Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts, Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero and more figures revealed at Tamashi Nations 2014

Sailor Chibi Moon S. H. Figuarts

A ton of new Sailor Moon figures were revealed at this past weekend’s Tamashii Nations 2014 event in Tokyo. We have Sailor Chibi Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures, a new line of Figuarts Zero figures in a Sailor Moon Crystal style and super deformed Tamashii Buddies for the main five Sailor Guardians.

Original anime colour Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figures

We already knew we were expecting to see a Tuxedo Mask S. H. Figuarts figure so that was no real surprise, but Sailor Chibi Moon was news! Also on display is the original anime colours Sailor Moon. The S. H. Figuarts Sailor Moon figure had a slightly different colour palette, including a more pink colour than her original red, but this one is more what fans of the 1992 Sailor Moon anime are used to. S. H. Figuarts figures are high quality highly posable figures. These new S. H. Figuarts figures will likely cost about the same as the other ones that have been released, about $40 to $50 US. What kind of accessories will be included with these figures? We can only speculate, so here we go. The Tuxedo Mask shown has neither a cape or a rose, which would be obvious additions. Sailor Chibi Moon may include her Pink Moon Stick and Luna P. Sailor Pluto remains the only Sailor Guardian not to get an S. H. Figuarts figure as we’re now moving on to other characters. Should we expect to get Chibi Chibi, Ikuko Mama, Shingo and Red Buttler S. H. Figuarts before we see her?

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero

The other big revelation was the new line of Sailor Moon Crystal Figuarts Zero figures. The original Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero line is from Sailor Moon R but these ones are from the new Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Crystal, and have a whole other level of detail to them. I wasn’t terribly impressed with what the Sailor Moon R Figuarts Zero figures had to offer at their price point, but I find these new ones to be quite nice. The Figuarts Zero line are not posable. They are stationary small statuettes. If pricing is similar to the other Sailor Moon Figuarts Zero figures they should cost somewhere in the range of $80 to $90 US.

Sailor Moon Crystal Sailor Mercury Figuarts Zero

Also revealed were more Tamashii Buddies, small non posable super deformed figures. These tiny figures are just 9 cm tall, about 3.5″. Announced to date are Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus. Though no prices are given these slightly more affordable figures tend to sell for about $15 US.

Sailor Moon Tamashii Buddies - Sailor Moon

Source: Sailor Moon Collectibles and HOBBY maniax

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Sailor Moon cosplay for Halloween

Sailor Mars and Tuxedo Mask

It’s Halloween weekend and this year I put together a Tuxedo Mask costume modelled after his new costume from Sailor Moon Crystal while my girlfriend dressed up as Sailor Mars. The Tuxedo Mask costume is mostly made from scratch and with modified second hand clothing though a normal suit is used as the base. The Sailor Mars costume is pre made though some modifications were done to make it reflect Sailor Moon Crystal designs. If you made a costume of a Sailor Moon character for this year’s Halloween let us know about it in the comments on the blog, Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

Adam as Tuxedo Mask

While I realize the coupling of Sailor Mars and Tuxedo Mask is not canon in Sailor Moon Crystal this relationship is legit in the first season of the original Sailor Moon anime prior to Sailor Moon stealing Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Mars due to pesky destiny. I’ll never stop shipping these two.

Véronique as Sailor Mars and Luna as Batgirl

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 -  Princess Serenity and her Guardians with Luna and Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, went online yesterday, November 1st, on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This episode is full of revelations as Princess Serenity, Prince Endymion, the Silver Crystal and tons of details about the past are finally revealed!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Princess Serenity kissing Prince Endymion

Did anyone really think Minako was the Moon Princess? That was all a bit silly with the last episode. Minako was the ruse and now we are finally shown the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon history, the true identity of Princess Serenity. But not content to have super obvious things finally revealed we are now being really secretive about the true identity of the woman from the past who killed Prince Endymion. Boy I wonder who the evil woman might be? Her face is obscured so I have no idea who this is.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Queen Beryl

Indeed, the big thing in this episode is this great flashback to Silver Millennium, the kingdom on the Moon from some time in the distant past. The English dub mentioned this time to be 1000 years ago which seems about right but an exact timeline is not ever given. Looking at the technology and architecture of Earth at the time it would seem that a Midlevel setting is what we’re seeing. This isn’t a flashback to when Prince Endymion was on Earth in the 1950s. The places on Earth also appear to be European rather than Asian, despite the people clearly speaking Japanese.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Usagi with her friends

Usagi is revealed to be the Princess and so the proper pecking order is well established. The other girls are her guardians, and this is shown both in their willingness to protect her in battle but also in the way they all come together to support her as friend now that she’s pretty down thinking Mamoru is kidnapped and likely dead. One concern she expresses is that they need to get him before his body deteriorates. No wonder she wants to return to a worry free teenage life.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Jadeite, Nephrite, Zoisite and Kunzite

The Shitennou are all still around which didn’t really go anywhere. In the manga version of this story we get a nice flashback showing they were Endymion’s generals back in the day and we see Jadeite’s body undo decomposition but all of this is skipped. Changes are expected to this story seeing as they are all still alive, rather than having been killed like in the manga, but I expected more rather than less to occur this week. For now we will continue to wait to see what is in store for those characters in the coming episodes. Kunzite recognized the name Endymion when it was mentioned so it looks like it’s only a matter of time until everything is on the table.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - The Sailor Guardians in Silver Millennium

Next time we go to the Moon! Everyone is kind of waiting around but the girls want some answers and Luna suggests they may be found on the Moon. November 15th episode is Act 10, Moon. We’ll see more flash backs and a look at Queen Serenity, Princess Serenity’s mother from back in the day.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 10 - Queen Serenity

Check out more screenshots from this week’s episode and the next episode preview below.

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9, Serenity – Princess, at 6am Eastern Time November 1st

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Preview - Sailor Moon freaking out

Tomorrow morning at 7pm Japan Standard Time, 6am Eastern Time and 3am Pacific, the next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available to stream online on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week is episode 9, Serenity – Princess. A lot will happen this week as the Moon Princess, Princess Serenity, is revealed, we finally see the Silver Crystal and we get a flashback to the events of Silver Millennium on the Moon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 - Serenity, Princess

The manga equivalent of this story also included a look back at the Shitennou in their original lives as well as them after their deaths. As they haven’t died yet in this continuity we’re sure to see something a little different this time around.

Sailor Moon manga Act 8 - It's still only 6am

Box art for the Sailor Moon Crystal vol. 2 Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

The box art for the second volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray Deluxe Limited Edition has been released. This set looks a lot like the first set which we recently reviewed. The episodes included on this disk are act 3, Rei – Sailor Mars, and act 4, Masquerade Dance Party. Sailor Mercury appears on the cover despite first appearing in act 2. We will likely see Sailor Mars on the next set.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury's transformation item charm

This set also includes a charm to go with the charm bracelet included in the volume 1 Blu-Ray box. This charm is of Sailor Mercury’s transformation item. Another 24 page colour booklet will be included with this set. The animation will be cleaned up to fix mistakes or awkwardly drawn scenes from the streaming version, and will include audio commentaries. This Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray will be released on November 12th and can be preordered from Amazon Japan, CD Japan, JList and YesAsia. If you are patient, don’t care about swag and want to save a bit of money you can wait until December 10th to get the regular edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia) or the DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan, YesAsia). These is a Japanese release with no English audio or subtitles. The Blu-Ray disk will play in North American region A Blu-Ray players or PlayStation 3s though the DVDs are region 2 which will not play in a North American region 1 DVD player.

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box - Sailor Mercury'

Source: The official Sailor Moon site and Moonkitty.net

Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray vol. 2 Deluxe Limited Edition box

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako winking

Sailor Venus is here! In the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Minako – Sailor V, we are introduced to Minako Aino, Sailor Venus and her trusty “partner” Artemis. I put “partner” in quotes because I’m totally shipping these two. The episode is available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. The main theme of this episode? Winking! Minako just loves winking, and it’s getting contagious! Artemis winks twice and Mamoru winks at Usagi in this episode. It’s a winking epidemic!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako petting Artemis

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Artemis winking

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Mamoru winking

This episode is a big lie! Princess Serenity is revealed to be Sailor Venus which is complete nonsense. The identity of Princess Serenity is the worst kept secret in Sailor Moon! All flashbacks of her clearly show her to have very Sailor Moon like hair. Sailor Moon gets a new tiara this week with a crescent moon like Princess Serenity’s on her forehead and of course there’s the simple fact that the Moon Princess is from the Moon, which is what Sailor Moon is named after. Somehow we continue to act as if it’s a legitimate mystery. Usagi has dreams where she’s called Serenity by Endymion who’s face is also obscured. So who is Endymion supposed to be if not Mamoru? Shingo? Motoki? Kenji Papa? There aren’t many contenders here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Endymion, the mysterious unidentified man

Things with the Shitennou continue to deviate from the manga. Zoisite is still alive and escapes. The original manga story has Kunzite talking to Zoisite’s decomposing body and eventually has him die as well, but none of this happens. In the next act the Shitennou are supposed to be brought back to life thanks to the power of the Silver Crystal, and then turned into gems. Perhaps they will just be turned directly into gems, or perhaps things will progress differently. We shall see! The past association between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou continues to be alluded to as Sailor Venus makes mention of Kunzite’s true past. This is likely something that will be revisited in a future episode. Kunzite kisses Beryl’s hand in this episode. How will Minako feel about this, assuming they get all hooked up like they should.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Kunzite kissing Beryl

Kunzite uses Tokyo tower to essentially kill everyone in town, only in this anime version the people are seemingly alive and just having their energy drained, not partially decomposed corpses. Jupiter is meant to sense the effects of the blackout, due to her association with lightning and electricity, but instead Sailor Venus approaches Kunzite alone. This makes sense given she is basically a shield for the true Princess. When the rest of the Sailor Guardians come in, Jupiter is flying while carrying the rest of the girls. Cool trick!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Jupiter flying with everyone in tow

Minako uses her transformation pen to transform. This is what she used to transform into Sailor V and Sailor Venus in the manga. Her transformation is full of ribbons. She uses her Crescent Boomerang attack in this episode, which is the attack she also used as Sailor V in the Codename Sailor V manga.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Sailor Venus's transformation pen

As the battle progresses we take a brief moment to share Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask’s first consensual kiss. This is important since the last kiss we got had Tuxedo Mask taking advantage of an unconscious Sailor Moon. Good thing they got this in, as Tuxedo Mask is then wounded defending Sailor Moon, as seen in the episode preview. Yes, the very last moment of the episode was in last week’s preview.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon's first consensual kiss

Next week is Act 9, Serenity – Princess. For all the stagnating deceptions of this week’s episode, the next episode will be jammed packed. Tuxedo Mask is severely wounded and kidnapped by the Dark Kingdom. The past events of Silver Millennium are revealed. Princess Serenity and Endymion are revealed. The Silver Crystal is revealed. All this an more coming Saturday November 1st.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 9 Preview - Sailor Moon freaking out

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Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1

The first volume of the Sailor Moon Crystal DVD and Blu-Ray was released on October 15th. There are a few versions of this release at different price points. I ordered the Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray version. This release only contains two episodes of the series, act 1 and 2, showing us the introduction of Usagi and Ami. You can order the volume 1 deluxe limited edition Blu-Ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan), regular edition Blu-ray (Amazon Japan, CD Japan) or DVD (Amazon Japan, CD Japan). The deluxe limited edition has a lot included, but at 5994 yen (about $53 US) it’s a hefty price tag for only two episodes. These are Japanese discs. The Blu-Rays are region A meaning they will play in a North American Blu-Ray player or PS3, but there are no English subtitle or audio tracks.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Moon Stick charm and bracelet

The packaging is impressive. The first thing you will notice when opening to box is that it plays the Moon Pride theme song. Inside are the Moon Stick charm and charm bracelet. Should you choose to continue to spend large amounts of money on the limited edition Blu-Rays you will be able to collect the other 12 charms.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Booklet cover

Also included are two books. The first includes art from the show, episode summaries and interviews with Munehisa Sakai, director, and Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon. The second is a book of storyboards of the opening and ending themes for the series.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Opening storyboards

There is not a ton to the Blu-Ray itself. As mentioned there are only two episodes, which auto play when the Blu-Ray is started. As we previously mentioned there are some scenes which have been reanimated since the original streaming version was released. This includes the changes to the intro. For example, Queen Serenity has white hair in the intro instead of being blonde like in the intro for the first two streaming episodes. These changes are minor and cosmetic. It doesn`t fundamentally change the experience of watching the show. Overall the video quality is quite good, which is not surprising as the Crunchyroll HD feeds were comparable. The disc has some special features. Mainly the textless opening and ending themes. There are also two audio commentaries, though as they are in Japanese I did not find much use in listening to them.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

Overall this set is expensive and while there are a decent amount of cool knick knacks, only including two episodes lowers the value. If you’re a collector or completist, it may be worth picking up, but if you’re just looking to watch the show, the streaming versions are perfectly acceptable. It’s quite likely there will be an eventual North American Blu-Ray release with English audio and subtitles. Fans who don’t like to watch their anime raw may prefer to wait for such a release. If you’re looking to watch the updated animation with English subtitles, you can download them from Sailor Moon Center. As of posting this article only episode 1 has been released (720p, 1080p), but episode two should follow shortly.

Sailor Moon Crystal Deluxe Limited Edition Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Box

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Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8, Minako – Sailor V, starting October 18th at 6am EST

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

This Saturday, October 18th, the latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will be available streaming on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico starting at 7pm Japan Standard Time. Set your alarm clocks because this is 6am Eastern Standard Time and 3am Pacific Standard Time. This week’s episode is Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. Despite the title Sailor V will indeed by Sailor Venus in this episode. We continue to attempt to keep the worst kept secret in Tokyo as everyone believes Sailor Venus to be Princess Serenity! This is nonsense of course because she doesn’t have pig tails in her silhouette like a certain other character in the series.

Sailor Moon manga Act 8 - It's still only 6am

This episode includes a scene where Kunzite talks to the dead bodies of Jadeite, Nephrite and Zoisite. Since they are still alive, how will this scene play out? Also this week Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask share their first consensual kiss!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 - Minako, Sailor V

Until now the manga acts have followed the anime acts in a 1 to 1 ratio, even preserving the titles. How long will this last? Many speculate, and I’m starting to think this is correct, that this trend will continue right into the Black Moon story arc beginning with act 14, Conclusion and Commencement – Petite Étrangère. The original expectation was that the 26 episode Sailor Moon Crystal series would be a retelling of the Dark Kingdom arc, but at this rate they will be done telling that story in half of those episodes wrapping up the Black Moon story arc with episode 26. Should there be filler episodes, a reasonable time to start with that would be after all five of the Sailor Guardians are together, so after this week. Should the next episode preview list Act 9 as Serenity – Princess, we know that the trend of sticking with manga titles will continue. Should it have another title, all bets are off and we may not be getting to the Black Moon story arc during Sailor Moon Crystal’s first year.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Tuxedo Mask being killed

Sailor Moon Crystal sanitary napkins to be released in Japan November 1st

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

In an effort to monetize anything and everything, we are now getting Sailor Moon Crystal branded feminine hygiene products! These sanitary napkins, by Elle Air, will be on sale in stores across Japan starting November 1st. Sailor Moon characters will be featured on the Elis Ultra Guard pad packaging. A total of six designs are available in both nighttime and daytime versions. Characters paired on the boxes are Sailor Moon with Luna, Sailor Mercury with Sailor Mars and Sailor Jupiter with Sailor Venus. Check out the designs featuring various character logos in different colours that are shown in the circles in the images above and below.

Sailor Moon Crystal saniatory napkins

Source: Official Sailor Moon site, Elle Air site

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7, Mamoru Chiba – Tuxedo Mask, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

Act 7 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Mamoru Chiba- Tuxedo Mask, is now available to view on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week Usagi has just found out that Mamoru is Tuxedo Mask, we learn more about the Dark Kingdom and we get our first look at Sailor Venus! But first, could Mamoru be Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard?

terry-bogard_fatal_fury Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Young Mamoru

One of the first things we see in this episode is the flashback to Mamoru’s past. Mamoru’s parents died when he was just 6 years old. We get a look at them, two faceless people who have dark hair like his. Funny we see their faces in the Manga, though this doesn’t ever really come back. The more important issue is Mamoru’s hat, which looks just like Terry Bogard’s from Fatal Fury, a fighting game series originally on the Neo Geo. Am I forcing this connection? I don’t think so. I’ve never played a Fatal Fury game in my life but this connection was instantly obvious. In addition to this Tuxedo Mask does a bunch of punching in this week’s episode! His exchange of blows with Zoisite was not in the original Manga. Sailor Moon is attacked by Zoisite and then Artemis and Sailor Venus come to her rescue while Tuxedo Mask just watches. His punching must be due to an attempt at making him look more like Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Preparing to punch

The episode starts out with Mamoru and Usagi’s tender moments but this scene seems plagued with inconsistent animation to me. I’ve not been one to complain about the animation in this series to date but after starting to feel like things were improving this episode in particular seemed like a disappointing step back. After this we get to meet Queen Metalia, the evil energy that is behind the Dark Kingdom, and we get a bit more back story for Queen Beryl. We unfortunately don’t get a good look at a normal woman in the North Pole discovering the Dark Kingdom like we do in the manga but the same story seems to be going on here.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Queen Metalia

As expected, the VHS tapes from the original story were not kept, but instead updated to DVDs. Really? No Blu-Rays in 2014? Regardless of the technology upgrade the story can’t help but feel a bit dated. Video rental stores are not what they used to be, and the idea of the youth of today not spending enough time at the arcade because they’re renting video only reminds us that arcades are also not close to as popular as they were in the 90s. This is why things like updating Crown from an arcade to a Karaoke bar made sense for the live action series, but that Sailor Moon Crystal being so faithfully adapted but still taking place in moderns times at times doesn’t make a ton of sense. Also, do these DVDs look like Kuri’s boobs?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Yumiko, Kuri and Naru renting antiquated DVDs

As technology goes, Ami’s computer has been replaced with a “FinePad” in this episode, an obvious take on the iPad. The icons in the background look like those on iOS though the windows and the red, yellow and green buttons on them are similar to Mac OS. This level of multitasking would be too convenient for an iPad.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Ami's FinePad

A funny scene in this episode shows us more of creepy, creepy Umino. Original manga and anime Umino was nerdy but pretty much harmless and non threatening but Sailor Moon Crystal Umino is downright creepy! Here he shows up to share that he’s looking for Sailor Moon, which makes sense as he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else into doing so, but we almost forget that this is part of the Dark Kingdom’s plot as this creepiness fits right in with his character! Not sure why he’s made to look like a Heartless from Kingdom Hearts. He also looks a bit like Professor Tomoe.

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

This episode finally introduces us to two new charters, Artemis and Minako Aino as Sailor V and Sailor Venus. The first appearance of Sailor V in this episode is on Luna’s computer. In the manga when this conversation takes place you can see a bit of Minako’s bow but it’s not as obvious that this is Sailor V. Once the battle commences it’s Artemis, not Sailor Venus, that saves the day. We see the top of his head followed by him jumping and slashing Zoisite, who doesn’t die in this episode. Then we finally see both him and Sailor Venus together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Artemis

The episode does an odd thing with Sailor Venus’s introduction. First we see her from behind, clearly wearing Sailor V’s outfit, but then when seen again from the front she’s clearly dressed as Sailor Venus. That’s a quick costume change!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor V

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 7 - Sailor Venus

In two more weeks, October 18th, we’ll see Act 8, Minako – Sailor V. This one will be all about Sailor Venus. The team is finally all together!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 8 Preview - Sailor Venus

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

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