second season of the show. As it’s still part of the first year of Sailor Moon Crystal I’ve decided to refer to it as the second phase or second story arc until such a time when a term gets officially adopted.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa and Luna-P

The next episode, Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, will be released in three weeks on February 7th. A lot of stuff will be happening here. Chibiusa infiltrates the Tsukino family, we see the Black Moon Clan, new transformation items for the Sailor Guardians, the Cutie Moon Rod and much more!

sailor_moon_crystal_act_15_infiltration_sailor_mars

Keep reading to see more screenshots from this episode and the next episode preview.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, starting January 17th at 5am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal season 2 trailer - Chibiusa arrives

Act 14 of Sailor Moon Crystal will be airing Saturday, January 17th, at 7pm Japan Standard Time which is 5am Eastern Time and 2am Pacific Time on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. Act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère, will wrap up the Dark Kingdom arc and start the next story arc with the introduction of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask fight Queen Metalia

All hope seems lost as Queen Metalia has killed the Sailor Guardians and is taking over the the planet. It’s up to Sailor Moon to use her powers to defeat her and bring peace to the Earth once again. Will it happen or will everyone just remain dead?

Sailor Moon Crystal season 2 trailer - Chibiusa pointing a gun at Usagi

A quiet peaceful life is short lived. It’s actually so short lived that there isn’t even an episode break between seasons! The Dark Kingdom is barely defeated that we are introduced to a new character. Who is this pink haired girl that drops in on Usagi and Mamoru’s intimate moment at the worst time? Is she a new villain? Will she kill Usagi with that gun she has? Why does she call herself Usagi with such similar hair?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 14 - Conclusion and Commencement - Petite Étrangère

As I’m traveling this week I will be late in watching and posting my review for this upcoming episode. That should be coming Monday or Tuesday evening.

Stephanie “Sugar” Lyn Beard, the voice of Rini, to appear in Seth Rogen and James Franco’s film Sausage Party

Sausage Party

What is Sausage Party? It’s an R rated CG animated film starring the voices of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, amongst others. Also appearing in this film is Sugar Lyn Beard, known to Sailor Moon fans as the voice of Rini and Sailor Mini Moon in the original English dub of Sailor Moon S and SuperS. Sugar will be playing a Baby Carrot! It is not clear at this time if she will be a legitimate baby carrot or one of the more common baby cut carrots which are often found in grocery stores.

Sailor Chibi Moon

The film is about sausages in a supermarket which need to get back to their aisle before the Fourth of July! This is a movie intended for adult audiences by the people who brought you fantastic films such as Pineapple Express, This Is The End and the hilarious yet controversial The Interview. During an interview with Howard Stern Seth Rogen mentioned that the film would include a food on food sex scene!

We’ll be sure to share more about this film as we learn it.

Source: IMDB and Bubble Blabber

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtrack Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks - Cover

The Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtrack was released in Japan on December 24th. Now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it a couple of times I’m ready to share my thoughts. The CD contains mainly instrumental background music from the show by Yasuharu Takanashi, though it also includes the TV sized opening and closing themes Moon Pride and Gekkou (Moonbow) by Momoiro Clover Z. The first CD has 30 tracks and the second has 24. A full track listing can found on the official Sailor Moon site with a rough translation in my last post about the soundtrack.

The two CD set is not that expensive, costing about $25 US plus shipping which is pretty good for a Japanese release. You can get it from retailers such as Amazon Japan, CD Japan or YesAsia. If you’re unwilling to pay this modest cost to support the show, I’m sure you can find a site where you can download the soundtrack.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks - Disk 1

The music included covers the full first years of Sailor Moon Crystal which includes the 13 episodes which are already available, covering the Dark Kingdom story arc, as well as the upcoming Black Moon Clan story arc. This means there are a number of tracks here which have not been heard on the show before. While it may be obvious that some tracks, such as “Black Lady”, “The Gate of Time” or “Sailor Chibi Moon’s Theme” may be new there are other tracks in here which for whatever reason have not been heard before.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks - Disk 2

It’s difficult for me to know for sure, since I’m really going by ear and memory, but of the tracks there are a number which I don’t believe had been included in the show. Mainly the themes for all Sailor Guardians but Sailor Moon seem completely new. Why Sailor Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus did not use their themes in their premier episodes isn’t something I pretend to understand. Perhaps these tracks were simply written later in the life of the series of maybe there was a decision not to use them. Similarly all but Usagi and Ami’s themes didn’t seem familiar to me. Ami’s theme was heard in her first episode but I don’t believe Rei, Makoto or Minako’s themes had been heard before. For the most part the rest of the tracks are some that have been heard before.

Sailor Moon Crystal Original Soundtracks - Insert pages 9 and 10

The insert is pretty lacklustre with the pages inside being printed only in black and white. This includes a track listing, information about the artist Yasuhara Takanashi including an interview and a couple of pictures. I don’t read Japanese but I have included photos of all pages at the bottom of the post. Otherwise the packaging is simple but appealing, with images of the Moon and the Earth on the CDs themselves.

The music in the show is generally enjoyable, and if you’ve seen the show you probably have a decent idea of what that music is like. The CD set is quite cheap, so I would recommend it to fans of the show. As this covers all music from the first year there’s no concern of having this become obsolete and there being another CD set coming out any time soon.

Keep reading for more photos of the CD and included black and white booklet.

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Sailor Pluto isn’t a Sailor Scout anymore in Animation Domination HD’s take on Sailor Moon Crystal

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sailor Pluto

Animation Domination High-Def have put together a parody video of Sailor Moon Crystal. In this video Sailor Pluto is essentially fired as a Sailor Scout because Neil deGrasse Tyson, the host of Cosmos which plays on Fox along with Animation Domination shows, decided that Pluto wasn’t a planet any more. Watch this hilarious video below and then keep reading for a nitpicky breakdown of everything wrong with it.

I wrote an article back in 2006 that similarly asked the question of what would happen to Sailor Pluto as a result of the downgrade of Pluto’s planetary status. It was not animated and not nearly as funny. The Moon Stick web comic also tackled the issue a few years ago with this comic.

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - The Sailor Guardians

Many commenters are saying that this video is wrong because Pluto is a planet again. This is quite incorrect. An irresponsible and downright dishonest University publication made statements about Pluto being a planet following an informal survey after an internal debate and the press reprinted and tweaked this story to lead people to believe something had changed. There is no agreement amongst the scientific community that Pluto has being reinstated as a planet. For more on that check out episode 318 of the Reality Check podcast in which I discuss Pluto’s status as a planet and drop more than a few Sailor Moon references.

Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Moon

Okay now that all that is out of the way let’s take all of the fun out of this video by pointing out the many inaccuracies, as hardcore Sailor Moon fans. Feel free to mention any other problems you notice in the comments!

  • The video mentions it as Sailor Moon 2015, though Sailor Moon Crystal premiered on July 5th 2014
  • The costumes are all wrong. Not even sure where to start here. Pretty much all of the colours are wrong. They actually look more like school uniforms than their Sailor Scout uniforms with the scarves closer to Minako’s uniform than the bows they usually have, they are wearing socks, there are no tiaras, there are no broaches. They’re just all wrong.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Venus

  • The border around much of the video is similar to one used by DiC for episode previews, which isn’t used by Sailor Moon Crystal
  • Minako says that Pluto is “like a fucking asteroid or something now”. It’s not quite an asteroid, but a Dwarf Planet. This isn’t really something the video got wrong as they could simply be insinuating that Minako just doesn’t know much about Astronomy.
  • The basic idea of this video is that the Sailor Scouts get their power from planets. This is not correct, as is mentioned Sailor Moon is a Sailor Scout and only represents a Moon. Sailor Chibi Moon also isn’t tied to any planet. The Amazon Quartet, Phobos and Deimos, the Starlights and tons more get their power from astral bodies which are not defined as planets.
  • Sailor Mercury mocks Sailor Pluto for being old enough to drive yet hanging out with 8th graders. It’s hard to make an equivalent here because the Japanese school system is totally different but at the beginning of the Sailor Moon series the characters are 14 years old putting them in roughly 9th grade. As the manga progresses, which is what Sailor Moon Crystal is more closely based on, a year passes for each story arc. Sailor Pluto appears in the second story arc making the characters at least 15 at the time of these events. Factoring in that Sailor Uranus, Neptune and Saturn aren’t around until the third year and they could easily be as old as 16 at this point. All this said Sailor Uranus is shown to have a driver’s license, not to mention the fact that old man Mamoru is in a full on relationship with Usagi and also has his driver’s license. Of course Sailor Mercury says this while texting a college guy.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Sailor Mercury sexting

  • Sailor Pluto claims to be 41 years old. Since she is originally from the future this is hard to properly quantify, as she could be quite old and living outside of time near the Space-Time Door could have her age at a different rate or be considered to be essentially ageless. All said, she’s portrayed in the manga and anime as being a few years older than the rest of the girls but nothing close to 41.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Old Sailor Pluto

  • Minako says she’ll kill herself before being 41 yet she is alive and well in the 30th century. Of course Minako has literally died a number of times in all continuities and come back from it without issues, so this is entirely possible, but she’ll likely be pushing 1000 in Crystal Tokyo so no need to judge.
  • Luna has a British voice, similar to that portrayed by Jill Frappier. This is unlikely to be how Luna sounds in the new dub of Sailor Moon Crystal. The new dub of the original anime has Luna voiced by Michelle Ruff who doesn’t sound anything like Jill Frappier did.
  • Animation Domination's Sailor Moon 2015 - Luna

  • Luna tells Pluto get a job. Sailor Pluto has a job. She protects the Space-Time Door.
  • When asked to find a husband Sailor Pluto says that she’s divorced. Divorced people can still find love! The greater problem is that Sailor Pluto is clearly in love with King Endymion who’s still married to Neo Queen Serenity.
  • Finally, this whole video is nonsense since Sailor Pluto has already been confirmed as appearing in Sailor Moon Crystal during it’s second season which is set to start next Saturday.
  • Source: The Animation Domination High-Def Facebook Page.

    Keep reading for more screenshots from this video.

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    Canal J to air Sailor Moon Crystal in France starting in March 2015

    Canal J

    Canal J has confirmed via a conversation on their Facebook page that Sailor Moon Crystal will be airing on TV in France starting in March 2015. Canal J is a French language children’s cable channel so they will be airing a French language dub of the show, though no details about the dub are available at this time. Fans are interested in seeing the show with French subtitles, but this is unlikely to happen on a children’s channel. For now they can always watch the French subtitled feed on Niconico. I have transcribed and translated the contents of the Facebook message to user Cauldron Tounsyl included in the screenshot below:

    Sailor Moon Crystal on Canal J

    Bonjour Cauldron Tounsyl.
    Bonne année à vous aussi !
    Sailor Moon arrive bien sur Canal J courant mars normalement.
    Concernant les doublages je n’ai malheureusement pas l’info.
    Très bonne journée

    Which translates to:

    Hello Cauldron Tounsyl.
    Happy new Year to you too !
    Sailor Moon will arrive on Canal J in March.
    With regards to the dubbing, I unfortunately don’t have any info.
    Have a nice day

    Sailor Moon first aired in France back in 1993, two full years before airing in English here in North America. As the first to air the original anime outside of Japan it seems for now that France will also be the first to air Sailor Moon Crystal on TV at all, as it is currently only available on streaming services worldwide, including Japan.

    With a French language dub of the series in the works I am hopeful that it will also begin airing on French TV stations here in Canada. I used to watch the original French dub of Sailor Moon on TVA on Saturday mornings for a while in the 90s, though they only aired a dozen or so episodes from the first two seasons, despite the fact that all five seasons were dubbed in French.

    Source: Sailor Moon Crystal Facebook Page