The Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray set is now available for purchase

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

The new release of the first season of Sailor Moon is out on Blu-ray today, June 14th. We have learned from fans that have received the set that these Blu-rays discs have new and improved video quality as well as features not on the releases from 2014. I got my copy today but have not have a chance to watch any of it yet. I did get myself a new Blu-ray drive and plan on doing a proper review as time permits. The release should be available in stores that sell this kind of thing as well as through online retailers. You can support the site by buying it through the link below.

This is a North American English language release by Viz which includes the original Japanese audio with optional English subtitles as well as the new English dub which was done by Viz using the same voice cast that appears in Sailor Moon Crystal.

Have you gotten your set yet? What do you think?

The upcoming release of Sailor Moon: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray will include improved video quality and a new interview not in the 2014 version

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

Sailor Moon: The Complete First Season is coming to Blu-ray … again. As the first season was originally release on Blu-ray in two parts in 2014 and 2015 many fans had been wondering if it was worth it to buy this again. When I posted about this in March I predicted these would just be the same discs bundled in new packaging. I was wrong! With fans starting to get their hands on the release we can now see that this is a new updated Blu-ray with superior video quality to the originals as well as some new special features. Considering getting it? You can support the site by using the link below to buy it.

The original Sailor Moon Season 1 Blu-Ray releases were, simply put, not good. The video quality was bad. It’s an old show. Viz obviously had some pretty low quality standard definition sources to work with. This show is not HD. The original film source was never scanned in high definition. What we got in 2014 and 2015 were pretty low quality releases with obvious video artifacts. At the time these looked much worse than the DVD releases in Japan as well as others which had come out in other countries prior to this. You can have a look at what that release looked like in my review of the Japanese Blu-ray release which looked better.

Sailor Moon Season 1 Part 1 Blu-ray (2014) - Episode 6 screenshot

Original 2014 Blu-ray

Sailor Moon The Complete First Season Blu-ray (2022) - Episode 6 screenshot

New 2022 Blu-ray

So what does this new version look like? Check out this Twitter thread by Fred Francis where he goes through his set and examines the menus and video quality with side by side comparisons of screenshots. I won’t repeat all of his comparisons here on the site but as you can see from the images above the difference really is night and day. The 2014 release is obviously worse looking than the much nicer looking 2022 release. It’s still not HD. It’s still a standard definition master which has been upscaled to 1080p using software. It just looks much better. The standard definition master was likely superior. More recent software algorithms may also been a contributor. Even as the Sailor Moon series went on the quality of releases by Viz improved dramatically to the point where Sailor Stars doesn’t have the same issues that the first couple of seasons did.

An interview with Katsuyuki Sumisawa

In addition to improved video quality the disc menus and even some features are new. This set has an interview with Sailor Moon writer Katsuyuki Sumisawa which had not been released in the earlier set.

Katsuyuki Sumisawa

Whether or not you consider this set worth purchasing is of course your own decision to make. For me it seems worth the upgrade at the reduced price. The full season costs less than what a half season cost eight years ago.

Will you be picking this set up?

Source: @fredjfrancis on Twitter

A new cheaper Blu-Ray set for Sailor Moon season 1 is coming from Viz in June

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

Good news for fans of the original Sailor Moon anime who for some reason didn’t actually buy the Blu-Ray sets that came out eight years ago. Viz has a cheap season 1 set which collects all 46 episodes in Japanese and in English on six discs coming June 14th 2022. Previously Viz had released half season sets for the entire Sailor Moon series. This meant five seasons across ten sets. This new set has a more affordable price tag of $49.99, less than even half a season used to cost! Amazon has the set listed for that full MSRP while Right Stuf has it for $44.99. You can support this site by pre-ordering the set from Amazon using the links in this post.

Viz’s Blu-Ray sets aren’t the best but they’re the best we’ve got. All Sailor Moon TV series Blu-Ray discs released anywhere in the world are basically upconverted to high definition from a standard definition source using software. This means the show will never look like something which is actually an HD remaster from the film source, as many anime series have done. Viz’s release, mostly in the early seasons, didn’t look that good. I compared Viz’s Blu-Ray release to the Japanese Blu-Rays and DVDs in my review of the first Japanese Blu-Ray set. The Japanese set isn’t perfect either, but it’s nicer than Viz’s set. As the years went on the quality of Viz’s Blu-Ray sets got marginally better until the Stars set which was actually pretty good. This was probably due to a number of factors including the quality of the video masters they had available and the techniques they used in order to clear up the video. This of course raises the question of what, exactly, this set will look like.

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

My prediction is that this set will just be exact copies of the Blu-Ray discs which were including in Viz’s first season Part 1 and Part 2 sets. Same menus. Same special features. Same marginal video quality. If that’s the case it’s a decent deal if you don’t have these already. It’s evidently a great series and this is your best way to watch it in English or in Japanese with English subtitles. When I watch my Star Trek The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine full series sets whenever I pop in the first disc of a season I get ads for the previous season set, which was included with the set I already bought. This happens because they didn’t author new Blu-Ray discs. They just reproduced more of the discs they had already authored and put them in a bigger box. We don’t know for sure that this is the approach that will be taken here, but that would be my guess. That’s common for rereleased movies and series. There is one bit of evidence which suggests that we may actually be getting reauthored discs. The Right Stuf listing mentions an interview with Katsuyuki Sumisawa as a special feature. As this wasn’t on the original release this would mean at least one disc, potentially all of them, is potentially going to be new.

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

It’s possible that Viz will go back to their source material and redo the video in better quality. It’s also possible that they’ll use other masters like the higher quality Japanese Blu-Ray releases or some of the other Blu-Ray releases which have been coming out around the world since 2014. They might also take some high quality masters and use newer technology like AstroRes to get the best possible HD version software algorithms can give! This is possible. I think it’s somewhat unlikely. If this were the case then there would be good reason for a fan to want to repurchase these sets in better quality. Personally I’ll be waiting until confirmation of what these sets are like before I decide whether or not to purchase the series again. Getting the same discs in different boxes isn’t enough of an incentive to me, if that’s what this set is. Getting new discs with similar video quality would also not be a terribly enticing release.

Sailor Moon Complete First Season Blu-ray

Here are some details about this release from the Right Stuf web site:

About Sailor Moon Season 1 Blu-Ray
Sailor Moon Season 1 contains episodes 1-46 of the anime directed by Junichi Sato and Kunihiko Ikuhara.

Usagi Tsukino is a cheerful schoolgirl who often finds herself in unwanted trouble. One day, she saves a talking cat named Luna who gives Usagi a brooch that transforms her into Sailor Moon, guardian of love and justice!

Special Features: Clean Opening and Ending, Trailers, Art Gallery, Announcement Panel & Fan Reactions, Dub Recording Behind the Scenes, Official Announcement, Trailer Moonlight Memories Pt. 1, AX Sailor Moon Panel, Official Cosplay Team Interview, Sailor Moon Day Highlights, An Interview with Katsuyuki Sumisawa

See More
Details
Publisher: VIZ
Media: Blu-ray
Spoken Language: English, Japanese
Subtitle Language: English
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Themes: Battles, Magical Girl
Age Rating: 14+
Run Time: 1060
Year Created: 1992
Release Date: 6/14/2022
Dimensional Weight: 1
Region Code: A

The special features listed are more consistent with what we got in the older sets except for the Katsuyuki Sumisawa interview.

Will you be picking up this set?

Princess Kaguya’s Lover musical news: DVD and Blu-ray details, international streaming announced and music track previews

Musical Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon - Princess Kaguya's Lover Poster

The Princess Kaguya’s Lover musical begins performances in Japan on Friday September 3rd. This musical has been delayed due to the pandemic but is finally being held with audiences at 50% capacity. There’s been a lot of news about the musical recently so I’ll put the most important stuff in this post.

It was announced that the musical will be streamed not only in Japan but internationally as well! This is great news as the musicals have only started to become accessible outside of Japan recently. The Japanese streams will start along with the first showings as early as September 3rd for a hefty price of 3700 yen, about $34 US. There will be a 20% discount for those who attend the show. In contrast the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical which was streaming this past week only cost $15 US to stream! We don’t have details about the international streaming option at this time. It seems unlikely this will be available on September 3rd along with the Japanese stream. We only know that the distribution will be done through Globe Coding. Note that this is the same service which was used for the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon 2019 musical stream. I purchased a ticket for that and watched it and did not have any issues! I’m expecting that since the musical is streaming outside of Japan that it will have subtitles for fans to watch along with.

We’ve also gotten details about the home video release of the musical. It will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray on January 19th 2022. Preorders will start on September 3rd, along with the first showing of the musical. It won’t be cheap! The DVD will sell for 8,500 yen, about $77 UD, while the Blu-ray will cost 9,500 yen, about $87 US. This will include a disc with the musical itself and a second disc with bonus features. This is only the second musical we get on Blu-ray after the Nogizaka46 x Sailor Moon musical. After years of really low quality DVDs for the recent musicals I’m happy that these are finally coming out on Blu-ray, even if the price tag is a bit higher!

Finally we’ve gotten previews of some of the songs from the musical. This includes a very short version on YouTube as well as longer tracks on a number of streaming services. A collection of those links can be found on linkfire. The two tracks are You’re My Universe and this musical’s version of Moonlight Legend, the original theme song for the Sailor Moon anime. Both songs are performed by the actresses playing the Sailor Team in the musical. You can watch the shorter versions of these songs on YouTube below.

The Princess Kaguya’s Lover musical is based on the manga chapter story which was the inspiration for Sailor Moon S: The Movie. The musical will focus heavily on Luna who falls in love with Kakeru and ultimately turns into human Luna. Are any of you expecting to see this one live or do you plan on streaming it or importing the home video release?

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray review

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Cover

Sailor Moon Eternal was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan on June 30th. This included both a standard and limited edition of both. Good news for Japan, which previously had seen only a theatrical release of the films. Less useful internationally as many countries are streaming the films on Netflix with English audio and subtitle options. Still the limited edition Blu-ray and DVD have a number of nice features fans may be interested in checking out. I picked up the limited edition Blu-ray, which I’ll be discussing in this post.

There were a number of vendor exclusive versions of this release which differed amongst retailers and while I got the release from Amazon Japan I opted not to pay the cchionsiderable extra cost on top of the already high price tag for these exclusives. In retrospect I enjoyed the box art so much that perhaps a nice print of it would have been worthwhile, but it’s a bit late for this!

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Discs

The set itself comes with a really beautiful package. This isn’t a standard DVD or Blu-ray sized box but instead something the size of a laserdisc or LP jacket. Inside are four discs. There’s a Blu-ray of the films, a Blu-ray disc of bonus features and two audios CD soundtracks, one for each of the movies.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Chibiusa and Usagi

Blu-ray

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 - Big Chibiusa and Small Usagi

Netflix

Disc 1! The movies. There isn’t much on this except for the two Sailor Moon Eternal films. I won’t repeat my review of those films. I quite enjoyed them and you can read my more in depth thoughts in my full reviews of Part 1 and Part 2. Interestingly enough the two movies are just one long video track of this Blu-ray. This doesn’t mean this is one movie or that it was always intended as one movie as there are still ending and opening credits, but we could easily have had separate video tracks for these.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Part 1 chapters

The disc’s menu has chapter markers which more or less break the movies up into single episode Acts, like with the TV series. This isn’t perfect again because some of them are shorter than others. The “Ami” chapter is only about 11 minutes and the “Rei” chapter is about 12. The second film’s chapters are broken up a bit more evenly as that story isn’t as clearly separated into distinct stories like with Part 1. Keep in mind that there are no English audio or subtitle options. As with all other Japanese Sailor Moon video releases, this is only meant to be viewed by a Japanese audience. If you want to watch it in English, get a Netflix subscription!

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - The Amazoness Quartet

Blu-ray

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2 - The Sailor Quartet

Netflix

The video quality of the Blu-ray is quite good. It’s hard to compare a Blu-ray to a stream of a movie because there are all sorts of things which can affect a streaming video’s quality. Netflix adjusts its video quality based on a user’s bandwidth so I don’t know if the quality I was watching the movie at was the best possible. I took some screenshots from the Netflix stream for my reviews but there may have been issues with using a web browser to do that. The Blu-ray, to me, looks superior to the streaming version I’d seen on Netflix. I had watched the films twice on the Netflix app on PlayStation 5 and then once through the Netflix site a web browser on a laptop connected to a TV via HDMI. I’ll include a few screenshot comparisons here and at the end of the post. Keep in mind there is jpeg compression on these images which is a form of lossy compression but that same transformation was applied consistently to both types screenshots using the built in Mac OS screenshot function. I did find the level of detail in the Blu-ray release is superior to what I saw with the streaming version. The fine detail such as lines looks better.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - To be continued...

Part 2 ends with a screen saying “To be continued”. This was included in the original Japanese theatrical release but was not in the Netflix version that most people have watched. The insinuation here is evident. They intend to continue Sailor Moon Crystal with a Stars arc. What that will look like or when we will get it remains to be seen. I hope we aren’t going to have to wait months for this one!

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Disc 2 menu

The second disc is another Blu-ray and includes all of the bonus features. The menu is all in Japanese but I will explain the feature in the order they’re seen on the menu. Many of these had previews posted on YouTube which I’ll include links to. As with the movies these are only available in Japanese. As many of the features involve some Japanese person or people talking throughout this might not be terribly useful for fans who don’t speak the language.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with director Chiaki Kon

The first feature, accessed with the top left button, is an interview with the movie’s director Chiaki Kon. She was director on Season III of Sailor Moon Crystal as well as both films. For whatever reason a Luna plush on a stool is featured prominently in the center of the screen while Chiaki Kon is off to the side. The interview is 9m46s but you can watch a three minute preview on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with character designer Kazuko Tadano

Next, the top right option, is an interview with character designer Kazuko Tadano who also worked on the original Sailor Moon anime. It’s hard to ignore the one very distracting aspect of this interview which is the large cartoon face which is superimposed over her face in every scene. I recall seeing Kazuko Tadano at Otakon in 2008 where she seemed to have no qualms about being seen in public. I recorded a panel she was on and my camera ended up losing the footage. Perhaps her image can’t be captured on camera! This feature is 10m30s and a short preview can be seen on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Moon Effect music video

The next feature is a Moon Effect music video. This is a long clip from the film only the actual dialog and sound effects are removed keeping only the song itself. The video is 6m11s long.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Trailers

Next up is a series of trailers and ads for the film. Having seen a lot of these I think I may have seen them all but it’s so hard to tell at some point as many commercials and trailers reuse a lot of the same footage over and over again. The whole thing is 7m10s.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with the main Sailor Guardian cast

After this we have a 20 minute interview with the main cast of Sailor Guardians and Nehelenia from the first film. This, like many of the interviews, occurs on stage. This includes Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisako Kanemoto, Sailor Mercury, Rina Satō, Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, Sailor Jupiter, Shizuka Itō, Sailor Venus, Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, and Nanao, the voice of Nehelenia. A short preview can be seen on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with the Amazon Trio cast

We then have an interview with Kotono Mitsuishi and the voices of the Amazon Trio. By all indications this nearly 22 minute video is hilarious, but I have no idea what they’re really saying. At one point they do a game where there are four options per question and … well I don’t know what the questions or answers are. Check out a preview on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with the full cast in Princess dresses

Next we have all of the Sailor Guardians’ voices from both films in princess dresses. They all look quite lovely! Throughout this 18 minute clip we see them all answering various questions while wearing evening gowns which are colour coordinated to suit the Sailor Guardians they voice. There’s a lot of posing for photos going on. This preview is on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Interview with the core cast

Finally we have a stage interview with the voices of Chibiusa, her mom and her two boyfriends. This 21 minute interview includes Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Kenji Nojima, Tuxedo Mask, and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, Pegasus. I can’t tell if Yoshitsugu Matsuoka is really nervous, doing a bit or both. Is this Bob Newhart level awkward comedy or perhaps some sort of thing that women find appealing? Really not sure. One fun part of this feature is a wild crescent moon shaped flower arrangement. As with the other features you can watch a short clip on YouTube.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Booklet - Pages 28 and 29

The 3rd and 4th discs are audio CDs. Disc 3 is the soundtrack for Sailor Moon Eternal Part 1 and Disc 4 is the soundtrack for Part 2. The labels on the discs themselves indicate this and the track listing in the booklet also breaks them into “Part 1″ and “Part 2″. Both have large numbers of tracks as well as TV sized versions of the songs included in them. Disc 3 has more tracks which may be because of music which is used in both films appearing on this soundtrack. I haven’t done a detailed study of each track and identified where it appears in each film, but it seems to mostly be broken up by the films. The part 1 soundtrack has 51 tracks, 49 of which are fairly short instrumental tracks. Track 50 is Moon Color Chainon, the theme song for the films. At 2m35s it is a shorter version of the song, with the full length version being 4m20s. Track 51 is the movie sized version of Watashi-tachi ni Naritakute (Wanting to Be Together with You) by Yoko Ishida which is only 1m32s as opposed to the 5m17s full length version.

The part 2 soundtrack is similar but with only 34 tracks, most of which are are instrumental. Track 28 is the full version of Moon Effect which is a whopping 6m12s, like the version on the Sailor Moon Eternal character song album. Track 33 is another TV length version of Moon Color Chainon. At 2m34s it’s one second shorter than the version on the part 1 soundtrack. I guess one of these is the one with Momoiro Clover Z and one is the version with the voice actors but I honestly can’t tell the difference. Track 34 is the movie sized version of “Rashiku” Ikimasho (I’ll Go As Myself) cover by Anza. This version is only 1m34s. The full length versions of all of the songs on these soundtracks were previously released on the Eternal Edition of the Moon Color Chainon album. It seems like none of the tracks on these soundtrack CDs are available elsewhere, except for the full length version of Moon Effect.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Booklet - Pages 4 and 5

Also included is a special booklet. I’ve included photos of each of the pages with most being at the end of this post. This starts off with character art for all of the characters in the movies. Next is a “Cast Comment” from each of the voice actresses portraying the Sailor Guardians. We then have the “Character Design Comment” which shows us individual art of each character which was used for the cover art. I think that cover image is quite amazing so it’s nice to see each character with a bit of detail here. We then have a “Key Animation Gallery” which shows storyboards and how they compare to images from the final product. There is then an “Event Report” which seems to give a bit of a description for a number of events related to the promotion and release of the film. A “Music Review” discusses the new songs featured in the film. There is then an “Interview” but it’s not entirely clear to me who that interview is with. Finally there is the track listing for the “Original Soundtrack”, the 3rd and 4th discs in this set.

Sailor Moon Eternal Limited Edition Blu-ray - Back Cover

So what’s the verdict? Is this set worth getting? Since it’s a Japanese only release with no English subtitles or audio for the films or any features, this has a limited appeal. While the movies are available to stream on Netflix the features in this set are most certainly not. The music soundtracks are the only way which is currently available to get most of the songs included, so that’s an aspect to consider. It’s worth noting that even though such a thing hasn’t been announced yet it seems quite likely that international versions of this film will be released in time. I expect a North American English DVD and Blu-Ray release will come eventually. That version will likely have Japanese audio as well as English audio and subtitle options. So why get this one? International releases (meaning outside of Japan) will likely include few to none of the special features in this release. Instead I would expect some cast interview with English voice actors and some character art. As always, we’ll be sure to share any info about such a release if and when we hear anything.

Keep reading for more images of the set including photos of all pages of the booklet.

Continue reading

Details for the Sailor Moon Eternal Japanese Blu-ray and DVD have been revealed

Sailor Moon Eternal poster

The Sailor Moon official site has been updated with details about the upcoming Sailor Moon Eternal home video release which is coming on June 30th, Usagi’s birthday. We previously mentioned that there were a number of versions of this release, including the Limited Edition DVD and Blu-ray releases which are packed with extras. The bare bones versions of both the DVD and Blu-ray do not appear to have any of the extra features but instead simply include the two Sailor Moon Eternal films.

Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2 - Poster

Both the four disc limited edition DVD and Blu-ray have similar features with the Blu-ray obviously having HD 1080p video while the DVD has a standard definition, almost certainly 480p, video. The contents are as follows:

  • Disc 1: The actual movies, both on a single disc, with audio commentary provided by Misato Fuken, the voice of Chibiusa, and Kenji Nojima, the voice of Tuxedo Mask, on both films. Sailor Moon Eternal Part 2’s commentary also features Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, the voice of Helios/Pegasus.
  • Disc 2: Bonus features which includes a music video for the character song “Moon Effect”, a collection of promotional videos for the film, footage of the film’s premiere, a video of an Amazon Trio night, a completion report interview (?), a stage greeting (?) and interviews with Chiaki Kon, the director of the films, and Kazuko Tadano, character designer and animation director of the films. I don’t understand what all of these features will be.
  • CD 1 and 2 are still only described as being the Sailor Moon Eternal drama collection and will include the movie versions of Moon Color Chainon and Moon Effect. This certainly isn’t enough to fill two audio CDs so I think it’s safe to say we don’t have all of the details we could have about these.
  • A special booklet measuring 28cm x 17.5 cm or roughly 11″ x 7″.

Ultimately a lot of these features are very much in Japanese and audio or dialogue centric making them difficult for fans who don’t actually speak Japanese to get much out of. With the movies coming to Netlix weeks before this video release this might not be a worthwhile purchase for everyone!

While I usually order my Sailor Moon videos and CDs from Amazon Japan, this has become impossible lately. This release is not in stock and I don’t know if it ever will be. CD Japan seems to be a popular option with fans. I can’t say I enjoy paying more in shipping and import fees than the actual price of a product. There are also versions with pre-order exclusive bonuses such as figures which are even harder to get outside of Japan. There are proxy services which will allow you to get these. I don’t have much experience with these.

Are you looking to pick up this set? If so, where are you planning to buy it from?

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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