Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2, covering the Black Moon story arc, was meant to be released yesterday, February 21st, on DVD and Blu-Ray. Unfortunately fans will have to wait up to an additional week to see the set which now has a release date of February 28th. The release date has been updated on sites such as Amazon and Right Stuf.
Great news for completists who want to have Sailor Moon in the best possible quality! The original 90s Sailor Moon anime is coming to Blu-Ray in Japan with the first half of season 1 coming out on June 14th 2017 and the rest of season 1 coming August 9th. These are Japanese language releases with no English audio or subtitles. Following the release of the first season Sailor Moon R and then the 3 movies will be released. These sets won’t be cheap! This first volume, containing episodes 1 to 23, is being sold by Amazon Japan for 15,903 yen, about $140 US. Set 1 and set 2 are also available from CD Japan for $175 US a piece. This is also listed on the Sailor Moon 25th Anniversary page. Why, you might ask, would I buy this set when Viz already released a less expensive Blu-Ray set of the Sailor Moon anime and I can watch these episodes for free in HD on Yahoo! View? Quality! The Viz release didn’t look great and to this date the Japanese region 2 DVD releases remain the gold standard of video quality. Some other international releases have been comparable in quality but nothing released in North America has really been close.
The HD version of the original Sailor Moon series has been aired on Japanese TV since April 6th 2015. Unfortunately we shouldn’t expect anything too mind blowing in the way of quality. This won’t look like Sailor Moon Crystal or any other recently made anime series on Blu-Ray. The product description on the Amazon Japan listing and the official site clearly state that the HD video source was upconverted from SD source material, that being a standard definition of 480 lines of horizontal resolution. What this means is that this isn’t a high definition transfer of some analog film source but instead a software upgrade of the source material which had DVD equivalent resolution. This may be a practical consideration. I don’t know if Sailor Moon ever existed on film or if the cels were recorded directly to standard definition video. You can’t get something from nothing. While the software scaling to improve the video will likely appear nicer than anything else we’ve seen, it’s still just software tricks to resize, resample and smooth out the picture, something that TVs and Blu-Ray players are also able to do with a good quality DVD. I don’t expect this video quality to be a significant improvement to the Japanese DVDs that are already on the market, but this is always a bit subjective.
It should be noted that up until now only the first season of Sailor Moon and the movies were ever released in progressive scan (480p). Sailor Moon R, S, SuperS and SailorStars were only ever released in lower quality interlaced video (480i). These releases will almost certainly have gone through a software deinterlacing process which will make them appear nicer on a more modern flat panel display instead of the CRT TVs that were common in the 90s when Sailor Moon was originally produced. The movies may also be of a higher quality if the original film source is used. When the region 2 Japanese DVD releases of the films were released they went back to the film source to create anamorphic widescreen releases rather than using the matted standard definition source material. I’m hopeful that this release, and perhaps even the Sailor Moon R movie Viz will be releasing in April, will have a legitimate high definition transfer.
These discs appear to be free of region restrictions, meaning that they will play in any country’s Blu-Ray players. Note that Japanese Blu-Ray coding is a non issue for North Americans who share region A with Japan. The lack of English, however, may be more concerning.
Do any of you moneybags have enough disposable income to justify this purchase? By this summer I’ll be knee deep in diaper and formula bills but I’ll likely still scrounge up the many hundreds needed to buy these sets.
It’s been a while since the first story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal was released on home video back in August. Fans have been waiting for news about Sailor Moon Crystal Set 2, including the Black Moon story arc, being released on home video. Amazon and the Right Stuf have listed the product for a February 21st release. Amazon has listing for the regular and limited edition with box art included. The Right Stuf also has the limited edition Blu-Ray, regular edition Blu-Ray and DVD listed with prices. They’re selling the limited edition Blu-Ray for $62.99, the regular edition Blu-Ray for $54.59 and the DVD for $31.22. Who sets a price ending in 22 cents? Mind boggling.
North American Blu-Ray cover for Set 2’s Limited Edition
Japanese Blu-Ray cover for Volume 13
The box art seems consistent with the first release. The limited edition cover features Sailor Moon’s third transformation brooch, the Cosmic Heart Compact, which only shows up at the end of the second story arc. This is because this is the cover from the final volume from the original Japanese Sailor Moon Crystal releases. I’ve included a picture of that cover above for comparison. I’d uploaded this picture to a post that I never actually finished reviewing that set. This set will include the English dub of Sailor Moon Crystal which we’ve already heard for these episodes.
The regular edition box art will also likely be that shown on the case which is included inside the special edition set. Details of the release are included on the packaging. We see that this will include episodes 15 to 26. A special feature mentioned is an interview with Momoiro Clover Z, the band which performed Moon Pride, the Sailor Moon Crystal theme. The set is rated TV 14 in the US and PG in Canada. Maybe it’s the whole making out with her dad thing. The set includes art of the original Japanese covers and a full colour special booklet.
For now you can’t actually preorder the set using the links below, but at some point in the future you should be able to. The set is coming out next month after all!
Sailor Moon S Part 1 is finally out on DVD and Blu-Ray! These sets were released on November 15th and are available from stores and online retailers. This was also the first time Sailor Moon S episodes were released with Viz’s new English dub. With other releases some of the episodes came out prior to the home video releases on Hulu but this was not done this time around.
Support the site by buying the set with the links below. This could be a nice Christmas gift for a Sailor Moon fan in your life!
There are a number of options to purchase it. I got the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set, which comes with a number of extra I’ll get into below. You can also get the regular edition Blu-Ray or DVD releases or, if you’re not into physical copies, you can get the series from Amazon Video. Previous releases were available in standard definition and HD from Amazon Video but this release is only available in HD for $39.99 for the season.
As with other sets I have pretty much the same to say. A good effort by Viz and some nice packaging, decent extras and a nice looking booklet but ultimately the set suffers from poor video quality likely mostly due to the fact that they had bad masters. Since it’s been so long since these episodes have been available here in North America and this is the only way to hear the new dub, fans will probably want to check it out.
I didn’t watch the entire set yet, but did watch it a bit to get an idea of the dub and video quality. I watched episode 96, Cold Hearted Uranus? Makoto in Trouble, specifically because it had a lot of lesbian references and if there was anything changed on the set this is the kind of episode we’d likely see changes in. I also had a taped off of Japanese TV fansub of this episode years before I got around to seeing the whole season so I was more familiar with it than others. All around I was quite pleased with the dub quality. While I miss the old cast I think the new actors do a decent job of providing an accurate dub of the show. References to lesbianism weren’t glossed over, though they are mostly heavily hinted at rather than outright stated even in the original version of the show. The only real change I noticed is that Rei referred to her magazine with a moustached woman on the cover as her “First edition Sailor Dudettes” which is just kind of weird and not consistent with anything from the original Japanese version.
Original Japanese credits are used. The Sailor Moon S credits changed throughout the series and here we see different intros being used as different characters are introduced. This was a change from the Pioneer and Geneon releases of the series that always used the same opening theme throughout the series. The “today on Sailor Moon” clip plays after the opening credits rather than before it as with the Japanese TV airing of the show and Japanese releases. A minor change all considered.
The video quality isn’t great. Viz appears to have gotten a fairly low quality standard definition interlaced video source. They upscaled it to 1080p using software and then used some filters to try to clean it up. What we’re left with is a fairly poor job which leaves us with video quality that is worse than what we’ve seen with the Japanese releases which I still use as the gold standard for quality for the series. Other releases, like the Italian and French releases, weren’t perfect but look better than this. Some people say it’s worse than VHS, but I think some people don’t remember the days of VHS! Still I think a faithful straight standard definition DVD version of this release would have looked better than what we got, but this is quite subjective. Viz does a good job with other series for which they have better masters. Their Sailor Moon Crystal release was fantastic looking. Because of this I am quite confident that they tried their best with what they had to work with but can only do so much. There are obvious artifacts from interlacing which are mostly visible between narrow lines which can be seen for tiaras and uniforms throughout every episode.
There are some extras on the Blu-Rays, mainly about the new cast, which are not on the DVDs. The main feature is the “Sailor Moon Day 2016 Interview with English Cast”. Included in this interview are Ben Diskin, Umino, Cristina Vee, Sailor Mars, Amanda Miller, Sailor Jupiter, Robbie Daymond, Tuxedo Mask, Stephanie Sheh, Sailor Moon, Cherami Leigh, Sailor Venus and Sandy Fox, Chibiusa.
The rest of the extras are kind of lame. There are short galleries with some images for the characters. Clean opening and ending themes, that being without any credits, include the final version of the opening and the end theme Tuxedo Mirage. The trailers are similar to what we’ve seen in other releases which are ads for other Sailor Moon releases and other anime series released by Viz like Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha.
The booklet which is included is quite nice. There appear to be 96 pages, which aren’t numbered, and this includes episode summaries for each episode, including those from the currently unreleased second part of Sailor Moon S, credits, lyrics, character art and bios. It also includes an ad stating that Season 3 Part 2 is coming in Spring 2017. After long delays in this release let’s hope the next one comes as quickly as they say! The outer box made of sturdy cardboard has room for the second set, as other releases did.
Overall I’d recommend this set if you’re looking to see the new dub. Since these episodes are not available to stream in English anywhere, this is the only way to get them legally. The quality isn’t great but it’s watchable if you don’t mind a Blu-Ray that looks worse than a lot of DVDs. The booklet is a nice extra but the bonus features on the set aren’t terribly fantastic. I’m not sure my recommendation matters much though. If you bought the other sets you’ll probably buy this one and if you didn’t, you probably won’t. Viz has been somewhat consistent with the quality of their original series releases. Though quality issues have improved a bit, the release is still in the same general ball park as the others.
If you’re curious about the contents you can watch this unboxing video which Viz put together:
Keep reading for more images of the packaging and the special booklet.
Sailor Moon S Part 1 was released on DVD and Blu-Ray yesterday, November 15th. It is available in stores across North American and from online retailers. The set includes episodes 90 to 108, which covers half of the season introducing Sailor Uranus and Neptune and then covering the return of Chibiusa. The episodes are in Japanese with English subtitles and dubbed with Viz’s new cast which did Sailor Moon Crystal and the last two seasons.
The English episodes have not shown up on any streaming sites like Hulu and Yahoo! View yet. The dubbed episodes are available to view on Amazon Video. The digital price is $3.99 per episode and $39.99 for the whole half season in HD. It doesn’t look like a standard definition version is currently available on Amazon Video. The entire series in Japanese with English subtitles remains available subtitled on Hulu, Neon Alley, Yahoo! View and Tubi TV.
Have you gotten your set yet? I’m still waiting to get mine in the mail! Support the site by ordering the set from Amazon using the links below.
This Friday there is yet another Moonlight Party planned. These events, hosted by Viz, are a sort of online pyjama party to celebrate all things Sailor Moon. In the past most of these have been accompanied by the release of some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon or Sailor Moon Crystal on Hulu. This is done as advertisement for an upcoming home video release. Well now we are getting a Moonlight Party ahead of next week’s release of Sailor Moon S on home video and it doesn’t look like there is any plan to have any dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S released online at this time. Details for the Moonlight Party have been posted to the Facebook Page for the event and the YouTube video of the event itself. Nothing in either of these mentions that we should expect any episodes. In the past when episodes were released along with a Moonlight Party this was always announced ahead of time. There will be dub clips from the new episodes, supposedly something more than what we’ve already seen, as well as trivia questions, prizes and all the usual fun we get with these Moonlight Parties.
I don’t post this to discourage you from joining in! The event should still be a lot of fun. I had speculated when this event was first announced that it could come with some free to watch dubbed episodes and it seems like, all things considered, this is unlikely to be the case. You can watch the event using the embedded video below. It will be at 6pm Pacific Time, 9pm Eastern Time.
Want to see some dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon S? Well then you really should order Sailor Moon S part 1 on DVD or Blu-Ray using the links below. The set comes out next Tuesday, November 15th and will contain the first half of Sailor Moon S.
The first North American release of Sailor Moon Crystal is out on DVD and Blu-Ray! This came out on August 16th and is available in stores as well as online retailers such as Amazon. Yes I know this review is long overdue. I started it months ago and then just never got around to posting it. I’ll be talking specifically about the Limited Edition Blu-Ray set though the standard Blu-Ray and DVD versions are both out and since those are contained within this set you can get an idea of what they are with this review. The set contains the first 14 episodes of the series, spanning the entire Dark Kingdom story arc. I had pre-ordered the set from Amazon Canada but when it didn’t ship after release I canceled my order and bought it from HMV. I haven’t rewatched the entire set but have watched it a bit to see the quality.
The quality looks really good. This is probably the issue most people, or at least myself, had with the original series release. The old masters from the 90s weren’t great. The Japanese DVDs looked decent but every release we’ve gotten in North America has had significant issues. I don’t blame Viz for that. I think they did the best with what they had to work with. This is a whole other ball game. Sailor Moon Crystal is new. Viz has access to great masters and the quality of the release reflects that. I didn’t do frame by frame comparisons but the show looks generally good. The Blu-Ray looks like a Blu-Ray of a recent show should and the DVD is limited only by the format. Note that this is the same video as the Japanese home video release which had minor changes from the original streaming version. That was the same source that was used for the dub of Sailor Moon Crystal which is included on this set.
There aren’t a ton of extras in this release. There are art galleries which include a handful of character art from various characters. There’s also a “clean” version of the opening and end credits, meaning they don’t have any credits included, just the original visuals. There’s an English trailer for Sailor Moon Crystal which you may have seen before. There are also trailers for other Viz releases such as their release of the original Sailor Moon anime and some other anime shows.
The set also comes with an 88 page booklet. Since the Japanese releases of the first story arc of Sailor Moon Crystal covered 7 different releases, including a 24 page booklet each, it wasn’t practical to include these as a massive 168 page book, but this booklet is close enough. It includes episode summaries and character art from those included in the Japanese release. Not everything is included or translated word for word. Interviews are included but instead of featuring Japanese voice actors and staff who’d worked on the show these are replaced with interviews with actors from the English dub.
As you can see the character art included is nearly identical.
Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 3 booklet
North American booklet
While interview content is completely different the layout is very similar.
Japanese Blu-Ray vol. 1 booklet
North American Blu-Ray booklet
The packaging looks great. Since there was so much art for the various Japanese releases a series of art cards are included in this. There are seven cards in total which reflect the art included with each of the seven Japanese releases for the first story arc.
If you have been enjoying Sailor Moon Crystal then you should probably pick up this release. It isn’t necessary if you just want to watch the show, as the streaming version remains available on a number of services, but as more of those require users to pay to view content free of ads or at all we can’t know what the future may bring. Physical media continues to be less and less relevant but if you want to have this series and have it forever this is an affordable way to do it. The Limited Edition Blu-Ray may seem expensive for 14 episodes but a single two episode Japanese release cost about the same. It’s a bargain all thing considered. If you’re a completist and you need a reason to get this when you can still watch the streaming version consider that this set is the only way to watch the series in Japanese with English subtitles including the updated animation.
Keep reading for more photos of this set and the included special book.
The latest Blu-Ray release for Sailor Moon Crystal’s Infinity Arc was released on July 27th in Japan. This is the second of three releases covering this story arc and includes episodes 30 through 33. The set also includes a 24 page booklet with episode descriptions, interviews and character art. This is a Japanese only release with no English subtitles. You can order it from online retailers such as Amazon Japan for 6516 yen, about $65 US.
The packaging for this release highlights Sailor Uranus and Neptune with a great cover image on the Blu-Ray itself. The colours on the box match Sailor Uranus’s Sailor Fuku with a yellow bow.
Episodes included in this release are Act 30, Infinity 4 – Sailor Uranus – Haruka Tenoh – Sailor Neptune – Michiru Kaioh, Act 31 – Sailor Pluto – Setsuna Meioh, Act 32 – Infinity 6 – Three Guardians, and Act 33 – Infinity 7 – Transformation – Super Sailor Moon. These cover the Witches 5’s Viluy, Tellu, Cyprine and Ptitlol, the appearance of Setsuna Meioh and Sailor Pluto as well as the origins of the Holy Grail and Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon. Also included is the first appearance of Sailor Saturn, but only in flashback form, and a brief appearance by Mistress 9.
I watched all four episodes and didn’t notice any changes in animation from the original streaming release as had been done with the first 26 episodes. As there were no changes to the last release either I suspect we won’t be seeing any changes to the episodes of this story arc.
The packaging advertises a 28 page booklet. Funny I only counted 24. I suppose we could be really creative and count the cover page and back cover as “pages”? Like with other booklets this includes episode summaries, interviews and character art. This one includes interviews with five voice actors Misato Fukuen, Sailor Chibi Moon, Junko Minagawa, Sailor Uranus, Sayaka Ohara, Sailor Neptune, Yukiyo Fujii, Sailor Saturn and Ai Maeda, Sailor Pluto.
Some audio commentaries are also included with the episodes themselves. The same voice actors appear for all four of the commentaries. This includes Hisako Kanemoto, Ami, Rina Sato, Rei, Misato Fukuen, Chibiusa and Yukiyo Fujii, Hotaru. I don’t speak Japanese so I don’t know what they talk about.
The third volume, including the final five episodes of this story arc, will be released on Blu-Ray on August 31st. You can preorder it online from sites like Amazon Japan. It costs a bit more, with an MSRP of 10,584 yen, about $105 US dollars. This post on the Sailor Moon official site indicates that the version will include a box to store all three volumes in, which seems to justify this roughly 50% increase from the previous volumes.
Keep reading for more images of the packaging including photos of all pages of the included special booklet.
The first English home video release of Sailor Moon Crystal is coming this Tuesday, August 16th, in stores and online. This set will include the first 14 episodes of the series, which covers the Dark Kingdom story arc, in Japanese with English subtitles and with the English dub of the show. Since the Japanese release had only two episodes per release this is quite a bargain. The set will be available for a prerelease sale at Viz’s booth at Otakon this weekend for only $65. You can order the limited edition from sites like Right Stuf, which includes a bonus sun catcher for some pre-orders, and Amazon for an MSRP of $80. The regular Blu-Ray version is a bit cheaper with an MSRP of $60. Order this from Right Stuf or Amazon if you don’t care about the booklet, sun catcher and art cards. If you hate life and want to watch the show in a lower quality than you can with the free streaming version you can also get the DVD version from Right Stuf and Amazon for a bit less. Don’t do this. Even if you are a time traveler who can’t bring a Blu-Ray player with you to the past because old TVs don’t have HDMI you get the DVD with the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack so just get that.
Viz has put together an unboxing video which can be viewed on their site or in the embedded clip below.
The packaging looks good. The art cards included are the cover art for all of the Japanese releases. The included special book looks a lot like the ones that came with the Japanese releases only with interviews with the English cast. The sun catcher catches sun. You really don’t have any reason not to buy this set. With the quality of the show there’s no reason to expect this release to be plagued by the video quality issues the releases of the original Sailor Moon anime were.
The first of three volumes of Sailor Moon Crystal Season III is now available on Blu-Ray. Volume 1 was released on June 29th in Japan. This is a Japanese language release so there is no English audio or English subtitles. You can import it from sites like Amazon Japan for 6909 yen, about $67 US. This release features four episodes, where the first 26 episodes of the series were only released on disks containing two episodes a piece. This time we get Act 27 parts 1 and 2 as well as Acts 28 and 29. The set comes in a smaller package than the earlier releases, which should fit more conveniently on your shelf. It also includes a 24 page special booklet with interviews and art.
The episodes included are Act 27, Infinity 1 – Premonition – First Part and Second Part, Act 28, Infinity 2 – Ripples, and Act 29 – Infinity 3 – Two New Soldiers. This covers the introduction to the Death Busters, the Sailor Guardians facing off against Eudial and Mimete, meeting Hotaru, Haruka and Michiru as well as Sailor Uranus and Neptune. With the first 26 episodes, plagued by sloppy inconsistent animation, a number of minor improvements and changes were done to the animation for the Blu-Ray release. None of this is present here. If you’ve seen the streaming version you’ve seen the version which is presented on this release. It seems they put a bit more time and money into the animation the first time so there was no need for updates.
The episodes include an optional audio commentary. These four episodes all feature commentary by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Junko Minagawa, the voice of Sailor Uranus, and Sayaka Ohara, the voice of Sailor Neptune.
As with earlier releases a 24 page special booklet is included. The contents are somewhat like what we’ve seen before. There are episode summaries, interviews and character designs. Osabu’s page is not present in this booklet. There are a total of five interviews included. These are with Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon, Hisaka Kanemoto, the voice of Sailor Mercury, Rina Sato, the voice of Sailor Mars, Ami Koshimizu, the voice of Sailor Jupiter, and Shizuka Ito, the voice of Sailor Venus.
All in all this set is a more worthwhile purchase than the previous sets were. The cost is about the same and there are twice as many episodes. Without any changes in animation though, there isn’t much to get from collecting these when the streaming version is subtitled and free, though not quite at Blu-Ray quailty. Further now that we know that English Blu-Ray sets are coming with entire story arcs costing close to what a single Japanese disc does, it seems a little pointless for an English speaking North American fan to buy these Japanese only releases. All said we haven’t seen the English release yet. It seems unlikely that it will be plagued with terrible video quality like all North American releases of the original series have been, but that’s still a possibility. We may find that this is the better quality set to have when all is said and done. The French DVD and Blu-Ray came out last week and seems to be of exceptional quality though, so it seems likely the English release will be the same.
The next set will be released on July 27th and can be pre-ordered from sites like Amazon Japan. It is similarly priced at 6909 yen. It will include four episodes, Acts 30 to 33, bringing us to Sailor Moon’s transformation into Super Sailor Moon and the first flashback look at Sailor Saturn.
Keep reading for more photos of the packaging and all pages of the included special booklet.