Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 is out on home video today!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 - Blu-Ray cover

Today is the day! Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 is now available to purchase on DVD and Blu-Ray, which means the entire original Sailor Moon anime, with Viz’s new English dub, is now out! Fans have been waiting to see the final season of Sailor Moon dubbed into English since the 1990s but after Sailor Moon S and SuperS were dubbed, the final season never followed! The set is now available to purchase in stores and online. Fans looking to buy it from Amazon can do so using the links below.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 200 - Galaxia fights Princess Serenity

Have you gotten your copy yet? Did any of you wait until now to watch the fifth and final season? What did you think of the final episodes? If you’re looking to pick up any of the earlier sets you can support the site by ordering them from Amazon using these links.



The updated Sailor Stars relationship chart lists Sailor Uranus and Neptune as Partners, not Lovers

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Sailor Uranus and Neptune are Partners

This afternoon I received my replacement booklet for the Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Limited Edition Blu-Ray set. I was surprised to see this so quickly as I’d only put in the request 11 days ago on September 8th and today on the 19th it arrived at my door. Great turnaround by Viz and Warner Brothers! I was however a bit surprised to check out the relationship chart and to see Sailor Uranus and Neptune were listed simply as “Partners”. I was hoping their connection would show “Love” like is indicated for Usagi and Mamoru. Additionally the lyrics for Moonlight Legend have not been corrected.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Relationship Chart

In the press release by Viz it did indeed state “Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are not friends, but in fact, partners” and we understand in this context that this means romantic partners and not, say, two people working together to sell insurance. In the relationship chart is that so clear? Are they partners in fighting evil or partners in the bedroom? Having watched the dubbed version of Sailor Stars Part 1 the faithful adaptation makes it clear beyond any doubt that these two share an intimate relationship with a number of suggestive lines. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post on the issue, they were previously listed as “Partners” in the Sailor Moon S relationship chart and that didn’t seem to have caused the same concern. Of course no one even noticed the error with the lyrics going back to the first season so I’m not sure how much people paid attention to such specifics. It’s worth noting that the term “Lovers” was used extensively in the Sailor Moon R relationship chart, though these two were not in that season.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Romaji Lyrics

Although the original press release mentioned “The erroneous text is in the romaji provided with the song lyrics.” and fans assumed this was in reference to an untranslated piece of text from Moonlight Legend, the Sailor Moon anime opening theme for all but this season, this doesn’t appear to have been fixed. I’m wondering if there was perhaps another romaji problem that was corrected? I did not do a page by page word for word comparison of both booklets to check.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Replacement Booklet with Letter

Other minor changes exist in the relationship chart such as the Three Lights’ names being corrected to given name first, where this was inconsistently using their family name first in the old chart. They are also listed as “Sailor Star Lights” as a group where they weren’t before. Minor formatting changes exist on other pages but as I mentioned I didn’t do an exhaustive comparison.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Letter

What do you think? Am I being extra picky by expecting these two to be listed as being in “Love” after all that’s gone into this? Did you get your replacement booklet yet? Have you noticed any other differences?

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray Limited Edition Booklet - Replacement - Comparison

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 is coming November 12th. Check out the box art!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 - Blu-Ray cover

We now have confirmation that Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 is coming on November 12th. This was originally listed on the Deals Are Us web site and today was posted to the RightStuf web site. Both list a release date of November 12th.

September 14th update: The link to RightStuf’s web site I originally posted did not include the “Gift With Purchase”. Fans looking to get a set of Sailor Stars cards which comes with the purchase from RightStuf should instead check out this product listing.

After only seeing the Deals Are Us listing I wrote a lengthy post where I looked at the feasibility of a November 12th release date based on the time between all previous seasons’ Parts 1 and 2 finally determined it was plausible for a ton of reasons but now that RightStuf has it listed as well I’d say it’s all but certain that November 12th is the legit release date and all of that analysis is a bit pointless.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 2 - Blu-Ray back

The box art which is included with the RightStuf listing is nice but a bit busy. It seems like these characters were all sort of pasted on top of one another. Why is Chibi Moon even there? The back features Sailor Chibi Chibi and some pretty standard text. My only real concern is what Neo Crystal Tokyo is. Neo Queen Serenity is the Queen of Crystal Tokyo and while I’ve seen other anime and manga, such as Akira, refer to future Tokyo as Neo Tokyo, I don’t believe the term has ever been used in Sailor Moon.

The episodes included in Sailor Stars Part 1 were released digitally two weeks before the physical media release, which is common for mainstream movies. Should this occur again for Part 2 we should be getting those digital versions on October 29th.

Sailor Stars Part 2 isn’t up for pre-order on Amazon yet but you can pick up Sailor Stars Part 1 or any previous sets using the Amazon links below.



Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Limited Edition Blu-Ray review

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Contents

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 was released on Blu-Ray and DVD a couple of months ago, on June 18th. Fans who haven’t already picked it up can get from stores locally or from online retailers such as Amazon. Since it’s been out a while I’ve had the time to watch the entire set and so I wanted to give some general impressions about it. Though the video quality of these releases has generally not been great, this series looks better than sets in the past have. The new English dub is pretty good, as it has been for the rest of the series, and the script remains mostly unchanged.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Seiya

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Seiya Kou

Japanese DVD

First let’s look at the video. The quality certainly does not compare with that of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets which have been released more recently, but it’s fairly good. To be sure this won’t look like a newer anime series such as Sailor Moon Crystal does on Blu-Ray. This Blu-Ray was mastered from older standard definition video which was put through software to upscale it to high definition. What that gives is something that I wouldn’t really say looks any better than the Japanese DVD releases which came out well over a decade ago. That said I’m not sure that comparison really matters. We’ve never gotten Sailor Stars in North America before. The subbed version was out on Hulu a few years ago but there was no dub and that release used similar source material as this. When it comes to comparisons, we don’t have an old North American release to compare it to. This release certainly looks better than nothing, which is the baseline!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Professor Tomoe and Baby Hotaru

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 167 - Professor Tomoe and Hotaru

Japanese DVD

In this post I have provided comparisons to the Japanese DVD release. Since the Japanese Blu-Ray releases have not gotten to Sailor Stars yet I don’t have that for comparison. It’s pretty difficult to conclusively say if one is better than the other. The Viz Blu-Ray is certainly HD, in that it is 1080p, but that HD image lacks detail that would be there if it had been mastered from a film source. Anime of the time was drawn on cels and shot onto a film intermediate which was then transferred to video before broadcast. We have been told that this higher quality film version of Sailor Moon is lost. It is fairly evident from close examination of screenshots, or even upon viewing the video itself, that this is an upscaled version of standard definition video. There has also been some amount of post processing done in order to clean up the image. This means the colours will look more solid and have less noise on them, but potentially at the cost of detail, but is it detail that matters? Sailor Moon, like most traditional animation, is largely chunks of solid colour separated by solid black lines. The filters used seem to be optimized to this, giving a consistent colour and clear lines. Had this been a live action series with actors with pores and hair as well as other textured things, a different type of upscaling filter would likely have been used. While we shouldn’t necessarily mourn the loss of some grain there is a loss of detail in the backgrounds which aren’t as much just solid colours as we can see from the example of the cherry blossom tree behind Professor Tomoe in the above pictured image. Had we gone back to the film source for these, something which we’ve been told is impossible, then the image would likely look much better. If you check out my review of the Japanese Blu-Ray sets and look at the samples of the Make Up! Sailor Guardians on Blu-Ray you’ll see what that could have looked like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Young Queen Nehelenia

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Young Nehelenia

Japanese DVD

With earlier releases by Viz we had more ghosting, which means a double image or shadow near some lines, as well as some interlacing artifacts. I didn’t notice any such problems in this set. No doubt the quality has improved likely due to the fact that these episodes were made four years after the first season so the quality of the masters available get a little better with each year. This is likely also why the ADV releases of Sailor Moon seasons 1 and R were the worst while the Pioneer releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS looked much better. Don’t take my word for it though! Check out the many comparison images here and later in the post to judge for yourself. There’s no objectively correct answer to how much post processing looks best, sometimes it’s just a matter of personal preference. While there has been some change in quality with these screenshots due to jpg compression it should give a good idea of what each looks like.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - Mamoru sees something on the wing

Japanese DVD

Moving on from the video quality to the content. This is the first time we’re getting an English dub of Sailor Stars which is quite a treat. For years people considered this season to be impossible to market to the North American public, though I never really understood why. Is it really all that scandalous to have men who transform into women and vice versa? Sure, the Sailor Starlights’ outfits are fairly revealing but as far as anime goes this isn’t terribly shocking. It’s a joy to finally hear Sailor Stars in English. This is a cast we’ve heard for the past four seasons and three films as well as for Sailor Moon Crystal so even though it’s a departure from the DiC/Cloverway dub of most of our youth, for me there was still enough familiarity with the cast that it feels like Sailor Moon. The new actors for the Sailor Starlights do a great job. Having women play them as both men and women works well. This was the same approach which was used for the Japanese dub many years ago. The alternatives, either having two actors per character or having men do the voices would likely not have worked as well. For those who don’t appreciate the English version they also have the option of listening in Japanese with English subtitles.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Sailor Saturn

Viz Blu-Ray

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 172 - Sailor Saturn

Japanese DVD

The episodes included are the first half of Sailor Stars. This includes the amazing six episode Nehelenia arc in which she is given a very different ending as she got in Sailor Moon SuperS. The rest of the episodes are about Usagi getting to know The Three Lights, more specifically Seiya, as she grows further and further out of touch with Mamoru who is away and somehow completely out of touch. This parallels the Sailor Starlights who have appeared and who fight Sailor Galaxia’s Sailor Animamates. My feelings on Sailor Stars have changed over the years. I originally found Seiya sort of annoying as he was just a distraction from Usagi’s true relationship which she never waivers from. This is generally true but I find the story much more appealing. She is hurting and though there is no infidelity he fills a need she has for companionship. His interests in her are not reciprocated which is more tragic than anything. I’ve given more thoughts on all of the episodes in my individual reviews which you can find by searching the episode numbers in the search field on the site if you are interested. So much to say it is a very good half season and I’m glad that everyone can see it now, assuming some fans haven’t already seen it some other way!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Special features

There aren’t a ton of special features included. Each disc has an Art Gallery which doesn’t seem to be Japanese concept art but more likely something by Italian artist Marco Albiero who does a remarkable job of duplicating the original anime style. For whatever reason the Blu-Ray viewing software I use to take screenshots couldn’t load the Art Galleries so you can take my word for that.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Lauren post, the voice of Nehelenia

Also included are three voice actor interviews. The first is with Laura Post, the voice of Nehelenia. Having also been in SuperS it’s a bit odd to see this interview here but she mostly talks about her appearance in those first 6 episodes which fits.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi

Next we have an interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Usagi. This is the longer of the interviews. She does the whole thing with her dog! A few things stood out to me. First she mentions that the season was pretty long. This is objectively untrue as Sailor Stars is the shortest Sailor Moon season with only 34 episodes. One can hardly blame her for thinking this though as Usagi and Sailor Moon dominate this season like no other. It would be difficult to count but it seems likely that Usagi had more lines in Sailor Stars than any other seasons except perhaps the first one. There was much less focus on other Sailor Guardians. Chibiusa who dominated SuperS is gone, along with her father, for most of the season. Stephanie Sheh also makes a joke that it was lucky that Usagi didn’t have a cell phone because if Mamoru didn’t respond to a few texts this would be a sign of trouble. More generally she is lucky that this occurred at the dawn of the Internet age where it would be believable that Usagi would not have access to e-mail or chat software. I consider myself an early adopter of the Internet and I had no Internet access at home while Sailor Stars was airing. Ami is shown to communicate with some people through the Internet, but she is clearly an outlier amongst her friends. She also mentions that she ships Usagi and Mamoru and thinks her relationship with Seiya is inappropriate. This is probably best as such a view reflects her character’s! There’s also a funny bit where she wonders what’s up with the Starlights, asking similar questions that many fans have like if they’re men who turn into women, women who turn into men, women dressing as men or what? All around I found the interview very humourous. It’s obvious that Stephanie Sheh has spent a lot of time with the Sailor Moon character throughout the years and has many thoughts about the series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Interview with Stephanie Sheh, the voice of Chibi Chibi

Finally we have “A Chibi Interview with Stephanie Sheh”, the voice of Chibi Chibi. It’s a short interview where she talks about that character. She mentions being happy to play Chibi Chibi and points out that in the Japanese version the voice of Usagi played Chibi Chibi as well, but it wasn’t clear why. This is funny because in the manga there is a clear connection between the characters which doesn’t actually exist in the anime. It might make more sense for Chibi Chibi to share voice actors with another character, but I’ll avoid the specifics for now. Fans who are familiar with the end of the series will understand why.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - The non super credit less opening

Beyond the interviews we have a “Clean Opening” and “Clean Ending” which basically means the intro and ending without Japanese credits overlayed. These are of a very poor quality! The Japanese releases humourously refer to these as being “Non Super” meaning they aren’t HD. While they are technically HD in that they are encoded on the disk as 1080p, they are clearly taken from something of roughly the same quality as a VHS tape. A nice extra to have though one we’ve seen on every Japanese release ever.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Blu-Ray opened

As for the packaging this set continues to look quite nice, as have other released to date. This is all new art, whereas the Japanese releases have continued to reuse the original laserdisc box art for decades. The special booklet that is included with the Limited Edition is quite nice, including episode summaries and art of a number of characters. I believe all of this art is once again done by Italian artist Marco Albiero. The booklet also includes a relationship chart which has been the source of some controversy which I posted about closer to it’s release as well as an ad which refers to the first three seasons of Sailor Moon Crystal as the entire series.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 Blu-Ray - Booklet - Final message

Since this booklet is meant to cover the entire series it has cast information and summaries for the entire season. It also includes a nice goodbye message to the fans which I will quote below.

To all the longtime fans and those who joined us during this journey: This previously unreleased season is here because of you. Your support makes the stars twinkle brighter and we couldn’t have done this without you!

Starlight Honeymoon… THERAPY KISS!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Viz Blu-Ray - Eternal Sailor Moon

All considered I think this set it worth getting. The video quality is not the best possible but it is quite good. While the Japanese Blu-Ray which is coming in November will probably look marginally better, it won’t even have English subtitles, let alone English audio, so it’s of little use to most fans. If you’re only looking to watch the Japanese series with subtitles you can of course always stream these episodes, but buying this set or digital downloads of the episodes is the only way to get Viz’s English dub. I look forward to seeing part two of Sailor Stars and rewatching the final episodes. For those of you who are interested in this set but have not gotten it yet, you can support the site but buying it using the Amazon links below.

Keep reading for more images of the box art and comparisons of the video quality between this Blu-Ray and the Japanese DVD release.

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars will be released on Japanese Blu-Ray starting in November

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 1

Great news for Sailor Moon fans who are really picky about video quality and don’t like having money! The final season of the original Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan with volume 1 coming November 13th and volume 2 coming January 8th 2020. This follows decent but expensive releases for the first four seasons of the original Sailor Moon anime. While the quality of these has generally been better than what was released by Viz, these are still HD upscaled versions of standard definition source material. By this I mean to say that TOEI did not go back to the film source to get these HD versions but has done post processing on the same masters used for their DVD releases many years ago.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Volume 2

The cost of these is certainly not cheap! MSRP for each volume is 14,800 yen, about $136 US. You can already pre-order the standard or vendor exclusive versions of volume 1 from Amazon Japan. Having just watched the first Sailor Stars set released by Viz and been fairly happy with the video quality it gets harder and harder to justify getting these sets, which only include Japanese audio and no subtitles! Certainly the video quality of the earlier seasons is the worst of the Viz releases and every season the sets look a little better. It’s easy to assume this is due to Viz doing a better job, which is certainly part of what’s going on, but I also think it’s just a matter of the masters for the series looking better for the later seasons. The ADV DVD releases of Sailor Moon’s first season and Sailor Moon R were horrendous but the Pioneer DVD releases of Sailor Moon S and SuperS were much better looking for the same reasons.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 1 - Eternal Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 6

The art which we’ve seen looks quite good. As with previous releases this is box art which was originally used for the initial VHS and laserdisc releases. This art is done by Katsumi Tamegai who was an animation director for many episodes throughout the Sailor Moon series, including the final episode. This art was also used for the Japanese DVD release. Volume 1 has an image of Eternal Sailor Moon on the outside and Usagi with Chibi Chibi on the inside, though she’ll only show up for the last two episodes of the set. I’ve included images of the laserdiscs for reference throughout this post.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volumes 3, 4 and 5 - The Sailor Starlights and the Three Lights

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 9

The outer cover for volume 2 is an amalgamation of three different laserdisc covers showing each of the Sailor Starlights and their civilian Three Lights counterparts. The inside shows Princess Serenity and a less evil Galaxia which I suppose is a bit of a spoiler!

Included in volume 1 are episodes 167 to 183 while volume 2 will have episodes 184 to 200. This is the same breakdown Viz used with their release as it splits the season evenly with 17 episodes per set. The special features are much like what we’ve gotten with other releases. This includes low quality (non super) creditless versions of the opening and ending credits and 15 second commercials for each episode. A booklet with episode descriptions will also be included.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Vendor exclusives

As always we have vendor exclusives for a number of retailers. You can see them shown in the image above. It isn’t always obvious what these are! Members of the official Sailor Moon fan club who order the set through the club will get A4 sized sticker sheets with each volume as well as a laserdisc jacket sized poster for buying both volumes. We don’t know what images those will include at this time. A4 size is roughly equivalent to a standard 8.5×11″ letter piece of paper. A laserdisc jacket is roughly the size of a vinyl record jacket.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Japanese Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive box

The Amazon exclusive which is available to customers buying both volumes is a box to house both sets which has art similar to the laserdisc box which housed all of Sailor Stars.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box

The Animate exclusive, which is available only to those ordering both volumes, is a set of three acrylic key rings. Each features an image of one of the Sailor Starlights with their Three Lights alter ego from the box art.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Box back

The Seven Net exclusive for volume 1 is an acrylic plate, which I believe is what is sometimes called a pencil board, showing an image of Eternal Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians. The exclusive for volume 2 is a B2 sized tapestry featuring an image of Sailor Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Saturn which was originally on the back of the Sailor Stars laserdisc box. B2 size is about 20″x28″.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Laserdisc - Volume 2 - Sailor Chibi Moon and Sailor Saturn

Finally the Neo Wing exclusives are a separate A2 sized cloth poster which comes with each volume. These are images of the first two laserdisc covers, that being Eternal Sailor Moon for volume 1 and Sailor Saturn and Sailor Chibi Moon for volume 2. A2 size is about 16.5″x22″.

Have any of you been buying these sets?

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray review

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Cover

The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in Japan on March 20th and I’ve been working on this post since around then. The musical was originally performed in Japan last summer but I’d never gotten around to seeing any version of it until now. As such this will be a review of the Blu-Ray itself as well as my thoughts on the musical. If you’re looking to pick it up there are three version up on Amazon Japan. The limited edition Amazon Blu-Ray, now sold out, includes two folders. The regular Blu-Ray seems to be the same without the folders. Finally the DVD is a bit less expensive but of much worse quality. Keep in mind that as is often the case with Japanese Sailor Moon releases this set includes no English audio or subtitle options.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Back

Right off I have to say that I’m very happy to see that this release is on Blu-Ray and not just on DVD. I have not hidden my contempt for the sub par DVD releases we’ve gotten for the recent musicals, always featuring horrible looking 480i standard definition video. This release finally gives us a Sailor Moon in high definition! Looking at the fine print on the back of the box we see that it’s technically 1080i and not 1080p as you might see for most Blu-Ray releases. I guess they just love that interlaced video! What’s the difference? It’s nothing major! 1080i mean it’s interlaced instead of the 1080p progressive scan. Interlaced video works with scan lines where odd and then even lines are updated one at a time instead of the entire image being loaded one complete frame at a time. If you pause an old VHS tape you have probably noticed how there are often two images overlaid on the screen at a time which is the side effect of this. It can also affect the quality of screenshots. At such a high resolution it’s harder to notice and in motion it’s even less obvious. Most television is broadcast at 1080i and still of very high quality, so it’s really not a big problem as far as I’m concerned. Screenshots included in this post have not been modified to eliminate the scan lines and they still look decent.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Luna and Usagi

Overall the image quality is quite good! This musical looks great in high definition and after seeing so many standard definition releases, this really is a pleasure. The musical features a lot of fun special effects which are projected onto the stage and these are all captured beautifully in high definition. The sets, actors and costumes all appear clearly like only those who attend these shows in person have been able to see in the past! The camera work on the musical is good, following the important action when needed and letting us see the full musical. All special features included are also in high definition and those look great as well.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Zoisite, Kunzite and Jadeite

The musical itself is quite enjoyable. This is the Nogizaka46 musical meaning it features members of the band Nogizaka46 as the main cast. They make up two teams, Team Moon and Team Star, and this three disc set includes the full musical in both Team Moon and Team Star versions! From what I could tell both of these musicals were essentially the same, with the main cast of Sailor Guardians differing between teams. All other characters were played by the same actors in both versions. As this covers the Dark Kingdom story arc the extended cast includes Tuxedo Mask, Queen Beryl, the Shitennou, Queen Serenity as well as Umino and Naru. It’s great to see Usagi’s friends included in this musical.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Naru and Umino

The story of the musical follows that of the manga quite closely, which also follows quite well with the original anime and Sailor Moon Crystal. This is more faithful than most other musicals. Although there is no English dub or subtitles on this set fans familiar with the series should still be able to follow easily enough. We start out with the first story, introducing us to Usagi, Umino, Naru and even Haruna as well as Luna and Morga. We then move on to the second with the introduction of Mercury and then Mars, all somewhat following their introductions from the manga. Next we start to combine stories by having Sailor Jupiter introduced during the Masquerade Dance Party and things start to deviate.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - The Shitennou with the Sailor Guardians in the past

The main difference in this version, which we start to see at the party, are the pairings between the Sailor Guardians and the Shitennou. This was originally hinted at in some art in the Sailor Moon manga though those relationships, aside from a bit of Minako and Kunzite’s, were not really fleshed out. These were brought back in Sailor Moon Crystal which was a nice addition, though the series was so closely based on the manga that there wasn’t room for much deviation. They were kept alive to dwell on the pairing only to be killed off later before it really went anywhere.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Tuxedo Mask attacks Usagi

The rest of the musical goes through the story of the manga which has been touched upon in previous musicals. The gang go to the Moon and talk to a hologram of Queen Serenity. We get a series of deaths and suicides and evil Mamoru trying to kill Usagi and ultimately the world is saved.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Chibiusa arrives

Finally the musical ends with an interesting scene! The gang are hanging around and Usagi sees something falling from the sky. Is this meant to be Chibiusa? If so, why are we including this scene? The first story arc of the manga does indeed end with the arrival of Chibiusa to set up the Black Moon story arc but in that case there was the intention to have it continue! The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical is, as far as I understand it, only meant to be a one time thing. Could this really be setting up a Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical 2? Not sure about that!

Nogizaka 46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Puppet Luna

Technically the musical looks great. The puppet work on Luna was particularly impressive. There was an actor who can very clearly be seen controlling Luna, which can be a bit distracting, but the actual cat’s movements were something which would not have been possible by other means. Beyond Luna there were also Phobos and Deimos puppets. These two crows were also controlled by human puppeteers which can be seen on the stage. Luna even gets a chance to ride on one of the crows!

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star - Q and A

The musical is followed by the now expected seemingly never ending series of encores which includes an enjoyable rendition of La Soldier, a classic from the first Sailor Moon musicals, and a version of Moonlight Densetsu sung by the entire cast. We then have each cast member sharing a few words and crying, which has become another staple of the final performances of the musicals.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star - Happy Birthday

Aside from the Team Moon and Team Star discs there is a third disc which includes bonus features. Each feature has both a Team Moon and Team star version. The first feature is a “cast cam” which is a bunch of behind the scenes footage of rehearsal and the performance of the musical. One moment includes the cast of Team Star singing happy birthday to Ranze Terada who plays Sailor Mars in Team Star. This was funny to me as it was, in September 2018, her 20th birthday which reminds us that she, and many others in this musical, are so young that they were no only born after Sailor Moon started airing but even after the original Sailor Moon manga and anime were done.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Bonus features - Team Star Game

Next there is a game! I should remind everyone at this point that I do not speak Japanese so it was a bit hard to tell exactly what was going on. In each case they pitted the Sailor Guardians, who were a different group between the Team Moon and Team Star games, against the Dark Kingdom, who are the same actors in both versions and therefore both games. As far as I can tell Team Moon did a game of charades and Team Star did a Pictionary or Win Lose or Draw style game where one sketches something and the others have to guess it. Both seem entertaining but it’s hard to get much from these features when you don’t speak the language.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Sailor Mars

Finally we have a series of clips to highlight the various characters. These are all clips from the musical but often the camera angle is changed to focus on that particular character. This sort of features seems mostly useless to me.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Star Disc and Extras

The packaging is good. This is a nice looking set with photos of both casts on the front. The art of the discs themselves is quite nice. There’s an insert with a few pages again showing both casts.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Amazon exclusive folders

Since I ordered the Amazon Japan limited edition version my copy also came with two mini folders. One features Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask and the other features the Sailor Guardians.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Minako and Rei

All in all I would say this set is quite worth it. Yes it is expensive compared to buying a movie in North America but it’s not much more than the other musical releases and it really is a much higher quality release. After so many sub part standard definition DVDs it’s a real treat to get this Blu-Ray. The image quality is fantastic. The set includes two full versions of the musical and numerous extras. The lack of English audio or subtitles is of course a problem for English speaking fans. This set was made for a Japanese audience but other fans should enjoy it.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical Blu-Ray - Team Moon - Q and A

Ultimately fans may find that this istheir best chance at seeing this musical. Like many others I enjoyed watching the fan subbed versions of the musicals supplied by Miss Dream. After they received a takedown notice for four recent musicals, it seems that they will not be subtitling any of the newer musicals. (June 8th update: Miss Dream’s Dan Bednarksi has clarified in a comment on this post that the issue had to do with the trouble getting a translator for this musical. The two teams added complication to this issue as it would potentially double some of the work needed.) As a result importing the musicals on video may be the only way some fans will be able to see them! I certainly hope that some time soon we will be seeing international releases of these musicals with subtitles for fans to enjoy. Perhaps this will happen around the time we get more Sailor Moon Crystal!

Keep reading for a lot more photos of the set and screenshots from the musical.

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Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 is now available to pre-order on DVD and Blu-Ray from Amazon

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

Following last week’s news about Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Part 1 coming to DVD and Blu-Ray on June 18th fans can now pre-order the set from Amazon. This includes the less expensive DVD version, selling for just $28.26, as well as the standard Blu-Ray version, which is selling for $61.12 and the Limited Edition Blu-Ray which is $71.73. This is slightly less expensive than pre-ordering from RightStuf, which currently costs $71.99, though users ordering from RightStuf will be able to get the exclusive coin. If you pre-order from Amazon using the links below, or any other Amazon links such as the ones on the left sidebar on the main page, this will support this site.

This set includes episodes 167 to 183. This includes the short six episode Nehelenia arc, which is a sort of bridge between the SuperS season and Sailor Stars, and the introduction of the Sailor Starlights and their alternate identities, the Three Lights! The set will end with the introduction of the mysterious Chibi Chibi! These will be available for the first time with English audio, featuring Viz’s new English dub of the series, as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles. We never got a straight answer as to why Sailor Stars wasn’t originally dubbed but some fans believe that it was because the content would have been considered inappropriate for some viewers. If that was ever true it seems like this is no longer the case!

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 173 - The Sailor Starlights

Do you ship Seiya and Usagi? Will you be getting this release? I’m certainly looking forward to watching it in English for the first time. Though I’ve imported the Japanese DVDs and laserdiscs of Sailor Stars over the years the copies I’ve watched the most were VHS fan subs and a bootleg DVD, both of which used the VKLL subtitle scripts.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 182 - Chibi Chibi

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars episode 174 - Taiki, Seiya and Yaten - The Three Lights

Check out the cover art for the upcoming Sailor Stars DVD and Blu-Ray release

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Blu-Ray set box art

We’ve got our first look at Viz’s upcoming home video release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars which is coming to DVD and Blu-Ray later this year. It was previously announced that this set would be out in the Spring, but we have not received any specifics about a release date beyond this. The box art features Eternal Sailor Moon with her Eternal Tiare. This was shared in an article on the Kodansha Comics web site discussing Sailor Moon. It is mentioned that the first 17 episodes of the season will be included in this first set which will also contain behind the scenes interviews. This is the English release by Viz which will include the first ever English dub of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars as well as Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Osabu

The article includes a humourous interview with Sailor Moon editor Fumio Osano, commonly referred to as Osabu, in which he seems to suggest that North American readers may be interested in the Eternal Editions of the manga because of their large hands. Perhaps he has been baffled by the size of American comics since seeing an Xbox controller years ago! He also discusses his involvement with the manga over the years and more specifically his work as it relates to the North American audience.

Source: @fredjfrancis on Twitter

The Eternal Editions of the manga which are mentioned really do look great. They feature new translations, larger glossier pages and all colour pages which originally appeared in Nakayoshi. Order the first two volumes and pre-order others using the links below:


Though Sailor Moon Sailor Stars is not yet available to pre-order you can support the site by buying previous releases using the links below:



The Sailor Moon SuperS Japanese Blu-Ray sets are coming starting in May

Sailor Moon SuperS Vol. 1 Blu-Ray

The next season of Sailor Moon will be released on Blu-Ray in Japan as Sailor Moon SuperS Part 1 and 2 are scheduled to be released. Part 1 will cost 19,800 yen, about $180 US, and be released on May 8th while Part 2 will cost 14,800 yen, about $135 US, and will be out on July 10th. These prices are probably a bit higher than what it will ultimately cost. Both sets are up for pre-order from Amazon for a bit less. There are two versions listed there, as is the case with other retailers, where the one with the vendor exclusive incentives cost significantly more. Note that these are Japanese releases with no English audio or subtitles. If the other seasons are any indicators they are of decent quality compared to the North American releases but still a software upscaled version of standard definition sources. Japan, like North America, is region A so these will play in a North American off the shelf Blu-Ray player or PlayStation system.

Sailor Moon SuperS Vol. 2 Blu-Ray

According to the TOEI web site each of the sets includes 22 episodes which is almost certainly incorrect. Sailor Moon SuperS is episode 128 to 166, a total of 39 episodes. The price discrepancy between the sets likely indicates that there are more episodes on volume 1 than volume 2, which has been the case with past sets. It’s likely that volume 1 includes 22 episodes, plus the Sailor Moon SuperS Special, while volume 2 includes the remaining 17 episodes. This would actually split the sets up quite well into the 22 episodes featuring the Amazon Trio and the 17 episodes featuring the Amazoness Quartet. The Amazon Japan listing states the length of volume 1 to be 573 minutes, which accounts for 22 episodes plus the hour long special, while volume 2 is stated to be 405 minutes, which would account for 17 episodes. This assumes roughly 24 minutes per episode without commercials.

Other special features are sparse as always. We have the 15 second commercials for each episode as well as the lower quality (non super) creditless opening and ending credits. Since Sailor Moon SuperS has two ending themes one would assume that each set will have one of the end credits.

Sailor Moon SuperS Blu-Ray - Bonuses

As always there are a bunch of vendor exclusive incentives. These include posters, stickers and other little knick knacks. In some cases these will come with each volume but with others you have to buy each. This is an annoyance for me as I do not live in Japan and the exclusives needing both volumes aren’t shipped with either order but need to be ordered separately. There are individual images of all of the exclusives below.

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The Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray March 20th

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Sayuri Inoue and Mizuki Yamashita as Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon in Weekly Shonen Magazine

Good news for musical fans who have TVs that were made after 1992! It has been announced on the official Sailor Moon site that the recent Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical will be released not only on low resolution DVD but also on high definition Blu-Ray! This 3 disk set will include two version of the musical, that being both the Team Moon and Team Star versions, as well as bonus features! This is great news given the last 5 musicals, all released long after Blu-Rays and high definition televisions were commonplace, were only released on a low quality 480i DVD. I’ve complained about this time and time again as the past musical releases are really not in keeping with where the rest of the video industry is. This has become particularly frustrating in light of the fact that streaming and digital versions of the musical, uniquely available in Japan, are available in significantly higher resolutions than the DVD releases. I had previously suspected that the reason for the low quality releases was that older style video cameras had been used for the recordings, but this does not appear to be the case.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - The entire cast

This is particularly useful for North American fans who would normally not be able to play Japanese DVDs but are able to play Japanese Blu-Rays. Japan is in DVD region 2, while North America is in DVD region 1, requiring a region free DVD player to be able to watch a Japanese DVD. When it comes to Blu-Ray discs however a different system based on letters is used and both North America and Japan are part of Blu-Ray region A. I play all of my imported Japanese Blu-Rays on my off the shelf Canadian PlayStation 3 and 4 systems without issue. Keep in mind that these Japanese releases do not have any subtitles so fans will only be able to watch them in Japanese.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon Musical - Sailor Mercury, Mars and Moon

These releases unfortunately will not be cheap! The Blu-Ray release is 9504 yen, about $84 US, and the DVD at a modest 8424 yen, about $75. There’s certainly a good deal of content at that price but this still seems quite expensive! Bonus features on the third disc will include rehearsal footage, backstage video and more.

Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical - Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon

I certainly hope that this means we will be getting Blu-Ray releases of musicals in the future. While that may be the case this release may also be given more attention due to the fact that it involves members of the band Nogizaka46 and will appeal to a new audience. We don’t have any box art yet but I think a reversible cover with Team Moon and Team Star would be fun. Do you plan on picking up this release?