Rika Izumi, Live Action Sailor Mercury, appears alongside pages of the Sailor Moon manga in the latest issue of Tokyo Calendar

Rika Izumi, live action Sailor Mercury, on the cover of Tokyo Calendar magazine

Rika Izumi, who played Sailor Mercury in the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series, can be seen on the official Sailor Moon site although no mention of her involvement in the franchise accompanies it! Rika Izumi, who went by the name Hama Chisaki when she played Ami Mizuno, appears on the cover of the latest issue of Tokyo Calendar. The fact that the magazine’s cover model used to be on a Sailor Moon series actually has nothing to do with the magazine’s inclusion on the site. It is featured because of a story in its pages which discusses Sailor Moon taking place in the Azuba Juban area of Tokyo. Though the site only mentions that the article will be appearing in the next issue of the magazine the Tokyo Calendar site actually includes an online version of the article. Check it out to see an interview, in Japanese, with Sailor Moon’s editor Fumio Osano, Osabu, about Sailor Moon taking place in Azuba Juban.

A page from the Sailor Moon manga from Tokyo Calendar

You can also check out this article on dining in Azuba Juban which features Rika Izumi who is in this piece a normal Japanese adult and not dressed as a superhero or genius school girl.

Rika Izumi eats a piece of bacon

I sometimes feel like the fantastic live action series is being completely forgotten by those who control the Sailor Moon property! It often receives little or no mention when various versions of the series are considered and this latest article is a fine example of that! Rather than acknowledge that this actress who had a major role in the only Sailor Moon series to be on TV during that entire decade the live action series remains firmly swept under the carpet like it was the Star Wars Holiday Special!

The cast of the Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon

Meanwhile the cast of the series got together recently to celebrate Daigo’s 40th birthday. Daigo is Keiko Kitagawa’s husband. They regularly get together to celebrate each other’s birthdays or similar such events. I’m glad someone remembers this series favourably!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Act 16 - Sailor Mercury

Rika Izumi eats a cookie

Rika Izumi

Happy Birthday to Naoko Takeuchi. In what year was she actually born?

Naoko Takeuchi

Naoko Takeuchi is the creator of Sailor Moon and author of the Sailor Moon manga and today, March 15th, is her birthday! Last year many fans wished her a happy 50th birthday, as I did in a Tweet which went viral after being retweeted by Brianna Wu. Shortly afterwards however a few things made me wonder if it really had been her 50th birthday or that it was perhaps her 51st.

Naoko Takeuchi

Last year a message by Naoko Takeuchi was read at a 25th anniversary event and posted to the official site which I covered previously. She mentions that on the date of the Sailor Moon manga’s first publication, specified in the letter as being July 6th 1992, she was 26 years old. Since July 6th is after March 15th this would indicate that, had Naoko Takeuchi really celebrated her 26th birthday on March 15th 1992, her date of birth would be March 15th 1966. When I saw this I started to wonder if I was wrong about what I assume was her year of birth. Wikipedia, and many other reputable sources, currently list her year of birth as 1967, which would make her 51 years old today.

Naoko Takeuchi

The Wikipedia talk page shows that there is some disagreement over this date. I think Wikipedia is a reliable source of information but when something appears to be in doubt, I always recommend checking out the talk page to see what open discussions people are having about an issue. This mentions that some Japanese pages list her year of birth as 1966. That said the Japanese Wikipedia page and other Japanese sites currently list her year of birth as 1967. Due to her private nature her age was never listed on the official site, only the day of her birth without the year.

The source for the 1967 number appears to have been Hitoshi Doi’s Sailor Moon page. Fans who scoured the Internet in the late 90s will recall this as being a great English language resource by a Japanese Sailor Moon fan. The other source listed is an interview in Punch!! where Naoko mentions that in 1997, when the final episode of Sailor Moon aired, February 8th 1997, that she was happy to get a 5 month vacation at age 30. If Naoko was 30 in February 1997 that would mean that her 31st birthday was on March 15th 1997, making her year of birth 1966. However since there is a 5 month “vacation” mentioned she could simply be saying that she was 30 later in that vacation, making her 30th birthday on March 15th 1997, which would give her a year of birth of 1967.

With most signs currently pointing to a 1967 year of birth the statement on that letter stating she was 26 when Sailor Moon began doesn’t add up. This could be an indication that most online sources, all derived from the same place or the result of some assumptions about the Punch!! interview, are incorrect or simply that she misremembered or mistakenly mentioned being 26 at the time the series began. She could simply have recalled being that age when she began working on Sailor Moon earlier that year or simplified the math estimating her age at the beginning of 1992 rather than the later part of it.

So what’s the truth? I couldn’t say for sure. With so many sources repeating the 1967 number that seems the likely correct value but there is enough doubt placed on it for me to think there’s a legitimate possibility that she’s actually born in 1966. I’m putting all of the information out there so you can decide for yourself. This isn’t important like, say, when we’ll get more Sailor Moon Crystal.

This brings up the other issue. Does it really matter? Not really. It is Naoko Takeuchi’s birthday. She’s in her early 50s and was in her mid to late 20s when she wrote Sailor Moon. Her family may care about what kind of joke card to get her or how many candles to put on her cake but her exact age doesn’t make a big difference in the lives of fans. I’m just stubbornly interested in discovering the truth about the world so when I see something that doesn’t add up I must strive to know what the right answer is. If you’ve got any thoughts or insight into this feel free to mention it in the comments.

Happy Birthday Naoko Takeuchi. Thanks for everything!

The Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga release has been delayed until April 24th

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga

The Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga was supposed to be out next week, on January 30th, but unfortunately it looks like it’s been delayed until April 24th! Listings on Amazon have been updated to reflect this new date as have the description of the first volume on the publishers Kodansha and Penguin Radom House’s web sites. No explanation has been given as to why there is a delay but some have speculated that it might be because they are waiting to get the best possible translation.

The bilingual Japanese/English version was released in Japan already. It remains to be seen if that updated translation is likely to be the one used for this Eternal Edition. If it is in fact that same translation than it seems unlikely that waiting for it was the reason for the delay.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga - Colour Pages

What, you may be asking, is the Eternal Edition and why do would you want it if you already have a copy of the Sailor Moon manga? I covered this in a post last May, speculating that the English Eternal Edition would be similar to the Japanese Complete Editions. It has since been confirmed that this is indeed the case as the image above from the Moon Panal at Anime Expo in July shows us. These versions will include larger pages, a glossy very white type of paper and most importantly all colour pages from the original issues of Kodansha. Usually only a handful of colour pages are included with a manga release so this is a nice addition. These versions will also include the new cover art which was drawn by Naoko Takeuchi. We can see from the cover art included in the existing listings and they match what was in the Japanese releases.

Following the release of volume 1 on April 24th we’ll also be getting volume 2 on May 29th and volume 3 on September 25th. It would only be logical for the following volumes, up to volume 10, to be released at regular intervals following that. A Japanese Complete Edition of Sailor V was also release and it would certainly be nice if these were released in English as well.

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Covers

Do you plan on picking up these Eternal Editions?

Sailor Moon stamps which are coming to Japan will be available internationally through the Sailor Moon Fan Club

Sailor Moon Stamp set

Sailor Moon stamps are coming to Japan! 10 different stamps, featuring the Sailor Soldiers in manga designs by Naoko Takeuchi, will be released in Japan. These are 62 yen stamps, which is equivalent to 55 cents American, so this would be your standard stamp used for postage on an envelope. A special stamp set will be sold in Japan for 5,900 yen, nearly 10 times the cost of a all 10 stamps combined! Fans in Japan will be able to buy a collector’s stamp set from the post office and many fans worldwide will be able to do the same if they are part of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club! The set is listed on the Tokyo Otaku Mode site for fans with a membership. This set sells for $63.99 US, which is a bit more than the exchange for 5,900 yen but somewhat comparable. Pre-orders are being taken now. The product will ship in March 2018.

Sailor Moon Stamp set full contents

The set includes more than just the 10 stamps! There is also a stamp holder, 8 premium post cards based on manga art and 24 deluxe postcards which are manga cover art for both the original and the most recent editions of the manga. A clear folder which is included in both the fan club and post office package is slightly different between the two. I believe it’s simply a different colour.

Do you plan on getting this set? Keep reading for individual images of the contents!

Continue reading

Sailor Moon Crystal season 3 will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD December 5th

Sailor Moon Crystal volume 3 Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD set

This past weekend was Anime Expo in Los Angeles, California. This event included Viz’s Moon Panel, showcasing all things Sailor Moon. The bulk of what we usually see at these panels is a recap of existing information but occasionally we get something new. In this case we have gotten details, including box art, of the third Sailor Moon Crystal Blu-Ray and DVD set. The set then became available to pre-order on Right Stuf’s web site. The set looks like the other two we’ve gotten from Viz, with box art reminiscent of the Japanese releases. Since we had less Japanese releases for this season, grouping together 4 episodes per disc instead of 2, we have less postcards included.

Sailor Moon Crystal volume 3 Limited Edition Blu-Ray and DVD set - Suncatcher

The set will include Acts 27 through 38 which, because of the split up Act 27, is actually 12 episodes. Not much in the way of details on the special features but it looks like we’ve got a booklet with art as we did with the other releases. Right Stuf pre-orders will also include a collectible suncatcher because nothing says Sailor Moon like a sun catcher! MSRP for the set is $79.99 US but Right Stuf has the pre-order up for $71.99. Will you be picking this one up?

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga

The other “news” from the panel was about the Eternal Edition Manga which is coming out in January. We got some art of the covers and the colour pages inside but this is mostly information we knew or had inferred from previously available information. It is nice to have confirmation of what we had suspected though. These will look like the Japanese Compete Edition manga versions which came out recently. They have the same new cover art and a lot more colour pages than we’ve seen in previous releases.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga - Colour Pages

Support the site by ordering the first two Sailor Moon Crystal sets or pre-ordering the Eternal Edition manga using the links below.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga - Colour Pages

Image source: @NJ_ on Twitter.

What is the Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga that is coming in January 2018?

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga

A listing can be now found on Amazon.com for the first volume of the Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Manga which will be out on January 30th 2018 and will sell for $15.19. What is it? This English translated version of the manga will likely be a localized version of the Kanzenban or Complete Edition of the manga which was published in Japan starting in 2013. We don’t know the specifics of this version but we can look at what the Japanese version which has already been released in its entirety to get an idea. Note that we aren’t guaranteed that all of these features will be included in the upcoming new English releases.

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga comparison

The Complete Edition of the Japanese manga was a slightly larger version of the manga as can be seen by the above photo which compares the Complete Edition (centre) it to the original Japanese manga (left) and the recently released English version (right). The Amazon listing mentions it is a larger version which supports the idea that this is the basis for the release. This was meant to be the definitive version of the manga including everything a fan could want contained in a complete release.

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga colour pages

These versions included new cover art drawn by Naoko Takeuchi, glossy magazine style pages instead of the usual matte paper most books have and all of the colour pages which originally appeared in Nakayoshi and Run Run. Previously releases often included a handful of colour pages, usually only those at the beginning of the manga, but not all of them, as are included with the Japanese Complete Edition release. There are also a number of mostly minor updates to the art throughout the manga as is usually the case with new editions of the Sailor Moon manga. More pages in each volume also means less volumes to collect as the entire series is spread across 10 volumes instead of the original 18. I posted about these versions as they were released, two at a time, in Japan. You can check out the Complete Edition tag for all posts related to those which includes a number of photos of the covers and colour pages.

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga spines

The Amazon listing mentions that this version includes a new updated translation which should please some fans which took issue with some of the choices in the version we got in English starting in 2011. Do you plan on picking this version up? Now that I already have 6 sets of the Sailor Moon manga across three languages and many versions I have no reservations about adding another to that list!

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga volumes 1, 2 and 3

Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga colour pages

The Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical will be performed at Anime Matsuri in Houston in April

Sailor Moon Amour Eternal poster for Anime Matsuri

The first ever North American performance of a Sailor Moon musical will be taking place in Houston Texas during the Anime Matsuri convention in April. The news of this special performance of the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal musical was posted on the official Sailor Moon site and Anime Matsuri site last month. The specific date of the musical performance has not yet been announced but it will be during the convention weekend which takes place from April 7th to the 9th at the George R. Brown convention centre in downtown Houston, Texas. This may be a slightly modified version of the musical as the entire cast will not be present. At this time only the Sailor Guardians and Tuxedo Mask, with the exclusion of Chibiusa, will be in attendance. Notice that the poster specifically made for this event features all regular cast members but Airi Kanda who plays Chibiusa.

Fumio Osano aka Osabu aka Osa-P

In addition to the musical there will be many Sailor Moon themed guests. This includes Fumio Osano, Osabu, who is best known as the editor of the Sailor Moon manga. Also appearing are voice actors from the English versions of Sailor Moon Crystal and Viz’s new dub of the original Sailor Moon anime Cristina Vee, who plays Sailor Mars, and Christine Cabanos, who plays Sailor Saturn.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical - The Sailor Team

Confirmed guests for the musical are Hotaru Nomoto, Sailor Moon, Yume Takeuchi, Sailor Mercury, Karen Kobayashi, Sailor Mars, Kaede, Sailor Jupiter, Rimo Hasegawa, Sailor Venus,
Syu Shiotsuki, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Fujioka, Sailor Neptune, Mikako Ishii, Sailor Pluto, Karin Takahashi, Sailor Saturn, and Yuga Yamato, Tuxedo Mask. Also attending are dancers Risa Kawamura, Yoshimi Hidano, Ayano Nagasawa and Ayumi Sagisaka.

Sailor Moon ages 5 years overnight as we transition from the 20th to the 25th Anniversary

Will Sailor Moon be this old when the new anime airs?

On July 6th 2012 there was a live show to celebrate Sailor Moon’s 20th Anniversary. This celebration continued for the following 4 and half years as we continued to celebrate this seemingly never ending anniversary. The Sailor Moon manga was first published on December 28th 1991 with the anime starting on March 7th 1992, which puts us squarely into Sailor Moon’s 25th Anniversary. Last night the Sailor Moon official site, which had been using the 20th Anniversary name and logo on it’s projects up until yesterday, finally embraced the 25th Anniversary. Sorry Anniversaries 21 through 24! You’re never going to happen.

Sailor Moon 20th anniversary logo

Old and busted

The Sailor Moon franchise is worse off than an unfortunate child born on February 29th who’s parents are too cheap to buy streamers and presents on anything but a leap year. How long will the 25th Anniversary celebration last? If the past is any indication it will be until about 2022 when we celebrate the 30th Anniversary perhaps with the final arc of the still ongoing Sailor Moon Crystal anime and some Sailor Moon themed suppositories. Farewell Sailor Moon 20th Anniversary! It was a good five years!

Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary project

New hotness

Watch Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, Monday June 13th at 10:30am Eastern Time

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Hotaru

The next episode of Sailor Moon Crystal will air on Japanese TV tomorrow, June 13th, at 11pm Japan Standard Time. Afterwards, starting at 10:30am Eastern Time, the episode will be available to stream on Crunchyroll, Neon Alley and Hulu. . Act 36, Infinity 10 – Infinite – Upper Atmosphere, is the first of a three part conclusion to the Infinity arc. These next three episodes were originally one massive chapter of the original Sailor Moon manga. Because of this the pacing may seem a bit off.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 36 Preview - Sailor Moon cries

Hotaru is a big deal this week, trying to free herself from the evil Mistress 9 who’s ingesting human souls like they were candy. One major thing we just might see in this episode is a Tuxedo Mask transformation sequence. The equivalent manga chapter, which we expect should be faithfully adapted as all others before it have, shows Mamoru transforming into Tuxedo Mask. We never got an elaborate stock footage transformation for Tuxedo Mask in the original Sailor Moon anime. This happened a few times but these were quick and nothing like what the other Sailor Guardians did, and by that I mean we didn’t see a glowing naked version of him. Fingers crossed!

Sailor Moon Manga Act 36 - Tuxedo Mask transforms

The Infinity Arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will have more than one episode per manga chapter

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity Arc trailer - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Moon

March 6th was the sneak preview of the first episode of the upcoming Infinity Arc of Sailor Moon Crystal, which will be aired on Japanese TV on April 4th. This was, we are supposing, Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition. Every episode to date has lined up with the chapter titles from the manga but it seems this trend will not continue. Two people who attended the premiere episode have confirmed that it only covered half of the manga equivalent of Act 27. Twitter user @uiyoe16 first mentioned that this only covered part of the story but later a user Andy added a comment to one of our posts with a lot of details.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity Arc trailer - Students from Mugen Academy

According to her the episode concluded after Sailor Jupiter and Venus defeated the Daimon which had come from the Infinity Academy Students’ backs. This means that the first episode would only include appearances by Haruka and Michiru, but not their Sailor Guardian counterparts Sailor Uranus and Neptune or Hotaru, all of whom show up towards the end of Act 27. By my count this means the episode covers pages 4 to 43 of the manga chapter, which goes up to page 73. This is a bit more than half, but close enough that the next episode would likely conclude Act 27.

Many users have also wondered if this could mean that, unlike the first two seasons, we could be having more extra scenes and character development not in the manga. Part of what set the original Sailor Moon anime apart from the manga was that, over a longer period of time, we got extra content exclusive to that series. Andy goes on to say that they did not change anything or add new scenes not present in the manga. This would mean that, even though we may not be doing the 1:1 ratio of manga chapters to Sailor Moon Crystal episodes, we might not necessarily be adding anything completely new. This just gives us the same story animated at a different pace. Many comments have pointed out that the stories in the Infinity arc are often longer, so this kind of approach makes sense rather than trying to cram more story into a short episode. How this will factor in throughout the season is not clear at this point, and we will only get an idea as the story goes on, though we can imagine longer stories may have more than one episode while shorter ones may keep the 1:1 ratio.

Here’s the complete Tweet from user @uiyoe16:

Here’s the full comment left by Andy on our post about the Sailor Moon/Pokémon crossover:

greetings to all Sailor Moon Crystal fans! I was one of the fans who had a chance to see the limited premiere of the third season and I want to share some news with you, although I know some news have already leaked out. So first at all – at that time there were no new opening and ending credits, they said they are still working on it, same with the new soundtrack – what we could hear were just unfinished samples. The transformations and attacks have brand new animation – and it is stunning, much more better than in the first two seasons, Guardians also have new Planet Power make-up pens! The episode was simply a half of “Act 27 – Infinity 1, Premonition”, they did not change anything and there was not any new scene which is not in manga, it was 100% faithful to the manga and ended after Jupiter and Venus destroyed on the street the monster which emerged from one of the Infinity Academy student’s back. There were not present Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune (their civilian form Michiru and Haruka were present of course), Professor Tomoe, Hotaru, nor Witches 5 and only a brief appearance of Kaolinite and Pharaoh 90.

How many episodes will we have? There are actually different numberings for Manga chapters in different editions. Sailor Moon Crystal had broken up episodes according to the new version of the manga which were reprinted in 2003. These are the chapters used in the latest English release of the manga. According to this numbering the first two arcs spanned 26 episodes and there are 11 chapters in the Infinity arc. It looks like the Infinity arc would at least cover 12 chapters if they only broke up the first Act but more likely would be closer to 20 or 26 for this story arc alone if they kept up this pace throughout the Infinity story arc. While it was originally expected that another batch of 26 episodes could cover both the Infinity and Dream arcs of the manga, this may no longer be the case. At this point I’m considering that the next Act will be Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition, but what will Act 28 be called if it doesn’t span Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, of the Manga? We may not have specifics until April 4th when the episode airs, or some short time after that as we still have no details about international streaming options.

Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity Arc trailer - Sailor Neptune and Uranus

Source: @ukiyoe16 and the comments at Sailor Moon News