A Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl will be a New York Comic Con exclusive

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

Funko has announced some of their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyl exclusives for New York Comic Con and they include Sailor Venus’s alter ego Sailor V! The convention will take place in Manhattan at the Javits Center the weekend of October 5th to the 8th. This is great news for those that have done the full physical, psych evaluation and DNA testing required to get the NYCC Fan Verification™®© status required to attend the event.

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

So what’s involved in getting an exclusive Funko Pop! Vinyl at New York Comic Con? You just walk up to a booth and buy one, right? In past years Funko has run a lottery ahead of the convention for time slots where attendees can buy things from their booth. It seems that this is the case this year as well. The Funko Twitter account pointed fans to the NYCC Lottery page where they can go into lotteries for certain events. I don’t have a Fan Verified™®© account but it seems like the Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl should be showing up there.

Funko made a video showcasing their 80s and 90s themed Pop! Vinyls including Sailor V. Check it out below.

Funko Pop! Vinyls are an overly simple cheap and fairly ugly line of nearly identical looking figures covering pretty much every franchise to ever exist in the history of time. Their business model seems to be to make toys based on as many brands as possible and it’s going quite well for them. They can be found at pretty much every booth at every comic, anime, gaming or pop culture convention as well as on most of the shelf space at GameStop, a novelty toy store that used to sell video games. All said I sure would like to get my hands on one of these figures but unfortunately I have no plans to attend New York Comic Con. Will any of you be lucky enough to be attending?

New York Comic Con exclusive Sailor V Funko Pop! Vinyl

Keep reading for more images of this figure and the box.

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Episode reviews for the Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon series are coming soon to this site

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Act 1 - Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask

I have decided to rewatch the live action Sailor Moon series commonly referred to as PGSM or Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. Since there hasn’t been much going on with this site lately it seemed like a good opportunity to do some episode reviews as I watch them. I always enjoyed doing episodes summaries for Sailor Moon Crystal and for the original Sailor Moon anime episodes as they were released on Hulu. To categorize these as reviews or even summaries doesn’t seem totally accurate as I’ll neither be giving any sort of rating on the episode or giving anything resembling a coherent summary of events but instead I’ll discuss some of the content as I find it relevant as I’ve done with the other series.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Act 1 - Plush Luna

While the show was relatively popular amongst fans it seems like some of you have never actually watched it! Might I suggest that this would be a good time to get caught up? Old or new fans interested in watching the series for the first time or rewatching it like myself can download episodes from either TV-Nihon or Miss Dream. TV-Nihon originally fan subbed the series as it was released on TV back in 2003-2004. They are a group that primarily subtitles Sentai series such as Power Rangers, which the live action Sailor Moon series has some things in common with. Miss Dream on the other hand is a Sailor Moon fan subbing group with more experience with the anime, musicals and manga. Both have authored their releases from DVD source material so you won’t have to deal with those annoying time stamps that came with the TV broadcast version of the show.

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Act 1 - Ami Mizuno

I know I’ve earned myself a bit of a reputation as a cynic for some of my critical or mocking comments about the series so let me assure you that I absolutely adore this series. As Sailor Moon goes I think it rivals only the first season of the original anime in quality. It has great character drama and a lot of original elements unique to this series. Fans who have passed on this show for being too cheap looking should really give it a shot!

Live Action Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Opening - Rei Hino

If you’re watching along at home, remember the series from a while back or are just curious as to what this series was about, feel free to join the community in the comments of these blog posts to discuss the episodes. I don’t anticipate have any fixed schedule for posting these and haven’t really settled on a format, but I’m leaning towards two episodes per post. I’m at the whim of a 5 month old’s naps at this stage in my life so as always the content will be there when it’s there!

Japanese Sailor Moon Blu-Ray Collection set 2 review

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover

The second Japanese Blu-Ray set of the original Sailor Moon anime was released on August 9th. This includes the second half of the first season of Sailor Moon remastered in HD for Blu-Ray. This is a Japanese only release, meaning no English dub or subtitles. I got a copy and wanted to provide some thoughts on it. I previously did a more thorough review of the first set, which includes screenshot comparisons between various versions. I would recommend checking out that post to get an idea of the quality if you are interested in picking up this release. The set is available through online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan but beware that the cheapest you’ll find it for is about $150 US. This is considerably more expensive than the North American Blu-Ray releases from Viz.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 46 - Princess Serenity attacks Queen Beryl

So why would someone want to get this set instead of buying the English version? It really comes down to minor improvements in video quality. I don’t have many nice things to say about the Viz Blu-Ray releases. The picture quality in these is pretty low due to being authored from some pretty bad masters. This Japanese version has better source material which leads to a better final product. The catch? No matter how much software they throw at it, this is still an upscaled version of a standard definition source. What this means is that a DVD equivalent 480p quality source was used and using software algorithms it was extrapolated into a 1080p HD video which is used for the Blu-Ray. Does this look better than a DVD? That’s a somewhat subjective question but it certainly doesn’t look like it would if the original film source was used to get an HD version, as has been done with the recently released Sailor Moon R movie. Still, this is pretty much the best quality version of Sailor Moon you’ll find. If you’re such a perfectionist that you absolutely need to have the original Sailor Moon anime in the best quality possible, then you’ll want to buy this set. Most people won’t find this to be necessary.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Rhett Butler

I’ve included a few screenshots in this post, with more at the end if you scroll down, to give an idea of the quality. Again, check out my first volume review for specific comparisons. This second half of the first season contains some great episodes with some fantastic animation. Seeing them in good quality is a real treat. The episodes included start with episode 24, Nephlite’s final episode, and continue until episode 46, the season finale for the first season. It begins and ends with people dying and there’s a bunch of dying in between as well! This is indeed a heart wrenching half season to watch but to me it’s anime at its best.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Cover art comparison

As with the first set, and pretty much all releases of the original Sailor Moon anime, the box art used on the cover art and discs is reused from the first video releases of Sailor Moon on VHS and laserdisc back in the 1990s. This is great iconic art which continues to hold up with this release. There seems to be no need to replace it. Featured in this art are Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Venus, both of whom first appear in this set, as well as group shots and images of Serenity and Endymion, two characters who are especially relevant in these episodes.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Disc 1 art comparison

There isn’t a ton in the way of special features in this release. We have creditless opening and ending credits and the 15 second commercials which were shown on TV when this originally aired. This is something which has been included time and time again with Japanese releases of the Sailor Moon anime. While there were many, many other special video features included in the first season laserdisc video releases none of these appear in this or the previous set. This seems like it would have been something fairly easy to include in this set but there seems to be little interest in resurrecting this old footage.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Booklet episodes 29 to 31

A nice looking booklet of episode descriptions is included. These short descriptions include a single screenshot per episode as well as pieces of production art that pertain to characters introduced in those particular episodes. I’ve included a sample page above and will include a few more later in the post.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 31 - Sailor Jupiter look at Sailor Mercury's butt

All considered I stand by my assessment of the last set that the quality is “good but not great” and it won’t be worth buying for most fans who are either really picky about quality or don’t like having money. While the available English versions don’t have terribly good video quality this is not a huge improvement over the original Japanese DVD releases and many other international releases of the series. It would have been really great to see a better quality release for these Blu-Ray sets but for whatever reason this doesn’t seem feasible at this time.

Sailor Moon Japanese Blu-Ray Collection Volume 2 - Episode 32 - Tuxedo Umino Kamen

Sailor Moon R part 1 will be released next month. It can be preordered from Amazon Japan and CD Japan. Since this season was originally only released in interlaced video quality on the original Japanese DVD I anticipate a more significant video quality improvement with this set.

Keep reading for more screenshots, as well as photos of the box art and the included booklet.

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The Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final musical, which is now playing in Japan, will be released on DVD March 14th

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final banner

The latest Sailor Moon musical, Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final, began being performed in Japan yesterday, Friday September 8th! The DVD has now been announced and it will be released on March 14th 2018. This DVD will have an MSRP of 7,800 yen, about $72 US and is currently available for pre-order from online retailers such as Amazon Japan and CD Japan.

I haven’t generally had anything good to say about these DVD releases in the past. This is a Japanese only DVD with no English subtitles or audio. The video quality of the last 4 musicals has been an embarrassingly sub par 480i which seems especially disappointing given there are HD versions of the musical available online in Japan. This is the kind of stuff we would have expected in the 90s but in 2017 there’s no excuse! There will be no Blu-Ray version of this release. Instead the DVD will simply have a Blu-Ray equivalent price! Will they somehow make this DVD a bit better and at least have progressive scan video? Seems unlikely.

There are currently no specifics about what special features may be included but these usually include a number of bonus features including interviews and other behind the scenes featurettes. Check out my reviews for the La Reconquista, Petite Étrangère, Un Nouveau Voyage and Amour Eternal DVDs to see what kind of special features those included.

Sailor Moon Le Mouvement Final DVD ad

Additionally, as has been done in the past, some special covers for the previous DVD releases will be available exclusively at the venues where the musical is being performed. These exclusive covers feature manga art corresponding to the story arc being covered by the particular musical.

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

What would today’s solar eclipse look like from the Moon? + Foolish people in the Sailor Moon anime don’t know how to look at an eclipse!

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 128 - Usagi watching the solar eclipse

This afternoon, August 21st 2017, there will be a solar eclipse, meaning that from the vantage point of the Earth the Moon will pass in front of the Sun. While there is usually one or more at least partial solar eclipse in a given year, this one is notable for being visible in North America with many parts of the US being able to observe the total eclipse. Here in Gatineau, Quebec I will be observing only a partial solar eclipse. How about you? Sailor Moon is no stranger to solar eclipses! The Dead Moon Circus first appears during a total solar eclipse which is visible from Tokyo. Unfortunately for fans in Japan, it will be night time during the eclipse and they will be unable to observe it as the Earth will be in the way.

Princess Serenity views a solar eclipse from the Moon

This got me to wonder about what someone on the Moon might see during a solar eclipse. I previously toyed with a similar idea when I wondered what a lunar eclipse would look like from the Moon. Since Princess Serenity lived on the Moon from birth to adolescence and always had a view of the Earth in the sky she likely observed quite a few lunar and solar eclipses during her life. Due to the nature of a solar eclipse it would always appear during a “full Earth” from the vantage point of the Moon and the shadow would always be visible from that side. In this case, as the digitally altered photo above illustrates, the observer on the Moon would see a small shadow on the Earth as only a part of it is obscured at any time. With most of the shadow still being partly illuminated by the sun which is only partially blocked by the Moon, there wouldn’t be a clear demarcation but rather a gradually darkening spot. To create the photo above I used an actual image of a solar eclipse seen from space which I got from NASA. Since this photo wasn’t of today’s eclipse, because time travel doesn’t exist yet, the image has the shadow on Australia even though the eclipse will not be visible from Australia this time around. Instead the shadow of this year’s eclipse will be seen on the United States, where the total eclipse will be visible.

Pat Rawlings' painting of the solar eclipse seen from the Moon

Artist Pat Rawlings imagined what the the August 2017 eclipse would look like if seen from the Moon back in 1989. (Print available here) It was his hope at the time that by now someone would be on the Moon to observe it, but sadly this is not the case.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 128 - A bunch of people looking at the sun

Looking back at Sailor Moon SuperS episode 128 I noticed a few humorous things. While many of the main characters are wearing the appropriate protective eye wear to view the eclipse, this is not true of all people. Usagi and others have a protective sheet to look through while some people have glasses. Indeed there are many such glasses, many made out of cardboard and a special film which blocks most of the sun’s rays, which are adequate for viewing an eclipse. As a tip if you can see pretty much anything with your shades, they aren’t fit for viewing the sun! This said there are quite a few people in this episode who appear to have no concern with staring at the sun. This is at once a bad idea and simply difficult to do. Staring at the sun during a partial eclipse is pretty much like staring at the sun during any normal time. It hurts your eyes and your instinct would be to turn away. With many of the business men and women in Sailor Moon seen simply putting their hand on near their forehead I wonder what exactly they’re looking at. This is a move that is usually done to protect one’s eyes from the sun, but the thing that they are conceivably looking at is the sun itself so something just isn’t adding up.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 128 - Business people looking at the sun

Luna and Artemis, usually the voices of reason in the series, appear to have no eclipse protection. Surely it would have been suspicious for a couple of cats to be wearing glasses but in this case they are simply staring at the fully eclipsed sun with no protection whatsoever. Shouldn’t they be going blind? Not really. It’s actually safe to look at the fully eclipsed sun however for most people this isn’t advisable as it isn’t terribly easy to tell when the sun is fully eclipsed and safe vs. when it’s only partially eclipsed and potentially damaging to one’s eyes.

Sailor Moon SuperS episode 128 - Luna and Artemis lack eye protection

A reminder that I do a weekly science and skepticism podcast called The Reality Check. In the latest episode Cristina talks all about eclipse myths including the real and fictional risks of looking at the sun. I managed to slip a reference to the Dead Moon Circus into the show!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 38 - Viewing the eclipse

Are you watching the eclipse today? Be sure to check out the NASA web site for all the details about it.

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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