A miniature version of Sailor Moon’s Tokyo and Crystal Tokyo will be displayed at Small Worlds Tokyo next Spring

Sailor Moon at Small Worlds Tokyo

Big news about something very small! Have you ever wanted to see a real life version of the world of Sailor Moon? Fans in Tokyo will have a chance in Spring 2020 as Sailor Moon comes to the Small Worlds Tokyo miniature theme park. What is this about? Small Worlds Tokyo will feature miniaturized versions of various places. How small? A 1/80th scale meaning one inch of the exhibit will represent some 80 inches or 6′ 8″ of the real world. Sailor Moon and her friends would be less than an inch height!

For reference this would be slightly smaller than the 1/60th scale used by Dungeons and Dragons miniatures and many Gundam models as well as the 1/64th scale which is your standard Hot Wheels and Matchbox car size. So imagine a recreated city in which the cars are a bit smaller than Hot Wheels!

The 30th Century Crystal Tokyo

The announcement on the official Sailor Moon site specifies that the exhibit will include a recreation of Tokyo from the Sailor Moon series as well as 30th century Crystal Tokyo, the future which Chibiusa comes from which is featured heavily in the Black Moon arc of the manga which is Sailor Moon R in the original Sailor Moon anime. A preview image shows the front of Game Center Crown and a tiny Tuxedo Mask. Though only “Crown” is seen on the building the arcade machines inside suggest this is the arcade and not Fruits Parlor Crown or Karaoke Crown.

Game Center Crown from the Sailor Moon manga

It’s difficult to tell without seeing more of the exhibit just how accurate this will be. The show’s location was heavily based on the real Azuba Juban district of Tokyo, though only certain places were featured in the series. Crown, like many other locations in the series, was a real place in Tokyo. Comparison photos from Serenitatis show us that both the real and manga version look quite a bit like this model. Will the exhibit feature only those highlights or fill in the 1990s real locations which weren’t shown in the series as well? We will see in the Spring when Small Worlds Tokyo opens to the public! I look forward to seeing more!

Kotono Mitsuishi at Game Center Crown

Are any of you hoping to be able to check this out in person? Doesn’t anyone have a “Honey I Shrunk The Kids” style shrink ray I can borrow?

The Sailor Moon manga is now available digitally through a number of retailers in many languages

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition - Colour page - English

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who hate paper, or don’t have a lot of paper in the form of money, the Sailor Moon Eternal Edition manga is now available digitally through a large number of ebook retailers in English and in nine other languages. This was announced as part of Usagi’s Birthday event on June 30th and the digital versions have been available since July 1st. Details can be found on the Japanese site, which includes 30 page previews in all languages, or the Kodansha site which includes links to all US distributors. Options for English fans in the US include Amazon Kindle (which includes comiXology) for $7.67 per book (all prices in US dollars), comiXology for $13.77 per book, Book Walker for $12.47 per book, Google Play for $9.99 per book, Apple Books for $9.99 per book and Kobo for $11.19 per book.

Using the links above you can order the Amazon Kindle version. The adds show the price as $13.99 but after clicking on them it shows up as $7.67 for now. The page mentions that this also includes a comiXology version, though I’m not familiar with how that service works. This does seems to be the best price of all of the versions. Since both Kindle and comiXology have apps which run on modern phones and tablets, this should be a good option for many fans, though those who have libraries on other services may find it’s worth an extra few dollars to purchase it from another retailer. Whatever option one might chose, this digital version is a fraction of the price of the fairly expensive print versions of the large size Eternal Edition of the manga.

Sailor Moon Eternal Edition - Act 1 - Usagi: Sailor Moon Sailor Moon Eternal Edition - Act 1 - Usagi: Sailor Moon

One advantage of the digital version is that without the crease of a physical book you’ll be able to see all details of two page spreads! What are the differences and advantages of one platform over another? I can’t say I’m familiar enough with either to have a preference. While I have a functional and recent iPhone I only have a very old hand me down iPad which doesn’t run newer versions of apps so I don’t think this is something I will be getting, what with the countless paper versions of the manga I own. I’d be curious to see what this site’s users are deciding to use, if any. Let us know in the comments!

How much does the Galaxy Cauldron from Sailor Moon resemble the recently imaged supermassive black hole?

An image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 Galaxy

Earlier this week Nasa released the first ever image of a black hole. I’m referring to it as an image and not a photograph due to the technique used. For more on the specifics check out this special mini episode of The Reality Check featuring Exposing Pseudoastronomy’s Stuart Robbins. This is an image of the supermassive black hole which is located at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy which is about 55 million light year away. This of course makes one immediately think of Sailor Moon! The final conflict between Sailor Moon and Galaxia takes place at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy. In this case it’s at the Galaxy Cauldron, the birthplace of all of the Milky Way’s heavenly bodies. What, if any, basis does this location have in reality? Most, possibly all, galaxies have a supermassive black hole at the centre and so the imaged black hole in Messier 87 is likely quite similar to the one in the Milky Way.

Sagittarius Zero Star

The Stars arc of the manga mentions a number of times that the location in the centre of the galaxy where Galaxia finds what she is looking for and ultimately where Sailor Moon follows, is Sagittarius Zero Star. This is a fictional place however it is mentioned that it is located within Sagittarius Alpha Star. This is based on a real astronomical area which, in the real world like in the manga, is located at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, our galaxy. The actual of the area is “Sagittarius A*“, pronounced “Sagittarius A Star”, which is quite close in spelling to the fictional “Sagittarius Alpha Star”. No Galaxy Cauldron or Galaxia’s castle exists at Sagittarius A* which describes the entire supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy!

So what, if anything, is the black hole meant to be? Is all of Sagittarius Alpha Star the supermassive black hole in Sailor Moon? It isn’t really clear. As Sagittarius Zero Star is located at the centre of Sagittarius Alpha Star it seems like this itself isn’t in the black hole. One can wonder how much of this area Naoko Takeuchi chose to base on black holes.

Sailor Moon enters the Galaxy Cauldron

One feature of a black hole is the loss of any information which enters it. This doesn’t mean that a book entering a black hole comes out empty, but rather than any information, such the way matter is arranged or a signal that enters it, would be lost. What does eventually escape a black hole is known as Hawking Radiation and this does not preserve the information of what originally went into the black hole. When entering Sagittarius Alpha Star, traveling to meet Sailor Galaxia, Sailor Moon travels down the River of Forgetfulness where Sailor Lethe causes her to lose her memory. It may be a bit of a stretch but there’s a comparison to be made here. The information in a person’s mind is lost when entering a black hole and that is manifested as a magical process in which memory is lost. The counterpart to Sailor Lethe is Sailor Mnemosyne and the River of Memory. I can’t say I can think of a black hole equivalent to this!

Further there’s the idea that nothing escapes the event horizon of a black hole. When Sailor Moon enters the Galaxy Cauldron there is an expectation that she could not come out or remain intact. Guardian Cosmo mentions that she is powerful to maintain her appearance inside the Cauldron. Is this a reference to things being stuck in a black hole or the loss of information? Clearly we have things in Sailor Moon which do actually get preserved after entering the black hole and subsequently escape it, but this is presented as being exceptional. This is a magical series where hard rules are often broken. How many times has the Silver Crystal been used and not resulted in Sailor Moon’s death or had her somehow cheat that rule after all?

Galaxy Cauldron

Besides this the Galaxy Cauldron exhibits a number of properties which don’t really fit with black holes or more specifically the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy. It is said to be the birthplace of all heavenly bodies in the Milky Way. This would include all stars, planets and moons. Pretty much anything which has a Sailor Guardian! This isn’t really how the galaxy works to be sure. Solar systems, with their stars, planets, moons and other celestial bodies, are formed as matter from dust and gasses groups together thanks to gravity in the vastness of space. This does not require a black hole and quite to the contrary, if any of this matter does go into a black hole, it generally doesn’t come out. A star which explodes certainly can eventually be reformed as new stars, planets and such, but a black hole is not included in this life cycle. This also plays around Sailor Crystals which go in and out of the Galaxy Cauldron. This behaviour certainly makes sense as an in universe explanation of things but it doesn’t fit with how black holes work. A supermassive black hole will grow in mass and size as other stars and celestial bodies enter them, but this is a one way trip.

Considering that the Milky Way is only one of the countless galaxies in our Universe, what happens in other galaxies? Does the Messier 87 galaxy, along with its supermassive black hole, also contain a Galaxy Cauldron which is the birthplace of all heavenly bodies in that galaxy? Does every celestial body have a Sailor Guardian? Would Galaxia and Chaos have moved on to another galaxy when they were done with the Milky Way or are the distances between galaxies too vast to bridge? When two galaxies collide, as happens frequently in the cosmos, do the various Sailor Guardians from those galaxies fight each other? Does everyone else also look like a human for some reason? These questions almost certainly don’t have answers!

The Black Dream Hole

Besides this reference to the supermassive black hole at the centre of our galaxy, we also have a black hole featured in the movie Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole. This black hole has only some similarities to real black holes. It is black! That’s a similarity! Things get absorbed by it and seemingly can’t escape it, though again Sailor Moon goes in and is able to get out, by destroying it, but again she’s full of magic and such. The way in which it is very unlike a real black hole is its enormous size! A black hole with the mass of the entire Earth would have a radius of less than a centimetre. As the Black Dream Hole is attempting to absorb the Earth its size grows and grows to a size which is suggested to be even bigger than the planet. This is a pretty standard way to misinterpret a black hole as it is hard to conceive of something being massive, in this case the mass of the Earth, but not being large. Since Naoko Takeuchi didn’t write the SuperS film, we can’t really expect any consistency here with what we see in the manga.

Sailor Moon enters the Black Dream Hole

I hope you’ve enjoyed this random musing about black holes. Do you think any parallels were actually intended by the author, or am I just grasping at passing similarities?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 is coming to home video June 18th

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray contents

We were promised Sailor Stars in the Spring and Viz Media delivered with less than a week to spare! June 18th, a whole 3 days before the first day of summer, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars volume 1 will be released DVD and Blu-Ray! This will include episodes 167 to 183 which will be available with English dialogue for the first time ever! Sailor Stars was never released along with the original dub and now that we’ve gotten all of the movies and specials with Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub, Sailor Stars is the only thing left!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars pre-order coin

The set is available to pre-order from RightStuf. This will include a special collectible coin, as has been the case with releases in the past.

Sailor Moon StarS vol. 1

RightStuf is doing a very bizarre thing and naming it “Sailor Moon StarS” in their item description. I had never seen this term before but it was mentioned by @fredjfrancis on Twitter that this was the naming convention previously used by Tokypop with their original release of the manga. Having originally read the manga in French I had no need for Tokyopop’s release so this wasn’t something I’d ever noticed. I can only imagine that this is meant to match somewhat with how SuperS was written for the previous season, but this StarS naming convention is not one based on anything done in Japan. Sailor Moon S is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Super” when spoken during the commercial bumpers. Sailor Moon SuperS is pronounced as “Sailor Moon Supers” (Su-pa-su) when pronounced, though in my brain I always read it as “Super Ess”. The last S in Stars, however, is never capitalized in any Japanese sources.

Tokyopop Sailor Moon Stars vol. 1 Sailor Moon Manga - Stars

This started with Tokyopop’s manga release but in this case the final three volumes, rebranded as Stars 1, 2 and 3, did not have those titles in Japan. The manga compilations were simply volumes 16, 17 and 18, as no separate titles were ever used for the manga covers. Individual chapters were titled Stars 1, 2 and so forth, following with the naming conventions from the Infinity and Dream arcs, these are written in Japanese Katakana characters and not in English, as we saw with SuperS in the anime.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 Laserdisc

The Anime series was not even called Sailor Moon Stars. It was called Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. There are different ways to write this out! In Japan the series is generally written as one word “Sailormoon”. This fifth season title was usually written in Katakana but when it was written in English it was usually spelled as “Sailormoon Sailorstars”. No specific emphasis on the final S was ever made as can be seen from the laserdisc and DVD box art. I tend to spell it “Sailor Moon Sailor Stars” on this site as all four of those are separate words in English. Viz is doing the same, although the word “Sailor” is written in a much smaller font size than “Stars”, as was the case with graphics used for the sub on Hulu, which may lead to some confusion.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars vol. 1 DVD

Calling it “StarS” is an odd and awkward choice on RightStuf’s part which seems to be a mistake. Perhaps this will be corrected in time! Regardless, I’m looking forward to finally watching Sailor Stars in English. Do you plan on picking this one up?

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As Kristen Bell raises concerns about consent and kissing sleeping people, let’s examine the many inappropriate sleeping kisses in Sailor Moon!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 4 - Tuxedo Mask kissing Sailor Moon without consent

In a recent interview with Parents Magazine Kristen Bell made some comments about Snow White which have been making headlines. Basically she talked about how, while reading stories to her children, she asks them to think about the implications of certain actions in fairy tales and what they mean. One particular example which is relevant to Sailor Moon, as I’ll get to shortly, is Snow White. She asks her children to consider if it’s wise to take an apple from a stranger and if it’s okay to kiss a sleeping person. Various media outlets picked up on this by saying that she is calling out older Disney films, which is surely helped by the Parents Magazine article headline “Kristen Bell Worries Disney Princesses Teach Her Daughters Bad Lessons”. In reality she is specifically speaking to fairy tales in books, many of which happen to have been adapted as Disney films. Though Snow White includes a few questionable life choices the fairy tales of the likes of Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm are ancient tales full of gruesome violence as they are products of an older and much more violent period in human history. Modern versions such as the story books we may see in stores and the Disney films we enjoy will often sanitize these to appeal to our modern sensibilities. Kristen Bell is herself the voice of Anna in Frozen, a film which sets itself apart from other Disney films by calling out tropes like marrying someone you just met, the evil queen and acts of true love coming from a newly acquainted love interest. I’ve probably watched Frozen with my daughter roughly 50 times in the past year so I’ll just stop myself from elaborating on my many thoughts on this film and its relation to other Disney classics. So much to say Kristen Bell has the privilege of having worked on a Disney film which questions the status quo of films that came before it and has a number of positive progressive messages.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - Natsumi and Mamoru

All of this brings us to Sailor Moon! I’ve mentioned this time and time again and it always seems to be divisive amongst fans. The idea is that a number of non consensual kisses given to sleeping people in the series are inappropriate due to the sleeping person’s inability to give consent. I am aware of the risk of applying a modern lens to an older work as these weren’t things I thought of in the 90s but I don’t think there’s much harm in discussing these. I am certainly not calling to ban or boycott Sailor Moon but instead, as with the conversations Kristen Bell has with her children, use it as a reason to discuss issues.

Ultimately I think it may be a little simple to give a blanket statement like saying kissing someone who is sleeping is wrong. If I kiss my baby daughter or wife while they sleep this isn’t the same as kissing a stranger. People generally kiss babies when they are too young to give overt consent, though not on the mouth. There’s nothing terribly dangerous about this. That said if I try to kiss my daughter and she says no, I will respect that request and stop. The Snow White example is perhaps not such and open and shut case. It’s not that kissing a sleeping person you’ve never met without consent is okay, however, if there is a good expectation that this will cause the person to be brought out of a comma, one could easily argue that it is morally justifiable. Similarly it may be completely inappropriate to rip a stranger’s shirt off because they are attractive however in an emergency situation it is certainly justifiable to touch someone and remove a piece of their clothing in order to perform life saving intervention. An EMT of course shouldn’t be groping a patient for sexual gratification or go around kissing people they are treating. The motivation behind these actions are the important distinction here. Most adults appreciate this nuance though children may not, hence the value in talking about the stories and media you share with them.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Drunk Usagi

There are two examples in Sailor Moon where a sleeping person is kissed and, to me, it does not seem appropriate. The first falls into a bit of a grey area because of reincarnation and that is the kiss following the Masquerande in the Dark Kingdom story arc of the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal which also takes place in episode 22 of the original anime, “Romance Under the Moon: Usagi’s First Kiss”. In this case Usagi accidentally drinks alcohol thinking it is juice. She passes out drunk after which Tuxedo Mask kisses her. This looks particularly creepy in the original anime as the animation in this particular episode is a bit cheap. The issue here is, as the title of the anime episode title suggests, this is Usagi’s first kiss. Had Mamoru and Usagi been in an established relationship in which this kind of exchange was commonplace enough to be considered normal and he kissed her while she slept, this would not have been the same kind of breach of etiquette however in this case no such relationship existed… well not in this lifetime. The complication of course is that Mamoru and Usagi are reincarnated versions of Endymion and Princess Serenity. They had a relationship in the past and are dealing with fragments of memories of that. In the real world if someone used this as a defense for kissing a person who was passed out drunk they would rightfully be chastised for it as reincarnation isn’t real however in Sailor Moon it’s a real thing so it’s a bit more complicated. That Usagi is herself infatuated with Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really clear him of any wrongdoing as one can’t just assume someone else’s feelings though I think this may be why people feel more comfortable about this exchange. The fact that Usagi and Mamoru ultimately do end up in a relationship makes this seem okay in but this logic only works in retrospect. Mamoru and Rei were actually in a relationship at this time, though that infidelity isn’t even factoring into my objections to this. If you’re not convinced that this is a problem then instead consider if Umino, or anyone else, had found a drunk Usagi and done the same.

Sailor Moon episode 22 - Tuxedo Mask kissing a drunk Usagi

This seems to have been a concern for someone at DiC when the original Sailor Moon anime was first dubbed. Episode 22 was heavily edited for a number of reasons, including adding some backwards footage to make it appear as if Serena went back and took the stairs instead of falling off the balcony. In this particular there is no alcoholic punch, Serena never gets drunk and never passes out. The “first kiss” between her and Tuxedo Mask doesn’t really take place. The scene is shown but a voice over by Tuxedo Mask states that it’s simply his dream. So much to say it’s generally considered okay to kiss pretty much anyone in your dream. As a result of this the first on screen kiss for the Sailor Moon English dub takes place in Sailor Moon R right before Rini drops in from the future. This momentous occasion is spoiled by an awkward joke about Darien tasting peanut butter and getting stuck.

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Luna kisses Kakeru

Next we have a series of kisses from Sailor Moon S The Movie. These are fresh in my mind having just watched the recently released Blu-Ray release of the film. Many fans would have seen the film in theatres this summer. In this film Luna falls in love with a human. After asking Usagi what a kiss tastes like she takes advantage of Kakeru, the source of her affection, by kissing him while he is asleep. There is no past life relationship between Luna and Kakeru. In fact Kakeru himself has a love interest in Himeko. This isn’t cool! Kakeru does not consent to the act and is in no state to do so. The situation is a bit complicated by the fact that Luna is a cat. I have cats and I have been known to kiss them on occasion. Dogs enjoy licking people’s faces and this is generally not considered to be some violation or assault, but then dogs are animals without human intelligence. Luna is a cat, yes, but a cat who essentially has a human equivalent mind. As an aside there is very little that resembles consent in the animal kingdom as most sexual interactions are forced. This is more or less true of humans until recent history as well, but we’ve come a long way and we should all be glad to live in a world where a person’s autonomy is respected. This isn’t the only kiss in the film as Luna later kisses Kakeru while she is in human form and the two fly around space for a while. Kakeru may believe this surreal experience to be a dream but it is real and Luna doesn’t ask if it is okay to kiss him, but he is awake and he doesn’t back away. This is probably similar to how a lot of human on human kisses take place so I won’t harp on that one too much. In the 90s I don’t think anyone would bat an eye at this but in 2018 some people might take issue with such behaviour.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Tuxedo Mask kisses a dead Sailor Moon

There are a few Snow White style kisses in the series. The first takes place during Sailor Moon R episode 69 “Awaken the Sleeping Beauty: Mamoru’s Distress” in which Sailor Moon is very much trapped in a Snow White style sleep which Mamoru wakes her up of with a kiss. Something similar occurs in Sailor Moon R The Movie when Sailor Moon literally dies, again, but can be healed through the nectar of the Kisesian Flower. Mamoru sucks up the nectar and gives it to Sailor Moon in a kiss. In both cases this resembles Snow White in that it is a necessary life saving intervention but, unlike in the story of Snow White, Mamoru and Usagi have an established relationship when this happens.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - An, as Snow White, tries to kiss Mamoru, as Prince Charming

Snow White style kiss that never quite happened however is the kiss between An and Mamoru in Sailor Moon R episode 56 “Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An’s Project Snow White”. In this episode An orchestrates things so that she will play Snow White in a play and get a chance to kiss Mamoru, who is playing Prince Charming. Things don’t go as planned however as her attempt to kiss him during rehearsal fails and the play is cut short by an attack by a Cardian summoned by none other than her brother lover.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 28 - Sailor Uranus kissing Sailor Moon

Finally we have the kiss between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Moon in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. This a sort of surprise kiss that Sailor Moon doesn’t expect and doesn’t have time to consent to one way or another. This in turn opens up the story to all sorts of interesting questions about sexuality which are quite worthwhile but it’s something I felt was worth pointing out.

All said I think Kristen Bell’s attitude of simply wanting to discuss what she’s reading with her children to be completely reasonable. She’s hardly arguing that Snow White is responsible for all of the ills of society and banning them in her household but rather finding a way to allow her children to consume media which she might not be totally okay with all while using it as a way to start a conversation about a serious topic. This isn’t quite the same attitude that Keira Knightley has, as her recent appearance on Ellen illustrated. She bans certain movies in her house, even some she quite enjoys, such as the Little Mermaid, because she’s concerned they might present a negative message. Far be it for me to tell someone else how to raise their kids! If this works for her than so be it. When I watch The Little Mermaid with my daughter I keep in mind the simple lesson this movie teaches. Don’t make a deal with a Sea Witch to get something you can get from your daddy for free if you’d just learn to communicate. I don’t think Disney is too upset about this either. If it bothers them they can wipe away their tears with some of that Pirates money.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe some of these kisses are inappropriate? Am I just overreacting and applying a modern lens to a harmless story? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

As the new Eternal Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are released in English a smaller Bunkobon version is coming to Japan September 28th

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 1 cover - Sailor Moon

As a new even bigger version of the Sailor Moon manga, the Eternal Edition, is being released in English tomorrow an even smaller version will soon be released in Japan! Japanese readers will be getting a Bunkobon version of the Sailor Moon manga which is a smaller and cheaper version of the manga. At only 842 yen, about $7.50 US, this is about half the price of the Complete Editions which were released a few years ago. These are Bunkobon or Bunkoban Editions which are a size which is referred to in Japan as A6, which is roughly 4.13″ x 5.83″. In contrast the new Eternal Editions which are coming out in North America are even bigger than the large Complete Edition Japanese versions and measure a whopping 7.1″ x 9.98″, a bit smaller than a standard 8.5″ x 11″ letter sheet of paper. This is almost double the height and width of the new Bunkobon Japanese versions and roughly 3 times the surface area! Of course the larger English version is also over three times the cost so you really do get what you’re paying for! The Japanese Complete Editions were A5 size which is between the two at 5.83″ × 8.27″. Check out this Tweet by @thesailorbook to see the difference between the new English version and the Japanese Complete Edition. The Bunkobon Edition is not included in this size comparison.

Sailor Moon Bunkobon version vol. 2 cover - Sailor Mercury

The first two volumes of the Bunkobon editions will be released on September 28th. The covers are similar to the Complete Editions and Eternal Editions showing art of Sailor Moon on volume 1 and Sailor Mercury on volume 2. Both volumes 1 and 2 are available for pre-order from Amazon Japan. If you’re more interested in buying an English version, with high quality paper and some colour pages, you can order those using the Amazon.com links below. Only volume 1 is released on September 11th while volume 2 won’t be out until November 13th with later volumes coming out in 2019. Since there were delays with volume 1 coming out there may be more delays to that schedule.

Will you be picking either of these up? How many versions of the Sailor Moon manga are you up to now? I think I’ll be up to 9 if I get both of these but I’m starting to lose count. My Sailor Moon books are still in boxes as I’m moving into my new place.

Pre-orders for the 3rd year of the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are available until June 30th

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Membership Card and Communicator Watch
Pre-orders for membership in the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club are open to international users until June 30th, Usagi’s birthday. Fans can order their membership from the Tokyo Otaku Mode web site. As in past years this includes a membership card, special gift and, for those who were members previously, a renewing membership benefit. The special gift is a “Sailor Moon Communicator Watch” which is based off of Usagi’s communicator in the manga which we also saw in Sailor Moon Crystal. Usagi had a much different kind of communicator watch in the original Sailor Moon anime’s Sailor Moon R season though she had a calculator like PDA in the first season. In the live action series Usagi uses a magic cell phone to communicate with her friends.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Official Fan Club Princess Notebook and Princess Briefcase

The renewing membership benefit is a “Sailor Moon Princess briefcase” and “Sailor Princess notebook”. Not sure what’s princessey about these. The briefcase isn’t really anything like what I think of when I hear briefcase. It’s more like a folder for holding paper or, in this case, a notebook! Both items feature manga art by Naoko Takeuchi. Neither feature images of Princess Serenity or any other characters in Princess form.

The art on the membership card is fairly underwhelming. This is art we’ve already seen on the special book and 25th Anniversary Tribute Album. This is fairly new art by Naoko Takeuchi so I suppose it decently encompasses the current feel of the franchise.

I’m a bit on the fence about renewing my membership. The idea of the Fan Club is sound, that you sign up and get a special gift and have the chance to get a bunch of exclusive merchandise. That said I haven’t found many of the fan club exclusive offerings terribly compelling. With such a massive amount of Sailor Moon merchandise being sold in Japan over the last few years I hardly feel like I need to buy more but rather pass up a lot of items. The only fan club exclusive I’ve gotten in the past 2 years is the stamp set, which I was quite happy with. A lot of the benefits for Japanese fan club members, like access to items only for sale in Asia or events in Japan, aren’t applicable to international members. Some fans choose to get a Japanese fan club membership though again for fans outside of Japan a lot of those benefits, such as for events held in Japan, aren’t something they can make much use of!

Are you a fan club member? Do you plan on renewing your membership? What advantages has membership in the fan club gotten you?

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?