What is the Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D attraction which is coming to Universal Studios Japan in March?

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D

It has been announced on the Official Sailor Moon site and the Universal Studios Japan site that a new attraction, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D, will be taking place from March 16th to June 24th. This made me wonder … what the hell does 4-D even mean? 3D, as we all know, refers to movies which appear to have depth into the “3rd dimension”. This technology has been around for a long time but it is common in modern films such as the recently released Star Wars films and James Cameron’s Avatar. No doubt this will have at least 3D but what is the 4th? Time? Well a video, that is not a single static image, generally exists across the dimension of time so that’s probably not it. The announcements don’t really give that detail, but we can infer based on past events using the 4D name exactly what this might mean. It seems unlikely that such an event will include a tesseract or anything which is actually in 4 dimensional space.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D

As this is a Universal Studios event so there is precedent for this such as the Shrek 4-D ride which appeared at Universal Studios locations across the globe including Japan. 4D is a marketing term used to describe physical effects that coincide with the film. I once saw an undersea film which sprayed air at my feet and poked the back of my seat when snakes appeared to make it seems more immersive which I think was at the Vancouver Aquarium. Other effects could be moving or vibrating seats or even smell. Years ago I also saw a Spongebob 4D film about Krabby Patties at Canada’s Wonderland though I don’t recall what 4D effects that had besides some moving seats.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D - Photo op

So what would a Sailor Moon 4D ride have? It seems likely it would be a 3D film with some added effects like moving and vibrating seats and perhaps some gushes of air. The specific “4D” effects would depend on the on screen action. The art used in the press releases resembles that from the original Sailor Moon anime rather than Sailor Moon Crystal. Sailor Moon is seen with her Crystal Star Brooch which she wears during Sailor Moon R. A photo op sample has one of the girls pictured holding Sailor Moon’s Cutie Moon Rod which replaces the Moon Stick which Sailor Moon loses in the fight with Queen Beryl and that Sailor Moon has throughout Sailor Moon R. Sailor Moon also has those weird white things in her hair which only show up for Super Sailor Moon during Sailor Moon S although she does have these with her original costume in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal. Though we don’t have any specifics it seems likely that we’ll get some new animation for this rather than it being just modified existing animation but we can’t be sure at this time.

The Universal Studios Japan site mentions that you need to follow their Twitter account and retweet certain messages to be eligible for a lottery to see the event but since this is at an amusement park there’s no doubt that it will be opened to the public. No news at this time if there’s any chance that this attraction will be held anywhere else. Certainly there are a lot of fans who would love to visit such an event in North America but are there enough to fill those seats and make it worthwhile? I’m sure some accountant will figure that out.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon The Miracle 4-D - Food

There is also some food which will be available at this event. The above photo shows a crescent bread, Luna corn soup, a shrimp salad, a strawberry cheese, a berry, pistachio and pine cake and a non alcoholic strawberry and lemon soda.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Diana

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal, Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion, is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. The gang is in the future city of Crystal Tokyo and now it’s time to have the ghost of King Endymion give them exposition about the story to date, including a bunch of revelations of things we mostly knew about.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - King Endymion has no reflection

We meet King Endymion and with that we learn all about Chibiusa, Crystal Tokyo and the Black Moon Clan. King Endymion appears as some sort of non corporeal projection of the real King who is in another room. In the original anime he is a hologram but in the manga and here it’s not entirely clear what is happening. He’s not stored in a computer like Queen Serenity was on the Moon. It seem more like he’s a sort of ghost. But does that mean King Endymion is dead? More on that later.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon learn that Chibiusa is Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon's daughter

Chibiusa is Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask’s daughter from the future. At this point we mostly already figured this out. If we hadn’t we can immediately infer this from the fact that Sailor Moon noticed that King Endymion is the future Tuxedo Mask and that Chibiusa calls him father. We can easily infer that this means Tuxedo Mask is Chibiusa’s father, but Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask do not have their “OMG WTF!!!” reaction until they are blatantly told what is what with Chibiusa. Their embarrassment seems to insinuate that these two have not previously had sex. We know this is likely not the case.

Crystal Tokyo is Dubai

We get a description of what’s up with Crystal Tokyo and it seems that in all it’s glory it was … a bunch of islands? We don’t know a ton about Crystal Tokyo but what we do know is that it is the future city of Tokyo. Tokyo is not a series of islands like the Florida Keys. It’s just a city on the Ocean. So what’s up with Crystal Tokyo? It looks a lot like Dubai, a city on the shore of the Persian Gulf but which is also home to a ton of artificial islands along the coast giving it a somewhat similar look. It’s certainly possible that the inhabitants of Crystal Tokyo built these things on the ocean. They would have the technology, and magic, to make it possible. When Chibiusa travels through time she does not arrive in the past in the ocean or in the future on the main land far from the palace. I always assumed the time travel was tied to a specific place but in a different time but this is never clearly established. Regardless, Crystal Tokyo in the manga or original anime was never portrayed as a series of islands as it is seen here. It wasn’t even shown like this in earlier episodes of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Chibiusa and Diana

This episode has the introduction of the adorable kitten Diana! She is Luna and Artemis’s daughter from the future. Luna and Artemis seem shocked and embarrassed to learn this which suggests that they do not currently have a relationship. Is their relationship a predestination paradox based on them now seeing they will be in one in the future? The show doesn’t appear to work that way.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Nemesis has a Moon

We learn some interesting things about Nemesis in this episode. King Endymion mentions that it’s orbit is impossible to calculate. Indeed Nemesis is based on a real non existent planet. Many have searched for a planet which explains some inconsistencies in the orbits of other planets. These inconsistencies can better be explained by other phenomenon, but in the Sailor Moon world this is a real planet. In one shot we see the Black Moon Clan on Nemesis with a Moon in the background. This is a first. The Moon is even illuminated in such as a way as to highlight the crescent Moon that is seen on the foreheads of the Black Moon Clan. We have not seen a Moon around Nemesis in any other Sailor Moon canon.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Sailor Moon disappearing

The gang must travel to the past because Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are disappearing. The excuse given is that Sailor Moon is disappearing because she’s in the same time as Neo Queen Serenity and that she’s occupying a space too close to her. This is fair as she’s lying right near them. Why then is Tuxedo Mask disappearing? Supposedly for the same reason, but this does not occur in the manga. Only Sailor Moon is seen as disappearing. Still King Endymion’s body is not far away so this makes some sense.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Chibiusa without Diana surviving the attack on Crystal Tokyo

We learn that Chibiusa and Diana were the only two to survive the attack by the Black Moon Clan but that they don’t know why. The reason it turns out is that it was because Chibiusa had the Silver Crystal on her, and that she was holding Diana. Too bad we don’t actually see Diana in Chibiusa’s arms when she is attacked. This creates a bit of a plot hole as compared to the manga when Diana is clearly shown with Chibiusa’s at the time of the attack.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Sailor Pluto shakes the hand of the future wife of the man she loves

This episode also introduces us to Sailor Pluto’s crush on King Endymion! She immediately blushes when she sees him. Perhaps this is why she was so quick to try to kill Sailor Moon earlier! Eliminate Sailor Moon in the past and future King Endymion is all of a sudden back on the market! King Endymion asks Pluto to give Sailor Moon a Key of Space-Time, which she does. This whole exchange seems totally charged as no doubt Sailor Pluto is envious of the relationship Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask have and will share in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Mamoru sleeps on the floor

What follows is just a ridiculous amount of time traveling. It was taboo to do so last episode but now we go back, spend a quick nap time in the past, then we fly back to the future like it was nothing. Mamoru doesn’t even sleep in his bed. Chibiusa is in the bed and he sleeps on the floor. This makes us wonder where exactly he and Usagi had sex earlier when Chibiusa was in the bed. Did they just do it on the floor? Not very dignified for the future royal family!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Dead people?

Back in the future we see Diana sleeping with future Luna and Artemis. She’s in a room with the bodies of the Sailor Guardians, who are said to have taken the brunt of the attack on Neo Queen Serenity, as well as King Enydmion. So what is up with these people? They appear to be pretty much dead, which would explain the state of King Endymion’s ghost. This isn’t really explained but they are at best near fatally wounded and at worst corpses like the rest of the city.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Esmeraude grabs Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask with her 3 arms

The enemy this week is Esmeraude and her ridiculous multi arms! This reminds me a lot of Queen Beryl’s hair. This is actually something which happens in the manga though then she has even more arms! She’s seen chocking Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon with two arms each in the manga though we don’t really see where each arm comes from. Here in Sailor Moon Crystal we have an arm awkwardly coming out of the back of Esmeraude’s neck which just looks weird.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Animation mistake - Miscoloured Cutie Moon Rod

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - The Cutie Moon Rod still doesn't work

Sailor Moon tries to use her Cutie Moon Rod which doesn’t go that well. It looks a lot like it did when it failed last episode. Actually it’s the exact same image only they fixed the weird half uncoloured animation error they had. Otherwise it is identical as can be seen above. The reason for the failure given is that her Crystal doesn’t work in the future, because you can’t have two Crystals in the same time. Oh that’s nice I guess we won’t have another Sailor Guardian running around the present with the 30th century’s Silver Crystal…

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Double Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber

Luckily Tuxedo Mask saves the day with a Double Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber which he performs with the help of the ghost of King Endymion! This is yet another thing from this episode which did not occur in the original manga and for a good reason. If King Endymion’s ghost is fully capable of using his powerful Tuxedo La Smoking Bomber attack isn’t he vastly superior to physical King Endymion? Let’s just get all of the Sailor Guardians running around as ghosts using their attacks without being vulnerable to attack by the bad guys! The Black Moon Clan would really be on the ropes if that happened!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - King Endymion and Neo Queen Serenity

Next up is Act 21, Complication – Nemesis. Sailor Moon is kidnapped so I guess now we actually have to do something! With the previous three kidnappings rescuing them was a priority but now that Sailor Moon is actually gone what are we to do? Sailor Moon is the prisoner of Prince Demande. We will finally see what’s up with the other Sailor Guardians and some big changes may begin for Chibiusa!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 21 - Complication - Nemesis

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto, Review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available to stream on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. This week is Act 19, Time Warp – Sailor Pluto. The gang travels to the future and are confronted by Sailor Pluto, but not after Mamoru and Usagi spend the night together.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Artemis wants to save the Sailor Guardians

As the episode opens Chibiusa is pleading for Sailor Moon to come to the future to help her mother. Artemis doesn’t care much about that, but has the idea that if the Black Moon Clan is the one that attacked her future city, that might be where Sailor Mercury, Mars and Jupiter are waiting. It would be nice to think that the gang goes to the future to rescue Chibiusa’s family, but in reality they have the ulterior motive of rescuing their friends. Regardless they decide to go, but not before a sleepover!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Usagi and Mamoru having sex

Chibiusa wants to sleep at Mamoru’s, but she’s not alone! Mamoru tucks her into bed with Luna-P which is kind of funny because it looks like Luna-P is a full sized human and that the ball is just a head. Following this Usagi and Mamoru share a tender moment in which Usagi expresses her jealousy for Chibiusa and then they have sex. This happens in the manga as well. It’s fairly obvious what happens but here it’s even less ambiguous. They kiss, they lie down, they hold each other’s hands and they sleep together. We later see them the morning after where Mamoru puts a white shirt on Usagi. He’s wearing one, Chibiusa is wearing one and Usagi is wearing one. It looks like Mamoru has nothing but white dress shirts in his closet and that he loves putting them on women. I’m not sure why anyone finds this comfortable. These aren’t the shirts that Mamoru wears under his tuxedo. Those have little folds on the collar and frills along the front. These are white dress shirts Mamoru keeps seemingly exclusively for putting on women who don’t fit in them. Not sure I see the appeal of this comfort but it seems to work for him.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - This is not how time travel works

In the pre-sex conversation Mamoru sees Usagi almost disappear. What is this? Is Usagi meant to be disappearing because of all this time travel? This is really not how time travel works. If past Usagi was affected I can understand the time travel plot of having future Usagi disappear, as silly as this concept is. But here it’s future Usagi that is in danger while past Usagi is fading a bit. How odd. Perhaps that’s not what this is meant to be at all though. Perhaps this is an omen Mamoru has about the future dangers to Usagi.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - You had one job

We decide to go to the future! Everyone has one job and one job only to ensure this is a success! Hold on to Chibiusa’s hand and don’t let go! They do this and as soon as the time travel starts everyone lets go! Well done folks. This leads to some confusion in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Sailor Pluto uses Dead Scream on Sailor Moon

Sailor Moon, Tuxedo Mask, Sailor Venus, Luna and Artemis are the first to arrive at the Space-Time Door. Sailor Pluto is there and she doesn’t seem to care that they are Sailor Guardians! She uses her lethal Dead Scream attack on the whole lot of them. Time travel is sort of frowned upon and Sailor Pluto’s job is to kill people that do this. She’s pretty soft on Chibiusa though as she does nothing to punish her for traveling through time to save her mother. Sailor Pluto makes a comment which I’ve seen translated differently so it’s hard to interpret. In the English translation of the manga and of Sailor Moon Crystal she mentions that “You guys” have always caused trouble for her, which one would assume means Chibiusa and Sailor Moon. This insinuates that she knows fully well who Sailor Moon is and who she has become in the future but is still willing to kill her! The other translation I’ve seen in the French version of the comic simply says that Chibiusa is causing her trouble, or in another French translation that Sailor Moon treats Chibiusa like Sailor Pluto has. If Sailor Pluto really does know who Sailor Moon is murdering her seems like a pretty extreme reaction to running into her in the Space-Time Corridor. While the true identity of Sailor Moon is a mystery to the viewers and inhabitants of the 20th century it doesn’t seem like it’s something she keeps secret from the future inhabitants of Crystal Tokyo.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Princess Chibiusa

We learn that Chibiusa is a Princess! Boy I wonder who her parents are then? We see an image of her in a princess dress that is very similar to the one Princess Serenity and the young Queen Serenity wore. Perhaps this is simply the style in the future.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Chiral and Achiral - White and whiter

The villains this week are Chiral and Achiral of the Black Moon Clan. In the original anime they were Droids but in the manga and Sailor Moon Crystal they are human. In the manga Chiral is white and Achiral has darker skin. In Sailor Moon Crystal they are white and whiter. What’s next. A white Sailor Pluto? In the manga Sailor Pluto has darker skin. She isn’t black but she is certainly more tanned than the other Sailor Guardians. In Sailor Moon Crystal she’s not much darker than most of the other characters.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Animation mistake - Miscoloured Cutie Moon Rod

While being attacked Sailor Moon tries to use her Cutie Moon Rod but is unable to. We see it partially in black and white but it’s handle is still in colour. An obvious animation error which I expect to be fixed in the Blu-Ray release.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - So many dead people in fancy clothes that look nothing like Chibiusa's

We get to Crystal Tokyo. It’s really bad here. We get a look at what it was like before the “explosion” and it looked quite nice but we also see an image of Chibiusa amongst a lot of bodies of what appear to be normal inhabitants of the city. Their clothes are completely ancient looking. They seem to match closely to what we saw in Silver Millennium on the Moon back in the day or even on Earth during this undetermined time period. Surely it’s not that far fetched that society would revert to some classic looking styles in the distant future. Some formal wear resemble very old clothing in many ways, such as the Tuxedo that King Endymion wears or the dress that Neo Queen Serenity wears. Why then does Chibiusa have a 20th century style school uniform? Her 20th century clothes stick out amongst these other examples of clothes which appear to some 1000 years older, all of this being set 1000 years in our future. But what do I know about style?

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Queen Serenity's tomb

We get a nice look at Neo Queen Serenity. She’s lying on what looks like a tomb. It has an inscription on it that says “< <>>”. What’s that about? It looks like Roman Numerals to me, but what do they mean? I wondered at first if perhaps this was Neo Queen Serenity’s birth and death dates. She would be born around 1978 and would have died some time in the 30th Century, that being the year 2900 to 2999. MDC is 1600. CXXXIII is 133. I can’t make any sense of this. Anyone have any thoughts on that? One notable thing is that Neo Queen Serenity’s hair appears to be white, not the blonde that it should be. This could just be an artifact of the Crystal which is enveloping her.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 19 - Diana

Next up is Diana the cat! We learned earlier this week that she would be voiced by Shoko Nakagawa but we don’t actually hear her say anything in this episode. Her presence is overshadowed by the appearance of a familiar face. Sailor Moon immediately recognizes him as being the future version of Tuxedo Mask. Only this man is not dressed in a black Tuxedo but instead all in white. Why not lavendar? King Endymion in the original anime has a lavendar Tuxedo but is this not the case in the manga? Indeed he is almost always seen in black and white and wearing a very light coloured outfit but it is mentioned as being lavender and is shown in the opening colour pages of Act 20 as being of a lavender colour.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Chibiusa and King Endymion

Sailor Moon Manga Act 19 - King Endymion

A cool effect exists for this episode. Whenever a character had an extreme emotional reaction, surprise, anger, shock, they showed a funny expression with a comical border. Fans can’t help but notice the similarity between these borders and those used in the original English dub by DiC. These borders were used at the beginning in the episode previews and again at the end during the “Sailor Says” segments. The one included below for comparison is from the episode preview for the second episode.

DiC Border vs. Sailor Moon Crystal border

Next up is Act 20, Crystal Tokyo – King Endymion. The next episode preview drops of bit of a spoiler. It’s already been stated that King Endymion is the future version of Tuxedo Mask. The preview has Chibiusa calling him “Papa”. We now know, as if we couldn’t guess it, that Mamoru is Chibiusa’s father. It’s not much of a stretch to figure that her mother, Neo Queen Serenity, is actually Usagi. The series has not done a terribly good job of trying to hide this from us but I feel like by now we are expected to have figured this out a while ago.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 20 - Crystal Tokyo - Endymion

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Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, review

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Koan the fortune teller

The latest episode of Sailor Moon Crystal is now available on Crunchyroll, Hulu and Niconico. Act 15, Infiltration – Sailor Mars, gives us a better look at the mysterious Chibiusa and then pits Koan of the Black Moon Clan’s Ayakashi Sisters against Sailor Mars.

Sailor Moon Crystal Intro - The Black Moon Clan

The first thing to note this week are the changes to the intro. Despite a few minor cosmetic changes the scenes specific to the first story arc, that being Queen Serenity and the Dark Kingdom, have been replaced with images of the Black Moon Clan, Chibiusa and Sailor Pluto. This is actually a very short part of the intro, as most of it is fairly generic not having anything season specific. That said if you look closely at Sailor Moon’s brooch you will see that it is still the one she had in the first story arc.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Ayakashi Sisters

The Black Moon Clan are finally here! We get a good first look at pretty much all of the characters on their home planet of Nemesis (which Rubeus mistakenly refers to as a star, which may be a subtitle issue). We see Demande, Esmeraude, Saphir, Rubeus and Wise Man. We also get a look at the Ayakashi Sisters though this episode heavily features Koan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Chibiusa shooting Usagi

Chibiusa’s gun wasn’t real! It just had a flower in it. She decides to follow Usagi around, a good instinct as she has the Silver Crystal and is Sailor Moon, so she brainwashes the Tsukino family into thinking she belongs there. This causes Luna to hit Usagi and Mamoru in order to avoid them being brainwashed. Nice to see Luna hitting Mamoru right in the face. It’s also nice to see Shingo again! He is dropped so quickly in the original anime that it’s good to see that he’s still around.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Tsukino family being hypnotized while Luna hits Mamoru in the face

The girls receive new transformation items and communicators in this episode. These transformation pens are called the Star Power Sticks and the girls mention that they feel more powerful after transforming with them, which explains Sailor Mars’s new power Burning Mandala and Sailor Mercury’s new power Shine Aqua Illusion.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - New transformation items and communicators

Arcades are so 1992! The Crown Arcade has been replaced with the Crown Fruit Parlor as the main hang out place of our characters. I’m not sure if this was meant to reflect the dwindling popularity of arcades when the manga was first published, the aging interests of the characters in the series or just a way to make it easier to tell the story. It’s easier to have exposition happen as the girls drink some juice rather than amongst noisy arcade games. A new character, Asanuma, is introduced at the Fruit Parlor. A scene from the manga has him commenting that he thinks that a beautiful girl like Rei is more fitting as a girlfriend to Mamoru than Usagi. Indeed, I support this manga shipping of Mamoru and Rei but unfortunately Sailor Moon Crystal chose not to include this.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Crown Fruit Parlor

The main plot develops at Rei’s school, T. A. Academy. It’s an all girl’s school. All kinds of pseudoscience surround this episode’s plot as students investigate UFOs, spontaneous combustion and fortune telling! One character that is seen in the hall of T. A. Academy looks suspiciously like Heero Yuy from the 1995 anime series Gundam Wing. I find the other characters in this scene look a bit like they could be from other anime series, but no specific ones come to mind besides a girl showing a passing resemblance to Miki from Marmalade Boy.

Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at T. A. Academy in Sailor Moon Crystal

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Gundam Wing's Heero Yuy at Rei's school

One student of T. A. Academy is the white haired Kotono Sarashina. She is investigating all these pseudoscientific things that in the context of this completely fictional story happen to be real. Her white hair is a bit odd to see. I suppose she’s simply meant to have very light blonde hair, but she looks a bit like a ghost or a really old person! She is just one of the many characters who isn’t given any colour in the manga, so the artists behind Sailor Moon Crystal are free to give her any hair colour they chose.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Kotono Sarashina

Rei is spending her time at the festival reading fortunes, which in the real world is nonsense but is a thing she can really do in the fictional world in which this story takes place. She has competition with Koan who is using her fortune telling powers to predict when people will die in the hopes that they will decide to join the Black Moon Clan with their remaining years. Not a terribly great plan.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Rei the fortune teller

The other plan the Black Moon Clan has in this episode involves burning people alive! Originally in the Manga Rei has a vision of a young girl being burned alive by Koan. This is not quite as terrible in Sailor Moon Crystal as the young girl is replaced by an adult man. The Black Moon Clan has a number of drones who originally pose as nuns and then run around making sounds very similar to those made by the Snow Dancers in the Sailor Moon S movie.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nunsSailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Black Moon Clan nuns

Once the combat starts, Koan and Sailor Mars face off. Sailor Mars gets frozen by Koan’s fire. Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask summon the new attack item the Cutie Moon Rod which uses Moon Princess Halation to kill Koan. A pity, really, that she has to die. Indeed, this is how it was originally written in the manga. I always came to appreciate how the anime played out with Rei befriending Koan and sacrificing herself to protect her, ultimately making her abandon her evil ways to open up a makeup business which her sisters join her in. It shows a side of Sailor Moon that is more about forgiveness and friendship and less about power.

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - The Cutie Moon Rod

Sailor Mars is kidnapped. That’s it. She’s gone for a bunch of episodes now. How terrible!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 15 - Burning Mandala

Next week is Act 16, Abduction – Sailor Mercury. This will be an Ami heavy episode as she faces off against Berthier. The episode will also feature puppet Tuxedo Mask!

Sailor Moon Crystal Act 16 - Berthier

Keep reading for more screenshots from the updated intro, this episode and the next episode preview.

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Ayakashi Sisters Petit Chara figures to be released in June

Ayakashi Sisters Petit Chara figures - Petz, Berthier, Calaveras, Koan and Sailor Moon

The next wave of Sailor Moon Petit Chara figures has been revealed on the Sailor Moon Official Site. The new figures include the Ayakashi Sisters Koan, Berthier, Calaveras and Petz as well as Sailor Moon with her Cutie Moon Rod which she had during the Black Moon Clan arc of the manga which was the Sailor Moon R season of the anime. These figures will be released in June 2015.

Ayakashi Sisters Petit Chara figures - Berthier, Koan, Calaveras and Petz

In the past Petit Chara figures, a line of Super Deformed blind box figures by MegaHouse, have all been of heroes. The first set had Sailor Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Venus as well as Tuxedo Mask. The second set contained Super Sailor Moon, Sailor Chibi Moon, Sailor Pluto, Uranus, Neptune and Saturn. The third set included civilian uniform versions of Usagi, Ami, Rei, Makoto, Minako and Mamoru. There are usually 6 figures to a set, with 6 of them being packaged in one box. Expressions vary so while a set will have all 6, each figure has one of two facial expressions. A Princess Serenity figure that is not part of a set will be released on Amazon on February 18th. It’s unknown who might included as the 6th figure in this set, if there even is one, or if they will have different facial expressions. It seems a bit odd to include these characters but not other villains such as those from the Dark Kingdom story arc. This may simply be due to the fact that Sailor Moon Crystal will soon be showcasing these characters, though by June the Black Moon Clan story arc will be nearly complete and the Ayakashi Sisters will be long dead.

Ayakashi Sisters Petit Chara figures - Sailor Moon, Koan, Berthier, Calaveras and Petz

I bought the first two sets of these figures and found them to be very nice. They’re small and easy to display. A minor amount of assembly is required but they hold together well and the included stand will make sure they don’t keep falling over.

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Sailor Moon R episodes 51 and 52 are now available on Hulu

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Sailor Moon receives the Cutie Moon Rod

This morning, November 3rd, the two latest episodes of Sailor Moon R were added to Hulu and Neon Alley. This week we have episodes 51 and 52 as Sailor Moon upgrades her transformation and attack item and we get a better look at Minako.

Sailor Moon R episode 51 - Rei breathing fire

In episode 51, A New Transformation: Usagi’s Power-Up, the gang go watch the Cherry Blossoms. This seems a bit like a school trip but for convoluted reasons all of the Sailor Guardians, who are not in Usagi’s class, come along. Naru chokes Umino in a sleeping bag and everyone has a good time eating while watching the cherry trees bloom. An interesting animation technique is used in this episode as character are animated as talking to each other while a zoomed out version of the group appears in the background. During this interaction we see that Usagi is lazy and makes bad lunches but Rei is even lazier and brought fast food burgers. Usagi feeds Rei a sandwich covered in a spicy sauce causing her to breather fire, one of the last times she’ll use her Fire Soul technique and the only time it’s used while she is not transformed into Sailor Mars. A monster shows up, breaks Sailor Moon’s transformation broach and then she falls into a hole which takes her to visit Queen Serenity who upgrades her broach to the Crystal Star, returns the Silver Crystal to her and gives her the Cutie Moon Rod! Where was this weird subspace type world she visited? It’s never really revealed but it looks a bit like Silver Millennium.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako hugging Artemis

Episode 52, The Targeted Kindergarteners: Venus to the Rescue, is a Minako episode which is all about shipping Minako and Artemis. The episode opens with Minako hugging Artemis in bed then she accuses him of peeping on her while she’s changing. Ultimately Minako runs into a young girl who is getting bullied and helps her out. The monster of the week is attacking kindergarten children and so Minako has decided to protect them. The young girl she befriends is a fan of Sailor Moon but, much to her chagrin, has never heard of Sailor Venus! This changes of course when Sailor Venus saves her life. Minako gets a new attack in this episode, her Crescent Beam Shower. The rest of the gang will eventually also be getting new infrequently used attacks in upcoming episodes.

Sailor Moon R episode 52 - Minako talking to a young girl

Bandai to release a Cutie Moon Rod Proplica toy

Proplica Cutie Moon Rod

Bandai has announced the second in it’s line of Proplica Sailor Moon products. The Cutie Moon Rod, the item Sailor Moon receives in Sailor Moon R, was announced earlier this month on Bandai’s official Sailor Moon site and later revealed at the Tokyo Toy Show. New photos and information were recently released at the official site.

Proplica Cutie Moon Rod at the Tokyo Toy Show 2014

Much like the Proplica Moon Stick which has been released and that we have already reviewed, this is a life sized item, measuring 44 cm (17 inches), which looks exactly like the one used by Sailor Moon in the show. It will have lights and sounds and retail for a mere 10,000 yen (about $100 US) which is more than the Moon Stick, but understandable given how much bigger it actually is. Check out the photo above from Sailor Moon German to get a sense of it’s size when placed aside the Moon Stick. Clips of such things as “Moon Princess Halation” will be voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, the voice of Sailor Moon.

Proplica Cutie Moon Rod

Information about how or where to buy it will be posted as it becomes available. As with the Moon Stick it will likely be available at a number of Japanese retailers and then later sold in North America. For now you can still buy the Moon Stick from the link below.

New details about Bandai’s Figuarts ZERO Sailor Moon figure

Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO figure in colour

The Tamashi Nations Sailor Moon site has been updated with colour images of their upcoming Figuarts ZERO Sailor Moon figure which will be available in March from Bandai and Volks. We had previously only seen a grey prototype of this toy. The image below shows it next to the S. H. Figuarts figure to demonstrate scale, which is useful only to people who actually have the S. H. Figuarts figure which is itself a fairly small toy. It will be 22 cm tall, roughly 8.5″. It is priced at 8,800 yen which is about $91 US so get started on that loan application now. You can preorder this toy from JList for a mere $110.

Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO figure size comparison to the S. H. Figuarts figure

This figure is not posable and is modelled after Sailor Moon from the Sailor Moon R arc of the anime, as Sailor Moon is seen with her Cutie Moon Rod and Crystal Star Brooch.

Sailor Moon Figuarts ZERO figure banner

New Sailor Moon R Figuarts ZERO figure

Sailor Moon R Figuarts Zero figure

Here’s yet another Sailor Moon figure that was spotted at Wonder Festival 2013 Summer held this weekend in Chiba, Japan! This is from Bandai and Volks’s Figuarts ZERO line of figures. These are not posable like the S. H. Figuarts line but rather single piece immoveable figures. These are very detailed high quality figures. Here we see Sailor Moon with her Cutie Moon Rod, her weapon from the Sailor Moon R season of the anime.

Sailor Moon R Figuarts Zero figure

Source: @figureadictos, @ho_shiraya and Sailor Moon Collectibles.

As is often the case we’re only seeing a prototype at first. If all goes well we’ll be seeing the completed version in colour soon.