Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 22, Hidden Agenda – Nemesis, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week we get teased a bit more with Black Lady but we still don’t get a really good look at her. Instead we focus on more exposition and freeing Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars and Jupiter who are trapped on Nemesis.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

Why does it take us so long to finally get around to showing Black Lady? The flow of the past few episodes seems a bit weird but this is partly due to the fact that the manga was originally broken up differently. This was changed when the manga was reprinted around the time the live action Sailor Moon series was out. Originally the last episode, Act 21, and this episode were part of one manga chapter, Act 20 Complication – Nemesis. This happened once in the first arc and will happen once again with the final Act of the Black Moon story arc. All in all we will have 26 episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal for what was originally 23 chapters of the manga. The original story that covered these two episodes was very long, almost 100 pages, so it makes sense to break it up into two episodes but the pacing seems a bit odd as it takes us forever to tease out the appearance of Black Lady. Sailor Moon Crystal is a 23 minute show but a manga chapter had no such restriction which is why there were some very long stories some months.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa takes Wiseman's hand

Next episode preview at the end of Act 21

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Chibiusa wearing the correct top, with symbol of the Black Moon Clan on her head

Intro for Act 22

Shirt gate continues! This show can’t seem to make up it’s mind on this thing. I know I’ve mentioned this time and time again but as long as they keep screwing it up I will keep harping on them for it. As you can see above, the next episode preview that played at the end of Act 21 showed Chibiusa with her long sleeved blue uniform which she should absolutely not be wearing at this point. This is the uniform she wore when she came from the future which she traded for a short sleeve white uniform when she started going to school. She wore this on her trip back to the future and did not bring a change of clothes. The animators consistently mess up the colour of Chibiusa’s shirt in next episode previews, fixing it before the next one comes out. We can clearly see in this how last minute this show is prepared. Another change that can be seen is that Chibiusa, pre transformation, is seen with the symbol of the Black Moon Clan on her forehead. This is new to Sailor Moon Crystal. In the manga and anime Chibiusa doesn’t get this symbol until she transforms into Black Lady.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Volume 19 sure is popular

A new location featured this week is the library which houses many books. Funny when you actually get a nice look at them it looks like there are just a bunch of copies of the same book. So many volume 19s of some kind of book all over these shelves! The original Sailor Moon manga was collected in 18 volumes. Perhaps the most precious thing collected in this library is more Sailor Moon manga! These books are so important that Venus is tasked with just watching them. Tuxedo Mask runs off to find Chibusa and she is stuck there to protect a bunch of books!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Sailor Venus has lips

If you’ve ever wondered what Sailor Moon characters look like with lips we now have an answer! With another funny face frame this week we get to see Sailor Venus with lips and she looks a bit like a frog!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Death Phantom

We get another look at the Death Phantom, the Earth criminal who became Wise Man. It’s mentioned that he has Beast Hand and Evil Eye, though there is no indication of what that is. He seems to have used some sort of supernatural power to kill a bunch of people, but he is said to be a human. Indeed Sailor Moon is full of these kinds of magical people but there really isn’t much in the way of detail about Death Phantom. It seems this could be a whole side story on it’s own which never really gets investigated.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - A building on Nemesis

Nemesis is such an odd planet. When we see it from space it’s surface seems volatile. It does not appear to have a solid surface but perhaps one of molten lava or some sort of gas or energy. It’s mentioned that the reactor is the only place which opens to the outside, yet we clearly see buildings with the reactor’s energy coming out of it. What exactly is going on here? Is this a building on the surface of Nemesis? Is this an underground cavern with buildings in it? This doesn’t seem all that efficient when a cavern isn’t really exposed to the elements. Perhaps this is the surface but above them is a thick cloud or energy layer that can’t be penetrated? This brings up a ton of questions. Who are the labourers of the Black Moon Clan who make these buildings? What is the size of their population? Where do they get their food? The manga never shows actual structures so some of this doesn’t really come up but an anime series like this needs to have proper backgrounds and a level of detail that isn’t shown in a manga series.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Rei and dead people

Finally Sailor Moon is able to transform. This isn’t really explained but the key is that the reactor connects to the outside. As another suggestion that they are underground, Sailor Moon’s powers are blocked where she is. Being close to the reactor allows her to get her power and in turn transfer that to her friends. How gross is the room Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter are in? It’s just full of dead bodies.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - The Sailor Guardians return

Next episode preview at the end of Act 21

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - The Sailor Guardians with a new background

Act 22

As another change from the next episode preview once the Sailor Guardians show up the reactor’s energy is shown in the background more prominently and shining through a bit. This is a fairly minor change but yet another reminder that these episodes are tweaked right up to the last minute.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

Next episode preview at the end of Act 21

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

Act 22

Yet another change is this shot of Black Lady’s eyes. Originally all we see are Black Lady’s eyes in the next episode preview but here in the episode proper they are using the sort of blurring effect to hide her identity instead. It seems that the method of obscuring Black Lady’s identity was still being worked out after a couple of weeks ago’s airing.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Black Lady

Black Lady is seen but not really seen throughout. In the manga she appears as a sort of ghostly whisp but here she’s just sort of blurry. Perhaps she has that same problem Bigfoot has where you can’t take a clear picture of him. We can see her clothes in Sailor Moon Crystal which is a first, this is something that normally wouldn’t show up until the next episode. She doesn’t do a ton but does manage to kill Rubeus which tells us she isn’t really on board with the Black Moon Clan but instead has some other agenda.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 22 - Wise Man Kawaii emoticon eyes

Wise Man has the most ridiculous eyes in this episode. Every time Black Lady does something amusing he gets these emoticon type eyes which look like something out of those letters that scroll across a Niconico feed. OMG! #kawaii ^_^; @_@;

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Black Lady

Next in 3 weeks on June 6th is Act 23, Covert Maneuvers – Wiseman. This time we’ll get a proper look at Black Lady without any blurriness.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 23 - Covert Maneuvers - Wiseman

Keep reading to see more screenshots from Act 22 and the next episode preview for Act 23.

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Sailor Moon banned in China?

Chinese Sailor Moon Manga

It has been reported by EJI Insight that the Chinese Government is banning 62 manga series including Sailor Moon. Other affected series would be Detective Conan, Naruto and One Piece. The Government has shut down 10 web sites which had Japanese anime or manga content because they were said to induce teenagers to engage in violence and pornography.

Chinese Sailor Moon VCD

The English article from EJI Insight mentions Ming Pao Daily as a source. A little searching turned up the following Chinese article on the Ming Pao site from that same day discussing the issue. My Chinese is non existent but Google Translate seems to suggest that this article makes mostly reference to the banning of anime, rather than manga, and mentions that the Ministry of Culture stated only that these titles are under investigation. The source for the claim that 62 series are being banned is mentioned only as being “Online sources”. Given the language barrier I am incapable of verifying these sources.

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Colour pages - Vol. 13

Based on the nature of this information I’m hesitant to say that the ban has actually taken place, but it appears to be something the Chinese Government may be investigating. If any Chinese readers are able to find more information about this issue it would be great if you could share it with us through the comments or the contact page.

Luna reading vol. 12 of the Sailor Moon manga

Thanks to Andrew from our Facebook page for this information.

Update: (2015-04-15) Sailor Moon Crystal is currently viewable in China. Web sites exist to be able to check if sites are blocked by the Golden Shield Project, otherwise known as the Great Firewall of China. As of today the Chinese subtitled version of Sailor Moon Crystal can be viewed by fans in China. The screenshot below can verify this.

Sailor Moon Crystal on Niconico not blocked in China

What would tomorrow’s Lunar eclipse look like from the Moon?

Princess Serenity staring at the Earth during a Lunar eclipse

Tomorrow, October 8th 2014, there will be a Lunar eclipse. Here on Earth we will see the Moon obscured by the shadow of the Earth, but what would this look like to the people living on the Moon in Silver Millennium? Princess Serenity spent a good deal of time staring out at the Earth. If she happened to do so during what we call a Lunar eclipse, what would she see? Included above is a rough estimate done in a rush.

Lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon

A Lunar eclipse seen from the Moon would be somewhat like a solar eclipse seen from Earth. The Earth, located between the Moon and the Sun, would cover the Sun from view causing the Moon’s surface to be plunged in darkness. With the Earth occupying more space in the Moon’s sky than the Moon does in ours, Lunar eclipses seen from the Moon would generally cover more of the sun and for more time than a Solar eclipse observes from Earth. Inhabitants of the Moon would be used to seeing the Sun up in the sky for 14 Earth days of light followed by 14 Earth days of darkness. This eclipse would occur 7 Earth days into their period of light right at the middle of the day, when the Moon is at it’s fullest.

Lunar eclipse as seen from the Moon

The Kaguya space probe from Japan had a look at just what it this looks like in February of 2009. This view had the Earth covering all but a small part of the sun, leaving a small ring in the sky. The Kaguya space probe viewed the Earth from near the Moon’s North pole, which is why it was partially covered by the Moon’s surface in the horizon. Since Silver Millennium was located in the Sea of Tranquility the Earth would actually be located quite high in the sky, staying mostly stationary throughout the day. Years ago I did some math based on the size and location of the Earth in the Moon’s sky and in all cases this representation was incompatible with what it would look like if it was observed from the Sea of Tranquility.

Tomorrow’s Lunar eclipse will begin at 4:17am EST with the full eclipse happening at 6:27am EST shortly before sunrise here in Ottawa. Check this page out to see if and when it will be visible for you.

Both Codename Sailor V Complete Edition manga books are out now

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Covers

Following the last release of the Sailor Moon Complete Edition manga we now have all of Codename Sailor V released in Japan in this same format. The Complete Edition of the Sailor Moon, and now Sailor V, manga are high quality collector’s editions of the manga with larger, brighter pages and which include all colour pages previously only seen in pages of Nakayoshi and Run Run. While Sailor Moon appeared in Nakayoshi the Codename Sailor V manga was often serialized in another magazine, Run Run. The Codename Sailor V manga was also written by Naoko Takeuchi and it predates Sailor Moon, though it continued to be written alongside it and it’s final story was actually written after Sailor Moon’s run had been completed. It tells the story of Minako when she was Sailor V in the days before she joined Sailor Moon as Sailor Venus. Chronologically the entire story takes place prior to the first issue of the Sailor Moon manga.

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Comparison with original manga

This complete edition was released on Thursday May 29th. Unlike the Sailor Moon releases of this manga there is no new art for the covers but instead the art of the original books for Codename Sailor V volumes 1 and 2 are used for these. As you can see by the comparison to the original manga releases these ones are a bit larger and feature a much larger image of the volume 2 cover art. These books are Japanese only. You can order them from Amazon Japan (vol. 1, vol. 2) or CD Japan (vol. 1, vol. 2).

Codename: Sailor V - Complete Edition Manga - Colour pages - Gym uniform

Keep reading to see more of the colour pages included in this release.

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Volumes 9 and 10 the Sailor Moon Manga Complete Editions are now out

Sailor Moon Manga Complete Collection - Vol. 9 and 10

Last week, March 25th, volumes 9 and 10 of the Sailor Moon Manga Complete Editions were released in Japan. Volume 9 features Endymion and Serenity on the cover while volume 10 features all 10 Sailor Guardians. This concludes the story of the Sailor Moon manga with the Stars story arc featuring Galaxia and the Starlights. Volumes 11 and 12 of the manga will be released later this month and will likely contain Code Name Sailor V and the Parallel Sailor Moon story, as that’s all that has not been published to date. Parallel Sailor Moon was originally published only in the Materials Collection Artbook but also added with the 2004 edition of the manga which is what we recently saw translated into English by Kodansha Comics USA. As with other volumes this complete edition features all colour pages previously only seen in the pages of Nakayoshi where they were originally published.

Sailor Moon Manga Complete Collection - Chibiusa's Picture Diary - The Secret of the Hammer Price Shrine

With most of these two books dedicated to wrapping up the main story we only have one side story included, that being the final Chibiusa’s Picture Diary story, the Secret of the Hammer Price Shrine. This story has Chibiusa and Hotaru getting into high jynx with their trendy friends Naruru, Naru’s sister, and Ruruna who dress up as Sailor Guardians who fans refer to as Sailor Channel and Sailor Guccicci.

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Volumes 7 and 8 of the Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are on sale in Japan

Sailor Moon manga complete editions - vol. 7 and vol. 8 covers

The latest books in the complete editions of the Sailor Moon manga were released in Japan on February 26th. Volume 7 features Sailor Pluto and Sailor Saturn on the cover while volume 8 features Sailor Chibi Moon. These issues cover the entirety of the Dream arc with Pegasus and the Dead Moon Circus. These books are Japanese text only and include all of the colour pages which were previously only seen in the pages of Nakayoshi.

Sailor Moon manga complete editions - Chibiusa's Picture Diary vol. 3

Also included in these books are a few side stories. Chibiusa’s Picture Diary 3 is the story of Chibiusa’s adventures going to the dentist, and fighting a monster on the way. There are also three “Exam Battle” stories which follow the girls in their preparations for their high school entrance exams. We have The Melancholy of Makoto, Ami’s First Love and Rei and Minako’s Girl School Battle?

Sailor Moon manga complete editions - Exam Battle - Melancholy of Makoto

Volumes 9 and 10 will wrap up the series with the Stars arc. Hopefully Sailor V will be published soon as well though I have seen no official confirmation of this.

Sailor Moon manga complete editions - Exam Battle - Ami's First Love

You can pick these books up from Amazon Japan (vol. 7, vol. 8), JList (vol. 7, vol. 8) or CD Japan (vol. 7, vol. 8).

Sailor Moon manga complete editions - Exam Battle - Rei and Minako's Girl School Battle?

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Volumes 5 and 6 of the Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are on sale now in Japan

Sailor Moon Manga Complete Edition Vol. 5 and 6

The 5th and 6th volumes of the new Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are in stores in Japan now. I received my copy a few days ago. The Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga are a slightly larger format with glossy pages and all colour pages originally appearing in the pages of Nakayoshi. The entire series will be collected over 10 volumes. Volumes 5 and 6 cover the entirety of the Infinity arc, which includes the appearance of Sailor Neptune, Uranus and Saturn as well as the Death Busters. It ends with the appearance of Pegasus setting up the next two books. Also included are Chibiusa’s Picture Diary Chapter 2 and the Princess Kaguya’s Lover story. These are normally included in this order, as opposed to earlier side stories which were included early at the end of volume 4.

Sailor Moon Manga - Chibiusa's Picture Diary Chapter 2 - Beware of Tanabata

I got my books from Amazon Japan (vol. 5, vol. 6). You can also order them from JList (vol. 5, vol. 6) or CD Japan (vol. 5, vol. 6).

Sailor Moon manga - Princess Kaguya's Lover

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The new Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga include short stories as early as volume 4

Sailor Moon Manga Complete Editions - Volume 3 and 4

I received my copies of volumes 3 and 4 of the Complete Editions of the Sailor Moon manga earlier this week and was surprised to see some of the short stories at the end of volume 4. It was not originally clear how the chapters would be distributed amongst this new 10 volume set, as there are less books each containing more pages than previous versions. The first two volumes covered the Dark Kingdom arc ending just as Chibiusa pops up. These two books cover the story of Chibiusa, Crystal Tokyo and the Black Moon from Act 15, Sailor Mars, to Act 26, Never Ending. Instead of jumping in with the Infinity arc volume 4 instead completes with a couple of the Sailor Moon short stories. We have the first Chibiusa’s Picture Diary as well as Casa Blanca Memory included in this book. As with the first two volumes this includes the colour pages, some of which have only previously been seen in the pages of Nakayoshi where Sailor Moon was originally published.

Chibiusa's Picture Diary - Beware The Transfer Student

The first story, “Chibiusa’s Picture Diary – Beware of the Transfer Student” recalls an encounter Chibiusa and her classmates had with a young vampire girl named Lilica. This was originally published at the end of the 5th volume of the manga after the chapter titled “Endymion”. Since this is the 2nd last chapter in volume 3 of this Complete Edition it seems like this would have been an obvious place to keep this story, but it seems to fit fine where it is.

Casa Blanca Memories colour title page

The other story included is Casa Blanca Memory, where we learn some of Rei’s back story. It was originally published along with Princess Kaguya’s lover in volume 11 of the original manga release and later with the second set of short stories in the reprint.

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Volumes 3 and 4 of the Sailor Moon Complete Edition Manga are available now in Japan

Sailor Moon manga complete edition vol. 3 and 4 covers

The 3rd and 4th books of the Kanzenban or “Complete Edition” of the Sailor Moon manga started to hit store shelves in Japan yesterday, December 28th. You can order these books from Amazon Japan (vol. 3, vol. 4) or CD Japan (vol. 3, vol. 4). The covers for these issues feature Sailor Mars (volume 3) and Sailor Jupiter (volume 4).

As with other issues these are slightly larger books than the other editions. The high quality paper offers bright white glossy pages as well as the inclusion of all of the colour pages, including those previously only seen in the pages of Nakayoshi magazine in which Sailor Moon was first published. These volumes collect more pages than previous collections so there is more story per book.

There are currently no plans to release these books in English so if you are interested in these you’d better brush up on your Japanese!

The first issues of the Complete Edition of the Sailor Moon manga are now out in Japan

Large display promoting the new Sailor Moon manga

The new release of the Sailor moon manga is finally out in Japan and with that we can get a better look at a lot of the differences with this edition. This Kanzenban or “Complete Edition” is larger than any previous release and is hard cover.

Manga size comparison

Left to right the original release, the 2003 reprint and the 2013 edition

The actual art inside is updated like the version released in Japan 10 years and ago, which had the same art as the version which was recently released in North America by Kodansha.

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