The new English voice cast for the Sailor Moon S and SuperS movies as well as the Ami’s First Love special have been announced

Sailor Moon S The Movie - Luna kisses Kakeru

Last weekend was Anime Expo in Los Angeles and, as has occurred at past conventions, Viz had a Moon Panel on Sailor Moon Day. One thing which was announced at this panel was the cast for the upcoming English versions of Sailor Moon S The Movie, Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie and the Ami’s First Love special which plays with Sailor Moon SuperS. The films will be showing in theatres in late July and early August. The cast is a mix of new voice actors, a few who are returning after minor roles and some main cast members doing minor roles in the films.

First up is the cast of the Sailor Moon S Movie which has Kakeru, the man who Luna falls in love with, Himeko, an astronaut and part of Kakeru’s love triangle, and Princess Snow Kaguya, the villain of the film.

Sailor Moon S The Movie English cast

Kakeru – Chris Hackeny
Himeko – Claudia Lenz
Princess Snow Kaguya – Melissa Fahn

Himeko is voiced by Claudia Lenz, who also goes by the name of Eden Riegel, who previously voiced Koan in Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie - Perle, Chibiusa and Diana

For the long titled Sailor Moon SuperS: The Nine Sailor Guardians Unite! Miracle of the Black Dream Hole we have a cast which includes Poupelin, Banae and Oranja, the three villain henchmen, Perle, the reformed villain and love interest for Chibiusa, the Bonbon Babies, giant candy looking monsters, and Badiane, the main villain seeking to imprison the Earth’s children into an energy dreaming eternal slumber not unlike The Matrix.

Sailor Moon SuperS The Movie English cast

Poupelin – Kyle McCarley
Banane – Ben Diskin
Oranja – Robbie Daymond
Bonbon Babies – Erica Mendez
Perle – Colleen O’Shaughnessey
Badiane – Tara Sands

We have a few returning cast members here! Banane is voiced by Ben Diskin who is Umino in the series and the Ami’s First Love special as well as Fiore from Sailor Moon R The Movie. Oranja is voiced by Robbie Daymond who plays Tuxedo Mask in the series and all of these movies. The Bonbon Babies are voiced by Erica Mendez who Sailor Uranus in the series and films and also voiced Reika. Badiane is voiced by Tara Sands who has played a number of single episode roles in Sailor Moon and was also Bulbasaur in Pokémon.

Ami's First Love - Mercurius

Finally we have the Ami’s First Love short which plays with the Sailor Moon SuperS film. The only new voices here are Bunnun, the voice of the monster, and Mercurius, Ami’s rival.

Ami's First Love voice cast

Bonnun – Colleen O’Shaughnessey
Mercurius – Kyle McCarley

Both of these actors were also in Sailor Moon SuperS. The voice of Bonnun, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, is also Perle in the SuperS film. The voice of Mercurius, Kyle McCarley, was also Poupelin in the SuperS film.

For show times and a list of participating theatres be sure to check out the Fathom Events web site. The Sailor Moon S movie will be shown with the R movie dubbed on July 28th and subbed on July 30th. The Sailor Moon SuperS movie will be shown with the Ami’s First Love special dubbed on August 4th and subbed on August 6th.

Though the Fathom Events site only lists US theatres Canadians will also have a chance to see these films on those same dates at select Cineplex theatres. Though show times and theatres are not yet listed on their site keep and eye out on their listings for dubbed and subbed showings of Sailor Moon R and S as well as dubbed and subbed showings of Sailor Moon SuperS and Ami’s First Love.

Are any of you going to be able to see these films in your cities? It was a real treat to see Sailor Moon R in theatres a couple of years ago and I hope to be able to get out to see the other films as well!

The Pretty Heroes convention featuring many Sailor Moon voice actors is coming to Toronto June 16th and 17th

Pretty Heroes banner

We’re only a couple of weeks away from a great convention featuring many Sailor Moon guests in Toronto. After two successful years as the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration this event is being rebranded as the Pretty Heroes convention which will take place the weekend of June 16th and 17th. While this new convention, broader in scope, will still include all things Sailor Moon it will also cover other things which fall under the umbrella of Pretty Heroes. Naturally many Sailor Moon fans will also be interested in many other things which are covered by this convention and so I would suggest you check out the convention’s web site for all of the details. As in the past this convention will be taking place at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The convention will feature a ton of Sailor Moon related voice actors which includes, from the original English dub of Sailor Moon, Stephanie Morgenstern, the voice of Sailor Venus, Vincent Corazza, the 3rd voice of Tuxedo Mask and the voice of Alan the alien, Sabrina Grdevich, the voice of Ann the alien as well as the original voice of Sailor Pluto, and Barbara Radecki, the voice of Sailor Neptune. Also from Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal is Lauren Landa, the voice of Sailor Neptune, and Amanda Miller, the voice of Sailor Jupiter. There may be more guests announced as the convention comes up so keep an eye out on the guest list for the latest.

Sailor Neptune

I had a great time at the first Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration a couple of years ago but unfortunately I could not attend last year and won’t be able to make the trip to Toronto again this year. Will any of you be attending?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD review

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet

The Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD was released in Japan on December 6th. This sells for 3500 yen which is about $31 US. Media in Japan is usually more expensive than in North America so this price is actually pretty reasonable. This CD includes the entire performance of the Sailor Moon Classic Concert which was performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan this past August. Now that I’ve given the CD a few listens I felt like sharing some thoughts on it. You can pick up the CD from Japanese retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Back

All around the album is great. It’s a real mixed back of very classical sounding renditions while others have a more modern feel. It’s not simply the case that all songs are performed in the same style as we’ve seen with the Sailor Moon SuperS Orgel Fantasia album which makes everything sound like it’s played by a music box. The selection of music is also quite varied. While it is mostly renditions of popular opening and ending themes from the original Sailor Moon anime there is also a bit of background music as well as music from musicals and Sailor Moon Crystal. Sadly nothing from the live action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series has made the cut!

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Booklet 1 - Makoto Yoshida and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

The CD comes with your standard sort of insert booklet that’s only a handful of pages. It includes a full track listing and information on the many people who worked on the music and this concert in particular.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Track listing

I’ll give a few thoughts on each of the tracks. This won’t be anything thorough! I’m not really a music buff and I know even less about actual concert music. I took the trumpet in school for 3 years pretty much because it was part of the curriculum and after the end of the 3rd when some of my classmates who had started that same year had surpassed me in skill it was evident that it wasn’t happening for me so I concentrated on drawing and messing around with computers. One of those paid off. The set comes in two discs with a total of 21 tracks.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 1

Disc 1 track 1 is background music from the introduction to episodes.

Track 2 is Moonlight Densetsu (Moonlight Legend), the iconic Sailor Moon opening theme! This has been done in a variety of styles over the years and here is yet another! A fairly faithful adaptation.

Track 3 is Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), a song which was featured in Sailor Moon R and Sailor Moon S and that has been redone a few times. This is one of my favourite songs from Sailor Moon and it’s very well done on this CD. It has an epic quality that fits it quite well.

Track 4 is Heart Moving, the first ending theme for the first season. This is a decent instrumental version of the song but not the greatest. While I don’t have any strong feeling about this song as an ending theme there are a number of instrumental versions which feature in important and emotional scenes in the first season including when Sailor Moon is discouraged after the death of her friends and finds the motivation to continue fighting. This version doesn’t evoke the same emotional reaction in me than that particular version does.

Track 5 is Princess Moon, the second ending theme for the first season. This track reminds me of something out of ballet which I think suits it. It starts to show the range that this concert can offer.

Track 6 is Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together With You) which is the first ending theme for Sailor Moon SuperS. Why do we jump ahead so far instead of staying somewhat chronological? No clue. This is similar to the TV version and is a good track.

Track 7 is Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy) which is the Sailor Moon R ending theme. This is a punched up version which isn’t really classic as many of the tracks leading up to this have been. It includes vocals by Yoko Ishida who originally performed the song back in the 90s. I prefer the version on the 20th Anniversary Memorial Tribute Album personally.

Track 8 is “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll go with my looks) which is the second ending theme for the Sailor Moon SuperS season. It has a sort of big bang feel and includes vocals once again from Yoko Ishida though she did not perform this song in the original anime.

Track 9 is background music for Sailor Uranus and Neptune. This is a variety of music used in the anime mostly when the characters are introduced or transform. It features a lot of violin as the music in the original Sailor Moon anime did, with Michiru being a violinist. This is quite a good track for fans of those characters! They always did have great theme music.

Track 10 switches gears and gives us a song from Sailor Moon Crystal. Eternal Eternity is the first ending theme for the 3rd season, which is also all about Sailor Uranus and Neptune. All versions of this song just remind me of the Utena opening theme.

Track 11 is short and just gives us the music for the commercial break bumper for the first season. It sounds so much like the original version that I was expecting the weird “chirp” sound which can be heard on the laserdiscs of the first season.

I guess there was an intermission at this point? On to disc 2…

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Classic Concert CD - Disc 2

Track 1 has Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, speaking over some background music and then transforming to Sailor Moon’s first season transformation music. A fairly faithful version of this music.

Track 2 is Moon Revenge, the theme song from Sailor Moon R The Movie. This is one of the better songs from the original anime. This version is great as well. It’s a more classical rendition lacking the more upbeat tone of the original song but it works quite well. Some portions remind me of the instrumental version featured in the film.

Track 3 is Tuxedo Mirage, the ending theme for Sailor Moon S. The version here is very similar to what we heard on TV, without the vocals. A good track but it just doesn’t give us anything new.

Track 4 is La Soldier which is a song which was used in a number of the early Sailor Moon musicals as well as the final episode of Sailor Moon R (Let’s pretend episode 89 doesn’t exist because I hate it!). This is a good rendition but not as good as the original and nothing could top the Tommy heavenly6 version from the Tribute Album for me.

Track 5 is a Three Light Medley which merges two songs which the Three Lights performed during Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, Todokanu Omoi -My Friend’s Love- (Unreachable Feelings: My Friend’s Love) and Nagareboshi he (To the Shooting Stars). When this one started I was a bit worried because the Three Lights are a pop group and their music doesn’t translate to classical music. Still the orchestra manages to give these songs a disco kind of 70s pop sound which I think works really well. The track lacks vocals I think because the concert hall didn’t have enough place to include Taiki’s forehead.

Track 6 takes a song from the recent Sailor Moon musicals with Ai No Starshine (Starshine of Love) from the Sailor Moon Amour Eternal Musical. Again we go with a somewhat modern sound almost fitting to an 80s TV drama theme song if that makes any sense. I appreciate the unique take on the song and that an orchestra can have such an atypical sound.

Track 7 is Moon Pride, the first Sailor Moon Crystal opening theme. It’s performed with a big band sort of sound. Enjoyable.

Track 8 is Gekkou (Moonbow), the first Sailor Moon Crystal ending theme. Again this track is quite similar to the original version which had a very orchestral sound. Decent but nothing new here.

Track 9 is New Moon ni Koishite (In Love With the New Moon), the Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 opening theme. It has what I believe is a lot of saxophone and other brass instruments. A fun track.

The final track is an encore which is the Sailor Stars Song, the opening theme for the Sailor Stars season of the original anime. Yoko Ishida performs the vocals for this version, though again she was not the one to contribute the original vocals. She does a decent job. She attempt to rouse the crowd and get them to sing along which doesn’t seem to work all that well. I’m not sure if this is because the crowd isn’t participating much or simply because they didn’t bother to put a mic in the crowd to properly pick up the audio. I don’t know how popular the Sailor Stars Song is in Japan but I wonder if this was really the best track to try to get people to sing along to. If they’d done this with Moonlight Densetsu, the iconic opening theme used for the first four seasons, no doubt a ton of people would know the words. Does the average Japanese casual fan know the words to the intro of the final season which had significantly poorer ratings?

All considered I quite enjoyed this CD and recommend fans import it if they’re interested.

Keep reading for more pictures of this CD including photos of all remaining pages of the booklet.

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Janis Carrol, also known as Barbara Goodson, will voice Zirconia in Sailor Moon SuperS

Janis Carrol as Zirconia

Yesterday was Sailor Moon Day at Anime NYC. This included Viz’s Moon Panel, as is often the case with conventions Viz attends. The main thing announced at this panel was that Sailor Moon SuperS would be released on April 10th but we also learned about a new voice acting credit! Janis Carrol would voice Zirconia! That’s great! So who exactly is Janis Carrol? I saw some fans saying how happy they were to see her get the role as she had the perfect voice. This wasn’t a name I was familiar with but I actually was familiar with the actress. Janis Carrol is an alias for veteran screen and voice actor Barbara Goodson known best to many fans as the voice of Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. Note that she only provided the English voice for that character. The actress who portrayed Witch Bandora in Zyurangers, which was adapted as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, was Machiko Soga who sadly passed away in 2006.

Rita Repulsa from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

IMDB redirects searches for Janis Carrol to Barbara Goodson’s page. Why? Browsing through her credits we see the name Janis Carrol listed for a number of other Viz Media titles including Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. IMDB recognizes that this is another name she uses and redirects users to the appropriate page. Why, then, use this alias which isn’t all that well hidden for anyone trying to investigate? I don’t know for sure but some fans have speculated that this might have to do with union work. Some actors will have their name tied to a union and will use an alias for non union work. I don’t know if this is true in this particular case as I don’t know the specifics of how Viz hires their actors. There are many reasons for which a person may use an alias for certain jobs.

Barbara Goodson previously voiced a few single episode roles in Viz Media’s dub of Sailor Moon R. This includes the monster Falion, a lion Cardian who attacked Sailor Jupiter and her friend in episode 49, as well as the kindergarden teacher, from episode 52 when Minako was protecting a bunch of school children. IMDB lists both of these on their Sailor Moon SuperS page which has a Sailor Moon S Movie image because they’re a bit of a mess. This site used to have a different page for the English dub and it’s generally very difficult to distinguish casts from various dubs on the site.

Barbara Goodson has also provided the voice of a number of other anime characters throughout the years. I remember her mostly from the English version of the anime series Teknoman, originally called Tekkaman Blade, where she played Star as well as the voices of Doris in Vampire Hunter D and some voices in Akira. These were things I was watching around the time Power Rangers was on and I was amazed at how little she sounded like Rita Repulsa in these roles.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 150 - Nehelenia

We still have not gotten any voice actor information for Queen Nehellenia who first appears in episode 148. Since Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 only goes up to episode 146 that means we won’t actually be hearing Queen Nehellenia or the Amazoness Quartet in this release, which is likely why we have no voice actor information for them. Since Zirconia and Queen Nehellenia are similar characters, with Zirconia being interpreted as some sort of reflection or alternate version of Queen Nehellenia by some, it is possible that they will have the same voice actors. Since Barbara Goodson is able to portray a range of characters, having her do both roles would work quite well. This is certainly not guaranteed however as different voice actors have portrayed these two characters in other versions.

Anime NYC will include Sailor Moon Day on November 18th!

Sailor Moon Day at Anime NYC

Next weekend, November 17th to the 19th, is Anime NYC in at the Javits Center in Manhattan. This event will include an entire day dedicated to Sailor Moon on Sailor Moon Day November 18th! Attending will be the English cast of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. This includes Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Celine Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Erica Mendez, Sailor Uranus, Lauren Landa, Sailor Neptune, Christine Marie Cabanos, Sailor Saturn, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Chris Niosi, Pegasus. Viz Media will also be in attendance. This convention is sponsored by many leading companies in North American anime including many who are associated with Sailor Moon, so it seems likely that they will also be involved with the event. Sponsors include Crunchyroll, who stream Sailor Moon Crystal, Viz Media, who licenses and releases Sailor Moon in North America, Kodansha Comics, who are releasing the English Sailor Moon Manga, and Tokyo Otaku Mode, who run the Official Sailor Moon Fan Club.

Yoko Ishida

Also attending as a musical guest is Yoko Ishida who performed a number of songs for the original Sailor Moon anime! She sang Otome No Policy (Maiden’s Policy), the ending theme for Sailor Moon R, Ai No Senshi (Guardian of Love), and Suki to Itte (Say You Love Me).

Are any of you planning to attend this convention? Unfortunately at this point Saturday and weekend tickets are already sold out. Friday and Sunday tickets are still available but those attendees will be missing Sailor Moon Day.

Listen to an English clip of Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 including Haruka and Michiru

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Haruka

The Infinity arc of Sailor Moon Crystal will be released on home video by Viz on December 5th. In order to promote this release they’ve released a clip of the English dub from Act 27 part 1. This clip shows the girls playing a racing arcade game and first meeting Haruka and Michiru. Watch it below!

Since we’ve already heard Haruka and Michiru in Viz’s dub of Sailor Moon S these voices shouldn’t be much of a surprise for some of us. We first heard samples of those voices over a year ago. Sailor Moon S has since been released in its entirety on home video. While Sailor Moon Crystal is currently only available for pre-order from Right Stuf you can buy Sailor Moon S from Amazon using the links below.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 27 - Racing

John Eric, Michael Yurchak and Erik Scott Kimerer are voicing the Amazon Trio in Sailor Moon SuperS

John Eric as Tiger's Eye

The cast of voice actors playing the Amazon Trio has been announced! This past weekend was Otakon, an anime convention in Baltimore Maryland. At the convention there was a Moon Panel held by Viz in which they have announced the voice actors who will be playing the Amazon Trio. This includes John Eric as Tiger’s Eye, Michael Yurchak as Hawk’s Eye and Erik Scott Kimerer as Fish Eye. The Amazon Trio are basically pick up artists who target men and women in order to peak at their mirror of dreams once they’ve succeeded, or failed, at seducing them. Tiger’s Eye targets young women, Hawk’s Eye targets older women and Fish Eye targets men of all ages.

Erik Scott Kimerer as Fish Eye

Having Erik Scott Kimerer play Fish Eye is a change as this character was previously voiced by Deborah Drakeford and portrayed as a woman in the original English dub of Sailor Moon. Fish Eye is a man in the Japanese version of the series but he looks quite feminine and often dresses like a woman which makes it easy for viewers to mistake his gender. He was likely made female to avoid having a gay character in the English dubbed version of the show as was done with Zoisite. Similarly Haruka and Michiru, Amara and Michelle in the dub, were made cousins to distract from their lesbian relationship. It is certainly good to see a gay character portrayed as it was originally intended. Seeing gay characters as villains is potentially concerning but in Sailor Moon when good and evil characters with varying sexuality are seen, this is not really a problem.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 145 - Fish Eye the Prima Ballerina

If there had been a woman provide the voice of Fish Eye would not necessarily have meant he wouldn’t be a man. Many male characters, usually children, have women providing their voices and it wouldn’t be out of character for Fish Eye to have a feminine voice. The character has been portrayed by women in numerous versions of the Sailor Moon musicals. Still it continues to be good that Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon is more faithful to the original version with less changes to anger fans.

Michael Yurchak as Hawk's Eye

As with the announcement of Chris Niosi as Pegasus from a few weeks ago this applies to the Sailor Moon SuperS dub of the original Sailor Moon anime but, should the Dream arc of Sailor Moon Crystal ever be released in Japan and then dubbed by Viz, this will likely be the cast to voice these characters in that series as well. The last news out of Japan on that series is that the Dream arc will be released as two theatrical films.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 129 - The Amazon Trio - Hawks' Eye, Tigers' Eye and Fish Eye

Source: @Sailor_Moon_NA on Twitter

Meet Mary Long, Roland Parliament, John Stocker and Todd Haberkorn at Fan World in Niagara Falls July 21st to the 23rd

Sailor Moon S episode 95 - Umino and Naru

Good news for Sailor Moon fans both sides of the border! This weekend is Fan World in Niagara Falls. This convention will be held at the Conference & Events Center at Niagara Falls on the New York side of the border but it’s close enough for fans on the Ontario side, which has the nicer falls, to attend as well. This events will include voice actors and voice directors from the original English dub of Sailor Moon! One of the series’ great couples, Melvin and Molly, will be there as Mary Long and Roland Parliament make an appearance. In addition to providing the voice of Melvin Roland Parliament was also voice director for the first 65 episodes of the dub. John Stocker, who was voice director for the rest of the episodes, that being the later half of Sailor Moon R as well as all of Sailor Moon S and SuperS, will also be at the convention. John Stocker also did a few voices in the series including Raye’s grandfather.

Sailor Moon episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen and Naru

Also in attendance is Todd Haberkorn who voiced Jadeite in Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. Will any of you be at this convention this weekend?

Sailor Moon episode 13 - Jadeite illusion over the city

Sailor Moon episode 7 - Cross dressing Umino with Naru

No, Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, is not the voice of Wonder Woman in the Japanese dub of the film

Kotono Mitsuishi is not the Japanese voice of Wonder Woman

This past weekend Wonder Woman was released in North America and in many cities worldwide. This film has been a tremendous success. Over the past few days I’ve seen the follow bit of trivia more than once on Social Media:

For the Japanese dub of the film, Wonder Woman is voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, best known as the voice of Sailor Moon. Like Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon is a princess heroine of divine heritage and based on Greco-Roman mythology.

The source of this information is the IMDB trivia page for the Wonder Woman film. I’m pretty sure this isn’t true! Kotono Mitsuishi did the voice over narration for the Japanese Wonder Woman trailer, which many news sources including this site reported on back in March. It seems likely that this information was mistakenly used as evidence that Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Usagi in Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal, would actually voice Wonder Woman in the Japanese language dubbed version of the film. The narration in the trailer is not the actual voice of Wonder Woman who’s English voice can be heard in the trailer. I can find no indication by doing searches of various sites in English and Japanese that Kotono Mitsuishi will be the voice of Wonder Woman.

It seems quite unlikely that Kotono Mitsuishi would voice this role as she was not the one to do the Japanese dubbed voice for Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman. We can see from the Japanese Wikipedia page for Batman V Superman that this was actually done by voice actress Yūko Kaida who may be known to readers for some of her anime roles. It seems likely that she will be the one to voice the character for the Wonder Woman film. Actors will often dub the voices of the same actors in multiple films especially when there are part of a series where the actors appears in more than one film.

Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman

While it is certainly possible that independent of her doing the narration for the trailer Kotono Mitsuishi will also be included with the Japanese dubbed version of the film which isn’t set to be released until the 25th of August we don’t actually have any good evidence beyond this bit of IMDB trivia which indicates that this might be the case. Keep reading for more exploration of the specific research which led me to this conclusion.

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Viz’s Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray looks fantastic and is well worth buying despite the unpopular cover art

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Princess Serenity

Sailor Moon R The Movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray April 18th and it looks amazing. I’m not talking about the lacklustre cover art which everyone seems fixated on but rather the video quality of the actual Blu-Ray. This is a top quality release which seems to come from the film source. The level of detail is absolutely not something which could have simply been gotten from software upscaling, which is what has been used for all of the home video releases we’ve seen for the Sailor Moon TV series to date. But don’t take my word for it! Look at these screenshots to see the difference. Prior to this release I watched the Japanese DVD as my gold standard. The French DVD release which came out in 2014 looks great too, but is still in the same ball park. It has a slightly cleaned up image and a higher resolution due to them having different TV standards. The old DVD we got from Pioneer in 1999 is borderline VHS quality, but it is an unmated full screen so there’s a bit more to the picture. This new Blu-Ray is in a league of its own. View the full sized versions of these pictures to see the difference. There’s a small amount of loss of quality from the JPEG compression on these uploads but it should give you a good idea of the difference.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

Japanese DVD (2002)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - French DVD - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

French DVD (2014)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - English Pioneer release - Usagi gives a rose to Mamoru

English Pioneer DVD (1999)

Pay attention to small details in the image like Fiore’s nose or the lines on Mamoru’s face. This new Blu-Ray image is not something which could have been extrapolated through software from any of the standard definition masters. This is a high quality HD transfer from film source and it looks as good as we could hope for! Fans who were lucky enough to have seen the film in theatres probably noticed that they could see a lot of detail in the image and we see that in this release as well. Look at another comparison between a wide shot of the street which gives us a lot of small details of individual characters.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Wide shot of the street

Viz Blu-Ray (2017)

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Japense R2 DVD 2002 - Wide shot of the street

Japanese DVD (2002)

It’s really refreshing to see such a nice quality release from Viz considering some of the earlier stuff we’ve gotten from them. I’ve always said that they’re doing the best that they can with low quality masters and this seems to confirm that idea. They’ve gotten a lot of criticism for using too much post processing and such but at the end of the day if you start off with a low quality master there’s really only so much you can do to try to make it look nice. The minor differences between the different releases of the original anime don’t add up to much but this release is on another level. This is a great movie, part of the best of what Sailor Moon has to offer, and at the relatively low price it’s being sold for it’s a no brainer to pick it up.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray  - Cover

But wait, you’re all thinking, what about this terrible box art??? Indeed, the cover art isn’t the best. For weeks fans have been criticizing it. I’ll agree that it isn’t the best box art compared to their other releases but is that what’s most important? We’ve gotten a lot of really nice looking boxes with great little booklets and the video content always looked kind of terrible. Here we have the opposite, a box which isn’t that nice and a top quality release inside! All things considered I’d rather we get a release with a cover drawn by 3 year old with crayons if we could somehow keep getting quality releases like this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Sailor Moon returns to life

Let’s look at what else is in this release. First off is the feature, which is only 1 hour long. This is the first of the Sailor Moon movies and it includes both a new English dub by Viz and a Japanese audio track with English subtitles. Sailor Moon R The Movie is one of my all time favourite films and my favourite of the Sailor Moon movies. It includes some of the best animation seen in the series. I watched the film in Japanese with English subtitles as I’d already heard the dub in theatres and found it to be good. Having seen a number of different versions of the film countless times I didn’t notice anything amiss with the translation, but as I don’t speak Japanese I can’t comment on it more than that.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians

Also included is the Make Up! Sailor Guardians special. This originally aired with Sailor Moon R The Movie in theatres in Japan. It was also included in North American theatres when it played here. This is a fun little extra, running at only 16 minutes, with some new animation but mostly recycled clips from the TV series. This extra feature also looks great. This makes me wonder what kind of masters TOEI had access to when they put it together! This release was obviously mastered from a film source but the TV clips included also seem to come from a higher quality source even than we’ve seen with the Japanese DVD releases. With the upcoming Blu-Ray release of the original Sailor Moon anime in Japan being advertised as being software upscaled from standard definition sources I wish they had access to the same source material they used in 1993 when this special was put together. Just look at this shot of Ami from her first appearance early in the first season with the fine detail in the lines. It isn’t the best but it’s nothing like what we’ve gotten in any other TV release of the series. Let’s hope the Japanese release we get in June looks something close to this!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Make Up! Sailor Guardians - Ami from the TV series

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Cast Interview

There are a few extras on this disc. When Sailor Moon R The Movie played in theatres it was introduced by an interview with the cast. This included Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Ben Diskin, Fiore and Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask. When I saw this in theatres I thought it was a bit silly to have it before the main feature. I was there to watch the movie, not see something which wasn’t more thrilling than your run of the mill DVD extra. Having it as an extra like this however is totally reasonable. This feature is about 10 minutes.

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - LA Premiere Q & A

Also included is an interview which followed the LA Premiere. This included nearly all of the voice actors from the film, Viz’s Charlene Ingram and the ADR voice director for the film, Suzanne Goldish. The cast present included Carrie Keranen, the Xenian flower, Ben Diskin, Fiore, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Michelle Ruff, Luna, Sandy Fox, Chibiusa, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, and Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon. The only main actors not present were Kate Higgins, Sailor Mercury, and Johnny Yong Bosh, Artemis. The interview included your standard kind of banter about how mind blowing it is to see Sailor Moon the big screen and the fan reaction. Suzanne Goldish, ADR director, tells a humours story about how her notes had her flip flopping from calling the villain Fiole, which means nothing, and Fiore, the objectively correct character’s name and the Italian word for flower. This explains why the voice actors refer to him as Fiole in the pre-movie interview. ADR directors don’t have the star power of the voice actors but they usually have some good insight into the production which makes for interesting stories.

Sailor Moon R The Movie - Character art

Note that this book is not included with the film.

There is also some character art on the disc itself. I wanted to grab some screenshots but this feature wasn’t included on the DVD and the tool I used to get Blu-Ray screenshots doesn’t support menus. I’ll spare you photos of my TV and assure you these are character designs for the film similar to those seen in the above photo from the Japanese art book. It would have been nice to see a booklet with some character bios and maybe some of this kind of art but there’s nothing in the way of inserts with this release. The Japanese Sailor Moon R The Movie art book includes over 100 pages of content. It would have been easy for Viz to put together 20 or so pages to accompany this film!

Sailor Moon R The Movie Blu-Ray - Discs

We also get the standard trailers which are included in all Viz releases. If you haven’t been convinced to buy the remastered uncropped Ranma 1/2 Blu-Ray release at this point it’s just not going to happen.

So what’s my final verdict? Isn’t it obvious? Just buy the movie! Don’t bother with the DVD as it doesn’t showcase the high quality video of the HD transfer. Buy the Blu-Ray which includes the DVD if you somehow don’t have a Blu-Ray player in 2017. I got mine on Amazon. You can also get it from other retailers like Right Stuf. If you don’t want a physical copy you can save a few bucks by getting it digitally on iTunes or Amazon Video, but be warned that the digital version is currently only available in English. This is a high quality release of a great movie which every fan should own. Go get it!

Now that we’ve agreed that it’s worth getting whether you have another copy of the film or not a practical question is whether or not it supersedes any other release. Should you just throw your old copy out? The old Pioneer release has some advantages, mainly the old dub which some people have nostalgia for an the unmated full frame image. For most people in 2017 with widescreen displays this has limited appeal, but to this day the English release is the only way to get this full pictured version. Even the original Japanese laserdisc version was presented in widescreen. As for the Japanese release it still has some special features which are nice. A rare DVD feature that all of the Japanese Sailor Moon movies have is an isolated music only track which is a nice addition which isn’t on this release.

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