Japanese Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volume 1 review

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Cover

The Sailor Moon R Blu-Ray Collection Volumes 1 and 2 have now been released in Japan. These are my thoughts on volume 1, which was released on October 4th. I delayed getting this review up so long that volume 2 was since released on December 6th. Some of you expressed interest in seeing the quality, given some issues with the Viz Blu-Ray releases of Sailor Moon R, so I’ve included a lot of screenshots within the post and at the end of it. This collection includes Sailor Moon R episodes 47 to 68 in Japanese and Japanese only! There is no dub and no subtitle track on this release so it may have limited value to English speaking fans. Be warned!

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Viz Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Young Ail and An

Japanese Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese DVD - Young Ail and An

Japanese DVD

The video quality in this release is what I would again call good but not great. To see examples just click through on the images and then on the 1920×1080 link to see the full picture. There is a bit of loss from JPEG compression but it should give a decent idea of the relatively quality of the releases. Basically, as with the first season, what we have is an upscalled or upconverted and cleaned up version of existing standard definition masters. So while the video here is 1080p, Blu-Ray resolution, this was not obtained from going back to the film source (film is used as an intermediate in animation from this era) but instead the old video sources were used and with various filters these were extrapolated into high definition video. I’m not a fan of this technique. I’d just as soon see a good quality standard definition release than pretend this is “really” HD, but your mileage may vary. The techniques used to upscale these is fairly impressive and the image we get is probably the best we’ve seen for the original Sailor Moon anime, but it still isn’t what we’ve seen for things like the Sailor Moon R Movie which was released on Blu-Ray earlier this year.

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Viz Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 61 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Usagi cries

Japanese Blu-Ray

All that said Viz used a similar technique when they released their Blu-Rays a few years ago but they seem to have had significantly inferior quality master video sources to work with. The actual techniques they used to convert the video to high definition were likely different as well, as we’ve seen minor differences in the various releases they had as the series was, and continues to be, released. I don’t think it’s fair to put the blame solely on Viz for the poor quality release we got from them, as they have done great work with high quality source material as we’ve seen with their Sailor Moon Crystal releases and their release of Sailor Moon R The Movie on Blu-Ray which is considerably nicer looking than the Japanese DVD. That said their releases of the Sailor Moon TV series are so bad that the Japanese DVD release and many other international releases are of much nicer video quality.

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi - Interlacing artefacts

Japanese DVD screenshot with visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese DVD - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese DVD screenshot without any visible interlacing artifacts

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Viz Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon R episode 60 - Japanese Blu-Ray - Chibiusa points a gun at Usagi

Japanese Blu-Ray

One reason for which I was more excited for the Sailor Moon R release than the first season was that the Japanese DVDs for Sailor Moon R and beyond had interlaced video. What does this mean? A standard TV signal is interlaced, meaning the signal is sent one field at a time. Every second scan line is refreshed every 30th of a second but only one field is sent every 60th of a second. This means when you look at a still you’ll often see these lines in it looking like saw teeth or a comb. The images above illustrate this by looking at the interlaced DVD image. This isn’t really noticeable on older TVs or even modern HDTVs but if you’re watching video on a computer screen, pausing, getting screenshots or trying to convert the files for download, like many fan subs you may have downloaded, this can be a problem. You probably noticed this back in the VHS days when you’d pause a film and sometimes there would appear to be a double image while other times there would not. For a show which was at some point on film, like Sailor Moon, this isn’t visible in all frames. For shows that were shot on video, like the live action series and the musicals, there’s no getting around the fact that every frame will have visible interlacing. Because of this I often need to find scenes with little motion for my live action screenshots or to use a filter to remove odd or even lines. The DVD standard supports progressive scan, which does away with this interlacing problem, and the first season DVDs were converted to progressive scan which made them look a bit nicer on an HDTV. The deinterlacing process does not negatively affect picture quality because all of the information is there. For whatever reason, probably cost related, this was not done for Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS or Sailor Stars on DVD. Now that the video is going through all kinds of post processing to upconvert to HD resolutions, removing any interlacing artifacts was the first thing that was done. So much to say this is one way in which these Blu-Rays are objectively better than the Japanese DVD release. The upconverting is a bit of smoke and mirrors but the deinterlacing is one aspect which is a real noticeable improvement.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Easy to read credits!

As an indication of the quality of the video in this release we can finally read the text in the Sailor Moon R credits with some success! If you’re like me you pass the time listening to “Otome no Policy” while trying to read some of this text. I’ve always been able to make out some words on the laserdisc and DVD releases but it seems like much more is visible now. Note that the quality changes as the season goes on and while it was harder to see the words in the early episodes this becomes easier with some of the later episodes. So what does this text say? It’s mostly nonsense. These are sentences which are grammatically correct english which seems to have some meaning but the text has no bearing on Sailor Moon. “CONVERSATION is impossible as the open topped rail diesel car clatters into the 3/4 mile Trebelica tunnel” … “For Bedimir the Trebelica tunnel is a masterwork, three years in building”. Web searches for terms like “trebelica” and “bedimir” don’t identify this text as being anything important or even references to real people or places. Others, however, like Stari Bar in Montenegro, appears to be references to a real things. This could be an actual magazine or newspaper clipping but the exact source isn’t something that is terribly obvious, even when the text is mostly legible. Often in movies and TV shows fake newspapers are used and this could be an example of such a thing. This is not Lorem ipsum, which is a sort of real looking but totally nonsensical pseudo latin text which is often used for fake newspapers and such in films.

Sailor Moon R episode 59 - Japanese Blu-Ray - The Moonlight Knight

Japanese Blu-Ray

As for the content on these Blu-Rays we have pretty much the first half of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 to 68. These are episodes I have some fondness and nostalgia for! I got into Sailor Moon when there were only 65 dubbed episodes which included the first half of Sailor Moon R and I didn’t see the second half until I got some fansubs some time later, before they were eventually dubbed. It’s probably due to this that I have a greater level of nostalgia for those episodes which include only the first half of Sailor Moon R. My bias makes me want to argue that they are somehow of better quality but I simply can’t trust my own opinion on this issue to be unclouded. The first half of this release is the Makaiju story arc, known as the Doom Tree saga in the original English dub. I really enjoy these episodes even if they aren’t based on any manga story like the rest of the season. Ail and An, the villains, are compelling characters and these episodes tie in nicely to Sailor Moon R The Movie, though no one present seems to notice the similarity between these nearly identical looking enemies. The rest of the episodes introduce us to Chibiusa, the time traveling girl lost in time, and some of the Black Moon Clan. This set includes episode 67, the swimsuit episode where Chibiusa somehow befriends a plesiosaur, which for a long time was not available to English speaking fans but this episode has since been released to stream and on Viz’s release so its inclusion is less exclusive than it once was.

Sailor Moon R Part 1 Japanese Blu-Ray - Disc 4 menu

Not much in the way of special features here! Aside from the episodes themselves we have the same usual extra. “Clean” opening and closing credits which means the opening and ending theme animations without the actual credits. The picture quality for these is not too great, and not as good as the rest of the Blu-Ray. Also included are the 15 second commercials! These originally played on Japanese TV to advertise the next episode and they are not the same as the next episode previews, though they are quite similar. These weren’t included in the Sailor Moon R laserdisc release, as the only special features in those releases were on the first season discs, but they were included in the Sailor Moon R memorial. These aren’t terribly exciting but it’s better than nothing as features go! I’m including the disc 4 menu above, which includes those extras. The rest are available at the bottom of the post. The menus are basic. Links to the episode with an image showing the disc art in nice quality.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Episode guide episodes 58 to 60

Also included is a booklet with episode descriptions. Each description includes a bit of production art for that episode which is a nice touch!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 1 art comparison Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Disc 2 art comparison

The cover art for this release and the included discs is mostly reused from the laserdiscs which were again reused for the DVDs. I’ve included a lot of images showing what art was reused for what. One exception is the image of Chibiusa on the cover which is a bit awkwardly out of place as it’s not from any laserdisc art for Sailor Moon R. The main thing which I liked about this release was the inclusion of Ail and An as well as the Moonlight Knight. These characters, unique only to the first 13 episodes of Sailor Moon R, dominated three of the laserdisc covers but were completely absent from the DVD cover art. Similarly they are generally absent from other home video releases as it seems like most people would rather just treat Sailor Moon R as “Chibiusa and Black Lady”. Though they aren’t featured on the cover art itself we see them on the disc art which is quite a nice inclusion! These are characters featured in a quarter of the season after all! It’s half of this set!

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Back Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus's shoe mistake on the Blu-Ray
Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Sailor Venus shoe mistake laserdisc Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Venus's show fixed on the DVD

Also of note is the return of a Sailor Venus shoe error on the image on the back of the box. This error dates back to the laserdisc days but it was corrected with the Japanese DVD release. For whatever reason this error creeped back up! It’s clear that the DVD art wasn’t actually reused here but that we’re seeing laser disc art. The DVD art had modified colours that aren’t seen here. Basically the shoe problem, as discovered by Twitter user Sailor Mikey, is that Sailor Venus should have an open shoe with the top of her foot exposed but in this image it’s orange across the top of the foot.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inner back art comparison

Also notable is the art on the back of the box itself, inside the sleeve, which is actually an amalgam of two laserdisc covers. The individual art is used for the discs, which you can still see, but this image is a new composite of the two. We have Sailor Mercury, Mars, Venus and Jupiter put together but the Ayakashi Sisters are removed. Again we don’t want the outside box art to actually represent characters restricted to these episodes! This was mostly seamlessly done as the Sailor Guardians were in front of the Ayakashi Sisters for the most part however if you pay close attention there is a bit of an odd point at the end of Sailor Jupiter’s hair as this was previously covered by Calaveras’s neck.

Sailor Moon R Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 - Inside back

All in all I’m not sure this set would appeal to most English speaking fans however if you’re a real completist and want the series in its best possible quality, and don’t have the Japanese DVDs or some other comparably nice looking international release, this might be worth picking up. It’s not cheap! Both collection 1 and collection 2 can be ordered from sites such as Amazon Japan. These will set you back about $150 US dollars plus shipping a piece! I’ve already gotten my second set in the mail though I haven’t had much of a look at it yet besides taking a few photos of the box art. It stands to reason that it’s more of the same but I’ll put together a nice review if I have a bit of time.

Keep reading for more screenshot comparisons, photos of the box art, the included booklet and the menus.

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Watch the Sailor Moon Cast Reunion Panel from the 2015 Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

Roland Parliament, Tony Daniels, Susan Roman, Ron Rubin and Jill Frappier at the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration

The 2016 Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration is this Saturday, July 9th, at the Ontario Science Centre. Last year I attended the event and recorded the voice actor panel. This panel included Roland Parliament, voice director for the first 65 episodes and the voice of Melvin, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, Susan Roman, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, Ron Rubin, the voice of Artemis, and Jill Frappier, the voice of Luna. If you missed last year’s event you can watch the panel below.

This year’s event looks like it will be a lot of fun. It has some great guests including voice actors Vince Corazza, the voice of Alan and Tuxedo Mask, Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite and Wise Man, and David Fraser, the voice of Raye’s Grandpa and other minor roles in the series. Jennifer Cihi, who sang many songs for the English dub, will be there to perform a concert. For more information on this and other events at the convention check out the event’s web site.

Meet Vince Corazza, Tony Daniels, Jennifer Cihi and more at the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration July 9th

Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration banner

The second Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration will be taking place next month, on July 9th, at the Ontario Science Center. This year has some great guests in store yet again. Voice actors Vince Corazza, the voice of Alan Granger and the third voice of Tuxedo Mask, will be there. Tony Daniels, the voice of Jadeite, will be making his second appearance at the convention. Jennifer Cihi, who provided the vocals for many songs in the original English dub of Sailor Moon, will be there to perform a concert. Fan Fiction The Show, who have previously done comedy shows in Toronto about Sailor Moon and other fandoms, will be putting on a live comedy performance at the convention.

Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration - Fanfiction the show

There will also be a lot of Cosplay guests including Yume and Kitsurie from Cosmeko, Jelly Cosplay, and Ammie Cosplay. I met Cosmeko at Unplugged Expo a couple of years ago and they had some great tips for making Sailor Moon costumes and accessories.

Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration cosplay

I had a great time at the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration last year and even had a chance to participate in a few of the panels. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make the trip to Toronto this year.

For more details check out the event’s Facebook page, official web site or Moon Chase. You can also read the press release below for details on everything planned at this event.

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The first 14 episodes of Viz’s new dub of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R dub on Hulu

You can now watch the first 14 episodes of Sailor Moon R on Hulu and Neon Alley. This includes the entire Makai Tree story arc as well as the first episode featuring Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan. Like with the previous releases of dubbed episodes on Hulu these will only be online for a limited time. They will be removed on June 7th 2015.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

Episodes 47 to 59 are a non manga story arc focusing on the characters of Ail and An, aliens posing as humans Seijuro and Natsumi. They arrive on Earth with the Makaiju or Makai Tree and proceed to drain human energy to feed it and keep themselves alive. Episode 60, Angel or Devil? the Mysterious Girl from the Sky, is the first episode to feature Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan. The episodes included are somewhat strategic, meant to showcase a wide variety of voices and get us excited for the upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray release of Sailor Moon R. Sailor Moon R Season 2 Part 1 collects episodes 47 to 68 and is set to be released on July 14th. It can currently be pre-ordered from The Right Stuf.

Sailor Moon R episode 54 - Rei singing

One notable inclusion is episode 54, The School Festival Is for Me?! Queen Rei’s Song, which includes a couple of songs as performed by Rei’s voice actor Cristina Vee. In the original Japanese version Rei performs the song Eien no Melody which is translated here into English as Eternal Melody. In the original DiC dub of Sailor Moon had the song Oh Starry Night included, which has roughly the same melody as the original song but very different lyrics. The other song performed is Hottokenai Yo or I Can’t Leave Her Alone though only a short part of it is heard.

The cast of the new Viz English dub of Sailor Moon R was announced at Katsucon this weekend

Viz Media

This weekend is Katsucon in National Harbor Maryland. On Friday, February 13th, Viz hosted a Sailor Moon panel in which the dub cast for Sailor Moon R was announced. The panel was hosted by Charlene Ingram and included Cherami Leigh, the voice of Sailor Venus, Amanda Miller, the voice Sailor Jupiter, Cristina Vee, the voice of Sailor Mars and Robbie Daymond, the voice of Tuxedo Mask.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The new actors who will be joining the show for Sailor Moon R are Johanna Luis as the alien An also known as Natsumi Ginga, Brian Beacock as the Alien Ail also known as Seijirou Ginga, Sandy Fox as Chibiusa and Veronica Taylor as Sailor Pluto. Veronica Taylor is likely the best known of these voice actors for providing the voice of Ash Ketchum in Pokémon.

Sailor Moon R episode 75 - Sailor Pluto

You can watch the panel on Ustream below:

The first season of Viz’s new Sailor Moon dub is currently available on DVD and Blu-Ray in two half season sets. Buy them from Amazon using the links below to support the site:

Source: The Fandom Post

Sailor Moon R episodes 59 and 60 are now on Hulu

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - Ail and An

This week’s new episodes of Sailor Moon R on Hulu and Neon Alley end one arc and start another. We see the last of Ail, An, the Makaiju and the Moonlight Knight in episode 59 and we see the introduction of Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan in episode 60. As with every week these two new episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz.

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - Ail and An as children

Episode 59, True Love Awakens: The Makai Tree’s Secret, wraps up the story of the Ail and An. The seemingly evil tree has trashed a building and is attacking everything. It kills An, causing her and Ail to realise how much they love each other, but is then cut short of killing Ail too when it hears Sailor Moon’s call to stop. The Makaiju communicates and tells us it’s origin story. Ail and An were part of a species of aliens born from the tree on a distant planet. They are seen coming from the same pod, which means they are not only siblings but in a way twins. What a scandalous Luke and Leia twincest affair they have! The aliens fought for the tree but it turned out it was love that nourished it! What a hilarious misunderstanding that resulted in many deaths and injuries. We then learn the true identity of the Moonlight Knight. Who knew he was actually Mamoru? But wait… how are they always seen together? The Moonlight Knight is just a spirit born from Mamoru’s desire to protect Usagi despite his blocked memories. Sailor Moon heals the tree, leaving nothing but a little sprout. An is revived and her and Ail go off to live in the lonely depths of space. This concludes the Makaiju story arc. Fans have mixed feelings on these episodes but I always thought they were fantastic.

Sailor  Moon R episode 59 - The Moonlight Knight is Mamoru

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Chibiusa crashing Usagi and Mamoru's date

Episode 60, Angel or Devil? the Mysterious Girl from the Sky, introduces us to Chibiusa! Usagi and Mamoru are very briefly happy in this episode as they share their first consensual kiss! The only time they actually kissed in the first season was when Mamoru took advantage of an unconscious Sailor Moon who was unable to consent. Once their past lives were revealed Tuxedo Mask was injured and wisked away to be made evil. Since Usagi didn’t kiss his dead body and didn’t get any action while his memories were blocked, this is the first kiss they actually exchange. Not content to keep them together their happiness is soon thwarted by Chibiusa who literally falls from the sky kissing Mamoru. She then pulls a gun on Usagi in a hilarious scene. Chibiusa proceeds to brainwash everyone into thinking she’s Usagi’s cousin after which Usagi gets her revenge by spanking her. So what is this girl’s secret? Surely by now most people know the full story but unlike the secret identity of Princess Serenity or The Moonlight Knight, this one isn’t terribly obvious from the beginning. The Black Moon Clan also show up this week but they aren’t interesting for another few episodes.

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Chibiusa pointing a gun at Usagi

Sailor  Moon R episode 60 - Usagi slapping Chibiusa

Support the site by buying these episodes of Amazon Instant or getting the DVD or Blu-Ray released through the links below.

Sailor Moon R episodes 57 and 58 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 57 - Natsumi and Usagi in class

The two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R, episode 57 and 58, were added to Hulu and Neon Alley this morning. This week we get a better look at Natsumi and Seijirou as we build up to the end of the Makaiju story arc. These episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles. If dubbed episodes are more up your alley be sure to check out episodes 25 through 36 which were added to Hulu’s Sailor Moon dubbed page for a limited time.

Sailor Moon R episode 57 - An gets a pencil in the nose

Episode 57, After-School Trouble: Usagi Is a Target, gives us a nice and funny look at the relationship between Natsumi and Usagi who are constantly fighting over Mamoru’s love. Both Usagi and Natsumi get in trouble in class and are punished by their unprofessional and spiteful teacher Haruna. She is upset after her date canceled on her and takes it out on her students. While the students are kept after school she receives a call, which is her date who is able to make plans again. Since this was 1993, the pre cell phone era, this call is taken in the office. She then forgets about her students and leaves! Usagi and Natsumi make a little bet over Mamoru, as if such a thing was binding, over who will finish their assignment first. Natsumi ends up with a pencil in the nose but then drains Usagi’s energy so it’s all even. Meanwhile we learn that Ail is not really capable of choosing a Cardian without An. His Cardian won’t listen to him, attacks a bunch of ducks and generally makes a mess for him. Ultimately Usagi and Natsumi get along quite well despite the injuries and we get to see a kinder side to Natsumi than we have in the past.

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Sailor Moon stage show with Jadeite, Morga, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Luna

Episode 58, Disconnecting Love: the Raging Makai Tree, is where things really start to come together. In this episode we see some interesting things. When Usagi, Umino and Naru go to a Sailor Moon show we can see Jadeite, Morga, Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask and Luna recreated in large headed costumes. I suppose it makes sense that the public would have this knowledge. Morga was present in a jewellery store full of shoppers in the first episode. Jadeite, despite his many convincing disguises, chose to appear as a large hologram over the city threatening to set it on fire in his final episode. Usagi and her friends head over to visit Natsumi and Seijirou, which leads nosy Usagi to poke around in their secret room which is actually a massive open area housing the Makaiju, Ail and An’s evil energy sucking tree. Or is it? One wonders how many units in this apartment building were cleared out to make room for this humungous tree, or if this room is bigger on the inside like a bag of holding. After bringing back a piece of the tree and having Artemis nearly killed touching it, Usagi knows something is up and must confront Natsumi and Seijirou. She conveniently meets Mamoru on the way so they all have a nice time before Usagi is fed to the Cardian and tree, causing the Makaiju to freak out and wreck up the building. To be continued!

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Usagi and the Makaiju

Next week is the epic conclusion to the Makaiju story arc as well as the first appearance of Chibiusa.

Sailor Moon R episode 58 - Artemis getting his energy drained

Support the site by buying these episodes of Amazon Instant or buying the DVD or Blu-Ray sets of season 1 part 1 and 2.

Sailor Moon R episodes 55 and 56 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 55 - Ami and Luna shield themselves as Usagi eats

The latest two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. As with every Monday, two new episodes in Japanese with English subtitles by Viz, were added to these streaming services. This week’s episodes, 55 and 56, are full of great comedic moments.

Sailor Moon R episode 55 - Makoto and Seijirou

Episode 55, Is Seijuro the Moonlight Knight? Mako On Fire, is all about food! There is a secondary plot where we investigate if Seijirou is the Moonlight Knight, but Sailor Mercury quickly determines that this is untrue. There are many food related plots going around. Usagi has no food, and goes from friend to friend trying to eat something. She finally ends up pigging out on some food in front of Ami and Luna. Makoto, in the meantime, is educating Seijirou about food. He’s new to food because he’s an alien and doesn’t need to eat anything but energy. This of course makes Natsumi very jealous which prompts a fight with a monster.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - Rei is jealous of Makoto's breasts

Episode 56, Steal a Kiss from Mamoru! An’s Project Snow White, has Mamoru stuck putting on a presentation of Snow White. This gets everyone fighting about who should be Snow White! Makoto suggests it should be her, because her breasts are largest! Ultimately Natsumi cheats her way into the part leaving Usagi to be the evil Queen and the rest of the Sailor Guardians, Naru and Umino as dwarves. Of course dwarf costumes are hard to come by so they instead end up in animal costumes! The whole time Natsumi has a sinister plot to steal a kiss from Mamoru, and it almost works twice, but Seijirou, in his jealousy, disrupts the play with your weekly Cardian attack.

Sailor Moon R episode 56 - Fur pile

Support the site by buying these episodes on Amazon Instant through the links below:

I happen to have a few cels from these two episodes. Check them out below:

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Watch the first two episodes of Sailor Moon R, episodes 47 and 48, on Hulu

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Ail and An

The first two episodes of Sailor Moon R are now available on Hulu and Neon Alley. Two new episodes are added every week and now that we’ve worked through the first season Viz is starting to post episodes from Sailor Moon R. For the first 13 episodes of the series, including these two, we deal with what fans call the Makaiju arc as the enemies are Ail and An, aliens who steal human energy to feed their tree the Makaiju. Chibiusa and the Black Moon Clan will not be showing up until episode 60. Until then is this short “filler” story arc which was not in the manga which fans have mixed feelings about. I personally loved this story line and am not adverse to parts of the anime that aren’t in the manga. From a technical point of view seeing Sailor Moon R in HD is a treat. The R2 Japanese DVDs were progressive scan for the first season but beginning with Sailor Moon R the episodes were interlaced, as they had been in their original broadcast. This was not an issue back in the 90s when everyone watched Sailor Moon on their CRT TVs, but in the age of HDTVs and watching things on computer screens it’s certainly nice to see a show in progressive scan. Ultimately this show doesn’t look like newer shows animated in HD, it’s still an old master from the 90s with some processing done to it to make it look as good as it can. That said I still feel like the quality looks better on the Japanese DVDs than the Hulu feed, interlacing issues aside.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Natsumi and Seijuurou

Episode 47, Moon Returns: The Mysterious Aliens Appear, is the start of something new. Sailor Moon is just a normal girl again, with Luna and Artemis alone remembering the events of all that happened. Two aliens arrive on Earth, along with a big tree! Ail and An, joke names for “alien”, are the new villains who use Cardians, monsters born from cards, to drain human energy. Their relationship is strong at first as Ail and An speak kindly of their love for each other, but this won’t last long. They disguise themselves as teenagers and enrol in the local school because… well I’m not sure why they bother to do this. It would be easy enough to just hide in their apartment and go out at night draining energy. There doesn’t seem to be much of an end game to integrating in to the local culture. As luck would have it they go to the same school as a bunch of superheroes, Usagi, Ami and Makoto’s school. Ail poses as Seijuurou and An poses as Natsumi, because An isn’t really a good Japanese name. When a monster attacks Naru, who is a magnet for monsters, Usagi comes to her defence. Luna has no choice but to restore her memories! This seems shocking as Usagi has memories of everyone including herself dying a horrible death. She transforms into Sailor Moon and saves the day.

Sailor Moon episode 47 - Luna giving Usagi her memories back

Episode 48, For Love and for Justice: Sailor Guardians Once Again, deals with the rest of the Sailor Guardians not having their memories. Usagi is Sailor Moon again but can she fight the Cardians on her own? Auditions for a movie are a convenient excuse to get Naru, the monster magnet, as well as Ami, Rei, Makoto and Minako in a room together. A monster comes by and so Luna gives all the girls their memories back as well! Poor Naru. At least the first time around Usagi’s abandoning of her friend was gradual as the rest of the Sailor Guardians appeared one by one. This time around they all show up at once and she’s dropped like a bad habit.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Rei is ready for a fight

The real conflict doesn’t come from any monsters at all, but from Natsumi and Seijuurou’s interfering with Usagi and Mamoru’s relationship! Mamoru doesn’t get his memory back in this episode. In fact he won’t be getting it for a while. Natsumi is instantly infatuated with him, wanting to make him hers. What is Usagi to do to stop her? She has no relationship with Mamoru to fall back on and is unable to convince him to be with her without all those past memories to help. Let’s not forget that Mamoru was in quite a happy relationship with Rei before that pesky destiny put a stop to it. Beyond that, Seijuurou is into Usagi, trying to win her over. This naturally creates some friction between Ail and An who’s jealously only pushes them more towards the humans they are falling for.

Sailor Moon episode 48 - Natsumi loves Mamoru

Also check out Hulu’s new banner which they’ve added for Sailor Moon R. It would have been nice to see Chibiusa or some other new characters on here but since there are no new Sailor Guardians in this season, except for a very brief appearance by Sailor Pluto, we will have to contend with this.

Hulu's Sailor Moon R banner image

Vincent Corazza, the voice of Tuxedo Mask and Alan, to appear at Kishi Con in Texas this September

Vincent Corazza as Darien (Tuxedo Mask) and Alan

Vincent Corazza, best known to fans as the voice of Tuxedo Mask during the S and SuperS seasons of the English dub, will be making an appearance at Kishi Con in Weslaco Texas September 6th to the 8th. Though he only took over as Tuxedo Mask later in the series Vincent Corazza was part of the English dub from the first set of dubbed episodes in his portrayal of the alien Alan from the Doom Tree story arc of Sailor Moon R.

Darien/Mamoru and Alan/Ail

Presale tickets are now on for just $30. Will you see me there? Not likely unless someone wants to fly me to Texas, but I hope all who can attend have a great time.